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Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz Interview with WPVI Channel 6, Philadelphia

Presenter: Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz
November 11, 2002

(Interview with John Rawlins, Philadelphia ABC affiliate WPVI Channel 6)

Q: Let me turn this on. One came from Ambassador (Tom) Foglietta, which seemed to make the point that he didn't feel that the United States should be even contemplating going to war with Iraq at this point in time. And then, I guess, put a direct question to you to ask you, what should you do if you find that there are no weapons of mass destruction there? How would you answer it?

Wolfowitz: Yeah. Look, I think --

Q: How would you answer that?

Wolfowitz: I mean, no one would lightly contemplate the risk of using force, and certainly, this President understands full well just all the things that are entailed in that. At the same time, I think his judgment, which has been, I believe, now strongly endorsed by strong majorities in both houses of Congress, and now by fifteen members of the United Nations Security Council, is that it's -- we can't continue to live with the ongoing risk of an Iraqi regime that has chemical and biological weapons, that is pursuing nuclear weapons, and doing all this in the face of sixteen UN Security Council resolutions that they're defying.

So, unfortunately, if you want to resolve that problem peacefully, and that's what we all want to do, there has to be some conviction on the part of the Iraqi regime, and Saddam Hussein personally, that he can't continue the old games, that it is a different world and he faces serious consequences -- I believe that's the language of the UN resolution -- if he doesn't comply.

Our hope will be that he will understand that, and understanding that, he will come clean with the weapons that he has. It's really a matter of trying to achieve disarmament by peaceful means, and if that fails, then we have to look at other alternatives. But I really believe we have the best shot we've ever had of getting him to change his behavior, thanks to the resolve that's been shown, first, by the United States, by our President, by our Congress, and then by the United Nations.

Q: So this is -- I mean, in part, what you're hoping here is that you see behavior modification on this man's part, who has had a lifetime of being basically a bully and all of this, and bullying those that they can. That's what you would hope that this show of strength would do?

Wolfowitz: Absolutely. And that -- look, he also has a career of retreating in the face of danger, and he is now in very great danger. He's got to understand that.

Q: You think he's a realist in all of this?

Wolfowitz: Yes, I do.

Q: Let me ask you about the other challenge. When you were speaking today, you talked to the continuity of the American point of view of foreign policy, of bringing liberty and bringing freedom. You were asked by Mr. (Malcom) Lazin (president of the Society Hill Civic Association) for the Department of Defense to post an honor guard here 24 hours a day, in a sense, I guess, in an equivalent to what goes on at Arlington. Is that under consideration by the Department of Defense?

Wolfowitz: To be honest, this is the first time I've heard the proposal. This is a remarkable site; there's no question about it. The history of this particular spot is unique, and both in terms of the sacrifices represented here, and the role it played in the founding of our country. And what's also clear is there's a powerful spirit of advocacy among the people who've brought this project along this far. So, I'm quite sure we'll be hearing more from them, and we'll have to think about it.

Q: It is possible to be considered at least?

Wolfowitz: I think any reasonable request from American citizens will be considered, and especially one that pertains to honoring our veterans and our heroes.

Q: Thank you, sir. Appreciate it.

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