How fucking marvelous that in a classically impulsive and dumb trip into Syria, McCain may have unwittingly been photographed next to a known multiple kidnapper of Shia pilgrims. Hey, he’s our multiple kidnapper. Soon, we may have our own Sunni Jihadists too! Larison pounces:
McCain’s spokesman insisted that he wasn’t aware of this, and presumably that’s true, but the episode illustrates how unwise McCain’s overall position on Syria is. McCain went to Syria so that he could vouch for the virtues of the opposition, but at least some of the people he wants the U.S. to arm are already engaged in sectarian and criminal behavior. The standard interventionist line is that U.S. backing for the opposition would enable Washington to discourage and prevent such behavior, but it is far more likely that it would simply make the U.S. complicit in it.
Steve Chapman asks why, after Libya’s slow fracturing into Islamist chaos, Iraq in a post-surge wave of sectarian killing, and, well Afghanistan (enough said), we should even entertain the idea that intervention in Syria could possibly be worth it. Joe Klein makes related points:
A few years ago, McCain made a well-publicized walk through a Baghdad market, didn’t get shot at, and pronounced major progress in Iraq afterward. A few weeks later, I made the same walk but actually spoke to the shopkeepers—all of whom were supporters of Muqtada al-Sadr, the Shi’ite militia leader.
The point is: We just don’t know these places well enough to go over and draw grand conclusions about policy. In a way, McCain’s trip is a perfect metaphor for the problem of involving ourselves with the Syrian rebels. We may be siding with the greater evil. We may be throwing fuel on a fire that could consume the region. Our track record when it comes to such things is dismal.
After reviewing McCain’s case for war, Allahpundit quips:
The fact that he can’t sell his interventionism honestly reminds me again that he’s probably, and inadvertently, a better salesman for isolationism at this point than even Rand Paul is.