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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

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
Wayne Blow
August 18, 2017

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

Franz Kafka
Franz Kafka
August 18, 2017

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
Voltaire
Reply to  Franz Kafka
August 19, 2017

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
Franz Kafka
Reply to  Voltaire
August 19, 2017

WashedUpington?

Voltaire
Voltaire
Reply to  Franz Kafka
August 19, 2017

OK…corrected…

Now please do answer my questions Franz…

Rastislav Veľká Morava
Rastislav Veľká Morava
Reply to  Voltaire
August 19, 2017

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
Voltaire
Reply to  Rastislav Veľká Morava
August 19, 2017

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
Rastislav Veľká Morava
Reply to  Voltaire
August 19, 2017

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
Constantine
Reply to  Rastislav Veľká Morava
August 19, 2017

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
Rastislav Veľká Morava
Reply to  Constantine
August 19, 2017

No argument there, or in my comment.

Berggeist
Berggeist
Reply to  Constantine
August 19, 2017

You are way off the mark with your comments.

Punisher 1
Punisher 1
Reply to  Voltaire
August 19, 2017

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
Gonzogal
Reply to  Voltaire
August 19, 2017

“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
Aurelio Ferdinand
August 19, 2017

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

Voltaire
Voltaire
August 19, 2017

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
Rastislav Veľká Morava
Reply to  Voltaire
August 19, 2017

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
Constantine
Reply to  Rastislav Veľká Morava
August 19, 2017

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

my2Cents
my2Cents
Reply to  Voltaire
August 20, 2017

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

Simon
Simon
August 19, 2017

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
Voltaire
Reply to  Simon
August 19, 2017

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
Drummer
Reply to  Voltaire
August 19, 2017

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

Rob Grune
Rob Grune
Reply to  Drummer
August 19, 2017

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
io
Reply to  Rob Grune
August 22, 2017

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

ruca
ruca
Reply to  Drummer
August 19, 2017

Correction : Soviets

my2Cents
my2Cents
Reply to  ruca
August 20, 2017

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

my2Cents
my2Cents
Reply to  Drummer
August 20, 2017

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

ajokete
ajokete
August 19, 2017

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
ajokete
August 19, 2017

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
JDo
August 19, 2017

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

Daisy Adler
Daisy Adler
August 19, 2017

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

K Walker
K Walker
August 19, 2017

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
uncle tungsten
August 19, 2017

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
GeorgeG
August 19, 2017

“… 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
Popart 2015
August 19, 2017

Who is the PUPPET now?

ghartwell
August 19, 2017

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
Josie
Reply to  ghartwell
August 21, 2017

And keep praying!

my2Cents
my2Cents
Reply to  ghartwell
August 24, 2017

“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
Albert Westpy
August 19, 2017

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
August 21, 2017

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

Walter Dublanica
Walter
August 22, 2017

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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