FTN – 6/29/03

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Today on Face The Nation, has Iraq become a guerrilla war? Dozens of attacks on American troops have been reported in just the last week, and since May 1st, at least 63 Americans have died in Iraq. Are more troops needed now, and why can't Saddam Hussein be found? And did the U.S. administration plan for this? These are the questions for Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, and Chris Dodd, Democrat from Connecticut.

Then we'll turn to the Supreme Court and talk about last week's decisions with Chicago Tribune legal analyst Jan Crawford Greenburg.

Finally, I'll have a word on Harry Potter.

But first, the new war in Iraq on Face The Nation.

ANNOUNCER: Face The Nation with CBS News Chief Washington Correspondent, Bob Schieffer. And now from CBS News in Washington, Bob Schieffer.

SCHIEFFER: Good morning again. Joining us from Phoenix, Arizona, this morning, Senator John McCain. Here in the studio, Senator Chris Dodd. We go first to Senator McCain.

Senator McCain, since May 1st, 63 Americans have now died -- and I believe some 23 of those have been killed in combat in Iraq. I say that, since May 1st, because that's the day that the president declared combat operations over in Iraq.

What many people are wondering is have we moved from one phase of this war into another phase? Rather than being over, are we now into a guerrilla war, do you think?

SEN. JOHN McCAIN, R-AZ, Armed Services Committee: I think we're in a phase of the reconstruction of Iraq, the installation of the principles and functions of a democratic society, which is incredibly difficult.

I think all of us who saw this basically as two phases: one, a military operation which was decisive, which we're all proud of, and a very, very difficult, long and perhaps expensive in American blood and treasure operation, worth it, but very long and difficult.

The American people need to be told about that. I think they have the fortitude to support it, because of the incredible benefits that can accrue from it, not only there in Iraq but throughout the region. But they need some straight talk about what the plan is, how long we're going to be there, and sooner, rather than later, how much the cost is going to be.

SCHIEFFER: Well, do you think, Senator McCain, it's now going to be necessary to send more American troops to Iraq to finally get this situation under control?

McCAIN: You know, I don't know the answer to that, Bob, because the administration has not given us the information we need to make that judgment.

There is, amongst my constituents, tremendous support for the president, and what our men and women in the military did, but there's a growing sense of unease, and I think that if they are told exactly what lies ahead that they will continue to support it.

SCHIEFFER: Well, your answer suggests that we're not being told. You say we need a little straight talk. We all remember that from your campaign, straight talk. Is the administration not talking straight?

McCAIN: It's not that they're not talking straight. I just don't think they are sharing with the Congress and the American people in an open manner all the challenges that we face, so we read about casualties.

Look, I think that this mission can be accomplished. I think it's going to be difficult. I think that the American people support it, and I think it has enormous benefits, but we need to know what that plan is, how much it's going -- primarily what it's going to cost us in American blood and treasure. It's difficult to come up with those specifics, but at least we need some broad estimates.

SCHIEFFER: Has the administration, was the administration prepared for what has happened here? We all look back on the military operation, and it was remarkable, but one could draw the conclusion that perhaps no one in the administration foresaw what we're going through now. What is your assessment of that?

McCAIN: I think all of us, including me, who consider ourselves to have some expertise, were surprised at the rapid collapse, which then caused these Ba'athist elements and other individuals and organizations to remain in so -- to some degree viable. And that, I think, came as a surprise to a lot of us.

And it's not so much that we were surprised, because that's the great downside to military operations, no matter how successful. It's how we cope with it and how we handle the changed situation. I have great confidence in General Franks and his replacement, General Abazid.

I have great confidence in the men and women, but there is no doubt that these young men and women in the military are trained to fight, and it's very, very difficult to train them or to have them capable of some of the responsibilities they have now. And I would argue we need to set up as quickly as possible some kind of Iraqi law enforcement constabulary of some kind and help us, particularly with intelligence.

SCHIEFFER: How important is it, in your view now, to find Saddam Hussein?

McCAIN: Very, very, very important. There's very little doubt that there's at least some degree of organization amongst these activities that are going on, and there's no doubt that there are elements who are saying that Saddam will be back, etc. It's far more important -- in my view, than capturing or killing Osama bin Laden, although that's important, too.

SCHIEFFER: Well, you bring up a very interesting point, because today, as you well know, the Army has launched a new kind of a sweep. They're calling it Operation Desert Sidewinder, aimed at crushing these resistance fighters that we're seeing. And although officials in Washington have continued to say that there's no centralized Iraqi resistance, one of the military commanders this morning said, "U.S. military personnel" -- I'm going to use his words -- "now face an organized effort on the ground." Do you believe that this is Saddam Hussein or some of his top lieutenants who are organizing these resistance attacks?

McCAIN: I think it's clearly some of his people. Whether he's directly involved or not is not clear.

Look, these people had everything to lose and nothing to gain by freeing the Iraqi people, so you should expect them to do whatever they can. I think the important aspect here that may be missing is a good, strong intelligence capability.

I don't think you're going to put down this kind of insurgency, if that's what you want to call it, or "irregular warfare" is probably a better phrase, without excellent intelligence, and I think we need to work on that very hard.

SCHIEFFER: Well, do you think, in the end, -- I'll go back to what I've talked about in the beginning. Are we going to have to send more people in there? Are there enough people in there right now?

McCAIN: I think we need help from our friends and allies: India, Pakistan, -- other friends of ours, including our European friends. Whether we need additional troops or not, I don't know. But I do know this: that a lot of our soldiers are getting very tired, and a lot of our reservists have been on active duty for a very extended period of time.

SCHIEFFER: All right. Senator McCain, thank you so much...

McCAIN: Thank you.

SCHIEFFER: ...for your insight this morning.

McCAIN: Thank you.

SCHIEFFER: Let's turn now to Chris Dodd.

Senator Dodd, you've just heard Senator McCain. Do you believe this is an organized resistance? Have we now gotten ourselves into a guerrilla war?

SEN. CHRISTOPHER DODD, D-CT, Foreign Relations Committee: Well, I think John's choice of words was the right one. It's certainly -- I wouldn't call it an insurgency yet. The irony might be here that the opposition is better organized for the reconstruction phase than we were, in a sense. And it's appearing as though this is pretty well organized. At least, that's what it strikes me as being. And I think you ought to trust the people on the ground there.

When I get two conflicting reports from military commanders on the field and Commanders in Washington, my inclination is to trust the commander on the ground. And if they think it's organized, I suspect they're probably more right than wrong on that.

SCHIEFFER: Mr. Bremmer, who is the American in charge over there, said this morning that it would help if they could find Saddam Hussein. He told the BBC that `The chances are very high that we will find Saddam Hussein.'

Do you think that's just wishful thinking, or do you think there's some evidence, some basis, for a statement like that?

DODD: Well, I don't know. Mr. Bremmer has a pretty good reputation. I suspect his choice of words -- he chooses them carefully, so they may have more.

There's been some indication over the last couple of weeks that there may be more information to finally determine whether or not Saddam Hussein is alive or not. And I agree with John, I think it's important that we find him.

I also think it's important that we track down Osama bin Laden, in a sense.

Saddam Hussein poses a threat because of the fear the people in Iraq that he may come back. I think in time, we'll be able to answer that question.

But Osama bin Laden, because of the international network -- might disagree with John only on this point. I'm more concerned about him being on the loose, given the international networking, the cell operations that he was able to control. And I hope we're able to find him or at least find out what happened to him.

SCHIEFFER: What about this whole question of being unable to find these weapons of mass destruction?

Somebody said to me this week it's not -- the real danger here is not that the administration did or did not hype intelligence reports. This person said to me, the real problem is that if, indeed, there are weapons of mass destruction, where are they? And does Saddam Hussein somehow, if he is alive, have control over them?

DODD: Well, that's a very good point. And I think it's essential at the outset.

This search is not over with. And so people who've drawn the conclusion that there are no weapons of mass destruction, I think, could be proven very wrong. Someone ought to be very careful about jumping to that conclusion.

I think there's a real need here to find out what happened -- the intelligence operations.

Did the intelligence community do their work? We know the military did their job.

You've said it. John has said it. I totally agree with it. I think they've been a fantastic operation. The question is whether or not the justification, based on the conclusion that weapons of mass destruction were there, was warranted, or did we hype that?

I don't think we needed to hype it because Saddam Hussein had used those weapons in the past, and, therefore, I thought the justification of using military force to take him out was there. But, nonetheless, this is very important to get to the bottom of this.

Did the intelligence community provide the proper amount of information and analysis? Was that information then in some way massaged in a way to serve the political Purposes? I only raise that because I think it's critically important for future activities, particularly if pre-emptive war is going to be the new theory.

If that's going to be the new theory on which we operate, then it's going to be critically important that our allies, and our adversaries, understand that when we say we're going to do something, we do it on this -- on the base of solid information. And today there's some question about whether or not intelligence information is reliable, and that poses huge risks for us in the future. So that's the first point I made.

The second point is, obviously, the one that you've made. I think we need to operate on the assumption because Saddam Hussein has used these weapons in the past, that they may still be out there, and getting ahold of those scientists and others who can provide that information to us I think is critically important.

SCHIEFFER: Let's talk a little bit about Iran...

DODD: Yeah.

SCHIEFFER: ...because you talked about preventative strikes...

DODD: Right.

SCHIEFFER: ...which the president said that's what happened in Iraq. We went into Iraq to prevent them from attacking us. He's also said that if Iran has nuclear weapons, or if they develop them, we will not tolerate that.

DODD: Mm-hmm.

SCHIEFFER: Let's suppose that we find out they do have them. What then should we do?

DODD: Well, that's the 64-dollar question. Obviously, you don't want to exclude the possibility of military force. I would never say that. But there's a growing opposition in Iran. I think we ought to work at that. The idea that we ought to jump to a military option in Iran right now at this particular juncture I think could be a huge mistake.

I think things are working in our direction in Iran. And it seems to me we ought to take advantage of that political ferment that seems to be growing, the opposition seems to be getting stronger. There's a growing desire on the part of a younger population there for fundamental change. Things seem to be working in our direction.

I think we could make a huge mistake of pre-empting that direction that things seem to be moving in by engaging in military conflict. We're overextended in many ways in Afghanistan, in Iraq, as it is right now. I would tell you, I do think we need more troops in Iraq. I do think we need probably different kinds of troops.

There were two kinds of armies that were necessary, the one that did the job militarily, and the second one to come in and do the job that needs to be there for the reconstruction purposes. And to suggest somehow at this particular juncture we could be in a position to engage in the kind of military conflict, to win a war in Iran simultaneously, is probably asking an awful lot of our military.

SCHIEFFER: Do you think that the administration may be constrained or may be reluctant to put more troops into Iraq because of the dispute that arose between Secretary Rumsfeld and the chief of staff of the Army back before we went into Iraq, when the chief of staff said, `Oh, we're going to take at least -- need at least 200,000 troops...'

DODD: Yeah.

SCHIEFFER: `...and they're going to be there for a long time.' Is that something that's weighing on the administration's mind?

DODD: I think it could be. It was Paul Wolfowitz who said that those numbers were wildly off the mark, to quote him exactly.

SCHIEFFER: Yes.

DODD: It now appears as though Mr. Wolfowitz may have been wildly off the mark, in a sense. I mean, you're having -- the idea -- you've got 80,000 people you need to have a police force.

We need to have Iraqis that we can trust and work who can start to build that bureaucracy. I talked to a very high level Egyptian official the other day who said they're waiting for an invitation for them to be involved in Iraq, to be asked to come in and help out.

It seems to me that getting Arab states, moderate Arab states to help provide police and military forces, the use of NATO, the use of the United Nations -- Bob, I don't think we have months. I think we've got weeks to turn this around. And the people on the ground know it; our military people are exhausted. They're trained to do a job militarily, not to run a bureaucracy, not to be police officers, traffic cops.

There are people who can do that -- political affairs officers. We need to get that second army in place over there. We need to invite others around the region, as well as the world, to help us do that. We're not doing that. And the longer we wait, the greater risk that is going to be posed by Iraq.

SCHIEFFER: Very good. Thank you very much, Senator Dodd.

DODD: Thank you, Bob.

SCHIEFFER: When we come back, we're going to talk about last week's Supreme Court decisions with Jan Greenburg of the "Chicago Tribune."

(COMMERCIAL)

SCHIEFFER: And we turn now to last week's decisions and developments in the Supreme Court. Jan Greenburg, who's the legal analyst for the "Chicago Tribune", is also a lawyer, I believe, in addition to being...

JAN CRAWFORD GREENBURG, Legal Analyst, Chicago Tribune: That's right.

SCHIEFFER: ...a reporter, and we will not hold that against you.

GREENBURG: Thank you very much.

SCHIEFFER: Let's talk about it a little. These decisions -- let's start with affirmative action. They've been analyzed, but let's talk about what they mean down the road now. Let's suppose that I'm an admissions officer at a law school or at a university. I take it that affirmative action lives...

GREENBURG: Well...

SCHIEFFER: ...but how do I deal with it if I'm an admission officer now?

GREENBURG: Well, what the Supreme Court has told you is that you can't use quotas, and you can't give people points because they're a certain race or ethnic group, but what you can do is take race into account one factor among many factors. You have to look at the whole person, and not let race be the determining factor.

But affirmative action very much lives, and Justice O'Connor, in her key opinion last week, emphasized that affirmative action is incredibly important to getting that diverse student body that she saw as so important to getting a diverse work force and a diverse military.

SCHIEFFER: It almost sounds as if the guide now for the admissions officer is no longer a multiple choice or a yes or no question, but sort of an essay question.

GREENBURG: That's right. Look at the whole person, an individualized review. Justice O'Connor said we're not going to have this mechanical way of looking at people. The Constitution doesn't allow that, but you can still take race into account, and that was the ballgame.

There was very much concern among supporters of affirmative action that the court would rule the other way; that the court would say, `No, no more affirmative action.' So the ruling in the case last week allowing its use in this way was extraordinarily significant and the sweep of O'Connor's language and the scope of that decision was a tremendous victory for supporters of affirmative action, and one that I think many supporters said they hadn't dared dream. It went further than they had even hoped.

SCHIEFFER: All right. Let's talk a little bit about knocking down the sodomy laws in Texas. What does that mean? Does that, for instance, mean that the military can no longer use its don't ask, don't tell policy as far as...

GREENBURG: No. No...

SCHIEFFER: ...homosexuals are concerned?

GREENBURG: No. This was, of course, a broad and sweeping ruling as well, but the court has always looked at questions involving the military on a very different track.

There are other questions that come out of this decision, for example, gay marriage. That's something that the people have been very much in debate about, and one of the dissents in the case last week suggested laws that are opposing gay marriages are on very shaky legal ground now.

But in the opinion for the court, Justice Anthony Kennedy suggested that those were different questions, that whether or not a state must give a formal recognition to a relationship is a very different question than whether or not the state can go into a private home of a person and look at that kind of conduct. Of course, again, as the affirmative action case we saw last week, people will try to use this opinion in other areas.

SCHIEFFER: Well, for example, the questions of -- you heard Justice Scalia talking about, well, this opens the way for gay scout masters, I guess, and other things like that. Do you think this opinion will bear on those things?

GREENBURG: I think the scope and sweep of Kennedy's language was striking, and I think that we will see people try to use this opinion in a host of other areas and certainly the opinion will be important in areas where gays and lesbian have been denied, say, employment or housing or the ability to adopt children. I do think in those areas this opinion sets the foundation for important victories for gays and lesbians in those areas as well.

SCHIEFFER: Let me ask you this question. People are expecting, have been expecting retirements in the court. It now appears, since the term is over, that there won't be any until next year at...

GREENBURG: Or year after.

SCHIEFFER: ...or probably now, it looks like the year after. Do you think the fact that Sandra Day O'Connor became such a voice here and became really the decisive vote here, the swing vote – do you think that means that it's more or less likely that if Justice Rehnquist -- Chief Justice Rehnquist should retire, that Sandra Day O'Connor might be named to replace him as the chief justice?

GREENBURG: I don't think there is a lot of enthusiasm, at least on the right, for elevating Justice O'Connor before last week's ruling. Keep in mind she provided a critical vote for refusing to overturn Roe vs. Wade. So many people have long thought that she just doesn't have the conservative credentials. But I think her rulings last week would put that speculation that she may be elevated to rest.

And I think the same goes for Justice Anthony Kennedy, who, of course, wrote the gay rights decision, who has also refused to overturn Roe vs. Wade. These are two Republican Reagan appointees, but they've often had very moderate decisions, and the right, I believe, would like to see someone more conservative.

SCHIEFFER: Just from a political standpoint, is this, the fact that it now appears that George Bush will not have to name someone to the Supreme Court -- is that good for George Bush, bad for George Bush, good for Democrats, bad for Democrats?

GREENBURG: I think that George Bush must breathe a sigh of relief almost that he didn't get a retirement this term on the heels of these two extraordinary decisions, because he would have been facing a tremendous battle from the right, a tremendous battle from the left. It would have made it very difficult for him to get a nominee.

Of course, in the 2004 campaign, the Supreme Court will be very much an issue. It's incredible that he's not going to get, I would think -- short of death or serious illness -- that he's not going to get a nomination in his first term. Keep in mind, we all thought he'd get one, two, maybe three.

But for 2004, the Supreme Court is very much an issue. Many of these decisions hang by one vote, and so both sides, the right and the left, will try to make that an issue.

SCHIEFFER: All right. Thank you very much, Jan.

Back with a final word in just a minute.

(COMMERCIAL)

SCHIEFFER: Finally today, asked why she liked "Harry Potter" so much, a young woman told "The New York Times," `Because these books hold your attention in a way that other books just can't.'

I think the reason why is because they set the reader's imagination free, and that seldom happens anymore. That's the real magic in these books about magic. There's no force on Earth more powerful or pleasurable than our imaginations. That's why Old Testament miracles never seem to come off in the movies. Such things are just more real if imagined than seen.

I loved to read as a child, which probably led to too much daydreaming. But I wonder if generations raised on television even have a chance to exercise their imaginations the way that I did. For them, there's no need to dream. It's all there on the screen; no work required to get it, no imagination needed.

Is that what's taking the romance out of our lives, why so many young people take such a humorless, literal view of life? I think we were better off when we had more time to dream.

Speaking of dreams, the way these "Harry Potter" books are selling, I plan to call my next book "Bob the Wizard," and I already know one trick. Watch.

(Snaps fingers; video of his empty chair)

SCHIEFFER: See? It's magic.

That's it for us. We'll see you next week right here on Face The Nation.

  • Bootie Cosgrove-Mather

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