The WaPo has an intreguing look at Sen. Bob Graham coming out in favor of military action against Syria.
Sen. Bob Graham (D-Fla.), who voted against the congressional resolution authorizing the Iraq war, said Syria’s support of terrorism long has represented a far greater threat to the security of the United States than did Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. If diplomatic pressure on Syria fails, he said, the United States should be prepared to take effective military action to wipe out terrorist training camps operating inside that country.
Graham said in a telephone interview yesterday that he hopes the administration will pursue the diplomatic route to force changes in Syria’s behavior, rather than immediately threatening military action. But he said if military action is necessary, something more than symbolic or token gestures — he mentioned the cruise missile attacks launched by former President Bill Clinton into Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda camps in Afghanistan as an example of what doesn’t work — will be needed.
Graham is right – Syria is a major supporter of international terrorism. However, I still say that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is seeing the writing on the wall. This is not a good time to be a state sponsor of terror, and with a sizable military presence still in Iraq, they had better be damn careful about whose toes they’re stepping on.
"We need to be more effective," said Graham, a former chairman of the Senate intelligence committee. Noting that the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, might have been avoided if the United States had moved earlier and more aggressively against bin Laden, he said, "We don’t want to repeat in the first decade of the 21st century the mistakes we made in the last decade of the 20th century."
Graham is a very astute guy, and quite possibly one of the best Democratic candidates in terms of national security issues. Unfortunately for him, the Democrats are shifting well to the left, and someone like Graham stands a snowball’s chance of making it much past New Hampshire. The Democratic left is embracing Dean while the more moderate Democrats are rallying behind Kerry. The Democrats are already split on the issue of the war, and someone like Graham would likely prove too hawkish for the DNC. Still, it is good to know that there are those on the other side of the political aisle who do realize the state of the world requires vigilence and strong action.