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McCain says we can identify the good guys in Syria — after he unwittingly meets with kidnappers!

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Published on: May 30, 2013

You don’t really need more than that headline, do you?

As a metaphor for U.S. interventionism in Syria, it’s hard to do better than this:

Senator John McCain’s office is pushing back against reports that while visiting Syria this week he posed in a photo with rebels who kidnapped 11 Lebanese Shi’ite pilgrims…

“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,” Rogers said.

Of course he doesn’t condone it. The State Department doesn’t condone jihadism as an ideology either, yet in both cases we’d be asked to make common cause with it in the name of replacing a Shiite fundamentalist regime’s puppet with a Sunni fundamentalist “democracy.” Watch McCain’s interview about his Syria trip below and count how many bad arguments there are for intervention. One, at around 2:40, has him arguing that we can “handle” this because, after all, we have the world’s greatest military. That implication, that we should take this challenge on in part to show that we’re equal to it, is both very McCain-esque very unconvincing. If Russian-made Syrian missiles end up shooting down a few American planes, what’s the next step in the challenge that we’re required to accept? If we succeed in decimating Assad from the air, how do we meet the challenge of restraining Sunni fanatics from ethnically cleansing the Alawites? He says the status quo is terrible, which is true, without ever explaining how deviating from it would necessarily be an improvement.

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