tv Around the World CNN September 3, 2013 9:00am-10:01am PDT
my symptoms were a pain in my abdomen and periods that were heavier and longer than usual for me. if you have symptoms that last two weeks or longer, be brave, go to the doctor. ovarian and uterine cancers are gynecologic cancers. symptoms are not the same for everyone. i got sick... and then i got better. welcome to "around the world. i'm suzanne malveaux. >> i'm michael holmes. >> president obama starts full speed ahead. the president gambling that congress will approve his plan. >> nobody doubting this is going to be a tough sell for the
administration. president obama has been meeting with john boehner, minority leader nancy pelosi and the leaders of every key national committee. >> later today john kerry, defense secretary chuck hagel and martin dempsey will head to the senate foreign relations committee for first public hearing on possible use of force in syria. some of the administration have called this is a flood zone strategy. >> will the president get the support he needs? the key question. earlier the president made his case to top lawmakers and the american people. >> i want to thank the leaders of both parties for being here today to discuss what is a very serious issue facing the united states. the fact that i've had chance to speak to many of you and congress as a whole is taking this issue with the soberness
and seriousness that it deserves is greatly appreciate and vindicates the decision for us to present this issue to congress. as i've said last week that secretary kerry made clear in his presentation last week we have high confidence that syria used in an indiscriminate fashion chemical weapons that killed thousands of people including over 400 children and in direct violation of the international norm against using chemical weapons. that poses a serious national security threat to the united states and to the region. as a consequence assad and syria needs to be held accountable. i've made a decision that america should take action, but i also believe that we will be much more effective, we will be stronger if we take action
together as one nation. this gives us an opportunity not only to present the evidence to all the leading members of congress and various foreign policy committees as to why we have high confidence as to chemical weapons used and assad used them. it also gives us an opportunity to discuss why he be held to account. the norm against usings chemical weapons, that 98% of the world agrees to, is there for a reason. we recognize there's certain weapons that when used cannot only end up resulting in grotesque deaths but also can end up being transmitted to nonstate and pose a risk to allies and friends of ours like israel, like jordan, like turkey
unless we hold them into account. also sends a message that international norms like nuclear proliferation don't mean mump. i'm going to be working with congress. we have sent up a draft authorization. we'll be asking for hearings and a prompt vote. i'm very appreciative that everybody here has already begun the schedule hearings and will take a vote as soon as all of congress comes back next week. the key point i want to emphasize to the american people, the military plan that has been developed by our joint chiefs and that i believe is appropriate is proportional. it's limited. it does not involve boots on the ground. this is not iraq and this is not afghanistan. this is a limited proportional step that will send a clear message not only to the assad
regime but also to other countries that may be interested in testing some of these international norms and there are consequences. it gives us the ability to grade assad when it comes to chemical weapons. it also fits into a broader strategy that we have to make sure we can bring about over time the kind of strengthening of the opposition and the diplomatic and economic and political pressure required to that ultimately we have a transition that can bring peace and stability not only to syria but the region. i want to emphasis once again what we're envisioning is something limited. it's something proportional. it will degrade assad. and allow syria ultimately to free itself from the kinds of
terrible civil wars and death and activity that we've been seeing on the ground. i look forward to listening to the various concerns of the members who are here today. i'm confident that those concerns can be addressed. i think it's appropriate that we act deliberately but i also think everybody recognizes the urgency and we'll have to move relatively quickly. with that to all of you here today i look forward to an excellent discussion. >> does that undercut any of your authority? >> i would not be going to congress if i wasn't serious about consultations and believing that by shaping the authorization to make sure we accomplish the mission we will be more effective, and so long we're accomplishing what needs to be accomplished which is to send a clear message to assad, degrading his ability to use chemical weapons not just now
but in the future as long as the authorization allows us to do that, i'm confident that we're going to be able to come up with something that hits that mark. >> the president said he's confident he'd get the votes to pass his resolution. a short time ago he got some back up from house speaker john boehner. let's listen. >> good plormorning to all of y. the use of chemical weapons is pretty clear to me that the united nations is unable to take action. the united states for our entire history stood up for democracy and freedom of people around the world. the use of these weapons have to be responded to and only the united states has the capability and the capacity to stop assad and to warn others around the world that this type of behavior is not going to be tolerated.
i appreciate the president reaching out to me and my colleagues in the congress over the last couple of weeks. i also appreciate the president asking the congress to support him in this action. this is something that the united states as a country needs to do. i'm going to support the president's call for action. i believe my colleague should support this call for action. we have enemies around the world that need to understand that we're not going to tolerate this type of behavior. we also have allies around the world and allies in the region who also need to know that america will be there and stand up when it's necessary. thank you. >> but the president still has to convince quite a few other members of congress.
>> our chief political correspondent gloria borger joins us. this is one of biggest policy decisions of his presidency and he's gambling on congress. we've seen the split when it comes to budget, immigration reform, but we've seen two powerful republicans take the president's side. senator john mccain and john boehner. is this somehow going to be different? >> i think it's not going to be a partisan issue. this is more sort of a hawk versus dove issue. this is more of not only do you believe in the chain of custody but it's also about whether you believe that a surgical strike can achieve what the president says it's going to achieve which is to deter assad from using chemical weapons again in the future. the thing to me that's so interesting to watch about this
is the personalities that are involved here. when you consider john mccain. john mccain who also wanted a really robust involvement in syria, wanted to arm the rebels a couple of years ago has believed the president has behaved badly. now finds himself in situation where he's defending the president. trying to get his republican colleagues to go along with the president in a policy, by the way, that he does not really support, because he believes it would be catastrophic if the congress did not back up the president's decision for this kind of a surgical strike. politics is always really personal here and you have all of these former members of congress now going to testify today before committees that they were on. chuck hagel, john kerry, talking to their former colleagues about
why they need this authorization. it's almost like a drama that's playing out here on personal, on very, very personal lines. each of these men coming to this story with an awful lot of history. >> i'm curious whether you're getting a sense. we're now two weeks out from this chemical attack and when any action might take place. i'm wonder if you garnered any sense there was no real plan for what would happen when this stated red line was crossed. what now? >> reporter: that's something the white house is definitely sensitive to. there are white house officials who insist the president has had options for months even as long as a year about how to respond to this. i think what you see in some of the recent developments is that
under these conditions and i think perhaps the size of this chemical weapons attack that it may have been unforeseen. i think it did take some off the cuff calibration when it came to how to respond and sort of the different things that were in place here. obviously when britain wasn't going to go it with the u.s. you've seen this strategy where the white house has looked inside of its on borders. i will tell you having spoken with white house officials following this meeting with members of congress they feel very encouraged. if they felt encouraged yesterday talking with senators mccain and graham. i think today they feel like they have a lot of momentum. is this a done deal? no. there are a number of member who is won't want to do this.
when you have john boehner making a strong case and nancy pelosi saying president obama has not drawn a line, humanity has drawn a line. then you have eric cantor getting on board and these key senators. i think it's something to be said for momentum even though it will be difficult to pass congress. if it's going to pass congress this is what's needed. >> thank you so much. ncht he here is more of what we're working on. syria topic of debate. countries are weighing in on what next. we'll get reaction. florida congressman alan grayson will join us live. he will tell us why he thinks president obama's argument for military action in syria doesn't make sense. bster's endless shri.
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syria. correspondents all over the dplo globe. >> jim, first to you. france, one of the few countries that supports a possible strike but will not do it alone. what kind of pressure do you think the french president is under now? >> i think he's under growing pressure. there's now some who like to see a vote at the end of the that debate. normally this would not be the case. the president doesn't have to go to parliament to get authority to use the military. he said he's not going to allow a vote on that. there's still some watching what's happening in great britain and what's going to happen in the united states who would like to have their csay o this important issue. president hollande said france would not intervene against
syria alone. he said this afternoon the reaction to something published. some direct threats were carried in the french newspaper after an interview between bashar al-assad and the newspaper. he said he would threaten the interest of france if the government remained hostile to syria. the president said that's just increased his determination that the syrian regime must be punished. >> yeah, france, the former colonial pal when it comes to syria as well. let's move to the united nations. nick payton walsh is standing by there. everyone knows that russia and china vetoed meaningful action in the past. the u.n. often accused of being rather impotent when it comes down to it. is there anything that they would likely say yes to or will
it be meaningful? >> you'll probably get the same resolution. when it comes to russia and china fee tvetoing what the u.s could come up with. lab tests are being done. sample ls taken from those sites are allegedly chemical weapons were used. we're waiting to see what the results will be. they will play enormously into global public opinion. that's going to play out enormously. much focus on the time line. how fast can they produce anything from a week to three weeks before we see these results. i'm getting indications it would be sooner rather than later. the u.n. secretary before he left for the g-20 had spoken to some members of the security council.
we'll hear from him in about 45 minutes. that's more likely to be a technical update rather than the vital yes or no. all eyes on those inspectors. >> all right. thank you so much. one reason the china is so supportive of the assad regime, it's all about economics. it's the money here. the chinese watching all of this very closely. i want to go to david mckenzie in beijing. >> china has made a pointed criticism of the u.s. and its potential strike on syria saying it would be dangerous and any unilateral action against the regime would not be helpful. china has had a consistent view on the syrian matter saying it doesn't want any military action and shouldn't all decide politically. together withing russia china has vetoed several proposed actions by the u.n. security
council to try to bring sanctions against assad and his regime. the chinese have significant economic interests in syria. many analysts believe it's the effect they're worried about because they're heavily depen dent on their oil from the middle east for their needs. >> all right. thank you, david. now we have a sense of world reaction. i want to shift our focus back to the united states and of course talk about what members of congress think. the president said he is confident he will get those votes to authorize a strike in syria. >> he faces a lot of opposition. one of those that don't agree with the president is here to tell us why. democratic congressman alan
grayson said it's not the responsibility of the u.s. to intervene in syria. where are the holes in the administration's case, in your view? where is the imminent national security threat? >> there isn't one. it's not our responsibility. we're not the world's policeman. many countries are against this. nobody has stepped forward and said they will join us. we're not acting in the manner one would act to vindicate national law. beyond that we're in a situation where we're not going to do anything that's going to do any good. no one in the add mgs says this will cause regime change. conte. no one is saying it will prevent him from using the weapons again. the people are dpens it. we've had almost 20,000 people
come to our website. >> what do you think of the administration's case that they're making here? the military strike is not only sending a message to the syrian regime that you can't get away with gassing children ar using chemical weapons but it would send a message to iran that if you do the same, we're going to do the same. this would act as a deterrent. >> it doesn't make any sense. if we want to deal with iran, we should deal with iran. an ineffective strike is somehow going to terrorize it is a farce. it doesn't make any sense.
>> what does the u.s. do? the u.s. often talk about having a moral sense of responsibility. you have children being gassed and women. you have 110,000 dead people. what should the u.s. do? >> humanitarian aid. the money could be devoted to humanitarian aid. >> while the killing continues? >> the killing will continue any way. this has been going on for years. it's turning into a proxy battle. there's no contemplation that any attack will end the civil war. i feel bad but sometimes you have to recognize your own limitations. >> i want you to respond, we've been hearing from numbers of senators as well as congressmen in the house and we heard from
senator lindsey graham who really paints some very drastic picture here if the united states doesn't get involved. here is how he put it. >> i think the american people have to understand if this war goes another year, here's what's likely to happen. there will be tens of thousands of al qaeda in syria. they will be atoppling the king. he'll be gone in another year because of the refugee problems. the idea that iran is watching every move we make in syria. >> do you just not buy his case? do you think he's exaggerating in this situation if nothing happens? >> yes and a partridge in a pear tree also. whatever's going to happen is going to happen. none of the things that lindsey
graham just said will be prevented by this attack nor could they be prevented by this attack. what lindsey graham and john mccain are calling for is another war by america in the middle east. another arab country they want us to occupy. i don't believe in humanitarian wars or bombings, i don't believe in humanitarian strikes. >> thank you. members of congress and the president has said you are responsible for making this call. >> very, very polarized views. it's interesting just how many people are undecided on this even now. >> most. just ahead, at a time when there are worldwide jitters over u.s. talk, possible military action. syria test fires a missile. we'll get a live report on the timing of this test. t chantix h. i told my doctor i think i'm... i'm ready.
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what will happen in syria, israel confirms it carried out a missile test today in the mediterrane mediterranean. >> a u.s. military official made it clear that american forces weren't involved directly. >> our jim clancy is in jerusalem. we have heard from u.s. officials that deny that the united states was involved. >> reporter: well, that's partially correct. israel fired one of its new silver sparrow target missiles along about a 1500 kilometer track. it all happened this morning after 9:00 a.m. that rang alarm bells at the russian monitoring station at the black sea. this whole region anticipating a u.s. missile strike on syria. got everybody's attention. we talked with the former head of israel's missile defense
program. he told cnn it was a single missile and launched from an israeli aircraft. he said the timing has nothing to do with the current tensions in the region. he said the u.s. missile defense representatives were present at the control center and watched the launch. he said there were no u.s. military assets involved in any of this. syria and its allies have directly threatened israel. he added and i've confirmed this that israel rarely notifies the region in advance. it was a reminder of what israeli officials have been saying about those threats. back to you. >> israel really acts without thinking these sorts of things through. the timing is interesting. jim, good to see you. ahead, it's a startling statistic.
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welcome back. president obama has his work out out for him to get congress on board when it comes to action in syria. in the senate he needs 51 votes. head count shows he has only 20 so far. 72 senators undecided or their positions unknown. they haven't come out with a decision yesterday. if there's a tie, vice president joe biden would be the one to cast the tie breaking vote. that would be in favor of authorizing military action in syria. let's have a look at the house. 218 votes needed there for a win. right now only 16 members have come out in favor of a strike.
47 are against. almost 200 undecided and dozens and dozens more whom ere we don know where they stand. a long road ahead for the white house. so many undecided and so many unknowns. >> while the debate goes on about a possible military strike on syria, inside the country, the refugee strike is growing. a syrian becomes a refugee every 15 seconds. these numbers add up very quickly. there are now more than two million syrian refugees. that's ten times more this time last year. more than four many others have been displaced from their homes inside the country. if you want to put that in some context, here's what it would look like. it would men some 30 million americans would be refugees.
that's almost the entire population of california. ben wedeman is at a refugee camp in northern jordan. >> reporter: the figure being quoted is really just part of the problem. they say there's two million registered syrian refugees but here in jordan, where there's about 520,000, officials are quoted in one newspaper saying there could be as many as 1.2 million syrian refugees in jordan. that in addition to the fact that also according to the u.n.hcr within syria there's 4.2 million displaced people. in other words, one in every four syrians is a refugee outside the country or displaced within it. we're outside these refugee camps home to about 120,000 refugees. here it's 75% are women and children. half of the inhabitants here are
under the age of 18. it's very difficult in the summer. it's hot an dusty. in the winter it's rainy and cold. many are still living in tents. we saw some of the conditions they're living in. very difficult. many of them utterly dependent on hand outs from the international community. one woman i spoke to saying it was probably better to stay in syria under the rocket fire of the bashar assad than to come here. >> it's just staggering. i'm trying to put a human face on that. those numbers of millions and things. when you look at a country like lebanon, got a population of over four million, that's like one in four. >> the population, the state of california. >> the damage done to society and families. a very disturbing report there.
ahead, as the u.s. delays possible military action in syria, what does this mean for the assad regime? we'll ask our next guest. i had pain in my abdomen... it just wouldn't go away.thing. i was spotting, but i had already gone through menopause. these symptoms may be nothing... but they could be early warning signs of a gynecologic cancer, such as cervical, ovarian, or uterine cancer. feeling bloated for no reason. that's what i remember. seeing my doctor probably saved my life. warning signs are not the same for everyone.
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the time keeps on moving. delaying the strike the u.s. wants to carry out in syria. that gives bashar al-assad's regime time to prepare. >> what will happen with a possible u.s. mission? joining us retired general who commanded the military response to hurricane katrina. he's been in the military for some 30 years. good to see you. i imagine you're looking at the map and wondering about these reports of president assad moving things around, things
that would likely be targeted. how does this complicate things now that there's a delay? >> well, it does because he disrupt his battle with the rebels and the freedom fighters and he goes to hiding his delivery systems as well as possibly hiding his aircraft and trying to mask and protecting those chemical weapons he's stashed away for future use. it provides an opportunity on the other side for the freedom fighters so they can get re resupply and take care of the wounded. it gives the united states and allies to resupply them and get everybody on board with what's going to happen as far as huh do we help them sustain themselves and take care of all those
refugees that you were talking about in the last segment. >> we've seen this before. they move stuff into civilian areas. how easy is it to move those pieces into a neighborhood? >> we've seen them do it effectively. two men leading this fight and general dempsey, the chairman joint chiefs of staffs. they have a lot of experience. with enough assurance they can figure out what are the high value targets. what are the ones they want to
avoid because the experience show they will put those inside the areas, inside a mosque, inside churches, inside school buildings. we've been through those tricks. they know what they're doing. i have faith in the navy. >> one thing i don't understand is the president said it's not time sensitive. it would happen in a day or a week or a month. what would be the trigger point where the u.s. would act. would they find something or see something and go in right away? >> yeah. that's a good point. i think what people need to get a grip with, we're trying to hold the standard of a strike against assad because he is used chemical weapons to a de declaration of war. the 18th airborne is following.
the special arbitration troops going in. this is not that type of operation. this is a strike because this man used chemical weapons against his people. what that will give us an opportunity to do and time is on our side, not on his side. time for the rebels to resupply. time for us to get them some of the special ammunitions and time for what's happening on the sideline. we don't know everything is who the president is talking to. there are other people that may bring capacity for what the rebels don't have. i think time is on our side. not on assad's side. >> thank you. good to hear your perspective. how hard will that be. also around the borld, dennis rodman making a return
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communist state but he does plan on seeing his quote, friend, kim jung-un. >> at 9:00, what happens while the world waits for washington to vote on syria. wolf blitzer fills in for piers. it's all cnn tonight starting with erin burnett, anderson cooper and piers morgan live at 9:00. all right. this was an amazing piece of history that happened right here on the show yesterday. >> you were anchoring. >> it was awesome. >> come on diana.
>> what was it like? >> it was exciting. five tries. we're watching diana nyad land there. she swam without the shark cage and the wet suit and flippers, 103 miles. >> 53 hours in the water. this was her message when she spoke to cnn this morning. >> i think i'm a person who represents a, you never give up. you find way. if something really is important to your heart, you look and see what's inside yourself and you find a way. i'm also 64. a lot of this country are baby boomers. i think people are looking to me so say hell no, i'm not old. when i'm 90 i'll get in a rocking chair and look at the sunset. >> she makes the rest of us feel terrible. >> slackers. >> she said she's done with swimming in the ocean but not
long distance swims. >> she will be swimming in a specially built pool for 48 hours. ahead, we're not done yet. it was rare opportunity. one french journalist who talked to the syrian president. >> we're going to ask him, next. t is different today. money has to last longer. i don't want to pour over pie charts all day. i want to travel, and i want the income to do it. ishares incomes etfs. low cost and diversified. find out why nine out of ten large professional investors choose ishares for their etfs. ishares by blackrock. call 1-800-ishares for a prospectus, which includes investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses. read and consider it carefully before investing. risk includes possible loss of principal.
haven't heard much from syrian leader bashar al-assad since president obama threatened his military strike, at least not outside of state controlled media. >> he did speak to one western journalist. a correspondent for the western paper la figuiro. how hard was it to get to him and what was your take on him? >> i don't hear you very well. >> what did you make of president assad, his personality, his demeanor? >> he looked to me calm but concerned about the seriousness of the situation. he didn't want to show he's worried but i could feel he was extremely concerned and worried
by the strike that could happen in his country. he was very open during the interview. i asked him 32 questions. the interview lasted 45 minutes. i could interrupt him and he answered quite easily. on this issue it was okay. his speech was very tough and he was threatening france and the u.s. >> george, what was the one thing you got out of this interview that struck you whether surprising or something different? >> we had the meeting at 10:00. the interview took place exactly at 10:00. i passed through the presidential palace and we went to a car. i thought we could go to the center of damascus where bashar
is living among the population for security reasons. contrary, we went through a road which drove up on the hill of damascus in the tree. there was a small house and one security check point there. i was not checked. they just took my recorder, and i got out from the car and he went out from the house. we shook hands and talked about my previous visit there. the security was very minimal. i think it was on purpose. he wants to show to the world he's not leaving. >> thanks so mump. exclusive interview. >> we'll have to get him back to explain a bit more. fascinating story. >> ta will do it for us.