Here’s the exchange that Politico’s Dylan Byers believes ended in John McCain for the win.
Sen. John McCain criticized Fox & Friends’s Brian Kilmeade on Tuesday after the co-host said he had “a problem with helping out” members of the Syrian opposition who were shouting “Allahu Akbar” as rockets rained down in a government-held district of Homs.
During an interview with Sen. McCain, Kilmeade played the clip of the Syrian opposition fighters in order to suggest that McCain’s plan to deliver weapons to opposition groups could ultimately backfire, putting rockets in the hands of terrorists.
“I have a problem helping out those people screaming that after a hit,” Kilmeade said.
Sen. McCain fired back, “Would you have a problem with an American person saying ‘Thank God! Thank God!’?”
“That’s what they’re saying. Come on!” Sen. McCain said. “Of course they’re Muslims, but they’re moderates. I guarantee you that they are moderates. I know them and I’ve been with them. For someone to say ‘Allahu Akbar’ is about as offensive as someone saying ‘Thank God.'”
Byers should have noted that McCain doesn’t know Syria’s opposition as well as he claims. He accidentally posed for a photo with jihadist kidnappers during a visit to Syria earlier this year. It’s very difficult to separate the few Jeffersonians from the al Qaeda rebels in Syria. Even with the NSA intercepting all of our phone calls. That’s why many are cautious about intervening in Syria.
Byers might also have noted that jihadists tend to shout “Allahu Ackbar!” when they’re beheading journalists, as Daniel Pearl’s murderers did, and when they’re shooting up American military bases, as convicted mass murderer Nidal Hasan did. It’s not the same thing, post 9-11, as a Christian saying “Thank God!” Not even close, and certainly not in the context of Syria’s civil war.