• And I don't doubt for a minute that the Islamists will try to take and play an outsized role in Syria if they are successful. And so in helping the opposition to Assad, people have to be very careful that they don't end up with something worse than the Assad regime, which is hard to imagine but possible.

    VAN SUSTEREN: So what's the best strategy? In light of the position we're in -- we have the president saying that there is a red line. He says he didn't draw it, it's drawn by the international community. You've got a Congress...

    RUMSFELD: He did draw it!

    VAN SUSTEREN: I'm telling you what he said.

    RUMSFELD: You're kidding! I didn't see that.

    VAN SUSTEREN: He's saying that it's been -- that's drawn by the international community, by international standards, by Congress, by the American people...

    RUMSFELD: This president has tried to find a way to blame everybody or anybody for everything! And leadership requires that you stand up, take a position, provide clarity and take responsibility. And I can't imagine him saying that he didn't draw the red line, but he did draw the red line.

    VAN SUSTEREN: In light of...

    RUMSFELD: If we have ears!

    VAN SUSTEREN: In light of where we are...

    RUMSFELD: I've been out in Montana, and I must have missed that.

    VAN SUSTEREN: OK. In light of the -- where we stand right now, where the fact that Congress is voting on this, debating it, likely to give him authority, if they don't give authority, it seems like he's going to do it anyway, send those Cruise missiles over to Syria -- is there -- is there any -- any way that the United States can sort of regain stature, credibility, do anything at this point? Because it almost seems like we're a little boxed in because our president has said we're going to do this.

    RUMSFELD: There's no question but that the leadership, or the lack of leadership, to be more precise, has driven our country into a cul-de-sac, and that's not a good place to be. Is it possible to come out of it? Sure.

    We have a wonderful country, and if the president would bring in good advisers and sit down and think through where he is and get down to bedrock, to concrete and know where he is, and then decide that he's willing to make a decision, and either the decision is to not do something -- if he's unwilling to do anything that's going to change the regime, I think he's probably better off doing nothing and accepting the burden that falls on us from all of his prior statements.

    If he decides he wants to change the regime because he thinks the killing of 100,000 people and the use of chemical weapons is something that is damaging and harmful to our country and to the world, I think the American people would follow him.

    (END VIDEOTAPE)