Die Rede von Chicago im vollen Wortlaut - und die Mitschrift der anschließenden Diskussion (englisch) / Question & Answer Session
US-Außenministerin Condoleezza Rice hat vor kurzem auf ihre unnachahmliche Art die Welt wieder einmal vor den Kopf gestoßen. In einer großen Rede vor dem Chicago Council on Foreign Relations entwickelte sie zunächst die zur Zeit gültige Strategie der Vereinigten Staaten für den weltweiten Kampf gegen die "Achse des Bösen": "befreien", "sichern" und "aufbauen" - eben das, was das US-Militär seit fünf Jahren in Afghanistan und seit drei Jahren im Irak demonstriert.
Die Rede, die wir im Folgenden in der Übersetzung des Amerika Dienstes dokumentieren, ist für sich genommen schon lesenswert. Noch deutlicher wurde Frau Rice in der anschließenden Diskussion, deren Mitschrift wir im Anschluss - leider nur in Englisch - dokumentieren. Auf die Frage nach den verschiedenen Optionen, die sich der Präsident im Konflikt mit dem Iran vorbehält, lässt sie keinen Zweifel daran, dass es, ähnlich wie beim Irakkrieg, auch zu einem Krieg ohne Mandat des UN-Sicherheitsrats kommen könne. "If we don't get meaningful measures inside the Security Council, perhaps a coalition of the willing will think about other financial or political measures that could be taken". Wenn der Sicherheitsrat keine "sinnvollen" Schritte unternimmt, werde sich schon eine "Koalition der Willigen" finden, die das richtige tun wird.
"Demokratie im Irak"
Rede der Außenministerin
CHICAGO - (AD) - Nachfolgend veröffentlichen wir die unwesentlich gekürzte Rede von US-Außenministerin Condoleezza Rice vor dem Chicago Council on Foreign Relations vom 19. April 2006.
Vielen Dank für die Gelegenheit, aus Washington herauszukommen, wenn auch nur für etwa einen Tag. Ich fühle mich sehr geehrt, hier sein zu dürfen und möchte Ihnen von einem wunderbaren Erlebnis erzählen, das ich gerade am Flughafen hatte. Ich habe einige junge Matrosen der Marinestützpunkt Great Lakes getroffen. Sie haben mich am Flughafen begrüßt. Diese jungen Frauen und Männer kamen im Norden von Illinois als Patrioten an. Bald schon werden sie sich von ihren Familien verabschieden und zusammen mit tausenden anderen Amerikanern überall auf der Welt unsere Nation verteidigen. Meine sehr verehrten Damen und Herren, diese Frauen und Männer sind mehr als nur Patrioten. Sie sind Helden. Die Vereinigten Staaten schulden ihnen und allen ihren jungen Frauen und Männern in Uniform großen Dank.
Ich bin nicht den ganzen Weg nach Chicago angereist, um lediglich eine Rede zu halten. Ich möchte mit Ihnen wirklich diskutieren. Ich weiß, dass der Chicago Council für seine Überlegungen bekannt ist, und ich dachte, dass wir genau das heute tun könnten. Wir können über jede der vielen außenpolitischen Herausforderungen sprechen, mit denen wir konfrontiert sind. Es gibt in der Tat viele Herausforderungen in dieser historischen Zeit, in der wir auf die Probe gestellt werden.
Ich wollte allerdings mit einigen Bemerkungen zum Thema Irak beginnen, weil ich weiß, dass es im Land große Sorgen über den zukünftigen Kurs des Irak und unserer Irakpolitik gibt. Ich weiß, dass das, was Sie jeden Abend im Fernsehen sehen können, beunruhigend ist, und Sie viele Fragen haben. Zunächst möchte ich Ihnen Folgendes sagen: Die Entscheidungen, die wir als Nation in den kommenden Jahren zum Thema Irak treffen werden, werden nicht nur im Wesentlichen die Zukunft des Irak bestimmen, sondern auch die Zukunft von Frieden und Fortschritt im gesamten Nahen Osten.
Ich möchte Sie bitten, sich an das grundlegende Problem zu erinnern, mit dem wir in der Region konfrontiert sind. Jahrzehnte der Hoffnungslosigkeit in dieser krisengeschüttelten Region haben Ideologien eines so starken Hasses geschürt, dass Menschen an einem schönen Septembertag Flugzeuge in Gebäude in unserem Land steuerten. Der Status quo im Nahen Osten war instabil und unhaltbar. Heute gibt es im Nahen Osten aber Zeichen der Hoffnung. In Ländern wie Jordanien und Marokko haben demokratische Reformen begonnen, in Ägypten gingen sie schrittweise voran und in Saudi-Arabien haben sie sehr zaghaft angefangen. Bürger im Libanon schützen ihre Freiheit vor syrischer Besatzung und Frauen in Kuwait haben das Wahlrecht erlangt.
Auch wenn wir nicht mit jeder Entscheidung der Menschen in dieser Region einverstanden sind, müssen wir doch ihre Entscheidungsfreiheit verteidigen, denn wir haben die Konsequenzen autoritärer Regierungen erlebt, die ihren Bürgern die Freiheit verwehren. Die Vision eines viel versprechenden Nahen Ostens wird jedoch verschwinden, wenn wir im Irak keinen Erfolg haben.
Wenn wir das irakische Volk im Stich lassen, werden wir Reformern überall in der Region zeigen, dass man nicht darauf vertrauen kann, dass die Vereinigten Staaten Wort halten. Wir würden die Feinde demokratischer Reformen ermutigen. Wir würden im Irak die Zutaten für einen gescheiterten Staat - wie in Afghanistan in den 1990er Jahren - hinterlassen, und dieser Staat könnte wieder zu einer Operationsbasis für Terroristen werden. Wir sollten keine Minute davon ausgehen, dass diese Terroristen uns nicht mit erneuter Entschlossenheit angreifen würden. Aus diesem Grund bezeichnet Präsident Bush den Irak als Hauptfront im Kampf gegen den Terrorismus.
Die Iraker beim Aufbau einer effektiven demokratischen Regierung zu unterstützen ist der einzige Weg, den Sieg zu sichern und zu gewährleisten, dass unsere mutigen Frauen und Männer in Uniform, die sich so heroisch verhalten und uns niemals im Stich lassen, mit der ihnen gebührenden Ehre heimkehren. Demokratie im Irak ist leicht zu beschreiben, aber schwer zu erreichen. Und es ist wichtig, dass die amerikanischen Bürger verstehen, warum das so ist. Demokratie im Irak ist schwierig, weil das Land von den Trennlinien von Religionen und Ethnien im Nahen Osten durchzogen ist.
In der Vergangenheit haben die unterschiedlichen Gruppen im Irak ihre Meinungsverschiedenheiten zu häufig mittels Gewalt und Zwang geregelt. Jetzt versuchen sie etwas ganz anderes zu tun. Sie versuchen es jetzt mittels Politik und Kompromissen. Zum ersten Mal in ihrer Geschichte ringen die Iraker mit der Idee der Demokratie, der Vorstellung, dass Vorteile für eine Person nicht auf Kosten anderer herbeigeführt werden müssen.
Demokratie im Irak ist darüber hinaus schwierig, weil Saddam Hussein über drei Jahrzehnte die Saat der zivilen Konflikte in diesem Land gesät hat. Um seine Macht zu sichern, spielte Saddam die Iraker, viele Stämme und Religionsgemeinschaften gegeneinander aus und zwang unterschiedliche Gruppen, sich ausschließlich auf sich selbst zu verlassen und niemandem sonst zu vertrauen. Um die Spaltung der Iraker aufrechtzuerhalten, unternahm das Regime Saddam Husseins alles erdenklich Böse: Folter, Völkermord, Vergewaltigung und ethnische Säuberungen, sogar die Verwendung chemischer Waffen.
Der Schatten Saddam Husseins liegt immer noch drohend über dem heutigen Irak; und dies, obwohl er selbst vor Gericht steht. Er lässt sich am stärksten in dem tiefen Argwohn und Misstrauen erkennen, das noch immer die irakische Gesellschaft durchdringt. Das erklärt ebenfalls, warum für alle Fälle fast jede irakische Gruppe ihre eigene Miliz behält. Das ist nicht die Kultur des irakischen Volkes. Es ist das Vermächtnis des irakischen Tyrannen.
Schließlich, und das ist am wichtigsten, ist der Aufbau der Demokratie im Irak schwierig, weil ihr entschlossene und rücksichtslose Feinde gegenüberstehen, die durch das Verstärken der Spaltungen im Irak zivile Konflikte provozieren wollen. Wir wissen dies, weil es der Anführer der Al Kaida im Irak selbst in einem Brief an Osama bin Ladens Stellvertreter schrieb.
Angesichts der schrecklichen Angriffe, wie dem jüngsten Bombenanschlag auf die Goldene Moschee in Samarra, wurden einige Iraker nun leider dazu verleitet, das Recht in ihre eigenen Hände zu nehmen. Die sektiererische Gewalt, die wir zurzeit erleben, ist in höchstem Maße besorgniserregend und es kann in einer Demokratie keinen Platz für bewaffnete Milizen geben, die außerhalb der Gesetze agieren. Dennoch, wann immer die Iraker an den Rand des Abgrunds gebracht wurden, behielten kühlere Köpfe stets die Oberhand. Die schwachen demokratischen Institutionen des Irak konnten den Volkszorn bisher eindämmen, und die politischen und religiösen Anführer waren sich einig, Rachevorhaben in ihren Gemeinden Einhalt zu gebieten.
Angesichts der überwältigenden Widrigkeiten sendet die Mehrheit der Iraker das klare Signal aus, dass sie in Frieden und Freiheit zusammenleben möchten. Millionen Iraker trotzten den Gewaltandrohungen und gingen wählen, nicht nur ein Mal, nicht zwei Mal, sondern drei Mal. Jedes Mal war die Wahlbeteiligung höher und zunehmend mehr Iraker wurden vertreten. Im vergangenen Januar boykottierten fast alle irakischen Sunniten die Wahlen, zogen es vor, auf Nummer sicher zu gehen, und unterstützten die Aufständischen. Am Ende des Jahres erkannten jedoch die meisten Sunniten ihre Zukunft im demokratischen Prozess und die große Mehrheit von ihnen ging im Dezember zur Wahl. Wir sollten niemals vergessen, dass das irakische Volk in nur einem Jahr die beeindruckendste Verfassung in der gesamten arabischen Welt entworfen und ratifiziert hat.
Heute arbeiten die Iraker an der Bildung einer Regierung und die Amerikaner wollen zu Recht wissen, warum dieser Prozess so viel Zeit in Anspruch nimmt. Ich selbst reiste vor einigen Wochen nach Bagdad und habe diese Frage gestellt. Präsident Bush und ich teilen ihre Besorgnis. Der Irak benötigt eine erfolgreiche Regierung, die entschlossen die bedeutenden Herausforderungen angeht, mit denen sich das Land nun konfrontiert sieht. Dies ist eine Botschaft, die die irakische Führung nicht nur von unserer Regierung und unseren Koalitionspartnern hört, sondern von den Irakern selbst. Die Bürger des Irak wollen eine Regierung, und sie haben nun die Freiheit, ihrer Enttäuschung darüber Ausdruck zu verleihen, dass die gewählten Politiker noch keine gebildet haben.
In der jüngsten Vergangenheit haben Iraker - Frauen und Männer - in Zeitungsartikeln, satirischen Karikaturen, ja sogar in Internet-Blogs Dinge über ihre Politiker gesagt, die sie im alten Irak das Leben gekostet hätten. Sie drängen ihre Politiker, das Wohl der Nation über die engstirnigen Interessen eines Einzelnen oder einer Partei zu stellen.
Um der gewählten irakischen Führung kein Unrecht zu tun, ist es wichtig, dass wir verstehen, dass der Prozess der Regierungsbildung schwierig und zeitaufwändig ist, weil die Iraker sehr hohe Erwartungen haben. Sie wollen eine Regierung der nationalen Einheit, eine, die von den vielen unterschiedlichen Gruppen im Irak akzeptiert wird. Das ist jedoch nicht alles. Die Iraker wollen des Weiteren, dass ihre geeinte Regierung stark ist. Sie wollen, dass sie effektiv ist. Die irakischen Politiker waren alles andere als untätig; sie haben drei wichtige Schritte unternommen, um die Regierung, die sie bilden werden, zu stärken.
Zunächst einmal haben sich die irakischen Politiker auf die Bildung eines nationalen Sicherheitsrats geeinigt. Dieses Gremium wird die gesamte irakische Gesellschaft repräsentieren und sicherstellen, dass Entscheidungen bezüglich der Landessicherheit die nationalen und nicht sektiererische Interessen widerspiegeln.
Die irakische Führung hat zudem ein ministerielles Sicherheitskomitee geschaffen, das dem politischen Entscheidungsprozess unter den hochrangigen irakischen Beamten Stabilität verleihen soll.
Schließlich hat die irakische Führung wichtige Statuten zur Regulierung der Zusammenarbeit und der effektiven Entscheidungsfindung der unterschiedlichen Kabinette entworfen.
Diese kleinen aber lebenswichtigen Schritte werden jetzt den Erfolg im Irak bestimmen. Wenn die neue irakische Regierung einmal gebildet wurde, muss sie die Grundlagen für einen demokratischen Staat legen und Institutionen aufbauen, die funktionieren und durch Transparenz, Verantwortlichkeit und Effektivität gekennzeichnet sind.
Der Irak begibt sich jetzt in die wichtigste Phase seiner demokratischen Entwicklung und ich möchte, dass die Amerikaner auf einige Dinge vorbereitet sind. Die Amerikaner müssen damit rechnen, dass sie Gewalt auch nach der Bildung der Regierung weiter andauert. Es wird im Irak kein Äquivalent des Sieges in Europa oder Japan nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg geben. Vielmehr wird der Frieden gesichert werden, wenn immer mehr Iraker erkennen, dass ihnen der demokratische Prozess offen steht und dass Politik, nicht Gewalt, die besten Möglichkeiten eröffnet, ihre Interessen durchzusetzen und ihre Unzufriedenheit zu lindern. So wird die Demokratie den Terrorismus bezwingen, jedoch wird dieser Prozess schrittweise erfolgen.
Die Amerikaner müssen auch darauf vorbereitet sein, dass die nächsten Wahlen im Irak noch in weiter Zukunft liegen. Die bewegenden und medienwirksamen Bilder von tintengefärbten Fingern und freudigen Wählern werden den weniger farbenfrohen, jedoch nicht minder bedeutenden Geschichten über die langsame und schwierige Arbeit der Regierung weichen. Der Fortschritt im Irak wird von nun an zunehmend durch Verhandlungen und Kompromisse erzielt werden.
Alle Amerikaner müssen jedoch auch wissen, dass ihre Regierung, unsere Regierung, eine klare Strategie für den Erfolg im Irak verfolgt. Wir verfolgen eine integrierte politisch-militärische Strategie, die unsere irakischen Partner befähigen soll, ihr Land selbst zu kontrollieren und ihre Probleme selbst zu lösen. Diese Strategie besteht teilweise darin, zu befreien, zu sichern und aufzubauen; die amerikanischen Frauen und Männer in Uniform bilden zuerst irakische Sicherheitskräfte aus und kämpfen an ihrer Seite, um die irakischen Städte systematisch von Terroristen und Aufständischen zu befreien. Danach helfen wir den Irakern dabei, die gemeinsam befreiten Gebiete zu sichern, und erhöhen so sowohl die materiellen Vorzüge des Wiederaufbaus als auch die legitime Kontrolle durch die irakische Regierung. Dann arbeiten wir mit unseren irakischen Partnern daran, die Institutionen einer freien Wirtschaft und einer effektiven Demokratie aufzubauen.
Ich möchte Sie jetzt über die neuesten Entwicklungen bei der Umsetzung dieses Teils unserer Strategie informieren.
Eine Idee, mit deren Umsetzung wir Ende des letzten Jahres begannen, ist die der Wiederaufbauteams für bestimmte Provinzen. Wir haben diese Teams - wir nennen sie PRT (Provincial Reconstruction Teams) - in bestimmten Teilen des Irak eingesetzt und wollen das Modell zusammen mit unseren Koalitionspartnern auf das ganze Land ausweiten. Es handelt sich um kleine, bewegliche Teams bestehend aus Amerikanern und Koalitionsmitgliedern, die für die Festigung der jungen irakischen Demokratie von höchster Bedeutung sind. Es sind Spezialisten für militärische und zivile Angelegenheiten, Entwicklungshelfer, Rechtsstaatlichkeitsexperten sowie Experten für Politik und Wirtschaft. Sie sitzen nicht in der US-Botschaft in Bagdad, sondern gehen nach Mosul und Irbil und in andere Teile des Landes. Die Aufbauteams sind wichtig, weil sie sich auf die einzigartigen Herausforderungen in jeder Provinz einstellen und so unseren irakischen Partnern helfen können, die Demokratie selbst in die Hand zu nehmen und ihren Bürgern wahre Verbesserungen zu bieten.
Sie müssen wissen, dass unter dem alten Regime die Politiker in den Provinzen wenig Macht, Autorität oder Kapazitäten besaßen. Die Entscheidungen und Ressourcen konzentrierten sich auf Bagdad. Die neue irakische Verfassung gewährt den Provinzen und einzelnen Orten mehr Befugnisse. Das wird dazu führen, dass viele Entscheidungen und Leistungen mehr an den Bedürfnissen der Menschen ausgerichtet sind. Die lokalen und kommunalen Politiker werden aber auch die Fähigkeit entwickeln müssen, den Menschen diese Vorzüge zu liefern. Wir werden ihnen dabei helfen. Gleichzeitig arbeiten wir daran, Kapazitäten aufzubauen und die Effektivität der zentralen Ministerien der Regierung zu erhöhen. Unter Saddam Hussein wurden Kabinettsministerien von einer Faktion dominiert und streng geführt, unabhängig von ihren jeweiligen Leistungen.
Heute ist es jedoch unerlässlich, dass die irakischen Ministerien, insbesondere das Verteidigungs- und Innenministerium, effektiv und ohne sektiererische Trennlinien funktionieren. Aus diesem Grund starteten wir unser Programm zur Unterstützung der Ministerien und haben beim Kongress 125 Millionen Dollar für dieses Jahr beantragt, um unsere irakischen Partner durch Ausbildungs- und Unterstützungsmaßnahmen zu stärken. Wir konzentrieren uns auf alles, das für die Iraker von Bedeutung ist, von der Verwaltung eines Haushalts, über den Kampf gegen Korruption bis hin zur Erlangung greifbarer Ergebnisse.
Ich kann Ihnen versichern, dass diese beiden politischen Ansätze sowie unsere grundlegende Strategie für den Sieg im Irak nicht über Nacht entstanden sind. Sie waren die Folge einer Anpassung an neue Gegebenheiten. Als sich die Situation vor Ort änderte und wir die Lehren aus einigen Dingen zogen, die nicht so gut liefen, mussten wir uns anpassen. Wir mussten unsere Annahmen überdenken und unseren Kurs korrigieren, und das hat auch zu Verbesserungen geführt. Das Ergebnis ist keine perfekte, sondern eine realistische Strategie, die jetzt den Erfolg im Irak sicherstellt.
Ich weiß, wie schwer es sein kann, zu glauben, dass es greifbare Fortschritte im Irak gibt und dass der Irak eines Tages ein stabiler und demokratischer Staat sein wird. Ich sehe dieselben tragischen Bilder der Gewalt und des Leids wie Sie und trauere wie Sie um jeden unserer 2.372 gefallenen Helden, die engagierten Mitarbeiter des US-Außenministeriums sowie die anderen Zivilisten, die wir verloren haben. Ich weiß, was sich viele Amerikaner in diesem Moment fragen: Wird der Irak jemals friedlich und demokratisch sein? Schätzen die Iraker die Freiheit wirklich so sehr wie wir Amerikaner? Vielleicht, nur vielleicht, tun sie das nicht.
Aber ich möchte mit zwei Geschichten schließen: eine über die Iraker und eine über die Vereinigten Staaten. Ich habe während der vergangenen drei Tage Telefongespräche mit zwei sunnitischen Politikern im Irak geführt, die derzeit stark in die Bemühungen eingebunden sind, eine konfessionsübergreifende Regierung zu bilden. Ich habe sie angerufen, weil beide ihre Brüder bei Anschlägen im Irak verloren haben. Sie sollten sich der persönlichen Opfer bewusst sein, die die irakischen Politiker bringen. Beide sagten mir: "Ich trauere um meinen Bruder. Natürlich werde ich mich um seine Witwe und seine Kinder kümmern. Aber ich werde meine Arbeit für einen geeinten, demokratischen Irak fortsetzen, weil mein Bruder dafür starb."
Die Iraker bringen in großen Zahlen Opfer für ihre eigene Zukunft. Sie stellen sich den Terroristen um ihrer eigenen Zukunft willen und wollen wie alle Menschen auf der Welt eine Zukunft in Frieden, Sicherheit und der Würde, die mit der Demokratie einhergeht.
Für sie und für uns sind diese Zeiten schwer und stellen uns vor große Herausforderungen. Manchmal ist es in schweren Zeiten gut, sich auf die Geschichte zu besinnen, um ein besseres Gefühl für die richtige Perspektive zu erhalten. Ich war in der glücklichen Position zwischen 1989 und 1991 am Ende des Kalten Krieges als Expertin für die Sowjetunion im Weißen Haus zu arbeiten. Ich kann mir fast nichts Interessanteres vorstellen. Ich konnte an der Befreiung Osteuropas, der Wiedervereinigung von Deutschland und dem friedlichen Fall der Sowjetunion teilhaben.
Das sind Ereignisse gewesen, die ich mir als Studentin der internationalen Politik niemals hätte vorstellen können, vor allem nicht, dass ich an ihnen würde teilhaben dürfen. Aber wenn ich an diese berauschenden Zeiten zurückdenke, erkenne ich, dass wir eigentlich nur die Früchte der guten Entscheidungen ernteten, die 1945, 1946, 1947 und 1948 getroffen wurden, als der Sieg der Freiheit in Europa und Asien noch nicht so gewiss erschien.
Wenn ich durch das Außenministerium laufe und die Porträts von Marshall oder Acheson betrachte oder an Truman, Churchill und andere denke, stelle ich mir vor, was sie jeden Tag zu bewältigen hatten. 1946 gewannen die Kommunisten die Zustimmung großer Minderheiten in Italien und Frankreich. 1947 gab es einen Bürgerkrieg in Griechenland und zivile Konflikte in der Türkei. 1947 hungerten noch immer Europäer, weil die Wiederaufbau- und Hilfsmaßnahmen noch nicht erfolgreich abgeschlossen waren. 1948 gab es einen Putsch in der Tschechoslowakei, der zur Entmachtung der letzten freien Regierung in der kommunistischen Welt führte. 1948 wurde im Zuge der Berlinkrise Deutschland dauerhaft geteilt. 1949 zündete die Sowjetunion fünf Jahre, bevor wir dies erwartet hätten, eine nukleare Waffe und in China siegten die Kommunisten.
Damals konnte man nicht davon ausgehen, dass es 1990 und 1991 zum Sieg eines geeinten, freien, demokratischen und friedlichen Europas kommen würde. Es handelte sich damals nicht nur um kleine Rückschläge. Es waren vielmehr gewaltige strategische Niederlagen für die Freiheit. Dennoch blieben die Menschen, die damals für die amerikanische Politik verantwortlich waren, ihren Werten treu und fanden Lösungen, schufen großartige Institutionen wie die NATO und vertrauten darauf, dass die Demokratie in Deutschland und Japan Fuß fassen könnte, wo das zuvor noch nie der Fall gewesen war. Sie glaubten auch, dass es einen Tag geben würde, an dem Krieg in Europa undenkbar sein würde, wenn die Vereinigten Staaten nur den damals entstehenden Demokratien zur Seite standen.
Ich kann Ihnen versichern, dass 1947 oder 1948 die Vorstellung, dass Frankreich und Deutschland nie wieder Krieg gegeneinander führen würden, nicht möglich und schon gar nicht wahrscheinlich erschien. Aber diese Menschen vertrauten dennoch darauf. Das lässt mich glauben, dass wenn man auf Zeiten großer Turbulenzen, großartiger geschichtlicher Errungenschaften und historischer Veränderungen zurückblickt, alles geordneter erscheint.
Es lässt mich auch glauben, dass Dinge, die damals unmöglich erschienen, rückblickend unvermeidlich erscheinen. Wenn wir also auf die schwierigen noch vor uns liegenden Zeiten im Irak und die Konflikte im Nahen Osten blicken, die mit dem Verhältnis zwischen dem Islam und Politik zu tun haben, wenn wir eine ganze Region betrachten, die versucht, aus Jahren unter einem autoritären Regierungssystem auszubrechen, sollten wir uns in Erinnerung rufen, dass wir alle historische Beispiele dafür kennen, dass etwas unmöglich erschien, heute aber als zwangsläufige Entwicklung angesehen wird.
Und ich bin der Meinung, dass wenn wir unsere Arbeit gut machen, wenn wir uns nicht entmutigen lassen, sondern unseren Werten treu bleiben, wir eines Tages zurückblicken und uns fragen werden, warum wir jemals den Sieg der Demokratie im Nahen Osten, im Irak, in Afghanistan und Palästina angezweifelt haben. Warum haben wir nur gezweifelt? Ich denke auch, dass dann jene, die zurückblicken, sagen werden, es sei schon immer eine unvermeidbare Entwicklung gewesen. Das war es natürlich nicht. Es war menschliches Wirken und menschliche Entschlossenheit, die sie ermöglicht haben.
Originaltext: Opening Remarks and Q&A Session at Chicago Council on Foreign Relations
Thank you very much for the information and the insights that you brought to us today. The Secretary has graciously agreed to answer questions. The rules of the road are if you would just stand, a portable mike will be brought to you, and if you'd be good enough to state both your name and your affiliation for the benefit of the Secretary and then present your short question.
Do you want me to wait for the mike?
Yes, I think one is coming right there.
Thank you. My name is John Ryan (ph). Madame Secretary, could you explain U.S. policy, when the United States might take military action otherwise and pursuant to UN mandate or UN resolution to enforce a UN resolution?
Well, I think that it's difficult to state a principle in the abstract. Obviously, the President keeps open his options and we have always said that the right of self-defense does not necessarily require a UN Security Council resolution. I would note that, for instance, we went to war in the Balkans without a -- war action without a Security Council resolution. We did in the case of Iraq, of course, have multiple resolutions that constituted Iraq as a peace to -- a threat to international peace and security and a final resolution, Resolution 1441, from the 2002 that said that there would be serious consequences if Iraq did not go forward.
And so it's been a mixture of how the United States has -- or the President of the United States has decided to use military force. We believe that in the current case that's on everybody's mind, and let me just go to the bottom line and then -- and sort of go to the underlying question here. That in the current case, which everyone asks about, Iran, because of all of the speculation that there has been in the paper, that it is important to note that the President doesn't take his options off the table, yet we're on a different course with Iran.
The issue here is to mobilize the international community, to unify the international community around the view that Iran cannot have a nuclear weapon, that is agreed, and that in order to turn the Iranians back from what has been behavior that has been contrary to all of the wishes of the international community, that we are prepared to use measures at our disposal -- political, economic, others -- to dissuade Iran from the course that it's on.
Now I want to be very clear. We don't have any problem, any quarrel with the Iranian people; quite the opposite. We want the Iranian people to be a part of the international community. This is a great culture and a great people. We want to reach out for exchanges with the Iranian people. We want their students and their musicians and their sports stars to be with us all. The problem is that the Iranian leadership, the regime, is isolating itself with its behavior. You can simply read the statements of any government in response to what the Iranians just did to see that the Iranians are isolating themselves. By being in the Security Council, we have a number of diplomatic and other tools at our disposal to persuade the Iranians that they really need to come back to negotiation.
And just finally, the Iranians say that they want to make this, or they want to make this about their right to civil nuclear power. We are not questioning their right to civil nuclear power. They can have civil nuclear power. But because of a track record of 18 years in which they were not clear and not transparent with the International Atomic Energy Agency that civil nuclear power cannot include the ability to enrich and reprocess on Iranian territory, because when you learn to do that you've learned the key technology to making a nuclear weapon. And so the Iranians have been offered ideas by the Russians, ideas by the Europeans, it's time that they take those ideas, suspend their enrichment and reprocessing activities and return to the table. But Iran is not Iraq, these are two very different circumstances and we believe that the remedies before us are quite robust.
My name is (inaudible). In the paper this morning it was said that President Bush is going to be discussing with the president of China about natural resources and oil in particular. In light of the fact that the Chinese have made great inroads into Africa, both signing contracts for oil and natural resources, the same thing in South America, the same thing in parts of the Middle East, the same thing with their trade agreements with India and in light of the fact that they are building a navy with the apparent object to exert hegemony over the Middle East and the oil resources of the Middle East, what is the United States foreign policy with regard to China and the capturing of oil and other natural resources around the world and what will President Bush will be saying to the Chinese President today?
Thank you. Well, of course, China is a rapidly growing economy. And just to keep it in perspective, the Chinese leaders will tell you that they need to create 25 million jobs a year in order to simply keep pace with the population pressures in China -- $25 million a year. That explains why they have to have in part very rapid economic growth, and very rapid economic growth has to be fueled by something and that's why you have the all-out drive for energy that the Chinese are engaged in. That is a discussion the President and President Hu will have, but they, I think will also discuss what kinds of energy cooperation can reduce some of the pressures on hydrocarbons and the sort of all-out search for oil that is going on around the world.
For instance, we are very interested in -- the Chinese are very interested in nuclear energy cooperation. The Chinese are a part of a group that we have, the Asia-Pacific Partnership for climate and energy that is trying to explore new technologies that will be greener technologies, so that at the same time that you are able to fuel your economy you can reduce greenhouse gases. And so I think that the conversation that they will have will be one about cooperation on energy issues.
Now that said, let me be very clear about the search for oil. It is distorting international politics in a very major way. It's distorting it because there are places that have oil that are using oil as a weapon, or using oil as a carrot for certain policies and that's troubling. And it only underscores what the President has emphasized, which is the need to find a way to diversify our own, America's own, energy mix so that we can begin to rely on something other than oil. But we recognize that it can't just be us. That that diversification has got to be take place worldwide and I think that will be part of their discussion.
We also want to encourage the Chinese to allow markets to work rather than the way that this is sometimes thought about in places that are not accustomed to market economies, which is sewing up contracts around -- in a way that is non-transparent to the market. We would also like to talk to them about that.
Let's see, I promised the lady in the blue. Yes.
First, I wish there were a piano here so you could play for us. I know how wonderful you play. My name is Kathy Posner (ph). In today's Washington Post there was a story about Karen Hughes, Under Secretary of State, head of public diplomacy, and while it was a positive story it still spoke of the problems we have in disseminating positive messages about the United States around the world. In July, my sister will become special assistant to Karen Hughes --
Yes, she's in the Embassy in Budapest now and is moving back to America. I know she'll be so embarrassed when I tell her that I asked her boss any advice for when she comes back to America to sit in the office of public diplomacy.
Well, thank you. First of all, I'm sure she's doing out in the field what we believe is the front line, which is to get our embassies out more talking to populations. We are encouraging our ambassadors to get out and do radio interviews, do television interviews. We can't simply sit in our embassies and talk to governments. Increasingly, talking to populations is important, particularly with democratic governments where they have to have the support of their populations for the policy that they are pursuing to support American foreign policy and Hungary would be an example of that. Hungary's been a very good ally, but it's a democratic state. It has to keep its population with it and we have to help the Hungarians with that.
Secondly, I would tell her that she's coming back to a Department that is absolutely committed to the public diplomacy mission. It is in part a mission of trying to undo what are sometimes malicious and propagandistic reports about us. People just say anything and we have to be, particularly with the internet, and you have to be able to respond to that in a very quick fashion, because once a piece of propaganda gets out or a story is told about us that isn't true, I can ensure you it becomes part of the urban legend and then it's very hard to deal with.
Third, we're not just about messaging. You know, public diplomacy has to be a conversation, not a monologue. And we Americans are perhaps not as good at understanding other cultures and other languages as we might be. Now that is partly we are continental size and so forth. But we are encouraging students to come here from abroad and our students to go abroad. We are encouraging universities -- we had a University Presidents Summit where we're encouraging them to be involved in more -- the study of international issues, more international exchanges. And we have a major critical language initiative that the federal government is partnering with others around the country to try to improve our language capabilities.
When I was a young scholar coming up, a young student coming up, it was the patriotic thing to do to learn Russian. And so the government had all kinds of projects and fellowships if you wanted to learn Russian and become a Soviet specialist. And yet we have a tremendous dearth of people who can speak Dari or Arabic or Persian or any of the languages, Farsi, any of the languages that are so critical now, let alone Chinese; one of the languages that will be most used. So that's another part of the public diplomacy.
But let me just say a word to all of you, this isn't something the U.S. Government can achieve on its own. America's great strength in engaging other countries is actually not what we do in the State Department or what we do in the U.S. Government. It is the contacts between business leaders. It's the contacts between civic society. It's the contacts that nongovernmental organizations have with one and other. It is, as a university professor, I think it's the engagement of young minds across borders that really is our strength. And so I would ask you, because you have an interest in foreign policy, you have an interest in our doing well in the world, to think about what can be done through communities, your communities and through your businesses and through your organizations to reach out particularly to young people around the world and to let them know what America's really like.
Madame Rice, my name is (inaudible) and my question is regarding the Indo-U.S. nuclear peace civil agreement. My question is that how this agreement, if ratified, will bring more prosperity to the world and why is it in the beneficial interest of the United States to go for this agreement? And has the White House taken any initiatives to ensure that this treaty is ratified when placed before the House? Thank you.
Thank you. The gentleman is referring to an agreement that President Bush and Prime Minister Singh signed on the President's recent trip to India, which is an agreement between the United States and India for civil nuclear cooperation. This agreement is a path-breaking and really very important agreement because India is an anomaly in international politics. It is a country that never signed the Nonproliferation Treaty, did develop nuclear weapons but did so, of course, having never signed the NPT, by not having violated the NPT, but it has been cutoff as a result of those decisions from any kind of civil nuclear cooperation with the rest of the world. And so we want to change this anomaly. Why do we want to change this?
First of all, because the United States needs good strategic partners around the world who are democratic and India is a huge multiethnic, multi-religious democracy that is transparent and that can play an extremely important role in the world as a strategic partner, a responsible strategic partner. And so we see this broad relationship that is now burgeoning in agriculture and in military-to-military cooperation, and across the board cooperation between the private sector and business. We see this agreement in that context.
Secondly, I was referring to China and energy; India needs energy. And India is also a country that is desperate to fuel economic growth at 8 percent, 9 percent, and it's going to need an energy supply and it needs to diversify its energy, too, to clean technologies like nuclear energy. We cannot begin to share those technologies with India without an agreement of this kind.
Third, and here people have criticized the agreement by saying, well, isn't this harmful to the Nonproliferation Treaty since India didn't sign the Nonproliferation Treaty? India has lived up to its obligations not to transfer nuclear technology around the world. It has a really very good record. Moreover, no less than Mohamed ElBaradei, who is the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, which is the agency that protects, in a sense, the NPT, supports this agreement, because while it doesn't bring India into the Nonproliferation Treaty, it does bring India into the broad nonproliferation regime. India has agreed to put its civilian reactors under international safeguards.
A question I am also asked is, "Well, if you will do it for India, doesn't that make your argument weaker for North Korea or Iran? Isn't there a double standard?" And I say absolutely, there's a double standard and Iran and North Korea created it by cheating on their obligations to the NPT, by being nontransparent, closed societies where everybody worries what they're doing. Here, you have a democracy in India that is trying to move closer to the nonproliferation regime and we ought to support that. I believe that we will -- I hope that we will get Congress' support. I, myself, testified a couple of weeks ago and we're continuing to seek support for it, but you have to understand it in that broad framework, not just as an agreement on civil nuclear power, but it's a very important agreement in the broader sense as well.
My name is B. Herbert Martin. I'm Pastor of the Progressive Community Church in Chicago. I'm interested in American foreign policy toward the continent of Africa. Could you, Madame Secretary, share a little bit about the improvement and the progress in American foreign policy toward the continent of Africa, especially in light of Rwanda, since Rwanda, and now in light of the crisis in Sudan?
Yes, thank you. Let me make a couple of points. First of all, on our broad policies toward Africa, we have tried to see the potential of this continent and to treat African leaders as partners, strategic partners as well as partners in the development of their own countries. That means that we have had very forward-leaning trade policies like the African Growth and Opportunity Act, which allows for the ease of the entry of goods into the American market, African goods into the American market. We have, with the African leaders, had a deep political engagement on a variety of issues and as well, we have tripled development assistance, official development assistance to Africa.
Now we have done that broadly for humanitarian reasons, but for some special countries in Africa which are democratic and governing wisely, they are becoming part of something called the Millennium Challenge Corporation program, which the President announced, which means that we give fairly large grants to a country if they can come up with a project that will help alleviate poverty and increase development. But they have to be governing wisely, fighting corruption, if there's no need to put more money into a place where it's just going to go down the drain to corruption. So on the economic side, we have been very active in Africa.
On the security side, we have also been very active in Africa. We've been part of the reason that there is a more hopeful picture in what's called the Great Lakes region. We were very involved in helping the Democratic Republic of the Congo come to a resolution of its civil war. We were instrumental, along with the African states, in bringing peace to Liberia, where you now have -- and I attended her inauguration, a very fine new president of Liberia, the first woman on the African continent. And we are going to support Liberia so that West Africa is beginning to become a place that is no longer given to conflict.
And in Sudan, the United States led the international effort to end the North-South conflict through the efforts of Ambassador John Danforth, Former Senator John Danforth, to get an agreement between North and South, ending a decades-old civil war that had cost millions of lives. Now we have the problem that has also emerged in Sudan of Darfur. And make no mistake about it; this is a horrible humanitarian moral crisis. The President is focused on it personally and we are determined to lead the international effort to help the UN get a more robust security force in Darfur. There is an African Union mission there. They're doing a good job. But it's too small, it's not mobile enough, it's not capable of getting to the outer reaches. Darfur is the size of Texas. And so a small force of 7,000 people is not going to be able to provide security. We want a more robust force, at least twice that size. We want it to be a UN force.
Secondly, we are taking the lead on the humanitarian side. I was in Darfur. I saw what the nongovernmental organizations are doing out there to support women, to support children, to support the refugee camps. We are the largest donor, by far, to that effort. And third, we are very actively engaged in a process in Abuja and Nigeria to try to bring peace between the rebels and the government.
Now to be sure, this is a difficult government to deal with, because it is -- it has caused most of these problems. It is, however, a government that somehow has to be part of the solution, but we have not been shy about using other tools that we have gotten through the UN. We have a Security Council resolution that allows us to bring sanctions against members of the Khartoum Government and we are doing that as we see fit. So it's a very comprehensive program on Darfur. There is good support from the international community and NATO is providing some of the logistical support to the current mission and is prepared to help with the UN mission as well.
Let's see, I'm going to come back to this side. The lady all the way in the back -- yes, microphone?
Alice Alavastro. I was wondering, you had presented a very utopia view of the democratization of Iraq and also a very logical approach to our entrance into a possible war with Iran. But considering the muddied and controversial approach that the Bush Administration took to going -- to invading Iraq and going to war, how is the American people supposed to trust the Bush Administration and their spokesmen on their approach to going to this controversy with Iran and other different policies that the Bush Administration speaks of?
Yes, thank you. Well, first of all, let me just say that I don't think that the road to democracy in Iraq is at all utopian. I think it's tough and it's heart-slogging and it's violent and it looks like the road to democracy that any number of countries have had to face. Sometimes, I think here in the United States, we need to engage ourselves, and I try to do it personally, in a little bit of humility about what it took to build democracy in this country. After all, when the founding fathers said "We The People," they didn't mean me. My ancestors were three-fifths of a man in Mr. Jefferson's first constitution.
So when we think about what the Iraqis are struggling with, we need to recognize that democracy is hard. It just happens to be the only system of government that's worth it, when you get to the end of it. By the way, dictatorship is hard too, except for the dictator. (Laughter.)
And so when we think about what the alternative is to democracy in Iraq, let's remember the 300,000 people in mass graves or the killing fields of chemical weapons against the Kurds and against Shia. We need to keep perspective on what it is they're doing.
Now as to the issue, I know that it's controversial. The decision to have gone to war in Iraq was controversial. I would just note that when the President spoke to the UN Security Council in September of 2002, he said what we would do. He said that we would give Saddam Hussein time to answer the just demands of the international community about the multiple resolutions that have been passed in the UN. And after Resolution 1441 was passed in November, the Council said that there would be serious consequences if he didn't.
Now serious consequences can mean almost anything, but in this context, given Saddam Hussein and given the only way that he was going to change his ways or be brought down, that meant the use of military force. And let's remember that it was not just the United States that supported that action, but also Great Britain and Spain and Italy and Australia and a number of other countries. This was a broad coalition. Not everybody supported it, but a lot of countries did.
Now I know too -- and again, I'm going to go right at the -- kind of the assumption or the underlying question here. I know too that there is controversy about the issue of the weapons of mass destruction. But I can tell you that everybody who had worked on this -- well, let me not say that. Most people who had worked on this issue thought Saddam had weapons of mass destruction. If we didn't think he had weapons of mass destruction, what was the UN doing in keeping the most severe sanctions on the Iraqi people that have ever been kept on any population? What were we doing? If we didn't think he had weapons of mass destruction, we were being awfully unfair to the Iraqi people.
And by the way, those sanctions, of course, were having an effect on the Iraqi people, but we now know that Saddam Hussein was gaming the system through the oil-for-food program so that he could continue all of his activities and, in fact, increasing his take. So yes, we thought he had weapons of mass destruction. He clearly had an appetite for them. He clearly had infrastructure for them. He clearly had used them before. But no, we did not find stores of weapons of mass destruction, but it was not because anybody said something they didn't believe or didn't have very good reason to believe. It was because in a nontransparent government like Saddam Hussein's dictatorship, it was not possible to know precisely what the state was of those weapons of mass destruction until we overthrew him. That's the real truth of the case.
So I would hope that the American people would go back and they would look at this history and they would remember that we had multiple resolutions in the UN Security Council that said he was a threat to peace and security. There wasn't disagreement in the international community that he was a threat to peace and security. There wasn't disagreement that he still coveted Kuwait, which he refused to recognize as an independent state. There wasn't disagreement that he was firing at our aircraft that were trying to keep him from harming his own people and his neighbors. That was all agreed. And there wasn't disagreement that he refused to answer very clear questions about the state of his very dangerous weapons of mass destruction programs. Those things were all agreed.
The only disagreement was, was it time to deal with that issue and to take him out of power and there, there were disagreements. The President made a judgment that I fundamentally agreed with then and I fundamentally agree with now. Having done that, it is the obligation of the United States to leave that country better than it was. Given our values and given our experience, that says leave it with a foundation for democracy and then it can become a pillar in a different kind of Middle East, because the Middle East was not stable.
I've heard people say, "You disturbed the Middle East." No; any place that could produce al-Qaida wasn't stable and we needed a different kind of Middle East. I think we will get one. On Iran, it is not just the United States that believes that Iran is on a dangerous course. I would ask you to read the comments of the Russian Government or the British Government or the German Government on this. The world wants Iran to adhere to its obligations and that's why the United States, in coordination with its allies, is seeking and probably will have to seek Security Council resolution to that effect.
Yes, all the way back here.
Thank you, Madame Secretary. My name is Chris Robling (ph.). I want to ask you, as a Russian expert, if you could speak with us for a couple of minutes about the way in which you personally believe Vladimir Putin relates to the evolution of democracy in Russia and the basis on which he approaches that issue.
All right. Thank you. Well, there's one thing that I want to say about President Putin. I have no doubt of his commitment to his country and of his desire to see Russia prosperous and stable. I also have no doubt that he is not -- he and the Russians are not in the Soviet Union any longer. Russia is a very different place and as we look at Russia's evolution, we have to remember where it came from. It is not -- this is not the Soviet Union.
That said, I think the most troubling thing about the evolution of politics in Russia over the last couple of years is not that the state has become stronger. I think the state had to become stronger. It was really dangerously weak in the 90s. I think that most of us who knew the place thought that it was dangerously weak in the 90s, the Russian state. But the problem for Russia has been that it has tended to swing then too far to the other side. And the absence of a truly free press, the absence of a legislature that is really able to check the presidency, the absence or the seeming absence of an independent -- truly independent judiciary presents you with a circumstance in which most power is now held in the Kremlin and that -- quite apart from Vladimir Putin and what his personal predilections may be.
And I don't -- I frankly don't think he is the problem. The problem is that when you have that much concentration of power in the Kremlin, in the hands of a president, you are going to have more authoritarian tendencies. That's why the founding fathers recognized the need for balance of power. That's why, in parliamentary systems, you have the ability to remove the executive if things go wrong. And so what we've been trying to do with the Russians is to talk to them about the institutions of a free society and encourage them to build those institutions. And I have to tell you that I think it's not gone in a very good direction over the last couple of years.
That said; we're working with the Russians on a number of important issues. I think we need to continue to work with them. And I've read the articles and the stories that say, "Well, exclude them from the NATO-Russia Council, exclude them from the G-8," and so forth and so on. I don't see any outcome -- good outcome for Russian democracy that comes from excluding Russia from institutions that have democratic values at their core. And so I continue to believe that the engagement of Russia in these institutions is a net-plus, but we also have to challenge the Russians that their own domestic development is troubling and that it is troubling to the world because a truly deep relationship with the United States or with the West rests on common values. And Russia's adherence to those common values and the institutions that represent them is in question at this time.
Yes. You, sir, you were standing earlier.
Ronald Emberman (ph.). Thank you, Madame Secretary. Everyone is waiting to see the Iraqi army replace our soldiers and yet, the Iraqi soldiers, I understand, have no continuing obligation to serve. They can just relieve themselves of any service with no consequences. Could you amplify that and perhaps even talk about the deflection rate that's involved with the Iraqi army?
Well, the Iraqi soldiers do undertake an obligation to serve and they don't have the ability just to walk away. In the early days, the first time that we trained the Iraqi army, we frankly didn't do it very well. It was a kind of false start and yes, there were lots of defections because we tried to create an army without really a chain-of-command that was Iraqi, without a defense ministry that could support them. And now, you're getting that chain-of-command and that defense ministry in a way that makes it truly an Iraqi army, not Iraqi soldiers serving under American commanders. And that has worked considerably better.
The Iraqi army is actually an institution in which Iraqis have considerable pride. When you talk to Iraqis about their army, they do believe that the army is an institution of pride. A lot of Iraqi army officers are, in fact, putting their lives on the line -- Iraqi soldiers are putting their lives on the line every day. They are taking more control of their own territory; for instance, the highway from the airport into the international zone, which has always been a very dangerous highway, has been less dangerous since Iraqis took control of that highway. There are towns in which the Iraqis are the presence and so, they are making progress.
There's been a bigger problem with the police and we are intensifying our efforts this year on police training, because as you might imagine, it's somewhat harder when you have police who kind of live in the community, go home at night, and are not subject to the same kind of discipline that you get in an army barracks circumstance. That's why we've had trouble with the police. But the Iraqi army, if you talk to our soldiers, our people who work with them, they are very pleased with the development of the Iraqi army.
QUESTION: My name is Greg Friend (ph.) and I'll be going to Northwestern in the fall. My question deals with the NSA wire taps that were uncovered by the New York Times in December. As far as I understand by reading the DOJ's recently published white paper, it seems that there are two sources for Bush's claims that he has authority to conduct these warrantless wiretaps without probable cause, the first being the invocation of the Inherent Powers Doctrine, which, during the 70s with the Nixon Administration, the Supreme Court ruled that the President's invocation of -- or such an invocation of the Inherent Powers Doctrine was unconstitutional, in violation of the protection of -- the Fourth Amendment protections guaranteed by the Constitution.
The second source that the white paper outlines is the AUMF, the Authorization for the Use of Military Force passed by Congress, I believe, in relation to use of force in Afghanistan, which, as far as my reading of, doesn't explicitly contain language about the use of things like wiretaps or warrantless surveillance. It just talks about the need to be able to use any necessary force.
Those given, I guess my question is, where does Bush actually have this authority? And if it's true that he can meld interpretations of either of the Inherent Powers Doctrine or the AUMF, then where do we draw the line on how far the President can go in unilateral actions that seem scarily dictator-like?
Thank you. Well, I defer to the Justice Department white paper. I'm not the Attorney General and I don't try and tell -- give the President legal advice.
But let me answer your question from my perspective as a National Security official and as the National Security Advisor at the time. This is a very difficult war in which we find ourselves. It is a war that is not law enforcement, to be sure. Because if you wait to let people commit their crimes, so-called probable cause, and then wait to allow them to commit their crimes, then 3,000 people die or dozens die at a stop in London or wherever.
Remembering that for the terrorists, the purpose is to kill innocents. That's not collateral damage for the terrorists. That's the purpose, is to kill innocents. And so you have a different kind of circumstance in which what you try to do is to get as much information as you can, as much intelligence as you can to stop the attack before it happens. You cannot wait until it happens. That makes intelligence and information the long pole in the tent in the fight against terrorism every day.
And the United States faced a particular problem in terms of our inability to cover the conversation of somebody outside of the country who was plotting, potentially plotting a terrorist attack, and somebody in the country who might be a part of that plot. And there was a wall at which the United States was not able to hear what was going on inside our own country. We know that there were people in this country before September 11th that were having conversations with Afghanistan, people that later on turned out to be hijackers. We know that. We had no way to know that they were in San Diego. That's a problem if you're trying to protect the American people.
And for the President and for those of us who lived September 11th, and by the way, also lived the inquiry afterwards, when the people asked, did you do everything you could have to prevent this attack, you are absolutely determined to use all of your powers within the law to try to prevent that from happening again. We talked often about the wall between -- what went on in the United States and what went on outside the United States. Because of the way we had grown up with no internal threat for so long in this country, the fact that there were people inside the country plotting was something that was very difficult for us to connect up with what people were doing outside the country, who were part of the same plot. And so this was one of the efforts to bridge that divide.
Now, the President got the rulings from his -- from the Justice Department, from his lawyers that he was within his powers to do this. He would not have done it if he did not believe that he had the inherent powers and the statutory powers to do it. But having been told that, I think he had an obligation to do it. Now we're having a debate about the very delicate balances between civil liberties and national security on a whole range of fronts. And I think that's only appropriate in a great democracy like ours.
And by the way, when I went to Europe, I said to them we should have the same debate with our democratic allies around the world, because we do face another kind of threat and we have to protect who we are and protect our civil liberties. We also have to protect innocent life. And I think we're going to be having this debate for a long time. But I hope that as we have it, we keep in mind the fact that there are people in this country who talk to people out of this country about how to kill innocent Americans. And the President has an obligation to use every power available to him to stop that from happening. We're not talking about political enemies here; we're talking about people who want to kill innocent Americans. That's their goal. That is what they're after and they have to be stopped. (Applause.)
Sorry, this lady right here and then I'll get you.
Madame Secretary, my name is Kelly Rasok (ph) and I'm a law student at (inaudible) University and I will be doing an internship with the State Department this summer.
Good. By the way, I was a State Department intern. (Laughter.)
Wow, good to know.
I'm telling everybody in the Department, be good to your interns, you never know what might happen. (Laughter.)
A few weeks ago, a gentleman in Afghanistan was to be tried for his conversion from Islam to Christianity and you were instrumental in securing his freedom and urging for the Universal Declaration of Human Right to be upheld. And my question is: As Afghanistan is a young democracy, do you see this as setting a precedent that may lead the way to wider-spread freedom in that country?
It's a really good question and the way that you put it is very important because it is a young democracy. Afghanistan and many of the Muslim countries that are going through democratic transitions are having to deal with one of the most difficult issues that confront any political system, and that's the relationship between religion and religious law and individual rights and liberties. And we have been through it, although we were founded on separation of church and state; not everybody was founded on separation of church and state. And so it has been a very important evolution as these countries try to deal with this issue.
Now, I do believe that what happened in the Rahman case was a bit of a wake-up call to us and, frankly, to Afghanistan because it immediately brought international expectations into play in Afghanistan for what is understood to be the course of democracy. And I think that was a very good thing. The Afghanistan constitution does have protections for individuals in terms of their religious practice. And so as these countries go through this evolution, I think you're probably going to have more cases, some of them are going to end up in their courts. You know, we have to remember, again referring to our own experience, that our own evolution was one in which the Constitution has been interpreted time and time and time again as individuals come to the courts and say, you're violating my constitutional rights. And then we have a case about it and things evolve.
Again, as I said to the lady, we've had some pretty awful cases. You know, the Dred Scott decision was a pretty awful decision, and we've evolved out of those over time. The same thing will happen in Afghanistan. The same thing will happen in Iraq and there will be decisions that we do not like and that we will have to call to attention the international obligation. I think there will be victories for individual liberties as well. But this is the natural process of democratic evolution and it's going to take some time. The good news is it's not the Taliban. Because the Taliban could have carried out that sentence and nobody would have been able to do a thing about it, and that's what we have to keep in mind. Even when it's a young, troubled, struggling democracy it's far better than a dictatorship or an authoritarian regime that does not respect rights nor respects the will of the international community.
There is a gentleman all the way in back who was trying to ask a question. Yes.
Hi, I'm Michael Sand (ph). I just wanted to ask are we going to be able to hold accountable ever the governments or militaries, or at least members of the governments and militaries of Syria and Iran for terrorist attacks, like our base in Khobar Towers, the Jewish Community Center in Argentina or marines in Beirut or the French peacekeepers in Beirut and hold the members of those militaries -- or the assassination of Hariri for that matter?
Yes. Well, it is something that we are constantly cognizant of because those who commit atrocities of that type need to be brought to justice. When they are protected by authoritarian regimes or when they are themselves members of authoritarian regimes that are still in power, it is of course more difficult. Saddam Hussein and his henchmen are being held to account now because there's a democracy in Iraq. In Lebanon, you mentioned the Hariri assassination, the international community is going to hold those accountable who participated, planned, did whatever they did to plot the assassination of Rafik Hariri and so that will be held accountable. Charles Taylor is before the court of Sierra Leone; that's a good step forward. And so the trial of war criminals in the Balkans is another example of this.
I do think there is very little appetite around the world any longer to let those who commit these kinds of atrocities simply go free. Rather there is a very strong view and it's one that we share, that until you can hold them accountable, hold these people accountable, it's very hard to have reconciliation in the countries where they've done their terror.
I think I can take one more, I'm told. Okay, two more. Yes.
Thank you very much, Madame Secretary. My name is Kemal Abraham (ph) and I'm going (inaudible) another question related to the other two questions before that, is to do with human rights and equality in Egypt. Egypt is a friendly country to our country is getting the biggest aid after Israel for the last 20-some years. But as you know, Egyptian Government discriminate against minority Christians in Egypt and it is always a chain of violence. Last one -- last few days, they attacked churches in Alexandria, Muslim fanatics, and killed a Christian there.
My question to you is two-folds. One, what is the American Government going to do about our friend, the Government in Egypt, since we gave them the biggest aid and since it's a human right issue and equality issue and democracy issue? And my second question is, why the State Department opened dialogue with Muslim brotherhood in Egypt after they won the -- some of the election and we know that their extreme fanatic Muslim group -- which related to Hamas as well?
Well, on the latter question, we actually do not, as a rule, maintain contacts with Hamas. As you know, they're listed as a terrorist organization. And we have not -- we don't have contact with the Muslim brotherhood at this point. It's complicated because, of course, this is a growing force in Egypt, but our view is that the organizations that are really committed to democracy ought to be the ones that are supported by contact with the United States.
As it comes to the broader problem in Egypt, though, you know that I gave a speech at Cairo University. We talked about the need for Egypt to lead -- this great country of Egypt to lead the democratic revolution that is going on in the Middle East. And some good things have happened. I think the multiparty, multi-candidate elections that took place were a good thing. It opened a political debate in Egypt that had never been seen before and I think it will be hard to reverse that ever again.
On the other hand, we were disappointed in the way that the last round of parliamentary elections was conducted. It certainly was not conducted in a way that was free and fair and that was a great disappointment. And we continue to tell Egypt that this is an extremely important part of our relationship and it's going to continue to be the democratic dialogue.
As to the incident the other day in Alexandria, yes, it is too often that something like this happens to religious minorities, including to Coptic Christians, and we are insisting that -- and I think the Egyptian Government says that they will, that it be investigated and those who carried it out will be brought to justice. But it is a country that also is in an evolution, Egypt. I think it will ultimately be in an evolution for the better, but it is a country that ought to be leading, not fearful of change and reform, but leading that change and reform because it's such a great culture.
All right, last question right there.
QUESTION: (Off-mike.) (Applause.)
SECRETARY RICE: Well, as I said, the President doesn't take options off the table. You don't want the President of the United States to take options off the table. You want the President of the United States to keep his options open. But I can tell you that it relates to the question of the lady over on the right -- my right side asked, which is do we understand that there is a difference between Iraq and Iran? We do. It's a very different situation.
I believe we can make the diplomacy work. And long before we get to the point that we have to contemplate diplomacy failing, I think that we have options at our disposal that are not even necessarily fully within the Security Council. You know that there are states that have been saying that if we don't get meaningful measures inside the Security Council, perhaps a coalition of the willing will think about other financial or political measures that could be taken.
The reason that I'm confident that we will ultimately find a way to get Iran back to a negotiation that can, in fact, deal with its need for civil nuclear power -- the fact is that can be dealt with, just not in the way that the Iranians are insisting. And the reason that I'm confident we can do that is that Iran is a very different state than Iraq. It is a very different state than North Korea. Its people are part of the international system, they travel, it's a great culture, they expect to have access to the international system. Iran is integrated into the international economy in ways that, for instance, North Korea is not. And I think that we will be able to demonstrate to Iran that it has no other option. And that is why if we are really unified and really tough in our response, I think we're going to make the diplomacy work.
Now that gentlemen was standing, so I'm going to give you the last question now.
Thank you very much. My name's Robert (inaudible). I'm a student at (inaudible) North High School and my question concerns both the CIA black sites --
The what, I'm sorry?
-- the CIA black site prisons and the extraordinary rendition programs. My question's not so much about the justification of such programs, but whether they are continuing and to what extent and the concerns of our allies that they have upon these and the impact that these concerns are having on the relationship.
Well, I'm not going to comment on any specific program to confirm it or deny it, because if I confirm it or deny it then I am getting into a realm that I cannot get into. But let me just say this, I want to go back to what I said earlier when the young man asked the question about the NSA program. This country was defenseless in many ways on September 11th. It was defenseless largely because we did not have the intelligence and the information to know what was going to happen.
I can tell you, I know what came across my desk. I know what was being produced by the intelligence agencies. I know how deep the gulf was between our domestic intelligence and our foreign intelligence. I know how little information we really had that something as catastrophic as what happened to us on September 11th was.
Now, our intelligence activities which we conduct around the world and conduct with partner countries are to try and make sure that we have the best possible available information about what people who really want to hurt us are up to. And, yes, by the way rendition is a practice that goes well before September 11th. And the need to interrogate people that you captured on the battlefield is extremely important, because they do sometimes have information that can help you to stop a plot.
It is already an unfair fight because the terrorists only have to be right once. We have to be right 100 percent of the time. And because it is such an unfair fight, the President and our allies need to use every tool at our disposal within our legal system. It's got to be legal. The President has made very clear it's got to be legal and it's got to be consistent with our international obligations, but that he's going to use every tool possible to know as much about what those who want to hurt us are plotting as is possible.
And one of the points that I made in Europe, too, was that it's not just Americans who benefit from that. I can tell you that we have passed on information to other countries so that they can prevent attacks. But when you face a determined enemy that will do what that enemy did to school children in Beslan in Russia or who will do what that enemy did to a Palestinian wedding party in Jordan or who will do what they have done to nightclubs in Bali or to streets in London -- a subway in London, you're in one heck of a tough fight against one tough enemy and you've got to use everything at your disposal to defeat him or you're not doing your job for the American people.
Thank you very much. (Applause.)
Released on April 19, 2006
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