February 12th, 2012
12:16 PM ET
11 years ago

Lieberman: It's time to take action in Syria

(CNN) - Independent Sen. Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut called Sunday for the United States to provide direct assistance to the Syrian people in their struggle to oust President Bashar al-Assad.

"It's time to try to help the brave Syrian freedom fighters to carry out a fair fight," he said on CNN's "State of the Union."

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U.N. officials estimate 6,000 people have died since protests seeking political reforms in Syria began nearly a year ago.

So far, the Obama administration has recalled the U.S. ambassador to Syria and imposed sanctions, while pushing unsuccessfully for a U.N. Security Council resolution against the Assad regime.

However, it has resisted calls by veteran Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona and some Republican presidential candidates to take a larger role in backing the Syrian opposition movement.

Lieberman, who caucuses with the Democrats and chairs the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, argued that any U.S. effort must be part of an international coalition, similar to the nation's involvement in Libya last year.

He also suggested that U.S. assistance first come through medical help, then later through training, communications equipment, and ultimately, weapons.

The United States has major security interests in aiding Syria, which gets support from Iran, Lieberman said.

Pointing to the recent veto by Russia and China of a U.N. Security Council resolution aimed at halting the violence, Lieberman said other countries and coalitions must get involved.

"America ought to take the position that every option is on the table except doing nothing, because doing nothing means hundreds of more Syrians are killed and it means that Iran, which continues to give Assad the weapons with which he's killing his own people, will achieve a strategic victory over us," Lieberman told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley.

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Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.

Filed under: Joe Lieberman • Syria • TV-State of the Union
soundoff (155 Responses)
  1. Big_D

    I neither like or trust anything from Lieberman. He has a way of being for the wrong side.

    February 12, 2012 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  2. Matt

    Liberman is radical lobbiest of Israel, which has no ideas about international politics and internal politics. Who can forget what he mentioned about president Obama in three years ago? He is all foreighn policy dictated by Israel leadership. I am glad he is retireing and we do not hear from him any more. I hope.

    February 12, 2012 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  3. Crap

    No Joe, time for the US to stop playing policeman of the world and actually worry about Americans for a change. The US ids becoming a third world country as we try to police the third world, total nonsense.

    February 12, 2012 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  4. Fish

    Hell no, stay out of their business and let the Russians handle things unless tey ask for help

    February 12, 2012 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  5. Proud member of "Global Zero"

    It is time for Arab League to take care of this. I will support that.

    February 12, 2012 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  6. pastmorm

    No. No. No. NO! We do not need to save each and every country that cannot save itself! We don't have the funds for our own people to eat, find and keep housing, provide medical care...the list is endless. I feel bad for the good people in Syria, but it's NOT our war. We need to mind our own business and let other countries be the big brother for once!

    February 12, 2012 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  7. KK

    Let Russia and China deal with this, since they were the blockers at the UN. Clearly, this is their battle, as well as those in the mid-east. Please do not allow any American to shed blood on this one.

    February 12, 2012 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  8. Little Jimmy Truth

    Lieberman is also Democrat. He already supported Clinton.

    February 12, 2012 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  9. J Stuart

    "Where is America?" cried one pleading Syrian to the news. I'm sorry but don't they hate us? In the past, haven't we seen images of people in the middle east countries denouncing America? Burning our flag? Chanting "Death to America." Now they cry out for our aid, and as soon as it is over they will call us imperialist occupiers. Are other middle east countries preparing to provide military assistance to the rebels in Syria? As Assad slaughters thousands of Muslims, where is the out cry in the Arab world? Who is chanting "Death to Assad"?

    Leaders of Middle east nations will give NATO and the US a "silent" wink and a nod to give aid to Syrian rebels and help other throw Assad; then allow their news media to continue to portray the west as evil.

    American lives should not be lost in Syria and American tax payer dollars should remain here!

    February 12, 2012 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  10. Ken78

    Is there no end to the number of wars that this traitor will insist that Americans pay for and die for on behalf of Israel?

    February 12, 2012 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  11. sky boogieman

    Pipe down, Joe.
    We have our own problems to deal with.
    Saudi has plenty of military resources.
    Let them deal with it.

    February 12, 2012 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  12. Cindy

    If you think Iraq was bad, then multiply that x 2 for Syria. Lieberman needs to pack his bag and leave the country.

    February 12, 2012 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  13. Rightster

    Where are the other two stooges (McCain/Graham) who like every war they can talk the US into entering?

    February 12, 2012 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  14. Monkey man

    Pipe down, Joe.
    We have our own problems to deal with.
    Saudi has plenty of military resources.
    Let them deal with it.
    We have too much on our plate already. Iran is waiting in the wings.

    February 12, 2012 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  15. vince

    another israeli lobbyist mouthing off fo israel's interest and not america..none of our buisness. period!

    February 12, 2012 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  16. Unknown

    @mbwhelton Iraq and Syria are already aligned with Iran, in fact Iran is making sure the regime doesn't fall.

    February 12, 2012 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  17. MEM

    We don't need to get involve in every conflict that occurs in the world. We aren't the world police force. We as Americas are tired of seeing our young people shed their blood over seas.

    February 12, 2012 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  18. Pete/Ark

    So far he and that other combat-ineligible, McCain, haven't started thier "we gotta send combat troops" routine...sure when the Arab League/U.N./and most of the world ask us to HELP we should do so....we can do what needs to be done without ground troops...

    February 12, 2012 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  19. whilly

    Why must the US act? Where are the Jihadist? Why aren't they taking up arms and coming to the aid of their women and children,Their holy mosque and fellow Muslims, or is that only when there are Americans on the ground trying to help that they feel a need to react, when will fellow Muslims rally together to help their innocent ones. Because I see little saber waving or mass rallies in muslin nations denouncing these inhuman acts. how very interesting

    February 12, 2012 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  20. Serge Crespy

    No-doubt (???), if a State of Palestine existed many innocent lives could be spared, as Palestinians would open their doors to Syrian refugees.

    February 12, 2012 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  21. Whome

    Give Liberman a gun and let him go over fight leave our boys out of it

    February 12, 2012 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  22. mm

    I say no help from the West!

    February 12, 2012 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  23. acura2010

    Lieberman & McCain are "warhawks". Our military men and women been in wars for 10 years, this country is not fighting everybody battles.

    February 12, 2012 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  24. Mohammad

    Don’t you think it’s time for Lieberman put US interests ahead of Israeli ones? Every body knows that Military action in Syria will mean regional war that could become nuclear war with Russia and China involved and Iran of course and calling for this at a time where we are trying to cut budget and get economy back on track is traitorous.

    February 12, 2012 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  25. Bill

    As always, the GOP will blast Obama for taking no action, and blast him when he does. Too soon, too late, too much, not enough. This country is more about election year politics than anything else.

    February 12, 2012 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
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