More violence plagues Syria
Rebeccah Heinrichs & Col. Cedric Leighton discuss the possibility of an Al Qaeda presence in Syria.
- Duration 13:52
- Date May 11, 2012
Rebeccah Heinrichs & Col. Cedric Leighton discuss the possibility of an Al Qaeda presence in Syria.
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Welcome back to on the -- at foxnews.com.
Live the situation in Syria continues.
To deteriorate remember.
There's been a cease fire in place since April 12.
That cease fire brokered by the former UN Secretary General Kofi and then.
I'm pretty much every day since April 12 people have been dying.
Dozens of them yesterday in twin suicide bombings and yet.
Officials like -- Rihanna and on our own State Department.
Continue to talk about the need fall abiding by -- cease fire cease fire that never really existed.
-- invented is our correspondent in Jerusalem monitoring -- In Syria Leland we were expecting a lot of demonstrations today in the wake of those bombings yesterday has that come to -- There's certainly -- that we had another set of Friday demonstrations he needs you pointed out though this cease fire.
Is holding a little bit between say president -- -- army.
And the opposition there's not the kind of artillery -- we had before but.
Unfortunately when that cease fire was broken -- -- didn't get al-Qaeda or any of its syndicates to sign on and that's who appears to be had to blame.
For the latest bombings in Damascus in video the aftermath video shows just a very different level of sophistication.
From what the opposition.
Had been doing in it.
The past -- US intelligence sources including the US secretary of defense says that they believe al-Qaeda is now operating.
Inside of Syria to what extent they don't know highly sophisticated bombing with -- lots of intelligence to support it.
More than one ton of explosives and a coordinated attack -- bomb one goes off with a smaller bomb to draw people win.
Primarily people -- rushing to the scene to help bomb to was a larger one that goes off to kill.
Even more people and certainly the Syrian government is wasting no time to blame what they call foreign terrorists for these attacks in.
That's the new -- isn't if you will and they catch all phrase that is.
-- -- By the Syrian government to describe the opposition or anybody else attacking inside Syria and that certainly giving them a pretax.
To continue their attacks against their own civilians however it appears as though in this case the idea of some kind of foreign involvement.
Probably has a lot of validity to it -- this this is a still frame about.
-- -- video that -- been posted in recent months by a group calling itself the all -- -- gate which is.
Thought to be -- al-Qaeda Cindy get and probably.
Based on the expertise and the training of al-Qaeda in Iraq and may have somehow.
-- now and begun to operate inside of Syria now bringing in.
A third element to what had been as good vs evil argument of the good -- opposition evil being president aside however Jonathan is now brings up.
A little bit of a political question in the sense that al-Qaeda is sophisticated enough that if they continue these car bomb attacks.
You could sit in Syria into a tailspin where not only has a lot of violence internally but then has the ability.
To export violence and export.
This militant expertise anywhere in the region or certainly.
Outside of the region remember Syria hasn't -- On the Mediterranean a lot of other assets they can be used.
By militants or by a group like al-Qaeda to export things so you may end up in his situation is this comes full circle or all of a sudden present his -- and his regime.
He's the only thing stopping Syria from becoming something like -- Yemen -- Failed state where al-Qaeda can really get a stronghold and that certainly would present a big political question for western leaders who for so long that now Hussein.
Aside has to go.
I would certainly would lead embedded in Jerusalem thank you very much indeed -- let me bring in now two experts on this situation with me in the studio here -- Cedric blatant.
USF force retire him president of Cedric played this as -- good to see -- -- good to see to joining us from DC Rebecca heinrichs who was visiting fellow with the heritage.
Rebecca TU first.
How what do you make all defense sector Leon Panetta's.
Assertion yesterday Agassi was more suggestion that an assertion.
That that may well be al-Qaeda elements.
Look in this -- taking advantage of the chaos that.
Well of course there it is.
Mean every time that there's a power vacuum in one of these regions of the world there's going to be somebody that steps in to fill that vacuum in this case we should expect.
The groups like al-Qaeda would jump in and do so but I will say that I think the big thing here that we need to realized.
And really kind of internalize as that.
Russia has used to these bombings that happened yesterday.
As an opportunity to point to their argument.
That the United States and our allies are supporting the wrong guys -- by supporting opposition.
I'm rather than you -- regime.
Which is of course completely -- I'm untrue and Russia is in fact putting up roadblocks to the United States are allies to do more.
To oppose the aside regime -- it -- -- does.
Seem as though it becomes a more and more tangled web that is being woven.
By whomever is doing the weaving in Syria and walk what is the situation -- -- you would agree I assume that there are probably al-Qaeda element.
A well most definitely I think Rebecca is spot on with -- was reporting was also he's exactly right because what al-Qaeda does is it is he's seeks its opportunities and its uses them.
And in this particular case any type of state that is a failed state we're approaching -- the status of a failed state.
Is fair game as far as al-Qaeda is concerned -- fact that's where they want to be.
They want to do that this -- even Somalia the place even Yemen.
As we saw them in Afghanistan and now Syria is the perfect place for them to go after Iraq after their failure in Iraq.
So Rebecca given that if that is a and established fact that al-Qaeda is that taking advantages.
What how all -- do we play these cubs right now.
Well I mean I think that the United States needs to be working hard to get Russia and China on board with the rest of the international community here.
To put pressure on aside -- Estonia -- James fault they are the ones to blame.
For creating it's completely destabilizing environments.
Where the first role government are supposed to providing protection.
For their people and what happened yesterday as our -- example of what happens when a regime like.
The Asad regime allows instability to fester in the violence to continue.
The Obama administration need to putting pressure on Russia rather than trying this reset policy that -- has proven over and over again that is failing.
I wanna get they're rushing question in a moment the couple about chats first -- -- -- writing is -- -- fifty -- as a reminds you when the Palestinians voted Hamas into about.
What do you do when democracy and I guess this is a certain sense of democracy in the in the uprising.
Produces a result we don't like which is al-Qaeda moving in what it's a -- it's a difficult point -- it.
It is a difficult point because who would it really boils down to is when you located from a nation state and a political perspective you have to say democracy may not always be the right answer in a case like Syria.
You almost have to have a managed transition where you pick somebody maybe from the free Syrian army or somebody like that.
To take over and it doesn't look good from the standpoint very democratic values are putting a democracy like we know it in place but what it does do the it puts those interest had faced such as -- qaeda's.
You any other the interest that are anathema to us that was in the ones that you want to really fight and that's why we have a transition period and people have to understand that some countries have to go through transition periods before they get into -- democratic mode.
Killing Rebecca could -- really pick a side here and promote that side.
Well I think I completely agree with the kernel I will say that there a lot of naysayers that say that.
The Obama administration United States is completely incapable of seeing who is -- good tire who who are good guys in this situation.
This is what the CIA is designed to do this is not the first time that there has been a complicated messy problem for the Central Intelligence Agency.
It clearly it is a -- is very messy and -- we need to be working to see who within the opposition forces are friends and allies of the United States in the event that the United States does decide.
And perhaps covertly arm the opposition which were not there yet I'm not suggesting that we should be back.
On this is what the Central Intelligence Agency is is meant to do and and I do think that are capable of doing tonight.
-- Rebecca brought up Russia that position area.
This still standing foursquare behind.
President Assad's regime one view is here all the jury were writing in the he this is that he in his view essentially a Cold -- problem it's like the Cold War revisited the deaths -- Russians exercising their power to stand up against the US would you agree with -- -- I would.
Have -- as somebody who saw the Berlin Wall firsthand -- station in Berlin and watched it fall like and that definitely agree with that what we have to do in this particular case is confront the Russians in the same Cold War mode.
That we did -- in Korea for example now I'm not saying that we should go to war like we did in Korea.
But what we should do is we should -- be very firm with them and use NATO.
And perhaps other alliances as a way to get around Russian and Chinese opposition in the UN.
I think the time has come where we have to have really basically put to Russia and China on the side of the Assad regime that as you know who -- win a al-Qaeda is -- and be and it and hopefully a better sort of -- in the free Syrian army or other players to be named later and that's that's what we're looking for I think.
Rebecca what what kind of what weapons in -- diplomatic economic political sense do you believe we have to deal with Russia and really put some pressure on them -- that's sort of more accepted international line -- the president -- -- needs to stop.
Well the first thing that the Obama administration needs to do.
Is stop pretending that the Russian Federation is a friend -- the United States when they're not and the Obama administration needs to stop appeasing Russia we just saw several days ago.
That Russian officials came out and said that they would attack American forces.
In Europe if we were to actually deploy missile defense systems in which were working with the Europeans on.
-- and then the Russians.
Members of congress is speaking in Cold War terms when.
There's talking about actually attacking American forces in Europe which is by definition is that this is -- as a Cold War.
Things has to say to say Intel -- -- so.
I'm I think to -- administration needs actually just such an intellectual honesty about where the Russians are.
And stop this rush reset and actually deal with the Russians had on them and diplomatic ways.
Would you agree that I don't absolutely I think Rebecca is right with that because what we need to do the only thing the Russians will understand who is a direct approach.
A direct approach that says we will put missile defenses in Europe.
The direct approach that says if you threaten us.
We will basically respond to -- don't do that and that's the kind of answer that they need I I don't want to see a conflict between the United States and Russia but it seems as if they are asking for one.
And that is -- a very difficult situation.
To find ourselves in but the only extricate yourself is by showing strength diplomatically and militarily Rebecca.
What did you think of -- it nicely yesterday what kind of game is being played one for a president who's not a -- he would not now be coming to the NATO summit.
Make -- and dead missing the G-8 summit to what's going on there.
-- Clinton is a wonderful excellent politician Tom this is what he's good at doing he basically just said the unity Obama administration -- more overtures.
To food inviting him.
Inviting him to the White House even to have this meeting where where -- and that now that he wouldn't do so -- So I think that -- is just he's flexing some muscle he's kind of showing off and -- he does need to do with the United States wants to do when NATO wants him to do.
And that's exactly what it is and if the Obama administration continues to respond with weakness this administration has been absolutely terrible.
At picking who are friends are into our allies are every opportunity there's been a chance for the united -- to support our -- -- to support the forces of freedom we have failed.
And where there's an opportunity to actually embolden.
And appease our enemies it seems like this administration is willing to try that card.
President who -- no of course not Justin -- stating politician.
But also quite the -- laughed as he showed.
After he won the election again present on the -- -- Very all.
He did he is certainly quite via.
Well I think god beyond the idea that we donors to President Obama writing or horseback without his shirt on -- like who do not.
You really need to be sure that we respond to referred to him through his overtures -- great about coming -- or toward meeting at the White House or at Camp David.
It's you know that's that's fine but so here are the things that we need from you.
We need you to behave responsibly in Syria we need you to work cyber attacks from that emanate from Russian soil we need you to Lou real -- -- disavow statements by your senior military people that today indicate that they would attack.
US forces ordered allied forces in Europe.
So those are the kinds of things that we need to stand up two and I think Rebecca is right to say that.
These are these the areas where you know if you show weakness you are going to end up with a -- problem though much bigger problem than we originally had and that's the real danger.
Tonight it's a fascinating debate -- Cedric lately US air force retired president specifically associates thank you very much good to have you here.
I'm Rebecca Hinrich had a -- excuse me visiting fellow at The Heritage Foundation good to -- Rebecca have a wonderful weekend.
You too Jonathan thank you all right we're gonna take quick break.