Carl Levin Calls for Attacks On Syria and Iran?

Redstate‘s Erick Ericson goes Drudge one better with a RED siren and a big headline quoting Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin saying,

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.

It would be a big surprise to me if Levin actually thinks we should go to war with Iran and Syria. Still, it sounds like he’s saying that.

As Drudge would say, Developing . . .

UPDATE: Erickson has posted the video to YouTube:

The words in the transcript are right. My impression–and it may well be prejudiced by my view of Levin’s politics–from the intonation is that by “we ought to take action on all fronts” he means something other than “go in with guns blazing.” Perhaps he means that we need more and better planning than we had for Phase IV in Iraq. It’s not totally clear to me, though.

FILED UNDER: Congress, Guns and Gun Control, Iraq War, National Security, , , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Jim Henley says:

    Wonder what’s inside that handy ellipsis. I admit the quoted parts are bad enough. And there’s his weird aside about how Syria doesn’t recognize Israel, in context suggesting that if only the insurgents had the good taste to kill American troops with weapons they got from a state that DOES recognize Israel, it would all be okay . . .

  2. legion says:

    It would be a big surprise to me if Levin actually thinks we should go to war with Iran and Syria. Still, it sounds like he’s saying that.

    I too don’t believe he really thinks that, but I believe he is trying to force the administration – or anyone, really – to think about the logical consequences of the policies this administration is putting forward. It all goes back to the hypocrisy of “if you’re not with us, you’re against us” combined with turning a blind eye towards the AQ/Taliban links in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, etc, etc.

  3. Kathy says:

    James, after listening to this, I think he’s being ironic. I think he’s playing a game with McConnell, pushing him to the “logical” extreme of the administration’s warmongering toward Iran. Didn’t you notice how McConnell retreated, like a scuttering crab, when Levin referred to weapons coming across the border from both Iran and Syria?

  4. James Joyner says:

    I think he’s being ironic.

    That didn’t come across to me but then I haven’t listened to Levin often enough to have a strong sense of his timing. The cadence of his speech struck me as odd, though, making it hard for me to figure out what his intent was.

  5. Kathy says:

    James, I haven’t listened to Levin at all, but it’s clear enough to me. There’s even a slight smile on his face.