Unhinged: Lindsey Graham (basically) says the US should start World War 3

No one should be surprised.

Find yourself somebody who loves you as much as Senator Lindsey Graham loves war.

The South Carolina senator’s latest flirtation with global conflict comes after an unmanned U.S. drone was brought down after an encounter with Russian aircraft. Asked by Fox News’ Sean Hannity how the U.S. ought to respond, Graham suggested a course of action that could well lead to World War III.

“We should hold them accountable and say that if you ever get near a U.S. asset flying in international waters, your airplane will be shot down,” Graham said. “What would Ronald Reagan do right now? He would start shooting Russian planes down if they were threatening our assets.”

This is an alarming statement from a prominent U.S. official for a number of reasons.

For one, we’re still not sure whether this was even intentional. Russian forces clearly were trying to blind the drone and force it to reverse course, certainly an aggressive and unacceptable act. But whether they actually intended to destroy it is still unknown. After all, they didn’t shoot it down—they clipped its propellor, damaging it and forcing it to crash. It seems possible that if their intent was to destroy the drone they would’ve just shot it down.

“Any pilot of a jet who could deliberately fly into a propeller of a drone that goes so slowly is a complete idiot,” Professor Michael Clarke told Sky News. “It’s much more likely that it was an accident and the pilot hit the propeller.”

Does Lindsey Graham really want to push the U.S. and Russia to the brink of war over something that was potentially an accident? Because, make no mistake, while unmanned drones are buzzed and intercepted all the time, actually shooting down and killing a Russian pilot would be a drastic escalation and could easily be interpreted as an act of war. I mean, how would the U.S. respond if Russia shot down an American pilot?

Lindsey Graham wants us to play a game of chicken with a nuclear power. That doesn’t seem like the best idea if your goal is to avoid a potentially apocalyptic war. But frankly, that doesn’t seem to be Graham’s goal.

He has previously said that someone should assassinate Russian leader Vladimir Putin. As evil as Putin certainly is, that’s clearly an insane thing for the U.S. to call for that drastically escalates tensions with Russia, and if acted on, could clearly put us directly at war with Russia.

So, we shouldn’t really be surprised that Graham is advocating a dangerous response that could start a war. But those of us who don’t, in fact, want to see nukes flying, should still be incredibly averse to the senator’s suggestion.

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Brad Polumbo
Brad Polumbo
Brad Polumbo is a libertarian-conservative journalist and co-founder of Based Politics. His work has been cited by top lawmakers such as Senator Rand Paul, Senator Ted Cruz, Senator Pat Toomey, Congresswoman Nancy Mace, Congressman Thomas Massie, and former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, as well as by prominent media personalities such as Jordan Peterson, Sean Hannity, Dave Rubin, Ben Shapiro, and Mark Levin. Brad has also testified before the US Senate, appeared on Fox News and Fox Business, and written for publications such as USA Today, National Review, Newsweek, and the Daily Beast. He hosts the Breaking Boundaries podcast and has a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.