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What Will Happen in Post-War Iraq? Cable Companies Not Running Pro or Anti-War Ads

Aired March 13, 2003 - 18:00   ET


ANNOUNCER: This is LOU DOBBS MONEYLINE for Thursday, March 18.
Here now, Lou Dobbs.

LOU DOBBS, HOST: Good evening. The White House has backed off its deadline for a U.N. Security Council vote on Iraq. President Bush is now prepared to delay a vote until next week. But the White House also repeated its position that the president has the authority to go to war without a U.N. resolution, if necessary.

White House correspondent Chris Burns reports.


CHRIS BURNS, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A last- minute change of plans. President Bush scraps his trip to Capitol Hill for an early St. Patrick's Day celebration. With his bid for a U.N. Resolution in trouble, telephone diplomacy keeps the president in the Oval Office. Vice President Dick Cheney goes in his stead. Mr. Bush makes phone calls to leaders, including embattled British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who needs a U.N. resolution, perhaps for his own political survival. It's exactly a week since President Bush demanded a U.N. Security Council vote no matter what.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's time for people to show their cards.

BURNS: But his spokesman now suggests diplomacy may run its course with or without a vote this week or next.

ARI FLEISCHER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The end is coming in site, and there are numerous routes to reach that end through the diplomacy the president is pursuing.

BURNS: A diplomatic charade before war?

The reporters jab, elicit sharpening White House frustration with an alleged French veto threat.

FLEISCHER: When you use the word charade with if I'm not mistaken, has French routes...


FLEISCHER: ... you may want to address your question to those who say they will veto any resolution. BURNS: Inside the White House, a plea for a U.N. sanctioned solution to the Iraqi crisis from the Irish prime minister.

BERTIE AHERN, IRISH PRIME MINISTER: The United Nations to be effective, for the United Nations to be respected, it must be united in purpose as well as in name.

BURNS: But the regular daily meetings and the constant movement of forces to the gulf further indicate the White House's diplomatic patience is rapidly running out.


BURNS: Lou, at the last word, six phone calls were made by the president today. That bringing to 20 in the last couple of days. Also, that the president has spoken with every country on the Security Council by now. Secretary of State Colin Powell saying earlier today that all options are open as far as whether there could be a vote or no vote, and that there will be talks through the weekend, quite likely, to try to reach some kind of an agreement over a U.N. resolution. However, the White House still reiterates that President Bush has all the authority he needs to wage war under existing U.N. resolutions -- Lou.

DOBBS: Chris, thank you. Chris burns, White House correspondent.

As the United States steps up the pressure against Saddam Hussein, Iraq has made another small move towards compliance. Iraq, in fact, today said it will give the United Nations details of its claims to have destroyed VX nerve agent and anthrax. The Iraqi announcement came as the Security Council again tried to break a stalemate over the British proposed resolution. That Security Council still meeting at this hour.

Richard Roth, is at the U.N. with the report -- Richard.


Fresh news. Diplomats tell us there will not be a vote today or tomorrow on this latest proposed resolution. Diplomats telling us that U.S. Ambassador John Negroponte and the British Ambassador Jeremy Greenstock told this to the Security Council today. The debate waging on inside the Security Council right now behind closed doors. The discussion deals with the so-called benchmarks that Britain has introduced in a last ditch effort to win support in votes.

Earlier, Greenstock met at the British mission with the undecided. On the left, Mexico. On the right, Chile. These two ambassadors are key undecideds. There's Angola and Cameroon. The idea they want to give Iraq more time to cooperate by giving them strict new benchmarks or conditions in which to cooperate. That's what they're talking about right now in the Security Council.

One official told us that room is packed to fire safety levels. And now we know there won't be a vote until at least the weekend. And Chile has new ideas. Some people looking to Monday. And then there's still the possibility the resolution might be withdrawn -- Lou.

DOBBS: Richard, thank you very much. Richard Roth, bringing to us from the United Nations an unexpected quality tonight, animation always insightful reporting. Thank you very much, Richard.

Critics of the U.N. say American foreign policy is being held hostage by two civil servants of the U.N., Hans Blix and Mohammed ElBaradei. Those are the men who are leading the effort to disarm Iraq.

Kitty Pilgrim has the report.


KITTY PILGRIM, CNNfn CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Hans Blix, a former professor and Swedish diplomat, is a marquee act at the U.N. when he testifies. Some say it's curious the decision about action against Iraq hangs on his word.

WALTER RUSSELL MEAD, AUTHOR, "SPECIAL PROVIDENCE": I sort of think it's the first time a Swedish civil servant has been sort of given some kind of a veto power over U.S. foreign policy.

PILGRIM: Last week, critics of Blix accused him of burying the lead in his 173 page report on Iraq. He did mention an Iraqi drone that could spew chemical and biological weapons, but it was mentioned deep in the report. And Blix failed to elaborate on it in his oral report to the Security Council. Blix and IAEA director Mohammed ElBaradei, also a headliner at the U.N. these days, have worked together in the past. Blix was the director general of the IAEA from 1981 to 1997. The organization ElBaradei now heads. Some are sharply critical of their current roles.

PAUL LEVENTHAL, NUCLEAR CONTROL INSTITUTE: Mr. Blix and Mr. ElBaradei are critical players, and the question is are they really suited for the jobs that they're supposed to be performing? Are they diplomats, or are they inspectors? What's called for here is hard- nosed inspection.

PILGRIM: One controversy follows. Blix. As head of the IAEA, Blix signed off on a report on Iraq in 1990. But the Gulf War brought to light something the agency had missed. Iraq had a secret nuclear development program.


PILGRIM: Some say Blix is determined not to be a cause for war. He said that, in order to finish the job of inspections, he would need more time. The simple question is Iraq cooperating has proven difficult for Mr. Blix to answer -- Lou.

DOBBS: Kitty, thank you very much. Kitty Pilgrim.

Well, as discussions and diplomacy continue, the Pentagon is making final preparations for war against Saddam Hussein. The Navy could soon move a dozen missile-carrying war ships from the Eastern Mediterranean into the Red Sea. The transfer of the ships would enable them to fire their cruise missiles at Iraq over Saudi Arabian territory. In their present location, the ships would have to fire those missiles over Turkey. Turkey, of course, has not yet given the United States permission to fly combat missions through its air space.

In other developments tonight, B-2 stealth bombers have begun to move to bases closer to Iraq. An undisclosed number of the aircraft left Whiteman Air Base in Missouri today. They flew to air fields in Britain and the Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld as a reputation as a straight talker. That's rarely been a problem when the secretary discusses Pentagon issues, but it's caused a few difficulties with some of the country's closest allies, most recently Britain.

Senior Pentagon correspondent Jamie McIntyre reports.



JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN SENIOR PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): With his pension for ironic understatement, even Donald Rumsfeld might concede some of his recent remarks have been minimally helpful. Take Tuesday, for example, when Rumsfeld casually suggested it didn't really matter whether Great Britain was on board to go to war with Iraq.

RUMSFELD: To the extent they're not, there are work arounds.

MCINTYRE: The parliament raged.

IAIN DUNCAN SMITH, LEADER OF THE CONSERVATIVE PARTY: The parliament's big tent surely isn't big enough to include the international development secretary and Donald Rumsfeld. Surely it's time for him to choose. Which is it?

MCINTYRE: And Rumsfeld recanted. No way to treat an ally, critics say.

MICHAEL O'HANLON, BROOKINGS INSTITUTION: I think Mr. Rumsfeld in this situation has been a bit of a loose canon. It's just not been constructive in any meaningful way.

MCINTYRE: Loose cannon or straight shooter. This shoot from the hip response angered two European allies.

RUMSFELD: Now, you're thinking of Europe as Germany and France. I don't. I think that's old Europe.

MCINTYRE: Old Europe, he claimed later, was a term of endearment.


MCINTYRE: And don't forget the ruckus he kicked up when he limped -- lumped Germany, Libya, and Cuba together as countries who weren't supporting the U.S. war in Iraq. That resulted in headlines in Germany screaming for his resignation. Now, some people appreciate Rumsfeld's bluntness, and Rubenesque himself says way too much are made out of statements he says are basically innocuous, when he's just answering questions.

Now, some here -- some may speculate that Rumsfeld is playing the role of hatchet man for the Bush administration, cutting down opponents of U.S. policy, cutting them down to size. But those who are the closest to him insist it's simply Rumsfeld being Rumsfeld and that his undiplomatic musings may fit the classic Washington definition of a gaff. That is, accidentally telling the truth -- Lou.

DOBBS: Well, Jamie, that's a terrific report, and I think it's important to take note, he is running the Department of Defense, not the State Department, right? Perhaps for a reason.

MCINTYRE: Well, he also has a very assertive management style. I mean, a lot of people get wire brushed by Rumsfeld around him. Particularly, if he's not happy with the kind of work they're turning in. But the thing about Rumsfeld is this as he's approaching the 71st birthday, in which he'll be the oldest and youngest to ever serve as Defense Secretary. He says he's not in it, you know, for the long term. He's in it to do the job. And when they don't want him any more, he'll be happy to go back to his ranch in Taos, New Mexico.

DOBBS: Again, more straight talk from Donald Rumsfeld and, as always, from our senior Pentagon correspondent, Jamie McIntyre. Thank you, Jamie.

Still ahead here, high drama in Salt Lake City after Elizabeth Smart is reunited with her family. Jean Meserve will have the latest for us on Elizabeth's recovery from her nine-month ordeal, her reunion with her family, and investigation into her abduction.

Also tonight -- war, peace, and media. "The Washington Post"'s Howard Kurtz and media expert Danny Schechter to tell us whether the media is being too timid or too aggressive in its reporting and commentaries on a possible conflict with Iraq.

On Wall Street today, the biggest rally of the year. The Dow up 270 points and the Nasdaq rose more than 61 points. Greg Clarkin will the market for us.

And there's a global warning about pneumonia tonight. After the outbreak of a mysterious illness in Asia, we'll have that story, a great deal more still ahead here.

Please stay with us.


DOBBS: In "News Around the World" tonight, the World Health Organization has issued a worldwide pneumonia alert. This unusual warning follows the death of an American in Hong Kong. The victim became ill with a severe form of atypical pneumonia in Vietnam. More than 50 hospital workers in Hong Kong and Hanoi were also inspected. Several of them in critical condition this evening.

An explosion aboard a crowded train in India has killed at least 10 people. Scores were injured in the explosion, which occurred in the city formerly known as Bombay. No group has claimed responsibility for the blast.

Tonight we take a look at media coverage of a possible conflict with Iraq. "Washington Post" columnist Howard Kurtz says there's been a shift in media support of a war with Iraq. Kurtz says many columnists who were previously strongly in favor of the war are now having second thoughts. And author Danny Schechter complains that journalists should be critical of the news coming out of Washington and he fears the press is being overwhelmed with what he calls "patriotic correctness."

Howard Kurtz and Danny Schechter join me now. Gentlemen, good to have you with us.

Let me begin, if I may, with you, Danny. The press, at this point, you feel has really backed off from a critical disposition on the story?

DANNY SCHECHTER, MEDIA CHANNEL: I think all you have to do is watch the president's press conference the other night and find the press extremely unaggressive, talking to him about his faith, not about his policies, not really following up on the challenging questions that were raised.

You know, Helen Thomas, who's a veteran White House correspondent, known to be critical of the white house, wasn't even called on. That was a first. This is only his eighth -- seventh or eighth press conference. Clinton had had 30 by this time in his administration. So there's a lack of access to the president by the press, and a lack of critical, aggressive, adversarial reporting of the kind we saw during the Clinton administration.

DOBBS: Howard, your thoughts?

HOWARD KURTZ, "WASHINGTON POST": I have a hard time understanding this notion that the press rolled over and played dead at the press conference. There were a lot of pointed questions asked about the bungled diplomacy of late, about the fact that the allies are not supporting the United States, about the president's failure to sell the war, in effect. And I think some people who were passionately opposed to the war think it's the role of reporters to debate the president as opposed to asking questions.

At the same time, there's no question, Lou, that when it comes to commentary and editorials, the press has largely been prowar even though some of the columnists have now, as we get closer, it looks like, to the actual event, have been expressing second thoughts.

SCHECHTER: But look, Howard -- I mean, there have been surveys of your own newspaper, "The Washington Post," which have shown that on the op-ed page at least, there's been a decided tilt in favor of the administration position and in favor of war, essentially. There hasn't been the kind -- and it's underreporting, in many instances of, anti-war demonstrations. Not taking the antiwar movement seriously.

People have had to buy time, buy newspaper ads, and buy television commercials in order to get heard.

KURTZ: Danny, you're mixing up two different things. Editorial and op-ed pages are for opinion. And yes, the editorial and op-ed pages of "The Washington Post" have largely been supportive of the war.

In terms of the news coverage, I agree that this paper and others were late to recognize the magnitude and the importance of the antiwar movement around the world. I think television continues to give it short trip and seems interested in mainly booking celebrities like Susan Sarandon and Mike Farrell and Janeane Garofalo as spokesmen for a movement than is obviously much broad than just some people in Hollywood.

DOBBS: I have to claim some culpability here, as Mike Farrell was our guest last night on that, Howie.

I'd like to point our some thing to both of you and get your thoughts because I asked Christine Brandenburg (ph), my researcher here, to check the number of editorials, not op-ed pieces or columns, but editorials in "The Washington Post" and "The New York Times" since the beginning of this year. The ratio of negative to positive on the part of editorials against the Bush White House, 16-1. Does that surprise either of you?

SCHECHTER: I think there's a gap between what the press is doing and what television is doing. And unfortunately, people -- or fortunately...

DOBBS: Well, no, no. I'm referring to, specifically, "The Washington Post" and "The New York Times" in this instance.

SCHECHTER: Well, as far as I know, last Sunday, "The New York Times" did really question the war in a first very strong statement editorially in their editorials. I haven't seen that before.

There is certainly more diversity on "The New York Times" op-ed page, than there is in "The Washington Post"-op-ed page according to surveys we've done. I mean, one of things that I've done in this book, "Media Wars," is I quote the Project on Excellence in Journalism. It's a group of senior journalists who have done a survey. And what they've found post 9/11 is 68 percent what they characterize as pro-U.S., all pro-U.S. coverage viewpoints on television, and only 1 to 3 percent of dissenting views. It's changed a little, but not enough.

DOBBS: Howie, I think we need to give you equal time. I didn't mean to put it in this style. But, in regard to Danny's comment and if you would, my point about our count of 16 to 1 ratio, negative to positive against the Bush White House.

KURTZ: Well, it certainly hasn't been 16 to 1 negative editorials in "The Washington Post" against the White House on this subject of Iraq. Our editorial page has been very critical of other things that this president has done.

But in terms of the news coverage, I went back and looked in the last couple of weeks and some of this, I grant, could have been done earlier. A lot of stories about the president -- how the United States being isolated in the world. A lot of stories about just the difficulties that the Bush administration has had in convincing the American people that this is the way to go right now, even without U.N. support. So I don't think we pulled any punches there.

I do think, if we go to war soon, if bombs start to drop, you will see a lot of patriotic flag waving among some elements of the media and I'm glad that 500 reporters are out there with the troops. I hope they will be able to report independently and aggressively as opposed to what we've seen in some previous military conflicts.

SCHECHTER: The point I would make to the thousand affiliates on media, the concern they have, media issues groups around the world, is that the media has been reinforcing the sense of inevitably about the war, which is essentially the White House position. It's going to happen full stop. The alternatives to the war, besides what the U.N. is doing, are very rarely discussed, including third party negotiation and the like. So, I think the notion of locking into this idea that war is the answer, I have to say with Marvin Gaye, war is not the answer.

DOBBS: All right. That's a position and not an observation, of course. And, I would like to turn, if I may, to Howard Kurtz. You get the last word here tonight.

KURTZ: Well, journalists have to report on all aspects of this, let all voices be part of the debate. I think we haven't done a very great job of that. But when it comes to reporting on what the White House and the Pentagon are doing, there's no other conclusion you can reach but that we're on the verge of war and we seem ready to go to war very soon. Whether journalists individually want that to be the case or not, that's where the reporting takes us. I don't think we can be criticized on that score.

DOBBS: At least that score. Howard, thanks a lot. Howard Kurtz and Danny Schechter. Thank you, gentlemen, for being with us.

Coming up next here, new developments tonight in the Elizabeth Smart kidnapping case.

We'll have a live report from Jeanne Meserve in Salt Lake City, Utah, tonight.

Also, France has more at stake in Iraq than simple foreign policy.

Bill Tucker is covering the story for us.

BILL TUCKER, CNNfn CORRESPONDENT: Lou, France and Iraq have a relationship weighted in money and business that extends back decades.

We'll take a look at the French connection coming up. DOBBS: Bill, thank you.

Also, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee joins us tonight. Senator Richard Lugar is our guest.

All of that still ahead, stay with us.


DOBBS: 15-year-old, Elizabeth Smart, today spent her first full day at home with her family. Police discovered her yesterday, nine months after she was kidnapped from her home in Salt Lake City. Tonight, police still have a number of questions about her disappearance.

Jeanne Meserve is in Salt Lake City and has the story for us tonight -- Jeanne.

JEANNE MESERVE, CNNfn CORRESPONDENT: Lou, a story this hour of a very near miss. Officials with the San Diego County Sheriff's Department say -- tell CNN that the Salt Lake City Police department has told them they have matched fingerprints. The fingerprints of Brian David Mitchell, the man who was picked up with Elizabeth Smart with the fingerprints of a man who was arrested in San Diego a month ago. This individual in San Diego was picked up for burglarizing a church. He was held for six days. He pleaded guilty to vandalism. He was released. This came months after the Smart family had gone to the Salt Lake City police and expressed concerns about an individual who they identified as Emmanuel.

It came more than a week after the Smart family had held a press conference and pushed forward a name and a sketch of this individual. But the San Diego County Sheriff's Department points out that at this point in time, the Salt Lake City Police have not identified Brian David Mitchell as a prime suspect in this case. There was no warrant for his arrest. And so he slipped away and was only picked up yesterday in the company of Elizabeth Smart and the woman who was sometimes identified as his wife.

Now, there have been a lot of questions about whether the Salt Lake City Police pursued aggressively enough this lead, this name Emmanuel. Today, Ed Smart, Elizabeth's father, was asked about it, and he was very measured in his response.


ED SMART, ELIZABETH'S FATHER: Well, I believe that some mistakes have been made, but I know that they were trying. Our whole focus was on trying to bring Elizabeth back. And I think that it's just so important that we've got Elizabeth back. That's what counts. I hope that some people have learned some lessons. Heaven only knows every one of us learn lessons daily. I have learned plenty myself.


SAVIDGE: Emotions still very bubbling to the top here as the Smart family celebrates its reunion with Elizabeth. Today they celebrated her 15th birthday, which was back in November, but she obviously was not with them at this point. Her father adds he is not pressing her for details of what happened during those nine months of captivity. He says he doesn't want to make the experience any more difficult for her than it must already be.

Lou, back to you.

DOBBS: Jeanne, thank you very much. Startling information. Arrested in custody for six days. The suspect in this case.

MESERVE: That's right. But, apparently -- yes, but he was using a different name in San Diego. He was not using the name Brian David Mitchell. And it is not yet clear to us whether at that point the Salt Lake City Police had made the connection and knew that that was the man known as Emmanuel's actual name.

DOBBS: Jeanne Meserve, thank you very much. Jeanne Meserve, live from Salt Lake City.

Tonight, Elizabeth Smart's father, Ed Smart, will be Larry King's special guest. That's tonight at 9:00 Eastern, 6:00 Pacific.

Coming up next, I'll be joined by the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who supports the president's position on a war against Iraq. But says Americans are grossly ill-informed about the long term commitment required once Saddam Hussein is removed.

Senator Richard Lugar joins us.

And the politics of advertising, the possible war against Iraq, has sparked anti-war protests often led by celebrities. But that anti-war message isn't always seen during commercial breaks.

Peter Viles will have the story -- Peter.

PETER VILES, CNNfn CORRESPONDENT: Free speech, a basic right in this country. Once you start paying for it, it's certainly not free and it's not always a right -- Lou.

DOBBS: Peter, thank you.

Later, trading with the enemy. France is the top seller of goods and services to Iraq, exporting more than half a billion a year. We'll have a special report. Those stories, a great deal more coming right up.


DOBBS: Some critics are calling it America's war for Iraqi oil. But to do that so to overlook a very simple fact. Other countries, most notably France, Russia, and China, have far more at stake economically with Iraq.

Bill Tucker has the report. BILL TUCKER, CNNfn CORRESPONDENT: Business, it's the tie that binds. In the top four sellers to Iraq by country are France, Australia, Russia and China. France is tops with nearly a quarter of all goods sold to Iraq. Of those four, only Australia has taken a hard line stance about disarming Iraq.

The other three have existing relationships or pending contracts to develop Iraq's oil fields. And in the case of France, it's a relationship that extends back a couple of decades.

GARY HUFBAUER, INSTITUTE FOR INTERNATIONAL ECONOMICS: France was a big supplier of the Iraq military and military forces back in the 1980s. In fact, President Jacques Chirac was once called Jacques Iraq because, when he was prime minister, he negotiated a French supply of the nuclear power plant, which, of course, was intended to be the Iraq basis for nuclear weapons.

TUCKER: The exports from France to Iraq amount to roughly $600 million a year. The deals are all legal under the U.N. food for oil program, and they include Peugeot, Renault, Alcatel.

JOHN HULSMAN, HERITAGE FOUNDATION: The French have made some long term investments.

Presently, Alcatel, which is a big French company, is negotiating a $76 million deal to actually fix Baghdad's phone system. This is a significant chunk of change, obviously, for that company.

TUCKER: one third of Iraq's fighter aircraft were made by France's Dassault. The other two thirds, Russian MiGs.

And of course, there's oil. Elf has been in negotiations for several years to develop two of Iraq's largest fields, estimated to hold a quarter of all Iraq's reserves.

But Iraq is well-known for playing hardball in business negotiations, and the contracts remain unsigned at the moment.

JOHN VAN SCHAIK, ENERGY INTELLIGENCE GROUP: Obviously, the Iraqis use it as leverage, as well, to get political support out of all this. These are enormous fields, and there's a lot of stake for the French.


TUCKER: To make that point, Iraq recently called off negotiations for one of those fields with France and began negotiations with a Russian oil company.

As for America, Lou, we are a buyer from Iraq. We buy roughly 1 million barrels of Iraqi crude a day through the food for oil program.

DOBBS: And from whom do we buy that oil?

TUCKER: We buy that through middlemen, who are the approved middlemen given to us by the U.N. DOBBS: And they are mostly?

TUCKER: Mostly Russian.

DOBBS: Mostly Russian?

TUCKER: Yes, they are.

DOBBS: OK> I just wanted to highlight that point. Bill Tucker, thank you very much. Welcome.

Our next guest supports the president's position on war against Saddam Hussein. However, Senator Richard Lugar has criticized the White House for what he calls its failure to inform Americans adequately about the long term commitment that would be needed in a post-Saddam Hussein Iraq.

Senator Lugar, of course, is the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and joins us tonight from Capitol Hill.

Senator, good to have you with us.


DOBBS: The position on Iraq, to what degree do you think that we are not adequately informed on the commitment that would follow any war against Saddam Hussein or his removal from power?

LUGAR: Well, no comprehensive plan has been presented publicly. We tried to probe this in the Foreign Relations Committee, have had some hearings with experts. Testimony by the administration has been sketchy, but their efforts really started to be coordinated about six weeks ago in the Pentagon.

Now some effort has gone before, but their basic questions: the day after, who will feed the people? Who will police the country? And who will pay for it?

Likewise, will there be other international support in this situation? All of this is completely unclear at this point. Hypothetically, there could be international support. Hypothetically, there could be an international group running the oil business that provides moneys that help pay the Iraqi civil service after it's stripped of leaders that are not very good people.

But all of this remains very sketchy. The point that I and other senators are trying to make is that huge sums of money are involved, plus a commitment of probably years of American military and/or civilians in Iraq.

DOBBS: As you know, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld refers to these issues as moving points. That there is not any way to really come up with an adequate answer, because we don't know the extent of, obviously, any hostilities. We don't know the duration. It becomes very difficult to do so. Has there ever been a conflict in which the United States has been engaged in which there was, if you will, a proactive, an adequately proactive preparation for humanitarian aid for, obviously, what will be, without question, casualties in this conflict?

LUGAR: Well, after World War II, apparently, a lot of planning had preceded, and, of course, that was a much more comprehensive situation.

Here we're dealing with one country. Therefore, it's more quantifiable.

And although Secretary Rumsfeld is correct, hypotheticals are difficult, he himself had a stab at it a couple days ago in his briefing at the Pentagon. He said probably not too much of a hit on our treasury. That would be about a billion dollars worth of Iraqi assets of some sort sold. Oil revenues would come in. International gifts or funds would come in.

But all of this is clearly inadequate, at least in my judgment, listening to other experts, to pay for it.

So at some point, the hit upon our budget -- and we're going to take this up on the Senate floor next week -- without even anything with regard to post-war Iraq in it -- has got to be a very large subject for debate. Otherwise, we'll have motions on the floor of the Senate from time to time to get our troops out of Iraq, to get our people out of Iraq.

This at the same time we're fostering the idea that this will be a democratic break through. That somehow something is going to occur here that will inspire people all over the area to value freedom and all of us pray that that will be the case.

DOBBS: Senator Richard Lugar, we thank you very much for joining us.

LUGAR: Thank you.

DOBBS: Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Well, much of the debate in this country about the prospect of war against Saddam Hussein has taken place on television.

But despite the efforts of both pro and anti-war activists, much of it has stayed out of commercial breaks. Some networks simply have refused to air advertisements with war as an issue.

Peter Viles reports.


FRED THOMPSON, ACTOR: Thank goodness we have a president with the courage to protect our country.

PETER VILES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's hard to imagine that this ad supporting President Bush has anything in common with this ad opposing a war in Iraq.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are millions of us against this war.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This war is stoppable because the people are unstoppable.

VILES: But both are victims of a common practice in the media business. Networks and stations often refuse to run controversial advocacy ads.

MTV refused to run the anti-war ad. And NBC likewise turned down the add that David Bossie produced, featuring Fred Thompson supporting the president.

DAVID BOSSIE, CITIZENS UNITED FOUNDATION: By having a blanket policy that just really covers all advocacy ads and doesn't allow any American to hear any speech from different sides of the issue, it really is a copout and allows network executives to hide behind that policy when they have to make difficult decisions.

VILES: It's not really a legal issue. Networks generally have the right to refuse or accept ads based on their own policies. What's at stake is the principal of principle of free speech.

ALEX JONES, SHORENSTEIN CENTER ON THE PRESS, HARVARD: No matter what your politics are, there are going to be times when you're not happy with the way the story is being covered or how you're being represented. And that's why I think this is an issue that everybody ought to agree on, which is that, you know, if people are selling advertising space, then they ought to be willing to sell it to responsible groups who have things to say about important issues.

VILES: Now there is an end run that many advocacy groups have used. When a cable network such at CNN or MTV refused to run an ad, the buyer simply buys time on the network indirectly through local cable systems.

In fact, that anti-war ad that MTV turned down actually ran today on MTV here in New York, because the local cable company accepted the ad. It will also run in Los Angeles but not anywhere else in the nation on MTV -- Lou.

DOBBS: But not on the cable system.

VILES: It will run on the cable systems in New York and L.A. on MTV, but nowhere else.

DOBBS: All right. Quite an interesting issue.

VILES: Yes, it is. I mean, it's hard to see how the public benefits when certain news organizations or broadcasting organizations won't put these messages out that the public is discussing.

DOBBS: Of course, then you get to the issue of whichever side of an issue has the most money, would be able to run the most ads, therefore would have the most influence, which is a little complicated.

VILES: Which is behind the MTV policy. Don't want the rich to carry the day.

DOBBS: All right. Peter Viles, thank you.

Now to take a look at the top stories tonight.

In the past half hour, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, John Negroponte, has said there will be no vote on a new U.N. resolution on Iraq tomorrow or Friday.

Earlier, the White House had said that it would be prepared to wait until next week for a vote. But at the same time, the White House said time is running out for diplomacy.

The president has maintained thoroughly the authority to go to war without U.N. approval. That position on the part of the White House has not changed.

Elizabeth Smart today enjoyed her first full day of freedom, nine months after she disappeared from her Salt Lake City home.

Jeanne Meserve reported from Salt Lake City just moments ago, Brian David Mitchell, the drifter accused of kidnapping Elizabeth, was arrested in San Diego last month, spent six days in jail without being identified as a suspect.

And on Wall Street today, a huge rally, the Dow gaining nearly 270 points. Investors encouraged by signs the Iraq crisis may be, at least in the minds of some investors, nearing resolution.

Turning now to tonight's MONEYLINE poll question: "Do you believe the media to be liberal, conservative, balanced, or out of touch with your views, whether you are conservative or liberal?" Cast your vote at We'll have the preliminary results coming up.

Next, Christopher Hitchens, the outspoken journalist and author will tell us why Saddam Hussein is lucky to still be in power in Iraq.

Also, Wall Street research from major brokerages versus that of small independent firms. Jan Hopkins has a special report tonight on which is best for investors: Wall Street research or independent research.

That and more still ahead. Stay with us.


DOBBS: Author Christopher Hitchens says it's well past time for regime change in Iraq. Hitchens says that Saddam Hussein has been pushing this current confrontation for a mere 12 years.

Christopher Hitchens is, of course, "Vanity Fair's" columnist, an extraordinary writer and journalistic talent, author. And joins us tonight from our studios in Los Angeles. Good to have you with us.


DOBBS: The United Nations Security Council making a decision just moments ago there will be no vote on a second resolution on Iraq this week. Your reaction?

HITCHENS: Well, those of us who take the regime change position, as it's become known, have held it for a very, very long time. And so really the way the argument's become muddied by certain kinds of diplomacy and especially by calls for more time is time wasting, from our point of view.

To the independent observer, it must be more extraordinary that Saddam Hussein has been in breach of all known resolutions, and much besides, for 12 years and that he's now being told it's time to decide.

So people who say this is a rush to war or a drum beat or a drive are simply abolishing the history of this question, which is that Mr. Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, refused all diplomatic overtures to give him an easy exit, blew up the Kuwaiti oil fields while he was leaving them behind under a truce, which shows he doesn't understand rationality or diplomacy or containment, and has a tremendous thirst for the weapons of genocide to pursue the policy of ethnocide that he's already been able to successfully, I'm sad to say, been allowed to get away with in Kyrgyzstan.

Who wants more time for him? More time means he could join the club that Kim Jong-Il of North Korea now belongs to, the club of those who have deterrent force. And Mr. Kim Jong-Il got there with the help of Mr. Hans Blix, I might remind you.

DOBBS: Let me...

HITCHENS: ... who certified him, inspected him, gave him more time, and said he was in compliance. Anyone who believes this kind of thing, is just advertising their willingness to believe anything.

DOBBS: Well, as you said, they are advertising their belief and their opinion. The critics of the Bush administration and the British government on this issue say there's been -- on the part of this administration, certainly too much of an attempted connection between September 11, the war against terror, and Saddam Hussein's Iraq.

How do you respond to those critics?

HITCHENS: A few years ago, the name Abu Adal (ph), I'm sure you'll remember, was almost as well-known as Osama bin Laden. The pseudonym for international gangsterism. Abu Adal (ph) had blown up, if you'll recall, Rome airport, Vienna airport, had assassinated four or five very important Palestinian democrats, had murdered the Israeli ambassadors to London, which helped provoke the war in Lebanon. He was the so-called terror master. I went to interview him, and I think I'm the only journalist around except for Jim Hogan of the "Washington Post" who's had that experience. Well, it wasn't hard to find him. He had telephone number and a villa in Baghdad, as all people like him have always had had there.

If, by any chance, it's the case that the Iraqi party is not supporting or doesn't have a secret understanding with al Qaeda, it would be the first time they hadn't tried that.

And if that is the case, then it would be surprising to find -- or rather unsurprising to find that so many of the al Qaeda refugees in Afghanistan have shown up in Baghdad -- This is important, by the way, Mr. Dobbs -- not before September 11, but after.

In other words, here's a regime that will give them safe hiding places, hospitals, treatment, and safe corner after their attacks on -- not on America, I should add, but on the civilized world, on September 11.

This is a regime that lives on its partnership with and boasts of its partnership with the suicide bombers in Palestine, with every other gangster in the region. Those who say there's no terror connection simply don't know what they're talking about.

DOBBS: And amongst those who are obviously asserting that case are, in particular, the French, who have been helpful in a war against terror. Not helpful to this administration in pursuing an Iraqi policy.

The French position, the German position, that of the Belgians, adamantly opposed to support of the U.S. resolution...

HITCHENS: Not of the U.S. resolution, if I may say so. I mean, Chancellor Schroeder, for example, was helpful enough to say some weeks ago he didn't mind how the U.N. voted. It would make no difference to his policy or that of Germany. His policy wouldn't change whatever the vote was. Mr. Chirac has said the same thing.

I think that should be better understood than it is. These are the true unilateralists, if you like, especially the French. It's also true, as your previous segment helpfully pointed out, that the French policy is the oil-driven one. The French policy is the one that is individual and won't allow any other countries to mandate it or even shape its policy.

DOBBS: Is it your...

HITCHEN: There are elements of President Bush's presentation that I must admit alarm me.

When he says al Qaeda is attacking America, it seems to me stupid. The al Qaeda forces surely, as the Iraqi Ba'ath party, are common enemies of any civilized country or society. It's not an attack on America, it's unilateralist to say so. But of the two unilateralisms, the French is the most selfish and the most colonial and the most -- after all, the French invade Africa every day of the year without asking for anyone's permission. They let off nuclear weapons in the Pacific in the atmosphere without asking for permission.

The French position is the more dangerous, the more sinister, and the more colonial one.

DOBBS: And likely to change? In a few seconds we have remaining.

HITCHENS: And morally different, I would say. For one reason, really, most of us came to this argument this way.

One policy keeps Saddam Hussein in power and asks for that regime to have its life prolonged. What morally serious person can say this national socialist, aggressive genocidal regime should have a longer life and not a shorter one?

In the end, the United States policy, after making many mistakes and blunders, has come out at least morally on the right side. And the French are with Saddam Hussein. They'll have to live with that.

DOBBS: Christopher Hitchens, "Vanity Fair," thank you very much for being with us. Come back soon.

HITCHENS: Thank for having me.

DOBBS: Still ahead, investors reeling from stock market declines over the course of this young year. Well, they're now looking for the best advice Wall Street has to offer. It turns out the best research -- are you ready? Hold onto your chairs -- is not always on Wall Street. Jan Hopkins has the report on the surprising origin for good research.

JAN HOPKINS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Lou. Independents and stock picking performance are directly related.

DOBBS: Are you listening, Eliot Spitzer? Thanks, Jan.

A powerful rally today on Wall Street. Stocks surged across the board. The Dow scored its biggest one day gain since October. We'll have the complete market reports. Stay with us.


DOBBS: Today Wall Street was a blossoming oasis. Greg Clarkin has the market for us today. All good news.

GREG CLARKIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Lou, it was a rare day indeed on Wall Street. Just how rare, you ask? Well, so rare that even AOL/Time Warner's shares rose. So rare, the pundits were left scratching their heads as to what happened. Well, actually, that's not all that rare.

The Dow surged 269. The NASDAQ up 62. The NASDAQ is now positive for the year, believe it or not, by five points.

As for today's trading, Intel logged a 7 percent gain. Hewlett- Packard, though, sold off. Seems the company mistakenly recorded $144 million in cash in the wrong column on its balance sheet. The CFO said he was sorry. Investors were not in a forgiving mood. They pushed the stock down 3 percent.

Now over at Tyco, the stock lost 12 percent. They fired the guy who ran their fire and security business. Accounting issues is all they would say. Tyco's new CEO, Edward Breen, has been trying to clean up the Tyco mess. And just in case anyone doubted he was serious, Breen had this to say: "If I find anything wrong, they're out of here. Heads are rolling. We're not putting up with anything."

OK, so what was behind this mood today? Everyone's been waiting for a war rally. So maybe this was a non-war rally. But most gravitated back to that old stand-by explanation on Wall Street, the oversold rally. And that pretty much means stocks looked so cheap, they seem valuable for a day -- Lou.

DOBBS: Can't wait till tomorrow. Greg, thanks a lot. Greg Clarkin.

Despite today's rally, the S&P 500 is down just over five percent so far this year, following last year's 22 percent decline.

And between market losses and revelations of unethical behavior at major brokerages, investors are searching hard for reliable clues to market direction and stock performance.

As Jan Hopkins now reports, independent research translates into higher returns for investors.

HOPKINS (voice-over): The best performance isn't coming from Wall Street these days. Montreal is home to one of the top-ranked firms, according to Investars, which tracks overall portfolio performance.

Parenteau's model portfolio is up 22.5 percent in the last three years. The founder is a high school dropout who prospers by picking up what Wall Street ignores.

FRANCOIS PARENTEAU, PARENTEAU CORP.: We look for neglect. We look for what we call unloved securities. These are companies that are -- usually receive less than two or three south side analyst coverage, little attention from Wall Street firms, from the financial media, from institutional investors.

HOPKINS: Parenteau's returns are helped by selling stocks short in a down market.

Other independent research firms also fare well in the Investars ranking, with S&P and Sanford Bernstein in the top third over three years. Most of the big brokerage firms are at the bottom half of the ratings.

Investars believes independence from investment banking helps.

KEI KIANPOOR, INVESTARS: They are a little more removed from company management. So they don't tend to buy the company stories every single time.

HOPKINS: Zacks investment research comes to the same conclusion. Brokerages with no ties to investment banking are more accurate when it comes to picking stocks.

MITCH ZACKS, ZACKS INVESTMENT RESEARCH: If you actually look at the numbers, what you find is that analysts at regional brokerage firms and smaller brokerage firms and, for instance, analysts at brokerage firms that don't have any investment banking business at all tend to issue very, very good stock recommendations.

HOPKINS: Investors also often turn to newsletters. "Holbert Financial Digest" ranks newsletter performance, and the winner over the past five years is "Wall Street Winners" of Virginia, up 20.6 percent each of those years.

Options, selling short, plus buying bonds in gold helped boost performance.

When we asked Wall Street firms about their poor results, we heard that stock recommendations are meant for institutions, not individuals. Goldman Sachs saying, quote, "Performance is not the only priority of institutional clients."


"Institutional Investor" magazine ranks individual analysts each year. The top rankings are highly coveted and often translate into more pay. Institutions polled by that magazine to determine the rankings put stock picking performance near the bottom of the list.

Now, that might not be the way that investors see it -- Lou.

DOBBS: Think you can take that, as they say, to the bank. Jan, thank you very much.

"CROSSFIRE" coming right up. Let's go to Paul Begala, Tucker Carlson -- Tucker.

TUCKER CARLSON, "CROSSFIRE" CO-HOST: All right, Lou, and more details tonight in the Elizabeth Smart case. We'll speak to one of her uncles about what he knows. But first, we're waiting for a live press conference given by the police in Salt Lake City. We'll bring it to you as soon as it happens.

PAUL BEGALA, "CROSSFIRE" CO-HOST: And then, of course, America is on the brink of war. Congressional Republicans decide the best thing they can do for the country is rename French fries. Somewhere, Nero is laughing. We'll have a debate about the war with two experts on international affairs. Should be a hot debate, Lou.

DOBBS: OK. Looking forward to it. Thank you, Paul, Tucker. Coming up next here, your reaction to my interviews last night with actor Mike Farrell and financier George Soros. And the preliminary results of our MONEYLINE poll. That's next. Stay with us.


DOBBS: Now the results of our MONEYLINE poll question, "Do you believe the media to be liberal, conservative, balanced or out of touch with your views, whether you're conservative or liberal?" Twenty-five percent of you said liberal; 56 percent said conservative, five percent said balanced, 14 percent of you said out of touch with your views. You can continue to vote through the day until tomorrow evening.

Now your thoughts regarding my interviews last night with billionaire financier George Soros and actor Mike Farrell.

Jason Butler of Texas wrote to say, "George is an investor who likes to play the geopolitical sage while Mike played a doctor on a TV show about war and now fancies himself an expert on that subject. George should stick to hedge funds and Mike to his TV career."

Carol Troup of Atlanta said, "Thanks for having Soros and Farrell on your show. It gets lonely out here in the wilderness and it's nice to know that there are thoughtful people who can express what so many of us are thinking."

And on the relevance of the United Nations, James Murphy of Oregon said, "Lou, if Winston Churchill were alive today this is what he would have to say about the United Nations: 'Decided only to be undecided; resolved to be irresolute; adamant for drift; solid for fluidity; all-powerful to be impotent.'"

Share your thoughts with us,, any time. Please include your name and address.

That's MONEYLINE for this evening. Thanks for being with us. For all of us here, good-night from New York City.


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