Once again we must ask: What the flying monkey heck is going on with Sen. Lindsey Graham? One of the most lickspittling of Donald Trump lickspittles, Graham came perilously close to breaking with Trump over Trump’s bizarre abandonment of U.S.-allied Kurdish forces in Syria. Graham was alarmed enough by the betrayal to demand a bevy of sanctions be placed on Turkey for their invasion of Kurdish-held lands. He was, by all accounts, furious.
That lasted about, what, two days? Before long Graham had tucked himself neatly back in Trump’s pocket, but even that wasn’t quite enough. By the time he appeared on Fox News, Sunday morning, he was possibility bubbling over Trump’s leadership and new Syrian business possibilities, once Turkey had finished their military operations and cleared the Kurdish population from lands now considered a Turkish “safe zone”.
Seriously, get a load of this guy:
“I am increasingly optimistic that we can have some historic solutions in Syria that have eluded us for years if we play our cards right.”
Might want to check in on the Kurdish allies still fleeing Turkish forces before making an announcement like that, Lindsey, or at least wait until the bodies have gone cold.
According to Graham, his optimism comes from a weekend conversation with Trump in which Trump explained his own brilliance and Lindsey, apparently, could hardly disagree. Graham said that Trump intended to use air power to patrol Turkey’s new, enforced demilitarized zone to keep it free from ISIS. The man who was beside himself days ago over the U.S. betrayal of Kurdish forces now says we must “protect our NATO ally Turkey from elements of the Kurds that they consider to be terrorists. A demilitarized zone occupied by international forces, no Americans, but we provide airpower.”
From valued allies to possible terrorists in the span of days. Whatever Donald and Lindsey talked about, Graham certainly internalized it.
But it’s Graham’s new embrace of another Trump idea that’s the most … unusual? According to Lindsey, we can make all this right again by (again, once Turkey has rid a belt in northern Syria of those they “consider to be terrorists”) with a “joint venture.” Trump is “thinking outside the box” about Syrian oil, Graham says. Specifically, taking it. We’re going to keep Syrian oil fields from “falling into Iranian hands” with a Trump-imagined … business venture?
“I believe we are on the verge of a joint venture between us and the Syrian democratic forces that helped destroy ISIS and keep them destroyed to modernize the oil fields and make sure they get the revenue, not the Iranians, not Assad, and it can help pay for our small commitment in the future,” he trumpeted.
A joint venture? Say again? The Kurds have to evacuate towns in northern Syria after Trump green-lit a Turkish military invasion and withdraw U.S. support for the Kurds, resulting in Kurdish forces looking to Russia and pro-Assad military for help, there could be as many as 400,000 already displaced from northern Syria but don’t worry because at the end of this, our once-allies, lies some great financial opportunities?
“I’m increasingly optimistic. This can turn out very well.”
Once again, we are left with the seemingly unanswerable question: What the hell has happened to Lindsey Graham? Never a particularly upstanding fellow and always a rabid partisan, America is long used to Lindsey being an inflamed boil on the face of any given news week; the man defended Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh from multiple sexual assault allegations, he distanced himself from longtime ally Sen. John McCain the very moment it became clear the ill McCain would no longer be a force in Republican politics, and his performances during Republicans’ Clinton impeachment efforts were typically faux-indignant and blustering—he’s been a jackass for approximately forever.
But the extent to which he has wrapped himself around Donald Trump’s finger, dumping each day’s supposed ideological stance after a Trump phone call or golf game that apparently convinces him, anew, of the man’s non-dementia-having, non-mental-breakdown-edging-towards brilliance? That is … something.