Former president Bill Clinton’s told to a packed crowd at Georgetown University Wednesday afternoon “we need to win the fight we’re in.”
“Our foreign policies are not really foreign anymore,” he said. “Terror has never succeeded as a military strategy . The purpose of terrorism is to terrorize, to get up in the morning and make you afraid to trust each other,” he said.
Clinton questioned his audience by asking what the defining highlights of the world were before Sept. 11.
“On Sept. 10, what would we have said were the biggest influences on society?” he asked.
Despite these horrible accounts of suffering and death, Clinton remained optimistic of the future.
“In spite of how terrible things are, the 21st century will not be the killer the 20th was,” he said
Clinton outlined the framework of the post-Cold War era and the beginning of the “information age,” which began 10 years ago when he began running for president.
“When I began campaigning, there were 350 Web sites. When I left, there were 350 million,” Clinton said.
The world is interacting more with each other, Clinton said.
Clinton proceeded to outline the positive and negative influences by separating the economy, information age, biological sciences and democracy from poverty, environment, health and terrorism.
He compared the devastation of 5,000 deaths on Sept. 11 to 20 million during WW II.
. Stressing the importance of planning for the future, Clinton proceeded to identify the advantages of putting children in school. He identified Brazil and the 97 percent rate of attendance by providing mothers with money for their children’s attendance.
“(Supporting education) is a lot cheaper than going to war. We ought to pay for these kids to go to school,” Clinton said.
Clinton emphasized education because he said the Islamic extremists have been “poisoned” with misinformation.
“It’s no accident that these terrorists come from non-democracies. Democracies don’t go to war with each other, and don’t sponsor terrorism against one another,” said Clinton.
“(Islamic extremists) are in a constant state of immaturity. They never take responsibility for themselves,” Clinton said. “That’s why they blame other’s successes on their despair.”
Clinton concluded by saying that all humans need to recognize our similarities.
“That’s what it all comes down to. Whether we celebrate our differences or our commonalties,” he said.