FTN - 2/9/03

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BOB SCHIEFFER, Chief Washington Correspondent: Today on Face the Nation, can Saddam Hussein do anything now to avoid war? President Bush says the game is over. Does that mean war is unavoidable? And will our allies go along with a U.S. attack?

We'll ask the national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice. Tom Friedman, foreign affairs columnist for The New York Times, will join us for the questioning and analysis. And I'll have a final word on the war ahead.

But first, Condoleezza Rice on Face the Nation.

ANNOUNCER: Face the Nation with CBS News Chief Washington Correspondent Bob Schieffer.

And now from CBS News in Washington, Bob Schieffer.

SCHIEFFER: Good morning again. And we begin this morning in the studio with the White House national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice.

Dr. Rice, thank you so much for joining us on this very important weekend.
Tom Friedman of the New York Times. Tom, we're glad to have you with us this morning.

Dr. Rice, let me get right to it. Iraq seems to be making new overtures to the inspectors this morning, now suggesting they may allow U-2 flights. They're talking about allowing their scientists, finally, to be interviewed. Will that be enough?

CONDOLEEZZA RICE, National Security Adviser: We have seen this game with Iraq many times before throughout the '90s, cheat and retreat. When there's enough pressure, the Iraqis try to give just a little bit in order to release the pressure.

Resolution 1441 of the U.N. Security Council said nothing about making a little progress or doing a little bit here or a little bit there. It challenged the Iraqis to comply. It challenged the Iraqis to disarm. And it did not say that Iraq had a final chance to be inspected. It said Iraq had a final chance to finally live up to its obligations.

So a little bit here and a little bit there is not going to get this done.

SCHIEFFER: The president left himself very little wiggle room in the State of the Union message. He said he must disarm or we are going to disarm him. Is there anything that Saddam Hussein can do, short of leaving, that will prevent a military attack at this point?

RICE: Saddam Hussein has had multiple chances to live up to his obligations and to disarm. Let's remember, this isn't a matter of the last three months. This is a matter of the last 12 years, repeated serial abuse of United Nations Security Council resolutions.

What Saddam Hussein had an opportunity to do was to change this behavior, one final opportunity to comply, as 1441 says. He could reverse everything that he's been doing. He could show up with those mobile biological weapons laboratories that Secretary Powell talked about. He could tell us where all of that anthrax and VX and mustard gas and botulinum toxin, all of these really terrible weapons that he's been hiding.

Saddam Hussein is the problem. The regime is the problem. When you have a presentation like Colin Powell's that shows that not only have they not accounted for all of this material,l but they have been actively deceiving the inspectors, it's very hard to imagine the circumstances under which inspections are going to succeed in this totalitarian and closed society.

SCHIEFFER: So he must do what you have just outlined, or else. Is that what your message is this morning?

RICE: Well it's -- I will tell you, Bob. People are going to be very skeptical of anything that he does at this point, because an eleventh-hour conversion has been his modus operandi before. He suddenly recognizes that there's a lot of pressure, and he tries to do a little bit to release the pressure.

But the goal here is not just to continue inspections. The goal here is to disarm him. And at this point, he is in very grave danger of triggering the serious consequences that the United Nations said he would undergo if he failed to comply with 1441.

SCHIEFFER: Tom?

TOM FRIEDMAN New York Times: Dr. Rice, there are kind of two models for a post-war, a post-invasion Iraq. One would be a Douglas Macarthur model; a la our post-World War II occupations of Germany and Japan, where we go into transform Iraq into a democracy.

Another model we could call the Iraqi general model, where we simply go in to -- we remove the regime but to stabilize Iraq and turn it over to a general.

Which model does this administration have in mind?

RICE: Well, Tom, I think there are a lot of models in between, too.

First of all, the United States, if we do have to go to war, I think has no interest in removing one dictator and replacing it with another dictator. The Iraqi people deserve better than that.

We are in 2003. We have had democratic revolutions all over the world. People have a right to certain non-negotiable demands of human dignity, as the president has said. They have a right to choose those who are going to govern them. They have a right to educate their children freely. They have a right to assemble and to have a free press. These are values that we have to stand up for.

Now, we understand that given the many, many years of oppression in Iraq, that this could be a long-term process in Iraq. And what we would want to do in the early stages of the end of the termination of conflict is to make certain that certain tasks are taken care of, that the Iraqi people are -- have humanitarian assistance and food where they need it, that the ministries of health -- ministry of health is up and running so that hospitals are available.

We would hope that there is a civil administration, a civil bureaucracy if you will, that might be -- once it is devoid of Saddam's influence, might be capable of administering the country. And then you would hope to be in a position to put the Iraqi people on a path toward democracy.

It is extremely important that the Iraqi people understand that American has always stood not just for power and stability, but also for values. And this is a chance for the Iraqi people to liberate themselves of oppression, and it is a chance for this region to see an example of perhaps an Iraq that is on the path to democracy.

FRIEDMAN: But that sounds more like the Douglas MacArthur model to me and it is a five-year, 10-year project. Do you think the American people are aware that if we go in there this is a five-or 10-year project?

RICE: Well, I don't think that the Douglas MacArthur model is really the appropriate analogy. What we're talking about here is that yes, the American military and other coalition partners will have to play some role in those early stages to carry out these tasks. The United States and our partners have to be certain that the country holds together. We are committed to the territorial integrity of Iraq. We have to make certain that sectarian violence doesn't take place.

But we would hope that very early on you could begin to identify Iraqi leadership from within the country and from without, people who underneath this terrible totalitarian government still have the respect of people and could help to lead it.

SCHIEFFER: Tom asked would the American people would be willing to go along. Are you saying this morning that this administration is committing itself to go along? That we are aware of how long this may take and how much it is going to cost and that this administration is prepared to do what has to be done to get that?

RICE: Well, I don't think we know how long it will take. So much depends on the conditions in the country. This is not Afghanistan.

Afghanistan had been really, by many years of civil war and bad leadership, there really was no civilian bureaucracy in place. We managed to find in Hamid Karzai a very good leader.

But Iraq is in a different situation, so I don't think we know how long it will take. But the United States has to remain committed to a period of time in order to create the conditions for an Iraq that is stable, at peace with its neighbors, disarmed of its weapons of mass destruction, and on the road to democratic development.

SCHIEFFER: Let me ask you about a report this morning that France and Germany are talking about now about deploying a force of perhaps a thousand peacekeepers and inspectors on the ground in Iraq.

Obviously, if they did that, would it make it very difficult for the United States if it felt military action was necessary, to go forward with that.
What do you know about that, and how do you feel about that?

RICE: Well, we know very little about what really to now are press reports. We've heard really nothing from the French or German government. We've heard some remarks in the French foreign minister's remarks after Colin Powell presented to the United Nations.

But the problem isn't an absence of inspectors. The problem isn't that we have 108 and we need 200 or 300. The problem is that Saddam Hussein is not complying. He is not disarming. He has not taken the decision to voluntarily disarm. That's the problem.

And it will be a diversion if we start to move away from 1441, which was very clear. When Iraq failed to file a declaration that was full and complete -- and no one would say that that declaration was full or complete...

SCHIEFFER: Then you would consider this plan a diversion?

RICE: Well, I would consider any plan that is trying somehow just to keep inspectors in the country when the issue is, what are those inspectors doing? They're there to verify Iraqi disarmament, not to hunt and peck all over a country the size of California.

SCHIEFFER: Let me go back to the original question I asked. What if Saddam Hussein left today? What would happen?

RICE: Well, I think everybody would be very happy to see Saddam Hussein leave. And certainly there are certain members of his entourage would have to leave, too, because there is -- he doesn't rule that country by terror alone. And that would be important.

But the Iraqi people deserve to know that the world community would still be concerned about a number of things. Be concerned about the territorial integrity of Iraq. The neighbors need to know that. That we would still be concerned that the country was truly disarmed. And that we would be concerned that the repression of the Iraqi people would cease, that the repression of Iraqi minorities would cease, and that Iraq could be placed on a path toward a better future and, indeed, a democratic future.

SCHIEFFER: Would he be given amnesty, as it were?

RICE: Well, I think it's premature to talk about what condition he might find himself in. Right now, he is facing enormous pressure from the international community. That's the right place to have him.

And anything that releases that pressure, anything that gives him the view that he is going to get more time and more time and more time, really does diminish what small chance there might still be that he will completely disarm voluntarily.

FRIEDMAN: But it sounds to me, from your answer, Dr. Rice, that even if Saddam goes now, that does not rule out that we would invade his country.

RICE: I would hope that if Saddam does go now, that the international community might take on responsibilities that, by the way, are outlined in other U.N. Security Council resolutions.

We've talked a lot about 1441, but there are also resolutions that Iraq should not threaten its neighbors, that Iraq should stop the repression of its people, that Iraq should do something about the condition of the minorities.

And so, all that I'm saying is that if the world were fortunate enough to have Saddam Hussein and his cronies decide to leave, there would still be work to do.

FRIEDMAN: So we're not ruling out anything in terms of what we might do.

RICE: We rule out nothing.

FRIEDMAN: Let me just follow up with one thing on the peace process, because obviously part of creating the conditions for any intervention for Iraq to succeed would be the regional environment as well.

You've kind of given Ariel Sharon a pass, up to now, while he got through his election. Where are we going here? Do you see any kind of initiative?
Are you planning any kind of initiative to break the deadlock between Israelis and Palestinians?

RICE: The president is strongly committed to Middle East peace. And in fact, the June 24th speech that he gave that, following on statements that he had made before, that clearly laid out a vision of two states living side by side, a democratic Palestine and a democratic Israel, that could live together and come to terms about territorial issues, is at the center of this president's vision.

We have pressed forward throughout this entire period of time. We've worked hard to get the Israelis to understand the humanitarian conditions in which the Palestinian people find themselves. As the president said, no person should have to deal with the humiliations that the Palestinians deal with every day.

We have been successful, and the president and Prime Minister Sharon, in the Oval Office, talked about getting the revenue transferred to the Palestinians. The Israelis had been holding revenues that belonged to the Palestinian Authority. We've succeeded in getting those transferred to the finance ministry with good measures for transparency and accountability, so that the money is spent on the Palestinian people, not on terrorism.

So we have been making some progress. But it is not enough. This president is not satisfied with the condition that we find ourselves in the in the Middle East. And indeed, he intends to continue to press hard through the road map and beyond to achieve a vision, a reality of the two states.

FRIEDMAN: You see some new initiative on this?

RICE: We are definitely looking, always looking, for openings to press the process forward. There was a period in which Israel had no government and had to go through elections. It is a democratic society. It was understandable that it had to go through that.

But absolutely, it is critical that we take every opportunity, now and even post-Iraq. If we have to go to war in Iraq, it is important that we use any opportunity to push that process forward, much as the first Gulf war gave an opportunity and impetus to the peace process.

SCHIEFFER: Let me ask you quickly about Don Rumsfeld, the secretary of defense. He has made some very, some would call it, provocative statements, among other things, saying that France and Germany face diplomatic isolation if they do not go along with us on this.

What does that mean?

RICE: I assume it refers to the 18 other European countries that believe that the U.N. Security Council has to do something that really does give meaning to the phrase "serious consequences."

SCHIEFFER: Do you agree with what he said?

RICE: Well, certainly 18 European countries, that's a lot. And they're not the only ones. We have a lot of support from around the world.

France and Germany are good friends and good allies. But I think it is no secret that we believe that blocking, for instance, NATO's preparations to defend Turkey is not helpful. It is not a serious position to say that you don't take an option off the table of using force, as the French foreign minister said, and then blocking preparations simply to defend a member of NATO, should war break out.

So yes, I think the French and the Germans are increasingly isolated. But we are going to continue to work with them.

The president talked to President Chirac on Friday, and we'll continue to work with them.

SCHIEFFER: Do you have a message for North Korea this morning?

RICE: The message for North Korea is that the isolation in which it finds itself is only going to deepen if it continues to try to escalate its nuclear programs.

North Korea, somehow, has come to the view that the way that you get people to engage you is to blackmail you. That is not the case.

SCHIEFFER: Let me ask you a question that I -- I've been out traveling around the country for the last couple of weeks. Here is the question that I get, and I would like to get your response: Why do we consider Saddam Hussein a greater threat than North Korea?

RICE: They're both serious issues. But as the president said, you use the right methods for any given circumstance. And what we have in Iraq is a 12-year history of the violation, indeed total disregard of U.N. Security Council resolutions that were quite specific about what Iraq was supposed to do.

We have a regional circumstance in North Korea, where a lot of nations have a lot at stake in a non-nuclear peninsula, especially China has a lot at stake. And we believe, therefore, that we have a diplomatic course that is likely to be fruitful on the Korean Peninsula.

We have tried everything in Iraq: limited military force, sanctions. We have tried everything, and now one final opportunity. It's time for the world, for the Security Council, for its own credibility, for the Security Council to show that its resolutions mean something.

SCHIEFFER: Dr. Rice, we'll leave it there. Thank you so much for joining us this morning.

RICE: Thank you.

SCHIEFFER: We'll be back with more in just a minute.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHIEFFER: Back now to get some perspective from Tom Friedman.

Tom, I think we should start -- as Dr. Rice was leaving, the question we did not get to was, what do we want from the United Nations when they go for the next resolution?

FRIEDMAN: Well, what she told us, of course, is that they are going to wait until Friday, the 14th, when Hans Blix will report back from Baghdad on exactly where the Iraqis are. I think then we'll see if there is any kind of movement from Baghdad.

And they are talking clearly about some kind of additional resolution, whether to formally authorize force or not, but will clearly try to put the period on this and lay the groundwork for military action if need be.

SCHIEFFER: And I think, as she told us, they are looking now perhaps at some kind of time table. But there is no question what she said today; we are in the end game here.

FRIEDMAN: Not only are we in the end game, what really struck me, Bob, is that in response to the question, "What if Saddam goes now, what if he pulls the parachute and jumps out, would that actually forestall an American invasion," and Dr. Rice clearly did not rule out the possibility that we would invade Iraq, no matter whether this guy comes or goes.

I happen to know there is a lot of debate within the administration about that. I think that would be enormously controversial. Especially the closer you get toward any military action, you know, the more the pressure is going to be to invade even if he goes.

SCHIEFFER: But in a way, that is also hopeful news to those who say we must not just replace one dictator with another. Because what she seemed to be saying here is we're going to make sure that they don't just have another guy like Saddam Hussein.

FRIEDMAN: Yes, I mean, she didn't want to use the language that we proposed, that this is a Douglas MacArthur kind of occupation of Germany and Japan after World War II, but that's clearly where they are leaning. And I would say she put the best gloss on it, that it would be a shorter-term operation than a longer-term one.

I think the American people really still have not been told by the president yet what could be involved. This is not going to be Grenada, it's not going to be Haiti. This is going to be a five-year project, in my view. She didn't say that, but that's certainly my view, at a minimum.

SCHIEFFER: I was very struck by your column today. You talked about the problem with France. And you concluded that France has the kindergarten problem. At this point, they just simply don't play well with others, that -- well...

FRIEDMAN: Well, there is something deeply, to me -- I am serious about the French position. Because there is a serious argument against the war and there is a serious way to prevent this war from happening.

You know, the French position is the sanctions aren't working because Saddam is not complying. Therefore -- the inspections aren't working because Saddam is not complying, therefore we should have more inspectors. We should triple the number of inspectors.

No, the only way you deal with a thug like Saddam, if we've learned anything in 12 years, is you have to triple the threat. If you really wanted to avoid a war, Bob, the only way to do it is to have a united international front.
And France, by avoiding that or preventing that united front, I believe is increasing the likelihood of a war.

SCHIEFFER: Madeleine Albright, former secretary of state, said today that if we occupy Iraq it won't look right to the rest of the world. Do you agree with that?

FREIDMAN: I think it all depends how we do it. If we do it in the way that Dr. Rice talked about, that we actually try to transform Iraq into a democracy and we're reasonably successful -- not into a democracy, but in a decent place, it will look right.

I believe in the heart of every young Arab today are two impulses, Bob. One; a real allergy to this war because it brings up the reminders of imperialism and colonialism. And in the heart of every young Arab today also is a hope that we would take out Saddam Hussein and 21 other Arab leaders with him.

SCHIEFFER: So you think it could look right if we do it right?

FRIEDMAN: If we do it right. If we show the Arab world we're not here just to install another dictator, not here just to get the oil for Exxon, we are here to invite you into our future. We're here to tilt this region onto a more progressive track.

And I think if you do that, you could get -- look what's beneath the support. Look what's been going on. Saudis are talking about political reform now. OK, Egypt's talking about political reform. That's happening because we are trying to tilt the region in a different direction.

SCHIEFFER: Tom Friedman, always a pleasure to have you and get your insight. Thank you so much.

FRIEDMAN: Thanks, Bob.

SCHIEFFER: We'll be back with a final word in just a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHIEFFER: Finally today, my thoughts on all of this. The president didn't leave himself much wiggle room in his State of the Union message. He said Saddam Hussein must disarm or we will disarm him. And to me, anyway, Colin Powell's address to the U.N. didn't leave much doubt that Iraq was hiding things they didn't want us to know about.

The most powerful part of Powell's message was that it was delivered by Powell; the most reluctant member of the administration to use force. Yet he was the one saying we have no alternative, that Iraq poses such a grave threat, it must disarm or else.

But does Saddam understand that? Most of all, does he understand that even if we had second thoughts, we could not turn back now? To do so would leave the world believing Saddam had stared down the United States and won, which would create the most dangerous destabilizing situation of all.

Whether you agree or disagree with the policy, the reality is that we are headed to war and every indication, every leak, every on the record statement is that Iraq will be dealt one of the most devastating blows in the history of warfare. Everyone seems to understand that but Saddam. Yet only he can stop a war now.

If he agrees to leave voluntarily, there will not be military action. But does he understand that he now has no alternative? Let us hope, let us pray that he does. Because if he does not, it is the words of John McCain in the hours after 9/11 that will be most appropriate. He said, "To our enemies, we say we are coming. May God have mercy on your soul."

That's it for us. We'll see you next week right here on Face the Nation.

  • Bootie Cosgrove-Mather

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