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Lindsey Graham’s Screwy Plan for Iraq is Why He Should Never Be Taken Seriously

Amid the atrocities taking place in Iraq at the hands of jihadis operating as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), three opinions about the region have been vindicated:

1) Given the instability of the Middle East, perhaps Iraq was better off under the control of a despotic, secular strongman.

2) We really have no business meddling in the Middle East.

3) And we should never again take the Iraq War hawks seriously on anything.

Regarding point three, as the situation in Iraq deteriorates, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has been making his usual television rounds proving exactly how galactically incompetent he really is, especially on foreign policy. Why anyone would actually give him air time at this point is beyond me, but there he was Sunday morning in spite of the fact that he’s been wrong about Iraq from the beginning. But now, he’s more than just wrong, he’s not only contradicting himself, he’s also coming off as a Middle East dilettante, with a minimal grasp of the sectarian alliances and divisions that have fueled violence there since forever.

As if he dusted off the “mushroom cloud” script from 2002, Graham appeared on CNN’s State of the Union and said the following with a straight face somehow:

“This is another 9/11 in the making. The FBI director has warned us in Congress that Syria and Iraq present a direct threat to our homeland.”

I accept that we Americans are notorious for having frustratingly short memories, but I’m old enough to remember when this was part of the list of justifications for the invasion of Iraq in the first place: that Saddam Hussein was behind the 9/11 plot, and that he’d follow it up with weapons of mass destruction. If we didn’t invade and replace Saddam with a western-friendly government, more 9/11-style attacks were inevitable.

With Ground Zero still smoldering throughout the 2002 pitch for Iraq, it was a predictably effective strategy given the nearly unanimous popular and congressional support for invading (including, by the way, such names as Kerry, Biden and Rodham-Clinton). The pitch turned out to be, shall we say, inaccurate, and the execution of the war was badly botched. Sadly for thousands of American soldiers and many more Iraqi civilians, not to mention untold casualties yet to come, there’s no CTRL-Z in Iraq. The damage is done and more damage will surely continue into the foreseeable future, just as so many Middle East wonks had predicted from day one.

Lindsey Graham might fancy himself a Middle East expert, but his words betray his delusional self-image, exposing him as a twangy, out-of-his-depth buffoon (with apologies to buffoons). He continued… READ MORE

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