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Reader's Digest Interview with Condi. September 2006.

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  • Peter Dow
    It looks like RfPYG missed this interview with Condi by Reader s Digest from September 2006. Someone here in Aberdeen, Scotland noticed the article in this
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 11, 2007
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      It looks like RfPYG missed this interview with Condi by Reader's Digest from September 2006.
      Someone here in Aberdeen, Scotland noticed the article in this Reader's Digest back issue and remembering my interest in Condi  passed it on to me.
      I read it and wept tears of joy, but there isn't a smilie for that, so I'll use a number of smilies -
      So I'm posting the new group links to the R.D. webpages, which has the transcript AND the audio recording of the interview.
      Readers Digest Interview. (Transcript, R.D. web page)
      September 2006. Woman of the World. The Secretary of State talks about the crises we face, and what we need to do.
      Reader's Digest. Audio Interview with Condoleezza Rice
      Link to R.D. webpage with links to play the audio of the interview, about 20 minutes. Two versions - (1) Real Player. (2) Windows Media - This version is also available in the group's Files section.
      The layout of the printed article is very professional - and includes photographs not on the webpage so I have scanned it in for your appreciation - large size!
      And I've also pasted in the text in this page too. It's all here folks!
      - Peter Dow
      Owner, Rice for President Yahoo Group

      Woman of the World

      The Secretary of State talks about the crises we face, and what we need to do.
      By William Beaman and Conrad Kiechel
      From Reader's Digest
      September 2006

      They Deserve Democracy
      Everywhere she turns -- from Iraq to Iran, from Lebanon to North Korea -- Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice faces a crisis of diplomacy. In this exclusive interview, she talks about the turbulent times ahead and the strategy to steer America safely through.

      RD: We were united as a nation right after the 9/11 attacks, but today we're deeply divided along partisan lines. Is there something you might have done to maintain that unity?
      Secretary Rice: I still think there's an underlying unity. But perhaps we didn't have time to reflect fully on what 9/11 was going to require of us as a country.

      Did it mean we were going to hunt down Al Qaeda as the organization that did this to us? Perhaps capture Osama bin Laden, and then we could return to life as we knew it? Or was this instead a struggle of a generation to change the very circumstances that created Al Qaeda? For those of us who came out on that side of the debate, it was the only way to leave a permanent peace to our children and our grandchildren.

      I liken it in some ways to what happened after World War II. America didn't think it enough to have just defeated the Nazis. We had to leave a stable Europe and that meant a democratic Europe, with a democratic Germany at its core. We had to leave a democratic Japan.

      Those policies clearly proved themselves right. When we recognize that nobody thinks we're ever going to go to war again on the European continent, or that France and Germany are ever going to fight again, or that Japan is ever going to be a threat to their region, you recognize the wisdom of dealing with root causes.

      RD: You are describing a vast undertaking that would benefit us and our allies by creating a more peaceful world. But the U.S. image, as reflected in polls in Europe and elsewhere, has been battered. Do you have a strategy to burnish that image?
      Secretary Rice: Well, first, we have to do what 's right, and sometimes doing what 's right means doing hard things that people may not agree with. Was it right to finally deal with the threat of Saddam Hussein? Some people said, "No, that was not right and it has had its cost in terms of American popularity." But I believe firmly that when the history of this period is written, and when Iraq is a pillar of democracy and stability in that region, people will look back and say, "All right, it was the right decision." Difficult decisions will sometimes be unpopular.

      But there's more we can do. We need to have a conversation with the people of the Middle East, not a monologue. We need to increase our exposure to people, particularly young people. So we've been very big supporters of student exchange programs. And we must be clear that we really believe that the people of the Middle East deserve a democratic future, something that American Presidents were not willing to say for 60 years. We were only concerned with stability, not with democracy, and we got neither.

      The International Community
      There are also misconceptions we can fight against. When I talk to religious people from the Middle East, they seem to believe that Americans are secular and don't believe in family. And I say, "Come to America." There's a church or a synagogue or a mosque on practically every corner. We are a people who are family oriented and deeply religious.

      America has made its way by being a place where people from many different cultures and many different religious back grounds have joined together. We don't tolerate each other; we make each other better. I wish people could see that America.

      RD: Does our goal to d ay of stability and prosperity in Iraq still encompass building a democratic Iraq as well?
      Secretary Rice: Oh, it absolutely has to encompass a democratic Iraq. One can't exist without the other.

      I think we've learned over the years t h at what you get from authoritarianism or dictatorships is a false stability. Either you get out-and-out repression or you get a society in which there are malignancies that eventually spring forth in unhealthy ways, like the development of extremism, because people don't have legitimate political institutions through which to express their differences.

      I look at the lives of innocent Iraqis that have been lost, schoolchildren and teachers and brothers and sisters of Iraqi leaders who are assassinated. And I stand in awe of the fact that twelve and a half million of them went to the polls any way, despite those threats and that intimidation.

      When Iraq achieves its democracy, it's going to have a huge impact on the rest of the region, because people are going to look around and say, "Why not us?"

      Already, in Kuwait, women voted for the first time and ran for office for the first time. In Egypt, they have had multi-party elections for the first time. I know their parliamentary elections did not meet the standards that we h ad hoped, but when you've had elections in which criticism of the sitting government, even the president, was thoroughly and completely permitted, it's never going to be the same.

      RD: When you were National Security Advisor, you said no one should be willing to tolerate nuclear weapons in Iran. And the President has said we won't tolerate it. Will this statement come back to haunt us?
      Secretary Rice: We don't have to tolerate it. No, of course not. First of all, we are working very hard, and I would say effectively, to have an international coalition that also won't tolerate a nuclear weapon in Iran. And if it's determined to have a nuclear weapon, then it will be isolated from the international community.

      We also can make it very clear to Iran that it's never going to benefit from having a nuclear weapon. We're going to defend our allies and our interests around the world.

      A New World
      RD: The Bush Administration has expressed a doctrine of preemption to stop threats to international security. Are North Korea's long-range missile tests a case for preemptive strikes?
      Secretary Rice: The United States is rallying a very important coalition of North Korea's neighbors to deal with this nuclear threat -- China and Japan and Russia and South Korea -- and that's the best way to handle this.

      To be sure, the United States maintains -- through its alliance with the Republic of Korea, and also with others in the region, like Japan -- plenty of capability so the North Koreans are not confused about who is preeminent in terms of the security situation. Now, the President has been very clear. We don't have any desire to invade or attack North Korea. Why would we do that?

      So North Korea also has no reason to have nuclear weapons. That said, I think the North Koreans recognize that the United States and its allies have plenty of capability to deal with any provocation.

      RD: When Ronald Reagan went to Berlin and said, "Tear down this wall," many experts didn't believe it would happen. Is there anything today that would surprise people as much as the fall of communism?
      Secretary Rice: People are going to be surprised at how different the Middle East is going to be in a few years. That would be my prediction.

      There's going to be more democratic development, undoubtedly turbulent, rocky, because that 's how big changes are. You know, when I look back on the fall of communism, I realize that we were just harvesting the decisions that had been made in 1946 and '47. And I think, How did they keep their bearings? Because on any given day, the people who would walk into this [State Department] building would know that, in 1946, the Italian Communists won 48 percent of the vote and the French Communists 46 percent of the vote. In 1948, Czechoslovakia fell to a Communist coup. In 1948, Berlin was permanently divided by the Berlin Crisis. In 1949, the Soviet Union set off a nuclear weapon five years ahead of schedule and the Chinese Communists won.

      If you had said to people at that time, that in 1989 and 1990, the Soviet Union is going to collapse, Eastern Europe is going to peacefully emerge as democratic, Germany will finally unify, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Romania are all going to be members of NATO, people would have said, "Are you out of your mind?"

      Now we're at the beginning of another great transformation. I don't know if it will be 10 years or 20 or 30. But people will look back and say, "We' re really glad that they didn't take the easy way, that they didn't decide stability was enough and insisted on democratic development."

      RD: You've made clear your lack of interest in running for President, but if there's a ground swell of public support for you to get into the race, could that change your mind?
      Secretary Rice: I know what I'm suited to do in life. I've been fortunate that I've had jobs and responsibilities and opportunities that, when I was a kid growing up in Birmingham, Alabama, I would never have dreamed. But by this time in life, I do know what I want to do and what I don't. So I'll either go into sports management someplace or, more likely, go back to Stanford and teach.

      Last Updated: 2006-07-24

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