Visiting Israel and addressing the nation’s Army Radio today, Sen. John McCain (R – AZ) insisted it was vital for the US to arm Syria’s rebels to “deter” Iran from continuing with its civilian nuclear program.
Calls to impose regime change on Syria for no other reason than to spite Iran seem to have some resonance in Israel, since a top figure in the Ministry of Strategic Affairs made similar comments last week.
McCain took the concept a step farther however by explicitly addressing concerns that US arms would end up in the hands of al-Qaeda’s allies in Syria, asking “would you rather have these weapons – perhaps some of them – in the hands of the wrong people, or would you rather have Bashar Assad prevail and then encourage Iran to further their ambitions on nuclear weapons.”
Of course, this is the time to point out that Iran is not making nuclear weapons, and the IAEA continues to confirm the non-diversion of material from their civilian energy program to any other purpose. Perhaps the more notable fact is not that McCain once again falsely accused Iran, but that he seemed so openly comfortable with the notion of US arms reaching al-Qaeda.