August 26th, 2013
10:46 PM ET

America's response to Syria's "moral obscenity"

Secretary of State John Kerry called the suspected chemical attack in Syria "a moral obscenity," and blamed the Assad regime. According to a senior administration official, in the next few days President Obama will be presented with final options on dealing with the situation in Syria. Already, four American warships in the Mediterranean are awaiting their orders. So what can we expect to happen next? Anderson asked national security analyst and former Bush administration Homeland Security Adviser Fran Townsend, former CIA officer Bob Baer, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution Mike Duran, and chief national correspondent John King.

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Filed under: Fran Townsend • John King • Syria
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Steve Yoder

    Syria conflict is terrible, but why is the US going this alone? What will the attacks acomplish? Russia will replace and help repair any damage that is done. Do we really know what Russia will do when the US attacks?

    This will cost the American people more than any one can imagine.

    Is the acting going to solve any problem?

    September 3, 2013 at 8:25 pm |
  2. Jonathan Scott Cory

    It's difficult to imagine any good outcome with regards to attacking or invading any place on the planet near so much sand and/or oil; The United States will not gain any new allies or respect in a region where it is easy to target a foreigners motives. It seems we are eager to live up to the promise of what America offers, so long as it is somewhere else. We jump to the front of the line to oppose terrorism and oppression, and are continually left with a 'go it alone' philosophy that leaves us in that budget consuming twist. Enough already! If the UN and the rest of the very wealthy Arab world don't want to front the cost of keeping the maniacs in a basket, then they SHOULD confront the aggression in real time. Our troops can be more effectively used to protect our borders by keeping such aggression at bay, by manning the watchtowers by land, sea, and air, not by sending them to 'keep peace' at the cost of soiling foreign sand with our blood!

    August 30, 2013 at 10:20 pm |
  3. tammy

    The world will never be perfect. No matter how much we wish it was. This is a fact of life. I feel bad for the victims in this horrible deed. Dirty deed. Shame on the guilty.

    August 28, 2013 at 11:05 pm |
  4. David

    I was wondering why the us government didn't do anything when sadaam Hussein used Chemical Weapons in halabja and killed more then 5000 Kurds.

    August 28, 2013 at 9:32 pm |
  5. Robert Abbaticchio

    They have proved the attack in Syria was chemical, so we are all talking punishment.
    Let's argue and prove who did the bombing first.
    Syria had nothing to gain, they have enough artillery, tanks etc. to cause the damage of the chemicals.
    Who is the only one that gains by the U.S. getting involved.....Al Qaeda or the Syrian rebels.
    The chemicals could have been obtained from Iraq or Iran.
    Not Syria because:
    1. too little damage for the trouble caused.
    2. Was aimed at women and children instead of rebels, to cause world wide impact.
    3. U.S. warned not to cross red line... why do it anyway
    4. Why do it while inspectors were present.
    Al Qaeda is cunning , always do what is not expected., and we are suckers and react.
    Did not expect embassy bombing during a protest, did not expect bombing by hijacked airliners, did not expect a shoe bomber, did not expect an underwear bomber, did not expect liquid chemicals as bomb on airliners., etc.

    August 28, 2013 at 8:50 pm |
  6. Rick

    U.S used atomic weapons which killed women and children. Also, we are killing women and children in Afghan an Iraq. We go after the little guys, hate to see when we have to face the big boys. We should stay out of Syria and

    August 28, 2013 at 8:22 pm |
  7. Peter O'Connell

    Great idea. We're trillions in debt, in the middle of a bad economy, and still haven't brought back all the troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Lets get into another war. I thought when I voted for Obama he was going to get us out of the middle east disaster not get us more involved. Enough is enough.

    August 28, 2013 at 8:18 pm |
  8. Charlie Barnett, M.D.

    Why We Must Respond to Syria’s Use Of Chemical Weapons

    As an American, I’m outraged
    That Syria might demand
    The tasteless role of chemicals
    In the weapons that they man.

    We know a better preference
    When the goal is to make dead
    Is a stab wound from a bayonet
    Or a bullet in the head.

    Or an explosion from an atom bomb
    Is a method more humane.
    A remotely guided drone attack
    Is clearly much more sane.

    Our people gave you Gettysburg
    Nagasaki, Columbine.
    So naturally our President
    Knows where to “draw the line.”

    So you amateurs in murder
    We have to let you know
    That when it comes to killing –You’ve got a long, long way to go.


    August 28, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
    • Charlie Barnett

      OK , let's put it into a Truman Capote context

      Forgive me Johnny Mercer.
      Andy Williams is gone. Mancini is quiet and we need to reformat Moon River.

      "Cruise Missile"

      Cruise Missile, guidance is sublime
      Your target you will find

      Oh, scream maker
      Regime breaker
      Wherever you’re going
      They’re going away.

      Two countries, one will save the world
      Or what we think the world should be…
      You’re not just the same – bomb again
      With you we can pretend
      Our world we can defend
      Cruise Missile, and me.


      August 28, 2013 at 6:39 pm |
  9. Jane A.Garsson

    President Assad has shown that he holds no ounce of compassion for his people; and has displayed a personality that is likened to a dictator such as Adolph Hitler.The U.S. should have taken action against his despicable regime much sooner, to avert these truly depotic acts. The American people as well as the U.N. should not condone these truly evil acts that have taken place. We must stand up for the inherent rights of these tortured people, and make a concience choice to choose human respect and decency , over the politiclal need to mitigate power in the Middle East.

    August 27, 2013 at 10:38 pm |
  10. Drew


    The bigger question here is where did they get the weapons? They did make these things, they bought them from someone. That's the real story. Outside of that, this isn't our flight. If we were going to do anything in the Congo or other places, then why now? I read we should stay out of it. and I think CNN should look into where they got the weapons.

    That's my two cents

    August 27, 2013 at 10:10 pm |
  11. Christopher Burroughs

    I'm not surprised that Syria has and is using chemical weapons. Several years ago, the US was searching in Iraq for chemical weapons, which were reportedly being smuggled out of Iraq to Syria. Why isn't that a topic of discussion?

    August 27, 2013 at 9:03 pm |
  12. Lloyd Abrahams CPA

    Breaking News -POTUS and the Secy of State have received an alternative solution to the Syrian problem
    See Below
    Dear POTUS Sand Secretary Kerry
    It is time to think outside the box.
    You have a short window for an alternative option for Syria and its latest Chemical Attack. Why not ask the Russians (and the Chinese) to act under UN Auspices as UN Peacekeepers (with full military authority) to go into Syria for up to 60 days or less and remove all of the Chemical WMD weapons. There would be a stand in place cease fire (that the Russians could enforce if necessary with their military power) and during this time medical and economic aid could be brought into Syria. Assad will not object as he is their buddy. The Russians would have a chance to show that they are a world power (Putin should love this). The rebels and the civilians would receive the medical, food and economic aid that is desperately needed. It is like making all the parties an "Offer they can not refuse". Guess what no US or NATO Troops on the ground in Syria – no collateral damage from cruise missiles going astray.
    I hope POTUS you will for once listen to someone else with a good idea.
    Thank you for your personal attention to this matter.

    Lloyd M. Abrahams CPA

    August 27, 2013 at 8:39 pm |
  13. Russell Parrott

    I think something needs to be done here – but, why not have some other United Nations country lead the way this time.

    August 27, 2013 at 6:01 pm |
  14. Georgiana Kennedy

    We the people have seen no evidence of diplomacy in the ME for a long time. An act of war should be the last resort, and approved by Congress.
    More disregard for the Constitution and the citizens of the USA. Shameful!

    August 27, 2013 at 6:01 pm |

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