Senator Lindsey Graham says US financing of Ukraine war against Russia is “the best money we’ve ever spent”

On Friday, Republican Senator from South Carolina Lindsey Graham met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv and publicly praised the death of Russians in the US-NATO proxy war in Ukraine.

Responding to a comment from Zelensky applauding the bipartisan US support for the Ukrainian government, Graham said, “and the Russians are dying.” Graham also said that US support for the war in Ukraine was “the best money we’ve ever spent.”

On Sunday, the official Ukrainian press service published a video of the meeting that edited these separate comments by Graham such that he appears to say, “And the Russians are dying. The best money we’ve ever spent.”

A day later, the Ukrainian government released a longer video of the meeting that reveals how the earlier version had been edited. Graham actually made his comment about the “best money we’ve ever spent” in Ukraine before gloating about the Russian soldiers who are dying in the war.

In a video post on Telegram, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said, “If US Senator Lindsey Graham considers his words were taken out of context by the Ukrainian regime and he doesn’t actually think in the way presented then he can make a statement on video with his phone.” Zakharova added, “Only then will we know: does he think the way that was said or was it a performance by the Kyiv regime?”

Regardless of the Ukrainian video edit, both of Graham’s comments are in keeping with statements made by numerous political figures and representatives of US imperialism about the strategic significance of the American investment in the war against Russia in Ukraine.

In March 2022, approximately one month after the beginning of the conflict, Leon Panetta, former US secretary of defense and CIA director in the Obama administration and White House chief of staff in the Clinton administration, stated bluntly that the US was engaged in a proxy war with Russia in Ukraine, “whether we say so or not.”

Panetta added that, “The way you get leverage is by, frankly, going in and killing Russians.”

Last February, Anthony Cordesman, a proponent of the US wars of the past three decades at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, posted a commentary entitled, “Saving by Spending: The True Value and Cost-Effectiveness of U.S. Aid to Ukraine.”

Cordesman rationalized the rampant corruption in the Ukrainian regime and, of course, said nothing about the presence of fascists in the state and military apparatus of the Zelenksy regime sponsored by the US and NATO countries.

Cordesman went on that the “rising number of billions” being spent by the U.S. on the war—with an estimated 354,000 Russian and Ukrainian soldiers killed so far according to recent data—“is a vital investment” that will “save the United States substantial amounts of national security spending in the future.”

In other words, the section of the American ruling establishment for which Cordesman speaks consider the “winning” of the war against Russia in Ukraine to be an essential component of its global strategic military and political aims.

As Cordesman wrote, “the value of continued aid spending goes far beyond the value of supporting Ukraine. … What would the impact be on the actions of Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea if we cut back and let Ukraine fail, and how much would we then have to spend on deterrence and war? How many of our current strategic partners in Europe, Asia, and the rest of the world would trust and support us in a crisis and provide aid if we do not? What would the risks and costs of an avoidable future war be to the United States, not only in money but in blood?”

According to the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, the U.S. has spent a total of $75 billion in bilateral aid to Ukraine, $46.6 billion of which is military assistance, between January 24, 2022, and February 24, 2023. Ukraine is by far the top recipient of US foreign aid and the war in Ukraine is the first time that a country in Europe has occupied this spot since Harry S. Truman directed vast amounts through the Marshall Plan following World War II.

Lindsey Graham has been one of the most vocal Republican supporters of the war against Russia in Ukraine and his latest comments are a continuation of previous maniacal outbursts that have threatened to escalate the conflict with a nuclear armed power. In March 2022, Graham said that the only way Russia’s invasion of Ukraine would end is “for somebody in Russia to take this guy out.”

Graham tweeted, “You would be doing your country—and the world—a great service. Is there a Brutus in Russia? Is there a more successful Colonel Stauffenberg in the Russian military?” Stauffenberg was a German army officer who orchestrated the failed attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler on July 20, 1944.