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America Strikes Back: Look at What is Different Today; Catholic Relief Services Working to Bring Aid to Waves of Refugees

Aired October 11, 2001 - 05:46   ET


CAROL LIN, CNN ANCHOR: Let's get a quick check of our latest developments now at 46 minutes after the hour. Hundreds of people evacuated Kandahar today after the heaviest night so far of U.S. led airstrikes on Afghanistan. The airstrikes have gone on as well into the daylight hours.

LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: (INAUDIBLE) bombing ones there's word from the Pentagon of a new phase of the military campaign. Airstrikes are now aimed at Taliban troops, not just facilities. And a move toward moving ground troops in a limited role is expected to take place in the days ahead.

LIN: And senior Pakistani officials confirmed to CNN a U.S. logistical operation is under way in Pakistan. There have been reports of U.S. military aircraft and personnel stations at an airport in central Pakistan.

Well the memories of September 11th are still fresh in many American minds. After all it was just one month ago today that terrorists attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

A live picture of the aftermath there in South Manhattan. There will be a memorial service at the World Trade Center site there in New York. The service begins at 8:30 a.m. Eastern with a moment of silence at exactly 8:48.

A memorial service for those lost in the attack on the Pentagon will begin at 11:00 a.m. Eastern and President Bush is scheduled to deliver the keynote address at that service.

An airline relay will complete the planned flight path of the September 11th planes. The relay starts in Gadsden (ph), and there will be a benefit concert tonight at eight in Madison - at Madison Square Garden for the New York victims of the September 11th attacks.

HARRIS: Yes, you may have to look far and wide in this country to find someone who says that their life has not changed since the September 11th attacks. It has changed for so many of us, and CNN's Candy Crowley this morning takes a look at what is different today.


CANDY CROWLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In the shadow of the gateway to the west, Randy Will (ph) welcomes guest to the St. Louis Hyatt as he has for 16 years.

RANDY WILL: I think people are now little generally more concerned for their fellow man. They're talking more. They're not - you know they're not in such a big rush to get going.




CROWLEY: Just across the Mississippi, the regulars drop by Billie's (ph) Coffee Shop in East St. Louis, Illinois.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody's coming together now. You know you can see that everywhere. You know there was a time you could see the flags flying and you know just on Flag Day. But now everybody's together.

CROWLEY: In Central Indiana, the seeds of Halloween have grown ripe in the field.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I believe it drew me closer to my wife and to my family. I'm more conscious about my family and how I am the provider and the leader of the home. My life's changed a lot like that -- it really has.

CROWLEY: And back East, the ocean roars while the manmade noise inside Atlantic City Show (INAUDIBLE) Casino signals business returning to normal in a world with sudden perspective.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When I lose control driving my car, that road rage that you get into, I have to back off and say oh, it's not worth it anymore.

CROWLEY: It's true what they say, life does go on, but it's different now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know it made us all stop and think that you know life is precious and it can be taken away pretty damn quickly.

CROWLEY: Everybody who's ever lost someone they love understands that death crystallizes life.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nothing's (INAUDIBLE) to you. You just never know how much time you have left. You have to live it to the fullest.

CROWLEY: What's ahead now seems a life both more precious and more precarious

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Scarier and sweeter. The people in it (INAUDIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) be careful and I used to say have a good day, and now I tell them to be careful.

CROWLEY: What's ahead seems a life in which everything cuts both ways -- stranger beside you could be a threat.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you look at people differently now? Do you feel like there's a fear there that there wasn't there before?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes - most definitely - yes, I look at everybody now. So you have to.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Double espresso.


CROWLEY: And that stranger beside you could save your life.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We were at the doctor's office yesterday and even in the elevator (INAUDIBLE) all strangers in that elevator, but we were all talking, you know, like, you know, this is one - this is us.

This is us America -- Americans.

CROWLEY: From Atlantic City to points West, life goes on.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And they come down here and they have - used to have a lot of rides and stuff (INAUDIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Feels good out here.


CROWLEY: Moment after wonderful moment.

Candy Crowley, CNN.


CAROL LIN, CNN ANCHOR: Catholic Relief Services is one of the agencies working to bring aid to the waves of refugees moving into Pakistan now.

David Snyder is the spokesman for the CRS emergency response team and he's going to join us in just a moment to talk about this humanitarian crisis.


LIN: Earlier in the broadcast we showed you these dramatic pictures of people fleeing -- civilians fleeing with nothing but the clothes on their back as they try to escape these cities near the U.S. airstrikes. There's no real concept of how many people are roaming the countryside now inside of Afghanistan.

Most of them are starving. Anywhere up to a million to three million people, we are hearing. So we're going to check in with Catholic Relief Services. David Snyder is with that agency and he joins us now from Islamabad.

Good morning, David. Can you give us an idea -- an estimate ...


LIN: ... how many people you think are out there right now - refugees who are - who are trying to escape.

SNYDER: Right. Well as you said, it's very hard to get accurate information on how many people are on the move. We've heard figures anywhere from 100,000 people to as you said three million.

And frankly nobody really knows, and that's kind of one of the big challenges of this whole operation so far, is just trying to figure out how many people are on the move and where they're headed.

LIN: What are you bracing for then? How are you preparing for this (INAUDIBLE)?

SNYDER: Right. We've done so far with -- the U.N. is gearing up for a contingency of 300,000 people. That's what the agencies here are gearing for. You know, the problem is we don't know exactly what we're dealing with yet. This could be a scenario where we have 300,000 people in camps inside of Pakistan, if the border opens.

If the border remains closed, you're looking at trying to reach people who are internally displaced inside of Afghanistan, which is - brings with it a whole new set of challenges.

LIN: Are these mostly women and children that you're talking about?

SNYDER: Those are the reports we've heard as well and again, information is scarce. But those are the reports that we're getting as well. You know, in any case, they're going to have to be taken care of no matter where they are in terms of getting relief supplies to them.

If it is largely a population of women and children, you're looking at always the most vulnerable population in any population - women, children. So that's going to be, you know, it's own unique issue to deal with as well.

LIN: How long have you prepared to stay near the border? How long are you prepared to take care of these people?

SNYDER: (INAUDIBLE) I mean Catholic Relief Services have been in Pakistan since 1954. So we have a very long history here. You know I think that brings up an interesting point in terms of, you know, as global attention shifts to Afghanistan, its border remains closed. If these people remain on the move inside of Afghanistan, the world attention shifts there.

I think, you now, it brings up the interesting point that Pakistan itself has its own unique needs and CRS is prepared to continue to stay here long term to provide assistance wherever and however it can extending its existing programs to help those in need here or in Afghanistan if that need arises.

LIN: David, we're supposedly just weeks, if not just a month away, from the winter. What does that mean for the people who are now leaving their villages, trying to head to the border - trying to get help. What sort of a timetable are you working with and what sort of odds are these people up against if they're going to make it?

SNYDER: Right. It's a great concern. I mean from that - from that perspective the timing couldn't be worse. I mean the timing is never good for a refugee movement, but the timing couldn't be worse. The winters here can be brutal indeed. We're looking, as you said, maybe four weeks, maybe six weeks before you know the full effect of winter hits this area.

And part of our efforts and part of a lot of the agencies that are working here - part of their effort is going to be winterization for the refugees or for the IVPs that we're going to have to reach. Blankets are going to be a huge concern.

Tents, perhaps, are going to be a huge concern. So you know you're looking at these just to keep people warm for the winter. It's going to be a monumental challenge. Then you've got the expert (ph) issues of humanitarian rations of you know household goods, whatever else we can provide. But right now blankets are a huge concern to get to these people before the winter sets in.

LIN: Yes and winter can set in very quickly, as I understand, because I can only take hope - a sign of hope, at least, that you're still wearing a golf shirt there in Islamabad. So hopefully some of the warmer weather will continue for awhile.

Thanks so much. David Snyder with Catholic Relief Services.

SNYDER: Thanks.




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