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Iraq Blames Market Blast on Coalition

Aired March 28, 2003 - 16:00   ET


HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone, I'm Heidi Collins from the CNN news room in Atlanta. Checking on what's happening at this hour.
Hospital officials in Iraq say at least 52 people died and more than 50 others were wounded today by an explosion in a Baghdad neighborhood. Arab media say the he explosion was a coalition air raid. U.S. Central Command says it cannot confirm those reports.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld today issued a strong public warning to the Serbian government. Rumsfeld said military supplies are being ferried from Serbia into Iraq. He says the Serbian government will be held responsible if the trafficking is not stopped.

In the last several days, U.S. intelligence agents reportedly foiled two plots foiled by Iraqi intelligence service agents to attack American interests in two countries, one in the Persian Gulf region. That word today from senior Bush administration officials. They say at least some of the plotters were arrested by local authorities. There is no word on the number of arrests.

And the closing bell rang on Wall Street just seconds ago. It looks like the Dow Jones Industrials finished more than 50 points down. And the Nasdaq dropped more than 10 points. That is the news at this hour. CNN's continuing coverage of the war in Iraq continues right now.


ANNOUNCER: Innocents, in the line of fire. Can coalition forces protect civilians from armed and dangerous Iraqis.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know how you describe a group of people that will march children in front of them. That will take children away from their homes.

ANNOUNCER: The faces and feelings of battle. What's it like to stare down the barrel of your gun at the enemy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are trying to kill people. But the alternative is, if you are in combat, you will be killed.

ANNOUNCER: Arabs against the war. Some protesters are aiming their anger beyond the U.S. and Britain.

CNN live this hour. Judy Woodruff reports from Washington with correspondence from around the world. A special edition of INSIDE POLITICS "The War in Iraq" starts right now.


JUDY WOODRUFF, HOST: Thanks for being with us.

Amid reports that President Bush is frustrated by those questioning the pace and the progress of this war, he told veterans at the White House today that Saddam Hussein's regime now controls only a small portion of Iraq.


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We refuse to leave the Iraqi people in slavery, under Saddam Hussein.


WOODRUFF: This hour, we will have more from the White House and the commander in chief and his battle plan.

Plus, new snapshots of the war through the eyes of the American people. Are they disappointed with developments on the battlefield? But, first, let's go to Kuwait City and my colleague Wolf Blitzer - Wolf.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Thanks very much, Judy. Let's check our live picture right now from Baghdad. Just a short while ago, Reuters reported three blasts were heard on the outskirts of the city. Meantime, we've been getting word that scores of coalition soldiers air dropped deep into Iraq once again today. U.S. military officials are calling it the longest air assault operation in the history of military warfare. A reporter embedded with the army Screaming Eagles says scores of infantry troops landed at two forward bases, beginning at dawn, making a huge inroad for U.S.-led ground forces in Iraq.

U.S. military officials say the Iraqi Republican Guard division position just south of Baghdad now is down to 65 percent capacity after heavy air strikes by coalition forces. And in northern Iraq, Kurds were celebrating the retreat by Iraqi forces near Chamchamal. But when night fell, CNN's Kevin Sites reports artillery fire fell outside the city, launched from Iraqi positions to the east. Now we get more on the air war in Iraq from the U.S. Constellation in the Persian Gulf. CNN's Frank Buckley is on board and he is joining us live. Frank.

FRANK BUCKLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, once again Air Wing II aboard the U.S.S. Constellation, very busy tonight. The aircraft taking off into the night sky throughout the evening at different times going deep into Iraq, hitting a variety of different types of targets. One of the kinds of targets that we hear virtually everyday when we find out what has been struck are the surface-to-air defense systems. Now these are the kinds of systems that would target coalition aircraft. Efforts to knock down these air defense systems have been going on for quite sometime, but they remain a threat to coalition aircraft. One of the reasons we are told is because Iraqi commanders have learned that it is more difficult to target these systems if they keep them on the move.


CAPT. MARK FOX, AIR WING COMMANDER: We have successfully suppressed their air defenses, but because they've gone into this shoot and scoot and ballistic launch, and that sort of thing, there is still a resident threat that we have to honor and we have to concern ourselves with. And, so, you will see, I think, until this whole thing is over, we'll always be careful with any of the surface-to-air defenses that are capable of -- reaching up and touching taxable airplanes.


BUCKLEY: And not a single aircraft yet, a coalition aircraft has been downed by a surface-to-air defense system. But, Wolf, we can also say that so far, during this conflict between Iraq and coalition forces, that not a single Iraqi fighter has engaged any of the coalition aircraft - Wolf.

BLITZER: That's because they clearly fear that they would be knocked out of the skies as soon as they did. Frank Buckley aboard the U.S.S. Constellation in the Persian Gulf. Thanks very much.

Judy, let me throw it back to you. Just to remind our viewers, I'll be back at the top of the hour, a special edition of "WOLF BLITZER REPORTS LIVE" from here in Kuwait with the complete wrap of all the latest developments of the war here in Iraq. Back to you, Judy.

WOODRUFF: Thanks, Wolf. And we will be watching you. I just wanted to point out that the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Richard Myers said that the U.S. has superiority over all of Iraq, except, he said, he said 95 percent of the country, except over the Baghdad area.

Well, just a little while ago, President Bush praised the performance of U.S. troops in Iraq during a speech to veterans groups at the White House. For a little bit more on what the president had to say, let's turn to our senior White House correspondent John King. John, some of us noted the president said Saddam Hussein now has control over a small portion of his country. No mistaking, the president wants to send a signal of confidence to the American people.

JOHN KING, CNN SR. WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Judy. We came in early this morning to words from a senior official that the president was frustrated with the press corps, frustrated with what he sees as doomsday accounts, just a little more than a week into the fighting. So, Mr. Bush, this appears as part of a week-long series of events. And we should not the president has left the White House to head up to the Camp David presidential retreat for the weekend. So a low profile over the weekend, but a high profile throughout the week, including this speech in the East Room veterans. Mr. Bush is concerned about media accounts that he believes overstate any problems U.S. forces have encountered on the battlefield. Mr. Bush believes, yes, a few tactical adjustments, but that things are on track. That was his message this afternoon. The president trying to reassure the American people that he knows the plan and he believes it is being executed quite well.


BUSH: ... that once terrorized all of Iraq now controls a small portion of that country. Coalition troops continue their steady advance and are drawing nearer to Baghdad. We are inflicting severe damage on enemy forces.


KING: A moral tone to the president's speech is well he was sharply critical of the tactics of Iraqi forces, especially the paramilitary groups that Mr. Bush says have been inflicting damage, not only on captured coalition forces but also on the Iraqi people. Mr. Bush spoke of slavery under Saddam Hussein. And the president made clear that he was watching very closely what was happening, the tactics being used inside Iraq, and that he would not forget.


BUSH: Some in the Iraqi military pretended to surrender, and then opened fire on coalition forces that were willing to show them mercy. Given the nature of this regime, we expect such war crimes, but we will not excuse them.


KING: Now the upbeat message from the president, part of an administration strategy to convince the American people that everything is going well. And according to the broad plan, even as some adjustments are made because of the Iraqi resistance, the president also, though, preparing for the American people for the tougher fights ahead. The president said the fighting currently underway, quote, "will demand further courage and further sacrifice." -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: John, we know the White House is frustrated with some of the media reporting, but what about the comments of the army senior commander on the ground in Iraq, General Wallace, who told reporters -- at least as its reported in today's paper, that the enemy has been tougher and the resistance has been tougher than they expected, necessitating a longer war likely.

KING: Publicly, administration officials saying General Wallace is certainly entitled to his view, and that his view is important. As daily adjustments, indeed, hourly adjustments are made to the battle plan. Privately, some recriminations you might say, some grumbling here at the White House, that what General Wallace said is not helpful to an administration that we know, Judy, whether it is this war, or any other issue, prides itself on discipline.

WOODRUFF: That we know. John King at the White House. Thanks very much. Former Reagan administration official Richard Perle has resigned his chairmanship of the Defense Policy Board. That is a group that advises the secretary of defense closely on policy matters. Richard Perle, who is a strong supporter of this war in Iraq, said that he did not want his post with a telecommunication's firm that is lobbying the Pentagon to be a distraction. While he is stepping down as chairman of the Defense Policy Board, he says he will remain on it as a member. Critics had accused him of potentially profiting from the war. Now that is a claim he strongly denies.

In Iraq, meantime, government officials saw Perle's resignation as proof that the war is failing.


MOHAMMED SAEED AL-SAHAF, Iraqi INFORMATION MINISTER (through translator): I think that this gang, who wanted this war, and they are falling apart, and the resignation of Richard Perle, the war criminal, is proof of that.


WOODRUFF: Iraq's information minister commenting, and just a program reminder. Richard Perle will be my guest here tomorrow during the 4 o'clock hour. He will also be joining Larry King Sunday night at 9 Eastern on "LARRY KING LIVE."

Let's turn now for the latest look at the battlefield from the progress of this war. My colleague Miles O'Brien along with our military analyst General Don Shepperd. Miles.

MILES O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks very much, Judy. We're going to just give you a couple of points of interest today, hot spots, if you will, whatever you like. We are going to take you to the map. We will show you the satellite image up here. We will show you the region and tell you where we're going. First, we are going to stop in Baghdad, in the neighborhood here where there was an explosion. And then we are going to go to a place called Chamchamal and tell you a little bit about that. ?? That is in the Kurdish-controlled country. We are on the edge, I guess, of Kurdish-controlled country.

First, let's move in on Baghdad, and let's talk about this explosion, Don Shepperd, what we know and, more importantly, what we don't know about what happened in this Shaab (ph) neighborhood.

GEN. DON SHEPPERD (RET.), U.S. AIR FORCE: Miles, the Iraqis are saying that the U.S. weapons struck this market place. It's everything the coalition does not want to see on TV. It's a thing that they take great pains to avoid. At the very early stages, we don't know yet whether it is, indeed, a U.S. weapon or whether it could be an Iraqi weapon, perhaps a misfired surface-to-air missile, perhaps anti-aircraft artillery. The pictures coming out of this are absolutely terrible.

O'BRIEN: All right. So, what attempt is made by the military to verify one way or another these things. SHEPPERD: Every target is modeled for the selection of the weapon itself, the fusing of the weapons, the depth that the weapon goes on. And, of course, looking at ultimate approaches to make sure that collateral damage is minimized.

O'BRIEN: All right. Let's try to get the satellite map going this time. Let's go down to Chamchamal if we can. We will put that map in motion. I'm not sure it's going to work this time. But Chamchamal is in the northern portion of this country. What we are seeing there is, first of all, there is a Republican Guard division there, Nebuchadnezzar correct?

SHEPPERD: It's actually up here - it is the Nebuchadnezzar division. It's the Nebuchadnezzar Infantry Division, Republican Guard. It was in the Kirkuk area. They occupied a ridge that we saw the last few days.

O'BRIEN: The ridge was up here right?

SHEPPERD: Yeah, the ridge was north. And it was bombed. And now after they're retreating from that ridge and the bombing of the ridge, it appears that Iraqis are bombing the town of Chamchamal, which is in the Kurdish area, a Kurdish town.

O'BRIEN: And I believe, isn't that Kirkuk over there? I think that's Kirkuk over on the other side over there. So, what does that tell you if they are retreating and bombing?

SHEPPERD: It tells you they are looking at United States forces that have gone into areas such as Harir, the airfield seized by the 173rd Airborne. It appears that those forces will be employed against them, so they are taking action up in that area.

O'BRIEN: All right, as best as we know, we have a little more than a thousand boots on the ground here with the 173rd.

SHEPPERD: And 70,000 Kurds waiting to join the fight and may indeed do that, Miles.

O'BRIEN: All right. Don Shepperd, retired general, United states Air Force, always appreciate your insights - Judy.

WOODRUFF: We just keep on learning a lot more. Thank you both.

Just a short time ago, our Gary Tuchman, who has been reporting to us from an air base in the Persian Gulf filed this report. He was aboard an HC-130 Hercules flying over Iraq. Here's Gary Tuchman's report.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): We are being prevented by the air force to give you a report of a combat support mission over Iraq. We're aboard an HC-130 combat support aircraft. And the crew we're with, just finished refueling a search-and-rescue helicopter over a part of Iraq we will not reveal for security reasons. But an unbelievable sight at night. This green chopper just pulls up right next to this aircraft and for a 10-minute process, full-speed through the Iraqi sky with refueling operations are taking place. They have permitted me to stand in the cockpit for much of this flight. It's something we weren't sure would happen during this embedding process of journalists, but not is, which is pleasing us journalists a great deal.

Aboard this plane is ten men, including three so-called PJs, parachute jumpers. They are here to jump out of the plane, if necessary, for on-the-ground rescues. This plane has defensive munitions in case of an Iraqi attacks but no offensive weapons. At one point, the pilot saw two targets on the radar screens. He did not think there were Iraqi aircraft. However, maneuvers were taken, including a 360-degree turn to avoid the targets. I believe those targets were U.S. aircrafts. We fly at low altitude to avoid Iraqi radar. We also avoid areas where we could be mistaken for Iraqi airplanes by coalition Patriot missile launchers, which have now been put in the rack (ph). The amount of time we are spending in the air is classified. But the mission is not, to support the coalition war effort.

Gary Tuchman, CNN, aboard HC-130 over Iraq.


WOODRUFF: Gary Tuchman filed that report just a short time ago. Again, he was aboard an HC-130 over a refueling mission over Iraq.

Just ahead, rallying in support of the troops and protesting against the war. It is another day for voices to speak out across America and the world.


WOODRUFF: President Bush keeps saying that the United States will wage war in Iraq for however long it takes. But, a question, are the American people in for the long haul? Let's check in on that question with our senior political analyst Bill Schneider. Bill, you've been looking at the latest polls. How are the American people looking at this military campaign so far?

WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST: Judy, in a word, success. A narrow majority of American says the military campaign so far has been a success. Only 8 percent, 8, call it unsuccessful. Thirty seven percent say somewhere in between. Now, let's ask it another way. Did Americans expect the war to go better than has so far? And the answer overwhelmingly is, no, 71 percent say the war is going about as well as they expected. In fact, another 2 percent volunteered the answer, that it's actually gone better than they expected. You know, a lot of the commentary on the war has gone from what I call Persian Gulf mode in the first day or two to Vietnam War mode after things got tough. But the public has not wavered.

WOODRUFF: Now, Bill, in this poll, what are people saying about how long they think the war is going to last? SCHNEIDER: Well, Judy, most people say one to six months. Just 15 percent of Americans believe the war will be over within one month. Fifty two percent say it will take one to six months. And a quarter say it will take longer than six months. And we checked and found a majority of people in every one of those categories supports the war, no matter how long they think it will last. There's no evidence here that Americans are dismayed by the fact that the U.S. is facing tough resistance. The polls are kind of a reality check on the more pessimistic coverage.

WOODRUFF: They sure do sound like that. Bill, one other thing. The poll also asked people their assessment of some of the key world leaders right now. How did that turn out?

SCHNEIDER: Well, Judy, let's look at their personal favorability ratings. President Bush, 67 percent favorable. That's very strong. Tony Blair, 71 percent among Americans, a little higher than Bush. Blair is widely admired in the U.S. and, of course, unlike President Bush, he has no partisan enemies in the U.S. Russian President Vladimir Putin has taken a big hit, just 15 percent favorable. A year ago, it was 35. And French president, Jacques Chirac, he's French toast.

WOODRUFF: Or freedom toast, as they say, right, Bill?

SCHNEIDER: Well, in this case, French toast.

WOODRUFF: All right. Bill Schneider with a check of this latest poll CNN just releasing.

Well, as American troops wage war in Iraq, they are getting a morale boost from home. People in several parts of the United States gathered today for rallies in support of the men and women in uniform. These are scenes from a pro-troop rally in Lockhart, Texas.

And while a majority of Americans, as you just heard from Bill Schneider, rally behind the troops, many others are angry about the war itself, the policy that started this war. And since the fighting started, Washington has been a focal point. This anti-war protest took place today near the White House. Overseas, the war remains unpopular in many places. A loud and angry crowd turned out in Seoul, South Korea, to protest the decision by the country's government, the president to send 700 medical and engineering troops to Iraq to help coalition forces. And then there were these scenes of angry protesters coming before Cairo, Egypt. The city is the biggest and most populous in the Arab world. While today's protest was basically peaceful, previous demonstrations there have turned violent.

Demonstrations against this war are familiar by now, but some targets of demonstrator anger are new. Up next, we'll have some insight into Arab opinion and a look at an impromptu protests in Jordan.


WOODRUFF: Well, as we have been telling you in the last few days, public opposition to this U.S.-led war has been seen in the streets of many world capitals. It is also showing up in Arab states where public descent is not always permitted. CNN's Hala Gorani reports on a march today in Jordan.


HALA GORANI, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It started quietly enough. After Friday prayers in this middle class Amman neighborhood, men shuffling out of the Kaluti (ph) mosque on a beautiful spring day. Then, someone shouts an anti-U.S. slogan and an impromptu, unlicensed protest erupts. But this demonstration is different from others we have attended recently in Amman. New slogans that go through the street. There's a new brand of public anger.

(on camera): Protesters here are, once again, directing their anger at George W. Bush and Tony Blair, but this time they are also expressing discontent with Arab countries, such as Kuwait, Qatar and Egypt. Hosni Mubarak s CIA they shouted of the Egyptian president. Demonstrators now starting to openly criticize Arab leaders.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) president in the Arab world are cooperating with the United States and his world. That's why.

GORANI (voice-over): The kind of public animosity that can only make governments in the region uneasy. And more so than ever before, the protesters chant their praise of Saddam Hussein. Oh, Saddam attack Kuwait, they shout. Oh, Saddam attack Qatar. When asked why some support the Iraqi leader.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, what's wrong with Saddam Hussein? What did he do, because he says no to America or to Putin? What wrong did he do?

GORANI: Also, unusual in the Arab world, there are women present at this demonstration, holding up photocopies of the dead child, many in the Arab world claim was a civilian victim of coalition bombings in Basra. This one of several street protests across Jordan and the Middle East Friday, most of them not very large. But in many ways, a reflection of a shifting public mood. But some are now beginning to ask how long Arab governments will tolerate such open criticism from their own citizens.

Hala Gorani, CNN, Amman, Jordan.


WOODRUFF: For more on the wide range of opinions throughout the Arab world, as well as among Arab Americans, I'm joined from Charlotte, North Carolina by James Zogby. He is the president of the Arab-American institute. Mr. Zogby, President Bush, others in his administration have bent over backwards to say this is a war to free the Iraqi people, to bring them freedom, to liberate them. How, then, do you explain this sort of reaction in the Arab world.

JAMES ZOGBY, ARAB AMERICAN INSTITUTE: Judy, he bent over backwards to sell a message to the American people. That message has not been bought in the Arab world. And, frankly, I think that the message that has been picked up in the Arab world is that this is a different kind of war, a war for American hegemony in the Middle East. That's how it is being read. Frankly, the scenes we are seeing indicate that real trouble, in particular, trouble among countries allied to the United states, the moderates that we want to be working with and we should be defending.

WOODRUFF: What do you mean more trouble? Are these demonstrations more than what you had expected?

ZOGBY: No, actually, demonstrations are only part of the issue. The real question is the internalization of anger. This administration projected what I call the neo-conservative, infantile fantasy that said, seven days, it will be a cakewalk. The extremists will be destroyed and everybody will be a democrat. Actually, it is going to work the opposite way. People are using this war almost to reinforce the existing prejudice and the existing anger that they have. At the same time, I think there's a danger here that the regimes will either have to become more repressive, in which case, they become less Democratic. Or, in fact, if the public unrest continues to grow and the regimes becomes destabilized, the kind of democracy you have will not be pro-American, it will be a very anti- American social movement that takes hold. And I think that in either case, our objectives are not going to be served.

WOODRUFF: James Zogby, are you saying that the people we are seeing demonstrating overseas support the Saddam Hussein regime?

ZOGBY: No, actually, it's not a question of supporting Saddam. But it's a question of not seeing America as the liberators of Saddam. In the polling that we have done, we find that, in fact, in the Arab world, America's favorable ratings are less than 10. Most of these countries that are our strong allies, Morocco, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia. And our policy toward Iraq is even lower than that, if you can imagine getting lower than that. What is happening here is a hardening of attitudes, and an internalization of anger, and a real frustration with American policy and all thing American. And it is very disturbing, of course, to those of us who tried to build bridges between our civilizations. In fact, the gap is getting deeper and more difficult to cross.

WOODRUFF: Just quickly. Is there anything this administration could say or do at this point in the war that would alleviate what you're describing?

ZOGBY: Well, my mom used to say Judy that if you are in a hole and you want to get out stop digging. It's probably too late for us to stop digging. The Saudi proposal, which was, find a way to declare victory and stop this madness, is born of their frustration, their fear that this is going to continue to play out within Saudi Arabia ...

WOODRUFF: We, evidently, lost the signal from James Zogby. He is president of the Arab-American Institute.

And our apologies to Mr. Zogby. Thanks very much -- obviously describing frustration, growing frustration, in the Arab world.


WOODRUFF: We have this breaking story to share with you just in to CNN.

We are quoting the Associated Press on this. And they are quoting the Anatolia News Agency. That is, a Turkish Airlines flight was Istanbul to Ankara was hijacked today. According to private NTV Television in Turkey, the plane was hijacked after takeoff from Istanbul. And it is now said to be heading towards Greece. We have very little information about this. Again, this has just come across the wires, the Associated Press quoting the Anatolia News Agency, which is the Turkish news agency.

And I will simply repeat. A Turkish Airlines flight on its way from Istanbul to Ankara has been hijacked and is believed to be heading towards Greece. Of course, as we get any more information, we will share it with you right away.

Still ahead: war and resistance. Did the United States underestimate Saddam Hussein?


WOODRUFF: With the war in Iraq now several days more than a week ago, questions are being raised about whether the Pentagon in any way underestimated Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and his forces.

Retired U.S. Air Force Colonel Walter Boyne is with me now talk about that and other war issues.

Colonel Boyne, you are also, I should say, the author of a book on the weapons of Desert Storm, the war in the Persian Gulf 12 years go.

You have looked at the capability of the Iraqis and, of course, at the U.S. military. Was the Pentagon, in your estimation, prepared for what it was going to face?

RET. COL. WALTER BOYNE, U.S. AIR FORCE: I think what happened, Judy, is, we came out of the Gulf War with such expectations of our technical capability. And no one, I don't think, factored in the events of 9/11 in terms of the effect it has on the Iraqi morale.

Now, in coming into war with Iraqi soldiers, again, they are coming as invaders. We are coming also infidels. So I think that there is a deeper sense of resistance among the Iraqis guerrillas that might not have been perceived by our troops.

WOODRUFF: Why wouldn't that have been perceived? There is intelligence. There are people who are experts on Iraq.

BOYNE: It's a funny thing. We have so much information in this country. It's difficult to deal with a country that has one point of view. And it's difficult for us to understand that people who are treated so badly by their own government would not have this immense boiling resentment that, just the offer of freedom would appeal to them.

But that's not the case. They are so educated in their system and so fearful of their system -- it's not that they're patriots. They would gladly have Saddam gone, if possible. But the fear of being shot by their neighbor, by their brother, by anyone, if they express any sentiment opposite ours makes fighters out of them. And once we get in, and we conquer the country, and we begin the medicine and we begin the supplies and the hospitals, then they will begin to take stock.

Until that point, until we really have control, it's going to be difficult for them to accept that we're liberators.

WOODRUFF: I know you're talking to military planners all the time. What would the tipping point be? At what point do you believe the Iraqi people are going to feel comfortable enough to express their true feelings?

BOYNE: When we have the funeral for Saddam Hussein and all of his crew. And I mean not only the inner circle, but all of the people, his Fedayeen, all the way down, until we absolutely eradicate that threat, because these people that we wish to eradicate have nowhere to go. No one wants them elsewhere in the Arab world. They are not wanted in their own countries. They are going to fight us. And until we eliminate them, they will be a threat to us.

WOODRUFF: And what's your best estimate? I'm asking you the unanswerable question. But how difficult is that going to be?

BOYNE: It's going to be difficult. I think what we are going to be forced to see is a -- God help us that we are not going to see a Stalingrad in Baghdad and what are going to we going to see is...

WOODRUFF: A city under siege for a year.

BOYNE: See it under siege. But we'll see it pummelled. We are going to have to go in and destroy them in their lair, as cruel as that sounds. Otherwise, the rest of the Arab world is a fraying fabric. Threads are being pulled everywhere. We simply must do it now. It's in our interests. And it's, oddly enough, in the interests of the Arab world that we win this victory quickly.

WOODRUFF: Even with high civilian casualties?

BOYNE: Even with high civilian casualties, as sad as it is in a country in which people put their children in the front line. It's so foreign to our thinking. We have to look at the generations of children beyond. We have to take this generation and deal with it as we have it to make it safer for later.

WOODRUFF: Retired Air Force Colonel Walter Boyne, we thank you very much for your perspective.

BOYNE: Thanks. WOODRUFF: Sobering comments. We appreciate it. Good to see you. We appreciate.

Up next in our war coverage: sending in the reinforcements. We'll have a live report on new deployments to the war zone.


WOODRUFF: Almost 1,000 U.S. Marine reserves began deploying from Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, today.

CNN's Whitney Casey is standing by for us now at Camp Lejeune with an update -- Whitney, hello.


Well, that's right. Earlier today, about 1,000 Marines met to deploy for later on tonight. That's about 1,000. It's Marines and sailors. And it's part of the 2nd Battalion 25th Marines. These are Marines that will be adding to the 17,500 Marines that are already in theater from Camp Lejeune. And that's part of the 65,000 Marines that are already there also.

That makes up about half of Camp Lejeune. And I don't know if we're in video or anything. But if you can see behind me, there are quite a few barracks here. And part of this camp, you could say, at times would be half-full or half-empty. But it has certainly decreased by quite a few, as 30,000 are normally here. And that only makes up about a third of the 65,000 Marines.

Now, these reservists were called up in January. They were a part of the Operation Enduring Freedom. They are mostly from New York and New Jersey. And they call themselves the New York-centric reservists, because most of them are from New York or New Jersey. And a good part of them, about 40, are either firefighters, police officers, or medics in New York. And they responded to the World Trade Center on 9/11.

We spoke with one of the Marines today. His name is Major Wally Powers (ph). He said that they are in somewhat of a different situation, because these Marines have actually had to watch some of the fighting on television. And they say that that is not necessarily a good thing. And he, a veteran himself, expressed some apprehensions.

Let's listen to what Major Powers had to say just earlier.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If people aren't going to admit to the fact that there's got to be some fear, they are crazy, because it's there.


CASEY: And, also, Major Powers said earlier that what they have been telling a lot of the younger Marines is not to watch the television coverage. But this morning, I woke up about 4:30 and did some P.T. with some of these units this morning. And I can tell that, in the gym that they were working out in, there were seven televisions. And six of them were on CNN's war coverage. One of them was on ESPN.

But let's talk a little bit about the community here. The community has just really rallied in support. I drove all the way from Raleigh here, which is about three hours. And you saw dozens upon dozens of signs in support of these people and in support of their Marines. We also spent some time at a barber shop. They say the barber shop here is the community center.

Let's listen to what the barber had to say.


KENTON JONES, BARBER: They come in here and let us know when they're having babies, when they're getting married. We have been invited to weddings.

CASEY: So seeing them go is like saying goodbye to part of your family.

JONES: Yes. It's like losing a friend, because you may not be here when they get back or they may not be back.


CASEY: And, again, that's 1,000 Marine reservists that have been called up now and sent away. And that's part of the 2nd Battalion 25th Marines -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: Whitney Casey at Fort Bragg -- I'm sorry -- Camp Lejeune -- my mistake -- Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. The Marines wouldn't like it if I called it Fort Bragg.

CASEY: No, they wouldn't.

WOODRUFF: No, they wouldn't -- but a whole interesting perspective on this, the notion that the men and women who are going to fight have to look at these very tough pictures coming out of Iraq.

All right, Whitney, thank you very much. We appreciate it, at Camp Lejeune.

Just ahead: keeping the front lines supplied. We are going to join Miles O'Brien and General Don Shepperd for some insight into how the troops stay prepared.


WOODRUFF: As we reported just a minutes ago, a Turkish Airliner passenger plane has been hijacked on its way to Istanbul from Ankara.

CNN's Fredricka Whitfield is in Ankara, Turkey, now with the latest -- Fredricka. FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Judy.

Well, just over an hour ago, 194 passengers, plus a four-member crew on board a Turkish Airlines heading form Istanbul, scheduled to land in Ankara just 20 minutes after takeoff, apparently -- information coming from Anatolia News Agency -- it was hijacked. It's unclear right now how many might be involved in this hijacking. But now reports are that that plane was heading toward Athens.

We don't know, however, right now about what time it's scheduled to land -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: And, Fredricka, no sense of who the hijackers are or what they represent?

WHITFIELD: No, we don't know have information yet if, in any way, those hijackers have communicated with control towers. We don't know what has been said, if anything, that information not coming out from authorities just yet.

WOODRUFF: OK, Fredricka Whitfield, we will, of course, continue to check in with you as more information becomes available.

Again, a Turkish Airlines flight hijacked on its way from Istanbul to Ankara, said to be headed now to Greece.

Let's check in with Miles O'Brien in Atlanta. He's with our General Don Shepperd, our military analyst -- Miles.


It was Napoleon who famously once said that an army run on its stomach.

Don Shepperd, let's talk about supply lines. We have got a very long supply line from the port in Kuwait to really upwards into Karbala, which is where the vanguard of U.S. forces, the 3-7 Cav, are, we believe. It's an extended supply line, which is really susceptible, because it's not as well-fortified as the pointy end of the spear.


This supply right now, with the forces at Karbala -- and, remember, there's three divisions up in that area, not just the 3rd or the 7th Cav that we have been watching -- 200-mile supply lines. You have to secure your rear. And everybody up there has to drink. They have to eat and they have to be resupplied. So those supply lines are very, very important.

O'BRIEN: Let's take a look at an animation. We will depict a supply line. This is not an entirely accurate scenario, because it shows them going through the desert kind of alone. There's the road to Baghdad, if you will. And there we have it. And the vanguard of this group, these are the heavy armor, of course the Abrams tanks. SHEPPERD: Indeed. They refuel every eight hours, two gallons per mile, every one of these vehicle. And it's similar in most of the vehicles out there, very low mileage.

O'BRIEN: Two gallons per mile. Think about that one for those of you who have sport utility vehicles.

And you have Humvees. And you have various -- I don't know what this kind of equipment vehicle would be. Is this some kind of fuel truck?


SHEPPERD: Various supply vehicles. And you got the fuel trucks coming up. This is also some fuel on this truck as well.

O'BRIEN: All right, overhead, we might have something like an A- 10. We might have an F-16 helping out. We might have some helicopter support here, another kind of flatbed trailer. Maybe that would carry a tank, I guess.

SHEPPERD: Yes, these trailers carry tanks to and from the front. If a tank breaks down, these folks go get it and take it back to the rear to be repaired.

O'BRIEN: All right, this is a blue-collar army. I know the ratios on this might surprise you. In the Vietnam War, it was 13 supply guys for every one who was actually firing a weapon.

SHEPPERD: They really tried to work that down. And now it's more like two-thirds or 75 percent to the front-line troops up there that are shooting. But everybody back here is capable of combat skills. And they carry rifles. And we have seen some of them captured, as a matter of fact.

O'BRIEN: Of course, there are those fuel trucks that you pointed out, obviously


SHEPPERD: Thin-skinned. Very vulnerable.

O'BRIEN: Very vulnerable. And how are they protected besides some of the aircraft we just showed you there? What else is done?

SHEPPERD: Well, basically, they have vehicles embedded in these supply columns to the pull out to the side to engage any enemy that shoots at them. And we saw them shot at all the way. So it's very important that the supply lines all along, all of these bridgeheads be secured by the Army. They have to back up now and secure these and keep these supplies flowing.

O'BRIEN: Yes. All right, well, air cover is good. Do they have escorts along the side as well?

(CROSSTALK) SHEPPERD: They will have helicopter escorts along the side on both sides of the road. They will have orbiting A-19, AV-8B Harriers, AC-130 gunships. They will have whatever they need. But this is high-risk stuff and all of these are vulnerable.

O'BRIEN: All right. All right. It's not the, I guess, if you will, the glory part of the Army, but it is essential.

SHEPPERD: They're moving cities while people are shooting at them. And then you're going back to protect them. This is tough work.

O'BRIEN: Don Shepperd, thanks for the insights. Appreciate it -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: Miles, General Shepperd, you certainly get the sense that you don't move in a situation like that without good cover. All right, thanks very much.

When we come back, we are going to find out how coalition forces are helping some needy Iraqis, including the youngest children.


WOODRUFF: At the United Nations today, the Security Council voted to restart the Iraqi oil-for-food program. The council voted unanimously to give Secretary-General Kofi Annan the power to resume the program. But the vote only applies to food supplies that are already in the pipeline. This approval overcame objections from several Security Council members who are still angry over the U.S.-led attack on Iraq.

Well, as we have been telling you for several days, coalition forces have been promising to try to help innocent Iraqis who happen to be in the line of fire in this war.

We received this video today of British troops in southern Iraq who were working to treat a baby who had been badly burned. We don't have any more information on how the baby was hurt. This is one more reminder of just how badly war can affect the civilians who live in a country when the combat gets under way.

When we return: stories of combat from those who have been there. Veterans who became Washington leaders talk about their wartime experiences.


WOODRUFF: We know that some of the American troops now fighting in Iraq are longtime veterans of warfare, probably not most, but some. Their military service goes back to the Vietnam era. Others, though, are novices.

So what is it like for them to face combat far from home?

For an idea, here is CNN's Candy Crowley with some war stories. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SR. POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They are, we are told, well trained.

SEN. CHUCK HAGEL (R), NEBRASKA: This is a messy business. There's nothing very pretty about the training that you take to prepare you for combat, because it is to kill people.

CROWLEY: In the spring of 1970, a squad of U.S. soldiers spotted a small unit of Viet Cong that had been circling for days. Staff Sergeant Tom Ridge opened fire. A Viet Cong soldier dropped dead.

(on camera): Did you at the time or have you since looked back and pondered on killing someone?


CROWLEY: And what's that like?

RIDGE: That's one of those introspective times where it's just -- it's just an introspective time, not a public time.

CROWLEY (voice-over): Duke Cunningham was a Vietnam fighter ace shooting down five enemy planes. After his first, he returned to a ship deck full of sailors and crew cheering, shaking his hand, pushing in to slap his back.

REP. RANDY CUNNINGHAM (R), CALIFORNIA: And one of the guys looked at me and says: Duke, what's it like to kill somebody?

And, all of a sudden, bang, it just hit me. You don't think about those things. And it's removed. It's far off. It's not in close. And I went to the priest, because it bothered me. I knew I could do it again. But I didn't know it was going to bother me as much as it did. And it still does.

CROWLEY: Of all the wounds time does not heal, the ones that fester deep in the soul are the wounds you inflict.

RIDGE: It's not something that civilized people do. You don't -- it's just not -- it's not a matter of being tormented, but troubled in the sense that that's not what we do, unless we're called upon to do it, under the most extreme set of circumstances.

CROWLEY: War may sometimes be a necessary thing, but it can never be a natural thing. Training bridges that gap. Sergeant Chuck Hagel was seriously wounded twice in Vietnam.

HAGEL: You are trying to kill people, because the alternative is, if you are in combat, you will be killed. So your choices are not varied. It's very simple. And so you do what you're trained to do. You do what you're there to do. And, in Vietnam, it was body count.

CROWLEY: Training is what keeps you running toward the front while trucks loaded with dead bodies pass you, going the other way. REP. CHARLES RANGEL (D), NEW YORK: It's hard to explain what training can do. Training sets your mind to respond not to common sense and judgment, but to training. You really don't have time to think: I'm going the wrong way. I should be going the other way.

CROWLEY: Later, when he was wounded and trapped behind enemy lines in Korea, Staff Sergeant Charlie Rangel led 40 men, fighting their way to safety. He won a Bronze Star.

RANGEL: If you're killing people, it's out of fear, not really, in my opinion, out of bravery. Nobody is looking for medals. Everyone wants to live another day.

CROWLEY: Don't misunderstand. Rangel, Cunningham, Ridge and Hagel are all proud, decorated combat veterans. It's just, a decade later, killing still troubles the soul. Maybe that's a good thing.

(on camera): Did you do it again?

CUNNINGHAM: I did. I shot down four more MiGs. And I often told myself -- I said that, if I ever get used to this, I shouldn't be here.

CROWLEY (voice-over): Candy Crowley, CNN, Washington.


WOODRUFF: Remarkable interviews and a reminder that what these men and women are going through right now in Iraq, they will remember for the rest of their lives.

That's our coverage this hour.


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