Now that nuclear war could happen, Lindsey Graham doesn’t care. When it was not likely in 2013, he warned it was coming

The hawkish senator only seems to get worked up about nukes when he’s wanting the U.S. to bomb a foreign country.

This week, tech billionaire Elon Musk offered a compromise idea that could help end the Russia-Ukraine conflict. His reason?

Not wanting to end the world.

Musk is genuinely and rightly afraid of Vladimir Putin launching a nuclear war, which the Russian president has threatened and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky provoked even further.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham chastised Musk for daring to want peace, a story BASEDPolitics’ Hannah Cox covered on Wednesday. 

“If there’s one thing that can be said of Senator Lindsey Graham it’s this: the man loves a war,” Cox noted.

Boy howdy.

Indeed, Graham is wanting to continue and expand every U.S. and Ukraine policy that might drive Russia to use nukes, while simultaneously not seeming to worry about the real potential of a nuclear war. Yet nine years ago, Graham was warning people that… we might have a nuclear threat on the horizon.


In 2013, as President Barack Obama and Congress were weighing launching U.S. missiles at Syria, U.S. News and World Report reported Graham saying at a South Carolina Republican breakfast, “I believe that if we get Syria wrong, within six monthsand you can quote me on thisthere will be a war between Iran and Israel over their nuclear program.” 

To note, it has been far longer than six months since Graham said this and it didn’t happen as the senator warned.

Graham then described how America might be nuked by Iran.

“It won’t come to America on top of a missile, it’ll come in the belly of a ship in the Charleston or New York harbor,” Graham said.

That’s how badly he wanted U.S. intervention in Syria’s civil war. Virtually no one was saying at the time that Iran was going to use nuclear weapons against the U.S., but Graham’s default warmongering led him to make such an outlandish claim back then.

To the degree that any of his audience that day bought such a claim, that if America didn’t begin raining down bombs on Syria immediately, that New York City or Charleston, South Carolina would become eviscerated in a mushroom cloud, well, yeah, bombs away! Even if it didn’t really make any sense.

But now nearly a decade later, as an actual major world power with thousands of nuclear weapons and a leader who is threatening to use them is a very real thingGraham chooses to criticize anyone who fears World War 3. Graham’s impulse is to bash or punish someone with clout looking to avoid nuclear destruction.

Yet, that’s how fear-mongering works. If Graham wants war and threatening nukes might get him that, he’s going to do it. If we might be able to prevent a nuclear war by ending a conventional one in Ukraine, Graham doesn’t want that. Wars should never end for this habitually hawkish senator.

Fear mongering is rarely about what’s true, only how much you can accomplish when you’ve scared others into submission to your agenda.

That’s not being a leader. It’s being a maniac. 

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Jack Hunter
Jack Hunter
Jack Hunter is a freelance writer, the co-author of Sen. Rand Paul’s 2011 book ‘The Tea Party Goes to Washington’ and the former politics editor for