I join all here today in commending IFANS for its collaboration with the Korean Association for Middle East Studies. The Middle East is, without question, a decisive factor in global politics and economics.
If today were January 20, 2009 — which not a few here must wish it were — the 44th president of the United States would be in his or her first day on the job.
In 1941, as the United States sat out the wars then raging in both the Atlantic and Pacific, Henry Luce penned a famous attack on isolationism in Life Magazine. "We Americans are unhappy," he began. "We are not happy about America. We are not happy about ourselves in relation to America.
To all who supported me or gave me words of encouragement during the controversy of the past two weeks, you have my gratitude and respect.
Not so long ago — before I was sprayed by political skunks and had to excuse myself to avoid subjecting others to the stench of political vilification — I had occasion to spend some time thinking about intelligence, in the sense of the analysis of information relevant to statecraft.
It’s good to be back at PPI, an organization that includes so many old friends, one whose formal launch I helped stimulate, and one that my wife, Margaret Carpenter (who sends her regards from afar) can take considerable credit for institutionalizing.
Next Tuesday, just four days from now, we Americans will select a new president and his back-up. Exactly eleven weeks later they will take office. They will inherit a dog's breakfast of policy catastrophes from the outgoing administration. Everyone will look to them to clean these up.
In the last days of the last century, then-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright described the United States as "the indispensable nation." "We stand tall," she claimed, "and we see further than other countries into the future." She did not seek the views of any foreigners on either point.
Welcome to Washington!
You have asked me to speak to current American policies in the Middle East, with an emphasis on the prospects for peace in the Holy Land. You have further suggested that I touch on the relationship of the Gulf Arabs, especially Saudi Arabia, to this.