World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Marc Grossman IVs – Italy, Spain & Poland

Marc Grossman IVs – Italy, Spain & Poland

Interview by Maurizio Molinari of El Pais (Italian Newspaper)

Marc Grossman, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs

Washington, DC August 29, 2002

(10:00 a.m. EDT)

NEWS INTRODUCTION: If Colin Powell is America s number one diplomat then Marc Grossman is his right-hand man. They both work on the seventh floor of the State Department, in adjacent offices, not far from the Treaty Room, where ceremonies for the investiture of ambassadors are held. Grossman, in his fifties, slim build and prominent features, is the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs in Europe. The main issues on his agenda are the anti-terrorism coalition, Iraq and the ICC all important topics that make a difference in relations with the allies. Washington considers Italy a partner on each of these issues. One year after Sept. 11 and the start of the war against terrorism, Italy is one of the few allies with which America holds privileged relations.

QUESTION: What has changed in the last year, in terms of bilateral relations?

UNDERSECRETARY GROSSMAN: America is grateful to Italy and to the Italian people for the accomplishments of this past year in the war against terrorism. Italian actions and decisions within the Nato, on a bilateral level and in Afghanistan, have had determining effects. The decision of the U.S and Italy last Thursday to freeze numerous assets is only the latest joint effort. All of this has concretely shown Italy s solidarity following the Sept. 11 attacks. When the Twin Towers collapsed, the Italian people imagined it happening in Rome or Milan. We are united in the will to defeat terrorism."

QUESTION: Have September 11 and the war against terrorism diminished Europe s strategic importance for the United States?

UNDERSECRETARY GROSSMAN: "No, relations between Europe and the U.S. are more essential than ever. After September 11, our priorities are to protect ourselves, to protect our allies and friends and to fight terrorism. In all three cases, we need to consolidate our relations with Europe, at the NATO level, with the European Union and bilaterally with single countries, beginning with countries like Italy."

QUESTION: Why did you ask Italy to deploy 1000 additional soldiers in Afghanistan?

UNDERSECRETARY GROSSMAN: "Italy already has a high profile in Enduring Freedom with the Garibaldi and the 3,500 men deployed in the field. Italy is also a leader in recovery efforts, especially with respect to the judicial system. We have requested additional military forces, but it is up to Italy and to its people to decide. If you would like to do more in Afghanistan, we will be grateful."

QUESTION: The Europeans stood behind you in Afghanistan, but now they are perplexed by a possible military action against Saddam Hussein. How do you think you can change their minds?

UNDERSECRETARY GROSSMAN: "The perception that the U.S. has requests and demands for its allies is illusory. Our objective is that countries throughout the world recognize the threat that Iraq poses to the international system. At times the Iraq issue is depicted as a problem strictly between Washington and Baghdad, whereas the problem concerns Baghdad and the civilized world. I m certain that the Italians and the Europeans realize that Iraq has, for the last 11 years, consistently failed to respect the Security Council s Resolution 687 on disarmament and 688 on the rights of its citizens. It is our hope that talks with the other countries continue and that the world realize that Saddam is oppressing the Iraqi population.

QUESTION: When you say "talks," do you mean political consultations?

UNDERSECRETARY GROSSMAN: "Yes, certainly. On numerous occasions President Bush, who is a very patient man, has said that he would like to confer with his allies and friends, as well as with Congress. The President has not made a final decision on how to topple Saddam Hussein. He will listen to allies and he will particularly listen to Italy s opinion."

QUESTION: Is Europe s criticism causing you any difficulties?

UNDERSECRETARY GROSSMAN: "Our countries are democracies and this is certainly not a Politburo. It is not surprising that a debate on Iraq is underway both inside and outside the United States. The more people examine the facts and bear in mind who Saddam is, the more they will support our position which calls for a regime change."

QUESTION: Do you hope to keep the anti-terrorism coalition together to topple Saddam as well?

UNDERSECRETARY GROSSMAN: "If you re asking me if we expect countries that are strongly working together against terrorism to continue to do so, then my answer is yes. The term coalition against terrorism is a diplomatic and journalistic expression, and doesn t consist in people meeting in a room in Geneva, but rather in countries united by a common cause the defeat of terrorism. Since September 11, 90 States have arrested 2400 terrorists and confiscated $130 million in assets worldwide. I think this coalition will remain united in the future, too. The war will be long and hard. Perhaps the Italians know better than anyone else because they successfully have fought terrorism for many years."

QUESTION: Will Bush use the good rapport he has with Berlusconi to make a breach in European dissent?

UNDERSECRETARY GROSSMAN: "The Italian government will draw its own conclusions and then make them known. America will do its best to make it clear that Iraq is everyone s problem. For example, let s take the threat of missiles, especially if armed with weapons of mass destruction. If one day Iraq should launch a missile, Italy would be halfway between Iraq and the U.S. I hope everyone realizes just how dangerous a threat this is."

QUESTION: Washington has also requested that European nations sign bilateral agreements exempting American citizens in their territories from the ICC s jurisdiction. What was their answer?

UNDERSECRETARY GROSSMAN: "I would say that it has been positive so far. I ve spoken with various ministers and our legal experts have contacted the counterparts. We respect the decision of other countries to adhere to the International Criminal Court. We are not asking anyone to change their idea and in no way do we want to jeopardize the Court s work. But we would like to be respected for our decision not to adhere. Article 98 of the Treaty establishes the possibility to sign these agreements and we are looking to resolve the issue on that basis. We have accepted the allies request to find a solution within the Treaty."

QUESTION: The European Commission, however, accuses you of wanting to delegitimize the Court. How do you respond to Brussels?

UNDERSECRETARY GROSSMAN: "We do not accept this position. Our jurists and those of the other nations retain that Article 98, contained in the Treaty, cannot be considered a violation of the Treaty itself."

QUESTION: Why do you want to sign the bilateral agreement?

UNDERSECRETARY GROSSMAN: "We believe that the ICC lacks any kind of control, which is much different from the judicial systems in our countries. This Court risks politicization, it risks raising unjustified cases, it risks putting the United States on the defendant s bench. We are great supporters of international tribunals to punish crimes against humanity, as those established in Rwanda and ex-Yugoslavia. But a Tribunal must be created by the Security Council, so that it can be held accountable."

QUESTION: The Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security, John Bolton, came to Rome in August to ask for Italy s signature and Prime Minister Berlusconi in Denmark showed his willingness to do so. Do you feel Rome will sign?

UNDERSECRETARY GROSSMAN: "Italy will have to decide. We asked all countries, on the same day, to sign."

QUESTION: One of the reasons the United States refused to adhere to the Court was for fear of legal actions against U.S military operating abroad. If the European Union should refuse to sign the agreement, would you withdraw your troops from Europe?

UNDERSECRETARY GROSSMAN: "Let s not speculate. I m sure that once European countries will have read our proposal they will sign it because they will have understood that we respect the Treaty and that we are not delegitimizing it."

QUESTION: The fact remains that all EU leaders have two requests on their desks, one from Powell and the other from Brussels, asking them to consider two opposite positions. Are you asking the Fifteen to choose between the EU and the US?

UNDERSECRETARY GROSSMAN: "The United States is not part of the European Union. Everyone must stand behind their priorities. We feel that it is necessary to sign agreements. Each country will make its own choice. We feel that an objective analysis of article 98 will bring people around to our way of thinking. If we would have said sign, but not on the basis of the Treaty, that would have been hard to accept. Let s not make this into a crisis, a solution is at hand."

[End]

Released on September 11, 2002

*******

Interview by Enric Gonzalez of El Pais (Spanish newspaper)

Marc Grossman, Under Secretary For Political Affairs

Washington, DC August 29, 2002

(9:45 a.m. EDT)

QUESTION: After September 11, the US managed to create a coalition which was fragile but somehow workable. Who's clearly not cooperating with the coalition, with the war on terror? What countries are not cooperating with the US one year after September the 11th?

UNDERSECRETARY GROSSMAN: When you say that a coalition was created, I don't think that a coalition got established in the diplomatic sense. The coalition which was established was one of people horrified by what happened on the 11th of September. Ninety countries lost citizens on the 11th of September, and so I think the world gathered together to say no to terrorism.

And this is not a coalition that has meetings and issues communiqués or gets together in Geneva. It is a coalition of countries that say, "We have to do something about terrorism." When you look at the countries, 90 in all now, that have arrested terrorists, almost 2,500 terrorists, $135 million dollars worth of terrorist financing has been taken out of the international system thanks to UN Security Council Resolution 1373 and other efforts between countries like Spain and the United States, these are things that countries are doing all together. And so I think it's been extremely successful. Is every single country doing everything they can? No. And we have tried over this past year, as have other countries, to make sure that everyone is doing all the things that they can.

QUESTION: But the New York Times reports today that -- I think the New York Times -- that the UN is preparing a report and that the financial side of the war on terrorism is not working as well as was thought.

UNDERSECRETARY GROSSMAN: I would make a couple of points. One is, I think that everybody -- Spanish people, Americans -- have to recognize the enormity of this problem; that there is money flowing all around, and without money, there really can be no terrorism. So when the Security Council voted for UN Security Council Resolution 1373 last year and countries like Spain did so much to support it, the success so far, I think, has been quite great. $135 million dollars is not a small amount of money.

What The Washington Post reported on this morning was a draft report. So we'll have to see what the draft is. But I think your readers and you would recognize that, is that once the resolution was passed and once the huge amounts of money were taken in, this was clearly going to get harder because the terrorists were going to get smarter and the pursuit would get more difficult.

So if you were to ask me, "Do you think it's harder today to get at terrorist finances than on the 13th of September," I would say sure, because terrorists are not stupid people. And so they are making it harder for all of us to do what we need to do in law enforcement and in tracking down this money. But we're going to keep at this. And countries like Spain are going to be increasingly important.

QUESTION: Concerning the role of the US fight against terrorism, the US has been criticized as unilateralist with imperialist tendencies and so on by the European allies and other countries. What can you say about that?

UNDERSECRETARY GROSSMAN: First let me try to deal with this question of imperialism. I reject that charge, with all due respect. I do not believe that the United States, certainly in its history, and certainly since the 11th of September has moved -- has gone about the issues of terrorism in any imperialistic way whatsoever. Indeed, if you look at what President Bush has done in terms of organizing the world to fight against terrorism, he said this isn't just a military issue, it's an issue of bringing the whole world together to recognize that we have to do differently.

I would refer you and your readers to what President Bush said in Monterrey, Mexico earlier this year, opening the Millennium Challenge Account. I think nothing could be farther from an imperialistic vision than the President's speech in Monterrey talking about good governance, talking about increased assistance, talking about more democracy. And so I think the imperialist charge is an old-fashioned one. It doesn't fit with today's reality.

On the question of unilateralism and multilateralism -- again, this is just my perspective and you and your readers will have to come to their own conclusions -- I think the actions of the United States since the 11th of September have been multilateral. What was one of the very first things that we did? We sought help from our NATO allies, including Spain. That's a multilateral organization. We sought help from the United Nations, and the United Nations very strongly came out against terrorism in a number of very important resolutions. That's a multilateral organization.

Secretary Powell, on the 11th of September, was sitting in Lima, Peru at a meeting of the Organization of American States, a multilateral organization. So I think we have tried our very best to use all of these multilateral organizations.

I will give you another example that Spain is involved in. I believe that on counterterrorism and many other issues, relations between the European Union and the United States have increased vastly. Think of the new cooperation in, among interior ministers, justice ministers, law enforcement, the way that the European Union is listing countries and individuals as terrorists, along with the United States. These are multilateral efforts.

I think the idea somehow that the United States has gone unilateralist is not right. I would also argue to you that that isn't right in terms of the military action we took in Afghanistan. All NATO members have participated in some fashion in Operation Enduring Freedom. Fourteen of 19 allies actually have forces deployed in or around Afghanistan.

If you look at the composition of the international security force in Afghanistan, what could be more multilateral? It's headed by Turks, there are large numbers of countries involved in it, and so I think all of these areas show that we're very interested in doing this work together. So with all due respect to your question, I don't think either premise is right.

QUESTION: Sir, why do you need to meet, I think it's next week, to talk about or to try to or guess why there's an anti-American feeling in certain parts of the world, and what's your idea about that? Why is that feeling, that anti-America feeling --

UNDERSECRETARY GROSSMAN: I can't explain it. I mean, I have my theories about this, but I know the meeting next week is a sensible meeting and one designed to help us listen to other points of view. We are a country that lives in this world, wants to live in this world, shares values with many, many people in this world, including, I would argue, with the Spanish people. If there's a misperception of us somehow, then we ought to know that. And maybe there's something we can do about it.

So I think this conference that's being hosted by our -- by the State Department, actually, is a perfectly sensible thing to do. And, you know, people have talked to us a lot about doing a better job and telling our story, and so that's what we're going to try to do.

QUESTION: Iraq is being presented as a terror problem -- Vice President Cheney, I think it was, that terrorism was not only a problem of groups, but countries. And Iraq is causing serious differences between the US and the allies. And the Department of State is presented as closer to the allies than other parts of the US Government. Is there any kind of difference? Are there differences between the State Department and other departments?

UNDERSECRETARY GROSSMAN: Our job and the job of everyone in our government is to support President Bush's policy. President Bush's policy, as he has said on any number of occasions, is that the Iraqi people and the world will be better off when Saddam Hussein is no longer in charge of Baghdad. That's the President's policy and everyone supports it. I think as Mr. Boucher said yesterday from the podium let's not forget that Secretary Powell called for regime change early in his tenure as Secretary of State.

We support the President. That is our job and we're proud to do so. Is there a debate in the United States and in Western Europe, and I'm sure in Spain as well, about what to do about Iraq and Saddam Hussein? Of course there is. And one of the great things about our country, about Spain and the United States, is we're democracies. I think it would be much more difficult if you were asking me why no one ever talks about Iraq, why no one ever talks about the options, because I think that in a democracy, if you're going to have a foreign policy and you're going to have any kind of policy, that policy ought to be debated and it ought to be supported by people.

So this causes me really no anxiety whatsoever. These are important issues and people ought to talk about them. I'm sure people are talking about them in Spain.

If I could just make one additional point, I want to reiterate the point that President Bush has made and Vice President Cheney made in his speech, that the President has not decided his course of action, and in our country he's the only one who can make such a decision. He was elected President. So I would just refer you and your readers to the very clear statement of the President that he wants to consult with the allies, he wants to consult with his friends, he wants to consult with the Congress, and he's not made a decision yet about what particular plan of action he wishes to take.

QUESTION: Do you ever think that sometimes the US administration is sending, like, mixed signals to the allies when Vice President Cheney says there's no time to lose, President Bush says I'm a patient man, and so you never know if war is for next month

or --

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: I think that part of the answer to that question, as President Bush said with Secretary Rumsfeld the other day, is that maybe because this is August there's just been a frenzy of press reporting on this. And, you know, that's life. That's life in democracies.

What we are trying to transmit to our allies, though, is a sense of the threat from Saddam Hussein. Again, I would refer you to the Vice President's speech and Secretary Powell's remarks and others' remarks. There haven't been weapons inspectors in Iraq in four years.

When you ask me whether we are a unilateralist country, I say to you this is not a problem between Iraq and the United States. Iraq agreed in 1991 to UN Security Council Resolution 687 and 688. In 687 -- not to the United States, to the United Nations -- Saddam Hussein said he would disarm. I don't think there's anybody in the world who believes that Saddam Hussein has disarmed these past 11 years. And so that's not just a matter of Iraq-US. That ought to be a matter for all of our allies, European and others, to say wait a minute, here's somebody who looks at a UN resolution and just decides he doesn't care about it.

So these are not unilateral questions. These are multilateral questions. These are questions that Saddam Hussein poses a threat, in our view, not to the United States alone, but to the international system. The disarmament of Iraq, how Iraq treats its own people, all of these things are not issues for the United States; they're issues for Spain and for all members of the United Nations and for the United States. That's the message we're trying to convey to our European friends.

QUESTION: Then related to this question, do you think that, in any case, the US and the allies will need another resolution of the UN, or the present resolutions that have been approved are enough to justify any course of action?

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: Well, I have to go back. Our President has not chosen a course of action. That's a very important point. I think Resolution 687 and 688 are very powerful documents. Other than that, I can't speculate because I can't meet the premise of your question since our President has not decided on a course of action. When he does, we'll then make some decisions about the tactics. But I think it's important for your readers to recognize that 687 and 688 are living documents. They're powerful documents.

QUESTION: Okay. Thank you very much.

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: Thank you very much.

[End]

Released on September 11, 2002

*******

Interview by Krzystof Darewicz of Rzeczpiospolita (Polish Newspaper)

Marc Grossman, Under Secretary for Political Affairs

Washington, DC August 29, 2002

(12:30 p.m. EDT)

MR. DAREWICZ: We've been told so many times since September 11 last year about how America has changed and how the world has changed. So what do you see these changes? I mean where? What are the most substantial, if any, in your opinion? I mean international politics, diplomacy of course.

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: First of all, thank you very much for this opportunity, and before I answer any specific questions let me just say how much we appreciate all of the support and the solidarity that Poland has showed to the United States and to the international community since last September 11th. I think it's a very important thing and I want to be very clear that this is something we noticed and we care about and we won't forget. So I thank you and through you, your readers for this.

When you asked me what's changed since the 11th of September of last year, what I answer is that there is a commitment around the world to ending terrorism, to ending excuses for terrorism, to ending the financing of terrorism, to ending people who used to support terrorism with their weapons and look the other way. And I believe that those things have changed. And when you see what work has been done in the United Nations, what work has been done in NATO, what work has been done bilaterally, for example, between the United States and Poland, you can see that commitment. I would say that your President was a great leader in that by calling the conference together against terrorism in November of last year. Think how soon that was. There's a commitment all around the world to doing something about this problem.

And this has reminded me of the importance of our fundamental security institutions like NATO. Poland is a new NATO member, and I would imagine that in 1999 when people, when Poland joined, other than Kosovo people said, "Well, what's this alliance going to be for? Is it going to be a very interesting thing to be in the future?" What NATO has done since the 11th of September, invoking Article 5, working together for AWACS here in the United States, the deployment of Polish forces to Bagram Air Base are very important things. So I believe people are unified around the world -- and it has reminded me of our fundamental values and our fundamental security institutions.

MR. DAREWICZ: Well, unfortunately, that was the only nice question I was going to ask.

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: Well bring on the rest of them, then.

MR. DAREWICZ: Speaking of united people and so on, and of changes, if you are in Europe you read the European press, you listen to European politicians, you don't have an impression we are so united and the change is of such, there is such a positive change. On the contrary, you know? It seems like over last year the gap between European and American politics, especially concerning some international or even war on terrorism is growing. So how do you address this issue, you know, Europeans criticizing America almost everyday about almost everything? Are you worried?

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: I think it's important to recognize that the US-European relationship is not the Politburo. These are democratic countries. Poland is a democratic country. Germany is a democratic country, as America is a democratic country. I would be worried if there was no debate and no conversation and that the charge to us was that somehow one or the other side of the Atlantic was dictating to the other. And so you pick your problem here. I would much rather have a problem of democracy, where people have a voice, people participate, people have their say.

These are hard problems. Terrorism is a very difficult problem. What to do about Iraq is not an easy issue.

How to organize ourselves economically in the future, these are not easy issues. So if there's a debate about this, it seems to me not surprising at all. I would say, though, that sometimes this debate obscures the fundamentals. Is NATO stronger than ever? Yes, I believe it is. Is the US-European relationship, when in comes to counterterrorism, strong? I believe it is. If you compare this year to last year, what we're doing together with the European Union, for example, in terms of interior ministries, justice ministries, law enforcement cooperation, counterterrorism -- these connections are as close and as tight as they have ever been. And if you look at the press day after day after day, we're doing things with our European allies in the counterterrorism area.

I think the same thing in the United Nations. If you look at what the United Nations has accomplished this past year in the areas of terrorist financing, for example, these are things that were, in a way, unthinkable before.

MR. DAREWICZ: So you don't have the feeling that there is kind of disappointment in Europe with American diplomacy of last year?

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: We run our own diplomacy and Europeans run their diplomacy. That s not to say there haven t been some disagreements over Kyoto or the International Criminal Court. If Europeans are disappointed that we did not join the International Criminal Court, for example, there's really nothing I can do about that except explain to you our position on the International Criminal Court. If Europeans are disappointed that we are not signatories to Kyoto, we have our policy on Kyoto and we don't believe that we ought to participate in that. So when you say, "Are people disappointed?" -- people may be disappointed on some issues, but, again, when you look at the fundamentals, are people disappointed about NATO? No. Are people disappointed about the European Union and the United States? I don't think so. Are people disappointed about the work we've been doing against terrorism in the United Nations? No. Bilaterally between Poland and the United States? I don't think so.

MR. DAREWICZ: Again, in the context of 9/11, Afghanistan. I read American newspapers everyday. I never saw anything like victory, we won -- what about this? I mean there was a war. Usama is still somewhere, obviously alive. Afghan, new Afghan regime, you know, is protected by the United States -- is going to be now protected by the State Department, feeling obviously very unsafe. Was it a victorious war, I mean? How do you address this? I mean, because, you know, according to every textbook, there is a war and there is a victory or you are defeated. And here we are in a state of God knows what.

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: As President Bush said in his address to the American people last year, and as we have said consistently, and as I'm sure was one of the outcomes of your President's conference last November, this war on terrorism is not going to be over for a very, very long time.

MR. DAREWICZ: Yeah, but I'm speaking about Afghanistan.

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: And so am I. Don't forget, the reason that we went into Afghanistan together with our friends and allies is that Afghanistan was being used as a base for terror attacks on the United States and its friends and its allies. Our objective in going to Afghanistan was to make sure that Afghanistan could never again be used as a base for attacks against America, its friends and its allies. Al-Qaida is smashed to bits and is spread all over the place. The Taliban is gone. It is no longer the government in Afghanistan. But is the fight over there? No, it is not. And I think anyone who would stand up today and say "victory," or "complete," or "finished," I think would be fooling themselves.

There's still a lot of security to be brought to Afghanistan. There are still al-Qaida forces working in Afghanistan, Taliban forces working in Afghanistan, and as you rightly point out, there's a big job to do for the international community to rebuild this country so that it doesn't again become a base for terrorism. It is part of a long-term and very difficult effort against terrorism.

The civilized world is going to have to unite -- Poland, the United States, other countries -- against terrorism. This isn't going to be over tomorrow or the next day. There was a wonderful quotation last September or October where Secretary Rumsfeld says that the war on terrorism wouldn't begin with a declaration of war, and more importantly, wouldn't end with a signing ceremony on the battleship Missouri. And I believe that to be true.

MR. DAREWICZ: Yeah, but I hope you understand why I'm asking this question, because let's say most of, many Europeans' perception that war in Afghanistan is still unfinished business and still we are talking already about Iraq. And you know what are Europeans saying -- Germans, Britons, Poland -- fortunately, Poles, they I think, most would still offer, you know, support. But you know how skeptical are Germans. Latest polls -- Britons -- how do you feel about it -- that the closest allies of United States has so many reservations?

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: Let's stick with Afghanistan for a moment. That Europeans feel that Afghanistan is unfinished business is absolutely correct. There is unfinished business there for the United States and there's military unfinished business there, and there's also reconstruction and humanitarian unfinished business there. The Germans, for example, are trying to reinvigorate Afghanistan's police forces. The Italians are trying to reinvigorate the justice system. You have troops at Bagram Air Base to provide stability in Afghanistan. There is a huge job to do there. But the world does not work in such a way that you finish this before you do something else. The world is more complicated than that. One of the great things I think about a big democracy like Poland or the United States is that we can do more than one thing at one time. And that's what we're doing.

We are very focused on Afghanistan, but we're also focused on the global war on terror. And if you lead me to the question of Iraq my answer to your question is, again, we live in democratic countries. The people can debate how this goes forward.

What we would hope to do is continue to try to convince people in Europe that Saddam Hussein is a threat to the international community. One of the challenges in this conversation is that people tend to think of it as a debate between Iraq and America. It's only between Iraq and the United States. But it is a challenge between Iraq and the international community.

Iraq signed up to United Nations Security Council Resolution 687 and 688 11 years ago. 687 calls for Iraq to be disarmed. No one would accept that Iraq is disarmed. It's not. 688 talks about Iraq treating properly its own people. No one would believe that Iraq treats its own people decently. This is not a challenge to America, alone. It is a challenge to the entire international community. I think our European friends and our friends around the world, as they think through this, will recognize that this isn't only about the United States.

(End Side A question on Iraq not recorded.)

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: -- and in Europe the best policy to make Saddam meet his obligations to the international community. President Bush has said the world would be better off without Saddam Hussein. We believe that because he doesn't live up to his obligations. But our President has said repeatedly that he has not decided for the United States what policy we ought to pursue. He's said he's a patient man, he wants to consult to his friends, he wants to consult his allies, he wants to consult the Congress -- so this debate is on. It's a matter of information, perception, strategic thinking and conversation.

Again, I go back to my very first answer to you, which is that we have the privilege, all of us, of living in an alliance of democracies. And no policy, no foreign policy, no domestic policy is a good policy in a democracy unless it's supported by the people and debated, because that's how it has to be.

MR. DAREWICZ: Okay. Aren't you disappointed with Europeans' attitude -- that they are so openly saying, "No, we don't want this military invasion. We want proof. We want a case. We want evidence."

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: I think everybody wants a case. Everybody wants evidence. That's what we've been trying to put out. That's what the Vice President was doing day-before-yesterday in speaking in Tennessee. The challenge here, in writing about this is there is no proposition on the table for a military action. Because our President has, as he has said on a number of occasions, not made that decision yet for the United States. So I'm not so concerned about it in the sense that there's no proposition out there. And we'll see. If, if, if the President were to ever decide on a military proposition, then we'll see what happens. If he decides to do something else, we'll see what happens. But that is his decision and then, obviously here in the United States we will support it, and then we'll see how the rest of the world reacts.

MR. DAREWICZ: Two more minutes? Russia and NATO, you know, suppose it's crucial. So let me ask the last question. There is going to be NATO summit, enlargment -- obviously, you're not going to tell me which but how many countries will be admitted? All of them?

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: I won't tell you how many. But very importantly, for your -- especially for Poland -- our policy is set by President Bush's speech in Warsaw last year. What did he say? He said we should go for as robust an enlargement as possible. The important line in his speech was that we shouldn't try to find out how little we can do, we should find out how much we can do. And so we are following our President's lead in that.

In Prague I hope three things will come. First, I hope there will be new capabilities for NATO so that when we fight these terrorism questions, we fight weapons of mass destruction, that we can do more in terms of NATO military. Second, I hope there will be a robust round of expansion, and you're right, I can't tell you what countries because our President hasn't made that decision yet. And third, very importantly as you say, is a new relationship between Russia and NATO. And I think the new partnership that has been, the new NATO-Russia Council that's been established, the NATO summit that was held in Rome earlier this year and what we're going to do there will show the world that there's a new way of doing business between Russia and NATO. And that's not to dilute NATO and it's not to give Russia a veto power over NATO. It's not a back door to Russian membership in NATO, but we think there's a new way that NATO and Russia can do business and that's a good thing.

MR. DAREWICZ: If you could address some kind of worries, of people like Poles, for example, that perhaps by the enlargement of NATO the alliance would be kind of not stranded by kind of diluted -- that instead of focusing on very particular aims, having used to be, you know, the so called common security or so -- is a lack of, lack of particular aim actually. And so again, whether it's -- NATO is going to be stranded or maybe weakened. If you could address, because people, they do really worry.

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: The NATO alliance started out as an alliance of 12. It's now an alliance of 19 including Poland. I think it's stronger today.

The strategic concept of NATO was revised in 1999 at the first summit that Poland attended as a new member. It said that our threats now come from weapons of mass destruction, from terrorism, from ethnic conflict. So I think that the people who have led this alliance over the past few years, from the strategic concept of 1991 to the strategic concept of 1999, have seen quite clearly what new threats are.

I think the fact that the alliance recognized those threats in 1999 and then acted on them in 2001, who knew it would be an attack on the United States, but acted to invoke Article 5 in 2001 was a very powerful statement about this alliance, and I think Poland and the Polish people joined a going concern. I don't think they joined anything that is going to diminish and --

MR. DAREWICZ: Well you know what Poles are worried most, you know, that the closer NATO and Russia are, then there is this very question about whether we would need NATO.

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: But Poland joined NATO to be part of a community of values. Poland joined NATO for defense. Poland joined NATO to be part of a collective security arrangement. And all of that remains true. I don't think NATO needs to go looking for enemies. We've got one as defined by the 1999 strategic concept -- the spread of weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, instability --

MR. DAREWICZ: We're not talking about enemies, we are talking about some kind of lines. We would like to see them clear, you know. People are not very sure, you know, what's going to come out of this.

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: Poland as a NATO ally, agreed to the NATO Russia Council. I believe the NATO Russia Council will turn out to be a very positive thing for NATO and a positive thing for Russia. Thank you.

[End]

Released on September 11, 2002


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>

ALSO:

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news