Michael Ware


TSR: "...so far divorced from reality..."

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Length: 3:21

WOLF BLITZER: The time to act is now. The Secretary of State delivered that message today to the top Iraqi leaders who seem not to be able to settle their differences. But are her words getting through?

Joining us now our correspondent in Baghdad, Michael Ware. The Secretary of State, Michael, Condoleezza Rice. She flies into Baghdad. Her flight was a little bit delayed. Indirect fire, they are saying, as she was coming into Baghdad. She immediately goes to the green zone, meets with this prime minister.

I assume she's reading him the riot act, saying, "You know what? You Iraqis got to get your act together."

MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it certainly seems that way. It appears to be implied from what scraps of public statement have been made. We heard Secretary Rice coming in saying that the Iraqi political forces need to understand that there's no longer time for endless debate about the problems confronting that country.

She also said that the security situation is not one that can be tolerated. So that's firmer language than we heard back in April when Secretary Rice was saying she was coming in to nudge this government into formation. Back then when there was so much of the political bargaining going on. So there seems to be a change in tone.

And remember, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is vital to the U.S. mission. In some ways, he could be seen to be the last gasp for this democratic model that American is trying to implant here. So they've invested a lot in him hoping that he can create a popular base with U.S. support that will give a wedge against the militias and the Iranian-backed political parties that actually hold power.

So she may have been asking him very firmly to step up to the plate and start delivering, when quite frankly, it's hard to see how he can, Wolf.

BLITZER: At this point, she comes in for a few hours, a day, or whatever, into Iraq. She immediately goes to the very secure green zone. Does she really see what's happening inside Iraq? Does she leave there with a better appreciation of either the sectarian violence or the insurgency?

WARE: Of course not, Wolf. I mean you can just imagine the umbrella of security that encases someone like the Secretary of State. But I mean, going from the airport, which is its own self-contained little bubble, to the green zone which is the ultimate bubble here in Iraq, I mean, U.S. officials and contractors, and all manner of people will come and do six to 12 months in Iraq, but never leave the green zone.

They don't know even what it's like to walk an Iraqi street. Certainly not without the shroud of heavily armed American soldiers about them. They don't know what it's like to go to someone's home and sit and talk with them, to shop in the markets, to have blackouts, to not have water, to have to queue for benzene. Secretary Rice is so far divorced from that reality that she couldn't possibly hope to understand it. Certainly not from fleeting visits to an artificial bubble like the green zone, Wolf?

BLITZER: And I know that's something that Michael Ware is not in; in any bubble. You are one of our courageous correspondents. Michael, thanks very much.

WARE: Thank you, Wolf.