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Cokie Roberts: Lack of Action in Syria Sends Terrible Signal to Rebels

ROBERTS 2SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP/WGGB) — The White House is not putting a timeline on a diplomatic resolution to the crisis in Syria. Press Secretary Jay Carney says the United States isn’t interested in delaying tactics, but he says putting Syria’s chemical weapons under international control, “obviously will take some time.” He says a United Nations process to draft a resolution is just underway.  The U.N. action is designed to stop plans for a U.S. military strike in response to chemical weapons use in Syria.

Neither Congress nor the American people support a military strike. Earlier today, ABC40’s Dave Madsen had a chance to talk with ABC News political commentator Cokie Roberts.

He asked her if she thought the President would proceed with a military strike without that support.

Cokie Roberts: One of the things that’s he (President Obama) has been saying over the last few weeks, that’s not been particularly coherent, is that he can act without Congress. But he wants Congress to act. And yet, if Congress votes no, he can still go. I mean, none of it’s made a whole lot of sense. But I think, that Congress is not going to take a vote, certainly no time soon and probably never. And the President is going to keep his fingers crossed and send John Kerry around the world to try and get an international agreement that international inspectors will go in and collect Syria’s chemical weapons.”

Dave Madsen :Cokie, what does it say to the rest of the world that as long as Assad gives up the chemical weapons stockpile, the US and its allies are going to overlook the gassing of Syrian citizens?

CR:  I think it sends a very terrible signal, personally and it’s one that the Syrian rebels are distressed about. Here, Assad has gone, and the administration has talked endlessly about how awful it is and how horrendous it is, these little children choking in their beds. But then, nothing happens to you as a result of that. And I think that the rebels are feeling very strongly that they’ve been abandoned here.”

Roberts adds that could become a real national security threat to the United States.  She says if the Syrian rebels don’t see support from the west, it could send them into the arms of terrorist groups  like al Qaida.


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