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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Oprah's Promise: Building Hope in South Africa; California Wildfire; Airstrike in Somalia; Iraq: The End Game; New Hussein Video; First 100 Hours
Aired January 8, 2007 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
OPRAH WINFREY, SCHOOL FOUNDER: ... pay for that. And I said, I'm going to pay for it. And she held her -- held her -- covered her face with her hands and she wept. And I said, Koketso (ph), why are you weeping? And she said, I'm weeping at the thought. I'm weeping at the thought of going to University.
You know, for years I've done educational things on my shows and talked about how bad the system is in some places in our country and certainly around the world. Now I'm in it in a way that I can make physical changes, actual changes, and use these changes as an example for the rest of the world.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Well, as you said, the word "extraordinary" is thrown around a lot, especially on TV, but what you have done is truly extraordinary and I appreciate you talking about it.
WINFREY: Thank you. It's only the beginning. It's only the beginning.
You know, when I did "The Color Purple" 21 years ago now, Quincy Jones, who was the producer of "The Color Purple," said to me -- and I just, just -- I just signed the deal for syndication. I hadn't actually been on a show that was syndicated. But Quincy Jones said to me then, he said, baby, your future is so bright, it burns my eyes. And that's the same thing I say to these girls. I can't even imagine what's going to happen to them. Their future is so bright, it burns my eyes.
COOPER: I read you saying that, actually, to a girl in a house in Soweto, and I wrote it down because I think it's the greatest line I've heard I think in the last couple months.
WINFREY: Thank you. Thanks, Anderson.
COOPER: Their future is so bright, it burns my eyes. It really is a great line.
Just ahead on 360, with an extraordinary time for CNN's Jeff Koinange as well. His reporter's notebook, when this special hour continues.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COOPER: It's not often that the stories we bring you from Africa are filled with such hope. Some of Africa's problems can seem, frankly, unsolvable. The scale is so big, the need so great.
Oprah's school is a reminder that on a smaller scale, it is possible to change the world enormously. Maybe if her dream succeeds, to even have a ripple effect that becomes unstoppable.
Once again, here's Jeff Koinange.
JEFF KOINANGE, CNN AFRICA CORRESPONDENT: I've been covering Africa now more than a dozen years. There is very little about the continent I haven't seen, heard, felt or smelled.
(Voice-over): I've flown to parts of Africa that can only be described as God-forsaken, covering stories as varied as famines in places as far away as Niger, civil wars in devastated regions like Darfur, victims of civil wars in places like Uganda and Sierra Leone and more victims of man-made disasters like mass rapes in the Congo.
I've been up close and personal with the most bizarre of characters in war-ravaged places like Liberia, who prefer to go into combat dressed in ways more fitting for a circus than a battle zone; rubbed shoulders with child soldiers, barely old enough or tall enough to know they were carrying weapons of war.
And in all these places, the one recurring image that will always haunt me is the faces of those children, children scarred by war, famine, disease; children forced to become adults in the blink of an eye; children never able to just be kids again.
These are times that I, as an African, and as a reporter, say to myself, how much worse can things get for my people?
WINFREY: Hello, everybody. These are my girls.
KOINANGE: But there are rays of hope. We saw one this week. Oprah Winfrey's decision to spend tens of millions of dollars of her own money to help educate children she's never known in a land so far away.
Oprah could have easily spent the money elsewhere or she could have just kept it in a bank account to earn interest. Instead, she's poured it, along with her heart, right here in this leadership academy for girls, girls she's now all but adopted as her own.
WINFREY: For many years, people always ask me why didn't I have children, why didn't I have children? Now I know why I didn't have children, because I now have all of these daughters, all of these daughters. And I want you to know -- I want you to know that these are now our daughters.
KOINANGE: Hearing these words and witnessing this act of kindness and selflessness can humble even the most cynical and pessimistic of us.
WINFREY: You will be a part of the very first class of the Oprah Winfrey...
KOINANGE: No one expects Oprah to go on to save the world, but just look at the faces of these girls. And look how one woman's gesture has literally turned their lives around.
There's an old African proverb my mother once told me that goes something like this, education is like a garden. You water it and it blooms. You neglect it and it shrivels up and dies.
In this tiny corner of Africa, one woman is busy watering the gardens of tomorrow, one girl at a time.
Jeff Koinange, CNN, Soweto.
How you can help
COOPER: If you're wondering how you might make a difference in schools here in the United States or overseas, here's how you can help. To donate to the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy in South Africa, here's the online address. To donate internationally, you can go to UNICEF's Web site. And to help in the U.S., you can contact the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation at their Web site, or Teach for America which sends teachers to the country's neediest schools.
We hope you've enjoyed this special hour. Thanks for joining us. I'm Anderson Cooper.
(BEGIN BREAKING NEWS)
COOPER: Good evening. Breaking news on the fire lines in California and breaking news in the war in al Qaeda. The U.S. opens an attack on alleged terrorists in Africa.
ANNOUNCER: Fire from the sky. Target al Qaeda. The U.S. takes aim with one of the most fearsome weapons in the air.
(END BREAKING NEWS) More troops, more money, more time, more lives. Details of the president's new plan are emerging, and the doubts about it are growing.
And delay of game. Are lawmakers putting their promises on hold so they can watch football? We're keeping them honest.
Across the country and around the world, this is ANDERSON COOPER 360. Reporting tonight from the CNN studios in New York, here's Anderson Cooper.
(BEGIN BREAKING NEWS)
COOPER: Thanks for joining us. We want to first bring you up to date on our breaking news out of southern California. The wildfire in Malibu just up the Pacific Coast highway from Los Angeles. These are pictures from a bit earlier tonight, taken by affiliate KABC. A very large home burning. Extraordinary images.
With us now by phone is Inspector Ron Haralson of the L.A. County Fire Department.
Inspector, how did this fire break out?
INSP. RON HARALSON, LOS ANGELES COUNTY FIRE DEPARTMENT (ON THE PHONE): Well, the exact cause and origin right now, we're still working on. But we do know, unfortunately we do have four homes that were lost. We have five that were damaged in and around the Malibu area right there.
This call initially came in right at PCH, Pacific Coast Highway, and Malibu Canyon Road. The very thing we didn't want to happen due to the conditions out here, what we call red flag conditions, is a brush fire to break out. And that's exactly what happened here.
COOPER: How long did this thing burn for?
HARALSON: We're still at scene right now. This started just after 5:00 p.m., West Coast time, so we're several hours into this fire. We're looking at approximately 20 acres that burned. Once again, the four homes were lost. We had about 300 personnel on scene fighting this fire.
COOPER: And the situation now under control?
HARALSON: The situation is under control and we do have lines around there. We have a lot of resources on scene there on the ground, also in the air. We're getting assistance from some of the other agencies here, L.A. City Fire is also assisting us on this.
COOPER: Some of the images we're seeing now, really at the height of the fire. Do you have to just kind of let this burn down a little bit before you can go in to attack it?
HARALSON: Yes, this fire, very difficult terrain right here. Malibu has a history of burning. We do know the wildfires are very serious with wind driven, which is the case here. These fires can spread very, very rapidly. Unfortunately, we did have some structures that were lost. Fortunately, no injuries or no loss of life. No injuries to firefighters or civilians.
But when the winds start blowing like they are right now or they have been earlier, very concerning, and we want to get a line around this, meaning multiple lines in place.
COOPER: So you have lines on the ground. I also see a helicopter there dropping either water or retardant. How many helicopters were you able to bring in?
HARALSON: Absolutely, a lot of assistance from the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) County Fire. We did have approximately four helicopters in the air making water drops on this particular fire. We do have capabilities of some of our copters dropping 1,000 gallons at one time. So, we definitely -- that's a very valuable tool when we get a situation like this where there's potential for fires to just spread rapidly.
COOPER: Well, I know you're very busy. I appreciate you taking the time to talk with us and appreciate all the work you and the members of the fire crews have been doing. Thank you very much.
HARALSON: Thank you.
COOPER: On now to our other breaking story, the air strike on suspected al Qaeda operatives in southern Somalia. A senior Pentagon official says it took place sometime in the last 24 hours, a location near the Somalia border with Kenya. An AC-130 gunship targeting what's believed to be several al Qaeda members, some with ties to major terror attacks both before 9/11 and since.
CNN's Barbara Starr is following late developments from Nairobi, Kenya -- Barbara.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, hello to you, Anderson. Nairobi, of course early morning here. People just waking up, going to work, hearing the news.
But this apparently did unfold in the last 24 hours and what perhaps is most interesting is it was 24 hours ago we were supposed to be with a U.S. military and diplomatic team from the State Department, going into Mogadishu. That trip got canceled because of security. But what we now know is this air strike had been planned and was being planned to be underway for some time.
There are five key top al Qaeda operatives that the U.S. has been hunting for here in East Africa. They had been on the run from Mogadishu, Somalia's capital, south towards Kismayo. And it was believed in the last couple of days they were indeed holed up in that al Qaeda training camp on the border, the AC-130 moving in. No results yet from that air strike. No official confirmation that they have gotten the people they were looking for.
But here in East Africa, those are some of the most wanted al Qaeda terrorists involved in the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings and involved in other attacks throughout the region -- Anderson.
COOPER: Barbara, for those who haven't been following what's happened in Somalia over the last week or so, Ethiopia has invaded -- and with the Ethiopian help, the Somali transitional government has essentially kicked out the Islamic militants who have been running the country, who have been running at least Mogadishu. They're now cornered down in the southern part of the country in Kismayo. Is it believed these men who were targeted were on the run with the Islamic militants? Is that the working assumption?
STARR: It is indeed, Anderson. What U.S. military officials here in East Africa tell us is throughout the summer, the United States was becoming increasingly concerned about this relationship between al Qaeda and the Islamic militants that were running Mogadishu until, as you say, a couple of weeks ago Ethiopia invaded and kicked them out.
What is very interesting is that the U.S. had come to an assessment that al Qaeda was bringing in money from Middle Eastern countries, weapons from eastern Europe and that there were multiple al Qaeda training camps in Somalia and they had begun to offer very radical Islamic education to young Somali men that they were trying to recruit for their efforts there.
One U.S. military official saying, we had come to the conclusion, he said, we just couldn't live with this. We were getting worried.
Now, the U.S. at that point was not contemplating any military action. But now that Ethiopia is largely controlling much of Somalia along with the new government, the U.S. military moved in and launched this air strike -- Anderson.
COOPER: The supporters, of course of the Islamic government, would say that they brought a law and order, at the very least to a place like Mogadishu, which now it's questionable about how much law and order there will be under this new government. But, of course, that remains to be seen.
Barbara, thanks for the live report from Nairobi.
Some perspective now from Gary Berntsen, a former CIA officer who led in the hunt for Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan. He wrote a book about his experiences, titled, "Jawbreaker."
Gary, it's always good to see you. Thanks for being on the program.
GARY BERNTSEN, FORMER CIA OFFICER: Nice to see you, Anderson.
COOPER: What is -- I mean, how important is Somalia in terms of a safe place for al Qaeda fighters or at least has it been under this Islamic government?
BERNTSEN: Somalia has been a problem for the United States for quite some time, you know starting back in the early to mid 1990s, before we really understood the danger. They were there at the time of the incident, in '94, which was written about in Mark Bowden's book "Blackhawk Down."
They organized the attacks on the U.S. embassies in Darselam (ph) and Kenya, starting up in Somalia. Then they moved a team down from Mogadishu to Mombasa. That broke into two pieces. And one half of the team did the attack in Nairobi, the other half did the attack in Darselam (ph).
But they've also been threatening our embassies in places like Uganda, Kampala, Uganda, and other, you know, cities like, you know, the capital of Ethiopia. They went after Mubarak some years ago.
So, it has been a hive of activity. They've been there, they've been training people, they've been doing operations. This isn't anything new. It's a good -- what's new is the United States is finally acting against some of these camps. They've been able to identify them.
We've been aware of the activity, though, across the Kenyan- Somali border for some time. And I'd spent time in Kenya as well, more than once, there where we were working with folks and were concerned about that border area and the activity there.
You got to realize too, a lot of Somalis have fled the fighting there over the years and have gone into Kenya, or in Nairobi. So, Nairobi is a pretty dangerous city.
COOPER: It's also unclear at this point, I mean, how much al Qaeda -- we were seeing earlier those pictures of the Blackhawk down, those sickening images of a U.S. service member being dragged through the streets.
Al Qaeda kind of claimed credit for that. It's questionable whether or not -- I mean, they apparently did have al Qaeda operatives on the ground there, but more is just kind of observing from what I've read in "The Looming Tower" and other places. Osama bin Laden was kind of taking credit for that when in fact didn't really have much to do with it. But do we know how linked al Qaeda was with this Islamic government? I mean, do we know how many people they had on the ground there?
BERNTSEN: Well, I can tell you for a fact that Sodik Odey Owali (ph), the first individual we captured being involved in that bombing, had been up there and had been doing things and had murdered eight workers.
And they were active in the early '90s doing things. How active they were in that specific attack is still open to question. But, you know, it was pretty clear to folks that the more conservative faction of the Union of Islamic Courts was concealing and hiding and working with al Qaeda members. And, you know, we had to act against them. I think it's a good thing.
COOPER: They put out a call for international jihadists, basically, to come help them attack the Ethiopian troops which they viewed as invaders. What happens now? I mean, essentially, you have this transitional government with the backing of Ethiopia, back in power in Mogadishu and everywhere. Basically, the Islamists are cornered down in Kismayo. Does it go back to the battle days of the warlords, though?
BERNTSEN: Well, I think that, of course, there will be every effort to finish off the al Qaeda members there right away. And that will be between the U.S. and its regional partners, number one. Number two, the State Department, of course, is going to try to work with the transitional government there to get them to accept some moderate Islamists. You've got to be inclusive there. You don't want to drive everybody out and fracture the entire sort of, you know, populous there. You're going to have to have some moderation, some discussions and inclusiveness in forming a government. Because only through a political discussion and inclusiveness can you get long-term stability. You don't need an insurgency there.
And the Ethiopians are going to need to withdraw at some point. Hopefully in the near future because you don't need Christian Ethiopia occupying Somalia, which will bring more Islamists in there to, you know, in a jihad to expel them. You don't need that.
COOPER: You know, it's incredible, you think back to our involvement, the U.S. involvement in Somalia back in the early '90s and so little has changed in so many ways, that it's still just a very difficult place to operate.
Gary, appreciate your expertise. Thank you.
BERNTSEN: You're welcome. Nice speaking with you, Anderson.
(END BREAKING NEWS)
COOPER: Up next, a central front for U.S. troops, Iraq and what to do next. The president, putting the finishing touches on his new strategy. In a phrase, more troops, more money. Got a preview and a closer look at how much tougher things could get.
And later, Democratic lawmakers promise to get a lot done in their first 100 hours on the job. So why weren't they on the clock today? You might be surprised. We're keeping them honest.
That and more, when 360 continues.
COOPER: Mark it down on the calendars there. President Bush is going to unveil his new Iraq strategy Wednesday night in a primetime speech to the country, a plan that sources say include sending 20,000 more troops into the war zone.
With a preview, here's CNN's Suzanne Malveaux.
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Sources familiar with the president's deliberations say Mr. Bush and his top advisers know that this new plan, titled, "A New Way Forward," is going to be a hard sell.
TONY SNOW, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Some are going to agree. Some are going to disagree. I mean, that's necessary. But I think if this can be conducted in a spirit of getting it done right, I think it will be constructive for all concerned.
MALVEAUX: The most controversial aspect of it, the call for sending at least 20,000 U.S. troops to Iraq and perhaps other areas in the region.
Administration officials have been debating whether to send them in all at once as a big show of force or phase them in from month to month, depending on whether the Iraqis meet certain military and political goals.
Sources familiar with the deliberations say the phased-in approach seems to be winning the day, because it's practically impossible to get 20,000 troops in all at once. And requiring Iraq to meet certain benchmarks provides leverage for the United States.
The president is also considering sending some troops to Kuwait as a contingency force, as some Democrats have called for. But Republican Senator Gordon Smith, who broke with the White House last month, came out of a meeting with the president, questioning the strategy.
SEN. GORDON SMITH (R), OREGON: I have no idea how many troops that would take. But I know it's more than an additional 20. And I know it may take a decade and more to do it.
MALVEAUX (on camera): The plan also calls for a major economic component, a billion dollar jobs program to get Iraqis back to work.
(Voice-over): Twice as many State Department officials will head to Iraq than there are now to coordinate projects with Iraqi companies. One House Democrat warns against raising expectations of success.
REP. JIM MARSHALL (D), ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE: Somehow we're going to reconstruct the oil system, the electrical grid, et cetera, in the face of what was inevitably going to be a very effective insurgency that didn't want those things to happen. That just was naive.
MALVEAUX: Senator Smith, who described the U.S. policy in Iraq as absurd and perhaps criminal last month on the Senate floor, says Mr. Bush knows what's at stake.
SMITH: Well, I think the president understands the gravity of it. I think he understands he's betting his presidency, his place in history, on this coming out well.
MALVEAUX: But until then, Mr. Bush will be selling his plan hard, while hoping the Iraqis will come through.
Suzanne Malveaux, CNN, the White House. (END VIDEOTAPE)
COOPER: Well, as I mentioned before the, the speech is Wednesday night. For coverage of it, you can join CNN at 9:00 p.m., Eastern time. 360, of course, will be on following the address at 10:00 p.m. We'll be live from Washington.
Democrats opposed to sending more troops to Iraq are now talking about withholding money for what they call an escalation of the war. They say, after all, the last time there was an increase in U.S. troops, it didn't go well.
More on that from CNN's Senior Pentagon Correspondent Jamie McIntyre.
JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN SENIOR PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Operation Together Forward, the joint U.S.-Iraqi plan to take back Baghdad was highly touted when it was announced last summer. But within just a few months, it was an acknowledged failure.
MAJOR GENERAL WILLIAM CALDWELL, U.S. MILITARY SPOKESMAN: Operation Together Forward has made a difference in the focus areas, but has not met our overall expectations of sustaining a reduction in the levels of violence.
MCINTYRE: Despite committing close to 10,000 additional U.S. troops, including a striker brigade moved to Baghdad instead of being sent home, violence in the Iraqi capital only got worse.
In retrospect, U.S. commanders concede the flaws in the Together Forward plan were glaringly obvious. Too few Iraqi troops to keep the peace after U.S. forces did the heavy lifting. And too much focus on the Sunni insurgents, while ignoring Shia death squads.
The top ground commander in Iraq, Lt. General Ray Odierno, told reporters in Baghdad, we overestimated the availability of Iraqi security forces initially. So we were able to clear areas, but we were not able to hold the areas. Odierno says this time the U.S. will have a more balanced approach, going after both Sunni and Shia extremists. And U.S. troops will stay to protect the people.
Frederick Kagan is one of the outside advisers President Bush is listening to.
FRED KAGAN, AMERICAN ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE: We're talking about a longer term operation where we stay in the neighborhoods that we've cleared, partnered with Iraqi units. It's a very different concept from what went on in Together Forward.
MCINTYRE: Pentagon sources say the Army is anticipating an initial increase, or plus-up as the Pentagon is calling it, of three brigades, roughly 10,000 soldiers, including perhaps a brigade of the 82nd Airborne Division, which has just arrived in Kuwait. In addition, sources say, a Marine regiment will likely have its tour extended in neighboring Anbar Province, while another fresh regiment is sent in, adding about 4,000 troops there.
Two additional Army brigades would be held in reserve, either in Kuwait or in the U.S.
The key to success, argue backers of the plus-up, is staying, and coupling military might with real improvements in the daily life of average Iraqis.
KAGAN: A jobs program here is definitely important. Getting the Iraqi economy going forward, definitely important. Showing the Iraqis that we're actually going to do more than just kick down doors and kill bad guys, very, very important.
MCINTYRE: That's doctrine straight out of the Army's new counterinsurgency manual, which was rewritten under the supervision of Lieutenant General David Petraeus, the commander just tapped to take over in Iraq. Petraeus won wide praise for how he employed those tactics back in 2003 when he was the division commander in charge of Mosul in the more peaceful north.
JOHN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: He was very good at engaging local tribal leaders, using small amounts of funds to stimulate business and create jobs and keeping relative calm in Mosul during his time there.
MCINTYRE (on camera): Pentagon sources say the additional troops could begin moving into Baghdad within a week of the president's announcement of a new strategy. But what no one can say is how soon they might come out.
Jamie McIntyre, CNN, the Pentagon.
COOPER: Coming up next, more on the president's new Iraq plan. If 20,000 extra troops can't curb the violence in Iraq, then what?
My conversation with "New York Times" Reporter John Burns, from Baghdad.
Plus, new video of Saddam Hussein after his execution, adding fuel to the controversy over his hanging. Who took these pictures?
From Iraq and around the world, you're watching 360.
COOPER: Even supporters of the president say it's up to the Iraqis to restore order and that a buildup of troops is only a temporary fix, temporary and perhaps not enough, not even to handle Baghdad.
More on this key flashpoint from CNN's Tom Foreman. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What exactly could a troop surge do? Let's go right to the touch table and take a look at Baghdad. That's Iraq. Here's Baghdad. About 6 million people in a country of about 25 million.
You've heard many times talk about the palace where Saddam used to live and where that fit into all of this. The palace is right here. This is the Tigris River that runs all along the edges out here.
Now, when we look at what the U.S. has been able to control so far, we're going to pull this out a little bit and take a look at the greater city of Baghdad. There's that area that we're talking about right in the middle. This is the palace area which is largely under control by coalition troops. This is the airport over here, also largely controlled. Coalition troops control ground up here, but what do they not control so much?
Well, look at this. There are hot spots here of resistance, of these militias and various other insurgents. And, I'm going to put a big SC over here. That stands for Sadr City. This is the home to the radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.
Let's get a cleaner picture of that on our big wall map here. These are the areas controlled by the coalition. And right in the middle of them, these are all the red areas that are controlled by others that will have to be rooted out. And Sadr City is going to be one of the big hot zones. Nobody has a really good count on how many people are at work there, but what we do know is that this is a warren of tight little streets and tight blocks filled with many Shia who are very concerned about making sure that their group, their ethnic group stays in charge of Iraq in the future. That's why Sadr City, undeniably, will be a big flash point.
COOPER: No doubt about that. If the debate heats up over sending more troops to Iraq, violence continues to claim more American lives.
Here's the raw data. Seven service members died over this weekend. Three were killed by a car bomb, two shot by insurgents, and two died of other combat wounds. That brings the total U.S. deaths this month to nine, and the total since the war began to 3,013.
Will more U.S. troops in Iraq really make a difference this time? A reality check from Baghdad coming up. My conversation with "New York Times" Correspondent John Burns, who was there.
The Pentagon sent more troops into Baghdad before. Why does the president think this time it's going to help? Is anything going to be different? We'll talk to John about that. Stay tuned.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COOPER: Well, the president's new plan that reportedly includes sending 20,000 more U.S. troops to Iraq is already causing controversy and setting the stage for the most intense debate on the war since it began almost four years ago.
Earlier, I talked to John Burns of "The New York Times," who is in Baghdad.
COOPER: The U.S. is now saying that they have learned the mistakes of the previous time they tried to surge troops, Operation Together Forward. Is there any evidence that -- I mean, knowing the mistakes and being able to correct the mistakes are two different things. Is there any evidence the U.S. will actually be able to correct the mistakes of previous operations where they tried to surge forces into Baghdad?
JOHN BURNS, "NEW YORK TIMES": Well, two things. Number one, when anything effective gets done (UNINTELLIGIBLE), it's done by U.S. troops. The problem with Operation Together Forward was it relied on a very large component of Iraqi troops, who never showed up. The result was American troops had to return to areas that they had swept, sweep them again, not once, but twice, but three times. Eventually they abandoned it.
This time the emphasis seems to be on doing it with U.S. troops with an additional 15,000 or 20,000 U.S. troops in Baghdad, even if the Iraqis don't show up. That's clearly a short-term solution.
But on the optimistic side, I would say -- and I've observed this for myself -- when U.S. troops show up in Baghdad, it has an immediate stabilizing effect both in Sunni and in Shiite areas.
By effectively doubling the number of U.S. troops in Baghdad and committed to the stabilization operations, they will have an effect.
But how sustainable is it unless the Iraqis step up with troops of their own that can take over? That's the big, if you will, unanswered question here.
COOPER: General Odierno says that his approach this time is going to be different because it's going to be more balanced, going after both Sunnis and Shia. But isn't that only possible if the Maliki government is willing -- and so far, have they shown themselves willing or able to try to rein in these Shia death squads?
BURNS: Well, we've heard Mr. Maliki, we heard him again at the weekend preaching the gospel of unity and of non-sectarianism. But, you know, is there any reason to believe he's going to be more committed to that now than he was before? I actually find it hard to believe.
You have to look at the way his government is constructed. He is prime minister, if you will, at the will of Muqtada al-Sadr, the leader of the largest Shiite militia, the volatile cleric who's militia has spawned the death squads that are at the heart of the problem.
And Maliki won the prime ministership by a margin of one vote eight months ago. Take away the 30 votes that Sadr gave him, he's not prime minister anymore.
COOPER: Can the U.S. actually stay in these neighborhoods once they've cleared them out? Because, again, that is part of the early talk on this surge plan, that they'll actually stay in these neighborhoods with the help of Iraqi forces.
BURNS: The entire city is a badland, if you will. So there's a very big job to be done. Will they be able to stabilize parts of it, yes? Will they be able to stabilize all of it? Will they be able to go into the areas that spawned the Shiite death squads like Sadr City, the big working class Shiite slum to the northeast of here in the face of very, very strong opposition from Mr. Sadr and from Mr. Maliki, too, remains to be seen.
But I think everybody understands that this is a last chance effort.
COOPER: And do the Iraqis think that as well? I mean, do the Iraqi government, when you talk to officials, is that the message they have heard as well, that this is the last chance?
BURNS: You know, I think they're in somewhat schizophrenic mode. On the one hand they want control, the Maliki government wants control of the war as fast as they can get it. It's not even keen on this American troop increment.
They don't want American generals standing at their shoulder. They're very unkeen about these American transition teams. One in Vietnam was called advisers. Those are going to be tripled. American generals want to put American officers and men into the Iraqi army down to the company level apart from everything else so they have a canary in the mine, so they know what the Iraqi army is up to, so they can step in quickly if they begin to get involved in sectarian killing.
So you have an Iraqi government on the one hand that can't sustain itself, that needs additional American troops to begin to impose any kind of stability on the capital city. And on the other hand, that really doesn't want them here anyway because it's preparing, I think, for a civil war, and it wants the American generals, in a way, to step away from their shoulder.
It's a very, very complex situation and I have to say my heart goes out to the American commanders who are going to have to try and make this work.
COOPER: And that's your sense, that they are preparing -- the Iraqi government, the Iraqi officials are preparing for civil war and they basically want U.S. forces to get out of the way in some sense?
BURNS: I think to be fair to the Maliki government, if you look at the history of Iraq, it would be very unrealistic for them not to have that plan B. The question is, once you've got that plan B, especially with the United States, you know, the new Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi and Senator Reid, talking about a drawdown and a pullout, Maliki would be nuts not to have -- to plan for the consequence, which everybody -- I think everybody agrees would be in all probability an all-out civil war.
The problem is that as he prepares for that, his plan B begins to prejudice his plan A. It limits the extent to which he is prepared to do things like demobilizing the Shiite militias. Why would he do that if he believes that a year from now he's going to be involved in a civil war where he's going to need as many fighting men as he can get?
COOPER: We continue to get e-mails -- I get e-mails every day, why aren't you telling the good that's happening in Iraq, why aren't you telling about the progress? I'm sure you get these e-mails as well. Is there progress? I mean, is there -- are, you know, schools being opened? Are there things that one can point to as real progress?
BURNS: There are many good things that American forces -- that the Corps of Engineers, that U.S. AID and others are doing here which do not find an adequate voice, I will say, in the "New York Times." But we concentrate on what we think are the principal trend lines here. It's not to say we don't write about those things. And we think that the principal trend lines are the political and military events that we chronicle every day. And those, unfortunately, seem to be heading in all together the wrong direction.
COOPER: John Burns, we appreciate your time and your expertise. Thank you, John.
BURNS: Thanks, Anderson.
COOPER: Well, there is new video posted on the Internet today which is adding more fuel to the controversy surrounding Saddam Hussein's execution. It shows the former dictator after the hanging. He's lying on a gurney covered with a white sheet.
We're only going to show you part of this. We've decided not to show you his face, which was badly bruised. Also on the tape, a conversation between two men. One is urging the other to take a quick look and then leave.
MAN 1: Quickly, quickly please, take one picture.
MAN 2: Yes, I hear you.
MAN 1 TO A THIRD MAN: Abu Ali, come on and deal with this.
MAN 1: Come on, habibi ... I'll say this one time politely otherwise I'm going to get real...
MAN 2: I hear you.
COOPER: Well, the video was posted on a Baathist Web site. CNN has not been able to verify its authenticity.
Back here in the states, on Capitol Hill, they promised to work five days a week just like -- well, you and I do. But has Congress already taken a time-out? We're keeping them honest, when 360 continues.
COOPER: Well, House Democrats made a lot of promises for their first 100 legislative hours. They're pledging to put in a full work week to get things done, like most Americans. So, you might be wondering, why did a lot of them take today off?
Keeping them honest, here's CNN's Joe Johns.
JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): No House members here. Not here either. Let's check out this hallway. Nope, not here. So what was all that talk about Congress working five days a week? And what about the start of that first 100 hours of legislation being pushed through by the new Democratic majority?
Time-out, literally. Time-out. It's as if the House was called on account of an away game today.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whoa!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Go, Buckeyes!
JOHNS: Closed for the hottest sports event in America, the Bowl championship series title game between Ohio State and Florida and Arizona.
It proved so tempting to a handful of members of Congress that plans to do any legislative work on the House floor this evening had to be scrapped. So that much ballyhooed first 100 hours of the new Democratically controlled Congress won't start until Tuesday. In other words, after the game. Though, the new speaker of the House tried to put the best face on it.
NANCY PELOSI (D), HOUSE SPEAKER: The 100 hours will begin tomorrow, so that we could have given three-day layover as we promised we would, so that everyone would have a chance to see the bill.
JOHNS: That does mean more time to analyze legislation before them. But behind the scenes, the decision to hold no votes on Monday was bipartisan. In fact, the House Republican Leader John Boehner, who's from Ohio, asked House Democratic Leader Steny Hoyer to forego votes. And Hoyer's office said he agreed in the spirit of good relations. (On camera): Democrats promise that this would be a hard-working Congress, even suggesting they'd be on the job five days a week. So for some Congressional accountability watchdogs, it was a little surprising that they were already taking a day off.
GARY RUSKIN, CONGRESSIONAL ACCOUNTABILITY PROJECT: Members of Congress, they get paid $165,200 a year. And for that, they ought to work a five-day week, and especially when they promise to work a five- day week.
JOHNS (voice-over): It's not clear how many members actually went to the game. But keeping them honest, we did learn something about more than a few of them who got tickets for the game.
Ohio State told CNN about half a dozen House members and two Senators purchased tickets from them at a face value, plus service charge of about $185 a piece.
Florida said it sold tickets to three House members for about the same price.
By the way, the average online ticket resale price approaching game time was over $1,000. Both Democrats and Republicans got tickets. Admittedly, members from the home states of the college teams playing in the national championship.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Captains, meet Senator John McCain.
JOHNS: But the host state, Arizona, was represented too. Senator John McCain, front and center.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, Senator.
JOHNS: But not all of the people who were offered a face value ticket took it. Congressman Trent Franks happens to represent the district in Arizona that is officially hosting the game. We found him in his office in Washington. Franks, a Republican, said he was grateful for all the money football fans were spending back in Arizona, but whacked the Democratic leadership for not doing what they promised.
REP. TRENT FRANKS (R), ARIZONA: When the Democrats took over this place, they said that we were going to have that first 100 hours, that they were really going to show us how they were going to lead this place in the right direction.
And it seems astonishing to me that the first legislative day, that they would set that aside so that members could go to a football game.
JOHNS: So there's a Republican whacking the Democrats for helping out Democrats and Republicans alike. File it as business as usual, but a fact of life on the Hill that no deed, good or bad, goes unpunished.
Joe Johns, CNN, Washington. (END VIDEOTAPE)
COOPER: Well, there you go.
Up next, Rosie O'Donnell, returning from vacation, has a few couple things to say about Donald Trump. This thing is just about over, I think, I think. If we all cross our fingers, it will be done. It's our shot of the day, 360 next.
COOPER: Well, time now for our shot of the day, the latest round in the Rosie O'Donnell-Donald Trump feud. And this could be the last shot fired, if Rosie has anything to say about it. And if I have anything to say about it, this will be the last of the shots we talk about, no matter what they do.
Rosie was welcomed back from vacation with open arms by Barbara Walters and company on "The View" this morning. The co-host wasted no time commenting on Trump's relentless attacks on her while she was away.
ROSIE O'DONNELL, CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": Here's my official comment.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Here we go again.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is going to be good for my standup act. That's all I have to say. But boy, did I hit a nerve with that guy.
O'DONNELL: Holy moly. It was like Mount Vesuvius, you know, erupting. He's like the Eveready comb-over bunny.
OK. And she's done.
COOPER: Rosie also mentioned that her 7-year-old son expressed concern over Trump calling her fat and that the real estate mobile has wounded millions of plus-size women with his comments. It's not known if Trump plans to continue the war of words, but as you just heard, Rosie says she is done talking about it. And so are we.
That's it for 360, this Monday. Before we go. I want to let you know how you can help us in our mission of keeping them honest. If there's a wrong that needs to be righted in your community, go online, tell us about it. CNN.com/360.
"LARRY KING" is next. His guest, Singer and Actress Naomi Judd.
I'll see you tomorrow night. TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.voxant.com