May 2nd, 2013
10:37 PM ET

Hagel: U.S. rethinking opposition to arming Syrian rebels

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Thursday the Obama administration is rethinking its policy of opposing providing weapons to the Syrian rebels.

Hagel's acknowledgment - after weeks of the U.S. resisting arming the opposition, for fear the weapons could end up in the wrong hands - comes days after the White House sent a letter to two U.S. senators saying the intelligence community assessed "with varying degrees of confidence" that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government had used the chemical agent sarin on a "small scale."

President Obama, asked about Hagel's remarks, said he was only reiterating a position the administration has held for months. "We are continually evaluating the situation on the ground working with our international partners to find the best way to move a political transition that has Assad leaving, stabilizes the country, ends the killing and allows the Syrian people to determine their own destiny, " the president said during a press conference in Mexico.

"As we've seen evidence of further bloodshed, potential use of chemical weapons inside of Syria, what I've said is that we're gonna look at all options," Obama said.

But for months the administration has resisted calls by some members of Congress and U.S. allies to send lethal aid to the Syrian opposition.

Hagel and other officials stress that no decision has been made to send such assistance.

Hagel's remarks Thursday were prompted by questions from CNN's Barbara Starr.

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Filed under: Hagel • Syria
soundoff (170 Responses)
  1. laughingsalmon

    Those stupid dumocrudes are so tangled in their own web of lies that they are now falling all over themselves. What a bunch of dimwits.

    May 6, 2013 at 9:34 am | Reply
  2. Carl

    Can't wait to hear from the State Dept officials this week on how Clinton (and Obama) tried to cover up their incompetence in the Benghazi thing. Imagine – here we have liars covering up their incompetence – so typical of an administration without a leader.

    May 6, 2013 at 9:31 am | Reply
  3. Carlos

    Reuters May 5, Carla del Ponte Representative of the UN investigating the use of chemical weapons in Syria declared in the Italian TV today that Sarin gas was used by the Rebels, not the Syrian government. See attached link.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/05/us-syria-crisis-un-idUSBRE94409Z20130505

    As you can see our "friends" want us to do the dirty job for them and pay for it with our own pockets.

    May 6, 2013 at 4:02 am | Reply
    • Gene Brady

      Israel supplied the gas to the rebels and told the world Syria used it and when that plan didn't work, they illegally attacked Syria. Nothing new here. Sanctions against Israel will be ignored as usual.

      May 6, 2013 at 8:10 am | Reply
  4. serglet

    It was clear that only Syrian opposition could use Weapon of Mass Destruction to let the US troops invade Syria and today it was prooved by UNO that it had been the opposition (i.e. terrorists, not rebels) that used zarin gas.

    May 6, 2013 at 1:00 am | Reply
  5. No more arms needed

    I really don't see how arming rebels contributes to peace and stability in the region. This is alarming considering Al-Qaeda affiliation.. Do the rebels have a shared political goal to stabilizing the country after or they're just mindlessly grouping and hoping for something better? There is no paradise in earth but feeding wars is only making it closer to hell.

    May 6, 2013 at 12:35 am | Reply
  6. cybercmdr

    Here's an idea. Pick three people in Syria, a prominent military leader,a major politician and a major businessman who supports the government, Add three cruise missiles, one per target. Lather, rinse and repeat until domestic support for Assad's regime falls apart.

    May 5, 2013 at 10:38 pm | Reply
  7. David

    Is the enemy of my enemy my friend? Nope. Just let them fight it out. I'd rather have Assad in than another Muslim loony anyway. Lets arm Islamists, and take away American's guns. I'm not too concerned about gun rights but that is funny. In fact we should arm them with the confiscated weapons, save us some money.

    May 5, 2013 at 7:16 pm | Reply
  8. iseult

    the guns that we give them are made in china - no worries

    May 5, 2013 at 11:38 am | Reply
  9. USA MUST ATTACK SYRIA, HIZBOALLAH, AND IRAN NOW THEY ARE THE TRUE EVIL IN THIS EARTH

    if obama dont help the opposition to get red of the shiia killers and thugs of bashar al kalb , the democrats will not win again......so USA MUST ATTACK SYRIA NOW AND HEZBOLLAH THEY ARE TERRORISTS AND USA SHOULD START GET RED OF IRAN NUCS AT ONCE ATTACK THEM NOW BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE......,,,,,

    May 5, 2013 at 4:35 am | Reply
    • EqualsorNone

      No.

      There has always been war in this region of the world. There will always be war. I don't know how much you were paid to make this comment but it wasn't enough to sacrifice your soul. Fool. War is never the answer. Let them kill each other off. We are no one's lap dog.

      May 6, 2013 at 6:18 am | Reply
    • Total2199

      Are you a secretary for a loony name John McCain?

      May 6, 2013 at 8:03 am | Reply
  10. ATTACK SYRIA, HIZBOALLAH, AND IRAN NOW THEY ARE THE TRUE EVIL IN THIS EARTH

    if obama dont help the opposition to get red of the shiia killers and thugs of bashar al kalb , the democrats will not win again......so USA MUST ATTACK SYRIA NOW AND HEZBOLLAH THEY ARE TERRORISTS AND USA SHOULD START GET RED OF IRAN NUCS AT ONCE ATTACK THEM NOW BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE......

    May 5, 2013 at 4:34 am | Reply
    • Justin

      I guess those checks from Israel are clearing your bank acct rather rapidly. Good luck with this propaganda.

      May 5, 2013 at 6:41 am | Reply
    • Easy Does It

      Whoaa!!! Easy there chief!! First of, take your finger off that CAPS key. Why don't we think this through with a clear head. Let's all take a deep breath now...

      May 5, 2013 at 4:50 pm | Reply
  11. Dpeacemaker

    Probably if we can all get along, killings in one's country's history would be non existent. Respect life, fear God and give peace a chance.

    May 5, 2013 at 4:29 am | Reply
  12. hz

    so obama is going to arm his muslim brothers..... nice, one country at a time, obama is making middle east as islam extremists heaven

    May 5, 2013 at 2:32 am | Reply
    • mountainlady

      Oh, give me a break. All this birther and muslim crap is just that...crap. President Obama is damned if he does and damned if he doesn't with regard to Syria. Those who are looking for ways to criticize will no doubt capitalize on the situation in Syria. At the moment it seems as though the Israelis are willing to do the dirty work so leave them to it. Enough people have died for Assad. In spite of the fact that these people are more than willing to sacrifice their women and children to their cause, Americans grieve for them and some trolls politicize it. President Obama has realized that we can't be the 911 number for the world but the McCain crowd will crucify him for not acting and everyone else for not acting. Whatever saves American lives I support.

      May 5, 2013 at 3:45 am | Reply
      • farside6262

        You are spot on! There was an absurd parody made a few years ago "Team America, World Police" that pretty much sums it up.

        May 5, 2013 at 9:53 pm |
  13. Jonus Grumby

    I sense another Red Line coming.

    May 5, 2013 at 12:07 am | Reply
  14. will

    just nuke all of middle east, and china and north korea. and get it over with. and then steal all their resources for ourselves

    May 5, 2013 at 12:04 am | Reply
    • hz

      once you start nuking china, then the human civilization will be ended, there'll be no one left to "steal" any resources, no chinese or american.....

      May 5, 2013 at 2:33 am | Reply
  15. henry200

    Oh please, stop looking for excuse. Unless US is thinking of "nation building" which I don't think American has the stomach for it. otherwise, STAY out of Syria. There is no one there worthy of our help in terms of money, resources, or life.

    May 4, 2013 at 11:31 pm | Reply
    • Jonus Grumby

      Is that code for no oil?

      May 5, 2013 at 12:05 am | Reply
  16. James Rogers

    In Rwanda the USA did nothing and 800000 people died. Syria could be the next Rwanda. With 70000 people dead in Syria the time to act is now. No one is suggesting that America send troops but plenty could be be done to help the non al quaeda forces. Mr Oboma won a nobel prize for peace. It is now time for him to act and supply weapons before it's to late.

    May 4, 2013 at 11:24 pm | Reply
    • Dr. Hemlock

      Let the Middle East police up their own problems! All that oil money and no ethics.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:38 am | Reply
  17. Fred

    Haven't We been down this road before? Vietnam, El Salvadore (and all throughout Central & South America), Afghanistan with the Taliban (Under Reagan, to Fight the Soviet Union), Columbia with the "War on Drugs", the
    Philippines fighting "Islamic Terrorists" (Going on Right Now!!!), and so, so many others. No, no, no...in to many of these places American troops get drawn in and get killed fighting other peoples wars as former "friends" turn on us. I've held too many friends in my arms as they bled out after being killed by our "friends" - No...No More. No More American dead. I don't want any other Mother, Father, Brother, Sister, Husband or Wife to have to bury someone close to them.

    I have an 8-year old daughter and a 5-year old son - If we don't stop this insanity now, they will be going "Somewhere" some time in the future to fight somebody else's war when they turn 18. Stop fighting the Politicrats Wars!!!

    ~ Fred

    May 4, 2013 at 10:17 pm | Reply
    • Jonus Grumby

      The only way I can accept another war is for the president (whoever it happens to be) to utter the phrase "follow me" when proposing the agenda.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:10 am | Reply
      • Gilligan

        Skipper?

        May 5, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
    • farside6262

      Amen! We cannot afford to do so, even if we did feel the "moral imperative".

      We are not the world police, when will those in Washington understand this and start worrying about those at home????

      May 5, 2013 at 9:59 pm | Reply
  18. Chelsea

    I don't know why we're even considering giving them weapons. It seems extremely stupid to me. The rebels are just a ruthless and destructive as the government is. If we are going to help a side fight for survival, I say we help the innocent citizens and children caught in the cross fire. They are the ones getting torn apart by both the rebels and the gov. Each side is slaughtering the citizens, so why would we give weapons to one of them? If the U.S. really wants to help, then we should be sending food, water, and make-shift hospitals with medicine and helpers there to assist the ones that actually need and deserve our help. Wasting money on weapons will accomplish nothing. For once, I agree with Russia's initial response to just stay out of it.

    May 4, 2013 at 9:41 pm | Reply
    • Josiah

      being a bit naive. Who do you think will end up with the supplies we send? It won't be the innocent it will be either of the sides you don't want to support. We could have stayed out of it but once our President makes a statement as he did about crossing the line with chemical warfare we need to respond. The weaker you look to the world and terrorists the more they will act without fear of retribution. I don't claim to have the answers as to what to do but we have to at least physically respond. It seems to me a simple strike on an
      important target might be enough to make Assad think twice about doing it again.

      May 4, 2013 at 10:06 pm | Reply
      • Jonus Grumby

        Obama will backpeddle, draw another "Red Line" and pray nothing else occurs that would cause him to make the decision to draw another Red Line.

        May 5, 2013 at 12:14 am |
  19. Karen

    Its not like the U.S will give them an endless amount of weapons. Maybe enough to last the war til its over. By the time its over their weapons will be destroyed and lacking anyways.

    May 4, 2013 at 7:43 pm | Reply
  20. Bostontola

    Don't give them weapons. They wont be grateful at all when this is over, and the weapons will eventually be used to kill Americans.

    May 4, 2013 at 6:54 pm | Reply
    • chuck

      You are absolutely right!

      May 4, 2013 at 9:33 pm | Reply
  21. petroskies

    better believe is arming the muslins is completely wrong, but the politics have to be pleasing the jews, they love see how the fanatics muslins killed themselves

    May 4, 2013 at 4:25 pm | Reply
  22. awaiting moderation

    If we, and Russia, quit supplying weapons to terrorist they would eventually be throwing camel pies at each other.

    May 4, 2013 at 2:44 pm | Reply
  23. awaiting moderation

    Should not give a Muslim nothing in arms, or attiboys. They will eventually turn all of it upon us.

    May 4, 2013 at 2:42 pm | Reply
    • alf564

      You are so correct but remember the religion of the president and then you realize that he is supporting the Muslim
      Brotherhood and Al Qaeda...and his Atty Gen is no better

      May 4, 2013 at 4:22 pm | Reply
      • Brenda

        What an ignorant piece of uninfomred crap you are. Please kill yourself ok?

        May 4, 2013 at 6:58 pm |
      • alf564

        Hey Brenda baby,,,

        READ HIS BOOK !!!!!! Try to learn something. Hope it is not to difficult for you but hey, you are a Liberal so who knows???

        May 4, 2013 at 7:54 pm |
      • Jonus Grumby

        When somebody cannot make a valid point in a debate, the name calling begins.

        May 5, 2013 at 12:16 am |
  24. LWJR

    Where's Cincy Shehan or Pat Tilman's mother? AWOL when it comes to the LEFTIES!

    May 4, 2013 at 1:53 pm | Reply
  25. PaulC

    Will the U.S. never learn?
    After the disasters in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan you would think the U.S. would realize that we are lousy at imposing capitalism/democracy at the point of a gun for people who are not interested and can't handle it.
    In case it escaped everyone's attention, these wars of choice have killed millions, bankrupted the country, and only result in communist or anti-U.S. islamic countries.
    Use the U.N. for these little adventures. That is what it is for and why we are paying billions every year.

    May 4, 2013 at 1:01 pm | Reply
    • awaiting moderation

      We will win no wars by starting them ,and fighting them ,with humanity and slingshots.

      May 4, 2013 at 2:46 pm | Reply
  26. Mary Jane

    What are they talking about we're already providing weapons to the "Freedom Fighters" and the rest of the thugs and murderers who are waging this murder campaign. This isn't a fight for freedom it's a murder campaign. Who killed that foreign reporter? The Freedom fighters of course. Who is committing these mass killings? The freedom fighters of course. Don't worry though people it's all in the name of freedom

    May 4, 2013 at 12:27 pm | Reply
  27. Vijay

    The situation in Syria is sad and Assad is a heartless dictator. In spite of that, the USA should not directly get involved militarily; get into another endless war where we do not know who our friends within that country are. The resources required , economically and militarily will be immense. We have clearly stated that we are not the keepers or the redemeers of the musllmi nations. Help the rebels from outside, Yes, work with international community yest. But dirct engagement no no no!.We have to stop being so moralist and righteous or we will ruin our own socity.

    May 4, 2013 at 12:13 pm | Reply
  28. John Freeman

    Mmm, the terrorists...they're AL QAEDA!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The same poeple that murdered over 3,000 Americans on 9/11...remember that?

    Chuch hagel just received money from Hamas...a sponsored organization of Iran.

    It seems that Obama and the other Democrats have sold out to communists and terrorists. http://directorblue.blogspot.com/2013/02/reports-chuck-hagel-received-funds-from.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+DougRossJournal+%28Doug+Ross+%40+Journal%29&utm_content=Google+Reader

    May 4, 2013 at 10:26 am | Reply
    • Andrey

      Communists had some standards and they did not play with terrorists like US administration did: go check recent US history! So Obama has not "sold to communists and terrorists" : he is simply doing what US government does the best: spreads death and misery around the Globe!

      May 4, 2013 at 10:38 am | Reply
    • PaulC

      What unadulterated bull excrement. It appears that you are naive enough to believe every right wing blogger without question.

      May 4, 2013 at 1:04 pm | Reply
  29. Justin

    1) American weapons in the hands or terrorists rebels will end up killing Americans abroad, our diplomats, and our soldiers in some foreign battle ground.
    2) OBAMA IS A COWARD FOR REPEATING THE SLEAZINESS HE HAS PICKED UP FROM THE FRENCH.
    3) The day that a story comes out that an American has been killed by these weapons we'll give to these Al-Qaeda rebels, I hope they h@ng Obama for it.

    May 4, 2013 at 9:41 am | Reply
  30. lila

    Right now an Iranian militia is operating in Syria. They are pressuring Assad to let the Iranians transfer weapons to the Hizballa. that's why they are getting visits from their neighbors from the south.

    May 4, 2013 at 8:27 am | Reply
  31. Rick224

    Syrians in the United States for the most part are keeping quiet for fear of reprisals from both government and so called freedom fighters. Are we that naive to think that once Assad is gone Syria is going to be ok? Once Assad is gone than fighting will escalate to epic proportions over Sunni and Shia. Let's all recognize that Saudi Arabia and Qatar are backing all Sunni freedom fighters including Al Qaeda in Syria. I'm sure those two countries budget in helping the Sunni's are greater than any amount the USA will budget. The USA left Iraq yet still the fighting, killing and terrorist bombings goes on between Sunni and Shia. You can ask the question is Iraq better off since the overthrow of Saddam? Is it? Why are Sunni Islamic fighters kidnapping reporters, two Christian Orthodox priests and killing Syrians simply because they're not Sunni? President Obama needs to stay out of this conflict. Let the European and Asian neighbors help out. It's obvious they want the USA to do the dirty work so they can criticize us later. There is no doubt in my mind that the Freedom Fighter would resort to using WMD's supplied by the lovely Sunni countries to further Wahhabi beliefs. I'm glad that Russia, China and Iran are helping Assad. I believe this region will get worse and breed more worldwide Sunni Jihadists (It seems they're all Sunni including the Boston bombings & Osama BinLaden).

    May 4, 2013 at 7:54 am | Reply
    • lila

      An Iranian Militia has entered Syria, they help Assad fight the rebels and make balagan (a hebrew word for mess) in the region. The Iranians are pressuring Assad to help them arm the Hizballa. This is why Israel is bombing them now. I read this on the Israeli Debka files. I can't wait for the Saudis to run out of oil, so they won't go around supporting extremist groups. I feel bad for the Syrian civilians and for the Israelis in North Israel.

      May 4, 2013 at 9:05 am | Reply
    • marc

      you are one hundred percent right american stay away

      May 4, 2013 at 6:30 pm | Reply
  32. k_Daraa

    Coming to you NEXT...extremist Nusrah Front will secretly develop a chemical weapon/s similar to those possessed by the Syrian regime, then Nusrah will secretly attack Free Syrian Army, Syrian National Congress targets in Turkey, blaming it on the Syrian regime. IMMEDIATELY the naive Americans and Western Allies, including Turkey, will pile on weapons support to the foreign Nusrah Front fighters in Syria, helping them to overthrow the Syrian regime (and establish the takfiri sunni extremist caliphate).

    May 4, 2013 at 4:47 am | Reply
    • JIM43

      wow!! THIS IS A VERY INTERESTING PREDICTION! really nusra islamists have nothing to lose if they use chem weapons agains the FSA cause they are not so "allies" after all. if asad falls they will fight among themselves to ipose sharia over secular government...

      May 4, 2013 at 8:03 am | Reply
  33. helenecha

    All of us expect to see a stable Syria in the region after Assad and its regime convinced everybody across world of its incompetence of handling its country and the region in peace. Now that Assad has been asked to leave, whether people have seen the opportunities which have been run enough or not? Whether or not the opportunities have provided the possibilities of ousting Assad and ending the conflict in Syria as quickly as possible? No matter what Syrian people’s destiny is, they’re living on Earth. And they’re one of the contributors to human evolution.

    May 4, 2013 at 2:07 am | Reply
    • k_Daraa

      Natural selection is running it's course there. The Syrian Armenian Christians, all 2.2 million, have either bailed to Armenia and beyond, or were murdered by the takfiri sunni Nusrah foreign fighters invading Syria. Helen, this was a massive "brain-hear-drain" from Syria, and completely removed any remaining "spirit" of goodness, mercy, love, or peace, from the entire country. What is left in Syria, is the takfiri and regime with darkness of eventual death and the fiery abyss. The Syrian popular dream of Kauthar on earth, with liberty, pluralism, and individuality attained, is gone, usurped by foreign takfiri extremist goal of a sunni salafist caliphate.

      May 4, 2013 at 4:59 am | Reply
  34. collin

    The CIA should first stop using chemical weapons against American Whistle-Blowers.

    May 4, 2013 at 1:51 am | Reply
  35. new_york_loner

    Israel will dictate US policy with respect to Syria....the Israeli PM is the functional US Commander-In-Chief.

    May 4, 2013 at 1:15 am | Reply
    • mcwreiole

      That would make him the only functioning Commander-in Chief that the US has.

      May 5, 2013 at 8:51 am | Reply
  36. Curt

    Did they not learn anything from arming the "rebels" in Afghanistan during OP Cyclone. The weapons were eventually used to kill their own troops by the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. Why relive this exact scenario? It will only hurt us down the road. Just my 2 cents.

    May 4, 2013 at 1:00 am | Reply
  37. bergus

    furthermore, why is the US being dragged into this, and why has the UN done nothing? we do what the UN does. NOTHING!!!

    May 4, 2013 at 12:01 am | Reply
  38. bergus

    unless you're going to enlist or send your OWN children, shut up and stay out of it.

    May 3, 2013 at 11:59 pm | Reply
  39. dmf

    Contrary to some security hawks in Congress and neo cons' special interests' calls for U. S. intervention in Syria at this time ! The President should not listen to Sen. McCain Sen. Graham and other likes of them . Rather should focus on iron clad intelligence , if and when obtained , and opinion polls . On these accounts for now , there is an advice of caution ! An over 62 percent of people in polls are against any armed intervention in Syria . The civil war in Syria should not be our concern : a) The U. S. can not afford another War . b ) The U . S. does not have any threat and /or strategic interest per se in Syria at this time . The huge hurtful losses of 4, 500 U. S. security forces' personnel , thousands of returned war veterans with life long and debilitating injures , and $ 2 trillion of borrowed funds was invested in War efforts . The out comes thus far of both unnecessary Iraq War ( 2003 – 2011) and War on Terror in Afghanistan ( 2001 – to date ) should become a serious deterrent too for intervention in Syria . This was a terrible end game of neo cons initiated adventures of Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan . Besides the huge negative impacts , the two wars had on economy, and if could be estimated for future of U. S. economy . Should these not serve as strong deterrents , for not intervening in armed conflicts at this time in Syria , Iran and another Middle East countries .

    May 3, 2013 at 10:20 pm | Reply
    • k_Daraa

      Our legacy of these wars, to our children, grand-children, great-grand-children, is DEBT incurred by the public, to shift $trillions into the pockets of rich stockholders in multi-national defense-related industries. Few of these industries pay US taxes, and probably most of these rich international stockholders don't either, preferring off-shore, foreign tax-free accounts.

      May 4, 2013 at 5:16 am | Reply
  40. francisco

    SEND THE DRONES! SEND THE DRONES!

    May 3, 2013 at 9:44 pm | Reply
  41. cm74130

    Must be fun being President. Half the country insisting on helping the rebels, the other half (or so) saying don't go near either side in Syria. Well, I'm putting my voice on the "stay away" side. I don't know what to do about the chemical weapons. I deplore their use, but what can be done?

    May 3, 2013 at 9:04 pm | Reply
    • USMC1371

      What can you do when the people you want to help lie about the weapons? When they gas themselves to draw others into their fight it takes all the validation out of their cause.

      May 3, 2013 at 9:16 pm | Reply
      • Nodack

        And you know this to be true how? Are you there? Do you know somebody there or is that just your best guess? Maybe you saw it on the Internet and everything on the Internet is true of course.

        May 3, 2013 at 9:31 pm |
    • FHTEX

      More like 85% of the country saying stay away from Syria and 15% saying intervene!

      May 3, 2013 at 9:52 pm | Reply
      • Nodack

        Republicans are saying intervene, but that's only a trick to get Obama to commit so they can attack him for intervening.

        May 3, 2013 at 9:56 pm |
    • Basement

      Air campaign only, the way it was done against Milosevic in former Yugoslavia, comes to mind. There are more choices than just go-all-in-with-boots-on-the-ground and do-nothing.

      May 4, 2013 at 10:22 am | Reply
    • awaiting moderation

      I would like for someone to tell me if you put a rebel and a bad guy in the same pot who would you prefer? How would you tell them apart.We found the other day The CIA had been taking cash that could have been distributed to welfare recipients here and hauling it to Karzai in Afghanistan.What is the difference,how do you decide which gets the handouts?

      May 4, 2013 at 2:51 pm | Reply
  42. EVN

    Drop a bunker buster on Assad and be done with it.

    May 3, 2013 at 7:51 pm | Reply
    • Bob Babour

      Say no to the war. We need the money to be spent in the US where is is badly needed. No more borrowing money to pay for a war that is not in our interest. I do not know why some one would think changing the regime in Syria works for the US interests.

      May 3, 2013 at 10:23 pm | Reply
    • Bob Babour

      Are you trying to help the fanatic Muslims who are fighting Assad? They would love to see him gone so they would take over. Those are the real threat to the US and Israel. Did you see the flag they carried? the same black flag that the Boston bomber had around in his pictures in Chechnya. Those "so called Muslims" are more fanatics than Taliban and Bin Laden followers. let us think before acting.

      May 3, 2013 at 10:37 pm | Reply
    • awaiting moderation

      That has Iran's name o it.

      May 4, 2013 at 2:52 pm | Reply
  43. Carl

    Excuse me! It's not the "U.S." that is re-thinking its stand on Syria. It's OBAMA who, as usual, has no courage to back up his rhetoric. What a disaster for a president.

    May 3, 2013 at 6:34 pm | Reply
    • Travis

      I agree, Carl. Barack Obama has been a true disaster as President! He never closed Gitmo, slipped some 3,500 troops back into Iraq, if not more, kept us in Afghanistan, killed thousands of people who didn't deserve to die with those obscene drones and now he wants to drag this country into Syria's civil war where it has no business! This man needs to be prosecuted at the I.C.C. and that's all there is to it!

      May 3, 2013 at 7:16 pm | Reply
      • francisco

        We can prosecute Obama after we get Bush II for his lies for those who died for them.

        May 3, 2013 at 9:41 pm |
      • Nodack

        Lol!

        He didn't close Gitmo? I thought Republicans were mad at him for wanting to close Gitmo. Now that he doesn't close Gitmo you are mad at him for not closing Gitmo. If he did close Gitmo would you be happy? No, you would call him names for closing it. In other words it doesn't matter that he does, you are going to whine about it.

        His drone strikes killed thousands that didn't deserve it? The US is conducting drone strikes against terrorists. You guys used to be against terrorists, but now all terrorists are innocent. bush lied and fabricated evidence to go to war and killed hundreds of thousands and you couldn't possibly care any less about them.

        May 3, 2013 at 9:41 pm |
    • Nodack

      So you say. You are attacking him for not attacking Syria like all Republicans are, but the moment he does you will say it was the dumbest thing he could have ever done. You are going to say whatever he does was the wrong thing because you,are a Republican and you are required to be against any and everything he does.

      If you asked Republicans what they think Obama should do, plan A or plan B and they all picked plan B, I can guarantee if Obama decided to go with plan B, every Republican would change their stance to be opposite of Obama out of spite.

      May 3, 2013 at 9:36 pm | Reply
    • Don Stock

      Carl, you are right. But Obama is big talk as long as he doesn't have to commit. Sorry excuse for a man., sorry excuse for president (with a small p).

      May 3, 2013 at 10:00 pm | Reply
  44. jaas

    Do it like you used to do in Nicaragua – just have heavily equipped training exercises there, and quietly leave all the equipment behind when you depart a day or two later. Wink, Wink.

    May 3, 2013 at 5:49 pm | Reply
  45. Joe Clark

    They can rethink the matter all they want but just don't send our soldiers over there. Have they learned nothing since the Korean War? Sixty years this nation has been at war in various places around the world and they need to rethink entering the Syrian war! Isn't the blood shed in all these conflicts enough for them?

    May 3, 2013 at 5:23 pm | Reply
  46. 100%American

    Petrodollar,Petrodollar,Petrodollar... The United States economy cannot survive without it, and the Arab States in the Middle East are trying to sell their oil in other forms of currency besides the U.S. dollar, this is why we are there.

    May 3, 2013 at 5:14 pm | Reply
    • Bob Babour

      There is not enough oil in Syria that would represent interest to the US. Not important.

      May 3, 2013 at 10:27 pm | Reply
      • USMC1371

        Since the largest oil deposits in the world are in the US guess you have no argument.

        May 4, 2013 at 5:18 am |
    • Pete

      @100%American,like usmc1371 said we as a country hold more crude than all the middle east put together just recently updated by the US geological surveyors ..They recently did a survey and came back saying their initial estimates was way smaller than what it is now..In 2008 we were estimated to have in the Bakken formations around 3.6 billion barrels of crude but now a new formation called Three forks has now merged giving us a combined total of over 7.3 billion barrels plus triple the amount figured in natural gas as well!!That was read from Bloomberg.com/energy..And up to this year we've only refined around 466 million barrels since 2008,nice ha!!And remember we have another crude foundation right in Texas as well!!

      May 4, 2013 at 2:24 pm | Reply
    • Pete

      @100%American,guess who found that crude big guy the US oil industry when all the middle east was good for than was rugs ,dates and camels,just see how we got screwed out of our find too by these same middle easterners as well!We even designed their oil rigs as well for them thanks Bechtel,Halliburton and KBR for all you did to make them wealthy at again our expense...

      May 4, 2013 at 2:44 pm | Reply
  47. Naaaaaaa

    NO,NO, NO, keep our a s s e s OUT of that d a m n e d place!

    May 3, 2013 at 4:37 pm | Reply
    • bobo

      But were not going in!

      May 3, 2013 at 4:45 pm | Reply
      • Atropos

        As if we had a choice in the matter.

        May 3, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
      • John

        We're not going in you say? Yeah. That's what they said about Vietnam. "It's just a few advisors. Nothing to see here folks. Don't worry. We know what's best." Kinda getting tired of our government spending time, money, and blood on problems abroad when we've not got enough resources at home.

        May 3, 2013 at 7:31 pm |
  48. Ben

    Meanwhile, congress will cut benefits and services to Americans. I wish they would be as focused on the US as they seem to be on the middle east.

    May 3, 2013 at 4:31 pm | Reply
  49. allenwoll

    .
    HANDS OFF ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
    .

    May 3, 2013 at 4:12 pm | Reply
    • allenwoll

      .
      HANDS OFF ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
      .

      May 3, 2013 at 4:14 pm | Reply
      • allenwoll

        .
        HANDS OFF ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
        .

        May 3, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
      • Travis

        I agree, allenwoll!!!!!!

        May 3, 2013 at 7:17 pm |
  50. NorCalMojo

    US State Dept. bringing you the Taliban of tomorrow.

    A proud tradition of funding Islamic thugs that come back to bite us in 10-15 years.

    May 3, 2013 at 3:51 pm | Reply
  51. NorCalMojo

    Rethinking? I assumed we had been arming them for months. Did Kerry think they were going to spend the $23M on gumdrops and lolly pops?

    May 3, 2013 at 3:49 pm | Reply
  52. jamessavik

    Syria is a horrible mess. Nothing is going to happen there that anyone is going to like. The rebels will wipe out the Christians who back Assad for protection and Assad's goons will use chemical weapons on the rebels. The best plan is to stay the hell out of it so they can't blame the Charlie Foxtrot on US.

    May 3, 2013 at 3:31 pm | Reply
  53. HZ

    Regardless of whether it is right or wrong to arm the rebels, why can't other nations pay for weapons and send them? Why does it have to be the U.S. taxpayer all the time? I think we're being played for suckers when it comes to the cash side of a lot of these things. We're basically giving welfare to all the Western countries that can afford to do more - and no I am not saying that no other Western country tries.

    May 3, 2013 at 3:23 pm | Reply
    • KungFuqueU

      It absolutely HAS to be the American taxpayer footing the bill. How else will congress get their kickback from the arms industry?

      May 3, 2013 at 4:45 pm | Reply
      • Geode

        If the taxpayer dollar is not enough, they will just put the printing pre$$es into the next higher gear, and ship pallets of fresh currency so we can build something to have it blown up by us or whoever. What a mad world will be left for our kids!!

        May 3, 2013 at 7:25 pm |
    • Andrey

      It is a fair suggestion, but unfortunately nobody else is willing to supply weapons to al-Qaeda for of fear of reprisals from US: so it falls to you again!

      May 3, 2013 at 5:01 pm | Reply
  54. HZ

    Regardless of whether it is right or wrong to arm the rebels, why can't other nations pay for weapons and send them? Why does it have to be the U.S. taxpayer all the time? I think we're being played for suckers when it comes to the cash side of a lot of these things. We're basically giving welfare to all these Western countries that can afford to do more.

    May 3, 2013 at 3:22 pm | Reply
    • bobo

      Maybe because we are the leaders of the Free World???

      May 3, 2013 at 4:47 pm | Reply
  55. dmaak112

    "Varying degrees of confidence." Seems we have gone down this path before. Our present support for the rebels whether by encouraging local actors or providing "non-lethal" aid has played a major role in the horrors of this civil war. Before, Syria was a known factor and its actions also. Fear of negative affects on its neighbors, the concern for chemical weapons, the resurgence of religious radicalism, etc. were not concerns–now these are just the start of worries that al-Asad's fall brings in his wake.

    May 3, 2013 at 2:17 pm | Reply
  56. Wally

    The arming is already taking place. McCain , Graham and the folks who make all those weapons are calling the shots.
    And are going to make lots of money out of this. This is just another example of failed policy abroad. We should keep our noses out of this completely.

    May 3, 2013 at 2:07 pm | Reply
  57. Thinker

    Chucky Hagel, Rent Paki army for dirty work. After all why are we paying billions of $$ to Paki. Put so called American aid to work

    May 3, 2013 at 1:48 pm | Reply
    • Syed

      You are paying billions to Pakistan is because it is fighting your war and also to use the roads and bases there. So it is no favor or free money.

      May 3, 2013 at 4:25 pm | Reply
  58. Matthew

    I never really believe the hoopla about Obama being a Muslim in disguise and supporting the terrorists but this does make you scratch your head. Still seems far fetched but just saying...

    May 3, 2013 at 1:41 pm | Reply
  59. Byron

    So who is going to pay for these weapons as the US Treasury does not have the money.

    May 3, 2013 at 1:05 pm | Reply
  60. Randy

    Why would the US DOD consider arming the terrorists!? The rebels have allied themselves with Al Qaeda. I perfectly understand that Assad isn't exactly on the up and up either and he's a dictator – so we should not support him. But we have no business arming rebels who have pledged their allegiance to terrorists. We dont know who the good guys are here, if there are any. If there's anyone who understands Syria, its Russia. Let Russia spend their tax money funding/arming whomever they wish. This is not America's fight.

    May 3, 2013 at 1:03 pm | Reply
  61. Andrey

    So US government considers giving weapons to al-Qaeda? Because they look like "good guys" again? I think I have seen it before!
    So who is the Evil Empire now! I hate terrorists: but I think I am going to actually enjoy this new feat of hypocrisy demonstrated by Washington! So go Obama, go: show your true guts!

    May 3, 2013 at 11:37 am | Reply
    • Andrey

      It is going to SO blow in their stupid liberal face! Please do it!

      May 3, 2013 at 11:41 am | Reply
      • Joel Gomes

        They have already started. Don't believe their lies.

        http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/25/world/middleeast/arms-airlift-to-syrian-rebels-expands-with-cia-aid.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&

        May 3, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
  62. Joel Gomes

    While Mr. Hagel and Obama claim that they have only been giving non-lethal aid to the Syrian rebels, this is a bunch of BS. I think everyone would agree that the CIA is an agency of the United States, and according to this march 24th New York Times article, they have been arming the rebels ever since Obama won re-election.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/25/world/middleeast/arms-airlift-to-syrian-rebels-expands-with-cia-aid.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&

    So anyone interested check this out, because no matter what you think, we are committed to Syria. Like it or not, history tells us that we will have troops in Syria. I personally believe we will have troops there by summer, and right around the 100 year anniversary of WWI, WWIII will begin.

    May 3, 2013 at 11:13 am | Reply
  63. john smith

    America is the root of all terror. America has invaded sixty countries since world war 2.
    In 1953 America overthrow Iran's democratic government Mohammad Mosaddegh and installed a brutal dictator Shah. America helped Shah of Iran to establish secret police and killed thousands of Iranian people.
    During Iran-Iraq war evil America supported Suddam Hossain and killed millions of Iranian people. In 1989, America, is the only country ever, shot down Iran's civilian air plane, killing 290 people.
    In 2003,America invaded Iraq and killed 1,000,000+ innocent Iraqi people and 4,000,000+ Iraqi people were displaced.
    Now America is a failed state with huge debt. Its debt will be 22 trillion by 2015.

    May 3, 2013 at 10:19 am | Reply
    • amusicalmarriage

      Well then Mr. John Smith, why don 't u move out of the USA and see how u like it,

      May 3, 2013 at 10:32 am | Reply
      • Mike

        Where to go outside of ruins America has created and it's military doesn't have base? Pray tell me.

        May 3, 2013 at 10:40 am |
    • Jim

      And yet when there's indiscriminate killing, genocide, and brutality going on ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD, its always the fault of evil America for not going in and stopping it. Ironic, isn't it.

      May 3, 2013 at 10:56 am | Reply
    • JJ

      Yo num nut go to national debt time clock and try to update your garbage.Just change one line please.I remember Mat Maupin you piece of camel turd.He lived down the road from me.

      May 3, 2013 at 11:27 am | Reply
      • JJ

        I also hope that everyone at guantomino whos on a food strike succeeds you piece of crap.

        May 3, 2013 at 11:33 am |
    • JJ

      Its the garbage you say that makes me want to go back there.Maybe that's wrong ,probably is , Im not afraid of no terrorist and theres nothing that any of you pukes can make me think different.You messed with a REDNECK been there done that and would go back again!

      May 3, 2013 at 11:46 am | Reply
      • JJ

        I tell my friends to kiss my ass.Butt every terrorist can slurp my butt and take that to the bank.!!!!!!!!!!!!

        May 3, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
    • bobo

      You Sir, Are an As*Hole!

      May 3, 2013 at 4:49 pm | Reply
    • JJ

      How about a little history.In dessert storm we had to soften up the target and herd the Saudies in to make them take out the enemy.90% of you middle easterners cant do a stand up fight.If you want your freedom from assad you better stand up and spit in the face of the grim reaper.Freedom isn't cheap and it will cost you.There is no way that one American should fight for you because you will turn around and blame us for your short comings.Im also sure you will blame us for not doing anything.Thats something that the middle east taught me.All you other people you use flowery words about liberals and crap,Obama this ,Bush that.The president, congress and senate is the government ,blame one you best blame them all for not doing their job.Heck The Russians are stand up and stubborn and don't budge on their terrorist policies. I have no love of communism at all.Russians have a Navel Base there and they just put mega bucks into it and they wont leave.I say to Americans and Russians let them fight give them nothing.I also say America get tough on terrorist policies and don't budge an inch for no reason.I hate to say it but American policy is bad sometimes.john smith your a camel turd.

      May 3, 2013 at 9:38 pm | Reply
      • JJ

        one last thing and I will never be on this blog or what ever it is again.What have we all accomplished here, not a thing.What someone out worded somebody.

        May 3, 2013 at 10:54 pm |
    • Dr. Hemlock

      Gargle some buckshot!

      May 5, 2013 at 12:44 am | Reply
  64. J.R.

    Someone needs to tell this know nothing know it all to go read a history book before giving anything to any of these people! Seems like those in power trade common sense for political bravado, and quick to repeat the mistakes of the past. Next thing you know, we will be sent to invade Russia over the alps during winter.

    May 3, 2013 at 10:17 am | Reply
    • George Patton-2

      Thank you J.R., I couldn't have said it better!

      May 3, 2013 at 10:19 am | Reply
    • Sergey

      Alps? I think they had to cross the Ural mountains.

      May 3, 2013 at 2:05 pm | Reply
      • bobo

        Remember when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor???

        May 3, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
      • Andrey

        You mean Tibet mountains, right?

        May 3, 2013 at 11:02 pm |
  65. JHWV

    Let the Syrians fight their own battle; do not interfere and do not waste human lives and or money on it.

    May 3, 2013 at 10:13 am | Reply
    • Dave

      Well said. When will we ever learn that we can't fix the problems of other countries?

      May 3, 2013 at 10:43 am | Reply
      • JJ

        You cant fix nothing over there.Alot of the population isn't to bright and they are like cattle.The only way I can describe it is a bunch of mean 3rd graders with guns.Borders mean nothing it should be marked different sects of religion.The religion has no structure, its just chaos.Ive met good muslims and bad they all use their belief for what they do and just twist words to their own means.Thats what I saw over there.When I was over there I met a Muslim and we was friends ,he was educated in the west.The others didn't like it an shut him out so he went back to America.Over a damn pizza we had together!

        May 3, 2013 at 11:16 am |
      • Dr. Hemlock

        When our leaders stop investing in their oil?

        May 5, 2013 at 12:40 am |
    • Unknown

      Yes! Totally agree. How about we worry about the issues we are having in this country...

      May 3, 2013 at 11:20 am | Reply
  66. abmri60

    The people that fight in the war aren"t even Syrian.
    The ones that are begging the West for arms are the ones that used the chemical weapons.

    May 3, 2013 at 9:43 am | Reply
  67. Beefburger

    Just give them all more guns, let the Islamofacists grind each other into hamburger.

    May 3, 2013 at 6:35 am | Reply
    • Joel Gomes

      You are a POS

      May 3, 2013 at 11:15 am | Reply
  68. edwardamasen

    Are we EVER going to learn from our mistakes? What possible good could it do to throw more weapons at middle-eastern factions who are constantly at each others' throats in religious conflicts? The weapons are guaranteed to be misused, if not during the conflict then afterwards, and possibly even used against us at some point. All that we'll achieve is to give one brutal faction a winning advantage over another brutal faction.

    If we're going to help out over there, we should be encouraging and funding effective, liberal-minded NGOs (human rights groups, pro-secular democracy groups, etc.) who would then have an organizational advantage over the warring factions after the fighting resolves itself and it's time for a new government.

    May 3, 2013 at 4:09 am | Reply
    • abmri60

      And most likely the rebels have access to the chemical weapons.

      May 3, 2013 at 9:47 am | Reply
  69. joey zasa

    Makes total sense to give weapons to Al-nursra, Islamic state of Iraq, Al-Sham, Chechen mujihadeen, Banner of Islam, and all the other Al-queda affiliates in Syria- so they can set up sharia law! These are the same terrorists we fought in the neighboring country (IRAQ), but now they are freedom fighters.

    May 2, 2013 at 11:50 pm | Reply
    • Dave

      Better tell McCain and Graham. They're the ones calling for Obama to arm the rebels.

      May 3, 2013 at 10:41 am | Reply
  70. USMC1371

    Dear, President Obama
    Here is a idea why don't we stay out of it in every way, shape, and form? If you want to give more weapons to your friends in the Muslim Brotherhoood like you did in Egypt and Lybia at least have the guts to just say so.

    May 2, 2013 at 10:55 pm | Reply
    • bob

      He'll never list, he has never served in the military. When this weapons are used on the US or turn against our allied I wonder what he'll say?

      May 3, 2013 at 7:32 am | Reply
    • Dave

      It's Republicans like McCain and Graham who are demanding that Obama arm the rebels – not the Muslim Brotherhood.

      May 3, 2013 at 10:39 am | Reply
      • KungFuqueU

        The Republican war machine at work.

        May 3, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
    • Pete

      @usmc1371,why not supply them with serin gas as Reagan did to Kadafi ,Hussein to use on his own people.Or give weapons illegally against congress in the Iran Contra deal using CIA operatives as delivery couriers until being caught..Supply weapons to afghan rebels against Russia in the 80s against Russia and now being used against us..And do you or anyone seem to think these Syrians like their American friends across the pond,I think not ..We are only being used here as we've in many a previous conflicts eventually leading to war in Korea,Vietnam,Iraq and now Afghanistan and does anyone feel the need to send love ones to fight for Syria,I don't because as usual all its going to do is blowup in our faces and that's been our history with wars hasn't it!!We as Americans always get stuck holding the bag so to speak and paying for it ourselves as usual!!

      May 3, 2013 at 11:07 pm | Reply
      • mcwreiole

        A little re-write on history, here, don't ya think?

        May 5, 2013 at 8:47 am |
      • Anti-Izrael-MAN

        @ Pete – you fail to see the role the Izraelis are playing here. Chances are good that Izrael used the chemical weapons to get more US military into the region instead of less. Israel frames Syria to get a new world war cooking in the middle east to meet its own goals of nuking Iran. Its all Kabuki theatre for sheeple that watch CNN and think they are getting real news.

        May 5, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
      • Pete

        @Anti-Izrael man,I understand your thinking as its been used times before playing the innocent as bait to bring America and their superior military to the region as big brother always..Not this time brother stand back and let Netanyahus Isreal get their lumps if its coming to them,its well over due by me..Let America see someone else's blood shed and we'll keep our money to use on better things stateside don't you think than war this time!!

        May 5, 2013 at 8:04 pm |

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