...could have been president.
John McCain, secret Syrian agent. The guy to McCain's right is allegedly Mohammed Nour, who kidnapped Shiite pilgrims. McCain's office said, hey he didn't know, but he knows the good guys from the bad guys. Does anyone get a warm fuzzy as to what his presidential judgment would have looked like?
Call it Exhibit A of why it was so hard to pull the lever for this guy in 2008. The necessity of making that choice is the actual Obama administration, Exhibit B, although at least he's kept America out of the Syrian conflict--for now at least (unless a big distraction is needed should one the scandals spin out of control).
Syria is not Iraq. They don't have a long history of targeting Americans or attacking their neighbors. They're allied with Iran, making things complex. They actually worked with us in the GWoT (just like Libya) in detaining some pretty bad guys. Case in point, after we stabbed Assad in the back by backing the rebels he released the infamous 'red headed terrorist', the guy who long ago formulated the kind of local jihad we are now seeing across the globe such as in Boston. Gaddafi's weapons ended up in the hands of jihadists, too.
Therefore most Americans are wary of US involvement in Syria despite any WMD bluster. After what happened in Iraq they probably wouldn't be persuaded even if some of Hussein's chemical weapons turn up on the streets of Damascus, crossing the red line. They also notice that some of the major rebel players are aligned with the same barbarians who ran planes into the Trade Center in 2001. John McCain apparently sees them as brave freedom fighters in the mold of Patrick Henry, dancing in the streets during the Cedar Revolution. There were flags being raised in that one, but no black flags of jihad were seen.
The late Christopher Hitchens' brother has a piece today about western blowback, accusing Britain of helping to ignite the region so they can help save it, something the west has been doing a long time by choosing sides between tinpots and terrorists. But perhaps there's a much higher nuance.
Perhaps, as Saddam Hussein himself suggested, the grand strategy is really to keep the Arabs, Persians and South Asians fighting amongst themselves. It certainly was the US strategy during the Iran-Iraq war. A weakened and divided Arabia/Persia can't organize into a coalition and truly wipe Israel off the map or put a stranglehold on worldwide oil currency.
Or maybe it's less than that. Maybe our current fearless leaders think that by helping jihadists in Libya, Egypt, and Syria they will repay them with positive blowback in the future despite what happened after we helped defeat the Soviets in Afghanistan or after our Balkans intervention.
It seems people here in the states understand the reality of a very complex region where the enemies are often undefined. McCain doesn't appear to be one of them.
SPEAKING OF IDIOCY 6/3/13
Are these guys trying to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory? You don't go on TV and call Jay Carney a 'paid liar', fer chrissakes. Yes, pretty much EVERYBODY in DC is a paid liar, going all the way to the top, but it's not something you say when they are on the ropes, giving them a lifeline to change the subject. Cripes.