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The most lethal crocodile in the swamp

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It is blindingly obvious that, ever since Donald J Trump was elected President of the United States, a sustained attempt has been made to delegitimise him and force him out of office. We have now witnessed six months of unremitting attack upon the President, principally centred around the claim that he formed improper relations with Russia in order to skew the election in his favour.

Not only has no evidence whatsoever been produced of any such collusion, but there has been instead evidence of serial wrongdoing by unnamed actors in the so-called “dark state”, the anonymised infrastructure of officials from the intelligence and security world and permanent staffers in other government departments. These have been unlawfully leaking damaging rumour, innuendo and partial or misleading information into the all-too receptive ears of the mainstream media which, in concert with the Democratic party, are working flat out to get Trump removed from office.

What we have been witnessing is, in other words, nothing less than a six month-long rolling coup.

Now The Atlantic reports that a top National Security Council official was fired last month after arguing in a memo that President Trump is under sustained attack from subversive forces both within and outside the government who are deploying “Maoist tactics” to defeat the President’s agenda.

“Rich Higgins, a former Pentagon official who served in the NSC’s strategic-planning office as a director for strategic planning, was let go on July 21. Higgins’s memo describes supposed domestic and international threats to Trump’s presidency, including globalists, bankers, the ‘deep state,’ and Islamists. The memo characterizes the Russia story as a plot to sabotage Trump’s nationalist agenda. It asserts that globalists and Islamists are seeking to destroy America. The memo also includes a set of recommendations, arguing that the problem constitutes a national-security priority.

“ ‘Globalists and Islamists recognize that for their visions to succeed, America, both as an ideal and as a national and political identity, must be destroyed,’ the memo warns. It argues that this has led ‘Islamists [to] ally with cultural Marxists,’ but that in the long run, ‘Islamists will co-opt the movement in its entirety.’

“….Because the left is aligned with Islamist organizations at local, national, and international levels, recognition should be given to the fact that they seamlessly interoperate through coordinated synchronized interactive narratives … These attack narratives are pervasive, full spectrum, and institutionalized at all levels. They operate in social media, television, the 24-hour news cycle in all media and are entrenched at the upper levels of the bureaucracies.”

Terrifying as this memo is, it corresponds all too closely with what we see unfolding every day. For sure, President Trump is his own worst enemy. That doesn’t alter the fact that he is under siege from inside the Beltway. The memo, however, testifies to the malign alliance between the Islamists and the left — and here being used to undermine a democratically elected US president.

Higgins, however, was the third NSC official fired in as many weeks by the National Security Adviser HR McMaster.

Last Wednesday, McMaster fired the NSC’s senior director for intelligence, Ezra Cohen-Watnick. McMaster’s previous attempt to remove Cohen-Watnick from the staff had been blocked by Bannon and Trump himself. Last week, McMaster fired  Derek Harvey, the NSC’s top Middle East adviser who was reportedly perceived as too close to Bannon by some White House aides.

The Atlantic comments that Higgins’s dismissal “marks the latest victory by National Security Adviser HR McMaster in the ongoing war within Trump’s White House, between those who believe that the president is under threat from dark forces plotting to undermine him, and those like McMaster who dismiss this as conspiratorial thinking”.

We don’t know why these three were fired; the connection with the memo must remain conjecture. However, all three are reportedly Iran hawks and said to be loyal to Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon with whom McMaster is reportedly at loggerheads.

Let’s decode all this. Broadly speaking Higgins, Cohen-Watnick and Harvey are not just Bannon loyalists but Trump loyalists. That is to say, they support his foreign policy and national security agenda.

The rogue actor in all this is McMaster himself. In the great struggle now on to rescue America and save the west, McMaster is on the wrong side. He doesn’t accept there is a threat to western civilisation; his views on Islamism are very similar to those held by the Obama administration. He rejects any connection between terrorism and Islam and actually says Islamic State is “un-Islamic”.

As his deputy he hired Dina Habib Powell. Powell, an Arab-American, is said to be close to many senior Democrats including Valeria Jarrett, President Obama’s close friend and adviser and who was rumoured to have been a principal architect of the Iran nuclear deal.

Having such a person as America’s National Security Adviser is a threat to both America and the west.

Trump is paying the price of his being a total novice in politics. He talked about draining the swamp without realising just how deep and fetid it was, or the poisonous cross currents swirling through it. As a result, although he has made some good appointments he has also made some terrible ones.

Now he is struggling to put that right. One very good move was to appoint John Kelly as his chief of staff to replace the ineffectual Reince Priebus. Kelly, credited with strength of character, common sense and a very clear mind is said to be already bringing a measure of order to the White House by insisting that all briefings henceforward go through him so that Trump doesn’t go off like a tweeter on speed depending on the last person who has dumped a dubious report on his desk.

The Weekly Standard assumes that the recent NSC sackings mean Kelly is backing McMaster against Bannon – who it surmises may himself soon be out as a result. “A newly emboldened H.R. McMaster, purging Bannonites with the backing of John Kelly (and the president), could hasten his exit,” it excitedly observes.

Not so fast. Higgins was fired before Kelly became chief of staff. And crucially, Bannon is actually a Kelly fan. It’s surely rather more likely that Kelly is not a fan of McMaster. It may therefore turn out that it’s McMaster rather than Bannon who will soon be out of the West Wing.

What Kelly must now help Trump do is assemble a top team that really does speak with one voice in backing Trump’s agenda. The President’s critics complain that he’s cutting himself off from the political establishment and assembling round himself a cadre of like-minded folk. That’s the only way he can run an orderly, focused and coherent administration. And it’s the only way America will be saved.

Meanwhile, what Rich Higgins wrote explains a great deal and should be the source of the greatest possible alarm. Rich Higgins was not just a senior NSC staffer. Before joining the NSC he ran the Pentagon’s Combating Terrorism and Technical Support Office. He was one of the most knowledgeable people in the national security world about the penetration of America by radical Islam.

Seen any front page stories about the substance of his explosive memo  – or indeed any mention of it at all – in any of the mainstream media? No, me neither.

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