Powell Says New U.N. Resolution on Iraq Likely
Powell Says U.S. Actions in Iraq Will Be Vindicated
Says new U.N. resolution on Iraq likely
The United States should have no second thoughts and no regrets about taking military action in Iraq, says Secretary of State Colin Powell, because based on Saddam Hussein's past actions, "the assumption had to be that he had a lot to hide" and simply could not be trusted by the international community.
During a September 22 interview prior to the opening of the annual United Nations General Assembly session in New York, Powell told the host of "The Charlie Rose Show" that the evidence made available to him by the intelligence community was solid and that he felt very comfortable presenting it to the U.N. in February.
"I think the American people -- who had paid a lot in terms of political capital, in terms of financial cost, and in the lives of their wonderful young men and women -- should be proud of what those young men and women have done, and what we are trying to do now," he said. The secretary said he is optimistic about Iraq's future and warned critics to "be careful about drawing conclusions" prematurely.
Describing a recent visit to Iraq, Powell said he visited a mass grave where 5,000 people were gassed in 1988, and met with many of the survivors "who were horribly disfigured and suffering as a result." "Mothers died with their babies in their arms", he said. "[T]his was a use of a weapon of mass destruction, poison gas -- sarin, VX -- the worst things that have ever been developed with respect to gasses -- used against innocent civilians."
Stating his belief that a new U.N. resolution on Iraq is likely, the secretary said "after some more discussions with our colleagues in the Security Council we'll be able to arrive at a resolution that will give the international community a broader mandate to work with coalition authorities and the Governing Council in helping the Iraqi people to put in place a constitution, conduct free elections, and from those free elections come up with a government selected by the people."
Powell said that the process of setting up a new government must not be rushed and that inadequate planning and decisionmaking could lead to a failed attempt. Asked how long it would take for a sovereign government to be set up in Iraq, he said that completing a written constitution, a referendum, and an election would take "at least a year."
Powell also said the United States now has excellent relations with Russia and China despite differences on some specific issues. And he described France and Germany as "long-time friends and allies," adding: "we have stood through thick and thin with each other, and we will again -- but just because we have a disagreement doesn't mean we have become enemies. They are friends and allies."
On the subject of the Middle East peace process, the secretary said that Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat has demonstrated time and again that he is not a reliable partner for peace. But Powell said peace can still be achieved if terrorist actions by organizations such as Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad are no longer considered to be acceptable.
Following is a transcript of the interview:
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF
Office of the Spokesman
(New York, New York)
Secretary of State Colin L. Powell
On The Charlie Rose Show
September 22, 2003
New York, New York
MR. ROSE: Secretary of State Colin Powell is here. He is in New York for the opening session of the United Nations General Assembly, where President Bush will deliver a major speech on Iraq tomorrow. I am pleased to have him at this table. Welcome.
SECRETARY POWELL: Thank you, Charlie. Good to be back.
MR. ROSE: It's great to have you here. Tell me what you expect in terms of a resolution from the United Nations.
SECRETARY POWELL: I think after some more discussions with our colleagues in the Security Council we'll be able to arrive at a resolution that will give the international community a broader mandate to work with coalition authorities and the Governing Council in helping the Iraqi people to put in place a constitution, conduct free elections, and from those free elections come up with a government selected by the people representing all the people and that we can then shift total authority back to.
I think we can also come up with a resolution that spells out more clearly the things that the United Nations can do, and I hope it will be a resolution that would invite the Iraqi Governing Council, that this first organization of the new Iraqi Government, these 25 ladies and gentlemen, that will invite them to say to the UN, through the Coalition Provisional Authority and with the assistance of the Secretary General's representative, what they think the timetable should look like and what their plan is for going through the constitution-writing process, holding of elections and forming of a new government.
Remember, they have to make such basic decisions as: Are we going to have a parliamentary form of government or a presidential form of government? How will power be distributed to the various parties within Iraq? They have a lot of work cut out for them.
MR. ROSE: And before that, they've got to write a constitution.
SECRETARY POWELL: Before that -- well, the constitution has to document all that.
MR. ROSE: Right.
SECRETARY POWELL: And it's in the constitution that you set out your political organization, just as we did in our constitution with the three branches: the legislative, executive and judiciary. But they have started moving already. I mean, they said earlier -- last week, I guess it was -- there would be an independent judiciary. This is new and exciting for that part of the world -- an independent judiciary. It sounds very normal to us, but it's revolutionary for the region.
They have also made some statements with respect to the kind of economic policy they will follow, with low tariffs, just a slight reconstruction fee for a period of time; inviting in foreign development funds with no strings attached. This is pretty exciting for that part of the world.
MR. ROSE: Basically saying a private enterprise can come in and own anything it wants --
SECRETARY POWELL: Yes.
MR. ROSE: -- as long as it's not oil.
SECRETARY POWELL: As long as it's not oil, because that is, they consider, the national treasure of the people. And so it's not as if foreigners won't have a role in the oil sector, in exploration and development in due course, but those are decisions to be made by the Iraqi people in due course.
Now, there is a lot of debate about, well, when should sovereignty be returned. Should it be done right away? Should it be done in two months, three months? Well, that's not the right answer. This doesn't go by lunar cycles. The real issue is: When are they prepared to accept the authority of governing themselves again and to be successful at it? If you do it too soon, and just take 25 individuals or 100 individuals picked by the Coalition Provisional Authority and say, "You're a government, here's all the authority," you know, that makes it very hard for us to ask the American Congress for $20 billion to funnel to an authority like that.
We're looking for legitimacy. The President has said from the very beginning that, as a result of this conflict that we've had, we have removed a dictator and now we are going to give the people of Iraq the opportunity to form a democratic nation where the leaders are elected and accountable to the people ever after on the basis of a constitution.
MR. ROSE: Well, I was going to raise two points, in terms of where is the conflict? I mean, there is some conflict with the French, because they have said they would like to see a rapid movement to sovereignty. It even seems like the Independent Counsel is talking about coming to the Congress, saying we're ready to move and it'll save the United States a lot of money if you make it more rapid than not.
SECRETARY POWELL: But it won't. It might well waste money if you make it more rapid than institutions of government are prepared to work with and use that money in an effective way. We have to keep in mind that one of the things that happened as a result of the conflict, we defeated the Iraqi Army handily; it essentially fell apart. But so did all other institutions. Governmental institutions fell apart. The political system, the Baath Party, collapsed. Everything collapsed. And that's part of the challenge we now face of putting these institutions back together. There wasn't anything to build on, so to speak. We had to "de-Baathify" the society.
So we have to slowly put together cabinet ministries, or at least put people in place so they can build their own cabinet ministries again. And to think that you can do this overnight, in a matter of weeks, and then say, "fine, you are now up and running," -- not to trivialize it, but, you know, first you've got to put the training wheels on the bike, and then use them for a while until the institutions of government have matured to the point where you have confidence in those institutions and you have a constitution and the people have spoken through that constitution in the form of an election and they have determined who their leaders will be, not Ambassador Bremer, not Colin Powell, not President Bush, and not any of the other members of the Security Council, especially not the French.
MR. ROSE: Who will make the determination that the time is right to transfer sovereignty?
SECRETARY POWELL: We are hoping that the Governing Council, which is anxious, as you noted -- they would like to move more quickly, but we've said to them, look, let's do this right, let's not set ourselves up or you up for failure. To think that 25 individuals pulled together rather quickly can suddenly have the authority of government over a country of 24 million people -- and they have no assets, they do not have enough income coming in, they don't have the institutions of government yet, they are still just creating their ministries. It's a process that's just begun.
And so to think that this can be done in a matter of weeks or a couple of months I think is very, very unrealistic. So they come up with a plan, working with the Coalition Provisional Authority under Ambassador Bremer, and I am sure the UN Security Council, the UN Secretary General's representative -- special representative -- would play a role in all of that. And it is that plan that would come back to the Security Council for its consideration to be debated, to be blessed, to be endorsed, to be criticized -- whatever the Security Council chooses to do with it when it comes forward.
MR. ROSE: Can you imagine this happening in less than a year?
SECRETARY POWELL: I think I would be reasonable to expect that you can form a constitution writing group and the constitution can be written, we hope, in a period of six months after the beginning of work.
MR. ROSE: But the actual turning over of sovereignty?
SECRETARY POWELL: The actual turning over of sovereignty would seem to me you would have to have two steps: one, the constitution, the referendum on a constitution, that's one step; and then the actual conduct of elections. So I think it's at least a year.
MR. ROSE: None of this has anything to do with security. Security will still be the responsibility of the coalition?
SECRETARY POWELL: Security will be the responsibility of those who are able to provide security, and at the moment the force in the country, the military power in the country, rests in the hands of the coalition forces.
Now, we are anxious to bring up Iraqi units, military units, police forces, border patrols, all of the other normal institutions of government you would find that have responsibility for security. And as they are developed, as Iraqi military units are created, as police are trained, we would give more and more of the security responsibility to them. Nations that have joined us in this effort -- there are some 30 nations alongside of us --Poles, Spaniards, you name it, they're all coming in small numbers and large numbers -- they're also taking on some of the security burden away from the U.S. and UK troops. And we're looking for more nations to contribute to that.
But ultimately, security we want to see in the hands of Iraqis as their security institutions are created.
MR. ROSE: But will that be handed over to them only after they take over sovereignty?
SECRETARY POWELL: No, I would think that security functions could be handed over to them as they develop the capability to handle them, working with their cabinet ministers and working with the Governing Council. But ultimately full governmental authority has to rest in the hands of the Coalition Provisional Authority until such time as they Coalition Provisional Authority, with the blessing of the international community, says we've got it, there's the election, it was a good election, here is the new president, prime minister, whoever it happens to be, and maybe there will be a president and a prime minister. I don't know. And we'll have a ceremony at some point where that new government will stand up before the world and before its own people, and we will proudly hand over full authority back to the Iraqis.
MR. ROSE: And Paul Bremer comes home then?
SECRETARY POWELL: Certainly. Now, there may be a relationship between the coalition members and that government going into the future, just as we have had a relationship with South Korea and European nations, where our presence served some useful purpose. But that's something to be decided in the future. We only stay where we are invited to stay, and I am certainly confident in saying that once those institutions have been created, those security institutions, and they're under the control of elected political leadership, we'll want to come home as fast as we possibly can.
Nobody wants to see sovereignty or authority returned fast more than President Bush or me or Prime Minister Blair and my colleagues in the British Government --
MR. ROSE: And certainly the men and women in the Armed Services.
SECRETARY POWELL: And the men and women -- they want to do this as fast as possible. So our position is not for the purpose of delaying it just for the purpose of delaying it. Our purpose is to lay out a solid plan that really will leave the country better off, and not set up a group of individuals who think they can exercise sovereignty, set them up for failure. It is not in their interest for that to happen.
MR. ROSE: If you -- when do you expect to get this kind of resolution out of the United Nations Security Council?
SECRETARY POWELL: Well, I --
MR. ROSE: By the end of the week or --
SECRETARY POWELL: No, we're not pressing for the end of the week, and there isn't a particular sense of urgency in the sense that I have to have it this week. We have a good opportunity this week with so many leaders in the New York for the United Nations General Assembly. I will have a chance to speak to my Security Council counterparts. Dominique de Villepin from France will be here. I just saw Igor Ivanov in the hallway.
MR. ROSE: Right.
SECRETARY POWELL: And so we have lots of conversations. The President will be meeting with Chancellor Schroeder, with President Chirac. President Putin will be at Camp David this coming weekend. He'll be seeing President Musharraf, who also has one of the -- you know, Pakistan sits on the Security Council as an elected member. And so we'll have lots of opportunity for consultations this week, and then from those consultations we'll see what changes might be appropriate in the draft resolution we put down that would gather the most support possible for such a resolution.
MR. ROSE: Okay, let me look at some of the people who may support it. The French have said basically that they'd like to see a rapid resolution, although President Chirac was quoted in The New York Times today in an interview that he was not inclined to veto anything, and that, if anything, they might abstain.
SECRETARY POWELL: Yeah. Well, they will make their decision in due course. But I was -- I was stressed when people asked me the question, "Would they veto?" And I said, "It is a resolution that deals with the reconstruction of Iraq and ultimately how we help the people of Iraq. We might disagree on this issue of when to transfer authority and to whom, but it is not an issue that I thought the French Government would take a veto on."
MR. ROSE: So it stressed you to hear that they might consider a veto?
SECRETARY POWELL: I never heard them say they would consider a veto.
MR. ROSE: Okay. So they're basically saying we'll abstain, at best, right now?
SECRETARY POWELL: But I would never -- I would never say to the French what they are going to do or are not going to do until they actually do it.
MR. ROSE: Well, in fact, the President said he could not imagine sending troops. I'm going to get to troops in a moment.
The Germans seem to be saying, listen, it's time to move on and we're prepared, I would assume, to support this kind of resolution. Is that your expectation?
SECRETARY POWELL: I think that the suggested changes we got from the Germans are such that we can accommodate them in another draft of the resolution. And if we are able to accommodate them, then I would hope they'd be able to support it. But I would not want to predict what any one nation might do.
MR. ROSE: The Russians seem to be indicating that they are prepared to move on too, and they might even, in fact, consider troops coming in for training purposes or other things.
SECRETARY POWELL: Yeah, President Putin made some statements over the weekend that I thought were encouraging, and we'll have an opportunity at Camp David to speak more about that.
After the conflict, when it was pretty much behind us and I made my first trip to Europe, I visited NATO and spoke to all the members of NATO, as well as the Russians, who were there that day. And what I said to them is we had a major dispute over whether or not there should have been a war, but we've had it, Saddam Hussein is gone. Despite all the difficulties that lay ahead, Saddam Hussein is gone and we will never have to worry about him or his rotten, dictatorial, murdering regime any longer. And that's good, and it's good for the world. Now let's put that behind us and all come together and work on how we can help the Iraqi people create the kind of country that we would like to see exist in that part of the world. And that's been President Bush's goal from the very beginning.
MR. ROSE: How well is that process going? And you went over there and you came back and you said to the critics, the critics of the reconstruction, "Hold your fire, it's better than I thought," I assumed, you were saying. You said, "I'm surprised."
SECRETARY POWELL: Yeah.
MR. ROSE: You looked at a whole series of things and said this is going well, this is going well. Lots of things were going well except for security, and you pointed out the problems with creating electricity and water because of the state that you found the nation in.
SECRETARY POWELL: Yeah, a lot of things are going well and you don't read much about it in our papers, but, when you think of everything that people thought would be not going well -- people would be starving, the food system would have collapsed, health care was a mess -- I remember day after day seeing press coverage and television coverage of how terrible all the hospitals were and people were suffering. All hospitals are now functioning. We have town or city or village councils going in about 80 -- 85 to 90 percent of all the communities.
PTAs are being formed by our infantry commanders. If you want $500 for your school, we'll give you the $500 to repair your school, but you've got to form a PTA. And all the citizens looked around said, "What's a PTA?" Well, they found out soon enough for that $500, and suddenly people are getting involved at a local level.
An independent judiciary. An economic reform plan. The oil sector and sewage systems and all the rest of that are coming up. They'd come up even faster if it wasn't for these remnants that are still out there from the old Baathist regime, leftovers who don't realize that Saddam Hussein is not coming back. It is over. And who are trying to keep progress from happening. And I am confident in the ability of our military forces and as Iraqi security forces are built up to deal with these remnants over time, and to also get a handle on some of the terrorists who are heading into Iraq to try to take advantage of this difficult situation.
So we will have work, much work, ahead of us. But in the north things are relatively stable. In the south, security-wise, things are relatively stable. Not perfect, but relatively stable. It's the Sunni triangle in the middle that tends to give us the greatest difficulty, parts of Baghdad, Fallujah, Ramadi, places like Tikrit, places like that. And this is no surprise to us. We knew that these would be the tough places where we would find the residuals of the old regime.
MR. ROSE: Are you then saying that people who have been criticizing the United States for its planning, its anticipation of problems, including General Zinni, who you have had as a consultant to the State Department, who was, in fact, our envoy to the Middle East, when he criticizes and says that it's just been a failure, that those critics are wrong, that the planning was right, that the results have been good?
SECRETARY POWELL: You know, no plan survives first contact with an enemy. It's an old military axiom.
MR. ROSE: Yes.
SECRETARY POWELL: And so you make a set of plans with respect to how you hope the situation will unfold. The situation never quite unfolds the way you expect it to. The key to good organizations and good structure and good leadership is how you "audible," how you change to adjust to the new reality.
MR. ROSE: Well, but is --
SECRETARY POWELL: The new reality here -- the new reality that we adjusted to was that more of the old civil system collapsed than we thought. We thought that perhaps some of these units, military units, might remain intact and with de-Baathification give us something to work with. They pretty much all collapsed because of the effectiveness of our military and their lack of confidence in their leadership. They essentially melted.
And so it's taking us longer, then, to build back up the institutions that we're going to need for security, and that's something that we will work on. But to suggest that suddenly everything is in disarray, what I saw last week were the things I described: commanders hard at work, Ambassador Bremer and his gifted staff hard at work putting a country back together, giving new responsibility to people. I met with the Baghdad City Council and listened to their complaints. They wanted to talk about sewage and clean water and we want more women on the city council. I could have been anywhere in the United States and heard those same sorts of issues. Those are the kinds of issues they should be grappling with.
MR. ROSE: Then why don't we --
SECRETARY POWELL: I went up to Halabja in the Kurdish area and I visited the mass grave where the 5,000 people who were gassed-- who were gassed by Saddam Hussein in 1998 -- 1988 -- where they are buried, and a very moving ceremony. And I met with so many of the survivors, people who were horribly disfigured and are suffering as a result.
MR. ROSE: Mothers who died with their babies in their arms.
SECRETARY POWELL: Mothers who died with their babies in their arms. And I visited their memorial. And this was a use of a weapon of mass destruction, poison gas -- sarin, VX -- the worst things that have ever been developed with respect to gasses -- used against innocent civilians. And they are absolutely overjoyed that the man and the regime who was responsible for that is gone.
And the one request they had to me is, "Please, you now have Chemical Ali in your possession. We want to try him up here in Halabja."
MR. ROSE: Will they get their wish?
SECRETARY POWELL: That's up to the Iraqis. They're the ones who will determine who they are going to go about this with their new independent judiciary.
MR. ROSE: What are we learning from all these people that are now in custody? All the decks of the card except for Saddam, more and more, are in custody. What are they telling us?
SECRETARY POWELL: Well, there is a very intense process of interrogation that's taking place. Not all the information has been made available back here because a lot of it we want to keep and correlate with other interviews and other information as it comes forward. But there is no doubt in my mind that everything that has been said about this regime over the years was true. It truly was evil. It's filled mass graves. We're finding mass grave after mass grave. And this isn't just, "Well, so what, it's a mass grave." It's a mass grave full of innocent people who were shot, who were murdered, who were slaughtered, and people who were gassed by weapons of mass destruction.
MR. ROSE: That evidence alone is enough for you, for you as one former soldier, as one Secretary of State, to say this war was justified?
SECRETARY POWELL: I think it clearly --
MR. ROSE: Regardless of everything else, the way this Saddam Hussein had control and what he was doing to the people and what he was doing to Iraq was enough?
SECRETARY POWELL: In my presentation on the 5th of February before the Security Council, I talked about the weapons of mass destruction which we know he had, we were confident that he had throughout this whole period. So was the United Nations by passing resolution after resolution after resolution condemning him for having these weapons of mass destruction. And Mr. Kay, Dr. Kay, is hard at work and will be --
MR. ROSE: -- coming back in a couple weeks.
SECRETARY POWELL: -- coming back in a couple weeks. And we'll see what he has to say. But in --
MR. ROSE: Have you -- did you talk --
SECRETARY POWELL: No, I haven't --
MR. ROSE: He wasn't there when you were there?
SECRETARY POWELL: He wasn't there. But I also, in my 5 February presentation, talked about terror, talked about the abuse of human rights. And so it's a comprehensive case against this regime.
MR. ROSE: Here's my question that goes right to the heart of where we are. When you read all the surveys of anti-Americanism, why isn't there in the Arab world, in Europe, a greater appreciation of that fact, notwithstanding the difficulties that have taken place in terms of reconstruction and bringing Iraq along?
SECRETARY POWELL: I think that there eventually will be a greater appreciation of our effort, even though we don't see it now. To some extent, it's seriously biased by the problems with the Middle East peace plan and the fact that we haven't made the kind of progress we would like to see there as well.
But I am confident that as time passes and as the situation comes under control, the security situation, and as the people of Iraq assume more and more responsibility for their own leadership, their own institutions, people will recognize that something very, very good happened in that part of the world with the coalition going in to remove this dictator.
Now, there is a certain concern that, you know, the United States or a Western nation came in and did this to an Arab brother. But this was a very bad Arab brother. He is deserving of no one's praise.
MR. ROSE: Is part of it -- and I saw this over the weekend. Someone was saying that part of it, that because Saddam was so strong in terms of his hold on the state, that they're embarrassed that someone had to come in and do it for them. I mean, there's a certain element of pride that someone else had to do it and therefore they'd like from -- they're proud that they did, pleased that they did because life will be better, they hope, but the sense that they want America to --
SECRETARY POWELL: In some quarters there is a little bit of resentment also that he didn't put up a better fight. Now, you say, "Well, how can this be?" Well, you know, if you're going to be the so-called leader of the Arab world and take on America, you're supposed to make a better fight of it than he did. And there's a little resentment over that as well.
So there are all these crosscurrents and feelings that are rather conflicted, and it reflects itself in a heightened level of anti-Americanism. But I am confident that over time, as the people of Iraq and as the leaders of Iraq, the new leaders of Iraq, start talking about what they are doing and the promise they see for their people and for their country, I think these attitudes will change. That's why --
MR. ROSE: And the coalition soldiers leave.
SECRETARY POWELL: And the coalition soldiers leave, so we won't be seen as being occupiers. And that's why we have brought to -- we have asked and helped get here members of the new cabinet of Iraq. Members of the Governing Council will be here in New York this week to be seen, to talk --
MR. ROSE: To talk to the people at the UN?
SECRETARY POWELL: To talk to the people at the UN and to go down to Washington and talk to members of Congress. I was pleased that the Arab League acknowledged that there is a new leadership and seated temporarily for, you know, until such time as we get a permanent government in place, they allowed the foreign minister to be seated as representing the Iraqi people.
MR. ROSE: Why, then, aren't they willing to supply troops to help bring things along while you try to make the security situation better, certainly in the triangle?
SECRETARY POWELL: Yeah.
MR. ROSE: And do you think this resolution will go a long way in doing that?
SECRETARY POWELL: I don't think -- no, I don't think the resolution will --
MR. ROSE: -- encourage, make a difference --
SECRETARY POWELL: There are some nations who have not yet made a contribution but had indicated they're willing to consider it. And the resolution gives them a broader political mandate, more of a UN mandate in order to take the issue to their people or to their parliaments. But I'm not expecting that this is going to produce a huge number of additional troops or a large number of additional countries to step forward.
MR. ROSE: But don't you need --
SECRETARY POWELL: Right now, right now, 30 countries have stepped forward on the basis of the earlier Resolution 1483, which authorizes and encourages nations to step forward. So while we're looking --
MR. ROSE: But what's the number of those 30 versus the coalition?
SECRETARY POWELL: The number of those 30 amount to something in the neighborhood of 22,000 or thereabouts.
MR. ROSE: So, of the 140-50,000, 22?
SECRETARY POWELL: Yeah. We are the major force there. We are the only nation who can generate the kinds of forces that we put in there.
MR. ROSE: Just say with the issue of forces and boots on the ground. We hear for a while that General Sanchez and others were saying, and Abizaid was saying we don't need more troops.
SECRETARY POWELL: American troops.
MR. ROSE: American troops. Do they need more troops or not? The argument was made by some that they didn't say they needed more American troops because there were no American troops to be provided because American troops were stretched so thin around the world.
SECRETARY POWELL: I asked them specifically this question last weekend, and they gave me the same answer they have given to everyone else. They need --
MR. ROSE: So privately they said, "General -- Secretary Powell --
SECRETARY POWELL: We were all in a room -- myself, General Abizaid, General Sanchez and Ambassador Bremer -- and they said we don't need any more American troops but we could always use more troops from other nations that would help -- how shall we say? -- thicken the security presence in other parts of the country. Why would I send more American troops over to go into the northern and southern sections of the city -- of the country -- and it's not clear to me that you need greater density of troops in the Sunni triangle. What you might need is more emphasis on intelligence. And if I have to put, you know, an incremental marginal increase of resources into the problem, I would speed up the training of the Iraqi National Army or Iraqi police forces than more money sending more American troops over.
We don't want to take on more security responsibilities. We want to create Iraqi units that can take on those security responsibilities. We had another tragedy at the UN this morning, near the UN headquarters this morning, where somebody tried to get closer to that same hotel where the bomb went off last month with a car bomb, and the bomb was stopped by a guard and the bomb went off, killing the driver, the suicide driver or the attacker, and the guard. The guard was an Iraqi who was performing his security function for the UN.
MR. ROSE: When you look at where we have to go in terms of security, do you expect that there will be more troops coming in? India has said they can't do it. The Pakistanis say we can't do it because of our own domestic political considerations. General -- President Musharraf said that over the weekend in an interview. I mean, where are they coming from, the troops that might come to aid the security effort in Iraq?
SECRETARY POWELL: The countries that have large standing bodies of troops who might be able to do it, India was one but I think it's probably too politically difficult for them to do it, Pakistan I think is still something of an open question.
MR. ROSE: Notwithstanding what Musharraf said earlier?
SECRETARY POWELL: We'll be having -- we'll have a chance to discuss that with President Musharraf. Bangladesh is another possibility and Turkey is a possibility. The European nations that have large numbers of troops are essentially France and Germany, who have not -- most of the others have already contributed. And France and Germany I wouldn't expect large combat formations from them. Both have said -- you know, Germany, as a result of its position and its situation -- I would not expect, and Chancellor Schroeder has said they wouldn't provide combat troops and I would not expect any from France, and President Chirac has said that. Both of those nations --
MR. ROSE: You could get enough troops from --
SECRETARY POWELL: Both of those nations, however, France especially, they are strapped. I mean, they are in Bosnia, in Kosovo, and so is Germany.
MR. ROSE: Afghanistan.
SECRETARY POWELL: Afghanistan. Other places in the world where missions are taking place -- the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Ivory Coast. There are a lot of candidates for peacekeeping forces out there these days, and everybody is trying to do as much as they can. But there are limits to the numbers of troops that are out there who can make a contribution to a force that's on the ground. You don't want troops that can't do anything except just sort of stand there. They have to have a level of competence and add to the capability.
MR. ROSE: I want to move to a couple -- you made an interesting speech about foreign policy. I think it was in Georgetown somewhere recently. I want to talk about that.
SECRETARY POWELL: George Washington. You're going to get me in trouble.
MR. ROSE: George Washington, yeah. Or me. That's like the difference between Duke and Carolina or Yale and Harvard.
SECRETARY POWELL: I'm a graduate of George Washington.
MR. ROSE: Yes, okay. A Master's Degree, I assume.
SECRETARY POWELL: Yes.
MR. ROSE: Let me just stay with this notion of around the world. Afghanistan. The Taliban seems to be getting stronger. Bin Laden seems to be alive and well, even having meetings in the mountains of Afghanistan. There is a security problem there. Has Afghanistan worked or not?
SECRETARY POWELL: Of course it's worked.
MR. ROSE: Because Karazi is still --
SECRETARY POWELL: Karzai.
MR. ROSE: Karzai, I mean. I'm sorry. Karazi is in Morocco.
SECRETARY POWELL: President Karzai is showing a greater and greater ability with each passing day to extend his control. He has started to move around some of the provincial governors who he felt should be moved in order to show greater control coming out from the central government in Kabul. We are building up an Afghan National Army and it's taking casualties already in conflicts with the Taliban. We do have a government that's been formed. We've had elections. There's going to be a -- through the Loya Jirga process, and there will be elections, full elections, next year.
And so it is no longer the country it was two years ago, but there are still challenges. It is an economy that simply didn't exist, but now it does exist and there is growth taking place in the country. Roads are being built, but there is still a challenge from the Taliban, particularly in the eastern and southern part of the country.
MR. ROSE: It seems to be growing --
SECRETARY POWELL: Yeah, it's -- I can't -- I can't quantify the growth, but clearly there are Taliban forces that are down there. And we are engaging them and the Afghan National Army is, and we are working with the Pakistanis and President Musharraf to see if they are not able to do a better side on -- a better job on the Pakistan side of the Afghan-Pakistan border so that these people are not enjoying any kind of sanctuary in Pakistan.
MR. ROSE: So you know -- you assume, then, bin Laden is not in Pakistan; he is, in fact, on the Afghan side?
SECRETARY POWELL: I don't know where he is.
MR. ROSE: You don't know where he is?
SECRETARY POWELL: No, I don't.
MR. ROSE: We don't know where he is -- the United States?
SECRETARY POWELL: No, we don't. And anyone who --
MR. ROSE: Rumsfeld doesn't know where he is? No one knows?
SECRETARY POWELL: I don't know where he is.
MR. ROSE: You know the region where he's in, but you don't know specifically?
SECRETARY POWELL: I don't know where he is, period, region or anything else. I don't know where he is.
MR. ROSE: Do you think the United States Government knows where he is?
SECRETARY POWELL: I'm not sure the United States Government knows where he is. If we knew where he is, I'm sure we would be there.
MR. ROSE: Al-Qaida. We read every week of the arrest of someone and we read just yesterday, today's paper, yesterday's paper, that Khalid -- Mohamed Khalid -- was talking--
SECRETARY POWELL: Khalid Sheikh Mohamed.
MR. ROSE: Sheikh Khalid Mohamed was talking about 9/11. We've captured a number of them. Are we winning that battle or not?
SECRETARY POWELL: We are winning, but it is a difficult battle and it's going to take a long time for us to completely win. The basic al-Qaida leadership that found a haven with the Taliban in Afghanistan has been severely damaged. I mean, almost practically destroyed. But Usama bin Laden is still around and there are some leaders around, and they have the ability to regenerate and show up in other places and take other forms.
That's why it's so important that the President took this problem to the international community. And we knew that when we struck in Afghanistan against the Taliban and al-Qaida that would not be the end of it. And that's why we have had such an aggressive effort on law enforcement cooperation with nations around the world and intelligence exchanges and going after finances of al-Qaida. And that's why with each passing week, even though you might see an Usama bin Laden tape, an al-Qaida figure is being arrested somewhere. The Pakistanis just made another good arrest within the past 24 hours. And there are arrests that take place in France, Germany, in Indonesia and elsewhere.
So the whole world is coming to the realization that this kind of terrorism is not just something that's directed against America or against Israel; it's directed against all civilized nations and we all have to work together on it.
MR. ROSE: Some of your colleagues in the administration, I think the Vice President and maybe even Secretary of Defense, have spoken to the idea that the great battle in the war on terrorism is now taking place in Iraq. Why is that?
SECRETARY POWELL: Because we saw a drift into Iraq of some terrorists. I'm not sure of the number. It could be in the hundreds, could be in the range of a thousand or two. And that's an estimate, almost a guess. But we are seeing evidence that some people have moved into Baghdad to take -- and into Iraq to take advantage of the situation. The coalition is there, Americans are there, and let's see if we can go after Americans there.
But we shouldn't think that that's the only place we now have to worry about, but it's certainly --
MR. ROSE: But is the center of the fight --
SECRETARY POWELL: I don't know what "center" means exactly, but it certainly is a place that we have to worry about, and we have to worry about in the sense that since they are coming in it's a particular intelligence challenge to find out who's there, what they're doing, and what their capacity is. And so the intelligence community has its work cut out for it.
MR. ROSE: In the war against terrorism, it was said at the beginning in conversations about the attack against Iraq that it was necessary, in part, for the United States to have a friendly nation where it could use as a kind of base to forge a democracy and also the battle against terrorism in the region, and that the reason that the United States and the coalition forces were reluctant to give up control to the UN and others was because they thought that opportunity would be lost as well. Anything you'd agree with that?
SECRETARY POWELL: No. The real reason that we are -- and it's not that we're reluctant to give up control to either the Iraqis or the UN. The issue is who has the capacity to help Iraq regenerate itself as a society, to rebuild these institutions and to form a government after the previous regime and all of the government institutions were essentially destroyed. Nobody in the United Nations, from the Secretary General on down to his staff, has come up and said, "You know, we would like to take over the responsibility from Ambassador Bremer and the Coalition Provisional Authority, and let them go home."
MR. ROSE: They haven't asked for that?
SECRETARY POWELL: No. They can't. They wouldn't ask for that because that is beyond the capacity of the UN as an international body to do. Now, if it was -- if the security situation was stable and a lot of other things were in place, then maybe it's something. But this isn't East Timor. It isn't Bosnia. This is a rather unique -- a unique situation where a large army, the American Army, went in and defeated another army and took over a country that had been essentially pillaged and raped by its own leaders for the last 30 years, and the institutions were destroyed.
If the UN was capable of doing it and had expressed its desire and its ability to do it --
MR. ROSE: -- and the security element was not there --
SECRETARY POWELL: -- and the security problem was not there, fine. But the UN does not do war well. It's not the role of the UN to do this kind of thing. And it is something that we know how to do and we have done well. We've done well in conjunction with the UN on many occasions in the past. The first Gulf War comes to mind. That wasn't -- you know, the UN passed resolutions placing the demand on Iraq to get out of Kuwait, but it was an American-led army under General Schwarzkopf that went in and made it happen.
MR. ROSE: And it was a coalition put together by President Bush, at the time.
SECRETARY POWELL: A coalition put together by President Bush, at the time.
MR. ROSE: All right. Iran. Do you fear Iran's intentions, or people in Iran, with respect to Iraq?
SECRETARY POWELL: We have made it clear to the Iranians that it is not in their interest to foment trouble in southern Iraq or to see southern Iraq and what might be happening in southern Iraq with the Shia population as a threat to Iran. Now, we watched in the initial days after the conflict a number of people drifting over into Iraq and we have monitored that carefully. And so we are communicating to the Iranians through a variety of means and channels that let's not make this a new test between the United States and Iran. We have more than enough on our plate. We want to talk about terrorism, we want to talk about development of nuclear weapons, we want to talk about weapons of mass destruction, we want to talk about support Hezbollah. But it is in Iran's interest to have a stable Iraq. It's Iran that fought an eight-year inconclusive war with Iraq once before. Don't create instability in Iraq, thinking it would serve your interest.
MR. ROSE: The idea was that they would like to see another government similar -- a kind of a religious government there --
SECRETARY POWELL: Every -- every country --
MR. ROSE: -- that might match the religious government they had because the majority in both populations are Shia?
SECRETARY POWELL: Every country in that region would be better served by an Iraq that is firmly democratic, is not interested in invading its neighbors, not interested in weapons of mass destruction, has a representative form of government, is an Islamic country by faith, just as we are, you know, a Judeo-Christian and -- it's hard to tell any more, but we are a faith -- a country of many faiths now -- and that is living in peace with its neighbors.
Now, is that a dream? Why should it be a dream? Why isn't it possible? What did their alternative strategy for the last 30 years get them, except for going from one of the highest per capita incomes in the world, and certainly in that region, down to destitution in a period of 30 years under the rule of Saddam Hussein? They have the possibility, the opportunity, to go back up that curve again if they follow the path that I think we have laid out to them.
MR. ROSE: But that comes back to the question, you would hope that they would be more cooperative towards that goal than they are.
SECRETARY POWELL: Well, many are cooperative. The Kurds are certainly cooperative.
MR. ROSE: Well, but they're within the --
SECRETARY POWELL: Well, but you say they're not cooperative --
MR. ROSE: No, I'm talking about -- I'm speaking more about the Egyptians or the Saudis or the Iranians or others --
SECRETARY POWELL: I would have --
MR. ROSE: For the Pakistanis?
SECRETARY POWELL: Yes. I hope we can gather more support. I think there are a number of countries in the region, when you have, you know, an American army, a United Kingdom army, and a coalition army -- in a country, in a Arab country, there are reservations that the countries in the neighborhood have because of popular feelings within those countries. And I hope that over time, and I expect that over time, as we see progress, as life gets better for the Iraqi people, as they start to benefit from the investment that the United States is prepared to make, and I hope many other countries in the international community are prepared to make, to reconstruct Iraq, they will see that it will serve their interests, by starting to have a better relationship with, not only Iraq and the coalition, but align themselves with the process that has been put in place.
MR. ROSE: Speaking back to the Iranians, do you believe they're developing, trying to develop, trying to acquire, enriched uranium in order to develop a nuclear weapon?
SECRETARY POWELL: All the intelligence we have, and the evidence we have, suggests that they were actively pursuing the technology and the capability to develop nuclear weapons. That's why we were so concerned. And we shared our concern with the Russians, with many other nations, and we shared our concern with the IAEA.
For quite a while, in the beginning of this Administration, first year and a half, two years, people listened to us, but they weren't too taken aback by what we were saying. And then suddenly more information became available, and the IAEA was made aware of this information and became concerned. And the whole international community became concerned. That's why now everybody is saying to the Iranians "Wait a minute, you'd better sign this additional protocol, and beyond that, you'd better fess up to whatever it is you've been doing with respect to nuclear weapons and nuclear weapons development programs."
And just to say, no, all we're interested in is generating nuclear power, when they have huge oil reserves that can give them all the power they need, they say they're holding those oil reserves to sell, and they'll develop nuclear power for their internal use.
MR. ROSE: You don't believe them.
SECRETARY POWELL: Well, I think it is wise to be skeptical. It's not a matter of believing, but Charlie, an old friend of ours used to say, "Trust but verify."
MR. ROSE: Yes. So what happens on October 31st?
SECRETARY POWELL: On October 31st, the IAEA will provide another update to their Board of Governors, and to the Security Council, and we will see what the Iranians do between now and then.
MR. ROSE: And if they don't?
SECRETARY POWELL: If they don't, then it's a matter for the international community. You know, everybody -- we are often accused of being unilateral, the United States just goes off on their own. This is a case where we brought a problem to the international community.
MR. ROSE: The IAEA.
SECRETARY POWELL: The IAEA, and through the IAEA, through the Security Council. Just as, in a multilateral way, we are dealing with the problem of North Korea, nuclear weapons in North Korea.
MR. ROSE: Where does that stand?
SECRETARY POWELL: It stands that we had a very useful six-party meeting. We insisted that this should not be a problem just between North Korea and the United States. That's what the North Koreans wanted. "Okay, gee, you caught us again, what will you give us this time if we behave?" Wrong. This is a problem between you and us and you and your neighbors. And so it took us six months with everybody criticizing and all sorts of great advice coming in, but we succeeded in getting China, Japan, Russia, South Korea to join with us, and then with North Korea in a six-party meeting in Beijing last month. I expect there will be more meetings.
MR. ROSE: But it didn't end well, did it?
SECRETARY POWELL: It ended with an agreement, one, all parties agree, including the North Koreans, that we want a denuclearized Korean Peninsula. Parties agreed that there will be an opportunity for future discussions. And I expect there will be future discussions. The North Koreans have said that, well, we're going to go off and demonstrate that we have a nuclear weapon, and we're going to demonstrate and show you we have the means to deliver it.
Well, you know, they say many things, and sometimes we have to take what they say seriously, because they will actually demonstrate something, and other times it's a little bit of rhetoric, a little bit of blustering. We take it seriously. They say they have nuclear weapons, they say they've reprocessed all 8,000 of those rods -- I can't establish that they have done so -- but they say they have. And what they have done is raise the level of concern, not just with the United States, but, guess what, with their immediate neighbors, their immediate neighbors who have a lot to offer North Korea. And one particular immediate neighbor, China, who now is playing a very important and direct role in convening these six-party meetings, and is a principal provider of assistance to North Korea.
MR. ROSE: But it's an interesting situation. Not only do they have the closest relationship with all of those other nations, with North Korea, but they also have, I understand, moved some troops up on the border, to send -- you didn't make much of this.
SECRETARY POWELL: No, it's -- it seems to be merely a --
MR. ROSE: -- a training --
SECRETARY POWELL: No, no. They've been reviewing the kinds of --
MR. ROSE: It wasn't to send a message?
SECRETARY POWELL: No. First of all, there are not 150,000 Chinese troops that have moved to the border. I have no information to support that. But it's clear they were doing some activity at the border to strength their border controls. But it was not some huge movement of troops as first reported in the press.
MR. ROSE: That brings me to what you have said in the speech that I was interested in. Two things. We haven't touched on the Middle East, but it seems to me that that's -- it's hard to see where that's going and I'm not sure what there is to say about that but I'll come back to it in a moment.
You said that what you are proud of, with respect to the Bush Administration, that relations between the United States and China and the United States and Russia have never been better. Correct?
SECRETARY POWELL: I'm very pleased with what we've done --
MR. ROSE: -- for a long time.
SECRETARY POWELL: Yes, but let me reinforce that, because our headlines are so dominated with talk of preemption, and unilateralism, and Iraq and Afghanistan, and the Middle East. But just bear with me for a moment. If you set those aside, and look at what else we have been doing, from a low point at the beginning of the Administration when we had the airplane collision, we have very excellent relations with China right now. We have excellent relations with Russia. Remember, these used to be the two that would cause me to stay awake at night when I was a soldier. And now I can honestly say that our relations with them are as good as they've ever been.
Does it mean we agree in every issue? No. Did Russia very, very much disagree with our decision with respect to Iraq? Yes. But is Russia now working with us in order to see if we can move forward and help the Iraqi people reconstruct their country?
MR. ROSE: Are they?
SECRETARY POWELL: Yes. Mr. Putin said so over the weekend.
MR. ROSE: I know he did, but I mean --
SECRETARY POWELL: Well --
MR. ROSE: Okay, I take his word, he speaks for Russia, but the point is, but the point also, is, are they working for us in the sense that not only are they saying we're with you, but they're also using the good offices, in a sense, to help us with other member states of the United Nations and things like that, where they can exert influence and say we're with the United States, we're not -- we have -- the Iraqi war is over, except the war itself, and we're prepared to move on.
SECRETARY POWELL: The war is over, we're prepared to move on, and I think they are being helpful, and President Putin will have a chance to discuss this with President Bush at Camp David this weekend. But here's an important point. Merely because, you know, we now have good relations with China and Russia for example, it doesn't mean that they fall in line and agree with everything we do, every position we take. These are sovereign nations, and sovereign nations respond to the passions and aspirations and feelings of their people.
And so we as a great power, the superpower, must listen to our friends, the sovereign -- and other sovereign nations, and take their views into account. And that's what we work hard trying to do. When we can't get agreement or consensus, then we don't abandon our principle. We will continue to do what we think is right. But when you look at China and Russia, I think both of those relations are solid. When you look at Europe, we've had major disagreements with France and Germany and some other countries with respect to Iraq, but so many of the other countries of Europe -- Spain, Italy, Poland, Portugal -- are with us.
And so France and Germany, long-time friends and allies, we have stood through thick and thin with each other, and we will again -- but just because we have a disagreement doesn't mean we have become enemies. They are friends and allies.
MR. ROSE: Here's what I don't understand is the difference between -- if things are going good with the French -- I mean, with the Russians and with the Chinese, and the Chinese, some believe, will be the principal competition for the United States in this century, because their economic growth rate is very high and because they have a billion plus people and all of those reasons. You have pointed --
SECRETARY POWELL: All the more reason to have a good relationship with them.
MR. ROSE: Okay. Now, you indicated in the speech that some nations think it's imperative not to engage in partnership, but to establish a kind of multipolar world, suggesting that there needs to be some kind -- a part of some kind of competitive anti-American position. Who are you talking about, and how does that play itself out?
SECRETARY POWELL: There is some discussion in Europe, and there's always discussion in Europe about the latest flavor.
MR. ROSE: Right.
SECRETARY POWELL: And my French friends have been talking about multipolarity. There needs to be --
MR. ROSE: -- competition for the United States.
SECRETARY POWELL: Yeah. Something that balances the United States. But if nations have the same values of democracy and freedom, if they have a shared experience, and if they have a similar vision for the rest of the world, and how democracy and freedom can belong to all the nations of the world, then we don't have to be on opposite poles to one another. Poles mean opposite positions, this doesn't have to be the case. We can work together in partnership -- as we are working together in partnership with France and Germany, so many other nations, in Bosnia, in Kosovo, in Afghanistan, and hopefully as we move forward with this next resolution, in Iraq.
We are also, you know, engaged with Europe in other ways. The expansion of NATO last year was a success for our policy of shared values that are not competing poles, but --
MR. ROSE: Without threatening the Russians so much that they would become --
SECRETARY POWELL: Charlie, sometimes people have to remember what happened. When we first came in, everybody was saying, "Those crazy Bushies, they're going to get rid of the ABM Treaty, we're going to have a major crisis in Europe." Every intellectual in Europe screaming and shouting --
MR. ROSE: Well, they don't respect the --
SECRETARY POWELL: But what do we do? We talked to the Russians. I talked to the Russians for nine months, talking about the ABM Treaty, and why it was a constraint, and why we didn't need it any longer, and why we should work on missile defense together. I was unable to get a solution, and the Russians said, "Now we really have a problem with this, we really think you ought to stay within the ABM Treaty." And I said "Well, you know, we've tried, we've talked about it for nine months, ten months," went on to 11 months. I said, "This isn't going to work. So let me tell you what we'll do. Let's find a way to do this as friends and partners. We're going to leave the ABM Treaty but it does not have to break apart our relationship."
We listened to them for 11 months, they listened to us, and they realized the strength of our feeling, and they understood our position just as we understood their position, and we came to a disagreement.
And I'll never forget the day that I visited President Putin in his office in the Kremlin, when I was -- when I told him that a day or two later President Bush would announce that we were going to be leaving the ABM Treaty. And President Putin looked across the table at me, and Foreign Minister Ivanov was there, and he said, "Well, Colin, I think it's wrong, I think it's bad, and I don't think you should do it. We disagree with you. But at least we won't have to talk about that anymore," he said, "and we will have a good strategic relationship with you anyway." Why? Because it's important.
And lo and behold, that was in December of 2001, and six and a half, seven months later, we were out of the ABM Treaty, and we had signed a new treaty with the Russians to reduce strategic offensive weapons. And our strategic cooperation has continued in a splendid fashion ever since.
Everybody said the world was going to come to an intellectual end with the end of the ABM Treaty. And it didn't happen. Why? We talked it through, and realized we couldn't agree on this, so let's move forward on that which we do agree upon, and get this irritant behind. We did that.
MR. ROSE: Are you prepared to say, then, that for all the stories about anti-Americanism, that it is exaggerated in terms of what you find when you go from country to country to country talking to the officials of the government, or secondly, that you can talk your way through it to find a way to cooperate on important issues?
SECRETARY POWELL: Both. In talking to officials, I get a good reception, and I don't get an anti-American reaction at that level.
MR. ROSE: Right.
SECRETARY POWELL: And we can find solutions. But I don't want to gloss over the fact that there is anti-American feelings out there --
MR. ROSE: Let me interrupt you there one second --
SECRETARY POWELL: -- both in Europe and in the Arab world, and we have to work on that.
MR. ROSE: King Abdullah was on the show on Monday. And he said to me that he thought that anti-Americanism had more to do -- and I think you alluded to this -- with the failure to find a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian issue than it did to Iraq.
SECRETARY POWELL: In the Arab world, that's true.
MR. ROSE: But in the rest of the world, in Europe, and in Asia --
SECRETARY POWELL: In Europe and Asia, I think in Muslim parts of Asia and Europe, I think it is still more of a Palestinian issue than Iraq. Iraq just suddenly came along, I mean, it was all in a period of six months. But the Palestinian problem has been there for years. And administration after administration has tried to solve it. And many people in the Arab world look to the United States -- all you have to do is deliver Israel.
But it's obviously not that simple. We are committed, as the President has said repeatedly, and as he said in his speech last June 24th, to the creation of a Palestinian state, a state called Palestine, living in peace with its neighbor, the state of Israel.
MR. ROSE: But we're not prepared to deal with Yasser Arafat in order to --
SECRETARY POWELL: You can't, because Yasser Arafat has demonstrated time and time again that he is not a reliable partner for peace. I wish it were otherwise. I worked with Yasser Arafat as hard as I could for the first year or so of this Administration. And we had the Mitchell Plan, we had the Tenet Plan, we had the Zinni Plan, which you made reference to. And every step of the way, we were disappointed in the response on the part of Yasser Arafat.
MR. ROSE: And you think he's partly responsible for the fact that Abu Abbas could not do more.
SECRETARY POWELL: He did not do what he could to help former Prime Minister Abu Mazen succeed. He should have given him control over all the security forces --
MR. ROSE: -- wouldn't give him control of the security forces, therefore they could not bring Hamas under control.
SECRETARY POWELL: -- could not bring Hamas under control. Now there is a new Prime Minister designate, Abu Allah, a man I know well as well. And he is trying to form a government. Mr. Arafat's playing in all of that. We'll have to just wait and see what he is able to do in the form of a government.
But if it is a government that does not have political authority independent from the machinations of Yasser Arafat, and if all the security forces are not consolidated under the new Prime Minister, and if that new Prime Minister is not committed to ending terrorism, stopping the actions of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the others, then we're going to not -- we're not going to be able to move forward on the roadmap.
The roadmap is there. It's not going away. We're committed to it. It provides a path forward. We have made sure that Israel understands that it has obligations, it has made commitments under that roadmap, and we will hold them to it.
MR. ROSE: And you're not happy with the wall -- with the fence, or the wall, whatever you want to call it. You're not happy with the fact that some settlements extend into areas where they are.
SECRETARY POWELL: We have a real problem, as the President said, we've had a real problem with the wall, and we're in discussions with them about it. And settlement activity must stop. And it has not stopped to our satisfaction.
MR. ROSE: But are they listening to you?
SECRETARY POWELL: Of course they're listening to us.
MR. ROSE: But I mean, are they responding?
SECRETARY POWELL: They will respond, in my judgment, when it can be demonstrated that the Palestinian side is doing something about the bombings, the terror. It is very difficult, if not impossible for the Prime Minister of Israel, or for any other nation, in the face of terrorist activity that seems to be tolerated by the governmental authorities on the other side, or they're certainly not doing enough to bring it to an end, to say to his people that he is yielding to pressure from the Americans or anyone else to do things that would not deal with the problem of terror.
The problem of terror is what has frustrated the Mitchell Plan, the Tenet Plan, the Zinni Plan, and the roadmap is out there -- slowed down for the moment, but it is there, waiting to see whether or not the Palestinians now realize, once and for all, that the only way forward is to deal with terror.
MR. ROSE: Two last questions about Israel and the Palestinians. There's nothing more that the United States can do. Because everybody, whenever they talk about this, say the United States has to play a larger role. The United States needs to be there on the ground doing something. What could we do that might make a difference that we're not doing?
SECRETARY POWELL: We are there. We are on the ground. We sent over Ambassador Wolf, he's been working with -- daily, ever since Aqaba, with the two sides. And we were making progress. We did have a period of quiet after Aqaba. We did have a period where we transferred --
MR. ROSE: -- when everybody met there.
SECRETARY POWELL: Yeah, when everybody committed to the roadmap at Aqaba in Jordan. We had a quiet period. Even Prime Minister Sharon when he was here in Washington -- he and I had a talk. He said, "You know, the ceasefire, I'm not buying because they can turn it on and turn it off, but it's been quiet, and the people of Israel see that quiet, and that's good." We transferred -- we saw the transfer of Gaza and Bethlehem back to the Palestinians. Other cities in the West Bank were being prepared for turnover back to the Palestinians.
So we were seeing some slow but steady on the roadmap. Some outposts were being destroyed on the Israeli side -- unfortunately, some others were being created, so we weren't gaining on it. And Israel, I was able to -- and the President and Dr. Rice who works with me, works as partner with me on this -- were able to say to the Israelis "Look, things are happening over here." But then all of the sudden, the terror broke out again.
And when you're an Israeli Prime Minister, and suddenly, when things are quiet for a while, and suddenly, a bus blows up. Twenty people killed on a double-decker bus, most of whom are children -- it's very difficult.
MR. ROSE: Cannot fail to respond.
SECRETARY POWELL: It's kind of hard not to respond, and to say "Oh well, never mind." The "never mind" won't work. And therefore, as we have said to the Palestinians on every occasion -- and we will say to them again in the meetings we're having with them now -- you must put in place a government that is committed to fight terror and bring it under control. We know it's difficult, we know it's challenging. But organizations such as Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, which say they're providing social services and benefits to the people -- and they are -- as long as they have a terrorist component that believes that terrorism is acceptable to political discourse, then it's going to be difficult to see the kind of progress that we are all hoping for.
MR. ROSE: And we have not eliminated that idea yet, no one has.
SECRETARY POWELL: No.
MR. ROSE: Last question. There is poll after poll -- I'm thinking of one recently in Europe -- talking about the fact that, certainly in Europe, that there was a central agreement about certain goals: terrorism and other issues between the United States and Europe. But the difference was that the Europeans thought the United States was prepared to use force more often than they agreed to. Is that the essential element that disagrees -- the sense that the world thinks America is more inclined to use force than the rest of the world thinks is necessary?
SECRETARY POWELL: There is a perception out there, but when you look at how we have presented our case to the international community, in every instance, before resorting to force -- we used force in Afghanistan, and I don't think that generated outrage, because that was clear. Three thousand Americans were killed in New York and Washington, D.C. And we knew where the enemy was. And we did that one and the UN knew we were going to do it.
With respect to the Iraq conflict, Operation Iraqi Freedom, we first brought the problem to the United Nations last September when the President came here and laid out twelve years of failure on the part of Iraq to meet the Security Council's own resolutions. And he challenged the Security Council to do something about it, and the Security Council did. It took seven weeks of tough negotiating, but a passed resolution, 1441, which essentially found Iraq guilty of the previous -- of the indictments that had been laid against it -- and said serious consequences would flow.
Now, in the ensuing months, a number of members said, no, well, let's just keep inspecting and looking, and we had always made it clear that there was a limited to what we thought we should just --
MR. ROSE: -- how long you could wait.
SECRETARY POWELL: -- how long we could wait, and stand by and watch. And that limit was reached, and the President took the action he did. And we have no second thoughts or regrets about that action because Saddam Hussein is gone. And Dr. Kay will tell us what he or did not have, but what he didn't do was fess up to the United Nations about what he had or what he didn't have. And if he had, we might be in a different situation, but he didn't.
And therefore the assumption had to be that he had a lot to hide, and we think he did. And so, no apologies, no regrets --
MR. ROSE: And still think he did --
SECRETARY POWELL: Yes.
MR. ROSE: You do.
SECRETARY POWELL: I do. I sat for days with the intelligence community, not for the purpose of politicizing anything, or anything of that nature, but to make sure that the case I provided to the world at the Security Council on the fifth of February represented the solid views of the whole intelligence community. And anything that didn't meet their test was not used. And everything I said that day, with the Director of Central Intelligence sitting behind me, was supported by the intelligence community.
And Iraq had the opportunity during that whole period in late winter of last year and into the spring of this year, of saying "Woops. Okay, look. We're going to show you everything, we're going to let you interview any scientist you want, anywhere you want, anytime, take his family out of the country, we've got nothing to hide." They could have given a full-some, complete declaration. They didn't do any of that. And so, would you trust them? No, and we didn't trust them.
And the intelligence community had a body of evidence that I felt very comfortable presenting on their behalf and the behalf of the American Government on the fifth of February. And no second thoughts about it, and I think the American people who had paid a lot in terms of political capital, in terms of financial cost, and in the lives of their wonderful young men and women should be proud of what those young men and women have done, and what we are trying to do now.
You started out earlier by saying "Well, I've told you people you'd better be careful before you take pot shots at what we're doing." There's a tendency to sort of call the score of the game before the game's over. And we saw a lot of individuals who had all kinds of great ideas about how the war should be fought the first four days of the war, and how it was all screwed up. But it wasn't. And our commanders on the ground were adjusting rapidly to a changing situation, which is what good commanders do. And by the end of the second week, beginning of the third week, all the critics seem to have found something else to do.
I would just say that as you criticize what we're doing now and feel free -- I mean, that's part of our democratic system -- challenge us, criticize us, ask questions, debate it. But be careful about drawing conclusions as to where it's all going to turn out.
MR. ROSE: You're optimistic that in the end it will turn out okay.
SECRETARY POWELL: Yes.
MR. ROSE: Thank you. Pleasure to have you here.
SECRETARY POWELL: Thank you, Charlie.
MR. ROSE: Secretary of State, Colin Powell. Thank you for joining us.