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September 9th, 2013
10:37 PM ET

U.S. Representatives Israel and Grayson explain their respective opinions on the U.S. waging war in Syria

As the world readies for Barack Obama's upcoming nationally televised speech – an address expected to urge Congress to support a plan for military engagement in Syria – on Monday evening "Piers Morgan Live" welcomed a pair of men with differing opinions as to the best course of action to be taken amidst a civil war in the Middle East.

"It's clear that the credible prospect of force to deter and degrade Syria's chemical weapons capability prompted Russia to step up to the plate and propose a path forward. Now we have to make sure that that path forward is credible," said Steve Israel, a Democratic U.S. Representative from New York. "The President of the United States should engage [Vladimir] Putin robustly. We need to vet this out, we need to make sure this is not a subterfuge."

Joining Piers Morgan live, via satellite, Israel revealed his desire for a peaceful resolution, while remaining skeptical that such an option exists:

"The administration has always said – and I have always agreed with the prospect – that diplomacy is always the preferred outcome," he noted. "If there's meat on these bones, we ought to take the deal. But first we have to establish if there is meat on these bones."

Meanwhile, having concluded his interview with Israel, Morgan then welcomed Alan Grayson, a Democratic U.S. Representative from Florida who has remained strongly against any plan that would call for United States military activity in Syria:

"The administration has not come up with any plausible means to prevent another attack, while diplomacy like this may very well accomplish that," he told Morgan. "There's simply no way, regardless of what happens, otherwise, that the public is going to tolerate, or countenance, another war in the Middle East, involving America."

Pressed by the host about the balance between politicians and the public in determining strategy, Grayson emphasized the importance he places on the feelings of his constituents:

"It's the public that ends up paying for it, and the public that ends up bleeding for it. So I'd have to say that if the public is against it then that's not a good reason for us to go to war," he told Morgan. "I think the public is entitled to its say."

Watch the clips for more of Morgan's interviews with Israel and Grayson, and for the next edition of "Piers Morgan Live," watch CNN every night at 9.
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Filed under: The Big Story
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Why?

    Thousands of children continue to be born with horrific facial deformities due to the 20 million gallons of Agent Orange chemical sprayed by the United States.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-23632245

    September 9, 2013 at 11:12 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. King Alex kekai 8risibe

    alexbrisibe@yahoo.com

    September 10, 2013 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Joan

    Now it is going to be really interesting to see how the Republicans are going to try and blackball this possible peaceful solution to the chemical weapons issue. That won't look good for them if it is successful and President Obama comes out looking like the statesman he really is. Heaven forbid, they can't have that. They must be in a tizzy just thinking about it. Ditto the press who were blindsided by this whole new revelation. All their hand wringing and naïve comments were just a waste of time while the real work was going on behind the scenes. Gotta love it!

    September 10, 2013 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Diana Atkin

    Piers, how about giving the US audience some stats/figures on their own use of chemical weapons together with one of their allies?
    There is a gigantic amount of hypocrisy around the question of chemical weapons. The Americans went into Fallujah in Iraq with white phosphorus and depleted uranium missiles which have resulted in multiple birth defects since. The Israelis used white phosphorus in the Gaza attack and doctors treating Palestinians after other attacks talk of nerve agent symptoms. These are chemical weapons.

    September 10, 2013 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. policyconcepts

    Reblogged this on policyconcepts.

    September 11, 2013 at 9:58 am | Report abuse | Reply
  6. david kemp

    Russia supplies 40% of Europe's oil. Three of the largest offshore oilfields in the world are in the Persian gulf. The Saudis and Quattar would like to run a pipeline through Syria then Turkey to compete with Russia for that market. Putin wants to keep Assad in power to prevent this. Civil war may change leadership and permit the new pipeline so banning chemical weapons won't change the balance of power and will keep Persian gulf oil from travelling cheaper by pipeline, and Putin will look likes he's done a big favour to the west.

    September 12, 2013 at 12:26 am | Report abuse | Reply

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