South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham insisted on Monday that the Iraq War was not a mistake. Appearing on CNN’s “The Situation Room” with Wolf Blitzer, Graham defended the Iraq War. The South Carolina Senator offered vague and tepid criticism of how the war was carried out, but he stood firm in arguing that ousting Saddam Hussein was the right thing to do to stabilize the region.
Not only did Graham defend President Bush, but he also spun history on its head by saying that Barack Obama was to blame for the mess in Iraq. Senator Graham stated:
At the end of the day, I blame President Obama for the mess in Iraq and Syria, not President Bush.
The hawkish Senator then told Wolf Blitzer, that if he is elected President, he will send more troops back into Iraq, more than tripling the number of troops there from 3,000 to 10,000. In rhetoric that resembled Bush’s language leading up to the initial invasion of Iraq, Graham argued that more troops are needed in Iraq to prevent a terrorist attack on American soil. Graham told Blitzer:
It will take us thousands of American soldiers over there to protect millions of us back here at home.
While many of the other Republican presidential hopefuls are working to disassociate themselves from the Iraq War disaster, Senator Graham is tying his presidential aspirations to that failed policy. The South Carolina Senator fully embraces the worldview of Dick Cheney and other neo-conservative architects of the Iraq War.
In Graham’s myopic view, military force is almost always the answer to any international question. He has little interest in diplomacy. Instead, he relishes the opportunity to project American military power across the globe, in some sort of real-life, high stakes game of Risk. Graham refuses to acknowledge that the Iraq War was a mistake. He is eager to repeat that mistake, in the unlikely event he ever becomes president.