'This Week' Transcript: Crisis in the Middle East

GANYARD: That's exactly right. You would think chemical weapons, we would go in and destroy the chemical weapons with bombs, but chemical weapons can only be destroyed with very, very sensitive technology that incinerates them or chemically neutralizes them. You can't drop a bomb on a bunker and expect it to neutralize the Syrian chemical capabilities.

In the worst case there, it would be that you would bomb this bunker and you would throw chemical weapons all over the desert and perhaps throw these containers of sarin gas or nerve gas, some sort of agent that could be picked up by somebody and used in a terrorist attack.

So, highly unlikely that we will go after the sites themselves that contain these weapons, but we'll probably attack things that allow them to employee these kinds of weapons, things like airfields, like command and control facilities, military headquarters, perhaps airplanes, airfields, those things that would allow the Syrian military to employee gas against its citizens.

RADDATZ: From what you've heard, does this seem like a symbolic attack, or could it actually do some good?

GANYARD: I think we need to temper our expectations. This is a very limited attack, what's being discussed is a very limited military attack. I think that the best we could hope for is to deter Mr. Assad from using chemicals against his people again.

But it's not going to help with the refugee problem. And worst case, it could lead to, he would shrug off the attack, and we would be -- it would precipitate follow-on military attacks and perhaps drag us into a larger Middle East conflict, which is something that the White House seems quite keen to avoid.

RADDATZ: Thanks so much for joining us, Colonel Ganyard, appreciate it.

GANYARD: Thank you.

RADDATZ: Joining me now here in Cairo is Amr Moussa, the former Egyptian foreign minister and the former head of the Arab League. Thanks so much for joining us. Good to see you.

MOUSSA: Thank you, Martha.

RADDATZ: Let me start with Syria and your reaction to news out of the U.S. that the United States is considering air strikes if those chemical attacks are verified.

AMR MOUSSA, FRM. EGYPTIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: Well, it is a political message. And I don't think that a -- or a warning message, that chemical weapons should not be used. But I wonder whether this region at this juncture could afford to have another war, or a major war. If there is, or there are indications that chemical weapons were used, then the security council should consider the matter first before anything else.

RADDATZ: But you probably know what would happen in the security council with Russia.

MOUSSA: No. No, no, no, this is a very serious situation. And let everybody express his view or their, whether it is the United States, or Russia or Europe. This is a very serious issue.

RADDATZ: You're talking about a war. I think if they were limited air strikes, what would be the reaction be in the region?

MOUSSA: Well, it always starts like that, limited strike, and then it widens, and grows and grows and grows, and then the whole region would be involved.

RADDATZ: But I really would like you, because you were head of the Arab League, to talk about if there were limited air strikes, cruise missile strikes, how do you think Bashar al-Assad would respond?

  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • 3
  • |
  • 4
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...