Wes Hickman (202) 224-5972 or Kevin Bishop (864) 250-1417
– U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made this statement on release of the Iraq Study Group report. Graham is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
“I appreciate the views expressed by the members of the ISG and the time they have devoted to this endeavor. They are a distinguished group of Americans and I will review their recommendations along with those that will be made in several other reports in the coming months.
“One of the major provisions of the ISG report is the need to engage Iran and Syria about the outcome in Iraq. We must recognize the limitations of this approach.
“By his words and actions, the President of Iran has shown himself to be a very dangerous man. My biggest fear in talking directly to him is that he will take it as a sign of weakness and use it to continue his nuclear ambitions. In many ways, a nuclear-armed Iran, combined with their current political leadership, is even more dangerous than a failed state in Iraq.
“Syria is a police state and led by a brutal dictator. President Assad does not believe in democracy, freedom, or the rule of law. These are the cornerstone values we are trying to help foster in a free and democratic Iraq.
“I hope our nation can be united around the idea that winning in Iraq makes us stronger. However if that proves to be impossible, I would rather our nation be divided behind a winning strategy than united behind a losing one.
“I believe Iraq is the central battlefront in the War on Terror and we have no alternative but to win.”