Transcript for Barbara Walters on "This Week" in 1990, 2010
From ABC news. -- -- David Brinkley. Now from our Washington headquarters substituting for David Brinkley here's Barbara Walters. A week ago US troops were pouring into Saudi Arabia Arab nations had decided to send soldiers as well. And the world had imposed an economic and -- ago. All in hopes of persuading Iraq Saddam Hussein to listen to reason and withdraw his -- -- from Kuwait. Today that kind of diplomatic solution seems all but impossible the military for -- created by the US and its allies is growing rapidly. A naval blockade is -- and place and don't -- is threatening to use Americans and on the far in this as a shield against military attack. And even to let them stop it from -- food supplies are cut off. Where do we go from here. Well last today's guests secretary of defense Dick Cheney. And did not comment on much -- Iraq's ambassador to the United States. With us now -- Defense Secretary Dick Cheney who is in the Middle East for the second time since Iraqi forces invaded Kuwait seventeen days ago. He joins us today from bombing. Welcome mr. secretary. And with -- pitch a giant in the questioning Cokie Roberts and yes challenger. Both of ABC news as well Sam Donaldson who is also in our friend. Good morning mr. secretary at least it's morning here. I would like to ask a question that I think most Americans have on them months -- -- or not is this under what circumstances. Would we go to war -- for example suppose a baby dies in in Iraq and Kuwait one of our citizens a supposed. Ship -- -- had done it. At this point negotiations -- at -- at an impasse and military. Buildup is increasing. Tell us a strategy but would make -- go to war. -- are specific assignment -- the direction of the president and with the approval of King Fahd and Saudi Arabia. Is to put enough forces in Saudi -- in the gulf region. To deter any further aggression by the Iraqis can convince Saddam Hussein that he should not invade any other territory. And secondly if deterrence fails to be prepared to defend our friends and interest in the region. In terms of how we might respond were he to launch such an attack and that obviously is is really -- for the president. But there should be no mistake in his mind that in fact the United States would respond very forcefully and very aggressively. Should he be unwise enough to -- such an assault. How we might deal with the individual contingencies such as some of the items you mentioned obviously is something we never never telegraph in advance but clearly we have a broad range of options available to us. Mr. secretary I suppose the wild card at the moment in any strategy is the Americans who are being held in Kuwait and Iraq. Saddam Hussein says now they'll be held that military installations the ones the very ones that you might strike if it came to that. To what extent are we going to be able to get those American citizens out. Sam I can't forecast the future I think there is no question but what. The fact that Saddam Hussein would threaten the lives of those foreign nationals that he refuses to release. Is an indication of the kind of man he has the same kind of man crushed Kuwait -- a matter of a few hours. The united nations Security Council has voted unanimously. Two condemn his action in terms of his refusal to release those citizens. It's my understanding there will be an allegation going from the United Nations to Baghdad to to make that presentation to him and we would hope that ultimately. Through diplomatic means will be able to secure their there were. -- and of course mr. secretary as you remember the great hostage crisis with Iran doesn't Saddam Hussein now hold America hostage through our citizens there. How can you take or contemplate any sort of military action even to repel invasion. If we have what 2500 citizens or are they soldiers in the battle just as well as -- -- and the battlefield. Again I'm gonna come back to what I said earlier which is that from the standpoint of speculating about future. US military action. About what we might or might not do about what kinds of targets we might or might not -- about what kind of provocation might or might not generate military response from the US. Is an appropriate -- never do that but suffice it to say that we do in fact have a wide range of options available to us. And I'm really ASEAN -- safety of our citizens if the president gives instructions for us we clearly have the capacity to respond any number of ways presence made it clear that he's concerned about those Americans who currently are in Kuwait and Iraq. Are strong belief that they are. Should be permitted to leave and -- we will continue to work through normal diplomatic channels to the United Nations their embassy in Baghdad to -- -- we can in -- please. This -- secretary let me turn that question around the other way which is to say. Can we -- the presence of those American citizens in the region. Deter us from any action that we might be taking -- and I know that you not times what action we might be taking. But. -- wouldn't that really put us in a position where we as a nation are being held hostage. Cokie I think it would be fair to say that in this particular instance where we've seen an overt. Act of aggression by Saddam Hussein. We've seen him operate in the fashion that I think people all of the world found a porn to the United Nations and all of the dozens of nations that joined in condemning this act. That they were dealing with a situation that justified. A bold and dramatic response and that's exactly what President Bush is provided. We have responded forcefully we're here to protect our interest and defend those of our allies. We have a wide range of possibilities in front of us and I don't think it's helpful. From the standpoint either of US policy or from the standpoint of the Americans. Who may be involved to speculate on what the future might hold. But his secretary you talked about. Responding in terms of our interest we just signed tax -- -- Former ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick say that we've taken on -- burden and responsibility that was greater than our interest. We're now talking about somewhere around 200000. Troops. In Saudi Arabia. We're talking about calling up the reserves is -- an overreaction that we really need to be -- that dramatically involved in the region. Cokie Jeanne Kirkpatrick -- a close friend of mine for more than twenty years but I would take exception with her statement. They -- you look at at the situation in the gulf today that we have a set of circumstances in which. Saddam Hussein now by virtue of his occupation of Kuwait controls -- -- percent of the world's oil reserves. If there were no significant US military presence in the region he would clearly be able to either -- directly. Or control -- directly through threats. Another twenty or 25%. That would give him roughly half of the world's supply of oil. He would be in a position in addition to doing damage to the interest of her friends in the region. Absolutely choke off the lifeblood of the American economy in the world economy I don't think that's -- set of circumstances that ought to be taken lightly. I think we do indeed have vital interest at stake in the region. I looked north from where a -- and I -- terrain and I see up on border between Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. The accumulation of enormous military power upwards of 200000. Iraqi soldiers in. Kuwait and southern Iraq. More than a thousand tanks I see enormous military force that has been used in the past. And I am concerned would be used again if it had not been for the dramatic response by. President Bush and the other allied leaders. Mr. secretary this morning there was an analysis in the -- by the former secretary of state Henry Kissinger who says that the US has passed the point of no return. And he says that if Iraq maintained control of Kuwait or either it itself -- through a puppet. That this -- of the United States and is developing in the Middle East now will become a debacle. What do you think of that. Well -- I have creed respect for my friend Henry Kissinger but I think the the action we've taken. Was in fact necessary it was justified and I'm reluctant to comment on on Henry's piece without having personally seen. May I ask you about the ship that I think. Has -- now in the gulf of aqaba an Iraqi ship and its unloading goods I thought our net was to prevent that how to -- the through. Sam it's important to distinguish between the situation in the gulf of -- of and the Red Sea. And what transpires in the Iraqi control ports in Iraq and Kuwait. With respect to the gulf of aqaba that of course is is Jordanian territory Jordan is not a nation that has been sanctioned by the United Nations. So traffic into and out the gulf -- not automatically prohibited. Traffic that we can identify. As going through Jordan to be trans shipped through Jordan to Iraq would in fact be subject to -- -- this was -- Iran to ship was -- -- if it does not say that we -- to stop Iraqi ships from going into. For example Jordanian ports. What it does give us the authority to do the orders the presence issues is to intercept traffic that we believe is destined for. Iraq and its Ares -- -- have to do -- we have no promise -- from king Hussein that he will prevent. A transshipment across is territory can't we assume that that's exactly what will happen. Well we have to operate with very precise guidelines in this instance and because we're obviously operating in international waters on the high seas and in some cases where we're talking about the gulf of -- about. We're also talking about another country in the in Jordan that is not done anything to offend the United States the United Nations. Fact of the matter is that we have the authority when -- Deem a particular shipment to be in violation of the United Nations sanctions act and we will act. Mr. secretary -- -- -- -- -- of the general discussion we've been having here and that is our reason for being there this is if this does turn into -- war -- obviously -- Praying hoping and praying that it does not. Only 5% of our oil comes from Iraq and Kuwait -- -- not fighting here for democratic ideals. Blocking communism as we did in the past. -- fighting on the something that's economic and certainly we can get oil from other sources. How do we explain this should this escalate. Oh Barbara come back again to the proposition that we -- here on an international basis we're not here unilaterally. The amount of oil that the United States gets from Iraq or Kuwait. Is relatively insignificant terms of our total consumption. But the amount of oil -- the Persian gulf provides to the world is of enormous consequence to the United States and or friends all over the world. In addition to the the economic consequences of having a man like Saddam Hussein sat atop the world's oil supply. Of course there are the principles involved. Blatant aggression against small non threatening neighbor. We've had experience with that in the past that experience has always been unfortunate in this case not only the United States but. Most of the civilized world has responded very forcefully and very aggressively including a significant portion of the -- of late. To condemn Iraqi aggression and to respond by putting US military forces either. On -- the Arabian Peninsula or in the seas around it to -- to this man's effort. To further his own ambitions and I think. I think it's a very clear cut case of the wise use of American power and leadership role -- that. Two in fact safeguard American interest in those of of freedom loving nation a. And we're talking about me and -- -- -- -- -- coming -- -- into the cabin with Cokie thank -- in talking about that Arab interest. You. Have -- long term concerns here we -- apparently upping our shipments of arms to Arab countries. Increasing our sales of arms. What happens -- then start using those arms against each other as Iran and Iraq did and they start using them against Israel why are we doing. But we're not shipping arms to Iran and Iraq -- you know -- -- another Arab country well but listen I think you have to distinguish. Between nations it doesn't make a lot of sense to refer just generally to Arab nations we've got. A number of Arab nations that are very close friends of the United States I'm visiting some of them on this trip. They have legitimate security needs they are in fact threatened by Iraq in the past they've been threatened by Iran and under those circumstances I think it's in the US interest. For us to help them strengthen their own defenses -- that they're better able to resist the kind of aggression that unfortunately Kuwait was unable to. A lot of secretary have a question about reporting on the troops over here. Under the your rules the military's rules we can't say what the soldier's name is what his hometown is we can't say what's your name I'm Joseph -- -- Omaha Nebraska. What is the reason for that and can it be -- A president Sam. We're operating obviously and then in another nation sovereign nation they have their own rules and regulations in terms of how. They -- our rules we distressed with respect to our situation we have been reluctant to given the sensitivity if you will of the current deployment. And given the analysts say the potential volatility of the situation to convey -- unnecessary information to our potential adversaries so there are some restrictions and terms of reporting Baghdad players -- the guys I think I think you'll find it consistently what's happened is over the course the last week or ten days. That restraints that were perhaps necessary at the outset have been relaxed. And in fact Sam Donaldson and great many of your competitors are are in the country in force. There is a great deal of reporting going on a lot of information -- announced and I don't think. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- That in fact there I go back to my study the second aren't you concerned of the fact that. The longer this crisis goes. The larger the support of Saddam Hussein will grow inside the -- community. I mean we're seeing that grow right now and the feeling that the United States is intervening in a situation which it shouldn't intervene at the Middle East problem. You know they -- the only. People I hear that comment from -- -- yourself my experience in recent days. Has been that our presence here is overwhelmingly welcomed by the people whose. Very. Safety and security is now guaranteed in part by the presence of US and allied forces. I don't think that the rest of the world would join in as aggressively as they haven't condemning the aggression of very very brutal man and Saddam Hussein if in fact this was some sort of unilateral. Presumptive preemptive exercise of American power we're here because we're asked to be here we're here for very good cause and a very good purpose. It's broadly supported I think within the Arab world we've seen a majority of the members of the Arab League vote to condemn the Iraqis and to support. The request of the saudis and others for our presence and our assistance and -- committed troops as well there egyptians here there are Moroccans here there -- forces here from all over the world so. Suggest that somehow this is. And in and inappropriate. Intervention by the United States into the Arab world I just think doesn't recognize the reality of -- the real aggressor is of course that Saddam Hussein. Thank you mr. secretary we appreciate your being -- this in the middle of such legends -- Schedule. Well Scott Brown the new senator from Massachusetts elected just twelve days -- -- Has already changed Washington in an interview to the busting back in 1982. He said at such times -- -- from this thing. Sometimes I think I'm being tested by -- higher. Being. When things are going great I think of it as soon award from heaven. Do you still think they're winning is a reward can happen. Obviously there's 22 years old there and and trust in the spotlight because of what I do because nothing. I believe in god and I I'm very thankful for for of the things that I've. -- been blessed with it is there is there higher being that's looking out for people I hope so. I'm hopeful the cost of -- heart and magazine. Just so happens I have. Particularly associated. The -- of this enormous and. Do I want to what I thought I thought academically I got themselves for a lot but this is. Yeah the actual picture and sent -- we're supposed to look like well I'm not going to ask you to prove it but this is pretty. This is pretty rough stuff I can exercise and a teenager because I was thinking -- -- About an economic conference and some of the -- -- -- -- place actually we're referring to you and that nude magazine. You -- worried that. That's not let -- little bit of a joke now it was 22 years old my my grandmother -- she -- -- -- -- have to have a -- room by yourself. It was Cosmo who as -- play -- Cosmo. Him being very -- sights on Schwarzenegger John Davidson David Hasselhoff. Also did it and -- the the only. -- now famous person did affect them. What would you say part of your daughter and himself that I -- -- I was -- Well I would leave it up to their discretion I don't think -- in the in the cards. You know some -- have sent to me if a woman dead in nude centerfold spread. Even if it was more than twenty years ago that not sure that she would be elected senate. Because there's a double standard hardest thing. I think of some as qualified regardless of what they didn't and youth we all make mistakes I'm not perfect. And do I regret doing that now because if I hadn't done that I never would have been sitting -- -- -- it's all connected so is there a double standard I hope not. As someone's qualified to do the job they should be able to do it regardless of what they've done in the past. Let's talk about your -- in that victory speak. In case anybody who's watching the country. Said that they -- -- and I'll bet if I'm back at about what isn't available none and wait for. And was matter of it she's she's good. Didn't yet dot and there was a contestant on American art this is 2006. At which time Simon Cowell described her performance as -- about it but. You remember that robotic and amp. Have him have her on the show again because. She's grown as -- she's seventeen and she had never even put -- make up until she walked in the American -- studios. So you're asking him to please give her enough that can allow them to get together and and and have -- -- -- -- again I think you'll be great for her very for the show and they love let people know that his life -- I don't share. Well Billy Ellis if we get -- -- they have and you actually respect Simon. Greatly. About his is critiquing even though -- it's kinda harsh what he says it actually -- -- he says it was right. Senator I have one final question do in this beloved -- -- 2277. And agree. When you begin track. I think eventually have to -- American products are really good that. They do eventually do where and I'm gonna bring it down to Washington and and use it as those lines I can't it's a great track and -- -- those days are numbered. It's let them change in and I sleep -- -- Eaton is -- -- 2 AM it's woods just you know -- And never thought the truck will be such -- national symbols of freedom I appreciate -- this but -- thank you -- -- movement.
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