As chaos consumed American airports and headlines over the weekend, the Trump Administration quietly made a major reshuffle behind the scenes. The central figure in both stories was Steve Bannon, the former editor of the proto-fascist Breitbart News and President Trump’s chief advisor. Bannon told the Department of Homeland Security to ignore court orders, causing further confusion; then he assumed a top position on the National Security Council.
Lawyers, civil rights groups, judges, members of congress, diplomats, and foreign leaders widely condemned Trump’s travel ban. It barred refugees, green card holders and non-citizen permanent residents from entering the US if they were from any of seven majority-Muslim nations: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Sudan and Yemen. Since 2001, exactly nobody has been killed on US soil by terrorists born in any of those countries. All of those countries, however, have been victims of US intervention and destabilization.
Immediate resistance to the ban clogged airports and dominated headlines. And while that played out, Steve Bannon assumed an unusual degree of power. His replacement of key figures on the NSC was an unprecedented move in modern political history. Advisors never hold formal, top-level national security positions. Several commentators viewed the chaos from Trump’s executive orders as intentional, perhaps a distraction from Bannon’s ascension and a “trial balloon for a coup d’état.”
Knowing what we do about Bannon, these suspicions are not unfounded. Where Trump has no ideological commitments beyond wealth and ego, Bannon is the visionary. Under his leadership, Breitbart never published a story that couldn’t be given an anti-immigrant, anti-liberal, or anti-environmentalist spin. It provided a sympathetic tone to the alt-right and became a forum for its ragtag membership of neo-Nazis, woman haters and internet trolls. These ghouls were mobilized by the Trump campaign and Bannon’s barely concealed contempt for nonwhites.
What emerges quite clearly in all the portraits of Bannon is a mean-spirited provocateur, not unlike Trump himself. In an interview with the New York Times, Bannon asked specifically to be quoted as saying the media should “keep its mouth shut.” Before joining his campaign, Bannon interviewed Trump and when Trump said talented immigrants are good for the economy, Bannon protested the number of Asian CEOs in Silicon Valley and said, “A country’s more than an economy. We’re a civic society.”
So Bannon doesn’t care much for nonwhite immigrants – even documented, intelligent, talented ones. According to divorce documents filed by his ex-wife, he’s also no fan of Jews. This may explain why there was no mention of them in Trump’s Holocaust Memorial Day statement. Either that or, as the Trump regime ratchets up its anti-Muslim rhetoric, they’d rather downplay the history of fascist regimes targeting minorities. Already, though, Muslims have suffered in the hostile climate provoked by Bannon.
After the travel ban was announced, a mosque in Victoria, Texas was burned. Six Muslims were murdered in Quebec by a white nationalist Trump supporter. Bizarrely, the attack was used by the Trump Administration as evidence of the necessity for an immigration ban. Meanwhile former CIA director Michael Hayden argued that the ban doesn’t protect Americans. It only fuels the message of terror groups like ISIS who recruit by preaching about global religious conflict.
If anyone in Trump’s White House wants to give ISIS the global religious conflict they’re after, it’s Bannon. He began preparations for the apocalypse as early as the 1990s, when he was involved in the Biosphere 2 project. At that time he worried about whether mankind could ride out climate change in a closed system. In a 2014 speech to a conservative religious group, Bannon warned, “There is a major war brewing [against jihadist Islamic fascism], a war that’s already global.”
Current ISIS membership is believed to stand at around 30,000. If every one of them poured over the Mexican border at once, the threat could be dealt with swiftly. But the cruel actions of Bannon and the Trump Administration – they have already launched an operation that killed an 8-year-old American girl in Yemen – are intended to foster unrest and form new terrorists. That way friends of Trump’s, like Blackwater founder Eric Prince, will be guaranteed a long-term, profitable business.
Bannon may believe his actions address a real threat, but there is equally ample evidence that he wants to push human civilization to total collapse. Whether he’s an extreme fundamentalist, a sociopathic nihilist, or both, his lunacy in the ear of a paranoid and dimwitted president makes him the most dangerous man alive. A true-life super villain is now all but in charge of nukes, surveillance, the assassination program, and history’s deadliest military.