The Campaign To Preserve U.S. Global Leadership
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE Office of the Spokesman For Immediate Release July 10, 2001 As Delivered
Remarks By Secretary Of State Colin L. Powell At Roundtable Meeting Of The Leaders Of The Campaign To Preserve U.S. Global Leadership
Loy Henderson Conference Room Department of State July 10, 2001
SECRETARY POWELL: Thank you very much, Lonny, and thank you Brian and Pat for your interventions as well, and to welcome you all here to the State Department today, and to begin by thanking you for what you have been doing as a group to support the 150 Account and to support the State Department.
It's a great pleasure to be here, of course, with Lockheed Martin, with whom I've had some passing relationship in my earlier life -- (laughter) -- and with CARE, that I've done a lot with in other parts of my life, when I was both in the military, and my wife has played an active role with CARE over the years. And AIPAC, with that gentle understatement that Lonny just gave us -- (laughter) -- concerning the effectiveness and the experience that AIPAC has with respect to representing interests up on Capitol Hill.
But to look at the whole list of organizations represented here, whether you are a corporate organization or an NGO or a lobbying organization, some organization that has a particular point of view they want to put before the Congress, it is just fascinating to think that you would all come together to help the State Department, to help the 150 Account.
But it is not the 150 Account and the State Department you're helping; it is America's place in the world. It is the value system that America is trying to show to the rest of the world, the value system that we are taking to the rest of the world that is founded on the individual rights of men and women, founded on human dignity, founded on the power of democracy, founded on the power of the free enterprise system, founded on the belief that everybody ought to have a chance to reach as high and as far as their ambitions and dreams will take them.
It is not a value system that preaches to others or tells others how to behave, but just by the power of example, the power of what is possible, we try to show to the rest of the world what could be possible for your people.
And one of the fascinating things about being Secretary of State in this time that we are living in is having the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and National Security Advisor during the days of the Cold War to just go around the world now and to see former enemies who sit in my office, as one did just a few moments ago, and now want to talk to me about economic freedom, want to talk about individual rights, want to talk about the rule of law, want to talk about elections, want to talk about investment, want to talk about all the things that we have been telling to people for years, this is the way to go, this will work, watch, it will work. And more and more nations are moving in this direction.
There are the losers who are going to get left behind, and we know them by name. There are about, you know, quite a few of them. But they are so overwhelmed by those nations that realize that you don't have to be a loser. If you move in this direction, you can be a winner. And the burden that this places not only on the Secretary of State but all the principal leaders within the State Department, but upon the whole 150 system, if I can call it that, is enormous, because they are all now looking to us to help them. They all want me, or one of my associates to come visit, please. They all want us to please send more people to your embassy, we want economic counselors, we want people who will show us how to write law, we want people who will show us how to analyze markets, we want people who will show us how the free enterprise system is supposed to work -- we don't understand it; we never had it. We want people to some show us how democracy works. How do you elect people freely and safely and securely?
And so all these nations, who used to be just one big bloc on the map, the red side, don't worry about it, just talk to Moscow and that covers about half the world. But now they're all free and they're all showing up. And they are placing an enormous demand on the American people, on the American President, and on the 150 Account, to represent this value system and to help them find that right path, the path to being a winner; and to stay off the path of being a loser.
Now, I'm taking this message up on Capitol Hill. You know, it's worth more than one penny, guys. I mean, this is what we fought for. This is what the whole Cold War was about. And we won it. Don't let anybody tell you we didn't win it; we won it. Our value system triumphed. It was the power of that system, democracy and free enterprise, that defeated the forces of fascism and communism. But now, we've got to invest, we've got to consolidate, we've got to make sure these people keep moving in the right direction. And that is what the 150 Account does.
And so the message I give to all of the folks in the Department, to get out there and mix it up, those embassies, those ambassadors going out there, they are on the front lines. I have now spoken to the first four groups of ambassadors going out from the Bush Administration and I tell them all the same thing. You're going out there to be in the front line of offense, not defense. The first line of offense for the American people and for the foreign policy that President Bush will be conducting in the name of the American people.
Everything that happens here in C Street, we're wrong, you're right. The ambassadors are always right, my staff back here is always wrong -- much to the stress of Ambassador Grossman from time to time. (Laughter.) But that's the attitude I want. We're going to power down, we're going to trust our people here in the State Department, my assistant secretaries are going to trust our ambassadors, and we are going to fix your embassies, we're going to give you the Internet technology you need so that I can talk to you instantaneously. We are going to give you what you need so you are not embarrassed to bring people into our embassies and consulates. We are going to fix all of that. We are going to make sure that you understand that you are appreciated and treasured and that you are out there on the front lines for us and you're just as important as the Pentagon or any other element of the national security community.
And that is the message I am giving to the Department and giving to our ambassadors and missions. And then I am going right up on Capitol Hill and say, I ran my big mouth, now you've got to pay for it. And, guess what? They want to. There is good support up there for increases in the 150 Account.
I've had a good series of hearings about next year's budget. But I need organizations such as yours and I need each and every one of you to reinforce that message daily. I need you to go behind me and Marc and all the others, Joe and all of my other colleagues who are here today who will be sharing with you in the course of your meeting. I need organizations such as yours that will go up and say, this is important. This is important, because we've got to have embassies doing that kind of work out there so that CARE can do its work better. We've got to have that kind of solid support out there so that Lockheed Martin can get the contracts it wants and when it goes out to an embassy somewhere, there is somebody who is in tune with what the needs of Lockheed Martin or any other organization, any other corporate organization represented here, so that we do have those kinds of people out there trained, ready to help you.
I tell every ambassador going out there, do not just go to receptions and send me back gossip about what you picked up from your counterparts in an embassy reception. I want you also out there drumming up business for American corporations. One, because it's good for them, it's good for us. We want our corporations to get in there and show what they can do and show how you can generate wealth. Wealth creation is good for these countries. That is what they need more than anything else except for democracy. And you won't create much wealth unless you have democracy, political democracy, individual democracy, and economic democracy.
And so this is part of our overall foreign policy of the American people, executed by the President in their name. And I need you to go up there at every opportunity to make the case. They will do the right thing, but they always have competing pressures. There is always, you know, a surplus or a deficit. There is always some constituent interest that has to be served. Congress works not in the allocation of resources so much as it is the allocation of shortage. It is a question of who doesn't get what one wants. And that is a challenge that those ladies and gentlemen up there are always facing. And I want to make sure that, as they are doing their work and trying to determine where they have to allocate shortage in addition to allocate resources, they have had the most powerful case put forward by the Department of State and our friends throughout America who understand the importance of this and are willing to take their time, as you are taking your time and your talent to help us make that case.
I see this from the perspective not only as former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and National Security Advisor and also now as Secretary of State, but just the seven years I was out of government as a private citizen, a rather pleasant period in my life, I must say -- (laughter) -- but out on the speaking circuit, doing my non-profit work with America's Promise and a lot of other great, great non-profit organizations, many of whom are represented here on your list that I worked with, and to a great deal of joy and satisfaction.
But one of the things I saw out there in that seven-year period, as I gave speeches and as I traveled around the country and around the world, is how much the world has changed since just my days as Chairman a few years ago, to go into an event with an organization -- one I'll single out for you -- Midas. Well, Midas Muffler. I know all about Midas mufflers, used to buy them all the time, used to use them all the time. When I wasn't installing them myself, I would let Midas do it for me.
And they said, no, it's not Midas Muffler. I said, what do you mean, it's not Midas Muffler? No, it's Midas International. Well, excuse me. And we changed it to Midas International because it's mufflers, it's brakes, it's a lot of other things besides mufflers, and we are international. And we have to have that in our title; it reflects the kind of world we are in.
And I said, well, what makes you international? And they said, well, we opened a shop -- I think they said it was Hungary -- and we just opened another one in and they named a South American country. And I said, well, what happened? He said, well, when the Cold War ended, all the Eastern European countries got rid of the Ladas and the Yugos and all the other little things they had, and they started importing used Mercedes and Volvos and Volkswagens. And guess what a used Mercedes needs when it's about five years old? A muffler. (Laughter.)
And so they opened franchises in Eastern Europe. And so they did the same thing in the South American country, which suddenly started to see a little bit of wealth building up as they got rid of their general running the country, and they started to change out all the '57 Chevies to '62 Chevies. And guess what they needed? Mufflers and brakes.
And so I saw that everywhere I went: the internationalization of commerce. And I also saw it in some of my other corporate work and on the board of America Online and Gulfstream, where I could see how the world is being changed so fundamentally by the information and technology revolutions, with the ability to move data, capital, and knowledge around the world at the speed of light, with transaction costs being driven to zero. And so money can flow from Japan to China to Moscow and back to New York in a nanosecond. I saw it when I saw -- it helped me -- the first listing on the New York Stock Exchange by a Russian company was a cellular telephone company. Astonishing.
And so this world is changing so much. And I have got to make sure that the State Department is on top of it, and I have got to make sure I am pedaling as fast as the corporate world is pedaling, the non- profit world is pedaling, the advocacy world is pedaling. And I can only do that if I have the resources. And that's why I have asked for hundreds of millions of dollars to put information technology on the desk of every of State Department employee. That's why I have asked for more Foreign Service and Civil Service employees in order to staff our embassies and staff the Department. And that's why I need your help to make the case to our friends on the Hill, that this is not foreign aid going out the window; this is an investment into the future of the world, but more importantly, it is an investment in the future of America. This benefits the American people at the end of the day, whether it is an investment in our operating accounts to run the Department or an investment in USAID and the other accounts we have that invest in these societies that are looking to us for inspiration, looking to us for help.
So I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for the work that you have done in the past, the work that I know you will be doing in the future. It is work that will help us, help us take this value system out across the world, a value system that I think will benefit the nations of the world that truly want to be free and want to be part of this changing world. And they will be part of that changing world with our help. And those few nations, whether you want to choose to call them rogue regimes, states of concern, all are heading down a dead-end path at the end of the day. What we have to do is make sure we are making the proper investment in those nations that want to be part of a powerful, positive, changing world. And you are an essential part of the team that is going to make that happen, and I thank you.
Thank you. (Applause.)