LOU DOBBS TONIGHT
Has the Nation Changed?; Israel Demands Arafat's Departure
Aired September 11, 2003 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LOU DOBBS, CNN ANCHOR: Showdown on the West Bank? Israel says Yasser Arafat must leave. Arafat says he's staying. Matthew Chance reports from Ramallah.
September 11, 2003, tonight, senior White House correspondent John King reports on President Bush two years later.
Lisa Sylvester on the Patriot Act.
And the editors of "Newsweek" and "U.S. News & World Report" on "A Changed Nation."
"Islam and Democracy," our special report in conjunction with "The Economist" magazine. Tonight: Muslims living in France, a clash of cultures or an evolving new nation?
And David Grange on the United States military two years after September 11.
ANNOUNCER: This is LOU DOBBS TONIGHT for Thursday, September 11. Here now, Lou Dobbs.
DOBBS: Good evening.
The nation today remembered the 3,000 innocent people murdered by radical Islamist terrorists two years ago. Thousands of mourners attended somber ceremonies in New York, Washington, and Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
And as the nation conducted memorials to those who lost their lives two years ago, the State Department issued a global warning to Americans abroad, saying there are indications that the al Qaeda is planning another strike somewhere in the world.
We begin our coverage tonight with senior White House correspondent John King -- John.
JOHN KING, CNN SR. WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: And, Lou, just a short time ago, President Bush addressing the fears many Americans might have on this second anniversary, especially after that new tape from al Qaeda showing Osama bin Laden, the voice of bin Laden and his top deputy.
President Bush saying the al Qaeda leader is trying to intimidate America, it's trying against again to create fear in the country. Mr. Bush says America will not be intimidated. And, on this solemn day, he says the tape's a reminder to him that the war on terrorism goes on.
KING (voice-over): A silent tribute on the south grounds of the White House, two years now from the day that redefined a presidency and a president.
ROBERT DALLEK, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Crisis is both an opportunity and a danger. And we're seeing both and happen with Bush. The crisis is still there. It's deepened, in some ways, not because we've had another attack on the homeland, but because we've gotten ourselves into Iraq. And this can be or seems to be a kind of quagmire.
KING: Two years later, the war on terror, at least by Mr. Bush's definition, includes Iraq, as well as al Qaeda. He claims steady progress, but also warns frequently, the job is far from done.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Terrorist networks are still finding recruits and still plotting attacks and still intending to strike our country.
KING: To supporters, such warnings are part of the post-9/11 presidency.
BILL MCINTURFF, REPUBLICAN POLLSTER: Our instinct, every instinct of this country, say, a sad thing happened; let's move on. And we need to remember that history does not work like that and that the enemies of this country don't work like that.
KING: Others see a president who taps a psychology of fear, stirring worries of another September 11 to justify war in Iraq, and say a failure to find weapons of mass destruction could be a black mark on the Bush legacy.
MICHAEL O'HANLON, BROOKINGS INSTITUTION: The Iraq victory will always be seen now as a difficult, tarnished, and imperfect victory, even if getting rid of Saddam was something most Americans would agree was worth doing.
KING: In the hours and days after September 11, Mr. Bush put the nation on wartime footing, with near universal support.
BUSH: Whether we bring our enemies to justice or bring justice to our enemies, justice will be done.
KING: But now, much more volatile public opinion. Only 52 percent of Americans approve of the way Mr. Bush is handling his job, down from 70 percent last September 11; 58 percent say they are dissatisfied with the country's direction. And 59 percent say there is no clear plan for postwar Iraq. The president's supporters say numbers can't measure the deeper political legacy of September 11.
BUSH: I can hear you! MICHAEL DEAVER, SENIOR REAGAN WHITE HOUSE AIDE: He has projected a strong image. And it has become not only one of his great strengths, but it also is one of those things that I think is going to be very hard to tarnish or change. I don't think we can -- it's sort of gotten indelibly in us. They can't take it away.
KING: Yet, as the reelection campaign draws closer, talking about September 11 so often is not without risk.
MCINTURFF: You need to be careful that you don't overstep and then people believe you're trying to leverage that sad event for your own personal interests.
KING: Mr. Bush decided against any big speeches on the second anniversary, but paused as he left a morning church service.
BUSH: Today, our nation remembers, remember a sad and terrible day.
KING: And on another crisp, clear September morning at White House, two years later, a reminder that a nation that remembers is also a nation still on watch.
KING: And as he paused to remember today, even as he paused to remember, the president said he is reminded yet again by those bin Laden tapes that the war on terrorism goes on, Mr. Bush saying quite defiantly, Lou, that he will continue until he achieves his objective, the dismantlement of the terrorist organizations -- Lou.
DOBBS: John, thank you very much -- John King, our senior White House correspondent.
Thousands of American troops are deployed overseas, specifically to fight radical Islamist terrorists. Over the past two years, the military has adopted new tactics and built new bases in remote parts of the world to engage the enemy. There are not always obvious front lines and the enemy seldom wears a uniform.
Kitty Pilgrim now reports on what has been accomplished and what remains to be achieved two years after this war on terror began.
KITTY PILGRIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Of the senior al Qaeda leaders nearly two-thirds have been take noon custody or killed. Associated radical Islamist groups are under siege around the globe. The U.S. military has boosted its ranks by nearly 6 percent in the last two years, to about 1.5 million people in uniform, many fighting terrorism.
FRANK GAFFNEY, PRESIDENT, CENTER FOR SECURITY POLICY: In a number of battlefields around the world, most especially, of course, Afghanistan and Iraq, but also in places as far removed as the Philippines, Indonesia, even in our own hemisphere, Colombia and other parts of Central and South America, we're seeing American military forces and our allies taking on the threat that is posed by Islamist associated or allied organizations.
PILGRIM: Pakistan alone has taken into custody more than 500 extremists, including al Qaeda kingpin Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Ramzi Binalshibh, and the plotter against the USS Cole, Walid Attash. A key figure in the Bali bombing that killed more than 200 people has been convicted and sentenced to death in Indonesia. In Afghanistan, wave after wave of special operations have effectively rooted out terrorists.
THOMAS SANDERSON, CENTER FOR STRATEGIC AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES: They have been doing a great job. And, unfortunately, we've lost four or five special forces in Afghanistan over the past two weeks. But they have killed or captured dozens, if not hundreds, of people. And I would say, there, we're making some serious progress.
PILGRIM: In Iraq, terrorist enclaves have been attacked and scattered, such as the Ansar al-Islam operation in the north; 173 countries now agree to freeze terrorists' assets. By one estimate, $200 million has been identified as terrorist money.
At home, the Justice Department has charged more than did 260 people in terrorist investigations. And 140 have been convicted or pleaded guilty.
PILGRIM: There is progress on the borders: 92,000 suspect ships have been boarded. More than 9,000 people have been apprehended as they tried to cross the border illegally -- Lou.
DOBBS: And Osama bin Laden remains at large and al Qaeda still effective.
PILGRIM: It certainly is a fight that will have to continue for many years. And everyone we spoke to acknowledged that.
DOBBS: Kitty, thank you -- Kitty Pilgrim.
The war in Iraq goes on, the United States armed forces still facing a tough fight against radical Islamists and Iraqi insurgents. A U.S. supply convoy near Fallujah, west of Baghdad, today was attacked. In that attack, one American soldiers was wounded. Two vehicles were destroyed. Two U.S. tanks arrived on the scene and opened fire on nearby buildings, effectively ending the firefight. There is no word on the number of Iraqi casualties.
The State Department's worldwide warning today comes as counterterrorism officials report growing terrorist chatter in intelligence circles. Officials, meanwhile, are moving closer to determining whether a tape released yesterday purportedly of bin Laden is in fact the al Qaeda leader.
National security correspondent David Ensor reports.
DAVID ENSOR, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The chatter level is up somewhat in recent days among suspected supporters of Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda, according to U.S. intelligence officials, adding to concern the group may seek to pull off some kind of attack to mark the period of the second anniversary of 9/11.
None of the information, though, is specific or credible as to location, method or timing. Still, it was enough for the State Department to issue a new worldwide caution to Americans -- quote -- "We are seeing increasing indications that al Qaeda is preparing to strike U.S. interests abroad," it says. "We also cannot rule out the potential for al Qaeda to attempt a second catastrophic attack within the U.S."
The State Department said the new warning had nothing do with Wednesday's broadcast of a new tape from al Qaeda showing bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri. CIA officials say technical analysis shows it really is the voice of al-Zawahiri on the tape. But the alleged bin Laden voice, they're just not sure. The president was not impressed.
BUSH: His tape reminds us that the war on terror goes on. His rhetoric is trying to intimidate and create fear. And he's not going to intimidate America.
ENSOR: Al-Zawahiri does, but nowhere on the tape does bin Laden speak of recent events. U.S. officials say they suspect this video of bin Laden may actually be older than others released earlier, though Al-Jazeera television said it was probably filmed this past spring.
DOBBS: David Ensor, our national security correspondent, we apologize for the audio problems with Washington.
Coming up next here: a live report are Ramallah, security on the home front. Lisa Sylvester reports tonight on the Patriot Act. Is it necessary to ensure national security or is it a violation of American civil rights?
And "Islam and Democracy," our series of special reports in conjunction with "The Economist" magazine. Tonight: Islam in France, a society in conflict.
Stay with us.
DOBBS: Coming up next: Israel says it will expel Yasser Arafat from Palestinian territories. We'll have a report from Matthew Chance in the West Bank.
And "Grange On Point" tonight: a different world, a different U.S. military, how the armed forces have adjusted and are growing to remain the most effective fighting force in the world. General David Grange on point.
Stay with us.
DOBBS: The Israeli Security Cabinet announced a new strategy in its war on terrorism. The Security Cabinet today declared Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat to be expelled from Palestinian territory. The decision, even though Israel made it clear that no action will be taken soon, is controversial even within Israel. And it is, without a question, a high-risk strategic move. Hundreds of Arafat supports immediately surrounded his compound in the West Bank town of Ramallah.
Matthew Chance joins us now from Ramallah on the telephone -- Matthew.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Lou, thank you.
And there have there been very angry, very passionate scenes here in Ramallah, as thousands of supporters of Yasser Arafat descended on his Baathist presidential compound in a move supposed to show solidarity and support for the Palestinian president.
Israel and the U.S. may not like it, but this is a man who, clearly, a lot of people still regard as a potent national symbol. And those threats of Israeli action against him have been responded to with absolute fury here by the majority of people coming out onto the streets. And as you might expect from a man who has led the PLO for the better part of 40 years, absolute defiance from Yasser Arafat.
The Israeli government, as you referred to there, hasn't spelled out exactly, though, what they have in mind for President Arafat, saying only that they intend to remove what they regard as an obstacle to peace in this region -- Lou.
DOBBS: Matthew Chance, thank you, reporting from Ramallah on the West Bank.
Coming up next here: Are Americans safer two years later? Lisa Sylvester, from Washington, D.C., will report on "A Changed Nation" tonight.
And a changing military as welcome: how the U.S. armed forces are adapting to a worldwide war against terror. General David Grange on point.
And the editors of "Newsweek" and "U.S. News & World Report" will join us to share their views about what has changed, for the better and for the worst, over the past two years and what remains to be done.
Stay with us.
DOBBS: Tonight, our special report on "A Changed Nation" after September 11, two years ago today.
Tonight, we focus on the Patriot Act. The Patriot Act was signed into law a month after the September 11 attacks to help the government track down terrorists. However, two years later, many people across the ideological spectrum say it threatens Americans' right to privacy.
Lisa Sylvester reports from Washington.
LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Twenty-two-year- old French Clements tried to open up an online brokerage account, but he was turned down. His new address did not match his college address on his credit report, a red flag under the Patriot Act. Clements has seen how the law can impact the lives of ordinary Americans.
FRENCH CLEMENTS, STUDENT: I just want to put it in a bag and put it underneath my bed, all my money. I just -- I don't feel good about this whole thing.
SYLVESTER: Beginning October 1, those who open up a financial account will have to prove their identity. Their names will be matched against a terrorist list. And any suspicious transactions will be reported to authorities. It's one of the provisions in the Patriot Act signed into law October 2001.
Federal agents can also search personal records, including medical files and library records, with a warrant from a secret court. They can sneak into a home, look for evidence, and leave without notifying the owner until later, and obtain warrants for roving wiretaps to tap into any phone a suspected terrorist uses.
The Justice Department credits the Patriot Act in the arrest of terrorist suspects, including Ohio truck driver Iyman Faris, who pled guilty to scouting out possible terrorist sites for al Qaeda. Attorney General John Ashcroft toured the country to promote the antiterrorism law.
JOHN ASHCROFT, ATTORNEY GENERAL: The Patriot Act took down that barrier between law enforcement and intelligence and allows us to share information, so we can connect the dots and fit together the pieces of the puzzle in time to disrupt terror.
SYLVESTER: But protesters greeted the attorney general at stops on his tour. Liberal and some conservative groups say the law overreaches.
DAVID KEENE, CHAIRMAN, AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE UNION: We're fearful that, in trying to protect ourselves, we're making a bad bargain, in which we give up freedoms that we're trying to protect.
SYLVESTER: More than 150 local communities and three states have voted against the Patriot Act. And several libraries have started shredding records to avoid turning them over to law enforcement.
(END VIDEOTAPE) SYLVESTER: President Bush wants to expand police powers to hold suspects without bail, to allow authorities to get subpoenas without going to court, and to seek the death penalty in more terrorism cases -- Lou.
DOBBS: Lisa, thank you -- Lisa Sylvester from Washington.
Turning now to tonight's poll, the question: What is the most fitting, in your opinion, construction to take place on ground zero in New York City, new towers, a giant memorial, a park, or a combination? We want to hear from you. Cast your vote at CNN.com/Lou. We'll have the results later in the show.
Coming up next, our series special reports in conjunction with "The Economist" continues. Tonight: "Islam and Democracy," a look at France.
And Mort Zuckerman, editor in chief of "U.S. News & World Report," Mark Whitaker, editor of "Newsweek," join us to share their views on "A changed Nation" and a changing world.
Jan Hopkins takes a look at how communities around the world paused to remember victims of September 11 today.
DOBBS: It has been a day of remembrance all around the world. Across this country, bells tolled and tributes were paid to the more than 3,000 innocence people who were killed two years ago today. Memorials were also held by the men and women on the front lines of the war on terror.
Jan Hopkins has the story.
CHORUS (singing): Oh, say, can you see by the dawn's early light?
JAN HOPKINS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The battered flag that flew over the ruins of the World Trade Center was returned to zero for this year's memorial.
At 8:46, when American Airlines Flight 11 hit the south tower, there was a moment of silence. It was followed by bells tolling across the nation. At 9:03, when United Flight 175 hit the north tower, there was silence again.
The children who were left behind remembered the 2,792 who perished.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ronald Michael Breitweiser.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Francis Henry Brennan.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And my uncle, Steve Ruben Polacino (ph), we miss you so much.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And my aunt and uncle, Sylvia and John Resta.
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG (R), MAYOR OF NEW YORK: So many names, there is barely room on the walls of the heart.
HOPKINS: At Arlington Cemetery outside Washington, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld laid a wreath in honor of all the victims.
DONALD RUMSFELD, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: Let us recommit ourselves to their cause and to our mission, the triumph of freedom over tyranny.
HOPKINS: At the Pentagon, the moment of silence came at 9:37, when American Airlines Flight 77 hit the building, killing 184.
In Shanksville, Pennsylvania, the silence came at 10:10, when the United flight crashed in the countryside and killed all 40 on board.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: God bless Flight 93 and God bless America.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (singing): He has my hopes.
HOPKINS: Across the globe in Iraq, U.S. soldiers took time to remember.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have to be here and we have to be in other parts of the world, since a tragic day like September 11 can never happen again.
DOBBS: Joining me are Mort Zuckerman, who is the editor in chief of "U.S. News & World Report," and Mark Whitaker, who is the editor of "Newsweek" magazine.
Gentlemen, good to have you with us on this somber occasion, a day of remembrance and, as the president would have it, a day of further commitment.
The two years, as we cast our minds back to the hours following the destruction, the terrorist attacks, is America today pretty much as you assumed it might be in those hours and days immediately following, Mark?
MARK WHITAKER, EDITOR, "NEWSWEEK": Well, I think we're a changed nation.
I mean, some people think we haven't changed that much. But, obviously, everything has changed. Our foreign policy has changed. I think domestic security has changed. The way we travel has changed. And I think the way we look at the world has changed. I think we're a much warier than we were. So you can argue about whether we're safer, but I don't think there's any argument that we're much different as a country. DOBBS: You agree?
MORT ZUCKERMAN, EDITOR IN CHIEF, "U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT": I do agree.
I think it has changed energy this country, maybe not for everybody. A lot depends on how far you were from where these events happened. But the important thing about these events is that they happened on television. It became a national story instantaneously and it seared itself into the minds of virtually every American. And I don't think that is going to go away for a long, long time.
And the evidence of that will be if, God forbid, there's another attack. The country will go, I think, into a state of extraordinary anxiety. And every time we have had a warning, an alert, now you walk into office buildings, shopping centers, there's security everywhere. And that's going to be a part of our life, and, increasingly so, in my judgment.
DOBBS: You gentlemen play a large role in determining what the American public reads each week, as you encapsulate the events and analyze those events and explain a bit of the why that is happening that is occurring.
Is it your best judgment, Mark, that we are a better country, that we have demonstrated more character in the months and the years since September 11, two years ago?
WHITAKER: Well, I think, obviously, in the first weeks and months after September 11, I think we saw a really moving display of national character, not just in terms of the firefighters and policemen and heroes here in New York and in Washington and in Pennsylvania, but I think the country rallying around donating, expressing sympathy, and so forth.
I think there still is that -- on the public level, that willingness to rally around. And I think, God forbid, there is another attack, I think we'll see that. But I think there's a real issue now, which is how we're perceived around the world. And there was a tremendous amount of support and sympathy for us in those initial days and months after September 11. And I think a lot of that has dissipated. And I think it's tied to this administration's approach to fighting the war on terror and unilateralist policies.
And there may be some benefits to that. But I think we can't be naive about the way we're perceived in the rest of the world. And it's very negative right now.
DOBBS: Mort, does that concern you?
ZUCKERMAN: Yes, sure it concerns us.
It would be nice to have a much broader array of support than we presently have. But it always makes me remember Gary Cooper in "High Noon," when he had to defend the town, even when the rest of the town wasn't willing to support him. We are the sheriff in the world, whether we like it or not. We're the only country able to project power as we did in Afghanistan, as we did in Iraq. And we are, unfortunately, going to be the target for the same reason that we're the ones that people are basically targeting their terrorist attacks against and, therefore, we have a very different threat assessment.
So it doesn't surprise me there's a difference between us and the rest of the world. And I think we have this choice but to do what we're doing. I'd love to find a way to it better. I don't think our diplomacy has been very good. But I'm not sure we could have made that much of a difference when you have structures like the U.N. with its structure of vetoes. I'm not sure we would have done much better than we did.
DOBBS: Could we have done better?
MARK WHITAKER, EDITOR "NEWSWEEK": I think on a diplomatic front we would have done better. There is no question we had to do the war in Afghanistan. The war in Iraq was perhaps more optional, but I think there were good arguments and still are good arguments for why we should have done that, despite the fact we haven't found some of the weapons.
But I think diplomacy was mishandled. And I think it was short sighted to think particularly in Iraq we could do nation building on the scale that we're now committed to without involving the rest of the world.
DOBBS: And against the backdrop of domestic politics, we're pursuing foreign policy. Whether one agrees with the course taken by the administration or not, this is a now very, very much polarized nation. You see it amongst your readers, we see it amongst our viewers as they respond to us.
In the months following September 11 two years ago, there was -- it seemed to me that we were political than we have ever been. We were less polarized, that's certainly in my memory. We have now moved beyond polarization, we're fractionalized. Is there any hope that this president or any person leading this country can bring this country together?
ZUCKERMAN: Well, I mean, nobody ever knows the answer to that. I must say that I think this president, whether you agree with him or not, certainly believes it is his mission as the president and his responsibility and as president to go after this scourge of Islamic terrorism.
And by the way, if you speak to Putin of Russia, he believes exactly the same way and they're all going at it in various ways. So I think everything recognizes what a threat this is and how we come to terms with it is, I think critical, but I don't see how any president can avoid coming to terms with it in terms of confrontation with it.
And therefore, the degree to which the president manages political support, is going to be a real test of leadership. But another real test of leadership is his willingness to go after these people. And I really think we support it and I think we should do whatever we can to support the president on this. I feel very strongly about that.
DOBBS: But the polarization of this country, how does one carry out effective foreign policy and bring this people today together?
ZUCKERMAN: You know, FDR had to do it in terms of getting America involved in World War II against a terrible scourge of that particular period. When the vote on the draft was before the Congress, it was passed by one vote in those days and this was when World War II was basically raging.
So I think there's always that problem. This country is a pacifist nation and isolationist nation. We don't want to be bothered. We have a wonderful life here and wish the rest of the world would leave us alone, but they wouldn't.
WHITAKER: But I think, one of the things that has been missing is, I think there was an opportunity after September 11 for President Bush or any president to really call for an element of sacrifice from the public, whether it was about service, whether it was about fuel economy, any number of things that he could have summoned I think the desire that existed then for people to rise above and somehow contribute. And I don't think that really was done.
And I think that's the one thing apart from all of the political differences that perhaps could have been done to sustain that sense of unity we had after September 11.
DOBBS: This is a war being conducted to this point without a tax increase and indeed we have a tax cut. It's a war being conducted with the sacrifice of a million and a half men and women in uniform, but not by the young people who typically of a nation march off into war. It is not a shared sacrifice. How deleterious is that? How important an issue is that for our society? How might it spring full upon us in an election year for the presidency next year?
ZUCKERMAN: Well, Dwight Eisenhower thought we had to choose between guns and butter. Lyndon Johnson went for guns and butter. And this administration is going for guns, butter and tax cuts. It makes no sense, I have to tell you that we are doing it that way. I think, Mark's absolutely right, I think there had to be a call for some level of commitment and sacrifice beyond doing more shopping.
WHITACKER: And in terms, I think, of the politics of this looking forward to the election, I think the connection between the war on terror, the war in Iraq, and the economy is going to be crucial. With all of the questions that people have about the foreign policy, what I think people are really worried about right now is what the cost of this is going to be at a time when the economy's still very fragile and despite the fact that we're technically in a recovery, people are not seeing jobs come back.
DOBBS: Mark Whitaker, Mort Zuckerman, gentlemen, thank you very much for being with us.
That brings us to tonight's thought, "countries do not assume burdens because it is fair. Only because it is necessary." Former Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger.
Please stay with CNN and join Paula Zahn tonight from ground zero for a special town hall meeting. She'll be joined by New York's Governor George Pataki, a panel of experts and lawmakers who will answer questions from a live audience. A CNN special town hall meeting, tonight here at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.
Coming up next: Islam and democracy, our special report in conjunction with the "Economist" magazine. Tonight we look at France. Its Muslim population. A culture in conflict. Stay with us.
BLITZER: Our Special Report in association with the "Economist" magazine, "Islam and Democracy." The question of whether democracy and Islam are compatible is playing out in the Arab world as well as in the west. Tonight, we look at France and its growing Muslim population, one of the largest in western Europe.
PETER DAVID, FOREIGN EDITOR,"THE ECONOMIST": A lot of the September 11 hijackers did come from populations living in western Europe and the United States. All found living among Muslim communities in the west was a pretty good place to launch their attacks from.
DOBBS: With millions of Muslims now in the west, concerns linger about possible future terrorist attacks. Observers say that threat can be easily overstated.
BILL EMMOTT, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, "THE ECONOMIST": We've seen bombers from Britain and from France and from other places in the west. We're likely to see some in the future, but they are a tiny minority.
PROF. GILLES KEPEL, INSTITUES D'ETUDES POLITIQUES: When you deal with Muslims in France, you have to deal with both ends of the spectrum. On the one hand, the vocal radical minority. And on the other hand, the vast, silent majority.
DOBBS: Nouradine Hagoug, is one of 5 million French Muslims, the largest Arab community in Europe. He believes it's still an open question whether Muslims in the west will be abridge to democracy, or a source of extremist violence.
NOUREDINE HAGOUG, FRENCH ASSEMBLYMAN: If we prove that we can live in the western world as Muslims and not to deny our religion or our identity it will be an example for the whole Muslim world. If we fail, they will say that there is a real contradiction between western world and Islamic world.
DOBBS: Hagoug's parents immigrated from Algeria in the 1950's and he grew up in the poorest ghettos of Marseilles.
Today, he advises the mayor of this coastal city, the third largest in France, working to bring Islam and democracy closer.
HAGOUG: A lot of people like me, who we call the second generation, are very happy to be here, to have some rights, to live in democracy. What they want is to be accepted as what they are.
DOBBS: But there are some difficult adjustments. For example, Muslim school girls are not allowed to wear their headscarves in class.
HAGOUG: Society seems to propose a kind of deal. OK, you are accepted if you deny your identity.
DOBBS: France is making some changes. The country recently created the first governmental body devoted to Muslim affairs. Elsewhere a swimming pool, separating the sexes and the first Muslim private school have been built. Still, many younger Muslims feel disconnected from French society. And the concern is some may turn radical Islam.
PROF. TARIQ RAMADAN, UNIVERSITY OF FRIBOURG: If you're pushing me outside the system of the society I will come back to you from the window as a Muslim, telling you, I'm coming as bin Laden because you're rejecting me as a Muslim.
It's like exactly what Malcolm X said, I was nothing. My name is X. You never recognize me as a human being.
DOBBS: Tariq Ramadan, an expert on Islamic issues, is also the grandson of Hassan al-Banna, who founded the Muslim Brotherhood, the movement that gave birth to Muslim nationalism.
Unlike his grandfather, who promoted extremism, Ramadan argues against using Islam as part of a war cry.
RAMADAN: Don't use Islam as a weapon to say, OK, you don't like us, you don't like Islam. I will fight in the name of Islam. I think that this is wrong.
DOBBS: Coming up next here, support for the war in Iraq remains strong. But questions about peace and the price tag are growing louder. Senior political analyst, Bill Schneider, will report.
And "Grange on Point." How September 11 has reshaped the U.S. military and its role around the world. General David Grange is next.
DOBBS: President Bush Sunday night asked Congress for $87 billion to fight the war against radical Islamist terrorists, and rebuild Iraq.
As Bill Schneider now reports, that request has cost the president.
WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST (voice-over): It didn't work. That is the unambiguous conclusion of a poll taken in the days following President Bush's speech Sunday night.
Before the speech, the president's job approval rating was 59 percent in the CNN/"USA Today"/Gallup poll. After his rating dropped suddenly to 52 percent. That's his lowest rating since -- note the date -- September 10, 2001.
Why the drop? One word: Iraq.
SEN. RICHARD SHELBY (R), ALABAMA: We knew that it was going to be a lot of money and it was going to take a lot of time. But this was the first strong message that the president put out like that.
SCHNEIDER: Approval of the president's handling of Iraq dropped from 57 to 51 percent.
BUSH: Two years ago I told the Congress and the country that the war on terror would be a lengthy war, a different kind of war, fought on many fronts and many places. Iraq is now the central front.
SCHNEIDER: People don't get that connection. Approval of the president's handling of terrorism remains high. Much higher than his rating on Iraq. And that rating hardly changed.
SEN. JOE LIEBERMAN (D-CT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What President Bush gave the American people on Sunday night was a price tag, not a plan.
SCHNEIDER: The public agrees. Strikingly, after the president laid out his policy, the number of Americans who felt the Bush administration does not have a clear plan in Iraq went up, from 54 percent before the speech to 59 percent afterwards.
And what about that price tag?
BUSH: I will soon submit to Congress a request for $87 billion.
SCHNEIDER: Yikes, said the Democrats.
REP. RICHARD GEPHARDT (D-MO), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's costing a billion dollars a week. He needs to get the help from the international coalition that he should have gotten months ago.
SCHNEIDER: Yikes, say the voters, who balk at the prospect of spending $87 billion in Iraq when the U.S. economy is shaky.
Our polls suggest President Bush is in political trouble.
Before his speech Sunday night, he had a 12-point edge over an unnamed Democrat for re-election. After the speech, that lead shrank to 4 points. Too close to call.
(on camera): There is a little good news for President Bush. Nearly 60 percent of the public still says Iraq was worth going to war over. The public hasn't turned against the policy, they've turned against the game plan and the price tag.
Bill Schneider, CNN, Los Angeles.
DOBBS: Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the United States military has slashed personnel, its budget and weapons. At the same time, our nation has increased its military commitments all around the world.
Tonight, in "Grange on Point," General David Grange takes a look at the events of September 11 have changed the U.S. military.
General, good to have you with us.
BRIG. GEN. DAVID GRANGE (RET.), U.S. ARMY: Thank you.
DOBBS: Dave, this has been a remarkable burden to put on U.S. forces, which are far weaker than they were years ago. What has been the effect over the past two years?
GRANGE: Well, Lou, I think the forces are weaker in numbers but stronger in capability. It's -- the quality of the forces is unbelievable. First rate, first class force. Overcommitted. There's no doubt about that. Talked to a ranger the other day, a trooper that came back that was wounded that had been to Afghanistan twice, Iraq once and he's been in the military less than two years. So you have total commitment of the forces at hand around the world today.
DOBBS: There is no question , as you say, about the capacity of these fighting men and women in the U.S. military. There's also no question, is there, that there are simply not enough of these young men and women to fully carry out the mandate that's been put in front of them for a global war on terror?
GRANGE: Well, the global war on terror, plus the commitments at hand already, whether it be in the Balkans, whether it in be in Afghanistan, Colombia, the Philippines, all over the world in over 120 countries. And so the size of the military must increase so there can be a very defined rotation plan that will give some predictability to military families which will help in the morale and keep the stress and the burden down on those being deployed over and over again.
DOBBS: That predictability was predicted and it was improved. But the answer wasn't satisfactory to most of those families when it was announced that troops would be held through March in Iraq. This is really simply a response to the fact there are not enough men and women in uniform today, is it not?
GRANGE: Well, it's better to have overwhelming force in any operation up front, even if you hold some in reserve in the theater of operations where that conflict has taken place. And then you have the options to release troops at will when you have enough to rotate back and forth. And so, it was probably done just enough. It was a great maneuver warfare demonstration in Iraq. But the transition to stability and support operations most likely required more forces to put the pressure on the adversary that could have been done at that time.
DOBBS: How many countries are there around the world in which we have committed U.S. forces in the war against terrorism?
GRANGE: It's always over 100, but usually around 120, may be anywhere from 12-man special forces team up to thousands, like you have in Iraq at this time. And it's -- so it's quite a commitment. But, as a world leader, there's not much choice. And so it seems to me that because you don't have a choice, as a world leader, you to increase the size in order to meet the long-range commitment and sustainability of your armed forces abroad.
DOBBS: Have you been surprised by the Pentagon's reluctance to seek precisely that, a significant increase in the level of force in uniform?
GRANGE: Well, a little bit surprised. I believe that it will happen. I believe the department of defense will do that. There's a lot of internal options that have to be conducted as well. For instance, a realignment of the national guard and reserve of the active forces has to be done reference homeland defense and a lot of the combat service support type roles that they provide to the active. So it's internal as well as bringing more recruits in order to build the force which will take several years.
DOBBS: General David Grange, thank you.
GRANGE: My pleasure.
DOBBS: Next week on "Grange on Point," General Grange will take a look at the positioning of the U.S. Armed Forces around the world, where they are, where they're headed next, where they're needed most.
And when we continue we'll have the results of tonight's poll. We'll have your thoughts. And Christine Romans will report on a battle brewing at the site of the World Trade Center, a battle over the last building standing. That story and more still ahead. Stay with
DOBBS: The results of tonight's poll, what is the most fitting construct project to take place on ground zero in New York? Twenty- nine percent of you said, new towers, 6 percent said a giant memorial, 17 percent said a park, 48 percent said some combination of all three.
On Wall Street today stocks modestly higher. The Dow up 39 points, the Nasdaq up 22. The S&P up five and half.
Christine Romans has the market and as well as a story of a long standing remainder of the terrorist attacks of September 11 on Wall Street -- Christine. CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNNfn CORRESPONDENT: On Wall Street today, call it patriotic rally, some of them are. On the floor of the New York Stock Exchange the respect paid for victims of September 11 with a modest rally in stocks. Meanwhile, just two block as way shrouded in black is a building Wall Streeters call the widow. Tattered and toxic, the Deutsche Bank building at 130 Liberty Street. Deutsche Bank says 20,000 gallons of fuel in the basement caught fire on September 11, toxic dust from the towers was blown into every nook and cranny and that building is not and never will be habitable. Its it's insurers though, Lou, disagree. Deutsche Bank filed suit against of Allianz of Germany, and Axa of France to pay for the demolition. Two of its other insurers have settled. Allianz and Axa say it can be repaired for far less. So the widow stand and the issue is locked in court, even as redevelopment of Lower Manhattan moves ahead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEW HIGGINS, LOWER MANHATTAN DEVELOPMENT CORP.: It's very, important that the building come down for psychological reasons because it's such an eyesore because it plays a central role for the overall plan of its site.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROMANS: For it's part Allianz of Germany says it does not want to stand in the way of the demolition of the billing if it's in the better interest of Lower Manhattan it just doesn't want to pay for it -- Lou.
DOBBS: And in the meanwhile this building is a long standing reminder. It's remarkable they can't come to agreement on this.
ROMANS: It is remarkable. And this is a billing that is full, Lou, of asbestos and all kinds of other things. Ironic because it was the first sky scraper in Lower Manhattan to be built in 1974 without asbestos. Full of it now.
DOBBS: Christine thanks. Christine Romans.
Now let's look at some of "Your Thoughts."
Many wrote in about our special report on the exporting of America.
Carolyn Harlan of Lake Havasu City, Arizona, "I don't see CEOs outsourcing their jobs. Now that would be a cost-savings!"
Gail Rubio of Brea, California, "I believe the United States should be concerned and thoughtful regarding the opinions of the rest of the world. I don't however believe they should drive our foreign policy."
On two-year anniversary of September 11, Nancy Rigg of Los Angeles wrote, "If we think of nothing else on this day of remembrance, I hope that we, as a nation, will join together to support the families of our military troops who are serving abroad and renew our outreach efforts to them and the troops who are so far away from home."
Send us your thoughts. E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Finally tonight, uplifting words from American leaders around the world. Leaders who guided the nation through September 11 and those who continue to lead the fight against terrorism. Today, they celebrated the resilient American spirit.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LT. GEN. RICARDO SANCHEZ, U.S. ARMY: There is, in my mine, that the American people are committed to winning this war and that we will in fact succeed. We will not allow America to become a battleground for terrorists.
ASHCROFT: We have endured in our commitment to preserving life and liberty, and we will persevere in that commitment. We have united as a nation, and our resolve will not fault.
RUDY GUILIANI, FORMER MAYOR OF NEW YORK CITY: Winston Churchill said, we shall not fail or falter. We shall not weaken or tire. Neither the sudden shock of battle nor the long, drawn trials of vigilance and exertion will wear us down. He also said, repair the waste, rebill the ruins, heal the wounds, crown the victors, comfort the broken and broken hearted. There is the battle. We have one to fight. There is the victory we have now to win. Let us go forward together.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DOBBS: That's our show tonight. Thanks for being with us.
Tomorrow night we will be joined by former CIA director Robert Gates on the changes need to American's intelligence agencies. Editors of "Forbes," "Fortune," and Business Week Magazine join us. And a our feature series, "Heroes." We look at Sargent Kevin Hilton (ph) of the 3rd Infantry Division.
For all of us here always remember, and good night from New York.
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