I had an immediate gut reaction to this post, from the National Review’s Corner, regarding Lindsey Graham being spotting in Iraq armed with a Beretta:
The Hermes Solution [Lisa Schiffren]
When I was a reporter in a war zone where all civilians carried guns — i.e. Afghanistan in the 1980s — reporters were strongly advised not to, because it was important to maintain the distinction between combatants and civilians, should anything happen, and rules need to be invoked. So the idea of Lindsey Graham carrying a gun in Iraq is more than merely ridiculous. It potentially endangers him.
I was going to suggest that we offer pistols, maybe with fashionably knotted Hermes scarves dangling from them, to certain congressional leaders who like to travel to hotspots and denounce U.S. policy there. But that would really be immature and inappropriate.
Graham is actually an officer in the Air Force Reserve, so, you know, he’s not — in Iraq, at the moment, at least — a civilian. Unlike the sons of some presidential candidates I could name.
But, recently, Schiffren corrected herself:
re: Graham [Lisa Schiffren]
Thanks to all of the readers who have pointed out that Lindsey Graham is in Iraq as a combatant — on reserve duty — and needs his gun. Horse of a different color, there. And a nice rebuke to those who claim war supporters don’t serve or let their kids serve.
If by “rebuke,” you mean “one of the exceptions that proves the rule,” sure. But, really, now I’m left wondering about what kind of “solution” Schiffren was thinking of when she suggested the scarves. Does she know something about Lindsey we don’t? (Maybe that he’s secretly against the war…) Or is she trying to say that in addition to carrying the guns that could make them targets, rebellious U.S. representatives that go to war zones should also carry bright pieces of clothing that make them more visible targets? Like, so, the enemy can kill them more easily?
And they said Rove was a political genius…
UPDATE: Yes, he was there as a reserve officer.
UPDATE UPDATE: While he’s not exactly patrolling the streets, my understanding is that Graham is, technically, “on active duty” in Iraq (the only congressman to do so over the course of this war); he goes a week at a time to act as judge advocate. He often combines these trips with a co-del, true, but I doubt he carries a gun then. Couldn’t find a story on his current trip, but here’s a story on the stretch that ended in that unfortunate “stroll through the market” photo-op. (All of this is Google-able, btw!) You can disagree with the guy, but he’s walking the walk here, folks.