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Newsroom/World View

Newsroom for February 26, 2001

Aired February 26, 2001 - 4:30 a.m. ET

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

ANNOUNCER: Seen in classrooms the world over, this is CNN NEWSROOM.

SHELLEY WALCOTT, CO-HOST: And welcome to another week of NEWSROOM. I'm Shelley Walcott.

RUDI BAKHTIAR, CO-HOST: And I'm Rudi Bakhtiar. We have a lot of ground to cover today, so let's get started.

WALCOTT: We begin with the anniversary of the end of the Gulf War. How do things stand 10 years later?

BAKHTIAR: We're off to another battleground in our "Daily Desk." Will U.S. environmental policy change under the Bush administration?

WALCOTT: Then "Worldview" gets up close and personal with U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell.

BAKHTIAR: And, finally, we'll pump up the volume in "Chronicle," when we meet music mogul Clive Davis.

BAKHTIAR: Today's top story takes us to the Persian Gulf, where the people of Kuwait are celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the end of the Gulf War.

It's a party that's been a long time coming for Kuwaitis. They haven't had any major celebrations to mark the end of Desert Storm since the war's end: this, they say, out of respect for those still missing in action. Kuwait accuses Iraq of still holding some 600 people captive even though Iraq insists that it has released all war prisoners.

The Persian Gulf War was triggered by Iraq's invasion of Kuwait on August 2, 1990. Critics say Iraqi President Saddam Hussein ordered the invasion and occupation of Kuwait to take over the nation's large oil reserves. After the invasion, the United Nations Security Council ordered Iraq to withdraw from Kuwait. Despite this and a worldwide ban on trade with Iraq, Saddam refused to pull his troops out.

On the night of January 16, 1991, allied troops led by the United States launched a massive air offensive against Iraq. The attacks continued for the next few weeks, and the United States declared a cease-fire at the end of February. By then, Iraqi resistance had completely collapsed and the war was essentially over. Kuwaitis had plenty of international guests to help them celebrate the 10th anniversary of the end of Desert Storm. Gulf War heroes, including former U.S. President George Bush and former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, were on hand to take part in the festivities. Even so, critics say the main objective of the Gulf War was lost despite the muscle of the superpowers.

Christiane Amanpour explains.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, 1991)

GEORGE BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The war is over.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Ten years ago, after winning the Gulf War the biggest, strongest military coalition ever assembled had the best ever chance of pressuring the Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. But, significantly, the coalition failed to achieve one of its stated objectives: neutralizing Iraq's Republican Guard, which props up the regime.

Back then, the Bush administration expected Saddam Hussein would be overthrown after losing the war. Instead the Republican Guard brutally crushed two uprisings and there hasn't been another one since.

Now a new Bush administration, with almost the same national security team, has launched air strikes as a signal that it plans to keep up the pressure while reviewing its options on Iraq.

FRED HALLIDAY, LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS: The only option is to keep up the pressure, keep him contained and hope one day there will be a change. But he could be there for 20 years, or 30.

AMANPOUR: Saddam Hussein remains in power by ruthlessly suppressing internal dissent. But 10 years on, the containment policy has largely worked; it isolates him and thwarts his military ambitions. The job has now fallen to the United States and Britain, and it comes at a price.

Saddam Hussein has successfully blamed the sanctions policy for his people's suffering, even though neither food nor medicine are restricted -- it's a propaganda war the West has lost. While the new U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, who was military chief during the Gulf War, talks of re-energizing sanctions...

COLIN POWELL, SECRETARY OF STATE: And I think it's possible to reenergize those sanctions and to continue to contain him.

AMANPOUR: ... the rest of the Gulf War allies want to end them. So U.S. and British officials now speak of "smart sanctions," preventing military imports, while allowing in most everything else, and keeping up the military pressure. Iraq rejects all sanctions, recently calling them poison.

PETER GIGNOUX, ENERGY ANALYST: The anger of Saddam is based on his knowledge that he IS sitting on the second or third-largest proven oil reserves in the world that are undeveloped; he could be a major competitor to Saudi Arabia, but they're not being developed.

AMANPOUR: On his first swing through the Middle East, Secretary Powell will ask Syria, a Gulf War ally, to close down its pipeline that exports Iraqi oil in violation of U.N. sanctions.

(on camera): Even though the United States says Iraq has not yet fully accounted for its weapons of mass destruction and continues to threaten its neighbors, the once robust Gulf War alliance has long since tired of isolating Baghdad. And now leaders in the Middle East are waiting for a new U.S. administration to explain its new strategy for dealing with Iraq.

Christiane Amanpour, CNN, Kuwait.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WALCOTT: United States Secretary of State Colin Powell continues his swing through the Middle East today. His six-country tour began in Egypt on Saturday. And it has already taken him to Israel, Jordan and Kuwait. In Cairo, Mr. Powell met with Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov in the first U.S.-Russian meeting of the Bush Administration. Top of the agenda: missile defense. Powell and Ivanov agreed to start a top-level dialog on controversial U.S. plans for a missile defense shield.

And on Sunday, Powell shifted gears to the Arab-Israeli conflict, holding separate meetings with Israeli prime minister-elect Ariel Sharon and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

Andrea Koppel reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANDREA KOPPEL, CNN STATE DEPARTMENT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Secretary Powell's day was noteworthy for what it was not: An attempt by the new Bush administration to mediate a final peace. Instead, Powell's message to both parties was to reduce the violence.

POWELL: Our immediate goal is to encourage both sides to alter the current situation. There needs desperately to be restoration of confidence, coordination and cooperation between the parties. Of course, the United States cannot want peace more than the parties themselves.

KOPPEL: But Israel's prime minister-elect wasn't about to budge, refusing to release tens of millions of dollars in tax credits to the Palestinian Authority. Instead Ariel Sharon told Powell it was up to Palestinians to take the first steps.

ARIEL SHARON, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER-ELECT: There should be cessation of hostilities. That should be very, very clear, and I will conduct negotiations with the Palestinian Authority when we reach the point that the area will be calm.

KOPPEL: Yasser Arafat told Powell the Israeli occupation was to blame.

YASSER ARAFAT, PRESIDENT, PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY (through translator): I call on you Mr. Secretary, our friend, our general friend, and call on you President Bush to help us to end the siege and these collective difficulties that we are facing.

KOPPEL: As if Secretary Powell needed any more evidence as to just how much security had deteriorated in recent months, his drive from Israel to the West Bank in a caravan of armored cars was an obvious example.

(on camera): What Secretary Powell did not mention but knows all too well is that ongoing Israeli-Palestinian clashes are closely linked to a key Bush policy, rebuilding support for U.N. sanctions against Iraq within the Arab world.

(voice-over): But as Secretary Powell is discovering, last week's U.S. and British air strikes against Iraq have only further complicated that task, sparking a fresh round of anti-American demonstrations throughout the region, including the West Bank and Gaza, where there are concerns the Bush administration's renewed focus on Iraq will distract the U.S. from working for a final Israeli- Palestinian peace.

Andrea Koppel, CNN, Ramallah, on the West Bank.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WALCOTT: Colin Powell heads to Brussels, Belgium tomorrow before returning home. And we'll catch up with him in "Worldview," when we'll bring you a one-on-one interview with the secretary of state.

BAKHTIAR: We head to the battlefield in today's "Environment Desk," where it's the preservation of nature vs. the preservation of the economy. The players: the presidential administrations, both new and old, that have opposing ideas about ecological value.

Now, ecological value is the relative value of maintaining the natural state of a piece of real estate, as opposed to developing it for business or residential use. And naturally, now that the U.S. has a new president, policies established during the last administration may be challenged.

Rusty Dornin explains.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WILLIAM J. CLINTON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I want to welcome you all to ... (END VIDEO CLIP)

RUSTY DORNIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Conservationists were ecstatic with former President Clinton's efforts to put an environmental stamp on his presidency -- ecstasy that could be short- lived if the new administration lives up to its promise to undo much of what has been done.

One of the things done recently: Clinton placed 60 million acres of forest off-limits to roads and development, including Alaska's Tongass National Forest.

REP. GEORGE MILLER (D), CALIFORNIA: They are going to go at it administratively. They are going to go at it legislatively. They are going to go at it through environmental writers on appropriations bills. They want this overturned. I don't think they can be successful in the Congress. But it will be very tight.

DORNIN: If Republicans are unsuccessful in Congress, there is always another path.

SEN. FRANK MURKOWSKI (R), ALASKA: I am quite confident that it will be overturned by the courts.

DORNIN: The courts may be the ultimate battleground for both sides. Several lawsuits are under way to block Clinton's recent environmental designations.

(on camera): Environmentalists also fear that the new administration simply won't enforce some environmental laws. So they've come up with a new tactic, one borrowed from the tobacco wars: filing lawsuits to recoup huge damages.

(voice-over): For instance, in North Carolina, an alliance of environmental groups filed a suit against a factory hog farm. The suit claims Smithfield Farm's hog waste is polluting the local environment.

CARL POPE, EXEC. DIRECTOR, SIERRA CLUB: These are lawsuits we always assumed that EPA would bring for us. But now we don't know that we can count on EPA to bring them for us, so we have to get ready to defend ourselves.

DORNIN: The biggest battle to come: It's likely to be ANWR, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Some Republicans want to open it for drilling oil.

MURKOWSKI: That's what Republicans are trying to do: bring this thing together, get some balance in and, in effect, use the latest technology to make the footprint and the environmental impact smaller. And we can do it, given the opportunity.

DORNIN: But the environmentalists say any drilling will destroy the sensitive ecosystem, just one of the battles with little common ground.

Rusty Dornin, CNN, San Francisco.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WALCOTT: For the past few months, hundreds of wildfires have been burning across Florida. And this is thanks in large part to drought-like conditions. The problem isn't confined to the Sunshine State, though. It could very well be another fiery summer in the Western United States.

And, as John Zarrella reports, climate-watchers are blaming the dry weather on what's now going on in, of all places, the Pacific Ocean.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Flames and billowing black smoke rise in the Florida sky, scorched earth and burned out lives. Drought has hastened and intensified this year's fire season.

TIMBER WELLER, FLORIDA DIVISION OF FORESTRY: Right now we're at approximately 250 percent more fires at this time a year than in the year previous.

ZARRELLA: On the other side of the continent, in the great Northwest, the snow pack is at least 40 percent below normal. A reservoir in Washington State looks more like a craggy Mars-scape. Water levels are at historic lows.

DEBBIE YOUNG, TACOMA POWER: The reservoir right now is almost 100 feet below where it would normally be this time of year. It's exposed a lot of area that wouldn't -- would normally be underwater.

ZARRELLA: The reason, says research oceanographer Bill Patzert, is clear.

BILL PATZERT, RESEARCH OCEANOGRAPHER: When the Pacific speaks, North America definitely listens.

ZARRELLA: Patzert and his colleagues at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California say satellite images show an enormous area of warm water as formed in the Western Pacific. Shaped like a horseshoe and visualized in red and white, the Pacific feature is responsible for the strange weather from Washington state to Florida.

PATZERT: The jet stream coming out of Asia has been guided across the North Pacific by this very, very warm pool of water, and is really scented (ph) into southeastern Alaska. And that's kept the Pacific Northwest very, very dry.

ZARRELLA: Florida, too. And Patzert believes this feature is so dominant it's responsible for holding the current La Nina in place and holding El Nino at bay. Already the ramifications have been severe: the drought and fires in Florida. Snow-deficient Northwest reservoirs means the area's $1 billion a year salmon industry may be in jeopardy. And the low water means hydroelectric power this summer is more likely to be a trickle than a surge.

(on camera): Utility officials in the Northwest are already warning California not to look north this summer for spare power, because there probably won't be any. It's hard to believe, but millions of people and billions in property and industry are all being impacted because the Western Pacific Ocean has a fever.

John Zarrella, CNN, Los Angeles.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BAKHTIAR: Earlier in our show, you heard about the travels of U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell. Now in "Worldview," meet the man, as we profile him and one of his projects and passions.

We head to the United States, a nation celebrating Black History Month, an annual event in February. As the month draws to a close, we look at one of its most well-known figures and current secretary of state, Colin Powell. He has a long and distinguished list of service to the U.S. He served as the president's national security adviser from 1987 to 1988.

In 1989, he became commander in chief of the U.S. force's command. He was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1989 to 1993 and he received a number of medals and awards, among them, the Purple Heart and Distinguished Service Medal. He's also been involved in improving the lives of children through a program called America's Promise.

Jan Smith takes a look at the past and the promise of an American leader in this profile.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GEN. COLIN POWELL, FMR. JOINT CHIEFS CHAIRMAN: No, man. Come on. Let me shake. Let me beat him. Let me beat him. Let me beat him.

JAN SMITH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Of course he's competitive. General Colin Powell plays to win. And he wants to make sure the youngest in America's rank will, too. So, he has been taking his message to the front line.

POWELL: You're all too far away. Come closer. Everybody come closer. Yes, scooch up. Scooch up. Quick. Quick. Quick. Come on.

SMITH: What Powell wants kids to see is their own potential.

POWELL: This is a very thick book, isn't it? This is book I wrote. I wrote every word in this book, and this book is the story of my life.

SMITH: At age 52 Powell became the youngest ever and first black chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. That's a long way from his days as a C average student in the Bronx.

SMITH: The point I want to make to you is that all of you are now writing a book, and the question is what kind of book are you writing?

(on camera): Why are you here? Why do you care?

POWELL: Because I have seen so many kids who are doing so well in America. My own children did extreme well. My grandchildren will do well. But I've seen so many kids that are not doing well, who are in homes that are broken. I have seen kids who really don't believe that anybody cares about them, and those of us who have been privileged to thrive in this society, I think, have a obligation to try to do something about it.

SMITH: Powell has been leading America's Promise. a group with a five-part mentoring plan to build better lives for children.

POWELL: We'll do everything to make sure that no youngster in Colorado is growing up without having responsible, loving, caring adults in their life, or a safe place in which to learn and to grow, or a healthy start in life, or getting the skills they need, or being given an opportunity to give back to the community, to the country which has given them so much.

SMITH: It is a message Powell likes to deliver personally, whenever, wherever he can. At a school assembly in Denver:

POWELL: It takes an army because it is a war we're in -- a war for the lives of our children.

SMITH: Or on a visit to a San Francisco boys and girls club.

POWELL: At ease! No, no, no, no, no. When I say "at ease," you all be quiet.

SMITH: After he retired from the Army and wrote his memoirs, Powell was asked to head America's Promise, an off-shoot of 1997's presidential summit on volunteerism.

(on camera): Do think this mission is as important as being chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

POWELL: Oh, yes. Yes, I think this is just as important, if not more important.

SMITH (voice-over): So far, Powell's group says it has signed up almost 500 national organizations -- groups that agree to enlist new volunteers to help kids.

POWELL: Hello, Dr. Hoffman (ph). How are you? We've got to make you a university of Promise.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I agree.

SMITH: Powell has also been getting state governments on board. POWELL: I'd like to present him with his own little red wagon.

SMITH: Colorado's governor is one of eight who has made the Promise pledge so far.

GOV. BILL OWENS, COLORADO: What Gen. Powell has suggested we do is that we focus on mentoring and other things. We had thought about it, we had planned to do it, but because of America's Promise, we now have a goal of 35,000 mentors at Colorado school.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Watch this.

POWELL: OK, I'm watching.

SMITH: Many of the Promise partners say that Powell's presence has already had an impact.

REV WILLIAM WINTERROWD, EPISCOPAL BISHOP, COLORADO: I think what Gen. Powell brings and what America's Promise brings is a cohesion, bringing, you know, big brothers and big sisters into churches -- and the governor and the Broncos and the Rockies, you know, suddenly it becomes exciting.

POWELL: We took this picture of me. And what do I look like on the cover of that book?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: An Army soldier.

POWELL: An Army soldier, good.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A general.

POWELL: A general. Now everybody look at that picture. Am I a general here?

STUDENTS: Yes.

STUDENTS: No.

POWELL: What am I? I'm a kid.

SMITH: Powell was not born into a world of privilege, a fact he makes a point of sharing with his young audiences.

POWELL: And this little boy was just a little black kid living in New York City at a time when little black kids weren't considered that valuable in this country. We were considered 10th-class citizens. My parents were poor. They had come to this country on banana boats and they worked in low-wage jobs in the garment industry. But they had a lot of hopes and dreams that they brought to this country and they put them on me.

There is nothing you can't be. You can be a general, you can be a doctor, lawyer, anything. But you're the one who has to do it. You have to reach up. SMITH: There have been questions about whether the link of America's Promise to national organizations overshadows local charities in greater need, and whether America's Promise exaggerated its success with the release of a Price Waterhouse study that concluded America's Promise and its partners provided 10 million children with services valued at more than $295 million.

BILL TREANOR, PUBLISHER, "YOUTH TODAY": They had a million numbers that they were throwing around. The million mentors was another one. So they were trying to quantify it. Then, of course, they discovered that you couldn't quantify it.

POWELL: I said, fellows, we have to be very careful. This really seems over the top. But, PWC, Price Waterhouse Coopers, was quite satisfied with the analysis they used.

Ready, get set, go!

SMITH: Still, the general admits that the success of America's Promise is hard to measure.

POWELL: I don't know how many communities in America are using my red wagon and how many organizations are doing things. The day I determine that we've done as much as we can or that there is not a sufficient return on the investment I'm making with this, I'll close it.

SMITH: As part of his crusade, Powell has been campaigning for the proposed Younger Americans Act. It would eventually give $2 billion a year directly to state and local youth programs that use the five promises as guidelines.

POWELL: Show you my Web site.

It's the framework that has taken hold that is perhaps our greatest success.

Let me show you how we did it in the Bronx.

SMITH: Though Powell has enjoyed success leading America's Promise, some wish years ago he had chosen another line of work.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why didn't you run for president?

POWELL: Why didn't I run for president? Next question. No, No, No.

SMITH (on camera): Do you ever regret not running for president.

POWELL: No.

SMITH: Never?

POWELL: Never. I made the right decision. And when you make the right decision for the right reasons, there's nothing to regret.

SMITH (voice-over): Powell's new responsibilities will affect his involvement with America's Promise.

(on camera): Will you continue with America's Promise?

POWELL: I will do everything to continue with America's Promise. How much time I could devote to it or how active I could be is another issue.

SMITH (voice-over): Powell's partners expect him to keep a commitment to the next generation because he does get results. Watch how this young listener was ready for his marching orders.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where do you find the library at?

POWELL: Where do you find the library? That's a good question. I'm not sure where the library is here, but I'm sure someone will show you. But this boy is headed in the right direction. I've got one convert. Thank you.

SMITH: Jan Smith for CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WALCOTT: And, finally, we want to introduce you to a man whose career has spanned decades and whose life has touched millions. His name is Clive Davis. He's the founder and former head of Arista Records and has played an important part in the careers of countless musical giants.

Davis' passion for music is matched only by his commitment to helping others. And for this reason, he recently won a Trumpet Award for his humanitarian work.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Then you'd have to imagine a world without Clive Davis.

Davis began his record industry career far removed from Columbia's music division.

CLIVE DAVIS, MUSICIAN: I had no thought when I entered the law area for Columbia Records that it would ever have led to a career in music at all.

Life is about having opportunities presented to you and seizing the opportunity. In this case, I had no idea that music would be the passion of my -- of my life.

UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDENT: Opportunity knocked when Columbia Records signed Aretha Franklin.

DAVIS: They really did not know what to do with Aretha from the point of view of commercial breakthroughs. And there was really no foundation in black music.

UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDENT: Davis produced artists based on talent, not skin color.

DAVIS: I knew that this was, in some cases, the popular music of the day. In my own head, music that would be here forever.

I said, for this coming generation, if there's somebody that combines the stunning beauty and elegance and (UNINTELLIGIBLE) of a Lena Horne with a fiery gospel of Aretha Franklin, it is Whitney Houston.

UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDENT: A creative genius that has spanned generations, Clive Davis again went with his instincts and said: Yes, there was room for yet another kind of music.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Clive Davis, we love you. Thank you for the opportunity.

DAVIS: They represented every format of music in the contemporary world. So that, of course, was the ultimate reward.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BAKHTIAR: And that does it for us here on Newsroom. We'll see you back here tomorrow.

WALCOTT: Bye bye.

BAKHTIAR: Bye.

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