After Alleged Chemical Attack, Obama Moves Toward "Cruise Missile Diplomacy" in Syria

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Posted Aug. 28, 2013

Interview with James Paul, "Syria Unmasked" author and former executive director of Global Policy Forum, conducted by Scott Harris


In response to the widely reported chemical weapons attack against civilians in the suburbs of Syria’s capital, Damascus, on Aug. 21, the Obama administration signaled that it is preparing to launch airstrikes against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s military forces. Even as United Nations weapons inspectors were attempting to verify the chemical attack that reportedly killed as many as 300 civilians in the town of eastern Ghouta, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry condemned the alleged attack in Syria as a "moral obscenity" and asserted that President Obama believed those responsible must be held accountable.

With opposition from Russia and China, the United Nations Security Council is unlikely to authorize military intervention in Syria’s 3-year-old civil war. But Turkey, Britain and France have indicated they would support the Obama administration if it decided to act against Syria in response to the alleged chemical weapons attack.

Responding to the threat of a U.S.-led attack on his country, Walid Moualem, the Syrian foreign minister "categorically" denied that his government used chemical weapons against its own people and challenged the world to provide evidence of who was responsible. The Syrian government accuses the rebels of using chemical weapons in a bid to provoke international intervention. Russia, a long-time ally of the Assad regime, warned that a Western military attack on Syria would only create more tension and bloodshed in the region. Between The Lines’ Scott Harris spoke with James Paul, author of "Syria Unmasked" and former executive director of Global Policy Forum, who discusses the chemical attack in Syria and the threat of U.S. military intervention there.

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