After being the subject of incredulous mockery after declaring himself his primary foreign policy adviser, Trump yesterday announced a foreign policy team before he went to speak at the Israeli lobby known as AIPAC – and unless you were a huge fan of Dick Cheney and the Iraq War, you should be terrified by who he chose to
advise write his foreign policy for him.
It would be difficult to arrange a more dangerous team of neoconservative bigots and scheming oligarchs than the one Trump has assembled.
WALID PHARES is an American-Lebanese Maronite Christian who was charged with radicalizing Lebanese Christian militias against Muslims during the Lebanese Civil War. His former colleague Toni Nissi revealed that leader “Samir Geagea wanted to change them from a ‘normal militia’ to a Christian army. Phares was responsible for training the lead officers in the ideology of the Lebanese Forces.” Those Lebanese Forces went on to commit the horrifying 1982 massacres at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camp, where up to 3,500 Palestinians and Lebanese Shiites were brutally murdered as the Israeli Defense Force stood by and allowed the atrocity to unfold. He is now a FOX
terrorism expert professional Islamophobe.
CARTER PAGE is an oligarch who was formerly Chief Operating Officer of the Energy & Power Investment Banking Group at Merrill Lynch’s Moscow office. He has extremely close ties to the Russian oil giant of Gazprom, which is a state-run monopoly that Russian dictator Vladimir Putin uses to fill the pockets of his supporters. Unsurprisingly, Mr. Page is pro-Putin and blames the West for “provoking a confrontation” with Russia over their expansionism in the Ukraine, and advocates for appeasement and complicity with Russian aggression.
FORMER LIEUTENANT GENERAL KEITH KELLOGG is currently a private military contractor with CACI. He’s also the former Chief Operating Officer of the Coalition Provisional Authority, the agency founded by the Bush Administration to manage the occupation of Iraq and organize the transition to a democracy. There are no words to describe how badly this was executed; many of the CPA’s failures – like disbanding the armed forces – led to the 2007 Sunni uprising and by extension the foundation of Daesh (ISIS/ISIL). He and other neocons were responsible for the privatizing of jobs that would usually have been done by the military, turning the quest for Iraqi democracy into a free-for-all of no-bid contracts funneling taxpayer money into companies like Dick Cheney’s Halliburton, which made a $39 billion profit off the war.
JOE SCHMITZ is a former executive for Blackwater International, the notorious private military contractor responsible for the massacre of seventeen unarmed Iraqi civilians and countless other war crimes. He is a professional Islamophobe and once penned a book called “Sharia – the threat to America.” He is also a former Defense Department Inspector General under the George W. Bush Administration, who resigned quickly after allegations from Rep. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) accused him of abusing his power to protect Bush administration officials from investigation. “Schmitz slowed or blocked investigations of senior Bush administration officials, spent taxpayer money on pet projects and accepted gifts that may have violated ethics guidelines, according to interviews with current and former senior officials in the inspector general’s office, congressional investigators and a review of internal e-mail and other documents” reports the Los Angeles Times.
GEORGE PAPADOPOULOUS is a relative unknown. He directs an international energy center at the London Center of International Law Practice. He previously advised the presidential campaign of Ben Carson and worked as a research fellow at the Hudson Institute, a conservative think tank in Washington funded by Koch Brothers and the Walton Family.
So if you enjoy causing regime change around the world and watching those societies splinter in horrific violence, vote for Trump. If you like having private military companies taking billions of your tax dollars and playing soldier without any military oversight, vote for Trump. If it pleases you to watch Vladimir Putin turn the Russian Federation and the rest of Eastern Europe into his personal empire, vote for Trump. If you are excited at the thought of having your appointed officials be immune from prosecution, vote for Trump. If you are proud that your nation condones and commits crimes against humanity, vote for Trump. If the idea of a second Cheney presidency with an even more hapless Bush is utterly appalling, then you know what to do. The threat to our national security and global stability posed by a Trump presidency just got so much worse.
Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.