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Marc Grossman Interview by European Journalists


Interview by European Journalists

Marc Grossman, Under Secretary for Political Affairs

Washington, DC January 31, 2003

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: I don't know if you know, but today at the State Department is Ground Hog job shadow day. So we have high school students from all over with us.

INTERVIEWER: I was just wondering, they're really young.

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: No, we have high school students from all over the Washington area with us today and Ben's been involved in every one of my meetings today and I've invited him to come here as well.

We're hoping he'll be interested in foreign affairs and maybe someday join the State Department. So that's Ben and Ben these are all the nice people from Europe.

INTERVIEWER: I wonder about if we want to ask you a specific question off the record we can do that and say that it's off the record? It is a difficult question.

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: You actually let me decide that. Okay? You just ask and I'll decide.

INTERVIEWER: Okay.

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: Okay? What I thought the best thing to do -- You all have heard what we have had to say. Why don't we just go right to questions.

I have no particular opening statement. However you'd like to do this in whatever rotation I'd be glad to try to answer your questions.

INTERVIEWER: Okay. Did you know about -- Were you aware here at the State Department in any way that eight European countries were coming up with a now famous letter.

Two, regarding the letter, what does it mean for you guys. It's all very nice words, but except Britain most of the countries represented in that list can only offer you some emotional support if you want.

Three, is this the first step towards a second resolution which is what's going to be sort of face-saving for all these leaders who have the public opinion against them.

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: To answer all those questions, first, no, did not know in advance about the text of the letter that appeared in the Wall Street Journal, although I believe we heard about it the evening before.

INTERVIEWER: It appeared in nine newspapers, actually. Not only the Wall Street Journal.

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: Oh, well I read it in the Wall Street Journal. We had heard the day before that people were working on such a letter, but we had, as far as I know, not seen a text and we're obviously pleased to read it and interested to read it in the press.

Second, when you say these are just nice words, with all respect, I think words matter in this regard. Words matter because they reflect what leaders and countries are feeling. The idea that such a letter was printed is important in itself.

I also believe that countries -- and each country will have to decide for itself -- that countries are prepared to give us more than rhetorical support.

I don't know if you saw yesterday, Ambassador Armitage testified for some hours up at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and he talked about the 21 countries that had given us access, 19 countries that have given us basing rights, 23 countries that have given us overflight rights, and 11 countries in various stages talking to us actually about combat forces.

So, I believe that the statement of the eight countries, and it is their business what they say, does matter, not just in words, but also in terms of tangible support.

I'd say one other thing. It also is extremely important when it's read in Baghdad, because all of us, every single country that's represented here and certainly my country, we want to solve this problem peacefully.

I believe the way to solve it peacefully is for Saddam Hussein to believe that we are prepared to enforce Resolution 1441. So, in whatever newspaper Saddam Hussein probably read this and said, `Oh, my goodness, it isn't just America. There are a lot of people out there who are interested in having me comply.'

So, for all those reasons, I think it's more than maybe you'd put it as your headline, and third, I don't think really it has anything to do with whether there will or will not be a second resolution.

I certainly recognize the point you made in your question that it would be good for lots of other countries to have one.

INTERVIEWER: I mean, they need it.

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: I recognize that.

INTERVIEWER: More than --

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: No, I recognize that. Our President hasn't decided what he wishes to do in that regard, only to repeat, since we're here all together, that it's our view that U.N. Security Council Resolution 1441, coming at the end of 12 years of trying to get Saddam Hussein to comply, is all the authorization that we need.

Sir?

INTERVIEWER: Yes, this is your least favorite question of the day. The timetable for the near future. The President suggested today that we're talking weeks, not months.

What do you see as a scenario for the near future? What will happen?

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: Well, I see it exactly the same way that the President sees it, which is that after 12 years of working on this problem, or as I thought as Jack Straw very accurately put it the other day, 600 weeks of waiting for Saddam Hussein to comply with Resolution 687, that we are in a matter now of weeks, not months.

INTERVIEWER: You don't have any scenarios what will happen if Iraq does that and it goes for the -- I mean, kind of --

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: No, the most important part right now is we are all, every one of us, in our own way, attempting to help Secretary Powell make the best case that he possibly can on Wednesday at the Security Council.

That, to us, is the next big event here. So when you think about -- when you talk about scenarios, we are working our hearts out to make sure that he's got the best possible presentation for people to listen to on Wednesday, and then after Wednesday we'll see what happens.

INTERVIEWER: May I?

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: Please.

INTERVIEWER: It's almost proverbial now. Old Europe of Secretary Donald Rumsfeld raised a lot of brows in Europe. Some interpreting it as an attempt to isolate Germany and France, or even to attempt to apply the "divide and rule" tactics.

Some, of course, were very satisfied because Secretary Rumsfeld indicated that the center of gravity in Europe is moving to the east, and I want to ask you whether you agree with this statement, that the center of Europe --

Well, what do you think of all the new Europe? Do you agree with this idea?

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: Well, I think obviously the Secretary of Defense was trying to make a very important point, not so much about age, but about activity and that we hope -- and I know many Europeans hope -- that the future construction of Europe will be a Europe that is active on the world stage; that is in a transatlantic relationship with the United States that produces results.

To do that, Europeans have to come to their own sense of themselves; what do we want? How are we Europeans? I don't think it's an age construct so much as which countries in Europe are prepared to act, either collectively as part of the European Union, with the United States of America, and that's going to be the big issue, it seems to me, in the future.

So I think it's extremely interesting, the reaction that Secretary Rumsfeld's comments have received because the reaction shows me that he's opened a door to some interesting thinking, both here, but most especially in Europe.

Part of, of course, what's happening in Europe at the moment is that Europeans themselves are trying to come to a conception of who they want to be and what kind of Europe they want.

That's the interesting thing about former President Giscard d'Estaing's work. What kind of Europe comes out? This is a Europe that's on a great experiment and is doing remarkable things.

People are giving up their currency. People are giving up part of their sovereignty in military and security areas. So, Europeans, I think, need to have a very long self conversation about what Europe is all about and how Europe will take action around the world.

We hope that will be as part of a strong transatlantic relationship. Sir?

INTERVIEWER: My question, as you know, Greece holds the Presidency of the European Union, and it seems to me that the U.S. on the issue of Iraq doesn't deal with the E.U. as an institution; it deals more with individual countries.

Do you foresee in the near future and the crucial month of February any direct dealing with the E.U. Presidency that happens to be Greece right now on the issue?

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: With respect, I think we have conversation and dealings with anybody who will talk to us on this subject. Certainly we're talking to countries bilaterally, but Secretary Powell's been on the phone on a number of occasions with Foreign Minister Papandreou.

We know that our governments have been in contact, both your ambassador here and our ambassador in Athens. Whomever holds the European Union Presidency country at the time is directly closely in touch with the United States, and I would say that that certainly applies to the issue of Iraq.

So with respect, I can't accept the premise of your question.

INTERVIEWER: Well, there are some people in -- there is some discussion in Greece regarding the Presidency and they say that why we don't have some kind of initiative to have discussions probably here between the administration and the E.U. through the Presidency, some kind of consultations on Iraq and everything.

It's something that has to come from the E.U., from the --

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: Yes -- that's for the European Union to decide; that's not for me to decide. I mean, whenever George Papandreou has placed a call to the Secretary of State, I know he gets his call returned right away.

Any time representatives of the European Union wish to speak to us about any subject we are always open to do that, whether it's Iraq or anything else.

INTERVIEWER: So -- sorry for taking more time --

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: Please.

INTERVIEWER: But the administration is ready if Greece as in E.U. Presidency takes an initiative and asks to come here for consultations with the administration?

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: Well, I mean, we have to see. We have no such request.

INTERVIEWER: No, no.

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: If a request were to come?

INTERVIEWER: Yes.

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: Then we would consider it. Of course we would.

INTERVIEWER: Consider it or you would be happy to do it?

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: Well, I'm not the boss. I'm not the President or the Secretary of State, so I --

INTERVIEWER: In your opinion?

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: No, I like my job, I'd like to keep my job, so my answer to you is if the Presidency country, either the Prime Minister or the Foreign Minister were to make such a proposition, I know that we would consider it seriously.

INTERVIEWER: Okay. I have a difficult question right now on this.

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: Please

INTERVIEWER: You said that you will consider it. There is a pending request by the Foreign Minister of Greece for an E.U./U.S. ministerial at the end of February, and there is no answer from the U.S. on that.

There is a pending, and in connection with this question, does this issue has anything to do with the announcement by the Foreign Minister of Greece that he will travel to Middle East and North Korea for an E.U. initiative?

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: No. I believe this has to do wholly and solely with the Secretary's schedule.

INTERVIEWER: Mr. Grossman, remember that your words will be important for the public, which has nothing to do with the leaders in those other countries that we are talking about.

The main problem with the European public opinion is that they see you guys as changing your mind. You started off about disarming Iraq, and now it's clear you want the guy out of there, right?

Is that right? First, it was only disarmament, and now it's regime change?

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: No, I think that's --

INTERVIEWER: And even exile, because President Bush said, if he leaves we're happy.

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: No, I think you've got the sequence wrong here. First of all, I answered the question that words matter in response to a question from you where you said, oh, these eight people who signed this letter, these are just words.

My answer to that question is words matter.

INTERVIEWER: Yes.

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: They do. Words matter. I think we have to step back here two or three years. The policy of the Clinton administration and the policy of the United States Congress starting was for a regime change.

The Iraq Liberation Act was passed by a Congress during the Clinton administration. So it was Clinton administration policy and the policy of our Congress that Iraqis would be better off with a different regime.

President Bush came to power saying that he supported that policy and we've been very active in supporting that policy. So the policy that Iraqis would be better off if Saddam Hussein was not their leader is a policy of two administrations now and Congress.

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: On the 12th of September, when the President spoke to the United Nations, he chose to speak about weapons of mass destruction, human rights violations and the way Iraq has dealt with its neighbors.

He then chose, further, to put forward a U.N. Security Council Resolution, which turns out to be 1441, which focuses on weapons of mass destruction, and that -- after eight weeks of negotiation -- that resolution is passed 15 to nothing, and that's what that resolution speaks to.

I believe it is possible for me and for all of you to hold both thoughts in our minds, that while Resolution 1441 speaks to Saddam Hussein's obligations under disarmament and weapons of mass destruction, that we can still hold to the policy, and still do hold to the policy, that Iraqis would be better off if Saddam Hussein was not their leader.

I don't think they're contradictory. I don't think they put us in a more difficult position. Final point of your question, exile. Secretary Powell, Secretary Rumsfeld, the President of the United States have said if somebody could arrange the exile of Saddam Hussein --

INTERVIEWER: Please do.

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: -- that'd be fine with us, but we're not involved in any such effort. I have no idea whether such an effort has a likelihood of success, but certainly, if that's how it turns out, our leadership has said that that'd be all right.

So, I don't think we've changed here. What we've done is we've said this guy has obligations that he hasn't met in 12 years to disarm, to his own people and to his neighbors.

INTERVIEWER: It's very interesting, because -- and I think it's me now asking if we're off the record.

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: Please.

INTERVIEWER: President Clinton was in Davos last weekend as you might know and he was the one who was off the record saying that the main problem with the European allies is that they saw themselves has having been taken with good faith into a resolution that talked about disarmament to find out that the goal of President Bush is to get rid of Saddam Hussein with or without the support of their allies.

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: I can't speak to anybody who's spoken off the record. 1441 passed 15 to nothing. President Bush has spoken both on the 12th of September and then some days later in Cincinnati about exactly this subject, and it's worthwhile to go back and read that speech again.

If Saddam Hussein disarms and meets the obligations of 1441, our President has said on a number of occasions then the regime would change. It wouldn't be the same regime.

But if there has to be military action because Saddam Hussein does not meet his obligations under 1441, then the regime will change. We're not going to go there militarily and end up with the same regime.

INTERVIEWER: For the second time.

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: But that's why we've said again and again that it is his last chance to meet his obligations under 1441, and I believe if you'll check the speech in Cincinnati, you'll see what the President lays out.

He says Saddam Hussein has to do these things to change, and then there are about four or five things. So we've been very clear about this from the very beginning.

Yes sir?

INTERVIEWER: The rift between Germany and the U.S. seems to grow deeper and deeper for every day. I heard a German lawmaker today calling the eight signees on the letter -- what was the word? Vassals or something like that? Vassals?

What is the perspective on this from an American standpoint?

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: Only Germans can explain their position and their policy. I'm not a spokesman for Germany, and in terms of the U.S.-German relationship, Germans make their own choices and they have chosen in this case, their government has chosen in this case to take the position that they have at the United Nations, to take the position that they will not participate in any military action.

Germany is a sovereign country and can choose its own policy.

INTERVIEWER: And what is the perspective on this? Will you grow farther apart in the future?

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: Germany and the United States are great allies and over a period, what, 40 or 50 years I would say we've had disagreements with many of our allies.

This is going to be one of those times. But Germany's a great ally of the United States and will remain a great ally of the United States.

Germany's a democracy. Germany is a sovereign country. Germans have to make their own decision about issues of the day.

INTERVIEWER: Well, I would like to, you know, to say at least something, you know. How is your -- what is your understanding of this German recent behavior?

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: My understanding is that Germany wishes not to participate in any military action. That's what they've said. My understanding is they'd like to give the inspectors more time.

INTERVIEWER: But the question is why?

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: That's for them to say. It's really not for me to say.

INTERVIEWER: Do you see Germany as growing anti-American or is just simply anti-war or?

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: I think that Germans and the German government have not yet been convinced that the threat of military force can bring Saddam Hussein to the point where he will meet his obligations under 1441, and that is their calculation, and that's a different calculation than we have.

But I say, Germany's a democracy and a sovereign country and can make its own choices.

INTERVIEWER: In the last few weeks you are in a very difficult discussions with Turkey concerning Iraq. There was a lot of press reports about Turkey dragging its feet on the request by the United States and I'm wondering if the U.S. again is not satisfied with what Turkey decides, what would be the implication for the strategic partnership between the United States and Turkey?

How -- If we have some kind of disagreement and difficulties in this strategic relationship can you foresee any negative effects on issues in the region?

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: That's too many ifs. I think you're jumping too far ahead. Again, Turkey is a democracy. Turkey has a parliament. Turkey has laws and the requests we've made of Turkey, some of them the government can agree to and many of those things the government has agreed to, and some of those things, like the stationing or transit of American forces through Turkey, has to be approved by the Turkish Parliament, and so it's the Turkish government that has to decide when and how to go to its Parliament and with what proposition.

So we've been working with Turkey to make a sensible proposition to them to convince them as well that the threat of military force and our ability to be ready to use military force is the way to bring this all to an end peacefully.

But Turkey has a government and Turkey has a parliament and they have to work their way through this.

INTERVIEWER: Let me pose the question differently. How important is the decision that Turkey will make on this issue for the future of the strategic relationship with the U.S.?

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: I will answer the question to say that it would be very important for Turkey, in my view, and we hope that they will, answer as many of our requests on Iraq positively because it seems to me that the requests we've made are very important to convincing Saddam Hussein that the time is now to comply.

Beyond that I wouldn't speculate.

INTERVIEWER: The problem of Iraq and Europe and America is in a broader question of transatlantic relations. Do you think after the war, and I'm talking now after the possible war sometime in February or early March, do you think -- do you think America will be more open to things like trade, Kyoto, International Court, death penalty.

Will America help countries like, you know, Spain, where 80 percent of the population is against being with you guys and there's a leader who is completely with you.

Will America open its eyes and ears to the world a little bit more after, or do you see the transatlantic relation becoming an issue on and on because of the different ways we see the world?

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: Well first, good try on your question. It is, of course --

INTERVIEWER: You didn't say no to anything, so.

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: Well, it is, of course, the possibility of conflict with Iraq and we should be clear about that. Again, for your readers, that the objective of the United States is still to try to solve this peacefully.

That's a very important thing to try to convey. Second, I don't think that one issue like Iraq will change the minds of either Americans or Europeans about Kyoto or about the ICC.

I mean, in a sense I could reverse the question and say, what if we all work successfully together in Iraq and what if it turns out that, just as we say, Iraq has been working on chemical weapons, biological weapons, radiological weapons, and what if it's possible to create an Iraq that is democratic and multi-ethnic with territorial integrity and at peace with its neighbors, and all those things turn out to be true.

Would you ask Europeans, then, change their minds and say, "Well, gosh, maybe the Americans are right about Kyoto. Maybe the Americans are right about the ICC."

So with all due respect, I don't think these things are logically connected, and just as you could not ask me that my public -- that American public opinion would change in that way I don't think your public opinion will change either.

That said, it is very important that we work on this transatlantic relationship, because the relationship between Europe and the United States is the fundamental relationship we have in this world.

By that, I mean as wide as possible, to include Russia and all of the countries of Europe. If you look back to Prague, I think what we did together to lay the basis for NATO for the 21st century, if you look what we do each six months with the European Union, this trillion dollar trading relationship, all these things are profound and fundamental and we will keep working on these things.

I think at root, there are very, very important values that Americans and Europeans share, and I know that you've all analyzed and looked at the German Marshall Fund, Chicago Council on Foreign Relations study that shows that our people are fundamentally in the same place.

So I don't mean to be argumentative, but I don't think the logic holds that if Iraq, then a big change, either in European or American public opinion.

INTERVIEWER: You don't see those.

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: But I don't see it on either side.

INTERVIEWER: You keep saying very wisely words matter. One of the biggest accusations against the Bush administration is words, the way Secretary Rumsfeld and President Bush express ideas.

Words matter. Can you -- obviously not going to criticize your bosses, but can you see a more, sort of a different approach to that?

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: Our President --

INTERVIEWER: In terms of public opinion, again?

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: Again, I think you have to judge our President by his words. Think back to the conversation in this world last July and August about Iraq.

Oh my goodness, it was America was going to run off and America was going to attack Iraq and we'd completely lost control, if you'd read the European press, and indeed some of the American press.

But what did President Bush do on the 12th of September? He went to the United Nations General Assembly and said here is the policy of the United States, and the policy of the United States is to solve this problem multilaterally.

So, yes, words matter, and I ask you to look at the President's words, and the President's words on the 12th of September, and the President's words in Cincinnati, and the President's words at the State of the Union the other day were what?

We want to solve this problem unilaterally. I'll give you another example. We pass out what I consider to be an extremely good document, the National Security Strategy of the United States.

Oh my goodness, everyone says, look, there's a paragraph in there about preemption. Well, what about the other 34 pages that talk about our alliances, that talk about our allies, that talk about multilateralism, that talk about the way that we'd like to do business in the world.

I'll give you another example. Where is anyone writing about President Bush's speech in Monterey, Mexico, last year to announce the Millennium Challenge Account? Nowhere.

INTERVIEWER: Millennium?

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: It's the Millennium Challenge Account. The United States promises to increase its aid $5 billion a year for three years, get deeply involved in development assistance all around the world for countries that are prepared to govern justly and have open systems and have rule of law.

$15 billion on top of what we already spend is no small matter. Words matter. The President stands up on Tuesday night and puts in another $10 billion for HIV/AIDS around the world and people want to talk about Iraq.

Well, okay, but let's look at the totality of what it is that's going on here. So I agree with you that, you know, everything we say has many audiences, but I just -- I ask you to look at what the President of the United States says, and what the President of the United States said on the 12th of September and last Tuesday night and in the National Security Strategy and in the Millennium Challenge Account is about the most profound multilateralism and the most profound engagement with the rest of the world.

INTERVIEWER: Follow-up. Do you accept the premise that the United States has an image problem in Europe or other places in the world?

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: Absolutely. Of course I do.

INTERVIEWER: And that is due to?

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: You ought to know, you'd all have to. Maybe it's due to your journalism. (laughter) I don't know. Listen, it's -- these are -- part of it is, these are very difficult questions and we're dealing here with democratic people and people have a right to have an opinion.

You see, you all are real anxious about this. I'm not anxious about this. I mean, I'd like us to have a better image in Europe. But Europeans are democracies. The reason we're so well tied together is because we're all democracies and so it's okay that there's a debate about foreign policy in Spain and Poland and Denmark and Greece.

It's all right that there's a debate about foreign policy in the United States of America. That's what makes our countries great. So, I can't work up so much anxiety about the disagreement and about the democracy part of it.

Am I concerned about the image of the United States? Yes I am, and do we have more work to do to highlight what I believe are the great things that the United States does in this world? Yes we do.

I think the way that Secretary Powell dealt with this in Davos the other day was extremely powerful, because all that we had heard as he flew over there was: huge anti-Americanism in Europe.

But did you read his speech?

INTERVIEWER: I read about the case in his book.

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: No, but did you read Powell's speech in Davos?

INTERVIEWER: I heard him, yes.

INTERVIEWER: I saw him live, actually.

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: Great. Well, I think that whole section where he said, look, we've got this image problem, but I have no shame, he said, for what the United States has accomplished and done around the world and certainly no shame for what we put into Europe since the Second World War.

That's right.

INTERVIEWER: If you want an answer to your question why so much anxiety, I would say because you are seen as the huge, monstrous super-power. You can do anything. Ben is laughing.

You can do anything and we can't, and I guess the basis of the anxiety has to do with that.

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: Well, with respect, I believe that Europeans ought to do something about that. For example, I believe that Europeans ought to spend more money on defense and I believe that Europeans who set themselves -- you're all European Union members or about to be European Union members -- European Union members set themselves the goal of having a force of 60,000 forces 60,000 forces deployable in a month, sustainable for a year, called the Headline Goal in the year 2003 and it is the year 2003 and I hope that you will have this Headline Goal.

If Europeans feel that they don't have the military power to participate with the United States of America, then my answer to that question is then please spend more money on defense; then please buy what it takes to create the Headline Goal.

But what is happening? What is happening in most countries in Europe defense budgets are going down. In most countries in Europe, the spending on military technology is not keeping up, and so, you know, so this is not only on me, and this is not only on us and there cannot be a stronger advocate than me for the European pillar in European defense.

But I cannot advocate for something that isn't going to exist. So Prague did what? Prague invited new members to the alliance. It said we ought to have a better relationship with Russia and what else? It said Europeans ought to spend more money on defense.

If a year from now we're all back here and Europeans have spent no more money on defense, with all due respect to your question, I'm going to shrug and say I'm sorry.

You can't criticize us for having a gap between our militaries if you are not prepared to spend more money on defense. Those are choices that you all have to make.

Someone asked me, But won't it break the three percent Maastricht number. I don't know, but that's for you to decide. Every parliament and every government in a democratic society has to decide how to allocate its resources.

INTERVIEWER: I am very glad you tapped this issue of imbalance in a military sense between Europe and the United States, but this imbalance has roots also in a kind of imbalance within Europe.

I'm obviously -- would like to ask you about the part of Europe Poland is and guess what? Today's Polish media, the number one news in Poland today, this very day, is whether United States are going to move their bases, at least part of their troops from Germany to Poland, claiming that there are some maybe talks already going on this issue.

Of course, I would be extremely grateful if you can answer this question. Are you --

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: First, that we ought to say from the very beginning that we value our military to military relationship with both Poland and Germany.

There are no, none, discussions going on to relocate American forces from Germany to Poland.

INTERVIEWER: But the Polish Defense Minister said yes. We ask him, our newspaper, said that what Poland is trying to at least have one of the NATO commands be located in --

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: That's a whole different question.

INTERVIEWER: In the new Europe.

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: That's a whole different -- the NATO command structure is a whole --

INTERVIEWER: One of the commands.

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: No, the NATO command structure is a different issue than the deployment of U.S. forces. The NATO command structure is something that all the allies are working on together.

It's a collective decision. It's under debate right now. It's got a lot of meaning in all parts of the alliance, whether it's from Canada to Greece.

So that's a different subject, and we shouldn't mix them up. I'll take one more.

INTERVIEWER: One question about the letter again. I want to come back to the letter by the eight leaders in Europe. The Prime Minister of Greece as the President of the European Union reacted very badly to this by saying that he was not informed and that is a blow to the effort of Europe to have a common foreign policy.

In the past and I think today, the U.S. and you personally, you are among the proponents of a common foreign policy for the European Union. You like to see European Union to be more important player in world affairs.

So what's your reaction to this opinion by the Greek Prime Minister and the E.U. President?

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: Well, as I answered Ms. Ramero, we didn't have anything to do with this letter and didn't know anything about this letter so far in advance.

INTERVIEWER: No, I mean --

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: No, so that's my answer. So I don't know. That's an issue I assume he will take up with the people who signed that letter.

I should be clear with what I'm for. I am absolutely for a European security and defense policy and a strong European defense, because that is something that we have consulted on and talked about at NATO and at other places.

A common foreign security policy, a common foreign policy for Europe is up to Europeans. I have no view on that. We want a strong Europe, but whether -- how Europe decides to speak for itself on foreign policy is wholly a subject for Europeans.

INTERVIEWER: As it is, as you said, the issue with this article, if someone concerns, if they have --

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: The reason I feel able to speak on the defense side is because we are NATO members and this is a relationship between NATO and the European Union.

I have the opportunity to speak on that. I have no opportunity or no right to speak on the common foreign policy of Europe. That is a matter for Europeans.

INTERVIEWER: Is -- I'm sorry, Secretary Powell next week, I was going to say standing at the U.N. Is it going to be the way that you're finally going to find to help again all these people that are trying to explain why we are going to war.

Is he going to come up with reasons? I mean, I talk to politicians in Spain and they're desperate for help, you know. It's so hard to sell a product if you can't say this is what we have.

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: Sure.

INTERVIEWER: What kind of smoking gun, that's what everyone is asking for. What kind of smoking gun may we expect the part of the violations supporting you?

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: The Secretary of State intends to make the most compelling case he can that Saddam Hussein is in violation of Resolution 687 and 1441.

I think it's important that we also recognize that the audience for this is not you and me. The audience is, as you say, someone in Spain, someone in Denmark and Poland and Greece who is considering this question in a democracy.

And so, I hope Secretary Powell -- he hopes he will be able to speak not just to the Security Council, but to the world. So that -- we are all democratic countries -- so that the people in our democracies will say, "I understand this problem. I understand why my leaders are concerned about Iraq. I understand what the relationship is between 1441 and 687 and my security, the security of my country and the security of my family."

I mean, I had these hand-outs done up. This is from the last few days. These are the kind of examples that Secretary Powell and others have been using, including the President. Again, I thought this was a very powerful thing that Rich did yesterday at the Foreign Relations Committee saying that a teaspoon of anthrax brought the U.S. Senate to a standstill last year, or now 18, 15 months ago, and two people died, and the Brentwood Post Office never reopened.

Saddam, according to UNSCOM, not according to us, but according to UNSCOM, before they left, has 5,000 teaspoons of anthrax. Somehow we need to convey this, and that's what we're going to try to do, I hope.

INTERVIEWER: So in that sense, it is not exaggerated the comparison of Adlai Stevenson's intervention in 1962.

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: Well, I don't know, I think the Secretary said the other day, and Richard Boucher said the other day, you know, it was a different time, it was a different thing.

The Secretary will do what the Secretary does.

INTERVIEWER: The main concern of people in Europe is that the war on a short-term basis is going to increase our security fears and that we're going to have more terrorism as soon as you and the British start doing the job.

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: That is why we don't want to have a war, but that is why we believe that the strongest possible military coalition has got to be collected so that Saddam Hussein believes that if he doesn't comply we will enforce, not American views, but the views of the Security Council.

Fifteen to nothing is not a small matter. It wasn't 1 to 14, it was 15-nothing. So these are not -- 1441 are not the views of the United States of America.

1441 is the view of the U.N. Security Council, and for Europeans who put great stock in the Security Council, I think that's important. You can't love only the Security Council resolutions you love.

You have to love the Security Council resolutions that pass, and this one passed unanimously.

INTERVIEWER: A local question. Denmark has today offered to send submarines and Danish Navy SEALS and Green Berets to Iraq. Would you accept that offer?

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: That's a military question. We have made requests all around Europe and the world for forces, and our military, I know, is delighted with the offer of forces.

So I wouldn't speak to the specifics here. I know that would be for military channels, but we asked for forces from people and when people are prepared to offer them that is a very important thing.

Sir?

INTERVIEWER: I'd like to ask you about the second resolution, this idea, obviously in Europe extremely popular, that there should be a second resolution.

The White House the other day spoke and said it's not necessary. I think that was the wording. So what's the idea of State Department, whether you are in favor of the second resolution or perhaps you can confirm this speculations from American press that you are actually already working on a draft of such a resolution?

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: I think it's important first to recognize that we believe that 1441 is all the authorization that is necessary. But I think Secretary Powell has said to a number of Europe media outlets that we'll see, after his presentation on Wednesday, what we want to do next.

We'll see what the reaction is around the world and in the Security Council to his presentation. So I can't really answer your question because we haven't decided completely, except to know that we believe that 1441 is all the authorization that we need.

1441 calls for another meeting of the Security Council. It doesn't call for another resolution. Last one.

INTERVIEWER: Can I use my last question to ask a close to the Iraq issue question. The European Union announced two initiatives in the month of February under the Foreign Minister Papandreou.

One is in Middle East, and the announcement was speaking about an effort to avert war in coordination with countries in the region and also the Middle East peace process at the same time.

Also today we had an announcement that they are planning to go to North Korea on February 10 on the issue. What is the U.S. reaction to these E.U. initiatives?

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: Well, in terms of the Middle East, first of all, of course, the United States, the European Union, United Nations, Russia, work together in the Quartet, so I would assume that any effort on behalf of any of those countries or any of those groups would be consistent with what the quartet has said and done.

In terms of North Korea, I think as you've seen over the past couple of weeks, many delegations have gone to North Korea. The South Koreans have gone and the Russians have gone and our hope is that every one of these delegations conveys the same message, which is that the North Koreans need to get back into compliance with their obligations to the IAEA and they need to dismantle this secret effort to enrich uranium and they need to re-freeze this plant at Yongbyon.

To the extent that everybody is conveying the same message, hopefully one day the North Koreans will hear it.

INTERVIEWER: But this issue in an effort to coordinate with the Arab countries to avert war?

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: Well, as I say, the way to avert war, from our view, is to, you know, is to be strong, and to the extent that people are speaking strongly, I think there's a chance to do with this without having the conflict.

INTERVIEWER: Meaning no more time for the inspectors indefinitely?

UNDER SECRETARY GROSSMAN: Meaning that Saddam Hussein's got to comply with Resolution 1441 and we're now at weeks, not months. [End]

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