Sen. Lindsey Graham, while insisting he does not want to see U.S. boots on the ground in Ukraine, Sunday called for a no-fly zone to be instituted over the war-torn country if Russian President Vladimir Putin orders a chemical weapons strike, as that would be a war crime.
The South Carolina Republican also during an interview on Fox News' "Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo," accused President Joe Biden of having "folded" on the question of sending former Soviet MiG fighters from Poland into Ukraine and rejected the president's contention that allowing the jets would mean the beginning of "World War III."
"I am all in," Graham said. "I don't want, no boots on the ground, no-fly zone yet. If chemical weapons are used by Putin, then I support a no-fly zone."
The senator, meanwhile, called it "deplorable to me, dishonorable" that the United States would not back the plan to transfer 28 fighter jets from Poland to Ukraine to defend itself against Russia's aggression.
"The Biden administration stopped that transfer," said Graham. "One minute they say they are not using planes we have, but if we give them more it would be World War III. What happened was Putin threatened Biden and he "folded like a cheap suit."
Graham further said Sunday that it appears that "Biden is more worried about Putin losing than Ukraine winning."
"The Biden administration has no stomach for this fight," he said. "The reason they are slow-walking military aid to the Ukrainians is they never expected Putin to lose and they cannot embrace the idea that he would lose. He is an irate dealmaker in the eyes of the Biden administration. In my eyes he is a menace to mankind, he is a war criminal and he needs to be taken out by his own people…if the United States spent more time thinking about helping Ukraine than keeping Putin in power, we would be better off."
As far as the threats of a "World War III," Graham said those are based on a "bluff" from Russia.
"Putin knows it," he said. "No one wins a nuclear exchange. I am calling for the crushing of the Russian economy. Even though our war and fight is not with the Russian people, it is with Putin. The only way this war ends is with Putin going to jail or being taken out by his own people."
The Ukraine situation, he added, has resulted in "industrialized chaos."
"You have China saying if you give any weapons to Taiwan, we are coming after you," said the senator. "You have the Iranians firing at an American base in Iraq. You have Afghanistan becoming a new safe haven for terrorists and you have, I think I smell a sell-out coming when it comes to Ukraine."
Putin does not want a neutral Ukraine, he added, but to "re-create the former Soviet Union."
The senator also said that the Biden administration looks at Putin as a partner in its call for climate change and at Iran as a "dealmaker" rather than as a war criminal.
Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has reportedly spoken with both Putin and Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and reportedly recommended that Ukraine surrenders to Russia, but Graham said the Israeli embassy denied putting pressure on the Ukrainian leader to accept a deal.
"Here is Israel's chessboard," said Graham. "Syria is occupied by Russia. They have Hezbollah and Iranian elements in Syria that threatens the state of Israel."
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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