Congress discusses possible options -but not troops- against Syria

"If you think about the destabilizing impact, right now chemical weapons have been small in use. If you have larger use, the refugee and humanitarian crisis that comes from that is huge," he said.

Illinois Democratic Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky brought up the obvious point that bad intelligence resulted in the U.S. going to war a decade ago in Iraq, so it's important for the administration to fully vet as much information as possible to determine Assad's responsibility with the chemical attack.

On NBC's Meet The Press, John McCain maintained he wants to enforce no fly-zone and supply the resistance with weapons. "Iranians are on the ground in Syria, and it's an unfair fight. And unless we can change this balance of power..there's every risk of a stalemate that would go on for months and months while the Jihadists come in..."

McCain says there should be an international force assembled to work on getting weapons of mass destruction out of Syria, but wouldn't say whether the U.S. should be a part of that group (On Friday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon wrote to President al-Assad with a new request for access to investigators inside Syria).

"The American people are weary as you pointed out," he told NBC's David Gregory. "They don't want boots on the ground. I don't want boots on the ground. I do want to give them the assistance which would give them a dramatic shift in the balance of power in Syria. But we have to as an international group be ready operationally to secure those areas."

Meanwhile on Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace attempted to get Israeli Ambassador to U.S. Michael Oren to criticize the president for seemingly backtracking on what needs to be done now that the government has acknowledged that the nerve agent sarin was used.

"We're not making any calls to the United States here," Oren responded, saying Israel had a different "red-line" than the U.S. "The chemical weapons situation is very complex. This is an American call. The U.S. and Israel are sovereign countries. We've got to make our own decisions, whether it be Syria or the Iran nuclear program."

Wallace then tried to transfer a U.S. "red-line" regarding Syria with the potential nuclear situation in Iran, asking Oren what would the message be seen by the Mullahs in Iran if Obama didn't act upon Syria now using chemical weapons? Oren defended the U.S. administration, saying that everyone from Obama on down has been in Israel over the past month declaring that America won't allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons.

Complicating the picture is the fact that Al-Qaeda aligned groups such as Al Nusra Front have joined forces with some of the largest anti-government rebel forces, as described in a New York Times story published on Sunday.

On other programs, Republicans like Congressman Peter King from New York and Saxby Chambliss said that something had to be done, simply because the U.S. would look impotent if they said chemical weapons was a game-changer and didn't follow through on that threat.

  • Congressman Mike Rogers

Last week the White House and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said that the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had used chemical weapons in that nation's civil war, but officials at the White House said they wanted more time to examine the evidence and confirm beyond any doubt that the Syrian leaders had crossed a "red line."

The president originally warned Syria in August of 2012 that chemical weapons would "change my calculus" in terms of U.S. involvement in the Middle Eastern country, where more than an estimated 70,000 people have died since the conflict began in February of 2011.

On Sunday morning the question of what the administration should do now was a leading topic of conversation. Military intervention doesn't appear likely, but what about enforcing a no-fly zone? Is that appropriate? On ABC's This Week, House Intelligence Chairman Mike Rogers said that the options aren't huge, but some action needs to be taken.

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