South Carolinian Senator Lindsey Graham doesn’t win many battles. I am giving him a victory; an award as the craziest old coot in Washington, barely defeating his warmongering close friend, John McCain. These two Senators are perfect examples of why we must have term limits in Congress. They are out of touch with their constituents, and unrealistic about the future of our nation and where it needs to be in the 21st century. Graham’s remarks are all too often confrontational without discussion, and offensive without compassion.
In September of last year Graham voted to approve President Obama’s plan to take offensive action against ISIS. Now that the President has placed an official proposal before Congress to allow the use of force against the terrorist cult, critics from both sides of the aisle are voicing opinions without understanding the entire picture; and Graham is the worst of the lot.
Democrats are fearful that giving the President too much authority will result in boots on the ground; while Republicans fear that Mr. Obama will not send in ground forces.
When Graham appeared on the ‘Situation Room’ on CNN with Wolf Blitzer, he became irate, claiming that he knows much more about foreign affairs than the President, and continues to ignore the American people.
Graham finds no common ground with the President in regards to a strategy to defeat ISIS. He wants to immediately send 10,000 ground forces and support them with helicopters and tanks. In other words he is willing to fill thousands of body bags with our soldiers once again; but he won’t be in one of them. The leaders of warring nations never risk their own lives or the lives of their families.
Graham’s focus appeared to be more directed at Syria and Assad’s regime than destroying ISIS. He believes that by training the Kurds and Iraqi’s to attack ISIS forces in Syria will result in Assad deciding to attack them, fearing future fighting against his forces. He foresees air strikes in Syria, and creating a ‘no-fly’ zone to protect coalition forces. His true ambition is to topple Assad.
Let’s get to the core of the problem in the Middle East, and the only reasonable solution.
The battles in Syria and Iraq are between Shiites and Sunnis, forcing the Kurds to defend their own territory. The very existence of this ‘religious’ war is the result of the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
Saddam Hussein was an evil dictator, of that there is no question. However, when he was in control of Iraq, the area was far more stable than today. Hussein was a Sunni, and therefore they controlled the Shiites and the nation. Sunnis are the largest Muslim population in the Middle East comprising more than 90 percent of all people; Shiites make up about 10 percent. Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Syria are predominately Sunni.
The illegal invasion of Iraq by the United States in 2003 not only disrupted life in Iraq, it also inspired other Sunni nations to vow a restoration of control in the region. The United States became a universal target.
After a decade’s long occupation, the United States left Iraq under the control of a Shiite regime. It began immediately to retaliate against the Sunnis who lorded over them under Hussein. A group of thugs and villains such as ISIS was easily created. And although ISIS is not a true Islamic group, they have used religious pretense for their own benefit and ambitions.
The region is well aware that Shiite controlled Iraq is allied with Iran, which has the areas only dominate Shia population at 90 percent.
America created a religious civil war of previously impossible proportions.
The people of the United States have been led to believe that ISIS is a direct threat to our nation. Although it has become a terrorist cult which our nation would like to see destroyed, the battle against ISIS is a battle which belongs to those who reside in the Middle East. It is a war for the true followers of Islam to wage.
The United States has no rationale for waging another war in the region; we have far too many problems within our own country. For everything which benefits the majority of the American people, there is no money. If Washington decides to go to war, the funding is always available and always approved.
Hawks such as Graham and McCain are a danger to the American people. They would gladly place our young men and women in harm’s way once more. And then they’ll tell us how proud they are of them, and how we all must support them; until they come home in one fashion or another.
I have to think about something here; when did we last win a war? Oh, yeah; in 1945; it was WWII.
Commentary by James Turnage