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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

Victory in Virginia; Tester Takes Montana; White House Summit; Rove's Woes; New Strategy?; Iraqi Feedback; Baghdad E.R.; Remembering Ed Bradley

Aired November 9, 2006 - 23:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: ... Webb. Today, he held onto his razor thin lead in the Virginia Senate race over Republican incumbent George Allen.
I spoke to Webb earlier.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Senator-Elect Webb, congratulations, first of all. How are you feeling?

SENATOR-ELECT JIM WEBB (D), VIRGINIA: Well, it's been nine months, literally to the day, that we've been doing this every day. We did three years of work in nine months and I'm feeling really good, and we're ready to go in and do the work that the people of Virginia want us to do.

COOPER: What happens now? What is your top priority?

WEBB: We have to get a transition going so that we can have a smooth process from the George Allen people into ours. Part of that is constituent work and that sort of thing. And we'll be meeting with the Senate Democratic leadership next week to do committee assignments and that sort of thing.

And then, you know, I want to be able to hit the ground running in January.

I ran on three basic themes. One was reorganizing our national defense structure. It wasn't simply Iraq. I've been doing this all my life. The first book that I wrote, which wasn't quoted from in the campaign, was a book on national strategy.

The second theme is economic fairness, with the breakdown of our society in a way that we probably haven't seen since the 1880s in the age of globalization, and I want to focus on those.

And the third is the accountability of this administration. And I think that the American people pretty well have spoken on that when you look at the vote counts that came in.

So we're going to have a much more activist Congress, but in the right sense of the word, I think, and that's just in terms of accountability of the executive branch. COOPER: What can the Democrats do about Iraq? I mean, clearly people seem to have voted for some sort of change. It's a tall order though.

WEBB: Well, you know, that's one of the things that we saw during the campaign was that -- it was the principle concern of voters, but they were looking for some sort of solution. And I've been saying for 2-1/2 years -- as you may know, I think I wrote the first piece in major newspaper six months before we went into Iraq, warning that this was a strategic blunder, wrote in the "Washington Post."

And I've been saying for 2-1/2 years that what we need to do is have a clear statement from this administration that we do not want permanent bases in Iraq and then to force a diplomatic solution to get the countries in that region that have cultural and historic ties with Iraq to the table in an overt way to assume diplomatic ownership of a solution. Then we can get our combat troops out, still be able to address the issue of international terrorism and increase stability in the region.

As I said, I've been saying that for more than two years. It's not dissimilar to what you have been hearing from people like Former Secretary of State Jim Baker over the last four or five weeks. And that's the direction we need to go.

COOPER: Do you think the administration -- the Bush White House is willing to compromise, is willing to work with Democrats on Iraq?

WEBB: Well, I think we've reached the point here where most of the people in this country will -- want a positive solution, want an answer. People in the situation where many of them don't believe there is an answer, the thing has gotten so bogged down. But I do believe there's an answer.

And so the administration is going to -- you know, what I would say at the very beginning of this, by the way, is that you don't have a strategy if you can't articulate the end point. And this administration has never clearly done that. So it is time for people in the Congress and also people like this Iraq study group that's going to report to the administration to start helping the country move toward a solution. This isn't a political issue so much as it is an American issue and an issue for the stability of the region.

COOPER: Senator-Elect Webb, congratulations. Thanks for joining us.

WEBB: Thank you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Well, if Virginia was a surprise, we'll call Montana a shock. The longest serving Republican Senator in state history, Conrad Burns, lost to the Democratic challenger Jon Tester. Tester is an organic farmer. Soon he'll be one of the most powerful players in Washington. I spoke to him earlier. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: People keep saying about you, you're a new kind of Democrat. And I guess there are kind of a lot of new kind of Democrats out there right now who have been elected. You know, you read about you. People say you hate illegal immigrants, you love guns, you're against gay marriage, you support the death penalty, you want lower taxes, raise the minimum wage. How do you define yourself?

SENATOR-ELECT JON TESTER (D), MONTANA: I define myself as a Montanan. I think what I need to do when I go back to Washington, D.C., is make sure that I represent Montanans first and take care of this country and move this country forward so that working families and small businesses and family farms and ranches get a fair shake in this deal.

COOPER: Rush Limbaugh said that Republicans lost this election, but not conservatism. I mean, this is what he had to say about the Democrats in this election, quote, "They advanced no agenda other than their usual anti-war position. They have no contract. They really did not get specific. Their message was one of 'Vote for us. The other guys have been in power too long'..."

Is that fair?

TESTER: Well, I mean, the key is is that we work and get some things changed around in this country. I mean, I really don't care much for labels. I don't think they provide -- I don't think they provide good leadership, quite frankly. So to call somebody a liberal or a conservative or whatever really doesn't get us to where we need to go.

Where we need to do is to find the common ground, work together.

As I went around this state, you know, everybody had basically the same problems. They weren't all Democrats. They weren't all Republicans. But they all had the same problems. That's why we need to work together and really change the direction of this country. And I think that's what this election said to me.

COOPER: How do you work with other more liberal Democrats? I mean, if -- there's got be to be some concern in the Democratic Party among liberal Democrats that this whole new crop of far more conservative Democrats are now coming to the floor. Where does the Democratic Party go just nationally?

TESTER: This whole election process, I've been called liberal, I've been called conservative, I've been called all sorts of things through the election. I think the key is is let's set aside the labels and let's work together. And whether you're a liberal Democrat or a conservative Republican or somewhere in between those, as long as we understand there's a problem and we need to address that problem, that's what's critically important. Now let's work and find the common ground, move forward with the kind of policy that makes sense for this country's small businesses, working families and we all win in the process. COOPER: Senator-Elect Tester, appreciate you joining us. Thank you very much.

TESTER: It's been my pleasure. Thank you, Anderson.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Well, at the White House today, the president was holding two very different meetings. One, with his old guard and one with the next leader in the House.

CNN's Suzanne Malveaux is covering it all.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Out with the old and in with the new. Over breakfast, President Bush consoled the Republican losers. Over lunch, he congratulated the Democratic winners. On the menu, pasta and chocolate. But the president's counselor joked, today Mr. Bush would be eating crow.

The president and incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi promised to put their bitter partisanship behind.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We won't agree on every issue. But we do agree that we love America equally, that we're concerned about the future of this country and that we will do our very best to address big problems.

REP. NANCY PELOSI, DEMOCRATIC LEADER: We've made history. Now we have to make progress.

MALVEAUX: They talked about Iraq, but no specific policy changes. Also discussed some of the president's favorite domestic issues -- energy alternatives, immigration overhaul and global competitiveness; issues where Democrats and Republicans can find common ground.

(On camera): But the atmosphere of bipartisanship was pierced by two political lightning rods.

(Voice-over): Before lunch, Mr. Bush came to the rose garden with his cabinet to challenge the current Republican lame duck Congress to complete unfinished business including one controversial measure.

BUSH: Another important priority in the war on terror is for the Congress to pass the Terrorist Surveillance Act.

MALVEAUX: That would authorize the administration to wire tap phone calls between people in the U.S. and suspected terrorists overseas without a warrant.

Then later, Mr. Bush renominated John Bolton to be .N. ambassador. The president has been unable to get Bolton's nomination through the current Republican-led Senate. His chances are considered even slimmer when Democrats take control.

Joe Biden, who will chair the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he sees no point in considering Bolton's nomination again.

Positions like that will set the stage for another difficult meeting for the president Thursday, extending an olive branch to the new majority leader of the Senate.

Suzanne Malveaux, CNN, the White House.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Well, as we said earlier, there was a modest increase in overall voter turnout on Tuesday.

More now on where turnout was highest and lowest. Here's the raw data. According to the Center for the Study of the American Electorate, the highest turnout, nearly 60 percent, was in Minnesota. Mississippi and Louisiana are tied for lowest turnout, 26.8 percent. The highest Democratic turnout, nearly 40 percent, was in South Dakota. The highest Republican turnout, 39.5 percent was in Maine.

No matter the turnout, the outcome was the same for Karl Rove. He orchestrated the strategy for the Republicans. The question now is should he pay a price for their loss?

Also tonight, the view from Iraq, what Iraqis and even the insurgents are saying about the change in power in Washington.

And later from the tough streets of Philadelphia to a seat on "60 Minutes," remembering the legendary Ed Bradley, a pioneering journalist who made it look so easy.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This time for new direction has given us an opportunity, a chance to prove to the American people that we can work with the Republicans. They've set a very bad example in not working with us. We're not following that example. We're reaching out to them as we have from the time the elections began.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: That's the man you're going to be seeing a lot more of in the days to come. Harry Reid is poised to become the next Senate majority leader.

While he celebrates, Karl Rove may be contemplating what went wrong and why his string of wins ended with what President Bush called a thumpin'.

CNN's Brian Todd reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Two weeks before midterms, Karl Rove exudes the confidence of a man who's won three national elections for his party.

When an NPR reporter presses him on polls showing Republican fortunes slipping...

KARL ROVE: I add up to a Republican Senate and a Republicans House. You may end up with a different math, but you're entitled to your math. I'm entitled to the math.

TODD: One day before midterms, on a noisy Florida tarmac, Rove reads a poll that's going his way.

ROVE: GOP to lead on national security (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

TODD: Now, in the wreckage of a Democratic route, Deputy White House Press Secretary Dana Perino tells CNN there is no tension between Rove and President Bush. She says this comment the day after was a full-hearted joke.

BUSH: I obviously was working harder in the campaign than he was.

TODD: Perino says Rove, who declined our request for an interview, doesn't spend a lot of time, quote, "on the couch thinking about his personal role in these situations." But others, even on the conservative side, have had it with the image of Karl Rove as political genius.

ANDREW SULLIVAN, AUTHOR, "THE CONSERVATIVE SOUL": He didn't get a majority of the popular vote in 2000. He squeezed a 51 percent victory in 2004. He's been teetering on the brink ever since. And the base strategy now shows him not to be a genius, but to be a real failure.

TODD: One GOP strategist says Rove's political team could have done more to warn voters about a Nancy Pelosi led House.

But some analysts believe Rove played too much to the base.

JIM VANDEHEI, "WASHINGTON POST": The problem was it became such sort of a hard edge, let's help conservatives, let's fire up conservatives, that they almost tied their hands. It made it very difficult to get out of that strategy and then just try to reach to the center.

TODD: But a GOP activist who knows Rove says there were forces at work here that even the so-called architect couldn't control.

GROVER NORQUIST, AMERICANS FOR TAX REFORM: Karl Rove is in charge of the get out the vote effort, in charge of the political campaign. The decision to occupy Iraq was not Karl Rove's and it's not exactly fair to blame him.

TODD (on camera): Another longtime Republican strategist told me, quote, "no one's going to tell you with a straight face that Karl could have saved this election." The next election, he says, will also depend on Iraq. And he says Rove and the Republicans cannot get themselves into another situation where they're all defending the war and the Democrats are all opposing it.

Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Well, Rove is just one of the president's men who may or may not be on the White House payroll in the near future.

For more on a possible shakeup, I spoke earlier with CNN's John King and Former Presidential Adviser David Gergen.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: You reported earlier that Republican National Chairman Ken Mehlman might step down. This comes obviously a day after Secretary Rumsfeld resigned. Why now, so close after the election is this guy stepping down?

JOHN KING, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We know now, Anderson, that he will step down, that he will finish his term at the end of the year and not seek a new term. Why now? Everyone will say it's because they lost in the elections. Republicans inside the White House, Republicans around the country are say that's not so. Close friends of Ken Mehlman are saying he's wanted to do this for some time, sent word long before the campaign he would do this.

But it will be part of a bigger dynamic. It is inevitable that you have this at this point in an administration, entering year seven and year eight, you tend to have a get out of dodge moment, if you will. Win or lose in the midterm elections, people decide it's time to move on, people decide if you're going to get involved in the '08 campaign, you have to get out of the current administration.

So, Ken Mehlman will leave the Republican National Committee and you can be sure there will be other people, perhaps one or two cabinet members and other top officials, leaving the administration by the end of this year or early next year.

COOPER: Do we know names on who's going to be leaving, who else is going to try to get out of dodge?

KING: We don't yet. There is some speculation, but I'm going to try to keep the speculation and the rumor inside until we know more definitively. But I've heard names of one or two cabinet members, maybe even more, some people inside the White House. And this is not a big deal in the sense that some of them are big names, but this happens in every administration at this time.

COOPER: David, you've worked for several administrations, Republican and Democrat. What can one do now to avoid becoming a lame duck? What should George Bush do if you were advising him? DAVID GERGEN, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL ADVISER: There's not much you can do. Anderson, there are two truisms about the presidency. One is the second terms are always worse than first terms. And boy, is George W. Bush proving that one.

And secondly, the last two years are even weaker than the first two years of a second term. And I'm afraid that's what he's heading for. He's wounded.

He'll have to separate out his domestic strength. And there he has a window of a few months in which to really work with a Democratic Congress and get some things done. Up until maybe the end of the fall, he's got a window to get some things done. Then, '08 really does set in.

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: Is it in this president's DNA to work with the other side?

GERGEN: Well, isn't that the $64 question? It's in his DNA -- it was in his DNA in Austin. But we haven't seen much Austin in him since he got to Washington. So, I don't think we know.

But to go back -- one last past point, though, Anderson. Where he does retain power is not as a domestic president, but as an international commander in chief. And on that issue, he can do some things, both -- he has to do things in Iraq. But he can also do things as the country's lead negotiator.

You know, Ronald Reagan accomplished a lot with the soviets in the last two years with Gorbachev, in getting an arms control agreement. That would still be within sight if he could negotiate something, say, with the North Koreans or the Iranians in these last two years. That could be a substantial contribution. Maybe even something between the Israelis and the Palestinians, although I think that's much more doubtful.

COOPER: John, are Democrats at all confident that they can get the president to meet them at least halfway on Iraq?

KING: On Iraq? No. The Democrats are not. We're going to have a very difficult feeling out process over the next couple of weeks, even before the Democrats officially take power. But we should get some clues next week when the president meets with Former Secretary of State James Baker, who of course headed what's called the Iraq study group.

We're told it's a very sobering, some say damning report that Mr. Baker will make to President Bush.

And Mr. Gats, Bob Gates, who will be the next defense secretary, assuming he is confirmed, was part of that study. So many are taking that as a hint that the president is at least ready to consider major policy shifts inside Iraq. But what will they be? We don't know. Democrats are hoping that the president gets some of that done or at least puts it in motion before they take power so you don't have an aggressive confrontation with the executive branch on foreign policy. But most do expect that will be the biggest fight. And that fight could get in the way of what many believe, as David just noted, are some significant opportunities to reach in the first three to six months compromises on domestic issues.

COOPER: David, did Karl Rove go to the well one too many times trying to appeal in the base?

GERGEN: In retrospect, of course, it's clear that he did. I'm not sure he saw how much the electorate had changed and how alienated the middle had become. In going to the base, you effectively go to the hardliners in your party, and he went off to hardliners and that left an awful lot of moderates who were Republicans and have been voting Republican, feeling alienated, that the party didn't speak for them.

That's about -- you know, the fact that there are so many people who went over to the Democrats as say, Independents, these are Independents who tend to vote Republican in fact, but this time left.

There are any number of people saying in the northeast who are Republicans in name who don't feel attached to their party, feel their party has left them, has gone too far right.

And I think that Karl Rove did not appeal to them. He didn't set up a strategy. He went off to the hard right again.

And the Democrats have got to watch that same tendency. This is going to be a big night in the Democratic Party, should they be the party of the hard left and the bloggers or should they be a party of some of the new moderates who have come in like Jim Webb.

COOPER: David Gergen, John King, thanks.

KING: Thank you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: One national election has just finished, but eyes are already turning to 2008. Are you all ready? Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack is the first prominent Democrat to announce he'll be a candidate for the next presidential race. Vilsack ends his second term as Iowa's governor in January. He's got a long way to go.

You never heard of him? You're not alone. He barely registers on last months' CNN poll that asked Democrats for their preferred candidate.

You can see for yourself, Senator Hillary Clinton is at the top of the list with 28 percent; Vilsack got just 1 percent.

That's the feedback on the future. Right now, though, big changes are already in the works at the Pentagon. And there's some pretty big expectations for the new secretary of defense nominee.

The question is, could Robert Gates help develop a new road map to get U.S. troops out of Iraq or to win in Iraq? We'll look at that.

Plus, inside the biggest U.S. combat hospital in Iraq, a remarkable look at the way our soldiers are being saved every day by doctors. See what is being done to save their lives, when 360 continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD RUMSFELD, OUTGOING SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: In different ways at different times and from different sources, our nation and our values have been threatened since our very beginnings as a country.

But today in the first war of the 21st century, we face an enemy that in many ways is unlike any our country has ever faced in our long history.

We're engaged in a new and unfamiliar war that is even today not yet well understood.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Well, that's outgoing Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld speaking before a group of students at Kansas State University today about his war of the war in Iraq. It's only been a day, but already the nomination of Robert Gates as his successor has raised expectations for some sort new turn in strategy in Iraq.

With a look at the options, here's CNN's Senior Pentagon Correspondent Jamie McIntyre.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Now that he's a short timer, even outgoing Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld admits the current strategy in Iraq is not working.

RUMSFELD: It has not been going well enough or fast enough.

MCINTYRE: In an exchange with students at Kansas State University, Rumsfeld urged perseverance and resolve as adjustments to the strategy are made by the man nominated to replace him.

Former CIA Director Robert Gates, who is one of 10 members of the bipartisan Iraq study group, charged with finding a way out of Iraq.

The options include stay the course, which is already seen as failing; strategic redeployment, pulling troops back perhaps as far as Kuwait. Under that option, advocated by Representative John Murtha and other Democrats, overall troop levels would stay the same. But many troops would be pulled off the front lines to be used as a quick reaction force only if Iraqis got in trouble. Other possibilities, more U.S. troops, which U.S. commanders say won't help in the long-term. And partition along sectarian lines, something the White House has labeled a nonstarter. So the most likely options appear to be a phased withdrawal under a carefully planned timeline to force the Iraqis to take responsibility for their own security.

LAWRENCE KORB, CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS: I think unless we start a phased withdrawal, the Iraqis will never make the political compromises necessary to create an Iraq that's worth fighting and dying for.

MCINTYRE: Another likely proposal is engaging Iraq's neighbors, Iran and Syria, but an option vigorously opposed by hardliners.

FRANK GAFFNEY, CENTER FOR SECURITY POLITY: Will we be negotiating with enemies like the regime in Iran in the hopes that they will somehow help us solve the problem they are creating in no small measure in Iraq? And I think that's going to be a mistake, potentially very strategic and longstanding dimensions.

MCINTYRE: Also taking the long view is lame duck Pentagon Chief Donald Rumsfeld, who insists America is on the right side of history.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you were going to give yourself a letter grade for your performance as secretary of defense, what grade would that be?

RUMSFELD: Oh, I'd let history worry about that.

MCINTYRE (on camera): Senate confirmation hearings for Robert Gates are on a fast track, set for early December. And the recommendations of the Iraq study group are expected shortly thereafter.

Jamie McIntyre, CNN, the Pentagon.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: We are now hearing some disturbing interviews out of Iraq. The enemies speaking up about Rumsfeld's departure. And you will not believe what they have to say about that and about our election results. That story is coming up.

Plus, a behind the scenes look at Baghdad E.R. It is not just any E.R., it is the biggest combat hospital in Iraq where they are saving lives every day, when 360 continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

Well, before the break, we were discussing the possible changes in Iraq with Donald Rumsfeld's resignation. As you might expect, the leadership change at the Pentagon and the elections here are big news in Baghdad. Even our enemies, the insurgents are talking about it.

Here's CNN's Aneesh Raman. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANEESH RAMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On Iraqi TV screens this was the farewell to Donald Rumsfeld. A goodbye montage of Abu Ghraib abuse pictures. A sign that one of the most notorious moments of the war will forever be linked to a man who for most Iraqis embodies all that's gone wrong here.

Among the people we spoke with, there is now a tinge of expectation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We do not see anything good from him except wars. We do not want war. We hope the next one is better than him. We hope so.

RAMAN: The insurgents struck a different tone. From an enemy President Bush warned not to be joyful, these words on Al-Jazeera from a militant Sunni group.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We consider the Republican loss in the elections a great victory for the Iraqi resistance. Even Bush admitted so by sacrificing the tyrant Rumsfeld on the altar of the Democrat sweeping victory.

The Iraqi resistance was a determining factor as to who got elected into Congress, who stayed out and who will lead the military. We consider this to be a major achievement of the Iraqi resistance.

RAMAN: And from the political camp of anti-American Cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, a less hostile tone with a message much the same.

FALAH SHANSHAL, IRAWI MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT (through translator): Changing the U.S. defense minister is considered a defeat to the U.S. administration and its military strategy upon which the occupation forces relied. And it is a victory to the good and decent people of the world.

RAMAN: For Iraqi politicians, though, a change in Washington means uncertainty in Baghdad. Iraq's prime minister, criticized by many democrats for not doing enough, could face increased pressure to go after Shia militias.

And while there's little love loss for Rumsfeld, there's now the potential for new military strategy on the frontlines, perhaps even a decrease in American troops who are, for the Iraqi government, a key factor in heading off civil war. It's not a position U.S. troops enjoy. And while many of them were shocked by the news of Rumsfeld's departure, it could, some say, bring about a fresh start.

COL. AL KELLY, U.S. ARMY: There are a lot of decisions that he made that people aren't happy with, but he made some hard decisions.

RAMAN: Decisions that made Donald Rumsfeld a target of mounting anger, if not outright hate for Iraqis.

(On camera): It all adds up to a time of change in Washington. Change Iraqis hope will soon make its way here to Baghdad. Then again, when it comes to U.S. troops, most Iraqis say they want them to go, but need them to say.

Aneesh Raman, CNN, Baghdad.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Well, Michael Ware joins us now from Baghdad. And here in New York, CNN Terrorism Analyst Peter Bergen.

Peter, you know, we heard these statements from insurgents and from their supporters. Obviously it is propaganda, but do you think they believe that this -- Rumsfeld stepping down, the election results in the United States are a victory for them?

PETER BERGEN, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: Well, I mean, if they believe it, I think they're going to be wrong. I mean, I don't think Robert Gates is going to be very different than Donald Rumsfeld. You have the Baker-Hamilton commission, will make some adjustments to what's happening in Iraq, talk to Iran, talk to Syria. But I mean, there's not going to be a total withdrawal. They're not the sort of things that the insurgents would really regard as a real victory.

COOPER: Michael, in Iraq, you know, there's been a lot of talk over here about dropping support for democracy or dropping the emphasis on democracy in Iraq, trying to focus more on stability, supporting a strong man to try to bring some kind of order. Is that being discussed among, you know, people you are talking to in Iraq in Baghdad?

MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's actually been something that has (UNINTELLIGIBLE) surface. There's a notion here for almost two years now that the alternatives for Iraq are a slide into some distinctly Iraqi kind of neo-Islamic state with the western deserts of Anbar, home to a desert al Qaeda training camp. Or the alternative, what some have argued, particularly from British and to a lesser degree Australian allies, is that what may emerge is less of a vision of democracy that had originally been put in place, that perhaps the best case scenario for American or international interests was the emergence of a strong man, akin to President Musharraf in Pakistan, where there's a strong leader with quasi democratic trappings and a parliament of some sort, be it powerless or not. But certainly that's been a proposal that's been floating around and there's a lot more talk about it now, Anderson.

COOPER: What ability though, Michael, does the U.S. really have to effect that kind of government change on the ground? I mean, we put so much on these Iraqi elections, letting Iraqi people decide who they want to lead. They have this leader al-Maliki now. Can the U.S. just get rid of him?

WARE: Well, it wouldn't be quite as simple as that. It would certainly require something dramatic to turn the ship around, so to speak, that we see plowing forward in the moment. Certainly, the U.S. politically has invested all its eggs in the Maliki basket. And be aware that this prime minister in Iraq is relatively powerless. The powerful militia factions that actually comprise his government now he needs to work against. And the only thing he's got going for him is American support. Alternatively, he's had the sponsorship or the political support from the many army militias. So it's either America or one of the most powerful militias. That's very difficult to change overnight -- Anderson.

COOPER: Peter, do you expect some sort of tape from Osama bin Laden or his right-hand man talking about the results of the U.S. election?

BERGEN: Actually, that's a very interesting question. I would expect that Ayman al-Zawahiri might be preparing a tape now. We've had 14 videotapes from him this year. He's been speaking on almost every news event, trying to remain relevant.

Strangely, we haven't heard anything from bin Laden for some period of time. You would have thought that he'd want to comment on the Lebanon experience with the Israeli incursion there or the fifth anniversary of 9/11. And so far there's been silence. What to make of that, I don't know.

COOPER: But they are still trying to say relevant? I mean, that is a concern of theirs?

BERGEN: Yes, I think so. I mean, at this point, Ayman al- Zawahiri's releasing so many tapes that they're almost not newsworthy. You know, if bin laden released something, that would be a big news event.

COOPER: You know, Michael, Iraq's President Jalal Talabani, said that he had been assured by Democratic leaders they will continue support the Iraqi government. Have you spoken to any Iraqis who worry about a U.S. pullout?

I mean, Aneesh Raman was reporting, you know, a lot of people in Iraqis seem to sort of theoretically want the U.S. -- what they call the occupation to end. But at the same time they don't want the U.S. to pull out right away and all hell to break loose even more than it already has.

WARE: Yes. I find by and large that Iraqi popular thought is torn between emotion and between pragmatism. I mean, what we see is at the essence Iraqis want Iraq (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Iraqis. They want to see an end to the occupation. They want to see an end to foreign control of any kind.

So yes, at first blush, the instinct is for American troops to leave. Nonetheless, they remain so apprehensive, so concerned about what may follow an America withdrawal, particularly a rapid American withdrawal, that that curbs that sense of wanting to oust the Americans immediately. It's a great conflict. And within the Iraqi government, they're trying to tread a fine line between maintaining independence in the eyes of their people and maintaining a good relationship with the U.S. Indeed, one of the members of the parliament here yesterday was just saying that it is very difficult. We're worried about Iranian penetration becoming such a problem that it alters the support of the U.S.

COOPER: Peter, you have been watching -- we traveled together in Afghanistan and the eastern part of Afghanistan. What's been happening there in the last couple weeks and month or so? I mean, is the battle still as brutal as it was a month ago?

BERGEN: I think it's just of arguably worse. I mean, we've had now 83 suicide attacks in Afghanistan.

COOPER: 83?

BERGEN: And when we were there, I think number was something like 65. So, you know, it has gone through the roof. It is exponentially rising, the problem in Afghanistan. You may remember there was a peace agreement in the tribal areas that Pakistan did with some of the militants. That turned out to be a disaster that many more attacks from that area...

COOPER: Has Pakistan acknowledged that it is not working?

BERGEN: Well, they just had this big attack where, you know, the suicide attack, where 42 Pakistani soldiers were killed. Obviously, it is not working right in that area.

So -- and also an interesting poll came out today, Anderson, 44 percent of Afghans now think the country is going in the right direction. That's down from 75 percent about a year ago. So a lot of discontent. The suicide attacks are up. The Taliban remains resurgent.

COOPER: Incredible.

Peter, appreciate it.

Michael Ware, appreciate it as well. Thank you.

More on Iraq. Tonight, a rare look at the fight to save lives. We're going to take you inside the largest U.S. combat hospital in Iraq, where every second counts. The work that is being done there by these doctors and nurses is truly heroic. You will want to see this.

Plus, we remember the life and career of "60 Minutes" correspondent Ed Bradley, when 360 continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: The staff of the 10th Combat Support Hospital in Baghdad have harrowing and at times heartbreaking jobs. The hospital was once used for Saddam Hussein's personal medical care. And today it treats anybody, from U.S. and coalition forces to Iraqi civilians, even insurgents. CNN's Cal Perry spent a month at the hospital to give you a rare look inside. And we want to warn you, some of the subject matter in these pictures are very, very graphic, but we think it's important for you to see, to see the heroic work these doctors and nurses are doing every day, literally around the clock.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who to you want? You want Marty (ph)?

LT. COL. ROBERT MAZUR, M.D., BROOKLYN, NEW YORK: I would say for everybody, as much as we hate to admit it, if it is an American soldier in there, as opposed to anybody else, our stress level goes up.

What's your first name?

(BEGIN GRAPHIC)

Four American soldiers have been hit by an improvised explosive device (IED). Two are killed.

(END GRAPHIC)

LT. JUSTIN WATSON: Justin.

MAZUR: Justin?

WATSON: Thomas.

MAZUR: Thomas?

WATSON: Watson.

MAZUR: Watson. W-A-T-S-O-N.

(BEGIN GRAPHIC)

The two survivors:

Lt. Justin Watson Cpl. Matthew Owens

(END GRAPHIC)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know. I know. We just got some oxygen on you, OK?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

MAZUR: What happened to you, ma'am?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: IED.

MAZUR: OK. OK.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Put your leg back. You're doing all right, OK?

MAZUR: All right? Go ahead and give him (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right arm, left arm. Wherever you're poking at.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're going to go asleep, OK? Try and relax.

MAZUR: Stress is a good thing. A lot of pro athletes say they want to feel that stress. Your adrenalin goes better, you oxygenate better and you perform better.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You got this?

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK.

MAZUR: OK, everybody ready? Are you with us?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Which way are we rolling?

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Towards me?

MAZUR: One, two, three, roll.

Ready, one, two, three, roll.

(BEGIN GRAPHIC)

Cpl. Owens has suffered severe head trauma.

(END GRAPHIC)

MAJ. MARTY LUCENTI, M.D., ESSEX JUNCTION, VERMONT: He had a subdural hematoma, which means he's got some bleeding around the brain. It was on the right side. And what that does is that squishes the brain. And in severe cases, it's going to push your brain right down into your brainstem, kind of down into your spinal cord. That will kill you.

So what we did was give him stuff to minimize the bleeding and then keep the pressure down. And in the interim, he basically gets helicoptered to (UNINTELLIGIBLE) where they have a neurosurgeon. So the neurosurgeon will take him emergently to the O.R. and drill a hole right in his skull and let that hematoma out.

Tough kid. Very good kid to take care of. It gives me goose bumps when I see how strong those guys are. (BEGIN GRAPHIC)

Lt. Watson has suffered burns, contusions, a fractured arm and a fractured leg.

(END GRAPHIC)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. I'm here. I'm OK. I'm fine. We got hit. I'm a little dinged up. But I'm OK. I'm in the hospital. I'll try to call again as soon as I'm a little less drugged up, but I'm fine, babe. I'm fine.

Honey, honey, can you hear me? Honey? (expletive deleted) Can you hear me? I can barely hear you. It might be because I had a loud explosion in my ear.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Cal Perry joins us now.

You know, one of the doctors was saying there that stress is a good thing. It helps them perform better. But long-term, the effects of the stress on these doctors, it's just -- it's got to be incredibly tough.

CAL PERRY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It has to be, Anderson. And this is actually something that the doctors themselves would speak to us about. And in fact that very same doctor says on camera just a few minutes later, I myself worry that I'll have PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder, when I get back to the U.S. I truly hope that I won't. But there's no guarantees with what I've seen here. This is something we heard from top to bottom, regardless of age, with these doctors, medics and nurses. That really, the war they saw up close and personal every day, be it insurgents, U.S. soldiers or civilians. There was a sort of never ending onslaught of the violence that was touching their lives on an everyday basis. And in places across the country, U.S. soldiers on their tours of duty, as tough as a tour of duty can be oftentimes. I've never seen any comparison to what these medics, these doctors, these nurses go through in treating U.S. soldiers, in treating civilian casualties and in treating sometimes insurgents.

COOPER: Well, I mean, the work they are doing literally around the clock is just heroic of these doctors and these nurses.

You spent almost a month or so in the E.R. What surprised you most of all the things you saw?

PERRY: Well, I think their determination to keep going, which is what you were getting at with your first question. I mean, these are 18-year-old kids that sign up to be in the U.S. Army and the next thing they know, they've gone from Colorado to Iraq and they are looking at really, really horrific blast wounds from IEDs, gunshot wounds, I mean really horrible traumas.

And certainly, the work that they do is very, very heroic. But there's a bit of a flip side, something that was very surprising to me is they're saving lives that certainly would have been lost in past wars and in Vietnam, for example. So when the U.S. public hears about 3,000 -- less than 3,000 killed, excuse me, in the Iraq war, what they don't hear is more than 20,000 wounded, 10,000 of which are headed home with wounds that are very, very complicated that are going to prevent them from living lives the way they used to live their lives before the war.

COOPER: It's extraordinary what they are able to do now medically that they weren't able to do before.

Cal, thanks very much.

This weekend, don't miss the premier of "CNN Presents: Combat Hospital." It's a look at the fight to save lives in Iraq. That's Saturday and Sunday at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.

And he was a legendary newsman, a broadcasting pioneer. Tonight, we remember CBS's Ed Bradley, when 360 continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're all devastated by it. You know, Ed is, was one of the pillars of this broadcast. And we'll miss him greatly. He just was wonderful man apart from the man you know on television.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Well, as you probably know by now, we told you earlier, Veteran Newsman Ed Bradley passed away today.

Bradley was a remarkable journalist to say the least. He earned dozens of awards and broke racial barriers. His death from leukemia was a shock to a lot of people. He kept his illness from almost everyone he knew.

Here, we look back at his distinguished life and his career.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER (voice-over): He was everything a good journalist should be -- honest and fair, dogged and determined.

Whether it was a new story or a 50-year-old murder case, Ed Bradley was fearless in pursuit of the truth.

ED BRADLEY, CBS NEWSMAN: I have some questions I would like to ask her about Emmitt Till (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

BRADLEY: Will she come out and talk to us?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) BRADLEY: Tell me again.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.

COOPER: When he was on a story, his compassion couldn't help but show through. He trained to be a teacher and taught in Philadelphia's school system. But when riots erupted around the country in the 1960s, Bradley covered them for a local radio station. His career and his life would change forever.

He was signed by another radio station in New York, owned by CBS, the network that would become his home for the next 43 years.

But it was his time spent covering the Vietnam War that brought Ed Bradley into the public eye.

BRADLEY: People were moved from Vietcong areas.

COOPER: He trekked through the jungles with soldiers and was hit by a mortar round as the battle raged.

But he was back in 1975 as Saigon was falling. And when he saw a desperate south Vietnamese people cramming onto boats to escape, he put down his microphone and stepped in to help.

BRADLEY: I saw panic in Vietnam. Those people were fleeing and were afraid and wanted to get out. I've never seen that kind of panic before, that kind of fear. Within two days it was all over, Saigon. We left on a helicopter.

COOPER: In 1981 Ed Bradley joined the team of reporters on the esteemed "60 Minutes," which topped television ratings for decades. There, he spoke to just about everyone, from entertainers...

BRADLEY: I read that you get $20 million a film now?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I heard you make that kind of money, too.

COOPER: ... to terrorists.

BRADLEY: Do you realize that most people in this country think you are responsible for the bombing, correct?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Correct.

BRADLEY: So if your perception is that you didn't get a fair trial, they're saying so what.

COOPER: To national icons.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have so sort of...

COOPER: Despite a body of work any journalist would envy, 19 Emmy awards and a closet full of accolades, Ed Bradley's colleagues say he never saw himself as anything except a storyteller. BOB SCHIEFFER, "CBS NEWS": He could put people at ease, he could make them be themselves. And sometimes that was to their advantage, sometimes it was to their disadvantage. He did these wonderful stories. He was a great observer of the American scene.

COOPER: Ed Bradley's last story ran on "60 Minutes" in October, an expose of safety problems at a Texas oil refinery that exploded last year, killing 15 workers.

He'll be remembered not just as great newsman, but as a pioneer, a private man who loved his family and his jazz and who lived life with such style and oh, so much grace.

SCHIEFFER: One other thing, and what I remember about Ed Bradley, he was the single coolest guy I ever knew.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER (on camera): He truly was a remarkable man.

More of 360 in a moment. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Up next, today's shot, a deer going shopping, kind of.

First, Erica Hill, from "HEADLINE NEWS," has a 360 bulletin -- Erica?

ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, we begin with a major recall for generic brand of acetaminophen tablets -- 11 million bottles of acetaminophen taken off the store shelves over concerns that they may contain small metal fragments from equipment that's used to make the pills. The recall again only affects generic pills that have been sold at Wal-Mart, CVS and some other stores.

Meantime, in Massachusetts, the state legislature, once again putting off a decision on a proposed ban on same-sex marriage. Lawmakers did reject 196 to zero, a proposed amendment that would invalidate thousands of existing same-sex marriages. The legislature is now in recess until January 2.

On Wall Street today, stocks falling for the first time since the midterm elections. The Dow off 73 points on the session. The NASDAQ dropped eight. The S&P fell seven.

And it is a merry Christmas from Wal-Mart this year. The retailer telling employees they can once again greet shoppers with merry Christmas this holiday season. They had been using the more generic and politically correct, happy holidays. The announcement comes just a year after religious groups boycotted Wal-Mart and some other retailers for excluding the word Christmas -- Anderson.

COOPER: Ah, well.

Time for the shot of the day. Talk about -- we were talking about Wal-Mart right there. Look at what happened in a Target store, or as you say Tarjay.

HILL: Moi? Tarjay?

COOPER: A deer took aim at West Des Moines Target store and ran right through the front door. Look at this. Aisle six, there's a deer. Employees went in hot pursuit for about 20 minutes. Check that out.

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: And it continues going along.

HILL: Slippery floors and deer don't miss so well I found.

COOPER: The deer finally bolted by going through an open door, but it left a real mess behind.

And this reminded us -- there, ow, yikes -- this reminded us -- did you remember this in South Korea, six elephants escaped from a zoo last year?

HILL: I thought this video was gone forever.

COOPER: Oh, nothing is gone for the 360 archives. It went through a nearby restaurant. And my favorite is the guy who actually -- there, he takes up a -- he just decides to hit the elephant. He whacks it with a shoe or something.

HILL: Poor elephant. I mean, really, what did the elephant do to him? Interrupt his lunch? Come on. Maybe they should have built the restaurant somewhere else.

COOPER: Maybe.

HILL: It was the elephant's territory.

COOPER: Probably so. Erica, thanks.

HILL: See you later.

COOPER: Well, tomorrow on "AMERICAN MORNING," troops who are also business owners. Is the government doing enough to help soldiers on the frontlines maintain their bottom line back home?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So what did you do? Did you shut it down?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The stress was so much on my wife, I just told her, look it, you know, shut it down, shut it down, shut it down.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: More vets coming home to broken businesses. That and the other headlines on "AMERICAN MORNING," starting at 6:00 a.m., Eastern. Thanks for joining us. "LARRY KING" is next, remembering the truly legendary Ed Bradley.

Good night. I'll see you tomorrow.

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