'This Week' Transcript: Warren Buffett, Powerhouse Roundtable

ROBERTS: Right, and that is -- that is a huge problem. Look, the president doesn't know what to do, and neither does anybody else. And so what you have is a lot of people criticizing the president for doing nothing, and then when you ask them what -- what should happen, they kind of dance all over the place. But, with the public being so completely disillusioned with American wars abroad that have gone on for so long -- you know, these wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have cost every American family something like $45,000, not to mention, of course, the lives. And it really takes a whole foreign policy option off the table when Americans say that they don't want to have our troops engaged in another war.

And that's a problem because we need to have every, single option available in a very dangerous world.

STEPHANOPOULOS: One of the big questions, Mary Matalin, is how effective actually arming the rebels can be and what kind of consequences that can create if the weapons fall into the wrong hands.

MATALIN: That's right.

So, to echo much of what has been said here, policy ranges from incoherent to feckless. He's redrawn his red lines. He's reversed his opposition to arming the rebels. He doesn't know who they are. We don't have good intelligence because of the effects of the policies, his policies, dismantling our security infrastructure.

Yes, it is difficult to know what to do in a transitioning region. Something we know not to do is what he has done, which is issue these red, bright lines and then, walk back from them.

ROBERTS: It's the parental thing. Every parent...

CARVILLE: I don't normally do that with my politics, but I'm going to play George Will here. And he is -- talking about dithering and he and I don't agree a lot, but we are the (inaudible). And if you're talking about helping these rebels, you've got to understand, this is not Patrick Henry and Benjamin Franklin over there that we're dealing with. And it is not altogether certain that the -- either the worst people in the world are the government and the second worst are the rebels or the first worst is the rebels and the second is the government. But it's not like we have a great choice over there as to what to do.

MATALIN: No, that's true. It's a terrible set of choices. And nobody really does know what to do. But what does seem to be happening is that there's a lot of disillusion with the United States in the Muslim world. And that's a problem.


RICHARDSON: What I see, I saw a signal by General Idris, who is the head of the rebels, the military council. And he basically renounced al Qaeda. Now, I know there's questions...

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, that clears that up.


MATALIN: But he likes the Taliban just fine.

RICHARDSON: Britain and France are going to start arming the rebels, I think that's a signal that some -- I won't say cover, but it's a move in the direction of NATO and the president moving.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And we're not going to go in alone.

ROBERTS: And refugees. We have got to do a whole lot more -- hundreds of thousands.

DEMINT: The issue here is Iran, and Syria's almost a distraction here. The weapons moving through Syria because it's completely destabilized. We have to focus on how we can demonstrate our support of Israel and continue the pressure on Iran otherwise, we're going to create more problems inside Syria.

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