Candy Crowley: 'Who Cares' That 'Russia Got the Diplomatic Edge' in Syria?
CNN’s Candy Crowley did her best Hillary Clinton Sunday.
During a State of the Union discussion about the American-Russian agreement concerning Syria, Crowley asked a skeptical Congressman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), "Who cares" that "Russia got the diplomatic edge?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CANDY CROWLEY, HOST: I'm joined now by Mike Rogers, he is chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. What do you think of the plan?
CONGRESSMAN MIKE ROGERS (R-MICHIGAN): Well, obviously I'm skeptical. But any day that we can do something to take chemical weapons off the battlefield, take them away from Assad, and/or stop them from being, from falling into the hands of Hezbollah or al Qaeda, it's a good day.
But here's the problem with where we're at. The Syria plan has been confusing at best over the last two years. Last week it was more confusing to the American people and more confusing to members of Congress about our national security interests. The president couldn’t quite close that deal.
So that indecisiveness, I think, gave the diplomatic advantage to the Russians. They saw it, they stepped in. This is a Russian plan for Russian interests. And we should be very, very concerned…
CROWLEY: Who cares? If it has a chance to get rid of chemical weapons, do we really care that Russia got the diplomatic edge?
Yes, a CNN host actually asked, "Who cares" that "Russia got the diplomatic edge?"
Pretty astounding, isn’t it?
Fortunately, Rogers was there to explain why we should care:
ROGERS: Well, if it were just that, that’s true. But if the president believes, like I do, that a credible military force helps you get a diplomatic solution, they gave that away in this deal. I’m really concerned about that. If you believe there’s broader national security interests in Syria, I know the president does, I know I clearly believe that. We have al Qaeda pooling in the west, we have Hezbollah operating there. It’s a proxy fight.
By the way, the Russians have been here the whole time and are complicit, in my mind, in allowing chemical weapons to be used. They got exactly they wanted. They wanted Assad here for a year, at least extended for a year. They got that.
And there’s not one ounce of chemical weapons in this. Remember, it’s a framework. There’s a lot of “shoulds,” not a lot of hard dates. All of this has to go to the U.N. So, not one ounce of chemical weapons came off the battlefield, but we’ve given up every ounce of our leverage when it comes to trying to solve the broader Syrian problem because we’ve taken away a credible military threat. The Russians said, “We maintain that right to oppose it in the National Security Council,” and they’ve said that they would.