Powell IV by the Los Angeles Times Editorial Board
Interview by the Los Angeles Times Editorial Board
Secretary Colin L. Powell Washington, DC February 10, 2003
QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, thanks for taking the time. You, of course, have been known to put forth what's been called now "The Powell Doctrine," which has to with now how you're getting in and know how you're getting out. So what exactly, then, is the objective in getting in to Iraq? Is it to disarm and/or nation-build, both? And what's the short-term and long-term strategy in terms of getting in and getting out?
SECRETARY POWELL: First of all, we don't want to "get in" if it can be avoided. We've been trying, and I've been working very hard, the President's been working very hard, to see if we can find a peaceful solution. But it became clear in the first year and a half of the administration that even with smart sanctions, even with no-fly zones and the like, and even with 16 previous resolutions, Saddam Hussein was not showing any intention to disarm himself of weapons that we knew he had and the whole world knew he had.
And so we took it to the UN looking for a peaceful solution. Could have avoided the UN and just say, "That's it, we're going to attack." Went to the UN because it was an international problem, not just a U.S. problem, and three months ago, on the 8th of November, passed a resolution, 1441, as you're all familiar with, that did several things. One, you're guilty. That's what the resolution said. You are in material breach, you have been in material breach, you remain in material breach. And you can generate new material breaches if you don't cooperate and if you don't give us an honest declaration. That's what the resolution said. We will send the inspectors in to help you disarm, but this is your last chance. You've already been found guilty.
And if you don't take this last chance, then all of this has to come back to the Security Council for the consideration of serious consequences. Every member of the Council who voted that morning, to include Syria, France and all the other 13, knew exactly what the resolution meant. We want a peaceful solution, we're giving you one last chance, the inspectors will help you seize that chance, but serious consequences flow.
And we have been waiting now for three-plus months for a satisfactory answer and we have continued to get unsatisfactory responses. The declaration, the fooling around he's doing, the deception, the deceiving, the slipping out a little bit to see if that'll keep everybody quiet and away from him. And we're reaching a moment of truth where this can't continue and therefore military force may be required.
But it is a last resort, and consistent with what is sometimes called "The Powell Doctrine," you try to find other ways to solve a problem. But when you can't solve it in other ways and you use force, you use it in a decisive manner.
If a peaceful way cannot be found and force is used, it is preferable to do it within the context of the international community. But if that is not possible, the President has made it clear from the very beginning that he's prepared to act with a willing coalition, even if it isn't under UN authority. We think it still would be under UN authority because 1441 and earlier resolutions, we believe, gives sufficient authority to such action.
And there are a number of countries who are willing to go with us. The Prime Minister of Australia is here today and he's made a commitment. His troops are moving. The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, the Vilnius 10, the group of eight from last week. So we're not in this alone.
Now, to get to the heart of your question, to what we want to do. One, if military action was required, we would want to conduct a military operation that would be over as quickly as possible and would be for the purpose of removing this regime that has defied the international community for 12 years, and helping the Iraqi people put in place a responsible regime that would be committed to disarmament. We would then also make sure that the country is disarmed of its weapons of mass destruction.
We would do everything we could to preserve infrastructure, to make sure that civilians are not injured during this operation, and start to redirect the energies of that nation and the wealth of that nation and the great talent that exists in that nation in a more positive direction. Twenty billion dollars a year of oil revenue is available to the people of Iraq. We would protect that treasure, make sure that that oil is used for the benefit of the people, and hopefully we could go home as quickly as we have established something that is stable, keeps the country intact, is representative of all the people.
We would hopefully do this with the assistance of many other nations, the United Nations and with the European Union and a number of other nations that have expressed a willingness to help. And I think we will have fundamentally changed the political situation in that part of the world. No longer a Saddam Hussein threatening neighbors, shooting rockets at neighbors or shooting gas at people. Stopped proliferation at least in that part of the world and that country, and perhaps that would be an example to others.
And then the United States would want to disengage as quickly as we can and as safely as we can, but making sure we haven't left instability in our wake. How long would that take? Probably a while. I've got no illusions.
QUESTION: A while, meaning?
SECRETARY POWELL: I can't tell. I don't know. A lot will depend on how quickly the Iraqis are able to come together. It's a complex political problem because you've got Shi as, you've got Kurds, you've got the Sunnis, and you have experts in this room who know this region very, very well. And we've got to find a model that would cause them to come together in some form of government. And I think there will be a role for somebody for some extended period of time to assist them. It might be international, through the UN in some manner, or it might be a leadership on the part of a coalition of the willing.
But I can tell you that all of the incentive will be there for us to finish the job and then leave, but not leave before the job is finished. But I cannot tell you at this point whether that would be months or years. I'd have a better idea immediately after when we see the kind of response we get from the people and we see the kind of reaction to those who have been outside the country and those who are still inside the country and are in leadership positions and willing to participate in the rebuilding of a political system.
But it is going to be a very demanding task and there should be no illusions about it, and it is not going to be something that's a matter of weeks. I think it's going to be an extended period. I just don't want to put an X -- I don't want to fill in the X because I don't know what to tell you that would not be misleading.
QUESTION: As you see it now, then, is U.S. action in Iraq, attack on Iraq, inevitable?
SECRETARY POWELL: Nothing is inevitable, but I think the likelihood of us finding a peaceful solution is becoming diminished with each passing day in the face of continued Iraq noncompliance and non-cooperation. And they keep trying to play games. The inspectors went there this weekend, the two chief inspectors, and at this late date you would have thought Iraq, if they were serious, would have said, "Here is every document we own. You can speak to anybody, take them anywhere you want. You can go take them to L.A. and talk to them. You can see anything. And by the way, here's some things you don't even know about. But we want to come clean so we're bringing it out for you to see."
Now, that is the kind of attitude that we are looking for and hoped for when Resolution 1441 passed and Iraq was finally faced with serious consequences for ignoring the will of the international community. There were never real teeth in the previous resolutions. This one has real teeth in it and the President is deadly serious, and there are tens upon tens of thousands of United States troops and British troops and Australian troops on the move to put the pressure on in the name of diplomacy and to take military action if diplomacy does not find a way forward.
And one would think that Iraq, seeing all this, would realize that you can come clean now or you can be removed.
QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, today the Iraqis have said that they'll allow U-2 flights and they provided documents yesterday. Do you have any --
SECRETARY POWELL: They immediately then qualified it within two hours to say only if the United States and the United Kingdom did this or did that or didn't do this or that with respect to the no-fly zones. So they -- they always do this.
QUESTION: Even today?
SECRETARY POWELL: Yeah, today. I mean, in one breath they said we're going to let the U-2 flights begin, and then the latest wire service thing I saw just a few moments ago said but there's some things that the U.S. has to do.
The question isn't -- isn't getting a U-2 flight up there. If they were cooperating, we wouldn't need any U-2 flights. If they were doing what the clear intent of the resolution is, you don't need 300 or 500 or 1,000 more inspectors -- the French-German, now I guess Russian diversionary tactic. If they were doing what they were supposed to do under the resolution, you could probably do it with half the number of inspectors that are there now.
QUESTION: What about the new initiative? Is -- how much is that derailing, diverting attention? How difficult is it going to be to pull together the Security Council again?
SECRETARY POWELL: It, of course, takes attention away as people have to respond to what these three leaders have said. But we're not getting knocked off course or off point. We will continue to move forward, waiting anxiously to see what Dr. Blix and Dr. ElBaradei say on Friday, and then we will consult with other members of the Council, to include these three members of the Council, veto-bearing -- two of the three are veto-bearing members of the Council -- and see what the next step should be.
But it is simply not, in my judgment, not an adequate response to the challenge to say, oh, let's just send in two or three times as many inspectors and some more technical means. We've suggested two to three times as many inspectors, you will recall, I think, Robin, at the beginning of this whole process. Blix did not respond because it's hard to get -- would he go get two or three times as many inspectors. So they did not ramp up as much as we had encouraged them to do in the beginning, and now -- and I didn't hear the French and the Germans and the Russians sort of joining in at that time. But now, suddenly, this is a solution. But it really isn't a solution.
Three months have gone by and we have not seen the kind of progress, anything like the kind of progress. Blix and ElBaradei said they have not seen the kind of progress that they had hoped for. What they have been getting is passive cooperation, to quote them. And to quote the famous Blix statement of 27 January, even at this late date, Iraq doesn't understand it has to disarm.
QUESTION: Can I play devil's advocate, though? Then I'll hand it back to you.
SECRETARY POWELL: Sure. No, but it will make the -- it does complicate things, to answer your question.
QUESTION: And if you need to go off the record, fine. I'd just be interested in, I mean, clearly this is, particularly after your quite powerful presentation at the Security Council last week, this is kind of stunning that the -- that three of the five members of the Security Council would take such an outspoken and determined position at this juncture.
You know, what do you do behind the scenes to try to get them back on board? And related to that, do you send a message that, look, those who are going to participate in ousting Saddam will also have a role in the post-war process, and those who aren't part of it may not have a role afterwards?
SECRETARY POWELL: After my presentation last Wednesday, I met with 13 of the 15 members of the Council. I didn't have to meet with myself, though some people suggest one of these days I should. And, of course, Jack Straw I had been talking all morning. But I met with all the other 13 --
MR. BOUCHER: The Syrians you didn't. You met with 12 members of the Council.
SECRETARY POWELL: I'm sorry. The Syrians. Right. I didn't have a bilateral with the Syrians, so that's 12.
MR. BOUCHER: Plus Papandreou.
SECRETARY POWELL: Plus Papandreou. That's 13. So 13 people, 12 of whom are members of the Council. And we had good, straightforward conversations and they know the direction that we are moving in. They understand that direction. Each of them a sovereign nation that will have to make up their own mind. And it's not yet time for making up their mind.
And even though three of them today, two of them speaking out and then Germany from the other day, believe the way forward is with additional inspectors and that more time should be given to the inspectors, that is the position they hold. We'll see what Blix and ElBaradei say on Friday, and then next week we will get into consultations with those three and the other 11 and see what the various positions are, and then decide whether or not it's appropriate to put down a resolution that captures the situation that we see exists. Or maybe somebody else wants to put down a resolution.
QUESTION: Can Britain now go without material breach?
SECRETARY POWELL: Can Britain go without another resolution?
QUESTION: Go with -- on another resolution, can it go -- move forward without the term "material breach" in it.
SECRETARY POWELL: I don't know. You'd have to ask Britain. I wouldn't want to speak for the United Kingdom.
QUESTION: Has there been -- do you feel there's been proper discussion led by the administration about the possible consequences of this involvement? When you look back, obviously Vietnam and the sorts of involvements that demoralized and damaged U.S. prestige. Has there been the discussion that there needs to be with the American people about the implications of this, whether it be not just the best possible scenario, but the worst possible scenarios, which of course could mean increased terrorism in this country, the U.S. being seen as the world's bully, et cetera? Do you feel that there's been a proper discussion of what we may be getting ourselves into?
SECRETARY POWELL: I know that we have discussed it extensively within the administration, and I think the American people understand. You know, you look at the polling and you look at all of the coverage that there has been on this issue in television and newspapers and elsewhere, and I don't think the President has been misleading in any way to the nation by saying we've got a major challenge ahead of us.
And if you look at the coverage for the last couple of months, I think everybody understands there is the risk of increased terrorism, there is the risk of disturbances in the Middle East and in Muslim countries. We have been trimming down in some of our embassies with authorized departures, letting some of our dependents come home, kind of battening down the hatches. I can assure you that all the reservists who have been called up, their families, their communities, are following all this very closely. And it is a time of high anxiety and I think the President is speaking to that high anxiety within the country.
I don't think we should ignore the alternative, or an alternative, that says if we are successful, a lot of the naysaying that's going on and a lot of the criticism that we are receiving could turn very quickly to support for our efforts. If we are seen as having to go to war and prosecuting that war in the way America knows how to prosecute a war -- and that is, do it quickly, do it decisively, do it surgically, with minimum loss of civilian life or collateral damage, and swift moves, and take over a country and then quickly demonstrate that our sole goal in being in that country is to help the country -- then I think opinion might change very, very quickly, and all of the risks that we are taking could quickly dissipate.
There is no love lost for Saddam Hussein in the region. I mean, he is not running for Soldier of the Month in any of the Arab countries that I'm in touch with. And, in fact, one could even make the case there that some people are saying time to get this over with. Nevertheless, we are hopeful, but limited hope in the time remaining, for a peaceful solution.
But I've been through a number of crises and conflicts during my career where that same kind of anxiety level was there, and then once it was done and you dealt with it and you put something in place that is better, the anxiety goes away and some of the problems that had been anticipated that didn't occur go away, and some of the problems that did occur tend to also dissipate with respect to their effect.
QUESTION: Well, the difference in this case, of course, is that this is seen as preemptive. And when you get outside of Washington and you talk to a lot of people, the question remains: Why now? This guy has been a scoundrel for a long time.
And getting to the question of what standing the U.S. is going to have in the rest of the world if it is seen as a country, the only superpower, that can go forth and say, well, we don't like what you're doing over here, so here we come.
Many are arguing, of course, is that what that will mean is that you will have a situation where we'll actually be encouraging more North Koreas, not fewer, because people will say, well, gosh, if the United States is going to do what it wants regardless of a broad base of international opinion, then maybe we should arm because they're negotiating with North Korea and they're invading Iraq.
SECRETARY POWELL: Yeah, and we're negotiating with North Korea. We're three months into a situation with them and I think we'll find a way to engage with the North Koreans in dialogue in some multilateral setting.
I have to keep reminding everyone that North Korea has been engaged with previously bilaterally by the United States and came up with an arrangement called the Agreed Framework of 1994, several years after they signed a North-South agreement with South Korea and North Korea. The two of them signed an agreement saying no nuclear development in -- on the Korean Peninsula.
And after President Clinton, over a period of years, issued statements and communiqués, to include one in the fall of the year 2000 when a senior North Korean official visited the President in the Oval Office and put out another statement of non-aggression -- all the things they're asking for now. And it was after that statement that my predecessor, Madeleine Albright, went to Pyongyang.
All the while, for years during that period, the North Koreans were -- everybody's watching Yongbyon, we'll go over and start to enrich uranium. They were violating those agreements all the while.
And now the criticism being directed toward us is, "Why don't you quickly and get into a bilateral discussion with the North Koreans to create the same kind of arrangement?" I think we need something a little bit different this time to make sure that we don't find ourselves in the same position later.
And so some days I'm criticized for being multilateral, I'm criticized for not being multilateral, except when it's North Korea, when everybody is criticizing me for being -- for not being unilateral. See how confusing it can get?
But your question is a very important one and I haven't forgotten it, and that is are we not just a rogue nation bouncing our way around the world and intimidating everybody and going where we want to and attacking any way we want to? When you look at who we have had military engagements with over the last 12 years, or 13 years, 14 years, when I think back to 1989, it's not a bad record.
We went into Panama and we removed a dictator that we couldn't talk out of power, we couldn't negotiate out of power. And then he started to kill Americans one Saturday night, and we invaded him four days later. And I was the Chairman. And we were condemned by the OAS, we were condemned by the UN, we were condemned by Lady Thatcher, of all people. But the next day, we put in place an elected president who was in hiding. And I'm not saying Panama is a perfect nation now, but it is being led by leaders who are voted for by the people. And it is certainly not like the Panama of Manuel Noriega.
Kuwait was invaded by its neighbor, Iraq. We restored Kuwait to its legitimate government and been a friend to the Kuwaiti people.
Kosovo in the Clinton administration. Came to the assistance of Muslims.
And in Afghanistan, we went into Afghanistan to respond to 9/11, but also to take out a regime that had become nothing more than a regime that was harboring and a haven for the terrorists who did what they did to us.
And now, a year and a half later, the United States isn't running Afghanistan. They elected by Loya Jirga what leadership is there as they get ready for popular elections in another year or so. And a huge amount of money is going in to rebuilding the country. Schools are going up, hospitals are going up, more than a million refugees have returned.
And when that place is stable and an army's been built and institutions have been created and the judicial system is working, we'll continue to support them and our troops will leave. But they're going to stay there until we get the al-Qaida remnants that are still hanging around southeast Pakistan -- Afghanistan.
So our record is not one of imperial reach or going out to gain sovereignty over places or impose our will on anybody. What we have gone forth to do, really, is to allow people to impose their will on their own government and decide who should be their leaders, rather than dictators and oppressors who were their leaders. So it's not a bad record.
QUESTION: Just to follow on that, a little bit earlier you said that things will change if there's success.
SECRETARY POWELL: I hope, yeah.
QUESTION: And that one of the important things is finding a model for Iraq to follow in forming a government. And that model would seem to be, perhaps, a difficult thing. Is it Afghanistan? Is it Kosovo?
SECRETARY POWELL: No, it's Iraq. And it's unlike any of the others. It's going to be very difficult and we are looking at a variety of modes -- a trusteeship model for an extended period of time under international trusteeship of some kind. Or is it going to take a military leader to manage it for a while? Or can we find a solution where those who are coming from outside the country and those inside the country can find an accommodation that would put in place a political system that is representative of its people and has the confidence of its people?
But it's tough. I mean, Mesopotamia is not -- you know, it's not tiddly-winks. And they've never had such a system. And you've got Kurds who want to -- you know, may have a different goal ultimately in life than the Shi as in the South or the mixed population in the middle, with Baghdad being a city that is mostly Shi a, not Sunni, but the leadership and the intelligentsia and the power has heretofore been mostly Sunni.
So it is not going to be easy, but it's not as if we haven't faced difficult challenges like this in different parts of the world over the last 50 or 60 years. It's not an insurmountable task.
QUESTION: But if you have -- what --
SECRETARY POWELL: I don't know what the model is.
QUESTION: I'm sorry. If you would accept a military leader, then, does that mean accepting a Ba'athist government again?
SECRETARY POWELL: A what?
QUESTION: The ruling party.
SECRETARY POWELL: No. What I had in mind there was -- I'm an old infantryman, and if there is a war, one day there's going to be an infantry general, perhaps armored, standing up in Baghdad saying, "We now have taken control of this country." And when that general does that, at that moment we are the occupier and we have sovereignty over that country, and it may take a while before we can release that sovereignty to civilian authorities.
And we have experience with that model, as well. Until we got in place an interim government in Afghanistan, for example, until the Bonn conference and got all that sorted away, it was commanders we had on the ground, just as it was in Japan and Germany for a period of time.
QUESTION: The period of time being a good number of years in both Japan and Germany.
SECRETARY POWELL: But I don't --
QUESTION: Would that be a possibility?
SECRETARY POWELL: I don't -- I can't answer that. I just -- it's not knowable to me at this point. I would not be trying to use that model because I think it's different now. It's not 1945 and we're not trying to conquer and devastate a country. Germany and Japan were conquered and devastated. This is a country that will be intact. Its institutions will still be there. We don't expect that we'll have to be putting in place a new health and human service system, but will certainly improve that which is there.
But the institutions, if we do this right, the institutions will fundamentally be intact, and it's a matter of making sure that those institutions have now been purged of the kind of dictatorial leadership that was pursuing weapons of mass destruction and abusing human rights.
QUESTION: Once Iraq has been -- let's say it's been occupied. Where do you see relations with Saudi Arabia headed, particularly given that they took this woman back who is under subpoena here, they profess to be working with the United States in the war against terrorism, yet at the same time you read in The New York Times they're talking about getting rid of -- or not having the American troops based in there post-war?
What is your read on Saudi Arabia?
SECRETARY POWELL: I think Saudi Arabia is starting to -- is starting to enter a period of change and transformation. The Crown Prince has been making statements recently that suggest that. And in the aftermath of a conflict with Iraq, with a new Iraq on its border, it's a different strategic equation. Some of the smaller Gulf states around Saudi Arabia have started to make changes. Kuwait, Bahrain come to mind.
Saudi Arabia, I think, is coming to the realization that you cannot continue to deny opportunity to half your population on the basis of gender. They are coming to the realization that they need to educate their young people. It's a very young population. They need to educate the young people of Saudi Arabia for the jobs that are going to be out there and for the needs that the society has.
And with respect to military presence, a good reason, the reason we have most of the military presence in Saudi Arabia that we do have, is because of Iraq. And if Iraq is no longer the issue, then obviously we could talk to the Saudis about readjusting our footprint.
And so I think we will have excellent relations with Saudi Arabia in the aftermath of this with one huge problem and irritant removed from the region. Don't underestimate the different situation that will be there when nobody is afraid of Saddam Hussein any longer and when everybody can look north or south or east or west and see a different situation in their neighborhood where people are now just building their society and not threatening their neighbors.
QUESTION: Do you anticipate, then, putting greater pressure on Syria? Because Lebanon is a training base for -- continues to be a training base for terrorists.
SECRETARY POWELL: We would certainly -- we put a lot of pressure on Syria now, and I think in the aftermath of an Iraq conflict new opportunities open up with respect to the Middle East peace process, with respect to terrorism in general.
And to come back to the question that you touched on earlier, Janet, maybe it isn't such a bad idea that people be a little fearful of, you know, acting in a way that is inconsistent with international norms and standards.
QUESTION: But then, to follow that up, if you have a situation where you say, well, okay, if people aren't so afraid of what Saddam Hussein is going to do, then we'll have a different template there, but what about if the world is more afraid of the United States? I mean, what if part of what's driving this.
But I'm wondering how much people within your own administration have undercut some of your diplomatic efforts. I mean, when you have intemperate language like "pygmy" and "axis of evil" and "old Europe," and you have people sort of throwing out these things which seem to only feed the paranoia that's already there about -- for the United States, what do you do in a situation like this where you actually do have some, some members of the international community who say, "You know what? We're more worried about you guys than we are about Iraq. He's a small-time guy you guys are trying to turn into Hitler. We're more worried about the only superpower that's throwing its weight around."
SECRETARY POWELL: There is nobody who wants to be a friend of ours who has anything to worry about from us. And most of my days are spent with foreign leaders -- I've had two heads of state here so far today, the President of Ecuador and the Prime Minister of Australia, and my days are spent with foreign ministers and prime ministers and presidents -- other leaders from every continent on the face of the earth.
And for those who do not wish us ill, they come here and they want to talk about -- they want to talk about trade, they want to talk about economic development, they want to talk about assistance. They want to talk about how they can have a strategic relationship with the United States. They want to talk about how they can have a better partnership with the United States. And the number of nations that are threatened or quivering or terrified because of American -- what did my buddy, Vedrine call it? -- hyperpower status are quite few. And frankly, some of them, perhaps, I don't mind if they're all that nervous.
QUESTION: Some of the fear --
SECRETARY POWELL: No, I mean, I can -- the -- it would be wonderful for you to sit with me for a whole day. I'm not suggesting that. (Laughter.)
No, but I mean, we had lunch 12:00 to 1:00 with the new Ecuadorian President.
QUESTION: Can I ask one thing really quickly? You're making assumptions that it's all about over.
SECRETARY POWELL: What?
QUESTION: Well, I mean, that we're --
SECRETARY POWELL: Oh. Time's running out.
QUESTION: Yeah. How are you going to get the allies on board? You pulled out all stops last week and that wasn't enough. What's your strategy?
SECRETARY POWELL: You're saying I don't have them aboard. You know, before I spoke, the Group of Eight put out a statement. An hour after I spoke, another 10 -- small countries, I know they are small countries.
QUESTION: The calculation is you don't even have the nine, though.
SECRETARY POWELL: That's your calculation, not mine.
QUESTION: Well, it's what they say up at the United Nations, but all right. How are you going to bring the three very important permanent members of the Security Council on board? What are you going to do this week?
SECRETARY POWELL: Lots.
QUESTION: Tell me.
SECRETARY POWELL: No.
SECRETARY POWELL: All right. Robin always wants the news before it occurs.
QUESTION: Pretty please.
SECRETARY POWELL: No.
QUESTION: The part, Mr. Secretary, the part about the --
SECRETARY POWELL: We're going to work. And, one, there's nothing to bring them on board for yet. I mean there's nothing -- all, all -- what's happened since last Wednesday, really?
I gave a speech last Wednesday. I met with lots of people. Everybody had been making statements. The President has spoken to a lot of people. In the last five days he's spoken to Jiang Zemin, he's spoken to Putin, he's spoken to Chirac, he's spoken to Blair, had a meeting with Howard, he's spoken to Berlusconi, received Berlusconi. There is a lot going on.
QUESTION: But the French say that conversation was very inconclusive and they agreed to disagree, that they didn't make any progress and there was no agreement that they shared anything, any position in common except they want disarmament.
SECRETARY POWELL: That's a position in common. Yeah. That is a position in common. And so there is a lot going on and there are a lot of statements being made, there are a lot of negotiations taking place, there are a lot of discussions taking place, there are lot of people choosing up sides, there are a lot of people talking about one resolution or another, people talking about monitors, talking about this, talking about that, but there is really nothing before the Council right now for them to decide.
And so we'll hear from Blix and ElBaradei and then, I suspect, in the very near future, after Friday, there will be something for the Council to consider. And then we'll see after some serious discussions and consultation and negotiations who votes yes, who votes no, and who abstains and who --
QUESTION: A compromise resolution that merely codifies what --
SECRETARY POWELL: Does she ever give up?
QUESTION: No. That's why we have her.
SECRETARY POWELL: Bye, Robin.
QUESTION: See ya, Robin.
SECRETARY POWELL: I love ya, though. (Laughter.)
QUESTION: I know. But any -- just a little bit of answer, just a little bit of guidance, even if you want to do it off the record.
SECRETARY POWELL: (Laughter.)
QUESTION: Codifying what the Blix report, which everyone can agree on, that says --
SECRETARY POWELL: Now she wants to write my resolution for me. (Laughter.)
QUESTION: (Inaudible) got to get your own state. Watch her. Stick with us. That was on the record?
SECRETARY POWELL: Yeah.
QUESTION: Great. Thank you.
SECRETARY POWELL: Thank you. [End]
Released on February 13, 2003