U.S. Weighs Intervention in Syria

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

View of war damage from Serekaniye, Syria. March 22, 2013 (Fpolat69/Shutterstock)

The Obama Administration continues to weigh its response to the Syrian conflict in the wake of last week's chemical attack in the rebel-held, Damascus suburb of Moadamiyeh, which left hundreds dead and thousands wounded. 

On Monday, Secretary of State John Kerry briefly addressed the issue with the press.

"President Obama has also been in close touch with leaders of our key allies and the president will be making an informed decision about how to respond to this indiscriminate use of chemical weapons," Kerry said. "But make no mistake—President Obama believes there must be accountability for those who would use the world's most heinous weapons against the world's most vulnerable people."

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has told the BBC the U.S. is "ready to go" if the decision comes for military action against Syria.

Michael Singh, former senior director for Middle East affairs at the National Security Council, discusses how the Obama Administration should move forward on Syria. Singh, the Managing Director at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, believes the U.S. must intervene, or risk losing all credibility in the region. 

Watch Kerry's full press conference below.

 

Guests:

Michael Singh

Produced by:

Tyler Adams and Jillian Weinberger

Comments [6]

William Edwards from Portland, Oregon

On this 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and with President Obama speaking today, I find myself thinking that if Dr. King was alive today and speaking he would come out forcefully against US military intervention in Syria (as he did about the Vietnam war).

Aug. 28 2013 12:38 PM
regis of nj from Morris County, NJ

How dare the leadership in Washington pretend that helping our sworn enemies, the muslim brotherhood, is a good thing. This same group of invaders were the recipients of the gun transfers at Benghazi a year ago during the shootup as reported that very day by organizations including the BBC and documented in other media. The foreign invaders and mercenaries are NOT rebels from within a country, but are paid for by neighbors Qatar and Saudi Arabia who want to overthrow Syria's established government. To support these invaders, America has provided the very weapons in use there now which means America has shifted from being called the "Arsenal of Democracy" to the "Arsenal for Terrorists".

Aug. 28 2013 02:07 AM

My second FAX to the Pres.
And By the way, Does Sec. of State Kerry's Photo in any way remind anyone of Colin Powell's infamous WMD address at th UN?

Dear Mr. President,

This whole rush to strike Syria with Cruise Tomahawks @ (ahem, $1M a pop) is becoming all to reminiscent, as Kerry announces his proof, of Colin Powell standing up before the UN, complete with maps and other proof paraphernalia, announcing that he had proof positive of WMD in Iraq!

My suggestion is, instead of killing innocent people with Cruise, get a SEAL team together, grab Assad (BTW without killing him) and transport him to the International Court for investigation and trial!

Mr. President, do not get pulled into conflict. I hear a sucking noise from somewhere. You know that many War Hawks would just love an excuse to go into Iran! Please do not allow this. Somewhere in the background, I hear Eisenhower warning us about the Military Industrial Complex!

Sincerely,

Alexander Smart
gnpar1@gmail.com
508-274-0193 mobile

Aug. 27 2013 06:30 PM


My Fax to the President
Dear Mr. President,

Do not allow our foreign policy to be highjacked by one incident or situation. Case in point: alleged use of "WMD" by Syria. How do we really know what the source of WMD is in the case of the Syrian conflict?

PLEASE do not get sucked into military action with Syria and possibly Iran! Ask yourself, for instance, what good would Cruise missiles really do? What is your goal in Syria? I can just hear the War Hawks saying, "...hey guys, you know that Iraq & Afghanistan are shutting down and the troops are coming home! We are running out of Wars! What the hell can we do for our next one?..."

Mr. President, do not get pulled into conflict. I hear a sucking noise from somewhere. You know that many War Hawks would just love an excuse to go into Iran! Please do not allow this. Somewhere in the background, I hear Eisenhower warning us about the Military Industrial Complex!

Sincerely,

Alexander Smart
gnpar1@gmail.com
508-274-0193 mobile

Aug. 27 2013 06:24 PM
Estelle from Brooklyn

When talking about America in a quagmire, it's fine to mention Iraq. But don't stop there: remember Vietnam. I haven't heard any commentators doing that.

Aug. 27 2013 03:33 PM
Jerrold Richards from Lyle, Washington

I don't like the idea of the United States playing World Cop. That said, if any particular gang of murderers uses weapons of mass destruction such as nukes, bioweapons, chemical weapons, or cyberwar, then that must be responded to, I guess.
I expect the goal will be to inflict enough damage so as to create the impression that the costs of using chemical weapons exceeds the benefits.
Now if this calculus includes a perceived necessity to maintain the existence of the Assad regime, if I were the decision-maker, thank heavens I'm not, most likely I'd say set that aside.
True, if the Assad regime is gone, next up quite likely a spree of mass murder between the Shiites and Sunnis. But that is likely anyway, I think. Perhaps realistically all the United States can do concerning such an unfolding catastrophe is to to say, hey, when you decide to grow up and stop murdering each other, we'll help you rebuild. While doing what we can do defend and protect more or less well-behaved parties in the area.

Aug. 27 2013 12:21 PM

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