Posted tagged ‘McMaster’

McMaster, McCain Call to Back Kurds

October 29, 2017

McMaster, McCain Call to Back Kurds, Clarion ProjectElliot Friedland, October 29, 2017

National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster answers questions during a press briefing at the White House (Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

McCain blamed the chaos in the region on the previous president, saying “This is the unfortunate legacy that the Obama administration left for its successor.” That alone is not a plan. Despite making encouraging sounding remarks about safeguarding Kurdish security, both McCain and McMaster were remarkably light on specifics.

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Leading U.S. political figures Senator John McCain and National Security Adviser H. R. McMaster have called for America to ensure Kurdish security and curb Iranian influence. Iraqi forces recently seized disputed territories including the city of Kirkuk from the Kurds as tensions mount following the Kurdistan independence referendum.

President Trump has long warned about the dangers to American security posed by Iranian ambitions. Iran is steadfastly opposed to a Kurdish state.

“What we would like to see in Iraq is a stable Iraq that is not aligned with Iran,” McMaster told a meeting of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

He clarified that “part of a strong Iraq is a strong Kurdish region where we have very long-time partners whose partnership we value tremendously, who you know, who bore the brunt of Saddam Hussein’s brutality over many years and who we intervene on their behalf as everyone knows after 1991 and they used the safety and security we helped provide that region to build a—phenomenal communities in Sulaymaniyah, and Erbil and in Dohuk. I mean these are southern European thriving cities when you go to the Kurdish region.”

McMaster did not shy away from blaming Iran for aggression against the Kurds. In an interview with the U.S.-funded Arabic news network Al-Hurra, he accused Iran of taking “advantage of divisions within the Kurdish Regional Government, divisions within the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan [PUK] after the death of Jalal Talabani, God rest his soul, and what they have done is tried to advance their interest at the expense of long-term security and stability in Iraq.”

He called on America to intervene, saying, “What we need to do, though, is we have to work to mediate this conflict in a way that allows our Kurdish friends to enjoy the safety, security and prosperity they built over so many years and not regress from that.”

Former Republican presidential candidate Senator John McCain was more forthright. In a New York Timesop-ed, McCain slammed the Iraqi government’s attacks on Kurdish forces as “totally unacceptable.”

“The United States offered arms and training to the government of Iraq to fight the Islamic State and secure Iraq from external threats — not to attack Iraqi Kurds, who are some of America’s most trusted and capable partners in the region,” he said.

Despite his strong words, Iraqi forces are already using American equipment to attack Kurds. People’s Mobilization Units (PMU), the paramilitary forces attached to the Iraqi army, launched a four-pronged attack against the Kurdish Peshmerga northwest of Mosul on Thursday, according to Kurdistan 24.

“As of 1200 hrs, Peshmerga heroically repelled today’s attacks, destroying three tanks, five U.S. Humvees and one Badger,” the Kurdish Region Security Council said in a statement. “Having retreated from the areas, Iraqi forces have resorted to shelling Peshmerga positions.”

The Kurds report that around 100 militia fighters were killed. The offensive is aimed at capturing the strategically important area of Iraq next to the Syrian border, according to analyst Seth Frantzman. If successful, it would cut off the Iraqi Kurds from Kurdish areas of Syria.

“Let me be clear: If Baghdad cannot guarantee the Kurdish people in Iraq the security, freedom and opportunities they desire, and if the United States is forced to choose between Iranian-backed militias and our longstanding Kurdish partners, I choose the Kurds,” McCain wrote.

What exactly does he mean by that? Iraq has already rejected a request by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to disband the Iranian-backed militias grouped under the PMU banner.

The PMU were called to arms in 2014 by a fatwa issued by leading Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani to fight ISIS. The PMU were officially made part of the Iraqi army in November 2016.

It was unclear if McCain would support using U.S. military force to protect Kurdish areas against Iranian-backed Iraqi militias. It is also worrying what might happen if America does not act.

“There is a great fear among the Kurds that they could face another genocide at the hands of the Iraqi government and the Shia militia forces backed by Iran,” said Julie Lenarz, the executive director of the Human Security Centre, a London-based think-tank with extensive contacts in Kurdistan. Lenarz was speaking on a conference call hosted by The Israel Project.

McCain blamed the chaos in the region on the previous president, saying “This is the unfortunate legacy that the Obama administration left for its successor.” That alone is not a plan. Despite making encouraging sounding remarks about safeguarding Kurdish security, both McCain and McMaster were remarkably light on specifics.

Israel tries to balance Iran strategy between Trump and Putin

October 17, 2017

Israel tries to balance Iran strategy between Trump and Putin, DEBKAfile, October 17, 2017

(Please see also, Iran Plays Chess, We Play Checkers. — DM)

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman with Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu, at the Yad Vashem holocaust memorial museum in Jerusalem, on October 17, 2017. Photo by Hadas Parush/FLASH90 *** Local Caption *** יד ושם
רוסיה
שר ההגנה הרוסי
סרגיי שויגו
שר הביטחון
אביגדור ליברמן
ראש הממשלה

The Israeli defense minister is due to fly to Washington Wednesday, Oct. 18, for talks with US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. Netanyahu’s National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabat goes on ahead to meet his US counterpart Gen. H.R. McMaster.

However, as seen from Moscow – and possibly Jerusalem too – the Trump administration is more to blame than any other actor operating in the Middle East for Iran’s deepening grip on Syria, US actions starkly contradicting the president’s fiery rhetoric against the Islamic Republic and all its actions.

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Israel’s leaders stressed to Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu the importance of thwarting Iran’s military entrenchment in Syria. But can’t expect much from Moscow – any more than Washington.  

Visiting Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu heard Tuesday, Oct. 17, from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his counterpart, Avigdor Lieberman that Israel would not stand for Iran and Hizballah making Syria their forward operational base against Israel, and would act to prevent their military entrenchment along the Syrian-Israeli border.

This was not news to the Russian minister, on his first visit to Israel since his appointment five years ago. The Kremlin has heard this mantra time and time and again and the visitor must have wondered what his Israeli hosts expected him to do. Both Shoigu and his boss, President Vladimir Putin, would also prefer not to see Iran dug deep militarily in Syria. So oddly enough, Moscow and Jerusalem could find a sliver of common ground for cooperating in both Syria and Iraq, but for their different viewpoints. While the Russians are practical enough to live with a strong Iranian military presence in Syria so long as it serves their interests, Israel is flatly against Iran or its proxies’ proximity to its borders as a grave peril to its national security.

The Israeli defense minister is due to fly to Washington Wednesday, Oct. 18, for talks with US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. Netanyahu’s National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabat goes on ahead to meet his US counterpart Gen. H.R. McMaster.

However, as seen from Moscow – and possibly Jerusalem too – the Trump administration is more to blame than any other actor operating in the Middle East for Iran’s deepening grip on Syria, US actions starkly contradicting the president’s fiery rhetoric against the Islamic Republic and all its actions.

Since late September, the US has been drawing down most of its positions in eastern Syria, opening the door for Hizballah to walk in and for pro-Iranian Iraqi militias to take control of the Syrian-Iraqi border. This has made Tehran the strategic gift of its coveted land bridge to the Mediterranean.

Shoigu arrived in Tel Aviv on the day, Monday, Oct. 16, on which pro-Iranian militias under the command of a Revolutionary Guards general, Qassem Soleimani, swept the Iraqi oil center of Kirkuk out of the hands of America’s allies, the Kurdish Peshmerga, a leading light in the US-led coalition for fighting the Islamic State.

If Trump meant what he said about beating down the Revolutionary Guards, why did he not stop them from taking Kirkuk?

In contrast to the Kirkuk debacle, the US-backed SDF Syrian Kurdish-Arab force said Tuesday that the Islamic State’s Syrian capital of Raqqa had fallen after a bitter four-month battle. The Kurdish YPG militia raised its flag over the municipal stadium and chanted victory slogans from vehicles driving through the streets.

DEBKAfile’s sources report that when word of the victory reached the White House, Brett McGurk, President Trump’s special envoy for the global coalition versus ISIS, set out from Washington to Raqqa

But that operation was the exception – not the rule. In Iraq, Washington stood by as the Revolutionary Guards called the shots against the Kurds.

For weeks, Moscow has been asking Washington to explain what it is up to on the Syrian and Iraqi warfronts and has come up empty. Israeli visitors are unlikely to fare much better when they put the same question to top Trump administration officials, even taking into account the profound difference in the relationship between Jerusalem and Washington compared with Moscow and Jerusalem.

 

H.R. McMaster: ‘There is a military option’ for North Korea

September 15, 2017

H.R. McMaster: ‘There is a military option’ for North Korea, Washington ExaminerJoel Gehrke , September 15, 2017

(In other news, China has said it opposes North Korea’s new missile activity and 

the essence of the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue is a security issue and the crux is the disagreements between the DPRK and the United States.

“China is neither the focus of the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, nor the core to resolving the issue. Neither is it the propellent of the current tensions,” she said, urging parties directly concerned to take up their due responsibilities.

Translation: It’s your problem; deal with it as you want but don’t do anything we won’t like. — DM)

President Trump’s top national security aide said Friday that there is a military option for handling North Korea’s missile and nuclear testing, even though it’s an option the Trump administration does not want to employ.

“There is a military option,” White House national security adviser H.R. McMaster said at the White House. “Now, it’s not what we would prefer to do. So, what we have to do is call on all nations, call on everyone to do everything we can to address this global problem short of war. So, that is implementing now these significant sanctions that have just now gone into place. And it is convincing everyone to do everything that they can — and that it’s in their interest to do it.”

But McMaster acknowledged that the clock is ticking with each provocative test North Korea runs.

“We’re out of time,” McMaster said. “We’ve been kicking the can down the road, and we’re out of road.”

McMaster was joined at the White House by U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, who agreed that the UN is running out of options when it comes to imposing new economic sanctions.

“There’s not a whole lot the Security Council is going to be able to do from here,” Haley said.

Haley’s comments suggest that she won’t revive an attempt to push an oil embargo through the U.N. Security Council, after China and Russia opposed the measure last week. Instead, she argued that the resolution which passed instead of the more-stringent embargo would be a strong deterrent to the regime if it is implemented effectively.

“If you look at the resolutions that have passed over the last month, the two of them, they cut 30 percent of their oil, they banned all the laborers, they based 90 percent of the exports, they banned joint ventures,” Haley said. “in the words of North Korea, we’ve strangled their economic situation at this point.”

McMaster said the sanctions will take time to have a maximum affect, but North Korea’s decision to launch yet another ballistic missile over Japan put renewed urgency in his public message. That’s an apparent warning to Russia and China, both of which oppose additional U.S. military buildups in the Asia-Pacific region.

Their comments came one day after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called on China to implement the oil embargo unilaterally.

“China supplies essentially all of North Korea’s oil,” Tillerson told reporters in London. “I am hopeful that China — as a great country, a world power — will decide on their own and will take it upon themselves to use that very powerful tool of oil supply to persuade North Korea to reconsider its current path towards weapons development, to reconsider its approach to dialogue and negotiations in the future.”

McMaster brings top Obama admin officials into NSC, sources say

September 1, 2017

McMaster brings top Obama admin officials into NSC, sources say, Conservative Review, Jordan Schachtel, August 31, 2017

(Please see also, Trump struggling with John Kelly’s strict operation: Report. — DM)

At the time, Ylber (pronounced ill-BEAR) was deputy chief of staff to Secretary of Defense Carter, where he helped develop the Obama administration’s foreign policy, focusing on Iran and Iraq. Ylber also worked on the administration’s highly controversial nuclear deal with the Tehran regime.

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National security adviser H.R. McMaster has quietly pulled in high-ranking officials from the Obama administration into senior positions on his staff, current and former administration officials told Conservative Review.

In recent months, McMaster has hired influential members of the Obama Pentagon. One of these individuals was assigned to boost the Iran nuclear deal with Tehran, while the other became a trusted aide to former defense chief Ash Carter.

The recent hires are Ylli and Ylber Bajraktari, Albanian-Kosovan brothers who elevated to the top of government in the Obama administration.

A 2016 Medium profile of the brothers describes the major influence they have had in crafting policies for the previous administration.

“I have never heard of a story of two brothers playing such a critical behind-the-scenes role at the Pentagon,” Carl Woog, a senior Obama NSC adviser, commented to Partnership for Public Service.

“Ylber travels with [Sec. Carter] to international destinations and attends all his Pentagon meetings on foreign policy matters,” the article said.

At the time, Ylber (pronounced ill-BEAR) was deputy chief of staff to Secretary of Defense Carter, where he helped develop the Obama administration’s foreign policy, focusing on Iran and Iraq. Ylber also worked on the administration’s highly controversial nuclear deal with the Tehran regime.

McMaster’s much-hyped strategic acumen called into question by high-level military sources

August 30, 2017

McMaster’s much-hyped strategic acumen called into question by high-level military sources, Jihad Watch

And not only that: “When reflexively anti-American, anti-military outlets like Mother Jones, Slate and the Washington Post offer fawning praise for a Republican military commander, the reasons underlying those plaudits deserve further investigation. When anti-American, anti-military, George Soros-funded, extreme leftist smear operations like Media Matters go to war to defend a Trump political appointee, it casts a shadow on everything about the man. When the anti-American, terrorism-supporting, Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated CAIR defends an American general, the alarm bells drown out all other sound.”

Indeed.

It’s probably useless to call upon Trump to fire McMaster at this point. McMaster and the swamp have triumphed over those who came to drain it. But maybe someday Trump will remember the principles and promises that got him elected, and the ringing declarations of his Inaugural Address of giving the government back to the people, and on that day, McMaster will finally be packing.

“BOMBTHROWERS EXCLUSIVE: National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster: A legend or a lie?,” by James Simpson, Bombthrowers, August 29, 2017 (thanks to John):

Fresh on the heels of a successful offensive in Mosul, Iraq, the Iraqi military is now poised to retake Tal Afar, long a hotbed of ISIS and other insurgent activity. Before we pulled out of Iraq, Tal Afar, like Fallujah, had been the focal point of multiple large-scale, costly offensives to eject entrenched insurgents. In 2005, then-Colonel H.R. McMaster led the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment (3rd ACR) in the largest of these offensives, Operation Restoring Rights. His reputation as a brilliant military strategist rests largely on the results of that one battle. Given the widespread support for McMaster in the media and Washington establishment, it is ironic that current reporting largely fails to mention this battle or McMaster’s central role in it.

McMaster’s widely-hyped strategic acumen has been called into question by high-level military sources with personal knowledge of his conduct in the field. These sources spoke with me on condition of anonymity.

McMaster rests his laurels on the counter-insurgency strategy he claims won the Battle of Tal Afar, Iraq. But sources say McMaster ignored counter-insurgency experts and that his reckless leadership killed hundreds of Americans and almost lost the battle. The battle, the sources say, was won only through a valiant rescue mission that also suffered high casualties.

Until today this information has been suppressed.

Today, National Security Advisor McMaster is facing sustained criticism for his seemingly relentless opposition to Trump policies, his purging of many competent, conservative Trump loyalists from the National Security Council staff, and “protecting and coddling” 40 Obama holdovers — almost one-sixth of the NSC staff — who are plainly out to sabotage the Trump agenda.

Yet he continues to enjoy President Trump’s support. Is President Trump reluctant to fire McMaster for fear of criticism? Has he decided that McMaster’s reputed military genius is worth the cost? Or has he been thoroughly misinformed about McMaster’s character and competence? Who is H.R. McMaster really?

Lieutenant General (three-star) Herbert Raymond McMaster is a career Army officer still on active duty. He came to the Trump administration as a quick replacement for Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn (Ret.), who resigned over controversies regarding his contacts with Russian officials. Whatever Flynn may have done wrong, his true sin was bucking the D.C. establishment, including many military leaders. And as frequently happens in Washington, when a strong conservative political appointee faces widespread (often manufactured) controversy, the knee-jerk reaction is to find a replacement the establishment likes. McMaster fits the bill.

On the surface, he appears to have the right resume. He has been awarded the Silver Star, Purple Heart, Bronze Star, the Legion of Merit and other medals, although John Kerry and many others have proved there are ways to get these medals without earning them. Most of this acclaim comes out of his service at the Battle of 73 Easting(1991), where in 23 minutes, McMaster’s nine M1A1 Abrams tanks and 12 Bradley Fighting Vehicles destroyed 30 Iraqi tanks and 14 armored vehicles. McMaster has been given credit for quick thinking and aggressive action, but his unit faced off against obsolete Iraqi T-55 and T-72 tanks operated by troops with inferior training. His unit was part of a larger operation that experienced similar success, ultimately destroying 85 tanks, 40 personnel carriers, and over 30 other vehicles. As George Dvorsky observes: “the [Republican Guard] didn’t have a chance.”

As the author of the 1997 book, Dereliction of Duty: Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara, The Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Lies that Led to Vietnam, McMaster enjoys a reputation as something of a maverick, a fact which perhaps found favor in the unorthodox Trump administration. The book has been described as “the seminal work on military’s responsibility during Vietnam to confront their civilian bosses when strategy was not working.”

But McMaster’s reputation rests largely on the counterinsurgency (COIN) strategy applied at Tal Afar. It was later hailed by President George W. Bush, who said it, “gives me confidence in our strategy because in this city we see the outlines of the Iraq that we and the Iraqi people have been fighting for…” For once, the media agreed with Bush, published glowing reports on McMaster’s feats. Mother Jones and the Washington Post called him the “Hero of Tal Afar.” The left-leaning Slate.com calls him“the Army’s smartest officer.”

Now leftists are coming out of the woodwork to defend McMaster against his conservative critics. Newsweek accuses the “alt-right” of attempting to smear McMaster, while genuine slime merchants like Media Matters for America are smearing his critics.

He is even being defended by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the propaganda arm of the Palestinian terrorist group HAMAS.

Okay, wait a minute.

When reflexively anti-American, anti-military outlets like Mother Jones, Slate and the Washington Post offer fawning praise for a Republican military commander, the reasons underlying those plaudits deserve further investigation. When anti-American, anti-military, George Soros-funded, extreme leftist smear operations like Media Matters go to war to defend a Trump political appointee, it casts a shadow on everything about the man. When the anti-American, terrorism-supporting, Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated CAIR defends an American general, the alarm bells drown out all other sound. And officers who have witnessed his “leadership” in the unforgiving crucible of combat are now sounding the alarm.

There is much more. Read the rest here.

An Ideological Coup against Trump?

August 30, 2017

An Ideological Coup against Trump? American ThinkerShoula Romano Horing, August 30, 2017

(If President Trump won’t defend himself and his policies from the ideological coup waged by his appointees, who will? Who can? — DM)

As replacements for those fired, McMaster appointed individuals who are friendly with Obama-era ideologues who blame Israel for Palestinian terror, encourage negotiations with Hamas and are obsessed with the plan for Palestinian statehood. 

In addition, just before Trump’s visit to Israel, McMaster erroneously publicly claimed  that the President would recognize “Palestinian Self-determination“ and refused to state that the Western Wall,  one the holiest Jewish sites,  and the last remnant of the walls around the Second Jewish Temple, is in Israel and insisted that Netanyahu could not accompany Trump to the site after failing to convince the President not to visit there.

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See also: Bolton and Gorka both say they are locked out of the White House

As an Israeli who supports Trump and attended Trump’s inauguration to celebrate his win, I read with a heavy heart the reports leaking out of the White House that Sebastian Gorka did not resign but was forced out of his position as a security advisor to the President by General H.R. McMaster and General John Kelly.

Mr. Gorka is the seventh Trump loyalist McMaster has forced out in recent months from the President’s National Security Team.  All have been attempting to carry out President Trump’s campaign promises to combat Iranian and radical Islamist terrorist threats, and to support Israel and the U.S.-Israel alliance.

Gorka was the third Trump loyalist forced out since General John F. Kelly, an old military colleague of McMaster, was appointed to be the chief of staff and reportedly encouraged McMaster to make any staffing changes he deems necessary.

If it looks like a duck and sounds like a duck, it is a duck.  Maybe it does not sound yet like a “purge” and an ideological coup, but it is starting to look like one, engineered by Generals McMaster and Kelly. It is designed to eliminate President Trump’s national security agenda of support to Israel, opposition to the Iran deal, and determination to name and combat radical Islamist terrorism.

On Friday, in a letter reported by the Federalist, Sebastian Gorka’s explained his “resignation” by expressing his unhappiness with the direction that the Trump administration’s foreign policy has taken as signaled by the President’s recent speech on Afghanistan. Gorka stated:

“Regrettably, outside of yourself (President Trump), the individuals who most embodied and represented the policies that will ‘Make America Great Again’ have been internally countered, systematically removed, or undermined in recent months. This was made patently obvious as I read the text of your speech on Afghanistan…. The fact that those who drafted and approved the speech removed any mention of Radical Islam or radical Islamic terrorism proves that a critical element of your presidential campaign has been lost.”

On Sunday, in an interview with the Jerusalem Post, Gorka offered harsh criticism of McMaster’s stance towards Islamists saying:

“McMaster sees the threat of Islam through an Obama administration lens, meaning that religion has nothing to do with the war we are in.… He believes and he told me in his office that these people are just criminals.”

A source close to the White House said that after Bannon was forced out, anti-Bannon factions began erecting bureaucratic roadblocks to undermine Gorka internally.

Yahoo News reported that Kelly revoked Gorka’s security clearance, making it difficult if not impossible for him to continue his job. Other news outlets reported that Kelly has been restricting access to Trump as McMaster’s detractors are trying to reach the president.

In his short term at the National Security Council (NSC), General McMaster has fired or forced out from the National Security Team, including the NSC, strong pro-Israel and anti-Iran officials such as Steve Bannon, K.T. McFarland, Adam Lovinger, Rich Higgins, Derek Harvey, Ezra Cohen-Watnick, and now Sebastian Gorka.

General McMaster quickly removed Bannon, the engineer of much of President Trump’s pro-Israel, anti-Islamist terrorism agenda, from the Principals Committee of the NSC. McMaster also removed K.T. McFarland, a veteran pro-Israel national security professional in the Nixon, Ford, and Reagan administrations and a key member of the team of Iran deal opponents originally gathered by Trump. Lovinger, a pro-Israel national security strategist from the Pentagon, was returned to the Pentagon with his security clearance revoked.

McMaster also fired Iran “hawk” Rich Higgins, the NSC’s director of strategic planning, after Higgins wrote a memo about personnel opposed to President Trump’s foreign policy agenda in the NSC.  McMaster also fired Derek Harvey, a senior director and expert on the Middle East and one of the best intelligence analysts on Iraq, after Harvey prepared a list of NSC Obama-era holdovers to be fired for leaking national security information to the press.  Instead, other conservatives were fired, such as Ezra Cohen-Watnick, a strong opponent of the Iran deal, who tried to intensify efforts to counter Iran in the Middle East and controlled officials opposed to the president’s policies.

As replacements for those fired, McMaster appointed individuals who are friendly with Obama-era ideologues who blame Israel for Palestinian terror, encourage negotiations with Hamas and are obsessed with the plan for Palestinian statehood.

As David Steinberg from PJ Media wrote, “Indeed, one is hard-pressed to identify a member of the NSC brought in by McMaster with a history of aligning with President Trump on Iran or with his Mideast policy or by his willingness to treat Islamic doctrine as the root cause of terror and related Mideast strife.”

But such nominations are not surprising if one understands McMaster’s own beliefs. He advised the president to certify that Iran is in compliance with the Iran deal, saying that Iran is merely violating the Iran deal’s “spirit” despite German intelligence reports that Iran is cheating and Trump’s promise to tear up or strictly enforce the Iran deal and punish violations.  Iran has refused to allow International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors into the Parchin nuclear facility or to interview Iran’s nuclear scientists, and has repeatedly tested intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Following the Obama administration’s practices, McMaster opposes using the term “radical Islamic terrorism” saying that the term isn’t helpful for U.S. goals because it does not help the U.S. in working with allies to defeat terrorist groups.“

Moreover, the general said that Jihadists terrorists aren’t true to their religion and terrorist organizations like ISIS represent a perversion of Islam and are thus un-Islamic

In addition, just before Trump’s visit to Israel, McMaster erroneously publicly claimed  that the President would recognize “Palestinian Self-determination“ and refused to state that the Western Wall,  one the holiest Jewish sites,  and the last remnant of the walls around the Second Jewish Temple, is in Israel and insisted that Netanyahu could not accompany Trump to the site after failing to convince the President not to visit there.

President Trump must wake up and realize the damage that Generals Kelly and McMaster are inflicting on his policies and on those who have been loyal to his ideology. President Trump should know that Israeli history is littered with heroic generals on the battlefield who were weak appeasers in national security when they became prime ministers, such as Israeli chiefs of staff Yitzhak Rabin and Ehud Barak.  He should realize that just because they are generals they are not necessarily the right advisors to implement Trump’s tough-minded agenda.

Shoula Romano Horing is an Israeli born and raised attorney. Her blog: www.shoularomanohoring.com      

 

25 Reasons to Reassign General H.R. McMaster

August 27, 2017

25 Reasons to Reassign General H.R. McMaster, Clarion Project, Ryan Mauro, August 27, 2017

National Security Council head McMasters (R) with U.S. President Trump (NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

National Security Adviser General H.R. McMaster is moving aggressively—and successfully—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.

McMaster’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. McMaster’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 “alt-right” smear-merchants, like Senator McCain characterizes them.

Here are 25 reasons that President Trump should fire National Security Adviser McMaster or, if he’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 Trump’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 “Islamic State is not Islamic.” 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 “fear,” a “sense of honor” and their “interests,” which he described as the roots of human conflict for thousands of years. He recommended that the U.S. must begin “understanding those human dimensions.”

In May, McMaster stated in an interview that the jihadists “are not religious people.”

A source close to National Security Council (NSC) personnel revealed that McMaster opposed President Trump’s summit in Riyadh, one of the high points of his presidency thus far. McMaster felt it was “too ambitious.”

In Trump’s speech announcing his strategy for Afghanistan, words like “radical Islamic terrorism” were missing. This is clearly the influence of McMaster. In his resignation letter to Trump, Dr. Gorka referencedthese omissions and said it “proves that a crucial element of your presidential campaign has been lost.”

Here’s the Clarion take:

2.Endorsed a book favorable towards “non-militant” Islamists

In 2010, McMaster endorsed a book that states, as one of its central arguments, “It is the Militant Islamists who are our adversary…They must not be confused with Islamists.”

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 “moderate” Muslim Brotherhood and the “moderate” Taliban.

McMaster describes the book as “excellent” and “deserv[ing] a wide readership.” 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 Qatar’s support of terrorism and extremism

McMaster opposed President Trump’s tough stance on Qatar when our Arab allies confronted the tiny country, despite the sea of proof that our so-called “ally” 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 base—which protects them—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 “excellent” and, shockingly, found that the author never characterizes Hamas as a terrorist group. Instead, the author refers to Hamas as an “Islamist political group” that is among Islamists “who do not fit into a neat category.”

“The question for Americans is whether Hamas is an Islamist or Militant Islamist group,” the author, Youssef H. Aboul-Enein, writes.

He’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 isn’t much of a substantive difference between Hamas and ISIS.

Aboul-Enein’s argument is that the U.S. should only target “Militant Islamists” 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 Islamists’ preaching of armed jihad rests upon a strong theological foundation. Based on Klein’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 “jihad.”

If we don’t acknowledge the deep theological basis of the Islamists’ 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 Agency’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, “Terrorist organizations use a narrow and irreligious ideology to recruit undereducated and disenfranchised people to their cause.”

Remember when the Obama Administration’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 regime’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 Israel’s conduct in its 2014 war with Hamas.

Israel’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, “that’s kind of a non-answer, sorry, to your first question.”

McMaster tried to stop Trump from visiting the Western Wall in Jerusalem and, when he realized he couldn’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, “That’s a policy decision.”

The Conservative Review reported that McMaster refers to Israel as an “illegitimate,” “occupying power,” according to three current and former officials from Trump’s inner circle.

Senior Middle East Annalyst Caroline Glick substantiates the accounts with her own sources who describe McMaster as “deeply hostile” to Israel.

According to these reports, McMaster has characterized Israeli security measures as “excuses” 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 McMaster’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 Bauman’s 2009 dissertation and found highly disturbing content.

As Clarion reported earlier this month, Bauman blamed Israel and the West for failing to see “Hamas’s signals of willingness to moderate” and turning Gaza “into an open-air prison.” He advocated a policy that includes “Hamas in a solution,” dismissing Hamas’ 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 “Israel Lobby” “is a force that must be reckoned with, but it is a force that can be reckoned with.”

Bauman clearly depicts Israel as the aggressor in the Israel-Palestinian  conflict, and, as Greenfield points out, equates Jewish settlers in the West Bank with Palestinian terrorists.

“It 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,” Bauman writes.

As to the failure of the “peace process,” he blames Israel as well as the West for its “overwhelmingly favored Israeli interests.” Prime Minister Netanyahu is blamed for “inciting Palestinian violence” and deliberately undermining the prospects for peace.

A consistent theme appears in Bauman’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 president’s agenda and contributing to dysfunction.

A strong example of McMaster’s well-known temper and ego was published in May by a prominent author who recalled how McMaster “went a bit batshit” because of an article he wrote where 95% of the content celebrated McMaster’s remarkable success in Iraq.

The other five percent focused on his forces’ initial mistakes and “mediocre” performance before adapting to the situation. And that set McMaster off.  The author even quoted an expert who said McMaster’s success would become a “case study in classic counterinsurgency, the way it is supposed to be done.”

Even major supporters of McMaster who know him personally admit “he can be very intense.” The left-leaning Politico, which is more inclined to favor McMaster than his rivals, reports that his “temper is legendary” and he “frequently blows his top in high-level meetings.”

Politico described McMaster as an “increasingly volatile presence in the West Wing.” Three administration officials told the Daily Caller the same thing, with one describing the National Security Council as having a “poisonous environment.”

In addition to targeting Bannon and Gorka and anyone he sees as being in their camp, McMaster reportedly couldn’t even get along with Trump’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 “radical Islam” because the terrorists are “un-Islamic.”

Right away, he got to work building a coalition to wage internal battles.

When it came time for Trump’s Joint Address to Congress, McMaster fought tooth and nail to stop him from using the “radical Islam” 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 couldn’t stand it, then he shouldn’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 Trump’s words weren’t actual policy. Trump was furious and screamed at him on the phone.

Trump is said to have confronted McMaster about the “general undermining of my policy.”

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 president’s views.

The Washington Free Beacon reported earlier this month, “A 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 president’s directives that he disagrees with.”

In his resignation letter, Dr. Gorka wrote to Trump, “Regrettably, outside of yourself, the individuals who most embodied and represented the policies that will ‘Make America Great Again,’ have been internally countered, systematically removed, or undermined in recent months.”

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 isn’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 McMaster’s promotion of  “non-Militant” 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 McMaster’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, “No administration in history has been so divided.”

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 Jihadresignedreportedly 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.

Trump’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 “displeased” with Gorka’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, Gorka’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 “Islamo-Fascism Awareness” 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 CIA’s training facility known as “The Farm” 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 don’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 disagreementover 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 Watnick’s replacement before Bannon and Kushner initially stopped him.

Under the Obama Administration, Weissgold was the director of the CIA’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 Trump’s top Middle East adviser from the National Security Council. The reason, as explained by one senior White House official, is that McMaster “wants his own guy.”

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 Petraeus’ “most trusted intelligence advisors in Iraq” during the remarkably successful surge that turned the situation around.

Harvey was fired because of policy differences and McMaster’s desire to win the internal power struggle and cement his group over the National Security Council. McMaster and Harvey disagreed on “nearly every” 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 “was stuck in a Catch-22 situation” because lower-level staff dragged their feet in helping him.

According to the Weekly Standard—a publication that is certainly not in the Bannon/Trump camp—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 Bannon’s office. The sources say Harvey actually didn’t talk to Bannon too much, but McMaster had asked for information about Trump’s foreign policy priorities and that necessitated a meeting with Bannon.

McMaster saw Harvey at Bannon’s office on a Friday. When Monday came around, McMaster’s executive officer, Ylli Bajraktari (a Pentagon official from the Obama Administration) reminded Harvey it is not a “good idea” 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 Council’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 “Islamophobe” label.

Clearly, McMaster was picking a team to go to war with the White House. There’s no other way to interpret this decision.

18.Ousting Adam Lovinger and Robin Townley

In May, National Security Counil analyst Adam Lovinger had his security clearance revoked for unclear reasons that Lovinger described as “puzzling and baseless.” He was then fired.

Lovinger was at the council on loan from the Pentagon’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 “seasoned strategic analyst” 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 “radical Islam.”

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 “security clearances granting access to state secrets have become increasingly politicized in a bid by opponents to block senior advisers to President Trump.”

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 council’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 “hit job.

19.Ousting Tera Dahl

Tera Dahl, the National Security Council’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 Bannon’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 Security’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, “The 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.”

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 “created an uncomfortable working environment at the NSC.”

The council’s spokesperson Michael Anton claims “it was always her intent to move into a policy role once this task [at NSC] was completed.”

20.Firing Rich Higgins

McMaster and/or his deputy, Ricky Waddell, fired the NSC’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 Laden’s compounds that contradicted its narratives about the nature of the Al-Qaeda threat and the group’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 “moderate” Islamists in handling the Arab Spring.

If this is indeed what happened, the directive’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 “political Islamists” 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, “bankers,” establishment Republicans and “globalists” to destroy the Trump presidency. The memo was given to Donald Trump Jr. and the president himself, who is said to have “gushed over it.”

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 “Jewish Marxist ideology.”

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 administration’s agenda.

According to Breitbart, Higgins used his personal computer to write the memo and did not use NSC time. He didn’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. McMaster’s deputy, Ricky Waddell, told him it was his last day because “we’ve lost confidence in you.”

According to this account, McMaster was not responsible for the firing and hadn’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 Higgins’ firing was due to McMaster or Waddell, it was still done under McMaster’s leadership and was part of a broader push against perceived competitors.

President Trump was said to be “furious” at Higgins’ firing.

21.CAIR Comes to McMaster’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 “entity” set up to support Hamas and designated it as an unindicted co-conspirator in a terrorism-financing trial.

CAIR slaps the “Islamophobe” 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 CAIR’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 “Islamophobes” and “white supremacists.”

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 McMaster’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 women’s rights activists and anti-Islamist voices in the world. She is executive producer of the Clarion Project’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 “Islamophobe.” According to one of the reports, a source said that Mustafa said “that the only way she could present the paper would be to have someone from CAIR come in to refute her work.”

Mustafa Javed Ali is reportedly a former “diversity outreach coordinator” for CAIR. However, there is no public confirmation to confirm this as his name does not appear on CAIR’s website.

23.Holdovers

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 Administration’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 “echo chamber” in the media to promote the nuclear deal with Iran using “compadres” 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, “There’s no such thing as a holdover.” 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 “stalwarts.”

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 “protected and coddled them.”

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.

Timmerman’s observation should serve as a contemporary warning:

“George 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.”

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 “Islamophobia Network” that is a powerful weapon in the Islamists’ and Regressive Left’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 “echo chamber” 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.

Soros’ 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 Foundation’s James Phillips writes, “This essentially amounted to subsidizing Iran’s propaganda efforts inside the United States.”

As Breitbart’s Aaron Klein shows, IISS was a loyal contributor to the Rhodes-Plougshares “echochamber.” 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 Trump’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 McMaster’s performance.

As mentioned before, President Trump has confronted McMaster about his “general undermining of my policy” and was furious at him for telling South Korea to basically ignore Trump’s words.

Trump complains that McMaster talks too much at meetings and has described him as a “pain.” There have been multiple articles indicating that Trump might be on the cusp of firing McMaster.

“I 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. That’s the only one,” said one administration official.

A former senior NSC official said, “I know that the president isn’t a big fan of what McMaster’s doing. I don’t understand why he’s allowing a guy who is subverting his foreign policy at every turn to remain in place.”

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.

Conclusion

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 Iran’s role in murdering U.S. troops.

This led to many people’s (including this author’s) initial enthusiasm for him as national security adviser despite his statement in 2014 that the “Islamic State is not Islamic.”

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 shouldn’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.