The Washington Free Beacon reports (h/t John Rosenthal):
Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.) called the idea that the U.S. could not arm the right rebels in Syria to fight Bashir al-Assad “damned foolishness” in an interview with Charlie Rose Tuesday.
McCain has pushed for establishing a safe zone and supplying rebel forces with necessary weaponry.
He was especially frustrated with Gen. James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, and Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, two administration officials who once favored arming rebels but said they were skeptical because of growing Islamist influence.
“Well, doesn’t that mean it was a terrible tragic failure that we didn’t act then and get these weapons to the right people then?” McCain asked. “And of course it’s damned foolishness. Of course we can get the weapons to the right people. Of course if we set up a Benghazi in Syria, we can get them to the right people.”
The gulf, the chasm between John McCain and Reality must now be measured in light years.
He still thinks — not “thinks” — he remains captured by the fiction that the “rebels” in Benghazi are inspired by the Spirit of ’76, not the Koran. He remains captured by the fiction that “rebels” in Benghazi are pro-American, not late of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan on the Other Side. He remains captured by the fiction that Benghazi, that Libya, that “Arab Spring” are part of a freedom-on-the-march victories for the United States, if not also for some fuzzy conception of “humanity” itself. He is blind to this cycle of jihad we are all living through.
One answer may be found in the statement McCain released immediately after the 9/11/12 attack on the US compound in Benghazi — the same attack that “whistleblowers” now, finally, but too late, promise to address by disputing some of the many lies the Obama administration told about its decision to withhold, first, military assistance from besieged Americans, then, the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth from the American people. This is the rat that Mitt Romney smelled immediately and then decided to ignore, thereby ensuring his defeat at the polls. The rat that the media, with few exceptions, did everything it could to tame and then ignore. This is the rat I cynically doubt that hearings this week will really corner and trap — but I hope I’m wrong.
Sens. McCain, Lieberman and Graham released the following statement, which I blogged at the time here.
We are anguished and outraged by the death of four citizens of the United States, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, during an attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi. Our thoughts and prayers go out to their families.
Chris was one of America’s finest and bravest diplomats, and also someone we considered a friend. In the midst of last year’s uprising in Libya, Chris traveled at great personal risk to Benghazi to represent the country he loved as the U.S. envoy to the Libyan opposition. He advanced American interests and values in Libya and stood with the Libyan people throughout their struggle for freedom and during the challenging times that followed.
Unless American interests are Al Qaeda interests, Stevens did no such thing. A seismic shift in US policy came about in Libya, supported, maybe led by Chris Stevens who had come to believe that overthrowing Qaddafi was the way to tame the jihadists. He and the Obama administration that enacted this policy were wrong. This will not come out in hearings, either.
His death at the hands of extremists is a tragic and awful loss for the people of both the United States and Libya.
Stevens’ death was at the hands of the “Libyan opposition” he served as US envoy to. This won’t come out in the hearings, either.
There is still much we do not know about what happened in Benghazi yesterday.
Such as: What was Stevens doing in Benghazi on 9/11/12? What was the CIA doing in Benghazi the rest of the time? Running guns to John McCain’s “rebels” in Syria? This, I’m afraid, won’t come out in hearings, either.
What is clear, however, is that the attackers must be apprehended and punished. …
To date, the only person punished for the attack is Nakoula Bassely Nakoula, producer of “Innocence of Muslims.” His prison sentence is a sacrifice to the Islamic world under Islamic blasphemy law. This won’t come out in hearings, either.
Yesterday’s attack is a tragic and terrible reminder that – despite the hopes of the Arab Spring – the forces of violent extremism in the Middle East are far from defeated, and that the revolutions inspired by millions of people who dream of freedom and democracy can still be hijacked by small groups of violent extremists who are eager to kill to advance their evil ideology.
It’s called Islam and, as the history of jihad tells us (and redundantly so), this is exactly what it looks like on the march. It’s also very popular with Muslims, That won’t come out in the hearings either, now or at Doomesday.
Now for McCain’s major head case:
Despite this horrific attack, we cannot give in to the temptation to believe that our support for the democratic aspirations of people in Libya, Egypt, and elsewhere in the broader Middle East is naive or mistaken.
Translation: “temptation to believe” = evidence. McCain cannot “give in” to the evidence that contradicts his utopian visions.
We cannot resign ourselves to the false belief that the Arab Spring is doomed to be defined not by the desire for democracy and freedom that has inspired millions of people to peaceful action, but by the dark fanaticism of terrorists.
Similarly, “false belief” = fact. Team McCain — which includes the multitude of boosters of “Arab Spring” — cannot resign themselves to the fact that “Arab Spring” will be defined by Islam, as the driver of Islamic law, Islamic jihad, and, someday, jihad, or jihads over where the capital of the Islamic caliphate will be.