Julia Ioffe is a political correspondent focused on national security and foreign policy for GQ magazine. She has also written for Politico, The Atlantic, and The New Yorker.
Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, has no history of openly associating with bigotry. In fact, McMaster has throughout his career emphasized the need to work constructively with foreign Muslim populations.
.. the dramatic divide among Trump’s top foreign policy advisers. On one side are career military personnel who understand that antagonizing Muslims is both offensive to American values and damaging to the country’s security. On the other side are inexperienced, radical ethno-nationalists who shrug off international norms and believe that peaceful coexistence with the world’s Muslims is unlikely and undesirable.
.. McMaster has been a vocal proponent of protecting civilians in war zones and avoiding the “clash of civilizations” approach favored by Trump and his top advisers.
.. McMaster said that the United States must partner with people in Muslim-majority countries to defeat groups like the Islamic State, describing them as “the people who are suffering the most” from terrorism. McMaster added that to win such conflicts,U.S. forces must understand the history and social dynamics of the countries it is fighting in, as well as have “empathy for the people among whom these wars are fought.”
.. McMaster has also criticized agenda-driven D.C. think tanks and foreign policy seemingly driven by the weapons industry. In a 2015 speech at the University of South Florida, McMaster said that “the military-industrial complex may represent a greater threat to us than at any time in history.”
.. Mattis assured reporters during his recent meeting with Iraqi political and military leaders that, Trump’s frequent comments to the contrary, the United States would not try to seize Iraq’s oil. “I think all of us here in this room, all of us in America, have generally paid for our gas and oil all along, and I’m sure that we will continue to do that in the future,” he said. “We’re not in Iraq to seize anybody’s oil.”
.. Mattis believed that treating Iraqis with respect was essential to American security. He investigated abuses of prisoners in Iraq and helped stop the use of torture at one prison where an Iraqi in U.S. detention had died after being beaten.
.. Mattis believes that Israel’s continued military occupation of the Palestinians threatens American security and could lead to an apartheid-style situation. Asked about conflict with Iran during a 2016 interview, he replied, “It would be bloody awful, it would be a catastrophe if we have to have another war in the Middle East like that.”
White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon
.. He’s also a true believer in the idea that the United States cannot coexist with Islam.
.. “Islam is not a religion of peace. Islam is a religion of submission. Islam means submission,”
.. in a documentary he once pitched titled “Islamic States of America.” In that film, he imagined a future United States where all the major institutions of society were ominously controlled by Muslims.
Sebastian Gorka reports to Bannon and has emerged as one of the chief White House ideologues pushing for the United States to take a more forceful stance on Islam.
.. He is also an associate of notorious anti-Muslim conspiracist Frank Gaffney
Senior Adviser Stephen Miller belongs to a new generation of far-right activists who argue that Western civilization is under attack by uncontrolled immigration and the spread of radical Islam.
.. he put together events to promote a “Terrorism Awareness Project” aimed at exposing the threat of “Islamofascism” — a term created by far-right activist David Horowitz
.. “Gripped by complacency and the omnipresent force of political correctness, our nation has failed to educate our youth about the holy war being waged against us and what needs to be done to defeat the Jihadists that are waging this war,” Miller wrote
CIA Director Mike Pompeo was until recently a Republican congressman from Kansas partial to defending CIA officials who engaged in torture, calling them “patriots.”
.. Pompeo tapped as his deputy director at the agency CIA staffer Gina Haspel, who ran a secret prison in Thailand as part of a network of “black sites” that enabled the agency to torture detainees.
Senior Adviser Jared Kushner
.. Trump recently put an end to the longstanding U.S. insistence on a two-state solution, reportedly keeping his own State Department in the dark on the decision until it was made. It was Kushner’s counsel — not that of senior U.S. diplomats or military staff — that was guiding him.
.. While U.S. policy has held for decades that settlements built deep into Palestinian territories are illegal, Kushner’s family has helped finance them. And he fired a staffer at the New York Observer, which he owned at the time, after the staffer began to write critically about the Israeli occupation of the West Bank.