The newly appointed Vice Chancellor of Oxford University, Prof Louise Richardson, has told a conference in London that the United States “overreacted” to the terrorist attacks of 9/11.
She said the population of Northern Ireland, in contrast, lived with sectarian extremism for several decades and had proven resilient to terrorism.
Prof. Richardson, who conferred an honorary degree, Doctor of Laws, on former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2013 told a government-funded conference in London today:
“The British population in the course of the Troubles and violence in Northern Ireland proved really quite resilient, I think far more so than the U.S., and the scale of the over-reaction in the U.S. to the 9/11 atrocity was reflective of the fact that it was such a new experience in the U.S.”
Prof. Richardson holds a PhD in government from Harvard and an MA in political science from the University of California, Los Angeles. She remains principal and vice-chancellor of the University of St Andrews, a position she has been in for six years.
In that role, just two days after the 12th anniversary of the September 11th attacks, Prof Richardson presented Democrat presidential campaign frontrunner Hillary Clinton with an Honorary Degree during a ceremony to mark the 600th anniversary of the founding of the university. The two were pictured joking and laughing together throughout the day’s ceremonies.
During the laureation address, Prof Richardson described Clinton as “a trailblazer” whose “tenacity and skill in forging ever onward has both inspired women everywhere and eased the path for the women who try to follow her lead.”
She continued: “As one of the most influential women in the world, Hillary Clinton, as stateswoman, senator and policymaker, never shied away from tackling difficult questions, working to make the world a better place, inspiring others, speaking out for the voiceless and striving ever to excel. We are honoured that she will participate in our celebrations.”
Prof Richardson listed the myriad reasons she believed Clinton deserved the honorary degree of Dr of Laws Honoris Causa, including “…four decades of inspirational leadership, for advancing the cause of women and children everywhere, for improving the lives of millions of people, for bringing closer the day when the class ceiling is finally shattered.”
Sec. of State Clinton reciprocate the high praise, calling Prof. Richardson, and those with her on stage, “an accomplished group of scholars, and scientists, writers, and thinkers”.
She delivered a 20-minute long speech at St. Andrews, not once mentioning 9/11, despite the date of the speech. She did however speak at length about climate change, and stoves – which some in the audience found a little wearing, as the video from the day suggests. One Professor sitting behind Ms. Clinton was seen to repeatedly yawn and hang her head during the speech.