Graham: Obama’s lack of leadership leading to ‘explosion in the Middle East’

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South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, a leading Republican voice on foreign policy, launched a sharp attack against the Obama administration on Wednesday, saying the president’s lack of leadership would “lead to an explosion in the Middle East.”

“This administration has no concept of the Arab Spring,” Graham told Fox News. “They’re disengaging and the lack of leadership is about to lead to an explosion in the Middle East.”


Late Tuesday, the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other staffers were killed in an attack by an angry mob on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. The attack in Libya came as Egyptian protesters, in a separate incident, scaled the walls of the U.S. embassy in Cairo and tore and burned an American flag that was flying at half-mast for the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

Graham didn’t limit his criticism of the Obama administration to those incidents. He also blasted the president’s “hands-off policy toward Iraq,” and said the United States was “allowing Assad to murder his own people” in Syria.

“It’s about to explode,” Graham reiterated. “The American disengagement, lack of leadership, and leading from behind is leading to uncertainty and doubt on all fronts. ... There is no substitute for leadership by the United States and every group within the region is uncertain about who we are and what we believe.”

Graham is not the first GOP lawmaker to rip the administration in light of the recent turmoil in the Middle East.

Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) defended Mitt Romney's criticisms of President Obama after attacks on the U.S. consulates in Egypt and Libya, saying they were signs the administration's foreign policy was “collapsing in many parts around the world.”

“I think what Mitt Romney was doing was recognizing that this is an administration whose foreign policy certainly is collapsing in many parts around the world,” he told CNN’s "Starting Point" on Wednesday.