Graham to Obama: Be honest about threat
By NICK GASS |
8/10/14 9:24 AM EDT
Sen. Lindsey Graham on Sunday implored President Barack Obama to be honest to Americans about the threat facing the United States from the Islamic State. Graham repeatedly entreated the president during the interview with Chris Wallace on "Fox News Sunday" to take more action to protect American interests.
"If he does not go on the offensive against ISIS, ISIL, whatever you want guys want to call it, they are coming here. This is just not about Baghdad. This is just not about Syria. And if we do get attacked, then he will have committed a blunder for the ages," the South Carolina Republican said.
"When I look at the map ... I think of the United States. I think of an American city in flames because of the terrorists' ability to operate in Syria and Iraq," said Graham, who serves on the Senate Armed Services Committee. The director of national security, the FBI director, the director of Homeland Security and others have repeatedly told the president of the threat, he says.
"So Mr. President, you have never once spoken directly to the American people about the threat we face from Syria, now Iraq. What is your strategy to stop these people from attacking the homeland?" he asked. "They have expressed a desire to do so."
When asked about the president's strategy of limited strikes on Islamic State mortars and convoys, the senator said the president needs to do more.
"He's trying to avoid a bad news story on his watch," Graham said, noting numerous threats from the Islamic State to the homeland. "We have to have a sustained air campaign. We need to go on offense. There is no force within the U.S. or the Middle East that can neutralize or destroy ISIS without at least American air power."