Condoleezza Rice, the former secretary of state and national security adviser to President George W. Bush, addressed a crowd of hundreds Wednesday evening at UCLA's annual Daniel Pearl Memorial Lecture.

Rice, the nation's first female national security adviser and currently a professor at Stanford University, spoke about the moral and practical need for democracy to spread throughout the world. Without democracy, there is oppression, and that leads to instability, she said. The revolutions in places like Egypt and Syria are dangerous but vital steps on the path to stability and freedom, she added.

"There is no other decent form of government than one that allows you ... the right to worship as you please, the right to say what you think, the right to be free from the knock of the secret police at night and free from the arbitrary power of the state,"  Rice said. "As much as I see what is happening in the Middle East as chaotic, as dangerous ... I see no other alternative."

The lecture was presented by UCLA's Burkle Center for International Relations, the Daniel Pearl Foundation and the Yitzhak Rabin Hillel Center for Jewish Life at UCLA.
Daniel Pearl was a prominent Wall Street Journal reporter and the paper's South Asia bureau chief when he was kidnapped and murdered by terrorists in Pakistan in early 2002. Pearl's father, UCLA computer science professor Judea Pearl, and his family launched the Daniel Pearl Foundation to promote and continue Daniel's mission of fostering cross-cultural understanding throughout the world.
The lecture series, established at UCLA in 2002, features scholars, journalists and policymakers who have contributed original analyses or constructive approaches to problems of international concern. Previous presenters have included Anderson Cooper, David Brooks, Christopher Hitchens, Ted Koppel, Larry King, Jeff Greenfield, Daniel Schorr and Thomas Friedman. In 2006, a parallel lecture series was established at Stanford. 

More than 400 people attended Rice's lecture in Korn Convocation Hall at UCLA's Anderson School of Management, and the speech was live-streamed to an overflow crowd at the campus's Lenart Auditorium in the Fowler Museum.