September 19th, 2008
02:28 PM ET

Five Former Secretaries of State: Cracking diplomacy, and jokes

Program Note: 5 former Secretaries of State tell Christiane Amanpour & Frank Sesno what advice they have for "The Next President."

Watch The Next President: A World of Challenges. Saturday, 9 p.m. ET


Christiane Amanpour | BIO
CNN International Correspondent

Christiane Amanpour: “The other thing we were talking about, with advice to the new president, is climate change... What does the United States need to do to take the lead on something that is so vital globally?”

James A. Baker III: “Kill all the cows ‘cause most of it comes from cow farts”

Christiane Amanpour: “We’re leaving that in…’

There was much humor splashed about the serious advice being dispensed, despite, or maybe because, of the unprecedented challenges on the next president’s plate.

The forum generated huge buzz on The George Washington University campus. Students started lining up at 5:30am for tickets which were free. Later, when the Secretaries walked on stage together, the auditorium rose in a standing ovation. This struck me profoundly.

I know ‘America’s foreign policy’ and ‘where in the world we are headed’ are vitally important questions, but I was gratified to see how many young people felt the same way.

America’s image, and therefore its influence abroad are at historic lows, and the Secretaries unanimously said the next U.S. President must immediately close Guantanamo Bay Prison and ban torture.

They were also unanimous about engaging Iran and seeking a new relationship, while at the same time making clear there would be zero tolerance for an Iranian nuclear threat. James Baker, who served as Secretary of State for the first President Bush said “I think a well-placed, quiet, private phone call to the Iranian leadership, if you can find out which leaders to talk to - to the effect, ‘Look, if you do so much as aim a missile or anything else toward Israel or toward US, our strategic nuclear deterrent can be re-aimed in 20 seconds,’ they would understand that, I think.”

I'm sure they would.

The secretaries also said reviving the Middle East Peace process would be a hard slog, but Baker said he believed there’s a deal waiting to be made with Syria which in turn would help the US with crises in Lebanon, the Palestinian territories and Iran.

One of the most interesting areas where they differed was Darfur and the question of Genocide. These hardened diplomats were torn – but they agreed that U.S. intervention was not in the cards. Even Secretary Powell who told us he had first called it genocide on behalf of the US government:

Colin Powell: “You look at something like Darfur, and it just breaks your heart. But the ultimate solution to the crisis in Darfur is political solution between the rebels and the government in Khartoum.”

Madeline Albright:” Well, I think it's in the U.S. national interests, in fact, to do something about humanitarian situations that lead to or are genocidal. And the question is how you get the will of the American people behind it. It is not easy. But I'll say this is, if you're the United States, you're damned if you do or damned if you don't. We intervened in Somalia, and people thought that was a mistake. We didn't intervene in Rwanda, and people thought that was a mistake.”

James A. Baker III: “When you formulate and implement foreign policy - and I bet you everybody here would agree with this - you have got to take America's principles and values into consideration. And we're talking here now about principles and values. But you also have to have a healthy dose of national interest involved, because otherwise you lose the support of the American people. Your foreign policy can only be sustained as long as you bring the American people along with it. They are the final arbiter of foreign policy in our democracy. We cannot be the policemen for the world.“

Yes, but Darfur is a big topic on US campuses, with a serious grass roots movement to stop the genocide there. When the Secretaries started laying this on “bringing the American people along”, I was sorely tempted to turn to the audience for a show of hands. I am sure there would have been an overwhelming call for action from the floor. I’m sorry I didn’t ask.

soundoff (108 Responses)
  1. Rod C. Venger

    It's interesting that while the people say they are for "change", Amanpour chooses to interview a host of old fuddy-duddies, the very people that have, over the decades, put us into the position we are in today. Both they, and Amanpour, are deaf and blind.

    September 20, 2008 at 12:29 pm |
  2. Hoss

    Treat other nations with respect and dignity, the whole world will be better place to live. There would be more understanding and cooperation.

    September 20, 2008 at 12:23 pm |
  3. Jim

    America is in a very different position now because of a number of strategic mistakes by our government - idealism, arrogance, incompetence, and lack of leadership have put the country in this position. How can we export democracy when our own democracy is in peril? How can we export our treasures when our country is on the verge of financial collapse? How can we police the world when our military is stretched to the breaking point?

    Darfur is horrible. However, we have put ourselves in a position where our assets are limited. In fact, our nation's ability to help our own citizens is a big question mark - does our government get an A+ for its response to Katrina, Ike, crumbling infrastructure, poverty? I'll bet not. 1 TRILLION dollars on the war in Iraq and 1 TRILLION dollars to bail out failing financial institutions guarantees things are not going to get better soon.

    We must now find new ways of gaining leverage, such as using our political capital to work with other countries and organizations to address this problem. The U.N. is a joke. What is needed are new structures, policies, relationships, and capabilities to address a world that has changed a great deal during the last decade. The U.S. is a super power with 3rd world resources. What a tragedy!

    September 20, 2008 at 12:21 pm |
  4. KIm

    Main Street is looking for that "Whistle Stop Express" on economics and agenda for evaluation ! What's the "dos ie doe ?" Cheer up ! Just looking for a fair,honest,balanced slice of the American apple pie ! Wall Street, oh my ! $700 billion dollar bail out ? What's the PTC % on this one ? Open the gates for energy independence and national security for wind,solar and innovations ! Congress open our wind corridors ! Everyone team up and share ideas for solutions !

    September 20, 2008 at 12:16 pm |
  5. Gwendolyn H. Barry

    As always, the level of journalistic value and timely messaging from Christine is stunning. Thank you for providing some truth, depth, relevance and portraits we as American must consider in order make choices on Nov. 4. Due diligent and honest.... say, could you pass the success of this journalistic approach to some of the folks on your team? geesh.... full disclosure on the candidates would be nice from the ah, 'best news team' on yada yada yada... frankly, I'm watching MSNBC and looking for you and Candy to catch up with CNN of late.

    September 20, 2008 at 12:13 pm |
  6. KirkHere

    New York's own Senator, Hillary clinton has refused to attend the protest at the United Nations during the visit of the President of Iran.

    If the Senator from New York and presidential candidate does not think Israel worth fighting for why should any other American.

    Israel has a military and it has nuclear weapons. Iran is their problem. It is not our problem. With our nuclear weapons capability Iran will not dare attack the United States. If it did 170 million Iranian citizens would be instantly destroyed. Obama is correct Iran ios no threat to the United States.

    We should completely withdraw from Iraq and completely withdraw fromthe rest of the Middle East and let Middle east countries defend themselves, settle their own problems and not allow one more American soldier shed one more drop of blood in the Middle East. there are men in every country in the Middle east and they have the fianancial means to defend themselves. Let them start doing that right now.

    Bring our troops home and let the people of the Middle East find their own way in this world.

    As to Israel it is a very tiny country and if it needs to be abolished let it be abolished. After all it was created by the United Nations way back in 1948 in a highly emotional response to the terrible events of WWII and has been nothing but a problem since then. With our open bordr policy we can always let the Jews move here. Do that and the Middle East is no longer our problem but their own problem.

    September 20, 2008 at 11:50 am |
  7. dina o'Sullivan

    Palin's game is over. She doesn't have a clue and should not even be a consideraton.What a joke.

    America needs help to change the world. As much as it would like to think it can go it alone, It can't in today's world of global warming and economic difficulties, Darfur and other countries is a world problem. We need to start talking to other leaders and function as a world community and stop thinking like individual ancient tribes who are squabbling over land and power.

    Looking forward to an interesting show. Hopefully it will stimulate answers to serious questions if the people whoneed to decide watch the show.

    September 20, 2008 at 11:48 am |
  8. jeff

    As a conservative, I agree with Madeline on her view of Dafur. As america..we are damned if we don't and we are damned if we do. That is why a president need to make the decision knowing that he and his cabinet and advisor owns the all encompasing picture and how each actions will affect the nations from each angle. Baker is also right that americans needs to be brought along in the decision also but when immediate decision needs to be made, a president will not always have the luxury to launch a PR effort to gauge public opinions or to explain the direction he/she is thinking of taken. So at the end, a president need to be patient enough to attempt consensus with americans if time is a luxury in a big foreign policy position and quick enough to react for the interest of the nation if immediate action is required.

    September 20, 2008 at 11:45 am |
  9. Paul P. Valtos

    This administration has been stupid in the way that it has handled diplomatic activity, using a hammer to kill a fly. Does any thought go into the fact that if water is a problem in a village, why not send someone from the Peace Corp in to drill a well. That is surely better than sending in free or cheap food rather than teaching the people how to irrigate their land. Or sending in troops. With GE's desalinization system, the whole Arabic desert could furnish food for the world. How about it GE. After the profits are rolling in, why can't Caterpillar send some large equipment to Africa to build some roads. If bin Ladin can build them why not our own industry. Its a tax write off for God's sake. The government could create an additional incentive with the IRS instead of a freebee instigated by lobbyists. We need a strong leader with enough intellect and common sense to say yes when a brilliant idea comes along and no to the lard buckets of large corporations with billion dollar compensation packages. We do not need another leader with the belief of messianic intent.

    September 20, 2008 at 11:42 am |
  10. Joe

    Christiane, we must remove that cowboy; good-ol-boy; we don't need-cha attitude that has been portraited around the world (by the U.S.)during the last eight years and start really practicing the diplomacy of we (the world) can all make this a better planet to live on by just discussing our differences and compremising our personal desires. Everyone on earth does not want Democracy or communism or socialism or whatever ism or ocracy. But with respect of each other, we can co-exist on this planet. I also believe under a different administration, Ms Rice would be an awesome Secretary of State.

    September 20, 2008 at 11:39 am |
  11. Sadly reasonable

    I think is interesting how large grassroots movement on campuses across the country suddenly is representative of the American people's will. Most people do not want want to see U.S. troops being butchered in Africa, even if it is for a good cause. The fact of the matter is that after 9/11 most people in this country were outraged and ready for blood but less than 5% of the population ened up fighting this "war." Now, no Americans died in Africa so far in Rawanda, Sudan, Niger and other places and you expect the "American People" to respond. I think looking at college kids and their movements as an indicator of the American will is wrong. Americans who work and pay taxes and pay for their kids to enjoy college are more concerned about the economy, their jobs and their pensions now than they are of a resurgent Taliban, Al Qaeda, genocide in Africa or even Russia for that matter. So a political solution is best for this situation - sadly.

    September 20, 2008 at 11:12 am |
  12. Ray Fisher

    Christiane, would you consider being our next Secretary of State??? You may never receive a greater challenge in life!!!

    September 20, 2008 at 10:48 am |
  13. Olivia, UK

    I agree with Ed Hayden's post, America has a 'we must do it alone' mindset that they need to get out of, what the next President (and I know the rest of the world hopes with me that it will be Obama) can and need's to do is rally the rest of the world to action.

    Maybe what you are seeing in the students there is a generational shift to more international cooperation rather than unilateralism.

    The foundation and stability of international peace is unity. Unity in defending a country or a people from war and genocide. I truly believe that any peace process or genocide intervention that does not contain the majority of international backing will not be as effective as one that does. Simple as that.

    September 20, 2008 at 10:41 am |
  14. JohnT

    While foreign affairs remain important, especially in terms of those issues that present security problems for the US, I hope the new president chooses to emulate China somewhat and turns the focus of the government inward toward our domestic problems. If we can't solve those (inner city blight, faltering education system, inadequate healthcare system, crumbling infrastructure, illegal immigration, job flight, increasing drug problem, shaky financial system, budget deficit) we soon won't have anything left with which to help others. It's fine to want to play nanny/ppoliceman to the world, but we must take care of our citizens and our country first.

    September 20, 2008 at 10:40 am |
  15. Canadian

    Same old war mongering rethorics all over again. When is US going to learn that the world is not in 1990s anymore? Russia and China can repoint their weapons in 20 sec as well. Then what? Are US politicians so ignorant, despite US bankrupt economy (read: dependent and hungry for Chinese, Indian and Russian cash) not to change the course? Is US as a country becoming fundamentalist in their views of the others? Come on show me some intelligent views. Bring on someone with fresh and promissing ideas that can really contribute to the world peace. Not war mongering.

    September 20, 2008 at 10:39 am |
  16. Dunston Sampson

    Christiane, anywhere I see your work, I go straight to it. You are truly one of the best, if not the best journalist in our world. You should win another award. I think you would be a great asset to our next president as he leads in a world of changes. Sincerely...

    September 20, 2008 at 10:37 am |
  17. JM in FL

    Christine, I truly admire your work. I'm looking forward to watching this.
    Omid... What does Palin has to do with the topic of this special? Wrong thread to vent.

    September 20, 2008 at 10:31 am |
  18. Pat Omaha, NE

    I am an educator and the secretary in the school usually knows what's going on before (and sometimes after) the principal!
    Maybe the same is true at the White House!! From the little bit I read in this "teaser" I'm betting these people have a wealth of insights!
    Can't wait to hear them!!

    September 20, 2008 at 10:09 am |
  19. chris

    Ultima Ratio Regum, "The final argument of kings". That is what the sun King had engraved on his cannons. To cut off diplomatic concourse and start threatening is to use the last resort first. I find it hard to believe that our leaders are so cavilier in their judgment and no one opposes them or even informs them that war by definition is to "impose your will on another through force", and that you only resort too conflict after all other measures have been exhausted. As for policing the world I would ask the age old question , Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes, " Who will watch the watchers" I use latin to show how very old these ideas of rule are. It goes to show how arrogant the world leaders really are. If they can't learn from the past how can we possibly expect them to make wise decisions for the future, vote with your head, not your heart.

    September 20, 2008 at 9:22 am |
  20. PaulC

    I strongly recommend that the U.S. examine its long held position that we are directed by God to be the world's policeman.
    In spite of the attitude held by most Americans, we don't have the best political system, are not the richest, are not the smartest and don't have all the answers. A little bit of humility would go a long way.
    In most cases we wind up making the situation worse, cause uncounted deaths and spend huge sums of money that we don't have.

    September 20, 2008 at 9:18 am |
  21. Dan

    I like the idea of presenting bypartizan view on the same topic before the presedential debates. It helps to focus on the issue rather than polirizing and politicizing which makes it difficult to be true to the problem. Good Job Christiane.

    I have this concern though. I want to see how much the issue of "alliance in anti terrorism" downplay human vilolations in countries like Pakistan and Ethiopia

    September 20, 2008 at 8:58 am |
  22. Jackie

    Christiane Amanpour:
    You are the best! You are why I watch CNN. You aways serve us a fascinating, objective, thoroughly researched views of the key challenges facing our world. Your work always provides different views of the causes and the solutions to our problems as global citizens. Thank you for caring about your work and us enough to spare us the mind-numbing gabbing about lipstick and other nonessentials, when the US is in one of the biggest crises of its young history. If we are to exist as long as the other nations we critique so thoroughly, it will take us be maturing enough to get past "chewing gum" issues and focus on the real "meat". Not only will I be tuned tonight, but I will make sure that everyone else is to!

    September 20, 2008 at 8:57 am |
  23. Cecelia Ann

    Great job! Thanks for your hard work.

    September 20, 2008 at 8:46 am |
  24. FM Hasan

    We have alway been loved for championing freedom, democracy and human rights in the world, and admired for our incredible achievements and inclusiveness of world talent irrespective of color, race or religion. Our gift to the world has always been our values and our constitution.
    We were loved when we helped Ben Ladin and co fight the Russians out of Afghanistan. The question that has not been asked in any depth, or we have chosen not to ask is: Why Sep 11? Why did they turn on us?
    I hope Ms Amanapour asks this question tonight to this distinguished group. I know the answer lies in our betrayal of values and not what Bernard Lewis gave.
    We cannot win the hearts and minds without being frank and honest with ourselves.

    September 20, 2008 at 8:43 am |
  25. christopher meisner

    always look forward to reading and listening to your work.


    September 20, 2008 at 8:32 am |
  26. William

    James Baker is a man of principle.
    I think him for his principled stance on many issues including the support for the country of Macedonia. You are a great human being!

    September 20, 2008 at 8:17 am |
  27. Giovanni C

    Why is it so important that the rest of the world loves us? How do you find middle ground with someone who wants to kill you, you just let them kill some of your people? How do you find middle ground with a country that wants to take over their neighbors, you let the take some of those countries? The UN and the League of Nations before it have proven to be the biggest waste of time and money. Ultimately, it is US soldiers and dollars that come to the rescue. The Europeans are to selfish and lack the guts to make hard decisions, they always take the easy road and you can see where that puts them. They didn't allow Georgia to join NATO so as not to upset the Russians and you can see what that led to. So I ask again, why do we want them to love us??

    September 20, 2008 at 7:51 am |
  28. Tom

    No offense, Madeline Albright, but when was is that you asked the people for "consent" on any subject other than in an election year? How did you know "IF" you had the "will" of the people? This is what concerns me about our style of government Ms. Albright, a handful of government officials determine the "will" of the peopel and when something bad happens, it's the peoples problem.

    September 20, 2008 at 6:21 am |
  29. Chris in VA

    Yes Christiane Darfur is a big topic on US campuses, sadly you failed in your duty as newsperson to inform the students as to why the troubles in Darfur are occuring. Sudan has oil, lots of it. Western companies have been peacefully extracting oil from Southwestern Sudan for years. However, in recent years China's growing need for oil has caused it to explore further afield for sources. Sudan's Government leased them a large field in northwestern Sudan which, oh, by the way is where Darfur happens to be. The locals want a bigger slice of the pie. Sudan's governemnt – backed by troops in chinese supplied military trucks, carring chinese supplied s AKs, and supported by chinese supplied strike aircraft are teaching the locals not to interfer with Chinese resource contracts. China owns too much US currancy for us to do much than fret.

    September 20, 2008 at 5:42 am |
  30. Jason, Rochester Hills, MI


    I am able to appreciate the fact that genocide is wrong as well. It does not sit well with me either. I suggest you try to look at it from the vantage of our American Soldiers ( I am a combat veteran myself ) and hopefully you can see...America simply financially and from a posture of National Security...cannot pay this bill alone
    The rest of the world needs to be as upset as you and I are about the loss of life over there.

    I am not sure that the comment about being the world police is being employed with the level of clarity that it should have been by Sec. Baker. He used a term that has been predominantly used by...soldiers to refer to their "jobs". Sad huh?

    September 20, 2008 at 5:01 am |
  31. Tom

    James Baker seems, as always, to be bluntly practical, while Madeleine Albright seems to always want to put a Democratic spin on everything. I'll look forward to seeing the program. Christiane Amanpour is an amazing journalist, always sharp and insightful.

    September 20, 2008 at 3:10 am |
  32. Jean-Paul N. S.

    I am always surprised how US leaders never talk about the DR Congo crisis. So far 5.4 million people have died there, but because the people doing it or behind it are survivor of the first genocide in Rwanda, no one seems to be willing to make them accountable for their own genocide.

    Madeleine Albright said "Tutsis are her eyes pupils," which is not a problem. The problem is that many leaders in the US like her still support President Kagame of Rwanda even if everyone knows he is responsible for killing his predecesor therefore co-responsible of the genocide he claims to be survivor of. Mr. kagame and his RPF followers killed millions of people in Rwanda and DR Congo, and he continues to support the rebellion of Laurent Nkunda who continues to kill in DR Congo. By supporting a regime of a minority of people with hands immersed in blood in central Africa, the US and the UK are creatng another appartheid.

    I am also surprised how the media, including CNN still give to Kagame a cheerleading coverage. You know he's been indicted twice by European judges.

    I am afraid with Mccain Kagame will continue to kill, just the way he's been doing since Bill clinton and Madeleine Albright brought him to power.

    It's true Hutus killed between 500,000 and 800,000 tutsis (AND MODERATE HUTUS); but it's also true that Kagame killed and is responsible for the death of 5 million people in both Rwanda and the DR Congo. That's the number of jews Hitler killed. why do some people see a difference?

    September 20, 2008 at 3:05 am |
  33. JG

    This note is a reply to AJ. I have just turned 60.

    I do share your concern that terrible things are happening in Dafur but question your thoughts as to who should police the world?. The "world" does not have a common perspective of what should be.

    I compliment Christiane that her efforts try to present a balanced perspective of what is.

    September 20, 2008 at 2:50 am |
  34. David Lou


    Thank you for a thought-provoking and stimulating show. I believe citizens ought to understand the new world order post cold war. The US strength is not limited only to its military might but rather its ideals and democratic values. I wish the next administration will consider reevaluating the current US foreign policy and engage other countries in the hope of forging and recapturing our role on the world stage.

    David O, TX

    September 19, 2008 at 11:41 pm |
  35. Oscar

    Greetings Christiane:
    First of all, your work is amazing. I've been watching CNN for years now and every time you come on, I listen whether I care about the story or not. Your skills in journalism are very impressive.
    I am a soldier, currently in Iraq, and I have to tell you, there has been a big change here. I know you've seen it, along with many of your collegues, yet the reporting doesn't indicate it. The challenges in Iraq do require a diplomatic solution, but also a humanitarian and a military one, all in equal parts. I believe that a push for the humanitarian and diplomatic solutions is taking place, but the focus is still military. I am hopeful that the next President of the United States realizes this. I really don't care who wins the race, as long as it brings well-being to the country, its citizens and its soldiers, marines, airmen and sailors.

    Regarding intervention in crisis areas around the world, I have to agree with Former Sec. Albright. We are damned if we do, and damned if we don't. Yet sometimes, it's better to be damned if we do. I do feel the events in Rwanda required our intervention, if not militarily, then at least humanitarian. The same stands for Darfur. The least we can do, since we still condier ourselves the most powerful country in the world, is provide humanitarian and diplomatic support, to include mediators or arbiters for a resolution. I am not suggesting putting more of my brothers and sisters in harms way, but if that would mean success and peace, then so be it.

    Although it sounds cheesy, we as the United States have a great responsability in the world. I am not advocating "World Police" status, but we have the power to make a difference for good but greed, apathy and ignorance sometimes take hold and ruin it for us. It upsets me to see politicians suggest that one crisis in the world does not affect us while another one does, how we may support one group in dispair and not care, or even report on another.

    The world is a big, complicated place however we have the reach, the visibility and the capability to affect change wherever it may occur. Our allies may not agree with my comments, and many of my brothers in arms will diagree with me completely, but this is how one soldier on the batlefield see's it.

    Continue the great work. Always looking foward to hear from you Commander.

    September 19, 2008 at 11:38 pm |
  36. Douglas Hall

    I am signed up for the savedarfur.org coalition and I know it is indeed a growing movement. I am glad CNN looked at these issues with all the former secretaries of state. I'm looking forward to watching it. It would be nice to have a leadership forum with all the former Presidents of the United States, if such a thing could come to pass. CNN might be a ble to pull it off. This was an excellent feat and I hope we will see more like it in the future.

    Thanks, CNN

    September 19, 2008 at 11:31 pm |
  37. Craig Nazor

    Christiane, your are honest, relevant, and always seem to cut to the heart of the issue. Brava! I will be interested to see how closely these diplomats relate global climate change to foreign affairs, since I am one of those who agrees with Al Gore – we are in an age when foreign policy, energy policy, and worldwide stability are ever more closely linked to our addiction to carbon-based fuels. Darfur, Iran, Iraq, Russia, the Middle East, China – what is going on in all these countries is directly linked to global climate change. Maybe it will take a younger generation to realize the true nature of this globally destablizing issue.

    September 19, 2008 at 11:15 pm |
  38. Erk

    we can't be the policemen of the world not a disturbing statement at all, because we really can't...but, can we assist? sure, but we'll need help from other countries as well otherwise we'll just be putting ourselves further in debt which is something i'm hoping our government will do the best to avoid as much as possible

    September 19, 2008 at 11:12 pm |
  39. Ramesh Manghirmalani

    Looking forward for the interviews Does James Baker have any thing to say?

    September 19, 2008 at 9:54 pm |
  40. MB in HB, CA

    This is going to be a fantastic survey of all the urgent world issues that our next president will face. Buttressed by Christiane's breadth and depth of knowledge of world events, the insights that these highly intelligent people will provide the American people will be supremely important to this election. I hope the American people will watch in droves. I certainly look forward to it!

    September 19, 2008 at 9:50 pm |
  41. Annie Kate

    Almost more than anything else from this election I hope the country gets a rational foreign policy and someone who will work hard to restore us to the good graces of the rest of the world. We as a country used to stand for freedom and good and we have lost that; we need to become leaders again in cooperation with the other nations and work to solve the problems we all face as members of the global community.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    September 19, 2008 at 9:48 pm |
  42. VoBichLan, Canada

    No one is asking the current Secretary of State what she thinks? She must have an idea given what she knows, obviously what people like Powell, Albright and Baker know are obsolete stuffs.

    September 19, 2008 at 9:19 pm |
  43. AJ

    I'm in my 20's and when I think of DARFUR I think of GENOCIDE. James Baker's final statement, "we cannot be the policemen for the world" was disturbing. That statement just doesn't sit well with me when it comes to slaughtering and mutilating humans. Just doesn't sit well......

    September 19, 2008 at 9:11 pm |
  44. Les-Wa

    James Baker was an excellent Secretary of State, always cool under fire!!!

    September 19, 2008 at 9:06 pm |
  45. Ed Hayden

    Darfur is a very serious problem and it should be meet with a colaboration of all nations envolvement to fix. This inhuman activity must not continue. But America, must not go it alone. America needs to fix America for the the American peoples first. That means the American people must move away from the two party system that has
    all but destroyed this Nation economicaly, politicaly,and weare the most disliked Nation on earth. Our early fathers of America were fiercely independent thinking men whom framed a constitution for all the people. It is time we get back to it and allow the independents of America a role of political positions in changing our government to what it should be.

    September 19, 2008 at 9:05 pm |
  46. susan - Virginia

    Christine-My husband and I are definately looking forward to your show. It has been on our calendar for weeks. Your journalism work is outstanding!!! Thank you so much for bringing these critical issues to us.

    September 19, 2008 at 9:00 pm |
  47. Cali Independent

    Hopefully the next prez will have the sense to re-open diplomatic ties and open new ones. Why stop helping the poor and hungry? Al-Queda and Hamas, et al prey on the poor and ignorant. Why haven't our diplomats really come up with a plan to assist these countries by teaching them how to fish instead of giving them more fish (or a carrot)? There is always a diplomatic approach and a way to sway people to our side. Just think of the intelligence we could have if we had kept all our allies. Think about all the intelligence that appeared during the "surge", that was because the local population finally came over and told us what we needed to know to succeed. When Bush became prez, all the talking stopped, what a mistake. We need to take the terrorist approach in the sense that you can get desperate people to help if you, IF they know there is a decent future waiting for them.

    September 19, 2008 at 8:45 pm |
  48. Omid

    If Palin's game is over, Repulicans have two other possibilities to keep the White House. One is releasing another recorded tape to spread fear as they did a few days before 2004 election. The other or maybe the last chance would be attacking Iran just before election day to turn the page. In that case, even if Democrate wins, they still have to deal with another war for another few years that can cost even more money for American that it did before.

    September 19, 2008 at 5:04 pm |
  49. IndyVoter

    Looking forward to seeing this! Great show idea Christiane! CHRISTIANE FOR PRESIDENT – 2012!

    September 19, 2008 at 4:45 pm |
  50. Jolene

    What is happening in Darfur and other parts of Africa (Rwanda, Congo, etc.), whether considered genocide or not has been alarming and continues to be of concern to me. These are innocent people and lives that continue to be destroyed because of a corrupt government that benefits from the riches of their natural resources but does not share it with their people. I would love the next President of the U.S. to take more of an active role in stopping it so you got my vote. However, I do believe in order to really solve it, it will take an act of not just the U.S. but other key countries on a united front. I'm looking forward to watching and most importantly, learning.

    Jolene, St. Joseph, MI

    September 19, 2008 at 4:27 pm |
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