Condoleezza Rice, who served as the Secretary of State in the Bush administration, on Wednesday night delivered a hawkish speech to the Republican National Convention in Tampa.
Rice began her speech by recalling the September 11 terrorist attacks, which lead to the invasion of Afghanistan.
“This young century has been a difficult one,” she said. “I will never forget the bright September day, standing at my desk in the White House, when my young assistant said that a plane had hit the World Trade Center — and then a second one — and a third, the Pentagon. And then the news of a fourth, driven into the ground by brave citizens that died so that many others would live. From that day on our sense of vulnerability and our understanding of security would be altered forever.”
Rice, who was deeply involved in the Iraq war, said that the world no longer had a clear idea of where America stood on international issues like nuclear weapons in Iran and the uprisings in Syria. She insisted the United States needed to reclaim its status as the custodian of world power.
“When our friends and our foes, alike, do not know the answer to that question — clearly and unambiguously — the world is a chaotic and dangerous place,” Rice continued. “The U.S. has since the end of World War II had an answer — we stand for free peoples and free markets, we are willing to support and defend them — we will sustain a balance of power that favors freedom.”
“And I know too that there is weariness — a sense that we have carried these burdens long enough,” she added. “But if we are not inspired to lead again, one of two things will happen — no one will lead and that will foster chaos — or others who do not share our values will fill the vacuum. My fellow Americans, we do not have a choice. We cannot be reluctant to lead — and one cannot lead from behind.”
Before her speech at the Republican National Convention, Rice was confronted by protesters who shouted: “The blood of Iraqi children is on your hands.”
Watch video, uploaded to YouTube by PBS Newshour, below: