It has been, after all, 11 years, more than a decade now, of defiance of U.N. resolutions by Saddam Hussein. Every obligation that he signed onto after the Gulf War, so that he would not be a threat to peace and security, he has ignored and flaunted.
We know that there are unaccounted-for Scud and other ballistic missiles in Iraq. And part of the problem is that, since 1998, there has been no way to even get minimal information about those programs except through intelligence means.
There are those who would draw a sharp line between power politics and a principled foreign policy based on values. This polarized view - you are either a realist or devoted to norms and values - may be just fine in academic debate, but it is a disaster for American foreign policy. American values are universal.
I think my father thought I might be president of the United States. I think he would've been satisfied with secretary of state. I'm a foreign policy person, and to have a chance to serve my country as the nation's chief diplomat at a time of peril and consequence, that was enough.
When I talk to students - and I still think of myself more than anything as a kind of professor on leave - they say, 'Well, how do I get to do what you do?'... And I say, 'Well, you have to start out by being a failed piano major.' And my point to them is don't try to have a 10-year plan. Find the next thing that interests you and follow that.
We are not race blind. Of course we still have racial tensions in this country. But the United States of America has made enormous progress in race relations, and it is still the best place on Earth to be a minority.
Well, there's been plenty of ultimatums, and one thing that we better be very clear is that we can't continue to have the kind of defiance of the United Nations, the defiance of the international community that we've had.
One thing that education can do is it can provide us with an opportunity to understand one another better, and so while I've spent a lot of my time in the world of politics, I've always felt that it is really not politics that will solve this for us.
I'm a very happy university professor... the best thing about being a university professor is that you see young people as they're being shaped and molded toward their own future, and you have a chance to be a part of that.
The essence of America - that which really unites us - is not ethnicity, or nationality or religion - it is an idea - and what an idea it is: That you can come from humble circumstances and do great things.
I think it goes back to whether or not race and class - that is, race and poverty - is not becoming even more of a constraint. Because with the failing public schools, I worry that the way that my grandparents got out of poverty, the way that my parents became educated, is just not going to be there for a whole bunch of kids.