In this clip, former CIA director, NSA chief, and four-star General Michael Hayden rips Trump for his hateful anti-Muslim rhetoric, asserting that he is a “recruiting sergeant” for terrorist groups like Daesh (ISIS/ISIL) and al-Qaeda by giving credibility to their anti-Western narratives.
“When Mr. Trump says some of the things that he has said — ‘they all hate us,’ ‘we shouldn’t let any of those people in our country’ — what he does is underscore and underpin the fundamentals of [the ISIS] narrative of undying enmity” said Hayden to Al Jazeera‘s Mehdi Hasan.
He also warned that the anti-Muslim rhetoric that the Cruz and Trump campaigns wield like drunken lumberjacks has the potential to create radicalized communities in the United States by alienating and marginalizing Muslim-Americans. “We don’t have radicalized communities in the United States. We have some radicalized individuals, but we have it fully within our ability to create radicalized communities, and that kind of rhetoric … actually bends you in the direction of radicalizing communities.”
The perpetrators of the recent bombings in Brussels were all Belgian citizens – not refugees – that came from marginalized Muslim communities. The danger is very real – and Trump is making the situation much worse. As Hayden notes, “you don’t have to be president … to have already made Americans less safe.” Both Daesh and Somalia’s al-Shabaab have already featured Trump in their recruitment videos.
His campaign is threat to America’s national security, and we must do all we can to prevent these bigots from fermenting homegrown terrorists among our own people. Every American citizen, no matter race or religion, has an inalienable right to be treated equally, and the rhetoric of the Republican candidates is a direct renouncement of the Constitution and the values on which our nation was founded.
Watch the interview here:
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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.