Senator Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) can almost always be counted on to provide the most militarily hawkish counsel at any given moment, even — perhaps especially — when that counsel is least wise. A habit born amid the Iraq War, of which he was one of the most prominent supporters, it has continued for many years. In April 2011, he called for the U.S. to “go to Tripoli, start bombing Qaddafi’s inner circle, their compounds, their military headquarters in Tripoli,” adding, “I think the focus should now be to cut the head of the snake off. That’s the quickest way to end this.” And in 2019, he called for U.S. military action in Venezuela. All this despite the fact that sometimes not even he can keep track of what we are and aren’t doing abroad; in 2017, Graham was surprised to find that we had troops in Niger.
As Russia wages a brutal and unjust war on Ukraine, a crisis requiring sober analysis and serious statesmanship, Graham has once again seen fit to play Leeroy Jenkins. From his Twitter account has come ill-advised musing:
Is there a Brutus in Russia? Is there a more successful Colonel Stauffenberg in the Russian military?
The only way this ends is for somebody in Russia to take this guy out.
You would be doing your country – and the world – a great service.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) March 4, 2022
There are many complications in the ongoing conflict, one that is largely beyond my ability to comment on competently. But you don’t have to be a military genius to figure out that open calls by important U.S. political figures for Vladimir Putin’s assassination are certain to play right into Putin’s hands (now any domestic discontent with his actions can be cast as a U.S. psyop), perhaps further unsettle his possibly damaged mind, and escalate an already gruesome conflict. Graham should know this, and refrain from dashing off such reckless messages on Twitter — or anywhere else.
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