Drumbeat: Senator Graham Warns That “We All Get Killed” If We Do Not Go To War While Ex-NSA Director Compares Air Attacks To “Casual Sex”

250px-Michael_Hayden,_CIA_official_portrait225px-Lindsey_Graham,_official_Senate_photo_portrait,_2006This was beginning to sound too familiar. A president is calling for a new war based on his inherent authority while members of Congress warn that it is war or death for America. However, former NSA director (and my neighbor) Michael Hayden added a new element: explaining that air power is like “casual sex” and that we need greater commitment than the military equivalent to a one night stand. Of course, this one night stand is expected to last months and cost billions. President Obama has already asked for $500 million to just arm Syrian rebels despite the fact that we are now facing our own weaponry in the hands of ISIS (captured from our past supply of rebels and the Iraqi military). Sort of like Warren Zevon’s song to send “Lawyers, Guns, and Money” except we are leaving the lawyers behind on this one.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told the American people that the choice is simple in going to war:

“[T]hey’re intending to come here. So, I will not let this president suggest to the American people we can outsource our security and this is not about our safety. There is no way in hell you can form an army on the ground to go into Syria, to destroy ISIL without a substantial American component. And to destroy ISIL, you have to kill or capture their leaders, take the territory they hold back, cut off their financing and destroy their capability to regenerate. . . . This is a war we’re fighting, it is not a counterterrorism operation! This is not Somalia; this is not Yemen; this is a turning point in the war on terror. Our strategy will fail yet again. This president needs to rise to the occasion before we all get killed back here at home.”

Graham was heavily ridiculed for his drumbeat to war in Iraq over the non-exist WMDs and previously called for war against Iran.

Graham however at least portrayed the war in relatively platonic terms. Former NSA Director Michael Hayden who was tied to both the unlawful torture and surveillance programs under the Bush Administration compared the U.S. air strikes as nothing more than enjoyable but meaningless “casual sex”:

“The reliance on air power has all of the attraction of casual sex: It seems to offer gratification but with little commitment. We need to be wary of a strategy that puts emphasis on air power and air power alone.”

No first base for Hayden on this date. Of course, given our continuing and perpetual military engagements, we are under Hayden’s terms something of a promiscuous power. Hayden clearly wants more of a commitment and long-term relationship. Something like . . . well . . . Iraq.

In the meantime, dating on Hayden’s term is not cheap. We are about to commit an initial half a billion dollars to just arming Syrian rebels — the same area where ISIS emerged with U.S. weapons to become the current menace. This is a collateral cost and does not include our direct military costs.

However, Obama insists that he does not need anyone’s approval to launch such a war as previously discussed. In a bizarre twist however the Administration is arguing that the President can always rely on Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), which authorized attacks against Al Qaeda and those who “planned, authorized, committed or aided” the September 11th attacks, or who harbored said persons or groups. The problem is that that authorization occurred 13 years ago and the Islamic State happens to be the moral enemy of Al Qaeda at this point. Thus, Obama is claiming that he is fighting Al Qaeda by waging war on its enemy (while of course claiming that he needs for such authorization).

Perhaps Hayden is right. War, like dating, is just too confusing, too expensive, and just a bit dangerous.

121 thoughts on “Drumbeat: Senator Graham Warns That “We All Get Killed” If We Do Not Go To War While Ex-NSA Director Compares Air Attacks To “Casual Sex””

  1. Add: After his capture, Saddam told us that a main factor in his calculation for not complying with the UN mandates was his belief that the upper limit of US enforcement would be a repeat of the Op Desert Fox bombing, which he knew from experience he could absorb, recover, and turn to his political and propaganda advantage.

    In other words, Saddam’s lack of fear and disrespect for our willingness to destroy him – based on his prior experience with the US-led Gulf War ceasefire enforcement – led Saddam not to submit to peace on our terms, ie, full compliance with the UN mandates, and caused us to go to war.

  2. Paul C. Schulte,

    That is some thought.

    However apocryphal, it does point to an important, basic principle of war and peace: in order to avoid total destruction of the enemy and make peace, it’s important that the enemy fears and respects your willingness and capacity to destroy him sufficiently to stand down and submit to your will to make peace – and keep the peace – on your terms.

  3. Golden Country,

    peace operations
    (DOD) A broad term that encompasses multiagency and multinational crisis response and limited contingency operations involving all instruments of national power with military missions to contain conflict, redress the peace, and shape the environment to support reconciliation and rebuilding and facilitate the transition to legitimate governance. Also called PO. See also peace building; peace enforcement; peacekeeping; and peacemaking.
    Source: JP 3-07.3


  4. Eric

    You believe we can win “the peace” by eliminating all of those that disagree with us??

    America has shown that to be not true in all instances of its armed conflicts.

  5. And three, we don’t win a war until we’ve secured the peace. WW2 has been followed by 70 years and counting of boots on the ground and ships in port, as well as planes in the air, in Japan.

  6. John,

    One, we were only in aerial bombing range of Japan because of the long fight.

    But two, it still took 2 atomic bombs to compel Japan’s surrender when its fighting force had been decimated. Even if we had pulled off something like the Doolittle Raid except with atomic bombs, how might have Japan reacted if they still had a viable, projectable fighting force?

    1. Eric – there is some thought that the Japanese tortured an American P-51 pilot about the atomic bombs (of which he had no idea) and he finally said that the United States had over 100 bombs and Tokyo was next on the list. This is when they surrendered.

  7. Eric, you failed to comment further on 2:32pm.

    “John: “Have you ever heard of the Enola Gay?”
    Preceded by 3+ years of extensive ground and sea conflict”

    Really? You said that?

    Have you concluded then?

  8. Beldar here. You are already in a conflict which never stops. The names changed to protect the innocent. Now you have the pretext that the Islamic State is an area of land in Syria and Iraq and not betwee Iraq and a hard place. A nation state. So declar war on ISIS or however you spell it and fight on. And on and on and on. We folks from other planets see through this phony stuff and recognize that America needs to be at war at all times to keep the plumbing running so to speak. This Lindsey Graham Krakker guy is the best spokesman for the Military Industrial Complex. And yes it is your duty to train your son and daughter to go in dumb, come out dumb too and hustle round Iraq in his/her alligator shoes.
    I am in New Orleans and am being influenced by song lyrics. Here is part of that song:

    We’re Rednecks. Rednecks!
    We dont know an arse from a hole in the ground..
    We’re Rednecks, Rednecks!
    We’re keepin the Islamics down.

    –Jerry Jeff Walker, with an alteration.

  9. Jill,

    The Marshall Plan only worked where the physical space was secured and stabilized and dominated by us. Soft power only works on a foundation of hard power.

  10. Paul C Shute.

    and Aafia Siddiqui is one of the reasons that I will never visit the US,

  11. Jill, that was very articulate however profane for this site. That’s weird, they taught me when I was young that “ladies,” and gentlemen, didn’t speak that way. How about that? A lifetime of wrong. Those aren’t “ladies,” huh? Never were.

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