Retired Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal was formerly the head of Joint Special Operations Command in Iraq and the commander of all U.S. and allied troops fighting the Taliban and al-Qaida in Afghanistan. “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. This is now happening in America,” McChrystal told Yahoo News.
A radical group of citizens have adopted a very hard-line view of the country, he noted, that echoes the Lost Cause narrative that took root in the old South after the Civil War. “Only 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. “That gives them legitimacy to become even more radical. I think we’re much further along in this radicalization process, and facing a much deeper problem as a country, than most Americans realize.”