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Graham’s Deranged Idea for Attacking North Korea

Lindsey Graham outdoes himself [1] in warmongering with a new call for attacking North Korea:

“Would you be for a preemptive strike?” Today Show host Willie Geist asked the South Carolina Republican. “If that’s what it would take,” Graham replied resolutely.

“It would be terrible but the war would be over here (there), wouldn’t be here,” Graham continued. “It would be bad for the Korean Peninsula. It would be bad for China. It would be bad for Japan, be bad for South Korea. It would be the end of North Korea. But what it would not do is hit America [bold mine-DL] and the only way it could ever come to America is with a missile.”

Graham routinely supports the most irresponsible, dangerous, and immoral policies, so it is not surprising that he is in favor of doing this. The striking thing about his answer is how cavalier he is about calling for starting a war that he admits would be disastrous for everyone in the region. Leave aside that he completely forgets about the tens of thousands of Americans stationed in South Korea that would come under immediate attack in retaliation for the so-called “preemptive strike” he wants. Note that the action he’s talking about wouldn’t actually be “preemptive,” but would be an unprovoked attack and the start of a major war. Leave it to Graham to find a way to find a North Korea policy so horrible that it puts the U.S. in the wrong.

The senator casually contemplates a course of action that would likely lead to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people and destabilize the region for years to come and he shrugs it off by saying the war “wouldn’t be here.” It doesn’t shock me that a professional warmonger doesn’t care about the effects of this preferred policies, but it is a bit of a surprise that he is so open about his callous disregard for the lives of civilians and soldiers in South Korea and Japan who would pay the price for the act of aggression he supports. The next time you hear Graham feign concern for lives lost in some foreign conflict or pretend to be on the side of our allies, remember this answer and realize that his only desire is to get the U.S. into more unnecessary wars regardless of the consequences.

30 Comments (Open | Close)

30 Comments To "Graham’s Deranged Idea for Attacking North Korea"

#1 Comment By Query On April 20, 2017 @ 4:01 pm

“The next time you hear Graham feign concern for lives lost in some foreign conflict or pretend to be on the side of our allies, remember this answer and realize that his only desire is to get the U.S. into more unnecessary wars regardless of the consequences.”

(@ Daniel Larison): Why? I ask the question seriously, and I’m interested in your answer.
Why is Graham like this? What’s driving it?

I have suspicions and hypotheses of my own, but you spend a hell of a lot more time meditating these things and poring over Graham’s pronouncements and votes than I do, and I value your opinion.

#2 Comment By Chris Chuba On April 20, 2017 @ 4:01 pm

Every article on Lindsey Graham should have the word ‘deranged’ in either the title or first sentence.

Kim wants to remain in power with no threat of attack. We don’t want him to have Nukes or ICBMs.
We offer to leave S. Korea and recognize his right to develop and test ballistic missiles with some limited range to be worked out by our military.

Lift sanctions, restart oil shipments, and build the light water reactors promised under the Clinton Admin. In return he decommissions his heavy water reactors and destroys his nuclear weapons and Plutonium supply.

Am I making it sound simple? Good, why not. I am not being any more simple minded than the people who think that he is going to voluntarily give up all of his weapons because we fired 59 Tomahawk missiles at Syria.

#3 Comment By Uncle Billy On April 20, 2017 @ 4:02 pm

So a new “Korean War” is fine and dandy, so long as few Americans are killed? Hundreds of thousands or even millions of Koreans killed (north and south) is acceptable to Graham. I detect a whiff of racism here, in addition to the craziness.

#4 Comment By collin On April 20, 2017 @ 4:31 pm

WTF???? I sure the South Koreans are really excited by this administration and our Congressman playing General Buck Turgidson from Dr. Strangelove. Sure we will get our hair mussed up and a few million Koreans & possibly Japanese will be killed. (Any guesses on Portland?)

This stuff is crazy…And T Rex is talking about Iran like it was North Korea after Iran continues to comply with the nuclear deal. But they are EVIL!!

#5 Comment By EngineerScotty On April 20, 2017 @ 5:08 pm

Someone needs to find a new Trump-whisperer…

#6 Comment By Skeptic On April 20, 2017 @ 5:21 pm

Every time I think U.S. politics has hit rock bottom, it digs even deeper. Such arrogant amorality — to give it its due — requires nonetheless a certain inventiveness. Fine work, Sen. Graham.

#7 Comment By jk On April 20, 2017 @ 9:06 pm

Placating Neocons is like placating SJW’s. Give any ground, they simply demand more and are more obnoxious. Nothing satisfies them.

#8 Comment By Burrito Aficionado On April 20, 2017 @ 9:57 pm

Yeah, same as how decades of American meddling in Muslim countries didn’t hit US–

Oh, wait…

#9 Comment By Viriato On April 20, 2017 @ 10:07 pm

I have never understood why the media gives this clown any time at all, let alone presents him as a leading voice on foreign policy.

On second thought, what I wrote above is too harsh. I apologize if I offended any clowns by comparing them to this vile cretin.

#10 Comment By Nest of Vipers On April 20, 2017 @ 11:34 pm

Bet you thought nobody’d notice Bill Kristol looking on with grave vacuousness in the lower right of that photo. What other malefactors and empty suits were lurking? There’s something Jeff-Sessions-like about the out-of-focus character standing behind the curtain to Graham’s right, but I can’t see him willingly breathing the same air as Graham and Kristol.

#11 Comment By Jack On April 20, 2017 @ 11:57 pm

This man is deranged.

#12 Comment By Janwaar Bibi On April 21, 2017 @ 12:48 am

War is too important to be left to armchair generals.

#13 Comment By Furbo On April 21, 2017 @ 4:39 am

This type of behavior has been N Korean policy for the last two decades: need more rice/oil/..oreo’s? Act up a bit and get some attention. It does present an outstanding opportunity for China to achieve a strategic dominance in the region tho. Seems they could easily poison the Dear Leader with a bit of Rusky help, instigate a military takeover, bring market reforms to N Korea under the Chinese model and then a coup de grasse, sponsor the reunification of Korea. Suddenly the Chinese are genuine world leaders – there is no need for US troops, air, or naval power to remain in the region, and they dominate the Pacific rim.

#14 Comment By JCDavis On April 21, 2017 @ 7:27 am

“Why is Graham like this? What’s driving it?”

Look at the photo of the man behind him–Bill Kristol, whose father Irving Kristol was the godfather of the neocons and a one time Trotskyite. Irving dropped most of that revolutionary fervor but kept the desire for world empire. That goal drives all the neocons, and to achieve it, those countries that won’t join us as vassal states will be destroyed. China and Russia are the ultimate targets. They know it, and I expect their apparent cooperation with Trump on NK is a trap.

#15 Comment By Sean On April 21, 2017 @ 7:45 am

The U.S. has already killed three million North Koreans, 90% civilian. With impunity.

#16 Comment By cstrom On April 21, 2017 @ 10:35 am

The only way I would favor a pre-emptive strike is if Russia and China were onboard and it meant that we would pull all of our troops from South Korea after we dismantle the entire North Korean military regime. But I wouldn’t want one innocent individual killed collaterally. I would almost favor sending in willing teams to take out the leadership if possible – again, if China and Russia were on board and it meant we could remove our forces from South Korea knowing that the Chinese would never encroach on that area. I just don’t understand why we have to continue to fund troops over there. The South Koreans are good people. I knew several when I lived in Hawaii. And they didn’t relish the idea of reaching a certain age and having to fulfill mandatory military duty near the demilitarized zone. I just don’t think that we need to try and replace N. Korea with some politically correct and approved version of something – we just need to rid the region of all the war mongering and bad folks.

#17 Comment By G E Hoeflinger On April 21, 2017 @ 11:38 am

You wonder why the South Korean’s have no faith in anything this administration says? Graham is a prime example. Foreign Policy is not his brief, but he needs to put his racism in. He calls a federal circuit judge in Hawaii “some judge in the middle of the pacific ocean”, not recognizing that that he voted to confirm that judge in the senate.

He is not fit to serve as a dog catcher let alone the chief law enforcement officer in the United States.

#18 Comment By Mark Thomason On April 21, 2017 @ 11:56 am

I do not favor war in Korea. However, I do not favor bluff and bluster either.

As said in The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, “When you have to shoot, shoot. Don’t talk.”

All this tough sounding talk can only come to a bad end. Don’t do it, but if you’re going to anyway, just do it.

#19 Comment By rayray On April 21, 2017 @ 12:59 pm

@Mark Thomason
I think the answer here, given all the geopolitical implications, is simply to not do it. Trump is getting himself into “unforced error” territory.

#20 Comment By Ken Zaretzke On April 21, 2017 @ 4:52 pm

Unlike brother McCain, who if anything is getting slightly better, Graham is getting worse. Maybe he’s overcompensating for Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s recent statement that he’s “one of the women of the Senate.”

#21 Comment By Mia On April 21, 2017 @ 7:10 pm

“The striking thing about his answer is how cavalier he is about calling for starting a war that he admits would be disastrous for everyone in the region.”

I think we were talking about this on another thread. Someone said foreign policy should be based on US interests solely, but this post illustrates a discussion about ethical leadership is desperately needed in the US. We barely have it over ourselves, and now we want to export it elsewhere. And they wonder why there’s anti-Americanism in the world and pat themselves on the back because the Founding Fathers or something. Each generation has to prove themselves worthy and not expect to get a pass morally no matter what they do just because the Founding Fathers said something useful.

The way I see it, this was a large part of the problem with alot of Western diplomacy in the region over the years, though I will note the missionaries had some pretty awesome people who at least really cared about the native populations and helping them, mitigating some of the horrible behavior they saw their other countrymen doing in those regions.

It would go alot further to nurture those ties and genuinely help the people so they will have a basis for loyalty to you. Try to understand that they have goals, too, and they have a need to make decisions for themselves and feel good about their contributions to things. If you just go in there and insult them, rob them blind, get them killed, they will hate you and do everything to undermine you. There won’t be any loyalty. This seems simple enough, but everybody wants to be a cowboy, look cool on TV because they can make the sterner threat, and that plays well politically for the general population. They are in essence doing the same think the Kims in North Korea have done for years, talked tough and made threats so their own people will love them. Somebody suggested that this sudden pivot by the administration is to take the conversation off of embarrassing questions raised about Trump and his people.

#22 Comment By Mission Of Burma On April 22, 2017 @ 12:08 am

@Mia : ” though I will note the missionaries had some pretty awesome people who at least really cared about the native populations and helping them, mitigating some of the horrible behavior they saw their other countrymen doing in those regions. ”

Hear hear!

#23 Comment By WorkingClass On April 22, 2017 @ 8:56 am

Graham is a psyco killer. The people who vote for him are no better.

#24 Comment By Just Dropping By On April 22, 2017 @ 10:14 am

@ Ken Zaretzke: If McCain is getting better, it’s only because he was working off such a low baseline to begin with. In 2003 this is what he wrote about whether to attack North Korea (and is willing to still post on his official Senate website!):

The use of military force to defend vital American security interests must always be a last resort, as it is in this crisis. But if we fail to achieve the international cooperation necessary to end this threat, then the countries in the region should know with certainty that while they may risk their own populations, the United States will do whatever it must to guarantee the security of the American people. And spare us the usual lectures about American unilateralism. We would prefer the company of North Korea’s neighbors, but we will make do without it if we must.


#25 Comment By PAXNOW On April 22, 2017 @ 5:12 pm

There should be a snap qualifying exam and resume check for presidential advisers especially those advising on foreign policy. Kushner?

#26 Comment By John Gruskos On April 24, 2017 @ 4:18 pm


The neocons fear North Korea will assist the Iranian nuclear program.

#27 Comment By b. On April 24, 2017 @ 6:33 pm

Graham is making himself an example of the “Bush Doctrine” of (aggressive, illegal) preventive war to prevent the emergency of peer competitors. In practical terms, it means preventing states that are targets of US hegemonial efforts at destabilization and regime change from acquiring effective means to exact a cost – any cost – from the US in retaliation. Iran is the other pinata of choice in this party of folly, never mind that Pakistan is potentially a much more dangerous problem, and that the whole notion was invented to bolster a non-existent “case” against Iraq.

Considering that Obama decided to “pivot” against China out of the same inane notion that it would be possible for the US to prevent “peer competitors” – naturally, any peer would have to be an adversary to the exemptional nation – it is obvious that, at the core, Graham is in the exalted company of even bigger fools.

#28 Comment By Louis Lucky On April 24, 2017 @ 7:56 pm

“we just need to rid the region of all the war mongering and bad folks.”

That sounds just like what we’ve been doing unsuccessfully the last 70 years in Palestine, Korea, Vietnam, Czechoslovakia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Somalia and others. And not a win anywhere.

#29 Comment By Michael Kenny On May 1, 2017 @ 11:52 am

What’s ironic about all this is that Trump needs a war to save his presidency. The more Trump is humiliated over North Korea, and the more Putin’s American supporters hype it as a defeat for him, the more he is forced back on to the softer target: Putin. The whole thing may well have been a Bannon screw-up designed to divert Trump away from Putin. In addition, the Israelis will not allow Trump to “pivot” away from the Middle East or to get bogged down in a war in Korea. Thus, whatever the rhetoric, I see Trump back in Syria fairly quickly.

#30 Comment By D. Johnson On May 1, 2017 @ 3:41 pm

Of course he wants war. He won’t have to fight in it, and since he has no sons or daughters to fight in it, he has no dog in the hunt. Would that Graham and all other war lovers who want war could be the first ones killed in it.