One concern about President Obama‘s counter-terrorism strategy against ISIS is the plan to arm moderate Syrian rebels to fight the terrorist group. Arming moderate rebels was a contentious debate last year in the national fight over how to deal with President Bashar al-Assad, but now a new enemy is inspiring the calls for action. John McCain, in one of his rare TV appearances, said on Fox News today that anyone saying they mistrust the Free Syrian Army is just making excuses for not taking action against ISIS.
McCain touted that he’s “vetted a number of them because I know them.” It was at that point Fox aired the infamous photo from last year of McCain and a few Syrian rebels, two of which turned out to be suspected kidnappers. This led to Rand Paul taking a shot at McCain and illustrating this as an example of why it’s hard to properly vet Syrian rebels.
McCain said today, “Hundreds and even thousands of them have been killed and slaughtered with these barrel bombs and tortured to death by Bashar Assad. They can be trusted. There are groups of them to be trusted.”
And for people not swayed by that argument, McCain threw this out: you got anything better?
“Obviously, there are some risks, but what’s our other option here? If someone who says they can’t––they don’t want to do it because we can’t trust the Free Syrian Army, then what is your option, sir and ma’am, in how we are going to attack ISIS in an effective fashion?”
Watch the video below, via Fox News: