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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice Arrives in Middle East; Inside Hezbollah Territory; Interview With New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson
Aired July 24, 2006 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone.
We are in Haifa, Israel, tonight.
With Hezbollah rockets still falling, and Israeli forces driving deeper into south Lebanon, America's top diplomat, Condoleezza Rice, arrives on the scene.
ANNOUNCER: Bringing a peace plan to Beirut and a tough message from Washington: It's still too soon for a cease-fire.
On the front lines, hammering Hezbollah night and day -- nearly two weeks in, no letup. Where is the battle going now?
And they are still out there.
COOPER: You can drive around, and it doesn't seem like there's anyone is around. And, all of a sudden, your eyes, it's almost like adjusting to -- to the darkness. Suddenly, you realize there are people who are watching you.
ANNOUNCER: On the streets of a bombed-out neighborhood, signs of how hard it may be to wipe out Hezbollah.
ANNOUNCER: This is a special edition of ANDERSON COOPER 360: "Crisis in the Middle East: Day 13."
Reporting tonight from Haifa, in northern Israel, here's Anderson cooper.
COOPER: And thanks for joining us.
We started this morning in Beirut, and we are coming to you tonight from Haifa, Israel, where, just north of here, the rockets have not stopped falling. Nearly two weeks into the war, Hezbollah is proving a tough enemy indeed. Here's the war bulletin.
Israel's all-out invasion of south Lebanon has yet to happen, if it happens at all. But, in parts of the south, the fighting has intensified -- Israeli forces hammering two Hezbollah strongholds, encountering heavy resistance. Upwards of 12,000 Americans in Lebanon have now been evacuated, but several hundred may be trapped in places like Tyre and Sidon, unable to get someplace safe.
With that as the backdrop, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice today flew straight into the heart of it all, showing up in Beirut, unannounced. We -- when we were there this morning, we noticed a heavy Lebanese military presence on the streets. We knew something was happening. Then, Secretary Rice showed up.
CNN's John King has been following her movements.
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A high-profile mission with a dramatic beginning -- the secretary of state brushing aside security concerns to visit Beirut and offer support to Lebanon's fragile government.
CONDOLEEZZA RICE, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: President Bush wanted this to be my first stop, here in Lebanon, to express our desire to urgently find conditions in which we can end the violence and make life better for the Lebanese people.
KING: But, while Secretary Rice promised $30 million in U.S. humanitarian aid, she did not give Lebanon's prime minister what he wanted most, a White House commitment to push Israel for an immediate cease-fire.
Despite mounting international pressure, the White House says conditions are not ripe for a cease-fire, and U.S. officials expect Israeli military operations to continue for another week, maybe more.
NICHOLAS BURNS, U.S. UNDERSECRETARY OF STATE FOR POLITICAL AFFAIRS: If you stop the fighting right now, you would hand Hezbollah a major victory, because they would be positioned just north of Israel. They would be able to fire those rockets at any time.
KING: The Beirut stop included dinner with leaders of last year's so-called Cedar Revolution, pro-democracy forces who warn, their government could collapse if pushed to confront Hezbollah.
Secretary Rice also met with a key Shiite political figure, Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, explaining the U.S. position to a Lebanese leader with close ties to Hezbollah. Suffice it to say, it didn't go well. A television station owned by the speaker said no progress was made, because of what it called unacceptable U.S. demands.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): In summary, we conclude that the conflict is not about the two soldiers kidnapped by Hezbollah, but, rather, a pre-planned American-Israeli scheme to attack Lebanon, its unity, and sovereignty.
UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTER: Condi, shame on you.
UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTERS: Shame on you.
KING: Anti-American demonstrations in Beirut were another reminder of the administration's credibility challenge in the Arab world. Secretary Rice's itinerary offered still more proof. By Monday night, she was in Israel, meeting with its foreign minister, in advance of Tuesday's sessions with the prime minister and defense minister.
RICE: Any peace is going to have to be based on enduring principles, and not on temporary solutions.
KING: But no stops in Jordan, Egypt, or Saudi Arabia -- U.S. and diplomatic sources say, all sent word it would be best for Secretary Rice not to visit unless the United States was ready to press Israel for an immediate cease-fire.
COOPER: So, John, now Secretary of State Rice is in Israel. Is she putting any pressure on the Israelis at all?
KING: Well, certainly, Anderson, no pressure to agree to a cease-fire -- the United States says it simply will not, under these circumstances, ask Israel for a cease-fire.
But, yes, there is some U.S. pressure on Israel. Number one, the United States wants Israel to open up and keep opened up very generous humanitarian corridors, so that food, medicine, and other supplies can get into southern Lebanon.
The United States also wants Israel to be more careful in its targeting, to go after Hezbollah sites, and Hezbollah sites only. One senior Israeli official, Anderson, told me tonight that the Israeli government is promising, and will promise tomorrow in the key meetings here in Jerusalem, to be more -- quote, unquote -- "specific in its targeting," to be more focused in its targeting. More surgical, is how this official put it.
And he says, the Israelis are benefiting, because they now have, just supplied to them by the Pentagon, new sophisticated buster-bunk -- buster-busting -- bunker-busting bombs -- excuse me -- that they will use now against Hezbollah arsenals in southern Lebanon.
COOPER: That -- that, of course, a big story in Lebanon right now, outraging many people there -- we will talk more about that, John, with you in just a moment. Stay tuned.
Tonight, on "THE SITUATION ROOM," Israel's foreign prime minister -- or former prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, told CNN's Wolf Blitzer that he expects the war here to last another two weeks or so.
And, if it is anything like the last few days, it will be, in a word, intense.
Reporting for us tonight along the border, CNN's John Roberts.
JOHN ROBERTS, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Late into the night, this artillery battery close to the border opens up on the Lebanese battleground. It is a deafening roar that shakes the hills and valleys for miles around. And no one can even guess when it might stop.
(on camera): The guns along the Lebanese border never rest. Twenty-four hours a day, they keep raining (AUDIO GAP) deep into Lebanese territory. Nighttime brings no respite either. In fact, if anything, it only steps up the pace.
(voice-over): They are firing in support of Israeli forces on the other side of this ridgeline, past the hilltop town of Maroun al- Ras, into Bint Jbail, Hezbollah's southern stronghold, scene of the latest intense fighting.
It is a difficult battle, says Israeli army spokesman Doron Spielman, in a conflict that breaks the traditional mold of Middle East wars, not about territory, but ideology.
CAPTAIN DORON SPIELMAN, ISRAELI DEFENSE FORCES: Let's just pretend like we do nothing now. Six years down the road, seven years down the road, these missiles from Hezbollah will be hitting Europe, North America. This is part of the same conflict of the U.S. against bin Laden. This is the same war that we're up against today. This is the global war on terror. And we happen to be the democratic core in the Middle East. And, therefore, we're at the front of this war.
ROBERTS: Israelis are determined that this will be a turning point in history, so they send the bomb-laden F-16s back in Lebanon again and again, joined by Cobra gunships that shoot rockets on Hezbollah positions.
And they're taking casualties. The pilot and gunner of this Apache helicopter died when their gunship went down. The Israeli military says, it was mechanical problems. Hezbollah claims, it shot the helicopter down.
And what of the dead on the other side of the border, the hundreds of thousands displaced by the constant shelling? Nadab Vigall (ph), a reservist, commands one of the Israeli artillery units. He understands, people are suffering on the other side.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sometimes, we think that they're suffering more than us, you know? But, still, we are on this side, and we have to do the -- what we're told.
ROBERTS: For Vigall (ph), this war can't be over fast enough. But, like many other Israelis, he, too, wants change.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Peace, if we can. But, you know, I'm kind of skeptical.
ROBERTS (on camera): What is peace? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Peace is no fighting and no reason to fight, you know, no -- no problem, and everybody happy with everybody, and no more fighting and killing.
COOPER: John Roberts joins us now, along with chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour, along the border. Also joining us, Nic Robertson is in Beirut, and John King in Israel as well.
Thanks, all, for being with us.
John Roberts and Christiane.
John, you have been spending the day along the border. What is the strategy? How are they using those artillery units? And how accurate do they think their fire is?
ROBERTS: Well, their fire is very accurate. Those M-109, 155- millimeter howitzers are extraordinarily accurate.
They can -- they can lay down fire in front of an advancing army within a couple of hundred yards. And they can keep walking it forward meter by meter, if -- if -- if you will.
The -- the plan is twofold. They're -- they're trying to soften up Hezbollah strongholds, as the IDF moves forward, deeper into southern Lebanon. And they're also tasked with trying to throw down suppressing fire on some of those Hezbollah Katyusha rocket sites.
Now, that job is a little more difficult, because, many times, by the time they get triangulation on where the Katyusha was fired from, that mobile rocket launcher, or even a -- a single person, or a couple of people who might have carried a few rockets into an area, are long gone by that time, because it usually takes three, four minutes for them to get triangulation, put the fire program in, and then get the -- the shell off.
COOPER: Christiane, it seems like Israeli forces are moving deeper now, even deeper, further into Lebanon.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: They are.
The latest is a fight for the town of Bint Jbail, which is four kilometers inside the border, just a -- a little bit away from Maroun al-Ras, which we have been talking about so much for the last few days.
And that, they call a Hezbollah stronghold, sort of a Hezbollah capital in southern Lebanon. And the point is to clear the whole border, basically, in order to achieve their strategic goal of weakening Hezbollah in all of Lebanon. It depends on clearing the whole border and pushing them back.
COOPER: Why is that town so important to them, Christiane?
AMANPOUR: Well, because they say it's a stronghold. They say that they have -- there's a lot of Hezbollah there, a lot of military capability.
I mean, we haven't been there, so, we can't really tell. But that's what the Israelis are saying. And what's important, as -- as far as they say, is to go in and get village by village, most particularly around the border. And that's where they're concentrating most of their ground force.
COOPER: Nic Robertson, in Beirut, how did Secretary Rice's visit there play among the Lebanese?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, certainly, there's a -- there's a part of the community here that thinks that her visit is a good thing, because it shows that the United States, because of their power and influence, really is the only country that can begin to put an end to all of this.
If she comes here, they think, then -- then, it's one step closer. But, obviously, the -- the image that they have been left with today -- and this comes as no surprise to anyone here -- is, she wasn't going to bring peace in a day. There have been big differences, as the initial peace plan has been laid out.
And people here fully expect the -- the -- the bombing to continue. And, indeed, it has continued throughout the day, although what has been interesting is, since Secretary Rice's visit, we haven't heard any bombs fall directly over Beirut. We have heard a few aircraft pass over in the last couple of hours, but a little bit quieter in this particular area -- Anderson.
COOPER: John King, what's the latest on the international peacekeeping force?
KING: Well, the international peacekeeping force is a theory, an idea, right now, Anderson.
But U.S. officials and Israeli officials I talked to tonight say they believe they're making some early progress. That is the major goal of the conference Secretary Rice will attend, beginning Wednesday, in Rome. She actually arrives for preliminary discussions late tomorrow night.
They hope to have a force. They think it will take 10,000 troops or more. The big hangups right now are who would lead that force. The Israelis do not want it to be a traditional blue-helmet U.N. force. The U.S. doesn't want that either. They think the United Nations would bless it, but it would be a different type of force, in terms of chain of command -- the Israelis even suggesting that, perhaps, the Turks would lead it.
You would have Muslim troops, but a country with -- with -- Israel has good relations, but still a lot of details to be worked out on. You would have to have a cease-fire agreement. And what the United States wants is a force that has the right to patrol the Syrian border, so that no one can resupply Hezbollah, and, if it encounters Hezbollah militias, can take them on.
That is still a source of contention -- some very difficult diplomacy ahead in Rome for the secretary -- Anderson.
COOPER: Nic Robertson, the idea also would be that, ultimately, this international force would be able to hand over the territory to Lebanese army units, who would then control the -- the southern border.
How much sympathy, Nic, do you think there is among the Lebanese army for Hezbollah?
ROBERTSON: Well, the army is estimated to be about 60,000 strong. And they're -- and they are estimated to have about 6,000 of that 60,000 are Shiites.
And it's estimated, again -- and these are all only estimates -- that they would perhaps be sympathetic to Hezbollah. Now, the army was restructured over the last few years, so you didn't have a Shiite battalion and a -- and a Shia battalion -- rather, a Sunni battalion and a Christian battalion.
They were all integrated. But, if the pressures of what they're forced to do, which, for some of them, may be to go against their instincts and their political leanings, then, those fractures could still appear. That's a concern.
One of the interesting things, when you look at the situation here, is, Israel wants to degrade Hezbollah's capability. We have seen today -- and over the last few days -- Hezbollah firing rockets out from the port city of Tyre. It's a large town. It's well north of the -- of the Israeli border. That is a long way to come in to -- for the Israeli forces to -- to come into Lebanon.
It presents a number of problems and a number of issues for them. How long is it going to take for the -- for the Lebanese army to get itself in a position where it could move into this area?
But the -- the issues of the makeup are those that, from -- from which people's concerns about the -- the army breaking up come from -- Anderson.
COOPER: And that's certainly an issue that Israel has raised, the idea that, if Lebanese force did retake those southern positions, and, then, if there was sympathy for Hezbollah, they might allow Hezbollah guerrillas to re-infiltrate.
We are going to talk more with our correspondents in a moment on the fighting and the shape a peace settlement could take.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) COOPER: You can drive around, and it doesn't seem like there's anyone is around. And, all of a sudden, your eyes, it's almost like adjusting to -- to the darkness. Suddenly, you realize there are people who are watching you, and guys on motorcycles, talking on cell phones, who pass you by, watching very closely what you're doing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: We will take you inside Hezbollah territory in south Beirut, bombed heavily by Israel. Yet, Hezbollah remains in control.
Stay with us.
COOPER: Israeli artillery units pounding positions in south Lebanon -- the fighting continues to be intense, as day 13 has come to a close -- now day 14 of this crisis just beginning, dawn breaking here in Haifa.
We have correspondents throughout the region. CNN's chief international correspondent, Christiane Amanpour, is along the didn't Lebanese border, with senior national correspondent John Roberts. We have senior international correspondent Nic Robertson also in Beirut. And chief national correspondent John King is traveling with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice here in -- in Israel as well.
Christiane, what is the -- the Israeli strategy? I mean, they talk about having this -- this foothold right now in this town in south Lebanon, and pushing deeper into Lebanon. But, at the same time, they say they're not trying to occupy south Lebanon. It -- it seems sort of contradictory.
AMANPOUR: Not really, because they're not going in with all the divisions, all the infantry and armor that you would need to occupy, you know, a fairly substantial piece of land.
They're going in bit by bit, where they need it. And they want to hold some land sometimes, but not what you call occupy it. And they go in for two or three days to do that. But their strategy is to, as I said, occu -- not occupy -- disrupt Hezbollah along the southern border with Lebanon, to dislodge it completely, and also to be pushing them back and forcing them back, and, therefore, de facto, forcing their missile range further.
And they have said to us today that the firing of the rockets appears to be slightly less accurate, slightly less deep into Israel. But, of course, the rockets are still coming. And I never get a really great answer as to why the rockets are still coming, if the progress they say is being made.
COOPER: John Roberts, what about that? I mean, how many rockets fell in northern Israel today?
ROBERTS: Fewer rockets that -- than were falling last week. When I first got here, on Saturday, there were 160 rockets that day. There were some 90 the next day, on Sunday, even though there were two fatalities. Then, on Monday, I think the official final count from the IDF was 83. And it changed back and forth a little bit during the day. It was 90. Then, it was 98. And I think came out, finally, at 83.
So, that's a reduction almost of 50 percent. Now, is that due to what the Israeli Defense Forces have been doing in southern Lebanon, or is that just that Hezbollah has been occupied, and hasn't had time to shoot off as many rockets? Or are they keeping their powder dry for a larger volley at some point later on in the week? Difficult to say at this point.
COOPER: John King, following Secretary Rice on -- on her trip, how concerned does she seem, does the U.S. seem, about the -- the security of the Lebanese government?
I -- I notice now what seems to be a -- a -- sort of a new dip -- diplomatic effort to get humanitarian assistance in, the U.N. pledging some $30 million in aid, very quickly after Jan Egeland from the U.N. made an international appeal, saying they needed $150 million in aid.
Do -- do -- is the U.S. seriously concerned this Lebanese government could fall?
KING: She was concerned before she got to Beirut that the Lebanese government could fall, and she is more concerned after she left Beirut.
That is why the United States put on the table $30 million in pretty quick aid. U.S. military helicopters and other transport ships should be arriving as early as tomorrow with some of that aid to Lebanon. She met with the prime minister today. She also met with the pro-democracy forces behind the so-called Cedar Revolution of a year ago.
And, in all of those meetings, she was told that, the longer the fighting goes on, the longer those pro-democracy forces believe the more -- I mean, the pro-democracy forces think that the -- the government is at risk in Lebanon.
But the prime minister did not get what -- from Condoleezza Rice what he most wanted, and that was a U.S. commitment to push for an immediate cease-fire. She also met with a key Shiite leader, the parliament speaker, hoping to convince him to tell his friends in Hezbollah: Lay down your arms. Be part of the political process, not the military process.
And, shortly after that meeting, a television station owned by that Shiite leader, the parliament speaker, mocked Secretary Rice's visit. So, U.S. officials were trying to put a good face on this, Anderson, but most would tell you they cannot claim much progress after the meetings today.
COOPER: Nic, in Baghdad -- I'm sorry, Nic, in Beirut -- basically, it seems like the U.S. position is no to an immediate cease-fire. What they want is -- is sort of a multiple action on multiple fronts all at once. Is that correct?
ROBERTSON: It is.
And that's what Hezbollah is objecting to. What is -- what's on offer is a cease-fire, with everything else rolled in all at the same time: Hezbollah to be disarmed, pull back north of the Litani River. That's about 20 miles north of the Israeli border. That becomes your demilitarized buffer zone.
That's where an -- a -- a toothed-up international force capable of -- capable of fighting for itself, if attacked by Hezbollah, capable of disarming Hezbollah, if it sees them moving in with weapons, capable of bringing in, over time, the Lebanese army to -- to maintain that buffer zone, that's what was on offer.
Hezbollah is saying: No. Stop. We want a cease-fire. We want our people going back into those southern areas. We want them living in their houses. Then, we're going to talk about all these other issues.
And you can see, from a military standpoint, from what Israel needs to do and says it wants to do, which is defeat Hezbollah, that's not going to work -- Anderson.
COOPER: It is a complex situation.
Want to check in with all of you in our next hour as well.
Nic Robertson, John King, Christiane Amanpour, John Roberts, thanks.
The crisis in the Middle East has taken the headlines these days, but let's not forget, the -- the violence in Iraq has been surging. We want to take a look at how it compares. Here's the "Raw Data."
In the last 13 days, since this conflict began here, 392 Lebanese and Israeli civilians reportedly have been killed. Now, let's compare that to what happened last month in Iraq. On average, more than 100 Iraqi civilians were killed every single day during June. And, over the last 13 days, 22 Israeli soldiers have died; twenty-three U.S. troops have been killed in Iraq.
We have a lot more coming up.
But, first, let's check in with Heidi Collins for the day's other top headlines -- Heidi.
HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: All right, Anderson. Thanks so much.
Scorching temperatures in California have plunged thousands of people in the dark. Over the weekend, 180,000 Californians were without power. People are using their air-conditioners more. And that puts a huge strain on the power grid. More than 100 patients at a nursing home in Stockton had to be evacuated, after its air- conditioning system gave out altogether. Much of the state is going through a heat wave, with temperatures in the triple digits -- no relief expected until at least mid-week.
In Washington, FEMA says, it's changing its ways. It's adapting new rules for distribution, housing assistance, and cleanup help -- all that in an effort to avoids the waste, fraud, abuse, and inefficiencies that marred its response to Hurricane Katrina. Among the changes, evacuees will be asked to register before storms hit. And IRS call-takers will help field those calls.
And, off the coast of Alaska, a ship in trouble -- the Coast Guard and Alaska's National Guard sent helicopters and other rescue vehicles to pick up 22 crew members stranded on a ship that's taking on water. It's listing sharply, nearly on its side now -- only one injury, though, has been reported. And that was a broken leg. The ship was en route to Vancouver, Canada, carrying more than 4,500 vehicles from Singapore -- Anderson, back to you.
COOPER: Heidi, thanks.
And, when we come back, we will take you inside Hezbollah- controlled territory in south Beirut, show you how they maintain their control, even after heavy bombardment.
Also, two weeks into the crisis, almost two weeks now, the top U.S. diplomat, Condoleezza Rice, making that surprise visit -- we will talk to a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Bill Richardson, about what needs to happen next and what role Syria may have to play in all this -- when 360 returns, live from Haifa, in northern Israel.
COOPER: In a moment, we will take you inside the heart of Hezbollah territory in south Beirut. See how they maintain control, even after more than 13 days of heavy Israeli bombing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV), MINORITY LEADER: Hopefully, her surprise visit to Lebanon is not a continuation of the Bush photo-op -- photo- op foreign policy. "Mission accomplished." "Bring 'em on." I hope it's not a photo-op again, but a serious effort to follow up calls for American leadership. The Bush administration, as reported on the face of a major weekly magazine last week, cowboy diplomacy cannot be replaced by couch potato diplomacy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Senate -- that was Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, calling for real action by the U.S. in helping to end the crisis here, critical of the Bush administration's efforts thus far. New Mexico's governor, Bill Richardson -- Bill Richardson -- certainly is known for his troubleshooting skills. He has a lot of experience in this region. As the former U.S. ambassador to the U.N., he brought negotiating expertise to North Korea, Iraq, Cuba, Sudan, among other hot spots.
He joins me now from Santa Fe.
Governor, thanks for being with us.
What about that? Do you think...
GOV. BILL RICHARDSON (D), NEW MEXICO: Thank you, Anderson.
COOPER: ... what -- what's going on here, the diplomacy Condoleezza Rice is trying to do, is just photo-op diplomacy?
RICHARDSON: Well, she started a little late. I wish the administration would have had a permanent presence, a peace envoy.
But she's there. And -- and I think it's very important to recognize that the leverage of the United States in that region is very important. Symbolically, for her to be there, shuttling back and forth, is critical.
I think she took the -- the necessary first step, in basically going to Lebanon and saying; Look, Lebanese government, we're behind you, but you have got to take some steps to either expel Hezbollah or disarm them, that the situation is -- is out of control, and you have to step up.
Now the next step is to go to Israel and basically say to the prime minister of Israel in a cooperative fashion, we've got to have a multinational force to at least bring some kind of stability and end to the hostilities and the fighting and the killing.
COOPER: What about Syria in all this? Of course a major supporter, funder, backer of Hezbollah, perhaps allowing weapons from Iran to be shipped across Syria. How do you try to get either Syria away from Iran without basically direct talks with Syria?
RICHARDSON: The first thing you've got to do, Anderson, is set up a multinational force. And I think the secretary will try to do that in Rome. Where you bring not the existing U.N. force in Lebanon. I think you've got to replace it with a stronger force, a multinational force, NATO countries, countries like France, Turkey, Morocco, others that have had strong multinational experience with the ability, for instance, to protect Israel, with the ability to protect against Hezbollah, with the ability to bring peace to Lebanon. That has to be the next step.
When you have that duck in a row, then you go to Syria and you say to Syria, "Look, unless you disarm Hezbollah, unless you start messing around in Lebanon, the U.N. resolution that establishes this peacekeeping force will also say you're going to get international sanctions on you, and you're -- secondly, there's going to be international isolation."
And that would have a substantial impact, and I believe that's what Secretary Rice is building. But my view would be the next step in addition to the multinational force, the U.S. should have a permanent peace envoy there, somebody from the State Department, somebody like former secretary of state James Baker, Madeleine Albright, Richard Holbrook, somebody that knows the region, that can go in and permanently stay there and guide these negotiations, hopefully, that would lead to a multinational force and a cease-fire.
COOPER: Do you think -- I mean, is there cause for optimism in all this? Do you think there's a chance to really change the dynamics in the region? I mean, it seems like the Bush administration feels like there may be. Israel certainly seems to feel like there may be by continuing what they're doing despite sort of growing international pressure. Do you think there's any light in all of this?
RICHARDSON: Well, I sure hope so, because what we don't want is continued fighting, instability. The last thing you want is for Syria and Iran to get drawn in.
And that means eventually that that affects the American national interest. That affects the security of Israel, i.e. that affects the United States.
So what you want to do is strong diplomacy backed by an international coalition. And I believe that here's a chance for NATO, a NATO force with Muslim countries. Muslim countries have to be a part of it, with strong standing armies, like Egypt, like Morocco, like Turkey. France, Italy, other nations that have had substantial peacekeeping experience, but with muscle for it not just to be a peacekeeping U.N. force in Southern Lebanon that right now just can't do the job. It has to be a more robust, dramatically stronger force.
COOPER: And that is a tricky thing to organize.
Governor Richardson, appreciate you joining us. Thank you very much.
RICHARDSON: Thank you, Anderson.
COOPER: Now, coming up we'll show you -- we'll take you inside the heart of Hezbollah-controlled parts of Beirut. It is really a city within a city. Israel, of course, calls the terror -- calls it the terror capital, where Hezbollah has their main headquarters. Tonight we'll take you inside Hezbollah territory, where everything you see and hear as a journalist is controlled by Hezbollah, when 360 continues live from the Middle East.
COOPER: Well, it is already Tuesday here in the Middle East. I want to welcome our international viewers watching on CNN international around the world as well as inside the United States. Day 14 of this crisis has begun, and the crisis is still raging. Here's the latest war bulletin. Officials with the Lebanese security forces say Israeli strikes have killed at least 375 people, mostly civilians, and injured more than 700 others.
In Israel officials say that 17 Israeli civilians and 22 soldiers have died and more than 300 civilians have been injured.
Two weeks of fighting have created a massive humanitarian crisis. United Nations is asking for $150 million for a relief fund. The United States has already pledged to contribute $30 million to relief convoys between Beirut and the southern city of Tyre are set to begin on Wednesday.
And Lebanon's health minister said today there are high suspicions that Israel is using a new type of weapon resulting in wounds not seen before in hospitals. He says the weapons may contain phosphorus. We're going to have more on that in the next hour.
Well, the heart of Hezbollah lies in ruins in Southern Beirut. To Israel that part of the city is the terror capital. We traveled there with Hezbollah calling the shots and watching our every move. It was a guided trip, whether we liked it or not. Take a look.
COOPER (voice-over): Drive into southern Beirut, and you quickly discover another city entirely. A heavily bombed state within a state, beyond the control of the Lebanese government.
This is Hezbollah territory. Along the road posted like billboards, pictures of so-called martyrs, Hezbollah fighters who died battling Israel.
(on camera) You can drive around. It doesn't seem like there's anybody around. All of a sudden your eyes, it's almost like adjusting to the darkness. Suddenly, you realize there are people who are watching you and guys on motorcycles talking on cell phones who pass you by, watching very closely what you're doing.
(voice-over) Tension in this neighborhood is high. Many here are convinced Israel is sending in agents to help guide their aerial attacks.
(on camera) Not allowed to enter Hezbollah territory really without their permission. They control this whole area, even after the sustained Israeli bombing campaign. We've arranged with a Hezbollah representative to get permission to come here. We've been told to pull over to the side of the road and just wait.
(voice-over) We'd come to get a look at the damage and had hoped to talk with a Hezbollah representative. Instead, we found ourselves with other foreign reporters taken on a guided tour by Hezbollah. Young men on motor scooters followed our every movement.
They only allowed us to videotape certain streets, certain buildings. Once, when they thought we'd videotaped them, they asked us to erase the tape. These men are called al-Shabab, Hezbollah volunteers who are the organization's eyes and ears.
(on camera) You see their CD's on the wall still.
Hezbollah representatives are with us now but don't want to be photographed. They'll point to something like that and they'll say, "Well, look, this is a store." The civilians lived in this building. This is a residential complex.
And while that may be true, what the Israelis will say is that Hezbollah has their offices, their leadership has offices and bunkers even in residential neighborhoods. And if you're trying to knock out the Hezbollah leadership with air strikes, it's very difficult to do that without killing civilians.
As bad as this damage is, it certainly could have been much worse in terms of civilian casualties. Before they started heavily bombing this area, Israeli warplanes did drop leaflets in this area, telling people to get out.
The civilian death toll, though, has angered many Lebanese. Even those who do not support Hezbollah are outraged by the pictures they've seen on television of civilian casualties.
(voice-over) Civilian casualties are clearly what Hezbollah wants foreign reporters to focus on. It keeps the attention off them. And questions about why Hezbollah should still be allowed to have weapons when all the other militias in Lebanon have already disarmed.
After letting us take pictures of a few damaged buildings, they take us to another location, where there are ambulances waiting.
(on camera) This is a heavily orchestrated Hezbollah media event. When we got here, all the ambulances were lined up. We were allowed a few minutes to talk to the ambulance drivers. Then one by one, they've been told to turn on their sirens and zoom off so that all the photographers here can get shots of ambulances rushing off to treat civilians. That's the story -- that's the story that Hezbollah wants people to know about.
(voice-over) These ambulances aren't responding to any new bombings. The sirens are strictly for effect.
When a man in a nearby building is prompted to play Hezbollah resistance songs on his stereo, we decide it's time to go.
Hezbollah may not be terribly subtle about spinning a story, but it is telling perhaps that they try. Even after all this bombing, Hezbollah is still organized enough to have a public relations strategy, still in control enough to try and get its message out.
COOPER: Well, Israel has been pounding Southern Lebanon now for days. It doesn't seem to be getting very far. We'll take a look at why Hezbollah is proving to be such a tough force to crack on the ground in South Lebanon. That's coming up on 360. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: The (UNINTELLIGIBLE) store is closed. So is the Starbucks. A lot of businesses in central Beirut have been shut down. The economic cost of this war is still unknown.
There's been a lot of damage to the infrastructure of the country, the roads and the bridges, but also to the economy, to investor confidence. Billions of dollars have been invested in Lebanon over the last several years. Now all of a sudden all of that seems in doubt.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Before the break we took you on a tour of the southern suburbs of Beirut. It's Hezbollah-controlled territory. It's the base of their power structure.
I wanted to talk more about Hezbollah, their power on the ground. Joining me now from Beirut is CNN's Michael Ware.
Michael, good to have you on the program.
You know, despite all this firepower that Israel has been concentrating, just pounding Hezbollah positions not only in South Beirut but in Southern Lebanon, they don't seem close to destroying Hezbollah. Why is it so tough to degrade their capabilities further?
MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, this is classic guerrilla war for you. It's like asking why wasn't al Qaeda and the Taliban destroyed in Tora Bora or the battle of Shah-i-Kot or Ansar al Islam destroyed in the invasion of Iraq or al Qaeda in Iraq destroyed in Fallujah?
These guys have had lots of time to prepare. They're battle hardened. And in classic guerrilla style, one of their key purposes is to preserve their force to fight another day.
So much of the leadership will be long gone and held in sanctuary. Much of the body of the fighting force will be off the front line. They're in heavily fortified bunkers and trenches as the Israeli Defense Forces are encountering.
So this is not an easy kind of war to fight. There is no such thing as a decisive victory. The insurgents, Hezbollah, will be hitting and moving. When they make a stand, it's at a time and place of their choosing.
So this is the kind of war that just grinds out. Nothing will be simple here.
COOPER: And Michael, I mean, you've had contact with people on both sides of the conflict. What are the aims here? I mean, it doesn't seem like either side is going to rest until they've destroyed the other, or can rest until they've destroyed the other.
WARE: Yes, it's a very difficult situation, Anderson, as you know. It's almost impossible for either side to win conclusively.
However, as we often see in an insurgency, sometimes the advantage can be with the insurgents. The Iraqi Defense Forces know that they cannot destroy Hezbollah, as Israeli generals have stated. Their hope is merely to cripple the guerrilla forces and to create a vacuum in Southern Lebanon to allow either the Lebanese army or a bristling international force to take their place.
COOPER: They are also, I mean, obviously backed by Syria. They seem to have a limitless arsenal. They say, you know -- Israeli forces say more than 10,000 missiles, rockets. You know, does it matter how many of their weapons Israel is actually able to remove, if Syria's just going to continue to replenish them or if Iran continues to replenish them?
WARE: Well, as we've seen, Hezbollah actually has what you could call state sponsorship, both from Syria and even more so from Iran. So no matter how many weapons are used or destroyed in these current engagements, it will be possible, if not now then certainly with a cessation of hostilities, for them to replenish. They will have their routes, their rat lines, and the weapons shall return almost certainly, Anderson.
COOPER: And that's certainly why Israel -- one of the reasons Israel is saying they don't want some sort of immediate cease-fire to allow Hezbollah positions to replenish, as Michael pointed out.
Michael, appreciate you joining us. Thanks. We'll check in with you tomorrow from Beirut.
The bombs still falling, of course, and some are still trying to live their normal lives. We're going to show what you it's really like in the middle of the crisis. My reporter's notebook, a behind- the-scenes look at reporting this story, next on 360.
COOPER: In a few minutes we'll take you back to the front lines of this conflict, show you the latest on the intense fighting going on in South Lebanon. Also the -- more attacks going on in Northern Lebanon.
But first we wanted to show you sort of what it's like behind the scenes here for the reporters covering the story. We've been followed around by a photographer, getting images, a woman by the name of Farrah Nash (ph), who's been taking some photographs of us as we report. I've put it together, using her pictures and my words, in a reporter's notebook. Take a look.
COOPER (voice-over): We landed in Beirut on an LZ in the U.S. embassy. It was like something out of a movie. Snipers on nearby buildings, lines of Americans waiting to get out. You could see the anxiety on everyone's face. A lot of people were leaving family members behind. No one could believe how quickly things here had fallen apart.
It's terrible what's happening here, but the strange thing is you don't feel the war everywhere in Beirut. Downtown the hotels are open. We check in like normal. There's room service, Internet connections. It's not as if the whole place has collapsed.
At times you feel disconnected from what's really happening here. You hear the shells landing, you turn to look. There's a distant flash in the night sky, a plume of smoke. Maybe the ground shakes, the windows vibrate. But you don't often see the impact. Not right away.
On Arab TV the story is civilian deaths: crying children, Israeli tanks. There's bloodshed on both sides of the border. There's plenty of suffering to go around. It all depends on where you point your camera.
We've been moving around a lot, trying to see this war from different angles.
In Israel running from Hezbollah rockets, the adrenaline pulses through your veins. There's fear and anger. Emotions have hardened into resolve.
In Beirut civilians are caught in the middle; even those who don't support Hezbollah end up paying a price. Hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced from their homes. Many, like these people, are now sleeping in public parks, waiting for the fighting to stop.
We went to Hezbollah territory, South Beirut. It's really a separate state unto itself. We couldn't walk around freely. Hezbollah guys on motor bikes would yell at us if we pointed our cameras at things they didn't want us to photograph.
This family said they were spending the night in the basement of their apartment building. They were Hezbollah supporters and slept under a picture of Hezbollah's leader, Hassan Nasrallah. They're poor. Hezbollah gives them help, gives them a sense of pride, a feeling of power. They don't want Hezbollah to disarm.
The lines here are so deeply drawn, the positions so entrenched, it's different world views, different objectives. For one side to win the other has to lose. There's little room, it seems, for common ground.
I keep thinking back to last year. In March 2005 we were here in Beirut. Pro-democracy demonstrations swept the country. A million Lebanese filled this square, calling for Syria to get out. There was so much hope here, so much optimism. A democracy was being born.
Now Martyrs Square is empty. The future is unclear. When the fighting stops, this city, this country, these people have to decide what they want it to be, which direction to move toward. Right now it seems everything is just standing still.
COOPER: Those pictures, most of them from Farrah Nash (ph) of Getty Images. I want to thank her for her work here.
Tonight's shot is coming up: a boy rescued from a 50-foot hole. It is broadcast live on television. The remarkable footage coming up. But first CNN's Heidi Collins joins us with some of the business news we're following tonight -- Heidi.
HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: Anderson, stocks recovered from last week's sell-off in a day of broad-based gains. The NASDAQ composite bounced back from Friday's 14-month low, closing up 41 points. The Dow was up 182 points to close above the 11,000 mark. And the S&P 500 up just over 20 points to reach 1260.
The board of HCA, the country's largest for-profit hospital operator, has recommended that it accept a deal to go private in what would be one of the largest leveraged buyouts ever. The $21.3 billion deal would involve the assumption of more than $11 billion in debt. The buyout would give the company, which is struggling with poor earnings and growth, time to turn around its market performance.
And a sunscreen that blocks the type of ultraviolet radiation linked to some cancers was given federal approval today. Anthelios is manufactured by the French company L'Oreal. It contains an ingredient that can block UVA radiation better than other sunscreens can. It's been sold in Canada and Europe for 13 years now -- Anderson.
COOPER: All right, Heidi. Thanks for that.
Time for "The Shot" now. It is of a 5-year-old Indian boy who was finally pulled to safety after being stuck down a 50-foot hole for two days. He survived on food and milk sent down by rescuers as they frantically tried to save him. He was lifted to safety finally by a crane after troops and police dug a tunnel from a nearby dry well.
They were worried that rain could actually make the hole collapse. Rescuers, of course, very happy when the little boy was taken out. They spread plastic sheets to keep it dry. The rescuers broadcast everything live on television. That's today's shot.
When we come back, we'll have more from here in Haifa, where the sun is rising. It is a beautiful day. No telling, though, what sort of violence may ensue.
A tough fight is expected in the south. We'll have the latest on the war and the peace plan America is now trying to move forward on. It's been received so far coolly in Lebanon.
Plus, Jews and Arabs sharing a bomb shelter. All ahead on 360 from Haifa. TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com