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Showdown: Iraq -- The Weapons Report

Aired January 26, 2003 - 17:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good afternoon. I'm Anderson Cooper.

COOPER: There are two Super Bowls going on today. One, of course, is the football game. It begins in little over an hour.

LIN: That's right. But there is also -- well, there is also a diplomatic Super Bowl being played out by an international team of players. And there is much more at stake than just a trophy. Of course, because we're talking about the possibility of war.

COOPER: That, of course, is the showdown we're going to focus on over the next two hours. We have a number of live reports today, including White House correspondent Suzanne Malveaux, who will tell us about the President Bush's preparations for Tuesday's State of the Union Address.

Bill Schneider is standing by for us in Tel Aviv with a look at developments in the Middle East.

But we begin at this hour with the United Nations where a vital report on Iraqi weapon inspections is due tomorrow. CNN's Senior U.N. correspondent Richard Roth is standing by live.

Richard, what's the latest?

RICHARD ROTH, CNN SENIOR U.N. CORRESPONDENT: Well, the latest is that you can be sure that at this hour Hans Blix, the United Nations' chief weapons inspector, is going over his report that he will deliver to the Security Council Monday morning.

A lot of it is written out by hand and will be in the form of a speech, almost. But not really like some of those long droning U.N. comments here in the General Assembly. There may be some ad-libbing, or give and take, about 20 to 30 minutes tops; 10 to 12 pages in length.

Blix, on Thursday, gave some hints of what he might say to an advisory panel that met with him. After that meeting Blix explained how Iraq has cooperated, but only to a point.


HANS BLIX, CHIEF U.N. WEAPONS INSPECTOR: There are things that have gone well, like the access, prompt access. Like setting up of infrastructure, where the Iraqis have been helpful. We set practical arrangements in Vienna before we came and there are some other practical arrangements that are cleared up now. But there are other areas where we're not satisfied.


ROTH: Hans Blix, the chief weapons inspector, also is an experienced Swedish diplomat and after his visit to Baghdad, again, he kind of made the point to reporters that whatever his inspections may bring it would be best to make war avoidable.


BLIX: I have no doubt that their preference for a solution is for a peaceful solution. The other solution has horrible aspects. However, I'm not pronouncing myself about the other. I represent this peaceful way, a hopeful way, to a resolution. And we do our best to achieve that. But it's for the council and for the members of the council to decide whether they deem this a possible avenue.


ROTH: Blix and ElBaradei will be speaking to the council, that is Mohamed ElBaradei, the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency. He has less to worry about with Iraq. A lot of progress over the years on the nuclear file, though he can't guarantee whether Iraq achieved any nuclear weapons goal, but certainly his team has not found anything so far.

One of the spokesman, off the cuff, saying it will be a "B" grade for Iraq. But what Blix is going to say is that there's not a lot of cooperation on key areas. What has happened to areas volumes on anthrax and VX, biological and chemical weapons.

Iraq still not cooperating fully on Iraqi scientists interviews. They were supposed to be private and still hasn't happened. And also, laying down conditions on U2 reconnaissance overflights. So it will be a mixed bag, Anderson. And each country will be able to interpret it probably the way they see it right now -- Anderson.

COOPER: Richard, you said that his -- it is going to be about 10 to 12 pages, his comments. Is there going to be a hard copy of his speech that will be disseminated or is it simply just going to be the verbal comments?

ROTH: Well, they say there will be a hard copy delivered afterward and maybe Dr. Blix will put it all down on paper before hand. And then the Security Council will go behind closed door. Perhaps they'll have a question or two for him. Wednesday, they will all get together, interestingly, right after the State of the Union Address by President Bush.

COOPER: All right, Richard Roth, thanks very much.

A quick programming note: Tomorrow on CNN's "INSIDE POLITICS," Judy Woodruff will have an exclusive interview with the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohamed ElBaradei. You will be watching that at 4:00 p.m. Eastern, 1:00 Pacific -- Carol.

COOPER: Well, Anderson, lining up support from the major powers for a possible military action in Iraq has become a frustrating chore for U.S. officials.

The British do appear to be the closest U.S. ally and they can offer significant military and political support. Referring to Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has recently warned that time is running out for him to comply fully with the terms of U.N. Resolution 1441.

Now, the French, on the other hand, want a diplomatic solution and/or U.N. support of an attack. That is significant because the French could veto a U.N. attack resolution, if they don't like it. Now, President Jacques Chirac recently said everything must be done to avoid war.

The Russians also want a diplomatic solution and also have veto power at the U.N. Security Council. Russia's foreign minister says we do not see any serious arguments which would raise the question of using force.

That position is mirrored by China, which can also veto Security Council resolutions. A foreign ministry spokeswoman had said, our consistent position -- this is a quote here -- is that the Iraq issue should be solved through diplomatic and political means.

Well, the Bush administration is eager to hear what the U.N. inspectors have to say about Iraq. Especially since their report will be released just one day before President Bush delivers his annual State of the Union Address.

CNN's Suzanne Malveaux is live at the White House.

Suzanne, he has a lot of work cut out for him to make a convincing argument, especially to the allies.

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, President Bush really faces one of the most important weeks of his presidency. Today he went to church. He went for a run. He's also practicing his State of the Union Address -- and all of this in preparation for the huge task of trying to make sure that the American people are united behind his effort to disarm Saddam Hussein.


MALVEAUX (voice over): In less than 24 hours the U.S. will enter what the White House calls its final phase with Iraq. Monday U.N. inspectors will report their findings on Iraqi weapons. And in the weeks ahead, sources say, President Bush will decide whether the U.S. will go to war.

As Mr. Bush faces one of the most important weeks of his presidency, his top advisers continue to campaign for both international and American support. One of the Bush administration's most adamant doves, Secretary of State Colin Powell at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland.

COLIN POWELL, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: The United States believes that time is running. We will not shrink from war if that is the only way to rid Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction.

MALVEAUX: But the White House is aware Saddam Hussein isn't the only one running out of time. The Bush administration has yet to convince the American people it will take the right course of action. A new CNN/USA/Gallup Poll shows that while 52 percent of Americans approve sending U.S. troops to Iraq to remove Saddam Hussein from power. Americans are equally split on who they trust to make the right decisions, the United States or the United Nations.

SEN. BARBARA BOXER (D), CALIFORNIA: We don't have to, it seems to me, go around beating the drums for war. The real test of our leadership is bringing the world together as we did after 9/11.

ANDREW CARD, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: He's not anxious to go to war. He'd like to see Saddam come clean, disarm, bring those weapons of mass destruction into a parking lot and allow them to be destroyed.

MALVEAUX: But many, now, are skeptical that will happen, believing war may be inevitable.

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), MINORITY LEADER: When all of that case is made and that decision is made, we may have to go in alone. And I think many people would be prepared to support the president in that event.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Unfortunately, I believe that we're now a bit too little too late to see a way out, a diplomatic solution, between Iraq and the international community.


MALVEAUX: Tuesday, President Bush will make his case to the American people in his State of the Union Address. White House officials tell us he will not declare war, but rather he will lay out an outline, a broad and detailed outline, against Saddam Hussein. That really this is the last diplomatic phase with Iraq. The time is running out and the prospects for war is very real -- Carol.

LIN: But, Suzanne, a lot of people in the polling are saying that they want to hear concrete evidence as to why the United States should go to war. Is President Bush going to be able to offer up specific pieces of evidence, in his State of the Union, to make a convincing argument?

MALVEAUX: Well, President Bush will lay out the specifics, but we're told, don't expect any kind of smoking gun or any type of new information that we haven't heard for weeks, and even the last half month. But he will, administration officials believe, make a convincing argument that Saddam Hussein has defied the will of the international community and these past resolutions. That he continues not to cooperate in showing the weapons inspectors that he has the intention of disarming, and therefore he is a danger to the world.

The administration is confident, they believe that these points will convince the American people that if military action is necessary, that they will agree with the president and they'll support him ultimately in the end.

LIN: Suzanne Malveaux, live at the White House. Thank you very much.

And please make sure to tune into CNN on Tuesday evening at 8:45 Eastern. We are going to bring you live coverage of President Bush's State of the Union address on Capitol Hill.

COOPER: And the world is standing by to hear tomorrow's message from Hans Blix. Coming up, will there be evidence that Iraq is creating weapons of mass destruction? More on what the chief weapons inspector might say.

LIN: And later, the Bush administration is running out of patience with Iraq. More troops deployed to the Persian Gulf. We are going to have the latest number, straight ahead.

COOPER: And today many Americans have more than Iraq on their minds. That's right, coming up, football. Super Bowl kicks off in about an hour. We'll have a live report.


LIN: U.N. weapons inspectors searched at least nine sites across Iraq today. They included a company that produces spare parts for missiles and a company that manufactures ammunition and armaments.

The inspectors want to find out if Iraq has weapons of mass destruction. CNN's Nic Robertson has more details from Baghdad.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INT'L CORRESPONDENT (on camera): We were outside U.N. inspection headquarters this morning when the U.N. teams were leaving. It seemed the situation was normal; handshakes all around with the Iraqi officials who followed them on their inspection trips. This is something we have seen over the last couple months. Apparent good will on the surface, yet what the U.N. has been calling for is much more proactive cooperation.

U.N. visiting nine different sites using at least five different teams today. One of those sites, Aben al Hifim (ph). This is a site that Iraqi officials say has been the center of part of their biological weapons production in the past. They say, however, that's been closed down now.

U.N. officials say the issues outstanding there have been documentation issues to prove that it has, in fact, been closed down. Interestingly, today it was a missile inspection team that went to that site, not a biological inspection team. We have seen this occasionally in the past that the inspectors will send out teams from different disciplines to other sites, possibly a biological team to a chemical site.

What they've been trying to do, if you will, is throw the Iraqi officials off the scent. Maybe try to turn up at a site that Iraqi officials are not expecting them to go to.

Also we're seeing President Saddam Hussein meeting with top members of his Revolutionary Command Council. Top members of the ruling Baath Party as well. Rare, that this particular grouping of people should sit down together with the Iraqi president, it happened perhaps once every two or three months.

No indication of what they were talking about. We may find that out in the next few days, but it is significant that he would be sitting down with this particular high-level grouping of people.

Nic Robertson, CNN, Baghdad.


COOPER: These days, there are certainly a lot for all of us to focus on. Football, winter weather, maybe there are holiday bills, but the one-two punch, however, of the U.N. weapons inspector's report on Monday and the President Bush's State of the Union Speech on Tuesday, will likely refocus everyone's attention on Iraq.

And this week, of course, could crystallize opinions about whether it is time for U.S. military action. Ken Katzman is a senior Middle East expert for the Congressional Research Service; he's been with the Research Service since the first Gulf War and we're pleased that he joins us from Washington.

Ken, thanks for being with us.


COOPER: What do you expect to hear from Hans Blix tomorrow?

KATZMAN: Well, I think the question is, is Iraq complying strictly with Resolution 1441? The inspectors are likely to say, no. If the question is, is Iraq an imminent threat to the United States? Is Iraq actively building WMD that could threaten the U.S., I think they're not likely to back that view either. So, one's assessment of whether or not there will be war depends really on the question that's at issue.

COOPER: When you say no to the question of are they're complying to the resolution, but it seems like kind of a mixed no, if that.

KATZMAN: A mixed, no. Yes, that's quite right. They're likely to say there has been no active cooperation. That Iraq is not volunteering information. It is not actively working to clear up the remaining questions. But on the other hand they're likely to say, you know, obviously, Iraq has not blocked access to key sites, even the presidential palace sites. And really their cooperation on that aspect is far greater than it was in the first round of inspections, 1991 to 1998.

COOPER: How will that be interpreted by the Bush administration?

KATZMAN: The Bush administration seems to have framed the question, as is Iraq complying with the requirements of a resolution? They're likely to point to the report and say, See, we told you Iraq is not complying.

The allies, particularly France and Russia and some others -- and I think the polls show the American people, too -- for them the question is, is Iraq an imminent threat to the United States? I think the inspectors are likely not to give any indication that Iraq is an imminent threat to U.S national security.

COOPER: If, in fact, that is the message tomorrow, it is sort of the worst thing the Bush administration could hear. Because on the one hand it is the -- clearly they're not complying across the board, which would be a justification for further action against Iraq. But it's not also not they're fully cooperating, which means any weapons of mass destruction would be handed over. It sort of allows everyone to interpret it however they want.

KATZMAN: That's correct. Really, you know, we've seen this situation for really the past 12 years. The debate has always been, you know, are inspections good enough to suppress Iraq's WMD programs, to keep Iraq contained, or is Iraqi noncompliance in and of itself a reason to finish really the unfinished business of the Gulf War. It seems as though the administration wants to finish the unfinished business in their view.

COOPER: You talked a little bit of how the allies will look at this, regional allies, as well as France and Germany. Let's talk about England a little bit.


COOPER: A very important meeting at the end of this week between Tony Blair and George W. Bush.

KATZMAN: Absolutely key meeting, absolutely key. My personal view is that Britain is the absolute key to war and peace here.

COOPER: Because?

KATZMAN: Because if Prime Minister Blair were to say, Mr. President I hear you, but I really can't see a case to move forward with warfare right now. And I can't join you in a coalition to move forward, immediately, I think President Bush would have a very tough time moving forward on warfare right now.

COOPER: Has Tony Blair given any indication that you've interpreted to indicate which way he would go at this point?

KATZMAN: Well, I see him as a arguing, you know, to wait and to give this more time. That's what I'm hearing. The polls in Great Britain support for war without a U.N. authorization, without a clear imminent threat are very, very low; a low level of support. And I think Blair is likely to reflect that thinking. And I think he's likely to urge substantially more time to work toward a consensus in the Security Council on this.

COOPER: All right. No doubt, we will all be watching. Ken Katzman, appreciate you joining us. Thank you.

KATZMAN: Thank you.

COOPER: The weapons inspectors will bring their report to the U.N. at 10:30 tomorrow morning. Join CNN's Paula Zahn for live coverage of that. "Showdown: Iraq -- the Weapons Report" begins at 10:00 a.m. Eastern, 7:00 Pacific -- Carol.

LIN: All right. And more troops deployed for a possible war with Iraq. Coming up, we're going to bring you up to date on the numbers and find out where they are head.

COOPER: And they may be thousands of miles away from Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, but that doesn't mean U.S. troops can't enjoy the big game. We will take you live to a very special Super Bowl bash in the Middle East. That's a live picture right there. We'll be right back.


LIN: Dozens of airmen from a Nevada air force base are headed overseas. They are about to join 75,000 U.S. troops who are already in the Persian Gulf -- or they're already on their way. CNN's Patty Davis has more on the military buildup.


PATTY DAVIS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): They're saying good-bye to their families.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It never gets easy for your spouse to leave.

UNIDENTIFIED SOLDIER: This is harder this time, because, you know...?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because we're a family now, you know?

DAVIS: Thousands of U.S. troops being deployed to the Persian Gulf for a possible war with Iraq. This weekend 30 airmen from Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, heading overseas, their mission, provide images of enemy terrain, like this, to U.S. military commanders from the unmanned predator.

UNIDENTIFIED SOLDIER: Yeah, we have a unique mission. But everybody who goes over there has a unique mission.

DAVIS: So far about 65,000 U.S. troops are in the Persian Gulf region. Some say the buildup expected to reach more than 150,000 by mid-February, is already having an effect.

SEN. RICHARD LUGAR (R), CHAIRMAN, FOREIGN: We would not be having any inspections, any diplomacy, in Iraq if we did not have 150,000 troops that were pretty close by that Saddam could see on your network, or anywhere else.

DAVIS: About 79,000 reserves and National Guard are on active duty. Their largest call up since the September 11 terror attacks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going past Stone Mountain, into town...

DAVIS: The Georgia National Guard's 148th medical company deployed even though they'll stay in the U.S., providing medical evacuations for military bases in their communities, the good-byes are just as tough.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Even though he is in the United States, it's still hard. I don't want him to go.

DAVIS: Connecticut's 250th engineer company headed out to a base in Virginia Sunday morning.

Their good-byes said at this patriotic send off last week.

DAVIS (on camera): The goal of the massive military buildup, to give President Bush maximum flexibility should he decide to go to war with Iraq.

Patty Davis, CNN, The Pentagon.


LIN: And in other news, kick off of Super Bowl XXXVII is just about 45 minutes away.

JOSIE KARP, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: I'm Josie Karp in San Diego at Super Bowl XXXVII, where it is so far so good at security checkpoints, but the news not so good for one Raiders player. We'll have all the latest when CNN SUNDAY special coverage continues right after this.


COOPER: We probably don't need to tell you but in less than an hour the biggest annual sports event in America will begin in San Diego. We of course are talking about the Super Bowl and this year security is a particular concern. CNN's Josie Karp is monitoring develops and joins us now with the latest. Josie, how's it looking out there?

KARP: It looks pretty good from all fronts, Anderson. There had been concern because there was going to be such tight security people. But maybe fans even with tickets might not get in the game promptly because they had to go through so many of these extra security measures, but as of right now, most security checkpoints look clear. But that wasn't the case earlier today. Fans were allowed to arrive as early as 11:00 a.m. Pacific time to get through all this security measures in effect. They included having their bags looked through by security officers and also every single fan had to pass through a metal detector. There was a list of banned items, things that people couldn't bring in. They were as broad as weapons, strollers, tripods and things like that. Some fans who arrived early in the day had to endure waits from the time they arrived till the time they got through security of up to an hour. But as of right now, things are looking pretty smooth. Anderson or Carol?

COOPER: Actually, Josie, it's Anderson.

I heard there was disciplinary action taken against the starting center for the Raiders. What's that about? What happened?

KARP: This is some late-breaking news, and it is certainly not the kind of thing that the Oakland Raiders wanted to deal with on the day of the game. But starting center Barrett Robins will not play today. He is not at Qualcomm Stadium and according to the Raiders. The reason was, he was out of contact with the team for much of yesterday and missed several team-related appointments. Again, he will not play, and the significance of this is twofold. One, the Raiders certainly didn't want to have to deal with this kind of distraction and, two, a lot of talk had been made all week of this battle between the Raiders offensive line and the defensive line of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Now the question is, how will the offensive line for the Raiders be able to adjust? -- Anderson.

COOPER: Of all the days for that to happen. Not a great day. Thanks very much, Josie Karp. Appreciate it -- Carol.

LIN: All right. For most of us finding a TV to watch the Super Bowl is not a problem, but if you're a Raider or Buccaneer fan who just happens to be unavoidably on active duty on board an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf, it is more of a challenge. But as you can see live in these pictures right here from the USS Constellation, it is a challenge U.S. military planners have accounted for their playbook. Football by sea. There you go. And football by land. CNN's Martin Savidge joins us with a look at what the military is doing to meet the needs of other football fans in Kuwait. Hey there, Marty, it must be pretty early in the morning there.

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Oh, I'm glad you raised that point, Carol. Yes. Welcome to Uncle Frosty's desert oasis at Camp Doha here in Kuwait where it is a fabulous Super Bowl Monday. 1:30 in the morning here. You wonder where your U.S. forces are? Well, most of them are sleeping. These are the lucky few, actually, that get to have a half-day off tomorrow. As it produce the enthusiasm and all, as you can probably see and hear. By the way, this is mostly the Oakland Raiders fans. We haven't found the Tampa section yet. They're obviously pretty fired up about the game.

We got a big screen TV and they've plenty to see and hear. Near Beer, no real beer, a lot of soft drinks, nachos, everything a football game would want minus the alcohol. Here's a good group of people we got here. Combination of medics and food service people. I'm going to be shouting at you. Tell us your name and what unit you're with.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Raven LaRue (ph) of 566 AS&C.

SAVIDGE: And who are you rooting for here?


SAVIDGE: Well, that was a silly question to ask, because everybody here I think is from California. Lets get this young man in the back here. Let me get your name.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am Specialist Brian Cubert (ph).

SAVIDGE: Who are you with?


SAVIDGE: Who are you rooting for, as if I got to ask?


SAVIDGE: Anybody you want to say hello to at home?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just want to say 'HI' to my dad, my mom, Lisa, Eric and Jenny. You all be safe. Love you all. Bye.

SAVIDGE: And of course what's the main reason we are here? Try to show as many faces, try to hear a couple of voices so their families still back home know they're doing all right. And they are doing alright tonight. And I got to tell you, Anderson, for me this is a lot better than last year in Afghanistan because the temperature is a lot warmer. Back to you.

LIN: Hey, Marty, it's Carol. Yes, Anderson was laughing when you said that because he knows the feeling. He's been there too. Hey listen, we heard that Dominoes pizza was sending over 6,000 slices of pizza - free pizza for these guys. Did it ever arrive?

SAVIDGE: No, you know what, I have been waiting for the pizza to arrive and I haven't seen a slice. We understand that much of the pizza actually was sent out to some of the forward bases, those are the ones closer to the Iraqi border. They haven't got it quite so good as they do here, so they get the pizza. We will see what shows up later. If you want to put in an order for me, though, I'll take green peppers and mushroom, thank you very much.

LIN: All right, but I can't guarantee a 30-minute delivery, Marty. Sorry about that. All right, you know, maybe some of the commanding officers decided they needed to check out those slices before it went out to the men and women, you know, just to be sure of quality control. Alright, Marty, enjoy the game. We will be talking to you soon. 1:30 in the morning.

COOPER: All right, and I am sure during the commercial breaks they'll turning over to CNN and watching us in-between.

LIN: Absolutely.

COOPER: Absolutely. As are most of you at home, I am sure. Well, we appreciate that.

LIN: We are going to be on, actually, continuing this special.

COOPER: That's right. We are. Of course, one of the burning questions throughout the world is whether the U.S. will end up going to war with Iraq. Coming up, Bill Schneider tries to take a look at that question.

LIN: And later, is this showdown with Iraq an example of history repeating itself? CNN military analyst General Don Shepperd lays out the comparisons.


COOPER: Well, President Bush will report to Congress about the State of the Union on Tuesday night. The members of Congress won't be the only people listening obviously. Across the U.S. and Europe, especially in the Middle East and even in Asia, people will be playing close attention and asking a single question, is the U.S. going to war? CNN's senior political analyst Bill Schneider, whose expertise in politics doesn't stop at the U.S. border, joins us from Tel Aviv. Bill, let's put the question to you. At this point, do you think, is the U.S. going to go to war?

WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, that's the question that the whole world wants to know, Anderson. The world is going to be paying close attention to President Bush's State of the Union speech to see if he gives any clues about what the answer might be. And nowhere more than here in the Middle East because the major flash points in the world are right here.

Like for instance, Iraq. The whole world will see President Bush's speech as the U.S. response to Monday's report by the U.N. weapons inspectors. The president's under great pressure domestically and internationally to let the inspection's process run the course. Otherwise, what's the point? President Bush is likely to argue that the point is not to find a smoking gun. The point is to test Iraq's attitude. If Saddam Hussein is showing a commitment to disarmament or is he resisting and stalling? President Bush has to persuade the country and the world to look at the inspection's process differently. That's a big challenge.

COOPER: It certainly is. Let's talk another flash point in the region. Afghanistan. Do you expect to hear anything from the president about Afghanistan?

SCHNEIDER: Well, President Bush famously dislikes the idea of nation building. But that's exactly the role that the United States has assumed in Afghanistan. The president needs to report to the country and the world what it's doing to make sure that terrorists never again have a base in Afghanistan or anywhere else. Can the president claim that the United States is winning the war on terrorism and will he even mention Osama bin Laden? COOPER: We will listen to that. You are in Israel right now. What are Israelis and Palestinians, what are people in Israel expecting to hear from the president?

SCHNEIDER: Well, both Israelis and Palestinians expect that the confrontation with Iraq is going to cause a major political earthquake here in the Middle East, and that's exactly what's needed to get the peace process here restarted. The whole Middle East is relying on the United States to provide a road map to peace. Israelis are particularly concerned about Iran. One of the countries that President Bush put on the axis of evil. The question is if Iraq falls will Iran rise?

COOPER: Well, talking about that axis of evil. Are we going to hear anything about North Korea in the president's speech?

SCHNEIDER: You know, Anderson, to most of the world, North Korea looks like a more serious threat than Iraq. President Bush needs to explain to the American people and to the world why diplomacy stands a better chance of working with North Korea than with Iraq. And what the consequences for North Korea will be if diplomacy fails. You know, in his last State of the Union speech, President Bush first depicted an axis of evil. Now a year later the world is waiting to hear what the United States plans to do to break that axis.

COOPER: Bill, you are in Tel Aviv right now. What is public opinion among Israelis about U.S. military action in Iraq? Obviously this is a closely followed issue in Israel. Where does public opinion stand at this point?

SCHNEIDER: Well, I have interviewed a number of people. I asked them precisely that question and they said Israel is fully supportive. The Israeli public, not just the government. Fully supportive of U.S. action against Saddam Hussein. After all, Saddam Hussein attacked Israel, not the United States directly, but Israel, so they support the United States completely.

But, of course, they're nervous, they're apprehensive because they're going to be on the front line. They know if the United States attacks Iraq, the first thing Iraq is likely to do is to attack Israel. The government of Israel has said many times they anticipate, they fully expect that the United States will act to prevent any attack on Israel, because if such an attack were to occur, Prime Minister Sharon says Israel cannot restrain itself from retaliating and if Israel does that, then the whole Middle East can explode in flames.

COOPER: All right. CNN senior political analyst, Bill Schneider, appreciate it -- Carol.

LIN: All right, Anderson. Let's flash back to the first war against Iraq which took place 12 years ago.

The skies above Baghdad were illuminated when the allied air strike began on January 16, 1991. If there is to be the second Persian Gulf War, what would it look like and how similar would the two be? For that, we're joined by CNN military analyst, retired Major General Don Shepperd. He's in Tucson, Arizona. Hi, Don.


LIN: Good to see you. Obviously, it strikes me the biggest difference is the last time we had a very prominent and physical reason to go. I mean Kuwait was under attack. It was being raped and pillaged and that was the call to action. But this time around, it seems a lot murkier.

SHEPPERD: Yes, there are some similarities and some differences, as well. The whole world was with us last time to kick it out of another country. That is not the case this time. Also we all six months of buildup. This time the buildup is much shorter because of two reasons. One, it is going to take less troops than before, because he's weaker and we're stronger. And another is the fact that we have many troops that were already stationed in the region as a residual of the Gulf War. A couple of other things here, too.

The last time you saw a sustained air campaign, 37 days, maybe 40 days followed by a three-day ground war. This time you may see the reverse of that. A short air campaign followed by extended ground campaign, even occupation forces and a much more simultaneous war than the time before, Carol.

LIN: General, there is also a report out there that the air strikes if and when they do start, will start with a huge pounding. Perhaps with as many as 300 to 400 cruise missiles in a single day. Which I believe is about as many as they used in the 37-day campaign.

SHEPPERD: Yes. That would be a good guess. Nobody knows. But whatever is targeted, it will be done in a massive way and we would go after command and control air defense and leadership, in other words, key leadership and storage sites on the first hours of the war. We have the capability to hit them this time with more precision than before, Carol. And that's not a bad guess. The numbers I can't tell you for sure because.

LIN: But the last time around, also, back in 1991, nobody was really talking about hand-to-hand combat in the streets of Baghdad.

SHEPPERD: The ugliest of scenarios. Our nightmare scenario and Saddam knows it. I am sure he would love to drag us into downtown combat and we would love to avoid it. We are probably hoping for massive defections of Iraqi forces and a massive psychological campaign to keep this from happening. We are also worried about a scorched-earth policy where Saddam destroys his electrical systems, his dams and water supplies, and blames it on us. It can get really ugly, Carol. This is serious business.

LIN: Very serious because now there is talking of using nuclear weapons against Iraq if necessary. Do you think that the United States will in fact use nuclear warheads against Saddam Hussein?

SHEPPERD: We never take our nuclear threat off the table. And that's a very smart thing to do because a potential aggressor or an enemy has to wonder what we would do. We made it clear during the Gulf War that if Saddam used weapons of mass destruction, chem, bio, or nuclear, that he faced the possibility of nasty retaliation from us. And he has to wonder about it this time. But it's It's not an automatic response just because you see a chemical attack of some type, it does not mean automatically we go to nuclear war and only the president will decide that, Carol.

LIN: You know what's really interesting, you know, the debate leading up to the 1991 strike, was very similar to what is going on to the debate the week before this President Bush's State of the Union. What is it that you're going to be listening for in terms of President Bush making a convincing argument to both the American people and the allies Tuesday night?

SHEPPERD: Yes. A couple of things. First of all, I am really glad we live in a country that's slow to go to war. We always have this kind of debate in this country before we go to war and I'm really glad for it. Questioning the administration. The point is the president has to make the case to the American public. So what I am watching for is not only his words, but the poles which are now, as I take it, probably a little bit on the side of not going to war. I'm watching for a massive swing in those polls after the president starts to present his case starting on the 28th, Carol. We'll see what happens from there.

LIN: Yes. People are looking for evidence. Alright, thank you very much. Thank you, General Don Shepperd. Good to see you, as always.

Well, from Sheryl Crowe ...

COOPER: Jessica Lange, I believe. Many celebrities have already spoken out against a war with Iraq.

LIN: Coming up, we'll look at the harsh words from actress Janeane Garofalo about a war and the mainstream media. Who's to blame her?


LIN: A new poll shows a majority of the U.S. public will support military action against Iraq if President Bush says it's necessary. But they'd rather he work with the United Nations. Take a look at this, 56 percent responding to the CNN-USA. TODAY Gallup poll say the U.S. should not invade Iraq unless a second U.N. vote authorizes action. But if President Bush decides to invade, 72 percent say they'll support it.

COOPER: Meanwhile, leaders of some of the European nations and longtime U.S. allies are openly saying that they are against rushing into a war against Iraq. Just a few days ago, in fact, French president Jacques Chirac met with German chancellor Gerhardt Schroeder. The two men said only the U.N. Security Council can approve a war against Iraq. Bruce Morton has more on what is becoming a growing divide.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) BRUCE MORTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A scholar named Robert Kagan wrote a paper, now out as a small book, which argues that Europe and America now have very different views of the world. "Europe," he says, is turning away from power, moving into a self- contained world of laws and rules and transnational negotiation and cooperation." "United States," Kagan writes, "lives in a world where international laws and rules are unreliable, and where true security still depends on the possession and use of military might."

Well, Europe, of course, is trying to become one, a single currency, plans for a European military force, talk of a constitution and so on. And the United States certainly seems ready to use military force alone against Iraq.

BUSH: If Saddam Hussein will not disarm, the United States of America and friends of freedom will disarm Saddam Hussein.


MORTON: And, Bush warned Iraqis: Don't resist us.

BUSH: If you choose to do so, when Iraq is liberated, you will be treated, tried and persecuted as a war criminal.

MORTON: That certainly is the U.S. going it alone. Or, is it just the U.S. president?

SEN. EDWARD M. KENNEDY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: The threat from Iraq is not imminent, and it will distract America from the two more immediate threats to our security. The clear and present danger of terrorism and the crisis with North Korea.

MORTON: And a Washington Post-ABC News poll shows more Americans worry the U.S. might move too quickly against Iraq than too slowly. Other polls show Americans think the U.S. should invade only if the United Nations approves the attack.

So, there's a question: Is America in a more "lone-wolf, for-us- or-against-or-against-us mood"? Or is mostly President Bush who wants Saddam's head on a platter?

And if it is Mr. Bush, why? Because his father chose not to finish off the dictator, fearing it would wreck the coalition he had assembled? Or because he sees Saddam as a genuine danger without so far having really convinced the voters? Hard to know.

Also hard to know: how costly an invasion would be and how Americans would react to heavy U.S. casualties. What we do know is the economy is shaky. Voters are skeptical about the president's tilting toward the rich proposed tax cut. Deficit spending is soaring, and Americans tell pollsters the country is headed in the wrong direction.

Mr. Bush is still a good bet to win a second term. Polls show just under 50 percent say they'd vote for him. But he's not as good a bet as he was six months ago. I'm Bruce Morton.


LIN: The international chorus is not the only voice of descent in the growing anti-war movement. For example comedian and actor Janeane Garofalo accuses the White House and the media of downplaying the discordant echoes. Howard Kurtz of CNN's "RELIABLE SOURCES" spoke with Garofalo today.


JANEANE GAROFALO, COMEDIAN/ACTRESS: Now I for one am not going to let the Bush administration and mainstream media roll right over me. And I'm not going to go quietly into this war if we are going into the war, because I vehemently disagree with it and I disagree with a lot of Bush administration foreign policy, and I feel like if I can give a voice to the millions of Americans who are in the -- who advocate peace and diplomacy, then I feel an obligation to do that.

HOWARD KURTZ, HOST, RELIABLE SOURCES: Now obviously, you open yourself up to a little bit of criticism of being a cause celebre, since you are not famous as a Middle East policy expert, but that has not deterred you?

GAROFALO: No. I don't know that I would need to be famous as a Middle East policy expert to see that unilateral imperialism is bad policy. But I also -- if I am uninformed like a lot of the citizens in this country are, that's the fault of the White House and the mainstream media. We don't get enough information, we don't get enough news with our news and how can we function as a democracy without information? We have been given disinformation and White House propaganda all the time. We have no history to our news, no context to our news, no global perspective. We don't see people outside our borders as humans, and if I am uninformed, which I like to think I work very hard not to be uninformed, it is the fault of the White House and the mainstream media.


LIN: All right. Well, "RELIABLE SOURCES" airs at 11:30 a.m. on Sundays right here on CNN.

COOPER: Well, a snapshot in time. Coming up, indelible images of the showdown with Iraq. Janeane Garofalo, stay tuned, straight ahead.


LIN: Well, we have got yet another hour of our special coverage here on "Showdown: Iraq."

COOPER: Yesterday we got reports from Iraq, Nic Robertson is going to be standing by in Baghdad with the report on the latest developments there with the U.N. inspectors. Also, looking ahead to tomorrow, there will be a report by Hans Blix to the U.N. That should be -- our Richard Roth will be standing by for that.

LIN: That's right. And we thought we'd get -- go outside the American public opinion, talk to some international correspondents about public opinion in France and Germany, as you know, those two countries saying they don't want the United States to act alone. And they think that diplomacy should be given a chance. We are going to hear some outside voices.

COOPER: All right. Thank you.

LIN: But first, we have shown you obviously the moving images of the showdown with Iraq throughout the hour.

COOPER: Before we go, however, we thought we would show you some other pictures that caught our eye. Take a look at some of these.


COOPER: Jordan's King Abdullah says it may be too late to avoid war in Iraq. Several Middle Eastern nations are pushing for a diplomatic end to the weapons dispute.


KING ABDULLAH, JORDAN: But today, I think that the mechanisms are in place and I think it would be very difficult. It would take a miracle to find dialogue and a peaceful solution out of the crisis.


COOPER: We are less than 24 hours away from what are probably some of the most highly anticipated speeches ever delivered to the United Nations, the words of the chief weapons inspector and his counterpart in the International Atomic Energy Agency, words that may just determine the fate of Iraq.

LIN: That's right. In this hour, in fact, Anderson, we're going to bring you all of the details of what's shaping up to be a crucial day in the looming showdown. We're going to look at the risks, the timetable, and the fallout as some of our closest allies are so far refusing to stand by the Bush administration's war strategy.

Just for a moment here, just consider the countdown to the chief U.N. weapons inspector's report tomorrow. U.N. teams have spent two months combing sites across Iraq. So far, they've only found munition shells that were unaccounted for, but no smoking gun. CNN's Nic Robertson traces their movements across Iraq.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good morning. Are you coming with us today?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Excellent. ROBERTSON (voice-over): After almost 60 days of U.N. inspections, cooperation from Iraqi officials still has much of the appearance of being good.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have four vehicles.

ROBERTSON: It's the way it's been now for over 400 site visits -- help in finding the way when lost, doors opened, mostly without delay. But just opening doors and showing the way has not been the proactive cooperation the U.N. wants.

HANS BLIX, CNN U.N. WEAPONS INSPECTOR: It requires comprehensive inspection and it requires very active Iraqi cooperation.

ROBERTSON: Despite the high-speed car chases, an inspector's efforts to hide where they're going, most agree, no smoking gun has been found thus far. Iraqis have a simple explanation. They have no weapons of mass destruction.

GEN. AMIR AL-SAADI, IRAQI PRESIDENTIAL ADVISER: Will you accept my story unless you have evidence to the contrary? And you don't have evidence to the contrary. If they had, they would come up with it right away.

ROBERTSON (on camera): And that's the issue that dogs everything the inspectors do here. Their mission has been set up to succeed only if Iraq actively helps the inspectors by providing the evidence that proves their weapons of mass destruction programs are dead and that no more development is going on.

(voice-over): It was the inspectors' visit to a sensitive presidential palace, early December that gave the first hint to U.N. experts difficulties lay ahead.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We found that the entry of the presidential palace as unjustified.

ROBERTSON: Iraq's 12,000-page weapons declaration soon after began deepening those earlier concerns. The discovery of a dozen chemical warheads and documents at a scientist's house just days before U.N. Weapons Chief Hans Blix's visit a week ago hinted the U.N. was making progress.

Of all the U.N. demands, the key one for many inspectors, to hold private interviews with Iraqi scientists, has still not been met.

(on camera): And that's where it stands now. Iraq's scientists, many international experts believe, are the only people who can fully reveal Iraq's true weapons of mass destruction capability. The question remains for many U.N. inspectors, just how much cooperation are the Iraqis giving them?

Nic Robertson, CNN, Baghdad.

(END VIDEOTAPE) COOPER: Secretary of State Colin Powell was in Switzerland today, pounding drums for the world's business leaders gathered there. But rather than implying Baghdad's future is predetermined, he says it depends on the actions of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.


COLIN POWELL, SECRETARY OF STATE: Today, not a single nation, not one, trusts Saddam Hussein and his regime. And those who know him best trust him least. The 12,200-page declaration Iraq submitted to the United Nations Security Council on December 7 utterly failed to meet the requirements of the resolution, utterly failed to meet the requirements of being accurate, full and complete.

To those who say why not give the inspection process more time, I ask how much more time does Iraq need to answer these questions? These are serious matters before us.

Let the Iraqi regime have no doubt, however, if it does not disarm peacefully at this juncture, it will be disarmed down the road. The United States believes that time is running out. We will not shrink from war if that is the only way to rid Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction. We continue to reserve our sovereign right to take military action against Iraq, alone or in a coalition of the willing. As the president has said we cannot defend America and our friends by hoping for the best. History will judge harshly those who saw a coming danger but failed to act.


COOPER: Well, the U.N. report comes at an important time for the White House, the day before the president's State of The Union Address. How will the inspectors' words influence Mr. Bush and will he be able to sway the American public? CNN White House correspondent, Suzanne Malveaux, is standing by at the White House.

Suzanne, what strategy does President Bush have to try to convince the American people of the rightness of any action against Iraq?

MALVEAUX: Well, Anderson, really, what is key to the strategy, really what's fundamental to it is to try to get not only Americans, but also the nay sayers, Germany, France, Russia, to understand the inspection process in a different way. They say, "Well, if we find things here, the inspections process is working."

But the Bush administration insists that this is only evidence to show that Saddam Hussein refuses to disarm. What they want people to understand here is that the main question is whether or not Saddam Hussein is willing to disarm or if there are any signs that he would disarm. If the answer to that question is no, then the following question is what is the world going to do about it? They argue that it could take years if they were to play this kind of cat and mouse game with Saddam Hussein and the inspectors. They could be on the ground for more than a decade. They say that is not going to work. They don't believe inspections can possibly work if you're dealing with a regime that refuses to disarm.

That is their main argument. That is the argument the president is going to be making in his State of The Union Address. It is also the argument that you'll see Secretary of State Colin Powell making to his counterparts, the president also making to world leaders in the week to come. That is what you're going to see being put on the table. And sources are telling us that the president will make a decision whether or not military action is necessary in the weeks to come.

COOPER: Suzanne, we've been talking today about this new CNN/"USA Today" Gallup Poll. I'm going to put it on the screen here. The first one, U.S. troops to Iraq to remove Saddam Hussein from power. Fifty-two percent of those sampled say they favored it, 43 percent say they oppose it.

The next one, though, is interesting and I'm wondering if the White House is particularly concerned about this. Favor sending U.S. troops to Iraq. Now, 52 percent are in favor of it, but back in January, 10 to 12, it was 56 percent. Back in December, it was 58 percent. Is the White House concerned that the momentum is slipping on this?

MALVEAUX: Well, the White House certainly realizes it has yet to win over the American people in making its case. That's why we've seen this kind of dramatic public relations blitz just over the last week or so. But the administration, having said that, still argues. They believe that if the president ultimately decides that military action is necessary, that the American people will get behind him.

Well, what was really quite stunning today to hear was that you had Jordan's King Abdullah, who came out and said it would take a miracle for diplomacy to work. You even had the Democratic leader, Senator Nancy Pelosi, who came out and also said she believes that if the president made the case before the American people, that ultimately, that they would be behind the president. So, again, yes, they have a case to make. They've got some work to do, but they're confident that they can do that.

COOPER: All right. Suzanne Malveaux at the White House, thanks -- Carol.

LIN: All right. Well, what does the rest of the world think about war against Iraq? We're actually going to hear from some people who make it their business to know what people in our allied nations are thinking. We're going to go live to Kuwait, also, where the soldiers are thinking about it a different kind of battle right now, one between the Buccaneers and the Raiders.

And later, TV's and -- in taxies. Technological godsend or is it the latest sign of the Apocalypse?


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JAVIER SOLANA, EUROPEAN UNION: We are cooperating in the Security Council in order to disarm Saddam Hussein. Therefore, the things we are doing together, and many more are the things in which we may have a different approach.

And at this point in time, the position of the European Union is not very far from the position of the United States. We want to listen to the inspectors. We want to continue working in the frame words of the United Nations, but our objective is common. The objective is to disarm Saddam Hussein weapons of mass destruction.


LIN: Well, that is the voice of diplomacy. But there is a lot of talk that if President Bush cannot convince the allies to go against Iraq, the United States is prepared to go it alone. France and Germany are insisting the U.S. should get U.N. authorization. The U.S. fired back with perceived insult. So we thought it'd be interesting to get beyond the American perspective and go to three fresh voices.

David Usborne is the New York correspondent for the British newspaper, "The Independent." Tom Burrow is the Washington bureau chief for the German television network, ARD. And Philippe Coste is the U.S. correspondent for the French weekly news magazine, "L'Express."

Welcome to all three of you. But before we talk with you, let's get some of -- or let's hear from some of the -- Europe's heads of state and what they are saying.


TONY BLAIR, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: I have no doubt at all that he's developing these weapons and that he poses a threat. But we made a choice to go down the U.N. route and we're pursuing that U.N. route. And we'll stick with the U.N. route.

PRESIDENT JACQUES CHIRAC, FRANCE (through translator): As far as we're concerned, war always means failure.

GERHARD SCHROEDER, GERMAN CHANCELLOR (through translator): One can never accept it if it is said war is inevitable. War must never be inevitable. And I have made it clear that on Germany's behalf, we cannot agree to a legitimization of war.


LIN: Well, those are the words from the week. We want to get your perspective now, gentlemen. Let me start with you, Tom. I mean what is it that the president needs to say on Tuesday night to convince people in Germany that going to war is the right thing to do, oust Saddam Hussein and get it over with?

TOM BURROW, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF, ARD: Well, there are two possibilities that would really make a strong case. One would be if he really would make the connection to al Qaeda, what does Saddam Hussein really have to do with either 0/11 or with connections with terrorist networks, really some details. And the other is, some real solid proof -- does he have weapons of mass destruction ready to use or even with the presence of inspectors on the ground, is he really an imminent threat in the near future? Those two points would really, really help to make a strong case.

LIN: Philippe, for the French?

PHILIPPE COSTE, U.S. CORRESPONDENT, L'EXPRESS: I think it would be basically the same. There's a lot of suspicion towards the United States as far as the reality of the threat of Saddam Hussein. And the French would like to be convinced at some point that there is a real imminent danger for Europe or at least some -- while the good way might be, the best way would be through the terrorism networks. I mean the idea may be to prove that Saddam Hussein had anything to do with, I don't know, a possibility of a dirty bomb in Paris or somewhere. But that's very doubtful.

LIN: Well, when your -- when the French foreign minister came out and basically hesitated to say, "Look, we need to get U.N. authorization. We need to get the allies on board." This is what the U.S. Secretary of Defense had to say about France.


DONALD RUMSFELD, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: You're thinking of Europe as Germany and France. I don't. I think that's old Europe. If you look at the entire NATO Europe today, the center of gravity is shifting to the east.


LIN: Philippe, what did your readers -- how did your readers respond to that? Old Europe, that's what France is, almost really on the verge of saying irrelevant.

COSTE: Well, it's a bit -- it's a very strange statement since actually Spain, which is on the west part of Europe, is actually a better ally of the United States than France is. So actually, the argument doesn't truly work. I mean France and Germany are two of the most potent actors on the European scene.

And are they old? Are they new? Actually, the American government has less leeway with the French and the Germans, maybe because they have more asserted position an on the international scene than newcomers of the -- on the eastern part of Europe. But that's not really a relevant argument and it was really badly taken, like very arrogant. And one more time, again, I mean, showing the lack of political skill of Mr. Rumsfeld.

LIN: David, I'm going to get to you in just a quick second. But Philippe and also, Tom, I mean how is President Bush seen in your country by the Germans and French? Does he look like a cowboy? Does he look like a politician though who is trying to seek solutions? What's his reputation there? BURROW: Me first or...

LIN: Tom, go ahead.

BURROW: All right. He has hurt himself or his reputation by making that leap from the anti-terror war and the campaign in Afghanistan, to Iraq. He just hasn't made it clear why that is part of the anti-terror campaign. And there was a lot of solidarity, solid solidarity in Germany and all across the board in Europe after 9/11, but he has -- and so, he has reinforced that stereotype -- he's this guy from Texas. He's gung-ho and he has already made up his mind. He's going to go to war no matter what.

LIN: Philippe, the same in France?

COSTE: Oh yes, and it's getting worse and worse, I think, even to a very irrational point. I think the upsurge of anti-Americanism in France is basically due to the lack of, I would say, diplomatic sweetness of this president, his basic ignorance, I would say, of the impact on French public opinion or European public opinion of most of his statements. And his conservatism, in a way, is also a problem.

LIN: All right. David, now, for the U.K. perspective. There's a very important meeting between President Bush and Prime Minister Blair, but from what I have read, it seems that public opinion in Great Britain, people there are hesitant about going to war and even look at the prime minister as being a bit of a lap dog to President Bush and what he wants to do. Is that your sense?

DAVID USBORNE, "THE INDEPENDENT": Well, yes, the image has been for several months now that Tony Blair is George Bush's poodle. Frankly, I don't think there's very much that George Bush can say on Tuesday that's going to change opinion in Europe, because people are fed up and bored of listening to these American assertions. They want to hear and see real evidence, preferably from the inspectors.

So yes, Tony Blair has a very difficult -- extremely difficult -- perhaps he has the biggest dilemma of any British leader, I would say, for generations here. He has to choose between Europe and America at an extremely delicate time. And there's a very deep-seated feeling that Britain should stand by the United States. But I think those comments, for example, by Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld last week do not make Tony Blair's job very much easier, because the British public is extremely skeptical and they don't understand what the hurry is. They really don't.

LIN: But why don't people -- I mean Saddam Hussein could potentially be responsible for the deaths of more than a million people in his own country, going after political opponents, attacking the Kurds. Why is that it your people do not believe that Saddam Hussein is threat enough that the United States should lead this campaign and go to war?

USBORNE: I don't think anybody has any argument with a statement that Saddam Hussein is an extremely evil despot. But they do not -- they want to give the U.N. process more time. They don't understand what the hurry is here in Washington. I was recently in London and frankly, there was a sense almost that there's an American fixation here that isn't entirely rational and they see what's happening in North Korea and the Korean peninsula. And for many people in Europe, the Korean -- the North Korean threat is more imminent and more understandable perhaps, than the Iraqi threat.

LIN: So is there a sense of inevitability amongst your readers that there is going to be war with or without the allied support?

USBORNE: Well, I think that most people accept that war probably will happen, but I think wishful thinking, perhaps. Many of my readers still hope very much that it will not. They would like more time given to the inspectors and I think that's what Tony Blair will be arguing on Friday.

LIN: Tom, what about your viewers? Inevitability?

BURROW: Yes, some hope that maybe France with a veto or with some obstruction, could slow things down, or at least delay them in the Security Council.

Two quick points, Carol, if I may.

LIN: Sure.

BURROW: One big, big difference psychologically between the United States to view on any war and any armed conflict is for the United States; it's out there somewhere else, an armed conflict. For Europe, it's here. Bombs are falling, crashing on our heads, people screaming, running into bomb shelters. That's our experience of war. And although we've brought it upon ourselves through the centuries, that is what forms our trigger shyness so to speak, you know.

And the second thing is that I think transatlantic relations right now are suffering and they don't need to be. There was a great solidarity with the United States after 9/11. We have to reconnect to that. I think that Europe really has to get its act together if we want to make an impact and if we want to be potent and throw our weight into this and really determine things. Then we have to make an effort and really unite more and play a more active role in international affairs.

LIN: All right, thank you, Tom. And Philippe, you get the last word here.

COSTE: Well, I would be surprised if France would really use its power of veto in the Security Council. France has no real interest in (UNINTELLIGIBLE) really a war between the French and the United States. France has an interest in this conflict and the resolution of the conflict in the way that it could prove that the system, the international system and the legal system, has worked as much as it could and has prevented as much as it could an armed conflict in Iraq. At one point, the French president even said that war is the worst solution. But war might be also a solution as long as it is really supported by international law. LIN: Philippe Coste, thank you very much. David Usborne from "The Independent" in the United Kingdom and Tom Burrow, Washington bureau chief of ARD, thank you very much for joining us. Always good to hear outside voices.

All right. While the U.S. wants new leaders in Iraq, Israel gets set for new elections. We're going to have the latest on that right after a quick break.


COOPER: The Israeli army has locked down travel in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in preparation for Tuesday's important election there. The move was made with Israel citing intelligence that Palestinian militants were planning large-scale attacks. The travel ban began Sunday afternoon and will extend through Wednesday morning. More than 1,500 Israeli soldiers will support police who are deployed at polling stations around the country. We are now joined by our Bill Schneider who is in Israel.

And Bill, I suppose the move was necessary to try to ensure voter turnout on Tuesday.

SCHNEIDER: Well, that's the argument. You know there was an attack on a polling place during the party primaries back in November, where six Israelis with were killed. And I'll tell you something, Anderson. Israelis vote and they vote in huge numbers because for people here, voting is a Zionist commitment. It's an act of patriotic duty. They get regular turnouts of 75 percent or more and most who don't vote are Arab Israelis who don't have that Zionist commitment.

Election Day is a public holiday. And one other thing, there are no wasted votes because every party gets seats in the parliament in proportion to its vote. So nobody votes for a losing candidate.

COOPER: That's interesting. Now it's expected that Ariel Sharon's Likud Party will grab a majority of seats this time and that Ariel Sharon will be prime minister again. Any surprises expected?

SCHNEIDER: Well, there could be some big surprises, because, as you know, in the middle of the terrorist threat, at a time of impending war, one of the biggest issues in this campaign is, of all things, the role of religion. And there's one party in particular that's causing quite a public sensation.


SCHNEIDER (voice-over): The hot candidate in Israel isn't this man or this man. It's this man.

YOSEF (TOMMY) LAPID, SHINUI PARTY LEADER: We need a liberal, open-minded, versatile civilization that's technically scientifically versatile minded and not (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

SCHNEIDER: In Israel, that's straight talk. It comes from Tommy Lapid, leader of the Shinui or Change Party. Lapid is campaigning on what is for Israel a revolutionary concept, the separation of synagogue and state, no special privileges or subsidies for the ultra- orthodox. Shinui is a libertarian party that speaks for a new constituency.

LAPID: We are carrying the flag of the middle-class, which is an unusual phenomenon in Israeli politics. In Israeli politics, you're supposed to look only after the poor.

SCHNEIDER: Looking after poor, Middle Eastern Israelis is historically the business of the predominantly ultra-orthodox Shas party, Lapid's devoted enemy.

RABBI SHLOMO BENIZRI, MINISTER OF LABOR SHAS PARTY: We are a party of care for the weak people, for the poor people and we are giving them service around all the states.

SCHNEIDER: Cabinet Minister Benizri displays his loyalties on his office wall. There's the prime minister and the president and the there's the boss of the Shas political machine, Rabbi (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Yosef.

Shas and the religious right are rallying supporters against the Shinui threat.

BENIZRI: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) lucky, it's that we have today war with the Palestinian. If there wasn't war with the Palestinian, it could be a civil war between us.

SCHNEIDER: The irony is Lapid claims to be the candidate of national unity.

LAPID: I want national unity, a secular government of national unity.

SCHNEIDER: You see, more than 90 percent of Israelis are not ultra-orthodox.

LAPID: I am taking the side with the minority, which is not living by the rules of the majority. And this doesn't make me a divisor figure. This makes them the divisor.

SCHNEIDER: Secularism unites Israel's non-orthodox majority. What divides them is ideology. Lapid wants to bridge the gap between Israel's left and right.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A person who could not bring himself because of his views to vote for Sharon or any other parties on the right and can't forgive Labour and the left for Oslo which he sees as a disaster would probably go to Shinui.


SCHNEIDER: A strong showing by Shinui would not just be a vote against the ultra Orthodox. It would also be a vote against the established order, cozy political deals, and special privileges for the ultra Orthodox. Shinui aims to change Israeli politics. After all, that's what their name means.

COOPER: Now Shinui, where do they stand on the Palestinian issue?

SCHNEIDER: Well, they are a party that is historically strongly security minded. They tend to be associated with toughness, with security orientation. Tommy Lapid, the party leader, has been on the right in the past. So, I think there they would have common ground more with Sharon than with the opposition Labour Party.

COOPER: And I believe right now you said they have six seats. How are they expected to do in this election?

SCHNEIDER: Well, they're expected to gain in double digits, perhaps 13 or 14 seats, and there's even an outside chance, and this would really upset Israeli politics, that they could come in second doing better than the Labour Party. If they did that, it would be a real revolution in Israel.

COOPER: And this is made possible because, I mean the leader of the Shinui says that they are the standard bearers for the middle class. Is their growth made possible because of a growing middle class in Israel?

SCHNEIDER: Actually what they're getting is a protest vote. They're getting a vote from people who are fed up with politics as usual, people who see the Labour Party as no longer a realistic alternative because they don't like or trust or know very much about their new candidate.

Remember, the Labour Party candidate was chosen eight weeks before the election. How can people get to know him? So, a lot of Labour voters are voting for Shinui. I think it's a sign of frustration on the part of the electorate and a desire for new alternatives that they're going to this new party.

COOPER: All right, the election is on Tuesday. Bill Schneider, thank you. We will be watching.

U.S. troops are watching the Super Bowl live right now, not sure if they get to have bowls of guacamole and chips but we will see coming up. That's a live shot. We'll be right back.


LIN: Well there you go a live picture of the troops at Camp Doha, actually watching a commercial break there but they're actually watching the Super Bowl live there at Camp Doha outside of Kuwait City and having a great time.

COOPER: They probably like the commercials as much as people over here like them.

LIN: You bet. Oh actually this is not Camp Doha. This is the USS Constellation.


LIN: We're getting a live picture off the battleship there, having a good time. They didn't get their Dominos pizza though.

COOPER: They didn't, all right.

LIN: We're going to have to investigate that.

COOPER: But I think a little later on we're going to go over to Camp Doha where Marty Savidge is going to be standing by.

LIN: That's right. That's right, the troops having a good time there. But first we're going to hit a news alert. In fact, in a couple of minutes we're going to take a look at how the troops in the Persian Gulf region are enjoying Super Bowl festivities so stay right there. But these are the top stories at the half hour.


COOPER: Well, the Super Bowl has begun. Nearly 130 million people are expected to be watching at least part of the game today. That's among the people who are going to be watching us because a lot of people are going to be tuning to us, I think, during the commercial breaks.

LIN: We hope.

COOPER: We hope. That includes some American troops overseas are watching. Martin Savidge joins us live from Kuwait with more. Are they enjoying the game so far, Marty?

SAVIDGE: Hi, Anderson, we're having a heck of a time here. Welcome to Camp Doha where as they say the beer is near and the loved ones are far away, and when I mean near beer, I mean sand is the alcohol.

But we got a big screen TV. We got nachos. We got a packed house. The place is a rocking, and as they say in that other beer commercial, it doesn't get any better than this.

I want to introduce you to a table right over here. Gentlemen, let me buy you a beer. There you go. These men are all part of the Quartermaster's Unit. The Quartermasters are the people you want to know because they supply the beans, the bullets, and the band aids. Let's say hi there, sir. Let me get your name.

SGT. 1ST CLASS JAMES BROOKS: Yes, I'm Sergeant 1st Class James Brooks from 633rd Quartermaster.

SAVIDGE: All right, now answer me honestly is there any place else in the world you'd rather be for Super Bowl?

BROOKS: Anyplace else? Well, I'd love to be home with my wife and my kids but this is going to have to do for right now.

SAVIDGE: I love an honest man. See, he said it exactly the way I would say it. I'd like to be home with the family.

BROOKS: I want to say hello to my wife, my kids, and my mother. I want them all to know that I love them very, very much and we will be home soon victorious.

SAVIDGE: Thank you sir. Thank you. Let me lean across the table here. Let me get your name.

SPECIALIST EDWARD WANDRICK: Specialist Edward Wandrick of St. Louis, Missouri.

SAVIDGE: And who are you rooting for?

WANDRICK: I'm rooting for Tampa Bay. I'm really rooting for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. We're doing it here today.

SAVIDGE: You know this is amazing because I thought all the Tampa Bay fans had been given guard duty tonight because they don't seem to be here.

WANDRICK: Well, you know what. I was the one that was handing out guard duty so a lot of the Raider fans at the border right now.

SAVIDGE: Anybody you want to say hello to?

WANDRICK: I want to say hello to my mother and my family in St. Louis, Missouri and all my loved ones in Los Angeles, California. My loved one Angela, all the love in the world to you baby.

SAVIDGE: What's it like to be here now amongst all the other troops?

WANDRICK: Well, you know it's a common bond that we're all sharing right now with one goal. We're in support of our president and support of our country to right the wrongs and make sure that this world is safe for everybody so that's why we're here, Quartermaster all the way.

SAVIDGE: Well put, thank you. Thank you very much. Let me step on over here. Got a card game going on in the middle of the Super Bowl if you can believe it or not. Who's winning?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a close game right now.

SAVIDGE: I meant the football game.


SAVIDGE: You're obviously a Raider's fan?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No I'm not. Actually I'm rooting for Tampa Bay.

SAVIDGE: All right, see we finally found a Tampa Bay fan. Is there anyplace you'd rather be for Super Bowl?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, actually I'd like to be at home but circumstances say I have to be here.

SAVIDGE: Who would you like to say hello to?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All of my family back in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, my father-in-law, mother-in-law, and my father who is in Mooresville (ph).

SAVIDGE: All right, thank you. Thank you very much. Of course that's a ridiculous question would they want to be here watching the Super Bowl? No, they would not. It is just after 2:30 in the morning. It will probably be 6:00 a.m. by the time it wraps up.

Don't be worried about the readiness of U.S. forces though. This is just a fraction of the folks that are here and they've been given a half day off for tomorrow. We'll let them get back to the game. Let's get back to you -- Anderson.

COOPER: Hey, Martin how is it determined who gets to watch? Is it just people who are lucky enough to have the day off, have the shift off?

SAVIDGE: Well, essentially tomorrow, for those that are here now today, these are what are considered non-essential personnel. So, that's how they get the half day off and as I should point out as packed as this place is, it's just a mere fraction of forces here -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right, our thoughts are with them and with you as well. Good luck. Thanks much and have a good game. Thanks Marty -- Carol.

LIN: They're having a great time out there, all right. Well, we have a story about women drivers coming up and there are so many jokes we could throw in here but we're going to be classier than that.

COOPER: That's right. We certainly are. In Kabul, women start driving and have definite opinions about their male counterparts. Now you got to think of this. You're in Manhattan. You grab a cab. You get settled in to watch the sights and suddenly what do you see, a television in the cab. Apparently it's a pilot program and proof that we really have no lives at all. Be right back.


LIN: Now to a big change going on in Afghanistan. Many women are shedding their burkas and for the first time in a decade they're sliding behind the steering wheel.

COOPER: That's right. It may not sound like a lot but for Afghan women who were not even allowed to leave their homes unescorted under the Taliban, driving is a very big deal indeed.

CNN's Karl Penhaul has the story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) KARL PENHAUL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Rush hour in downtown Kabul, tempers are fraying. No traffic lights. No road signs. No women drivers.

DR. FAHIMA SECANDARY, KABUL MATERNITY HOSPITAL (through translator): We had no rights under the Taliban. We couldn't work or go out alone or without a burka, and it's impossible to drive in a burka.

PENHAUL (on camera): It wasn't just the Taliban with its rigid brand of Islam who gave women drivers the red light. Before them hard liners fighting the civil war of the 1990s put religious code before the highway code have forced many female drivers off the road.

PENHAUL (voice-over): After a decade in the back seat, all that is changing. The Afghan government and a German aid organization are training women to get back behind the wheel. These women are doctors and midwives at Kabul's main maternity hospital.

DR. SAJEDA SHARIF, KABUL MATERNITY HOSPITAL (through translator): Hopefully, by the time we graduate, they'll have fixed the traffic lights.

PENHAUL: Meet Suriulah from the women's ministry. She's been on the road for almost a month, one of the first women to pass a driving test after the fall of the Taliban.

Suriulah says her husband is very progressive minded. For religious and family pressure still keep many other women under the burka and on foot. The worst thing about driving, Suriulah says, is that curious men sometimes tail her home and routinely cut her off.

SURIULAH, WOMEN'S MINISTRY (through translator): Women are very careful drivers but men are jealous of us and drive arrogantly.

PENHAUL: Afghan aid worker Humaina is taking a few last lessons before the Ministry of Transport test. Two days after we talked to her, she had a minor crash, no injuries.

Humaina came home to Kabul five months ago after years as a refugee in Pakistan. Her bosses at (UNINTELLIGIBLE) the aid agency behind the classes will let her drive the organization's vehicles once she has her license.

HUMAINA, AFGHAN AID WORKER: The most important things as far as he or she driving is to be very passionate and drive very safely, not so quickly.

PENHAUL: The big day, the driving test Afghan style. No parallel parking, just driving backward and forward. A right of passage for teenagers across the globe, for women like Humaina pass or fail just taking a test is a victory on the long road to sexual equality in Afghan society. She's done it, a perfect pass, one small step for Humaina one giant leap for Afghan womankind.

Karl Penhaul for CNN, Kabul, Afghanistan. (END VIDEOTAPE)

LIN: The things we take for granted.

COOPER: That is remarkable.

LIN: Yes.

COOPER: Can you imagine the pressure, you know, I mean.

LIN: I know.

COOPER: Taking a driving test is bad enough but to be like one of the only women in the country who has a license just unbelievable.

LIN: Should be amazing. I'm usually in tears at the Department of Motor Vehicles but not because I passed the test; anyway coming up, an unusual report from the United Nations.

COOPER: That's right. Richard Roth takes us on a tour of his stomping grounds, the parts we usually do not get to see.


LIN: On Monday, Chief U.N. Weapons Inspectors Hans Blix will make his way through the inner sanctum of the U.N. as he prepares to brief the Security Council on the situation in Iraq.

COOPER: And our man at the U.N. Richard Roth had the chance to follow the path Blix will take and speak to him about his historic address.


ROTH: It's the coldest day of the year in New York City and everybody here is waiting for Hans Blix. He's from Sweden. He's used to this cold. He's the chief U.N. weapons inspector and Monday morning this is the way he's going to come in and speak to the United Nations Security Council about his opinion on Iraq's level of cooperation.


ROTH: Good morning. I'm sorry you've been waiting in the cold. You've given so many reports, so many speeches, is this going to be the most important remarks you're going to ever deliver do you think in your long career?

HANS BLIX, CHIEF U.N. WEAPONS INSPECTOR: I don't know. It's certainly an important moment and I need the hours between now and Monday to work on this.

ROTH: What can you tell us about what you're going to tell the council? Have you formulated your thoughts?

BLIX: Some of them, fragmentary form, and I'll put them together over the weekend.

ROTH: This is an advisory board, the commissioners of the UNMOVIC Weapons Inspection Agency. Let's go in and see what we can.

Hans Blix, an unflappable diplomat will brief this weapons inspection college of commissioners on his trip to Baghdad and what kind of opinions he's been hearing from the Baghdad government. But it's still what he says Monday morning that is going to shape a lot of opinion in world capitals regarding whether to go to war or not.

Tell us how significant is this Blix speech on Monday.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is an incredible interest within the United Nations among ambassadors, diplomats, but also in the media. I think everybody is waiting for this report.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The U.N. TV will be here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The U.N. TV is going to be smack right here?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. Yes. We'll have more platforms.

ROTH (voice-over): I've been here nearly ten years for CNN. I have never seen such anticipation, such buzz in the hallways about the appearance of one United Nations official before the U.N. Security Council.

ROTH (on camera): The U.N. has received so many hundreds of requests they've installed special places for cameras to tower over print journalists who will be standing here waiting for the Security Council session to end.

We're going inside the Security Council right now. This is an area at the beginning, the first room where members who are not on the 15 nation council sit, observe, wait for action, listen for any tips on what's happening in the room.

This area the press is not allowed in. There are various diplomats here going over resolutions. This is on Western Sahara. We're leaving this meeting area, the Security Council, and going into where the Security Council is currently meeting right now. This is where Hans Blix is going to walk in Monday morning, in here, the consultation room.

Whenever you hear the Security Council in informal consultations, this is where they are. Blix usually briefs the 15 nation council members inside that consultation room, but in an unprecedented gesture in a long while there's going to be a public hearing.

Security guard Rocky here.


ROTH: I'm good. I'm not even wearing my credential and they're letting me in but this is the Security Council. This is the table. Big or small, the 15 nations of this Security Council are arranged alphabetically around the famous horseshoe table here and the place will be packed Monday morning.

Each ambassador will have some delegates supporting him or her in the blue chairs behind them. In the Security Council some countries who don't like each other very much are forced to sit next to each other. Iraq when it testified a few months ago sat next to Israel and then later apologized for it to fellow Arab nations.

Along this section of the table the two countries that may be alone here eventually in the Security Council on Iraq, the United States and the United Kingdom may go militarily no matter what the Security Council decides on Iraq.

This is the best seat in the house. This is where United Nations television is based overhanging the Security Council so you can get a bird's eye view of what the 15 nations are doing down there when they're in open session.

The U.S. hopes Blix' testimony can draw more opinion toward its side regarding Iraq. The U.S. has been through this before, like the missiles of October, 1962.

ADELAID STEPHENSON, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR: I'm prepared to wait for my answer until hell freezes over if that's your decision.

ROTH: It's so cold out now that Adelaid Stephenson's remarks about waiting until hell freezes over is kind of appropriate.

ROTH (voice-over): Most of the ways that the press finds out about events here are people talking to various official spokesmen from various governments. Some of them are reluctant but the press gathers around them after a Security Council session and peppers them with questions and that's really what you read in your papers or see correspondents reporting on.

One of the areas in the building really off limits to the press and to the public is the delegate's lounge. Here's where ambassadors and diplomats gather to really work over resolutions and other agendas away from prying eyes.

Of course there's one question don't bother answering if someone comes up to you inside this delegate's lounge, the question who are those people living in your house?

CARY GRANT: Forgive me but who are those people living in your house?

ROTH: As Cary Grant found out in this scene in the delegate's lounge from the 1959 Alfred Hitchcock film "North by Northwest."

GRANT: Do you know this man?

ROTH: Well, at least it wasn't a weapon of mass destruction. Diplomats here know to watch your back.

Where do ambassadors and diplomats go especially when it's below 20 degrees and they want something to eat? Well, they take the trip up to the fourth floor in the U.N. and go to the delegate's dining room. You know that Hans Blix wants to come up here and inspect the food.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He can come up. I'm sure he'll be very happy.

ROTH: After his lunch, I asked Hans Blix about his appetite for all the recent attention. Have you been changed at all by the process that you're dealing with?

BLIX: I hope not. Some people maybe would wish me to do so. I lost my wife.

ROTH: But first, Blix must speak to the group he calls his bosses, the Security Council.

Richard Roth, CNN, United Nations.


LIN: The things we didn't know.

COOPER: I know. I love it when he was reaching for the (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

LIN: I know. I don't want to talk to you. Thank you very much. All right, this is the story we've been looking forward to all day.

COOPER: Yes, is it possible to get too much TV? I personally don't think so but we will see when we come back.


COOPER: Well, taxicabs and New York go together like Siegfried and Roy or like pizza and beer and in fact that's how some of them actually smell.

LIN: Well, now a new program may help passengers worry less about what's stuck on the back seat of the Big Apple Cabs. CNN's Whitney Casey goes channel surfing on taxicab TV.


WHITNEY CASEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Rush hour in New York City. Thousands of cabs, millions of people, and now...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look at the naked cowboy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That was the naked cowboy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: See, I love that stuff.

CASEY: Enamored with a 12-inch novelty, a TV in the backseat of his taxi. It's not exactly must see TV, but for the 223 million riders flagging cabs in New York, it's wait and see TV. A pilot program of enhanced cabs, the city has commissioned only about 178 cabs to be equipped with the slew of different TV or Web TV technology delivered by DVD and the Internet.

These (UNINTELLIGIBLE) cabs are hitting the road for the next few months and depending on which one you catch, you may even learn something, the past in one cab, the future in another.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is now mobile computing. If you know the restaurant you want to go to, you can just search alphabetically for it and go right to it. If you know the area that you want to go to, and you're not quite sure what restaurant or bar you want to go into, you can search by location.

CASEY: An interactive taxi. Advertisements run alongside information. Restaurants, bars, movie times and theater locations, but what do the passengers really want?

(on camera): You want to see the Yankees?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, the Yankees. CNN. I definitely watch CNN.

CASEY: Hey, it's me. I'm in your cab. Down the road a bit, technology may allow you to watch your news while you cruise, and in addition to that, not only find your movie but buy your ticket and pay for your cab fare with one swipe of your credit card.

Sow what's the first response you get when people jump into your cab?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, they come in first time, they say, wow! What's that?

CASEY (voice-over): And along with the cheers, plenty of jeers.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There is so much stuff to look at out the windows. Why bother looking at a TV?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You probably need labels up here, and it probably should be, you know, vomit-proof, because this is New York.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It couldn't be any more annoying than that woman at the end of the ride that, don't forget all your belongings.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And don't forget your personal belongings.

CASEY: Now, the TV alternative.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please, watch for bicycles and pedestrians as you exit the taxi.

CASEY: Whitney Casey, CNN, New York.


COOPER: I give it a week.


COOPER: It's not going to last in New York. I mean, plus, you got to touch it? I mean, it's like the bacteria alone on that screen...

LIN: Is that disgusting?

COOPER: Yes, in New York -- I'm a New Yorker, I can say that sort of thing, you know. I don't want to touch some screen that a million people in a cab touch. I try not to touch the handles on like -- it's true.

LIN: It's kind of a hard thing to do.

COOPER: I know.

LIN: Got to get some pictures of that.

COOPER: That's it for us right now.


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