Albright Answers

Mar 312004
Authors: Christiana Nelson

Madeleine Albright described her own tenure as the 64th

secretary of state of the United States of America as one of “two

parts: fun parts and serious parts.”

Similarly, she spoke to a sold-out crowd of about 6,000 people

at Moby Arena by combining humorous statements about her past with

her discussion of current world issues.

Albright began her speech by establishing her emigration to

America from Prague, Czechoslovakia, in 1948 as a teenager.

“I wanted to become a bonafide American teenager and this meant

losing my very British accent and reading mounds of comic books,

chewing wads of bubblegum and begging my mother, without any

success, to let me have sleepovers,” she said. “The truth is that

my parents were not great with helping me on the blending-in


Amid jokes and laughter from the audience concerning Albright’s

attempts to assimilate into American society with a mother who told

fortunes from people’s palms and a father who followed Albright’s

dates to invite them in for milk and cookies, Albright said she and

her family cherished American liberty.

“My whole life story is that I see the goodness of American

power,” she said.

With her family’s appreciation of independence and their

individual beliefs of the importance of democracy, Albright said

she gained an interest and appreciation of world affairs at a young


“I learned early on that international affairs was not just

another academic subject, it was a matter of life and death for

real people whose fate could be determined by moral and policy

choices made, and these convictions were only strengthened for me

during my years as secretary of state,” Albright said.

Despite her perception of the great impact of government powers,

Albright also addressed the extreme responsibility of the United

States as an international power.

“Given this day and age we cannot allow terrible things to go on

inside countries when we know what it is and we have an opportunity

to do something about it,” she said.

As a prominent Democrat, Albright questioned the focus on Iraq

before Afghanistan and the post-war approach of the Bush


“What I have been saying about the war in Iraq, is that I

understood the ‘why’, but I did not understand the ‘why now’,” she

said. “And I did not understand the ‘what next’ because the way

that I understood the plan for post-conference Iraq didn’t make any


Still, Albright said she respects the difficulty of the

decisions the current Bush administration has had to make.

“The Bush administration deserves our support and that of

law-abiding people everywhere in opposing groups that willfully

murder innocent people in pursuit of political goals,” she


Throughout her speech, Albright maintained her belief that the

United States should remain in Iraq and that the United States

“will eventually succeed in helping Iraq to become reasonably

democratic, moderately stable and more or less united.”

Following Albright’s address, 66-year-old Henry Atwater, a Fort

Collins community member who attended the speech, said he enjoyed

the injection of humor into the speech.

“It just showed how human she is, she’s not just serious and all

business, she’s very human,” Atwater said. ” I expected it to be

good and it was every bit as good as I had hoped.”

Melissa Peyronnin, a freshman open option major, agreed.

“She’s a very good speaker, there was humor, but not too much,”

Peyronnin said. “It was cool how she incorporated a lot of her life

before her work.”

While Albright emphasized her past, she expressed her opinions

of current world affairs and necessary solutions.

“Although I believe the war in Iraq was a war of choice, not

necessity, winning the peace is a necessity not a choice,” Albright


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