Sen. John McCain’s ‘illegitimate son,’ Lindsey Graham (McCain’s words), was tag-teaming the Sunday morning bobblehead shows with “Dad” on Sunday, appearing on Face The Nation.
Little Lindsey Graham advocated for U.S. boots on the ground in Syria and Iraq — even though Congress has yet to get around to debating an Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) since last August when President Obama sent military advisers and U.S. air combat operations to Iraq to fight ISIS — the ninety day time frame of the War Powers Resolution of 1973 long since having expired.
Little Lindsey pulled a random number out of his ass as to what he though would be a sufficient number of U.S. troops. Graham: 10K US boots on the ground needed to stop ISIS in Syria: “Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who is considering a 2016 presidential bid, said on Sunday it would require 10,000 American “boots on the ground” to stop the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Syria.”
The U.S. had over 157,000 troops in Iraq during McCain’s “surge” when all hell was breaking loose, and it still wasn’t enough to end the sectarian civil war between Sunni and Shia sects that continues to this day. 10,000 combat troops for Syria and Iraq is not even serious. Troop Levels in the Afghan and Iraq Wars, FY2001-FY2012 (.pdf).
John McCain’s “illegitimate son” definitely takes after his dear old “Dad” — he has a track record of being wrong about everything. Michael Cohen writes at Foreign Policy (subscription required), Lindsey Graham: Wrong on Everything: The senator from the great state of South Carolina is considering a run for president, based on his foreign-policy prowess. Yikes.:
A week ago Sunday, Lindsey Graham found himself in a familiar place: on NBC’s Meet the Press trying to scare the hell out of Americans. Graham, a senator from South Carolina since 2003, is one of the Republican Party’s leading spokespeople on national security and international relations issues.
This particular appearance, however, gave Graham the opportunity to make some real news — namely that he is considering throwing his hat in the ring for the Republican presidential nomination. “I think the world is falling apart,” said Graham in a preview of his potential presidential pitch, “and I’ve been more right than wrong when it comes to foreign policy.”
A review, however, of the senator’s foreign-policy pronouncements speaks to a different reality. Lindsey Graham is, in fact, far more often wrong than he is right. Occasionally, he is more than just wrong: Sometimes, he’s completely out of his mind. In a town filled with threat-mongers, fear-merchants, and hand-wringers, there is no one mongering more threats, selling more fear and wringing more hands than Sen. Graham. It’s going to be awfully hard for candidate Graham to lift people up when he’s constantly telling them the sky is falling.
For Graham, there is a consistent taxonomy to his apocalyptic warnings: “weakness” and “indecision” are bad (and are defining attributes of Democrats like Barack Obama) and “resolve,” “leadership,” and willingness to use force are good (and are attributes of Republicans like Ronald Reagan or John McCain, who has referred to Graham as his “illegitimate son”). If he’s not exaggerating a threat, he’s bloviating about how a lack of determination has left Americans vulnerable. If he’s not recommending that Americans be sent into harm’s way, he’s pooh-poohing the notion that diplomacy or any form of coercion that doesn’t include bombs, can be effective.
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At its core, however, Graham’s rhetoric is driven by an extraordinarily dystopian — and factually incorrect — view of the world. In January 2014, he said, “The world is literally about to blow up.” A year later, we’re still here and Graham is still wrong. “We live in the most dangerous times imaginable,” he said in July 2013. But it requires memory, not imagination, to realize that this is not true — unless Graham believes that World War II was the global equivalent of a traffic dispute. Considering that Graham, who was born in 1955 lived through the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Vietnam War, the Cold War, and 9/11, it’s a bit hard to square his regular alarmism about the state of the world with reality.
Indeed, Graham is so convinced that the world is about to proverbially tumble off its axis that this summer he said it “scares him” that Secretary of State John Kerry “thinks the world is in such good shape.” Even optimism causes Lindsey Graham to clutch pearls.
Remarkably, being consistently and habitually wrong about the nature of global affairs in the 21st century has not impeded Graham in being taken seriously as a foreign-policy voice. Like many Republicans, he enthusiastically supported the Iraq War, but even then he stood out with his trademark bombast and incorrectness. For example, in 2002 and 2003 he repeatedly declared that Saddam Hussein was “flat-out lying” about having weapons of mass destruction.
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Sen. Graham is not one to allow the rule of law, facts, or reality get in the way of a political talking point. As was the case in 2003 with Iraq — and 2007 — and pretty much every international crisis since, Graham has a simple solution for when bad things are happening around the world. Use force.
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Still, Graham’s rhetoric on Iran almost looks quaint in comparison to his comments on the Islamic State, which he now calls a “direct threat” to the United States and if unchecked, “will open the gates of hell to spill out on the world.”
It’s easy to dismiss this kind of bluster as mere political theater. After all, there is little question that Graham’s incessant fear-mongering is largely partisan posturing — and makes for such great lowest-common-denominator TV. Still, whether political or genuine, the result of such inflated rhetoric is that Graham is only adding to the mistaken view, held overwhelmingly by Americans, that the world is a dangerous place with countless threats to national security.
The reality is that we have reams of data showing that there are actually few conflicts today, far more electoral democracies than just a quarter century ago, higher living standards, and more economic prosperity than pretty much any point in human history. Graham isn’t just spreading fear for political ends; he’s lying to the American people.
Being wrong is the worst of Lindsey Graham’s crimes. Of course, if in the extraordinarily unlikely circumstance that he gets elected president — then we’re really in trouble.
Here’s the deal: if the “New” Three Stooges — Sens. John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Kelly Ayotte starring as “Shemp” — want perpetual wars of conquest and occupation against any country that offended them this week, then this is the price they should have to pay:
- The “New” Three Stooges and their like-minded Neocon war monger supporters in think tanks and in the media (looking at you “Bloody Bill” Kristol and Charles Krauthammer!) will serve together in the “Chickenhawk Brigade” and they will be the first boots on the ground in any military conflict.
- The U.S. will reinstate the military draft and the privileged rich kids of anyone even remotely connected to the military-industrial-congressional war machine will be given a priority draft number to be called up first; there will be no deferments.
- Congress will impose a new “war tax” on Wall Street war profiteers to pay for these perpetual wars of conquest and occupation.
If you want a Pax Americana Empire, you Neocon bastards, you are going to pay the price for it! Otherwise, STFU.