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More Troops Needed in Iraq?; Interview With Anne Graham Lotz

Aired April 6, 2004 - 14:30   ET


KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: Administration sources confirm British Prime Minister Tony Blair is to meet with President Bush a week from Friday in Washington. There's no question the recent turmoil in Iraq will be a primary issue. Despite the violence, Blair insists the June 30 handover should go ahead as planned.
U.S. forces staging a two-pronged attack in Iraq as troops push into Fallujah. Soldiers are searching for a wanted Muslim cleric, Muqtada al Sadr. Today, sources say the radical leader seized control in Najaf. His followers have taken over government facilities and a mosque in the holy city.

So who is this fugitive cleric and how did he become such a powerful figure in Iraq? Here's CNN's Jim Clancy.

JIM CLANCY, CNN ANCHOR: Muqtada al Sadr was all but unknown outside Iraq when the U.S.-led coalition invaded a year ago. The 31- year-old Shia leader is the son of a respected cleric killed under the rule of Saddam Hussein. Some say, in a way, he his also a son of Saddam, for Muqtada al Sadr has undeniably inherited the ability to parlay his political savvy and ruthlessness into power.

An outlaw, is how U.S. civilian administrator Paul Bremer describes al Sadr. It's an opinion not formed yesterday. A year ago, the U.S. brought Abdul Majid al Khoei to Najaf. An Iraqi exile, al Khoei was pro-Western, anti-Saddam, and he had impressive Shia credentials. He also had CIA money to pay city salaries. With U.S. and British support, he seemed destined to play a major role in a new Iraq. But in time measured only in days, Abdul Majid al Khoei was dead.

All accounts say the pro-Western al Khoei was hacked to death with knives after being chased by a mob from inside the Imam Ali Mosque in Najaf. Many say it was an internal power struggle among Iraq's Shia Muslims, pointing a finger at Muqtada al Sadr and his militant supporters. Sadr vehemently denies it.

But one year later, arrest warrants are pointing in that same direction.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: An Iraqi judge has issued an arrest warrant for Muqtada al Sadr, and that is based on evidence that connects Muqtada al Sadr to the brutal murder of Mr. al Khoei.


JIM CLANCY: The weekend clashes in four Iraqi cities coincided with mounting concern after the arrest of one of al Sadr's key aides. Rumors that he would also be charged had certainly reached Muqtada al Sadr himself.

In the streets of Sadr's city on Monday, after a night of clashes, Sadr's supporters stretched the urgency of the situation. Wearing a hood and clutching a hand grenade, one said they would make Iraq the Americans' graveyard. We have seven American prisoners and we'll trade them for our prisoners, he declared, a claim the U.S. military flatly denied.

The militant young cleric can also count on his network of supporters across Iraq who chant long, long, long live Sadr. Charitable groups he inherited from his father have distributed aid to the needy. He's been against the occupation from the start. He has challenged its authority, setting up his own courts, and his own prisons.

Now he has challenged it with guns in the streets.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is trying to intimidate people as the political process continues on.


JIM CLANCY: Some argue al Sadr is impatient, that he misjudged the coalition badly. But the real question yet to be answered is whether Muqtada Sadr will emerge from it all stronger or weaker.

Jim Clancy, CNN, Baghdad.

PHILLIPS: Turning now to politics. In the shadow of positive jobs reports this month, Democratic presidential hopeful John Kerry states his promise to create 10 million new jobs in Ohio, a major battleground state. His speech in Cincinnati is just a preview of what's expected to be a major economic address tomorrow in Washington.

Kerry reportedly told a scene (ph) he wants to select a running mate sometime in the next two months. According to the "New York Times," Kerry wants to move quickly in his choice for VP so he can help him with fund-raising and fending off Republican attacks.

Like the Democrats, the Bush campaign is focused on putting people back to work. President Bush promoted his job-training programs in El Dorado, Arkansas today. The town's unemployment rate is more than three points higher than the national average. Arkansas is considered a key swing state in the November presidential elections.

But while the candidates hammer out the economy, Iraq continues to heat up. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says additional troops are available if the military needs them to fight a growing Shi'ite uprising. Is the violence in Iraq changing the way Americans view the administration? Let's find out.

Frank Newport, editor in of the Gallup Poll.


FRANK NEWPORT, EDITOR IN CHIEF OF GALLUP POLL: Well, good day to you, Kyra. There's a lot going on right now, and that usually induces some volatility in how the public is looking at the events of the day and also President Bush.

Our latest CNN/"USA Today" Gallup poll from the 28th of March had Bush's approval rating steady, generally speaking, a Pew poll of about 790 people that was put out yesterday, that's April 1 to 4, that's the interviewing days, showed Bush's ratings were down. Handling of Iraq, according to that poll, only 40 percent approval, the economy 39 and energy 29. So at least this is some preliminary indication of at least in the short term that Bush in the eyes of the public may be taking somewhat of a hit.


PHILLIPS: Well, is Iraq America's biggest concern right now, Frank?

NEWPORT: Well, one would think it would be, with the extraordinary events that we have been seeing. Over half of Americans saw those pictures last week of the dead civilians that are in Iraq. However, that same Pew poll consistently asked Americans, how close are you following these stories? And here's what they came up with -- 36 percent following the attacks in Iraq very closely, but look what's at the top of the list? A story we heard from the AAA just a moment ago, gasoline prices, six out of 10 Americans following that.

Kyra, maybe not surprising but every time we fill up, we see the price right in front of our face. Also, our Gallup polling has shown that this year we have more interest in the election, that at the exact same time back in 2000, this is quite fascinating, 64 percent of Americans saying they've been paying quite a lot of the attention to the election right now. Go back to Gore versus Bush, April 2000, it was only 43 percent. So clearly this election looks like it's going to be one of a lot of interest to the American public, Kyra.

PHILLIPS: All right, Frank, let's talk terrorism.

National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, getting ready for her Thursday date with the 9/11 commission. How do Americans view her?

NEWPORT: A lot of people ask us that. Is she well known? She's certainly not Henry Kissinger, a previous national security adviser who was extremely well known. But about three-quarters of Americans in our latest CNN/"USA Today" Gallup poll say they have an opinion of Dr. Rice. That's on the right-hand side there, and it's two-to-one favorable to unfavorable. So that's the good news. She goes into the hearings generally with the favorable image, 50 to 25. Slightly less good news is, her unfavorables have gone up a little. They were 16 percent last October, now up to 25. That's not a big jump as those things go, but it's a little move in the negative direction.

But all in all, as she sits down for those televised hearings Thursday, Kyra, a positive image in the eyes of Americans.

PHILLIPS: Frank Newport, thank you. And this Thursday, stay with CNN as we cover the entire testimony of National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice before the 9/11 commission. Rice has already testified privately before the 9/11 commission, but former Democratic senator and commission member Bob Kerrey says he's looking for a broader picture of what the Bush administration knew about the terrorist threat.


BOB KERREY, MEMBER OF THE 9/11 COMMISSION: This is a very sophisticated military operation against the United States. They had illegal documents to get inside the United States. They were inside the United States and the INS should have known that they had overstayed their welcome here. They had been identified. We had had the famous Phoenix memo. Moussaoui in Minneapolis had been arrested. We had a lot of things that had come together to indicate that the United States of America was at risk.



SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R), KENTUCKY: The Kennedy-Kerrey (ph) team apparently believe that the enemy is somehow not al Qaeda and the war on terrorism. I think this criticism is really over the top. And it's important to step back and remember all the progress that's been made since September the 11th. Fifty million people have been liberated in Afghanistan and Iraq. Surveys indicate the Iraqi people are very optimistic, not only about the present, but about the future.


PHILLIPS: Thursday's outcome is critical for President Bush. He expressed confidence in Rice's testimony, saying, she knows exactly what took place and will lay out the facts.

Straight ahead, tough decisions on the battlefield. Next, a closer look at one of the toughest.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He had a weapon and we killed him. That's just all there is to it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's that simple?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's that simple.


PHILLIPS: Rules of engagement. When is it acceptable to shoot a wounded enemy combatant? The answer may not be so simple. A special report when LIVE FROM continues.


PHILLIPS: Two video clips you're about to see from the war in Iraq raise some troubling questions about U.S. troops killing wounded Iraqi fighters. The dramatic videos prompted investigation by the U.S. military, and in one case, the Marines involved have been cleared of any wrongdoing.

CNN Senior Pentagon Correspondent Jamie McIntyre has the story.

JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: When is it acceptable for U.S. troops to kill wounded enemy fighters? Here, U.S. Marines who have just fought their way to Baghdad encounter armed Iraqi guards at an industrial site thought to be a potential location of WMD.

In video first aired on the "CNN PRESENTS" documentary "Fit To Kill," a wounded Iraqi is seen getting up. As the CNN cameraman captures the scene, he is felled by a single shot.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everyone was like, yes, yes. Everyone's up on the roof cheering and everything just because you've got a guy pulling a weapon at you, you've got to kill him before he kills you.


MCINTYRE: Afterwards, though, some of the Marines had second thoughts.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: After we killed him, it was a question of was this guy a hostile person? Should we have killed him, should have engaged him? We could have waited and one of our other companies would have picked him up. Maybe he would have surrendered.


MCINTYRE: Seven months later, as the U.S. is embroiled in a guerrilla war with Iraqi insurgents, U.S. Army Apache helicopter pilots using a nighttime infrared targeting system fire a second volley of 30-millimeter cannon fire at an Iraqi who appears to still be moving.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Roger, he's wounded.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hitting the truck.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hit the truck and him. Go forward of it and hit him. (END VIDEO CLIP)

MCINTYRE: Recently, the German television network ARD aired the tapes along with analysis from a retired American three-star general, who called both killings inexcusable.


GEN. ROBERT GARD, RETIRED: According to the Geneva Conventions ...


GARD: ... this is murder.


MCINTYRE: But when we played the tapes again for General Gard, including this shot, showing how the telephoto lens on CNN's camera made the Marines appear much closer to the Iraqis than they were, he softened his criticism.

GARD: I had the impression that when the Marine shot the individual lying on the ground that he was very close by.

MCINTYRE: Still, Gard, a former president of the National Defense University, questions why in both cases the wounded Iraqis could not have been captured alive, especially the man gravely wounded by the Marines.

GARD: He does appear, from that tape, to be incapacitated to the point that he can no longer offer any resistance, and I didn't see any particular reason why he needed to be killed.

MCINTYRE: The German television broadcast included this sequence from the helicopter tape, showing the suspected Iraqi fighters dumping what appears to be a weapon in a field.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now he's running off into the field, do you see this?



MCINTYRE: That potential threat makes them fair game, up to a point, according to experts on the international law of armed conflict.


JAMES CARAFANO, HERITAGE FOUNDATION: Even though they look like sitting ducks, there's nothing wrong with the engagement.


MCINTYRE: James Carafano is a former West Point instructor now with the Heritage Foundation.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Roger, he's wounded.


CARAFANO: OK, I think that's a part of the tape that people might find problematic.


MCINTYRE: The legal and moral question, when is it acceptable to shoot a wounded enemy fighter?


CARAFANO: Because somebody's wounded, necessarily, and injured, doesn't necessarily mean that they at that point are not a combatant whatsoever. Really, I mean, at the end of the day, unless somebody actually surrenders and gets taken into custody, it's really difficult in a combat situation to critique.


MCINTYRE: Nevertheless, the gritty combat footage raises questions about whether U.S. troops always act within the Geneva Conventions, says law professor Robert Goldman of American University, who has served as a consultant to human rights groups investigating military atrocities.


ROBERT GOLDMAN, LAW PROFESSOR: Certainly it is something that would warrant raising questions with the military about it, but I don't think that anyone in good faith, frankly, who knows the law could say that this is conclusive.


MCINTYRE: The term of art (ph) is French, hors de combat. In English, out of the battle, defined as no longer able or willing to engage in hostile acts. According to the applicable 1949 Geneva Convention, it is a grave breach of the law of war to cause death or serious injury to someone who is incapacitated by wounds, incapable of defending himself, or otherwise engaging in a hostile act.


SGT. ANTHONY RIDDLES, U.S. MARINES: Those were our specific rules of engagement. Anyone that has a weapon, they are hostile.

(END VIDEO CLIP) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He had a weapon, we killed him. That's just all there is to it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's that simple?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's that simple.


MCINTYRE: For the wounded on the battlefield, the fatal decision is often deciding to move or crawl to shelter.


GOLDMAN: He may be dazed at first, and he's not as wounded as seriously as one thinks that he is. And yet he still has access to weapons. Does he have grenades? He can lob those grenades. That wasn't that far away from where this is being done. These are close questions.


MCINTYRE: Pentagon officials say all U.S. military personnel get training in the law of war, but when in the heat of battle the threat is unclear, troops are given wide latitude. Pentagon sources say an initial investigation of the Marines seen on the CNN video has cleared them of wrongdoing. The case of the Army helicopter pilots remains in review.

Shooting a wounded man is never easy.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just kind of left a real sticky, like a sour taste to it. It was just -- it was bad.

(END VIDEO CLIP) MCINTYRE: None of our experts was willing to say a war crime had been committed.


GOLDMAN: We don't have all of the context. Again, these are judgment calls, frequently split-second judgment calls that have to be made. We're sitting back in greater tranquility.



CARAFANO: Making these life and death decisions in a split second with the information that's available to a soldier when he's standing there, they're tough things.


GARD: But, again, it's one of those gray judgment areas, and it's very difficult from observing on the tape to draw any definite conclusions.


MCINTYRE: Jamie McIntyre, CNN, the Pentagon.


PHILLIPS: Celebrations at U-Conn for its national championship basketball team. Connecticut was able to hoist the trophy after a dominating performance on the court. The Huskies led Georgia Tech from the outset and powered there way to an 83-72 victory over the Yellow Jackets. And to the victors, go to the hoop nets (ph). Back in stores, U-Conn fans celebrated the win after the game. Thousands took to the street.

Police arrested about three dozen people, though, after some celebrations went just a little bit too far. And there could be more partying tonight. The lady Huskies, hoping they'll be number one, but they have to beat the lady Volunteers at Tennessee for the women's championship title tonight in New Orleans. Connecticut is looking for its third straight title, and if the women win, it'll be the first time one school's men and women won the title in the same year.

Other news across America now begins out west, where the gray wolf is making a comeback. It could be a mixed blessing for the once- endangered predator. Booming wolf populations have put them back in hunters' sites. Federal protection for the wolves will begin when three western states agree on management plans.

Her fans know that J. Lo's got game. Now, so does mom. Guadalupe Lopez won almost $2.5 million playing the slots in Atlantic City. No word on what the retired teacher plans to do with it. Perhaps she'll change her name to G. Lo.

Speaking of big bucks, voters in California today are deciding on a measure that could allow Wal-Mart to build a Supercenter Englewood. Critics argue Wal-Mart is trying to bypass zoning, traffic and environmental laws, but supporters say it will bring much-needed jobs.

When you think of baseball, you may think of Crackerjacks, but how about the New York Yankees, brought to you by Budweiser.

Rhonda Schaffler, live from the New York Stock Exchange with all the details.


RHONDA SCHAFFLER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Kyra. All I can say is the Yankees will probably say never to that one, although the Yankees might be the exception. Major League Baseball is considering allowing advertising on players' uniforms. Picture this, corporate logos on shoulder patches or batting helmets. The league says the plan is still only under consideration and won't happy anytime soon, but selling sponsorship rights could bring in $0.5 billion a year. Major League Baseball is one of the few sports leagues worldwide that doesn't already have visible corporate sponsors.

The Yankees, by the way, do have an agreement with Adidas, but no players required to wear Adidas equipment or display the logo. And many of the wealthier teams and players, including those Yankees, say they'd oppose league-wide sponsorship deals.


PHILLIPS: All right, what's happening on Wall Street, Rhonda?

SCHAFFLER: Some rough times. Blame Nokia. The market's been improving a little bit in the last hour, but Nokia has caused quite a bit of selling in technology stocks. The world's biggest mobile phone maker is warning quarterly sales will fall by 2 percent, not increase, as it had previously indicated. Nokia's stock, tumbling nearly $4, or about 18 percent.

The news had a ripple effect to the market, but the blue chips right now are trying to make a move into positive territory. Up all of two points the Dow is. NASDAQ down slightly.

That is the very latest from here on Wall Street.

Kyra, back to you.

PHILLIPS: All right, Rhonda, thank you.

Well, it can be tough to understand why bad things happen to good people like you. Next hour, some wisdom for the hard times from a LIVE FROM favorite, Ann Graham Lotz, author of the new book, "Why Trust in God When You Don't Understand." She's going to join us live.

John King, riding shotgun with the veep. Find out if Dick Cheney opened up on opening day. That and all the day's news and more as LIVE FROM rolls on.


PHILLIPS: Hello everyone, I'm Kyra Phillips. LIVE FROM rolls on. Here's what's happening this hour.

American embassy targeted. The State Department says the Islamic extremists arrested in Jordan last week were plotting to attack the U.S. embassy and other sites in Iman.

The suspects were arrested after authorities found cars packed with explosives. U.S. and Jordanian officials say the suspects could have links to al Qaeda.

A radical Iraqi Shi'ite cleric reportedly taking cover in the holy city of Najaf. A coalition source says supporters of Muqtada al Sadr control key sections of that city. That could complicate coalition efforts to arrest him. He's wanted in connection with six murders, including the death of a rival Shi'ite cleric last year.

Hunting insurgents in Fallujah, at nightfall U.S. Marines pulled back to the outskirts of this Muslim Sunni city -- mostly Sunni city, rather. Earlier today, they carried out raids looking for those responsible for the brutal killings of four American security contractors.

The Marines faced heavy gunfire and rocket-propelled grenades. They made a number of arrests.

Another day, another set of challenges arising in Iraq, and now comes the question of whether taming the growing resistance requires more American troops. Jamie McIntyre, at the Pentagon now with the questions being considered at the highest possible levels.


MCINTYRE: Well, Kyra, just yesterday, CNN was the first to report that the U.S. central commander, General John Abizaid, had asked for options for increasing U.S. troop strength in Iraq if the situation continued to deteriorate. The question today is, might some of the troops who are currently in Iraq have their tours of duty extended in order to keep the troop level up?

Well, today, Pentagon officials are downplaying the idea, although they admit it is a possibility. They say, however, it's not a formal option and not under active consideration. Today, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said U.S. military commanders routinely review troop strengths and they'll get what they need.


DONALD RUMSFELD, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: Today, we are at an unusually high level, and I am -- the commanders are using the excess of forces that happen to be in there because of the deployment process. They will decide what they need and they will get what they need. At the present time, they've announced no change in their plans, but they can make such a request at any time.


MCINTYRE: And the Pentagon has pledged to give U.S. commanders whatever they feel they need. Just yesterday, a senior U.S. military official from the U.S. Central Command insisted that the forces on the ground are adequate to do the job. The plan still is to draw down the number from the current peak of about 135,000 troops down to about 110,000, again, conditions permitting.

But if the U.S. were to decide to extend the tour of duty of troops there, that would be a controversial move because it would essentially break a promise the Pentagon has made to put predictability in the lives of the troops. It's more likely they might go with some of the other options, which includes moving some troops around within Iraq to cover the hot spots, perhaps bringing troops in from nearby Kuwait or possibly deploying small additional units from the United States. But, at this point, those are just options. There's been no decision -- Kyra.

PHILLIPS: Meanwhile, the rules of engagement, still a question on how to handle Sadr and the fact he could be hiding out possibly in a mosque, a religious area. What's the talk about how troops are going to go forward with that arrest warrant?

MCINTYRE: Well, talk is that the U.S. is planning to arrest the radical Muslim cleric who ordered the strikes against U.S. troops. But they are in no hurry to do it. That is, they don't want to do it in a counterproductive way. If he's holed up in a mosque surrounded by many supporters, they'll just bide their time.

But the U.S. military says it does plan to execute that arrest warrant or at least -- or get the Iraqi authorities to do the same thing, but they are waiting for the right time and place. And, of course, they've also asked for the cleric to turn himself in, something they admit is not likely to happen.

PHILLIPS: Jamie McIntyre live from the Pentagon -- thanks, Jamie.

Now to the campaign trail. Vice President Dick Cheney used to playing second fiddle to the president. After all, it's part of the job description.

Well, John King has been looking into Cheney's role in the 2004 campaign.


JOHN KING, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Opening day in Cincinnati, and a strike from a lifelong Cubs' fan smart enough to say he's neutral in election years. For those keeping score, 209 days until the election. The campaigning is constant and finding a few more chances to smile critical for a familiar face trying to soften his image a little bit.

DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Many people are looking for a scapegoat for their frustrations about things like Enron and Halliburton about the long and ugly postwar Iraqi situation. And Dick Cheney is a convenient scapegoat for comics and cynics and democrats.

KING: Air Force 2 is home away from home. On the campaign trail, the Vice President plays several roles. Testing attack lines is one.

DICK CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Over the same years that Kerry was voting for higher taxes, he was voting just as consistently in favor of new federal spending.

KING: Raising money for key republican races is another. In New Orleans, Monday night, for senate candidate David Viter help from the Vice President who knows the meaning of supporting role.

CHENEY: President Bush has taken strong, confident steps to get the economy growing again.

KING: Autographs and posing for pictures. But no speeches in the locker room. The Vice President didn't seem to mind when the Reds' owner reminded his players Mr. Cheney had a big role in cutting their taxes. And in the Cubs locker room, consider this scene, two house hold names who have called George W. Bush boss, as a baseball owner, Mr. Bush traded Sammy Sosa. For this campaign season, Mr. Bush says Cheney is on the team and the ticket to stay.

John King, CNN, Cincinnati.


PHILLIPS: Meanwhile, presidential hopeful John Kerry out in Cincinnati rallying up votes, talking about the economy, specifically the deficit.


SEN. JOHN KERRY (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This administration has a truth deficit, a major truth deficit with the people of the United States. Almost every promise they have made to the country, they have broken. They broke the promise of creating no deficit. They broke the promise of not digging into Social Security. They broke the promise of funding No Child Left Behind. They broke the promise of going forward on a for pollutants bill.


PHILLIPS: Straight ahead, when bad things happen in your life, do you ask why? Well, my guest asked that question and she wrote a book about it. Author Anne Graham Lotz joins me after a break to talk about life's biggest question -- questions, I should say -- and the answers, hopefully.


PHILLIPS: So what do you get when you cross a passion for Christ with the need for a hard body? Well, the Lord's Gym, of course.

Bruce Burkhardt works out with the guardians of sweat.


BRUCE BURKHARDT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): If it's true that our bodies are our temple, than this is the place to worship: The Lord's Gym, Clermont, Florida, outside Orlando.

PAUL SORCHY, OWNER, THE LORD'S GYM: Although salvation is free it will cost you $34 a month to work out at lord's gym.

All right. Let's get the neck to move.

BURKHARDT: Paul Sorchy, a chiropractor who makes adjustments on patients, would like to adjust the way many Americans work out.

SORCHY: The dress code simply says if you're wearing some pants that are a little bit too tight, just please let your T-shirt hang over your heinie.

BURKHARDT: That's only one of the things that separates the Lord's Gym from other workout places. There's the Garden of Eden, where smoothies with names like Land of Milk and Honey come in two sizes.


BURKHARDT (on camera): David and Goliath? (voice-over) How about an energy or power bar? Make that a Bible Bar.

The spinning class is called Chariots of Fire. And here it's not yoga, but yo-God.

SORCHY: Yoga itself, as far as an exercise, wonderful. As a philosophy, we don't allow that here.

BURKHARDT (on camera): How do you make this thing work?

(voice-over) And for those who have never darkened the door of a gym, this place is a bit less intimidating. It's supposed to be that way.

(on camera) Why is it better than a regular gym?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because a regular gym, it's nothing but -- it's more like a meat market than it is a gym.

BURKHARDT: A meat market?


BURKHARDT: I see women around here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, but it's a Christian atmosphere. Christians are supposed to act a certain way.

BURKHARDT: Come here often? What's your sign?

(voice-over) But pickup lines here are scarcer than cuss words. Christian and non-Christian alike say the same thing. Here, there's no posing, just working out.

Some 3,000 members sweat it out here. And being Christian is not required for membership.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE; No, but it agrees with my lifestyle, maybe not my theology, but my lifestyle.

BURKHARDT: Though the walls are covered in scripture.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I read it all the time. BURKHARDT (on camera): Do you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just like walking through the Bible.

BURKHARDT (voice-over): No one is in your face preaching.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's no pressure. They don't question what religion you are. They just let you be.

BURKHARDT: And the Lord's Gym may be coming to a strip mall near you. Sorchy and his partners, who own a Lord's Gym in Jacksonville, are in the process of franchising the idea.

And though cussing is frowned upon around here, a tough workout can bring forth some un-Christian-like sentiments.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Increase resistance.

BURKHARDT (on camera): I don't want to.

(voice-over): Bruce Burkhardt, CNN, Clermont, Florida.


PHILLIPS: Well, having fun with Christianity, but getting very serious with God now.

You get a call from your son. He's been diagnosed with cancer. Your once dynamic mother is now confined to a wheelchair. A hurricane has hit your home. Well, these are times when we may ask life's biggest question, why? Why did this happen and why did it happen to me?

Well, all these things happen to my next guest. And she drew on her experiences to write a book titled "Why? Trusting God When You Don't Understand." She's Anne Graham Lotz, the daughter of evangelist Billy Graham. And many of you know that she's following in her famous father's footsteps, preaching and teaching as well.

Anne, it's great to see you again.

ANNE GRAHAM LOTZ, ANGEL MINISTRIES: Thank you, Kyra. So glad to be on. Thank you.

PHILLIPS: Oh, it's wonderful.

I guess taking into consideration everything that you mention in your book, the things that we just mentioned, all the things that you have gone through that have not been easy to deal with, a lot of people do ask that. They look at things like death and they look at things like 9/11 and they ask that question, why? You probably get it a lot. Tell me how you answer that.

LOTZ: Well, actually, it came out of my own life, Kyra, because not only those things have happened, but I have one particular unanswered prayer that's just I've prayed for months and years and God hasn't answered. And that's made me wonder, why? Why, God, haven't you answered my prayer? And that opened my mind to a lot of whys today.

Why would got withhold babies from wonderful parents and give them to a mother who would kill hers or why do the good die young? Why do the good die? Why do bad things happen to good people? And pretty soon, the whys just begin to mount up. And so God just led me back to the Gospel of John, where I seem to find answers. And John Chapter 11, when Mary and Martha were praying for their brother Lazarus. And he was sick.

And they said, Lord, the one whom you love is sick. And in essence, they were saying, come do something for him and Jesus didn't answer their prayer. He stayed where he was for two more days and Lazarus died. And in that passage, God has wonderful answers for those of us who ask why.

PHILLIPS: Anne, I've got to ask you this, too. So many people that are asking these questions why and questioning religion or God or Christianity or Judaism or whatever it is, they don't want to hear scripture. They don't want to hear about the Bible. How do you reach those who are questioning without getting too preachy?

LOTZ: Well, you know, I'm not sure that I can. And so what I'm trying to do is just share where I found my answers. I'm not preaching at them. I'm just sharing with them what God has done for me.

And in John Chapter 11, when Mary and Martha sent word to Jesus, in four days, he did come. He entered into Bethany. He entered into their place of grief. In fact, when he walked to the tomb of Lazarus, knowing that he was going to raise Lazarus from the dead in a few moments, he wept. And so we see their tears on his face. And he was emotionally caught up and evolved in their pain. He felt their pain.

And then, of course, he raised Lazarus from the dead. And so what it taught me, one of the things it taught me is that sometimes God doesn't give me what I want when I want because he has a greater purpose. And the bottom line, I think he is teaching me to trust him when I don't understand.

PHILLIPS: Is it wrong to question God?

LOTZ: I don't think it's wrong to question him if we're looking sincerely for answers. If I'm questioning him because I don't want to an answer, I just want to blame him or I'm offended or my hurt has turned into bitterness or resentment, then that's one thing.

But when I'm saying, God, why haven't you answered my prayer, do I need to adjust the way I'm praying or do I need to look for a greater purpose, what is it you are trying to teach me through this, are you trying to get my attention in some way, I think that's legitimate. And you see in the Gospels the disciples of Jesus asked him questions. And he didn't blame them for asking. He actually answered, and sometimes not the full answer that they wanted, but he gave them insight and understanding that helped resolve the issue for them.

PHILLIPS: Mel Gibson's movie has brought up a lot of -- well, has a lot of people talking about faith, has a lot of people talking about religion, about Jesus, about God. What do you think about this movie and how it is getting more people talking and sort of expanding their knowledge just about the background of Christ, whether it be real to them or just a story?

LOTZ: I just think it's fabulous, Kyra. And I think the national conversation that it's provoked about Jesus and the cross is wonderful.

And to me, it's more than just Mel Gibson. It's a God thing. And when people aren't going to church or they won't listen to a Bible teacher or preacher, they're going to movies. And I feel that God has just gone right into the theater and he's put on to the big screen a message that says, I love you so much that I sent my son to die on the cross and if you place your faith in him, you can have your sins forgiven. You can be reconciled with God. You can receive eternal life. What a message for this Easter season. And I love the fact it's right in the movie theater.

PHILLIPS: I've got to tell you, we've gone through your Web site, found a lot of really neat family pictures of you and your father and your mom and your brothers and sisters.

Tell us about your dad, how he's doing now and what he thinks of your success and sort of following in your footsteps and the books you've been coming out with.

LOTZ: Well, I thank you for asking.

In fact, I just called my father's office to give him the message that I'd be talking with you. So I hope that he's watching. I think he's doing very well. He'll be preaching in Kansas City in June. He's had a partial hip replacement, so he's going through physical therapy to get back the full use of his hip and his leg, but he's doing very well. And his heart to preach the Gospel and to present the truth of faith and salvation through faith in Jesus Christ is as strong as it's ever been.

And it's a real testimony to me, Kyra, that, at the end of his life, he's still keeping his focus on what God has called him to do, still faithful to that Gospel message. So I just thank God for my father. And you'll have to ask him what he thinks of me, but he's always made me think that he was pleased that I was his daughter and that he's proud of me. My mother would say, she's not proud of me. She's just grateful for me.

PHILLIPS: Well, both are wise words.

Anne Graham Lotz, the book is "Why? Trusting God When You Don't Understand." Thanks for just sharing your book and your time with us as we approach the holiday of Easter. Thank you so much.

LOTZ: Thank you so much, Kyra. God bless you. PHILLIPS: Straight ahead, if you haven't seen it, it's new to you, an expanded addition of our reality show watch is next. His mom wanted one woman. He wanted another. Find out who TV's "Average Joe" took on the plane and who went home on the bus, if you follow all this reality stuff.

LIVE FROM kiss and tell is right after this.



PHILLIPS: Now the business of TV romance. How is that for a turn? Sam trumps Rachel and we're not talking "The Apprentice," but "Average Joe."


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've been waiting like a year to see what the inside of that plane looks like.


PHILLIPS: Oh, brother. Is that what the young people are calling it these days? Whatever. Sam has jetted off with Adam now and poor Rachel went sniffly into the sunset aboard the average bus. It just goes to show you, seldom do sons follow mom's advice when it comes to matters of the heart.

All right, enough schmaltz, please. How about a little Sugar, as in Sugar Ray? The band will take part in "On the Road," a reality show for Spike TV. Contestants will do everything for Sugar Ray, from tuning guitars to promoting concerts. At the end of each episode, somebody has to walk the plank.

And in what must be the longest 15 minutes of fame ever calculated, the return of William Hung, this time a C.D. store near you.


WILLIAM HUNG, SINGING (singing): She bangs, she bangs. Oh, baby, and she moves, she moves.


PHILLIPS: This is like the painful story. Of course, his "Inspiration" release includes that ultimate party tune, as you can hear, "She Bangs."

Finally today, we inaugurate a new segment here on LIVE FROM. We're calling it the "Archival Photo of the Day," just a little something we found that we thought you might enjoy. In glorious black and white, swinging coeds in paper dresses. That's right. These hot frocks are disposable. Thrown-away fashions and pop art designed were very big in 1966, when this shot was taken in Bermuda. Closer examination reveals that all the girls, all they need is a rock to play that classic game paper, rock, scissors.

That's this Tuesday edition of LIVE FROM.


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