Syrian rebels and the hypocrisy of McCain

"The View" co-host Meghan McCain went on an epic rant against anyone and everyone associated with the betrayal of our Syrian Kurdish allies.

"I've been so mad this morning and so upset about this news that we are abandoning our Kurdish allies in the Middle East. These are allies of ours that American soldiers are still continuing to fight alongside," McCain said. "All we did was arm them and they fought for America, and right now, we're just saying we're just going to leave them and abandon them."
"To everyone in the White House and every Republican who was mad that President Obama pulled out of Iraq: you feckless, unpatriotic cowards," McCain continued.

The Syrian Kurds that Meghan cares so deeply for are being attacked by the Turkish proxy-army of the Syrian National Army (SNA). The SNA commander is Salim Idris.
Here's a picture of Salim Idris. He's the one standing next to Meghan's dad.

John Mccain and Idris.jpg

McCain had insisted that the United States could locate the “right people” to help among rebels in Syria.
Which brings us to this picture.


Two of the men in the image are Mohamed Nour and Abu Ibrahim, claimed Lebanese newspaper The Daily Star. The men are described as being part of a group who kidnapped 11 Shias last year.

They were identified by one of the kidnap victims, Anwar Ibrahim, who along with one other hostage has since been freed, the Star said. Negotiations over the freedom of the other nine are still ongoing.

"I recognised him (Nour) immediately. He was the photographer who was brought in to take our photos [during captivity]. He works with the kidnappers. He knows them very well," Mr Ibrahim told the Star.

If those are the "right people" (i.e. kidnappers and people who want to destroy our allies) who are the wrong people?
It seems those people are the ones that Tulsi Gabbard met with.

Gabbard’s trip raised alarms over a potential violation of the Logan Act, a federal statute barring unauthorized individuals from conferring with a foreign government involved in a dispute with the US. The US currently has no diplomatic relations with Syria.
Gabbard’s office said her visit was approved by the House ethics committee.

So talking to a foreign government is wrong and possibly illegal, but giving aid to terrorists...? That is OK.

The late GOP Sen. John McCain — Meghan McCain's father — criticized the congresswoman's visit at the time. The elder McCain said Gabbard's visit with Assad sent the "wrong signal" and "kind of legitimizes a guy who butchered 400,000 of his own people."
"When I hear the name Tulsi Gabbard, I think of Assad apologist. I think of someone who comes back to the United States and is spouting propaganda from Syria," McCain said.

As far as I can tell, the only consistency of Meghan McCain and her father was that they opposed Assad and Gabbard. On every other issue they take both sides and contradict themselves, including who are our allies.

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ppnortney's picture

that Meghann McCain is very bright. She's certainly not well-informed. Even many who are John McCain apologists know the facts, they just don't care. She might as well just preface everything she says with "But my dad said....!", at least it would be honest.

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The smaller the mind the greater the conceit. --Aesop

boriscleto's picture

@ppnortney Usually prefaces everything she says. Or "As a conservative woman". Or "Can I just say something" over someone else trying to speak.

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" In the beginning, the universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry, and is generally considered to have been a bad move. -- Douglas Adams, The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy "

boriscleto's picture

You can feel yourself becoming less intelligent as you listen to her. How she has not gotten her own prime time slot on Fox?

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" In the beginning, the universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry, and is generally considered to have been a bad move. -- Douglas Adams, The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy "

ppnortney's picture

@boriscleto Not up to their "standards"?

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The smaller the mind the greater the conceit. --Aesop

of John McCain with FSA associated terrorists in Syria were taken during his trip to Syria in 2013 by one of his aides and were posted on his website. The exterior pictures you have posted, gjohnsit, included ISIS leader Al Baghdadi. The interior meeting photograph includes Al Baghdadi and possibly one other Baathist leader on the State Dept.'s Most Wanted Terrorist List.

The controversy about this meeting included identification of the terrorist kidnappers but also whether or not Senator McCain knew who he was meeting with. Senator Rand Paul was outspoken in pointing out that McCain's willingness to admit he didn't know who these people were was an important reason for Congress NOT to approve funding for the unidentified rebel groups to the tune of $4 billion.

Alleged ISIS Photo Controversy Engulfs Sen. John McCain

18 Sep 2014

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and his aides swear the Syrian “rebels” he was pictured last year with weren’t ISIS members or supporters, and the mainstream media is by and large buying the 2008 GOP presidential nominee’s story.

… But a closer look at the situation tells perhaps a different story than McCain’s office or the mainstream media have pushed.

The criticism of McCain centers around how the Arizona senator met with Syrian rebel leaders in May 2013 when he visited the country.

… Just last year, however, McCain’s office had no clue who the senator met. When allegations surfaced that the senator may have met with terrorists who kidnapped someone, Rogers–McCain’s communications director–went on the record to multiple media outlets to say he didn’t know who he was meeting with, and if he did meet with kidnapper terrorists, that would be regrettable.

… “A number of the Syrians who greeted Senator McCain upon his arrival in Syria asked to take pictures with him, and, as always, the senator complied,” Rogers said. “If the individual photographed with Senator McCain is in fact Mohamed Nour, that is regrettable. But it would be ludicrous to suggest that the Senator in any way condones the kidnapping of Lebanese Shia pilgrims or has any communication with those responsible. Senator McCain condemns such heinous actions in the strongest possible terms.”

Of course it’s ludicrous to suggest that McCain would condone the act of kidnapping, and nobody serious is suggesting that. The point many critics of McCain’s policies–including Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)–are making is that Americans have no way of knowing which team any one of these figures is on.

“Here’s the problem,” Paul said in an interview with The Daily Beast this week. “He [McCain] did meet with ISIS, and had his picture taken, and didn’t know it was happening at the time. That really shows you the quandary of determining who are the moderates and who aren’t. If you don’t speak Arabic, and you don’t understand that some people will lie to you–I really think that we don’t have a good handle on who are the moderates and who aren’t, and I think the objective evidence is that the ones doing most of the fighting and most of the battles among the rebels in Syria are the radical Islamists.”

… Paul has a serious point here... McCain really didn’t know who he was meeting with, and even if they were the supposedly “moderate” Free Syrian Army, who’s to know that they aren’t elements of the Free Syrian Army working alongside ISIS?

Patrick Poole, an esteemed national security reporter and expert on radical Islam for PJ Media, has reported that the Free Syrian Army’s commanders have admitted in public to working alongside ISIS. “As President Obama laid out his ‘strategy’ last night for dealing with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), and as bipartisan leadership in Congress pushes to approve as much as $4 billion to arm Syrian ‘rebels,’ it should be noted that the keystone to his anti-Assad policy — the ‘vetted moderate’ Free Syrian Army (FSA) — is now admitting that they, too, are working with the Islamic State,” Poole wrote on Sept. 10.

Poole cites the Lebanese newspaper Daily Star, which quotes a Free Syrian Army brigade commander as saying he is working with the “Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra, al-Qaeda’s official Syrian affiliate — both U.S.-designated terrorist organizations.”

Specifically, the quotes Poole pulls are:

“We are collaborating with the Islamic State and the Nusra Front by attacking the Syrian Army’s gatherings in… Qalamoun,” said Bassel Idriss, the commander of an FSA-aligned rebel brigade.

“We have reached a point where we have to collaborate with anyone against unfairness and injustice,” confirmed Abu Khaled, another FSA commander who lives in Arsal.

“Let’s face it: The Nusra Front is the biggest power present right now in Qalamoun and we as FSA would collaborate on any mission they launch as long as it coincides with our values,” he added.

In a lengthy floor speech on Thursday, Paul ripped the foreign policy establishment in Washington for assuming that FSA and ISIS are really distinct entities.

“According to a New York Times report, over a year ago, the CIA began training Syrian rebels in nearby Jordan, thousands of them, along with delivering arms and ammunition,” Paul said, according to a transcript of the speech provided to Breitbart News by his office. “New York Times reports also detailed the huge arms and financial transfers from Quatar to the Syrian rebels, beginning as early as 2011. No one really knows where that all ended up: Jane’s Terrorism Center noted, the transfer of Quatari arms to targeted groups has the same practical effect as shipping them to Al Nusra, a violent jihadist force. The New York Times further detailed that Sudan has provided anti-tank missiles and other arms.”

Shortly after those comments, Paul said that America can’t be sure–since supposedly “vetted moderates” are working alongside ISIS–who any of them are. He added that even if some might be loyal now, they could change their allegiances in a heartbeat–saying that some officials estimate that more than half of FSA forces have defected to ISIS.

“So the idea that these rebels haven’t been armed before is ludicrous on it’s face. It is also ludicrous to believe that we know where all of the money, arms and ammunition will end up, or who will end up benefiting from these shipments. Why? Because we don’t know for sure who the groups all are,” Paul said. “Even when we think we do, loyalties shift and groups become amorphous, with alleged moderates lining up with jihadists. And finally, moderate groups have often sold their weapons or had them seized by the jihadist elements led by ISIS.”

McCain’s office, however, fiercely defends the notion that FSA is not working alongside ISIS.

... maybe there is no formal “truce” between FSA and ISIS, but the reports of mass defections and quotes from FSA leaders and brigade commanders on record saying they are working with ISIS makes this much more complicated than the clear cut-and-dry issue the mainstream media have made it so as to rip Paul. When McCain’s office won’t name who exactly he met with, who exactly he’s photographed with–after last year admitting in public they didn’t know who he greeted in Syria–are we supposed to just take his word for it that some of those FSA leaders aren’t now working with ISIS–or maybe have outright joined ISIS, like that other FSA commander Poole and the Daily Star quote?

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snoopydawg's picture

@Linda Wood

Even if they didn't know they were arming ISIS at the start, they did find out that the weapons they gave the others were ending up in their hands. This first happened in Iraq when the weapons we gave the Iraqis were left behind during many battles. And McCain wasn't the only person who was in Syria with them. Lindsay was photographed with McCain as well as other senators. $4 billion was half of what Obama cut out of food stamps that year. Nice. More people starving so we could arm people to kill others. Very nice!

Then there's all the oil that ISIS was taking out of Syria be miles long convoys into Turkey to sell to Israel. Vlad gave Obama the heads up on that and he finally lobbed a few bombs at them. But he quit because he was afraid of civilian casualties... sure Barry.

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dervish's picture

I wasn't aware that we had any.

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