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MORGAN: So what does Egypt's revolution mean for Israel? Paul Wolfowitz was deputy secretary of defense for President George W. Bush and an architect of his Middle East policy. Mr. Wolfowitz, when we see what's going on in Egypt here, we are seeing revolution from the people. What we're not seeing is any American interference here. If anything, we kept out of it in the west. What are your views on that, as somebody who's been involved in very different kinds of regime changes?
PAUL WOLFOWITZ, FORMER DEPUTY SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: I think it was Maha who said earlier the barrier of fear has been broken. I heard another Egyptian use a slightly similar phrase, the wall of fear has come down. And I think it is like the Berlin Wall coming down.
This is a huge epic making event. It's a great day for Egypt. I believe it's a great day for the world. Which doesn't mean nothing could go wrong.
But the Egyptian people have handled themselves in a way so far that is truly commendable. Their belief in freedom, their commitment to freedom, the way in which men and women came together, Muslims and Christians came together, young people and old people came together.
There are huge problems ahead. But by the way, I think Omar Suleiman is clearly a transitional figure. And if this new set of authorities, which is more or less the military, doesn't move quickly to deal with the issues of freedom, to deal with the issues of political prisoners, to set up an election law that gives people time to form parties, but makes it clear there are going to be real elections--I think you'll have people back in Tahrir Square. I think those generals know it.
So I think the momentum for change is large.
MORGAN: When you compare what's happened here to what happened in Iraq, do you not think, with the benefit of hindsight, that the kind of devastation we saw in the aftermath of the Iraq war could possibly have been avoided if we had just waited and encouraged the people of Iraq to do what the people of Egypt have done?
WOLFOWITZ: Piers, you may forget, but exactly 20 years ago, we encouraged the people of Iraq to rise up against Saddam and he slaughtered tens of thousands of them. In 1989, the people of China assembled in Tiananmen square in much the way the Egyptian people did. And the Chinese authorities slaughtered them, not quite as large numbers.
If the regime is sufficiently brutal, unfortunately, this kind of people power doesn't work. You have to give Mubarak and the Egyptian army especially a lot of credit that they weren't willing to shed the blood of their own people.
MORGAN: You are seeing the White House today urging the young in Iran, for example, to perhaps contemplate some mass protests. In Iran, they could come down equally hard and kill lots of people when they do protest. So it seems me there is a change of philosophy amongst the American administration, moving away from steaming in with tanks and soldiers to saying, let's let the people do this.
WOLFOWITZ: Piers, we didn't steam in with tanks and soldiers in order to impose democracy. Actually, going back to 1986, when the U.S. assisted the Philippine people to get rid of their dictator, Ferdinand Marcos, the following year helped the South Koreans get rid of their dictator, encouraged the Taiwanese to establish a democracy after Jon Kin Wo (ph) died--we've been supporting this kind of peaceful democratic change for a long time.
We went to Iraq. We went to Afghanistan because we saw a threat to our security. In Kosovo and Sierra Leone, with the U.K. and other allies, we also removed regimes. When you've done that, you're not about to impose a new dictator. But that doesn't mean you went there to build a democracy.
There's a really--it's easy to confuse the two, but they're very separate. The goal for democracy promotion should not be to send in tanks to do it. It should be to encourage people to take their fate in their own hands. That's what democracy is about.
MORGAN: Paul Wolfowitz, thank you very much for your time.
Paul Wolfowitz is a visiting scholar at AEI.