President Joe Biden has announced that the federal government is intending to withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan by September 11 of this year, and Republicans like Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) aren’t taking the news well. Speaking with a reporter this week, Graham claimed that Biden’s move will make the U.S. vulnerable to “another 9/11,” but, quite simply, Graham doesn’t appear to have any actually meaningful evidence for this claim. In a follow-up commentary on Twitter, Graham zeroed in on the point of his remarks — racism.
On Twitter, Graham insisted that “[when] it comes to fighting radical Islam, you have two choices: fight them in their backyard or fight them in yours.” Pretending like security threats emanating from Afghanistan can be adequately summed up as “Radical Islam” is — as it’s been for the last two decades! — ridiculous. Resorting to this ethnic targeting doesn’t only reek of racism — it’s also just brazenly ignorant.
Originally, Graham commented as follows when speaking to the reporter:
‘You can’t trust the Taliban to represent our interests in Afghanistan. The Taliban are not our friends. This theory of the case by Biden is that we’re going to leave Afghanistan, and the Taliban will make sure that Al Qaeda and ISIS don’t come back. That’s ridiculous. If you had a few thousand Americans, that would ensure that the Afghan army would always win a fight with anybody, and it would make sure that Al Qaeda and ISIS couldn’t regroup.’
To be clear: the Trump administration already had plans for a troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, although they didn’t stay in power for long enough to actually see this through. In his original comments, Graham then got weirdly violent, glibly talking about putting “your foot on their throat,” in reference to militants.
He added as follows:
‘Having your foot on their throat over there means they can’t hit you here. There’s two ways to fight this war — fight it in the backyard of the enemy or let them come back to our backyard. They’re not gonna quit — you may be tired of fighting them. They’re not tired of fighting you. And here’s the good news — we haven’t lost a soldier in over a year. We got the Afghans doing most of the fighting. We’re there to protect our interests… [Biden has] cancelled the insurance policy against another 9/11. The reason we haven’t been hit is because we’ve had troops over there stopping the attack before it started.’
As before, it’s unclear whether Graham has any sort of actual substantive backing for his remarks, although claiming that the “reason we haven’t been hit” with “another 9/11” is the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan is certainly a lofty claim. In reality, his claim sounds plenty vague enough to be conjecture — he certainly didn’t cite any particular evidence right then and there — and conjecture is not a legitimate basis for military action, to say the least.
Check out his comments below:
I asked @LindseyGrahamSC about supporting former Pres. Trump's troop drawdown in Sept. 2020 (I asked Graham then) but not President Biden's withdrawal now. "If you had a few thousand Americans that would ensure that the Afghan army would always win a fight with anybody." pic.twitter.com/iPrRaxR5hc
— Kellie Meyer (@KellieMeyerNews) April 15, 2021