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Let me welcome -- one -- Richard Pete Mitchell collegiate professor of history of the University of Michigan most recent -- engaging the Muslim world.
And there recently wrote napoleon's Egypt invading the Middle East actually that's back in 2007.
Professor thanks for coming -- appreciate it very much.
They pay so much for everything else.
Tell me what you're -- your take is a -- -- read a bit of what you've said.
That Obama has painted himself into a box.
What's the best thing to happen at this point.
Well you know.
It isn't a very complicated and difficult situation.
I personally think that it's very unwise for the president to pursue this action against Syria.
-- -- international backing.
He doesn't have the UN behind him.
Even the British -- our traditional allies.
That the parliament has -- no.
The Arab League.
You know once but -- -- punished for using chemical weapons but it.
It's said that the United Nations should take care of it so.
You know the US is really isolated -- -- -- I I think is very dangerous to go around bombing countries just unilaterally.
What do we know about the opposition.
Well the opposition is extremely fragmented that I mean there are like fifty groups and among the more efficient of the fighters in the people who have taken most territory and and taken military bases go away from the regime.
The Java to industrial powers or -- soft core front so.
Radicals -- -- Islam organization which has declared.
Its allegiance to al-Qaeda.
Did you hear the John Kerry said well they're getting more moderate.
-- and they know who called him a liar.
I I don't need to call people liars because I don't know what's in their minds and what -- what evidence they have for what they say and so forth.
But -- but that the statement is incorrect to.
If whether -- -- -- they're getting -- I don't know why Carey said that I guess to make it look like if we weekend.
Aside we would look better helping the opposition but we don't look anything we -- we can -- by default only helps the opposition does or -- Well there's that there's more than one opposition what we're truly going and -- -- -- the United States Jordan Saudi Arabia.
Have established -- southern front.
Maybe this is what Kerry is referring to.
Of fighters who were against al-Qaeda is kind of like that -- -- be -- the business.
And those guys are being trained in Jordan and they're coming up from the southern city of get up -- -- Hey hey hey you know what of their units may have gotten into the suburbs of Damascus sent panicked -- the Baath army -- that might be why they use those chemical weapons it was a against this new southern force so.
You know to the extent that they are being trained by our allies and then then there are.
-- US state and al-Qaeda.
And that's I think what was going on here is that the US is saying to -- last side he can't use chemical weapons on our southern front guys.
And also as you just waited a little bit ago a few cruise missiles are not gonna push aside.
Every regime change is only gonna create more more war in a vacuum of power.
So what is there to -- That -- -- hope that -- you know the Obama administration is hoping to tweak this thing you're hoping to.
-- -- enough force to the regime.
That doesn't collapse but that it's -- that stops using the chemical weapons.
To give just enough support to the southern front -- -- until kind.
That the good -- takeover eventually.
It's a balancing act and and it's -- who unlikely to succeed.
When I don't understand is here I thought Obama was an anti war president.
John Kerry rose to fame at the age of 27 testifying.
Before the house.
-- for the senate basically saying heady as command to be the last man to die for a mistake.
And not to get it was that a recently said that he has commanded the first got to dive for mr.
McNamee how are these people notice anti war candidates doing -- Well you know I I think that it always does serve -- making.
Do you have I don't think about -- was different Q war and in what I would have bruises -- out of -- -- -- -- in the democratic primaries.
-- criticizing bush for not using drilled -- fun.
The company also so we shut that down and talk to Iran and negate any indicated that diplomacy.
And it would visit there's a picture -- -- Allen line about Kerry having dinner with the asides a couple of years ago.
Hello Obama try.
Hard -- both the -- -- with the LS sides.
You remember we had no latency.
Damascus under bush Obama reopen the embassy that he -- ambassador Ford.
And they tried as hard as they -- to normalize relations.
But I you know the windows revolt broke out when -- -- the the Arab street occurred.
Also had a choice you know he -- transition and as happened in Eastern Europe that made the Baath Party you know into.
The social Democratic Party.
Try to run in elections.
And he did -- he decided to to use tanks and airplanes against these peaceful.
Protesters then he militarized the whole conflict.
And so did you know.
That is that we tried to do something with him is not relevant to -- the current situation because he's he's made he's made decisions since that.
We're gonna want Cole about what's going on in a Syrian is there an analogy to a rock here.
Because you didn't put -- -- and his administration unlike the Bush Administration you know isn't.
Isn't planning an invasion or boots on the ground.
I mean I think the real analogy is maybe 21998.
-- President Clinton certain cruise missiles are not Khartoum in the Sudan.
And I think a lot of people really remembers that anymore and that it doesn't seem to have had a lot of downstream consequence of -- And I I think and more of the things that could happen it is said that this entire.
Matter if it goes forward might not matter much.
So you think this a much ado about nothing -- It's -- very possibly immediately if what happens is that Obama throws a -- cruise missiles on some facilities in Damascus.
And then stops.
And the regime.
Does actually stop using its communities.
Does move the civil war and Syria goes on.
That this whole thing will be a blip I mean.
Not say that's a best case scenario but but it's one of the things that could happen.
Physical thanks so much thought and appreciated very much.
You're right that one -- that he is University of Michigan professor and this recent book is engaged in the Muslim world.
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