Re: How do we address Islamic fundamentalism?

I mean first of all we’ve gotta engage the leadership of the Islamic world. We’ve gotta understand it better. As we ask for understanding of our system and begin to understand that we can’t impose that system on them . . . We can’t ask them to surrender their culture to our culture. At the same time they have to understand that we’re entitled to our culture and we’re entitled to our system. But how do you get that level of understanding? You don’t get it by just confronting each other. You get it by eventually speaking to one another. You know Ronald Reagan and Gorbachev eventually had to have a meeting. And they eventually had to talk about their . . . their common responsibility to the human race, and this Cold War with so many nuclear missiles aimed at each other and about to demolish the world had to end. And we had to come to a better understanding of our relationship. It didn’t mean we had to agree with each other. It didn’t mean they had to accept our principles or we theirs. We simply had to learn to tolerate each other. And you know that’s gonna happen on . . . in this . . . in this world. The globalization of trade and commerce can be a big help in that regard, or it can be a hindrance. I’m deeply concerned, for example, about what’s happening in terms of China. I mean all these bad products coming in have to be dealt with; but at the same time we have to be careful that we don’t just isolate China again. You know we finally brought China . . . or they brought themselves with a lot of help into . . . into the world of nations. And they’re part of WTO now, and we need to respect that and somehow work through these problems without isolating them again. We’ve gotta . . . we’ve gotta somehow deal with this religious conflict. And I’m not saying that’s gonna be easy. I think this will be with us for quite a while. But we’ve gotta somehow . . . we’ve gotta somehow dialogue and somehow regain respect and ask for respect in return. That’s not an easy one. It’s gonna take some leaders with some real vision and some real courage on the part of our country. And it’s gonna take a country that supports them. We’re too divided. We’ve got . . . We still have the Florida experiences in our mind. Election gets settled by the Supreme Court when we’re used to elections being settled in the ballot box by Americans. And we’ve gotta get past that. We’ve gotta somehow remember that old admonition that “partisanship ends at the water’s edge”. And we’ve gotta be united as we go into these very troubled years ahead.

Recorded on: 9/11/07

This will be with us for quite a while.

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