Steve Bannon’s departure from the White House may not be entirely cheer-worthy. Many on the left were overjoyed when news broke that Trump fired Bannon. Steve Bannon, of course, is an odious character on many issues. On important social issues, Bannon is practically a Neo-Nazi.
When it comes to foreign policy, however, Bannon’s firing follows a troubling trend in Trump’s administration. For all his flaws, Bannon was an anti-neocon, and now Trump is increasingly taking advice from the same people as George W. Bush.
In no way is Steve Bannon a progressive. He is surely a white-nationalist, or strongly leans in that direction. He believes in the creation of an all-white “ethno-state”, however ridiculous that would be. Bannon doesn’t believe that United States should allow any immigrants in, even for skilled work. These are terrible right-wing positions, and any leftist worth his or her salt should reject these views. Having said all of this, Bannon was reasonable on some issues of foreign policy.
Bannon is a non-interventionist, for the most part. While he holds racist social views, he does not subscribe to the American Exceptionalist model of foreign policy. He is against US intervention in Syria, Libya, and Iraq for example. Bannon, in a recent interview, even called Trump’s bluster on North Korea. He stated plainly that there was nothing the US could do militarily without costing millions of lives. Bannon is correct, of course, on those issues.
It’s a disgusting trade-off. Bannon’s racist views will no longer be present in the White House, yet at a terrible cost. Trump has become increasingly interventionist on the world stage. Trump campaigned against interventionism in 2016. Slowly, but surely, the neocon interventionists have gained Trump’s favor. Bannon opposed these people, perhaps being the strongest voice in opposition to them.
Regardless of the reasons for Steve Bannon being fired, his departure solidifies the neocon takeover. The same people who brought us the Iraq War are back in charge. While the neocons may not be overt racists, we must not forget their horrible foreign policy views.
Neocons, under George W. Bush, brought us two disastrous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. These wars were followed by the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Their return to the White House is nothing to celebrate.
Trump is breaking the one campaign promise that people on the left agreed with him on. Instead of tamping down our military interventions, Trump is ramping them up. From Syria, Libya, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, North Korea, to potentially Venezuela, the neocon wet-dream is coming into place. Trump has proved himself to be their useful idiot. We can expect more, rather than less, military blunders in the world.
Recently, Trump announced his new plan to expand the war in Afghanistan. After he made public statements for years calling the war wasteful, he wants to send more troops and speaks of “winning.” The US has been in Afghanistan since 2001. If we haven’t achieved “victory” by now then we never will.
We still have no clue what victory means in Afghanistan. It’s not surprising Trump unveiled this foreign policy flip after firing the staunchest anti-interventionist in his circle (Bannon).
Steve Bannon’s firing could mean more wars ahead. We cannot be lite about this. The neocons are just as terrifying as anyone from the alt-right. Neocons may not wear their prejudices on their sleeve, but they have all the bigotry plus a thirst for endless warfare.
Trump has all but abandoned non-interventionism. Firing Steve Bannon was the final nail. Bannon’s now back at Breitbart, his head perhaps hanging low. He had to admit to himself and his followers that the Trump they voted for is dead and gone. As Jimmy Dore has said before, no matter what party you vote for, you can’t vote against less war.