Apr 14 2018

Graham Statement On Syria Strikes

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made this statement.

“I applaud and admire the bravery of our men and women in uniform.  They continue to carry out their duties and responsibilities in a manner which makes all Americans proud.

“President Trump deserves credit for working with our allies and ordering this strike against Assad.  He is a ruthless butcher who has murdered hundreds of thousands of Syrians and should be considered a war criminal. 

“But I fear that when the dust settles this strike will be seen as a weak military response and Assad will have paid a small price for using chemical weapons yet again.  Assad has likely calculated a limited American strike is just the cost of doing business.  Russia and Iran will view the limited action as the United States being content to drop a few bombs before heading for the exits.  We seem to have settled on and be comfortable with being the chemical weapons police. 

“It’s not the type of sustained, game-changing strategy that will lead to Assad, Russia, or Iran changing or reevaluating their strategy in Syria.  It is clear our military response was a tactical response meant to deter future chemical weapons attacks.  That’s a positive.  But it was not part of an overall strategy to degrade Assad’s war making capability or counter Iranian and Russian aggression. 

“To those who believe the administration does not have a strategy when it comes to Syria, I respectfully disagree.  The administration does have a strategy – and it’s to withdraw from Syria as quickly as possible.

“To do so will be letting the radical Islamists off the mat to regroup and organize, put Israel at increased risk from Iran and its proxy Hezbollah who will now have two neighboring countries (Syria and Lebanon) to use as bases of operations, strengthen the role of Putin’s Russia in the Middle East, and create havoc for our Arab allies in the region.  At the end of the day, this will be seen as a victory for Russia and Iran.  It’s a nightmare for the Syrian people and our regional allies, both Arab and Israeli.  We have seen this movie before.  It does not end well and is a recipe for disaster.

“Ignoring the situation in Syria, simply saying — Not Our Problem — was a losing strategy when President Obama adopted it five years ago.  And it’s a losing strategy still today.”