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CNN SUNDAY MORNING

U.S. Warplanes Drop Bunker Busters on Fallujah; Cheney: 'I Feel Fine'

Aired November 14, 2004 - 07:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


TONY HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: Well, everybody's got jokes this morning. Everyone has jokes. From the CNN Center in Atlanta, this is CNN SUNDAY MORNING. It is November 14th, 7:00 a.m. here in the East, 4:00 a.m. out West.
Hello, anyone there out West. Good morning, I'm Tony Harris.

BETTY NGUYEN, CNN ANCHOR: Very early out West. And I'm Betty Nguyen. Thanks so much for being with us this morning.

U.S. warplanes drop bunker buster bombs on an insurgent's underground complex in Falluja. Now the air strikes come as American soldiers and Marines mop up pockets of resistance in the war shattered city. 22 Americans and 1,000 insurgents have been killed in the battle of Falluja.

Elsewhere in Iraq, insurgents attacked a military base outside Baghdad last evening. One soldier of the multinational force was killed and three were wounded. No other details about that incident are available.

It's Remembrance Sunday in Britain, with services at the Synata (ph) Monument in London to honor the nation's war dead, including those killed in Iraq. Prince Charles was among those paying his respects. One of Britain's last World War I veterans was to have attended this year's ceremonies, but Tom Kirk died last Tuesday at the age of 105.

And Vice President Dick Cheney walks out of a Washington hospital to tell reporters "I feel fine." The vice president who has a history of heart problems underwent tests yesterday that an aide says turned up nothing abnormal. Doctors said Cheney's shortness of breath might have been caused by a bad cold or a respiratory infection.

HARRIS: And coming up this hour, the whistle and snap of enemy fire with troops fighting in Falluja. The sounds of war are real. And while it does not necessarily mean calm. Our senior international correspondent Nic Robertson takes us up close to the dangers that lurk on the front lines.

And in the rough and tumble of politics, he might say no girly men allowed. So could Arnold Schwarzenegger go from Mr. Box Office to Mr. Universe to Mr. President? We'll examine his prospects.

And in the extreme makeover world of plastic surgery indeed could mean medical disaster. Many uncertified medical personnel are trying to slice their way into the business. We'll tell you which ones should make the cut and which ones perhaps shouldn't.

Our top story this hour, U.S. troops fighting house to house are wiping up the last pockets of organized resistance in Falluja. But commanders say there are still insurgents in the city. And they pose a real threat. In one house, Marines found a makeshift prison cell with two bodies in it. And they also found the passport of Shosay Koda, the Japanese hostage who was beheaded last month by terrorists.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COL. WILLARD BUREL, 3RD BATTALION, 1ST MARINES: I was looking at a passport this morning with a Mr. Koda on it, one of the tourists that was beheaded, the Japanese tourist. We found a lot of -- we found a significant number of documents and material evidence related to people who had been taken as hostages, tortured, etcetera. We found torture rooms. And I held that passport in my hand today.

So we know that these organizations were here operating with relative impunity. And we're finding the evidence to support that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HARRIS: Koda was a Japanese backpacker kidnapped on October 30th. He was beheaded after Japan's prime minister rejected the kidnapper's demands to pull Japanese troops out of Iraq.

Despite the apparent success in Falluja, a top military commander tells CNN's Nic Robertson the insurgents still pose a serious threat. Nic is embedded with U.S. Marines. And he was there as they faced down the enemy and pushed forward.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): To this Marine gunner, resupplying Charley Company was never going to be easy. A high speed dash through Falluja's dangerous streets, head long into a fire fight.

Resupplying Charley Company abruptly switching to reinforce Bravo Company. There, foot patrol pinned down by insurgent gunfire. Incoming round missile and snap overhead. Bullets ricochet off the armored supply vehicle.

Suddenly, a call. Marines injured. Reinforcement turned into Medivac.

A race back to base. Resupplying Charley Company no longer the objective. Better luck on the next run. Charley Company Marines rushed to get their water, food, and ammunition out of harm's way.

For their commander, the focus now on insurgent bypassed in the initial phase of the assault.

LT. COL. TRAVIS FULLER, U.S. MARINE CORPS: The threat that they pose right now is that they hold the ground. We don't know where they are. They can continue to snipe at us and fire RPGs and maybe even construct explosive devices.

ROBERTSON: Resupply Captain Tennant's Marines race for cover en route to the next objective. Plans worked out as they go.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If we do enough clearing rooms, if we have to take over and clear rooms, you guys are throwing a frag in every room we come to.

ROBERTSON: Explosives to clear the way. Two of Charley Company killed by insurgents lying in wait in a house just a few days before.

Past the body of a man believed to be an insurgent. Progress is cautious. Holding up in a house along the way.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, I want a scope up top. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) up there. Anderson's got us covered back here, we're good.

ROBERTSON: The strains of battle etching their wearying patterns on the face of Charley Company. No flagging though on the final push for their objective, an Iraqi school.

As promised, low risks taken. Marines rush forward. No insurgents found.

CAPT. THOMAS TENNANT, U.S. MARINE CORPS: One of our biggest concerns right now actually is not enemy being in the building. It's the building being booby trapped.

ROBERTSON: Later, under cover of darkness, detainees being sent back to base for questioning. And a call for much needed supplies.

As day breaks, relative quiet after a night of sporadic explosions. Time to repair, refresh, and reflect on their first taste of battle.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've never gone through anything like this with one of my friends before. And I definitely know that we're all a lot closer now.

ROBERTSON: Unpredictably, and seemingly out of nowhere, they take fire. A day to be like the one before maybe. More objectives to be taken. More time for Charley Company in the firing line. Their losses so far cutting deep, but not hindering their mission.

TENNANT: Brokenhearted, disappointed, but with a mission on hand, you can't grieve too much now. You just save it and you grieve when you get out of here safely.

ROBERTSON: For Charley Company, Falluja was never going to be painless.

Nic Robertson, CNN, with Charley Company in Falluja, Iraq.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HARRIS: Let's take you live to Falluja now. CNN's Jane Arraf is embedded with U.S. troops in that U.S. controlled city.

Good morning, Jane.

JANE ARRAF, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning. Well, U.S. officials tell us -- we've been speaking to the commanding general of the 1st Marine Division. And he tells us that he believes there is no longer an organized insurgency in Falluja.

Now this is after the Army unit that we're with, that is sort of providing the heavy lifting for the Marine forces, went into the last remaining sector of the city that has had to clear. And that's where it said it believes insurgents were cornered.

What it found overnight was a series of tunnels, a series of bunkers. In one of the tunnels, 400 meters by 300 meters. The Air Force launched air strikes overnight, including Jaydowns and 500 pound laser guided bombs to destroy these tunnels. Marine officials tell us that what they're seeing now are small groups of insurgents, between five and 20 of them. But they appear to have no leadership left. They appear to have lost their communications abilities. And they say they are on the run.

HARRIS: And Jane, if there is no organized resistance left, give us a sense of what the work is that is left for these soldiers in Falluja?

ARRAF: Still an awful lot of work, even though there's no organized resistance. What there are are insurgents in a lot of places. And they have been preparing for this for some months.

So as we were going through the streets, for instance, with the troops, what we were finding were gunmen popping up from what the Army calls spider holes, hiding places dug in, popping up from defensive bunkers, hiding in these tunnels, coming out from rooftops, from buildings. They haven't really wanted to fight at night. They've been coming out in the daytime. But when they do fight, they are very determined.

There have been some Iraqi insurgents who are surrendering, but the foreign fighters particularly are the ones who are fighting to the death. And they are willing to die, as they continue to fight the Marines and the soldiers. That is going to take a long time to clear. Weeks, perhaps, going from building to building, street to street. And that's going to be the time consuming work.

HARRIS: Wow. Jane Arraf with us on the phone. Jane is embedded with U.S. soldiers in Falluja. Jane, thank you.

NGUYEN: And we want to get more on the battle of Falluja, plus the effects on the crackdown in other parts of Iraq. Our Karl Penhaul joins us now live from Baghdad with the latest on all of this. Good morning to you, Karl.

KARL PENHAUL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Morning to you, Betty.

Over the last few hours, we've been adding up some of the figures of U.S. military deaths in the last week since Monday, in fact, when the offensive on Falluja started. In the last week, there have been around 53 military -- U.S. military deaths in Iraq as far as we calculate. More than half of those, in fact, have been elsewhere in Iraq and not on the frontlines in Falluja. That really is a clear indication that the insurgency, true to its word, has launched a series of rear guard attacks around the country to try and deflect some of the firepower that is now focused on Falluja.

Even today, in the city of Bakuba, that's just a little ways north of Baghdad, there was a demonstration there by several hundred demonstrators, we're told. That took place after morning prayers on the day of celebration of Eid, to mark the end of Ramadan.

In that demonstration, demonstrators were chanting slogans against the prime minister Ayad Allawi, calling him a coward and a traitor. And in that crowd clearly present were a number of heavily armed insurgents. And one of them had this to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (through translator) I hope that all of Iraq goes out in demonstrations to show the American enemy our solidarity with the people in Falluja.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PENHAUL: There's also been problems in the northern city of Mosul over the last few days. That has been the scene of some heavy fighting, particularly insurgents have been attacking police stations there. We're told, though, by the U.S. military at the moment, sporadic fighting is ongoing, but on the whole, things there have quieted down somewhat, Betty.

NGUYEN: Karl, as Jane Arraf has been reporting, many of the citizens of Falluja have left to outskirting towns. Talk to us about aid. Are they getting any aid? Because we understand the Red Crescent is trying to get into the area. Are they making any progress there?

PENHAUL: Over the last few moments, we've talked to heads of the Iraqi Red Crescent. They say that their aid convoy, which essentially it consists of food, water, blankets, and some emergency medical supplies is still being held up on the western outskirts of Falluja. The U.S. military is saying that security conditions don't exist inside the city itself. So that that convoy can drive into town.

What we do know, however, is that both with the help of the Iraqi officials and also the U.S. military, some of the civilian wounded who are now being found are being ferried out of the city and then being brought to Baghdad to treatment. Some of those, in fact, are being treated the U.S. military hospital here in Baghdad. They've had at least 30 civilian casualties from Falluja this week.

In another medical facility we visited in the course of the day, they've had at least 25 civilian casualties from Falluja, Betty.

NGUYEN: All right, CNN's Karl Penhaul, live for us in Baghdad this morning. Thank you, Karl.

I want to give you some quick headlines now on the situation elsewhere in Iraq. In the north, a U.S. general in charge of Mosul says the city is back under U.S. and Iraqi control. Now last week, armed masked insurgents stormed police stations and government buildings there.

U.S. Marines today found the mutilated body of a woman on a street in central Falluja. Now according to the Associated Press, a Marine officer says he is 80 percent sure it is a Western woman.

And near Baghdad, a prominent member of the Iraqi Communist party was gunned down along with his two of his bodyguards just outside the city. The Communist party is part of Iraq's new interim government.

HARRIS: Well, are you ready to amend the U.S. constitution? Fans of California's movie star governor are making plans for Arnold's next career move. We will explain, just ahead.

NGUYEN: And later, how friends and family are remembering a football player who paid the ultimate price while serving his country.

HARRIS: And here is our e-mail question this morning. What should be at the top of America's foreign policy agenda? Send us an e-mail at wam@cnn.com. We will read many of your responses throughout the program this morning.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HARRIS: And here are some stories making news across America this morning. In Tampa Bay, Florida, truckers drive home a message with what they call the world's largest truck convoy. They're calling attention to the work of truckers in Iraq and Kuwait. The truckers also delivered a $10,000 check to its final destination, the Special Olympics.

Yesterday, we told you about a six-year old Miami boy who was tasered by police. Miami-Dade police now say one of its officers used a stun gun on a second child, a 12-year old girl, who was apparently drunk and about to run into traffic. The department's police director says using the device on the boy was warranted. The case with the girl was not.

NGUYEN: And in New York, an autopsy is planned today for the rapper known as O.D.B. Russell Jones was a founding member of the rap group Wu Tang Clan and had a history of drug abuse and convictions. Police say he collapsed and died at a recording studio. He would have turned 36 tomorrow.

Just ahead, nearly two weeks after the presidential election, South Florida could face a new ballot investigation. Yes, that's right. And it's not about hanging chads this time. HARRIS: Seven months ago, Army Ranger Pat Tillman died in combat in Afghanistan. He had walked away from a multi million dollar NFL contract to join the military in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. Yesterday, about 50 of his former teammates at Arizona State University returned to pay tribute and retire his number.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We honor the memory and accomplishments of Pat Tillman.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HARRIS: And earlier this month, Tillman received the same honor at his old high school. Leland High in San Jose, California not only retired his number, but also named the field after him. His jersey pads and helmet were displayed where he last wore them on the field, celebrating a touchdown.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HARRIS: OK, and it is the last chance for some entertainment while tasting food and wine from around the world at Disney's Epcot Center in Orlando. You might want to check it out if you're in the city looking for something a little extra to do this Sunday.

Good morning Orlando. Your weather coming up in just a couple of minutes with Rob Marciano.

NGUYEN: Boy if you're in the city, look up. That is beautiful this morning.

HARRIS: That's a beautiful sky.

NGUYEN: Yes. All right, some other news this morning. McDonalds is hit with a U.S. style lawsuit in Russia. Well, sort of. A woman is suing the fast food giant after a cup of hot coffee spilled on her. Local media reported she suffered second degree burns. Now the woman filed a lawsuit seeking, get this, just $14 in health care costs. That's right, $14. And she wants $3500 for so-called moral damage. That's all? I'm a little surprised by this.

HARRIS: That's not an American style lawsuit.

NGUYEN: Not at all. It should be in the millions somewhere.

(WEATHER REPORT)

NGUYEN: Well, Arnold Schwarzenegger has conquered body building, the movie biz, and state politics. So what's next? We'll tell you what some of his biggest fans hope to see down the road.

HARRIS: And later, we'll look at the growing demands for plastic surgery and who's jumping on the bandwagon with the hopes of fixing your flaws.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NGUYEN: Should Arnold Schwarzenegger be allowed the run for president of the United States? Well, we want to welcome you back. I'm Betty Nguyen.

HARRIS: And I'm Tony Harris. A drive to put the California governor in the White House, that story in a minute.

First, a look at the headlines this morning. Overnight in Falluja, U.S. forces launched a bunker busting bombs in what they believed was a huge underground complex used by insurgents. U.S. and Iraqi officials say as many as 1,000 insurgents have been killed in the week long campaign. And resistance there has almost been completely crushed.

Also in Falluja, the Associated Press reports U.S. Marines have found the mutilated body of a woman who may be a Westerner. The Associated Press says the body was lying on a street in the city's center under a blood stained cloth. Two Western women are known to have been taken hostage in the city.

Pope Paul John II issues a call for unity among the different branches of Christianity. Yesterday, the Roman Catholic leaders said many stumbling stones still block the total of harmony between Christian groups. The pontiff referred to ethical divisions, which is believed to be a reference to other faiths ordaining women and the consecrating of an openly gay bishop in the U.S. Episcopal church.

Vice President Cheney is waking up in his own bed this morning after breathing problems prompted a visit to George Washington University Medical Center. Yesterday, doctors there blamed an upper respiratory infection and not heart problems. Cheney has had four attacks. Keeping you informed, CNN, the most trusted name in news.

NGUYEN: Well, with a year under his belt and a California state house governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger has his eye on the White House. A new privately funded TV ad will start airing tomorrow that urges Californians to back an amendment to let foreign born citizens run for president. Four proposed amendments are circulating in Congress.

Schwarzenegger says he hasn't pushed for a constitutional change, but he's said on more than one occasion that he would back such an amendment.

Researchers in California find themselves on the fast track of stem cell research now that voters approved a $3 billion bond measure to pay for it. At a recent medical conference, scientists clarified that they aren't looking to clone humans. They want to cure humans.

Backers of stem cell research say stem cells are useful because they can grow and duplicate themselves and form different tissues. But opponents have long said it is unethical to destroy human embryos, which is required for stem cell research.

Now to Florida. Florida and elections, well it seems they go together like oil and water. Now Broward County wants an investigation into possible voter fraud. County election officials say about 30 registered voters cast early ballots by touch screen, then tried to cast paper ballots on election day. And that's just one of more than 100 allegations of voting irregularities all across the country.

HARRIS: Wounded in war, honored at home, a small California community is rattling behind one of its own, a U.S. Marine who's become a local hero. Our Casey Wian has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In Pismo Beach, California, the town turns out early to honor a local hero.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE; Next up, ladies and gentlemen we have our grand marshal, Lance Corporal Adrian Souza. WIAN: Adrian Sousa rides with his mom Angie and brother Seth, waving to the throngs of well- wishers who lined the streets to show their appreciation and support. Like so many small towns, Pismo Beach has a big heart.

The parade winds toward the pier, where crowds pay tribute to the veterans of all wars.

(SINGING)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Freedom of liberty are the hall marks of our great nation. But freedom is never free.

WIAN: But day belongs to Adrian Souza.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The United States of America has awarded the Purple Heart to Lance Corporal Adrian M. Souza, United States Marine Corps, for wounds received in action on 9, September, 2004 in Iraq.

WIAN: Souza was shot in the leg when his foot patrol was ambushed near Ramadi. It was his second tour of duty in Iraq.

LANCE CORPORAL ADRIAN SOUZA, U.S. MARINE CORPS: We'd only gotten there a couple of weeks before. And I didn't really want to leave my unit. I didn't really feel the pain in it, I just felt kind of disappointed.

WIAN: He's had several surgeries and expects a full recovery. Souza isn't exactly comfortable being the center of attention, but on this day, he humbly accepts the thanks of the people of Pismo Beach.

ANGIE SOUZA, MOTHER: Our community has really has been behind him. And this is more proof that people support him. And whether you believe in it or not, you believe in the people that do it.

WIAN: Souza still needs months of physical therapy. But he intends to finish his military service next year. And go back to school to study science or law.

Casey Wian, CNN, reporting.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HARRIS: And we bring you hero's stories every week on CNN SUNDAY MORNING.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Giving money to these orphans is seen as supporting terrorism because you're basically telling a would-be, for example, a would-be suicide bomber don't worry if you kill yourself, your family or your children will be taken care of.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NGUYEN: Why giving money in the Muslim world has become a dangerous business. We have those details next on CNN SUNDAY MORNING.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HARRIS: OK, let's fast forward now and see what stories will be making headlines this week. Tomorrow, the United Nations Security Council holds an open briefing on the situation in the Middle East.

The death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat creates a power vacuum and it changes the dynamics of the Middle East peace process. On Tuesday, members of Congress return to work for a lame duck session. They hope to wrap up a huge pile of spending bill stalemated all year.

And Thursday, former President Clinton's presidential library will open in Little Rock, Arkansas. Some 30,000 guests have been invited, including lawmakers, world leaders, and celebrities.

NGUYEN: Well, in giving to the poor, it's a big part of Islamic tradition, but Muslims in the U.S. say they're getting some less than charitable attention.

CNN's Alina Cho has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ALINA CHO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): During the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims pray, fast and give money to the poor.

AMANEY JAMAL, MUSLIM EXPERT: One of the major pillars of Islam is to give to charity and especially during this holy month of Ramadan.

CHO: The Muslim faithful typically donate 2.5 percent of their wealth every year. But post-September 11th, the FBI has cracked down on Islamic charities suspected of having terrorist ties. And that's left many Muslims too scared to donate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think a lot of the community does feel very alienated now.

CHO: Adam Carroll works for the Islamic Circle of North America. The relief arm of that group collects food for the needy, helps families of detainees and orphans overseas, causes Muslims care deeply about. But since the crackdowns, donations have dropped 50 percent.

MUHAMMAD RAHMAN, EXEC. DIRECTOR, ICNA RELIEF: If we had 2,000 or 3,000 orphans, now we've got 2,000 orphans.

CHO: Muslim experts say when it comes to the issue of supporting orphans; the children can sometimes be linked to what their parents may have done.

JAMAL: Giving money to these orphans is seen as supporting terrorism because you're basically telling a would-be -- for example, a would-be suicide bomber, don't worry if you kill yourself, your family or your children will be taken care of.

CHO: Some Muslims say they are so fearful about leaving a money trail that charities say when they do give they give smaller amounts in cash. Mohamed Younes is an elder in Paterson, New Jersey's Muslim community.

MOHAMED YOUNES, AMERICAN MUSLIM UNION: The people have been more careful and they've been more, you know, aware of this -- not just to donate, you know, now we're asking where did the donation go and why -- how are you going to spend it.

CHO: The FBI says despite the crackdown, law-abiding Muslims have nothing to fear and should give as they please.

JAMAL: It's a feeling that I'm trying to be a good citizen and I'm trying to be a good human being, and yet, I'm also being thought of as a terrorist or supporting terrorism.

CHO: Making charity, giving to others, a mixed blessing for Muslim-Americans during this holy month of Ramadan.

Alina Cho, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HARRIS: And checking our top stories, the week long U.S. led offensive in Falluja is being billed as a success. Military officials say the city is no longer a base of operation for organized insurgents. In central Iraq near Baghdad, protesters demonstrated against the offensive in Falluja. And they denounced interim prime minister Ayad Allawi, calling him a thug and a traitor. It's remembrance day in Britain. Ceremonies honoring the nation's war dead, including those killed in Iraq are taking place in London. Prince Charles is among those paying his respects.

Don't forget to drop us an e-mail. We are asking you this morning what in your opinion should be at the top of America's foreign policy agenda? You can e-mail us at wam@cnn.com and we will read some of those replies in just a minute.

NGUYEN: And when the price of beauty might be just a little too high, do you know when to say no to plastic surgery? We'll get some expert advice next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NGUYEN: Oh, chocolate lovers, do we have just the place for you. If you happen to be in New York this morning, head to the Metropolitan Pavilion and indulge. You can watch master chefs make their hasty chocolate treats. And you can even grab some to snack on yourself. Today is the last day of the event. So better get there quickly.

And as for your weather, New York, Rob Marciano will have it in just about five minutes. Good morning, New York.

But first, a nip here, a tuck there, more and more people are doing it these days. Plastic surgery is getting a lot of attention on television and on reality shows, as well as non reality shows.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "NIP TUCK")

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ...symmetry. Your right eye is half a millimeter higher than your left. I can properly fix that with a (UNINTELLIGIBLE) augmentation, some cheekbone enhancement. I can give you Botox here and here. Should provide good lift to your arch. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) flat box your nose with a...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NGUYEN: Sounds like a little bit of everything. Well, that is a clip from the show, "Nip and Tuck," which might be just a little more realistic than you think. As plastic surgery becomes an ever growing trend, plastic surgeons may be getting some unwelcome company.

Now joining us from Cleveland this morning is Dr. Michael Wojtanowski. He's the director of the Ohio Clinic for Aesthetic and Plastic Surgery.

Good morning, to you, doctor.

MICHAEL WOJTANOWSKI, DR., PLASTIC SURGEON: Good morning. How are you?

NGUYEN: I'm doing well. Let's talk about this because you guys are getting some unwelcome competition in the field because some folks, some doctors who may not have the qualifications, are doing plastic surgery. How is that possible?

WOJTANOWSKI: Well, anybody can do anything if you have a degree. Any practitioner, who is a physician or a dentist can do anything in their office environment. And that's how it's possible.

NGUYEN: But are these degrees legitimate? Or are these just conferences that they go to for a couple hours, and then they're certified?

WOJTANOWSKI: Well, what is happening is people are practicing out of their scope. People like dentists are doing surgery. People like dermatologists are doing surgery. Things that they're not really trained to do, they take some courses, they learn how to do some of these procedures. So they basically have focused skills and focused practices.

NGUYEN: So they have some of the skills that you just say, not all of the skills necessary to perform these types of surgeries?

WOJTANOWSKI: Correct. You know, plastic surgeons are fully trained in reconstructive and cosmetic surgery. Plastic surgeons are board certified in their specialty. This is what we do. This is what we're trained to do.

These other individuals are sort of what I call dabbling in cosmetic surgery.

NGUYEN: And as we look at the scope of this, give us some examples of the doctors and what they're performing?

WOJTANOWSKI: Well, we have gynecologists doing Botox. We have dentists doing facial surgery. Even some dentists are doing liposuction and breast surgery, believe it or not. And obviously, that's far from the mouth.

And you know, we have dermatologists doing surgery and so forth. And a lot of these people do not have proper training or adequate training to do these procedures. So consumers need to be aware, obviously.

NGUYEN: Yes, that's a bit staggering. Not only is this becoming somewhat of a trend, it's also very dangerous. So for folks looking to get plastic surgery, let's break it down for them. What do they need to know about this particular doctor before they sign up for that surgery?

WOJTANOWSKI: Absolutely. Patients should find out if the doctor is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery to do these procedures.

NGUYEN: All right also, is money a factor simply in the fact that the more that it costs, the better the doctor is?

WOJTANOWSKI: Yes, sometimes people think that. One should never price shop when they're looking for surgery. They really should look for qualifications of the individual practitioner. Fees do vary. Fees vary by practitioners. They vary by geographic location, of course and so forth. But people should not select surgery by price. They should select surgery -- should select a practitioner based on skill.

NGUYEN: Want to talk to you about what's being done to prevent these doctors from performing surgeries that they're really not qualified to do. For example, recently in California, Governor Schwarzenegger really stopped a bill that would have allowed dentists to perform cosmetic surgery. In your eyes, is that a win in your corner?

WOJTANOWSKI: Absolutely, it's a win. I mean, you know, individuals should not practice something that they're not trained to do. Inadequate training leads to potential patient safety issues, increased complications in fees risks and so forth. Plastic surgeons are very concerned about patient safety. This isn't a turf battle. It's a battle about patient safety. We want to do good procedures. We want patients to get good results to be happy and minimize risk, minimize complications.

NGUYEN: And in the meantime, consumers need to be educated on the doctors out there and what they an and cannot perform?

WOJTANOWSKI: Correct. Absolutely.

NGUYEN: All right. Dr. Michael Wojtanowski, we appreciate your time and insight this morning.

WOJTANOWSKI: Thank you so much. Appreciate it.

NGUYEN: Sure -- Tony?

HARRIS: So what do you think needs to be at the top of America's foreign policy agenda? We're reading your e-mails next on CNN SUNDAY MORNING.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HARRIS: Yes, that's that (UNINTELLIGIBLE) A-town -- that's that yes.

NGUYEN: Usher.

HARRIS: That's Usher. And the little John in the East Side Crew. The kids really like that song. Usher is back in the top five this week. His confessions album has been on the charts barely three weeks now. And it's at number four this week.

NGUYEN: More than just the kids like us.

HARRIS: Yes, yes, yes, you're right about that. And here's a look at the rest of that top. By the 17th installment of now -- "Now That's What I Call Music" debuts at number one, followed by another debut, "Emotives, a Perfect Circle." What am I missing here? Nelly's "Suit" continues to sell fast at number three. And Rod Stewart's third volume of "The Great American Songbook" is number five. OK.

NGUYEN: And "Suit" is the name of Nelly's album, not "His Suit."

HARRIS: "Suit"...

NGUYEN: Is on sale.

HARRIS: Suit of choice.

NGUYEN: Yes, OK.

HARRIS: Got you.

NGUYEN: As long as we got that straightened out. All right, even without all the celebrities, the wedding was star studded. Starr Jones, co-host of ABC's "The View," exchanged vows with Manhattan banker Al Reynolds yesterday. Starr wore a white strapless gown with a 27-foot train. Obviously we don't have video of that. But the ceremony was loaded down with wedding freebies from several sponsors, which Jones plugged shamelessly, leading up to the event.

We were just talking about that. Saved her quite a bit of money, I imagine, getting sponsor -- that's a good idea.

HARRIS: Is that really -- she got sponsors?

NGUYEN: Sponsors for the wedding. I'll have to write that down. When and if I ever get married, sponsors...

HARRIS: So the intention there was to make some money on the nuptials, huh?

NGUYEN: I guess that's how it goes. Rob, do you have any idea?

HARRIS: Well, it's a whole new world, Rob.

ROB MARCIANO, METEOROLOGIST: And she married a Manhattan banker.

NGUYEN: All part of the plan.

HARRIS: Yes.

(WEATHER REPORT)

HARRIS: We've been asking you to respond to our e-mail question this morning, what should be at the top of America's foreign policy agenda? And you have been writing in with some spirited e-mail.

NGUYEN: Oh, yes, Talal from Long Beach, California writes, "Kill ignorance rather than people."

HARRIS: And this from Jean, "The most important foreign policy agenda should be to force upon Israel the same demands we have made on Iraq." We thank you and encourage you to send those e-mails along at wam@cnn.com. And we'll be reading those e-mails throughout the morning.

NGUYEN: And the next hour of CNN SUNDAY MORNING begins right now.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com


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