tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN February 11, 2015 12:00pm-1:01pm PST
hour two. you're with me on cnn. i'm brooke baldwin. we're minutes away from hearing from president barack obama who will speak on something that actually has not been done in 13 years. he's asking congress to authorize a war and specifically authorize military force on isis which of course begs the question isn't the u.s. dropping bombs on isis? you know the answer to that. yes. for six months the u.s. has been doing that. think about it this way, the president has the ability to start using military force, which he has been doing in both iraq and syria, but he cannot keep using that military force indefinitely or without getting that okay from congress to continue doing so. but before authorizing anything congress wants three key questions answered. let me run through this for you. one, how long will this war take? the president now says three
years. geographically where will this war happen number two. answer unsure but the battlefield will not be restricted to iraq and syria and three, what exactly is the scope of the u.s. involvement? no boots on the ground specifically no enduring offensive ground combat operations. we're going to talk more about that and what to expect from the president in just a moment. we're also hearing disturbing information about the final months of kayla mueller's life in isis captivity. intelligence sources telling cnn that the 26-year-old aid worker may have been forced into relations with a male isis fighter. some kind of just sick forced marriage. new and painful blow of course to her family her friends, who are trying to come to terms with her death. >> i'm not yet sure how to live in a world without kayla, but i do know that we're all living in a better world because of her.
i'll end on a quote that reminds me of her. peace is not something you wish for. it's something you make. it's something you do. it's something you are. it's something you give away. >> my daughter said to me things that were important to kayla are finally getting the attention they deserve. kayla has touched the heart of the world. the world grieves with us. the world mourns with us. >> let me bring in our next guest. welcome. >> thank you. >> if this report is true the fact that she was forced into
some sort of relation marriage call it what it is being a prisoner what role would that have exactly been for kayla? >> well all we know is the stories and evidence coming from women in isis controlled territories. they are reporting of slave markets of women where women are sold between the price of $90 to $400. they are reporting of forced marriages of anyone under the age of 45. they're reporting of mass rapes of any woman not wearing the proper clothes as described by isis. she can be covered in traditional muslim clothes but if it's not isis regulation she can be raped. all of the projections of what may have happened to kayla we can only put in the scope of that. they are prisoners of forced marriage and slavery and kayla
represents something else in the region for isis particularly. she's an american woman. she has fair skin just from a beauty perspective fair skin women and western women are considered exotic beings in the middle east generally and i would assure you under isis controlled territory. she represents that but she's also an american woman. she's the woman of the enemy. and so her prize and her value has even much higher than a normal iraqi woman enduring a lot of violence any way. i would not be -- i would not doubt that they may have indeed forced her into a marriage. what's the truth, we are yet to know. >> we still don't know. isis still maintains she was killed in a building in a jordanian air strike. the real question is how was she killed? would isis have killed her. i'm trying to understand if isis killed her, why? she would be so prized.
>> she is prized but isis also demonstrated incredible strategies. they are manipulative and brutal and savages. jordan is angry. it's just being forceful in launching air strikes against them and they are mobilizing the world and joining america as allies and things to destroy isis so you see what i mean. isis tells them you just killed the hostage of your own allies. that's a psychological welfare they are playing. i do not doubt their brutality and savagery. they have demonstrated more than once at this point. i have no reason to doubt that they have killed her intentionally maybe just to play this psychological warfare against all of us. the question for all of us is to go above that and to actually have clarity and not to have isis divide our alliances or unity in the fight against them. >> it was jordan in on this.
jordan said this is an absolute pr stunt and not drive any wedge between any members of the coalition specifically the u.s. and jordan. thank you so much to your perspective. i'm now joined by general wesley clark. so good to see you, sir. author of "don't wait for the next war." back to the fact we're waiting for the president. i was talking to jim accosta last hour and he was pressing in the daily briefing about what will we hear from the president and he was asking if his message will intentionally be fuzzy, his language he used. the president isn't clear on his strategy on this war. do you think we'll have a clear message? >> you'll see greater clarity than we've seen in the past. greater clarity. the president in terms of what we're doing against isis is going to put in or has put in already this going to congress to ask for legal permission to
get the authorization to use force and that's a necessary step. we don't know where the battle with isis is going to go. it's pretty clear that you can't do it with airpower alone. we want the coalition members on the ground to provide ground forces. it's pretty clear that they need some help like maybe close air support from the united states. you can't get that without putting special forces troops up with them. >> do you think that at this point we'll hear that? >> i think you'll hear something that will point in that direction. >> nothing specific as far as ground combat troops? >> i don't think you'll hear the introduction of ground combat troops. i hope we won't because i don't think the situation justifies it. i think our previous experience in the region indicates that is not really the right way to solve this issue. >> what about how come they're not putting geographic limits 0 this battle on the table.
what will this tell you about intelligence the president and pentagon would have as far as isis in neighboring countries. >> i think that it's important to leave the geography flexible at this point. we know what we're doing in iraq. we've been a little inhibited in syria. we've got some major geopolitical questions to address. for example, it can get rid of isis in syria through work militarily where does that leave us with assad? there's no answer to that. you don't want to cooperate with bashar al assad, hezbollah and russians because they're not our friends either so you're in a dilemma on that and we need to leave that fuzzy. we need the authorization to follow leads and put troops in and play this. isis got started through funding from our friends and allies. if you want somebody who will fight to the death against hezbollah, you don't put out recruiting poster and say sign
up for us. we'll make a better world. you go after these religious fundamentalists. that's who fights hezbollah. >> general, i'm hearing you -- >> it's like frankenstein. >> i hear you on keeping syria fuzzy. they've been very clear in wanting to destroy and dismantle isis. that's not fuzzy to me at all. the question is if they wipe out isis in syria, which is the goal then what with bashar al assad? there has to be a plan for that. >> some things you can't exactly plan that clearly because you're dealing in the realm of politics. part of it is can you get the russians to withdraw support from bashar al assad. how would you do that? well you're dealing with russians in ukraine right now and they're not being helpful. from putin's perspective, he probably sees it as the opposite play. he says because the americans need us to help on iran because they don't have a ground force in syria, they're actually
relying on us and therefore we can put ukraine further and the americans won't stop us because they're afraid they'll lose our cooperation elsewhere in the world. he's playing it that way. this is difficult. you can't always lay everything out in advance. you do have to get the authorization to use ground troops in there because you don't want people to say on the other side i have no problems. the americans can't possibly get here because they are prohibited. i would like it to be pretty wide open in terms of geographic limits. i think the president recognizes he's going to need to put people working more closely forward with the ground troops. i think we have found through our experience in iraq and afghanistan that you have to have governments to solve this problem. just going out and killing people doesn't solve the problem. the governance can't be done by the united states. >> i'm glad you brought up
putin. the former president of jordan says putin is loving this that the u.s. eyes are on iraq and syria and why he's taking advantage in what's happening. >> no doubt about it. >> general wesley clark, thank you. appreciate it. president obama is expected to speak in about just 20 minutes. we'll bring it to you live when it begins. meantime next tragedy in chapel hill north carolina. a man accused of killing three muslim students. what was this over? was this a hate crime? police are investigating but we did hear moments ago the suspect's wife has spoken out about the deaths. we'll play that for you. stay here. this is such an important story.
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you're watching cnn. a breaking development on a story that's absolutely rocked my alma mater, university of north carolina at chapel hill. it's drawing attention from all over the world. the murders of three muslim students. the u.s. attorney in north carolina has just said that the murders of these three muslim students appears to be an isolated incident and from what investigators know at this point in time this is not a targeted campaign against muslims in north carolina. let me tell you who these young lives are or were. deah barakat was just 23. his wife was yusor muhammad and her sister just 19, razan mohammad. the father says the suspect
picked on the couple before and moments ago we heard from the suspect's wife. here she is. >> first of all, i want to express my deepest sympathy and condolences for the victims. like everyone else i was just completely shocked that this had happened. while the official investigation is still ongoing, i am cooperating with the authorities and intend to provide whatever information and assistance i can provide to them. while i'm unable to comment fully on the matter i can say with my absolute belief that this incident had nothing to do with religion or victims' faith but in fact was related to the long standing parking disputes that my husband had with the neighbors and our neighbors are various religions, races and creeds. at this point, i do humbly ask
that everyone focus on the victims and their families and please grant us privacy during this difficult time. >> how can you say it had nothing to do with religion? can you tell us how you know that? >> we were married for seven years and that is one thing that i do know about him. he often champions on his facebook page for the rights of many individuals, for same-sex marriages, abortion race he just believed -- i know that's one of the things i know about him is everyone is equal.
doesn't matter what you look like or who you are or what you believe. that's one thing i do know about him. >> again, that was the wife of this suspect in this triple murder. let me bring in someone personally shaken by this he's known deah since they were young attending the same muslim private school in raleigh. first and foremost my condolences to you and your friends and family for such a loss and thank you so much for coming on. >> thank you. >> obviously i want to ask you about deah but that's the first time any of us heard from the suspect's wife. she was offering her condolences to these families and also obviously standing by her husband saying he was an open-minded man, which is in direct contrast from what i heard from the father of the two young women who say there had been multiple instances in the past and he believes this was a hate crime. did deah mention anything to you
about this individual? >> no i really hadn't heard about him. don't know anything about him. >> let's talk about your friend. i know you act as a mentor or big brother to deah in the same dental program. tell me about deah. who was he? his character. what kind of guy he was. >> deah is the sweetest nicest most generous and selfless person i ever met and a general sentiment around anyone ever known him whether it be in the community or dental community, he's so giving. just last week he was at a homeless shelter giving out toothbrushes toothpaste going over oral hygiene instructions and coordinating with a classmate about how to provide transportation to homeless people to bring them into the dental school for free care and working hard on providing dental
care over the summer to syrian refugees in turkey and working tirelessly on that and been fund-raising and met with people and e-mailing people working hard to fund raise and he's just really nice. one story that sticks out most to me is after the most recent muslim holiday i was texting deah about how my nephew gets the cool toys and i didn't get cool toys like that and i told him about this helicopter that floated with sensors and then a couple weeks later i hear my door knock and he had bought that gift for me. it was amazing. that's just one story amongst many. we just had a memorial service at the dental school and it was story after story after story that were so similar to that. he was so giving and so kind and so selfless and such a passaed
have have. i was in touch with someone who works in the library and wrote about how last fall deah and his wife were there showing kids how to brush and floss. he said to me brooke beyond how wonderful he was with my young daughter he said i just noticed how in love he was with his wife. >> yeah. i know his wife yusor, was accepted to start dental school in chapel hill in august as part of the class of 2019 and he was so nervous about her getting into a different dental school or them having to work through a long distance relationship and i remember the day he found out she got into dental school he was just through the roof excited and so excited to know she would be with him in the dental school with him same
building every day. they recently got married in december. they were both just smiling from ear to ear. you could -- the love was palpable. thea's love-- deah's love for everybody and everything was something you could feel. it was amazing. >> a beautiful couple and younger sister. i'm so sorry for your loss. thank you so much. >> thank you. >> we'll stay on the investigation and see what happens there in chapel hill north carolina. also live pictures inside the white house. we're watching waiting to hear from the president of the united states addressing the nation on this war on isis and specifically his request to authorize the use of military force to get congress' green light. our special live coverage from the white house starts right after this. the bed reacts to your body. it hugs you. i don't have to think about how to get comfortable anymore. this zips off so i can wash it-yes, please.
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the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer in washington. we're standing by for a major statement from president obama about the war against isis. he sent a request to congress to authorize military force against the terrorist group. it would give him a green light to conduct combat ground operations in limited circumstances. the white house acknowledges the language is intentionally fuzzy to give the president maximum flexibility in fighting isis. my colleague jake tapper is with us and our correspondents and analysts. jake, the last time the u.s. went through a debate like this was leading up to the invasion into iraq in 2003. >> a different time. if you compare authorization for use of military force that president obama is requesting with the authorization that president bush asked for after 9/11 this he couldn't be more different. i recall covering it as a young
congressional reporter. president bush asked for a blank check with no end in sight. president obama limiting himself in his own language saying this would be for a maximum of three years and there's a section called limitations saying it does not authorize the use of armed forces in enduring offensive ground combat operations. you have the president doing something unusual limiting this request compared to previous presidents and previous wars or uses of military force. it's very striking. >> getting pushback from the left and the right. >> left say there are too many open endness in this and president obama won't be president for the duration of this and right says whoever the next president is should not be constrained in fighting isis and it constrains president obama
and whoever is president next. >> the president will walk through the door momentarily making his statement defending his decision to go ahead and seek congressional authorization for the use of force against isis. let's go to our senior white house correspondent jim accosta standing by. what do they anticipate? easy passage? difficult aspassage? what's the anticipation? >> they know there will be a fight on their hands. it may not be with republicans but fellow democrats. the language with enduring offensive ground come pattroops say it's fuzzy and intentionally so. they want this to be fuzzy. they want this to be sort of vague to give the president latitude he wants to conduct this fight against isis. at the same time the white house is saying this is not going to
be a repeat of the wars in iraq and afghanistan. you're not going to see hundreds of thousands of troops going into battle against isis and that is why the president has this language in this authorization and that's why they're saying you have this three-year limitation. at the same time they want to caution -- they want to give the military flexibility and that's why there is no geographic limits in this aumf. no question about it. the president has a fight on his hands. i talked with a source last night that said the president is going to have to sell this not only to members of congress but across the country. >> let's go up to capitol hill right now. our chief congressional correspondent dana bash. i assume reaction has been pouring in from democrats and republicans. >> reporter: it's mixed and doesn't fall on traditional party lines. i think it's important to remember the context in which the president is sending this request for authorization. he doesn't think he legally needs that. he's been saying that for
months. this mission has been going on for six months already. it's been members of congress in both parties who have been screaming quite literally in some cases they need to be part of the debate. they are representatives of the american people. constitutionally it's incumbent upon congress to debate what's clearly a new threat against isis. that's why they're going to have this debate. just because they're going to have it, they have this language, doesn't mean they'll come to a conclusion because of what you just heard. very different points of view about how narrow or broad particularly the idea of troops by commander in chief should be and unclear if that needle can be thread. the person in charge of shepherd shepherding this through is senator bob corken. i saw him a while ago. i said do you think you'll get this done. he said of course. we have to.
if we can't find bipartisanship in this congress to confront isis i don't know what we can do. >> i want to walk over to our analysts and correspondents with me now. gloria i'm always intrigued about the venue. the president is about to ask for a use of force and go to war mid afternoon from the roosevelt room. normally an oval office address to the nation in prime time. how important is this? >> as dana just said the white house believes that it already has the authority to do what it is asking congress to do. congress has asked the president to send something up. i spoke with a senior administration official this afternoon who said to me look this very well may not get through congress. we understand that. we tried to thread the needle here. we talked to democrats. we talked to republicans.
we have given on each side. they're not sure it won't get out of committee. if it doesn't get through congress they believe the congress will look worse than the president of the united states who sent it up here and b, they'll be prosecuting the war against isis as they've been doing for the last six months. >> nothing is more important than authorizing men and women to fight a war. >> keep in mind there are 3,000 american men and women authorized to go into the war zone there and there have been deaths associated with it though not in combat. you see u.s. forces moving closer to combat. this is one thing i would say. you look at this there's language here limiting scope, duration use of ground troops but there's potential for circumstances to get ahead of whatever language is here. associated persons or forces with isis. isis is already in other countries other than iraq and syria, libya, yemen, purporting to have supporters in other places. you have a war expanding well
beyond iraq and syria. >> danielle you had a chance to go through proposed legislation and separate statement the congress sent to congress what do you think? >> the president is focused on everything he shouldn't be like a laser beam and not focused on everything he should be totally vague. strategy not clear what it is. what are his goals? he doesn't use his favorite degrade and destroy language about what the strategy is in here. the only thing he's really specific about is what he can't do. don't let me -- i'm not george bush. i won't be sending in ground troops. no more than 3,000. they won't be used for whatever an enduring operation is. nobody knows what that is. one thing for sure is it won't be like iraq or afghanistan. >> let's go to jay carney
former white house press secretary. take us behind the scenes. he sent a letter to congress saying he's doing this. he submitted specific language for legislation. what about an address like this a statement he's about to make take us behind the scenes and tell us what goes into this kind of televised statement. >> well he has prepared remarks. he's reviewing them. he'll be coming out shortly. i think to earlier point about why in the middle of the day from the roosevelt room and not a national address has to do with the fact that this operation has already been under way for six months. it's a request for authorization for something that's already happening and for something he doesn't believe he needs legally to receive authorization. he does want congress' buy in on this. he did from the beginning. he said so. he was very clear in the fall that congress wasn't prepared to deal with this issue in the run-up to a midterm election. now we have a new congress here. beginning of 2015. he wants to see if he can get this done. to danielle's point, i think
it's a profound statement to say it's not like afghanistan and iraq. those were major wars. longest in our history and consequential in terms of our presence going forward. there's no question that this president believes open ended blank check authorizations are not the way to go. he famously and probably did himself some harm in doing so said he didn't want to strike syria without congress' vote and congress wasn't going to pass that vote. he got criticized for it. i think he wants this. he'll move forward with the operation if he doesn't get it but it is important to restrict it so american people don't think we're going into another open ended war in the middle east. >> hold on for a moment. we're just a few seconds away from the president of the united states who will be walking into the roosevelt room here at the white house to make this statement. he knows he's addressing not only members of congress he's addressing the american public. he's also addressing the world right now including in iraq and
syria and isis for that matter. >> that's right. the message is very important exactly. you'll hear messages that are a little bit conflicting in terms of the need to defeat this group. actually in the preamble to the resolution the white house have written the names of four american hostages killed by isis including most recently kayla mueller, whose death was confirmed yesterday, but at the same time he's also going reassure the american people at the same time he's trying to scare isis that this is not going to be an open ended conflict by the ones they have grown so weary of like the one that helped elect him his opposition to the iraq war that helped elect him and get him into the position he's in right now, wolf. >> the president is going to be making this statement. i suspect there won't be an opportunity for reporters who may be in the roosevelt room to ask the president any questions but he'll go on.
he has a carefully drafted statement right now which will reinforce the letter he sent to congress and the specific authorization legislation for the united states to use military force and go after isis in iraq and syria. this is an important statement the president is making. his supporters on capitol hill say if he wants to get this legislation passed he's going to have to work it and work it hard and convince members of his own party as well as conservative critics that this is the right thing for the united states to do right now. one of the loopholes in this proposed language the president wrote in his letter to congress is it would allow u.s. combat forces the u.s. to use combat forces. here comes the president -- if there were special operations. >> good afternoon. today as part of an international coalition of some 60 nations, including arab countries, our men and women in uniform continue to fight against isil in iraq and in
syria. more than 2,000 coalition air strikes have pounded these terrorists. we're disrupting their command and control and supply lines, making it harder for them to move. we're destroying their fighting positions, their tanks, their vehicles their barracks their training camps and the oil and gas facilities and infrastructure that fund their operations. we're taking out their commanders their fighters and their leaders. in iraq local forces have held the line and in some cases have pushed isil back. in syria, isle failed in a major push to take the town of kobani losing countless fighters in the process. fighters who will never again threaten innocent civilians. we've seen reports of sinking morale among isis fighters as they realize the futility of their cause. make no mistake this a difficult
mission and it will remain difficult for some time. it will take time to dislodge these terrorists especially from urban areas. but our coalition is on the offensive. isil is on the defensive and isil is going to lose. its barbaric murders of so many people including american hostages are a desperate and revolting attempt to strike fear in the hearts of people it can never possibly win over by its ideas or its ideology because it offers nothing but misery and death and destruction. with vial groups like this there's only one option. with our allies and partners we're going to degrade and ultimately destroy this terrorist group. when i announced our strategy against isil in september, i said that we are strongest as a nation when the president and congress work together. today my administration submitted a draft resolution to congress to authorize the use of force against isil. i want to be very clear about
what it does and what it does not do. this resolution reflects our core objective to destroy isil and supports the comprehensive strategy that we've been pursuing with our allies and our partners. a systemic and sustained campaign of air strikes against isil in iraq and syria and support and training for local forces on the ground including the moderate syrian opposition preventing isil attacks in the region and beyond including by foreign terrorist fighters who try to threaten our countries, regional and international support for an inclusive iraqi government that unites the iraqi people and strengthens iraqi forces against isil humanitarian assistance for the innocent civilians of iraq and syria who are suffering so terribly under isil's reign of horror. i want to thank vice president biden, secretaries kerry and hagel and general dempsey in their leadership in advancing our strategy.
even as we meet this challenge in iraq and syria, we all agree that one of our weapons against terrorists like isil a critical part of our strategy is the values we live here at home. one of the best antidotes to the hateful ideologies that try to recruit and radicalize people to violent extremism is our own example as diverse and tolerant societies that welcome contributions of all people including people of all faiths. the resolution we submitted today does not call for the deployment of u.s. ground combat forces to iraq or syria. it is not the authorization of another ground war, like afghanistan or iraq. the 2,600 american troops in iraq today largely serve on bases. and, yes, they face risks that come with service in any dangerous environment but they do not have a combat mission. they are focused on training iraqi forces including kurdish forces. as i've said before i'm
convinced that the united states should not get dragged back into another prolonged ground war in the middle east. that's not in our national security interest and it's not necessary for us to defeat isil. local forces on the ground who know their countries best are best positioned to take the ground fight to isil and that's what they're doing. at the same time this resolution strikes the necessary balance by giving us the flexibility we need for unforeseen circumstances. for example, if we had actionable intelligence about a gathering of isil leaders, and our partners didn't have the capacity to get them i would be prepared to order our special forces to take action because i will not allow these terrorists to have a safe haven. we need flexibility but we have to be careful and deliberate. there's no heavier decision than asking our men and women in uniform to risk their lives on
our behalf. as commander in chief, i'll only send our troops into harm's way when it's absolutely necessary for our national security. finally, this resolution repeals the 2002 authorization of force for the invasion of iraq and limits this new authorization to three years. i do not believe america's interests are served by endless war or by remaining on a perpetual war footing. as a nation we need to ask the difficult and necessary questions about when why and how we use military force. after all, it's our troops who bear the cost of our decisions and we owe them a clear strategy and support they need to get the job done. so this resolution will give our armed forces and coalition the continuity we need for the next three years. it's not a timetable. it's not announcing that the mission is completed at any
given period. what it is saying is that congress should revisit the issue at the beginning of the the next president's term. it's conceivable the mission is completed earlier. it's conceivable that after deliberation debate and evaluation that there are additional tasks to be carried out in this area. the people's representatives with a new president should be able to have that discussion. in closing, i want to say that in crafting this resolution we have consulted with and listened to both republicans and democrats in congress. we made a sincere effort to address difficult issues that we discussed together and the days and weeks ahead we'll continue to work closely with leaders and members of congress on both sides of the aisle. i believe this resolution can grow even stronger with thoughtful and dignified debate that this moment demands.
i'm oftptimistic it can win strong bipartisan support and we can show our troops and the world that americans are united in this mission. today our men and women in uniform continue the fight against isil and we absolute them for their courageous service. we pray for their safety. we stand with their families who miss them and are sacrificing here at home. know this. our coalition is strong. our cause is just and our mission will succeed. long after the terrorist we face today are destroyed and forgotten, america will continue to stand free and tall and strong. may god bless our troops and may god bless the united states of america. thank you very much, everybody. >> the president flanked by his national security team including vice president and secretary of state and outgoing secretary of defense in the roosevelt room speaking relatively briefly. seven or eight minutes about justifying his decision to go ahead and seek congressional
authorization for the use of military force against isis in iraq and syria. the president was very very precise saying he's not seeking what president bush sought a full-scale war in iraq or afghanistan for that matter. he wants a limited operation. >> that's right. he also did say as i suppose a way of trying to reassure those concerned about this three-year end date for this authorization that that doesn't necessarily mean the authorization will end there. he said very clearly that this is not a timetable. they're not ending things in three years. it's just a recognition that congress should revisit this issue at the beginning of the next president's term. it's conceivable the task will have been accomplished and conceivable there will be more to be done. it's attempting to take off the table this debate over whether this three-year period is a liability. he's saying it's not a liability. the next president should debate
it and the next administration. >> i want to go to northern iraq right now. phil black is on the scene for us in the middle of that fighting in northern iraq. how is this likely to play over there where you are, phil the statement by the president that we all just heard? >> reporter: well wolf you heard the president talking about local forces being best in place to take the fight to isis. up until now that meant only one local force and that's the peshmerga, the military force of iraqi kurdistan. this has been the fighting force that has been on the ground stopping the isis advance in this region of northern iraq steadily rolling back their gains and it's the same fighting force that's now contained them and limited the area of operation to isis within this region. now, the leadership of that fighting force does not expect greater u.s. involvement on the ground here. that's what they tell us. that's a source of disappointment to them.
they would love greater commitment that could include ground forces but if not ground forces than some other form of greater practical support to help them out in their fight against isis here on the ground. their view is that while they are grateful for air strikes that have played a huge part in the military's successes in this part of the world over the last six months or so they need greater support because they say they are unoutgunned and do not have armor and heavy weapons to go up against isis. so from the iraqi kurds, disappointment that this policy is not going change in the near term certainly from central government in baghdad that would be a much harder sell when it comes to the idea of getting ground forces back into iraq again. american ground forces in iraq once more would be a much harder sell to broader iraqi/arab public and central government in
baghdad certainly. >> i want you to standby. be careful. phil black is in northern iraq. i want to go back to the white house. jim accosta was listening very carefully to what the president said. we have a statement that he submitted to congress earlier, proposed legislation and now televised remarks. give us your analysis of what we just heard, jim. >> reporter: i've been noticing this over the last several days the talk coming from this president has been amped up considerably. when you heard the president say at the start of his remarks our coalition is on the offensive. isis is on the defensive. isis is going to lose. you know he's not been speaking in that sort of stark terms i don't think for some time. he may have been taking a tip from david cameron who was talking like that when he came to washington a couple weeks ago. wolf i think more notable than anything was the president's acknowledgement to nervous democrats at the end of his comments saying that this new authorization would not bring about what he called endless
war. that is almost off liberal bumper stickers that may be driving around in support of the obama campaigns of '08 democrats don't want endless war and the president trying to say you are going to get a three-year timetable and at that point, time is up on this mission, time is up on this authorization. you won't get endless war. >> he has two years left in his administration as we all know. capitol hill let's go there right now. dana bash has been getting reaction i don't know if you got any reaction yet but earlier, there was plenty of criticism coming from the left and from the right. how do you think what the president just said is going to play? >> reporter: very similar to the tone that he set in the letter that he sent to capitol hill that accompanied the actual legislative language. one thing i want to point out is when the president talked about the fact that very clearly said this is not the same kind of thing as afghanistan, not the same kind of thing as iraq that matters when it comes to this
authorization and here's why. in what the president proposed it specifically cancels out the 2002 authorization for war. that was voted on to address the war in iraq. but it doesn't address at all the one in 2001 which was after 9/11 meant to green light forces to go into afghanistan to go after al qaeda. that is still the law of the land. so one of the discussions isn't just here about ground troops and about how that should be phrased. it's also about whether or not congress should take the opportunity now to repeal that first authorization because president obama and more importantly, his successor, can continue to use that which is pretty broad to go after al qaeda affiliates isil is one of them across the globe. that is something you are hearing more and more from senior democrats about the way they want this to be changed. >> we are just beginning to get
reaction to what the president of the united states just said. we will have much more analysis much more coming up. we will take a quick break. ready for another reason to switch to t-mobile. get 2 lines of unlimited 4g lte data for just $100 bucks a month. it's america's best unlimited family plan. and it's only at t-mobile.
it is not the authorization of another ground war like afghanistan or iraq. the 2600 american troops in iraq today largely serve on bases and yes, they face the risks that come with service in any dangerous environment, but they do not have a combat mission. >> president obama speaking only moments ago seeking congressional authorization for the use of force against isis in iraq and syria but clearly insisting this is not going to be another war like iraq was or afghanistan was. gloria borger what's your analysis? what do you think? >> i think you have to take a step back for a moment and look at what the president is saying through the prism of his own political history. this is a man elected by challenging hillary clinton's
vote on the floor of the senate to authorize the use of force in iraq in 2002. he is now coming before the american people and saying i'm not doing that again, i was opposed to that i'm not george bush i'm not hillary clinton in 2002. i am doing a very proscribed kind of military force that is non-combat that isn't going to be perpetual that will give me some flexibility but i don't want you to think i'm not the person you thought i was when you elected me in the first place and by the way, he's had this problem also with the question of drones with the question of nsa surveillance. this is a president you see arguing with himself and having to kind of fine tune anything he does on these issues. >> jim sciutto? >> not just fine tuning though. we have seen he has set limits but we have seen those limits change over time. let's count the qualifiers in
the phrase enduring offensive ground combat operations. four qualifiers there. yes, it's not going to be iraq and afghanistan. fact is his own commanders have said repeatedly they will not take limited ground operations off the table whether you're talking ground controllers for air strikes, et cetera. keep in mind there actually have been american boots on the ground in syria. we know that because there have been two failed operations at high risk to take back those prisoners. also we know there was talk of putting military advisors on the front lines of an assault in mosul, that kind of thing. also you see the evolution, not only of the strategy but of the limitation. remember early on he said no boots on the ground. fact is there are boots on the ground. he said no combat troops. this is the first time i heard him introduce the troop no ground combat forces. joining those two words together. >> this is what democrats are saying you are opening the door. this is way too much. >> daniel your reaction to the president? >> we just had this conversation. we are all talking about barack obama.
we are not talking about isis we are not talking about kayla mueller's brutal murder we are not talking about the security of the american people. we are talking about barack obama's history and the place he's trapped in and the politics of america and the problem here is this is about confronting a very serious enemy. >> hold. i want jay carney former white house press secretary, to weigh in. go ahead, jake. >> danielle makes a good point. this is what this is all about. but i also think regardless of barack obama's history, the american history here is important. you don't have to wage war against an entity like isis with a blank check. there is no reason why you can't continue an operation that has seen some success already in iraq and expand it as necessary without allowing for or even introducing a full scale ground combat operation. what i have yet to hear from critics of this limited strategy is a better alternative that somehow falls short of a full scale invasion because everyone
knows that that won't be supported by the american people and won't even be supported by congress. >> is it a problem for the president to be saying all of this because isis is listening, they must be saying to themselves the united states is not going to come in with ground forces we can take a sigh of relief. >> i have always thought that's a little misguided in the sense that isis isn't making its decisions based on what the president's saying in afternoon remarks in the roosevelt room. it's experiencing the coalition attack now, both in the size of the attack and in its limits and the fact that it doesn't include ground forces beyond forces in iraq and the rebels in syria. so they know what they're getting. what they also know they're not getting no matter what the president said is a ground invasion. it's not in the cards and would be foolhardy strategy to begin with. >> i will be back in one hour in "the situation room." our special coverage will continue right now. jake tapper and "the lead" pick it up.
is this new authorization enough to stop isis? i'm jake tapper. this is "the lead." the world lead. president obama says there will not be an invasion there will not be an occupying force but with 20,000 foreign fighters now flocking to fight with isis is this new authorization enough? and she died in captivity. held hostage by fanatical new terrorists. now harrowing details that kayla mueller may have been given to an isis commander and forced to be his wife. the national lead. she danced at her wedding just a month ago. now this woman, her husband and her sister all of them are gone shot in the head in north carolina. her father says the gunman killed them because they were muslims. good afternoon, everyone. welcome to