tv Americas News Headquarters FOX News September 1, 2013 7:00am-7:31am PDT
by the way, tucker, youtube called. they wanted to give you this pillow. >> you know what? i don't need it. i don't need a pillow to sleep. i can sleep standing up. >> you'll be much more comfortable on the set from now on with that. >> we'll see you tomorrow. we start this morning with a fox news alert. we are right now waiting an update from the united nations. its chemical weapons team expected to report at this hour at the united nations headquarters. you can see this live picture of the briefing room at u.n. headquarters. ban ki-moon having a telephone conversation, i'm told, within the last half hour with the leader of the chemical weapons team that was in syria. they are, of course, investigating the attack on august 21st that occurred allegedly in the damascus suburb. this all comes at secretary of state john kerry this morning
told fox news that there is concrete evidence that it was sarin gas that was used in that horrible strike. good morning, everyone. welcome to america's news headquarters. i'm eric shawn. >> hi, everyone. i'm jamie colby. interesting to note the u.n. and their mandate to go check out what happened with the inspectors was to find out whether chemical weapons were used, not who used them. i know you'll talk about this with ambassador bolton. there's new reaction now in the u.s. and around the world to president obama's delaying his decision on a potential strike on syria. he's decided to ask congress to first authorize any military action. france saying it will wait for the u.s. decision on how to act. and israel's prime minister benjamin netanyahu says his country is ready for any possible scenario. first to connor powell who joins us live from our mideast bureau. what's the reaction there? >> reporter: this move by president obama generating
anger, confusion and even some just, you know -- confusion across the entire area of the middle east. particularly in israel. prime minister netanyahu said the country is, quote, calm and self-assured and the country really is prepared for any scenario. president obama's decision to postpone a reaction has been blasted here by the israelis. they see syria as a test run for iran. they see the u.s. hesitation will embolden nuclear ambitions. the larger question being asked, is the u.s. still a super power trying to impose some sort of order in a chaotic middle east. also the question in israel and across the middle east is will america come to the aid of its closest allies like israel, like jordan and like turkey. this move to postpone the strike in syria is only raising further questions about the obama white
house. now, in syria government officials there taking a much more up beat stance, declaring victory as a result of this delay by the obama white house. president assad insisting that syria will not be discouraged by its principles. of course, the syrian military is still on high alert. back to you. >> thanks so much. now live to the united nations where a spokesman is briefing reporters. >> strictly adhering to the highest established standards of verification recognized by the organization for the prohibition of chemical weapons. in light of the horrendous magnitude of the 21st of august incident in the area of do m damascus, the -- information it had obtained without jeopardizing the scientific time lines required for accurate analysis and to report results
to him as soon as possible. and they dis cussed ways to further ak sexccelerate p proce. the secretary general personally thanked inspector selstrom. i just wanted to update you a little on the humanitarian picture in syria. the u.n. is continuing its critical humanitarian work in syria where and when possible as well as in neighboring countries. for example, the world food program talked to 3 million people with food aid -- last week 10,000 people -- in aleppo where fighting and the spike in prices are leading to food short shortages, the program sought to feed more than 350,000 people in august. the world health organization has coordinated the provision of assistance to 3.7 million people in syria. the u.n. children's fund unicef
has reached more than 180,000 uprooted children with health support in clinics and also helped more than 10 million people in syria access drinking water. for its part, the u.n. refugee agency, unhcr, and its partners, have reached more than 1.5 million people with much needed supplies. of course there are many more people outside of syria in neighboring countries receiving assistance. i'd also advise you that the secretary general spoke this morning with the foreign minister of france. he will continue to stay in touch with world leaders in the days to come. yes? [ inaudible question ]
>> as you can see, the news conference continues at the international press corps at the united nations discussing the very latest information. let's keep on listening. >> -- full security council meeting as you'll be aware. secretary general did speak to the permanent members of the security council already, and he intends to speak to the nonpermanent members of the security council in the days to come. and i think that will probably be on tuesday. we can give you more details as we get closer to that. with regard to your first question, i would simply say that the secretary general took note of the announcement by president obama yesterday on the referral to congress. i can tell you he regards it as one aspect of an effort to achieve a broad based
international consensus on measures in response to any use of chemical weapons. use of chemical weapons will not be accepted under any circumstances. and there should be no impunity and any perpetrators of such a horrific crime against humanity must be held accountable. the u.n. investigation mission should be given an opportunity to succeed. the secretary general applauds the bravely of the team of u.n. experts who understood took their on site fact finding activities despite great security risks. finally the secretary general reiterates the primary role of the security council in maintaining and restoring international peace and security including in any case where the use of chemical weapons is established. as such, he believes the council should stand firm and united in agreeing on measures in response to any use of chemical weapons. yes, pam? >> anger, confusion. is american credibility on the
line? we just heard the u.n. spokesman discuss the consensus of the international community to have to deal with the chemical weapons problems. that's something the security council so far has not done. let's now bring in former u.n. ambassador john bolton, former united states ambassador to the u.n. senior fellow at the american enterprise institute and a fox news contributor. ambassador, good morning. we just heard what the u.n. spokesman said about chemical weapons. what do you think the president's decision has now done to the credibility of the united states and his policy? >> well, i think it was a grave failure of presidential leadership. and i think it undercuts president obama's credibility even more than he himself undercut it previously. and i say this as someone who doesn't favor using force in the syrian context. i think the president's wavering back and forth, this hamlet routine in public, is something that the opponents of the united states in the middle east can only take comfort from.
in iran, assad in syria, the russians that have been assad's loyal ally, we're not going to see action in congress on the 9th of september. you can bet on that. it will take some period of time thereafter. that gives the assad regime time to prepare on the battlefield and it sends a signal to the opposition that it'll be a long time before there's a clear american decision. >> polls show about 80% of americans do not favor such a strike. what would you say to those who think this is judicious, intelligence, cautious, being very careful and thoughtful not to drag the u.s. into something with unknown consequences? >> well, if the president has made a decision that the use of military force is justified, he has full constitutional authority to carry it out. and when you turn the question over to 535 secretaries of state, secretaries of defense, would be presidents, you're inviting amendment and debate and delay on a resolution.
one can only guess what the final outcome will be. this is why the executive power is entrusted to one person under the constitution, not to 535. i think the president has had his eye on the wrong issue all along. unfortunately, so have many others. i think syria, humanitarian tragedy though it is, is not the key geostrategic issue in the region. it's iran. instead of dealing seriously with that manifest threat to the united states, to israel, to our arab friends in the region, we have focused instead on syria. and i think that's -- that's a policy that we're going to pay for down the road. >> the spokesman just said there will be, quote, no impunity for using chemical weapons. salstrom, kind of like the new
hans blixt, the samples of blood and urine they actually took from victims, i talked to one member who said they actually pack the dead animals. there's protocol on packing dead animals a certain way that they take with them to be tested. the vice president this morning said it was sarin gas that would be used. what do you suspect will come of this u.n. testing? could still take a few weeks. >> i think there's little doubt in my mind that sarin gas was used. and i think the u.n. inspectors' samples will prove that. but the issue for some time is not whether gas was used, but who used it. and the mandate of the u.n. inspectors is quite restrictive. they're expressley forbidden to get into the question of responsibility. so i don't think even if ten days, two weeks go by and you get analysis for the prohibition of chemical weapons that that will resolve the underlying
political question as to who is responsible. that's another reason that the u.n. security council is not going to act here. the russians showed no inclination whatever to back away from their support for the assad regime. >> ambassador, a minute left. why is it always us? fdr. ronald reagan. margaret thatcher. it seems that we, not the pr policemen of the world, but the moral authority of the world. you're not getting it from russia. what does that mean for our future and what will happen in congress in the coming week. >> gene kirk patrick used to say at the u.n. it was like the europeans would see a truck that had lost its brakes speeding downhill toward a playground filled with innocent children. they'd start arguing what to do about it. they couldn't come to any conclusion. so at the last minute they'd throw the united states in front of the truck. that's always what happens. that's always what happens. the problem here is that president obama can't make up his mind to lead. does he want to overthrow assad? does he want to send a signal of deterrence against the use of chemical weapons? does he want congressional approval?
does he want international approval? what does he want to do? i think here a delay really does undercut the united states. it shows weakness and lack of resolve. it's going to hurt us all around the world. >> he's waiting for that congressional approval that he apparently wants. that is not at all certain. we still have another week to go. ambassador bolton, always good to see you. thank you for joining us this morning. >> thank you, eric. >> thank you, ambassador. meanwhile, critics are going after president obama for delaying his decision on syria for what they are calling a lack of urgency. we've heard that a lot. listen in particular to syndicated columnist charles krauthammer. >> this is sort of amateur hour. when there were the first attacks six months ago or if you like when we had the current attack, he should have immediately called in the congress. the way prime minister britain called into parliament.
told the world we're going to do x or not do x. >> joining me, john fawn, a columnist for national review magazine. good morning to you. an important morning as everyone takes a look at this. a lot of talk. not a lot of action. some critics saying president obama should have acted a year ago or before against the assad regime we knew had chemical weapons. is time our friend? is time his enemy? >> well, congress right now doesn't look as if it's going to give the president the authorization he wants. i doubt if they don't give it that he's going to go off and do this unilaterally against the wishes of both the congress and the american people? >> why not, john, if he says he knows he has the authorization and ability to do it without congressional approval? >> because that would mean an enormous hit in the public opinion polls. it would mean that the president would basically be acting unilaterally which our constitution does not allow. he says he has the authorization
to do it unilaterally. that's not what most scholars say. >> i'm going to ask later whether or not it's considered an act of war to do a limited strike. that is what under the constitution the president would have to get congressional approval on. we know some presidents have acted unilaterally. >> sure. >> how do you think the president is viewed? we know what the polls were before he made this speech. they've been dwindling in terms of approval and ability to handle everything from the economy to obama care. which many americans have called in polls a joke. what about this? this is no joke. how do you think he's viewed now domestically and even more important, perhaps, for our national security internationally? >> when barack obama ran for president in 2008, one of the things we learned was that when he was in the illinois state senate, he voted present more than any other member. in other words, he chose not to take a position. i think we see the latest manifestation of that tendency right here. the president blinked. the president flinched. it looks bad for the united states. the president unilaterally declared a red line that if
syria used chemical weapons, we would act. as he has not stepped back from that red line. i think he's -- secretary of state gave a speech on this on friday. in general it makes the united states look unreliable, weak. >> i monitored and reported actually on that speech as john kerry was speaking. many people said it was emotional, heartfelt, strong. and i'm glad you brought it up because i wanted to listen with you to what secretary kerry said, our secretary of state, about the timing of a decision on this. listen. >> so that is what we know. that's what the leaders of congress now know. and that's what the american people need to know. and that is that the core of the decisions that must now be made for the security of our country and for the promise of the planet where the world's most
heinous weapons must never again be used against the world's most vulnerable people. >> many people read that as do it now or we'll face those heinous weapons, not just the citizens of syria, but perhaps israel or others. yet the president said yesterday, and i'm quoting, it's not time sensitive. >> well, the joint chiefs of staff who work for him, you know, agreed with him on that. that doesn't make it so. assad is probably already moved political prisoners and perhaps children into all of his vital military areas. it would be a horrific set of videos if we managed to bomb a bunch of children. he is moving his weapons all around syria, making it much more difficult for us to attack him should we choose to do so. the bottom line here is this. either this was a direct threat to the interest of the united states, in other words military force was called for, or it was a humanitarian action to try to force international law when no one else in the world was fwogo
to join us. you can't enforce international law with only one country. it doesn't work. >> and there is international law. chemical weapons forbidden. >> yes. but it doesn't advocate use of force to do so. you need to establish a coalition. we've had a coalition in the past. obama had one in libya. bush had one in iraq. this time the coalition is basically we, ourselves and us. >> possibly france. we're watching the u.n., too, to see what happens today. john fund, thank you so much. always appreciate your insight. jamie, this morning secretary of state john kerry sat down with fox news anchor, sunday anchor chris wallace. we're getting some inside information now on the internal debate within the white house yesterday just before the president's surprising reversal. mr. kerry said we should go -- what the secretary of state said this morning. chris wallace will fill us in coming up next. also, investigators say they may now know what started that devastating fire. it's destroyed a lot of yosemite
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obama administration's debate inside syria. john kerry revealed some of the new details on the alleged chemical attack and the president's decision to delay a possible strike and ask congress for authorization. >> we have now learned that hair and blood samples that have come to us from east damascus, from individuals who were engaged as first responders in east damascus, i can report to you today they have tested positive for signatures of sarin. so this case is going to build stronger and stronger. and the president believes that the united states of america for a decision like this is stronger when you have the time to be able to have the support of the united states congress. and obviously the support of the american people through them. >> joining us now is chris wallace. >> good morning, eric. kerry was so strong on friday. he must be sitting back now saying, is anyone listening to
me? yes, he is saying there is a stronger case by going to congress. that does not at all seem to coincide and dove tail with what he said 24 hours ago. >> i don't know if you remember at the republican -- rather democratic convention in 2004 when kerry was nominated for president and he came up on the stage and he went, i'm john kerry, reporting for duty. he was a loyal soldier today. the fact is that he made a very impassioned case on friday for going to war. everybody thought we were going to begin the action this weekend. but president obama on friday night, we are now told, went out on the south lawn with his white house chief of staff, dennis mcdonough, and said i want to go to congress. a complete 180 degree reversal. kerry and other top officials were informed of this in phone calls late friday night. now you've got kerry on all the five sunday shows today as a good soldier making the case for why going to congress is a good thing. it won't hurt his claim now.
our situation and the situation of the rebels in syria. and it will send an even stronger message if the president acts with congressional approval. but i'm sure it was a shock to him. >> what does this say about the decision making process in the white house? look, we're seeing the sausage being made out in public. should it be like that? >> no. i mean, we talk about it on the show with general jack keen and joe lieberman. a military action is not just about launching cruise missiles. it's also about the buildup. building support. the runup to the war and how you orchestrate that. and that's been all over the place. the president talked about getting foreign support and then, of course, great britain, the parliament voted down any action. he -- for days the white house from the podium, spokesmen said they did not need congressional approval. they'd consult with congress. they did not need congressional approval. a complete shock, the president, when a lot of people thought he
was going to announce a military strike, comes out yesterday, i'm going to actually wait. we had -- i talked with kerry about this in the interview. kerry talked about this in very dire terms. he calls assad a thug and a murderer who's slaughtering his own people. the president doesn't call congress back right away and say get to it, let's have a decision in a couple of days, i'm going to take action. he says go ahead with your vacation, with your recess. come back on september 9th. we'll argue about it then. kerry makes the argument that the -- the military people say this is not time sensitive. it's very time sensitive if you're one of the rebels on the ground in syria who may be killed in the next week. >> and what do you think those rebels and the syrian freedom rebels, what do you think they think of this decision? their reaction? and what does it mean to them? >> well, that's the point. you know, and kerry in his statement on friday said this goes beyond syria. the whole world is watching. it's what happens in iran, what happens in hezbollah.
it's how it's viewed by north korea. we could also say what does it mean to the syrian rebels? what does it mean to israel and the message, clear message that seems to be sent, i'm talking now, not john kerry, seems to be that, you know, when the president sets a red line or he seems to be on the verge of taking action, that he's going to delay. what happened yesterday he said i'm going to delay for ten days. i'm not going to call congress back into special session. he went off and played golf. what message do you think that sends to our friends in the region and our enemies. >> tehran slning and watching every single moment and step of this president and administration. finally, chris, what do you think is going to happen up on the hill? hearings start tuesday. they have more than a week before they decide whether or not there could be authorization for this. the president says even if he doesn't get it he has the power as commander in chief to launch it. >> after we talked to john kerry on "fox news sunday" we talked to senators yak reed and james
enhoff, two top members of the senate armed services committee, congressman peter king of new york who says he thinks the president has abdicated his responsibility as commander in chief by throwing this over to congress, i will tell you that enhoff and king both say they think there's going to be a very tough vote. and if the vote were held today the president would lose. >> the president would lose if the vote was held today. okay. he's got nine day. but he's going off to sweden next week. he'll willbe in russia at the g at tend of the week. we'll see what happens when they all get back. with more of chris wallace's interview with secretary of state john kerry only there on "fox news sunday." obviously trying to make a pr press, speaking on all the morning shows this morning after the president's surprising reversal yesterday. so the case now, the new case from the administration, from the secretary of state. you can hear it yourself on "fox news sunday" today at 2:00 and later on at 6:00 p.m. right here
on the fox news channel. there are critics both here and abroad that are speaking out over president obama's handling of this crisis in syria. what kind of message does his decision send in particular to the middle east? no one knows that region better that pulitzer prize winning journalist judy miller who joins us with her take, straight ahead. first, the president says any strike in syria would be limited in scope. do you think that would be enough to alter the situation on the ground? you know, senator mccain and others say that won't be enough. they need much more to get assad out. the strategy, what will happen, will it be enough, and what does it mean to us, ahead. when we made our commitment to the gulf, bp had two big goals: help the gulf recover and learn from what happened so we could be a better, safer energy company. i can tell you - safety is at the heart of everything we do. we've added cutting-edge technology, like a new deepwater well cap
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