"The United States can’t sit there and say 'Russia, you’re bad'...this idea of us not being able to work together is a misnomer"
This post first appeared on Russia Insider
Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who President-elect Donald Trump recently designated his national security advisor, has come in for severe criticism by the mainstream media due to his attendence at an RT 10th anniversary reception in Moscow in December last year - where he sat next to Vladimir Putin - and other perceived "weakness" toward Russia (perceived by unhinged neocons and their shills).
However, there has also been worry concerning Flynn coming from Trump's supporters, about whether the retired general and former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency truly sympathizes with Trump's expressed foreign policy goal of rapprochement with Russia and cooperation in the middle east.
During his visit to RT, Flynn sat down for a 45-minute discussion which sheds some light on his foreign policy views. Now that he has been appointed to a key position in the new administration, it's worth revisiting.
Overall, Flynn came out clearly for improved relations with Russia, as well as other BRICS countries in solving world problems. He appears to represent a revised and more realist wing of the US foreign policy establishment; one that recognizes the era of the US as sole superpower is over and multi-polarity has emerged.
Flynn, Trump, and those who share their views, probably recognize that if the US wants to maintain a leading role in the world, it must face reality and work within the world as it is, not as the Washington neocons and globalists would imagine it to be.
The general was also clear that he considered Islamic extremism to be the world's No. 1 challenge - not Russia. However, his one moment of embarrassment was his persistence in including Iran as one of the top terrorism "exporters," despite being unable to give one example of Iranian terrorism - a point which did not sit well with the audience.
Equally interesting was Flynn's response to the question of whether the 2013 Sarin gas attacks in Syria were a false flag to enable further US efforts to depose Assad. Though Flynn was evasive, reading between the lines of his response, his ultimate answer seems to have been "probably":
Here are some of the highlights from Gen. Michael Flynn's interview. On international cooperation:
In order for us to not move to a greater level of conflict between the great nations of the world we have to come to grips with ‘how do we work together…’ If i have anything to say about it or if anybody wants to listen to me, I’m trying to help us…move to a place where we understand what those mutual interests are…this is not about friendship, this is about mutual interests to achieve some sense of stability.
On the interests supporting ISIS:
I think there’s a lot of people profiting from ISIS.
On the East-West divide:
This is not an East-West world folks…this world has shifted, in roughly 50 years, probably 70, definitely over 100, into a much more North-South world. And we have to decide, you know, United States, Europe, Russia and others, other countries in South America maybe, and even China, and India, how do we want the world to be in the next 10 years, 25 years, 50 years?
On antagonism between the US and Russia:
The United States can’t sit there and say “Russia, you’re bad,” and Russia can’t sit there and say “the US, you’re bad” - what we have to do, like we have done in the past - and I could go into a couple of historical examples, where, you know, Europe would not be the Europe that it is today - thriving - had it not been for Russia and the United States working together 75 years ago…So this idea of us not being able to work together is a misnomer.
On the low level of US-Russian discourse:
[We need to] stop acting like two bullies in a playground. Quit acting immature….this is a funny marriage between Russia and the United States. But it’s a marriage…and that marriage is very very rocky right now. And what we don’t need is for that marriage to break up. I’m deadly serious about this. Because I know this enemy [radical Islam]. I know there are some in [Russia] who know this enemy from having dealt with it in Chechnya and Dagestan and other places.
On strategic cooperation to avoid a larger conflict and fight Islamic terrorism:
My wish and my hope is that we figure out a way strategically to work together. That’s the way ahead. Whether or not we work together in 20 years from now, I don’t know. But I know if we don’t work together right now, the potential for going to a larger conflict against each other, or the potential for [Islamic terrorism] to do far more damage than they already have, is very very real.
Flynn brings a sober and realistic voice to President-elect Trump's foreign policy team which appreciates the dangerous escalation toward large-scale conflict Washington has been supporting until now. Let's hope for positive developments in US-Russian relations starting on Jan. 20th.
This post first appeared on Russia Insider
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