tv Hardball Weekend MSNBC April 27, 2013 2:00am-2:31am PDT
dogs of war. let's play "hardball." good evening, i'm chris matthews in washington. let me start with this. war. bombing people. shooting down airplanes. breaking into houses. i can think of what we mean when we so casually say, let's go, let's get in this thing and the rah-rah and drum beating that gets us out there killing people and getting killed again. who are these people who want this stuff and yell for it? predictly the same ones, mccain and kristol, and say the name of
the kcountry and it is the same response, go to war, and don't be afraid to use our strength. all of the knneo con babble. let's have a muscular foreign policy. all the metaphors for war that has us stuck once again in a country whose name we dare not pronounce a decade later. i spent all day yesterday at the george w. bush library. not once did i hear the word iraq. not once. if this crowd is proud of the wars they pushed, why are they afraid to remind us of the last one or even pronounce the word? david corn, mother bureau chief for "mother jones" magazine and david ignatius. you just came back from the are we going into this war? syria? >> i think the first thing to middle east, sir? what is happen? say is the white house is being very careful in weighing the evidence of chemical weapons use. i was just in israel. i sat with the israeli commanders as they presented
their evidence, as they said nearly 100% solid in their minds that syria has used chemical weapons. the question is why is the white house waiting when president obama said this is a red line? the answer is that properly, as you were stressing, he wants to be sure of the evidence and also to be sure that he can take it to the u.n. and international forums to have legitimacy for whatever the u.s. does. the bottom line for the u.s. continues to be trying to get the russians onboard in a negotiated settlement which will require most solid evidence that bashar al assad has crossed not just obama's red line but vladimir putin's as well. that's where they are this afternoon. >> here's the president's spokesman today. let's listen to this. >> knowing that potentially chemical weapons have been used inside of syria doesn't tell us when they were used, how they were used. obtaining confirmation and strong evidence. all of those things we have to make sure we work on with the international community. i've been very clear publicly, but also privately, that for the
syrian government to utilize chemical weapons on its people crosses a line that will change my calculous and how the united states approaches these issues. so, you know, this is not an on or off switch. this is an ongoing challenge that all of us have to be concerned about. >> david, if the government of syria, if the assad regime were using chemical weapons consistently or in any way as part of a strategic effort to save themselves, wouldn't there be a debate? why is it so fleeting, this evidence? if this is part of their strategy like we used in world war i. both sides and didn't use it in world war ii, but if it were being used, why is there a k complication here? >> i think the evidence is
solid. france, britain, now israel have all said they believe the weapons were used on march 19th and on some other dates. and we've had indications from secretary of defense hagel that the u.s. supports that. the point is, chris, do you have evidence you can take to the country and take to the world that won't lead people to say later, this was a rush to war based on fragmentary evidence as in the case of iraq. that's not so easy with chemical weapons. >> the letter the white house sent to congress yesterday was really interesting in terms of their use of language. they said we have evidence that leads to these initial assessments that chemical weapons were used on a small scale, but we want corroboration. an assessment is just that. it's an assessments of the evidence before you. corroboration is it's beyond, you know, a shadow of a doubt. and so they want to move in that direction before they take any steps. also i think one reason, and david probably can speak to this as well, i'm not sure there are a lot of good options. >> right. let's go through them. >> once you get -- across that red line. >> we say we'd like to get the russians and the chinese not to veto and have a formal u.n.
action. fine. if it's a u.n. action. of course it always ends us up out on the point, but if it is a u.n. action, short of that, david, what can we do? >> the u.n. action would be for a negotiated political transition. the russians would finally say, yes, we agree, bashar al assad must go. then the mechanisms that have been prepared by former secretary general kofi annan would go forward. >> would they take the assad family to russia? >> they might. that's been discussed in the past. on the question that you ask, if the russians refused to support a negotiated settlement, the u.s. is going to have to take action, i think, and so they're looking at a menu of options and you can imagine it, it ranges from syrian command and control facilities, facilities associated with this chemical weapons program. the special units that have been the scourge of the syrian population in this war. those are all very heavy -- >> you mean bombing -- >> heavy duty military operations. >> bombing missions.
>> well, they might be bombing. various ways you could do it. they're big operations and they require precisely the kind of major commitment that the u.s. has wanted to avoid. >> what would be our right to do that? this has gotten to be so practiced now, i guess it's an odd question. what's the right of the united states -- we live in north america here -- to go over to the middle east, we don't like their weaponry, their use of chemicals, fine. that is a value's judgment. # what is our international right to go into a country like that and start bombing the hell out of them? we're going to be killing people, not the assad family. >> presumably what would happen here the arab league in which syria is a member, and the arab league seat is held by opposition, would pass a resolution condemning the use of chemical weapons and citing the evidence the u.s. prepared and call on the international community to take action. so you would have that as a basis of legitimacy.
>> it's sort of the libyan model. >> we would be deputized by the arab league to do the action. >> and perhaps by a broader coalition. if the russians block u.n. action, the kind of mandate the obama administration would want will be impossible. >> but they're sort of the legal framework which the administration, susan rice, worked through in terms of the libya operation. but then there's also the question of whether any of this stuff that david listed -- >> let's go to the american situation. as i mentioned, john mccain often the hawk in these discussions. last night on fox, he went further. let's watch senator mccain. >> it's a shameful chapter in american history, and i hope that this new revelation of chemical weapons will move the president to do what he should have done two years ago. from the statement that's coming out of the white house, i'm not sure they will. >> there he is, shameful. what do you expect if the assad government falls in the next
several months? or within the year? say. who wins? i was told today that we and our allies are prepared to spend $1 billion on this program going forward. and the idea is to train up, you know, hundreds of people every month and flow them into syria so you begin to have some framework. >> are they our people? >> these are people we're working with. >> vetted. >> we're working with a moderate general who the u.s. has -- >> are you confident as an analyst you think we could actually win this war? have the right side win? >> chris, i think the best outcome here is a negotiated settlement, but that requires russia to get off its backside. if failing that -- i have talked a number of times to general idris. i talk almost every day to his people, and they have a vision of a future syria that americans would be comfortable with. they're not jihadists. they're not extreme. they want to keep the country together. so i think the administration feels like it's finally found an ally.
>> my question is abdullah with the security forces, intelligence forces are great. is he able to get those syrian fighters, those regime fighters fighting against the regime to come and train? >> yes. >> they've been able to get them in there? >> they're coming in increasing numbers. into jordans. >> they're resisting that. military action, as you mentioned, won't be a cake walk. at least according to former cia officer bob bear. he told politico, "it will be like walking into a giant lawn mower blade. this is worse than iraq in terms of putting troops inside syria's borders. it's more chaotic and more likely you will lose a lot of troops." bob is a respected guy. he's addressing troops on the ground. is anybody on our side, our quarter, mccain, anybody, saying put in the troops, paratroopers? david? >> yes, there's been a lot of military plans for different kinds of units without going into the specifics that would go in in the event we decided to
take military action. the problem is, you've got a lot of additional things to do like take out syrian air defenses. it's a big operation. >> war. >> it is a war. >> john mccain is calling for setting up a safe zone. the only way to do that is to put troops on the ground. it's a big country. they have a big military. the syrians. they're much more organized than the libyans were. there's no way they sort of have what mccain has in mind without sending troops in. i think one of the things, when you listen to him talk and the hawks talk, it's as if, you know, there's only one choice which is just to go in. they don't even sort of differentiate between the different types of military options. >> i know they don't. >> to a great degree. it's like, we have to get in there, have to get in there. you know, it's not clear it's going to be an easy win or if there's even a great strategy how to get from here to there. while there are people to work with, i still worry about, you know, we worked with mujahideen. there's chaos -- >> which became al qaeda. >> if you don't get this
transition through the u.n. which is obviously the ideal solution, any time of conflict, even if you're backing the right guys, doesn't mean there aren't other guys there who will take advantage. it could lead to a civil war. right? it's very iffy. >> david is right. to make one final point, chris, it's, in a sense, not in our interest for this to end suddenly tomorrow with assad going, because the opposition really isn't strong -- the moderate opposition isn't strong enough. you're creating an iraq-like vacuum, and the jihadists are the strongest fighters. three or four months from now, that's not going to be true. on senator mccain's argument you can do a no-fly zone easily, i'm told by u.s. officials that's just not so. you'd have to move the patriot batteries that are in turkey almost to the border. they'd be vulnerable to syrian air attack. you'd have to be prepared to defend american soldiers' lives on that border which requires all kinds of additional -- >> has any war ever been easier than we thought it would be? >> no, never.
>> that's right. that's all i want to know. it's always an underestimation. thank you, david. i respect you a lot. thank you, david corn, david ignacious. coming up, i am still where i am always at, against a war if we can avoid it. anyway, we've had enough of the bushes as president. how about the clintons? the kennedys? the cuomos? he might be running, too. do we like political dynasties? somebody wrote this, but i d didn't. congress stepping in to help the faa avoid further furloughs which are brought on be by the e sequester to delay flights across the country. and so we turn across kids to head start or turn away cancer patients, but when rich people are inconvenienced, it is time to act. and also, the white house correspondence dinner and the
actress sharon stone will be sitting in david ignatius' seat in a moment. and something you hear now might be a thing of the past, and this is "hardball" yes, the place for politics. a dunk of g. catches and throws, and spaghettio's. that's what happy kids are made of. campbell's. it's amazing what soup can do.
would you like to see your son, jeb, run? >> he is by far the most qualified man, but no, i don't. i think it's a great country. there are a lot of great families. and it's not just four families or whatever. there are other people out there that are very qualified and we've had enough bushes. >> we've had enough bushes. welcome back to "hardball." that was barbara bush with what was perhaps the line of the year politically. americans like to talk about dynasties, political dynasties. the kennedys, of course. i guess cuomo in new york. andrew wants to be president. the bushes of course. then of course the clintons. active dynasty. hillary if he runs in 2016,
somebody pointed out on our production team, chelsea clinton will be able to answer, what did your presidents do? they were both president. hillary is a democratic front-runner for 2016. everybody knows that. jeb bush is certainly a republican contender. is the country ready for a clinton versus bush campaign? should we be looking for as barbara bush said other people out there? i'd say. this is a democracy after all. steve mcmahon is a democratic strategist. and rick -- are you a real lower case democrat or and upper case democrat who likes dynasties? because i think hillary's got a special case because we've never had a woman president. that's the wind at her back. and it should be her. >> she's not a dynasty candidate. she is a candidate who's earned it in her own right. she happened to have perhaps gotten a little bit of boost -- in new york -- >> ambassador to great britain or france? >> i'll take either. >> what are you bidding for? >> how about ireland? >> okay. so she's earned it? >> she has earned it. >> okay. couldn't you say the same thing -- i agree with you. couldn't you say the same thing about andrew cuomo who's been a
good governor of new york? one of the few popular governors around the country? >> i think you could. >> what's your principle as a republican? you guys are middle class. republicans don't like dynasties. >> i agree with you and barbara bush. it's a meritocracy. if he's got as you say, talent, then they should round. if they don't, people will kick them out. >> the question isn't whether or not he's qualified to be president. he was a reasonably good governor in florida. the question is whether the american people will tolerate another bush. >> i think what's what the mother was talking about. i think she was on the nail saying, look, every election hat has a number of candidates. we don't pick them. we choose among those guys who pick themselves. in the case of hillary, herself. they pick themselves then we say, okay, which one of you who thinks ought to be president we'll pick. they come forward. but there's another personality in every presidential election. the times. the feeling of the times. what we want. after carter we wanted strength. after nixon we wanted cleanliness. after w. we wanted brains. we always wanted something we
don't have in the previous president. you're laughing. am i wrong? >> you're right. >> am i wrong? >> keep going. you're doing fine. >> thank you for patronizing me. the fact is what e do we want? i think we want a woman as a president. i just feel it. women my age have expressed that to me in all different tones positively and negatively but they want this to happen. rick, you on this. doesn't have to do with political party. >> i think the country will be thrilled to nominate a woman. i think that would be fine. but hillary i think has a big problem. i think benghazi, frankly, disqualifies her. >> what did she do wrong? >> well, a lot wrong. >> give me it short. >> she left people in benghazi who had less security than our guys in paris did. there does not seem to be any direct line of command. there's no accountability. he never heard from her other than to say what difference does it make what happened? it makes a lot of difference. i think if in her campaign that would rise -- >> you believe there was actual
cable traffic between her and the tripoli -- >> if there wasn't then why wasn't there? i think it is a big problem. >> she was in charge with personally the safety of chris smith when he decided to go visit that facility. >> she was in charge of that embassy, yes. look, do we believe in democracy or dynasty? it's a simple question. why don't we designate these children at birth if we really believe in royalty, which they to in britain, which is an absurdity. they'll take a guy like prince charles of no known ability and say he'll be the next king when he's born. are we going to start doing this with chelsea? they're all doing something. they designated in their teen years as being future presidents. why don't we give them a couple years and see if they show something? people say, it would be great if they'd be president someday or congressman. >> think about it for a second, because they get to come up to the plate and take a swing and some of hit a ball and get el t
elected and some don't -- >> well, what about -- >> well, it is an advantage for them, but they have to hit the ball. you have to elect the governor twice, and he cannot be a dumb man to do that. he is a very good politician, and jeb bush is probably a better politician, but he will never be president because his brother screwed it up. >> than ing you, steve mcmahon and rick tower. what were former first lady barbara bush and the first lady chatting about? jimmy kimmel has guesses about what they were chatting about. >> look at this, guys. then michelle tries to get in on it. that is great.
dedication ceremony for george w. bush's new presidential library. former secretary of state condoleezza rice did the introductions for the event. while she was doing that former first lady barbara bush was whispering to president obama and making him laugh. let's listen in on what she was saying now. >> the governor of texas, rick perry. >> where is he? he used to wet his bed. >> that's funny. >> the governor of new jersey. chris christie. >> oh, my. he tried to eat my hair once. >> he probably thought it was cotton candy. >> that is brilliant. back to "hardball." we're in the sideshow. hold on to your seats for this one. karl rove rates the presidency of george w. bush. where does george w. bush rate according to the w. in the comparison to, say, washington, lincoln, fdr? and, of course, ronald reagan? here's rove with abc's jonathan carl. >> where does karl rove
historian rate president bush? among the best presidents, not so great? where do you put him? >> look, the greats you can't touch. george washington, abraham lincoln, ronald reagan, fdr, the greats. but, yeah, i put him up there. >> i put him up there. there you have it. w. coming up just shy of the greats. i personally put him in a category all by himself. next, three-time presidential candidate ron paul took a dive back into politics this week and endorsed georgia republican congressman paul broun running for the u.s. senate. ron paul says he and broun keep tabs on the federal reserve, and one of their focused issues and another common bond, their thoughts on evolution. >> i've come to understand all that stuff i was taught about evolution, embryology, big bang theory, and all of that is
straight from the pit of hell. >> i think there is a theory. theory of evolution. and i don't accept it, you know, as a theory. just don't think we're at the point where anybody has absolute proof on either side. >> ron paul, a science skeptic going to bat for him. that is "hardball" for now and coming up next is "your business" with j.j. ramberg. afi: atrial fibrillation not caused by a heart valve problem, a condition that puts him at greater risk for a stroke. [ gps ] turn left. i don't think so. [ male announcer ] for years, bob took warfarin, and made a monthly trip to the clinic to get his blood tested. but not anymore. bob's doctor recommended a different option: once-a-day xarelto®. xarelto® is the first and only once-a-day prescription blood thinner for patients with afib not caused by a heart valve problem, that doesn't require routine blood monitoring. like warfarin, xarelto® is proven effective to reduce the risk of an afib-related stroke.
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