Tags: | graham | romney | iran | debate

Graham: Obama Misled Americans About Iraq Position

By Patrick Hobin and John Bachman   |   Monday, 22 Oct 2012 11:49 PM

Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina told Newsmax TV that Mitt Romney still presented a contrast in the debate and said President Barack Obama misled the American public about his position on Iraq.

Graham, a Republican, said Iraq is slipping away and terrorists are moving in.
“President Obama just misled the American public about his position in Iraq. I was there,” Graham said. “I was asked to go over to see if we could get a status-of-forces agreement before we would leave 10- or 12,000 troops behind.

“But the truth is the president made it impossible for the Iraqis to agree, and Iraq is falling apart. There are more than 2,500 identified al-Qaida operatives in Iraq today, double what there was a year ago. The Sunnis and the Kurds and the Shias are not even talking to each other. Iran is the biggest winner of our failed policy in Iraq. They’re overflying Iraq to supply Syria.”

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Graham continued, “So Iraq is falling apart, al-Qaida’s on the rise there. It’s a direct result of not listening to your commanders. The commanders wanted 16- to 18,000 troops. We wound up with zero when the president said he wasn’t trying to get an agreement. He was very misleading.”

• Editor’s Note: CIA Adviser Warns of ‘A Financial Pearl Harbor’

Graham praised Romney on his Iran response.

“On Iran, Gov. Romney did a darn good job of showing how you’re projecting weakness. You want to talk to people? You want to sit down with dictators? From Day One you gave the impression to the Iranians that you’re interested in a deal. We’ve been talking to the Iranians. They’ve quadrupled their uranium. At the end of the day, in a four-year period, is Iran more capable of nuclear than they were four years ago? The answer is yes.”

Graham disputed Obama’s notion that al-Qaida has been decimated.
“Go look at Libya,” he said. “What happened in Libya? Our consulate was overrun by al-Qaida-inspired militia. Go to Northern Mali. It’s a country the size of France being run by radical Islamists.”

The radical Islamists do sense weakness, Graham said, citing examples.

“It is radical Islamists who sense weakness who are generating more power than they were. It’s like hurting the quarterback. They have other quarterbacks. Al-Qaida is on the march,” he said. “If you don’t believe me, go to Iraq and look at the training camps that are there today that weren’t there two years ago. Look at what happened in Libya — a complete breakdown. The British left Benghazi. The Red Cross left Benghazi. Why? Because al-Qaida and the Maghreb was coming into Benghazi to take over.”

Graham went on: “Look at Syria. They’re flowing into Syria. Look at what radical Islamists are doing in Lebanon. They’re on the march throughout the entire planet and he’s trying to convince us by killing bin Laden that the war is basically over and al-Qaida’s dismantled. They are counterattacking all over the region and we’re not safer today than we were four years ago.”

He said the American people did not get a response on Libya from the president.

“Why wouldn’t somebody ask the president, ‘Did you know the consulate was attacked in April? Did you know it was attacked in June? Did you know the British decided to close her consulate? Did you know of the multiple requests to increase security? If you didn’t know, why? If you did know, why did you leave these people in a death trap?’ That’s not an unfair question.”

Graham concluded, “‘Mr. President, the security situation in Benghazi had deteriorated for months. Al-Qaida was moving in, the British were moving out, we were trying to normalize a relationship with a non-existent Libyan government.

“Do you bear any responsibility for the Benghazi consulate being kept open as a death trap? Do you bear any responsibility for Sept. 11, the day of the attack being, a day of heightened concern that you couldn’t reinforce these poor people for seven hours?’”

• Editor’s Note: CIA Adviser Warns of ‘A Financial Pearl Harbor’

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