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

Posted By Daniel Greenfield On September 18, 2013 @ 4:39 pm In The Point | 24 Comments

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.


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