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In global cooperation “… every human being counts”

Yale Medicine Magazine, 2004 - Spring


Long-term stability for the United States depends on fostering international cooperation, not as a last resort but as a priority, former President Bill Clinton told an enthusiastic crowd of more than 2,000 at Woolsey Hall last fall. In an explicit critique of the Bush Administration’s foreign policy, Clinton said Americans should “cooperate whenever we can and act alone only when we have to, and not the other way around.”

A multilateral approach is vital to combat AIDS and other diseases: “You cannot zap a microbe with a missile,” said Clinton, who was in New Haven for his 30th law school reunion in October. And by reaching out to help struggling nations, the United States also serves its own interests. “This is not rocket science, but every time we do it, we build a world with more friends and fewer terrorists.”

The foundation of global cooperation, Clinton said, is the idea that every human being counts. And that means leaving ideology aside, he said. “Because once you believe you have the absolute truth, then it’s not possible for everyone to count. …”

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