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CNN Saturday Morning News

Pope's Remarks Stir Controversy in Muslim World; Comparison of Iraq and Afghanistan Wars

Aired September 16, 2006 - 11:00   ET


SUSAN ROESGEN, CNN ANCHOR: Now in the news, the Vatican says the pope is very upset that his comments about the Prophet Muhammad have offended Muslims. The Vatican says the pope did not intend to criticize Islam.
And we'll have much more on the controversy in just a minute.

Supermarkets are pulling bags of spinach off the shelves. Federal health officials have traced an E. coli outbreak to California, to a company that packages the fresh spinach. One person has died and more than 90 people are sick in 19 states.

Iraqi security officials are considering building trenches around Baghdad to try to stop suicide bombers. Car bombs there today killed three people, including two Iraqi soldiers. We'll have a live report from Baghdad coming up.

Operation Mountain Fury is underway in eastern Afghanistan. Seven thousand U.S. and Afghan forces are in a major new offensive against the Taliban in five provinces.

A gathering of two thirds of the world's leaders is happening today in Havana, Cuba. They're attending the non-aligned movement summit, including some of the most outspoken critics of the U.S.

It is Saturday, September 16th.

Good morning from the CNN Center in Atlanta.

I'm Susan Roesgen sitting in today for Betty Nguyen.

RICK SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: And good morning, everyone.

I'm Rick Sanchez.

Thanks so much for being with us.

We'll start with this. The pope expressing his regrets as Muslims protest around the world.

What did the pope say? What did he really mean?

Now, 19 states get hit with the E. coli sickness.

How do you protect yourself and your family from this when you go to a grocery store? Also, when is thin too thin?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There are girls on the runway right now that should be in the hospital.

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The ban is the talk of the modeling world. So far, it's confined to Spain.


SANCHEZ: Yes, it's Spain, all right. What they're doing is they're banning real skinny runway models, telling young girls that healthy is in, anorexic is out. Don't want them to be influenced by these models, they say.

we're going to have more on this later on.

ROESGEN: Meanwhile, it is damage control at the Vatican. The pope says he is extremely upset that Muslims have been offended by his speech this week. It was a speech in Germany, in which he quoted a Medieval manuscript describing some of the Prophet Muhammad's teachings as "evil" and "inhuman."

Now, the Vatican insists that the pope was only trying to illustrate that war is not compatible with faith.

As you can see, there's been a strong reaction in the Muslim world. This was the scene in Indonesia, the world's most popular Muslim country. A thousand people on the streets of Jakarta today.

And in the West Bank, in the Middle East, someone tossed Molotov cocktails at two churches in the town of Nablus. No serious injuries or damage.

But we get more now from the Middle East and our correspondent, Anthony Mills.


ANTHONY MILLS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In Gaza, Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniya offered strong condemnation.

ISMAIL HANIYA, PALESTINIAN PRIME MINISTER (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): Any defaming to Islam, whether from a religious figure or political figure or any other figure, is a defamation of all Muslims on this Earth.

MILLS: And in the Lebanese capital, Beirut, a top religious cleric demanded an apology.

MOHAMMAD HUSSEIN FADLALLAH, MUSLIM CLERIC (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): We ask him personally to apologize to Muslims, and not through Vatican sources, for his offense.

MILLS: In the streets of Beirut, opinions seemed more reflective.

MONA AL-AZMEH, BANKER: Maybe the pope shouldn't have said that, knowing his influence on the people and knowing the current situation in the Middle East.

MARIO NASSAR, STUDENT: Lebanon, there is Muslims and Christians. So this kind of talking might get into, you know, might affect the two -- the two parties. So we might have problems.

MILLS (on camera): The pope's words have sparked particular concern here in Lebanon, where the Christian minority is the largest percentage-wise in the Arab and Muslim worlds and where tensions remain high after a 15-year civil war in which Christians and Muslims fought against each other.

(voice-over): Only a few months ago, during a riot in Beirut sparked by the publication in Denmark of cartoons deemed offensive to Islam, rioters rampaged through a Christian neighborhood and attacked a church.

Hares Chehab is general secretary of Lebanon's Islamic-Christian National Dialogue Committee. He's not surprised by reaction to the controversial quote.

HARES CHEHAB, ISLAMIC-CHRISTIAN NATIONAL DIALOGUE COMMITTEE: Of course, you have to expect in something like this that -- to hear, to hear some very extremist voices.

MILLS: The pope's comments in Germany have the potential to fuel an already existent sense of division in Lebanon between the West and Islam.

Anthony Mills, CNN, Beirut.


ROESGEN: Delia Gallagher is CNN's faith and values correspondent. She's covered the Vatican extensively.

And John Allen is a CNN Vatican analyst. He was there when the pope made his remarks in Germany last week.

Delia and John are both with us now live -- Delia, we'll start with you.

You said in a report earlier that we heard here on CNN that the pope's remarks were taken out of context.

For people who didn't catch that report, what exactly did he say and what was he trying to say that has offended so many people?

DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN FAITH & VALUES CORRESPONDENT: Well, the citation of the 14th century text was part of a larger speech about the use of reason in religion and reason as a way of understanding god. And the pope went very much into detail about Christianity and the use of Greek philosophy as a way of arriving at our understanding of god.

And in the beginning, he cites this text and sort of questions, you know, how much is reason involved in the use of violence? Should violence be something that's considered pleasing to god?

So it's a very dense kind of text. And, unfortunately, the buzzwords of Jihad and even the mere citation of that -- of that text caused the offense and caused the outrage.

ROESGEN: Well, John Allen, now we're hearing today from the Vatican that the pope says he's very upset or extremely upset that his remarks have caused this kind of reaction in the Muslim world.

Is he going to give an actual apology? What do we need to hear? What does the Muslim world need to hear, do you think, to try to -- to stop this really violent reaction to what he had to say?

JOHN ALLEN, "NATIONAL CATHOLIC REPORTER," CNN VATICAN ANALYST: Well, whether he actually uses those magic words "I'm sorry" or not, I think probably what the Muslim street needs to hear is the pope, in his own voice and in his own name, saying that he meant no offense and that he wants to have a relationship of dialogue and of peace with Islam.

And I spoke this morning to a senior Vatican official, who told me that the pope will speak about this tomorrow during his noontime Angelus address in Rome. That's -- the Angelus is a prayer that Catholics say around noon.

And so I think we will hear something from the pope on this tomorrow.

I think the longer-term point is this, that certainly Benedict XVI is not someone who wants to set off a global firestorm. This is one of the most serene and gracious figures you can possibly imagine.

On the other hand, he does take a somewhat tougher line on terrorism, on religiously sponsored violence and the need to challenge Islamic leaders on that, than his predecessor, John Paul II. He wants dialogue, but he wants a dialogue with teeth; that is, a dialogue that's beyond the tea and cookie stage of just being polite and talking about real issues.

ROESGEN: Well, Delia, are you hearing any moderate voices in the Muslim world saying hey, we're not going to treat this as such a big deal, what he said -- he didn't mean to say it? Are you hearing any voices of moderation saying let's calm down and take this slowly?

GALLAGHER: Yes, absolutely. I mean there have been many years of dialogue between the Vatican and Muslim leaders. And I think most Muslim leaders have come out and said we have a good relationship with the Vatican. We want to give this pope a chance. But I think there is concern and I think they are watching it.

But many of the leaders that came out yesterday were -- aside for the more radical ones -- I mean ambassadors have been recalled and there have been calls for the pope to apologize -- but many of them have also come out and said let's just hope that he clarifies this as soon as possible.

And, in fact, in his Vatican statement today, that is what he was trying to do, and saying he hopes that the Muslim leaders will understand the spirit of his talk on Tuesday, not misinterpret it, and certainly apologizes for the offense to them.

ROESGEN: All right, Delia and John, thank you both for joining us -- Rick.

SANCHEZ: We have information just in about a tropical storm that we've been talking to you about throughout the morning. And it sounds, Bonnie, like there's an update on Helene.


Now we have three hurricanes we're talking about. Helene is now a hurricane. Now, this is the fourth hurricane of the Atlantic season. It's been more active on the Pacific side.

This is Helene right now. Maximum winds are at 75 miles per hour, so that it's not a powerful storm.

But as we take a look at the track, there is concern once again, for Bermuda, just like we've seen earlier. You can see the cone of uncertainty now getting very close to Bermuda in the days to come.

This storm is expected to strengthen and we're likely to see it get as strong as possibly 105 mile per hour winds by Tuesday. The track continues moving to the northwest. But like many storms we've seen this season, Helene is expected to curve away from the U.S. mainland and it should stay to the east of Bermuda, not hitting the island.

But it's still days away and it's definitely something to keep an eye on.

Right now, Helene, once again, is a hurricane, with maximum winds at 75 miles per hour -- back to you.

SANCHEZ: All right, thanks for the update.

We appreciate it, Bonnie.

More now on another fast developing story.

Federal investigators are trying to narrow down the exact source of that E. coli outbreak that's been linked to bad spinach. Since late August, more than 90 people in 19 states have become ill and a woman in Wisconsin has died. More than two dozen people have been hospitalized.

Investigators say they have identified the company where they believe the contamination began, but they're also looking at other spinach processors, as well. Details on this now as it develops from CNN's Jonathan Freed.


JONATHAN FREED, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Investigators have connected the E. coli outbreak to spinach products packaged by a California-based company -- Natural Selections Foods Earthbound Farms. The Food and Drug Administration says the company has implemented a voluntary recall of its spinach products. The FDA traced the problem to the company through interviews with people who became sick.

In Wisconsin, health officials have confirmed a 77-year-old Manitowa County woman died last week as a result of an E. coli infection. Officials say her death at a Green Bay hospital from kidney filature is linked to the E. coli outbreak that spread to at least 19 states. But they don't yet know if the woman ate raw spinach.

New York is the latest state with confirmed cases of E. coli illnesses, seven of them, connected to bacteria in bagged spinach.

The map has become cluttered with cases stretching from coast to coast, with as many as 11 in Utah and 30 in Wisconsin, including the one death.

Wisconsin's governor says the state was the first to identify the strain and made the genetic information available to other states.

GOV. JIM DOYLE (D), WISCONSIN: When officials in eight other states matched the genetic marker with the Wisconsin strain, we determined that this was a nationwide epidemic with a single source.

FREED: At least 17 of the Wisconsin victims are hospitalized and at least four of them are in what Milwaukee officials call a crisis situation, with possible kidney failure.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And we're being very prudent in our caution to say that perhaps boiling, frying or sauteeing may, may lessen the likelihood of infection, but it does not completely take away the likelihood of infection. And for that reason, I would say abstain from consumption.

FREED: On the streets of Manitowa, even before it was known the death touched this community, there was concern.

(on camera): So both you and your young son ate spinach in a sandwich yesterday.

And today how are you feeling?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Actually, I do have a little bit of stomach cramping, but I'm thinking maybe it's a mind over matter type thing. I don't -- I'm not concerned at this point. I just think, OK, well, you know, all this scare is in me now and oh -- and my stomach hurts. But I think I'm OK. My son is doing great.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm actually afraid to eat it because there's already been one death.

FREED (voice-over): At a cooking store in town, worries about a favorite ingredient.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'll buy it again. It's just going to take a little time until they find out the problem.

FREED (on camera): The FDA says it's still investigating whether or not other bagged products have been affected.

Jonathan Freed, CNN, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.


ROESGEN: And we have an update now on the reaction to Pope Benedict's comments on Islam, the Islamic religion and the Muslim reaction to that. We know that Morocco's King Mohamed is recalling his country's ambassador to the Vatican in protest.

We'll have more on that story as it develops.

SANCHEZ: A lot of talk this week about what's going on in Afghanistan. Suddenly it's in the news again.

Is the war on terror one war or two wars?

We're going to hear what soldiers on the ground are saying about the fighting in both, comparatively speaking, to coin a phrase, Iraq and Afghanistan.

CAL PERRY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Cal Perry live in Baghdad, where insurgents strike twice today on Iraqi security forces. And another grizzly discovery overnight -- more bodies found.

I'll have more on both those stories as CNN SATURDAY MORNING continues.

SCHNEIDER: I'm CNN meteorologist Bonnie Schneider in the CNN Weather Center.

We're tracking an outbreak, possibly, of severe weather later today and tonight. You'll see it here on the map and we're going to talk more about where this is and what you can expect.

Plus, there is a new hurricane out in the Atlantic. We'll tell you all about Hurricane Helene, coming up.


SANCHEZ: turning now to the oft mentioned commentary on the spiraling violence in Iraq and how to put an end to it.

Iraqi security forces are looking at building a network of trenches to try and somehow safeguard if not the rest of the country, at least just Baghdad.

CNN's Cal Perry is joining us now from the Iraqi capital to talk about this.

It seems like a very, very difficult task, does it not -- Cal.

PERRY: It's a nearly impossible task. And I should say that they've backed off slightly on this plan to build these trenches.

What we're hearing today from interior ministry officials, in fact, the spokesman, he said this is just a proposal, one of many security proposals.

We, of course, asked him what are the other ones?

He said he would not comment for security reasons, but that this is just one of many proposals that is going to go forward to high level commanders on the ground.

The idea -- build a trench surrounding the capital, force cars through one of 28 various checkpoints in and around the capital. That way, they can search each individual car, narrow it down to 28 roads. That way there's only certain access insurgents will get to the capital to move weapons in and out, including explosives like car bombs -- Rick.

SANCHEZ: Yes, but if you do that and you create only 28 ways to get into the city, aren't you creating a huge backlog there, which also creates a huge opportunity for terrorists or insurgents?

PERRY: You are, because these checkpoints, as you point out, become a chokepoint where people line up. They have to search the cars. And these become big targets.

I should tell you this is not exactly a new idea here in Iraq. They did this in Mosul and in Talafar and they experienced the very problems that you're speaking of.

I should also mention that Baghdad is pretty well known for its traffic problems to begin with. Rush hours here are a complete nightmare, especially with the checkpoints already in place from Operation Together Forward. Of course, Operation Together Forward, the prime minister's plan to put tens of thousands of security force on the streets. They're on the streets already. So the usual traffic jams that we see here during rush hour are a nightmare have become even more of a nightmare already -- Rick.

SANCHEZ: Cal Perry.

Cal Perry is there in Baghdad.

He's following the story for us and we thank you for bringing us up to date on that.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Even before I came here, I was like thank god I'm going to Afghanistan. It's going to be safer than Iraq. And now that I've gotten here, I can say for sure, it is exactly the opposite of what I thought.


ROESGEN: Is there new danger on Taliban turf?

SANCHEZ: Also, we're going to be telling you the story that most of you are most interested in this morning, according to dot-com. We'll have a check of the's most popular stories. That's ahead.

ROESGEN: But first, as others rushed to get out, they rushed to get in. We'll have a preview of tonight's special "LARRY KING LIVE."



LARRY KING, HOST: We're at the home of Engine 54, Ladder 4, Battalion 9 of the New York City Fire Department. This firehouse lost all 15 men on duty September 11, 2001.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fifty-four, to my knowledge, was in the Marriott Hotel and Ladder 4 was working in one of the towers, actually getting people out of an elevator shaft.

We had thought during the day that we had heard a report that the guys from 54 were somewhere. And when we came back here, Chief Mayer told me no, everybody's gone.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, life goes on and we're really, really proud of the families and how they've gotten through these past difficult five years. That gives, I think, everybody here strength.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Each one of us are going to stop and we're going to remember where we were that day and what we did. It's always going to be a part of us.

KING: Meeting the survivors five years later was one of the most moving experiences of my life. And you'll share the experience I had tonight in a special hour. Please join us.



ROESGEN: Lots of stormy weather off both coasts and even in the middle of the country.

SANCHEZ: And Bonnie Schneider has been following it all for us and she joins us once again for an update -- Bonnie.


ROESGEN: And Across America now.

Texans are paying tribute to Ann Richards. The body of the former governor is lying in state today at the capital rotunda in Austin. Her funeral on Monday will be open to the public. A brassy Democrat known for biting political one-liners, she died from cancer on Wednesday.

SANCHEZ: A strange story from Las Cruces, New Mexico. Police are warning residents to look out for anything suspicious.


Well, they've received two letters that demand a substantial amount of money, a ransom, essentially, from the city. And they say if it isn't paid that the letter writer will threaten, then, to start shooting people at random. Las Cruces police on high alert indefinitely. And we're going to talk to the mayor live about the situation there in our next hour.

ROESGEN: Hands-free is about to be the law in California. Coming in the summer of '08, drivers will not be allowed to talk on their cell phones unless they're using one of those hands-free devices. There are exceptions for emergency calls and they say that in spite of this new law, studies have shown that hands-free phone calls aren't necessarily any less distracting than holding the phone up to your ear.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're blessed to have a baby like this. We consider the family blessed.



A Connecticut woman gives birth to a linebacker. Steven debuted at a whopping 14 pounds and 13 ounces. Look at the size of this guy. Mom Marie isn't really all that surprised. Another son came in at 12 pounds and her twins were 17 pounds of baby, eight-and-a-half apiece, obviously. Not 17 twice, just in case you were wondering.

Now to the war on terror and how soldier feel who are fighting this fight.

Also, this...


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm 123 pounds at 5'9"-1/2 and I said it's all right here.


ROESGEN: A tough problem to have if you're a model.

Can a model be too thin?

One city says yes. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROESGEN: The Vatican says the pope is extremely upset, upset that Muslims are angry over his recent remarks on Islam. The Vatican insists that the pope meant no offense, that he only meant to say that violence and religion don't go together.

But not convinced, Morocco is now recalling its ambassador to the Vatican.

Food detectives have linked the E. coli outbreak to a California company. It's Natural Selection foods is the name of the company but the FDA says other companies may have bad spinach on supermarket shelves so for now they say get rid of any prepackaged spinach. One person has died in Wisconsin and 90 got sick in 19 states.

President Bush says he still wants to have tougher rules on interrogating terror suspects. In his radio address today, he says that Congress should go along with him but several key Senate Republicans are pushing their own proposals because they say it's it gives terror suspects more legal protections than the president's plan.

President Bush will meet with the Palestinian president at the UN next week. That word comes from Palestinian officials today. Mahmoud Abbas is seeking U.S. support for a unity government with Hamas. The White House of course views Hamas as a terrorist group. Iran's president will also be at the UN but President Bush has declined to meet with him.

SANCHEZ: A coalition soldier has been killed in Afghanistan. The soldier died in (INAUDIBLE). That's one of the five provinces where Afghan and U.S.-led forces are staging operation mountain fury. It's against the Taliban as expected. This latest operation in Afghanistan is a reminder that U.S. troops face as much danger there as they suddenly do in Iraq. Anderson Cooper found out for himself when he went on patrol with some of the troops.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Captain Jason Dye has served in Iraq, but says his mission in Afghanistan is far more dangerous.

CAPT. JASON DYE, US ARMY: Even before I came here, I was like thank God I'm going to Afghanistan. It's going to be safer than Iraq. And now that I've gotten here I can say for sure it is exactly the opposite of what I thought. It is dangerous here. There's a lot of stuff going on.

COOPER: Dye commands bravo company third brigade of the tenth mountain division. His base is dangerously close to the Pakistan border.

DYE: This one of the main infiltration routes for the enemy. They've become to do a lot more rocket attacks. We used to get a rocket attack maybe once a week. Now it's every other day, every couple of days, every day. They've resorted to that and IEDs and mines.

COOPER: Captain Dye doesn't know for sure but he believes Taliban militants are learning how to make IEDs from foreign fighters trained in Iraq.

DYE: There's a trainer coming out here telling them how to do stuff. That's what my intelligence tells me.

COOPER: To stop jihadist and the Taliban from crossing into Afghanistan, Captain Dye and his men routinely patrol the rugged mountains along the border.

The problem for the soldiers of the 10th AM division who patrol this area is that this border in really a border in name only. It's incredibly porous. People can move back and forth. Intelligence sources we talked to are concerned that now that the Pakistan government has signed a cease-fire deal with Taliban militants, that those cross border incursions are only going to increase. The soldiers fire mortars to clear areas they've been attacked from in the past.

DYE: Before, they maybe had 30 guys in this whole area. Now I'm estimating they are probably about 250.

COOPER: The terrain is extremely difficult, the slopes steep, the environment treacherous. It's so strange when you're on patrol is, even if the soldiers don't make contact with the enemy, even if you don't see any enemy fighters, you know that they were here . O a lot of the trees you find these cross marks or horizontal slashes. They're reference points helping enemy fighters figure out where to fire rockets that will hit the forward operating base.

The markings are everywhere. Further up the mountain, the unit checks out a destroyed bunker position. About two weeks ago, U.S. helicopters passing over this mountain noticed this bunker. There were fighters inside. They fired rockets, later called in an air strike. It's been destroyed now but what remains you can see is pretty well built. These large stones were used to create like a supporting wall. Over here, there's some heavy timbers, which were probably used to build the roof of the bunker. Soldiers say as many as 10 or 15 fighters could have used this bunker at any one time.

From the bunker's firing position, there is a direct line of sight to Captain Dye's base, but there's no sign enemy fighters have been here recently. On the way back down, however, the soldiers get some troubling news. The unit has just received some intelligence, we can't tell you how they received it, but it indicates that there may be fighters in this area. It could mean an ambush. It could be just talk and it could be nothing at all. It just means that the soldiers have to be extra vigilant as they head back down the mountain. What do you look for?

DYE: Movement, personnel, anybody gathered in a spot that looks odd, people trying to hide in the tree line, that sort of thing, spotters. Usually the locals don't go up into these hills if you see someone sitting on them. That's a spotter. COOPER: On this patrol however, there are no spotters, no ambush after all. Captain Dye and his men head safely back to base. One mission down, countless more to go.

DYE: I have a family. All these guys have families. We're out here fighting so that we don't have to do this at home, so that our families can stay safe and that makes you feel good, make us feel like you're doing something.

COOPER: Anderson Cooper, CNN, near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.


SANCHEZ: So what of this new revelation of Afghanistan suddenly according to that one soldier you just saw in that report, as dangerous as Iraq, he said. What do troops who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan say about these two particular wars? Well, we're going to talk to some people who can give us some experience and some perspective on this. The blog of war for one is a collection of dispatches from troops on the front lines. Its author, Matthew Burden is a former U.S. Army major. He's good enough to join us from our nation's capital today. Also Eric Egland is in Sacramento. He's a major in the U.S. Air Force Reserves and has served in both wars. Gentlemen, I thank you both for being with us this morning and let's start with that itself, because many Americans have suddenly realized this last week that Afghanistan is back in the headlines. You heard that one soldier in that report tell Anderson, yeah, it's as dangerous here as it possibly could be in Iraq. When did this happen? Are you surprised as much as many Americans are? Let's start with you Major Egland.

MAJOR ERIC EGLAND, U.S. AIR FORCE RESERVES: No, I'm not surprised. Both places are a tough fight. There's no question about that and there's really nothing sudden about what's going on on the ground.

SANCHEZ: Really? I thought most Americans thought that the situation in Afghanistan was much more well in hand, as least comparing it to the situation in Iraq.

EGLAND: No, it's a matter of what happens and gets reported. Both places are a tough fight but I liked is hearing Captain Dye's last comment that says, hey, we're here and our morale is high even though we face a tough fight because we want to bring the fight to the enemy and not let the enemy attack us like they did on September 11th and because we've gone offensive, they haven't been able to attack us on our homeland in five years. And even though both Iraq and Afghanistan are dangerous, that's what keeps morale high out there is knowing that what they're doing is important for this country.

SANCHEZ: Let's try and compare if nothing else, just to get a sense, so maybe our viewers can get a real perspective on these two wars. Let's go to you, Mr. Burton. What is the difference, if there is an essential difference between the war in Iraq and the war in Afghanistan? MATTHEW BURDEN, AUTHOR, "THE BLOG OF WAR": Well the war in Iraq and the war in Afghanistan, the similarity are the enemy is learning to adapt to our techniques. And so the fight will continue to get tougher and our troops will also adapt as well. So who adapts first is basically who is going to win.

SANCHEZ: Is it a problem though, we keep seeing and we see the video and we see the stories that are coming out of Iraq. It almost looks like the soldiers are more policemen than they are soldiers, not something I would think a soldier would want to be, right?

BURDEN: Well, you know what, I think what Eric's comment about Captain Dye's reaction was, when you're -- the soldiers that I know that go on the offensive have much more higher morale than those that have a routine job on the forward operating base.

SANCHEZ: Really. Why is that? Why is that so different?

BURDEN: Because I think they're making a difference, they're out there taking the fight to the enemy.

SANCHEZ: As opposed to the soldiers who are sitting -- I mean you hear comments from soldiers. They say things like we wait for the next IED. We don't know who the enemy is. Too many of them really don't want us here. When we hear soldiers say things like this, Major Egland, what does it say about their psychological situation?

EGLAND: Well, I understand those comments but at the same time, what we don't hear is important as well. I was on patrol with units all over Iraq and in the high threat IED areas, but what you don't hear is hey, guess who we got last night on our raid? Guess what IED cell we just took out yesterday. Because we want to protect our operational security and we didn't want to show our hand to the enemy to tell them what successes we are having. So the negative stuff does get reported, but the positive stuff we keep pretty close to the vest because every time we go on a raid, if we publicize who we got last night, we got an IED cell maker, if we publicize that, anyone he knows is going to disappear. But if we don't publicize that, we can go find his colleagues.

SANCHEZ: I think there's something that we can all learn from this and I think perhaps Mr. Burden hit upon it just a little while ago, when we compare Afghanistan and Iraq, we do see more forward operating bases with soldiers actually having missions against the Taliban in Afghanistan. Whereas in Iraq, it's more of a stand back and wait situation. That must play heavily on a soldier's psyche, does it not, Major Egland?

EGLAND: There's a lot more offensive operations in Iraq than you might have the impression of. But you're right, I think just like Matt said earlier, if you feel like you're on the defensive and the enemy's got the initiative, that's not a good place to be, that's not how we train our troops. But I think there's a lot more offensive activity going on in Iraq. But remember, al Qaeda just said that Iraq is their central front in their war against us, against western civilization. So they're pulling out all the stops. And they see us improving, I mean they tried to take us on militarily in '03, lost decisively. They tried to break American public support for finishing the job there. They haven't been able to do that. Now they're trying to stoke sectarian violence and create civil war conditions, but they haven't been able to do that because Iraqis want their nation.

SANCHEZ: Something we're all too familiar with as we watch it. Mr. Burden, let me go back to you, because I was going through your book and what I was seeing was at least in my mind, what an incredible difference between what's going on with the military today and what was going on in the military in the past. These soldiers can actually get on a computer and talk on a daily basis to their families and to others. It's a sharing of information that we've never seen before. What difference does that make?

BURDEN: Well, I think it's a big difference for morale. Being able to communicate with your loved ones back home makes a really big difference, knowing that everything is OK with your family while you're out there fighting a war, not having to wait 30 days for a letter to get to you. It makes a big difference and that's what happened and that's why soldiers started blogging basically to let their families know what they were doing.

SANCHEZ: Is this in any way perused by the military and censored?

BURDEN: It certainly is. There's operational security concerns like what Eric was talking about. We have to be careful about not letting the enemy know how successful some of our raids were. On the other hand, what we try to do with the book, "The Blog of War" is to give people an idea of what the experience of being a soldier like, or being a loved one back home, what that experience is like and what this war experience is.

SANCHEZ: There you see it, "The Blog of War." We thank you, Mr. Burden, for sharing your thoughts with us this morning. And Major Egland we thank you as well. Appreciate it. Susan over to you.

ROESGEN: Coming up, we need your eyes and ears, how don an I- reporter for CNN, the best of I-report coming up.

SANCHEZ: Too sexy for the catwalk. Well, maybe not, but certainly too skinny according to some. We'll tell you whom and why.


SANCHEZ: Surf is up, time to check the most popular stories that you're clicking on at this morning. This is how we learn what you want. An Oregon woman finds this man inside her home. The 51- year old strangles the intruder with her bare hands. She thought that she was a burglar. Turns out police say the intruder was a hit man hired by her estranged spouse. Husband now cooling off in police custody.

Big baby formula recall, 300,000 bottles of Abbott Company Similac brand may not have enough vitamin C because in them and that's because the bottles have faulty tops that actually let out the air or let in the air depending on how you look at it. Oxygen can break down vitamin C. Check for the specific products that are being recalled.

And let the dog out. That's right. Bounty hunter/reality star Dwayne "Dog" Chapman has made bail in Hawaii, wouldn't you know. He's wanted in Mexico where bounty hunting is a crime. He got tagged before he took a walk. He's got to wear electronic monitoring bracelet as a result of this though.

ROESGEN: Now we're talking about vacation pictures with Veronica de la Cruz, pictures on the Internet. Veronica.

VERONICA DE LA CRUZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, guys. Can you believe it? Summer is ending. But before it does, we're going share a few of your travel photos from your summer vacation. We asked you to submit them through our new I-report service and let me say this. There are a few pretty enough to be postcards. Take a look at that. We're going to be taking a look at all of them next on the dotcom desk.

SANCHEZ: We'll look forward to it.

ROESGEN: Now we've got Fredricka Whitfield with us to tell us what's coming up.

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good to see both of you. You know that Dr. Sanjay Gupta has an hour-long special on geniuses. It's called genius, the quest for extreme brain power. Well, perhaps you're one or maybe your kid is one, like this young man, Matt Savage. A lot of times these genius kids, it's hard to identify that kind of genius chip. So how does a parent identify whether your kid has that special something and how do you nurture it?

Then speaking of geniuses, how about brainiacs, perhaps you Susan or Rick (INAUDIBLE) . Everyone remembers in high school sitting next to the brainiac. We're going to be joined by a brainiac. Here's a trivia question for you. He won 75 "Jeopardies."

ROESGEN: The guy from (INAUDIBLE) .

WHITFIELD: We're going to have him live. The title of his book is actually called "Brainiac." It's his journey through the "Jeopardies," as well as - it's loaded with a lot of...

SANCHEZ: He must have give a lot of people during their life a crick in their neck because when you're sitting next to somebody like that, constantly going like this.

WHITFIELD: He's so witty and he really is a great writer, come to find out. So you'll learn that in his book, "Brainiac."

ROESGEN: Did he finally stop because he won so much? Is that what happened?

WHITFIELD: I don't know if they made him stop. I think he just reached the limit over $2.5 million.

SANCHEZ: Just too darn good. WHITFIELD: He just kept going. They couldn't come up with any more questions.

SANCHEZ: We're going to figure it out in just a bit and well be right back.


ROESGEN: You don't have to be a correspondent for CNN to say I report for CNN. Veronica de la Cruz is here to tell us who is giving us what.

DE LA CRUZ: That's right. When does summer end, I think it's September 21st.

ROESGEN: Labor Day, Labor day.

DE LA CRUZ: We've invited viewers to share their pictures before summer ends, their summer vacation photos. We've received a whole bunch of them and we'd like to show you a couple. But first, we want to tell you about where we are spotlighting the world through your eyes. We've been asking for some travel snapshots. We received some amazing ones. You saw one before the break and they're from all around the globe. Let's start here in the U.S. of A. This is from Kevin Bovard from San Francisco. He sent us this photograph of a waterfall and some utterly lush scenery. I just don't know how else to describe it. This Big Sur, California, guys.

SANCHEZ: Beautiful.

ROESGEN: I want to go.

DE LA CRUZ: Now we go over to Gottland (ph), Switzerland. Richard Budreau (ph) stumbled upon a familiar rock formation. Can you make it out?


DE LA CRUZ: Can you make this out though, what the formation is, a duck, a dog?


DE LA CRUZ: If you look close enough, you might be able to recognize that that is a dog. (INAUDIBLE) to Germany

SANCHEZ: What breed?

DE LA CRUZ: Or so Richard says where Sean Kenyon (ph) captured the beauty of Berlin's Brandenburg gate. This is just gorgeous. This is one cold rainy night, not a summer photo. This is back in March. Now take a look at this one. Rome's magnificent St. Peter's Basilica from a view of the Tiber River. And we'd like to thank Brian Andrus (ph) in Chicago, Illinois for that.

ROESGEN: My pictures don't look anything like this. DE LA CRUZ: That's what I was thinking. I was thinking the same thing. This is Peru, Susan. This is an archway from pre-Inca times. It sits on Lake Titicaca (INAUDIBLE). We'd like to thank Roxanne (INAUDIBLE) for sending that one in.

And then you can almost hear the bells ringing at this pristine wedding chapel on tranquil Lagoona Phuket (ph) in Thailand. You're shaking your head. How do they capture these?

ROESGEN: Professional photographers?

DE LA CRUZ: They're giving Ansel Adams a run for his money. This is a vacation photo from Catlin Collins (ph) in Boston. And finally this one. This is a beautiful mountain landscape bathed in the morning light at the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming and we would like to thank Gary Langle (ph) for sharing this moment from his vacation.

ROESGEN: I think some people are going to be too embarrassed to (INAUDIBLE)

DE LA CRUZ: I could never take a picture like that.

SANCHEZ: It's all about the framing, isn't it.

DE LA CRUZ: It's gorgeous. It's breath taking. And is where you can find them.

ROESGEN: Thank you.

SANCHEZ: Well, they work on the catwalk but one European capital says its skinny models need to work their bony bodies over to the buffet line. Can you believe that? Our Jeanne Moos tells us that thin is well, a has been in Madrid.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): If you've always thought models are too skinny.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm 123 pounds at 5' 9 1/2" and I said it's all right here.

MOOS: Pinch yourself, it's too good to be true. In Spain, they have banned skinny models.


MOOS: The news has models everywhere weighing in. Can I weigh you? Can we get you to step on the scale?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yeah, should I take off my boots?

MOOS: Take off your boots, take off your top. The thing not to take off is more pounds.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think I should go to Spain, I think I would make the cut. I think I would be all right.

MOOS: I don't think you would be all right. I don't think you would be allowed to model in Spain.


MOOS: Out of concern that seeing skinny models encourages young girls to lose too much weight, city run fashion shows in Madrid ban models with a body mass index below 18. For instance, someone who is 5'9" must weigh at least 122 pounds or they're out. So even though this model at the (INAUDIBLE) show in New York had a McDonald's egg and bacon sandwich with cheese for breakfast, at 113 pounds, she's underweight. You're too skinny.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's McDonald's three times a day instead of one time.

MOOS: The head of the Elite model agency is crying foul.

CATHY GOULD, DIR., ELITE MODEL MGMT: It's discrimination against models that are naturally thin and gazelle like.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You can't ban skinny people just because that's the way they are. It's like telling fat people to lose weight.

MOOS: Still several of the models we interviewed admitted to having been anorexic or bulimic at some point.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There are girls on the runway right now that should be in hospitals.

MOOS: The ban is the talk of the modeling world. So far it's confined to Spain. Ribs, hip bones. After weighing model after model. She's out. You're banned in Spain. I tell you, you're all in trouble. One girl finally weighed in above the cut-off at 133. She turned over the scale to hide the evidence. The scales, a sort of model magnet in the.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm two pounds under.

MOOS: You're out!


MOOS: So now what do you think of the ban?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm just going to get some more cake.

MOOS: Did she say cake? Look what they're feeding them how much granola does it take to make a model gain two pounds. Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


SANCHEZ: You know what's funny about that story is all the women that's I've talked to today that work here say that's a good thing. I'm glad they've got that rule in Madrid.

ROESGEN: We don't have to feel guilty to eat. That's what we're going to do now. CNN LIVE SATURDAY is next.

SANCHEZ: Fredricka Whitfield. Good luck, Fred.