What the Hell was John McCain Doing in Syria?

Last week it was widely reported that Sen. John McCain had made a little trip over to Syria; on taxpayer funds might I add. While the details of the trip are fuzzy, and certain facts about who he visited with and what he did while he was there are still being debated, the real question still remains… What the hell was he doing there in the first place?

And the answer is quite obvious. His neo-conservative, war mongering self was trying to get America involved in yet another foreign conflict. For what reason, I don’t really know, but I have some ideas in mind. For starters, after over a decade of war, and thousands of military causalities, most Americans are tired of seeing our men and women come home in pine boxes (for the record, I support our servicemen and women very much and this article is in no way meant to detract from that). To make matters worse, war costs money. Lots of it. There is no excuse for increasing our military budget even further beyond the exponential amount it is at already; especially while we continue to furlough civilian government workers, cut early education programs, and de-fund programs that help the poor and elderly. War is no longer the money maker it was during the 1940’s, when a booming war time economy helped to kick start economic growth. Today, war costs America a fortune and adds to our national debt. I mean, it’s bad enough that during the Bush Administration two wars were put on the nation’s credit card, an action that has ultimately been a contributing factor in our current substandard economic climate; but I digress.

So getting back to my initial question… here are some theories I’ve put together.

1) John McCain likes war. He was soldier, actually a prisoner of war, and he has a soft spot for soldiers. Scratch that, he has a soft spot for sadism with no regard for how many American men or women die in the process.

2) He is genuinely concerned about the humanitarian crisis in Syria. I’m being nice on this one and trying to give him the benefit of the doubt. However, I sincerely doubt this is it.

3) He wants to protect Israel. This one actually makes some sense. But, from the reports coming from the Middle East, it appears the Israeli Army is doing a fine job on their own at the moment, and from what I understand, Bibi has not asked for our help.

4) My favorite one and probably the most true though I will never be able to prove it — private security contracts and the campaign money that Sen. McCain receives as “gifts” from these groups. You’ve heard of Halliburton right? Enough said.

5) Job creation! Neo-conservative Republicans love war because what’s a better way to create government jobs that you can’t de-fund by sequester?

6) Spreading democracy. I’m all for this, but not through use of our military.

7) Disdain for Russia. Remember how well arming the rebels in Afghanistan worked out for us?

I could name a few more, but I’ll stop there.

In closing, Sen. McCain, you cannot start a war/involve America in a war that’s already going on by yourself just because you want it to happen. I hope you had fun on your little, “give me an AK and let me shoot at some Assad regime people” fantasy trip, but how about we get back to governing and worrying about issues that are affecting us at home; like the sequester or job creation. We can and should help people out in the world — especially in humanitarian ways — because it is the right thing to do, but we can’t play world police every single time a war breaks out. Right now, thousands of people have and continue to die in Sudan, Rwanda, and other places, but McCain hasn’t gone to visit those places now has he?  While helping out by providing supplies may be the way to proceed, albeit cautiously (see my above comment about Afghanistan in the 80’s), now isn’t the time to send more Americans to die on foreign soil in a foreign conflict. Did McCain not get the memo on how Iraq worked out?

Ilyssa Fuchs

Ilyssa Fuchs is an attorney, freelance writer, and activist from New York City, who holds both a juris doctor and a political science degree. She is the founder of the popular Facebook page Politically Preposterous and a blog of the same name. Follow Ilyssa on Twitter @IlyssaFuchs, and be sure to check out her archives on Forward Progressives as well!


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