Alex Witt   |  June 15, 2013

Fmr. US ambassador: White House dealing with Syria like 'a root canal'

Former U.S. Ambassador and White House Middle East Advisor Marc Ginsberg and MSNBC Military Analyst Col. Jack Jacobs join Craig Melvin to comment on the White House’s announcement that it will start providing small arms to the Syrian rebels. Ginsberg notes that the Obama White House has been dealing with Syrian foreign policy as if it is going through “a root canal.” Col. Jacobs says that the U.S. pledging small arms will not be effective. Ginsberg says that the bottom line is that the tide has already turned and that the war remains unwinnable to the “good guys” in Syria.  Col. Jacobs agrees with Ginsburg and highlights the “foreign policy disaster” that has occurred for the U.S. in dealing with Syria.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> start with you. the "new york times" saying president obama was dragged into this. you have been critical of the white house 's policy all along. what do you think is behind the motivation to do this now?

>> when you do foreign policy as if you're basically going through a root canal , you don't make good decisions. that's what's happening here. the administration had to face the consequences of its own rhetoric. it said if a red line had been crossed by the use of chemical weapons , that it would be a game changer. so, now there is absolute irrefutable proof that the they deployed sirin gas and for some reason that was the red line and what the administration's problem right now. it doesn't want to be involved and it doesn't want to commit and doing this almost as a public relations decision rather than a proact aive decision based on what's best for the united states and national interest for the middle east .

>> here's the thing the united states is pledging at this point. only small arms. the rebels for months now have been asking for tanks and asking for armor piercing bullets. how much of a difference will that make?

>> none, zero. won't make any difference whatsoever. a huge battle going on and the major inflection point and the results that will determine what will happen in syria and who is going to win. it is not going to be the rebels. no matter what we give them. i'm not convinced if we acted earlier and given them bigger weapons, more weapons months ago it would have changed the outcome.

>> investigator, i want to talk about your most recent column on this. you write in part, this move is partly just to silence critics of the administration syrian policy. it doesn't look like that is going to work. do they then step it up until they're fully involved?

>> the bottom line is, as jack just said, the tide has already turned and the empire has struck back. iran and russia have seessentially made this war of remains of the good guys in syria at this point in time. we're arriving at the ninth inning and we're arriving when the game has already been changed. the final analysis , while this has been a civil war , tip toeing into a war which it is destined to lose and be held accountable for a national security defeat coming late into this game.

>> colonel, any hope at this juncture of a diplomatic solution?

>> there is no motivation on the part of assad and hezbollah to come to the table when the rebel's on the run. i don't think anything good will come of our policy and i agree a foreign policy disaster from the very beginning and nothing that we are going to do to change it, including calling for talks. nobody will come to the table.

>> you two have painted quite the bleak picture for our saturday.

>> it's tough.

>> good it see you, thank you for your insight, as