IMRAN on OReilly Factor Fox News/Iraq Insurgency Predictions
SHOW: Fox News Channel : THE O'REILLY FACTOR (20:11)

July 25, 2003 Friday

Transcript # 072502cb.256

SECTION:News; International

LENGTH: 1173 words


GUESTS: Imran Anwar

BYLINE: John Kasich BODY:

KASICH: In the "impact segment" tonight, how are the Iraqi people and the rest of the Arab world reacting to the killing of Saddam's sons? With us now is IMRAN ANWAR. He is a journalist and Middle East analyst. Sir, thanks for being with us.

ANWAR: Thank you for having me.

KASICH: Well, how could they not believe the photos? What would drive this?

ANWAR: I think, actually, the fact that the bodies were pretty smashed up, it is possible for some people to suspect that the bodies are not real or they're somebody else's bodies. But, quite frankly, from the conversations I've had with people in the Middle East and even as far as Pakistan even today, everybody believes it is the bodies. I think some of the media, especially people who might not be happy with the way the situation in Iraq is playing out, that element of the media might be highlighting this aspect that some people don't believe it. Most people do believe that those were Saddam's sons. And most people believe that he's not coming back. The people in Iraq might have some fear. So they're basically hedging their bets.

KASICH: Well, are the Iraqi people, as you gauge it, what's their mood?

ANWAR: The mood of the Iraqi people is the real important issue here. The problem is that they know that we fought a very well-planned war, but we are not managing a very well planned peace or rebuilding effort.

So what is happening is that they know Saddam is most likely not coming back. But in their day-to-day existence, things have gotten steadily worse. Running water, things like electricity, things like schools, food, clothing, shelter, these are the things they really need right now. And since they're not getting the same level that they had under Saddam, the immediate impact is negative. And that is one of the things we need to deal with first.

KASICH: All right, we're going to get to -- we're going to make you the czar of Iraq in a second. But before we get to that, I can tell you a lot of people in this country are saying, wait a minute. We go over there, we put ourselves at risk, and we take out a dictator and all of his henchmen who were slaughtering...

ANWAR: Absolutely.

KASICH: ...thousands and thousands of Iraqis.

ANWAR: Absolutely.

KASICH: So how could people over there not be saying thank you and we're not going to let these idiots come in here and try to kill your people? What drives this?

ANWAR: I think two things are happening. One is a small group of people who are probably loyal to Saddam. Saddam is probably still alive in some bunker somewhere. Hopefully he's suffering from seeing the pictures of his sons' bodies. And so he can realize the damage he did to other people's lives and families.

So there are going to be those henchmen. There's probably some money involved. We found $1 billion in cash, if you remember, a few months ago. Similarly, there might be other cash stashes. And people are just doing guerrilla warfare for the money.

Then there will be people who just do not like the United States, which will be a smaller sector -- group of the people, but mostly people from the Ba'athist party or people who were part of the original regime, who would like to see the original regime come back...

KASICH: Yes, but what about the Shi'ias in the south, you know, thousands of them showing up and beating their chest and saying we're going to get the Americans and everything? What percentage of Iraqis do you think support us strongly? And what percentage would you say oppose us?

ANWAR: I would say about 80 percent of the Iraqis feel that a good thing has happened, that Saddam is gone, his sons are now dead. So that is a good thing as far as they're concerned, but they feel it might be a little too early to place their bets on the American horse, especially because they've seen it mismanaged after the war was over. So that is their concern.

And I can -- I do not blame them for it because of what happened in the previous Gulf War, and especially when the Kurds rose up against Saddam and we basically abandoned them.

KASICH: All right, three things we can do, you think? If it's 80 percent, then we got to win the 20. Let's just assume you're right. What do we do to win the 20? Give me three quick things?

ANWAR: Actually, we will need to win the 80, because they're still suspicious of our motives there.


ANWAR: So one of the first things we need to prove to them is what do we mean by a democratic Iraq? Because people think a democratic Iraq means what America wants to put in power. The second thing we need to do is to set up as quickly as possible. Forget infrastructure five years from now. Food, clothing, shelter, medical aid right now. And thirdly, let's set up something which provides entertainment to the youth, especially set up some stadiums to get some football, soccer going, get some -- a music -- rock concerts going, whatever -- the Iraqi version of rock is...


ANWAR: So that people's attention goes towards that.

KASICH: A little bit of PR there.


KASICH: OK, let's talk about the Iraqis who are being killed. We -- they get trained for a police force. They're coming out of their academy. And they are killed by the Fedayeen or foreign fighters or somebody. You know, there are constant attacks on Iraqis. How will this impact the over time, the attitude of Iraqis towards the United States with people killing Iraqis who want to restore order?

ANWAR: I think you're seeing the same thing happen in Afghanistan, where the Afghan military recruits were killed by al Qaeda or Taliban people. What the troublemakers are trying to do is to send a message, much like people in Chechnya. also did, that if you support the aggressor, that is what they're calling us there, or the occupier, which we are having to act as, that if you're supporting them, you're taking a big chance on your life. So one of the best ways to help America fail is to make sure that it doesn't get the support from the local populace that actually we need to get things going.

KASICH: See, you know, there's a lot of Americans get frustrated. Over in Germany now, there's a poll that says, you know, that 30 percent of Germans under the age of 30 think we conspired somehow on the attack on the towers. And Americans get frustrated when they put their flesh and blood on the line and things don't work out. One quick answer. How long do you think America will need to be there?

ANWAR: I think it might be as long as five years.

KASICH: It will be that long?

ANWAR: It will be.

KASICH: All right, I want to thank you for being with us. And very good insight.

In a moment, a new poll shows Hillary Clinton's leading the Democratic candidates in the dust in the race for the White House. But she says she's not even running. Plus, it's the most dangerous place in the Western hemisphere and Geraldo is there. We're going to be talking about Colombia, South America. And we're going to have a very special report.

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