It keeps getting worse. The neocons have burrowed termite-deep inside the Trump administration and rumor has it the president will add yet another one to an important cabinet position.
If there is any substance to the latest rumors, DNI Dan Coats will be replaced by Fred Fleitz, former NSC executive secretary, CIA analyst, Trump Chief of Staff, Bolton enforcer, and CEO of the Center for Security Policy.
This last one should send up a huge red flag. CSP is a project launched by Frank Gaffney Jr., an Islamophobe way out on the neocon fringe. During the Trump presidential campaign, I wrote a short ebook (Donald Trump and the War on Islam) about Gaffney, among other neocons and rabid Israel-firsters exacting a corrosive influence on the Trump campaign.
Frank Gaffney is at the forefront of the movement to arouse hatred and fear designed to further extend and expand the war on terror and ultimately realize the objective of the [neocon] “clean break” plan [for Israel] to destroy not only Arab and Muslim nations, but societies and culture as well.
Gaffney is so radical he was rejected by the Pentagon when he was Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear Forces and Arms Control Policy in the Reagan Administration. He is associated with other neocons, including Richard Perle, who rose to prominence as aides of the late Democrat Senator Henry “Scoop” Jackson.
Fleitz was formerly the managing editor of LIGNET.com (Langley Intelligence Group Network). This is a pro-Likudnik intelligence operation is linked to Bolton, former Ambassador Otto Reich, former CIA Director Michael Hayden, and others.
You can hear echoes of Fleitz in Trump’s irrational anti-Iran policies. In 2017, Fleitz signed on to a letter sent to Trump, that stated in part:
We agree with Ambassador John Bolton that strong international sanctions, a tough negotiating strategy and a decisive American president who will not engage in appeasement is the best approach to rein in Iran’s belligerent behavior and induce it to joining negotiations on a better agreement… It is time to move beyond President Obama’s appeasement of Iran and to begin work on a comprehensive new approach that fully addresses the menace that the Iranian regime increasingly poses to American and international security.
In other words, the “security” (dominance) of Israel and maintenance of the apartheid status quo.
Ambassador John Bolton has drawn up a plan to implement a far more effective, comprehensive and multilateral approach to address the threat from Iran. This approach includes strict new sanctions to bar permanently the transfer of nuclear technology to Iran. He also calls for new sanctions in response to Iran’s sponsorship of terrorism and efforts to destabilize the Middle East, especially in Syria, Iraq and Yemen.
The signatories—including Gaffney, leading neocon and former Cheney adviser David Wurmser, and Morton Klein (president of the Zionist Organization of America)—undoubtedly agree with the Bolton plan for Iran, as laid out in a 2015 NY Times op-ed, To Stop Iran’s Bomb, Bomb Iran.
The United States could do a thorough job of destruction, but Israel alone can do what’s necessary. Such action should be combined with vigorous American support for Iran’s opposition, aimed at regime change in Tehran.
In response to Trump’s clumsy partial implementation of the Bolton plan, namely jettisoning the JCPOA, Iran has indicated it will defend itself if attacked, including but not limited to shutting down one-third of the world’s oil passage through the Strait of Hormuz. It has threatened to target Israel cities, Gulf Emirate oil infrastructure, and US troops and bases in the Middle East.
Trump is reminiscent of a person suffering from a split personality disorder. On the one hand, the “Good Trump” has declared he wants US troops out of Syria, while the “Bad Trump” bombs Syria and threatens “fire and fury” levied against North Korea and Iran. It is, to say the least, a schizophrenic foreign policy.