The United States just averted what would have been an unnecessary war against Syria, largely due to public opposition. But Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is already beating the drum again, this time calling for war against Iran.
“I believe the Iranians are trying to develop a nuclear weapon, not build a nuclear power plant,” Graham, who supported military strikes against Syria, told Mike Huckabee last weekend on Fox News.
“Look, how we’ve handled the chemical weapons threat in Syria. If we duplicate that with the Iranians, they’re going to march toward a nuclear weapon and dare Israel to attack them,” said Graham. “So in the next six months, our friends in Israel are going to have to take the Iranians on unless the United States can send a clear signal to Iran unlike we’ve sent to Syria.
Graham, who is facing three Republican primary challengers in his bid for re-election next year, said that he plans to put together a bipartisan coalition that will support the use of force to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.
“I’m going to get a bipartisan coalition together. We’re going to put together a use of force resolution, allowing our country to use military force as a last resort to stop the Iranian nuclear program to make sure they get a clear signal that all this debacle called Syria doesn’t mean we’re confused about Iran,” explained Graham. “We may be confused as a nation on what to do with the chemical weapons in Syria, but we’re not confused as a nation as to what to do with the nuclear program in Iran.”
“I think Republicans, Democrats, libertarians and vegetarians all believe the Iranians cannot be allowed to get a nuclear weapon, and we have to send that signal, and I’m going to draft a resolution allowing force to be used to stop their program,” he continued.
“Israel feels abandoned after Syria, and I want to send a signal to Tehran, and Jerusalem, and Tel Aviv that we’re not going to leave our friends in Israel behind,” he added. “And to the Ayatollahs, if you march toward a nuclear weapon, all options are on the table, including the military option.”
Graham presented a scenario, which is nothing short of fearmongering, claiming that if Iran develops a nuclear weapon that it’ll create an arms race in the Middle East, potentially putting a nuclear weapon in the hands of terrorists.
Earlier this month, Graham told a group of constituents that failure to take action Syria would embolden Iran and could lead to a nuclear weapon coming to the Charleston Harbor, one of the busiest ports in the United States.
President Barack Obama said last week that the United States is ready to use military force against Iran should they proceed to develop a nuclear weapon. Earlier this year, he claimed that the Middle Eastern country was a year away from having nuclear capability, though the most recent intelligence report suggested that Iran was not trying to build a bomb.
What Graham is pushing is basically war for the sake of war, based upon a perceived threat that may or may not exist, because his last push for war was unsuccessful. Because war, or something.
In all seriousness, Iran is not Syria. There are much, much greater consequences by targeting them that would almost certainly lead the United States down a path to World War III. That’s not something for which anyone should clamour.