The Web     
Powered by
powered by Yahoo!
Return to Transcripts main page


Virtually No Resistance In Tikrit, Supposedly Place of Saddam's Last Stand

Aired April 14, 2003 - 16:00   ET


ANNOUNCER: U.S. forces in the heart of Saddam's hometown. It may be the last significant battle of the war.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The very, very, very last breath of Saddam Hussein's regime is very close to being extinguished here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If you can see me, I want you to know I love you, and that I support you and am so, so proud of you.

ANNOUNCER: The reality sinks in. Seven former prisoners of war look forward to reunions with their families, and reveal the constant fear they felt in captivity.

Some markets are open. Some police are on the street. The people of Iraq and coalition forces waged a difficult battle for peace.

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


JUDY WOODRUFF, HOST: Thank you for joining us.

Well, even as the Pentagon acknowledged today that the major battles in Iraq appear to be over, the Bush administration cranked up the pressure on Iraq's neighbor, Syria.


ARI FLEISCHER, PRESS SECRETARY, WHITE HOUSE: It's important for Syria to reexamine its role in the region. They are a state that sponsors terrorism. They have no reason to do that, to act like that. And, certainly, they have no reason to harbor these Iraqi officials. They should not be able to find safe haven in Syria.


WOODRUFF: Is Syria's president getting the message and could he be the next target of the U.S.? Plus, the Democratic presidential candidates divided over the war. And rank-and-file members of their party split down the middle too. More on those stories ahead.

But first, we go to Doha, Qatar, where my colleague, Wolf Blitzer is following the latest developments in the war zone.

Wolf, hello.

WOLF BLITZER, HOST: Thanks very much, Judy. U.S. forces are hunting for Iraq's weapons of mass destruction capabilities. And they are trying to determine if they have, indeed, found an important piece of evidence in this hunt. They've uncovered what they've described as 11 mobile chemical and biological labs buried near a weapons plant in Karbala. An army general says no weapons were found in the vehicles, but other notable things were.


GEN. BENJAMIN FREAKLY, 101ST AIRBORNE: In Karbala when we were fighting there with the 2nd Brigade, the 2nd brigade found about 11 buried conexes, large metal, 20x20-foot vans buried in the ground. They are dual-use chemical labs, biological and chemical. About 1,000 pounds of documentation were found in that. And they were close to an artillery ammunition plant, so this is consistent with the Iraqi denial, Iraqi -- former Iraqi leadership denial of doing anything, any wrong doing.


BLITZER: Just ahead, our military analyst will walk us through what this discovery may mean. U.S. forces, in the meantime, have taken control of Tikrit. That's Saddam Hussein's ancestral hometown. There was much less of a fight than many feared. The presidential palace was seized and the last bastion of Iraqi resistance was effectively crushed.

But the Pentagon is warning that coalition forces still are in harm's way. This firefight in Baghdad overnight is an example. But with the war winding down, U.S. military officials say they expect, and I'm quoting now, "smaller but sharper fights ahead." A live update now from Baghdad where U.S. forces are attempting to restore some semblance of law and order.

CNN's Rula Amin is standing by for us at the Iraqi capital -- Rula.

RULA AMIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, the U.S. marines are on the move to try to put an end to the endless looting in the Iraqi capital. Today, in one neighborhood in Baghdad, a few men tried to rob bank. They used hand-propelled grenades in order to force their way into that building. But the marines were quick to come to the site. They arrested the men. And they made it clear for all these people who were watching the scene unfold that the looting in Baghdad is not tolerated and will not be tolerated anymore. They're taking a more active role. Today on the streets of Baghdad, they went on patrol in the Iraqi capital streets, along with former Iraqi policemen. Joint patrols. It was a pilot project, as Christiane Amanpour has this report to explain it.


CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These are the policemen and the officers who were supposed to be restoring order. It was, for a morning, almost as chaotic inside the police academy as on the streets. Saluting him last week, stomping on him today, it seemed the police were trying to purge themselves of Saddam Hussein's brutality that they had helped and perhaps were forced to enforce. Staff Sergeant Jeremy Stafford and the marines who had come to get the first police patrol out on the beat were overwhelmed.

STAFF SERGEANT JEREMY STAFFORD, U.S. ARMY: So, if figured I would let them at it. The only other way I could have stopped it was to start using force, and I'm not going to start using force on these people. I think they've had enough of that.

AMANPOUR: Indeed, just last week, they had discarded their uniforms for fear of being shot by Americans entering Baghdad. Now, a few put them on again. All rushed to sign up for their old jobs and feelings that had been bottled up for years pour forth.

The regime used to have a sword at our necks, says Sergeant Fisal Morsen (ph). If we didn't cooperate, we were fired or sent to prison on trumped-up charges.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have refused to work with Saddam.

AMANPOUR: Hammid Moustaphar was head of the traffic police back in 1983.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And now, I want to come back and work and to save my people.

AMANPOUR: But not everyone here is reporting for duty. Nor do they trust those who are. Hussein Jerala (ph) has come looking for the security forces who imprisoned and tortured him back in 1999.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I was hung by my arms from the ceiling, he said, electrocuted and beaten with sticks.

AMANPOUR: He came with a list of names. He didn't find them, but one army officer offered a mea culpa.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Regrettably, as the army, we were a tool of the repression of the Iraqi people says Lieutenant Colonel Adnan Rashid. When we joined up, we thought we'd secure our future and our children's future, but it didn't turning out like that. God willing, we'll make up for the past and correct our relationship with our people. And just to make sure they're recruiting good cops, marines had called for only a couple of hundred to come today.

STAFFORD: Unfortunately, somehow, the word got out, there was a breach in the security someplace. The word got out so we had a couple of thousand of them show up versus a couple hundred.

AMANPOUR: But that's good? You want lots of people.

STAFFORD: Well, we do. Unfortunately, you know, these things have to be done in baby steps.

AMANPOUR: A baby step like this. One Iraqi police car with a two-vehicle armed marine escort. Desperate city residents immediately clamor for a stop to the looting. Meantime, back at the academy, an exhausted officer tells everyone to go home and report back Thursday morning. Restoring order to the city will have to wait a while longer.

Christiane Amanpour, CNN, Baghdad.


AMIN: It's a humble attempt, this pilot project, in order to ease the anxiety among many people in Baghdad who feel that their lives and property are in danger now -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Rula Amin, joining us live from Baghdad. Rula, thanks very much.

Judy, I'm going to take a quick break. I'll be back at the top of the hour for a full hour of "WOLF BLITZER REPORTS." Until then, thanks very much. Back to Judy Woodruff.

WOODRUFF: Thanks, Wolf. And we will see you then.

And we turn now to a very difficult story. There was no one else to help so her Iraqi parents brought a 17-year-old war casualty to some U.S. Marines on a Baghdad street corner. They helped, as did some journalists, including Tim Rogers of ITN.


TIM ROGERS, ITN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When we first saw Hannan (ph), she was sitting on the pavement at an American checkpoint. Her mother and father brought her here because in this chaotic city, they thought this would be their best chance of finding help. Hannan is 17 and she's been in this condition since the second day of the war. Her bandages haven't been changed for days. She suffered extensive burns and according to an Iraqi doctor, who happened to be here too, the one specialist burns unit in Baghdad has been looted.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everyone run away from the hospital. There are no officials there. So there is hospital, specials, but no worker there.

ROGERS: The marines said they would do what they could. (on camera): Where will you take her?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know. We're fixing to take her out of here and then we'll give her all the treatment that we can.

ROGERS (voice-over): But while they were acting in a spirit of compassion, they simply did not have the medical skills Hannan needs to ease her obvious distress. For Hannan's family, it's a desperate situation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): No hospital, no doctor, no medicine, no anything.

ROGERS: So you came here?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Yes, I come here for first-aid, maybe help me, any people help me.

ROGERS: Half an hour later, after receiving that first-aid, the marines decided to take Hannan to hospital. But with no suitable transport to take her there, they asked us if we could drive her there instead. Suffering from such severe burns the journey for Hannan must have been excruciating. But throughout it all, she impressed us with her courage.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Very happy, very happy.

ROGERS: The marines told us to take her to one of the few hospitals still making any attempt to carry on. It's called Medical City. The best Iraq had to offer, but this is now a desolate place where there is hope, but little comfort. Taking her inside, the doctors knew there was little they could do. Their initial examination confirmed the earlier doctor's thoughts that Hannan needs specialist care which they simply cannot provide.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need cleaning with anti-septic, we need antibiotics. We need lines for treatment. All of these we need it, and we need stability.

ROGERS: For all the patients here, there is little anyone can do except watch and hope.

(on camera): Well, the doctors here say they will do what they can, but the facilities here are very limited and they're running out of supplies.

(voice-over): Help for Hannan and Iraq can't come too seen. Tim Rogers, ITV News, Baghdad.


WOODRUFF: Just breaks your heart.

Well, the coalition has been chasing down all leads on possible chemical weapon stashes of Saddam Hussein's regime. Just ahead we take a closer look at what has been found and what could be found in the future. Stay with us.


WOODRUFF: As we've been reporting, U.S. troops believe they have found 11 mobile chemical and biological laboratories buried in Karbala, in central Iraq. But no weapons of mass destruction were found at that site. That is the weapons or at any other of two dozen sites visited by special teams in recent days.

Miles O'Brien is with our military consultant, retired Air Force Colonel Mike Turner -- Miles.


This site in Karbala is something we focused on a little while ago. CNN's Ryan Chilcote with the 101st Airborne came through there a few days ago, perhaps a couple weeks ago now. Time is starting to get compressed here. And they discovered what they thought might be fertilizers, dual use as they call them, type things. We can show some pictures of that search. And while we're looking at those picture, we'll bring in Colonel Mike Turner and talk about this apparent find beneath the surface.

Colonel Turner, good to have you with us. On the first go-round, it was determined that it was probably not anything that was headed to become weapons of mass destruction. This time around, it seems a little different, but, obviously, a lot of caution that we have to be aware of here. The fact that these conex cases, big shipping containers were found underground says a lot, doesn't it?

COL. MIKE TURNER, U.S. AIR FORCE (RET): Absolutely. There's really two major points that are an aspect of this find. The first is the key to Saddam Hussein is power. Whatever adds to his power, he will do. Whatever threatens his power, he will not do. The fact that these containers were willfully and in a premeditated manner hidden suggests that somewhere in the run-up to the war, Saddam Hussein made the assessment that the possession of these kinds of obvious pieces of evidence of a chemical and biological capability needed to be hidden, suggests that he made an assessment that using them would be a greater threat to his power during and after the war than hiding them. And, so the fact that ...

O'BRIEN: All right. Colonel, I want to interrupt you briefly, because I want to show the animation. Secretary Powell, before the United Nations February 5, released some slides which depicted, basically, what we're talking about. These mobile weapons labs. If we can advance it through, you can see what we are talking about. It either can be a semi-trailer or a rail car type of thing. The idea is to put the components of a factory into various pieces, bring them all together and sort of make this stuff just in time. Go ahead as we're looking at that. That will help people understand a little better what we're talking about. The point is, if he buries it, clearly, there is -- and the idea is to use it as a weapon of mass destruction or make chemical or bioweapons, the idea that makes it impossible to use it quickly. TURNER: Well, that's true. And it's a great segue, because that was the second point I was going to make. Secretary Powell clearly enunciated in the U.N. that he had these kinds of weapons or labs, if you will. And for those who needed it and any of us who have worked with Secretary Powell, obviously, don't need it. But for those in the international community who did need it, it certainly adds a huge measure of corroboration to Secretary Powell's comments. He told us we had them.

That adds considerable weight and credibility to all the other evidence that Secretary Powell presented in the United nations. And I would say this is very close to the smoking gun. There is no reason for him to hide these things, if they do not have a clear chemical and biological intent. And for those who needed the smoking gun and who ascribe to the view that the mere presence of weapons of mass destruction was a prima face case for a preemptive wear, I would say this is very close to it.

O'BRIEN: All, but, we saw the pictures, the troops were ready, they had all the gear. We can show you some pictures of that as they trained and were ready to don that gear. In some cases, they wore portions of it -- MOAB levels (ph) they're called -- as the perceived threat increased. And, yet, it was never used. Why? If that smoking gun, why do you suppose the Iraqis never used chemical weapons?

TURNER: I think the only way he would have used those would have been as a force multiplier, if he still harbored the illusion that he had something to gain and possibly at least a significant symbolic victory on the battlefield. The instant he passed over that psychological threshold that he was not going to gain a battlefield advantage by using those, then his significant advantage would have been political by removing all evidence that he ever had this equipment and weapons of mass destruction to begin with. And I suspect that's probably what happened, which is, as soon as he realized he had no advantage, they went away.

O'BRIEN: So, it boiled down, use it or hide it, one or the other.

TURNER: That's right. That's exactly correct.

O'BRIEN: Colonel Mike Turner, thanks for your insights, as always, we appreciate it. Back to you, Judy.

WOODRUFF: Thanks, Miles and thank you Colonel Turner.

Still ahead, the greatest thing in the world. That is how one father described the rescue of his son. He was a prisoner of war in Iraq. A report coming up on family reactions.


WOODRUFF: Yesterday, as I'm sure you know, was dominated by the news that all seven American prisoners of war had been recovered and returned to Kuwait. After three weeks of uncertainty, the first pictures of those POWs brought enormous relief to the families, as they realized their loved ones were safe and sound. And now, all that remains is the reunion of seven soldiers with their families back home.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The first thing I want to say is to my husband. If you can see me, I want you to know that I love you, and that I support you and I am so, so proud of you. And that never changed. The moment you left and I'm still very proud of you.

COL. JONATHAN WOODSON, U.S. ARMY PHYSICIAN: It was just an emotional experience for all of us. No doubt about that. As human beings, you know, that's the kind of thing we want to see. Positive outcome and we're just so happy to have them back at home.

ATHOL RILEY, FATHER OF RESCUED POW: He did say that he never wanted to eat chicken and rice again. And he did say that they had -- he'd lost his driver's license, his Mac card and his checkbook and to make sure no many was withdrawn from Baghdad, from his account.

RONALD YOUNG, SR, FATHER OF RESCUED POW: The one thing that really makes me proud of him is the fact that the United States and America really appreciates what he did when he was over there. And that's the thing that I feel so good about as far as this thing is situated, is that America stands together and supports them and are united in the fact that they were over there risking their lives and they appreciate what they did.

KAYE YOUNG, MOTHER OF RESCUED POW: Hey, Ron! Everybody's here. No, how are you? Well, we're just having a party for you. Why aren't you here?

He asked me who was here. And I went around the room and named all these people, all of his friends, family. And, you know, he just said tell everybody I love them, and I miss them and I'll be home soon. And he, he just kept saying over and over how anxious he was to see us. How much he missed us.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: At the moment, the moment when she spoke to her dad, then her mom and then to Janelle in that order, she just burst into tears.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's just been a great, great thing for us to be able to see our son come out of this situation and the culmination of the 22 days be that he is al right. And all the other POWs are OK. It's the greatest thing in the world.


WOODRUFF: Coming up, we get a check of the day's headlines, including the discovery of possible chemical labs in Iraq.

Also ahead, the United States turns up the heat on Syria. We're going to take a look at the accusations and what might come next. Stay with us.


WOODRUFF: The Bush administration continues to warn Syria about the penalties of noncompliance with the coalition. Syria has denied charges that it is providing refuge for fugitives from Iraq. And it says it played no part in supplying weapons to the regime of Saddam Hussein. But the White House continues to accuse Syria of wrong doing, including the development of weapons of mass destruction.


DONALD RUMSFELD, DEFENSE SECRETARY: We have seen chemical weapons tests in Syria over the past 12, 15 months. And, second, that we have intelligence that shows that Syria has allowed Syrians and others to come across the border into Iraq, people armed and people carrying leaflets, indicating that they'll be rewarded if they kill Americans and members of the coalition. And we have intelligence that indicates that some Iraqi people have been allowed into Syria, in some cases to stay, in some cases to transit.


WOODRUFF: Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, of course.

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Colin Powell said that Syria will face diplomatic and economic penalties if it fails to cooperate. Meantime, in Damascus, officials are challenging the Bush administration to provide evidence of Syria's noncompliance.

We get more from our Sheila MacVicar in the Syrian capital.


SHEILA MACVICAR, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There has been an increasing litany of allegations coming from Washington directed to Damascus, the Syrian capital. Over the course of the last number of days, we've heard from President Bush, from Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, from others in the U.S. administration, all of them sending warnings shots, if you will, in the direction of Damascus that Damascus must, in the words of U.S. administration officials, "fully cooperate."

The question for the Syrians, of course, is: What kind of cooperation is the United States asking for? And there have been times when the Syrians have indicated that they simply don't understand the multiplicity of messages, this great number of different messages that are coming their way.

FAROUK AL-SHARAA, SYRIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: Sometimes, they don't know what they want. Sometimes, they say: You have mass destruction weapons smuggled from Iraq to Syria. The next day, in the Israeli press, they say the opposite, because, if we say to you no, you are not believing us, because this is the third, third, fourth statement that you are directing against Syria. What are the clues, the evidence that you have got? They don't bring any evidence.

Now, one of the things that the U.S. administration has been talking about, and we heard it yesterday again from President Bush, is this warning that if Syria is harboring anyone wanted from Saddam Hussein's regime in neighboring Iraq, if there are family members of the regime here, if there are even Baathist Party members here -- and there would have been about two million members of the Baath Party in Iraq -- then Syria should make sure that they do not give them asylum or safe haven, and that they should be turned over to the authorities.


WOODRUFF: That was Sheila MacVicar reporting from Damascus.

Well, British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw says that Syria is not being viewed as the next target of the coalition. But could that change? And, if so, what is at stake?

Joining me now is Jon Alterman. He's director of Middle East programs at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Jon Alterman, we have the Bush administration saying they have hard evidence that Syria is harboring top officials of Saddam Hussein's government. On the other hand, you have the Syrians saying, not true. Who is telling the truth here?

JON ALTERMAN, CENTER FOR STRATEGIC AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES: I suspect the Americans have pretty good evidence that some people are in Syria. They may not know exactly who is in Syria. They're also not going to tell the Syrians what they know and how they know it, because the crown jewels of the intelligence business is sources and methods, how do you know what you know.

They're simply not going to open up the books and tell the Syrians: These are the kinds of lines we have into Damascus. This is what we know you're doing. Instead, we're going to try to take it at arm's length and tell the Syrians: Knock it off.

WOODRUFF: Well, clearly, the administration is singling out Syria. They're saying: You're harboring top Saddam Hussein officials. You've been doing chemical weapons testing. You are a state that has sponsored terrorism in the past.

What's going on here? What is the administration after?

ALTERMAN: I think the administration wants Syria to behave better than Syria has been behaving.

I don't think it's a surprise to anybody who follows Middle East politics that Syria has some sort of chemical weapons capability. But, periodically, there are escalations between the U.S. and Syria. And, quite frankly, we don't have a lot of tools to get messages across to the Syrians. They don't have a lot of responses to us, except sometimes to comply and sometimes to see where they can cheat to needle us a little bit.

WOODRUFF: Is Syria a threat to the United States or to U.S. interests? ALTERMAN: Syria certainly is a threat to U.S. interests, partly through what it does with Iraq, partly through its actions in Lebanon and its actions against Israel. But I don't think Syria is a threat to the United States. I don't think Syria is seen as a threat to the United States in the same way that Iraq was portrayed.

WOODRUFF: So, when Secretary Colin Powell talks about potential economic or other sanctions, penalties, against Syria, what leverage does the United States actually have?

ALTERMAN: That's exactly the problem.

Because Syria is on the list of state sponsors of terrorism, there are a lot of restrictions for how much of a relationship the U.S. government and U.S. entities can have with Syria. That means that, when it's time to punish Syria or to try to create inducements to Syria to change their behavior, we don't have very much in our quiver.

WOODRUFF: Is there anything the U.S. has? All this language or facts, as the administration keeps saying, that they are bringing up in the last few days, at least has the Syrians feeling nervous. We just saw the Syrian foreign minister, Mr. al-Sharaa, sounding, at the very least, exasperated by all this.

ALTERMAN: Well, there certainly are some things that we can do. The Syrians are very much in need of changing their economy, of opening up their economy, creating jobs for people. They've been trying to move away from state socialism that had dominated Syria for so long. We have some leverage in those respects, especially with regard to the World Bank and the IMF and other sorts of international lending organizations.

But in terms of direct relationships with the United States and Syria, there aren't so many. That means that we don't have as much to offer them. And it's something the Syrians have periodically been interested in stepping up to try to develop deeper relationship with the U.S. The U.S. has been interested in developing deeper relationships with Syria. But when you get to a situation like this, and very timely, there's not much to do except threaten each other.

WOODRUFF: Bottom line, how bad could this get?

ALTERMAN: I don't think there are going to be boots on the ground in Damascus any time soon. I think this is, basically, we're going to threaten them; they're going to back off. And we'll see if we can build a better future later.

WOODRUFF: Well, we certainly hope that it doesn't get any worse.

All right, Jon Alterman, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, thank you very much. It's good to see you again.

ALTERMAN: Good to see you, Judy. Thanks.

WOODRUFF: Thanks for coming in today.

Still ahead: satellite telephones. Many journalists have them. Everyone else in Iraq seems to want them.

We'll have a report.



MILES O'BRIEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The people of Tikrit are saying Saddam's family left that city three days ago, well before the Americans arrived. Saddam's clan is said to have left for a small village in the desert.

12:19 p.m.: CNN's Ryan Chilcote reports the 101st Airborne 2nd Brigade finds 11 of what an Army general describes as chem-bio labs buried to avoid detection near Karbala, each of the structures 20-by- 20 feet. And the military also found over 1,000 pounds of documents buried at the site. U.S. inspections will continue there.


WOODRUFF: Well, Baghdad is a city where drinking water and working telephones are hot commodities. Now, regular cell phones rarely work these days in the city, we're told, but satellite phones are another story entirely.

CNN's Rula Amin reports from the Iraqi capital.


RULA AMIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They wait for hours to find a journalist and they plead with us to borrow our mobile satellite phones. They need to send a message to their families abroad just to tell them, "We are alive," says this woman. Here, they wait outside a restaurant where journalists hang out. And they are desperate.

"Only for one minute," says this mother. She wants to call her pregnant daughter Saba (ph) in Sweden to see if she has delivered. "It's not good for her to worry about us," she says. Across the fence, a 21-year-old U.S. Marine named Jason Cook (ph) is after the same phones. He wants to call his mom in Houston. A "New York Times" reporter lends Cook his mobile sat phone.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I love you too, mom. Hey, old man. I'm in the middle of Baghdad, just patrolling up and down the streets.

AMIN: Cook hasn't spoken to his family since Super Bowl Sunday, January 26. On this one sidewalk in Baghdad, they were all doing the most natural thing during war, trying to reach their loved ones.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My mother, brother and sister.

AMIN (on camera): How many do you have? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got an older brother and a little brother and sister.

AMIN (voice-over): His mother told him to keep his head down.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She didn't believe I was really talking to her.

AMIN: We do our share. And the first to call is the mother. Saba hasn't delivered yet. Nevertheless, the mother is happy.

Everyone wanted to call. We couldn't accommodate everybody. So, on small notes, they wrote the phone numbers we didn't get to dial, hoping we'd deliver on our promise that we'd call on their behalf.

Rula Amin, CNN, Baghdad.


WOODRUFF: Makes you wish they had enough satellite phones to go around for everybody.

Thanks, Rula.

Up next: the commander-in-chief's political future. Now that the war is winding down, is his support among Democrats looking up?


WOODRUFF: Now that the major battles appear to be over in Iraq, President Bush is likely to get back to political business. Will the war help his reelection bid? Well, that may depend on the views of Democrats.

Our senior political analyst, Bill Schneider, is here. And we're having a little trouble getting him his microphone, because he's been in Atlanta for so many days.

You and I can share a mike, Bill. Let's do this.

First of all, you've been looking at the polls. How divided, Bill, are the Democrats over the war?

WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, start with this: 47 percent of Democrats, 47 percent, call themselves pro-war and 47 percent calls themselves anti-war.

Now, let's see how the two groups compare. More of the pro-war Democrats are men. Fewer of them are college graduates and more of them are white. So it looks like what used to be called Reagan Democrats in the '80s.

WOODRUFF: So is it fair to call them -- let's put it this way -- Bush Democrats?

SCHNEIDER: Well, they have a high opinion of Bush's handling of the war, certainly; 89 percent, 89 percent, approve, compared with 10 percent of anti-war Democrats.

But look at their view of Bush's handling of the economy. Among pro-war Democrats, Bush's approval rating on the economy drops from 89 to 39. Among anti-war Democrats, it's still just 10. It looks like the pro-war Democrats are with Bush on the war and not much else.

Well, they are with Bush on one other thing. They're not Bush haters. Nearly three-quarters of the pro-war Democrats call Bush honest and trustworthy and they say he inspires confidence. Only about a quarter of anti-war Democrats say those things. So, Bush has a chance to get them, but they're not Bush Democrats yet. When we asked how they expect to vote next year, only 28 percent of the pro- war Democrats said that they'll vote to reelect Bush. Among anti-war Democrats, forget it.

WOODRUFF: Very interesting.

All right, Bill, what about when it comes to the 2004 Democratic presidential nominees? Are the pro- and anti-war Democrats split over them?

SCHNEIDER: Well, actually, they're not really split at all. The race is too new and the candidates are too unfamiliar, at least among Democrats nationwide, which is what we're talking about here.

Dick Gephardt, John Kerry, Joe Lieberman, they are both at the top of both lists. If the war debate cools down over the next few months and the economic debate heats up, the Democratic Party could come back together. But keep in mind that there are still a lot of Democrats out there who do not share what I call the Bush hatred that seems to energize the Democratic Party's base.

WOODRUFF: Bill, one other question: Is there one Democrat running for president who is best positioned to get support from both the pro- and the anti-war Democrats?

SCHNEIDER: That would seem to be Joe Lieberman. Joe Lieberman gets majority support from both -- favorability, at least, from both pro-war Democrats and anti-war Democrats, easily the pro-war Democrats because he's pro-war. He's the most outspoken defender of the war in Iraq; the anti-war Democrats most likely because he was Gore's vice presidential running mate. And that legitimizes him to the Clinton- Gore liberal Democratic Party base. So he's equally acceptable to both factions of the party.

WOODRUFF: Very interesting. I wonder how many people predicted that.

All right, you have got to give me the mike back...



WOODRUFF: ... because I have to say, we'll be back in a minute.

Bill Schneider, you were away from Washington too long. It's good to have you back. Thanks very much.

Well, experts say the next war in Iraq won't be won with bombs and tanks. When we return, we'll take an in-depth look at challenges facing a post-war Iraq.

Stay with us.


WOODRUFF: Britain's prime minister, Tony Blair, made a pledge today to the House of Commons. He promised to make the peace in Iraq worth the war.

CNN's Candy Crowley takes a look at the emerging battle for peace.



SERMID AL-SARRAF, FUTURE OF IRAQ PROJECT: While they are welcoming the troops and they are savoring this moment of freedom and liberation, at some point, they're going to want to have direct control over their own affairs.

CROWLEY: In the pre-war months, post-war Iraq was the source of some disagreement between the president and the prime minister, great disagreement between the State Department and the Pentagon, and the usual disagreement between the U.S. and the U.N., philosophical, bureaucratic struggles, with little meaning where it matters.

RICK BARTON, INTERNATIONAL POLITICAL ANALYST: All politics is local. And so, very quickly, it's: Are the schools working? Are the teachers getting paid? Where are the police, because it would sure be nice to have somebody here? Are they getting paid?

CROWLEY: Post-war Iraq will need food, water, medicine. It needs roads rebuilt and buildings repaired. It needs electricity. It needs phone service.

And someone will have to clear away the remnants of war, so that Iraqi children will grow old in peace. And, oh, yes, they'll be needing a government, too. It is an enormous, expensive, manpower- intensive job, reason enough, some experts believe, to move from military to civilian control as soon as possible.

BARTON: You need a global pool of talent. The U.N. has identified some of those people. You need the resources of people who don't want to come in through the United States military, such as a number of our allies. The U.S. doesn't really want to own this job. If you walk down the street, there are very few Americans who say, yes, cut back on my local school, because I'm ready to pay for that teacher in downtown Baghdad. So there's a burden-sharing here.

CROWLEY: For now, the burden rests on the U.S., Britain and this man, retired General Jay Garner, who will serve as Iraq's civil administrator. It's a big job, but Garner has dreams to match.

RET. LT. GEN. JAY GARNER, U.S. ARMY: This country has great vibrancy to it. And it has an educated population. It was the jewel of the Middle East at one time. It can be the jewel of the Middle East again.

CROWLEY: Garner and the U.S. team will take control of Iraq's most sensitive ministries: oil, intelligence, finance. But it's possible lower-level members of Saddam's Baath Party will be able to keep their ministry jobs.

SARRAF: We need to distinguish between just those who were affiliated with Baath Party and those who actually committed crimes in their positions.

CROWLEY: For almost a year, Sermid Al-Sarraf, a Muslim of Iraqi dissent, has been part of a working group of Iraqi-Americans and exiles putting together recommendations for the State Department on post-Saddam justice in Iraq.

SARRAF: We have to be realistic in Iraq that many people join the Baath Party out of sheer survival. They were not able to keep their positions or they were not able send their children to school had they not joined the Baath Party.

CROWLEY: The first order of business in post-war Iraq is order itself, the bailiwick of coalition forces. But there's a difference between tracking down Baath leaders, wiping out pockets of resistance, searching for weapons of mass destruction, and street patrol.

BARTON: It's a difficult transition for a 23-year-old very well- trained to fight a war to suddenly be kind of somebody who is responsible for, hey, put that mattress back in that showroom. This is -- the arms, the training are not really appropriate. So we really have to have a lighter presence.

CROWLEY: It's not just a matter of training or suitability. It is also a matter of politics in a repressed society where trust is in shorter supply than water.

SARRAF: There needs to be a legitimate Iraqi civilian authority that can come in and begin to reinstitute a police force that has changed its orientation from serving and protecting the regime to now serving and protecting the people.

CROWLEY: Time ultimately will be the difference between liberation and occupation. So the Bush administration wants an Iraqi face on reconstruction ASAP.

GARNER: All through Iraq, you'll find the true leaders. True men and women who are leaders and courageous, they will begin to stand up. And they'll provide the leadership for the rest of their people.

CROWLEY: Until elections can be held, it would be an interim authority of newly freed and formerly exiled Iraqis, a simple concept with the permutations of a Rubik's Cube. A recent CIA study showed that, in country, Iraqis will view exiles with skepticism. Sarraf does not disagree.

SARRAF: In order to establish the legitimacy, it's important that the administration not even be viewed or even have the appearance of pushing forward any individual from the outside. I think that would be a fatal mistake.

CROWLEY: It is evident in so many places at so many levels for so many reasons, that the cost of this war is immeasurable. How the peace is handled will determine if it was worth it.

BARTON: Modern wars have shown to us that, if you really want to get a measure of a war, the measure comes in how you win the peace. We know who is going to win most of these wars now. And it's happening. So, can we actually leave an imprint there that's lasting, that shows that we've made a difference? And so, for me, the key issue here is, do the sacrifices of war -- are the sacrifices of war matched by the investments of peace? And that's our test right now.

CROWLEY: Candy Crowley, CNN, Washington.


WOODRUFF: And we know that the first U.S.-sponsored meeting to begin to map Iraq's future gets under way tomorrow.

Well, that wraps it up for this special edition of INSIDE POLITICS.


Saddam's Last Stand>

International Edition
CNN TV CNN International Headline News Transcripts Advertise With Us About Us
   The Web     
Powered by
© 2005 Cable News Network LP, LLLP.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us.
external link
All external sites will open in a new browser. does not endorse external sites.
 Premium content icon Denotes premium content.
Add RSS headlines.