September 13, 2003 | Broadcast

CNN Live Saturday

Good to see both of you.



WHITFIELD: Well, I always like to begin with ladies first, so Julian, let me begin with you. You see this as hypocritical, that the U.S. would be asking for about 15,000 troops in terms of international help and now particularly, pointedly, toward Muslim nations, such as Turkey and perhaps even Pakistan. Why do you see this as a hypocritical move?

MALVEAUX: Well, eight months ago the United States was calling the United Nations “irrelevant,” as Sheila MacVicar reported. We have still wanted to be in charge, even though we’ve asked for United Nations’ involvement, we’ve asked for it on our terms, we want international troops, but want them under U.S. command and that doesn’t make any sense. The whole purpose of United Nations is to develop something collaborative. I think many of us do agree, whatever has happened in Iraq to date, this is a world issue and a problem, but then there has to be world solutions. The United States cannot insist on being in charge.

WHITFIELD: Well, David, you see nothing wrong with this at all — that the U.S. would be asking for U.N. help.

SILVERSTEIN: Right. Absolutely. Actually, I don’t think it’s hypocritical at all, I think it’s entirely consistent. You know, prior to the war in Iraq, United States went to the United Nations on 17 occasions, and on 17 occasions won various resolutions that supported American interests and requirements for Saddam Hussein. Those were all, of course, unanimously agreed to by the Security Council in 17th, and final resolution allowing for war. When the United States decided that it needed to go further, and the French and the Germans and a few other the Europeans, noticeably, not the British, they were on our side. And, when

WHITFIELD: Well, let’s talk about…

SILVERSTEIN: Hang on a second. When they didn’t want to come forward and supply troops. That is when we declared the United Nations, simply not relevant, and that’s when we pursued the full liberation of the Iraqi people, quite successfully.

WHITFIELD: Well, let’s now talk about…


MALVEAUX: What’s the difference? We never found the weapons of mass destruction that were not there.

SILVERSTEIN: I’m afraid that’s a red herring.


MALVEAUX: The weapons of mass distraction were not there and that’s when we asserted that those weapons where there.

SILVERSTEIN: That’s a complete distraction to the — come on.

MALVEAUX: We asserted they were there. They have never been shown to be there. And the United Nations…

SILVERSTEIN: It has nothing to do with foreign troops, Julianne, you know that.

MALVEAUX: …had every right to ask for…


WHITFIELD: Well, let’s now talk about the obstacles that are before the U.S., as well as the U.N. Some U.N. members are saying — we don’t want the U.S. to be in total control, they need to relinquish something. There has to be some compromise. However, we just heard from Secretary Powell, who says, if there’s going to be a relinquishing of power, it’s going to be a transition from U.S. control to Iraqi control. David, is that a compromise?

SILVERSTEIN: Well, no it’s — not only is it not a compromise, again, it’s entirely consistent. I think there’s absolutely no reason to suggest that U.S. troops should be under the command of some blue helmet from Nigeria or Fiji or any place else around the world. In particular, they should not be under the command of the French and the Germans who fought the very resolution that the United States tried so hard to bring about to bring peace and liberation and stability to Iraq.

WHITFIELD: Well, Julianne, why should the U.S. be in a position to continue to call the shots?


MALVEAUX: Well, they shouldn’t be, I mean, David is absolutely wrong, here. The derision with which he talks about a “blue helmet” from Nigeria, then why should Nigerians or people from Fiji or Turkey or anywhere else, risk their troop’s lives? Why should they send their young people? Well, what they’re doing, in a sense, is they’re becoming an auxiliary…

SILVERSTEIN: Because, what we’re doing is the right thing, Julianne.

MALVEAUX: Just a minute, David. Because they’re becoming an auxiliary of the United States

SILVERSTEIN: We just shouldn’t be under their command structure, that’s all.

MALVEAUX: I think they’re absolutely — this is the problem with our engagement with the United Nations, that we think we can look down on the rest of the world. A “blue helmet” there Nigeria? You’re asking that “blue helmet” to fight! How dare you?

SILVERSTEIN: Any — any institution hat had Iraq in charge of the International Disarmament Committee has Syria on the Security Council and has Libya in charge of the Human Rights Commission, does not deserve the full serious attention of the United States when We’ve talking about putting U.S. troops…


MALVEAUX: This is jingoism

SILVERSTEIN: U.S. troops under command of forces that we cannot trust…

MALVEAUX: This isn’t even nationalism, David, it’s jingoism. It is narrow.

SILVERSTEIN: …to help provide for our…

MALVEAUX: It is so narrow-minded. The why are we asking?

WHITFIELD: And, David, we are trying…

MALVEAUX: Then why are we asking for their help?

WHITFIELD: When we talk about — and, David when we talk about the U.S. asking, soliciting, the help from these other nations…


WHITFIELD: There is this realization on average now, 15 U.S. troops are being attacked a day. So, there has to be some sort of negotiating, I would imagine, that the U.S. would have to do in order to convince many of these other countries to take such a grave risk.

SILVERSTEIN: Well, actually, that is not exactly right. I mean, there are 30-some countries that are helping the United States, certain — Britain, Spain, and so on, in operations in Iraq, right now, the Australians, of course noticeably. But beyond that, the fact is — is that there are a whole host of other nations that would be willing to provide troops. They just want to see the kind of resolution that they would prefer, whether we’re going to have U.S. troops in that resolution under U.N. command, I think, is simply not going to be the case. There’s absolutely no reason to suggest

WHITFIELD: All right…

SILVERSTEIN: That U.S. troops…

MALVEAUX: There has to be…


WHITFIELD: We only got a few more seconds left, I’m going to let Julian get the last word.

Do you see any turning back or any negotiating that the U.S. can do at this juncture?

MALVEAUX: I think that Secretary Powell has made it difficult, but if we want multi-national troops, we’re going to have to have a multi-national and international command, and if we’re not prepared to do that, we can continue to expect…


SILVERSTEIN: We have a multi-national force right now and we have no U.N. in command.

MALVEAUX: The world resistance that we’re expecting, right now.

SILVERSTEIN: People hostile to U.S. should not command U.S. troops.

MALVEAUX: But, if you want France and you want Germany, if you want the other people involved, you have to share power. The United States cannot in charge of the world. That’s why we have a United Nations…

WHITFIELD: All right, it’s getting to the point we can’t understand either one, because you’re both talking on top of one another.

MALVEAUX: Exactly.

WHITFIELD: Thanks very much.

MALVEAUX: No courtesy from my colleague, here.

WHITFIELD: Appreciate it, Julian Malveaux and David Silverstein.

MALVEAUX: Thank you, Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: Thanks to both of you for joining us, this afternoon.

SILVERSTEIN: You’re welcome.