Ben Rhodes, Barack Obama, Two Thousand Twelve Year discussed on Embedded



The question i had at the time and the question i asked ben rhodes was did obama know deep down that he wouldn't get support from congress like congress was kind of his out this is what a lot of reporters thought at the time then says he did not ask obama that question he says to ask it would imply that he didn't believe obama really wanted to get congressional authorization any did believe him but also there's a different question that you could've asked right was like which one was your preference like do you want to go to war in syria or not and you didn't ask that i didn't ask that and i think i think is preference was to not go to warn syria the first time i heard the name ben rhodes was actually in two thousand twelve year before all this happened he had invited a group of journalists who covered the middle east to go to the white house and talk to obama about syria i was one of those journalists but i didn't go npr doesn't allow its reporters to advise the government but ben and i did keep in touch as reporter and source what i didn't know at the time what i know now because of the book is ben called this meeting to convince obama to intervene in syria i wanted him to walk into that meeting here this kind of unvarnished view of how bad things were and how much people wanted the united states to be doing more and walk out of that meeting someone more inclined to do something so the journalists sit at the table with obama talk about how bad the situation is in syria but instead of convincing obama intervene the meeting does the opposite makes him more inclined to stay out of syria this is what ben writes in his book and when i read it my kind of freak out because i can't help thinking as crazy as it might sound what if i had been there do you know the stories i could've told that guy what if i would've showed him one picture or told him about one thing not saying i would have told them to bomb syria i would have told him what i saw there benz like honestly wouldn't mattered where i had heard a call to action he had kurt a call to not go there like he had heard a re affirmation of his fear that this is so complex it is such a mess there's proxy wars taking place terry wars taking place there extremists taking root that like we can't fix this place it's not enough to say you care about until ben <music> still ben kept trying to convince obama to do something in syria until of course august twenty thirteen chemical attack when us intervention almost happened but didn't happen i asked ben how he felt after that was all over i remember just going off as soon they're like opening a beer young like that's it yeah this is not going to work out the way i hoped it would and i don't know what i can do about the sitting in the most powerful building the world and i got nothing here the arab spring was over this thing that had felt so much hope those knocking them well club yeah the club of people who thought they could change stuff but realized that didn't have the juice for me it has meant years of guilt that i just couldn't do better for all the incredible syrians i met simply did not deserve to be bombed by their own government that i wasn't christiane amanpour who's reporting on the war in the balkans led to air strikes which led to a peace deal for ben it meant eventually changing what he believed to come to think more like obama a lot of times us intervention does not make things better so ben stopped going to meetings about syria i had i know answers i just had no i ran out of of of things to say instead he writes he started focusing on things that could work supporting the removal of unexploded ordinance in laos country that was bombed by the us and not made better by

Coming up next