“If you’re war weary, don’t vote for me.”
Presidential hopeful Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Wednesday told peace activist Medea Benjamin that people like her “make the world incredibly dangerous” after the CodePink co-founder said his foreign policy was a “prescription for endless war.”
Graham was discussing his foreign policy vision at an Atlantic Council event moderated by CNN‘s Jake Tapper.
Politico described his over hour-long talk as “his most extensive policy address to date as a presidential candidate.”
ThinkProgress reported on some of Graham’s hawkish statements made at the forum:
“I don’t want a war, but if that’s what you want you’re going to lose it,” he said, pretending to address Iranian leaders directly. “We’re going to sink your navy and shoot your Air Force down.” […]
He promised to send at least 10,000 “special forces” to Iraq to “hunt leadership of ISIL morning, noon and night,” “decapitate their leadership,” and “drop bombs on the right targets.” […]
Graham added that he believes it is also in America’s nation security interest to keep thousands of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan for “as long as it takes.”
“We’ll leave when we’re safe,” he said. “If you’re war weary, don’t vote for me.”
CodePink’s Benjamin had the microphone for about two minutes during the Q&A period, and started by saying she was “horrified by [his] foreign policy because it’s a prescription for endless war.”
She also said she wondered if Graham would “admit that it was the Iraq war that led to ISIL,” would speak to the beheadings and rights abuses taking place in Saudi Arabia, comment on the U.S. support for the Sisi regime in Egypt, comment on Israel’s repression of Palestinians, and say whether Israel has nuclear weapons.
Graham said, “I think people like you make the world incredibly dangerous” and are “radical Islam’s best hope.”
Speaking after the event with Fox News Talk Show host Alan Colmes, Benjamin said that she is “horrified by [Graham’s] foreign policy position and that he is in such a position of power.”
She explained that her “goal is to get media attention to the issues in a perspective that we don’t hear very often.”
“Very rarely do I hear a position that says that it’s actually U.S. intervention in so many instances that’s creating more extremists,” she said.
As for her view on Hillary Clinton, Benjamin said that she’s “a hawk that would take us into more wars.”
Medea’s comments begin around the one hour, 3 minute mark, and can been seen in the video below uploaded to YouTube by the Atlantic Council: