Madeleine Albright

Madeleine Albright, former secretary of State and author of a new book, "The Mighty and the Almighty: Reflections on America, God, and World Affairs," was Monday's guest. Here are excerpts from her remarks:

On whether US foreign policy is more or less moral than when she ran it:

"[It is] more moralistic. It is kind of didactic and lecturing and assumes its own version of morality in a much more absolute way.... The worse problem, which undercuts whatever discussions of morality there are, is the treatment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib and Guan- tánamo."

On whether voters will see Democrats calling for withdrawal from Iraq as weak on national security:

"Less and less so, because I think it is more evident that we have to leave and the question is more how we leave."

On why the US should change policy and talk directly with Iran:

"Talking to the people you don't like is not appeasement. It is a way to deliver a tough message."

On the role of religion in formulating and conducting foreign policy:

"I have not turned into a religious mystic. Whereas before we used to talk about the fact [that] 'This is complicated enough, let's not bring God and religion into it,' I now fully believe that we have to ... in order to make religion less divisive, to look for various elements that unify us.... Religious leaders can actually play a part, I think, in helping to resolve the problems. That is not to bring them to the negotiating table, necessarily, but to use them for conflict resolution on the way to find the elements of unity."

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