Trump Foreign Policy Adviser Has Ties to Brutal Lebanese Militia

Jeff Siner/ZUMA Press

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Donald Trump has finally announced the names of five of his foreign policy advisers, and at least one member of his new team is sure to raise eyebrows.

Walid Phares, a Lebanese academic who advised Mitt Romney’s campaign in 2012, is one of the five names Trump gave to the Washington Post during a meeting with the paper’s editorial board on Monday. As Mother Jones reported in 2011, Phares was a major player in the Lebanese Forces, one of the Christian militias that fought in Lebanon’s brutal 15-year civil war. According to Toni Nissi, a colleague of Phares’ at the time, Phares helped the group’s leader, Samir Geagea, steep its fighters in religious ideology.

“[Samir Geagea] wanted to change them from a normal militia to a Christian army,” Nissi said. “Walid Phares was responsible for training the lead officers in the ideology of the Lebanese Forces.”

The Lebanese Forces are now just one of Lebanon’s many political parties, but the group was responsible for one of the war’s most notorious incidents, the massacre of hundreds of Palestinians in Lebanon’s Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in 1982.

Phares is also well known as an anti-Muslim campaigner. He’s appeared on the radio show of Frank Gaffney, the conspiracy theorist who’s a foreign policy adviser to Ted Cruz.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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