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3 pros and 3 cons of Steve Bannon’s political death

Steve Bannnon’s record was a mixed bag of war and peace–pragmatism and ideology

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Steve Bannon is officially out of the White House. The man whom many described as the ‘brain behind the Trump campaign’ has run the course of his political career with many suspecting that he may shortly return to journalism/media.

For both those who admire and detest Steve Bannon, the man took on mythical proportions. Much of what was said about Bannon on both sides of the political divide was grossly exaggerated. That being said, he was one of the few members of the Trump White House who was a genuine ideas man in an age where anything but technocratic thinking is often frowned on.

With this in mind, here are the pros and cons of the political death of Steve Bannon.

THE PROS

1. Threatening a trade war with China 

Steve Bannon was recently quoted saying the following about the possibility of the US actively fighting a trade war with a nuclear superpower which also happens to be the world’s most dynamic economy:

“We’re at economic war with China. It’s in all their literature. They’re not shy about saying what they’re doing. One of us is going to be a hegemon in 25 or 30 years and it’s gonna be them if we go down this path. On Korea, they’re just tapping us along. It’s just a sideshow”.

These remarks could potentially be deeply damaging to the US economy if translated into policy. Already, Donald Trump has signed a memorandum authorising the US to investigate allegedly unfair trade practices in respect of China’s use of US based intellectual property. Many in Washington are openly using the word ‘sanctions’ to describe what could result from the entire ordeal.

With America being utterly dependant on Chinese imports and with Beijing owning substantial sums of US sovereign debt, such a trade war (as Bannon himself called it) would be catastrophic for the US economy and could further heat up the many proxy conflicts the US is waging against Chinese commercial interests.

Bannon has long defined his policies as existing in a framework where a clash between China and America is inevitable to the point of being desired. Such dangerous, Manichean views could make many bad trends befalling the globe even worse.

2. War with Iran 

Steve Bannon was in the United States Navy in the Gulf of Oman during the 1980 US hostage crisis in Iran. Bannon’s ship was in the region as a adjunct to Jimmy Carter’s ultimately failed attempt to rescue the American hostages.

This event almost certainly coloured Bannon’s deeply anti-Iranian views. Along with former Trump National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, Bannon was deeply fanatical about the need for America to assert aggressive policies towards Iran even though Iran poses no threat to the United States.

By being a member of a Washington choir which is dangerously close to escalating tensions with a major Eurasian power, when it comes to Iran, the peace camp needs all the allies it can get.

3. Support for Narendra Modi

Narendra Modi’s India is a country that is needlessly provoking China by infringing on territories widely agreed to be Beijing’s sovereign land. This reckless move by Modi brings a nuclear armed India closer to war with the Chinese superpower than at any time since 1962 when the too considerably weaker Asian powers fought a short border war which China resoundingly won.

Modi is also testing the patience of India’s traditional Russian ally by purchasing overpriced American weapons in order to ingratiate himself with a country that many Indians feel does not hold their short or long term interests. Modi’s pro-Israel sentiments have not only eroded New Delhi’s traditionally fair approach to Palestine but has aliened Syria, a potential market for Indian goods and services.

India’s current ‘trade war’ with China has not hurt China in any significant way, but has done a great deal to retard the progress of an Indian economy filled with potential.

On the domestic front, Modi’s Hindutva policies have led to the discrimination of non-Hindus in India. Muslims and Sikhs are finding their lives and livelihood threatened like never before in modern India. Violence against minorities is now a common feature in Modis’ Hindutva ‘paradise’.

With America facing down a self-made and damaging trade war with China and with America’s once comparatively unified social fabric descending into sectarian strife, Modi if anything should be a model of what America should not do.

Steve Bannon thinks otherwise.

READ MORE: Narendra Modi’s version of Non-Alignment is fooling no one and is bad for India

The Cons 

1. Detente with Russia 

Steve Bannon favoured not only detente with Russia but favoured constructive relations. Bannon understood that modern Russia is a moderately conservative society whose Orthodox Christian traditions resonate with many Americans who are dismayed with the hedonism and perversion that is inexorably linked with post-modern liberalism.

With Bannon out of the White House, a voice of not only reason but of enlightenment when it comes to Russia has been lost.

2. Realism on Syria 

Steve Bannon seemed to implicitly understand that Syria and her partners are going to be victorious in the conflict and that beyond this, they are fighting the kind of Salafist terrorism that is a danger to mankind itself.

During his campaign, Donald Trump continuously rejected illegal so-called regime change in Syria and vowed not to repeat the mistakes of Barack Obama in funding and aiding terrorists in Iraq the Levant.

While the Syrian conflict is in its final phase, Bannon was correct on Syria from both a pragmatic and moral position. This honourable position is sadly not shared by the majority of the Washington elite.

3. Venezuela and North Korea 

Steve Bannon’s pragmatic side came to the fore in respect of his opposition to recent US threats of war against North Korea and Venezuela.

Bannon rightly realised that North Korea is a ‘sideshow’ conflict and further urged restraint over Donald Trump’s recent threats to Venezuela. 

While war on North Korea is unlikely, Venezuela remains a tempting oil rich country for US war-hawks to pounce on.

CONCLUSION: 

While there were many good reasons for Bannon to go and an equal amount of reasons for Bannon to stay, the sad truth is that his departure from the White House was at least publicly, for all the wrong reasons.

Bannon is associated with a right-wing mindset that some conflate with the white supremacist thinking of the Ku Klux Klan. The fact that Bannon disavowed groups like the KKK seemed not to matter in a modern America where a good narrative trumps a mundane truth with worrying frequency.

There is of course a chance that someone in the White House felt that Bannon’s China remarks were a step too far. There is some circumstantial evidence which points to this. 24 hours prior to Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to the United States in April, Bannon was removed from his position on the National Security Council. It was a move that almost certainly reassured those who do not seek an digressive US stance towards China.

It could well be that behind the scenes, concerned individuals realised that Bannon’s remarks on China were inflammatory and deeply dangerous. The proximate timing of his removal is close both to his mad remarks on China as well as the violence in Virginia that many wrongly blame Bannon’s ideology for inspiring.

The truth may be somewhere in between. What is known is that Bannon’s record was one which drifted between common sense and madness. His pragmatic side was ultimately distorted by his more ideologically based pronouncements. This is true whether one loves or hates the man and what he stands for.

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Rastislav Veľká Morava
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Rastislav Veľká Morava

Part of what the elites coined as “Globalism” is really just Global Exploitation. They found that in China with a communist government willing to exploit their own people as low wage, slave work force for the west.

True “Globalism” would mean “Global” Environmental Standards and a “Global” Minimum Wage. That would defeat the purpose of Western Factories off-shoring to China or anywhere else, and then good luck to China..

India waits in the wings…

CumExApostolatus
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CumExApostolatus

Modi gave no pushback in late 2016 when the war on cash started in India. I wonder what forces were behind that? Cui bono?

Debbie Beane
Guest
Debbie Beane

USAID, Bill Gates and other entities that push for biometrics required in every move we make. When the news on India’s situation arose, I watched an informative video by James Corbett. You can see a list of sources he used, here:

https://www.corbettreport.com/episode-313-demonetization-and-you/

CumExApostolatus
Guest
CumExApostolatus

Thank you. I’d seen that video from Corbett.
Mine was a rhetorical question since I HOPE we know who runs banking around the world.

Daisy Adler
Guest
Daisy Adler

“Bannon was one of the few members of the Trump White House who was a genuine ideas man in an age where anything but technocratic thinking is often frowned on.”

Fully agree. Without Bannon and Gingrich, the actual presidency term is as good as dead. They were the only two thinking brains in the team.

Ann Watson
Guest
Ann Watson

Steve Bannon is an Israeli – he can’t but be good riddance because of that

Kasimiro
Guest
Kasimiro

Could Steve Bannon‘s influence on the future decisions be greater in the medias than in the White House? The President’s decisions are made out of the house anyway. Aren’t they? ………. The Generals in the White House are patriots and so the better insurance not to force the President into a war which he doesn’t want. As long as the army cadre support Donald Trump he can sleep well. The Generals in the government is better than in the fields. They know well enough that the US can’t go to war any more like before. The mic will have to… Read more »

Walter Dublanica
Member
Walter Dublanica

Bannan will stay because we Americans are frustrated with Congress & the military. Who is going to take us out of all this mess?

Walter Dublanica
Member
Walter Dublanica

Bannan is absolutely right about the need for America to have friendly relations with Russia which is a White Christian country. Who wants a war with a country that has 7,000 nuclear weapons??

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Trump’s wish to take the US out of NATO leaves NeoCons seething

The US President has seen the truth of the irrelevance of NATO, but there is enormous resistance to change.

Seraphim Hanisch

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Tucker Carlson, Fox News and Russian and American news outlets alike have picked up the story that US President Donald Trump has on numerous occasions, opined that the United States would do well to depart from the North Atlantic Military Organization, or NATO.

This wish caused enormous fury and backlash from those opposed, which, oddly enough include both Democrats and Republicans. Their anger and alarm over this idea is such that the media networks through much of the US are alive with the idea of impeaching the President or bringing 25th Amendment proceedings against him for insanity!

Take a look:

Tucker Carlson, as usual, nailed it.

NATO was formed to make Western Europe secure in the face of a perceived Soviet threat. In 1991, the USSR collapsed and the threat of Ivan the Communist bad guy collapsed with it.

But 28 years later, NATO is still here. And, why?

Well, many “experts” continue to point at Russia as a threat, though after that statement no one seems honestly able to elucidate precisely how Russia would, in fact, threaten any nation, take over it, or conquer the world. Indeed, if anyone seems to understand the perversity of being in charge of the whole world, it seems to be Russia, as expressed by politician and LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky (see how this is so here).

Zhironovsky observed that China is the other nation that is running at full force, but viewing the problems the US is having with being the leader of the world, China stops short of trying to attain this position itself. The question becomes “What does a nation that rules the world actually do then?”

President Trump appears to be seeing the same question, or some similar variant based on the same theme. NATO serves no constructive purpose anymore. Despite the conflicts in Ukraine and Saudi Arabia and Yemen, Israel and Syria, there simply are no great threats in the world as it stands today. While there are certainly still wars, none of these wars represents an existential threat to the United States.

Why wouldn’t a US leader want out? In fact, there is further no existential threat to Europe from any present war, nor is there a threat from Russia itself. In fact, Russia has been entering into business relations with many European countries who wish to buy cheap and easily available Russian natural gas. Turkey purchased an S-400 antimissile system in addition to its US made Patriot battery.

There would seem to be very little in the way of concrete and reliable reasoning for the alliance to continue.

But the American Deep State and liberal establishment have come together to resist the US President in a truly furious manner, and it is revelatory of the hypocrisy of anti-Trump politics that American liberals, typically the “sing Kum-ba-yah peacenik” crowd, displays paroxysms of outrage and horror that NATO might be disbanded.

As the result of that, the American media is determined to choke off any possibility of one thinking, “well, what if we were to disband NATO?”

Why is this?

Simple. A lot of people make their living by preparing for the Russian “threat”, and it would mean the end of their work, the end of their money, and a great disruption in life. It does not matter that while this is true, these same people could conceivably apply their considerable skill sets to deal with real problems that face a world that no longer has a dipolar alignment, or to help prevent a real problem from arising from real situations, such as the recent and current Islamization of many European cities.

One of the great afflictions of American politics and policy has been that so much of it appears to be focused on “short term” or “no term” matters. We see this with the problems related to border security, the coming advent of AI-based automated processes that may furlough low-skilled workers in tremendous amounts in a short period of time. Rather than solve real problems, the elected representatives and media seem more content to oppose Donald Trump when he, as a businessman ought to do, makes a federal case out of what he sees on the horizon.

The Border Wall, for example, is a highly logical part of a properly handled set of immigration policies. But the very direct behavior of President Trump helped amplify the resentment the Democrats still hold against him for defeating Hillary Clinton in 2016, and so, the Democrats have effectively said “nuts!” to the needs of the nation and they take out their resentment on the nation by refusing to negotiate with the President about how to close the border.

NATO is another example. The alliance served its purpose. It is time for the alliance to end, or to be radically restructured in terms of new goals based in real, and not just flimsy rhetorical, needs.

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BREXIT storm deepens, as parliamentary coup may be forming against May and Corbyn

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 166.

Alex Christoforou

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Emboldened by Theresa May’s lack of leadership and will to deliver the Brexit that UK citizens voted for in a democratic referendum, remain MPs are now mobilizing to do the EU’s bidding in forcing Britain to nullify the Brexit process and eventually stay a part of the European Union.

After yesterday’s thumping of May’s Brexit plan in parliament, The Times’ Matthew Parris is now openly floating the idea that “it’s time for parliament to wrest control from the zombies, stating that “Theresa May isn’t any good” and “Jeremy Corbyn is equally useless”…

There exists no leadership in either the government or the opposition capable of taking us through this mess. No hidden strengths, no unexpected qualities; no whizzbang new thinking, no magic. Forget May. Forget Corbyn. Salvation is not coming from these directions.
So it’s up to parliament. MPs are coming to understand that they have to act. It has been stealing on parliamentarians for months now and close contacts between leading members of both parties have been made and have been deepening.
From within the Commons a shadow executive must emerge, and is beginning to. Labour’s Yvette Cooper talks to the Tories’ Dominic Grieve. Around them is a cluster of senior parliamentarians who are getting used to talking.
A common purpose unites them: rescuing the country from a no-deal Brexit that only a small minority actually want. Whether this is to be done by seeking a better deal than May’s or by a new referendum, or both, they need to find a way soon. An “indicative” vote of the House of Commons may help guide them.
And however speedily the House can find its leadership and direction, it’s hard to imagine this can be done without an extension to the Article 50 negotiating period.
Overwhelmingly, the conclusion to be drawn from last night’s vote is that parliament must wrest control from a zombie prime minister, a zombie cabinet and a zombie opposition. I heard in May’s response to the result the hint of the straw at which she may now clutch: a Labour-style Brexit under a Tory nominal prime minister. I would be amazed if her party would accept it.

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the turbulent and uncertain road ahead in the Brexit saga as a March deadline looms.

Shifting sands, and betrayal at the highest level is now crystallizing, as hints of a possible parliamentary coup against May and Corbyn is being floated as a possible solution to the impasse that will ultimately steer the UK back under EU control, and cancel the Brexit referendum.

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Via Straits Times

The words “humiliated” and “crushed” featured prominently in British newspaper headlines following Parliament’s massive rejection of a divorce deal with the European Union on Tuesday (Jan 15).

Dailies said Prime Minister Theresa May’s grip on power was waning after the huge vote against the agreement struck between her government and Brussels, as she prepared to fight a no-confidence motion on Wednesday.

“May humiliated by 230 votes,” The Daily Mirror tabloid said.

The Daily Telegraph wrote: “Humiliation for Prime Minister as MPs overwhelmingly reject deal and Labour tables no confidence vote.”

The broadsheet’s parliamentary sketchwriter Michael Deacon said Mrs May had somehow defied the odds by making a historic event an anticlimax.

“Her speech had all the brio of a mouldy gym sock,” he wrote.

“She sounded as winningly persuasive as a mother snapping at her children to eat up their cabbage or go to bed hungry.”

The vote itself “was as if Agatha Christie has allowed Miss Marple to solve the murder half way through and spend the rest of the novel pottering about in the garden”.

‘ZOMBIE PM’

The Times columnist Matthew Parris said it was time for senior MPs to take over the Brexit process.

“There exists no leadership in either the government or the opposition capable of taking us through this mess,” he wrote following the vote.

“Theresa May isn’t any good; she doesn’t have a fiendish, secret strategy; she’s careless with the truth and will say anything to get her through another week. She doesn’t know what to do.

“Overwhelmingly, the conclusion to be drawn… is that Parliament must wrest control from a zombie Prime Minister, a zombie Cabinet and a zombie opposition.”

The Daily Mail said the defeat left Mrs May’s power “hanging by a thread”, calling it a “devastating result, which threatens to plunge the Brexit process into chaos”.

The Sun, Britain’s biggest-selling newspaper, said: “Crushed PM dares MPs to vote for general election after record Brexit defeat.”

“The crushing defeat – which saw 118 Tories turn against the PM – is the worst since the advent of full democracy and suggests Mrs May will never win enough support for her strategy,” said the tabloid.

The Financial Times newspaper ran a headline reading: “May’s defeat spells trouble for the EU’s Brexit approach.”

“Huge loss leaves PM in race against time,” the broadsheet said.

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Ukraine’s Cult of Stepan Bandera: Not a Detail, but a Cornerstone

Unlike Poroshenko with his aerial bombings of the Russian-speaking Donbass in 2014 and 2015, Bandera killed the “wrong” victims, the representatives of those nations that are valued even by the modern Western media.

Dmitry Babich

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Authored by Dmitry Babich via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


During the recent years of the confrontation between Russia and Ukraine, there has been one issue where the Western mainstream press simply cannot fully ignore or reject the Russian arguments. This issue concerns the life and actions of Stepan Bandera (1909-1959) and his followers from what is known as the “Banderite” faction of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN, a far-right organization that took terrorist actions against Polish and Soviet officials from the 1920s to the 1950s and which is now legally protected from any criticism in Ukraine).

THE “WRONG” AND “RIGHT” VICTIMS

Because Bandera was born on January 1, 1909, celebrations of his birthday have become disgusting New Year’s rituals in Ukraine in recent years, with thousands participating in Nazi-style torch-lit marches that include shouted protests against “Putin’s Russia” and rants such as, “Jews out!” which are heard by everyone except the police. This New Year was no exception, since the current Ukrainian government under President Petro Poroshenko (who publicly identified himself as a Banderite after taking office in 2014) officially added Bandera’s 110th birthday to the list of Ukraine’s most important anniversaries. This time, there were several quiet voices of condemnation heard in Poland, Israel, and even the US. Why? In truth, torches, masks, political murders, and mob attacks against “pro-Russian” public figures are nothing new in post-Maidan Ukraine. And these things usually pose no problem for the mainstream press of the US and its allies. So, why is Bandera an exception?

The answer is ethnic, as awful as that may sound. Unlike Poroshenko with his aerial bombings of the Russian-speaking Donbass in 2014 and 2015, Bandera killed the “wrong” victims, the representatives of those nations that are valued even by the modern Western media, with its double and triple standards. In the 1930s Bandera killed Polish officials, in the 1940s his people killed civilian Jews and Polish peasants, and these are groups whose plight even the New York Times cannot ignore today. If Bandera’s infamous slogan “Death to enemies!” had been directed only against “disloyal” Russians and anti-Banderite Ukrainians (the groups currently persecuted by Poroshenko), Bandera would have been no different from his modern admirers in the Ukrainian government. But Bandera’s followers from the OUN decimated the Jewish population of Lvov and Kiev in 1941, trying to curry favor with the advancing Germans. And between 1943 and 1944, the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), taking its orders from Bandera’s OUN officers, ethnically cleansed his native Western Ukraine of ethnic Poles, killing from 70,000-100,000 of them (the infamous “slaughter of Volhynia”). The aim was to create an “ethnically pure” Ukraine before the arrival of the Red Army in late 1944. Documents published by the Polish historian Grzegorz Motyka indicate that Bandera and the OUN hoped that the Red Army would soon be replaced by Anglo-American domination. “His strategy was to clean up the house before the arrival of the real master,” Motyka concludes in his book.

THE LADY OF THE RADA VS. ISRAEL’S PRESIDENT

The American domination took another 70 years, but it did come. And now the Banderites’ (and Poroshenko’s) only historic disagreement with the West is over the infamous “ethnic cleansing,” to which Bandera’s “glorious heroes” subjected Ukraine in 1941-1944. When Israeli President Reuven Rivlin dared to raise the issue during his visit to Ukraine in 2016, he got a scolding from the vice speaker of the Ukrainian parliament (Verkhovna Rada), Irina Gerashchenko: “The Israeli president allowed himself some incorrect and undiplomatic words about the OUN’s tragic history,” Gerashchenko said at the time. “It was highly inappropriate, especially now, when Ukraine is fighting for its independence.” Gerashchenko forgot to mention the fact that Babi Yar, the burial site of some 30,000 Jews killed by German and Ukrainian Nazis in Kiev in 1941, was vandalized nine times between 2015 and 2016, according to data provided by the Ukrainian Jewish Committee.

WHY THE WEST WANTS TO FORGET, BUT CANNOT

In the immediate aftermath of the Maidan coup in 2014, the mainstream press was ready to forget even that, since an honest account of Bandera’s activities between 1939 and 1959 could rekindle memories of the undesirable parallels to the “resistance to Russian occupation” by Poroshenko’s army in the Donbass in 2014 and 2015. Between the summer of 2014 and the winter of 2015, about 10,000 people died there, victims of the aircraft and tanks sent by Poroshenko (just months earlier, the US and the EU had been unable to abide the use of truncheons by the police of the ousted president, Viktor Yanukovych). At the time, the NYT called Bandera the “Ukrainian nationalists’ hero.” Obviously, the NYT’s authors were taking their cues from the Washington Post’s Anne Applebaum, with her Banderite headline, “Nationalism is exactly what Ukraine Needs” in the once-glorious New Republic.

But here the mainstream press tried to kill off a memory that will never die — the memory of how Hitler’s East European Nazi allies participated in the destruction of the region’s Jewish population in the early 1940s. This was something not even Anne Applebaum could make people forget.

In his articles in the American press, the director of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee, Eduard Dolinsky, tried to explain to the American public that Bandera’s cult is not an isolated, unpleasant phenomenon: Stepan Bandera never acted alone, he represented a crudely nationalist ideology. Unfortunately, this ideology reigns triumphant in modern Ukraine behind the “liberal” façade displayed for the West. For example, Dolinsky notes that Poroshenko’s hypocritical speeches memorializing Jewish victims can be heard next to, say, a memorial to OUN activist Ivan Rogach, whose newspaper called Jews “the greatest enemy of the people” in 1941. “The Ukrainian leadership set itself on the course of rehabilitating anti-Semitism and introducing censorship of history,” concludes the official statement of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, an international Jewish human-rights group, famous for its work to bring Nazi criminals to justice.

THE RUSSIAN QUESTION BEHIND THE JEWISH ONE

If the West cannot afford to be completely silent about Bandera’s participation in the Holocaust, it is willingly ignoring another huge injustice that is inseparable from Bandera’s cult in modern Ukraine — the erasure of the Russian and anti-Banderite component of Ukraine’s historic memory. In 2017, Kiev’s Vatutin Avenue was renamed Bandera Avenue, resulting in an outcry in Russia and complete silence in the West. This avenue, a major thoroughfare in the Ukrainian capital, had originally been named in honor of General Nikolai Vatutin, who liberated Kiev from Nazi occupation in 1943 and died in a shootout with the OUN’s guerillas in 1944. At the time, there was no question about where America’s sympathies lay: the fight against Hitler was not yet over, and Vatutin, born in 1901 to a peasant family living immediately adjacent to the future Russian-Ukrainian border, was a useful ally for the United States. Will Bandera and his modern followers be a good replacement? Only someone with Poroshenko’s plans for Ukraine or with Anne Applebaum’s views on history could agree.

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