- The Washington Times - Friday, January 28, 2005

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, at her second swearing-in ceremony this week, said yesterday that the “absence of terrorism” is not enough to win the war on terror unless it is accompanied by spread of freedom.

With President Bush by her side in the State Department’s formal reception room, Miss Rice said that American diplomacy must be used “to help create a balance of power that favors freedom.”

“We do not simply seek the absence of terrorism,” she said. “We seek a world where the aspirations for freedom of men and women triumph.”

Mr. Bush declared that “freedom is on the march,” citing the recent elections in Afghanistan and the Palestinian territories, as well as tomorrow’s vote in Iraq.

“Widespread hatred and radicalism cannot survive the advent of freedom and self-government,” he said. “Our nation will be more secure, the world will be more peaceful, as freedom advances.”

Miss Rice, who was officially sworn in by White House Chief of Staff Andrew H. Card Jr. in a private ceremony on Wednesday, said it was “more fitting than ever” for the United States to “pursue a foreign policy that is grounded in democratic principles.”

Mr. Bush praised State Department Foreign Service officers and other employees.

“The men and women of the State Department are doing a fine job of working with other nations to build on the momentum of freedom,” the president said. “I know our nation will be really well served when the good folks at the State Department join with Condi Rice to face the many challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.”

The president did not hide his affection for Miss Rice, who, as his chief foreign policy adviser during the 2000 campaign, taught him much of what he knows about international affairs.

“Over the past four years, America has benefited from the wise counsel of Dr. Condoleezza Rice, and our family has been enriched by our friendship with this remarkable person,” Mr. Bush said.

“We love her,” he said. “I don’t know if you’re supposed to say that about the secretary of state.”

Miss Rice said that the president and first lady Laura Bush “have been really a strong support system for me here and good friends.”

She was sworn in yesterday by Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Miss Rice’s uncle Alto Ray and two aunts, Genoa McPhatter and Mattie Bonds, held the Bible.

Miss Rice, who served as Mr. Bush’s national security adviser in the first term, is scheduled to leave on her first foreign trip next week to Europe and the Middle East.

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