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Interview With Queen Rania of Jordan

Aired April 16, 2002 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, a queen in the middle of a war zone. An exclusive interview with Queen Rania of Jordan. She's a Palestinian married into royalty on a quest for peace in the Middle East. What's her solution?

But first, perspective on Colin Powell's peace mission from Bob Simon of CBS News. He's in Tel Aviv. And from London, CNN's chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour. All that and more next on LARRY KING LIVE.

We'll spend our opening moments with Bob Simon and Christiane Amanpour. We'll begin with Bob Simon in Tel Aviv. What's your read on this status of this Powell mission now with the Arafat meeting coming, Bob?

BOB SIMON, CBS NEWS: It hasn't been a resounding success, but Harry Houdini couldn't have pulled a rabbit out of this hat. There was no way that Sharon was going to agree to withdraw from the territories, and there was no way that Arafat was going to agree to a cease-fire until he did. So, these two guys are just locked in a fatal embrace and nobody could have pried them apart.

What I find really interesting over the last week is what appears to be some change in the American position. Up until a week ago, President Bush was saying, Israel get out, withdraw now, almost, read my lips. Well, they've gone silent about that. We haven't heard the president call on the Israelis to get out. We haven't heard Powell do it publicly either.

Now, what led to this? Was it they just got tired of knocking on a door that wouldn't open? They knew that Sharon wouldn't be budged, so they stopped trying to budge him? Was it because Israel's friends in Congress began really rallying support and getting word to the White House that they shouldn't push Sharon too heavily, particularly in an election year? Was it a bit of both? Perhaps. But that's been the real shift over the last week.

The other shift has been in Arafat's position. And I think we're going to hear that from Colin Powell tomorrow morning -- I mean, in Sharon's position. I don't think he's going to talk about a cease- fire before he leaves here because there isn't a cease-fire. What he will talk about is this emerging consensus for an international conference.

KING: Christiane, can something, do you think, dramatic happen regarding Mr. Arafat today?

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's hard to tell. The consensus seems to be emerging that he probably is not going to call for a cease-fire or agree to a cease- fire without the kinds of political incentives that we just heard. And perhaps this idea of an international conference would be a device, a mechanism, not the end in itself or the solution in itself, but a device to get a completely failed situation at least back on track, so the two sides are able to talk to each other.

The question, of course, is the modalities of that international peace conference. First of all, it was first floated by Ariel Sharon. And he, as you know, has publicly said that he would not accept Yasser Arafat to participate. We understand that some kind of effort is being made to perhaps exclude Yasser Arafat, but do it at a so-called ministerial level with representatives, senior representatives from the Palestinian side and others from the other sides. But we're not sure at all the details on that, whether that is acceptable to all sides and how that will resolve itself.

But clearly, out of this really dark and black hole, people seem to be hoping that the notion of an international conference could be a first step, a first building block. And then there's an enormous amount of work to be done thereafter.

KING: Would -- Bob, would it be considered a partial success if Mr. Powell would come home announcing that there is an international peace conference, it will take place June such and such and here's who will attend?

SIMON: I don't think there will be a date. I don't think there can be a date. I don't think there can be a final list of participants either. But it will be more than a fig leaf in that this is the only thing there is. It is, as they say, the only game in town. And, as Christiane pointed out, there's an irony here that Sharon floated the idea and he floated it perhaps as a public relations device to some extent.

But now, it seems to be taking on a reality. And Sharon tonight told Israeli television that he would no longer insist on Arafat not being there. So we have an emerging conference with Sharon and Arafat and the Americans and the Europeans and the Arabs. And the irony is that once Sharon is there, if the conference takes place -- and I suspect it will one way or another -- Sharon is going to be the only one in that room who does not agree with the basic tenet that Israel has to evacuate settlements and withdraw to something very close to the '67 lines and agree to the creation of a Palestinian state.

Before Sharon can do that -- and it sound just like more words -- but before Sharon can evacuate settlements, there could be something resembling a civil war in this country. It's nothing that will be taken lightly, particularly now when it is not the result of a peace process, but the result of an armed conflict in which many have lost their lives.

KING: Christiane, is Bob right? Could this get worse? AMANPOUR: Well, it's really hard to see it getting any better any time soon. It is really, as Bob just called it, a fatal embrace that those two leaders are locked in. And I think that one of the things that he just touched on -- I think it's fascinating what Sharon said to Israeli television. I hadn't been aware of that. And if the two of them do sit down at some kind of international conference, in and of itself, that will be significant.

But, I think something that hasn't been explored, and Bob just touched on it, is Sharon has said over and over again, and maybe even the Americans agree as well, that Arafat is not the man who he believes can make peace. But the question is, is Sharon the man who can make peace? People who have spoken to him and certainly asking him to outline his vision of peace know that he is not at all committed, and quite the opposite, to the Oslo peace process, certainly, that he doesn't envision a fully independent Palestinian state, that it's not even a state or a final settlement that would come anytime soon, that so far, what he's outlined is a kind of a non- belligerency ideal, eventually perhaps there being a final settlement, but in terms that are way less than the previous Israeli prime minister already proposed to the Palestinians. And it's hard to see the Palestinian side accepting any less than what they rejected back in 2000 at Camp David.

KING: Bob, what's the scenario, if nothing -- if Powell comes home empty-handed?

SIMON: Well, again, there will be this notion of a conference. It will definitely be his headline at his news conference tomorrow after his last meeting with Arafat.

But the headline really is that if we had to learn once again, Arafat and Sharon are not going to make peace with each other. They can't. They're incapable of it. Whether Israelis and Palestinians were ever capable of making peace with each other is another question all together and may never be answered. It is clear now, it is clear to everyone, I think, that it has to be not only American mediation, but close to an American imposed settlement. The Americans will have to do something very similar to what they did at Dayton, which is where they handed the Serbs and the Bosnians a plan and said, this is it, pretty much. It will have to be something resembling that.

And that will be welcomed certainly by the vast majority of Israelis and I think by the vast majority of Palestinians as well. The Americans will have to say, this is it. We're the superpower. We're doing it because you can't do it by yourselves and we need to end this war for your sake and for our sake, since American interests are so vitally involved here. And I think one of the elements of this will be American forces in this part of the world. We're a long way from there, but I think if it's important to this administration, as it must be, to end this war, we're going to wind up there one way or another, sooner or later.

KING: We have a time limitation tonight. We thank you both very much. We'll be calling on you again. Christiane Amanpour in London, Bob Simon in Tel Aviv. As we go to break, we remind you, Mattie Stepanek tomorrow night. If you haven't seen him or heard him, you've never seen anything like it. That's Mattie Stepanek. It's all I can tell you tomorrow night.

Coming up next, it's Queen Rania of Jordan. Don't go away.


KING: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE.

We welcome to this program Her Majesty Queen Rania of Jordan. Always a great pleasure to see her. She is in, of course, Amman, Jordan, the capital of her country. She lead a march for Palestinian rights last week.

What was that all about, Your Majesty?

QUEEN RANIA, JORDAN: Well, Larry, you know, a few days into this crisis, we began to get reports about the human rights situation in the occupied territories. And I was speaking to many human rights groups and it became very clear that there was clearly a human rights crisis unfolding in the West Bank and, you know, it was a human rights catastrophe, in fact, of huge, horrific proportions. And we really felt that the world needs to know about this. It was an appeal to the international community to try to get Israel to apply the international humanitarian laws and human rights laws.

You know, with so many children and women who have been deprived of the basic necessities, like water, food, medicine, a lot of the people were not able to get to hospitals to get treated. And up until today actually there are a lot of people dying because they can't access hospitals. So it's very important to bring this to light, for people to understand that no matter what the situation is people have a right to certain basic necessities, and these are the laws of war.

And it became obvious that Israel is not really applying these laws of war. And so what we were seeing actually in the West Bank is collective punishment of people. You know, Prime Minister Sharon is after some suspects that he believes are terrorists, but in the process he is terrorizing the lives of many, many people. Hundreds of thousands of people in the West Bank and occupied territories are suffering at the moment.

KING: Your Majesty, would it have been helpful though if you also took a stand against the human rights of the people in Israel who were killed by suicide bombers. They had a right to board the bus, or go to have a pizza.

RANIA: Well, I think Jordan has been very, very clear in this regard. We stand against any aggression committed against any innocent civilians, irrespective of the perpetrator or the victim. We do not approve of any aggression. We made that very clear. King Abdullah also made that very clear on numerous occasions.

We sit firmly with the United States on the aftermath of the September 11 attacks. We condemned those kinds of terrorist acts not only in words but also in actions. Jordan is very heavily and actively engaged in the war against terrorism all over the world. So I think we've made our stance very clear that we are against the killing of any innocent civilian.

But we also have to make sure that we understand why these things are happening. After September 11, actually in the last few weeks, many people have drawn parallels between the U.S. war against terrorism and Israel's war. But I think we need to look further -- although on the surface they might see some similarities but we need to look further, we need to look at the causes and therefore realize that the solutions might be different.

The United States was an innocent victim after September 11. It had never attacked or occupied Afghanistan. So therefore it had no choice but to go after the aggressors.

Whereas, if we look at the situation in Palestine, these are people living under occupation. They have been deprived of their rights, of their freedom, of their land. So therefore the solution is not to use aggression, but rather to go to the political process to open the door for political negotiations. I think that is the way to go.

KING: But there are, are there not, Your Majesty, sad causalities of war? Civilians in Afghanistan have died -- innocent civilians in the United States as retaliation to terrorism. That's the nature of the horror of killing in the first place, isn't it?

RANIA: Absolutely. And if you remember, Larry, when there were accounts of some civilians who were hit in Afghanistan, the whole world turned its attention to them, people investigated the situation. And most importantly the United States upheld in war the same principles of humanitarian assistance and respect for human rights as it does in peace.

What we're seeing here is that many Palestinian people have no access to even their basic rights. They have no access to medical attention. Medicines are not reaching them. They can't venture out of their own homes to buy some food. So this is collective punishment, and it really must be stopped.

KING: Now your petition asked for Kofi Annan to call for an immediate intervention to end the suffering. The intervention how? What do you want the United Nations to do?

RANIA: Well, first of all, I think that Israel should heed President Bush's request to withdraw from the occupied territories. And also, it's very important for Israel to stick to the United Nations resolutions and to allow the United Nations workers to go in there and to do their jobs to have access to the people that need the help the most. You know, we have a situation here where they are denied complete access to the people that need their assistance. And that's making a bad situation even worse. So we need the intervention.

And I really believe that the presence of an international force in the region is very, very important to pull the two parties aside, to enforce peace. Maybe we don't need peacekeepers, but we do need peace enforcers in the region. There's been a blame game going on for far too long and it is time that it stop, and it's time that we have some peace in this area.

KING: Is it difficult, Your Majesty, frankly to be objective since you are a Palestinian? Five million -- half of the Jordan population is Palestinian. Is it hard for you to take an objective view to see, say, the other side's viewpoint?

RANIA: It isn't. And I really always try to do that. This is something I learned from King Hussein. He used to always say, "You have to always put yourself in the other person's shoes, and try to see things from their own point of view." And I do do that, Larry.

But what I have been trying to do very much is to look at reports coming in from international, in fact, Israeli organizations who themselves are deploring the acts of the Israeli army against innocent civilians.

But we do look at the whole picture. We do want peace for both Israeli people and the Palestinians. They both have the right to live in peace and security, and really to secure the future of their children. That is something that we want for both people.

KING: Last night on CNN, the prime minister and the foreign minister, appearing with Wolf Blitzer, and with yours truly, both said that the army will pull out in a matter of days. Are you expecting that to happen as promised?

RANIA: Well, we really do hope so. And that is very, very important. I think these incursions have not achieved anything. Not only are they wrong, but they are also ineffective. They are planting the seeds of hatred and creating a feeling of anger and a need for revenge, which is just not healthy.

Prime Minister Sharon says that these incursions are taking place in order to dismantle the infrastructure of terrorism. I think it's actually that it is dismantling the infrastructure for peace. And that's something that we cannot let happen. We have to let the moderate voices speak. We have to hear those people who are calling for peace.

At the moment, both sides are losing. Nobody's a winner here, except extremists. And what we're seeing actually, in fact, is the majority of moderates, in the middle, being pulled to the side where the extremists are. And that is a very dangerous situation.

KING: Our guest is Her Majesty Queen Rania of Jordan, and she'll be with us for the rest of the program.

By the way, I want to urge you to watch tomorrow night, I urge the queen to watch as well, wherever you are in the world. A young man named Mattie Stepanek, he's 11 years old. He's the victim of a crippling disease of muscular dystrophy. You will not believe what you see. We taped it last week in Washington. It will air tomorrow night. Please tell your friends to watch Mattie Stepanek tomorrow night. It may change the way you think about the world.

We'll be right back with Her Majesty after this.


KING: We're back with Queen Rania of Jordan from Amman.

Your husband, King Abdullah, has diplomatic ties, as we know, to both the Palestinian Authority and to Israel. The other day he told CNN that the conflicting sides have to come together because the alternative is violence on a scale we have never seen before in this part of the world.

Do you fear that bad an occurrence happening?

RANIA: Absolutely, Larry. I think a lot of people have talked about the alternative to peace and now we're getting a little taste of it and we really don't like it and it really shouldn't be the case. We really have to hear the voices of moderation. The people who fight for peace have fought for peace for a long time have been silent.

You know, I think many of us should remember the images of King Hussein just a few years ago. The last few months of his life when he was battling against cancer, when he left the hospital bed in order to witness the signing ceremony between Netanyahu at the time -- Prime Minister Netanyahu and Chairman Arafat, the effects of the chemotherapy clearly visible on him. And I knew at the time that the fight for peace -- his battle for peace, for him was more important than even the battle for his own life.

I remember looking at him and seeing this smile of hope and the look of conviction in his eyes and really wondering what all that aura was about. And I think looking back, it was a time of innocence; a time when we allowed ourselves to dream of a better future, where we held hopes that things could change.

And now that's all gone. People here are so pessimistic. Everyone that comes out to the region keeps saying, "We can't achieve peace. It can't be done." Well, I think that we should defeat the defeatists, and really fight for peace, because the alternative is terrible for everyone. It's just going to make our world a very ugly place and we can't afford for that to happen.

KING: Isn't one of the great dilemma's, Your Majesty -- and you live there, so you would know better than any of us -- why there seems to be always been killings? Hussein in Iraq, I'm told, has killed more Arabs than Israel ever killed. Killing seems a part of the culture of the Middle East.

First, is that true or is it only the extremists affecting everything?

RANIA: Well, I don't think it's true in this case, because clearly the Palestinian people are living under occupation and that is the root cause of the problem. When you deprive people of their right to live in dignity, to hope for a better future, to have control over their lives, when you deprive them of that choice, then you expect them to fight for these rights. And we hope that they can fight through peaceful negotiations, not through conflicts.

And this is what's happening now. We're finding that because, you know, the Israeli side hasn't honored some of its agreements, because there are disagreements between the two sides, they have resorted to violence. And it's wrong and it should stop. We don't want violence for both sides.

We need the voices of moderation. Again, I keep saying that, but we really do because I'm very worried about the kind of language that's being used in our region. We keep hearing accusations and calls for revenge and violence and counterviolence on all sides, and this is creating a generation that knows only violence. We have to give them a better alternative.

KING: But the Palestinians have always been occupied, haven't they? I mean, Egypt occupied them before they've been so-called occupied now. Why wasn't there the anger over that occupation?

RANIA: Well, today, Larry, I don't think I can think of another people who are living under occupation. They are deprived of many of the rights that any normal citizen can expect in this day and age and that's the real cause. The real cause is them not having the right to govern themselves, not having the rights to own their own land, to live in peace and dignity. It's caused a lot of humiliation.

We have to get back on the negotiating table and really try to resolve some of these issues.

And I must say that we need the engagement of the international community because clearly these two sides can't find a solution on their own. There needs to be the full engagement of a third party, preferably the United States because that's viewed as the party that has leverage over Israel and can assure the fairness -- can make sure that both sides are honoring any agreements that are reached between them.

KING: There are heavy pressures we hear on your husband to sever diplomatic ties with Israel -- pressures on him to do that. Is he giving that any thought at all to your knowledge?

RANIA: Well, you know, there always is pressure. There are many people who are feeling very frustrated and disheartened, feeling that these acts of brutal violence that we're witnessing may mean that Israel is not a partner for peace. However, there are many also who really understand the importance and significance of this relationship with Israel; the fact that we are able to also help the Palestinians through this relationship.

We really believe that cutting ties would be the final victory for the anti-peace camp and we urge the Israeli side to really be a partner for peace, to really negotiate, to really recognize the needs and the rights of the Palestinian people.

KING: Are you optimistic about the... RANIA: And I must remind you, Larry, that...

KING: No, go ahead, finish.

RANIA: I just wanted to say that just over two weeks ago at the Arab League summit, the Arabs came up with a very political proposal to Israel where Israel's security would be guaranteed not only by the Palestinians but by all Arab states in return for a return to the 1967 borders, and I feel that that could have been a great starting point. But then the response to that, that was completely ignored. We need to get back to that because it's a very good proposal and could be the light at the end of the tunnel, if you will.

KING: Are you encouraged, Your Majesty, by Colin Powell's involvement?

RANIA: I am, indeed. I think he's trying very hard. He's talking. We're very encouraged that he's talking to all sides in this conflict. He's trying to have an even-handed approach. I think he is very pragmatic and will really try to do the best that he can to secure a peace.

And as I said earlier, you know, they can't do it alone. They need the intervention of another side.

And I think the American leadership is a test here, because being the last remaining super power, its moral authority is at stake here. The whole world is looking to see that America applies the principles of justice and tolerance of human rights to all parts of the world. So I urge the United States to remain fully engaged.

KING: The international peace conference proposed by the secretary to have foreign ministers, does your government support that, and are you going to send your foreign minister?

RANIA: I'm not quite clear about the details of this conference. But we are always supportive of any initiatives that promote peace. So I'm sure that our government will be supportive of that principle, but I don't know further details about it.

KING: We'll be right back with Her Majesty Queen Rania of Jordan. It's always a great pleasure to see her and have her with us.

Don't go away.


KING: We're back with Her Majesty Queen Rania of Jordan.

In an interview before her husband issued a statement condemning terrorism, Mrs. Arafat told a Arab-language magazine that she endorses suicide attacks as a legitimate resistance. Was published Friday in a London-based Saudi-owned weekly. She said that if she had a son there would be no greater honor than sacrificing him to the Palestinian cause. And is that one of the problems you and the moderate end face, statements like that? RANIA: I can't speak for Mrs. Arafat, but as I said, Jordan has stood very firmly and very clearly against the targeting of any innocent civilians. We understand the need for the Palestinian people to fight for their freedom, but this has to be a legitimate fight.

And, you know, as I said, a mother is a mother. We are all mothers. We know how we feel toward our children. We know how difficult it is when even one of our children is ill. So you have to think what a mother must be going through when she loses a child.

And I just want to also remind you, I saw a few days ago on one of the channels, a mother of a suicide bomber who was saying that had she known what her son was going to do, she would have prevented him from doing it. And she said that she felt with every Israeli mother who has lost a child. So these are the voices of tolerance that we want to be listening to right now.

I also heard on the Israeli side, a bystander after one of the attacks on one of the buses, who was saying that if he was a Palestinian he'd understand how they could become suicide bombers living under such terrible conditions.

So those people who are willing to put each other -- to stand in each other shoes and see things from the other side, those are the kind of people who have the overall picture and who will really achieve a lot in order to progress the situation on the ground.

KING: But will you agree that statements like that don't help; when Mrs. Arafat or whoever makes a statement like that, doesn't help your cause?

RANIA: Absolutely. I'm telling you that we've been hearing so much violence, language of aggression and violence. And as I said, the extremists are speaking the loudest at this time. And that is not the best situation. We need to be hearing the other side, as well. The peace camp, which has been silenced for the past two years, where are they?

Actually, over the last few days I've received over my web site many, many comments from Israelis, Palestinians, from people all over the world who are talking about this, who are saying that we need to get back, we need to make our voices heard. We need to show the alternative to violence. We do not accept to live under these conditions.

KING: About Chairman Arafat, your husband said that he is an all-time hero in the Middle East, stronger position than any other leader at the moment because of the popularity he has with his own people. Do you know Chairman Arafat? And do you share your husband's views?

RANIA: I've met Chairman Arafat on several occasions. And the fact is on the ground that he is very, very popular right now. And although the Israeli side is saying that he's irrelevant, I think that he is relevant simply because his people say he is. He was chosen by his people. And these are the people that they want to -- he's the person that they want to represent them. So that makes him relevant. And he has been a partner in the peace process for the past 11 years. So I don't think we can completely undermine him and say that he's irrelevant. He is a player.

And I hope that with this peace conference, that you mentioned, that he will attend, because it won't be an objective conference if both sides aren't there to state their case.

KING: And Jordan is also denying an Arab-media report that the Israeli government prevented Jordan's foreign minister from visiting Arafat. Your government says a meeting is expected in the next few days. Do you know if that's going to happen?

RANIA: I'm not quite aware of the details. But I think that our foreign minister most probably will be seeing Chairman Arafat in the next period, at least.

KING: Also, your nation has helicopter...

RANIA: Jordan has always been a...

KING: I'm sorry. Go ahead and finish.

RANIA: Jordan has always been a country that's very committed to peace. It's been a voice of moderation in this region, and will continue to be that. We really hope that we can do whatever we can to bring some more stability to this region.

KING: And you've helicoptered food and medical supplies into Mr. Arafat, as well, just yesterday.

RANIA: Yes, indeed we have. Because, as I mentioned earlier, this situation is really horrific. I mean, I'm hearing until today, for example, I think yesterday they allowed for some United Nations workers to go in to clear out some of the bodies. However, they weren't even allowed to unload some of the medical supplies from their trucks. And I've just been hearing from people that I know that relatives have been dying, just because they couldn't reach the hospital. So we really have to focus on this humanitarian catastrophe that's taking place before our eyes in the 21st century.

The fact that the reporters can't have access, I don't think that's excusable. We need to know the truth. I think in this day and age, a time of transparency, of instant communications, the fact we don't know, that, kind of, scares me not to be able to know what's going on. It makes me wonder, what are we trying to hide here? We need to get to the facts on the ground. We need to help the people that need to be helped.

KING: Do you think it's a question, Your Majesty, that there are elements that, on both sides, frankly, that don't want peace?

RANIA: Absolutely, Larry. I mean, there are people on both sides, the extremists, who do not want peace. They can't find it in their hearts to fight for peace. But let's look at the majority of people who want to get on with their lives, who want to secure a better future for their children, those are the people who are stakeholders in the peace process.

I think what we need to do is articulate a vision for peace, along with a time frame, and that will be the goal at the end of the tunnel. And this idea of peace has to be sold to the people, because at the end of the day it is a peace between the people and not between the leaders. So once the people know what it is that they're working for, once they have a clear objective to work toward, then they will hold their leaders accountable for that and they will judge them according to whether they can deliver this vision of peace or not.

KING: We'll be right back with more of Her Majesty Queen Rania of Jordan.

Don't forget tomorrow night, Mattie Stepanek, a special show you will not forget. Don't go away.


KING: We're back with the queen of Jordan, Her Majesty Queen Rania, in Amman.

A humanitarian concern for the Palestinians exists, as a U.S. food and agriculture organization says that the blockade of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip has paralyzed the Palestinian economy, and hunger and malnutrition are on the rise. How bad is it?

RANIA: By all accounts, Larry, it's really bad. The Palestinian infrastructure has been devastated. There's been destruction of homes, of schools, of hospitals. As I said, medical supplies are not coming in. People are not venturing out of their homes, to go and buy some food. For example, a mother who had just stuck her head out the window to call her children in for dinner was shot by a sniper.

So, as I said, the humanitarian situation is very bad. And as I mentioned earlier, this is collective punishment.

In Jenin, for example, this is a town of 14,000 people. The Israelis were after about 100 suspects that we heard might have been killed. But in the process, 13,900 people's lives were terrorized. So, is that right? Is that fair? Do we fight terrorism by terrorizing the lives of hundreds of thousands of people?

KING: And, of course, on the other side they will say people in Jerusalem are afraid to go out of their homes, afraid to get on a bus, streets are empty, because they're living in fear that some whacko is going to blow him- or herself up and take them with them. So it works both ways sometimes, the dilemma that you face.

RANIA: So, let's look at the real cause here. I think the real cause is helplessness. At the Palestinian side, the people feel that they have no control over their lives, they have nothing to look forward to, they can't secure a future for their children, and the feel they have nothing to lose. The peace process is not going anywhere, so therefore, they go and bomb themselves.

On the Israeli side, they feel helpless against these human bombs that they can't control. They don't know when they're going to blow up. And, as a result, because of this helplessness, they go and carry out those incursions. These incursions create hatred, they create anger and a feeling of revenge, and therefore more suicide bombs.

And this is what we're saying, is that these incursions, not only are they wrong, but they're also ineffective. That is not the way to go. The way is to open the door for peace negotiations.

KING: As you mentioned earlier, you are a mother. Do you fear for your own children's future in light of everything going on in your region?

RANIA: Well, thank God, Larry, Jordan is a very stable country. You know, we're quite safe here.

But recently -- I mean, I work on a project for the prevention of child abuse, and we just met this morning with the board members, and we were talking about the traumatic effects that the images that have been shown on television are having on our children here in Jordan. People are beginning to be very affected by the images that they've seen.

And I can only imagine what kind of effect this is having on the Palestinian children. They must be so traumatized. And we've heard from many psychologists who are saying that there are so many symptoms of the effects that this is having on the children. A lot of children are not able to go to bed on their own, they have to be with their parents and many more other, more serious symptoms are being seen.

So we have to be very careful of the kind of effects that this is having on our children. And, frankly, our children deserve better than this.

KING: Do you have any reason at all to be optimistic?

RANIA: I absolutely do. I think giving up is irresponsible. We have to have hope. Hopelessness is what brought us into this situation in the first place. We have to fight for peace. We must not listen to the people who say it can't be done. It can be done because it has to be done. The alternative is too awful for the rest of the world and for the people of this region.

KING: Do you enjoy being queen? What's it like?

RANIA: Well, there's some good parts and some difficult parts. I think the last couple of weeks have been very, very tough. It's been so sad to see what's going on in the region, to see the efforts of people that I admire so much, like my father-in-law, the efforts, the things that he believed in being squandered like that, and to see people living under such harsh conditions. It's been very, very sad, and I really hope that we can find a way out of this mess.

KING: I thank you very much, Your Majesty. It's always a pleasure having you join us. We've covered a lot of bases, and we really appreciate it. Look forward to seeing you in person.

RANIA: Thank you very much, Larry. Thank you.

KING: Her Majesty Queen Rania of Jordan.

Before we say good night, a reminder. Please watch tomorrow night and tell your friends to watch when Mattie Stepanek is our special guest. Let me just tell you, you have never met a young man quite like him. You will be moved. You will tell your friends about it. Mattie Stepanek tomorrow night.


KING: Actor Robert Urich died today of cancer. He was only 55. Urich was best known for playing TV tough guys on shows like "Spenser For Hire" and "Vega$." But his finest legacy is the courage he showed in his fight against a terrible disease. This Saturday, we're going to present an entire program, a tribute to Robert Urich.

We leave you now with an excerpt from an interview he did with us in 1996, shortly after announcing that he had cancer. Thanks for watching. Good night.


OK. So, you're feeling fine. They tell you your diagnosis is OK. A lot of people have this. Then what?

ROBERT URICH, ACTOR: So, I go off and have a nice summer vacation. And they said, if it gets uncomfortable, then we should take it out. So three weeks before I need to go to work, I thought -- I told my wife, you know, maybe I should just do this. It doesn't belong in your body anyway.

So, I called my doctor in Los Angeles. And he said, yes, we know it's no trouble. So, come on, let's do it. So I flew to Los Angeles and they removed it. And he came back into my room the next morning and he said, we're going to have the pathologist look at it, but there's something not quite right about it. And they came back in and they went, oops, we have had an oops. The first diagnosis wasn't right and this is a strange...

KING: How do they tell that to you?

URICH: He said it looked like it was a cancer, and we're going to verify this. Meanwhile, I'm staying at the Bel Air Hotel, and I don't live in Los Angeles. I'm just staying here.

KING: Where do you live?

URICH: My home was in Deer Valley, Utah. I've taken a home here while we're doing the cure.

KING: So, you're in the hotel and...

URICH: And I get this call. He said, we've called Juan Rosai (ph) who literally wrote the book on this kind of cancer at Sloan- Kettering. And he concurs that this is a cancer that we need to address right away.

KING: What kind of cancer? It is rare. Where is it? What does it do?

URICH: It's a cancer of the joint, of the tissues in the joint, of ligaments and that kind of tissue. And it can mastisize (ph) and it can move to the lungs and other parts of the body.

KING: Right now, it is just in your groin?

URICH: It's just in the groin. We did a complete MRI, which was really a trip.

KING: You lie down and...

URICH: Yes. It is a magnetic resonance imaging. So I go in there and they say, Bob, you have to fill out this whole questionnaire. And I didn't have my glasses, so I said, can you just read these to me? He said, OK, do you have a pacemaker? And I said no. Because of the metal in the pacemaker -- do have you any kind of metal implant, medical implant. I said no.

Any bridges in your mouth? No. Do you have a penile implant? I said, excuse me. He said, well, it's a -- I said, I know what it is. No. Can we go on to the next question? He said, what about tattoo eyeliner? I said, what? He said, well, some people have tattoo eyeliner, they can make your eyes kind of water and get red and irritate the eyes. I said, maybe you should ask the fellow with the penile implant. No. Can we just do this test already?

KING: That's scary. It isn't painful, but it is scary.

URICH: No. But it's in there and it's noisy. And they're taking these minute pictures of your body. And they found nothing else. It was just located in the one spot.

KING: What was it like the moment the guy said oops? We all fear it. Was it is like? Everybody has to think about it.

URICH: In a strange kind of way, it was sort of a self- fulfilling prophecy. I've never told anyone this, but I thought about it months before. I was walking late at night after I was filming with my wife. And we were talking about our future and what we were -- where we were going to live and maybe retirement, and why did I have to work so hard.

And I realized that it was of my own doing, that I had created a lifestyle that was predicated on me working all the time. And I thought what happens if something goes wrong? What if I have a heart attack? That's what I was thinking mostly. My father died of a heart attack. My mother has had a triple bypass, and my older brother has had some problems with his heart. And I thought what if something happens to me, in this huge corporation that is known as Robert Urich Inc. is dependent upon me working all the time. So, we were talking about scaling down. We, at that point, put our house on the market, our big home in Utah. And I was thinking that I wanted to scale everything down. And then, lo and behold, this happens.

KING: So when you were thinking of scaling and having heart problems, you were thinking of death?

URICH: Well, I was thinking about my mortality and I was thinking of not wanting to -- I mean, I wanted to give hundreds and hundreds of hours, maybe thousands of hours that I've spent in, you know, dressing rooms and motor homes, and how many hours of makeup and touchup and wardrobing and all that. And it's just been -- it's gone on for 25 years now.

KING: Did you ever -- did you get scared, for want of a better term?

URICH: Well, because they had given me such a positive prognosis that it was going to be all right. But as -- now, I'm in halfway through the treatment, and your hair falls out and you feel punk from the chemo treatment. And I'm in the radiation and that plays havoc on your reproductive -- your system and your bowels and you start to feel a little bit like a patient and a victim. And I promised myself I wasn't going to allow that to happen. And so, you start -- late at night when it's dark and everyone is asleep and I'm not sleeping, and I get up and I walk through the house, yes, it is easy to be a little bit afraid of it.

KING: You had chemotherapy today, right?

URICH: I finished the third course on Tuesday. So, it has been 48 hours since I've had this stuff pumping through my veins.

KING: What do they do? What happens? You went to the hospital today. What did he do?

URICH: Well, today, I went in and I had a radiation treatment, which is like a big x-ray. But instead of having when you have an x- ray of a tooth or your chest, it's -- they count the RADS in thousands of units. But in this kind of treatment, it's in tens of millions.


They have it isolated in this little spot in a big lead kind of template that keeps it from going through the rest of your body. And it's painless and it's not too bad.

And then I had a shot to bring my white-cell count up. When you're taking the chemo, you go in in the morning for four hours. And I go in early. I wanted to cure it first. So, I'm in there at 5:45 a.m. and they pump in this stuff in your veins. I have a port in my chest.

KING: It goes right in? URICH: And it goes right into my chest. And they put in potassium and they send in bicarbonate soda and anti-nausea medicine. Then after that, I'm ready to go on the chemo. It is a little pump that looks like a Walkman. And they put it this chemical in there and then they take the tube and they plug it in and you walk away. I mean, that's how people live with cancer.




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