When it comes to Trump’s rambunctious foreign policy, you don’t have to read between the lines to see the handwriting on the wall. A malignant method to his madness is rapidly revealing itself as Trump’s national insecurity team implements Steve Bannon’s new world order. Bannon’s elevation to the National Security Council (NSC) not only keeps him in the loop on state secrets and strategies, it coincides with Trump’s NSC downgrade of the Joint Chiefs and the Director of National Intelligence (the highest U.S. ranking military and intel officers respectively). This means Bannon can team up with hothead Michael Flynn to bypass critical channels on the NSC to directly influence Trump’s war making decisions, dumping un-vetted action orders on his desk like candy at Christmas.
New National Security Advisor Flynn shares Bannon’s apocalyptic global outlook and is fond of retweeting hyped up fake news even though he used to head the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). Under Obama, Flynn got canned at DIA after he trafficked in “Flynn facts” to support his aggressive and insubordinate ideology. Flynn facts were coined by his DIA underlings to describe Flynn’s tenuous relationship with the truth. Flynn was also described as “abusive” by his staff. In other words, like Trump, this guy has an oversized ego, an ax to grind, and will lie to push his agenda.
Think about it. Flynn, the former head of the DIA, an A-list intel agency, either got suckered by fake news or knowingly dealt it to help his boss get elected. Also consider that some of these lies were peddled by Putin propagandists and that Flynn’s snapshot view of geopolitics says we’re in World War III. Although I tend to agree with him, with failed states, civil war and terror from Tunisia to the Taliban, should we treat the sickness with a sledgehammer or a scalpel?
Steve Bannon’s background is just as alarming. Before winning Trump’s ear as a trusted advisor, he headed Breitbart, a far-right fake news organization with white nationalist leanings. Bannon believes radical Islam is threatening the very fabric of Western Civilization and that we currently face an existential crisis because of it. Again, radical terrorism is certainly a dire threat, but powerful enough to defeat the West? Sounds pretty paranoid and jibes nicely with Flynn’s World War III scenario. It also creates an excuse to extend our longest war into a quixotic campaign to completely eradicate terrorism from the face of the earth. In fact, these guys will perpetuate a self-fulfilling prophecy of eternal conflict with their aggression.
All of which brings us to the Navy Seal raid in Yemen on January 29, where our military reportedly wasted twenty four women and children. This mission was an Obama leftover because the previous administration was waiting for a “moonless night” to launch the attack, but the carnage begs the question: Did trigger-happy Flynn, Bannon and Trump do a rush job on this? Were they so eager to advertise their tough guy message to the world they ignored warnings of extreme “collateral damage”? Based on reports, it sure sounds like a sledgehammer over a scalpel, and will only breed more terror if they’re true.
Finally, covert military operations don’t run into walls of gunfire, and elite seal teams don’t get surrounded by their targets. It was almost like the jihadists were waiting for them, which means the bad guys were either tipped off or the White House was acting on incomplete intelligence. Either way, it led to the tragic death of an elite serviceman, adding more misery to the mire. This haplessness reminds me of Bush’s neo cons a decade ago rampaging through Iraq, kicking down doors, and chasing after “known unknowns”; flexing their muscles while trying to export democracy at the point of a spear. So now, instead of neo-con cowboys, we’ve got a paranoid trio bent on stoking Armageddon to fuel an endless war on terror.