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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
America's Militias; Blurring the Line Between Politics and Faith; Tom Cruise Takes on Germany Over Scientology
Aired July 19, 2007 - 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.
They were our enemies in Iraq. Now, they're our allies in Iraq. They're also thugs. They beat their captives. They torture them and conduct roadside executions. And some have the blood of Americans on their hands.
Tonight, an exclusive look at forces now being called America's militia. Their tough tactics have proven effective in one part of Iraq. But will those tactics work in Baghdad and elsewhere? We will investigate.
Also tonight, here at home, a revival movement big enough to fill stadiums. These folks may decide the next election, but maybe not in the way you expect. Our series "God's Country" looks at faith and politics.
And Tom Cruise' war with Germany over Scientology -- the government calls Scientology a con job. Herr Cruise begs to differ. He's shooting a movie there and running into all sorts of trouble. We will bring you both sides.
We begin, however, with one big reason why American forces and Sunni tribal killers now work side by side, necessity and a ticking clock. Today, in Washington, lawmakers heard from the operational commander in Iraq and Washington's ambassador to Baghdad.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RYAN CROCKER, UNITED STATES AMBASSADOR TO IRAQ: If there is one word that I would use to sum up the -- the atmosphere in Iraq, on the street, in the countryside, in the neighborhoods, and at the national level, that word would be fear.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Beyond that, Ambassador Crocker said that meeting a September deadline for meaningful progress in Iraq will be difficult. Crocker did point to progress against al Qaeda in Anbar Province.
Now, only on 360, tonight, you will see how that is being achieved. But we want to warn you, you're about to see war the way it really is.
Here's CNN's Michael Ware.
MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is one of America's new allies, the enemy of our enemy, beating a suspected al Qaeda member, threatening to kill him. He is part of America's success against al Qaeda in Iraq, a member of a Sunni militia group supported by the U.S. to target al Qaeda.
In this operation north of Baghdad, his group, no uniforms, their faces covered, are working hand-in-hand with local police and army units and drawn from insurgent groups and local tribes. These are fighters who have been killing Americans and now use some American- supplied ammunition and U.S. military support to turn on al Qaeda, enemies of the U.S., now supported by the U.S.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In Anbar province, Sunni tribes that were once fighting alongside al Qaeda against our coalition are now fighting alongside our coalition against al Qaeda. We're working to replicate the success in Anbar in other parts of the country.
WARE: And this is Anbar.
Grainy video, posted two weeks ago, on an Islamist Web site shows U.S.-aligned militia unloading another al Qaeda prisoner from a police pickup. The man in charge asks his prisoner if he killed someone called Khalid (ph), and then, taunting, tells him, to say hi to Khalid for me.
Cursing their prisoner, the makeshift firing squad leads him to a spot near an embankment. And he's executed.
WARE: Why would these insurgents and tribesmen turn on al Qaeda to work with the Americans? The answer, power, money, contracts and control over their neighborhoods.
And while few mourn the deaths of al Qaeda fighters anywhere, summary executions and excessive force by militias, sponsored by the U.S., is not something American commanders say they condone nor seek.
Brigadier General Mark McDonald.
BRIGADIER GENERAL MARK MCDONALD, MULTI-NATIONAL CORPS - IRAQ: We do not allow that and we do not encourage that. We will stop that if we see it.
WARE: That said, the general also says he's not seen reports of abuses himself. But another senior U.S. official does say the militia's methods are an ugly side of the war here in Iraq, ugly, but effective.
In the militia-controlled areas, al Qaeda has not been defeated, but it's certainly been blunted, the capital of Anbar reclaimed from its grip and attacks across the province spectacularly reduced, with similar signs emerging in other areas.
The successes of the Sunni militias, however, come at a price. The Shia-dominated government in Baghdad is not happy, wary of U.S. support for armed Sunni groups.
"This support scares us," says Hadi al-Amri. Commanding a powerful Shia militia, he is Iraq's equivalent to the chairman of the Armed Services Committee in the U.S.
"Working with these people is very dangerous," he says. "We told the Americans we won't accept under any circumstances their being open to armed Sunni militia, like the Islamic Army of Iraq or the Brigades of the 1920 Revolution" -- two of the very groups the U.S. has been courting and supporting.
And this former national security minister, now heading a parliamentary oversight body, claims the U.S. is overstepping its authority.
"That these tribes are armed beyond the government's control might lead to conflict," he says, suggesting they may be an American counterbalance to a government accused of links to an Iranian-backed militia from the Shia community.
ABDUL KARIM AL-ENZI, FORMER IRAQI MINISTER OF STATE FOR NATIONAL SECURITY: There is nothing that the Multi-National force, the Corps, is doing with, by name, by numbers, by place, by location, by intent, that we don't share with the government of Iraq.
WARE: With few signs of progress from the central government, America's former insurgent enemies seem to have given U.S. commanders something the Iraqi government rarely has, a success story.
COOPER: Michael Ware joins us now from Baghdad, along with CNN military analyst retired Brigadier General David Grange.
Michael, it was a fascinating piece.
The strategy of arming Sunnis to fight al Qaeda, something we have been talking about, you and I have been talking about, since I first met you in Iraq in the -- in the beginning of all this, it appears to be working in Al Anbar. Can it be applied to the rest of Iraq?
WARE: Well, can it be applied to the rest of Iraq, Anderson? The truth is, that's how this country is run. It's the militias who have the lid on Iraq, not the U.S. military.
The only problem for the U.S. is that the bulk of these militias that control most of the territory, and have their hooks into the central government, are supplied and backed by Iran. What you're now seeing are the militias that are being backed by the U.S. This is -- this tells us two things. One, this shows us a picture of how the war is being fought here in Iraq and won, certainly in some areas, in America's name.
The second thing is, this is a foretaste of the future. When U.S. troops withdraw, it's going to be militia on militia. And, ultimately, America or its Arab allies are going to be supporting one side or the other. And you're looking at the side that they will support.
COOPER: Well, General Grange, how do we know that these guys in Al Anbar, who we're now supporting, who were once fighting against us, won't eventually turn back against us?
BRIGADIER GENERAL DAVID GRANGE (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, we don't know.
The issue you have here is, is, everybody is your enemy? You can't kill everybody in Iraq. So, the idea to get one of the enemies to turn on one of your other enemies, tactically, may be OK. But there are some consequences. And I do believe the comments of the American commanders that these things, if known -- are known -- are not condoned. But it happens not only with the militias. It also happens with the Iraqi army, even though it's wrong. But, yes, they could turn on you. Sure, they can.
COOPER: Michael, Prime Minister Maliki and others in the Parliament were voicing concerns over the strategy in your story, saying it could create new militias, a legitimate concern, but kind of hypocritical for Shia political leaders, who have their own militias, to be condemning other militias.
WARE: Absolutely, Anderson.
I mean, government-run death squads have been operating in this country for pretty much the best part of two years now. And, yes, this government really is just a loose alliance of Iranian-backed Shia militias themselves. So, it really is the pot calling the kettle black.
But what their comments highlight is that what they see is, behind the initial fight against al Qaeda, America is backing these guys as a balance against the very government America created and has lost influence over. That's their fear.
COOPER: General Grange, I want to read you something that Major General Rick Lynch, a commander in the south of Baghdad, said about enlisting these guys, the Sunni insurgents.
He said -- quote -- "I'm not going to go out and negotiate with folks who have American blood on their hands."
How should the U.S. military deal with the fact that some of these Sunnis we're helping do -- I mean, they have killed Americans?
GRANGE: Well, but the thing is, how do you know who they are? I mean, how do you know actually who killed Americans? I mean, no one wants to coordinate and collaborate with someone that has American blood on their hands, but I'm not sure how you can sort that out. I think, in irregular warfare, in unconventional warfare, you have to collaborate with some groups in order to be successful. I like the word that Michael used on balance. You know, it was getting out of balance with the Shia backed by Iran. You have the Sunni piece here, backed by Saudi Arabia and others, that you're working with. The government is somewhat not effective right now.
You have al Qaeda as one of the threats that can reach out and touch us, not necessarily out of Iraq, but the -- the whole network of al Qaeda. And, so, that's a bigger enemy. But I think you have to collaborate with some groups in order to be successful. I don't know any other way around it.
COOPER: Michael, how likely is it, if there is some sort of pullout or drawdown or redeployment of U.S. troops, whatever you want to -- however you want to spin it or call it, how likely is full-scale civil war, if that hasn't -- I mean, if we're not already in a full- scale civil war, just a massive bloodletting?
WARE: Yes, I think it's almost guaranteed.
I mean, these guys already are chomping at the bit to start tearing at each other. Indeed, the senior power brokers within this government, the people who you generally don't see on TV, we have been talking to them. And they find it very difficult to mask their true intentions.
When I ask these Shia militia commanders in the government, "Are you concerned about a U.S. withdrawal; are you worried about the violence that will follow?" they're virtually smiling when they say: "No. We, the Shia we're ready. It's the Sunni who should be worried."
I think that tells you a lot.
COOPER: Michael Ware, appreciate the reporting, as always, Brigadier General David Grange, your expertise. Thank you very much, guys.
On now to the home front, with administration officials saying they have got a gut feeling about another terror attack. Here's something you might not know. Nearly six years after 9/11, they screen every one of your bags before putting them on the plane, but not all the cargo. The House and Senate are trying to hash out differences on a bill to change that, to change it by 2009.
Sounds like a no-brainer to you, perhaps, but there's a twist. It could be you're playing with it already.
More from CNN's Jeanne Meserve.
JEANNE MESERVE, CNN HOMELAND SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): With fangs more than a quarter-inch-long, this viper is one of the most venomous snakes in the world. It strikes so fast, you have to slow it down to see really it.
Snakes like this are shipped in the same planes you fly in, along with spiders.
JOE FAUCI, SOUTHEAST REPTILE EXCHANGE: This is a pink-toed tarantula.
MESERVE: And lizards.
FAUCI: That's a baby.
MESERVE: And all manner of crawly creatures. Every week, Joe Fauci carefully packs and ships thousands of exotic animals to pet stores around the country, all as cargo on passenger planes.
FAUCI: We will mark the bag one boa.
MESERVE (on camera): But Joe Fauci is afraid that a change in air cargo screening rules could put a squeeze on his business.
(voice-over): Right now, every airline passenger, every carry-on and every checked bag is screened. But not all cargo is, even though it's going on the same flight. The House and Senate have both passed legislation to change that. The House approach is more drastic, mandating inspection of every piece of cargo by 2009.
If technology to do that isn't ready in time, it might have to be checked with dogs or by hand, including those boxes shipped by Joe Fauci.
FAUCI: You could open a container and have tree frogs all over your terminal or snakes or whatever.
MESERVE: A frightening prospect, but not half as frightening as putting uninspected cargo on planes, says Congressman Ed Markey. Markey fears another terrorist attack.
REP. ED MARKEY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: We know that this cargo hold is the place where they can place a bomb that can create another 9/11.
MESERVE: But shippers predict businesses will be strangled if the 6 billion pounds of cargo put on passenger planes every year has to be inspected.
BRANDON FRIED, AIRFORWARDERS ASSOCIATION: That is going to create bottlenecks. And when you crate bottlenecks, you miss flights. And when you miss flights, that means goods don't get to market on time.
MESERVE: That could be a catastrophe for fish farmer Tim Hennessy.
TIM HENNESSY, FISH FARMER: These are Corydoras. That's a type of catfish. MESERVE: He ships six million fish a month in the cargo hold of passenger planes. Usually, they arrive at their destination, like this pet store in Chicago, safe and sound. But a long wait for inspection in the hot Florida sun could kill them.
HENNESSY: We have to have some security. But I don't think somebody sitting on their butt in Washington is in the best position to determine what those actual steps should be.
MESERVE: Hennessy and his drivers have had background checks and training to secure cargo in the warehouse and during transport.
The Senate says this known shipper program should be expanded to secure cargo. But Ed Markey says it doesn't do the job.
MARKEY: America would be playing Russian roulette, because there really would be no true inspection of that cargo.
MESERVE: Markey says that leaves travelers vulnerable to something much more dangerous than snakes on a plane.
Jeanne Meserve, CNN, Tampa, Florida.
Coming up, ever wonder how you can make a cool $5,000 for just 20 hours work and where? Well, the answer is ahead in "Raw Politics."
Also ahead tonight, the blurring line between politics and faith.
COOPER (voice-over): God and country, what's the difference?
STEPHEN MCDOWELL, SPIRITUAL HERITAGE TOURS: The Bible is the central, most important influence in the birth, growth and development of the United States.
COOPER: Meet the people who say there never was and never should be a wall between church and state. See how they're trying to change the way all of us live.
Also tonight, you know what he thinks about certain morning show hosts.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "THE TODAY SHOW")
TOM CRUISE, ACTOR: Matt, Matt, you don't even -- you're glib.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Now see what happens when Tom Cruise and Scientology try to take on a major world government -- tonight on 360.
COOPER: Republican presidential candidates are gearing up for their straw poll in Ames, Iowa, next month. Former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson is going to be on the ballot, even though he still hasn't officially announced he will run.
If he does enter the race, as expected, well, he may have some explaining to do.
And that's where "Raw Politics" begins tonight with Joe Johns.
JOE JOHNS, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Ever heard the phrase all about the Benjamins?
(voice-over): In this town, when you want to monetize power, you go to K Street, lobbying, where top lobbyists make 500 bucks an hour or more. The problem is, you can end up lobbying for some politically awkward clients, like Fred Thompson did for an abortion-rights group, which takes some explaining in front of an anti-abortion audience.
"The New York Times" and "Raw Politics" dug up his billing records. Mr. Conservative "Law & Order" got paid $5,000 for 20 hours of work, heavy political baggage, a hand full of Benjamins. Hope it was worth it, Senator.
Speaking of law and order, we now know how Rudy Giuliani is going to try to lure Republicans in places like Iowa and South Carolina to vote for the ultimate fancy-pants New York City lawyer. He was even mayor of the city, for crying out loud. Rudy's new mantra, "I am a strict constructionist," which is another way of saying conservative standard-bearers like Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito are Rudy's kind of guys.
But now get this. He says his position doesn't have anything to do with abortion or overturning Roe vs. Wade, which all three justices would probably like to do. Wait a minute. This doesn't belong in "Raw Politics." It should be in "Keeping Them Honest."
She says he's best. He says she's best. It's a gender-bending political spat between spouses. First, Elizabeth Edwards said her man was better on women's issues than Bill's woman. Now, Bill has fired back, saying his woman is better on women than her man.
(on camera): Maybe we should get them all together and have the first-ever prospective first spouses debate. Then we can find out who is better to be married to the leader of the free world.
And that's "Raw Politics" -- Anderson.
COOPER: That's not a bad idea, Joe.
Just four days to go until the CNN/YouTube presidential debate. I will be hosting the debate from the Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina.
If you have a question for the candidates, you can post it on YouTube. But hurry. The deadline is Sunday. We have been getting a lot of great responses. Here's one -- one video that we got.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Coming up...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Oh, goodness. Oh, no, no, no, no. This is not -- wait. This is -- I don't know how this got in here. This is not -- is that Larry King dancing? Good lord.
What -- that is just -- that's just not right. I'm sorry. I don't know how that got in there. Whoever put that in there will -- will be dealt with very firmly.
Let's -- let's take -- try to take a look at one of the real YouTube videos we have been getting.
Man, who did that?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BONAPUELLA, NEW YORK: My job gave me this baby girl. But now, with my new job, and minimum wage, I can't even support her. What are you going to do to raise minimum wage, so I can raise my baby girl?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Like we said, if you just have a question, just keep it under 30 seconds. The rest is simple enough. Check it out at YouTube.com.
Again, the Democratic debate is next Monday, July 23, at the Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Now here's John Roberts with what's coming up tomorrow on "AMERICAN MORNING."
I bet they don't have dancing Larry Kings.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN ROBERTS, CO-HOST, "AMERICAN MORNING": Thanks, Anderson.
Tomorrow, we bring you the most news in the morning, including the new scrutiny of imports from China. The White House is forming a special panel to investigate what can be done to keep us safer from contaminated food.
But we have our own specialist on the case. How hard is it to shop for food and not buy something that's come from China?
Join us for the most news in the morning, beginning at 6:00 a.m. Eastern, right here on CNN -- Anderson.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Up next, our 360 series "God's Country" -- tonight, people who believe there is no separation of church and state, and like it that way.
Also ahead, a new look at the deadly explosion that tore through midtown Manhattan from a surveillance camera rolling when it happened.
And Tammy Faye Messner's courageous battle with terminal cancer, a stunning interview with Larry King, excerpts coming up.
COOPER: When the Democratic candidates debate Monday on CNN and answer your question, there's a good chance that, at some point, they will bring up their own faith. After all, religious beliefs are already playing a large role in the presidential race.
Some, though, may argue that that should not be the case, that the Constitution forbids mixing religion and government. But does it?
Tonight, as our special series "God's Country" continues, CNN's Tom Foreman examines the raw reality of church and state.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the beginning, there was a wall, a mighty barrier built by the founding fathers to separate church and state, block one from meddling in the affairs of the other.
UNIDENTIFIED CHILDREN: I pledge allegiance to the flag...
FOREMAN: In school, we are taught that's what makes our country special. But what if that wall never existed? What if it's a myth conjured up in our lifetime to mask a greater truth, that America was conceived as a Christian nation?
STEPHEN MCDOWELL, SPIRITUAL HERITAGE TOURS: The Bible is the central, most important influence in the birth, growth and development of the United States. Without the Bible, God of the Bible, there would be no America as we know it today.
FOREMAN: These people are on a Spiritual Heritage Tour of Washington, D.C. At every stop, they see proof of God's hand at work in American history.
MCDOWELL: In 1805, Abraham Lincoln's mother and father went to a camp meeting in Kentucky. And, at this meeting, they had a dramatic encounter with God, and fell down and gave their life to the Lord. Four years later, they gave birth to Abraham Lincoln.
FOREMAN: But now, they say, God is no longer welcome in Washington, and America is suffering for it. PASTOR ROD PARSLEY, WORLD HARVEST CHURCH: How can I remain silent when the founding faith of our nation is driven from the marketplace of ideas?
FOREMAN: From the sanctuary of his Ohio mega-church, the man known as the "Raging Prophet" charges into battle.
PARSLEY: How can I sit quietly by while the very words our founding fathers intended to protect faith are used to destroy it? Owing to a horrible perversion of language and law, the same First Amendment that is supposed to bar government from restricting belief is used to drive Christianity from the public square.
FOREMAN: Pastor Rod Parsley believes American history has been twisted to advance a secular agenda. He calls that fabled wall an urban legend.
So, where does the phrase come from? The Constitution decrees that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. And it was Thomas Jefferson who said that created -- quote -- "a wall of separation between church and state."
(on camera): What does separation of church and state, then, mean to you?
PARSLEY: I don't think they intended for the government to interfere in the church. I certainly don't think it was a surrendering of our citizenship to express religious faith.
FOREMAN (voice-over): Parsley is one of an increasingly vocal and influential group of Christian conservatives who claim America was built on biblical principles by devout men of faith. The church, they insist, was expected to be politically active.
PARSLEY: The founding of our nation was upon the Judeo-Christian world view ethic. We have got to get back in the game and stand up for the accuracy and the authenticity of a purely biblical world view.
FOREMAN (on camera): Well, there are a lot of people, as you know, who feel like Christians are too much in the game of politics right now.
PARSLEY: Well, I -- and I would simply disagree with that.
FOREMAN (voice-over): Critics denounce the pastor's views as dangerous revisionist history, designed to create an intolerant Christian government.
But, to Parsley, a secular left is trying to demonize and demoralize an increasingly powerful Christian right.
PARSLEY: If you sing "Onward Christian Soldier" in your Sunday school class, all of the sudden, folks want to label you as a jihadist and say that you're fighting for a theocracy. Nothing could be further from the truth. FOREMAN: Maybe not, but Parsley's no agent of tolerance. He's railed against homosexuals, denounced Islam as a faith that fully intends to conquer the world. His activist Christianity is hardly one-size-fits-all.
MCDOWELL: ... that God is the author of history...
FOREMAN: In Washington, after a full day of touring, a new sense of purpose.
DIANE EVANS, TOURIST: I'd like to see God be the very foundation of everything we do in public and civic life.
FOREMAN: Another soldier in Rod Parsley's army of the righteous.
ROD PARSLEY: I must speak now because God is still watching.
(END OF VIDEOTAPE)
COOPER: Tom Foreman joins me now. Tom, so Pastor Parsley wants a greater role of religion in government. What do surveys show? What do most Americans want?
FOREMAN: Well, they agree with him. But it's a split decision at best. The pew form found slightly more than half of the voters think churches and other houses of worship, should be telling politicians and political leaders about their religious views and what they want in terms of social programs. Trying to influence policy, just as Pastor Parsley wants them to. But a bit less than half think that religion should mind its own business and stay out of government affairs. So, people tend to fall on one side or the other on this issue. Not much in the middle. Now, that said, another poll by Gallup found that most Americans believe religious influence in the government is falling off now. Anderson?
COOPER: Tom, thanks very much.
More of God's country in a moment. First, Erica Hill joins us with the 360 bulletin. Erica?
ERICA HILL: Anderson, the steam pipe explosion in New York City yesterday, caught on tape. Take a look at this. Watch the upper left area of your screen. Cars, buses there, making their way down Lexington Avenue and then boom, a massive crater opens up. A geyser of steam, asphalt and other debris. One woman died of a heart attack, 40 others were injured. That area is still blocked off. The mayor says asbestos was detected in the debris but not in air samples.
Across Pakistan, several blasts. This bombing near a bus stop close to the city of Karachi, killed at least 27 people. Other attacks including a suicide bombing inside a mosque, killing at least 20 others. The violence comes after a bloody siege last week at a mosque in Islamabad between radical Islamists and Pakistani military forces. And back here in the states, a federal judge has thrown out a lawsuit filed by Valerie Plame Wilson. The ex-CIA operative and her husband, sued Vice President Dick Cheney, Lewis Scooter Libby and others, accusing them of conspiring to leak her identity. She says the leak was retribution for her husband's criticism of the Bush administration's prewar efforts. She plans to appeal today's decision. Anderson?
COOPER: We'll see what happens with that.
HILL: We'll follow that one.
Moving now to our "what were they thinking" segment. Now we just want to preface it by saying, I don't think anybody's really upset about this one, just a little surprised. Somewhat intrigued, even. Flipping through the recent Pottery Barn kids' catalog, because I get a lot of those these days. And Anderson check out what I saw on the very same page. There it is an Anderson diaper bag, right? A blanket right up that says Cooper. And then I thought, if that wasn't enough, hey look, it's a blanket that says Erica. I mean all on one page, I thought this is a little funny and I showed it to my husband. He didn't think it was a coincidence by the way. And then look at this, a couple of (inaudible), Erica Cooper.
HILL: Yep, how about that?
COOPER: Did your husband get a little nervous, a little jealous?
HILL: He wasn't. I mean I hope you don't take that the wrong way. But you know, he's confident.
COOPER: Clearly doesn't have anything to be nervous about. Erica, thanks.
Straight ahead, another dispatch from God's country. You'll meet a growing army that could decide who sits in the White House.
They say they're answering God's call. The question is, what will young evangelicals do in the voting booth? The answers might surprise you.
Also tonight, you know what he thinks about certain morning show hosts.
Now, see what happens when Tom Cruise and Scientology try to take on a major world government. Tonight on 360.
COOPER: We're covering God's country tonight, where raw politics meets raw religion, especially in the current presidential election. Through YouTube and the blogs we're able to hear the voices of young voters like we've never heard before. Many of them will be taking God to the polls next year. But you may be surprised to hear just how their faith will guide those votes. Here's CNN's David Mattingly.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Silently they marched through the streets of Nashville. Thousands of young, evangelical Christians, gathering to pray for a country in crisis.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've come here with a faith that God that can turn a nation.
MATTINGLY: This is the call, a massive, day-long revival of fasting and prayer.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's only about 100 people when we first got here. So, it's good.
MATTINGLY: Sarah Morris and her church group drove here all the way from Michigan, looking for something big.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm expecting God to rock my world.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Awakening. Awakening. Awakening.
MATTINGLY: The sound is as loud as a rock concert. And the message, clear as a bell. Christians need to hold their politicians accountable.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And Lord now we bless President Bush.
MATTINGLY: But the question rising from the sea of people is, what do they want? Young evangelicals once George W. Bush's most fervent supporters, are increasingly disenchanted. In 2002, 87 percent thought he was doing a good job. That number's plunged to 45 percent, according to the Pew forum. And evangelicals under 30 are deserting the Republican Party in droves. Two years ago, 55 percent called themselves Republicans, now, just 37 percent do. An incredible 18-point drop.
BYRON RADU, WORSHIPER: You need to tell us the truth when you speak. You know what I mean? When you get up and say things, in order for me to vote, to go home and share with my family and say, this is who we're going to vote for, this is who we're going to back up forever.
MATTINGLY: You sound disillusioned.
RADU: Beyond disillusioned. Misled. Misguided. Lied to.
MATTINGLY: Like most Americans, these young evangelicals are wrestling with the war. They find themselves parting with Republicans on other issues, too. Immigration, poverty, the environment.
BRANDON DUCK, WORSHIPER: There's a lot of issues today that the Christian ethic easily bleeds into and can make a difference in society. And it's just not the big three.
MATTINGLY: The big three, same-sex marriage, public prayer, and above all, abortion. Issues that set many Republicans into office.
And these young people remain some of the most intensely anti- abortion Americans around. Even more conservative than their parents.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You give them the right baby, Lord Jesus.
MATTINGLY: Remember Sarah Morris who came here looking for God to rock her world? After a day in the sun and hours of inspiration, she's motivated to rock the ballot.
SARAH MORRIS, WORSHIPER: Our vote is not due to our economy and war. Our vote is on one thing, and that is pro-life.
MATTINGLY: It's no coincidence that "The Call" took place 40 years after the summer of love. Organizers want young Christians to lead with a shared sense of purpose.
(on camera): And like the flower children of '67, these young Christians also believe that a great cultural change is coming to America. And they intend to drive it, with their prayer and their votes.
(voice-over): Young evangelicals, like most Americans under 30, don't vote much at all. Madison Adams wants to turn that around.
MADISON ADAMS, WORSHIPER: Actually, I'm kind of scared for this future election because I think the church is kind of set back. But, you know, we need to wake the church up again.
MATTINGLY: And on this hot summer day, the church is wide awake. David Mattingly, CNN, Nashville.
(END OF VIDEOTAPE)
COOPER: So, let's bring Tom Foreman back in again with the raw reality. Tom, what are the issues that religious voters care about right now?
FOREMAN: Well it depends on what kind of religious voters you're talking about. Let's go back and think about those three big divisions of Christianity, that we mentioned earlier in this series of reports. The biggest, the evangelical Protestants are very conservative, bible based in their beliefs. A Pew Center study last month found that they're most concerned about the economy and terrorism. Mainline Protestants who are generally more politically moderate, rank health care as their number one issue. And Catholics said the economy is their number one concern, too. The surprise, when it comes to deciding whom they will vote for, all three of these groups rank abortion very low. So, as we've shown over the past couple of days, it's no surprise that faith plays a major role in how many Americans vote. But how they use that faith can often be very surprising. Anderson?
COOPER: So, we want to know, do candidates' religious belief influence the way you vote? Send us a v-mail, yeah that's right, a v- mail, it's a new feature on the website. Just go to cnn.com/360, click on the v-mail question of the week. It's not so hard actually, it's very easy. Still ahead on 360, Tammy Faye Messner's brave and very public battle against cancer. She talked to Larry King tonight. In her own words, you'll hear how she's facing her own mortality. That's coming up.
Also ahead, Scientology and Tom Cruise at the center of an international war of words, next on 360.
COOPER: Tom Cruise is now taking on Germany. Taking on its Nazi past in a new movie he's shooting, but he's also taking on its present government. The battle is over his faith, Scientology. Tonight, the uproar that is following him to a country where Scientology is practically foreboded. CNN's Randi Kaye reports.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He's played a top gun and secret agent. But it's his latest role, anti-Nazi war hero that's landed Tom Cruise in hot water. Germany is boiling over his religion. Filming began outside Berlin today, for a movie starring Cruise, as Count Klaus von Stauffenberg, a famed colonel who tried to kill Hitler. Back in 1944, Stauffenberg and his coconspirators were executed here at the defense ministry building. Cruise was planning to shoot scenes at the site, until the German government decided it would be inappropriate to film at what is now a memorial and sacred ground to many.
But the decision had more to do with Scientology than anything sacred. Cruise is a member of the church of Scientology. And having him play Stauffenberg didn't fly in Germany. One official put it this way. "It would not be a good signal if an ambassador of this psycho sect that has extremist character and no concern for basic human rights, shoots a movie in a place like that." It's not against the law to practice Scientology in Germany, still, the government won't call it a religion. Germany views Scientology as a sect, whose chief purpose is to make money off people. Cruise has risked box office impact with his outspoken remarks on his faith. Especially regarding the church's belief that psychiatry is pseudoscience. Who can forget his appearance with Matt Lauer on the "Today" show.
TOM CRUISE: Matt, you're glib. You don't even know what Ritalin is. If you start talking about chemical imbalance, you have to evaluate and read the research papers on how they came up with these theories, Matt.
KAYE: For now, at least the tension may be easing. While Germany won't let Cruise film at the memorial, it is trying to make the star happy. Even offering the production a multimillion dollar grant.
(on camera): We wanted to know what the church of Scientology here in the U.S. thought about all this. They wouldn't comment. But a spokesperson for the church in Berlin told reporters she was shocked that politicians would speak out against Cruise starring in the movie. Saying it was a call to discrimination against someone based on their religious beliefs, which she says violates German and European human rights. Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.
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COOPER: Coming up next on the program, Tammy Faye Messner is facing her mortality. A shocking interview with CNN's Larry King. That story is coming up.
So is some other rough stuff and a warning, turn away now, if you don't want to see it. It is a real look at the reality of war.
They're killers and thugs. They're also American allies. Why and at what cost? 360 goes inside a shadowy army, former enemies, now America's Iraq ally.
Also, God and country. What's the difference?
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The bible is the central-most important influence in the birth, growth and development of the United States.
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COOPER: Meet the people who say there never was and never should be a wall between church and state. See how they're trying to change the way all of us live.
COOPER: Tonight, on "LARRY KING LIVE," Tammy Faye Messner talked candidly about her battle with cancer. The disease has taken an incredible toll on the former televangelist. She is dying as she says, but not giving up. And tonight, she answered questions viewers sent in. Here's some of that interview.
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LARRY KING: We have a lot of e-mails for you today, as you might imagine. One comes from Debbie in Fredrickson, Canada.
TAMMY FAYE MESSNER: Hi, Debbie in Frederick.
KING: The question is, my prayers are with you, Tammy Faye. What have the doctors said to you about how much time you may have left?
MESSNER: I asked them not to tell me. I don't want my faith level to go down. And so, I don't fear. I'm concerned, Larry. But I don't fear.
KING: If you could have people -- an email from Jane in Ashburn, Virginia, Tammy Faye. If you could have people remember you for one thing, what would it be?
MESSNER: For my eyelashes.
KING: Still got that humor.
MESSNER: My walk with the lord. I think people need to know that there's great peace and joy in the end, knowing the lord Jesus Christ as your savior.
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COOPER: You can see Larry King's entire interview with Tammy Faye Messner coming up at midnight eastern.
In a moment a canine with a very strange craving. Don't let her sweet face fool you. Wait till you hear what she actually swallowed. First, Erica Hill joins us with a "360 bulletin." Erica?
HILL: Anderson, federal prosecutors in Brazil have asked for a court order to temporarily shut down Sao Paulo's Congonhas airport which is the site of Tuesday's fiery crash that killed at least 189 people. They want that airport to remain closed until the investigation into the crash is completed. Meantime, a jet pulled out of an attempting landing today at the airport, under scoring its long recognized dangers.
Authorities are alleging an extraordinary breach of security meantime at a nuclear facility in Tennessee. A contractor, charged with trying to sell classified material to a foreign country in violation of the atomic energy act. He was caught in an FBI sting operation and had been under investigation for at least six months.
And some more fallout for Michael Vick. Nike is suspending the release of its latest signature shoe, named for the Atlanta Falcons' quarterback. He is facing charges of sponsoring a dogfighting operation. The Air Zoom Vick five was supposed to hit stores this summer. Nike says though it is not terminating its contract with Vick, at least not for now.
And finally a record-breaking day for stocks. The Dow rising 82 points today to close just over 14,000 for the first time ever. The surge fueled by earnings reports from some big blue chip companies. The S&P gained nearly seven, the NASDAQ climbed 20 points. I'm sure Gummy Bear stocks too Anderson helped to fuel that.
COOPER: I haven't checked the Gummy Bear stocks today, but you know when you put it all in the Gummy Bear industry --
HILL: You can't lose. Because who doesn't like a sweet treat now and then?
COOPER: Exactly and even if you lose all the money, you still have the Gummy Bears.
HILL: Hey, there you go.
COOPER: Erica it's time for the shot. You know the classic man bites dog story. This is not that, it's more like dog bites man's bottom line. Pepper Ann, there's Pepper Ann, a sweet-looking lab mix, with an appetite, apparently for cold, hard cash. She got into a purse, helped herself to an expensive snack. She ate more than $800.
HILL: Oh, my gosh.
COOPER: Yeah. The owner managed to piece together what Pepper Ann didn't swallow. And then waited for the rest to reappear in the backyard, so to speak.
HILL: Did the owner wash what reappeared and bring it to the bank?
COOPER: I surely hope so. Apparently you need three-quarters of a bill to make it legal. And after washing and taping all the pieces together, Pepper Ann's person was able to trade it for more than $700 at a local bank. Net loss of only about a hundred dollars.
HILL: You know that's really not too bad. I must say I'm impressed. And I see your cash-eating canine, Anderson. And I will raise you my friend, a bionic dog. That's right. This is a Belgian Shepherd, named storm, super sweet face by the way. The world's first bionic dog. After storm got a tumor on his leg he had to have his paw amputated. But his veterinary surgeon in the U.K. replaced that paw with a high-tech implant. Check this out. It will actually allow Storm's skin to grow into the medal to make it more like a real limb. And the big thing here, is that it's the first time they've really done something like this where the skin and the metal kind of grow together. So, the vet is hoping that storm's prosthetic paw could actually serve as a model for human amputees in the future, which makes this a man helps dog helps man story.
COOPER: Wow, that's great.
HILL: It is great, isn't it.
COOPER: Lindsay Wagner should be involved since that's a bionic dog. Wasn't she the bionic woman?
HILL: She was the bionic woman. Who was the -- Lee Majors, the $6 million man.
COOPER: Lee Major was the $6 million man.
HILL: There you go, well maybe they could all get together for a photo op.
COOPER: He's better, stronger faster. Yeah.
HILL: There you go.
COOPER: Maybe so. All right, I think we're about done, eh?
HILL: Yeah, I'm going to leave you for tonight. See you tomorrow.
COOPER: We want you to send us your "shot" ideas. If you see some great videos, tell us about it, cnn.com/360. Maybe we'll put some of the clips on the air.
You can also download the program at cnn.com -- I've totally forgotten the website. Cnn.com/ac360podcast. Thank goodness for the graphics.
Up next in the program, America's new allies in the battle against Al Qaeda in Iraq. Not too long ago, they were trying to kill us. Now, they're fighting side by side with our troops. Is this dangerous alliance a good idea. And if it's working, can it work elsewhere in Iraq? A reality check, next.
COOPER: Good evening everyone. Tonight the startling reality of war in Iraq. They were our enemies now they're our allies in Iraq. They are also thugs. They beat their captives, torture them and conduct roadside executions and some have the blood of Americans on their hands. Tonight an exclusive look at forces now being called American's militia. Their tough tactics have proven effective in one part of Iraq. But will those tactics work in Baghdad and elsewhere?
Tonight here at home a revival movement big enough to fill stadiums. These folks may decide the next election but maybe not in the way you expect. Our series God's Country looks at faith and politics.
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