General Flynn’s Resignation: A Holy Warrior Derails Himself

flynn
Flynn waiting for an elevator in Trump Tower back in December (NBC)

W.J. Astore

General Michael Flynn’s resignation as National Security Adviser is good news, and not only because of his lack of candor in regards to Russia.  Flynn is a believer in religious war.  He sacralized the war on terror and saw himself as a holy warrior against radical Islamist terrorists.  (Of course, he couldn’t perceive his own extremism and radicalism.)

Both in religious terms and in predatory terms, men like Flynn and Steve Bannon see radical Islamists as the enemy.  These “animals” cut off heads!  A creed war that treats the enemy as animals is a combustible combination.  When you see the enemy as an inferior yet insidious “Other,” there is no opportunity for compromise.  Vermin can only be exterminated.  Especially when they are allegedly out to destroy your “Judeo-Christian” values.

Flynn’s war against radical Islamists would be unending, driven as it would be by outrage against what he saw as a verminous enemy.  In such a “holy” war, killing acquires quasi-sacred meaning.  Flynn’s war was not to be a Clausewitzian war of politics by other means. Nor was it a greed-war driven by money and empire.  His war was far more insidious.

When you conceive of the enemy as predators who simultaneously have the human ability to enslave you with their own creed (Sharia Law): Well, this enemy is a shape-shifting monster. Small wonder that Flynn infamously tweeted: “Fear of Muslims is RATIONAL.”

What was the source of his fear?  In theory, what is the biggest threat to humans?  Not tigers or snakes or other predators; they can be identified.  The biggest threat is something human but not quite human.  Something that looks human, has human skills, human smarts, but is ruthlessly inhuman, even as it readily blends in with “normal” humans.

The tight Islamophobic circle around Trump (one weaker, with Flynn’s resignation) appears to view Muslims in this way.  It’s a little like the Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

film1956-invasionofthebodysnatchers-originalposter

They look like us — act like us — and that’s precisely the problem!  Even a five-year-old Muslim refugee, no matter how innocent-looking, is seen by Sean Spicer and crew as an opening to an unstoppable invasion of America, hence Trump’s hurried and sweeping ban on Muslim immigration.

Flynn’s ideology supported the dynamic of permanent religious war.  His writings and tweets were consistent with an exterminatory struggle for existence of the worst kind.  His actions and views would only perpetuate jihad, a struggle he apparently sees as inevitable.

Until we neutralize jihadists like Flynn (and Bannon) and his Islamist counterparts, until we see a common humanity instead of viewing the enemy as insanely ferocious predators who are out to destroy our way of life, there is no hope for even a semblance of peace in this world.

7 thoughts on “General Flynn’s Resignation: A Holy Warrior Derails Himself

  1. “General Michael Flynn’s resignation as National Security Adviser is good news, and not only because of his lack of candor in regards to Russia.”

    Yes, retired U.S. General Michael Flynn’s resignation comes as good news, but not because his Islamophobia and seething hatred of Iran did him in. Those qualities have seldom, if ever, derailed the careers of either politicians or generals (but I repeat myself) in the United States. Rather, something creepy and nefarious simply must have transpired having to do with the Beltway Bogeyman du jour, Russia. Can’t have any constructive conversations with them. And if a “lack of candor” ever necessitated the forced retirement of our politicians and generals, then our nation’s capital — not to mention most of northern Virginia — would look like a deserted Rust Belt ghost town. But not to worry, I understand that another retired U.S. Army General — renowned for his forthright honesty, counter-insurgency competence, and marital fidelity — David Petraeus — looks to have a shot at replacing Michael Flynn. Yes, indeed, fellow Crimestoppers, none other than the self-promoting Mr Perception Management himself. And as a bonus, the White House won’t have to bother with a national Christmas tree every December. They can just put David Petraeus out on the front lawn in his army uniform. When it comes to resplendent decorations, nothing can compete with that.

    You really can’t make up this kind of shit.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “lack of candor” — yes. Need to expand on that. Flynn’s “sin” was his recklessness in assuming powers that weren’t his (yet), and his carelessness in misleading his bosses about what he’d said and done.

      Making your bosses look bad is never a good way to keep your job. Once again, Flynn proves expendable, whether to Obama or to Trump.

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    2. and these people leave military and go directly into military contractor jobs…I agree there needs to be a law that prohibits such easy transitions…they are only useful for their current knowledge and connections.

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  2. A pretty good analysis of the Flynn resignation, I think, from Moon of Alabama (February 14, 2017) — “The Flynn Defenestration Will Hamper Trump’s Foreign Policy”

    Trump’s National Security Advisor Flynn resigned after only three weeks in office. While I am certainly no fan of Flynn or of Trump I find this defenestration a dangerous event. It will hamper any big change in U.S. foreign policy that Trump may envision.

    The resignation followed a highly orchestrated campaign against Flynn by intelligence officials, the media and some people within the White House.

    After the election and Trump’s unexpected win the Obama administration slapped sanctions on Russia and sent Russian embassy officials back to Moscow. This move was intended to blockade a Trump policy of better relations with Russia. Flynn talked with the Russian ambassador and, as a direct result, the Russian’s did not respond tit for tat for the sanctions and expulsions. This was an absolutely positive move and in full accordance with announced Trump policies. Henry Kissinger made a similar move and visited the Russian embassy weeks before he became Nixon’s NSC. During the 2012 election Obama made a similar “deal” with the Russians in a comparable situation:
    President Barack Obama was caught on camera on Monday assuring outgoing Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that he will have “more flexibility” to deal with contentious issues like missile defense after the U.S. presidential election.

    Despite tens or hundreds of claimed White House leaks in the media I am still not sure what really happened next. Trump’s enemies and some intelligence officials accused Flynn of lying about the phone calls with the Russian ambassador. It is unclear what the alleged lies really are and especially why they should matter. Obfuscation is part of any White House business. If Flynn had secretly talked with the Israeli ambassador (which he probably did) no one would have attacked him.

    So why was Flynn really under pressure and why didn’t Trump back him? It would have been easy for Trump to say: “I ordered Flynn to do that. Obama did similar. In both cases it was a GREAT success. USA! USA! USA!” Nobody would have been able to further attack Flynn over the issue after such a protective move.

    But Trump, completely against his style, held his mouth and did nothing. What else happened in the White House that let him refrain from backing Flynn?

    Sure, the real beef other people have with Flynn is not about Russia but other issues, like his plans to reform the intelligence services. But by throwing Flynn out like this Trump opened himself to further attacks.

    As it looks now a rather small gang of current and former intelligence officials – with the help of the anti-Trump media – leaked Flynn out of his office. They will not stop there.
    Now blood is in the street and the hyenas will lust for more. The Trump magic is broken. He has shown vulnerability. Now they will go after their next target within the Trump administration and then the next and the next until they have Trump isolated and by the balls. He just invited them to proceed. All major foreign policy moves he planned will be hampered. The detente with Russia has probably ended before it even started.

    [bottom line]:

    Flynn is no big loss for the world, the U.S. or the Trump administration. But Trump has now lost the initiative. He long managed to set the media agenda for the day by this or that “outrageous” tweet or remark. Now this advantage has been taken away from him over some nonsense allegations and his lack of backing for one of his top people.

    He will soon rue the day he let this happen.

    Nicolo Machiavelli would have understood and advised an immediate, sweeping, pro-active purge of the CIA and Pentagram. Instead, President Trump busied himself ordering bungled special ops missions in Yemen while tweeting about rival cable television celebrities. Meanwhile, his immediate bureaucratic enemies noted his inattention to the necessary details of establishing an effective administration. Consequently, the new Trump administration begins to look more like those of Clinton, Bush, and Obama every day. That sure didn’t take long.

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    1. Mike: Maybe Flynn is just maladroit. He’s now failed in both the Obama and Trump administrations. And perhaps Trump just used him (“Lock her up!”) until he no longer was useful.

      It’s also quite possible his biggest opponents were within Trump’s inner circle, not outside of it.

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      1. I agree that Flynn had enemies within the Trump inner circle, most notably Mattis at the Pentagram and Pompeo at CIA, since Flynn wanted to bring both rogue institutions — along with the Joint Chiefs of Stuff — back under the supervision of the National Security Council: meaning Flynn and Bannon. But Flynn’s enemies on the inside could have not pulled off this gambit without an entire industry of fellow enemies that Trump’s cooperative Russia policy (may it rest in peace) has (I mean, had) on the outside.

        Essentially, Michael Flynn represented in himself the fatally conflicted schizophrenia of an American foreign policy that sought to simultaneously pursue friendship with Russia and hostility towards Iran and China, three close-and-getting-closer allies. The American people would profit from peace with all three of these countries, but who cares what the American people want? Saudi Arabia and the Apartheid Zionist Entity want U.S. hostility employed on their behalf and seek to profit from it, as do the ticket-punching war-careerists at the Pentagram and CIA. So it should come as no surprise whose interests the “American” government has chosen to slavishly serve. “MAKE AMERICA GRATE AGAIN,” for sure.

        Michael Flynn may have thought that he could have both the friends that he wanted when he wanted them and the enemies that he wanted his friends to have when he wanted that. He could not have both, obviously, even though the walking Republican cadaver, Henry “Let them kill each other off” Kissinger had convinced him and President Trump otherwise. Russia will not give up its strategic alliances with Iran and China for any empty rhetorical “reset”with the United States, especially since the United States has nothing of value to offer in exchange for any such “deal.”

        Not sorry to see Flynn and his flaming Islamophobia go, but I do regret the passing of a possibly more rational policy toward Russia. Not much of a chance of that now. With Flynn’s blood in the water, the neoconservative/humanitarian-interventionist sharks have begun to circle Trump’s drifting and listing little lifeboat.

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  3. “…until we see a common humanity instead of viewing the enemy as insanely ferocious predators who are out to destroy our way of life, there is no hope for even a semblance of peace in this world.”

    Yes we need to “see our common humanity”, but who is this “enemy”? Didn’t you mean we need to stop demonizing Muslims? We really shouldn’t have any enemies…perhaps a little friendly competition within the realm of general cooperation?

    There are some ferocious predators out to destroy the Syrian way of life…some of them reside in D.C.

    May a share this?:

    Realist
    February 15, 2017 at 9:25 pm
    Exactly so. Eavesdropping, recording private conversations, probably classified conversations… it all smacks of “1984” and the modus operandi of the old Soviet Union.

    Nixon was brought down by recordings of his private conversations. But he did that to himself. There were not yet a horde of spooks looking to trap him with his own words.

    But all that’s changed. There is no more fair play, mutual respect, or common sense. Every act performed within the aegis of the American government is considered an opportunity to destroy the credibility and effectiveness of the other side–what used to be called the “loyal opposition.” Now the other side, which has mutated to being no more than a partisan variant of monolithic groupthink is considered inherently traitorous.

    Why shouldn’t Flynn (or Trump) have chatted with the Russian government officials with whom they would have intricate relations in just a matter of a few days? Where’s the sense of i) shutting down communication (seems like more should be better) and ii) actually making it criminal under a 230 year old statute which has never been enforced before in the history of this republic? It’s not like Flynn and Trump were going to illicitly hijack the government away from Barack Obama’s waning attempts to set landmines in their path. In a few days hence, Mr. Obama’s miscalculations would be coming to an end, why should Trump and Putin not set some ground rules for their formal exchanges in advance? Why should that be criminal?

    Rather than getting exercised over Trump’s attempts to reach a rapprochement with Russia as he might a business deal with a major corporation, perhaps the American people should be more bothered by i) the incessant spying on him and his government team by operatives within the intelligence community–treating our own chief executive as a suspected traitor, and ii) the incessant hounding and denigration by the corporate “mainstream” media of his every utterance and attempt to establish policy consistent with his campaign promises.

    Yes, the Republicans tried to ambush Obama from the get-go. But, there is a saying that two wrongs don’t make a right. I condemned the GOPers for trying to bag Obama, I did so for nearly six years before Obama indisputably revealed himself to be a coward, a liar, a con man, a war monger and a bigot who didn’t stand for anything he campaigned upon. And so I must condemn the Democrats for trying to pull that same crap, but using even bigger whoppers in their backstory against “Comrade” Trump.

    Frankly, Trump’s philosophy of life seems to be a lot more realistic and preservative of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness than what Obama, Clinton and the Dems are trying to peddle. Being basically a businessman I see that he would like to craft “deals” in which both sides “win.” He certainly does not want to take or inflict the ravages of war. His great architectural monuments to himself would be endangered. No way he wants that. For some grotesque reason the Dems seem to not only want America to prevail and realise their every imagined power trip come true, they also want to stick it to Russia, China and a few other civilisations, inflicting real damage upon their societies out of what seems to be hatred, bigotry and sadistic tendencies. Failing the opportunity to do that, they are going to take it out on Trump and make him pay for their frustrated ambitions. Sorry, Barack, Hillary, but that’s my psychoanalysis of your sick minds.

    https://consortiumnews.com/2017/02/15/progressives-pile-on-flynns-ouster/

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