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2267Condoleezza Rice on Syrian war, Middle East stakes & military options

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  • Peter Dow
    Jun 9 8:11 PM


      CBS Evening News June 3, 2013

      Reports on Senator John McCain's recent secret visit to Syria and his call for the US to arm the rebels and impose a no-fly zone. Condoleezza Rice, CBS News Contributor is asked by CBS News anchorman Scott Pelley to comment.
      Scott Pelley:
      Senator John McCain just back from his secret visit to Syria wants the US to arm the rebels and impose a no-fly zone on Assad's forces.
      Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is now a CBS News contributor and joins us here this evening.
      Senator McCain says "arm the rebels, impose a no-fly zone", what do you think?
      Condoleezza Rice:
      Well there's no doubt that it is time for the United States to make clear that it is going to engage in this effort to stop the difficult situation in Syria and to prevent its further spread, it's already spreading across the region.
      So the United States doesn't have an option of no action.
      A no-fly zone is an actual military operation and the president of the United States is going to have to decide whether he is willing to apply American military power to this conflict but a no-fly zone is clearly an option.
      Scott Pelley:
      Is it worth the possibility of the loss of American life in that operation?

      Condoleezza Rice:
      Well you have a situation now in which Syria is becoming the lynch-pin of a possibly exploding Middle East.
      When you have Iranian fighters in Syria, when you have Hezbollah in Syria, when you have the Syrians shelling the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon, when you have the Israelis taking out Syrian installations because they fear for Israeli security, you have a very serious situation on your hands and the United States really doesn't have an option to sit on the side-lines.
      Scott Pelley:
      What's at stake?
      Condoleezza Rice:
      What is at stake is really the Middle East state system as we know it and what is at stake is a Middle East in which Iran and its allies are on the march into places like Lebanon, destabilising Jordan and Iraq and Gulf states like Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.
      Now the United States of America has got to be present in this. No other country has the potential even to change the dynamics on the ground and to take the initiative in the region.
      Scott Pelley:
      Former Secretary of State in the Bush administration, Condoleezza Rice, thanks for being with us.
      Condoleezza Rice:
      It's a pleasure to be with you.


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