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Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz Interview With MSNBC

Presenter: Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz
May 09, 2002 3:00 PM EDT

(MSNBC interview with Ashleigh Banfield)

Banfield: Any trips in the offing?

Wolfowitz: Actually I'm going to Singapore as a matter of fact. They're trying to organize an East Asia version of the 30 year old annual conferences that Europeans have on security, and Rumsfeld was going to go and ended up having to pull out, so --

Banfield: I think it's a little early in the day for that.

Wolfowitz: How long were you --

Banfield: I actually spent a year traveling abroad and two months of it was in Indonesia. Seven, eight months all in Southeast Asia.

Wolfowitz: When --

Banfield: 1991. And I actually learned to speak Indonesian when I was there because [starting] in East Timor, [unintelligible] in that area.

Wolfowitz: It's a language you can go to work on.

Banfield: Kind of a fun language.

All right, let's start with all the fun stuff.

Banfield: As I went through the research just reading up on you in the last, not just the last nine months but the 15 months of the Administration it seems that reporters have always labeled something.

Wolfowitz: They like labels.

Banfield: They love labels, yeah. How do you feel about some of those labels? Wolfman hawk, hawk, [king of the war] wolfie, what --

Wolfowitz: I certainly don't like those.

Banfield: Which if any of them are closest to the --

Wolfowitz: I guess the ones I like are when Brezhinski this morning very flatteringly called me a strategic thinker, and coming from a man like Brezhinski, I like that. I do think, I guess one of the reasons I don't like labels is because the world is a complicated place and pieces fit together in complicated ways, and one of the most I think simple-minded misrepresentations is that you either doing diplomacy or you're doing military things, whereas Diplomacy 101 the lesson is you don't get anywhere with negotiations unless you have leverage and in a lot of these negotiations part of your leverage is military strength. So --

Banfield: Is it unfair then when reporters categorize you as less than a diplomat, more of a hawk?

Wolfowitz: I think it's very unfair. I've spent a lot of time at State. I was an Ambassador in Indonesia. I was known, I think, as a reasonably diplomatic ambassador. And after all, we are here in the Defense Department. I mean our job is to figure out how to have the military ready and able to do the job the President asks them to do.

Banfield: As the Deputy Defense Secretary you have a very strong voice in the Administration, stronger than many in the past in fact. [Many have said] you wield a lot of influence in this Administration as well. Is that attributable to the sign of the times? We are in a time of war right now and that is a very popular strategy to talk about war, to talk about war on terror. Is that what you can attribute the volume of your voice at this time to?

Wolfowitz: For one thing, what was it Mark Twain said about "the reports of my death are highly exaggerated". I think some of those are highly exaggerated.

The President put together an unusually strong team and if I have influence a large part of the reason is because I work for one of the most impressive Secretaries of Defense that's ever been here. With respect to my role in the national security team as opposed to my role in trying to manage this building, I wouldn't say it's radically different from ten years ago when there was another strong team and another strong Secretary of Defense but that one was named Cheney. When you work on a good team you can get things done, and that's the only way really to get things done in government.

Again, I'm basically objecting to labels. I don't think that what's at work here is any single strong individual. Even people as strong as Powell or Cheney or Rumsfeld, it's the fact that they pull together and they have a President who gives them leadership, who makes decisions, lets them debate and argue but sets a clear direction.

Banfield: When you talk about the strengths of the voices I want to refer to something that happened yesterday [unintelligible]. One of those voices, Army Secretary Thomas White, might have been muffled somewhat according to reports yesterday in the cancellation of the Crusader, the mobile artillery project.

Do you ever worry about stepping on the toes of your boss, Secretary Donald Rumsfeld?

Wolfowitz: Look, we all work for other people and all of us work for the President. When the President makes a decision, being part of this Administration, part of this team means supporting that decision unless it's something that your conscious drives you to say okay, I'm not on the team any more. The American people didn't elect us to go out freelancing, they elected us to carry out a national policy.

The Crusader issue that you mentioned I think is a good example. You get into very strong debates, very strong differences of view and position. Ultimately it was the Secretary of Defense that made the decision, recommended it to the President, the President supported it, and Secretary White, like the rest of us, supports that decision and he'll make it work and the Army will make it work.

Banfield: That's turn now to the war on terror. Do you feel in order to go after terrorists we must go after the states that sponsor terrorist groups? And end those states?

Wolfowitz: That was a phrase that I blurted out inaccurately. No, we're not talking about ending states, and I never meant that. I do think we're talking about ending state support for terrorism. That is clearly one of the dangerous pieces of this picture. And the President has been clear about that from day one. He said that this is not just about one man or even one terrorist network, it's about the whole complex of global terrorist networks and state support for those networks.

He was more explicit in the State of the Union message where he identified as a particularly dangerous problem the combination of countries that are hostile to us that support terrorism and have or are developing nuclear and chemical and biological weapons. That is a disaster waiting to happen and the President made it clear we're not going to wait for it to happen, we're going to do something to prevent it.

Banfield: Does America need to go to war with nations like the nations belonging to the axis of evil or nations who produce suicide hijackers like we saw on September 11th? Or is there another way to go about it?

Wolfowitz: And again, this is why I don't like labels. Take North Korea. I think we've made it clear to them we are interested in pursuing what President Kim Dae Jung of South Korea has called his sunshine policy. For a year we've been saying we'll meet and talk with the North Koreans any time, any place, no conditions. Until very recently, they were not responding. It was only after the President made his speech in which he pointed out that we're not waiting forever, that North Korea is a serious problem, that he got a response from them. We'll see what it actually means.

But if you're going to be successful in solving any of these problems diplomatically, the people you're dealing with are very rough customers and they have to know that all the options are on the table, including the military one, including the diplomatic one.

Banfield: Do you think that Israel at this point is making diplomatic efforts to solve their war on terror?

Wolfowitz: I do. I mean I think we're in the lead on diplomacy. I think Secretary Powell made a big contribution when he went out there. There were some very unreasonable expectations that somehow he could step in the middle of a real conflagration and bring about a peace settlement that was absurd. But what he did do I think was to lower the temperature, to prevent this war from escalating to Lebanon and Syria which it had a real opportunity to do. I think a lot of people's lives were saved by that intervention, and I think he started the process that led to diffusing the situation in Ramallah.

Look, we're dealing with very tough customers on both sides in that case. The Israelis have been through a lot. When you have suicide bombers blowing up people you tend to be pretty cautious and bargain pretty hard.

At the end of the day, and this is what the President's very clear about, that problem is not going to be settled by military means, even if Israel had the most effective military in the world. It's going to take a political solution. And that political solution is going to confront Israel with difficult compromises and I think that's clear.

Banfield: Some way while Secretary Powell was in the Middle East your activities here were in direct, or were actually at odds with what he was trying to accomplish. He went there basically to try and get Ariel Sharon to withdraw from the West Bank, yet you were on Capital Hill at a pro-Israel rally that was all about keeping the tanks in place. How do you --

Wolfowitz: I made a point, as I think you may know when I went to that rally not to just pander to the people who were there, but to lay out the full range of the President's policy including the need for a Palestinian state as part of the solution. And what I had to say, it didn't completely surprise me but it did disappoint me, to point out that there were Palestinian victims, innocent Palestinians dying as well. As you may have heard, at least part of the crowd didn't want to hear that.

Banfield: How did that feel? I mean you were booed by that crowd.

Wolfowitz: It never feels nice, but I felt like I said the right thing and that it was important to say it.

What's interesting, I do want to say this in defense of the other members of the crowd. When I got off the stage numerous people including prominently [unintelligible] came up to me and said you said exactly the right thing. I'm embarrassed at what some of those people did.

Banfield: [unintelligible], but politically, I suppose you didn't expect that necessarily.

Wolfowitz: I didn't think they'd like the line. I did not expect the strong reaction, no.

Banfield: [unintelligible]

Wolfowitz: Oh, absolutely.

Banfield: Moreso than say a year ago.

Wolfowitz: Absolutely.

Banfield: Did it change your opinion of how to behave in light of these sensitivities? Or how to go about your business?

Wolfowitz: No, I think it just confirmed my opinion, which is that it, is very important to recognize the humanity on both sides. It is very important to keep talking about the other side of human beings and it was a vivid demonstration of what Colin Powell, what he's up against. It is very tough in certain [unintelligible] where passions are then inflamed, and that was a small reflection of what could come on the other side.

When the American Ambassador in Bahrain made a corresponding intervention where he asked people after a moment of silence for Palestinian children to give a moment of silence for Israeli children, there were violent street demonstrations.

So we're dealing with a very very impassioned, inflamed situation. It's one of the reasons why the achievement, and I think it's a real achievement that Powell accomplished, is starting to lower the temperature, and we're going to have to keep working at it. The bombing last night show you it's going to keep happening. People who don't want to see this peace process move at all will keep doing it in order to accomplish that result.

Banfield: It's funny that you mention Powell's efforts and diplomatic efforts so often, because much of the reporting of late has been about this rift between the Pentagon and the State Department. Is it a mythical rift?

Wolfowitz: A lot of what I read has a legendary quality to it. I mean, sorry, there's a lot of good reporting but on that particular one I don't see much relation to what I hear. And frankly, I spend a lot of my time on issues like Crusader, but when I hear back from the Secretary about his conversations with Powell and others, there's enormous respect for the Secretary of State and for what he's trying to accomplish.

Banfield: Perhaps for him the man, but what about the actions. Actions speak a lot louder than words, and of late the Secretary of State has been trying desperately to say this is not the time to be tough-minded militarily in light of how the Arab states feel about America, and yet others in the Defense Department and the Pentagon don't feel that way at all.

Wolfowitz: I hear one kind of discussion internally and then a lot of stuff in the press. I don't think that's the right characterization.

Banfield: No rift whatsoever?

Wolfowitz: Strong debate, strong argument. You wouldn't want it any other way. But I think a great sense of direction. And a President who's willing to make decisions. When there are these arguments he lays out clear lines and everybody follows them.

Banfield: Did the Israelis consult with the Pentagon in terms of military strategy when it comes to the incursions?

Wolfowitz: No.

Banfield: Nothing --

Wolfowitz: I mean nothing that I'm really aware of. I can't swear that at some lower levels they don't talk to people, but they keep their own counsel.

Banfield: Does the Pentagon ever know about an incursion [unintelligible] that kind of action?

Wolfowitz: Not that I'm aware of.

Banfield: Do you have any information with regard to the next plans of --

Wolfowitz: Certainly not. The press is actually on point on this, again, as the Secretary of State. He's on the phone with the Prime Minister every day and that's our main channel of learning about things as sensitive as what you're talking about.

Banfield: Have you seen any successes militarily in terms of how the Israelis are doing with what they call their war on terror?

Wolfowitz: This is not a problem that's going to get solved militarily. I mean sure there are tactical successes and I think my sense from Israelis I talk to from time to time including Israeli military people, is a recognition that tactical success is only temporary and the strategic success has to come out of something that's a political solution.

Banfield: Strangely enough it sounds as though we need to negotiate with terrorists and [unintelligible] --

Wolfowitz: It's a terrible dilemma. It really is a terrible dilemma. Negotiations with terrorists in a way that rewards terrorism is a very bad thing to do. But what I said in that speech and I've said elsewhere and the President has said, the greatest obstacle to what the Palestinians want to achieve, which I think the whole world, even a large fraction of the Israeli public I think are prepared to recognize, is the end of the Israeli occupation and the creation of a Palestinian state. And frankly, I think if there were no terrorism we could have achieved that a long time ago. At least we had a decent chance for it. We'll have a much better chance of achieving it when the terrorist stops.

So a big part, responsibility, lies with the Palestinian leadership, and frankly with other Arab countries, European countries that have some influence on this issue and seem more than happy to say it's all America's problem, it's all America's responsibility, and that won't wash.

Banfield: All eyes of the world are on the Middle East right now, what's happening there. All eyes of the world were on New York and the Pentagon. In the past all eyes were on the Cole, the embassies, you name it. Is terrorism [unintelligible] working?

Wolfowitz: I think the terrorists are losing. You've been in Afghanistan. I think we're not finished there by any means, but the Taliban is out of power, al Qaeda is on the run. We've taken out a lot of their key people. We've I think had significant effects not just in Afghanistan but all around the world in disrupting their activities.

It's difficult. I wouldn't -- Let's take a country I care a lot about, Indonesia. I did a speech the other night making the point partly from Indonesia, which I'll tell you it is the country with the largest Muslim population in the world. I was the Ambassador there for three years. They will tell you emphatically we're not a Muslim country because we have equal status for all five major religions represented in our population. But Indonesia was ruled by dictators for 50 years, and in 1998 the dictator went and now they have a fairly impressive democracy with real elections, with free press. But they also are suffering from an economic typhoon that swept through the country with the fall of Suharto.

We have a huge stake in trying to help Indonesia make it through that typhoon and establish a stable democracy. And if they succeed they can become, I think, a very positive model for the other 800 million Muslims in the world. And if they fail, they could become real problems for themselves and for everyone else. So I would not suggest that this is over but I don't think the terrorists are winning. I think freedom and democracy are going to win in the end.

Banfield: I'd say it's not a win or lose question that I'm asking. I'm asking more about the tension. Some [unintelligible] say we've tried everything else, [unintelligible] pay attention to this issue and get to the table, or [unintelligible]. In that respect...

Wolfowitz: No, I don't think it is. In fact Anwar Sadat got people to the table not by terrorism, but by creating a psychological breakthrough, by doing something that no one had conceived of before.

If the Palestinian leadership were to make a similarly demonstrable commitment against terror, even if they couldn't deal with every possible terrorist, they could create a psychological breakthrough. The Saudis in a much more modest way, but still important way, have created really psychological breakthroughs, if you can call it that, with the Crown Prince's plan.

I think if you look at [unintelligible] in progress, whether it was the first Camp David agreement or the Oslo agreement, or even the failed effort at Camp David in the year 2000 which came close, those didn't happen because of terrorists, they happened because people were ready to demonstrate a serious willingness to make peace.

Banfield: It's post September 11th now, and a lot of people are saying that the world order has completely shifted. Has warfare also completely shifted in terms of looking at how successful conventional warfare is against terrorism? Does this country need to start focusing on dirty espionage or fighting terrorism with terrorism in the future?

Wolfowitz: I don't like that word dirty espionage. I mean I think yes, we certainly should be doing what we can to infiltrate terrorist groups and that's not something you do easily. I know that George Tenet started that effort out at the CIA a few years ago, but it's the kind of thing that takes time to build up.

At the heart of your question I think is the notion which I agree with, that this is a different kind of war. I remember when we met with the President at Camp David the Saturday after September 11th, they were laying out what the options were. General Shelton, who was then the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, said it was the first time he'd ever been in a meeting where military force was a major option on the table, where the Defense Department didn't speak first. In fact they spoke only after the Secretary of State laid out diplomatic options; the Director of Central Intelligence talked about what intelligence agencies could do; the Attorney General talked about what the Justice Department could do; the FBI talked about their work; the Secretary of the Treasury talked about securing financial networks; then we got to the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs.

It typifies to me that this war, while it's very much a war, is a war that's fought in the shadows with people who hide. The instruments are sometimes going to be very military but more often they're going to be law enforcement, intelligence kinds of work. Al Qaeda alone has a presence in some 60 countries including, unfortunately, very significantly here in the United States, including Germany, including France. We're not going to get them everywhere through military means. But I do think that, speaking for the Department of Defense, I think we have a major contribution to make in helping to ensure that they don't have the kind of sanctuary that they had in Afghanistan.

Banfield: In the few minutes we have left [unintelligible] about Iraq. I'm more than aware that you can't answer specifics about [unintelligible] for Iraq, but with all that on the table. Back in 1977 you outlined a scenario in which Saddam Hussein could overrun and invade Kuwait and threaten the Saudis. Back in 1991 you pushed for toppling Saddam Hussein. Did that you give you some leeway to [unintelligible]?

Wolfowitz: No, I [unintelligible] policy, I really mean it. And not only because the inappropriate personalizing, but more importantly each situation is new at each point in time. You can't make policy for Iraq today based on what was appropriate ten-year ago or ten years before that.

Banfield: [unintelligible]

Wolfowitz: It would take -- Let me put it this way. The weapons inspectors were having a very hard time before they were kicked out. Now we've had three or four years without any inspections at all. We have none of the [leads] that helped us. One of the reasons that UNSCOM came close to finding some stuff is because Saddam Hussein's son-in-law who was in charge of some of these programs defected to Jordan and gave us a goldmine --

Banfield: [unintelligible]

Wolfowitz: There are no more sons-in-law inside that I know of, and this man, all the evidence that we have says he has some weapons and he's working hard to develop others and it is not going to be a simple thing.

Banfield: [unintelligible] clock, what [unintelligible]. But you're also facing an extremely hostile [unintelligible].

Wolfowitz: They're important, you work on both.

Banfield: But the clock is ticking.

Wolfowitz: That's right, and I think what the President said in the State of the Union message is the important point. In hindsight one might have wished that we had done more to anticipate a September 11th and prevent it, although if we'd gone to war against Afghanistan before September 11th people would have said we had no justification.

WE can't wait for a nuclear, chemical or biological attack to go and find the people who did it. So countries that are hostile to us, that support terrorism, and are developing chemical and biological and nuclear weapons is a combination we simply can't continue to live with. He is afraid the clock is ticking, and it's definitely ticking. I can't tell you when it reaches midnight, I just know that we don't have forever.

Banfield: What does the Pentagon feel [would be] the greatest success story? Toppling Saddam Hussein or [unintelligible] the coup method [unintelligible]?

Wolfowitz: First of all, these are decisions that the President himself has to make and he hasn't made them yet, as far as I know.

Banfield: How does the Pentagon advise him?

Wolfowitz: WE advise him privately. That's the only fair way to do it. Presidents are entitled to get free, frank advice from their advisors in private and then when they make decisions everybody's on the same team. So that's important.

I would say this, that I think, I don't know how we get there, and I'm not in a position to start discussing it, but I think we have in Northern Iraq today where the predominantly Kurdish population that lives beyond the reach of Baghdad is a self-governing Muslim population with a free press, with a pretty lively debate, with I think not the greatest elections in the world but elections. And quite significantly, where the level of economic prosperity far exceeds the rest of Iraq, even though they're under the same sanctions. WE have there I think a demonstration of what Iraq is capable of if they're not under that kind of rule, and so I can't say how we get there but I do think a free Iraq would be able to transform the whole region.

Banfield: [unintelligible]

Wolfowitz: I would hope so.

Banfield: [unintelligible]

Wolfowitz: I think so.

Banfield: Can I go over my time? I know my 20 minutes are up.

Wolfowitz: [unintelligible] [Laughter] -- quit while we're ahead.

Banfield: I just want to touch on [unintelligible] and [unintelligible].

So basically [unintelligible] overseas. [unintelligible] Iraq or [unintelligible].

Wolfowitz: I think you'll get a good story anywhere you go. [unintelligible] go to Baghdad --

Banfield: What was that?

Wolfowitz: Bernard Kalb asked me on January 10th of 1991 whether he should go to Baghdad. I tried without revealing any secrets to say it wasn't the smartest thing in the world. And of course if he'd taken my advice he would not have been there, so [unintelligible] big scoop.

Banfield: Okay. [unintelligible] Afghanistan yesterday that the war in that region is all but won. Is that premature?

Wolfowitz: Oh, yes. I assume he may have been talking about his own operation. You know Afghanistan. I don't think the American people quite appreciate what a huge place it is. I've got a map in my office that actually superimposes Afghanistan on the southeastern United States and from one corner it goes from about Washington, D.C. down to New Orleans, and from the other it goes from near St. Louis down south to Atlanta. It's a huge area and no one person -- I wish it were true. We've made a lot of progress, but it's a big country, there are a lot of problems there. It would be a mistake to say that we're finished.

Banfield: You could be there forever, [unintelligible].

Wolfowitz: Well, our mission is very clear. Our mission is to get rid of the terrorists who are still out there, and then what we want to do is create conditions where Afghanistan could be sufficiently stable that the terrorists don't come back again. But that is going to be principally, has to be principally the responsibility of the Afghan people. We're doing things to help them. We're training the Afghan army, the Germans are training Afghan police, we're supporting this International Security Assistance Force. We think it's important at least for some time to come in ensuring the neutrality of the capital.

And we keep some of our terrific special forces people around the country in different places where they perform a kind of military ambassador's role, and I think they've been able to do a lot of helpful things. But the long-term stability of that country is ultimately going to depend on the Afghans finding a way to live with one another.

Banfield: And how long term? The last time the Americans pulled out of Afghanistan [unintelligible] said it was a disaster. And that's perhaps what led to what we've seen in the last nine months.

Wolfowitz: [unintelligible]. We have to create conditions under which the Soviets pulled out and then I think there's a general consensus that we made a mistake in kind of forgetting about the place.

I think there's a lot to do that isn't military, and I think the heart of what needs to be done is to give them the basic tools so they can do the job. Schools, hospitals, roads.

Banfield: Peacekeeping?

Wolfowitz: They're going to have to keep the peace for themselves by, and it's not going to be easy. It's a pretty turbulent place with people who have a tendency to pull out their guns fairly easily. But I think there are places where peacekeepers can work. I don't think Afghanistan is one. I think we've got to find a model that rests much more on what the Afghans do for themselves.

Banfield: [unintelligible]

Wolfowitz: If there's a peace to keep. I mean we have peacekeepers right now and they've been there for 20 years, as Secretary Rumsfeld points out regularly, in the Sinai. And that peace between Israel and Egypt has held and I think peacekeepers probably contribute, although by now it probably would hold without them. They worked in Bosnia, they worked in Kosovo. But it's hard to -- Peacekeepers work when there's a peace to keep and we're a long way from that, unfortunately.

Banfield: Is it [unintelligible]?

Wolfowitz: It's always dangerous for an American to be a peacekeeper. And it's a point that, and I'm glad to get a chance to say it.

When a -- I won't pick on -- There are some countries with great traditions of --

Banfield: [unintelligible]

Wolfowitz: Yes, let's --

Banfield: Is it getting tougher and tougher these days to an American flag?

Wolfowitz: It's always a little more dangerous for Americans because we can be targets. Countries that have a much clearer history of neutrality have tended to make, on the whole, better peacekeepers.

Banfield: [unintelligible]

Wolfowitz: Yes, those are countries with great traditions and they've contributed a lot. And I think it's something that people should keep in mind when they want to throw Americans into solving every problem in the world. There are some things we do better than other people, and there's some things other people do better than us, and there are obviously some very good times when we have worked together on these things.

But you certainly want to be careful. We had the experience of the Marine [unintelligible] UN Peacekeeping Forces in Lebanon. He was singled out and tortured and murdered in a way that a non-American would not have been. That was 20 years ago.

Banfield: Is that the only solution?

Wolfowitz: You know, Secretary Powell has a very difficult job and we here in the Pentagon really want to support him and help make it work. I will let him decide whether, which things are helpful and which things are not helpful, and I think he really is a terrific man and we're delighted that we've got somebody of that strength representing the United States diplomatically.

Banfield: When it comes to attacking [unintelligible]?

Wolfowitz: It's as bad as I recall seeing it in a long time.

Banfield: [unintelligible]

Wolfowitz: There have been a lot of bad times in the past. I don't know what the answer is. I do think ultimately the only answer is to stay at peace with one another and accepting the existence of each other.

Banfield: Thank you so much. I appreciate it.

Is there anything else you wanted to add?

Wolfowitz: No.

Banfield: Anything I didn't ask you?

Voice: I loved your [unintelligible]. I loved your [unintelligible] earlier about the role of U.S. power, military power is only one of three aspects of our influence. You talked about economic you talked about our values, [unintelligible].

Banfield: Actually, thanks for bringing that up. [unintelligible] -- talking about persuading other nations to see Western values. And when it comes to that, [unintelligible]. [unintelligible] They always say you people, you think you can come over here with your values, your foreign policy, your goals and your aims and [unintelligible] what we believe as long as it's [unintelligible]. -- remarkably [expansive], and it's reached the point now where we find [unintelligible] war.

Is [unintelligible] that notion of [unintelligible]?

Wolfowitz: I know it exists. I don't think it's right. And I think -- Let me [unintelligible]. We have a lot of military power but we don't impose political systems on people with our military power. We have a lot of economic power, which does influence how people think but, I mean how people behave, but it doesn't influence how they govern themselves.

Our single greatest [power] I think is what we stand for, and those are ideals that are not American, they are universal. I was with former President Bush when he had his first meeting with Mikhail Gorbachev, and Bush made some reference to Western values and Gorbachev said look, those are our values also. They hadn't been for a long time, but he said those are our values also. Please call them democratic values, not Western values.

I was Ambassador in Indonesia. Those people believe in freedom and democracy. They may not agree with American foreign policy, and that's fine.

I think the President when he was still Governor in one of the presidential debates said it in my view extremely well, which is we're not, it's not our desire to go around the world telling people how to do things. WE do want to empower people to be able to govern themselves and determine their own future, and that puts us at odds sometimes with governments who want to tell their people what's good for them. That's true. But I think we can be very comfortable in a world where people are determining their own future, and I think that is one of the things that's different about the United States from any other powerful country.

Banfield: [unintelligible]

Wolfowitz: Every country puts its own interests first including the United States. Let's take an example.

Iraq it is really governed [unintelligible] own people I believe will not be an Iraq that threatens the United States. The Iraq is a threat to the United States is in fact because it is a powerful [unintelligible] of people who are mistreating the Iraqi people in a way that is unbelievable.

Banfield: Saddam Hussein?

Wolfowitz: On the wrong subject.

Banfield: Okay. [Laughter] Fair enough.

Thank you very much.

Wolfowitz: If you have a minute, do you want to see my map?

[inaudible discussion]

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