tv History Bookshelf Condoleezza Rice No Higher Honor CSPAN September 8, 2021 4:47pm-5:30pm EDT
spoip's shop got org has a collection of c-span products. browse see what's new. your purchase will support our non-profit operations and you still have time to order the congressional director with contact numbers for members of congress and the biden administration. go to spoin.org. next on history bookshelf former secretary of state konz leeza rice talks about her memoir no, higher honor. she served as secretary of state from 2005 to 2009 during the george w. bush administration. she was interviewed in 2011 by then university of miami president donna shalala, and also took questions from students.
[ applause ] snunk. >> madam secretary, welcome. >> thank you very much. >> how long very been inviting you here? >> a few years. yes. >> most of our questions today were submitted by students. let me start with the first one. one of our students asked, how do i get to be secretary of state. >> good question. let me just start by thanking you very much. and i have known president shalala as secretary shalala, but also as my friend donna. and thank you so much for having me here at -- the u. [ applause ] . i want to thank my good friends, the cobbs, the ambassador's cobb for their service to the country and for their extraordinary friendship as well.
and so -- and thanks to you, university of miami students, for having me here. well, so, how do become secretary of state? all right. you start as a failed piano major. that's how you start. i actually went to college to be a concert peanist. i studied piano from the age of 3. there was never any doubt that's what i was going do. in the summer of my sophomore year i went to something called the aston university music school. there were lots of students. there were 12-year-olds there who could play better than i. i decide i was going to ends up playing at nordstrom. fortunately, i wandered into a course taught by madeline allbright's father.
he opened up the world of diplomacy and eastern europe to me. and all of a sudden i wanted to be a soviet specialist. the first lesson of how you get to where i am is you find something that you i would say to each and every one of you as students find your passion. not what job or career you want but what you're passionate about, what will make you get up every day and want to go do that. secondly if you are fortunate your talents and passion will come together. i went on to become professor at stanford and i met a man at stanford who was the national security advisor to president gerald ford and was -- would become the national security advisor to george w. h. bush. he took an interest in my career and when president george w. h bush was elected he took me with him to the white house soviet
specialist at the end the cold war, doesn't get much better than that, but the is seconds lesson is find people who are interested in you and your career who can help to guide you and open up opportunities. we sometimes say i want to get there on my own. nobody get there's absolutely on their own. there are always mentors. there's another important lesson. sometimes we say you have to have role models and mentors who look like you, if i had been waited for a black woman soviet special mentor i would still be waiting. so your mentors and role models can come in any color, shape or size, just find somebody who really cares about you and your career. and the final part of that story is that when in 1990 randal goforth mikhail gorbecev were in
marine one. and i thought i'm glad i changed my major. so if you find your passion and work hard and don't worry about what comes next incredible opportunities open up. finally find a candidate and work for them. the most important starts with finding your passion [ applause ] >> let's talk about your role in
nsc, if you were to advise now after your experience in that job president of the united states would you stougt them one characteristic of the members of that team whether secretary of defense, treasury, even the vice president, would be, gets along well with others >> well, that might eliminate a fair number of people in washington. w so, i'd be careful about that. there's no doubt that we had very strong personalities. i hope that i gave the impression in the book that they were debase about substance. these were not personal issues. nonetheless, we got along just fine until the most stressful time and the most stressful times were around the war on terror and iraq. so, perhaps the lesson is in so-called normal times, to the degree that it's ever normal in decision making in washington, it's important to have different voices and you can do with some
tension. but when things get really tough, it is easier if people get along. that perhaps is the lesson i would say to the president, a new president. you can do fine with personalities that may clash if things are going well, when they get rough, it's a lot harder. >> let me follow up on that question. it's the personality but it's also different -- very strong points of view. some black and white, some more nuanced, as you describe in your book. does the fact that each political party has this big 10 strategy, does that need to be reflected in the foreign policy leadership or can you just bring people in to consult with them? i'm pushing hard on how you put the team together. >> it is a really fine line. because if you put a team together where people have views too similar, that's not a good thing. when i was secretary of state, i
had a couple on my staff who would come in and challenge me about everything i wanted to do because i have always thought if you're -- and this is true in school. if you're constantly in the company of people who say amen to what you say, find other company because you don't actually test your assumptions in that way. i would tend to air in the direction of people who do have strong views, who do express them but also put them aside, ultimately, and find a way to work together. >> and within the political party, both republican and democratic party, they do have people with widely different views. if you were actually advising a president, you can't anticipate you're going to go through tough times. what characteristics of that foreign policy teams? we've had people that were lawyers, but not necessarily the kind of substantive expertise
that you have. >> that's true. we actually had on our foreign policy team, quite experienced foreign policy hands. don had been secretary of defense before. and colon powell had been chairman of the joint chiefs of staff and deputy national security advisor. so, we actually had a lot of expertise. i'm relieved to say, i'm not quite sure why sometimes personalities didn't gel and i don't actually think it was observable -- before we got to washington. that's why i say i think it was the time and we want to get and let's talk about latin america care been. and given the fact that -- we do share problems of the transnational boarders of trying to deal with trafficking and trafficking in arms, trafficking in drugs. so, there are reasons to work in the region. i think since the organization has a democratic charter, we should have a view of our
hemisphere, verses your neighborhood as being democratic. you make a very good point. once you get beyond the big categories, you really are talking about countries that are very different and how they interact with the globe. brazil thinks of itself as a regional leader. but brazil is one of the most important emerging economies for the whole global economy. er for it's one of the bricks, emerging economies that has a chance to structure how it's going to look going forward. when you think about countries like -- of course, obviously the united states and you think about countries along the pacific rim of the latin america, they may connect more to the economies of ags a. i was always struck when i would go to something called the summit of the americas. and we would have discussions and people would take off and everybody would whatever.
but then almost a week or two weeks later, we would go to the asia pacific economic counsel. and there it's the pacific rim countries of chile and up the pacific rim, all the way to canada and all the way out through japan and china and korea. and the conversation was completely different. it was about global trade, freeing trade. and so, i actually always thought that, in that sense, the countries had more in common with their asian counterparts than latin american counterparts. >> is how they perceive themselves significant there? >> i think it is. because if you look at places like chile, now quite developed in many ways, columbia getting there in terms of development, a country like brazil is interesting.
pacific rim of the latin america, they may connect more to the economies of ags a. i was always struck when i would go to something called the summit of the americas. and we would have discussions and people would take off and everybody would whatever. but then almost a week or two weeks later, we would go to the asia pacific economic counsel. and there it's the pacific rim countries of chile and up the pacific rim, all the way to canada and all the way out through japan and china and korea. and the conversation was completely different. it was about global trade, freeing trade. and so, i actually always thought that, in that sense, the countries had more in common with their asian counterparts than latin american counterparts. >> is how they perceive themselves significant there? >> i think it is.
because if you look at places like chile, now quite developed in many ways, columbia getting there in terms of development, a country like brazil is interesting. on the one hand, it's leading -- one of the leaders in the global economy but huge -- that keep it on the developing side. if you lack at the poorest countries, like guatemala, for instance, you're talking places you can't even reach the farmers in the highland by highway. so, their problems are to build infrastructure so they can join the 20th century economy, forget the 21st century. and you have radically different levels of development within countries. look at the north of mexico and the interior of the country and you have very different levels of development even within countries. >> does secretary of state think of cuba differently than as part of the region because of the
domestic politics and the relationship? >> i think we think of it differently because it's the one country that can't take a seat at the table because it does not have a democratically elected president and unfortunately, we have a history with cuba of castro's decision to install soviet nuclear capability that threatened the territory of the united states. highly antiamerican regime there and so, there are foreign policy reasons, prince pale, that we have a different relationship with cuba. my hope is in the larger democratization going on around the world, that cuban people can't be left behind. it has to be the case that when fidel castro goes, the cuban people get a chance to elect their next government, not just handed down somehow. >> that was a set-up question. both the national security advisor and firefighters, somebody does something stupid,
either in the organization or around the world. how do you anticipate the future though? there's some evidence that while it was the basis for an arab spring or others predicted of a soviet collapse. how do you anticipate the future when you're in those particular leadership roles for both the president but more importantly for the country and how do you organize yourself to do that? >> obviously, you try to have experts keeping an eye on an event. in this case, having embassies that really know the place and can get out to communities, one of the things i tried to get foreign service officers to do for the country and how do you organize yourself to do that? >> obviously, you try to have experts keeping an eye on an event. in this case, having embassies that really know the place and can get out to communities, one
of the things i tried to get foreign service officers to do is not talk to other foreign officials but get out in the country. get a sense for what the conversation is on the street. in the country. and that's sometimes will give you a bit of early warning. on the arab spring, i think we knew something was coming. the freedom agenda we launched about the middle east, i gave a -- president bush gave his second inaugural address in which he talked about the need for there to be no man, woman, or child in tyranny, including in the middle east. i gave a speech at the american university in cairo, saying egypt needed to lead the revolution. and saying to him, mr. president, get out ahead of this. get reform started before your people are in the streets. because what you could feel, by being in the middle east, was the kind of anger that was
growing against authoritarians who were corrupt, authoritarians planning obsessions from them selves to their sons. you could sense that in tenationau were increasingly isisilated with people who were telling them their people love them but on the streets their people didn't love them. really, we had a sense this was coming. but you can never know is what is the spark? the spark would have been a man, a shop keeper, self emilating in tunisia. it's what you can't see. you see the kindling gathering but don't know when it's going to ignite. the best thing to do is try to get ahead of it and know it could ignite at any time. and getting our friends in the middle east to reform before they get in the streets was our way of trying to get ahead of what happened ultimately in egypt and tunisia and other places. >> let's talk about the collapse
of the soviet union and you were right there. >> i was and we used to laugh that people would say gorbachev is bound to fall from power. thank you but when was the issue? because a general sense that things are going bad have not enough. people knew that infrastructure, political, economic, social of the soviet union was weak. i went to the soviet union for the first time in 1979 to study language. i was there for an extended period of time. i remember thinking i had this image of the soviet military and i remember going to a store to booir something for my family the soviet union was weak. i went to the soviet union for the first time in 1979 to study language. i was there for an extended period of time. i remember thinking i had this image of the soviet military and i remember going to a store to booir something for my family and they were doing the
computation of the prices on an abica and i hadn't seen once since second grade in burmingten, alabama. and you start to get a sense that something is wrong there. i think soviet specialists knew the infrastructure was weak. it took a true believer in marxist ideology that it could triumph over the fact that people were astonian and ukrainian, and took somebody, gorbachev, tried to reform it and then it collapsed. i can tell you, still in 1990 -- the soviet union collapses in december 1991. in the falloff 1990, i don't think anybody thought the collapse of the soviet union was a year away. >> one of our students wanted to make sure i ask about social media and how foreign policy establishment now follows social media around the world and whether that's part of the intelligence gathering?
>> it is now. in fact, when i went to state, i took with me someone named sean mccormick for the white house, who's very interested in what was then an emerging social media. there was no facebook or twitter but people were on internet sites and chat rooms and so, we started to understand better what was going on there. i also asked a former student of mine. a gentleman, named jared cohen, who would later go to work for secretary clinton, to think did we want to help people use social media to democratize? he created groups of friends who would, for instance, people who helped to overthrow, terrorism in columbia, who could chat with people in the middle east trying to deal with terrorism. what i begun to understand now, of course, social media is an accelerant.
not the cause of the trend but an accelerant. what's very interesting is what's happening with social media in china. because the regime is doing everything it can to control the internet. it's terrified of the internet. what i begun to understand now, of course, social media is an accelerant. not the cause of the trend but an accelerant. what's very interesting is what's happening with social media in china. because the regime is doing everything it can to control the internet. it's terrified of the internet. in fact, hacking into servers to try to find that advocate who might be online and apparently social media is going wild in china. and the regime is not so certain that maybe it's -- maybe it's not a bad thing that peopleival a way to vent through social media. you remember the story of this
young girl that was run over the streets and people did -- that exploded inat the social media in china. i would say it's one thing to think people will just vent but eventually they'll venlt and want to organize to do something about it. so, social media, i think, is going to continue to have a huge impact on how revolutions, how reform, how democratization takes place. >> so, foreign policy experts, in the years ahead, are going to have to follow social media? >> absolutely. >> plus our intelligence. >> i think it will be one of the most important sources of understanding the pulse of what is going on beneath governments. because governments are not irrelevant but populations are more empowered than they've ever been by social media. >> i have to ask you about a rock. one of the things you do is put a broader context and justification on the reason to
go to iraq. and you describe it as an imminent security risk. my question is first, how did you change the collection of intellgence information after your experience in iraq? because clearly there are real questions about how accurate the information was. >> the most important thing we did was to reorganize the intelligence agencies, both as the failure prior to 9/11 and with iraq. because in the prior case, we had a wall between domestic intelligence, which the fbi did, and external, which the cia did and when they crossed, as they did in 9/11, they couldn't talk to one another. in iraq, i think -- >> excuse me. could you explain because many of the students may not understand why we have that gap between the fbi and the cia. >> it was -- the gap -- the wall, as i like to call it was
there for very good and legitimate reasons, which was we did not want our foreign intelligence agency, the cia, being active inside the country and perhaps spying too, use that word, on domestic events, on american citizens and so forth. so, the cia was kept to a foreign intell jnls agency. fbi, which operated under rules and laws, that was the internal intelligence agency. to give you one example. a few nights before 9/11, a telephone call was made in san diego by one of the men who would ultimately be one of the suicide hijackers to afghanistan but we couldn't track across that boundary because we didn't want the tracking of phone calls inside the united states by foreign intelligence. so, would i like to have known what he said a couple of days before 9/11?
when we realized that, of course, we had an internal security problem of the attack on our internal security, we had to sew up that gap so that the cia and what they knew about what was going on outside the country and the fbi and what they knew was going on inside the country, could talk to one another and that's what the so-called patriot act, closed that. the iraq intelligence problem was different and structural. we had as many, depending how you count them, between 15 and 17 different intelligence agencies in the united states. defense department, energy department has one, state department has one, the cia has one. the cia was one. etc., etc. the person in charge of all of those as the director of central intelligence was also head of the cia. so, we had a strange situation
in which we had all this different intelligence reporting but the director of cia was human and trusted his own intelligence agency more than all the others he was supposed to be over. and we found some of the counterevidence about what was going on in iraq, weapons of mass destruction programs probably didn't get the airing and hearing it might have. so, we created the director of national intelligence, who is not the director of the cia. he's a separate person too, call intelligence, help the president understand when there are disagreements in the intelligence agency and give more of a total picture of what's going on with intelligence. that was the big reform that was made. >> you also have talked in, at least one speech i know of, about self defense, as part of
the context for making the decision to go into iraq. and i really want to ask you when you examine the iraq situation and there was a discussion, did you look at other countries as well? because if you look at the list of justifications, you could put those on iran as well. and so, why iraq, rather than iran? and did you look at more than one country? >> iraq was generous in our view, unique and it was unique because we'd been to war against saddam hussein in 1991. he signed an armistice. he was systematically violating the armistice. he was found in 1991 to be one year from a crude nuclear device
he had used weapons of mass destruction against the iranians and against his own people. the constraints that were put on him were starting to break down, including, by the way, the fact that we were flying so-called no-fly zones to keep his air force on the ground. he was shooting at our aircraft practically every day. i can remember the president asking don rumsfeld, what do we do if he gets a lucky shot and brings down an american pilot? so we were really in a state of suspended hostilities with iraq, not in a state of peace with iraq. in 1998 president clinton had actually launched cruise missiles against iraq and the inspectors who were supposed to be keeping his weapons of mass destruction programs under control were -- left the country. so he was different for his having dragged the region into war several times, including us. the fact he was continuing, we believed, to build weapons of
mass destruction and, according to the intelligence agencies, had reconstituted his chemical weapons, reconstituted his biological weapons, and was on his way to reconstituting his nuclear programs. he had tried to assassinate president george h.w. bush. he was shooting at our aircraft. he put 400,000 people in mass graves. he was considered the biggest threat in the middle east. as bad as north korea was, as bad as iran was, they were not in a category like iraq where there were 16 security council resolutions that said he was a threat to international peace and security. >> does that also account for the need to focus on the israeli/palestinian issues, that they're also sui generis in the sense that it's unique compared to other parts of the world? >> yes, while the israeli/palestinian issue is not key to peace in the middle east or a different peace in the middle east, it is a key to a different middle east. it is a key to different kind of middle east. any student of international politics, from the time i was
your age and in college, which admittedly is a long time ago, but from that time when you took a course in international politics, people started it with the most volatile region in the world is the middle east. and that is still true today. so people have been trying to do something about that for all of this time. the israeli/palestinian issue is one of the core issues that needs to be resolved to get rid of that volatility in the middle east. >> and every administration has struggled with. >> every administration has struggled with it. >> do you see hope out there? >> i do. i describe in the book that ehud olmert, the prime minister of israel when i was secretary of state and mahmoud abbas, the current president of the palestinian authority, were pretty close to a deal in 2008. a very good deal put on the table by olmert. olmert was in political and legal trouble so abbas did not take it up for a variety of reasons. but the reason i actually wrote about it is i wanted to suggest
that it is not a hopeless cause. there is an answer here. there's a two-state solution that is available but time is not on the side of either of them. >> i would like to go back to the soviet union because given your expertise about the soviet union, how do you see russia developing over the next few years? and do you think that their importance in the world will continue to increase, perhaps even surpassing china? >> yes. i think the russians are in trouble in terms of global standing, and i think they know it. russia is -- the russian economy is 80% dependent on exports of oil, gas and minerals. that's not a modern economy. and i'll tell you a little story about -- that shows how much that oil, gas and minerals is linked up with personal fortunes, political power and the state. i was at the australian foreign minister's house one day. we were having a meeting about
energy policy. and he was going around asking people about their energy policy. so the russian says, well, he says, we understand that our oil and gas fields are technologically behind but no foreigner will ever own russian oil and gas, he said. he said, so we're going to buy the technology from western oil companies. and so, i had been a director of the chevron corporation, and i said, so don't you understand that their advantage is actually in their technology, they're not going to sell you their technology to make you a better competitor. and he said, oh, that's a really good point. and then he said, are you still a director of chevron? i was the secretary of state. but in russia, dmitry medvedev, who was the deputy prime minister, was also the chairman of gas perlm. so state and policy and fortunes all linked up together. by the way, with a fair amount of political violence too.
now that mr. putin has decided that he is the once and future president of russia, i think the chances that russia is going to break out of that and build on other strengths that it might have, including a very smart population, those have receded. i think unfortunately, russia will not find greater strength in the international economy. it's pretty much an economy that's dependent on the price of oil to do well. >> let me go back to the arab spring. what do you think the lessons are? >> the lesson of the arab spring is authoritarianism is not stable. it's simply not stable. if men, women and children don't have a way to change their circumstances, and change their government peacefully, they will do it violently. when we were in romania, we learned of something that i now called the ceausescu moment. nikolai was the dictator of romania and in 1989 are revolutions going on in poland
and hungary and romania and slovakia he was in the square tell ing what he had done for them. all of a sudden one woman yells liar. then ten people, then 100 people, then 1,000 people and then 100,000 people are yelling liar and all of a sudden he realizes that he better get out of there because something's gone wrong. instead of delivering him to freedom, the young military officer delivers him to the revolution and he and his wife are executed. the ceausescu movement is when fear breaks down. either an old lady yells liar or a soldier turns his gun away from the crowd, refuses to fire, or a tank turns away from the crowd and then all that's left between the dictator and his people is anger and that's what you got in the arab spring now and that's why authoritarianism is not stable. >> what do you think about
leading from behind at these multilateral coalitions and -- >> i don't mind multilateral coalitions. i'm sorry, leading from behind is an oxymoron. it is. you don't lead from behind. >> agree. >> i actually think some in the white house may be sorry they used that phrase. >> let me ask you about a domestic issue, because i actually share your view and had conversations with president bush about the failure of immigration reform. and how serious do you think that issue is for the next
presidential debate that we have? >> it is essential. let me tell you why, when you're secretary of state, you get to go out in the world, you get to see what people admire about the united states. and there are a lot of things that are not admired but the one thing that's overwhelmingly admired is what i call our great national myth. that's you can come from humble circumstances, you can do great things. it doesn't matter where you came can from, it matters where you're going. and that's actually led people to come here for generations from around the world to be a part of that. and it's why we have asian-americans and mexican-americans and we have german-americans and indian-americans. it's because people -- the most ambitious people have wanted to be a part of that. now, i don't know when immigrants became the enemy. but if we don't fix this, we are going to undo one of the greatest strengths of the united states. because the only thing that keeps us from the sclerotic demographics of europe and japan is immigration. so i'm a major proponent of comprehensive immigration reform that first and foremost -- [ applause ] >> -- first and foremost recognizes that we have people living in the shadows and we've
got to deal with that. we're not a country that actually wants people to be afraid to go and take their sick child to a hospital. that's not the kind of country we are. and i worry that the states, because the federal government has not acted, are starting a patchwork now of immigration policies when, really, what we need is a federal policy that is true to ourselves, true to our laws, but also true to the absolute fact that the united states of america is well served by the great melange of people that we are. >> i have three quick questions to wind -- [ applause ] >> -- wind this up. next fall, let's pretend, you have been invited to be the moderator of a presidential debate. the debate's theme is foreign policy. what is the first question that you will ask both candidates? >> do you believe that america has an exceptional and unique
role to play in the world? or is america just any other country? because if america is just any other country, then you have no right to ask the american people to sustain the sacrifices that we have and to play the role that we have on behalf of the international community for now better than 60 years. and so why is america exceptional? >> wonderful question. second question is, even though you're not responsible and they can't officially wake you up anymore, what keeps you up at night in foreign policy? what are the things that you
worry about that we ought to worry about? >> well, i worry about, you know, the list of tear i believe so, iran, pakistan. i worry about mexico. i think that we don't pay enough attention to what's happening on our southern border. and if you live in california or new mexico, you know that the drug cartels own a lot of that space between northern mexico and the southern border of the united states. and it's very dangerous. last year there were -- two years ago, there were 5,000 kidnappings and murders of officials, mexican officials, probably twice that in the last couple of years. so, very dangerous. but you know what mostly keeps me up at night? it's the question of whether the united states is going to re-affirm and somehow do the internal repair that we need to do to lead. i worry that we can't seem to get our entitlements under control. i worry that we can't get our budget deficits under control. i worry about immigration policy. i worry about the fact that in k-12 education i can look at your zip code and tell whether or not you're going to get a good education.
and that's not just wrong. it is actually probably going to undo us more quickly than anything the chinese could ever do to us because if we have people who are unemployable, and they will be unemployable, they'll have to live on the dole, because they have no other choice. we will continue to have a situation? which only 30% of the people who take the basic skills test to get into the military can pass it. it will indeed pull us apart as a country faster than anything else. and if we're not confident and optimistic in one country, we won't lead. and so, that's probably the one that really keeps me up at night. >> here's my final question. if you have a choice between running for the senate in california, being a university president or being head of the national football league, what's your first choice? >> oh, that's no contest.
well, i used to want to be the commissioner of the nfl, but i told roger goodell, i said, when i was struggling with the iranians and russians every day your job looked pretty good. but, actually, from northern california, it doesn't look so good anymore. and these days -- and i have to say it -- these days being a university professor at stanford university, where the stanford cardinal are having quite a special season, you know -- come on, you know what those special seasons are like. you've had plenty of them. let us have one. that's really the greatest job in the world. >> thank you madam secretary. >> thank you. >> that was fun. >> it was great. [ applause ] ♪♪
next on history bookshelf, jeffrey engel examines foreign policy initiatives of george w. h. bush at the start of the post cold war era in his book "when the world seemed new". presidential library co-hosted this event. >> good evening my name is tom knock i'm a member of the clemsons department of history and i served couple semesters ago as director at center of presidential his