ISIS is Not an Existential Threat to the Security of the U.S.—Contra John McCain

At about the 2:35 mark John McCain declares that the Al Qaeda conquest of part of Iraq is an “existential threat” to the United States.

That is absurd.

Weirdly, in the context of his talking, I wasn’t sure if he was more upset about the invasion of ISIS or about the fact that Iran is sending their military to protect Baghdad. Naturally, since we handed Iran an ally by overthrowing the Baathist government of Iraq and replacing it with a democracy in a Shiite majority country, Shiite-ruled Iran was bound to gain a friend where they formerly had an enemy.

In fact, there is reason to believe that Iran helped manipulate U.S. authorities into their decision to invade Iraq. As the Guardian reported in 2004,

An urgent investigation has been launched in Washington into whether Iran played a role in manipulating the US into the Iraq war by passing on bogus intelligence through Ahmad Chalabi’s Iraqi National Congress, it emerged yesterday.

Some intelligence officials now believe that Iran used the hawks in the Pentagon and the White House to get rid of a hostile neighbour, and pave the way for a Shia-ruled Iraq.

According to a US intelligence official, the CIA has hard evidence that Mr Chalabi and his intelligence chief, Aras Karim Habib, passed US secrets to Tehran, and that Mr Habib has been a paid Iranian agent for several years, involved in passing intelligence in both directions.

I’m not the only conservative that noticed how shrill and defensive John McCain sounded during his interview . The Daily Caller reports, “McCain Gets Cranky After HuffPo Reporter Asks If ‘Victory’ In Iraq Means Indefinite Occupation.”

Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain angrily sparred with Huffington Post reporter Sam Stein Friday morning, after Stein asked the hawkish senator if the only way to secure “victory” in Iraq is through endless American occupation.

The encounter begins about the four-minute mark.

McCain extolled our garrisoning countries all over the world, from Bosnia to South Korea to Germany as an example of what should have been done to Iraq. He makes it sound as if the Obama Administration did not want to leave residual forces in the country. I remember from the 2012 debates between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney that, when Obama boasted in removing troops from Iraq, Romney pointed out that he tried to leave a residual force but that the Iraqis refused. So Romney didn’t think that Obama didn’t want to leave a residual force the way McCain claims in this interview.

As the show host points out, McCain wants a lot of troops in a lot of places. Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria—once we invade and do another regime change as McCain ardently wishes—all become the homes of permanent U.S. military bases.

Let’s not forget that McCain is responsible for these people in Iraq that he now wants us to fight against. In Syria, these people have been empowered to massacre Christians, thanks to our support. He has looked Syrian Christians in the eye and claimed that he knew better than they did what is happening in Syria. He should. He went over there and posed for a photo op with terrorist kidnappers. Appropriately, when called on it, McCain pleaded ignorance—a completely believable excuse, but not one that leads me to trust his wisdom in making sure that weapons get to “the right people” in Syria. In fact, Al Qaeda-linked terrorists were always benefitting from our support of Syrian “rebels.”

So I’m not sure why McCain gets a hearing. He now wants us to go fight the people that he has been advocating that we arm in Syria. Why didn’t the interviewer ask him about that?