|Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright
Remarks and Q&A session at Delaware Theater Company
Wilmington, Delaware, May 19, 1997
As released by the Office of the Spokesman
U.S. Department of State
Remarks As Prepared for Delivery
Thank you, Senator Biden, Jill Biden, and thank you, Delaware. This has been a fantastic day. Sometimes it's great to get away from Foggy Bottom. Not that I don't love my job and being in Washington. Not that I don't love spending the day in meetings. Not that I don't love reading stacks of memos that describe incredibly complex problems, provide a list of options that don't make sense and usually end with the line: "for your immediate decision, Madam Secretary."
The truth is that I do love my job. I'm having a ball. But the part of my job I love most is working to establish a true dialogue between the people who conduct our foreign policy--that is, among others, me--and the people in whose good name that policy is conducted--that is, among others, you.
This dialogue matters to me because, in our democracy, we can't carry out diplomatic initiatives very well or for very long if we don't have your understanding and support.
And it should matter to you because the success or failure of American foreign policy will be a determining factor in your lives, and in the lives of your children and grandchildren--just as it has been in mine.
That's an important reason why you should be pleased as I am that your Senator, Joe Biden, is now the senior minority member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.
Now it's well known that I also get along very well with the Chairman of that Committee, Senator Helms. He is, after all, a fine gentleman and a great American. But just as coffee sometimes needs a little sugar, and toast a little strawberry jam, it sometimes doesn't hurt to have a little Senator Biden with your Senator Helms.
Speaking of culinary combinations, since I am in Delaware, and there are politicians and statesmen around, there is one issue I need to make clear. I understand that if one were to visit this state shortly after an election, one might be invited to something called "Return Day" and fed muskrat. I don't know if this is Senator Biden's idea of a good time, but I do know that of all the things Warren Christopher taught me, one stands out: Secretaries of State do not eat muskrat.
Joe Biden has been in his current position with the Foreign Relations Committee for just a few months, but he's already made an enormous difference.
I do not exaggerate when I say that it is because of his leadership and negotiating skill that the Senate agreed last month to ratify the Chemical Weapons Convention. That was the smart thing to do for America because we had already decided to remove these weapons from our own arsenal--so this a treaty about other people's weapons not our own.
The treaty is also the smart thing for Delaware because it ensures that American chemical manufacturers such as DuPont and Hercules will not lose contracts or suffer sanctions because the United States is outside the Convention.
Above all, however, I suspect that Joe Biden led the fight for this treaty because he believes, as I believe--and as I hope you believe--that it is just plain right to do all we can to eliminate these weapons--which kill massively, horribly and indiscriminately--from the face of the earth.
Joe Biden has also made it clear that he doesn't much like people who traffic in drugs. I know this because during my confirmation hearing, he made the point, in his usual under-stated way, that the drug war should be a top priority in our foreign policy. Message received.
Late last month, the United States imposed investment sanctions against Burma, a nation where much of the world's heroin originates. We took that action because Burma's Government is highly repressive, but its failure to cooperate in breaking up the drug cartels is a major contributing factor.
Earlier this month, I accompanied the President to Mexico, where Presidents Clinton and Zedillo reaffirmed the commitment of our two nations to work together as allies to reduce demand for drugs, intercept shipments, arrest traffickers, confiscate profits and professionalize every aspect of our law enforcement response.
Around the world, we are stepping up our pressure targeting individuals and front companies to break up money laundering operations and signing new law enforcement agreements to enhance cooperation.
Senator Biden knows that fighting the drug war on a global basis is the smart thing for America. But it is also the right thing, because he believes, as I believe, and as I hope you believe, that our government should do all it can to see that drug traffickers have nowhere to run, nowhere to hide and no profits to reap from selling poison to our kids.
Joe Biden also cares about Bosnia. He has cared from the beginning, when the violence first broke out, and the killing started, and the country's leading export became orphans.
He cared because it is in America's interest to see stability in Europe, where we have been drawn into two world wars this century.
He cared because he didn't want to see NATO--the greatest military alliance in history--weakened by an inability to respond effectively to violence in its own front yard.
He cared because he knew that a divided Bosnia would be easy prey for criminals, terrorists, extremists and meddlers from Iran.
He cared enough that he helped create the pressure that led ultimately to the Dayton peace agreement that ended the killing, restored American leadership in Europe and set the stage for recovery.
Joe Biden cared because it was the smart thing for America to lead in ending the war in Bosnia, just as it is smart to lead now in helping to implement the peace so that when American forces leave, they never have to go back. But he also cared because he believed, as I believe, and as I hope you believe, that it is just plain right to oppose aggression, condemn ethnic cleansing and stop genocide wherever and whenever we can.
Senator Biden and I do not agree on everything, but we tend to see eye to eye on the fundamentals. For, as he likes to say, "the first and foremost duty of our government's foreign policy is to ensure the survival of this country, its citizens, and the American way of life."
Today, our way of life at home depends, in part, on the standards we help others to build abroad.
Because of the genius and productivity of our people, Americans benefit when other nations adhere to the rules of free and fair trade.
Because we are a nation that respects the law, we will feel more secure in a world where others cooperate with us in fighting crime and stopping corruption.
Because we cherish freedom, we will be more comfortable as well as more secure in world that embraces democracy, which is everywhere a parent to peace.
As this century draws to a close, we have a remarkable opportunity to encourage global integration around the principles that we hold dear--open markets, the rule of law and human liberty.
We are pursuing that objective by adapting key institutions and alliances, building strong relationships with the world's major powers, and drawing a clear line between behavior that should be accepted by the international community and behavior that should not.
For example, we are working with others to establish and implement rules that reduce the threat posed by weapons of mass destruction.
We are engaged with our allies in adapting European institutions, enlarging NATO, and forging an historic partnership with Russia so that we may fulfill the dream of a Europe fully undivided, democratic and at peace.
We are working with our allies in Asia to bring lasting stability to the Korean Peninsula and to build an Asia-Pacific community based on shared interests.
We are standing with the peacemakers against the bombthrowers in the Middle East, Bosnia, Northern Ireland and other troubled regions.
And we are working with partners around the world to build an expanding global economy that creates good American jobs.
To this end, we have negotiated trade agreements such as those that slashed chemical tariffs as part of the 1994 Uruguay Round. We have built regional coalitions for freer trade in the Americas, the Asia-Pacific, and with the European Union.
And we are getting results. Nationally, increased exports have created an estimated 1.6 million new jobs during the past four years. And during that same period, Delaware's exports are up 27 percent. That is the kind of growth that translates into opportunity for all the people of Delaware.
Earlier today, I visited the Port of Wilmington and was heartened to see that the Port is booming.
Wilmington prospers when America buys and sells more. As President Clinton says, however you look at it, trade helps grow the economy.
But as our businesspeople know, competition for the world's markets is fierce. Often, our firms go head to head with foreign competitors who receive active help from their own governments.
It is a major foreign policy goal of this Administration to see that American companies, workers and farmers have a level playing field on which to compete.
As long as I am Secretary of State, our diplomacy will strive for a global economic system that is increasingly open and fair.
Our embassies will provide all appropriate help to American firms.
Our negotiators will seek trade agreements that help create new American jobs.
And I will personally stress the point--as I have in visits to many of our principal trading partners around the world--that if countries want to sell in our backyard, they had better allow America to do business in theirs.
Building a global economy that works for America is part of a larger challenge of building a world community in which relations within and among countries are determined not by the divisive power of coercion, but by the unifying power of law.
A rule of law society is one where drug traffickers, money launderers, criminals and terrorists will not find shelter; where judicial organs are strong enough to root out corruption, punish the guilty, and protect the innocent.
A rule of law society values the health of its people and its environment, and seeks to promote the full participation of all its citizens, men and women, rich and poor.
A rule of law society respects the rights of its people; so that they are required neither to starve nor to flee. A rule of law government will be one that the community of law-abiding nations can work with, rather than against.
Around the world, we promote the rule of law because it is in our interest. We do it when we urge rebel and government forces in Zaire to halt their fighting, allow refugees access to humanitarian relief and agree to a process for the future guided by democratic principles.
We do it when we help governments in eastern Europe hold free elections, re-train judges, and re-write constitutions.
We do it when, in accordance with Joe Biden's vision, we fund Radio Free Europe, Radio Liberty and Radio Asia to help introduce outside voices where dissent is stifled.
And we do it when we speak out against the violation of human rights whether in Burma, Burundi, Baghdad, Beijing or elsewhere around the globe.
These efforts reflect not altruism on our part, but realism. They are both right and smart. When we stand up for basic values of law and respect for the dignity of every human being, we are serving our common future.
But we know that progress does not come without a price tag.
It costs money to inspect a nuclear facility in North Korea or Iraq; or to dismantle and dispose of nuclear materials safely from the former Soviet Union. It takes money to help our partners build peace and democracy and to defeat transnational crime.
The amount we request for everything from building peace in Bosnia to helping refugees to stamping visa applications is equal to only about one percent of our federal budget. But that one percent may determine fifty percent of the history that is written about our era; and it will affect the lives of 100 percent of the American people.
The novelist Thomas Wolfe wrote sixty years ago that "the true discovery of America is before us. I think," he continued that "the true fulfillment of our spirit, of our people, of our mighty and immortal land, is yet to come."
Whether those words are still true today depends not on the alignment of the stars, or the whims of an uncontrollable fate, but on our courage, our vision, our actions.
Today, the greatest danger to America is not some foreign enemy; it is the possibility that we will ignore the examples of our own proud history; that we will turn inward and fail in our responsibilities; neglect the military and diplomatic resources that keep us strong; and forget the fundamental lesson of this century, which is that problems abroad, if left unattended, will all too often come home to America.
A decade or two from now, we will be known as the neo-protectionists whose lack of vision produced financial chaos or as the generation that laid the groundwork for rising prosperity around the world.
We will be known as the neo-isolationists who stood by while the seeds of renewed global conflict were sown or as the generation that took strong measures to deter aggression, control nuclear arms, fight crime and keep the peace.
We will be known as the world-class ditherers who allowed the rule of law to be supplanted by no rules at all or as the generation that integrated the world around democratic principles and, by so going, secured the future for generations yet to come.
There is no certain roadmap to success, either for individuals or for countries.
Ultimately, it is a matter of judgment, a question of choice.
In making that choice, let us remember that there is not a page of American history of which we are proud that was authored by a chronic complainer or prophet of despair. We are doers.
We have a responsibility in our time, as others have had in theirs, not to be prisoners of history, but to shape history.
A responsibility to use and defend our own freedom, and to help others who share our aspirations for liberty, peace and the quiet miracle of a normal life.
To that end, I pledge my own best efforts, and solicit your understanding, wise counsel and support.
Thank you, Senator Biden. And thank you, Delaware.
QUESTION: Thank you, Madam Secretary Albright. You touched indirectly on my question. You and the President have recently stated -- repeatedly, in fact -- about your priorities in resolving international issues. Among those priorities was the Cyprus issue. We heard this, I think, more than once from you and perhaps more than once from the President. Nothing seems to be happening. I think you will concede that without pressure from the United States Turkey has no incentive for doing this. Here's my question. Given that we're dealing with a 23-year-old conflict that is characterized by violations of human rights, violations of U.S. and international laws, my question is, what are your plans to resolve this matter?
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Let me say that, clearly, Cyprus is one of those long-running international sores that needs to be dealt with. I was in Cyprus myself last summer and walked the Green Line -- that is, the line that divides the Turkish from the Greek Cypriots and saw the tragedy of that situation. It is just a jagged scar down the center of the city of Nicosia and also through the island.
I flew over the Line and then I went up into the northern part as well as spending a lot of time in the southern part. It's like being, in the southern part, in Technicolor movie and then going to a black and white movie. There is such a vast difference between the two parts of the island.
It is, indeed, as you have said, a very bad human rights situation and a very sad situation.
I hope that in the next few days you will be pleasantly surprised by our desire to move forward on that issue and to move the process forward. But as in so many of the issues that we deal with, and I'm sure that there will be questions here tonight on the Middle East, Northern Ireland, or Bosnia, even with the vast powers that the United States has --and as Senator Biden has pointed out, we are the superpower -- we cannot make things happen if the parties themselves do not want to make things happen. Therefore, it is absolutely essential that when we are talking about Cyprus and the other issues that I have described to you, it is vital that the sides get together and try to resolve the problem with American initiative and assistance. But we cannot underestimate the importance of the parties themselves, figuring out this is a problem that is not only dividing them but putting a heavy, heavy burden on the people of that beautiful but tragic island.
QUESTION: I was wondering if, indeed, our foreign policy has traditionally been reactionary as opposed to initiative-taking, how can we encourage, as a country being the only superpower, a market economy in Russia and (inaudible)? How are we going to go ahead and do that? Are we going to have a major paradigm shift, being reactionary to the initiative-taking?
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Let me just say -- I think the Senator was referring to this in a very specific way -- we are in a truly amazing period. Many of the people in this room have lived through the Cold War, where all of us saw history as divided between the Reds and Whites, or the bad guys and the good guys. Our whole foreign policy was directed to fighting communism.
As the Senator said, I was a professor, so I have studied this at some length. I can tell you that every part of our foreign policy was directed to fighting communism, whether it was our assistance programs or our public diplomacy program or the whole way of being involved in the zero-sum game. We knew somebody was on their side or they were on our side. So the shift that we have to engage in ourselves is to get our publics (inaudible) and dealing with "your former enemy" -- and helping your former enemy is probably something that is very hard to deal with, but that is what we are involved in.
What we understand more and more is that our national interest is served if Russia, in fact, does become a functioning bureaucratic market system, that it is not unrealistic for us to assist Russia in moving towards democracy and assist it in providing for its nuclear weapons safely -- for us to do everything we can.
We have, in fact, this year proposed in our budget a program that will assist Russia and the Newly Independent States not as a token or in a way that is demeaning to them as just clients, but in a way where they can participate in helping to rewrite their tax legislation, various aspects of their legal codes so that they can really learn some of the technical aspects of a free market system and a democracy. It's going to take a bit.
Again, as the Senator said, it's going to take some imagination on all our parts to see Russia as a partner and not as a foe. The same thing is true for the Russians. I was just there, and President Yeltsin -- they're not going to be happy with NATO enlargement no matter what we say. They do need to understand that we see a new Russia, and they also need to see a new NATO and a new United States and a whole new way of looking at things. That is the excitement of this period. It is a huge challenge.
If I behave myself right, I am the last Secretary of State of the 20th Century. (Laughter). That is a major challenge, to take this whole new way of looking at things and get the world running in the 21st Century.
QUESTION: Madam Secretary, do you have any opinions on techniques that might be more successful in helping us overcome what I would call the deep religious conflicts that are evident throughout the world, such as exists in Iran and parts of Africa , which seem to accuse our own culture as being sinful and the kind of culture that should be controlled. What techniques are there that we might employ to lessen these religious hostilities?
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: That is a very deep and significant question. The hardest thing that we have to deal with now, having managed to manage to vanquish communism, is to deal with what we are now seeing as various kinds of religious misunderstandings -- that is the kindest word I can put on it -- about the way that various religions see each other, and also the way that Western culture is viewed in some countries by those who would prefer to keep their national spirit together.
What we are seeing in many religions -- probably in all religions -- is something that some people call "fundamentalism," others call "extremism," which is taking various parts of their religions and going back to some very strict and stringent kinds of approaches that move away from the (inaudible) -- I think that is the best way to put it -- but at the same time have in them the seeds of hatred of another religion. It's very serious. I read about it everyday. One gets a little bit of a sense of being in the Middle Ages rather than moving into the 21st Century.
"Techniques" - it's very hard to talk about. We are very hopeful that the great move -- and to some extent a problem of the end of the century is this huge, massive information flow that we have now, we have more access to each other in ways that nobody, obviously, has ever had before -- the hope that education is enlightening and that we can teach each other about the good parts of all religions and not focus on what others would have you see as the negative parts of all religions.
Specifically, techniques are to try to have conflict resolution, to try to get groups of children together a lot, to have children live together. One of the most remarkable projects that I've seen is something called Seeds of Peace, where American John Wallach has brought over Israeli and Palestinian-Arab children to live together in camps in the United States for a period of time. We have to see that kind of beginning to understand each other better, but it is a very serious problem.
I have often said that all of us are very proud about own backgrounds or our own countries. But when pride in ourselves curls into hatred of them, then the basis of our pride -- whatever it is -- becomes tainted. Techniques -- there aren't a lot, I have to tell you honestly. We just have to try to use the information that we have, the kinds of people-to-people relations that we work with on a day to day basis. But you
have put your finger on the major problems as we move into the 21st Century.
SENATOR BIDEN: Another form of nationalism (inaudible) economic opportunities --
QUESTION: Madam Secretary, would you please give us your view on what the United States role should be in working with (inaudible) the global environment?
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: I'm very glad you asked that because one of the things that we're doing, as we talk about shifting paradigms, is to look at what foreign policy issues are these days. Not only is it not a zero-sum game, but we're dealing with a whole host of new issues that would not have been considered major foreign policy issues. Environment was kind of considered soft when talking about arms control and throw-weights and a variety of nuclear kinds of issues that used to be talked about.
We now are seeing the environment as more policy, the prototype for policies of the 21st Century. It is one that I would say, we do believe -- certainly, Senator Biden and I do -- that the United States is the strongest, most powerful country in the world. But even with our power, there is no way we can protect the American people from environmental degradation because it knows no borders. Through the waters and oceans, there's no way to limit it. Therefore, in order to protect our people so that we can breathe and eat and function in the modern world, we need the assistance of other countries.
Secretary Christopher put environment at the center of our foreign policy. I am continuing to do that. We are developing regional environmental centers. We are getting ready for a conference on climate change in Japan. It is very much central to us.
The President, when we were in Costa Rica, got us all wet by going to a rain forest in order to show that it rains in a rain forest, (Laughter) and that there were serious environmental problems. Costa Rica is a very good example of a country that has taken up environment as a major issue.
The younger generation may be ahead of all of us on this. We are working with kids to really put environment front and center. It is the international issue because environmental degradation knows no boundaries and it requires international cooperation.
QUESTION: Madam Secretary, I read some conflicting articles in the news concerning Jerusalem. Having read that the United States has recognized Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem, how then -- are we not, in our policy, pressuring Netanyahu? Are we not taking away a bargaining kind of ploy that he may have by beginning the building, or is this an instance where he's flaunting his power in Jerusalem?
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Let me put this into context a little bit. Clearly, the process that was started in Madrid and Oslo was a way to try to bring the parties to the table in the Middle East on a series of issues between the Israelis and Palestinians.
We, last year, worked very hard to bring about the Hebron agreement which was part of the set of steps that had been put into place to get the two sides, the two parties, to talk with each other to resolve what issues were left in the peace talks known as the Permanent Status or the Final Status Talks. They were the most difficult issues.
The hope was that as a result of these interim steps that there would be a bond of confidence developed between these two parties that were arguing over what the State of Israel would look like, what the rights of the Palestinians are going to be, and that as a result of these ever-increasing confidence building measures, they would be able to deal with the question of Jerusalem, the issue of water, the issue of boundaries, of settlements, all of those difficult issues that were out there.
What has happened, though, is that the Palestinians need to remember that security is a major issue for the Israelis. They live under very difficult conditions. They are victims of terrorist attacks and are most concerned about how to preserve security there.
With the building at Har Homa, which is the most recent building, it has caused great problems with the Palestinians because the Israelis have moved into what has been known up until now as a Final Status issue.
Dennis Ross, who is the President's and my envoy to the Middle East and who is doing a remarkable job and has our full confidence -- what he is trying to do is to get the peace process back on track and try to get both sides to understand those two points: one, security; the other, not moving into Final Status issues. We want very much to work in a way that those bonds of confidence can be rebuilt.
President Clinton has made clear, as have I, that the Har Homa decision, at the time that it was taken, was one that was a complicating factor in terms of the development of these confidence-building measures, because what would then be necessary was an incredible amount of creativity. These are very difficult problems. So what we're doing now is just trying to get it back on track and continue to play the role the United States has, which is as the honest broker, as the catalyst.
But, again, as the with the Cyprus question, we cannot make decisions that the two parties are not willing to make themselves. As powerful as we are, the two parties have to bite the bullet and move and make some of these decisions themselves, and then we will help --
QUESTION: Good evening. My question is, I want to know your opinion on the continuation of China's status as Most Favored Nation? In particular, the thought that while this would help human rights in China, it would hurt Hong Kong and her economic standing and would hurt their returning to China.
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: One of the subjects that seems to come up just about at this time of year, every year, is whether we will continue the Most-Favored-Nation treatment for China. To some extent, that is a misnomer. Most countries in the world do have Most Favored Nation treatment. It is a regular way of doing business. If we do not come forward with Most-Favored-Nation, we are, in effect, putting China in a different category.
The President has decided that he wants to go forward with Most-Favored-Nation status again for China because he thinks it's good for America. It has a lot to do with the kind of statistics that I was reading to you in my speech in terms of the possibilities of -- we are an exporting nation and trade, obviously, is very important to us. But what is most important to us -- and, again, we had some discussion about the 21st Century -- there is no question in all our minds that our relationship with China -- the U.S.-Chinese relationship -- will be a key, strategic relationship as we move into the 21st Century. They are a huge country in terms of territory and certainly in terms of population.
We must engage with China. They cooperate with us on a whole host of issues, in terms of nuclear non-proliferation, on environmental issues, on trying to help resolve the long-standing conflict in the Korean Peninsula, in Cambodia. They are part of an international system on that, and they are important to us.
We disagree with them, heartily and loudly, on human rights. We will continue to do so. We want to make sure that the reversion of Hong Kong to China is done in such a way that the way of life in Hong Kong will be preserved. We think that were we not to have Most-Favored Station status, it would hurt Hong Kong in the preservation of its way of life. In fact, one of the democratically-elected leaders in Hong Kong, Martin Lee, had spoken out about the importance of Most Favored Nation. So it is important to us; it is important to the preservation of freedom in Hong Kong and it put us on the right track to engage with China but not endorse everything that is going on there.
SENATOR BIDEN: One last question for Madam Secretary. (Inaudible.)
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: You never know, though. (Laughter/Applause)
QUESTION: Africa is one of the best examples of what you were speaking of earlier about how we established foreign policy on the basis of the Cold War, and we were aligned with one country because the Soviet Union was aligned with the next. We had, yesterday, Zaire; today, the Democratic Republic of Congo, as one of the examples of this change.
We seem now to have kind of a schizophrenic foreign policy, at least, as it's perceived by us in Africa now because we don't have that left. We went in on a supposed humanitarian mission and got burned. We didn't like what happened so we let the Hutus and Tutsis, their genocide go on. We don't respond to that but we responded to Bosnia. Where do you see us going in Africa in terms of our foreign policy?
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Let me say that I'm always very glad to be able to answer questions about Africa. I think, except for recently when the Zaire events were on the front pages of the papers, for the most part, people have it in the back of their minds and yet, those of us that were involved in international relations or have been to Africa and have knowledge of the subjects will realize that it is basically a continent with tremendous opportunity and tremendous riches, resources, and the possibility for being very much a part in the international system.
I think that we, in many ways, are seeing them on two levels of things that are going on in Africa. First of all, interestingly enough, there still are remnants of colonialism. Some of what we are seeing going on in Zaire and other places is still an issue of whose influence has been strongest and who will have influence, the division between the Francophone countries and the Anglophone countries.
What I find very interesting is, there is a kind of second generation of African-created problems. We all know that the African continent was exploited by whites for centuries. But it is now in the throws of being exploited by its own black leaders who are, in fact, fighting over the heads of the people for the riches of their incredible continent.
The U.S. needs to be involved in a variety of ways. One is, assisting the development of the rule of law, helping the international community deal with some of the humanitarian horrors; and then working with others to develop what we have talked about, which is an African Crisis Response Force composed primarily of African nations with training and assistance, in various ways, by the United States so that Africans can be assisted in dealing with some of the worst problems.
I believe -- I think you can tell from my remarks -- in the central role of the United States. We are not only the only superpower but we are indispensable. But even while we are indispensable, we cannot do everything.
I find that often hard to say because I do wish, in some ways, we could deal with some of the worst problems, but, some, you cannot solve because some of the parties are not willing to solve them. Others, we don't have the money to solve. Finally, we cannot be the world's policeman. We have humanitarian interests in countries, we try to help, but we cannot do everything.
We do, however, have to remember that there are international organizations that can help do the job. That's why I happen to believe so strongly that the United States needs to be a member in good standing at the United Nations. (Applause) I sat every day behind the sign that said the United States. Nothing made me prouder. So for me to have the opportunity to sit there behind the sign and be the United States every single day, it was just a great thrill to me. It was, however, embarrassing that even our closest friends, the British -- because we are one billion dollars in debt to the U.N. -- they were able to get off the sound bite that it had taken 200 years to say, which was "representation without taxation."
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