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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  August 26, 2013 10:00am-11:01am PDT

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as the president now considers military action to punish the regime for the worse use of chemicals in two decades. >> the united states is looking at all options regarding the situation in syria. >> president obama and secretary of state kerry are urgently reaching out to partners in europe and the arab world rallying a coalition for a military response. >> i do think the administration feels like that there's no question chemicals were used. i think they're rallying support around our nato aallies and hopefully come to congress for an authorization when we get back. >> we cannot in the 21st century allow the idea that chemical weapons can be used with impunity, that people can be killed in this way and that there are no consequences for it. and so we believe it's very important that there is a strong response. >> and the 50th anniversary of
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the march on washington. . >> free at last, free at last, thank god almighty we are free at last. >> over the weekend thousands walked in the footsteps of those civil rights pioneers. heros from 50 years ago and all this week, we'll be bringing you special coverage right here looking back at the key moments of that week in august 1963 that fortified a movement and changed the course of history. today, the women who shaped civil rights with merrily williams. >> where are the women that need to be acknowledged in this movement for freedom and justice. we must not forget them. and good day.
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i'm andrea mitchell in washington where president obama is weighing military options against syria after u.s. intelligence concluded this weekend there is no longer any doubt that the regime did use chemical weapons against his people. after stonewalling almost a week syrian president assad did permit the u.n. inspection team to get to the site of the suspected chemical attack today although one of their vehicles was damaged by taking fire from unidentified snipers. chris hill the dean at the university of denver and former u.s. am babassador to iraq and joins us now. you've seen so much of this in your own career and can see that the president and secretary kerry and we expect secretary kerry is going to be speaking at 2:00 today, we will bring that to you live, speaking ate the latest developments. they no longer say there is any doubt. now only a question of what kind of military options. they know they're blocked at the u.n. by russia. they're going to create a coalition of the willing, perhaps, with nato support?
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>> well, looks like that's going to happen. apparently over the weekend there was some additional proof this was done by assad's proof. the issue is the size, the scope of what would be a punitive attack. i must say i think bombing attacks or campaigns are best when they serve a political purpose, when their future political arrangements, what kind of syria is it going to look like and those who don't support that get attacked. but in this case, i think it's punitive and it's against a regime that all indications are today they have actually used chemical weapons against their own people which is something that we, obviously, cannot ignore. >> we were talking about something that would not be as extensive as the kosovo bombing although the nato umbrella would be similar to kosovo, ignoring the u.n. because there's no possibility of getting u.n. support? >> yeah. i think the model for kosovo is
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this kind of coalition of the willing, although i hasten to add that the kosovo bombing only came after long-standing efforts to arrange a political settlement that everybody agreed to including the kosovo/albanian leadership except the serbs who did not agree to it. part of the way we were able to get that done was to have an agreement on future political arrangements. there is no such agreement at this point, so it has to be put more in the punitive phase, that is just attacking them, because they've attacked their own people. the question is what's the scope of that, what's the duration, et set terra. i doubt it can be anything that would really put the rebels in the driver's seat in terms of the conflict. as you know, they vice president haven't been doing well in the last months and weeks. >> let me go back to your first point then, the point you were reiterating. this is punitive because the
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assad regime now, according to american intelligence and british intelligence, french and the like, have used chemical weapons, the first time this extensive use of chemical weapons can be established in two decades. the evidence that the u.n. inspectors might find has been degraded by shelling, days, by the stonewalling of assad. there won't be definitive proof. we're not waiting on them. we're die min minnishing the impact of that. you're suggesting absent of political agreement and since this is not going to be game changing bombing, this is not going to get rid of assad, that it perhaps is not the right thing to do. should they let this chemical attack go unanswered? >> no. i'm not saying that at all. >> okay. >> i'm saying that these punitive, presumably punitive attacks, are not ones that can become sort of the rebel air force and in so being somehow get assad to leave office and
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come up with new elections. rather, they seem to be punitive aimed at punishing people who have engaged in the use of these banned weapons. and not for a moment would i suggest or frankly anybody suggest that the use of banned weapons, use of chemical weapons against civilians, should go unanswered. i've been to northeastern iraq where saddam's forces did use chemical weapons and frankly got away with it, and so i think it's very important that we make it clear to those who have used these weapons that they cannot get away with it. my only point is that i don't think this bombing campaign can necessarily bring to an end this hideous, bloody conflict. >> colon powell and others have suggested that the rebels are now so penetrated by al qaeda elements and we can no longer be certain who the rebels are, so he has been much more cautious
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than many of the others, john mccain, lindsey graham and others, who have been criticizing the administration for not taking action sooner. do you think it is too late for a no-fly zone, and do you think the administration has been too slow to arm the rebels? because having said in june we were going to arm them, they have not been delivered? >> again, arming the rebels or bombing assad, to me, should involve some kind of political plan. that is, you arm the rebels because you want them to take over in order to create a kind of multisectarian syria. you want to create a, you know, parliamentary system, new constitutional order in syria. i don't see that diplomatic work being done. certainly the u.s. was interested a couple months ago in working with the russians, unclear that russians were interested in working with the u.s. so we don't have any kind of political groundwork laid. all we have really is an effort to punish those who have used banned weapons and those who use
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those kinds of weapons should be punished and i'm sure secretary powell would agree with that proposition. >> thank you so much, ambassador christopher hill, with long experience in iraq and the balkans and elsewhere. thanks for being with us today. nbc news chief foreign correspondent richard engel was in syria today talking to residents fearful of the next attack. joining me from the border area in turkey, thanks so much, richard. i don't know if you were able to hear chris hill but he is pointing out the kind of limited retaliatory or punishment attacks being envisioned, cruise missiles or fighter jets launching weapons from outside the air space, are not going to be game changers. this is not going to help the rebels get back any advantage on the ground. but it is punitive because of the presumption now, the assumption by american intelligence, that this was a chemical attack and it did come from the regime. what did you find when you crossed the border and talked to people about their fears?
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>> first of all, i did hear the interview and it is amazing that we are actually talking about an apparently confirmed use by the syrian government of chemical weapons on a massive scale. let's not forget those pictures. we're talking about hundreds of people, the rebels say well over a thousand who were killed in a series of chemical attacks on the outskirts of damascus. whether there will be a punitive strike and it is not going to be game changing event, i think it's hard to know where the line is between punitive reaction and the transformative reaction because once the americans start bombing, assuming that happens, and other countries would be parse participating as well we would assume, the rebels will go on the offensive. they are not going to sit back and watch this happen. all of the different factions and there are many factions are going to take advantage of this momentum and launch an assault. i think there's three possible
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outcomes. one, the momentum is such that the regime does actually start to crumble and we see not necessarily the libya model where people were morning into baghdad and overthrew the regime and raised a new flag, but kind of a breakup of the state. state collapse where you have chunks of the country that are falling under different control and the state authority is diminished. that's one possibility. that's the possibility the rebels are more or less hoping for and i think long term you will see problems in this country if you have different cantons led by different factions. the second possibility is the rebels are overexcited. they see this attack, they make an offensive against damascus and other cities and you have an iraq 1991 skep nare yo where the people rise up and thens wave of the government's counter offensive falls down on their heads and you have many, many dead people because they were --
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they had false expectations. and the third possibility is this is simply a symbolic strike, a punitive action, very limited in scale, from the united states. the u.s. sends a message kind of a legal message and nothing happens on the ground. >> i mean, that reminds me of the kind of cruise missile strikes that went into afghanistan after the attacks on our embassies on 1998 which really were meaningless, supposedly going after bin laden but didn't have any effect. that could be a worse effect or outcome not only for the people on the ground but also importantly for u.s. credibility, which has been severely damaged, has it not, by letting this go on, by permitting a long lag time after the first suspected chemical attack and taking so long to try to establish what happened six or seven days ago. >> if -- we spoke to rebels. they say if nothing is done, or
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something so minor is done that it has no affect, that ts's a couple cruise missile strikes against empty buildings and the war continues, pretty much unchanged from this moment forward, that bashar al assad will think he survived it, got away with it, and free to do this kind of attack again. going back to what we said initially, this is the first or appears to be the first more or less confirmed case of chemical weapons being used against civilians on a massive scale in decades and if he gets away with it, that would certainly be harmful for american opinion or the opinion of americans in syria and potentially globally as well. >> and i know that we've got a big lag, the satellite lag there, so everyone bear with us, i did want to follow up and ask you how well are the rebels equipped because the american supply line has not really materialized and how well are they trained to deal with these weapons? they've been supplied by the saudis and the uae, but the
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american weapons, were very slow in coming? >> they are not well equipped to deal with chemical attacks. we went to a field hospital today and it was in a relatively safe area, an area that is more or less -- i keep using these terms -- under rebel control, and we saw they had built a small hangar outside of the field hospital to deal with any potential chemical weapons casualties. it was very sad to look at. it was a small shed like the thing you might put in your yard to have extra tools in. it had a hose so people would come in, they would be hosed down outside of the hospital so they wouldn't be contaminating other patients. they had a gas mask or two for the medical personnel to wear. they had some viles of atropine. one box which is a antidote for
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nerve agent or at least treatment for nerve agent. doctors say they're trying to get atropine to these areas outside damascus that were affected by these mass attacks last week and they don't have the ability to even get supplies to the affected areas because there's so many checkpoints on the road. the rebels don't control contiguous territory so in many cases they are hand carrying in boxes of atropine and other medical supplies. they have to smuggle them around their own country. they are not well prepared to deal with this. >> thank you so much for your reporting from the scene. thanks again for being with us today. and in other headlines today, in california, firefighters are making progress reigning in that rapidly growing and unpredictable wildfire raging in the remote area of yosemite national park. the rim fire is 15% contained. that is progress.
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the blaze has scorched 150,000 acres. in ft. hood texas the sentencing phase begins today for major nadal ha san, the army sipsychiatrist found guilty las week. hassan faces either the death penalty or life in prison. and the donald, donald trump being sued by the state of new york for $40 million. the new york attorney general says the real estate mogul helped run a phony trump university and misled students into expensive seminars that did not deliver as promised. trump phoned in to the "today" show and attacked new york attorney general eric schneiderman's record. >> let me just tell you something, we're dealing with an attorney general who everyone in new york knows is a total lightweight. he's very unpopular. he lets jon corzine take 1.4 or something, disappear, $1.4 billion and doesn't do a thing, he lets wall street and everybody else rape everybody, doesn't do a thing.
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>> and, of course, someone was tweeting this weekend, who would sign up for trump university. but in any case the attorney general said in response trump's comments this morning were an effort to disfracture the substance of the case. any last requests mr. baldwin? do you mind grabbing my phone and opening the capital one purchase eraser? i need to redeem some venture miles before my demise. okay. it's easy to erase any recent travel expense i want. just pick that flight right there. mmm hmmm. give it a few taps,'s taken care of.
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that the struggle must and will go on in the cause of our nation's quest for justice. until every eligible american has the chance to exercise his or her right to vote unincumbered by discriminatory, unneeded rules or practices. >> attorney general eric holder, one of many speakers at saturday's commemorative march, speaking about the national battle for voting rights. holder spoke at the 50th
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anniversary of the march on washington days after the justice department filed a suit against the state of texas over a new voter i.d. law. as president obama prepares to address the nation wednesday on the steps of the lincoln memorial on the actual anniversary of dr. martin luther king's speech. how will the president take on the voter suppression laws. joining me for our daily fix, chris cizilla, co-host of in play, "washington post" editorial columnist ruth marcus and "new york times" white house correspondenter jackie combs. welcome all. first to you, chris cizilla. this is a very big week, obviously, for all of us, those of us who remember the march, those of us, those people who were not even born and those people who were the real heros of the march. what will president obama do? he has had differing approaches towards this issue, but with the trayvon martin comments we've seen how he's willing to, you know, grasp it and break new ground. >> yeah. you know, andrea, i thought the trayvon martin speech somewhat
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impromptu remarks the president gave, if i had to pick out sort of the most memorable moments of this first eight months or so, almost nine months of politics in america, that would be at or near the top of the list. spoke very openly about his own struggles as an african-american man in society, and did so in a way he had never really done, even up to and including the speech he gave during the 2008 campaign when he was trying to distance himself from reverend jeremiah wright. what i wonder is, will we see sort of another step in that progression as barack obama looks to make a piece of his legacy race relations in this country. does he give that sort of personal speech? is it more sort of lofty. look, this is someone we know, you agree or disagree with him, as someone who has a knack for giving big speeches. i do think it's interesting to look at this moment and where he goes as it relates to what he wants his legacy on this issue to look like.
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>> and remember, he chose the lincoln memorial as the setting for a major speech before his first inaugural. this was colin powell speaking on the political effects of these voter suppression attempts by the republican party on "face the nation". >> here's what i say to my republican friends. the country is becoming more diverse. asian americans, hispanic americans and african-american will populate america in the next generation. you say you want to reach ute, have a few message, see if you can bring some of these voters to the republican side. this is not the way to do it. the way to do it is to make it ease yeeser for them to vote and give them something to vote for they can believe in. >> jackie, does the white house think that the republicans are actually doing the democratic party a favor by taking on, you know, these issues and passing the laws they've now passed in
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texas and north carolina? >> well, i would think they're doing a favor for democrats in general in that it does nothing for this rebranding of the republican party that the party itself said it was undertaking after the results of the 2012 election. at the same time, you know, the actions that are being taken in the states are going to have the real impact by most measures of reducing turnout or voting among the people more likely to vote for democrats, which is, you know, a big reason why republicans in the legislatures and the governor's mansions pursued those. the practical effect is worrisome, regardless of whether you think republicans are shooting themselves in the foot. >> long term in terms of national, but in terms of you're right, the state and local elections, they are gaining more and more leverage through these efforts. >> right. >> this is also women's equality day. this is the anniversary of the
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19th amendment proposed by new york representative bela abduck in 1971. we talked about women's equality, getting the vote with 19th amendment in 1920. women leaders now gaining a lot more sort of critical mass in the senate but still, 20 out of 100. that is hardly equality. >> 20 out of 100 hardly equality but a transformation. you've seen it in the course of your career, but in journalism and politics on the bench, a transformation in the role of women in positions of power which is not to say, it's done, but at least on women's equality day we can still be nice to chris as our lone guy. >> we are indeed. >> thanks -- >> say a word about jackie, "the new york times" had an extraordinary interview with ruth bader ginsburg this weekend and i want to talk about that for a moment because she sent, you know, very certain signals that she isn't going anywhere
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any time soon even to those liberal activists who were concerned that the 80-year-old justice should step down while this president is in power and could try to replace her with another liberal rather than taking the chance of a republican or conservative being elected to succeed barack obama. she said about her age that she has only made minor adjustments. quote, she told the times i don't water ski anymore, i haven't gone horseback riding in four years, i haven't ruled that out, but water skiing those days are over. pretty amazing interview. >> it was. and, you know, it's so rare that you see these interviews from supreme court justices, that that's what makes it. it seems so long ago now that bob woodward wrote his book "the brethren" about the supreme court which was opening a window on to place that, you know, so rarely had, you know, windows into it. and yet, here we are, all these years later and we're still, you know, sort of bowled over when we see an interview like that from a justice and it's, you know, has candid and a
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personalizes them and you're right, it's on the one hand liberals are glad to hear she's going to stick around in the near term, but, you know, for the long term, if they'd rather see perhaps some of the older justices on the liberal wing, step aside in time for barack obama to name their replacement, which isn't to say that it would be easy to get those people confirmed. >> but one thing that is very clear, ruth, having watched this process, justice ginsburg very close to justice o'connor who probably now feels she stepped back too quickly, too soon, and has had a very active post-court retirement, nonretirement really, but really misses the court and i don't think that justice ginsburg is going to step down before she is ready to and she has been -- you're the lawyer here. she's really active. >> she's really active on the bench. working really hard, she described herself as the hardest working justice now that justice suter has retired.
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she had two messages. first of all, i'm not going anywhere. anybody who thinks that i'm going to game this system and give president obama a shot, forget about that. but also, she was very harsh i think is a fair word -- >> activist. >> in terms of her colleagues talking about one of the most activist courts in history and that was really fascinating to hear not just this interview, but she's given a whole bunch this summer. >> saying basically that this is the activist court overturning precedent and not abiding by -- >> activist on the conservative. >> ruth, chris, jackie, thank you very much. we'll be right back. humans. even when we cross our t's and dot our i's, we still run into problems. namely, other humans. which is why at liberty mutual insurance, auto policies come with new car replacement
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i save time, money,st, and i avoid frustration. you'll find reviews on home repair to healthcare, written by people just like you. find out why more than two million members count on angie's list. angie's list -- reviews you can trust. the epidemic of gun violence continues to plague chicago. 11-year-old girl was shot sunday sitting on her porch. a 14-year-old boy was shot and killed one block from his home.
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they were only two of the ten people shot in chicago on sunday alone. dan gross, president of the brady campaign to prevent gun violence, spoke out over the weekend in the march here in washington against the culture of gun violence in america. >> we are here because of the gun violence that does not make national headlines the 90 gun deaths that happen every day, the eight children and teens killed every day and up to fill more than 100 classrooms and we're here to say, my voice matters. we are here because there are children? our great nation -- in our great nation like these that cannot feel safe going to school in the morning and go to sleep at night hearing gunshots out their window and here to say, my voice matters. >> dan gross joins me now from new york. your voice does matter. thanks very much for being with us. there was a 5-year-old who was found with a handgun in his backpack in tennessee last week i'm told. how does this happen if america? it's just insane.
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and what do you do about it given the refusal of congress and certainly of state legislatures other than colorado and maryland and connecticut, of course, tragically, to do anything about it? >> yeah. i mean i think we first of all don't give up on congress. i mean we showed with the original brady bill which became the brady law what the voice of the american public has the potential to accomplish on this issue and that is what congress can do to keep guns out of hands of dangerous people, out of people who shouldn't have those guns, criminals, domestic abusers and so forth. and we need to change the culture in this country. we need to empower ourselves as parents to make the right decisions to keep guns out of the hands of our children and that's something that definitely could have helped in tennessee. >> what do we do about chicago? i know, you know, mayor rahm emanuel and all the city leaders are trying to do something about it. they've brought in 600 people to help escort kids to school, but
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there's some 400,000 schoolchildren there. that's not going to help very much. >> escorting kids to school, safe passage is very, very important. but we need to get to the root of the problem and what we all need to realize, the american public, we hold the solution in our hands by holding our elected officials responsibility. expanded background checks like the bill that congress -- the senate voted against back in march could do a lot to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and off our streets. so we need to realize the role that policy can play here and that the role that the american public can play by making their voice matter in terms of impacting policy and that's why we created this website voices against to let the american public sign for the first time a petition with their actual voices and say that their voice matters. it's things like that where we bring the voice to the marine public to -- american public to bear and have an impact. >> what about george zimmerman going gun shopping apparently at
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the manufacturer cal tech, the manufacturer that created the gun that made the gun that he used to kill trayvon martin. >> yeah. >> his own lawyers, shawn vincent, spokesman for mark o'mara told yahoo! we certainly would not have advised him to go to the factory that made the gun that he used to shoot trayvon martin through the heart. that was not part of our public relations plan. his own lawyers turning their back on him. >> it underscores what the issue is with trayvon martin and that tragedy and george zimmerman. a part of it is absolutely stand your ground but stand your ground is a mentality and trayvon martin would still be alive if george zimmerman didn't have a gun that night and he was able to buy that gun with a history of violence, with an arrest record, and, you know, this is the vision of the corporate gun lobby. they want to put guns in the hands of everybody, indiscriminately, regardless of any kind of violent history or anything like that, and that's
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the reason why the trayvon martin tragedy happened. we have to look at stand your ground but we also have to look at, you know, the things that we can do to keep guns out of the hands of people we know are dangerous like george zimmerman and the whole trayvon martin tragedy could have been avoided. >> dan gross, thanks for being with us. >> thanks, andrea. president obama is going to be awarding the nation's highest military honor the medal of honor to army staff sergeant ty carter for his courage during a 2009p fire fight in afghanistan. 300 taliban fighters ambushed a u.s. combat outpost outnumbering a 54 man u.s. force. at one point carter rushed to the battlefield to pull out a wounded comrade. he will be the fifth living recipient awarded the medal of honor for actions in iraq or afghanistan. play close.
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president obama is preparing to make final decisions about
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the u.s. military action in syria. but from talking to u.s. officials over the last few days it's clear to me that it is no longer a question of if, there will be a military strike, only when. "washington post" diplomatic correspondent ann gearon joins me to talk about this. you've been doing a lot of reporting, obviously, on the timing the kind of military strike and the legal pretext for it. roo. >> right. i mean there are some other options here other than military, but the whus has been signaling fairly strongly that's the way they're leaning and as you said, the question is less whether then when and in what form and with what backing, with what help. this f it comes to pass the way we think it will, is not going to be a full nato operation, certainly will not carry the u. u.n., certainly not carry the same nato imprem tur that nato did two years ago. there are a lot of allies lining
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up. britain and france chiefly may be canada, may be some others. >> one reason it will not be nato, we were talking off camera, germany. you've got elections coming up in germany and merkel has a lot of problems with us right now because of the snowden leaks, the fact that the latest leak in der speigel yesterday was that the u.s. nsa have been spying on the u.n. and we've reported previously about spying on u.n. headquarters and on the european union. but the specificity nondenied, not denied in the last 48 hours by any of the agencies here, is pretty striking and the reaction over there is pretty bad. >> yeah. for a whole host of reasons helping the united states bomb another country would be highly, highly unpopular in germany and germany is unlikely to go along with a full nato backing for this. that said, there are ways to get some kind of a not full nato
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backing but something close that allows -- would allow president obama to say that he's not going it alone. >> and to say that he is going in to protect turkey, to protect jordan, the refugees but primarily this is all about punitive action on chemical weapons. it's not billed as a game changer. this would be cruise missiles, something outside of air space. >> right. i mean as you've noted many times, american public opinion is not in favor of any kind of prolonged action in syria, maybe not of any action at all. so any action the president chose would have to be very well defined and very limited. it would probably be something like we are trying to prevent assad from another -- from carrying out another atrocity, trying to prevent him from retall tating against our close allies, you mentioned turkey, and the very many refugees who are vulnerable both in syria and
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close by in neighboring countries. >> and briefly, the internal dispute, john kerry, rnlg originally was pretty forward leaning and then not so much now back on board. where do you see any divisions among the national security advisors? >> yeah. i mean this has been a long process, right. they've gone forward and back a couple times and now appear to be ending up more or less where kerry and some of the other slightly more hawkish members of the administration were as long as a year ago whenp obama said that chemical weapons were a red line at that same time you had then secretary of state hillary clinton and kerry then in the senate arguing to do then more or less what obama may do now. >> we're going to be hearing from secretary kerry at 2:00, at the top of the state department briefing we expect. thank you very much. always good to check in with you. >> pleasure. >> and coming up next, marking the anniversary of the march on washington for jobs and freedom.
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learn more at as the nation prepares to mark the historic anniversary of dr. martin luther king, jr.'s march for freedom and jobs, we look back at the movement's history and ahead with myrlie evers-williams the civil rights leader, one of only two women first invited to speak at the historic march in 1963 and unable to attend, couldn't get through the crowds. she is the word of medgarr evers killed by a white supremacist in front of their children just weeks before the march in 1963. she never stopped fighting to bring her husband's killer to justice and eventually went on to become the chair of the naacp. myrlie evers-williams today the chair of myrlie evers-williams institute. we did talk back then when you took over the naacp and
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revitalizing the institution that your husband had once led and been active in. >> you know, i recall and i hope i'm correct, we did do this interview, the naacp was in turmoil at that particular point in time. >> you restored it. >> yeah. >> i was right there in the middle of it. but i found that even at that point in time, women were not embraced or viewed as being leaders, having the possibility of being leaders, so it was a rather tough race, i won by one vote, and -- >> that's all you need is one vote. >> i won by one vote and i was told in so many ways and so many people, particularly men, you can't do this job. and i had to remind them that evidently they had not read my resume and seen what i had done personally on my own and that i was the widow of medgarr evers
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but my own woman with my own accomplishments. >> let me take you back to that horrendous time in june of 1963. there had been so many threats, threats against your husband, against your home. tell me about the climate of fear, because so many certainly young people do not remember what it was like back then. >> oh, that's true. and also, i think that my generation has failed in the sense that we have not been able to transfer the urgency of that particular time forward. we knew as a family that medgarr was number one on the death list in mississippi and he took it upon himself to train our children what to do in case they heard gunfire. that's exactly what they did that night. each other helped each other to the bathroom to get in the tub
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and my screams stopped them from completing that hiding point. but we knew, you live with death threats constantly and you adapt your life to that. you might argue, but you don't leave without the embrace. you might become angry with things that are happening around you, but it's a time of support. it's a time of pulling people together. and during that time, we had the ages divided. there were the young people and there were the older people. those in the middle were more or less teachers who were a little afraid to speak up and stand out. medgarr stood alone in that battle. he did have supporters, of course, but he was the point person and it was extremely difficult for us as a family to live with that. but you lived as though every day was going to be your last
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together. it sounds a little sad but that's the way it was. >> one of your themes in your speech on saturday was to stand your ground. >> that's right. >> and to take back that phrase and make it, really, a call to action, to stand our ground and not permit rights to be taken away, like these voter suppression laws. >> i certainly hope that was the message that got across. of course, we think of stand your ground in the negative with trayvon martin, but we as a people who -- humans in this country who love freedom and justice, we have to stand our ground and hold on to those gains that we have made or at least fight in different ways to get them back again. and we so badly need all ages of people, all races, creeds, and colors to be a part of that and hopefully to accept that. stand your ground for freedom, for justice, for opportunity.
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send that message to our legislators and be sure we put legislators in spots where they are held responsible for that. and women have been behind that movement all along and have so seldom received the accolades that they should have. >> how did you hold your family together through all of this? >> how did i hold my family together? with prayer, with love, with friends, with good memories and strong determination. it took me 30 years to see that medgar's killer was brought to justice. people told me, stop, it'll never happen. you know, you're off in some kind of dream world. but i made a promise. i believe in keeping promises, and i made a promise that if i lived, i would see to it that this man would be punished. i initially wanted to do that
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myself. and i told some friends of ours, men, you know who he is, bring him to me. leave. >> really? >> i'll take care of him. you know, all of this time, it brings up all the memories of the anger, of the hatred, of the sadness that you have, and if i may say it this way, i've been through a living hell, but with friends, with prayer, and whatnot, i've been able to rise above all of that and take the negatives and turn it into something positive. just very briefly, there's an exhibit on medgar in jackson, mississippi. i walked into the second room, and there was the murder weapon in a plexiglass. i stood and couldn't move. i just stared at it. i looked at the trigger, and that was the negative part, but
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i could envision the fire coming out of that rifle and i could envision medgar's body. his life was done. his mission was done. that fire, hopefully, will move the rest of us forward, and women will be more and more involved but more and more recognized for what they have done. >> myrlie evers williams, thank you. >> you're so welcome. >> and significantly, today is womens equality day, the passage of the 19th amendment, giving women the right to vote and a day to honor mickie siebert. she said, i have a dream of earning the same pay as my male colleagues, so i asked a firm, what large firm would pay me equally? he said, the only way it would
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happen was if i bought my own seat on the stock exchange. she overcame subtle discrimination for decades and was always supportive of other women, including myself. she died saturday of complications from cancer. she was 80 years old. is that true? says here that cheerios has whole grain oats that can help remove some cholesterol, and that's heart healthy. ♪ [ dad ] jan? humans. we are beautifully imperfect creatures living in an imperfect world. that's why liberty mutual insurance has your back, offering exclusive products like optional better car replacement, where if your car is totaled, we give you the money to buy one a model year newer. call... and ask an insurance expert about all our benefits today, like our 24/7 support and service,
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and that does it for this edition of "andrea mitchell reports." tamron hall and "the news nation" is up next. ♪ we go, go, we don't have to go solo ♪ ♪ fire, fire, you can take me higher ♪ ♪ take me to the mountains, start a revolution ♪ ♪ hold my hand, we can make, we can make a contribution ♪ ♪ brand-new season, keep it in motion ♪ ♪ 'cause the rhyme is the reason ♪ ♪ break through, man, it doesn't matter who you're talking to ♪ [ male announcer ] completely redesigned for whatever you love to do. the all-new nissan versa note. your door to more. ♪
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you never miss the fun. beard growing contest and go! ♪ i win! what's in your wallet? hi, everyone. i'm tamron hall. the news nation is following breaking news from the state department where moments from now secretary of state john kerry will give a statement on the u.s. response to the syrian crisis. now, this comes as the white house moves closer towards military action against the syrian government, reportedly, in wake of last week's apparent chemical attack that took the lives of an estimated 355 people and injured thousands more. the question remains whatig


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