Is anyone else as tired of this sort of bloviating from the likes of Lindsey Graham? He and his BFF's McCain and Lieberman have been pushing for weeks now for us to get involved in Libya and now that they've gotten their wish, the carping continues. Heaven forbid we got an actual coalition together before going in there.
We can't have that or other countries might think we're "weak." Hey Lindsey, maybe it's because our military is already overextended and that's putting it mildly. Just how many tours of duty do you think those soldiers should be doing before they're allowed to go home? God I'm so sick and tired of this cowboy, go it alone, war mongering chest beating out of neocons.
And as I wrote in my other posts on this, of course there was not a single mention of how we're going to pay for this when the Republicans keep saying the country is 'broke." Chris Wallace was terribly concerned about our budget not long ago but today that topic seemed to elude him. Amazing how that works isn't it? The only jobs program our politicians seem to think we can afford is the one that keeps our military industrial complex going.
Transcript via Fox News.
WALLACE: Joining us now are two leading members of the Senate Armed Services Committee. From his home state of South Carolina, Republican Lindsey Graham, and here in the studio, Democrat Jack Reed.
Senator Graham, let me start with you. What do you think of the military operation in Libya so far and the support role that the U.S. is going to be playing?
GRAHAM: Well, I'm glad we are finally doing something. We -- I don't know how many people have died as we wait to do something. Thank God for strong women in the Obama administration.
I don't know what finally got the president to act, but I'm very worried that we're taking the backseat rather than a leadership role. The British and the French have been great. Prime Minister Cameron said this action is necessary, legal and right. President Obama is talking about limited action of days.
Qaddafi is not the legitimate leader of Libya. He is an international criminal. He should be investigated by Attorney General Holder for actions in Pan Am.
We should isolate this regime. We should order all troops back to their garrison. We should knock out his radio and TV ability to communicate with his own people. We shouldn't pay Qaddafi's forces any money when it comes to Libyan oil.
Isolate, strangle and replace this man -- that should be our goal.
WALLACE: So, I just want to make clear I understand -- are you saying that the problem is the definition of the mission or the fact that we're letting the French and the British take the lead?
GRAHAM: The definition of the mission, we used to relish leading the free world. Now, it's almost like leading the free leader is an inconvenience. I want to be a good partner. I want the Arab world, young Arabs and young Iranians, see us as a strong, effective partner for their hope and dreams of being free. And I think the president caveated this way too much, it's almost like it's a nuisance.
This is a great opportunity to replace a tyrannical dictator who is not a legitimate leader, who is an international crook. And we should seize the moment and talk about replacing him, not talking about how limited we will be.
WALLACE: We are running out of time and I want to talk about a couple of other things. But let me get to this, Senator Graham. Do you think you can negotiate Muammar Qaddafi out of power?
GRAHAM: No, I think he should be branded for what he is. I think our government should investigate the role he played in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103. I think he's an international criminal.
We should isolate his regime, as Jack said. We should knock off his radio and TV stations. Any military units in Libya that come to his aid should be destroyed. We should not pay him or anybody on his side of the ledger any oil money.
And let me just put it simply; this is the best chance to get rid of Qaddafi in my life. If we don't get rid of him, we will pay a heavy price down the road. The Obama administration owns Libya with Qaddafi.
Get rid of this man. Don't be uncertain in your statements. Be bold. Be effective. Work with the international community. Replace this international outlaw sooner rather than later.
WALLACE: Let me take you to a couple of other quick issues -- and I'm going ask you both to be brief about it.
Senator Graham, President Obama went to the U.N. Security Council to get approval, authorization for this use of force. Should he go to Congress?
GRAHAM: I don't believe he needs to come to Congress. I'd gladly vote on what he did. I think it's inherent within the authority of the commander-in-chief to take such action. We have been overly cautious, unnervingly indecisive. This thing melted down.
I wish we would have acted sooner. I don't feel a need to bless this action before he took it. I'd be glad to vote on it afterwards.
One word of caution; the U.N. Security Council has not been used every time we've had force. If you are going to take the freedom agenda and turn it over to the Russians and the Chinese, that would be a huge mistake. I'm glad we have international support but I don't want the model to be that you have to go to the U.N. to deal with tyranny. Those Russians and China are going to be less than friendly to getting rid of dictators, because in many ways, there are countries run by dictators.
WALLACE: Finally, we have a minute left. And we are taking this action ostensibly to prevent Qaddafi from brutally attacking -- repressing and killing his civilians, protesters in his country. Meanwhile, our allies in Yemen and in Bahrain, they have been doing the same to protesters in their country. In fact, 47 were killed by the government in Yemen on Friday.
Question -- each of you have 30 seconds.
Senator Graham, should we be intervening in those countries? They are all our allies. But should we be intervening?
GRAHAM: We should stop the -- we should push back against using live ammunition against people who are protesting. This whole deterioration in the Mideast is because of indecisive leadership. The people in Yemen and Bahrain do not believe there's a downside of shooting their own people because we let Qaddafi come back and get stronger not weaker.
So, if we deal with Qaddafi decisively, we'll have better leverage in Bahrain and Yemen, and the Iranians will think twice. But if we don't deal with him decisively, all hell is going to break loose in the Mideast because nobody is going to follow a weak America.