Kicking Flynn out of his office has hurt Trump. His standing is diminished. The efforts against Flynn, mainly by the “deep state” in the intelligence agencies, were designed to change Trump’s declared foreign policy aims. They worked. Yesterday the White House spokesperson said:
President Trump has made it very clear that he expects the Russian government to deescalate violence in the Ukraine and return Crimea.
Today Trump tweeted:
Donald J. Trump Verified account @realDonaldTrump
Crimea was TAKEN by Russia during the Obama Administration. Was Obama too soft on Russia?
4:42 AM – 15 Feb 2017
That is a position Trump had not preciously taken. “Return Crimea” is a no-no to any current and future Russian government. If Trump insists on this the prospective détente is already dead.
Several writers along the political spectrum point out that this show of raw power by the “intelligence community” is a great danger.
Damon Linker in The Week:
The whole episode is evidence of the precipitous and ongoing collapse of America’s democratic institutions — not a sign of their resiliency. Flynn’s ouster was a soft coup (or political assassination) engineered by anonymous intelligence community bureaucrats. The results might be salutary, but this isn’t the way a liberal democracy is supposed to function.
In a liberal democracy, how things happen is often as important as what happens. Procedures matter. So do rules and public accountability. The chaotic, dysfunctional Trump White House is placing the entire system under enormous strain. That’s bad. But the answer isn’t to counter it with equally irregular acts of sabotage — or with a disinformation campaign waged by nameless civil servants toiling away in the surveillance state.
Robert Perry at Consortium News:
Flynn’s real “offense” appears to be that he favors détente with Russia rather than escalation of a new and dangerous Cold War. Trump’s idea of a rapprochement with Moscow – and a search for areas of cooperation and compromise – has been driving Official Washington’s foreign policy establishment crazy for months and the neocons, in particular, have been determined to block it.
The neocons and liberal hawks also hated Flynn because – as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency – he oversaw a prescient 2012 analysis that foresaw that their support for the Syrian insurgency would give rise to “a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in eastern Syria.”
Flynn’s resignation and its acceptance by Trump also prove that these tactics work and that “tough-guy” Trump is not immune to them.
The so-called permanent government of Washington and its complicit mainstream media – what some call the Deep State – have taught Trump a lesson and have learned a lesson, too. They now can be expected to redouble their march toward war and more war, ironically with progressives and leftists in tow.
Justin Raimondo at Antiwar:
Flynn was in the crosshairs of the War Party because he’s the most prominent of those around Trump who advocated for détente with Russia. Also, his somewhat loopy belief that Islam, per se, is a pernicious political ideology rather than a religion, made him a natural enemy of the pro-Saudi faction within the intelligence community, which had long worked with Riyadh to, among other things, overthrow the government of Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad.
The Flynn resignation is just the beginning. As one Politico writer put it, it won’t stop there. They’ll move on to new targets, and they won’t rest until they’ve bagged their real target: the President of the United States
Eli Lake for Bloomberg:
[F]or a White House that has such a casual and opportunistic relationship with the truth, it’s strange that Flynn’s “lie” to Pence would get him fired. It doesn’t add up.
A better explanation here is that Flynn was just thrown under the bus.
Normally intercepts of U.S. officials and citizens are some of the most tightly held government secrets. This is for good reason. Selectively disclosing details of private conversations monitored by the FBI or NSA gives the permanent state the power to destroy reputations from the cloak of anonymity. This is what police states do.
In the end, it was Trump’s decision to cut Flynn loose. In doing this he caved in to his political and bureaucratic opposition. Nunes told me Monday night that this will not end well. “First it’s Flynn, next it will be Kellyanne Conway, then it will be Steve Bannon, then it will be Reince Priebus,” he said. Put another way, Flynn is only the appetizer. Trump is the entree.
Trump will now cave in on foreign policy: on Russia, on Syria and everywhere else the borg demands it. He has been put “on notice” and will either do as he is told to do or he will be the prey in an even bigger hunt.
It is alarming that the so-called left part of the U.S. policy is lauding the “deep state” for this open attack on the elected government. They are now justifying the methods that will one day be turned against themselves. Why do they fail to see this?