McCain Claims Syria Won’t Turn Al Qaeda Because of High Literacy Rate

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.


McCain_Razan

Retirement. It can’t come too soon.

Sen. John McCain angrily disputed claims that at least half of Syria’s rebels are Islamic extremists on Tuesday night.

“Not true, not true!” the Arizona Republican said to an audience member during a discussion hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations, the Daily Caller reports. “There’s about 70 percent still who are Free Syrian Army.”

Much of the Free Syrian Army consists of people barely distinguishable from Al Qaeda. That is what the study documented. McCain is rigidly sticking to the FSA tag as some kind of certification of moderation while ignoring all evidence to the contrary.

Mr. McCain said it’s a “cop-out” for critics of intervention in Syria to say “we don’t know who they are.”

“The point, I think, that you and others are missing … [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 Qaeda group governing them. They will not.”

If there’s any proof that McCain isn’t just wrong, but has become completely incompetent to even discuss the topic, here it is. Studies have repeatedly shown that Jihadists are drawn from the middle and even upper classes.

High literacy rates is not an obstacle to terrorist involvement. It increases the probability of Islamist interests.

Assuming you can even trust the literacy rate coming out of Syria, it’s 79 percent. (If you want a reason to distrust self-reported literacy rates, Russia’s is 99 percent)

Iran’s literacy rate is 77 percent. Is that 2 percent really all the difference between being susceptible to a totalitarian Islamic regime or not?

For that matter, Turkey’s literacy rate is 95 percent (again, unrealistic) and yet it’s governed by an Islamist thug whose backers claim he’s warding of telekinesis attack plots.

Finally there’s Jordan. Jordan is the Muslim country with some of the highest rates of approval for Al Qaeda. In 2006, 61 percent of Jordanians liked Al Qaeda. (Then Al Qaeda in Iraq started bombing them and his approval ratings fell a whole lot.)

Jordan also has a literacy rate of 93.4%.

Finally, if we’re going to look at terror states, let’s hop over to the Palestinian Authority which is supposedly at 92%. 37% poll as supporting Islamic fundamentalism. (36% in Jordan, also known as Palestine 1.0)

Finally Pakistan claims a literacy rate of 79%. That ties Syria.

And we know therefore that Pakistan is a “moderate” nation that could never be taken over by “extremists”. Just ask Senator McCain. Assuming he can read.

  • cathy

    Romans 1:22 – Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools.

  • onecornpone

    Thank YOU Arizona!

    • TexasStomp

      No kidding! Why the hel they haven’t recalled hizazz is beyond me. Even Kyl was so disgusted with him he retired. Too bad, Kyl was a good guy. McCain is SENILE. Absolutely gaga….

      • onecornpone

        Little Johnny was the “blacksheep” of that very honorable military family. If the info I have is correct bad luck was his one chance at fame. Special treatment was the only way he made it out of the Academy. If he hadn’t been shot down, captured and suffered horrendous torture at the Hanoi Hilton, we probably wouldn’t even know him.

        This may be a lesson for us, in regard to pushing former military heroes who have suffered traumatic injury, into positions of great power. I am embarrassed for his family, and his constituents. Evidently Arizona has nothing better to offer.

        I’m sure Kyle knew it would be political suicide to stand against him.

        It’s really a shame, because with an iota of humility, Mc Loon could have been a revered elder statesman. Sadly for our nation, he is nothing but a loose cannon, angling for ways to deposit himself in the limelight of every single crisis. He has become a pathetic attention whore.

        • TexasStomp

          If memory serves, cornpone, I think he was also involved in the Tail Hook scandal. I think that was brought up one time in an election year but, as you say, because of his war hero status, it was quickly and quietly put to rest.

          What is sad is there were real war heroes in gov’t, but only losers like McCain and Kerry seem to get much press.
          Dole did not “trade” on his war injuries either. But real heroes don’t ever toot their own horns.

          Like Tammy Duckworth. Profoundly wounded in combat she’s currently in congress…batting for the other side, but very sharp, very ethical, and very impressive. I like her despite her party affiliation. Wouldn’t mind a bit if our first woman president was someone like her instead of Hillary, “I was under sniper fire” Clinton!

          • onecornpone

            I’ve seen you sing Duckworth’s praises on a few occasions. There are some positions that she has taken that I can’t stomach, perhaps similar to your disqualification of West.

            I watched the C-Span program with interviews of several horrifically wounded military survivors wherein Tammy was cunningly introduced to America. She came across as brave and articulate. Initially I was mesmerized, but since have been put off by her willingness to exploit her disfigurement, most notably that looong, cross-stage parade to the podium at the DNC. While I fervently believe all our society absolutely needs to learn to interact with our wounded warriors more gracefully, that bit of political theater was distastefully dramatic.

            Tammy seems sufficiently brilliant to win most any argument without exploiting the pity quotient. Although I haven’t kept informed of her positions on burning issues(Behghazi, Petraeus ouster, et.c.), the few times I have seen her in congressional hearings or public speeches she seemed especially partisan. FYI, I grew up with a younger brother disfigured by polio, thus I have had more than average experience with the physically deformed.

            In light of disclosures by some recently wounded, former military, and my faint recollections of stories of the horrors of drug “treatment” of WW2 & Korean War military, I’m perplexed. Did we learn nothing?

            Frankly I’m not interested in supporting any candidate who needs a fist full of meds to start every day, no matter the reason. You never know who will show up in that body from one day to the next. You know, most likely better than I, that “modern” medicine is in the midst of a fawning love affair with scripts to treat even the most inconsequential anomaly.

            We need full medical disclosure, especially of ongoing, long term treatment – which would likely disqualify people like Mc Cain, and 75% of the rest of pols. If I wouldn’t want to start up a business venture with them, they aren’t qualified to serve my district and state.

  • Aizino Smith

    McCain used this argument because

    a) He is not that bright & therefore easily led
    b) He is senile & therefore easily led
    c) He is simply throwing stuff up against the wall to see if it will stick

  • Gee

    I wonder if Senator McCain is aware that not only was Osama Bin Laden literate, but had over $400 million.

    Neither poverty nor illiteracy are conditions for terrorism – but Islam might

  • Aizino Smith

    Just because McCain was smart enough to graduate from the Naval Academy, does not mean he has retained his mental faculties. They might have degraded thru age, being “fat dumb & happy” (non-use).

    He graduated 55 years ago from Annapolis. Just because he was intelligent does not mean he still is intelligent

    “McCain did well in academic subjects that interested him, such as literature and history, but studied only enough to pass subjects he struggled with, such as mathematics.” – wiki

    • MrUniteUs1

      He graduated near the bottom of his class.

      • Aizino Smith

        Apparently, he has had IQ tests and scored 128 and 131. I do not know how many years ago he took those tests.

        You can be bright, but not apply yourself.

      • onecornpone

        Bob Dornan had thoroughly researched Mc Cain’s life and career. Before the Rethuglicans excommunicated Bob he spoke extensively on the entire sordid bio of Mc Cain, in all its ego-driven “glory”. It was enlightening, to say the least.

  • Aizino Smith

    Reading this absolute drek about McCain I wonder if Daniel is driven to drink and how many readers are made to do likewise.

  • Aizino Smith

    Alexander, Man of the People, 207. McCain scored 128 and then 133 on IQ tests.

    wiki

    He is senile or lazy. That explains his pathetic attempts at reasoning.

  • JVictor

    Radical Islam creates and fills vacuums wherever it is allowed to take root. None of our elected leaders ever thought that Egypt would be overrun by the Muslim Brotherhood when the Arab Spring sprang. Recent history has proven otherwise. Why is it that the common people are able to discern those dangers while our so-called leaders bury their heads in the sand? When will political leaders of both parties realize the folly and danger of ignoring the scourge of radical Islam? By making such ludicrous and laughable assertions, McCain becomes a co-conspirator in the proliferation of radical Islamic ideology in the world. And he gets more and more blood on his hands every time he opens his mouth.

  • MrUniteUs1

    Remember when McCain said, “We are all Georgians”

  • Arf

    McCain is totally ignorant about the Middle East and its various tribes. I wish this stupid, senile, good for nothing old man had stayed in Vietnam.

  • benjabo1machal

    McCain failed to note that Germans were also literate, resulting in their attacks on other literate people during Two World Wars
    McCain, was a hero, now he is an idiot

  • GinoMachiavelli

    Just as long as they can write and read cursive, all will be well.

    Right?

  • sdfqef

    Al Qaeda is taking over border towns along the turkish border. What do you have to say now McCain?

  • Larry Larkin

    To paraphrase McCain to get his real meaning “See, this is me trying to cover my arse”.

  • Reader

    Pakistan has 52% literacy.. Correct it.

    These stats(of literacy) are very low, and lower if you ever review yourself, Learning quran and terrorism makes you literate? No not at all, but actually worse.

  • joshzzz

    It’s a shame that McCain was elected again to office. He says the most outrageous things.

  • FrankMDavis

    He said, “Syria has the highest literacy rate of any nation in the Middle East. ”

    Mr. McCain, is Israel in the Middle East?”