Henry Kissinger Former Secretary of State Offers Perspective on Whether U.S. Should Militarily Strike the Assad Regime (Video)
Sep 09, 2013 04:20 PM EDT
Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger weighed in on the current Syrian crisis involving potential military intervention by the U.S., in an appearance Monday on CNN's Christiane Amanpour's show.
"I have been against American military intervention, and have said so publicly. This, however, is a a use of weapons of mass destruction, which has consequences beyond Syria... For that reason, and for the limited purpose of penalizing the use of weapons of mass destruction, I support President Obama's request," Kissinger said.
The former secretary of state, however, expressed worry that Obama opted to take his proposal of military authorization to Congress first since "it creates the impression... that the president really doesn't have the authority to act unless he has Congress, and that therefore there's substantial delay which the Congress deliberates. .. It would be dangerous for the world if the President of the United States were repudiated on a manner that he considers of the importance of the campaign he has now put forth," he added.
Kissinger's statement and the Obama's administration appeal to America that a military strike come as Bashar al-Assad's government reportedly "welcomed" a call from its chief weapons supplier Russia to place its chemical arsenals under international control, and to then destroy them to avert a U.S. strike.
"Syria welcomes the Russian proposal out of concern for the lives of the Syrian people, the security of our country and because it believes in the wisdom of the Russian leadership that seeks to avert American aggression against our people," Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said during a visit to Moscow. al-Moallem held talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon urged Syria to immediately agree "to transfer the chemical weapons and chemical precursors to a safe place within the country for international destruction," the AP reported.
There was no time frame given for any particular transfer of chemical weapons, in an effort to destroy them.
Meanwhile, both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate are expected this week to approve or disapprove of President Obama's authorization to militarily strike at Assad, punishing him for reportedly using chemical weapons against his own people.
Minority Leader Harry Reid said that a vote for Syrian authorization will happen on Wednesday.