Retired General McChrystal Compares MAGA Protesters to Al-Qaeda
Claims America headed for a "homegrown insurgency". Left unsaid is that these call for a McChrystal-style counter-insurgency
Editor’s note: One gets the impression the generals wouldn’t mind moving their permanent occupations to the homeland and save on commute.
Retired Army General Stanley McChrystal has compared the MAGA riot to the evolution of Al-Qaeda saying in both instances people followed a ‘powerful leader’ who ‘justified their violence’, as he warned America is headed for a homegrown insurgency.
McChrystal, the former commander of American troops in Afghanistan, said there are terrifying parallels between the birth of the terrorist group responsible for the September 11 terrorist attacks and the violent siege on the US Capitol last week that left five dead and sent shockwaves around the world.
Donald Trump has given his supporters ‘legitimacy to become even more radical’, he told Yahoo News, with his Stop the Steal rhetoric now a radical rallying cry similar to the Lost Cause adopted by the Southerners in the American Civil War.
McChrystal, who was fired by President Barack Obama after he made disparaging remarks about him and then-Vice President Joe Biden, warned that now ‘the fabric of something very dangerous has been woven’, the consequences will continue long after Trump leaves office.
His comments come as the nation is still reeling from the January 6 attack on the seat of American democracy and security is being ramped up ahead of President-elect Biden’s inauguration.
As more arrests of mob members are made and new details of the siege continue to emerge, it has become increasingly clear that among the rioters were members of several extremist groups including white supremacists, neo-Nazis and Proud Boys.
McChrystal led the army’s fight against the the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.
He said the recent events on the US soil are drawing concerning reminders of the rise of the terrorist group.
Back then, people with ‘very poor prospects’ followed Osama Bin Laden ‘who promised to take them back in time to a better place’, he said.
For the last four years, Trump has taken on that role with a radical group of American citizens.
On January 6, he riled up the crowds at a DC rally telling them to march to the Capitol and ‘to fight’, moments before the mob broke into the building to stop the Electoral College votes being counted.
‘I did see a similar dynamic in the evolution of al-Qaida in Iraq, where a whole generation of angry Arab youth with very poor prospects followed a powerful leader who promised to take them back in time to a better place, and he led them to embrace an ideology that justified their violence,’ McChrystal told Yahoo News.
‘This is now happening in America.’
McChrystal also drew comparisons to another dark time in American history.
‘President Trump has updated Lost Cause with his ‘Stop the Steal’ narrative that they lost because of a stolen election, and that is the only thing holding these people down and stopping them from assuming their rightful place in society,’ McChrystal said.
The Lost Cause myth came out of the Confederate states at the end of the Civil War as they tried to rewrite the narrative after losing.
They falsely claimed the war was caused by secession and what they said was a noble pursuit to protect the country – not about slavery, which they still believed was just and moral.
Meanwhile, Trump has repeatedly sought to rewrite his legitimate 2020 presidential election loss by pushing unfounded claims of mass voter fraud – claims that his avid fans have latched onto.
‘That gives them legitimacy to become even more radical,’ McChrystal told Yahoo News.
He warned that the problem is already much deeper than people realize: ‘I think we’re much further along in this radicalization process, and facing a much deeper problem as a country, than most Americans realize.’
And the radicalization which has already taken deep roots in the US will not simply disappear when Trump does, McChrystal warned.
Federal authorities are still rounding up perpetrators of last week’s riot and have vowed to come down heavily on those involved.
When this happens, McChrystal said, extremists tend to go quiet and regroup and will likely become ‘more professional’.
‘As this extremist movement comes under increasing pressure from law enforcement in the coming days and weeks, its members will likely retreat into tighter and tighter cells for security, and that will make them more professional, and those cells will become echo chambers that incubate even more radical thinking along the lines of armed insurrection,’ he said.
‘So even if Trump exits the scene, the radical movement he helped create has its own momentum and cohesion now, and they may find they don’t need Trump anymore.’
Another ‘charismatic leader’ will step up and fill the gap left by Trump, McChrystal added.
‘They can just wait for another charismatic leader to appear,’ he said.
‘So the fabric of something very dangerous has been woven, and it’s further along than most Americans care to admit.’
McChrystal was the head of Joint Special Operations Command in Iraq during the 2000s and the commander of all US and allied troops fighting the terrorist organization in Afghanistan.
Source: The Daily Mail