FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

With Bannon Out, the Wars Rage On

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
August 17, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Daniel Wolff
The Aretha Dialogue
Nick Pemberton
Donald Trump and the Rise of Patriotism 
Joseph Natoli
First Amendment Rights and the Court of Popular Opinion
Andrew Levine
Midterms 2018: What’s There to Hope For?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Running Out of Fools
Ajamu Baraka
Opposing Bipartisan Warmongering is Defending Human Rights of the Poor and Working Class
Paul Street
Corporate Media: the Enemy of the People
David Macaray
Trump and the Sex Tape
CJ Hopkins
Where Have All the Nazis Gone?
Daniel Falcone
The Future of NATO: an Interview With Richard Falk
Robert Hunziker
Hothouse Earth
Cesar Chelala
The Historic Responsibility of the Catholic Church
Ron Jacobs
The Barbarism of US Immigration Policy
Kenneth Surin
In Shanghai
William Camacaro - Frederick B. Mills
The Military Option Against Venezuela in the “Year of the Americas”
Nancy Kurshan
The Whole World Was Watching: Chicago ’68, Revisited
Robert Fantina
Yemeni and Palestinian Children
Alexandra Isfahani-Hammond
Orcas and Other-Than-Human Grief
Shoshana Fine – Thomas Lindemann
Migrants Deaths: European Democracies and the Right to Not Protect?
Paul Edwards
Totally Irrusianal
Thomas Knapp
Murphy’s Law: Big Tech Must Serve as Censorship Subcontractors
Mark Ashwill
More Demons Unleashed After Fulbright University Vietnam Official Drops Rhetorical Bombshells
Ralph Nader
Going Fundamental Eludes Congressional Progressives
Hans-Armin Ohlmann
My Longest Day: How World War II Ended for My Family
Matthew Funke
The Nordic Countries Aren’t Socialist
Daniel Warner
Tiger Woods, Donald Trump and Crime and Punishment
Dave Lindorff
Mainstream Media Hypocrisy on Display
Jeff Cohen
Democrats Gather in Chicago: Elite Party or Party of the People?
Victor Grossman
Stand Up With New Hope in Germany?
Christopher Brauchli
A Family Affair
Jill Richardson
Profiting From Poison
Patrick Bobilin
Moving the Margins
Alison Barros
Dear White American
Celia Bottger
If Ireland Can Reject Fossil Fuels, Your Town Can Too
Ian Scott Horst
Less Voting, More Revolution
Peter Certo
Trump Snubbed McCain, Then the Media Snubbed the Rest of Us
Dan Ritzman
Drilling ANWR: One of Our Last Links to the Wild World is in Danger
Brandon Do
The World and Palestine, Palestine and the World
Chris Wright
An Updated and Improved Marxism
Daryan Rezazad
Iran and the Doomsday Machine
Patrick Bond
Africa’s Pioneering Marxist Political Economist, Samir Amin (1931-2018)
Louis Proyect
Memoir From the Underground
Binoy Kampmark
Meaningless Titles and Liveable Cities: Melbourne Loses to Vienna
Andrew Stewart
Blackkklansman: Spike Lee Delivers a Masterpiece
Elizabeth Lennard
Alan Chadwick in the Budding Grove: Story Summary for a Documentary Film
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail