John McCain’s interview on “This Week” yesterday was just crazy, at least the part about Syria. McCain is in some kind of full-blown psychopathic breakdown on Syria at this point; he doesn’t know who’s fighting, why it matters, why America should or shouldn’t be involved, or how America could be involved, but he knows that somebody is fighting somewhere and America should be Doing Something. He’s Travis Bickle and the rest of us are the pimps and junkies:
Steve Benen gets this right as far as I’m concerned:
RADDATZ: Who’s them?
MCCAIN: I know them. I’ve met them. They’re there.
RADDATZ: But how do you pick out good rebels and bad rebels? You’ve got al Qaeda rebels running around.
MCCAIN: Martha, these are legitimate questions you’re asking, but they are there. And you put them inside Syria….These jihadists – there aren’t that many of them. They’re just so good, because they’ve been fighting all over the Middle East for all these years and they are not afraid to die…. Look, we can do this.
So, let’s review. John McCain, whom the media still perceives as a credible voice on foreign policy despite all of the evidence to the contrary, wants to vouch — personally — for the reliability of Syrian rebels. What about the inconvenient detail that many of the rebels have already pledged allegiance to al Qaeda? McCain considers that a “legitimate” question for which he has no legitimate answer.
After all, there aren’t “that many” al Qaeda allies fighting in Syria, so we shouldn’t feel qualms about giving them weapons and support. Why? Because “they are there.”
Behold, the Republicans’ top voice on matters related to international affairs.
“I know them. I’ve met them. They’re there.” What the hell is that? This guy is a foreign policy expert? Also too, for a great military mind, as Senator McCain seems to think he is, this (via transcript):
RADDATZ: Everybody I talk to said they just can’t possibly vet all of…
MCCAIN: They — they said they couldn’t penetrate without great costs, Syrian air defenses. I — didn’t the Israelis just kind of blow a hole a mile wide in that?
seems to display a shocking inability to distinguish the requirements and risks of a surprise, one-off air strike against a specific target from the requirements and risks of a sustained, massive air campaign, such as establishing a no-fly, or proactively degrading Syria’s air capability, would require.