Sebastian Gorka: Trump’s foreign policy is working, by Freddy Gray.
Like Trump and Bannon, Gorka deplores most journalism: ‘I didn’t realise how lacking in cynicism I was until I got a job in this administration. Every morning, I come in and open newspapers and read about an issue in which I was involved in the room the day before, and the reportage is diametrically opposed to what happened in the building. I wouldn’t even say it is lazy journalism, it’s fabrication.’ …
Gorka rejects ‘the effort to paint us as ideological camps’ within the White House as little more than fake news: ‘You’ll always have palace intrigue.’ He insists there is a ‘fabulous complementarity’ between the key White House figures. In Reince Priebus, the Chief of Staff, ‘you have someone who understands how the party works… Then you have Steve Bannon, who’s never had a non–strategic thought in his life. Then you have Jared, who sees what the President wishes to achieve and then becomes the executor of that vision. It’s a very powerful combination.’
There can be no denying, however, that Trump’s voters are alarmed at the President’s apparent lurch towards interventionism. Trump has attacked Assad to enforce a ‘red line’ over the use of chemical weapons. He has sabre-rattled at North Korea, and dropped the Mother of All Bombs on Afghanistan to show America’s enemies what he’s capable of.
Has America First populism been junked for neocon internationalism on steroids? ‘Absolutely not,’ says Gorka. ‘The President has said again and again and again: we are not going to occupy foreign lands and we are not going to invade them, that is un-American, we are not interested in nation-building. One of the problems I have with a lot of conservative commentary in our country is that they think 59 unmanned missiles hitting an air base used for a chemical weapons attack against unarmed women and children is equivalent to 160,000 people invading Iraq. One MOAB bomb doth not an invasion of Mesopotamia make.’
He admits that ‘the attack on the airfield was about more than just Syria and the 2,100-pound bomb was about more than just about a cave complex in Afghanistan.’ What he means is that, in the case of Syria, Trump was signalling to Russia that he was willing to attack its ally. And by making a large bang in Afghanistan, Trump was telling the Chinese that he meant what he said when he told them to ‘solve’ the North Korea problem — killing a few Muslim terrorists in the process was just a bonus. Gorka insists there is nothing wrong with bombing one country to teach another a lesson: ‘If states maintain client relationships with very problematic and at times heinous nations, then why not?’ Flexing America’s muscles has already had the desired effect, he says, pointing to China’s recent rejection of a North Korean coal shipment and Putin’s sudden volte-face in favour of meeting the US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. ‘These are not accidents and they are very positive signs.’
Islam, Islam, Islam:
Gorka is not preoccupied with the great game against Russia or China, though. …
His views on Islam would not go down well at a dinner party in N1, to put it mildly. ‘Look at the President’s address to the Joint Session of Congress, watch the video — the most trenchantly pronounced words in that speech are “radical … Islamic … terrorism”. We’ve jettisoned this idea that political correctness will keep us safe, that if you don’t say “jihad” then people won’t be mowed down by vehicles or knifed or blown up.’ I put to him that, while the neocons may still be out of US government, the Islamophobes are in. He laughs. ‘I would say that those who talk truthfully about the threat are in.’
hat-tip Stephen Neil