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Nato Rallies Around United States Effort to Combat Terrorism

Aired September 17, 2001 - 16:00   ET


ANNOUNCER: In business suits and rescue gear, New Yorkers open a new work week, a new beginning in they city's devastated financial district, clinging to flags and clinging to hope.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I come here every day. I'm filled with optimism that I am (UNINTELLIGIBLE) my brother Tommy alive.


ANNOUNCER: In Washington, the commander-in-chief. He's laying the groundwork for America's new war against terrorism and issues a warning to prime suspect, Osama bin Laden.


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There's an old poster out west, as I recall, that said, "Wanted, Dead or Alive."


JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Judy Woodruff in Washington. And I'm having a difficult time reading our script right here. But I want to say that despite the ashes, despite the wreckage, despite all the terrible things that have come as a result of what has happened -- I'm sorry I'm just going to need just a second here. Thank you. Please bear with me.

We had some sirens here in Washington. And we've had to scramble to get ourselves organized. We've been seeing more activity and determination today at the very places where those terrorists struck this country six days ago.

Here in Washington with a torn and charred Pentagon planning for retaliatory strikes goes on. Earlier President Bush was there for a briefing on the call up of military reservists. And he used stronger language than ever to put suspected terrorist Osama bin Laden on notice.

In New York, emergency crews are pressing on with their rescue and recovery mission at the ruins of the World Trade Center. Even as many workers in the financial district start heading home after their first day back on the job since Tuesday's terror -- Joie. JOIE CHEN, CNN ANCHOR: From CNN Center in Atlanta, I'm Joie Hen. Now we want to take a look at what else is happening.

In America's new war on terrorism, Afghanistan's supreme leader says that Islamic clerics will meet tomorrow to decide whether to hand over suspected terrorist Osama bin Laden. Pakistani officials have warned Afghanistan's Taliban rulers to produce Bin Laden, or face U.S. attack. Secretary of State Colin Power says that the Bush administration is more convinced than ever that Bin Laden is the prime suspect in last week's attacks on New York and Washington.


COLIN POWELL, SECRETARY OF STATE: It is becoming clear with each passing hour, with each passing day, that as the Al-Quad network is the prime suspect as the president has said. And all roads lead to the leader of that organization, Osama bin Laden, and his location in Afghanistan.


CHEN: Also today, Attorney General John Ashcroft says numerous federal agents will be flying on commercial airlines to help guard against new acts of terrorism. Ashcroft says there is a continuing threat, because associates of the hijackers who carried out Tuesday's attacks may still be in the country. At least four material witnesses now are in FBI custody, in the ongoing investigation of the attacks against the United States -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: President Bush today visiting a Muslim mosque here in Washington. While he was there, he had something to say. And let's listen to his words right now.


GEORGE BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: ... folks standing with me, the American people were appalled and outraged at last Tuesday's attacks, and so were Muslims all across the world.

Both Americans, our Muslim friends and citizens, taxpaying citizens, and Muslims in nations were just appalled and could not believe what we saw on our TV screens. These acts of violence against innocents violate the fundamental tenets of the Islamic faith, and it's important for my fellow Americans to understand that.

The English translation is not as eloquent as the original Arabic, but let me quote from the Koran itself. "In the long run, evil in the extreme will be the end of those who do evil, for that they rejected the signs of Allah and held them up to ridicule."

The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam. That's not what Islam is all about. Islam is peace. These terrorists don't represent peace, they represent evil and war.

When we think of Islam, we think of a faith that brings comfort to a billion people around the world. Billions of people find comfort and solace and peace. And that's made brothers and sisters out of every race, out of every race.

America counts millions of Muslims amongst our citizens, and Muslims make an incredibly valuable contribution to our country.

The Muslims are doctors, lawyers, law professors, members of the military, entrepreneurs, shopkeepers, moms and dads, and they need to be treated with respect.

In our anger and emotion our fellow Americans must treat each other with respect. Women who cover their heads in this country must feel comfortable going outside their homes. Moms who wear covering must not be intimidated in America. That's not the America I know; that's not the America I value.

I've been told that some fear to leave; some don't want to go shopping for their families; some don't want to go about their ordinary daily routines because, by wearing cover, they're afraid they'll be intimidated. That should not and that will not stand in America.

Those who feel like they can intimidate our fellow citizens to take out their anger don't represent the best of America. They represent the worst of humankind. And they should be ashamed of that kind of behavior.

And it's a great country; it's a great country because share the same values of respect and dignity and human worth. And it is my honor to be meeting with leaders who feel just the same way I do. They are outraged, they're sad. They love America just as much as I do.

And I want to thank you all for giving me a chance to come by, and may God bless us all. Thank you.

WOODRUFF: President Bush speaking at the Islamic Center here in Washington just a short time ago today, underlining two messages that Arab Americans should not be targeted just case of the source of last Tuesday's terrorism, but also underlining how important it is to go after the people who are responsible for what happened last week.

White House correspondent John King joins us now.

John, the president seems to be coming back again and again to these themes that he's been stressing this the last couple of days.

JOHN KING, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Judy, almost by the hour, we see the presidentident dealing with a different challenge. Many challenges confront him in the wake of these terrorist attacks.

There, you saw the president urging Americans to show tolerance to not tolerate in any way, an anti-Arab backlash. That, in the last hour, in this hour, the president sitting down with his senior economic advisers here at the White House to discuss the activity on Wall Street today. Also to discuss just how far the administration is willing to go, as Congress considers multi billion dollar bailout of the airline industry. So the economy the president's focus at this hour. Earlier in the day, his focus was on the military planning. Mr. Bush went across the Potomac River to Pentagon, some symbolism there.

He wanted to show that military planning continues at the Pentagon despite the devastation and mourning there. Mr. Bush shaking hands with troops here, members of the armed services just before this session here in the halls of the Pentagon, he met in the conference room of the Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

That briefing was about the call up of the reservists, 35,000 members reserve and the National Guard about to be called up. Almost all of them, if not all of them, for duty here in the United States. But in that session, Mr. Bush took some questions from reporters, talking very tough. He identified Mr. Osama bin Laden as the prime suspect. And when asked if he wanted Mr. Osama bin Laden dead or alive, very tough words from the president.


BUSH: Osama bin Laden is just one person. He is representative of networks of people, who absolutely have made their cause to defeat the freedoms that we understand. And we will not allow him to do so.

QUESTION: Mr. President, do you want Osama bin Laden dead?

BUSH: I want justice. And there's an old poster out West, as I recall, that said, "Wanted dead or alive."


KING: An echo of that tough talk just a bit after the president spoke there at the Pentagon, at the White House briefing. The press secretary Ari Fleischer was asked about just what the president meant, and perhaps did this mean the president was going to waive that policy that dates back to the Ford administration, forbidding the United States government from sponsoring assassinations. Mr. Fleischer said, no, that the policy on assassinations against assassinations remain in effect, but he pointedly noted, Judy, that there are exceptions.


ARI FLEISCHER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: This is a legal matter. And I'm sure the lawyers will have more to say if they want to, but that's the answer, Ron. The executive order does not limit the United States' ability to act in self-defense.

QUESTION: Then is going after Osama bin Laden an act of self- defense?

FLEISCHER: I'm not going to define all the steps that may or may not be taken.


KING: Now as the military planning continues, the diplomatic effort as well, U.S. officials telling CNN they are receiving intelligence information on the Bin Laden organization from Russia, from Pakistan, from India, as well. The president's diplomatic outreach continues. We're told in the past 24 hours, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have promised to sever ties with the Taliban in Afghanistan.

And as the president tries to build international support for military action and for what he calls "a sustained war on terrorism," the White House announcing today, the French President Jacques Chirac will be here tomorrow for consultations with the president followed by the Prime Minister of Great Britain, Tony Blair. He will be here in Washington on Thursday -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: All right, John King at the White House. Movement on many diplomatic fronts.

And speaking of that, now let's get the latest on the evident ultimatum presented to Afghanistan and whether Osama bin Laden may lose his safe harbor there. CNN's Nic Robertson joins us by videophone from Kandahar, Afghanistan.

Nic, if you would, bring us up-to-date on that ultimatum, what it consists of.

NIC ROBERSTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, that ultimatum essentially telling the Taliban leadership that they need to hand over Osama bin Laden or face the consequences delivered by two senior Pakistani diplomats, who have very strong connections with the Taliban already.

One of them, former ambassador to Afghanistan from Pakistan. The other the head of Pakistan's intelligence services. Both diplomats, who have had many dealings with the Taliban in the past, and certainly will know many of the leaders, and in particular will know the foreign minister who they met with today.

They also met with their supreme spiritual leader. Mohammed Omar, telling him essentially that he has a very short time to make a decision, and that it is his responsibility to do that quickly.

Now the Taliban characterized these meetings, saying that they've heard it all before, but they were going to give it due consideration. And it was following these meetings that Mullah Omar announced a meeting of 600 clerics in Kabul.

The focus will shift 300 miles north of here to the capitol, Kabul. Those clerics will meet. We understand the Pakistani diplomats will also be in Kabul tomorrow, that's Tuesday, monitoring events. The clerics could reach a decision fairly quickly. It's not clear if they will at this stage, but certainly any decision they reach would go back to Omar again, the supreme spiritual leader of Taliban. And if he so chooses, he could choose to listen to it, but he also chose choose to overrule it if he decided -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: Nic, wouldn't it represent a major shift in policy if Afghanistan were to agree to tell Osama bin Laden and his people to leave after their posture all along until now has been that he's not responsible for these sorts of things?

ROBERTSON: Oh, it would be a complete 180 degree turn. They would be unprecedented in Taliban thinking. Generally when the Taliban in recent times have come up against the world, essentially also on Osama bin Laden facing United Nations sanctions two years ago, they said no.

When the Tailban wanting to blow up the ancient historic Buddhists here, carved into some cliff faces, the international community said. "No, don't do it." The Taliban went ahead and did it.

This Taliban have generally stood by everything that they've decided to do in the past. And certainly, the public position that they're putting forward at this time is that Osama bin Laden is an honored guest. He's a guest that they're putting up in Afghanistan because he sought refuge here in 1996, and because he'd helped them during the Jihad year, trying to fight off the Soviet occupation in the 1980s.

There's no reason to believe that they'll change their opinion at this stage certainly from the public statements we've been hearing.

ROBERTSON: So if they were to reverse that decision, that would be a major reversal, not only of this decision, but of the Taliban turning decision under pressure from the international community on any major issue. They just have not done this type of thing in the past.

WOODRUFF: All right, Nic Robertson, joining us from Kandahar in Afghanistan.

And now to Joie in Atlanta.

CHEN: Judy, as the United States considers its military options, no nation perhaps knows the pitfalls of mounting a military operation in Afghanistan better than does Russia. The former Soviet Union tried without success to subdue Afghanistan for most of a decade. And one veteran of those battles warns that the region and its fighters pose unique challenges.

CNN's Jill Dougherty reports from Moscow.


JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Here, more than 20 years ago, in the treacherous mountains of Afghanistan, Leo Korolkov fought a war like no other. His assignment was to train Soviet special operations commandos, similar to America's Delta Force.

LEO KOROLKOV, FORMER RUSSIA SPECIAL SERVICES (through translator): Modern weapons, rockets, laser-guided missiles, they're useless against these mountains.

DOUGHERTY: Leo was there when Soviet troops moved into Afghanistan. And he was there when they left, after a decade of fighting and 15,000 dead. KOROLKOV (through translator): I feel sorry for the people who are going to be thrown into those deserted mountainous regions where the enemy knows every single rock, every cave. No maps, no computer training can prepare you for it.

DOUGHERTY: As for finding Osama bin Laden, Korolkov says there are a million places he could hide, just like the Mujahadeen he and his men tried to find during their war. Diversionary tactics, terror, suicide attacks were the way the enemy achieved his aims.

Leo says he saw Afghan fighters shot to ribbons, still clutching their weapons and firing until their last breath. Many of them, he says, used drugs before launching operations. But they were, he says, the most effective force he has ever seen, honed on 20 years of continual war.

They were also well-supplied, with stinger missiles provided by the Soviet Union's Cold War foe, the United States. Russia expected to stay a few months in Afghanistan. It ended up fighting for 10 years. It was a searing lesson, Leo says, that scarred Russia just as Vietnam tore at the soul of America. "These fighters can bring any country," he says, "even a superpower, be it Russia, the United States or Europe, to the brink of catastrophe."

Jill Dougherty, CNN, Moscow.


CHEN: We will update our viewers on the latest on the investigation into Tuesday's attacks in just a moment, including new information from the Justice department and the FBI. Stay with us.


WOODRUFF: We have some new developments to tell you about in the criminal investigations underway into Tuesday's attacks.

And for the latest, we're joined by CNN justice correspondent Kelli Arena here in Washington -- Kelli.


To date, the FBI has received more than 50,000 leads. And a manhunt continues for what is now 185 people that the FBI has identified as individuals who may have information about last Tuesday's terrorist attacks. There are 49 people in INS custody and at least four people are in FBI custody in New York as material witnesses.

One of those is Zacarias Moussaoui, who was arrested in Minnesota in August before the terrorist attacks, but who has been linked to several flight schools. Sources say that he could be an important link in connecting some of the threads in this investigation.

Now some in custody are cooperating. And some absolutely refused to. The FBI is also asking the American public for help. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERT MUELLER, FBI DIRECTOR: We are actively seeking and recruiting English-speaking individuals with professional level proficiency in Arabic and Farsi. Those who would wish to join this program must be American citizens who have been permanent residents of the United States for at least three of the last five years.


ARENA: The FBI continues to Scour the nation's flight Schools for more clues, as Evidence builds that members of the terrorist network Attended or visited various Schools around the country. Meanwhile, investigators continue to search several homes, most recently, in the Maryland area, looking for possible accomplices.

The Attorney General again saying there is information that more people involved in the plot to pull off Tuesday's attacks remain in the U.S. He also reiterated his plan to present a package to Congress to reform wiretap, money laundering and immigration laws, and he's proposing stiffer penalties for anyone suspected of harboring someone under suspicion of terrorism -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: Kelli, on a separate but related track, the FBI director and the attorney general talked about their concern about a rash of hate crimes in the united states alleged hate crimes.

ARENA: That's right. The FBI has opened as many as 40 investigations following up complaints of arson and threatening communications, assaults, and the FBI director today said that they do have information that there may have possibly been two ethnically motivated murders.

FBI is also looking into those. The FBI director and Attorney General Ashcroft have urged all Americans not to racially profile or be violent against any Arab Americans. What this does is it diverts resources that could be going into the investigation and trying to work the crime scenes in New York and Washington. And instead they are being diverted elsewhere. So this, they say, is not the time. It's never the time, but this is an especially sensitive time where they really need manpower.

WOODRUFF: All right. Kelli Arena and related to that, President Bush visiting a Mosque here in Washington, the Islamic Center. Back to Atlanta and Joie.

CHEN: Judy, that's the latest developments on the investigation. Our viewers are also very terested in what is happening at ground zero in Lower Manhattan. Officers there directing search-dog units tell CNN that they are beginning to find more bodies beneath the rubble, but rescuers say they will keep searching for survivors as long as there is hope. CNN's Gary Tuchman is keeping an eye on what is still called a search-and-rescue operation -- Gary.

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Joie. When it comes to survivors, there has been absolutely no good news since early Wednesday morning. More than five days have gone by since anyone was pulled alive from the rubble. And sadly enought, many of the searchers we have talked to say they certainly believe there is potential for people to still be alive underground but they do not think for the most part they will be able to get to the areas where they are trapped.

Some of the underground has been explored but some areas are too dangerous for the rescuers to go to. And that is a sad fact. Earlier today the Mayor of New York City Rudy Giuliani, the Governor George Pataki and the former President of United States Bill Clinton toured ground zero. Mr. Clinton has an office here in New York City in Harlem and now lives in the suburbs with his wife, the junior senator from New York, they live in Chapaqau, New York.

The Mayor and Governor have been here each and every day since this terrible tragedy on Tuesday. A shot time ago we talked with the police officer for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey by the name of Antonio Scanella. He's in a squad of nine people. Six of his comrades are missing. There are three of them left. He has been involved in searching underground. We asked him specifically about what the potential is to find survivors underground.


(voice-over): Have you have been able to explore all the levels below the World Trade Center?


TUCHMAN: Why is that?

SCANELLA: Rubble. Different areas are still unstable. We try to gain access to one entry and it will be collapsed, and try a different angle and we can't get in and there is still instability and guys, to be honest with you, are worried.

TUCHMAN: So there is fear that if you try to get to some of those Lower levels that it will collapse and more people could be killed?



TUCHMAN: Sergeant Scanella says he keeps a stiff upper lip while he's working here and he's been here each and every day. And then when he gets in his car to go home to New Jersey, that's when he starts to cry.

Throughout New York City we see these haunting images of the victims on homemade posters posted on walls and on fences. I want to show you a couple of them. There are literally thousands of these. This is one that says, "did you see her in the stairwell? Please call. Daria Lynn, 2 World Trade Center, 92nd floor, 5 ft. 3 inches, 31 years old." And this one, "Missing: Tony Savas, Port Authority employee, 72 years old, 5 feet 10, 190 pounds, thinning gray-white hair." And then at the bottom it says, "we love you."

I have also seen a couple that children put up for their father. And this I thought was noteworthy. It had his weight and his hair color and his eye color and it said 5 foot 9, and that was crossed out, and they wrote on there five foot 11 on a couple of the posters. And I started thinking, could that possibly make any difference in the search for this man, updating his height. And then I Thought would we do any less if it was our father? Joie, back to you.

CHEN: Gary, the duty is very hard for all those involved in the long wait. Gary Tuchman at the scene of ground zero in Lower Manhattan. Thanks very much.

Well, we have talked about the numbers at the closing bell on Wall Street. The Dow down 685 and Nasdaq down 115. Sharp numbers down, as expected by many observers, and particularly in the airline sector. Let's hear what individual investors away from Wall Street were doing today. CNN's Jeff Flock is at a brokerage near Kansas City at this hour -- Jeff.

JEFF FLOCK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Indeed, just on the outskirts, Joie, the Charles Schwab here in Overland Park, Kansas. Speaking of things that people have been checking, take a look here. Somebody had UAL, actually we were calling things up on the screen. This is UAL here.

These machines are where people have been coming in all day checking on things. As you know, we have been traveling across this country for almost a week or so trying to take the pulse of the country. Today our fingers are on the pulse of the market. I'm with a lady who actually brought money into the market today. What were you thinking and why did you do it?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have a lot of confidence in the market and best thing we can do to help the economy is to just stick and see how things go.

FLOCK: Was this a patriotic investment on your part, or was this self-interest, figuring this market is down 600 almost 700 points, there must be some bargains in there?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I had been thinking about it for a while, but I think this did push it to the limit, that it's time to do it and I might as well do it now.

FLOCK: You have no worries?


FLOCK: At least not here. Perhaps you can see this desk over here. This has been very busy today. This is where people come in. Most of the people though, and I want to bring in Kirby Webb who manages this office, have spent this day not doing anything. You almost were surprised that you had people coming in actually opening accounts today.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We really weren't surprised that we were having people open the accounts, but the traffic has been a little more than usual.

FLOCK: Did you have any panickers, people that came in and said, I need to unload?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We really haven't. We kind of expected that. But America is strong. The advice we have been giving clients has been to stick the course and invest for the long term and be diversified.

FLOCK: If somebody comes in and says, I'm In AMR, I'm in UAL, I have money in insurance stock, what were your advice be for somebody like that today and for the rest of this week?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't overreact. I think right now, panic selling is not the best thing for investors to be doing.

FLOCK: In terms of -- any bargains out there? Is this a time to buy? Because obviously, even Blue Chip stocks have lost ground today.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I believe now is the time to be buying. We will just have to wait and see what course the market takes from here.

FLOCK: Kirby Webb, appreciate it. Thanks very much. We appreciate that today. Of course we will, Joie, continue our trek throughout this country for the foreseeable future keeping an eye both on the market as well as the rest of it.

CHEN: CNN's Jeff Flock down at Overland Park in Kansas.

In just about two and a half-hours, Major League Baseball will be the first of the major sports to resume its regular schedule. Six games will be played tonight, and all 30 teams will be in action by tomorrow. As the teams return to the field, there will be some noticeable changes: The US flag has been added to all player caps and uniforms. The caps you see here are being sewn by New Era, baseball's official supplier.

Also, security will be tightened at all stadiums. And in many cities, the singing of "God Bless America" will replace "Take Me Out to the Ball game" during the traditional seventh inning stretch.

Joining us at this hour from New York, a native New Yorker, Jeff Greenfield. Jeff, I'm noting that just a few moments ago we heard from Gary Tuchman talking about the persistence of hope. And I think about those of you who are native New Yorkers. You know, we do, on the outside view you as a pretty tough lot. And it is perhaps a city that is emotionally well-equipped to cope with this incomprehensible business.

JEFF GREENFIELD, SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes Joie. I don't know that any city, any culture can comprehend fully with this, but I think you've put your finger on something. We New Yorkers do know that we are often looked at as a pretty tough if not outrightly rude crowd.

There is an old joke about New York that I'm going to have to sanitize. It's about a visitor standing in Midtown looking around, and finally saying, excuse me, could you tell me what time it is, or should I just go bleep myself? That's a joke. But let me tell you a real sign that I saw just today walking through the city, which I did this morning.

You know how in parks, there are a lot of signs saying, please curb your dog, and then they get tougher and they say, curb your dog, it's the law. At Theodore Roosevelt Park by the Museum of Natural History, and I am quoting here, there is a sign that says "if you are not responsible enough to clean up after your dog, you don't deserve to own one." That is a New York kind of sign.

And I think that very in-your-face attitude that so has annoyed many of our politer citizens of the United States over the years, is in-fact, giving us some of that ability and particularly the people at ground zero, particularly the people involved in rescue and caring for those who have lost their loved ones, giving them some sense of, by God, nobody is going to do this to us. We're going to stand up and do something about it. You see of course, most dramatically in our Mayor.

CHEN: I also think, I remember the first time I went to New York as a tourist, I was warned as a tourist, you should not look up, because it just makes you look like a tourist. If you are on the streets of New York City, and you are looking up, you just look like a fool. New Yorkers are the people who have to stride ahead as the mayor has done.

GREENFIELD: Well, I have often said when I give talks, that I say to my audience, good morning, or as you say in the south, how y'all doing, or as we like to say in New York, hey, what are you looking at?

But there is another part of this that I think is very important, and you really did see this on display -- and I am again using the mayor as an emblem -- Mayor Giuliani, for eight years, has had a particularly kind of in your face attitude toward his critics. But you also saw in him, not only that kind of grit, which has I think fairly been compared to Churchill during the blitz.

You also saw an enormous amount of tenderness. Rudy Giuliani, the firefighters, the police officers, people we think as the toughest kinds of New Yorkers, have been weeping openly at the loss they have suffered during the promotion ceremony for the fire department. And you also have that blend of toughness, sentimentality and humor, that incredible funeral for Father Michael Judge, the fire department chaplain, where in the homily, the priest was actually making light of Father Judge's habit of putting hands to bless even on people that didn't want it, a classical New York moment.

And then just today, the front pages of our tabloids have this picture of Rudy Giuliani in a tuxedo walking a bride down the aisle at her wedding. Her brother was a firefighter who had died not Tuesday, but in an earlier disaster, much less obviously, and she had said I have no one to give me away. And Giuliani said, I will do it.

So you get this blend of standing up, being tough, knowing when to cry, knowing when to talk back. I really do think it has made a difference in this shattered city.

CHEN: Understanding the people of New York, a new Yorker himself, Jeff Greenfield for us. Thanks very much, Jeff -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: Whether it is because New Yorkers are leading the way or whatever, Americans are rallying behind the war against terrorism. We've got the latest poll numbers for you when we come back.


WOODRUFF: In the new war against terrorism, as in any war, public support may be crucial in determining how hard and how long Americans will fight. Our senior political analyst Bill Schneider is here with the latest poll numbers. Bill, first of all, how unified are Americans right now in this war?

BILL SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Judy it is impressive by any standard. Here is one: 86 Percent of Americans approve of the job President Bush is doing. And in fact, nearly 80 percent of Democrats agree. Americans are putting partisanship aside. In fact, last week, we found that Congress's job rating nearly equaled the president -- Congress -- Americans love to hate Congress. But Congress is a national symbol, just like the President.

WOODRUFF: All right, what about military options? How united are Americans when it comes to that question?

SCHNEIDER: That is impressive as well. Support for military action right now is nearly unanimous. And we find Americans endorsing hawkish sentiments that they rarely endorse. Two-thirds or more support military action, even if it means sending in American ground troops, or if Americans get killed. Even if we have to reinstate the draft, or if the war goes on for months or even years.

And the public is willing to make sacrifices. Around 80 percent say that they would support military action even if taxes were raised, even if there were gasoline shortages, or a prolonged recession or less money for education or Social Security. This is an emergency. Open the lockbox.

WOODRUFF: Bill, is there any sign, any evidence of disunity out there?

SCHNEIDER: There is some and it is over the most basic issue of all, namely, what should our war objective be. A majority, but only a bare majority, 52 percent, wants the United States to mount a long- term war to eliminate terrorist groups worldwide.

A substantial minority, 36 percent, believe our warring should be more limited, to find and punish the perpetrators of last week's attacks. Plus, 6 percent, who don't want United States to take any military action at all. That adds up to more than 40 percent not sold on the administration's larger war objective. Some people on the left are rallying around a banner that I saw on a Washington Mall that said "Justice, not Revenge."

When we capture Osama bin Laden and disable his network, the question is, will Americans be willing to continue this war? Last weekend 62 percent of Americans told us they wanted Congress to declare war. Then we asked them, against whom, and two-thirds said they didn't know. Our war objective is a little unclear and it is potentially a source of division in the country.

WOODRUFF: Fascinating. Bill Schneider, thanks very much -- Joie.

CHEN: Judy, as the United States moves toward a possible military response to the terrorist attack, a key issue will be coalition building. NATO allies are weighing the potential gains of aiding in the effort, against risks to their own stability and to their own interests. CNN's Robin Oakley reports From London.


ROBIN OAKLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The terrorist assault on America was an attack on all of them, the other 18 NATO nations declared. But U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair is the only other leader echoing president George w. Bush in saying they're fighting a war against terrorism. So, will America get the backing that's needed to build a coalition?

GEOFF HOON, BRITISH DEFENSE SECRETARY: Ultimately it is the United States that has suffered the most as a result of this appalling incident. On the other hand, clearly as the Prime Minister has made clear, a large number of UK citizens have lost their lives and indeed many, many other countries are affected. It's important in that longer term response to international terrorism, that we build the widest possible coalition. That is what we are trying to do.

OAKLEY: So, is it bad news for the anti terrorist battle, that as Italy's prime Minister Berlusconi visited Mr. Blair, his defense minister was saying no Italian troops would be committed? Even worse that Germany's president has said the same? And that despite president Chirac's strong affirmation of support, there have been doubting noises in France too. Not really, say the military experts.

ANDREW BROOKES, INST. OF STRATEGIC STUDIES: You don't need a massive military force to do what they're talking about doing. But you do need a massive political will in the way of international support, legal underpinnings, media support, basing. All the infrastructure things depend on political cohesion. In the old days, you had a mass force and went in. Now, you almost need a small force, but a very big mass of political support from behind.

OAKLEY (on camera): If the first action comes in Afghanistan, then probably only the British and the French among NATO forces have the clout to make a meaningful military contribution. But how will the others pull together in the longer war against terrorist networks, funds and communications will matter just as much. In this war, it seems, big politics will be as important as big guns. Robin Oakley, CNN, London.


CHEN: Away from the highest echelons of government to a more personal level, there are many people around the globe who continue to mourn, along with America. Flowers and candles are piling up outside the US Embassy in London. Among those stopping by to pay their respects: the Duke And Duchess of York.

And down under...


That is the Australian Parliament holding a memorial service today for the victims of the attack on The United States. And, lawmakers endorsed the Australian government's commitment to back any US-led retaliation. Now to Judy.

WOODRUFF: Joie and I will be right back with more on America's new war.


WOODRUFF: As we look at the faces of just some of those that are missing, as we have been reporting, these are difficult times for the airline industry, with confirmed layoffs on the way at Continental, American and US Airways.

And according to CNN sources, at Northwest Airlines as well. It is believed that there will be an unspecified number of layoffs at Northwest announced this Thursday. But United and American, the two carriers whose planes were hijacked, Tuesday's tragedies hit especially hard. CNN's Patty Davis reports on one American Airlines employee who has decided now is the time to rally around the flag.


PATTY DAVIS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As the sun rose over Dulles Airport over Washington, American Airlines first Officer Rich Williams came to work carrying the flag.

RICH WILLIAMS. AMERICAN AIRLINES: Ladies and gentlemen, I'd just like to say that this flag is a testimony to not only who we are as a nation and as a people, but who we are at American Airlines. This is our country. These are our aircraft and these are our skies and we are taking them back!

DAVIS: Williams' plan, to hand the flag off to American Airlines flight crews across the country, a symbol of courage in the face of terror.

WILLIAMS: They will fly high on wings like eagles. Folks, where we work from day-to-day only eagles dare, and don't ever dare to come and try and take our country or our airline down ever again. We won't stand for it. Thank you. DAVIS: The hijackings hit American Airlines especially hard. American Flight 77 from Dulles sent crashing into the Pentagon. The other, from Boston, slamming into the World Trade Center. More than 150 passengers and crew killed.

WILLIAMS: It's a great tragic loss, of course, but it was a challenge put our way. It was a statement, a statement to America. And this is a statement right back at them. OK, we are back. We are here.

DAVIS: Here with a message.

WILLIAMS: I have been flying around the system since Thursday. I'm finally going home to my 5-year-old and my 4-year-old, and my wife. And if I didn't think that these skies weren't safe, believe me I wouldn't be here.

DAVIS: Showing the flag, defiant, and bound for home. Patty Davis, CNN, Washington.


WOODRUFF: One bright spot.

Well, as our coverage of America's new war continues, it's clear that nearly one week after the attacks against the United States, emotions still running raw. So many Americans are trying to get perspective and persevere. Some reflections from my former colleague, Bernard Shaw.


BERNARD SHAW, FORMER CNN ANCHOR: These kind of acts can happen anywhere. Other acts, not as horrific as this, have occurred before. And they will continue. Perpetrated by people who believe they can make a point by taking the lives of innocent people. The thing is not to become intimidated by it, the thing is not to become fearful. The thing is to press on, to pursue.



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