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tv   Housecall  FOX News  September 1, 2013 7:30am-8:01am PDT

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fox news alert. president obama saying that any possible military attack on syria would be limited. actually ruling out american troops on the ground.
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there are u.s. warships standing by off the syrian coast and they're awaiting potential orders to bombard key military targets there. how effective could a potential limbed strike be? big item for debate. elizabeth kran, live from our d.c. bureau with the latest. >> hi. america waits to see if congress will allow the president to carry out a limited attack in syria. it's hard not to look at administrations past and what retaliations took place. dating back almost three decades the u.s. bombarded beirut during lebanon's civil war under the reagan administration. one month later shiite muslim suicide bombers struck marine barracks in beirut. more than 200 marines were murdered. fast forward three years later. the same administration ordered a bombing raid. under the clinton administration officials ordered attacks on al qaeda camps in afghanistan and a factory in sudan, a country that
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supported al qaeda. the radical group retaliated by attacking the ""u.s.s. cole" in yemen followed by the september 11th attacks. >> moreover, the chairman has indicated to me our capacity to execute this mission is not time sensitive. it will be effective tomorrow or next week or one month from now. and i'm prepared to give that order. >> while some critics argue an attack is too little, too late, others also say there's no such thing as just limited involvement and any interference could escalate. >> this could be a war in the middle east. it's serious. you've got to realize what this president has done to our military. and our military is so degraded now. >> many lawmakers support a full debate before any u.s. action does take place.
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that doesn't mean they're on board with an attack. many also note the cost of involvement, jamie, just one missile costs more than $1 million. so we'll hear a lot more from lawmakers as the day continues. >> a lot of military experts say one just wouldn't cut it. we'll do the math. thank you, elizabeth. jamie, according to reuters president assad says, quote, the american threats of launching an attack against syria will not discourage syria away from its principles. state controlled syrian media today is mocking america because of the the president's decision, calling it the beginning of, quote, an historic american retreat. what sort of message does the president's surprising delay send to the syrian opposition, our allies in the region and more importantly, to tehran? judy miller, pull bitser prize winning investigative reporter, extensive experience in the middle east. good morning, judy. do you think the president's decision to delay this and seek congressional approval now was
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wise? >> look, i think, eric, from what we've seen analysts on the left and right agree on only one thing. that is the white house's handling of the leadup to military action or nonmilitary action in syria has been catastrophic. it looks disorganized. it looks contradictory. the president sent his secretary of state, john kerry, out to give a really rabble rousing appeal on humanitarians and moral ground to military action. saying this is as much about what the syrian government has done to its own people as it is even more so about who we are as americans. and then the very next day, the president says, i've changed my mind. i'm going to go to congress. in other words, the president has managed to anger and annoy and irritate all sides of this debate. and now the state of what should be action that is in america's
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national interest or not depends on the congress. >> well, they've had basically two years for this. we were told that last year hillary clinton, she supported arming the rebels. the president said no. they could have potentially imposed a no-fly zone. that hasn't been done. apparently all the weapons that we are going to supply the rebels really haven't gotten there. that's been left to saudi arabia and other actors. what does that say about our role in the middle east with extensive experience that you had, and what do we do about it? >> look, i think this reflects the president's ambivalence about getting further involved in syria. he has not wanted to do it. he's been dragged kicking and screaming into this. many people say that's wise because we don't know the consequences of what even a limited military strike would be. but i know the way our allies, eric, are interpreting this. and that is our allies and our enemies abroad are saying that america has lost sense of resolve.
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the israelis in particular are very worried. netanyahu issued a statement saying israel can take care of its own enemies. israeli radio was even blunter. they said this raises all kinds of questions about america's commitment to following through on its determination not to let iran get a nuclear weapon. i think it's unnerved a lot of people. i think that mike rogers this morning, the chairman, republican chairman of the house intelligence committee, urged us all to take a step back and say, look, whatever mistakes in the leadup to where we are now, the question now is what is america going to do about this? american credibility is on the line. we saw secretary kerry, who was really humiliated by his own president, come out this morning with new evidence that there is sarin signatures on the chemical substances that were used. they're going to make a
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full-court press to get congressional approval for what the president says he wants to do and says that he's willing to do, even without congressional authorization. so we've now had a shift. a the debate comes back home. the president will have to try and convince a very skeptical congress this is the right thing to do. >> we're almost out of time. in 1988 when saddam gassed the curds, the reagan administration didn't do this much. there was operation southern watch. what do you think will happen if, indeed, congress does or does not give its approval and there potentially will be an attack? >> i think tay the president has devised to try to get out of the box of isolation that he created for himself. now congress will share the responsibility for either a successful or a nonsuccessful strike. or he'll be able to blame the congress for not doing what, perhaps, he doesn't want to do anyway. this is maybe a shrewd political
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gambit on his part. in terms of the perception of the united states abroad, it looks disorganized, chaotic, and raises questions about america's reliability. many people say this is caution. others say it's leading from behind and reflects a lack of conviction on the part of the president. >> we'll see the result in perhaps two weeks. judy miller, always good to see you. thank you for your analysis and insight this morning. as the obama administration appeals to congress now for that authorization of force in syria, we're going to analyze what a military strike could look like as we have u.s. warships poised and ready in the region. labor day. a large percentage of americans have now dropped out of the labor force. what this means for our economy and all of us, ahead. ♪ turn around
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her busy saturday begins with back pain, when... hey pam, you should take advil. why? you can take four advil for all day relief. so i should give up my two aleve for more pills with advil? you're joking right? for my back pain, i want my aleve.
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so now there are serious questions about what could happen if president obama goes ahead with plans to strike syria with congressional approval or not. the u.s. has already had their ships and their military bases ready to go on this. joining me now is captain chuck nash, retired navy captain and fox contributor. someone i turn to particularly when there are this many ships off the coast. what are they e kwiquipped to d captain nash? >> first off, they carry land attack missiles. so you can fire these missiles, they fly about the speed of an airliner. you can launch them from halfway across the mediterranean and have them fly in and with quite a bit of precision strike targets that have been predesignated. they don't strike moving targets. and you have to be careful in
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your targeting to make sure that you get it right. but they will go where you send them. so if you have a target set in mind to achieve a certain goal, you then target those assets, launch the missiles. they fly across and with precision will blow them up. they have large warheads. >> let me ask you this. because this is a question that a lot of people have. what kind of intelligence do we have on the targets we need to hit? how many civilian casualties could come in the way, which could certainly backfire on any humanitarian effort we make? and is it true or are you hearing from your sources as i am that assad has been moving some of these chemical weapons and other assets into areas that include schools where children might be? >> yeah. that's -- that's a tactic that the iraqis used. everybody in the middle east in our experience has tended to do that. they shelter near things that
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they know we won't strike like mosques, for example. so they are moving things around. now that they have this little hiatus, they'll probably really think through where they need to move things and how they need to shelter things. the fact that the president said that the chairman of the joint chiefs told him that he could strike tomorrow, next week or next month, leads one to believe they're looking at more fixed targets that can't be moved that easily without severely restricting their use. for example, you could say, well, we'll go after their air force. well, you can tow the airplanes off the airfield and hide them in nontraditional things like not put them in hangars or shelters, but move them off the airfields. but when you do that, it takes a while to get it back to the airfield, back to the runway where he could actually use it. >> maybe he's done, captain nash. maybe there's no more plans. you move those off to a remote
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field somewhere so they lose an aircraft. they still have their chemical weapons. >> right. >> at this point does it make any sense to go in? and what should be our goal? because we've heard no regime change as a priority. so assad would get to stay. what would we actually accomplish if there was a military strike? can you blow up chemical weapons without harming civilians? >> no. that becomes a big unknown at that point. if you try to do that. now, there are essentially designed warheads that when they go off, they go off with an extreme amount of heat that we hope if those were used, would burn up a lot of those chemicals. but you would only do that in very rare circumstances. the decision to go in or not, and i think this is really important. we need to establish a baseline first. the decision to strike or not is a political decision. once you say yes, we are going to strike, then the question is, okay, what are your objectives,
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boss? because you tell me what your objectives are, and i will tailor the use of the military assets to achieve the objectives. >> all right. >> we don't know what the objectives are -- >> i'm up against the clock. they're going to cut us off in seven seconds. seven seconds.
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well, we are on the labor day weekend and tomorrow is about labor. did you know that there is a larger percentage of americans that are actually dropping out of the labor force, not because they can't find a job, but because they don't want to try? it is the highest it has been in decades. the national labor participation rate here shows a percentage of americans who can work, but are choosing not to. because it is moving in the wrong direction and has for a longtime, it is now at its lowest point since the 70s. we wanted to ask the managing partner at chap wood investments, ed, what does it mean to our economy? >> it is great to see you. jaime, this is an important subject for many reasons. one is when people don't and elect not to take jobs in the workforce they are electing to take money out of the economy through the tax dollars that taxpayers pay in. it is an interesting tie to syria. the mission in syria is projected to cost on a minimum
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level $500 million. well that money is going to come out of the tax dollars. those tax dollars now are making the country weaker when we have to spend the money on people not working and transfer payments. >> what is the resolution? how do we get people back to work and keep them engaged in the workforce? that's tax dollars too, right? >> when we have a strong economy we have more tax dollars. you have a strong economy and you have wages rising and that is important. the reason people are electing to stay on the sidelines is prices are rising and wages are stagnant to lower. they are saying why should i take a job when i can get this money from the government? it matters to everyone watching right now and especially the people who have jobs. your tax dollars are going to support them. if we get this economy going strong and we get more jobs and wages rising, people will take those jobs. they are electing not to take them in some cases. >> interesting perspective. is the economy going to turn around?
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it has been a rough couple of weeks. we are all watching our retirement plans i'm sure. >> the stock market will go up and down and i wouldn't worry about that, jaime. toward the end of the year you will probably see stock prices rising. will the economy rise? will the economy start recovering and not under these policies. we are in stag-flation. we will go no where until we change things. >> stag-flation. ed, that's a new one for me. eric? >> president obama is announcing his plan to get congressional support before carrying out a military strike on syria. coming up, we will discuss what he has to do to try to get support on capitol hill.
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the obama administration is preparing to make its case to congress for limited strikes on syria. this as we learn more details about a classified briefing that will be held in a few hours for members of the house. lawmakers at that briefing are expected to get the latest details on the syrian civil war and the apparent chemical weapons attacks including the very evidence the white house says proves it was the assad regime that launched the heart less chemical attack in the suburbs of damascus. welcome to a brand-new hour of america's news headquarters. >> it is great to have you here. busy morning as business


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