Wednesday, November 10, 2010

GOP senator rattles saber with talk of pummeling Iran


By PAT MURPHY
Express Staff Writer

Combined spending for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has nearly driven the United States to the poorhouse. Yet Republican U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham is rattling the saber for a military strike on Iran that would literally pulverize the Muslim country's military.

Nothing ambiguous about Graham.

"So my view of military force would be not to just neutralize their nuclear program ... but to sink their navy, destroy their air force and deliver a decisive blow to the Revolutionary Council."

For good measure, "In other words, neuter that regime."

This didn't go down well with his Canadian hosts at the Halifax International Security Forum or with American colleagues who were attending.

Israel, of course, has been agitating off and on for such a preemptive strike on Iran, hinting it might carry out a strike, which would draw the United States into the action to help defend Israel against retaliation.

Remember the last preemptive strike in that neck of the woods? Remember the soothing, sanguine talk in the Bush administration about U.S. troops' being greeted as liberators by Iraqis in Baghdad? That was 2003 and U.S. troops are still facing street terrorists there.

Nine years in Afghanistan has not resulted in victory.

And now Sen. Graham, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, is chatting up what he seems to think would be an easy pummeling of Iran.

A three-war front.

Although he's a colonel in the military reserves, Graham must've not read what his superiors have been saying—that U.S. military personnel are worn out from repeated deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan and equipment is just as bad. The U.S. public is worn out, too—with the costs of the wars, deceit of politicians claiming victory is just around the corner and the incessant reports of GI casualties.

Graham's eagerness to stir up another war and throw burned-out forces and equipment into another fight with Muslim terrorists contradicts his concerns about military morale and spirit: "Our men and women in uniform are already heavily laden, and I'm worried about how this change will affect them.  It seems very unfair, at a time when the nation is involved in two wars, to make this dramatic change without the input of all our service members, including our enlisted personnel."

That time he was fretting that troops would be upset if the ban on gays serving openly in the military is repealed.

Odd values, this senator has. Worried about upsetting troops with gays in the ranks, but not worried about hurling them into another war.




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