The Call For A Real U.S. Military Threat In Syria

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Fifty one State Department officials call out President Obama on his Syria policy. They want a real U.S. Military threat in Syria.

Syrian President Bashar Assad speaks in Damascus, Syria, Tuesday, June 7, 2016.(SANA / AP)
Syrian President Bashar Assad speaks in Damascus, Syria, Tuesday, June 7, 2016.(SANA / AP)

There is a so-called “dissent channel” at the U.S. State Department, and last week we all learned about it. Fifty-one State Department officials signed a cable calling for US military force against the murderous Assad regime in Syria. It read like a cry from the heart to stop the slaughter in Syria. And like a deep slap at the Obama administration’s deep resistance to US military interference in Syria. A humanitarian and strategic rebuke from within. This hour On Point, the message in the dissent cable. — Tom Ashbrook


Margaret Brennan, CBS News correspondent covering the State Department. (@margbrennan)

Frederic Hofsenior fellow at the Atlantic Council's Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East. Former special adviser for transition at the U.S. Department of State. (@frederichof)

David Sanger, national security correspondent for the New York Times. Author of "Confront and Conceal" and "The Inheritance." (@SangerNYT)

From Tom’s Reading List

CBS News: Russia ignores warnings, bombs U.S.-backed Syrian rebel group — "On Friday, Defense Secretary Ash Carter called out Russia for bombing a Syrian rebel group that's backed by the U.S. Since last year, American and Russian warplanes have shared the skies over Syria while supporting different sides in the civil war. Moscow backs the Assad dictatorship; the U.S. is arming rebels who've been trying to overthrow it."

New York Times: John Kerry Is Said to Side With Diplomats’ Critical Memo on Syria — "For a cabinet member whose department had just erupted into open disagreement with the White House, Secretary of State John Kerry’s reaction to a critical memo on Syria policy signed by 51 diplomats was remarkably mellow. 'It’s an important statement,' he told reporters in Copenhagen on Friday, 'and I respect the process very, very much.'"

NPR News: State Department Dissent On Syria Approach Signals Divide Within Administration — "The political process necessary to get a negotiated deal to negotiate a new government is broken. It's not working. And a cease-fire isn't working. We all saw the bombs falling on Aleppo. So the administration needs to do something different if it hopes to get to the negotiation that it says it wants."

This program aired on June 21, 2016.


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