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Let's have I -- conversation about this same subject now -- Michael shank who is director of farm policy.
-- be friends committee on national legislation joining us from our DC bureau.
Michael good to see you thanks for being -- could see you thanks for having me okay this this idea that the Europeans now all willing in principle.
To deliver up arms to the Syrian rebels -- -- -- was saying it is only a principal at this stage today is no direct plans as far as we know.
To send -- you know boxes of weapons to the rebels tomorrow all this week or next week.
But how important is it as a statement of intent.
-- statement of intent it's pretty dangerous because it comes on the heels of US secretary of state John -- meeting with Russian foreign minister Sergei a love for off yesterday in Paris.
Which outlined -- peace talks in Geneva next week.
Next month rather to call for both a cease fire.
And -- transitional government I mean at the beginning of this clip you made the case pretty well for a cease fire.
Given all the armed actors involved too much interest it all -- indicates doctor Omar -- -- case.
For better accountability of weapons who has not only Russian weapons close to Syrian government -- but also with the lifting of this arms embargo and the senate foreign relations committees.
Decision last week to arm the rebels.
We're looking at weapons -- that can go pretty much anywhere in the region take a lesson from Libya we arms the myriad opposition groups there those arms trickle down into and he shared Nigeria Mali.
I Djibouti Somalia -- so too with Syria.
No rebel group is unified -- the Syrian opposition council doesn't have the secular front that the US wants.
And so they're diverse in their fractured and so we armed them.
We're looking at similar weapons those he can't guarantee -- Syrian government -- can use Russian weapons in the way we want them to.
-- the -- Russian once in two bit.
So too with the rebel groups you're looking arms those that might trickle down into hands.
Extreme -- not extreme.
So your idea you are saying that we -- best leaving it alone leaving the Syrians and the rebels.
To salt they sat themselves.
I am a civil war that could drag on fall another twelve months another two years and we -- -- there.
That numbers of dead currently around 80000 to easily double no.
I don't think we should leave them without question we need to be engaged which is -- engaging Russia which is good.
But we're not engaging Iran were not engage in Lebanon -- not an engaging Hezbollah which clearly has a stake in Syria for not engaging -- much as we should.
No here's the next step we need to make sure that Brahimi the special rep from the UN to Syria is replaced is -- stepping down need to make sure that track diplomacy is continued.
But Obama and similarly congress -- the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is arming the rebels know they need to be supporting John Kerry.
And Sergei -- rough at this point with the talks in Geneva either next week or next month to date -- yet to be decided when they're gonna hammer out a cease fire.
And and that's what we need to focus on the news talk about the transitional government they're figuring out the specifics but to armed rebels at this point or arm of the government arms and either side.
His deal that serious this diplomatic track and undermines this this critical moment we have with diplomacy so but -- diplomacy.
The moment he knew all annual view Michael is the way forward we have today said the Geneva conference is important.
And diplomacy may well mean that.
Some sort of role for us sad -- hanging on a lot of the rebels say that that's that's just a non stop that.
Spread its deal breaker in this is where Kerry and left rough or are hammering out the details because certainly the US government.
Once a -- -- -- guarantee of Assad to step down where -- profits saying well maybe he should have a role or we should leave it up to the people.
And aside once the election to happen in point fourteen -- -- kicking the can down the road for potential democratic elections.
Clearly it should be left up to the people that's where democracy matters that's where the vote matters.
But real pressure on the diplomatic front simultaneous we have serious humanitarian aid -- looking at seven million.
In desperate means of nine series in desperate need of humanitarian aid but.
You know I was in -- in 2005 meeting with the ambassador it's time investor Margaret Scobey in this is before ambassador Ford.
But investor -- movie didn't speak Arabic she wasn't meeting with the Syrian officials.
At the level that she should have -- we have this history diplomatic engagement to have a real opportunity now let's at least sees it.
Before we start arming both the rebels or the government.
If you if -- is headed in that directions at least give diplomacy.
A quick moment here.
We've got Senator McCain of Arizona Senator John McCain has been one of the more hawkish voices on.
How much assistance we gave to the rebels Michael -- how helpful or on the helpful was his quick visit in this area -- over the weekend.
Right so he like a few other members of congress have visited the border and gone in just briefly he's talking about setting up patriot buffers.
That would -- the government and protect.
Are refugees my concern there would only be that it's gonna escalate the conflict further -- -- draw more Syrian government airstrikes.
On safe havens for refugees along the border with Turkey Turkey doing its best -- doing its best with refugees to -- a series refugee crisis not unlike what we had with.
-- -- -- and -- Afghanistan as well.
But I I think the lesson here what we learn from Libya because Libya post Qaddafi is still fractured state rebel groups across the board -- agreeing with each other so we begin to even tap -- -- this.
Dissent within Syria by arming.
The similarly fractious rebel groups and a non united opposition.
We face a serious escalation of a -- violent conflicts that the policies is only way forward as a mention on foxnews.com and -- better wrote this morning.
At least for the time being let's pursue that seriously.
-- -- got very interesting viewpoint Michael shank -- as you said your pieces up of -- dot com now on our opinion pages.
There it is on the screen the only way -- -- on Syria --
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