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tv   Around the World  CNN  August 28, 2013 9:00am-10:01am PDT

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to watch "sanjay gupta m.d.." that's all the time i have for you today. stay tuned. "around the world" starts right now. welcome to this special hour on the crisis in syria. we'd like to welcome our viewers here in the united states as well as those watching from around the world. we are zeroing in on alls a pentagons of the crisis in syria. it's a u.s. military strike appears imminent. it was one week ago today that the world watched in horror the aftermath of an apparent chemical weapons attack in entire neighborhoods near damascus. >> it is likely not an if, but a when that the u.s. will launch an attack. so we are devoting the entire hour to this crisis. it's something cnn does better than any other network in the
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world. we are the only network broadcasting live from inside syria. our fred pleighton is on the ground. also a closer look at the military options and possible targets in syria. >> also the dissension in congress on whether to strike syria or not. some members made it clear they want more answers from the president. we're going to take a look at how the stock market is also reacting. will you feel the impact of a potential strike? first want to get you up to speed with the latest developments. a u.n. weapons team back out today collecting evidence at one of the sites where civilians are believed to have been gassed to death. but u.s. officials are not placing much stock in the u.n. mission. >> a state department official says too much time has now passed for the investigation to be credible. right now, western powers are building a military coalition. president obama has the support
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of britain and france. they have signaled they would join in a military intervention against syrian government forces. syria remains defiant. its prime minister says western nations are fabricating scenarios and coming up with false alibis to justify military intervention. >> we want to bring you inside of syria now. cnn is the only network broadcasting live from damascus, giving you a view of the crisis like nobody else can. >> fred joins us from the syrian capital. we are seeing obviously the u.s., the british, and the french. the syrian foreign minister is saying they have the materials to defend themselves and surprise others. so how is it now being viewed from where you are? >> reporter: well, it's interesting, richard, because i was just out and about town in damascus. on the face of it, a lot of people will tell you they're not afraid for their safety.
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they will tell you it was not their regime that used chemical weapons. they are stockpiling things like canned foods and dried foods thinking some sort of war might have come. i wouldn't say it's fear. i would say it's nervousness. uncertainty where people are not exactly sure what escalation this war could bring. some people believe it is going to happen, but they don't really know whether or not it's going to tip the scales on the battlefield and what it will mean for them in the future. while you're not seeing a mass exodus here from damascus -- in fact, things are moving quite normally here in the syrian capital -- there is a big sense of nervousness. >> tell us the people you talk to in syria. do they welcome the possibility of an imminent strike? >> well, i'm in the government controllable part of damascus, so people that we speak to are generally very sympathetic to the assad regime. most people here believe that it
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is the u.s. basing a case on false evidence, that the regime is saying as well. if the u.s. shows evidence, they might have a case, but so far he says there isn't a shred of evidence to support what the u.s. is saying publicly, so therefore -- you also heard the prime minister saying he believes this is also a false pretext. you do have people here on the ground who simply cannot believe that their government would have used these kinds of weapons against civilians. >> fred pleitgen who is in damascus today. another western assault on the arab world could come with serious consequences. so now to the reaction from key capitals. >> our matthew chancy is in london, where they are condemning the weapons attack by the assad regime. russian leaders are leading the
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international attack against a strike. they would feel the impact of any stepped up fight. want to hear first from matthew in the british capital. >> reporter: i'm matthew chance in london. the use of chemical weapons in syria is unacceptable. the world should not stand by. that is the decision reached by britain's national security council of top security chiefs here in downing street earlier today. britain's prime minister says he has now submitted a draft resolution to the u.n. security council calling for necessary measures to protect civilians. as the west's military forces prepare for a possible strike. >> reporter: i'm phil black in moscow. russia is still using lots of powerful language, argue against any sort of military strike on sample it believes there is no evidence worthy of blaming the syrian government for using chemical weapons. it suspects syrian rebels were responsible. and it's accused the united states and its allies of making
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up excuses to justify some sort of military intervention in the country. so it is very unlikely syria will support any u.n. resolution that includes the threat of force. >> reporter: i'm in beirut, where there's a tremendous amount of concern about what the escalation of a syrian conflict might mean. lebanon has experienced a spillover of violence. there have been bomb blasts in the past few weeks that have killed dozens, injured hundreds. adding to the volatility, injured refugees. at least one in every six people here in lebanon is now a syrian refugee. >> so what can the u.s. and world allies do to stop the raging civil war, especially now that appears a red line has been crossed with the likely use of chemical weapons? >> christiane amanpour joins us now from france. before we talk about the options and what's likely to happen, let us remind ourselves what
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president obama said last year, and this very important term being used, the "red line." >> we have been very clear to the assad regime, but also to other players on the ground that a red line for us is we seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons being moved around or utilized. that would change my calculation. >> how does the u.s. accomplish its goals to disable assad from unleashing another chemical attack and bring him to the negotiating table for a political settlement with the syrian rebels without being drawn into this larger regional conflict? >> i think that's an incredibly difficult line to tread really. what is happening right now is that president obama and his allies, france here, president
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holland, and david cameron in england, are really bringing kicking and screaming on having to make good on that statement about not being able to cross the red line if impunity. if you remember, it was just this spring when there was another chemical attack by the assad forces. it was deemed by the international community. though that one, we were told, wasn't big enough to merit a response. this one now is big enough. and the french president has said today and this week that he stands willing and ready, france does, to punish those who have taken "this vile decision to use chemical weapons against innocent civilians." you heard just what our reporters reported from david cameron. here's what's going to happen. david cameron is going to present this draft resolution to the united nations today. but, if it's true that the language they're using calls for all necessary measures against the assad regime, it is likely to fail. because that is the strongest language that you can use and implies most implicitly the use of force. so that is a situation that
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we're waiting to see what happens. beyond that, the u.s. is trying to get a consensus with its nato allies and with the arab league so that it can bypass any kind of u.n. in order to go and take what some are calling punitive strikes. by that i mean strikes that are limited to just sort of a major slap on the wrist to tell assad you cannot keep using these chemical weapons, but not strikes that are aimed at crippling him or toppling him. >> thank you, christiane, appreciate it. here's what we're working on. almost 40 members of congress, including democrats and republicans alike, they are now demanding president obama talk to them before ordering military action in syria. going to talk to one of them up next. and inside the mind of syria's president assad. a man who spent time with him says he can be equally
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persuasive, delusional, charming, and cold-blooded. >> he's quite erratic. he goes from one side to the other. bouts of rationality and irrationality. the great outdoors...
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the white house is deciding right now how to respond to syria's suspected chemical attack. members of congress are not holding back either, and voicing their opinions on what the united states should do.
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senator john mccain last night on "the situation room" explained it this way. >> if it's just some strikes with cruise missiles, then it will not only not do any good, it may be counterproductive and help assad with his propaganda. so i greatly am concerned about what kind of strikes these will be and what they will entail. >> other lawmakers are demanding the president get their approval before launching any military action. 31 republicans and six democrats in that house have sent a letter to the president, "engaging our military in syria when no direct threat to the united states exists and without congressional approval would violate the separation of powers that is clearly delineated in the constitution." >> congressman, thank you so much for joining us. let's talk about this a little bit. the war powers resolution, it does allow the president to launch a military strike with a
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congressional declaration of war, or a congressional authorization for use of force, or if the united states is attacked. so in this situation, not unlike the libya operation in 2011, the administration got around that, saying the u.s. wasn't engaged in official hostilities. do you feel like it's appropriate that the president has to reach out the you this go-around or take the libya model? >> it's clear to me in an increasing number of my colleagues, as expressed in the letter that has doubled in support from yesterday to today, went from 40 co-signers to 80 as of right now and i'm certainly confident we'll have more than 100 by the end of the day, that we are calling on the president to say, mr. president, if you believe -- you need and really indeed must, to be in adherence with the constitution, he must call us into joint session, lay
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the facts before us and seek and receive specific statutory authority to engage u.s. forces. we have not been attacked, nor is an attack imminent on the united states. so absent those two conditions, he must, according to our constitution, come to this body and engage us, and in fact, get specific statutory authority. >> congressman, is your contention here that there is a process, a protocol that has to be followed? are you looking for additional information or evidence of what's taken place on the ground? we did hear from jay carney who said yesterday, the official intelligence report is on its way. it will be provided in redacted form to members of congress which do show that president assad was responsible for a chemical attack. >> this is not an acceptable substitute. i appreciate the fact that the president is engaging members of congress. this is good and i encourage more of it, both on the senate
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side and the house. but it is not in any respect a substitute for formally calling us into session, a joint session, laying the facts before us without disclosing a course, sources of methods and intelligence, then we as the representatives of the american people can weigh in on this, as we should. look, the president is looking for validation from around the world for his actions here. i applaud that as well. but the real moral foundation upon which to engage u.s. forces is found in the american people. and it's called for in our constituti constitution. >> bear with us, congressman. we've got the ranking member of the house armed services committee, congressman adam smith, also on the line, who's just returned from visiting the syria-jordan border. congressman smith, do you believe firstly that the president needs to get some form of congressional approval before
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he might take any action? and how would you vote anyway? >> well first of all, the historical precedence is no, that the president doesn't require congressional action for a variety of different things. certainly it happened in libya. but it's happened in a number of other places as well. grenada, panama. number of times, presidents for decades have acted without congress giving approval. the constitution is a little bit murky on the issue. the historical precedent is they don't. personally i think it would be better if they did, if they got congressional approval. and in this particular case, i am still highly skeptical of how effective it's going to be to do a one-time strike on syria. we have to be -- it's not going to be that effective. number two, what if syria strikes back? what if syria shoots at one of
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our shoots or one of our planes or tries to attack us in another way? are we prepared to get into that kind of acceleration of a conflict that i think the president has been very clear, very right that would not really position and shouldn't engage our military? and certainly, what assad is doing is terrible. but we're not in a military position to go in there and fix that. and i'm awful worried about us committing ourselves to something that might start us down a path to something we shouldn't start down. >> congressman, you were visiting the syria-jordan border there. who did you talk to? what did you see? what is taking place on the ground? were you on the syrian side? were you on the jordanian side? >> we were on the jordanian side, but only about ten or 15 feet from the syrian side. we were there with the military and government and getting their brief on their border security efforts. right across the border, you've got all of the syrian border check points.
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as you go along that border, there's 50 or 60 of them. on a daily basis, they're being contested between the rebels and syria, various different level groups in the regime. from one day to the next, the regime controlled a certain number of those border check points and the next day it changes. there's an ongoing fight over those border check points, right across the border from jordan. >> congressman riggell, just want to ask you, if i may, if there was a vote, assuming for the purposes of this question, you are being invited now to have a vote, would you vote for some form of military action, or giving the president the authority for some form of military action? >> based on the information that i have now, and the inadequate case as i see it that the president has laid out, the ambiguity that is present, i would vote no. but the process by which we need to navigate through this, which
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is for him to call us into join session, would give us the opportunity to allow for a more rigorous examination of the data and the case to be made. so i am open to the act but at this point, the answer would be no. >> all right, congressman rigell as well as adam smith. thank you so much. appreciate your time. interesting, richard, because there is a window here that the president is planning on going to russia, st. petersburg. that's on tuesday for g-20 summit. and you've got the british parliament voting on this tomorrow. so you've got a five-day window. would that be enough time for members of congress to come back, approve this, have the president lay out his case and carry out those strikes? >> and you've got the united nations requesting that whatever is done and however it's done, at least wait until the inspectors leave or finish their job, and that doesn't happen until sunday. >> members of congress scheduled to return from the summer recess september 9th. could be called back any time now. we'll bring in our wolf blitzer
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who is covering the syrian crisis from washington. hi, wolf. >> this is a very, very sensitive, tricky issue from the president, whether to seek congressional authorization. back in 2007 when he was a united states senator, he said this. he said in a boston globe interview, "the president does not have the power under the constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation." gloria borger and john king are here with me. the senator was very specific on this. the question is, yes, the syrian regime represents a major threat to its own people, but does it represent what the president calls an imminent or axl threat to the united states? >> well, welcome to the presidency. this is a president that's probably stunned that he's saying what he's saying now. you have a different perspective when you're in the oval office.
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there's no doubt about it. here's a president who's defending drones, defending nsa surveillance, talking about a surgical military strike, who's just winding down two wars and who clearly, if he had his druthers, would not want to do this. but having drawn a red line, as he's done once, and now again, and there's a use of chemical weapons, they believe it's clear inkcontrovertible evidence, whih they will probably declassify some of it to present to the american public. but having drawn that line, the credibility of the united states, and this president seems to be on the line. >> the president will be asked by skeptical members of congress and the american public where is the threat to the united states? where is the imminent or actual threat to the united states from what bashar al assad's regime in damascus is doing? >> he can make the case there's a humanitarian crisis that trumps that. he can make a case that israel is right there on the syrian border and that's the key u.s. ally in the region. he can make the case that if
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syria continues to disintegrate, what is the domino effect? the question is what case will he make. we haven't heard from the president yet yet. we've heard from secretary kerry and the vice president. you just heard from two members of congress, one a conservative republican, one a liberal democrat. if there were a republican in the white house, there would be a lot more signatures on that letter. democrats are muting their criticism of the president out of partisan loyalty right now. but you're beginning to see more anti-war members starting to question shouldn't he come to congress first. this is not an imminent threat against the united states. and then questioning can you do this? >> and remember, barack obama as a senator voted against -- or spoke out against going to war against iran. >> right. i think a lot is going to depend on how this administration defines the mission. we've already heard them say it's going to be narrow. but i do think that the american
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public, as well as these members of congress, want to hear how the mission is defined and what the goal of the mission is. we know they want to polish assad. we know they want to degrade him and deter him. but how do you do that? and the question that adam smith just raised on this show is how effective can we be if we're just launching cruise missiles? is it worth it? will we be able to achieve any kind of mission that's actually worth it? >> and john mccain told me yesterday that it could make matters even worse by underscoring a u.s. impotence, if you will, if it's just a token cruise missile strike as opposed to what he wants, which is something a whole lot more robust. >> if assad survives an american military action, given anti-american sentiments in the region, it could make him a hero. help with propaganda not only in syria, but in the arab world and into iran. what the administration is trying to plan is blunt force trauma in syria that doesn't impact the rest of the region.
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that is going to take quite a military operation. >> you'll both be back in "the situation room" at 5:00 p.m. eastern. >> thank you for that, wolf blitzer in washington. syria has some powerful allies in the region and that includes russia and iran. the country has isolated many of its neighbors. after the short break, we'll take a closer look at the syrian regime's friends and enemies. this is for you. ♪ [ male announcer ] bob's heart attack didn't come with a warning. today his doctor has him on a bayer aspirin regimen to help reduce the risk of another one. if you've had a heart attack, be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen.
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welcome back to this special hour on the crisis in syria. we'd like to welcome our viewers here in the united states as well as those watching from around the world. we just learned that the meeting between the permanent members of the united nations on a syria resolution has just ended. there were no comments yet from the united states or uk. we are still waiting for any potential announcements. meanwhile, the u.n. inspectors are back out again today collecting evidence for last week's alleged chemical weapons attack. now, these pictures, they were posted online just a short time ago showing inspectors talking
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to survivors at a medical facility near damascus. u.s. officials are not placing much stock in the u.n. mission. >> a state department official says too much time has passed for the investigation to be credible. right now, western powers are building a military coalition. president obama has the support of britain and france, who signal they would join in a military intervention against syrian government forces. syria remains defiant. its prime minister says western nations are fabricating scenarios and coming up with false alibis to justify military intervention. >> so who are the syrian regime's friends and who are its enemies? first, the enemies. syria has been suspended from both the arab league and the organization for islamic cooperation. when bashar al assad came into power unopposed back in 2000, there was hope that he would usher in a more open damascus. but he isolated many of his neighbors in the region, including tunisia, egypt, and
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libya. he does have powerful friends, however, in iran, russia, and china, countries that provide syria with military and financial aid. want to bring in tom foreman in washington. if you look at the map there, you see there's friends, there's enemies, there's plenty on both sides. so what would this accomplish if there was a limited missile strike? would it actually change this game, this regional game, if at all? >> it depends on how those friends react. if you think about syria, it's not actually that big of a player on the world stage. about 22 million people there, about two los angeless. that's another way of looking at it. but its friends are very powerful. let's take a look at those. if you bring in some of the biggest players here, iran, russia, and china, why do they care about syria? why would it matter to them? they do have long trading relationships with them. russia and china in particular have had a lot of dealings with arms with them, in addition to certain natural resources like natural gas, that sort of thing. and this may be the more
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important part over here. this is seen by many factions out there, particularly the irans, syria is seen as a front line in their stand against the west, against israel, against the united states and the western powers. they s"csn game daysee syria in. and the question is how would they react? how deeply would that go? beyond that, let's look at the other part of the equation. here's the u.s. and many of its allies, whether they join in or not, would generally stand with them as members of nato. joined by saudi arabia, egypt, maybe depending on what's happening in there. why do we care so much in this? well, because there's always the issue of world energy supplies coming from the region and what impact this might have on them. there is also the protection of israel. a longtime ally there in where it fits into the equation if syria continues tipping out of control.
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as we pointed out earlier in the show, all the refugees pouring into the neighboring states, what that can do. and of course, there's the credibility of president obama in all of this. >> tom foreman, thank you so much for really giving us a sense of the big picture. of course the big concern is for the safety of the people of syria. more than 100,000 people have been already killed in the bloody civil war. and a military escalation will directly impact those still living there, of course. >> and parts of the country are war zones. every neighborhood really potentially a front line. want to bring in our colleague holly, you've been talking to people on the ground, you covered syria for at least a decade. are they nervous? are they scared? what are people telling you right now? >> that's an understatement. tom mentioned the population of syria. we're talking 22 million people. a death toll of 100,000. look at a country like the united states with 300 million. if you were to make a comparison, that's like having a million dead people. ten million displaced.
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ten million children who are now living in camps without being able to go to school. every single syrian has been affected by this. every single one. even those who don't live in neighborhoods there constantly being shelved. i'm talk about neighborhoods that are regime controlled, where there is not daily violence, but where there is very little electricity, very little supplies, very little food and the constant worry that you or you loved ones will be killed or hurt. >> but the ability of the rebels to have waged their campaign for so many years against a regime that has such a tight control of the country is of itself telling of what's the situation in syria. >> look, the rebels are tenacious, let's be honest here. they are able to hold entire neighborhoods in cities like aleppo. however, the regime is the one with the military might to bomb from the air, or in this case, as suspected, gas its own people
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in the suburbs of damascus. so you do have a stronger party here. the rebels are able to hold out because they're getting arms. they are getting arms now. they're not getting the kind of arms they need to defeat the regime. is it enough to change anything? my guess is not so much if it's limited in scope and duration. >> do they still want it anyway? >> this is one of the misconceptions. one of the misconceptions is that everyone in syria is against the regime. not everyone in syria is against the regime. you have those who want the regime over some of the rebels because they fear what might come next. they're afraid of extremists on the other side. it is a very complex situation and certainly not one that you can solve with one or two cruise missiles, that's for sure. >> all right, thank you, hala. >> we should never be seen to be putting dollars before lives and bodies, but there's no question that what's happening at the moment in the global economy is exceptionally fragile. and the slightest disruption
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could, of course, have widespread consequences. so, after the break, the economic implications of the syrian crisis. [ woman ] my doctor wanted me to get one of those emergency pendants. the ones that let you call for help. and i said, "that's not for me! that's for some old person!" but we finally talked my mom into calling adt. then, one day, i slipped and broke my hip. the pain was terrible, and i couldn't get to the phone. i needed an ambulance, so i pushed the button. it's okay, mrs. anderson. the paramedics are on their way. it was so good to hear adt at the other end. [ male announcer ] adt home health security services. with one touch of a button, you can summon help from anywhere in your home and talk with adt's trained professionals, who can call for emergency assistance and even stay on the line until help arrives. 1 out of every 3 people over 65 will fall this year. adt helps you maintain your independence starting at just over $1 a day. call now to receive free activation and a free guide to living alone. i'm glad adt could call for help. so am i.
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that will be here for you now -- and down the road. i have a lifetime of experience. so i know how important that is. if there's one thing financial markets dislike, it is uncertainty. what we're seeing in syria has increased the possibility of military strikes against the country and that's created growing uncertainty in the investor world. >> we have seen oil prices going up. want to go to christine romans in new york to talk about some of this here. explain to us, syria is not a major oil producer like libya, nor is it a major transit point for gas like egypt. so why would a potential u.s. military strike in syria affect oil prices? >> because syria has friends and syria has enemies, and the worry in the markets is that some sort of conflict that drags in those
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friends and enemies, some sort of proxy war, a battleground right there in syria would be very dangerous for a region that has long borders and long history of tension about oil and the transit of oil. so that's the big concern there in the oil markets. earlier today, we talked to the ceo of pimco and asked exactly what is the big concern here about a conflict and more broadly, about oil and rising oil prices for the rest of the world, and this is what he told us. >> the last thing the global economy needs today is another headwind that would slow what is already a very sluggish recovery. >> let's talk about oil prices right now. they are at almost a two-year high for oil prices, will trickle down into higher gasoline prices if this does continue. gasoline, to his point, gasoline is something that takes money right out of consumers' pockets. there's this rule of thumb that every cent increase is about a
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billion dollars right out of consumers' pockets, at a time when you don't really have a driver in the world of economic growth. so that's what the big concern is for the whole world, about an economy that is maybe fragile right now for some sort of broader con flick and higher energy prices. but we're watching the energy part of this story very closely. also watching gold. it went up. just about every kind of market is moving in some way to the cross currents of what we're seeing as the situation unfolds in syria. >> christine, thank you very much. cyber attack cripples "the new york times" website, shutting down for more than 18 hours. up next, pro-syrian activists say they're behind it. so then the little tiny chipmunks go all the way up...
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some supporters of the syrian government say that they are the ones behind a cyber attack on "the new york times." for more than 18 hours, the paper's website was down. the syrian electronic army is now claiming responsibility. i want to bring in deborah feyerick. with electronic and social media being so critical to how we get information these days, how significant is it that first they not only go after "the new york times," but secondly they're able to disrupt the service? >> reporter: it's critical in the sense that they were able to essentially hijack "the new york times" site so that people simply could not gain access to it. it disappeared. they did this by rerouting traffic to a different ip address. it appears the integrity of "the new york times" website was not compromised, just people's ability to get there. one former law enforcement official described it, saying it's like switching signs on the highway and sending people down the wrong ramp.
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the group claiming responsibility is the syrian electronic army. it's believed to support the government of syrian president assad. really, it could be anyone. that's what they're looking into now. it's a sophisticated attack. it targets an outside search engine. two weeks ago, a search engine was targeted that tends to direct traffic here to us at cnn, also "the washington post" and "time" magazine. it does happen several times a year. this is something -- i was speaking to somebody, they were very clear, they said look, this is not about hackers really, it's about people are either trying to get attention, make a point or perhaps voice discontent over an article that may have appeared in "the new york times." >> all right, they are getting our attention. it worked. >> certainly. erratic, moody, and irration irrational. that's how some people are describing syria's president. in a moment, we'll hear from someone in touch with assad's inner circle.
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syrian president bashar al assad is a mystery to many. he is young, only 41 years old. he was appointed president after his father died in 2000. but how does he actually think? >> brian todd spoke to a man who gained access to bashar al assad's inner circle and he calls the president the master
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of deception. >> reporter: bashar al assad, some analysts say, may have badly misread the signals, believed it when his cronies told him president obama wouldn't enforce his red line on chemical weapons. a staggering miscalculation, experts say, driven by assad's own unpredictable swings of behavior. >> bashar al assad, unlike his father, is moody, he goes from one side to the other. bouts of rationality and irrationality. >> reporter: andrew tabler worked with assad's wife, running a charity in syria and has met with bashar al assad. he describes assad as delusional, conspiracy minded, but also persuasive, coming across as the antithesis of a murderous dictator. when christiane amanpour asked him in 2005 about reports that he threatened lebanon's prime minister -- >> first of all, it's not my nature so threaten anybody. i'm a very quiet person. i'm very frank.
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but i wouldn't threaten. >> reporter: and in 2011, when abc's barbara walters pressed him on whether he had ordered his forces to fire on the opposition. >> they are not my forces. they are merely the forces that belong to the government. i don't own them. i'm president. i don't own the country. >> but you have to give the order. >> no, no, no. >> not by your command? >> no, no, no. no arms command. there was no arms command to kill or to be brutal. >> reporter: what do you make of that? he's so polite and soft-toned. >> he's a master of deception. i think the regime, the package of bashar and his wife is very seductive. how could someone who seems to reasonable command such a horrific regime? >> reporter: illustrating what tabler calls assad's two faces, he was trained as an ophthalmologist, he has facebook and instagram accounts, enjoys being seen with his glamorous wife out on the town from aleppo to paris. but from his bunker, he's
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overseen the killing of tens of thousands of his own people. what's he thinking now? >> he's going to think about how am i going to react to these strikes? what we can see from past strikes is that actually bashar does very, very little in terms of a direct response. but over time, he might carry out other kinds of attacks on american assets. s areporter: that mean ascii s a >> reporter: that mean ascii s ally, hezbollah, may carry out an asymmetrical attack on american interests. assad is talking to them now, experts say, along with iran. brian todd, cnn, washington. the u.n. has no consensus on what to do in syria, but the u.s. says that its forces are ready to go. we're going to take a look at the possible military options up next. n??tç7
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the question is, if military action is taken, what would be the result and what would be the target? if we take a look at the potential for u.s. military targets in syria at the moment, you get an idea of the sort of things that they will be looking for. weapons delivery systems, michigan training camps, and command posts. very much avoiding deliberately the chemical stockpiles or anything that, if you like,
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might make a bad situation much worse. joining me now is james spider marks. looking at the targets, how easy will it be if you like to find the targets, b to isolate them, and c to attack them? >> well, richard, nothing in warfare is easy. it may sound simple, but even the most simple task is difficult. so let's describe it in those terms. and then first of all, understand that the intelligence collection capability of the united states as well as our allies is ongoing 24/7 and it's been in place continually. so what we call target folders are being updated all the time with the very latest information. so it is with great confidence that they will strike against very certain targets. the issue is, what is within that target? has something already migrated out of it? somebody taken some stuff and moved it away? but we could go after training sites.
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we can certainly go after command and control. and most importantly, assad's ability to execute his war-making machine and to give him a sense of what he knows and what he doesn't. what we really want to do is blind him. >> but let's look at frit tit fe other side, from the american and british point of view, and look at how the ships, as they would move into position in the eastern mediterranean and move across. as we can see from this animation, the ships are in position. they make their various attacks into syria, but how much risk are these ships themselves at from any potential attack that might come back from syria out? >> well, the united states has a very robust integrated air defense system that is not only unique and organic to the navy, but it's connected to a satellite base system. any time any launch would occur from syria from some rocket or missile en route or targeted
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against those naval vessels, we would know that and the navy would be able to alert against it and put up a defense to neutralize it. that doesn't mean it's 100%, but it is very close. so these ships are not necessarily at extreme risk, but they are very, very aware of what the conditions are, the as a rule -- vulnerabilities are. >> good to have your interpretation and analysis on this. that's it for me for this hour "around the world." >> and "cnn newsroom" starts right after a quick break. i have low testosterone. there, i said it. see, i knew testosterone could affect sex drive, but not energy or even my mood. that's when i talked with my doctor. he gave me some blood tests... showed it was low t. that's it. it was a number.
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the u.s. is making the case for military intervention in syria, as the u.n. investigates alleged chemical attacks. so what does it mean for american troops? we'll investigate. plus, right now, thousands are gathered on the national mall. events are under way to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the march on washington. we'll take you there live. and 184,000 acres burned. plus, 4,000 firefighters equals one of the worst wildfires in california state history. we're going to have a live report. this is "cnn newsroom." u.s. officials are all but telling u.n. inspectors to get out of syria, get out of the way. it is not and if, but when the u.s. will launch an

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