Syria

Rebels Who Posed For Photo With Sen. McCain in Syria Identified As Kidnappers By Lebanese Press

|

Reason

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) recently said that he is confident that the U.S. would be able to send weapons to rebels in Syria without the worrying elements of Assad's opposition getting hold of them.

Unfortunately for Sen. McCain it looks like when he visited rebels a few days ago in Syria he posed in a photo with rebels that The Daily Star, a Lebanon-based newspaper, has identified as men involved in the kidnapping of Lebanese pilgrims.

From BuzzFeed:

WASHINGTON — 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.

The photo, released by McCain's office, shows McCain with a group of rebels. Among them are two men identified in the Lebanese press as Mohamed Nour and Abu Ibrahim, two of the kidnappers of the group from Lebanon.

A McCain spokesman said that no one who met with McCain identified themselves by either of those names.

Hat tip to Adam Simpson for sending the Reason 24/7 crew the story on Sen. McCain's confidence about sending weapons to rebels in Syria.

Follow this story and more at Reason 24/7.

Spice up your blog or Website with Reason 24/7 news and Reason articles. You can get the widgets here. If you have a story that would be of interest to Reason's readers please let us know by emailing the 24/7 crew at 24_7@reason.com, or tweet us stories at @reason247.

NEXT: Supreme Court of El Salvador Refuses To Allow Seriously Sick Woman To Have Abortion

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. I am frankly surprised they were not the guys who attacked Bengazi.

    1. We don’t know they weren’t.

  2. Who’s the Hanoi Jane now?

    1. God McCain should have retired in 2008.

      1. He’s going the way of Grandpa Simpson pretty quickly.

        He’s practically wandering around the halls of the senate in his bathrobe and slippers threatening people with his oatmeal spoon at this point…

        1. He’s just trying to ward off those wacko birds.

        2. “I’m an elk, a Mason, a communist. I’m the president of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance for some reason.”

        3. He’s going the way of Grandpa Simpson pretty quickly.

          It is rather amusing to watch the ascension of Rand Paul and the absolute collapse of old guardsmen like McCain. Brings a smile to my face.

      2. God McCain should have retired in 201908.

    2. *snort*

      Senile old fart probably thought he was attending a reunion.

  3. Yet more evidence that we really have no idea who we are dealing with anywhere in the Middle East. Why the hell do we care what happens over there again?

    1. Even if some people can’t help but care, why does that mean we have to do something?
      Go ahead and empathize all you want, but leave it at that.

    2. The argument I have always heard was 1) we need to have some control over the oil distribution and 2) our ally Israel needs to be supported. My issues with those two reasons have always been 1)let the oil sellers ensure it’s delivery, they can certainly afford it and 2) I trust Israel to know more than any US politician who to deal with and how, up to an including nuking the shit out of anyone that crosses them, and I’m alright with it mostly because I seriously don’t care what happens over there at all. If they all want to destroy each other, get on it with it. If there are people that want to be peaceful and liberalize in the classic sense, I’m all for it, but they must win that on their own or it will not work anyway.

      1. I was wondering about that myself the other day. One thing I noticed: the only country that’s been fighting wars most of the time for the past 20 years has been the US.

        It came up in the context of discussing what happens if the EU breaks up and they start fighting against each other. The only country in the EU that’s actually had its military do significant war-fighting in the past 50 years is the UK, so it would probably be a slap-fight (to use John’s apt term). And we’re so afraid of the PRC and NK, but neither of them have fought a war in 50 years either!

        So maybe we’re just keeping ourselves sharp for a future conflict against a big opponent?

        1. I’ve also wondered how much the combat experience of fighting personnel would matter in a conflict with, say, PRC.

          Anyone with military experience care to comment ?

          1. Depends on their training. The difference between the PRC and the EU is that the PRC hasn’t let it’s military atrophie like Europe has. No single country in Europe (with the exception of the Brits) could fend off much of an attack on their own.

            The Chinese can. And remember, they are learning lessons from our wars as well, so if they are in fact training based on our “lessons learned” and doing a lot of it, they could be fairly formidable despite doing no actual fighting.

            1. Do they have anything like NTC or Red Flag, Francisco?

              The PRC, IIRC, haven’t fought a land war since the late 70s, with Vietnam. And it didn’t go smashingly well for them. They did roll over Tibet, but that’s not saying much.

              No one says they can’t learn fast though.

              1. I have no idea. Been a long time since I was in that world and most of our focus was the middle east. Back in the early 90s, they were saying Russian pilots were getting just a couple of hours a month, but that was as things were falling apart over there. I was getting 20-40 hours a month as a bomber pilot. Our fighter guys were probably getting 20 or so.

                As far a China goes, they are in the process of a buildup. Normally that means more training as well. I doubt they train anywhere near what our guys do, but I cannot say for sure.

                Found this.

                And this from Air Force Magazine.

                In flight training, today’s PLAAF reportedly gives pilots 200 hours a year in the air, a striking increase from the fewer than 24 hours a year during the depths of the Cultural Revolution. In this respect, the PLAAF is approaching the standard set by USAF. China’s days of fielding obsolete air forces with poor training and outdated doctrine have clearly come to an end.

  4. The only person other than Lindsey Graham that takes McCain seriously anymore is John McCain. He’s a laughing stock chicken little that has far outworn any benefit of the doubt that was due to him for his time in Vietnam.

    1. Being a war hero should get you benefit of the doubt about your personal courage and no more. I should count for nothing in politics. McCain is a great example of why giving war heroes credit in politics is a bad idea. The things that made McCain an incredibly courageous POW, being a bull headed, ego maniac, made him a terrible politician. If you look at McCain, I have no doubt he drove the North Vietnamese nuts. He is such an egotistical asshole. He is the kind of guy you could kick in the head and lock in a Tiger cage for four months and he would walk out and tell you to go fuck yourself and how happy he was to be the most important prisoner at the Hanoi Hilton. Made him a hell of a prisoner. But do you really want that guy in any position of authority?

      1. The things that made McCain an incredibly courageous POW, being a bull headed, ego maniac, made him a terrible successful politician.

        FTFY

        1. Successful and terrible are not mutually exclusive.

          1. I might even say they are equivalent.

      2. I have no doubt he drove the North Vietnamese nuts. He is such an egotistical asshole. He is the kind of guy you could kick in the head and lock in a Tiger cage for four months and he would walk out and tell you to go fuck yourself and how happy he was to be the most important prisoner at the Hanoi Hilton.

        So, Henry Kissinger had more leverage than he knew during the Paris talks?

        1. Yes. My guess is that if he had told the North Vietnamese take the deal of you will be stuck with McCain for the next ten years, they would have folded like chairs.

      3. It’s not just McCain. Our system ensures that the stubborn, dishonest power-hungry egotists always wind up in positions of power. The rise of the Internet has actually reinforced this, as anyone who ever changes their position on something is labeled a flip-flopper, so you really have to be stubborn and dogmatic to get ahead now.

  5. He’s like an angry, intemperate Mr Magoo.

    1. You mis-spelled “incontinent”.

  6. I said the other day that it would come back to bite him. That is one dumb motherfucker. A little poli-sci 101, rebels are always thugs. It’s an occupational hazard because you still have to generate a revenue stream without having conventional economic enterprise available to you.

    1. “because you still have to generate a revenue stream steal from people without having conventional economic enterprise a coercive state apparatus, aka “an organized criminal gang” available to you.”

      FTFY.

      1. Not all are in it for the top prize. Some just want to be the best in show and have immortalizing t-shirts made of their visage.

    2. Or get aid from a more established gang of thugs, like a foreign government.

      1. Uhm, sure, you want to command an army, Monsieur Lafayette? We can . . . do that. The money is still coming, right?

  7. So it’s the Lebanese press that produce the alt-text?

  8. I must say, things would have worked out better had the North Vietnamese just kept him…

  9. A McCain spokesman said that no one who met with McCain identified themselves by either of those names.

    You mean one of the rebels might use an alias? I am SHOCKED!

  10. 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 McCain spokesman said that no one who met with McCain identified themselves by either of those names.

    “They didn’t tell me they were kidnappers, so it’s totally OK that I wanted to send them guns! Because good intentions!!1!”

  11. The only thing I can say, is that if they were kidnappers, for Gawds sake, why didn’t they take that old geezer off our hands?

    1. The Vietnamese has warned them that that was a very bad idea.

    2. That might be how he ended up over there. Then he started talking about how he used to wear an onion on his belt and they changed their minds.

      1. But it was the style at the time!

  12. This could be Hezbollah/Assad propaganda. They make up stuff all the time. If you follow the pro-Assad propaganda online, they assert falsehoods about videos and images every day.

    Then again, this story could be entirely true.

    1. If you want to get really Byzantine:

      Assad’s supporters could believe it to be false while it is actually true.

      The Middle East is the Wonderland of terrorism.

      1. You’re spot on. You know you’re Middle East.

        1. He’s Middle East?

          1. your, you know that’s what I meant

    2. I’m not saying I know the story to be true, but the *Daily Star* seems at least as respectable as any American paper.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lebanon_Daily_Star

      1. High bar to clear there, Ed.

  13. If McCain were a liberal Democrat, Hollywood would be falling over itself to make a movie about his “zany antics” like they did with that rat bastard Charlie Wilson.

    1. That movie lost me when Tom Hanks said John Murtha was “clean”. WTF-ever.

  14. Aiding and abetting Al Qaeda? Can’t we ship him to Guantanamo for that? And schedule a military tribunal someday?

  15. The photo, released by McCain’s office, shows McCain with a group of rebels. Among them are two men identified in the Lebanese press as Mohamed Nour and Abu Ibrahim, two of the kidnappers of the group from Lebanon.

    A McCain spokesman said that no one who met with McCain identified themselves by either of those names.

    How dare people lie to a United States Senator! Who the fuck do these Syrian punks think they are? If they keep pissing McCain off, he might have to crash a plane in Damascus to show them what a war hero he is!

  16. OH DELICIOUS! It sustains me! nomnomnom

  17. A McCain spokesman said that no one who met with McCain identified themselves by either of those names.

    Cluelessness and ignorance excuses the whole thing, see? He took a play out of the Obama book.

    1. “There was a Biggus Dickus and a Nautius Maximus, but neither of those names.”

      1. Biggus Dickus has a wife you know. Icontinentia Buttocks.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.