John McCain — war hero and politician – passed away at 81 after a battle with brain cancer. Reading about how McCain maintained his dignity and morals while he was subjected to torture at the hands of the North Vietnamese and how he refused an offer of freedom from his captors was awe inspiring. The politician was always fascinated by the region where the roots of radical Islam run deep. Here we present a brief retrospective on John McCain and the Middle East:
Always a fierce critic of the ayatollahs and their regime, McCain praised President Donald Trump for taking a tough stance against Iran and its nuclear deal with world powers. Tehran had “literally been getting away with murder,” he said.
Afghanistan and Iraq
McCain backed U.S. invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq from the first entry in 1987 onward. Last year he came up with a plan for Afghanistan, arguing the current administration did not have one. It included:
- Adding more U.S. troops for counter-terrorism missions
- Increasing U.S. air power to aid Afghan forces
- providing the U.S. military with broader authority to target enemy forces including the Taliban, the Haqqani Network, Al Qaeda and ISIS
The Arizona senator referred to the 2013 overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt as a “coup.” A firm believer in the democratic process, speaking in Cairo he said “this was a transition of power not by the ballot box.”
The dictatorial behavior of Anakara led McCain to make his position very clear in 2017 when Turkish security officials lashed out at protesters in Washington objecting to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit to DC. “Throw the Turkish ambassador the hell out of Washington. Those were his people and Erdogan’s people that were sent out there. That’s not America, and it’s not allowed in the United States of America,” he said at the time.
Here’s a video from 2013 in which McCain explains his views on America and the Middle East: