Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has a curious way of responding to crises. After the Boston Marathon bombing, for example, the senator recommended denying constitutional rights to American citizens captured on American soil, and raised the prospect of government censorship of the mail. After Gadhafi was ousted in Libya, Graham commended everyone except U.S. troops.
And after the Obama administration successfully met its strategic goals while averting military strikes in Syria, Graham turned his eyes towards an entirely new authorization to use force.
For those who can’t watch clips online, Graham told Fox News over the weekend that he intends to pursue a new congressional resolution authorizing the United States to use military force … in Iran. Yesterday, he moved the process forward.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said Tuesday he’s working on legislation that would give the president the green light to attack Iran if negotiations over the country’s alleged nuclear weapons program stall.
Graham, one of the GOP’s most prominent hawks, told reporters on Tuesday that he’s worried the administration’s failure to get congressional approval for a strike against Syria has emboldened Iran. He said he’ll be working with Democrats and Republicans on legislation that would encourage diplomacy, threaten more sanctions and authorize military action as a last resort.
Graham added, “The Iranian debate should begin pretty soon – what should we do, and how should we do it? I do believe that it’s important for [President Obama] to have in his back pocket if negotiations get serious an authorization to use force.”
I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that this resolution won’t have a whole lot of co-sponsors. If most of the country and most of the Congress was highly skeptical about limited strikes in Syria, the appetite for a military confrontation with Iran is likely to be even more limited.
That said, I’m sure Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) will be delighted.