Steve Bannon And His Holy War

As if to remind us that bad people can get into power when good or indifferent or aggrieved people put them there, Brunhilde Pomsel, who spent three years working for Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, died this past weekend. She was 106 years old.

In a film about her life released last year, Pomsel said,

I wouldn’t see myself as being guilty. Unless you end up blaming the entire German population for ultimately enabling that government to take control. That was all of us. Including me.

"I'm not the kind of person to resist," said Pomsel in the film "A German Life." "I wouldn't dare to. I'm one of the cowards."I know I have often wondered what I would have done if I had lived in Germany in the 1930s and early 1940s. We should remember that the resistance to Nazism started long before Hitler began to exterminate the Jews and other “inferior” people and make war in Europe. Some people saw it coming and, of course, we all would like to think we would have been dissidents like, say, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the Lutheran pastor and theologian who passionately resisted the Nazis and paid for it with his life. Part of a group of resisters whose plot to kill Adolph Hitler failed in July of 1944, Bonhoeffer was hanged in April of 1945, just two weeks before the concentration camp in which he was held was liberated by U.S. troops. Another two weeks after that, Nazi Germany was no more.

Brunhilde Pomsel addressed those who, far from the real-time dominance of Nazism in pre-war Germany, still have harsh words for Germans who didn’t do enough to stop what we can all today clearly see as unspeakable horror:

The people who today say they would have done more for those poor, persecuted Jews… I really believe that they sincerely mean it. But they wouldn’t have done it either. By then the whole country was under some kind of dome. We ourselves were all inside a huge concentration camp.

I don’t want to overstate this. I want to be careful. America under Tr-mp is no concentration camp. There is no “dome” over the country. We see massive protests against Tr-mp’s actions almost on a daily basis. The ACLU is enjoying massive fundraising to fight those actions in court. We see something that looks like unparalleled historical resistance to Trumpism. But as we can also see, Trumpism is different from anything we have witnessed in modern American history and we don’t know how this will all end. Therefore, we need to try to understand it.

No doubt you have heard by now that Tr-mp gave his chief political strategist, Steven Bannon, former head of a white nationalist-racist website called Breitbart “News,” a regular seat on the National Security Council, while reportedly downgrading the roles of the director of national intelligence and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. There has been a lot written about this already, and a lot written about Bannon, but, like so many other events surrounding the strange and dangerous times in which we are living, I want my views on the record.

We don’t have to speculate what is in the mind of Steve Bannon. We have the website he ran, which is itself enough to scare anyone who can read. But we also have an eye-opening, heart-stopping Skype appearance he made in 2014 at a conference put on by a right-wing Christian group (“think tank”) called the Dignitatis Humanae Institute. Here is how the group—which is closely tied to reactionaries within the Catholic Church, most of whom don’t at all like Pope Francis—describe their mission:

Our primary aim is to promote this vision of authentic human dignity mainly by supporting Christians in public life, assisting them in presenting effective and coherent responses to increasing efforts to silence the Christian voice in the public square.

Now, you can easily see that the premise for this mission is that Christianity—read: Western Christian Civilization, since the focus of this group is in Europe—is under siege. Christians are being attacked by secularists. They are being attacked by Muslims. They are being marginalized, “silenced.” The response to this clash of civilizations, at least for DHI, is “through the active participation of the Christian faith in the public square.” To that end, they invited Steve Bannon, who they now feature on their website, to address their 2014 conference at the Vatican.

Buzzfeed has helpfully transcribed Bannon’s remarks, which are available in an audio version and some excerpts on YouTube. I will provide long passages of his thoughts here (which I have highlighted), and ask you to keep in mind that this man may be closer to Donald Tr-mp than anyone around him. Bannon essentially sleeps in Tr-mp’s troubled mind. Here you go:

I want to talk about wealth creation and what wealth creation really can achieve and maybe take it in a slightly different direction, because I believe the world, and particularly the Judeo-Christian West, is in a crisis. And it’s really the organizing principle of how we built Breitbart News to really be a platform to bring news and information to people throughout the world. Principally in the West, but we’re expanding internationally to let people understand the depths of this crisis, and it is a crisis both of capitalism but really of the underpinnings of the Judeo-Christian West in our beliefs.

It’s ironic, I think, that we’re talking today at exactly, tomorrow, 100 years ago, at the exact moment we’re talking, the assassination took place in Sarajevo of Archduke Franz Ferdinand that led to the end of the Victorian era and the beginning of the bloodiest century in mankind’s history. Just to put it in perspective, with the Image result for steve bannon with donald trumpassassination that took place 100 years ago tomorrow in Sarajevo, the world was at total peace. There was trade, there was globalization, there was technological transfer, the High Church of England and the Catholic Church and the Christian faith was predominant throughout Europe of practicing Christians. Seven weeks later, I think there were 5 million men in uniform and within 30 days there were over a million casualties.

That war triggered a century of barbaric — unparalleled in mankind’s history — virtually 180 to 200 million people were killed in the 20th century, and I believe that, you know, hundreds of years from now when they look back, we’re children of that: We’re children of that barbarity. This will be looked at almost as a new Dark Age.

But the thing that got us out of it, the organizing principle that met this, was not just the heroism of our people — whether it was French resistance fighters, whether it was the Polish resistance fighters, or it’s the young men from Kansas City or the Midwest who stormed the beaches of Normandy, commandos in England that fought with the Royal Air Force, that fought this great war, really the Judeo-Christian West versus atheists, right? The underlying principle is an enlightened form of capitalism, that capitalism really gave us the wherewithal. It kind of organized and built the materials needed to support, whether it’s the Soviet Union, England, the United States, and eventually to take back continental Europe and to beat back a barbaric empire in the Far East.

That capitalism really generated tremendous wealth. And that wealth was really distributed among a middle class, a rising middle class, people who come from really working-class environments and created what we really call a Pax Americana. It was many, many years and decades of peace. And I believe we’ve come partly offtrack in the years since the fall of the Soviet Union and we’re starting now in the 21st century, which I believe, strongly, is a crisis both of our church, a crisis of our faith, a crisis of the West, a crisis of capitalism.

As you can see, Bannon is not a stupid man. Unlike Tr-mp, he has been educated, as well as indoctrinated. He has a philosophical-theological view of the world that goes way beyond anything Tr-mp is capable of grasping, let alone articulating. Bannon goes on in his talk to describe three distinct forms of capitalism. He negatively discusses “crony capitalism” and “Ayn Rand or the Objectivist School of libertarian capitalism,” contrasted against “the ‘enlightened capitalism’ of the Judeo-Christian West.” He worries that young people are being seduced by Randian capitalism:

And if they don’t see another alternative, it’s going to be an alternative that they gravitate to under this kind of rubric of “personal freedom.”

Bannon then mentions “an immense secularization of the West,” which he again ties to our youth:

I know we’ve talked about secularization for a long time, but if you look at younger people, especially millennials under 30, the overwhelming drive of popular culture is to absolutely secularize this rising iteration.

So, Bannon is worried about young people being attracted to a selfish form of capitalism and a secularization of culture, which secularization many find liberating, but people like Bannon find threatening.

Next, he turns to ISIS and its use of “the tools of capitalism,” including Twitter and Facebook, crowdsourcing, and so on. The intent, though, seems again to cast ISIS in a struggle against the Christian West. He says,

They have driven 50,000 Christians out of a town near the Kurdish border. We have video that we’re putting up later today on Breitbart where they’ve took 50 hostages and thrown them off a cliff in Iraq.

That war is expanding and it’s metastasizing to sub-Saharan Africa. We have Boko Haram and other groups that will eventually partner with ISIS in this global war, and it is, unfortunately, something that we’re going to have to face, and we’re going to have to face very quickly.

Now, it is important to note here, first, that these Islamic extremist groups kill many more Muslims than Christians. Bannon focused only on the awful death of Christians. Second, ISIS is not conducting anything that can be called a “global war.” Even in 2014, when Bannon spoke these words, ISIS was not a threat to the world in the sense that it constituted a force that could destroy Western Civilization. ISIS could and can strike Western civilians here and there, mostly through “inspired” cells or individuals, and they are fighting and losing against Western-trained and supervised Muslim soldiers, but they had and have no ability to build and hold a caliphate. They are losing ground every day.

But this elevated idea of “radical Islamic terrorism” is a powerful one among many Christians in the West, especially reactionaries who, like Bannon, believe several forces are at “war” with Christianity and the civilization it both created and then “saved.” All right-wing media is obsessed with this idea. You see it everywhere, particularly on Fox “News.” And Bannon’s Breitbart.com is now perhaps the number one purveyor of this view worldwide.

In any case, during his Skype talk beamed into the Vatican, Bannon went on to appeal to the moral “purpose”of legitimate “Christian” capitalism and gave the gathered Christian reactionaries a chillingly misguided view of the world:

So I think the discussion of, should we put a cap on wealth creation and distribution? It’s something that should be at the heart of every Christian that is a capitalist — “What is the purpose of whatever I’m doing with this wealth? What is the purpose of what I’m doing with the ability that God has given us, that divine providence has given us to actually be a creator of jobs and a creator of wealth?”

I think it really behooves all of us to really take a hard look and make sure that we are reinvesting that back into positive things. But also to make sure that we understand that we’re at the very beginning stages of a global conflict, and if we do not bind together as partners with others in other countries that this conflict is only going to metastasize.

They have a Twitter account up today, ISIS does, about turning the United States into a “river of blood” if it comes in and tries to defend the city of Baghdad. And trust me, that is going to come to Europe. That is going to come to Central Europe, it’s going to come to Western Europe, it’s going to come to the United Kingdom. And so I think we are in a crisis of the underpinnings of capitalism, and on top of that we’re now, I believe, at the beginning stages of a global war against Islamic fascism.

There’s that term “global war” again. That is how these people see the world. There is a cosmic struggle going on between the forces of good—Christianity and the capitalist civilization it built in Europe and the U.S.—and the forces of evil—secularization and “Islamic fascism,” which as we now know with Tr-mp’s latest Executive Order on travel restrictions, has essentially been reduced to simply Islam.

Bannon’s global war involves American teapartiers, as well as teapartiers in Europe, who are, he says, on the side of “middle-class and working-class people.” This is where the idea of populism is married to extremist Christianity. This is the hook that helped Tr-mp pull in a crucial number of working-class voters in crucial places in November. Bannon calls it a “center-right revolt” that “is really a global revolt.” He says the 2007-2008 financial crisis and the government’s response to it fueled the rise of the tea party. He says the “bailouts in 2008 were wrong.” In so many ways on this subject, Bannon sounds like Bernie Sanders. Like here:

So you can understand why middle-class people having a tough go of it making $50 or $60 thousand a year and see their taxes go up, and they see that their taxes are going to pay for government sponsored bailouts, what you’ve created is really a free option. You say to this investment banking, create a free option for bad behavior. In otherwise all the upside goes to the hedge funds and the investment bank, and to the crony capitalist with stock increases and bonus increases. And their downside is limited, because middle-class people are going to come and bail them out with tax dollars.

And that’s what I think is fueling this populist revolt. Whether that revolt is in the Midlands of England, or whether it’s in Middle America. And I think people are fed up with it.

You can see how this message, which Tr-mp consistently voiced after Bannon came on board to provide some campaign message discipline, managed to bring a electorally sufficient number of Bernie supporters and union workers Tr-mp’s way. But this, again, is a troubling marriage of legitimate economic concerns about crony capitalism and Randian selfishness with a very dangerous narrative about Christianity involved in a holy war, particularly with Islam, which has some 1.6 billion adherents.

Bannon responded to a questioner at the event who asked what was “the major threat today, to the Judeo-Christian Civilization?” Bannon mentioned how “secularism has sapped the strength of the Judeo-Christian West to defend its ideals,” but then quickly pivoted to the real target:

But I strongly believe that whatever the causes of the current drive to the caliphate was — and we can debate them, and people can try to deconstruct them — we have to face a very unpleasant fact. And that unpleasant fact is that there is a major war brewing, a war that’s already global. It’s going global in scale, and today’s technology, today’s media, today’s access to weapons of mass destruction, it’s going to lead to a global conflict that I believe has to be confronted today. Every day that we refuse to look at this as what it is, and the scale of it, and really the viciousness of it, will be a day where you will rue that we didn’t act [unintelligible].

You can see that Bannon’s mindset—and he is absolutely convinced he is right—is that there is, already, an absolute clash of religions that will end in a real “global war” (again that term). If you need more convincing on how Donald Tr-mp’s closest adviser sees the world, and how the events around the world are dangerously and frighteningly cast as a holy war of honor, he ended his part of the discussion with an answer to another questioner, which I will present in full:

Questioner: One of my questions has to do with how the West should be responding to radical Islam. How, specifically, should we as the West respond to jihadism without losing our own soul? Because we can win the war and lose ourselves at the same time. How should the West respond to radical Islam and not lose itself in the process?

Bannon: From a perspective — this may be a little more militant than others. I think definitely you’re going to need an aspect that is [unintelligible]. I believe you should take a very, very, very aggressive stance against radical Islam. And I realize there are other aspects that are not as militant and not as aggressive and that’s fine.

If you look back at the long history of the Judeo-Christian West struggle against Islam, I believe that our forefathers kept their stance, and I think they did the right thing. I think they kept it out of the world, whether it was at Vienna, or Tours, or other places… It bequeathed to use the great institution that is the church of the West.

And I would ask everybody in the audience today, because you really are the movers and drivers and shakers and thought leaders in the Catholic Church today, is to think, when people 500 years from now are going to think about today, think about the actions you’ve taken — and I believe everyone associated with the church and associated with the Judeo-Christian West that believes in the underpinnings of that and believes in the precepts of that and want to see that bequeathed to other generations down the road as it was bequeathed to us, particularly as you’re in a city like Rome, and in a place like the Vatican, see what’s been bequeathed to us — ask yourself, 500 years from today, what are they going to say about me? What are they going to say about what I did at the beginning stages of this crisis?

Because it is a crisis, and it’s not going away. You don’t have to take my word for it. All you have to do is read the news every day, see what’s coming up, see what they’re putting on Twitter, what they’re putting on Facebook, see what’s on CNN, what’s on BBC. See what’s happening, and you will see we’re in a war of immense proportions. It’s very easy to play to our baser instincts, and we can’t do that. But our forefathers didn’t do it either. And they were able to stave this off, and they were able to defeat it, and they were able to bequeath to us a church and a civilization that really is the flower of mankind, so I think it’s incumbent on all of us to do what I call a gut check, to really think about what our role is in this battle that’s before us.

Wow.

Brunhilde Pomsel died this weekend. The Nazism she served died in 1945. One of the filmmakers who told her story spoke to CNN about meeting with her on her 106th birthday just weeks ago:

She was just an old woman, very weak. But she was still very interested in international politics. She hoped that her life story would be a warning to present and future generations about the dangers of right-wing extremism.

Let me be clear about this: Trumpism is right-wing extremism, even if it is divorced from Nazism or paleo-fascism or racism. It is right-wing extremism, even if it is married to legitimate concerns about the exploitation of the working class through crony capitalism or Randian economics. There is more than one feature to Trumpism’s ideology, just as Hitler’s Nazi Party featured prominently both German nationalism and antisemitism.

What does link these two ideologies, though, is the idea of cultural superiority and the idea that such superiority is being lost. In Hitler’s case, it was the superiority of the Aryan “master race” and the culture he was trying to restore to greatness, no matter the cost. In the case of Trumpism, as Steve Bannon represents it, the Christian West is under attack, its existence is gravely threatened, and it must be defended or else. Remember his description of what he is defending: “a church and a civilization that really is the flower of mankind.”

I happen to believe that what we call Western Civilization, as it has developed over time, is the best way to achieve the greatest amount of well-being for mankind. I don’t think there’s much doubt about that, given what we have seen throughout history. And whatever role Christianity played in its rise, the values that make our civilization the best of all the alternatives have nothing to do with the church, or the Church. If Western Civilization is a flower, it is not a Christian flower. It is not a Jewish or Islamic flower. We really shouldn’t consider it a Western flower. If it is truly valuable as a way to increase well-being in the world, rather than a mechanism to spread Christianity, it has to be truly “the flower of mankind.” All mankind, East and West.

And if we don’t push back on the view that Christian civilization is at war with the rest of the world, what we now call the West will, indeed, be at war with the rest of the world. Ironically, if Western Civilization is lost, it will be lost not because a small group of Islamic psychopaths destroyed it, but because Christian warriors pledging to defend it overreacted to a relatively small threat and betrayed its most essential values.

 

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10 Comments

  1. Let’s face it. Every time Christianity has been married to the state it has been manipulated to
    further the power of the few over the many and dramatically increase the wealth of that few. Its message is always some bastardized thing that has nothing to do with the Sermon on the Mount or love thy neighbor. Lots of words impress people unwilling to read them — if those words promise to persecute “the other”. Bannon’s cocain-induced babble is enough justification for those driven by and fed with fear. It makes as much sense as “devout” Christians like Paul Ryan and David Brat interpreting their faith through the filter of the writings of angry atheist, Ayn Rand. It doesn’t make sense — but it does make rabid-if-ignorant followers. We cannot allow ourselves to grow weary — most of the Democrats in Congress already are — because these people will hammer us with lie after lie. If we quit resisting we’re all screwed.

    Like

  2. Anonymous

     /  January 31, 2017

    Wow, what an essay! The similarities of our current situation are frightening. The appointment of Bannon, a racist propagandist, to the National Security Council is what Susan Rice tweeted, “This is stone cold crazy. After a week of crazy.”

    Like

  3. ansonburlingame

     /  January 31, 2017

    Duane,

    Now this is an essay (blog) upon which constructive comments can be offered. Let’s just concentrate on Bannon’s views, not the politics of “Trumpism”, Nazi Germany, etc., if possible.

    I strongly encourage you or “yours” to read The Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now by Ayanna Hirsi Ali. She views a “global” conflict today between a SECULAR West and “Medina Muslims”. She does not use Christianity as the basis for the conflict. Rather she represents how secular western values (she calls it modernity) conflict so strongly with the 7th Century Arab culture imposed thru the Koran.

    You are correct noting that Bannon is not a stupid man. Neither is Ali a stupid woman. Both see a “global conflict” but in different terms, one secular and the other Christian, but so what. It is the conflict itself that becomes the question. Think of it as “Modernity” (Ali’s term) vs Islam in a cultural sense, not a religious one.

    I have not done any research into Bannon or his history. Of course all I read now is liberal rants against him. But the excerpts you present above sound like something to consider IF you exclude his religious tact and instead represent his views in more of a geopolitical nature, a conflict of ideas along the lines of “communism vs. …….” as seen during the Cold War.

    IF there is such a conflict, and I believe there is, then the real question is what to do about it to ensure that “modernity” prevails against a virulent form of Islam that is growing larger and larger (if you believe Ali).

    Try not to think of this as American “right vs left”, liberal vs conservative American politics. Instead put it in a geopolitical context. After doing that I would hope a discussion of what “we” (modernity) should do against, yes, radical Islamic extremism (“Medina Muslims).

    Anson

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    • Anson,

      First, you cannot separate Bannon’s views from Trumpism. Most of his views define it, absent the obvious fondness for grifting displayed by Agent Orange. At the heart of what I loosely call the “intellectual” underpinnings of Trumpism is the religious component. It is religious fanaticism and zealotry of a kind that is absolutely frightening. The only restraining force upon it—what keeps Trumpism from becoming Christian jihadism—is, ironically, the secularization of the West that they apparently abhor.

      Second, I have followed very closely the arguments Ali makes about Islam and the West’s posture toward it. I have followed for years now the arguments from people like Sam Harris towards those on the left and right who, according to him, are both enemies of the values that make Western Civilization worth defending. Both Harris and Ali and others like them approach this issue from a secular point of view, no doubt. And I think as far as that analysis goes, they are on the right side: the values we treasure from our inheritance as Westerners are secularism, a respect for science, and a profound respect for free thought and speech. Do those values bother the hell out of Islamists? Of course they do. Part of the hatred in Islam that is directed toward us is connected to those Western values. But, dammit, so is part of the resistance to Islamist extremism. Bannon and his friends are examples of that.

      If you read the entire transcript of Bannon’s remarks, you will find in there some criticism of Vladimir Putin’s tactics. But you will also find some cheerleading for the “traditional” values that Putin is credited with promoting. That is a common theme among many of the right-wing Catholics who support Tr-mp and Trumpism, people like Bannon and, say, Pat Buchanan. Putin may be a sonofabitch, but he’s a sonofabitch who respects the Christian West.

      I guess my problem with people like Ali and Harris comes down to this. They spend a disproportionate amount of time fighting with people on the left who, stupidly, defend nearly every tenet of Islam or nearly every utterance of an Islamic nut or who oppose any action to fight Islamist terrorism. The problem, though, is that I don’t think there are that many leftists out there who defend Islamic extremism. The ones who do have big mouths and they get a lot of exposure. But I just don’t think their numbers are that large. I know there aren’t as many of them as there are Bannon types who represent an existential threat to the values of Western Civilization in a way no jihadist could ever represent. The Bannons are working from inside, Anson. That’s what makes them more dangerous. And sometimes, if you read people like Sam Harris (with whom I am much more familiar), you would think the biggest enemy we face in the world is Reza Aslan or Glenn Greenwald (as reprehensible as that asshole is).  Often, I can’t tell the difference, on the topic of Islamist terrorism, between a stupid talk show host like Sean Hannity and a neuroscientist/philosopher like Sam Harris.

      Harris has lately been saying nice things about right-wing nut jobs because they, according to him, understand the threat we face from Islam more than liberals do. Well, I think Harris spends too much time engaging the extreme left and has a skewed view of what most liberals, like me, really believe. Sure, there are nuts on the left who don’t get the danger of Islamic fundamentalism, particularly in its violent form. But most of us do, even if we don’t see it as an existential threat to the West at this point. The violent jihadists can be contained, if we don’t make the mistake of doing stupid things like Muslim bans that will only strengthen their recruiting efforts. If we want to defeat the violent extremists, we cannot alienate the non-violent ones, not to mention the moderates and liberals who are also part of Islam.

      What I am saying is that Trumpism—a worldwide phenomenon—is the biggest threat to the West, if we mean a secular, scientific, free-thought West. Jihadists have no chance against us, in terms of attacking us from the outside. But they can cause us to overreact, abandon our values, and ruin us from within by using the passions and zealotry of Christian reactionaries like Steve Bannon and company.

      Duane

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  4. Anonymous

     /  January 31, 2017

    Anson,

    I’m surprised that a former military officer has no problem with Bannon’s admission to the National Security Council. The man may be intelligent, but cannot offer what those demoted, the Director of National Intelligence or the Chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff, provide to the principal’s committee.

    Hell, even Josh Bolten, Bush 43’s chief of staff, didn’t allow Rove to sit in on these meetings, much less advise, even if he valued his opinion. Bolten stated, “But the president also knew that the signal he wanted to send to the rest of his administration, the signal he wanted to send to the public, and the signal he especially wanted to send to the military, is that, ‘The decisions I’m making that involve life and death for the people in uniform will not be tainted by any political decisions,’ ” Bolten remembered.

    In Trump’s Saturday memorandum, National Intelligence or Joints Chiefs will no longer attend principals meetings of the NSC unless asked. Did this propagandist Bannon consult with other agencies prior to the ridiculous immigration order over the weekend. Hell, no. Welcome to what the Republicans have unleashed on this country.

    Like

    • Trump’s band of thugs has no concern about the danger into which his bullies might place the US military. Storm trooping is not the same as standard soldiering. It will take a little time to cultivate an effective SS, worthy of safety the Chancellor’s respect. I think Anson is banking his military background might gather him a spot as some sort of field marshal — or, since he is verbose and can spell, a position in the ministry of propaganda.
      I’ve never in my life watched a nightmare take off with such rabid rapidity. The fools (every damned person who voted for Trump) are doubling down. Too many Dems in Congress are already getting squishy.
      Bannon is also verbose. He says the same thing over and over in a tedious drone. Is he really a great mind to be respected? He is like the late Scalia who was often described by those on the right as a “towering Intellect.” In reality, Scalia was a 3rd rate intellect — (go read some of his musings — JESUS) and a 2nd rate, bought-and-paid-for judge. Bannon babbles. He consumes time and space. He’s smarter than the Chancellor, but who isn’t?
      Trump will destroy anyone who doesn’t agree with him — who doesn’t drop to their knees in front of his tiny zipper. Just ask Sally Yates.
      We’re still operating inside of institutions (Congress, SCOTUS) to take back part of the country in a couple of years. Do you honestly think either will exist bearing any resemblance to how they’ve worked or what they’ve been composed of in the past? In even 6 months?
      And his GOP enablers are tone deaf to the freedoms he’s carving up on daily basis — I guess because they’re off getting fitted for armbands and jack boots. What size did you say you were, Anson?

      Like

  5. ansonburlingame

     /  February 1, 2017

    Anonymous,

    My comment was limited strictly to a discussion as to whether Bannon and Ali are correct, or not, in agreeing there is in fact a “global conflict”. I also suggested Ali is more accurate, a secular conflict (modernity) instead of Bannon’s characterization of same as “Christian”. I wrote NOTHING about Bannon’s membership on NSC, etc., etc.

    IF folks herein, liberals, just scan her book you will find 5 specific themes she recommends as the basis for her “Reformation” of Islam. Martin Luther had 95 of them tacked to a door and look what happened over time. Take off the “liberal vs. conservative” political lenses, read the 5 themes in her book (page 24) and see if they make sense in terms of “Modernity” is my only suggestion, as a civilian, not a former military man.

    Anson

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    • Anonymous

       /  February 1, 2017

      Anson,

      The essay is about Bannon and his stated opinion that “the Judeo-Christian West” is indeed under assault by secularism. WTF!, not under assault by its own hypocrisy or science? Trump’s closest confidant and member of the NSC has gone even further by stating we must take a very, very, very aggressive stance against such while noting there are other aspects (Muslims) that not as militant and not as aggressive and that’s fine. Bannon CRAVES a holy war as Duane suggests.

      I agree that secularism or modernity should prevail as Ali and yourself suggests, but that is not the issue. The issue is a “Religious” propagandist, very similar to past history has effectively called for a holy war against “radical” Islam, although it is impossible to determine on the battlefield whether you confront the non-aggressive, non-militant Muslims described as fine or a radical. Ali’s themes will never cross Trump or is it Bannon’s desk, and unless it comes with a mirror, it will never be lifted.

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