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Sen. Lindsey Graham: Obama's Moves On North Korea, Cuba Will Embolden Iran

Sen. Lindsey Graham used the recent Sony hacking incident and President Obama's change in Cuba policy as en excuse to beat the war drums with Iran once again.
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Sen. Lindsey Graham used the recent Sony hacking incident and President Obama's change in Cuba policy as en excuse to beat the war drums with Iran once again. We're all shocked, right?

Graham never misses an opportunity to attack President Obama's foreign policy as "weak" while stomping his feat and pounding his fists about which country he'd like for the United States to attack next and this Sunday's interview on Face the Nation was no exception:

SCHIEFFER: Now let's talk a little about this Cuban surprise that we got from President Obama to resume relations with Cuba. You were very much against that.

Some people would argue, Senator Graham, that this is a good place for Americans to be selling American products. We sell a lot of grain down there already. We sell medical products under the heading of humanitarian aid.

GRAHAM: Yes.

SCHIEFFER: Why do you think it's such a bad idea to do that?

GRAHAM: Well, North Korea would be great place to sell products. They don't have anything.

When America engages a country, we do so with our moral voice, just not cigars and rum. So, for the last 50 years, Cuba's gone from being an interventionist communist power in Angola to Grenada, to a backwater, poor dictatorship. And without any reason, we have changed our policy.

Look in your vault of CBS News stories in 2013 and 2014 and show me one where Cuba is becoming more democratic. As to what the Congress will do, Bob, if you are being offered the ambassadorship to Cuba, turn it down because you don't have a snowball's chance in hell of getting confirmed.

The Congress is not going to reinforce this policy. There will be no confirmation of an ambassador to Cuba because the Castro brothers are terrible dictators who deserve no new engagement. They deserve to be condemned and isolated.

And when it comes to funding any proposed embassy in Cuba, I'm in charge of all foreign aid, all State Department funding. I will be the chairman of the Foreign Operations Subcommittee. I will do everything I can to limit to size and scope of this embassy, because you are rewarding people who kidnap Americans and who really are still communists in every way.

SCHIEFFER: Senator, do you think that Cuba at this point in time represents a security threat to America?

GRAHAM: Last year, the Cubans were shipping arms to North Korea in violation of the embargo.

Yes. Cuba to me represents everything that threatens us. And who are we? We believe in freedom and democracy. Are we safe when somebody right off our shores practices totalitarian communism in our backyard? They were actively trying to send weapons to North Korea a year ago. Should we be worried about North Korea? Yes. Should we be worried about Cuba? Yes.

But Iran is watching. I can only imagine what the ayatollahs in Iran must be saying to themselves when our president called the North Korean attack on our way of life, not just a movie, vandalism, and when he reaches out to a communist dictatorship that has done nothing to change.

They must be feeling pretty good about their chance to negotiate a deal with America.

SCHIEFFER: What about North Korea? What should the president do now?

GRAHAM: Make it so hard on the North Koreans, they don't want to do this in the future. Reimpose sanctions lifted by President Bush. Put them back on the state sponsor of terrorism list. Put China on notice that it's just not a movie. It's our way of life.

America is not a building with a symbol, but is a way of life, to do commerce, to make a product and receive a profit, to go and see what you would like, to produce something that is edgy. That's what we're about. And they attacked who we are. And when the president calls this an act of vandalism, that just really bothers me greatly. It is an act of terrorism. And I hope he will respond forcefully, because the Iranians are watching everything this man does. When he draws the line in Syria against Assad and nothing happens to Assad -- he's now saying he's contained Putin.

Putin owns the Crimea, has dismembered the Ukraine. And the only reason Putin is suffering is because gas prices have gone down because of OPEC. Nothing we have done has put Putin in a box. And the Iranians are sizing up Obama. And I don't like the way they view him, because I think he has been weakened, indecisive from one end of the planet to the other.

SCHIEFFER: You're not talking about taking military action against North Korea, are you?

GRAHAM: I'm talking about -- well, you can't attack their First Amendment because they don't have one. I doubt if they have many movie theaters.

I'm talking about putting them in a spot in the world where they are diminished beyond where they are today. I'm talking about consulting with China and holding them accountable. Without China, there is no North Korea. Reimposing sanctions. But what's the next attack coming.

Could it be on our power plants? Could it be on our financial services? This is the first act of cyber-warfare that's really gotten a lot of attention. How the president handles this is very important.

It's so nice to see we've got the part of petulant children back in charge of the Senate again.


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