Skip to comments.Graham calls for boots on the ground in Syria
Posted on 03/19/2013 2:17:43 PM PDT by Colonel Kangaroo
Amid unconfirmed allegations of a chemical weapons attack in Syria, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., is demanding a plan to secure chemical weapon sites in the country - even if it means sending in U.S. troops, according to Foreign Policy
Graham expressed grave concerns about the prospect of "chemical weapons in Syria falling in the hands of extremists," and said in an interview with Foreign Policy today "Americans need to lead on this issue."
"We need to come up with a plan to secure these weapons sites, either in conjunction with our partners [or] if nothing else by ourselves," Graham said. Asked about sending in U.S. troops toward that goal, he said, "absolutely."
"Absolutely, you've got to get on the ground. There is no substitute for securing these weapons," he said. "I don't care what it takes. We need partners in the region. But I'm here to say, if the choice is to send in troops to secure the weapons sites versus allowing chemical weapons to get in the hands of some of the most violent people in the world, I vote to cut this off before it becomes a problem."
The Syrian government today accused rebels of firing a chemical weapon in the north of the country, killing at least 25 people in the Aleppo province. But rebels denied the report, instead accusing regime forces of firing a chemical weapon on a long-range missile. Neither of those allegations have been verified.
According to the White House, it so far has produced "no evidence" to support the charge that rebel forces had used chemical weapons.
"We are evaluating the charges that are being made and the allegations, consulting closely with our partners in the region and in the international community. But we have no evidence to substantiate that charge, that the opposition has used chemical weapons," White House spokesman Jay Carney said today.
Even so, Carney called the possibility of chemical attacks a "serious concern," and said that while the administration is not currently "supplying lethal assistance to the opposition... we are of course, as you would expect, constantly evaluating and assessing our various assistance programs."
"We have been very clear about our concern that as the Assad regime is increasingly beleaguered and finds its escalation of violence through conventional means inadequate, including the barbaric use of Scud missiles against population centers, that it will consider the use of chemical weapons against the Syrian people. This is a serious concern," he said.
He declined, however, to "speculate about what consequences would take place if it were to be found that the regime had used chemical weapons."
"I am not going to discuss intelligence, but it is important that as fighting in Syria intensifies and the regime becomes more desperate, that the United States and the international community make absolutely clear to Assad that the use of chemical weapons would be totally unacceptable," Carney said. "The president was clear when he said that if Assad and those under his command make the mistake of using chemical weapons or fail to meet their obligations to secure them, then there will be consequences and they will be held accountable."
In a joint statement with Graham this afternoon, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said he was "extremely disturbed" by the reports of potential chemical weapon use in Syria, and urged Mr. Obama to "take immediate action to impose the consequences he has promised" if it turns out such attacks took place.
"If today's reports are substantiated, the President's red line has been crossed, and we would urge him to take immediate action to impose the consequences he has promised," McCain and Graham said in the statement. "That should include the provision of arms to vetted Syrian opposition groups, targeted strikes against Assad's aircraft and SCUD missile batteries on the ground, and the establishment of safe zones inside Syria to protect civilians and opposition groups."
A spokesman for McCain did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether or not McCain, like Graham, would support sending U.S. troops into Syria.
You first, missy.
Why not you and McCain first?
His boots aren't made for walkin'.........
Whenever al Qaeda must be armed,
from Libya to Syria,
McCain and Obama are there, eagerly.
No thanks, Leslie, this country has no interests in Syria.
A U.S. war in Syria? A bit late for that isn’t it?
>>> Graham expressed grave concerns about the prospect of “chemical weapons in Syria falling in the hands of extremists,”
forgit it. we dont have enough gas to git to syria
Sure, as long as Sen Graham is physically at the head and leading the troops.
My thoughts exactly......Him first, then any of his family
Sometimes it’s easy to think that Obama, Lindsey and McCain rate junior associate membership in the Muslim Brotherhood.
and pack your gasmasks, gramps and goober.
The Syrian resistance will be just as bad as the Egyptian replacements. Nuke em all.
Just-no, only one Viet Nam at a time, please...
Let them all off each other. We just watch........
How is it polls show him as the most popular pol in his home state by a wide margin?
I don’t get it.
“We are living in the age of insanity” - George Putnam
Absolutely not. Seriously? Primary this idiot.
He has my permission to go anytime he wants to, as long as he goes alone.
What a great idea. That way we can spend more money on a quagmire conflict and see more of our youth killed. What’s not to like?
Muslims killing Muslims is not altogether a negative.
You got that right! I’ll add: Never, never and again, never!
Not one American service member to that POS Hell Hole!
The problem is we had this under scrutiny with Pres Bush. The Dems wasted time in approval and the window was closed now more innocents will suffer!
That's exactly what we're working on in South Carolina. Linda must go.
Uber RINO Lindsey Ping
"Republican by day, Democrat by night."
Want on or off this ping list?
Just FReepmail me.
Linda Grahmnesty, you fag, don’t get all butch because you’re up for election.
We don’t need any more of out brave men and women to go into a country like Syria to die for nothing. Bin Ladin is dead Jim. Time to leave Afghanistan.
I’m sorry, I missed the part where congtess declared war on Syria.
In other words, “we need to find these weapons to prove Bush was right and the Democrats are responsible for al of this.” and just in time for the 2014 election cycle.
No, I am sick and tired of losing American kids over the damn muzzies. Screw them. We all know the Muslim Brotherhood is going to own Syria.
No more wars for Muzzies.
I have a better idea : GIVE Israel all our B-1’s and B-52’s and loads of munitions.
Wouldn’t B-1’s in IAF colors look nice ?
( as the streaked into Iranian air space )
Aren’t these the same weapons of mass destruction that disappeared from Iraq during the Second Gulf War? The ones that Saddam “never had”.
” I am sick and tired of losing American kids over the damn muzzies. Screw them. “
I agree , let them kill each other off = the best outcome
How about some We The People boots in the @ss of Congress?
No Blood For Allah!
And usher in another radical Islamic regime that hates us. Another foreign policy triumph in the Moslem world.
But they are made for mincing.
Why the hell do WE need to send troops into Syria> We have already given the rebels weapons, why our soldiers to die for NOTHING. Graham needs to stick with the Bengashi issue and get the facts BEFORE he plods head long into another war we have to fight with our hands tied and no bullets for our troops.
Middle-eastern men like to act so macho, then let them fight this one out themselves.
No matter what you think of Graham, WMDs in the hands of terrorists is unimaginable. Gas is very difficult to detect. Widespread release of sarin can kill thousands. Hopefully we could eliminate the stockpiles without war, but one way or the other, we have to secure it.
I call for a boot in his butt.
He’d probably enjoy that.