20 November 2016

Infecting their enemies with their own sickness

When a leader is both boastful and indecisive, the leadership vacuum is filled by aides who feed into the posturing but compensate for the indecision. [Trump's National Security Advisor, Lt Gen Michael] Flynn fills that Trump-shaped hole perfectly.

But we know where this leads. [Dick] Cheney cherry-picked manipulated intelligence reports to build a case for the war in Iraq that was the single worst US national security decision in a generation. We are still living with its consequences today, with Isis and a global refugee crisis that is unthinkable without the Iraq war.

Condi Rice, Bush’s national security adviser, was unable to control the hawks inside the cabinet, even as she leaned towards the doves. Flynn doesn’t need to control any hawks, because he is leading the pack.

The opportunity for Flynn to cherry pick intelligence is almost limitless. With his public hatred of Islam and his desire to wage a war of religion, the case for military action will be simple inside the Trump West Wing.

It may be time to concede that one of the biggest winners of this election is the twisted and murderous worldview distilled by Osama bin Laden. Unlike Bush and Obama, Trump and Flynn believe we are engaged in a war with Islam, just as al-Qaeda and Isis believe they are engaged in a war with Christianity and Judaism.

The jihadists have infected their enemies with their own sickness. To be fair, this infection had been growing for many years before Trump started running for office. It broke out when Congress – Democrats and Republicans – voted against the closure of Guantanamo Bay. It is obvious in much of the world’s refusal to deal with the Syrian refugee crisis.

But now the sickness has given us Trump and Flynn to escalate a religious-fueled war that is unwinnable.

- Richard Wolffe, 'Michael Flynn will be a disaster as National Security Advisor', Guardian, 19 November 2016
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