'This Week' Transcript: President Barack Obama

STEPHANOPOULOS: (inaudible) that Congress backs him up on that. I want to put the question to you Congressman Amash that I put to the president, what if this, despite all the difficulties in trying to find these weapons and get the inspectors going, let's say it goes on for a year. Assad keeps the process going but it strengthens his hold on power. What does that mean? Is that a victory for him, a defeat for the United States?

AMASH: Well I wouldn't call it a defeat for the United States. It may be a victory for him. But at the end of the day, we can't be involved in every civil war around the world. And I think the American people feel very strongly about that. I was back and did 11 town halls in two days. I can't tell you how strong the response was in opposition to the war. It was incredible; I've never seen anything like it.

EDWARDS: Because you were wearing your Darth Vader uniform.

(LAUGHTER)

AMASH: So I think, yeah, he may, Assad may achieve a victory. But it doesn't mean that the United States has lost. We don't want to--

DOWD: Foreign policy right now, his foreign policy decisions and actually all domestic policy decisions are being infected by two huge dynamics that are going around in this country.

First we spent $1 trillion on a war and lost thousands of lives that ended up us being no better off in the aftermath in those 10 years. The country or the world not being better off.

And two, as of today, and it's been this way for the last few years, the trust in the government's ability to do anything right, foreign policy, domestic policy, whatever, is at an all-time low. So when you put that in a president's hands, he is really handcuffed in his ability to exercise any foreign policy.

Which is why I think his agreement with Russia was the best case scenario for this president.

ROBERTS: I must say if Assad looks at history, now this takes a while, but if he looks at the last places that we did this kind of thing, in Libya and Iraq, Gadhafi and Saddam Hussein are dead.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Eventually, yes.

ROBERTS: Eventually--

STEPHANOPOULOS: But that would lead him to not give up the weapons.

GIGOT: That's right but then the chances that the president is going to go back to Congress and ask for more sanctions is vanishingly small. I just don't see it. And the problem here is not just that we're washing our hands of Syria and Assad might win. It's that his patron, Iran, would win. And then you look at the prospect of Iran with nuclear weapons and they're going to see this as--

STEPHANOPOULOS: But you heard the president there, he has reached out personally to the Iranian president, feels there's some opening there.

GIGOT: I think the danger here is that they look at this; he's now, the president's now in the diplomatic maze. And he, Iranians look at this and say, you know what? We can get in that same type of diplomatic morass and get some kind of hazy deal. And they meanwhile go on to keep marching nuclear weapons--

And what does Israel do? Israel now has to make a calculation; can we trust President Obama's assurances to protect us? And if they can't, they might strike--

DOWD: The history of the world, the civilized world, it shows no real good example where somebody came in and imposed an external rationale on a foreign company. So we're going to impose democracy on you and therefore it's going to succeed.

Every single time--

(UNKNOWN): You lived a lot of that in the Bush White House.

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