Sunday, January 29, 2017

The Creepiest Thing that Happened Last Week

While the executive order banning entry to the US by persons from seven majority-Muslim countries has been getting a lot of coverage, something even creepier happened quietly last week... Donald Trump used an executive order to place Steve Bannon on the National Security Council, while reducing the roles of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Director of National Intelligence. Trump is putting a dangerous ideologue, a purveyor of fake news and the proprietor of a racist website, in a position of great power. Bannon views the press as the opposition, and he is now in a position to target the press, in clear violation of the First Amendment.

I used to believe that Trump was the Trojan Horse's Ass that was being used to put Mike Pence in the White House, but now I realize that he is something much scarier- the Trojan Horse's Ass that is being used to put Steve Bannon in the White House. While I'm not unconvinced that the Trump Maladministration isn't jonesing for a war against Iran, my principle fear now is that the Trump Maladministration is really jonesing for a war against the United States.


Vixen Strangely said...

Steve Bannon has openly described himself as a Leninist and supporter of the alt-right, and the current business plan of Breitbart seems to be to open several divisions in Europe, which I presume are for the purpose of destabilizing European governments in favor of hard RW/Fascist governments via fake news and propaganda.This is Trump's "Brain". His Rove.

I feel like in the brains of the Christian White, Alt-Right, and Not-so-bright, the answer to what they prefer to view as "radical Islamic terrorism" is a form of Crusades cos-play, where a mighty righty West beats back the forces of foreign heathen savagery. And also gets laid by hard eights if not scoring nines in the process. It's foreign policy as spank-book.

I'm not saying Trump is a bitter racist fuckwit who remembers the eighties all too fondly when he had more lead in his pencil and less debt to eastern European banks. Oh heck no. I just would like to see the result if he would draw a clock for me and maybe recite a list of fairly common nouns I asked him to retain without writing them down. I have questions about who is in charge. (Not that either way is better, I just think folks have a right to brace themselves for the kind of f-ing they might expect to get when an obvious f-u is inevitable.)

mikey said...

Well, yeah, but c'mon. This is the NSC - it's not a 'position where he can attack the press' any more than he can from his counselors office in the White House. Perhaps even less, due to secrecy concerns. It DOES put Bannon in a position to drive policy, but other than a generalized hatred of Muslims it's hard to see where that goes. And even so, I think Mike Flynn is crazier and hates Muslims more, so he's not adding something that wasn't already there. In a sense, you buried the lede - the story is the reduction of sane, informed voices on the security council, particularly the DNI.

I think Bannon's more about domestic policy than foreign policy - he's made it clear the kind of nation he wants America to be - and the general desire to view the world through a 'Clash of Civilizations' lens is certainly strong throughout the entire Trump administration - but this is the whole thing with team Trump.

1.) What can they actually do?
2.) Where would they actually do it?

Re-Invade Iraq? Invade Syria? Bomb NorKor or Iran? Probably the worst thing they will do is effectively align US policy with Sunni Islamic policy as led by Saudi Arabia and Pakistan against the so-called 'Shi'ite Crescent' of Iran, Iraq and Syria (already supported by Russia). This puts team Trump in an awkward position, supporting the al Quaeda/ISIS type Salafist Jihadis from the Wahabist school that they have also sworn to destroy.

It's gonna get weird, but some things are simply less worrisome than others...

bowtiejack said...

This Bannon thing is certainly starting to look a lot like that Rasputin business at the Tsar's court.
Whatever happened to that guy anyway?

If you view the art of governance as more like surf boarding or King Canute's observation that he couldn't order the sea to roll back than, say, Caligula's victory over Neptune . . .

OBS said...

What can they actually do?

Well, all indications are that Bannon was the "brains" behind the "implementation" of the Muslim ban, so one obvious answer to your question is: "actively trying to make every Muslim in the world hate us even more."

That's bound to work out swimmingly.

But sure, nothing to see here, carry on.