All-Star Panel: Is the 'red line' in Syria dotted?

'Special Report' All-Star panel weighs in


This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," April 29, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: It's very important that we take the information that's been gathered thus far and build upon it because an assessment of varying degrees of confidence is not sufficient to -- upon which to base a policy reaction, as we have said and as the president said in the Oval Office on Friday.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, R – S.C.: You don't need boots on the ground from the U.S. point of view, but you sure do need international actions to bring this thing to a close quickly. If it goes on through the end of this year, the whole region is going to fall into chaos.


BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: Chemical weapons, Syria, a red line, a dotted line, what is it? We're back with the panel. Charles?

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Look, historically we have had two responses to these kind of situations. In the 90's, if there was an attack on us or a terror threat out there, we lob a missile or two into an empty tent in Afghanistan and pretend we had done something. After 9/11 we invaded and took over the whole country. Now there has got to be something in between. This is what we are looking for Syria.

I think the administration is thinking that perhaps if its hand is forced it will lob a missile or two that will have no effect and it will only sort of involve news a hot war without achieving anything.

Also, the talk about the international community is as usual nonsense. We are not going to get any support. NATO is talking about having to have the approval of the Security Council, which means we're not going to get it because the Russians or the Chinese are on it and they will exercise a veto.

I think the only answer is not American boots on the ground and intercepting aircraft is going to be hard in a country with a very sophisticated defense. I think, what we have to be doing is to be arming the rebels, the ones that we trust, and do it to the hilt. We should be doing that, and should have started it a year ago, but at least we ought to start it now.

BAIER: "Varying degrees of confidence is not sufficient upon which to base a policy reaction." A.B.?

A.B. STODDARD, ASSOCIATE EDITOR, THE HILL: It seems what's changed recently is that -- first of all there, will be some sort of response, there has to be simply on a humanitarian level. There is going to be some -- President Obama on chemical weapons is waiting for a proof and cooperation but there has to be something in terms of the destabilizing effect –


BAIER: Although for a humanitarian level for 70,000 plus people already there hasn't been a response.

STODDARD: That's true but I believe that they are going to do something to respond to what it's doing to the neighbors of Syria and how destabilizing it is for the region. Without lethal assistance you are not really in the game. The administration waited so long they have now looked at the reporting that we have looked at. They've known it longer than we have they know it better than we have about how many Islamic elements have infiltrated the entire country, the entire opposition, it's no longer secular it's no longer safe. So they are looking for regime change. But they are hoping maybe there is something in the middle that they could hold on to, some sort of regime, and there isn't. And so the longer you wait, the longer the chances that those elements obtain chemical weapons.

But it's a decision that will become much more dangerous later, and it's actually a choice that looks easier to make now.

STEVE HAYES, SENIOR WRITER, THE WEEKLY STANDARD: Arming the rebels is such a difficult decision now. I don't think it was a year ago. But it's very hard because they are so intermingled with the small "d" democratic forces that have been leading this thing from the very beginning.

I think if you look at the way the administration has handled this and by choosing to sort of shove this to the United Nations, they are essentially inviting vetoes. They are inviting a stalemate, they're inviting some kind of international freeze so that we're incapable of doing anything. That's the standard. If we're going to say U.N. has to in effect sanction whatever we do, approve whatever we do, that's probably not going to happen. And it will only be because of significant outside pressure that we would do anything at all.

BAIER: This won't be the last panel on in this week, guaranteed.

That's it for this panel, however. Tomorrow we will have the latest as the jury begins deliberations in that murder trial in Philadelphia, the abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell. Make sure you tune in this Friday 9:00 p.m. eastern time for a special Fox News reporting "See No Evil -- The Kermit Gosnell Case."

And stay tuned here to see how technology has really come a long way.

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