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Interview With Former U.S. Ambassador To NATO Kurt Volker; Interview With Former Supreme Allied Commander Europe Philip Breedlove; Interview With Palestinian-American Advocate And Cardiologist Dr. Tariq Haddad; Interview With "One Nation Under Guns" Author Dominic Erdozain. Aired 1-2p ET

Aired February 15, 2024 - 13:00   ET



CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello, everyone, and welcome to AMANPOUR. Here's what's coming up.


JAKE SULLIVAN, U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR: We know from history that when we don't stand up to dictators, they keep going.


AMANPOUR: NATO allies meet in Brussels as the Ukraine war enters its third year and pledge to continue confronting Russian aggression. Former U.S.

Ambassador to NATO, Kurt Volker, and former Supreme Allied Commander, Philip Breedlove, join me to discuss whether the U.S. remains all in.

Then, Israeli special forces attack Gaza's largest still functioning hospital. We have a special report on the human toll.

And --


DR. TARIQ HADDAD, PALESTINIAN-AMERICAN ADVOCATE AND CARDIOLOGIST: I've had a hundred family members day by day getting killed, telling me how much

they're suffering.


AMANPOUR: Michel Martin speaks to Palestinian-American cardiologist Tariq Haddad about why he refused to meet U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Also, ahead --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It seems like almost nothing is safe.


AMANPOUR: Another mass shooting in America near a Super Bowl parade. My conversation with historian Dominic Erdozain. Author of "One Nation Under

Guns," about the fetish of individual ownership.

Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London.

Today, NATO defense ministers presented a united front in Brussels, as America casts a shadow over the 75-year alliance. Not only Former President

Trump publicly undermining collective defense and inviting President Putin to attack any NATO nation, but also the failure of Congress to pass a

military aid bill for Ukraine.

U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan explained the stakes.


JAKE SULLIVAN, U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR: Your allies are watching this closely. Our adversaries are watching this closely. There are those

who say U.S. leadership and our alliances and partnerships with countries around the world don't matter or should be torn up or walked away from.

We know from history that when we don't stand up to dictators, they keep going. And the consequences of that would be severe for U.S. national

security, for our NATO allies, for others around the world.


AMANPOUR: This, of course, will certainly be top of the agenda this weekend at the Munich Security Conference. And my first guests tonight know

this better than most. Former U.S. Ambassador to NATO Kurt Volker and General Philip Breedlove, NATO's former Supreme Allied Commander during

Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea.

Ambassador Kurt Volker, General Philip Breedlove, welcome to the program.

Can I start with you, Ambassador Volker, because you are in Munich, and I want to say the belly of the beast, because I'm thinking that there's going

to be quite a lot of spooked allies there, given what Trump is saying about inviting Putin to do what he wants with a NATO country, but also because of

stalled military aid for Ukraine. What is the feeling that you're picking up right now?

KURT VOLKER, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO NATO: Well, European allies are clearly very worried about the United States. And it is -- as you said,

it's partly the kind of language that Trump was using the other day where he was saying that he would encourage Putin to attack a NATO ally. And that

he was bragging at a political rally. It was all in the past tense. It's not a prescription for the future. But even so, NATO was formed to prevent

war, to defend allies, and to suggest that anyone should attack an ally and launch a war, unacceptable, and allies are very upset about that.

The second thing is a more serious concern, which is whether the U.S. is someone they can really rely on in the future. Will the U.S. provide the

required security assistance for Ukraine? Will there be more threats against NATO in the future? What is the U.S. commitment to NATO going

forward? We have a large delegation of senators and congressmen coming to Munich, and I think they're going to be faced with a lot of questions about

what allies can expect from the United States going forward.

AMANPOUR: General Breedlove, let me put that to you in a slightly different way. Do you think NATO is kind of bracing, preparing for a U.S.

free NATO? In other words, U.S. not being there or in a diminished capacity, not wanting to do the heavy lift and the leadership role that it

is historically taken?

PHILIP BREEDLOVE, FORMER SUPREME ALLIED COMMANDER EUROPE: Look, Christiane, first of all, thanks for having me on.


And I think that what we are seeing is several things acting. Mr. Putin is stirring a lot of concerns himself by his actions in Georgia in '08, his

actions in Ukraine in '14, and now his actions in Ukraine again. I think that nations are starting to act in their own behalf to better prepare


You know, in NATO, lots of people forget Article 3, which, me, to paraphrase, says, defense begins at home. And so, now, we're seeing folks

take that more seriously. Certainly, as Ambassador Volker has pointed out, the rhetoric from the political campaign that is going on right now, and

one of the candidates has also caused some concern.

But I think there's a cumulative effect of looking at what Mr. Putin has demonstrated he's willing to do in European spaces and concerning words

coming out of America's political campaign.

AMANPOUR: So, I just want to -- before I go to Ambassador Volker again, General Breedlove, as a, you know, commanding general, as somebody who's

been in charge of ground forces, and you know what military is not just about offensive or defensive, it's about deterrence.

So, no matter how, when, or what atmosphere Trump said, in fact, I would encourage him to do whatever the hell he likes, what does that do to an

expansionist Putin's thinking?

BREEDLOVE: We have, for some time now, lost, lost deterrence outside of NATO spaces. I do not believe that Mr. Putin is deterred at all. That's a

result of multiple years of the way that U.S. administrations have approached this, as well as NATO nations.

And so, I do not believe we have deterrence outside of NATO spaces. I think what we're really talking about now is the beginning of erosion of

deterrence inside of NATO spaces. I would have told you, and I still believe, that we do have that deterrence, that Mr. Putin does understand

the border. But if we begin to see support erode at the senior political levels, that's going to be a real concern.

AMANPOUR: Ambassador Volker, you said that -- you know, and you're right, very senior American leaders will be at Munich. I know of at least one

senior Republican Senator who is due to be on a panel has pulled out, has cancelled, is not going.

And I just wonder what you think the senators, and there are groups still going, the secretary of state, I don't know, whoever else is going, whether

they can say enough to allay NATO fears. For instance, politically, can the U.S. just pull itself out of NATO? I think there's some Senate rule that

says it can't.

VOLKER: Well, it is going to be a dialogue. There's going to be a lot of questions and a lot of questions that senators and the vice president,

secretary of state are going to have to answer. I think at a fundamental level, they can say with conviction and clarity that a majority of

Americans, a majority of American congressmen and senators, Republican and Democrat, strongly support NATO, strongly support Ukraine, and will

continue to be committed to this alliance.

The difficulty has been on failure to agree domestically over what to do about the U.S. southern border, and that has now empowered a small group

within the House of Representatives to hold this package up that would otherwise be giving aid to Ukraine. They've got to explain how this going

to actually get done. And that's where I think there is still work to do in Washington and therefore, still a difficulty for them to make that American

commitment clear.

AMANPOUR: And when you see that, as we said, Ukraine is about to mark a very dark anniversary, two years since this full-scale Russian invasion,

nobody quite knows which way, you know, it's going to go. I mean, the battlefield is teetering on the brink. It could go one way or the other,

depending on the amount of weapons that are sent and help that is sent at the right time.

But I do want to ask you, because as a political ambassador, not necessarily a military official, and you did serve under President Trump

for special Ukraine work there. When you say, you know, it was held up because of the immigration thing, I mean, you know that that was what the

Republicans demanded, that's what the Democrats did, and then the Trump MAGA group sabotaged it.

What do you -- what do people say to you politically and diplomatically? What -- how are they meant to think about how the U.S. operates in terms of

legislating, especially in such incredibly difficult and situations at such great stake?


VOLKER: Well, exactly. So, first off on that, this was on a track. There was a plan. Senator McConnell and Speaker Johnson, others that seem to have

worked out about linking southern border issues with Ukraine aid, getting it all done. And it was actually former President Trump who said, don't

vote for the border issues, which caused the Senate to then separate them out and the Ukraine aid got passed in the Senate. Now, it's back to the

House. And now, they may get rejoined again in some way. We have to see how they sort this out.

But this what causes our European allies to ask, what are you guys doing? And can we rely on the United States going forward? What -- this genuine --

these are hard issues, these are serious issues, people's lives are at stake, and this getting hung up over domestic politics in the United

States. Are you going to keep doing this?

If I can come back to your earlier point in your question, though, about the future of Ukraine. I think the two-year anniversary is an important

point to take stock where we can look at Ukraine today and say, they're going to survive as a sovereign, independent European democracy. They have

tremendous support from European allies, from the United States, from Canada, from NATO, the E.U. itself. This going to grow over time.

Everyone's expanding their defense industrial base.

I'm confident the U.S. assistance will be passed at some point. And Ukraine is going to be on its way into the E.U. and NATO. So, we see a picture here

where Ukraine survives and Russia is weakened. And that's going to be the end of the story at some point.

What we should be focused on is how we accelerate getting to that end point. How do we provide the Ukrainians what they need to win the war? How

do we provide them the economic support? How do we get to that stable end point in the end?

AMANPOUR: General Breedlove, do you see that now on the battlefield? What do you assess as a military officer the Battlefield over the next year?

BREEDLOVE: Well, first Christiane, let me just add to what Ambassador Volker just said, and this my opinion in the way I state it. Ukraine is

going to end exactly how western policymakers want it to end. We will determine how this goes, because if we give Ukraine what they need, they

will be able to take care of the Russians.

They've done it strategically three times already in this war, north of Kyiv, north and northwest of Kharkiv, and operationally, to some degree, in

the south. So, we just have to understand that western policymakers will absolutely determine how these ends.

And what we're seeing now is the public faltering of support is affecting the soldier on the battlefield. When you're in that front line border

trace, and you're in a ditch or wherever, and you are wondering whether the West still has your back, it's going to affect the way that you decide the

actions that you take, and you have to begin to prepare for not getting that support. Even if we all believe it's going to happen eventually, they

have to assume they may not. And they'll start changing plans based on the assumption that the West will not continue support.

AMANPOUR: And very finally to you, Kurt Volker, what do you think is the best-case outcome of the gathering of minds in Munich this weekend?

VOLKER: Well, I think the best-case outcome is there is a little bit more reassurance and understanding that as a Transatlantic community, U.S.,

Europe, through NATO, through our partnership as bilateral allies, that we are going to do what it takes to reestablish a basis for peace, security,

democracy in Europe.

But what General Breedlove just said is the important factor here. Putin does not see Ukraine as his enemy only, he sees the West as his enemy. And

the fact that they're putting a nuclear-powered ship in space, or that they're trying to beef up to a 1.5-million-man army, that's not about

Ukraine, that's about us. So, we have to take this seriously. We have to prepare. But we have, ultimately, the economic and the military strength to

reestablish security in Europe.

AMANPOUR: Ambassador Volker, General Breedlove, thank you both very much for joining me.

BREEDLOVE: Thank you.

VOLKER: Thank you.

AMANPOUR: And also, to be discussed at Munich, the worsening humanitarian crisis in Gaza, as a chorus of world leaders now, including Israel's

allies, warn against a "catastrophic ground offensive" in Rafah.

Meantime, less than six miles away in Khan Younis, the IDF has entered Nasser Hospital, one of the last functioning remaining. It is the largest

one in Southern Gaza, where more than 1,500 people have been sheltering. And Correspondent Nada Bashir has more on this story now.


NADA BASHIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Plunged into darkness, engulfed in smoke. This Southern Gaza's Nasser Hospital. One of the few

still able to treat patients in Gaza hit in a direct strike overnight on Wednesday.

Is there anybody still inside? This doctor asks. The sound of gunfire in close proximity. Get down, he shouts. Others around him shout, get out.

Another hospital now the target. More casualties are rushed to whatever safe space there is left, but there is nowhere to escape.

This message from a surgeon inside the hospital shared with CNN paints a terrifying picture of the situation on the ground.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Israeli army forced all the patients and all refugees inside Nasser hospital, and now they are forcing medical staff in Nasser

Medical Hospital to evacuate immediately from the hospital. Israeli soldiers and tanks are surrounding the hospital from all sides. Shootings

and bombings still continue.

BASHIR (voice-over): Outside, Israeli tanks edge closer within the hospital's grounds. The Israeli military is heard ordering civilians to

evacuate. The IDF says it entered the hospital after receiving credible intelligence indicating that Hamas held hostages on the complex, with

deceased hostages possibly still present. Though CNN is not able to independently verify this claim.

Israel's forces also say they have apprehended a number of suspects at the hospital, and they've opened a secure route for civilians to evacuate the


But doctors and medical officials tell CNN Israeli snipers shot dead a number of people as they try to leave the medical complex. Among them, they

say, this teenager. His lifeless body, seen here, just in front of the gates of the Nasser Hospital.

A short distance away, a Palestinian detainee appears, said to have been released by the Israeli military and used as a messenger, according to

medical staff who spoke to a journalist working for CNN on the ground to tell civilians here that they must leave immediately. But soon after,

doctors say he, too, was killed under Israeli fire outside the hospital. It is unclear from the video what happened.

CNN has reached out to the Israeli military for comment on the incident. As Israeli drones scour the ground beneath, civilians nearby gather whatever

belongings they have left and begin to flee. For many, this not the first time they have been forced to evacuate.

The vast majority of Gaza's 2.3 million strong population is now concentrated in Southern Gaza, ordered by the Israeli military to move

south. But as troops push deeper into the besieged region, with the looming threat of a ground operation in nearby Rafah, warnings from the U.N. of a

potential slaughter of the Palestinian people grow more tangible with each passing day.


AMANPOUR: Nada Bashir reporting there. The trauma of what is happening right now in Gaza is deeply personal for the Palestinian American

cardiologist Tariq Haddad. He says he's lost more than 100 members of his extended family. And for this reason, he turned down an invitation from

Secretary of State Antony Blinken to discuss the administration's response, as he tells Michel Martin, and it is a hard conversation to hear.


MICHEL MARTIN, CONTRIBUTOR: Thanks, Christiane. Dr. Haddad, thank you so much for speaking with us.


MARTIN: If you would, tell me about your family in Gaza. If you would just start with before the events of October 7th. Just tell me about your family

in Gaza.

HADDAD: Both sides of my family have been there for generations. My grandmother was actually the headmaster of the United Nations schools back

in the late '60s and '70s. And, you know, was an educator. And, you know, it was incredibly beautiful memories, but also a lot of painful memories of

being under military occupation.

When her students would tell her -- would ask her where her -- their parents' homes are from, like what is Haifa like? What is Jaffa like?

Because everybody in Gaza is essentially a refugee from what's Israel proper. And, you know, she'd get beaten for telling -- by soldiers for

telling the children where their parents were from.


It was -- you know, the memories I have were -- are similar. They're the memories that any Palestinian has lived under occupation would have limited

water. I learned very quickly that you don't take a long shower when you live in Gaza, because your grandmother is not going to be happy with you

because she won't have enough water to do the laundry or to do the cooking.

That was just -- you know, that was life under occupation where you have unlimited -- unequal access to water. Electricity was limited. Just lots of

violence that we have to be incurring. As a 13-year-old in 1987. I was playing chess in the street and, you know, Israeli soldiers came in the

street. They grabbed my cousin. They broke his arm and leg. They started shooting rubber bullets at us. I managed to escape and hid in a chicken

coop all day in my neighbor's house. That was just -- that's life under military occupation, unfortunately.

MARTIN: Do you remember what went through your mind on October 7th when you saw what was happening? Do you remember how you processed what was


HADDAD: I think I -- as a physician, as a human being, I processed it from a position of empathy, because that's where I come from. That's how I grew

up. And I felt very sad, you know, because the innocent -- the death of any innocent civilian, regardless of their background, is sad.

And I put myself in the shoes of somebody who's suffering, who's had somebody, you know, killed or -- you know, or in any way tortured and it

was a terrible thing. I also knew what would probably be coming because Palestinians have had to deal with violence for decades, as I kind of gave

you a bit of a flavor of, and I knew that violence would just get accelerated.

MARTIN: You knew that -- you assumed that there would be an aggressive military response. I guess I'm wondering if you thought it would be what it

has become.

HADDAD: I did have some idea because my own family, other than the stories I told you, when my youngest son was born in 2014, you know, we lost 14

members of our family from, you know, several Israeli missile strikes. Most of them children under the age of 15. So, I knew what was probably coming.

I did not have any idea it would be to this extent.

MARTIN: As we are speaking now, may I ask how your own family, your own extended family in Gaza has been affected by these events?

HADDAD: Michel, it's been, you know, probably the worst four months of our life as a family. You know, we've lost over 100 family members. They've all

been killed in one way, shape, or form by the Israeli military strikes. The suffering is even worse than the death back in -- on October 25th in Khan


You know, one of my -- several of my cousins, Jamal Al Farah, his son, who is a physician, Tawfiq Al Farah. Dr. Tawfiq's pregnant wife, Dana, who was

also killed. Their two beautiful daughters, Reem and Hala, were killed. Jamad's brother, Assam. And his -- and her -- his wife, Samad, were also

killed. Their three of their daughters, Rasul, Tukha, and Nadian, were all killed.

Tukha, one of the daughters, in her early 20s, it was her wedding day, the day she got killed. This was all one large family all killed in one

military strike. Another day, a couple days later my cousins, Hatim and Aziz Al Farra also got killed. One of -- you know, Hatim was a pharmacist.

Aziz was a community figure who helped everybody. Sixteen members of their family, including seven of their children, all were killed.

There was only one child, Hamza, out of this entire, you know, multigenerational family that survived initially. He survived with an

amputation. He woke up in the hospital to find out his father, his uncle, all his siblings had all died. And then, he himself died the next day

because of the trauma injuries, because of the humanitarian crisis affected the hospitals, the bombings of the hospitals. And they couldn't save him.

And so, you know, a couple, you know, days after that, November 2nd, on my dad's side of the family, and Hani, my cousin, who I remember even from

when I was a child, survived with a minor leg injury. Any physician would recognize it as something that's easily treatable, and yet, the next day he

bled to death because he didn't have access to any medical facilities because everything in that part of Gaza from a hospital standpoint had been


And his brother, Lani (ph), my other cousin, he survived, but he had to witness his own mother with half her body buried under the rubble and his

sister shredded into multiple pieces. My other surviving cousin, Natin (ph), had to bury all of them in the backyard because there's no access to

a cemetery.


MARTIN: So, it's 100 -- at this point, as we are speaking now, you understand that 100 of your own family members have died or been killed,

have been killed directly in strikes or have died as a consequence of an inability to get adequate medical care or adequate shelter, et cetera.


MARTIN: Is that what we understand?

HADDAD: I mean, it's the stories. I mean, just to give your listeners an idea of what we have to go through. Every single day, I have to check and

see who's alive and who's dead and who's suffering.

Just a few weeks ago, you know, a baby in our family, Salma al-Farra (ph), who's 20 days old, he died from hypothermia. And this after nine of his

siblings and his father had been had been killed by the Israeli missile strikes a few weeks before. I mean, the stories go on and on in terms of --

like you said, access to medical facilities, four of my family members were killed while they're trying to go to the Gaza-European hospital for

shelter. They were in their car about to park in the Gaza-European Hospital, and then they got -- they were hit with a missile military strike

that killed all of them.

MARTIN: One of the reasons that we found you, and you graciously agreed to speak with us, is that a couple of weeks ago, the U.S. secretary of state,

Antony Blinken, invited you and some other members of the Palestinian- American community to meet with him, to meet with you, to talk about, you know, the obvious. And you declined to meet with him.

You wrote a piece about it for a news site, "Mondoweiss," which is dedicated to covering these issues. But I just wanted to know when the

invitation arose, like what went through your mind?

HADDAD: As I'm seeing every single day, my family die day after day. As I'm seeing the suffering, as I'm seeing the hunger, the lack of medical

care, the destruction of all the homes, the civilian lack -- of loss of life. And I'm seeing direct actions that our government is doing to aid

this genocide. I mean, I'm seeing -- and that's what was going through my head.

I'm seeing, you know, the horrors of nobody in our government even being able to ask -- simply ask for a ceasefire, to stop the killing of innocent

civilians, you know, that went through my head. Not only that, but, you know, we are actually releasing military supplies from our military reserve

to aid in this genocide, in this killing of innocent civilians.

And on top of that, just a few days before I got this invitation finding out that the humanitarian aid through the U.N. Relief and Work Agency was

withdrawn by the United States. And I'm thinking about all this stuff, and then I'm asking myself, you know, how, in the love of God, am I supposed to

meet with one of the people I feel is directly responsible for the death of my family and the children who have been killed in Gaza, knowing these

active -- these actions that he has undertaken, on top of the $14 billion that just got approved to continue this military assault, how am I supposed

to meet with him knowing all of his actions that he's undertaken and the government's undertaken are actively killing and causing the suffering of

my family?

MARTIN: To tell him yourself?

HADDAD: I couldn't bring myself to meet with him, Michel, because I want your listeners to just put your -- put themselves in my shoes. I've had 100

family members day by day getting killed, telling me how much they're suffering. How am I supposed to tell that to him in person, you know,

knowing all the actions he's undertaken?

I just thought it was a slap in the face. I thought with all the actions, I thought it was political grandstanding that, you know, this just a way to

show that they're -- that the administration is listening to all sides. Meanwhile, they're -- with one side of their face, they're meeting, and

then on the other side they're actively taking on policies that are killing our family.

And, you know, so I just thought it was political grandstanding, and I wasn't going to be part of political grandstanding. I'm a --

MARTIN: Well, forgive me, there are others who might see it the other way, that the decision not to meet was grandstanding, because you represent

folks who do not have access to the secretary of state, and that you chose not to take advantage of it. So, for those who might feel that way, what

would you say?

HADDAD: So, my response is, I -- what I wanted to do is make sure he knew what his actions were doing to our family. So, the way the way I did that

was to write a letter to him, a 12-page letter where I very, in a lot of detail, explained everything about my family, what my family has gone

through, what his actions specifically have caused, you know, in terms of suffering to our family.

So, I did open the line of communication and I was -- and I gave that -- I gave him that information and I had it printed and given to him and read to

him at the at this meeting. So, I felt like I accomplished the task of educating him in the way that I felt should -- he needed to hear. But

without the grandstanding.

MARTIN: Would you mind sharing a little bit of it with us here?


HADDAD: Sure. So, this a portion of my letter that I told him. So, I said, the more I thought about this meeting, the more I could not emotionally

bring myself to look you in the eyes, Secretary Blinken, knowing you and President Biden have knowingly contributed to the suffering and murder of

so many of my family, the homelessness and dispossession of 2 million Gazans and the famine that's befallen my remaining family members.

I'd like you to put yourself in my shoes, Secretary Blinken, as I'm aware, you have a young child from comments you've made to friends of mine. How

does one meet for what I was told to be would be three minutes with the person you hold responsible for not just the killing of your child, but

rather the murder of over 80 of your family members? How do I say in three minutes to someone who will forever in history be known for actively aiding

and abetting one of the worst genocides in a century what that person's actions have done my family's suffering, and that of my people?

How do I look a person in the eyes for three minutes who not only could have prevented the death of my 85 family members and nearly 15,000 children

in Gaza who have been killed, but actively contributed to their suffering and death by providing military ammunitions from our U.S. military supply

to kill my family and destroy their homes?

I ask you to put yourself in my shoes and ask yourself as a human being, Secretary Blinken, would you be able to meet and speak to the person

primarily responsible for the most suffering and death your family has gone through for centuries and convey that in three minutes?

That's just a portion of my letter. Sorry if I got emotional. It was just hard to --

MARTIN: No, no. I am mindful when I say that my own words will not be very meaningful, but I do want to say I'm so sorry for what you have experienced

and what your family's going through.

HADDAD: I think the thing that gets lost too is -- and I think this what makes it really hard, Michel, is it's very hard every day as a Palestinian

seeing the incredible dehumanization that happens to these people.

MARTIN: You feel like people are viewed as like numbers and not people? Say more about what you mean.

HADDAD: Yes. I think people see us as statistics. And they don't realize - - I mean, you know, some of the stories I just told you, these are physicians, these are, you know, pharmacists. These are -- you know, one of

my family members who got killed, got killed on her day of her PhD, that she was about to get her PhD. You know, children, you know, people who are

wonderful human beings.

You know, and none of them -- I didn't say this, but it should go without saying, I know all my family members, not a single one of them have any

political affiliation. They have no connection with anything. They didn't deserve any of this. They are all civilians.

MARTIN: What specifically do you want the U.S. to do at this point?

HADDAD: I would love to see a ceasefire so that these poor civilians can just be safe, just temporarily. I think -- you know, I think we have

literally I've been telling them to move from Northern Gaza to Southern Gaza to Khan Yunis, which is south of there, to Rafah. And now, there's

more than a million people who are literally homeless and sitting in tents. And now, we're telling them they're going to be bombed there.

I would love for our administration to call for a ceasefire. Obviously, there needs to be humanitarian assistance. Nearly every home has been

destroyed. They need to, you know, rebuild all this -- all the incredible loss of life and infrastructure there. Nearly every hospital is destroyed

and not functional.

You know, my family's telling me that 13 families are in one tiny shelter building in Rafah. 13 families just in one little tent or area. There's not

even a space for anybody to pitch a tent.

MARTIN: It is a fact that as we are speaking now, there are governments around the world, including western governments, traditional allies of the

United States and traditional allies of Israel that have escalated their criticisms, have said that the military campaign as it's currently being

waged is -- has crossed the boundaries of acceptability. Is there anything about that that gives you hope that relief will be coming?

HADDAD: I hope so. I mean, the problem is that, you know, it's -- you know, these are band aids, right? You have to stop these military attacks.

I mean, this collective punishment of two and a half million people. When in history has that ever been OK, to attack a population of two and a half

million people because you have a political objective?

MARTIN: This may seem inconsequential in contrast to everything that you're talking about. But this an election year, and many people will -- it

looks very likely that the choice will be between President Biden, with whom you're very deeply angry, and the prior president, Donald Trump. I

understand it may not be foremost in your mind, but I -- but I'm just wondering, what do you do in a situation like that, where those seem to be

the choices?


HADDAD: It's a really difficult, you know, situation to be in. I think I speak for most Palestinians when I say we're Palestinian-Americans are --

an Arab-Americans in general are, frankly, just sick and tired of being taken for granted, for our voices being taken for granted. And I cannot --

in good conscience, as a physician, as somebody who cares about human rights, there is no -- nothing that would make me vote for an

administration that personally is responsible for the suffering of this many people.

MARTIN: So, even though the former president and his negotiators made steps that seemed openly provocative and destructive of the potential for a

two-state solution, like moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, et cetera, et cetera, you still feel that that might yield better results in the long

run? Or is it more about punishing President Biden?

HADDAD: I think long-term, if people look back and say this election was a time where, you know, our leaders finally realized that they can't -- they

cannot just continue to walk and trample on human rights of Palestinians because there are consequences, then so be it.

MARTIN: Even if the consequence is another term of President Trump?

HADDAD: Even if the consequence is another term of President Trump.

MARTIN: Well, Dr. Haddad, I appreciate your speaking with us at this deeply painful moment. I just want to say, I thank you for speaking with


HADDAD: Thank you, Michel. I really appreciate you having me on and having me share the stories of my family. So, thank you.


AMANPOUR: Heart wrenching. And we've reached out to the U.S. State Department and to the IDF for comment, and we hope to follow up with them

both on air at a later date.

Now, inside Israel, people are seeing a very different picture of the war from the rest of the world, and from what you've just heard, with IDF

soldiers documenting their military offensive in real time. Correspondent Jeremy Diamond reports on this trend unfolding on social media.


JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This a how-to video on how to blow up a mosque in Gaza. The format is internet fluent. The content is

very real, filmed, edited, and posted on Instagram by an Israeli soldier. It's one of dozens reviewed by CNN. For many in 2024, social media is

everyday life. Israeli soldiers are no different, except they're fighting Israel's largest and most brutal war in decades.

In video, after video, after video, soldiers document the destruction of Gaza and rejoice. They film detonations to use as wedding invitations.

Among them are would be comedians, whose videos satirizing the war show the devastation in Gaza.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): This was the university. The IDF helped them, it became the open university.

AVNER GVARYAHU, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, BREAKING THE SILENCE: Soldiers have always documented themselves. It could be in journals. It could be with,

you know, taking pictures.

DIAMOND (voice-over): Avner Gvaryahu served in the IDF during the Second Intifada. He leads the group Breaking the Silence, which encourages

soldiers to speak out about the realities of occupation.

GVARYAHU: Even if we do find, you know, the why we went to this war important, significant, and necessity we have to ask ourselves how we're

conducting ourselves in wartime.

DIAMOND (voice-over): The videos often end up on the social media channels of right-wing political commentators. They boast to the Israeli public of

the tactics used to defend them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Do you want Hamas? Don't say you are not Hamas.

DIAMOND (voice-over): The IDF told CNN that it has acted and continues to act to identify unusual cases that deviate from what is expected of IDF

soldiers. Those cases will be arbitrated and significant command measures will be taken against the soldiers involved.

Images from Gaza of Israel's war injured are rare on Israeli television, but they're there on TikTok.

ERAN HALPERIN, PROFESSOR OF PSYCHOLOGY, HEBREW UNIVERSITY OF JERUSALEM: The overarching theme is that, you know, we're here, we're going to win,

we're powerful enough. And I think that what these soldiers are doing, or these clips that we see on social media is part of an attempt to regain

sense of agency, regain sense of power, regain, you know, the sense of causative self-image, the way we talk about ourselves before October 7th.


DIAMOND (voice-over): At times, they openly defy their military's message about protecting civilians.

CROWD (through translator): You know our motto. There are no uninvolved civilians.

DIAMOND (voice-over): And film themselves destroying civilian shops. Israel is under increasing scrutiny over the war in Gaza. These videos may

well be adding fuel to that criticism.


AMANPOUR: And let's just remember, this all open-source material.

Next, to Kansas City and the aftermath of a mass shooting during the Chiefs Super Bowl victory celebration last night. One person was killed and 30

injured. It's the third mass shooting in America this week. And at least the 48th already this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive.

President Joe Biden said the events should move us, shock us, shame us into acting. How many more families need to be torn apart? But lawmakers are

paralyzed by a belief in Second Amendment protection for an individual's right to bear arms.

In a critically acclaimed new book called "One Nation Under Guns," historian Dominic Erdozain argues that America's founders never actually

intended for gun rights to override every other right. We spoke just before this latest mass shooting. And full disclosure, Erdozain is married to a

senior CNN executive.


AMANPOUR: Dominic Erdozain, welcome to the program.


AMANPOUR: So, your book has had amazing reviews, and I find it interesting as a -- you know, as a Brit sitting in Britain that you're a Brit in

America looking at this incredible, you know, catastrophe, really, that we all look at and you're seeing it from a very different perspective than

perhaps most Americans.

ERDOZAIN: Absolutely. I think that anyone traveling to the U.S. from abroad is going to be, kind of, experience some culture shock, and I think

I just wasn't prepared for this kind of rolling nightmare of gun violence, and in a sense, the fatalism and resignation that seemed to surround it

among liberals and conservatives alike as something kind of fixed and permanent.

And I think that that was where my skepticism as an outsider came from, really, to understand whether, is this just America or is this some sort of

aberration or some kind of distortion of the American political tradition? That's what my book was all about.

AMANPOUR: Have your children ever had to go through, you know, lockdown drills? And has there ever been anything like that in your own family?

ERDOZAIN: Yes, there have been several. I mean, my daughter called me the other day saying, Daddy, there's a man with a gun, like a human gun. And I

didn't understand what she meant. She was on the train. And she said, well, I meant a gun designed for humans, not for animals or a shotgun or a

hunting rifle.

And so, you know, we've all had a bit of the culture shock. We've had incidents in the school. There have been teenage, like, mid -- high school

parties which have been interrupted with gunfire. But most dramatically, we had someone we'd worked with and known quite well who ultimately threatened

me via text message, but in a serious enough way for us to have to pursue it through the court. So, that was my personal taste of it.

And my kind of launch into a study of the kind of the collateral effects of gun violence. It's not just the physical fallout, it's the psychological

effect and what this does to the way we trust each other or interact with each other.

AMANPOUR: You write about -- in fact, you open your book about this personal experience, a series of threatening texts, as you say, from a

woman who actually worked as your nanny. What -- you know, what happened that was so difficult and shocking that actually made you launch a full-

scale book about this?

ERDOZAIN: Well, I mean, that wasn't the only catalyst for the book, but I think the thing that really troubled me as an outsider here was the

discourse of the law-abiding citizen versus the criminal. You know, the good guy against the bad guy. And I always felt that that was an arbitrary


And here we had someone we liked and trusted and who was, in many ways, a perfectly reliable person who ultimately threatened us -- threatened gun

violence against us. And the process of trying to deal with that through the courts, you know, you go to this family violence court and you see

these couples who are really just essentially feuding couples. They're people who know each other. They're intimate partners. They're the people

who shoot each other every day in modern America.

You know, I think every 10 or 11 hours, a woman is shot by an intimate or former intimate partner. And that experience just blew apart for me this

kind of glib dichotomy of good people and bad people. And that was the starting point of my research.


AMANPOUR: Now, if the founding fathers had known, what do you think they would have made it? And that's a question as to intent and the Second


ERDOZAIN: I think that they'd first of all be horrified. I mean, one of the things that I've tried to do is approach the Second Amendment, not just

through the legal angle, but to understand how it fits into a vision of democracy.

And, you know, you go back to people like John Locke and the architects of the liberal tradition and they'll say that the state is designed to protect

people from the partiality and violence of men that curtailing interpersonal violence is the very origin of the modern political process.

So, on that basic level, they'd be horrified.

But the distortion around the Second Amendment is a lot of issues, but, you know, a well-regulated militia involves the principle of consent and

collaboration and accountability, and that's exactly what we now, now lack. You know, individuals buying assault weapons for their own use are not part

of a well-regulated militia. So, we've drifted very far from those moorings.

And although, the numbers of gun owners are down, I think the numbers of guns in circulation has increased dramatically in the last 10, 15 years.

AMANPOUR: The entirety of this, a well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear

arms shall not be infringed. What did the founders mean about, by the words, a well-regulated militia? And then, the right of the people?

ERDOZAIN: Well, it's important that -- in many of the state constitutions distinguish persons as individuals from the people. The people is a body.

You know, it's a mass -- you know, it's a body from a mass. It's very linked to sovereignty. That sovereignty is in the body of the people. It's

not in the individual.

And if you look at the discussions over the Second Amendment, you have these exemptions for individuals who may have conscientious objections to

serving in the military. And they are persons, and Madison says this as he drafts it. But the people is a body of people. And a well-regulated militia

is actually under the authority of the state.

I mean, if you look at these state constitutions from which the Second Amendment emerged, they talk very clearly about the militia and any armies

that are summoned by Congress or summoned by the state must be under the authority of the civil power.

So, to put this in the language of political science, the militia is under the state's monopoly of violence. People think of it as an individual

thing, but when you're in a militia, you know, you could be court martialed, you're under orders. And that's the idea that is chipped away

and really dissolves in the 19th century when the militia kind of ceases to be the defense of the state and professional armies sort of take over.

AMANPOUR: If that was the 19th century, when does it turn into more of a person's right, which is how most Americans who are, you know, NRA or the

Republicans who campaign on this, you know, talk about each individual's right to bear arms?


AMANPOUR: You know that Ronald Reagan presided over a key turning point in what becomes a gun culture in America rather than just a political wedge


ERDOZAIN: Absolutely. I mean, if you look at someone like Richard Nixon or two of his attorney generals, John Mitchell, Elliot Richardson, all three

of them favored a total ban on handguns. And there was a Justice Department report that advocated that in 1973.

So, for much of the 20th century, you know, Americans were hostile to handgun ownership. You had six out of 10 Americans favored a total ban on

handguns in 1959. It was a very localized thing in the 19th century. It emerged mainly in the slave states. And then through writers like Theodore

Roosevelt and the kind of frontier tradition and the kind of militarism of the late 19th century, it sort of develops, but it doesn't become a legal

doctrine until the very late 20th century and doesn't become any kind of federal law until the Heller ruling of 2008.

Leading American historian of the 20th century, in my opinion, Richard Hofstadter, you know, he looked into it and said it's plainly nothing to do

with an individual right. But this momentum builds in the 1980s and '90s and then you start to get court decisions which refer to this impressive

body of research that has changed the understanding of the Second Amendment.


And a lot of this material is circular. It's not -- it's sort of -- it quotes one another. It quotes fellow gun advocates a lot. But the

culmination of this transition is the Heller ruling of 2008, which is District of Columbia v. Heller, which is when the Supreme Court with a five

to four majority overturned the District of Columbia's ban on handguns as offensive to the Second Amendment. And it defined the Second Amendment as

primarily existing to protect an individual right of self-defense.

AMANPOUR: And now, 20 first century, it just seems that almost every week, if not more, there are mass shooting events in the United States, in

schools, in many, many, many different places, places of worship, and it's become baked into American life.

I mean, people overseas, as you know, look at it and just cannot believe it. And yet, politicians still play and run on this topic. So, here's

Donald Trump who was at a -- you know, at the NRA event just recently. And they -- you know, as you know, many people who believe in the individual

right to bear arms is it's all about the good guy having it versus the bad guy. So, everybody should be armed. Here's their proposition.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT AND U.S. REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If Joe Biden is reelected, your gun rights will be gone.

They'll be totally gone. You know, the sad part of that is the bad guys aren't giving up their guns. The bad guys aren't, but the good people

aren't giving up their guns either because there's never going to be anybody that's going to be asking for your gun.

And when I'm reelected, every single Biden attack on gun owners and manufacturers will be terminate, my very first week back in office, perhaps

by first day.


AMANPOUR: You know, the facts, as you state, law abiding citizens, i.e., I guess, the good guys, are actually responsible for much of America's murder

rate. Most gun deaths are the result of altercations within known groups, family or friends. So, how is that still being, you know, totted out -- or

trotted out as a legitimate defense?

ERDOZAIN: I think a lot of it is fear that transcends the facts and is larger in people's minds than the empirical realities of what guns do. But

I think, you know, the Trump excerpt shows that this, you know, a culture war issue, that I didn't know whether his heart was ever really in it. You

know, in his first book where he was thinking of running as an independent, I think, in 2000, you know, he chastised the Republican Party for its sort

of slavish fidelity to the National Rifle Association. And he seemed perfectly willing, at that stage, to think in terms of gun control, the

same after recent shootings, and then he was sort of taught back.

I feel that so much of this confected. You know, there was a big piece in "The Washington Post" on the AR-15 where conservative pundits were saying,

well, no one really needed one, but it was a good way of, you know, turning our noses up to the left. So, a lot of this confected. And that's one of

the things that gives me hope that a younger generation could see through it, could see through the artifice of many of these arguments.

AMANPOUR: Your full title of your book is "One Nation Under Guns: How Gun Culture Distorts our History and Threatens our Democracy." How does it

threaten our democracy?

ERDOZAIN: Well, this where I kind of try to go beyond some of the many brilliant scholars who have talked about the Second Amendment and

individual rights is to understand democracy really as a way of life, a vision of freedom.

You know, democracy is more than how we elect our leaders or try to, it's about living without fear of violence. It's about freedom to interact with

one another in trust. You know, political scientists talk about social capital.

One of my favorite sources in the book is Edward Kennedy who lost two brothers to assassin's bullets. And he says, it's not just the pool of

death that guns have created, it's the appalling specter of fear that guns have cast over our communities. And that is precisely the language of the

founders. It's the language of the architects of this democratic tradition, and that is what guns are destroying on a daily basis.

AMANPOUR: Dominic Erdozain, thank you so much. Really important investigation.

ERDOZAIN: Thank you very much.


AMANPOUR: And that's it for now. This time tomorrow night, I'll be live from the Munich Security Conference where world leaders, including

President Zelenskyy will assess Ukraine's battlefield prospects as the war enters its third year. And NATO allies will consider whether they can still

count on U.S. support and leadership.


Plus, I'll ask Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about all of this as she'll be joining me live.

If you ever miss our show, you can always find the latest episode shortly after it airs on our podcast. And remember, you can always catch us online,

on our website, and all across social media.

Thank you for watching, and goodbye from London.