Secretary Colin L. Powell
February 14, 2002
QUESTION: I'm wondering, when I talk to my friends about the U.S., we think about how do you feel about representing a country commonly perceived as the Satan of contemporary politics?
SECRETARY POWELL: Seen as what?
QUESTION: As the Satan of contemporary politics.
POWELL: Satan? Oh. Well, I reject the characterization. Quite the contrary. I think the American people, the United States of America, presents a value system to the rest of the world that is based on democracy, based on economic freedom, based on the individual rights of men and women. That is what has fueled this country of ours for the last 225 years.
I think that's what makes us such as draw for nations around the world. People come to the United States. They come to be educated. They come to become Americans. We are a country of countries, and we touch every country, and every country in the world touches us.
So, far from being the Great Satan, I would say that we are the Great Protector. We have sent men and women from the armed forces of the United States to other parts of the world throughout the past century to put down oppression. We defeated Fascism. We defeated Communism. We saved Europe in World War I and World War II. We were willing to do it, glad to do it. We went to Korea. We went to Vietnam. All in the interest of preserving the rights of people.
And when all those conflicts were over, what did we do? Did we stay and conquer? Did we say" "Okay, we defeated Germany. Now Germany belongs to us? We defeated Japan, so Japan belongs to us"? No. What did we do? We built them up. We gave them democratic systems which they have embraced totally to their soul. And did we ask for any land? No, the only land we ever asked for was enough land to bury our dead. And that is the kind of nation we are. So, far from being the Satan, I think we are the protector of a universal value system that more and more people are recognizing as the correct value system: democracy, economic freedom, the individual rights of men and women to pursue their own destiny. That's what we stand for, and that's what we try to help other countries achieve as well.
This is a great response to an insane accusation. How can we be considered the Satan of contemporary politics... and what the hell are contemporary politics anyway? If anyone is in league with Satan, the terrorist organizations trying to kill innocent people across the world are the ones to wear this label.
In one of his last sermons before his death, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini warned of "three threats" to his vision of Islam: the US, the Jews and women.
Two decades later, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad thinks he has the United States and the Jews in hand - and is moving on the third "enemy."
Women were the first to demonstrate against Khomeini's regime with a mass rally in Tehran on March 8, 1979 - less than a month after the mullahs had seized power. Over the next decade, the authorities imprisoned hundreds of thousands of women for varying lengths of time, and executed thousands.
But women continued to fight a regime that deemed them subhuman. Their resistance prevented the mullahs from abrogating pre-revolutionary laws limiting gender discrimination. Thus, women succeeded in keeping their right to vote and win public office.
That sounds like something Satan would want. Satan would be the one to approve of this type of behavior. Khomeini is the one who states it is "his vision" and Ahmadinejad believes in this vision and has moved on to "dealing" with women. Women, as the article states, are deemed subhuman. Anyone or any group who feels it is their right to treat another person as subhuman is not them self human.
In this country, every legal American citizen has the same rights as every other. No where in our laws does it state that we can treat one person from another in a different light. And, as a matter of fact, this slides over into how we treat people who are not American citizens. If that were not true, we would not come to the aide of so many who ask for it.The fact many people from other countries (lets look towards Europe) feel some sort of evil intention towards America only shows how self righteous they are... why... because many of them would not defend their country and do anything they could to keep it the way it is. They are self serving, self righteous, jealous individuals who point their fingers outwards to avoid eye contact that will reveal them for what they are.
I'm truly sorry if there are people from these same countries who do not fall into this category because they are put there just out of association. But as is true here in America... often the loudest most obnoxious people are the ones that DO NOT speak for all of us and therefore we are all lumped into some horrible ball of garbage. I've noticed lately that those who are the loudest in other countries feel the same as the loudest from America... thus it looks like the WHOLE WORLD feels one way. Really? I don't think so.
What we have happening is a group of loud mouths who think they speak for everyone when in reality they don't speak for anyone but their own self interests. If they had their way, everyone would live exactly the way they felt was right and, in my book, that's a dictatorship. Communism is not my way of life.