Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has been chewing down his fingernails ever since President Trump’s first suggestion that US troops should come home from the Middle East. Last December, when Trump made it clear that he wanted to end the US troop presence in Syria and let the people of the region take care of their own problems, Graham took to an accommodating media (across the supposed ideological spectrum) to slam, damn, and threaten the president for even entertaining such a thought.
“Withdrawal of this small American force in Syria would be a huge Obama-like mistake,” Tweeted Graham on December 19, 2018. It was a typical neocon act of duplicity: how could Obama be blamed for “withdrawal” when he’s the one who got us into Syria in the first place? Getting out would be the anti-Obama – but Graham never lets facts get in the way of his neocon hysteria.
Graham followed up with this threat in his typical theatrical style:
President Trump – I will help you any way I can … but because you’re a Republican, I’m not going to ignore what I believe…I’m going to give you an honest evaluation. I was willing to support a Democrat if he followed sound military advice. I’m willing to fight a Republican if you don’t.
Translation: if you even think about keeping your campaign promises to pull back from US troops in the Middle East I will do my best to take you down.
Lindsey Graham ran for president on exactly these themes against Trump in 2016: more war, more regime change, more US troops across the globe. He never broke one percent in the polls and by December 2015 he scurried off with his tail between his legs.
Americans resoundingly rejected Lindsey Graham’s foreign policy of war and conflict and embraced Trump’s foreign policy of “bring the troops home” and “get along with Russia.”
After the shrill reaction to last year’s withdrawal announcement (including a hissy fit by his then-Defense Secretary James Mattis), Trump moved to accommodate Graham and others in the neocon camp, putting his troop withdrawal order on hold while his subordinates “explained” that Trump didn’t really mean what he said.
Supporters saw yet another “flip-flop” and shook their heads at the weakness at the top.
At the beginning of this month, however, as US troops found themselves caught in a crossfire between the military forces of Turkey, Syria, Russia, and the Kurds, Trump sprung into action and ordered the relocation and ultimate removal of US forces from Syria. He likely saved the lives of more than a few US troops.
Once again though, Graham took to attacking Trump, confident that the President doesn’t really mean what he says – or that he can be convinced by a few threats to change his mind.
Graham inexplicably warned that removing US troops who are illegally occupying Syrian desert territory thousands of miles from home would put the US at risk! He again took to the fawning, pro-war mainstream media to elaborate:
I think he’s putting the nation at risk, and I think he’s putting his presidency at risk…And I hope he will adjust his policies like he did before. That would be actually be a sign of real leadership.Shorter Graham: Trump’s a wimp. He’ll back down as he did before and we’ll pat him on the head and assure him that being weak is actually being strong.
Unfortunately Trump seems to have forgotten just how unpopular Lindsey Graham and the other neocons really are among not only his base of support, but across the board among Americans.
As Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) puts it, Lindsey Graham has been “wrong on every foreign policy issue this century.”
So why listen to Graham?
While literally every single American not inside the Beltway or the MSM propaganda machine views Sen. Lindsey Graham as a complete idiot on foreign policy, he still seems for some reason to hold sway over President Trump. Not a week after this latest Trump attempt to make it clear that the US was not just moving some troops from Syria to Syria but getting out of Syria, President Trump just yesterday did another flip-flop and decided to actually ADD more military equipment (and likely personnel) to Syria.
“We’ll take their oil,” was Trump’s message. And, sadly, in that he again let Graham take the lead in the neocon’s murderous danse macabre.
As Lindsey Graham said yesterday, we’ll send in more troops and then steal their oil to make them pay for us sending in more troops:
…By increasing the production of the oil fields, we will be helping our Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) allies who fought bravely to destroy ISIS Caliphate. We can use some of the revenues from future Syrian oil sales to pay our military commitment in Syria.That’s just what the neocons were arguing in 2002 as they pushed the war on Iraq. And we all know how that worked out. Trump is a chump for listening to Graham.
Daniel McAdams is director of the The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity. Reprinted from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity.