tv Washington This Week CSPAN February 8, 2015 3:58am-6:01am EST
. >> no, sir. i think we look at all options. >> in the last number of years how many have been sent for trial in military commission? >> well, we have military commissions ongoing at guantanamo. and what i would say in terms of -- >> under this president, and in the recent months, years, people have been captured. have any been sent to trial there? >> we have not added to the population at guantanamo bay. that's correct. what i would say, sir, in terms of the efficacy of the two systems, because the military commission system is essentially new because of the new statutory framework, these cases are dragging on, whereas in the civilian court system, we're getting convictions and putting these people in prison fairly quickly. >> well, they can be done that way in military commissions. the problems will be worked out. the judge is taking everything in the first impressions. i'm sure they take more time. but had we been moving these cases forward for a long time, those issues would have been decided by now. and they have different issues. so i'll wrap up. my time is up. i just want you to know i
appreciate that you're advocating for the president's campaign promise based on lack of understanding of the lack of reality of guantanamo. a perfectly humane and good place to keep people. we set up procedures to try them fairly and over time and in a way that we are in control of the situation. rather than a federal judge whose duty is to respond to moving cases trying to assist the government in obtaining intelligence.
the world. >> ladies and gentlemen nascar is only second to the national football league on tv in our country. broadcast in over 150 countries. our keynote speaker is one of the best. simply put darrell wall trop is one of the greatest race car drivers in history. we hear, do you not know in a race all runners run.
the internal combugs engine had not been invented back then. all runners run but only one receives the prize. well, darrell wall trop has received that winning prize some 84 times. he has driven 809 races and 237 ,773 laps. his life story includes an important faith journey i believe god has placed a message on darrell's heart that can benefit us today. but first let's see this clip from 1991 at the daytona speedway. [inaudible]
all right. i always chuckle when i see that clip because my insurance man says, have you ever had an accident? i've had a couple. but good morning, mr. president, first lady, all of the distinguished guests, congress members, everybody who is here this morning. this is a huge honor for a kid that grew up in owns borrow, kentucky and now resides in franklin, tennessee. so i knew about the prayer breakfast. i had heard about it, been going on since the early 19 40's so i heard about it for a long time. but i have to tell you a quick story. when the committee called me and asked me would i like to come to breakfast, to the president's prayer breakfast, and have breakfast with the president, i said, wow. they must know it's my birthday.
what an honor to go to washington, d.c. and have breakfast with the president. oh, this is going to be great. and by the way, we would like for you to be the keynote speaker. uh. i will get back to you on that. but i thought about it, prayed about it, and i've got a lot of really great friends that pray for me all the time. but i thought about it and i said i got it. i'm not a brain surgeon and i'm not running for office. so i'm the perfect guy to be here this morning. [applause] i hope that was ok. my wife told me i maybe shouldn't say that. but she's sitting down there shaking her head now. but anyway, i would like to
introduce my family. you already met my bufe red-headed wife stevie. my two daughters and their two husbands. and it makes me feel so good to have them here this morning with me. i love my family. and i love the lord. if the room should start vibrating just a little bit, don't get excited don't get nervous, it's just all my friends back in franklin, tennessee, my tuesday morning bible study group, all my friends over in charlotte, north carolina at motor racing outreach our ministry at the track all my friends are praying for me right now. i don't know if you can feel it or not but i certainly can and i'm thankful for it. so if it starts shaking a little bit it's ok. it's just the lord. he's amongst us.
[applause] kind of being here this morning reminds me of -- you know, before you start a big event the daytona 500, before you start a big event as a driver, you go down on pit road, you're with your car, you get in your car and quite honestly i did it for 30 years but it never failed. always, always that adrenaline, those butterflies exciteded nervous, because you really didn't know -- you know when they drop the green flag and they say let's go racing, boys, you didn't know what was really going to happen. so that's kind of how i feel this morning. i really don't know what's going to happen here, folks. they kept asking me, do you have an outline? no. i've never really done an outline for a speech before.
that's when they thought maybe i wasn't the right guy for this job. i've got to tell you this. i shouldn't but i'm going to. so they called me up and they tell me all the great speakers that have been here before, all the great speech that is have been given here before. and as they went down the list i said whoa whoa whoa. wait just a minute boys. i just am not sure i'm qualified for this job. they said well, we kind of knew that going in. so right away i knew i was in good company. you know sometimes i think all of us in this room know that sometimes your biggest assets can be something that works against you. it can be a blessing and a curse. and that's really how racing was for me. it was sort of a blessing and a curse.
i grew up in kentucky. my mom and dad -- dad drove a pepsi dolea truck. mom was a cash shir at the local grocery store. i had two brothers and two sisters. we didn't have a lot of money. we worked hard to put food on the table. and so when i went to races as a 6-year-old kid with my grandmother and came home and told mom and dad some day i want to be a race car driver, they said good luck, son. my dad was a believer in hard work. he said if you really work hard and that's what you want to do then maybe some day you'll be successful. but that was about all the encouragement my dad gave me. racing is expensive. it costs a lot of money and we didn't have a lot of money. so i had to figure out a way to make that happen. i became a self-promoter. in other words, i bragged a lot.
god had given me a talent. there was no question about that. i don't know where it came from. there's no reason for me to be able to do what i did other than that was my passion. that was what i cared about. and i tell kids every day -- and mr. president you know this. there's nothing me more discouraging or disheartening when you ask a kid what are you going to do when you grow up, i don't know. really? embrace something. you've got to have a passion. well my passion was racing. and, quite honestly, i went at it all the wrong ways in the early years. i was just as aggressive off the racetrack as i was on. i didn't have a lot of friends. i didn't think i needed friends. i looked over in the car and i was the only one ever in there so i didn't need any friends to be with me. so my relationships early on in
my life were shallow. i didn't have any real close friends. it was just -- quite honestly, it was -- as i look back, and it's the hardest thing for me to do this morning is to look back because when i look back i see things that are disturbing to me. i see things and say how could i have felt that way? how could i have acted that way? how could i have been that way? but i was. and you're going to love this. this is what people said about me. they said i was brash. ruthless. ruthless. pushy. cocky. conceited. aloof. boastful. arrogant. and just downright annoying. i hope you don't feel that way
this morning, but if you do i'm sorry. and i've got to tell you, those were people that liked me. so you can imagine what people that didn't like me had to say about me. the fans booed me. when we would have driver introduction. it would be just like if i got up this morning to speak and you started booing. fans wore anybody but wall trop t-shirts to the track. they hated me. the drivers despised me. richard petty once told me, i don't know how you keep a sponsor. you're so unpopular with the fans i don't know how you keep a sponsor. and this is richard petty. he is the icon of our sport. he is the king of our sport. i wanted to be king. but i went at it all the wrong ways for sure. i was always in a -- i was
always arguing with nascar. i didn't like the rules mainly because they never worked in my favor. so i was always trying to change the rules. we know guys like that. right? always wanting to change the rules. [applause] i always like to say i fought the wall, the law won. i fought the law and the law won. quite honestly, that was things that was going on in the track. and my personal life it wasn't much better. i was so arrogant. i really was. and that's why i say it's the hardest thing for me to do. my kids are sitting out here, for heaven's sake. the hardest thing to do is to look back at how you were. my personal life was a mess. i drank too much. i liked to go to the bars and hang out with the boys. i just did everything to
satisfy me. whatever felt good to me, i did it. with no -- i didn't give it a second thought. it's just, that was my lifestyle. that's how i lived. like i told you, i didn't have any great friends, i didn't have any close friends. i always heard if you want a friend, get a dog. i have several dogs. but my wife, my beautiful wife -- my red-headed wife whom i love dearly. we've been married 45 years. [applause] that in and of itself is a miracle. she was married to that guy i was telling you about. she lived it. my wife once described me as -- that she had lived with two different men with the same name. and that might be a little
confusing to you. so obviously i must explain. but that first guy that i told you about, that was the guy she was married to originally. i knew god had his hand on me when i met stevie. i didn't acknowledge it. i didn't necessarily follow through. but it's one of the few times in the early years of my life that i felt like god spoke to me. god said to me i gave you this woman. i brought you this woman. don't let her get away. and so i tried to always be on my best behavior when i was around her. and certainly when i was around her mother and father. because they didn't think a whole lot of a race car driver. when i told her father i wanted to be -- he said how are you going to support stevie? i'm going to be a professional race car driver. he was the president of texas gas. and he didn't quite understand how a race car driver could make a living and be able to support his daughter. but he became -- he wasn't sold
on the idea but he became a big fan as time went by. so stevie would always pray for me. she would always -- she was a godly woman and she loved the lord way before i did. and she would always pray that some day, somehow, we would get involved in a bible study or that i would. that we would get involved in a bible study or a church or something. and i'd kind of blow it. i said i race on supped, don't have time to go to church, i'm busy all week getting ready for the next race. i just don't have time for this church stuff and this god stuff. i just don't have time. ok? you know what she said? well, i'll just keep on praying. when somebody says they're praying for you, you'd better pay attention and don't take it lightly. people don't pray for you if they don't care about you and if they don't love you. and so when somebody -- and it used to happen to me -- [applause] amen.
amen. it used to happen to me at the track. and people would come up and say i'm praying for you. and i would say thank you very much. i've got to go now. don't ever do that. embrace that person. because it's not a waste of time. it's them embracing you and caring about you. and that's the most important thing in the world is that we all care about each other. i almost had us do this. and stevie talked me out of it. at home when we pray we hold hands. and in bible study when we pray we kind of lock arms or hold hands. i was going to ask everybody in the room to hold hands when we pray but i thought maybe you weren't that close just yet. so i kind of let that one go. but i got a great opportunity in 1983. i got a chance to drive for
junior johnson. junior johnson was a childhood hero. he's the last american heero. they made a film about him. he was the last american hero. as a kid growing up, i listened to my little transtor radio and junior johnson drove this white number 3 chevrolet with a 427 mystery engine. junior johnson, a moon shiner from wilkes borrow, north carolina, car number 3 with a mystery engine. i mean that's hero material right there for a guy like me. so obviously i couldn't -- thought maybe some day i would get to meet him. never thought some day i would get to drive for him. but it was the best years of my career. we won 24 races 18 pole positions, two championships. but junior was a no-nonsen kind of guy. he said let me tell you something, boy. when you come to drive for me you work your hands and not your mouth. i said yes, sir.
because when junior spoke, i listened. we had great times together. we won races together. but in 1983 i had a horrible wreck. worse than that one you saw there. i had a concussion. i went for a couple of weeks to the next couple of races. i didn't even remember being there. and when i finally came to or woke up, i realized that that wreck had knocked me conscious. it scared the hell out of me. and i mean that literally. i realized i could have been killed that day. what if i would have lost my life right there that day at daytona what would i have done? would i have gone to heaven or would i have gone to hell? i thought i was a pretty good guy. but folks, let me tell you something. good guys go to hell. if you don't know jesus christ as your lord and savior, if you don't have a relationship -- [applause] -- if he is not some master of
your life, if you have never gotten on your knees and asked him to forgive you of your sins, you're just a pretty good guy or a pretty good gal. you're going to go to hell. think about that. i did. and like i said, it was a wakeup call. it literally knocked me conscious. stevie and i started going to church. we met dr. cortez cooper, one of the godliest men, preaches from the bible loves sports, a lot like the president. he could play every sport, knew a little bit about every sport there was. and he knew me personally. because of him and him talking to me just like i'm talking to you this morning -- every time i went to hear him preach i felt like he was talking directly to me. so we met in a high school in hills borrow just outside of nashville there while they were building a big sanctuary. we met in a high school, july, hot, kind of like being in a
race car, no air conditioning. i got down off my high horse, i got down on my knees and dr. cortez cooper and stevie and i prayed that the lord would come into my life and forgive me of my sins and be my lord and savior. and that was the greatest day of my life. [applause] that changed everything. i will never forget. we were going home from that night and i told stevie. i said, man, i feel like the weight of the world's been lifted off my shoulders. i feel like i've been born again. i feel like a new man. and you know a lot of -- it was -- i felt different and i knew i was different. when the lord comes into your life, you're gonna be different. you have to be different. if he comes into your heart, into your life and you're not
different, you'd better go back and try it again. because the lord changes you. and he changed me. and it was for the better. and we left there that night. listen, you don't make a deal with the lord. hey lord if you do this i'll do that. it don't work that way, folks. he's there for you. he's there to walk with you. but you've got to do your part, too. so did my life -- my personal life change? things on the racetrack? i still had wrecks. i still had problems. things still happened. but i wasn't in it alone. where i felt like i was always in it by myself, now i had somebody to pray with, to talk with, to guide me, direct me. the wisdom of the lord, i had it and i needed to use it. stevie and i wanted to have a family. we were having trouble having kids. we had a couple of miscarriages. and we were praying god, can you just you know, can you
give us a child? and we had gotten to the point where we thought, well, we'll just adopt. we're not going to have kids of our own we'll adopt. then stevie got pregnant and we prayed. and the lord gave us peace about it. he said hang in there this time. i got something special for you. and sure enough, jessica lee ball trop. september 18, 1987, we had the first child. i folks was on cloud nine. i was so excited. i couldn't wait to get to the track. i left that weekend to go to martinsville. i get to the racetrack, i'm a proud papa. and everybody's congratulating me because they knew how badly we wanted kids. i go over to my race car on sunday morning and in the seat of the car is a vase with one rose in it. and a note. i pulled the note out i opened it up. and it said win this one for me daddy.
huh. that was quite a moment. i had never been called daddy before. and i had never been a father before. and i was so happy. and i have to tell you, this is almost -- this is a fairy tale. i never led a lap of that race. i won it. -- i wanted so badly to win that race for jessica. never led a dad gum lap until the last one. and you won't believe what happened. you know people say that can you tell us me a time when god showed up? i don't think he was working against those guys but he shir was working for me. i know that. we got off the last the white flag is in the air and i man i'm running third. they go down the back straight away into third, a little paper clip race track and terry bumps
into the back of dale. and when he does both cars get a little loose and slide up the racetrack and d.w. goes driving by. [applause] daddy won that one. the same thing. 1992 sara was born. the same deal. go to the racetrack. been kind of a tough year. i dominated that race. bristol, half mile track. like being hung up in a salad bowl for 500 laps spinning around, your head's hurting your eyes are burning. i get out of the car and i can't remember my daughter's name. so i'm trying really hard. sara sara. caitlyn. she had a lot of names. kerns wall trop. because when i left the hospital we really hadn't decided on exactly what her
name was going to be. so it took a little time but it came to me. and it certainly -- sara's never let me forget that. i couldn't remember her name. one final story for you. it's about dale earnhardt, sr. i don't know how many people knew the old intiment dator. we were fren mies. we were friends off the racetrack but not so much on the racetrack. and this beautiful red head down here, she loved dale and dale loved her and she witnessed to him just as much as she witnessed to me. in 1994, kneel lost his life in daytona in a practice crash. sunday morning stevie had always put scriptures in my race car on a note card. not good luck charms just encouragement. whatever happened that week the scriptures sort of fit. we were standing, praying with some of the chaplain from mro and dale walks by. now, dale's one of those guys
that, you know he's a tough guy. and so for him to pray or to acknowledge that he maid have a relationship with the lord was pretty hard for him to do. but he walks by. stevie grabs him and said come and pray with us. we all huddled up on pit road there. and when we finished praying stevie hands me the note card and dale grabs it. and he says what's that? and he read it. and he looked at stevie and he said where's mine? oh, my gosh. she ran to the pit box, got a note card, wrote a scripture, put it on the note card and ran back to dale's card and dale put it on his dash. so from that day until 2001, when he lost his life at daytona, he had a scripture in his card just like i had in my car. you have to know something. me and this guy, we were fierce competitors. he didn't like me and i didn't
like him when we were on the racetrack. that woman would make us pray together. now, stevie would grab him and grab me and say i want you all to pray together. and we would nahnahnah. and then -- and then, to make it worse she would say, tell him you love him. [applause] so as he was walking away and i was walking away. i love you. as i said, the hardest thing about being here this morning was as i prepared and -- and i did prepare. was looking back.
and remembering how i was. but the good news this morning is i'm not that way any more. [applause] i just share this. you don't have to walk alone. you don't have to carry all those burdens, like it's you against the world. you have to do like i did. you've got to get off your high horse and get on your knees and ask for forgiveness. he's waiting for you. he was there all the time. i just didn't -- i just didn't know it or acknowledge it. i told you when i got up here i wasn't running for anything. but i will tell you this. i am running to something. the lord is a strong tower. the righteous will run to it and be safe.
>> well, darrell thank you for that great message. darrell, i want to ask your permission but i will will do this as i'm pretending to ask your permission. your birthday is today? it's also the same birthday as my mother in-law. so i've just scored big points. thank you very much. it's my honor now to introduce the president. mr. president, first lady michelle obama we're honored you're with us, honored by your presence. and they've been here every year. so we're grateful to have them back. [applause] president obama's a person of faith who has spoken often about his faith journey. his life has been and continues to be a life of service, public
service. in the pursuit of justice here, at home, and around the world. my mother elen casey -- that way i've got my mother in-law and mother in the same remarks. pu my mother always told us when we were growing up over and over again she would say count your blessings. count your blessings. and i've tried to do that. i probably don't do enough of it. but i know that the president is one who follows my mother's advice. especially about the blessings of his family. so today, as we gather to pray, and to express gratitude for so much on a morning like today i count as one of our blessings mr. president your good work as our president and your abiding
commitment to your faxly, to your faith -- family, to your faith, and to our country. ladies and gentlemen, the 44th president of the united states barack obama. [applause] thank you. thank you so much. good morning. giving all praise and honor to god, it is wonderful to be back with you here. i want to thank our cochairs, bob and roger. these two don't always agree in the senate, but in coming together and uniting us all in prayer, they invite the spirit of our gathering today.
i also want to thank everybody who helped organize this breakfast. and it's wonderful to see so many friends and faith leaders dignitaries. and michelle and i are truly honored to be joining you here today. i want to offer a special welcome to a good friend. his holeieness the dalai lama who is a powerful example of what it means to practice compassion and to inspire us to speak up for the freedom and dignity of all human beings. i've been pleased to welcome him to the white house on many occasions, and we're grateful he is able to join us here today. [applause] there aren't that many occasions that bring his holeieness turned same room as nascar. this may be the first. but god works in mysterious
ways. and so i want to thank darrell for that wonderful presentation . darrell knows that when you're going 200 miles an hour, a little prayer cannot hurt. i suspect the more than once darrell has had the same thoughts as many of us have in our own lives. jesus, take the wheel. although, i hope that you kept your hands on the wheel when you were thinking that. he and i obviously share something in having married up, and we were so great -- we are so grateful to stevie for the incredible work that they have done together, to build a ministry where the fastest drivers can slow down a little bit and spend some time in prayer and reflection and thanks. and we certainly want to wish
darrell a happy birthday. [applause] happy birthday. i will note, though, darrell, when you were reading that list of things folks were saying about you, you know, i was thinking well, you're a piker. i mean, if you really want a list come talk to me. because that ain't nothing. that's the best they can do in nascar? slowing down and pausing for fellowship and prayer, that's what this breakfast is about. i think it's fair to say washington moves a lot slower than nascar. certainly my agenda does sometimes. but still, it's easier to get
caught up in the rush of our lives and in the political back and forth that can take over this city. and we get sidetracked with distractions, large and small. we can't go 10 minutes without checking our smart phones and -- for my staff, that's every 10 seconds. and so for 63 years, this prayer tradition has brought us together, giving us the opportunity to come together in humility. before the almighty. and to be reminded of what it is that we share as children of god. and certainly for me this is always a chance to reflect on my own faith journey. many times as president i've been reminded of the line of prayer that eleanor roosevelt was fond of. she said, keep us at tasks too hard for us that we may be
driven to thee for strength. keep us at tasks too hard for us that we may be driven to thee for strength. i've wondered at times if maybe god was answering that prayer a little too literally. but no matter the challenge, he has been there, for all of us. he has certainly strengthened me with the power to his spirit as i've sought his guidance. not just in my own life but in the life of our nation. now, over the last few months we've seen a number of challenges. certainly over the last six years. but part of what i want to touch on today is the degree to which we've seen professions of faith used both as an instrument of great good but also twisted and misused in the
name of evil. as we speak around the world we see faith inspiring people to lift up one another. feed the hungry, care for the poor, comfort the afflicted, and make peace where there is strife. we heard good work that sisters done in philadelphia. the incredible work that dr. programly and his colleagues have done. we see faith driving us to do right. but we also see faith being twisted. and distorted. used as a wedge or, worse, sometimes used as a weapon. from a school in pakistan to the streets of paris we have seen violence and terror perpetrated by those who
profess to stand up for faith -- their faith. profess to stapped up for islam but in fact are betraying us. we see isil. a brutal, vicious vesscal that, in the name of religion, carries out unspeakable acts of bar barberism terrorizing religious minorities. subjecting women to rape as a weapon of war. and claiming the mantle of religious authority for such actions. we see sectarian war in syria. the murder of muslims and christians in nigeria. religious war in the central african republic. the rising tide of anti-semitism and hate crimes in europe. so often perpetrated in the name of religion.
so how do we as people of faith reconcile these realities? the profound good the strength, the tenacity the compassion and love that can flow from all of our faiths operating alongside those who seek to hijack religion for their own murderous ends. humanity has been grappling with these questions throughout human history. unless we get -- and lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the crew sadse and inquisigs, people committed terrible deeds in the name of christ. in our home country, slavery and jim crow all too often was justified in the name of
christ. michelle and i returned from india, an incredible, beautiful country, full of this magnificent diversity. but a place where in past years religious faiths of all types have on occasion have have been targeted by other peoples of faith simply due to their heritage and their beliefs. acts of intolerance that would have shocked gandie the person who helped to liberate that nation. this is not unique to one group or one religion. there is a tendency in us, a sinful tendency that can pervert and distort our faith. and n today's world when hate groups have their own twitter accounts and bigotry can fester
in hidden places in cyber space, it can be even harder to counteract such intolerance. but god compels us to try. and in this mission i believe there are few principles that can guide us particularly those of us who profess to believe. and first we should start with some basic humility. i believe that the starting point of faith is some doubt. not being so full of yourself and so confident that you are right and that god speaks only to us. and doesn't speak to us. that god only cares about us and doesn't care about others. that somehow we alone are in
possession of the truth. our job is not to ask that god respond to our notion of truth. our job is to be true to him. his words and his commandments. and we should assume humbly that we're confused and don't always know what we're doing. and we're staggering and stumbling towards him. and have some humility. in that process. and that means we have to speak up against those who would misuse his name to justify oppression or violence or hatred with that fierce certainty. no god can no terror. no grievance justifies the taking of innocent lives. or the oppression of those who are weaker. or fewer in number. and so as people of faith we
are summoned to push back against those who try to distort our religion -- any religion -- for their own ends. and here at home and around the world we will constantly reaffirm that fundamental freedom -- freedom of religion, the right to practice our faith how we choose, to change our faith if we choose, to practice no faith at all if we choose, and to do so free of persecution and fear. and discrimination. there's wisdom in our founders writing in those documents that helped found this nation, the notion of freedom of religion, because they understood the need for humility. they also understood the need to uphold freedom of speech. that there was a connection
between freedom of speech and freedom of religion. for to infringe on one right under the pretext of protecting another is the betrayal of both. but part of humility is also recognizing in modern complicated diverse societies the functioning of these rights, the concern for the protection of these rights calls for each of us to exercise civility and restraint and judgment. and if in fact we defend the legal right of a person to insult another's religion, we're equally obligated to use our free speech to condemn such insults and stand shoulder to shoulder with religious communities -- [applause] -- particularly religious minorities who are targets of such attacks. just because you have the right to say something doesn't mean the rest of us shouldn't question those who would insult
others in the name of free speech. because we know that our nations are stronger when people of all faiths feel that they are welcomed, that they too are full and equal members of our countries. so humility. i think is needed. and the second thing we need is to uphold the distinction between our faith and our governments. between church and between state. the united states is one of the most religious countries in the world. far more religious than most western developed countries. and one of the reasons is that our founders wisely embraced the separation of church and state. our government does not sponsor a religion.
nor does it pressure anyone to practice a particular faith or any faith at all. and the result is a culture where people of all backgrounds and beliefs can freely and o proudly worship without fear or coercion. so when you listen to darrell talk about his faith journey, you know it's real. you know he's not saying it because it's -- it helps him advance or because somebody told him to. it's from the heart. that's not the case in theocracies that restrict people's choice of faith. it's not the case in authoritarian governments that elevate an individual leader or a political party above the people or in some cases above the concept of god himself. so the freedom of religion is a value we will continue to protect here at home and stand up for around the world and is
one that we guard vigilantly here in the united states. last year we joined together to pray for the release of christian missionary kenneth bay held in north korea for two years. and today we give thanks that kenneth is finally back where he belongs -- home with his family. [applause] last year we prayed together for pastor sigh yeed alba dini detained in iran since 2012. and i was recently in boise, idaho, and had the opportunity to meet with pastor abdini's beautiful wife and wonderful children and to convey to them that our country has not forgotten brother sigh yeed and that we are doing everything we can to bring him home. and -- [applause] -- and then i received an extraordinary letter from
pastor abdini and in it he described his captivity and expressed his gratitude for my visit with his family and thanked us all tor standing in solidarity with him during his captivity. and he wrote, nothing is more valuable to the body of christ than to see how the lord is in control and moves ahead of countries and leadership through united prayer. and he closed his letter by describing himself as prisoner for christ. who is proud to be part of this great nation the united states of america that cares for religious freedom around the world. [applause] so we're going to keep up this work for pastor abdini and all those around the world who are
held or persecuted because of their faith. we are grateful to rabbi david sapperstein who is hit the ground running and is heading to iraq to help communities there address some of those challenges. thank you, david, for the great work you're doing. [applause] humility, a suspicion of government getting between us and our faiths. for trying to dictate our faiths or elevate one faith over another. finally, let's remember that if there is one law that we can all be most certain of that seems to bind people of all faiths and people who are still finding their way towards faith
but have a sense of ethics and morality in them. that one law that golden rule that we should treat one another that we wish to be treated. you know, the torah says love thigh neighbor as yourself. in islam there's the had did to the states. none of you truly believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself. the holy bible tells us to put on love which binds everything together in perfect harmony. put on love. whatever our beliefs, whatever our traditions, we must seek to be instruments of peace and bringing light where there is darkness and sowing love where there is hatred. and this is the loving message of his holeieness pope francis. like so many people around the
world, i've been touched by his call to relieve suffering and to show justice and mercy and compassion for the most vulnerable to walk with the lord and ask who am i to judge? he challenges us to press on in what he calls our march of living hope. and like millions of americans, i am very much looking forward to welcoming pope francis to the united states later this year. [applause] his hoeieness expresses that basic law treat your neighbor as yourself. the dalai lama. anybody who has had the opportunity to be with him, sense that is same sprit. kent brantley, expresses that same spirit. now, kent was with samaritans
first treating ebola patients in libe beia when he contracted -- liberia. when he contracted ebola himself. and then he survived. and then by donating his plasma he helped others survive as well. and he continues to advocate for a global response in west africa reminding us that our efforts need to be on loving the people there. and i could not have been prouder to welcome kent and his wonderful wife amber to the oval office. we are blessed to have him here today because he reminds us of what it means to really love thy neighbor as thy self-. not just words but deeds. so each of us has a role in fulfilling our common purpose. not merely to seek high position but to plum greater
depth so that we may find the strength to love more fully. and this is perhaps our greatest challenge, to see our own reflection in each other. to be our brother's keepers and sisters' keepers. and to keep faith be one another. as children of god, let's make that our work together. as children of god let's work to end injustice. the injussty of poverty and hunger. no one should ever suffer from such want amidst such plenty yifment as children of god let's work to eliminate the scourge of homelessness because, as sister says, none of us are home until all of us are home. none of us are home until all of us are home. as children of god let's stand up for the dignity and value of every woman man and child because we are all equal in his eyes and work to end the scourge and the sin of modern day slavery and human
trafficking, and set the oppressed free. [applause] if we are properly humble if we drop to our knees on occasion we will acknowledge that we never fully know god's purpose. we can never fully fathom his amazing grace. we see through a glass darkly. grappling with the expanse of his awesome love. but even with our limits we can heed that which is required. to do justice and love kindness and walk humbly with our god. i pray that we will. and as we journey together on
[ >> mr. president thank you for your message. and we're honored by your presence here today. we close our program with one song and one prayer. our last song this morning will be sung by a remarkable young man. and those words don't do justice to who this person is, a young man from tennessee named qintavius johnson. if you're a fan of the television show "america's got talent" you might recognize him as one of last year's finalists. but today, singing at the national prayer breakfast in front of more than 3,000 or 3,500, the number is getting bigger, at the age of 13 just imagine that. that's going to be hard to top.
>> wow. quintavius thank for you your great performance. we're grateful you're with us this morning. and finally this morning, our last prayer at this breakfast will be offered by an extraordinary public servant, who also happens to be a minister. he's a former member of congress, ambassador to the united nations mayor of atlanta, and recipient of the presidential medal of freedom a well-known civil rights leader and friend of dr. martin luther king jr.. our next speaker was instrumental in the civil rights campaigns in selma in birmingham that ultimately led to the passage of the civil
rights act of 1964 and the voting rights act of 1965. [applause] >> but of all of his many titles and accomplishments, he's most proud of his role as husband father, and grandfather. ladies and gentlemen the honorable andrew young. >> this morning i woke up to the hearings of the senate committee on your new appointment as secretary of defense. and as they went around talking about all of the dangers and problems that he must confront and that you must face every day, i realizeed that's why we
need prayer. and i wondered, has the world ever been in this bad of shape? and i remember when i was about the age of quintavius, maybe even a little earlier, the japanese bombed pearl harbor and the germans were sinking ships and america was far weaker, we still had the same conflicts in congress, we still had the same differences racially and emotionally and religiously, but somehow we pulled together, and we heard the president say the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. and then a little while later, quite a while later, the people with whom we had gone to war became our best friends and our trading partners.
and this country of ours helped unite the world. and in thanks for that, president eisenhower asked that we come together and form this prayer breakfast to thank god, for only the spirit of jesus can forgive as we forgave, can oak on sile -- reconcile enemies to each other. and that same jesus that walked with president eisenhower and all the presidents thereof -- therefore since, with you mr. president, and when i look at these young people from mississippi, senator we have overcome so much.
[applause] >> and we thank you and we thank all of you and we thank god. may we pray? be with us, dear father, as we take on the challenges of life not just as government but as business, as private sector and nonprofit sector, as religious leaders, as community leaders, as volunteers, as fathers and mothers, as brothers and sisters, as mothers and sons and fathers and daughters bind us together heal our wounds, calm our spirits and make us always mindful that you can -- you came into the world to say you would make all things new, but that you would be with us
always. so as we go through many dangers, toils, and snares by your amazing grace, make us always mindful that your presence is in the midst of us, that each of us because of you, know that we too, are your children, and that our father loves us, forgives us saves us by the mercy that we must share with each other and with the world in which we live. in the name of jesus we pray amen. [applause] >> thank you ambassador young. would you please remain in your
places while the president and first lady are given an opportunity to exit the building? thank you, mr. president. thank you. and as we conclude, this the 63rd annual national prayer breakfast, to part with these words of god from the book of numbers, the lord bless you and keep you. the lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you. the lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. amen. you're dismissed. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015]
>> next, german chancellor angela merkel and sergey lavrov speak at the munich security conference. and live at 7:00 a.m., your calls and comments on "washington journal." ahead of the president's daybreak congress return this is week with a full agenda. the house is back tuesday at noon eastern for morning speeches and 2:00 p.m. for legislative work. house bills for the week include the senate passed measure including the keystone x.l. pipeline. the senate is back monday at 3:00 p.m. eastern and at 5:00 they'll debate the nomination of michael bodicheli to be director of the drug policy.
a vote is set for 5:30. it's likely the senate will again try to move forward on the department of homeland security spending. democrats have blocked debate on the bill three times because of language that overturns president obama's executive actions on immigration. watch the house live on c-span, the senate on c-span 2. >> the political landscape has changed with the 11th congress. not only are there 43 new republicans and 15 new democrats in the house and 12 new republicans and one new democrat in the senate, there's also 108 women in congress, including the first african-american republican in the house and the first woman veteran in the senate. keep track of the members of congress using congressional chronicle on c-span.org. the congressional chronicle page has lots of useful information including voting results and statistics of each session of congress. new congress, best access on c-span, c-span 2, c-span radio
and c-span.org. >> at an international conference saturday, german chancellor angela merkel said the crisis in ukraine will not be solved by military means and that the peace accord reached last year in minsk should be implemented and spoken at the 51st munich security conference in germany one day after meeting with russian president vladimir putin and french president francois holland in moscow for talks on ending the fighting in eastern ukraine. chancellor merkel is scheduled to meet with president obama on monday in washington to discuss ukraine and other issues. this is an hour. >> ladies and gentlemen, i think that it won't be necessary to introduce our next speaker. it is a great pleasure for all of us, but it has been possible
against all odds to keep this appointment because yesterday, or the day before yesterday, it had not been clear it would be possible because the german chancellor decided to hold talks in kiev together with the french president and also traveled on to moscow last night. so i'd like to take advantage of this opportunity to welcome the german chancellor. [applause] >> we are delighted, but it has been possible for you to join us this morning, and without further adieu, i'd like to give
the floor to you. [applause] >> to the government representatives of the several countries, ladies and gentlemen. the crisis in ukraine and terror in iraq, syria the ebola epidemic these three conflict issues alone show that last year brought much suffering and destruction of the people in many, many different regions of the world. and it brought foreign challenges for the international security policy. and this is why it is the appropriate decision that the question of the state of the international order and of a possible collapsing order is
something that you put the focus on in the discussions this morning. this year we remember a number of historical turning points. first, exactly 70 years ago the second world war ended that was unleashed by germany, and the break of civilization after the horror of centuries of bloodshed, a new order of international relations could be created that was to ensure a lasting, peaceful co-istence -- co-existence of nations on this planet. what is crucial is the united nations, the north atlantic alliance and the european union. second, 40 years ago, this is the final act the order was signed. it's noted the peaceful settlement of disputes and the noninterference into the internal affairs of other nations. this was an important milestone on the long road towards
overcoming the cold war. third exactly 25 years ago, the treaty was signed and german unity completed. both marked not only a turning point in german history but also marked a new beginning in the relationship between east and west. let me state here once again very clearly, germany will be forever grateful to the nations of central and eastern europe for standing up unequivocally and courageously for their freedom and independence, thus paving the way also, for germany to regain its unitity and peace and freedom. ladies and gentlemen, for more than a year now, we have witnessed in the ukraine a crisis that the foundations of the european peaceful order cannot at all be taken for granted, for russia's actions first on crimea and eastern ukraine has violated the very
foundations of our co-existence in europe. russia shows disrespect for the territorial integrity of ukraine just as much as it shows disrespect for the sovereignty of the ukrainian state. international law is violated. after the horrible war in the balkans in the 1990's we have to witness yet again what it means when peace and stability in europe cannot be taken for granted and the use of force becomes a bitter reality. russia's actions are in stark contradiction to its obligations, for example in the final act or the budapest memorandum. commitments, obligations to which it has committed itself was attained at the time it was assured by the united nations, by the united states and by russia that the territorial integrity of ukraine would be respected and the consequence ukraine gave up its nuclear capacity and, as i remind all of us on talks of the margins
of this security conference, who would ever give up its nuclear capacity if one cannot ensure and doesn't receive as a quid pro quo as respect for its territorial integrity and sovereignty. and this is why the european union points out time and again with our partners that a policy that aims at changing borders in europe by force is out of place in the 21st century. we make it very clear that international law has to be respected. no one among us has any interest in a new division of europe. and certainly not in a confrontation where we run the risk of uncontrollable escalation. we want to shape security in europe together with russia and not against russia. this is true for both the european and the transatlantic security order. this is also true for coping with international challenges, challenges to all of us from proliferation of weapons of mass destruction all the way
to combating international terrorism. the negotiations for the distribution of the nuclear conflict with iran and the removal and destruction of syrian chemical weapons shows that in spite of all of the crisis cooperation with russia on important issues is possible. and incidentally, these examples also show that a international order may well have a positive affect, however, that predisposes that all partners, all parties are willing to abide by the basic principles of such an order and also to measure up in the end to the extent to which they abide by those rules. russia needs to do its bit in the ukrainian crisis as well. this crisis cannot be solved by military means. and this is why it's important more than ever to define substantial steps that serve to fill the minsk agreement with life. this is the goal. this is the purpose on which
all our talks in both kiev and moscow, and i'm delighted to see mr. proshenko attend this conference as well. after the talks yesterday in moscow which the french president and i have held i say it is uncertain whether they will be crowned a success. but from my -- in my view, and also in the view of the french president, it was well worth our while to make this attempt. i think we owe it if not least to the people affected in ukraine by this crisis. whoever wishes to ensure the scurelt -- the security, and well-being of his people in the long run needs to accept the rules of this international community as part of the international community. we in europe will always stand
up together with our partners for our values and for the european peaceful orders. the decisions of the nato summit in wales last year have been seen against the background, that nato laid a foundation for enhanced evidence of reaction forces of the alliance and thus we put the focus on collective defense in the alliance, also with a view to potential threats of the so-called hybrid warfare. and particularly our alliance partners in the east are counting on us to do the vast security concerns are our security concerns. this is why germany, together with the netherlands and norway of the next 12 months we'll be working as a framework nation for the rapidly deployable and very high resonate joint task force that is built up and substantially contribute to a pilot project. and together with denmark and poland, we will build up the
national headquarters and turn it into a hub for future regional cooperation and defense in the alliance. we shoulder and rest on the stability for the security of our alliance partners and neighbors in central and eastern europe. it's precisely because nato is a community of values, of shared values, that is why the importance of article 5 is far more than a mere declaration of intent. and the solidarity of alliance partners does not serve merely a utilitarian purpose but rests on joint values and convictions and why is it of crucial importance to lend them credibility. at the same time we have to work on strengthening instruments of cooperative and security in europe and here the osce plays a particular role as a form of dialogue and confidence building in europe. the osc proved its important
last year quickly to get back to building coughed and cooperation and restoring confidence. it will be of crucial importance that all member states of the o.s.c. reaffirm its commitment to its principles and that their deeds match their words. we want to renew this common understanding of joint principles. principles that should lead to security and cooperation in europe that is only possible through dialogue, cooperation and confidence building. and the precondition for this, and let me underline this yet again, is that the foundation, the very foundation of our european postwar order and our peaceful order can be restored unconditionally and maintained unconditionally. but first we accept the borders in europe are and remain invaluable. secondly, the nations of europe are and remain free to determine their own future. this has been the outcome of a long negotiating process in the
o.s.c. and we are guided by this conviction. also, when we stand up for these states of the balkans where we say we want them, too to enjoy democracy, freedom and self-determination and stability, security q, and prosperity. and isolation is a failed recipe of the past. they no longer fit and are no longer in keeping with the times today that is characterized by free trade agreement. this is why we also will wish to work for the conclusion of a free trade agreement because we want not to stand idly by and see the whole of the asian and pacific area concluding trade agreements and europe is left behind. but it's going to be a hard piece of work. [applause] >> this attitude of protectionism and isolation, a thing of the past is something that the european union and alliance also, together with
its transatlantic partner, through long-term cooperation projects. for example, those that we concluded in the conference in the western balkans but also for the substantial support of the ukrainian people. we are very much interested in a long-term goal of creating a common economic area from the bloody violence to vancouver. i support all necessary talks between the e.u. commission and the asian union. but i say a precondition for such talks and certainly for the success is overcoming the crisis in ukraine on the basis of international law. ladies and gentlemen, the southern neighborhood of europe, too, fills us with grave concern and is characterized by upheaval and failing states. the civil war in syria alone has claimed more than 220,000 victims of the past four years. civilians, women and children
have fallen victim to this violence. millions of people have fled the country. the neighboring countries lebanon, turkey, and jordan shoulder a very heavy burden by absorbing the flow of refugees, and they go far beyond, in many cases, of what these countries are actually capable of doing. i think the international community owes them a debt of gratitude. and obviously our efforts can only be helping if we look at the terrible suffering of the people there. the implosion of the state order in syria has grave consequences for the whole of the region. the terror group threatens the stability of syria, iraq and the whole region. i.s. persecutes and kills all of those who are for the willing to submit themselves to their rule, and it is also a
cross border phenomenon, a similar tendency can be observed in western africa, the terror group is using the benefits or the real or perceived disadvantages of broad slaves in the population and the tyranny of innocent people across the borders of nigeria with its barbaric terror. the international community and arab and muslim states included, and that is a very important message, is facing this killing this murder in a resolute way it is incumbent upon us because of the respect for humanity and it's also in our german interest to give a substantial contribution to this. this is why the germans a week ago agreed on a training mission in northern iraq together with a number of international partners with the united states, italy, the netherlands and many others, we
will want to stand shoulder to shoulder with the iraqi and kurdish security forces trying to help them to work against the terror. and we also declared we are willing to help african states in their fight against boka horan. we do it because we are convinced that the security threats to our country not only start at our borders, failed states poverty terrorism, and epidemics may well have their origins far away from our country. but it would be erroneous to believe they will not have an effect on europe and our country, how directly international terrorism may threaten us and it's something the terror attacks against journalisms of charlie hebdo and attacks against police and the supermarket in paris a few weeks ago. the response of the international community is to fight against islamic terrorism
and this is why germany continues to use also its present term presidency in order to work on cutting off as much as possible the flow of finances and fighters to international terrorism. women in our country, too, we are taking resolute action in order to for example ban the leaving of those who wish to participate in the fight from germany and to join terrorist groupings. the future will be a punishable offense to leave germany to join and fight with the purpose of perpetuating acts of violence abroad or. in january the federal government has adopted a bill in which enables us to in the future withdraw the i.d. card of jihad so as to prevent them from leaving the country. and we also will introduce a new punishable challenge -- a
new legislation that makes financing terrorism a punishable offense. we are standing shoulder to shoulder with the overwhelming majority of muslims in europe who want nothing to do with this terrorism and particularly in germany the islamic communities and the associations have spoken up loudly against the abuse of their religion for hatred and violence. ladies and gentlemen, the attacks in paris, the cross border epidemic of ebola, the crisis of refugees in the mediterranean show us that foreign and security policy issues have indeed an impact on the internal situation in our society. the crisis in west africa, on the horn of africa and yemen and in other places of the world show that the development of whole regions depend on whether one can ensure basic security. people need security in order to develop their potential. states need security in order to develop their -- in order to ensure their development and prosperity, regions need security in order to build up
orderly structures, and what is also true in turn is that many of these crisis have their root cause and the hopelessly weak internal structures of certain countries and regions. regional conflicts, fights over resources, lack of inclusiveness of political processes, deficient educational systems, weak health systems all of these aspects have a negative impact of long-term stability of government and countries and also real legitimacy of countries and therefore also of their possibility to protect order. the federal government is therefore convinced that also in our own vested security interests, we need to pursue a comprehensive approach in order to stabilize the job states and region.
by have to include them and help them to stabilize their state structures. and one aspect is rendering the security institutions capable of functioning, so development and security need to go hand in hand. training of security forces is therefore very important. at the same time, we have to see to it they are sufficiently equipped in order to fulfill their mission and part and parcel, that obviously is also in ensuring respect for human rights. i think it continues to be most important that these goals of equipment and empowerment and also providing the necessary funds is pursued consistently and resolutely. the upcoming european council on common security in june will be another opportunity to discuss this. the international community over the past decade has been very active in afghanistan in a very comprehensive way together with the africans, we have indeed achieved quite a number
of successful progress. we have, for example, set up a school and health system the african army and police build up the qulet of life of africans has improved by comparison to 2001. the economic situation has developed quite satisfactorily and the vibrant civil society has been created just as a very diverse media landscape. and we have been able to attain one important goal, afghanistan no longer is a international terrorist. but we should not overlook that the everyday security situation for the people in afghanistan is anything but satisfactory. corruption and the drug trade has not been sufficiently contained, and there is no real reconciliation process in place yet. we have to do everything in order to ensure that what we've achieved is maintained, that it is further built on. we need a degree of realism and also have to be consistent in our continued effort, and we
need patience. this is a generational task. the african security sector will continue to require even beyond 2016 substantial international support and not only financial support. the framework conditions for this will have to be created together with our international partners and with the african government of the next few months to come. ladies and gentlemen, the present international order rsts -- rests on the bitter experience of two world wars. its strengths derise from the principles of law, freedom and to stand up for these rights and defend them. it is a foundation for living in peace and stability, at least in europe. in other regions, the tasks we face are enormous. if we remember that in 1948
most countries of the world have subscribed to the charter of human rights, have entered into commitments. we must, unfortunately say that we are yet far away from abiding by the tenets that we have subscribed to there. this order has never been rigid. it never has been and never will be. it will be continuously developed, not through disrespect but through intensive engagement and common dialogue. germany is ready to do its bit. thank you very much. [applause]
>> ladies and gentlemen the chancellor declares herself ready to answer some questions you might have. we still have a bit of time left. before taking the first questions, i would like to thank you very much indeed for one remark that you made that is to say, the remarks you made in terms of the osce. tonight you won't be able to join us, there will be an official dinner during which we are going to award the kleist award to the osce. this year the award will be accepted by the current osce official consisting of switzerland 2014, serbia 2015, and the federal republic of germany 2016. and i would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the
awardees even now before the official event. so the osce deserves to be appreciated, deserves your recognition. thank you very much to taking this issue up and your speech, too. this leads me to the questions. i would be grateful if you were to introduce yourself briefly. i am familiar with most of you, but i don't know all of you. who is going to start? >> thank you very much. given the war in ukraine given the apparently limited results of your determined diplomatic efforts, will germany suggest to increase european and international support to ukraine? thank you very much.
>> well, i think that one can always do more in different shapes and forms. right now ukraine is not only involved in a very difficult military conflict, but we also have to keep an eye on the economic stability of ukraine. and this is why right now there are very ambitious negotiations going on with the i.m.f., for example. the question is, can europe help and in which way can it help to preserve the stability and what can others do to preserve the stability of the country, and one part of this question, do we actually stand by our values will hinge to what extent we're ready and willing to give this kind of economic support because we all know democracies can only -- a
democracy actually has a lot to do with values, but also, their strengths also rest on people actually enjoying a certain quality of life. and obviously on the experience that when you do more when you work harder, you will be able to enjoy certain material benefits. and that is a very difficult task we've not yet been fully solving. >> stephen cornelius. madam chancellor which guarantees do you have? which guarantees do you expect that a potential agreement on a cease-fire will now not be treated as the minsk agreement or geneva agreement in the future? >> there are no theoretical guarantees to this. only the experience that what we're promised is something that will then be implemented. what we've seen after the minsk
agreement is, well, very dissolutionary. and very disappointing. president porishenko has run a political risk by accepting the terms of the minsk memorandum and also a political risk after the rada actually agreed the status and they accepted the minsk agreement and contact line. all of these were not simple things to accept, so there is great disappointment there now. and because obviously one can't be content with being disappointed and have to continue, i would be very careful about saying something about guarantees because guarantee, well, that depends on you and your partner entering into some kind of binding agreement and so far
the experience has not been a good one. the answer to this cannot be, you don't actually enter into any agreements at all. the answer must be to try time and again. at least that's what i think. >> thank you very much, madam chancellor. i'm now looking at my american guests senator cuoco if i'm not mistaken. >> chancellor, thank you for speaking today and for your efforts. i think most in the united states congress would like to see all of us participate in defensively arming ukraine. we believe one of the reasons our administration has held up has been german resistance to that. and i just wondered if you would speak to your sense of why, as we urge ukraine to join us, and as they're under this extreme conflict, we would not at least give them defensive
arms to counter the offenses that russia is taking in europe ukraine. >> well, i'm firmly convinced this conflict cannot be solved with military means. this is why we have decided to concentrate on a diplomatic solution to this crisis and at the same time we were gratified to know that that is truly a transatlantic approach and impose sanctions, sanctions in those areas in russia where we think we are strong and lead in the economic area. i understand your viewpoint and also the discussion that's going on, but the progress that
ukraine needs cannot be achieved by more weapons. i have great doubts about the validity at this point. that's all i can say to this. if we say it is correct military means cannot solve this conflict and we think we ought to concentrate on the other options there are already a lot of weapons there on the ground, and so far that has not led to a -- with any chance to solve this conflict by military means. [applause] >> the gentleman the a the very back unfortunately, i cannot really make you out because of the light. >> christian berg from the peace institute, oslo. chancellor, you rightly pointed
out the efforts in afghanistan have greatly improved the life of many afghans and also of their sanctuary there. i have a question, what are the implicit consumptions behind that? what is al qaeda's success or the success of transnational terrorism overall dependent on the african sanctuary, or have they in some ways simply contributed to metamorphosis of the phenomenon? the second assumption one could question is, although rightly, the situation in afghanistan is improved in many ways, have the efforts to a sustainable transformation to the conflict dynamics there in other words, would we reasonably expect to see a stable afghanistan in a stable region looking forward? i'm asking those questions because i'd like to challenge you to reflect a little bit on what the experiences from
afghanistan mean for the current efforts taken to address i.s. and by extension, transnational terrorism in general? thank you. >> well, i think that it was very clear that when the mission in afghanistan started as a consequence of 9/11, that afghanistan actually commuted -- constituted a threat to the world, a threat that transcended the borders of the country itself so the collective decision to intervene was a correct one, was necessary. one shouldn't forget that actually one started before 9/11 to fight against the training camps of al qaeda in afghanistan from outside and
that failed so it was a necessary decision. but in hindsight i would say due to the experience i made in the meantime, i think some would change our per session, -- perception, this mission claimed far more lives in the united states and have paid a very heavy price indeed. and it took much longer than we thought in the beginning. so there's one thing we should avoid doing, namely to return our eyes from afghanistan and no longer look at it and sort of quite publicly talked about the generational task. obviously our challenges change but we should not lose sight of afghanistan because then the probability that it fails is very high. and because these processes are not merely military processes that are unfolding there on the
ground, and of long-standing and take a long time and depend on a the lo of parameters, for example, that the neighborhood develops well, just to mention pakistan in this context. and i want to remind you about the conference and held with the best intentions. but the vision we had at the time of building up a society there along the lines of what we have in europe, abiding by a democratic principle and a parliamentary order and the whole thing works as it works in europe this will not happen. we have to look at the cultural ways of the country and have to become and know so much about the foreign civilization and about the mechanism and operations of those countries.
i am very much for human rights, don't misunderstand me. but sometimes as european we conclude free trade agreement with african partners and demand the way they treat, for example, homosexuals in the same way that we have in german law, i think we forget that for example, in 1960, there was still a law in place here where, for example, the husbands have to give permission to his wife to go out and work. and it's not as if this was a hundred years ago. now all of a sudden we've achieved this. we act as if the whole world has to follow the way we and our experience overnight. so we have to be careful. this doesn't mean, don't let me be misunder stewed zoont mean i'm not for respect for human rights but respect for human rights lasted from 190, from the founding of the federal republic of germany all the way then to today, has undergone a
lot of changes. now, the conclusion of our mission in afghanistan that doesn't mean al qaeda is all of a sudden gone and they are no longer terrorists. actually the terrorism challenge has increased in scope and nature. think of boka haram and now there are alliances, countries that actually combat these terrorists that have grown in this particular part of the world. and i have to thank the united states of america time and again that have always tried to include our partners in these endeavors and i think it is strengthening our efforts and in africa, too, let's just look at somalia for example, something we've been working ever since the 1990's. the sudan. we will not be able to solve the problems in africa if we do not empower the africans and
render them capable of solving their problems on their own and why it's so important to strengthen the a.u. and so important to set up training missions there and why it's so important to stand up for good governments. because no matter what we do, in times of the international, also the african civil societies, we'll expect the people who rule them to be more transparent in the way that they govern. and if they don't do this, we can build up something. so the minute we turn our eye somebody is going to take the whole sector out. we as western partners won't be able to solve these problems.
>> i will be brief. i'm concerned because there are many speakers who have yet to be given the floor yet. that's true. but i can even give you an answer in one sentence only and would be even longer. i believe we're no longer able to accept any other questions. i would like to take advantage of the last 15 minutes remaining. to deal with the questions that have been handed to me previously. the next speaker is mrs. elizabeth segu from paris, the chairperson of the foreign affairs committee in the french national assembly and the foreign minister of justice. >> thank you very much, madam
chancellor and the efforts you've undertaken in ukraine and thank you also very much for announcing that you are not going to give up your efforts in cooperation with the french president. we've all understood a lot of work still remains to be done. i'd like to ask a question regarding the last remarks you made about the security on the african continent. it is true that a comprehensive approach is needed consisting of good governance, the fight against corruption, respect for the principle of the rule of law. this is an indispensable basis for more security in this part of the world. at the same time, it is also, too, that we also are confronted with urgent situations where military intervention is needed. france has intervened for example, and we've seen good results. and afterwards a political agreement was signed, and germany has also made a
substantial contribution towards this. you have just said that when it comes to the fight against boka haram and other terrorist organizations, you'd like to keep up the german contributions. unfortunately, there now seems to be a connection between these individual terrorist organizations and groups. all of them have been cause to elect muslim principles. in the french national assembly we share your joint approach to the ukraine crisis, but in france, there has always been a demand, a call for more support, not only by germany but also by other european countries. france has been very active on the african continent. we've been very much engaged.
it is right that the european union has now finally decided to set up a nato response force, a response force so maybe you could inform us about your intentions and do you intend to be more engaged particularly in those countries? >> well, over the past few years, i think we have actually quite rapidly stepped up our engagement in africa if you compare it to the way we've done business before. france has, in many ways, a much closer relationship with a number of african states. yesterday, for example, the french president received the fangaphone countries of africas and if you remember, many french nationals live in those african countries. it's a link of a quite different quality, and the way you can actually act against in the background in a relative robust way, to put it that way.
for example a president actually came into office who actually had won the election as a consequence but such a robust kind of action will not be possible for germany in the foreseeable future. but we are very glad to have france as a valued partner. for example we were in congo helping to prepare for the election. and i think we will actually enhance our engagement there. i had a talk recently with president of ghana the president, i'm sorry, i hope i'm close to his name. we talked about the fight against boka hara manned here the african union wished to have its own intervention force and maybe we as europeans can give them the necessary financing and funding. but i think it's a good thing and correct for the africans to
do this themselves on their own. so i think we will have a very close cooperation the next few years to come between france and germany on all of these issues. but germany will not be able to act in the way france has acted because there's a different background to it. >> thank you very much, madam chancellor. >> let me add one sentence perhaps. germany quite often is criticized for being actually among the speediest, among the most quickly to react. and it's true. we have first our parliament that takes its time to discuss matters, and we have the decisionmaking process. but let us not forget, ear also in on it for the duration. for example, we still have 800 forces in kosovo and also in the western balkans, we are very active in afghanistan and
we will see we will stay in afghanistan as long as is needed. so if you need somebody in place, then we can be counted on. [applause] >> well, this was a question from paris. the next question comes from london. michael riskin. he used to be the secretary of state for defense and foreign affairs of the united kingdom. >> thank you very much, indeed. chancellor you've said quite correctly it will be a diplomatic solution and not a military solution that will ultimately bring peace to the ukraine. i recall reading once, frederick the great said diplomacy without arms is like music without instruments. what i want to ask you is are we likely to be able to
persuade president putin to come to a political solution, a diplomatic solution as long as he knows that he is in a very strong monopolistic position, that he can, without impunity, provide all the military equipment to the rebels in eastern ukraine with the knowledge that no one will be ensuring the ukrainian government has the military equipment to resist them. how do we persuade, in your view, president putin to discontinue military means? what incentive does he have given the situation that he has that par which we declined to use to help ukraine? >> the problem is that i cannot envisage any situation in which an improved equipment of the ukrainian army will lead to a
situation where president putin is so impressed that he will lose militaryily. i have to put it in such a blunt manner. unless -- no, i don't want to talk about unless. and that's the reality of the day. and i think one has to look reality in the eye. you know, i grew up and as a 7-year-old child, i saw the war being erected. no one, although it was a violation of international law believed at the time that one ought to intervene militarily in order to protect the citizens of the g.d.r. and the whole eastern block of the consequences of that, namely to live in lack of freedom for many, many years. and i don't actually mind because it was -- i understand it. it was a realistic assessment that this would not lead to
success, intervening by military means. and this realism still exists in the world today. we have no guarantee that president putin will do what we expect him to do. >> i do think that military means will lead to more victims. [applause] >> i am talking to the ukrainian president all the time. i know that we may be of different opinions here, but militarily, this cannot be won. this is a truth and the community has to come up with something more intelligent. this is why we are important -- this is why it is important that we stand shoulder to shoulder.