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Graham’s Venezuela Warmongering Gets Worse

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham during the Kavanaugh hearings last week. (CSPAN)

Lindsey Graham repeats his reckless demand for invading Venezuela, and his latest reason for doing it is even more ridiculous and ugly than before:

“We need points on the board. Start with your own backyard. Tell Cuba if you are not out of Venezuela, in a week, and people are starving and dying in Venezuela because Maduro is such a thug, then we are making a mistake. Fix Venezuela and everybody else will know you are serious.”

Invading Venezuela to instill fear in others and put “points on the board” are among the more despicable justifications for starting a war there are. War is not a game, and our government shouldn’t view the use of force and the taking of human life as a way to “score” against other states. Graham is an incorrigible warmonger, but even for him this is remarkably disgusting. Targeting one country for invasion pour encourager les autres is the sort of brutal and sadistic approach to international affairs that recalls some of the worst examples of imperialism. The only conclusion other states would draw from an unprovoked U.S. attack on Venezuela is that our government is out of its mind and they need to acquire the means to deter the U.S. from doing the same to them. Everyone else will know that our government is seriously deranged if it took Graham’s advice and started another unnecessary war.

Military intervention in Venezuela may do many things, but “fixing” Venezuela isn’t one of them. Escalating the crisis in Venezuela into an international war for regime change will inflict enormous harm on the country’s infrastructure and its people. Graham long ago descended into self-parody as a crazed hard-liner, but here he has managed to plumb new depths of madness. It is no wonder that our foreign policy debates are so warped and biased in favor of military action when someone as unhinged as Graham continues to be treated as a serious person on these issues.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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