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Flynn’s Warped Worldview and Russia

Paul McLeary and Dan de Luce take [1] a closer look at Michael Flynn’s warped worldview [2]:

But in their book, Flynn and Ledeen take a dimmer view of the Russian intervention in Syria, criticizing Moscow for working with Iran and not focusing enough on defeating the Islamic State.

In fact, the book argues that Iran is the ringleader of a massive international alliance stretching from Europe to Asia to South America — and which is intent on destroying the West.

“The war is on. We face a working coalition that extends from North Korea and China to Russia, Iran, Syria, Cuba, Bolivia, Venezuela, and Nicaragua [bold mine-DL],” Flynn writes. While that is a shockingly wide net, the authors say, “Iran is the linchpin of the alliance, its centerpiece.”

Putin is a willing partner in this cabal, as he “fully intends to do the same thing as, and in tandem with, the Iranians: pursue the war against us. The other alliance members do, too.”

One of the responses to my earlier post on Flynn’s absurd views was to point out that he had a reputation for wanting to cooperate with Russia and was therefore more pragmatic than his crazy rhetoric suggested. That may have been true in the past, but it seems that the anti-Iran obsession that he and Ledeen share now overrides all of that. If Russia cooperates with Iran on anything, Flynn and Ledeen seem to consider that proof of Russia’s membership in the ridiculous “alliance” they have imagined. It appears that Flynn is now on board with viewing Russia as nothing but a menace. Maybe someone else can square a fanatical view that Russia is bent on our destruction with a desire to cooperate with Moscow on security issues, but I don’t see how it can be done.

Even if Flynn didn’t lump Russia and China in with these other states, the deranged and wildly exaggerated view of Iranian influence and power that he claims to hold would still be proof that his foreign policy judgment can’t be trusted. The fact that he believes (or claims to believe) things as obviously false global “alliance” of villains should make it clear that he is happy to indulge and recycle extremely dangerous and foolish ideological talking points. That’s not someone any of us should want working in or advising a future administration.

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9 Comments To "Flynn’s Warped Worldview and Russia"

#1 Comment By collin On July 13, 2016 @ 12:12 pm

We face a working coalition that extends from North Korea and China to Russia, Iran, Syria, Cuba, Bolivia, Venezuela, and Nicaragua

I call Post-Cold War Bingo! These nations are even less coordinated than the #NeverTrump movement and probably screw up a two car funeral! Outside of China (who are trolling the US in the South China Seas so they can build islands to nowhere), none of these nations have any real economic growth the last four years. Valenzuela literally has massive hunger and riots, Cuba is still in the Cold War Twilight Zone, North Korea is run by a mad man, Nicaragua is still the poorest Latin American nation, Syria is in a never ending Civil War, Russian economy has shrunk the last three years and Iran got access to the oil markets, has kept prices mostly below $50/barrel. (Bolivia has done relatively well as Maduaro has been much more careful than Chavez.)

None of these nations have had any luck endangering the US security or economy. (The Iran nuclear deal probably weakened Saudia Arabia more than anybody.)

#2 Comment By Calvin On July 13, 2016 @ 1:02 pm

Oh snap! Bolivia, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Cuba, and Syria are against us! How ever will we cope with such an alliance!? o_O

#3 Comment By bayesian On July 13, 2016 @ 3:48 pm

@Collin

I think you mean Evo Morales. “Maduaro” sounds more like Maduro, who has managed the somewhat remarkable feat of making Chavez look not so bad (yeah, oil prices, but even given those, Maduro is remarkably bad; at least the Bolivarian Alliance is effectively defunct).

Agreed that Morales seems to have been by far the most successful of the South American leftists (e.g. compared to Chavez/Maduro, Correa, Ortega, and more arguably Lugo and Humala). Part of that might be that both Morales’ movement and the opposition seem reasonably willing to let the polls decide (yeah, simplifying, but everybody faced the voters in 2008).

#4 Comment By Chris Chuba On July 13, 2016 @ 3:57 pm

I am one of those who admitted that Trump and most likely Flynn were Iran-o-phobes but had the good sense to at least have an adult view on Russia.

Sigh. This type of childish view of the world represents the very worst end of the spectrum of Neocon thinking. The idea that America is so exceptional that nations that resist this view so so because they are intrinsically evil. That they will all align together despite regional, religious, economic, social differences and conflicting interests.

I find this type of thinking so Narcissistic, it makes me sick. It is indefensible.

FWIW I have read the Ayatollah’s comments on Russia and I found it refreshing what an adult view he took on the matter. He had very low expectations on Russia. I’d summarize it as ‘we have some common interests and we expect them to keep their word on a few limited matters’. We on the other hand have special relationships an eternal allies. We are the drama queens of the world.

I am actually an Evangelical Christian. The torment, oh the torment. Every single one of us who runs for office is a total and complete lunatic.

#5 Comment By Viriato On July 13, 2016 @ 4:15 pm

Ouch. Well, I guess we’re screwed no matter who wins in November, then. Unless… Trump is just pandering to the masses by picking Flynn! Yeah, that’s it! 🙂

In all seriousness, though: We don’t know what Trump would do if elected. On the other hand, we know what Hillary would do, based on her record as a senator and as Secretary of State, plus the countless statements she’s made on foreign policy since leaving Foggy Bottom, all of which are consistent with her tenure there.

I know I’m really grasping at straws at this point. But given what we know about Hillary, and given the stakes (nuclear war if confrontation with Russia is pushed too far, as Philip Giraldi masterfully explained in his article today), isn’t it worth taking a chance on Trump?

Or do you think Hillary would be more inclined to persue a more conciliatory policy towards Russia, since her reputation for toughness is already well established (“only Nixon can go to China”)? I admit this is a possibility, though there’s no hard evidence to support it (at least as far as I know) and it’s at least as logical to suppose that Hillary will increase pressure on Russia. After all, as the first female president, she could not afford to be perceived as weak.

So, I guess my question for you, Daniel, is this. We know both candidates have horrible foreign policy views. Of the two, which one would you choose, if you had to choose?

#6 Comment By Chris Chuba On July 13, 2016 @ 7:40 pm

Viriato, I am hopeful because Trump is not Flynn, Hillary Clinton, or any of the other innumerable Neocons in Washington. Of course I wonder what will happen if Trump actually did get there.

Do crazy people go to Washington or do they become crazy after getting there and seeing the grand halls and marble columns?

Hey, I’m going on vacation in a few weeks and I’ll be in Washington DC for about a week. We’ll see if that is enough to turn me (back) into a raving Neocon. I’m actually going to visit a relative who is in the military, so who knows.

#7 Comment By Viriato On July 13, 2016 @ 10:34 pm

Chris Chuba,

“Do crazy people go to Washington or do they become crazy after getting there and seeing the grand halls and marble columns?”

Probably both. Ron Paul once noted that many apparently good people run for office professing a desire to “change Washington” and get elected, only to admit years later that “Washington changed me.” Ron Paul, to his credit, was never changed by Washington.

Enjoy your vacation. I look forward to seeing your next comments to see if you’ve turned back into a raving neocon. 🙂

#8 Comment By Jk On July 14, 2016 @ 12:01 pm

Now that Sanders is shilling for Shillary and Trump panders to neocons… I really don’t know what to say.

#9 Comment By Baldy On July 14, 2016 @ 6:22 pm

re Chris Chuba: “I am actually an Evangelical Christian. The torment, oh the torment. Every single one of us who runs for office is a total and complete lunatic.”

I’m with you. There is so much unbiblical political baggage with the term Evangelical we’ve got to come up with another way to identify our theological commitments.