The PJ Tatler

Sen. McCain Meets with Syrian Rebels, Ends Up Posing with Islamist Kidnappers

Sen. John McCain slipped into Syria to meet with rebels. A couple of them wanted to pose with him for photos. They’ve turned out to be terrorists, according to a report in the Washington Times. Odds of Sen. John McCain learning anything from this adventure: Zero.

Two men pictured next to Mr. McCain were responsible for kidnapping 11 Lebanese Shiites, press from that country is claiming, as reported in the Daily Mail. And nine of those abducted are still being held hostage, the Daily Star in Beirut claims.

The two suspected kidnappers — Mohamed Nour and Abu Ibrahim — in the photo with Mr. McCain are members of the Northern Storm militant group, who are believed to have planned and executed the abduction, the Daily Star said.

Mr. McCain’s office went on the defensive, issuing a statement through spokesman Brian Rogers.

“A number of the Syrians who greeted Sen. McCain upon his arrival in Syria asked to take pictures with him, and as always, the senator complied,” he said, as quoted in the Daily Mail. “[It] would be regrettable” if those pictured with the senator were kidnappers, he added.

McCain’s office is now in the position of having to contend that the senator does not condone kidnapping. That stance will be obvious on this side of the world, but what about the Middle East, where every rumor gets treated as fact? What effect might that photo of McCain posing with kidnappers have on those kidnappers’ enemies?

The United States has no interest getting involved in a war in which several of our enemies are busy killing each other. None.