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Reply #249: Gee. This didn't make it into The New York Times. I wonder why. [View All]

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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-20-04 08:04 AM
Response to Reply #134
249. Gee. This didn't make it into The New York Times. I wonder why.
It's a sure bet General, uh, Secretary Powell means it, too...

Secretary of State Colin L. Powell
Interview On Black Entertainment Television's Youth Town Hall

February 20, 2003

(excerpt on 1973 U.S. covert action in Chile)


MR. BRADLEY: Welcome back to BET OpenMic. Secretary of State Colin Powell is here to answer questions from our audience and from the Internet, our audience here in the studio, students from the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. Let me go back here to get our next question. It is a follow-up from this young man. Your name and your question.

QUESTION: My name is James Dubek (ph). My question is that undoubtedly the United States considers itself the moral superior in this Iraq confrontation. My question is, despite past events such as in 1973 when the United States staged a coup in Chile on September 11th, despite the wishes of the Chilean populace against the coup, and in support -- and the populace in support of the democratically elected President Salvador Allende, the CIA, regardless, supported the coup of Augusto Pinochet and that resulted in mass deaths.

And my question is: Why does the United States now consider itself the moral superior enough to have nuclear weapons while Iraq -- while demanding that Iraq disarm, yet we still maintain our weapons?

SECRETARY POWELL: It's not a matter of us believing that we are morally superior. It is a matter of us recognizing a danger to the region and to the world. I wish nuclear weapons didn't exist. They do exist. The United States were the ones, we were the ones who invented them in the first place and we used them to end World War II. And other nations have acquired those weapons over the years, but for the most part, the major nations of the world who have nuclear weapons have arrangements with each other and they are under control and nobody is worried about that kind of a nuclear conflagration any longer.

But with Iraq, we have a regime that has attacked its neighbors, that has used gas against its neighbors, that has used chemical weapons, gas, against its own population, and has demonstrated an intent for years to use these weapons for not peaceful purposes and not to protect itself, but to be aggressive against other nations. And it is for that reason that the international community, not just the United States, but the United Nations, passed 16 resolutions, now with 1441 a 17th resolution, saying this is unacceptable.

So it is the will of the international community that Iraq disarm, and not just the moral superior position, as you describe it, of the United States. We have no desire to impose upon the Iraqi people a leadership that is to our choosing, but to give them an opportunity to choose their own leadership.

With respect to your earlier comment about Chile in the 1970s and what happened with Mr. Allende, it is not a part of American history that we're proud of. We now have a more accountable way of handling such matters and we have worked with Chile to help it put in place a responsible democracy.

One of the proudest moments of my life was going to Chile in the late '80s and speaking to all of the military officers in the Chilean armed forces, all the senior officers, and talking to them about democracy and elected representative government and how generals such as them and me -- I was a general at the time -- are accountable to civilian authority so that incidents of that kind or situations of that kind no longer arose.



Source for ABOVE:

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