Debate over potential intervention in Syria
Will the US get involved in conflict?
- Duration 4:58
- Date Jan 2, 2013
Will the US get involved in conflict?
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-- -- We're gonna turn out -- Syria where the UN is now estimating at least 60000.
People have been killed.
And the nearly two year long conflict dozens killed today alone.
After a Syrian warplane fires in -- sliding gas station near Damascus and you're seeing the after effect and screen.
They airstrikes sparking a huge fire and what may be one of the deadliest -- attacks that we've seen the last few weeks.
This all comes as rebel forces step up attacks on Syrian airports.
And with the new year.
Old questions continue to swirl is this year.
That the international community gets involved Aaron David Miller an advisor to six secretaries of state offers this -- says.
In an editorial published today in the Washington Post saying quote we should not be the world's top cop.
-- case worker charged with fixing every calamity we don't control history.
And it's time we attend to our own broken house instead of running around the world trying to repair everyone -- Ambassador John Bolton is a -- US ambassadors the UN.
And -- Fox News contributor an ambassador.
Aaron David Miller's article is titled serious chaos is an American -- he lays out that paradigm for not getting involved do you agree -- disagree.
Well I I agree in part I disagree in part the test for American foreign policy should be our our national interest affected.
And what are we prepared to do about it and in the case of Syria I think there is one.
Critical national interest and that's what to do about.
The stockpile of chemical weapons in and precursor chemicals.
And possibly other programs of weapons of mass destruction biological weapons nuclear and so on that the aside regime has we do have a profound interest in making sure.
That the chemical weapons in particular.
Don't get and even worse hands -- -- -- Allen and I'm afraid we've allowed nearly a year and a half to go by.
Without treating that issue seriously I don't think there's an American.
National interest at this point in getting involved in the conflict other than to make sure that those weapons don't get outside of Syria.
Is a -- question asked but is chaos in Syria based on what you just said.
In our best interests if we can.
Figure out where the chemical weapons are -- secure them.
Well I think we would have to take steps like destroying them in place which is very very dangerous but we've allowed this illusion for years.
An illusion I might say shared by the incoming secretary of state John Kerry -- be aside regime was pretty reasonable group of people that you could deal with them.
Negotiate with them and we did not treat seriously the chemical weapons threats so that at least might be a lesson learned going forward.
But part of our problem is while the Asad regime has nothing good to recommended.
After a year and a half for two years we have yet to identify the leaders of the Syrian opposition.
Who share our values who can be counted on not to conduct a bloodbath of the supporters of -- side if he falls.
And and that's just inexcusable that we've allowed that amount of time to go by without finding out who we can trust.
If anybody in the opposition do you think -- exist.
Well I'm prepared to admit that there are some that exist but I I'd like the proponents say in the United States who want us to get involved in Syria on behalf of the opposition to arm them or otherwise support them.
Just to identify who these people are and can they be -- -- add one further condition.
They have to commit.
To handing over the chemical weapons if they take charge that to me is an absolute prerequisite.
A final question -- ambassador we've shown the video we see this amateur video now for two years and vaccines questions now for as you mentioned nearly two years what will make this year.
Than the past.
I'm not sure that anything will make it different you know another mistake was made for two years is counting on the Russians to help us -- aside out of power.
That was wrong for two years it's -- to be wrong going forward if that's the view we have we've got Iran.
-- very high stakes of keeping the Asad regime in power.
The Obama team has been unwilling to take Iran on because they want to negotiate with Iran about their nuclear weapons program.
I can't imagine a situation.
That that is as bad as it is where where -- where we can say we have helped contribute to it.
By our utterly unrealistic view of -- side in the region as a whole.
Israel which -- -- a chemical weapons -- that force our hand is there something out there that will force our hand even if there is a philosophy that.
And that you're mentioning part of this administration -- means that we're not going to get involved otherwise.
Look I don't want to -- chemical weapons used inside Syria but I'm not sure there's a lot we can do about it in the short term I think the overriding American objective is make sure they don't get outside of Syria into the hands of al-Qaeda or other terrorist.
All right we saw what happened in Libya still -- question about the weapons.
Inside that country where they went ambassador great to see you thank you so much thank you thank you.