Has Trump Kept His Word on Radical Islam?
National Security Adviser General H.R. McMaster is moving aggressivelyâ€”and successfullyâ€”to maximize his power in the Trump Administration. President Trump is standing by his side as anti-Islamist writers and think-tanks like the Center for Security Policy call for his termination or reassignment.
McMasterâ€™s ascent is a sudden change in the balance of power in the White House. President Trump was widely reported to be so disappointed with McMaster that Trump met with former U.N. ambassador John Bolton to discuss replacing him. Trump and Bolton concluded it was not the right move.
Then, Secretary of Homeland Security General John Kelly became the new chief of staff. He told McMaster that he wanted him to stay. McMasterâ€™s chief rivals, Chief Strategist Steve Bannon and Deputy Assistant Dr. Sebastian Gorka, were then pressured into resigning.
The criticisms of McMaster are well-warranted and are not the fruits of overactive imaginations among bigoted â€œalt-rightâ€ smear-merchants, like Senator McCain characterizes them.
Here are 25 reasons that President Trump should fire National Security Adviser McMaster or, if heâ€™s willing to, reassign him to a military position where he can excel on the battlefield as he did before.
1.He is not on board with Trumpâ€™s vision of waging an ideological war against radical Islam (or whatever terminology you prefer).
You simply cannot have a national security adviser who is at odds with the fundamental pillar of your national security strategy.
In 2014, McMaster said that the â€œIslamic State is not Islamic.â€ He went so far as to describe jihadists as “really irreligious organizations.”
In that speech, he rejected the notion that jihadists are motivated by a religion-based ideology. Instead, he claimed they are motivated by â€œfear,â€ a â€œsense of honorâ€ and their â€œinterests,â€ which he described as the roots of human conflict for thousands of years. He recommended that the U.S. must begin â€œunderstanding those human dimensions.â€
In May, McMaster stated in an interview that the jihadists â€œare not religious people.â€
A source close to National Security Council (NSC) personnel revealed that McMaster opposed President Trumpâ€™s summit in Riyadh, one of the high points of his presidency thus far. McMaster felt it was â€œtoo ambitious.â€
In Trumpâ€™s speech announcing his strategy for Afghanistan, words like â€œradical Islamic terrorismâ€ were missing. This is clearly the influence of McMaster. In his resignation letter to Trump, Dr. Gorka referenced these omissions and said it â€œproves that a crucial element of your presidential campaign has been lost.â€
Here’s the Clarion take:
2.Endorsed a book favorable towards â€œnon-militantâ€ Islamists
In 2010, McMaster endorsed a book that states, as one of its central arguments, â€œIt is the Militant Islamists who are our adversaryâ€¦They must not be confused with Islamists.â€
The book contends that our policy should not be aimed at Islamism overall but only Islamist terrorist groups. That is the mindset of those who advocate working with the â€œmoderateâ€ Muslim Brotherhood and the â€œmoderateâ€ Taliban.
McMaster describes the book as â€œexcellentâ€ and â€œdeserv[ing] a wide readership.â€ Raymond Ibrahim reviewed the book and found serious errors, ones that now have dangerous consequences with McMaster as national security adviser.
3.Opposes designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a Foreign Terrorist Organization
Based on the above two issues, it should be no surprise that McMaster reportedly opposes designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a Foreign Terrorist Organization.
4.Opposes a tough stance on Qatarâ€™s support of terrorism and extremism
McMaster opposed President Trumpâ€™s tough stance on Qatar when our Arab allies confronted the tiny country, despite the sea of proof that our so-called â€œallyâ€ is a major sponsor of Islamist terrorism and extremism, including the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and Al-Qaeda.
McMaster, like Secretary of Defense Mattis, was concerned about the U.S. base in Qatar.
This means that McMaster essentially supports allowing the Qatari government to use our own baseâ€”which protects themâ€”to decide U.S.policies.
The UAE has recommended that we move the base. There are no indications that McMaster is advocating that we do that so we can exert more pressure Qatar in the future.
5.The book endorsed by McMaster legitimizes Hamas
Aaron Klein, a senior Middle East reporter, read the book that McMaster endorsed as â€œexcellentâ€ and, shockingly, found that the author never characterizes Hamas as a terrorist group. Instead, the author refers to Hamas as an â€œIslamist political groupâ€ that is among Islamists â€œwho do not fit into a neat category.â€
â€œThe question for Americans is whether Hamas is an Islamist or Militant Islamist group,â€ the author, Youssef H. Aboul-Enein, writes.
Heâ€™s as wrong as someone can possibly be wrong. Beside the fact that Hamas has been designated by the U.S. as a Foreign Terrorist Organization for 10 years, there is no question that Hamas is a terrorist group. In fact, there isnâ€™t much of a substantive difference between Hamas and ISIS.
Aboul-Eneinâ€™s argument is that the U.S. should only target â€œMilitant Islamistsâ€ and not more generic Islamists. By questioning whether Hamas qualifies as Militant Islamist, Aboul-Enein is questioning whether the U.S. should target Hamas.
The book also moves the reader away from understanding that Islamistsâ€™ preaching of armed jihad rests upon a strong theological foundation. Based on Kleinâ€™s description, the author makes it sound as if Islamists are motivated by reasonable grievances against policies and then sit down and conjure up a convoluted way to describe their violent response as â€œjihad.â€
If we donâ€™t acknowledge the deep theological basis of the Islamistsâ€™ worldview, we will not be able to effectively respond to the ideology and its related narratives.
There is an important side note as well: Klein points out that the author of the book is the chair of Islamic Studies at National Defense University (which is funded by the Department of Defense) and a senior adviser and analyst at the Defense Intelligence Agencyâ€™s Joint Intelligence Task Force for Combating Terrorism. This means that these views are being taught to very important students.
6.McMaster believes terrorism is caused by disenfranchisement and lack of education
In his endorsement of the book, McMaster said, â€œTerrorist organizations use a narrow and irreligious ideology to recruit undereducated and disenfranchised people to their cause.â€
Remember when the Obama Administrationâ€™s State Department spokeswoman was mocked by the left and the right for suggesting that ISIS needs to be countered by reducing unemployment and poverty?
That same view is held by our current national security adviser.
7.Preserving the Iran deal
McMaster is in favor of keeping the nuclear deal with Iran. His position resulted in the U.S. certifying that Iran is in compliance with the terms of the agreement. By claiming that Iran has been obedient, it bolsters the regimeâ€™s credibility and makes America look worse if we leave the deal later.
Former CIA analyst Fred Fleitz was on a conference call with McMaster before it was certified and explained to McMaster how Iran is violating the deal. When Fleitz asked why the administration would certify Iranian compliance despite evidence of non-compliance, McMaster failed to give a direct answer.
8.Failure to understand the Israeli-Palestinian theater of the war with Islamism
The ideological war against Islamism requires us to debunk Islamist propaganda against our allies.
It is now known that McMaster declined to defend our best ally in the Middle East when questioned about Israelâ€™s conduct in its 2014 war with Hamas.
Israelâ€™s extraordinary efforts to limit civilian casualties in the war have been well-documented. When McMaster was asked whether he would agree that the Israeli military fought ethically, he gave an incoherent answer and then admitted, â€œthatâ€™s kind of a non-answer, sorry, to your first question.â€
McMaster tried to stop Trump from visiting the Western Wall in Jerusalem and, when he realized he couldnâ€™t win that argument, pressured Trump not to go with any Israeli official. McMaster twice refused to answer whether the Western Wall is part of Israel, saying, â€œThatâ€™s a policy decision.â€
The Conservative Review reported that McMaster refers to Israel as an â€œillegitimate,â€ â€œoccupying power,â€ according to three current and former officials from Trumpâ€™s inner circle.
Senior Middle East Annalyst Caroline Glick substantiates the accounts with her own sources who describe McMaster as â€œdeeply hostileâ€ to Israel.
According to these reports, McMaster has characterized Israeli security measures as â€œexcusesâ€ to oppress Palestinians and Israeli-Arabs. These sources also claim that he is not supportive of U.S. support for Israeli counter-terrorism efforts and shut down a joint initiative aimed at Hezbollah.
The initiative was led by Derek Harvey, who McMaster fired (more on that later).
McMaster is a big reason why there are increasing danger signs for Israel from parts of the Trump Administration. This has been recognized by the Zionist Organization of America, which is asking for McMasterâ€™s reassignment.
9.Appointing Kris Bauman as top National Security Council adviser on Israel.
Kris Bauman was chosen in May as the top adviser on Israel for the National Security Council. Journalist Daniel Greenfield reviewed Baumanâ€™s 2009 dissertation and found highly disturbing content.
As Clarion reported earlier this month, Bauman blamed Israel and the West for failing to see â€œHamasâ€™s signals of willingness to moderateâ€ and turning Gaza â€œinto an open-air prison.â€ He advocated a policy that includes â€œHamas in a solution,â€ dismissing Hamasâ€™ oft-stated pledge to destroy Israel and kill Jews until the end of time.
In his dissertation, Bauman cites The Israel Lobby, a book that purports to disclose how Israel secretly manipulates the U.S. institutions of power from behind-the-scenes. He says the â€œIsrael Lobbyâ€ â€œis a force that must be reckoned with, but it is a force that can be reckoned with.â€
Bauman clearly depicts Israel as the aggressor in the Israel-PalestinianÂ conflict, and, as Greenfield points out, equates Jewish settlers in the West Bank with Palestinian terrorists.
â€œIt is true that one could make an analogous argument regarding Palestinian terrorism, but there is one major difference between the two. Israeli government control over settlement expansion is far greater than Palestinian Authority control over terrorism,â€ Bauman writes.
As to the failure of the â€œpeace process,â€ he blames Israel as well as the West for its â€œoverwhelmingly favored Israeli interests.â€ Prime Minister Netanyahu is blamed for â€œinciting Palestinian violenceâ€ and deliberately undermining the prospects for peace.
A consistent theme appears in Baumanâ€™s thesis: Israel is the instigator of terrorism. To defeat terrorism, stop Israel. And now he is in a strong position in the National Security Council to try to make that happen.
10.Insubordination and constant drama
McMaster goes beyond honestly expressing himself to the president and crosses into insubordination, undermining the presidentâ€™s agenda and contributing to dysfunction.
A strong example of McMasterâ€™s well-known temper and ego was published in May by a prominent author who recalled how McMaster â€œwent a bit batshitâ€ because of an article he wrote where 95% of the content celebrated McMasterâ€™s remarkable success in Iraq.
The other five percent focused on his forcesâ€™ initial mistakes and â€œmediocreâ€ performance before adapting to the situation. And that set McMaster off. Â The author even quoted an expert who said McMasterâ€™s success would become a â€œcase study in classic counterinsurgency, the way it is supposed to be done.â€
Even major supporters of McMaster who know him personally admit â€œhe can be very intense.â€ The left-leaning Politico, which is more inclined to favor McMaster than his rivals, reports that his â€œtemper is legendaryâ€ and he â€œfrequently blows his top in high-level meetings.â€
Politico described McMaster as an â€œincreasingly volatile presence in the West Wing.â€ Three administration officials told the Daily Caller the same thing, with one describing the National Security Council as having a â€œpoisonous environment.â€
In addition to targeting Bannon and Gorka and anyone he sees as being in their camp, McMaster reportedly couldnâ€™t even get along with Trumpâ€™s senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who should be on his team. (The relationship is said to have improved, though.)
He also clashes with Secretary of Defense Mattis over military matters and Afghanistan. Mattis gave a dismissive response to these charges, however.
At his very first National Security Council meeting, McMaster immediately told those under him that President Trump is wrong to use the term â€œradical Islamâ€ because the terrorists are â€œun-Islamic.â€
Right away, he got to work building a coalition to wage internal battles.
When it came time for Trumpâ€™s Joint Address to Congress, McMaster fought tooth and nail to stop him from using the â€œradical Islamâ€ terminology. He wrote and widely distributed throughout the government a memo criticizing the president.
Trump was very open that this would be his view. If McMaster couldnâ€™t stand it, then he shouldnâ€™t have accepted the appointment.
When President Trump and Chief Strategist Bannon asked McMaster for a list of holdovers from the Obama Administration that may be leaking inappropriate information to the press, he refused to cooperate and to fire them. He said hiring and firing was his prerogative and that most would be leaving anyway.
When President Trump said South Korea would have to help cover the cost of a missile defense system to defend them from North Korea, McMaster immediately told the South Koreans that Trumpâ€™s words werenâ€™t actual policy. Trump was furious and screamed at him on the phone.
Trump is said to have confronted McMaster about the â€œgeneral undermining of my policy.â€
McMaster has worked hard to expand his fan club in the Trump Administration at the expense of those he disagrees with, particularly those closest to the presidentâ€™s views.
The Washington Free Beacon reported earlier this month, â€œA White House official said McMaster appears to be trying to clear out anyone from the NSC staff who is outspokenly pro-Trump and has been slow-rolling the presidentâ€™s directives that he disagrees with.â€
In his resignation letter, Dr. Gorka wrote to Trump, â€œRegrettably, outside of yourself, the individuals who most embodied and represented the policies that will â€˜Make America Great Again,â€™ have been internally countered, systematically removed, or undermined in recent months.â€
As these internal battles have been waged, a steady stream of derogatory leaks have appeared in the media. Bannon has been blamed for anti-McMaster coverage at Breitbart, but McMaster somehow isnâ€™t blamed for the leaks favorable to his side that appeared in the mainstream media. The pro-McMaster leaks substantiate why top generals saw him as a “publicity hound” in the military who advanced because of his closeness to General Petraeus.
11.Pushing out Chief Strategist Steve Bannon
On issues related to Islamism, Bannon was an important voice to have in the White House. He was a main proponent of designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a Foreign Terrorist Organization and of waging an ideological war on Islamism.
Bannon understood the need to promote Muslim reform versus McMasterâ€™s promotion of Â â€œnon-Militantâ€ Islamists. Shortly before his resignation on August 18, Bannon met with Dr. Daniel Pipes and Gregg Roman of the Middle East Forum, one of the most effective anti-Islamist organizations and promoters of Muslim modernist reformers.
Bannon was McMasterâ€™s top target. McMaster had forced out many officials that he felt were too close to Bannon, personally and politically, apparently attempting to monopolize power as much as possible. After resigning, Bannon said, â€œNo administration in history has been so divided.â€
Bannon disagreed with McMaster on the April 6 airstrike on a Syrian airbase and the new strategy for Afghanistan. Although there are serious merits to the airstrikes and the new strategy for Afghanistan, it is absolutely essential to have the views Bannon represents be a part of the decision-making process. A good teammate can disagree with a decision but still improve the option that is ultimately chosen.
12.Pressuring Dr. Sebastian Gorka to resign
Dr. Sebastian Gorka, the deputy assistant to the president and author of Defeating Jihad, resigned reportedly due to pressure from McMaster and Chief of Staff Kelly.
Gorka and Bannon were the main proponents of designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a Foreign Terrorist Organization.
Gorka is best known as the man who flattens the media like a human bulldozer. These viral TV segments earned the adoration of President Trump, who personally intervened to stop plans by his senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to move Gorka out of the White House and to a federal agency.
Trumpâ€™s satisfaction with Gorka and his success in handling the media should be considered important assets for an administration that struggles with messaging and perception. His book shows he is focused on a long-term plan for victory over Islamism.
Unfortunately for him, Chief of Staff Kelly disagreed with Trump and was reportedly â€œdispleasedâ€ with Gorkaâ€™s popular television segments and McMaster saw him as part of the Team Bannon that he sought to conquer.
Gorka was also probably seen as too much of a political liability, as he had become the victim of one of the most vicious and meritless smear campaigns in recent memory.
However, Gorkaâ€™s media appearances, input and the ridiculousness of his enemies made him a political asset.
13.Sidelining K.T. McFarland
Shortly after McMaster took his post, Deputy National Security Adviser K.T. McFarland was transferred out. McMaster had the leading role in making it happen.
She became the ambassador to Singapore; not exactly a position where her national security experience is being used to its full potential. Among her viewpoints is supporting designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a Foreign Terrorist Organization.
14.Firing Ezra Cohen-Watnick
McMaster wanted to fire Ezra Cohen-Watnick, the senior director for intelligence programs at the National Security Council, right from the start. Watnick was initially saved by Bannon and Kushner.
Before joining the government, Cohen-Watnick organized an â€œIslamo-Fascism Awarenessâ€ event on his campus. He understands the issue of Islamist extremism and is passionate about it.
Watnick joined the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2010, became an intelligence officer and left in January 2017 for his senior National Security Council spot. He is believed to have entered the Defense Clandestine Service in 2012 and went to the CIAâ€™s training facility known as â€œThe Farmâ€ in Virginia. He obviously had a strong background.
He was brought into the NSC by former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn and, therefore, was seen as an ally of the Bannon-Gorka team inside the administration.
We donâ€™t know much about what Watnick advocated while in the National Security Council aside from expanding U.S. operations against Iranian-backed militias in Syria.
Watnick was accused of improperly sharing intelligence with Rep. Devin Nunes, but there is disagreement over whether he did anything wrong. However, we know McMaster wanted to get rid of him right from the beginning, so this was probably just a good opportunity for a power play.
15.Trying to Hire Linda Weissgold
McMaster had already begun interviewing CIA official Linda Weissgold as Watnickâ€™s replacement before Bannon and Kushner initially stopped him.
Under the Obama Administration, Weissgold was the director of the CIAâ€™s Office of Terrorism Analysis. That means she was responsible for the false talking points about the terrorist attack in Benghazi in September 2012.
16.Firing Retired Col. Derek Harvey
Last month, McMaster fired President Trumpâ€™s top Middle East adviser from the National Security Council. The reason, as explained by one senior White House official, is that McMaster â€œwants his own guy.â€
Harvey had an exemplary record and was thought to have a good relationship with McMaster, going back to when they served together under General Petraeus. He was described as one of Petraeusâ€™ â€œmost trusted intelligence advisors in Iraqâ€ during the remarkably successful surge that turned the situation around.
Harvey was fired because of policy differences and McMasterâ€™s desire to win the internal power struggle and cement his group over the National Security Council. McMaster and Harvey disagreed on â€œnearly everyâ€ area, particularly when it came to radical Islam and Iran. Harvey advocated working more closely with Israel, Egyptian President Sisi and Saudi Arabia.
Harvey had also put together a proposal for how the Trump Administration could scrap the nuclear deal with Iran. McMaster “blasted” his performance on Iran policy but according to a senior official who spoke to the left-wing Daily Beast, Harvey â€œwas stuck in a Catch-22 situationâ€ because lower-level staff dragged their feet in helping him.
According to the Weekly Standardâ€”a publication that is certainly not in the Bannon/Trump campâ€”McMaster fired him because he didn’t like how close Harvey was to Bannon. Another detailed account said McMaster was also irked by his closeness to Kushner.
The most complete story says that McMaster directly told Harvey not to get too close to Bannon and Kushner. Shortly before he was fired, McMaster saw him leaving Bannonâ€™s office. The sources say Harvey actually didnâ€™t talk to Bannon too much, but McMaster had asked for information about Trumpâ€™s foreign policy priorities and that necessitated a meeting with Bannon.
McMaster saw Harvey at Bannonâ€™s office on a Friday. When Monday came around, McMasterâ€™s executive officer, Ylli Bajraktari (a Pentagon official from the Obama Administration) reminded Harvey it is not a â€œgood ideaâ€ to talk to Bannon. He was fired four days later.
One other report states that Defense Secretary Mattis complained to McMaster about Harvey. The more exhaustive account based on sources close to Harvey dispute elements of that account.
17.Replacing Harvey with Michael Bell
McMaster replaced Harvey with Michael Bell, who was the National Security Councilâ€™s director for Persian Gulf affairs.
Not surprisingly, Bell is on record for harshly criticizing then-Deputy Assistant Dr. Sebastian Gorka to the Washington Post. Bell claimed that Gorka was too biased on Islam-related issues, stopping just a few steps shy of hitting him with the â€œIslamophobeâ€ label.
Clearly, McMaster was picking a team to go to war with the White House. Thereâ€™s no other way to interpret this decision.
18.Ousting of Adam Lovinger
In May, National Security Counil analyst Adam Lovinger had his security clearance revoked for unclear reasons that Lovinger described as â€œpuzzling and baseless.â€ He was then fired.
Lovinger was at the council on loan from the Pentagonâ€™s Office of Net Assessment, where he had served as a strategic affairs analyst for 12 years. He was a known Trump supporter and was brought into the council by Flynn. Therefore, he would have been seen by McMaster as a Bannon ally.
Caroline Glick described Lovinger as a â€œseasoned strategic analystâ€ who clashed with McMaster because he favored India over Pakistan. He also opposed the nuclear deal with Iran and supported the use of terminology like â€œradical Islam.â€
Lovinger confirmed that his conservative views on foreign policy had irked bureaucrats, and he believes his clearance was taken away for political reasons.
The Washington Free Beacon reported on May 1 that â€œsecurity clearances granting access to state secrets have become increasingly politicized in a bid by opponents to block senior advisers to President Trump.â€
Another example of this happening is Robin Townley, who held a top secret clearance and was picked by former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn as the councilâ€™s senior director for Africa. The CIA declined to grant him the necessary security clearance for Sensitive Compartmented Information. A source close to Townley said it was a politically-motivated â€œhit job.
19.Ousting Tera Dahl
Tera Dahl, the National Security Councilâ€™s deputy chief of staff, transferred out of the council in June. She will likely be working at the U.S. Agency for International Development.
Dahl was a writer for Breitbart and therefore seen as belonging to Bannonâ€™s camp. She also co-founded a foreign policy think tank with Katharine Gorka, wife of now-former Deputy Assistant Sebastian Gorka (Katharine Gorka is currently an official adviser to the Department of Homeland Securityâ€™s policy office.)
Dahl was especially interested in Egypt. She is supportive of Egyptian President el-Sisi, arguing that his actions are helping to transition the country towards democracy and stability. She visited Egypt and believes he is getting unfair treatment by some Western media outlets and think-tanks who want to demonize him and exonerate his Muslim Brotherhood enemies.
The left-wing Buzzfeed described the change as a result of warring factions inside the White House over foreign policy. It explained, â€œThe move frees up National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster to install another staffer of his choosing in his drive to reshape the NSC to his liking.â€
Dahl is said to have expressed interest in transferring because she was close to National Security Council Chief of Staff Keith Kellogg, whose tensions with McMaster have â€œcreated an uncomfortable working environment at the NSC.â€
The councilâ€™s spokesperson Michael Anton claims â€œit was always her intent to move into a policy role once this task [at NSC] was completed.â€
20.Firing Rich Higgins
McMaster and/or his deputy, Ricky Waddell, fired the NSCâ€™s director of strategic planning, Rich Higgins, on July 21.
Higgins has an extensive background of national security service and has a deep understanding of the Islamist ideology, its associated doctrines and how it interacts with political movements that Islamists find common cause with.
Higgins had a deep understanding of the Muslim Brotherhood and how Islamists got political access and impacted policy under the Bush and Obama Administrations. He studied how political correctness had resulted in cleansing counter-terrorism training and national security policy documents from references to the ideological basis of the threat.
Higgins was pushing for the declassification of documents related to radical Islam and Iran and, more specifically, Presidential Study Directive 11. He had good reason to do so.
There were reports that the previous administration was not disclosing important documents, including ones from Bin Ladenâ€™s compounds that contradicted its narratives about the nature of the Al-Qaeda threat and the groupâ€™s relationship with Iran.
Presidential Study Directive 11 is reportedly an assessment of Islamist movements in 2010-2011 by the Obama Administration that resulted in a secret recommendation to align with â€œmoderateâ€ Islamists in handling the Arab Spring.
If this is indeed what happened, the directiveâ€™s declassification is of the utmost importance for understanding the Islamist threat, the fruits of this strategy and the dynamics of the region, not to mention historical documentation.
Alarmingly, according to a Gulf News report, the Presidential Study Directive 11 documents were obtained by the Al-Hewar Center in Washington, D.C. and show that the U.S. decided to back the â€œpolitical Islamistsâ€ including the Muslim Brotherhood.
Daniel Greenfield reported that the Al-Hawre Center is linked to a Muslim Brotherhood front named the International Institute of Islamic Thought, which has come under counter-terrorism investigation.
McMaster reportedly “detonated” after coming across a seven-page memo that Higgins wrote which warned about a campaign by Islamists, Marxists, â€œbankers,â€ establishment Republicans and â€œglobalistsâ€ to destroy the Trump presidency. The memo was given to Donald Trump Jr. and the president himself, who is said to have â€œgushed over it.â€
Such a political memo would be inappropriate for the National Security Council. Its tone gives the impression of an author who sees all opposition to the Trump Administration as part of a seditious conspiracy. Its first reference is an interview between a member of the conspiratorial John Birch Society and a Soviet defector about â€œJewish Marxist ideology.â€
However, the memo was not intended for the NSC. It was a personal political analysis of how parties with various interests are trying to undermine the administrationâ€™s agenda.
According to Breitbart, Higgins used his personal computer to write the memo and did not use NSC time. He didnâ€™t even use his NSC email to send it to anyone but himself. (He sent it from his personal email to his work email to print out.)
Another comprehensive Breitbart account says Higgins was fired on July 21 with several holdovers from the Obama Administration present and a Muslim woman with a hijab who worked as an equal employment officer. McMasterâ€™s deputy, Ricky Waddell, told him it was his last day because â€œweâ€™ve lost confidence in you.â€
According to this account, McMaster was not responsible for the firing and hadnâ€™t even read the memo. It was entirely the responsibility of Waddell. After the termination, parts of the memo were leaked to media outlets that would be most hostile to Higgins.
Regardless of whether Higginsâ€™ firing was due to McMaster or Waddell, it was still done under McMasterâ€™s leadership and was part of a broader push against perceived competitors.
President Trump was said to be â€œfuriousâ€ at Higginsâ€™ firing.
21.CAIR Comes to McMasterâ€™s Defense
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is a deceptive Islamist bulldog that tears into any opponent by falsely branding them as an Islamophobic bigot. The Justice Department identified the organization as a Muslim Brotherhood â€œentityâ€ set up to support Hamas and designated it as an unindicted co-conspirator in a terrorism-financing trial.
CAIR slaps the â€œIslamophobeâ€ label on practically everyone, obviously including almost every member of the Trump Administration. It has done so to Muslim adversaries, President Obama, Hillary Clinton, Democratic supporters of gun control measures to stop terrorists from obtaining firearms and White House Chief of Staff Kelly whose name was referenced in a letter thanking CAIRâ€™s Florida branch.
But not McMaster.
When McMaster came under heavy criticism for his stances on Islamism-related issues, CAIR came to his defense. It branded his opponents as â€œIslamophobesâ€ and â€œwhite supremacists.â€
22.Reports of a possible CAIR official on his staff
Ayaan Hirsi Ali from presenting a paper on Islamist extremism to the National Security Council. There are unconfirmed reports that it was one of McMasterâ€™s appointees who blocked Hirsi Ali. One account of the incident says she was also blocked from seeing President Trump.
Hirsi Ali is one of the most prominent womenâ€™s rights activists and anti-Islamist voices in the world. She is executive producer of the Clarion Projectâ€™s Honor Diaries documentary about the oppression of women in the Muslim world. She is a strong advocate for secular-democratic Muslim reformers.
The person who is said to have blocked her is Mustafa Javed Ali, who protested that she is an â€œIslamophobe.â€ According to one of the reports, a source said that Mustafa said â€œthat the only way she could present the paper would be to have someone from CAIR come in to refute her work.â€
Mustafa Javed Ali is reportedly a former â€œdiversity outreach coordinatorâ€ for CAIR. However, there is no public confirmation to confirm this as his name does not appear on CAIRâ€™s website.
An analysis by the Daily Caller found that about 40 of the 250 National Security Council officials are holdovers from the Obama Administration. Presumably, these officials would be very hostile to the Trump Administrationâ€™s agenda. They should be the first suspects in the ongoing stream of leaks from the NSC.
National security expert Jed Babbin identified four NSC officials who previously reported directly to Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes, the Obama Administration official who boasted of creating an â€œecho chamberâ€ in the media to promote the nuclear deal with Iran using â€œcompadresâ€ in the media to influence reporters who “literally know nothing.”
(Rhodes also has the distinct honor of being the only person to be called an “asshole” in the headline of a Foreign Policy article.)
In July, McMaster told NSC staffers, â€œThereâ€™s no such thing as a holdover.â€ He was professing confidence that those who worked in the Obama Administration would loyally serve President Trump. Likewise, NSC spokesperson Michael Anton defended the holdovers as â€œstalwarts.â€
As mentioned before, when Trump and Bannon asked McMaster for a list of holdovers that may be leaking to the press, he refused to cooperate and to fire them. He said hiring and firing was his prerogative and that most would be leaving anyway.
One former NSC staffer told the Daily Caller that McMaster has â€œprotected and coddled them.â€
Iran expert and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Ken Timmerman wrote a book titled Shadow Warriors in 2007 about how the Bush Administration was undermined by opponents within the governmental bureaucracies.
Timmermanâ€™s observation should serve as a contemporary warning:
â€œGeorge W. Bush never got the first rule of Washington: People are policy. He allowed his political enemies to run roughshod over his administration through a vast underground he never dismantled and never dominated.â€
24.McMaster was an 11-Year Member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies
Breitbart discovered that McMaster was a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies from September 2006 until February 2017 when he became national security adviser. IISS was part of a campaign to promote the nuclear deal with Iran and gets funding from Islamist allies.
Its website shows that one of its top donors is the Open Society Foundation, formerly named the Open Society Institute, whose founder and chairman is left-wing partisan activist George Soros. The foundation donated between 100,000 and 500,000 euros (roughly $120,000-$600,000) to the IISS.
The Open Society Foundation is motivated by hyper-partisanship and works hard to defend American Islamists and slander opponents of the Muslim Brotherhood as bigots.
For example, it financed the Fear Inc. reports about the â€œIslamophobia Networkâ€ that is a powerful weapon in the Islamistsâ€™ and Regressive Leftâ€™s arsenal for character assassination and protecting groups like CAIR.
These reports were used to justify the removal of Islamism from counter-terrorism training.
IISS also has Ploughshares Fund as a major donor, giving between 25,000 and 100,000 euros (about $30,000-$119,000). The Plougshares Fund is also funded by Soros and his entities like Open Society.
When Ben Rhodes boasted about orchestrating the â€œecho chamberâ€ to promote the nuclear deal with Iran, he specifically mentioned Ploughshares as his example of an outside group he utilized.
The president of Ploughshares, Joseph Cirincione, is a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies. Plougshares specifically listed IISS, the group that McMaster belonged to, as the recipient of a grant for work on Iran issues in 2016.
Sorosâ€™ Open Society Foundation/Institute donated about $70,000 overall to selling the Iran deal, but other entities funded by Soros gave more. Ploughshares donated at least $800,000.
Ploughshares also donated over $400,000 to the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), which has long been accused of being a lobby for the Iranian regime. Ploughshares also awarded $70,000 to Princeton University to sponsor the work of former Iranian regime official Seyed Hossein Mousavian. The Heritage Foundationâ€™s James Phillips writes, â€œThis essentially amounted to subsidizing Iranâ€™s propaganda efforts inside the United States.â€
As Breitbartâ€™s Aaron Klein shows, IISS was a loyal contributor to the Rhodes-Plougshares â€œechochamber.â€ It supported the deal and defended Iran against accusations of violations. It cast doubt on concerns that Iran and North Korea work on WMD together. And it criticized Trumpâ€™s attitude towards Iran.
IISS also receives funding from many companies that profited from the Iran deal like ExxonMobil. Its list of donors includes many governments, both allies and adversaries of the U.S.
Governmental donors of concern include Qatar, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Brunei, Kuwait, Russia and China.
25.President Trump is frequently unhappy with McMasterâ€™s performance.
As mentioned before, President Trump has confronted McMaster about his â€œgeneral undermining of my policyâ€ and was furious at him for telling South Korea to basically ignore Trumpâ€™s words.
Trump complains that McMaster talks too much at meetings and has described him as a â€œpain.â€ There have been multiple articles indicating that Trump might be on the cusp of firing McMaster.
â€œI am at a pain to find an issue that H.R. actually aligns with the president, except for the desire to actually win and beat ISIS. Thatâ€™s the only one,â€ said one administration official.
A former senior NSC official said, â€œI know that the president isnâ€™t a big fan of what McMasterâ€™s doing. I donâ€™t understand why heâ€™s allowing a guy who is subverting his foreign policy at every turn to remain in place.â€
Trump has reportedly said in private that he regrets choosing McMaster as national security adviser and went so far as to meet with former U.N. ambassador John Bolton to float the possibility of him replacing McMaster. Bolton and Trump agreed that it was not the right move.
McMaster has put his life on the line for the country and ascended because of his impressive leadership during the worst days of the war in Iraq. He “basically was the first commander to get things right in Iraq.”
At the time, McMaster blasted the media for its downplaying of Iranâ€™s role in murdering U.S. troops.
This led to many peopleâ€™s (including this authorâ€™s) initial enthusiasm for him as national security adviser despite his statement in 2014 that the â€œIslamic State is not Islamic.â€
Thinking it unfathomable that Trump would choose someone who is so fundamentally at odds with his national security vision, many chalked up the statement to a clumsy articulation of the U.S. position that ISIS shouldnâ€™t be treated as the representative of the Muslim world.
But what was once unfathomable has become reality.
McMaster performed well as a military commander fighting an insurgency. If he is to continue serving the Trump Administration, then he should be reassigned to focus on taking his success in Iraq and repeating it in Afghanistan.
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