CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Pleas for Peace: Voices of Dissent
Aired February 15, 2003 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone. I'm Fredricka Whitfield in a snowy Washington, D.C. This is a special edition of CNN LIVE SATURDAY. "PEOPLE IN THE NEWS" usually seen at this time will air later today at 5:00 and 7:00 this evening.
Ahead this hour, PLEAS FOR PEACE: VOICES OF DISSENT. In 600 cities on every continent across the globe, hundred of thousands of people take to the streets protesting against any U.S. led war against Iraq. We'll take you live to the major demonstrations.
WHITFIELD: More now on our top story -- the ground swell of antiwar demonstrations around the world. We want to update you with all of the developments in the showdown with Iraq. We have live reports from Baghdad, Paris and New York. We begin right here in the U.S. CNN's Maria Hinojosa joins us live from New York where some big names are joining the antiwar demonstrations -- Maria.
MARIA HINOJOSA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I can hear you. I don't know, Fredricka, if you can see me. You know this is a very fluid situation here. Yes. You look beautiful, beautiful.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right.
HINOJOSA: Anyway, as I can -- as you can see, Fredricka, it's a very fluid situation. A lot people ready to start with the demonstrations, but that also means that there's a lot of trying to figure out between the protesters and the police exactly where people should be based. I want to step over here and perhaps I can get a chance to ask a few people some questions about why they are here.
This is someone who is here. I want to asked you, what's your name and why did you decide to come here today?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My name is -- My name is ahead and the reason I've come here is because I so strongly object to the idea of attacking Iraq. I think the priorities are completely wrong. I think Bush is hiding all sorts of things. And the motives for attacking Iraq are completely and totally misguided.
HINOJOSA: Some people would say, are you an antiwar? Have you come to demonstrations or is something that is new for you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have on occasion gone to demonstrations, certainly, against Vietnam. I did in fact go to Washington, and the reason is that I'm so appalled that so many people in this country have been misled, misguided, and uninformed by the administration. I think it is a great deal of misrepresentation and dishonesty on the part of the administration.
HINOJOSA: Thanks for joining us. They are expecting a lot of different people to be here today, people who have come to demonstrations, people who haven't been in demonstrations, over 603 cities now on an international scale. People are saying that they're expecting about 100,000 people here at the New York rally. They've blocked off 20 blocks from 52nd up to 72nd street. Organizers are hoping to fill that entire area and then perhaps fill out onto Second Avenue.
And there will be a list of speakers, including some Hollywood folks like Susan Sarandon and Danny Glover. And that's what they're hoping will motivate people. But certainly, what they've also been hearing are the reports coming in internationally from other places around the world. They're saying that's helping them feel invigorated and I'm sure that at any minute, the chanting will start.
Back to you, Fredricka.
WHITFIELD: So, Maria, it looks like the people there are facing what could be that staging area for some of those celebrities that are getting ready to speak? About how far away are they from that staging area?
HINOJOSA: We're just on the crosswalk on First Avenue and 52nd and the stage is half a block down. There you can get a sense of it. It says "The World Says No To War."
But if you look up, there's a tall building. That building up there is almost in front of the United Nations, which is where the demonstrators wanted to be. That permit was denied for them to be in front of the United Nations. They had also asked for a permit to do marching around -- in the area. They have been denied the permit to do any kind of marching. So they're really in a situation where they're in a very condensed area between 52nd and 72nd street.
Also, another thing, are there feeder marchers coming in from several towns and cities around the East Coast -- Boston, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia. We haven't seen those buses arriving yet, but that's where organizers say that they'll be lots of people from those areas feeding into the New York march -- Fredricka.
WHITFIELD: All right, Maria Hinojosa in Manhattan. Thank you very much. We'll be checking with you throughout the hour and throughout the day, for a matter of fact.
Well, back here in the Washington, D.C. area where the Bush administration is contemplating its next move in its campaign to disarm Iraq. CNN's White House correspondent, Suzanne Malveaux joins me here in the Washington studio with the latest -- Suzanne.
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, hi. The White House is really expecting a political showdown in the weeks to come. Yesterday, President Bush making his case at FBI headquarters that Saddam Hussein must be disarmed immediately. At the same time, Secretary of State Colin Powell in the hot seat before the United Nations, facing calls from U.N. Security Council member, more time for inspections despite this administration.
Sources telling CNN that the administration's strategy has not changed, that yes, it is going to push for a second resolution for the U.N. Security Council to declare Iraq is in material breach, continues to be in material breach of previous resolutions requiring it to disarm.
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COLIN POWELL, SECRETARY OF STATE: Robust inspections has to be something that goes hand-in-hand with cooperation and compliance on the part of the Iraqi regime. No matter how robust the inspection's regime -- we make the inspection regime, if Iraq is not cooperating, if Iraq is not complying with the resolution, you're not going to get to the right answer, which is the disarmament of Iraq.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MALVEAUX: And administration sources tell us that if the administration does not get the support of the U.N. Security Council within weeks, the president will make a decision to move forward without them -- Fredricka.
WHITFIELD: Suzanne, in the meantime, during President Bush's radio address this morning, he is impressing upon the fact that folks need not panic as they run out and buy duct tape and plastic sheeting, et cetera. Yet at the same time he underscored for the need for the Bush administration to be as prepared as possible. And so Americans need to be as prepared as possible, didn't he?
MALVEAUX: Absolutely, Fredricka. And really the administration expressing some concern that there was alarm among many people when there was a call for duct tape and plastic, this type of thing. Homeland Security Department, Tom Ridge, saying that yes, there are many things that people can do, Americans can do to protect themselves, that certainly they don't want you to focus on some of the things that really don't take priority. They want everyone to step back, calm down a bit, to think things through. But yes, that everyone should be aware. They should be alert in case there are any -- there is any such terrorist attack in the future, but again, they are trying to urge people to be calm in these days and weeks to come.
WHITFIELD: All right, Suzanne, thank you very much.
On now to Iraq where U.N. weapons inspectors have checked out at least eight locations. We take you now to Baghdad where our Nic Robertson is keeping tabs on the latest developments there -- Nic.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Fredricka, the latest developments here, apparent moderate enthusiasm, if you will, for the words of Hans Blix of the U.N. Security Council yesterday. The Iraqi dinar, the local currency, has gone up two percent against the dollar, always an indicator here that people think the situation may be improving ever so slightly.
The real move today set by demonstrations not only here in Baghdad. Tens of thousands are people out on the streets, very -- demonstrations very similar to the demonstrations seen around the rest of the world.
Also, on Iraqi television, we've seen demonstrations covered live at times, demonstrations from the northern cities of Karkuk and Mosul, demonstrations in the cities in the south, like Basrah, also, Iraqi television playing a lot of the video coming in from around the world of different peace demonstrations there. But message these demonstrations in Iraq from the people that we've talked to has been that they feel that the world is behind them, that they feel this is the time for the world to reject what they call the aggression of the United States. These rallies very much organized by -- people tell us, organized by the government, Ba'ath Party. Here, a lot Ba'ath Party members present at rallies. But the people telling us that if there is an aggression against Iraq, then they would be willing to defend it. But the endpoint everybody here wanting to emphasize in their rallies today is that the people of Iraq want peace and that they think the world is behind them at this time, Fredricka.
WHITFIELD: Well, Nic, I would imagine that these antiwar protests around the globe would almost galvanize the people there in Iraq not just to promote their antiwar sentiment, but also an anti- U.S. sentiment. Are you seeing that?
ROBERTSON: The sentiment at these rallies is very much twofold, exactly as you just described. There is, of course, huge -- we see huge demonstrations of support for President Saddam Hussein, as we do, at many of these rallies. Also, the other theme, as you say, that is rejecting what people here see as aggression of United States.
The editorials in the newspaper today, very, very interesting. They say that telling the people of Iraq what Hans Blix said at U.N. Security Council shows not only that Iraq is complying with the inspectors, that the inspectors should be given more time, but that this is an opportunity for the other members of the U.N. Security Council to essentially reject the United States' position, reject great Britain's position on Iraq. And they say that it gives these other countries, like Russia, France, Germany, China an opportunity now, an unprecedented opportunity at the U.N. Security Council, to thwart what people see here as the United States aggression. And that is the message we hear coming back from these rallies here today.
WHITFIELD: All right, Nic, thank you very much. Appreciate it.
Well, more on those massive antiwar demonstrations around the globe. We'll take you live to the streets of Paris, London, and Berlin. And right now, a quick look at the live picture of the antiwar sentiments coming out of London right now. We'll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a man that will be serving time for share dealing fraud. This is a man who'd be...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: Across Europe today, antiwar demonstrations are out in full force. CNN's Matthew Chance is standing by in Berlin, where hundreds of thousands people are clogging the streets there -- Matthew.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Thank you, Fredricka. And that rallying in the capitol of Germany, Berlin, presenting a really united front on the part of the German people in opposition to any possible war against Iraq. As you can see behind me, the streets are beginning to empty. Police, though, say as many as 500,000 people came out in a show of force on an issue, which is obviously very close to the hearts not just of people of Germany, but of people all across Europe.
Well, and joining me now are two of the protesters we've managed to get just before they made their way home, Gerald and Marianne. First of all, why did you come to this protest? Do you think you could make a difference?
MARIANNE KOCH, PROTESTER: Yes, we believe in -- that we could make a -- we make a difference with this protest. We address this protest to all American people, to all people in the world who are protesting and who are not protesting because we think that George Bush is ready to break international law, to create maybe a new Vietnam. And we are against this.
CHANCE: Do you not think, though, that given the alliance and the strength of the alliance, Germany has had in the past with the United States that this country is now isolating itself from Washington?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I think that the U.S. is isolating itself if it breaks international law. And I think that Germany never had a bigger influence on the international policy than today because it's the front of a very big peace movement, which has never been so big before the beginning of a war. And it really grew much more and more. And Germany and France are the front players of this peace movement today.
CHANCE: Just one more question. I've been mentioning throughout the day how united Germany is, its governments and its people, both very much opposed to a possible war in Iraq. Marianne, why do you think there is such unity in Germany?
KOCH: I think in Germany and in Europe, this unity comes from our experience with war really. So we have this experience and we don't want any war and we know how it is. So I didn't -- I don't know it, but my grandfather died in the Second World War and so our history is very close to this situation.
CHANCE: All right, Marianne and Gerald, thank you very much for joining us for joining us here on CNN.
Fredricka, there you have it, very strong feelings, very strong emotions among the protesters here in the German capitol, Berlin, but also among the hundreds of thousands of others across Europe -- Fredricka.
WHITFIELD: All right, Matthew, thank you very much.
And in fact, in other parts of Europe, in France, antiwar sentiment is particularly strong. And French leaders are standing their ground against the United States pushing for diplomacy to disarm Iraq. For the mood today in Paris, let's check in now with our Jim Bittermann -- Jim.
JIM BITTERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Fredricka, quite a crowd out here today even though the government here actually supports the protest that's going on this week, and the kind of protest you normally see when in fact there is some kind of anti-government protest going on. In this case, the crowd was for the government's position and the government for the crowds' position.
In any case, the crowd has just left here, about 200,000, according to organizers. And the streets are now being taken over by the Paris street sweepers. And we've been watching the line of the march. It now stretches all the way across Paris, up to the other side of the river. We'll be watching the line of march and be along as the march ends at the Bastille.
A lot of people came from more than 100 groups in this group that came here to Paris. But in fact, all over France, there were demonstrations today, in 80 different cities and towns. One person who came a long way to be here was (UNINTELLIGIBLE) from about 70 miles south of Paris. I wondered, (UNINTELLIGIBLE), why did you want to make the ride to come up here?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just to be one out of millions to support our government and to support peace.
BITTERMANN: But no one would have noticed if you would have stayed home?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, for sure. I would have known.
BITTERMANN: So it was for you as much as...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I did it for me and for the others.
BITTERMANN: Now, with the government supporting the idea of more inspections, of delaying any possibility of war, why do you think it's important to protest? I mean, the government's on your side?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, it is on your side, but we have to support him. We have to show the ones who are in charge of the world that we are against war, and we have to make it possible that these inspections are going on, disarm this guy who is in Baghdad. And we know all of this that he is a (EXPLETIVE DELETED), but we have to disarm him peacefully.
BITTERMANN: So in other words you're not for Saddam Hussein as much as...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely not. We are not against the American people. We are not for Saddam Hussein. We are for peace.
BITTERMANN: Well, what would you say to those in Washington who say, look, maybe we've got to take military action to get rid of Saddam Hussein?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are so many ways to disarm someone. If you want it, you can do it but without having a war. It's absolutely impossible.
BITTERMANN: What do you think the French government should do from here? Now, the French government has not ruled out military action, if the inspection process doesn't work. Do you think they should keep to that position or just rule out war altogether?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think they have to keep their position. They will not -- they might even use a veto if necessary. They are so many ways to disarm that we don't have to go with thousand of soldiers and kill on top hundred thousands of Iraqis. We have nothing to do with war, and we have nothing to do even with the regime.
BITTERMANN: But people who are watching who say this whole movement against the war by France and Germany, and other countries, has split the NATO alliance, has split Europe. Is that dangerous, do you think, or do you -- are you concerned about that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have already seen in the past year during Cold War the NATO was not split, but U.N. was split during 30 years, 40 years, well, always a veto on one side or the other. It's not split. It's just people who are expressing what they think, really.
BITTERMANN: And you came up just on your own today, no group?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, no group, no, just alone.
BITTERMANN: Very good, thank you very much. Rene (UNINTELLIGIBLE) from the south of France who wanted to be part of this demonstration today. Fredricka, back to you.
WHITFIELD: All right, Jim, thank you very much from Paris.
Well, throughout the continent of Europe, as we say, a lot of antiwar sentiment. In London's Hyde Park, a half of a million people are expected to take park in demonstrations there. Our Richard Quest joins us now from London -- Richard.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Fredricka, we're at Piccadilly Circus in the center of London and it's here that the march has converged. This thing is so big that they couldn't start in one place. They started over there. They've started down on the embankment. They've started in different parts of city, and they have converged here in Piccadilly Circus to go down to the march.
Now, the organizers say that there has been a million people on the streets. The police will not confirm, that they say, that there have been the back part of half a million or several hundred thousand, so some average puts them between. In the next few hours, we will find out the true number.
At the moment, Reverend Jesse Jackson is addressing the hundreds and thousands who are in Hyde Park. This is the demonstration -- this has been the climax, if you like, of the protest. And it's been going on now for about two or three hours and still has many hours to go.
As well as the demonstrations here in London, what you can see are noisy. They are extremely well natured. And the message is clear. This is an anti-Bush, anti-Tony Blair, British foreign minister protest. It's not an anti-American. It is not an anti -- in any other shape or form. What they are protesting about is against the war against Iraq.
And interestingly, you know, Fredricka, because similarly to what Jim Bittermann was saying in Paris and Matthew in Berlin, there are pains to point out this is not in any shape or form a pro-Saddam Hussein march either. It's against the possibility of military action.
Now, there have been a half a million here. There have been a million protesters on the streets in Rome. There, of course, the government of Silvio Berlusconi, has been another pro supporter of the Bush Administration and the Bush policy and is seen in many ways as being out of touch with his people. So not surprisingly, in Rome, where, even as we speak, the Deputy Iraqi Prime Minister, Tariq Aziz, has held talks with Pope, John Paul II. We've had another indication of the antiwar protest.
So Fredricka, let's pull some strands together. What we have got against the continent of Europe, in Berlin, in Paris, in Rome, and absolutely a huge march here in London, is an antiwar, stop the war protest. The like of which the consulate hasn't seen for decades.
WHITFIELD: All right, Richard. And in just moments hearing a little bit more from Jesse Jackson, Rainbow Coalition leader and renowned civil rights leader. As we toss to break, let's listen in a little bit more about what he has to say as the hundreds of thousands converge there at Hyde Park in London.
JESSE JACKSON, RAINBOW COALITION LEADER: ... anti-Semitism, Arab bashing, anti-Islamism, gay bashing. We choose to be one big family under one big tent.
WHITFIELD: Peace activists are filling the streets all over the world today, protesting a possible war with Iraq, but the reality is, hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops are mustered in the Persian Gulf region, already in position for potential war, and still more are on the way. To talk about a potential war timetable, retired Sergeant Major Eric Haney. He joins us from Atlanta.
Good to see you, Major.
SGT. MAJ. ERIC HANEY, U.S. ARMY (RET.): Good morning.
WHITFIELD: All right, we hear from the Bush administration that troops will fully be in position within about three weeks. And as we hear that, along with this antiwar sentiment around the world, might that stall military placement in any way?
HANEY: No. The antiwar activism around the world will have nothing to do with military preparation or the military plans to unfold, particularly, coming from the administration.
WHITFIELD: But these troops still have to find a home in certain regions where a number of these protests are taking place, or at least along with a mirroring some of the allied sentiments. Might in any way that present some sort of hurdle for the welcome mat that has already been placed out for the U.S. troops?
HANEY: Well, the U.S. troops are deployed to various regions around Iraq and to Kuwait, as we know, with the build up of the Third Infantry Division is complete there and into Qatar, there is other places in the region. They're having no contact with any of the local populist and they'll be sequestered. Also, the great bulk of the ones involved in the attack will only be in a remote marshalling area for a very short time prior to the attack itself initiating.
WHITFIELD: As a founding member of Delta Force, what do you suppose the focus is going to be on for those Special Forces, liberation or disabling Iraqi opposition, if it comes down to war? How do you see it playing out?
HANEY: The objective is just the destruction of Saddam Hussein's regime and that entails cutting he and his closest supporters off from the command structure of the military, encouraging and by allowance if necessary, the senior Iraqi generals that it's in their best interest not to fight, that they want to live and be part of what happens with the new Iraq as it unfolds and becomes a Saddam Hussein-less entity in the world.
WHITFIELD: Now, how about a response from some of the critics that we've heard over the past couple of weeks, particularly from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who have placed some added pressure on the administration that not enough emphasis has been made on postwar security and how -- and for how long and much on it might cost to have U.S. military installations in that region for the long haul after a potential liberation?
HANEY: Oh, certainly. I think, you know, that's something that Congress must know, and the administration has to give them their best estimates of what would take place. But look at this -- in Afghanistan, the Afghanistan war cleared up much more rapidly than most of the people in the nation, and probably Congress expected it too. But how do you say how long and much effort will it take for us to help create a new Afghanistan to assist the people of Afghanistan and putting that broken pottery of government back together?
Here with Iraq is a much different situation in it, there is a fully functionally civil service -- a civil government that works, and in fact in Iraq, works much better than in most any other place in the Arab world. So you can separate the head of the regime, as it exists right now, Saddam Hussein and those who hold that nation hostage. Once they're gone, that government still functions. All it needs is a new head. Now that's the difficulty as -- helping the Iraqi people who have no history or part of the culture in being able to affect participative self-government, but teaching them and assisting them to form that sort of entity. It's going to be a tough job, but I don't think it's going to be as long as anything near in Afghanistan.
WHITFIELD: Let's talk a little bit more about the timeline. If the Bush administration believes that in three weeks all of its military forces will be in place in the Persian Gulf region, and now, we're also hearing from U.N. Security Council foreign ministers who are requesting somewhere in mid March, yet another meeting to take place, to talk a little bit more about how inspections are going, and what kind of cooperation U.S. forces are going to get, what kind of timeline conflict are you seeing in all of this?
HANEY: I honestly believe that should an attack come, it will happen in the very early opening days of the month of March. There are a number of reasons for that. They sort of have to do with the weather phenomenon and the light data of the moon rising and these sorts of things. And there's a time window that is the best for all operations. It also coincides with this simultaneous arrival of forces into the region. So once that date is set, barring some diplomatic breakthrough or some unforeseen changes, I think that data's pretty well fixed by the military at this point.
WHITFIELD: All right, retired Sergeant Major Eric Haney, thank you for joining us from Atlanta.
HANEY: Why, certainly.
WHITFIELD: We're going to continue to look at the voices of dissent from around the globe. Right now, a live picture out of New York City, where about 300 antiwar protesters are now taking to the streets there, marching, awaiting to hear a rallying cry from a number of celebrities who are likely to be on tap to speak there as these marchers continue in their crusade to prevent a war. We'll be right back.
WHITFIELD: Now to Israel, where the grim reality of armed conflicts surfaced again today again. Four Israeli soldiers were killed in Gaza when their tank rolled over a landmine. Our Jerrold Kessel joins us live from Jerusalem with the details now.
JERROLD KESSEL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Fredricka, the incident actually took place this morning, but the details were held up by the Israeli Army pending notification of the families of the dead men or four crewmen said to have been killed instantly by the force of the blast. The roadside bomb said to have contained over 250 pounds of explosives.
The tank was among several vehicles on a routine patrol, said the Israeli Army, near one of the Jewish settlements in the northern part of the Gaza Strip when it was hit. This is the fourth time that Palestinian militants have succeeded in blowing up an Israeli tank inside Gaza. This time responsibility was claimed by Izzedine al- Qassam, that's the military wing of the Islamic radical group, Hamas.
The Israeli Army says that another explosive charge was found nearby and so, rescue workers rushed to the scene, were unable to save the four men in the stricken tank and that bomb was safely diffused. And the Israeli Army statement also said that the attack on the tank was carried out under cover of nearby Palestinian buildings, which could suggest that an Israeli reaction might be anticipated -- Fredricka.
WHITFIELD: All right, Jerrold, from Jerusalem, thank you very much.
Here back in the states, NASCAR fans are gearing up for the big race tomorrow. We'll go live to Daytona Beach. See what precautions are being taken before Sunday's Daytona 500. Stay with us.
WHITFIELD: Over a million people joined demonstrations for peace all across Europe, but even before today's protest, there were seas of discontent in some of the countries the U.S. considers allies. Our Walter Rodgers has the story now.
WALTER RODGERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Upwards of 20,000 Germans demonstrating against the United States and against war. Police in London are preparing for half a million protesters this weekend. After two generations of guilt, these young Germans now feel good about themselves because it is the United States not Germany that is seen by many as the aggressive warmonger.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I think it is good we now once said no, and we don't follow the U.S. And I think that's good.
RODGERS: And this anti-Americanism is believed to be much more prevalent than what has gone before. Analysts warn a whole generation of America haters is being created. A European generation, which, they say, believes Americans deliberately bomb civilians and kill Arab babies.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... slips down...
RODGERS: Witness this Channel Four television poll in Britain.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... and the country Britain's regard as the biggest threat today, the United States of America.
RODGERS: In recent British parliamentary debates, the anti- American undercurrent often means the vilification not of Saddam Hussein but of George W. Bush.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The massive British public opinion is deeply skeptical if not completely hostile to this war, believed it's been fought in the interest of Americans if not anything else.
DENNIS SKINNER, BRITISH LABOUR M.P.: I only confirm that this is all in aid of satisfying the whims of this 10-part American president.
RODGERS: Anti-Americanism in Europe historically comes in waves. In the 1980s, Europeans vilified Ronald Reagan. Before that, there were the anti-Vietnam protests against LBJ and Nixon. Yet, the current outbreak has new elements, a demographic shift. In Britain, there are now more worshipers in mosques on Friday than Christians worshiping in the Church of England on Sunday.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hello, please come and demonstrate (UNINTELLIGIBLE) against war.
RODGERS: Analysts say among Europe's growing Muslim population, the United States has few friends. There will be a major Muslim contingent in Saturday's London protest. Yet, it is the new unipolar world in which America is the sole superpower that reminds Europeans of their own weakness, an irritation to many, including these Russians protesting outside the U.S. Embassy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Americans do not recognize the authority of the international community anymore.
RODGERS: Whether Moscow or Paris, it is the same.
DOMINQUE MOISI, FRENCH INSTITUTE OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS: Today's anti-Americanism in Europe is a combination of what America is doing, preparing to go to war in Iraq and what America is, the country of disparity, the country, in Europe eyes, of arrogance.
MANFRED GOERTEMAKER, POTSDAM UNIVERSITY: We are on the brink of the fundamental rift between the United States and Europe, which may go much, much deeper than the rifts that came up in the course of the anti-Americanism sentiments in the '60s or early 1980s.
RODGERS (on camera): In the 20th century, in the fight against Nazism and in the Cold War against Communism, there evolved a political alliance between Europe and the United States, which many thought would last forever. That assumption seems somewhat less certain now.
Walter Rodgers, CNN, London.
WHITFIELD: The flag drops on the Daytona 500 at noon Eastern Time tomorrow. And for the expected 200,000 fans, security may be the last thing on their minds, but not for law enforcement. CNN's Mike Brooks is live from Daytona Beach, Florida -- Mike.
MIKE BROOKS, LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Good morning, Fredricka. As the last practice session gets in here at Daytona for the big race tomorrow, law enforcement officials are also getting ready. We tried to speak with representatives of the Daytona Beach Police Department and security officials here at the track, but they refuse to talk about security preparations for tomorrow's big race. But yesterday, we spoke to some race fans to see exactly how secure they felt here at the race.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know I'm already blessed, so if something happens, you know, something happens. What are we going to do, stop living because it's going to -- you know, they threaten us, you know? I'm not going to stop living life because somebody else said they're going to do something, you know?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The way I see it, you know, if it's your time to go, it's your time to go no matter where you're at, whether at the 500 or in a house. So...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And chemical, I think I would just check the wind and head into the wind if I could. And if it was a bomb, just pray to God I wasn't anymore near it.
BROOKS: Over the past couple of days, as we've come into the raceway, we've been checked with mirrors. They've checked I.D.s but it hasn't been consistent. And for this to be the super bowl of motor sports, compare that with the real Super Bowl of football, security is nowhere as near as tight as it has been.
Now, yesterday and over the past week, first responders here at Daytona have received over 480 nerve agent kits with atropine and two- pan chloride should there be a nerve attack here at race --Fredricka.
WHITFIELD: So Mike, even with all of this talk of heightened security there, it doesn't seem as though it's in any way deflecting or kind of keeping away any of those fans?
BROOKS: No, it doesn't at all. And talking to the fan -- race fans we spoke to the other day, they're concerned but said they still would be here no matter what threat level was because they like NASCAR and they like racing.
WHITFIELD: All right. Thanks a lot, Mike Brooks from Daytona.
BROOKS: All right, Fredricka.
WHITFIELD: All right, when we come become on this special edition of VOICES OF DISSENT, we're going to talk a little bit more about the protests that are organizing from New York and around the globe. There you're seeing a pretty intense crowd there, as thousands protest against way, including about 300 non-permitted protesters. We'll be right back.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) WHITFIELD: There now a live picture of New York, as the antiwar sentiment seems to be gaining strength. And it's happening across the globe. The pope's envoy to Iraq met with Saddam Hussein today, bringing a message of peace from the Vatican. And on Friday, the pope met with Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz. Our Alessio Vinci has more on their meeting.
ALESSIO VINCI, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was Tariq Aziz who requested the audience with Pope John Paul II to convey a message from President Saddam Hussein. That message, Aziz said, was to thank the pope for his tough stance of the possible war in Iraq. But when the two sat down for a 30-minute meeting, the pope told Mr. Aziz, Saddam Hussein must demonstrate complete commitment to disarm.
JOAQUIN NAVARRO-VALIS, VATICAN SPOKESMAN: ... insistent in the need to comply with all the resolutions of the Security Council of the United Nations, to comply fully with all the resolution as a guarantee of the international law.
VINCI: Mr. Aziz said Iraq was doing all it could to cooperate with inspectors. And at the news conference hours later, he accused the United States of fabricating baseless lies, calling a possible U.S. led strike against Iraq immoral, illegal and all about business.
TARIQ AZIZ, IRAQI DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER: Their main objective of this aggression is to colonize Iraq, to occupy Iraq, impose a pro- American rule on Iraq, dominate the oil of Iraq and also, reshape the whole region of the Middle East according to the American interests.
VINCI: Senior Vatican officials say they believe oil is one of the reasons why the U.S. might want to attack Iraq. Allegations, flatly rejected by U.S. officials here, as well as this prominent American Catholic scholar, who thinks the church should consider all countries.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It would be fair if you raise the question about France, Italy Russia, China, others who have interest in Iraqi oil. In fact, they have far more interest than the United States does at present.
VINCI: Vatican sources say they remain unconvinced Saddam Hussein represents an imminent threat.
(on camera): A top Vatican official, who traveled to Baghdad earlier this week, is expected to meet president Saddam Hussein sometime this weekend. The cardinal is carrying the same message, directly from the pope to the Iraqi leader -- cooperate with U.N. inspectors and avoid war.
Alessio Vinci, CNN, Rome.
WHITFIELD: Well, Osama bin Laden dead or alive? A new tape suggests he is still very much a living threat. We'll have that story when we come right back.
WHITFIELD: New proof today that Osama bin Laden is alive. After three months of silence, a new tape surfaced this week. And U.S. officials now say it's almost certainly the voice of the world's most wanted terrorist. Mike Boettcher has more on the hunt for the al Qaeda leader.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I want justice.
MIKE BOETTCHER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Right after 9/11, President Bush made bin Laden the world's most wanted man.
BUSH: There's an old poster out west, as I recall, that said "Wanted: Dead or Alive."
BOETTCHER: But after a year-and-a-half, the man with the $25 million bounty on his head remains a fugitive.
MAGNUS RANSTORP, TERRORISM EXPERT: It's a virtual nightmare to try to find him, given the global reach al Qaeda has, and al Qaeda, of course, exists in over 98 countries around the world.
BOETTCHER: A year ago, the American-led forces almost had their man. They captured the Afghan city of Kandahar, a major al Qaeda stronghold. But bin Laden had retreated to the Tora Bora Mountains, a natural fortress near the Pakistan border.
OSAMA BIN LADEN, TERRORIST (through translator): Our number worth at least 300 Mujahedeen, who dug 100 trenches over one square mile. Intensive airstrikes began after the American leader was certain that al Qaeda members were in Tora Bora, including this humble serpent.
BOETTCHER: An al Qaeda member later described the ensuing battle on a Web site frequently used by the group.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nothing was left but a big hole and pieces of dead bodies. Was Osama killed? Allah kept Osama bin Laden alive because he left the bunker only two nights before and moved to an area only 200 meters away.
BOETTCHER: Many experts believe bin Laden is hiding in Afghanistan, or perhaps slipped across the border into Pakistan's northwest territories.
KAMAL HYDER, JOURNALIST: People are there who support Osama bin Laden, who support his point-of-view. And, yes, they would give refuge to this man if he were to come to their houses.
BOETTCHER: As the hunt continues for al Qaeda, foot soldiers and field commanders, the U.S. still wants Osama bin Laden dead or alive. He's the symbol of worldwide jihad and on the war on terrorism, much more than just one man.
Mike Boettcher, CNN, Atlanta.
WHITFIELD: I'm Fredricka Whitfield in Washington, D.C. Thanks for watching this special edition of VOICES OF DISSENT. "SHOWDOWN: IRAQ" with Martin Savidge is next right after the break. It's a two- hour special that is live from Kuwait. And at 2:00 Eastern Time, stay with us for NEXT@CNN.
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