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PAULA ZAHN NOW
Bomb Attack Devastates Baghdad Hotel; Vice President Cheney on the Attack
Aired March 17, 2004 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening. I'm Heidi Collins, in for Paula Zahn tonight.
It is Wednesday, March 17, 2004.
COLLINS (voice-over): One year after the invasion of Iraq, another terrifying explosion, a hotel demolished as Westerners are targeted for death. Is Baghdad any safer one year later?
Vice President Cheney spearheads a new attack on John Kerry that Americans face a stark choice on standing up to terrorists. Is he making a call to conscience or trying to divide the nation?
And Erin Brockovich's next environmental battle, Beverly Hills. Does a dangerous cancer risk lie below the world's most famous high school?
COLLINS: But, first, here's what you need to know right now.
Just into CNN, video of the bombing itself. It was caught on tape during a TV interview. Take a look. That video gives you a sense of the magnitude of the blast.
CNN Baghdad bureau chief Jane Arraf, who has been at the scene all day long, is live in Baghdad now with the very latest tonight -- Jane, hello.
JANE ARRAF, CNN BAGHDAD BUREAU CHIEF: Hi, Heidi.
Right now, these workers who have been sifting through this rubble, this brick, these iron girders with their bare hands and pickaxes have given away to U.S. Army bulldozers. Now, what they're trying to do is clear away the debris to see if there's anyone left underneath. If there is anyone left, it's extremely unlikely they would have survived, officials said, crushed under tons of brick.
Now, this was a huge car bomb, 1,000 pound of explosives, and officials say they believe it was a suicide bomb. The car was still traveling when the suicide bomber detonated is what they suspect. Across the street, the hotel that may have been the target, a small hotel, an unlikely target. Only nine guests were staying there, according to the manager, two of them believed to be British citizens working for an Iraqi mobile phone company, the rest of them Arab nationals and Iraqi hotel staff.
At least 29 people confirmed dead and at least 50 injured, many of them so seriously the death toll is expected to rise -- Heidi.
COLLINS: Jane Arraf, thanks so much for excellent reporting today. We certainly do appreciate it.
And here we are putting the Baghdad bombing "In Focus" now. There are many questions tonight about the attack, security at the hotel and what seem to be the growing dangers of new terror tactics in Iraq.
Joining us now from Washington, two men who know the situation well, CNN security analyst Kelly McCann, who has stayed at the hotel, and Mamoun Fandy, a senior fellow at the United States Institute of Peace.
Thanks, guys, for being with us tonight.
COLLINS: Kelly, I want to begin with you. Are U.S. troops in Baghdad in any more danger now after all of this has happened?
J. KELLY MCCANN, CNN SECURITY ANALYST: It's a different kind of danger, Heidi. By the way, I didn't stay at the hotel, I've been to that hotel.
But the bottom line is that it's a different kind of place. Many questions have been asked today about, are we safer? I think it's just different. And it's different because of this multilayered threat and this time in history. Right now you have got the largest movement of people since post-World War II, as the Army leaves and the Marine Corps comes in. You have got the burgeoning Iraqi Governing Council taking over.
You've got the Iraqi police who are trying to get control of their country without assistance. And it's a precise time when people who want to produce instability will attack, especially at soft targets. Remember that there's an incredible amount of civilians now are pouring into the country to produce infrastructure results, so it is right now, which is, you know, hearkening these bombings.
COLLINS: Mamoun, how does the Arab world view Baghdad today compared to one year ago?
MAMOUN FANDY, SENIOR FELLOW, U.S. INSTITUTE OF PEACE: Well, that's practically the point of this attack, is that probably the Americans a year later are not totally in control. And that's the message that the attackers wanted to send to the Arab world.
Remember, Heidi, that this is the hotel where an Egyptian company, Orascom, that's running the cell phones in Baghdad and with Jordanians and other multinationals are there. The point of the attack was basically to scare those who are working with construction of Iraq. So the message is really targeted toward the Arab world now, not to the Americans from this attack.
COLLINS: Kelly, let's talk logistics for just a moment.
Talking a little bit about your sources here who mentioned the idea or the theory, if you will, that possibly this hotel could have been a target because of the proximity to the Palestine Hotel and the media staying there.
MCCANN: Absolutely. I just got that before I came on set with you, Heidi.
Basically, one analyst who's in country actually said to me that it's being thought of now that it could have been a likely target or a more valued target, because, if you think about it, the reporters a lot of times are not on the ground. They basically are local national cameramen working the areas, etcetera, but no matter what you could get footage of this explosion from the top of the Palestine Hotel.
Now, that's not a vetted analysis, but it is a trusted source, so it does make sense. We actually saw those videos today throughout the morning and it was immediate, so there might be impact there.
COLLINS: What about the bomb's size? This was 1,000 pounds.
MCCANN: One thousand pounds, but as I said earlier, 500 pounds up to 2,000 pounds have been used. Now, we think that this was a mixture of PE-4, which is an RDX-based fast, high explosive, and perhaps some composition material from military munitions. We'll know that when the investigation goes forward.
But 1,000 pounds is not difficult to conceal. If you remember the bombing outside the assassin's gate -- quote, unquote -- "the assassin's gate" in the green zone, that was also about 1,000 pounds. And it was concealed in a very small pickup truck in which eight people were riding in the bed. So, again, it's very difficult. If you don't look at behavior, you're unlikely to see the delivery of the device, Heidi.
COLLINS: So it's not really about the sophistication here. It's more about the surveillance, you say?
MCCANN: Better. It's not about the sophistication. In fact, these are -- quote, unquote -- "dumb bombs." They're not necessarily sophisticated in the way that they're detonated.
But what is sophisticated is the surveillance on these sites. Surveillance in Baghdad is omnipresent. And a lot of times, the operators on the ground obviously can't determine who's looking at them. They just know that somebody is, and potentially for targeting. So it's very difficult. But the answer is to raise the security bar across the board. Now, this particular hotel proprietor believed in a philosophy, it was a multicultural clientele, so he was less at risk, and also, he didn't want to appear to be a fortress, which might also lessen his risk. The trouble is that these people are willing to break a lot of eggs to make omelets. It doesn't matter if you get in the way. As Mamoun said, the bottom line is, they're trying to basically show that the United States cannot control the area.
COLLINS: So, Kelly, to that point, will U.S. troops ever be safe in Baghdad?
MCCANN: No war zone is safe, Heidi. But there are varying degrees of safety. And the deployment now is evolving into more foot- borne patrols, less significant mass targets, etcetera. It's the next evolution, as the Marine Corps goes in. But it will change. Six months from now, it will be a totally different environment again.
COLLINS: And, Mamoun, what about the Iraqi people? Will they be safe?
FANDY: I think they will be safe if we -- if you look at the situation, Heidi, you'll find the north of Iraq, where there is both security and politics taking place, there are no bombs there.
In Baghdad, there is only security issues. So unless there's politics involved, there has to be political engagement with the Iraqi people. One Iraqi told me when I was in the region that when the Americans came in, they took the big cotton that Saddam Hussein had in our mouth and we couldn't speak, and they liberated us. But now the Americans put the cotton from us and put it in their own ears. So they are not listening to us.
And I think the Iraqis want the Americans to listen and to engage with them politically.
COLLINS: Kelly McCann, Mamoun Fandy, thanks so much for joining us tonight, gentlemen. Appreciate your time.
FANDY: Thank you.
COLLINS: Vice President Cheney, he's back in the public eye and getting tougher than ever with critics of the war. Is that uniting or dividing Americans?
And it's no secret President Bush has locked horns with other world leaders and not just on Iraq, but does the rest of the world still admire what America stands for? We'll have the results of a startling new poll.
And the latest cause for Erin Brockovich. Is there a deadly danger hidden beneath one of the wealthiest communities in the nation?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DICK CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Thugs and assassins in Iraq are desperately trying to shake our will. Just this morning, they conducted a murderous attack on a hotel in Baghdad. Their goal is to prevent the rise of the democracy. But they will fail.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: Vice President Cheney at the Reagan Library in California reacting to today's bombing and bolstering the administration's case for the war in Iraq one year after the invasion.
Is he the main architect of the war? And does his defense resonate with most Americans or divide us? We want to talk about that tonight.
Former Congressman Tom Andrews of Win Without War and MoveOn.org, they have called for Congress to censure the president for leading the country to war. And Cheri Jacobus, Republican strategist and former spokeswoman for the party.
Thanks to the both of you for being with us tonight.
TOM ANDREWS, WIN WITHOUT WAR: Thank you, Heidi.
CHERI JACOBUS, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Thanks for having me.
COLLINS: I want to go ahead and start with Tom, if I could.
Some have charged that Vice President Cheney has been the driving force if you will behind the decision to go to war in Iraq. How much influence does he have?
ANDREWS: Well, from all I can tell, Heidi -- and, of course, I don't hang out at the White House too much -- but from what I can tell, he has extraordinary influence on this foreign policy.
And when you listen to what officials around the world are saying about the attacks by the United States on the United Nations, on the process that was actually able to be very successful in dismantling Saddam Hussein from his weapons of mass destruction, it was Vice President Cheney who was leading the way not only for this unilateral approach of the United States, dissing the United Nations and the approach that we know was successful, but we know that he was undermining at every turn that basic approach, coordination and cooperation with our international allies, that we know is the key to success.
We know that not only from what we've heard inside this country, but also from allies around the country. And we think, therefore, he has severely undermined the capacity of the United States to deal with the problem of al Qaeda and terrorism in the only way we know it can be successful. And that's as a team coordinating and cooperating with the rest of the world.
(CROSSTALK) COLLINS: We want to give Cheri some equal time here.
COLLINS: Cheri, what's your response to that?
JACOBUS: Well, certainly, the United States did not just go out unilaterally and decide to do this. We're going over almost ancient history now. We went back the U.N. numerous times. The U.N. simply would not enforce the resolutions that they had put forth before, so we really had no choice.
But I heard Cheney today, Vice President Cheney, that the United States did want to -- this administration did want to take every effort they could, go as far as they could, before taking military action. So clearly we have different views on that. In terms of his influence, of course he's influential. He's a different kind of vice president. Most vice presidents are picked and -- we're seeing this now during this campaign season with the Democrats -- vice presidents are picked primarily because they can pull a state, bring in a certain amount of delegates, just a certain state in the South.
Dick Cheney, that was not why he got on this ticket. Dick Cheney brought in a host of talents and experience. He was a congressman for many years. He was secretary of defense, and I would think that, even had he not been vice president, after September 11, I think he would have been one of the first people that this administration would have brought into the inner circle to help out. So he's an extraordinary, valuable person to have in this position right now and we're very fortunate.
ANDREWS: Heidi, could I say, I agree to a certain extent with what Cheri said.
I served on the Armed Services Committee when Dick Cheney was secretary of defense. I thought it was a very smart move for the administration to bring him in very early on. I thought it would create the kind of stability and wisdom and focus that it needed. But it turns out that, from just about every point of view that I can see, Dick Cheney has been the attack dog, if you will, for this policy.
And he has been leading the charge of what we call and what clearly is a fabrication of the basic facts that led us into Iraq, citing documents that never existed, making claims for...
COLLINS: All right, guys, I just want to let you know that we're running out of time.
ANDREWS: OK. OK.
COLLINS: I want to go ahead and before we go get both of your comments on the poll that came out today, latest CNN/"USA Today"/Gallup poll, I should say, shows that, while support has dropped from one year ago -- you see the numbers there -- the majority of Americans say it was worth going to war in Iraq. Doesn't the administration have public opinion on their side, if you look at these numbers, Tom?
ANDREWS: I would be very nervous if I were the administration right now about those numbers.
First of all, they're going the wrong way, from their point of view. People feel less and less confident about this administration's capacity to deal with this incredible quagmire that we have ourselves in. We don't demonstrate -- we're not demonstrating the capacity to provide the stability to Iraq that it needs in order to move forward.
JACOBUS: I would have to disagree with that.
The public support for the war in Iraq has been relatively consistent ever since it started. And what I find really admirable is the fact that the president and the vice president in this administration have been consistent in their resolve, whether they're up in the polls or down in the polls. And ultimately that is what the American people need and respect. And that is what I think is going to pull them through Election Day. We see just the opposite with John Kerry.
ANDREWS: It's not the resolve. It's the approach.
ANDREWS: Heidi, thank you very much.
COLLINS: All right, you guys, thank you so much for your time tonight. We do appreciate it, Cheri Jacobus and Tom Andrews.
JACOBUS: Thank you.
COLLINS: I'm sure we'll see you again sometime soon. Thanks again.
COLLINS: In training for one of world's most dangerous jobs. The odds against staying alive are incredible. We'll tell what it is.
And how not to offend someone with the click of a mouse? Bad manners online could cost you your job or worse.
COLLINS: Today's bombing in Baghdad shows just how deadly and dangerous Iraq is, not just for civilians and soldiers, but for the country's policemen as well. They're not just trying to maintain order and keep the peace. They're trying to survive in a country where they continue to be targets for terror.
More now from CNN senior international correspondent Sheila MacVicar.
SHEILA MACVICAR, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): For these Iraqi recruits, this is the final test. At the firing range of Baghdad's police academy, watched over by their American instructors.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thirty-six.
MACVICAR: These men, some young, some not so young, are preparing to graduate.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fifty. Fifty.
MACVICAR: Enjoining the ranks of what is now the most dangerous profession in Iraq.
"Fear exists," says Afaz Fayad (ph). "We have to get beyond fear."
"Iraqis need securities," says Adel Hasan (ph). "And I'm here to help bring security to my country."
But being a policeman is such a risky business in a country where there is still so little security that most of these recruits say they will not tell their neighbors who they work for.
MELVIN GOUDIE, BAGHDAD POLICE ACADEMY: One of the students was murdered in his home because he had joined the police service. Not one other student left this academy because of that. They all want to be here.
MACVICAR: On the street, it's tough. Because some see the police as collaborators with the occupation, they are targets, targets of assassinations, targets of bombers.
Since the war ended, more Iraqi policemen have died than American soldiers, hundreds more. Back in January, a coalition official acknowledged more than 600 dead and there are even more wounded. The heroism of the police is recognized by the coalition in medal ceremonies like this. What is not recognized is the anger and betrayal many policemen and their families feel. At the Dora police station, rebuilt after a bomb blast killed 15, Brigadier Ishmael (ph) has been struggling for months to get compensation for his wounded officers.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Officers tell us they have to sell their family possessions to get money to pay for medical treatment. They've made this sacrifice. Is their reward to be forgotten when they get hurt?
MACVICAR: Iraq's Ministry of the Interior, responsible for the police, says it doesn't have the budget. The coalition says it's the responsibility of the ministry. The official police spokesman says:
MAJ. BASSIM AL ANI, IRAQI POLICE SPOKESMAN: And the loser in this is the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) the police officer.
MACVICAR: Some of Iraq's policemen say they're no longer reporting for duty. And officers warned, the enthusiasm of new recruits, so necessary for the security of Iraq, will not last long.
Sheila MacVicar, CNN, London.
COLLINS: The devastating explosion in Baghdad, we'll continue to update today's top story live from Baghdad and get a report from "NEWSNIGHT"'s Aaron Brown, who is in the region.
They may not tell us to our face, but what do people in other countries really think of America? A new poll to show you tonight.
Hollywood made her famous. Now Erin Brockovich takes on a cancer mystery at Beverly Hills High.
And one year after the war, what does the nation's top military man think about the state of the Iraq? Chairman of the Joint Chief Richard Myers tomorrow on PAULA ZAHN NOW.
COLLINS: More ahead tonight on today's bombing in Baghdad.
First, here are some of the other stories you need to know about right now.
It was a sharp eye and a pizza that led to the capture of Charles McCoy Jr. in Las Vegas. The suspect in 24 sniper shootings in the Columbus, Ohio, area was recognized by another customer as he ate lunch. The man called authorities and said, I just shared pizza with your suspect. McCoy surrendered peacefully. The shootings killed a 62-year-old woman.
Also, there is good news tonight about men and prostate cancer, which strikes more than 200,000 men every year. A new study in "The Journal of the American Medical Association" suggests that radiation therapy can help cure a recurrence of the disease.
The author of that study joins us to put it "In Plain English" tonight.
Dr. Kevin Slawin is the director of the Baylor Prostate Center at Baylor College of Medicine. He's joining us tonight from Houston.
Doctor, thanks so much for being with us tonight.
KEVIN SLAWIN, DIRECTOR, BAYLOR PROSTATE CENTER: Thank you, Heidi, for having me.
COLLINS: Will the results of this study actually change the way that you treat patients with prostate...
SLAWIN: Well, we hope it will change the way doctors treat patients with prostate cancer.
Remember, prostate cancer is a very common cancer, the second most common cancer diagnosed in this country. And while a radical prostatectomy is very effective for treating men with prostate cancer, about a fifth of the men treated that way will recur, and we think that radiation therapy is a good option for many of them.
COLLINS: OK, so, that being said, it's obvious from your answer that not everyone who could have recurring prostate cancer should be treated with radiation, though?
I mean, currently in this country, less than 20 percent of men who have recurrence of their prostate cancer after surgery are offered radiation therapy. While I don't think 100 percent are the best candidates, certainly more than 20 percent. And that discussion is best had between every physician and his patient when they're faced with that treatment.
COLLINS: OK, so who are the best candidates, then?
SLAWIN: Well, typically younger men who have a long life expectancy ahead of them, men who have had a positive surgical margin. That means cancer seems to have been extending outside the prostate at the time of the surgery. Those are certainly men who would benefit from salvage radiation therapy if their cancer returns after surgery.
Also, even men who were thought to be destined to have a disease that couldn't be cured are actually good candidates for this kind of surgery. So, again, I think this is not for everybody, but many men who were thought not to be curable with recurrence after surgery actually can be salvaged and still be cured if they're given radiation therapy if it's given early in the course of the recurrence.
COLLINS: All right, some interesting medical news to talk about. That's for sure. Dr. Kevin Slawin, thanks so much for joining us tonight. Appreciate it.
SLAWIN: Thank you. Thank you.
COLLINS: Does it matter what other countries think of America? Take a look at the results of a new poll. The majority of people in six of the eight countries that were part of the survey say they don't like the U.S.
A stunning 93 percent in Jordan feel the same way, although that's an improvement over one year ago. Even in Great Britain, a steadfast U.S. ally, the number of people who have a favorable image of the U.S. is just more than half.
Is it all because of Iraq? And should we even care?
Well, it's "Wall Street Journal" columnist vs. "New Republic" editor to debate that issue tonight. Joining us from Washington, John Fund of "The Journal" and Peter Beinart of "The New Republic."
Thanks to the both of you for being here tonight.
Peter, I want to start with you. Ever since 9/11, of course, security has been the foremost concern, at least in the United States. Why should the U.S. care whatsoever about an international campaign?
PETER BEINART, EDITOR, "THE NEW REPUBLIC": For two reasons, I think.
First of all, we Americans like to believe that we represent the aspirations of people all over the world. That's important to us. But it's hard to say that if people all over the world say, no, in fact, you don't. We feel hostile towards you.
Second of all, and I think you could see it in this poll, this hostility to the United States in Western Europe, for instance, is manifesting itself in increasing majorities of people who want Europe to pursue an anti-American foreign policy, one that tries to buttress Europe as a counterweight to the United States. That is very bad for us.
COLLINS: John, has history, though, taught Americans that they need to care about world opinion?
JOHN FUND, COLUMNIST, "THE WALL STREET JOURNAL": Well, of course we should. But remember, we have to look at this in the long term. The beginning of this war, after 9/11, the world was with us. Now we're in the middle of the war, there's some tough going, some mistakes have been made, the world is turning against us. Let's think about how the world will think of us at the end of this conflict. And I think we're going to win the war on terrorism and I think we'll be largely vindicated by history.
As for whether or not our leaders are popular -- look, some of the most popular leaders the world has ever had in the U.S. are Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter. Foreign leaders loved them. Jimmy Carter got a buss on his cheek from Leonid Brezhnev. Ronald Reagan was much less popular. They thought he was a cowboy. They thought he was a dunce. Now the Europeans recognize, Well, Reagan actually got a lot of things right. That may happen again.
COLLINS: So Peter, are Democratic presidents actually likely to be accepted better by world opinion?
BEINART: It depends. I mean, I would never say, of course, that world opinion is the most important thing that Americans should focus on. There are times when we make a decision that what is right for the United States is simply right for the United States. But it becomes harder in a global war on terrorism to get the support from foreign countries to do things that are difficult when their publics are so hostile. And you're -- we're seeing that in Europe. It's harder to get allies to go along with us and to do the work that they need to do when their populations are so against American policy. And that does make a difference, whether you're a Republican president or Democratic president.
COLLINS: All right. I want to just talk for a moment, if we could, about a statement President Bush made. I'm going to paraphrase a little bit here. He said, My opponent says he approves of bold action in the world, but only if other countries don't object. I'm all for united action. So are our 34 coalition partners in Iraq. This country must never outsource America's security decisions to leaders of other nations.
Are you suggesting that we let foreign leaders make our foreign policy decisions for us, John?
FUND: No, and I don't think we can, in the case of some countries, like France. Look, let's be quite honest. Much of the French government was compromised when it came to Iraq because of the contracts and, we now know, the kickbacks and the payoffs that were going to French officials. They couldn't, with one tenth of their population being Arab, really involve themselves in the Iraq conflict. So as much as we wanted to bring the French along -- and we did in the 1991 Gulf war -- we couldn't do it this time.
We cannot let internal French politics or internal German politics dictate the security of this country. We should take it into account, but we cannot let it be determinative.
COLLINS: Peter, your reaction?
BEINART: I really think that misses the point. In fact, one of the striking things about this Iraq business is the conservatives saying right and left that we would find all kinds of evidence about how the French had been corrupt with Saddam. In fact, we found very little. And there are...
FUND: You haven't been reading the French...
FUND: ... the French papers. It's there!
BEINART: John, don't...
FUND: ... the French interior minister...
BEINART: I think there are -- in fact, there's been nothing that's reported in American papers that I've seen corroborate any of that. And in fact...
FUND: Then read the French papers! BEINART: In fact, Donald Rumsfeld, you know, himself, as we know, had connections with Saddam Hussein. I think that's really a red herring.
The issue is here that it's very hard to get governments to go along with your policy when overwhelming percentages of their population oppose it. And you -- that has to do with the image of the Bush administration around the world, which is making it harder for America to get things done that we have to get done.
COLLINS: All right, to the both of you gentlemen, thanks so much for your time tonight. John Fund, Peter Beinart, thanks again.
All right, listen up, guys. The woman in your life may be having a mid-life crisis, but it's a whole lot different from yours. We're going to explain why. And what if you got a "Dear John" e-mail? Sure, it would hurt, but is it proper etiquette? We'll have some on- line no-nos.
COLLINS: Just like men, women also go through the mid-life crisis, but now it seems many are starting to second-guess their choices at a far younger age. A new book suggests the pressures of trying to have it all start taking a toll at 30. It's called "Mid- Life Crisis at 30: How the Stakes Have Changed for a New Generation and What to Do About It." Authors Lia Macko and Kerry Rubin are joining us now. Thanks so much for being here, ladies. Appreciate it.
Why has 30 become the magic number for women, Lia?
LIA MACKO, AUTHOR, "MID-LIFE CRISIS AT 30": Well, It's actually quantifiable. What has happened are the timetables for major life choices for women have basically been inverted. Instead of marrying at 22, college-educated women are now marrying at 28. Many are having their first child after 30, and many women are just beginning to think about marriage at 30. We're also looking at the number of single 30 to 34-year-old women tripling over the course of just one generation. So entirely changed circumstances, yet sort of lingering "Ozzie and Harriet" standards putting a lot of pressure on women.
COLLINS: Right. And you look at, on paper, your lives, I mean, they look pretty darn good. I mean, perfect! And what is it that made you start second-guessing, if you will, your lives at 30?
KERRY RUBIN, AUTHOR, "MID-LIFE CRISIS AT 30": Well, Lee and I met while working here at CNN, actually, right after September 11. And it was during that very reflective time that we both began looking at our lives through a different lens. And you know, we were feeling similar things. We arrived there at different avenues. I had just gotten married, and my husband and I were eager to start a family. And I was very committed to my career, and I still am, but I was really was left with this question, you know, if I can't make it home in time for dinner with my husband, where is that baby going to fit into our lives and how are we going to be able to raise it in a way that we would want to, to be very involved with the child's upbringing?
COLLINS: Of course, let's talk about some women, though, that you say are part of sort of this new club, if you will, women that should and could quite possibly be some people's role models, starting off with Susan Sarandon. Tell us a little bit about her story, Lia.
MACKO: Well, Susan Sarandon is a woman who really took to heart the adage, There are no small parts, only small people. You know, "The Witches of Eastwick," we all remember, she was originally cast opposite Jack Nicholson, turned up on the set, part diminished, and she said, You know, I'm just going to play this very small part very well. Turned out to be a pivotal career opportunity for her, something for all of us. We've all felt slighted and we've all felt, you know, something unjust has happened to us in our career. She made a wonderful opportunity out of that for herself.
COLLINS: Kerry, what about Mary Matalin?
RUBIN: Mary Matalin is an incredibly interesting woman. And as -- you know, it's been very, very public about her decision to leave the White House because she was concerned that she was shortchanging her children. You know, what she says to us in our interview, which is in this book, with a lot of incredible honesty and candor, was that her kids were OK, but the person she was really concerned about was her husband, who was concerned that she wasn't around a lot and wasn't so happy about that situation. And I think that that's really the reality of what goes on in a lot of marriages. And I thought that she expressed how she handled that with a lot of candor and honesty, and there's a lot to learn from that.
COLLINS: OK, and quickly, Suze Orman (ph). We just saw a quick little picture of her.
MACKO: Suze Orman -- great lesson for all of us: Stop our career stopwatches. We have lots of time to succeed. At 29, she was a waitress making $400 a month. Look at her now -- world-renowned author, you know, financial strategist. A lot there to learn for all of us.
COLLINS: Any cure for this crisis at 30?
RUBIN: I think the good news is that you can absolutely have it all. That is the truth. But the key is that you have to really think about what "all" means to you. And I think that once women pause at 30, or as close to 30 as they seem -- as they definitely are, according to our research, and consider those questions, the answers will come a lot easier.
COLLINS: All right. Something to thing about tonight, for sure. All right. We appreciate your time once again. Kerry Rubin and Lia Macko, thanks.
MACKO: Thank you.
RUBIN: Thank you. COLLINS: E-mail is forever, so maybe it's time to learn the new rules of on-line etiquette. We'll tell you how to keep those bits and bytes from biting back. And the woman who made her name fighting for the little guy. Now Erin Brockovich brings her battle to one of the wealthiest towns in the world.
COLLINS: With the rise of on-line dating comes on-line dumping, and with that, all sorts of questions about e-mail courtesy, what you should and should not do via e-mail and how. We're giving netiquette the "High Five" treatment tonight, five quick questions, five direct answers, straight and to the point.
Joining us now from San Francisco, Paul Boutin, contributing editor for "Wired" magazine. Thanks for being with us, Paul. Question No. 1. You ready?
PAUL BOUTIN, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, "WIRED" MAGAZINE: Yes, I am, Heidi.
COLLINS: What is netiquette?
BOUTIN: Netiquette, quite simply, is etiquette for the Internet. The word was coined 20 years ago, but now it's a lot more important.
COLLINS: Seems to be. Question No. 2. They say, you know, it's the thought that counts, but should you be really sending birthday cards or condolence cards on line?
BOUTIN: If you can't get to the store and send a real card on time, it's OK. But know your audience. Some people want the flashing singing card, some people just want a tasteful text e-mail that says, I'm thinking of you.
COLLINS: OK, now, if we're talking about work, should you really be discussing office politics on line?
BOUTIN: Not unless you want to get fired. You have to remember that your boss is on the Internet, too. Your boss knows about Google, too. And every week, I read or hear from people who had talked about work anonymously or under a fake name. And then to their surprise, people at the office figured out who they were, they were brought in and fired, and could not argue that -- they'd been busted.
COLLINS: Yes, there was evidence. Ouch!
BOUTIN: E-mail is forever.
COLLINS: All right. Question No. 4, back to the relationship thing. Should you break up with somebody on line?
BOUTIN: No. Be a mensch. I mean, if you've actually gone on a date with someone, use the phone, do it in person, because there's something about e-mail that says -- you know, unless you're actually afraid of the person, in which case you should just not even write them at all.
COLLINS: What is the one thing, though, you should absolutely, positively never send in an e-mail?
BOUTIN: Never insult somebody. Watch your mouth. If you disagree with someone, if you don't like what they're saying, do not call them names, do not swear, because years later, that will still be around and you'll be sorry that you sent it. You'll look like an idiot.
COLLINS: Five quick questions, five quick answers. Paul Boutin, thanks so much for joining us tonight.
BOUTIN: You're welcome.
COLLINS: We'll tell you why pollution fighter Erin Brockovich believes a deadly danger lurks underground in Beverly Hills.
COLLINS: And more now on today's devastating bombing in Baghdad. U.S. officials say a car bomb with 1,000 pounds of explosives detonated outside a hotel. At least 29 people are dead.
Joining us on the phone now from Islamabad, Pakistan, is "NEWSNIGHT's" Aaron Brown, who was just in Iraq. Good evening to you, Aaron.
AARON BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, Heidi.
COLLINS: Tell us a little bit about what you know and what you have seen as you travel throughout the region now?
BROWN: Well, I think the most important thing that viewers need to consider right now is that, as horrible as the events as Baghdad today have been, they are not surprising. They are almost precisely what the U.S. military is anticipating will happen in the next two- and-a-half months, an increase in violence, No. 1.
No. 2, while the U.S. military has done a very good job, to our eye, of force protection, protecting those areas where soldiers live, soldiers sleep, where the CPA works, those areas are hard targets and tough to get to and very secure. Baghdad is a city of 5.5 million people. There are thousands, thousands of soft targets, hotels like the one that was hit today. And those are, military officials will tell you, virtually impossible, that you can't protect them all. And maybe there are 10 bombers out there and one gets through, and you end up, as the Israelis have found out time and time again, with incident like today.
COLLINS: I know you had a chance to speak with General Abizaid a little bit about this. Tell us about that conversation, Aaron, and what really stood out to you.
BROWN: Well, it's hard to encapsulate a half hour into a sentence or two, but you know, the general was, it would seem, prescient. I mean, I would suspect that in Qatar, where I think he is tonight, he's saying, You shouldn't be surprised. This is exactly what we talked about in the interview.
I think, further, he would remind us that we need to take a step back a little bit. These events, these tragedies -- and they are -- are happening for a reason. They are happening to create in Iraqi society chaos and fear. They are -- the ultimate goal is to drive the Americans out, to install some form of government other than what the Americans have in mind, and by instilling fear in Iraqis, instilling a lack of confidence in the Americans in the Iraqis, the opponents of the occupation succeed. They gain ground. They may not win, but today they gained ground.
And in fact, it's been a very bad week there. There was the incidents the other days, yesterday, I guess, where the four missionaries were killed and the two NGOs were killed. Half a dozen or more American soldiers have been killed since we've been in the region. So it has been a tough week there, and there are, the general will tell you, going to be many more tough weeks ahead.
COLLINS: All right. Aaron Brown, thank so much for joining us tonight. No doubt, some words to be thinking about, that is for sure, after speaking with General John Abizaid. Thanks so much, Aaron.
We are getting a look at how Martha Stewart's defense team may appeal her conviction. A source close to the defense says they'll argue that the judge should have let the defense tell the jury that Stewart was not charged with insider trading. Stewart faces up to 18 months in prison when she's sentenced in June for obstruction of justice and conspiracy.
Her daughter, meanwhile, is speaking out in an exclusive interview with Larry King.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP - "LARRY KING LIVE")
LARRY KING, HOST: Are you going to write to the judge at all? Are you going to express your feeling?
ALEXIS STEWART, MARTHA STEWART'S DAUGHTER: If someone thinks that's appropriate, I'd be happy to.
KING: Yes. Are you nervous?
STEWART: About the verdict?
KING: About the possibility that your mother might have to go away.
STEWART: Nervous? I -- I guess.
KING: I mean, you're a realist, right?
STEWART: I try not to focus on it.
KING: That could happen. STEWART: Yes, I realize that. I think it would be incredibly wrong, but -- I'm hoping that won't happen.
KING: And if it did, she would handle it well?
STEWART: Oh, yes.
KING: Boy, you have a lot of confidence in Mom, don't you.
STEWART: Well, yes. Sure.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: The full exclusive interview with Alexis Stewart is straight ahead on "LARRY KING LIVE." That's coming your way 9:00 PM Eastern.
Erin Brockovich has become a household name when Julia Roberts won an Oscar for her on-screen portrayal of a down-and-out single mom on a mission against corporate polluters. Off screen, the real Erin Brockovich continues her campaign against pollution. She's now leading a lawsuit over allegations that oil wells on the grounds of Beverly Hills High School have caused cancer in students.
And Erin Brockovich is joining us now from Los Angeles. Erin, thanks for being here.
ERIN BROCKOVICH, DIR. OF RESEARCH, MASRY & VITITOE: Thank you for having me.
COLLINS: Why did you start this crusade?
BROCKOVICH: I'm sorry. When did I start this crusade?
COLLINS: Why did you start this latest crusade?
BROCKOVICH: Well, because there's a situation at the high school that's concerning to me not only as a citizen, but would be concerning to me as a parent. There is an on-shore oil platform underneath the athletic field at the high school that has 18 operational wellheads, that is processing natural gas on this campus, on top of these children, that has a potential for an explosion. And it's just wrong to have that type of facility working on top of school children.
COLLINS: In fact, you say that there is a higher incidence of cancer in the people who have attended this high school -- again talking about Beverly Hills High. What's causing you to say that?
BROCKOVICH: Well, we have filed claims for 791 students, and we have 396 alleged cancer claims. We are still validating all of those claims, but for us -- you know, for me personally, that's an unusual amount of cancer. It's alarming. They all have a common denominator, that is attending the school. And there is a facility operating on that campus that is, in fact, dangerous and has been venting natural gas, and it's a concern for us. And so we filed the litigation, and those are our claims. COLLINS: But what are the similarities between the alumni that have attended school there? I mean, did they all take classes in one particular area? Are you able to pinpoint that?
BROCKOVICH: Well, certainly, one common denominator is the athletic field. This facility operates right underneath the kids' athletic fields. So most of them are out there participating in sports, participating in PE, after school, walking around, just congregating and hanging out there. So that is one common denominator, is the athletic field.
COLLINS: OK. We have to say, though, there is no scientific study that has found that cancers of those who have attended this high school have resulted from the oil well that you're talking about on the campus. So how do you go about connecting the two and making that point, when there is no scientific study that will back it up?
BROCKOVICH: Oh, that's going to be for a trier of fact and the attorneys and the experts to battle out in court. We have a set trial date, July of next year, and that is one aspect of the case. And the other is public policy in something that I'm working on, and that is regulatory agencies overseeing school sites more efficiently, more properly, in a timely fashion, and not ignoring a situation where you have such a facility operating on top of students with health complaints, and no one's paying attention. So those are going to be two arguments. And as far as causation, those are going to be issues that, in a court of law, are going to come out next July.
COLLINS: All right. Well, the school and the school district have said that sound science concludes that this high school is absolutely safe. We have to go ahead and take a look at this statement here. I want to get your reaction to it. It says, "Ms. Brockovich and her lawyers have used junk science to make their claims and maneuvered to keep their data secret. Hundreds of tests from state agencies and nationally respected environmental scientists have concluded that there is no credible evidence to suggest a public safety concern at Beverly Hills High School."
How do you respond to that?
BROCKOVICH: Well, I absolutely disagree. I mean, we've had junk science thrown at us since the Hinckley (ph) days and the PG&E lawsuit. That's something that we're used to. And again, that will be argued in a court of law. As for me, it boils down to this. This facility has been well documented by those agencies that they referenced to be dangerous, to have problems, and it's operating on top of these kids. If they are absolutely so convinced and certain and worried about the children's safety, then we feel that they need to come in and shut the facility down.
COLLINS: What would be the school's motivation to not wanting anything but the absolute highest amount and highest level of safety for their children?
BROCKOVICH: Well, for -- historically, for a very long time, the school and the city have received 5 percent overriding (ph) royalty for the oil production and the gas processing at the facility and rely on those funds.
COLLINS: All right. Erin Brockovich, we certainly appreciate your time tonight and the discussion about all of this.
We want to make sure we take a moment, as well, to go ahead and let you know that we contacted the company that runs the oil wells and did receive this statement, as well. "Every air quality test and assessment performed on Venoco's Beverly Hills oil and gas operation by both regulatory agencies and independent experts following accepted scientific protocol has reached the same conclusion: The operation is safe and the air quality on the adjacent high school campus is equal to and often better than anywhere in the Los Angeles basin."
That is all we have for tonight on PAULA ZAHN NOW. Thanks so much for watching, everybody. We leave you tonight with some of the sights and sounds of Saint Patrick's Day. Happy Saint Patrick's Day to you all. Larry King is coming your way next. Good night, everybody.
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