Skip to main content /transcript




America's New War

Aired September 22, 2001 - 22:00   ET


AARON BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: Last week at this time, we were all still in a state of shock. The nation was in a horrifying version of suspended animation. This Friday we are looking back on a week when America went back to business, though it was anything but business as usual.

President Bush emerged this week as almost an accidental statesman, delivering the speech of a lifetime. He was embraced by his rivals. One editorial quoted Woodrow Wilson. "Politics," it said, "is adjourned."

U.S. forces mobilized for a war where the enemy and the rules of engagement remain impossible to fully assess. The list of victims in New York grew to an unimaginable level, well over 6,000 now missing with little hope of finding anyone alive.

The airlines pleaded for help and got some, after warning that bankruptcy might be unavoidable. 100,000 jobs now gone. Wall Street triumphed by getting back to work on Monday, but stocks still suffered one of their worst weeks ever, the worst week since the Depression.

Well over a trillion dollars in market value erased. That's the equivalent of the entire economy of Afghanistan 50 times over. And right now, an unprecedented Army of star power to mark an unprecedented event. America, a tribute to heroes, a telethon across the airwaves tonight. The networks, usually bitter rivals, coming together, like the politicians in Washington and perhaps like the country itself.

But this new sense of community, if that's what it is, doesn't change come cold hard facts. The Taliban insists it will not turn over Osama Bin Laden until the United States offers up proof of his involvement in Tuesday's terrorist attack.

The U.S. said, in effect, forget it. As the diplomatic battles continue, the President moving quickly to secure a nation that has been shaken to its core. The man tapped to do that, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge.

And that's where we begin tonight, with our senior White House correspondent John King. John, good evening.

JOHN KING, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good evening to you, Aaron. Governor Ridge was a finalist when George W. Bush was looking for a running mate. He said no when President-elect Bush was looking for a Defense Secretary, but he will be joining the Bush Cabinet now with the very difficult mission.

And years of bureaucratic infighting and turf battles, learned the lessons of September 11, try to marshal all the resources of the United States government to prevent anything like that from ever happening again.


KING (voice-over): The man at the head of the pack is the President's choice to lead the war on domestic terrorism. Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge is an ex-Marine, known for a hands-on, but no nonsense, no frills style, a man taking a difficult job at an extraordinarily difficult moment.

TOM RIDGE, GOVERNOR, PENNSYLVANIA: And I'm saddened that this job is even necessary, but it is necessary. And so, I will give it everything I have. The task is enormous.

KING: His official title is Director of Homeland Security, a cabinet level post administration officials say comes with a sweeping mandate.

Improved security around the nation's transportation, food and power systems. And coordinate information now dispersed among 40 federal agencies, including the CIA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Departments of Defense, Energy, Transportation and Justice.

The charge is two pronged, dramatically strengthen the country's defenses against terrorist attacks and develop more detailed plans for responding if there are strikes. Some in Congress have wanted such a post for years. Former Senator Gary Hart recalled the findings of a terrorism report issued two years ago this month.

GARY HART, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Americans will become increasingly vulnerable to a hostile attack on our homeland. And our military superiority will not entirely protect us. Americans will likely die on American soil, possibly in large numbers.

KING: This convinced the President the war on terrorism needed a general of its own.

Ridge is 56-years-old in his second term as governor, after serving 10 years in Congress. He is a decorated Vietnam Veteran and tight not only with the President, but with Secretary of State Colin Powell as well.

JIM STEINBERG, FORMER DEPUTY NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: What you do need is somebody with the clout of the President behind him, focused at the White House who can convene all the relevant parties, see all the connections, make the links. And I think the -- so the basic strategy that they've taken, I think is the right one. And now we'll just have to see whether they can follow through.

KING: Ridge is resigning as governor effective October 5th.


And he will take his new job in an atmosphere of crisis and at a time, in the words of one senior administration official, when there are still people out there "planning terrorist attacks of the United States" -- Aaron.

BROWN: So he goes on the job in a couple of weeks. When does the administration expect this whole cabinet level post is up and running?

KING: Well, he'll be up and running pretty quickly because for months, even before these terrorist attacks, Vice President Dick Cheney had been studying this very issue, what the administration now calls homeland defense. So the Vice President has a series of recommendations already on the table.

There's a study underway, obviously, because of the events of 10 days ago. Governor Ridge will get up and running right away. Of course, many of the solutions he might propose will be long term. One of the first tests will be, can he muscle federal agencies that in years past, have refused to cooperate with one another? Everyone here at the White House says he will have the President's and the Vice President's full backing when he tries.

BROWN: And presumably, John, that's easier to do right now, but over the course of time, these bureaucracies have a way of protecting themselves.

KING: They do. There has been a series of infighting over the years. And just a simple refusal to share information. The CIA operates overseas. It does not share information with the FBI, which operates here domestically.

Federal agents don't share information with state agents. Airports don't share information about security that they don't view as a crime, just a problem with federal agencies. This bureaucratic nightmare, as one senior official called it, no one can say it's directly responsible for what happened 10 days ago, but this administration says now it believes it has a mandate from this tragedy to do something about it.

BROWN: John, thanks. Our senior White House correspondent, John King tonight.

On Wednesday, the United States began a massive buildup of forces in the Middle East. More support now headed that way. It's going to be a very busy weekend for the military and the men and women who cover it.

We go the Pentagon and our military affairs correspondent Jamie Mcintyre. Jamie, good evening to you.

JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Aaron. Well this deployment of U.S. military might is proceeding in a very measured, orderly fashion, almost methodical and under a cloud of almost absolute secrecy. Units that are involved in these deployments are only allowed to acknowledge that they've been deployed and not say where they're going, when they're going, when they will be back.

Among these, B-52's at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana. They have been told that they will be deployed. We have seen them being loaded up on the runway tonight, but still the officials down there won't acknowledge whether the planes that we're watching are planes that are part of the deployment or part of the regular training. They sure look like they're ready to leave tonight though.

A second deployment order is being worked on. It will shortly augment these planes with additional support planes, also U.S. Army troops may be getting orders soon as well. In addition, diplomatic sources tell CNN that a U.S. military-led assessment team will be going to Pakistan, leaving shortly to make an assessment of what kind of military facilities might be available along the border with Afghanistan, that the United States might want to use as staging areas for possible future strikes against targets in Afghanistan.

And again, all of this taking place under unprecedented levels of security. Normally in this kind of deployment for instance during the Persian Gulf War, we might have a chance to talk to more of the troops who with were leaving and ask them about what they think or how they feel about the deployment. They're all being kept away from the press. The Pentagon doesn't want to give any idea to its potential adversaries of what it's up to -- Aaron.

BROWN: Let me try a couple quick things here. Can we tell anything about the battle plan based on the deployments that we know of so far?

MCINTYRE: Well, what we can tell is that clearly, the U.S. military is arranging itself to give President Bush the option to strike against targets in Afghanistan, including perhaps Osama Bin Laden and his organization, perhaps even other targets involving the Taliban. They're simply moving forces forward in what appears to be a strategy of moving everything at once, getting it in place, so that when intelligence comes in and they're able to act on something, they don't have to make any pre-deployments movements that might signal their intention.

So I think that the strategy here is to keep Osama Bin Laden on edge, not knowing if something could happen tomorrow, but willing to exercise a lot of patience if it takes weeks, even months to get an operation that seems to make sense.

BROWN: And I know you and your colleagues have been asking Secretary Rumsfeld this question again and again, if this is a different kind of war, how can the goals be achieved with the same old essentially conventional weapons designed to fight a different war?

MCINTYRE: Well, Rumsfeld keeps trying to -- Secretary Rumsfeld keeps trying to tell us not to think of these in the same way. Despite the fact that some conventional forces are being deployed, they are looking at a whole range of options at attacking terrorism. And they make a point of saying it's not just Osama Bin Laden, not just his network, but other networks, other countries.

I think what we're going to see is a lot of tough talk from the United States, some ultimatums issued, not just to the Taliban but to others. And the real credible threat of military force backing that up. The time and place when the U.S. military might actually act is something that I'm not even sure they've even decided yet.

BROWN: Jamie, thanks. Jamie McIntyre at the Pentagon for us this evening.

It is difficult to admit, but hard to deny, the terrorists certainly accomplished their goal with murderous precision. They took thousands of lives. They have shaken the world's greatest economy. And we got a sense of that this week, just how bad the economic impact may be.

Investors certainly got a look at it. Stocks today plunged yet again. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 140 points, not all that far from falling below 8,000. Nasdaq, S&P down as well. What a week it has been for the Dow. It fell more than 14 percent. That is one of the worst weeks ever. I think it's 1933, we'll double-check that in a second.

All told, 1.4 trillion dollars has been wiped out since the attack. Analyzing all of this, the shock and the anxiety on Wall Street, no easy task.

We turn to CNN's financial news anchor Christine Romans for some help. First of all, they kept the 1933 right.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes it's tough. And you know what? It's also, percentage-wise, the worst week, worse than October 1987, worse than October 1929.

BROWN: It was interesting for me, knowing almost nothing about the market to be honest There were a couple of days. I think Wednesday, maybe it was Tuesday and then again today, where it looked like the market might really collapse on itself. And then it did come back. What do you make of that?

ROMANS: They're telling me that there's bargain hunting in there, but there's a lot of fear. I mean, Wall Street 101 is markets hate uncertainty. And right now, traders tell me there's more uncertainty out there than they've ever seen before, certainly in their careers. And many of them in the careers as well of their mentors and the people who founded their firms. So they're dealing with this uncertainty. What is this new war going to look like? What the economy going to look like? We already knew the economy was rough before September 11th.

Now you've got all these companies coming out and saying they're going to layoff more people. Once they layoff people, people read about it in the newspaper, they get concerned. They reign in their spending. Then companies have to lay off more people because people aren't spending money to support the economy. It feeds on itself.

BROWN: What do you think the effect? A lot of these people on Wall Street are young. They've never been through a really a down market, let alone this kind of hideous market that we've seen. Does that feed into the psychology of what's going on there?

ROMANS: Oh, absolutely. People saw the boom of the 1990s. And they thought they could get double digit returns on the S&P 500 very easily. You could put your money in an fund. And you just can't do that anymore. Now you have to be selective about what you buy.

You know, Aaron, people are going to get third quarter mutual fund statements, and it's not going to be pretty. And the question is do people hold on for the long term, take a look at what they own, and why they own it, which is why the long term experts say or do they get nervous?

And right now, we're in a state of nervousness. People are rattled. It's interesting though, today was a stunning day. This was a stunning week overall for the markets, but it wasn't a shock. After what happened last week, people knew it was going to be rough. And the first thing on traders mind and on investors lips this week was not about the numbers in the stock market. It was all psychological.

BROWN: Christine, come back and talk to us some more. The market will tell us a lot about, not just where the economy is, but where our heads are, I think. Thank you.

Earlier this week, CNNfn's Alan Dodds Frank looked into the possibility that suspected terrorists actually profited from their attacks. The suspected method, heavy trading in stock options of United and American Airlines just days before the strikes.

Tonight CNN Brooks Jackson updates us now on the leads that are being followed.


BROOKS JACKSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): New figures show how terrorists might have parlayed mass murder into big profits, betting against the stocks of the very airlines they plan to hijack, a possibility investigators say they are probing.

The New York Stock Exchange reported late Friday that the parent companies of both Americans Airlines and United Airlines experienced sharp increases in short selling of their stocks in the month that ended the day before the attacks.

(on camera): Short selling can yield big profits when stocks go down. Those who practice it sell borrowed stock at today's price, hoping to buy it back tomorrow at a lower price, pocketing the difference as profit.

(voice-over): Here's how it works. The stock of UAL Corporation, United's parent has plunged from over $30 a share on September 10, to just over $17 at Friday's close. A person who sold short 1,000 shares of UAL then and closed out the trade Friday would have made a profit of $13,720 dollars, minus brokers commissions.

Now here is the fresh information. Short sales of UAL increased 40 percent between August 10 and September 10. Short sales of AMR Corporation, American's parent, increased 20 percent. Short sales of Boeing corporation, whose stock was also a big loser since the attacks, up 37 percent.

Short sellers with advanced knowledge of the attack could have made millions. None of this proves anything. Big increases in short selling happen all the time. And airlines were in financial trouble even before the attacks, which many speculators may have seen as good financial reason to short their stock.

But federal investigators have said publicly they are looking at reports that the terrorists may have tried to profit from exploiting securities markets. In a statement, the Securities and Exchange commissions acting director of enforcement has said "We are vigorously pursuing all credible leads, but at this time, we have drawn no conclusions." He added, "Speculation about what we have concluded or not included, as well as what we are or aren't looking at, is just that, speculation and it has absolutely no foundation in fact."

(on camera): But the fact is, as we now know, there were large increases in short selling of key stocks.

Brooks Jackson, CNN, Washington.


BROWN: If the nation is moving towards war and it appears to be it's important for us in the news business to make sure all voices in this debate are being heard, and we're going to do that.

We found some signs of a growing peace movement. And we'll take a look at that in just a moment.


BROWN: It's been but 10 days. And clearly, the war drums are beating across the country. We see it in the polls. You've heard it from the President yesterday.

But on college campuses, some students, some, are feeling increasingly uneasy about how America should fight this new war or whether America should fight it at all.


GROUP: 1, 2, 3, 4, we don't want your racist war!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You have to punish the people that did this. You have to bring justice to this people.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The people that did this, they're not going to stop. They're want to kill you, too.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Already there's a line being drawn between either you support peace and you don't support America or you support America and you support violence.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If our Congress and if the executive are going to take extraordinary measures under these circumstances, that they must at least justify to the public why they're taking such actions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm halfway thinking, there can't be any type of mercy for this type of thing. And at the same time, I'm thinking a war or some sort of retaliation would really mean costing more lives.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are radicals in this group. They're the Democrats or Republicans or Libertarian. There are people from basically every part of the political spectrum binding together against what we feel is an unjust war.


BROWN: Now you might think that there would be little or no dissent here in New York City, where students could see the carnage up close and many have. It's not true.

CNN's Jason Bellini met some New York University students just a walk away from the World Trade Center site.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The room is future. We apologize.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's go. We're overcapacity.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So many people showed up, which is awesome and incredible and uplifting, but also a fire hazard.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The turnout was unexpected, nearly uncontrollable. Teach-ins at New York University brought anti-war voices out of isolation.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have every right. I think drive, if they beat the drums in a war hysteria, to ask questions of our government if we are expected to not only support this war...

JASON BELLINI, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Large loud and together in one room, the student organizers of a new peace movement now how unheard, unseen, and unwanted they are right now by the U.S. at large.

They've seen the polls supporting military action. Most consider war inevitable and wrong. That the target is terrorism makes it no better.

(on camera): Who are these peace activists? Are they the same young people who scrawl messages of peace and love on makeshift memorials? Some yes, but most I spoke to say they're not neohippies. They come from a new school of protest.

(voice-over): The anti-globalist school. They're applying to America's new war a philosophy expressed in Seattle and around the world in protests against the IMF and World Bank. They believe global alliances, like the one President Bush is forming to fight terrorism internationally, make victims of the poorest and weakest members of the world community.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's like a move towards like a globalization of a police state.

BELLINI: During President Bush's speech to Congress, a small gathering of NYU students reacted with disgust.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Scary. He's like we're going to go to war and you're either going to be with us or against us.

BELLINI: The thing Americans need to look, they believe, are the reasons why terrorists would hate us.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is an attack on like our domination and economic exploitation over the entire world.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The thing that people like us want justice, but what our government's going after is punishment.

BELLINI: All in the room agreed that something needs to be done. What that something is, they could not articulate. And while they, while sharing a pacifist philosophy, butt heads. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Be meaningful. Like say something that has some merit to it, something that you wish he should have said because I don't know what I wish he should have said. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To take a pro-peace stance, does that mean be against any type of armed retaliation?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think to be pro-peace is to me anyway to be for the smallest amount of loss of life possible. You know that you know, someone close to me died. I understand that, but that doesn't mean that we should go out and like declare this...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I totally agree. I totally agree.

BELLINI: Do you feel it's an emergency right now?


BELLINI: But as peace activists struggled to offer alternatives and educate the public on what they consider the root causes of terrorism, they feel peace is rapidly slipping way.

Jason Bellini, CNN, New York.


BROWN: One human rights activist who visited the World Trade Center site yesterday, Bianca Jagger. And she is with us tonight. This is a tough time, I mean, 10 days out from this. You're a day away from viewing the horror down there to talk about how we deal with this. So just take a second and tell us what it was like to be down there for you, first?

BIANCA JAGGER, PEACE ACTIVIST: It was surreal, because the devastation and the horror of this crime against humanity, because I think that's what it was, is beyond comprehension. And as well, I think that we can see it over and over again on television, but it never really conveys the reality of what I saw yesterday.

It was not only the devastation but as well, the great heroic actions of courage of all the firefighters that are there, trying to rescue whoever is alive still in those piles of dust and metal.

BROWN: The difference between justice and revenge?

JAGGER: Yes, I think that the guilty should be brought to justice, but we should make a difference between justice and revenge. And I think that this is an important moment in which we can really use the idea of an international criminal court. The United States government has opposed the creation and ratification of an international criminal court. It will be useful. We could bring the culprits to justice. Of course, it's very difficult. And you could say to me, how could we do that.

BROWN: Yes, that's where I was going because if the -- let's just take one example. If the Afghanistan government says no, we are not giving up Mr. Bin Laden, then the United States I suppose could say please, or they could go in there and get him.

JAGGER: The other thing is how easy would it be to go and get it without killing innocent civilians?

BROWN: It would probably be impossible.

JAGGER: And that is the question why I am concerned. And I understand the desire for revenge, the desire for justice that people feel after having been the victim of such a horrific act of brutality and barbarity, but we are not sure that by launching and waging a war, we will be able to even bring them out.

I mean as a matter of fact, when we look at terrorism, and we looked at England. We look at France. We look at Spain. Have they been able to eradicate?

BROWN: Well, but let me give you since you brought it up, I saw in "The New York Times" today, Tom Freedman wrote a piece where he recounted how the Syrians dealt with exactly this problem of Islamic fundamentalists who were caught destabilizing the government, terrorists.

They went in there, into Hama, the center of that, and leveled it. They basically killed everyone there. And then they brought people in and said, "Take a look and if you want this, keep it up."

JAGGER: And you think there was never any retaliation?

BROWN: Well, I'm telling you that Syria doesn't have the problem anymore. I'm suggesting it's the right way to proceed, but I'm saying that as governments look at this, it did solve the problem.

JAGGER: You know what I say, what I'm asking is that this is a moment for us to think about why, why is America hate, why are Americans regarded as an enemy? Isn't it a time to try to understand and maybe prevent future acts of terrorism against innocent civilians?

BROWN: But I think many Americans would say no matter whether they hate Americans or not, it doesn't justify flying into a building, killing 7,000 people and rattling an entire nation.

JAGGER: But of course. And I'm not here to justify in any way.

BROWN: I know you're not.

JAGGER: And I want them to be brought to justice. But I want to make the difference that we are different than they are and that if we kill civilians, innocent civilians, we will become like those we say we abhor.

BROWN: It's nice to talk to you. It's not an easy time to do it, not an easy conversation to have, but I appreciate your willingness to come in and share it with us. Thank you very much, Bianca Jagger.

We have much more to do on this special report. We'll take a break and be right back.


BROWN: Well, I think it's fair to say it was a pregame like no other tonight at New York's Shea Stadium. The Mets were back home: the first big gathering for a sporting even or any other sort of event since the attacks a week ago Tuesday.

Bagpipes reminded New Yorkers of the many funerals for fallen police officers and firefighters and others, and the Mets still have caps honoring those who died in the line of service, supposed to retire those caps tonight. Diana Ross is on-hand, one of the many stars who entertained the car.

Sunday, a very different gathering at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, a memorial to those who died last Tuesday.

Well, there's nothing entertaining here. Each time we see the wreckage in lower Manhattan we see something new, feel the sadness all over again. New York's governor, George Pataki, has seen it a lot, and earlier today he walked the ground with CNN's Bill Hemmer.


GOV. GEORGE PATAKI (R), NEW YORK: It's like a scene out of a horror movie, you know, after the nuclear bombs have struck, but it's not a movie.

BILL HEMMER, CNN ANCHOR: Can you point out what is what in this maze of rubble and destruction?

PATAKI: This was the South Tower. This was 104, 106 stories tall. My office used to be in this building. Up there was the north tower.

HEMMER: What happened to the concrete?

PATAKI: Concrete was pulverized. And I was down here Tuesday. And it was like you were on a foreign planet. All of lower Manhattan, not just this site, from river to river, there was dust, powder 2, 3 inches thick.

HEMMER: The buildings have been marked, 2 WFC, 2 World Financial Center.

PATAKI: Right.

HEMMER: Almost as if the workers down here need the indications, too, to find out what is what.

PATAKI: You know, the last time I saw buildings marked like that, I was in Kosovo. And there, people just would spray-paint the side of their buildings with their name that it was their house. And you don't expect anything like that here in the heart of the global financial economy, but it's there now. But people will be back in sooner than anybody thinks.

HEMMER: What kind of reaction do you get when you come on site? You say you give tours maybe two, three times a day to different dignitaries, different politicians. When you talk to the workers down here, what kind of response and reaction do you get?

PATAKI: You know, I'm always reluctant to come because you don't want to be in the way. And you want them to be able in quiet to go about and do their job, but they like to see you. They like to know that they are not forgotten.

How are you? God bless you. Thanks for all you're doing. Stay safe down here.

Now there's another crew ready to go in, 12 hours a day, seven days a week they've been in here, just rotating in and rotating out from all over the country. And it's just incredible, incredible spirit. That spirit is going to get us through this and make sure that we come back stronger than ever.

HEMMER: How long do you think, best-case scenario, before this is cleaned up? And how important is that?

PATAKI: They're saying -- they're saying best-case scenario six months to actually -- to finish the debris removal.

HEMMER: It's remarkable to see the perimeter of this area, the buildings on the outside that are now so open and exposed where before, they were completely blocked and shadowed by the World Trade Center towers?

PATAKI: You know, whenever you come downtown -- and my offices were here for 3 1/2 years -- whenever you wanted to orient yourself, you'd look up, you know, and you'd know, oh, so there's the tower, so I'm over here in relation to the towers. And so now you look up and you don't -- they're not there.



BROWN: As we told you at the top of the hour, the Taliban leader says his group, his government will not hand over the terrorist suspect Osama bin Laden unless the United States offers proof that he was involved in the attacks, that despite the U.S. threat of military action, a threat that has thousands of Afghan refugees fleeing their country toward Pakistan.

CNN's Christiane Amanpour is in the Pakistani capital, and she joins us now with the latest.

Good morning, in your case, Christiane.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning indeed. It is 7:30 in the morning and the beginning of the work week here after Friday, which was the holiday here. And certainly the Pakistani government will be taking stock of precisely where it stands in terms of public opinion, because yesterday was a day of strikes and protest, which had been called by the opponents to the Pakistani decision to stand with the United States.

Now, for the most part, there were no mass protests around the country. They had called for a nationwide demonstration. That did not materialize. There were isolated protests, in particular one that got out of hand in Karachi, the big commercial port down south, and there was at least two people confirmed dead according to police sources.

As you can see from these pictures, it did get quite violent. There was shooting in the air. Two people did get killed from those stray bullets. And those protesters were confronting the police fairly violently.

As I say, in other parts of the country, there was the obligatory flag burning and effigy burning and chanting of anti-American slogans, pro-Taliban and pro-Osama bin Laden slogans. But for the most part the assessment is that those demonstrations did not get out of control.

Now, in terms of trying to bolster the Pakistani government, the United States is saying that, according to a senior Western diplomat here, that they will soon lift the sanctions that were imposed against Pakistan and India in connection with their nuclear program. And that should help bring some more economic aid and bolster this country at this particular time when it's chosen to stand with the United States, Aaron.

BROWN: Christiane, you've been in country there for most of the week. Has the sentiment changed as the week has gone on?

AMANPOUR: Well, basically, yes. As far as we can figure out, there have been two things that have happened, one major thing that has happened. And that is the Pakistani government, as the president went on television and addressed his people, and basically made a dramatic sort of turning-point in Pakistani relations. And for the most part the reaction has been positive, as far as we can gauge.

There are these pockets of anti-government extreme Islamists, who disagree with that reaction, but for the most part, what we can gauge and what others are saying is that people agree with their government.

BROWN: And just to underscore that point, so that when we see these demonstration -- and often we see them very close to the camera; the demonstrators are performing, it appears, to us -- it does not represent a broad view of Pakistani feeling?

AMANPOUR: Well, just to understand, there's 140 million people in this country. The president himself in his speech said that he believed that maybe 10 to 15 percent opposed what he had done in terms of standing with the United States. So, that would be about 14 to 15 million people. There were perhaps maybe 50, 000 people on the street yesterday.

And while it is significant, because these are people who have allowed, you know, the loud minority, they still do have political sway. And they are the ones who are the hard-line extremists, so the question is whether they actually are able to sort of affect all public opinion and cause instability, or whether this vocal opposition remains contained and under control.

BROWN: Thank you, Christiane Amanpour in Islamabad, morning there for her, joining us tonight, thank you.

We wanted to spend some time trying to figure out how this is all being reported around the world. So we are joined now by three distinguished journalists: Raghida Dergham, a senior correspondent for the London-based newspaper "Al Hayat"; Mansoor Ijaz, a columnist who frequently appears in the "L.A. Times," keeps track of issues in Pakistan; and Sree Sreenivasan -- I hope I came close, at least I apologize -- South Asian Journalists Association. And they all join us, and we are delighted to have you all.

Let me start here, because we talked a month ago, I think, how different the world is. Tell me what the papers in the Middle East are reporting that Americans are not hearing.

RAGHIDA DERGHAM, "AL HAYAT": They are reporting that they don't understand what's this all about. They understand that there has been terror, horrifying terroristic attacks that have really awakened the world to something, but they don't know what's next. There is a lot of questioning what is next. And when hearing President Bush -- I'm sure the world was hearing President Bush's address, they were looking for where is the foreign policy there. I think there were four things that were watched for and of that -- first, the foreign policy in the speech of the president, addressing the American public and preparing them for it; secondly, transparency, when he spoke of covert operations, they were questioning what's this all about; thirdly, where is the objective, where do we go from here, and is it only Afghanistan; and fourthly, is this about calling for America to divide the world? These are the questions on people's minds.

BROWN: Let me sort of the same question -- is there something -- that's not significantly different than how it is being reported here, to be honest, significantly. In your area of the world, is it being reported significantly differently than it is being reported here?

SREE SREENIVASAN, SOUTH ASIAN JOURNALIST ASSOCIATION: Well, the question that people are asking is, what about the war? What is...

BROWN: What does it mean?

SREENIVASAN: Yes, what does it mean, when is it going to happen and the sort of headlong rush into it. And they are asking about, what is this going to mean on the ground? Because -- especially in India and Pakistan, two countries I monitor very closely, that is the question, how is this going to affect the people there. And also, now the big news today was the sanctions, as you heard Christiane say that the sanctions are going to be removed, and so they are looking, what is each country getting in exchange for cooperating with the American government?

BROWN: Carrot-and-stick. Carrot-and-stick. Is it being reported dramatically differently in your part of the world?

MANSOOR IJAZ, COLUMNIST: Well, we sort of overlap in that sense.

BROWN: Yeah, a little bit.

IJAZ: But I think the key thing to keep in mind is that there is a significant sort of difference of opinion about how this all was formulated in the first case.

BROWN: Came to be?

IJAZ: Exactly.

BROWN: You mean why is this the why we are hated so question?

IJAZ: Exactly. You know, everyone in the Pakistani newspapers, for example, they talk about nothing but Jewish conspiracies against Islam, whereas here you don't see anything of that nature. And it is not that those things are right or wrong, but it's to sell to a particular constituency, to keep them aroused for what is coming next.

BROWN: Does the extraordinary shock that all of us in this country lived through, has that penetrate Pakistani society? Did they feel a sense of shock of what happened here, or are they saying, well, many saying Americans reap what they sawn?

IJAZ: Well, I think that the intellectual part of those societies have said, this is unacceptable and intolerable behavior, but when you go to the level where you have either fundamentalist Muslims or zealots, radical Muslims, which is not an insignificant component of the street value of what goes on there, there they will say to you over and over again, you have reaped what you have sown, essentially.

BROWN: (UNINTELLIGIBLE). You can't go on for a minute and a half here, OK? I can say this because we know each other.

Americans I think were shocked to see Palestinians, some of them, celebrating on Tuesday last. Is there any context that that makes sense?

DERGHAM: Of course not. But this has also been overplayed by the media. It is small sectors, small elements of the population that just arose, without probably understanding what had happened. And then, you know, I have to blame you here in the American media. You really are not being terribly responsible.


DERGHAM: This is a real thing, this is a real war. It is not time to instigate, it is not time to arouse emotions of people who know less than you do. You know better.

BROWN: And you think the media has done that? You think the media, the American media, has done that?

DERGHAM: I think there has been a sense of irresponsibility there.

BROWN: You are not -- hang on, you're nodding.

SREENIVASAN: Well, the question is what is the media's role here, when the president is on the air, and the words that he uses, the words he and all the other politicians use, what kind of effect does that have? And we have also been monitoring the effect it has on the Asian community, the South Asian, the Muslim and the Arab communities in this country. And that is something that people are concerned about, that there has now been a backlash that we are starting to see, where there has been at least one confirmed death, maybe two, where people are sort of lashing out. And how much is the media's role in there, and how much is just the anger and the frustration.

The other thing to keep in mind is with India in particular, and in Pakistan -- we had so many people working in the World Trade Center who died. People -- there were more than 30 Bangladeshis who were working the top of the World Trade Center at the Windows of the World restaurant. So these are the stories that are not necessarily being told, and that upsets a lot of Indians and other South Asians.

BROWN: All right, let me turn this way again. I'm not sure how this conversation turned from how it's being reported over there to how we are reporting it here...


BROWN: Tell me what then you wish the American media was saying that it is not?

IJAZ: Well, I think that the American media needs to focus on what are the ramifications of us fighting this war in a brute force way, versus a strategic and surgical manner. These are people who you cannot find if you try brute force. They just go away.

BROWN: I'm going to interrupt you. Thank you all for coming in. We are going to be here for a while, I think. I hope you all will come back.

Thank you, thank you very much. We will take a break, we'll continue in a moment.


BROWN: It wasn't very long ago, just a few months, though it feels like a lifetime, that the tabloids here in New York were featuring cover stories on Mayor Giuliani's messy divorce. That definitely falls in the category of topics that seem ridiculously trivial in the days following September 11th.

Clearly, we had it easy, and our senior analyst Jeff Greenfield joins us to discuss that.

JEFF GREENFIELD, CNN SENIOR ANALYST: Yeah, Aaron, nobody can say what's coming in the months ahead, except we do know that things are going to be a lot more serious and a lot more consequential. And one sharp reminder is to try to remember what we regarded as life's heavy burdens a little more than 10 days ago.


GREENFIELD (voice-over): There were the airlines, too many planes trying to carry too many of us. We complained as we sat on runways and complained about the food they served. On the ground, we fumed in our cars as we tried to get and from work.

Decades-long affluence had led us to believe in our constitutional right to speed and comfort.

And oh, the agony...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Taxi! Taxi! Taxiiii!

GREENFIELD: ... of looking for a taxicab.


GREENFIELD: At the store, a slow-fingered checkout clerk or customer could send our blood pressure rising. So could a blackout zone where we could not instantly make that crucial cell-phone call. And what of the unbearable agony of waiting for a Web page to load or losing that bank card.

And just how big was that federal budget surplus and what were we going to do with it?


GREENFIELD: These discontents, we now know, were signs of a blessed time, a time where we could assume our safety, our security and our comfort. I think we'll be longing for the days when we could treat such things as matters of life and death now that we are confronting quite literally matters of life and death.

BROWN: I was talking about a year ago with Michael Beschloss, the presidential historian, and it was in the middle -- it was (UNINTELLIGIBLE) in the middle of the Lewinsky mess. And he said, "If the Cold War were still on, if there was something serious, if it was life and death, we wouldn't have time for foolishness." Now, we are there again.

GREENFIELD: Indeed. I used to say I think I have the formula for getting people interested in public policy again: start a war, start a draft, create a genuine crisis, that the indifference was in part a reaction to peace and prosperity. It's nothing one would wish in his worst nightmare, but I think everybody's attention has been concentrated on what matters. And...

BROWN: In my chair I'm not allowed to speculate, but in your chair you are. So tell me how long -- I was in Washington, I woke up in Washington this morning, I was there last night -- how long this era of community, which I actually think is real out there, and political good-feeling lasts? Does it last no longer than the first American casualty? Does it last -- has something fundamentally changed?

GREENFIELD: I think it lasts as long as people believe that their leaders know what they are doing. I think, unlike the skirmishes in, say, Kosovo or Bosnia, casualties -- especially because of what happened in New York -- I think after 6,000 or 7,000 civilians dying, military casualties are going to be seen as part of the price if people believe that we are directed toward a result they'll be happy with.

BROWN: We'll talk to you again in a minute. Thank you, Jeff. Jeff returns in a bit.

Finally, for this hour, every day "The New York Times" features private obituaries, $35 a line. That's what it costs. Last Monday, the Monday before the attacks, 18 people were remembered that way. Today, 74, filling two pages, a heartbreaking catalogue of pain and loss. There's been another striking addition to "The Times" and other papers since the attacks, an avalanche of condolence ads.

Here's CNN's Bruce Morton.


BRUCE MORTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Unusual ads? How about the Statue of Liberty with her sleeves rolled up ready for a fight?

"We will overcome," the copy says. "We will never forget." GE bought that one.

Or a painting of Liberty from the Museum of the City of New York: "We extend our thoughts and prayers to New York's heroes, living and lost."

Ads from foreign cities. Hamburg, Germany. From Saudi Arabia, a country whose rulers also worry about extremists. From Indonesia's airline lines from the poet (UNINTELLIGIBLE): "At a time of darkness, let us look to the light" -- where the healing process has just begun.

From companies which lost people in the attacks, of course: United Airlines, American Express. Standard & Poor's, the company that rates bonds, quoted John Kennedy: "Only in winter can you tell which trees are truly green, only when the winds of adversity blow can you tell whether an individual or a country has steadfastness."

"The New York Post" -- this isn't an ad, just "The Post" being "The Post" -- had of course a wanted poster for Osama bin Laden. "The New Yorker" magazine's cover is black. Hard to see on TV, the Trade Towers are there, just a little blacker than the rest. And this issue contains just one cartoon, an old woman, even the cat, hiding its face.

"Sports Illustrated" cover said all you needed to say about sports.

And from Lockheed Martin, another Kennedy quote, this one from his inaugural: "That every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardships, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and success of liberty."

Unusual ads in these very unusual times.

Bruce Morton, CNN, Washington.


BROWN: A short break and we have more.



Back to the top