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Rice Says Victory Requires Time, Patience, Sacrifice

By John D. Banusiewicz
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 16, 2006 – Past victories over ideologies of hatred serve as a reminder that such triumphs require time, patience and sacrifice, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said in Australia today.

In an interview with Kerry O'Brien on the Australian Broadcasting Company's "7:30 Report," Rice said there's no choice but to win. Australia is Rice's final stop on a weeklong visit to Latin America and the Pacific.

"We've won these struggles before against ideologies of hatred, but it's always taken time; it's taken patience; unfortunately, it's sometimes taken sacrifice. It's also taken good friends and allies like we have here in Australia," Rice said. "But we've triumphed because we've stayed true to our values. We've triumphed because we have believed in those who were trying to seek freedom's promise. And we've triumphed because we've recognized that there is no alternative than to confront this ideology of hatred and to defeat it."

Acknowledging that the road to democracy in Iraq continues to be rough, the secretary also noted that the Iraqi people have continued to move forward.

"I think if you look at what the Iraqi people have actually achieved in the last three years, it's quite remarkable," Rice said. "Yes, they are experiencing great difficulty in making their way to democracy. But democracy is never easy. I think we in the United States and probably in Australia, people should be humble about our own path to democracy, which was difficult and had its own false starts and its own mistakes.

"But the Iraqis, in a place where for really most of their existence they solved their differences by violence or by repression or by dictatorship, they've now turned to politics to try to do that," she added. "And yes, it's hard, but they are going to form a government of national unity."

Rice said she doesn't believe the Iraqi people are on the brink of civil war, despite the best efforts of fugitive Jordanian terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi to pit Iraqi against Iraqi. "There are clearly those who would like to stoke the sectarian strife, but they're people like Zarqawi, the terrorist," she said. "The Iraqis themselves have voted three times, including ratifying a constitution, and now they're in the process of forming a government. I think they've made a remarkable showing."

The secretary praised the way Iraqis have responded to terrorists' attempts to drive a wedge between religious groups in their country, such as the Feb. 22 bombing of the Golden Mosque in Samarra.

"There's no doubt that there are those who would try to tear them apart," she said. "But every time they've gone to the precipice, every time there has been a major incident like the Samarra bombing, they have tried to come together rather than tearing themselves apart. And that's something to be admired."

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