GOP critical of White House's Syria policy
(CBS News) The situation in Syria continues to grow tense following the recent Houla massacre. When there was a similar slaughter in Libya, President Obama ordered air strikes that ended the dictatorship there. Should the U.S. go to war again -- this time in Syria?
In the wake of the Houla massacre, Mitt Romney called President Obama weak, saying his... "lack of leadership has resulted in a policy of paralysis that has watched Assad slaughter 10,000 individuals."
Romney argues the U.S. should arm the Syrian opposition. But many fellow Republicans, including Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, have their doubts.
"I'm not one that believes that we should be arming the rebels right now," he said. "We're having a difficult time getting a complete picture of who they are."
Asked what he thought of how the Obama administration has handled this Syrian crisis, Rogers said: "We should have been engaged earlier. We've had discussions months ago about certain possibilities that we could do."
A few Republicans, like Sen. John McCain of Arizona, have been pushing for U.S.-led airstrikes for months.
"Are there dangers and uncertainties and risks in this approach? Absolutely. There are no ideal options in Syria. All of them contain significant risk," McCain said on the Senate floor on March 5.
But, Donald Rumsfeld, the defense secretary under President Bush, warned on "CBS This Morning" that toppling the dictatorship is no guarantee of a better government.
"The world, obviously, would be better off with the Assad family out of there. But the question is what comes next? And that's a very tough intelligence question."
Congressional Republicans contend the U.S. should have been the first to eject Syrian diplomats instead of following the lead of other countries. They want the president to put more pressure on Russia to stop selling arms to the Syrian regime.
- Nancy Cordes
Nancy Cordes is CBS News' congressional correspondent.Follow on Twitter »
- Calif. dollars add to growing Powerball jackpot
- WH Benghazi emails have different quotes than earlier reported
- 8-year-old fights to get WWII vet recognition he deserves
- 5/17: Congress grills acting IRS commissioner: the student and the vet
- Domestic violence victim: "I was a prisoner in my own home"
- 5/16: Texas tornadoes leave path of destruction; Are Afghan troops ready to take over?
- Preview: The student and the vet
- Congress grills acting IRS commissioner
- The power of a uniquely American song
- Boston bombing victim's battle for recovery just beginning
- Military's abuse victims struggle to find justice
- On the road: The student and the vet
- Texas tornadoes leave path of destruction
- Motive discovered for Boston marathon bombings
- Judgment against alleged Fla. bully surprises everyone
- Are Afghan soldiers too incompetent to be on their own?