Avoiding Armageddon
From the Experts

Voices from - Silent Killers: Poisons and Plagues

Voices from - Nuclear Nightmares: Losing Control

Voices from - The New Face of Terror: Upping the Ante

Voices from - Confronting Terrorism: Turning the Tide
Kofi Annan
Mikhail Gorbachev
Colin Powell
George Tenet

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Voices from "Confronting Terrorism: Turning the Tide"

Colin Powell

Colin Powell was sworn in as the 65th Secretary of State on January 20, 2001 after being unanimously approved by the Senate. Prior to his appointment, Secretary Powell was the chairman of America's Promise - The Alliance for Youth, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to mobilizing people from every sector of American life to build the character and competence of young people.

Secretary Powell was a professional soldier for 35 years, during which time he held myriad command and staff positions and rose to the rank of 4-star General. He was Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs from December 1987 to January 1989. His last assignment, from October 1, 1989 to September 30, 1993, was as the 12th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the highest military position in the Department of Defense. During this time, he oversaw 28 crises, including Operation Desert Storm in the victorious 1991 Persian Gulf war.

"Well, it's absolutely vital that such issues [as poverty, disease, lack of education] be attacked and be dealt with - and not just for terrorism, but just for the welfare of mankind. I mean the United States is determined to do everything we can in this twenty-first-century world to alleviate poverty, to make sure that people don't go hungry, to fight the disease of HIV-AIDS and other infectious diseases that are killing so many people throughout the world - especially in places like sub Saharan Africa."
"Osama bin Laden was not poor, was not hungry, was not in need. He had means. He was an evil person, and poverty is no excuse for that kind of terrorism. Now, there are people who are in need. And if their governments are not doing something to take care of their need, then that produces frustration, and out of that frustration you can get anger, and out of that anger it's possible to produce a terrorist."
"But we shouldn't confuse that kind of terrorism with the kind of terrorism that [is] affecting the world right now. These are not hungry, poor people. These are evil people who are fueled by some driving force that causes them to lash out and murder innocent people."
"But it's more important to get ahead of the curve, not wait for an Afghanistan to come along. It's important to do the kinds of things that we are now doing with the use of our foreign assistance, with breaking down trade barriers so countries can trade more easily with the United States and, by trading, get investment in their country. And with that investment comes jobs, comes hope, comes a better life for people, so that they're not interested in conflict, because life has gotten better."

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