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Interview With Paul Bremer; Interview With Gray Davis; Interview With Howard Dean

Aired August 24, 2003 - 12:00   ET


WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: It's noon in Washington, 9:00 a.m. in Los Angeles, 7:00 p.m. in Jerusalem and 8:00 p.m. in Baghdad. Wherever you're watching from around the world, thanks for joining us for LATE EDITION.
This week's deadly terrorist bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad signaled a dramatic and, perhaps, ominous shift in the type of attacks that have been occurring in Iraq. U.S. officials are concerned the country is becoming a hotbed for international terrorism.

Earlier today, I spoke with the U.S. head of reconstruction in Iraq, Ambassador Paul Bremer, about the ongoing violence, the search for Saddam Hussein and more.


BLITZER: Ambassador Bremer, thanks very much for joining us in that very hot weather over there in Baghdad.

Let's get to a hot issue right now. Who is responsible for blowing up the U.N. headquarters compound in Baghdad?

PAUL BREMER, CIVIL ADMINISTRATOR IN IRAQ: Well, you could make one of two guesses: either ex- Saddam-types, you know, the killers from Fedayeen Saddam, or possibly an international terrorist group. I suppose you could also argue it could be a combination of the two.

I think it's a bit early to know, Wolf. We're not even a week into the investigation at this point.

BLITZER: Do you suspect the same people who blew up the Jordanian Embassy in Baghdad were responsible for blowing up the U.N. compound, because the M.O.s, the modus operandi were somewhat different?

BREMER: Yes, they were. I mean, there were similarities, obviously, using a car bomb. The bombs were put into the cars in a different way: in one case, in the chassis; in the other case, on the flatbed. It really is hard to say at this point.

And even if you look at the question of motive, it's not all that clear. Whoever did the thing against the U.N. was attacking really very innocent people, just a bunch of international civil servants who came here to try to help the Iraqis rebuild their country. And it shows how vicious these guys really are.

BLITZER: As you know, Ambassador Bremer, the suicide bomber who blew up his truck at the U.N. compound, that was a traditional suicide bombing attack. But the driver in the Jordanian Embassy ran away apparently, and there was a remotely timed device.

The difference in that, what does it say to you, two very different operations perhaps?

BREMER: It's possible. They certainly -- the method of operation was different. The placement of the explosives was different.

But I think, having looked back on this kind of thing for more than 20 years now, it's a good idea to get a little more time behind us before we reach conclusions, Wolf. I just am not prepared to make a judgment yet.

BLITZER: I was intrigued by what President Bush said this past week about terrorists coming into Iraq. Listen precisely to what the president said.


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I also believe there is a foreign element that is moving into Iraq. And these will be al Qaeda-type fighters. They want to fight us there because they can't stand the thought of a free society in the Middle East.


BLITZER: Is Iraq attracting these foreign elements, as the president says, these foreign fighters, al Qaeda-type fighters?

BREMER: Well, I think we've seen an increase, certainly, in the terrorists here since liberation. We've seen a reinfiltration of the Ansar al-Islam, which is a group with al Qaeda connections. We've seen some evidence of al Qaeda personnel here. And we've certainly seen foreign fighters who sort of fit the al Qaeda profile -- people travelling on documents from Syria, Yemen, Sudan, in some cases Saudi Arabia, some of the terrorist groups we've attacked in the west of the country.

So I think the president is right that from the point of view of the al Qaeda types, this is a pretty important battlefield for them. Because if we can establish the kind of Iraq that the Iraqi people dream of -- a free Iraq, an Iraq which can elect its own people, where people can choose their religion, where they can decide what kind of schools to send their kids to, where they can decide what kind of jobs they want to have -- that kind of an Iraq is really a deadly threat to al Qaeda's cramped and extremist view of society.

BLITZER: There has been some analysis suggesting that for some of these foreign terrorists now coming into Iraq, it's almost like the situation in Afghanistan, albeit somewhat differently, they came to Afghanistan in the '80s to fight the former Soviet troops, now they are coming to Iraq to fight the U.S. and its coalition partners.

Is there an element of Islamic fundamentalism, jihadism, as it's sometimes called, that's pushing them toward Iraq now to fight the infidels, namely the U.S.?

BREMER: Well, there may well be. They don't confide in me their strategy, Wolf, so I can only deduce what I can see from their actions.

It is, I think, the case is, as we just said, that our vision of a free Iraq, a free and democratic Iraq, is at fundamental odds with the kind of government that the Taliban and al Qaeda established in Afghanistan, and incidentally, the same kind of government in the Ansal al-Islam camp that we bombed in the beginning of this war in northern Iraq.

These people have a really extreme, fundamentalist view of how society should be organized -- no rights for women, certainly no democracy. And our vision is in direct conflict with that.

BLITZER: Is there any evidence of state sponsorship of these terrorists who are now coming into Iraq?

BREMER: Not yet. But it's pretty clear that we do have problems with foreign terrorists coming across some of the borders that Iraq has, shares with its neighbors. And we have called upon Iraq's neighbors to do a better job of controlling those borders.

BLITZER: Are you referring to Syria in particular?

BREMER: It's clear that a number of the foreign terrorists and foreign fighters that we have either captured or killed have come across the Syrian border. And we think the Syrian government should do a better job of controlling that border.

BLITZER: What about Iran?

BREMER: Well, I have spoken quite frequently about my concerns about Iranian activities here. The Iranian Revolutionary Guards are present in Iraq. The Iranian Ministry of Intelligence is present here. And we think that Iraqis do not appreciate interference in their affairs. I certainly have found no Iraqis who think that Iran should be playing around in Iraq's domestic affairs. And I think that's the view of most Iraqis.

BLITZER: There is a story in today's Washington Post suggesting that you are now trying to recruit former Iraqi spies, members of the Mukhabarat, the Iraqi intelligence service, (UNINTELLIGIBLE), the secret service, if you will, to help in prevent terror strikes against U.S. and coalition forces, as well as others who work with the United States. Is that true?

BREMER: Well, I haven't had a chance to study that report. And I think it's probably not appropriate to talk too much about intelligence matters. But I will say this: In the fight against the two groups that we are concerned about, the ex-Baathists from the Saddam murderers and terrorist groups, we need better intelligence, and we are seeking better intelligence. But I don't want to get into how we go about doing that; that's basically to tell the enemy what you're doing.

BLITZER: As you know, there is almost a drum beat of people around the world, including here in the United States, calling on the Bush administration to increase the level of U.N. involvement in this post-war Iraq, not only critics, but also supporters.

Senator Chuck Hagel, I spoke with him earlier the week, a Republican member of the Foreign Relations Committee. Listen to what he told me.


SEN. CHUCK HAGEL (R), NEBRASKA: We can't maintain that burden alone. There is no way the United States can sustain the number of troops that we're going to need and the financial commitment that it's going to require to secure Iraq and stabilize it.


BLITZER: And there are other representatives at the U.N. Security Council, including France, saying they want to help but they want another U.N. resolution. Listen to the deputy French ambassador.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sharing the burden and responsibilities in a world equal in sovereign nations also means sharing information and authority.


BLITZER: Are you ready to give up some of your control in order to bring in others, to let them get involved and help?

BREMER: You know, the problem with this line of question or comments is it ignores the fact that this is already a very international operation.

Let me just give you three facts. First of all, we have the troops of 30 nations on the ground today, side by side with our men and women here serving to bring security to Iraq. Secondly, we have 45 countries have now pledged to give economic assistance to the reconstruction of Iraq, 45 countries. And I have working with me here in the coalition authority citizens of 25 countries, 24 countries beyond the United States.

So this is already a very international operation.

BLITZER: But what's wrong with getting another U.N. Security Council resolution that would give countries like France, India, Pakistan, some other countries in Europe, including Germany, the kind of cover that they might want for their domestic public opinion in order to get involved more robustly in helping you?

BREMER: Well, I didn't say there was anything wrong with seeking another U.N. resolution. In fact, as you know from Secretary of State Powell's comments on Wednesday in New York -- or on Thursday, I guess -- we are in discussions about the possibility of another resolution. We believe very strongly in a vital role for the United Nations here.

It is a matter of great, I think, pride for anybody who loves the United Nations that they were all -- all of the U.N. agencies here -- were up and running again already yesterday, working on the reconstruction of Iraq; some of them working out of tents in this kind of temperature.

So it's not a question of whether or not the U.N. shouldn't play a role here. It should, and it is.

BLITZER: Do you need more U.S. troops, more boots on the ground, as they say at the Pentagon, in order to get the situation stabilized?

BREMER: I don't think so. I'm guided by the military judgment -- I'm not a military expert -- of the commander on the ground here, General Sanchez, and his boss, the CENTCOM commander, John Abizaid, who addressed this in a press conference on Thursday in Washington and said that he felt the American troop strength here was adequate.

We would welcome international forces here, and we will be rotating, for example, some of our forces out in September, and they're being replaced by a Polish division, the Marine division being replaced by a Polish division.

So there will be probably some redeployments and reconfigurations in the months ahead.

BLITZER: I noticed that Uday and Qusay Hussein, the sons of Saddam Hussein, were captured up in the north around Mosul, that Taha Yassin Ramadan was captured up there. Uday and Qusay, of course, were killed. Taha Yassin Ramadan, the former Iraqi vice president, is now in U.S. custody, in coalition custody.

There's some suggestion, because all of them were up north, Saddam Hussein himself might be fleeing, house to house, up in the north around Mosul, north of Tikrit. Is that your assessment?

BREMER: Well, if I knew where he was, I certainly wouldn't tell you, I'd tell the military commander, and we'd go get him.

I really don't know, Wolf. We get reports all the time. We follow up those reports that are credible.

His days are finished in Iraq, wherever he may be hiding now or cowering at the moment. We will get him, either dead or alive. And that will draw down the curtain on the Baathist tyranny here once and for all.

BLITZER: You captured (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Ali Hassan al-Majid, the man known as Chemical Ali, for his involvement in gassing Kurds in the 1980s. Where did you find him?

BREMER: He was in Baghdad.

BLITZER: All right. So there goes that theory, about everybody trying to get up north.

One final question before I let you go, Mr. Ambassador. What about you personally? You've been there now for several months. How much longer are you going to stay? What's your personal goal right now?

BREMER: Well, I serve, obviously, at the president's pleasure. I want to get this process well on its way. It is started now. We've got a governing council which represents the Iraqi people. They've been very well received, the delegation, in the Gulf states in the last few days. They're looking forward to coming to the U.N. General Assembly and representing Iraq there.

The next step is to get a constitutional conference launched, which we hope will happen in the next month or two. And then there will be elections. And once there are elections, there will be a sovereign government here, at which point, whether I'm here or not, the coalition authority goes away, because our sovereignty is then ceded to the Iraqi government.

So we're making a lot of progress in the political and economic area, and I'm going to keep slinging away at that as long as I can.

BLITZER: Good luck to you and all the men and women who work with you, Ambassador Bremer. Thanks very much. Stay safe over there. And we'll see you back in Washington in the not-too-distant future.

BREMER: Thank you.


BLITZER: Up next, a quick check of the hour's top stories.

And then, the California recall. We'll have an exclusive interview with the state's governor, Gray Davis, about the effort to remove him from office and how he plans to stop it.

And later, targeting terror. We'll talk with a panel of experts about who's behind this week's deadly bombing of the U.N. mission in Baghdad.

Plus, what makes this man run? Another exclusive conversation with a Democratic presidential candidate, Howard Dean.

And you can weigh in on our LATE EDITION Web question of the week: Are more U.S. troops needed in Iraq? You can cast your vote by going to our Web page, We'll have the results later in this program.

And LATE EDITION will be right back.



GOV. GRAY DAVIS (D), CALIFORNIA: I won the election fair and square last November.


BLITZER: California's embattled Democratic governor, Gray Davis, on the offensive this week, fighting for his political life.

Welcome back to LATE EDITION.

On October 7th, California voters will decide whether Davis should be removed from office. The latest Los Angeles Times poll shows 50 percent want to recall him, 45 percent oppose the recall, with 5 percent undecided.

If he is removed from office, Californians will have an opportunity that same day to select his successor. The latest L.A. Times poll, once again, has Democratic Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante leading the pack with 35 percent of the vote, Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger comes into second place with 22 percent, followed by Republicans Tom McClintock with 12 percent, Peter Ueberroth with 7 percent, and Bill Simon, who just withdrew from the contest, with 6 percent.

I spoke with Governor Davis about the recall, his political challenges and how he plans to defeat them.


BLITZER: Governor Davis, thanks very much for joining us.

Let's look ahead to October 7th, the date scheduled for the recall. When you go into that booth to vote, you're going to vote against the recall, but what are you going to do on part two?

DAVIS: Well, what I say to that is simply this, that the lieutenant governor is a good and decent person, and I believe his entry into the race will actually get more people to come out and vote against the recall.

But because this is a recall of me, obviously most of my attention is focused on the first issue on the ballot, whether or not to recall the governor.

BLITZER: Will you vote for Cruz Bustamante for part B, though, in case that you are recalled?

DAVIS: You know, I always make it a point of indicating about 10 days before the election exactly how I'm going to vote on the ballot, and there's a number of other items on the ballot as well, and I'll indicate at that time, but right now we're focusing on part one.

You may have seen the "L.A. Times" poll. The race is tightening up. I think people understand that $65 million is an awful lot of money to spend for a special election, and that, if a recall theoretically were to pass, it would almost certainly breed another recall, which would mean more time for campaigning and less time to do the public's business.

BLITZER: Well, I just want to press you a little bit on this, because it's very significant. Democrats in California are pretty much split whether or not they should vote for Cruz Bustamante or just simply not vote on that ballot.

You understand, though, that, since the race for the recall is so tight, it could be a Republican, presumably Arnold Schwarzenegger, the front-runner in many of these polls, who would be elected. You'd much rather have a Democrat like Cruz Bustamante succeed you than Arnold Schwarzenegger, right?

DAVIS: Well, there's no question that I have a lot of confidence in Cruz Bustamante, and he's the lieutenant governor, and his job is to step in if anything incapacitates me. So let there be no doubt that I think that he's the most qualified person on question number two.

But because this recall is about removing the governor from office -- and I don't think the reasons stated are sufficient under law, I think the cost is extraordinary, and I really believe we open Pandora's box, because, if, for example, the governorship were to change hands from one party to another there'd almost certainly be a recall of the new governor, and that's not good for anybody.

BLITZER: So why can't you simply state at this point that you will vote for Cruz Bustamante?

DAVIS: Well, I'm going to make my announcement on how I'm going to vote on the entire ballot, as I always do, about 10 days before the election.

And we have Prop 54 on that ballot, which prevents us from collecting information about how Latino and African-American kids are doing in school. I think that's very important, because I want all kids to do better.

So there are other items on the ballot as well, and I'll make my endorsements fully known in time for people to take them into account.

BLITZER: But, because you say Cruz Bustamante is clearly the most qualified among all the other candidates who are running, what's the downside, though, of simply saying right now, yes, vote against the recall, but, if you have to, go ahead and vote for Cruz Bustamante?

DAVIS: I'm going to give you high marks for dogged determination, Wolf. I'm saying again, Cruz is my friend, he is a very capable person. His entry in the race I think will actually help me by bringing out more people to vote no on the recall. And clearly he's the most qualified person on question number two. DAVIS: People first have to deal with the question of whether or not to recall the governor. And then they are confronted with 134 candidates, and of those 134, he's clearly the most qualified.

BLITZER: Senator Dianne Feinstein, the senior senator, the Democrat from California, is taking a very principled position, at least right now. Listen to what she says when asked the same questions I've basically been asking you. Listen to this.


SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D), CALIFORNIA: I am not going to vote on the second part of the ballot. I am going to vote on the first part of the ballot. And my vote is going to be to vote no on the recall.


BLITZER: What about that? Is she right?

DAVIS: Well, I have great respect for Senator Feinstein. There has been nobody, Wolf, who has been more principled and forthright against this recall, and I owe her an enormous debt of gratitude.

And I know that her passion on this issue stems from the fact that she was subject to a recall as the mayor of San Francisco many years ago. And if you think of all the good things she's done since, particularly sponsoring the assault-weapon ban many years ago as a senator, you see all the good work that would have been denied us if that recall had been successful.

So I am enormously grateful to her for her advice and counsel. And I'm enormously grateful for her firm position in support of me.

BLITZER: Well, Nancy Pelosi, who is the Democratic leader in the House, takes a very different position than Dianne Feinstein. Listen to Nancy Pelosi's stance, as announced together with all the other congressional Democrats from the California delegation. Listen to this.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), MINORITY LEADER: We strongly oppose a recall. But if California voters make a different choice, then Lieutenant Governor Bustamante is the appropriate person to assume that office.


BLITZER: You think she's taking an unprincipled position?

DAVIS: No, and I think what she says makes sense. I mean, I certainly understand why other Democrats would want to have sort of a safety valve. It's a perfectly rational position to take.

But my job is to rally support against this recall. I mean, you don't recall someone, Wolf, because you don't think they're funny enough or charismatic enough. You recall them because they had their hand in the cookie jar or they did something terribly inappropriate.

The Republicans want to oust me for past mistakes, but they don't give a rip about past mistakes, they just wanted to control the governorship in the future. And they think they can pull this off, given 134 candidates, with just a fraction of the California voters.

But the fact is, we're getting beyond our problems. I've signed a budget. The lights did not go out in California, as they did on the East Coast. The schools are getting better, and the economy is starting to turn around.

BLITZER: At the same time your critics, not only Republicans, but also those Democrats who think they will vote in favor of the recall, are pointing to mismanagement on your point. They point out -- and we'll put some numbers up on the screen -- that when you took office in 1998, there was more than a $4 billion surplus in the California -- $4.4 billion California surplus, but there is now a $38 billion deficit.

They say that's extraordinary, extraordinary mismanagement that warrants your recall.

DAVIS: First of all, there is no $38 billion deficit. I signed a budget a couple of weeks ago. It is balanced in the year we're currently in. We do have an out-year problem of $8 billion. But we've made great progress going from $38 billion to $8 billion.

And secondly, Wolf, if the threshold was -- for the recall, going from a surplus to a deficit, then you would have to recall 46 governors who are in the same boat and the president of the United States, who inherited surpluses as far as the eye could see in the trillions of dollars and is now presiding over the largest deficit in the history of America, upwards of $500 billion dollars.

So if they want to recall me, they should recall all 46 other governors and the president of the United States. I don't recommend that, but I think if you're going to use one standard for me, you should use it for everybody else.

BLITZER: When you delivered your speech at UCLA earlier in the week on Tuesday, I believe, you went on the offensive in saying that the Republicans were trying to steal the election. Listen to this brief excerpt from your remarks.


DAVIS: This recall is bigger than California. What's happening here is part of an ongoing national effort to steal elections Republicans cannot win.



BLITZER: A very serious charge. But a lot of people suggest that that's a direct result of some of the strategy, some of the advice you've been getting from former President Bill Clinton who had his own problems, obviously, during the impeachment process.

How much of a role is he playing in helping you deal with this issue?

DAVIS: Well, I am privileged to have advice from lots of people. And I sought advice from President Clinton for the last several years, eight or nine years.

And I'm privileged that he's given me good guidance, as has Senator Feinstein, Senator Boxer, Nancy Pelosi and lots of other good people.

But let's look at the facts. The Republicans did try and impeach President Clinton after they couldn't beat him in 1996. And every Republican in the Senate voted for that.

In 2000, it looked like Al Gore might win Florida, and they stopped the vote count.

In Colorado and Texas this year, Republicans are trying to reapportion for the second time in a decade -- you're only supposed to do it once -- to get more seats.

And in California, they lost the election last November fair and square, and now they're trying to grab control of it under the guise of this recall.

So there is a pattern there, and I think it's important for people to connect the dots.

BLITZER: The L.A. Times, which has been somewhat sympathetic to you on many issues in this whole recall process, did have an editorial that came out after your speech at UCLA. It said, among other things, it said this: "Davis's herky-jerky defense excuse at UCLA the previous night contained no vision of what he would do for the state in the next three years. On most issues, Davis is in sync with the majority of Californians. But his inability to lead the legislature and his chilliness to all but big contributors have repelled would-be allies."

That's a pretty strong criticism from the L.A. Times.

DAVIS: Well, if you read the rest of the editorial, Wolf, they came out against the recall...

BLITZER: Yes, I pointed that out. Right.

DAVIS: ... as they have in the past.

BLITZER: They've been sympathetic to you.

DAVIS: Listen, I'm the first to say that I'm not going to win prizes for charisma. But one reason or another, people have elected me five times in this state, more than any other Californian. And I think at the end of the day they're going to realize this recall is bad for them, not me, bad for them. It costs them $65 million, which they otherwise wouldn't have to spend. No recall will create one new job or educate one child. But it almost certainly will breed more recalls, which will destabilize the political process and, most importantly, will require more campaigning and less time to do the job we were elected to do.

I'm old-fashioned, and I believe when the election is over, the people have spoken, and it's time to stop politicking and do the work of the public.

BLITZER: Arnold Schwarzenegger came out with his first TV ads this past week. Let's run a little excerpt of one of them.


ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER (R), GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: This historic election has come about because there's a tremendous disconnect between the people of California and the leaders of California.

We the people are doing our job: working hard, raising our families and paying taxes. But the politicians are not doing their job.

We can do better than that.


BLITZER: He was also flanked earlier in the week at an event with George Shultz, the former Treasury secretary, secretary of state, on his right; Warren Buffett, the billionaire Democrat from Nebraska, the investor, on his left.

He seems to be bringing together a lot of disparate politicians: conservatives -- Dana Rohrabacher, for example, the conservative congressman who was out campaigning for him this week.

He seems like a pretty formidable candidate right now, a social moderate, if he's a fiscal conservative. What do you make of his campaign?

DAVIS: Well, he's on the second issue on the ballot. I'm not running against anyone on the second issue on the ballot. I'm running to retain my job as governor that I was duly elected to in November of last year.

I believe the progress we've made with test scores up five years in a row, which is pretty phenomenal, with a million children more that have health insurance since I took office, with the strictest gun control laws in the country, with the best environmental record in the country, the best civil rights record and the best privacy record, and 850,000 net new jobs since I became governor, compared to 3 million jobs that have been lost since President Bush came in office, I believe I have a record that warrants being retained in office.

BLITZER: Bill Simon, the man you beat last time around, the Republican, has dropped out now. He's not saying who he's going to support, but it looks like a lot of Republicans seem to be coalescing around Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Let me read to you also from what Rush Limbaugh wrote in the L.A. Times on Saturday: "California has become a liberal laboratory of failed economic and social experiments. Davis and his overwhelmingly Democrat legislature have turned this once-proud state into a banana republic, and the people have said enough is enough.

"Republicans may have been among the most active supporters of the recall movement, but it would be a mistake to ignore its broad appeal."

How concerned are you that the Republicans are going to unite around one candidate, namely Arnold Schwarzenegger, and, in effect, energize their base to recall you?

DAVIS: Well, clearly, we have to work to get the vote out, and that work is under way.

But I'm very pleased with today's L.A. Times poll.

I mean, some polls have had us 20 points behind. This shows real momentum, only five points behind.

And if we get enough no votes on the first question, then whatever Arnold Schwarzenegger does on the second question is of no significance.

And I really believe people are beginning to understand that a recall is bad for them. It will almost certainly incite more recalls. It will destabilize the political process, discourage investors from making further job-producing investments in this state, have a bad effect on our bond ratings, and no good will come of it.

So I believe at the end people will come to their senses and realize this is just a Republican power-grab, as when they tried to impeach President Clinton, when they stopped the vote count in Florida, to steal an election they couldn't win fair and square.

BLITZER: What about those punch-card ballots, the hanging chads, if you will, in some of the counties in California? Do you have confidence that this election, the ballots can be counted fairly?

DAVIS: You know, I hope so. A lot of registrars have expressed concern. We don't have elections on October 7th. That's why the secretary of state has said that we're spending at least $65 million. You've got to rent spaces. You've got to get poll watchers.

There are six counties in this state that have been ordered to eliminate the punch-card ballot by January 1st of next year. So there's some question as to how that will work. And those six counties represent 44 percent of the vote.

So there's, you know, there's a lot of dicey things going on. But I'm just assuming the election's going ahead, and that we can mobilize people and understand this recall is not good for them, not good for their future. It sets a very bad precedent and almost certainly will incite reprisals in the form of more recalls.

The public should send a message: Vote no on the recall, and tell politicians they get elected to do the public's business, not to just campaign endlessly.

BLITZER: Governor Gray Davis, it was kind of you to spend some time with us. Thanks very much.

DAVIS: Thank you, Wolf. Good to talk to you again.

BLITZER: And up next, the chairman of the United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Richard Lugar, and a key Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Dianne Feinstein. They assess the U.S. role in Iraq, the crisis in the Middle East and more.

And later, is the former Vermont governor, Howard Dean, on his way to becoming the Democratic Party's presidential nominee? We'll have an exclusive interview with the doctor turned politician.

LATE EDITION will continue right after this.


BLITZER: This week's deadly suicide bombing attacks on the U.N. headquarters in Baghdad and a bus full of passengers in Jerusalem are grave reminders of the very serious threats still be posed in the war on terror.

Joining us now are two leading members of the United States Senate. The Indiana Republican senator, Richard Lugar, is the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. And California Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein serves on the Select Intelligence Committee.

Senators, good to have both of you on LATE EDITION.

Senator Feinstein, we're going to get to foreign policy in just a moment, but you just heard the governor of your state, California, Gray Davis, refuse to say how he's going to vote, if he's going to vote, on Part B of that very complicated recall process everybody in California's about to go through.

What's wrong, what's wrong with saying to Democrats and others, go ahead and vote for Cruz Bustamante in case Governor Davis is recalled?

FEINSTEIN: Well, I'll tell you what's wrong with it. It's an idiosyncrasy, in a way. You say vote no on recall, but vote yes for X. The problem is that you become invested in X. And therefore, as the election draws near, you're tempted to vote yes on recall.

I think this recall is monumentally bad for California for a whole host of economic and political reasons. Therefore, the question is, should this governor be recalled? My answer is no. So, I have said I am going to vote no, and I'm going to ignore the second part of the ballot. If that should change, I'll watch developments, I'll let people know.

But once this recall passes, I think California is in for a very bad time. What goes around comes around. You'll have a lot of dissension. It's very difficult to change administrations in the middle for a host of reasons -- huge state, complicated issues.

Recall should be reserved for malfeasance in public office. A governor elected last November, no malfeasance, ergo vote no on recall. I've been all over this state this week, beginning in San Diego, San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles, Sacramento. I've spoken to thousands of people. When you make this argument, they begin to understand. When you make this argument cogently, you see them return to that position.

So, I think my own political party, frankly, is weakening the situation by, sort of, this double proposition: Vote no on recall, but your insurance policy is to vote yes on someone else.

BLITZER: Will you change your position if Governor Davis changes his position and says yes, have the fail-safe, the backup, in case he is recalled? Cruz Bustamante is, after all, a Democrat.

FEINSTEIN: My position really has nothing to do with what anybody else thinks. They're entitled to do it. My position is based on my knowledge of the state and what's happening in the state and whether I believe this is healthy for the state or unhealthy for the state.

In Sacramento I had the head of the economic development unit tell me how they were losing businesses from the conversion of McClellan Air Force Base to other states because of the instability and uncertainty this recall provides. Ads in newspapers by other states: Come here, don't go to California. That's one example of why this recall is so damaging to California.

BLITZER: As I said before, a very principled position by Senator Feinstein, not surprisingly.

Senator Lugar, I'm not going to burden you with California politics. You've got the whole world on your plate right now.

Let me show you a new Newsweek poll that's just out today, disturbing in many respects, I'm sure, from your vantage point. "Are you concerned the U.S. will get bogged down in Iraq for many years without making much progress?" Sixty-nine percent say they're concerned; 15 percent, not too concerned; 13 percent, not concerned at all.

Is it time for the U.S. to start handing over more responsibility to the United Nations and others and scale back the U.S. leadership role in this post-war Iraq?

SEN. RICHARD LUGAR (R), INDIANA: Well, I would argue to the contrary. The U.S. leadership role is what is at stake. It may be, as a part of that role, that we have a new configuration in terms of both political and other leadership roles in Iraq.

But what is really required, and I've tried to advocate this since I was in Baghdad seven weeks ago, is the president really has to describe to the American people what is at stake here and has to show the urgency of having the right forces there, of having international backing for that, to understand why people are being killed and why Iraqis are continuing to resist, and then to understand it himself, namely that the lights have got to go on, that the power situation, the water situation, life in 112 degrees of temperature and all is terrible for people who have counted upon the United States for more, quite apart from terrorists coming and going.

BLITZER: Does the U.S. military have enough troops in place to get the job done?

LUGAR: Perhaps not, and probably not the right ones. And the reservists that are leaving who have the skills in the community meetings, which are going well, who are dealing with the democratic rebuilding, come home pretty soon.

We are not configured as a nation in our armed forces or the State Department to deal with nation-building. Others have made that point, but I make it again.

The president, in his own preemptive strike now, has to come unexpectedly to the American people and say, "These are things that we have to do."

BLITZER: So you want him to make another address to the nation right away?

LUGAR: Yes. I mean, he may need to make more than one. I've suggested a five-year budget, a five-year idea of how the money was going to come in, from whom.

It's not enough to see a pledging conference in October, dribs and drabs taken over from Saddam. This is big money, it is consequential. It cannot be lost.

So I don't come as a critic saying we should or should not be there. We are there. We must win. It will take a concerted new plan to do that.

BLITZER: Senator Feinstein, you supported the war going into the war based on everything you knew at the time.

Let me read to you a little excerpt from an editorial that ran in the New York Times on Wednesday.

"The administration will have to radically rethink its approach to post-war Iraq. Unrealistically optimistic assumptions have led the White House to severely underestimate troop and spending requirements and wrongly dismiss the need for more international help through the U.N."

Words echoed not only by Senator Lugar, but Senator Hagel, Senator Biden, other key members of the Foreign Relations Committee.

Where do you stand on this whole issue right now?

FEINSTEIN: Well, I agree with everything Dick Lugar just said. As a matter of fact, I brought The New York Times editorial of this morning, and the Times is correct, we need a strategy.

I listened to Mr. Bremer this morning. I must tell you, I was very disappointed. No sense of a committed timeline was put forward. No sense that we need more help there, when it is clear to me, with 12 attacks against our troops every day, with the massive bombings of the Jordanian Embassy and the United Nations Mission, that we clearly need more involvement of other nations.

What those bombs said to me was, "Jordan, we don't want you here. U.N., we don't want you here." Major efforts at intimidation. Those efforts must be resisted in a robust way, and they are not.

The country needs to be securetized (ph). People need to be protected. We need a timeline when electricity is going to be restored in Baghdad, when water is going to be clean in Baghdad.

The oil pipelines need to be protected. The people need to be served, the government established. One person can't do all that. The United States, it's clear to me at least, cannot do it alone.

And I believe very strongly that we need, we have 137,000 troops there, 20,000 Brits, about 11,000 from other nations. I think General Shinseki was correct. We need above 200,000 troops in that country, and many of them from other countries.

BLITZER: General Shinseki, the former Army chief of staff.

Senator Lugar, there were some sober comments, perhaps very disturbing, that General Richard Myers made earlier today on Meet the Press, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, looking down the road, if the U.S. does capture or kill Saddam Hussein. Listen to this.


RICHARD MYERS, CHAIRMAN, JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF: I don't personally believe that the resistance will stop because you get Saddam Hussein. I think some of the wind will be taken out of the sails of those who think that there's some slim hope that this regime will come back.


BLITZER: It looks like the terrorists are simply congregating on Iraq right now, looking for targets of opportunity.

LUGAR: They may be. But the Iraqis themselves, at least those who don't like us, are there in pretty big numbers. And I think that there's pretty good evidence that the attack on the U.N. situation occurred from Iraqis, probably the same with the Jordanians. This may finally attract people from elsewhere, but we've got to recognize the fact that a lot of Iraqis do not welcome us at all. As a matter of fact, they're very disturbed about us. They see rumors of religious warfare out there, religious problems with the Jews and Israel coming in, all sorts of fatuous ideas.

Our own public information there, of getting information to the Iraqi people, is obviously deficient. They don't know what we're doing, the good acts that we're doing.

BLITZER: That's what a lot people have said, it's a failure so far getting the communications out to the Iraqi people.

Let me shift gears, Senator Feinstein, quickly on the situation between the Israelis and the Palestinians, the so-called road map to peace. In the aftermath of what happened this week, is that road map now at a dead end?

FEINSTEIN: I think it's off the table, so to speak, for the time being. I think it is very difficult to sustain these terrorist acts -- for Israel to sustain them. I think the inability of the Palestinians to arrest the Hamas leadership, to arrest terrorists has been clearly indicated now. And I think we're in for a new and difficult period.

I'm one that strongly believes Palestinians should have their homeland. But you can't have a homeland with this kind of wholesale murder going on daily. And it's clear to me that Israel is going to have to put up her defenses, securitize her country, and maintain that until some of this hatred dies down.

BLITZER: We only have a few seconds left, Senator Lugar, I'll give you the last word. What should the Bush administration be doing right now when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, if you can call it that?

LUGAR: It has to figure out who is going to go after the terrorists in Palestine. Now, we've been pushing Abbas to do that. He is apparently physically or politically incapable of doing that. The Israelis are demanding they do that in order for them to take down the wall and whatever they are doing.

At some point the United States and its NATO allies and somebody is going to have to work with the Israelis and the Palestinians who want a state to get rid of the terrorists. I think it's just that simple.

BLITZER: Are you suggesting U.S. military involvement potentially?

LUGAR: We may need it -- we may need to be. If we're serious about having a situation of stability, a very direct action, I think, is going to be required.

BLITZER: So U.S. military involvement going after Hamas, Islamic Jihad, these other groups, is that what you're saying? LUGAR: That has to be a potential possibility. Now, once again, we ought to involve our NATO allies. We ought to involve others in the Middle East. In other words, we need to think through this carefully. But still, the terrorists have to be routed out because they will ruin any possibility for peace in that area.

BLITZER: Senator Feinstein, very briefly, you think that's potentially a good idea?

FEINSTEIN: Well, I hope we're not there, but we may well be. The Palestinians have wanted a United Nations or an American observer force. I mean, it's clear to me you can't have just a straight observer force. But you have to have some military entity that is going to be able to control the terror. Otherwise, the situation is going to dissolve into nothingness.

BLITZER: Unfortunately, we have to leave it right there. I want to thank both Senator Feinstein, Senator Lugar. As usual, we learned something when both of you are on this program.

FEINSTEIN: Thank you.

BLITZER: Appreciate it very much.

LUGAR: Thank you.

BLITZER: We'll be right back.


BLITZER: Still ahead, there may be nine Democrats vying for the White House in 2004, but Howard Dean is the candidate that's grabbing much of the political spotlight. We'll have an exclusive interview with the former Vermont governor about his run for the White House when we come back.


BLITZER: Welcome back to the second hour of LATE EDITION. A bomb exploded today in Iraq near one of the most sacred sites. In addition, two U.S. soldiers have died in separate incidents.

CNN's Rym Brahimi is joining us now live from Baghdad. She's following all of these developments -- Rym.

RYN BRAHIMI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, indeed, an explosion took place early in the afternoon in the holy city of Najaf. That's about a two-hour drive south from the Iraqi capital. Now, Iraqi police say three people were killed in that explosion, two of them on the spot, one of them died later in hospital.

It appears, according to the spokesman for a group here known as the Supreme Command of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, SCIRI, well, the spokesman says that bomb was actually placed outside the religious leader, who's the head of that movement -- outside his house. It was placed in a gas canister, and it was right near his living room. Now, apparently, the bomb destroyed the wall and killed three of his bodyguards. But apparently Ayatollah Mohammed Sayed al Hakim, who's the leader and the religious of that group, got away.

It is significant, Wolf, because Ayatollah Mohammed Sayed al Hakim's brother, Abdel-Aziz al Hakim, is actually not only the deputy of this SCIRI movement, but he's also a member of the Governing Council.

The explosion took place, as you mentioned, about 800 meters away from the Imam Ali (ph) Mosque, which is one of the most revered sides for Shia Muslims.

And in Baghdad, another attack against U.S. soldiers, this time on the highway to Jordan on the outskirts of Baghdad. Eyewitnesses say they saw a Humvee catch fire. Apparently, the incident involved an explosive device, but eyewitnesses say they saw soldiers rushing to the scene, cordoning off the area and then evacuating the vehicle, as well as two U.S. soldiers, who they say appeared to be slightly injured.

Now, these attacks against U.S. soldiers have been relentless, as one U.S. military spokesman told us.


COLONEL GUY SHIELDS: Over the last 48 hours, we've had 25 attacks against coalition forces, with the average being slightly more than 12 a day. You know, it is on average.

We take each and every attack seriously, look at it, investigate it, see if there's anything that we can use from that attack to help us prevent another attack.


BRAHIMI: Now, a coalition spokesman said that they will not be deterred by what he called these acts of intimidation, and they will pursue the various projects to rebuild the country -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Rym Brahimi with the latest for us, of course, in Baghdad.

Rym, thanks very much.

Now to presidential politics here in the United States. When he first announced his intention to seek the Democratic Party's 2004 presidential nomination, Howard Dean was considered a longshot in the race.

But a surge of support has the former Vermont governor now leading among likely voters in two key early states, Iowa and New Hampshire. Today I spoke with Governor Dean.


BLITZER: Governor Dean, thanks very much for joining us.

Everyone around the world knows you opposed the war going into it, but knowing what the situation is right now, what would you be doing right now with the current situation if you were president?

HOWARD DEAN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Wolf, I'd be going to the United Nations Security Council and trying to get a resolution to bring in U.N. troops and NATO troops to Iraq and Afghanistan.

The president doesn't have enough troops in Afghanistan either. Imagine making deals with the warlords to preserve democracy in Afghanistan. I think these -- our military did a great job in Afghanistan, and in Iraq, but the administration certainly hasn't done a great job of keeping the peace.

BLITZER: Well, would you insist that U.S. forces remain only under U.S. control? You wouldn't budge from that doctrine, would you?

DEAN: No, I wouldn't. I think historically U.S. troops have always been under United States control. But we are going to have to give up some authority over the occupation when the other troops come in, and that's what they're insisting on. I think that's what the president's going to ultimately have to give them.

The problem is that he managed to insult most of the countries whose help we now need in Iraq and in Afghanistan, and that's what happens when you have a foreign policy that's based on petulance.

BLITZER: Well, how much control would you be willing to give up specifically? Where are the areas that you would delegate or give up responsibility to other countries?

DEAN: Well, I'm not sure you'd work it like that. I think we may need to be patrolling side by side with other troops. I know that they had sectors assigned in places like Bosnia and Kosovo.

But in this case, one of the things I would try to do is get the United Nations, as they send their troops, if we can get such a resolution, to include Arabic-speaking troops, perhaps from Egypt or Morocco, countries that are friendly to the United States.

We desperately need this not to be an American occupation. We need this to be something more like a U.N. mandate, a temporary occupation by world forces in order to bring Iraq into a democratized situation.

BLITZER: Right after the fall of Baghdad, you made some comments which have caused somewhat of a stir. I want you to listen to what you said on April 9th, when you were speaking before the Children's Defense Fund. Listen to this.


DEAN: We need to contain Saddam. We should have contained Saddam. Well, we've gotten rid of him. I suppose that's a good thing. (END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: When you say you "suppose that's a good thing," do you have any doubt that getting rid of Saddam Hussein was a good thing?

DEAN: Well, here's the problem. Saddam is obviously a horrible person. I think the Iraqi people, at least for now, are much better off without him.

But from the point of view of the defense of the United States of America, it's not clear that we are safer now than we were when Saddam was in power.

Contrary to the president's assertion, there's really very little evidence there was ever a deal between Saddam and al Qaeda. But it looks like it may be that al Qaeda is in Iraq now, at least partially involved in some of these attacks on American troops. So if that's the case, it may be that the United States is not as safe because of what the president has done.

If there is really a collapse of the occupation, and a fundamentalist regime, a Shiite regime under the influence of Iran, or a chaotic situation in which al Qaeda can really move freely around Iraq takes place, then we're in a much worse situation, in terms of our national defense, than we were when Saddam was in power.

So I think we have to see if the president's enormous risk pays off, and so far I think that's very much in question.

BLITZER: A lot of people are paying much closer attention to your views right now, Governor Dean, because you're doing so well in the Democratic race for the White House. You're very strong in both Iowa and New Hampshire, the early contests early next year. Our viewers around the world, therefore, are interested in your views on international affairs.

Who are your principal advisers, when it comes to national security?

DEAN: Well, we pay attention to a lot of people who are not simply along our own campaign -- former secretaries of state, national security advisers and so forth.

We have a core group of people who I don't think most of your viewers would have heard of, people who worked in the Pentagon during the Clinton administration, people who worked in the State Department. On the military side, retired Marine General Commander Joe Hoar (ph) has recently signed on.

So we have a good group of people who know what they're talking about, although I doubt your viewers would have heard of them.

BLITZER: Can you give us one or two more names?

DEAN: Probably not, because I probably ought to consult with them first. Ivo Daalder certainly, from the Brookings Institute, has been very helpful to us. Susan Rice has been helpful to us. But I don't think you know who those people are.

BLITZER: I know precisely who both of them are.

DEAN: You do know who they are, but your viewers may not.

BLITZER: Susan Rice, former assistant secretary of state for African affairs during the Clinton administration.

DEAN: That's right.

BLITZER: Ivo Daalder is over at the Brookings Institute as well, a former NSC official.

DEAN: Yes.

BLITZER: Let's move on and talk about General Wesley Clark. He may or may not, in the coming days, decide to become number 10, the tenth Democratic hopeful for the White House.

You have high regard for him. Would you consider him as a potential running mate?

DEAN: Yes. There would be a great many people, of course, that would be considered as potential running mates.

And I must say, I think it's much too early to discuss potential running mates. I mean, we're five months from the time the first official vote and delegate-selection process takes place, so I find it very premature.

But I think Wes Clark, he is somebody I keep in close touch with. He's a terrific person, very bright, very capable, very thoughtful. Our views coincide on a number of matters, and he is a -- I certainly can't say enough good things about him. It'd be tough to run against him.

BLITZER: Well, if he decides to run, would you be disappointed that he throws his hat in the ring?

DEAN: Not a bit. You know, I think this is a democracy, and I never get disappointed when people throw their hats in the ring. You know, he has every right to get out there and give his views and do the Iowa and New Hampshire and so forth thing, and I wouldn't be the least bit disappointed.

BLITZER: One of the Democratic candidates who's been hammering away recently at you is Joe Lieberman.

He was on this program a couple of weeks ago. Listen to precisely what he said, raising alarm bells about your candidacy. Listen to this.


SEN. JOSEPH LIEBERMAN (D-CT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He could well be a ticket to nowhere. He could take the Democratic Party out into the political wilderness for a long time, because his positions, in my opinion, don't even reflect the majority of Democrats, let alone the majority of the American people.


BLITZER: He also went on to suggest you could be another George McGovern for the Democrats -- George McGovern carrying barely one state, the District of Columbia, in 1972. Those are strong words.

DEAN: They are, but I think Joe's campaign is in some trouble and he knows it.

My view is -- really, I think, is in the mainstream of where America is on defense, contrary to perhaps both Joe's and President Bush's.

I supported the first Gulf War because I thought when one of your allies is attacked, you have an obligation to come to their defense. I supported the war in Afghanistan. Three thousand of our people had been murdered by people who intended to do more harm. That was clearly an issue of national defense.

But all these Democrats and this Republican president went to war based on telling the American people that Iraq was purchasing uranium from Africa. That turned out not to be true.

It turned out that -- the president had told us that there was an imminent deal between al Qaeda and Saddam and cooperation between them. That wasn't true.

The vice president said they were about to get the nuclear bomb. That wasn't true.

The secretary of defense said he knew exactly where the weapons of mass destruction were around Tikrit and Baghdad. That wasn't true.

You know, I'll send troops anywhere in the world to defend the United States of America. But I'm never going to send troops abroad, our sons and daughters and our brothers and sisters, without telling the American people the truth about why they went.

And I think that's a fundamental error the Democratic Party made, and I think that's an error the president made. And I think America's going to be paying for it, as we are every week with eight to 10 more soldiers being killed.

BLITZER: There's a line that the late senator from Minnesota, Paul Wellstone, he used to say, and now you've picked it up. I want you to listen to this line, because it's caused some controversy among Democrats. Listen to this.


DEAN: I'm Howard Dean, and I'm here to represent the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party.


BLITZER: The Democratic Leadership Council, which is the so- called New Democrats, the moderate Democrats, centrist Democrats if you want to call them that, put out this statement that said, "What activists like Dean called the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party is an aberration -- the McGovern-Mondale wing, defined principally by weakness abroad and elitist interest group liberalism at home. That's the wing that lost 49 states in two elections and transformed Democrats from a strong national party into a much weaker regional one."

Those comments, you've heard them before. Are you moving now toward their views on some of these issues, as you become more of a mainstream kind of candidate?

DEAN: I am a mainstream candidate. I am a centrist, I always have been. I think what you're seeing is the clutching at straws, both with Joe's remarks and with the DLC staff's remarks, which I think do not represent the majority of DLC members, many of whom I know personally.

This is clutching at straws by a Washington Democratic establishment that's failed in the last election cycle and lost the House -- or lost seats in the House, lost the control of the Senate and lost the White House. And we need to stand up for who we are.

The DLC and other's leadership -- and I'm not talking about the membership, because many of them are going to support me and they have supported me -- but the leadership believes somehow that you've got to be like George Bush in order to beat him. I think that's a mistake.

I think we've got to go back to our base, get them energized. We're talking about the African-American community, Asian-American community, the Latino community, women, the unions, the trade union movement. We've forgotten our base in this country. They aren't excited. They won't come out for a candidate who doesn't stand up for what we believe in. And I talk about...

BLITZER: Which Democratic...

DEAN: Go ahead.

BLITZER: I was going to say, which Democratic candidate do you see as your biggest challenger right now?

DEAN: I think that's impossible to say, and I think they all have to sort out who is going to end up being the Washington inside candidate. The odd thing about this race is that the insurgent has been defined before the sort of the establishment candidate. I think the establishment candidates have to sort out among themselves who that's going to be, and I don't have any control over that.

BLITZER: The Republicans, Karl Rove, the chief political adviser to the president, others, they've been widely reported as saying they would be thrilled if you were the Democratic candidate. They think they would be able to defeat you decisively. I want you to listen to what Tom DeLay, the majority leader in the House of Representatives, said about you and your views. Listen to this.


REP. TOM DELAY (R-TX), MAJORITY LEADER: While everyone else got the memo that big-government, blame-America-first liberalism died with disco...


... the Howard Dean Democrats still want to party like it's 1979.




BLITZER: He got a good laugh with that line. But what do you say to those Democrats who are concerned that you might be a little bit too liberal or too left for the mainstream of the country?

DEAN: I balanced budgets; Tom DeLay has never done that.

I made sure every child in my state had health insurance. In Tom DeLay's state, they just cut 230,000 children off health care because they couldn't balance their budget.

I delivered jobs. The Republicans haven't delivered any jobs for a long time. And the Republicans haven't balanced the budget for 34 years in this country.

Let's let the American people decide who's the centrist, who's the mainstream political force here. I think Congressman DeLay and the president are way out there on the extremes.

And I just might add one more thing: We're not going to let them take our flag anymore. That flag belongs to everybody in the country; it doesn't belong to Tom DeLay.

BLITZER: How much of a problem is the Howard Dean temper, as some have called it?

DEAN: Oh, I think that's something that's been pushed hard. Look, some of the folks who are running have become desperate. They've attacked my personality. They've said I have a terrible temper. They've said I'm, whatever Joe said, I was too far to the left, I was going to bring everybody, you know, down, lose 49 states and all that stuff.

When you can't have a debate about issues, that means your campaign is in real trouble.

And I have every intention of winning the nomination. I have every intention of sending George Bush back to Crawford, Texas. This is the most inept regime in America that we've had in a long, long time. Enormous job losses, 3 million jobs gone; adventures abroad which have resulted in enormous amount of loss of face. You know, we've lost our most powerful weapon in our struggle to democratize the world, and that's the respect of every nation around the world.

And I'll tell you one thing, if I become president of the United States, I'm going to make sure that I restore the dignity and respect that America deserves around the rest of the world.

BLITZER: Are you ready to guarantee right now, if you get the nomination, you'll accept the matching funds, as far as campaign financing is concerned?

DEAN: Well, we're not going to have any serious discussions about that. You know, we raised $7 million last quarter, not $70 million. And I think that kind of is a premature discussion.

We are going to have to figure out how to cope with $200 million that George Bush was able to raise from all his friends that got those tax cuts. He really can raise a lot of money from those few numbers of people, and we're going to have to figure out if our grassroots people can try to match him.

BLITZER: So you're leaving open the possibility you might not accept the matching funds, is that right?

DEAN: Yes. If we conclude that we can raise a lot of money and be competitive with George Bush in a better way, we're going to beat George Bush any way we can.

BLITZER: We're going to have to leave it right there.

Governor Dean, thanks for getting up and spending some time with us.

DEAN: Thank you.


BLITZER: Just ahead, terror in Baghdad. Is it the work of foreign infiltrators? We'll get assessments from the former NATO supreme commander, General George Joulwan; the former U.S. State Department assistant secretary, James Rubin; and the former Pentagon intelligence analyst, retired U.S. Army Colonel Pat Lang.

And later, the road to recall: We'll talk with California gubernatorial candidate Arianna Huffington.

LATE EDITION will continue right after this.



KOFI ANNAN, SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE UNITED NATIONS: Our hearts are heavy with loss. Our senses reel from the sights and sounds of one of the darkest days in the history of the United Nations.


BLITZER: The U.N. secretary general, Kofi Annan, addressing colleagues after this week's bombing of the U.N. headquarters in Baghdad. At least 22 people were killed, including the U.N.'s top envoy to Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello.

Welcome back to LATE EDITION.

Joining us now with some perspective on the terror threats are three guests: in London, James Rubin. He served as assistant U.S. secretary of state during the Clinton administration. Here in Washington, the former supreme commander of NATO, Retired U.S. Army General George Joulwan, and the retired U.S. Army colonel and former Pentagon intelligence analyst, Pat Lang.

Gentlemen, welcome back to LATE EDITION.

General Joulwan, let me begin with you and ask you a direct question. You're a military man. Should the U.S. have more boots on the ground, more U.S. troops in Iraq right now?

GEN. GEORGE JOULWAN (RET.), FORMER NATO SUPREME COMMANDER: Let me answer this way. More troops; they don't necessarily have to be more U.S. troops. I think you could internationalize it, get NATO and other nations involved. I think they need more of a troop presence there, but not necessarily more U.S. troops.

BLITZER: You used to run NATO. You know the French, the Germans, others, including the Indians, they want another U.N. Security Council resolution that would presumably take away some of the control the U.S. has right now. How do you get that?

JOULWAN: Well, I don't know how much control it would take. When we went into Bosnia, it was under a U.N. resolution to NATO. NATO, with U.S. leadership, 36 nations to include Russia, the Ukraine, Egypt, Morocco. We can use that as a model to say how can we then build this larger force, international force, in Iraq? I think that's needed. I think it could be done. And it could be done with the right rules of engagement and the right chain of command.

BLITZER: So, in other words, the model that the U.S. used through NATO in Kosovo, or Bosnia, for that matter, you think is applicable in Iraq?

JOULWAN: It can be. It needs to be modified somewhat. It can be adjusted. But I think it can be used there for both the military arrangement, as well as the political and economic -- the financial, as well.

BLITZER: Pat Lang, you've spent your professional career studying the Middle East. Who's responsible for these latest terror strikes against the U.N. headquarters in Baghdad, and the Jordanian embassy bombing for that matter? PAT LANG, FORMER PENTAGON INTELLIGENCE ANALYST: Well, you know, we are practically making a profession now in Washington of saying that we're not fighting Islam, you know. And in the sense, we're not, because we're not fighting the Islam that we want to see exist in the world and which does exist among a lot of Muslims.

But there are a lot of other Muslims who see us as the enemy, as the prime representative of the West. And, in fact, they have accepted our challenge to come and fight us on what is going to be the bloody ground of Iraq, along with a lot of nationalists.

And these, especially the bombing of the U.N. headquarters, with its suicide element, look to me that there must have been some Islamist presence in that, maybe from outside.

BLITZER: Well, do you see the possibility that secular Saddam Fedayeen types, remnants of the Baath Party, are working now together with the Islamic fundamentalist types?

LANG: Yes, I think that's quite possible. It's not at all unusual in insurgency situations for disparate groups who really hate other to work together on tactical issues.

And the way that bomb was wired together out of bits of old military ordnance and stuff like that required a good deal of skill. And there was a lot of planning ability involved in the penetration of the headquarters.

So, I think there are probably some of both in this.

BLITZER: Jamie Rubin in London, Kofi Annan was pretty precise when he spoke out this week on a potential new U.N. resolution, a division of labor in Iraq. Listen precisely to what he said.


ANNAN: It is not excluded. Now (ph), the council may decide to transform the operation into a U.N.-mandated, multinational force operating on the ground with other governments coming in.


BLITZER: Do you agree that there can be some new form, the Balkan model, as General Joulwan suggests, in Iraq?

JAMIE RUBIN, FORMER ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE: Well, absolutely. I think General Joulwan pointed out that we can have the U.N. mandate American-led forces to operate in the Balkans. We can do the same thing in Iraq. All we need to do is show some of the other countries in the U.N. and around the world a little respect.

We have to agree, for example, that the commander of the multinational force, which would be America because we'd have the huge and overwhelming component of that force, might have to occasionally send a report to the U.N. Security Council -- not reporting to them as if he's taking orders from them, but to consult with them, to tell them what progress has been made or not made on certain issues.

We might also have to agree that a political representative of the secretary-general like Sergio de Mello, who was killed in this terrible bombing, might have a role in how the political decisions in the country are made, rather than just having Paul Bremer make all these decisions himself.

But it's not as if the people involved would have different views, really, than the United States. It's just that the administration, perhaps led by Secretary Rumsfeld and others, are just so determined to not let anybody play any role in any way, shape or form that they have so alienated the rest of the world that it's very tough to get other countries to sign up.

BLITZER: Jamie, you're over there in Europe. What will it take specifically to get France and Germany on board, to get their troops into Iraq?

RUBIN: Well, I think it will be very difficult under any circumstances to get German troops into Iraq. I think you could imagine a much bigger German role in Iraq in terms of money, perhaps some logistics, perhaps some international assistance.

France, I think what they're signaling is that they want a more formalized role for the U.N., what General Joulwan hinted at, what I just spelled out. That is, where the force commander, in this case an American, would have to occasionally report on, you know, the last 30 days of activities to the Security Council, where the political representative, whoever replaces Sergio de Mello, would have some responsibilities. That is the essence of a new resolution, that's about it.

The irony here is that it really wouldn't take very much to get other countries to feel that this wasn't a totally made-in-America operation, and thus we could get the additional boots on the ground, which General Joulwan thinks we need, without having to call up additional Americans. It's not that tough if we're prepared to make a compromise.

BLITZER: General, how would this play in the military, General?

JOULWAN: Again, we have to say it right here, and we have to get the chain of command right, and I think we can do all of that. And I think the military, we've had some success with this.

In Bosnia, only one-third of the force in Bosnia was U.S. initially. Now it's down to only 10 percent. So I think we know how to do this. But we've got get the chain of command right, unity of command, the rules of engagement. All of that is doable. But I think we need to broaden the base here to get international support, international troops with us on the ground. I think we know how to do that.

BLITZER: General, I want you to take a look at the cover of Time magazine, the new issue that's coming out today, tomorrow. Take a look at that. The headline there, "Are We Stretched Too Thin?" Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson of Texas had this comment in the Washington Times this week. She said, "Do we have enough Army and Marine members active-duty members for the post-September 11th era of national security? My view is we do not." She's on the appropriations subcommittee involving the military.

And listen to what Senator John McCain said later in the week.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: I also believe that the Army, however, overall needs to be increased by one or two divisions because we're not doing what we need to do in Afghanistan. And we may be in Liberia, and we have commitments all over the world.

BLITZER: Is the Army -- the military, the U.S. military overall, not just the Army, the Marine Corps, the Navy, the Air Force, stretched too thin right now?

JOULWAN: In a word, yes. I think there is a reassessment going on of what should the structure look like. Do we have the right force structure to carry out the missions that we have today? That assessment is going on inside the Pentagon now.

But truly, we need to have more of different forces. We need civil affairs that were a godsend in Bosnia and elsewhere. We need to understand more of that type of force to help us. We need to bring in the international community, like international police, gendarmerie (ph), carabinieri, to help us.

That's a new way of thinking about mission. But we've got to think not just for the war fight, but how do we win the peace, stabilization? And that's what we need to think of now.

BLITZER: Pat Lang, listen to what Senator Bob Graham -- he's one of the Democratic presidential candidates, but he's also a former chairman of the Intelligence Committee -- wrote this past week. Listen to this.

"Had the president pursued the war on terrorism prior to initiating military action against Saddam Hussein, as I advocated last year, it is likely that al Qaeda and other terrorist networks would not have been able to take advantage of the chaos that now exists in Baghdad and other parts of Iraq."

Is Senator Graham right?

LANG: Well, I think he is in a couple of ways. First of all, the war, as it's being described, is being structured and described as a world war in which there is an Afghanistan theater, an Iraq theater, now a Palestine theater in which Hamas is described as an enemy of the United States, although, so far as I know, they have never done anything not connected to their own national cause.

And so the available resources, which are quite slim in terms of civil affairs specialists, Special Forces men, strange creatures like me in the old days, you know, we've never invested very many people in those things.

There are only so many, when you start spreading them around in this kind of structure it's very hard to concentrate them for something like the search for al Qaeda, especially when you commit so many to Iraq.

BLITZER: I want you to listen, Jamie Rubin, in the interview we did with Senator Lugar a little while ago, he raised a whole new possibility of introducing U.S. troops in not only the Iraqi theater, elsewhere in the region, Afghanistan, as we well know, but perhaps in the theater involving the Israelis and the Palestinians. Listen to what he said.


LUGAR: If we're serious about having a situation of stability, a very direct action I think is going to be required.

BLITZER: So U.S. military involvement going after Hamas, Islamic Jihad, these other groups, is that what you're saying?

LUGAR: That has to be a potential possibility.


BLITZER: He suggested perhaps working through NATO, introducing those kind of NATO forces to deal with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. What's the appetite where you are, in Europe, for that?

RUBIN: Well, my guess is that Europeans would be very, very supportive if the United States were to try to lead an effort. And the suggestion that I think Senator Lugar is referring to, has been around, kicking around for some months now, which is to send a large NATO force into the Palestinian territories to conduct the kind of crackdown on terrorism that the Palestinians are unable to do and that, when the Israelis do, that it causes the creation of additional terrorists, create some sort of Palestinian protectorate under NATO.

The problem with it is not in Europe. The problem with it is in two places, Washington and in Jerusalem. The Israelis are not going to let this happen. It would be subcontracting out their security. They will never allow it, in my opinion.

And secondly, if we don't have enough troops barely to send additional forces to Iraq, we've got troops in Afghanistan, to take on a role in the Palestinian territories, that would be at least 50,000 to 100,000 troops to do it properly, is a major new commitment. So I think it's good policy, but it's just not practical at this time.

BLITZER: One of the arguments the Israelis make, General Joulwan, is that they know the area, they speak the languages, if they can't get the job done, could NATO troops coming in from Spain or Portugal or Italy do the job?

JOULWAN: I think at least it needs to be looked at and studied. And I think I'm not sure running after Hamas is the answer. But an interposition force that would provide some separation that would allow, really, negotiations to be going back and forth, true negotiations, and talking between both sides, I think that may be possible. And I think our NATO allies, with us, would welcome that sort of approach.

But it needs to be studied, that we get all the issues of unity of command, rules of engagement, et cetera, studied.

BLITZER: So you think Senator Lugar's proposal, perhaps to move NATO forces into the Palestinian territories, is something that is credible, realistic?

JOULWAN: Needs to be looked at and studied. I think it's an option that we need to anticipate, and then do the homework here of what it would take to do that. What are the pros and cons? But I think it needs to be studied.

BLITZER: You know this area quite well, Pat, what do you think?

LANG: Well, I don't think there's any doubt at all that the Arab parties to this conflict would welcome the interposition of a NATO force of this kind. It would be foolish, I think, for the United States to put very many American troops in this mix, because of the way the Palestinians feel about us at present. But a lot of other troops could do this. That's not where the difficulty is.

The difficulty will be in Jerusalem, with Sharon's government. The whole thrust of Israeli history is to seize control of their own destiny and their own security, and to surrender it like this...

BLITZER: General?

JOULWAN: I think we need to have a comprehensive strategy. Failure is not an option, what's going on in Iraq right now. But the linkage to what's happening in Afghanistan, in the Palestinian-Israeli issue, all of that is linked to a broader strategy.

And we need to understand that, and we need to figure out how to array our forces with our allies and partners in making this a true objective for all of us.

BLITZER: Jamie Rubin, I was intrigued what Secretary Powell said this week regarding the Palestinian Authority president, Yasser Arafat, once again bringing his name into the mix in the aftermath of the deadly violence that's been going on in Jerusalem and Gaza during the course of the past several days. Listen to what the secretary said.


COLIN POWELL, SECRETARY OF STATE: I call on Chairman Arafat to work with Prime Minister Abbas, and to make available to Prime Minister Abbas those security elements that are under his control, so that they can allow progress to be made on the road map.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BLITZER: Contrast that to what he said only a few months earlier about Yasser Arafat. Listen to this.


POWELL: Chairman Arafat was not a partner for peace, and he had missed his opportunities.


BLITZER: Jamie Rubin, is he confusing the situation by once again bringing Yasser Arafat's name into the mix?

RUBIN: Well, I think what he's doing is reflecting reality. For many months now, there's been this myth in many capitals that somehow the United States could just unilaterally, or the Israelis could unilaterally sideline and make irrelevant, was the phrase, Yasser Arafat.

And there's no question that Abu Mazen, the new prime minister, has an important role to play, and it's a terrific thing that he's there. But the reality of the Palestinian political situation is that Arafat is the only one who can bridge the moderates like Abu Mazen with the extremists like some of the members of his Fatah movement and others, and perhaps, perhaps -- and I'm only saying perhaps -- get a handle on some of these terrorist acts.

So what Secretary Powell was doing was peeling away the baloney that has been on our policy that Arafat is irrelevant. He's not irrelevant. He shouldn't be treated with the respect that he was treated before, but he's going to have to be dealt with if we want to get the job done.

The objective here is to get the Palestinians to stop supporting terrorism or to crack down on those who would. To do that, we need to use all the tools, and we have to stop trying to put rhetoric over reality.

And I think Secretary Powell was speaking the truth. We need Arafat's help if we're going to get this done.

BLITZER: All right, we're going to have to leave it right there. Jamie Rubin in London, thanks, as usual, for joining us.

General Joulwan, always a pleasure to have you on the program.

Pat Lang, thanks to you, as well.

Up next, we'll go to CNN headquarters for a quick check of the hour's top stories.

And there's still time for you to vote on our LATE EDITION Web question of the week: Are more U.S. troops needed in Iraq? Log on to our Web page, We'll have the results coming up shortly.

LATE EDITION will continue right after this.


BLITZER: Welcome back to LATE EDITION. And joining us now from Los Angeles is Arianna Huffington. She's running for governor of California as an Independent.

Arianna, thanks very much for joining us.

Will you vote to recall Governor Gray Davis?

ARIANNA HUFFINGTON (I), CALIFORNIA GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: I have been against the recall rule. I've written against it. I'm very suspicious of the parentage of the recall.

But I will vote for the recall because I'm running to win, I'm running to make a real difference, and it would be contradictory to vote against the recall.

But many of my supporters are voting against the recall, and I'm asking all of them to just vote their conscience.

BLITZER: The latest L.A. Times poll does not have you doing very well if the governor is, in fact, recalled. Let's put those numbers up on the screen. Cruz Bustamante emerging as the frontrunner, 35 percent; Arnold Schwarzenegger, 22 percent. Then you have three Republicans down lower, although Simon, Bill Simon, has since dropped out.

You come in only at 3 percent. The campaign does not seem to be moving along at all, does it, Arianna?

HUFFINGTON: Well, Wolf, you know, this poll was taken among likely voters. And the heart and soul of our campaign, as you probably have seen from our first ad, is to appeal to the voters who are not voting.

You know that 13 million eligible voters in the last election did not vote? Which means that more than half, actually, did not vote. You had only 7 million voting. Gray Davis was elected with 17 percent of eligible voters.

That is really the message of our campaign. If we're going to bring people back to the political process, we have to have a real crusade to make them trust in the process again and come back, register and vote.

We're starting a college tour on September 8th, and we're going around urging young people to register before the September 22nd deadline and participate again.

BLITZER: Well, let me run a little snippet from that ad that you're now putting out there. Listen to this.


HUFFINGTON: What if you could change the future? What if the 13 million of us who didn't vote last time came back?

Imagine a California where teachers are paid more than prison guards, where the power stays on while the power of political money is turned off.

It's not a question of right or left. It's a question of right or wrong.


BLITZER: Obviously very lofty ideas, but you need a lot of money to get elected governor. How much money, A, have you raised so far, are you prepared to spend over the next six or seven weeks?

HUFFINGTON: We have raised over $300,000, and half of it was through the Internet. Our Web site,, is the heart of the campaign, with blogging, with streaming video, with daily news from the campaign front. And we're getting thousands of small donations.

And, you know, Wolf, I've been writing about the need to stop self-financing campaigns, to stop using special-interest money in campaigns, and I'm running the kind of campaign I've been writing about. I'm going to be doing no polling. I'm going to be doing no negative ads. And a lot of the money is going to come from small donations.

BLITZER: Listen to what -- I want to show our viewers the day that Arnold Schwarzenegger made his announcement. You were there at the same event.

If you're not going to be elected governor, would he make, in your opinion, a good governor?

HUFFINGTON: Oh, Arnold Schwarzenegger is a charming man who is a Bush Republican, and the last thing that this state needs is more of Bush's economic policies. They have been disastrous to this state.

And if you remember, last week what did Arnold Schwarzenegger speak about? It was a kind of juvenile rant against taxes, including against taxes of our lunches. You know, is he now also opposed to sales taxes?

You know, this mantra against taxes -- and the tax cuts that the Bush administration has imposed on the rest of us have been responsible for the cuts in services here, the firings of teachers, the fact that college kids are not able, many of them, to go to college this fall because of the tuition hikes. These are not the policies that California needs more of, and yet these are the policies that Arnold Schwarzenegger is espousing.

Sure, we have Warren Buffett as window-dressing, but the rest of his economic team is really Bush's economic team. And on top of it, not a single woman there, which I found that absolutely staggering, in a state like California. BLITZER: I was pretty staggered myself, though, Arianna, I must say, when I heard your former husband, the former congressman, Michael Huffington, come out very sharply against your running for governor, and he brought in the issue of your kids. Listen to what he said here on CNN.


MICHAEL HUFFINGTON, ARIANNA HUFFINGTON'S EX-HUSBAND: Our children didn't want either one of us to run, and, frankly, they'd love their mother to reconsider and not run. The day she announced, on Wednesday, the children moved out of her house and came over to mine.


BLITZER: What's happening on that front, Arianna? This must be pretty painful to hear that from your ex-husband.

HUFFINGTON: Well, Wolf, Michael has said that he is supporting Arnold Schwarzenegger, so everything he says should be taken with a very large pinch of salt.

I'm not going to answer any of these charges. All I can tell you us that my youngest daughter watched through the commercial for the first time with me after dinner last night, and she loves it. And she's very moved by the possibility of bringing young voters to the political process. And that's going to be, as I said, the main part of our campaign.

BLITZER: If you don't get elected, one final question, what do you do next?

HUFFINGTON: Well, if I don't get elected, I continue with my life of writing columns, writing books. But between now and October 7th, I'm going to think about nothing else than getting this message to Californians all around this state.

And you know, Wolf, we are having an incredible resonance with women. I met with 50 Latina leaders the other day, and some of them had never voted before, even though they are successful executives. So we are bringing people back into the process.

BLITZER: Arianna Huffington, we've got to leave it right there.

Arianna Huffington joining us from California.

Thanks very much.

HUFFINGTON: Thank you.

BLITZER: Up next, the results of our Web question. We'll get you those results as soon as we come back.


BLITZER: Our LATE EDITION Web question of the week, "Are more U.S. troops needed in Iraq?"

Here's how you, our viewers, have been voting. Look at this, 57 percent of you say yes; 43 percent, no.

Remember, this is not -- not -- a scientific poll.

Up next, Bruce Morton's last word on the never-ending task of fighting terrorism.


BLITZER: And now Bruce Morton has the last word on the long, hard task of building peace.


BRUCE MORTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The blood and tears of this past week are a reminder, terror is as old as humankind. It is a tactic, not a philosophy. And fighting it has never been easy.

Eric Sevareid, the late CBS news commentator, wrote once of the special strength of the shameless, meaning the kind of people who use terror, "They don't fight like an army, trying to take or hold ground."

"The aim of terror," well-known African author Franz Fenin (ph) once wrote, "is to terrify. Killing the innocent, the women, the kids is part of the game plan."

When soldiers in an army purposely kill the innocent, as American soldiers did in a place in Vietnam called My Lai, that's an atrocity, and we put them on trial for it. When terrorists do it, it's everyday stuff, everything going according to plan.

But having said all that, some of it's preventable. When terrorists set off a car bomb at the U.S. Embassy in Beruit in 1983, that was a new tactic. But when they set off a second one months later at the airport where the U.S. Marines were housed, that wasn't new, and raised a question, "Couldn't you have prepared for this?"

The answer with car bombs is yes. Winding entrances that slow vehicles, forced stopping points and so on.

The United Nations may have felt it was exempt from terror because its people were there to help, not fight. Now it knows that terrorists don't care whom they kill. Their aim, again, is to terrify, to paralyze governments and populations.

What this week has taught us is that trying to bring peace and/or democracy and/or order to the Middle East will be much longer and harder than we thought.

Having overthrown a bad government in Iraq, the United States can't simply walk away and say, "Hey, let's see what happens now." It has an obligation to try to let some sort of more decent society emerge there. That maybe involve sending even more American troops. It may involve keeping them there for 20 years.

That's not a pleasant thought, but it's not a new one either. U.S. troops have been in Korea for half a century, have been in Europe for even longer than that.

The United States has to try to let a country happen in Iraq, knowing that that will be very hard work.

I'm Bruce Morton.


BLITZER: Thanks very much, Bruce.

Let's take a quick look at what's on the cover of this week's major news magazines in the United States.

Time magazine focuses in on this, asks this question, if America's forces are stretched too thin.

Newsweek asks, "What's Plan B?"

And U.S. News and World Report features its exclusive rankings of America's best colleges.

That's your LATE EDITION for Sunday, August 24.

For our international viewers, "WORLD NEWS" is next.

Be sure to join me next Sunday and every Sunday at noon Eastern for the last word in Sunday talk.

Until then, thanks very much for watching. I'm Wolf Blitzer in Washington.


Interview With Howard Dean>

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