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'History Is Calling Us,' Rice Says

  • Susan Jones Morning Editor
  • 2005 27 Jan
'History Is Calling Us,' Rice Says
( - Just as democracy took hold in Japan and Germany after World War II, so it can happen in the West Bank, Iraq and Afghanistan as well, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Thursday -- her first day in the new job.

She told State Department employees who gathered to greet her that democracy is the goal. "I believe that we as Americans, who know how hard the path to democracy is, have to believe that it can [take hold].

"And we have to make it so that we work with those who achieve those [democratic] aspirations, so that one day a future [U.S.] president is sitting across from the democratic president or prime minister of many a Middle Eastern country -- of many a country that has not yet known democracy. That's our charge. That's our calling," Dr. Rice said.

"I know that you will work hard on behalf of it, and so will I. And now I'll go try to find my office, if you don't mind."

Rice began her remarks by saying that the State Department must take the lead at a time when diplomacy is so crucial to "solidifying the gains of the last few years and to pressing forward an agenda for a freer and more prosperous world."

She said America stands for freedom and liberty -- and also stands with those who aspire to freedom and liberty. She said she and the president will look to the State Department to lead the effort to promote freedom and liberty.

She said the State Department's job isn't just to implement policy -- it must also be a source of "intellectual capital."

"I need your ideas, my door will be open -- please. Understand that this is a time when history is calling us," Rice said.