Retired Lt. General Michael Flynn joined Wednesday’s Breitbart News Daily to talk about his speech at the Republican National Convention, which SiriusXM host Stephen K. Bannon praised as a “methodical, pointed description, a strategic assessment, of where we are, and how we can win” against Islamist terrorism.
When Bannon asked why he thinks “Leftist heads are blowing up” because of his speech, Flynn replied, “I think it’s because in part of the speech, I also took to task one of the threats we’re facing, which is the corruption in Washington, D.C., and the dishonesty that we see out of our senior leaders right now in the current Administration, and that includes Hillary Clinton.”
“The other aspect of this speech is, I talked about America’s role in the world,” he continued. “Number One, if there is no America, then the world will be a complete mess. What we have to do is, we have to make sure that our country is as strong as it can be economically, and from a defense standpoint. Our military is not as ready as it needs to be, and our readiness needs to be increased quite a bit.”
“America has to be the leader, and that big light on the hill, and that light today is not as bright as it used to be,” Flynn said.
Bannon noted that in his book The Field of Fight: How We Can Win the Global War Against Radical Islam and Its Allies, Flynn makes the depressing argument that this phase of the war, since the 9/11 attacks, is “longer than the combat history of the American Revolution, World War I, World War II, and the Civil War, combined.”
“This is where we have to take a hard look at the way that decisions have been made in Washington, D.C.” said Flynn. “It is beyond convoluted, but it can be fixed… we can win this. The national security structure within the government right now is so bloated, and it has probably grown three or four times in just the last eight years. The decision-making apparatus around the President of the United States, it’s everybody wants to get their little pet rock in to the President, and that is so unhelpful.”
“We lack strategic leaders who know how to solve problems, who know how to make decisions, in a 21st Century that’s moving at the speed of light,” he said. “We lack problem-solvers, strategic problem-solvers and strategic thinking. And I’m telling you, it’s all wrapped around the President of the United States.”
He said this is why he has taken a stand “not just for Donald Trump, but really for this country,” warning that if America’s course is not adjusted now, people “are not going to recognize this country in four years, or eight more years.”
“Between the federal government, and the people of this country, there’s just a lack of trust, and that’s what we need to bring back,” Flynn urged.
If that sense of trust is restored, along with America’s economic strength, he believes Americans are “so resilient they’ll do whatever they are asked to do, to start winning again on all counts, whether it’s in these conflicts we’re involved in, or whether it’s in the job market.”
Changing course will involve “Number One, acknowledging that we are at war,” said Flynn. “Our enemies have declared war on us, and we have to take this on with all the resources that the United States of America can bring to bear.”
“I think we need a declaration of war, and then what the conditions of that declaration are, are really super important, because when you declare war it’s not just declare war and you go out and do something. This is a declaration of war with a set of conditions, and the Number One condition is, what is it going to take to win?” he said, specifying that it was important to go after “jihadi armies” and capture their leaders for interrogation.
He also called for “a new Twenty-First Century alliance” internationally, and a “war Cabinet” that would be “honest with the American public about what we’re facing.”
“We’ve got to put demands on the world, especially the Muslim nations around the world, who need leadership from the United States to coalesce, or to become a coherent fighting force,” Flynn said of that new 21st Century alliance. “These guys know that they have a problem, and I’m talking about Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Yemen. Some of these countries that still have a nation-state structure, they know that they have a problem inside their systems. They’re looking for leadership to be able to help them bring the right resources together, bring the right capabilities together.”
He stressed that he wasn’t advising more American troop deployments to the Middle East, noting that “we already have 7,000 ‘boots on the ground’ right now in Iraq, from this President.”
“Had he followed the advice from his military and other leaders, back in 2011, we’d be fine today We wouldn’t see the rise of this crazy ISIS element,” Flynn asserted. “We have to have about the right-sized force, which I believe is what we had initially, and then we’ve got to get the Muslim world involved. Leaders have to step up, they have to stand up and be counted. They have to be very visible internationally, to not only talk about this, to go after this crazy doctrine of radical Islam, but they also have to bring the resources to bear against this problem.”
Flynn hoped that candidates and voters from all parties would consider the arguments laid out in his book, while allowing that he “really, really wants Donald Trump to win.”
“I think he would be an extraordinary President,” he said. “I think people have totally underestimated him. That’s why I’m here at the convention, because I believe so strongly that we need strong leadership, tough leadership. We have to change our diplomacy from this soft, touchy-feely diplomacy, to really much stronger, tougher diplomacy, and act like America has always acted in the past — not like we’ve been acting lately, where we’re apologizing for everything.”
Bannon asked Flynn if he was “stunned” by the revelation of a Saudi intelligence apparatus in the United States contained in the recently declassified “28 Pages” of the 9/11 Commission report.
“I’m a guy that doesn’t scare very easily, but this is the kind of stuff that gets me nervous, maybe scared,” Flynn replied, measuring his own knowledge as a top military commander against the facts not yet disclosed to the American public. “This is why we need brutal honesty from our government. The American public is not stupid. I think that our federal government, and particularly people around this Administration, treat the American public like they live under mushrooms.”
“Don’t preach to me about what you believe. I need to know the truth. I want honesty, and I can see a dishonest person from a mile away” he said to the political elite. “What we need right now is brute-force honesty from our President, and that’s where I think a guy like Donald Trump is that type of person.”
“We have got to stop kidding ourselves,” Flynn said, referring back to the 28 Pages. “If people that are involved in all these machinations that you just described — these are the people that have gotten us the gigantic debt that we have, that have kept us in a persistent conflict for well beyond just the attack on 9/11. This goes back to 1979 and the takeover of the embassy. Thank God, when Reagan came into office, he put a demand before he even came into office, and those hostages were released the day he came into office.”
“There’s so much in play here, there’s so much at stake for our country, and we must be more honest with the American public,” he concluded.
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