'This Week' Transcript: Rep. Mike Rogers, Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, and Rep. Jan Schakowsky

ROGERS: Yeah, you know part of the problem was, I think indecision has lessened the number of options we have available. So you have al-Qaeda in large numbers in the thousands, who are the best-trained, best-equipped, and most...


STEPHANOPOULOS: These are the opposition to the Assad regime?

ROGERS: ...well, what they have done is attach themselves to the secular units. That causes a huge problem for us. And here's the biggest problem, and why at least our leadership, and this is not about military intervention alone, how often is the Arab League actually asking us to show leadership with them, to help coordinate their resources on the ground in Syria? It doesn't happen very often. Why?

The conventional weapons, if they get loose from Syria, and there are a bunch of them, is incredibly destabilizing to the Levant, to the Middle East, to Southern Europe. That's Israel is -- is concerned, Jordan is concerned, Turkey is concerned, because they see that in chaos, if -- when he falls, you have Hezbollah in the north trying to get their hands on both chemical and conventional weapons, you have al-Qaeda all over the country now, even knocking on Israel's doorstep in the south, also looking to get better equipped through these stockpiles. It is horribly destabilizing. That's why they need to take a leadership role.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But it does appear, Congressman that the Assad regimen is, perhaps in many ways even stronger than Saddam Hussein's regime at the beginning of -- of the invasion. This a resilient leader who is not going anywhere fast.

RUPPERSBERGER: Well, we hope he goes a lot faster than he is now. A lot of people are surprised he's lasted this long. I agree with Mike on the issue of the chemical weapons. That is severe. We have to know where they are, and we're very much concerned, if Assad eventually falls, where these chemical weapons are going to go. Just like in Libya. We had a lot of weapons that went to some bad guys. And it's the same situation here.

So -- but we have to be together as a team. You know we can't make decisions because we're concerned about how -- how Iran, or North Korea looks at us -- at us. That is an issue, no question. But we're going to do what we need to do. We have unique weapons that no one else has. But you talk about a no-fly zone. It's easy to say it, but Syria is very sophisticated. Libya was not sophisticated. So, we have a lot of issues on the table, and we've got to get it right. But, I believe very strongly, we have to do it as a -- as a team.

STEPHANOPOULOS: What's the most effective escalation right now?

GOLDBERG: The most effective escalation for the Americans?


GOLDBERG: Well, you know, I have to agree with Martha, safe haven is a very...

STEPHANOPOULOS: Define what a safe haven...

GOLDBERG: A safe haven means essentially you're occupying part of another person's country. I mean, let's not kid ourselves. If you're going to say that this is a safe haven means that you're enforcing a no-fly zone over that haven, that means you have established your sovereignty in somebody else's country. That is not -- we can't call that invasion in the Iraq style, but that's a very serious thing.

Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...