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America Recovers: Can the Fight Against Terrorism be Won?

Aired November 10, 2001 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight: the global war on terrorism. Can it be won? Firsthand insights from leaders who waged the fight and suffered the toll. In Washington, Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern. From New York, Peru's president Alejandro Toledo. Back in D.C., the president of the Republic of Colombia, Dr. Andres Pastrana Arango. Also in D.C., Palestinian Legislative Council leader Hanan Ashrawi. And in New York, Ambassador Alon Pinkas, the Israeli consul general.

And then, he's captured the Afghan soul with his camera. From Bangkok, award-winning photographer Steve McCurry.

And what's being done to save Afghanistan's children? In Los Angeles, Chip Lyons, president of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF.

Plus, kid power. Helping change lives a penny at a time, all next on LARRY KING WEEKEND.

Good evening. A great pleasure to begin tonight's edition of LARRY KING WEEKEND with Bertie Ahern. Bertie Ahern is the prime of Ireland. He comes to us from the ambassador of Ireland's residence in Washington. We thank you very much, Mr. Prime Minister.

Have you had any problems concerning your decision to allow military airplanes to fly out of Shannon?

BERTIE AHERN, IRISH PRIME MINISTER: No, we have not, Larry. We have taken the decision all the way from September 11 that we were going to support the United States' efforts. We had the presidency of the Security Council for the whole month of October. We have supported under Article 51 of the United Nations the United States' right to self-defense, the United States' right to take action against any country where they believed they had intelligence on, and that it's certainly first up was Afghanistan, and we have supported that right throughout.

KING: But you have ruled out direct military involvement, is that correct?

AHERN: Ireland is a neutral country, because we are not part of the neutral -- of the military alliance, but we are not neutral on terrorism. We have participated in a United Nations missions all over the world. At the moment, we've been in half a dozen countries. We're in southern Lebanon for the last 25 years, we're in Ethiopia, Eritrea. So, once it's under the umbrella of the United Nations, we are a part of it.

KING: Are there concerns for your own country by permitting the use of Shannon that Islamic terrorists might take action against an already terrorist-ripped country, your own?

AHERN: Well, no, there's not, Larry. In our view, Ireland has been closely linked to the United States. Millions of our people here moved out after the Irish famine, and they continued to do so in every decade for the last 150 years. Over 40 million people of Irish- American origin in the United States of America, we have no qualms about this. We believe we are used to fighting terrorism. We've fought it for most of our existence in one form or another.

So our support for the United States under the mandate of the United Nations holds no fear for us.

KING: Mr. Prime Minister, does the support in Europe continue strong for the military action in Afghanistan?

AHERN: Yes, it does, Larry. There's been two special meetings of the European Council. There's been a lot of contact with my colleagues. All of them want to see that the fight against terrorism success. Of course equally so we want to see the humanitarian effort move on, and of course, I think the United States in the strong position on that, because United States were the biggest donors toward the humanitarian aid to Afghanistan prior to September 11.

Irish NGOs have worked in Afghanistan for several years, as we have in many parts of the world, and we just hope that the humanitarian effort under consciousness of that policy is maintained. But having spoken at length yesterday to President Bush, I have no doubt that that's his foremost, in his mind as it is in anybody else's.

KING: How do you assess the role of Mr. Blair in all of this?

AHERN: Well, I think he has taken a very strong and formidable line from the start. Tony Blair is a good colleague of mine. He knows plenty about terrorism, too, and he wants to make sure that nobody is ambivalent about it, that we take a strong line against it, because, as I think everybody in the modern world said after September 11, this was a hate against everybody, this was an attack on everybody. It could have been anywhere, it could have been anybody. And of course, unfortunately, the United States got such a ferocious attack on everything that it has fought for, to lose several thousands of people. It's just horrendous.

And I think anyone who is a friend of the United States, anyone who is a friend of democracy, anyone who believes in looking after civilians in any kind of a human way has to stand by the United States in this action. Tony Blair certainly in Europe given a very strong lead in that, which we totally support.

KING: Your country has had such a long, close relationship with the United States. What was it like, what was the mood like in Ireland on September 11? AHERN: Well, I think disbelief at first. As the word came through, I was with Ambassador Richard Hass, who not only has worked in Afghanistan but also was working in Northern Ireland, and Ambassador Dick Egan, who is the new ambassador from the United States to Ireland.

First of all, we thought it was an accident. Then, of course, it turned into the nightmare that we all know it is. Ireland stopped, and I think for a few days, and then we had a national day of mourning, an entire day. We thought it inappropriate just to have a few moments of silence, so, because of our close connection with the United States, we closed down for a full day, for 24 hours.

Everything in Ireland stopped to show our solidarity and respect for the people who lost their lives, including probably something between 1,000 and 1,500 Irish Americans, and particularly those in the fire service and the police service.

KING: I didn't know that. You had an anthrax scare yourself, didn't you? When you were attending the European Union in Brussels, there was powder delivered to your office?

AHERN: We did, that's right, Larry. We've had numerous ones, but the one into my own office -- but you know, I'm afraid that's part of what we've had a lot of over the years. We've had lots of bomb scares and semtex is what a lot of the terrorist groups in Ireland used over the years, and we've been fairly well drilled on that. Anthrax is a new one, which we are not that geared up to, but I think we've learned from the action you've taken in the United States and we are following the same procedures here.

And of course, there's a lot of concern in Ireland about, you know, nuclear attacks as well, particularly (UNINTELLIGIBLE), and that's a big concern for people in Ireland generally, and particularly on the east coast of Ireland.

KING: The northern part of your country has dealt with terrorism for a long, long time. Any advice you can give to people who have to now and other parts of the West live with it?

AHERN: Well, I suppose, Larry, in the more recent stretch of terrorism -- and I don't like to equate one type of terrorism with another, because I suppose they're all different, but at the same time they're all attacking innocent people, so in that regard they're the same -- we've had 30 years of it. Only in recent years that it has stopped. Of course, it does mean that the normal way that you go about life, the normal things that you can do are totally restricted. Security is always foremost in people's minds, because people who go out shopping don't come home, unfortunately, and, you know, we've had people in pubs out for a night's drink and blown apart, and we've had all of those car bombs only a few years ago, which you remember well, Larry.

We've had an enormous amount of people killed, but nothing to the scale. Incidentally, if you take the 30 years of violence in the north, unfortunately in an hour and a half, and you got people lost more in that short period.

KING: In all that time?

AHERN: In all that time. So, just put it in context. In an hour and a half, you lost more than we did in 30 years of conflict.

KING: One other quick thing, the IRA is putting down its arms, are you encouraged now about peace?

AHERN: Yes, Larry, I think we've made enormous strides. The IRA and Sinn Fein and the Unionists and all of the parties are now working together. This week has been a very good week in Ireland. The institutions in Northern Ireland are back up and running totally. They've elected David Trimble as first minister again, and now the institutions are up. And Mark Dorkin (ph) has taken over the position that Seamus Mallin (ph) previously held.

So now we look forward to a period of I think peace and confidence and people want to get won with their lives. And you know, the examples I think what's happened in the United States make people think they want to get on with a more peaceful existence. And I hope they are example, I said this to the president yesterday, Larry, there's a lot of conflicts around the world, but it does show what's happened in Ireland and almost intractable problems can be resolved, and political progress can be made.

I know it's a different context in the fight against terrorism, because you don't know who you're involved with and you don't know what the full extent of what these people are about, but at least in one difficult position in the world we have made major progress, and this week has seen a very good example of how democracy can operate.

KING: Thank you, Mr. Prime Minister. Good seeing you.

AHERN: Thank you very much, Larry. Nice to speak to you.

KING: Prime Minister Bertie Ahern, the prime minister of Ireland. Back with more of LARRY KING WEEKEND after this.


KING: Joining us now on this edition of LARRY KING WEEKEND, the presidents of two countries that have been besieged by terrorism in their history. In New York is President Alejandro Toledo, the president of Peru. He was, by the way, having breakfast with Colin Powell in Lima on September 11. And in Washington is Dr. Andres Pastrana Arango, the president of the Republic of Colombia.

We will start with Dr. Toledo. Since you were with Colin Powell that morning, how did you get the news?

ALEJANDRO TOLEDO, PRESIDENT OF PERU: Well, we began the breakfast around 8:00, 8:10. The secretary of state came to Peru to sign the democratic chart, and we both were informed of the disasters in New York. And then, 15 minutes later, they announced to us that another part of the Twin Tower was (UNINTELLIGIBLE), and in about 25 minutes came on the news about the Pentagon.

This was so disaster and devastating news, but I was very impressed by the combination of emotion and at the same time being so (UNINTELLIGIBLE) and he took the decision to come back to the States. Since then, we have become much closer friends than we were before.

KING: Dr. Arango, and this is for both of you, we'll start with you. Your country has been faced with terrorist revolutionary activities ad infinitum. How do you learn to deal with it daily?

ANDRES PASTRANA ARANGO, PRESIDENT OF COLOMBIA: Thank you, Larry. Pastrana. My second name is Arango, Pastrana Arango.

But OK, we've been in this problem for the last 10 or 12 years. I think, Larry, if there's a country that has the moral authority to talk about terrorism and narco terrorism, it's Colombia. When I was mayor of Bogota in 1988 to 1990, in the last nine months of my mayor's office, I had 130 terrorist acts in Bogota. They killed three presidential candidates. They blew up an airplane on a road between Bogota and Cali. They put car bombs of one ton of dynamite. Even I was kidnapped by the narco traffickers when I was running for mayor of Bogota.

So that's why we are telling the world that the common enemy that we have is narco trafficking. In the case of Colombia, narco trafficking is financing the guerrilla, it's financing the paramilitaries, and now around the world it's financing terrorism. You could see bin Laden, al Qaeda, they have accepted that the largest resources they have inside their own organization comes from heroin, poppy, and the same thing is happening in our country. And that's why I think in the list of terrorist groups that have been released by the United States they should put one more, and I think that's the most important one, that it's narco trafficking that is financing terrorism around the world.

We have problems. We've been dealing with them for the last 12 years with our own security, our families, the people of Colombia permanently, but I think that we have united against this common enemy, and that's why I think we've been able to deal with this problem, and we hope that we can win with the help of the international community.

KING: President Toledo, you've had to deal with Shining Path, right? What is that?

TOLEDO: Well, my friend Andres Pastrana is right, and I join him in his analysis. We have lived for 20 years of terrorism. The Shining Path is a Maoist movement who produced 25,000 lives we lost. It cost us around $30 billion. It touched the fiber of our society, and, you know, I was kidnapped at a Japanese residency, so I lived it closely and personally.

I think that the day that the September 11 took place, we came out, as I saw my friend Andres Pastrana did, we came out strong. I think that there's no place for ambiguity about our position against terrorism. Narco terrorism is the most powerfully dangerous combination. Tomorrow at the U.N. General Assembly, we will put forward what we believe from our perspective needs to be done within the region.

I share my solidarity with the efforts that Colombia is doing. He knows, my friend Pastrana knows that we are supporting fully his effort now, and now that that the terrorism has expanded around the world, we cannot be half-way positioned. No matter what are the costs, we need to go straight forward and we need sort of a world collective effort to fight narco terrorism, because that could undermine any democratic society.

KING: Do you feel, President Pastrana Arango, though, that with so much concentration on Osama bin Laden in the United States, there might be lesser concentration on the war on drugs?

PASTRANA ARANGO: You know, Larry, that was the same question I asked today the attorney general of the United States, because I think that you cannot cease in your fight against the demand in the United States. The drug business I think is the number one or number two business in the world. We are talking about $500 billion that goes to the flow of narco traffickers, and that's why I think that we've been supporting the theory of co-responsibility.

We need the state to fight the demand. In the case of the Europeans, we need them to control the chemicals that are used as precursor chemicals in the elaboration of cocaine or heroin, and that's why we are asking the international community unite efforts going after the money laundering. I think that's something that we should work together with the American banks, with the European banks, because the money definitely, those $500 billion, they're not in Colombia, they're not in Peru or in Bolivia, they are outside of our countries. And if we want to really attack terrorism, we should go after the money that is financing terrorism and violence around the world.

KING: President Toledo, does the freezing of financial networks work?

TOLEDO: Well, you know, laundering narco trafficking money, it's a difficult process, but if we the world, as we talked in APEC in Shanghai, if we really have a common effort in that direction, if we share information, we can stop the connections of the money that is derived from narco trafficking sometimes to be laundered in the banks outside, and a substantial portion of that money goes, obviously, to terrorist activity.

We still have some in Peru. I know that Colombia is experiencing this dramatic impact, but it's not only a concern of Colombia or Peru. It's not only the concern of the United States. I hope that the European countries, I hope that some South American countries and the United States, we can pull effort in that direction. I think it can be established.

Evidence shows that in some cases we were able, the United States and the international community were successful in detecting people who were laundering money that is derived from narco trafficking. KING: Two leaders of two important countries in the world, President Alejandro Toledo, the president of Peru; and Dr. Andres Pastrana Arango, the president of the Republic of Colombia. The U.N. of course, opens Sunday. President Bush addressing them today, and we'll be in New York, by the way, all next week. We thank them both for being with us, and we will discuss the Palestinian/Israeli dispute next. Don't go away.


KING: We are back. On a special, personal note, a rare great musical treat for you at the end of the show tonight, if I do say so myself. We welcome now to LARRY KING WEEKEND, in Washington, Hanan Ashrawi, the Palestinian Legislative Council member; and in New York, Ambassador Alon Pinkas, Israeli consul general in New York.

Is there anything, anything -- we will start with Hanan -- to be optimistic about? Can we -- do you see any light at the end of the tunnel in this Palestinian-Israeli bridge in conflict?

HANAN ASHRAWI, MEMBER, PALESTINIAN LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL: Yes, I do. I think despite the tremendous pain of the moment and the fact that the U.S. is facing a serious situation globally and is attempting to overcome a tragedy by dealing with its causes, it seems to me the fact that the occupation has gone on for too long, that Israel's actions as a country above the law and of course as an occupying country has now come to the forefront in a way that would lead to the solution of the causes of lawlessness and violence and instability.

And in that sense, I think there might be a silver lining that we have to deal with the causes and we have to bring about a just peace, and we cannot allow militarization, power politics to dominate, and we cannot allow the Palestinian cause to continue to be out there as a visible sign of injustice, and therefore exploited by others.

KING: Before I ask the ambassador, would you agree, Hanan, that it's a two-edged sword, that the Palestinians -- peace is a two-way process?

ASHRAWI: Absolutely. And we are committed to peace, and we are willing to begin negotiations unconditionally and immediately with the Israelis, with the Americans, without any preconditions. The problem is, we don't have a genuine partner. We have an occupation that is ongoing. Right now, we hear noises that the Americans are interested and are committed, and therefore it is time to grasp the moment, to move ahead decisively and substantively.

KING: Ambassador Pinkas, do you see anything optimistic?

AMB. ALON PINKAS, ISRAELI CONSUL GENERAL: Oh, I see optimism. What I don't see is any grain of realism in Mrs. Ashrawi. I mean, you listen to this speech that she makes over and over and over again -- I hate to tell you this, Larry, she belongs on the science fiction channel.

Let's start with the basics. The Palestinians have missed every opportunity -- and this is not a cliche -- this is 1947, and '67, and '73, and '82, and '91 and again '93 in Oslo, and again -- I'm sorry, I mean the year 2000 at Camp David. You're talking about a people who are neither a democracy, nor respect human rights, nor respect Israel's right to exist, nor do they exert authority, nor do they express sovereignty. And you listen to Mrs. Ashrawi, and you think you're talking to some Thomas Jefferson who is the founder of the university that she went to.

If you ask me, I think he's ashamed of these speeches that she's making. The offer was there, Larry. Mrs. Ashrawi, the offer was there at Camp David. You refused to take it, you refused to make the decisions. Your leadership never showed up. They never became statesman. There's so much that we can offer. There is so much -- you have to meet us halfway. It's as simple as that. If you do, yes, Larry, I'm optimistic.

KING: Hanan.

ASHRAWI: Well, Larry, I certainly do not want this conversation to degenerate into the personal abuse and the personal insults. I think Israel may be an occupying country, but I don't give Ambassador Pinkas the right to insult me personally or to malign my nation, so I don't want to reduce this conversation to that level.

KING: Well, let's deal with the specifics.

ASHRAWI: Yes, let's deal openly with the subject matter, instead of trying to insult individuals. And I think the subject matter is very clear. I don't want to recreate history, and I don't want the Israelis to try to hijack our narrative and our discourse. It's very clear that the Palestinians have made the commitment to peace. We went to Madrid, we went to Camp David, we signed agreements. Unfortunately, every time an agreement is signed, Israel superimposes its policies of occupation, resorts to military violence, continues this subjugation of a whole nation...

KING: But didn't you...

ASHRAWI: Occupation is the major problem. And Camp David -- and I really need to explain the Camp David myth, because it's about time that they stop fabricating myths that have no relationship to reality whatsoever. One, the fact that in Camp David, the Israelis wanted to maintain settlements, wanted to maintain control over sections of Palestinian territory, to fragment the Palestinian land, and Mr. Pinkas was neither there nor does he know the substance, because it was never written. They wanted to negate the Palestinian refugees' rights, they wanted to maintain illegal control over Jerusalem.

KING: Hold up. Let him respond one by one. Hold it. Hold on.

ASHRAWI: So next, let's address the issues as they are, without trying to create a smoke screen and verbal abuse -- and that to me, the problem is that attacking individuals...


ASHRAWI: ... the real issue.

KING: Ambassador, when Mr. Barak was on this show, he said that he was shocked that they turned down that offer at Camp David. And now, Mrs. Ashrawi was saying that the offer was still to continue settlements, not to pull back from areas that you should pull back from. So who's right?

PINKAS: Well, I suggest that you go to an impartial observer and arbiter of that summit, President Bill Clinton, and you just ask him. But that's not the point.

Let me kind of apologize, Larry. I was not abusing Mrs. Ashrawi. I am abusing, however, the leadership of the Palestinian Authority, which is not an authority, and Mrs. Ashrawi will be the first to admit that human rights, civil rights, women's rights, democracy, transparency, due process in the Palestinian Authority are missing.

Now, why is this relevant? It is relevant to the decision-making process. Mrs. Ashrawi talked about hijacking a narrative. The Palestinians have never come to terms with the idea and the concept of compromise, realism, reason. One hundred percent justice is unattainable. Not for us, not for the Palestinians. This has nothing do with occupation, Larry. We think that occupation is wrong. That is why we seek to end it. That is exactly what we tried to attempt at Camp David.

But someone said, no, I want more, and I want more, and I want more. That's the Palestinian Authority. Now, I'm not here -- I'm not accusing, nor will I be accused of anything. I'm saying something very simple. Rides up to the challenge. Make a decision. Respect Israel's rights, and Israel will respect your rights.

KING: Let's go to two simple -- two simple questions. Hanan, do you believe Israel has a right to exist as a state?

ASHRAWI: Of course, and we recognize that right, and we recognized it in '88 and again in '93. The problem is not that.

KING: Ambassador -- hold it -- ambassador, do you think the Palestinians should have their own state?

PINKAS: Absolutely. We've said that for 35 years.


KING: If one side says Israel has a right to be a state and exist, and the other side says Palestine should be a state, why can't we get together?

PINKAS: Can I answer that, Larry?

ASHRAWI: No, I really need to respond to some of the issues. One...

KING: One at a time, if you can be quick. ASHRAWI: Yes, very quickly. The fact that we are working on an agenda of human rights, of democracy. Our problem is the occupation. Our domestic issues we are dealing with, and he knows more than anybody else that we are working on systems of accountability, democratization, human rights and rule of law. The problem is that the occupation insists on behaving with utter lawlessness, insists on trying to not just fragment our reality but intervene in the very existence of Palestinian reality and fragment our land.

So that's the not the issue. The real issue is that if you want peace, you have to give back that which does not belong to you. The land that Israel has to give back to the Palestinians is 22 percent of historical Palestine, and on that basis, this is a major historical compromise. And it seems to me it's the Israelis who have to recognize that and let go of the Palestinians, because the military occupation now is no longer


PINKAS: .. Ashrawi -- granted.


PINKAS: Mrs. Ashrawi, listen carefully: Until 1967 there was no occupation. Yet you failed to transform yourself into a democracy. Yet the Palestinian people are still the most democratic in the Arab world. So why aren't you coming to terms with Israel? Where were you at Camp David?


KING: Folks, I'm going to settle something. I know we're in the midst of so many subjects to cover. I think we're going to -- I'll work it out with my producers -- to have both of you come on one night, I'll be there with the both of you, we'll all be together and we'll do an hour on this. Let's hope something can come of it.

I thank Hanan Ashrawi and Ambassador Alon Pinkas.

ASHRAWI: Thank you, Larry.

PINKAS: Thank you, Larry.

KING: When we come back: the man who -- thank you both. When we come back: the man who took one of the most famous pictures ever taken. Don't go away.


NARRATOR: His pictures have appeared in more than 25 books. He has worked in and around the Islamic world, and he has a drawer full of awards, including the Robert Capa Gold medal for exceptional courage.

He's made a career of searching for the next image, the better image, the one that breaks our heart or makes us smile. (END VIDEO CLIP)


KING: Joining us now from Bangkok, Thailand, is Steve McCurry, the photographer for "National Geographic" who was chosen Photographer of the Year by the National Press Photographers Association. He took those award-winning photos of Afghan children, including the one that's on the cover of "National Geographic." It's considered one of the most famous pictures ever taken. There it is. Wow.

What took you to Afghanistan, Steve?

STEVE MCCURRY, PHOTOGRAPHER, "NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC": I was working there as a freelance photographer in 1978, and just by chance met a couple refugees that told me, you know, there's this war raging in our country just over the mountain, and they invite me to come over. That was before the Russians invaded. This was just months after the civil war started with the communist government. And subsequently I've been back about 16 times over the last 20 years.

KING: That photo still gets letters. First appeared a long time ago; it's now on the cover of a special edition of "National Geographic" called "The 100 Best Pictures." Tell me about that picture. How you got it, who is she?

MCCURRY: Well, it's an honor to have that picture of the cover, I mean, they -- "National Geographic" has an archive of over a 100 million pictures in their library. And people have been photographed for "National Geographic" for over 100 years, thousands of photographers. So to have that picture represent the photography of "National Geographic" for over a century is such an honor.

I met her in a refugee camp in 1984. I was visiting a school in a kind of a dilapidated tent, and I walked in and I saw this little girl with this kind of beautiful face, but yet had this very kind of haunted expression. And I asked the teacher -- I mean, I knew that this was something really special, something which is so rare to see something that's so captivating.

And the teacher told me that her family had to walk for two weeks from Kunduz Province. Their village has been rocketed by helicopter gunships. They had this grueling two-week, kind of, march through the snow in the middle of winter, and ended up in this camp away from home, probably traumatized, lost many of her family members in this attack. And there she was this -- sort of sitting in this school. And I photographed her there -- I guess by now she's probably 28 years old, and I just hope she's still alive. It's hard to say, you know, conditions there are so difficult. The climate, their diet is very poor. So it's hard to say.

Also, I've looked for her over the years, but that refugee camp that she was in at the time was evacuated and moved to another part of Pakistan. It's also important to mention, I think, that you know, in Afghan culture, once a girl has reached puberty she's no longer supposed to be seen, and is kept separate in society. So even if we found her at this point, I'm not sure that that would be a benefit to her or her family. There could be sort of recriminations, things that are supposed to be sort of kept separate.

KING: Do you like the people of Afghanistan?

MCCURRY: Oh, there's -- you know, there's no better people, there's no more hospitable people than Afghans. I mean, the thing which isn't coming across at this time is how sort of warm -- I mean, these people have a great sense of humor.

I can remember back in the early days, watching them dance around a fire at night singing and clapping and carrying on. They're truly a very simple people, mostly shepherds and farmers, but extremely warm and hospitable. I mean, you go to an Afghan home and they'll just give you whatever they have. They'll kill their last chicken; they'll want you to stay for as long as you want.

Absolutely the warmest -- you know, friendliest people you'd ever want to meet. It's just...

KING: The secret of a...


MCCURRY: ... they've gotten caught up with these people over there, the Taliban, which really don't in any way represent the Afghan people.

KING: Secret of a good picture is let the camera disappear, right?

MCCURRY: Yes, I think it's a couple things. Certainly you need a good composition, but you want the picture to tell a story, to have some emotional content. And I think in that picture, you really have a sense of a story of some indescribable pain and suffering that this young girl had gone through. And I think the whole story of the Afghan people, indeed, is shown in her eyes.

KING: Steve, we're out of time, but I salute you very much. You're a great photographer.

MCCURRY: Thank you Larry, it's a pleasure.

KING: Steve McCurry, the photographer for -- my pleasure -- from "National Geographic." Photographer of the Year from the National Press Photographer's Association.

We'll talk about UNICEF, and then that personal thing I was telling you about. Don't go away.



Halloween is over, but -- a lot of good happened on Halloween, especially for a lot of people who needed it. We'll tell you all about it. We welcome to LARRY KING WEEKEND a whole panel dealing with the United States fund for UNICEF: Chip Lyons joins us here in Los Angeles, he is president of the U.S. fund for UNICEF. And our three young UNICEF gatherers, trick-or-treaters are, left to right: Ayla Borlund, she is 10 years old; Zachary Nimmons is 11 years old; and Kim Lu is 10 years old. All three children trick-or-treated for UNICEF.

How does this work Chip? What is the US Fund for UNICEF?

CHIP LYONS, PRESIDENT, U.S. FUND FOR UNICEF: We generate the money -- we extend UNICEF's reach, I would put it that way. UNICEF is the U.N. children's fund. It's entirely voluntarily funded. So all the things that people want UNICEF to do -- immunize children, put in clear water pumps -- requires voluntarily given resources.

So these guys were part of literally several million kids who went trick-or-treating for UNICEF. And as a result, more kids in and around Afghanistan will get immunizations, they'll get vitamin supplements, they'll get winter coats.

KING: Kids like to trick-or-treat for candy to take home to eat. How do you inspire them to trick-or-treat for something else?

LYONS: Well, actually these guys are kind of like kids we see virtually in every state -- every state across the country. They love the idea of helping other kids. They love the -- it's their first voluntary experience in many cases. It's a little bit of -- it's really their first sort of philanthropy. They get to give to someone else. And it's the first opportunity, really, to get the idea that the world is a huge place and not everyone has the kind of school that they have, they don't have the water that they have. We really don't have to beg; people want to do this.

KING: Do you go over and deliver stuff to Afghanistan -- you go yourself?

LYONS: I was there, actually, just last week, and a part of a supply convoy. UNICEF and MERLIN went in to the border area between Tajikistan and Afghanistan.

KING: We have shots of it there. That's -- you were in that truck, there; that UNICEF truck?

LYONS: Yes, right behind it. Actually, those are my shots. I went in, and during that day -- and this is just one example -- we immunized 346 kids, gave them winter coats, winter hats, measured they're feet for boots. We estimate as many as 100,000 kids, additionally, could die this winter in Afghanistan. That -- those 346 kids just got a much better chance of surviving the winter.

KING: That's amazing. I'm so glad to see that. Let's talk to the kids a little.

Ayla, why did you do this? And by the way, is this -- tell me what this is.

AYLA BORLUND, AGE 10, UNICEF TRICK-OR-TREATER: This is a UNICEF box. And this is what the kids would carry around and -- or we what we, I should say, would carry around and gather money for the kids in Afghanistan.

KING: So you knock on the door, you say trick-or-treat for UNICEF, and the person hopefully puts some money in that box?

BORLUND: Yes, and if they do it goes straight to UNICEF.

KING: Why, Zachary, did you agree to do this?

ZACHARY NIMMONS, AGE 11, UNICEF TRICK-OR-TREATER: The reason I agreed was just it's a good feeling knowing that you helped other kids survive.

KING: Did everybody give you something?

NIMMONS: Some -- most of them.

KING: You mean there's some people who didn't give?


KING: That's surprising. Did they give you candy, at least?


KING: And Kim, why did you do it?

KIM LU, AGE 10, UNICEF TRICK-OR-TREATER: Well, I did it because I love helping people, and it's great because there are many homeless children and adults, and I think that's really sad, so I like to help raise money for them.

KING: How many children around America did this, Chip?

LYONS: We distributed 5 million orange boxes this year. And there are two things that were different this year. This is the 51st year of Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF, but it's the first time we dedicated the resources to a single thing, helping kids in and around Afghanistan. And for every dollar collected, the U.N. Foundation is giving another quarter. So I think we're going break a record this year.

KING: Do you now how much yet?

LYONS: We don't know; it's coming in.

KING: Ayla, what does your father do?

BORLUND: My father -- you mean work?

KING: Yes.

BORLUND: Well, he's a psychic.

KING: Oh, my gosh, really? Does he tell you what's going to happen to you tomorrow?

BORLUND: He doesn't really like to use...

KING: His own family.


KING: Did he agree to do this? Did he say this was a good idea for you to do?


KING: What does your dad do, Zack?

NIMMONS: He does insurance.

KING: Did he like this idea?

NIMMONS: Yes, He's been encouraging.

KING: It's good for you, right. Do you feel better, doing it?


KING: I'll bet you do. And Kim, what does your father do?

LU: My dad is a mail carrier.

KING: Oh boy. Did he agree to you doing it?

LU: Yes, he thought it was a great opportunity to do it.

KING: Do you worry about your father these days?

LU: Yes, sometimes, because it's really dangerous because of what's going on in world and the anthrax and stuff.

KING: Does he carry -- does he wear gloves?

LU: yes.

KING: He does?

LU: Yes.

KING: Does he feel safe?

LU: Yes, he feels really safe, I think.

KING: Do you worry, Ayla, about the world?

BORLUND: Yes, I do worry about the world. I think that if people -- if people can do that to other people, it's just, what kind of a world are we living in?

KING: Do you talk about it at school? BORLUND: Yes, a lot.

KING: Are you frightened for the future?

BORLUND: Sometimes, but others it's just, I think that if we can get enough people being good and not having that bad of a mind and thinking bad thoughts about others, then we can actually have a pretty good world.

KING: You ever wonder, Zack, about evil; why people do bad things?

NIMMONS: Yes. And I also think it's pretty bad that we like, just think because one person does something bad we think the entire group can be bad.

KING: Like blaming all Muslims...


KING: ... because some Muslims did something, right. It was a terrible thing, though, to see, wasn't it?


KING: Talk about it in school a lot?


KING: Kim, what's it been like for you?

LU: Well, it's just I don't get why people can't cooperate and work with each other, because like if one person did it, it doesn't mean everybody was involved in it.

KING: Do you like knowing that you're helping children much less fortunate than you?

LU: Yes. I think it's really great, because we're America and we stand for freedom, and we probably have a lot of money, and these people don't; so I like helping them.

KING: What's the biggest need they have over there?

LYONS: Right now it's really being able -- this is a supply emergency, I guess, is one way of putting it, in the short run. We need to fortify their health; but they need blankets, they need coats, they need boots and hats in the short run. In the longer run, it's going to be more of a, if I an put it this way, a sort of infrastructure -- services emergency. We're going to have to help -- we're going to want to help rebuild Afghanistan. But the first priority is helping people get through this winter.

KING: Do the children know where this is coming from?

LYONS: Among the children I was with, I did talk about the fact that some of the resources are voluntarily given by kids. And I mean it was also a busy day; we were there about four hours, we had 400 kids going through. I hope to go back, actually, in the coming weeks.

KING: Before the winter.


KING: So it's going to be tough there in the winter.

LYONS: It's extremely tough. I mean, in some parts of the country it's still relatively mild. You can get in; there are mountain passes that are already closed because of the snows.

The real obstacle, or the real challenge we face right now is access. The access that we can get to refugees and the internally displaced -- we have supplies positioned all around the country, and virtually every day there are truck convoys going into the country. It's -- everyone should sort of pray for the latest possible arrival of winter.

KING: UNICEF has nothing do with politics, right? It just helps people.

LYONS: It helps kids.

KING: Ayla, what do you want to be when you get a little older and out in the world?

BORLUND: I want to be a lawyer.

KING: Good thinking, Ayla. What do you want to be, Zack?

NIMMONS: I want to work with computers.

KING: You're into that stuff?


KING: You do them now?

NIMMONS: Yes; my mom actually works in a computer lab at...

KING: Oh, she does?


KING: Kim, what do you want to do?

LU: I think I want to be a doctor, because I love helping people.

KING: I salute all of you. Ayla Borlund, Kim Lu and Zachary Nimmons, your parents should be proud of you. And Chip, you do great work.

LYONS: Thanks for having us, Larry. KING: Chip Lyons, Ayla Borlund, Kim Lu, Zachary Nimmons, UNICEF, a great story.

And when we come back, we always close on a high musical note; special one tonight. Don't go away.


KING: When we first started doing these musical pieces, my wife Shawn King sang the National Anthem. We have her return engagement tonight. She's going to sing Charlie Chaplin's "Smile." This is from the album "Light Up the Land." It's a commemorative CANDIOTTI: for the 2002 Winter Games. This number was produced by the famed David Foster.

Here is Shawn King.







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