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Showdown: Iraq

Aired November 9, 2002 - 12:00   ET


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If Iraq fails to fully comply with the U.N. resolution, the United States, in coalition with other nations, will disarm Saddam Hussein.


CAROL LIN, CNN ANCHOR: Armed with a key victory at the United Nations, a tough-talking President Bush issues a new warning to Iraq. He will abide no delays from Baghdad.

We've got live coverage today from CNN's Suzanne Malveaux at the White House, Jane Arraf in Baghdad, and our senior U.N. correspondent, Richard Roth, in New York. Good morning to all of you. But right now, we begin at the White House, with CNN's Suzanne Malveaux -- Suzanne.

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Carol, President bush is spending the weekend at Camp David, after a successful week both on the domestic and international front. It was eight weeks of hard core diplomacy, but President Bush got what he wanted, that was the unanimous vote from the U.N. Security Council on that resolution holding Saddam Hussein to account.

It was in a resolution that had to have three things. First of all, a statement that Iraq was in material breach of U.N. resolutions; secondly, requirements for Iraq to come into compliance, and third, consequences if Saddam Hussein did not comply.

Now, earlier today in the president's radio address, he warned Saddam Hussein that his time was limited and that fate was in his hands.


BUSH: The resolution presents the Iraqi regime with a test, a final test. Iraq must now, without delay or negotiations, give up its weapons of mass destruction, welcome full inspections and fundamentally change the approach it has taken for more than a decade.


MALVEAUX: It is a fast track resolution. Saddam Hussein must act quickly. The deadlines here, Iraq must agree to comply by November 15. It must declare all weapons by December 8. And with full inspections to begin no later than December 23 -- Carol.

LIN: All right. Thank you very much, Suzanne Malveaux at the White House. Now let's get the view inside Iraq. CNN's Jane Arraf live in Baghdad.

Jane, have you heard any reaction yet from the -- from Saddam Hussein or any of his ministers?

JANE ARRAF, CNN BAGHDAD BUREAU CHIEF: Well, Carol, it works pretty slowly here, but the official reaction so far is that even though this is seen as an unjust resolution, the Iraqi government will calmly study it and come to a decision in, it says, the coming days. So in the next few days, certainly short of the seven-day deadline from yesterday, we will see a decision.

But we do have some hints. On the sidelines of an Arab League meeting in Cairo, the first comment by a senior Iraqi official -- Foreign Minister Naji Sabri said, in fact, this resolution was a victory for Iraq because it thwarted U.S. attempts to attack Iraq.


NAJI SABRI, IRAQI FOREIGN MINISTER (through translator): America's aggressive goal in using Security Council as a cover in its aggression on Iraq was thwarted by the international community, because the international community doesn't share the evil administration in Washington's absolutely appetite for aggression, killing and destruction. The international community rejected this logic and this intractable desire in this vicious administration for war, killing and destruction in the world.


ARRAF: Now, it's quite a turnaround from Iraq's recent statements, which had said that no resolution was needed, particularly this resolution. So it indicates that they are actually gearing up to accept it.

Now, on the streets, people are accepting that the weapons inspectors will indeed come back, but they are not entirely happy about it. They are not happy either about that unanimous vote at the Security Council. Some saying that the participation, the yes vote by their neighbor Syria, left them with a bit of a surprise.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): The last decision by the United Nations was an American decision, and it was a direct pressure on the Security Council members. Even Syria, Russia and France will were obliged to accept it.


ARRAF: But even after this decision is accepted, as it will likely be, the most dangerous and difficult part is yet to come with the accounting of the weapons and the actual return of the inspectors -- Carol.

LIN: And Jane, when the inspectors, if and when the inspectors actually do return, has Iraq said anything about whether there's going to be reaction, if there's a military role, in other words, if there's a military escort with those inspectors, how is Iraq going to respond?

ARRAF: Well, it certainly wouldn't respond very favorably. It's not expecting military escorts with the inspectors. In the way it was recently -- sorry, originally envisioned when the United States was actually talking about sending in armed troops with the inspectors, that would have been in Iraq's eyes and in the eyes of a lot of its allies and even Security Council members an invasion of sorts all by itself. So that isn't expected to happen, but certainly having inspectors go all over the country, wherever they want, anytime they want, is seen as an invasion of Iraq's dignity and of sovereignty, not just by the Iraqi government but really by a lot of people on the street as well.

I mean, they are probably going to accept this resolution and they will live with it, because they don't have any choice, but they are not very happy about it -- Carol.

LIN: So does that mean, Jane, that there potentially isn't a strategy to drag this process out, you know, because there is a suspicion that Saddam Hussein is simply going to use the process, drag it out, as was done before, and eventually it will lead to some sort of a conflict, but it's a stall tactic?

ARRAF: Well, there is such specific time limits in this resolution. Iraq has 30 days from the passage of the resolution to actually account for all the weapons in the documentation and a lot of other things that go along with it, dual use items, and the weapons inspectors have just 45 days to do their work. It's all going to zip along really quite quickly.

Now, there are a lot of potential pitfalls along the way. But in terms of time, it certainly won't be like the first inspection teams. Those teams thought they would come in after the Gulf War and have it all wrapped up in six months. In fact, they stayed for seven years, leaving in 1998. So this is certainly going to take a lot less time to either come up with a conclusive result that there are no weapons and have the sanctions be lifted, or the worst case scenario is that something would be found or some huge problem would arise, and we could again face the threat of war -- Carol.

LIN: All right, thank you very much, which is exactly what those people you were talking to on the streets are worried about the most. Jane Arraf, live in Baghdad.

All right, now that the U.N. Security Council has drawn a line in the sand, what happens next? To explore some of the possibilities, we're joined by former weapons inspector David Albright in Washington. Good morning, Mr. Albright.


LIN: Or, at this point, good afternoon.

ALBRIGHT: Yes, it is.

LIN: We were talking about the timing of all of this and how it's a stricter calendar that Saddam Hussein has to stick to under this U.N. resolution. Is it tough enough, do you think, the U.N. resolution to keep Saddam Hussein in line and allow the weapons inspectors to get in to where they need to be?

ALBRIGHT: No, I think it's a good resolution. I mean, the first thing that was done was to send a very clear signal that enforcement matters, that we're not going to go back to the '90s where inspectors were kind of left at the gate and there was no enforcement of the resolution.

The resolution also adds tools to the tool kit, and that will give the inspectors a better opportunity to test whether Iraq is going to cooperate and fully reveal its weapons of mass destruction programs.

LIN: Let's take a look at the initial clock here. Iraq has seven days to agree, then 30 days to complete a dossier of biological, chemical, nuclear weapons. In a sense, is that such a tight calendar there that it almost forces a confrontation? Can they meet that deadline?

ALBRIGHT: They can meet it sufficiently. There is a lot of people in Iraq who -- right, I mean, they filed very long declarations. On the nuclear program, very detailed, complete declarations. So they know how to do it, and they have enough people that they can do it.

I mean, some of the dual use activities are going to be a little tough, and there's already been some discussion that maybe that will slip a little bit. But the key issues are really the weapons of mass destructions and the means to deliver then. And they can produce a credible declaration in the timeframe, if they are willing to do it.

LIN: And once they produce that declaration, what happens next? When do the inspectors physically go in and inspect the site?

ALBRIGHT: Well, the declaration will have to be evaluated. It may that the declaration is no good, that it's inconsistent, it's got obvious holes, and that may be the end of the inspection process.

Assuming that there is a credible declaration that you can work with, then what the inspectors have to do is visit sites, they will have intelligence information from member site or states, and they'll want to go there and see if they find anything, like such as banned programs or evidence of chemical weapons or any activity that was not in the declaration.

They will also need to interview Iraqis. I mean, there's always going to be questions that are derived from reading the declaration. And so it's very important that they interview the Iraqis. And with the new tools, they can interview them without minders, and that will give them a better way to determine if the Iraqis are telling the truth, if they are able to interview them individually.

LIN: Is it clear to you, though, Mr. Albright, where exactly is the threshold for war? I mean, what is the trigger there? What needs to happen either before the inspectors hit the ground or once the inspectors are there that allows the United States to unilaterally attack or to go back to the United Nations?

ALBRIGHT: Well, first of all, it's not the inspectors' job to determine when countries go war. They have a professional obligation to do a fair and rigorous job and not to think about going to war. I mean, you can't help to do that, but still, you have to focus on the task at hand.

Now, an example where I think the Security Council would probably take a vote for enforcement, whatever that may be, is that let's say Iraq files a declaration and it leaves out a facility. And the inspectors go to that facility based on intelligence information, and they find evidence of let's say chemical weapons. I think that would be a clear violation that would lead the Security Council probably to vote in a positive way for enforcement. And then what that enforcement would be will be up to the Security Council, and then certainly up to the United States and Britain.

LIN: Because what is really fuzzy, I mean, you have actually outlined something that is crystal clear, if they actually go into a site in violation. But I sort of see that gray area where they approach the gate, the Iraqis don't have the keys, it takes days, and they get the runaround, you know, and the inspection process is dragged out and it could be interpreted, well, the Iraqis are not cooperating here. Is that a line in the sand that allows the U.N. to go back and consider some sort of enforcement action?

ALBRIGHT: It's very important that we understand that non- cooperation is equivalent to non-compliance. And that was a mistake made in the middle to late '90s with the inspections. If Iraq is not willing to cooperate, if it doesn't let the inspectors into the site, then the inspectors really have no choice but to report that to the Security Council promptly, and then countries in the Security Council are going to have to decide how they interpret that.

From my point of view, if the inspector are denied access to a site, then really there is no further point to the inspections. I mean, you can't -- it really is Saddam Hussein's last chance. And we're trying to preserve international law, and the Security Council has been rightly criticized by the Bush administration in that it's been unwilling to enforce its own resolutions. And so they also being tested.

And I believe in international law, and believe that's the way that we should go, and that is what will build international security in the future. And so I do think we have to be very impatient with the Iraqis in this case.

LIN: And I think that this will be the truest test of international law thus yet this year. Thank you very much, David Albright, for joining us today. ALBRIGHT: Thank you.

LIN: Up next, if not Saddam, then who? We are going to take a closer look at who could leave a post-Hussein Iraq.

And then, into the future, could Iraq prosper as a democracy one day? All of that and more when SHOWDOWN: IRAQ continues.


LIN: The new U.N. resolution on Iraq is putting President Saddam Hussein's back to the wall. The Iraqi leader is facing some tough choices for himself and his people. For a 101 on Saddam Hussein and his thinking, we are joined by Rob Sobhani. He is an adjunct professor of foreign policy at Georgetown University, and he joins us live from Washington. Hello there, Rob. Thank you very much for being here.


LIN: What do you think Saddam Hussein's response is going to be? He's got seven days.

SOBHANI: I think, Carol, what is going to happen is Saddam Hussein is going to take advantage of the holy month of Ramadan and try to drum up Islamic sentiment, Islamic feeling within the broader Muslim world to try to portray himself as yet again a victim and to try to wrap himself around Islam during this month, because he does know that with the United Nations resolution, the world is against him, especially Syrian vote against him, puts him in a corner. So he has no options but to go back to wrapping himself around Islam.

LIN: How does that help him with the United Nations and the United States? I mean, the rules are in place, he's got seven days to answer, he's got 30 days to come up with all this paperwork to disclose his weapons of mass destruction?

SOBHANI: Absolutely. And if one looks at the history of Saddam Hussein, the fundamental interest of Saddam Hussein is power, is Saddam Hussein. And so I think he may give a little, he may provide a little, and he will then look at other means to thumb his nose to the United Nations, to the world, to the United States.

LIN: Other means, such as what?

SOBHANI: Such as potentially another foreign adventure somewhere, potentially drumming up problems in the Palestinian territories -- keep in mind, Saddam Hussein has been very effective in diverting attention away from himself by providing financial and other means of support to Palestinian terrorist groups in the Gaza and the West Bank. We possibly will see more terrorism in the territories.

LIN: So how does that distract, though, from the specific mission of documenting his weapons of mass destruction?

SOBHANI: It creates -- it could potentially, Carol, create a problem for the world community, because to the extent that violence erupts in the West Bank and Gaza, it makes it difficult to put pressure on Saddam Hussein.

However, having said that, I think his days are numbered and that is why the United States needs to immediately put together a coalition of the Iraqi opposition groups, because without that, there will be a vacuum the day after Saddam.

LIN: Well, how reliable are these Iraqi opposition groups?

SOBHANI: Well, some of them are not reliable, some of them are very suspect. But at the end of the day, I think the United States has an obligation to the people of Iraq, if indeed we're going to go into Iraq to get rid of the cancer of Saddam Hussein, we also have an obligation to the people of Iraq to provide them with an alternative, at least present them with an alternative, and Iraqi opposition is made up of secularist, religious people, but we need to put pressure on that opposition to unite and unite quickly.

LIN: Because they are not actually very united, are they, right now?

SOBHANI: No, unfortunately not, Carol. And that's the biggest danger for the day after Saddam, because if there is no united Iraqi opposition, the one country that can take advantage of Iraq's weakness is Iran. Keep in mind, Iran fought a war with Iraq. The Iranian government would not want nothing more than to have an Islamic republic in Iraq. That's the biggest danger facing the vacuum the day after Saddam.

LIN: What about Saddam's family? What about his sons as successors? Are these people that the United States and the U.N. can deal with?

SOBHANI: I don't think the Iraqi people would want to deal with them, frankly, and that would be the biggest letdown and the biggest danger if we were to rely on Saddam's sons. After all, the cancer of Saddam Hussein doesn't just begin with Saddam. It's a cancer that runs deep into his sons, his military offices, the people in his village of Tikrit where Saddam is from. The cancer needs to remove from its deep roots, and then the Iraqi opposition should kick him. That's why it's important to have the opposition in place.

LIN: Professor Sobhani, I really want to just touch very quickly, because we've got to wrap up, on the point of -- we keep -- we, the United States, keeps talking about democracy in Iraq. Isn't that naive? I mean, Iraq has never had a democracy in the American sense of the word. Is there something that the United States is not understanding, or is it being naive about that concept?

SOBHANI: You're right, Carol. Iraq does not have a tradition of democracy. In fact, it was put together by the British. However, I think the Iraqi opposition and the Iraqi people would welcome not a democracy you and I know about but some form of openness, some sort of a free society where they are not dictated by the barrel of the gun. That may not be a democracy, but it's a free and fair society. LIN: All right, we'll see what happens. Thank you very much, professor Rob Sobhani.

SOBHANI: Thank you.

LIN: Well, are there alternatives to an all-out war in Iraq? Coming up, we're going to examine the possibilities of our "Guns and Ammo" segment. We'll be right back.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My childhood friends, Thomas Peterkin (ph) and Jack Wopley (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That we never forget Ronald Gene White Sr. (ph), James Joseph Williams (ph), Arnold Alvin Aides (ph), James Edward Andrews (ph), Ronald Lee Belanger (ph), John Charles Belinski (ph), Gregorio C. Boostos (ph), John Lewis Carter (ph), Lawrence Nelson Coney (ph).

LIN: A live picture from the Vietnam Memorial, two days ahead of Veterans Day, that somber ceremony is taking place in Washington this weekend. All of the more than 58,000 names on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial are being read out loud. It is part of a ceremony marking the 20th anniversary of the memorial known as the wall.

The reading of the names is expected to take 65 hours to complete.

Now in our "Guns and Ammo" segment on this Veterans Day weekend, we're focusing on alternatives to war with Iraq. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says the choice of war or piece lies with Baghdad.


DONALD RUMSFELD, DEFENSE SECRETARY: Saddam Hussein needs to understand that this is his regime's chance to come into compliance with all U.N. Security Council resolutions. The choice does not rest in Washington, it does not rest in New York, it rests in Baghdad. For the sake of peace, let's hope that the Iraqi regime chooses wisely.


LIN: CNN's security analyst Kelly McCann is with me now from Washington to talk more about the alternatives to war. Good afternoon, Kelly.


LIN: Kelly, I think we're talking about the most extreme alternative to war here. If the United States thinks that Saddam Hussein is the problem and President Bush is talking about the severest consequences, would those consequences include assassination?

MCCANN: Well, it's an interesting point that the secretary makes, primarily because, number one, we would be reactive initially if they don't comply, then obviously we'll react. And at that point we'll seek to take control. Taking control is prohibited by assassination after the Church Committee in the 1970s. And also, you've got to philosophically look at -- if you cut this head of the snake off, is it really a Medusa's head? Are there many more snakes? And in fact, the previous guest had said that the cancer runs very deep. So it has to be a more substantive change than removing one person, Carol.

LIN: Well, let's talk a little bit more about the Church Committee's findings. This is a committee that met and came to some conclusions about assassinations of different leaders around the world, all the way back in 1975 when there were several plots in play at the time, assassination of leaders of Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Vietnam, Chile, just to name a few.

What was the consideration there? What were the question there, and what specifically were the conclusions?

MCCANN: The biggest considerations were, Carol, does it diminish us in stature in the world's eyes? The fact that we would plot and then outright assassinate a leader. Inevitably these things come to light. And knowing that, the committee said that, you know, it's a very nefarious business to become involved in. And then where does it end? If we did that, as a superpower, who else would be able to do that and who else would be able to say, it was justified by the United States.

So it became a very difficult problem. Their findings basically concluded that because there was no clean way to do it and because, more importantly, that assassination is not in line with the precepts of the fundamentals this country was found on, it was an activity that they would not engage in.

LIN: Did they distinguish, though, between targeted assassinations and using dissidents, for example?

MCCANN: Absolutely. In fact, there's a paragraph attributed to that in the interim report that if you go in and look at it, it's very clear. What it says is we will not -- or we will distinguish between an outright plot to assassinate and enter into an ongoing coup to enable people with similar beliefs and et cetera that we would have, when it's possible to conjoin the two motivations.

But to the extent that you do that, and to the extent that you just empower someone but don't instigate is a very, very difficult line to walk.

LIN: So where would the United States stand on this? I mean, the United States wouldn't go in and cut the throat of Saddam Hussein, but would it help a dissident, Iraqi opposition go in to do the same?

MCCANN: Yes, I mean, I think it's reasonable to say that we would try to enable or empower people who we vet and trust as Iraqi dissidents and to empower them to to do what they believe, like the previous guest said, maybe not embrace our style of democracy but certainly something that's more in line with humanity and more in line with the generally accepted practice globally.

So that is well within our scope. And typically, over the years we have engaged in lots of that kind of activity.

LIN: When was the last time?

MCCANN: It's ongoing. A lot of mobile training teams have at their basis the ability to go out and train countries who don't have a particular capability so that they can, you know, protect themselves, defend themselves, or make sure that tyrants don't come to power. So that's been a process ongoing since the Church Committee.

LIN: So, Kelly, what are the chances in this situation, then?

MCCANN: Well, we know that we've got 5,000 Iraqi dissidents who were basically budgeted for training. Now, to what extent they will be used? Carol, that could be used as interpreter/translator type of function, it could be as guides. They could do initial terminal guidance, where they go in in advance force operations and (UNINTELLIGIBLE) et cetera.

There is many, many roles to play to include partisan-type roles, where they establish networks and basically are the eyes and ears in the advanced extreme for the landing forces. So there's many roles. But you can bet that we are working with them now.

LIN: Well, with what, at least five impostors roaming the deserts of Baghdad, if they try to target Saddam Hussein, yeah, it's going to be a tough job. Thank you very much, Kelly McCann.

MCCANN: Thanks, Carol.

LIN: Our security analyst.

Well, the vote's a done deal and the next move is Iraq. A live report from New York as the countdown to compliance ticks on. Stay with us.


LIN: Now that the U.N. Security Council has spoken with one voice on Iraq, what comes next? A timetable has been set in motion that is designed to send weapons inspectors back to Iraq quickly. We get the details on that and more from CNN's senior U.N. correspondent Richard Roth -- Richard.


Yesterday at 10:55 in the morning, in New York, Secretary-General Kofi Annan sent a fax to Iraq. That fax was the transmission of the Security Council resolution that was passed unanimously. It is sent because anytime a resolution of this critical nature -- so-called Chapter 7, meaning a resolution that can be enforced by the use of force -- a country must be formally notified. So Iraq has the fax.

In effect, you could say it has until 10:55 next Friday morning to comply. If Baghdad does agree to cooperate, it will then have 30 days to turn over all details of a weapons of mass destruction program, even though Baghdad says it has no such information.

The inspectors have up until 45 days to fully deploy, though an early team of technicians and logistical people including Hans Blix, the chief weapons inspector, is expected to depart either next Friday evening or Saturday for Iraq.


MOHAMED EL-BARADEI, IAEA DIRECTOR GENERAL: The first thing we have to do is basically go around and have a snapshot of what has happened since we left Iraq in December 1998. We need to look at cameras, we need to look at scenes, we need to see some of the facilities we haven't visited for four years. And then, gradually, start to develop our new safeguard or verification approach.


ROTH: It will be Mohamed El-Baradei, of the International Atomic Energy Agency, who will also be there along with Hans Blix and the group of 20 who will start out on their mission -- Carol.

LIN: All right, thank you very much, Richard Roth up in New York, covering the U.N. for us.

The U.N. Security Council may have been united in a proving the resolution on Iraq but the world does remain divided on the issue. In Japan, student groups converged on the U.S. embassy in Tokyo to deliver messages of protest. They say they oppose the expected war against Iraq and Japan's involvement.

For more debate on this we go back to Washington and UPI columnist Lt. Col. Robert Maginnis and also in Washington, Mike Zmolek, who is with the National Network to End the War Against Iraq.

Good afternoon, gentlemen. Thanks for being here.


MIKE ZMOLEK, WWW.ENDTHEWAR.ORG: Thank you for having us.

LIN: Let me start with you, Mr. Zmolek, Secretary of State Colin Powell, this is really seen as a victory for his negotiating skills. He has negotiated hard and long for the last three months, including with opposition in the Bush administration for these inspections. It is quite a victory for the secretary of state, and certainly would you say a move towards the possibility of peace?

ZMOLEK: Well, the resolution certainly leaves the possibility for peace open. I think very little has changed in the language. What has changed is the U.S. is surrounding Iraq with troops and weapons.

What is very disappointing in the resolution, is there is no mention of the hell the Iraqi people have gone through under sanctions, the no-fly zone bombings and under dictatorship over the last 12 years. The Iraqi people are almost absent from that document.

LIN: Lieutenant Colonel Robert Maginnis?

MAGINNIS: Well, I agree with him in terms of the oil for food money has been diverted, unfortunately, instead of for food and medicine to help the distraught Iraqi people, it's going to build larger palaces for Saddam and build his weapons of mass destruction up.

So, Colin Powell did a great job, so did Negroponte and the whole U.N. team up there. I think, quite frankly, if President Bush has come forward with the very strong statement back on September 12th and now we have the fruition. I believe that this consensus amongst the U.N. Security Council is actually going to overt war rather than create war. We're much closer to where we want to be, a disarmed Iraq, than we are, I think, even a couple of days ago.

LIN: A great story that came out of Colin Powell's negotiations was just a week ago, when he was about to walk his daughter down the aisle, 20 minutes before the ceremony he's on the phone with the French foreign minister haggling over some key words, which apparently became the key to the concession for the French. And those words are, "material breach". I mean, are these words definitive enough so there is a line in the sand, we know exactly when the United States or the U.N. can take military or forceful action if Saddam Hussein does not comply?

MAGINNIS: I think we are, Carol. Quite frankly, if you look at what happened in the early '90s, with UNSCOM, there were seven full and complete statements, surrender to the inspectors by Saddam Hussein. In every case they were demonstrated to be either fabricated or filled with lies or, you know, all sorts of information that is useless.

I expect that by December 8, when we get the next statement, that unfortunately, we'll probably have less than a complete accounting. But if they give us enough, then we can proceed with the inspections. And then if we don't get the type of cooperation and he kicks in his denial and deception plan, which was used so good years ago, then we have, I think a "material breach" and therefore, we could initiate operations. I hope we never get to that.

LIN: So, Mr. Zmolek, here you have a U.N. resolution, would you say you have a U.N. resolution here that at least the language is clear enough so that Saddam Hussein and his regime can understand what the consequences are if they do not cooperate?

ZMOLEK: Well, no, I don't think that the consequences are clear, because the resolution does not address specifically what will happen if there's no compliance. What it does leave the door wide open for is a U.S. unilateral attack on Iraq. I'm worried, and many thousands of Americans are worried, that that may be the direction we're heading with the U.S. troops headed for the Gulf.

The president is taking the recent election vote as a mandate to go to war. Immediately, as the ballots were being counted, it became clear that the Senate would be taken by the Republicans war ships were being dispatched from San Diego to the Gulf. But I would like to say that two-thirds of Americans stayed home on that vote and I think that can be seen as a referendum against both party leaderships voting in favor of this war. I think Americans are deeply worried about this war.

MAGINNIS: Carol, the launching of the U.S.S. Constellation out of San Diego, with its accompanying ship, was a scheduled launching. Yes, it is going to Persian Gulf. You already have the Lincoln over in the Gulf, which as to be back filled. So, it a matter that we're going through routine operations. Yes, they are fortifying Qatar, certainly Kuwait. There are exercises going on which is precautionary. If we have to conduct military operations in the next couple of months we have to have all of the pieces in place.

But we're very hopeful that this will not come to bloodshed and Saddam Hussein will voluntarily disarm. I think that's in the best interest of everyone in the region, as well as the United States.

LIN: But Lt. Colonel, don't you think in a way the Bush administration has undercut its argument that what they want is what is best for the region, that it can come to a peaceful resolution with all of the language about regime change and the announcement of preemptive strikes against enemy states?

MAGINNIS: Yes, but Carol, we're the 17th resolution, 16 resolutions ago in April of 1991, with resolution 687, it was perfectly clear to even Saddam Hussein that he must disarm. He has consistently failed using his denial and deception plan -- and done so, quite frankly, very effectively. We have to make this credible. The U.N. understands it has to be credible. Therefore, if you don't have a force in place ready to launch, then you're not going to compel him to disarm voluntarily. That's what we want.

LIN: What about a force in place with the U.N. inspectors? Do you think there should be a military escort with these inspectors when they go in?

MAGINNIS: I don't see that that is absolutely necessary. If you read through the resolution, Carol, you'll see that you can freeze a site. You can have unfettered access above and below the ground. You know, so if they comply with that, and allow us to talk either on site or out of country, with many of their weapons of mass destruction people, who they self-identify to us, then I think we'll be able to accomplish the mission. Otherwise, it's going to be very clear, up front, that he's not cooperating. And as the president said, if you don't cooperate with us, giving us unfettered access, there are going to be severe consequences.

LIN: Mr. Zmolek, how do you feel about a military escort with the U.N. weapons inspectors?

ZMOLEK: Well, I think Scott Ritter has made it clear that that puts inspectors in extreme danger and is an extremely bad idea. So, I would be totally against it.

LIN: How do you see this resolving?

ZMOLEK: Well, I hope -- I agree with Mr. Maginnis, I really hope that we are moving forward towards a peaceful resolution. There is one mention in the document about, you know, this is Iraq's final opportunity. And I hope that that means that what we're moving toward is not just wrapping up the inspections, but concluding with the sanctions, which I think are the real weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, killing 5,000 children a month, according to UNICEF and other U.N. statistics.

LIN: Lieutenant Colonel, I'll give you the last few seconds for the last word.

MAGINNIS: The sanctions are in fact destructive but only because Saddam Hussein bankrolled billions of dollars in European banks, he has not given the people the money in order to buy the medicine and food which comes in from oil cells every day. So, we need to put the blame where it belongs and it's with Saddam Hussein.

LIN: All right, the debate continues. Thank you very much, Lt. Col. Robert Maginnis and Mr. Zmolek, for joining us today.

ZMOLEK: Thanks for having us.

LIN: What would happen to Iraq's oil in a post-Saddam Hussein world? Claiming a piece of the prize pie, when we return. Plus, we'll have a detailed look at several Web sites to gain some insight into the Iraqi oil reserves and refineries.


ANNOUNCER: Life has been tough in Iraq since the 1991 Gulf War. The average Iraqi earns $2,500 a year and faces an annual inflation rate of 100 percent. Iraqi men live 66 years on average, women, 68 years. Women have nearly five babies, on average.

Since the United Nation's sanctions took effect in 1990, after Iraq invaded Kuwait, the Iraqi health ministry says 1.25 million people have died. The Iraqi government claims malnutrition and a lack of medical supplies are a continuing problem because of sanctions.


LIN: Supporters of a regime change in Iraq say freedom and liberty are at stake. But there's another factor involved, as well, and we're talking about oil. Western companies are vying for the chance to develop Iraq's oil-rich land if Saddam Hussein is toppled. CNN's Kitty Pilgrim reports.


KITTY PILGRIM, CNN FINANCIAL NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): With the vote in, oil executives are now debating who will get to develop oil fields in a post-Saddam Iraq.

RAAD ALKADIRI, PETROLEUM FINANCE COMPANY: It's seen very much as a major prize for the oil industry. And there's a lot of talk about Iraq being a new Klondike of sorts, once sanctions are lifted.

PILGRIM: Russia and France have signed deals with Saddam Hussein's regime, but if Saddam is deposed, most likely all bets are off. John brown, the head of BP, last week complained BP was being squeezed out. Saying, "If Iraqi changes regime that there should be a level playing field for the selection of oil companies to go in there."

The Iraqi National Congress, a leading opposition group, has confirmed to the press it recently met with three major U.S. oil companies, although it won't name which ones. Industry experts speculate about big companies, which have the capital to develop the fields and repair any damage that could result from a war.

JOHN KINGSTON, PLATTS GLOBAL ENERGY: The companies that are going to get a shot at drilling in Iraq are going to be big companies, the ones that people think of ExxonMobile, ChevronTexaco, etc cetera. There are a lot of smaller oil companies out there, they are not going to get a share in the Iraqi oil industry.

PILGRIM: Next month executives are invited to an English estate. Their host? Sheik Yamani, the former oil minister of Saudi Arabia, to talk about Iraq after Saddam. Many experts think commercial development of oil will ultimately benefit the Iraqi people, who have not enjoyed the prosperity of sitting on the second largest reserve of oil in the world.

ARIEL COHEN, THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION: If developed by the private sector with all of the watchdogs and all of the transparency measures, the beneficiary is the people of Iraq. And what you get is better technology, more investment, more transparency. And you keep oil out of the hands of mad dictators like Saddam.

PILGRIM: Developing Iraqi fields is not a sure bet. No one is sure what kind of damage a war might inflict on the oil fields. The terms and conditions of development in a post-Saddam regime is only a guess. In short, nothing is certain except the fact that in Iraq there is a is a lot of oil.

Kitty Pilgrim, CNN Financial News, New York.


LIN: Well, oil is a critical part of the political calculus in the Middle East policy making, especially now in Iraq. The worldwide web contains some interesting public data and photos about the once- secret world of Iraqi oil. And CNN technology correspondent Daniel Sieberg is here now with our "Wired in Iraq" segment.

Daniel, you've been working those hot Internet lines there?

DANIEL SIEBERG, CNN TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT: That's right. There is a lot of information on the Internet. And as we have been hearing oil is largely a major, if not largely unspoken factor in the debate surrounding the future of Iraq. Now, should there be a regime change, questions have been raised over what could happen to the control of these reserves in the country, second only to Saudi Arabia in terms of the oil production, hundreds of billions of dollars of this money known as black gold.

Let's check out some sites online. We're going start with a site called, that is the Energy Information Administration, the statistical arm of the U.S. Department of Energy. Now, here you can find a map, that we can see at the top that outlines some of the major cities that are in Iraq.

As well as a chronology of some of the events that have happened since 1980 that will have parts that have contributed to what has happened to the situation there. And in effect, oil production has dropped dramatically after the war with Kuwait in 1990, '91, '92. As well as a map of the no-fly zones over Iraq where people can see something to do with that in terms of where the oil production may lie.

Also, there is an interesting article that talks about the technology that is used in oil production and how during the last several years, Iraq has not been using the latest in oil industry technology and instead maybe using some questionable engineering techniques. This may have indeed damaged some of the reservoirs in the region.

So, a good site to start with, from there, we're going to go to This is a site we have introduced to people before. It is an organization that culls a variety of military and security information. From here we get some good maps of some of the pipelines that lead off into the Mediterranean Sea. Also this particular site looks at Kirkuk (ph), which is called the center of Iraq's oil industry.

And there are some good satellite images that show other things to do with the pipelines and where the oil industry is located and centered there in Iraq and some good information about the archaeology even in the region.

Finally, we're going to go to plattsonline, it is a site that offers information and news and analysis about the energy industry. On the Iraq site there is some good information showing a map of Iraq and where these different pipelines would lead, as well as some of the major centers of the refineries and pipelines. And there are several reports on the oil industry in Iraq and the production that goes on in Iraq as well.

So, Carol, that's our "Wired in Iraq" segment for today, dealing with oil sites in Iraq. Back to you.

LIN: You've got it. Thank you very much, Daniel.

Well, could Iraq be turned into the land of the free? Coming up, our Garrick Utley tackles the age-old question. Arguments from both sides of how a regime change could bring out a modern Iraq, when we return.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) LIN: Expectations are huge for any regime change in Iraq. The Bush administration hopes for democracy in a nation that has never had a democratic ruler. So what are the chances for a government by the people in Iraq? CNN's Garrick Utley reports.


GARRICK UTLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Getting rid of President Saddam Hussein is only part of George Bush's goal. The other part is to turn Iraq into a land of the truly free. Call it a faith-based foreign policy, the president's faith that if Saddam Hussein goes, democracy will take its place.

BUSH: The people of Iraq can shake off their captivity, they can one day join a democratic Afghanistan and a democratic Palestine, inspiring reforms throughout the Muslim world.

UTLEY: Is President Bush's vision a mirage or a real possibility?

MICHAEL LEDEEN, AMERICAN ENTERPRISE INST.: I done think that people in the Middle East are lacking a democracy chromosome, nor do I think they are the only people in the history of the world who do not want to be free.

YOUSSEF IBRAHIM, COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS: There is not anybody in the 22 million Iraqis who can spell the word "democracy." Democracy is not a tradition in Iraq. What will happen in Iraq is that we will go back to some kind of civil war.

UTLEY Regime change in Iraq has more often been by the bullet than the ballot. Saddam Hussein belonged to an army group that overthrew the government in 1963 and executed its leader, General Abdul-Karim Qassim, who five years earlier led a bloody revolution against King Faysal II, who was also killed.

In this film, that Saddam Hussein had made to glorify his life, a key event is his role as a young member of an assassination team that would set the pattern for his rise to power.

Although President Bush's main argument for removing Saddam Hussein from power is to remove the threat of his weapons, there's also the conviction, or hope, that democracy in Iraq could remake the Arab world.

LEDEEN: All those countries are linked and once this process starts, it's going to sweep through the whole Middle East.

UTLEY: Or will it?

AMY HAWTHORNE, CARNEGIE ENDOWMENT: These Arab governments are very strong and they have withstood the Iranian revolution and many other regional events without falling to democratic forces.

UTLEY: And then there is the question facing Americans, whether they are ready to even attempt to bring democratic reforms to Iraq. LEDEEN: If we're going to do this and if we're committed to this, then we have to stay and we have to be willing to really exert our power to make sure that the thing works.

UTLEY: When Saddam Hussein seized total power in 1979 he recorded this meeting where he purged his opponents. One by one as their names were called, his victims obediently left the hall and were arrested, 22 were executed. That is the political soil democracy will have to grow in. Will it happen?

HAWTHORNE: In the long run, if we're lucky, we may see a democracy in Iraq -- in the very long run.

UTLEY: In a nation where power has been held in the hands of its leaders rather than in the voices and votes of its people.

Garrick Utley, CNN.


LIN: And that is SHOWDOWN: IRAQ for this hour. Wolf Blitzer will have much more on this developing story, tomorrow on "LATE EDITION." And among his guests, Secretary of State Colin Powell.


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