Sun Sep 1, 2013, 02:38 PM
The Straight Story (47,982 posts)
Kerry Interview With George Stephanopoulos of ABC This Week
QUESTION: You say that the evidence is so clear, but President Putin – and you mentioned Russia – calling it “utter nonsense” that President Assad would authorize this kind of a chemical strike, the President heading to Russia this week. Your response to President Putin?
SECRETARY KERRY: Well, I would – and we’ve offered the – our friend – we’ve offered the Russians previously to have a briefing on this. In fact, we sent people over to Russia who provided evidence we had with respect to the last ones. And they chose – I literally mean chose – not to believe it or to at least acknowledge publicly. I think this evidence is going to be overwhelming. If the President of Russia chooses yet again to ignore it, that’s his choice.
But the United States and our friends need to make the decisions that we need to make based on the rational presentation of that evidence. We will lay it out there for everybody to judge. We’ve actually gone overboard in this case, George, to declassify certain things, to put things out there that normally wouldn’t be available in terms of intelligence, and I think it’s going to be very, very hard for anybody, ultimately, to ignore it.
My hope is that the Russians will recognize that Assad crossed a line here. We’re working very closely with the Russians on the Geneva negotiation potential, and my hope is they would rededicate themselves to that and perhaps even join us in an effort at the United Nations to hold Assad accountable.
QUESTION: And finally, sir, what do you say to so many Americans who worry that we’re going to get sucked into a wider war?
SECRETARY KERRY: This is not Iraq. This is not Afghanistan. There is nothing similar in what the President is contemplating. We do not need to do that in this case because there are others who are willing to fight, others who are engaged; and the issue here is not whether we will go and do it with them, it’s whether we will support them adequately in their efforts to do it.
I think the President has drawn a very, very bright line with respect to that. He has no intention – zero intention – of putting boots on the ground, and this military action that he is seeking approval for is directed at the upholding of the international norm on the prohibition of chemical weapons. It is not focused on the larger battlefield and interests in the regime. The political effort is totally focused on getting Assad out through the Geneva process, on supporting the opposition, and the President will continue to do that.
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Kerry Interview With George Stephanopoulos of ABC This Week (Original post)
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