The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Equal Rights for Hostages?

Posted on | August 26, 2014 | 28 Comments

The United States refused to pay a ransom for James Foley, and it would be sexist discrimination to pay ransom for a woman:

A third American hostage held by ISIS has been identified as a 26-year-old American woman who was kidnapped a year ago while doing humanitarian relief work in Syria. The terror group is demanding $6.6 million and the release of U.S. prisoners for the life of the young woman, who the family requested not be identified.
She is the third of at least four Americans who were known to be held by ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. American journalist James Foley was executed by the group in a video that appeared online last week. Another writer, Steven Sotloff, was seen alive but under duress in the same footage.
In addition to the multi-million dollar ransom, the terror group has also demanded that the U.S. release Aafia Siddiqui, an MIT-trained neuroscientist who was convicted by the U.S. in 2010 of trying to kill U.S. officials two years before, according to a supporter of Siddiqui who has been in contact with the hostage’s family.

Meanwhile, an American has been killed fighting for ISIS in Syria. His name is “McCain,” but he’s probably not close kin. He was born in Illinois and my guess is that he’s from the Mississippi branch of the family, who owned vast plantations in the Delta and from which my Crazy Cousin John is descended. I’m from the East Alabama dirt-farmer branch of the McCain family. My folks never owned anybody.



28 Responses to “Equal Rights for Hostages?”

  1. M. Thompson
    August 26th, 2014 @ 5:59 pm

    At this point, to quote Instapundit, “What would Gen. Curtis Lemay under Pres. Andrew Jackson do?” needs to be an appropriate option with these savages.

  2. robertstacymccain
    August 26th, 2014 @ 6:04 pm

    Let me assure you that certain fellows at Fort Bragg would love to go over there and help some of those savages become martyrs for Allah. As a matter of fact, I’m told that in the rescue mission that failed to find Foley, our boys got into a firefight that sent many jihadis to the hereafter.

  3. richard mcenroe
    August 26th, 2014 @ 6:54 pm

    Your family may never have owned anybody, but I hear tell you pretty much pwned Black Dave Hunter when he came by to burn the barn…

  4. richard mcenroe
    August 26th, 2014 @ 6:55 pm

    Hell, no sense carrying all that heavy ammo back on the plane with baggage allowances what they are these days…

  5. fireandreamitchell
    August 26th, 2014 @ 7:08 pm

    This terrorist is more likely related to John McCain than Robert Stacey McCain.

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  7. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    August 26th, 2014 @ 8:07 pm

    “My folks never owned anybody.”

    But like most dirt farmers in the South (white or black), they probably owed way more than they cared to.

  8. Mike G.
    August 26th, 2014 @ 8:11 pm

    Speaking of which…how is the chip off the ol’ block?

  9. Quartermaster
    August 26th, 2014 @ 8:20 pm

    Unexpended ammo is wasted ammo.

  10. notpilgrims2
    August 26th, 2014 @ 9:20 pm

    We shouldn’t pay for hostages. That would only encourage more hostage taking. Furthermore, the EU should stop paying for hostages.

  11. notpilgrims2
    August 26th, 2014 @ 9:21 pm

    For the record, John McCain hates terrorism and is a national security hawk.

  12. maniakmedic
    August 26th, 2014 @ 10:51 pm

    What we should have done is level an ISIS town and make it very clear that if they even hint about pulling that shit again we’ll level another. And we’ll keep doing it until they are either extinct or so broken they couldn’t subdue a Girl Scout troop.

  13. richard mcenroe
    August 26th, 2014 @ 11:06 pm

    There is no ‘cease fire’. There is only ‘open fire’ and ‘reloading.’ — Howard Tayler

  14. Wombat_socho
    August 26th, 2014 @ 11:11 pm

    You can’t turn it back in to the ammo point, so you might as well fire it off.

  15. Wombat_socho
    August 26th, 2014 @ 11:11 pm

    It works for the Russians.

  16. notpilgrims2
    August 27th, 2014 @ 4:55 am

    I’m pretty sure we are bombing them.

  17. maniakmedic
    August 27th, 2014 @ 1:02 pm

    I’m not talking about just bombing, I’m talking about completely wiping it off the map and salting the earth so nobody would ever know anything had been there. Tribalism is all they know. Obliterate their tribes and watch them squeal. None of this pin-point bombing bullshit. Total annihilation. They understand that very well. And do it not just for beheadings, but also for what they’ve done to the Yazidis.

    If they’re in such a damn hurry to build a caliphate, complete with forcing people to convert or die, we should be making sure that “caliphate” won’t support life in any capacity. Even their own.

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  19. notpilgrims2
    August 27th, 2014 @ 10:08 pm

    You can’t wipe terrorists off the face of the map completely. More people would simply join. I wouldn’t be opposed to killing every current terrorist, but that’s also not possible in any practical way. If you adopt too broad of a killing method (nuclear weapons, for example), not only would the response hurt America (most countries, including our allies shunning us, and possible sanctions, etc), but the act itself would be immoral because it would kill large numbers of civilians, including all of the Yazidis and Christians that ISIS itself is trying to kill.

  20. maniakmedic
    August 27th, 2014 @ 11:37 pm

    You can’t wipe them out, but you can certainly beat them down enough that they lose the ability and desire to fight. We did it in WWII, we can do it again. As for what the rest of the world think: boo fucking hoo. They’re a bunch of chickenshit terrorist apologists who are comfortable bending over and taking it up the ass from every wannabe hardass that starts to throw a fit. Hardly the types of people whose opinions we should be giving a shit about.

    And war has collateral damage. Always has, always will. Pretending terrorizing civilians isn’t part of war doesn’t make it suddenly disappear. You don’t win a war by half-assing it. You make it undesirable to fight back – or even to join organizations that would want to fight back – by completely crushing them when they poke their heads up. “Winning hearts and minds” was a bullshit strategy from the get-go in the ME because, in their culture, it makes us look weak. And don’t think they haven’t been taking advantage, because they have been this whole time.

  21. notpilgrims2
    August 28th, 2014 @ 1:40 am

    My specific comments were about why nuking them would be wrong. You didn’t address that question either way. I only used it as an example of how excessive attacks would be wrong (both morally and for our own self-interest).

    You say we should save the Christians and Yazidis, right? Then we certainly shouldn’t nuke them or adopt any other excessive strategy that would kill them.

    The rest of the world protests us if we nuke them? “Boo fucking hoo”? Not at all. From a pragmatic point of view, it would destroy our economy for the rest of the world to sanction us. It would hurt our foreign policy for Britain and France and other allies to stop cooperating with us. And, morally, the rest of the world would be right. It would be comparable to terrorism to nuke a bunch of civilians.

    Hell, not only would a bunch of terrorists start fighting back. We’d also have to fight actual armies, including potentially Iran, North Korea, England, and France.

    By the way, terrorists love to die. They don’t give a damn about living. The Japanese in World War II, for all their imperialism, still loved living and loved living in a stable society.

  22. maniakmedic
    August 28th, 2014 @ 1:34 pm

    Nuke, conventional bombing, whatever. If they want to die, we should oblige. And like I said, we shouldn’t give a shit what the rest of the world thinks. Because if they want to sanction us, their economies will tank faster and harder. You don’t fight war piecemeal. That’s how we got into this situation; we thought we could fight a clean war. That’s the biggest lie anybody has ever told – or swallowed – about war. Civilians don’t want to get caught up in war? They need to stop backing assholes guaranteed to get them into one.

  23. notpilgrims2
    August 28th, 2014 @ 9:09 pm

    “we shouldn’t give a shit what the rest of the world thinks”

    The rest of the world would only sanction us or even protest us if we did something excessive. In your opening statement, you left nukes on the table, saying, “Nuke, conventional bombing, whatever.” (i.e. that you wouldn’t care if they used nukes)

    “You don’t fight war piecemeal.”
    You do fight wars based on the circumstances.

    “Civilians don’t want to get caught up in war? They need to stop backing assholes guaranteed to get them into one.”
    The Yazidis and Christians–whom you wanted to save from ISIS–never backed ISIS. And a good deal of the Northern Iraqi Muslims (Sunnis or something) also didn’t actively back ISIS (although some number of them were somewhat supportive).

    “Because if they want to sanction us, their economies will tank faster and harder.”
    If we commit a terrible war crime or act of terrorism–enough so that they sanction us (like killing a few million people)–and the EU sanctions us, then our economy would get hurt a lot. Maybe theirs would, too, but that would be of no comfort to us.

    I believe we are debating an irrelevant issue. We know the US would not nuke them–or otherwise commit an act of terrorism of that magnitude–because the US isn’t an evil country. We wouldn’t adopt those kind of tactics.

    Let me just make myself clear: I believe the US is right to use drones to kill terrorists in Pakistan, even if it kills some civilians, and I believe we would be justified in using that level or force, or perhaps even somewhat more, in killing ISIS. That level of killing of civilians is on a much lower level than the hypothetical level that I am protesting.

  24. maniakmedic
    August 28th, 2014 @ 11:45 pm

    So we were evil during WWII? Because we did engage in bombing of civilian populations purely to terrorize and demoralize the German citizenry.

    Look, I don’t think we should give a shit what the rest of the world thinks because – maybe you haven’t noticed – the rest of the world is run and populated by people who are so damn worried about how a bunch of savages will react to anything they say or do that they allow children to be sexually exploited. And only when the story somehow broke did they all of a sudden grow a partial spine. I don’t believe in living to please people with an ever-changing moral standard, even if it makes it harder for us.

    And, no, war is not circumstantial. You fight with everything or you don’t fight at all. Yes, I want to help the Yazidis and the Christians over there. But more than that, I don’t want to see American lives unnecessarily lost because everybody is all up in a tizzy because civilians got killed (since terrorists’ favorite tactic is to hide in civilian populations). That doesn’t work in Russia. Why? Because Russia has shown they are willing to inflict collateral damage – on their own people if necessary – to kill terrorists. It’s not nice, but war never is. And in the long run, it’s far better to utterly crush the enemy than to try inflicting death by pinpricks; when we fight to the level of “just enough” lots of Americans end up getting killed and we have to keep going back to mop up.

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  26. notpilgrims2
    September 1st, 2014 @ 10:52 pm

    No, firebombing Japan and nuking them helped destroy Japanese imperialism in Asia. It even compelled Japan to surrender. Of course, nuking ISIS would do no such thing.

  27. notpilgrims2
    September 1st, 2014 @ 10:53 pm

    Plus Japan declared war on us. Iraq never declared war on us. How would we be justified in nuking them?

  28. notpilgrims2
    September 1st, 2014 @ 10:55 pm

    And the rest of the world is also fighting terrorism. David Cameron is trying (albeit people who are (probably irrationally) concerned about civil rights are opposing him) to strip passports of participants in ISIS.

    Some countries are more focused on local problems. India has been aggressively patrolling their border with Pakistan–which, again, relates to terrorism. And China is cracking down on Uighur terrorists in Xinjiang.