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CNN INSIDE POLITICS

President Bush Prepares for Emergency Summit on Iraq

Aired March 14, 2003 - 16:00   ET

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

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
ANNOUNCER: A Middle East scramble. President Bush prepares for an emergency summit on Iraq, while offering a carrot to Arab nations.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: America's committed, and I am personally committed to implementing our road map toward peace.

ANNOUNCER: The Jewish community and moves toward war. The backlash against attempts to blame one for the other.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're anti-Semitic and they're wrong.

Going in circles, are news organizations covering anti-war protests well, too often, or not enough?

Beyond the diplomatic dancing. A Friday reminder that the show must go on.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

Live from Washington, this is INSIDE POLITICS with Judy Woodruff.

JUDY WOODRUFF, HOST: Thank you for joining us.

After weeks of U.N. wrangling over war with Iraq, the Bush administration says the moment of truth is coming. But first, President Bush will take another shot at diplomacy. In this "NewsCycle," Mr. Bush plans to attend an emergency summit on Sunday to see if a U.N. resolution on disarming Iraq can be salvaged, despite stiff resistance in the Security Council. He will meet with his leading allies in the showdown with Iraq, Britain's Tony Blair and Spain's Jose Maria Aznar. They'll be joined by the prime minister of Portugal, who will host that summit on the Azores Island, a Portugese territory in the Atlantic.

Earlier today, Mr. Bush offered an apparent incentive for some U.N. member nations to rethink their positions. He promised to unveil a road map for creating a Palestinian state by 2005. He wants a new Palestinian prime minister is confirmed. That could happen by the end of next week. British Prime Minister Blair also urged Israelis and Palestinians to pursue peace, and he seemed to acknowledge a connection between the road map and the past war in Iraq.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TONY BLAIR, PRIME MINISTER OF BRITAIN: The most important thing that we can do is to show even-handedness toward the Middle East. We're right to focus on Saddam Hussein and his weapons of mass destruction. But we must put equal focus on the plight of the people whose lives are being devastated by lack of progress in the Middle East peace process.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOODRUFF: Later this hour, Britain, the U.S. and the three other permanent members of the U.N. Security Council are scheduled to hold more closed door talks on Iraq. Let's get more on the latest diplomatic moves from our White House correspondent Dana Bash. Dana, the summit on Sunday, is the administration viewing this as a serious attempt to get a breakthrough, or is it more of a gesture that they acknowledge on the inside is unlikely to get anywhere?

DANA BASH, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's interesting to note, Judy, that this summit is among the already committed. The president is going to meet with his key allies, the members, the leaders of the nations who are cosponsors of his resolution at the United nations.

So, what they are saying at the White House here is that what this is a last-ditch attempt to talk to, have face-to-face talks with those key allies to figure out if, as in terms of all of their discussions that the leaders, including President Bush and others around that are going to be attending this summit, have had with the swing nations at the Security Council. They have been doing a lot of diplomatic dialing over the week. So now they feel it's important to come meet face-to-face, take stock of what they have heard from those swing nations, and figure out if there is any chance at getting a resolution, a compromise that could pass the United Nations.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CONDOLEEZZA RICE, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: Face-to-face is sometimes the best way to do diplomacy. and the three believe that it was time to get together. And they're very grateful that they're going to go hosted by the Portuguese. This is an opportunity to assess where we are. It is an opportunity to think about the ways in which the United Nations security process can come to a conclusion, because it is time to bring it to a conclusion.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BASH: Now, the White House is making it clear, however, that if they can't get some sort of breakthrough as this Sunday at that one- day summit, that the president does feel, has always felt, that he has all the authority he needs to go ahead and use military action against Iraq. They're making it clear here that a big part of the reason for this summit and for this continued attempt to get some kind of resolution at the United nations is because the president's key allies, especially Tony Blair, wants that to happen. It's not necessarily something the president feels he needs -- Judy. WOODRUFF: Dana, also today, of course, the president came out and talked about the importance of a road map for peace in the Middle East. Now, he didn't make a direct link with Iraq, but Tony Blair did separately and suggested there was a connection. We just heard a soundbyte from him. What are they saying privately inside the White House about this?

BASH: Well, it's interesting to hear Tony Blair overtly make that connection, because here at the White House, the official line is that there isn't a link. As a matter of fact, I talked to one official who said, even if Iraq wasn't on the map, the president would have made his announcement today, because they felt the timing was right. The link, they say, is to the appointment of a Palestinian prime minister.

That, they are saying, is hope that perhaps Yasser Arafat will be gone as the official head of the Palestinian people. And that they will have somebody that they can actually deal with, they foal towards working towards peace.

But having said that, there is no question that there has been intense criticism of this administration from key European allies, especially those that -- even those that they are trying to influence at the U.N. with regards to Iraq. They have said that the administration has been too focused on Iraq, and that they needed to focus more sincerely on the big issue of the Mideast peace.

WOODRUFF: Dana Bash at the White House, thanks very much.

Well, continuing in that line of thinking, the president is emphasizing the push for a Palestinian state at a time when some have questioned whether the showdown with Iraq is being driven by influential and pro-Israeli American Jews.

Today, a Virginia Congressman who made charges along those lines announced that he is paying a political price. Democrat Jim Moran said that he stepped down from his elected leadership post, regional whip, to show that he accepts responsibility for what he calls his, quote, "insensitive remarks." Our senior political correspondent Candy Crowley has more on war and the Jewish community.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the din of arguments about war with Iraq, you may not have noticed the silence of American Jewish organizations.

J.J. GOLDBERG, EDITOR "THE FORWARD": The community as an organizational phenomenon, the organization's B'nai B'rth, -- Anti- Defamation League, they've kept out of it on purpose so that nobody could accuse the Jewish community of driving the country into war.

CROWLEY: It hasn't worked. Suggestions that powerful Jewish interests are driving the Bush administration into war are so previous prevalent the country's top diplomat had to explain how policy is not made. COLIN POWELL, SECRETARY OF STATE: It is not driven by any small cabal that is buried away somewhere that is telling President Bush, or me or Vice President Cheney, or Condi Rice or other members of our administration what our policies should be.

CROWLEY: Perhaps it's anti-Semitism, or maybe conspiracy theories thrive because people are confused about the reason for war. Whatever it is, the notion of a Jewish conspiracy peppers the Internet, unfettered by facts, unbounded by cyberspace. The issue recently made mainstream headlines when Democratic Congressman Jim Moran told an anti-war meeting, "If it were not for the strong support of the Jewish community for this war with Iraq, we would not be doing this. The leaders of the Jewish community are influential enough, they could change the direction of where this is going, and I think they should."

Some saw a nasty flash of history, a furor erupted. Moran apologized. Some Democratic members of Congress asked Moran not to run for reelection, and the Republican Party's only Jewish Congressman asked for more.

REP. ERIC CANTOR (R), VIRGINIA: I think his comments were outrageous, and offensive and unacceptable. I think that the Democratic leadership ought to reexamine his position in the caucus. And they really ought to reassign him to positions where his influence can be diminished.

CROWLEY: There are, in fact, prominent Jewish Americans in the Bush administration and the president has, in fact, linked war with Iraq to greater security for Israel.

BUSH: Success in Iraq could also begin a new stage for Middle Eastern peace, and set in motion progress towards a truly Democratic Palestinian state.

CROWLEY: President Bush has been strongly pro-Israel, but some point out to believe a Jewish conspiracy is plotting war for Israel's sake is to misunderstand the view from Israel.

GOLDBERG: There's a large consensus in the defense establishment there that Iran and Iraq neutralize each other and make the Middle East safer for Israel, so that the notion of going to war and eliminating Iraq as a strategic force terrifies a lot of Israelis who see Iran then unobstructed.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CROWLEY: The notion also flies in the face of domestic politics. The American-Jewish vote is heavily Democratic. One Jewish source laughed and said, you could more easily make a case for a conservative Christian conspiracy. They are both pro war and pro Bush -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: OK, thank you very much.

The Bush administration is considering a plan of action in case Saddam Hussein orders an attack in the hours after a U.S. ultimatum, but before the actual launch of a war. With American forces deployed in Kuwait, Iraq recently has been moving its troops south toward the Kuwaiti border. Sources tell CNN's Barbara Starr that the Bush administration is considering a preemptive strike in southern Iraq if it believes Saddam Hussein would try to attack first. No further details were given.

Meantime, in Iraq, U.N. inspectors say Baghdad destroyed four more of its banned al-Samoud 2 missiles, bringing the total number scrapped now to 65.

Is there any hope for a new U.N. resolution on Iraq? And will the president's new Middle East peace initiative make any difference? We'll ask former U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Richard Holbrooke.

Also ahead, demonstrators rally behind the president and the troops. Are news organizations covering them or are anti-war protests getting all the attention?

WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: I'm Bill Schneider in Washington. Take your seats and dim the lights. I'll soon raise the curtain on the political play of the week.

WOODRUFF: Also ahead, what is the politically correct tie for a certain presidential candidate? This is INSIDE POLITICS, the place for campaign news.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: We have pictures just in from Houston, Texas. A video of a man who was working at a construction site, but fell from a storage tank into the mud. The man was trapped in a mud pit. There were, at one point, up to 35 firefighters working to get the man out. As you see, they have just, in the last few minutes, pulled him out of the mud. This is a scene in south Houston. They had to use ladders, ropes and a life preserver to get the man out. Again, these pictures to CNN just minutes ago from Houston.

The Bush tax cut plan faces more opposition in Congress. Coming up, we will go live to Capitol Hill for the latest.

And later, the Senate majority leader plays a unique role in the war on terror. INSIDE POLITICS back in 90 seconds.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: On a busy day of major diplomatic announcements concerning both the Middle East peace process and the standoff with Iraq, I'm joined from New York with the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Richard Holbrooke. Mr. Ambassador, it was just three weeks ago that you wrote in an op-ed piece in the "Washington Post" that, in effect, by seeking a second resolution at the U.N., the Bush administration was heading for what you call a "virtual train wreck." Is that what's happened here?

RICHARD HOLBROOKE, FMR. U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: I think so, Judy. I say it with great regret. 1441, the first resolution, was a diplomatic masterpiece and full credit to President Bush and Secretary Powell. But it did not require a second resolution. Tony Blair asked for that second resolution. It was a mistake to ask for it.

Now the United States and Great Britain face three possibilities. None of them are very good.

First, the resolution gets vetoed by the French and Russians, and we go to war over that veto. That would be a disaster.

Secondly, get passed a very weak resolution after further delay, which isn't worth much and exaggerates and advertises the weaknesses. And third, we pull this resolution off the table and say we never needed it to begin with. In a very bad situation with transatlantic strains that are very high level, I hope that the third course, pulling that resolution off the table, is the one that will be followed.

WOODRUFF: Yet, the secretary general of the United Nations has said if the U.N. leads an attack on Iraq without U.N. backing, that it would be a violation of the U.N. charter?

HOLBROOKE: I don't think he quite went that far, but I think that the secretary general overstated the case. He, himself, knows, because he was involved in this, that in Kosovo and Bosnia, we went forward without any Security Council resolutions. But, of course, we had NATO support, which won't be existing in this case; 1441, and the preceding resolutions, particularly 687 from 1991, which is referenced in 1441, makes it clear that the Iraqis are in violation and action against them is legitimate. And 2e shouldn't be in this mess now. The world should not be focused on terrible internal arguments among the U.S., and some of its oldest and closest allies, plus Russia and China. It should be focused on the fact that Saddam is an international outlaw who is violating the U.N. It's a real train wreck.

WOODRUFF: So, now you have the president today talking about the Middle East, pushing the idea of a roadmap to achieve an even-handed peace in the Middle East. Is this going to make any difference in what happens in Iraq?

HOLBROOKE: None whatsoever. This is an attempt, a belated attempt to get the administration reengaged in an area that IT has been much to disengaged in. It's an attempt to respond to very deep- seated European and Arab feelings that we haven't done enough in the area. It's not going to make any difference in terms of Iraq.

WOODRUFF: Let me quickly cite for you something the president said in a speech recently. He talked about a liberated Iraq showing the power of freedom to transform the Middle East by bringing hope and progress. In other words, the domino theory, that going into Iraq will lead to democracy throughout the region. We now know, though, that a state department report that came out virtually at the same time concluded that overthrowing Saddam Hussein is likely to have little effect on spreading democracy in the region. Who is right?

HOLBROOKE: It depends, first of all, on what kind of war it is. If it's quick and clean, if the Iraqi military get rid of Saddam then you have a better chance. If the U.S. and its allies have to fight their way into Baghdad and there's a lot of destruction and a lot of casualties, it will be a different situation. But either way, we have to remember that Iraq is a country invented by Winston Churchill and his colonial colleagues in 1922. It has never had democracy. It's only had coercive force holding it together and is composed of three completely different ethnic or religious groups -- Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis. And it really is in a sense a Middle Eastern Yugoslavia.

WOODRUFF: How important is it, after a war, assuming there is one, that the U.S. get back on decent terms with its allies in Europe?

HOLBROOKE: Judy, it's absolutely imperative. You know, French bashing and Euro trashing may be fun. It may be good fun for Jay Leno and David Letterman. It may be fun for the House of Representatives to change french fries into freedom fries on its official menu. But the truth is that the transatlantic relationships are still extraordinarily important. France and the United States, Germany and the United States, and for that matter South Korea and the United States are important allies and we have got to rebuild these relationships.

We're having a very serious quarrel, but we're still part of the same family and divorce is unthinkable. And I disagree strongly with those people in Washington and elsewhere who argue that, "the U.S. and Europe now live on different planets," a direct quote from a recent article, and that we've completely different world views. It's just not so.

WOODRUFF: Having said all that and standing back a bit, has the Bush administration simply bungled the diplomacy here in the last few months?

HOLBROOKE: Well, you know, the high point was Secretary Powell's February 5 Adlai Stevenson moment, which turned out not to be an Adlai Stevenson moment. Everyone thought the United States had the momentum. It's been downhill ever since. We need to ask ourselves how a legitimate effort against an international tyrant who defied the Security Council turned into the United States and Great Britain getting isolated, Tony Blair teetering in a fight to retain power as he's facing internal opposition.

It is not our finest diplomatic hour. But what makes it particularly troubling to me, Judy, is that the goal of the administration remains correct. Which makes what's happened in the last five weeks all the more extraordinary. We can blame the French and the Germans all we want, but we're responsible for diplomatic and international leadership and this just isn't it. I hope the war itself will be quick and decisive so that this can be put behind us.

WOODRUFF: We're going to leave it there. Former U.N. Ambassador, Richard Holbrooke, thanks very much.

HOLBROOKE: Thanks, Judy.

WOODRUFF: Good to see you. We appreciate it. Well, we told you yesterday, changing subjects here, about a letter signed by moderate senators vowing to block any tax cut package larger than $350 billion. Well, today, there's a similar move underway by moderate House Republicans. Our Congressional correspondent Jonathan Karl is with he for an update. Jonathan, what's going on?

JONATHAN KARL, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, this looks like another major blow to the president's plan to cut taxes. This coming from the usually tax-cut friendly House of Representatives. The revolt of the moderates comes in a form of a letter signed by 11 moderate Republicans, objecting not only to the size of the tax cut, but also to the deep spending cuts proposed by House Republicans to get the budget back in line.

Their letter reads, in part, "We cannot support a budget resolution that reflects funding levels below the Bush administration's request. And it fails to meet the needs of our domestic priorities while reducing taxes by nearly $1.4 trillion. We must pursue a budget policy that fairly limits both spending and tax reductions to those who are absolutely need at this time."

Now, with a mere 12 vote Republican majority in the House, 11 moderates signing this letter and several other Republicans already critical of this, this makes it look like it would be very difficult for the president to get his tax cut, or at least the Republican budget, as it now stands, through the House of Representatives. Judy, a significant blow when you consider the fact that they already have even bigger problems here on the Senate side of the Capitol.

WOODRUFF: Tough few days for the Bush White House.

KARL: Yes.

WOODRUFF: OK. Jon Karl, thanks very much.

Coming up, the race for the White House. Who is in the early lead in two key states? We'll look at the new polls.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: Checking the headlines in "Campaign News Daily," two new polls measure early support for the Democratic hopefuls in Iowa and New Hampshire. Among Iowa Democrats, research 2000 poll finds Dick Gephardt the current favorite at 22 percent. John Kerry is close behind, followed by Joe Lieberman. John Edwards, Howard Dean and Al Sharpton are in single digits. Bob Graham and Wesley Clark, who is not an announced candidate, along with Carol Moseley Braun and Dennis Kucinich, got less than 1 percent.

In the Granite State, New Englander John Kerry leads with 38 percent. Joe Lieberman is second, followed by Vermont's Howard Dean. Edwards, Gephardt and Sharpton follow. Once again, Graham, Clark, Braun and Kucinich received less than 1 percent.

Well, most of the Democratic hopefuls are attending this weekend's California Democratic convention. Eighteen hundred party activists will hear from senators Kerry and Edwards, along with Howard Dean, Al Sharpton, Carol Moseley Braun and Dennis Kucinich. Three candidates will not be there, Dick Gephardt and Joe Lieberman have scheduling conflicts. Bob Graham is still waiting on medical clearance to campaign following his recent heart surgery.

Senator Graham, though, has at least one major change planned when he finally hits the trail. New neck ties. Graham is known for always wearing ties featuring outlines of his home state of Florida. But with a nationwide campaign planned, he says he's switching soon to American flag ties and other patriotic themes.

In our Friday campaign news extra, a thief stole a laptop from a vehicle that belongs to John Kerry's campaign spokesman Chris Lehane yesterday in San Francisco. Lehane tells CNN the computer contains valuable and important information, but nothing absolutely vital for the campaign.

Still ahead, the Senate majority leader gets his shot on the war on terror.

And we will talk to the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee about threats overseas and here at home.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: Is the U.S. any closer to finding Osama bin Laden? I'll ask that and other questions to the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee in a moment.

(NEWS BREAK)

WOODRUFF: Joining us now to talk about the war on terror and global threats to the U.S.: the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Republican Pat Roberts of Kansas.

Senator, thank you for joining us.

SEN. PAT ROBERTS (R), KANSAS: Oh, thank you, Judy. It's my pleasure.

WOODRUFF: The first thing I want to ask you about is a story that we just learned about today. And that is that your counterpart on the committee, the ranking Democrat, Senator Jay Rockefeller, is asking the FBI to investigate these forged documents that the Bush administration used as evidence to try to suggest that Saddam Hussein is developing nuclear weapons. Is this something you're concerned about, these documents?

ROBERTS: Well, I'm concerned about it, of course, but I did not sign that letter. I thought the more appropriate response would be in the committee and to have a briefing, a hearing, if you will, with the CIA, ask the tough questions, and then see where that led us.

Now you have a very unusual situation with the vice chairman asking, in fact, for the FBI to investigate the CIA. And we're not even sure about the legal jurisdiction. We'd rather have the CIA in and ask the tough questions, which I intend to do.

WOODRUFF: At this point, though, there is enough -- you're saying there's enough there for you to be concerned and you want the committee to pursue it?

ROBERTS: Well, when you have press reports like this, obviously, we're concerned.

WOODRUFF: That the documents were forged?

ROBERTS: Yes, exactly. You have this kind of a charge. But I think a briefing by the CIA would be certainly prudent and appropriate. We can ask the tough questions. We have the oversight responsibility. That's our job.

WOODRUFF: So are you saying Senator Rockefeller overstepped here?

ROBERTS: No, I'm not saying that. Jay and I get along fine. He just made the suggestion that the FBI investigate the CIA. I just don't think that's the appropriate way to do it.

WOODRUFF: Let me ask you about Osama bin Laden.

ROBERTS: Sure.

WOODRUFF: Everybody wants to know, is the United States, are intelligence agencies any closer to finding him?

ROBERTS: Judy, I think that the things we're doing in Pakistan with the Pakistanis -- and a great deal of credit has to be given to the Pakistanis -- and with our super assets in regards to our entire intelligence community, we are closer than ever for that noose to tighten around.

I think I know where he possibly is. It's in that no-man's-land area between Afghanistan or Pakistan. And we're conducting different kinds of operations. They're very robust. They're very aggressive, light footprint. We're closer. We're closer.

WOODRUFF: Is the information that you're getting from Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, who we know was high up in the al Qaeda organization, turning out to be useful?

ROBERTS: Yes. I can't speak to specifics, but I think, generically, it's been very useful.

WOODRUFF: And can you share anything on the nature of the information or...

ROBERTS: Oh, I think the press coverage has been adequate about that, about all sorts of information. It's been going over and studied by all of our experts. And I think we've had follow-up.

And that's the kind of thing that I'm saying that our efforts with the Pakistanis and our intelligence community makes it such that I think we're going to be much more successful in the future.

WOODRUFF: Well, speaking of the Pakistanis, as you know, there have been real questions raised about whether the U.S. could trust the Pakistani intelligence agency to be -- to have the U.S.' best interests at heart here.

ROBERTS: No, quite the contrary.

I think the latest arrests and the series of arrests, where there were relatives of people that were high up in the military, proves that the Pakistanis are really working with us. The question that the Pakistanis have is, after we were allies and then backed out for, what, 10 years, what is our resolve in regards to Pakistan?

And when I was over there recently with Senator Rockefeller and others, we indicated, yes, we have strong resolve. So I think these recent arrests show that they're backing up what they say they will do.

WOODRUFF: How strong do you believe the links are between al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein in Iraq?

ROBERTS: Well, I think it's a little tenuous. But if you have about 100 al Qaeda up in the northeast part of that country at the poison center, run by Ansar al-Islam, and then you have evidence in regards to various toxins and the distribution of those toxins all throughout Europe, I think that's pretty serious.

And so you can have the al Qaeda, but you can also have associated terrorist groups working with al Qaeda. Lately, even Hamas has been singing a different tune in terms of their public comments vis-a-vis the war in regards to Iraq. So you don't want Iraq to become a greater sanctuary for al Qaeda than it is today.

WOODRUFF: So you're saying some connection, possibly?

ROBERTS: Yes, ma'am.

WOODRUFF: All right, Senator Pat Roberts, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, it's good to see you, sir.

ROBERTS: Thank you. You bet.

WOODRUFF: And we thank you for coming by.

ROBERTS: OK. Thank you.

WOODRUFF: Appreciate it.

Up next: war demonstrations and protests against the media. Are news organizations destined to be criticized, no matter how they cover public shows of opinion about a likely war in Iraq? I'll ask our senior analyst, Jeff Greenfield.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) WOODRUFF: A mixed message today outside the United Nations: About 100 members of Kurdish communities showed their opposition to Saddam Hussein. But they also fear that Turkey might invade the Kurdish area of Northern Iraq if Saddam is ousted.

In San Francisco today, anti-war demonstrators blocked a major intersection in the financial district, but their attempt to shut down the Pacific Stock Exchange failed. Almost 70 protesters were arrested.

And here in Washington, the group Win Without War released a letter from 70 former members of Congress, urging President Bush to hold off on invading Iraq and let U.N. inspectors continue their work.

This weekend, CNN will have live coverage of protests around the country for and against action in Iraq.

Well, while many of us in the news media work diligently, we hope, to cover both sides of the debate about war, some viewers and critics may not see it that way.

Let's bring in our senior analyst, Jeff Greenfield, in New York.

Jeff, for a while, we were hearing -- at least I was hearing and I know many of my colleagues were hearing that we weren't covering the opposition to the war. Now we're hearing that we're giving too much attention to opposition to the war. Is it a case of, we're damned if we do and damned if we don't?

JEFF GREENFIELD, CNN SR. ANALYST: Well, to some extent. Look, there's just no doubting the fact that, for some people, when they see something in the press that unsettles or angers them, they regard that as unfair coverage.

But I think there's a special situation here. In the days and weeks and months after 9/11, when the United States was so united in the feeling that we were going to go after the people who had done this, when most of the world recognized that this was a clear self- defense issue, the war in Afghanistan proceeded with virtually no dissent.

And when attention began to turn to Iraq in this slow buildup toward what now seems to be a war, you did have, for instance, most of the leading Democrats running for president supporting the president in his use-of-force resolution. I think what happened was, when huge numbers took to the streets in Europe, that galvanized the anti-war movement in the United States.

I think what we in the media have been trying to do, most of us, is to balance the pictures of the protests, which do sometimes get covered without regard to how representative it is, with polling. And what we've learned, I think, from the polling is, most Americans seem to be with the president, to some extent or another. Maybe they'd like U.N. support. Maybe they'd like to wait a bit. But the country is mostly in support of action against Saddam, while, in virtually every other country, great majorities of the public -- not just demonstrators in the street -- seem to be opposed.

WOODRUFF: Jeff, what about the opinion press, the columnists and others, editorials, in this country? Where does the opinion seem to be falling?

GREENFIELD: Well, I think it's really interesting.

There's a lot of division. There's some internal argument even within the pages of the editorial pages. And what's intriguing to me is that this argument is not being fought out the way you might think of, between left and right, across the ideological divide.

Let's take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GREENFIELD (voice-over): The clearest positions are staked out on the right. The editorial pages of "The New York Post" and "Wall Street Journal," for example, are solidly behind a war. In fact, "The New York Post" this week worried that Bush might be getting a bit wobbly. Don't dither, the paper urged. Strike now. This is also the paper whose front page depicted the U.N. spokesmen for France and Germany as weasels, literally.

"Washington Post" columnist Charles Krauthammer expressed similar fears when he urged the president to call the vote and walk away from the U.N. Security Council. In the reliably conservative "Indianapolis Star," columnist Tim Swarens approvingly quoted FDR, saying, "When you see a rattle snake poised to strike, you do not wait until he has struck before you crush him."

But not everyone on the right is enthusiastic. Columnist Bob Novak last week asked, was it really necessary to focus on Saddam's removal from power? And Pat Buchanan is as opposed to this impending war with Iraq as he was to the last Desert Storm.

But what of the liberal media giants? Many seem engaged in a conflict with themselves. They're eager to displace Saddam, but, more or less, critical of how Bush is going about it. "The New York Times," in a series of editorials, seems to be saying war may be necessary, but not yet and not without the U.N., unless it's absolutely necessary.

"The Washington Post" is more hawkish, but also critical. "The Los Angeles Times" says -- quote -- "A U.S.-led invasion without U.N. sanction ought not to happen," but then demands the U.N. come up with a viable alternative.

And many columnists in these papers are similarly divided. "The Washington Post"'s Jim Hoagland is for a war, but has sharply criticized Bush's diplomacy. "The New York Times"' Tom Friedman says removing Saddam is right, but he urged Bush to fly to Paris for a multilateral summit. There will be a summit this weekend, but not in Paris.

And one of the strongest voices in support of the president comes from the left, from writer Christopher Hitchens, who says Bush has, if anything, been too patient with Saddam Hussein.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

GREENFIELD: So the argument seems to be on the editorial pages between those saying, do it now and do it alone, if necessary, and those saying, let's wait a little longer and try to get some help.

As for all-out, full-throated opposition to the policy itself, it is very hard to find, at least on the editorial pages in most of the mainstream press -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: So it's being left to the public. OK.

GREENFIELD: Yes.

WOODRUFF: Parts of the public.

GREENFIELD: There is an element of the public that is flatly opposed to the war. You don't see that all-out opposition reflected in the editorial pages at least of the mainstream press. You do see it in some of the more liberal outlets.

WOODRUFF: OK, Jeff Greenfield, thanks very much.

Well, our day-long focus on the protests continues on "WOLF BLITZER REPORTS." The question next hour: What is more patriotic, to support or oppose an attack on Iraq?

More than a mascot, he's part of the team. Up next: U.S. Marines find an ally in the Kuwaiti desert.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: State governments nationwide face some of the worst budget deficits in decades. It's a tough challenge, especially for new governors, such as Arizona Democrat Janet Napolitano, a woman some Democrats have described as a rising star within their party.

Yesterday, I spoke with the governor. And I began by asking her if she can still be a success if she's not able to do anything about her state's large budget deficits.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GOV. JANET NAPOLITANO (D), ARIZONA: I think being a governor is being a leader. And I think one of the ways you demonstrate leadership is piloting a state through a fiscal crisis.

And so we've just now, with our legislature, reached an agreement for '03. I will call them into special session on Monday to approve that agreement. And then we're going to roll up our sleeves and get back to work on '04, where, as you correctly say, we have to find $1 billion someplace.

WOODRUFF: When President Bush met with governors about a month or so ago, the message from him was very clear. The states are not going to get any more money than what he's already promised them that they are going to get.

But when it comes to matters like homeland security and Medicaid and other things, is Arizona and are other states going to be able to survive without more federal help?

NAPOLITANO: Well, I think there was a basic kind of false dichotomy, as it were, when we met with the president.

There was this notion that we were asking for a bailout, the states were asking for a bailout. And, really, my view is, the federal government has imposed a number of mandates on the states and that those mandates ought to come with federal appropriations. Our plea to our congressional delegations and to the president is, the federal government ought to pay its fair share, nothing more, nothing less.

WOODRUFF: So, is the federal government paying its fair share to Arizona right now?

NAPOLITANO: No, not at all. The fastest rising part of our education budget, for example, is special ed. When that federal bill was passed, that federal mandate -- and I appreciate the mandate. And I think the purpose and the philosophy underlying the bill is a good thing.

But the federal government made a commitment to cover 40 percent of the cost. And, right now, it's covering between 14 percent and 17 percent. Those are the kinds of things that, in a tight fiscal year for all the states and for Arizona, really become noticeable.

WOODRUFF: Let me ask you a little bit about politics. Arizona has moved up its presidential primary date in 2004 to February the 3rd. Now, this is one week after New Hampshire. Is this a good idea, do you think?

NAPOLITANO: I think it's a great idea, because I did it.

(LAUGHTER)

NAPOLITANO: But we moved it up because Arizona is a vital, growing state. And, in my view, having an earlier primary would enable all of the candidates to campaign there, something they haven't always done in the past, give us a more national profile. And we want to have that.

WOODRUFF: Well, what about that? Because, right now, you have got Iowa, where Dick Gephardt supposedly is favored. You have got New Hampshire, where John Kerry is supposedly favored. Some people are saying a state like Arizona might be tailor-made for Joe Lieberman, for example, a more moderate Democrat. Do you see it that way?

NAPOLITANO: Well, I think Arizona is wide open. And I think we are really the first primary where there's not a favored son, so to speak, and also the first primary in a large Western state, with a large and growing Hispanic population. So there are a lot of things that can come out of an Arizona primary that could be bellwethers for who ultimately gets the nomination.

WOODRUFF: And, finally, Governor, as you -- of course, we all wait to see what happens with regard to military action against Iraq. How has the call-up of military reserves affected your state?

NAPOLITANO: Well, we've had a significant number of call-ups. And it affects particular sectors in the state. For example, a number of our corrections officers are in the reserves. So, the corrections officer corps is somewhat depleted at this point in time.

WOODRUFF: So you're not able to replace them one by one?

NAPOLITANO: Well, we -- no. And corrections officers are trained and so forth. You just can't go on the street and find somebody. But we will manage our way through this. And Arizona will play its role in the coming conflict.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WOODRUFF: The call-up of reserves having an effect in a number of states -- Arizona's Janet Napolitano.

U.S. troops, meantime, in the Persian Gulf region are busy preparing for war, but they also have, apparently, have some time for fun. Check out the well-equipped new mascot of some Marines in Kuwait.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This here is an ammo pouch on Jack's back. He's an ammo man in our platoon. He has to carry a full magazine on him at all times.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's loaded.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, it's fully loaded. All 30 rounds are inserted into the magazine.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What have you got written on here?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Up here, it says USMC.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOODRUFF: The Marines of Alpha Company 12, 2nd Platoon, have trained Jack the lizard so well that they joke that he's going to lead the U.S. charge into Baghdad and then he's going to stay there as a peacekeeper. We hope they're right.

We're back in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: Our Bill Schneider joins me now with a look at a political figure who decided to face the music, Bill, and got a major payoff when he put his reputation on the line. SCHNEIDER: That's right.

Your ratings are sinking. Your spirits are low. So take it from Broadway and give 'em a show. Razzle-dazzle them and it just might get you the "Political Play of the Week."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SCHNEIDER (voice-over): New York has been feeling kind of blue lately.

MICHAEL BLOOMBERG (R), MAYOR OF NEW YORK: This city has suffered greatly, 9/11, an economic slowdown.

SCHNEIDER: To make things worse, Broadway musicians go out on strike, 18 musicals shut down. Last weekend, Broadway goes dark.

JED BERNSTEIN, PRESIDENT, LEAGUE OF AMERICAN THEATERS & PRODUCERS: You can figure $25 to $30 million for performances on taxies and restaurants and hotel rooms and things like that.

NATHAN LANE, ACTOR (singing): I want to be a producer with a hit show on Broadway.

SCHNEIDER: Won't somebody save the show?

Enter Michael Bloomberg, toiling in the shadow of his larger- than-life predecessor. With the city facing a dire fiscal crisis, Bloomberg has raised taxes, cut services, and watched his disapproval ratings climb. The mayor summons producers and musicians to a meeting at Gracie Mansion. He calls in a mediator. The pressure mounts.

BLOOMBERG: I didn't threaten them at all. I pointed out that the 38-odd-thousand uniformed members of the NYPD were standing around the building until we came to a resolution. I didn't think anybody was going to want to go challenge them.

SCHNEIDER: The negotiations go on through the night. They don't call New York the city that never sleeps for nothing.

BLOOMBERG: I don't think they quite counted on me coming back six hours later. But when I did walk in at 3:00 in the morning, they were all hard at work.

SCHNEIDER: The next morning, a breakthrough!

BLOOMBERG: This morning, we have great news. Broadway is no longer dark.

SCHNEIDER: The show will go on.

BARRY WEISSLER, PRODUCER, "CHICAGO": I welcome you to the reopening of our show and the reopening of all of Broadway.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) WEISSLER: At about 9:30 this morning, the producers and musicians came to terms. The turmoil is over and there is love in the air.

SCHNEIDER: The band is not on strike, so strike up the band. What are these people doing?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (singing): Hello, babe, why don't we paint the town and all that jazz?

SCHNEIDER: Isn't it obvious? They're celebrating Mayor Michael Bloomberg's "Political Play of the Week."

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SCHNEIDER: And we'll say hat's off to Mayor Bloomberg. He razzle-dazzled them on Broadway.

Hey, do you think maybe he could go over to the East Side and try the same thing at the United Nations? Just lock 'em up overnight.

(LAUGHTER)

WOODRUFF: We needed a little good news this week, didn't we?

SCHNEIDER: Yes, we did.

WOODRUFF: Bill Schneider, thanks. And you can put the hat back on. It looks great.

That's it for INSIDE POLITICS. Without a hat, I'm Judy Woodruff.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com

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