Dr. Rim Al-Bezem on Her Foreign Policy Intervention

Christiane Amanpour sits down with Syrian-American doctor Rim Al-Bezem to discuss her highly unusual, personal foreign policy intervention, as she and her friends managed to lobby their elected leaders, including President Trump.

Read Transcript EXPAND

You are telling all this to the president.

I was and the president of United States graciously was listening attentively to all this and even some more and then I explained how the people who survived the massacre were given a choice, either surrender, submission or forced displacement to Idlib.

The plan was clear, you know the writing is on the wall, Idlib province is marked for death. Assad is going to have his if you will final,solution and the largest massacre is going to happen within the next 24, 48 hours.

You said it like that?

I said it like that.

And how did he respond to that?

He said, 'That can't happen.

The world is watching, that can't happen.

We will not let this happen.'

I said, 'It's happening.

They are ready to launch a massive strike and probably chemical attack against the three million in Idlib under the context of 10,000, 20,000 Nusra fighters.'

The terrorist group.

The terrorist group and wiping out the whole city and this is the final solution.

Assad will then declare victory and that's what's going to happen.

So when you finished making this presentation then what happened?

Well he said he he did not really believe it maybe that much, I don't know because I heard him in the news conference.

That's right.

He went back to the White House and he picked up the New York Times and he read about the same subject.

Let me play what he actually said.

'I came back to New York and I picked up the failing New York Times. I hate to admit it was the New York Times, but it was the failing New York Times and I opened it up not on the front page, but there was a very big story I said wow that's the same story that the woman told me that I found hard to believe because why would how would anyone do that with three million people and it said that they were being surrounded and they were going in and starting literally the next day, they were going to drop bombs all over the place and perhaps kill millions of people in order to get 35,000 terrorists.

The president had listened.

He had said that can't happen and then the meeting ended.

What did you think was going to happen next?

I didn't really know, but I knew he listened attentively to all what I have to said.

But then I watch President Trump talking about it and 24 hour or 48 hours later, you know, I read the tweet and then subsequently I watched the news conference in the United Nation about Syria.

And the tweet of course was 'President Bashar al-Assad of Syria must not recklessly attack Idlib Province.

The Russians and Iranians would be making a grave humanitarian mistake to take part in this potential human tragedy.

Hundreds of thousands of people could be killed.

Don't let that happen!' And it hasn't happened.

About This Episode EXPAND

Christiane Amanpour speaks with Syrian-American doctor Rim Al-Bezem to discuss her highly unusual, personal foreign policy intervention and actor/musician Jeff Goldblum about his debut jazz album. Alicia Menendez speaks with comedian Mike Birbiglia about his new one-man Broadway show.