Condoleezza Rice Interview on PBS's Charlie Rose
Interview on PBS's Charlie Rose
June 9, 2005
(9:00 a.m. EDT)
MR. ROSE: Let me begin by saying thank you for doing this.
SECRETARY RICE: Delighted to be with you.
MR. ROSE: It's a pleasure to have you on the program again.
SECRETARY RICE: It's been a while.
MR. ROSE: It has been. And you've been busy.
SECRETARY RICE: I have been.
MR. ROSE: If you look at the world today, what is it that concerns you the most and what do you hope to accomplish in the remainder of 2005?
SECRETARY RICE: I see a world that is quite complicated in which there are a lot of challenges on almost every continent, because I really do believe in a sense that we finally are really learning what the post-September 11th world is all about, and that is to try and find a space for moderate Islam, for the role of democracy in the Middle East, in places where people never thought democracy would have a chance. But at the same time, I see remarkable progress on that front.
MR. ROSE: On the democratic front?
SECRETARY RICE: On the democratic front. The conversation in the Middle East is wholly unlike what it was a year ago or even six months ago when you look at presidential elections having been held in Afghanistan; elections in Iraq, in which they are now struggling, clearly struggling, but within a democratic context; the Syrian forces out of Lebanon and elections taking place in Lebanon; a democratically elected president in the Palestinian territories; changes in Kyrgyzstan; women being given the right to vote in Kuwait and now two women ministers of Kuwait; at least a discussion now and conversation about multiparty elections in Egypt.
I think this is a world that is really unrecognizable in terms of the Middle East if you just go back to a year ago. So I'm really very hopeful about what lies ahead.
MR. ROSE: What can the United States do? You got a lot of attention when you said you were not going to go to Cairo as long as a dissident as long as they held someone as a prisoner there, and it got the attention of President Mubarak and he immediately reacted to that. What can the United States do to promote democracy? What leverage does it have?
SECRETARY RICE: Well, first of all, the President of the United States has the ability, through his words and actions, to change the realm of the possible, what people just think is possible. I go back, Charlie, to when I was in Washington the last time, in 1989-1990. I remember that there was a time when everybody thought that the unification of Germany was impossible. And then, within a few days, it seemed inevitable. And in large part, it was because the United States, working with its German and other allies, made it possible for that to take place.
And I think you're seeing something similar now in the spring, that is, the democracy spring that's taking place in much of the broader Middle East, which is that the President before, but especially with his second inaugural speech, said that the United States was determined to see an end to tyranny, to see democracy spread, that the United States would consider the spread of freedom and liberty at the center of its foreign policy agenda and to make common cause with those in the regions of the world where tyranny still exists, to support them in their efforts.
That has made a difference in what people think is possible. Our strategy now and our goal now has to be to support people who will have to do this through indigenous means. This is not something that the United States can do from the outside.
MR. ROSE: You buy the idea that you cannot impose democracy from outside.
SECRETARY RICE: Well, first of all, you can't impose anything from outside. But I do quarrel with the notion that you have to impose democracy. You have to impose tyranny. People come naturally to the idea that they want to be able to say what they think, that they want to have a voice in who is going to govern them, that they want to be able to educate their children boys and girls, that they want to be free from the knock of the secret police at night. That is why, whether it is in underdeveloped Afghanistan or in Iraq at the center of Arab culture or in the Palestinian territories, you are seeing people go out and vote in large numbers because they know that when they have a voice in their future, when they have a voice in the choice of those who are going to govern them, that that makes a difference.
So I just don't think the words "impose" and "democracy" ought to be in the same sentence.
MR. ROSE: "Impose" and "tyranny" ought to be in the same sentence?
SECRETARY RICE: "Impose" and "tyranny" ought to be in the same sentence.
MR. ROSE: But back to my question, the leverage that you have. Do you use economic pressure? Do you use other kinds of pressure that the United States has in terms of aid? Do you affect relationships, like Saudi Arabia, where you have said specifically, or the President has said, they need more democracy?
SECRETARY RICE: Well, we certainly are in some relationships where we've had long-term friendships and strategic partnerships in which we expect more of our friends. And the President has made that very clear. And it means that you can work with your friends. This progress is not going to take place evenly or at the same speed in every country. There are different circumstances in different countries.
MR. ROSE: But, and what are the different circumstances?
SECRETARY RICE: Well, long histories, the absence of civil society almost completely in some places, the absence of institutions on which a democratic foundation can be built. And so what we try to do is to have a positive agenda with countries, particularly where we have longstanding relationships, to try and encourage the leaders in those countries to do what is best for their people, which is to reform, to begin to make more pluralistic and more liberalized their politics.
So, for instance, in Saudi Arabia we have tried to be encouraging of what Crown Prince Abdullah has done in the municipal elections. Now, of course, we believe that women ought to be able to vote in those municipal elections.
MR. ROSE: Or even drive.
SECRETARY RICE: Yeah, well, we've not been shy. I'll leave aside driving because it depends on whether people want to drive. But I will say on elections, it's extremely important that the franchise be extended. We've said that. We've said it publicly. We've said it privately.
But the Saudis have taken a step forward in having municipal elections. You know, Charlie, I saw something remarkable on television during the Saudi municipal elections. There was a man there and he was with his maybe 12-, 13-year-old daughter, and he gave her the ballot to put in the box. That says something about what he thinks the future is going to be like for his daughter.
And so you can encourage these trends. We've been very clear with the Egyptians that now that they've taken the step toward multiparty elections, everybody is going to be watching to make certain that these elections have a true character of reformed elections, that opposition can have access to media even if it is
MR. ROSE: Is there a penalty if they don't do it?
SECRETARY RICE: The President has been very clear that our relations are not going to be as deep and strong with countries that are not reforming. And
MR. ROSE: But they know what the test is?
SECRETARY RICE: Well, I think everyone understands what it means to be more pluralistic, to give people a voice, to open your media to opposition, to allow civil society to flourish. Because one of the things that is underestimated, and I think people spend an awful lot of time talking about what do you do with governments well, a lot of it is what do you do with civil society.
In another region of the world I was just at the Organization of American States and we are pressing hard to have civil society recognized as an important part of the democratic process.
MR. ROSE: And there's some pushback there, though.
SECRETARY RICE: Of course there may be pushback.
MR. ROSE: This is Latin America.
SECRETARY RICE: We're going to keep pushing.
MR. ROSE: But there's pushback.
SECRETARY RICE: Do you really expect that there's not going to be pushback on new ideas?
MR. ROSE: But tell me what the dynamic of that I mean, if they're saying, you know
SECRETARY RICE: I've met with these civil society groups some representatives and they said, boy, do we support this idea of civil society being able to come and talk at the OAS because we need space in our own societies to be able to do what civil society does in strong democracies: to petition on behalf of the population, to allow populations to arrange themselves and to associate in organizations that represent their interests.
And so yes, there's going to be pushback. Yeah, there are going to be people who don't like this idea. I'm perfectly comfortable with the idea that we're just going to keep pushing because we do believe strongly that the emergence of strong civil society groups is one of the foundations for democratic development. You can't have just government reform. That would crumble if you don't have a strong foundation of civil society and free press, rights for religious freedom and human rights.
MR. ROSE: Do you worry in some cases there's been criticism, those who wish you well on this, by saying you're not moving strong enough, you're not keeping the heat on them, there's not a it's lost some of its momentum since the President's inaugural address and the election in Europe.
SECRETARY RICE: I just think that's remarkable. You know, we're such an impatient people, aren't we? We're talking about what's happened in hasn't happened in however many thousands of years in the Middle East, but yet we've seen all of this tremendous movement in the last six months to a year. And people say, well, we're losing momentum.
MR. ROSE: Yes.
SECRETARY RICE: Syrian forces are out of Lebanon. Well, you're losing momentum. The Iraqis have had elections and are moving to write a constitution. Well, you're losing momentum. The Palestinians have had elections in the territories, will have elections again, and the Israelis are withdrawing from the Gaza. Well, you're losing momentum. I really don't know sometimes what planet people are living on. This is remarkable change in a very short period of time.
MR. ROSE: Has there been any case that you can cite in which the pushback says: "Look what we're doing for you. We're helping you in the battle against terrorism. We don't have a democracy but we have been your ally here in what has been the principal objective of this administration to respond to 9/11 and act in the national security, and we don't want to hear you talk about democracy and just think about what we've been doing for you in the battle against terrorism before you come lecturing to us."
SECRETARY RICE: Oh, sure. We hear variations of that argument, absolutely. But our answer is we believe that the kind of malignancy that led people to fly airplanes into our buildings on September 11th or that leads people to strap suicide bombs on themselves and blow up innocent people, shows that there is a deep problem in particularly the Middle East but in other places too, particularly in the broader Middle East, that can only be addressed through addressing the freedom deficit. So we see the war on terrorism and success in the war on terrorism and the drive for space for pluralism and for the democratic enterprise to be completely intertwined.
Now, I know that, again, everything doesn't happen overnight and there will be fits and starts and ups and downs in this democratic process.
MR. ROSE: And places where real politics clash with idealism?
SECRETARY RICE: No, I don't think that that is a fair characterization. I really do think that what we have to do is to marry our belief in democracy as the answer, as the President said, as freedom as the only answer strong enough to deal with the ideologies of hatred; we have to marry that with a recognition that we have a number of relationships around the world which are important to us, but we cannot allow the fact that there are relationships that are important to us to overshadow the importance of this march toward democracy which ultimately is going to make us more safe.
You could have made the same argument, you know, in Europe at the end of World War II. I was just talking with some historians and academics at a dinner that I held recently and they were talking about how different the circumstances were in Europe at the end of World War II. And I reminded people that not every state in the world thought that a democratic Germany was the answer to Europe's problems. There were people who wanted to split Germany into many parts. There were people who said, "All I want is a Germany that won't go to war again." But it was the United States that spoke up for a strong Germany, eventually a united Germany, which, of course, we got in 1990, and that as the center of a different kind of Europe in which you would not have war.
So we have always been proponents the United States that when democracy is on the march we are safer, and when democracy is in retreat we are less secure.
MR. ROSE: I want you to talk about the idea of democracy because everybody thinks that this may be the Asian century and there's lots of discussion, I'm sure here in this building, about China and Asia. There is no democracy in China. Asia is the world's India is the world's largest democracy. Are they likely to be more successful in the 21st century because they're a democracy?
SECRETARY RICE: That's a very interesting question and I have to tell you, I think the kind of creativity that is demanded of people and the freedom to let people do what they do best really does only come in free societies. And I don't for a minute underestimate or diminish the tremendous steps forward that China has made, the tremendous success
MR. ROSE: In political liberation?
SECRETARY RICE: No, I mean on the economic
MR. ROSE: In the economic front.
SECRETARY RICE: On the economic front. No one should diminish what China has achieved. But when China looks around Asia, it is going to see that it is mostly a democratic continent as well.
MR. ROSE: Japan, South Korea
SECRETARY RICE: Japan, South Korea, India, much of Southeast Asia. These are democracies, whether it is they're young democracies and in some cases evolving democracies, but a Singapore or a Thailand or increasingly Malaysia, these are places in which people have a right to say not just what they're going to do at work but how they are going to govern themselves at home and who is going to govern them. And I have to say, Charlie, that that is really the best formula for success.
MR. ROSE: This is what was in today's paper. I'm quoting Nicholas Burns talking to a U.S.-European group in Brussels on May 26th. He said: "The greatest change you will see in the next three or four years is a new American focus on South Asia, particularly in establishing a closer strategic partnership with India. If you look at all the trends population, economic growth, foreign policy trends there is no question that India is the rising power in the East. I think you'll see this as a major force of our President and our Secretary of State and it will be the area of greatest dynamic positive change in American foreign policy."
SECRETARY RICE: There is no doubt that one of the really biggest changes in recent years is that the U.S.-India relationship is on a fundamentally different footing than it was just a couple of years ago, and we would like to see that go further. India is a big, important, multiethnic democracy in which all
MR. ROSE: A significant Muslim population.
SECRETARY RICE: Significant Muslim population and a huge Muslim population, where they are integrating into the society in a way that I think only democracies can integrate varied peoples and different peoples.
And, it's not a guarantee of tolerance. As we know in our own country, we've had our own troubles with integrating minorities. But the democratic institutions that were created by our Founding Fathers
MR. ROSE: Even at the time of our Constitution, as you have accurately pointed out.
SECRETARY RICE: Even at the time of our Constitution, which is, by the way, why we shouldn't be so impatient with others. But
MR. ROSE: You can best articulate that point.
SECRETARY RICE: And it's a very important point that the United States has gone through a lot of struggles over 250 years to get to where we are today. But I would say that things move faster, of course, in the modern age than they did in the 18th and 19th centuries. But if you look at what happened in the United States, we had democratic institutions that were imperfect in their application for quite a long time but that allowed people like Frederick Douglass or Martin Luther King or, for that matter, Rosa Parks to petition within those institutions for change. That's what democracies provide.
So in a place like India, where you have many, many different ethnic groups and religions, they can find a place within the democratic institutions; they don't have to try and destroy it from without. That's what democracy brings. And yes, our democratic the fact that we share a democratic heritage and institutions with India is enormously important.
MR. ROSE: But when you have a democracy living next door to Pakistan, where you do not have a democracy, and you have one of America's best allies?
SECRETARY RICE: But let me just
MR. ROSE: Musharraf.
SECRETARY RICE: President Musharraf has been a stalwart ally in the war on terrorism. But first of all, let me just say that one of the things that I think we've achieved is we've de-hyphenated the India-Pakistan relationship with a fine and growing relationship with India and we have a firm and growing relationship with Pakistan.
MR. ROSE: So the friendship with India has not come at the expense of a friendship with Pakistan?
SECRETARY RICE: Precisely. Or vice versa.
Now, on Pakistan, yes, Pakistan has to make inroads on democracy. We've been very clear. But let's look at where Pakistan was just a few years ago prior to September 11th. I think it's fair to say that Pakistan was a country that was on the verge of being overtaken by extremism. It was one of only three countries in the world that had a relationship with the Taliban and it by far had the closest relationship with the Taliban. It was a country through which extremists transited all the time and used as a base of operations into Afghanistan and, of course, into Kashmir. It had terrible relations with India.
I can remember sitting there before September 11th and trying to convince the Pakistani Foreign Minister that they had to do more about the Taliban. It was very clear to me that I wasn't getting through. Now if you fast-forward to a Pakistan in 2005. You have a president in President Musharraf that made clear a couple of years ago that he did not think a modern Pakistan and extremism could live in the same body. He made clear that he wanted better relationships with or better relations with India. He and first Prime Minister Vajpayee and now Prime Minister Singh are achieving that. You have a Pakistan that will have elections in 2007 and we've been clear that we believe those elections need to be free and fair.
So again, it's awfully important in these great historical sweeps to step back and look at where you were and where you've come, obviously keeping an eye on where you want to go; but if you only look at today and say, well, we've not achieved very much, it's really an insult to many peoples around the world who have made dramatic changes in their circumstances in a very short period of time.
MR. ROSE: I want to turn to some specific countries. Tomorrow the South Korean Government will be here.
SECRETARY RICE: Yes.
MR. ROSE: Where do we stand with them, with the Chinese, with respect to North Korea? There was a little flare-up when Secretary Rumsfeld was in Singapore and a senior Defense official suggested that if things didn't change soon with the North Koreans, you're going to go to the UN Security Council. Can you clear that up for me?
SECRETARY RICE: I certainly can. First of all, I think that Secretary Rumsfeld said himself that he understood, as the President had said, that there was no timetable on the six-party talks. We believe that the six-party talks have been very valuable, in part, because they have brought together North Korea's neighbors in a common position about what has to be done on the Korean Peninsula.
Yes, we've not yet succeeded in getting the North Koreans to abandon their nuclear weapons programs.
MR. ROSE: But has it gotten worse, is the question.
SECRETARY RICE: Well, the North
MR. ROSE: Is it more likely they have more weapons and
SECRETARY RICE: Well, the North Koreans are continuing troubling, troublesome activities. There's no doubt about that. But I do think that the North Koreans understand that they do not they're not making the kind of progress that they would like to make on any other front because their neighbors have told them that the nuclear weapons program is a bar to truly improved relations with everybody. And I believe
MR. ROSE: Have the Chinese told them that?
SECRETARY RICE: Well, if you look, the Chinese are giving all kinds of messages to the North Koreans. Let me just note, we'll see, for instance, when there is a high-level visit to Pyongyang there hasn't been one and I think that's an important signal.
MR. ROSE: That will signal, if the Chinese make a high-level visit to Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea, that will signal what?
SECRETARY RICE: Well, I would assume if the Chinese make a high-level visit that they're going, in part, because they want the North Koreans to be more responsive on this on the nuclear front. They've been very clear with us that they, too, are very troubled at the idea of a North Korean nuclear weapon.
But let me return to the question of timetables because we believe that this is a problem that is still susceptible to the diplomacy in which we are engaged and so we're not setting a timetable. Now, it's true that the North Koreans need to get on with it. It is also true that the Security Council remains an option for the international community.
MR. ROSE: But does a Chinese veto remain an inevitability?
SECRETARY RICE: Well, we will see what happens if the North Koreans are not eventually responsive to their neighbors about their nuclear weapons programs. But for now, we are engaged in the President has said it, I have said it we are engaged in intensive diplomacy with our friends, with the neighborhood, about the North Koreans returning to the talks.
And by the way, there is plenty on the table for the North Koreans if they choose to return to the talks. They've said they want security guarantees. People have said to them, "You can get security assurances within the context of the six-party talks." They've said they want respect. Everybody understands they're a sovereign state. So they need to return to the talks. That is where the U.S. effort is at this point.
MR. ROSE: Have they been sending signals to you that they would like to return to talks?
SECRETARY RICE: Well, they've said that they remain committed to the process, but
MR. ROSE: But there's been no movement in the last two weeks.
SECRETARY RICE: We will wait until there's a date.
MR. ROSE: Is it any you're looking for
SECRETARY RICE: We'll wait until there's a date.
MR. ROSE: That's significant
SECRETARY RICE: That process
MR. ROSE: If they say, "Next Tuesday we would like to resume it," that would say something to you.
SECRETARY RICE: That would say something. But I want to make another point, which is that resumption of the talks is, of course, not an end in itself. We would hope that if the talks resumed, that they are resuming with an effort to make progress on this very important issue.
MR. ROSE: Is there any carrot around that could get them to give up what is their primary item: self-esteem, their primary sense of worth?
SECRETARY RICE: Well, the important message to the North Koreans is that their worth and their ability to achieve what they want in the international system is not being served by their nuclear weapons programs.
MR. ROSE: What is it they want?
SECRETARY RICE: It seems to me and far be it for me to try to read the North Koreans' minds.
MR. ROSE: Well, if you don't know, who knows? (Laughter.)
SECRETARY RICE: No, I don't think anybody really wants to try to read the North Koreans' minds. But they've said that they would like to modernize their economy. They obviously have problems in terms of the nutrition of their people. The North Korean people live in horrible circumstances. If they are going to improve any of that, they need the help of the international community.
MR. ROSE: What's wrong with bilateral talks with North Korea?
SECRETARY RICE: We've been there before. That's the problem with bilateral talks with North Korea.
MR. ROSE: The ones that got started within the Clinton Administration.
SECRETARY RICE: Yes. And I think it was probably the right thing to do in 1994. But after they then almost immediately, before the ink was dry, started trying to find a another path to a nuclear weapon through uranium enrichment. I don't see why one would go back to that strategy again. But the fact is
MR. ROSE: But why do you think they're insisting on it?
SECRETARY RICE: Well, because they would like nothing better than to be relieved of the pressure of having five countries that can tell them that they have to get rid of their nuclear weapons programs. They want this to be about the United States and North Korea, not to recognize or have others recognize that the nuclear weapons program of North Korea is not just a problem for the United States; it's a problem for Japan; it is in contravention of the agreements they've had with South Korea; it is not in the interest of Russia and it is not in the interest of China. And the six-party talks in and of themselves sends a very strong message to the North Koreans that their nuclear weapons program is a problem for all of their neighbors.
MR. ROSE: Tell me how we view North Korea differently than the Chinese.
SECRETARY RICE: Well, I don't want to try to speak for the Chinese. We see a North Korean regime that has been seeking a nuclear weapon since probably the late 1960s. So this has gone on for a long time. And obviously, a regime that has not done anything for the well-being of its people. I mean, the plight of the Korean people, the North Korea people, is a very, very sad matter. And so we see this as a destabilizing force both of these elements as a destabilizing force on the Korean Peninsula that has to be dealt with.
MR. ROSE: Does China, in your judgment, want to be the most influential I mean, is it does it have the means to be the most influential power in its region?
SECRETARY RICE: Well, clearly, one of the really new factors in international politics is the rise of China and it's going to be an influential factor in the region one way or another. That's just going to be a fact. Whether it intended or wishes it, it is by its size, by its economic dynamism, by its active diplomacy, going to be a factor.
Our goal has to be to try and make certain that it is a positive factor. That is what our policy is aiming to do. It needs to be a country that is behaving within the context of rules in the international system, whether those are rules about proliferation or rules about the international economy, which is why we have spoken up about the need to guarantee intellectual property rights, about the currency, about subsidies.
MR. ROSE: Any evidence that they're going to change on the currency, in terms of
SECRETARY RICE: Well, eventually, China will have to come to terms with the fact that as a huge international economic actor, it needs to be engaged in, it needs to be enmeshed in rules that everybody can understand and in mechanisms that everybody can understand.
MR. ROSE: Since you've become Secretary of State, what's the most important thing you've learned?
SECRETARY RICE: That people and I should have known this, I'm the first to admit it. How much people listen to every word and every utterance from the United States. I think I knew it, you know, intellectually. But it's a time when the United States does have, I think, great influence, in which people are looking to the United States for leadership. That gives tremendous opportunities but that brings an enormous responsibility as well. People look to the United States to solve every problem, it seems, sometimes. And sometimes, it's awfully important that we stand back and recognize that the resolution of problems in the international system is not centered solely on the United States.
MR. ROSE: Is Darfur an example of that?
SECRETARY RICE: Darfur is an example of that. The United States is extremely active and I think is leading the effort in Darfur. If you look at the humanitarian situation, we're something like more than 85 percent on the food aid to Sudan as a whole and almost 89 percent of food aid to Darfur. We have led the effort in the UN Security Council to try to get resolutions for peacekeeping, for accountability, for potential sanctions, if necessary, against Khartoum. And, of course, the President with the able efforts of Jack Danforth, led the effort to get a peace agreement between the North and South.
Darfur is critically important and we're paying a lot of attention to it. And by the way, NATO is now going to provide logistical support and planning support to the African Union. But when you think about the fact that we've also managed to resolve a 25-year civil war in Sudan, this is a tremendous step forward. It provides now a political framework in which we believe Darfur and eastern Sudan might also be soluble. But yes, sometimes the international institutions move too slowly, and on Darfur it was very hard in the Security Council to get action.
MR. ROSE: Speaking of that, John Bolton as UN Ambassador. Arguments are sometimes made is that he's going to be a strong proponent for reforming the UN. What is it he wants to reform?
SECRETARY RICE: John is John cares about the UN. There are very few people who actually have spent would have spent as much time as John did trying to make sure that the Zionism as Racism
MR. ROSE: But you know why we make that there are people suspicious of that because of what he said about the UN and you could lop off the top three floors or something.
SECRETARY RICE: Well, we've all said intemperate things from time to time. (Laughter.)
MR. ROSE: You agree that was intemperate?
SECRETARY RICE: It probably was, but it's okay. It got people's attention. But what is being said here
MR. ROSE: That's not what he meant by reform, is it?
SECRETARY RICE: No. What is being said here, and what John believes and I believe and the President believes and by the way, you hear it from Kofi Annan and others as well the UN is an extremely important venerable institution that was created 60 years ago. It has new challenges. Much has happened in that needs to happen now in management reform, whether it is of the Secretariat or some of the problems that have been there in peacekeeping missions or the need to reform commissions that are now a part of the UN. You can't take seriously a Commission on Human Rights that Sudan can be a member of when it is under investigation for genocide. You can't take that seriously. So, obviously, there needs to be reform of the Commission for Human Rights. Of course, there needs to be reform of the Security Council, but all of these need to be reformed.
MR. ROSE: What countries would we like to see become permanent members of the Security Council?
SECRETARY RICE: We have been very clear that we believe Japan meets all of the potential criteria for a Security Council seat.
MR. ROSE: But Brazil doesn't?
SECRETARY RICE: No, we've not said that others don't. We've just been supportive of Japan. We've been supportive of Japan, by the way, for some time. It should be recognized Japan is the second largest contributor to the UN after the United States and so it has been a longtime supporter of the United Nations.
But we believe that the Security Council reform needs to be understood in the broader context of reform of the UN as a whole. And so while we have not opposed anyone or any group of nations for Security Council reform, as Security Council membership, we do believe that we need to have a broader discussion that could lead to some consensus about what it is we're trying to do with Security Council reform. We want it to be a more effective Security Council. We want it to be one that can act. And so there are a lot of important
MR. ROSE: Speaking about this, how about Germany as a member?
SECRETARY RICE: We're not taking we haven't taken the position on anyone else. These are all worthy countries in a lot of ways. But let's look at the question of what we're trying to achieve, first with UN reform more generally, and then with UN Security Council reform. Then I think we can have a more reflective discussion about how to move forward. I just I don't want to see the issues of Security Council reform make it more difficult to have the kind of amiable and favorable atmosphere in the UN that we need to get through what are going to be some pretty difficult choices.
MR. ROSE: One thing is interesting to me, and we all talk about India and China because of their phenomenal economic growth and all of the kinds of positive things that are happening in those two countries as they exercise their power that has come to them because of their economic growth and we've almost forgotten about Japan.
SECRETARY RICE: Yes.
MR. ROSE: There is not much talk about Japan, which is a democracy, you know, which at one time had, by far, the largest economy in the region.
SECRETARY RICE: Yes. But it's important not to ignore Japanese economic strength. It is still a powerful economy. It is still a G-7 member. It is still leading the world in many technologies and doing awfully well in many sectors of manufacturing. And yes, it is a democracy and it's a vibrant democracy that has been going through a lot of changes
MR. ROSE: And yes, it wants to play a regional role in the region.
SECRETARY RICE: And as it should and will play an important role in the region.
MR. ROSE: You mentioned the G-7, the G-8 coming up in Scotland.
SECRETARY RICE: Yes.
MR. ROSE: Is the United States onboard with Tony Blair and Gordon Brown's ambition to make the war on poverty and make the fight against AIDS a genuine global priority?
SECRETARY RICE: We would like nothing better than to see the fight for poverty alleviation in Africa and the global and AIDS relief HIV/AIDS to be truly global fights because the United States has already done an awful lot and we would really like to see others do more.
MR. ROSE: And more than previous administrations, it is somehow
SECRETARY RICE: When you look at the President's $15 billion commitment to HIV/ AIDS, when you look at the Millennium Challenge Account which has allowed us to increase development assistance to those who are governing wisely and who will spend the money well, when you look at the fact, Charlie, sometimes you just wonder. We have tripled aid to Africa in this administration. We have doubled development assistance.
MR. ROSE: Tripled it, compared to
SECRETARY RICE: Compared to before this President became President.
MR. ROSE: Okay, so 19
SECRETARY RICE: So this is a remarkable a remarkable record. And AGOA, the African Growth and Opportunity Act, we
MR. ROSE: All right. But then the question is, is President Bush and Prime Minister Blair on exactly the same page as what ought to be done in terms of the commitment of the United States and commitment of Great Britain?
SECRETARY RICE: Well, the President's commitment has been absolutely clear in what he's done.
MR. ROSE: Because they said to Blair over here, keep your hand in it, so to speak.
SECRETARY RICE: Let me tell you a story, alright? Every year the Global Fund for AIDS comes up for funding from the United States. By law, the United States can only be about a third of that funding, which I think is a good thing because the Global Fund for AIDS ought to be global; it ought not be a U.S. fund. Last year, Colin Powell had to return $88 million, which we would have liked to have spent on antiretroviral care, on orphan care, because others didn't meet the contributions to make us just a third. So yes, there's a lot of work to do on HIV/AIDS. The United States is doing it.
MR. ROSE: You're saying we're doing our part and where's the rest of the world?
SECRETARY RICE: And the rest of the world needs to step it up.
MR. ROSE: Yeah. But is there any difference in Blair and Bush on this?
SECRETARY RICE: I'm not going to try to speak for Prime Minister Blair. They had a marvelous meeting about it and I can tell you that they share the following view. And I think they are on the same page because they share the following view. They share the view that Africa needs to be a central priority for the international system, and that's why the President has done what he's done. They share the view that assistance needs to be made available to Africa, and that's why the President has done what he's done. They share the view that there ought to be debt relief and that's why the United States is committed
MR. ROSE: But they're saying a level of debt relief on the same
SECRETARY RICE: Well, 100 percent debt relief in the poorest countries. They share that view. But you know what else they share? They share the view and Prime Minister Blair said it in several of his interviews that development is a two-way street. Yes, it's important to have development assistance, but unless there is a real fight in Africa against corruption, unless there is a real fight to govern wisely, unless these economies are opened up to the world and to each other, unless money is spent on health care for people and on education for people, then there isn't going to be any progress on these areas and so in this area.
And so they share, I think, a view of how this has to proceed. Now, precisely what mechanisms we use, the United States has a mechanism through the Millennium Challenge Account, of which the British are enormously supportive. And I know the British have other ideas, which may or which don't work for us. But do they share a common vision of an Africa in which poverty alleviation is the key issue for the international community and which Africa does its part as well? Absolutely.
MR. ROSE: I have to talk about Iran because I'm going there. We have allowed the Europeans not allowed, but that we've been supportive. Where does that stand?
SECRETARY RICE: I had discussions just yesterday with Prime Minister Fischer about this and we're in constant contact with the European Union-3 about it. They are they have managed, for the time being, to get the Iranians to agree that they are going to stay within the context of the Paris agreement, the November Paris agreement.
MR. ROSE: Right.
SECRETARY RICE: That means that the Iranians
MR. ROSE: It's kind of a freeze on enrichment.
SECRETARY RICE: Right. In which they continue their suspension while they continue to discuss what objective guarantees Iran can give to the world that they're living up to their international commitments.
Now that means that the Iranians cannot be left with the ability to carry out the sensitive technologies that are associated with nuclear weapons. That means enrichment and reprocessing. It means that the Iranians should not be allowed to develop these technologies.
You know, people everybody's worried about this behavior. That's why the Russians, when they signed their agreement for a civil nuclear power plant, the Bushehr plant, put in certain nonproliferation certain proliferation safeguards, like a fuel return to Russia of the spent fuel rods.
So I think people are pretty much on the same page here and we have been fulfilling our obligations to support the EU-3. The day after the negotiations succeeded in at least continuing, we removed our objection to Iran's application for WTO membership, as we had said we would.
MR. ROSE: Are we doing they're going to have an election over there. And then many people believe that the reformers are not going to come out so well.
SECRETARY RICE: Well, it's clear that they're not because the mullahs wouldn't allow the reformers to run. I mean, that makes it pretty clear what's going to happen in that election.
MR. ROSE: So how will that change America's if that happens, how will that change America's attitude towards Iran, if the government becomes even less reformist and shows less of an interest in democracy?
SECRETARY RICE: Well, I don't think there's been very much interest in democracy in Iran for quite a long time.
MR. ROSE: No, but there is a reform element in Iran.
SECRETARY RICE: Well, there was a reform element, for instance, in the Majlis in Iran, but I think our view is that this government, even the current government, is one that could not claim reformist credentials given the way that it was chosen.
MR. ROSE: So the Khatami government could not claim a reformist agenda?
SECRETARY RICE: We do not see it as able to claim reformist credentials. But let me just say the world needs to recognize and needs to say to the Iranians that they are thoroughly out of step with what's going on in the larger region.
MR. ROSE: In what way?
SECRETARY RICE: Well, you're having elections next door in Iraq and elections next door in Afghanistan and you have mullahs choosing who can run for "election" in Iran. You have a Palestinian-Israeli attempt to reconcile their differences and to move toward a Palestinian state and you have the Iranians supporting Palestinian rejectionists and calling for the destruction of the state of Israel. You have the people of Lebanon finally getting rid of, at least, Syrian troops and you have the Iranians supporting terrorist organizations.
MR. ROSE: Well, before you say that, the terrorist organization you may be suggesting is Hezbollah
SECRETARY RICE: Well
MR. ROSE: And the United States has been saying very nice things about Hezbollah recently.
SECRETARY RICE: Not that I can remember. I think the United States has been our position has not changed against that Hezbollah is a terrorist organization.
MR. ROSE: Has there not been a softening of the rhetoric with respect to Hezbollah?
SECRETARY RICE: What we've said
MR. ROSE: Because they're playing a positive
SECRETARY RICE: What we've said is that Hezbollah is a terrorist organization, but we're going to do first things first. And the first thing was to get is to get Syrian forces out of Lebanon, to get Syrian intelligence personnel out of Lebanon
MR. ROSE: Are they out?
SECRETARY RICE: The military forces are out. The intelligence forces, I think some of us have our doubts and we need to keep pressure on the Syrians to be transparent about what they're doing in Lebanon. We need to be very clear that we expect a full investigation of the assassination of Mr. Kassir, following on the assassination of Mr. Hariri.
MR. ROSE: The journalist. Right.
SECRETARY RICE: Because what we don't want is that there is a pattern now of assassination of key figures because that would be very, very destabilizing in Lebanon and I think it would have to point a finger at those forces that have been destabilizing in Lebanon. So we're being very clear to people that we want an international spotlight on what is going on in Lebanon so that the Lebanese people can carry out their elections in a fair a place that is free of this kind of foreign influence.
But that's why the Iranians are out of step. They're out of step in the way that they have dealt with the Palestinians. They're out of step in the way that they're dealing with their own affairs. They're out of step in, we believe, seeking a nuclear weapon under the cover of civilian nuclear power.
MR. ROSE: There's no question in your mind that they want a nuclear weapon?
SECRETARY RICE: Well, I think that the activities of the Iranians, which they have been from time to time attempting to hide, time to time been not transparent about what they're doing. If they are only seeking civilian nuclear power, why are they being so why this lack of the transparency? Why are they hiding things?
MR. ROSE: But your answer to that is
SECRETARY RICE: My answer to that is it makes people awfully suspicious
MR. ROSE: And therefore, they must be wanting
SECRETARY RICE: Well, I think
MR. ROSE: Yet, at the same time, they're part of the nuclear proliferation treaty.
SECRETARY RICE: Well, that is even more reason that they shouldn't be seeking a nuclear weapon under cover of civilian nuclear power.
MR. ROSE: Is it possible, in your judgment, that they could move right up to it and get very close to it and have the and still stay within the NPT?
SECRETARY RICE: I think that, in terms of the NPT, there is an expectation that states that sign the NPT and are not nuclear do not intend to try and seek nuclear weapons.
MR. ROSE: Intent (inaudible).
SECRETARY RICE: That's right. And intent is also important.
MR. ROSE: So do you see any change in our relationship with Iran coming up?
SECRETARY RICE: Well, we have the following problem with Iran: stop supporting terrorism, be transparent in your neighborhood
MR. ROSE: Neighbor and Hezbollah is what you're saying?
SECRETARY RICE: Well, and the Palestinian rejectionists. We're not just talking about Hezbollah. We're talking about Iranian support for let's remember that, for instance, when we had the Karine-A incident with the ship bringing arms illegally to the Palestinians, the Iranians were involved in that.
MR. ROSE: They came from Iran.
SECRETARY RICE: Yeah. So this is a long history. The Iranians need to give their people a chance at the kind of democracy that they clearly seek. And the Iranians need to deal with the EU-3, take the opportunity that's been given to them to give guarantees to the world that they're not going to try to seek a nuclear weapon.
MR. ROSE: Here is an argument that they have said to me.
SECRETARY RICE: Yes.
MR. ROSE: I don't think they fear sanctions. I don't think they fear the consequences of sanctions.
SECRETARY RICE: Well, if the Iranians want to be isolated from the international community, that's their choice. But I don't think they really do want to be isolated from the international community. They've worked pretty hard to stay out of the Security Council referral.
MR. ROSE: Yeah. And how close are you to suggesting there ought to be a referral? In what timetable again, as with respect to North Korea, do you say we've done our best, let's go to the Security Council?
SECRETARY RICE: I just have never thought that that kind of timetable was very helpful in diplomacy. Diplomacy is, by its very nature, one of ebb and flow, and we are supporting the Europeans. We are in constant contact with them and we're going to do our part to try and support their negotiations. That's what we would
MR. ROSE: This is an administration that believes in multilateralism?
SECRETARY RICE: Of course. We've been look, if the United States if the United States didn't believe in multilateralism, the President of the United States would not have worked so hard to try and get the United Nations, through the Security Council, to finally hold Saddam Hussein
MR. ROSE: This his previous administration?
SECRETARY RICE: Right. To hold Saddam Hussein accountable for what he was doing. You know, we are the ones who have helped to expand NATO. We're the ones who are trying to get the OAS to be responsible about the Inter-American Democratic Charter. We believe in multilateral institutions.
MR. ROSE: Even more so after Iraq?
SECRETARY RICE: Yes. We'd just like them to be effective.
MR. ROSE: All right. Can I just take you off Iraq for one second there? I mean, there are interesting things. You this is not Iraq but you are now sort of opened up that you're going to meet with Mohammed ElBaradei.
SECRETARY RICE: Yes.
MR. ROSE: He's okay with the United States in terms of to continue in his role?
SECRETARY RICE: Well, we've long thought that there needs to be turnover in these institutions, but Mohammed ElBaradei has had I think, he would tell you productive relations with us on a number of fronts. And we could foresee
MR. ROSE: Didn't he felt rejected. He felt like you were against him. He felt like
SECRETARY RICE: Well, I think we tried to make clear to people that this was about a two-year term a two-term limit. And, on balance, I still think it's always a good thing to have a turnover. There's a reason that, you know, that we have a two-term limit for the Presidency of the United States.
But I have always found Dr. ElBaradei
MR. ROSE: Somebody like Bill Clinton would say it's not so ideal. (Laughter.)
SECRETARY RICE: I have always thought that Dr. ElBaradei is a very fine international servant, that he is somebody who takes his responsibilities seriously. I think he's been creative in some of his discussion about what we might be able to do to strengthen the NPT, much of which, by the way, sounds a lot like what the President said
MR. ROSE: That's one thing. Is the role of the agency the same as the President's vision of the role of the agency?
SECRETARY RICE: Well, I do think that we have a similar view of the need to close loopholes in the NPT. Now, he has ideas, some of which we think are good
MR. ROSE: Nonproliferation Treaty.
SECRETARY RICE: Some of which may not be workable
MR. ROSE: Nonproliferation Treaty.
SECRETARY RICE: But I want, yes, Nonproliferation Treaty. I want to talk to him about that. And it's also important that we do have an IAEA that is strong about the requirement that states that are parties to the NPT live up to their commitments. And so those are important issues to us.
MR. ROSE: The Shiites now in Iraq are saying we want 25 percent they want 25
SECRETARY RICE: The Sunnis.
MR. ROSE: The Sunnis. Right, sorry. The Sunnis are saying to the new government there we want 25 seats. Is that unreasonable?
SECRETARY RICE: People actually do negotiate and they do market and they do discuss and they do come to conclusions. I
MR. ROSE: A demand is one thing
SECRETARY RICE: No, no. It's a larger point. First of all, I went to Iraq and I talked about the extreme importance of Sunni participation in all of these processes, particularly in the writing of the constitution. There is Sunni participation in the government, but in the writing of the constitution.
MR. ROSE: Right.
SECRETARY RICE: But again, we are we watch them through a microscope and every day the United States media makes a determination of whether the Iraqi process is going to fail or not. This is a long process that they're engaged in now. It's going to have its ups and downs. People are going to make demands. People are going I would guarantee you, Charlie, that at some point somebody is going walk out of a meeting and there's going to be a headline: "Process Breaks Down."
What we know about the Iraqis is that they've made steady progress on the political front. We transferred sovereignty two days ahead of time. They held their elections on the 30th. They formed their government. Yes, it took them three months, but is that really so incredible in a society that's forming its first democratic government? They have made progress. They're going to write a constitution. They're going to hold elections. And that process in and of itself is the best answer to the insurgency.
MR. ROSE: It's one thing to worry about the press. It's another thing to see their polls that say there's a growing sense in America of unease about it when they read about the continuing strength of the insurgency as to whether this is going to turn out all right and how long we're going to have to be there and how many American men and women are going to die.
SECRETARY RICE: I understand people's concern. Everybody understands that because the loss of life of innocent Iraqi and of course coalition and American, for us, every loss of life, every American soldier, is a great tragedy. It's something I think the President feels very deeply and that we each individually feel very deeply. We're there in a cause to try and have an Iraq that will be one of the anchors of a different kind of Middle East, a Middle East that will not produce the kind of ideologies of hatred that led people to fly airplanes into those buildings.
MR. ROSE: To have Iraq as an anchor
SECRETARY RICE: Yes.
MR. ROSE: in the cause
SECRETARY RICE: For the cause of a different kind of Middle East. Could you imagine a different kind of Middle East with Saddam Hussein at the center of it? No. A lot has happened in the Middle East in a very short time to give us optimism that we can see a Middle East in which you have more pluralism, in which you have people with political means by which to express their differences, to overcome their differences. And yes, it's a long struggle, but nobody believes that the United States and the coalition has to stay there while the entire process that is going to take generations unfolds.
MR. ROSE: Is it okay for the Shia militia to take on as they announced yesterday take on an increased role in security?
SECRETARY RICE: Well, again, I think this is an Iraqi process that is going on. And let's see how this comes out, in fact. Let's see how they integrate people who have been in militias fighting Saddam Hussein into a national structure that recognizes the need for security, that recognizes that security and the use of force has to be the preserve of a united Iraq.
So let's see how this all comes out. Again, I think we want to be careful not to follow every up and down in what is going on in Iraq. This is an enormously complicated process. But if you look at the trend, if you look at how they're moving, they are moving very effectively toward elections in December that will give them a permanent government that I have some belief, some confidence, will be representative of all Iraqis, that will be democratic, that will protect minorities and human rights, and that will make Iraq a very different kind of neighbor and a very kind of different force in the Middle East than it was under Saddam Hussein.
MR. ROSE: On balance then, you're optimistic that things will turn out okay in Iraq? Not easy. There's an insurgence that continues to be strong, but it will turn out okay?
SECRETARY RICE: I believe that the Iraqis are going to seize this chance that they have to form a democratic, unified Iraq. It's going to be hard and it's going to take time. There are going to be ups and downs. But these are committed people who know what tyranny is in ways that many people could never experience or
MR. ROSE: And we'll be there to help them as long as they need us?
SECRETARY RICE: We will be there to help them in the way that they need us. We are training their security forces. Their security forces are going to take over this battle at the appropriate time. But, Charlie, they've made enormous progress. It hasn't even been a year since we transferred sovereignty and look at how far they've come.
MR. ROSE: We've talked about many things here. I just want to end on two points. Number one, they just had a vote in Europe rejecting the European Union constitution. What does that mean and what are your concerns?
SECRETARY RICE: Well, the President, when he was in Brussels, spoke about the need and the American desire for a strong Europe as a partner and in all of the many strategic challenges that we've been talking about here: Middle East peace and a more democratic, broader Middle East and finishing the European construction in places like the Balkans and East Central Europe. And so we want a strong European partner.
Now, what form that will take is for the Europeans to decide. But we're going to just keep moving ahead on the strategic agenda. I'm going to be with the EU with Iraq in Brussels for a partnership conference for Iraq, which will, we hope, show the Iraqis that the world is behind them. The next day, at the G-8, the EU will be a part of a Quartet discussion about how to move peace forward in the Middle East.
So we're just going to keep working on the strategic agenda and hope that whatever happens in Europe that it will continue to result in an outward looking Europe, not an inward looking Europe, because we need our European partners at this crucial, historic time.
MR. ROSE: Does this mean that it's less likely that Turkey will become part of the European Union?
SECRETARY RICE: Well, that is the Europeans have made a commitment to start accession talks with the Turks and I hope that that commitment stands because the day that we have a Turkey that can be fully integrated into Europe is going to be a very good day for overcoming any sense that there might be a divide between the Judeo-Christian part of Europe and its Muslim part.
MR. ROSE: What do you think the United States can do your original area of academic expertise Russia? What do you think the United States can do to make Putin more democratic rather than less democratic when you see Mr. Khodorkovsky is going to prison for seven years?
SECRETARY RICE: Look, the trends in Russia have not been as good as we would have liked and we are very clear with the Russian Government and we've talked about the concentration of power in the Kremlin, the need for countervailing institutions, the need for a truly free press.
It's also important to recognize it's also not the Soviet Union. A lot has happened in 15 years in Russia. And I think there are a lot of individual freedoms in Russia that would have been unthinkable just a few years ago and we need to try to continue to encourage that. The President met with a number of representatives of civil society when he was in Russia, people representing disabled people something that I know as a Soviet specialist was swept under the rug just a few years ago in the old Soviet Union. He met with people who are environmentalists, who are petitioning the government about degradation of Lake Baikal and places like that.
So there's a lot going on in Russia. We're going to try to support civil society. We're going to try to support individual rights and religious freedom in Russia. And we're going to continue to talk to the Russian Government about a modern state, a state that is not so centralized, a state that is that doesn't draw home all power to itself. But we just have to step back sometimes. A lot has happened.
MR. ROSE: And a state that is confident about the future.
SECRETARY RICE: And a state that is confident about the future.
MR. ROSE: This is an exciting time to be alive if you're involved in change.
SECRETARY RICE: It sure is. It's a remarkable time. And when I look back and I look back at the time that I was here last 1989, 1990, 1991 you don't get any luckier than to be the White House Soviet specialist at the end of the Cold War. And I got to participate in the reunification of Germany and I got to participate in the end of communism in Eastern Europe.
But when I look back, I realize that it was just because people had laid the groundwork in 1946 and 1947 and 1948, when it didn't look like freedom was very much on the march, when you had the Berlin crisis and the Czechoslovak coup and civil war in Greece and the Chinese Communist won their civil war in 1949; and yet, they kept focused on democratic values and they kept focused on partnership with those who wanted to build that democracy in Europe. And some 60 years later, we can't even imagine war between those states in Europe.
And I look now at the period that we're in and enormous change going on across the Middle East, but I recognize that there are going to be ups and downs. I recognize that it's not a straight line in any of these states to a stable democracy. But I do know that if we do our work well and if we remain committed to the values that the President articulated in his inaugural speech, and if we remain committed to working with the now impatient patriots in these countries that want the democratic enterprise to succeed, that we're going to, in the time that we're here, at least help to lay a foundation of which I believe that we're going to look back years from now and say that it's no longer surprising that the President of the United States can sit across the table from the leader of the Palestinian state, who is himself democratic, or the leader of the democratic Iraq. I believe that day is going to come and we have a chance to lay that foundation.
MR. ROSE: Thank you very much. It's a pleasure to visit with you here.
SECRETARY RICE: Thank you.
MR. ROSE: Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of State for the United States, former National Security Advisor an honor. Thank you for joining us. We'll see you next time.
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