Sep 27 2004

Graham Responds to Sen. Edward Kennedy

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made the following statement on Senator Edward Kennedy’s (D-Massachusetts) remarks at George Washington University where he attacked President Bush’s handling of the Iraq war and even said he thanked God that President Bush was not President during the Cuban missile crisis. In his prepared remarks Kennedy said, “The President's handling of the war has been a toxic mix of ignorance, arrogance, and stubborn ideology.” He also said, “Iraq has been a constant perilous distraction from the real war on terrorism.” Graham responded: “Senator Kennedy’s evaluation and criticism of the war effort is over the top and represents a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of the conflict we are in and the nature of our enemy. “Unfortunately, the consequences of the verbal attacks from Senators Kennedy and John Kerry will only deflate our allies who are fighting and dying for freedom in Iraq. “The Kennedy/Kerry model of promising withdrawal beginning next year sends the wrong signal to the terrorists. Their comments embolden those trying to deny democracy to the Iraqi people. That’s not the kind of encouragement pro-democracy forces, who are risking their lives, need at this time. “Thank God President Bush understands our current crisis is not the Cuban Missile Crisis but involves a ruthless enemy our nation cannot negotiate with. “Thank God President Bush understands that ruthless, brutal regimes like Saddam Hussein must be dealt with aggressively. We can see from Libya’s efforts to dismantle their weapons program that strong responses do work in the Middle East. “Finally, thank God President Bush understands the limitations of the United Nations. The Kennedy/Kerry model of turning over control to the U.N. ignores the fact the U.N. has had a pathetic record when it comes to controlling ruthless dictators. “The Kennedy/Kerry model of withdrawal, defeatism, and over-reliance on the U.N. is a formula for disaster. Their plan would certainly destroy any possibility of creating a democratic Iraq which would be a transforming event for the Middle East. Future stability in Iraq will lead to greater stability in the Middle East. “There’s no doubt in my mind the Kennedy/Kerry plan is the wrong plan for America and winning the war on terrorism.” #####