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Kerry: After U.S. Strikes, Assad Will Be Able to 'Stand Up' and Claim Victory

4:31 PM, Sep 3, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
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Secretary of State John Kerry said that after U.S. strikes against Syria, dictator Bashar al-Assad will be able to "stand up and, no doubt, he'll try to claim that somehow this is, you know, something positive for him."

"One of the concerns I've had and I've heard others express is that Assad could take three, five, six days of strikes, maybe longer, maybe shorter, and emerge from that saying, I have faced down the United States and I have held on to power and survived. And at that point, be further emboldened both domestically and perhaps even abroad," said Florida senator Marco Rubio. "Have we taken that into account--and I understand your argument that inaction would be worse--but have we taken into account what the implications could be of an Assad that could whether a limited strike and what that could mean for the long-term prospects of the conflict?"

"Yes, we absolutely have," said Kerry. "For certain we've taken that into account. He will weather--I mean, the president's -- the president's asking for a limited authority to degrade his current capacity and to deter him from using it again. He is not asking for permission from the Congress to go destroy the entire regime or to, you know, do a much more extensive kind of thing. That's not what he's asking. So he will be able to stand up and, no doubt, he'll try to claim that somehow this is, you know, something positive for him."

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