CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
America Strikes Back
Aired October 8, 2001 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
AARON BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening again, everyone. It is dawn in Afghanistan, 10 o'clock tonight in South Florida, and in both of those places tonight, "America's New War" and the country's real fears are playing out.
In Afghanistan, a quiet Tuesday morning. So far, U.S. forces have attacked only at night, but military planners tell us that could change, and so we continue to watch.
Just as we watched through the night-scope camera these flashes that told us day two of the attacks had begun, that was just about noon Eastern Time. Kabul and Kandahar, names few knew a month ago, are now familiar to all of us.
We have a lot of ground to cover this evening. We begin by quickly whipping around the region and Washington, too. Just quick headlines. We'll get back to all of you. We start with CNN's Kamal Hyder, somewhere in eastern Afghanistan -- Kamal.
KAMAL HYDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Aaron, this morning, at about 10 to 3:00, the anti-aircraft artillery opened up around Jalalabad. The people were thinking that this was another attack. Apparently, they weren't able to hear the aircraft. There were no loud explosions, which is something that go along with the bombs, the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) that come after the (UNINTELLIGIBLE).
So Jalalabad, very, very tense this night -- Aaron.
BROWN: Kamal, we'll get more detail from you coming up in the hour.
We go next to northern Afghanistan, a part of the country controlled by the Northern Alliance. And Matthew Chance is there -- Matthew.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Aaron. We're on the second night of airstrikes here. Seen from the perspective of northern Afghanistan, commanders of the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance say they've been shelling front-line positions of the Taliban along with the United States. At the moment, they say they're holding their positions, waiting to see what the coming days will bring or the United States will do before they decide on their military strategy about taking Kabul -- Aaron.
BROWN: We'll check back with you, Matthew.
Across the border in Pakistan, perhaps the most fragile of the coalition states, the most interesting from our perspective, Christiane Amanpour is there. Christiane, the headlines today?
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Aaron, we heard from inside Kandahar, they had reported more explosions shortly before dawn, about two hours ago. Unconfirmed reports from the Iranian Press Agency say sources say that the Taliban Air Force commander was killed and a key Taliban military commander. Those are unconfirmed.
The president of Pakistan watching closely to see whether there are more demonstrations here today. He said that he hopes for a quick, short, sharp, targeted campaign to be over soon. And president of Pakistan moving to defuse tension on his eastern flank, with his nuclear rival, India. Reports here saying that he phoned the prime minister of India, last night, asked him to try to restart peace negotiations on the disputed Kashmir region.
BROWN: Lots of headlines there. We'll be back to Pakistan. Over to the Pentagon and Jamie McIntyre -- Jamie.
JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it appears that the second day of airstrikes has essentially been completed, although the U.S. reserves the right to strike at any time, particularly if there's a target of opportunity.
No confirmation here of the deaths on the ground in Afghanistan, but Pentagon officialss say all U.S. pilots have returned safely, to either their aircraft carriers or land bases as they prepare for strikes on day three.
BROWN: Jamie, thank you. We'll be back with you. And finally, over to the White House, our senior White House correspondent, John King -- John.
JOHN KING, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Aaron, another busy day here. We saw the president introduce the man he has tapped to lead the war on terrorism here at home. We learned today that it was a week ago tomorrow, Tuesday, October 2nd, that the president initially signed off on the military campaign that has now been under way for two days. And we also learned tonight that the president turned furious in recent days to what he believed was the reckless leaking of classified and other sensitive information by members of Congress.
BROWN: Thank you all for the quick headlines. We'll be back for the details coming up in just a moment or two.
It says a good deal about this new war thousands miles away that our lead story tonight is, in fact, just a few hundred miles away from us in Atlanta, down in South Florida. As you may know now, you probably have heard, a second person has been exposed to anthrax. He is in a Florida hospital.
Ernesto Blanco worked in the same building where Robert Stevens worked until Mr. Stevens died from anthrax late last week. Two cases of exposure to an illness that is virtually unheard of at any time as the FBI and medical investigators are working to answer the question you can't help but ask: How did anthrax spores get into an office building in South Florida?
CNN's Mark Potter joins us now with an update. Mark, good evening.
MARK POTTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Aaron. Well, actually the investigation continues on a number of fronts. Federal and state law enforcement and health officials want to know how one man was killed by anthrax. They're also investigating how a co-worker was exposed to the disease. They also want to know how anthrax ended up in the building where they both worked.
Now, that building houses American Media Incorporated. That's a company that publishes tabloid newspapers in Boca Raton, Florida. The man who died was a photo editor there. The man who was exposed to anthrax, but never actually contracted the disease, at least not yet, worked in the mail room, a 73-year-old man.
Now, sources tell CNN that FBI agents will be looking at letters and packages that were delivered to the company. They will also be looking over people who had access to the building, and that would include employees.
And now "Newsweek" magazine is reporting that the FBI agents will also be looking for some former interns, including one who reportedly wrote an e-mail to the company that some remember as having a foreboding tone. "Newsweek" says that it also is looking -- that the FBI is also looking at another letter that contained a suspicious substance.
Now, in Washington, the attorney general, John Ashcroft, says that this case is being treated as if it could be become a criminal investigation, although there is no clear evidence now linking this, any of this to terrorist activity. At a news conference, though, he was asked if Mohamed Atta, one of the September 11th hijackers, might be considered a suspect in this case. If you remember, Mohamed Atta took flight lessons at an airport about 15 miles from the American Media Company.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN ASHCROFT, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: I think it's fair to say that we are taking matter very seriously. The kind of examination which we are conducting is very thorough. It includes the steps that are necessary to safeguard the area totally.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
POTTER: Now, today workers and visitors to the building, going back to October -- excuse me -- August 1st, were urged to go public health clinic in Deerfield Beach, where they were tested for possible exposure to anthrax. They were also given antibiotics, which they must now take for 60 days. And they are being told -- we are being told that test results may take days, if not longer. And of course, you can imagine the anxiety that the workers are feeling, and that news, that it could be a while before they get results, must be adding considerably to that -- Aaron.
BROWN: Mark, I'm not sure I can imagine, but we'll try. It is almost unimaginable. Thank you. It's been a long day for you in South Florida. Mark Potter working the anthrax case from there.
It does seem to us that we are somewhere now in a kind of no man's lands. Sheer happenstance is still a possible explanation, but something sinister obviously cannot be ignored at this point. This is a tricky sort of place to be, which is why we now turn to Philip Hanna. Mr. Hanna is a microbiologist, the director of the biocontainment facility at the University of Michigan. And he joins us tonight from Ann Arbor.
Mr. Hanna -- Dr. Hanna, I would guess, right?
DR. PHILIP HANNA, UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN: That's correct.
BROWN: Thank you. Thank you for being here.
Look, let me -- there are a couple of difficult questions, it seems to me, but they're pretty simple in another way. How likely is it that there is an innocent explanation for this?
HANNA: Now, that's a longshot at this stage, I think: two people in the same building at a locale close to where the crop dusters were grounded at this time in our history. It's a possibility still, but I'd consider it further than the list than something, as you say, more sinister.
BROWN: OK. So now we have to look at, you know -- it is still possible that it is innocent. It is not likely, in your view, that that is so. How might anthrax have gotten into that building? How can that happen?
HANNA: Right. If it's by human intervention, then one would expect that if it were released into the air ducts, or the heating or air conditioning systems, there would be spores everywhere. And they should be picked up by the routine testing, by the officials on hand. If it's something more like a letter or package that contains spores, it may be localized to where those packages and letters were handled and opened.
HANNA: And the numbers of spores could be far fewer.
BROWN: I'm sorry. Joe Contreras, who helped do the reporting on the "Newsweek" story -- "Newsweek" broke the story about the letters -- is with us as well. Joe, tell me what you can about how much they know about these letters, whether this seemed to investigators to be a very solid lead or are they reaching at whatever they can right now.
JOE CONTRERAS, "NEWSWEEK": Well, we're told that the probe is centering on an intern of Middle Eastern extraction who left the building at the end of the summer and who is believed to be a student at nearby Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida.
Apparently, when he left, he sent a rather strangely worded e- mail that said that this was not good-bye, when he departed employment at American Media, and that he would be back in touch. In addition to the suspicious e-mail from this intern, there was a letter, a weird love letter addressed to Jennifer Lopez, that arrived at the American Media Group offices. It contained, we're told, a soapy, powdery substance, which may have contained a sufficiently high concentration of anthrax spores to have killed Bob Stevens.
BROWN: Dr. Hanna, a soapy, powdery substance. Could that have been anthrax or some kind of carrier of anthrax?
HANNA: Yeah, it's possible. When you weaponize anthrax, there's a number of stages. One of the first stages is a wet slurry or soapy substance. If you go to higher technologies, like the Soviet Union has done in the past 20 or so years, you then dry it out and mix it with powders to make the spores light and airy so they float around in the air. That's a higher-grade version.
BROWN: So, that -- that fits in this scenario.
Joe, let may me go back to you then for a second. I guess what I'm trying to figure out is whether investigators feel they have a hot, solid lead, or whether at this point they're listening to what everybody has to say and anything that sounds vaguely suspicious they're running with.
CONTRERAS: I think they're definitely looking into every lead that's coming their way. But I think it's worth noting, Aaron, how Florida state public officials have been backtracking from their initial efforts to downplay, if not completely dismiss, the possibility of foul play in this anthrax outbreak. By this afternoon, we saw the acting secretary of health refusing to speculate on the source of the anthrax germ, and another state health official told me that, quote, "A human element had to be assumed in this anthrax outbreak," because you just don't get concentrations of the bacteria carrying this deadly illness in a three-story office building.
BROWN: And that's pretty much the point, I think, that Dr. Hanna made at the beginning. While an innocent explanation is plausible, it no longer seems likely. So, Dr. Hanna, if you were down around South Florida right now, what would you be doing: taking antibiotics, carrying around a gas mask, or just sitting tight and seeing how this plays out?
HANNA: Well, I don't I'd be one of the gas mask people. If I worked in the building, I would go for testing and probably start prophylactic antibiotic treatment.
BROWN: And let me finish this off with Joe Contreras. We didn't have a chance to talk before, and so let me just ask you if there's anything here that you want to add to either your reporting, which of course we would much appreciate, or to the conversations as we've been going along.
CONTRERAS: Well, at this point, as we know, investigators have converged on the building in white germ-proof suits. I think that there is a general sense of panic and concern surrounding the actual building. And we're going to continue pursuing leads into this intern of Middle Eastern extraction and what became of him after he left American Media.
BROWN: Joe, thanks. That's obviously a terrific piece of reporting that you all did at "Newsweek" we appreciate you coming on and sharing with us. Dr. Hanna, thank you for your time as well. Thank you very much.
Obviously, this story is very troubling, and we'll just keep working it. And as we get new information, we'll pass it along.
We also are getting reports of new explosions in Afghanistan. So we'll be checking in on the region pretty quickly too. We have much more ahead tonight.
ANNOUNCER: Coming up in this CNN special report: Two days in, how far has the U.S. gotten in taking down terrorists and their Taliban supporters? We'll ask former NATO supreme commander Wesley Clark.
Protests erupt in some cities in Pakistan. Will this key nation keep supporting the U.S.? We'll ask the ambassador of Pakistan to the U.N. And turning back the clock to the world before September 10th: four weeks ago tonight, as this CNN special report, "America Strikes Back," continues.
BROWN: It's hard to tell day two of the bombing campaign from day one. If you're just looking at your TV, the green tracers and the orange afterburners look the same today as they did yesterday. But tonight, we know at least a little more about what the country did last night in a and what's in store in the future from the Pentagon.
We turn to our Pentagon correspondent, CNN's Jamie McIntyre.
Jamie, I'm seeing a wire report of new explosions in Kabul and in Kandahar. Any information?
JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, only that the Pentagon has said from the beginning that this would be a continuous operation over several days.
Pentagon officials yesterday tried to steer us away from the idea that bombing would only take place at night. They said in the daytime as well, particularly if what they call targets of opportunity arise. And so, that may be what we're seeing here today as this bombing extends into the daylight hours.
This is, of course, all intended to achieve what the United States says is its goal, which is to clear the way for what it calls sustained anti-terrorist operations combined with humanitarian relief for the Afghan people.
MCINTYRE (voice-over): The first pictures of damage near Kabul came from an Arabic satellite television station, Al Jazeera, as the Pentagon launched a second day of attacks roughly half the size of day one. Fifteen Tomahawk cruise missiles from three U.S. Navy ships, including a submarine, 10 fighter bombers from U.S. aircraft carriers, three B-1s from the British base in Diego Garcia, and two more B-2s on a marathon flight from Missouri.
But the chairman of the joint chiefs said to just add up the numbers would be the wrong measure of success.
GEN. RICHARD MYERS, CHAIRMAN, JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF: Regardless of the pounds of munitions or the scope of the targets, yesterday's strikes began setting the conditions, setting the conditions for future operations. We did destroy some of the terrorists' infrastructure, and we did begin feeding and assisting the victims of the Taliban regime.
MCINTYRE: There were fewer targets to hit the second time around, but the categories stayed the same: air defenses, radars, airplanes and airstrips, command-and-control centers, and concentrations of Taliban or al Qaeda-backed troops in the north. And the Pentagon is making no secret that part of its strategy is to topple the Taliban.
DONALD RUMSFELD, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: But certainly we are working with the elements on the ground that are interested in overthrowing and expelling that group of people.
MCINTYRE: The Pentagon continues to warn that victory will be neither quick nor easy, and hints of the need for ground troops in the future.
RUMSFELD: The cruise missiles and bombers are not going to solve this problem. We know that.
MYERS: The pressure will be relentless, but not always quantifiable or necessarily visible.
MCINTYRE: Aaron, that's something you hear a lot around here, that part of this operation will not be visible. And of course, right now, the bulk of this war is invisible. We're not seeing much of what's happening to the food that's being dropped on the ground to the Afghan people. We're not seeing really the devastation from the bombs. We're not seeing any of the civilians that the Afghans claim have been injured. We're barely able to observe this combat operation.
And this may get even more invisible as the United States moves into a phase which might involve special forces commandos. Tonight, a report out of Dushanbe, Tajikistan indicates that that country will allow the United States to conduct combat operations out of its bases, which border Afghanistan on the north.
So it appears that the very heavy hinting here at the Pentagon is that we're going to move into a phase some time in the near future that would involve putting U.S. troops in Afghanistan, at least on a short-term basis -- Aaron.
BROWN: Jamie, thanks. Jamie McIntyre at the Pentagon.
It seems like a pretty good segue to former General Wesley Clark, who's with us here in Atlanta.
General, targets of opportunity that would be there during the day that would not be so easy to attack at night. Help me with that first.
RET. GEN. WESLEY CLARK, FORMER NATO SUPREME ALLIED COMMANDER: Well, if you want the pilot to put his eyes on it, as we did in the campaign against Kosovo, we actually had pilots orbiting at over 20,000 feet with stabilized binoculars looking out of the cockpit, and they could actually pick out targets on the ground.
What I find interesting, Aaron, is that we've already started attacking ground targets. It's very early in a traditional campaign to do this. I think it shows some excellent coordination. It shows that perhaps we already have some people in there on the ground who can point out where these ground forces might be.
BROWN: I'm sorry. Just -- I want to just check one thing. You said "ground targets"...
BROWN: ... and you mean ground forces?
CLARK: Ground forces. Right. Ground force targets. Around Mazar-e-Sharif, we were told in the very first night of strikes there was a force here believed to be an al Qaeda force associated with the Taliban, who were moving up here toward the Uzbekistan border.
Now, if we able to pick up these troops from a satellite or from high overhead, that's one thing. But to be able to keep real-time awareness of where they are, that takes a lot of skill, and I think we're seeing that already in this campaign. So I think it's a very promising sign.
BROWN: And what that screams to you is there is better intelligence on the ground, or perhaps in the air, right? I mean, it could be satellites, couldn't it?
CLARK: It could be. It could be. The weather has been pretty good over here, but it does say that the coordination, the ability to measure the risks and go after the ground forces early in the campaign, when they're still discombobulated, so to speak, from the take-down of their command and control is better. And it's something the Air Force has been working on, and so this may be a payoff from it. BROWN: General Clark, we'll be talking to you again, I'm sure, if not tomorrow, soon. General -- former General Wesley Clark with us in Atlanta this everything.
Now, back to Washington and across town from the Pentagon, our senior White House correspondent, John King, joins us again.
John, I thought it was sort of an odd day at the White House in the sense there was this very serious ceremony in the morning with Tom Ridge and then this very routine event in the afternoon celebrating Columbus Day.
KING: The president smiling at that event, Liza Minelli entertaining the president and a crowd here at the White House, celebrating Columbus Day. Normally, a big event for a president for political purposes. We don't see the president doing much politics these days.
But you're right, a great sense of irony actually. One event in the White House, the ceremony you mentioned, the earlier ceremony, designed to ease the jitters of the American people that the country is not safe at the moment. Yet the president's own vice president was told to stay away because of security concerns. The president didn't mention that, but he did say he believed his choice to lead the office of homeland security here at the White House was the right man to lead the war on terrorism here at home.
KING (voice-over): Former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge is now assistant to the president and director of homeland security, charged with ending turf battles among the 40 federal agencies that deal with anti-terrorism efforts.
TOM RIDGE, U.S. DIRECTOR OF HOMELAND SECURITY: We must be task- oriented. The only turf we should be worried about protecting is the turf we stand on.
KING: The first day on the job for Governor Ridge, take two of the military strikes overseas. Mr. Bush took pains to note the campaign against terrorism is just beginning.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: On all efforts, on all fronts we're going to be ongoing and relentless as we tighten the net of justice. This will be a long war that requires understanding and patience from the American people.
KING: The initial round of strikes is limited to bin Laden and Taliban targets in Afghanistan, but the United States and Great Britain formally notified the United Nations Security Council they reserve the right to broaden the military campaign.
In this letter, U.S. Ambassador John Negroponte wrote, quote: "We may find our self-defense requires further actions with respect to other organizations and other states." Mr. Bush was in an upbeat mood at this celebration of Columbus Day, but CNN has learned the president called the top four congressional leaders Friday and angrily complained about leaks of classified and sensitive information from secret administration briefings to Congress.
He then sent this hand-signed memo obtained by CNN to the secretaries of state, treasury and defense, as well as the attorney general and the heads of the CIA and FBI. It orders them to share classified or sensitive information only with a select group from Congress: the four top leaders plus the chairman and ranking members of the House and Senate intelligence committees.
"We have an obligation," the president wrote, "to protect military operational security, intelligence sources and methods, and sensitive law enforcement investigations."
KING: The president closed that memo by writing these new strict restrictions, in his view, were necessary to protect American lives. And he also told the department around the government, quote, "This policy shall remain in effect until you receive further notice from me" -- Aaron.
BROWN: John, thank you. Senior White House correspondent John King on station tonight.
It's a bit hard to read Pakistan in all of this. On the one hand, the government of Pakistan continues its somewhat risky support of the United States. On the other hand, it warned that it had no interest at all in seeing the Northern Alliance, the Taliban opposition forces, take control of that country. The Northern Alliance, an ally in this of the United States.
CNN's Christiane Amanpour joins us with the doings in Pakistan. She's in Islamabad today.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Aaron, about the whole Pakistani situation in terms of what they want to see for the future, they're absolutely clear -- and certainly President Musharraf said that at a press conference -- that they don't want a vacuum left. He described it as a vacuum, if there was one, that would simply continue the ability for anarchy to reign and would continue to be a place where these kinds of terrorist acts could continue to breed in what he called an anarchic situation.
So what they want is for a broad-based alliance. They've said this many, many times. But they clearly know that the Northern Alliance is going to have to be part of it. There's parts of the Taliban force who don't want to have anything to do with the Mullah Omar and more hard-line Taliban officials, if they want to defect and become part of a national reconciliation government. Then all the sort of ethnic groups, they say here, have to be represented, and they're also talking about using the former king as a potential figurehead, or at least an interim leader.
So what they're very clear about is that they need some kind of national reconciliation situation after the military campaign. Now, on the other hand, they're also saying that they hope that this military action will be short and sharp, and clearly defined and targeted, as they believe it has been so far. They are concerned about possible more demonstrations on the streets. There was one yesterday that was quite large compared to the ones we've seen over the last few weeks. It was in a place which has traditionally a lot of Afghan refugees from previous Afghan wars. It has a high concentration of the ethnic groups who support the Taliban. And therefore, it was not entirely unexpected that this large demonstration might take place in the town of Quetta. It did get quite ugly. One person was killed.
There have been very much smaller demonstrations in other parts of Pakistan.
On another issue, the president of Pakistan has also been talking about attacking the root causes of terrorism in general, and while not making a connection between what happened in the United States and any other regional conflict, he nonetheless that, for instance, the Palestinian situation had to be resolved, and most importantly, the Kashmir situation. And in a very interesting development, the president of Pakistan, according to the news agencies here, last night called the prime minister of India to talk about trying to restart the stalled peace negotiations, peace talks that they were trying to have on India.
And it's very important on Kashmir, particularly as the United States looks at these two nuclear rivals, and hopes and is clearly exerting pressure that there won't be any mischief made between these two countries at this particular time -- Aaron.
BROWN: Christiane, a very busy day in Pakistan yesterday, Monday for you. And we'll -- we'll look forward to see what Tuesday brings. Thank you very much, Christiane Amanpour.
Well, talking a little bit, by the way, to the Pakistani ambassador to the United Nations. He'll be coming up in a bit. First, we want to go to Matthew Chance. Matthew is in the northern part of Afghanistan, in an area controlled by the Northern Alliance. He has an interesting view of what's playing out there.
Matthew, good morning, in your case, to you.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Aaron, indeed. And after that second night of airstrikes against Afghanistan by United States-led forces, the Northern Alliance intelligence forces -- sources, rather, that we've been speaking to confess to us that there were heavy attacks again on the Afghan city of Kandahar, in the south of the country, also on the airport there. Also on the airport in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. No word from their intelligence sources on, though, any casualties.
Let's take a look at the nightscope images that we have of the latest attacks. I know it's very difficult to make out exactly what we're seeing. But this is a warplane, either British or American -- and it's not possible for to us say -- screaming through the skies over the Afghan capital, Kabul, on a bombing run just a few hours ago. Taliban anti-aircraft gunners opened fire, apparently, though, missing their target. We've been turning quite a lot, as you know, to this night scope videophone imagery over Kabul. We've placed it in a place that overlooks the frontline position between this Northern Alliance standpoint and the Taliban-controlled Kabul.
We can't see city itself, of course. There's a mountain standing between us and a line of sight to Kabul. It also stands between the Northern Alliance forces and their ultimate target, which is of course taking Kabul.
On another military note from the Northern Alliance point of view, they have been telling us they have had 1,200 defectors in the past 24 hours, defectors from the Taliban side have joined their forces with the Northern Alliance. Aaron, back to you.
BROWN: Matthew, thank you very much. Matthew Chance from north part of Afghanistan. That videophone picture, the green picture, I guess will become the most memorable picture of the early parts of war, whether you could see anything from it or not.
We'll talk with a couple leading ambassadors from the region when we come back. We have much more ahead on a Monday night.
Another example today of the delicate diplomatic dance that's going. The United States did not try to stop Syria from a getting seat on the U.N. Security Council.
Syria is a country that has long been on the State Department's list of nation's that support terrorism. The United States would have preferred a different outcome, but couldn't easily pull that off for a variety of reasons, not the least of which, there was no other country truly lobbying for the seat.
We'll spend some time work throwing a variety of diplomatic issues. Right now, we're joined first by Shamshad Ahmad, the ambassador to Pakistan or the Pakistani ambassador to the United Nations. My apologies. It's nice to see you again.
From the start, your government said today it's important to deal with the root causes of terrorism. Presumably, that means the Israelis and Palestinians. What are you wanting to see happen now? And is this the right climate for anything to happen?
SHAMSHAD AHMAD, PAKISTANI AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: Well, Aaron, I think it is fine nabbing a few individuals or attacking a few countries, but that is not a solution of the problem of terrorism.
And terrorism has to be tackled as a phenomenon. A little while ago, I saw General Clark speaking about invisibility of some military operations. I think terrorism also is a faceless enemy. And it is an enemy which lurks in the shadows of fear and frustration and it breeds on despair and disillusionment and it is fed by poverty and ignorance.
So, I think everybody must recognize that in order to cope with this universal phenomenon, we'll have to tackle the root causes of terrorism and unless we root out the causes of injustice and oppression in all parts of the world, terrorism will not disappear.
BROWN: Mr. Ambassador, I'd like to cover two other areas and we don't have a whole lot of time, so help me here if you can. The phone call today between your government and the government of India; from where we sit, pretty significant.
AHMAD: Yes, well, it is very much consistent with the policy that Pakistan has always followed in seeking meaningful and result- oriented dialogue with India for a just and honorable settlement of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the U.N. Security Council's resolutions and in conformity with the wishes of the Kashmiri people.
So, the president, today, called the prime minister of India, renewing his offer that this dialogue at the summit level should be resumed. In fact, the two leaders had met in Agra (ph) a couple of months ago and we do hope, sincerely hope that India will reciprocate our initiative and will agree to resume the dialogue for a final settlement of the Kashmir dispute.
BROWN: Mr. Ambassador, we have one other area we need to talk about, but we're not going to get it done tonight.
BROWN: Why don't we come back later this week and talk about the refugee problem. I don't want to short change it by giving it 20 seconds now, if that works for you.
BROWN: Thank you, the ambassador to the United Nations from Pakistan, Shamshad Ahmad, joining us.
Now, Jordan is among the more interesting countries in the Middle East. The Jordanian king was en route to the United States on September 11th and forced to turn back because of the attack. The ambassador to Washington is with us, Marwan Jamil Muasher.
Mr. Ambassador, good evening to you. Just pick up, if you will, on this question of the root causes. Is this -- is the climate right, in this kind of shocked state the world finds itself in, is the time right for Mideast peace to truly move forward?
MARWAN JAMIL MUASHER, JORDANIAN AMBASSADOR: There is no question that we have to speak very forcefully against terrorism and we have to do something about those who perpetuated the attacks as September 11th.
What we are talking about, though, is that any long-term solution to the question of terrorism, cannot be a military solution only, and has to address the root causes of the problems, the foremost among which is the Arab-Israeli conflict.
This is not to bring the two together, but to really acknowledge the fact that a long-term solution will have to resolve that conflict. It something that the United States understands very well and we are very heartened by the president's statement two days ago declaring for the first time, probably, publicly, his support for a Palestinian state.
BROWN: But, just again, let me try the question one more time: given what's going on in Afghanistan, given the shock in many ways that the rest of the world is reacting with, is this the right time? Or is this just not a reasonable time for the parties to do business?
MUASHER: I don't think anybody is looking at resolving the Arab- Israeli conflict tomorrow. What we are saying is that down the road this has to be looked at and addressed in serious way and it is something that the United States has already started to do.
BROWN: Let me move to a different area. I did see reports today of some anti-American demonstrations in Jordan today. Is that a serious problem for the government or not?
MUASHER: Not really. Demonstrations can take place in Jordan. We have different points of view, but the overwhelming majority of Jordanians stand against terrorism, as you know. This organization in particular, the al Qaeda, is an organization that has worked against Jordan and against the royal family, in particular, also, and it is an organization Jordan has fought against for a long time.
BROWN: And, when you talk about it not being significant in size, what percent of the population do you think would be sympathetic to Osama bin Laden or al Qaeda?
MUASHER: I don't think there is any more than, you know, few percent persons support for Osama bin Laden, if any, in Jordan. As you know, we have a strong Islamist political party in Jordan, but they also stand against terrorism and they in no way support bin Laden or his terrorist ways.
BROWN: Mr. Ambassador, thanks. I hope you'll come back and talk some more about your country's role in the coalition as this goes along. It was nice to talk to you tonight. Thank you, sir.
We have much more to do on the diplomatic front and other areas as well. We'll continue for a Monday night in a moment.
BROWN: It feels to me like we are rushing a little bit through some of this, in fact we are. The anthrax story was unfolding in some ways as we went on the air. We spent a bit longer than we planned, so I apologize for rushing here.
We want to spend a few moments taking a look at the Northern Alliance. This is a very critical element in this campaign that's unfolding. It makes the Pakistanis nervous, but it's an American ally and the American military certainly expects the Northern Alliance to do some of the ground work when the war comes to that.
We turn to "Time" magazine's Josh Ramo to, as he's done before, I think, to help us understand some of these groups. They are our friends now, the Northern Alliance is friends to the United States. Are they reliable friends, do you think? JOSHUA COOPER RAMO, "TIME" MAGAZINE: Well, I think that's what remains to be seen, Aaron, and there are going to be a variety of sort of metrics coming up over next few we the U.S. tests precisely how much they can come to count on the Northern Alliance.
The first, as Wes Clark hinted earlier, is going to come with the amount of intelligence support they provide U.S. operations on the ground. We know that Taliban troops have been pulling back from the outlying positions they held, particularly around the north of Kabul and another important area call Mazar-e Sharif.
That is an area that has been hit very heavily during the air strikes today, and it appears there's been some intelligence coordination between the U.S. and the Northern Alliance forces. So, that's one crucial metric that the U.S. will look at.
The second is going to be the extent to which the Northern Alliance begins to build a political coalition that broadens their base of support inside Afghanistan itself. Right now, the Northern Alliance is a group that has said nothing about willingness to cooperate with other tribes inside Afghanistan, that's again going to be a key way to judge how successful this movement is likely to become going forward.
BROWN: Why does the Northern Alliance make the Pakistani so nervous?
RAMO: Well, a couple of reasons. First, the Pakistanis were supporters for a long time of the Taliban and still, today, are very aggressive about saying and making clear that they want any future government of Afghanistan to include the Taliban. So, that's one reason.
The second is that inside Pakistan itself, the Northern Alliance is seen as being to some extent a tool of India and a tool of Iran, and both of those states make the Pakistani government very nervous, and particularly they make people on the streets in Pakistan very nervous. It calls up all sorts of deep nationalist sentiment.
So, there's a lot of worry inside governing chambers in Pakistan that too much support for the Northern Alliance could cause real problems on the street inside Pakistan. The line that some people are quoting is that the wrong kind of change in regime in Afghanistan could lead to the wrong kind of change of regime in Pakistan.
BROWN: Man, this stuff gets complicated, Josh. Last question here, what would threaten the coalition at this point? I assume as long as the war is confined to Afghanistan, no problems.
RAMO: That's right. But, clearly, a lot of people are looking at Ambassador Negroponte's statement at the U.N. today, the letter he delivered to Kofi Annan, indicating that there may be some broadening of the campaign. That is of concern to a number of leaders in the Arab world. As President Musharraf himself said, he hopes this is going to be a short, sharp campaign, but the rhetoric out of the White House today was 180 degrees different, President Bush saying that it's going to be a long campaign, and the people need to dig in. That is a tremendous threat. Every day the campaign goes on, it is more of a risk for these moderate Arab regimes.
BROWN: Josh Ramo, thanks for coming in. Appreciate it.
RAMO: You bet.
BROWN: Terrific tonight.
Still to come from us, he was a political cartoonist who said that anger drove a passion to draw, to expose the truth. You can image what the late Herbert Block would be drawing now. Remembering Herblock in a moment.
BROWN: A couple of items off the story tonight: Millions of people hear Rush Limbaugh every day on the radio, but he can no longer hear them. The conservative talk show host today told his listeners, quote, "I am, for all practical purposes, deaf."
Limbaugh said the problem surfaced in the spring. Since then, he's lost all of his hearing in his left ear, 80 percent in his right ear.
Mr. Limbaugh was, well, he was Mr. Limbaugh. When talking about it all today, he told his listeners, quote, "I can do this radio program every day without taking a phone call if I have to, and still out rate 99 percent of the people who do it."
We wish him well.
So much has changed. Here's one of those things that reminds you how different the world was before September 11th. A political cartoon just two weeks before the attack in "The Washington Post." It skewers President Bush and his handling of relations with Europe. It's the speak loudly and poke them with a big stick policy. The big stick says, "We're a superpower and you're not" as it hits the Russian president, Putin.
That was the last cartoon drawn by a legend, Herbert Block, or Herblock, who died yesterday at 91. This is one of the great journalists of our time, a great eye, a wonderful hand and an extraordinary wit.
Here's CNN's Bruce Morton.
BRUCE MORTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Herbert Block, Herblock, came to "The Washington Post" in 1946, was its editorial cartoonist for more than half a century. Won three Pulitzer Prizes and shared in a fourth.
He was a sweet, kind, angry man who loved his job. HERB BLOCK, POLITICAL CARTOONIST: I enjoy having a chance to get in my two cents worth and say what I think about things. I enjoy the drawing and the, you know, it's nice when people tell you they've seen what you do. You know, everything about it is good.
MORTON: He hated the Communist witch hunts of the 1950's, the red-baiters, like Senator Joe McCarthy, later censured by the Senate. He hated special interests: This cartoon about buying a Senate seat was done in 1960, but the debate over campaign finance reforms goes on today. His atom bomb with its human features was one of the trademarks of the Cold War.
He usually drew Richard Nixon with a heavy beard, had him crawling out of a sewer in 1954, for what Herblock called a mud- slinging, red-smearing campaign against incumbent Democrats. But when Nixon got elected president in 1968, Herblock declared a truce.
"This shop gives to every new president of the United States a free shave." Then came Watergate. The beard came back.
The late Katharine Graham, "The Post's" publisher, said Herblock had on the paper complete independence of anybody and anything.
He drew all the presidents, Jimmy Carter, the first President Bush, Bill Clinton. I asked him once what you needed to be a political cartoonist. "Well," he said, "one is you've got to be angry seeing a special interest to lobby someone in Congress getting away with something. You've got to be angry." Then, after a long pause, "Of course, it helps if you can draw a little."
He could surely do that. He surely could.
Bruce Morton, CNN, Washington.
BROWN: Well, we all remember where we were and what we were doing on September 11th. Harder to remember September 10th. Four weeks ago today. A distant world full of smaller concerns.
They didn't seem that way back then, maybe, but they sure do now. September 10th from CNN's Beth Nissen.
BETH NISSEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was one of the early cartoons to appear after the World Trace Center attack. At an airport, a national guardsman asks a woman where she want to go. September 10th, she answers.
September 10th. The last day before America was attacked and went to war. What were Americans thinking about, talking about, worried on about that day four week and forever ago?
In morning newspapers and news programs, lead stories noted fears of a declining economy leading to a recession.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How low will stocks go? With troubling economic news, anemic growth and rising unemployment, all eyes are Wall Street, today, Monday, September the 10th, 2001.
NISSEN: Millions of children had just gone back to school. From a public school in Jacksonville, Florida, President Bush called on Congress to pass his education package.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I know reading is not a partisan issue. I mean, getting ever child to read in American is an American issue and it ought to be and American goal.
NISSEN: Back in Washington leading Democrats launched their campaign against the Bush administration's missile defense plan, calling missile defense a waste of money that would start a dangerous global arms race.
SEN. JOSEPH BIDEN (D), DELAWARE: Let's stop this nonsense before we end up pulling the trigger.
NISSEN: At the Pentagon, there was talk of war.
TOM BROKAW, NBC: Today, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld he said he was declaring war on bureaucracy and waste.
NISSEN: Terrorism was headline news. There were several stories about a wave of deadly suicide bombings, far away in Israel. Few noticed a report from Afghanistan.
PETER JENNINGS, ABC: Word of a possible assassination in Afghanistan. General Ahmed Massoud commanded the last real military opposition to the Taliban regime.
NISSEN: Later reports confirmed the leader of the anti-Taliban forces was assassinated.
On the other side of the world, around American watercoolers, people were talking about what they had done over the weekend. The expensive miniseries "Band of Brothers" had just premiered on HBO.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... got any spare ammo and a pack or a (UNINTELLIGIBLE) bag, bring it along.
NISSEN: "The Musketeer" was the weekend's top grossing movie.
It was week one of NFL action and Barry Bonds had hit his 63rd homerun that weekend and was just seven shy of Mark McGwire's record.
By the end of the day, there was bigger sports news about a star's return to the NBA.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Michael Jordan, giving the strongest indications yet, that he will return to the playing surface this year.
NISSEN: The style conscious talked about the best and worst dressed, and the start of fashion week in New York, where designer unveiled next spring's looks.
In New York City, the financial community followed the day's stories on the plunge in the world's stock markets.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All the major markets, the indices, not indexes, indices, if you please, are sharply lower.
NISSEN: On the business page of one New York City newspaper, "The Daily News," was a scoop about a new deal to upgrade and expand the number of retail stores under World Trade Center.
And at World Trade Center that day, a member of World Views, an artist residency program, got out her camera. Video artist Monica Bravo (ph) took these time lapsed images from the 92nd floor of the North Tower. This was the view on September 10th, the last day before America's view of the world changed.
Beth Nissen, CNN, New York.
BROWN: We'll be right back.
BROWN: A few small things, now, parts of the larger picture. Starting tomorrow, commuters will see National Guard troops at New York's Grand Central Station and Penn Station too. Today the FAA changed the rules on carry-on bags. From now on, passengers will be allowed to bring only one bag onboard.
Also today, an American airlines 767 landed in Chicago this afternoon with fighter escorts. The FBI says it began when a mentally-impaired passenger, a child, tried to get into the cockpit. Other passengers subdued him. The pilots quite nervous about the commotion they could not see. They called for help and they brought it down safely.
Tonight at Sky Harbor Airport in the Phoenix area, this is the scene. Planes strung out there in line on the tarmac. There has been a security breach at Sky Harbor. We don't have a lot of detail, but what we've been told is that someone, man a green jacket, has breached security there. They are looking through the airport, Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix. That has backed everything up. Obviously, they're not moving anything out of there until they find out what's going on. And obviously, we'll pass along more information on that as we get it. That's in Phoenix tonight.
That's the end of this hour. Our coverage of AMERICA'S NEW WAR continues in a moment.
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