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CNN Newsroom

Aired October 9, 2001 - 04:30   ET


TOM HAYNES, CNN ANCHOR: Hello everyone and welcome to CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Tom Haynes.


Another wave of U.S. air attacks on the Taliban.

HAYNES: Here now a continued look at operation "Enduring Freedom."


HAYNES (voice-over): Enraged by the military strikes in Afghanistan, demonstrators in Pakistan declared holy war against America on Monday. The fighting came as Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf expressed cautious support for the international coalition against terrorism.

GEN. PERVEZ MUSHARAF, PRESIDENT OF PAKISTAN: An ideal scenario, operational scenario, is a short-targeted action followed as fast as possible through a very balanced political dispensation and rehabilitation effort. I know that the people of Pakistan are with my government on all the decisions we have taken in national interest. I have interacted with all cross section of public opinion and society in Pakistan, and I'm very positive that the vast majority are with us.

HAYNES: The Pakistani president also said post-military action must be balanced with political measures to ensure stability and bring peace to Afghanistan. As military operations continue to bear down on the Taliban and al Qaeda, the Bush administration is stressing that this is not a war on the Afghan people and relief efforts are underway.

DONALD RUMSFELD, U.S. SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: Anyone who looks at the overhead photography of these poor human beings amassing in 20s and 40s and 100s and now, more recently, into 1,000s of people, trekking across drought stricken areas, looking for food, looking for sustenance and refuge -- anyone who sees that has to be just heartbroken and it's important that we and other countries in the world assist those people, and that's what President Bush is doing.

We're already the largest food donor in Afghanistan, earlier this year, before September 11, with some $170 million and a $320 million program, which the president announced and will be joined by other nations, is something that's urgently needed by the Afghan people.

HAYNES: The U.S. Defense Department says Monday's attacks focused on command and control facilities and air defenses near Kabul and in Kandahar, a major city in southern Afghanistan. You're looking at some of the first pictures taken in these regions after the strikes.

CNN's Matthew Chance has more on the attacks and perspective from Northern Afghanistan.



MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The first military strike in America's War on Terror, witnessed from the Afghan front line through our night-vision lenses: the skies over Kabul light up with Taliban anti-aircraft fire before another Tomahawk cruise missile slammed into what Washington says were air defenses in the city's airport.

From the blackout across the frontline, the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance joined the bombardment. Rockets and heavy artillery rained down on Taliban positions, even distant cars escaping Kabul with their headlights on.

DR. ABDULLAH ABDULLAH, NORTHERN ALLIANCE FOREIGN MINISTER: Up to now, there haven't been reports about civilian casualties or losses of our forces. Areas near the frontline have not been struck so far, it has been mainly major targets in major cities of Afghanistan, and yesterday we had warned the civilian population in Kabul to keep away from the military targets.

CHANCE: Towards the capitol, as guns still rumbled in the distance, the Northern Alliance commander with whom we witnessed the strikes, General Baba John, spoke of the high morale in his ranks. He told me the feeling among his men was that the U.S. attacks were justified, but only if innocent people were spared. He also said they're waiting for orders expected in days to advance on Kabul, still the ultimate goal for these fighters.

(on camera): There's talk here, the next stage in this battle may be securing the mountains over the strategic Bagram Airport. This former Soviet military base-turned-frontline in Afghanistan's Civil War, is just 20 kilometers to the Afghan capital, Kabul, may prove a crucial launching pad not just for the Northern Alliance but also for any further U.S. operations here.

(voice-over): The runway at Bagram, though, is strewn with the shattered remnants of an earlier attempt by a superpower to tame Afghanistan. Washington says it has no wish for deeper involvement here, but mistakes could be repeated that have been made in the past.

Matthew Chance, CNN, Northern Afghanistan.

(END VIDEOTAPE) HAYNES: While world reaction to the U.S.-British military response has been overwhelmingly supportive, it's certainly not unanimous. Opinions vary widely. Take the Mid East for example, Israel has pledged complete support, but the U.S. airstrikes have sparked Palestinian protest and bloodshed.

Mike Hanna reports now on Palestinians split between two views.


MIKE HANNA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Palestinian supporters of the extremist Hamas movement protest against the military operation in Afghanistan. Some in the crowd carried posters of Osama bin Laden. This march in defiance of the Palestinian authority, which condemned the terror attacks in United States and which has banned any demonstrations in support of the man the United States holds responsible.

In an unprecedented action, the authority declared the region in which the demonstration is taking place a closed military area. Palestinian police then moved in, firing tear gas and live bullets. At least two people are killed in the initial exchange of fire.

It is the first time that the Palestinian authority has taken action against a Hamas demonstration. Throughout the past 12 months of on going conflict, Hamas supporters have held numerous marches in protest against Israel, which they maintain has U.S. backing. Despite this clampdown on anti-American activity, the Palestinian authority has not yet taken a formal position on the U.S.-led operation in Afghanistan.

ZIAD ABU ZAYYAD, PALESTINIAN CABINET MINISTER: There are no details; I mean there's no clear information about what has happened since last night until now. We are waiting to know more details and to be more in a position to express our view...

HANNA: As spokesman for Ariel Sharon says, the Prime Minister was phoned by President Bush shortly before the attack against Afghanistan began, and Israel has pledged its complete support.

SHIMON PERES, ISRAELI FOREIGN MINISTER: President Bush took the right decision, in the right time, and in addition to their technological superiority that United States has, they have also the moral superiority.

HANNA: The Israeli government told its citizens they have nothing to fear, but many Israelis are taking no chances, queuing for government issued gas masks.

(on camera): While Israeli support for the United States is total, bitter divisions continue to emerge among Palestinians. In Gaza, the fighting between militants and Palestinian police continued long after the demonstration was dispersed. The militants' anger now not only directed against the United States and the Israelis, but also against the Palestinian authority itself.

Mike Hanna, CNN, Jerusalem


MCMANUS: In the United States many people have long anticipated a military response but were still surprised when it actually happened. The news broke just after 12 p.m. Eastern time on Sunday, catching many off guard. Some were leaving church when they first heard, others were just beginning to enjoy an afternoon of football.

Ann McDermott captures some of those reactions.


ANN MCDERMOTT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In New York, some got the word on the street and were glad.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have to, we can't sit back and look like we're wimps in the United States. We're not, we're America and we have to retaliate.

MCDERMOTT: In L.A., some heard while watching their kids get flossed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If we don't attack and stop them, they're just going to keep coming, and they'll keep killing us.

MCDERMOTT: In Atlanta, Falcon fans heard in the midst of the game, but not everyone was cheering.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One-two-three-four, we don't want your racist war.

MCDERMOTT: But not all those opposed were shouting. This woman on hearing the news could barely say anything at all.


MCDERMOTT: In San Francisco, Giants' fans took a break from the news, braving tightened security to see a different display of power and Barry Bonds obliged, that was number 73. But eventually reality returned and a somber group at a tailgate party was talking retaliation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: By now, we don't know, they could maybe come and try to bomb San Francisco or something like that you know.

MCDERMOTT: In Hollywood meanwhile, they decided the show would not go on. Nobody, it seemed, had the heart for the Emmys and it was postponed again.

LES MOONVES, CBS: Not a day to go up there and accept the best supporting actors in a comedy; seemed like it was trivial.

MCDERMOTT: But elsewhere in Hollywood at a farmers market, people were going on with their lives as if in defiance of bin Laden himself. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not a violent person, but when somebody comes into my house and attacks me in my house, I'm going to strike back.

MCDERMOTT: And some went to church and some found comfort there and some, well some are still trying to take it all in.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's just so terrible.

Ann McDermott, CNN Los Angeles.



MCMANUS: He's a former Marine, a decorated Vietnam vet, a former congressman and a two-term governor, but now Tom Ridge may have taken on the most important role of his public life. Protecting the safety of Americans, who now face the threat of terrorism within their own borders.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In the war against terrorism, he is the man now, heading up security on the home front. Former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge was surrounded by his family as he was sworn in as Homeland Security Director, Monday.

It's a new office, a cabinet-level position designed to defend and respond to terrorism on U.S. soil. A crucial mission in a nation on edge in the wake of U.S.-led airstrikes in Afghanistan. Ridge's job will be to protect America from cells of terrorists that may be roaming the county. Cells like the small group that managed to kill thousands on September 11.

TOM RIDGE, U.S. HOMELAND SECURITY DIRECTOR: There may be gaps in the system. The job of the Office of Homeland Security will be to identify those gaps and work to close them. The size and scope of this challenge are immense. The president's executive order states that we must detect, prepare for, prevent, protect against, respond to and recover from terrorist attacks, an extraordinary mission, but we will carry it out.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ridge says the role of his office will be to protect the nation's infrastructure. Taking the strongest possible precautions to guard U.S. transportation, food, and water systems. And Ridge will have to coordinate federal and state efforts. He will be in charge of terrorist fighting information in at least 40 federal departments and agencies, among them the CIA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, even the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. All this, the president pointed out, for a nation that now knows that it is not immune from an outside attack.


MCMANUS: As Tom Ridge prepares to tackle the daunting task of homeland security, state and local authorities are doing their part to prepare for possible future terrorist attacks. And with U.S. and British forces conducting retaliatory strikes in Afghanistan, no security measure is being taken for granted.

Jeanne Meserve reports on security preparations across America.


JEANNE MESERVE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Many states and localities like Los Angeles already had plans to deal with possible terrorist retaliation for U.S. strikes, and rolled them out automatically.

JAMES HAHN, MAYOR, LOS ANGELES: Something has been planned, you know, weeks ago and ran the operation as they planned.

MESERVE: In Washington D.C., a joint command center was activated to coordinate the various law enforcement agencies with jurisdiction in the city. Sunday, they monitored among other things, an anti-war demonstration across the street from the White House.

CHIEF CHARLES RAMSEY, D.C. METROPOLITAN POLICE: We haven't got any threats at all today. Again, I think its just wise for us to all be in a heightened state of alert.

MESERVE: The Federal Bureau of Investigation emphasized that very point Sunday using its national threat warning system to urge law enforcement to be, quote, "At the highest level of vigilance and evaluate whether additional local security measures are warranted." The man quarterbacking homeland defense says, "Citizens have a part to play."

TOM RIDGE, U.S. HOMELAND SECURITY DIRECTOR: These people have chosen America as their battleground; this is their battlefield. And not everybody is in uniform, but in the sense we all have a responsibility to help secure our borders, so I say to everybody, don't be fearful, be alert.

MESERVE: In more than 300 ports, the U.S. Coast Guard started 24-hour armed surveillance, its largest port security operation since World War II. The Coast Guard also upped from 51 to 72, the number of security zones as established around nuclear power plants and fuel facilities. And the State of California also stepped up infrastructure security.

GOV. GRAY DAVIS, CALIFORNIA: We've taken extra precautions to protect the electricity grid and the water project including dams, bridges and reservoirs.

MESERVE: There were a few scares. A major highway north of Washington was shut for an hour, while police brought in bomb-sniffing dogs to check out two Ryder trucks driven by men, who when stopped made reference in broken English to President Bush. False alarm, it turns out they weren't threatening the president, but helping him by transporting stage equipment used at a presidential appearance earlier in the day. (on camera): There are some state and local governments that are taking no additional steps in the aftermath of the U.S. strikes, because they say they'd been on their highest state of alert since September 11.

Jeanne Meserve, CNN, Washington.


MCMANUS: Now, a look at some other headlines. First up, Syria will become a member of the U.N. Security Council on January 01. This, despite the fact that Syria is on a U.S. list of countries that backs terrorists. The United States refused to say how it voted in the secret ballot, but it did not speak out against Syria. Israel was the only U.N. member to voice its opposition.

HAYNES: Moving on now, couple of Russian cosmonauts have completed some home improvements on the international space station. During a space walk on Monday, the pair added a ladder, crane and other equipment. This was the first space walk done outside the station without a shuttle present.

MCMANUS: And, finally, news from the world of medicine. Two British scientists and one American will share the Nobel Prize for medicine. The scientists, who won for discoveries in cell division, their research could lead to breakthroughs in cancer treatment. The awards will be handed out in December.

Returning to our top story, the military strikes against Afghanistan and the fight against terrorism. The events of the past month may prove to be the beginning of a new chapter in relations between the United States and a vital ally right next door. We get two reports from NEWSROOM's Joe Hochmuth.


JOE HOCHMUTH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The United States is getting a strong show of support for its strikes against the Taliban and terrorist targets in Afghanistan from its closest southern neighbor. Mexican President Vicente Fox was one of nine international leaders called by U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, as the attacks began Sunday.

VICENTE FOX, PRESIDENT OF MEXICO: The Mexican Government has been assured by it's authors that this operation is not aimed against civilians, nor any creed, religion, or ideological persuasion. It seeks to combat the scourge of fundamentalism in all of its forms. The Mexican government certainly supports these actions.

HOCHMUTH: Just last week, Fox met with President Bush to personally discuss Mexican participation. While Fox admits his country can't offer much military support, he says there are others ways Mexico can contribute in the fight against terrorism.

FOX: This is why our actions are aimed, among others, at exchanging intelligence, enhancing law enforcement, protecting strategic facilities, safeguarding our borders and monitoring migration flows.

HOCHMUTH: Last week's meeting was just another sign of the growing relationship between the two nations. Mexico and the United States have become increasingly dependent upon each other in more ways than one. The United States buys 85 percent of all Mexican exports and then there is another often overlooked source of cash in the Mexican economy. Experts say Mexican immigrants send as much as $6 billion each year back to their homeland from their jobs in the United States.

These so-called migra-dollars rank only behind oil, tourism and agriculture, in importance to the Mexican economy. The flow of both immigrants and their dollars across the U.S.-Mexico border is drastically changing the face of Mexican communities, places like Villa Juarez. Don't be fooled, while at first glance, this drive may appear to be through the heart of the American Midwest, look again.

The sign says, "Welcome to Villa Juarez," a town of about 13,000 in the heart of Mexico. The streets here are strangely quiet and nearly deserted. For generations young people have left for a chance at a better life in the United States, 5,000 in the last five years alone. It seems the only ones left are the very young or the very old. Seventy four year old Augustine Rodriguez is a farmhand, who has lived here his whole life. Does he ever wish when he was younger, that he had left to go to the United States?

AUGUSTINE RODRIGUEZ (through translator): He said, "He never thought about it. He didn't want to, this is where he thought, this is where he wanted to work.

HOCHMUTH: Did he ever think about leaving?

AUGUSTINE RODRIGUEZ (through translator): When he dies.

HOCHMUTH: Of course, talk to the young people here, and you'd get a different story. Do they see themselves here forever?

HECTOR RAMIREZ CERVANTES: To live here, forever, not really. Right now, I miss studying -- I miss studying computer system engineering and as you can see, there are no computers here.

JOSE AMONIO IZAGUIRRE: I don't know what it is, but maybe it is that I see the way my parents live and say, "Oh, no, not that." Here we think if you get married and have kids, you will want to leave, to be able to give them something better because it is very backward here.

HOCHMUTH: Other than at this garment factory, there are few jobs in town that pay a consistent wage. About, 100 people work here they earn about $35 per week. Shopkeepers like Sofia Izaguirre don't fair much better. She makes far more conversation than money. The only way she can support herself and her daughters is with the check her husband sends once a week or so from his job in the United States. They see him once a year.

SOFIA IZAGUIRRE, SHOPKEEPER: Well, it hasn't been difficult. I'm used to being alone already. At first it was. I was alone, but now I am used to it.

HOCHMUTH: But now it seems inevitable, she will lose her daughters to the United States as well.

ANADELIA IZAGUIRRE AIMA: To me the best thing is to be in the United States. I would like, how do you say, I want to be someone worth something, because here you are worth nothing. Personally, I want to work in the United States, make all my dreams come true.

HOCHMUTH (on camera): Towns people from Villa Juarez have found work across the United States, from Los Angeles to Houston to Atlanta. But the wave of immigration from here is a two-way street. While thousands have headed out of town, much of the money they make flows right back in.

(voice-over): The infusion of American cash is showing up throughout Villa Juarez and nearby communities and is in many ways in keeping the area alive. Take Marisol Luna's 15th birthday celebration at Quincenera. She's an American from the Atlanta area, but her parents are Mexican immigrants. Her mother grew up near Villa Juarez. Like many Mexican-American families, they come back to celebrate special occasions like this.

MARISOL LUNA: Ever since I was little, I come over here -- I come over here so I'm used to it. Most girls from, like, Texas, like Atlanta, everywhere from the United States they come here and do it. I just prefer to do it over here, because this feels good, it makes me feel more lawful.

JOSE IZAGUIRRE, FAMILY FRIEND: It's all about, who has more. It's all about -- well, I'm doing -- I'm doing OK in the United States. Also it gives a great impression to the people of the community saying, "Oh, one day I want to go to United States and come back, and one day may be do the same thing for my daughter."

HOCHMUTH: None of this would have been possible without the money Marisol's father has made in construction in the United States. He spent more than $50,000 on this one evening, much of it going back into the local economy.

FAUSTO LUNA HUERTA: It is not throwing money away, it is for a thing you carry here -- for head or for heart. If you don't want to spend a cent on me, it is your problem. God permitted heart to be able to the soul. We faith deep in ourselves, we will carry this feeling until we die, it will be with us forever when we go to our tomb.

HOCHMUTH: Where as much as 50 percent of the cash flowing through the local economy comes directly from former residents now working in the United States, it's not all spent on lavish parties. Some of that American money builds houses and fuels a construction boom of sorts here. And then there are people like Roberto Izaguirre who for the 30 years has straddled life between the two countries. The money he makes in the United States helps him pay the workers on his farm in Villa Juarez.

ROBERTO IZAGUIRRE: We keep in mind the many families that are left behind and can't go. So, the only way to help them out is to create job opportunities for them just the way I have done employing 2, 10, 15 people, depending on what we will be working on. The money earned over there, helps them too.

HOCHMUTH: Izaguirre still prefers life in Mexico. In fact, he's planning to retire here soon. What does he like about it?

IZAGUIRRE: First tranquility, it is less stressful, less pressure from the street traffic, from a boss, from the police over there. Here, one can lead a very basic, but enjoyable, tranquil life. I will repeat it; above all I'm Mexican because it is in my blood. I am still 100 percent Mexican forever, my traditions, my way of being, my blood and my peace of mind is in Mexico.

HOCHMUTH: It is that fierce loyalty that may keep places like Villa Juarez from becoming ghost towns. While so many here are drawn away by the lure of money in America, when all is said and done, there's no place like home.


MCMANUS: Our series on Hispanic power beyond the numbers continues on the Web at and there you will find great additional resources, Tom.

HAYNES: Yes, while you're surfing the Web, be sure to keep your TV tuned to CNN for the latest on America strikes back. That is NEWSROOM for Tuesday.

MCMANUS: We are out of time. We will see you tomorrow.




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