Update: As we suspected, this story was sketchy. See end of post.
So here’s a heck of a thing: Back in May 2013, Forever Warmonger John McCain was really excited about the prospects of arming the Syrian moderates who were fighting to free that country from the iron grip of Bashar al-Assad. He even sneaked into the country to meet with the head of the Free Syrian Army, Gen. Salim Idris, the fellow in the striped shirt there (Idris was ousted in February of this year).
Only one small problem with the little photo-op: In addition to Idris, some of the other guys in the pic are apparently members of a slightly less “moderate” group: ISIS, the guys who are currently bringing down Iraq, and the photo is reportedly being circulated by ISIS as proof of their legitimacy. Oops.
And this is where you may want to get your skeptic hat on: The initial source for that claim appears to be righty blog WeaselZippers (they don’t cite a source), and so far, most of the reposts have been wingnut blogs trumpeting it as “proof” that there’s no such thing as a “moderate Muslim.” Even so, we’re happy to pass it along, if for no other reason that it’s yet more evidence that John McCain loves him some military intervening, regardless of who it is that we’re intervening for, just as long as we’re bombing somebody.
And if you’d like a more nuanced look at McCain’s love for whoever he thinks is the enemy of our enemy, go take a look at this piece at the Atlantic, which frankly just left us thinking what a wonderful can of worms America opened when it “liberated” Iraq.
Update, 9/17/2014: Looks like we were right to be skeptical about the ISIS connection here — last week, the New York Times ran a fairly conclusive debunking of the claim that the people in these pictures are members of ISIS. We noted in the original article that the sourcing of the claim was dubious, and are happy to provide this clarification. Thanks to the Daily Beast for suggesting that we repeated the story uncritically.