Lindsey Graham: God’s Warrior


Colonel Lindsey Graham receives Meritorious Service Medal from Air Force judge advocate general  on April 28, 2009.

Colonel Lindsey Graham receives Meritorious Service Medal from Air Force judge advocate general on April 28, 2009.

War hero and humble patriot* Lindsey Olin Graham, United States Senator who holds the Strom Thurmond seat from South Carolina (a seat which, I believe, Thurmond himself received from General Beauregard, the original liberator of South Carolina and another* American war hero), is one of the wise men of American foreign policy, as you will have gathered if you spend time receiving you information about our wise men from Sunday morning television news shows or if you happen to see a television report on any violence taking place anywhere on the planet. Graham’s well-earned fame as a foreign policy and military guru comes, not just from his own extensive combat experience, but also* from being a member of that well-known trio of foreign policy experts, whose other members included Senator John McCain and one-time Senator Joe Lieberman. The members of this trio have been and are (except for Lieberman who for some reason chose not to stand for re-election in Connecticut, after forming his own, one-man party, Connecticut for Lieberman) routinely called upon by the broadcast networks to offer their advice to guide our Republic in every international crisis or brewing crisis. John McCain, of course, had combat experience during the Vietnam War. Although Joe Lieberman had no actual combat experience, because he was unfortunately forced (like Dick Cheney by the imperative of “other priorities”) to accept an education deferment from the Vietnam draft and when his education was completed a “family exemption,” his credentials as an expert are unassailable by virtue of hanging out with two* American War heroes*. The advice they offer ranges from massive U.S. military force, usually air force (the combat experience of both* John McCain and Lindsey Graham*) to the more subdued response, when restraint is called for, of arming untrained and unknown “freedom fighters” with state of the art firepower to deal with our, and therefore the world’s, enemies. When there is not a crisis brewing, they have always maintained that our Chief Executive should continuously threaten to use American force, more-or-less randomly throughout the world, purely for its benign effects. It is a modification of Theodore Roosevelt’s adage and can be called the Big Missile/Bigger Mouth approach. For example, the now-reduced-to-two experts jointly criticized the President for the capture by Sunni insurgents this past January of the Iraqi city of Fallujah (a city whose “Americanization” took so much blood, sweat and tears by McCain, Graham and Lieberman) for failing to either use massive American force, arm massively the Iraqi government or talk loud enough about doing one of the former. It doesn’t matter which one of these was the failure, because the President did none of them, and clearly one of three things would have “saved” Fallujah.

With Israel’s increasingly bloody incursion into Gaza, and the brutal slaying of civilians, including children, the destruction of homes, and the massive use of firepower in densely populated cities, it is of course natural to want to know what Graham suggests here. After all, we have armed Israel to the teeth (and that seems to be at least part of the reason they have no incentive to negotiate a peaceful outcome of hostilities that have so far lasted longer than the Thirty Years War), and we constantly claim that we support Israel, no matter what. As far as I can tell, the brutality of American military would be superfluous in this situation. So it would be instructive to hear from someone with extensive policy experience and down-to-earth, practical combat experience.*

[*Update: It has come to my attention that Lindsey Graham never actually participated in combat. He served only as a lawyer, principally drafting wills and the like for soldiers who went to combat. My only excuse for this egregious mistake, although it hardly justifies it, is that Graham himself called himself “Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm veteran” in his own website while running for Senate (the website you can see here). This site was not changed even after it was shown to be false. He also, according to The Hill, which broke the fact that he didn’t actually serve in combat, went about calling himself a “Gulf War Veteran” in hundreds of appearances. And even his official congressional biography, now since taken down, said the same thing. As a result Who’s Who and The Political Almanac included the claim. Now when The Hill brought to light the fact that as a National Guardsman he never left the shores of South Carolina, where he was evidently defending Fort Sumner from any possible sedition, he explained that he should have said “Gulf era veteran” and that he was not responsible for the fact that various publications erroneously claimed he had combat experience. He did admit that he was responsible for his own campaign website and the official congress ion biography, but insisted that he did not intend to mislead anyone. I guess I have to confess I did not pick up that nuance. Mea culpa.]

So what is Patriot Graham’s take on the crisis in Gaza? Well, this time you won’t find his most trenchant analysis on Sunday morning network TV. You would have to go to the latest convocation of Christians United for Israel. Since, dear reader, you probably don’t have sufficient credentials of orthodox faith to be admitted, you will have to take David Weigel’s word for what transpired. Christians United for Israel, for those who are not well versed in end-of-times think tanks, is the organization created by John Hagee, a minister of Jesus Christ who specializes in explaining how the end of the world will shortly come about and what Christians can do to hasten that event in which most of the inhabitants of earth will be plunged into cosmic war after which they will be thrown in the fiery pit. You can easily order one of his books on the subject to learn the details, but suffice it here to say that it will make Israel’s incursion into the Gaza appear like our historical benevolence to Latin America. Speaking of which, one of the panelists at the Christians United conference was Elliot Abrams, who own contribution to our benevolence to the strongmen in Argentina’s Dirty War and the death squads of Central America (not to mention his conviction, since pardoned, for lying to Congress on these subjects) we noted some time back. It must have seemed like Old Home Week to Abrams when he heard the thrilling words of speaker Sgt. Benjamin Anthony, an Israel Defense Forces veteran: “Hamas started this war. The soldiers of Israel must smash their skulls and break their spines.”

Thrilling as such call to genocide is, and touching as the undeniable pathos and humility of Sheldon and Miriam Adelson, who were honored by Pastor Hagee for some reason, perhaps for nearly derailing Governor Chris Christie’s nascent run for President for his faux pas calling Palestinian terrifies occupied by Israel’s occupying forces “occupied territories,” in telling the audience of war whoopers that they would have prevented the holocaust (if they were, say, 80 years younger and weren’t right-wing Republicans then), I bring this up merely to see what Senator Graham said. And after this long introduction, here it is:

 Here’s a message for America: Don’t ever turn your back on Israel, because God will turn his back on us. More Germans died in World War II than American soldiers. That didn’t make the Germans right.

Graham had deftly picked up on the suggestion that Pastor Hagee opened the conference with: To disregard the casualty reports. And how better than to compare some and children to Nazi soldiers? And what could be more compelling proof of God’s will for America than the relentless carnage of our client? In a few words the Senator showed how he has been able to hold on to the Beauregard-Thurmond seat in the Senate and why our finest broadcast journalists seek his advice. Rarely is the valor of a tested combat veteran combined with the integrity of a man who doesn’t lie about his past in the form of an incisive intellect as is show in this senator.

  1. Truly amazing. I’ve suspected Graham as being a mindless Christian warrior rather than an amoral neocon like Cheney.

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