Madeleine Albright

(Madeleine Jana Korbel Albright)

Quotes
Quote Topics Cited
... assertive multilateralism. Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
As a result of the generous spirit of the American people, our family had the privilege of growing up as free Americans. Immigration & Emigration
Bill Clinton lied, but nobody died. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
Crown Prince Abdullah and his successors must do more than simply condemn extremism and terror; they must rip them out by roots that have become deeply implanted in the kingdom’s sandy soil. Terrorism
Democracy has to deliver. It is not enough for people to vote. They must also eat. Democracies & Republics ;Social Sciences
Democracy is a form of government --- it's not a ticket to some fantasy land where all evil is vanquished and everyone agrees with us Democracies & Republics
Democracy is a process. It is never finished. Democracies & Republics
Democracy is built from the bottom up, one step at a time. Democracies & Republics
Democracy is not imperialism… Imposing democracy is an oxymoron ….You can’t have democracy instantly. Democracies & Republics ;Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
Do we really want a world in which every country feels entitled to attack any other that might someday threaten it? Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
Foreign Policy has to be less foreign. Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
Foreign policy works best when force and diplomacy are used together. Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
Frankly, this is not cojones, this is cowardice. Miscellaneous
He is a narcissistic exhibitionist who has hurt the United States in a very big way Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
I consider North Korea the most dangerous place in the world. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes ;Dictators, Despots, Autocrats, Autocracies & Dictatorships
I’d be happy to take any of your questions and with the advantage of no longer being Secretary of State so that I can actually answer them. Oratory, Discussion & Debate
If they don’t voluntarily change, they will be changed. Reform, Change, Transformation & Reformers
I'm not that smart. I work very hard. Detriments & Qualifications ;Public Office: Benefits
In a world being transformed by technology, good science is vital to good diplomacy. Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
It takes patience to work with allies and to bring out the best in international organizations. War & Peace
It’s very easy for those of us who are out [of office] to criticize those of us who are in. Oratory, Discussion & Debate
I've never seen America as an imperialist or colonialist or meddling country. Expansionism, Colonialism & Imperialism
Justice may be slow, but it does grind inexorably. Justice & Injustice
Managing the United Nations is like trying to run a business with 184 chief executive officers—each with a different language, a distinct set of priorities, and an unemployed brother-in-law seeking a paycheck. United Nations
One of the nice things about no longer being Secretary of State is that I can actually answer your questions. Secrecy & Transparency ;Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
Personal pique is not a foreign policy. Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
Prosperity is a parent to peace. Economics, The Economy & Fiscal Affairs
Reform or die. United Nations
The day-to-day making of policy is arguing all the time. Policy & Policy Making
The job of a diplomat is to be the eyes and the ears of the country he or she is representing. Diplomacy & Diplomats ;Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
The people who have never been in government, don’t know how hard the jobs are. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
The trading of arms is disgusting and contributes to horrors around the world. Miscellaneous
The warnings of the last 4 years have been ignored. As a result, every single alternative before us is accompanied by grave risks. War & Peace
The worst problems of the 20th Century occurred when the United States looked inward. Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
There is nothing in Indispensable that says, Alone. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising ;Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
They have to have some dividends out of democracy. Democracies & Republics
This is not going to be decided by public opinion polls. It is a national security issue. Public Opinion & Polling
Those who say that America has to dominate the world, and that you either have to control everything or go home, don't understand the way power is projected. Expansionism, Colonialism & Imperialism ;Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
Unless you’re prepared to use force, it’s very difficult to deal with a person who understands only force. Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs ;Dictators, Despots, Autocrats, Autocracies & Dictatorships
We are talking about using military force, but we are not talking about war. I think that is an important distinction. War & Peace
We believe in peace, but we are not pacifists. Sometimes we have to use force War & Peace ;Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
We cannot get stuck in a cycle of violence which cannot be broken. Miscellaneous
We do have to retaliate but the problem is that every retaliation produces a counter-retaliation… Terrorism
What happened yesterday affects today; what happens today will affect tomorrow/ History
What's the point of having this superb military your always talking about if we can’t use it? Military & Veterans ;Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
When I was UN ambassador, the French were monitoring me. Intelligence, Spying, Espionage & Covert Operations
Working with Europeans is very difficult. They require endless respect. Diplomacy & Diplomats
Worries about misplaced sovereignty [at the UN] … appear to come primarily from people aggrieved to find the United Nations so full of foreigners. United Nations
A lot of people think international relations is like a game of chess. But it's not a game of chess, where people sit quietly, thinking out their strategy, taking their time between moves. It's more like a game of billiards, with a bunch of balls clustered together. Time
And frankly, I don't understand - I mean, I'm obviously a card-carrying Democrat - but I can't understand why any woman would want to vote for Mitt Romney, except maybe Mrs. Romney.
And so I have studied, I have to tell you, revolutions and uprisings for a long time. They are all slightly different, but what they all look for is some kind of a mechanism to go from an authoritarian system to an open, democratic system. Time
And so I think that the idea of America working with other countries to solve problems is good for us, and it is part of digging us out of the 'my way or the highway' approach that was evident in the previous eight years.
As a leader, you have to have the ability to assimilate new information and understand that there might be a different view.
As strong as the United States is, we can't deal with terrorism alone.
Because of my parents' love of democracy, we came to America after being driven twice from our home in Czechoslovakia - first by Hitler and then by Stalin. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
But I do not believe that the world would be entirely different if there were more women leaders. Maybe if everybody in leadership was a woman, you might not get into the conflicts in the first place. But if you watch the women who have made it to the top, they haven't exactly been non-aggressive - including me. Women ;Leaders & Leadership
Don't make me into this airy-fairy, moralist, idealist because I'm not.
Even before I went to the UN, I often would want to say something in a meeting - only woman at the table - and I'd think, 'OK well, I don't think I'll say that. It may sound stupid.' And then some man says it, and everybody thinks it's completely brilliant, and you are so mad at yourself for not saying something.
For me, America is really, truly the indispensable nation.
For me, being raised in a free America made all the difference.
For somebody who loves foreign policy, being Secretary is the best job in the world - but it doesn't happen twice.
Hate, emotionalism, and frustration are not policies.
Hillary Clinton will always be there for you. And just remember - there's a special place in hell for women who don't help each other. Women
Hussein has chosen to spend his money on building weapons of mass destruction and palaces for his cronies. Money, Coins & Minting
I am a beneficiary of the American people's generosity, and I hope we can have comprehensive immigration legislation that allows this country to continue to be enriched by those who were not born here. Hope
I am often asked if, when I was secretary, I had problems with foreign men. That is not who I had problems with, because I arrived in a very large plane that said United States of America. I had more problems with the men in our own government. Government
I am such a political person.
I believe that my parents did wonderful things for us.
I can't go out with a Republican.
I can't imagine what it is like to be raised in a society where their only statues that exist are to you and your father. Society
I did go to Wellesley, a women's college. And I am of a kind of strange generation which is transitional in terms of women who wanted to go out and get jobs. Women
I didn't want to set up a women's studies program. I thought women should learn to operate in a coeducational atmosphere, because, especially in national security and international affairs, it's male-dominated. Women
I do believe that in order to be a successful negotiator that as a diplomat, you have to be able to put yourself into the other person's shoes. Unless you can understand what is motivating them, you are never going to be able to figure out how to solve a particular problem.
I enjoy wearing pins, and nobody tells me to do it.
I have always seen the United States as a force of good. And I have learned that there is the idealistic part about what we can do at the U.N. and there is a doable part. And I have learned what is more doable.
I have always thought of myself as a Czechoslovak Catholic.
I have been in meetings where a head of state will say, 'I like your tie,' to a man... or, 'I like your country because the weather's good,' or whatever. So for me, the pins in some ways were openers.
I have had fun being who I became, so to speak.
I have said this many times, that there seems to be enough room in the world for mediocre men, but not for mediocre women, and we really have to work very, very hard. Women ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
I have to tell you, my seven-year-old granddaughter said to my daughter, her mother, 'So what's the big deal about Grandma Maddy having been Secretary of State? Only girls are Secretaries of State.' Most of her lifetime, it's true. But at the time it really was a big deal. Time
I hope I'm wrong, but I am afraid that Iraq is going to turn out to be the greatest disaster in American foreign policy - worse than Vietnam, not in the number who died, but in terms of its unintended consequences and its reverberation throughout the region. Hope
I know that war is very cruel and that life is harder when you aren't able to live in the place you called home. Life ;War & Peace
I love being a woman and I was not one of these women who rose through professional life by wearing men's clothes or looking masculine. I loved wearing bright colors and being who I am. Life ;Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Women
I loved being Secretary of State, that's probably evident to everyone who watched me.
I loved what I did. I could've been secretary of state for ever.
I really think that there was a great advantage in many ways to being a woman. I think we are a lot better at personal relationships, and then have the capability obviously of telling it like it is when it's necessary.
I saw what happened when a dictator was allowed to take over a piece of a country and the country went down the tubes. And I saw the opposite during the war when America joined the fight. War & Peace
I spent my life studying communism and Soviet systems. Life
I think I've revived the costume-jewelry industry.
I think that a president needs to have a variety of views presented. But also, there has to be a team effort, because otherwise, I think it creates a dissonance and difficulty.
I think that there is never an indispensable leader, you know? I think that there is a time with dignity that one needs to leave. Time
I think that we all know what evil is. We have a sense of what's evil, and certainly killing innocent people is evil. We're less sure about what is good. There's sort of good, good enough, could be better - but absolute good is a little harder to define.
I think that we had a different view of what the 21st century could be like, with much more of a sense, from our perspective, of trying to have an interdependent world: looking at solving regional conflicts, having strength in alliances, operating within some kind of a sense that we were part of the international community and not outside of it.
I think the personal relationships I established mattered in terms of what I was able to get done. And I did bring women's issues to the center of our foreign policy. Women
I think women are really good at making friends and not good at networking. Men are good at networking and not necessarily making friends. That's a gross generalization, but I think it holds in many ways. Women
I think women want to take care of themselves, and I think having a voice in how that is done is very important. Women
I was a little girl in World War II and I'm used to being freed by Americans. War & Peace
I was in Europe and it was at this stage that I fell in love with Americans in uniform. And I continue to have that love affair. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
I wasn't a normal professor. I had worked in government. I hadn't written nine zillion books. I was a hands-on professor. Government
If we have to use force, it is because we are America. We are the indispensable nation. We stand tall. We see further into the future. Future
If you look at my life, generally, I've been put in situations which were difficult and which I conquered. Life
If you look at U.S. history through religious history, there is very much a motif that shows the importance religion has played in the U.S. We're a very religious country and it affects the way we look at various political issues. History ;Religion & God
I'm a problem-solver.
Iraq is a long way from the U.S., but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face.
It took me quite a long time to develop a voice, and now that I have it, I am not going to be silent. Time
It's important that we invest in America - literally. The terrorists wanted to destroy our economy, and we can't let our system fall apart. We also have to invest in one another.
It's one thing to be religious, but it's another thing to make religion your policy. Religion & God
I've never been to New Zealand before. But one of my role models, Xena, the warrior princess, comes from there.
Jewelry and pins have been worn throughout history as symbols of power, sending messages. Interestingly enough, it was mostly men who wore the jewelry in various times, and obviously crowns were part of signals that were being sent throughout history by people of rank. Power ;History
Life is grim, and we don't have to be grim all the time. Life ;Time
Maybe if everybody in leadership was a woman, you might not get into the conflicts in the first place. But if you watch the women who have made it to the top, they haven't exactly been non-aggressive - including me. Women ;Leaders & Leadership
Most of the time I spend when I get up in the morning is trying to figure out what is going to happen. Time ;Morning
My mind-set is Munich. Most of my generation's is Vietnam.
My parents were of the generation who thought they were the children of a free Czechoslovakia, the only democracy in central Europe.
NATO has been a thread throughout my life. Life
No matter how hard we might wish, we will not be able to transform China's behavior overnight.
No matter what message you are about to deliver somewhere, whether it is holding out a hand of friendship, or making clear that you disapprove of something, is the fact that the person sitting across the table is a human being, so the goal is to always establish common ground. Friendship
Nobody's ever said that pins are a tool of diplomacy.
One of the issues I kept saying to my students is you have to learn to interrupt. When you raise your hand at a meeting, by the time they get to you, the point is not germane. So the bottom line is active listening. If you are going to interrupt, you look for opportunities. You have to know what you're talking about. Time
One of the things that was really an issue was I did not want to just be a woman secretary of state. I wanted to be a secretary of a state who was a woman, but not just chosen for that particular reason.
Our strategic dialogue with China can both protect American interests and uphold our principles, provided we are honest about our differences on human rights and other issues and provided we use a mix of targeted incentives and sanctions to narrow these differences.
People are finding it harder and harder to relate to foreign policy.
Really, I have to laugh because there was a whole set of stories that made me sound like the Dragon Lady, you know, 'tough this and tough that.' Then there is this business about 'gooey.' The bottom line is I am a pragmatic idealist. Business, Commerce & Finance
Saddam's goal is to achieve the lifting of U.N. sanctions while retaining and enhancing Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs. We cannot, we must not and we will not let him succeed.
So people are talking about revolution. What a revolution it would be to have a woman president.
The best book, like the best speech, will do it all - make us laugh, think, cry and cheer - preferably in that order.
The capability of negotiating... is something that means you not only have to understand fully what you believe and what your national interests are but in order to be a really good negotiator, you have to try to figure out what the other person on the other side of the table has in mind.
The day-to-day making of policy is arguing all the time. You're trying to get the right approach and the right answer, and there are moments that aren't very pleasant. But in the end, you look at the overall product. Time
The difference between humans and other mammals is that we know how to accessorize.
The greatest thrill in my life was to represent the United States of America. Life
The magic of America is that we're a free and open society with a mixed population. Part of our security is our freedom. Society ;Freedom & Liberty
The only thing I have to go by is what my mother and father told me, how I was brought up.
The U.N. bureaucracy has grown to elephantine proportions. Now that the Cold War is over, we are asking that elephant to do gymnastics. War & Peace
There's Madeleine, and then there's 'Madeleine Albright'. And I sometimes kind of think, who is this person? Once you become 'Madeleine Albright' it doesn't go away.
This is pure speculation, but for a period of time, a lot of getting into a party was through fundraising and volunteer work, and Republican women had more time to do that than democratic women, who were out there getting jobs. Time ;Women ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
To be safe at the expense of the liberty of other people is a difficult equation.
To understand Europe, you have to be a genius - or French.
We live in an image society. Speeches are not what anybody cares about; what they care about is the picture. Society
We will not be intimidated or pushed off the world stage by people who do not like what we stand for, and that is, freedom, democracy and the fight against disease, poverty and terrorism. Freedom & Liberty
Well I do think, when there are more women, that the tone of the conversation changes, and also the goals of the conversation change. But it doesn't mean that the whole world would be a lot better if it were totally run by women. If you think that, you've forgotten high school. Women
Well, the thing that I learned as a diplomat is that human relations ultimately make a huge difference.
What a blast it is to be here with Michael Moore.
While democracy in the long run is the most stable form of government, in the short run, it is among the most fragile. Government
Women can't do everything at the same time, we need to understand milestones in our lives comes in segments. Time ;Women
Women have to be active listeners and interrupters - but when you interrupt, you have to know what you are talking about. Women
You think that the heads of state only have serious conversations, but they actually often begin really with the weather or, 'I really like your tie.'