Flash Gordon Left Me The Keys


Tuesday, April 01, 2003

And all the work I have done all year to have my ISO 9018 ducks in a row are flying out the window?

Robert C. Orr [RO]: Tonight we are just thrilled to have three of the most effective representatives of their respective governments on the stage together. They all know each other quite well, and I wanted to make sure that that would be the case tonight, so that they would be not only open and frank, as all of three of them are individually, but they would do the same as a group.

I will turn over the meeting to Ambassador Holbrooke, but I briefly wanted to introduce him. I think most everyone in this town knows who he is, but I think in the context of tonight's meeting, it's important to note that Ambassador Holbrooke has not only served as Ambassador to Germany and Assistant Secretary for Europe, but that he has also served at the United Nations and ... where he conducted a huge amount of original business very effectively with ... both with Jean-David Levitte and with Wolfgang Ischinger, when he was back in his capital. It is a great pleasure to welcome our presider tonight, Dick Holbrooke. (Applause)

Richard Holbrooke (RH): Thank you, Bob. Your kind introduction only reinforces the well-known view in Washington that you should always be introduced by somebody whom you gave a job to. (Laughter) Bob, of course, was the Washington Deputy for the United Nations' U.S. mission to the U.N. when I was in New York and did a terrific job. And I was very, very pleased when he and Les Gelb invited me to share this event tonight because, as he said, the men on my left and right are close personal friends of mine. I hope that isn't bad to admit in this town these days, but it is true.

I want to first explain my tie to you. This tie is a gift that came to me from Ambassador Levitte during the month that France was in the Presidency of the Security Council. There's a tradition that every ... the end of the month, the rotating presidency, each Ambassador gives the other 14 members a present. And needless to say, the American presents are the cheapest and cheesiest, (Laughter), as any one of you in this room, and there are many of you, who worked in the State Department will understand. And the French are the most, I believe the word is "elegante". And this is a beautiful Hermes tie.

But the important thing about it is that it is snails, and I believe that, (Scattered Laughter), not escargot but snails, and this I believe perfectly symbolizes the situation we faced in the U.N. together, and working very closely together managed frequently to overcome. Jean-David Levitte was President Chirac's National Security Advisor. He was Ambassador to New York, happily for me, overlapping with me during my tenure. And now is in Washington, probably at as difficult a time as many a French Ambassador has had since the end of World War II, but I'm proud to call him a friend. And we have worked together many, many times on issues like HIV-AIDS, Bosnia, Kosovo, East Timor and disagreed at times when our governments' positions required it, but always in the spirit that I believe is part and parcel of what I also believe is a continuing trans-Atlantic relationship.

On my left is Wolfgang Ischinger, my first counterpart when I went to Germany as Ambassador, now Germany's Ambassador here. And in between the German representative at the Dayton peace talks, so he had the even more difficult task than Ambassador Levitte of being cooped up with me inside a high barbed wire compound for 21 days with Tuchman...and Milosevic, (Scattered Laughter), to say nothing of various other ... about 800 other people. And of such bonds very strong friendships are forged, and Wolfgang and I are very close friends. So that's all by way of explaining that this may be a gentler discussion than it might be if someone else were moderating.

Our text for today is the cover of the card issue last ... no, excuse me, three weeks issue of the National Review, however, here's a picture of their two leaders with the National Review's helpful headline, Putsch. That's an American word that ... (Laughter) ... Wolfgang, how to defeat the Franco-German power grab. So that is ... that's another point of view, and that's really why we're here today. We're going to have a very open discussion without any set speeches. In point of seniority, I'm going to ask ... seniority I think in the sequence of the two of you, I'm going to ask Jean-David to speak first, and to ... oh, you see the first example of how we work, (Scattered Laughter), at the U.N. and elsewhere. Are you willing to speak first? Shall we have a caucus on this?

Jean-David Levitte (JDL): You're the master here ...

RH: Okay. One of the two gentleman is about to speak first. (Laughter) And I'm going to ask them each to speak for about ... less than ten minutes, about how they see the relationship to the United States, and then we want to have a really honest discussion about where we are. Not simply where we are, because we all know where we are, but what we're going to do when this war is over, and whether this is going to continue or whether it's going to be patched up.

Wolfgang Ischinger (WI): Okay. Thank you, round one, Bob, for hosting it. Thanks to the Council. Thank you Dick, for running this program tonight. It is a pleasure to be with you again, and we had very important moments together in the past in shaping ... in helping to shape the future of Europe, to solve crises in Europe. And we count on you as a great friend of Europe, in working together in the future. I know I have only very limited time, so I want to briefly run through six points which came to my mind when I thought about the issue at hand here. And I'll really do it in shorthand.

First, yes, we have had a serious disagreement about the question of how important Iraq was or is, given the variety of other important challenges to our countries, to the West, to the international community. That was the first question. The second question was, now that we have chosen through Resolution 1441 to make Iraq a priority issue, we have had a disagreement about whether or not this was a cause for war. Now that the United States has gone to war, has decided to go to war, there can be no doubt in my mind, and I think in the minds of those who represent my government and the minds of millions of Germans, we share the hope that this is going to be a war that you can win quickly, successfully, and with the minimum casualties possible. There is no alternative in my mind to that position.

Second point, I'd just like to speak for 30 seconds about the coalition surrounding the United States. Of course, my country is not a member of that coalition; and because we are not a member of that coalition, I believe it is my job to point out that even as we remain outside this coalition for the obvious reasons, we are probably contributing more, directly or indirectly, than I would guess about half of the members of this coalition taken together.

RH: Do you think you're contributing more than Pilau? (Laughter)

WI: Yes.

RH: Or the Micronesian states?
JDL: Well, let's not go into individual cases here.

RH: I'm shocked, I really am.

WI: One of the ... I'm not going to bore you with long lists of things that we are doing, but I think one of the totally unknown things in this country, one of these things is, for example, the fact that we have made available to the U.S. military almost three thousand soldiers who are now guarding your installations in Germany, thus making available for other assignments those members of the U.S. military who would normally be charged with that job. We have just upgraded our chemical, biological decontamination equipment that ... which has been deployed to Kuwait to about 200 soldiers, specialists, that has been a long standing commitment, and it stands.

And we are of course also, and Jean-David will speak I'm sure about that also, we are also committed to creating the best possible conditions for rapid aid and help and reconstruction efforts to be undertaken, including and, of course from our point of view most importantly, through the U.N. I want to say that I resent reports that seem to indicate that our countries, or some of our countries, would wish to block U.N. decisions that would create the conditions for it. That is simply not true.

Third, Bob Kagan, in his famous article, said that you are from Mars, and we are from Venus. I believe that Joschka Fischer is right, who ... my boss, who said, in an interview a few days ago, no. We're not from Venus; we are the children of Mars. And I think that's an important point because it is Germans, and if I may say that, Jean-David, French and Europeans more generally who know what war is about and who have made it their lifetime job, it is my lifetime mission really to help implement the vision that we wish to live in a Europe free of the threat of war. And I think that is not a sign of Euro-weenies and a sign of weakness, but is a sign of our determination to create a new Europe, of which all of us, the old Europe and the new Europe that was described some time ago, should be part.

And I mean it when I say that I am amazed at the differences that appear when Americans discuss war as a concept and when Germans discuss war as a concept, for obvious reasons. Your experience with war and your reasons for going to war have been very different than ours, and I ... I think that it should not be held against us, Germans, that we want to be 200 percent certain that we don't go to war again for the wrong reasons because we know we have done that a couple of times already, with catastrophic results.

Fourth point, why do I think that the case for a united Europe is stronger now than ever? Clearly, the last ... this past period, the last several months, have not been a demonstration of great success for our efforts of creating a common foreign and security policy. It has been broken apart. It needs to be rebuilt. But what is it America wants? Does America really want a return to nineteenth century kind of politics in Europe, where everyone does his own little thing? Or is it not really in your interest to see France and Germany and the rest of Europe together, making Europe a region of stability? I think we have been extremely successful in that historic project, and I think we are right in expressing a sense of pride in how far we have come in our lifetime.

I do want to say that the Europe Germany envisages is not and will not be and can not be a Europe constructed to be against the United States. That is not our vision. The vision my country has always had, regardless if you look to the right or to the left of the political spectrum, has been a vision of the Europe that has a ... that manages to become stronger without making the Atlantic wider, that thinks about the trans-Atlantic relationship in terms of real partnership, not in terms of confrontation. And we do want to see America remain a European power in the way that our host here described it some years ago in a Foreign Affairs article. We do not wish to see a weakened United States. We know that we need you. What we want to see is a stronger European Union which we really need, and I think you should support that.

Fifth point is power legitimizing ... is power self-legitimizing? I find in the discussions I am having in this town, I find people who believe that yes, the kind of power the United States has today will more or less by, in and of itself, legitimize its use. I'm not sure that I agree, and I would propose to you that it is not only in the interest of smaller nations like Germany to have strong and credible international institutions, but that it is also in your interest as the superpower to have a process through which you can legitimize your action. If you want to be seen around the world as something approaching the image of a benevolent hegemon, you better work through the U.N. and through NATO, and I am not enthusiastic about the kinds of discussions that I've had the privilege of listening to about making NATO a tool box for future U.S. operations. I promise you, if you use NATO as a tool box, the tool box will be there, but after you have taken three or four tools out of it, it will be empty.

My last point is, so where do we go from here? And I want to ... I can be very brief here. I think that we have not had the kind of debate between our governments since 9/11, and maybe beginning even before 9/11, that we should have had about how to implement the strategic objectives which we had ... which were easy to agree. We agreed last year at the NATO summit that two very important objectives ought to be the fight against international terrorism and the problem of weapons of mass destruction. But I think we were limited to discussions at the Council on Foreign Relations and at weekend seminars and in other informal fora to discuss the question: do we wish, we as the West, not just you as the United States, do we wish to democratize the greater Middle East? Is that a legitimate Western goal which we ought to share and pursue together?

Or, as many Europeans believe, should our first priority be the revitalization of an Israeli-Palestinian negotiating track? What should be first, second and third? And what about the best way to prevent future proliferation of weapons of mass destruction? In other words, I think the strategic debate about these important ... these key issues has taken place abundantly in informal circles like this one, but we have not had a commitment by our governments at the highest level to discuss these issues and to agree on not only some ultimate objectives, but on strategic priorities and on a, so to speak, on a road map. What to do first, second and third. Unless we do that, we are bound, in my view, to fall into the second and third and fourth crisis, like the one that we have had, or dispute, like the one that we've had over Iraq.

In other words, my plea is for a ... for a determination by our governments to develop a more comprehensive strategy about how to deal with the issues on the importance of which we have no disagreement at all. Thank you, Dick.

RH: Thank you, Wolfgang. (Applause) Jean-David?

JDL: Well, thank you very much. Thank you first to the Council on Foreign Relations. And thanks to you, Dick, it's good to be with you tonight, and it's good to be with my two brothers in diplomacy. I'd like to present condolences from the bottom of my heart to the families of those who lost their lives, and as Wolfgang said, I join him in hoping that the war will be as short as possible, with a minimal loss of life. We are invited to give answers to one key question for the trans-Atlantic relations and for the future of the world, that is, how to put the pieces together again. My approach is more optimistic than the one of Wolfgang, maybe because I learn two words in New York, think positive. (Scattered Laughter)

And think positive, well, if you think first, you must understand, and my ... I have only four introductory remarks because I'm junior compared with Wolfgang. The first one is that we should understand well two differences between the Europeans and the Americans today. In my view, the first difference is related to 9/11. I was in my office, as the French Ambassador to the U.N., I saw the destruction of the Twin Towers, and this will be in my heart for the rest of my life. And I understand that the United States is at war. In Europe, we are confronted by the same threat of Islamist terrorism, but in a different way. We have not the shock that you experienced on 9/11. For us it's more, I would say, a low intensity war. So that is a key difference in the approach of that scourge which is, in our view, the most imminent threat to you and to us.

The second difference is related to the question of sovereignty. Wolfgang explained why we want to build in Europe a common future, a common destiny, without war, and sovereignty in Europe is something that we share on a daily basis. We have in our pockets the euro which is the symbol of shared sovereignty, and I could give you a list of shared sovereignty. We have ministerial meetings on a daily basis on agriculture, on industry, on everything, to share our future, to share our sovereignty. And in the United States, sovereignty is not something that you share, it's something that you protect.

If you have in mind these two differences, I think you start understanding better why there is the impression of these growing differences between Europe, or some European countries on one side and the United States. But now, if you look at what we have in common, the trans-Atlantic relations, the partnership between Europe and the U.S., what we do in the U.N., you see many reasons to be very optimistic about the future.

First, the trans-Atlantic relations. When I looked on papers to prepare this evening with you, I looked on a study by Robert Quinlan which is fascinating. It's about our intertwined economies. You may consider that the ten years after the Berlin Wall was destroyed were the years of globalization, and globalization in all of our minds means growing investments in China, in emerging countries and so on. Of course, it is true. But when you look at the figures, globalization in terms of economies means more than ever integration between Europe and the United States. And I could give you all the figures. It is amazing to see that day after day, each day, three billion dollars of goods, services, investments are exchanged between the two sides of the Atlantic. Three billion dollars a day. It's amazing. Together we represent 62 percent of the world GDP.

Now, another figure must remain in our minds. Together we represent only 11 percent of the world population. Five percent for the U.S., six percent for the E.U. We represent together the two strong pillars of democratic values, and market economy. If we don't work together, if we don't succeed together, you can be sure that we will fail, you and us, and the world, in terms of promotion of democracy and market economy. So what is at stake is huge. And if you compare the real problem we had about Iraq to what is at stake, I am very optimistic about the future.

Now, two words about the E.U. Of course, we will have to adapt NATO to the new tasks, but we will have to adapt also the relations between the E.U. and the U.S., because there is something strange and odd about the U.S.-E.U. relations. Wolfgang said about NATO, it should not be a tool box. But if you look in the box of the E.U.-U.S. relations, you will see that it's nearly empty, and when you looked at the bottom of a box, you find some little problems about bananas, about ... and so on, and when we have some ... and we ... the three of us participated in a number of U.S.-E.U. summits, we only discussed for two hours or three hours minor problems and never, as Wolfgang said, strategic perspectives.

This must be corrected. This must be corrected, and it's very important, because the U.S., as Wolfgang said, is a key ... the key partner for the E.U. and we consider, right or wrong, that the E.U. is for the U.S. probably the most important partner. We are in difficulties in Europe, that's the way we move forward, from crisis to crisis, it's amazing to see that we emerge stronger from these difficult moments. I mentioned the trans-Atlantic integration, the unified market in Europe is something amazing, and the euro, think that it's the first time since the Roman Empire that we have a common currency, so it is a kind of miracle, we made it.

Where we are weak is about foreign policy and defense. Wolfgang mentioned Bob Kagan study, I don't know if you are from Mars or we are from Venus. What's for sure is that the problem in the trans-Atlantic relation is not coming, in my view, from too much military might in the U.S., because this world is dangerous and we need a strong U.S., it's coming more, in my view, from a too weak European defense, and Germany, the U.K. and France, others will ... that's my certitude, do more and better to build a European defense in the context of course of NATO. And if I had to say about Bob Kagan's few words I would say, in the world as it is today, it would be better to add to the U.S. military might, that is to the U.S. hard power some soft power, and to add to the European soft power some hard power, and there we would have maybe a better balance relationship. But all in all, I consider, like Wolfgang, that it is really in the interest of the United States to have a stronger European partner, because the task in front of us are really difficult, and we need this partnership between two strong powers.

Now my last remark is about the relations between the U.S. and the U.N., and here Dick I think will agree with me, we in the U.N. need the U.S., and Dick did a lot to have, again, a strong U.S. engagement in the U.N. But at the same time, I'm pretty sure that the U.S. needs the U.N. Consider Iraq. You need tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, Security Council resolution on the oil for food program, because you need to deliver humanitarian aid, and of course, the U.S. armies will not do that alone. And the U.N. are equipped for that because simply they ... there was and there can be in few days time or a few weeks time, oil for food inspectors or monitors deployed all over Iraq.

And then you need a role for the U.N. in Iraq, because I'll join again Wolfgang, it wouldn't be appropriate in our view, and when I say our, it's the 15 members of the European Union, including the United Kingdom, it wouldn't be appropriate to have only a U.S. military presence for the next months and years in Iraq, it's much better to have the U.N. flag, as we have U.N. flag in Afghanistan or in Kosovo. And by the way, if you had not the U.N. in charge of the reconstruction of Afghanistan, who would do the job?

And last but not least, the...crisis of Africa, where Dick and myself were deeply involved with the Security Council, who would take care of African crisis? Just one figure. Do you know that in the democratic Republic of the Congo, three million died in the last four years, and those who take care of these crisis in Africa are the Ambassadors in the Security Council. So we need the U.S. involvement in the Security Council, in the U.N., but in my view, the U.S. really needs a successful U.N. system. So I'll stop at that, but you see that I'm quite optimistic about the possibility to overcome the difficult days in which we are, because what is at stake is so huge, the challenges of the 21st century are so difficult that in a way we are condemned to succeed together. Thank you. (Applause)

RH: Let's go right to the floor, because I have plenty of time to talk to my colleagues, and let's keep the questions as short as possible. I'll start with my old colleague and friend, Henry Owen.

HO: I would like to address a question to both Ambassadors. You asked, mister Ambassador, so we favor going back to the nineteenth century or going forward to the united Europe? I think the answer is clear in our history. The day ... two days after Mister Schumann proposed the...the day after Chancellor Adenauer accepted it, we stated publicly we were strongly in favor of it. We favored the Treaty of Rome. We made clear to the British we would not extend to the North European Trade Association the same concessions we were giving to the European Union. We backed the EMU, we back at least...the idea of a European separate military identity to work with us in NATO. I don't think the question even needs asking. It's clear every administration has favored it.

I think the real shadow over the future of this is not our attitude, its your strength, as you said, Mister Ambassador, and I'd like to hear you speak to three areas in which you will need to show more strength, if there's to be an effective relationship between us and your countries ... and our relations with you and the E.U. are vastly more important than our bilateral relations. One is the trade agreement, it's not a trivial issue of bananas, it's an issue which affects every person who makes a living in the United States and in Europe. And at the moment, we're stagnated because of both your country and our country have been stiff on the question of agricultural subsidies. Unless you are willing to agree to the kind of compromise which the European Commission proposed on agriculture, we're not going to have a global trade agreement, and then what the hell are the U.S. and the E.U. really going to do business about? So that's my first question.

The second is, in both our countries we have great economic stagnation. There are lots of things we have to do to overcome it and god willing, we'll do them. But you have a lot of things to do also, especially in your country, Mister Ambassador, labor reform, pension reform, deregulation, and the same in France. And unless the E.U. takes the lead in forcing that, there isn't going to be an E.U. to any economic extent. Third is the defense field, there has to be, as you said, Mister Ambassador, there has to be in effect (Foreign Phrase). Unless you have that there can't be a partnership, and if there isn't a defense partnership, then there isn't much of a partnership at all.

But you can't have a partner between a giant and a pygmy, and therefore you have to do not just nationally, but more importantly, in the E.U., put together a community operation for defense which will have not just ideas, but weapons and people and money. If you two could each speak to those three questions, I'd ... (Laughter) / (Applause)

RH: Well, before you respond and we use up all our time, I've taken notes, we'll get back to it, but let's hear some more questions from the floor, and we'll try to group them.

MW: Thank you, Martha Wexler, from National Public Radio. I have a question for both Ambassadors. How soon would your countries like to see the United Nations Security Council consider a resolution on reconstruction of Iraq and what would you like to see in that resolution? Thank you.

RH: Okay, let's take a couple more here. (Laughs) Try to get somebody in the back here. Yeah.

Audience: Our speakers have made a very powerful case for why objectively reconciliation and renewed cooperation is in the interests of all of our countries. The question is, what about the subjective conditions for realizing these objectively, overwhelmingly powerful goals? A lot of damage has been done on the subjective side in our relations. Relations between our administrations have soured, obviously, and this has spilled over into our group publics as well. What can you say about the prospects for doing something on the subjective side, that will make these subjective considerations more realizable?

RH: What do you mean by subjective? Is this a very skillful Washington euphemism, (Laughter), for personal ...

Audience: Between ... personal relations between our administrations?

RH: Everywhere else in the country, people would just get up and say what they meant but, (Laughter), I talk all over the country. Only in Washington would you get a question that complicated which is that simple. (Laughter) Way in the back. Yeah, you.

Audience: Ambassador Levitte, I wonder if you could tell us when it seemed to you that Franco-American relations were going to get into such a bad state, and what, as you look back on it, what were the key things that brought it there? And maybe before this evening is over, Dick Holbrooke, you'll tell us what you think. (Scattered Laughter) On the general theme of the evening.

RH: I'm just the moderator. (Scattered Laughter)

BS: Barbara Slavin, of USA Today, I also have a question about the U.N. A lot of talk about how we can all come together on humanitarian aid and the reconstruction of Iraq, but according to what I'm hearing, it's France and Russia, I don't know about Germany, I presume for example as well that is hesitating about giving Kofi Annan the authority to administer the oil for food program as the United States wants. Why are you resisting, if you are indeed resisting, what is the issue there, and are you concerned that the U.S. is going to monopolize both aid and reconstruction and cut your companies out of lucrative contracts? Thank you.

RH: Anyone else want to ask U.N. related questions? Only U.N., because I'm going to group those and ask our two friends to start with those. Any other U.N. related?

Audience: Yes. I understand France called for an international summit of heads of state also, I would like to know if France would support the Beliz call for a General Assembly to override the U.N. Security Council. Thank you.

RH: Okay. Any other U.N.? Because I'd like to get to our ... is this U.N. related? No. Oh, U.N.? Okay. Last one and then we're going to put Wolfgang and Jean-David on the spot.

DA: David Apgar, a question for Ambassador Levitte. Could you just rehearse for us why France was unable to rely on the U.N. for its recent interventions in Cote d'Ivoire? (Scattered Laughter)

RH: All right. Okay, so we have ... on the U.N., we have David's question about Cote D'Ivoire. We have the previous question about the French calls for an international summit. We have Barbara's question on the French and German ... will the French and Germans obstruct a post-Saddam Iraq resolution on reconstruction which is a very, very critical point, that is one of the critical issues now being debated in Washington, which is whether to ask for one, so your answer's directly relevant. And finally, Martha Wexler's question on the timing of some post-Saddam resolution. Is that right?

RH: And an oil for food. Okay. So why don't we reverse the order and start with Jean-David. And then we'll get some of the others.

JDL: Okay. Well, on Ivory Coast, or Cote d'Ivoire, as soon as there was this feud between the military and the President, the President invited French troops to come and help. We have a defense agreement with Ivory Coast. We immediately informed the Security Council and...were adopted at the request of the French Ambassador in the U.N., one press statement, one Presidential statement and one resolution. The free text paid tribute to the role of the French troops in Ivory Coast, and also to the troops from the region, from ECOWAS countries, and it's an occasion for me to underline that we have a wonderful partnership with the U.S. in Ivory Coast. We are equipping these African troops together and paying for their presence in Ivory Coast, because France doesn't want to be alone in Ivory Coast.

We are not any more in the colonial days and for us it goes without saying that any military action by France should be first endorsed fully by the Security Council. Done. And if possible, with African partners. Done. Of course, the situation remains difficult, but I'm again quite optimistic about the possibility to reach a political settlement. Second, if ... what is the rule of again, yes, Dick? The second is the idea of a summit. We have proposed ... two summits in fact of the head of states and government of the Security Council. One was during the days of the negotiation, because what was at stake was ... peace or war. We have proposed a second summit, it was months ago, last August President Chirac proposed to organize next September a summit of the head of states and government of the countries, member of the Security Council, to discuss proliferation of arms of mass destruction. Because it seems to us that there are two real threats for this century. The first is terrorism and the second one is the proliferation of arms of mass destruction. And when you have a connection between the two, our countries are really in danger. And so the idea and the proposal is still on the table, is to prepare well a summit of the head of states and governments of the countries, member of the Security Council to discuss and decide on the way to deal with arms of mass destruction. Because you have Iraq, but you have also North Korea, which in our view is more an imminent threat than Iraq was. And you have a number of other countries, which could represent a real threat to peace and stability.

Now, oil for food, Barbara, we are not resisting anything, and I'm very optimistic, I hope we'll have a resolution adopted very soon. What we don't want for the oil for food program is to inject in the discussion political issues. It's a technical resolution, which will give authority to Kofi Annan to redirect the oil for food program to humanitarian aid for 45 days, and let's not discuss about what happen in the past or what could happen in the future, let's focus on that. And I'm quite optimistic there is growing consensus on this issue. Dick, you said reconstruction of Iraq is the next key problem.

Yes, we would like to see a U.N. flag. And for me there are two models. Afghanistan, where you have American troops in some areas, European troops with a German lead in Kabul and the neighboring areas, but for the reconstruction of the economy, the society, the state structures, that's for the U.N. That's for...and all the U.N. agencies. That's a possibility. The other possibility is because of a model that Dick knows better than me, where you have the NATO troops deployed with a general in charge of NATO troops and at the same level you have a U.N. special representative, Michal Steiner, a German diplomat, and he's in charge of the reconstruction of the economy, law and order and the institutions. And given the circumstances, I think the Kosovo model may be more appropriate than the Afghanistan model.

But nonetheless, that's the European perspective. Put the U.N. flag. Why? Because if you don't put the U.N. flag, then what is left is only military presence of the U.S. and the U.K., and after a few months, what may happen is that if you look at al Jazeera, for instance, you could have a split screen with on one side American tanks in Baghdad, on the other side, Israeli tanks in Gaza, for instance, and this could fuel an atmosphere of resentment, frustration, anger in the Arab world and beyond in the Muslim world, and that is not necessary. If you have a U.N. flag, the reconstruction of Iraq will be considered by everybody, and especially in the Arab world, as the goal and the ambition of the whole world, and not only few countries. So it seems to us, and I agree with Dick, it's a key question, it's a key debate, and I hope that when Prime Minister Blair will discuss with President Bush, they will address this key issue, because what is at stake, in my view is quite important.

Now, I will conclude with the U.S.-French relation and the subjective side, that is, what can we do? First, let's understand what happened. We had a different view, not on Iraq and the nature of the regime. Saddam Hussein is a bloody dictator. Not on the goal, disarmament was the goal. But on one issue, should we go on with inspections and try to disarm Iraq peacefully, or should we stop the inspection? That was the only problem. What better ... when I read the American press, or the French press, it seems that the war started between France and the U.S. before it was known by American troops against Saddam Hussein. And it shows how sensitive the French-U.S. or U.S.-French relations are, and have always been.

That's part of my difficult task, to smooth the atmosphere, to put some oil in the mechanism, and yes, to think about all initiatives on the subjective, the personal relations, because that's where the sensitivity is probably, and I'll do my best, play my role, my limited and modest role to explain where we are, and how we work well again on Iraq, or how we work in the best way on all of issues. When I presented my credentials three months ago, it seems that it was three years ago, President Bush told me, I consider France our best partner in the key issue for me, the fight against terrorism. And for one good reason, we have a lot of experience of Islamic terror in our country, and we share ... and we work together. So you see, yes, there are sensitivities. I'm quite confident that slowly but surely we will overcome these difficulties. Thank you.

RH: Wolfgang? You want to address ...

WI: I agree with Jean-David, (Scattered Laughter), on all the points that affect my country also. And I don't want to be repetitive. I would want to underline one point. Putting up this U.N. flag is ... it's important for us, but it's primarily important for you. I believe it would be a historic mistake if those in this town who believe that they don't want to see any U.N. flag anywhere any more, were to prevail. Because if you are looking for international support in the region, you're looking for international support in Europe, if you're looking for international support from other parts of the world, this U.N. flag is the way to do it. And if you want to do ... to be left alone, inside Iraq, in the region, with respect to Europe and the rest of the world, you know, refuse the U.N. flag.

I think this is the key issue, and I hope that your ... that the discussion here in Washington will be enlightened by the kinds of discussions we're having here tonight and elsewhere, and that it will not ... that decisions here in this town will not be made against the U.N., because I think that would not be in the interests, if I may say that, with all modesty, I'm not advising the U.S. government, I'm speaking for my government, we think that it would be good for us, for you, and for all of us if we had as rapidly as possible, that would be my answer to Martha's question, a U.N. roof, an agreed U.N. roof over this entire operation. Can I ...

RH: ... go ahead.

WI: ... respond to Henry's question?

RH: Let's hold off, because I want to ... I liked Henry's question, but we have very little time left, and all Henry wanted us to do was discuss the trade agreement, worldwide economic (Inaudible), (Laughter), and the economic community.

WI: ... about defense.

RH: Before we get to that, no disrespect to an old colleague and close friend, I want to focus on the larger issues of the relationship. We don't need ... we're not going to ...

RH: No, I mean the largest issues. Those are, with all due respect, the enduring issues that we've lived with for the last 40 years. We are in a ... let me just read to you a statistic released yesterday by the Pew Research Poll. U.S. image. Favorable view of the U.S., 1999, 19 ... in 2000 versus today. Britain, '99-2000, favorable 83 percent, today 48. That's our staunch ally. France, 62 percent three years ago, 31 percent today. Germany, 78 percent then, 25 percent today. Italy, staunch ally, 76 percent then, 34 percent today. Spain, 50 percent then, 14 percent today, another one of our great allies. Poland, representing the new Europe, 86 percent then, 50 percent today. Russia, 37 percent down to 28, so we've lost less ground in Russia, because we had less to lose. (Scattered Laughter)

And Turkey, 52 percent positive three years ago, 12 percent positive today. And we haven't mentioned Turkey here, but of all the things that haven't gone too well lately, it is the U.S.-Turkish relationship that is the one that should alarm us all the most tonight, because if that spirals out of control, and you have fighting in northern Iraq, it's other two neighbors, Iran and Syria, may feel they have a vested interest. We don't have any troops in our northern command except some Special Forces we're sneaking in there, and it's very dangerous. So, getting back to the question that this gentleman asked, and I teased him about the nice Washingtonian way he asked, but he was getting to a fundamental issue.

The issues Henry raised are real issues, and they're fascinating, and I hope we all spend the rest of our lives discussing them, but always, Henry, always in the 40 years you've been working on them, they were within the context of the fact that the trans-Atlantic relationship itself was the central bridge, as both Wolfgang and Jean-David said. We now have the theory previously mentioned that Europe is from Venus and we're from Mars, that we live in a Kantian world and Europe lives in a ... excuse me, we live in a Hobbesian world and Europe lives in a Kantian world. I haven't read Kant in a long time, so I don't know exactly what that means, but I'm sure it's bad. (Laughter)

And finally, let's not kid ourselves, the central statement, and I'm quoting, that the United States and Europe now live on two different planets. If we really don't live on the same planet with the Europeans, I don't know who we're living on that planet with. Maybe the Australians, but Australian public opinion isn't supporting John Howard either. And so ... and Korea? The statistics would be the same in Korea. So, the larger issue, which is what we're here to discuss, transcends the highly important technical issues of Henry's question, and I want to end, since time's running out, by pushing our two friends.

You've both heard extremely positive presentations by two people whose entire careers have been devoted to dealing with the trans-Atlantic relationship and making it work. A more difficult task for Jean-David at times than for Wolfgang, but two of the best Ambassadors I've ever had the privilege to work with, and both committed to strengthening the relationship. But, as this question implied, this isn't just a technical disagreement about Iraq. It isn't just a technical agreement about that second resolution, which, as you both know I think was unnecessary, and that the United States and Great Britain made a tremendous tactical error which then escalated into a strategic error, which then escalated into a worldwide debacle, seeking the resolution which they never should have gone for.

Because your country knew perfectly well when they agreed to 1441 that you would drop the request for...resolution. So, all of this happened, and then somehow it turned incredibly personal. And from David Letterman and his monologues, to the House of Representatives removing the word French from the menu, and now there's a lot of similar things going on in France and Germany, there's stuff on the wires today about organizing boycotts against McDonald's and ... which may have value on other grounds, but, (Laughter), this is really quite something. And I think this gentleman's question was trying to get you to address to what extent this is a function of leaders who don't wish to communicate to each other.

And I would just footnote, Jean-David, that with or without the summits you talked about, there is a going to be a summit this summer. It's the G.A., and your country has chosen to hold it in Evian. You will host it, I can not think of a worse place to hold a summit, because of its historic connotations, (Scattered Laughter), I just think Evian's the single city I would ... as you remember, I refused to take the negotiations there. But you've chosen Evian, President Bush will be there, he and Schroeder and Chirac are going to have a great old time, (Laughter), and I think you should both before we close, address, and I know it's delicate, and this is an on the record session, and mindful of that and respectful of your roles, try to address this gentleman's question, which is, to what extent did technical disagreements, of a very serious nature admittedly, but the kind we've surmounted many times in the past, Henry mentioned some of them, somehow deteriorate and why did it happen?

And ... you know, the Elysee's and the Chancellor's office did not make things easier. I don't ... I'm not here to defend what happened on our side of the Atlantic, but statements came out of both Berlin and Paris which just played in to the theory that we live on different planets. Which one of you would like to start? (Laughter)

WI: I'll leave the last word for Jean-David, if that's okay. And first of all, I think Evian is a great place. (Scattered Laughter)

RH: For water.

WI: I'll defend it. I will defend Evian all the time. (Scattered Laughter) Second, I have a 19-year-old daughter who lives in Berlin, and who called me a couple of days ago, from a place where she had coffee with her friends, she's about to graduate, and she asked me over the telephone, what do you think of the idea that we boycott Wrigley's Spearmint Gum? (Scattered Laughter) And we had a discussion about boycotting each others' products. What I want to say is that even if there are these ideas out there, I am totally convinced that 9even if it may turn out to be difficult, and I know I speak on the record here, for our leaders to communicate in the way that I'm sure they would wish to communicate to one another, and even if we have at the present moment demonstrations, not only in the streets of New York but certainly in the streets of Berlin and Hamburg and I suppose throughout Europe, there's no doubt in my mind that my children are more influenced than any other generation before them, and more involved in a culture that's very much American driven.

They want to go to school in this country. She says to me that, you know, should I stop buying Wrigley's Spearmint Gum, but she wants to come to go to school in this country. And I think ... and they all dress in American clothes. The ... so I'm not afraid of the wider effects really that this is going to have, if we in the governments can do our job in working to limit the damage and to bring the governments together. I am ... Jean-David said at the beginning that he was more optimistic than I was. On this concluding opportunity that I have, I'm not at all pessimistic that we will be able to manage this crisis well, because at the end of the day we will recognize that there is just no alternative. We can not go on for a prolonged period of time disagreeing because otherwise we will fail to meet the challenges.

And my last point is, again about strategy. We have to use the meetings that will happen in the future, be it in Evian or elsewhere, for the kinds of strategic debate that we, in my view, my personal view, have not sufficiently had, and I would hope, this is just a very modest expression of hope, that there will be willingness by America not only to invite countries like Germany and France and others to help implement American strategies already decided and ratified within the American system, but that you would invite us into the process order defining and adopting the strategy. And not only into the process of implementing the strategy. I think that is one of the elements, when we look at why we arrived at the point where we are, that's one of the questions that we need to ask.

Did we have a clear understanding of the other ... of the partners' real strategic goals? Did we have a sufficiently clear exchange of views? And here I have my doubts, and I think we can do better, and we must do better and we will. Thank you.

RH: The last word.

JDL: Thank you, Dick. I completely agree with what Wolfgang said. One word about the second resolution in the Security Council. I think I can say it now on the record, you have to know that weeks before it was tabled, I went to the State Department and to the White House to say, don't do it. First, because you'll split the Council and second, because you don't need it. Let's agree to disagree between gentlemen, as we did on Kosovo, before the war in Kosovo ...

RH: And never went to the Security Council.

JDL: Yes.

RH: And pulled it off.

JDL: Yes. Second remark, I strongly support what Wolfgang said about the need to have a better dialogue between partners and friends and allies. When you see the slow shift of goals from disarmament of Iraq to regime change, and from regime change to transformation of the Middle East, without to my knowledge any discussion between friends and allies, you create a problem, because the Middle East, for Europeans is what is Mexico for you. Mexico may be your back yard, the Middle East is our back yard. And the evolution of the Middle East is for us of key national strategic importance. So these are serious questions which should be discussed before being presented to the media.

Third, I have two daughters. When I was the diplomatic advisor of President Chirac, one was living in Phoenix, Arizona and the other one was a student in New York University. And the moment I was appointed to the U.N., they went back to Paris, that is our trans-Atlantic relation, in a way. (Laughter) And this is why I will conclude on an optimistic note, that is, don't look too much on these polls, because that represents the situation as of today. And as of today what do you have? You have strong anti-war feelings, not only in France and Germany, throughout Europe. And this creates the impression, and wrongly in my view, that there is a strong anti-Americanism ... feelings in Europe. That is not my understanding of the situation.

And if the poll had been organized let's say in December, probably you would have the same positive figures that you had three years ago. So we are at the low point, but we will recover. And we will spare no effort on our side as on the Germany side to rebuild a strong, positive partnership. Thank you very much.

RH: You're welcome. You asked ... somebody asked me to give my own views. There's no time to do anything other than make three very quick points. First of all, the United Nations has an important role to play in these issues, but for the United States it's not the centerpiece of our foreign policy but it's an important, I would say indispensable, concomitant, and we, after the war we will have the option of further weakening it or trying to strengthen it. And as the largest contributor, the single most important country in the U.N., the host of the U.N. in New York, that's a big decision. All of you in this room know certainly that there are at least two points of view on that within the executive branch, and in the public right now. And although I have been a very strong critic of the U.N. at times, it's only been in the cause of ... in the hope to reform it and make it better. And it's only as strong as we make it.

Secondly, the dialogue between the United States and the ... our closest friends in Europe and I might add South Korea, and some other countries has lately been really unfortunate. It has deteriorated to a level of personal animosity, jokes and name calling, which is ... could not have happened even at the height of the Vietnam War, at least at the governmental level. And there ... it is really, as Americans might say, de-trop. (Scattered Laughter) I just think it's very unfortunate, and it continues. Even Joschka Fischer's interview today in the Financial Times, and I have great respect for Joschka, I found troubling. And we ... and I agree with what both of you said about trying to pull it back together.

In the long run, we do live on the same planet, but simply to assert it in a book which was number one in the Washington Post best seller list for this particular area last Sunday, suggests how powerful this very, very articulate, well written but I think fundamentally flawed position is. And it leads nowhere. It has no policy prescription in it, and again, I stress, if we don't share a planet with our European friends, who do we share it with? And here I speak within the framework of my deep, deep disagreement with Germany and France on many issues recently, and above all, what you all did to Turkey. I think that was completely wrong. But it doesn't change the fact that we are a family that's having a quarrel and still has to live under the same roof.

And finally, I want to conclude with a more personal note about the situation the United States, Britain and Australia find themselves in, as they're fighting up the central part of Iraq today, and trying to gain control of a situation which is highly hard to read. And here I speak to a larger issue, but you both started by saying you hope the war will be quick and successful, so I want to end on that point, and speak very, very personally about this. Whether you were for the war or against it before it started, whether you're Republican or Democrat, liberal or conservative, it is my strong view that your interests as individuals, as Americans, our nation's interests regionally and domestically, are served only by the quickest possible victory at the lowest possible cost.

And while I totally respect the right of anyone to dissent at any time, this is not Vietnam in its sixth and seventh year, which is when the public demonstrations escalated. And to my mind, the current anti-war ... publicly expressed sentiment does only one thing, and I don't want to sound like some throwback to the Nixon-Kissinger era, but in this case, given the extraordinary isolation in which any dictator and particularly Saddam must live, it will only mislead him and encourage him and prolong the war. I don't say that to squash dissent, because I respect the right of dissent in this country, but I think that any of us in this room, or anyone else, I just had a ... I just lost an argument with my two step-children, both of whom demonstrated against the war in the last two weeks, because that's where their campuses were.

So I've not exactly been very successful in the domestic front, in implementing what I'm saying, but I do want to stress, to me it doesn't matter what your position was before the war, and most of you know that I was supportive of the administration's goal, but very, very critical of the methodology they carried it out with. And since a good policy badly carried out can become a bad policy, I was in a very uncomfortable spot, but that's where I am. But I stress, that was then. We're now in the middle of a war, we've taken casualties, we're going to take more, and any of you who talk to Islamicists or Arabists will have heard the same thing. If this war goes on more than a few weeks, we run a very, very serious risk of mobilizing the Moslem, not just the Arab, but the Moslem street, including Pakistan and Indonesia and elsewhere against the U.S. in a very dangerous jihad type situation.

So, I would just conclude by thanking our two friends for their expression at the beginning of support, and hoping that you all have enjoyed this discussion tonight. Thank you very much. (Applause)


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