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War Toppled Iraq's Authoritarian Ruler but Caused Widespread Suffering; Israeli Minister: "No Such Thing" as a Palestinian People; U.S. Aid Worker Freed Six Years after Abduction in Niger; U.N. Report: World Running out of Time to Avoid Catastrophe; Trump Lawyer Warns of Mayhem if Ex-President is Indicted; U.S. Iraq still Grapple with Consequences of War. Aired 11a-12p ET
Aired March 20, 2023 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BECKY ANDERSON, CNNI HOST: This hour 20 years on a look at the legacy of the Iraq War. First though, Chinese President Xi Jinping is in Moscow
meeting with Vladimir Putin. Mr. Xi says that China and Russia have similar goals.
In Israel, the Netanyahu government plans to change a key part of its judicial overhaul plan. It's the first climb down since widespread protests
began. Switzerland engineers the rescue of mega Bank Credit Suisse bought out by its rival UBS. This is the biggest bank to go under since the 2008
March the 20th, 2003 smoke rises from the presidential palace in Baghdad as U.S. firepower rains down the beginning of a long, bloody chapter in Iraq.
20 years later, a very different country stands and the one led by the brutal dictatorship of Sudan was saved and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi
civilians have been killed in violence since the invasion.
The end of combat operations by the American led coalition was followed by the rise and fall of ISIS now a tenuous peace persists with a new
government in place after years of political deadlock. So tonight we ask what the legacy of the Iraq war is. We begin with CNN's Ben Wedeman
explaining how the conflict has shaped both the U.S. and Iraq over the past two decades.
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): It began with shock and awe. 20 years ago, the United States and its allies embarked
on a war in Iraq. Within weeks, Saddam Hussein's regime fell.
GEORGE W. BUSH, 43RD U.S. PRESIDENT: Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the Battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have
WEDEMAN (voice over): They prevailed in the brief battle of Iraq, but the war in Iraq that followed was long and hard. The American road paved with
good intentions soon led to hell. U.S. never found Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction. The original rationale for the war and blunder after
blunder poured fuel on a fire of resentment.
Every U.S. operation like this one I covered in the summer of 2003, left behind a trail of bitterness. By midweek U.S. troops had detained nearly
400 men, none from their most wanted list. They also managed, however, to arouse a fair amount of resentment.
The Americans are occupier says this man and they have no manners or ethics. One of them grabbed a Quran and threw it to the ground. U.S.
cobbled together a political order based on sectarian divisions disbanded the Iraqi army and the ones ruling Baath Party, throwing hundreds of
thousands out of a job.
And it was mired in the Abu Ghraib prisons scandal where Iraqis were tortured humiliated and photographed. 11 U.S. soldiers were convicted of
crimes. Less than a year after the invasion, large parts of Iraq were in chaos. Saddam Hussein was captured, tried and executed, but the insurgency
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the Jordanian born leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq was killed, but the insurgency went on. Two years after the invasion, sectarian
tensions between the Shia majority and the once dominant Sunni Arab minority erupted into civil war and the killing intensified.
The violence only subsided after the U.S. surged more troops into Iraq in 2007. In August 2010, the last U.S. combat troops left Iraq, leaving behind
a brittle corrupt deeply flawed democratic regime riven by sectarian tensions which provided fertile ground for the rampage of the Islamic State
or ISIS spilling over from the war in Syria into Iraq.
ISIS seized control of the Northern City of Mosul, and then captured city after city reaching the outskirts of Baghdad. It took more than three years
of bitter combat and foreign military assistance to defeat. That enemy vanquished old discontent resurfaced.
In 2019, Baghdad was gripped by massive protests against corruption, sectarianism, and poor living conditions. But like protest movements across
the region, it too was crushed. As the U.S. invasion and occupation fade into history, neighboring Iran plays an ever greater role in the country's
Old problems corruption, a dysfunctional infrastructure and unemployment remain unresolved. Yet despite it all today, Baghdad is more peaceful than
it has been in years.
ANDERSON: Well, Ben Wedeman joining me now. What's the future for the people of Iraq Ben?
WEDEMAN: I don't think anybody knows. They certainly don't. It's a country that has huge potential. It's got either the fifth or the sixth largest
proven oil reserves in the world. It's got to plentiful water supplies with the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers.
It has a fairly well educated population, but it is cursed with a political class that is mired in corruption, and factionalism and is affiliated with
a variety of foreign powers Iraq among them, that simply cannot put their differences behind them to work for the better of the country.
So what we're seeing is increasingly, those who can leave Iraq, despite the wealth that exists there are leaving, because for particularly the young
people, there's no future really the currently the youth unemployment runs at about 25 percent.
And the government is so busy squabbling and rather the political leaders are so busy squabbling among themselves that they simply don't seem to be
able to come forward with a plan to put all of these people to work with the wealth that is so obviously there, Becky?
ANDERSON: And how would you assess the impact of what happened in Iraq over the past 20 years? And of course, this was a country beset by crises before
that. But the legacy of what happened in Iraq over the last 20 years for the U.S. and for the wider region of the Middle East. I'm here in the Gulf.
And clearly the impact of what has happened there has had a bearing a huge bearing on this region, Ben?
WEDEMAN: The impact of the invasion has been huge. And you know, in preparing that report, it was really difficult to cram as much as possible
into it. And we ended up having to leave a lot out. The broader regional picture, you will recall that when it became clear that there were no
weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, the U.S. administration changed its tune and focused on what they called the Freedom Agenda.
The idea that in order to prevent another 9/11, which was undertaken by disaffected youth in the Arab World, that they should encourage the
Democratization of authoritarian regimes across the Middle East. And we're talking about almost all of them.
And so what we saw initially in 2005 and 2006 the beginnings of popular discontent against authoritarian regimes in Egypt, where I was based at the
time and then we saw, of course, in 2011, the so called Arab spring that we're still seeing the consequences of briefly there was a moment of hope.
But those authoritarian regimes have reasserted themselves. But of course, the war in Iraq led to the creation of ISIS. ISIS has been vanquished, but
it hasn't been totally defeated. So I think we're just going to continue to see the after effects the repercussions of this war for years and probably
decades to come. And I think the verdict is still out on whether this was worthwhile or not?
In the short term, it doesn't look like it. There are some people who suggested well, if you just left Saddam alone, his regime might have
imploded. It's impossible to know. But certainly, the effects of the 2003 invasion, we're going to be feeling them for a long, long time to come
ANDERSON: The old adage, only time will tell well, that time continues to tick as it were. All right, Ben, thank you very much indeed, and you can
read a lot more about the impact of the U.S. led invasion of Iraq 20 years on. And meanwhile in the Middle East newsletter, including the story of an
Iraqi held by American soldiers in the notorious Abu Ghraib prison, the horrors of the war that continue to haunt him.
Sign up by visiting cnn.com/mideast newsletter. Well, elsewhere in the Middle East, Israel says a man with Israeli and U.S citizenship was shot
and injured in the West Bank on Sunday. This was in Huwara where settlers rioted after a deadly shooting last month. And it happened as Israeli and
Palestinian representatives met in Egypt in a bid to keep the violence from escalating further.
And after weeks of huge protests, the Israeli government making its first concession and its plan to overhaul the country's judiciary the government
changing a key part of that plan and says it will delay some votes until after the Passover holiday CNN's Hadas Gold connecting us with both these
stories from Jerusalem.
Let's start with these concessions, soft concessions as it were put forward, and what impact might delaying this legislation to after pass
over, for example, have.
HADAS GOLD, CNN JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Becky after more than two months of regular protests, hundreds of thousands of Israelis in the
streets, concerns and calls from the leaders of the Israeli financial high tech academic, pretty much all sectors including military reservists
concerns over the reform, concerns we've heard from the Americans from the Germans from others.
Today was the first time that the Israeli government sort of reformed their reforms in any way. This is something that I had been hearing from sources
that was likely coming, that there was going to be some sort of softening of their reforms. And what they've announced today is regarding how judges
And when you speak to people who support these judicial reforms, they say that's actually their number one issue is the fact of how the judges are
selected. They point to places like the United States, where you know, the elected politicians; the president is the one who appoints the Supreme
And that's how they essentially want to change that. And what they've done is a very small change; it still gives most of the power to the parties in
power in the parliament in order to select the judges. But it reduces the number of their members on this committee that would select judges from
having a vast majority to having just a one seat majority.
And then the other concession, if you can call it that is announcing that the rest of these reforms, because these are dozens of reforms that are
passed that they are trying to push through, they won't bring them up for further votes until after the Passover breaks that would give till the end
And the coalition is saying in the statement that they want to have conversations about this before they continue. So clearly, it seems as
though the pressure at least is making a potentially a small difference. But the leaders of the protest movements and opposition leader Yair Lapid
are essentially saying you know that's not enough.
And some of them are even saying that these are just, you know, nice words. But ultimately, they still believe that the way these reforms are in even
this concession is the protest leaders are even calling it a declaration of war on the Israeli people, Becky.
ANDERSON: Hadas, over the weekend, the far right, finance minister, Israeli finance minister, suggesting that there is, not just suggesting but saying
there is and I quote him here, "no such thing as a Palestinian people". Where did he say that? And why should we not be surprised perhaps to hear
those words from him?
GOLD: Yes, listen, Becky, Bezalel Smotrich who said this is a right-wing settler leader who is well known for making inflammatory statements on many
issues, particularly about Palestinians. He doesn't believe the Palestinian Authority should exist. He has talked about wanting to annex the West Bank.
He was the one who said a few weeks ago, that Huwara should be erased. He later apologized for those statements. He's also made inflammatory
statements about LGBTQ community. So, his statement is not necessarily, it's not necessarily surprised because of who he is. But now he is finance
minister of the Israeli government. He also has powers over the West Bank.
He also has powers over the West Bank. And so, he made these comments at a conference in Paris saying that there's no such thing as a Palestinian
people claiming there was only invented the last century as a response to Zionist Jewish immigration, talking about how he believes his own family is
more Palestinian, the Palestinians because they have been in the region for many, many decades.
And of course, we are hearing a swift condemnation from the Palestinian authority, the Palestinian authority presidents condemning them calling the
statements racist and attempt to falsify history. We're also hearing from the Jordanian foreign ministry that is also condemning this.
What's fascinating about all this, Becky, is that while you have a minister like Bezalel Smotrich making these comments, you have other elements of
this Israeli government having this, the summits with the Palestinians, Egyptians, Jordanians, and Americans in Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt. Summits
that we haven't seen the likes of in several years all aimed at calming the situation on the ground ahead of Ramadan later this week and ahead of pass
over next month.
So where is this Israeli government? Are they sitting and having discussions negotiation with the Palestinians? Or are they Bezalel Smotrich
denying the fact that Palestinians exist?
ANDERSON: And notably, Jordan has just condemned those comments as racist. And you are right to point out and let's be absolutely clear, these
comments coming at a time when the region and the United States and you rightly point out, this is the region and the international community,
desperately trying to ensure that this violence de-escalates at what is a critical time as we head towards Ramadan, and pass over coming at the same
time, of course, this year.
Very important stuff, Hadas, thank you very much indeed for joining us. Ahead this hour on "Connect the World" Russia's president host his Chinese
counterpart in Moscow. What Vladimir Putin is saying about the conflict in Ukraine and how Kyiv has responded to Xi Jinping's state visit to Moscow?
Plus, the climate time bomb is ticking. Well, you may say we knew that already but a climate report from the UN warns the world needs to take very
drastic action now.
ANDERSON: China, calling President Xi Jinping's state visits to Russia a, "Journey of friendship, co-operation and peace". He is meeting with the
Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin. Both countries say the conflict in Ukraine is under discussion. Ukraine and its Western allies are
skeptical any progress will be made. Here's what President Xi told Putin about what he hopes to accomplish in Moscow.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
XI JINPING, CHINESE PRESIDENT: It is true that both of our countries share the same or similar goal. We have exerted efforts for the prosperity of our
respective countries. We can co-operate and work together to achieve our goals.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, Matthew Chance back with us this hour from Moscow. We just heard from President Xi. What do we make of what you heard? And what else
as we understand it, are these leaders discuss it?
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I mean, look, it's a really important show support by Xi Jinping, the Chinese leader is
coming, you know, the first time to Russia since Russia embarked on its invasion of Ukraine, more than a year ago. It's also just a couple of days,
remember, since Vladimir Putin was indicted at the International Criminal Court for war crimes.
And so, the symbolic potency of this diplomatic visit has not been lost on anyone here in Russia or anyone internationally that's watching this, of
course, very closely, not least in Ukraine, in the United States and in the West, in general. Look, I mean, they're going to be discussing a couple of
One of them is this issue of the Chinese diplomatic peace plan, that it's put out there last month, to resolve what it calls the crisis in Ukraine;
it doesn't refer to it as a war, just like the Kremlin doesn't refer to it as a war. There are a couple of points whether it's 12 points in this plan.
One of them is that the two parties Ukraine and Russia should sit down at the negotiating table to hammer out their differences.
But it's stopped short of calling on Russia to, to withdraw from the territory in Ukraine, that it's conquered over the course of the past 12
months, at the very least. And for that reason, it's got a very lukewarm response in Ukraine and in the west at large. But Vladimir Putin, speaking
sitting side by side with Xi Jinping of China earlier today said, you know that this was something that the Russians were looking carefully at, take a
listen to what Putin had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT: We have carefully studied your proposals for resolving the acute crisis in Ukraine. Of course, we will have the
opportunity to discuss this issue. We know that you proceed from the principle of justice and observance of the fundamental provisions of
international law, indivisible security for all parties. You are also aware that we are always open to the negotiation process; we will certainly
discuss all these issues, including your initiative.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHANCE: All right, well, this is the - and more than 40 times, I think, according to state media here in Russia, that Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping
have had a face-to-face discussion in the past decade or so. That compares with zero, the number of times that Xi Jinping has spoken to President
Zelenskyy of Ukraine.
And so, you know the idea that China is an honest broker between Russia and Ukraine is it doesn't carry much weight, shall we say, in Ukraine, or in
the United States or elsewhere. China, despite its efforts, you seem very, very much on the side of Russia in this conflict.
ANDERSON: Matthew is in Moscow, thank you, Matthew. I want to bring in David McKenzie who is in Odessa in southern Ukraine. What is it that the
Ukrainians are saying about this visit?
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, they certainly are being respectful of China, as you might expect. The foreign
minister is saying that they hope that Xi Jinping uses his influence, as they put it in Moscow to steer things in the right direction. Now what that
direction would be Ukraine and the president have been very, very consistent.
They say that the starting point of any negotiations for peace would be Russia to depart from areas of Ukraine that it has taken over in this
bloody war. And you don't see Putin doing that anytime soon, of course. So you have this situation that there's talk of peace, at least a
consideration of the negotiations in public by both Putin and Xi Jinping.
But really no prospect of that in the short term, I would say. Here in Ukraine, they've also said that they look at the attitude of China and
Russia. And while they're not saying directly, they certainly believe that China is on the side of Russia, but they are open to talk should Xi Jinping
I think contact Zelenskyy after these meetings, Becky.
ANDERSON: David, thank you. David McKenzie is in Odessa. We have just gotten word that an American kidnapped by terrorists more than six years
ago has been free. This is aid worker Jeffery Woodke who was abducted by militants in Niger in 2016.
The U.S. national security adviser says he is thankful to Niger's government for its work to bring Woodke to safety. And he stressed that the
U.S. did not directly negotiate with all pay any ransom to the abductors. Let's get you up to speed on some of the regional stories that are on our
radar right now.
And Syrian President Bashar Al Assad is in the UAE for an official visit. It represents a thawing of what have been frosty relations Syria has had
with Gulf Arab States since the Syrian civil war began in 2011. Many Arab States including the UAE back the rebels in that fight.
Well, the two warring sides in Yemen have agreed to a prisoner exchange as they attempt to create lasting peace. More than 800 prisoners will be
exchanged fighting between the two sides has largely died out in the past year since a UN brokered ceasefire.
And there is another side of thawing ties between two of the key players in the Yemen war. An Iranian official says President Ebrahim Raisi has been
invited to visit Saudi Arabia. That Kingdom hasn't confirmed the invitation. The two countries agreed to restore ties earlier this month.
While you're up to speed here on "Connect the World".
I'm Becky Anderson broadcasting from our Middle East programming hub here in Abu Dhabi just ahead. Some are calling an eight-shotgun wedding. Swiss
banking giant UBS rescues its rival Credit Suisse. What that could mean for global financial stability is up next.
And on the 20th anniversary of U.S. led invasion of Iraq, we reflect with a former CNN colleague and correspondent who saw the run up to the war first-
hand, as she reported from Baghdad.
ANDERSON: Welcome back, you're watching "Connect the World" with me Becky Anderson. Wherever you are watching, you are more than welcome your
headlines this hour. The presidents of Russia and China told each other their countries share common interests and goals that set at the start of
Xi Jinping's state visit to Russia.
This is President Xi's first trip to Moscow since Russia invaded Ukraine, Beijing calling it a journey of peace. Ukraine says any peace plan
presented by China must start with a Russian withdrawal. After months of massive protests, the Israeli government is giving its first signs of
walking back, part of its controversial plan to overhaul the courts.
The change would give lawmakers less power to pick new judges, but it would still allow the Knesset to overturn Supreme Court rulings and opponents say
it simply doesn't go far enough. French President Emmanuel Macron feeling the heat on the street and in the National Assembly lawmakers in France set
to vote on two no-confidence motions. They started debating this hour as protests and strikes continue across the country.
And this comes of course after Mr. Micron's decision to push through unpopular pension reforms without a vote in Parliament investors poring
over the biggest banking shakeups since the global financial crisis 15 years ago. There has been another rescue along with action by the major
central banks to stem the crisis of confidence.
Here's what the markets make of all of this stocks in Europe rebounding from earlier losses, the DOW also pushing higher. And why is this
important? And why are we looking at these markets while it comes after UBS stepped in at the weekend, with a rescue deal for its ailing Swiss rival
Credit Suisse. Have a listen to the Swiss President on that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALAIN BERSET, SWISS PRESIDENT: On Friday, the liquidity outflows and market volatility showed that it was no longer possible to restore the necessary
confidence, and that the swift and stabilizing solution was absolutely necessary.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Let's bring in CNN's Anna Stewart live from London. We were remarking that the past two weekends has seen regulators, you know, the
Swiss president, the Fed the weekend before, all having to step in over a weekend to rescue ailing banks. It's no real surprise that we should be
taking a look to see what investor confidence is like in the banking sector and across the wider sort of markets on a Monday morning once again, Anna.
ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER: Yes. And Credit Suisse, let's be clear is a failure of its own making. In some respects, it was undergoing a big
restructure. It had all sorts of issues over the last few years. But really, this is a big crisis of confidence that really finished it off. All
the pressures on the banking sector hit the weakest link and it buckles.
And this takeover happened incredibly swiftly and the markets are still digesting. What this really means for various players, I think within this
sector. First of all, what does it mean for Credit Suisse shareholders? Well, their shareholdings have been diminished. And of course, they weren't
consulted at all.
Think of Saudi National Bank and the Qatari Investment Authority who are some of the biggest shareholders of Credit Suisse you know, this is being
sold essentially for 60 percent less than it was worth on the closing share price on Friday. And that's where we're seeing credit shares trade,
Also, the bondholders of Credit Suisse, this was really interesting, highly controversial. Normally, shareholders rank below bondholders of all
varieties when it comes to this situation. But shareholders are getting some return on this, but bondholders have 81 which is sort of convertible
They are having their holdings of those bonds just wiped out, they are worth absolutely nothing. That's around $17 billion worth. And I've just
seen an e-mail from a law firm saying they're considering a lawsuit here and getting in touch with all of those bondholders.
So, there's a lot to digest. Interestingly Becky, look at UBS shares right now, because they opened this morning sharply down as investors looked at
this, but they are trading higher now. Whether that's on these lawsuits, whether that's just because in the long term, big picture with all of the
comments from various central banks and regulators around the world, they feel this draws a line under it and makes UBS a stronger bank, perhaps.
But I'm watching it carefully because I don't believe share prices are staying anywhere steady anytime soon, Becky.
ANDERSON: Yes, and you and I spoke an hour ago and that share price was 4 percent higher. Now down at around two and a half percent lift. Thank you,
Anna. Coming up we're on thin ice when it comes to saving our planet. That is the dire warning from the new UN report on climate that is up next.
ANDERSON: Humanity is on thin ice and that ice is melting fast that the newest warning from the United Nations intergovernmental panel on climate
change as it is known. IPCC it says immediate and radical action is needed before international climate goals slip out of reach.
Now, fossil fuels they say remain the biggest threat as countries like the U.S. and China are making plans to ramp up oil gas and coal production but
the report also laying out steps for staving off climate change. CNN Chief Climate Correspondent Bill Weir joins us now live. We know we are on the
precipice. We don't need another report to tell us so, Bill, what's new in this report and why is it important?
BILL WEIR, CNN CHIEF CLIMATE CORRESPONDENT: I think each one of these reports Becky has gotten more and more stark in, of course 195 countries
have to sign off line by line. So, this is the most conservative view of the climate emergency and has been underplayed historically.
I was just looking back at the first one we're just talking about, yes; there is a greenhouse effect to this one. Human activities, principally
through emissions of greenhouse gases have unequivocally caused global warming, and go on to talk about lifestyle choices. And this is the
prescription remains the same.
It's just more urgent stop using fuels that burn, move up your net zero ambitions by a decade. That's the call in this report to countries like the
U.S. and the UK. Increase your spending on renewables by three to six times for the developed countries, and just really wrap it up because the window
is closing to stop the warming at 1.5.
ANDERSON: We know that the climate finance challenge is an enormous one at this point. But we also know that there is certainly more ambition at this
point. But according to the report 1.5 is still alive, but only just effectively. You talk to experts who are all for the ambition, there does
seem to be real concern that we could blow way through that before we know it. Does that matter at this point?
WEIR: At this point any action, I think matters right? You have to ultimately build the oil and gas industry in reverse. They've you know
humanity has put over a trillion tons of carbon into the sky since the first IPCC synthesis report in the 90s. And is no shows no sign of abating.
It will be the hardest thing humanity has ever done, Bill Gates has said famously.
But any movement towards that is a move in the right direction, all kinds of new incentives for climate entrepreneurs. But the enormity of the
problem is so big that these scientists are saying it takes massive unified effort, sadly, at a time when there's more distrust than ever, not just in
China, where they're ramping up coal production, the United States, Joe Biden lost really a lot of faith in his young climate supporters by
approving the willow project.
Even the International Energy Agency said in order to meet these goals, you have to push away from the table, and you have to say no to new
development. And there's already dozens of new developments, you know, breaking ground around the world.
ANDERSON: You are just back from a trip where you once again witnessed first-hand the effects of climate crisis. Just explain from your sort of,
through your lens, what you saw, and why it's important?
WEIR: We were just out in the Arctic peninsula where the alarming disappearance of sea ice is already affecting all the life there from the
penguins to the humpback whales. Sea ice is the grounds for krill production that feeds everything at the bottom of the planet that is
Ecologists are worried that species that have come back could collapse. But I also look at Antarctica as this sort of spot of hope. It's the only place
on the planet set aside for peace and science started with 12 countries of the treaty. Now there are 55, the ozone layer is healing above Antarctica,
thanks to the Montreal Protocol.
There are little glimpses of humanity's ability to pull back from self- destructive behavior. And so, I chose to focus on that there as well. But what is affecting the penguins now will affect the folks of Miami and
Shanghai tomorrow. These are sort of metaphorical Canaries; the penguins now are our canaries for a melting land ice that could raise sea levels.
And we're already seeing the effects of the water cycle, being all out of whack from too much water at the wrong times. Not enough at other times,
wrestling with all of this around the globe. So not only adapting to this, which is already built in, but mitigating the worst effects is a fight that
will define us, I think, for the rest of human history.
ANDERSON: Well, big meeting here back end of this year COP28, hosted by the UAE. And a key report being put together ahead of that where this first
ever global stock take will be revealed. And already having spoken to the host here in the UAE, that global stock take is not going to look great.
It's what we do with it and how we act going forward, which is going to make all the difference in the world. Bill, always a pleasure! Thank you
very, very much indeed for joining us. We're going to take a very short break, back after this.
ANDERSON: Well, a day after Donald Trump urged supporters to protest his potential indictment in New York. His legal team has further stoked
tensions by warning of unrest that the former president is arrested.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALINA HABBA, TRUMP LAWYER: Let's see if they arrest him. But I'll tell you what, what if they choose to do so for a misdemeanor which frankly, he
didn't even do. It is going to cause mayhem, Paula, I mean, it's just a very scary time in our country. I do think security should be in place.
If that is what they choose to do, I would never want to see anybody get hurt. I know the president would neither. And if this is what we're doing
in this country, you better secure the premises because it's dangerous, you know, people are going to get upset.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, Trump's possible indictment is related to a grand jury investigation over a hush money payment allegedly made to an adult film
star. Trump's Former Attorney Michael Cohen says he's been asked to appear before the grand jury's former Legal Adviser Robert Costello is also set to
Well, with the possibility of large-scale protests in New York authorities say they'd been planning extra security measures. Gloria Pazmino reports.
GLORIA PAZMINO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Law enforcement sources here in the city have confirmed to us that they have been discussing plans around this
potential indictment of former President Donald Trump. Law enforcement agencies, everyone from the NYPD to the Secret Service to federal agents,
as well as court officers which are responsible for safety inside the courtroom have all been coordinating in recent days ahead of this potential
Now, Donald Trump taking to his social media channels to say that he would be arrested on Tuesday. And calling on his supporters to protest that is
creating another layer of logistical challenges for authorities here in New York City because should protests happen here in the area, it would
complicate the security and the logistics.
We expect former President Donald Trump to turn him in if he is in fact charged with a crime arrested and indicted. He would have to show up here
to Manhattan criminal court here behind me just as anybody else who is accused of a crime, he would have to go before a judge, he would be
His mug-shot would be taken. And he would go through the criminal justice process like anyone else facing a crime. The one big and obvious difference
here, of course, is that we are talking about the former President of the United States.
Not only that, but also a current candidate for the presidency, adding a whole layer of history to this potential event and also adding to the
complications around safety and security that local enforcement has to provide for him. In response to that social media posts that the president
made yesterday, District Attorney Alvin Bragg sent an internal memo to his office over the weekend, acknowledging the possible threats.
Law enforcement sources here in New York also telling us that they are monitoring social media for any possible threats. In the memo Alvin Bragg
wrote, "We do not tolerate attempts to intimidate our office or threaten the rule of law in New York. Our law enforcement partners will ensure that
any specific or credible threats against the office will be fully investigated, and that the proper safeguards are in place. So, all 1600 of
us have a secure work environment".
That last line really underlining the fact that even with the potential indictment of a former U.S. president, this is an office that will still
have to do the work that it does every day to ensure that people who have to come through this court can do so safely, and that business can carry on
as it usually does on any given day.
So local authorities preparing for the possibility of that indictment, Former President Donald Trump saying that he expects to be arrested on
Tuesday, but of course all of it remains to be seen reporting in New York Gloria Pazmino, CNN.
ANDERSON: 20 years ago today, the United States invaded Iraq as part of America's global war on terror. Changing the Middle East, the country of
Iraq, of course, the Middle East and arguably the world forever while President Bush called it a mission to free the Iraqi people, it did the
exact opposite to kicked off a cycle of a horrific violence and instability that is still felt in Iraq to this day.
We know that because CNN was on the ground to witness that trauma then and we continued to report on the story regularly over the last 20 years. Being
here in this country, the UAE in this region for the past 10 years, it is still clear, the impact the legacy that that war had.
One of the very few international reporters who was in Baghdad, the moment is airstrikes reigned down, was Princess Rym al-Ali of Jordan, a friend and
former colleague who was CNN's reporter in Baghdad.
She spent years living and reporting from inside Iraq before the invasion began. I spoke with her earlier about her reflections on this moment in
time. I started by asking her if it was clear before that shock and awe moment if war was imminent.
PRINCESS RYM AL-ALI, JORDAN: I think there was it wasn't so clear cut. Of course, in retrospect, you might think, well, it was obviously going to
happen. Maybe when we were on the ground, it wasn't clear cut. Because, you know, Becky, we were following the inspectors. And that was something, it
was a very interesting moment, I suppose.
The Iraqis had actually in a rare move from on the part of the government allowed reporters to follow the inspectors absolutely everywhere. Not only
that, but they would literally make sure that, you know, there was not a single inspection that we did not know about.
We crossed the country, we crisscrossed the country by car, by helicopter on those old helicopters that hadn't been sanctioned, that hadn't been
fully serviced for years because of the sanctions. And we literally went around the country with the inspectors, talking to the inspectors all the
time. And so there was also this, this very strange, we felt we were in this strange world where we were with the inspectors.
There was nothing from what we saw and from what the inspectors told us. And so of course, we were very puzzled as to the noise that was made
outside of Iraq, which was no there are and the certainty with which there was, according to some people outside weapons of mass destruction, and
therefore that justified the build up to the war.
So we thought, well, if the inspectors give a clean bill of health, then why should there be a war. Then there was always that doubt that was put in
by the Iraqi government. And then it became very clear to us we're on the ground, Becky, because the big question was, if there are no WMD, why isn't
the Iraqi government, why isn't Saddam Hussein saying very clearly that there are no weapons of mass destruction.
And of course, for those of us on the ground, it became so obvious, you don't say that when you've come out of a nine year war with Iran and after
what happened in Iraq. And you have such a neighbor, such a big, powerful neighbor as Iran.
And in fact, that was, of course, it was very obvious that was the main reason nobody wanted to say, to neighboring power, the emperor has no
clothes. So, they had to keep that. I suppose they had to keep that measure of fogginess around that. I think maybe January of 2003 was it seemed to me
that it was inevitable.
I hadn't left Iraq, I think since September of 2002. When you spend so much time and you know, you get to know people that people coming to ask you,
not only when is the World War going to start. And they expect you to know, will it be a quick war? Will it be you know, and, of course, everybody had
their own idea of what it what was going to happen? I think we pretty much knew that there was a declaration made on the 19th of March. And that was
clear that this was imminent.
ANDERSON: What do you remember about that night, early morning, when the bombing began?
AL-ALI: On - that sound, we all met in the room that had the sort of best view to sort of be able to see what was happening and to be able to report.
And, and it's strange, I have that, I have that image very clearly in my mind Becky. And whenever I see it on TV, it sort of really brings back, you
know, your heart stops for a second.
And it brings it back every time. Every time I see that on TV, even if it's in a movie, you re-live that moment, every time. You know, you could see
Baghdad and you're looking at that with the light, the bombing the sound, thinking, you know, I'm safe, because you can see it happening over there.
But there's people I know who are out there.
And are they safe and what's happening to them. I spent a lot of time there. As I said, you know, I lived there. So, I lived through. I mean, I
lived with people and of course, I knew about their life stories, and they would reminisce very often. And they would talk about having been through
the Iran Iraq war.
They would talk about having been through that otherworldly 91 war after the invasion of Kuwait when you know, the other U.S. war in 1981 against
Iraq. And here were a people who haven't been through all that; we're now preparing to go through another war.
There were different Iraq; there was the Iraq of Saddam Hussein and his government. There was the Iraq that was seen by outside. But there was the
Iraq that we saw through the Iraqi people that was in Iraq that was you know daily life of challenges because of the sanctions.
It was challenging because there was a wall upon them soon. And they had nowhere to hide, we could leave whenever we want to, at the end of the day,
we were expelled. So, for us, it wasn't, you know, here or there, but we knew that at the end of the day, we had choices, but they didn't have.
And I think maybe that's what made it very hard to leave. Because we felt that it was also our responsibility to shed a light on what was happening
to those same people during the war.
ANDERSON: You said, you hoped once this war had started that it would be a short war, certainly for the benefit of those Iraqis that you had lived
amongst and spent time amongst who you had gotten to know. It wasn't a short war. At the time, was that clear? Did it become clear very quickly to
you, that this was going to go on?
AL-ALI: You know, having spent time in Iraq, I hoped it would be a short haul. But I think I knew deep inside that it wasn't realistic, the army was
disbanded, the administration was disbanded the people who knew how to run the country were let go of from one day to another. And of course, that was
a recipe for chaos and disaster in a way.
And so, all these high expectations of people who maybe in the first, you know, hours and days of the invasion where the occupation would have
welcomed the Americans as liberators, you know, didn't see that as clearly very soon, very quickly.
ANDERSON: That was Princess Rym al-Ali speaking to me earlier, friend and correspondent for CNN 20 years ago in Baghdad. Thanks for joining us. I'm
Becky Anderson, in Abu Dhabi.