The essence of America - that which really unites us - is not ethnicity, or nationality or religion - it is an idea - and what an idea it is: That you can come from humble circumstances and do great things.
Success is not assured, but America is resolute: this is the best chance for peace we are likely to see for some years to come - and we are acting to help Israelis and Palestinians seize this chance.
What you know today can affect what you do tomorrow. But what you know today cannot affect what you did yesterday.
The U.S. has since the end of World War II had an answer - we stand for free peoples and free markets, we are willing to support and defend them - we will sustain a balance of power that favors freedom.
It has been, after all, 11 years, more than a decade now, of defiance of U.N. resolutions by Saddam Hussein. Every obligation that he signed onto after the Gulf War, so that he would not be a threat to peace and security, he has ignored and flaunted.
When I talk to students - and I still think of myself more than anything as a kind of professor on leave - they say, 'Well, how do I get to do what you do?'... And I say, 'Well, you have to start out by being a failed piano major.' And my point to them is don't try to have a 10-year plan. Find the next thing that interests you and follow that.