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Carl Levin Sees the Light on Syria

Updated - the Nutroots respond

Believe it or not, he's now calling for attacks on Syria. That's quite a turn around, one that the nutroots are not going to like. Erick Ericson at Red State has a well deserved siren going for this one. Check out Senator Levin's quote:

I think we ought to take action on all fronts including Syria and any other source of weapons coming in, obviously Iran is the focus - but it shouldn't be the sole focus.

Erick also has the partial transcript from the Armed Services Committee meeting that took place yesterday:

SEN CARL LEVIN (D-MI): "Now, in terms of the weapons coming in from Syria, those weapons that you've described as coming in from Syria and perhaps other Sunni neighbors are killing our troops. Do we have a plan to address the Syrian weapon source -- of killings of our troops?"


JOHN MCCONNELL, Director of National Intelligence: "Sir, I know the military is working that border area to close it down from not only weapons but also jihadists coming in --"

LEVIN: "It's more than just -- we're trying to close down the Iranian border area too. The problem is that these weapons are coming from a state which is -- doesn't recognize Israel either, just like Iran doesn't. We've got to try to stop weapons coming into Iraq from any source that are killing our troops. I agree with the comments about trying to stop them coming in from Iran, I think we have to try stop them that are going to the Sunni insurgents as well as to the Shia. I was just wondering, does the military have a plan to, if necessary, to go into Syria to go to the source of any weapons coming from Syria? That are going to Sunni insurgents? That are killing our troops? ... I think we ought to take action on all fronts including Syria and any other source of weapons coming in, obviously Iran is the focus - but it shouldn't be the sole focus." (Armed Services Committee, U.S. Senate, Hearing, 02/27/07)

I'm pleased to see that Senator Levin starting to see the light on the dangers of Syria. He is also finally acknowledging that al Qaeda, 5,000 of them, is in Iraq, but he still is demanding that most of our troops be pulled from Iraq within a year. This is just an artificial deadline pulled out of thin air. It's irresponsible to pull a date out of thin air and then declare that all combat operations will be over on that day when we have have no idea what the conditions on the ground will be like.

Update: Nope, the nutroots don't like Senator Levin's comments one bit. Again, Erick Red State is posting:

Now, Carl Levin has called for military engagement with Syria and Iran. What to do? Well, the first stage of grief is denial, and we have the perfect example of this over at Kos. Something over there quoted Carl Levin saying we needed to "take action" and responded:
Oh, right. Republicans have no subtlety. "Action" can only mean bombs! How much action is packed in to "talks" or even "sanctions." None! Boring! Let's send the boys off to die!


Levin, I would assume, is probably not too keen on bombing the rest of the Middle East.

Erick's response:

Let's review:


1. Levin was speaking at an Armed Services Committee hearing, not a Foreign Affairs Committee Hearing.

2. He was asking about the military's plan, not the State Department's plan.

3. Then, of course, still talking about the military, Levin asked, "Does the military have a plan to go into Syria?"

So, while I understand the necessity in going through the stages of grief at this point, and denial is the first place a nutroot would arrive, we must ask ourselves this question:

When is the last time the military went into any country with a *diplomatic* plan?

Sorry nutroots. Levin wants to "take action" against Syria -- and he doesn't mean holding hands at a gay marriage ceremony singing kumbaya with Assad.

What? No singing kumbaya? Aw, man, that sucks.


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Comments (9)

This isn't actually true. Y... (Below threshold)

This isn't actually true. You're really dreaming. TOMORROW YOU WILL WAKE UP AND LEVIN WILL HAVE ALREADY SAID THAT HE DIDN'T SAY WHAT HE SAID, THAT HE WAS "MISUNDERSTOOD."

Maybe he wants our troops p... (Below threshold)
Robert:

Maybe he wants our troops pulled out of Iraq and into Syria? Hey, they would be closer to Israel. A pincher attack from Israel and the US forces in Iraq would topple that Baathist regime in no time.

These are just a couple of ... (Below threshold)

These are just a couple of comments taken out of context. Let's hold our horses on this one. It should would be a lot better for the country if folks like Levin were on board with being tough on Syria and Iran, but history suggests otherwise.

Folks, we have got to reali... (Below threshold)
JD:

Folks, we have got to realize that when Levin suggests that the USA take "action" against another nation that it means the following:

1) Say "Please."
2) Say "Pretty Please."
3) Send Jimmah Carter in to say "Pretty Please with peanuts on top."
4) Take the case to the United Nothing.
5) Get the issue abstained to death by China, France and Russia.
6) Blame President Bush for not acting when he (Levin) suggested to do so in the first place.

Besides - we have yet to hear how this is playing in Dearbornistan. It is entirely possible that Levin will have a "change of heart" once the nice folks at CAIR have a "consultation" with him.

So, this means Levin delays... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

So, this means Levin delays his surrender proclamation in the Senate for a few months?

Huh?

I think Levin is sexing up ... (Below threshold)
MikeSC:

I think Levin is sexing up the intel to attack Syria.
-=Mike

We should brace ourselves f... (Below threshold)

We should brace ourselves for a series of interminably tedious expositions by Democrats who are desperate to burnish their national security credentials into the electorate's pysche.

All of this is pre-election posturing designed to disabuse us of their well-earned reputation as appeasement hounds.

The problem is that any hint by the Janus-faced Democrats that they might support aggression will be front page news and fleshed out as evidence that they've always advocated a tough foreign policy.

Please see my post of today, "An Ignoble Chapter in our History," which features a fine photograph of Neville Chamberlain, as he uttered his infamous "peace in our time" absurdity in 1938.

Herr Hitler mocked him just as the jihadists are mocking us now.

Philip Mella

Spot on Phillip.It... (Below threshold)
robert the original:

Spot on Phillip.

It was posturing and it was also bait.

What do you think would have happend if the answer would have been: "Right Senator, our plans to invade Iran and Syria will commence withing days."

Robert that was the best po... (Below threshold)
Susan:

Robert that was the best post I read all week, the one interpreting Levin's comments as advocating a pincer move with Israel on Syria. Smiled from ear to ear.




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