Remarks by National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley on the Middle East and Freedom...

Thu Nov 29, 2007 1:29pm EST

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Remarks by National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley on the Middle East and Freedom AgendaWASHINGTON--(Business Wire)--November 28, 2007 Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies MR. HADLEY: Thank you, Jessica. I want to just frame a little bitwhat we're going to try and do tonight. As you know, an internationalconference on the Middle East was held in Annapolis yesterday. At thatmeeting, Israelis and Palestinians -- with the support of their Arabneighbors and the international community -- launched negotiations forthe establishment of a Palestinian state and for a broader peacebetween Israelis and Palestinians. Success in these negotiations willcontribute to the ultimate goal of a comprehensive peace betweenIsraelis and Arabs. In light of this development, I thought that it would be timely toaddress four questions this evening: First, why do we believe that there is an opportunity to achieve aMiddle East peace at this particular time? Second, why is it important to seize that opportunity? Third, how do we -- how did we get to this moment of opportunity? And finally, how is Annapolis linked to the President's broaderagenda of promoting freedom in the Middle East and beyond? First let me say what a pleasure it is to be with you heretonight. I want to thank Dean Jessica Einhorn for her introduction.She's had a distinguished public career, is now leading this fineinstitution, and as she indicated, has been a longtime friend of ourfamily's. I want to acknowledge Dean Paul Wolfowitz, who I think is not withus tonight -- again, someone who I've worked -- had the privilege ofworking with for three decades, and has made enormous contributions tothe security of this country. I also want to acknowledge Professor TedBaker, someone I had the privilege of working with at the Pentagonduring his Navy career and who left that career and has made such agreat contribution to this institution. And finally, to Professor John McGlaughlin, who -- careerintelligence officer who I had the privilege of serving with when hewas deputy director of Central Intelligence, and a wonderful friend. I want to also thank the Rostov family for the endowment of thislecture series and giving opportunity for people such as me to sitdown with this community and try and explain where we're going, andget your questions and comments. And I'd also like to say thank youfor all the students, alumni, faculty and staff who have joined ushere this evening. There are three reasons why we believe there is an opportunity toachieve a Middle East peace at this time. First, there has been adramatic change in the Israeli assessment of their strategic positionand their long-term interests. Key segments of the Israeli public have given up the aspirationfor a "Greater Israel," and no longer wish to retain control over theWest Bank and populate it with Israeli settlers. They've recognizedthat this approach -- combined with current demographic trends --would threaten the Jewish character of the state of Israel. A much larger portion of the Israeli public, who once opposed theestablishment of a Palestinian state, have begun to embrace the idea.They have come to understand that the establishment of a free anddemocratic Palestinian state as a homeland for the Palestinian peoplecan advance international recognition and acceptance of a free anddemocratic Israel as a homeland for the Jewish people. And a growing number of Israelis understand that a Palestinianstate supported by its people and the will and capability to maintainpeace within its borders will advance Israel's own security againstterrorist attack. There's also been a change in the Palestinian community. PresidentAbbas and Prime Minister Fayyad are Palestinian leaders whose firstpriority is bettering the lives of the Palestinian people. They'vecommitted themselves to building the institutions of an independent,democratic, and viable Palestinian state that can provide dignity andhope to their people. They have rejected the terrorist violence thathas made victims of so many Palestinians and Israelis. They are committed to establishing a Palestinian state -- and theyunderstand that it cannot be achieved through terror. They want tonegotiate with Israel for the creation of that state and to live sideby side in peace and security with Israel. As President Abbas saidyesterday at Annapolis: "He who says that making peace betweenPalestinians and Israelis is impossible wants only to prolong theduration of the conflict." Clearly, President Abbas does not. Third, the Arab states have been engaged. While giving rhetoricalsupport to the Palestinian cause, Arab states, until recently, havenot made the major investment required to build the institutions of afree and independent Palestinian state. Arab states now areincreasingly seeing it as in their interest to put theIsraeli-Palestinian issue behind them and to focus instead on thepressing security challenges confronting the region. The night before the conference yesterday there was a dinner atthe State Department and I had the privilege of sitting next to theSaudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud. And I turned to him and thankedhim for being there, and I said to him, you know, I know it must havebeen a very difficult decision. And he said, "Actually, it was a veryeasy decision," because he said, "there is now a consensus in the Arabworld that it is the time for peace." A reflection of this new attitude is the reaffirmation this yearof the Arab Peace Initiative, first proposed by then-Crown PrinceAbdullah of Saudi Arabia over four years ago -- and the decision takenby the Arab states at the Arab League meeting last week to attendAnnapolis meeting en masse. It is important to seize now the opportunity presented by thesedevelopments. Key leaders of Israel and the Palestinians have theirown reasons -- have come to the conclusion that it is in theirinterest to launch negotiations. I don't know if you had an opportunity to hear the speeches at themeeting yesterday. I think President Abbas made this clear. I wasstruck by Prime Minister Olmert's statement, where he said veryemphatically, the people of Israel want peace, and they want it now. Having decided to pursue negotiations, it is critical that theynot fail. If the effort to establish a Palestinian state throughnegotiations is abandoned, it will appear to vindicate those whopreach violence and practice terror. It will almost ensure that thenext generation of leaders of the Palestinian people will come fromHamas or other terrorist groups. This would represent a clear andpresent danger to Israelis, to responsible Palestinians, and to theirArab neighbors. We've reached this moment of opportunity in the Middle East formany reasons. But among them are the policies that President Bush haspursued over the last six years. First, the President identifiedterrorism as the primary obstacle to peace in the Middle East. Terrorand violent extremism threaten the Palestinian people, the Israelipeople, and the hopes of many nations for peace in the Middle East. Sofighting terror, and discrediting the apologists for terror, has beenat the center of the President's approach to Middle East peace. The President has sought to discredit violence against innocentsas a means to pursue political objectives. Those of us who livedthrough the '60s can remember the justifications made of nationalliberation, or national struggle, that were used to justify the use ofviolence for political causes. We have come a long way since then, andthe President has led the case, strongly arguing that violence againstinnocents is never justified by any cause. He made the connectionbetween Hamas, Hezbollah, and al Qaeda as different faces of the sameevil: a radical ideology seeking to impose its worldview throughoutthe Middle East and beyond. And the President has largely won theargument. He has further demonstrated his commitment to fight and discreditterror in refusing to deal with Yassir Arafat early on in thePresident's first term. The world was shocked by this decision. Butthe President saw Arafat as a failed leader who was complicit interror and who did not deliver for his people. The President calledfor a new Palestinian leadership -- one that put the interests of thePalestinian people first and understood that violence and terrorcompromised those interests. As he said in his Rose Garden speech in the summer of 2002 -- andI quote: "Today, Palestinian authorities are encouraging, notopposing, terrorism. This is unacceptable. And the United States willnot support the establishment of a Palestinian state until its leadersengage in a sustained fight against the terrorists and dismantle theirinfrastructure." Four years later, the Palestinian people now have leaders inPresident Abbas and Prime Minister Fayyad who understand that terroris the enemy of the Palestinian people and their hopes for aPalestinian state. The President also made clear that defending itself against terroris the right of every state. He firmly supported Israeli PrimeMinister Sharon's efforts to protect the Israeli people from terroristattacks. By supporting their efforts to fight terror, the Presidentgave Israelis the confidence to take bold steps toward peace. Much of the world condemned Israeli Prime Minister Sharon's planto disengage from Gaza, but the President understood the realsignificance of that move. He saw that when the father of the Israelisettlement movement peacefully removed settlements from Gaza, thatmarked the effective end of the dream of "Greater Israel." PresidentBush believed that such courage deserved America's support -- and hegave it. The President also helped create the context for success atAnnapolis by making the aspirations of the Palestinian people his own.President Bush was the first U.S. President to call for the creationof a Palestinian state. Not just any state -- but a state worthy ofthe Palestinian people and their aspirations for their children: afree, independent Palestinian democracy. The President recognized that such a state requires effectivedemocratic institutions. Building such institutions takes time andrequires resources. So the President has focused American aid to thePalestinian people on institution building --and urged theinternational community to do likewise. Next year alone, the UnitedStates will provide more than half a billion dollars to thePalestinians to help them build the institutions and security forcesof their future state. General Keith Dayton of the United States Armyis on the ground to assist in that effort. Many other nations havealso stepped forward with significant commitments. And QuartetRepresentative Tony Blair will help generate additional aid for thePalestinian people at a Donors Conference held next month in Paris. The President believes in Palestinian democracy on principle --yet he also believes that a Palestinian democracy represents the onlypractical way to move forward toward peace. With effective politicalinstitutions, a new Palestinian state has the best chance to developin a manner that the Palestinian people deserve and expect. And witheffective security institutions, a Palestinian state will become thekind of neighbor that Israelis can envision as a partner, and next towhom they can feel secure and at peace. As part of his commitment to Palestinian democracy, the Presidentsupported Palestinian elections. The President believes that thePalestinian people -- like all people -- have the right to choosetheir leaders. He also believes that only a leader elected by thePalestinian people will have the legitimacy and authority to negotiatewith Israel on their behalf. In 2005, the wisdom of the President's support for Palestiniandemocracy appeared self-evident. Mahmoud Abbas was elected Presidenton a platform of peace, opposition to terror, improvements in thelives of the Palestinian people, and creation of a Palestinian statethrough negotiations with Israel. President Abbas won a mandate forthis platform, and we believe that mandate still stands. In the parliamentary elections in 2006, candidates affiliated withthe terrorist group Hamas won. The election campaign focused primarilyon internal governance -- as Hamas candidates generally ran inopposition to corruption and a legacy of misrule. They promised moreeffective and accountable government for the Palestinian people. Andto the credit of the Palestinian people, the elections were conductedopenly and fairly. The international community called on Hamas'sleaders to honor previous agreements of the Palestinian Authority,reject terror, and recognize the existence of the state of Israel.They refused. In June of this year, Hamas terrorists staged a coupd'etat in Gaza -- overthrowing legitimate government institutions,killing those who stood up to their gunmen, and bringing violence,want, and despair to millions of Palestinians. The undemocratic actions of Hamas have been a major setback forthe Palestinian people. Yet these same actions make clear to thePalestinian people the two alternatives before them. On the one handis the vision offered by Hamas of chaos and misery, perpetual war withIsrael, and isolation from their neighbors and the internationalcommunity. On the other hand is the vision offered by President Abbas:a vision of peace, dignity, and opportunity for the Palestinianpeople. A peace agreement negotiated with Israel would help make thevision offered by President Abbas much more tangible. It would givemoderates in Gaza something specific to support, and it would isolateand marginalize Palestinian extremists. We can be confident that, whengiven the choice, the people of Gaza will choose the vision thatallows them to exercise their sovereignty, reject violence, and jointheir fellow Palestinians in the West Bank who are building a positivefuture for all Palestinians. When they do so, Palestinian historianswill look back on the 2006 parliamentary elections as a Pyrrhicvictory for Hamas, and merely a stumble, rather than a fall, forPalestinian democracy. The President also helped create the context for success atAnnapolis by encouraging key regional states to give greater supportto the peace negotiations. The President recognized that Middle Eastpeace enjoys broad support within the international community -- yetthat broad support is not enough. For their negotiations to besuccessful, the Israelis and Palestinians need engagement andproactive support from their neighbors, including Jordan, Egypt,Lebanon, Syria, and Saudi Arabia. The President has delivered this message at major summits,including at Aqaba in 2003 -- but he does the vast majority of hisdiplomatic work privately, in bilateral meetings and phone calls withregional leaders. Over the past six years, he has made the case timeand time again that the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflictis in the best interests of the Arab states, that violent extremism isthe biggest threat to regional security, and that a free anddemocratic Palestine at peace with Israel would be a grave blow to theterrorists' cause. Key states in the Middle East can support the Palestinians and theIsraelis in two ways: financial support for building the institutionsof a Palestinian state and for approving (sic) the lives of thePalestinian people, and diplomatic support to support both parties asthey make the hard choices necessary for peace. For President Abbas,diplomatic support from Arab states further isolates Hamas, and willallow him to negotiate with the Arab states firmly behind him. ForPrime Minister Olmert, diplomatic support from Arab states will allowhim to deliver a broader peace to the Israeli people: a reconciliationnot only with the Palestinian people, but with their many Arabneighbors, as well. Fourth, the President helped create the context for success atAnnapolis by refusing to impose an American solution. President Bushbelieves that only Israelis and Palestinians meeting together canresolve their differences -- only they can negotiate an agreement thatboth their peoples can accept. The President will not force aresolution of differences, nor impose a peace plan with his name onit. What the President will do is use his relationships with theparties to help them build the confidence necessary to make the hardchoices for peace. He made clear to both parties that he is only a phone call away.And when desired by the parties, the President will facilitatesolutions to hard problems. He will continue to offer his full supportto Prime Minister Olmert and President Abbas -- and urge other nationsto do the same. Success in establishing an independent, democratic and viablePalestinian state -- and an Israeli-Palestinian peace -- willrepresent a crucial advance in promoting freedom in the Middle Eastand beyond. The President believes in the Freedom Agenda because hebelieves that freedom is the right of every person. As he said manytimes, freedom is not America's gift to the world; it is God's gift toevery person in the world. The United States promotes freedom becauseit is right to do so, and because it is a part of our heritage as anation. The Freedom Agenda is visionary, but it is not new. Freedom wasthe basis of our founding as a nation, and promoting freedom has beenpursued more or less -- with more or less emphasis by every U.S.administration and every generation of Americans. Promoting freedommeans supporting the rights of all people to choose their leaders andenjoy basic civil liberties. This requires free and fair elections --and democracy's parallel institutions such as a free press, freedom ofassociation, and an independent judiciary. Elections are notsufficient, in and of themselves, to transition a nation to a free anddemocratic political system. But elections can clarify choices andpoint the way forward -- and thereby accelerate the establishment ofother democratic institutions. For history teaches us that tyranniesare rarely the midwives of democratic institutions. Promoting freedom emphatically does not mean imposing freedom.People must struggle for and win their own freedom. Democratic reformcomes at its own pace and in its own time. And when it comes, the freeinstitutions of a free people will reflect their unique historical andcultural experience. Yet for much of the last century the Freedom Agenda seemed toinform U.S. policy in every region of the world except the MiddleEast. The results were tragic. Tyranny and oppression fueledresentment, and violent extremists, including al Qaeda, exploited thatresentment. There can no longer be, in this 21st century, a "MiddleEast exception" to the progress of democracy in the 20th century. We do not know where the negotiations begun at Annapolis willlead. But if they are successful, the result will not only be peace,but an expansion of freedom in a part of the world that has known verylittle of it. And if freedom can be established in a Palestinianstate, it will be a major inspiration and example for other peoplethroughout the Middle East and beyond. I want to thank all the students who are with us here tonight who

-- and I want to thank you for studying international affairs. I-- and I want to thank you for studying international affairs. Istrongly encourage you to consider a career in public service. Forthose of you who have other callings, I would have one piece ofadvice. Do other things -- the private sector can be a very rich andrewarding career -- but save some time for public service. The nationneeds your gifts, and I can tell you that representing your nation isone of the most satisfying things you can do in your professionallife. And I hope that you will inherit -- and continue to build -- aworld growing in freedom, prosperity and peace. And with that, I'd be happy to take your questions. Thanks verymuch. (Applause.) DEAN EINHORN: Thank you very much for a tremendously thoughtfuland encompassing statement of Middle East policy in the context ofAmerican foreign policy. Well, we're very fortunate, Mr. Hadley has agreed to stay on forsome questions. We'd like to reserve this time, if you'll help us, forour students and our other invited guests. And we would invite them toput up their hands to ask questions. We ask that when Mr. Hadley callsupon you, you introduce yourself, with any affiliation that you'd liketo add -- first year class, second year class, doctoral students,alum, or anything like that. And I would ask, since many of you mayhave several questions in your head, that you try and sort throughthem and ask one, briefly, so that other people can speak. And the floor is yours, Mr. Hadley. Q I was wondering if you could comment on the Syrian and Israelinegotiations, if they were able to negotiate anything about the GolanHeights, and what the status of that is. MR. HADLEY: The meeting yesterday was really not a negotiatingsession. And I think it will be interesting to see what the Israelisdecide to do on that issue. One of the problems with Syria, at thispoint, is that it is pursuing a set of policies that really are veryinconsistent with the spirit that you saw on display at Annapolisyesterday. What you saw on display was Israelis, Palestinians, andArab states turning away from terror. And as you know, Syria is one ofthe state sponsors of terror, supporting Hezbollah and Hamas. They have played and continue to play a very unconstructive rolein Lebanon. As Lebanon goes through a very challenging time ofelecting a new President, they have been subjected to considerablepressure from the Syrians. And we have said very clearly Lebanon isfor the Lebanese people, and the Lebanese people need the rightthrough their own democratic processes to come forward, elect aPresident and move on. So there are a series of policies that Syria has pursued that haveraised questions, and not the least of which is the role they haveplayed in facilitating, or at least permitting the movement of suicidebombers across Syria into Iraq, which have killed Iraqis, coalition,and Americans. So I think for Syria, there is a fundamental choice. There is anew wind in the Middle East. There is a real opportunity for peace,and are they going to be the outlier, or are they going to make astrategic decision, give up their support for terror, let Lebanonalone, support a new Iraqi government rather than obstruct it andundermine it, and make a decision for peace? If they do, I think thereare opportunities for them on the Golan Heights. If they don't, Idon't see how they can be part of this process. The door is open tothem -- that was made very clear yesterday. But they have a strategicdecision to make. Q I have a question; why would the surrounding Arab statescontinue to support a democratic Palestinian state or a democraticIraq, for that matter, when they themselves are not democratic andtheir own people might see it as a means for them to rise up andoverthrow these governments, because things will be so successful inthese other areas? MR. HADLEY: It's a very good question, and -- (laughter) -- it'sone that I've had some very interesting conversations with some of therepresentatives of some of the Arab states you've mentioned, callingon them to be champions of a Lebanese democracy, an Iraqi democracy. I think the point is that a number of those countries are movingon a democratic journey. Are they moving as fast as we would like? Arethey moving as fast as their people would like? I think the answer, inmany cases, is no. But what we can ask of them is to start on thatjourney, recognizing they come from very different places, with verydifferent histories, with very different cultures and traditions. Andthe President has been consistently encouraging countries to moveforward in democracy. Why? Because his belief is that stablegovernments and strong governments are governments that have thesupport of their people. And the most enduring way of getting thesupport of your people is to stand for elections, be elected, and beempowered by their mandate. And so if you're looking for a more stable, secure, prosperousMiddle East, a Middle East that is not, through its exclusions ofpeople, encouraging the kind of despair that has resulted in 9/11, youwant countries to move toward democracy and freedom, and elections andall those things that come with it. This has been a consistent message that we have sent, and we thinkthat if we can succeed, if the Iraqi people can succeed and show thatdemocracy works, and bring all the benefits I described, it will be avery interesting message to the Arab states in the region. It will bea very interesting message to the people of Iran, who, after all, havea struggling democracy on Iraq on one side, and a struggling democracyon Afghanistan on another. And I've always wondered what Iranian people from time to timethink. You know, in the last set of elections on both countries,Iranians -- Afghan citizens and Iraqi citizens in Iran were able tovote in the elections of their own countries. Now, what were theIranians thinking -- why them, not me? Sure, the Iranians haveelections, they go to the polls, but we all know that the candidateslist are fixed by the government, as generally the outcome. And I think the question is, if you believe like the Presidentthat we have to end the Middle East exception to the progress offreedom and democracy in the 20th century, and we need to do that notonly for the welfare of the people in the Middle East, but also forthe stability and freedom from terror that the rest of us want toenjoy, then you have to hope that these experiments will succeed. Andif you take a struggling Lebanon that becomes a successful Lebanon, asuccessful Iraq, a successful Afghanistan, and a successful Palestinemaking the transition to a democracy, that is going to change theMiddle East forever. Q You started out with four questions, apropos of Passover. And Iwould ask, why is this peace conference different than any other?Suppose it isn't, and the reputation of the United States becomes moreeroded, in fact we lose any modicum of a sense of world power in thatarea, what will happen then? What happens at the end? MR. HADLEY: A number of people have criticized the administration,saying that it has not been engaged in the Middle East for six and ahalf years. And I've tried to describe to you how we thought in thosesix and a half years, and the President thought he was laying thefoundation for the opportunity that we have now. Why are we takingthat opportunity? Because we think the fruits of those efforts, and alot of other things, have changed the situation in the Middle East. AsI described, Israel's attitude toward its future is different, andthey have, first in Prime Minister Sharon and now in Prime MinisterOlmert, someone who said the Israeli people want peace, and I'mprepared to negotiate a Palestinian state. We have the change in the Palestinian leadership. I described onethat recognizes that terror is not the right -- the route to aPalestinian state, is, in fact, a barrier to a Palestinian state. Youhave countries in the region, the Arab states, now recognizing, reallyin a way they had not before, that it is in their interest to besupportive of this process. I can't tell you how remarkable it was in the dinner night beforelast, and then yesterday in the meeting in Annapolis, to see anIsraeli Prime Minister with the Israeli flag in front of him in alarge table with all the Arab countries, save one, sitting next totheir flags, and all of them, save one, applauding at the end of PrimeMinister Olmert's speech. We have not seen that. And as you know, inthe last effort at peace, the Arab states were largely on thesidelines. This is an opportunity to put them at the center. So we think the chances are better, and the chances are worthtaking. But more to the point, the parties have decided that thechances are worth taking, and they have come forward and they havesaid they want to try and do this, and they want to try and do thiswhile this President is still in office. That is their aspiration, notone imposed by us. Risks of failure: Last time we tried this, it failed; a very good,good-faith effort failed, and we got intifada and horrible sufferingfor Palestinians and Israelis. There is a risk. The problem is, thereis also a risk for doing nothing. And I think Palestinians andIsraelis and the Arab states do not believe that the current situationis stable, that it can stay like this. And I have been -- very clearly what I said -- I think we finallyhave a set of leaders in Fayyad and Abbas who are democratic leaders,motivated by what's good for their country, turning their back onterror, willing to negotiate with Israel. It seems to me -- it seemsto us that that is a chance we cannot pass up, because if we do, andthere is not the prospect for a state and not the building of theseinstitutions we talked about, they will not last. And what will comebehind them will look more like the leaders of Gaza than these leaderstoday. So are there risks for going forward? Sure. There are risks forstaying where we are and passing up this opportunity. Tough judgment

-- it's the one the President has made.-- it's the one the President has made. Sir. Q Good evening. On such a complicated issue, there is many thingsI would like to address, and they're in my head. One, for example,would be the absence of Hamas from negotiations table, and how thiscould potentially limit the effect of a agreement that is reached. Butmy question has to deal with the constitution of the Palestinianstate, the confirmation of the Palestinian state, and it relates to aproblem that persists ever since 1948 and the first battle, which wasto actually take control of the borders between the territories thathad been assigned in the United Nations plan. Now, Israel has been very successful in taking control of theareas between its -- I could say little squares of territory that weregiven in the plan, whereas Palestinian, of course, has not succeededin doing so. And today, we see a state or some Palestinian areas --the Gaza strip -- totally separated from the West Bank, and then,maybe, part of Jerusalem. When in history have we have a state, a realstate, democratic, secure, existing in such situation? And so myquestion is: The negotiations have just started and so we'll see whathappens, but how do you see the Palestinian state in the future? Howwill it survive? Thank you. MR. HADLEY: We have said very clearly that the Palestinian statehas to be viable, and that says something about politicalinstitutions, economy, security, borders and territory. We are lookingfor a two-state solution, not a three-state solution. This is notIsrael, West Bank, and Gaza. What matters is it's not just our view,it is the Palestinian view. So how do you get from here to there, given the role of Hamas inGaza? And it is what I tried to describe in my remarks. ThePalestinians in Gaza are going to have to make a choice: Do they wantto stay with the leadership in Gaza -- which I think by any measurehas not been doing what the people there want, in terms of a betterlife and stability and security -- or are they are going to go withthe kind of institutions and services that President Abbas and PrimeMinister Fayyad are trying to build and provide on the West Bank? Theywill have that choice. And the President feels very strongly that the beauty aboutelections is it forces choice and maps a way forward. And I think hisbelief is -- and I believe it is also the belief of the Palestinians

-- that if they can show the prospect for a state, beginning on the-- that if they can show the prospect for a state, beginning on theWest Bank, if the international community will help build theinstitutions of a successful Palestinian state, if Israel and thePalestinian can negotiation that, there will come a time for thepeople of Gaza to choose, in some future election or otherwise. Andthey will have the choice to stay in the life in Gaza, or to becomepart of the Palestinian state that Abbas and Fayyad will be building. And one thing we know from history is that where people have beengiven a real right to choose, uncoerced by fear, they vote for freedomevery time. We saw that in Eastern Europe, when it was clear thatSoviet tanks were not going to preserve the Soviet Empire. We saw itin Iraq; we saw it in Afghanistan, a very primitive place where womenwho spent of their lives in a compound, nonetheless turned out tovote. So I think there will come a time for choosing for the people ofGaza. And if we can build what we all hope to build on the West Bank,I believe, the President believes, and the Palestinian leadershipbelieves, they will choose freedom. And we will have a two-statesolution -- West Bank and Gaza. One of the issues that will have to benegotiated is, what is the connection between those areas? And what isthe connection that ensures contiguity in some way between Gaza andthe West Bank, without separating northern Israel from southernIsrael? Because there is a contiguity the Palestinians want, there isa contiguity that the Israelis want. Is this going to be a difficult issue? You bet. But is there nowan opportunity to try and address these? We think there is. Q My question has to do with, various times tonight you've talkedabout democracy as being an unequivocal good, that it's a black andwhite thing, that the United States is always in the interest ofpromoting democracy and pushing other countries in that direction. Buthistorically, that's actually not been the case. There have been timesin U.S. history when we would support dictators if it was in ourinterest, in particular against -- in the fight against communism. Andnow, again, in the fight against terrorism, we seem to be doing thesame thing. And it really hurts our credibility in the world becausepeople legitimately can call us hypocrites for those types of things.Can you talk a little bit about, as a National Security Advisor, howdo you deal in that gray area of deciding when the American interestsand democracy are not in alignment? MR. HADLEY: Yes, I would tell you this, that it is always in ourinterest to promote democracy and freedom. But is the promotion indemocracy and freedom our only interest? No. We have other interests.Look at it just in the war on terror. What -- the President said itmany, many times -- in the short run, we need to fight the terrorists,go after them, take the fight to the terrorists, disrupt theirplanning, interrupt their supply networks so they cannot attackAmericans. That is the short-run strategy, and it requires us to workwith a number of countries that, to put it felicitously, are invarious points along what we hope will be the road to democracy andfreedom. But at the same time, to be very clear, that over the long-term,the way to end terror is to go after the root of terror and to take onthe ideology of the terrorists. And the antidote to their ideology oftyranny and terror is freedom and democracy. So we're -- even in thewar on terror, we have short-run objectives and a long-term strategy.And if you then add other issues like proliferation, likecounter-narcotics, like all the other transnational challenges thatthe world faces in the 21st century, it requires tradeoffs. And it isone of the most difficult things of the job. And if you -- because Ithink people are very comfortable being single-issue advocates, but wedo not have the luxury to be single-issue policymakers. And we need tolook across the full spectrum of American interests -- long-term,medium-term, and short-term -- and try and have a set of policies thatmeet other objectives, but still are consistent with and, as much aswe can, will help promote democracy and freedom. This is why you are here at school, and why your studies will beuseful, because when you get in the job I have, you will struggle withthis question every day -- how to reconcile other interests, but atthe same time hold high the banner of freedom and democracy. And one of the ways -- last point, I would say is, one of thethings you do is, even as you deal with countries that are not wherethey should be on the freedom agenda, one of the things the Presidenthas done is made very clear that he supports those in those societiesthat are agitating for freedom and democracy. And so that is why thePresident has continually, particularly in his second term, met withdissidents from a long list of countries -- countries even which wehave good relations -- and deal with other issues, because he wants tomake clear not only his diplomatic contacts with those countries, thatfreedom and democracy are on the agenda, but he also wants to make itclear that he stands with those people that are trying to bring aboutthe transformation in their societies. It is part of the challenge ofbeing a 21st-century policymaker for this country. Yes, sir. Q Speaking of American interests, a lot of people have questionedAmerican aid to Israel, and there's been a lot written about theJewish lobby, and a lot of people arguing that this, in some ways, hasa significant role, or perhaps is an obstacle in bringing about peace.I just wanted to know what you thought the role of American aid toIsrael is in the future, if you felt that that's all hogwash, in somesense, that really the aid is to continue. But it's just that role,because there's been a lot of talk with the Jewish lobby and how itgoes against American interest. MR. HADLEY: There's a lot of talk about that. I can tell you fromthe standpoint of where we are now. The Palestinian people have verytough decisions to make; the Israelis have very tough decisions tomake. And one of the things we are talking about with Tony Blair today

-- he was in to see the President, and he's the Quartet representative-- he was in to see the President, and he's the Quartet representativehelping primarily Prime Minister Fayyad build the institutions of thisPalestinian state. People are willing to make hard decisions when they'recomfortable, and they're less willing to make those hard decisionswhen they feel insecure. That is why the President, very early on,made it very clear that we support the Israeli government inprotecting their people against terrorists. And that is why it isimportant to continue to give the Israeli government the wherewithalit needs in order to help keep their people safe, because that isgoing to be an important element of them being willing to take whatfor Israel are very difficult decisions, because given itsneighborhood, these are existential questions. If it ends up next to aPalestinian state that is a haven for terror, in a country which atits narrowest point is only nine miles wide, and where 70 or 80percent of its people live in that corridor that is only nine mileswide, and next to that is a state that is a haven for terror, that isan existential problem for the people of Israel. Similarly, the people -- the Palestinian people need to understandthis is a real state at the end of the rainbow, and that it is goingto work for them. It will provide them security, economic well-being,the dignity and better life that they had been looking for for 50years. That's why it is important, in parallel with what we do with ourIsraeli partner, we make a major effort to do really three tracks --and if you look at Annapolis, what we've got is a three-trackstrategy: Negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians to show whatthat Palestinian state will look like in detail. Secondly,implementation of the road map. These undertakings that the partiesmade four years ago that are important if they are going to move tothe point where a state can become a reality. For the Palestinians,that means cracking down on terrorist infrastructure. For theIsraelis, it means making it clear that there is a state in thePalestinian future by getting rid of unlawful outposts, settlementfreeze, and all these other things. If we can show concrete progress,it will give the negotiators and the Israeli and Palestinian peopleconfidence that this is really going to happen and work. And lastly, the third track is building those institutions of aPalestinian state so Palestinians and Israelis can be confident of thenature of that state; that it will be democratic, free, have thesecurity institutions it needs to control terror and others who wouldprovoke violence. That is the formula we think that offers theprospect of success. I enjoyed very much being with you. Thank you very much. Good luckto you all. Thanks a lot. (Applause.) ENDWhite House Press Office1-202-456-2580Copyright Business Wire 2007

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