Frenemies

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This is why we need to stay out of Syria:

McCain Wasn’t Posing With Rebel Kidnapper, Spokesman Says

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.

“In coordination with the Syrian Emergency Task Force, Senator John McCain traveled to and from Syria with General Salim Idris, the chief of staff of the Supreme Military Council of the Syrian opposition, to meet with two senior Free Syrian Army commanders,” said McCain spokesman Brian Rogers on Wednesday in an email to BuzzFeed. “None of the individuals the senator planned to meet with was named Mohamad Nour or Abu Ibrahim. A number of other Syrian commanders joined the meeting, but none of them identified himself as Mohamad Nour or Abu Ibrahim.”

“As the Syrian Emergency Task Force has said: ‘Senator McCain did not go to Syria to meet with anyone named Mohamad Nour or Abu Ibrahim. Two members of our organization were present in the meeting, and no one called himself by either name.’”

Rogers said that if the man in the photo turns out to actually be Mohamed Nour, that is “regrettable.”


Pop Quiz: Name all the political factions in Syria.

Do you know who’s who over there? I sure don’t. But I’ll bet you money that there are lots of people in and around Syria who would love to get our help in taking over control. But just because they want our help don’t make them our friends.

Bashar Hafez al-Assad is not a very nice guy. Israel certainly doesn’t care for him. But if he gets knocked off or chased out, who will take his place? All the options are bad or worse, none of them has much control over the others and we can’t trust any of them.

Here’s an example:

The Syrian men who sat radially around the beige couch in the Turkish hotel were keen to get their hands on some of that batch of weapons. But first, the Libyans wanted to know who the Syrians were exactly and which rebel group each represented. There was a representative from Jund-Allah (Soldiers of God), which operates in and around the capital Damascus; a commander from Ansar al-din (Supporters of the Faith) in Lattakia province; and most significantly a man who is one of the seven members of the political office of Jabhat Syria il-Islamiya (the Syrian Islamic Front), one of the country’s largest, most cohesive and strongest Islamist militant coalitions, led by the Salafi Ahrar al-Sham Brigades. (The extremist al-Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra is not part of this alliance.)

Coffee was ordered — Turkish coffee for the Syrians and cappuccinos for the Libyans. The Libyan from Zintan, wearing faded black jeans, a cream-colored shirt stretched taut across his waist and a gray sports jacket, did most of the talking. He fingered black worry beads, while his colleague from Benghazi listened. His first question was about whether the men around him recognized the FSA and its 14 provincial military councils. All said they did not. “Their commanders are failures, they are corrupt,” the Syrian from Ansar al-Din said.

“There is not even one battalion, in all honesty, that they can control,” the Islamic Front representative said. “These people [senior defectors in the FSA like the one the Libyans had met the night before] were placed as facades, in the beginning, as media personalities, but as real commanders on the ground? Not at all.”


As far as I am concerned our best option is to stay on the sidelines and let this drama play out without our help. If we do anything at all it should be to quietly encourage the various factions to exhaust themselves in a long and bloody war. But that option would be hard on the innocent bystanders, most of whom are women and children.

This is real life, not Hollywood. Sometimes there are no happy endings.


About Myiq2xu

I was born and raised in a different country - America. I don't know what this place is.
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29 Responses to Frenemies

  1. myiq2xu says:

    Wait, this is MSNBC???

  2. The smartest thing for a westerner to do in this sitaution is follow the lead of a trustworthy neighbor to Syria. Where, oh where might one of those be found, mayhaps you ask? Yes, that is a bit difficult what with how our gov’t has recently reacted to our former best friend in the area.

  3. HELENK says:

    By going to Syria McCain has made himself a joke. there is a thing on twitter about what will McCain recognize .
    that is a very sad ending for a man who has stood up for this country. It is time for him to retire and spend time with his family

  4. HELENK says:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-22713119

    Assad says his army has balance of power.

    Russia just sent missiles to him

  5. foxyladi14 says:

    Poor John..he has made himself a joke. And not a ha ha one. 😦

  6. myiq2xu says:

    Eric Holder Is “The Moses of Our Time”

    {{Headdesk}}

    • yttik says:

      LOL, wait, what??! Moses?

      My local paper, very liberal, is desperately trying to run editorials demanding Obama be held accountable for spying on reporters, drone attacks, Benghazi…..but not in a way that will hurt him. I kid you not, they’re currently having a debate on how to hold the president accountable without it actually costing him anything. It’s quite the dilemma, I tell ya.

  7. myiq2xu says:

    I am making enfrijolada casserole.

  8. driguana says:

    This is just one reason why politicians are so disgusting…..Schumer and Franken are really despicable. Never did like Franken…he was awful on Air America and worse as an elected politician. And love the little d-bag staff person running behind Franken saying how pressed for time they are…..well, little d-bag, Americans are pressed for time, too!!!

    • Mary says:

      Bring on the collapse!

      • Lulu says:

        It is a cycle that has a natural end. They think they can do no wrong and anything they want. I’m glad that it is happening on Obama’s watch. He is the ultimate purveyor of this elite moral collapse which in essence is that they have no morals.

        • Mary says:

          Yup. And insufferable arrogance.

          I am reminded of 2 things, just off the top of my head: Icarus and “Pride goeth before a fall.”

          Let em collapse. Only then can anything substantial and decent be rebuilt.

  9. Mary says:

    New Obama polls, post scandals:

    Reuters: (poll dated 5/24-5/28):
    45% approve 50% disapprove

    Quinnipiac (dated 5/22-5/28):
    45% approve 50% disapprove

    Ruh roh.

    • Lulu says:

      It takes a while for the stink to catch up with the shit. That was one of the sayings my grandfather got fussed at for saying.

      • Mary says:

        LOL One of my own grandfather’s favorite comments about politicians like Obama (which, of course, the church ladies all tut-tutted about):

        Never trust a man who’s slicker n’ snot.

    • 1539days says:

      My estimate was a prolonged, month-long media cycle would be enough to damage Obama, even among the 47%. We are about a week away from that point. He has loser stink on him and no real way to get it off him.

      • Mary says:

        There’s more, in the Quinnipiac poll (at RCP , if anyone wants even more details):

        Something like 72% of Americans think the IRS scandal is worthy of an Independent Counsel investigation, including a majority of Independent voters.

        That’s huge, if he’s lost Independents.

  10. 1539days says:

    Syria’s tribalism makes our tribalism look trivial. They have generations long conflicts and who’s in political office is generally meaningless. Israel knows almost everything because it’s their business, but they stopped trusting us now. If they give any intelligence to the State Department, there’s a decent chance Obama will turn around and share it with unsavory parties.

    • wmcb says:

      If I were Israel, I wouldn’t trust the US any further than I could throw them right now. I’m betting all of Bibi’s contingency planning is now done with a “We’re on our own” scenario in mind.

    • Ya know Helen – funny how those places have stood for a thousand years or more – with all sects, tribes and faiths passing them by, using them or ignoring them. Including Muslims. But TODAY’S ISLAMISTS seem far more destructive and IGNORANT than any peoples in ancient times. It baffles the mind. I just couldn’t watch the whole thing.

      Where does it stop? Or does it?

  11. HELENK says:

    Iowa Hawk

    @iowahawkblog Even Moses’ meeting with God on the mountain top was “on the record.”
    Retweeted by David Burge

  12. driguana says:

    recent Quinnipiac poll….women still basically support the Democratic party and Obama…not sure why…
    http://www.quinnipiac.edu/institutes-and-centers/polling-institute/national/release-detail?ReleaseID=1899

    • Because they are exceedingly easy to persuade based on a lifetime of training to please people and be compliant?

      That’s my take anyway. No one is more responsive to the bleating of a flock than women, IMHO. It’s built into the system.

      • 1539days says:

        It reminds me of Animal Farm. The pigs convince the others that humans are worse. Then they work the animals to death under the impression that they are working in their own interest.

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