CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Does Arab World Believe U.S. Bombed Market?
Aired March 27, 2003 - 02:13 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
AARON BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: General, we've talked a lot about the fact that this is not simply a military battle, that there is a political component at play, in how the world sees the United States, because it'll determine how Iraq is put back together and determine how other countries respond. Will the Arab -- do you believe the Arab world will believe that the tactics of the Iraqis themselves are causing some of these civilian casualties?
GEN. WESLEY CLARK (RET.), FORMER NATO SUPREME COMMANDER: Possibly. But I think that Arab nationalism ultimately is going to be a very strong force in this. And remember, I mean, like it or not, I mean, we are the invader of this country.
BROWN: Tom Friedman said when we talked to him -- and I think I saw you nod at the time, I'm not sure -- that it is perfectly possible for people to both dislike Saddam Hussein and dislike the Americans, that that's not -- that sort of thing can happen and does.
CLARK: I think it does, too. I thought that was a very important point that he made. And we have to win the support of these people. Everybody said, Well, you know, we let them down in 1991, when we didn't go in there and support them. Maybe that's a factor, but -- and they are afraid. There's no doubt about that. But if you looked at the picture of that young child that the "TIME" magazine photographer showed...
BROWN: Back an hour or so ago.
CLARK: ... an hour or so ago, I mean, it was a very powerful picture, and it showed fear. And at that age, it wasn't politicized fear, it was just fear of the unknown, fear of the guns, fear of the noise, fear of something that's upsetting the adults in the family. And somehow, we've got to communicate cross-culturally through that, if we're going to make a success of the operation. It's not just getting rid of Saddam, it's everything that happens afterwards and how we're perceived in the Islamic world.
BROWN: Somebody made the point -- I think Chris Morse (ph), the photographer, made the point that the soldiers are prepared to fight there -- are prepared to fight, but they're not prepared necessarily to be there, to be culturally sensitive to their presence.
CLARK: That's right. No, it's asking so much to have soldiers do that. You know, we've had the experience in Bosnia. We've had the experience in Kosovo. We've had the experience in Haiti. And in every case, you know, we always come out of it and say, Gee, you know, don't -- can't we do something better than this? People write books. Dana Priest of "The Washington Post" wrote a book on this, talked about all the soldiers that are out there in places like Kosovo and the enormous difficulties of coming to grips with the culture that they're in and what's expected of them. Hope we can do better on this one.
BROWN: We'll revisit this, I'm sure.
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