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tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  September 8, 2013 7:00am-10:01am EDT

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they will talk about potential military action in syria and its impact on the obama administration, its allies, and the middle east. " washington journal" is next. >> i know the american people are wary after a decade of war. even after the war in iraq has ended and the war in afghanistan is winding down. that is why we are not putting our troops in the middle somebody else's war. but we are the united states of america. we cannot turn a blind eye to the images like we have seen out of syria. host: good morning, the president's comments in his weekly address, particle -- part .f an intensive media campaign at the white house tries to build congressional support for military intervention in syria. it is sunday morning, september
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8. it is also a back to work week for members of congress. lawmakers return tomorrow following the five-week august recess. congress coming back to capitol hill with a growing list of issues to vote on, including the budget, the debt ceiling, and immigration. we be in with more on syria and today we are breaking down the vote and the question this way, for those that support military intervention, the number to call is 202-585-3880. , 202-585-3881. if you remain undecided, that's number to call is 202-585-3882. we are also collecting your e- .ails at journal@c-span.org
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let's begin with some of the headlines outside of washington dc. "the boston sunday globe." from the front page of "the chicago tribune" is this headline -- times" -- he l.a. he spent the time preparing for his speech and also a golf outing. the president is doing a series of network interviews tomorrow. let's go to the front page of "the new york times" --
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a couple of polls over the last few days. a new pew poll showing the majority of americans opposing military intervention in syria as antiwar demonstrators marched outside the white house earlier this month against a possible u.s. attack -- the poll shows how difficult it is for the president to convince of public and congress military action. coming up later in the program we are going to show you just some of the video over the weekend by the senate intelligence committee. we want to warn you, it is
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that many of the pictures are graphic. we will share with you just some of those photographs and video released over the last 24 hours. first deal also -- first your calls, we have one line who says that we have one line set aside for those who oppose, one for those that supported, and those that remain undecided. from wisconsin, opposing the war , go ahead -- caller: hello, i'm here. i don't see why we should help these people out, they hate our guts. not only that, it is an ally of russia, let them deal with it. why isn't russia concerned about chemical weapons? we should stay out of that mess. those people hate us in the first place. there is this from mike
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murphy on our twitter page -- wayne is joining us who support military intervention, good morning. you're calling from south carolina? caller: right. is 400 children needs to be straightened up. those that don't think so, i cannot help what country it is -- they need to be straightened up.nd -- straightened those are children that cannot defend themselves. i believe america should get in there and help them. bonnie joining us from maryland, an opponent of military intervention, why? i want somebody to explain it to me. all of these clips they're
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showing, how is it possible only one person had gloves on? because sarin gas, if you touched it it would kill you, if you breathe that it would kill you. how is it possible that all these people that were wiping these people's face with their hand with no gloves on, they were putting water on, they were putting masks on and marching, but they never used gloves. somebody needs to explain this to me. i think kerry was against every other war, when we were in vietnam -- i remember when my husband came back and he was spit on. he thinks it's ok to go in? how many babies are aborted every year in the united states? gail is next, a supporter
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of military intervention, calling from heathcliff, new york. good morning. caller: good morning, i love your program, i watch it everyday. i'm a democrat, a liberal democrat. for me the by line is i trust this president very much and i respect the government and what they want to do. whatottom line for me is happened to those children and was atrocious. and this government stands for a lot of things and i think it has to stand up to this. , i didated the iraq war not really like the afghan war. and i certainly did not like what happened to us at 9-11.
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i take each situation for itself. i think the presentation kerry -- i think the president is standing up. all the people are saying this on the talk shows, he hasn't stood up and he is confused. this is a very confusing situation. he is trying to define something that is very very important. call.thank you for the the president initially planned to be in california this week. those plans were scratched as the focus is now here in washington and the congressional vote. hill" hearing from "the newspaper that the senate is likely to vote this week. the president will be delivering an address to the nation on tuesday evening. the 12th is marking anniversary of the attacks on
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9/11. the president will be at the white house and later at the pentagon for memorial services. it is back to work week for congress, from page story of the washington post -- of "the washington post" --
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there is this from our twitter -- for those that support military and -- military intervention we have a line set aside. we also have one set aside for those that oppose it. the numbers will continue to be at the bottom of the screen. jay is joining us from louisville, kentucky. your -- you are undecided? caller: i think all obama has to assad were to render all his chemical weapons to russia and we pledge only humanitarian aid, if they don't agree to that then we will tell mr. putin that --
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host: to give a sense of how supporters are dealing with will -- with military intervention in their own district, take a look eric cantor, who does oppose -- support military force, he writes --
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meanwhile, this is from tim, an e-mail from chicago -- adam is joining us next from anchorage, alaska, a supporter of a let -- a supporter of
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military intervention. caller: they deserve the u.s. help. they have been under this man man and hisder this father for over 50 years. they need a change. the u.s. is supposed to do that. otherwise [indiscernible] they will ask the why don't you help us -- ask why you don't you help us? -- why don't you help us? there's this comment from our twitter page --
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the next call is joe joining us , undecided about what to do. why is that? caller: this is steve from new mexico. good morning, you are on the air. caller: if president obama doesn't go through with this military action i think it will weaken his presidency, especially from a foreign-policy angle. with it,s go through i'm afraid of the ramifications. with russia and the chinese backing with iran, possibly world war iii. we will now go to jail
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from new york. you are undecided? caller: i am undecided because of the president's statement last week. he said it's not his problem, it's the congress is problem, and it's america's problem. is he president of the united states? if the united states has a problem he has a problem. we don't know who used chemical weapons. it has never been proven which side used it first. they have serious weapons. is an unscientific survey that you can weigh in on .ur facebook page and those that weighed in so far, 72 people have said they oppose military said -- military intervention in syria. 12 support and four of those are
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undecided. share your thoughts on whether or not you support or oppose motor intervention. randy is joining us from oklahoma city. the morning. -- good morning. there is the airspace here and the republican later had a town hall meeting here, there was not one person that supported it. i don't support it because i don't believe it is a limited military strike. it is war. iran. going to war with iraq waranistan and disasters, this is a third disaster. it ou want to do it, do right.
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where did iraq get the chemical weapons to gas iran and the civil war? this has gone on for two years, it's going to go on for eight years. the lebanon civil war went on for 17 years. the civil war in congo went on for 12 years. is a civil war. i don't want in it. in iraq.498 i'm done with war. let's do the humanitarian aid, whatever they call them. let's try to get people out. than 2here are now more million refugees in the
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countries that surround syria, that according to a report issued by the united nations. this is from fred who says -- time magazine with a look inside what congress is debating and this photograph from the cabinet room last week in the white house. from the weekly address, the president had more to say about why it is imperative to intervene. [video clip] talking about not is another open-ended intervention. this would not be another iraq or afghanistan.
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there would be no american boots on the ground. and he action we take would be limited, both in time and scope, designed to deter the syrian government from gassing its own people again and degrading its ability to do so. i know the american people are weary after a decade and more. even after the war in iraq has ended and the war in afghanistan is ending down that is winding down who does is why we are now putting our troops in the middle of somebody else's war. but we are the united states of america, we cannot turn a blind eye to the images like we have seen out of syria. failing to respond to this outrageous attack would increase the risk that chemical weapons can be used again. they would fall into the hands of terrorists that might use them against us and it would send a horrible signal to the other nations that there would be no consequences for their work -- for their use of this weapons -- of these weapons. all of this would pose a threat to our national security. host: the president in his
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weekly address. and the cover story of "cq weekly closed quote -- -- of "cq weekly" -- be joining us, the managing editor at "the hill post quote newspaper. hill" newspaper. some video was released. i will share with you this morning by senator dianne feinstein, these videos contain disturbing images. it each of these 13 videos explicitly claim to show david m's of a chemical or poison gas attack. at the request of chairman feinstein, these were elected by the open source center to depict a range of youtube content posted regarding the 21st -- the august 21 chemical weapon attack.
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this was released by the senate intelligence committee. all of the videos were posted on youtube by pro-syrian opposition users. we will share a little bit more of what the video looks like. you can watch all of it in its entirety at the senate intelligence committee website, available on the web. vicki is joining us from casper, wyoming. you support military intervention, why is that? as americans we need to be reminded of what the president has done with bin laden. we follow through with everything he said he was going to do. a drone- there has been strike on that president a long time ago -- there should have been drone strike on the president a long time ago. the president put a lot of thought into this and he usually follows through with what he
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says he is going to do. we need to trust him. we are lucky and congress is lucky that he is even giving them the time to make that decision. he's going about it the right way. host: thank you very much for the call. formica lives in georgia, -- four mike, who lives in georgia, ind -- for mike, who lives e-rgia, sending in this mail -- in our audience was sitting -- our audience listening in, if 3881.ppose syria 202-585- for those that support, 202-585- 3880. the managing
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editor of "the hill" newspaper, and we are partnering with "the hills newspaper -- with "the hill" newspaper. what are we looking at in the vote this week and the house vote next week? guest: the senate looks much better than the house. they still have work to do. ge have the categories "leanin yes," "leaning no," or "undecided. yes, 19 leaning no, and we have 27 undecided. there are others we are still trying to track. those are basically undecided or have not come out publicly. 24-19, a much grimmer picture for the white house.
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have 31 leaning yes, 138 leaning no, and 92 undecided. not saying you how they are. many members, both on the left and the right, have said they "no".irm it would be amazing if they were able to pass this through both the senate and the house. the tragedy would be to get some momentum -- we could get some momentum by passing it through enate. >> you list where every member is at the moment. let's focus first on the senate. heard over the weekend that
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senator mark pryor, who is up , votingection next year against the resolution. going through some of these other names, ted cruz of texas, joe manchin of west virginia, , pat murphy of connecticut roberts of kansas, marco rubio offlorida, david v louisiana. a cross-section of democrats and republicans. it is a combination, and that is what is going to be so hard for the president. this is not like any domestic bill where he can go to his party, whether it is on a health-care bill or a trade bill and say that you need to stamp the president. this is a war related resolution. ,here are members on the left there is no way they are going to vote for this resolution. that is a trouble spot for this administration.
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we have been putting these wait lists together for years, whether it be on deficits or the health care bill. i have never seen a deficit so large on a high profile bill as i do on syria. the houseook at again, according to your no,ount, those leaning you 106 republicans and 32 democrats. the only way the administration can get to 218 , andotes is 150 democrats then you're going to need about 70 votes from republicans. democrats is going to be extremely challenging. even getting 70 republicans, that is also extremely challenging.
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of everyeing nine out 10 republicans in the house say no. they are not convinced come in out of these briefings. a lot of democrats are not convinced coming out of these briefings. that is why the administration is doing all these interviews. some think it is too little too late. first, this headline from "the hill" -- can you explain who your colleague was talking to, these were veterans who served in both iraq and afghanistan? guest: correct. we did a cross search of those that served as well as our with our whip list. the overwhelming amount of these veterans -- basically they don't agree with the administration.
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this includes both republicans and democrats. this is just daunting. if he can not get combat veterans to be more supportive on this, then you have such an uphill climb to convince both chambers to pass this. are talking bob to sack, the managing editor -- bob cusack, the managing editor at "the hill" newspaper. as has been getting a lot of attention, give us the back story of why this video was released. guest: it was released because they honestly lack the votes. we have seen some footage on , butbe before yesterday these were released to cnn. and it shows you that the administration needs to make the case to the american people because the problem before the
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white house is that a lot of constituents are calling their and they are not convinced. elijah cummings is a democrat 80 lot ofand and supporters for the president live in that district -- and a lot of supporters for the president live in that district. releasing these videos is part of that and trying to make it a case on a personal level, to look at what happened to these children. isthe same time there conflicting information from the different sides in syria. there have been allegations that these videos were staged. the beginning of the process. it can go on. the house looks like it probably won't vote this week.
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if the count continues to look very bad it is an open question as to whether there will be a vote in the house at all. host: that is the question dennis mcdonagh is going to be making -- going to be facing as he appears on the sunday programs. what is the first question we should post to him today? guest: i think how this is going three ofhe house -- every four democrats are going to be supporting the president and does he inc. the president convincing -- does he think the president made a convincing case? he is on the white house to make a case that the members feel like they haven't made yet. much thank you for being -- thank you very much for being with us. we will continue to monitor the whip count. you can check it out any time at thehill.com.
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we will update you with the latest numbers as the staff of "the hill" newspaper keeps track of where embers of the senate and house are voting. -- where members of the senate and house are voting. lawmakers return this week. that to your calls, the question we are asking, do you support or oppose military intervention in syria gecko -- in syria? matthew is joining us, why do you support it? technician.a former it definitely looks like there are some nerve damage going on to the people in syria in those videos. that is definitely making me lean right. needs to do something and why not just bomb them from away? no troops on the ground, punish the syrian government, and we can be on our way. host: from reuters this morning
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-- he let the world's 1.2 billion one .2 billion catholics in world prayer. he said "violence and war only lead to death. of violence and war are the language of death." from our facebook page, here are some of your comments --
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next is elaine joining us from fairfax virginia, good morning. go ahead. i am a numeral -- a liberal democrat and i was opposed to the iraq war from the beginning. but something tells me this is correct to do. it is a moral obligation. we have treaties with other countries on chemical weapons. when a country starts to use , i think it iss just a moral obligation and principle that we have to do something. we have to stop this. you cannot let other countries feel like they can do the same
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thing. yes we are taking a risk but in life this is what happens. in everything we take the risk. we take the risk when we cross the street. wearyk people are so war that we are afraid to take this risk. it is something that is a moral obligation. thank you for the call. one of our viewers saying -- and this editorial from bill kristol from "the weekly standard close quote -- standard" --weekly
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meanwhile, this from marine -- dowd --ureen
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carmen is joining us from hamilton montana, an opponent of military intervention area did -- from hamilton, montana, and opponent of military intervention. there is a lack of people trying to do this in a diplomatic way. let's go out and gather the , all theab republic
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people who have any influence in that area, bring them in for a big conversation, bring the united nations and. is,s make this man what he a war criminal. let's not go in there with all of our cruise missiles and everything we got. when you see that, knowing that the equation -- the peaceful equation has been left out, it seems like this is another lie. to getd have anybody these people to start a war and make the oil companies $500 trillion. militaryt would a operation look like? we will share the details inside "the washington post" and the task the navy will be facing. weekly" -- "cq
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battery from plymouth, new hampshire, a supporter of military intervention in syria -- valery from plymouth, new hampshire, a supporter of military intervention in syria. i support the president. i do have one question for your s, can the overall u.n. override russia possibly go -- russia possibly tell gecko -- russia's veto? this leadersmiting ability to gas people, maybe we will get some peace. thank you. inside "the washington
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post close quote -- -- "the washington post" --
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if congress approves, the navy will -- the navy will undertake a delicate task. next up is jeff from hawaii, a supporter of military intervention, good morning. i have been following this on one issue, and that is the acceptance of only old for oil and that only gold for oil -- only gold for oil.
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an embargo would have put a little bit of more force on the situation with syria, where perhaps an agreement could be forged. thank you for the call. john is joining us next, good morning from lake city, florida. the reason i support it is because i look at all of the stuff going on with the news and i see russia, putin is supporting assad. all of them oppose it in the senate. ity don't do anything about and they're trying to keep the united states from doing what he -- we musto ensure
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take action against this man. he must be removed. if we do not do anything iran is sure to get a chemical bomb. russia is supporting assad and what are we doing? it is wrong. if they were to see what russia is doing they would have a different opinion of what is going on. thank you very much. one of our viewers --
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we are weighing in on the issue of whether you support or oppose military intervention. -- ael hirsch has the story
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next is a linda joining us from kentucky. caller: i am an assyrian -- and i -- i am a syrian-american. a christianmes from center in northern syria. those people come of the it rebels, -- those people, the it rebels, al qaeda -- the truth is i know from people who live there. out from whered belongs to them.
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those people are giving priests bread. the truth is they beheaded eight released -- beheaded a priest in one of the city churches. if they're so good at fabricating videos, what will happen next? how will they use those videos after america attacked syria? how will they use videos of classical -- of collateral damage? the next set of videos will be helping to recruit al qaeda. this is what worries me. host: how long have you been in the u.s.? caller: i came here in 1992. host: do you still have family in syria? caller: yes. host: where are they at the moment the echo -- at the moment? caller: some are in damascus.
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he have been through two years worrying, andof now of having to go to sleep others on congress and waiting to decide on what happens. these are people whose problem turned 18 and were drafted into the army. already nothing is normal there. host: when was the last time you were back in syria? caller: maybe four years ago. asjust breaks my heart assyrian and as an american -- as a syrian and as an
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american. host: thank you very much. a few more comments, this from a democrat the e-mail -- and this from michael, who lives in upstate new york -- again, thanks for sharing your thoughts on all of this. you can join in on the conversation throughout the course of the morning. this is from the book world section of "the washington post" wilson iok on woodrow scott berg. you can get more information on our website.
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berg ont tonight, scott his book on woodrow wilson. that is here on c-span and c- span radio. we areuple of minutes going to introduce you to a former u.s. ambassador to syria with his perspective on what a military invention -- military intervention could potentially look like. a look at the sunday morning programs, which all caps heard on c-span radio. we will check in later in the program with nancy of c-span radio. the programs are getting underway at noon eastern time. we are back in a moment. ♪ maintain family
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time and protect their privacy, edith roosevelt purchased a family retreat called pine naut. >> she reserved a place for the far enough away that there was wilderness. this was a family place. it was unique for the roosevelts . there was cause to me a hubbub of activity. -- constantly a hubbub of activity. this was one place where they made it very clear that they did not want anyone but family. "firstontinue our series ladies, influence and image," looking at the public and private lots of the women who served as first lady. monday night on c-span and c- span three. >> "washington journal close
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quote continues. >> joining us from the campus of rights university in houston -- continues. journal" >> joining us from the campus of university, he is the ,irector of public policy edward djerejian. give us your broad overview of where we are at in syria and the president's response or materia intervention -- the president's response for military intervention. guest: i think it is obvious that this is a crisis from hell. there are few good options for syrian people, for the international community, for syria's neighbors. , when theook back arab spring came to syria in , there was some
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, being a the president relatively young man educated in london, started a reform movement in syria that he would sort of get out ahead of the reform curve and start implementing and liberalizing some measures in syria. this unfortunately and tragically did not prove to be the case. the international community gave him a pass for many months to do morocco didn'tf do for six months. he started to use force and violence against his own people. i think it is important, just give you a little context of how in theb spring started southern town in syria, it was a
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peaceful protest by high school and university students. they protested and wrote graffiti on two buildings. it is very symbolic, it tells you the whole story. building they went to demonstrate in front of peacefully and wrote graffiti on was the ministry of interior building. of the lack of political participation, the depression, the police state and the other building they went and demonstrated in front of and put was the on the walls cell phone company of syria. it is a family monopoly by the in-laws of assad's family, who monopolized some of the key economic sectors of syria.
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what these young high school students new inherently -- knew the problems they were facing was the systemic political oppression of a lack ofial regime, jobs, lack of educational and all the basic socioeconomic issues that gave rise to the arab spring. unfortunately, the protests became violent, both on the part of the regime and the opposition. and we have seen over the last two and a half years the steady decrease in of the situation on the ground. it is truly a humanitarian disaster. over 110,000 people killed. over 110 thousand people killed, the use of chemical weapons, and no way out in terms
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of a political solution because both sides are focused on a military solution. let me just say in a final comment here, i think it is important to understand that there is no military solution to the syrian crisis, there is only a political solution. anything we do militarily in the international community should be within the strategic context of a political solution and what the political objective should post-assad eraa assad regime. we have been asking our listeners and viewers whether they at pose -- they oppose or support military intervention. i -- with regard to iraq,
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once the military operation -- n, is 36% ofthe number americans supporting it, with regard to syria, 51% opposing military intervention. there is this survey from the gallup poll that puts it into perspective. you can see just how low public support is. is this war fatigue or are there other factors in play? guest: i think most of it is war fatigue. we have been at war in the middle east ever since the tragic terrorist attack against our country and our homeland on 9/11. we went into afghanistan, and rightfully so, to overthrow the taliban regime that was giving qaeda and binal
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laden. that was certainly justifiable. afghanistan and continue to be in afghanistan, port much blood and treasure into that country -- poured much blood and treasure into that country. much spilling of blood and treasure. we got involved in libya in a manner, but another one of military intervention. i think from all of the polls you just cited, the american people to demonstrate that when you look at the end results of , it is not and iraq tidy and neat. these countries are facing
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incredible challenges, internal and the mastic challenges. the united states cannot solve all of these challenges. we are not very good at nationbuilding. we are very good, because of our strong military and its exceptional professionalism. we are very strong in military actions that we can take. we are the remaining superpower militarily and globally. nobody comes near us on that. in terms of facing the so-called domestic issues and promoting democracy, the report card is quite ambiguous. i think the american people are looking at that and saying, in terms of syria, why should we when welved yet again are trying to extricate ourselves now from these middle
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east conflicts and we have such economic and social issues at home to deal with. and itolls are serious is an important factor for the white house and administration in terms of what decision the president is going to announce on military action in syria. host: our guest is the author of the book " danger and opportunity." he is currently the director of the baker institute for public elsie at rice university. , if not us, who, and if not chemical weapons, what does the u.s. stand for? where is the red line drawn? line has been drawn on chemical weapons by the president's own statement.
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the use of chemical weapon -- chemical weapons would constitute a red line. it is a serious event when weapons of mass destruction are used internally in a country or against another country. madefore, a case can be that this use of chemical weapons in syria, which is being documented and more information is being made public, but people are still looking for more evidence on exactly what happened and who pulled the trigger on this. it is basically assumed that the assad regime is responsible. an argument can be made that the international community should to draw a liney in the sand that the use of cw/b
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w weapons will not be tolerated by the international community. thanis much more limited to sortilitary action of level the playing field in syria whereby the regime has, to date, 110,000 syrians have been killed apart from the use of chemical weapons. there is a distinction here. to his work inon the bush and reagan administrations, our guest whose career dates back to the kennedy administration is a civil u.s.nt and served as the ambassador to israel during the clinton administration and is an army veteran serving in korea. i want to share the comments issued over the weekend by the former cia director general david petraeus who was asked whether he supports or opposes
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the use of military intervention. he supports it and says -- he is saying that they never underestimate the u.s. resolve. comment was from former cia director general david petraeus. what are your thoughts? petraeusthink general is making the argument that i cw/bwed to on the use of ,nd weapons of mass destruction this should not go unpunished and without a strong reaction. the problem is to get the international consensus to act
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in the most collective and meaningful manner in the international community whereby president obama and secretary kerry can build the largest possible coalition of the willing to go and take military action and that we are not there alone. major effort is being made by the president and secretary of state with the europeans at the g-20 meeting that recently concluded. meaningful ife there is a strong coalition. i recall in desert storm -- before desert storm, both president bush and secretary baker made a huge effort to garner the largest possible international coalition to againstmilitary action saddam hussein and driving him out of kuwait. i was ambassador to damascus at the time and dealing with the current president's father who
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is the man who put this system in lace in syria that has proven to be quite resilient, this political military intelligence and the client system in place. we even got him to agree to join the u.s.-led coalition a lyrically and military -- and militarily against the saddam hussein invasion of kuwait. historical parallels are obviously not identical but the point here is that the american position would be much stronger to the extent that there is a large coherent international support and coalition behind taking military action. let me say one other thing -- as general petraeus has mentioned, if we take military action because of the cw/bw incident, you have to think of
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the day after. is it only to punish the syrian government for using these weapons or should we not be thinking of not only taking military action to deter syria and other countries such as iran and north korea and others not to use weapons of mass destruction but should we also think of degrading the assad regime's military capabilities especially its monopoly of air power and helicopters and heavy airbases and their that really gives the regime quite a military advantage over the opposition. that theother decision administration is going to have to make. president, i'm sure will
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address this. what i foresee is either a strict option on dealing with thecw/bw issue, a punitive action to help the terror the use of these weapons again but if we are thinking about a ,olitical strategy in syria only a political solution to this crisis in syria, what happens the day after if we take military action? should we also be doing certain things to facilitate a political the politicalby military playing field in syria is made more level that would induce both sides to start talking about a political transition. ust: our guest is joining from rice university and jerry is joining us from pennsylvania, republican line. how cangood morning, anyone in the american public --
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the president has taken the oath of office twice and has tried to change the u.s. constitution with whatever he felt like doing. i've been waiting the whole time. this obama healthcare. it isbull. it will cost them a fortune to get it running. let me get your reaction. there is also the domestic- political issue that this president will face with congress as lawmakers return tomorrow. did you want to respond to that? guest: i don't know what the question is. the gentleman made a comment on president obama's policies. ist he is reflecting also the american public's priority on our domestic situation, on
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the economy and creating jobs. , on building our infrastructure. militaryy u.s. involvement is the issue of how much money is this going to cost. some government officials have suggested it could be in the tens of millions of dollars. we know that military operations are very expensive. therefore, i think what the gentleman is reflecting, apart from the political and humanitarian considerations -- can we afford to do this and i've are from our domestic priorities? spent three years as our representative in syria and you mentioned your working relationship with resident assad and his father. what can you tell us about the family and the influence his father is having on his son and the dynamics within the family? hafez was ather
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real solid autocrat dictator. he was a strategic thinker. henry kissinger commented that he was public the most intelligent negotiator in the arab world that he dealt with. years, i had many meetings with him and he is the man that put this political system in place in syria. he obviously has done a very good job because with all of this turmoil in syria, that regime is still held together despite losing big swats of territory to the rebels and opposition and the chaos in syria. it is important the difference between the father and the son. al-assad knew where the
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red lines were. he was a negotiator but you could negotiate with him. i remember before i went out to damascus as the new american ambassador in 1988, i was at a meeting in washington with the then minister of defense yet sacra being who became the israeli prime minister. when it was announced that i was going to damascus, he looked at you are going, to be dealing with one of the most strategic thinkers in the middle east. when he says yes it is yes and when he says no it is no and that has been our experience in israel with him. if you leave any loophole in your negotiating position, he will drive a two ton tank or truck through it. i always remember that statement because it turned out to be very true. the difference between the father and the son explains a lot. i don't think the father would
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have allowed the situation to deteriorate to this point in syria were his regime would be so weakened and so threatened. the sun was not ready to take over power. groomedr son who was died in a car accident. i had met him also and he was up to the job. this resident, bashar al-assad was studying ophthalmology in london and after his elder brother's death, he had to be trained on a short course to take over and he took over in 2000 when his father died. that there is too much ambiguity in his positions. if it's yes, you don't know if it is yes. in the three meetings i have had with him, i have always, weight not really being sure of what his actual position is. i think now syria is not led by beenlone as it would have
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under his father but it's more a military family plan intelligence elite that is making the key decisions. makes it more difficult for us to negotiate with them. host: from our twitter page -- you can join in on the conversation as well. robert is joining us from arkansas, democrats line, good morning. caller: good morning. our fight is not with syria. our fight -- our sites should be set with discrediting putin. russia arms syria and should be held accountable for the use and removal of the weapons they provided. we should be taking our cause to the world bank and the world trade organization. being a part of the free world
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economic system is not right, it is a privilege. it is a privilege that demands upholding free world principles. russia and able to syria. i have heard that china has enabled north korea and iran. if we cannot hold these countries responsible -- i would -- i wish we could drop a bomb and solve it but the real issue is how is a free world going to react? for me, it should be roddick's off the shelves before you put the -- it should be wrought docs off the shelves before you put missiles -- it should be products off the shelves before you put missiles in the air. guest: his comment on rush is right on the market is russia play such a critical role -- his comment on russia is right on the mark. -syrian relationship goes back to the 1950s during the cold war where syria was one of the proxy states of the soviet union during the cold
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war. that relationship has continued after the fall of the soviet union. it is a very strong military relationship. the syrian army and officers are trained by russians. many speak russian, married russian women, it's a very close relationship. russia has a naval port facility access in the syrian port of tartuz. [no audio] our guest is joining us from houston and we had a brief backup so we will get back to that. let me share with you some of the comments -- this is an e- mail that says --
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laura has this point from twitter -- finally, another e-mail from new jersey -- to joe joining us from tennessee, your thoughts? caller: good morning, it is a thrill to talk to you, mr. ambassador.
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thisvery much against proposed action. i want to make some really quick points. areerms of the country, we bankrupt and circling the drain in my opinion. debt and weren going to full around overseas again and hope that we can militarily change everything. we are just going to bomb them into submission. where we are now with the u.s. being that we went into iraq and got it all wrong there is we have a credibility problem. the un report, as far as i know, has not come back and told us exactly what has happened or who did it. we need to slow down. we need to slow down and go through the steps and report to andworld then we get china russia to make a decision as we have used all of our technology and all of our spy equipment and everything else to report to the
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world and allow them to see what it is we are thinking. people will go out and buy a car nowadays and require a carfax. we don't even have the facts, folks. unintended consequences -- ambassador, you know more about that than all of us combined. one thing that assad can do is after we lob these bombs, he could go ahead and ignite and puts and blame us the images out everywhere and get things started up a menu have israel bombing iran because we want to deal with their nukes. the last point is moral does not mean it is right. i am an independent. i am a christian and i hate those images. i hate to see what is happening. but we have to use our brains, we cannot throw our brains out the window and say it is moral and we need to go over there and bomb. you cannot do that.
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when he to be smart as americans, we need to get people on board. we need to do something but it is not bombs. thank you. host: thanks for the call. tracy joining us from minneapolis as we look at the situation in syria, good morning. caller: good morning. wesley clark gave an interview that's on youtube and i encourage everyone to look at it. he said the plan was to take over seven countries inside which means they were planning on this whole thing leading up to syria and iran was the final one. are at that's where we and they know that the american people are not really excited about this but they have to get creative to tap into our emotional strings.
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i think the rebels used the chemical weapons and then they will turn it into a humanitarian effort. we have to do this or that or otherwise kids will die. maybe down the road, a nuclear weapon and blame it and iran so they can complete this plan. i don't know if it is the elite people in the israeli government or us but i truly believe that this was the plan and they will go forward until this gets completed. host: thanks for the call. one of our viewers says -- we are rejoined by the ambassador who is joining us from rice university, we apologize for the debt -- technical snafu. one caller was asking about the debt this country is facing and why the u.s., why we should get involved in this country which means moral is not right. how do you respond to that sentiment? guest: this gets to the real
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core of the principles of american foreign policy if you go back to woodrow wilson and determinationan of u.s. foreign policy. human rights and self- determination of people and on the other side, i'm generalizing of course, is the real pol itique, what are the american interests? there has always been a tell get american foreign policy relations between the humanitarian in pulse and thereale politique and we see that in the callers comments. he is making that argument. has been that prevalent and american foreign policy formulation for decades. again, in our political system,
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we have the congress, we have the president. the presidente is really the commander-in-chief and he is responsible for the conduct of america's foreign policy with the advice and consent of the congress especially the senate. dayefore, at the end of the , the buck stops in the oval office. the president will make the case that, along the lines with the caller stating, that this is a moral issue and the united states has to address that. that is the humanitarian impulse. peoples to protect from weapons of mass destruction massacre -- this is one argument. that can be made for u.s. military action in syria.
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again, the unintended consequences that you spoke about earlier is something that has to be in the calculus of washington. if you do take military action, what about the day after? what can the syrians do and not do and what will the iranians and the russians and the chinese do? order to make the life of the united states much more difficult. ? to becontingency has looked upon on how we can address the unintended consequences of this. host: why has this been such a hard sell for our allies around have seized on the secretary of state in europe and last week as the president tried to convince the g-20 nations? back from at came trip to europe. same debate wehe are having with our congress in the united states, they are
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having these issues in europe. you saw what happened in britain. usually they are our staunchest ally. closely with them especially in foreign policy affairs and david cameron did not it -- did not get a pollard -- did not get it parliamentary vote. he was told not to get involved. is verych president forward leaning on military action but he has to deal with his parliament. he's got to get a parliamentary vote and after that, he is now talking about the necessity most likely to go to the united nations security council. leaders arecal responding to very important public opinion within their countries. the european countries are facing a major economic crisis that's not over, far from it. again, they are saying why
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should we get involved in the middle east and spend blood and treasure when we've got much more pressing problems at home? although political leaders are facing this constant of public opinion in their countries. joininge ambassador is us from rice university and is currently the director of the baker institute for public policy named after former secretary of state james baker. we go to boulder, colorado, good morning. caller the previous brought up a few points i wanted to bring up. one was that we don't know who used the seron gas. the one fellow said he was focused on the facts about syria but then he repeated an unsubstantiated claim about iran, referring about dealing with their nukes. there is no proof that they have nukes. i hope he sticks with fax.
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--fatcs. the other caller mentioned about a plan. he might want to go to the project for a new american century's website. -- who doo ask you you think the u.s. is to be lecturing about killing innocent people, and as the host mentioned, why such a hard sell? i think it has to do with think we arecans rolling over a huge pile of debt and deficits in iraq including children. who are we tobout be lecturing about killing innocent people. syriaat the situation in is not horrific. it is. colonel wilbert said was on ms after they had a softball
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interview with the secretary of state kerry. i would've asked secretary of state kerry -- you voted for the iraq war resolution and you are now lecturing syria? he was part and parcel to that horrific situation in iraq. on and helkerson came was general powell's age and he said what's the difference? not in any way undermining the situation in syria but he said what's the difference in using napalm on children in vietnam, white phosphorus on palestinian children by israel, or serong gas and we don't know who use this who are we to be lecturing about this? host: thanks for the call. think the latest use cw/bw in syria is far effect --
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horrific. it is something that the international community for decades have said that is something that has to be bent --banned of use for all countries in the world. it is something the international community, i believe, has to stand up to in one way or the other. whether they take military point is thes response and what we are debating in our country and debating internationally. you are right that these horrific events have taken place in different parts of the world. in the syrian case, it is interesting to note that before the use of the cw, chemical weapons, approximately 100,000
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syrians have been killed in this conflict. serbeanicha moment going to come? when is the humanitarian toll going to attract the attention of the world to help the syrian people alleviate this crisis that they are facing? i think the only way out, really, and i said this before but it bears repeating -- there is no military solution. there is no pure military solution to this. there is only a political solution. what i would hope for is that our government in crafting his policies including whatever decision the president will make on the cw issue that there is a strategy in washington for the day after. buildn the united states on this if it takes military action?
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how can they build on getting syria into a political aansition to oppose assad, political solution and there are ways of doing it but in order to do that, we will have to -- getting back to one of the previous callers -- we will have to really work in a strategic sense with russia that has a lot of cards to play, even iraq that has a lot of cards to play in can have anso employment in countries like iraq and afghanistan. where is the strategy? where is the overarching political strategy that gets us beyond military action? and,is the critical issue frankly, i don't think this debate has taken place in our country. this frustrates me in a great way. these are issues of war and peace. in thee issues that,
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aftermath of afghanistan and iraq and libya, we are not having this type of debate. i don't hear this debate in congress, in the senate or in the house. it coming out of the executive branch. i hope it is happening. georgethere is some cannon and the state department putting together a strategic ofcept to connect the dots what we may do in syria and how it affects not only going toward a political solution in syria but how it affects what the situation in iraq is and lebanon and israel and jordan and turkey and beyond. this debate, the american people are not having. host: ambassador, thank you for being with us, joining us from rice university in houston. we hope to have you on again in the near future. guest: thank you. the: we will continue conversation with our sunday
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roundtable as we get a perspective from two experts in the area of foreign policy. abdir ruhee nd gfouhkara. syria's dominating the conversation today. good morning, on today's sunday tv talk shows, military action in syria is the main focus. you can hear rebroadcasts of all the programs on c-span radio that begins at noon, eastern time with " meet the press." the guests include the white house chief of staff denis mcdonough at which is making a reappearance on the shows today and also tom udall, a member of the senate foreign relations committee, republican representative mike mackall, chairman of the house homeland security division and members of
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that committee, republican peter king and democrat loretta sanchez. with texasis week" republican ted cruz. also gregory hicks, palmer deputy chief of mission and libya. is at 2:00sunday" with rand paul and dr. tim arcano of the naval warfare center. " state of the union" follows at 3:00 p.m. with representative marsha blackburn, democratic representative jim mcgovern, and the chairman of the house armed services committee, buck mckeon. face of the " nation." republican representative will be there. the sunday network tv talk shows on c-span radio are brought to
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you as a public service the networks and c-span. rebroadcasts of all the shows begins at noon eastern with " meet the press." you can listen to them all on c- span radio on 90.1 fm and the washington, dc area and across the country on xm sirius radio and you can download our free app for your smart phone or listen online at c-span radio.org. network,our companion c-span two book tv, and c-span three american history tv, we travel to annapolis, maryland as we focus on the life and literary culture of annapolis, the capital city of maryland and also the surrounding grounds that include the u.s. naval academy. this weekend, annapolis maryland.
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>> directly outside the original building is a statue of roger brichtone. it was designed to be a memorial to chief justice who, before he was supreme court justice, was the attorney general of maryland. placement of that monument directly outside the original front entrance of the state house has become an increasingly roleizing symbol of his with the dred scott decision that he authored in the 1850s. the placement of the thurgood marshall statue on the opposite side of the state mall was done intentionally to offset the other memorial and allow us to interpret two very important pieces of maryland history. rather than remove the former stature, its presence on the grounds of the state house allows us to talk about who he was and what the significance of
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the dred scott decision was and what that meant for and slaves people in maryland and throughout the united states. the two bronze figures in the thurgood marshall memorial are designed to be two children to represent the school children affected by the brown versus board of education decision. that collectively, those two statues allow us to talk about the changes and the expansion of rights and the challenges that citizens in maryland and throughout the united states needed to address in the 19th and 20th century. annapolis, maryland, this weekend. we are looking at the capital city of maryland and each week we feature cities around the country as we focus on history and literature -- and literary life of these cities. you can get more information by logging onto www.c-span.org/ local content.
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joined by the bureau chief of al jazeera and jay solomon of " the wall street journal." the votee is taking up this week, the house next week, but a huge question as to whether the president has the vote in the house of representatives. guest: the assessment is the senate will back him but the clear and the president and his national security staff are making a big push starting today through this week to get the votes. i think it is really in doubt. what is the president going to do if he does not get the house? i think he has committed himself and his credibility and the administration's credibility to going ahead with this. he is under a lot of pressure now from our allies, israel, saudi arabia, to make good on what he has been saying.
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many of these countries see this as a broader context that this is about syria but also about iran and a b does not go through with the, the iranians will take a lesson from that. host: one other point from this morning's " new york times" story -- is that a defeat in the house would be devastating to the future of his presidency. guest: i think he has put a lot of credibility on this. it is the political dynamics that he staked so much on it and did a u-turn at the last moment. if he does not get support, it will be a devastating blow. it is a much broader issue. the syrian conflict feeds into this much broader conflict that is going on in the middle east between the u.s. and the iranians and the post-arab spring, jockeying for power and anything that makes the u.s. lose credibility or make the president look weak plays into a broader context. decision thata
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the president made, the u-turn. this will either come back to him if there is success or failure. alterman olutely,john wrote a very interesting article last week. he said that these foreign governments, including the iranian government, are watching very closely what happens in congress. -- if obama is defeated and many of these governments will conclude that the rest of his mandate as president that there's no point doing business with him because he would be an injured or we couldn't president. -- or weakened president. regardless of what happens in the house, he has committed himself so deeply and profoundly to action in syria that he would not have anywhere else to go but to carry out the attack.
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his first instinct was not to go to congress. that was the backup plan when the house of commons in britain denied the approval of the war to david cameron. with all the shenanigans going on at the un, knowing he would never get the approval from the security council or get the approval of the russians and the chinese, he decided to go ahead with this no matter what. notink now the cost of carrying out the attack in the short term would definitely outweigh the benefits. eyesuld be weakened in the of a lot of his allies, particularly in the middle east, if he did not go through with the attack. of you gentlemen have seen this video and we want to caution you that these pictures are graphic and were released over the weekend by the senate
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intelligence committee. we want to show a portion to give our audience a sense of what was released. why was this released? how does this tie into the overall campaign by the white house. the president has weekly address yesterday and will address the country on tuesday. guest: i think they are driving home the point that this was a chemical weapons attack. it was use of weapons of mass destruction and not to respond to it sets a horrible precedent. globally. if someone is using chemical weapons, the west says that's a red line and you don't act and it could feed this fear of whether it is chemical weapons or nuclear weapons proliferation and will keep accelerating. is why it involves the iranian issue because tehran has the nuclear program that everyone is worried about. weapons are being used and if we don't stop, the iranians will see see it as a green light to keep going. that presidentce
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assad issued those weapons. there is a connection but there is no direct evidence or smoking gun? guest: the administration is struggling with that. while the administration and some of its allies, if you believe would john kerry has been saying, while the administration is saying clearly to us the assad regime carried this out, the other side of the coin, you have the russians and the other allies of assad no it is not assad, it is the opposition. tore is little consolation barack obama here. it is the fact that nobody is arguing that there are not weapons of mass destruction in syria. assad in his latest interview with a french newspaper said i do not dean i or can -- i do not deny or confirm being in possession of weapons of mass destruction.
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the fact that the syrians have not said we do not have weapons of mass destruction in the first place, they are saying we did not carry out the attack. that gives some room to maneuver for the administration and its allies. many people are now saying let's wait for the outcome of the investigation by the united nations inspectors in syria. history ofm the these investigations, for example in iraq over many years, they never are conclusive. they will say yes and they will always say no. area fore some gray members of the security council that have different positions on a given issue. they always give everyone something to work with and those investigations. host: who are the rebels? guest: it's a real mex for the guys we are dealing with are a syriandefective former
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military officers who defected and paint a pragmatic face to the west that wants to have an inclusive government and make serious save for the minorities. that is the face we deal with. syrianon the turkish- order last week. you talk to people going back and forth and you cross that border, there are al qaeda camps right there. they are in iraq and syria and some of the same groups we were fighting inside iraq a few years ago. it is a real mix. in the north you have a heavier presence of al qaeda evidence and down the south, it is more of the former regime soldiers, people who defected. it is not clear. i think the criticism of the administration has been that the longer we stayed out of it, the longer we have held any weapons
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and we have not given them any weapons. even though our allies have, the longer we've done that, the al qaeda elements has been more radical and they are gaining ground. if we stay out, they will only gain more ground and it there are attacks and it becomes chaotic, often the more radical groups could take advantage of those type of situations. " thejay solomon is with wall street journal." our other guest is from al jazeera. lawmakers are returning this week and we will get to your calls and comments and them minute. if the house does not give the president approval, does he still strikes area? guest: -- strike syria? guest: i don't know what other recourse he has. he has committed himself to carrying out the attack. regardless of what happens in
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the house, my sense is that he will go ahead with the attack. if the house gives that up ruble and gives them additional cover but the fact that the toinistration is scrambling widen the international coalition, it could be thinking that if the house does not come through on the approval, at least the u.s. is not isolated internationally. guest: i would agree. he is so committed now that he is going to find some way to do it. secretary kerry was speaking in france and he says we have dozens of country. he was very vague on who exactly this was. he mentioned france and denmark but there is this push to bring as many partners as possible. he looks like he is back even if the house block said. host: let's take a look at"the on where things
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stand in the house and senate. currently there are 24 senators at 19 yes or leaning yes, know or leaning know and 27 undecided. what do those numbers tell you? guest: there is a lot of indecision. reports,ad the press lawmakers have been going back to their constituencies and hearing that we don't want another war in the middle east. that message is filtering through to these lawmakers. on the that's why national security front and you have seen representative behner and kantor come out strongly behind the strikes. they have to weigh that with their own political bases that they don't want another war and are not convinced this is in the national security interest rate you are seeing is let amongst these lawmakers in their thinking. host: let me get your reaction
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of the house of representatives -- as you look at those numbers, 106 republicans joined by 32 democrats right now are saying no military strike in syria. obviously, we cannot say that he has zero support in the house. there are people in the house that support whatever action he -- made be taken. there is obviously a lot of opposition. part of that opposition obviously harkens back to what happened in iraq. it was never conclusive evidence of the existence of weapons of mass destruction. they were never discovered. even tenures at the invasion of for, it is still a mess the iraqis and it problem for the united states.
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part of the opposition in the house also harkens back to the fact that a lot of people interpreted obama going to the congress as an afterthought. he did not really planned to go to congress until things went wrong for david cameron in the united kingdom. interpretation of many people in congress. i am not surprised there are is so much opposition in the house. land, from go to the new jersey, independent line, welcome. morning, i was curious if anyone had any on the or information report written in 1996 and the similarities of how serious is being approached with regard to highlighting the weapons of mass destruction with regards to securing -- with israeli security problems? guest: i think i know the paper
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you are referring to. it was written by neoconservative strategists where iraq was seen as this of then to the changing middle east for it i think syria is different. is if this is israel taking out the assad regime, israel has traditionally had a love-hate relationship with the assad regime. theresad family cap border quiet for 20 years. they feared what could come next and the israelis are still pretty much split. i think they want to see some military action instead of a warning but they back with the administration is saying which is we are not taking over the assad regime right now. let me show you a couple of articles.
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guest: i think part of the huge problem that the obama administration is facing is how to describe convincingly what is going on in syria and what the administration is planning to do about it as a direct threat to u.s. national security. beyond that, it is not very clear what the obama administration is trying to achieve from an attack on targets held by the bashar al- assad. if the ultimate goal is to actually topple bashar al-assad, the administration has spent almost the last two years saying that if he goes, there is
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nothing to guarantee what happens after him. stateseat to the united and to its allies around syria would be greater chaos. we don't know if that is the real goal to actually help topple him. if the goal is to help the opposition on the ground militarily,roll back the military territorial gains that the regime has made, that will make the opposition exile did. to what extent will an attack enable them at the end of the day to roll back those gains or advance to topple assad, but we don't know. if the goal is to tell the international community that i said over two years ago that and i talkedo about red lines and if i don't to anything about it and i lose credibility -- that is not
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convincing a lot of people in the united states. what does success look like? guest: i don't think anyone really knows. mark offlike they will a few boxes and say we basically weekend their chemical weapons capability. that is what the president is saying that this is the response to a chemical weapons attack in will degrade their ability to deliver them which means hitting various airfields and commands. amongst the rebels, the real fear is that assad could come out stronger from this. this won't be enough to destroy his fighting machine. it does not seem like we are coordinating what we will do with the rebel so it will be hard for them to take advantage of this. we are still not giving them weapons even though the white house signaled a would start that in june.
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you have a situation where a site gets it and uses it to rally support in his country and the rebels are no stronger and then you are neither here nor there but that's what it feels like. they are saying this is not about regime change. it is about integrating the chemical weapons convention a. you can see some heads but not a major change and the dynamic. from " the weekly standard" -- guest: obviously, the larger picture here i think that is the correct assessment for the larger picture is iran and what happens with them down the road. the iranians have a new president who sounds more
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moderate than mahmoud, damage. he's he sounds even much more conciliatory on specifically the issue of syria. i think the iranians are closely watching what happens in congress. if barack obama manages to get approval from the from house, tt would be a huge boost to his position and to his credibility when it comes to dealing with the iranians. aey will see him as being very strong and popular position in the united states. they will take it much more seriously than they would otherwise. if he loses that vote, the assessment is that the iranians will sniff them out in any and negotiations that they may be willing and able to have with the united states and with the west. ultimately, even if this strike does happen, as i said earlier,
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it remains to be seen what the ultimate goal is. if barack obama is ultimately trying to topple bashar al- assad, the iranians made it absolutely clear that assad is a vital interest in the region and they would do everything they could and -- they can to keep them in power. if barack obama comes out in a weaker position, it will become much harder to deal with the iranians over their nuclear issue down the road. the washington bureau chief for al jazeera joining us here at the table. this is from larry in richmond -- another viewer says --
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at can share your comments http://twitter.com/cspanwj. attack we should not syria. this is not our issue or in our interest. the only countries looking up to us to go to work are the countries that we should not be paying attention to such as saudi arabia and france. atwill end up paying more the pump. this is a religious war that we should not get involved in. thank you. host: thanks for the call. aest: i think she represents lot of lawmakers going back to their constituencies. people don't want another middle east war and they don't necessarily see why this is an
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imminent threat to the united states. don't care what saudi arabia, israel, or these other middle east allies are telling us of the threat to them. yes, i think your comments are consistent with what these lawmakers are hearing when they have to debate this. host: one of those lawmakers is republican representative eric cantor wrote it he's supporting the president. that was not in " the new york
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home" but in his newspaper as he tries to convince his own constituents why he supports the president. what: we do not know degrading bashar al-assad plus capabilities actually will mean at the end of the day. they be so weakened that the opposition together with its allies outside syria will be able to topple his regime? will the iranians allow that to happen? the international community and not just the united states is facing a real conundrum in syria. do you let the carnage of civilians continue in syria? it has been going on for 2.5 years. do you say this is not our business and let darwinian law take its course in syria? it depends whether you are
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talking to the policymakers or andare talking to the moral conscience of the international community. each set tells you a different course of action. if you talk to the conscience of the international community, we this is so outrageous that countries like the united states are called that is posing a problem for barack obama, convincing americans that doing something in syria is in the interest of the u.s. international community has waited until over 100,000 people have been killed in syria. after 1400 people have been gasped -- gassed? why do they want to do something now?
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other question is, is it not too late for the u.s. to try to do anything about what is going on in syria? these are all questions being raised. it's not until the president wees the first bullet that will know exactly where this conflict is headed, and what the final outcome will be. the final outcome will not be dictated in washington. it will be dictated their in the ground after the first bullet is fired. andnd abderrahim foukara jay solomon -- as the president put himself in a corner? >> i think he has. he clearly said that president assad must go. he said that use of michael weapons is a red line -- chemical weapons is a red line.
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i think he is boxed in. also being pushed by our allies in the middle east. he's in a tough position where you have to act, after taking the steps he has made. we have been discussing, is he a weaker president for the last three years. host: a caller is joining us on the democratic line. caller: good morning. i tried to keep things simple. it's based on action and reaction. we cannot just allow them to do
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these acts. whether it is by gross force, or i'm ex military. i don't want my military friends on the ground, but there has to be a reaction to what he has done. that are dying, people that are praying for some sort of help. it's ridiculous that the international community is doing nothing. we are talking about these things in the comfort of distance, but there are people choices.ected by his it seems that he doesn't really care what anyone outside of the
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or doing. feeling that is my statement. for letting me voice my opinion. host: let me turn that into a question. why ist us this e-mail, there no punishment prescribed by the geneva protocol for committing these crimes? guest: over two and a half years ago, the protests in syria started peacefully. the crackdown of the regime was so hard that the protests gradually changed nature and went from being peaceful to
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being violent. within the people who support the syrian rebels, there is a trend of thought that says that the syrians were too quick to pick up arms against bashar al-assad. they should have persisted in the peaceful process. -- haveld up at assad put assad in a tighter corner. i'm not in a position to judge whether that is right or not. gassing of 1400 people -- this is an argument that john kerry tried to make -- regardless of who was behind the , the ultimate
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responsibility of being in control of weapons of mass destruction in syria is the responsibility of the syrian state. the fact that the conflict has taken the course it has taken over the last two and half years, with the searing regime having lost control of many regime havingn lost control of many parts of syria, that opens up the question of people coming into weapons of mass destruction. the peace and security of all syrians is the responsibility of the syrian state. regardless of who is behind the gassing of 1400 people, the international community has responsibility to syrianssyrians grade --
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. the united nations has something that says, the responsibility to protect civilians. sovereignty in a state goes up in discussion. never again, to genocideeard in the and are one of -- in rwanda? there are those who in the past had shown themselves to be so outraged. never again, what happened in rwanda, what happened in bosnia -- it is understandable, from the obama administration, that
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the president is so outraged that he wants to do something happent so it doesn't again. the question is, how do you do that? why have you waited so long? thatave you put up with red line being transgressed so many times in the past? host: let's go to tom, who has been waiting on the republican line. my opinion is about the consequences of a syrian strike. president obama has broadcast to the world what he plans on doing . we have not heard from russia, china, iran, syria what they're planning. nervous to not know exactly what the consequences could be.
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host: jay solomon? .uest: that is a big fear i think the real fear here is with iran. there have been mixed messages coming out of tehran. revolutionary guard has said, enough is enough. retaliationbe against u.s. interests in the mediterranean. iran, apresident of , they do notse want a direct conflict with the u.s. or israel. hezbollah has been accused of attacks in bulgaria.
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there is a lot of uncertainty and fear about what iran and hezbollah might do if there is a strike on syria. i don't think there is so much they will get involved hotel he. -- militarily. host: here is a question from "time" magazine -- will they follow the president into a war that no one wants? it's really tough because their constituents -- there doesn't seem to be a huge amount of support for this. overhadow of iraq plays all of this.
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host: publicly, house sayblicans and democrats they're not whipping. guest: there may be a sense in both houses of the congress that if the attacks, happens and things go wrong, the president would be able to say, things have gone wrong but i'm not alone in this. i have the support of congress. original point, there's a sense that the obama administration went to congress as an afterthought so that if things can go wrong, it would not find itself isolated here in the u.s. wrong and are reminiscent of iraq -- people fromelections coming up
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congress. we saw what happened to the republican party when things , inted to go wrong in iraq the congressional elections. a lot of members of congress have that on their mind. humanitarianese situations, what happens in syria if things go wrong -- they know that if things go wrong, they would be held to account. they don't want to put the president in a situation where it's my decision supported by popular well. sent by e-mail
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m from lebanon, new jersey, independent line. is abderrahim foukara suggesting that president obama has no choice but to follow congress? put civilians in harm's way to represent the interests , not theign country u.s. by misrepresentation, that is treason. we are representing saudi arabia a planael as part of that started with libya, syria, egypt, and that is to make them dysfunctional countries by attacking them and supporting rebels to do that. up to justifyset our involvement an attack of iran.
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there when the rebels that are in syria are committing atrocities against the christians, which we saw in libya and it israel? -- in israel? these are the same people we are representing. christianse are no in libya. the color has made some serious points. er has made some serious points. i cannot see the president sleeping peacefully, having announced the decision to attack bashar al-assad. these thorny issues will be weighing heavily on his mind. what happens if things go wrong? he would be held to account. he will be held to account here
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in the u.s. he finds himself having announced that decision, he finds himself in a very difficult position, and i think he finds himself in a position where he has no other choice but to go to war in syria, having already made the decision that he would. the wart me go back to powers act, passed in 1973. on three separate occasions, congress gave the president the authority to attack the persian gulf, iraq, and afghanistan. thehis goes down in defeat, fourth time congress has voted on a war issue, what impact does this have on the presidency, the office itself? guest: it will raise a lot of the questions that were raised with the iraq war. does the president have to listen to the congress?
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who ultimately makes that decision? the president has been waffled y. waffle- he has been without congress's support. i'm sure there will be a huge date, just like there was over iraq -- debate, just like there was over iraq. he can act even if congress doesn't support him. host: do you think inside the white house there is regret that they took this step eight days ago? guest: this was the president's decision. you saw john kerry give this speech on it -- a friday. 's advisersent obama have said, this was not handled
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the best way from a communication standpoint and a strategic standpoint. there's probably a bit of concern and regret that the president made these comments about a red line more than a year ago. it didn't seem like he really thought that through. intelligenceed services say there have been dozens of attacks using chemical weapons, but on a smaller scale. otis is joining us from california on the democrats' line. i'm calling to address two things. i reluctantly support the to strike. idea i'm as war-weary as anyone. issue than just
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syria for the whole region. you have two proxies, the radiance and russians -- iran ians and russians. as this conflict goes on, the neighboring countries are suffering from this huge refugee crisis to the point where they are being destabilized. russians see this to hangs an opportunity onto the influence they have had in the region, even to build some of it back. he has been clear in his statements over the years about, when the soviet union fell, it was the worst day of his life. there's a lot of geopolitical politics that are behind this that put the u.s. in the
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position that if they take no another 50may suffer problems.cold war like- when the so-called arab spring started, there was almost thatmous consensus ultimately there would be liberal democracy appearing all over the middle east. my sense is that that was also the calculation of the obama administration. at that time, there was much about the pivot to the pacific by the obama administration. the two are not related. was a calculation that the middle east would go a certain
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way, that would enable it to to theore on its pivot pacific. the obama administration has spent the last couple of years reminding people that it does not have the kind of influence that it used to have in the past. remember the position that the obama administration took on the coup in egypt. saying, theck hagel u.s. would like to do more but it cannot do more in egypt because it doesn't have that kind of influence. part of the problem the u.s. is now facing in that part of the world is that, people got to a point where they heard the that the u.s. influence has been decreasing. all of a sudden, they saw the
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obama administration gearing up for war against bashar al-assad. they saw incredible military beingithal by the u.s. moved in that direction. the russians saw that too. compared with u.s. military wherewithal and u.s. influence, both political and economic, there's only so much the russians can do. but they have a vital interest in syria. they have a military base on the mediterranean. ,f they lose bashar al-assad iran would be weakened and therefore russia would be weakened. they claim there are islamist groups increasingly operating in syria.
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they say they have every incentive to make sure that bashar al-assad doesn't fall. if you compare russian power and influence with u.s. power and influence, the obama administration by announcing this step in syria has annulled , that it nohas said longer wields the influence it did in the middle east. is a abderrahim foukara washington bureau chief for al jazeera. i will go back to your earlier point, jay solomon. the human saying as many as 2 islion refugees -- u.n. saying there are as many as 2 million refugees. how are they surviving? guest: the turks have done a lot. turkey are well done.
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jordan is a real problem. there are over 600,000. they are strained by iraqi refugees coming over. there's a lot of aid coming from the gulf states, the u.n.. the jordanians say they can't afford it. you can tell some of the scams are becoming permanent. these people -- camps are becoming permanent. these people are creating supermarkets. the jordanians are saying it could destabilize their whole if they end up housing a million refugees. host: a comment from the viewer -- guest: that's a really good point.
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some of the arab states have been pushing the administration -- no one outside of saudi arabia has publicly backed military strikes, and i think that is because they're concerned about their own domestic political situation. are killed, it's been a be another round of anti- americanism that is fueled. if you're in saudi arabia, you're going to have problems. another round of anti- americanism, it gets fueled -- whether he was the video last year -- you could see it again. host: vicky has a question about al jazeera. guest: qatar does fund al jazeera.
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played -- they initially played a prominent role in the arab spring. they supported the rebellions as far afield as libya. specifically, recently the saudi's have taken the more prominent role in trying to bring an end to the role of bashar al-assad. they're supported by other gulf states. the prominent role is being played by saudi arabia. why the saudi's are putting so much of their money and prestige on helping bashar al-assad is because he is a vital ally of iran. iran and saudi arabia, there has been a cold war going on between in terms ofuntries
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who becomes the regional leader. there is no love lost between a run and saudi arabia. weakendi's see it as, to iran, they have to get rid of bashar al-assad. host: with all of these issues and all of your questions on framingday morning,, the debate as lawmakers return. we will have coverage on c-span. bring youso congressional hearings as they develop. there were two key hearings last week, as well is a number of speeches and think tanks related to the situation. you can follow all of this
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online at www.c-span.org. we have set aside a special page. documents, member statements, clips and related videos. you can also keep track of tweets from members of the house and senate. #cspanchat. check out our special page at www.c-span.org. dave is joining us from ohio on our line for republicans. caller: good morning. you have some great guests there. with the whole thing is, i think obama should not have waited as long as he did to react. 100,000 people -- it should have started than -- then.
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i think we should have some kind of attack on syria. unfortunately, we are not in a standshere everybody hand-in-hand. i would like for it to be that way, but it's not. as far as people being upset about our military going in there and people being killed, no one wants that to happen. innocence and children -- innocents and children end up as a casualty. look at d-day. how many soldiers were on the beaches? more than on 9/11. even if we don't have congress
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backing us going in there and we do go in there -- i think it should be the morally right thing to do, that we react to this atrocity -- do you think other countries in the middle east would think that we are in a weaker stature for not reacting at all, if president obama decides not to go in, if the congress does not approve it? host: jay solomon? iran, some of these countries, our allies are watching very closely what we do as a signal. have been -- iranians progressing with a nuclear program. there is a lot of concern that they're trying to build nuclear weapons. they challenged that aggressively and iraq -- in iraq by backing militants.
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allies, such as israel, who don't want to see an abrupt overthrow of the assad regime because they're worried about chaos or al qaeda elements taking advantage of it -- if the u.s. makes a commitment and does not stand by it -- influence in the region will weigh in. the saudi government and the emirates and some of our other allies in that region are thinking the same thing. host: we are getting your comments on our facebook page. is whether you support or oppose military intervention in syria. a vast majority currently oppose. a caller joins us on our independent line. i support the president
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in his actions. i'm also hoping that all those countries that are surrounding syria conform a coalition, soluding russia and iran, they can talk things out before we go in and do devastation to that country. it's a sad thing. there's a lot of people that belongs to syria that are in .urkey all of those countries should get together, including saudi , and bring it to assad. i will let you discuss it. talked about the
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broader issue with regard to syria. it is also the subject of the "washington post" editorial. it basically says, in order for anything in syria to succeed, the u.s. must help support the free syrian army and have a broader approach to try to get to a post-assad regime. guest: on the issue of the broader approach, the obama administration, even as it prepares for this military strike, has reiterated its that the conflict in syria can only be resolved through political means. to talk about the geneva conference to bring everybody together, including the regime and the rebels. regime inm is the
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damascus is on record saying that geneva is dead. the rebels are on the record as saying that geneva is dead. this is a jigsaw puzzle. they want as resolution, but they have different ways of what that resolution is going to look like and how you get there. the russians, irani and, they want-- iranians, they bashar al-assad to stay. they feel that if he goes, the state in syria completely disintegrates and you end up with syria being broken up into different countries. the problem is, there is not agreement on how to get to that resolution am a let alone on what that final resolution should look like. each country seems to have a
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different interest in syria. host: jay solomon. guest: it would be great if these countries can get in charge. -- along. this thing has escalated, the international diplomacy has been unable to enacted. if you listen to john kerry and other officials' comments, they're hoping that military to the will weaken assad point that or bring enough fear in him that the diplomatic process will start to get revived, then there will be some hope that this geneva conference will start up again.
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in a lot of ways, it is between assad and the u.s.'s biggest clients. that assad has more momentum. everyone wants to go into the stocks -- talks in a position of strength. host: do you think the president's speech on tuesday night will make a difference? has thehen a president bully pulpit, it makes a difference. --does feel that people have you listen to the callers. it is a visceral reaction to another mideast war. in a lot of ways, it's hard to see one speech by the president flipping what seems to be the trend you are hearing in this country. host: jay solomon is on the "walln affairs before street journal."
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with alrrahim foukara jazeera. thank you for joining us. phonegoing to open our lines for the next 25 minutes to hear your thoughts. on "washingtone journal." first, a look at the sunday morning programs. good morning. on today's sunday television talk shows, military action in syria is the main focus. thecan hear rebroadcasts of programs on c-span radio beginning at noon eastern as "meet the press." today's guests include dennis mcdonagh, who makes an appearance on every show today. udall,tic senator tom the mccall, chairman of house homeland security committee, and the members of
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the committee peter king and loretta sanchez. week" with ennis mcdonagh and ted cruz. gregory hicks, former deputy chief of mission in libya. "fox news sunday," guests include red and dennis mcdonagh. -- rand paul and dennis mcdonagh. "face the nation" from cbs. bob schieffer welcomes mr. mcdonagh and congressman mike ustins, just in a mosh -- j amash, and elijah cummings.
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rebroadcasts of the shows begin at noon eastern with "meet the press." 1:00, "this week." sunday," "state of the union," and "face the nation." listen on 90.1 fm in the washington, d.c. area. syria --19 on xm sirius radio. download our up for your smartphone -- app for your smartphone, or listen online at www.c-span.org. >> wilson was so intellectual. he is the only president with a phd. as a result of that, most of the books written about him have been academic in nature. they have missed the very human side of this man.
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he was deeply emotional, passionate, romantic figure. he had two wives. when his first wife died, he courted and fell in love with a woman and married a second time. he wrote thousands of passionate love letters to each of these women. this was a real, living, breathing human being. i don't think we have seen that about woodrow wilson. berg's biography of woodrow wilson releases tuesday. here more tonight at 8:00 on c- span's "q&a." " continues. journal host: the president is back in washington following the g20 summit. he will conduct a series of network interviews and address the nation on tuesday. phone going to open our lines. we can talk about syria, but if there are other issues you want
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to focus on, we can talk about them. ite washington post" framing this way. the story points out -- all of that now being put on hold. next week, the house taking up the issue. there is also this from "the washington post."
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the two sides focusing on how they will quote, stumble through their negotiations. a caller joins us on our republican line. people, including me, are appalled that we are going , whicht bombing syria will ultimately kill children, women, district robert he's -- properties -- destroy properties. people are totally against it. ofn including the supporters president obama,nd members of the congressional black caucus
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that one group of politicians, journalists, and forentators who are 100% this. [inaudible] can someone tell me why they are doing this? host: coming up at the top of a representative from the house democratic leadership. erica solomon is following all of this as a reuters correspondent. she is on the phone from beirut, lebanon. good morning. host: what are you seeing and hearing with regard to the u.s. positioning the possibility of military strikes in syria, and
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the debate in the u.s. senate this week and in the house next week? piñon -- opinion about syrians and lebanese is divided. opposition in the syria have wanted some sort of military action. reality of hitting their homes, coming near damascus, some people are starting to have second thoughts -- do i really want to have the u.s. unleashed its military force? a could be close to home from a. then you have people saying, just let them do it and the rebels will see that the support for them is quite symbolic. i would say that the opposition is hoping for -- they say i don't believe he will -- it will for them
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change much for them. they are not under any impression that this will be lasting military support for the cause. and: we have been seeing following the development of those refugees who have fled to syria, a country of 22 million. about 2 million have left the country. what are you seeing in lebanon? there hasn't been a massive outflow of people because of the strike. lots of people flee syria every day because of the violence. in lebanon, we have seen a lot of people going back into syria. the point i'm trying to illustrate is that the strike is not caused an unusual amount of
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refugees yet. the people believe that effects of the strike would be limited. you about thisk headline inside "the washington post." those ships are in the mediterranean, not too far from where you are positioned in lebanon. can you give us a sense as to whether or not you feel the presence of the american military outfit host? anything in our site. reuters did a large part about the military view of what is going on, and spoke to someone who said they know
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where these larger ships from the americans are. , and thereall fleet are these massive destroyers. we don't stand a chance on a naval level. but not in terms of in your site line, no. solomon covers all of this for routers. do you have a sense of when congress makes its final decision, the president has insisted he still reserves the right to attack syria -- if that happens in the next couple of weeks, how is your news organization prepared to cover an airstrike? caller: we have plans to set up for 24 hour coverage. the sense is that at that point, something might happen in beirut. conflict has a lot of sectarian division that has spread to lebanon and iraq. hezbollahee action by
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, who has forces fighting with assad inside syria. u.s. embassy has sent away all of its nonessential staff. that seems to me a sign that they are expecting something to happen. we are definitely preparing for at least a few days of very intense action, or high tensions in beirut. host: erika solomon, thanks very much for being with us. caller: you're welcome. host: we will continue with your calls and comments this sunday morning. on our twitter page, there is this. ron is joining us from salem, michigan on the republican line. that thelled
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mainstream media would try to portray that the president has the right constitutionally to commit u.s. forces. i'm a retired colonel. article one, section eight, clause 10 get that power to congress, not the president. 13, which allows congress to govern and submit rules and regulations that govern land warfare -- not the president. to give the president that kind of power goes against the contract between the people and the president. he cannot unilaterally decide that he can go into syria. several times to go to congress to get permission to commit forces in iraq. there is a piece on that,
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if you want to check it out. the history of the war powers act, passed in 1973. 130 three occasions since then, u.s. forces have been used without congressional authorization. inre have been three cases which congress did grant the president that authority to use military forces in the middle east. inside "the new york times together front page -- "new york -- the inside story as to what is happening behind the scenes. with you one portion. to improve the odds, the white house is enlisting virtually every senior official from the president on down in addition to members of congress. the white house is also reaching out to jewish groups, arab- american organizations, and
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left-leaning think tanks. details this morning inside "the new york times." and he is joining us on our line for democrats. -- annie is joining us on the democratic line. obama has notent advocated war as we know it. he is suggesting a limited facilities,rtain not dropping a bomb on women and children like what a previous caller said. the president also said they are not interested in regime change
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at this time. they are just trying to stop the killing of innocent people and children over there with gas. the other thing is that this president will not be in office forever, and republicans are voting against him mainly because he's the president. but at some point in time, this country will be confronted with the use of gas and that is why he is trying to send a message that that is not to be accepted, and that he is following the international treaty that was established and ratified by congress after world war ii. a caller from a story a, new york on our independent line. , new york on our independent line. caller: good morning.
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[indiscernible] now obama is talking about the red line. [indiscernible] host: front page of "boston sunday globe." continues his travels. secretary of state and president leading that all-out push. of the key -- one supporters of military action, senator lindsey graham, who is
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up for reelection next year, one of the leading advocates for a bipartisan immigration reform. he has already committed himself to one cause heading into a reelection year. now he finds himself championing another policy that risks antagonizing the base that brought him on board. next senator john mccain, there forcefulceful -- more and visible advocate for a muscular response. ,ow it is playing itself out that is the story this morning from "u.s. news" and "world report." a caller on our democratic line. caller: with drones, we are able to do very precise bombing. assad in hisattack
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palace with our own sarin gas? that would satisfy both sides of this debate. host: another headline from the "chicago tribune." lawmakers getting an and re- careful. house and senate returning ful.rrow -- angry ear house and senate returning tomorrow. caller: good afternoon. i'm just sitting here and watching your program. is it right to always wash blood with blood? why aren't there any american activity politically to sort out the mess in syria while they're jumping from one side of the arld to the other to drum up
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--lition of invading syria blood washing it with blood, is that the right thing to do? for the call from england. make a dealsident on syria that seven touches house democrats for 2014, a comment. another viewer from great britain. roy says, i believe it is up to the people of a country to change a regime him and not to expect outsiders to fight their battles. from john in melbourne, pennsylvania.
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and from david, gatlinburg, tennessee -- next is don joining us from pennsylvania. caller: good morning. turkey has so many refugees. they seem to be handling it pretty well. what i'm worried about is, what about poor jordan? half a milliont refugees there. how much humanitarian aid are we giving them? you foranks to all of your calls and comments on this sunday morning. you can continue with your tweets. you can weigh in with our unscientific poll that is available at facebook.com/cspan.
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"newsmakers" coming up next. congress returns. ferrechio for the "washington exam or -- examine r," and manu raju. we continue our monday series as we partner with kaiser health news to talk about the affordable care act. mary agnes carey will be joining us. we will take a look at your money. $2 billion for job training at community colleges. tomorrow morning at 7:00 a.m. eastern time, 4:00 for those of you on the west coast. enjoy the rest of your weekend. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013]
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>> in about 30 minutes, we will show a house foreign affairs hearing from this past week on the issue of syria. secretary of state carey, defense secretary hagel, and joint chiefs chair dancing. -- dempsey. remarks about the possibility of the syrian regime continuing to use chemical weapons in the country's ongoing civil war. >> let me be very clear. when i walked into this room, a person of conscience stood up behind me, as is the ability of
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people in our country. that person said, please don't take us to war. i think the three of us sitting here understand that plea as well as any people in this country. let me be clear. we are not asking america to go to war. twoy that sitting next to individuals who will know what war is. they know the difference between going to war and what the president is requesting now. all agree, there will be no american boots on the ground. the president has made crystal no intention of assuming responsibility for siv's civil war -- assad's civil war. that is not in the cards.
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the president is only asking for the power to make certain that the u.s. means what we say. he is asking for authorization, targeted and limited to deter and degrade bashar al-assad i will make it clear. for those who feel that more ought to be done and in keeping the policy that assad may go, the degradation has an impact on the totality of the weapons available. it will have an impact on the battlefield. today i read an e-mail to me about a general, the minister of defense and has just dissected and is now in turkey. we are hearing about the potential

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