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Steve Bannon goes as the military takes over the Trump administration

Ousting of Bannon as Chief White House Strategist leaves the generals in charge of the government

Alexander Mercouris

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The announcement of the ‘resignation’ of White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon represents the culmination of a process which began with the equally forced ‘resignation’ of President Trump’s first National Security Adviser General Michael Flynn.

Individuals who were close to Donald Trump during his successful election campaign and who largely framed its terms – people like Bannon and Flynn – have been picked off one by one.

Taking their place is a strange coalition of former generals and former businessmen of essentially conventional Republican conservative views, which is cemented around three former generals who between them now have the levers of powers in their hands: General Kelly, the President’s new Chief of Staff, General H.R. McMaster, his National Security Adviser, and General Mattis, the Secretary of Defense.

In the case of Bannon, it is his clear that his ousting was insisted on by General Kelly, who is continuing to tighten his control of the White House.

Bannon’s removal – not coincidentally – has come at the same time that General H.R. McMaster is completing his purge of the remaining Flynn hold-overs on the staff of the National Security Council.

Bannon’s removal does not just remove from the White House a cunning political strategist.  It also removes the one senior official in the Trump administration who had any pretensions to be an ideologist and an intellectual.

In saying I should say that I for one do not rate Bannon as an ideologist and intellectual too highly.  Whilst there can be no doubt of Bannon’s media and campaigning skills, his ideological positions seem to me a mishmash of ideas – some more leftist than rightist – rather than a coherent platform.  I also happen to think that his actual influence on the President has been hugely exaggerated.

Since the inauguration I have not seen much evidence either of Bannon’s supposed influence on the President or of his famed political skills.

Bannon is sometimes credited as being the author of the President’s two travel ban Executive Orders.  I am sure this wrong.  The Executive Orders clearly originate with the wishes of the President himself.  If Bannon did have any role in them – which is possible – it would have been secondary to the President’s own.  I would add that in that case Bannon must take some of the blame for the disastrously incompetent execution of the first of these two Executive Orders, which set the scene for the legal challenges that followed.

The only occasion where it did seem to me that Bannon exercised real influence was in shaping the text of the speech the President delivered during his recent trip to Poland.

I have already made known my views of this speech. I think it was badly judged – managing to annoy both the Germans and the Russians at the same time – mistaken in many of its points, and the President has derived no political benefit from it.

However it is the closest thing to an ideological statement the President has made since he took office, and Bannon is widely believed – probably rightly – to have written it.

As for Bannon’s alleged political skills, he has completely failed to shield the President from the Russiagate scandal and appears to me to have done little or nothing to hold the President’s electoral base together, with Bannon having been almost invisible since the inauguration.

In view of Bannon’s ineffectiveness since the inauguration I doubt that his removal will make any difference to the Trump administration’s policies or to the support the President still has from his electoral base, most of whose members are unlikely to know much about Bannon anyway.

It is in a completely different respect – one wholly independent of President Trump’s success or failure as President – that the events of the last few weeks give cause for serious concern.

The events of the last year highlight the extent to which the US is in deep political crisis.

The US’s core electorate is becoming increasingly alienated from its political class; elements of the security services are openly operating independently of political control, and are working in alliance with sections of the Congress and the media – both now also widely despised – to bring down a constitutionally elected President, who they in turn despise.

All this is happening at the same time that there is growing criticism of the economic institutions of the US government, which since the 2008 financial crisis have seemed to side with a wealthy and unprincipled minority against the interests of the majority.

The only institution of the US state that still seems to be functioning as normal, and which appears to have retained a measure of public respect and support, is the military, which politically speaking seems increasingly to be calling the shots.

It is striking that the only officials President Trump can nominate to senior positions who do not immediately run into bitter opposition have been – apart from General Flynn, who was a special case – senior soldiers.

Now the military in the persons of Kelly, McMaster and Mattis find themselves at the heart of the US government to an extent that has never been true before in US history, even during the Presidencies of former military men like Andrew Jackson, Ulysses Grant or Dwight Eisenhower.

The last time that happened in a major Western nation – that the civilian institutions of the state had become so dysfunctional that the military as the only functioning institution left ended up dominating the nation’s government and deciding the nation’s policies – was in Germany in the lead up to the First World War.

Time will show what the results will be this time, but the German example is hardly a reassuring one.

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Wayne Blow
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Wayne Blow

Watch out Donald, next thing there will be a “military” coup @the W.H. (LOL)!!!??

Franz Kafka
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Franz Kafka

Wrong! There was a time when military men ran the nation….before it even was a nation.
All hail the military junta! This is how America began – with George Washington’s act of treason and barracks officer’s coup. It is fitting that it should end this way. in the beginning was the end.

Voltaire
Guest
Voltaire

Surely the name wqsgington lmust now be removed from any public space in the US now?

After all he had 350 slaves and slept with his slave girls like all the colonists did…

What should we call Washington in the future?

And what about those Memorials to Washington and Jefferson etc?

Surely they must be torn down?

PS And the disgraceful adulterer and liar William Jefferson Clinton must drop Jefferson from his name surely?!

Franz Kafka
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Franz Kafka

WashedUpington?

Voltaire
Guest
Voltaire

OK…corrected…

Now please do answer my questions Franz…

Rastislav Veľká Morava
Member
Rastislav Veľká Morava

Yes, lets distract the dumbed down under educated USA Masses with taking down historical statues/memorials, transgender, gay, etc, so they never think to rise up against all that is really destroying them.

Ohh..and let’s provoke an ideological and leading to a real war between the races, while we’re at it.

Voltaire
Guest
Voltaire

I prefer Americans tearing down their own monuments rather than their killing hundreds of thousands in the Middle East and spreading death and destuction like thay have throughout the region for the last 20 years and more…

And rather than their continuing to aid and abet the genocide of the Yemini People through US assistance and arms to Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf ragheads……

Rastislav Veľká Morava
Member
Rastislav Veľká Morava

Tearing down monuments has and will have no effect on what you correctly state the USA perpetrates on the Middle East and elsewhere.

The same entities engineer all of this, in concert.

Constantine
Guest
Constantine

To be fair, most of these monuments were not raised by the best of that nation. Nor was the intention a general appreciation of US history. And those who defend these monuments are even more under-educated than their counterparts. No few of them were pleased with US supremacism and interventionism in the past. In any case, let the Americans do what they please in their country as long as they do not actively undermine and destroy other states. The horrors of Syria and Ukraine, the latest in a long list of victims (with Venezuela looming ahead), are a good indication… Read more »

Rastislav Veľká Morava
Member
Rastislav Veľká Morava

No argument there, or in my comment.

Berggeist
Guest
Berggeist

You are way off the mark with your comments.

Punisher 1
Guest
Punisher 1

I wouldn’t be surprised if they go for Obamaville or Clintonburg.I’m only have kidding on that. I think they are that stupid.

Gonzogal
Guest
Gonzogal

“PS And the disgraceful adulterer and liar William Jefferson Clinton must drop Jefferson from his name surely?!”

Those women whom he assaulted are taking care of that…here is what they are doing about WJC:
http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/08/18/bill-clintons-accusers-demand-removal-statue/
http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/08/18/seven-monuments-of-accused-sexual-predator-bill-clinton/

Aurelio Ferdinand
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Aurelio Ferdinand

Don’t agree entirely with article, hmm! but I might asked has President Trump been bought over.

Voltaire
Guest
Voltaire

The United States has now been taken over by a MILITARY JUNTA… Trump does not know his ass from his elbow in international affairs….He believes that international affairs are conducted like a Mobster organises a real estate deal in New York…aznd that he can threaten and extort what he wants in Washington… He is so dumb that he does not realise that as regards internationazl affairs, the Generals have bigger guns and means than a cheap New York mobster like Trump could ever imagine… And he is only now finding out that the US Congress is bought lock, stock and… Read more »

Rastislav Veľká Morava
Member
Rastislav Veľká Morava

I am sorry. As an entitled North American Baby Boomer, Trump does not have the mettle, toughness and stubbornness to initiate the change that he knows is needed.

He thought the presidency was like getting a million dollar loan and a company from daddy in the 70’s and preceding to expand a real estate empire…….It’s not!

….Nowhere near the superior class of Alphas and game changers like Putin, Chavez, Nasrallah

Constantine
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Constantine

Agreed, especially with the choice of the three individuals you put for comparison.

my2Cents
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my2Cents

Keep talking….Is there more where this came from??? :-))

Simon
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Simon

If the Generals were to run Washington does that make the US more dangerous? Hardly. They already lose every war they ‘fight’. So what if they want more money, or to start another war – they can already do that anyway.
Better that they might have to also worry about Medicare and Social Security and street crime etc. The more problems the Pentagon have to deal with in their so-called ‘Homeland’, the less they can threaten the rest of us.

Voltaire
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Voltaire

LOL

Indeed, it ir rather encouraging that the Generals have taken over…

They have lost every war since Vietnam…

But they have succeeded in destroying the Middle East as a region though, which will take generations to put together again……

PS And if the ongoing disaster at the Veterans’ Administration is anything to go by, it would be preferable for the Generals not to interfee with Medicare and Social Security for fear of bankrupting them…

Drummer
Guest
Drummer

Correction: They’ve lost every war since Korea; and, they didn’t win WWII…the Russians did.

Rob Grune
Guest
Rob Grune

grammar… since Korea means the USA won Korea…. factually, it did not. in fact, the US did not win ww2, not ww1. but perhaps we can say the USA won the fight against Japan [ie a single country], and being the only military to ever have used an atomic weapon?

io
Guest
io

How about Grenada? Didn’t they save the natives from the coconuts?

ruca
Guest
ruca

Correction : Soviets

my2Cents
Guest
my2Cents

At the cost of 27 million Russians. They have my gratitude. .

my2Cents
Guest
my2Cents

A lot of dented American psyches. but you’re absolutely right.

ajokete
Guest
ajokete

First they came for Flynn, Donald Trump did not protest; then they came for …(please help me fill the gaps), Donald Trump did not protest, then they came for Bannon and Donald Trump did not protest, not long after they came for Donald Trump, and there is no Flynn and no Bannon to protest. Make America great again!

ajokete
Guest
ajokete

I so much love the picture on top. Who is the gorilla in the middle? This is kind of goons the US usually use to destabilize other countries, especially in Latin America. Chicken is coming home to roost.

JDo
Guest
JDo

USA has since quite some time been a failed state – only now it is becoming blatantly visible.

Daisy Adler
Guest
Daisy Adler

Oh, yeah, une brochette des génerals, who were never able to win a war …

K Walker
Guest
K Walker

Attempted regime change taking place. Bannon had been referred to as a racist from the very beginning.This was beefed up during the Charlottsevlle melee along with a new level of hysteria in the press about the alt-right, white supremacy and neo-nazism. The next thing the public knew, Bannon was fired. We were good once.

uncle tungsten
Guest
uncle tungsten

Bad bad news for the USA. Generals from this craazy country might be good at losing but they are great at killing women children and anyone else they chose. The Trump and his tin pot generals are likely to bring the four horsemen of the apocalypse with them to many more corners of the earth. Take one look at their allies and you can see that we are all in for a grim time. The killers are in the house and that is never a good thing. At least Bannon was a lone somewhat sane voice about North Korea and… Read more »

GeorgeG
Guest
GeorgeG

“… that the civilian institutions of the state had become so dysfunctional that the military as the only functioning institution left ended up dominating the nation’s government and deciding the nation’s policies – was in Germany in the lead up to the First World War.” The Russians seem to have anticipated this, or — no, not anticipated, instead they have known it for some time. Word is that Generals Gerasimov and Mattis will meet next week to discuss setting up five more “deconfliction zones” in Syria. These two are not counterparts: Gerasimov is RF General Staff, so the military professional… Read more »

Popart 2015
Guest
Popart 2015

Who is the PUPPET now?

ghartwell
Guest

Every country despises instability. Trump on his own is unstable. Trump surrounded by idealogues was unstable. General Kelly represents order; made it clear from the start that he was in charge. Therefore, no surprise loose cannon Bannon is gone. We may now enter a time of stability in Trump’s presidency. Do not forget that military decisions on Syria differed from CIA actions. Do not forget that CIA is a deep state instrument with it’s own mind, purposes and powers. Do not forget CIA is the Nazi intelligence network imported and rebranded. What does this equal? Here is what it equals.… Read more »

Josie
Guest
Josie

And keep praying!

my2Cents
Guest
my2Cents

“Do not forget CIA is the Nazi intelligence network imported and rebranded.” Not Nazi but Soviet…We have become the Soviet Union. The National Socialismus Partei was extremely lucrative for Germany……it was the envy of Austria and the rest of Europe, and caused British as well as American Economist to be in awe of what was accomplished in such a very short period of time. Austria who was still struggling with the aftermath of WW1 and the depression BEGGED Germany for the Anschluss – which was a JOINING and was NOT an annexation as the American narrative implies. There was no… Read more »

Albert Westpy
Guest
Albert Westpy

Makes not a bit of difference. The real power is within the oligarchy who control the banks, large corporations, and the government. Most in government are no more than fronts for the interest of the oligarchy and themselves.

Shahna
Guest

So…. the US is now run by a military cabal – with Orange Fluff as a mascot?

Walter Dublanica
Member
Walter Dublanica

The most frustrated in American society is the military. NO VICTORIES since 1946. Yet they consume over 50 % of the national budget.

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Foolish French President Macron tests Trump’s patience (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 149.

Alex Christoforou

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US President Donald Trump was ridiculed for his nationalist agenda by the very unpopular, globalist French President Emmanuel Macron, in a very public display of disrespect towards the United States and its president.

Macron, in front of world leaders brought together to commemorate the end of World War I, thought it wise to chastise Trump for his ‘America first’ policy, stating that nationalism was “tearing the world apart.”

Trump did find Macron’s smart ass tone to his liking, tweeting out his feeling the minute he landed stateside by reminding his European peers who pays the bills to keep the peace on the continent.

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris reflect on Macron’s diplomatic gaffe, which Trump is unlikely to forget anytime soon.

Macron showed his boyish diplomatic skills, for which a man like Trump will make sure a heavy price is paid. The French President will certainly be at the receiving end of a very public and embarrassing dressing down at the hands of Donald Trump.

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Via Zerohedge

What was supposed to be a solemn visit to honor the 16 million soldiers who died during World War I alongside a coterie of world leaders in Paris was overshadowed by a mini-scandal surrounding President Trump’s missing an Armistice ceremony at an American military cemetery for purely cosmetic reasons (Trump reportedly didn’t want to get his hair wet during the ceremony which was held in pouring rain, though the White House maintained that he missed the beginning of the ceremony for security purposes).

Given the media’s focus on Trump’s purported vanity at the expense of nearly every other detail from Trump’s visit, it’s hardly surprising that the president has returned to the US rather agitated, and decided to lash out at his European partners in a series of tweets Monday morning.

While he said that his meetings with fellow world leaders were productive, Trump noted that it’s “never easy” to raise the issue that the US foots most of the bill for military protections in Europe thanks to its outsize shouldering of the cost burden of funding NATO.

Adding insult to injury, the US is paying “hundreds of billions of dollars” for the privilege of “losing hundreds of billions of dollars” with these countries on trade. Trump demanded that, going forward, the US must be treated fairly on military spending and trade.

It is time, Trump said, for these countries to either pony up, or find a way to start protecting themselves.

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Midterm Elections: A Disaster Denied, and What is Coming

The Democrats intend to mount a non-stopping offensive against the President.

The Duran

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Authored by Jeremiah Johnson (nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces ) via SHTFplan.com:


Before the 2016 Presidential Election, and both before and after the inauguration, I wrote specifically about how important the midterm election would be, and the results if the President should lose even one House of Congress.  That happened: the Republicans just lost the House of Representatives. Now that the Democrats control it, not one piece of legislation will pass that is on the President’s agenda. In the supreme act of denial, the Republican party claims the “Blue Wave” was not successful; even the President declared a “victory” with the midterms.

Nothing could be further from the truth, on either count.

The Democrats intend to mount a non-stopping offensive against the President. First, they are going to demand that Mueller go on the attack again. They are already demanding the President’s tax returns. On Thursday, 11-8-18, thousands of people marched in Times Square in New York City in protest of Jeff Sessions’ departure from the White House…although Sessions was the one who tendered a letter of resignation. The mob of protesters carried mass-produced “No one is above the law” placards and signs.

Not one of those Marxists carried those signs when former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton resigned after Benghazi, where a U.S. Consular Outpost of the United States was destroyed, and the U.S. Ambassador and four of his staff murdered.

“Happy Veterans’ Day” is coming up, with the cliché eternal: “Thank you for your service.”

Nobody really cares about it, except the vets. Those who have to work receive time and a half for their pay, and Hallmark makes about another $50 million or so on the cards and gifts…about $10 million of that for the Government to “re-ingest” with the taxes….another day on the endless cycle:

The cycle of spending of disposable income, an indispensable part of the economy and all of the governmental employees on paid federal holiday, solemnly dispensed of at the expense of (to paraphrase Metallica) the government’s “disposable heroes.”

Where were the protests in the streets after Benghazi? Everybody was hidden, because at the time we were under Obama. When Donald Trump was elected President, a “hiatus” was granted from the nonstop march toward socialism/communism that reached a zenith as never before. Now that hiatus is shrinking, as the Communists and Marxists begin new offensives under their playbook “Rules for Radicals,” offensives targeting every area of the society.

Their plan should be obvious: to keep the President “backpedaling” and the economy faltering, in order to set the stage for the 2020 election. All of this I have written about before, and it came to pass with the Midterm elections. If they keep the President on the defense and keep pushing the “social issues,” it will render his administration ineffective…not delivering the change back toward the right that the voters wanted to see in 2016.

The Wall Street Journal published a piece on November 9 entitled Democrats plan to pursue most aggressive gun-control legislation in decades.” They have been receiving plenty of help on this one, with the Synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh, and the recent murders by a former Marine last week. Here they come again! All of the legislators…with armed protectors paid for by you, mind you…clamoring for the guns. Here’s a piece of it for you:

Democrats say they will pass the most aggressive gun-control legislation in decades when they become the House majority in January, plans they renewed this week in the aftermath of a mass killing in a California bar. Their efforts will be spurred by an incoming class of pro-gun-control lawmakers who scored big in Tuesday’s midterm elections, although any measure would likely meet stiff resistance in the GOP-controlled Senate. Democrats ousted at least 15 House Republicans with “A” National Rifle Association ratings, while the candidates elected to replace them all scored an “F” NRA rating. “This new majority is not going to be afraid of our shadow,” said Mike Thompson, a California Democrat who is chairman of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force. “We know that we’ve been elected to do a job, and we’re going to do it.”

Now of course the argument to this rationale will be that the Senate is needed before a law passes. Yes, we all watched “Schoolhouse Rock” and learned about the three-party system of checks and balances. The problem?  Nothing was accomplished when the Republicans held both houses of Congress, and the Reds and Blues counter one another, and more:

The Democrats’ strategy is not to pass any laws: it is to stir up public controversy, win support of the “Zero” generation, and either force actions through the “tyranny of the majority,” or make it so horrible an arena that it detracts from or prevents any positive efforts and actions from the administration…setting the stage for the 2020 election.

Ocasio-Cortez just entered the House of Representatives at the “sage/sagacious” age of 29, and she is a self-described “democratic socialist” who favors single-payer healthcare, gun control, abolishing border controls, and declared that she would support the impeachment of the President. She was also part of Bernie Sanders’ campaign movement in 2016.

Lenin espoused some “gems” that should be considered. Here is one that falls in line with the “newly discovered wonderful possibility of socialism” the Zero-generation and twenty-somethings have fallen in love with hook, line, and sinker:

“The goal of socialism is communism.”

New York just placed a “democratic socialist” in the White House…a declared socialist, among all of the hidden Marxists camouflaged under the “progressive” or “democratic” monikers.

Gun control, coming at us once again, and once more, a quote from Lenin for you:

“Disarmament is the ideal of socialism. There will be no wars in socialist society; consequently, disarmament will be achieved. But whoever expects that socialism will be achieved without a social revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat is not a socialist. Dictatorship is state power based directly on violence. And in the twentieth century – as in the age of civilization generally – violence means neither a fist nor a club, but troops. To put “disarmament” in the program is tantamount to making the general declaration: “We are opposed to the use of arms.” There is as little Marxism in this as there would be if we were to say: “We are opposed to violence!” – Lenin, “The Disarmament Slogan,” from October of 1916

The next two years should be interesting, to say the least. Keep in mind: the President is not throwing in the towel, however, he has one more year to turn the tide…before he has to campaign. There is still another way, though: I mentioned it in the last article that I wrote. Bush Jr. used this technique successfully when he was trailing Kerry in the polls. Margaret Thatcher used this technique when she was about to be shown the door, and turned it around, remaining in office.

The “technique” is a war, whether a “quickie” (such as the Falklands War…Malvinas, if you prefer), or a protracted one (Iraq “II” where victory was declared within months of started, and it was achieved…with the decades and a half of Military Industrial Complex contracts…and the transition of the United States into a Surveillance and Police State).

The technique is a war, and if you keep abreast of what is going on, you will see that Russia and China are gearing up for a war, the nations are “decoupling” themselves incrementally from the dying fiat-backed Petrodollar, and North Korea is once again raising itself as a nuclear threat (on its own, or encouraged by one or more nations). A war could either suspend elections, or propel the incumbent into a victory based on the populace’s perception of what they need. Remember this last quote from Lenin, and let it sink in good:

“A standing army and police are the chief instruments of state power.” – Lenin, State and Revolution, 1917

The ultimate truth: the elections are akin to the Stock Market, the Dow-Jones Industrial Average. It doesn’t matter how many shares are bought or sold, as long as there are fluctuations and flux. The winners are the brokers, who pocket their commissions on every trade…a sell or a buy. The same exists here. The blue donkeys versus the red elephants. The “tribalism” of men, and their needs of a social order…a cohesive social grouping that reflects what they believe in…is exploited to its maximum advantage. All the while, the paradigm shifts almost imperceptibly, until before you know it….twenty years have elapsed, and you are not looking at the same country anymore.

The “art” is to make the people think they will be getting what they want…dupe them into believing it is something good, when it’s not. It took the blood of heroes to form and defend this nation.  The downfall is precipitated by traitors from within…bleeding the nation white by circumventing existing laws and replacing them with the greatest injustice and threat to personal liberty of all. What is that greatest threat? A foreign enemy? A spontaneous collapse of everything?

No. The greatest threat is the acceptance of the people of the illusion of “social justice,” that really translates into something for nothing by taking from those who have earned, and giving it to those who live within the entitlement cesspool of their own sloth. Such a mentality pervades our society today. In order to save the United States, we have to return to our fundamental values and become an ass-kicking, straight-shooting people who fear God and care for their families, neighbors, and nation once more. If we do this, we may emerge from the coming night as a nation once more. Ready your NVGs, and steel your hearts for the challenge before it arrives…now…at the twilight’s last gleaming.

May Veterans’ Day bring remembrance to your mind, may your heart find peace, and may any who serve in your family be safe and sound.


Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne).  Mr. Johnson is also a Gunsmith, a Certified Master Herbalist, a Montana Master Food Preserver, and a graduate of the U.S. Army’s SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape).  He lives in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with his wife and three cats. You can follow Jeremiah’s regular writings at SHTFplan.com or contact him here.

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Russia’s Next Weapon: A Church

The Russian military plans to build a military church to bolster the spiritual values of its armed forces.

The Duran

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Authored by Michael Peck via The National Interest:


Meet Vladimir Putin’s newest weapon: a church.

The Russian military plans to build a military church to bolster the spiritual values of its armed forces. Construction will soon begin of the Main Church of the Armed Forces, to be erected in Patriot Park outside Moscow, according to Colonel General Andrei Kartapolov, deputy defense minister and chief of the armed forces’ Main Military-Political Directorate, a new organization responsible for political education of the troops.

The “new church will be one more example of the people’s unity around the idea of patriotism, love, and devotion to our Motherland,” Kartapolov told Russian journalists.

To say the church, dubbed by some as the “Khaki Temple,” will have a martial air would be an understatement.

“The walls of the military church are really made in the color of the standard Russian missile system and armored vehicle,” according to the Russian newspaper The Independent [Google English translation here ] “…From the inside, the walls are decorated with paintings with battle scenes from military history and texts from the Holy Scriptures. The projected height is 95 meters [104 feet] and is designed for 6,000 people.”

“Kartapolov is convinced that the modern Russian serviceman cannot be shaped without shaping lofty spirituality in him,” Russian media said. “Speaking about ideology, the deputy head of the military department pointed out that this will be based on knowledge of the history of our Motherland and people and on historical and cultural traditions.”

“Even though the Russian constitution states that ‘no ideology may be established as state or obligatory,’ the Kremlin continues to search for a unifying set of beliefs,” notes the U.S. Army’s Foreign Military Studies Office.

Religion has long played a role in Russian military life, first through the Russian Orthodox Church in Tsarist times, and then—in a secular way—through Communism in Soviet times. “In late imperial Russia, when they began to build garrisons, every regiment sought to build a regimental church, but not a synagogue or mosque,” Roger Reese, an historian at Texas A&M University who has written books on the Tsarist and Soviet armed forces, told the National Interest. “In Putin’s Russia, the Orthodox Church seeks every opportunity to represent itself as the national religion and tie itself to the state as it had under the tsars, so this act represents continuity broken temporarily by the Soviet years. Of course the Soviet regime did not build churches for the army, but it did build the ‘House of the Red Army,’ shaped like a star, in Moscow dedicated to the use of the Red Army and its soldiers.

In some respects it was analogous to a USO [United Service Organization that supports American soldiers] building. So Putin’s dedicating one particular building to the use of the Russian Army soldiers for purposes of morale—and morals—is in line with that.”

While the thought of a military church will be distasteful to some, Russia is hardly unique in linking the military and religion.

Many armies, the United States and Israel included, maintain chaplains who wear uniform and hold military rank. Chapels are common on military bases, and soldiers are given time for – and sometimes pressured to – attend religious services. While a Russian military church is likely to favor a specific denomination – Russian Orthodoxy – even that isn’t unique: non-Christian members of the U.S. military have complained of religious discrimination , especially by Christian fundamentalists.

What’s interesting is how little things change. Be it the Tsar’s conscripts, or the Red Army’s draftees or the volunteers who comprise much of modern Russia’s military, some spiritual reinforcement is deemed necessary to get soldiers to fight.

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