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America Strikes Back: Pakistan Warns Northern Alliance; Second Wave of Attacks Under Way

Aired October 8, 2001 - 14:20   ET


AARON BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: One other point on the anthrax and I will say this really delicately here. One of the things that makes people even more nervous about this, than they might otherwise have been. Believe me, people would have been extremely nervous in any case, is that the area this building is not terribly far from an area where one of the hijackers, Mohamed Atta, did some flight training. You know, coincidence is a weird thing. But that's just a fact that is out there. Certainly one that investigators are looking at and it's one that we've known about for several days.

In trying to come to terms with this story, but when the attorney general talks about a criminal investigation that is clearly one of the elements that factor into the justice department's decision on how to pursue this. The FBI is investigating, they've sealed off the building. They are doing some diagnosis of people who worked in the building now and they are administering antibiotics to them. There are only these two cases, Mr. Stevens, Mr. Blanco. That's where we are on the anthrax. So clearly that is something that continues to develop in South Florida.

A lot has happened since we got here at noon. New wave of attacks is underway. Just about all relevant parts of the government have briefed. We will try and sum some of it up in a moment. We will take a short break first. CNN's continuing coverage of "America Strikes Back" is back in a moment.


BROWN: Coming up on 2:15 here in the East. Here's the latest developments that we are following as America strikes back. Nightfall in Afghanistan has brought a second wave of U.S. air attacks on the Taliban. These attacks by U.S. forces alone today. Bombers are targeting Kandahar, a Taliban stronghold in the southern part of Afghanistan, as well as the capital of Kabul. The strike comes just hours after U.S. officials called last night's air attacks "very successful." Taliban say Osama bin Laden is still alive. They're calling the U.S. air attacks an act of terrorism.

Here are the targets hit in last night's bombing campaign. Somewhere in or near the capital of Kabul, and the heart of Kandahar, the base of Afghanistan's ruling party. Military officials stress they are not bombing in the cities, that they are targeting specifically military areas, 31 targets were military, all associated with the al Qaeda, lead of course, by Osama bin Laden.

President of Pakistan warning the Northern Alliance not to try to take power in Afghanistan if the air strikes weaken the Taliban enough to even make that possible. The Northern Alliance has fired rockets at Taliban front lines. This is a very complicated political part of story that will unravel as we go. The President of Pakistan. Sorry. We move on.

Pakistani officials are expressing cautious support for the air campaign even as some Pakistani citizens have taken to the streets to protest it. In Quetta, demonstrations were especially violent there. At least one person is dead and 42 injured. A UNICEF office in that city was burned.

U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says the air dropping of food and medicine accompanying the bombing went very well. Two C-17 aircraft in play last night. He says humanitarian drops didn't interfere with the war effort, obviously this is all part of the military and political message to tell the Afghani people this is not a war against them. This is not a war against Islam. This is war against the Taliban and the terrorist in that country. So the second wave of attacks now under way or the second day of attacks under way. Kamal Hyder on the ground in Afghanistan in the Taliban-controlled part of country. And he joins us by phone, again. What do you hear since we last talked, Kamal?

KAMAL HYDER: Aaron, basically the airport in Jalalabad was hit at about 10 minutes to 9:00 Afghan standard time. And we now have details that there were 10 loud explosions around the airport compound. And that it was still in flames. Some people say that they saw cruise missiles. That cannot be verified and they said that the Taliban has been firing anti-aircraft artillery from time to time just to show that they were on the job -- Aaron.

BROWN: Don't go away. If we can put up a map, quickly here to show our viewers -- I know you guys hate when I do this. To show our viewers where Jalalabad is. In this sequence, there is an airport there. They are also around there are, the U.S. government believes, some terrorist training camps. That's what makes Jalalabad important in military view of things. Kamal, you talked earlier to sources and people in Kandahar. Can you give us any more on what went on there?

HYDER: Well, in Kandahar, basically there was a strike about 55 minutes -- almost an hour ago. And they heard just a few explosions. Those explosions were proceeded by basically anti-aircraft artillery, which meant that they probably spotted the aircraft. There is now a lot of talk of aircrafts. And the pattern seems to be more or less the same. Two aircrafts over Jalalabad today, and there were two aircrafts yesterday over Jalalabad. Generally, the reports coming from the south and Kabul -- Aaron.

BROWN: Just -- I was writing notes as talking. Your sources heard 10 loud explosions in the area of the airport; is that right?

HYDER: That's correct. BROWN: And this is in Jalalabad, again, I apologize. When you talked at the two aircraft, were you talking about Jalalabad or Kandahar?

HYDER: No. That was basically Jalalabad that I was talking about.


HYDER: That it is, yeah.

BROWN: Thank you. I will try to pay better attention as we go here. What do you hearing, if anything, out of Kabul?

HYDER: Well, the only reports that we have from Kabul is that it was striking a string of targets surrounding the city. It might be remembered that most of the military concentrations or whatever fortification there may be, are stringing the city. There are reports now that most of the military encampments and military garrisons have been emptied out. There is minimal human activity there. And some unconfirmed reports out of Jalalabad today saying that all they could confirm was two dead casualties is in the Jalalabad area -- Aaron.

BROWN: Kamal, thank you. Kamal Hyder in Afghanistan. Just to orient you in a couple of ways. There's an 8 1/2 hour time difference between the east coast of the United States and Afghanistan. So it's well into the night there now. Secondly, the shot that we show quite a lot during the day here, this night scope shot, that has become very familiar to all of us now, periodically as we have watched it we have seen, this is being tra -- it is about 40 kilometers from Kabul, to the north of Kabul.

Periodically -- not a lot -- but periodically we have seen some explosions from the ground. We have not seen tracer fire going back up. Certainly could have happened, we haven't watched it every second of the time we have been up here. But again, just to orient you, that is about 40 kilometers from Kabul to the north looking south and we keep an eye on that to give us all some idea of where the attacks are taking place, whether they have ceased or not.

It is not obviously a television war. It was never designed that way and it is not going to be and the last couple of days have made that pretty clear -- Judy.

JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: Hi, Aaron, good afternoon. It's 8 1/2 hours ahead in Afghanistan, and nine hours ahead in Pakistan where, of course, they're watching all of this very closely. Our Christiane Amanpour right now in Islamabad. Christiane, we've been hearing some demonstrations, but government officials expressing cautious support.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Judy. Let's start a little bit with what we know from inside Afghanistan, because obviously we too are working the phones to sources in Kandahar, Herat, and other cities. We had heard over the last hour, there's not been much activity over Kandahar. Although when this started they did hear according to our sources, loud explosions somewhere in the distance around Kandahar. Also we've been told in the last hour to 45 minutes, there were planes heard over Herat which is the city to the west of Afghanistan, neighboring Iran there, close to the Iranian border. Planes heard overhead there. And they report anti-aircraft fire going up.

Interestingly, from the briefings from the Pentagon, they confirm what we reported last night from our sources, saying that these bombing raids were taking place at airfields and locations on command and control and other military locations around cities and not in cities. We hear from our source inside Kandahar that Mullah Omar's former residence, compound, that is close to Kandahar there, had been struck and there may have been some deaths there.

This was a compound that he had vacated because a couple of years ago it was the subject of a massive terrorist attack, a truck bomb attack. And he has moved, subsequently, elsewhere. They also report some injuries yesterday night at the airport complex near Kandahar. So that sort of confirming what we've been reporting over the last 24 hours of this military campaign.

As for here in Pakistan, where clearly it has been watched very closely both militarily and politically, there were the expected demonstrations today. One of the loudest and most violent was in Quetta, where several thousand people turned out. That is the west of where I am.

There were smaller demonstrations in Islamabad and elsewhere. The government continues to insist that it has this situation as much as possible under control. And it has moved in the last 48 hours to put at least one of the extreme hard-line Islam party leaders here under house arrest.

Now, importantly, we heard from President Musharraf of Pakistan in a very wide-ranging and long press conference today, in which he was very clear about the political objectives and the whole, sort of, objective of this campaign, and there's a slight difference and disconnect of opinion that appears to be coming from various podiums.

We've heard today from the White House podium a sort of insistence that the White House, the U.S. is not into nation building. From the Pentagon we've heard that they actually do want a shift in the balance of power in Afghanistan and that they are involved both on the United States level and others, in trying to bring a broad-based coalition to replace the Taliban controlled government in Afghanistan.

From Pakistan, very clearly, the president saying part of this must, have a future political, what he called, disposition, a political entity to take place, and not allow a vacuum to be created in Afghanistan. Warning that would create the same conditions that allow safe havens for all sorts of, in his words, anarchy, and the breeding of terrorism there.

Saying very clearly that Pakistan had in the past been left high and dry and feeling abandoned, referring to the post-Soviet times in Afghanistan, and that he had received assurances, he said, from both President Bush and Prime Minister Blair, that this situation would not be allowed to be the same this time around and that they were committed to a new political situation in Afghanistan coupled with a massive rehabilitation effort. And this is a key and critical component to the success of any future here in this region -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: Christiane, you say they don't want a vacuum. Yet the Pakistan ambassador to the U.N. saying today they don't want the Northern Alliance to be playing a major role in any new government either.

AMANPOUR: Well, this is not contradictory information. They don't want a vacuum. They don't want the Northern Alliance to rush in and grab power, because they say that the Northern Alliance represents not the majority of Afghans. And that's true.

What they want is a broad-based alliance. The Pakistani president, clearly, in his press conference, talking about accepting the possibility of the former king coming back in some kind of figure- head role, in some kind of interim role. What they don't want is to see a non friendly government take place in Afghanistan. But by the same token, what they don't want is to see a military action, a U.S.- led, international-led coalition that then leaves a vacuum and anarchy and the same kind of abandonment as they had after the Afghan war with the Soviets back in the late '80s.

WOODRUFF: All right, Christiane Amanpour, clearly Pakistan having enormous stake in what happens next door in Afghanistan -- Aaron.

BROWN: What's interesting to me, Judy, is that it may not be contradictory, but does speak to the complexity of trying to hold a coalition together when you have, as the American side does for example, has put great weight and stock into the ability of the Northern Alliance to do some of the groundwork in the days after the air attack.

And now you have Pakistan, which is this critical player and is very uncomfortable with any gains the Northern Alliance may make. In no sense is any of this simple, and if you thought it was, there is just one more example of why it's not.

Matthew Chance is on the ground in the northern part of Afghanistan, I believe. Matthew, I blanked out for a second. I am pretty sure you are in the north. If not, you will let me know.

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I certainly am in northern Afghanistan. I'm with the forces in the area controlled rather by the forces of the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance that you referring to.

And they have been saying all along that they are trying to cooperate and offering their assistance as much as possible to the United States in this war against terror. They are saying they are offering their intelligence gathering resources, because remember, these people have got just as much experience as fighting in this rugged mountainous terrain as the Taliban do.

They say that might be able to meet any shortcomings of the American forces may have here. Also to emphasize that cooperation, at the same time we are getting confirmation from the Pentagon that the airstrikes were under way for a second night in Afghanistan. And the foreign minister of the Northern Alliance, Doctor Abdullah Abdullah, making a statement to CNN confirming the same thing, that Kabul Airport, the airport in Kandahar in southern Afghanistan have come under renewed attack.

I just want to say a few words about the video pictures we are seeing -- we can see from the mountainside a few kilometers from where I am standing right now. I know we have the pictures that we can certainly bring to you. That videophone with the night site fixed on to it is overlooking the -- essentially -- the front lines, the front lines positions to the north of Kabul, front lines between the Taliban and the Northern Alliance fighters.

Throughout the course this evening we have been seeing a number of flashes on there, tangible evidence perhaps of the U.S. strikes in Kabul. We've also been seeing other smaller flashes. A lot of the flashes are very difficult to make out there, some are merely just motor cars that have been driving through the mountains with their lights on.

Others are bigger flashes, the result of artillery fire from Northern Alliance artillery positions to the front line of the Taliban. We can't see Kabul itself there. What we can see is a mountain toward the bottom of the screen, the darker patch of the screen there. That blocks our line of sight across the Shimali (ph) plains to Kabul itself.

It indeed blocks the route of the Northern Alliance into Kabul. Now Northern alliance commanders have increased their bombardment over the last day or so, in between and either side of the American strikes and British strikes on Afghanistan. But they say they have been given orders by their political leadership not to press ahead into Taliban controlled territory at this stage, but merely to hold their positions defensively to see what the United States intend to do.

Having said that, Aaron, there is just one last detail I want to add, which is, Northern Alliance officials do say that they have managed to cut a central supply route through central Afghanistan, Taliban supply route, connecting the north of Afghanistan with the south of Afghanistan.

CHANCE: ...which is Northern Alliance officials do say that they've managed to cut a central supply route through central Afghanistan, a Taliban supply route connecting the north of Afghanistan with the south of Afghanistan.

They say they've managed to cut that route, seizing territory in Bahalan (ph), not through fighting though, but through defections. They say they've had 1,200 defectors from the Taliban side, from Taliban forces, come over and essentially switch their allegiance to the Northern Alliance, Aaron. BROWN: I want to come back to that in a second. But as we look at the night scope picture, as I was leaving here I guess about 1:00 or so in the morning and dawn had broken, we looked at this shot in the daylight. And it may be in the control room at some point this afternoon. We can find it.

What I found interesting about it is how desolate it is out there. But basically, what you're looking across is this very desolate plain and mountain range that leads into Kabul. We all understand, I know -- I hope viewers do too, this is the best shot that we can get. And we're lucky to have it, because certainly when explosions when attacks take place, we will at least be able to confirm that with our eye.

But at some point, we'll show you what looks like on this desolate plain, 40 miles to the north, 40 kilometers to the north of Kabul.

Matthew, you talked about what the Northern Alliance is claiming in terms of defection. Now tell me how confident we ought to be in any claims the Northern Alliance makes, given that they have a huge stake in the outcome of this.

CHANCE: That's right. And we have no way of independently verifying these claims that we've been getting not just this evening. But of course, throughout the course of the last week or so, we've been hearing about territorial gains.

They say a significant, again, hundreds of kilometers west from where we're standing now. And we've been unable to reach those remote locations in order to confirm it.

The thing about the defections though, which I think is quite interesting is that what happens in this civil war in Afghanistan isn't just about fighting. It's sort of a combination between fighting and negotiations. A lot of the people who make up the Taliban forces are merely independent warlords who offer their allegiance to whichever side is most convenient for them at the time.

And the fact of the matter is that the Taliban have held the power in Afghanistan in recent years. And so, the majority of those warlords have offered their allegiance to them. There is a growing sense though, according to the Northern Alliance, again, they manned negotiations they say with local warlords. That state of mind, that mindset is changing and people are beginning to switch sides because of these American strikes, because they feel that the tide is turning against the Taliban, Aaron.

BROWN: Well, I want to -- just stay with us here, Matthew. We've got some daytime pictures that we were able to obtain in Kandahar. And again, even in the crudeness of the pictures, a couple of things jump out at you. And one is how little is left anyway.

There's been 23 or so years of very nasty war in Afghanistan. It wasn't a very rich place to begin with. It is a very poor place now. And Kandahar was very -- was hit quite hard yesterday. That is the spiritual center for the Taliban regime.

The inner clique of the Taliban tends to reside there. Mohamed Omar, Mullah Mohammed Omar, I guess first among equals in the Taliban lives there. And at least one of his residences or former residences apparently was targeted yesterday.

Again, these are pictures shot daylight today, Monday, in Kandahar. Kandahar is south of Kabul. I would guess sort of in the south corner of the country. And that's what it looked like.

One more quick one on the -- sort of the military makeup of this, because I think you made a great observation here about the fighters on both sides. We tend to think of the Taliban as religious zealots or religious fundamentalists and assume, therefore, that their warriors are the same. In fact, they may not be that at all. They may be something akin to mercenaries going for the highest bidder or at least the safest ground.

CHANCE: That's right, Aaron. In fact, the Northern Alliance officials here draw a very clear distinction between the native Afghan fighters who alive with the Taliban at the moment, and what they call the foreign fighters, who have come in from countries like the Arab states and from specifically Pakistan. These are the people they say are the roots of the problem and at the heart of the problem with the Taliban.

BROWN: Matthew, terrific work today. Thank you. We'll talk again.

Just yet another indication of the complexity of the political and military situation that the western governments face, as they try and take on terrorism at its roots -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: Aaron, very telling pictures you were just showing us there from Kandahar taken today. And I have to say we're getting a much more up close sense, a much more up close look at what's going on the ground from Matthew Chance than we are from some of the folks here at the Pentagon, who of course, want to speak in more global terms. But we want to go there anyway, because we're going to hear from our Jamie Mcintyre.

The Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs did begin to give us today some sense of how well this operation has gone so far -- Jamie.

JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, they're just talking about their preliminary bomb damage assessment from the first day of strikes. And they say that it is meeting their expectation for success.

But again, they tried to lay out the fact that this is not a one day operation, not a one week operation. Defense Secretary Rumsfeld said they're just beginning to create what he called the conditions for a sustained anti-terrorist and humanitarian relief operations. They said based on their early assessment, they are having some progress in taking down the air defenses, which is the first step, but they still need to hit more today and they plan do that as they go about this methodical laying the groundwork for what a military operation may come in the future.

Rumsfeld said, "We still can't state with certainty that we've destroyed the dozens of military command and control leadership targets that we've selected. They said strikes continue today. And again, Rumsfeld tried to drive home this point that this will be a sustained campaign, not just in Afghanistan, that will continue for a period of years, not weeks or months.


DONALD RUMSFELD, DEFENSE SECRETARY: This campaign will be waged much like the Cold War, in the sense that it will involve many fronts over a period of time and will require continuous pressure by a large number of countries around the globe. We'll use overt and covert military efforts, as well as every diplomatic, economic, financial and law enforcement resource at our command. We will not stop until the terrorist networks are destroyed.


MCINTYRE: Well, General Richard Myers, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, did lay out some of the operations for today. He said that long-range bombers, about 10 of them, were continuing to strike targets in Afghanistan, including B-2 bombers that are flying from the United States.

Each one of those has the capability, by the way, to hit 16 different targets with satellite-guided bombs. In addition, about 10 carrier-based bombers are also carrying out strikes today. And also, there have been launch of Tomahawk cruise missiles from U.S. ships in the region.

But again, the message here is that this is just the beginning, as they begin to lay the groundwork. Again, a lot of hint that in the future, we may see U.S. troops on the ground in Afghanistan. General Myers saying the pressure will be relentless, but he said not always quantifiable and not necessarily visible -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: Jamie, I was struck by how much it was stressed again today by Secretary Rumsfeld and by General Myers that we are at the beginning and that -- it was almost as if they were trying not to claim more than has happened. They wanted to be sure, to be as cautious as possible in describing what they've been able to accomplish.

MCINTYRE: Well, a couple of other points. One is, you get the clear impression from what they're talking about that we're talking about some period of an air campaign, like in the Persian Gulf War, followed by some kind of activity on the ground, probably not like the Persian Gulf War, probably a smaller number of special operations troops, and then something that's going to go on for, you know, at least several months in Afghanistan, possibly longer.

And Secretary Rumsfeld came as close as anybody in the administration today to essentially saying that the United States does want to topple the Taliban, without using those words. He simply said that they were doing everything they can to destabilize them, and that Afghanistan and the people of Afghanistan would be better off without them.

WOODRUFF: All right, Jamie McIntyre with the latest from the Pentagon. As we continue to show you these live pictures coming in on nightscope from north of Kabul. We are going to take a break. And when we come back, the view from the United Nations.


BROWN: Here are the latest developments now in America's new war. And it is a war. U.S.-led coalition forces resumed strikes inside Afghanistan. There are new reports of missile attacks on military targets near Kabul and in Kandahar, major city in the southern of Afghanistan.

We have reporting suggesting there's also an attack in Jalalabad to the north of Kandahar. The Pentagon says today's attacks are consistent with yesterday's operations, meaning more of the same. In Washington, the White House today, however, was not talking about war, but homeland defense.


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The best defense against terror is a global offensive against terror, wherever it might be found.


BROWN: The President speaking at the swearing-in of Tom Ridge in New York. Columbus Day parade went on as planned down 5th Avenue. The city, like the country, on high alert. Mayor Giuliani encouraging New Yorkers to go about their daily lives.

They began the parade by singing "God Bless America." Police and firefighters, as you can imagine, well represented. There's the governor of the state to the mayor's right. 343 firefighters lost on September 11 in New York.

To help with security in New York and elsewhere, National Guardsmen and women mobilized around the country. This is beyond simply the airports, to help with domestic security. And as we mentioned a moment ago, the President's major public appearance today was the swearing in of Tom Ridge, the former governor of Pennsylvania to be the director of the office of Homeland Security.

Mr. Ridge will coordinate defense efforts in the country. It was compared to the domestic version of a National Security Council. You see Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas swearing in Governor Ridge. Those are the latest developments, as we're coming up towards 2:45 here in the east -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: Aaron, joining us now is someone who got advance notice of the military strikes that began yesterday. He is the Senate Democratic leader, Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle. Senator, you did get word from the President on Saturday night. Do you feel you're still getting updates, the information that you need about what's happening?

SEN TOM DASCHLE (D), MAJORITY LEADER: Absolutely, Judy. They had indicated that their on hand. If we want to call for any additional information, we have secure phones available to us, even in our homes. So we're in a position, I think, to stay in close communication. I'm quite satisfied with the information we've been provided to date.

WOODRUFF: How is the operation going so far, from your perspective?

DASCHLE: Well, obviously, I think the information is yet to be acquired as to whether or not we were able to hit many of the targets. And I think as Secretary Rumsfeld said just an hour ago, this is an ongoing process. It's going to take months, if not years.

But I think the initial stages by all measure have been successful, as best as we can tell. And I'm sure there's going to be a lot important information provided as it becomes available.

WOODRUFF: Senator, the Congress did pass a use of force resolution a few weeks ago, after the September 11 attacks. Does that give the President permission, authority to do whatever he needs to do here?

DASCHLE: Well, it is our view that currently the President is within the authority given him, according to the Constitution, as well as to the War Powers Resolution and the Use of Force Resolution we just passed.

They have not asked for any additional information. So we have to -- or I should say additional authority. So I'm quite sure that we're living within those confines. And as time goes on, we'll assess whether or not that's adequate.

WOODRUFF: Well, that's my question. Do you foresee a time when there would be a need for more congressional authorization?

DASCHLE: I don't at this point, but again, these are very premature judgments. I think we have to make decisions as we go. When we passed the Use of Force Resolution, this is exactly the kind of thing we envision. I think as we expected, it would. The President is using his authority. And I think he's doing so prudently.

WOODRUFF: Senator, there's been some discussion about the administration reaching out to states in the region, and the region of Afghanistan, the Middle East, states like Syria, like Iran, that themselves have been accused of harboring terrorists. Is this a wise policy for the administration to pursue?

DASCHLE: Well, I think we need to be very careful. I think the reaction to date has been exactly right. We have made it clear that we are not waging war with nations. We are waging war against terrorists.

We are being very selective and very concentrated and focused in our targeting of that war. That's exactly what we need to continue to do. I think we could easily be misinterpreted were we to broaden it beyond that. And I think the President is exactly right, by emphasizing our close association with Muslim people, with Arab nations themselves.

WOODRUFF: Let's talk a little bit about security in the United States. Senator, from your perspective, is enough being done right now to put Americans in a position where they're ready if there is another terrorist attack?

DASCHLE: Well, I think that enough is being done, but there's a lot more that can be done. Obviously, we can't do these things overnight, Judy. I think we are doing everything possible right now. I think that the response has been exactly what we should do. It's been concerted. It's been effective.

I think we've tried to made our best assessment as to what security needs there will be in the future. I think the office of Homeland Security is the right thing to do. And we'll be coordinating our efforts in the Congress with that office. But clearly, there's an ongoing need, a new infrastructure required. And we'll assess just how to build that infrastructure as the time goes on.

WOODRUFF: Well, with regard to airport security in particular, do you expect that Congress will make it possible or enact legislation to completely federalize security at airports and on airlines?

DASCHLE: Well, I think we will reach agreement this coming week in our efforts to try to find a way to enhance security. There is no doubt that federalization is going to be a big part of the overall answer to what needs to be done in airports across the country. We'll come to some resolution on that. As you know, there have been some differences, but I think we can work those differences out.

WOODRUFF: Well, is the administration coming around on this now, because they've been against it?

DASCHLE: Well, they have been working with us to try to find the suitable way with which to address our desire for federalization, and a compromise that might accommodate some of the concerns that have been raised. I have no doubt, though, that given the urgency and the need to do this reasonably soon, that we can find that resolution within the next couple days.

WOODRUFF: And just two other quick questions, Senator. First of all, do you see a need for legislation to step up security at ports, train stations, other central nodes, if you will, for American transportation?

DASCHLE: No question about that. I think we've been focused on airports, in part, because of the tragedy on September 11. But there is no doubt that we have to look at all the transportation modes, all of the ways in which security could be addressed at those locations as well.

WOODRUFF: And finally, Senator, with regard to the economy, there appears to be a growing or at least a significant divide right now between some Democrats in Congress, including yourself and the President, over how to stimulate the economy, whether the emphasis should be on tax cuts or whether the emphasis should be on spending. How did you think this is going to get resolved?

DASCHLE: Well, I think there ought to be equal emphasis or nearly equal emphasis. Clearly, we're for additional tax cuts, especially to those 34 million Americans who didn't get any help at all in the first-round.

But we also have to recognize the extraordinary pain and suffering that is going on among working families all over this country. We need more unemployment insurance. We need more ways address those workers who don't have jobs. We need to provide healthcare. We need to look at the myriad of ways to address security, both in airports, as well as ports and other forms of transportation.

So there's a tremendous commitment and need that must be made I think with regard to investment in this country, that could have extraordinary economic consequences in a positive way, as we look to find ways to revitalize the economy again.

WOODRUFF: So when the President says no more spending, you say?

DASCHLE: I say let's certainly address those unemployed workers, who have no health insurance and no source of income. Let's look at all of the needs we have with regard to preparedness, the preparedness for security in our Homeland Defense, as well as for other efforts that need to be undertaken.

Clearly, when we look at what is happening across the country today, a lot more infrastructure, a lot more preparedness, a lot more investment is going to be required.

WOODRUFF: All right, Senate Democratic Majority Leader, Tom Daschle. Thank you very much.

DASCHLE: My pleasure, Judy.

WOODRUFF: Good on to see you. We appreciate it.

We are going to take a short break as our coverage continues. And we continue to watch these live pictures coming in from northern Afghanistan. When we come back, a close look at what's going on at the U.N. today.


BROWN: Nightfall in Afghanistan, a second wave of attacks underway in various parts of the country from Jalalabad, Kabul the capital, Kandahar. We have reports out on the western part in Herad as well.

Another night of attacks there. But it is not all military. There are also some extraordinarily interesting diplomatic efforts in play.

One briefly, we just saw where the Pakistani President telephoned his counterpart, the Indian prime minister. These are arch enemies historically, called him to say that he hoped that they could, the two countries, which have battled over Kashmir for it seems like generations, could cooperate in the war against terrorism, the first time they had talked since summer, when they failed in a summit attempt.

That is one diplomatic effort. More traditional, I guess, diplomatic efforts going on at the United Nations. Richard Roth is there. A couple of developments out of the U.N. today, Richard.

RICHARD ROTH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Aaron. In fact, India and Pakistan were supposed to meet here perhaps September 25, 26th at that high-level General Assembly meeting postponed because of the terror attacks.

Here at the United Nations in about two hours, the Security Council will meet for first time since the military assaults on Afghanistan began. The United States and Britain will present facts and details of the attacks to council members.

Also, already the United States has submitted a piece of paper, a letter from Ambassador John Negriponte (ph) here to the council, outlining the reasons for attack. This is by tradition what the U.S. or any nation which has acted in its self-defense under article 51 of the U.N. Charter, that it must do following the attack.

An interesting part of this letter, Aaron, is that the United States ambassador says there is still much we don't know about the al Qaeda network, which the U.S. blames for terrorist attacks. The inquiry is in its early stages. But then, "We may find that our self- defense requires further actions with respect to other organizations and other states."

U.S. officials here say this is nothing new, that this just echoes what President Bush, Secretary of State Powell have said, that the attacks on Afghanistan may not be confined to just Afghanistan due to the nature of where terrorism may be coming from, that it'll be a long campaign.

Some have picked up on this line, however, the U.S. says this is not putting on alert every member of the U.N. to beware at this moment that the U.S. is, "keeping its options open."

When the British were asked about this in London today, Foreign Secretary Jack straw said, "Well, the agreement at the moment is that the strikes are confined to Afghanistan. This is where the problem is. I asked the Russian ambassador Sergei Lavrov, about this. And simply said, "Well, we have to see the letter, but clearly this links the phrase just to the investigation part -- Aaron. BROWN: Well, I'm one of those people that picked up on that, and have some questions about it. We talked yesterday at about this time, I think, to former Secretary of State Kissinger. And one of the things Dr. Kissinger said is that as long as this battle is confined to Afghanistan, the coalition remains pretty much intact. But when it leaves Afghanistan or should it leave Afghanistan or should it broaden in some way, that's when it gets very complicated diplomatically.

ROTH: That it does. Diplomats here, some privately expressing concern after seeing the U.S. letter, that it might spread or spread too soon before things are in place in a coalition, but these are very strange and interesting times, Aaron.

We might have discussed this, we were going to, but today a country, the U.S., has on its terrorism list Syria, just won a place on U.N. Security Council today for a two-year term. And Syria accused by the U.S. of supporting terrorist activities by Lebanese or Palestinian groups.

The U.S. did not really wage a campaign to fight it. Syria won 160 votes out of 177 possible voting nations. Last year at this time, the U.S. did what it could to block Sudan from becoming a member of the Security Council.

The difference, there was a country running against Sudan. This time, the U.S. needs Syria in this coalition against Afghanistan and who knows where else. And also, the Asia Group had nominated Syria, the only country nominated for "Arab seat on council."

BROWN: And Richard, I need to run here, but just as a practical matter, having the Syrians on the Security Council means what? Can the Syrians block anything at this point?

ROTH: Well, they will not have a veto. There are only five permanent veto-carrying members, including the U.S.. It certainly gives them a window in onto discussions, but the U.S. certainly can play very tight-lipped here and run to around the world, when it needs to do something. But it does, perhaps, put Syria in a heightened place, where perhaps it will be a little easier for them to go along.

Syria's ambassador had said that we're ready to help out. He said Syria is not responsible for terrorism. He blamed Israel. Of course, Israel says it's an absurdity and nonsense that Syria is on the Security Council. It was an attempt by 38 people from Congress to block it, but the U.S. did not follow through on this.

BROWN: Richard, thanks, our senior United Nations correspondent, Richard Roth in New York for us this afternoon at the White House.




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