Then again, this is the same guy who said rebels shouting the Islamic battle cry “Allahu Akbar” is the same as American troops saying “Thank God.”
Via Daily Caller:
Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain hotly disputed a study claiming that at least half of Syria’s rebels are radical jihadis, repeatedly exclaiming “Not true, not true!”
“Frankly, I just disagree,”McCain told the Council on Foreign Relations audience, challenging the contention by defense consultancy IHS Jane’s that “the insurgency is now dominated by groups with at least an Islamist viewpoint of the conflict.”
“There’s about 70 percent still who are Free Syrian Army,” McCain said, flipping on its head the consulting firm’s research showing that just 30 percent are fighting for secular values.
McCain has frequently called for an increase in arms shipments to rebels groups fighting the Assad regime, and on Tuesday evening he sought to diminish concerns that these arms may one day be turned against the United States or its allies.
“The point, I think, that you and others are missing,” he told the questioner, “[is that] Syria is a moderate nation. Syria has the highest literacy rate of any nation in the Middle East. They are not going to submit to a jihadis or al-Qaida group governing them. They will not.”
“That’s a really a convenient cop-out to say, ‘Oh, we don’t know who they are,’” he continued angrily. “I know who they are. I was in Syria and I met them.”