US reportedly mounting 'quiet' effort to push out Assad
Debate over strategy in Syria
- Duration 4:36
- Date Jul 24, 2012
Debate over strategy in Syria
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We're gonna move overseas -- this story and Syria the Wall Street Journal is reporting the US is playing a larger role than previous thought.
And helping Syrian rebels oust the president -- president aside.
The CIA the US military -- both state and treasury departments all reportedly ramping up what are described as quiet efforts behind the scenes.
Why the scenes -- let's talk more about -- -- -- is -- that's reform policy magazine.
And Bret -- a foreign affairs columnist for the Wall Street Journal who has an editorial -- today.
I'm Syria Josh want to start with you in your your blog the cable we have a very interesting report about this quiet meeting.
-- meetings had -- been happening for six months.
Funded in part by the State Department tell us about those.
Right so the Obama administration hasn't wanted to be outwardly supporting the overthrow of the regime although they called for.
The Syrian president to go but behind the scenes they've been meeting with opposition leaders.
In Germany very quietly to try to plan for what to do the day after -- Assad regime falls they want to make it so that when this crazy motorcycle chase ends.
It ends -- a whimper and not in a big violent clash and got the lead the way that they're gonna do that is they're gonna give these guys the tools to set up a new government.
And to try to transition to a new democracy.
If and when the Asad regime finally -- Nice they bring in our previous story Josh thank you very much for that interesting metaphor -- the reason right I thought it would be interesting to talk to you -- a day like this is because.
Your article today in the Wall Street Journal talks about how overt we -- In our support for -- sod over the last several years.
But now when it -- said potentially working for a way to get -- -- were not.
Quiet right now I mean the governing idea of this administration coming in -- office was that.
Bashar Assad was this sort of misunderstood guy a reformer who could be turned to.
Work with the west against Iran that that idea was insane from the very beginning but -- become demonstrably so over the last.
A year and a half what's amazing to me is to listen to or talk this talk about planning for the day after -- falls when we're -- still so far from the day.
When a subtle -- if you -- fall -- -- -- if the administration wants to make any serious plans is to make sure that this guy comes down.
Without another 510151000.
Syrian lives being lost that's the planning they really ought to be doing.
Josh I'm curious in your reporting on anatomy have you asked that question about why when you talk to the US Institute of Peace that's involved in these meetings.
Why not be more aggressive what's -- answer for that.
Well basically your other guests -- -- -- for years the administration thought there was some idea that -- -- can be brought around to be convinced to outside with us against.
Iran that seems not to be the case.
But the problem here is if we tried too hard to push aside over.
The intervention will be seen by its asides.
Allies as an excuse to discredit the opposition in other words -- a big American footprint here doesn't really help the opposition.
-- really want us to be there for so we're we're doing is doing things behind the scenes.
Other agencies looking for chemical weapons helping get the arms to the right people it's not enough but it is something and it's what we can do without putting a big American stand.
On the supposition which really is it helpful to them.
Is it not helpful to them Brett.
No I mean I think they would welcome to help justice the people of him of being Ghazi welcome to help.
From when when NATO finally intervened.
In Libya are just as people of Kosovo.
Welcome to help both Muslim populations.
I mean the idea is that somehow you put an American stamp on this.
And you're gonna create resentment or support for aside it's absolutely preposterous what -- what what the Syrian people need his help.
From -- helicopter gunships today there are reports that a side has unleashed.
Jet fighters on his own cities and a left -- And and elsewhere America could do a lot for itself as well as for the Syrian opponents by at least declaring a no fly zone over Syria had very little cost to to to the United States that would -- Fred Elliott thirty seconds but what's the risk of not doing that knew how do you handicap that.
What what's the chances that we don't do that look eventually unfortunately where we're going is Assad is gonna continue to perpetrate.
Massacres on his own people and my fear.
Is that it will take another -- the needs of the horrible massacre in the Indian in the in the Balkans in the mid 1990s.
To get the United States -- Otherwise I think the administration is is crossing its fingers an hopes and in the hopes that it will get lucky -- that aside will go on his own for sixteen months and a big question about what's next thank you both look -- to have you both back to the big story brass.
And we'll be right back with more happening now.