Magazine article U.S. Department of Defense Speeches

Secretary Rumsfeld and NATO Ambassador Nicholas Burns at Press Conference in Nice, France

Magazine article U.S. Department of Defense Speeches

Secretary Rumsfeld and NATO Ambassador Nicholas Burns at Press Conference in Nice, France

Article excerpt

Remarks as Delivered by Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, Nice, France, Thursday, February 10, 2005.

Rumsfeld: We've had very useful discussions here yesterday and today. The range of topics including operations in Afghanistan and Iraq and Kosovo reflect NATO's increasingly global role and responsibilities. If one thinks back not too many years, the thought that you would end up in a NATO meeting talking about NATO's activities in Afghanistan and Iraq and Kosovo would be stunning.

I think the world is witnessing a period of historic change. We've seen the election in Ukraine. We've seen what's happened in the Palestinian Authority. We know that 25 million people in Afghanistan have elected the first popularly elected president in the history of their country and are preparing for parliamentary elections in I believe June and clearly are on a path towards democracy. Another 25 or 26 million people in Iraq have been liberated and have gone out by the millions--despite threats, despite signs on the wall saying you vote, you die. And had the courage and the conviction to cast their ballots.

The Iraqi security forces secured with an inner perimeter and an outer perimeter, some 5,000 polling places in Iraq successfully. And the confidence that that had to give people in that country to see other people coming out of their houses, being willing to do exactly the opposite of what the terrorists told them to do. The terrorists declared war on democracy and nonetheless they went out and voted. …

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