By Adele Hampton - 07/19/12 04:40 PM EDT
The United States and its European allies had called for a 45-day renewal of the United Nations mission in Syria, with sanctions to come into play if the violence continued. Russia and China had proposed a 90-day extension without the threat of sanctions, and were unwilling to negotiate despite calls from President Obama and other European leaders.
The White House affirmed Wednesday that the United States military would remain uninvolved in the mounting chaos, opting for diplomacy and international negotiation instead of arming Syrian rebel forces.
“We do not believe that violence is the answer, and it is precisely because of the ongoing campaign by President Assad against his own people that we are seeing a situation that is getting worse and worse,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said Wednesday. “The incident today makes clear that Assad is losing control, that violence is increasing rather than decreasing, and that all of our partners internationally need to come together and support a transition.”
But Republicans in Congress disagree, calling for military action and aid to Syrian rebel forces rather than a political leadership transition in the war-torn country.
"What should we do? We should be on the right side of history" Graham said. "We should help arm the rebels, should help train them with the coalition of other countries — Arab countries, Turkey. We should be part of a coalition of the willing to establish a no-fly, no-drive zone to shield the people from the barbaric activity of Assad.
"He's going to go," Graham continued. "We should get to know the people who are going to replace him. We should be with them in their darkest hour rather than observing history, we should help mold history. The Obama administration has played this very poorly."