Right Web

Tracking militarists’ efforts to influence U.S. foreign policy

Lindsey Graham Blames Iran For 9/11 Attacks

During a recent speech on the Senate floor, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) appeared to blame the 9/11 attacks on Iran in a seemingly desperate ploy to attract donors like Sheldon Adelson.

LobeLog

Over the past week, Republican opposition to the Iran deal has devolved considerably. Senate Republicans spent the week in chaos, raising uncertainty about whether their measure of disapproval would even reach a key procedural vote (Senators agreed to a cloture vote at 3:45pm today), holding a rally with notorious Islamophobe and birther Frank Gaffney and, in a bizarre lack of self-awareness, trotting out former Vice President Dick Cheney for a speech opposing the deal at the American Enterprise Institute, the same institution where neoconservatives met for their “black coffee briefings” to plan how to win the “war of Ideas” after 9/11 and the de-Baathification of Iraq.

Much media attention from that event focused on Patrick Clawson, research director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, attempting to violently grab a demonstrator’s banner. The banner read “Cheney Wrong On Iraq Wrong on Iran,” a reference to Cheney’s certainty about the existence of Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction and the former VP’s reemergence as a prominent opponent of diplomacy with Iran.

That apparent obliviousness to the past, particularly by those who advocated for the invasion of Iraq over a decade ago, was in the spotlight again today. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) took to the floor of the Senate to decry the nuclear deal with Iran as a betrayal of Israel, “damning the Middle East to holy hell” and explaining why the Ayatollah isn’t celebrating by “dancing in the street”: “He just doesn’t believe in dancing.”

Graham is a high-profile hawk and, along with Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), one of the Republican party’s most outspoken and influential foreign policy voices. So what he said next is truly surprising: Graham appeared to blame the 9/11 attacks on Iran:

I have no idea why you believe the Ayatollah doesn’t mean what he says, given they way he’s behaved. If they will shoot their own children down in the streets to keep power, what do you think they’ll do to ours? And the only reason three thousand people died on 9/11 is they couldn’t get the weapons to kill three million of us and they’re on course to do it now.

The 9/11 Report looked at the possibility of Iranian involvement and concluded that while some of the hijackers transited through Iran:

We have found no evidence that Iran or Hezbollah was aware of the planning for what later became the 9/11 attack. At the time of their travel through Iran, the al Qaeda operatives themselves were probably not aware of the specific details of their future operation.

If Lindsey Graham has some new evidence, he should probably share it with the public. On the other hand, taking the most hawkish anti-Iran positions, even at the expense of the truth, might be a political ploy. Graham’s presidential campaign is a total flop (he’s currently polling around 0 percent). He reportedly speaks frequently with Republican megadonor Sheldon Adelson and, in April, after a glass of wine, claimed he was a favorite of pro-Israel donors. The desperate bid to link Iran to 9/11 may be just the type of thing a donor like Adelson—who wants to drop nuclear bombs on Iran—might respond to by infusing the Senator’s campaign with some cash.

Graham may have to make increasingly outlandish statements if he hopes to garner any media attention, resuscitate his dying presidential campaign and maintain his access to anti-Iran deal GOP donors. With no accountability for the lies that led to the Iraq war, the strategy looks unlikely to have a downside.

Share RightWeb

Featured Profiles

Update was slow, but still no lag in the editor window, and footnotes are intact.     This has been updated – Bernard Lewis, who passed away in May 2018, was a renowned British-American historian of Islam and the Middle East. A former British intelligence officer, Foreign Office staffer, and Princeton University professor, Lewis was…


Bernard Lewis was a renowned historian of Islam and the Middle East who stirred controversy with his often chauvinistic attitude towards the Muslim world and his associations with high-profile neoconservatives and foreign policy hawks.


John Bolton, the controversial former U.S. ambassador to the UN and dyed-in the-wool foreign policy hawk, is President Trump’s National Security Adviser McMaster, reflecting a sharp move to the hawkish extreme by the administration.


Michael Joyce, who passed away in 2006, was once described by neoconservative guru Irving Kristol as the “godfather of modern philanthropy.”


Mike Pompeo, the Trump administration’s second secretary of state, is a long time foreign policy hawk and has led the public charge for an aggressive policy toward Iran.


Max Boot, neoconservative military historian at the Council on Foreign Relations, on Trump and Russia: “At every turn Trump is undercutting the ‘get tough on Russia’ message because he just can’t help himself, he just loves Putin too much.”


Michael Flynn is a former Trump administration National Security Advisor who was forced to step down only weeks on the job because of his controversial contacts with Russian officials before Trump took office.


For media inquiries,
email rightwebproject@gmail.com

From the Wires

Trump is not the problem. Think of him instead as a summons to address the real problem, which in a nation ostensibly of, by, and for the people is the collective responsibility of the people themselves. For Americans to shirk that responsibility further will almost surely pave the way for more Trumps — or someone worse — to come.


The United Nations has once again turn into a battleground between the United States and Iran, which are experiencing one of the darkest moments in their bilateral relations.


In many ways, Donald Trump’s bellicosity, his militarism, his hectoring cant about American exceptionalism and national greatness, his bullying of allies—all of it makes him not an opponent of neoconservatism but its apotheosis. Trump is a logical culmination of the Bush era as consolidated by Obama.


For the past few decades the vast majority of private security companies like Blackwater and DynCorp operating internationally have come from a relatively small number of countries: the United States, Great Britain and other European countries, and Russia. But that seeming monopoly is opening up to new players, like DeWe Group, China Security and Protection Group, and Huaxin Zhongan Group. What they all have in common is that they are from China.


The Trump administration’s massive sales of tanks, helicopters, and fighter aircraft are indeed a grim wonder of the modern world and never receive the attention they truly deserve. However, a potentially deadlier aspect of the U.S. weapons trade receives even less attention than the sale of big-ticket items: the export of firearms, ammunition, and related equipment.


Soon after a Saudi-led coalition strike on a bus killed 40 children on August 9, a CENTCOM spokesperson stated to Vox, “We may never know if the munition [used] was one that the U.S. sold to them.”


The West has dominated the post-war narrative with its doctrine of liberal values, arguing that not only were they right in themselves but that economic success itself depended on their application. Two developments have challenged those claims. The first was the West’s own betrayal of its principles: on too many occasions the self interest of the powerful, and disdain for the victims of collateral damage, has showed through. The second dates from more recently: the growth of Chinese capitalism owes nothing to a democratic system of government, let alone liberal values.


RightWeb
share