President Donald Trump has smacked down neoconservative Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) after Graham had the audacity to label Trump’s maneuvering on Iran as “weak.”
No Lindsey, it was a sign of strength that some people just don’t understand! https://t.co/EU8AvfH7j9
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 18, 2019
Trump did not appreciate Graham’s acts of disloyalty toward him, and doubled down today with attacks on Graham. He mentioned Graham’s history of advocating failed foreign policy in the Middle East.
“Ask Lindsey how did going into the Middle East, how did that work out? And how did going into Iraq work out? So, we have a disagreement on that,” Trump said to reporters in San Diego on Wednesday.
“No I actually think it’s a sign of strength. We have the strongest military in the world now. And I think it’s a great sign of strength,” Trump said about his decision not to strike Iran after they shot down a U.S. drone that may have been in Iranian airspace.
“I think probably Iran made a mistake. I would imagine it was a general or somebody that made a mistake in shooting that drone down. Fortunately, that drone was unarmed,” Trump said at the time.
Trump had the chance to commit a military strike against Iran in June, when tensions between the nations were at their peak. He ultimately decided not to do so, citing humanitarian concerns.
….proportionate to shooting down an unmanned drone. I am in no hurry, our Military is rebuilt, new, and ready to go, by far the best in the world. Sanctions are biting & more added last night. Iran can NEVER have Nuclear Weapons, not against the USA, and not against the WORLD!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 21, 2019
While Trump maintains that force is on the table to deal with the Iranian threat, his consideration for human life sets him apart from his globalist predecessors, and the notoriously hawkish Graham is triggered as a result.
Graham was a proponent of the war in Iraq, and remains a cheerleader for the disastrous invasion to this very day – even as President Trump calls it the greatest mistake in U.S. history.
“I think at the end of the day, if I know now, then what I know now, a land invasion may not have been the right answer, but Saddam Hussein was firing at American planes patrolling Iraqi skies under international law. He was denying U.N. weapons inspectors access to sites where we thought there would be weapons of mass destruction. He was killing his own people,” Graham said in 2015 on CNN.
“The biggest mistake we made was leaving Iraq without a follow-on force against sound military advice. There’s two things going on in the Mideast that people need to understand. Of the Islamic faith. A fight for the heart and soul radical Islamists are a small minority. We need to decide with the 95% who would live in peace with us to destroy this ideology and people in the Middle East are no longer living in dictatorships for our convenience,” he added.
Graham even regurgitates the myth that Iraq had something to do with the Sept. 11 attacks, a falsehood that was used by the Bush administration to sell the public on the unnecessary and catastrophic war.
“To those who think this is a temporary problem or that we brought this upon ourselves you don’t know what you’re talking about. We got hit in 2001, two years before we invaded Iraq. We didn’t have one soldier, we didn’t have an embassy, we didn’t have one dime of aide going into Afghanistan but they hit us anyway because this is a religious war, not caused by Iraq or Libya,” Graham said.
While surrounding himself with hawks in his administration, Trump has deviated from the neoconservative status quo in many aspects. The President’s spat with Graham is illustrative of his non-interventionist leanings.