It's November 29, 2006 and Anderson has traveled from Turkey to Jordan to cover then President Bush's trip to the region. We debated about including this leg of the trip because it's mostly political discussion that could have been done from the NYC studio. However, given the current round table discussions on Syria and references being made to the Iraq War, we found it interesting to take this look back. Perhaps some in the panel/punditry/cable news world forget what a mess the war in Iraq was and how much credibility it lost the U.S. in the region and would do well to watch these clips?!
ANNOUNCER: Across the country and around the world, this is ANDERSON COOPER 360.
Reporting tonight from Amman, Jordan, here's Anderson Cooper.
COOPER: And we want to welcome our viewers back home in the United States and to everyone watching around the world on CNN International. Thanks very much for watching tonight -- a lot going on here in Amman.
You can call it the dinner that never was, high-stakes diplomacy on hold, at least until breakfast -- a crucial summit off to an embarrassing start. We will be looking at a lot tonight, most of it having to do with how to turn things around in Iraq, if that's even possible anymore, for either President Bush or Iraq's prime minister. We will also be dealing with a very big wild card, our nemesis Iran.
My colleague John Roberts will be handling that angle from New York -- John.
COOPER: John, President Bush and Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki are sitting down this morning, both of them crippled politically back home, each of them facing a menu of tough choices. Mr. Bush is under pressure to bring the troops home, but may find it necessary to send more in.
Prime Minister al-Maliki has a weakening base of support, unreliable security forces, to say the least, and a capital that is out of control, and powerful factions that were pushing him not to come here at all. Then came the leak of a tough memo prepared by Stephen Hadley, the president's national security adviser, then the snub. Now comes the spin.
Suzanne Malvauex was in with a report that brought us up to day and then a follow up discussion with Anderson. Anderson also talked to Hala Gorani who was in Amman as well ~
Next Anderson spoke via satellite with David Gergen and Jeff Greenfield ~
We have got, right now, a hobbled president back home, a weak and potentially difficult prime minister, trouble on the ground, sniping back home, and really no good choices for anyone. As a writer for Slate.com put it today, it is starting to look like a speed chess version of Vietnam.
The question is, what does the president do now? Some perspective from David Gergen, a former presidential adviser -- he's in Boston tonight -- and, in San Francisco, CNN senior analyst Jeff Greenfield.
Gentlemen, thanks very much for being with us.
ROBERTS: Now let's go back to Anderson in Amman, Jordan, for more on Iran's role in the Middle East -- Anderson.
Anderson's follow up discussion with Reza Aslan ~
COOPER: Yes, John, Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, of course, is -- is clearly trying to play a bigger role, not just with his letter to Americans, but also by talking with Iraq's president this week.
The question is, just how concerned should the U.S. be about Iran's growing involvement?
For more on that, I'm joined by Reza Aslan of USC's Center on Diplomacy, and author "No god But God,"
What do you make of this letter? What is he trying to do?
BREAKING NEWS !!
COOPER: And we have some breaking news to report. "The New York Times" has just put on their web site a report that the Iraq Study Group has reached a consensus decision on their recommendations for what should happen in Iraq.
Anderson discusses the breaking news with retired Brigadier General David Grange and John Roberts
Reza Aslan was brought into the discussion ~
Anderson further discussed the breaking news with Daivd Gergen, but the connection with Anderson was lost and John Roberts finished the interview ~
The connection was re-established and after a commercial break Anderson was live again from Amman ~
COOPER: And we're joined again now by David Sanger on the phone. David is with the "New York Times". We also have David Gergen on the phone and John Roberts sitting by in New York.
Anderson ended the first hour by saying ~
COOPER: David Sanger from "The New York Times", David Grange as well and David Gergen. A lot of Davids tonight. Thank you very much.
John Roberts, as well, from New York. Thanks very much for sitting in for the cover. Appreciate it.
The summit takes place here, but the hard decisions will ultimately have to be made, of course, in Baghdad and Washington.
Coming up, the way out, the challenge of finding one as David Gergen said earlier, that isn't a total catastrophe. Iraq, the end game. It's a special hour, next on 360.
We will cover the special hour next week. Hope you join us!