1930s or 1940s
CHARLESTON, S.C. - Sen. Lindsey Graham said the United States has "screwed up" in Iraq but that the fundamental idea of the war was still correct.
"I know Iraq is a mess and we have screwed up seven ways from Sunday," the South Carolina Republican told about 300 people at the College of Charleston on Sunday, the eve of the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.
"We underestimated how hard it would be. But the fundamental idea behind Iraq is still correct," said Graham, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
"If we back out of this fight ... your children and grandchildren will never know peace," Graham warned.
He told the audience, "I come here with more questions than answers" and wondered "how do you deal with people who have no place on the planet for you?"
Graham said pulling out of Iraq now would mean more bloodshed across the region.
He added the most critical question is whether Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad - who calls the Holocaust a hoax - means it when he says he would use nuclear missiles against Israel.
"The central issue of our time is the answer to that question," Graham said. "As we go into the 5th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks ... I believe this is the 1930s and '40s all over again."