CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Aired October 13, 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.
DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening. I'm Daryn Kagan. I'm live in Washington, D.C. this evening. And this is a CNN special report: Target Terrorism. We're going to begin for you tonight with the latest developments.
Starting with the U.S., which has launched another round of intense air strikes in Afghanistan. Targets included the southern city of Kandahar and the capital of Kabul. In Kabul, the Pentagon says a misguided bomb accidentally hit a residential area. Defense officials say as many as four people may have been killed. The bomb was supposed to hit a military helicopter at the airport, which was about a mile from where it landed.
And the Associated Press is reporting five more employees of a Florida publishing company have tested positive for exposure to anthrax. But the FBI and the Centers for Disease Control insist that the results are only preliminary. And they may still turn out to be negative.
On to Nevada now and the latest on the letter that was sent to a subsidiary of Microsoft in Reno. The third round of tests has confirmed that letter was indeed contaminated with anthrax. Our James Hattori has the latest.
JAMES HATTORI, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was an announcement Nevada's governor could not have enjoyed making.
KENNY QUINN, GOVERNOR, NEVADA: We do have the results of the third test from our state testing lab. And the results are that it's positive.
HATTORI: Tests completed Saturday confirm a suspicious letter delivered to a Reno office, occupied by the Microsoft Corporation contained anthrax bacteria. The letter was originally sent from Microsoft here in Reno. It contained a check, payment for a company in Malaysia, a country where al Qaeda terrorists are known to operate.
But the letter was returned after someone tampered with it. Inside, beside the check, some clippings from a pornographic magazine, stained as if from some liquid. That's where the anthrax was detected. Local health officials say six Microsoft employees may have handled or come in close proximity to the letter. They are being tested. But so far, none has become ill.
QUINN: You can touch it, but if you don't have something open and you don't move it to your mouth, then you could wash it off.
HATTORI: Health officials have forwarded a sample of the anthrax to the Centers for Disease Control labs in Atlanta for more testing. Meantime, state and local officials stress the health risk to the public is very, very low.
James Hattori, CNN, Carson City, Nevada.
KAGAN: Meanwhile, let's bring you the latest from New York City, where investigators there say they have pinpointed the source of anthrax that infected a news employee at NBC. Mayor Rudy Giuliani now says the bacteria were contained in a threatening letter that was actually postmarked in Trenton, New Jersey on September 18. The mayor said that 358 at NBC have been tested. There is no sign that anyone else has been infected with anthrax.
For more on the anthrax investigation, we know our viewers do have a lot of questions. We have a fax sheet with answers to common questions for you. All you have to do is check out our web site. The address, www.cnn.com.
And now on to the military angle and the Pentagon, which is apologizing today for a stray bomb that hit a civilian area in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, U.S. forces continue pounding targets and analyzing the damage.
Let's bring in our Kathleen Koch for the latest developments on the military front. She is at the Pentagon this evening. Good evening, Kathleen.
KATHLEEN KOCH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Daryn. Well, the Pentagon has indeed launched another round of intense strikes throughout Afghanistan. Some of those strikes, of course, coming in the northern capital city of Kabul. Others also near Kandahar, where sources tell CNN that a Taliban military headquarters was hit.
Now at this point, there are no reports of casualties in Kandahar. There is, however, at least one person reported killed in renewed strikes on Kabul. Early Saturday morning, as CNN has been reporting, as many as four people were killed and perhaps up to eight injured when a U.S. bomb went astray in a residential area, only about a mile from the Kabul airport. The Pentagon says, as best it can figure, a U.S. Navy F-18 Hornet was targeting a military helicopter on the ground there at the Kabul airport.
When due to what the Pentagon calls a targeting process error, the 2000 pound bomb that was dropped instead, headed into that neighborhood and not into the helicopter. Now the Pentagon in its statements says, "We regret the loss of any civilian life. U.S. forces are intentionally striking only military and terrorist targets. They take great care in their targeting process to avoid civilian casualties." So they are investigating to see just what happened, that investigation due to take several days -- Daryn.
KAGAN: Kathleen, a couple questions for you tonight. First of all, what can you tell us about a separate incident which took place over the skies of Iraq today?
KOCH: That was in southern Iraq, an incident that occurs on a relatively frequent basis. In this case, a U.S. aircraft had to take action against a command and control center in southern Iraq, taking it out. And the Pentagon says that basically it was a self-defense measure.
And in the statement, it said that this attack came in response to "hostile Iraqi threats against coalition pilots and air crews conducting routing monitoring of the southern no-fly zone." Now Iraq has fired anti-aircraft missiles and missiles from surface-to-air missiles from SAN missile sites some 420 times this year alone, Daryn.
KAGAN: And let's bring it back to where -- exactly where you are tonight, the Pentagon, Kathleen. And what can you tell us about a special ceremony that took place today for one of the victims of the Pentagon attack?
KOCH: Well, Daryn, this was very unique for what sources tell us was only the fourth time in the last 25 years a U.S. B-52 bomber flew low and slow over the Pentagon and then over Arlington National Cemetery. And this was part of the funeral for a retired 55-year-old Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Robert Himmelt.
He died when the hijacked plane hit the Pentagon on September 11. Now Himmelt himself had been a B-52 bomber pilot during the Vietnam War. He was shot down over Hanoi in 1972. He had to be cut out of that plane, received a Purple Heart. And he was working here in the Pentagon on September 11 as a civilian management analyst, working in temporary quarters in the basement of the Pentagon.
He was to have to moved into his permanent the next day, September 12. And those quarters were untouched by the damage.
KAGAN: Quite a site there. I know that they made a special effort in local news this morning. I heard it as I was getting ready for work, to make sure that folks around here knew exactly what was taking place, so they wouldn't be concerned when they saw that very unusual site over Arlington National Cemetery.
Kathleen Koch at the Pentagon. Kathleen, thank you. You have a good evening.
Well, not surprisingly, the Taliban insists that the world is not getting the real story on the devastation caused by the U.S.-led air strikes in Afghanistan. So they're escorting 14 international journalists on a tour of bombed out sites.
One of those reporters is our own Nic Robertson. Nic, keep in mind, is one of only four Western journalists, and the only correspondent from a U.S-based television organization on the tour. He and the others right now are on the outskirts on Jalalabad on Afghanistan's eastern border with Pakistan.
We have to remind you that Nic is escorted by the Taliban. He is, however, free to report whatever he feels he must do. And he's with us now via videophone.
Nic, what can you tell us about what you were able to see today or perhaps yesterday, given where you are and the timeframe?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Indeed, Daryn, it's been about 10 hours since we've been inside Afghanistan. And we drove in from the border. It was deserted. And it was nighttime. Since we arrived in the city of Jalalabad, within 50 minutes of arriving in fact, there was a huge destination that shook this building and shook the windows.
Subsequent to that, there were several other detonations around the city. Those detonations sounded as if they were further away. Impossible to tell exactly where these explosions were happening, but driving into the city, past the airport, past the key military installation, it was clear from the debris, the dust and the broken branches on the road that it appeared that a large explosion had gone off in that area as well on our way into the city.
Now it is daylight now, but when we first arrived into the country, it was quite dark.
(voice-over): Under cover of darkness and a heavy armed guard, the Taliban allowed the first group of international journalists in over a month into Afghanistan. After a week of sustained bombing and what they say are numerous civilian deaths and casualties, the Taliban say they want the world to see the attacks from their side.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We will visit the places that have undergone brutal American attack. And we will see the destruction the bombing has caused.
ROBERTSON: The Taliban also say they will take journalists to hospitals and universities. They say civilians are also targets in what they call cruel attacks.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Afghanistan is under American bombing. They want to get control. We are under cruel attacks.
ROBERTSON: Arriving after dark, there is little to see. However, check points on the road are frequent, particularly in strategic locations. And civilians, so far, scarce on the streets with a curfew in place.
(END VIDETAPE) Now the fact that the Taliban have allowed this group of journalists in is an indication that they are beginning to fight the very modern propaganda war that they say that they have been at a complete disadvantage at so far. And as you said before, they have warned this group of journalists that we should not take off and go report things by ourselves, that it would unsafe to operate without government officials at this time -- Daryn.
KAGAN: Nic, not to be cynical from a Western perspective here, but what do they mean by unsafe? Unsafe because you wouldn't be escorted or they don't think that that would be good for your health, so to speak?
ROBERTSON: They say that it would unsafe because as they have said for several weeks now, that it is unsafe for foreigners to be here and that they say we need their escort, otherwise there might be a level of anger showed us by people on the streets who are angry about these bombings.
Now they do plan now to take in just a couple of hours time to hospitals, to universities and to these villages themselves. The visits, we understand, will be limited to the area of Jalalabad. And we don't know at this time how long we'll be given at each location and exactly what facilities will be granted to us there.
But this is a first step for the Taliban. This is the first time that they have actually done this, that they've actually said, "Yes, we need to show the international community what we think is happening." This does show a very subtle shift in the way that the Taliban are thinking at this time, Daryn.
KAGAN: And are you allowed, Nic, to speak to whomever you want? Or are you only allowed to interview the people that your Taliban escorts introduce you to?
ROBERTSON: I think a certain amount of that remains to be seen at this time. Certainly, we've been told, we're going to be given a free hand within the boundaries of having an escort. And we haven't been told that we shouldn't speak to people.
So I think much of that remains to be seen. So far, we have been just restricted to being in this hotel. So it's very, very difficult to gauge what the reaction will be when try and speak to people outside. But we certainly haven't been given any indication that we mustn't speak to anybody outside at this time -- Daryn.
KAGAN: Clearly, I expect you to see some horrific sites and to see people who are suffering terribly, but how do you know and what evidence will you be able to gather that will show that this is indeed the result of American air strikes?
ROBERTSON: I think one will have to base it on previous experience of having seen, in Iraq, for example during the Gulf War, first-hand, the sites of large explosions. Not only in 1991, but 1998, as well.
And also during the Kosovo crisis as well, having gone in and seen some of the devastation wrought by large explosions at that time.
So I think it will have to be very much done on what we're told, adding up all the evidence that we see and trying to make a best balanced judgment as to what's caused what we see. There are no indications so far, however, that anybody has tried to mislead us or show us anything, you know, anything other than what they say it is.
In fact, in previous years in working with the Taliban with -- inside Afghanistan, working within the supervision of their officials from the government, it has not been the case that we've seen so far, where people have over -- they lied to us about a situation.
So I think what has to balance in all those things, the way that we've been treated by the Taliban in the past, what they've told us in the past on the ground, and also from knowledge of you know, what large munitions do, how they destruct a building, how they impact an area.
So I think it will be a balance of all those things, Daryn.
KAGAN: We will rely on your perspective and your experience. And look forward to reports from inside Afghanistan, a unique perspective. One thing, Nic, we ask you please be safe out there, you and the crew.
Appreciate that very much. That's our Nic Robertson live from Jalalabad, Afghanistan, using our videophone technology. Once again, we want to remind you that Nic and our crew are being escorted by the Taliban.
Back now to this country, where President Bush is monitoring the situation from Camp David. That's where he has been since yesterday. This morning, the President was updated on developments during a videoconference with his National Security team. CIA director George Tenent and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice joined him at Camp David.
And not surprisingly, the U.S. campaign in Afghanistan was also the subject of the President's weekly radio address.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: American forces dominate the skies over Afghanistan. And we will use that dominance to make sure terrorists can no longer freely use Afghanistan as a base of operations.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAGAN: Mr. Bush did not mention the Afghan civilian deaths in his radio address.
The rules of war are redefining the rules of diplomacy in a region with a long history of border battles. Find out how Pakistan is faring. This is from a man who just left the region.
Also, their mission is not to shoot, just to make sure those who do are fired up. Those stories are still ahead.
KAGAN: Continuing our conversation now about a very difficult balancing act, especially in the Pakistan area. In the U.S.-led war on terrorism, the stakes are very high, not just for Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan as well, where President Musharaff faces a delicate and dangerous balancing act.
He is trying to quell anti-U.S. sentiment, while fostering his alliance with Washington. Mansoor Ijaz is just returned from the region. He is a south Asia analyst. And he's joining us now with some insight on challenges facing that region.
Mr. Ijaz, good evening and thanks for joining us tonight.
MANSOOR IJAZ, SOUTH ASIA ANALYST: Thank you.
KAGAN: Yet again a reminder today, al Qaeda coming out with a statement, making it very plain it is upset with Muslim nations that are cooperating with the West and especially with the United States. And I would think Pakistan would be at the top of that list?
IJAZ: Yes. I mean, I think there's certainly a great deal of anger within these terrorist organizations now that they've seen how the alliance has been built. And the people that they thought they could rely on, they're no longer there.
As you correctly point out, Pakistan is probably at the top of that list. And General Musharaff has taken some very hard-line stances on behalf of the alliance, particularly this weekend when he removed some of the pro-Taliban generals from the Pakistani military and intelligence circles.
And I think that has caused a great deal of concern within these organizations because that opens the door now for the intelligence that Pakistan has to be freely shared with the United States and its allies.
KAGAN: Well, you can take the generals out of the military there, but you can't necessarily take that sentiment out of Pakistan. I would imagine it still is very strong and there's still a strong anti-American sentiment flowing through the country?
IJAZ: That's a very interesting point. Essentially what you're saying is that General Musharaff may have moved the hard-liners out of the Army, but he may be surrounding himself with people who are the only ones in the country that believe what it is that they're doing.
There's no question about the...
KAGAN: Do you think it's really that severe, the situation, that the majority really does not support the general?
IJAZ: It's not so much that the majority does not support the general. I think the majority probably wants just this to all be over with. But the people who make the decisions within the army at the managerial level are clearly on his side.
But then you have to keep in mind that at some point, if the demonstrations got out of hand on the streets of Pakistan, that where today the police forces are largely being used to quell the riots, that it's conceivable that he would have to ask his own army enlisted personnel to quell those riots. And that would cause a much larger problem, because most of these army enlisted personnel are people who have gone to school with the very people who are rioting in the streets.
And that's what creates the conditions for civil war there.
KAGAN: Remind our viewers again exactly as the general makes this deal and makes these decisions, what Pakistan gets out of cooperating with the U.S. and with the West?
IJAZ: Well, General Musharaff would remind you that there's no deal, but let's take it at face value what it is. Clearly, the United States is now helping Pakistan economically with very large incentive packages worth, you know, $700 to $800 million so far. And it could be worth a lot more if they entire progress of this campaign goes the way that the United States would like it to.
The second thing is that I think when Secretary Powell visits the region on Monday and Tuesday, General Musharaff is going to ask him to put enormous pressure on India to come to a political solution on the Kashmir problem. And I think that's really the dividend that Pakistan is looking for long-term.
KAGAN: And go back to your point about civil war, how that's the other thing that the General has to balance?
IJAZ: Well, I think the civil conflict problem in Pakistan is not one that we can ignore, because one way to look at this is that the general is stage managing everything that is going on, so that it keeps the pressure on us in the West through the Western media, depicting Pakistan at the boiling point. And therefore, we should keep on putting up as much ante, if you will, on the table as we can.
The other way to look at it is that this is a real problem. And I think the trigger point, the point at which you will know which way things are going to go, is if the general has to call the army out to quell the riots.
KAGAN: We will watch that. We'll also be watching, you mentioned, the visit of Secretary of State Colin Powell. Just a few days or last week we saw Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, go through the region. What should we look for in Colin Powell's visit?
IJAZ: Well, I think Secretary Powell is going to have a difficult time trying to persuade the Indians to sort of reach out and be a part of the coalition, rather than trying to inflame passions at this very moment.
The Indians are acting a little bit like a groom or a bride left at the alter these days, because the United States was so close to engaging them in a widespread way. Now the real problem that he's going to have is persuading India to make some sort of a concession on Kashmir.
And I think the thing he really ought to do is ask Prime Minister Vajpayee of India to accept General Musharaff's invitation to come to Pakistan, so that during this period of high stress, there is some move toward the peaceful resolution of the Kashmir problem.
KAGAN: I just want to understand. You've explained what could be in it for Pakistan, but what's in it for India? Why should they agree to something like that?
IJAZ: Well, India has a lot to gain from a constructive engagement with the United States obviously. But none of that can really be possible until such time as the economic parameters and the political parameters coincide. And the political parameters won't coincide until you have some sort of rest of the Kashmir problem.
The key issue is whether or not the general in Pakistan can shut down these radical terrorist groups, that have have Arabized the problem in Kashmir from a principal self-resistance, to what has essentially become a terrorist proxy war.
KAGAN: We'll be watching for it. Many interesting developments as the week ahead develops. Thank you very much, Mansoor Ijaz. Thanks for joining us from New York this evening.
IJAZ: Glad to be with you.
KAGAN: Just ahead, meet the force that supplies the juice that supplies the fire power in America's war on terrorism. Also, we're going to get a live update from Afghanistan, as the U.S. flights continue.
KAGAN: Welcome back. U.S. and British forces have been bombarding Afghanistan for a week now. All that military muscle gets its power from supply warships in the Arabian Sea.
Our Walter Rodgers files this report. He is on board the USS Carl Vinson.
WALTER RODGERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A U.S. Navy supply ship lumbers through a morning fog in the Arabian Sea, a stern, the nuclear aircraft carrier Carl Vinson stalks, hungering and thirsty after a million gallons of jet fuel and more bombs, the on board supply having been diminished by a week of bombing in Afghanistan.
All week, the war planes of the Vinson pick their way through the target list in Afghanistan. Friday, the bombing paused briefly.
On the Vinson's bridge, a ship's brain center, officers huddle, reflecting on the destruction they rained down on the Taliban and planning more.
This resupply and replenishment of a carrier group so early in the war was only a matter of the warships catching their breath according to the skipper.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need to stay locked and cocked.
RODGERS: From the decks of the supply ship Sacramento, more bombs were taken aboard. Enough explosives are dangling here to sink a dozen warships. Sometimes, they land frighteningly hard.
On decks, semaphore men negotiate this valet of the elephants on the high sea. Just as tradition bound, the ship's navigators.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Basically, it's just you and the chart and the sexton and a little bit of savvy about where you're going. And that's about it. That really hasn't changed since the days of Captain Cook.
RODGERS: Two ships tethered surge on, only 180 feet apart. But here, Navy tradition changes big time. A master helmsman, a woman maintains that precarious separation. Many of these helmsmen are women, ending forever any sexist jokes about women drivers.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If I can drive an aircraft carrier, I think I can drive your truck anywhere.
RODGERS: Helicopters dropping supplies in high winds on moving ships are but another reminder of the constant risks at sea, as if that were needed.
(on camera): In times of conflict, they say a ship's crew does tend to take the chaplain's prayers a bit more seriously. And at the end of the first week of the war on terrorism, this warship did indeed come through without a scratch.
Walter Rodgers, CNN, aboard the USS Carl Vinson in the Arabian Sea.
KAGAN: From that, we're going to have the latest developments in the campaign to capture Osama bin Laden. That is coming up next. Also, a live report from inside northern Afghanistan. And was this done because of the U.S. left undone in Pakistan? Later on, we're going to look at the need or the discussion about nation-building. Stay with us.
KAGAN: Welcome back to our CNN special report: Target Terrorism. I'm Daryn Kagan in Washington. And now for you, the latest developments.
The U.S. is carrying on intense air strikes in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar and the northern capital city of Kabul. The Pentagon says it regrets that a bomb that was intended for Kabul's airport accidentally hit a residential neighborhood.
Defense officials say as many as four people may have been killed in that attack. Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda organization has released a videotape statement calling for the first wave of U.S.-led air strikes, calling them vicious.
Back in the U.S., Nevada governor says that after three tests, a letter received by a Microsoft subsidiary in Reno was poisoned with anthrax. Four employees known to have touched the envelope are now undergoing tests.
The FBI is not confirming a report that five more employees at a tabloid newspaper of a company in Boca Raton, Florida have tested positive for anthrax. One worker for the firm died of the disease last week.
And now let's bring you more on the situation inside of Afghanistan, including the refugee crisis. We're joined now by CNN's Chris Burns who is live in northern Afghanistan. And Chris, what can you tell us about the people that are trying to flee to what they believe is a safer place?
CHRIS BURNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Daryn, before I get to that, I should talk about some of the air strikes that included, not only the cities that you mentioned, but also some very key provinces in the north, where the fighting has been going on in Baglan, Heran and Talicon Province.
Talicon Province is especially important, because that is the supply route that the Northern Alliance wants to take control of again with the on -- before the onset of winter, so they can supply themselves. They are also, however, holding off on attacking, on launching any kind of offensive toward Kabul.
And the increasing questions over whether there is perhaps pressure from Washington and maybe from Pakistan that the Northern Alliance not attack on Kabul before this is some kind of a coalition government that would include ethnic Pooshtuns in the south. Those Pooshtuns have the sympathies of the Pakistanis.
And this is where perhaps there could be pressure for the Northern Alliance not to attack. We spoke with Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, the Northern Alliance's foreign minister a few moments ago, who, I asked him, "Well, do you think that the Washington is listening more to Pakistan than the Northern Alliance?"
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ABDULLAH ABDULLAH, NORTHERN ALLIANCE FOREIGN MINISTER: I hope that the situation is not as you put it. Listening to Islamabad more than listening in the Afghans resulted to the present situation. Who would guarantee the future, if the same attitude continues? Looking to Afghanistan through the eyes of Pakistan resulted to the present situation. That is the guarantee for the future if the same attitude continues.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNS: Dr. Abdullah Abdullah accusing Pakistan of supporting groups that had caused factional fighting before the Northern Alliance was driven out of power from Kabul five years ago. So an ongoing debate and dispute between Pakistan and the Northern Alliance.
And as far as the refugee situation, it is worsening. The temperatures, as you can even see, are dropping. We're wearing coats now, as opposed to T-shirts. If you can imagine up in the mountains an hour from here, it's getting very, very cold. Snow is about a month away.
The aid officials are calling for a cease-fire, so they can bring in 14,000 tons of food to the hundreds of thousands of people who could face starvation up there in the mountains of northern Afghanistan. There are also aid drops, food drops from the U.S. forces. However, aid officials say that much more is needed, that they need time and some kind of a lull in the fighting, so that they can move in some of those supplies, lull in the air strikes, as well as the fighting in the ground.
Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, when I asked him about that, he said, "Well, we'd love to, except the Taliban wouldn't stop." And he accuses the Taliban of having a strategy of starving their opponents, so that they can win. We'll have to see how that plays out -- Daryn.
KAGAN: All right. We will check back with you. Thank you very much, reporting in from northern Afghanistan. Appreciate that report.
Now we have to share with you a statement from the al Qaeda organization. It's the taped statement. It was delivered to al- Jazeera, which is a network. And it was reviewed by CNN. And Suleiman Abu-Gheith, al Qaeda spokesman gave his organization's reaction. This is the reaction to the first wave of U.S.-led strikes against Afghanistan. The statement is believed to have been taped either on Thursday or Friday.
And in it, Abu-Gheith gives his organization's reaction to the first five days and nights of U.S.-led strikes against Afghanistan. He says that al Qaeda stands behind Afghanistan and its Muslims. The spokesman repeats earlier calls to end U.S. support of Israel for the U.S. to leave the Arabian peninsula, to stop the embargo on Iraq and adds a new demand, to stop helping Hindus against Muslims in Kashmir.
He ends his message with a warning to Muslims in the U.S. and Great Britain not to fly on planes or live in tall buildings. Their threats, he says, should be taken seriously, saying that if al Qaeda promises or threatens, it keeps its word.
Joining us now to talk more about this latest statement from al Qaeda is CNN National Security analyst Jim Steinberg. He is the head of the foreign policy studies department at the Brookings Institution. Mr. Steinberg is also a former deputy national security advisor to President Clinton.
Jim, good to see you. JIM STEINBERG, BROOKINGS INSTITUTION: Good evening.
KAGAN: And I'm glad to have you hear, to help us understand this statement. First of all, let's go over some of the points. And you can help us understand where al Qaeda's going with us and exactly what they mean, as far as you see it.
First, one of the points he makes, he accuses President Bush of intentionally bombing the Afghan village where we're seeing video coming out of Afghan now, that the Pentagon coming out today and saying it did a make a mistake. It did intend to hit an airport that it missed. And instead, it did -- it does fear that there are civilian casualties.
STEINBERG: Well, Daryn, this is a very classic response that we've seen often in these situations. You'll remember when during the attacks on Iraq, for example, Saddam Hussein would often round up people and show the victims that he claimed were attacks on innocent civilians.
We saw this in Kosovo when Milosovich did the same. Obviously, there are inevitably going to be some inadvertent casualties. He's trying to get the maximum propaganda value out of it.
KAGAN: And we had a report earlier from our Nic Robertson, who was right before you arrived. In fact, they have let some Western journalists in. And those are the pictures we're going to see. And whether it is propaganda or manipulation, it certainly is not going to help the U.S. cause in that region and perhaps around the world.
STEINBERG: Well, I think there is a very intense propaganda war going on here. And I think that it's important for the United States to continue to put out its message to work with other Arab and Muslim leaders who can show this for what it is.
And we know that Western journalists are not being allowed to travel freely around the country. In fact, they're put under arrest. So when the al Qaeda sort of finds it convenient to show Western journalists that it wants to see, but not all the problems that they have caused for the people of Afghanistan.
KAGAN: What do you make of this warning that he put in statement, a warning to Muslims in the U.S. and Great Britain? Don't live in tall buildings, in high buildings, and also don't fly on airplanes?
STEINBERG: Well, there's no question that part of their strategy is to breed fear.
KAGAN: That's working.
STEINBERG: Well, it's working, but it's something that is very dangerous and difficult to combat, because even though they can't necessarily run effective operations, if they can threaten, and people are going to wonder what's going to happen next. And it's a challenge because we need to be alert, we need to be vigilant. But we also have to recognize that al Qaeda and bin Laden are trying to prey on those fears.
KAGAN: And finally, what do you think about Western news organizations taking these statements and airing them and even discussing them? This is a new era of warfare. If you look back in other historical battles, we were talking in the break. If you look in the U.S. battle against Japan or in other situations, you certainly wouldn't have seen leaders of those countries be given free access to Western airways?
STEINBERG: I think journalists are having to walk a very delicate line here. On the one hand, they need to report the news. On the other hand, this is propaganda. And just as we would not have shown a propaganda film during World War II, I think we have to be careful about allowing the adversary here to use propaganda and use the media as their tool, to try to get at the American people.
It's a difficult line to draw, but there's -- I think you can see the difference between something that is really newsworthy, that is something that the American people need to know about, and making judgments about what's going on, and simply being manipulated by the other side, to try to perpetuate what they can't do by terrorism, they'll try to do through propaganda.
KAGAN: And we do want to note that while here at CNN, we take so much pride in bringing so many events and so many speeches live to our viewers, we made a point not to do it with this. And our editors and people at a bigger pay grade than you and I looked at this very carefully before we shared it with our viewers.
STEINBERG: It's a tough judgment call.
KAGAN: It is. I'm glad someone else had the job of making that one.
Jim Steinberg, thanks so much for giving us some insight on that. Appreciate you stopping by after a long flight home tonight. You have a good evening.
Well, in parts of Europe, a vocal anti-war minority made their voices heard today. About 20,000 people marched through central London. This was the largest of several demonstrations against the U.S.-led air strikes. In Berlin, 14,000 people turned out to protest.
Millions of nervous Afghan refugees are desperately running from the horrors of the war. And many are cramped into refugee camps in neighboring Pakistan. But Iran is also seeing a wave of the homeless and the hungry crossing its borders.
CNN's Kasra Naji has the story of refugees on the move.
KASRA NAJI, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A sandstorm along the southern sector of Iran/Afghanistan border. For these Afghan refugees, another test of strength. We found them huddled together in the desert, in the no-mans land within Iran and Afghanistan, pleading with Iranian border guards to let them through.
He says they are the advanced party of some 800 people, including children and pregnant women. They are in the Afghan territory, sleeping rough in the open behind this ridge. They left their homes in northern Afghanistan nearly three weeks ago. "We are hungry and have no shelter," he says.
They were about 100 meters from the Taliban's radar station when it was hit on Sunday. The United Nations fears these refugees are among the million and a half who are on the move inside Afghanistan, hungry, cold and desperate. In the nearby town of Losmahamad (ph), people I talked to said there are thousands of Afghans in the town of Zeranch (ph) on the other side of the border, waiting to get in.
The information was confirmed by this Afghan man, who sneaked into Iran during the night. He says the bakeries in Zeranch (ph) are closed, as are many shops. The situation is tense, he says, and many have left for villages. He has come to find out about Iran's plans to set up camps for the refugees.
Iran has closed its borders to the refugees. It says it will set up camps inside Afghanistan, if the Taliban agree. It says it cannot take anymore. It is already host to 2.3 million Afghans.
Every vehicle here is checked for illegal refugees.
(on camera): There are checkpoints here, every few hundred meters. The security forces have brought in reinforcements, to make sure this border remains sealed.
Kasra Naji, CNN, Milak (ph) on Afghanistan/Iran border.
KAGAN: Well, if and when, the refugees pouring out of Afghanistan go back home, what kind of country will they go back to? We're going to explore the process of nation-building that President Bush now says he might be willing to take part in, in some form. Also a report from CNN's Christiane Amanpour on the struggle for Islam. That is coming up on our special report, target terrorism.
KAGAN: Now it's time to talk about what is next after the war. The Bush administration is debating how to help Afghanistan recover if the Taliban are toppled. That is a change from previous U.S. policy.
The president himself had suggested America left a power vacuum in Afghanistan that may have contributed to the current crisis.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: We did learn a lesson, however, from -- and should learn a lesson from the previous engagement in the Afghan area that we should not just simply leave after a military objective has been achieved.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAGAN: Joining us now to talk about the importance of nation building in a situation like the one the U.S. faces in Afghanistan are Michael Hirsh, foreign editor of "Newsweek," Michael O'Hanlon of the Brookings Institution, and from the University of Virginia, Helena Cobban, a columnist for the "Christian Science Monitor."
Gentlemen, and lady in Virginia, thank you for joining us this evening for our conversation.
Michael O'Hanlon, I'm going to start with you. We heard the President talk about lessons learned. It sounds like he himself has learned some lessons since coming off the campaign trail. Last year, when he was very critical of the Clinton administration and talking about nation building in places like Somalia and the Balkans. He said he didn't want to do that.
MICHAEL O'HANLON, BROOKINGS INSTITUTION: Right, exactly right. I think he would argue that here, we really have vital American interests that are now in play. And we did not in Somalia or Haiti. On the other hand 10 years ago, 5 years ago, last year, we didn't realize that Afghanistan was so important.
And therefore, I think the principle is, you better worry about a failed state, because a failed state is a place where terrorists can find haven, where this kind of thing can emanate. And so, I think it's a very good thing the President has changed his position. It's a 180 degree change from the campaign trail, but it's the right thing to say and do.
KAGAN: Helena, let's bring you in here from Virginia. If it is a lesson, there's a lesson plan you wrote in the "Christian Science Monitor" this week about how there are plenty of examples in the past, even before Afghanistan, how the U.S. has blown it when it's been in a warlike situation and has not handled nation building in a correct way.
HELENA COBBAN, "CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR": Yes, that's correct. I think actually, all of the '90s, somebody has researched the '90s as a holiday from history for the United States. And in essence, you know, so long as there was the Cold War, people in the United States, like people in Russia, wanted to win terms and influence people in the Third World, in the underdeveloped world.
And that often involved, you know, loans, and financial aid, development aid, all kinds of things. After the end of the Cold War, they just gave up. And there was this kind of myth that you could have globalization that would impose a kind of market discipline on all the underdeveloped countries, which obviously, you know, imposes huge costs on those societies and those people in the public health infrastructure, everything else.
And so, we saw a lot of failed states. And nobody was there, really, to help them. And it's kind of come home to haunt us now, unfortunately. I hope if he does start seriously engaging with the United Nations and with allies in some nation building in Afghanistan, once this fighting is finished, that the administration also starts to look at some of the failed states, particularly in Africa.
KAGAN: Well, let's talk about what would happen and what the U.S. would do, and if the U.S. would go alone.
Let's bring in Mike Hirsh from "Newsweek." Mike, you contributed to that excellent piece that's the cover story this week, talking about why they hate us. That's the title of the piece, looking at some of the solutions that "Newsweek" offers in there, talking about what the U.S. would have to do, you're not about the U.S. doing it by itself. There definitely is some involvement of the United Nations and other countries?
MIKE HIRSH, "NEWSWEEK": That's right. That would be a huge mistake to attempt to do it on our own. And you know, there are many ironies that have come out of this administration since September 11. And among them is that we're going to need to use the U.N., which we once snubbed. The U.N. is going to be needed for multilateral cover. It's an extremely embarrassing situation.
For example, for Pakistan, the neighboring country, to be accepting U.S. help and be seen as a U.S. partner, if the U.S. is going to be imposing a nation building solution on Afghanistan. It's going to have to be done probably through the U.N.
KAGAN: Michael O'Hanlon, help us again with our history lesson. Why not just bomb Afghanistan and just leave? What's the lesson of 1989?
O'HANLON: Well, I think there are two big problems with that. One is, of course, the moral problem. We are, as the president has said, seeking justice for 5,000 or 6,000 dead Americans and other Westerners. If we contribute directly to the deaths of tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of Afghanis in the process and walk away, that is morally unacceptable.
But there's even a more immediate problem, which is the political problem. Muslims around the world often think that we don't care about their faith. And therefore, they hate us because we think we hate and scorn and mistreat them. And to have that perception exacerbated.
People already think we take Israel's side and don't worry about the Palestinians. We don't care about Iraqi civilians who are under sanctions. That we didn't care about the Afghans after the 1980 civil war.
To further that impression is for us, a politically huge and costly error. We cannot afford to go down that road.
KAGAN: All right, let's talk about the road that the U.N., the U.S. might go down here and the political solutions, as Michael O'Hanlon put it. And Helena, let's bring you back in here. There is, frankly, no easy political solution. It's not just like one group, you can hand the keys to the country to. There is a very difficult situation that needs to be worked out.
COBBAN: That's true and that's another reason that we shouldn't be doing it on our own. You know, the U.S. has pitifully poor resources in terms of people who are actual experts on the Afghani internal situation. Very few people in the administration, in the military, in the States Department, speak either of the two major languages in Afghanistan.
There's a lot more expertise out there around the world in other countries. So I think precisely because of the precariousness of this, we need to work with allies. Now the situation is not quite as black and white as it may have started to appear. I mean, right now, people in this country tend to be demonizing the Taliban so much, that you see the Northern Alliance fighting against the Taliban, and you know, the enemy of my enemy is my friend or whatever.
And you think, "Oh, Northern Alliance. They must be good guys." Well, actually, people who, you know, have a lot of experience of the ways the Northern Alliance behaved when they were in power in Kabul in the '90s, you know, are horrified at the idea that we may actually be getting really into bed too much right now.
So we need to look at a broad kind of a solution. One of the keys may be the old exiled king of Afghanistan. He's in his '80s, I believe. And you know, he's sitting there in Rome. He's had his kind of finger in the pie for a while. And he has this idea for something called a sort of lourjerga (ph), which is a local Afghan idea for a sort of founding parliament. You could see maybe being like the Magna Carta or something for Afghanistan.
But it's going to be complicated. I lived seven years in Lebanon, which was a very early example back then in the '70s, when I was living and working there, of a failed state. And you know, it's not easy to put these kind of countries back together again.
KAGAN: Mike Hirsh, I want you to take it up from here and some of the elements they've picked up on. You do have the Northern Alliance, not exactly Boy Scouts, if you want to point that out. The exiled king, 86-years-old, been living more comfortably in Rome. And a country with no legacy of democracy. This is hardly the recipe for great nation building?
HIRSH: Well, there isn't going to be great nation building. And there's not going to be democracy, not for a long time. And there aren't any Boy Scouts in Afghanistan period, haven't been for quite a few decades.
The key problem with the Northern Alliance is an ethnic problem. They have very few of the ethnic Pooshtuns, who make up the majority of Afghans, 38 percent I believe. And that is a real critical problem, especially for the Pakistanis who have backed the Taliban in the past and have stood fast in saying they would not want to oversee a Northern Alliance-led Afghanistan. Indeed, one of the reasons that the U.S. has held back militarily up until now in not pushing the Northern Alliance onto Kabul by bombing frontline troops is that very reason. They don't want to see them take over the country.
And what -- I think what will happen is some sort of international conference, perhaps a lourjerga (ph), a peculiar Afghan institution, but it will be administered by the U.S. perhaps under cover of the U.N. And it will have to involve all elements from the society.
In fact, there's already a proposal on the table from the Northern Alliance, in which they would get to pick perhaps half the people. That's probably not going to happen either. They're going to need to bring in other warlords who are ethnic Pooshtuns, who will dominate along with the Northern Alliance. It's going to be a very complicated affair.
KAGAN: Michael O'Hanlon, I'm going to let you have the last word here. After the bombing is over, what kind of timeframe do you think U.S. involvement and U.N. involvement is looking at here? And how does the U.S. avoid another Vietnam?
O'HANLON: Oh, I think it'll be several years of involvement. But I think, you know, we don't have to aspire to a Western level democracy necessarily. We the government stable enough to hold the country together, to keep it at peace, to expel al Qaeda and to begin to reconstruct the country and provide humanitarian relief to the people.
Those missions are tough, but they are feasible. I think they will require a certain number of American and U.N. and other countries officials and officers and aide workers for a number of years, but it won't be an enormous project after I'd say 2003. I think for the next 12 to 24 months, we're in pretty seriously. After that, I think we can make it a more reasonable proposition.
It's not going to be that hard to beat the Taliban. They are not the Vietcong. They are not going to be as hard to defeat militarily as in Vietnam. The hard part here is going to be putting the country back together. And that's again, something we can do gradually, as long as the country doesn't revert to war and doesn't allow al Qaeda to stay on its territory.
KAGAN: Enough of a timeframe that I imagine we'll be able to gather once again and continue this conversation at another time. Michael O'Hanlon, Mike Hirsh, and Helena Cobban, thank you very much for the conversation. We're fascinated this evening. Good to have you with us.
We will continue with the conversation within the world of Islam. The Taliban claiming the U.S. air attacks are a strike against Islam. Others say it's the Taliban that are harming their own religion. Coming up, the struggle for Islam, a look.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) KAGAN: And here are the latest developments that we are following for you tonight.
A third test has confirmed a letter sent to a Microsoft office in Reno, Nevada, was contaminated with anthrax. Six people who handled the letter are now being tested.
Meanwhile in Florida, the Associated Press says that five more employees at American Media Publishing have tested positive for anthrax exposure.
Government and health officials insist those results are only preliminary and could be inaccurate.
And there was a deadly accident in today's round of U.S. air strikes in Afghanistan. The Pentagon says a 2,000-pound bomb missed its military target, and it hit a residential area by mistake, killing as many as four Afghan civilians.
I'm Daryn Kagan in Washington. We'll have more news for you as it breaks.
Right now, though, a special presentation of CNN PRESENTS, the struggle for Islam. It starts right now.
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