Published December 12, 2007 | Issue: Winter 2008
Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, New York Times Chief Foreign Correspondent John Burns, and former counter-terrorism advisor Richard Clarke have more in common than that they spoke at Colby this fall.
The speakers discussed a range of topics, from Clarke’s assessment of misconceptions about the war in Iraq to Burns’s from-the-ground account of life in Baghdad to Albright’s vision for diplomacy and human rights for all.
From their various vantages, each expressed concern about the perception of the United States internationally and looked forward to a time when the U.S. holds the respect of the international community.
America in the World
Richard Clarke, September 23, Government Department Goldfarb Lecture
“Remember right after 9/11, when two days later there was a spontaneous demonstration, 100,000 people with candles in the streets of—Tehran. People throughout the Islamic world thought Al Qaeda had gone too far, was killing innocent people, killing Muslims among them. We had an opportunity then to unite the world against this ideology. And we blew it.”Listen to Richard Clarke's Lecture
John F. Burns, September 30, 55th Lovejoy Convocation
“I take encouragement that America will once again emerge from this time of adversity and continue in the future, perhaps under a different president, perhaps after it has extricated itself from Iraq, to be what my father told me as a NATO general himself in the 1950s. ... He said, ‘[Americans] are the people that keep the peace in the world in our time, and don’t forget it.’ It was true then, it is true now, and may God grant that this nation finds its way through its present adversity and is once again in the minds and hearts of the people of the world what it has been, especially throughout most of my lifetime—admired, regarded, loved.”Listen to John Burns at the 55th Lovejoy Convocation
Madeleine Albright, October 25, Sen. George J. Mitchell Distinguished International Lecture
“In some parts of the world young people are being brought up to believe that the United States is the enemy of their religion and that we are using our power to hold them back and keep them down. ... We must fight back by doing a better job of explaining not only what America is against but also what it is for. ... The world should know that the best America respects the rule of law, opposes torture, believes in due process, and thinks that everyone—including private security contractors in Iraq—should be held accountable for their actions. And that’s why we need leaders in the future who will restore America’s reputation.”Listen to Madeleine Albright's Lecture
Photos from top: Rob Kievit '09, Jeff Earickson, Tom Bollier '11