FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

With Bannon Out, the Wars Rage On

by

Reports surfaced yesterday morning that Steve Bannon, goblin king of white nationalists, had been ousted from the National Security Council.

Amidst months of rumors of infighting within the Republican administration, Bannon’s removal from the NSC has been celebrated, as it ought to be. However, as happy as the news may be, it should also be noted how small of a victory this is in the face of such sobering circumstances. Bannon remains Chief Strategist, Donald Trump is President, and the two are backed by a terrifying collection of Republicans with a proven track record of inefficient and violent policies.

While some outlets have focused their coverage of the palace intrigue on claims that Trump greenlit Bannon’s demotion out of jealousy, others have chosen to celebrate General McMaster’s rising star within the Republican administration. Whereas Bannon may have advocated military decisions based on political popularity and an Islamophobic clash-of-civilizations worldview, McMaster is an experienced counterinsurgency expert who respects Islam and will prevent us from blundering into war in Syria, or so the argument goes.

The problem, of course, is that we are already at war in Syria, and have been for some time. Trump has continued to escalate US troop deployments to Iraq and Syria since McMaster’s appointment to National Security Advisor in February. As Congress pressures Trump to ramp up military involvement in light of the sarin gas attack that killed 74 people in Khan Shaykun this week, it seems likely that such troop increases will only continue.

McMaster has been hailed for developing counterinsurgency strategy designed to “win over hearts and minds” through public works and cultural education of US soldiers. His current fans have lauded this in the hopes that it may mean more humane military strategy and a more cautious approach to coordinating with Russian military forces, who have been accused of war crimes in Syria.

What this ignores, however, is that the relative “cultural competency” of a military invasion does not change the fact that it is a military invasion. Though some may argue that further military intervention is necessary to prevent further use of weapons of mass destruction, there is no guarantee that this is something the US can accomplish. Increased US military involvement through air or ground forces does not equate to an improvement in the lives of Syrian people, as evidenced by the slaughter of over 40 civilians in the bombing of a mosque in Al-Jinah village on March 17. The only thing that can be definitively declared to be in the interest of the Syrian people from an outsider’s perspective is fewer bombs and bullets.

McMaster may not harbor the same paranoid delusions as Bannon, but he cannot singlehandedly divert the US military from the course Congress, the White House, and the Pentagon direct it in. So long as our nation’s sense of safety and global justice is measured in how many bombs we drop in the Middle East, people will suffer, counterinsurgency strategy be damned.

More articles by:

Ju-Hyun Park is a writer residing in the occupied Ohlone territories of the San Francisco Bay Area.

Weekend Edition
November 24, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Jonathan Cook
From an Open Internet, Back to the Dark Ages
Linda Pentz Gunter
A Radioactive Plume That’s Clouded in Secrecy
Jeffrey St. Clair
The Fires This Time
Nick Alexandrov
Birth of a Nation
Vijay Prashad
Puerto Rico: Ruined Infrastructure and a Refugee Crisis
Peter Montague
Men in Power Abusing Women – What a Surprise!
Kristine Mattis
Slaves and Bulldozers, Plutocrats and Widgets
Pete Dolack
Climate Summit’s Solution to Global Warming: More Talking
Mike Whitney
ISIS Last Stand; End Times for the Caliphate
Robert Hunziker
Fukushima Darkness, Part Two
James Munson
Does Censoring Undemocratic Voices Make For Better Democracy?
Brian Cloughley
The Influence of Israel on Britain
Jason Hickel
Averting the Apocalypse: Lessons From Costa Rica
Pepe Escobar
How Turkey, Iran, Russia and India are playing the New Silk Roads
Jan Oberg
Why is Google’s Eric Schmidt So Afraid?
Ezra Rosser
Pushing Back Against the Criminalization of Poverty
Kathy Kelly
The Quality of Mercy
Myles Hoenig
A Ray Moore Win Could be a Hidden Gift to Progressives
Gerry Brown
Myanmar Conflict: Geopolitical Food Chain
Matthew Stevenson
Into Africa: Robert Redford’s Big Game in Nairobi
Katrina Kozarek
Venezuela’s Communes: a Great Social Achievement
Zoltan Grossman
Olympia Train Blockade Again Hits the Achilles Heel of the Fracking Industry
Binoy Kampmark
History, Law and Ratko Mladić
Tommy Raskin
Why Must We Sanction Russia?
Bob Lord
Trump’s Tax Plan Will Cost a Lot More Than Advertised
Ralph Nader
National Democratic Party – Pole Vaulting Back into Place
Julian Vigo
If Sexual Harassment and Assault Were Treated Like Terrorism
Russell Mokhiber
Still Blowing Smoke for Big Tobacco: John Boehner and College Ethics
Louis Proyect
The Witchfinders
Ted Rall
Sexual Harassment and the End of Team Politics
Anna Meyer
Your Tax Dollars are Funding GMO Propaganda
Barbara Nimri Aziz
An Alleged Communist and Prostitute in Nepal’s Grade Ten Schoolbooks!
Myles Hoenig
A Ray Moore Win Could be a Hidden Gift to Progressives
Graham Peebles
What Price Humanity? Systemic Injustice, Human Suffering
Kim C. Domenico
To Not Walk Away: the Challenge of Compassion in the Neoliberal World
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Giving Thanks for Our Occupation of America?
Christy Rodgers
The First Thanksgiving
Charles R. Larson
Review: Ta-Nehisi Coates’ “We Were Eight Years in Power”
David Yearsley
On the Road to Rochester, By Bike
November 23, 2017
Kenneth Surin
Discussing Trump Abroad
Jay Moore
The Failure of Reconstruction and Its Consequences
Jeffrey St. Clair - Alexander Cockburn
Trout and Ethnic Cleansing
John W. Whitehead
Don’t Just Give Thanks, Pay It Forward One Act of Kindness at a Time
Chris Zinda
Zinke’s Reorganization of the BLM Will Continue Killing Babies
David Krieger
Progress Toward Nuclear Weapons Abolition
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail