Putin invaded Ukraine because (wait for it) Benghazi!

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has finally figured out why Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine.

You see… Benghazi!

As you may recall, a year and a half ago militants in Libya attacked a US consulate, tragically killing the US ambassador and 3 other employees.

In the immediate aftermath it wasn’t terribly clear who was behind the attack, though it looked like it might have been the work of locals ticked off about a filmmaker’s really trashy and low-budget film, called “Innocence of Muslims,” depicting the prophet Mohammad as a pedophile, among other things.

Actual scene from "Innocence of Muslims."

Actual scene from “Innocence of Muslims.”

Ironically, the same Americans who would probably go all “Benghazi” on any Muslim who dared to depict Jesus as a child-rapist, suddenly found their inner-lover of the First Amendment, and were outraged that anyone could think such a slight against the Muslim deity could possibly lead to violence in a foreign land, when slights against the Muslim deity had previously, and repeatedly, led to violence in foreign lands.

No, the Republicans said, it wasn’t that film, it was Al Qaeda!

Except now we know that it doesn’t look at all like it was Al Qaeda, and it still looks like that anti-Mohammad film played a part.

In the meantime, we also know that the GOP kinda sorta faked some emails to “prove” there’s a scandal here, and then they pimped a “Benghazi whistleblower” who apparently lied to CBS about being able to “prove” that there’s a scandal here.

Enter Lindsey Graham.

Graham has been fighting a Tea Party challenge to his re-election bid, which included accusations from the Tea Party that the confirmed bachelor is gay. Thus, the thinking went, Graham needed to bolster both his conservative and manly-man bona fides in order to win his primary.  And thus was born BENGHAZI!

The proverbial bodies in Benghazi were barely cold before Graham started running campaign ads about the unfortunate deaths only one month after the attack.


And now, Graham has outdone himself by suggesting that Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine because Benghazi somehow convinced Putin that President Obama was weak.  (It’s just as likely, if not more so, that Lindsey Graham is convincing Putin that if America spends this much time freaking out over four deaths a year and a half ago, imagine how averse Republicans would be to risking more than four American casualties in a challenge to a real adversary, Russia.)

Here’s Graham via Twitter yesterday:


Yes, we know why your eyes roll.  But back to the matter at hand, Graham still left the matter somewhat vague, until today:



Then some more three hours ago:


And then some more, one hour ago.  In this case, Graham simply retweeted the same tweet he tweeted five hours ago:


It’s hard to know exactly what’s motivating Vladimir Putin to think that he can invade Crimea with relative impunity, but the conventional wisdom is that no one in their right mind thinks we’re going to counter Russia by moving into Ukraine militarily, and that while Putin probably won’t like economic sanctions, they’re a price he’s willing to pay in order to secure Crimea as his own.

No one in their right mind thinks Putin was keeping an eye on “Benghazi” and that it inspired him to invade Crimea.

I’m always amazed at the Republican party’s newfound love of dead American diplomats.

The GOP has never been greatly enamored with the State Department.  In fact, they’ve regularly tried to cut its budget over the years – including GOP House Chairman and VP candidate Paul Ryan’s attempt to gut the State Department’s embassy security budget – while denouncing the entire building as a den of communists all the way back to the time of Joe McCarthy.

Heck, GOP presidential candidate and religious leader Pat Robertson even suggested we nuke the place.

But just like with 9/11, when Republicans, who had previously criticized Democrats for holding their party convention in that deny of iniquity, New York City, Americans died, the GOP smelled “opportunity,” and suddenly the Republicans just HAD to have THEIR party convention in the city that before 9/11 was their second biggest laugh-line after “San Francisco.”

Let me quote the Sarah Palin of his day, GOP Vice President Dan Quayle, on the absurd choice of NYC to host the 1992 Democratic convention:

“In so many ways, the liberal Democrats chose the perfect site for their convention,” Vice President Dan Quayle said last month, homing in on the theme. “Almost as if they feel a strange compulsion to return to the scene of the crime.”

So I think it’s swell that Lindsey Graham just loves the State Department, and is simply beside himself that four Americans died a year and a half ago.

But wouldn’t it be nice if Lindsey Graham cared nearly as much about the nearly 7,000 American troops who died in George W. Bush’s botched wars in Afghanistan and Iraq? Or if he cared about all the attacks on US diplomatic compounds that happened under George Bush’s watch?

The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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