Saturday, October 01, 2005

Rice defends use of force

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice overnight defended the use of military force to advance the cause of democracy and liberty as "the only guarantee of true stability and lasting security".

"In a world where evil is still very real, democratic principles must also be backed with power in all its forms: political and economic, cultural and moral, and yes, sometimes military," Ms Rice said in a speech at Princeton University in the north eastern state of New Jersey.

Alluding to countries such as Germany and France that opposed the US-led invasion of Iraq, Ms Rice said: "Any champion of democracy who promotes principles without power can make no real difference in the lives of oppressed people."

Appointed as the top US diplomat by President George W. Bush after his 2004 re-election, Ms Rice sought to justify US military action as part of an effort to promote democracy in the Middle East and defuse terrorist threats.

"If you believe, as I do and as President Bush does, that the root cause of September 11 was the violent expression of a global extremist ideology, an ideology rooted in the oppression and despair of the modern Middle East, then we must seek to remove the very source of this terror by transforming that total region," she said.

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