Blathering Senator refuses to believe details of expert study

Steve Watson
Sept 19, 2013

Senile Senator John McCain, who has for months been demanding that Syrian rebels be armed by the US, says a study claiming up to 40 percent of the rebels are extremists is “not true” because he has personally met them.

Don’t attempt to look for any logic in McCain’s blathering, because there isn’t any.

The study, released in the week by by defense consultancy IHS Jane’s found that “the insurgency is now dominated by groups with at least an Islamist viewpoint of the conflict.”

“The idea that it is mostly secular groups leading the opposition is just not borne out.” said Charles Lister, author of the study.

Speaking to an audience at The Council On Foreign Relations, McCain stated “Not true, not true!”

“There’s about 70 percent still who are Free Syrian Army,” McCain said, despite the fact that the Jane’s study found that only around 30 percent of rebels are fighting for secular values,

While the London Telegraph suggested that the study claimed almost half of the rebel forces are jihadist or hardline Islamists, Lister himself tweeted:

Still, that is up to 40 percent jihadists or hardline Islamists, and bears no resemblance the the figure McCain has plucked seemingly out of thin air.

The Senator then attempted to make the point that Syria is a moderate nation with high literacy rates, so “they are not going to submit to a jihadis or al Qaeda group governing them.”

McCain seems not to have factored in that literacy rates do little to combat a group of ruthless al Qaeda affiliated terrorists on a killing rampage with arms funneled to them by the CIA.

McCain then made an even more bizarre point, claiming that he knew the study was inaccurate because “I know who they [the rebels] are. I was in Syria and I met them.”

“That’s a really a convenient cop-out to say, ‘Oh, we don’t know who they are,’” he added, clearly irate at the line of questioning.

The latest figures estimate that there are approximately 100,000 rebels fighting to topple Syrian President Bashar al Assad in Syria. Is McCain suggesting that he’s met every single one?

Lister’s study places the number of “genuine moderates”, that is rebels completely loyal to the Supreme Military Council, at between 20,000 and 32,000. This means that there is an army of non moderate rebels somewhere in the region of 70,000 strong, ranging from Islamic hardliners to full on liver-eating cannibals.

Business Insider produced this graphic documenting the study’s findings (click to enlarge):

Syria Rebels Breakdown_06

So who are you going to believe? Is it a senile blathering Senator who claims to “know” all the Syrian rebels after visiting the country once, or a group of respected Terrorism and Insurgency experts who have spent months studying the complexity of the situation?

The Washington Examiner reported this week that President Barack Obama has waived a portion of federal law prohibiting military assistance to terrorist groups, opening a path to transfer sophisticated weaponry to radical elements of the Syrian opposition.

What’s more, Lister notes that “groups on the more extreme end of the spectrum, particularly those affiliated with al-Qaeda, have proven remarkably adept at spreading their military resources across large swathes of territory, joining battles at the pivotal moment, and exploiting their superior organizational structures to establish political control and influence over territory.”


Steve Watson is the London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’, and He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham, and a Bachelor Of Arts Degree in Literature and Creative Writing from Nottingham Trent University.

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