'This Week' Transcript: Crisis in the Classroom

And what he says is that some of this is because of -- you know, what happened at Katrina. You had a lot of kids coming with school groups and church groups, helping in the rebuilding effort, and now, you know, they decided to apply to the school.

And the interesting thing about population growth is, a lot of these graduates are getting jobs, staying in New Orleans, and that is adding to population growth, which could be a good thing.

HAASS: It's also a big international story. For a lot of people around the world, they saw Katrina five years ago, and it gave them a glimpse of America they didn't know existed. And in some ways, like our economic problems, like the mosque debate, one of the reminders (ph), what goes on here doesn't stay here.

What we -- what we are is as much of a foreign policy as what we -- what we say and do, and Katrina was one of the things that hurt us. It hurt the American model. It made it impossible for us to preach to others, "You've got to fix your societies," given what was going on here.

So it's an important reminder. The foreign policy by example, who we are, what we do, for better and for worse, has a powerful effect on our ability to be an influence in the world.

AMANPOUR: One of those examples, for better or worse, was the war in Iraq, and this week the president is giving a televised address from the Oval Office on the withdrawal. What do you think -- what are you thinking?

HAASS: He has to be careful in two ways. One is, before he claims too much success, he has to be careful about all the ways Iraq can still unravel. Five, six months after the election, you still don't have a government. The fault lines in the society are deepened and profound, so he has to be very careful about claiming too much when it comes to Iraq.

AMANPOUR: (inaudible)

HAASS: Very much.

WILL: Electricity is intermittent. Seventy-five percent of households are not connected to the sewage systems. You have terrible poverty. You've got a semi-autonomous region called Kurdistan.

AMANPOUR: We are going to have to talk about this more in the green room, because lots and lots at stake there. And that you can see at abcnews.com/thisweek, where you can also find our fact checks in conjunction with PolitiFact.

Next week, I have the first North American interview with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair in advance of the release of his memoir, "The Journey." And, of course, you remember he had a huge role in the Iraq war.

The interviews begin airing on "World News" Wednesday night, "Good Morning America," and "Nightline" on Thursday, and on "This Week" next Sunday.

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