Hundreds of students and community members turned up at the
Business School’s Hale Auditorium yesterday to hear former
U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright discuss her views on
globalization and international relations.
In the speech, titled “U.N., WTO, IMF: Time for a
Change?” Albright briefly mentioned the World Trade
Organization and the International Monetary Fund while focusing her
attention on the Bush administration.
This speech is her second at the University this week, following
a lecture on U.S. policy in the Middle East on Tuesday.
“Most people in most places like globalization,” she
said, citing the results of a survey she chaired at the Pew
Research Center for the People and the Press in Washington.
“Our goal should be to have global benefits of trade more
Albright emphasized that globalization is inevitably sweeping
across the world and that it must be managed in order to assure
that nations aren’t left behind.
“International institutions fail because of the inactions
or actions of their members,” she said. “(There is) no
substitute for leadership.”
The Bush administration, according to Albright, “sees
international institutions as obstacles.” She agreed that
Bush was right to go to the United Nations 18 months ago and demand
actions against Iraq but wrong to not allow the U.N. time to take
“The president deserved great credit for putting us in
position to insist that inspections (continue),” she said.
“(But) we went to war because it suited the calendar of some
people in the administration.”
Albright contrasted the Bush administration’s handling of
Iraq with the Clinton administration’s handling of Kosovo in
Yugoslavia. She said the Clinton administration worked with
international institutions such as the North Atlantic Treaty
Organization and built strong multilateral support to deal with
“The U.N. system is slow — there’s no question
about it,” she said. “(But) in order to have leverage
to reform institutions, we need to support them.”
Concerning post-war Iraq, she emphasized the need to work with
others and not forget about the rest of the world.
“The administration is beginning to realize we can’t
go at it alone,” Albright said. “America cannot survive
as a tranquil island in a chaotic world.”
Citing the consequences of World War I as an example, Albright
pointed out that there existed “lawless competition due to
shifting power” between nations after the war, contributing
to effects such as the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Holocaust.
With regard to Iraq, Albright said she never believed originally
there were ties between Iraq and al-Qaida, as Bush has alleged,
although she now believes that such ties have developed after the
war between the terrorist group and the country.
“The people who bombed the Twin Towers didn’t come
from Iraq,” Albright said.
“She did a good job of not being vindictive and too
vitriolic about the current administration,” MBA student Todd
Markson said. “It would have been interesting to have her
talk about her perspective of the international business
Other students disapproved of her partisanship.
“There was a bit too much plugging of the Democratic
Party,” MBA student Brad Duncan said.
Toward the end of her speech, Albright recommended to students
that there is no better way to pay the country back than to get
involved with public service and become engaged in the public
Madeleine Albright was unanimously confirmed as the 64th
secretary of state in 1997 under the Clinton administration.
Since leaving government, she has operated The Albright Group,
an international consulting firm. Albright just completed her
autobiography, titled “Madame Secretary.” As the
William Davidson Institute’s Distinguished Scholar, Albright
has made numerous visits to the University.
“Slowly but surely, I’m becoming a
Midwesterner,” she said.