Return to Transcripts main page


Interview with Retired U.S. Army and Ohio State University Professor of Military History Colonel Peter Mansoor, Interview with Israeli Political Analyst and "The Crooked Timber of Democracy in Israel" Author Dahlia Scheindlin; Interview with World Food Programme Executive Director Cindy McCain; Interview with Composer Karl Jenkins. Aired 1:00-2p ET

Aired January 12, 2024 - 13:00:00   ET



BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN SENIOR GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Hello, everyone, and welcome to "Amanpour." Here's what's coming up.

The U.S. and U.K. strike Houthis in Yemen. Could it spark a larger conflict? I asked retired Colonel Peter Mansoor.

And Israel defends itself against genocide at the U.N.'s highest court. Political scientist Dahlia Scheindlin joins me for more.

Then, on the brink of famine, World Food Programme's Cindy McCain tells Walter Isaacson Gaza is starving.

Also, journalists in the crosshairs. We revisit Christiane's conversation with reporter Lindsey Hilsum and actress Rosamund Pike, who portrayed the

late legendary war correspondent Marie Colvin the film "A Private War."

Plus, a birthday celebration for one of the world's top composers. Sir Karl Jenkins joins the show from Carnegie Hall.

Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Bianna Golodryga in New York sitting in for Christiane Amanpour.

Dramatic moves in the dark of the night as the U.S. and U.K. struck Houthi targets in Yemen. Washington warned that this could be coming after the

Iranian-backed Houthis continue to attack commercial vessels in the Red Sea.

The Houthis, who run most of Western Yemen, including the coastline, say they're doing it in support of the Palestinians. But the Americans say the

Houthis are targeting ships indiscriminately and disrupting a vital waterway for the global economy.

Massive protests broke out in Yemen's capital of Sana'a, and the Houthi leaders say that the strikes, "will not go unanswered."

It is a complicated geopolitical web, and the risk of a wider war keeps rising. Retired Colonel Peter Mansoor is a professor of military history at

Ohio State University, and he joins me from Columbus. Thank you so much for joining the program.

So, as noted, these strikes were to be anticipated by the Houthis, and together with the U.K. and others in the alliance, more than 60 targets

were hit overnight, spread over 16 locations. This includes Houthi air bases, munitions depots, launching sites, radar helping guide some of these

missiles. In totality, and what we now know following these attacks, how effective do you think they have been in preventing further types of

attacks by the Houthis?


fact, it's a certainty that the Houthis will respond having been attacked on their soil. But the purpose of these attacks is to degrade their

capabilities, reduce the number of missiles at their disposal, reduce their ability to target vessels transiting the Bab al-Mandeb Strait.

And so, we'll see how effective these attacks will have been. But my guess is that they will be -- need to be repeated in the future to really put a

dent in the Houthi capabilities.

GOLODRYGA: And President Biden said that that he would indeed do just that if these attacks continued. I mean, how much of this tit for tat, back and

forth do you think we can anticipate without concerns, of course, growing of a larger regional conflict, perhaps not just involving the U.S. and

allies with the Houthis, but perhaps their sponsors even, Iran?

MANSOOR: Well, this can go on for quite some time. It reminds me of the tanker war in the Gulf, in the 1980s, which lasted for months. And so, this

is not going to be a one-off event.

The real danger here is if Iran miscalculates. The Iranian Navy has apprehended one oil tanker in the Gulf. They now have five such vessels in

there in captivity. And if they overreach and there's a war that brings Iran into the conflict, then you have a major in the Middle East.

GOLODRYGA: They're not very subtle about their mission, the Houthis. I mean, their slogan reads, death to America, death to Israel, a curse upon

the Jews.

That having been said, they say that they're doing this in support of the Palestinians. But given their allegiance and reliance upon Iran, who

supplies them with weapons, with military intelligence, how far do you think Iran is willing to go with this particular proxy? Because up until

now, we've been focused most exclusively on Hezbollah and how much Iran values that proxy in Southern Lebanon.


MANSOOR: Well, Iran is very calculated and how it uses its proxy forces, the so-called access of resistance around the Middle East. It's attacked

U.S. forces in Iraq using Iraqi militia groups. Hezbollah is attacking Northern Israel with rockets. Of course, Hamas is tied up with a major

conflict in Gaza.

And now, the Houthis trying to interdict international shipping in the Red Sea, very indiscriminate, though. These ships aren't headed to Israel.

They're not owned by Israel. All they are trying to do is interrupt world commerce in order to gain attention on the conflict, and they've done that

pretty well.

GOLODRYGA: Yes. Container traffic in the Red Sea, we should note, has dropped nearly 100 percent. There is no container traffic to be said of

since this war began. And since the Houthis started attacking these ships, nearly 15 percent of global sea trade passes through the Red Sea. So, it's

understandable why this viewed through the lens of the global economy and not just a regional problem.

Can you talk about why the Houthis have grown from such a nuisance in the region? Because there's a history there, a multi-year war with the Saudis,

a much richer country, a larger country with a larger military that had to settle really on a truce after years of war with the Houthis, a militia of

just roughly about 100,000 soldiers. Why are they as strong as they are?

MANSOOR: Well, the answer is pretty clear. They have Iranian backing. Iran has supplied them with all of their high-tech weaponry. The missiles they

use. The drones. The radar systems. These are not produced in Yemen. They come in from outside the country. And they're purchased and provided by


So, this is Iran attempting to spread its tentacles around the Middle East and make the Middle East Iranian territory in essence. And by forcing

international shipping away from the Red Sea, they have put the world on notice that they are the great power in the region. You need to deal with

them and -- if you want to get anywhere.

GOLODRYGA: It's interesting. A few weeks ago, I interviewed an expert who had described the Houthis as basically fighting a fog. Even if you send in

the navy to battle them, they are hard to defeat. They're hard to deter. They act as a militia. And given that, the Houthi Supreme Political Council

just said in response to these strikes that, "U.S. and U.K. interests are legitimate targets."

How worried are you about this kind of rhetoric? Is it bluster or do you think it's something that the U.S. and U.K. should take seriously?

MANSOOR: Well, we should take it seriously. The Houthis don't have a track record of attacking outside the region. So, I'm not sure that they're going

to be fomenting a terrorist campaign on British or American soil, but they certainly will attack our interests in the region within their


And as a result, I suspect this tit for tat is going to go on for quite some time and they'll start targeting our military naval vessels as well as

commercial shipping.

GOLODRYGA: In terms of more effective ways of deterring them and stopping this tit for tat for from escalating, you know, the United States had

removed them from the terror list in 2021 as it was trying to renegotiate or open communication with Iran.

Given its actions as of late, do you believe that it is time to once again designate the Houthis as a terror organization?

MANSOOR: Yes. I think you're going to have to do that because what they're doing attacking international shipping is against the international law. It

is a terroristic action in an attempt to use violence to gain attention on a political matter.

But they haven't declared war against the entire world and yet, they've attacked more than 50 nations, 27 -- in 27 different attacks since 19

November. So, I think the United States needs to think hard about putting the Houthis back on the terror list.

GOLODRYGA: All right. Retired Colonel Peter Mansoor, great to have you on. Thank you for your expertise. We appreciate it.

MANSOOR: Thank you.

GOLODRYGA: Well, today Israel defended itself against charges of genocide brought by South Africa at the U.N.'s highest court, the International

Court of Justice. Take a listen.


TAL BECKER, ISRAEL ADVOCATE: It is respectfully submitted that the application and request should be dismissed for what they are, a libel

designed to deny Israel the right to defend itself according to the law from the unprecedented terrorist onslaught it continues to face and to free

the 136 hostages Hamas still holds.



GOLODRYGA: This comes one day after South Africa presented its case alleging Israeli leadership was intent on destroying the Palestinians in

Gaza. In the coming days and weeks, the ICJ's panel of judges will decide whether to grant South Africa's request to order a halt to the Gaza

offensive. A final ruling from the court on whether it believes Israel has committed genocide could take years.

Here now to discuss this and much more is political scientist Dahlia Scheindlin. Dahlia, welcome to the program from Tel Aviv. It's really great

to have you on.

So, yesterday we heard South Africa's arguments accusing Israel of genocide, committing genocide against the Palestinians or at least the

presumption about the plausibility of genocide, which is a lower standard that would have to be met by the court.

Today, we heard the Israeli defense from multiple attorneys there and advocates defending Israel. I'm curious to get your take on what stood out

to you from what you heard and how effective their arguments were.


that Israel was trying to make, both in court and in its public diplomacy, is sort of messaging within the public environment, was all about context,

a word that has been sort of fallen into a controversial situation after October 7th. But what they're trying to say is that the context for this

war was October 7th.

And I think, to me, the interesting argument was that Israelis believe that this entire accusation of genocide is completely unfounded because Israel

was responding to what it considers to be a genocidal attack, certainly an attack on its civilians on sovereign territory. But that's not a strong

legal argument because even the worst attack, as the South African team said yesterday, doesn't justify breaches of the Genocide Convention.

However, I think, to me, the interesting distinction Israel tried to make today was that this an ongoing threat, and that in its perspective, from

Israel's perspective, the war is facing the ongoing threat of Hamas, which continues to pose a threat to Israel's people, its sovereign territory,

rocket fire, and of course the hostages.

So, to my mind, that was one of the strongest arguments. I think there are other arguments that weren't quite as strong, which is essentially Israel's

broader argument that is either an anti-Israel plot, absurd, politicized, antisemitic, and that is something that we heard in, you know, pretty much

every forum outside the court. And I think that it's unfortunate in a way.

The other problem, I think, is that Israel's trying to make the case that South Africa's argument that senior Israeli officials who have made

statements that can be interpreted with genocidal intent are not meaningful because they're not coming from the most senior officials. But of course,

South Africa's team preempted some of those arguments by citing statements from the prime minister, from the president, from the defense minister at

the highest levels.

And so, I think there is still a tough case to make, but still most Israelis think that these charges are frankly spurious. I have to say that

it's not making much of an impression on Israeli society. They are simply viewing this as an anti-Israel kind of unique singling out of Israel for

actions that they believe any other country would have undertaken under the circumstances.

GOLODRYGA: Yes. And it does appear from public statements that the United States also said publicly that these charges are meritless. And just a few

hours ago we heard from Germany saying that they do not support these accusations by South Africa as well.

But it's worth noting that no matter where on the political spectrum Israelis lie, I'm not speaking for every Israeli, but it does seem that a

large portion of the country was not only glued to these hearings, but also took the view that you just described, the sort of shocked response as to

how Israel of all countries could be accused of genocide not only because Israel was attacked itself in a terror attack on October 7th, but obviously

its own history.

You wrote a piece this week say called "Israelis Can't Understand How They Could Be Accused of Genocide." And here's what you wrote, as a decades old

student of conflict, the creativity of human savagery never ceases to amaze me, but it's time to accept that we've simply joined the grim list of

people embroiled in mass atrocities with perpetrators and victims on this side or the other, wildly mixed.

What led you to write this piece and come to this conclusion?

SCHEINDLIN: Well, I think one of the things that's confusing for Israelis that they see this as a charge that is singling out Israel. In fact, they

tend to look at the entire system of international courts and international law, and the U.N. in particular, as fundamentally anti-Israel and singling

out Israel.

I disagree with this approach, and I think that it's largely because of the fact that Israelis being embroiled in an ongoing military occupation and

conflict see themselves in a unique position. They think that nobody understands their suffering, their situation. And this something that I've

experienced in many conflicts that I've worked on, either as an academic or as a public opinion researcher.


I visited some of these post conflict areas. If you think of places like the Balkans, certainly Rwanda, but the Balkans in particular, I've noticed

that there are many people who think that nobody understands them and many of these conflicts have over overlapping features.

It's terrible to have to play a numbers game, but there have been conflicts with atrocities against civilians with far greater numbers. And as I hate

to have to admit, horrors and savagery that is really remarkable and devastating.

And Israelis, I think because they don't see that -- I think many people involved in their own conflict have a hard time seeing that these things do

go on elsewhere and they think nobody can understand them. I think if Israel did try to place its conflict, Israelis and Palestinians for that

matter, tried to understand that there are conflicts around the world and the international system and international law and international courts was

designed to address all of them, they might not feel so singled out.

As we know, the ICJ has heard cases involving Russia and Ukraine, and as the South African delegation said again yesterday, the Gambia against

Myanmar for the military -- the accusations of genocide against the Rohingya, and the court did order measures against both of those countries.

And this could help Israelis, first of all, not to feel so alone, but also to realize that these laws and institutions were not established purposely

to target them. They are established actually to try to address humanity as a single entity in which everybody has human rights and deserves

institutional protection.

But I also understand that that's a very hard argument to make for Israelis having suffered what happened on October 7th and, of course, having a long-

term history. It was unprecedented, and the country is still at war. People are still grieving and anguished and losing people and reliving that trauma

every day.

GOLODRYGA: Yes. And people around the world continue to say that they don't feel like enough pressure is put on Hamas, not only to release the

hostages, but to lay down their arms as well in their role in this heinous, heinous attack. And you could call their actions genocidal as well, though

that would be arbitrated in a separate court.

I mentioned the hostages, and we do know that family members of hostages were in the court in The Hague there as well, and you know, not a day goes

by where I don't think about these families and what they're going through.

We have video of a mother of one of the hostages. I mean, you realize how small the country is and how close Gaza and the border and where their

loved ones are being held is. And a mother speaking, you know, with -- as loudly as she can to her child who's being held there, hoping that her

child will hear her. Let's play that sound.


MERAV LESHEM GONEN, MOTHER OF ROMI GONEN, HOSTAGE HELD IN GAZA: Romi Gonen. Romi, we love you. My loved one, my third one, I love you. We are

doing everything to bring you home. We are telling everybody, all the leaders in our cabinet, you will bring them home now.


GOLODRYGA: You know, it's not lost upon most people that this part of the trauma, the ongoing trauma. You talk to family members of hostages, and

every day for them is October 7th because it didn't just end that day. You still have over 100 people, innocent people that are still there.

Is this government prioritizing their release as part of their -- as much as they're prioritizing this fight against Hamas?

SCHEINDLIN: Well, this a major debate in Israeli society. The hostage families have managed to leverage enormous pressure on the government. They

have had a fairly easy time rallying large swaths of the Israeli population to make the case that the government was not prioritizing it sufficiently.

Many people feel that the government probably wouldn't have reached that original ceasefire that saw the release of over a hundred hostages if there

hadn't been so much pressure from the families.

And I think that the government has tried to make the case that it prioritizes both equally, but it seems like the government is not really

rushing to reach yet another ceasefire agreement that could see the release of further hostages.

And -- but that brings me back to the point that I made earlier, which I think is really strongly conveyed by the situation, which is ongoing. In

other words, there are egregious violations of international law, human decency, of course. These are atrocities, holding these hostages, violates,

you know, all of those things.

And so, Israelis, again, it makes it harder for them to see both sides of this. It makes it hard for Palestinians to see both sides of this. The fact

is there are ongoing violations, crimes, and, you know, damage -- the damage to civilians is endless. This happening on both sides and both sides

have to take responsibility for it.


SCHEINDLIN: It is not seen as fair by Israelis that Hamas, because of the technicality of not being a state, you know, party to the ICJ, isn't the

one on trial there itself, because of the kinds of anguish scenes we see of these parents every day.

GOLODRYGA: Right. Dahlia Scheindlin, thank you so much for the time. I really appreciate you joining us tonight.

SCHEINDLIN: Thank you for having me.

GOLODRYGA: Well, now, Gazans are facing a desperate humanitarian crisis, with food shelves still empty and families struggling to feed themselves.


Thousands were seen surrounding two aid trucks in Northern Gaza last month, as crucial food deliveries remain hindered by limited safe access into the

Strip. According to the World Food Programme, Executive Director Cindy McCain, the territory is reaching a tipping point.

She speaks to Walter Isaacson about the dire situation in conflict zones and why food insecurity is a global concern.


WALTER ISAACSON, CO-HOST, AMANPOUR AND CO.: Thank you, Bianna. And Cindy McCain, welcome back to the show.


ISAACSON: Secretary of State Tony Blinken, just a few days ago, was in a World Food Programme warehouse in Jordan, talking about how important what

you all are doing in helping Gaza. Tell me about the situation there.

MCCAIN: Oh, gosh. In all the years that most of the very senior people that work for me have been doing this, they've never seen anything quite

like this.

Gaza is on the brink of famine. We -- the things that we're asking for with regards to WFP and feeding people are safe access, to be able to get our

trucks in, and the ability to be deconflicted so that we can work safely with -- when we're on the ground there.

It's a mess. And more importantly in this, until we get more access, that means more gates, more routes in the country and in a faster and better

way, we're not going to be able to feed people.

ISAACSON: Well, Secretary of State Blinken, as I said, was just at one of the warehouses in Jordan. Then he went to visit Israel, visit Prime

Minister Netanyahu. Has he been helping you to push for access?

MCCAIN: Yes. Secretary Blinken's been wonderful. He's been helping, you know, certainly carrying our message and the message of others as well, and

the importance of why it's necessary that we get in.

Again, we are trying to stave off famine in Gaza. And unless we can get in there and begin to feed in a large manner and in a way that can -- not just

in the shelters, but in communities around it, that -- where people have been pushed into, we're not going to be able to save lives. We have little

children now that are really starving to death, and we have families that are desperate.

You hear about the trucks being raided or you hear about the disruption, you know, the unrest that's going on, people are desperate. As you know,

you will do anything to feed your family. And that's why this so important that we be able to get in and make sure that we can feed people.

ISAACSON: The chief economist of the World Food Programme said that of the 2.2 million people in Gaza now, there is a high chance of famine, that

there's a food insecurity crisis going on. Explain to me what that means.

MCCAIN: Well, it means that -- yes, I'll put it -- take it down to very simple tones here. So, there's a family, let's say, of eight people and six

of those are kids. Well, the parents are not going to feed themselves if their only option is to feed their children. They're making hard choices

about who and how to feed, how much to feed. And so, that -- and just access to be able to get the food number, you know, it -- just from a

bottom-line standpoint.

These are the kind of choices that these people are up against right now, and these are the kinds of things that we at WFP are trying desperately to

make sure that we can help, help not just in the short-term, but in the long-term also.

ISAACSON: How much food is getting into Gaza and is there enough food if you could just get the entry into the trucks into Gaza?

MCCAIN: Yes, there is enough access to food. We are beginning to put a sizable amount together. We are -- we've already started it. It is not

complete yet. But that amount of food that -- when we do put this in place, can feed Gaza for three months, the entire population of Gaza.

So, the -- that's why the access is so important. If we can get in there in a major way to not just feed, but make sure that the food is first

emergency food and then a food that's more subsistent for a long-term.

Right now, we're giving out emergency rations, and we need to do much more of that, especially when we're talking about young children. As you know,

UNICEF has talked about this a great deal, and the issues that we're having with our very young children as a result of it.

ISAACSON: Human Rights Watch has accused Israel of using starvation as a weapon of war. Is that true?


MCCAIN: I can't answer that question. All we're trying to do is deal with what we know is happening right now on the ground, and as we need to get in

and feed. The important part of all this making sure that the world understands the desperation that's involved here. And so, I'll leave those

discussions for our politicians and for our U.N. hierarchy. But what I need right now is safe access and the ability to get in and feed.

ISAACSON: There are more than 300 million people around the world who face starvation, food crises. What's the cause of that? Is it a lack of food or

is it a lack of the ability to get food to the right place?

MCCAIN: It is a combination of things. And I'll start with climate change. A large portion of Africa is in this kind of food desperation because of

climate change. And climate change has been a disaster. And I'll speak specifically to the Sahel right now. It's -- with the lack of rain, the

lack of ability to be able to plant crops and grow crops, people are starving to death. And so, it's up to organizations like ours to get in

again and feed them.

This -- the situation worldwide is desperate. We're not looking at just a few countries, we're looking at many countries that don't have the ability

to adequately feed their populations. And that's where WFP comes into play.

ISAACSON: I was reading the WFP website, which I suggest all of our viewers do. And besides climate change, it says, the biggest driver is

conflict. Tell me what --


ISAACSON: Yes. Tell me about that.

MCCAIN: Well, conflicts have caused -- has caused a great deal of this. And I'll speak now to Sudan especially, because as you -- we're all aware

of what has occurred in Sudan. But as a result of that, the refugee flow has been astronomical, going into Chad and Ethiopia and other countries

within the region.

And we've had to make some very tough decisions, WFP, I mean, have had to make some very tough decisions because we don't have the funding. And so,

I've had to deal with in my own mind, taking food from hungry to give to the starving. And that's a decision that we have to make almost every day.

And so, places like Chad, like Haiti, like DRC Congo, like Somalia, regions like that are -- we just don't -- we're spread thin and we just don't have

the money. We had plenty of funding several years ago, but we don't have the money now. And so, I'm having to make some very serious, tough


ISAACSON: Tell me about who's getting cut because of these decisions.

MCCAIN: Well, we're shortening rations. So, in some areas, we used to give rations that would last a year. Now, we're down -- then we reduce it to six

months. And now, we've reduced it in some cases to zero.

And Afghanistan's a good description of that. We can't -- we just don't have the money to be able to feed everyone. So, we're having to cut people

from the rolls and cut people from access to food.

I was standing in a line with a woman, I was in South Sudan, and I watched, she was pregnant. And I watched her, the gentleman behind the desk say,

your rations are up. I can't give you any more. And I mean, she was pregnant and had two young children. These are the kinds of decisions we're

having to make, and we shouldn't have to make those.

I -- you know, I continue to raise the flag around the world about the desperation, the importance of why we need to feed and why we need to be in

there, and why we need the money to do it.

ISAACSON: The WFP faces a $15 billion shortfall this coming year.


ISAACSON: Why do we face such a shortfall of funding?

MARTIN: I think a lot of people are -- a lot of countries, I should say, have -- they're weary. You know, we've seen crisis after crisis after

crisis, and their own constituencies are saying, enough, let's pay attention to our own home.

And I certainly understand that. But still, it doesn't make these starving people go away, is things just don't disappear. So, I do the very best I

can to make sure that people understand what's going on around the world and why it's important that we continue to do this, because if we're not

going to feed them now, conflict's going to take over, the bad guys are going to roll in, and then we've got an even bigger problem.


So, that's why I continue to do what we do. Hopefully testify in front of Congress, speak to. I'm going to Davos this coming weekend to talk about

this crisis worldwide and why we need to be extra diligent about what we do and why it's important that we give even more.

ISAACSON: You've just made the connection between feeding people and national security.


ISAACSON: It's something I've heard you talk about quite a bit. Explain why this not just a humanitarian issue, but a national security issue.

MCCAIN: Well, it is. I mean, you talk about -- I'll talk about a place like Somalia or I'll talk about a place, again, like the Sahel and some of

the other regions in there. Without adequate food, people will -- as I said, will do anything. And it makes it easier for the bad guys to roll in,

and that becomes a national security issue. That's a national security issue for the United States of America as well.

So, I appeal to my own government and the governments around the world to look at it from a national security perspective, because if we don't feed

them, the bad guys are going to get right in there and make sure that they do feed them.

ISAACSON: How is the best way to make sure that we don't have food insecurity and food problems? Is it giving away food or is there a deeper

solution to the problem?

MCCAIN: Well, we have to approach the root cause of it. You know, is it climate change? Is it conflict? Is it, you know, the cost also" Cost is a

big deliver in this as well. There -- we need to get at the root causes. Teaching people, not just teaching people how to farm, but giving them the

tools and the water to do so. In many cases, it comes down to water.

So, it -- and I think from a worldwide standpoint, I really talk a great deal about this when I'm out and about, because it is important that we

take a look at the root causes and make sure that we can address them aside from just giving food, but making sure that we can make them self-


ISAACSON: So, what are you all doing to do that? So, it's not just a food giveaway program.

MCCAIN: Right.

ISAACSON: In fact, some would argue food giveaways could be harmful in the long run.

MCCAIN: Right.

ISAACSON: So, tell me what you're doing to face that.

MCCAIN: Well, again, we have lots of different programs going on around the world. And I'll use Central America, the dry zone as a good example of

this. We're -- as I said, we're giving people the tools. So, what does that mean? Making sure that they have land to farm on, making sure that they

have access to seed and to and to water, most importantly, and making sure that they can get them to the market. And so, it's a matter of just

supporting and giving them the ability to be able to do it themselves.

No one wants to leave their homes. No one wants to not be able to feed their family. So, for us to be able to get -- to put programs in place, to

be able to do just that is -- has been very successful around the world.

And also, a thing that we call cash-based transfers. It gives people the ability -- women, particularly because it empowers women, the ability to

buy on the local market rather than us giving food to them. We give them a cash-based transfer so that they can buy on the local market. That makes it

-- that helps everyone. It helps the entire community.

So, that's something that's been very successful that WFP actually started. And now, it's become kind of a worldwide tool.

ISAACSON: Ukraine used to be referred to as the breadbasket of -- a breadbasket of the world. Tell me what the war in Ukraine has done to

exacerbate this issue.

MCCAIN: Yes. Your description is exactly correct. It's been -- you know, with the inability, in some cases, and a much smaller ability to be able to

get grain out, it is really -- it's really hampered how we feed, and I'll use Madagascar as a good, good example and other regions of Africa, where

we can bring grain out by ship and be able to then, as, you know, replenish it and do what we do with what WFP does with it.

We've not been able to do that in an adequate manner. And we've gotten some grain out, as you know, but we haven't gotten enough out, not to the -- to

where we were before.

So, the Ukraine situation has been damaging in so many different ways, but from a food standpoint, it's been devastating. And so, we've had to --

other suppliers of things, of grains that we need, we've had to make sure that we can source it. It's much more expensive. That costs us money, which

means, you know, it's later getting to where it should go. And of course, the expense is unbelievable.


ISAACSON: The global community has said that it really wants to end hunger and malnutrition by 2030. What does that mean? And how could that be done?

MCCAIN: Well, I will work with anybody that can offer something like that. I really will. It means that we all need to work together, that we can no

longer -- this isn't a problem that's on somebody else's doorstep. This a problem that's on our own doorstep and we have to deal with hunger. And it

does everybody good.

When people are eating, they're calm. They're not looking for trouble. They're not -- they don't become a -- recruited by these guys that comes

through, with these nefarious characters that come through. It helps all of us.

And so, whenever I speak to groups or countries or heads of state, I say, it's -- listen, this -- you need to be in this because this will affect

you, whether it is now or not, it'll affect you.

And so, just reminding the world and reminding our world leaders of the importance of working together on this. And that sounds, I know, very

lofty. How do you get the world to work together? We can't seem to do anything together. But I think in the arena of food, we need to work

together. We have to.

ISAACSON: This job at the World Food Programme, especially when we look at what's happening in Ukraine, now we're looking at what's happening in Gaza,

around the world, it's got to be grueling. I mean, it's really tough. You're based in Rome. You're traveling to places like Somalia and seeing

it. What drives you to do this? What keeps you going?

MCCAIN: You know, I can honestly tell you, I've been -- I consider myself a humanitarian and I have been most of my adult life. And what drives me

is, I know that we can do better. I know that we can help.

And so, what drives me are the people that I see. And I mentioned the girl that was pregnant with the two kids, that's what drives me, is our ability

as an organization and as a world to work together to feed people in desperate situations. And that's really what drives me.

What keeps me awake is not being able to feed them. Those -- you talk about the stress of a job, that's what keeps me awake and what, to me, is the

most gruesome thing that I face, is not being able to feed people.

And so, it's two-fold. It helps me continue on and it also breaks my heart.

ISAACSON: Cindy McCain, thanks so much for joining us and thanks so much for what you do.

MCCAIN: Thank you. I appreciate it.


GOLODRYGA: Well, at least 79 journalists have been killed since October 7th during the Israel Hamas war. That's according to the Committee to

Protect Journalists. So, at a time when the media is facing unprecedented danger, we want to revisit the story of American journalist Marie Colvin,

who was killed in 2012 covering the conflict in Syria.

She cheated death many times, even losing an eye while reporting on the war in Sri Lanka. Christiane spoke with two people who focused on her work and


Rosamund Pike, who played Maria in the movie, "The Private War," and Marie's friend, and TV correspondent Lindsey Hilsum, who had access to

Marie's diaries for her biographies "In Extremis." Let's look back at their conversation in 2018.


CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Rosamund Pike, Lindsey Hilsum, welcome to the program.


AMANPOUR: You've written the book on Marie, "In Extremis," and you've had amazing access to her diaries, but you also know what Rosamund has learnt

to know by playing this singular character.

LINDSEY HILSUM, AUTHOR, "IN EXTREMIS": Well, I think that the extraordinary thing about Marie is people often say that Marie was

fearless. She wasn't really fearless but she could always overcome her fear because she was so motivated. She was so highly motivated to sell the story

of victims of war. And that was conscripts as well.

There was nothing Marie like more than sitting in a muddy trench with a bunch of soldiers and finding out what was going on. But she did think

about her own safety. But, you know, I often work alongside Marie. But her dangerous threshold was far beyond mine. And she always went in further and

stayed longer. That was why she got the best stories. That was why she's not with us today.

AMANPOUR: We're going to start actually with one of the clips now because it is when she's actually meeting Photographer Paul Conroy for the first

time who was with her to the end in Syria. But this is in Iraq. And she's doing her typical thing, wanting to meet up and collaborate with the best

of the best. So, let us just play this and we'll talk about it.


PIKE: What's your name?


PIKE: I'm Marie.

DORNAN: I know.

PIKE: So, are you freelanced?

DORNAN: Always.

PIKE: Any good?

DORNAN: The best.


AMANPOUR: Paul, the photographer --

PIKE: Yes.


AMANPOUR: -- also I think works with you on the script and as a consultant and all the rest of it. What did you gain from meeting the people who she,

not just knew, but worked in the field with? Plus, how did you get that uncannily accurate depiction of her?

PIKE: Oh, that's very nice. I mean, Marie was an amazing person, an inimitable presence. And I knew that in playing her I had to inhabit her.

So, I knew that involved changing the way I walk, changing the way I spoke, changing the way I -- learning to smoke.

HILSUM: Oh, she did a lot of that.

AMANPOUR: Which she did a lot.

HILSUM: Did you know how to drink (INAUDIBLE) martinis as well?

PIKE: I could -- yes, learned to make -- mix drink. All of the above. And Paul Conroy came with us, I think just to check out what we were doing for

about a week and to get us up on our feet.

And then, he enjoyed it and he stayed with us and actually, became our onset still photographer, which was, you know, probably a bit of a slight

release for him, really. But it was very, very valuable time around, because he shared -- he gave a real sense at all times of Marie and Paul's

-- you know, their comradery, of her, of the moments that she'd go dead quiet because she experienced the fear that Lindsey was talking about. I

agree with you, definitely not fearless. The real courage is feeling it and going there anyway.


AMANPOUR: I mean, I want to fast forward to a dramatic towards the end of her life, and I want to play one of the very last dispatches she gave from

Homs, which was to Anderson Cooper. And it became really sort of seminal. Let's just play it.


MARIE COLVIN, JOURNALIST: It's a complete and utter lie that they are only going after terrorists. There are rocket shells, tank shells, anti-aircraft

being fired in a parallel line into the city. The Syrian army is simply shelling the city of cold, starving civilians.


AMANPOUR: She was in Baba Amr, one of the suburbs outposts of Homs, and she insisted on staying, and that's part of a whole sort of controversy

between her and Paul and the editors and people who look at what happened to her in the end.

It's a pivotal moment in the film. What was going through your mind? I mean, you're playing her, you've assimilated so much, and yet, you know,

it's -- some people might say that determination to stay is what cost her life.

PIKE: Yes. You know, it's funny, you know, my heart is racing. Just -- so, I haven't been nervous sitting here and then we play that and somewhere in

my body I go back to the feelings that I inherited play Marie at that time in her life.

And actually, she was in Homs, they understood that that the big assault was coming and it was necessitous to go to leave. They were halfway down

this storm drain, this four-kilometer storm drain which was the entry and exit point for any journalist coming in to Homs taken by the FSA fighters.

And she was sort of halfway down or a few hundred meters down it and she said, I've got to go back. You know, there are 28,000 people there and I

can't abandon them.

And Paul said to her, you realize if we go back, we will die. And she said, I have to go back. You know, this is what we do. This is what we do. And

she went back and he, of course, followed her because he wasn't going to leave her. And he told me actually that they -- I find this very emotional,

so forgive me, but he said that they both felt very strongly that they might not make the deadline for "The Sunday Times" that week. And that was

her decision, that motivated her decision to ask Sean Ryan if she could broadcast with CNN and Channel 4 and wherever.



HILSUM: And she called me.

PIKE: And she -- and yes, she spoke to you.

HILSUM: She called me and I said -- and I was furious with her. I was furious with Marie, why she go back. And she said, Lindsey, it's the worst

thing we've ever seen. And I said, I know, but, you know, what's your exit strategy? And she said, That's just it. We don't have one. I'm working on

it now. And then a few hours later she was killed.

But the majority of journalists killed in Syria are Syrians, and I think that that is so important that the majority of journalists under threats

all over the world are under threat from their own governments, and from organized criminals.

AMANPOUR: I want to play, because this film is called "A Private War." So, it's not just about Marie's war work, it's also about her internal war with

herself. And she had, as you know and we know a lot of PTSD. She was a heavy drinker. She had a couple of miscarriages. She had failed marriages.

She had suicide. She had divorce. She had just so much going on in her own life, as she was, nonetheless, conducting this work at a very high level.

And I just want to play Marie accepting an award back in 2000. Then, Marie talking to Paul in the film, when she's actually at one of the

rehabilitation clinics.



COLVIN: The pain of war is really beyond telling. I don't think I've ever filed a story and felt I got it. You know, I really said what I wanted

feel, but I do try. And I think whatever the rights and wrongs of a conflict, I feel we fail if we don't face what war does, face the human

horrors rather than just record who won and who lost.

PIKE: I fear growing old, but I also fear dying young. I'm most happy with a vodka martini in my hand, but I can't stand the fact that the chatter in

my head won't go quiet until there's a quart of vodka inside me.

I hate being in a war zone, but I also feel compelled, compelled to see it for myself.


AMANPOUR: So, it's really real.

PIKE: Yes. I think in order to -- I think Matthew and I both felt that in order to, you know, really do Marie justice, we needed to go into the

depths of her soul. And I think, you know, I'm very, very interested in the cost of doing any job at a high level, whether it's sport or whether it's

what you do.

And I think -- you know, I think it's a very complicated place for the war correspondent because I'm sure you must feel when you're out there you're

exposed to so much trauma and so much of other people's pain There must be a part of you that thinks, well, why am I feeling, because it's not my pain

to feel and yet you must feel. You cannot be exposed to that level of trauma without feeling. So, where on earth does it go?

HILSUM: I mean, one of the reasons I call the book "In Extremis" is because it was a quote from Marie, she says, what I write about is people,

you know, living in extremis and what really happens in war. But obviously, she also lived her own life in extremis. That was it.

But I suppose, I also want to say, because this all-serious stuff, she was the best company. She was the funniest person.

PIKE: Yes.

HILSUM: I say, you know, I used to think of us as the Thelma and Louise of the press corps, you know, because whenever I -- you know, I would be

anywhere, Marie would turn up and I'd go, well, now, you know, I'm going to have fun.

And there was an occasion -- and we're not supposed to joke about these things now, but there was an occasion when we were on a stage, and a very

earnest young woman got up and said, you know, how do you cope with the trauma? And Marie turns to me and she says, well, she says, Lindsey and I,

we go to bars and we drink. And, you know, oh, god.

AMANPOUR: Yes. What do we call it, black humor? Rosamund Pike, thank you so much. Lindsey Hilsum, thank you very much. "A Private War" and "In



GOLODRYGA: A fantastic conversation. And finally, we close our show with some music. Our best way to close the show. Take a listen and think about

where you may have heard this before.




GOLODRYGA: The piece is called "Adiemus," and it was famously used by Delta Airlines in commercials and in flight. It was written by Karl

Jenkins, one of the world's most popular living composers.

His works, including "The Armed Man - A Mass for Peace" and "Palladio" are performed around the world -- the globe.

This year, Sir Karl celebrates his 80th birthday with the world tour. Beginning at New York's Carnegie Hall. Where else? And he joins me live

from there now.

Sir Karl Jenkins, thank you so much for joining us. It is quite an honor to have you on the program. You're celebrating your 80th birthday with an

international concert tour. Why did you decide now was when you wanted to do this on your 80th?

KARL JENKINS, COMPOSER: Well, I usually come here every year or so, apart from the COVID years, of course, to be present at the concert of my own

music that DCINY put on. Jonathan Griffith is the conductor, and Iris Derke, who's a fellow founder of the company.

So, it's a special year. It's a special number. It won't come around again. So, it seemed a good idea to link it with a concert. I mean, I would have

been here anyway at this time, but the birthday is actually in February, February the 17th. So, it's a pre-birthday concert. So, I'm honored and

thrilled, thrilled to be here for this.

GOLODRYGA: Same birthday as my stepson. So, I'll keep that in mind when we celebrate him. We'll be celebrating you as well.


I'm just wondering, reflecting back on all of the previous tours and time spent in New York, you know, your piece -- really, your music, really

focusing so much on peace at a time when there's so much turmoil around the world now, two years into the war in Ukraine, obviously, the ongoing war in

Israel with Hamas in Gaza. Is it even more poignant for you now?

JENKINS: Yes. It kind of goes, what goes around, you know, comes around again. And it's -- "The Armed Man" was written -- commissioned in 1998 as a

millennium piece to celebrate the millennium and hopefully a century of peace and love and good faith in each other and a wonderful world, but it

never happened.

At the time, the global conflict was the war in the Balkans, Kosovo. So, I dedicated the piece to the victims of Kosovo. Now, it will either be

Ukraine or what's happening in the Middle East. And it's all quite tragic.

I've just written a piece called "One World," which talks about the planet, how we got here, and deals with issues like slavery, mendacious

politicians, of which there are quite a few, in the U.K. and in the USA.

So, it's all -- it's quite depressing, really. But it's what I do. It's my -- well, not livelihood, it's more than that. It's like a drug. I'm

addicted to writing music. So, that's what I do. So --

GOLODRYGA: And it's --

JENKINS: -- ironically, the new work is called "One World." And the one movement that summarizes what it's all about is a saying in Hebrew called

tikkun olam, which means repair the world. And there's (INAUDIBLE) chance that this thing is blowing up in Israel and Palestine now.

GOLODRYGA: You mentioned "The Armed Man." Here you are, solo piano performance. Let's play it for our viewers.




GOLODRYGA: I just really wanted to use that as an excuse to watch you play and have our audience respond and listen to it as well. So, I don't have a

question off of that. But I do want to talk about your tour in New York because you observe Martin Luther King with concert -- Martin Luther King

Day with concerts in New York, obviously a man who strived for peace and equality. Talk about the significance of that and his legacy as exposed

through your music.

JENKINS: About Carnegie Hall, you mean?

GOLODRYGA: Yes. Carnegie Hall, but do you observe Martin Luther King Day with concerts in New York at Carnegie Hall?

JENKINS: Yes. It's Monday, but Carnegie Hall is kind of iconic place. I thought I'll have to remember my list, but I'm in the archive room and it's

incredible with Dvorak, a Czech composer who's here. (INAUDIBLE). Toscanini, Maria Callas, and then there's Caunt Basie, Billy Eckstine,

Rodney Stones (ph), I could bring out Frank Sinatra over there, and then Billy Holiday over there, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Stan Getz. So,

composers -- I mean, conductors, Bernstein, you know, a global icon. And the movie, which I've just seen.

It's remarkable, really. It's probably the most iconic concerto in the world. I mean, it must be. If you judge it by the number of wonderful

people who have come through here on this stage. So, it's an honor. It's an honor to come to this room, really, and come perform.

GOLODRYGA: And yet, you've never left your Welsh roots behind. Obviously, King Charles chose your work to perform at his coronation. I was going to

ask you about something you've been asked about before now, just the idea, perhaps, that you were Meghan Markle in disguise. You've addressed that

before. We'll have to talk about that that another time.

JENKINS: Oh, that. That, the Meghan Markle thing. Oh, yes. Well, that was a great moment in my life. Not that, but the fact that being present at the

coronation, because it -- and writing a piece of music for it, because it's like being part of history, being present when something happened.


Funnily enough, I saw, the coronation of his mother, the queen from a small television, black and white, 12-inch screen, whenever it was, when I was

nine years old in South Wales --

GOLODRYGA: What an honor.

JENKINS: -- where I was raised. So, yes. So, I never thought that would come around and being part of it.

GOLODRYGA: Wow. We want to wish you a happy birthday and keep playing, keep performing. Your music resonates around the world. Thank you.

JJENKINS: Thank you so much. Thank you for having me.

GOLODRYGA: And thank you so much for watching. We do want to leave you with this, the great Welsh harpist, Catrin Finch, playing Karl Jenkins'

concerto, "Tros Y Garreg." Goodbye from New York.