Carl Levin: Syria Deal 'No Coincidence'
Says US threat to strike made Russia step up
By Polly Davis Doig, Newser Staff
Posted Sep 15, 2013 1:10 PM CDT
In this June 4, 2013, file photo, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

(Newser) – It's "no coincidence" that the US and Russia were able to broker a deal after the Obama administration threatened a military strike in Syria, Carl Levin said today. "This progress would not have been achieved without" that pressure, which forced Russia to finally opt to "put some pressure on Syria and get involved." Echoing the sentiments of John Kerry today, Levin added that "It is so important that the continuing threat be very readily available." Elsewhere on your Syria reactions, as per Politico:

  • Henry Kissinger: "Putin, in my opinion, considers radical Islam his biggest security threat. ... He saw an opportunity to perhaps to get into step with us, solving a common problem."

  • John McCain: Russia deal is a "loser. It’s not a matter of trust, it’s a matter of whether or not it will be enforced... Suppose that this deal is made and then Bashar Assad does not comply?”
  • Zbigniew Brzezinski: "Russia saw an opportunity to also become a significant player in this game." But a US attack would have been "pointless. Our actions were misconceived, badly calculated. This gets us off the hook."
  • Michael McCaul: The House Homeland Security Committee chair wants Russian boots on the ground, and says Vladimir Putin "is in a unique position, rather than the president, to get this done. He's now come forward as a leader and he owns this.”
  • Roy Blunt: The Missouri senator says a small strike would have been folly. “Assad would have said 'Look, the Americans took their best shot at me, and I’m still here.' I think Assad’s a lot stronger today than he was two weeks ago. Our adversaries have taken heart in seeing the uncertainty.”
  • Newt Gingrich: "You have Putin playing chess and Obama playing, frankly, a very lucky game of tic-tac-toe. That is a strategically defeat for the United States. We are now relying on the Russians. We're now following from behind—not leading from behind. This is not a good long-term position."

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Sep 17, 2013 10:59 AM CDT
President Obama has done nothing but try to get support for a unilateral strike on Syria and he just happened to not have to show his hand because Russia is taking the reins. That isn't an ineffective president, that's a president who knows how to play on the world stage to perfection. I support the USA 100% and that includes our president. If you don't like living here, then leave! Go to Syria and then cry for help when they gas you to death.
Sep 16, 2013 4:17 PM CDT
With all of this country's posturing around war, as if a decade of questionable actions weren't enough, they don't quote a single WOMAN on her thoughts in this article? Most women wouldn't consider diplomacy a LAST RESORT! The fact that this was true of our Nobel Peace Prize winning president is beyond the pale. Let's balance the scales of decision making to be a whole lot more inclusive of various viewpoints and ideologies. Our government is terribly broken and old modes of governance must be redesigned SOON - The systems of the past obviously aren't working for We the People!
Sep 16, 2013 2:12 AM CDT
Who cares if we are in charge? We are no longer strong enough, relative to the rest of the world, that we can expect to be in charge of everything everywhere. I don't understand why anyone thought that was a good idea in the first place.