Powell Interview By ZDF Television of Germany
State Dept. Interview By ZDF Television of Germany
Secretary Colin L. Powell Washington, DC January 29, 2003
QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, your presentation next week at the United Nations, is this the last effort to convince members of the Security Council that the use of force is inevitable?
SECRETARY POWELL: No. I think my presentation next week will be for the purpose of presenting to my colleagues in the Council more information, more intelligence, to back up what Dr. Blix has been saying about lack of performance on the part of the Iraqis in coming forward and disarming themselves.
We will also illustrate some of the things they have done to deceive the inspectors. We will also show information concerning the programs they have had over the years to develop chemical weapons, biological weapons and nuclear weapons and why it is so important that the world must insist that Saddam Hussein disarm, and that the inspectors are there to help him do that and to verify that he is doing it.
QUESTION: You are trying to convince your partners. Are you going to seek a resolution of the United Nations authorizing the use of force?
SECRETARY POWELL: Well, we haven't made a judgment yet as to what we will do at that point. I mean, this is just the beginning of a period of intense diplomatic activity.
We had the Blix report and the El Baradei report two days ago. The President gave his State of the Union address last night. The President will be consulting with his fellow heads of state and government over the next period of time. I'll make my presentation on the 5th of February. And then we'll make a judgment after this consultation as to what the next steps should be, whether it's another resolution before the UN or whether it is some other action that we might feel obliged to take.
The President, as always, is approaching this patiently. He is being very deliberative about it. He understands the consequences of going to war. But he also understands the consequences of not disarming Saddam Hussein.
It's still a wonderment to us why more people don't recognize that chemical weapons, chemical weapons that this person, Saddam Hussein, has used in the past are still in his possession; that he has been trying to develop biological weapons, and we think he has biological weapons. That's what the inspectors are asking for. Where is the anthrax? Where is the botulinum? And he has been trying to develop nuclear weapons.
And this is not just an American claim. The inspectors have put this claim before the world; not just these inspectors, the last group of inspectors. And so it seems to me the whole world should be outraged that an individual such as this continues to move in this direction, and the United Nations has said, "Stop. Stop. Stop. Stop," and he has not stopped.
And then finally we came together and passed a powerful resolution, 15-0. And that resolution said he is in breach of his obligations, two, we give him a chance to get out of breach, we give him a chance to disarm, and we'll let the inspectors help him. And three, if he doesn't disarm, if he continues to ignore the international community, then he has to face serious consequences. And if it wasn't for that third part, serious consequences, we wouldn't see anything going on now -- no inspectors would have gotten back in.
But we cannot let him use the presence of the inspectors as a way to deceive us again. He must face serious consequences if he does not disarm.
QUESTION: The policy of the German Government is contradictory to what you've just said and to the American position. Do you feel this is a difference of opinion among friends that happens, or is it more serious?
SECRETARY POWELL: It's a very strong difference of opinion between and among friends. Germany is a friend of the United States. As you may know, I began my military career in Germany. I've lived in Germany. I think I know Germany, and I have the warmest feelings toward Germany and the German people. But we have an honest disagreement on this issue. And Germany has taken a very strong position even before the UN Resolution 1441, before we even thought about what we should do to fix this, Germany had a strong position against the use of military force under any set of circumstances that they see out there right now.
I understand that position. We disagree with that position. We hope that in the days ahead as we discuss this issue in the Council that perhaps Germany, its leaders and the German people will look at this in a different light and understand that as difficult as war is, as unpleasant as war is -- something we want to avoid -- and I, more than anyone else do everything I can to avoid war, sometimes it's not possible when you're faced with the kind of evil represented by Saddam Hussein and the kind of evil weapons that he is trying to keep in his possession.
QUESTION: Thank you very much, Mr. Secretary.
SECRETARY POWELL: You re welcome, sir. [End]
Released on January 29, 2003