TSR: Reactions

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Length: 2:30

WOLF BLITZER: The number one election issue across the United States, by all accounts, is Iraq.

Let's go live to CNN's Michael Ware.

He's joining us in Baghdad, Are people in Iraq -- whether Iraqis, U.S. military personnel -- are they fascinated, as clearly we are, by the potential of what could happen on this election day in the United States?

MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, it doesn't have the sharp focus here in Iraq that, clearly, it has back home in the United States.

Nonetheless, the American mid-term elections do hang over all of the events here. In fact, they loom over the war whether people are aware of that or not.

Certainly at a political level, within the upper echelons of the Iraqi government, they're extremely sensitive to the fluctuating moods leading into this U.S. mid-term election.

However, on the streets, by and large, if Iraqis are aware that an election is taking place, there's very little understanding of exactly what it is.

CNN bumped into one fellow who said he hoped John Kerry would win, for example.

Many of them feel that this somehow relates to President Bush's presidency, but they can't take it beyond that.

They do know, however, somehow or other, even though they cannot explain it, what happens with this vote does in some fashion affect what happens here in Iraq -- Wolf.

BLITZER: What about the whole verdict, the guilty verdict for Saddam Hussein?

The appeals process going forward now.

Is there an anticipation when he might be executed?

WARE: Well, it's anyone's guess, quite frankly, at this stage. I mean clearly, this is uncharted waters that the Iraqi government and its fledgling judiciary are now navigating. So it's really impossible to say. There's a lot of speculation that it could be early next year. Some people say perhaps it could come before that. However, most pundits expect that that will be unlikely.

As you know, it's now entered the automatic appellate section of this judicial process. There's no set time frame, except for the fact once the decision is made, execution is carried out within 30 days -- Wolf.

BLITZER: All right, Michael, thanks very much. Michael Ware is our man in Baghdad.

Our man here in THE SITUATION ROOM is Jack Cafferty. He's standing by with "The Cafferty File" -- Jack.

JACK CAFFERTY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I really like Michael's stuff. He's terrific. Thanks, Wolf.

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Length: 3:04

WOLF BLITZER: Iraq by all accounts the number one issue hovering over all these elections in so many districts in the House as well as the United States Senate.

Let's go to Baghdad right now. Our correspondent Michael Ware is standing by. Michael, is there a sense in Iraq right now that history could unfold in the United States tomorrow with a direct impact on the lives of so many Iraqis.

MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, that operates on a number of levels, Wolf. At the senior echelons of the Iraqi government, yes, they're very sensitive to the shifting moods within American domestic politics. They're well aware of the possible consequences of the midterm elections. However, in the streets in Iraq, people are barely aware that the poll is taking place. They certainly lack any real understanding.

CNN bumped into one fellow yesterday who said he hoped John Kerry would win. Certainly most people seem to think that somehow or other President Bush is running in this election. Either way, people still know that if the election is taking place, somehow, it's going to be impacting on the war here on the ground in Iraq. They're just not sure how.

But for the average American soldier, who tonight staring down the barrel of his M-4 rifle, looking at an Iraqi street, waiting for any kind of attack -- and we have been hearing gun fire here now at 3:00 a.m. -- the election obviously means something, but right now it's what in front of him that counts -- Wolf.

BLITZER: What about, Michael, the verdict yesterday of Saddam Hussein getting the death sentence? How is that impacting in terms of the violence right now in the short term? In other words, how are the Saddam loyalists, the Sunnis by and large, reacting?

WARE: Well, right now, significant parts on of the country remain under this extremely tight curfew that befell the capital Baghdad and two provinces largely Sunni-dominated on the eve of the announcement of the verdict. That curfew against vehicles and pedestrians is due to lift in just a few hours.

Pedestrians first emerged just after dark -- dusk. Vehicles should be back on the road tomorrow. That's kept a lid on things, Wolf. However, we did see in Saddam's former power base of Tikrit 2,000 people take to the streets to demonstrate against the verdict. But the number of people who actually support Saddam now even in the Sunni community is very, very small. Most of them are not sad to have seen him gone. But they will continue to fight against America for other reasons. Wolf?

BLITZER: Michael Ware reporting for us from Baghdad. Michael thanks very much. Be careful over there. Lou, he does an incredible job for us. Our entire team in Iraq, these are courageous journalists. They're risking their lives on a daily basis to bring us the news.

DOBBS: Absolutely. Arwa Damon, John Roberts, Michael Ware, just doing outstanding work. Thank you very much.