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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

War in Iraq: View From the White House

Aired April 1, 2003 - 04:23   ET

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

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: There is still a lot to cover in the next half hour or so. For the latest from Washington, we want to go to our own Chris Burns who is live.
Chris, what's the perspective from there?

CHRIS BURNS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, President Bush battling the information campaign. While the war rages on the ground, the President chose as his backdrop on Monday a visit to the Coast Guard in Philadelphia where the president was sort of counterattacking critics who asked why is the war not going to plan and why are the Iraqis not rising up against the Iraqi military and against Saddam Hussein?

The president saying -- contending that there is steady progress in the war. Repeatedly and in practically the same breath saying that in 11 days that the war has made a lot of progress seizing oil installations, stopping missile attacks and moving ahead toward Baghdad.

The president also making the argument that, to the Iraqi people which was, by the way, translated into Arabic and broadcast on radio TV to the Iraqis, that the nightmare -- the nightmare that they've faced for decades will soon be over.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It is understandable that fear and distrust run deep. Yet here in the city where America itself gained freedom, I give this pledge to the citizens of Iraq. We are coming with a mighty force to end the reign of your oppressors. We are coming to bring you food and medicine and a better life. And we are coming and we will not stop, we will not relent until your country is free.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNS: Another obvious concern the White House has is will Turkey send troops into northern Iraq to try to stabilize it, prevent the Kurds from perhaps seizing oil installations in the north. You're seeing U.S. troops beginning to be deployed there.

Secretary of State Colin Powell making a trip, a quick trip today to Turkey and then on to the European Union. First to Turkey, however, very important for the U.S. to make the point to the Turkish government that things will remain stable even if the Turks do not send troops down into northern Iraq.

Here's Powell.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COLIN POWELL, SECRETARY OF STATE: I want to reassure the Turkish leaders that we believe that the work we are doing there now should make it unnecessary for them to consider any incursions in the region. But at the same time, to hear their point of view and make sure that we have a common understanding.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNS: Secretary of State going on to Europe after that to talk to the Europeans to reassure them about the U.S.-led campaign, but also looking ahead after Saddam, trying to gain European support in rebuilding Iraq -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right. Chris Burns, in Washington, thanks very much.

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