NewsNation | December 06, 2012
>> bring in "time" magazine international editor jim frederick. we wanted you on to talk about, obviously, the situation in syria . let me play what senator john mccain just said at a news conference in the last hour. let's play it please.
>> looking at it from assad 's viewpoint, they see us leave iraq and return al qaeda in iraq . we've seen nothing but aannouncements of withdrawal from afghanistan. we've watched al qaeda elements able it to destroy our -- or damage severely our consulate in benghazi and kill four brave americans. the message has to be sent that the united states is engaged. that the united states is ready to be involved, and the united states is ready to do whatever is necessary to prevent an act that could endanger or take the lives of literally thousands and thousands of innocent people.
>> senator mccain obviously blending in every issue he can possibly put on the list there. but in reality i think that sound clip points to the difficulty the president will have on any decision that comes out of this. he's going to have opposition or second-guessing from john mccain and his supporters, but what are the options if, in fact, syria makes this move?
>> i think that option number one is to let russia try to do something. it's really the only country left that has a significant amount of influence when it comes to assad and assad in terms of political maneuvering. so clinton met with the foreign minister of russia , and that's is russia can do something. russia is softening the position on regime change in syria , because i think that they see the syrian regime, this might be an indication we're entering the end game. their job is to ensure that assad doesn't go from even though he's killed 40,000 people, he has been a fairly rational and self-preserving actor here. bombing them with sarin gas means he tipped over into utterly irrational and the whole world has a big problem on his hands.
>> this brings up the question of should more have been done earlier, and what were the options?
>> it's easy for senator mccain when you're not in power saying we should do all things. the thing we should remember is regime change , libya, egypt, iraq, it very rarely goes well.
>> the consequences of regime change , even when it's supported.
>> right. in syria there are so many more competing factions for power, that i think a regime change in syria , we might be in for a whole different category of problems. to say that the united states should just walk in there and designate a new leader or do whatever it takes, i mean, that itself is a little naive and easy to say when you're not sitting in the chair.
>> thank you very much. coming