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tv   The Cycle  MSNBC  September 9, 2013 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT

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isit happening right now, congress has returned from their summer recess and the ready is hard at work on a strike against syria. >> syrian president offers americans a stern warning, even invoting 9/11 two days before the anniversary. inside the war, we've gathered a white house round table for insights into what's happening behind the scenes at 1600 pennsylvania avenue. >> all of that, plus of course the big speech, the man who wrote for bill clinton is here to tell us what the address to the american people is really about. it's a brand-new week and big one in "the cycle."
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>> we begin this hour with congress. both houses are finally back from summer recess. we might see a vote to end debate on syria as early as wednesday. there will be a classified briefing later this afternoon for each and every member of congress. that briefing could have serious implications for a large amount of republicans and democrats would remain undecided. let's turn to luke russert, whose bills snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. congratulations on that. >> talking about a serious topic like syria and you have to bring that disappoint in my life. >> let's deal with the house. will this get through the house or will they say no? >> reporter: it's a very difficult question, toure, from where we're standing right now the answer will be no.
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we've seen these progress nos tick caters and that could change over time and that's what the white house is banking on. that today is the official day that all congress comes back from their five-week summer recess. this is when they'll be able to put that push moving forward. here are the main problems we've seen. some of the members who have been briefed extensively, have now said, you know what, no. lamar alexander, no. folks that have seen this intel and seen what the administration is trying to push are still sort of own the lean no side. a lot can change, there are some discussions nancy pelosi is trying to whip this behind closed doors and garner support for the president because the democrats risk making president obama look like a lame duck this early on in the second term. the biggest difficulty they seem to be having here, the white house here on capitol hill, the constituents, constituents keep phoning members of congress saying do not attack syria.
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we do not want it. and for many members i've spoken to, it's something also the media is overlooking too. this is not should we bomb or should we not. there's a lot of people out there in the country that say, wait, the economy is not where it needs to be. so many of us are jobless. so many internal issues. why the heck are we getting involved in this and that voter anger and voter distrust, how can washington pay attention to syria when my life is in no way better than it was how many years ago is sticking to members who say i don't want to get involved in that on top of foreign policy expertise. it's a fascinating debate and can change. from where we stand now this faces an unbelievably difficult uphill battle in the house of representatives. >> thanks for that breakdown. before the address to the nation the president will march up to capitol hill in the afternoon to try to convince the still kept cal members of congress. one man he doesn't have to convince, jerry connelly, he has
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been hearing loud and clear from constituents and tonight he'll be at that closed door briefing. thank you so much for being on the show. you are in favor of a strike on syria but i imagine you have constituents calling you and saying they don't want that. you have a president who needs your support. and a lot of americans across the country against the strike. is this one of the most difficult votes you've ever had to do and why are you in favor if constituents are saying they don't want it? >> well, first of all, i think the "washington post" story really did not capture the flavor of my constituents or that particular meeting. i didn't face any ire. are people concerned? absolutely, do they want to share it with their elect representative? yes. i've staked out a position that is not that of the white house. i will not support the resolution as drafted by the white house. i am working on a resolution, an alternative resolution that narrowly constricts what is being proposed to the terms laid
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out by the president himself. we're dealing with the chemical attack and only that chemical attack and no boots on ground and no further expansion of involvement. that kind of narrowly drawn resolution i can support. i think there is support for that in other corners of the congress. frankly this one has taken on such a life of its own, some members are beyond having any further discussion on this matter. >> sir, you support what the president is talking about now, no expansion but surely, whatever we do, assad and or hezbollah and/or iran, will respond to that and we'll have to do something else. so how can we support something and say, no expansion. there may be a request for an expansion coming down the pike very soon? >> well, i don't know toure it's a given they are going to respond. there have been other instances far more profound than the strike being contemplated here. with respect to syria, where
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they've ab osorbed it and not responded. do they want to escalate the situation on the ground? and i have my doubts about that. but everything has risks, including doing nothing. doing nothing almost certainly guarantees chemical weapons become a sort of ordinary weapon of choice in warfare and secondly, they will pro live rate. neither one is a desirable goal for the united states. >> congressman, i want to drill down further on the premise of his question because we surely understand that no one, including yourself is in a position to predict exactly what syria will do. in the language of the authorization itself, you've set up under your proposal two exceptions where the operation can get wider. one is that the president determines that syria has used chemical weapons again. the other is that the president wants to deploy ground troops to rescue personnel.
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so the question to you is within your authorization, don't you think those two exceptions leave open quite a bit of unilateral room for the president to widen the operation? >> no, i don't. i think they are common sense -- one simply says if they do it again, you don't have to come back for a second authorization to do this. it doesn't give him broader authorization to do other things. protecting u.s. troops on the ground, that's a normal authorization for any president at any time to protect u.s. personnel. >> congressman -- >> don't you think, one more. he has that authority already probably under article 2, powers in the constitution. so by explicitly authorizing it in your resolution, do you view that as an expansion or not, to get your thinking on it? sfwl no, it is not an expansion. it is to make sure, to clarify that we're not ruling that out in this authorization because it is otherwise still restrictive.
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listen, the whole point of the resolution we're drafting is to avoid an open ended commitment. that's why we're drafting it. >> congressman, i wanted your thoughts on some of the somewhat bizarre events of the day, secretary of state john kerry making kind of off the cuff reremark that we might be able to avoid military action if syria were to give its chemical weapons to the u.n. and russia and syria came out and said we might like that idea. do those developments change your thinking on this at all? do you think russia and syria are credible in this regard at all? >> i don't know, it's a good question. i've got to say, i just got sort of briefed on this walking in the studio. i'm very intrigued by it. if they really mean it and if we can create a verification regime so we're certain that the weapons are not leaking, that may have some promise. >> congressman, someone who is with you in this effort is house intelligence committee chairman mike rogers, who's one of few
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republicans in the house. it's not an easy position to take especially with the public. but he came out pretty strongly against the president and the administration's handling of the situation so far or lack there of. here's what he said yesterday on "face the nation". >> do you think the president hurt his case by saying he wanteded to go to congress? >> i think the way it happened was misty fiing to me. the president announces it on a saturday. doesn't call congress back. if you were going to do that, call them back for a serious national security debate. i think that had to happen and review the evidence we had so you could have a quick order of events. instead he announced it and then left. he left the country for a week. >> congressman also said that the white house has done an awful job explaining themselves. looking back the past week, do you feel the president could have handled any of the situations differently? at this point is it too little too late?
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>> i'm not going to engage in monday morning quarterbacking. i think the president to his enormous credit, recognized the constitutional role of the congress and deferred to it. by the way, i would say to mike rogers, his leadership, the republican leadership, no one tied their hands. i called on them to call us back in session and not wait until the ninth of september. and got no response. so it wasn't just the president. the republican leadership could have done that if though thought it was a priority. and i think the president has tried to use this time as productively as he can making numerous classify the briefings available and unclassified available and meetings, one on one discussions, small group discussions available to try to present the case and to try to present the intelligence. and i think he deserves credit for that. >> congressman, you mentioned earlier that some of your colleagues in the house basically, their minds are closed, they are not interested in hearing anything more or
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looking at your draft of a resolution. do you have hope that a resolution can pass the house at this point? >> i want to give the president the opportunity to address the nation tomorrow night. he's coming up -- today or tomorrow, there are numerous other briefings that are being planned and crystal, we have to give him that opportunity to try to make that case both to the american people and members of congress. i wouldn't want to pretend that it's other than an uphill struggle right now. >> congressman, some people have suggested that the president turn to congress for this so he could share the blame with them if and when this doesn't go well. what do you think of that idea? >> i think they are talking about another president. this president operates a lot more like a boy scout than he does a cynical pal and been criticized because of it. i don't experience president obamas somebody that cynical and i don't think that's in his
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calculus. in his own past he said as a member of the senate that he believes article one fully means something. the words really mean what they say. he's not practicing what he preached a few years ago. >> congressman jerry connolly, thanks for being on the show. an excellent person from virginia. our special coverage of the crisis in syria. assad is not waivering but the obama's resolve to strike may be. it's a busy september monday. wisest kid in the whole world? how can i be a more fun mom? hmmm. can you dance? ♪ bum ba bum ba bum ♪ bum ba bum ba bum no. no? can you make campbell's chicken noodle soup? yes! [ wisest kid ] every can has 32 feet of slurpable noodles. now that's fun. mom, you're awesome. oh yeah! ♪ bum ba bum ba bum [ gong ] [ wisest kid ] m'm! m'm! good! before mike could see his banking
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what happened in your
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judgment. >> in the area where the chemical attack happened, in this case, kerry didn't present evidence. he didn't present anything, nothing, nothing so far. no single shred of evidence. >> syria's assad insisting he was not behind the chemical attack, going so far as accusing the u.s. of fabric ating evidence. now trying to walk back his rhetorical argument, u.s. secretary of state john kerry said the u.s. could rethink strikes if assad hands over his arsenal of chemical weapons. the state department says the comment was about the impossibility and unlikelihood of assad turning over weapons. even though it's sparking conversation. russia is telling assad to do it. syria's foreign minister welcomes the proposal. hillary clinton met with president obama today and just said last hour it would be an important step if the regime
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surrendered its stockpiles to international control. even the u.n. chief is considering asking the security council to demand assad move the wmds to safe sites where they can be destroyed. how is this talk assad banning weapons playing in the region? >> you talk about a difference in the past three hours, what a real difference they have. from talking about a possible military strike to now a possible solution, really has caught a lot of people here by surprise. this was not something that had been in the works. as you mentioned, it does seem to have come off the cuff remarks by the secretary of state. nonetheless it is a solution now that may get momentum, certainly from the people i've been speaking to. one of major plays, the syrian opposition doubt it's going to bring about now desired results for two rpz. they don't believe the syrian government is going to accept it. they think the comments that have come out of the syrian
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foreign minister are simply welcoming the russian proposal. once they get into the details of putting chemical weapons under the control or destroying them under the control of the international community, the syrian government will never accept that. they would interpret that to mean the inprinkment on their sovereignty and beginning of the end. the free syrian army have cat gorically said it is a nonstarter and above all won't be accepted by the syrian government. some of the syrian government's closest allies including iran and hezbollah have yet to make comments. to give a sense of how quickly the situation is moving and unexpected that solution may be. >> please stay safe. back with us today, middle east politics professor at the london school of economics and professor, to me it seems very strange choice for bashar al assad to give this interview. it seems he would risk an tag niesing the american people who are right now opposed to a
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strike on syria. what do you think he's hoping to accomplish here? >> well, i mean, first of all, assad has a huge credibility problem. he's really out of it. his inability to communicate with his own people let alone the american people. i was really struck by the notion that somehow americans might experience another moment of 9/11. this was a very stupid remark on his part. even though he was trying to send a message to the americans that there would be unpredictable consequences and unforeseen repercussions if america decides to attack syria. but that's not the way you communicate with americans and try to convince americans, in particular the american congress to vote against president obama's authorization to use force. but i think the big point what he was really trying to make, remind americans the bitter legacy of america's wars in the meeflt and that any particular
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war would have major consequences for american security in the middle east and even at the homeland. >> in assad's interview with charlie rose, he brought up 9/11. let's take a listen. >> will there be attacks on mideastern bases -- >> expect everything, not necessarily through the government. the government is not the only player in this region. before the 11th of september, the discussion of many to say don't deal with the terrorists as playing games. it's a different story. they are going to pay the price if not wise. nobody expected it until september. it is difficult for anyone to tell you what is going to happen. it's an area where everything is on the brink of explosion. you have to expect everything.
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>> we have to expect everything. professor, how do these comments, how does this interview you think especially the mention of 9/11 encourage or discourage action in syria from the international community? >> well, first of all, what we need to understand is the context for the statement. what he was -- what assad was trying to say. syria is not alone. syria has major allies in many places. and if america decides to attack syria, syria's allies would take action into their own and attack america's interest. in the same way that al qaeda acted on its own and attacked america on 9/11. he was really trying -- it's an awkward and misleading analogy with 9/11. but the big point he was trying to really say, look to americans, look, i will defend myself. i will use everything at my disposal. i will use every action, all my allies on my side expect the
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worst case scenario. instead of saying so he used the notion as 9/11 to say to americans, look you experienced 9/11, you might experience another moment of 9/11 if you decide to attack america all out war against my country. also talk about the signals we're seeing from the state department and now russia, regarding a proposal that came out sort of unscripted but some diplomacy is unscripted that we could divert it intervention if a stockpile was put under control. does it show even the threat of force is actually potentially moving people who are i am moveable or it is just the posturing we could expect from a regime in syria that says a lot of deceptive things and doesn't actually try to make good on its word. >> look, and i could be wrong.
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i honestly believe based on everything that i know, that this is one of the most important developments since the end of august when chemical weapons were allegedly used inside syria. whatever russia wants from syria, russia will get now. whatever. syria is fully dependent on russia. russia would not have put the initiative out publicly without coordinating with syria. the russian foreign minister said that he wants -- he has urged syria to put all its chemical weapons and international control and then to dismantle it and russia would act immediately. a few moments later the syrian foreign minister welcomed the initiative. my own reading tells me that the russian had already coordinated with the syrians. this is a serious initiative, at least the first line in order to provide a diplomatic way out of
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the chemical weapons standoff. my take on it -- now you're having the secretary general of the united nations, let's go to the security council, let's pass a security council with the support of russia and china, basically verifying and making sure that all chemical weapons are dismantled inside syria as soon as possible. also, it's not just about chemical weapons. this could provide what i call a confidence building measure to move forward towards a real political solution really that ends the carnage inside syria. that's what diplomacy is all about. to the credit of barack obama, barack obama should also view this particular moment in order to use the threat of war in order to bring about a real diplomatic solution as opposed to punitive measures. >> i fully support that option that you just outlined. right now it appears that getting security council to --
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on our side would be nearly impossible. nato is not on the side. as it's constructed right now, would an american assault on syria be legal under international law? >> no. it won't be legal. look, the reality is, let's not mince any words, a solid majority of americans are against any military action in syria. we keep talking whether barack obama has succeeded in creating a broad coalition. there is no broad international coalition, that's a fact. britain is out. the arab league has not given the om obama administration a cart blanche for military action. the united nations is against war and even the european foreign ministers went out of their way to support a strong aksz and stopped short from supporting unilateral military action.
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more important, tlgs no support for such action in united states in america itself. that's why i would argue regardless of what happens, barack obama should go to the security council and share the evidence that the united states has with the international community and also take the initiative by russia seriously about dismantling syria's chemical weapons and using that particular initiative as really confidence building measure in order to begin the process of finding a political solution. the irony is that after every pronouncement by secretary of state john kerry, every single one. he ends his pronounce. by saying there is no military situation to the crisis in syria. only a diplomatic solution. this tells you a great deal about the fact there is no military solution. so why not proceed. why not investigate. why not try to find out a real diplomatic solution and using russia obviously russia's interest deeply involved, russia
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wants to prevent basically escalation and also now it can really do a great deal of arms twisting when it comes to syria. this would be a win-win for everyone, dismantling syria's chemical weapons would be a win-win for the syrian people and win-win for the international community and hopefully it would provide a way out, a first diplomatic initiative to end the carnage and bloodletting in syria. >> very interesting and potentially hopeful developments today. thanks for bringing us the international perspective on all of this. up next, our white house roundtable, three reporters in the know tell us about the conversations taking place behind closed doors. florida police are investigating a possible domestic battery involving george zimmerman. the man acquitted in the death of 17-year-old trayvon martin is currently being detained by police while all parties are questioned. we will keep an eye on this and update you with any developments. we'll be right back. ♪ turn around
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we just talked about the international support for syria. and it's an uphill battle at home. only 41% of americans currently approve of the job the pld is doing on foreign policy overall. those numbers have been falling and new polling shows over the course of the last week or so public opposition to specifically the proposal to strike syria has swelled from 48% of americans to now nearly two-thirds, according to chuck todd, the administration is worried that losing this battle with congress could also be bruising for the remainder of his presidency. right now the president is getting ready to sit down with anchors from all six major broadcast networks, including our own savannah guthrie to make the case. that allows for a minute or two
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soundbite and then an address. peter alexander and let's start with you, peter. what is the thinking here regarding the idea that a failure to secure congressional approval is not only bad obviously for the president's foreign policy objectives but bad for his presidency? >> it's remarkable we're having this conversation about syria right now. we thought there would be political battles right about now but they didn't have anything to do with foreign policy. they were focused on issues like the budget, the issue of immigration, all of those topics. by there is sincere concern that is wasting the opportunity to focus on other things. privately white house advisers think it's near impossible that immigration gets revisited during the course of this
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calendar year but recognize the stakes here are significant. the hope with interviews the president is doing today, the six anchors walking behind us here across the north lawn within next five to ten minutes or so really make the president as it was described to me, the closer in the words of one adviser, have the real opportunity to make his case to the american public. they hope that when members of congress who have been at home finally come and see the evidence and intelligence for themselves, that and the sort of washington world will help influence the responsibility the white house believes they have to support and authorize these strikes. >> jonathan, you've been writing over at politico that the administration is privately making the case to democrats that this is his presidency at stake. talk to us about that and do you think there are any republicans who are also open to the idea that nothing -- that they might be interested in, like tax reform, is going to get done if this vote fails in congress? >> i don't think there are any republicans that will look at
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the president's domestic agenda and decide to vote for syria based on the idea of salvaging some other issues. most of the other issues are dead. probably immigration. you'll probably have some resolution to the budget battle. when you think about the president, the rest of his presidency, that's a long time. in terms of issues in front of it right now, the perception of power is power and he is perceived right now to not have a lot of power. he's falling with the american public and didn't make the case to the international community and congress isn't getting behind him. until he can turn that around, you'll see he has less effect with his own members on issues where it's a personal credibility matter. and this is what's going on with syria right now. the white house will say when members come back and get the intelligence they'll change their mind. the people haven't changed their mind for most part. you see the same stubborn opposition to the international
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community getting intelligence and members of congress getting private intelligence assessments. >> but, jonathan, isn't there another layer to this? i oppose intervention and spoken to that on this program, but it seems to me the marketing after an intervention is going to be somewhat at odds with a strong and thoughtful policy making process. just today for example we're seeing signals about this notion of an alternative to a direct military attack if we put these weapons under the u.n.'s authority. i think that would be potentially a very good thing to delay and potentially avoid an attack. on the other happened hand, you don't have to be a political scientist expert to know it is difficult to diplomatic alternatives on other hand. isn't there tension towards doing the sales job, the bush administration did in the runup to their war versus having an open policy process that
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maintains alternative solutions? >> i think generally speaking in diplomacy the idea you threaten a war or have military force backing up what you want the other country to do is effective. you could get a political solution of that. somebody doesn't want to get struck. what the administration would be looking at is a promise by the syrians and russians that the syrian chemical weapons stockpile would be disposed of or given away, sold to somebody perhaps and you'd have to believe that was actually happening even though you believe that they used chemical weapons against their own people and lied about it and making that case for a long time not only to americans but the intercommunity. and by the way believe that the syrians aren't smart enough to effect the vote in congress by suggesting there's a political solution going on. i think, i'm not in these meetings or conversations between americans on behalf of syrians. y don't know exactly what's going
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on. but the white house is right to have some caution about the extent to which this is a realistic solution. they are saying they'll explore it. i don't know how you would not explore it but at the same time you hear things like that there's still deep skepticism about that. >> we're beginning to learn a bit more about how the president arrived at his decision to seek congressional authorization without some of his key members of his foreign policy team, including secretary kerry and chuck hagel. instead of sought device from dennis mcdonough. i would love to hear what you think is going on behind closed doors among the foreign policy team. has there been pushback or division about how things have been handled up to this point? >> i think you've seen that exposed publicly. you see chuck hagel and the military not being as enthusiastic publicly as others have been. and i think in going forward with this, i think in terms of the president's decision to go
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to congress about this, he did announce this right after we were told a long walk around the white house grounds with dennis mcdonough, chief of staff. they have a deep trust way back to the president's senate days when he elevated dennis mcdonough to the chief of staff job, this was a lot of sense that this was an ins lar, tight community. he had been with the president during his election and his campaigns and so that gives a question of what kind of political calculus they came up with here. we were told it was something that shocked the president the rest of his team. john kerry sold it strongly and then had to walk that back and go again and make another case. that is some tension. you're seeing a problem over last weekend even through today that the administration continues to have different kind of reasoning for different audiences to why they are doing this. sometimes those things are conflicting with each other. i think that's something you'll see the president try to address
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in interviews and speech at the white house tomorrow. >> david, in your "washington post," i read an interesting quote from jim rich who said this is the first war in history where the attacking party set out to not destroy the other side, which made me say whose the military person behind closed doors who is saying, sths what we need as a military, either to stay home or do this thing full on? >> i think the military -- the sense we're getting, the military says we can carry out either objectives. they are skeptical they might produce an end result that's more than sending a shot as president obama first said it a week ago. do you want to turn the tables or the tide on the battlefield itself to the rebels? no one is prepared to say which rebel group they would like to see in power. there's not a good answer. susan rice who has been more forceful behind the scenes on taking action, gave a speech
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just earlier today at a think task and started to layout a stronger case that america needs to do this to put its money where its mouth is an send strong signals on behalf of its allies to iran and north korea you can't use weapons of mass destruction. when is he said we need to tie this into stronger better objectives in the middle east, i think they are going to try to say we're not doing this to send a shot across the bow but for a stronger objective and that's something the public needs to hear. >> let's say congress does vote this down. we decide not to take military action and syria does in fact use chemical weapons again. then what? is that a big i told you so from the administration? >> i think the administration would be badly weakened if we got anywhere near that place. they are looking for ways so that doesn't play out. they are not talking about
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hypotheticals right now but they feel confidently. i walked out of the white house briefing a short time ago, inaction would create greater instability. in the conversations i've had with just average americans that have been talking about this, many of them say the greatest fear is that the white house cannot guarantee that there won't be greater instability if they do attack. it's that fear of what happens in days three three and four and five after a potential attack. ultimately it's up to lawmakers to speak to constituents and make that for themself. for a lot of americans it's they have no idea what could happen if we do act. >> those are the tough questions. peter, thanks, and jonathan and david, thank you as well. we have been talking about debate happening inside the white house. up next we turn to the strategy for this important presidential address this week on the eve of the president's address to the nation. we have a former speechwriter,
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when the president adriss the people live tomorrow night in prime time. he's speaking to a war weary audience. winning them over will not be the main goal. in the guest spot is michael waldman, head of speech writing in the clinton white house. welcome, great to have you here. if it is not about persuading the american people or about persuading congress, what does the president hope to accomplish tomorrow night? >> there's an idea that somehow in the past a president would go and give an oval office address and suddenly public opinion would turn and there would be thousands of telegrams flooding
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into congress, we've changed our mind, we want to take military action. >> that's not going to happen? >> nixon used to give these speeches on vietnam and he we found out later the telegrams were fake. president george w. bush really didn't persuade people to support going into iraq until after our troops were already in harm's way. what the president can do though, what he has not yet done is layout in an intellectually clear way, why this would be necessary, why chemical weapons are so different that we have to step in as he would say. what the goal is, and what could possibly come of it. in a way it's to give members of congress who might think it is the right thing to do but know they are getting tremendous heat from their constituents, some cover. it's not that they are going to suddenly turn public opinion. that didn't even happen in the
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past and i don't think likely to happen right now. >> well, you mentioned the skittish public, another time was before president clinton took action in kosovo and similarly, a lot of parallels are drawn there. he made a big prime time address to try to move the public in support of intervention there. tell us about -- you were involved in that speech. tell us what was going on behind the scenes at that time. >> this was after several years of warfare in what had been yug slaf ya and there was the fighting between serbia and ethnic cleansing in bosnia. and kosovo was a province. this is a good example. it took many months where the president started, talked in the state of the union address in early 1999 and got support from nato then announced that he was doing it. and then there was a considerable amount of public education that went all along and while it happened, the house
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of representatives voted against it. this kind of game playing happens all the time. members of congress might think something is a good idea but don't really want to be held accountable for it or might think it's a bad idea but they have to go along anyway because the president of their own party. the kind of challenges the president is facing right now are not that unusual. what's a little unusual is the narrative arc of the whole thing is a little mixed up. >> michael -- >> i want to ask you about that. you talk about the narrative. what does he have to do then given your experience? does he have have to layout the fact he believes in this and we should trust him as commander in chief or go into clear strategy and end game? >> i think first of all he has to show with some passion and rigor why he thinks this is important. yes, we don't want a trigger happy commander in chief but don't want to follow an unclear trumpet either. i think he can't be afraid to do what susan rice did today, which is to situate this not so much
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in instability in syria because my goodness we're heart broken in sees 1,000 people perish already, but there's something different about chemical weapons and something different about weapons of mass destruction. and explain in a way what has to happen. when most of these military interventions, a leader or president says if the head of the other country doesn't do x, we're going to invade. this is almost an after the fact criminal punishment being proposed for a really bad deed. and that's a little harder to explain. i'd like to know, if a then b and what the limiting principle is. and i think that will go far to possibly moving some of the skeptics. >> you understand better than anyone what goes into writing important speeches. thank you so much for joining us. we appreciate it. back to breaking news out of florida. an update on the incident involving george zimmerman. you're looking at live pictures of the scene. we're hearing there was a 911
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call made from shelley zimmerman's father's home, there was some sort of argument and george zimmerman put his hand on the gun and threatened the family and there was an altercation and was hit, treating it is a battery investigation. it's believed the caller was she shellie. we'll kept you posted on details. stick with us. hire without going to angie's list first. with angie's list, i know who to call, and i know the results will be fantastic! find out why more than two million members count on angie's list. angie's list -- reviews you can trust.
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this was inspired by max
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fischer's interesting wash post essay. nine questions about syria you are too embarrassed to ask. which explains the roots of this civil war lie in the syrian's response to the brutal crackdown on them. this essay was also inspired by the brilliant retort, nine questions about britain you were too embarrassed to ask, which was told through tweets like, quote, why the britains selling nerve gas to syria and are we going to bomb the britains, lol, no, reasons. the british government licensed british companies to sell key ingredients in sarin to syrian companies as recently as last year, but let's not get bogged down on all that, because the special relationship is dead, and there's much more hypocrisy to impact. to here we go. >> the real meaning of nine words surrounding syria you were embarrassed to ask about.
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number one. credibility. >> yes, a synonym for machismo, ie, how much of a man are you. >> number two. chemical weapons. >> the global community has a ban on chemical weapons, because they're indiscriminate. ie, you can't control where they go. that's why enforcing the ban is valuable. but according to dexter filkins, a major reporter on this matter, if using chemical weapons is such a problem, why have we overlooked so many chemical attacks? >> number three. rebels. >> yes, assad is horrible. but some of the rebels are al qaeda from iraq or members of al qaeda ally groups. some reject our intervening as a, quote, new aggression against muslims. great. so we want to bomb syria to punish assad for gassing al qaeda, thus helping, wait, what? >> number four. punishment.
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>> as david reef wrote, the u.s. is not the world's parent. with the unwelcome but unnecessary responsibility of administering a spanking to a delinquent child, #amen. >> number five, refugees. >> there are 6 or 7 million people displaced from their homes right now with no clean water and children suffering diseases once thought eradicated. for more on how the people of syria living right now, check out, because we're not focused on the people. our focus is -- >> number six, iran. >> iran's leaders want assad in power. american intelligence officials tell reporters, the iranians are all in. syria is not merely a place to show iran how tough we are for our future battle over nukes. syria is possibly the low cust of a proxy war between us and iran. did you hear that we intercepted an order from iran to militants
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in iraq to attack the u.s. embassy in baghdad if we strike syria? that brings to mind -- >> number seven, quagmire. >> quagmire is a term for shaky, wet, unsteady ground, which cannot support the weight of a man and therefore dangerous to enter and difficult to leave. >> number eight, the law. >> are the attacks we're planning legal under international law? are we allowed to ask that? no? >> number nine, jobs, health care, immigration, the farm bill. >> these are all things that will have far more of an impact on the lives of americans than whatever happens in syria, unless we end up in a protracteded war. that ask does it for the cycle. martin bashir is next. every day? when i can. [ bop ] [ male announcer ] could've had a v8. two full servings of vegetables for only 50 delicious calories. two full servings of vegetables building animatronics is all about getting things to work together. the timing,
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