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