Trump Nat’l Security Speech: Is he the real threat to National Security?

Trump’s National Security Strategy document is about as confused and wrongheaded piece of writing you’d ever want to see.

It says,

“Jihadist terrorist organizations present the most dangerous terrorist threat to the Nation.”

This assertion is not true. The most dangerous threats to the United States are other states, especially the well armed ones. A few ragtag terrorists are dangerous, but they can’t do the damage a state can.

After other states, the next biggest danger comes from white supremacists and Neo-Nazis.

H/t Vox

Now, the white supremacists and Neo-Nazis are the groups Trump has been promoting, whom he considers ‘very fine people,’ and whose media he watches and cites. So in effect we have a terrorist president.

The document has a whole section called “Defeat Jihadist Terrorists.”

There’s a mistake right there. Muslims feel as though they are commanded to struggle for the faith, which is what jihad means. It is sort of like Timothy 6:12 in the New Testament: “Fight the good fight (agōnizou ton kalon agōna) of the faith; take hold of the eternal life, to which you were called . . .”

Jihad and the Greek agon are very similar. So that kind of “good fight” or struggle, jihad, is considered a virtue by Muslims. In the Qur’an, the word “jihad” does not carry a connotation of violence. You struggle by giving donations, e.g., or volunteering. It is a virtuous struggle and a struggle for virtue.

So you probably don’t want to give 1.6 billion Muslims the notion that this “good fight” is anything to do with terrorism.

And what do you call the terrorism of Myanmar Buddhists against innocent Rohingya Muslims. Is that jihad too? Don’t you need a universal word for terrorist activity?

Or what about the percentage of white nationalist terrorism that is religiously driven by Christianity? Is that jihadi also?

You call unprovoked violence on behalf of a religion “Vigilantism.” That’s what it is.

The document links what it calls jihadi terrorism to the desire for a caliphate or Muslim religious empire. But it goes on to complain about the Lebanese Hizbullah, a Shiite group that rejects a caliphate, since that is a Sunni notion. (Vanishingly few Sunnis nowadays want a caliph.)

The document calls for cooperation with allies. But Trump has assiduously insulted and alienated most of our allies in the world. He also has blabbed his mouth about operations in which Israel e.g. had a mole inside ISIL, revealing sources and methods. I don’t think most countries are eager to cooperate under these circumstances.

The document makes no mention of the US-enabled Saudi bombing of Yemen. Washington is driving Yemenis into the arms of terrorists by participating in this sick and creepy campaign, with civilian targets accounting for as many as a third of air strikes. This is like Nazis buzz-bombing civilian London in WW II! Only this is our coalition doing it.

This document is just bluster and hot air, showing no sign of actually understanding the occasional terrorism that surfaces in the Muslim world or giving the slightest idea of knowing how to combat terrorists.

Not understanding that the main terrorist threat is from white Americans is the big error, which colors everything else in the report.

Trump is so incompetent and just plain wrong that his daily barrage of insults that pass for foreign policy are undoing all the valuable work done by American counter-terrorism officials.


Related video:

BBC: Is Donald Trump a danger to national security? BBC News

8 Responses

  1. Aside from misconceptions about terrorists, what is depressing is the absence of any interest in seeking cooperative solutions to myriad global issues. I don’t believe Russia and China are threats to the US although I see they may be so to US empire ambitions, but those are unsustainable anyway. This Trump mindset is increasingly forcing other nations to look to tackling issues without the US, something they cannot really do since the space left where the US should be cannot otherwise be filled. The rest of the world can try, of course, but efforts lacking full global collaboration can lead to devastating unintended consequences. The real long term problem may be less what the US is doing, trampling all over the world, bad as that is, but what it is not doing.

  2. The allies about whom Der Furor speaks are actual or effectively fascist and racist or otherwise violently exclusionary states like Hungary, Russia, China, Poland, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, and Israel. These and others are all models spawned and encouraged by the worst instincts and practices of the United States and which had leaned or become fascistic even before Trump came along. Now Trump’s America is its ersatz leader and inspiration.

    This group is also the core of an already developing future fascist alliance that will ascend to an effective political supremacy across ‘The West’ (with ‘junior’ allies elsewhere) and begin waging utter militarism and outright wars and economic sabotage and re-exploitation across the world against states attempting to remain democratic, including against China also, against which I think the United States will turn at some point.

    Germany is more or less the new leader of what’s been called The Free World. France still keeps its own fascist cadres in check too. Merkel is weakened politically now though thanks to Trump’s shunning and Germany’s own longstanding burgeoning fascist underbelly and it will likely soon cede governing to a further ‘right’ government, which will be only one step removed from a checkmate against democratic institutions internationally, as Britain is already ‘right’-oriented and further shrinking from a democratic role.

    This, to me, represents a very possible immediate future. It’s later than we think. This scenario is not 100% inevitable at this moment, but I’d guess it’s well over 50% and rising fast (like a Hitler salute), given the hatefully blind sociopathic wrongheadedness of those in charge of the United States and those countries and of this entire mess.

    • Don’t forget India, Japan and Turkey on the “trending ethnotyranny” list.

      I wouldn’t say there even is a Free World coalition as of this year. The democracies, without the US, are a bunch of sidekicks with no hero. And they were far too happy being sidekicks, looking away as our nation engaged in an increasing number of irrational acts over the last few decades.

      We are probably past the point where we can come out of this with a democracy as the world’s leader. The question now is China’s strategy of leadership: will it just be a more outward-looking corporate dictatorship than Russia and the US, or will it try to engage the world on a level deeper than economic domination?

  3. While the warmongers define their misdirected meaning of the word ‘jihad’ these same evil spirited war profiteers bring a new 21st Century meaning to the title of ‘Western Crusader’. It’s the best these destroyers of life and all that’s good can come with since they loss their ‘Iron Curtain Communist’, so we citizens need to adjust our crosshairs to see our new designated enemy. Funny how what we are protecting ourselves from is an evil from within, but no instead lets pick a new group to place the blame on for the threat to our American way of life. This method of sorting out the good from the bad, and choosing who will be among our most valued allies, has instead brought America to this lonely place where all empires come to die.

  4. The threat that President Trump and his incoherent National Security Strategy, which was somewhat different from the text that he was reading from the teleprompter, pose to America and to the world lies in the following factors:

    1- His obsession to undermine the achievements of his predecessors (mainly one predecessor), accusing them of “disastrous trade deals”, the “disastrous, weak, and incomprehensibly bad deal with Iran”, “allowing terrorists such as ISIS to gain control of vast parts of territory all across the Middle East”, etc.

    2- His unabashed praise for his own amazing achievements, boasting how single-handedly he has defeated ISIS; of course with no mention of the Russian bombing, and the contribution of Syrian, Iranian, Iraqi, and Hezbollah forces fighting ISIS on the ground.

    3- How he has renewed “our friendships in the Middle East and partnered with regional leaders to help drive out terrorists and extremists, cut off their financing, and discredit their wicked ideology.” He seems to have forgotten that in his campaign speeches he accused those very states, especially Saudi Arabia, of organizing and financing terrorism.

    4- His maniacal hostility to Iran, which has been mentioned no less than 12 times in the text, linking her to North Korea as a rogue state. He accuses Iran of being “the main sponsor of terrorism in the world”, and “developing more capable ballistic missiles and has the potential to resume its work on nuclear weapons that could threaten the United States and our partners.” This is the country that was prepared to give up its entire nuclear program in 2003, and finally reached an agreement with all five permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany to mothball her nuclear program for 10-15 years and even after the so-called “sunset clauses” will remain a member of the NPT and the Additional Protocol, subject to continued, unprecedented inspections.

    5- His sudden, unexpected outburst against an alleged ally Pakistan, stating: “The United States continues to face threats from transnational terrorists and militants operating from within Pakistan”, and issuing the following threat: “We will insist that Pakistan take decisive action against militant and terrorist groups operating from its soil.”

    6- His dismissal of the Arab-Israeli conflict as “an irritant preventing peace and prosperity in the region.” With such a lack of understanding of this complex conflict, it is clear that he will not be able to propose any solution to it.

    7- No mention of Russian interference in the American election! His only complaint against China and Russia was that they “challenge American power, influence, and interests, attempting to erode American security and prosperity. They are determined to make economies less free and less fair, to grow their militaries, and to control information and data to repress their societies and expand their influence.” Presumably he expects other countries not to compete with America and not to develop their militaries or economies while the United States is spending $1.5 trillion upgrading her nuclear arsenal.

    8- No mention of climate change!

    In short, the main problem with this so-called strategy is that it is a collection of angry and harsh outbursts without any coherence and without any strategy to deal with the real problems in the contemporary world. This is what poses the greatest threat to America and the rest of the world.

  5. Note that Trump has announced that the words “climate change” have been excised from the National Security Statement.

    “The Federalist website apparently was privy to an advance copy of a draft of the speech and says it will oppose efforts to reduce the burning of oil, gas and coal for energy. “US leadership is indispensable to countering an anti-growth energy agenda that is detrimental to US economic and energy security interests,” the website quoted the document as saying. “Given future global energy demand, much of the developing world will require fossil fuels, as well as other forms of energy, to power their economies and lift their people out of poverty.”

    Note that this implies that it is impossible for you to improve your economy by reducing the burning of fossil fuels. A dogmatic absolute. Not letting the market decide. It also implies that national security is all about greed regardless of other consequences.

    link to

  6. The only interest Trump and the multi-millionaire/billionaire oligarchs have in government is money – it’s extraction, accumulation and protection. And the power it bestows. All policy, from social justice to foreign relations, is of no interest to them aside from its impact on their wealth accumulation. They fear potential targeting by those who would seek to redistribute wealth far more than religious, ethnic or other terrorism, from which they are mostly protected by their moneyed cocoon. They support white right wing Nazism as their storm troops to supplement the police state erected to protect their wealth and power. They fund a smoke and mirrors, fear- based propaganda machine to dole out the cool aid to the under educated, simple minded, unfulfilled, under achieving, unhappy and/or hate- filled for mindless consumption. The majority in Congress are, if not on the front lines of this effort (Ryan and McConnell), are at least complicit.

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