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PAULA ZAHN NOW

Remembering Jerry Falwell; Former U.S. Generals Speak Out Against Iraq War Policy

Aired May 15, 2007 - 20:00   ET

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


PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everybody. Thank you so much for joining us.
Here are some of the stories we're bringing out in the open.

Tonight: the legacy of a preacher who helped transform the Republican Party and the face of American politics.

A U.S. military base reels from bad news. Seven of its soldiers are either dead or prisoners of terrorists in Iraq.

Plus: when turbans and beards make innocent people magnets for hatred and intolerance.

But the first story we're bringing out in the open tonight: the death of one of the most polarizing figures in American politics in a generation. The Reverend Jerry Falwell died after he was found unconscious this morning in his office at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. He was 73 years old.

Falwell's life took him from TV preacher, to political force, to the leader of a multimillion-dollar evangelical empire. It has been nearly 30 years since he turned his personal definition of morality into an urgent national political crusade through the Moral Majority, the organization he founded. He brought millions of conservative voters to the polls, helping Republicans win five of the last seven presidential elections.

Senior political correspondent Candy Crowley has more on the life of a man who changed America.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Son of an alcoholic who sold bootleg whiskey during prohibition, father of a movement to restore America as God's country, a big thinker from small-town Virginia growing his 35-member Thomas Road Baptist Church into a congregation of thousands, and then millions, as the fundamentalist reverend, raised on radio preachers, pioneered a new evangelism, the TV pulpit, beaming his "Old Time Gospel Hour" into American homes, turning living rooms into pews.

Jerry Falwell said he found Jesus in 1952. He found politics in 1979, forming the Moral Majority to lobby against abortion rights, gay rights, pornography, and a host of social issues. He claimed credit for helping elect Ronald Reagan and a string of officials down the government ladder.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REVEREND JERRY FALWELL, CHANCELLOR, LIBERTY UNIVERSITY: We have a goal of 200 of our people running for office this year at different levels across the country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CROWLEY: A visionary to conservatives.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FALWELL: We admire and respect you, the president of the United States.

(APPLAUSE)

GEORGE H.W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Jerry, I am glad to have been introduced by a loyal friend.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CROWLEY: A Lucifer to liberals.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

JIMMY CARTER, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In a very Christian way, as far as I'm concerned, he can go to hell.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

CROWLEY: Pilloried by a high priest of porn in the pages of "Hustler."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FALWELL: I personally was anguished, am anguished, am still hurt.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CROWLEY: Always provocative. AIDS, he said, was God's punishment to homosexuals. September 11, that was God's punishment, too, unleashed on the America of abortionists, feminists, pagans, and gays. Falwell apologized for that one, blaming a lack of sleep, asking for the lord's forgiveness.

Through the decades, his targets ranged from terrorists to Teletubbies: Purse-toting, lovably lavender Tinky-Winky was an agent of the homosexual agenda.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FALWELL: Parents, be very careful what your children are watching. (END VIDEO CLIP)

CROWLEY: Despite the occasional colorful outburst, Falwell retreated from the secular world in his later years, dedicating himself to the once tiny church he turned into a multimillion-dollar empire.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FALWELL: Twenty million religious conservatives to the polls nationally.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CROWLEY: Leaving politics to those who followed the road he paved.

Candy Crowley, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: So, what about Falwell's political legacy? Well, maybe this gives you an idea.

One-third of the people who voted last fall were born-again evangelicals.

And joining me now, chief national correspondent John King, who is in South Carolina for tonight's Republican presidential debate, the Reverend Jesse Jackson, a longtime friend of Reverend Falwell, and televangelist John Hagee, founder and pastor of the Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas.

Good to have all of you with us tonight.

(CROSSTALK)

ZAHN: Pastor Hagee, I would like to start with you this evening.

How was Reverend Falwell able to turn in -- a church of some 35 members into what many consider one of the most influential political movements ever in this country?

PASTOR JOHN HAGEE, FOUNDER, CORNERSTONE CHURCH: Paula, first of all, Dr. Jerry Falwell was first and foremost a fearless defender of the faith.

He was one of America's premier pastors and the founder of Thomas Road Baptist Church that exploded into a membership of 24,000 people. Dr. Falwell served on the executive board of Christians United For Israel, and was a lover and strong defender of Israel and the Jewish people.

He was also the chancellor of Liberty University, that presently has over 25,000 students from 50 states and 80 nations that attend this accredited liberal arts university. (CROSSTALK)

ZAHN: So, was it his faith, then, that -- that you believe helped galvanize this movement?

HAGEE: Absolutely. The -- my generation and his were taught to stay out of the public arena. And we listened to that and lived by that law, until the abortion issue came.

ZAHN: Right.

HAGEE: And, based on scripture, we believed that abortion was murder. And we believed that we should stand up and speak up for the unborn children.

And, so, that was the very emotional issue that blasted the evangelical church out of the pews of complacency into the public arena.

ZAHN: So, Reverend Jackson, what is your assessment of why liberals have never been able to do that with a very provocative minister from the left?

REVEREND JESSE JACKSON, FOUNDER, RAINBOW/PUSH COALITION: Well, that's what Dr. King was. He changed the nation in a progressive direction.

We ended the laws of Jim Crow in 1964, mobilizing churches at Coalition of Conscience, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. We helped to end the war. And, so, he was that -- that force.

But let me say, I'm saddened by the loss of Jerry Falwell. We became a kind of odd couple of friends. I have high regard for him. He was a man who had a heart of gold and a strong point of view. And we met often, debating very different points of view, but had a kind of generous friendship. One -- I spoke at his church on one occasion.

A few years ago, we marched together, led a march in Appalachia, fighting poverty. So, while we had these different points of view, we could be dismissive of each other's points of view, I'm very saddened today by -- by his passing.

ZAHN: Yes, it's hard to understand how such a...

JACKSON: And I send my highest regards to his family.

ZAHN: ... a strong friendship was formed, when you had such distinctly different opinions on abortion, on -- on so many of these issues that divide the left from the right.

JACKSON: Well, sometimes, we're separated by culture and we're linked by Christ, by our love of people, by our love of -- by our love of life.

And, in some sense, I want to say that Jerry Falwell was a creature of his culture, as -- indeed, as all of us are. And I think, in his own way, he was trying to be -- trying to be patriotic. And, of course, we disagreed on many issues, but there was a certain love that we shared.

ZAHN: John King, let's talk about some of the love of Jerry Falwell that eroded over the years. I mean, even of -- his harshest critics have to concede that he single-handedly created a grass movement -- a grassroots movement that brought people to polls in unprecedented numbers.

But it seems to me that some of the Republicans started to distance themselves from him during the last presidential campaign in a pretty profound way.

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's a very fascinating question, Paula.

There have been some Republicans who have distanced themselves. One of the Republicans he was helping in this campaign, in the last cycle -- well, back in 2000, John McCain called Jerry Falwell an agent of intolerance. He was always controversial, often combative.

Excuse the demonstration of democracy going on outside the debate site here.

But he also was a pioneer in the evangelical movement. And one of the big questions now is, has this movement peaked? Many Republicans are trying to see, can Rudy Giuliani, a pro-choice person on abortion, win the Republican nomination?

There's no question, especially in this state, South Carolina, the Christian right, modeled after Jerry Falwell's Moral Majority, peaked in the '80s and the '90s. The question now in Republican politics is, as America remembers his political contribution, has this movement seen its best days, or can it regenerate itself?

ZAHN: What do you think is the answer to that question, John?

HAGEE: I think the answer to that question...

KING: Well, I don't know the answer.

Go ahead.

ZAHN: John King is actually getting drowned out, Reverend Hagee, by those protesters there.

But does -- does the movement have the ability to rehabilitate itself or regenerate itself? And I need a real brief answer to this.

HAGEE: On the proper issue, yes.

On the issue of Israel, the support of the evangelicals in America has never been stronger. Dr. Falwell served on the Christians United For Israel board. And we believe that we are now putting together a national grassroots organization that will reach a new pinnacle of unity for the American evangelicals in behalf of the state of Israel.

ZAHN: Gentlemen, we have got to leave it there.

Pastor Hagee, Reverend Jackson, John King, thank you, all.

HAGEE: Thank you.

ZAHN: We appreciate it.

And Larry King will have much more tonight on the life of Jerry Falwell. That's coming up at the top of the hour. He is going to talk with people who knew him well. And he will have an exclusive interview with Tammy Faye Messner, former wife of evangelist Jim Bakker.

Tonight, we are watching a developing story, both in Iraq, where three U.S. soldiers are missing, and at home, where other soldiers' families are in mourning.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WENDY THOMPSON, MOTHER OF KILLED U.S. SOLDIER: I just started screaming, begging her to tell me it was a joke, just some stupid, sick Mother's Day prank.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: Unfortunately, it was tragically real. The crisis, unfortunately, is not over yet. Stay with us for the very latest on the search for the captives and from the U.S. fort where they are based.

Also out in the open: The retired general who is front and center in a new anti-war commercial, why is he speaking out now?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: We have some urgent new developments in a story we're following in Iraq.

The Pentagon just identified the remaining U.S. soldiers who were killed or taken captive by al Qaeda in Iraq on Saturday. The men were ambushed south of Baghdad in an area known as the Triangle of Death.

These four names were just made public: Sergeant Anthony J. Schober, 23, of Reno, Nevada; Specialist Alex R. Jimenez, 25, of Lawrence, Massachusetts; PFC Joseph J. Anzack Jr., 20, of Torrance, California; and Private Byron W. Fouty, 19, of Waterford, Michigan.

One of those men is dead. The other three are missing. But, because one of the bodies from the ambush was burned beyond recognition, the Pentagon isn't saying which of these men is dead or missing.

And, for the very latest on the search, let's go to Hugh Riminton in Baghdad. Hugh, have they arrested anybody yet?

HUGH RIMINTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, they have arrested or they have brought in a number of people. They have questioned hundreds of people in this enormous search that is taking place just to the south of Baghdad.

It is almost exactly now four days since this ambush took place, and since the word came through, since those first explosions were heard by neighboring units. They tried to get to the scene. It took them an hour to get to the scene there. And they found five bodies, including that of an Iraqi army soldier, the other four, now three of them identified, one of them still unidentified while will do DNA tests.

Ever since then, there's been this enormous search taking place to bring in information. They have brought in, they say, about a dozen people. Eleven people are now being detained, including four people they rate as high-value targets.

But they don't appear yet, from what we can understand, to have found any specific breakthrough that is going to lead them, right at this moment, to these men, wherever they are -- Paula.

ZAHN: So, when they talk about these high-value targets, how do they know who they should be canvassing for at this hour? This is an extremely dangerous part of the country.

RIMINTON: Absolutely. This is Sunni insurgent absolute center. This was -- even before the war, it was a place where the Baath Party, the cronies of Saddam Hussein, had a lot of their holiday houses. It's a place where there is enormous opposition, if you like, to what they see as a U.S. occupation here.

And it's a place where al Qaeda and other insurgent groups have been able to go and do their recruiting, to go and act in relative safety, knowing that they have local support. Now, the United States has its own intelligence, as have the Iraqi security forces. They know some people who they have got on their lists. It seems they might have brought in some of those people from their lists in the course of this enormous sweep, knocking on almost every door, hunting around in this area.

But this may be a side product of the real task. And that's finding these three.

ZAHN: So, Hugh, does the military hold out hope that these men are alive?

RIMINTON: They will hold out hope until they find evidence to the contrary. That is simply it.

They will leave absolutely -- they say they will leave absolutely no stone unturned to get these people. And they're completely to be believed. This is an enormous effort, special operations forces in place. They know that, in the past, when soldiers have fallen into the hands of al Qaeda, it has not had a happy ending. But they will do everything they can.

ZAHN: Hugh Riminton, thanks so much for the update.

We should remind all of you that all seven U.S. soldiers who were killed or, presumably, captured on Saturday were based at New York's Fort Drum, with the bad news getting to their families over the Mother's Day weekend.

The shockwaves are compounded by agonizing uncertainty over the fate of the three missing soldiers.

Jim Acosta reports from Fort Drum tonight.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, New York, a military community that knows the meaning of duty and sacrifice, what happened in Iraq was a heavy blow.

By late afternoon, the Pentagon had identified three of the dead from the weekend ambush south of Baghdad, 40-year-old James Connell, 19-year-old Daniel Courneya, and 21-year-old Christopher Murphy.

For the family of Private 1st Class Courneya, confirmation came right on Mother's Day. Courneya's mother, whose husband also serves in Iraq, learned of her son's death from his wife.

WENDY THOMPSON, MOTHER OF KILLED U.S. SOLDIER: She said, "Daniel's dead."

And I -- I just started screaming, begging her to tell me it was a joke, just some stupid, sick Mother's Day prank.

ACOSTA: Sergeant Connell was just home in Tennessee two weeks ago, recovering from a wound he sustained during his last rotation in Iraq.

COURTNEY CONNELL, DAUGHTER OF KILLED U.S. SOLDIER: I'm proud of my dad, because he didn't really fight for himself; he fought for the country.

ANGELA REYNOLDS, SISTER OF KILLED U.S. SOLDIER: I'm extremely proud of him. It's hard to say at this time, with the emotions so raw, whether or not the sacrifice was worth it.

ACOSTA: In this military community, which already flies the POW/MIA flag from previous wars, people are determined to believe that the soldiers now considered missing in action from the weekend ambush will somehow be found.

LIEUTENANT COLONEL PAUL FITZPATRICK, ARMY PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICER: We will never give up hope of their safe return.

ACOSTA: Just off the base at this barbershop, where the haircuts are always high and tight, even the hairstylist struggles to cope. JULIE SAWYER, HAIRSTYLIST: I have worked here for six years. So, you see a lot of soldiers in and out. And you get close to them. But it's just a terrible thing that happened. I feel bad for the families and everything. It's just -- it's scary when it is that close to home.

ACOSTA: Stacy Lorenz's husband is about to be deployed to Iraq. What happened there this weekend has her even more worried.

STACY LORENZ, WIFE OF U.S. SOLDIER: It really hits my heart to think that these military, you know, guys are missing, and, you know, some are dead. And, you know, myself, as well as a few of the other military spouses, we're trying to cope with it day by day. but it's -- it's hard.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ACOSTA: Officials here at Fort Drum say this is the first time the 10th Mountain Division has had soldiers missing in action since the Army reorganized in 1985. And the waiting and the hoping will go on here until those missing soldiers are found -- Paula.

ZAHN: Thanks so much, Jim -- Jim Acosta reporting for us tonight.

You and I can only imagine what it would be like to be held prisoner in a war zone, but my next guest's job is to help people actually prepare for that situation and more. He's here to bring some of those techniques out in the open tonight.

Mike Ritz is a former military interrogator who teaches survival, evasion, resistance and escape, otherwise known as SERE. It is called by most of the folks who know about it SERE, as I just mentioned.

Thanks so much for joining us, Mike.

So, if it is true that these soldiers have been captured by al Qaeda, and they are still alive tonight, walk us through what might happen in those early hours of captivity.

MIKE RITZ, CEO, TEAM DELTA: Well, I mean, I think it's anybody's guess as to what's going to happen.

But the important thing to realize here is that, you know, what the captors are trying to do is, they're trying to provoke a reaction from us. I mean, that's part of this terror component, right? So, what they're looking to do is, by taking these individuals into captivity, we're going to react. We're rummaging through houses. We're making a search. And that's causing some form of chaos in the region you can be assured of.

Now, what the soldier's first lesson is, you know, don't get caught, don't get caught, don't get caught. But these things are inevitable. Things like this happen. Once you are caught, though, you look for that first moment of escape. Always be searching for that first moment of escape. And the most important aspect, and -- and create that opportunity for escape, possibly. It's slim. It's always slim in these situations. But, in order to create that opportunity, the soldier really should have the captor underestimate him or her. So, one can...

ZAHN: And how do you go about doing that, Mike? I have heard stories about some of these soldiers pretending they're sick, or they're tired, or extremely vulnerable, and that that, in some way, might be helpful to finding that very small window out.

RITZ: Exactly.

You want to create the perception that you're weaker than you are, in hopes that your captor will underestimate you, and give you that little brief moment of opportunity, when you might be able to make a run for it, grab a weapon, what have you. I mean, we don't know what kind of conditions they may be held under. They may be restrained to such an extent that that's impossible.

But that is the -- sort of the one glimmer of hope in this situation, beyond just, you know, a rescue team coming in and saving the day, is -- is appear weak. And, unfortunately, probably, these soldiers have not experienced SERE school and have not experienced training in how to deal with this situation. And that's certainly an unfortunate occurrence.

Most people that get that training are special operations, pilots, people that are in a high likelihood of being captured behind enemy lines.

ZAHN: So, you're saying tonight these soldiers might not even have been trained exactly what not to do, which...

RITZ: Unfortunately, they -- they probably...

ZAHN: ... tonight, as I understand, is a key part of the training?

RITZ: Right. Unfortunately, they probably haven't been.

Now, in many cases, common sense will prevail, and they will -- they will figure it out. I mean, SERE school, in and of itself, the training itself was primarily devised off of a person who was held captive during the Vietnam War who used some commonsense practices, very brilliantly, and was able to survive and get out alive. And we can just hope for the same.

ZAHN: That's what we all pray for tonight.

Mike Ritz, thanks so much. Appreciate your time.

RITZ: Thanks.

ZAHN: And our polls show that the Iraq war is the number-one issue on voters' minds. Out in the open next: a retired general who wants to keep it there.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, VOTEVETS.ORG AD)

MAJOR GENERAL PAUL EATON (RET.), U.S. ARMY: President Bush says he listens to his military commanders.

Well, Mr. President, I was one of those commanders, and you weren't listening.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: So, what drove him to the controversial step of slamming the White House publicly? I will ask him next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: Three retired Army generals are very much out in the open tonight with their opposition to the war in Iraq. And all three have taped TV ads that are running in Republican congressional districts condemning the president's handling of the war.

The latest ad to hit the airwaves features retired Major General Paul Eaton. He was in charge of reforming Iraq security forces in 2003 and 2004.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, VOTEVETS.ORG AD)

EATON: President Bush says he listens to his military commanders.

Well, Mr. President, I was one of those commanders, and you weren't listening when we warned you of the dangers we would face invading Iraq. Now our military is overcommitted, and America is less secure.

Mr. President, you're being told we need serious diplomacy, not escalation, and you're still not listening.

If the president won't listen, Congress must.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: Ex-generals rarely speak out that forcefully against the White House during a time of war.

Let's hear from retired Major General Paul Eaton right now.

Thanks so much for joining us, sir.

EATON: Paula, thank you very much.

ZAHN: Our pleasure.

So, if the president didn't listen to you as we were ramping up this war, what makes you think he's going to listen to you now?

EATON: Paula, this is an effort to -- to get the president to pay attention to other voices in Congress, and to surge diplomatically, as well as the military effort that is under way right now.

Absent for this last six years is an effort to really go after a diplomatic campaign plan to bring all the actors in the region to bear on the problem. We have also...

(CROSSTALK)

ZAHN: Isn't this also about, though, trying to get Democrats elected in districts where Republicans are very vulnerable, given the strong opposition to this war by the American public?

EATON: Not at all.

This is an effort -- this is a bipartisan approach, if you would. It may not sound that way, but we're going after people who might be able to influence this president, who may be able to walk into his office and say, sir, Mr. President, we need your help here, and we need to adapt the strategy that you have under way right now.

And we have got to surge this thing diplomatically. And we need to grow the armed forces to meet the demands that this president has placed in the realm of foreign policy.

ZAHN: General, I'm having a hard time understanding how you can say that this is not about getting Democrats elected, when this very group that's putting these ads on the air, VoteVets.org, has said officially in documents that 93 percent of its donations have, in fact, gone to Democratic campaigns and to Democratic political action committees.

Do you fear you're getting used here?

EATON: Paula, two things.

One, we're a long ways off from the election. We have an immediate problem right now to fix the strategy, so that we can conclude this war successfully.

Now, VoteVets was stood up, was established to support veterans running for office. What is remarkable is that the vast majority of the veterans running for office are running on Democratic tickets.

ZAHN: And what is remarkable about that is, if you go back historically, you would suggest that they would have been running as Republicans?

EATON: Historically, the military has been very pro-Republican Party, very pro-GOP.

The abuse and the devastating impact of this administration's policies and failure to maintain a viable military in the face of very considerable load, 15-month tours for the Army? That's excessive, and an administration that has steadfastly refused to grow the Army to meet the demands that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have imposed upon us.

ZAHN: Let me read to you something that an evangelical pastor had to say about you, his name is Rick Scarborough. And he has been really attacking you, and this is exactly what he has to say.

"Generals John Batiste, John Eaton and Wesley Clark should be ashamed of what they are doing. No amount of suicide bombers could wreak so much havoc upon our military establishment as the word of these men, the effect of which is to communicate to our enemies, to be patient and you will win. Generals certainly ought to know better."

Are you emboldening the enemy with these ads?

EATON: We have a very bold enemy. And let me put myself in context. I have two sons who are soldiers, one in Afghanistan as we speak, one served in Iraq while I was there for 15 months. I just buried my missing-in-action father, lost in Vietnam, remains identified last December.

I know all about the impact that this has on soldiers of all ranks. And the feedback that I'm getting from soldiers of all ranks is very positive. We are advocates for the United States Army, advocates for the United States Marine Corps.

We want these forces grown and we want this war fought intelligently. General Petraeus has said it is not just a military war. It is a requirement that we get the State Department, that the secretary of state engage politically and diplomatically inside Iraq and outside of Iraq to discipline this process and to get other players involved today on the diplomatic table.

ZAHN: Would this, General, very quickly, in closing, be a more disciplined process in your mind if more Democrats are elected in this upcoming election?

EATON: I won't speak to the election, Paula. The American people will all sort that out in November of 2008. Right now, I need the president to focus diplomatic efforts in the region, to help General Petraeus get the al-Maliki government disciplined and on timeline and to get the other players in the region to play diplomatically as well as the negative impact that Iran, Syria have on the problem.

ZAHN: General Paul Eaton, we really appreciate your time tonight. Thanks so much for joining us.

And we are going to go straight to our "Out in the Open" panel now to talk more about what the general just had to say: CNN contributor Roland Martin; Republican political strategist Amy Holmes; also here, conservative commentator and constitutional lawyer, Mark Smith.

You just heard what the general will to say. He said this is not about politics. This is about advocacy for the military, which he thinks has been undercut by this administration. Your reaction?

AMY HOLMES, REPUBLICAN POLITICAL STRATEGIST: But Paula, I think you put your finger right on it when we know that this is a campaign that's being waged in Republican districts, a $500,000 campaign. We also know that Wesley Clark, who he's cooperating with, was himself a presidential candidate for the Democratic Party, trying to defeat the president and possibly a vice presidential candidate.

ZAHN: All right. But hang on one sec, you can't ignore these statistics though which we're going to put up on the screen, showing that the overwhelming majority of Americans are against this war and the way it's being prosecuted. Why can't you just accept the fact that General Eaton perhaps is reflecting public sentiment here?

HOLMES: I think what we're not accepting is for the war to be micromanaged by 535 politicians in Washington, D.C. And let's look at the endgame of what he's talking about here. He's trying to pressure the president to take the Democrats' plan that was hatched who knows how in their committees and the president has already vetoed that plan.

If he has this dispute with the president, he can address the president, he can have private meetings with him. He can go to John Warner, who is the senior Republican on the United States Armed Services Committee and discuss with him. These senators are getting input and they are...

(CROSSTALK)

ZAHN: There are a lot of Republicans breathing down the president's neck...

HOLMES: We had 11 of them go to the president last week.

MARK SMITH, CONSERVATIVE COMMENTATOR: The fastest way to end this war is to go out and lose it. And these generals are helping al Qaeda and the terrorists...

ROLAND MARTIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Oh, stop.

SMITH: ... beat us.

MARTIN: Wait a minute, wait a minute.

SMITH: They are demoralizing the troops the middle of the conflict in the Middle East.

MARTIN: Wait a minute, is this not...

SMITH: They're emboldening our enemies.

(CROSSTALK)

MARTIN: Is this not a general who...

(CROSSTALK) ZAHN: Hang on, Mark.

MARTIN: Is this not a general who was on the ground? Is this not a general who has seen people die? How dare you sit here and question a man who is actually serving over there, who saw it and...

(CROSSTALK)

MARTIN: Let me add, and who said he consistently criticized and gave his comments up the chain of command and were ignored. Now, the other piece of this here, for this pastor, for him to also criticize it, look, he understands it, at some point how can the president stand here and say, well, forget Congress' siding, let's give the generals on the ground.

(CROSSTALK)

MARTIN: Here is a general who was on the ground. How can you discount his thoughts?

(CROSSTALK)

HOLMES: We have a general who was on the ground -- hold on just a minute. We have a general who is on the ground, and that's General Petraeus, who was confirmed 81-0 by the United States Senate...

MARTIN: So we ignore what he has to say.

HOLMES: ... to pursue the...

MARTIN: We ignore Eaton.

HOLMES: If General Eaton says that he wants to be supporting General Petraeus, he's not cutting these ads.

(CROSSTALK)

ZAHN: One of the ideas that General Eaton set forth is that there should be benchmarks and there should be increased pressure on the Iraqi government...

MARTIN: Yes.

... to bring this government under control. What's wrong with that?

(CROSSTALK)

ZAHN: Are you opposed to that?

SMITH: We have a commander-in-chief. It is called the president. And the president should make these decisions, not ex- generals.

(CROSSTALK)

MARTIN: They have been wrong.

SMITH: Oh, but what is the alternative? These generals are out there with self-promotional infomercials out there essentially arguing for what? What's the alternative?

MARTIN: No...

(CROSSTALK)

MARTIN: These are the generals tired of...

SMITH: It has been tried. It has been tried...

(CROSSTALK)

SMITH: They have no alternative. It is very easy...

(CROSSTALK)

SMITH: It is very easy to criticize, but what's the alternative that's better than fighting this war in Iraq?

MARTIN: Here's the reality. We've...

(CROSSTALK)

MARTIN: Here's the deal, we've won the war. Saddam's not in control. We've won the war. At some point you've got to allow them to run their own country.

ZAHN: One last question, got 10 seconds to answer. Are you going to deny that politics has anything to do with this? That the general was saying that that's not the way he looks at it.

(CROSSTALK)

ZAHN: They're airing these ads in key...

MARTIN: I understand that.

ZAHN: ... congressional districts where Republicans are vulnerable.

MARTIN: Here's the deal. If you are against abortion and you know that that's the stance of the Republican Party, you're going to support them. They are against the war, so therefore they support those who are against the war. Simple as that. Partisan does not always mean well that I really can't lean this way or that way, they're partisan on the issue, not the party.

HOLMES: It's half a million dollars, Republican congressional districts trying to defeat those Republicans...

MARTIN: They are partisan about the issue, not the party.

HOLMES: ... so that they can have a bigger Democratic majority. SMITH: Al Qaeda is very happy today because they have Americans who are trying to subvert the president's effort to win this war.

MARTIN: Are your sons serving? Are your sons serving in this war?

(CROSSTALK)

SMITH: Abraham Lincoln and FDR did not serve in the military and they won two wars.

MARTIN: This man's son is serving...

SMITH: You don't have to be in the military...

(CROSSTALK)

SMITH: ... to dispense (ph) advice.

MARTIN: I would listen to him than listen to you.

SMITH: FDR and Abraham Lincoln.

ZAHN: All right. I've got to end this war right here. Sorry. Someone has got to pay for this.

(CROSSTALK)

MARTIN: ... general on my side.

ZAHN: All right. Roland Martin, Amy Holmes, Mark Smith, thank you all.

Do you know what a Sikh is? I'll bet you know what they look like. The problem is that many Americans think they look like terrorists.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Beating me, beating me like five, six people. They were just beating, beating, beating. And they have something in their hand.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: "Out in the Open" next, a film that is bringing vicious intolerance aimed at innocent people "Out in the Open," we'll be back with more.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: All week long this network is uncovering America focusing on the challenges and issues facing Asians in this country. One of those challenges is intolerance. And that's what we are bringing "Out in the Open" tonight. There, of course, is big difference between a turban and the traditional headdress Arab men wear. But it is all the same if you're a bigot looking for someone to beat up. And since 9/11, you are going to be shocked at just how often Americans who happen to wear turbans have been the victims of violence at the hands of thugs looking for revenge against Arabs.

It's being revealed in a new documentary as we hear now from entertainment correspondent Brooke Anderson.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He hit me here. (INAUDIBLE) he hit here. My (INAUDIBLE) over there. He hit me all over, you know.

BROOKE ANDERSON, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Sarinder Sudue (ph) remembers the horrible beating he took in his Los Angeles-area liquor store just weeks after 9/11. Two white men entered the store seeking revenge for the terrorist attacks, and the man who orchestrated them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They say, OK, stupid bin Laden, we kill you today.

ANDERSON: They beat him to metal pipes, believing him to be an Arab.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I had blood all over my body.

ANDERSON: But Sudue is not an Arab, not a Muslim. His people had nothing to do with 9/11. He's a native of India and a Sikh. A religion practiced by 24 million people worldwide.

Sikh men wear long beards and turbans, signs of their religious devotion. And in post-9/11 America, the way they look has made them a target of people who think those beards and turbans mean these men are somehow related to terrorism.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The ignorant people, they don't know, you know.

ANDERSON: The night of his beating, he was wearing this turban, patterned after the American flag, to show support for his adopted country.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are American citizens. We are Americans, OK.

ANDERSON: The Sikh Coalition, an advocacy group, says it has documented more than 450 bias attacks on Sikhs since 9/11. Those range from verbal harassment of the kind these Sikh men faced outside a football game...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Down with Taliban! Down with Taliban!

ANDERSON: ... to more than one case of murder. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The gas station owner was gunned down in cold blood.

ANDERSON: Days after 9/11 a Sikh man in Arizona was shot to death by a man who thought he was an Arab. In 2003 this Sikh man in New York was beaten by a crowd of white men who taunted him with anti- Arab slurs.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Five, six people, they were just beating, beating, beating.

VALARIE KAUR, FILMMAKER: My name is Valarie. I'm an American. I am a Sikh.

ANDERSON: Filmmaker Valarie Kaur explores bias attacks on Sikhs in her new film "Divided We Fall." While many remember the aftermath of 9/11 as a time of unity, Kaur sees a darker side, an America where some felt the need to lash out at ethnic minorities perceived as the enemy.

KAUR: The impulse for fear to drive us to discriminate and to profile others is just there, part of our culture.

ANDERSON: Kaur experienced that prejudice as she traveled the country with her cousin Sunny (ph) who wears a turban. They were mocked by a young man at a train station.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who do you think I am?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't care.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm a Sikh.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A sheikh?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A Sikh, not a sheikh.

KAUR: It was the very first time in my life that I began to see myself through the eyes of others who saw me as foreign, a suspect, as not American, as less than human somehow.

ANDERSON: As for Sarinder Sudue, he holds no grudge against his adopted country even though his attackers were never apprehended.

(on camera): So you're not bitter?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. Not at all.

ANDERSON (voice-over): He hopes people look beyond his appearance to see a fellow American.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the land of freedom.

ANDERSON: Brooke Anderson, CNN, Los Angeles. (END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: And tomorrow night we'll devote the entire hour to some of the challenges Asian-Americans deal with every day of their lives, from painful stereotypes to the reverse discrimination some say they face now when they are applying to college. Please join us tomorrow night for "Asian in America."

Coming up, we found a woman who is making some first-graders an offer they had better not refuse. It's such a good one, she deserves to be a CNN heroine. Find out why when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: We're going to focus right now on someone who is passionate about educating America's children. Putting kids through college, as you know, can be incredibly expensive and a real burden for low-income families. But a woman named Oral Lee Brown (ph) is changing all of that. And she is tonight's "CNN Hero."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ORAL LEE BROWN, CNN HERO: These are our kids. We should at least take them to a position in their life that they can lead their way. And they can't do it without an education.

An education can get you everything you want. You can go wherever you want to go. It's the way out of the ghettos, bottom line.

UNIDENTIFIED CHILDREN: Good morning, Ms. Oral Brown.

YOLANDA PEEK, FMR. SCHOOL PRINCIPAL: She says, give me your first-graders who are really struggling and who are most needy. I want to adopt the class. And I want to follow the class until they graduate from high school.

And she says that she was going to pay their college tuitions.

BROWN: How many are going to college?

At the time, I was making I think $45,000, $46,000 a year. So I committed $10,000 to the kids.

I grew up in Mississippi. I lived off of $2 a day. That's what we got, $2 a day for picking cotton.

And so I really feel that I was blessed from God. And so I cannot pay him back, but these kids are his kids. These kids are -- some of them are poor like I was.

LAQUITA WHITE, FMR. STUDENT: When you have that mentor like Ms. Brown, a very strong person, you can't go wrong, because she's on you constantly every day. What are you doing? How are you doing?

BROWN: The world doubted us. I was told that, lady, you cannot do it. And I would say, you know what? These kids are just like any other kid. The only thing, they don't have the love and they don't have the support.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They called me yesterday and told me I was accepted.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good news.

BROWN: You're looking at doctors and lawyers and one president of the United States. When you give a kid an education and they get it up here, nobody or nothing can take it away.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: What a great lady. You can nominate anyone who you think deserves recognition by going to cnn.com/heroes.

"LARRY KING LIVE" coming up in just a few minutes. Hi, Larry, who is joining you tonight?

LARRY KING, HOST, "LARRY KING LIVE": First, I nominate you.

ZAHN: You are so nice. What have I done lately to get heroine status?

KING: You're my heroine and I'll come in and host that segment.

ZAHN: Fantastic.

KING: You got it.

ZAHN: So you don't even need to do that in e-mail. Just accept that offer right here verbally.

KING: It's your deal, Paula.

ZAHN: All right. I'll give you about seven-and-a-half minutes to do it.

(LAUGHTER)

KING: Coming up -- that's four-and-a-half more than they give you.

ZAHN: Yes, exactly.

KING: Coming up, we're going to have more reaction to the death of the controversial and enormously influential Reverend Jerry Falwell, had him on this program a number of times. We'll talk with Billy Graham's son, Franklin, Tammy Faye Messner, updating us on her battle with cancer, too. Plus Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family, and Reverend Al Sharpton will have a thought or two. It's all at the top of the hour on "LARRY KING LIVE," Paula.

ZAHN: That's interesting, Larry, we just spoke with Reverend Jackson about this unusual friendship he formed with Reverend Falwell when they were so far apart on so many social issues. But when it came to fighting poverty, they were united. And I guess he described having developed a really good friendship over the years. So it will be interesting to see what Reverend Al Sharpton has to say.

KING: Won't be dull.

ZAHN: We'll be watching. Thanks, Larry -- particularly for the heroine status nomination. We'll see how far that goes. Have a good show.

KING: I'm going to lead the battle.

ZAHN: All right. Thanks.

When young people finally get to college, they may end up owing their sanity and their lives to one of the people you should know. And she's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: Now we're going to introduce you to someone who is doing heroic work on the nation's college campuses where a lot of students suffer from mental illness. Her mission is to change all that. And Brian Todd has tonight's "People You Should Know."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As kids, Brian (ph) and Alison Malmon had their share of sibling rivalry, but when their parents divorced, they formed a bond like never before.

ALISON MALMON, FOUNDER, ACTIVE MINDS: We were kind of two peas in a pod. I always considered him kind of my other half.

TODD: Then during her freshman year at college, Alison got a phone call. Her brother Brian, on leave from Columbia University, had taken his own life at the age of 22. Alison says Brian suffered from mental illness, but the shame and stigma of his disease caused him to keep it hidden from family and friends. That painful discovery launched Alison into action.

MALMON: We have 65 chapters in 27 states.

TODD: She formed a nonprofit student group called Active Minds to increase awareness of mental illness on college campus. The group teaches students that it is OK to talk about mental illness so those who are suffering can get the treatment they need before it's too late.

MALMON: When many first start experiencing symptoms, they don't know what the signs are, let alone do they know where to get help.

TODD: In fact, recent statistic are staggering. Suicide is the second-leading cause of death for college students, almost one in 10 college students say they've seriously considered suicide. And nearly half of students reported feeling so depressed they couldn't function. So as questions continue to follow the Virginia Tech massacre, Malmon says that destigmatizing mental health on campuses is more important than ever.

MALMON: We cannot make it uncomfortable for students to come forward with their stories because that's how we're going to have more successful students be able to go on and be productive members of society and not feel so ashamed, like my brother did, to not seek help.

TODD: Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: A lot of important work to get done that way. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: And that's it for all of us. Thanks so much for joining us. Hope you will be back with us again tomorrow night.

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

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