In a statement dripping with sarcasm and disdain, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) "advised" President Obama not to go on television and draw red lines because Graham, and world leaders (whose minds and motivations Graham purports to know), just roll their eyes, knowing the president will not follow through, thus displaying "weakness" that invited Putin's occupation of parts of the Ukraine.
Graham is just so bothered by two events he can scarcely contain himself.
The first is Syria's chemical weapons. The president publicly stated that, if we found solid evidence that Syrian dictator Bashir al-Assad had used chemical weapons, that he would pay a price. Most took this to mean military strikes and that is clearly where the president was headed until two things happened: he sought, but failed to receive, Congressional support (including from Republicans who now accuse him of being weak), and Syria agreed to relinquish the weapons.
That is pretty good. Not firing a shot. Not owning the uncertain aftermath. And, Syria did pay a big price, giving up its chemical weapons. [Although, to be sure, full compliance is a work-in-progress].
But, don't take my word for that. Just ask Senator Graham himself. He thought this would be awesome.... until, that is, President Obama actually delivered it:
I have no idea what's going on. It'd be great if the Russians could convince Assad to turn over his chemical weapons to the international community. That'd be a terrific outcome. I just am very dubious and skeptical,said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. [emphasis added].
So, what Graham himself called a "terrific outcome" six months ago is now weakness on the part of the president that invited Putin to invade the Ukraine. Indeed, Graham even thought that getting Putin's help on Syria was the way to go!
The president's second sin, according to Graham, is even more ridiculous, if that is possible. Graham complains that president said he would hunt down the people who killed four Americans in Benghazi in September 2011. The sin, according to Graham, is the president has not yet found them less than three years later.
Yet, Bush NEVER found bin Laden. Even using torture. Indeed, he allowed bin Laden to escape at Tora Bora when they had him surrounded. When asked whether not capturing bin Laden were a failure five years after the fact, Bush's counterterrorism adviser, Francis Townsend, claimed that it was actually a success, it just so happened that the success (along with my Olympic gold medal in the 200 meter butterfly, and my Nobel prizes for peace, medicine and literature) "had not yet occurred". I kid you not.
So, according to Lindsey Graham, Putin invaded Ukraine because he must have forgotten that President Obama hunted down bin Laden, and remembers only that he has not, as yet, found the Benghazi killers in less than 3 years. And, Putin invaded Ukraine because President Obama is weak when he draws red lines and then achieves results Graham thought would be "terrific"...until the president actually achieved them, when Graham, and others, were also outraged(!) that Putin did for the president exactly what Graham had suggested.
There was a time when it did not take more than a few instances of recurring nonsense before someone became a laughingstock.