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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Showdown Iraq: Seeking Support

Aired October 29, 2002 - 12:21   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Only moments ago, CNN's Kyra Phillips in Bahrain sat down and had a little exclusive interview with the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Richard Myers. They spoke about a possible U.S. war with Iraq -- listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: Tell me why you're here in the Persian Gulf and why now?

GEN. RICHARD MYERS, JOINT CHIEFS CHAIRMAN: I'm visiting Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. They're old strategic partners here in the Gulf, and I hadn't been to either country in my new position as chairman, so we thought this would be a good time to come out here.

The motivating factor was a strategic joint planning committee meeting in Saudi Arabia, being chaired by Peter Rodman from the Office of the Secretary of Defense of the United States with their Saudi counterparts, and that was the real motivation.

I opened that meeting this morning and came down to Bahrain this afternoon.

PHILLIPS: Will Saudi Arabia allow the U.S. .to use Saudi territory for a potential war with Iraq?

MYERS: Well, the potential piece is I think we need to go back and remember the president hasn't made any decisions. The only decision he's made is to go through the U.N. process and the Security Council to try to get a resolution where we can begin inspections again.

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, like I said, have been partners for 60 -- or almost 60 and more years, and we've gotten tremendous support from both countries for our overall war on terrorism fight, and I would expect we'll have support in the future.

PHILLIPS: The White House has indicated that its patience with the U.N. is running out. Is yours?

MYERS: I don't think it's my place to lose patience. Our job in the military is to ensure that when our commander-in-chief asks us to do whatever -- peacekeeping or crisis or conflict -- that we're ready and able to do that. And my job is to make sure we can, and we can at this point. And I'll leave it to the president and the cabinet to decide on the patience issue. PHILLIPS: Well, the president has made it clear that the U.S. will take military action to disarm Iraq if indeed the U.N. fails to act. Do you think the U.N. will fail to act?

MYERS: Well, I think it's way too early to tell, and that's more of a political question than a military question. From a military point-of-view, we certainly worry about Iraq, weapons of mass destruction and the nexus between weapons of mass destruction and terrorism.

And it's the president who -- one of the three goals he laid out very early on over a year ago after September 11 that the third goal was to ensure that weapons of mass destruction don't fall in the hands of terrorist organizations. That ought to be a big fear for not only people in the United States, but the people in the region and around the world, and that's what we're really concerned about and that's what this is all about.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BLITZER: General Richard Myers, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, speaking to our own Kyra Phillips in Bahrain just a little while ago. We'll continue to check in with Kyra and see what else she has.

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