THE UNWINDING OF AMERICAN SECURITY:
WHITE HOUSE CREATED CHAOS ON DISPLAY AT THURSDAY PRESS CONFERENCE
Harry C. Blaney III
The Trump press conference on Thursday was one of the most surreal experience I have ever had in Washington for 45 plus years. But it was emblematic of the whole Trump world. It was filled with lies and exaggerations. It was aimed at attacking his critics and trying to undermined especially the press and news outlets and not least also the intelligence community. But its strategic aim was to deflect attention from his most recent serious debacle namely the relationship of him and his people to Russian intelligence and officials and the failure of himself to run an effective rational and constrictive White House let alone the government that remains is disarray.
The embarrassments of his key NSC head Mike Flynn who made a surreptitious contact with the Russian Ambassador that likely was illegal. And we still do not know if Trump knew of or order that meeting, as Trump at the press conference avoided a direct answer. Trump at the likely urging of Bannon knew Flynn should have known he was a total flake. It seems he had no intention of running a true professional NSC. Rather this was proved by appointing Bannon to an official NSC seat taking intelligence leader and Chief of Staff off of it indicated his aim was to conduct a truly personally directed “disruptive” foreign and security policy.
He made no attempt to discuss in a serious way key challenges like Climate change, what to do about North Korea, the issues of Iran, nuclear weapons, poverty, his failure to maintain American respect or how exactly to deal with Russia and Putin and a host of domestic issues including immigration and refugees.
He avoided any serious questions from the press. Probably he has no clue on how to seriously deal with all the issues that are on his desk. He has not helped to advance a rational or even creditable national strategy or program by choosing individuals who’s main aim is to destroy the agencies that they head or to put forth policies that are clearly destructive of our nation’s moral, economic, and security fabric.
My main view is again that Trump’s aim was to attack the media and their coverage and thus deflect from the chaos that he himself has caused. Phrases like “dishonest media” and ‘fake news” were designed to fend off criticism or public understanding of accurate facts and objective news analysis of his incompetence which has taken on a crescendo recently given the massive dysfunction and stench emanating from Trump and his people. Trump’s attacks oddly are to attack others for the same characteristics and flaws he has himself!
During the conference Trump tired to depict himself as popular with our citizens and quoted one Republican orientated poll of 56% support when in reality it is closer to 40% in recent polls. He said he inherited “a mess” at home and abroad but the reality is that he inherited normal global challenges and a growing economy. His acts are undermining of American respect. He has made enemies of our friends and brought joy to our opponents. He and Bannon support far right parties in Europe whose main aims are to destroy both the EU and the unity of the Atlantic community. He argues the moral equivalence of Russia and America. He even took credit for pre-Trump growth of our economy.
Russia may turn out as his most vulnerable arena and challenge. Trump denied that his people had contact with Russians during the campaign and transition while the intelligence agencies has clear evidence it seems that in fact there was contact with Russians during the campaign by his associates which some of these associates deny. Reports in the news seem to indicate that the professionals in the intelligence community do not fully trust him and his staff with the most sensitive data, while still providing him with the main intelligence and assessments to make key decisions. Frighteningly, Trump seems bent on destroying the objectivity and competence of the intelligence community which, if carried out in a political “house cleaning.” could endanger the security of our nation.
The simple fact is the White House under Trump is a disaster zone without rational leadership and the people that Trump has surround are, and there is no other way to put it, a bunch of the most ignorant, bigoted, and incompetent people every to have inhabited the White House in its history. I simply cite Stephen Bannon a White nationalist supremacist and formally key founder and manager of the fascist Alt-Right news outlet Beritbart and follower, like Trump, of Ayn Rand’s version of brutal extreme right ideas and avaricious destructive capitalism. But look at the likes Kellyanne Conway who also lies and violates civil service rules, disgraced Mike Flynn who we have already described, a press assistant that also lies, and a host of others without any government experience and with far right ideology that drives bad decisions and reinforces prejudices.
Trump’s excuse for his actions is that there was a “mess” before he arrived, and he alone with unlimited powers can fix it. But he has deliberately made our nation and whole globe a real “mess” with his madness and made us all more insecure.
There is in short, dysfunction but more than that it is, in my view, in key part deliberate misleading and manipulation of our citizens and the media (which they have too often acted as accomplices) and a destructive world view, so as to run in time an authoritarian state based on one man and his family’s interests and a conspiracy to up-end our best values, decency within our diverse society, rip out the effort of government to help our most disadvantage citizens, and to create a world of even more conflict and chaos so as to justify such rule. Already, he has undermined the institutions that have held this nation together protected our citizens and fallible surely but also truly great and even good.
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