July 30th, 2012
05:15 PM ET

Panetta says when, not if, al-Assad falls, Syrian military should remain intact

U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta says that when Bashar al-Assad loses his grip on power, he wants the Syrian military to remain in place.

"I think it's important when Assad leaves - and he will leave - to try to preserve stability in that country. And the best way to preserve that kind of stability is to maintain as much of the military, the police, as you can, along with the security forces, and hope that they will transition to a democratic form of government. That's a key," Panetta told CNN's Pentagon Correspondent Barbara Starr in an exclusive interview in Tunis, Tunisia, Monday.

He said the United States shouldn't allow a repeat of the Bush administration's moves in Iraq, where it disbanded the Iraqi military.

"It's very important that we don't make the same mistakes we made in Iraq," he said. "And that, particularly, when it comes things like the chemical sites. They (the Syrian military) do a pretty good job of securing those sites. If they suddenly walked away from that, it would be a disaster to have those chemical weapons fall into the wrong hands - hands of Hezbollah or other extremists in that area."

Panetta had some advice for the Syrian dictator whose nation is in the midst of a deadly civil war. "I'm sure that deep down Assad knows he's in trouble and it's just matter of time before he has to go," Panetta said. "I would say if you want to be able to protect yourself and your family, you better get the hell out now."

Panetta is in Tunisia for the start of a week-long trip to the Middle East and North Africa.

Earlier, on the flight to Africa, Panetta told reporters traveling with him that Syria will be on his agenda on every stop.

"The United States and the international community has made very clear that this is intolerable, and have brought their diplomatic and economic pressure on Syria to stop this kind of violence, to have Assad step down and to transition to a democratic form of government," he said. "The key right now is to continue to bring that pressure on Syria, to provide assistance to the opposition, and to provide whatever kind of humanitarian aid we can to assist the refugees."

Watch Barbara Starr and her exclusive interview with Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta tonight on CNN’s Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.

soundoff (403 Responses)
  1. TonyInNYC

    I think Panetta's audience for this statement may be Syria's military and police. As for Bashar al-Assad, he is either going to board a plane for Russia or swing from a length of piano wire from the roof of a gas station.

    July 31, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Reply
    • DR. Zuess

      He'll end up in Iran, just in time to become leader there, lol.

      July 31, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Reply
  2. Vlad

    Shut the hell up Panetta!

    July 31, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Reply
  3. al

    The same can be said of Obama in November !!!!!!

    July 31, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Reply
  4. sultan hamid

    it is american right to say who will be a president in foreign countries.

    July 31, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Reply
    • DaButter

      It is our obligation, not our right, to prevent mass human atrocity. Since these countries cannot effectively police themselves and utterly fail in the task of protecting human dignity, they waive their right to sovereignty. In other words, if they weren't completely and totally incompetent in their duties to civilization they'd have nothing to worry about.

      July 31, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Reply
      • sultan hamid

        you can do a favor to the world:shut the hell up,idiot!

        July 31, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
  5. lolwut

    Gee, this sounds an awful lot like the sort of chest-beating rhetoric that the Democrats criticized so much when it came from the Bush administration. I thought the Smartest President Who Ever Lived was just supposed to stand up in some lecture hall and mesmerize these third-world thugs with the shining light of his sophisticated intellect.

    July 31, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Reply
    • urilifecast

      LOL

      July 31, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Reply
  6. Andrey

    It is better Panetta gets off this World Policing drug of theirs! It is very expensive habit to keep: may drive the whole country broke!

    July 31, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Reply
  7. America is Dead

    I love how Americans feel they have the right to tell people what to do in their own countries. I think its great that both the US and terrorist groups can work together to over throw the rightfull leader of a country way to go America

    July 31, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Reply
    • joetoast

      When you begin to massacre unarmed civilians in cold blood, you are no longer a "rightful" leader.

      July 31, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Reply
    • sultan hamid

      who is unarmed?those "civillians" are armed to the teeth.

      July 31, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Reply
      • joetoast

        They had to arm themselves to protect themselves against government forces. I suppose you'd have them stand in the street and let themselves get shot so they can have the moral high ground. Then maybe after another 20,000 dead they'll be able to convince the UN to send some more "monitors".

        July 31, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
      • i12bphil

        They started with only rocks to defend themselves.

        July 31, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
    • Stew

      US is superior to all the rest of the world hand down. No other country comes close. US will rebound financially but regardless, we will always remain the birth of all things good and worthwhile. Most all other cultures are one dimensional and BORING! US is 3D and will always RULE THE WORLD! Thank you.

      July 31, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Reply
      • AmazedeinFL

        Sorry, while I love America, referring to 'most other cultures' as one-dimensional or somehow inferior speaks volumes about your profound ignorance/lack of education. Try actually getting out of your uninformed, protected little room and actually seeing some of the world!

        July 31, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
  8. Reprinted With Permission ©

    "Experimental Democracy" has failed in India. An experiment that was being shoved down India's throat by western countries too eager to propagate their own values on a country that was trying to decolonize itself while trying to shed the communist skin of being a Soviet ally. India was thus trapped. What has become evident now is that this "Experimental Democracy" has marginalized the country. The marginalized groups of the country – Dalits and ‘backward’ castes/classes, indigenous ‘tribal’ people and religious minorities have been disenfranchised. "The belief that corruption is the important issue in the country is shared only by the minority living in urban areas and towns who have been beneficiaries of economic liberalization policies mandated by western countries. The most important challenges of Indian society remain as follows: justice, social and economic equality and equal access to certain standards of life for all Indians. “While India seems too eager to please its western masters and put on a progressive and softer face for CNN for public consumption, people see through it. The consequences of this "Band – Aid" approach will be brutal for India geo-politically when it realizes that the GDP statistics that it has been relying to gage its progress has not amounted to much in the long run

    July 31, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Reply
    • Yogi

      Well, the main issue of India is its population. The minorities and the poor have no common sense and reproduce without any thought of consequence. It is not the government's job to aid all your 10 children.

      July 31, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Reply
  9. VoiceOf Truth

    I didn't realize Panetta's personal backyard includes Syria

    July 31, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Reply
  10. RichardSRussell

    Anyone see the irony in telling Assad to get out of his own country when WE won't even get out of Afghanistan, a place which is not only NOT ours, we'd never WANT it to be? Yet there we are anyway, sooooo much beloved of the natives they could just kiss us every day.

    July 31, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Reply
  11. Ayodele joseph

    I think it will surely be better off, if al assad could step down at this critical time because even though he seems to be on top of the sitiuation, the opposition shouldn't be underestimated. thanks

    July 31, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Reply
  12. Jason

    Leon is so sad for the Syrian people. He wants them to live in a democratic secular society like Saudi and Qatar.

    July 31, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Reply
    • Jane

      You are exactly right. When it comes to Saudi is Panetta going to tell the King and Princes to get the hell out?

      July 31, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Reply
  13. dscon

    Obamas US economic policy is just as "foriegn" as his foriegn

    policy.
    20,000 dead syrians...........MB in libya and egypt, al queda in

    syria,
    and now talk about fear of wmds in syria.
    Sounds like what bush and the dem congress used for war
    mongering in Iraq.
    Remember congress agreeing and authorizing military action in Iraq?
    Ooopps sorry to bring that back up.
    lol

    July 31, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Reply
    • JC

      You left out the part where Congress believed it was justified because Bush explained that Iraq DEFINITELY has weapons of mass destruction.

      July 31, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Reply
      • dscon

        yeah and bush went by cia and fbi info................
        isn't that what panetta is?
        and he's spewing wmd crud now.........
        liberal confusion again.

        July 31, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
  14. bman

    Leon and Hilary should get together and share their feelings about Assad. Once they expose their emotions they'll be able to move on through their healing process.

    July 31, 2012 at 11:56 am | Reply
  15. SoSad

    Rick Gorka kiss my ass!

    July 31, 2012 at 11:50 am | Reply
    • Rick Gorka

      No you kiss my a$s!

      July 31, 2012 at 11:58 am | Reply
  16. card51short

    so if China asks obama to step down, he has to do it? Why are we meddling in Syria's affairs?

    July 31, 2012 at 11:37 am | Reply
    • Joe

      Assad is killing his own people, dummy.

      July 31, 2012 at 11:59 am | Reply
      • Vad

        Using the logic that we should step in everytime a nation kills it's own people, we should be involved in every African, Middle Eastern, South and Central American dictator's country with Guns Blazing everytime one group claims the government is killing the people when it is just as likely the "rebels" are no better. Wouldn't that lead to even more bloodshed?

        July 31, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
      • VoiceOf Truth

        And you personally witnessed Assad killing his own citizens?

        July 31, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
      • JC

        @VoiceOf Truth – I suppose you don't believe astronauts ever actually landed on the moon, since you weren't there to witness it.

        July 31, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • Adel

      if most of Americans want Obama to leave, then why not !

      July 31, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Reply
      • Norman

        funny-majority love Obama-hes doing a great job-4 more years easily 🙂

        July 31, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • John S.

      Yes, totally agree.

      July 31, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Reply
    • really?

      Really!?! Obama was voted into office (not by me but by millions of others)...Assad isn't exactly asking the Syrian people every four years if they want him to stick around. We have the option of voting Obama out in November...the Syrian people have to force Assad out but are way outgunned.

      July 31, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Reply
  17. Dwayne

    Whose to say that the replacement will be any better? Syria wasn't the worst country in the middle-east. I'm getting tired of us trying to dismantle countries that are easy to make a mess, but we won't do anything about countries such as Iran or Somalia where there are really bad problems. Assad wasn't the worst dictator for sure. We ought to focus on Venezuela if we want to mess something up.

    July 31, 2012 at 11:30 am | Reply
    • Jon

      We're not dismantling it. Syria's dismantling itself. That's what a civil war is.

      July 31, 2012 at 11:35 am | Reply
      • Will

        it's not a civil war. the "rebels" are a hooligan army that has been bought by the US and NATO

        July 31, 2012 at 11:46 am |
      • Norman

        Sure, Will-like we could afford to "buy" tens of thousands of unhappy Syrians-idiot

        July 31, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • Smacky Smooth

      Really? To afraid of the replacement that you think its prudent to let this no chinned/no-b*lled schmuck continue KILLING BABIES, CHILDREN, WOMEN? that is a valid reason to do nothing?

      July 31, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Reply
  18. JiminNM

    Panetta and every other politician should resign and give the people a chance to restore America and eliminate the Federal Corporation.

    July 31, 2012 at 11:25 am | Reply
    • Smacky Smooth

      Are we talking about the same "PEOPLE" who rather vote for Americal Idol than in their local elections? The same people that announce their bowel movements on twitter? The same people who think the COUNTRY of Georgia is in America? Are the PEOPLE any better qualified than the rich twits we call our "representatives"? That is a tough call.

      July 31, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Reply
      • Yogi

        Very good point.

        July 31, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
  19. RadioResearch

    Let the kibbe-eaters fend for themselves. We've stuck our noses in too many foreign conflicts where we didn't belong. Pity about Aleppo though...that is/was a UNESCO world heritage site. Conflicts do not respect those.....

    July 31, 2012 at 11:21 am | Reply
    • Manin Ah A'dah

      Kibbeh. Raw lamb....uuuummmhh!

      July 31, 2012 at 11:29 am | Reply
      • RadioResearch

        Yeah, it's not bad stuff, but foe every friggin' meal?!

        July 31, 2012 at 11:35 am |
      • Manin Ah A'dah

        Jazuzs no! Every now and then....

        July 31, 2012 at 11:37 am |
  20. Kerry

    Since when did this become the U.S.A.s problem? How is it we are calling the shots? I don't get why everything has to fall on us to fix. It would not be considered isolationism to stay out of a civil war. They will put another dictator in place and continue on the same. We should have no part of it. Then it becomes our responsibility. Stay away from Syria. Let them duke it out and resolve their own problems.

    July 31, 2012 at 11:17 am | Reply
    • Jon

      It's not our problem, and we're not involved. Commenting from the sidelines doesn't count as involvement.

      July 31, 2012 at 11:31 am | Reply
      • Manin Ah A'dah

        Does it count as sanctimonious self-serving BS?

        July 31, 2012 at 11:39 am |
      • VoiceOf Truth

        You must be Leon Panetta's brother, Jon Panetta

        July 31, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • Smacky Smooth

      As long as it is "profitable" to wage war, they will be trying to put the usa in all countries.
      they put our troops all over the globe to "democratize" the planet then blame others for the economic crises at home. Romney and McCain suggests we should have gone into Lybia and now wants us to go fight Iran. As long as this country's government and special monied interests keep putting the middle class and poor over into new "vietnam-like" conflicts in the name of "freedom: while taking our freedoms away at home, then we will remain in a deep recession with no hope of recovery,

      July 31, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Reply
  21. Ralph in Orange Park, FL

    Why would Panetta think that, if Assad is forced out, some Syrian general would not seize power as a dictator and be just as bad as Assad?

    July 31, 2012 at 11:14 am | Reply
    • PaxHominibus

      Panetta DOESN'T think. Period.

      July 31, 2012 at 11:16 am | Reply
      • onemain*

        He is a tard.

        July 31, 2012 at 11:48 am |
    • Jon

      Unless I'm mistaken, he never didn't said that WOULDN'T happen. He just pointed out that it's looking more and more unlikely that Assad will be able to retain his grip on power. Not after everything that's happened. And he's pointing out that a full breakdown of Syria's military and security forces – anarchy, in other words – wouldn't be good for anyone.

      July 31, 2012 at 11:34 am | Reply
  22. Julian Assange

    That is EVEN another Human Cathastrofe resulting from Americas GREED for Power, Dominance and OIL!
    Thanks United States of America!

    July 31, 2012 at 11:06 am | Reply
    • sam

      a "catastrofe", like this dolt's posts?

      July 31, 2012 at 11:59 am | Reply
  23. Richard

    ""It's very important that we don't make the same mistakes we made in Iraq," "

    So, what does this have to do with us that we would even be in a position for us to make any "mistakes" like we did in Iraq?

    July 31, 2012 at 10:35 am | Reply
    • Manin Ah A'dah

      Among which is being foolish enough to think we actually have a dog in this fight? I hope that's just lies for the ignorant public...because if they actually believe their BS in DC we're in worse shape than I thought ...

      July 31, 2012 at 10:49 am | Reply
    • PaxHominibus

      Richard – If Romney made a remark like that , the Democrats would have nailed him to the wall!

      July 31, 2012 at 11:18 am | Reply
  24. BG

    Yeah, Panetta has it going on, I wonder if he consulted with hillary????? HAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

    July 31, 2012 at 10:28 am | Reply
  25. Frank

    Yeah. Get out! Your getting in Obama's way of establishing the middle eastern Caliphate which will then turn its sights on taking over the WEST!

    GET OBAMA AND THESE MUSLIM SYMPATHIZERS THE HE11 OUT OF THE WHITE HOUSE IN NOVEMBER WHILE WE STILL HAVE A FREE COUNTRY!

    July 31, 2012 at 10:14 am | Reply
    • Ronin

      Sweetie, America HAS never been a Free Country...stop diluting yourself !

      July 31, 2012 at 10:31 am | Reply
      • Richard

        "...stop diluting yourself !"

        <--- Chuckles at "diluting."

        July 31, 2012 at 10:37 am |
      • Manin Ah A'dah

        It's as free as they come. Want a handout? Well that ain't 'free'. That's slavery.

        July 31, 2012 at 10:45 am |
    • Dennis

      Yes,Frank let's get some money grubbing Mormon in office who can pilfer our future into his overseas accounts.Don't you just love his foreign policy experience?Keep a very close look at your own bank account if he does.Your tax base will be quite different also.Expect to pay more to fund those accounts and the Mormon Church.Smart guy,this is a civil war within the country of Syria that we are having little involvement in.Quit your hatred and bigotry.Romney has no answers either.Just listen to him everytime he opens his mouth.He has no plans fo this country.His plan is only for himself and people at his level of wealth

      July 31, 2012 at 10:35 am | Reply
      • Manin Ah A'dah

        Let's see...a rich kid done well vs an affirmative action baby who never did anything that wasn't tax payer paid.... not the best choice...esp. with the GOP wackos....but I think I prefer someone who's actually at least had a real job to one thinks 'community organizer' is a job...instead of a handout.

        July 31, 2012 at 10:55 am |
    • Mike

      okay, now you have to take your meds and go to bed

      July 31, 2012 at 10:37 am | Reply
    • Steve

      Frank, are you off of your meds again?

      July 31, 2012 at 10:40 am | Reply
    • TopView20

      Let send Hilary Clinton to give Assad a very private lap & pole dance. If that does not cause him to leave his palace, nothing will work.

      July 31, 2012 at 11:57 am | Reply
    • Are you off your meds

      sure and vote in mittens no thanks

      July 31, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Reply
  26. Aaron Chaney

    In two identical letters addressed to the head of the UN Security Council and the UN Secretary General, the Syrian Foreign and Expatriates Ministry said that during the past few days, armed terrorist groups carried out attacks against innocent civilians and public and private property in Syria, particularly in Damascus and Aleppo.

    The Ministry said that these armed terrorist group – which are backed openly with funds and weapons by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey – committed horrifying crimes against innocent civilians in Damascus and Aleppo and are still doing so in Aleppo, where a large number of these terrorist mercenaries gathered as their entry into Syria was facilitated by Turkey, and they occupied several crowded neighborhoods and used locals as human shields, killing everyone that doesn't support their crimes and forcing others to leave their homes at gunpoint.

    The letters pointed out that what calls attention is that all this took place after the recent visit of UN Envoy to Syria Kofi Annan in July 8th 2012, during which an agreement was reached regarding a number of steps to restore security and stability and Syria through the six-point plan and the results of the Geneva meeting.

    The Ministry said that it's regrettable that those who claim to care for Syria and for ending the bloodshed of its people never made any calls for terrorist groups to end their armed operations and join the political process requested by the UN and approved by Syria to end bloodshed.

    July 31, 2012 at 10:12 am | Reply
    • Dennis

      No mattter who funds it,no matter who fights it,Syria is now in the midst of a civil war.There are lots of losers,no real winners,but one thing is for sure Assad has got to go.I am also certain Iran has it's bloody hands in this mess,too.

      July 31, 2012 at 10:25 am | Reply
    • Manin Ah A'dah

      Yeah...but our crew in DC has us supporting these butchers.....

      July 31, 2012 at 10:31 am | Reply
    • Richard

      I stopped caring about Syria in September of 2001 – right after I saw videos of Syrians dancing in the streets after 9/11.

      July 31, 2012 at 10:40 am | Reply
      • Manin Ah A'dah

        9-11 was simply a continuation of the war that started in 1805.....well at least the US part in it anyway. Why should the US help these folks in their struggle against the new Rome?

        July 31, 2012 at 10:58 am |
    • VoiceOf Truth

      Good post. There's more to this story than the masses are being told, but they are conditioned to blindly accept the media's take on it.

      July 31, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Reply
  27. Jiri bank ski

    Religion is the worse thing that has happened to planet earth. There is no god get over it. My guess is ET, Easter
    Bunny, tooth fairy and/or Santa Claus are more believable.

    July 31, 2012 at 10:07 am | Reply
    • John

      Relevance?

      July 31, 2012 at 10:13 am | Reply
    • markishere

      Another self righteous athiest d0uche bag forcing their beliefs. Kind of ironic.

      July 31, 2012 at 10:15 am | Reply
      • Manin Ah A'dah

        Bingo. Another CFI Democratic partisan Green Religion of Death windbag.

        July 31, 2012 at 11:03 am |
    • Natasha

      Its not like people want atheists running their countries, they don't exactly have a good track record for promoting freedom and liberity.

      July 31, 2012 at 10:24 am | Reply
      • Ronin

        Ha! and the Christians do? Are you kidding me??

        July 31, 2012 at 10:33 am |
      • Manin Ah A'dah

        Huuum Let's see...the Enlightenment...the concept of individual rights...the common dignity of individuals...liberty...freedom. All these are products of Christian cultures...the very ones you tilt your so very safe and comfortable nose up to sniff at contemptuously...as if freedom and liberty were things you had any real understanding of at all. Go back to Left wing U...where you and your pretentious delusions are safe......for now.

        July 31, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • min

      theres somthing out there i have seen and heard things , there somthing out there you can call it what you want ,

      July 31, 2012 at 10:31 am | Reply
    • QuietMayhem

      @John if you dont understand the relevance of religion here, move on to the entertainment section and post comments. Good point about Atheists @Natasha, however, I will partially agree with you @Jiri bank ski in saying that ORGANIZED religion and money are essentially the foundation of 90 percent of the wars the world has seen. All in an effort to fight for their "god". I have my beliefs, but the real danger and what needs to stop is Religion's neccesity to force their's upon others. From burning people at the stake to religious genocide to radical islam. I wont even bother pointing out the irony and futility in organized religion as a whole irrespective of denomination.

      July 31, 2012 at 10:59 am | Reply
      • VoiceOf Truth

        Nah, you have not read deeply enough into history. You think you have, but your words show you have not gone beneath the surface.

        July 31, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
  28. Awabnavi

    The US should shut its hell trap of a mouth

    July 31, 2012 at 9:51 am | Reply
    • Manin Ah A'dah

      Why would the U.S. 'support' those seeking a path to rise up against the new Rome I wonder?

      July 31, 2012 at 9:58 am | Reply
      • tjp44

        you are an idiot

        July 31, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
    • Dennis

      And Assad needs to stop the massacre of the Syrian people and Iran needs to get it's nose out of Syrian politics.

      July 31, 2012 at 10:41 am | Reply
      • VoiceOf Truth

        You really believe international affairs are as simple and neatly packaged as the media paints it?

        July 31, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • QuietMayhem

      Come shut it for us....? It would be our pleasure to welcome you to our crosshairs.

      July 31, 2012 at 10:45 am | Reply
      • Manin Ah A'dah

        Not everything is a videogame.

        July 31, 2012 at 11:36 am |
      • QuietMayhem

        Speaking from the standpoint of someone with 6 combat deployments in special operations, I'd say I understand that. Thank you though.

        July 31, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • tjp44

      wouldn't it be nice to make us...but you can't, so go back to 3rd world misery and quit trying to bring us down with you Anwar or whatever

      July 31, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Reply
  29. sultan hamid

    panetta is a thug.his place is in jail.

    July 31, 2012 at 9:46 am | Reply
    • Dennis

      In jail right along with you.

      July 31, 2012 at 10:42 am | Reply
      • sultan hamid

        why me?because of my name?religion?my ethnicity?

        July 31, 2012 at 11:17 am |
      • Manin Ah A'dah

        It doesn't bother me you're a 'Shriner'...... 😉

        July 31, 2012 at 11:43 am |
    • tjp44

      no because you live here and sponge our benefits and then have the nerve to criticise America........go home or if this is your home be proud........Panetta is a hero, he helped kill Osama Bin laden and all you muslims must love him for that BOOYAH!

      July 31, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Reply
      • sultan hamid

        i don't sponge anything.i work very hard for my money.and paneta wastes some of my money bringing death to both americans and foreigners.you are mad because america is losing wars.

        July 31, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
  30. Barry G.

    I agree with Leon Panetta. Well said.

    It’s time to start the war crimes trials for Assad and his vile generals and regime.

    July 31, 2012 at 9:45 am | Reply
    • Manin Ah A'dah

      Yes....and for the (also) murderous opposition.

      July 31, 2012 at 9:48 am | Reply
      • Todd in DC

        It's called a war. Sometimes even good guys have to do bad things in a war.

        Remember, this all started with Assad attacking peaceful protestors asking for reform.

        July 31, 2012 at 10:07 am |
      • The Real Tom Paine

        yes, and you're an ignorant rightie, who still thinks they know everything. I've never met a group of people who take such obvious pride in their ignorance, and demand that others join them in that questionable state of grace: maybe you think you appear innocent in the eyes of God? By the way, how's the home-schooling going? have you got to the aprt where they say that dinosaurs and man lived at the same time?

        July 31, 2012 at 10:10 am |
      • Dennis

        For 40 years we have seen the murderous regimes in succession of the Assad family.We are seeing Arab critics here today speakin out against Panetta.Where is your disgust for the Assad regime?..There are just an extension of another big part of the regional problem,Iran.

        July 31, 2012 at 10:49 am |
    • Dano from Houston

      Time for Assad to go. While the turmoil continues, civilians – Christian and Muslim – are being targeted, tortured and killed.

      July 31, 2012 at 10:09 am | Reply
    • Enlightened 4

      Our secretary of Defense swears at foreigner powers and it's okay, but an aide swears at a DUMB reporter and it's headline news? The double standard used by CNN makes any news utter dross.

      July 31, 2012 at 10:12 am | Reply
      • Dennis

        While your candidate wishes to remain secretive and evasive and snubs the press,the American public truly wishes to know to what extent a fraud Romney is.Very much a fraud in public opinion to this point.

        July 31, 2012 at 11:00 am |
  31. Dave (aka "Peaches")

    "I think it's important when Assad leaves – and he will leave – to try to preserve stability in that country. And the best way to preserve that kind of stability is to maintain as much of the military, the police, as you can, along with the security forces, and hope that they will transition to a democratic form of government. That's a key," Panetta told CNN's Pentagon Correspondent Barbara Starr in an exclusive interview in Tunis, Tunisia, Monday.

    Obviously the best way to force change is through military fascisit state that denies majority control of a "democracy". Good call Panetta.

    July 31, 2012 at 9:38 am | Reply
    • Dennis

      The alternative is something on the order of the Muslim Brotherhood.Would you call that a "democracy" also?

      July 31, 2012 at 11:03 am | Reply
  32. Manin Ah A'dah

    Posturing as if the least in control of events in Syria is pathetic.

    July 31, 2012 at 9:23 am | Reply
  33. Mr Mister

    WHOSE WIFE IS HOTTER – PANETTA OR ASSAD???

    July 31, 2012 at 9:19 am | Reply
    • Dennis

      The barrel of the Syrian sniper's rifle is hotter than both of them.

      July 31, 2012 at 11:06 am | Reply
  34. Paul

    People talk about the Muslim Brotherhood all the time. What about the Christian Brotherhood called the Republican party destroying America? That is the real problem that needs to be taken care of right there.

    July 31, 2012 at 9:14 am | Reply
    • Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

      I agree with you. A christian conservative church in Mississippi just denied a black couple marrying in their church! When these phony religious fanatics aren't calling for the extermination of gays or the burning of the Quran, or shooting up civilians in a theatre or gunning down our congresswoman or accusing democratic members of congress of having ties to the Muslin Brotherhood, they're finding all sorts of other ways to undermine our democracy.

      July 31, 2012 at 9:30 am | Reply
      • womack

        Separation of church and state. That church could have denied them for more reasons than the couple being black. And it doesn't matter if the church doesn't wanna marry black or white or Hispanic, it is totally up to the church, or mainly the people on the board of the church.

        July 31, 2012 at 9:47 am |
      • Manin Ah A'dah

        Come on Womack... Blah is a leftist....he 'knows' everything...including what's best for others.

        July 31, 2012 at 9:51 am |
      • Vad

        Yea, undermine our Democracy. Like the group of Mayors that are illegally trying to ban restaurants because they don't like their political views? Or the administration that now has the power to make you buy private insurance or face the IRS? By the way, if your going to throw out blind accusations like it was a religious fanatic that shot up all those people in a theatre, how about I throw out one of my own and say James Holmes likely voted for Obama. See, I can be as dumb as you can.

        July 31, 2012 at 10:01 am |
      • Todd in DC

        Womack, you have a point. however, it would have been nice if the church told the black couple that little detail before the couple spent their time and money in the church, not after.

        But then, here I am asking church elders to be moral. Silly me.

        July 31, 2012 at 10:09 am |
    • oldpatriot

      Panetta was appointed by Barack Obama, there is zero difference between the parties if you cant tell the difference between a democrat secretary of defense and a republican one!!

      July 31, 2012 at 9:45 am | Reply
      • Manin Ah A'dah

        The only real difference is the special interests that get paid off...

        July 31, 2012 at 9:53 am |
    • markishere

      Yeah, but it's Mississippi you're talking about...that's basically like a third world country that can't be compared to the rest of the US.

      July 31, 2012 at 10:16 am | Reply
    • VoiceOf Truth

      The Republican Party is no Christian. neither is the Democratic party.

      July 31, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Reply
  35. shades

    it would mean something if you meant it Leon..
    Go back and tell your boss he should be acting like the leader of the free world

    July 31, 2012 at 9:09 am | Reply
    • Manin Ah A'dah

      But that's the problem...it's only an 'act'.

      July 31, 2012 at 9:27 am | Reply
    • Dennis

      Like Bush did,right?

      July 31, 2012 at 11:12 am | Reply
  36. Boo

    And I think the United States ought to MIND THEIR OWN DAMN BUSINESS!

    July 31, 2012 at 9:03 am | Reply
    • Todd in DC

      Tell that to the repubs. Obama won't send in troups, but the repubs love to start wars.

      July 31, 2012 at 10:11 am | Reply
    • Bugmenot

      Why don't yous just stand on yer head and soil yer pants awready!!

      July 31, 2012 at 10:47 am | Reply
  37. Julian Assange

    Gee...
    America can HARDLY wait to FORCE a Karzai style PUPPET into power in Syria to lead in the intsrest of the BARBARIANS in Washington and Telaviv...
    Israel can HARDLY wait for Assad to fall to start STEALING Syrian watter...
    How BRUTAL...
    How IMMORAL...
    How MEDIEVAL...
    How CRIMINAL!

    July 31, 2012 at 8:58 am | Reply
    • Tinktank

      How stupid.

      July 31, 2012 at 9:22 am | Reply
    • Adam

      16,000 people dead in the genocide created by Assad. Syria has nothing of interest anyway. You are a troll.

      July 31, 2012 at 9:54 am | Reply
    • Dennis

      How Iranian.

      July 31, 2012 at 11:13 am | Reply
  38. Beesbees

    "Panetta had some advice for the Syrian dictator whose nation is in the midst of a deadly civil war. "I'm sure that deep down Assad knows he's in trouble and it's just matter of time before he has to go," Panetta said. "I would say if you want to be able to protect yourself and your family, you better get the hell out now." I'm guessing Mr. Panetta forgets that Russia, China and Iran are supporting Al Assad. Panetta, shut your mouth and worry about your own country!

    July 31, 2012 at 8:55 am | Reply
  39. hklkuttfgbn

    LEADERS COME AND LEADERS GO BUT THE LONG BEARDS NEVER CHANGE HAVE YOU EVER NOTICED HOW CHINESE CANT GROW BEARDS BIG BIG TROUBLE MARK YOUR WORDS
    IT IS 15:40 IN SYRIA AND ASSAD IS OVER THERE HAVING A 9 COURSE MEAL

    July 31, 2012 at 8:39 am | Reply
    • Grasshopper

      Are you saying that Master Po is not really Chinese? That would mean everything I learned from him is a lie??? Oh No!!!

      July 31, 2012 at 11:31 am | Reply
  40. nottolate

    al-Assad to Panetta: Mind your own damn business

    July 31, 2012 at 8:36 am | Reply
    • robbentrop3945

      that is such an idiotic idea to leave the people the rebels have been fighting.. amid massacres of children and other horrific things... in control after assad is remove....
      it s just asking for trouble i think.

      July 31, 2012 at 8:44 am | Reply
      • Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

        The GOP said the same thing about leaving all those stockpiles of mustard gas to the Libyan military. So far, Libya is enjoying their new democracy and all of the varying factions are united as one nation. The military is not the problem, the government is. I don't believe for a minute that our military is in Afghanistan because they chose to be there. They are there because a dictator in GWB put them there.

        July 31, 2012 at 9:37 am |
      • Bugmenot

        Why don't yous just stand on yer head and soil yer pants awready!!!

        July 31, 2012 at 10:56 am |
  41. Vad

    Panetta just admitted we are providing assistance to the opposition in Syria. Ok....Why? Are they better than the current government? Exactly which groups are we providing assistance to? The ones that we hope hate us the least? Are we sending fighter jets to bomb Syria like we did in Libya? I also wonder if there was a civil war in America if our administration would just let it happen and step down because they don't want anyone killed in the fighting like we are telling the Syrian's to do. I gotta give President Obama credit, the man sure knows how to meddle in the affairs of other Countries and make it seem like we are not. The Nobel Peace Prize winner himself.

    July 31, 2012 at 8:33 am | Reply
    • Nope, Try again

      Please, go back to hiding under your rock.

      July 31, 2012 at 8:41 am | Reply
      • Vad

        Why is it when Regan was doing things like Iran / Contra, Grenada and bombing Libya (back in the 80's) you Dem's seemed all up in arms, but when your Messiah Obama does it then suddenly it's for the good of the Syrian or Lybian or Egyptian people? I will climb out from my rock when you pull your head out of your a$$.

        July 31, 2012 at 9:34 am |
    • stan

      I've wondered the same thing. If Americans grouped up and sought 'regime change' would Panetta just walk away from defending the government. Would he tell Obama to get out of dodge, or would he work to kill as many revolting american's as he could. Would they as willing to allow China and Russia to fund the Revolution as they are willing to support the 'rebels' in Libya and Syria?

      Face it, if Americans do rise for yet another American Revolution president Obama would order their wholesale slaughter. Could you imagine Russia and China funding the Revolution like the Americans do around the globe?

      July 31, 2012 at 8:45 am | Reply
      • Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

        @ stan

        You're an idiot. Like the UN, and the international community, Panetta is just expressing the views and the wishes of the Syrian people which is to determine their own destiny. Just like it was the case in Libya, the Syrian people weren't asking for regime change. No, they were asking for democratic reform, better pay, better living conditions and more freedoms to participate in the political process where they could determine their own destiny. But just like Ghadaffi did, Assad suppressed the Syrian people's right to congregate by unleashing a violent and deadly crackdown. If the world doesn't intervene when widespread atrocities and oppression are being committed on a high scale, there is no telling what the world would look like today.

        July 31, 2012 at 8:59 am |
      • Dennis

        Stan,your imagination is a bit out of control.

        July 31, 2012 at 11:18 am |
    • Fearless Freep

      Civil war in America ?
      When we dont like somebody in our government, we vote them out.
      Are you stupid ?
      Yes.

      July 31, 2012 at 9:24 am | Reply
      • Manin Ah A'dah

        Things change. You can sense it in the wind. Polorization has its limits. Change is coming here...slow but sure.

        July 31, 2012 at 9:35 am |
    • Manin Ah A'dah

      Precisely. Which pack of murdering anti-American fanatics are the (current) nincompoops in Washington DC supporting now?

      July 31, 2012 at 9:31 am | Reply
      • The Real Tom Paine

        The ones they were stuck with thanks to Shrub.

        July 31, 2012 at 10:13 am |
    • Bugmenot

      Why don't yous just stand on yer head and soil yer pants awready!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      July 31, 2012 at 10:58 am | Reply
    • Dennis

      The U.N.

      July 31, 2012 at 11:16 am | Reply
  42. SugarKube

    That is as embarrassing of a statement as when Barry O begged Iran for our Drone back. What amateurs.

    July 31, 2012 at 8:32 am | Reply
    • Tr1Xen

      I know, right?!

      July 31, 2012 at 8:35 am | Reply
    • Nope, Try again

      You should probably be more embarassed by your own post.

      July 31, 2012 at 8:41 am | Reply
    • Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

      Yea, it sure was embarrasing when Obama got Osama!

      July 31, 2012 at 9:07 am | Reply
      • Derpington

        Obama didn't get Osama.....Seals did.

        July 31, 2012 at 9:55 am |
      • The Real Tom Paine

        So, Derpington, they acted without orders? Do you have a big " Mission Accomplished " banner in your bedroom?

        July 31, 2012 at 10:14 am |
    • Sugarkube

      Im a moron.

      July 31, 2012 at 9:26 am | Reply
    • Manin Ah A'dah

      That was pretty pathetic. Hopefully a nadir.....hopefully.

      July 31, 2012 at 9:38 am | Reply
    • Dennis

      Isn't he the same amateur who ordered the snuffing out of Bin Ladin and Al-Awlaki?...No,not quite the amateur Bush was.

      July 31, 2012 at 11:21 am | Reply
  43. jimbob

    Panetta is a pro-Islamist, imperialist, fascist warmonger. Assad should tell him to take his thoughts and stick them where teh sun doesn't shine.

    July 31, 2012 at 8:22 am | Reply
    • Easy E

      In case you hadn't noticed, Assad is about as pro-Islamist as you can get. Ever heard of Hezbollah? Maybe you've heard they blew up the Marine barracks in Lebanon, shoot rockets into Israel, conduct suicide bombings, etc. Well, anyway, the Assad family has been funding, training, and arming them for 40+ years.

      You may not like the Obama admin, lord knows they have their problems, but you are acting like one heck of a Benedict Arnold to be on here supporting Assad and putting down the head of the CIA. If you really feel that way homeboy, you need to move on over to Iran and get with your boys, because that's who you;re rooting for fool.

      July 31, 2012 at 8:37 am | Reply
    • Nasty Canasta

      The CIA knows where you live.

      July 31, 2012 at 9:28 am | Reply
    • Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

      Then don't drop your underwear!

      July 31, 2012 at 9:40 am | Reply
  44. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    I disagree with one thing Panetta said and that is in regards to allowing for the chemical weapons to remain in the hands of the Syrian military. Yes, the Syrian military should be kept intact but the chemical weapons should be removed from Syria and be stored at Crawford Ranch!

    July 31, 2012 at 8:19 am | Reply
    • Nasty Canasta

      Bush sold Crawford.
      Even his neighbors couldnt stand him.

      July 31, 2012 at 9:29 am | Reply
    • Hypocrite

      @Blah Blah.....You are an idiot!!!! You talk about Bush starting wars and killing, blah blah but then you say the same thing but directed at him!! THAT MAKE YOU WORSE, HYPOCRITE!!! IDIOT!! LOL (And I am NOT a fan of Bush!)

      July 31, 2012 at 10:07 am | Reply
  45. NC

    Assad took one look at his wife and said, "I'll take the virgins!"

    July 31, 2012 at 8:16 am | Reply
    • really

      You've not seen his wife then? Seriously hot.

      July 31, 2012 at 8:23 am | Reply
      • Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

        Asma al-Asad is only pretty on the outside. Because of her continued support for her husband and failure to take a more proactive stance in trying to convince her husband to change the course of his actions, she's simply a very ugly woman.

        July 31, 2012 at 9:18 am |
      • Manin Ah A'dah

        Again Blah assumes they know everything...about everyone. Typical American left-wing Statist. They're at least as bad as the 'neo-cons'.

        July 31, 2012 at 10:05 am |
      • Me

        @Manin...agreed!!! Funny stuff!! LOL

        July 31, 2012 at 10:09 am |
      • The Real Tom Paine

        Manin, you are a typical Right-wing Objectivist...only give a damn about yourself and not for the country.

        July 31, 2012 at 10:17 am |
    • Vad

      Her name is Asma, and she is hot. Damaged goods, but hot.

      July 31, 2012 at 8:36 am | Reply
  46. T. Lee

    RIGHT – the same army that is attacking and killing the nation's citizens are going to be acceptable by those remaining to "keep the nation stable".

    Are you NUTS Mr. Panetta?

    July 31, 2012 at 8:07 am | Reply
    • Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

      The Syrian military is taking orders from their government the same way our military took orders from GWB to kill civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan. When there is a change of regime, the process of rebuilding is tedious and complex, therefore transitioning would be easier if the entire military is kept intact to help with that transition.

      July 31, 2012 at 8:27 am | Reply
      • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

        Collateral damage is a fact of life when it comes to war. It always has been and likely always will. The U.S. takes extreme steps to avoid as much CD as possible. This is wholly different than directly ordering your troops to target civilians. Had GWB (not a fan myself) ordered such an attack…there would be NO civilians left in said countries.

        July 31, 2012 at 8:40 am |
      • Me

        @blah blah....GET OVER IT!! Bush has been out of office for years now, funny still blaming Bush for everything!!! Typical Leftist idiot!!!!

        July 31, 2012 at 10:12 am |
      • Really?

        Really?
        So ...no problem on all the innocent people you murdered and raped, you are forgiven and better yet, we want you to keep your job...cause now that Assad is out your are magicly changed, your mind is no longer sick and twisted and you really didn t do all those things. Now go be a good soldier for the people and try not to eat anyone......

        July 31, 2012 at 11:57 am |
  47. Paul Martin Welsh expat foreign correspondent

    Panetta is right in this instance. He should know as former CIA director and current DOD secretary because he has lots of inside intel and knowledge most folks don't come close to getting ! If assad wants to end up like saddam and ghadaffi though he's doing the right thing by staying put under the delusion that things will rvert in his favor. If nato,etc could't stop al qaeda and all the other fanatical insurgents now in syria then asad and his henchmen certainly won't....he's history !

    July 31, 2012 at 7:56 am | Reply
  48. Bruce

    His comprison is logically flawed wth respect to Iraq. It may have been a mistake to invade Iraq, but certainly was not a mistake to disband the military. Panetta, like HIS president, is comparing apples to oranges Such a shame I thought Panetta was pretty smart. Guess his party has him by the Gonads and he is in pain and can't think clearly.

    July 31, 2012 at 7:44 am | Reply
    • Nope, Try again

      Actually, you're wrong. Panetta is correct. Disbanding the Iraqi Army WAS a mistake. You'd probably know that if you read any of the studies on the Iraq War, instead of regurgitating what you have heard.

      July 31, 2012 at 8:08 am | Reply
    • Liberty

      You couldn't be more wrong. What do you think happens when you put 100ds of thousands of men – who are not necessarily all Sadam lovers – suddenly on the streets without work, and the only thing they are good at is fighting and remembering who forced them into unimployment and poverty? Can't you understand that those humiliated and frustrated guys will not turn down offers from extremists to pay for their services?Almost every country on the planet is agreeing that this was a massive strateical error of the Bush administration – only the Us repubulicans still keep their heads in the sand and keep protecting (one of) the most incompetent president in US history ... Think!

      July 31, 2012 at 8:11 am | Reply
  49. vincent

    Panetta now says that Assad is to "get the hell out"
    Too much association with Queen Hillary, her famous words "Assad must go" just as the same she told to the lawfully elected leader of Iran he "must go" and the former ruler of libya he "must go"
    Well........the arab and persian rulers might just say "Queen hillary must go:" and what a happy day that will be when she "goes" back to Arkansas and stops her hatred of the male gender and that can be attributed to past events between Bill and Monica.
    Panetta hasn't got the guts to break away from Queen Hillary, and the best thing that Obama can do is to keep BOTH of them at home, hopefully with their mouths shut!

    July 31, 2012 at 7:41 am | Reply
    • David

      .......but Hillary said Assad was a "reformer" and her pal, Nancy thought he was gentleman and even took a wonderful photo with him, headscarfe and all.

      July 31, 2012 at 7:51 am | Reply
      • Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

        Yes, at one point Assad did support policies that a reformer would embrace just like Ghadaffi's son Saif supported reform, only to change their positions when the people expressed their will to determine their own destiny! Some leaders do change whenever their grip on power is challenged.

        July 31, 2012 at 8:33 am |
      • Manin Ah A'dah

        Yeah, sure...kinds like Obama supports Small Business, eh? Sure.......

        July 31, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • Nope, Try again

      "Lawfully elected leader of Iran" are you stoopid? This is one of the d u m b e s t posts I have read.

      July 31, 2012 at 8:11 am | Reply
    • Nasty Canasta

      I would pay to watch Hillary kick your azz.

      July 31, 2012 at 9:33 am | Reply
  50. David

    Panetta is a little late to the party. The next Syrian leadership will be created by the Islamic groups and the Muslim Brotherhood. They will merely be trading one ruthless dictator for a group of more radical dictators equally as ruthless, but more dangerous.

    July 31, 2012 at 7:38 am | Reply
    • Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

      Yea, we have head all that right wing garbage before that Obama has given rise to al Qaeda in Egypt and Libya and that there will soon be all out civil war in those countries. Well, so far those countries have been stabilized (unlike Iraq and Afghanistan) and there have been monemental democratic changes in both Egypt and Libya where the people have just participated in open elections for the first time in their history and are now deciding their own destiny. Thank you President Obama. Obama/Biden/Roberts 2012!

      July 31, 2012 at 7:51 am | Reply
      • David

        The final chapter has not been written yet. Give them time, the signs are still there.

        July 31, 2012 at 7:53 am |
      • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

        I am neither or republican or right wing. I agree with David’s assessment. Democracy alone does not mean freedom. Egypt is a great example of this…. Have you even been following along? Then again I bet you think the Iranian elections were on the up and up also…right?

        July 31, 2012 at 8:48 am |
      • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

        Please ignore that extra “or”. CNN and edit button would be nice, pls and thx.

        July 31, 2012 at 8:49 am |
      • Vad

        Hands down this is the worst thought out, most political piece of non-sense I have seen posted. Are you being paid by Obama / Biden to post your pro Leftist views? Libya and Egypt stable? Really? You actually posted that? As far as Afghanistan goes, it has never been stable but if my memory serves me your employer, Obama was the one who escalated the conflict in Afghanistan by sending 30.000 additional troops after he was elected. I would call you a sheep but that would be an insult to sheep!!!

        July 31, 2012 at 9:21 am |
  51. fghjkuygffty

    the long beards have plans for russia and china no one but no one will put ASSAD in charge of russia or china SO...IT IS OK TO MAKE A CHANGE–WHERE IS ASSAD @ 16:45 SYIRA TIME

    July 31, 2012 at 6:43 am | Reply
  52. Pancha Chandra

    While his war-torn country is torn asunder by civil war, Assad is determined to hang on to power. One wonders whether he could do this without the tacit approval of Russia and China! Do Russia and China have any choice considering their close ties with Syria? Or are the two powers bidding their time before they whisk him away along with his family to exile? These are pertinent questions as refugees stream into Turkey and Lebanon! Everyone knows that Assad's days are numbered! But his access to chemical weapons should not be discounted.

    July 31, 2012 at 6:41 am | Reply
  53. FNG

    Reblogged this on Thatoe Kyaw.

    July 31, 2012 at 6:05 am | Reply
  54. John Adams

    Well said. ASSad must get the hell out NOW.

    July 31, 2012 at 5:53 am | Reply
    • Fred54

      And why is that? Who the hell are you and who the hell is Panetta? Are you the Syrian people? I guess it's OK
      then to tell Obama to get the hell out because he's a dictator too. Is that OK???

      July 31, 2012 at 7:36 am | Reply
      • Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

        I guess you voted for GWB! Too bad people like you didn't have the common sense to tell GWB to get to hell out of Washington before he ruined our country.

        July 31, 2012 at 7:55 am |
  55. Temireduaghan Kenneth

    I love Panetta and his stance.

    July 31, 2012 at 5:15 am | Reply
  56. rightospeak

    Panetta needs to stop all wars and warmongering to benefit the American people and not the 1%. Unless ,somehow Ron Paul gets to be our president, I see little hope in reversing our trend towards self -destruction ;yes, it is that serious. What ever happened to " blessed are the peacemakers" ?

    July 31, 2012 at 4:50 am | Reply
    • Nope, Try again

      Si vis pacem, para bellum. Somebody has to be willing to stand up and fight.

      July 31, 2012 at 8:14 am | Reply
  57. Pat

    I think he would like to step down but wants an orderly transision and not just have a Western approved puppet to replace him We must rember it is stil Syria and he is still the head of that nation it is not up to us to tell any nation who should or should not get the hell out of their own country

    July 31, 2012 at 4:14 am | Reply
    • Ranveig Wormstrand

      Evidently there is no area in the Universe on which the US is not the ultimate authority: Of course it is the job of Panetta to give instructions on how to run any country in the world, who should be in power, who should leave, how to arrange the transition of power, how to secure military installations etc. etc. These people have no shame, no capacity of self criticism. And they never seem to learn. We in the rest of the world nourished some faint hope that things should change with Obama. They didn't. And they don't see that they are heading for disaster. Unfortunately, they are also dragging us with them. Thanks a lot, Yankees, you did it.

      July 31, 2012 at 4:38 am | Reply
      • cult

        If USA stands for constructive power the desert cult stands for destructive one. Go grab a gun shout AOA in Syria and claim your share from your pedophile.

        July 31, 2012 at 4:45 am |
    • Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

      The majority of the Syrian people have already spoken and expressed that it is their wish to determine their own destiny and that is why they have been fighting for their freedom and calling on Assad to step down. We are just supporting the wishes of the Syrian people, not the wishes of the Alewate or whatever they are called.

      July 31, 2012 at 7:58 am | Reply
  58. gliese 42

    Nothing doing with America. Kill yourselves and grab the 72 virgins but leave America alone.

    July 31, 2012 at 4:00 am | Reply
  59. RussianSpetznaz

    Who is Panetta to determine what should happen at another country?
    Or militaries already determine what happens? If so Panetta has shances to be nukked out by Russia and China.

    July 31, 2012 at 3:08 am | Reply
    • Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

      Panetta is not trying to determine what happens in Syria, he is just expressing the views of the majority of the Syrian people which is to have the opportunity to determine their own destiny.

      July 31, 2012 at 8:01 am | Reply
  60. Jose

    Now days I am hearing lot of "Allahu Akbar", the greatest sendence in the world. This word use to be very soothing. But now I am not confortable the way people use this holy words. If you kill somebody or if someone kill one of you, people are calling "Allahu Akbar". My dear friends it is not the job of GOD, it is the job of evil. I feel like by this call you are blaming the GOD for anybodies atrocities. This leads no muslims to understand Islam in a bad way.

    July 31, 2012 at 3:01 am | Reply
    • Cocopuf

      When an muzzie says it, it isn't the greatest words, because it is said when they are about to kill people.

      July 31, 2012 at 5:32 am | Reply
  61. nenyi

    @ tarek, whoever employs must be paying u by the second. Trolling CNN to defend terrorist actions.

    July 31, 2012 at 2:53 am | Reply
  62. saeed

    I come from Pakistan and I will tell you Taliban warriors are the best fighters in the world there traning is the most displined anywere. You can't even imagine the the hard and epic training of a Taliban warrior its the Essence of displine.

    July 31, 2012 at 2:30 am | Reply
    • teachbygoofyaccent

      You must be thinking of the Taliban's fathers, the mujahedeen. THEY were disciplined. Their kids turned out to be thugs.

      July 31, 2012 at 4:24 am | Reply
    • MALON ABBE

      You are thinking of the US Special Forces.
      Plus ... they have way gnarlier gear and toys. Force Multipliers anyone?
      the talibungs are a joke.

      July 31, 2012 at 9:25 am | Reply
    • Fearless Freep

      If you stop waving your pee pee in front of your camel
      he wont bite it.

      July 31, 2012 at 9:39 am | Reply
  63. saeed

    What Russia should do is nuke London Sydney Dublin and new York vaporize them all of the surface of the earth. 1 high Taliban tribal warrior can easily take out 20 USA soldiers with a sword he will strike the USA or British soldier strike after strike to he's flat face. USA and Britain are bankrupt its game over they are finished.

    July 31, 2012 at 2:23 am | Reply
    • Trey Kirk

      Such a dummy. Non-western believers have no beliefs, just a 1500yr old virus

      July 31, 2012 at 2:36 am | Reply
      • Trey Kirk

        give your world the same resources, market forces, and buying powers and the same game will commence. China the next USA, India the next Britain. Islam is a reactionary religion. Without christianity (I am
        Not a follower) there would
        Be no Islam. It's a project of the oppressed and there will always be the ones who have and the ones who dont, using the same methods to describe and inscribe their existence with only the names changing. You're part of a dialectical wheel. Not the same part as me, but the wheel is the same and always will
        Be. Recognizing that wheel is the difference between your heaven virgin afterlife or whatever- and my deep faith in a purely human nature.

        July 31, 2012 at 2:42 am |
    • canadianscot

      Why Dublin? You must really hate the Irish as it's not a strategic target. Your bomb targets maybe a bit far apart to be really effective. I think you need to repeat, Post Stone Age War Tactics 101

      July 31, 2012 at 7:06 am | Reply
    • MALON ABBE

      RIght on dude!
      And where might I ask are you talies going to get your hands on 3 nuclear warheads and 3 ICB missiles?
      ... Actually you will need several dozen missiles and warheads for each city because we have the ability to knock that many down. ..also the second you launched, 4 Ohio class SSBN submarines would surface off the coast and launch 96 nuclear SLBM missiles at you, and you would cease to exist , in fact your entire country would be a smoldering hole in the earth visible from deep space. It would be a reminder for the rest of humanity till the end of time that you got sent to h311 like you deserved.

      And ..swords? Bring it -I will throw down my M4, pull out my benchmade and show you how to use a steel blade.

      July 31, 2012 at 9:36 am | Reply
    • Fearless Freep

      saeed,

      There is an infidel hiding behind your sofa.
      Are you in need of toilet paper ?

      July 31, 2012 at 9:42 am | Reply
    • adam l

      I hope DoD is tracking your comments saeed, it would be nice to see your heathen ass hauled off to gitmo, they have a cell open for you.

      July 31, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Reply
  64. abifasya

    Kedzaliman yang luar biasa

    July 31, 2012 at 2:09 am | Reply
  65. chascrap

    Interesting that he said "...WE don't make the same mistakes" sounds as if the US is co-ordinating this. Which means Assas is right in alleging that the uprising is the work of foreign powers and not a domestic issue.

    July 31, 2012 at 2:07 am | Reply
    • Simon Junior

      Interesting comment! Thanks

      July 31, 2012 at 3:54 am | Reply
  66. Carlos

    Mr. Panetta .. you are 435 days and 20,000 lives too late .. you boss President Obama is a coward and everything you say lacks the power of action .. because your boss won't lift a finger .. you won't give lethal aid .. and you could have prevented the killing by eliminating the criminals in power 435 days ago ..

    July 31, 2012 at 1:39 am | Reply
    • Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

      @Carlos

      When President Obama supported UN mandate to protect civilians in Libya and called on the international community to support military intervention in Libya, the GOP called for our President to be impeached. Just as you have stated, during the Libyan crisis, the GOP called President Obama a coward and then they accused him of "dragging his feet" while civilians were being murdered by the Ghadaffi regime. However, when our President called for military intervention, the GOP made a classic Mitt Robme flip-flop, accusing our President of "rushing to war" and without a bit of shame, they asked sarcastically "what is the mission and the end game" and "who is going to pay for the Libyan war?" Please Carlos, learn to think on your own and perhaps with a little common sense we the American people can avoid making the mistake of defending and supporting the republican fools that keep undermining our democracy and our growth.

      July 31, 2012 at 8:12 am | Reply
      • adam l

        Well said Blah blah,
        20,000 lives. hah, he can't even count how many lives were lost when his idol republicans decided to invaded Iraq.
        moron.

        July 31, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
  67. SoldierOfFortunes

    Assad – Godsmack – The Enemy

    July 31, 2012 at 1:34 am | Reply
  68. Kornbread

    Korn – Ya'll Wanna Single – your out Assad...dude no one like killings...or the 41 torture chambers you have..but you do...

    July 31, 2012 at 12:33 am | Reply
  69. SoldierOfFortunes

    what if a long lost relative showed up for a showdown with Assad...reach out and touch someone? when I see red? lol...

    July 31, 2012 at 12:15 am | Reply
  70. gazza

    This mafia goon is on the take from the Saudis, the biggest bunch of women haters and terrorist lovers in the world. Hey wakeup America. Saudi money funded 9/11.

    July 31, 2012 at 12:08 am | Reply
  71. Bob

    Its not the question of when he will leave, but which country is going to take him and feed him. After all UK has some dictators like Musharraf who has done inhuman crime against the world. So is London going to feed him and his british wife. Monsters are created and then either killed or given a life of retirement in western countries and by western countries. Who cares whether he leaves or not, and I hope he doesnt and he gets tried in a syrian court and not in a International court.

    July 30, 2012 at 11:51 pm | Reply
  72. Righteous

    Like a game of chess-ponds have been detroyed with a night standing in the way(syria). Once destabilized, on to Iran were the biggest black gold reserve sits.

    July 30, 2012 at 11:27 pm | Reply
    • BlackJackYankee

      PAWNS...not "ponds."

      KNIGHT...not "night."

      July 30, 2012 at 11:35 pm | Reply
      • Righteous

        thanks for the spelling correction Mrs. Huckalberry-if you want I will stay after school and play hide the salami again...

        July 30, 2012 at 11:41 pm |
      • dean

        He is obviously from Kentucky. They spell different there.

        July 31, 2012 at 12:14 am |
    • BlackJackYankee

      oh, and WHERE, not "were."

      July 30, 2012 at 11:36 pm | Reply
      • Righteous

        I like that your on point-but regardless of the misuse of words there is a meaning behind the commit...that was the point I was trying to make pilgrim.

        July 30, 2012 at 11:51 pm |
      • Nope, Try again

        COMMENT, not commit

        July 31, 2012 at 8:52 am |
    • Fearless Freep

      You can always move your kween.

      July 31, 2012 at 9:44 am | Reply
  73. gazza

    This goon thinks he's in the mafia. Syria has every right to wipe out the terrorists.

    July 30, 2012 at 9:46 pm | Reply
    • Joseph B

      The definition of a terrorist is one who deliberately targets innocent civilians. That fits Assad, he is a terrorist who must go.

      July 30, 2012 at 11:17 pm | Reply
      • gazza

        Aleppo is only being targeted to get rid of the terrorists. It was peaceful 2 weeks ago until the rats were chased out of Damascus.

        You rabbits should try thinking for yourself instead of signing up to every warmonger's media grab.

        July 30, 2012 at 11:36 pm |
    • pete

      "Gazza" your side is losing and aways will.

      July 30, 2012 at 11:18 pm | Reply
    • Righteous

      propaganda alters the perception of the weak minded-BREAKING NEWS: a herd of sasquatch's just were spotted west of georgia's border eating all cattle in site.

      July 30, 2012 at 11:36 pm | Reply
    • Joe dirt

      You sound Chinese.

      July 31, 2012 at 12:20 am | Reply
      • nenyi

        of course u r American

        July 31, 2012 at 2:37 am |
  74. iuhgbmjh

    SYRIA REVOLUTION IS AS REAL AS THE DAY IS LONG NOW TELL ME WHERE IS ASSAD

    July 30, 2012 at 9:27 pm | Reply
  75. George Patton

    Judging by this post here, it appears that the right-wing thugs in Washington have already decided Syria's future as they plan to gain a stranglehold there and complete their conquest of the Middle East in the long run. This so called "Arab Spring" appears to have been highjacked by the West!!!

    July 30, 2012 at 8:22 pm | Reply
  76. Wildchildbad

    This whole thing is a chess match and he's making a move, maybe getting into Asaads head and giving his military something to think about as well. Sweet dreams LOL

    July 30, 2012 at 7:52 pm | Reply
  77. chris

    the idiots are the AMERICAN CIVILLIANS who listen to and believe these liars in washington! the only people on this planet who believes panetta or the liar hillary,is the american public! assad just today unleashed his air force on these FOREIGN JIHADIST and crushed them in aleppo.

    and FOREIGN MEDIA SITES, not syrian sites,have just TODAY stated that the rebels are FOREIGN JIHADIST who wantt o implement SHARIA LAW UNDER A STRICT ISLAMIST STATE! all america wants is to destabilize that country. cant wait for the russians and chinese to come and free us black people here in america!

    July 30, 2012 at 7:30 pm | Reply
    • Righteous

      Really Chris, free you? Im not disagreeing with you about he syrian situation, but you need to wake up. We have a black president buddy, stop living in the stone age.

      July 30, 2012 at 11:15 pm | Reply
    • pete

      Paneta is calling for stability and a peaceful transition to a democratic government. He suggesting a path of action that will result in the least civilian deaths and move away from dictatorship. These things make sense "Chris". Too bad it doesn't fit you agenda.

      July 30, 2012 at 11:17 pm | Reply
      • nenyi

        I doubt Panetta (a US Defense Scretary) seeks some sort of democracy. Won't that make the US army redundant??

        July 31, 2012 at 2:39 am |
    • pete

      China and Russia are going to "free" black people in America? What have you been smoking "Chiris." You certainly don't know any black people in America and your name certainly isn't "Chris."

      July 30, 2012 at 11:21 pm | Reply
  78. AL

    I do hope that fat boy is not thinking about send our troops out there. They need to fix their own problems we don't need to be there to hold their hand too, we're going to be wasting enough money in the next few months.

    July 30, 2012 at 7:18 pm | Reply
  79. OffTheWorldPolitics

    Puntin thinks Glasnost + Perestroika = Hibernation. Putin does not care about the people of Syria, or Iran. He just wants to see a resurgent Soviet Union. State controlled media, police and mafia that act with impunity. The whole notion that Russia ever became a real democracy is a joke... Putin wants Russia to get rich at the expense of Iran, Syria and the West.

    July 30, 2012 at 6:52 pm | Reply
  80. dick gosinya

    Panetta= Liar.

    July 30, 2012 at 6:30 pm | Reply
    • g.r.r.

      How is he a liar?

      July 30, 2012 at 7:27 pm | Reply
  81. saeed

    USA and Britain are loser bankrupt countries the only reason they are doing this is because they are losing out to the rest of the world. They are losing out at every level militarily scientific economically china and Russia has landed a blow and a defeat to USA and Britain that's the reason USA and Britain are resorting to terrorism they are giving money and sponsorship to terrorists.

    July 30, 2012 at 6:17 pm | Reply
    • kevgood

      whatever you say, saeed

      July 30, 2012 at 6:48 pm | Reply
    • joe

      Once again, Saeed u prove that u are one of many haters of 'The West". What is wrong with you man? Where do u live? Probably living off welfare in Montana living off the US Government.

      July 30, 2012 at 6:51 pm | Reply
    • chris

      u are losers urself, go and east dust from the shoes of china and russia!

      July 30, 2012 at 8:51 pm | Reply
      • Righteous

        Chris stop sucking china and russia's dick-go live there if you hate it in the US.

        July 30, 2012 at 11:17 pm |
    • PaxHominibus

      If you REALLY think saeed is a WEST hater for telling the truth – youall flunked history!

      I'm English and I love my country but I'm not blind to the fact that WE invented concentration camps in the Boer War; WE disgracefully sold the Jews down the river from 1945 – 1948. America has interfered in Iran, Iraq, and elsewhere by changing regimes to suit their need for OIL – and caused much of the turmoil in the M.E. today.

      We would both greatly increase the chances of – even a fragile – world peace if we stayed at home and stopped meddling.

      July 31, 2012 at 11:30 am | Reply
  82. Jaimie

    I agree. He will fall hopefully sooner than later.

    July 30, 2012 at 6:13 pm | Reply
  83. Portland tony

    Western Nations shouldn't take sides in a sectarian civil war. This is just a Sunni vs Shia uprising. There are no good vs evil comparisons that can be made here!

    July 30, 2012 at 6:11 pm | Reply
    • joe

      Tony let me ask you this. If you were walking down the street and somebody came out of no where and jumped you and hurt you really bad, then got your wallet, then went to your house and killed your family. The nex day that happened to dozens more and still continues to this day, wouldn't you want somebody to help stop this...keep in mind this is the PG-13 version. I'm not trying to be a jerk but just think about it. If somebody has the power to stop this, why not support them? Or, what if this was happening in the US? or wherever you live? I promise you wouldwant some help...

      July 30, 2012 at 7:04 pm | Reply
      • nenyi

        and u believe that's whtz happening?? When Al-Qaida is involved?? You must be high on something

        July 31, 2012 at 2:43 am |
    • PaxHominibus

      Portland tony – THAT didn't stop you in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libys, Yemen, Egypt, Iran [the Shah]..................DID IT?

      OK, I understand. Thousands and thousands of Syrian men , women and children are suffering appallingly but it IS election year!
      It seems America only goes in for caring about the suffering of the world under Dictatorships when there's [a] No oil involved [b] No election looming and [c] NO real superpowers like Russia and China stopping you! Hmmmmm.

      July 31, 2012 at 11:36 am | Reply
      • PaxHominibus

        OK, OK Portland I admit it – take all the Nos out of [a] [b] and [c]!

        July 31, 2012 at 11:39 am |
  84. the truth

    Shall set Syria free...not political bozos

    July 30, 2012 at 5:56 pm | Reply
  85. skarphace

    To me, Panetta has an agenda with these comments, and that is that he wants to entice the Syrian military to escalate the (so far) slow process of leaving the al Assad regime for the rebels. Yes, there are cracks, but so far the military has stood solidly behind al Assad. If the rebels are to succeed in a timeline less than a few years, the military must abandon al Assad much more quickly than they are at present.

    This is the message Panetta is sending: if you, the military and the police, abandon al Assad, the US will not hold you accountable for the actions that the al Assad regime ordered you to commit. Will it be enough for the Syrian citizens to do the same? My guess is yes, but only if they do it soon.

    July 30, 2012 at 5:53 pm | Reply
    • skarphace

      John G beat me to it and said it better than I did. 1 "like" to his comment.

      July 30, 2012 at 5:54 pm | Reply
    • asdf

      A dozen officers defected overnight including a general. It might go quicker than you think.

      July 30, 2012 at 7:13 pm | Reply
    • Tarek from Syria

      Assad is not afraid of the rebels as much as he's afraid of his personnel. He knows he can't trust anyone even though he is surrounded by his clan. Every face he sees might be a traitor. I think he will find himself with a bullet in his face very soon.

      That will set off an even bigger battle to purge the remaining regime.

      July 31, 2012 at 12:59 am | Reply
  86. Bezboz

    Mr. Panetta, with all due respect, your words on Syria's military are appreciated but those on Assad are worthless. Assad, although not loved by everyone in Syria, is still a popular leader (yes, more than 50% of the population want him to stay and reform). Not only is he popular in Syria, but with Syrians outside of Syria (unless you ignore the thousands of allies all over the world).

    Finally, please pay attention to the recent "tactical" withdraws by the FSA. In order to speak about Assad leaving, first, you need to find a way to remove him. The FSA is NOT it. Realistically, unless you put boots on the ground, and we know you won't, he is not going anywhere.

    July 30, 2012 at 5:51 pm | Reply
    • skarphace

      "More than 50% of the population want [al Assad] to stay and reform."

      That is changing and will probably start changing very rapidly as the "rebels" start fighting in more and more areas. When the regime responds, as they have been, by punishing the passive portion of the population for the actions of it's rebelious citizens, the hatred towards this cruel regime will grow exponentially.

      July 30, 2012 at 6:00 pm | Reply
      • Bezboz

        1) The FSA and the Wahabi/Salafi extremists are committing worse things against civilians who don't side with them. In other words, there are people who used to believe in the revolution who are switching sides, now.
        2) The majority is not likely to switch sides for ideological reasons and for fear of being slaughtered.
        3) Most importantly, although they are attacking in new areas, the FSA has been defeated in every battle and their ranks are taking severe blows every time they face the regular military. Most of their victories have been ambushes or traitor-caused.

        July 30, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
      • g.r.r.

        bezboz; do you have any proof that the FSA is commiting atrocities worse then Assad, or that ppl are switching back?
        Or are you just cheerleading here?

        July 30, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
      • Tarek from Syria

        Wrong wrong wrong! If more than 50% of Syria liked the Assad regime it never would have been the iron fist, tighly run, minority rule, unforgiving dictatorship it was in the first place. I lived in Syria for many years and we were all terrified of their government, but hated them.

        Today that fear has flew out the window and as a result the people have decided that they will bring Assad down themselves. That is why, to those with figures and high-level knowledge of the developments in Syria, such as Panetta, it is obvious that Assad is a dead man walking.

        July 31, 2012 at 12:53 am |
      • Bezboz

        Tarek, Syria has changed under Bashar. It's not a full fledged democracy but it's not what you've experienced it to be under Hafez. And when I say that more than 50% of the population is with the government, I don't mean that there is a love affair here. All that means is that in the current conflict, they have decided that the current regime is the safer bet between two evils.

        G.R.R, the web and YouTube are rife with horrific videos and stories of what happens in Alawite and other minority non-Sunni villages and neighborhoods. Look up Syria Truth as one example.

        July 31, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • asdf

      >more than 50% of the population want him to stay and reform

      Who conducted the poll? People don't always give honest answers to those asking questions with an AK47 and detention power.

      July 30, 2012 at 7:15 pm | Reply
  87. dom

    Blah blah, blah blah blah. Always another war to start. Always another regime to undo as the american empire grows and grows. Just like the first Roman empire. Remove the head and introduce one of your own kind, but keep the army of the people to enforce the local laws.
    The only safety for an empire is to keep everyone allied to yourself. Anyone else who is not of the same kiln needs to be broken up, except for your suppliers. You want them tight and stable, ruled with an iron hand. Our colonies are coming along very well now.

    July 30, 2012 at 5:49 pm | Reply
    • asdf

      The one positive is democracies don't fight democracies and slowly more and more countries are becoming permanent democracies. Still certainly not the US's fight.

      July 30, 2012 at 7:17 pm | Reply
    • tom

      dude...i hear ya..War is our biggest export.. I am 62 and all it has been since my birth, it's one war after the other..
      Korean, Vietnam, Cold War, Grenada, Panama, Iraq 1, Iraq2, Afghanastan....

      Thank god we missed Libya...This must stop we cannot afford to care for our own let alone Peace keep the world.

      Next one up Iran....it is very tiring...we should have done that years ago.

      July 31, 2012 at 11:24 am | Reply
  88. WILL

    Solid Point Mr Panetta. Chemical weapon Security is way more important than Forrest's Rhetoric

    July 30, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Reply
    • Not Understand

      You obviously don't think logically.

      July 30, 2012 at 5:39 pm | Reply
  89. Forrest

    There are so many things wrong with Panettas statement. Firstly,
    "He said the United States shouldn't allow a repeat of the Bush administration's moves in Iraq, where it disbanded the Iraqi military."
    We aren't involved in Syria, nor will we have any say whatsoever as to what happens to the military. They aren't ours to disband or keep. In Iraq, we had to own the consequences because we took down the old regime. Here, we have no role, it will be up to the people to decide.

    Secondly, there is no way the Syrians will keep in place the same military and police force that has been killing them carte blanche for over a year. They hold grudges, and they do not want any remnants of the current regime.

    July 30, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Reply
    • Gump

      Vey good point, Forrest. Reading in between the lines and thinking outside the box.

      July 30, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Reply
    • John G

      I think his point is to let the military know it is "ok" to revolt against Assad, and it will not be held against them. It will lead to more defections and hasten his demise. If he had said "the US will hold the military of syria responsible..." they would be more likely to fight to the last.

      July 30, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Reply
      • Bezboz

        I believe Forrest already factored in the "green light to revolt" idea you brought up in his post. When he says Syrians will not keep the military that has been attacking them for a year, that's what is meant. Syrians are VERY aware of their countrymen and how they think. They know there will be a bloodbath if the Sunni extremists take over.

        Most Sunnis are not extremists and there are many honorable people who want the best for Syria in the opposition but the facts on the ground and historically tells us that hundreds of thousands will be slaughtered in cold blood if the Syrian regime falls. If you were in power and had all the big guns, I don't think you will give in to this sixth-grade rhetoric and luring.

        July 30, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • chris

      thats because panetta is LYING!! neither the russians nor the syrians care about us or our lies!

      July 30, 2012 at 7:31 pm | Reply
      • pete

        You don't care about your lies and neither do we. Nobody who writes like that in English is named "Chris."

        July 30, 2012 at 11:24 pm |
      • Tarek from Syria

        ASSad trolls are in full force lately. Your noose must feel itchy.

        July 31, 2012 at 12:46 am |
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