Friday, April 14, 2006

Mullahs into the history books

From a Radio Interview with Secretary Rumsfeld and Tony Snow on FOX News Radio Tuesday, April, 11, 2006.

SNOW: Is it conceivable that the people of Iran at some point are going to say you know what? We've had enough of this. We want some democracy ourselves.

SECRETARY RUMSFELD: Well, it would be a wonderful thing. If you look at North and South Korea, a satellite photo of those two countries at night, and all the electricity down south and all the activity, economic activity, the 12th largest economy in the world, and up north just darkness and starvation. And they're the same people with the same resources. It says a lot about what a free political system and a free economic system can do for opportunity for human beings.

SNOW: So you do think there may be at some point - that yearning for freedom might create the kind of pressure that could lead the Mullahs into the history books?

SECRETARY RUMSFELD: Well, it's possible. If you think back how rapidly Iran flipped from the Shah to the Ayatollahs, and then in reverse think of how rapidly those Eastern European countries fell after the Wall came down. And what looked like a powerful, strong government, a repressive government and a fortress that can't be breached, and then in a day people mobbed the places and the squares, public squares, and the government fell, and it all changed. So those things can happen.

SNOW: You'd certainly like it to happen, wouldn't you?

SECRETARY RUMSFELD: [Laughter]. Indeed.

SNOW: Secretary Rumsfeld, in watching this press conference I half got the impression that the press wants you to go to war in Iran. What do you think?

SECRETARY RUMSFELD: Well, it's fascinating. They're certainly looking for news. They're constantly trying to stir up something. Someone told me about an original article and then newspapers picking it up and then editorials kind of converting the speculation into what they purported to be reality.

SNOW: [Laughter].

SECRETARY RUMSFELD: It's amazing. It's like the Washington merry-go-round. It only takes about 24 hours for that kind of mischief to occur.

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