As U.S. Strikes Iran-Linked Targets, Graham Urges Direct Action against Regime
On Thursday, the U.S. launched multiple strikes against Iran-linked targets in Syria, which military officials say are in retaliation for drone attacks that targeted American military bases in the region. The actions come as lawmakers on Capitol Hill are calling for the Biden administration to step up military actions against Iran, which has direct ties to the Hamas terrorist group that carried out the deadliest attack on the Jewish people since the Holocaust on October 7.
As reported by NBC News, “From Oct. 17 to Thursday, U.S. and coalition forces were attacked at least 19 separate times in Iraq and Syria by a mix of drones and rockets, according to defense officials.” As a result, “one U.S. citizen contractor died from a cardiac incident while sheltering in place; 21 U.S. personnel suffered from minor injuries,” said Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has been particularly outspoken about putting the heat on Iran in recent weeks, suggesting that the U.S. should put the Islamist regime “out of the oil business” if they escalate attacks against Israel and the U.S. On Thursday, he joined “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins” to discuss the situation, including his recent trip to the Middle East.
“I’ve never seen such savagery in my life,” Graham observed, referring to Hamas’s October 7 attack. “Hamas is a religious, fanatical organization not trying to help the Palestinian people. They’re trying to destroy all the Jews. They wouldn’t exist without Iran. Israel is begging the United States to let Iran know that if the war expands, it will be threatened by us. The only thing between this war getting bigger is a strong America. And I am urging President Biden to up his game.”
The senator also noted that he is in the process of formally requesting that the Biden administration take action directly against Iran. “I am very close to a bipartisan agreement with a resolution that would urge the use of military force against the Islamic Republic of Iran if there’s an escalation in the north, if there’s continued attacks on American troops in Syria and Iraq and other places. … I think there’s some like-minded Democrats. I’m really close. Hopefully I can tell you and your listeners in a few days we did it.”
Graham went on to contend that former President Trump’s foreign policy success in the Middle East was because of his projection of strength. “Trump killed Soleimani, the head of the Revolutionary Guard that killed Americans in the past. … Biden doesn’t have the deterrent effect that Trump did. President Biden needs to up his game. Our friends in Israel are in the fight for their lives. Pray for them.”
Graham further argued that the reason Hamas attacked Israel was to derail talks between Israel and Saudi Arabia. “Hamas and their puppets in Iran [want] to stop the efforts that you and I have been working on, to have Saudi Arabia recognize the Jewish state called Israel. … That’s what this was about, to destroy the deal between Saudi Arabia and Israel. That’s what they’re trying to do.”
He continued, “We have a peace treaty between Jordan, Egypt, and Israel [in] the Abraham Accords — you had several Gulf states and Arab nations recognize Israel on Trump’s watch. The big prize is Saudi Arabia. That’s where the Islamic holy sites exist, Medina and Mecca. That’s the heart and soul of Islam. To have the Saudi crown prince and his country recognize the Jewish state as being legitimate, accepting Jews in the Middle East. … It takes the Middle East toward the light, away from the darkness. And it’s Iran’s worst nightmare for the Arab world to join with Israel to move forward. That’s what they’re trying to stop."
Graham also asserted that Israel must be given the freedom by the international community to fully flush Hamas out of Gaza. “The bottom line here is they need the time and space to go in on the ground. … You can’t destroy this organization from the air. Go in on the ground and destroy Hamas, then work with the Arabs to create a better life for the Palestinians. That’s the game plan. Don’t put pressure on Israel to stop a military operation that will destroy religious Nazis.”
The senator went on to describe how his meetings with Israeli leadership went as part of a Senate delegation.
“They were very appreciative of a bipartisan delegation … from the Senate,” Graham explained. “They’re very appreciative of what President Biden’s done. They’re worried we’re not sending the deterrent message to Iran strong enough. They appreciate America’s support. They’ve had a gut punch. There’s been this idea that Israel is controlling everything. Well, we missed 9/11. We missed Pearl Harbor. These things happen.”
“Israel needs us to not only supply our weapons, but they need us as people,” Graham concluded. “They have been wounded. They’re our friends. And when a friend is down and out, you come to them not only to help them financially, but spiritually. They need our spiritual help as much as our weapons.”
Dan Hart is senior editor at The Washington Stand.