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Flynn and Putin at the RT celebration

Michael Flynn, the general who predicted the rise of ISIS

The next National Security Advisor of the United States, General Michael T. Flynn, has been called both the most brilliant intelligence officer of his generation, and a torturing Islamophobe.

Published: November 23, 2016, 3:42 pm

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    The clash between Michael Flynn on the one hand and Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama on the other, occurred in August 2012, during the circulation of a secret note concerning the jihadists in the Levant. In the part of the document which had been declassified, he observed that the jihadists were at war with the Syrian Arab Republic, and were supported by tribal populations scattered an area straddling Syria and Iraq.

    Flynn warned that this would eventually lead to the creation of a Islamist pocket in North-East Syria, which would correspond to the strategic interests of their sponsors – Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey. He explained that he had written this document – just after the France re-launched the war against Syria – in an attempt to oppose the support by the Obama administration for the creation of Daesh.

    He came to this percipient conclusion after having studied jihadism for at least fifteen years. He maintains that Islamism has nothing to do with religion, even though it uses its vocabulary and quotes the Quran – it is an exclusively political ideology.

    He insists that the support from which the jihadists benefit in part of the Muslim population finds its roots in Islam itself. While he has not expressed a position on the Muslim religion, he has introduced the Lebanese professor Gabriel Sawma, the author of a work on the Syriac origins of the Quran, into Donald Trump’s team. Sawma holds a tolerant interpretation of Islam.

    According to French scholar Thierry de Meyssan, Flynn is not an advocate of torture. Meyssan says the American general has explained several times that his own declarations should not be interpreted as an encouragement to its generalisation. “If he is fighting the jihadists because they torture and kill, they must understand that he will not dissociate himself from his companions in arms who have practised torture, and that he will not hesitate to torture and kill in his turn if necessary. But this is not his intention, and in Afghanistan, he intervened against this practise,” Meyssan concludes.

    Last year, General Flynn was invited to the anniversary party of the international television channel Russia Today and not only shared the same table as the Russian president, but sat next to him. On his other side was the Russian journalist, the editor-in-chief of RT and Rossiya Segodnya – Margarita Simonovna Simonyan.

    His participation was met with apoplectic fits of rage from the White House, for whom this channel is an “organ of propaganda for Vladimir Putin”. The Clintonian Press then started describing Flynn as an Islamophobe who would gladly resort to torture, displaying more than bad faith towards the Democrat turned Republican they had fired because he had predicted the rise of ISIS.

    Former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Admiral James Stavridis told CNBC on Friday that Flynn was a “hard-line actor” and his policies would be counterproductive.

    Flynn is a Catholic of Irish origin, attached to his family. He is a dedicated sportsman, and practises both team and individual sports.

    Considered to be one of the most brilliant intelligence officers of his generation, commander of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) from July 2012 to August 2014, he started to questioned the work methods of his service.

    According to Flynn, the systematic use of sophisticated technology does not compare with the quality of human intelligence, and the tendency to render reports in the form of illustrations and visual displays does little to convey nuance and complex situations.

    Flynn prefers written reports which he says is more efficient. Finally, he believes the quality of intelligence depends comparing input and different angles, as well as working together with other agencies om matters of mutual interest. All things considered, he is takes an old-school view.

    karin@praag.org

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