Return to Transcripts main page

CNN Live Event/Special

Colin Powell Thanks Canada for Support

Aired September 21, 2001 - 17:16   ET


BILL HEMMER, CNN ANCHOR: Here is Colin Powell.

COLIN POWELL, SECRETARY OF STATE: And it also gave me the opportunity, as secretary of state, to thank him and to thank the Canadian people and the Canadian government, especially the prime minister for all the solid support that Canada has given to the United States in the days since the 11th of September. And it also gave me a chance to express my condolences to those Canadians who to lost family members in the World Trade Center.

Canada was one of the first on the scene with all kinds of help for us in this time crisis, whether it was taking in some 20-odd thousand airline travelers who were stranded, there was no question about it. Canada welcomed them, extended fine Canadian hospitality, took care of them, and then finally helped us get those persons on the way to their destination. Canadian fighters assisted us in guarding our airspace. Canadian volunteers came to New York to be of help. We had medical support, offers of blood, offers of rescue, every imaginable offer we received from our Canadian brothers and sisters.

The American people will be forever grateful for that offer of support and forever thankful. We will never forget the images we saw of the 100,000 Canadians who assembled on Parliament Hill to pay their respects to their American brothers and sisters. And this is a sign of the close relationship that exists between our two countries and our two peoples, a relationship that can never be weakened and can only be strengthened in the years ahead. So John, it is a great pleasure to have you here, sir. And you may want to say a word.

JOHN MANLEY, CANADIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: Thank you very much. And I'm also pleased to have had another occasion for us to talk about not only the cooperation we have had, but of our intention to remain firmly at your side as we pursue this campaign against terrorism. Canadians understand perfectly well that although the attack on September 11 occurred in the United States, it was not directed only against the United States.

Canadians not only died in attack, but every freedom-loving country in the world was also an object of that attack, which would go to undermining the basis upon which all of us enjoy the opportunity to live in liberty. So Canada remains, as the prime minister said to those crowds on parliament hill, not just a friend and neighbor, but at times like this, we are family.

POWELL: We have time for one or two questions.

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, what do you expect from Canada in terms of the war on terrorism?

POWELL: That it is a campaign against terrorism that will have an intelligence component, a law enforcement component, may have military component, financial component, as we go at all of the tentacles of terrorist organizations, beginning with Al-Qaeda. And I'm sure that Canada will offer their support in all these areas, but I do not have specific items that I would like go down on our list this afternoon.

But I'm confident that we will continue to get support. As you know, Canadian military forces are co-located with American military forces in a number of places, out in NORAD, and the joint work we do to protect our airspace, contractor support aboard American ships -- and so wherever we think there is a role that Canada might be able to play in this campaign as we move forward, I know that I can call on my Canadian colleagues to take it under consideration and make a judgment as to whether they can help or not. And I know they will be coming to us to ask us for help, because it is a campaign, and they will have to do what is necessary to protect Canada as well.


MANLEY: Certainly. I think they want to look at the effect of the appointment of Governor Ridge to this position and make sure, whether we whether the prime minister chooses to create such a position or not, that we have developed the appropriate mechanisms in order to liaise directly with him in order that -- particularly that we are in communication on a continuing basis about issues related to border security.

POWELL: One over here?

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, have you had a chance to contemplate how our lives have changed? You have said many times that since September 11, our lives have changed. Have you and you, Mr. Manley, had a chance to think about how our lives in this world have changed?

POWELL: Well, I think our lives have changed. For one thing, we are a little more conscious of security. We are concerned about how go about protecting all of our facilities and our citizens. I think our lives changed in the sense that we got a better understanding of what is important. And we came together as a nation, we came together as a people, and some of the trivial issues that sometimes divide us were swept away with the magnitude of this tragedy.

But it is also important to remember that we are a people who live in open society, and we don't want this society to become closed. We need people to go back out to stores, we need people to go to movies and theaters, we need to restore a sense of normalcy in our life while at the same time being mindful of the challenges to our security that exist. But the terrorists will really have won, if they have changed our fundamental way of life. They won't do that. They can't do that. But at the same time we have to show an added level of security in order to protect ourselves to protect our citizens.

MANLEY: I think that what I would add to that is that we, for the first time, have seen that an act of devastation that we have previously only had seen in wartime and only seen carried out by military forces that were under the direction of a government can be carried out by individuals acting together in a concerted way and wreak havoc on the free world.

And I think that realizing that the nature of the risks that we have, and the effect that we could face from those risks, is so great -- is necessarily going to change the way we deal with that risk assessment and the security element in a whole series of ways in our life; the obvious one coming out of that particular disaster is airline safety and security, but undoubtedly it raises for us all a lot of other areas where we are going to look at how well we are doing in ensuring that important assets are secure, and that we are protecting ourselves adequately.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you very much.

MANLEY: Thank you.

HEMMER: Another clear and concise explanation for how the world has changed in only 10 short days. Colin Powell with Canada's Foreign Minister John Manley from Washington. We were talking earlier with Major General Donald Shepperd about the potential reaction for U.S. military. And we left off with this question, sir. I wanted to know what your perspective was now on how Al-Qaeda reacts at this point. What do they do, or do they lie low?

SHEPPERD: First of all, they need to be afraid because we are coming after them. Second, I think we as the American public have to assume they are going to come again. If they come again, we must not panic. We must be strong and resolute. We are going to do it with our military, but we also need the support of the population. We are going after these guys and if they do things to us, we are going to chase them to the ends of the earth and we are going to get them.

HEMMER: Quickly, how much preparation do you think the U.S. military has undergone to this point prior to last Tuesday in order to prepare for such and attack or a retaliation, a response that has been discussed so far in different circles in Washington?

SHEPPERD: Look, we missed this attack as a nation. It wasn't just the intelligence community or the military. The nation missed this attack. We all got lazy and sloppy because we haven't had anything like this happen. Now it happened, and we are awake. The military is ready to do anything, all the away from undersea to outer space. We've got global reach and global power anywhere on the earth within hours. We have capability to do anything we need. The question is, do we have the strength and the patience that the president asked to us have? I think we have.

HEMMER: And we will talk again. Major General Donald Shepperd in Washington. Thank you, sir. Much appreciate it. CNN's coverage of America's new war continues, not only from New York, but also in Washington and Atlanta. After a short time in here, back after this.