Powell Interview with Charlie Rose of CBS
Interview with Charlie Rose of CBS
Secretary Colin L. Powell Washington, DC April 22, 2003
MR. ROSE: Mr. Secretary, thank you for letting us join you here at the State Department.
SECRETARY POWELL: Thank you, Charlie. A pleasure to see you.
MR. ROSE: Tell me what the message is of the Iraqi war for the rest of the world and for the United States.
SECRETARY POWELL: I think the message for the Iraqi war is the United States has power to use to pursue a principle. In this case, the principle was a state that was developing weapons of mass destruction that was terrorizing its own people that was invading its neighbors, that was using these weapons of mass destruction and stood in violation of 12 years' worth of UN resolutions. That regime was brought to justice and was removed. That was the use of American power.
But American power will also be used with consideration for the views of others. We took it to the United Nations. We spent a couple of months in the United Nations trying to rally the international community to this problem. And we got a resolution, 1441 that was passed unanimously. It was that resolution that gave us the authority to do what we did.
The message should not be that because we have such military power, it's going to be used anywhere else in the world we choose to use it. The message should be we have that military power but we also have economic power, we have political power, we have diplomatic power, we have the power of example. We are using all of these elements of national power not to find nations to invade, but to find nations who need our help.
At the same time that people have been focusing on Iraqi freedom, and it's been a wonderful experience in the last few day to see people respond to our young American GIs who are there now. At the same time that's been going on we've been spending time working on other elements of the President's agenda -- HIV/ AIDS, perhaps the greatest weapon of mass destruction on the face of the earth, killing millions of people. This President has made an enormous contribution to that fight, the fight against HIV/AIDS, with his $15 billion global initiative and with us helping Kofi Annan stand up the Global Trust Fund for HIV/AIDS.
This President is committed to opening up trade throughout the world so that these newly democratic nations can become part of a 21st century globalizing world. This President is committed to relieving famine. He is committed to working with alliances. People think that we don't appreciate the great alliances of which we are a part, such as NATO or the United Nations, but we do. That's why we paid our arrears to the United Nations, that's why we're rejoining UNESCO, and that's why even when there are disagreements within these alliances we understand their value and we're going to move forward.
So this is a President who is fully aware, and this is the State Department supporting that President, and the Secretary of State, I might add, supporting that President, who is fully aware of the power that the United States has and how to use that power correctly, properly, and based on principle and based on the values upon which this nation has been founded.
MR. ROSE: Have you found in your conversations with heads of state and foreign ministers, since the military victory, that there is a changed attitude at all about the United States?
SECRETARY POWELL: I think there is an attitude of relief that the military part of this campaign is over with. People recognize that the next phase will be difficult.
MR. ROSE: And their worst expectations did not happen?
SECRETARY POWELL: Yes. Everybody was saying we were trapped, we were stuck, it was quagmire. All kinds of things were being said about this operation.
MR. ROSE: Fear of chemical war?
SECRETARY POWELL: All sorts of predictions that didn't come about. Also, predictions about uprisings all over the world. There were certainly demonstrations around the world, but not the kinds of uprisings that people had predicted. So a lot of these predictions simply did not come to pass.
Those nations who were part of this coalition of the willing, people tend to look down on this coalition, but, I mean, Spain, Australia, Italy, Poland, The Czech [Republic] -- so many nations came together on this. I think that they are greatly relieved that they were on the right side of history with respect to this particular crisis. And we are seeing that reflected now in their feelings about themselves and in their relationship with us.
MR. ROSE: No one more than Tony Blair. What does this country owe him and the British?
SECRETARY POWELL: I think we owe our British friends a great deal and we owe the Prime Minister a great deal. He stuck with the United States. It's been the pattern with Great Britain for so many, many years, through so many crises. Not just because we're two great English-speaking nations, but because we share common values and a common perspective of how we look at the world. And Prime Minister Blair put it all on the line.
President Bush put it pretty much on the line, but I would say, respectfully of course, not as much as Prime Minister Blair did. He had to take it to his cabinet, which is a different kind of cabinet than the American cabinet. And he had to take it to his parliament. And he took it to his parliament even though we were unable to get that second UN resolution that he wanted. We didn't get it, but because of the strength of the first UN resolution and our effort to get the second UN resolution, he was able to take it to his parliament and win that parliamentary vote. And Tony Blair put his political life on the line for a matter of principle, and he won.
MR. ROSE: A couple of things about history. You believe 1441 was a significant achievement, perhaps more than we even recognize today.
SECRETARY POWELL: Yes.
MR. ROSE: Elaborate on that. And also, that you might very well have gotten, do you still believe, a second resolution except for the threat of a veto by the French?
SECRETARY POWELL: Yeah, 1441, if I may humbly say so and modestly say so, was a great diplomatic achievement for all the nations who joined together, the 15 nations that joined together and passed it unanimously. And it was a great win for this administration, for President Bush. There were a lot of people who were speculating, well, don't even go to the UN. Just go do it, just go to war by yourself. Well, it wouldn't have been that easy. We needed access. We needed the help of others in order to conduct any kind of campaign. We also needed time to put in place a force for a campaign. I know a little bit about this having done it a few times previously in my lifetime.
And 1441 was a case where the President recognized that it was UN resolutions that were being violated, not just United States sensibilities. And so he took it to the United Nations and said: "You have a problem. This regime, the Iraqi regime under Saddam Hussein, for the last 12 years has ignored this body. What are you going to do about it?" That's what he said on the 12th of September to the General Assembly.
Over the next seven weeks we negotiated 1441. And in early November, the 8th of November, it passed by a unanimous vote. And it said Saddam Hussein is guilty, he's been doing these things, he's still guilty; he can get out of guilt or we can solve this problem if he will turn it all over, admit what he's been doing, and let's have it verified by the inspectors; and if he does not take this last opportunity, then serious consequences could follow.
So now --
MR. ROSE: Okay, go ahead.
SECRETARY POWELL: There was a big fight after that as we watched the inspectors go to work. There were some of us who felt strongly -- the United States, Great Britain, Spain and others, Bulgaria -- that what we were seeing on the part of Saddam Hussein was not the kind of compliance demanded by 1441. It was grudging. It was a way of stretching it out. There were others -- France and Germany and others -- who felt, well, it may not be total compliance, but let's just keep inspecting and send more inspectors.
Well, we've seen this movie before. We've seen this game played before. And so we called the bluff and we put down the second resolution. Not because the United States thought we needed one, but Britain and a number of our other friends said they needed one. In fact, it would have served our domestic political purposes, as well. So we put down the second resolution.
Let there be no mistake about that second resolution. It also was going to lead to military conflict. It wasn't leading to more inspections. It was a resolution that gave a timeline for the end of this and go to military operations. But we weren't able to get the votes needed for that. And I believe it was because it was in the face of a certain veto from France and a probable veto from Russia. That made it hard for some of the elected members to come along. And rather than force some of these countries that were having great political difficulties with this issue to have to show their hand, we elected to pull down the resolution.
MR. ROSE: And France, in fact, said there's nothing you could write that we wouldn't veto?
SECRETARY POWELL: France said there's nothing you can write that we wouldn't veto.
MR. ROSE: I'm trying to come to some understanding in looking at 1441, looking at what you said about the message from the war. Who is our enemy? Who is it? Is it countries that support terrorism and want weapons of mass destruction? Is it anybody that supports terrorism? Where are the enemies of the United States today? Is it Syria? Is it Iran? Is it North Korea? Who is it?
SECRETARY POWELL: You know, in the crisis that we're going through now, we sometimes forget that we lost some of our best enemies. It's a joke I used to tell after the Cold War was over, and I used to kid with people. When out on the speaking circuit, I used this joke all the time. "What am I going to do? We lost our best enemy when the Soviet Union went away."
So we are fortunate in the 21st century that the threat of thermonuclear war of the kind that used to be presented by the Soviet Empire is no longer there. China no longer presents the kind of threat or danger that some people might have anticipated. Both of those great countries -- large, important countries -- are in a very, very productive relationship with the United States. So the enemies have changed. All of those nations of the former Soviet Union now come to visit me as free, independent nations, not part of an empire, and they want to talk about trade, aid, democracy, education, healthcare. That's what they want to talk about.
MR. ROSE: And joining NATO.
SECRETARY POWELL: And joining NATO and joining the EU. Why? Because they want to be part of this great transatlantic community, which is not just transatlantic; it also extends to Asia as well, and it's extending south in our own hemisphere to the Americas, to South America. And we're extending it to the Africa with the Millennium Challenge Account, which gives more aid to countries in need, and with HIV/AIDS, which will help African countries who are in such despair.
So we have got so many good things going on, so many nations that are now on a right path to democracy and economic development, and working on the right things to take care of their people, well, then who are the enemies? Terrorism has replaced the ideology of communism as an enemy. And it's a particularly dangerous enemy because it does not necessarily come from a state. It comes from individuals. It comes from groups who have no geographic limit or boundary. You can't find their capital. You find them in places like Afghanistan where they stole a state, al-Qaida did, and we had to remove the regime, the Taliban, and get rid of al-Qaida. We're still chasing remnants of al-Qaida.
MR. ROSE: Is it just the remnants?
SECRETARY POWELL: It's mostly the remnants, in my judgment. Al-Qaida is weakened, but it's still dangerous and we don't want to see it gain the strength that it had a couple of years ago.
What's interesting here is that the whole international community has come together to recognize this danger and we're cooperating on going after their finances, on intelligence exchanges, on police activity, all sorts of things.
There are still states, however, in the world who seek to develop weapons of mass destruction, who continue to support terrorist activities that threaten other states in the region. And we have to look at these states one at a time, individually, and deal with them one at a time, individually. They're not part of a union any longer. They're not part of the empire. North Korea develops weapons of mass destruction. The President believes that that problem can be solved diplomatically because North Korea is in such difficult economic straits.
MR. ROSE: As long as it's multilateral?
SECRETARY POWELL: As long as it's multilateral. Why? Because it is a multilateral problem. Their neighbors should be as involved in the solution of this problem as the United States. It's not a problem between the United States and North Korea. The nuclear weapons they may be developing are a threat to their neighbors, not necessarily, initially, to the United States until they develop long-range missiles.
MR. ROSE: Are you disappointed that South Korea, Japan and other countries, except for China, haven't done more? Because they all seem to want the same thing: a nuclear-free Korea.
SECRETARY POWELL: South Korea had an agreement with North Korea for a nuclear-free peninsula. The Chinese have it is a stated policy. The Chinese policy is a denuclearized Korean Peninsula. Japan wants the same thing. We've worked with all of them.
Now, in the first blush after we discovered what North Korea was doing with a new development program for nuclear weapons, everybody said, "Oh, my heavens. United States, you've got to go talk to North Korea. You have to have a bilateral discussion with North Korea of the kind that the previous administration did which resulted in the Agreed Framework."
And we thought about it and we said no, this is not just our problem. Everybody is always accusing us of being unilateral, and now we want to be multilateral. Why? Because this is a problem for China, their policy of a denuclearized peninsula, South Korea, China, Japan and also Russia, and also Australia and all of the other nations in the region. So we said let's multilateralize it and we stuck with that, even though we were being criticized by everybody.
MR. ROSE: Everybody was saying --
SECRETARY POWELL: Everybody was saying --
MR. ROSE: -- the crisis is too great not to simply go in there and say we'll get in a room with the North Koreans and settle this.
SECRETARY POWELL: We stuck with it. We stuck with our position because we strongly believe we need a comprehensive solution. And guess what? Our Chinese friends agreed with us. Our Japanese, South Korean friends agreed. The Russians have been supportive. The Australians and others have been supportive.
Now, the North Koreans would not come to a meeting that was too large. They didn't want to be outnumbered in the room, so we're starting it with three. But it's multilateral. And the Chinese are there not as moderators, not as the convener of the meeting, but as a full participant in the meeting. So it's multilateral.
The United States is there, having closely consulted with our Japanese and South Korean friends before going in the room, and the first persons we'll consult with when this initial meeting is over will be the Japanese and the South Koreans. So they're not in the room for this initial set of meetings, but we want them to be included later. But they are in the room in terms of us representing their positions and know what their thinking is.
MR. ROSE: Some people say there are two issues here. Number one, if you look at the North Koreans, they are a testament to the fact that as long as you have a nuclear weapon, the United States is not -- is going to negotiate with you; it is not going to come in and attack you. That's the first lesson.
SECRETARY POWELL: Yeah, well, I think it's a wrong lesson if they have learned this lesson or are internalizing it. And the reason it's the wrong lesson is that the United States has such economic, political, diplomatic and military power that we are not going to be intimidated by a small number of nuclear weapons held by a particular regime. The North Koreans --
MR. ROSE: You would be intimidated that they might use them against the South Koreans, wouldn't you?
SECRETARY POWELL: Well, that -- I don't know what they might or might not do, but the one thing they won't do is intimidate us. And we're going to make that very clear in these discussions. And it should dawn on them that they can have plutonium programs and they can have enriched uranium programs, and not one of those programs feeds one North Korean child. And so there is no future in sitting there on a stockpile of nuclear weapons that we can contain or we can deter or we can do whatever might be required. But we don't need to threaten them. We believe, the President believes strongly, there is a diplomatic way to resolve this.
MR. ROSE: And we could give them security guarantees?
SECRETARY POWELL: There is a diplomatic way to resolve this crisis. And in this first set of meetings, nothing is being put on the table. The relations have been strained, and in this first set of meetings with the Chinese and the North Koreans and the United States in a room together around a table, three participants at this meeting, we'll begin a set of discussions. They will hear what we think about the situation. They will hear our strong views. We expect the North Koreans to present their views strongly and we certainly expect the Chinese to present their views strongly.
MR. ROSE: Are you --
SECRETARY POWELL: And we'll regroup and we will see what the next step is.
MR. ROSE: Are you convinced they're more interested in food for their people than they are having nuclear weapons?
SECRETARY POWELL: No, I think they are more interested in the preservation of the regime and their security, the security of the regime.
MR. ROSE: Was it troubling that we had this memo come out saying that maybe regime change in North Korea ought to be on the agenda?
SECRETARY POWELL: No, because it was never the President's agenda. The President has made clear what his agenda is -- he has said it repeatedly -- and that is to find a diplomatic, peaceful, political solution.
MR. ROSE: No one ever said diplomacy was easy, especially you, I suspect. Take Syria, for example. You just said that the war against terrorism is our enemy, that terrorists are our enemy. And you said Syria is on the list of countries that support terrorism. There are also, according to many, a country that's helping in the battle against terrorism.
SECRETARY POWELL: Yeah, diplomacy is sometimes very tricky.
MR. ROSE: Ambiguous?
SECRETARY POWELL: Yeah. They have been providing some help in the global war against terrorism, recently since 9/11. But they are also a state sponsor of terrorism. They would not accept that characterization, but we've used it and used it repeatedly. And we also have concerns about what they may be doing with weapons of mass destruction developments. We've told them that.
And we have been particularly concerned in recent weeks, for obvious reasons, over any transit of Iraqi leaders into Syria or Fedayeen from Syria into Iraq, or any movement across the border during the period of Operation Iraqi Freedom. And we made that clear to them. As the President noted recently, we've seen some movement on the part of the Syrians to respond to these concerns.
MR. ROSE: Do you believe --
SECRETARY POWELL: The President also, therefore, asked me to go to Syria in the very near future, giving them a little more time to see how things develop, and to discuss these issues with them. We have diplomatic relations with Syria. Our Ambassador regularly goes in, Ambassador Kattouf, and presents our concerns to them. And this will be my third trip to Syria.
MR. ROSE: Have they been more responsive since the end of the military conflict in Iraq?
SECRETARY POWELL: As the President noted the other day, yes. We have seen some response -- not a full response, and we still have significant differences with Syria, but we will be discussing these differences. And Syria also has now seen changed circumstances in its neighborhood. There is no longer Saddam Hussein as a neighbor of Syria and we hope that they have taken a look at that and drawn some conclusions from the reality of the changed circumstances, and maybe it will cause them to begin rethinking some of their policies.
MR. ROSE: Speaking of Saddam Hussein, there's a report today that somebody said somewhere in the Middle East or in the Gulf region, reports that he's on the run and that they may be close to finding him. Can you help me understand what that means?
SECRETARY POWELL: No, Charlie, I can't. There is a report an hour that comes out as to whether he is here or there.
MR. ROSE: Dead or alive or on the run in Syria, in Russia?
SECRETARY POWELL: Dead or alive, kind of the Scarlet Pimpernel, he's here, he's almost everywhere. The fact of the matter is we do not know whether he is dead or alive. What we do know is that he is gone. He is no longer the dictator of Baghdad. He is no longer terrorizing his population. He is no longer causing women to be raped. He is no longer oppressing the Shias in the south. He is gone and he's going to stay gone. He's not regrouping. He's not coming back. If he's alive, he's on the run. If he's dead, he's gone to meet his maker.
MR. ROSE: And it's 50/50 in terms of the intelligence you see?
SECRETARY POWELL: I wouldn't even put a percentage on it.
MR. ROSE: Okay. The idea of Iran, before I move on to some broader themes, you have said, this government has said they're trying to get weapons of mass destruction, specifically nuclear, with the help of the Soviets in terms of the technology.
SECRETARY POWELL: We call them Russians now, Charlie.
MR. ROSE: Okay, I'm sorry. (Laughter.)
SECRETARY POWELL: Old habits die quite slowly.
MR. ROSE: They do. (Laughter.) I wasn't going to make that mistake. That's terrible.
Mr. Putin has given them some technology. Fair to say?
SECRETARY POWELL: Yeah.
MR. ROSE: You say and America says that they are supporting terrorism, Hezbollah and others. So where does that put them? Do they make the same -- are they doing the same things that the Iraqis were doing?
SECRETARY POWELL: The President characterized them in his famous speech where he said they were part of an "axis of evil" and that was because of their support of terrorism and their development of weapons of mass destruction. And we will remain concerned about that. We believe that the Russians have provided them assistance, which will ultimately flow into their nuclear weapons development program, and we've discussed this rather candidly with the Russians over the entire period of this administration and will continue to do so.
We believe there is a great deal of churning going on within Iran right now. They have a very young population that can look out beyond the borders of Iran and realize there is another world out there.
MR. ROSE: They want to be part of that community?
SECRETARY POWELL: They want to be part of that world. They want to be part of that community. And they're applying pressure to both their political leadership and their religious leadership, saying, "Look, we're a great country, 5,000 years of history. We are entrepreneurs. We are traders. We are gifted, learned people. And what is this doing for us right now?" So there is turmoil within the Iranian population. And we're watching that, we're measuring it, we're in touch with the Iranians through various channels. We have friends who visit there, foreign secretaries and ministers who go there and report to me regularly. And we have ways of communicating with the Iranians.
MR. ROSE: And they're experimenting with democracy?
SECRETARY POWELL: And they're experimenting with some various forms of democracy and they are trying to figure it out.
MR. ROSE: So they've got nothing to fear from the United States?
SECRETARY POWELL: I would say that we will -- well, I wouldn't quite go that far. I would say that we will protect our interests if it has to do with the war against terrorism to do --
MR. ROSE: So what does that mean, "We'll protect our interests?" I mean they're supporting Hezbollah, who they say are nationalistic.
SECRETARY POWELL: Well, we know that they -- some elements of Hezbollah may make that claim, but other elements, the more significant and dangerous elements of Hezbollah are terrorists, and we know that. And so as long as they continue to support terrorists who are making it difficult to achieve the kind of progress we'd like to see in the Middle East to solve the most nagging problem in the Middle East, then we have to take that into account in our relationship with Iran and try to convince them in a way that we were unable to convince Iraq that it is in their interest now to review the bidding, to take another look, to see what's happened over the last month, over the last six months, and reflect on the direction in which they are moving the policies that they have been following.
MR. ROSE: Back to my question about how the world is responding. I've got to change tape now. Is that all right, okay with you?
SECRETARY POWELL: Okay.
MR. ROSE: My impression is that with respect to the United States and its foreign policy, everything changed after 9/11.
SECRETARY POWELL: I think it's fair to say that after 9/11 we were faced with a new danger. This new enemy appeared we were not expecting. We knew there was always a danger, but we never expected to be attacked in our own cities in that manner. And so everything we have done since 9/11 had to be against the backdrop of 9/11.
MR. ROSE: All right. At that time, though, there was great goodwill for the United States. The Iraqi war put some problems in certain relations. You've described the French as a relationship like a marriage of 225 years, and it's now seeking marriage counseling.
Will there be any consequences for the French because they were a difficult force for you diplomatically? I mean their Foreign Minister was in Africa trying to get people to vote against the second resolution. Even now, with respect to the United Nations, they're saying the United Nations has to play a leading role, a central role, not the words you use, vital role.
SECRETARY POWELL: It was a very difficult period as we went through that second resolution vote. And we didn't believe that France was playing a helpful role. There's no secret about that. And while my colleague Dominique DeVillepin was in Africa visiting three African countries to get their votes, I was on the phone before he landed at each stop.
MR. ROSE: Saying what? Close the airport?
SECRETARY POWELL: Making sure that he did not get three African votes. And we won't, I won't go any further other than to say it was a fascinating diplomatic experience. But now it's over and we have to take a look at the relationship. We have to look at all aspects of our relationship with France in light of this --
MR. ROSE: Okay, but I've heard there will be consequences because they were tough for you. I mean everywhere you would turn after the vote on (inaudible) they weren't on your side and with you; they were against you, against the United States. Are there consequences for standing up to the United States like that?
SECRETARY POWELL: Yes.
MR. ROSE: Let me move on. The Middle East roadmap. Are you, is the President prepared to make that an urgent item to exert pressure on both sides?
SECRETARY POWELL: Yes. The President has made it absolutely clear that he knows. He knew it all along, but with Iraq behind us, he knows with more certainty than he did before that this is where we have to turn our attention to. He also said that we needed new leadership within the Palestinian Authority. That was one of the elements of his speech of last June 24th.
Tomorrow we will find out whether or not Abu Mazen, Mr. Abu Mazen succeeds in forming a cabinet that will pass a vote of confidence by the Palestinian Legislation Council --
MR. ROSE: Or whether Yasser Arafat --
SECRETARY POWELL: -- or whether Yasser Arafat succeeds in derailing his efforts.
MR. ROSE: And what does that say to you about Yasser Arafat?
SECRETARY POWELL: He's still there and he is still not showing the kind of leadership that we need in a Palestinian leader. I think if Yasser Arafat does not allow Mr. Abu Mazen to form the cabinet that Mr. Abu Mazen says he needs to be the prime minister of the Palestinian Authority, an opportunity of enormous importance will be lost and Arafat will have done it again. And the ones who will suffer the most: the Palestinian people as well as the innocent lives that might be lost as this crisis continues.
MR. ROSE: And what --
SECRETARY POWELL: So I hope that sometime in the next 24 hours a resolution of this issue can be found that would allow Abu Mazen to go to the PLC with the blessings of Mr. Arafat to get the cabinet that Mr. Abu Mazen believes he needs in order to be an effective leader of the Palestinian people as their prime minister.
There's no point in him being the prime minister and trying to lead the Palestinian people out of this dead-end position they are in if he doesn't have authority and if he isn't able to obtain the cabinet that he needs to do the job it will be a opportunity of enormous importance and significance that will have been lost yet again.
MR. ROSE: And this message is being sent to him loudly and clearly?
SECRETARY POWELL: It's being sent loudly and clearly every way we know how.
MR. ROSE: Finally, you. What do you hope to accomplish? George Marshall did this. Dean Acheson did this. Different people have done different things. What do you want to accomplish as Secretary of State? Is it the Middle East that will give you an opportunity to do more than anything?
SECRETARY POWELL: The Middle East, I would hope to be able to help the President finally find a way forward that will result in the creation of a Palestinian state. That would be a great success for this President and for this administration. And if I play a part in that success, I would be honored.
I would like to see progress on HIV/AIDS. I would like to see more done with putting in, on a firmer foundation, the democracies that have sprouted all over the world over the last 10 years, but they are fragile. I hope we can do more to grounding these democracies in the Western Hemisphere, in Eastern Europe, in Africa and other places around the world.
I would hope to be able to do something about famine. I would hope to be able to do something working with my colleague Bob Zoellick on free trade. I'm not one who sits around saying, "What is the great accomplishment you have to get under your belt to be a success." I measure my performance. I measure my daily performance as well as my ultimate performance when the report card is written as to whether or not I've helped my president, President Bush achieve the goals that he came in for and whether I have helped him achieve the goals that the American people have for him. And that's the way I measure myself. And that's the only measure I use. As long as he is able to achieve those goals, then any goals I have will be achieved.
MR. ROSE: And if he's reelected, you'll be with him for a second term as Secretary of State?
SECRETARY POWELL: I serve at the pleasure of the President and that's as far as I will ever comment on that issue.
MR. ROSE: But think about the job you just laid out: HIV. We lose more people to HIV than we're losing in any conflict in the world today.
SECRETARY POWELL: Absolutely.
MR. ROSE: Famine. The passion that you have, how can you --
SECRETARY POWELL: And you put the two together. You put HIV/AIDS and famine together with poverty and it all -- they all reenergize each other. If people are sick, they can't work. If they can't work, they can't bring in food. If they can't bring in food, their children are hungry, they are susceptible to disease. It's a horrible cycle that kills families, kills societies, kills nations. It's the greatest weapons of mass destruction going -- a combination of HIV/AIDS, other infectious diseases, famine, poverty. That is a major task and if President Bush and members of this administration can do something about that, that will be a major accomplishment of this administration.
MR. ROSE: And think about you. And you have remembered your father to me on this program before. I mean here is an opportunity for you as the chief representative of the United States to the world to do these things.
SECRETARY POWELL: Well, I am doing it, Charlie. And I serve at the pleasure of the President.
MR. ROSE: Thank you.
SECRETARY POWELL: Now Charlie, you know it would be presumptuous of me to say anything else.
MR. ROSE: Thank you very much.
SECRETARY POWELL: Thank you, Charlie. [End]
Released on April 22, 2003