U.S. scrambling for options on Syria
The ongoing deadly assault against Syria's rebels intensified sharply this month after Russia and China vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution calling on the dictator Bashar al-Assad to step down. Since then, the U.S. has been searching for another way to end the massacre.
CBS News correspondent Norah O'Donnell reports that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is on her way to an international conference on Syria, but no one expects that meeting will end the bloodshed. Instead, the best hope is that the 70 countries that make up the "Friends of Syria" group can agree on a plan to bolster opposition forces.
The Obama Administration up until now has firmly rejected calls to arm the Syrian opposition, but White House spokesman Jay Carney on Wednesday opened the door to the possibility.
"I want to be clear that our position is that it is not appropriate now to contribute to the militarization, the further militarization of Syria. We don't rule out additional measures if the international community waits too long and doesn't act decisively," Carney said.
Just last year, the U.S. led a NATO intervention in Libya. When we asked why that action is not a model for Syria, Carney said US policy is not "one size fits all."
"In Libya, as you recall, there was support at the international level, broad support in the United Nations Security Council resolution. There was a request from the Libyan opposition and the Libyan people for direct military intervention," Carney said.
At the top of the agenda for the "Friends of Syria" meeting is establishing a cease-fire in the country so they can deliver badly needed humanitarian aid. They will also discuss safe havens for civilians, and try and organize the fractured Syrian opposition forces.
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