Propaganda Watch: Lindsey Graham Says ISIS Coming to U.S. to Kill Everyone


Of all the war cheerleaders in Congress, no one is more remarkably and consistently dedicated to ceaseless military conflict than South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham (R). It should come as no surprise, then, that Graham wholeheartedly supports war with ISIS, though the plan of attack proposed by President Obama is little more than a playful slap when compared with the brutal smackdown Graham has in mind: American troops, on the ground, fighting ISIS for as long as it takes.

And why is such a smackdown necessary? Because ISIS fighters are coming to America to kill us all—and we have to get them before it's too late, Graham said on Fox News Sunday:

This is a radical Islamic army that's pushing the theory of a master religion, not a master race like the Nazis. This is not about bringing a few people to justice who behead the innocent in a brutal fashion. It's about protecting millions of people throughout the world from a radical Islamic army. They are intending to come here.

There is no way in hell you can form an army on the ground to go into Syria, to destroy ISIL without a substantial American component. …

This is a turning point in the War on Terror. Our strategy will fail, yet again. This president needs to rise to the occasion before we all get killed here at home.

(Emphasis mine.) As far as relentlessly propagandizing in favor of war goes, surely Graham is the worst possible offender. He is blatantly trying to scare people—crazy Muslims are coming to kill you!—in hopes of keeping a war-weary public in support of his mission. 

Graham is lying. ISIS has "no credible plan" to attack the U.S., nor does it have the capability to do so. The terrorist group's many hostile neighbors are keeping it bogged down. In fact, the best way to ensure that fewer Americans die at the hands of ISIS is to keep American troops at home, away from the Middle East and out of a sectarian conflict that dates back hundreds of years.

Watch Graham trying to frighten people below.

NEXT: Jacob Sullum Explains How Cops Became Robbers

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. I bet Graham jacks it to ISIS beheading videos.



  3. They want to kill all the good Christian family values and replace them with shariah law!


  4. They don’t get any of MY bacon.

  5. We need to round up all the Mohammedans in this country and gas them, just to be safe. We cannot accept the risk posed by the sleeper cell menace.

  6. ZOMG! *runs off to the hills to hide with the Wolverines*

  7. “This is a radical Islamic army that’s pushing the theory of a master religion, not a master race like the Nazis.”

    With all due respect, isn’t *every* religion *the* master religion?

    1. Well, I think there’s a difference between a racist and a Nazi, and similarly between a bigot and someone trying to eradicate everyone from every other religion or sect of their own.

    2. Yes Rich but I don’t see armies of marauding Methodists or enraged Episcopalians enforcing that belief especially on the edge of a knife.
      Please don’t drag out the moral relativism thing.

  8. The Pants-shitter Party.

  9. Interesting that the South Carolinians of 1860 who thought they could take on the United States of America are now such bed-wetters they aren’t capable of taking on 30,000 or fewer Islamist asshole barbarians should they sail across the pond to where the Cooper and Ashley Rivers join to form the Atlantic Ocean. What, has S.C. disarmed itself or something?

    1. Probably b/c now they could look like any one of us…how do ya tell?
      BTW – now vs. then…we will allow, dare I say assist, in our own demise.
      Because after all, remember: no one culture is better than another…least that’s what i’m constantly told; not seeing.

  10. “ISIS has “no credible plan” to attack the U.S., nor does it have the capability to do so. ”

    Bullshit. Just because ISIS hasn’t published their plans on Facebook doesn’t mean they don’t have a “credible plan”. This isn’t a symmetrical war, and this isn’t Poland in 1939, It doesn’t take an invasion force of 1.5 million people with tanks, aircraft, and infantry to seriously fuck shit up. A dozen guys with explosives can cripple our infrastructure, collapse our economy, and make the Patriot Act look like a fucking step forward.

    1. In that case I say we take off and nuke the entire planet from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.

      1. I speak tongue-in-cheek, but seriously.

        If small groups of extremists can actually bring down nations, we are probably going to end up with planet-wide genocide (dei-cide?).

        1. I speak in all seriousness. Our borders are open. Our infrastructure is vulnerable. 19 guys with box cutters were able to change our way of life by attacking three buildings. Because of 19 guys with box cutters, air travel came to a stop, we initiated 2 wars, and we changed our laws. What they did was intentionally designed to get the most media attention, and not necessarily to do the most harm. The next group will have a different objective.

          1. Now, imagine an attack by the same number of people aimed at bringing down critical infrastructure. Gasoline and LPG pipelines, electrical substations, bridges on major interstates, the stock exchanges, refineries; a coordinated attack on any of these will cause chaos well beyond that caused by 9/11. 9/11 had little effect on those not directly involved. An attack on infrastructure will affect millions.

            Case in point: Our petroleum refineries currently run at or close to 100% to provide gasoline and diesel fuel throughout the nation. The majority of that fuel is distributed through a nation-wide pipeline system. Take out any two refineries and non-essential transportation will come to a stop for years.

            Imagine the entire Northeast without LPG or heating oil or electricity, for weeks on end, during the winter.

            Imagine the George Washington Bridge down or damaged, cutting off I-95. Imagine the Verrazano?Narrows Bridge down and blocking all shipping into and out of the Port of New York. All it takes is the severing of one 36″ cable, and all that takes is a backpack full of explosives. It’s really fucking easy if you don’t plan on living through the op anyway.

            1. Now imagine if none this actually happens and we continue to let authorities shred the constitution, imagine scaring everyone so bad they continue to give up rights for “safety.” Imagine a govt using terror, perceived and actual to take control of the masses and institute martial law, suspending (temporarily as they would put it?) the constitution. We have the militarization of our local police, we have regulatory agencies, such as the dept of education, agriculture, the IRS, etc, with their own militias while doing what they can to make sure americans ostracize those who own guns and put limits on what they can own. For a govt, that includes both parties, who loves power, who does what it can to exercise that power over it’s people, like ours does, fear of, and actual terrorism is actually a god send. It will solidify their power. I can see them letting an event they know of happen, what’s a few hundred lives if they can control the nation.

          2. 19 guys with box cutters were able to change our way of life by attacking three buildings

            No, they were only able to crash planes into buildings. The “change [in] our way of life” was not their doing. Until you are able to recognize that we are not just perpetual victims, you will remain a pants-shitting usher to the actual end of our way of life.

            1. Oh, but it was “their doing”: They knew exactly how we would respond. The reality is that most people want to feel safe, and they want someone else to take care of their safety. I’m not that guy, but because I’m not a dem, I only get one vote. I’m an advocate of the “Anon E Mouse doctrine” which goes like this: “We will be your best friend, or your worst enemy. If you leave us alone, we’ll leave you alone, and maybe even help you. If you fuck with us, we will invade your lands, bomb your homes, and beat you to death with the severed limbs if your infant children.”

              We’re a society of “perpetual victims”, and while I’m sure you’d like to think that you’re somehow different, the odds are that you’re not.

              1. Government is the pants we shit together.

                1. Now, imagine an attack by the same number of people aimed at bringing down critical infrastructure. Gasoline and LPG pipelines, electrical substations, bridges on major interstates, the stock exchanges, refineries; a coordinated attack on any of these will cause chaos well beyond that caused by 9/11. 9/11 had little effect on those not directly involved. An attack on infrastructure will affect millions.

                  Indeed, I can imagine this very well. In fact, I believe one or more of your scenarios WILL come to pass at some point in the future.

                  What I have not heard from anyone is an ultimate (heh, heh…) solution. How, on a planet with 7 billion people, are we going to find each and every group of 19 people, sleeper cells, deep moles, suicide revenge teams, etc.

                  I do not see this ending well at all. I would be pleased to be wrong.

                  1. IMHO, we don’t need to find every terrorist and eliminate them. We simply need to make it clear that we will utterly fucking annihilate entire regions of the globe, and erase all genetic traces of anyone who attacks us. If someone always has the thought that we’ll kill their entire family, tribe, or village in retaliation, it has a fairly strong deterrent effect. Oh, and make it clear that we’ll make Masjid al-Quba and Al-Masjid an-Nabawi radioactively uninhabitable for the next twenty-five thousand years.

                    As much as we’d like to be the “good guys”, it puts us at a distinct disadvantage when fighting people who have no rules.

                    1. We simply need to make it clear that we will utterly fucking annihilate entire regions of the globe, and erase all genetic traces of anyone who attacks us.

                      I’m sorry, did you swap out the actual populace, government, and military we have for different ones without telling me?

                      Cause that ain’t gonna happen.

                    2. Yea, I know it isn’t going to happen, and that’s why we’ll see another major terrorist attack within the next couple of years. You’re a naive fool if you think ISIS or some other terrorist group isn’t making plans to do terrorist shit.

                    3. Well it’s a good thing I don’t think that then, isn’t it?

                      Not shitting my pants is not the same thing as being a naive fool.

                    4. Who’s shitting their pants? Recognizing and debating the possibility of terrorist attacks is hardly “pants-shitting”.

                    5. Do you have a point?

                    6. Yea, my point is that recognizing a threat isn’t the same as “pants-shitting”, which seems to be the standard canned accusation every time the realities of the world get mentioned here.

                    7. You’re not shitting your pants, you’re just jacking off to disaster porn. Got it.

    2. A dozen guys with explosives can cripple our infrastructure, collapse our economy, and make the Patriot Act look like a fucking step forward.

      The only group of people this indicts is us.

      Infrastructure can be rebuilt, economies can recover, and laws can be amended.

      On a scale this large, the only thing that can stop a group of intelligent and determined individuals from bringing everything to a halt is an unwillingness to let them.

      Yet we are so trained to look to our TOP MEN to solve our problems for us, that you cannot even fathom a way to deal with this apart from stealing and killing.

      1. Oh bullshit. Maybe you don’t understand what the words “critical infrastructure” mean. How exactly would YOU deal with the problem if our infrastructure were targeted? How exactly would YOUR “unwillingness” to let it affect you replace the gasoline, diesel fuel, electricity, or LPG required to fuel the economy, jobs, transportation, etc.? “Hope” doesn’t heat houses, and an unwillingness to accept reality doesn’t power industry, or trucks, or trains.

        1. There is one oil well in the world? One refinery? One pipeline? One gas station?

          Yeah, the convenience of everyday life might be impacted if some infrastructure was destroyed. So fucking deal with it. Put your big boy pants on, rebuild what was lost, and prove to the world that you will not be cowed by savages.

          If the fragility of our infrastructure is so concerning, then perhaps the TOP MEN in charge of regulating every aspect of it ought to be held to account for the failure?

          1. Why does ISIS want to attack us again? What are the indications they plan to attack us?

          2. I know it’s difficult to think outside your little box, but try. This isn’t a matter of someone destroying one refinery, or one pipeline, or one gas station. It’s not a matter of being “cowed by savages”. It’s not a matter of putting “big boy pants on”. It’s not a matter of “rebuilding”. It’s about what would happen if three or four or 12 refineries were destroyed simultaneously, and ALL non-essential travel were banned because of a fuel shortage. It’s a matter of two or three critical power lines going down, and ALL electricity to an area ceasing to flow for a week or two, or twelve, in the dead of winter. It’s a matter of one or two important bridges being blown, and then having checkpoints and security at every major bridge in the nation.

            If you consider the ability to travel freely, eat, have a job, and heat your home with something other than cow dung “the convenience of everyday life”, then yea, we should just “fucking deal with it” , only you’re not going to like the way some people deal with it.

            Any open society has a vulnerable infrastructure. There’s no way to protect hundreds-of-thousands of miles of pipelines and power lines and fiber-optic cables.

            1. The only coherent point I am able to take away from you jacking off to disaster porn is that you love control and hate freedom.

            2. So, I ask again…what are the indications ISIS is going to do this?

              1. What were the indications that 19 muslims with box cutters were going to hijack commercial airliners and use them as guided missiles?

                What were the indications of the Bojinka plot?

                Here’s a hint: They were all fanatical muslims, and fanatical muslims don’t like anyone who is not a fanatical muslim, including other muslims, and they will kill anyone who is not “them” just because they fucking can.

                1. Considering Clinton had been informed of a plan, and the fact that they had tried to take down the towers once before, there were plenty of indications.

            3. Christ. How many pairs of underwear do you go through each day?

              1. Do you even have a clue as to why we don’t have a steady stream of major terrorist attacks like say India or Russia or Pakistan? It’s not because nobody is trying.

                1. Because we didn’t try to annex Chechnya and Kashmir?

                  1. I suppose you could use Waziristan as the source of Pakistan’s terrorists, but really the whole fucking country is run by warlords and thugs so there’s little reason to get picky about the “bad” parts.

                  2. Yea because the Pakistanis, who themselves rule part of Kashmir, feel it’s OK to kill civilians in Mumbai (which is over a thousand miles away). in order to “liberate” the part of Kashmir they don’t control, right?

                    1. Whoa, whoa, whoa, are we talking about the rationale the terrorists have for their actions, or the reason why they are unable to carry out those actions? Keep those goalposts firmly planted, please.

  11. Lets hit it up JD, I mean like wow.

  12. A dozen guys with explosives can cripple our infrastructure, collapse our economy, and make the Patriot Act look like a fucking step forward.

    Somebody needs a fresh diaper.

    1. There might be a wee bit of exaggeration in there, indeed.

    2. Somebody needs a dose of reality.

      In a war, the second thing we take out is the air defenses of our opponent. Care to guess what the first thing we take out is?

      1. And how many tank battalions does ISIS have? How many fleets? How many air squadrons?

        1. The correct answer is “Communications”.

          Like I said, you can’t think outside your box. This isn’t 1939 in Poland.

          What do you think would happen to our economy if a shopping mall in Miami, New York, San Francisco, and Chicago all blew up on the same day? What do you think the response by government would be?

          What do you think would happen to the economy if a half-dozen of the largest petroleum refineries in the US were to go up in smoke tomorrow? You think those can just be replaced overnight?

          1. I’m sorry, are we talking about the artist formerly known as ISIS, a bunch of thugs with guns and Hilux trucks in Iraq, or are we talking about the omnipotent wonder-terrorists of your fevered imagination?

            1. I’m sorry you’re unable to count past the number 10.

              See if you can add this up in your head:

              Fundamentalist islamic jihadists+US passports+unsecure borders+desire to kill Americans+smuggled explosives+billions-of-dollars+fucking morons who think it can’t happen to them=?

              For an example of what 10 “thugs with guns” can do, See:


              1. If they have US passports, the borders being secure has fuck all to do with your fever dreams.

                1. Yea, because nobody would ever think to smuggle explosives across the border, right dumbass?

              2. And the lasting effects of the 2008 Mumbai attacks on infrastructure, economics, and civil liberties in India are… what, exactly?

                1. They targeted people, not infrastructure. In the end, India increased defense spending, expanded its Intelligence Community, passed a number of laws aimed at curbing terrorism, and almost initiated a nuclear war with Pakistan by moving a fuckload of troops to its border. It was seen as their “9/11”. Other than those minor things, nothing else happened.

                  1. In other words, the real problem is the reaction, not the attack itself.

                    Terrorists can do some damage, but it takes scared voters and conniving politicians to truly destroy.

                    1. It depends on the target. When your electricity is off, heating oil prices are 10X what they were, you’re freezing to death, and you got laid off your job, what’s your reaction going to be? What would you expect your government’s reaction to be?

                      YOUR reaction will vary. It’s one thing when 3000 total strangers get killed in a city 1000 miles away from where you live. It’s something entirely different when you can’t drive to work, everyone at your job’s been laid off, your family is cold and hungry, and there’s road-block/check-point at every major intersection.

                    2. Please see a doctor if your disaster boner lasts more than 4 hours.

  13. It would be nice if Reason would actually do some investigative journalism and “follow the money” from the war machinery makers to Lindsey Graham, instead of just spouting opinions.
    I’m starting to grow weary of Reason’s agenda and even more weary of the childish and inane comments. About to cut the cord on Reason.

    1. If you have a 401K or any public retirement plan, you’ve invested in “war machinery makers”. If that doesn’t negate your opinion on war; why should it negate theirs?

      1. And even if he doesn’t have a 401(k) or other investment account, judging by the link to The Nation one can presume he has no problem with forcible taxation, either, as long as the proceeds go to the “right” causes.

    2. That’s not the role Reason has chosen for itself. Reason is fundamentally a populist, stir-the-pot libertarian site and magazine that will very occasionally participate in a deeper form of discussion (mostly through Richman) with no investigative journalism to speak of now that Balko’s gone.

      Enjoy the commentary for the opportunity to blow off steam via a wide variety of usually intensely vulgar debate, but don’t come here looking for Mises-level commentary or hard-hitting journalism.

    3. Reason (drink) doesn’t have a fucking “agenda”.

      Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.

  14. DRINK!

  15. Graham is lying.

    Of course he’s lying. That’s what he does. He’s a chickenhawk because he cares about defense dollars being spent in his state, and that pool of money is drying up. Without a new enemy to fight, the federal government doesn’t keep dumping money into defense, so whenever a candidate for the next big existential threat appears (no matter how ludicrous), Graham is enthusiastically jumping on board.

  16. It’s way past time for Graham to switch to decaf.

  17. If they just begin with LG and the other nincompoops in Washington they’ll solve so many, many challenges all of us face.

  18. Government uses small incidents to create broad-reaching laws. As does the bureaucracy. Have one child climb up a balcony railing and fall off and from then on balconies can only have vertical and not horizontal rails (as is the case in my City).

    One by one the laws pile up until we jam to a halt. A point we are approaching.

    ISIS is not a risk. Despite they are capable of killing a few hundred people in a few areas in North America. Our response to them is the risk.

    Unfortunately, we don’t have anyone in government that sees our response to be the scary thing, not ISIS.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.