Nightly News | August 21, 2011
>> foreign affairs correspondent, getting ready for the post- gadhafi era. how involved will the u.s. be in any transition of power?
>> they hope they're very involved. state department officials have been on the ground for several days in benghazi working very closely with the transitional national council . they're appealing to them to not retaliate against gadhafi loyalists and breach out broadly across all segments of libyan society as they plan for post- gadhafi libya. of course, there's real concern about the rebel fwrgroup's ability to reconcile differences. the main concern is to try to avoid civil war as the rebel groups are clearly positioned for victory now as richard engel has shown so dramatically. they do believe he is in tripoli. that he clearly is still defiant. they don't rule out that at some point, especially now that his sons may be in rebel hands, that he could try to cut a deal and leave. as always, there's no reliable way to predict moammar gadhafi 's next move.
>> we're also watching syria, president assad has led a brutal crackdown on the opposition there. he's now come out to say his government is holdin iing firm. he's promising some political reforms. does he have a chance to defuse things given the climate now of what we're watching in libya? gl one official said this is sort of delusional dictators day. for assad to go on television and say that he is now willing to promise reform and promise elections just has no credibility with anyone at the white house or the state department . they do not trust his promises. getting him to give up, though, would be a very long process, they believe. despite some signs recently that there are some cracks in the military. so far he's got the money. he's got overwhelming military power .
>> andrea mitchell in our washington