Senator Lindsey Graham is one bloodthirsty guy. Fox News had some time to fill and some fear to spread around so they brought Warmonger Lindsey on to tell viewers why we should have bomb-bomb-bombed Syria months ago to prevent ISIS from gaining power.
Now is the time, says Senator Graham, to drop some bombs on Iraq and Syria because they're going everywhere and they're planning another attack on the United States. I don't mean to sound flippant, but I've heard that one over and over again since September 11, 2001. It's pretty hollow at this point.
I don't know how to be gentle about this. Groups like ISIS exist because we went in there and dropped bombs all over Iraq under false pretenses, killed hundreds of thousands of people, installed a government that left an entire group with absolutely no voice and no political power, and then executed their leader.
In what world does repeating that exercise in folly somehow "keep us safe?"
I'm not sure what it will take for this to sink in: Arming rebels fighting a civil war in a country thousands of miles away can be really bad for our reputation and national security. But that's what Senators Graham and McCain think is really awesome strategy.
“Thank God for the Saudis and Prince Bandar,” John McCain told CNN’s Candy Crowley in January 2014. “Thank God for the Saudis and Prince Bandar, and for our Qatari friends,” the senator said once again a month later, at the Munich Security Conference.
McCain was praising Prince Bandar bin Sultan, then the head of Saudi Arabia’s intelligence services and a former ambassador to the United States, for supporting forces fighting Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria. McCain and Senator Lindsey Graham had previously met with Bandar to encourage the Saudis to arm Syrian rebel forces.
The Free Syrian Army (FSA), the “moderate” armed opposition in the country, receives a lot of attention. But two of the most successful factions fighting Assad’s forces are Islamist extremist groups: Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the latter of which is now amassing territory in Iraq and threatening to further destabilize the entire region. And that success is in part due to the support they have received from two Persian Gulf countries: Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
Qatar’s military and economic largesse has made its way to Jabhat al-Nusra, to the point that a senior Qatari official told me he can identify al-Nusra commanders by the blocks they control in various Syrian cities. But ISIS is another matter. As one senior Qatari official stated, “ISIS has been a Saudi project.”
Usually it only takes one stupid mistake to prevent another. Unless you're a neocon. Let's add it up.
The US and Saudi Arabia arm Afghan rebels to fight the Soviets creates the breeding ground for Taliban control in Afghanistan. The Taliban harbors Saudi Osama bin Laden and his Al Qaeda extremist faction, financed by the Saudis.
The US invades Iraq, overthrows the government, installs a puppet (Al Maliki) who oppresses Sunnis, then executes Saddam Hussein in a very public way. The entire region is destabilized, extremist groups hatch in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Syria erupts in civil war, and once again, these idjuts want to arm the 'good guys.'
There are no 'good guys' in these areas. By that I mean no one is sympathetic to US interests and why should they be? What exactly have we done other than rain death on them?
Until Lindsey and his pals fully understand this, they should not be allowed to bloviate. The name "Iraq" should not cross their lips until they get a clue about why things are what they are today.
One last point. Senator Graham's arrogant assertion that we should rush in there with bombs and airplanes, pummel the Iraqis with flaming projectiles, and then stand before them puffed with power and tell them we're putting a new government in place is breathtaking when you sit back and consider it for a minute.
We did a crappy job with the first puppet government. Why on earth would we do that again?
It is this kind of crazy talk that causes the weird paradox where most Americans support President Obama's foreign policy, and yet the majority disapprove of his handling of Iraq all at the same time.