A United States Senator, of course. But it no doubt is a question to ask of every Canadian Senator and every Senator of every one of the Fifty States. (Yes, even Nebraska has Senators in their unicameral legislature.)
Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican-South Carolina, has set a new standard for stupid. On the Hannity television show on 3 March 2022, he called for Putin’s assassination:
“Is there a Brutus in Russia? Is there a more successful Colonel [von] Stauffenberg in the Russian military? The only way this sh*t ends is for somebody in Russia to take this guy out,” Graham continued. “You would be doing your country — and the world — a great service.”Lindsey Graham, Fox News
He repeated this again, on a Tweet, the next morning. It is no surprise to hear both left and right, east and west condemning him for urging this. It goes along with a $1,000,000 bounty placed on Putin’s head by a Russian businessman and TV personality.
Now, we have discussed the idea of assassination politics, as proposed by Jim Bell, fairly recently. This “war by assassination” is not too dissimilar. Indeed, the Swiss have been accused of threatening would-be invaders (notably Adolf Hitler) with this idea. And there have been several examples back in history of such a thing. And certainly the idea of killing one person instead of butchering thousands has its merits.
Indeed, the FedGov has done this same thing in the past, I think: the USAF bombed Sadaam’s main presidential palace when he was supposed to be there, in an attempt to kill him. And Muammar Gadhafi of Libya was targeted by NATO aircraft, an attack which directly led to his death. Although Admiral Yamamoto was a naval commander, the USN assassinated him in 1943 in an aerial attack. And most recently, Trump ordered a drone strike to kill Iranian General Soleimani.
So why am I saying that Graham is stupid?
From a purely pragmatic point of view, he telegraphed a potential punch. Given the FedGov’s record, he may have sent a warning to Vladimir, but one that makes Putin an even harder target. And Putin (unlike, say Uncle Joe and Justin Trudeau) is apparently NOT a physical coward.
Worse, he played into the hands of Democrats and the puppet masters of Uncle Joe, giving them ammo against the GOP leadership sure to be exploited in coming months. And it gives the rest of the world just one more reason not to trust the FedGov.
In essence, coming from senior leadership, it is tantamount to a declaration of (covert) war.
The Russian system is such that killing the very popular Putin – regardless of who does it – would NOT get Russia to back down on Ukraine, and make him a martyr to many Russians. And create or increase hatred towards the West and the FedGov in particular for pushing for it. There are MANY capable Russian politicians who would be able to step into his shoes, and Russia would not become “more democratic” or “less corrupt” with a new leader.
Also pragmatically, killing Putin (or even attempting to do so) now would make American politicians targets for assassination as well. Including, of course, Graham himself. And the rest of Senate and Congressional leadership. And the FEAR of being assassinated would make these people – demonstrably stupid if cunning – do MORE stupid things.
But then, what else do we expect? Graham is getting another 15 minutes of fame and all kinds of news coverage and hate mail. He is feeding his ego. Just like all the rest of the politicians do. On our dime. Supposedly with OUR authority.
And of course, he once again proved a point: government is force: naked or gloved, it is aggressive force.
PS: Did Facebook and Twitter and other social media cut Lindsey Graham off for making threats like this?
Another thought: Assassination politics could be the subject for a very popular TV series. Maybe Jim Bell should talk to Netflix.
New technology may make “assassination politics” possible.