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H.R. McMaster on MSNBC w/Hugh Hewitt


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McMaster’s supporters push back

Paul Mirengoff

August 5, 2017

 

National Security Adviser Gen. H.R. McMaster came in or criticism after he fired three staff members, all of whom are strongly pro-Israel and forceful opponents of the Iran nuclear deal. I gave voice to some of that criticism here.

McMaster’s supporters are pushing back. Among them, at least for the time being, is President Trump.

Hugh Hewitt characterizes McMaster’s critics as “a tiny slice” of “the alt right” and a “legion of Russian bots” who have been saying “a number of screwball things about him.” This response, typical of much of the pro-McMaster push back, is name-calling, not argument.

As I suggested in my initial post, a good starting point in discussing McMaster is to ask how many Obama holdovers (a term McMaster has tried to ban) he has fired. Having sacked three Trump loyalists, he obviously is not averse to firing staff members. If, as I understand to be the case, he has sacked few or none of the Obama holdovers, this would suggest that he is comfortable with Obama-era foreign and national security policy.

One need not be a member of the “alt right” to believe that Obama-era foreign and national security policy were seriously misguided.

 

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McMaster and Mattis Are Rare Assets—Not Deep State Liabilities

* Victor Davis Hanson

August 5 2017

 

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Jacksonians like McMaster and occasionally Mattis (and I speak of them in concert not because they are predictably in agreement, but only because their long careers were similarly unconventional) are somehow this week caricatured as being protectors of the Deep State Beltway. Perhaps such mischaracterization is because they are, in Augustus’s words, “making haste slowly”—or trying to prepare the world for post-Obama changes without either turning inward or starting a war. Such cautiousness can be, of course, naturally viewed as obstructionism by a populist base.

Yet if Trump wanted iconoclastic generals, both outspoken, and sometimes abrasive, who nonetheless put a high priority on loyalty, he could not have picked two better representatives. McMaster was often unfairly passed over for generalship because he was a bother to hierarchies. Mattis was sidetracked by Obama because he had a rare habit of speaking the truth, sometimes bluntly, and identifying with the warriors under his command rather than with his superiors in Washington.

 

So the idea, to take one example, that McMaster is soft on Islamism or is anti-Israel is absurd. I cannot think of a more obdurate opponent of the Iranian regime, perhaps because so many of those he served with in Iraq were killed by shaped charges brought into Iraq by Iranians, who subverted the U.S. effort with impunity. Nor was McMaster a neoconservative in matters of post-9/11 interventions, but instead he served an agenda that he likely would have preferred was more punitive and realist than inspired by idealistic nation-building.

Faultlines
One can have legitimate arguments over bad and worse choices concerning Afghanistan and Syria. Or how best to dismantle North Korea’s new missile arsenal. Or the most effective way to coax or force Putin away from Russia’s new hostility.

But what remains again inexplicable is the suggestion that anyone heading the Pentagon or the NSC is either disloyal to Trump, in thrall to the status quo, or too soft on our enemies. They are not.

 

(Snip)

 

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* Well known Establishment RINO Globalist Never Trumper Secret Hillary Supporter

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