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US ambassador William Farish
US ambassador William Farish
BBC BREAKFAST WITH FROST INTERVIEW: US AMBASSADOR WILLIAM FARISH SEPTEMBER 16TH, 2001

Please note "BBC Breakfast with Frost" must be credited if any part of this transcript is used

DAVID FROST:
But we begin with the representative of America here in Britain, the newly arrived Ambassador William Farish, Ambassador good morning.

WILLIAM FARISH:
David, good morning.

DAVID FROST:
What have been your abiding memories of this terrible week?

WILLIAM FARISH:
Well I have many of course, the, the first being the sight of this horrible thing when, when we saw the plane, we saw the first building and then we saw the second plane go in and we knew that it was a, it was a terrorist attack. The second, I would say, would be the incredible outpouring of support that we've gotten, the American people here in, in Britain have gotten from the British people, from the Royal family to the government to the people, it's just been phenomenal and we are very appreciative.

DAVID FROST:
We are, we are closer than perhaps at any time, the two nations?

WILLIAM FARISH:
I would certainly say so, I mean the special relationship the phrase that's oft used has never been more, more of a reality.

DAVID FROST:
And in a sense, because America has never been invaded in quite this way there's a real Blitz spirit in America at this moment, isn't there?

WILLIAM FARISH:
There really is, there really is, I mean I think that it's something similar to Pearl Harbour, we've never, we've never endured the bombs, we've never endured the, the terrorist attacks that have been prominent in Europe and now to get this type of a, of a situation is, has really taken the country by storm and pulled it together.

DAVID FROST:
And in fact, you mentioned Pearl Harbour, I remember there was one Admiral, Japanese Admiral who opposed Pearl Harbour and he said after it, we have woken the sleeping giant, which they had, but perhaps this event has done the same thing in, in terms of terrorism?

WILLIAM FARISH:
Well I think that's true and I was asked the other day, will this pull the United States back within, will they become isolationist with this and my answer is absolutely not. I think the reaction will be, will be America's reaction in Pearl Harbour, it will pull together and it will move forward.

DAVID FROST:
And in fact I mean, now there's been that invasion of, New York and Washington and so on, I guess someone's saying in terms of the military actions that are planned, in the past on occasions Americans have very much resented losing life overseas for issues that they think don't really affect them, but here is a situation where battling overseas really affects them?

WILLIAM FARISH:
Exactly, exactly. Well I mean it really reflects, you know it really affects them and I think that the, the response will be measured, the response will be, will be well thought out, a plan will be conceived that will be supported, I believe, by our allies and by the free world and we will move forward.

DAVID FROST:
That support is very important, isn't it, because it's the dividing line I suppose, first of all you want to track down the perpetrators and so on¿

WILLIAM FARISH:
Exactly.

DAVID FROST:
But, but there may be a, room for retaliation too but not, not an act of revenge because that might alienate people who are on America's side at the moment?

WILLIAM FARISH:
I would say so, but you know I would certainly think so, you know I think that President Bush thought he'd won when he pulled the free world together in the Gulf War, showed that this can be done and I think that something, an atrocity of this nature has already pulled the free world together.

DAVID FROST:
The free world and the world has come forward with their condolences and so on and a few nations¿a few, it's bewildering really anybody who hasn't come forward with their condolences isn't it?

WILLIAM FARISH:
Well it is, I would certainly say so but you know most people have and most countries have and I think the, the President is very gratified.

DAVID FROST:
And have you had a chance to speak to him this week?

WILLIAM FARISH:
I haven't, I, I've left him alone, he's, he's been under a bit of pressure and I, I have spoken to a number of people in the administration though and kept them up to date on the terrific support we've gotten here.

DAVID FROST:
Well you've already caught the British habit beautifully of understatement there when you say the President's been under a bit of pressure, that's, that's English understatement and we thank you for being here this morning.

WILLIAM FARISH:
Thank you very much.

DAVID FROST:
Our thoughts are with your countrymen and countrywomen.

WILLIAM FARISH:
Thank you, thank you.

DAVID FROST:
Our huge thanks to the Ambassador.

END


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