Sen. Lindsey Graham recently objected to President Barack Obama seeking congressional authorization to attack Syria (that’s right, in contradiction to every assumption James Madison may have made about Congress, Graham is one of those who wants to embrace an Imperial Presidency and gut the check on power represented by his own branch). Graham has been making it clear that he is not happy about the failure to join another war in the Middle East. So what does a hawk do when a war just doesn’t turn out as hoped? Graham is seeking authorization for a new war . . . not against Syria but Iran. After all, we have not defunded enough environmental, scientific, educational or welfare programs. Another war against one of the largest military powers in Middle East would guarantee a decade of military appropriations and interventions.
Graham is likely to be supported by an Israeli lobby which wants the United States to neutralize the threat posed by Iran as well as those military contractors who are apoplectic at the thought of peace breaking out. In other words, he might succeed despite polls showing overwhelming opposition to additional wars within the public.
Graham for his part is using the failure to go to war in Syria as something we just need to avoid next time: “Look how we’ve handled the chemical weapons threat in Syria,. If we duplicate that with the Iranians, they’re going to march toward a nuclear weapon and dare Israel to attack them. . . . The mixed message and the debacle called Syria can’t be repeated when it comes to Iran,” Graham continued. “So here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to get a bipartisan coalition together.” For his part, Obama went public with a warning to Iran and the willingness to go with a diplomatic solution will not apply to their country.
The resolution is of course a repeat of the blank check given by Democrats and Republicans to Bush to start the Iraq War. That worked out so well for everyone that members like Graham are falling over each other to lay the groundwork for a war that will make Iraq look like a small police action.