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Texas A&M University. Condi @ George Bush Presidential Library on the cold war ending and the future free world VIDEO
Condoleezza Rice speaks on how difficult it looked to win the cold war at times and what a pleasant surprise it was to be right there as the USA's Soviet-specialist advisor to President Bush when she (oops ) we won the cold war. Also Condi speaks about struggle to define Islam, the two versions, one democratic, the other an 11th Century view. The final victory for democracy and freedom thoughout all the world.
Former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice speaks at Bush School on significance of Cold War's end
Photo Credit: Nicholas Badger
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice helped President George H.W. Bush and Texas A&M University celebrate the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall with a speech Monday at the Annenberg Presidential Conference Center.
Rice used her words to reflect on the importance of the pivotal year of 1989 and the world events culminating with the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov. 9, 1989.
"It's a time for celebration because it did mark the end of communism in Europe, and it did mark the freedom for so many people," Rice said. "It's a time for commemoration, to commemorate the sacrifices of those who did not live to see [the fall of the Wall]. And perhaps most of all, it's a time for reflection."
Rice's speech was part of a daylong celebration for the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and was presented by the Scowcroft Institute of International Affairs.
"Our goal at Scowcroft is to bring the world to Aggieland and to bring Aggieland to the world," said Jeffrey Engel, associate director of programming for the Scowcroft Institute.
The daylong celebration allowed A&M a glimpse at the importance of the event and its impact on the global stage.
"The Cold War ended. The Berlin Wall fell. The Iron Curtain was no more," Engel said.
Bush was an integral part of the diplomacy involved in bringing an end to the Soviet Union and bringing freedom to people of Europe. During this time in world history, Bush worked alongside Soviet Union Head of State Mikhail Gorbachev and Chancellor of Germany Helmut Kohl.
"The president of the United States was able to give strength to those two men so they could do what they needed to do, and together, the three of them were able to use their talents and use their abilities for the good of humankind," Rice said.
Bush, though, was quick to show his appreciation for the role of Rice in international affairs and politics.
"She's strong; she's represented our nation with such class and distinction," Bush said. "Good government requires men and women of exceptional talent and vision to make it work. In Condi, we have someone who understands the complex and compelling challenges that face our world today like very few can."
Although Rice is a Soviet specialist, she did not anticipate playing a role in the end of the Cold War that plagued international affairs for so much of the 20th century.
"I never dreamed I would be the Soviet specialist in the White House at the end of the Cold War, because I never dreamed there was going to be an end to the Cold War," Rice said. "If you really do talk to people honestly, no one really thought there was going to be an end to the Cold War."
Although there were many times of trouble throughout the history of the Cold War, Rice said the moments were working toward a central goal that, although not evident at the time, became a success.
"Today's headlines and history's judgment are not the same," Rice said.
Of all the pieces of the puzzle that came together at the fall of the Berlin Wall, one of the most central aspects was the ideal of freedom. It was this ideal that citizens and leaders alike worked toward, Rice said.
"We believe in the proposition that every man, woman and child ought to live in freedom. We believe that human beings reach their full potential when they can enjoy the fruits of their labor," Rice said. "This view of human history, our view of human history, triumphed. It triumphed because it continued to live in the hearts and minds of people."
Although many current Aggie students were too young or not yet alive at the time of the fall of the Berlin Wall, it was an event that impacted the world as America works to promote the ideals of freedom and democracy, Rice said.
"What today's commemoration really reminds us is that when the United States of America really sets its mind to something, even if it takes 40 years, we'll find a way to get it done, because we are, more than anything, more than anybody in the world, an optimistic people," Rice said. "We're an optimistic people, not because we see the world through rose-colored glasses, but because so many times we have been a part of historical circumstances and what seemed impossible one day, just seemed improbable the next."
Rice hails Berlin Wall's fall as one of history's surprises
By VIMAL PATEL
Today's headlines and history's judgments rarely are the same, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said to a standing room-only crowd on the Texas A&M campus Monday evening.
That's what she told herself when things got tough in the White House, and, she admitted to laughter, "because I didn't like today's headlines."
Rice spoke for less than an hour during a daylong commemoration of the 20-year anniversary of the Berlin Wall's fall and the unification of Germany.
No one believed that the Berlin Wall would come down without a shot fired, she told the several hundred people gathered at the George Bush Presidential Library.
If you had said otherwise when the Cold War raged, "they would have had you committed," Rice said. "History plays a trick on us."
She added: "What seems impossible, after the fact sometimes seems inevitable."
Rice -- who served as the nation's chief diplomat from January 2005 to 2009 under former President George W. Bush -- is the first black woman to hold that position.
As national security adviser from January 2001 to 2005 and head of the national security council, Rice played a significant role in decisions about the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
Rice singled out three world leaders for praise in the aftermath of the wall's fall on Nov. 9, 1989: Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev, German Chancellor Helmut Kohl and the man sitting in front of her, President George H. W. Bush.
Gorbachev chose not to use the Soviet Union's might to try to "reverse history." Kohl "knew how to seize the moment." And Bush understood that gaining rapport was key.
"Gorbachev could trust George H. W. Bush not to humiliate him, not to take advantage of him, and to ease [the Soviet Union's] decline," Rice said. "That's the most extraordinary diplomatic feat of the century."
Rice is a senior public policy fellow at the Hoover Institution and a professor of political science at Stanford University.
She joined the Stanford faculty in 1981 as an assistant professor of political science, and served as the school's provost, the top academic official, from 1993 to 1999.
Rice has authored or co-authored several books, including Germany Unified and Europe Transformed: A Study in Statecraft and The Gorbachev Era.
She served as an adviser to the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 1987 and, two years later, was appointed director of Soviet and East European Affairs on the National Security Council.
Her talk zeroed in on German unification, but during the question-and-answer session, some audience members asked her about current world hotspots.
She advocated a "sunshine policy" toward North Korea, essentially opening up the country to outside influence whenever possible. She said her administration had discussed having the totalitarian country's women's soccer team visit the U.S.
"Something has to start to open that place up a bit so that when it collapses, and it will, it won't be so violent," she said.
She said Islam is struggling with "two visions" -- one is the democratic kind in Turkey; the other is the extremist version lacking in tolerance.
"If that other vision wins out, then we're going to struggle for decades and decades and decades with terrorism," she said.
On Sunday, in St. Louis Park, Minn., about 125 protesters greeted her with signs that read, "Torture isn't kosher" and "Would Jesus waterboard?" according to local press accounts. Since she left office 10 months ago, critics have unsuccessfully pressured her to acknowledge that the Bush-era practice of waterboarding -- pouring water over a detainee's head to create the sensation of drowning -- is torture.
In Aggieland, the 54-year-old was greeted with a standing ovation.
Rice spoke as part of the Lenore and Francis Humphrys International Speakers Program, which brings world leaders and renowned international affairs scholars to Texas A&M.
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice speaks at Beth El Synagogue in St. Louis Park Sunday as a part of a National Speaker Series.
Condoleezza Rice spoke at a synagogue in St. Louis Park Sunday, addressing issues related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, terrorism and the spread of democracy in the Middle East.
Rice’s visit is part of Beth El Synagogue’s national speaker series, which has included the likes of Dan Rather, Colin Powell and former President Bill Clinton, and acts as an important fundraiser for the community.
“The only reason that we are able to fight for our freedoms is because there are those on the frontlines of freedom …” Rice said in her speech. “Especially those men and women in uniform on the frontlines of freedom in places like Bosnia and Baghdad …”
In her speech, Rice said Israel is an important ally for the United States in the Middle East. She also focused on eliminating terrorism in the region and spreading democracy.
“Every day, terrorists plotted and they planned,” Rice said. “We had to recognize that they had to be right only once, and we had to be right 100 percent of the time and that was an unfair fight.”
During the question and answer segment that followed Rice’s speech, she answered queries relating to the United States’ stance on the Iranian nuclear weapons program, Chinese-U.S. relations and the importance of education, among other topics.
Peter Dow comments -
President of the USA, President of the European Union, President of the World maybe one day. Condi should be invited to take her pick of the job she wants to run for and do.
The way those protestors were going on you'd think Condi was lecturing on water-boarding. Not so.
Condi was the one who put a stop to water-boarding so have some respect please.
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