Because of Putin’s War in Ukraine, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina wrote this week on Twitter concerning Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, “The only way this ends is for somebody in Russia to take this guy out. You would be doing your country–and the world–a great service.” Indeed! It was the same with Hitler.
I used to think Lindsey Graham had his head on straight and therefore that he usually made a lot of sense. But when Donald Trump became president, somehow Graham lost his head and became not only Trump’s golfing partner but his loyal caddie. However, Graham is gradually getting his head screwed back on in recent days. He’s been telling Trump he lost the election, though it doesn’t take much insight to figure that one out! Well, on this one–Graham saying some Russian needs to “take this guy out”–Lindsey did not shank his ball. No, I think Mr. Graham is absolutely right about this.
Yet Lindsey Graham–who served as a lawyer in the U.S. Air Force six years, becoming a colonel, and was a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee 16 years–was heavily criticized this week for that comment. Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas criticized Lindsey’s remark. Yet Cruz provided no rationale whatsoever for his criticism other than to say that’s not the way the U.S. operates. Thus, much of the criticism Graham got was about the U.S. government, that it shouldn’t assassinate the head of a foreign nation as the U.S. tried to do with Castro back in the 1960s.
But these critics are not listening to what Mr. Graham said. He didn’t say anything about that. He said “somebody in Russia” should “take this guy out.” I don’t criticize Graham for saying that. However, I agree with some of the critics in saying that President Joe Biden shouldn’t say that or try to do it. My reason is that our head of state, the president, should try to keep channels open in case there is a possibility for Biden and Putin to communicate and thereby perhaps Putin would relinquish some.
White House spokesperson Jen Psaki responded to Graham’s remark by saying, “We’re not advocating for killing the leader of a foreign country or regime change. This is not the policy of the United States. Indeed, in 1974 President Gerald Ford issue an executive order stating that. However, an executive order is not necessarily binding.
Nevertheless, Senator Graham didn’t back down, but re-affirmed that he said of President Putin, calling on a Russian to “take this guy out.” Why do I think it’s not wrong for Graham to have said this?
Putin crossed a red line last week when, on two occasions, he publicly threatened, although rather implicitly, to use nuclear weapons against any nation that interferes with what he calls Russia’s “military operation” in Ukraine, thus refusing to call it a war. THREATENING WITH NUCLEAR WEAPONS IS CROSSING A RED LINE.
The parity of number of nuclear weapons possessed by both Russia and the U.S.–5,500 to 6,000 each due to various nuclear weapons disarmament agreements between them–is always viewed as “mutually assured destruction” (MAD). It means that if there was a full-out nuclear war between the U.S. and Russia, or the former Soviet Union in days gone by, the two nations would totally destroy each other. (There are about 12,000 nuclear weapons in the world, since some other countries have them.)
The use of nuclear weapons is such a frightening thing to think about. I think most Americans couldn’t be bothered. For one thing, so many people just go about their daily lives without paying any attention to what’s going on in the world. I think that is a big mistake. IMO, NUCLEAR WEAPONS ARE THIS WORLD’S BIGGEST PROBLEM. For many decades, I have believed strongly in the disarmament movement. The most pressing issue in the world since WWII has been that the world should get rid of all nuclear weapons and never allow them anymore. Most depressing is to think that even worse weapons could be developed in the future.
So, calling for Putin’s assassination is the right thing to do because he is now threatening to use nuclear weapons against the U.S. and Europe if they interfere with his “operation” in Ukraine. And no, his comments were not ambiguous about this. There is much discussion going on now as to whether Putin is bluffing about this threat or it is real. And the U.S. and Europe are already interfering with Putin’s War by supplying Ukraine with weapons. Putin sounds as though if the U.S. supplies Ukraine with attack airplanes, he might use nuclear weapons against for that alone.
Last night, I watched CNN’s Pamela Brown interview retired General Wesley Clark. He was the Supreme Commander of our military forces in Europe in the late 1990s. I think he makes about the most sense of any of the retired U.S. military generals who sometimes are interviewed on TV. He gave a very foreboding opinion of where Vladimir Putin intends to go with his war in Ukraine. It was very depressing to hear.
Clark is totally convinced that Putin will do everything he possibly can to expand Russia eastward to take over eastern European nations that used to be part of the Soviet Union. Putin has made it clear in speeches he has given and essays he has written throughout this century that he is hell-bent on recreating a Russian Empire like back in medieval times. And Clark says Putin will use nuclear weapons if he has to in order to achieve this goal. Therefore, Clark is calling on the U.S. and Europe to step up now and stop this madman Putin in Ukraine before Putin expands his land grab even more.
Clark therefore says the U.S. should definitely impose a no-fly zone over Ukraine. That would require the U.S. shooting down Russian airplanes. Putin threatened that if anyone, implicitly the U.S., does that, these two are now at war. And Putin implied that if the U.S. and Russia were at war, he as president of Russia would order the use of nuclear weapons against the U.S.
But there may be another way–supplying military attack planes made by Russia to Ukraine pilots trained to use them. Thus, the U.S. just now okayed Poland supplying such planes to Ukraine. We’ll see what Putin says about that.
Folks, if General Clark is right, we all should be shouting from our rooftops what Lindsey Graham said–“TAKE THIS GUY OUT!”