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Backlash to U.S. moves in Syria

December 12th, 2012
06:00 PM ET

The Syrian Opposition Vice President

Christiane Amanpour speaks with George Sabra about the U.S. decision to recognize the Syrian opposition.


No diplomatic solution in Syria

The United States' former point man on Syria's transition says there's little chance for a diplomatic solution.

By Samuel Burke, CNN

The United States’ former point person on Syria admits that there is practically no chance diplomacy will ever remove Bashar al-Assad.

Former Ambassador Frederic Hof told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Wednesday, “My sense is that this will be ultimately decided through force of arms on the ground” – despite the Obama administration’s reluctance to give heavy weapons to rebels.

President Obama announced on Monday that the U.S. would formally recognize the opposition as representative of the Syrian people, but that may not have a significant effect, at least for now.

“I think in terms of the military situation on the ground, quite bluntly, it changes nothing in the near term,” Ambassador Hof told Amanpour. But he believes that politically, it is good for Syrians in the long term.

Despite the violence in Syria, many groups are nervous about what would happen if al-Assad were to leave - particularly minorities who have been protected under Assad’s rule. But Hof believes that the U.S. recognition puts a face on the opposition and will help reassure the various factions.

At the same time it recognized the opposition, the Obama administration designated a group known as al-Nusra as terrorists—a move which was been met with backlash in Syria.  FULL POST

Filed under:  Latest Episode • Syria

Oliver Stone's 'untold American history'

December 12th, 2012
01:16 PM ET

American film director Oliver Stone has devoted his career to an alternate take on American history. He is the director of Academy Award-winning movies like, "JFK," "Nixon" and "Platoon." He has often faced criticism for his deviation from mainstream history. His latest project is a 10-part TV series and companion book called "The Untold History of the United States." It is not the American history that you may have been taught, but Stone says that is precisely the point. The program will be aired inside and outside of the U.S. And Stone wants students of all nationalities to know what he believes was left out of American history books.

Filed under:  Latest Episode