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CNN Newsroom

Aired October 22, 2001 - 04:30   ET


MICHAEL MCMANUS, CO-HOST: Hello, everybody, welcome to CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Michael McManus.

SHELLEY WALCOTT, CO-HOST: And I'm Shelley Walcott.

A top United States general says two weeks of bombing have given U.S.-led forces free reign over Afghanistan. U.S. fighter jets attacked Taliban front lines near Kabul Sunday.

MCMANUS: Meanwhile, this weekend, U.S. President Bush wrapped up a meeting in Shanghai. The summit with Asia Pacific leaders focused on economic issues but was overshadowed by talks about the global fight against terrorism.

Our Joel Hochmuth has details.


JOEL HOCHMUTH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): White House aides say they are pleased with the outcome of the international economic forum President Bush has been attending in China. Mr. Bush headed home to Washington Sunday after four days of meetings in Shanghai. Twenty-one member nations of APEC, the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation, shifted their focus from economic issues to the terrorist attacks in the U.S. last month.

Chinese President Jiang Zemin read the final declaration drafted by the United States.


JIANG ZEMIN, PRESIDENT OF CHINA: We condemn in the strongest of term the attack (INAUDIBLE) peace, prosperity and the security of all people of all faiths of every nation.


HOCHMUTH: But while APEC is unanimously condemning the terrorist attacks, it stopped well short of endorsing the U.S.-led attacks against targets in Afghanistan.

Appearing on CNN's "LATE EDITION WITH WOLF BLITZER," former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger says this isn't necessarily a setback. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HENRY KISSINGER, FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: I think it should be seen as a reflection of the domestic institutions of various countries. Countries which have a very large Muslim population like Indonesia and Malaysia, which were present at this meeting, find it difficult to endorse the military operations even though probably they're secretly hoping that they will succeed.


HOCHMUTH: China, too, has expressed misgivings about the U.S.- led attacks in Afghanistan, though they could work to its advantage. Afghanistan and China share a short border and Muslim separatists have been a problem in that region. There is speculation that under the banner of fighting terrorism, the Chinese may try to clamp down on that separatist movement.

And as another former Secretary of State points out, what countries say and what they actually think are often not the same.


MADELEINE ALBRIGHT, FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: Also, I think it's very important for us to remember is that we may not necessarily know everything that is going on, that there may be more support among countries that are not actively speaking about it than we know and there may be less support among those that are speaking out actively.


HOCHMUTH: Russia, another APEC member, has endorsed U.S. action in Afghanistan, although it is urging the operation be as swift as possible. Mr. Bush and Russian President Putin met following the summit in Shanghai. On their agenda was the future of certain arms control treaties. Mr. Bush wants to scrap the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty so the U.S. can pursue a national missile defense system.


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Both our nations must be able to defend ourselves against the new threats of the 21st century, including long-range ballistic missiles. The events of September the 11th make it clearer than ever that a Cold War ABM Treaty that prevents us from defending our people is outdated and I believe dangerous.


HOCHMUTH: Putin, however, says the treaty still has value. For now the two leaders agree to disagree. They'll take up the issue again when they meet next month at Mr. Bush's ranch in Texas.

Mr. Bush and Mr. Putin have now met three times in Mr. Bush's 10- month presidency, a sign of the growing cooperation between their two nations, a contrast to previous Moscow-Washington relations.

For more on that we go "Behind the Headlines."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: America's new war is a first for Generation X in the United States, not the case for that same generation in Afghanistan. Only those Afghans older than 30 would be able to recall a time of relative peace in their nation. How would the younger generation explain to their peers in the U.S. what growing up in Afghanistan has been like?

Both were born to a divided world, two superpowers vying for control of the world. Carter was the U.S. president, Breshnev the Soviet Premier. In 1978 when these twenty-somethings were just a few years old, there was a bloody military coup in Afghanistan, but the new President Taraki enjoyed little popular support and his days were numbered. He was overthrown, killed and replaced by his own prime minister who, in turn, would shortly be killed by the Soviets.

Christmas eve 1979, kids in the U.S. unwrap presents as half a world away their counterparts watch the advance of the Soviet war machine on Afghan soil. The Soviets had two goals: to get closer to obtaining a warm water port and also to keep Afghanistan from becoming an uncooperative Islamic state.

The USSR and the world were confident of Soviet success. At the time, that war came to be called the Soviet Vietnam. Fifteen thousand Soviet soldiers were killed in a conflict that dragged on for a decade raising a generation of Afghan warriors.

Just days after the Soviet occupation had begun, so did the resistance. Those Afghans too young to fight watched as their older brothers and fathers desperate to fight back attacked the Soviet troops with whatever weapons were at hand, including flint lock muskets. The rebels called themselves, mujahideen, soldiers of God.

Soon they were backed by the United States. America feared that the Soviet invasion was part of a grand strategy aimed at beating a path to Persian Gulf oil. But a decade later, the young men of Afghanistan saw the Soviet Union collapse and Soviet troops pull out of Afghanistan, so did America's support. America's fear now is that some of these young men it trained are now America's enemies.


MCMANUS: More now on the U.S.-led attacks in Afghanistan. As U.S. air strikes pounded the capital, Kabul, Northern Alliance and Taliban fighters battled north of the capital and around the northern strategic city of Mazar-e-Sharif.

Chris Burns will tell us more about the latest strikes and their affects in a minute.

First, let's go to Jamie McIntyre for a look at the latest ground action.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In the first U.S. paratroop assault since the 1989 Panama invasion, more than 100 U.S. Army Rangers descended on an airfield near Kandahar in Taliban-controlled southern Afghanistan.

In this infrared video taken by an escort plane, three C-130s can be seen disgorging more than 40 soldiers each. The first acknowledged U.S. ground operation in Afghanistan had two primary objectives -- search and secure the airfield and raid one of the compounds of Taliban leader Mohammad Omar that has not yet been bombed from the air.

The elite commandos gathered intelligence from the buildings, destroyed a small cache of weapons, but captured no prisoners.

GEN. RICHARD MYERS, JOINT CHIEFS CHAIRMAN: We did not expect to find significant Taliban leadership at these locations. We, of course, were hoping we would, but we did not expect it and we did not find senior Taliban or al Qaeda leadership.

MCINTYRE: The U.S. special forces, who sources say have been rehearsing their mission for days, left heavily armed, but met only light resistance according to the Pentagon, who says the only casualties were on the Taliban side.

The troops also left behind calling cards, printed flyers with the words "Freedom Endures" over a photograph of firemen raising an American flag at the World Trade Center.

MYERS: One of the messages should be that we are capable of -- at a time of our choosing, conducting the kind of operation we want to -- we want to conduct.

MCINTYRE: Myers insist the mission was a success and that its primary objective was to bring back intelligence, which is now being evaluated.

The Pentagon won't say how the U.S. troops were extracted after their several-hour mission, but with control of the airfield, the same planes that brought them in could safely land to take them out.

The mission served two other purposes -- building the confidence of U.S. troops that they can operated in the Taliban's backyard and sending a pointed message to the Taliban, that they know when U.S. commandos may show up uninvited.

Jamie McIntyre, CNN, the Pentagon.



CHRIS BURNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): I'm Chris Burns in northern Afghanistan.

Fighting around the northern Taliban stronghold of Mazar-e-Sharif has also intensified. The Northern Alliance claimed the rugged heights above Mazar after U.S. air strikes pounded Taliban positions at the city's airport, but the Alliance admits losing some ground to a Taliban counterattack. An Alliance takeover of Mazar would be a test of how they would govern a major city after defeating the Taliban. Some words of assurance from Alliance General Abdul Rashid Dostum (ph) whose forces were accused of human rights abuses in years past.

"You have to understand that the Taliban are the same Afghan people," he said. "They are our brothers, and all of them who want to join us have to understand that we guarantee freedom and protect property. Nobody will touch these people or the lives of these people," he said.

For the civilians of Afghanistan, more casualties in Kabul from U.S. air strikes. The Qatar-based Al-Jazeera TV broadcast footage of what it says were two houses hit by U.S. bombing. It said more than a dozen people were killed, though the report could not be independently verified.

Thousands more refugees fleeing the air strikes are streaming through mountain passes on foot or by donkey on their way to the Pakistani border. Relief agencies are scrambling to keep up with the exodus and warn of disaster as winter approaches.


PETER KESSLER, UNHCR: One woman we interviewed said that she fled with her husband and three children because they could no longer work and they could not buy any food.


BURNS: Pakistan, meanwhile, is tightening its frontier, fearing the stream of humanity could turn into a flood.

Chris Burns, CNN, in northern Afghanistan.


WALCOTT: Three cases of inhalation anthrax have now been confirmed. The first two cases were in Florida; the latest case is in a Washington, D.C. postal worker. Inhalation anthrax is the most serious form of the disease and it's triggered much anxiety on Capitol Hill and across the nation. Last week, 28 workers were exposed to anthrax in the Senate Hart Building after a letter tainted with the bacteria was sent to Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle.

Kathleen Koch reports on the latest from Capitol Hill.


KATHLEEN KOCH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): New concerns and precautions, as doctors confirm the first anthrax infection in Washington. D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams called a press conference to announce a postal worker tested positive for inhalation anthrax, the most serious type of infection. MAYOR ANTHONY WILLIAMS, WASHINGTON, D.C.: I want to start out by sending the prayers and condolences of everyone in our city to the gentleman who is now gravely ill from contracting anthrax.

KOCH: Doctors in Fairfax, Virginia say he is in serious, but stable condition, and is being treated aggressively with antibiotics. He went to the hospital Friday afternoon with flu-like symptoms.

The man handles express mail at the main Washington, D.C. post office at Brentwood, and at an air mail center near Baltimore- Washington International Airport.

DR. RIMA KHABBAZ, CDC: We don't have any obvious history of his opening -- you know, his handling any open package or leaking package. But in terms of details, we are still investigating it.

KOCH: Though officials say they don't know where the man was exposed, the two facilities are being shut down for environmental sweeps. The more than 2,000 postal employees who work at both locations are being tested and treated with Cipro.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm concerned about implementation of safeguards to protect not only myself, but my coworkers.

KOCH: As a result of this case, health officials in the Washington, D.C. area say they are now more closely monitoring anyone in hospitals with suspicious symptoms.

Meanwhile, after environmental workers combed the Capitol for anthrax Saturday night, congressional leaders decided to open the Capitol Building Monday, but to keep the House and Senate office buildings closed for at least one more day.

(on camera): The big question now, for law enforcement authorities: Did the man hospitalized here come in contact with the anthrax-laden letter mailed to Senator Daschle, or was there another source?

Kathleen Koch, CNN, Fairfax, Virginia.


WALCOTT: You know it seems like anthrax is all we're hearing about in the news these days. At the very worst, we're all getting worried about something that has very little chance of affecting most of us. At best, we're getting an education on psychological warfare.

With more, here's Anne McDermott.


ANNE MCDERMOTT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): You can't get away from it: anthrax. It's on TV, the tabloids, and newspapers around the world. You can't get away from it. And it's scary.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean, it's just like an onslaught of like, fear.

MCDERMOTT: But it's also teaching people about a subject most knew nothing about.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The media is educating people.

MCDERMOTT: But sometimes, perhaps, it may be just confusing people. The televised evacuation at a Colorado post office was prompted because powder was found inside, powder that turned out to be pudding mix.

The frenzy is now a parody. This is "The Daily Show's" "America Freaks Out." And some have been -- well, if not freaking out, at least anxious and edgy over all the TV coverage.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It causes anxiety for me, so I choose not to watch it. I check in once a week.

MCDERMOTT: And for nerves already frayed by the unthinkable, rumored anthrax, real anthrax just adds to the anguish. And a psychologist says those folks should turn the TV off.

EVELYN KOHAN, PSYCHOLOGIST: If you keep pulling the scab off the wound, you will continue to bleed, and it's not in your best interest to do so.

MCDERMOTT: Dan Rather on "LARRY KING LIVE" said the anthrax story deserves the attention it's getting, to a point.

RATHER: Psychological warfare is very important part of anybody's campaign to break the enemy will to resist. All of that is certainly in the picture, but it's just -- my sense is that this has been a bit over-reported in the last few days.

MCDERMOTT: CNN's Wolf Blitzer had this view.

WOLF BLITZER, HOST, "WOLF BLITZER REPORTS": I know that there is this fear out there, but I think we are doing our viewers a service. They want to know about this, and we're responsible in trying to give them the information.

MCDERMOTT: Yes, it is scary, as Tom Brokaw learned when his assistant tested positive for anthrax.

TOM BROKAW, NBC NEWS: This is so unfair and so outrageous.

MCDERMOTT: And so unusual. And, so, says a scientist, we ought not to panic.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every little sniffle is not going to be anthrax.

MCDERMOTT: Not so far, anyway.

Anne McDermott, CNN, Los Angeles.


MCMANUS: America is at war and a big part of dealing with war on the home front is selling it to the public. America is used to catchy ad campaigns, campaigns for everything from the war on drugs to military recruitment.

Bruce Burkhardt looks at how snappy slogans are being used in the war against terrorism.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am an American.

BRUCE BURKHARDT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Four simple words, "I am an American." Powerful words that have resonated with an American public that once thought of itself as African-American, Hispanic-American, Irish-American, or any number of other hyphens. Now the hyphen, it seems, is gone.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am an American.

BURKHARDT: This PSA, a public service announcement, was rushed onto the air following September 11 by an organization called the Ad Council. And if you're not familiar with them, you probably know quite well some of their other creations.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A mind is a terrible thing to waste.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Remember, only you can prevent forest fires.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People start pollution. People can stop it.

PEGGY CONLON, PRESIDENT, AD COUNCIL: The objective of the Ad Council is to identify important social issues and use the power of advertising to create positive social change.

BURKHARDT (on camera): That is its mission now, as it was back in 1942 when the Ad Council was founded. Only back then, it had a different name, a name that seems like it might be appropriate once again.

CONLON: The concept at the time, it was called the War Advertising Council in the beginning, was to work with the Office of War Information and to get important messages out to the American people using advertising.

Just as Rosie the Riveter back during World War II is responsible for getting two million women into the workforce, I think I am an American is going to have a legacy going forward, that really does celebrate what it means to be an American.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Talk with your kids.

BURKHARDT: The creative and production work for the ads is done for free by top advertising agencies. The I am an American ad was done by GSD&M of Austin, Texas. The Media Times also donated. JOEY REIMAN, EMORY UNIVERSITY: What the Ad Council does and what these public service advertisements do, is show advertising at its best.

BURKHARDT: Joey Reiman is a former ad man and author and teaches marketing at the Goysetta Business School with Emory University.

REIMAN: It creates inspiration again. It inspires us, breathes life into what we can be versus motivating us to buy stuff. In a sense, this kind of work creates a better person, not a buying person. And that's a different motivation.

BURKHARDT: And that different motivation might explain the two sides of the advertising coin. Frequently, it's simply a mirror that reflects back to us our culture and values, not always a pretty sight.

But the other side most frequently seen in PSAs is its ability to actually set the agenda, define who we think we are or who we want to be.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The toughest job you will ever love.

BURKHARDT: In many ways, it's what America does best, sell, market, but usually just to ourselves. Now it's become painfully obvious that another market has been overlooked. To try and counter some of the anti-American fervor in parts of the world, the State Department is in early discussions with the Ad Council about creating messages for a non-American audience. It could be America's most potent weapon.


BURKHARDT: Bruce Burkhardt, CNN, Atlanta.


MCMANUS: While most religions call for peace, they've been a main reason for violence over thousands of years. And for students in some countries, the study of religion is the only education they get. Today, we introduce you to a young man from Pakistan and a group of young women from Afghanistan. They have different views on the present conflict. The rules of their religions are central to those beliefs.

CNN's Amanda Kibel and Matthew Chance bring us a tale of two cities.

Teachers, the Kibel story contains strong language so you may want to prescreen her report.



AMANDA KIBEL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is fighting talk and the hatred behind it runs deeps. The speaker draws his audience, the crowd is inflamed, they rise up and shout "our blood is ready for sacrifice."

"Listen, America," says the speaker, "listen, General Pervez Musharraf, every Muslim child is going to be an Osama for you."

A chilling message made even more so by the fact that the messenger is an 8-year-old boy.

On the dusty streets of his home village in a remote part of southwestern Balochistan, Qutaratullah Afiz looks just like any other young boy on a bike, except for his hat. Sewn in the black and white colors of the JUI Party, an Islamic extremist, pro-Taliban religious party at the forefront of much of the anti-American protests seen so far in Pakistan, his hat a badge of allegiance to a way of thinking and a way of life way beyond his eight years.

At home where he lives with his family, father, mother, his father's second wife and 11 siblings, Qutaratullah is once again ready to make a speech.

"In the name of God, in the name of Allah," he intones.

KIBEL: The words spill out as if by remote control. This time his delivery is less intense but it is the same speech we heard him give just days before.

Why, I asked, is he so angry?

"I am angry because of the situation," he says. "The United States is bombing innocent Muslims. The United States says Osama bin Laden is a terrorist, they blame the Taliban, but they are the biggest terrorists of all."

Qutaratullah says he has never met an American and he doesn't need to, he says, he hates them all the same.

"We hate them because they attacked our Muslim brothers without showing any proof they are guilty."

His father, Hafizula, a teacher at a local secular school, is clearly proud of his son. He tells us he has a gift from God. He has learned about the U.S. attacks on Afghanistan by reading newspapers and listening to the radio. His vision for his son's future he says is in the hands of God.

"With God's will," he says, "I want all my children to be masters of religion, to know the whole Koran by heart and when they all grow, I will put them in a good madrasa."

That process has already begun. Every day, Qutaratullah spends his mornings at the local state school. In the afternoons, he goes to the madrasa or religious school which customarily does not admit girls. There are thousands of madrasi all over Pakistan. For many young boys, the limited religious education offered by the madrasi is the only education they get.

The Pakistan government has tried and failed to bring these schools into the mainstream by forcing them to register with the country's education department. It hoped this would be a way to keep track and even influence the madrasi teachings.

KIBEL (on camera): The stated aim of madrasas like this is to keep Islam alive through education, but at times like this, it seems politics are also very much on the school agenda.

(voice-over): Politics which critics say is taught without the benefit of a broader secular understanding. Much of the political teachings they say are designed to foster fundamentalism and breed militancy. Certainly there is no shortage of young boys in madrasas throughout the country eager and ready to die for their cause.

Qutaratullah is no exception. He says he wants to join the jihad and he is not afraid to die.

"God has created us and he can kill us," he says. "There is a time for everyone to die. It would be special," he says, "for me to die in the name of jihad."

His desire for jihad has his father's blessing.

"The child is very young," he says, "but if he was older, then with the will of God I would send him."

Qutaratullah's mother could not be interviewed. Her husband explains, according to their religion, a woman over the age of nine cannot be seen by a man outside the family. In a back room behind a door hidden from strange eyes, Qutaratullah's mother told me, God willing she too would like to see her son join the jihad.

But for Qutaratullah, jihad is not the only dream. I asked if he would one day like to leave his village and see the world.

"No," he says. "I would only like to go to Afghanistan because there, God willing," he says, "I can meet Osama bin Laden."

Amanda Kibel, CNN, Bhag Nari, Pakistan.



MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A girls schools in the Afghan town of Jabal Seraaj: This, a routine lesson in the days of the week. Under the Taliban, even basic female education is banned. In this country's bitter civil war. Afghan fathers were fighting on the frontlines for and against this.

The school in the north of the country has been overrun and closed three times by the Taliban. It's now in opposition hands.

"If we weren't at school, we'd have to do housework," Nasifa told us, "or just pray in the mosque. This way, we get to read."

Here, teenagers are reading biology. The facilities are poor, the books outdated, but this is still academic study at the level completely denied to the vast majority of Afghan girls. And ambitions stretch far beyond those envisioned to women by the hardlined leaders of the Taliban.

"We live in a war-ravaged country and I want to heal the injuries," says Shekaba. That's why I want to study to become a doctor. Halbasha says she wants to be a judge, to dispense justice in a country where she says there is so many problems.

(on camera): For these young girls, Afghanistan's civil war isn't about territory or even power. It's about a basic right to learn, denied by the Taliban. Their status here in the north is far from equal. And the standards of education they receive, inadequate. What little they have, these girls and their families say they're willing to fight.

Gulgadin has daughters of his own and has taught Pashtun language and science for 23 years. He's a devout Muslim and a firm believer in female education. The two go hand in hand, he says.

GULGADIN: "The prophet Mohammed said that peace will be upon those who seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave. Learning is incumbent on every man and women. Our biggest problem though is money. The fight against the Taliban is draining our resources."

CHANCE: Getting educated in a country that's been at war for a generation and is mired in poverty is no easy task. And these girls say they're determined to succeed.

Matthew Chance, CNN, Jabal Seraaj, northern Afghanistan.


MCMANUS: Shelley, these young girls prove that no matter how hard the circumstance there is always a will and a way.

WALCOTT: Definitely.

Now a different type of education story, textbook publishers in the U.S. are rushing to revise history books that were ready to print before September 11. They're scrambling to include the terrorist attacks and the ensuing war on terrorism.

MCMANUS: Schools usually keep textbooks for around five years, so publishers want to include the most current information and the books must still be ready for the market by February.

WALCOTT: Well, good luck to them. And that wraps up this edition of Newsroom.

MCMANUS: See you tomorrow.

WALCOTT: Bye-bye.




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