A group of 11 US special forces soldiers was ambushed in Niger earlier this month. Four of them were left behind and eventually killed, as the other seven fled aboard French helicopters.
This was the first time most everyone learned the US is now carrying out a direct military intervention in Niger. In fact since its creation in 2008 the Pentagon’s United States African Command has built over 60 bases and outposts in over 30 African countries (out of 54).
Still the realization of US military involvement in Niger came so out of the blue even John McCain is not rushing to get behind it. Instead the dying warmonger insists there are “a hundred questions that need to be answered” about the Niger firefight and adventure, and threatens to compel the truth from the administration with a Senate Armed Services committee subpoena:
Official media ignored the ambush of the American Special Forces, until the story gained anti-Trump traction. No word came from John McCain. Three weeks hence, the senator from Arizona is making history. McCain, who has never encountered a war he wasn’t eager to prosecute, is questioning the folly in Niger.
The senator from Arizona can run but can’t hide from the pollution he has left along his political path. Republicans wisely rejected war in Kosovo; McCain jettisoned party loyalty to call for bombs from above and “more boots on the ground.” At the prospects of war with Iran, McCain burst into song, “Bomb-bomb-bomb, bomb-bomb-Iran.” The possibility still makes this war ghoul smile. Before that, McCain promised a 100-year war in Iraq.
Senator McCain’s jingoism has encompassed Syria, Georgia, Mali, Nigeria, and China. Where the US could not effect regime change, as it did fecklessly in Afghanistan and Libya—McCain would typically call to side with an imagined local “friend of America” against an imagined “foe of America.” McCain has many imaginary friends.
Where his target country was beyond US bullying (Russia), the idea of a resumption of a cold war was an option McCain liked. He is currently fulminating over a slight delay in sanctions against Russia. When all efforts to tame the world militarily fail, McCain is partial to the idea of UN troops acting as his surrogates, say in Sudan.
No war makes Johnny a sad boy. But now he’s considering a subpoena over Niger.
Indeed, McCain Niger skepticism has as much to do with his natural anti-Trump reflexes as with anything else. At the same time, let’s not forget that McCain praised Trump for his April attack against Syria and would undoubtedly rejoice at a potential Trump-led war against Iran or North Korea – this Niger business however is questionable even to him.
Truly, how pointless and nonsensical a US war has to be even the serial warmaker McCain won’t rush to embrace it?