Flashback: Stephanopoulos Debuts on 'This Week'

Sept. 15, 2002 guests include Condoleezza Rice and Sen. Tom Daschle.
44:30 | 12/21/11

Coming up in the next {{countdown}} {{countdownlbl}}

Coming up next:

{{nextVideo.title}}

{{nextVideo.description}}

Skip to this video now

Now Playing:

{{currentVideo.title}}

More information on this video
Enhanced full screen
Explore related content
Comments
Related Extras
Related Videos
Video Transcript
Transcript for Flashback: Stephanopoulos Debuts on 'This Week'
From ABC news This Week with George Stephanopoulos. A -- to rest in the war on terror. A suspected architect of the September attacks captured overseas. A potential intelligence windfall and a major blow to al-Qaeda. This as President Bush makes his case against Iraq Saddam Hussein's regime. Is a grave. And gathering. Danger -- -- UN beat the president's demands of the UN will either be able to function as a peacekeeping body. As -- at -- point first entry or it will be irrelevant -- will be US go it alone make no mistake about it we have to deal with the problem -- We'll Saddam Hussein allow weapons inspectors into Iraq here. -- as the clock ticking towards war who left the president's national security advisor Condoleezza Rice. And a top democratic congress senate majority leader Tom Daschle. And the voting fiasco in Florida they still can't get it right -- George Will has a solution you won't want to miss. Now from our Washington -- -- George Stephanopoulos. Welcome to our program and our first guest the president's national security advisor doctor Condoleezza Rice doctor rice thanks for being here I think that you. Lots of questions on Iraq this morning but I -- Begin -- -- -- -- these al-Qaeda arrests over the weekend first to capture in Pakistan. Of Ramzi bin Rashid who is believed to be a key player in the September 11 plot is he now in US custody. Well we will be working with the Pakistani officials to make certain that's -- he gets to the right place there's no doubt that the United States will will want to move to have access to him to have him. Because this is an important breakthrough that is not there yet this is this is someone who can Tulsa -- The United States is going to want to have him we're going to need to bring this person to justice. But clearly we've always said that the key here is to breakup the al-Qaeda network not just one person or two people. But these facilitators these people who -- plotters and planners. They can -- -- is -- with a beta has. They may know about a future plots that might have been planned and so this is really a wonderful breakthrough in and the war on terror. And -- great victory really for the cooperation with Pakistan as well the Pakistani police also said that the al-Qaeda mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. Was killed in the firefight can you confirm that we can't confirm it but we're working on this issue I think we'll know very soon. Obviously this the other people who were captured or killed here. Are perhaps equally important as to what happened. The the achievement but we will see wealth with -- in this race. So I just -- -- clear this up Ramsey did not -- -- she does not getting got custody OK on the buffalo arrest -- five suspected terrorists in buffalo is there any indication. That these five people -- delivery of explosive device possibly a dirty bomb. This is a law enforcement matter and I think we will want to to be careful as the case develops to let the case developed. What we do know is that these these people were apparently trained in the camps in Afghanistan. That they had the benefit. That training and therefore could benefit al-Qaeda. But the extent of their involvement is something that will unfold in the case but if you remember the president has long said that we've been concerned about potential cells of al-Qaeda and even the United States and this may be some of the first evidence of so you don't know yet whether they were waiting for both that you -- -- case it's going to be in the law enforcement channel and I think we'll just have to let it unfold. Finally what information you have of other possible al-Qaeda cells in United States. Well there are a number of -- and a number of issues that are being followed -- for the people that are obviously being followed. But and there's a fine line here the FBI is doing its work it's doing it aggressively we have a massive effort under way not just in the United States but worldwide. To make the connections between these various cells. We wouldn't want to expose. That what is actually going on here but I can just assure the American people but that what they've just seen in Pakistan what they've just seen in buffalo. Is evidence of and much bigger effort to to -- and to break up and -- themselves. OK let's turn to Iraq we have a new ABC news poll out this morning shows strong support for the president's policy 68%. Now support military action against Iraq and there's overwhelming support for President Bush's last chance challenge to Saddam Hussein 77%. Favor Bush's offer to hold off a military attack. If Iraq admits UN inspectors and if Iraq interferes -- those inspectors support for military action climbs to 81%. The doctor rice the president's ultimatum doesn't seem to get swayed Iraq. -- Tariq Aziz the deputy prime minister was out yesterday and he said that Iraq and accept the return of UN inspectors only if two conditions are met. No military attack and the UN sanctions are lifted the same time is this quid pro quo -- out -- office. There is there is no time to the -- this is -- time to negotiate with the Iraqi regime. The Security Council the United Nations has got to decide how it's going to meet the challenge to its authority it's got to set clear conditions for the Iraqi regime and has to be prepared to act. The Iraqi regime can have no say in what is required is that we've been down that role before it's done nothing but -- The resolutions of the Security Council has passed. We're not going down that road before this -- there won't be any negotiations Iraqi regime so if Iraq holes to depositions that the United States is going to war. Well we'll see what the consequences far the president has made clear the United Nations -- this is not just a problem for the United States with the problem for the United Nations. The United Nations has had its authority really undermined support now more than a decade. If the United Nations does not want to -- the -- -- nations. It is really going to have to act and we'll see what consequences people are willing to put on the table but the president reserved in his speech and continues to reserve. The option as president of the United States to act on behalf of the interests of the United States. -- let's talk about that possibly you know resolution secretary Powell me that he's had his first discussions in the Security Council went very well. And the reporting is that you're looking for resolution that I think essentially does three things demands Iraqi compliance with all resolution sets a deadline. For that compliance and then authorizes force let's look at the deadline first how long the deadline we talking about. Thirty days three weeks as suggested by French president Jacques Chirac and. We will have to see what the what the negotiations the discussions within the Security Council. Bring -- clearly no one wants a very long deadline here because. Iraqi regime has been at this for a long time. But the secretary Powell started an important process on Friday he consulted he talked about the expectations of the United States that this resolution. Cannot -- Other resolutions that this time it's got to be effective he talked about the need for a deadline he talked about the fact that we're gonna have to be prepared to. To back up in the -- Ultimatum to the -- the Iraqi regime. With consequences. But we want to give now the members of the Security Council time to go back to capitals. Two. Assess what their their capitals who wish to do and then we'll come back so we're trying very hard not to two. Pre -- the outcomes of these discussions with certain of the deadly couldn't be as long as three or four months. Well I think we'll just have to see what comes out of this but what is very clear. It's at the time to act against Saddam Hussein and his more than decade of defiance is now. Well let's talk about the authorization for for force the -- that you would like in the resolution. You would like that to be in the initial resolution correct. Well we think that one resolution makes sense but how it it is -- I think it's about -- -- the Security Council to. To look at it should have some consequence. It really doesn't make sense to to say you must do this and to say there are no consequences. But there are other ways to deal with this I think we leave open precisely how we deal with. So what do you support so if the resolution simply -- -- member states to act on their own rather than specifically authorizing UN force would that be acceptable about the possibility. OK let's look at the inspectors because British foreign minister Jack Straw in the they -- that there was unanimity. In the Security Council behind the idea that weapons inspector should go back. To Iraq just two weeks ago Vice President Cheney was sending a very different signal about the US position and I wanted to stick a look at that. Return of inspectors would provide no assurance whatsoever. Of his compliance with the UN resolutions. On the contrary there is a grave danger that it would provide false comfort that Saddam was somehow. Back in his box. Now what's changed can you come up with -- -- inspection regime that does more than provide false comfort but the United States has opened the idea of weapons inspections although we have not decided the -- the way to go -- be weapons inspections and with the vice president was pointing to. -- -- the history of weapons inspections here has been a troubled one. Saddam Hussein has found ways to subvert the regime to harass and -- inspectors and ultimately to get them out of the country altogether. So there is some skepticism in the administration about it how effective and inspections can be. There is a clear belief in the administration. That anything that we do in this direction anything that we do cannot look like it has before it has got to be effective this time. Whether it's inspections or some other mechanism. It absolutely has the effect would say some other mechanism look at that well but it's different -- and that -- resolution 687. Saddam Hussein was supposed to declare. What he had and to demonstrate to the world that he did not the burden of proof was on him the burden of proof was not on people going find what he had the burden of proof was on him to prove that he was not. Building weapons of mass destruction. I think that what we want to do is to take the good work that has already begun in the Security Council. Let people go back to capitol let them get some guidance capitals and I would expect that we would start to work on a resolution. I'm -- in fairly short order during the next week. One of the ideas being floated this idea of coercive inspections first floated by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace secretary former secretary of state baker -- -- -- in today's Washington Post. Advocate in the same idea basically would be the inspectors would go in with an armed force up to 50000 people -- United States -- -- Pulitzer there's some interesting ideas here what this -- is that everybody understands. That the inspection regime that left Iraq in 1998. Left. Really considerably weakened by what the Iraqi government had been able to do to it. And that we can't go back down that -- this has to be different in some fundamental ways and I think we'll work with. Our partners in the Security Council to see how this Michael forward. Citizen no side agreements -- in the past Saddam Hussein had side agreements with Kofi Annan to exempt the Presidential -- you can't live action and inspection regime that would be effective. With sites that are -- plan. Particularly given McCarrick of Iraqi regime as you know senator Daschle be in this program -- and he's laid out a series of questions. He's that are worth asking before taking military action -- you get a chance to respond. To each one of them first of all. He asked what -- military action due to the broader war on terrorism. First. -- the president hasn't determined that military action is the right course he went to the United Nations he said. Let's let's get tough here let's decide that we're gonna do something about this threat and we will see he does reserve of course the option of military action. And we fully believe that the United States is capable. Of conducting the war on terrorism and dealing with other -- We have to be able to continue the war on terrorism and deal with other threats of the word terrorism -- is in a different face. In Afghanistan. We've long said that after the military action which took down. The al-Qaeda relationship with the Taliban which took down their training camps. That. Law enforcement and smaller operations would be more important to what we're doing if you look at the success was just achieved in Pakistan you may see the wave of. -- warned here but they're still are a lot of al-Qaeda cells we believe active in Pakistan has been some concern -- not only by senator Daschle but others former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Hugh Shelton that this will stretched the military particularly special forces and intelligence. What can -- do to prevent. Well the president if he decides to go down this road will sit with his military planners. And make certain that we are capable of meeting all of the priorities of the United States. Clearly there are limits to what we can do but we don't believe that there are limits to what we can do in the war on terrorism and dealing with a major threat. Of weapons of mass destruction. The United States is an enormous military. Machine. It is an effective military machine. It has. Tremendous leaps in technology that we're not even there at the time of the Cold War. We believed that there are ways to do to do -- if necessary but I want to emphasize. But the president does has not made a determination that it is necessary to use military force in Iraq senator -- second question. What kind of government organizational presence would be needed in Iraq when Saddam Hussein -- to post. -- the administration spent a lot of time. Beginning to think about what a post Saddam Iraq might look like if the Iraqi People are fortunate enough to be liberated from this. Bloody tyrant. You know we always underestimate. People in these circumstances. We always seem to think that the Iraqi People can't be trusted with their future unless they have a bloody dictator like Saddam Hussein. On top -- -- the implication. We need to to worry about a post Saddam Iraq I don't think so. We -- Afghanistan that even if it's fractional. The seeds of democracy are beginning there and the Karzai government is reaching out to the broadest the Afghan population we would expect a unified Iraq. In which all Iraqis are represented which begins to move toward more democratic principles that that bring freedom. Iraq has -- highly educated middle class population. It has significant resources that of course Afghanistan does not. So yes it's important to ask these questions but these questions should not be -- reason for inaction. If you ask yourself are you asking these questions would you can keep this bloody dictator in power over his people I think that's not the impression we want you finally. Woody US incursion into a country that has not struck at first pretty depressing for India to strike Pakistan. Absolutely not and -- -- Talk about notion preemption that this isn't the burial concepts been around for very long time. The idea that you have to wait to be hit. In order to deal with the threat it is on the face. Not common sense if you can deal with the threat before. It harms you you want to deal with the -- report conscience. Now at the India and Pakistan situation is rooted in political difficulties that have been their between the two -- for a long time the United States Great Britain are actively engaged in diplomacy to try and solve that problem. The pakistanis have taken a new stand against extremists and saying that a modern Pakistan and extremism cannot exist side by side we encourage and -- the Musharraf government every day to deal with the line of control and deal with. To deal with extremism and we say to the Indian government unique to open the door to dialogue with Pakistan on the the issues between you. So there clearly is -- course here for India and Pakistan. Nobody with suggests that we have that -- somehow with Saddam Hussein or even worse with. Al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden so this is the the problem of trying to reason by analogy. You that you in the present many -- that you want action from the congress now. Are are you willing to invite senator Daschle out to the White House this week to work jointly on a resolution. The the first father resolution of course we'll have to be offered by by the congress the presence made clear that he wants and he wants it before -- recess. The president has breakfast with senator Daschle and other members of the leadership fairly frequently I'm quite sure. That -- senator Daschle wants to come the White House to talk about this the president would be more than delighted to do so we are working with the congressional leadership. But a lot is happening the president laid down an important challenge to the UN. The British parliament's going to be coming back other parliaments -- going to be debating this. I can't believe that the American congress wants to be behind the power curve on this but the president is saying. Is that the United States is going to -- the world to deal with this threat. He wants the will of the American people who have been expressed by the congress to show the world and think this -- Saddam Hussein. That you have a unified American view. That it is time to deal with this threat. I believe that the time to do that is now. We'll see Saturday -- -- -- opening offer finally doctor rice we're gonna try something different program we want to bring in regularly fresh perspectives from beyond. Washington and today our guest questioner comes from Lexington Kentucky. Her name is Amanda Bennett and she's the editor of the Lexington herald leader good morning mrs. -- what's your question for doctor rice. Good morning. Doctor rice as you know Kentucky is the home of Fort Campbell which is already lost -- doesn't soldiers in operation enduring freedom so people in Kentucky air. Probably pretty -- aware of the cost of the war on terror. Just the other day. Just completely unexpected for ordinary middle -- street -- showed up unexpectedly in my office sat down -- their question to me was. How can we stop the president from forcing us -- to a Iraq. What should -- tell them. He should tell them that that the president. Appreciate the sacrifice. The people at Fort Campbell as he appreciates the sacrifice of men and women. Around the country nobody especially this president takes lightly the use of force. He is after all all. The one who asked when he sends young men and women into harm's way. -- that he personally is sending him into harm's way and he would never do it -- the story of America has always been the willingness. To commit our treasure of young men and women if necessary. In defense of our our principles and defense of freedom. And now we know after September 11 in defense of our homeland itself. After 9/11 we know that. There are evil people out there hostile. People who if given a chance will harm us and harmless greatly. The American armed forces are there for the protection. Of the American homeland for the protection of our friends and allies -- the protection of our interest. And the president would only send men and women in two harm's way if he thought it necessary to provide that protection. Thank you very much thank you. Suspended thank you doctor rice thanks for being here thank you very much. And we're back for more on Iraq with the Senate's top Democrat Tom Daschle -- going to bring our country -- well you heard on Condi Rice is answers your questions did you find it convincing. Well I think they were very helpful that's the kind of dialogue that I think we need in this debate we need to be pressing these questions we need to get the good answers we need to talk about it. There is no definitive answer to any one of these questions but it does beg the question. Are we really two. Tempted to take whatever action knowing all that we should know and I think this debate in this constructive dialogue has been very helpful. Well on Thursday you suggested there might be helpful that if the UN. Acted before the congress exciting the Persian gulf precedent and that -- very sharp response from President Bush let's take a look at. I can't imagine an elected United States -- Member of the United States senator house represented -- I think I'm Kuwait the United Nations to make a decision if our running rob -- assure us -- -- -- American people is that he'll vote for me and oh by the way on a matter of national security I think I'm gonna wait for somebody else act. -- your -- make that case well first of all that is what we did then in 199091. But that is what we're suggesting no one's proposing that there be a definitive. Judgment made by the United Nations what we're simply saying is that we have to priority storage as. Doctor rice noted we have to fight the war on terror and we have to deal with Iraq. If we're gonna fight the war on tears we saw just this weekend in Pakistan having international cooperation is critical. All we're simply saying is that improve and -- do this right. The more international cooperation through the UN and and multilaterally in other ways we need to ensure that we build the coalition that this president's father built in 199091. That you heard the president presents that he really wants this resolution before you go home to campaign are you prepared to meet that deadline. Well the president hasn't made a formal request and as you saw again just this morning. Doctor rice said that the president hadn't made any final decision about the course of action. We don't know what this administration wants to do so we'd be more than willing to take the model that we used in. The post 9/11 period where we sat down together wrote a resolution on the use of force and came up with a unanimous vote. We're prepared to do that today tomorrow next week at the White House and congress however they wanna do it -- -- -- you heard you heard doctor -- she said the presently willing to -- here ready to go to the White House tomorrow and start to write a resolution absolutely I mean that's that's -- we've said all along we need to do it together we need to do it in a bipartisan way. We need to ensure that we have all the facts as we write it. That's that's -- we've -- from the beginning. You know -- -- Democrats in congress have also come under some pretty sharp criticism not only from Republicans but from some commentators you might see in the new republic. Magazine this week they have a cover story -- on the Democrats bystanders. In their editorial they say election should be about the most urgent issues. Facing the country and compared with the war with Iraq the Democrats litany of poll tested standbys as frankly trivial. The real cynics -- the Democrats were trying to conceal their views on the war until after November 5. And that's deny their constituents the information they need to cast -- -- -- basically Democrats are ducking into the election is that a fair charge. We're in a decade ago -- in fact were the only ones they're asking the questions you posed some of the questions that I have been asking the doctor rice. I think we need to do that we've not held back at all. But I think at the same time we want to build the kind of coalition that kind of constructive debate that is going to be required here but I think the the new Republican others have put their. Their finger on a very important point it isn't just the war here that's important we've got to do is to make sure that the broad array of other issues the economy. That that the miserable state of the economy today two million people who lost their jobs since this administration took office we have more long term unemployed than we've had in. In any time in the post war period. Those issues have to be on the table this can't be just about Iraq I think that at the end of the day -- probably get a -- vote on Iraq but you're not gonna get a very. Much of a consensus with this administration on their economic policy its abysmal and we need to talk about -- -- vote on Iraq before the election. Well I think that if the president. Makes a formal request we work out this this resolution over a period of time it's entirely possibly could have before the election absolutely we're not going to. We're not going to shy away from that responsibility if we see that the time has come to pass it. Sort -- what that resolution might look like back in 1998 your cosponsor of a resolution as -- 71 in January 98. And -- want to put it up on the screen right now -- urged the president to take all necessary and appropriate actions to respond to the threat. Posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs. You -- sponsored and in 1990 could you support that kind of language now. I could if we can work with the administration to ensure that that we've answered the questions but clearly. I think that's the direction we're moving we've got to make sure that we do it in a way that -- if he. That will engage the international community. And a way that will answer some of the questions that you posed to doctor rice this morning but at the end of the day I fully expect there would be a broad consensus if we do it in the way we did. In our efforts after 9/11 that we we we we worked with the administration and a bipartisan manner to make -- a real call for bipartisanship to that you really wanna go and work this out absolutely that's the only way we're gonna get this done. You know we're not gonna do with broad sides politically from the president or anybody else we're gonna do it by constructively working together and -- made that -- called senator a lot of -- -- Worked out -- together -- senator -- and I have talked about about how we might go about this and I don't know that any conclusions have been drawn but. Clearly they shouldn't be something written by the Republican leadership. It shouldn't be something written by the administration for that matter should be seven written by. The democratic leadership we need to find a way to do this together do in concert with the international community. Finally sort -- another big issue the -- been pushing Democrats are pushing for a long time the Department of Homeland Security still a big dispute. Over whether or not the workers should have civil service protections is it any closer to getting work out and will this get passed before the election. It will get passed before the election George I'm confident of that that we need a Homeland Security Department. But we also need to learn the lessons of the past. We have civil service protections because of the scandals and the tremendous. On accountability that occurred generations ago. We put this in place for good reason the politicization of the federal workforce is not something we should have. That's so we're seeing now let's not politicize the federal workforce let's make sure we have the accountability -- we've had for all these decades. The president has indicated he'll veto the legislation if it has those rights written into the legislation can you override a veto I can't believe he. I can't believe he -- the issue over. The -- or veto the bill over the issue of of a plan is nation of the federal workforce we can work together on this like we worked together on so many other things and that's exactly what we should do. Senator Daschle thank you very much my pleasure. We're back with our roundtable -- joining us -- -- -- for more than twenty years George well. And the new permanent member of our roundtable Michel Martin Michelle welcome. And one of our rotating contributors for reads a -- the editor of Newsweek international thanks for all of you for being here. Let me just start -- -- what has to be the central question a doctor rice didn't really wanted to come down when they were going to war or inspections prime minister Berlusconi. This morning in Italy came and said he believes inspectors are going back into Iraq George do you agree. What if they go back -- it will be for more than disarmament. Five times I believe it was in the president's speech -- UN bases if the Iraqi regime wishes peace it will. Five different things together they constitute not just disarmament but dismantling totalitarian rule in Iraq so it's regime change one way or another. I agree I think that the war train has left the station it's very difficult it's a stretch to paint a scenario other than war look. -- you have. The Iraqis refusing to -- in the inspectors back in. Or you have the inspectors and with such a sweeping mandate that it won't provoke a crisis. Saddam Hussein has foregone a 160. Billion dollars of oil revenue to keep the inspectors out. He's not all of a sudden going to decide oh you know what -- second thoughts I let them back -- so. There's bound to be a crisis if the inspectors -- so you really get war in six weeks where you've got it in six months either way it's war. Well let us has had any career success as a psychic so I don't think we can know with absolute certainty but we know that the president. Has demonstrated very little patience for the kind of brinksmanship negotiating style that. Is common in the region and we know from our experience with the on his focus on the Taliban and al-Qaeda is and they are hosting of the al-Qaeda. In Afghanistan that he gave essentially one warning. And I think we can safely say that he has given his one warning and that he didn't we already have. Troops going into the region have equipment going into the region and we we do know that the president is ready. But he also issued that challenge the United Nations and made it pretty clear that he wanted. United Nations to act and then there was some surprise people allowed to wouldn't expect them to go as far as he did well even while actually calling. For a resolution does the resolution make any difference. -- it makes a huge difference because it allows. It allows the whole thing to operate under the guise of collective security which is I think very important for allies for legitimacy. Take for example just a few hours ago the Saudi foreign minister. Has announced that Saudi Arabia will allow the United States to to use its bases. If there is UN authorization for the action. It's a huge difference to me you know we often hear people say in an -- -- action oriented here so I'm tired of all the rhetoric let's get to some action. This is a triumph of rhetoric. And rhetoric is the first step in diplomacy with that speech the president changed the dynamic of a conversation both domestically and internationally. I -- was terribly important in shifting the dynamics. Just a Specter is haunting the United Nations and the president on Thursday and Condoleezza Rice this morning here. Made sure of that spektr's front center -- the Specter of the League of Nations. With Iraq. The United Nations has met its Ethiopia are Epperson -- it was then called. The real discrediting of the League of Nations as an instrument of international security was when it could not come to grips with Italian aggression against -- This is a similar defining moment for the -- so what are we likely see from the US. I think we will probably -- and attempted course of inspections because that will be the compromise -- going -- what is going in with inspections because. The UN is not gonna want to have a scenario that leads. Directly to war so they're gonna try to split the difference only splitting the administration will accept its coercive inspections inspectors. With 2530000. Troops who can point at sites. That Saddam does not let them go and do and and call on -- American have to destroy. Frequently ask -- what's your sense of the timing because in this country but many people think that that. The timing is basically code for delay just push it past the -- which are sensitive timing in the united Vanessa says this this. Train has left the station that's why it's very important that the president it's kept kept saying and this is what he's been pressing if you don't act I will. And I think while that's that's a very courageous thing for him to state but it also boxes -- there's a point past which this can't drag -- They've -- George do you think there's any chance at two questions that Russia. Would agree would not veto a resolution called for coercive inspections into that Iraq would accept it. I think the news. Neither -- -- is -- to happen I think what's most important here is the more the United States as we're going. The train is leaving as Fareed has all changed the metaphor there's about waves from ship like -- starts moving from the bow wave moves alone in front of it. I think you're going to see. Nations coming along because there's no choice we have to convince some that are rising tide lifts all boats -- -- an event -- I want to turn to another question -- both doctor rice and senator Daschle this whole question of whether or not. Focusing on Iraq is going to detract from the broader war on terror legitimate point. I think you should the Democrats coalescing around this point and former secretary of state -- -- -- Albright. Made this point in writing in the New York Times early and that's where you seem to see the Democrats who are still trying to find a way to express reservations. That's where they seem to be going does this fit into our primaries and the the benefit of the argument is that it is both morally persuasive. As well as possibly. Politically effective because -- you can say is that this is our priority and that this detracts from that foreign policy priority can say that without looking. But the war on terror got the buffalo yesterday we're focusing on Iraq it doesn't keep us from focusing on buffalo and Pakistan. There's no reason in the world -- regimes committed to -- in the United States can't be. Put together in the common war on terrorism yet requires intelligence I mean the United States now spends. On defense. More than the next twenty countries put together the next twenty. It spends about as much as the rest of the world put together I think we can do these two things of the same. Want to -- what you mean by defense and one of the arguments here for the people who find the argument persuasive as a defense is more than the military actions what comes later and people would argue that the US hasn't -- of the patients of the fortitude for the for what comes later and that includes the kind of -- sitting there being patient staying in the ground until. Institutions rise that can take over that role in recent years and -- little. Saying we have but we have troops in Korea to this day. We haven't had troops on the run. Quite as long as the Roman legions were there but we're getting -- the American people are shown -- -- patience except that there is an argument now that we're not doing enough in Afghanistan you have to expand the multilateral force in Afghanistan and there has been senate testimony. It's as if we go into -- you might need an occupation force of up to 75000. Troops. Sixteen billion dollars a year after the war is United States prepared to make that commitment. Well I think there -- two important differences between Afghanistan and Iraq. One Afghan Iraqis and is a historical -- Afghanistan as an important case it suggests something about America's attitudes was the work but Iraqis and -- differently. Secondly Iraq is rich Iraq is the only country in the Middle East other than that Iran that has both oil and -- So it -- -- pay for its own reconstruction I think you're probably talking about. Some billions of dollars for the first year or two -- two Iraqi oil gets back on line. Once that happens Iraq can pay for its own reconstruction that you're too could be quite tumultuous one of things we haven't talked about two -- the economic impact. A possible military action would roil world oil markets well it would that -- two impacts I think economically. One good one -- the government will spend money which is good since nobody else to spending money in this economy. The oil shock of the price of oil going up it is a negative and and that in the short term that will be something to worry about. The way we solve that ironically is by getting our oil -- friends mostly Saudi Arabia. To start flooding the market with -- oil once there is a war and there is some indication they'll do that that this sort of points to the strange relationship we have with the Saudi government. In us Saudi Arabia exports to things to the world oil and religious extremism. We loved one and hit the F. First -- make that work short. Look at that we have constantly underestimated the resilience of the American economy the 87 -- -- one -- of 500 points but their request. These tech bubble break in in March 2005. Trillion dollars disappear in the economy's sails right off. Idea that Iraq -- is the key to American economies being stable is. Officially improbable it's. Quite sailing right on right now Georgia we are and what seems to have been. Kind of recession -- mild recession in the post war era. Producers are not an option is market's going on -- -- -- it was say that too much longer. I'm part of the reason that the recession has been as -- Allison has been -- -- oil prices have remained far lower than they were predicted to have been a year ago. And that his ameliorated some of the impact. Because supply and to -- favorite since world war optional right. -- -- we certainly we side senator Daschle certainly didn't agree with your characterization of the economy and it's clear the Democrats would like to talk more about the economy leading in. To the election and were trying at least up until this week to put off. Any any discussion and debate and vote on Iraq until after the election sounded to me and senator Daschle thinks has not been happening. -- and it surely if with the Democrats want to do was go to the country and say -- -- about war let's talk about prescription drugs in the minimum wage moments stuff. The way to do that is to pass the resolution and then go to the country on other matters is that. So I also think yes in fact that the of the small group of truly committed anti war congressional members and I've been able to find. Also seem to think that that train has left the station and they say that their timetable for troop really trying to coalesce around an argument is a week to ten days I don't think they even buy that argument anymore I'm fascinated to see. If they do do this in the next week how many members they'll actually get because there are some people with profound reservations. About this but they don't seem to have found a way to organize themselves in the way -- big guys in that group this. Well whenever I -- to say that he knows of at least two dozen members with whom he's been talking regularly but doesn't seem like a lot. But it it it it depends on who they are they people who are senior enough who have -- Military records of their own that that would immunize them to they have the confidence of their their constituencies. Do they have an argument that seems like it'll resonate so -- very into stiff and they are not all Democrats I have to say -- did talk to name a Republican from upstate New York MO Houghton -- distinguished man. Who said that yup I'm 76 years old. I don't see myself sitting in a leather chair ordering some young kids to go off to fight this when I'm not sure that the situation today is any different than it was five years ago and I have. My doubts that -- what I can't understand that and that's an entirely defensible position I can't understand the democratic. Decide to constantly called for a debate. And then when they called for a debate they asked questions the -- senator Daschle asked them. This is not a debate that's an interview. If one site just keeps asking questions what is the democratic position it's -- you know whatever it is it's fine what's interesting about that -- should the democratic. Kennedy's potential -- for president been the strongest. Joseph Lieberman John Edwards both going on they're very strongly Dick Gephardt house majority leader of those Democrats wannabe with the president. These Democrats have been around long enough to remember how -- lost the national security issue with the George McGovern takeover the party and took a long time to get him back. They surely don't want to go to the countryside. We have to get UN permission for self defense of the United States that's how the president -- shown he's prepared to cast the issue. To -- let me ask you be democratic strategists here for a second -- to have a position in your mind what should the democratic position day. I think the Democrats should be in favor of this this is that the president has brilliantly couch this in terms of collective security. The test of the UN's ability to be a peacekeeper. At this point they don't have to go down to the war roof but they can say we support the president -- his desire to get the UN to work. You know something like that some kind of -- resolution. And then they can that Stewart says then they can start talking about prescription drugs but if they keep saying well we want to have this elaborate Kabuki dance about Iraq where we. Sort of want to have a debate but we don't have anything to sit in that debate. What's going to happen. Well one of the arguments I've got Dick Gephardt and the House Minority Leader -- speaking to the Congressional Black Caucus which is meeting in Washington this -- a very important. Meeting for this constituency said that economic security is fundamental to national security that you cannot. Do what you need to do abroad if you're not stable home I think that's going to be part of the -- -- -- while you think George. This action this are in connection of helping some Democrats Max Cleveland -- -- from Georgia markets but Arkansas sure. -- inconvenience some perhaps wellstone in Minnesota would have trouble voting for this resolution and it would be tough vote to make on the eve of an election but on balance any thing. That keeps the Democratic Party. On board with national security helps -- -- one quick word from -- -- you how big. Of an issue do you believe Iraq will be in -- elections and come it will this election be about Iraq or those issues that the new republic calls trivial issues the economy. Prescription drugs. I am fascinated by this question I mean. Writing in the Washington Post national David sort of national political correspondent said that in the elections that we've seen so -- it amounts to almost a national boycott. Because that turnout rates are so low in the places -- -- -- -- -- in these are primaries but that the -- has been no more than 30% in places. That have had interesting and competitive elections so what does that mean does that mean that people are not yet engages in that they don't like the candidates. We -- these are very fine an interest in is it is -- that this is in the top of the mind issue so I. I think we need to see as we get closer what's to and the members who have been out campaigning say -- they're getting very mixed messages they're saying that some people bring it up when they don't think they should or. Our surprise that they will and in other places they haven't mentioned -- at all. George that's before the president's brilliant two days of campaigning on this behalf mr. started. That seems to me this will probably bring the country together and send us back on animal -- -- trivial but mundane issues which is the sign of healthy politics -- to -- the last word. If the election is about Iraq it might break. Very old historical rule which is only been broken once and 1934. Which is that the party that controls the White House always loses and the mid term elections even after the Cuban missile crisis. John F Kennedy's party lost in the mid term elections will be watching thank you all very much. George you've reach back -- history for a solution of the voting method for George America's fourth most populous states still hasn't figured out how to hold an election. Last Tuesday Florida held primary elections -- fumbled again. To -- newfangled high tech touch screen voting machines. Many malfunctioned. There were long delay is. Many would be voters gave up and went home. Get the feeling you're seeing this movie before. 22 months ago we were all watching this Florida farce the presents -- hanging on hanging chads. Dimpled chads butterfly ballots all that. The problems of them were worst -- -- South Florida counties Broward and -- guess -- last Tuesday's problems were worst. I have two proposals for Florida elections break out the whiskey barrel and break up the fancy voting machines. This is what American voting used to looked like. In this George Bingham -- in from 1852. Noticed the happy voter in the lower left hand corner. Voters used to drink whiskey provided by the candidates. In 1757. This fine profitable -- -- five year old George Washington. Ran for the Virginia legislature. His campaign expenses included 160. Gallons an alcoholic beverages for the eligible voters. All 300 Monday one of them. More than a quart of drink per voter. Virginia voters may have been tipsy but tips and -- they elected the likes of Washington Jefferson Madison. Today American voters are stone cold sober look at the people they elect. Not many Washington's Jefferson's or Madison's. Furthermore. Florida should scrap its troublesome voting gadgetry all of it. In olden days many Americans voted orally just walked up to the polling place and called up their votes. No nonsense about secret ballots it was low tech but high minded. The thinking was this. If a voter doesn't have the gumption to express his political preferences publicly. He probably doesn't have the sturdy character of voter ought to have. Florida should do itself in the nation a favor revives some eighteenth century practices. More whiskey and fewer gadgets. Lot of bad agenda for Florida's -- first century. Most weeks I'm gonna say this back page of the program for a look ahead a briefing book on what's going on behind the scenes that we think will make headlines in the coming week. But today I want to take a moment to look back with gratitude and admiration. David Brinkley. Launched just this week more than twenty years ago and let it with the skills that made -- -- news legend. And to -- ABC colleague Sam Donaldson and Cokie Roberts who put their personal stamp on Sunday morning with -- trademark blend of insight intelligence and -- Help -- do the same and I'd like your help. Please email me your comments in this week at abc.com. Each Friday will post Sunday's guest on our website abcnews.com. If you have a question for our guests -- -- who promised to read all of them and he may be hearing yours on the air. That's all for this Sunday until next week that's this week.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

{"id":15203844,"title":"Flashback: Stephanopoulos Debuts on 'This Week'","duration":"44:30","description":"Sept. 15, 2002 guests include Condoleezza Rice and Sen. Tom Daschle.","section":"ThisWeek","mediaType":"Default"}