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 You are in: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice > What the Secretary Has Been Saying > 2006 Secretary Rice's Remarks > September 2006: Secretary Rice's Remarks

Interview By Steve Murphy of ATV Evening News

Secretary Condoleezza Rice
Stellarton, Nova Scotia, Canada
September 12, 2006

QUESTION: Secretary, we're delighted to have you.

SECRETARY RICE: A pleasure to be with you.

QUESTION: I should tell you that I think some Canadians are a bit surprised that you were in Canada on a day as important as 9/11. Can you explain to us how did you decide to be in Canada on 9/11? How did you decide that you'd be in Stellarton, Nova Scotia of all places?

SECRETARY RICE: Well, I started the day in Washington. I went to a church service and then to a moment of silence on the White House lawn. But I thought it was extremely important to remember the international character of what happened on September 11th as well. We did an event at the State Department where we called the 90 country names that lost people. And then to come here to Canada, which really stands for me as a symbol of how out of really horrible things like 9/11 and the worst aspects of human nature you get expressions of the best aspects of human nature. So many Americans are so grateful for being taken in and taken care of on that horrible day. I just thought it was important to say thank you.

QUESTION: And what about Stellarton?

SECRETARY RICE: Well, Stellarton -- you have to understand, Peter MacKay, the Foreign Minister, said that I had to come to his riding. He said, "I have the most beautiful, great constituents. You have to come." And I was delighted to do so. I love to see different parts of the country. I've tried when I go to countries not just to go to the capital, and so after going to Nova Scotia and going and going to Halifax, it was very nice to come here and be able to see Stellarton.

QUESTION: Secretary, I'd like to talk to you about the safety of our continent. Your President has said that the United States is safer than it was five years ago but still not safe. How do you and how does the Administration assess the safety threat in this country on this side of the border?

SECRETARY RICE: Well, I think there's no doubt that we are safer. We have better information sharing, we have more secure borders, we know in some ways what to look for. It's hard because the terrorists only have to be right once and we have to be right 100 percent of the time. But we've made great strides in technology and in processes to make ourselves safer.

I think that Canada is doing a really very good job of working to make sure that information is shared. I know that it's been hard here, like it's been hard in the United States, to get multiple agencies to work together to make sure that information gets to those who need it. I know that there's been a lot of progress in that regard. So Americans feel that they've got a good partner in the war on terror and certainly feel far better about this border than we did several years ago.

QUESTION: Do you consider Canada to be less a security risk than it was five years ago?

SECRETARY RICE: Well, the United States is less a security risk than it was five years ago of course because we've made a lot of progress, but we have a lot more work to do.

QUESTION: How have the relationships between Canada and America changed since and because of 9/11?

SECRETARY RICE: Well, fortunately, the basic relationship I think has not changed, and that's the relationship based on values and friendship and people who go back and forth and massive trade between our two countries. Obviously we've had to work to be more vigilant. We have had to -- sometimes we've not always agreed about what the calling is after September 11th. We didn't agree about Iraq.

But what has been remarkable is the degree to which our relationship has continued to prosper and thrive so that on Iraq now Canada, as a part of the NATO mission, is helping to train Iraqi security forces. And really what Canada is doing in Afghanistan is just absolutely crucial.

QUESTION: I'd like to talk to you about that because we are not accustomed to what we have been seeing in Afghanistan, which is the loss of our young lives. Some of those young men came from not far from where we're sitting here in Stellarton today. And I wonder what would you offer, what would you say to the parents and families of those young men who never really dreamed that on 9/11 we were starting a process that would lead to the loss of a son or a brother.

SECRETARY RICE: Well, the first is to say that we are all saddened and mourn their deaths. Nothing can ever replace the son or the daughter, the son or the daughter or the husband or the father. Nobody can ever replace that. And we understand that.

But it's also true that nothing of value is ever won without sacrifice and there's no place to hide from these terrorists. There's no way to have a separate peace with these terrorists. They want to kill innocents and they will continue to do so until we defeat them.

QUESTION: What is your sense, Secretary, of how long we as a nation should expect these losses to continue?

SECRETARY RICE: Well, the fighting in Afghanistan is very fierce, but we know too that the Afghans are building their security forces. They're getting stronger. They're taking more and more responsibility. The Taliban came back somewhat more organized than I think people expected. NATO is now in that fierce fight with them. But we have to make sure that we finish the job this time.

QUESTION: How will we know when we have won or when the war is over?

SECRETARY RICE: Well, Afghanistan will be a more stable and more democratic and frankly a government that can control its own territory. They've made great strides in controlling most of their territory. There are problems in the southeast of the country and we're working not just with Afghanistan but also with Pakistan on what is a very tough border where terrorists can go back and forth.

But the good news is that the Taliban is not in a position to threaten the Afghan Government. They are in a position to cause a lot of damage. They are in a position to cause a lot of innocent lives. They're in a position to, as they did the other day, assassinate the Governor of Paktia. But they are going to be defeated because the Afghans are getting stronger and we're there in support of them.

QUESTION: And again, just before we let you go, what will be the certain sign that we can declare this war over?

SECRETARY RICE: Well, there won't be the victory celebration and the signing of the armistice the way that we think about so many wars because this is a different kind of war where people fight in the shadows and fight in irregular units. But I think we will see an Afghanistan that is able to, even though there may continue to be violence, is not subject to the kind of violence that we've seen recently where there are parts of the country that are difficult to control. That day is coming and I think it's coming relatively soon, but we've still got work to do and Canada's role in it is very crucial.

QUESTION: Madame Secretary, we thank you very much for your time.



Released on September 12, 2006

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