John McCain Poses for Photographs with Kidnappers

Kidnappers and McCain

When John McCain, Republican Senator from Arizona, met with Syrian rebels on Monday, he was unaware that when he posed for photographs with them, that at least two of the rebels were known kidnappers.

The Daily Star, a Lebanon-based newspaper, has identified the men involved in the kidnapping of 11 Lebanese Shiite pilgrims.  They were confirmed as Mohamed Nour and Abu Ibrahim.

McCain was accompanied by Supreme Military Council, Gen. Salim Idriss.  Idriss asked McCain to represent them before the Congress of the United States stressing their need of military assistance in the form of weaponry.

The kidnapped victims were passing through Syria from Iran, on their way to Lebanon in May of last year.  They were taken in Azaz in Syria’s Aleppo province.  Two of the victims were released in August and September, but negotiations are ongoing for the other nine.  They are in the control of The Northern Storm Brigade branch of the rebels.

According to one of the released hostages, Mohammad Nour, who is standing next to McCain, is the photographer and chief spokesman for The Northern Storm Brigade.

Abbas Ibrahim, one of the released hostages did not understand why McCain was posing with his former kidnappers.

“I recognized him immediately. He was the photographer who was brought in to take our photos.  He works with the kidnappers. He knows them very well,” Ibrahim said. “I don’t know anything about why McCain was visiting, or what he wanted, but I was very surprised to see Mohammad Nour there.”

Opponents of aid to the Syrian rebels claim that their association with the kidnappers should prevent funding for the rebel army.

Why would our government want to assist the rebels?  Isn’t it time that all the talking our government does about spending meant something?  We can’t afford it, and besides, we are not the world’s policeman.

The Syrian rebels are Islamic extremists, they’ll take our money, but they don’t like us.  Our misguided government must remove United States presence from the Arabic world.

Not a single positive result came from the Vietnam War, or the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.  Iran wants to see the destruction of our country, and we were supporters of the Shah until the day he was overthrown.  We supported Saddam Hussein, and then we killed him.  We put Karzai in power in Afghanistan, and his administration has proven to be corrupt.

I’m not proposing isolationism, but it’s time that our government does its job first, and that is taking care of America’s citizens.  Once our domestic problems are solved, our efforts should be in concert with our allies, those who actually like us.

America’s imperialist efforts always fail.  Our country ends up with poor relations with the nations we support and have showered with billions of dollars in foreign aid.  How about ceasing foreign aid all together, and give some of that money back to social security?  The government has embezzled most of the money from a program that would have been self-sustaining.

I know that John McCain was a war hero.  I know he was imprisoned and tortured by the North Vietnamese.  But war is never a solution to a nation’s problems.  Wars just procreate other obstacles, and cause enormous loss of life, as well as emptying the coffers of the nations involved.

When John McCain posed with the kidnappers, he probably didn’t know who they were.  But his reason for posing with the Syrian rebels is flawed.  The proof is in the pictures.  It is extremely doubtful, if they succeed in overthrowing Assad, that they will produce an improved situation for the people of Syria.

James Turnage

The Guardian Express


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