All the Wars to Come

If there was anything good to be said about soon-to-be National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, it’s that at least he wasn’t Steve Bannon. Sure, Flynn had numerous problems, but at least he wasn’t death incarnate.

Now, I’m not so sure. As Eli Clifton at Lobelog reported yesterday, Flynn gave an interview a day before the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in which he directly attacked the basic tenets of the Muslim religion, including the Quran and the Prophet Mohammed. He said:

So a thousand years ago, the Arab world would have had all the Nobel prizes – Science, Art, Peace – they would have them all a thousand years ago, so what changed was this guy Muhammad comes into play and, honestly, we’re dealing with a text that is ancient and not helpful and a society that lives on that text and it can’t come to grips with modernity, with becoming modern.

Setting aside the fact that “this guy Muhammad” came along a couple centuries earlier than a thousand years ago, this statement demonstrates that Flynn’s conflict with Islam extends well beyond the fundamentalist sect and into the mainstream.

This information comes on the heels of a series of articles in the New York Times cataloguing Flynn’s various character flaws, including his caustic personality, penchant for promoting conspiracy theories (including the infamous “Pizzagate”) and his near-total contempt for fact-based evidence. Most alarming is the revelation that as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, he instructed his analysts to confirm his gut feelings about Iran having had a hidden role in the 2012 Benghazi attacks. He declared that the attacks represented a “black swan” event, and that they would have to dig deeper to confirm what he already knew to be true. Pointing out all the deficiencies with this inane logic is hardly worth the effort. The fact that Iran is a Shiite country and the Benghazi attackers Sunnis should have been enough to dismiss Iran as a likely culprit. Apparently, it wasn’t.

But minor details such as these don’t matter to Flynn, not when an apocalyptic showdown between Islam and the Judeo-Christian world for the future of humanity is coming. Trivialities like sectarian divides, political differences, and ethnic distinctions — or, really, subtlety, in general — have no relevance in this fight. In his book, The Field of Fight, published this past June, he and coauthor Michael Ledeen (a “Freedom Scholar” at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies) wrote on the benefits and virtues of a cleansing Holy War: “This type of war is not at all new. It created our world.” They continue, “The world badly needs an Islamic reformation, and we should not be surprised if violence is involved. It’s normal.”

Flynn hasn’t stepped foot in the Trump White House yet, but it is becoming abundantly clear that war is on the horizon. The only questions now are what form that war will take, which Muslim nations will be targeted, and how many people will suffer and lose their lives as a result. The Rubicon is behind us now, the die already cast.

Author: Jonathan Leslie

PhD candidate at School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London.

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