Last week started off relatively normal (or, as “normal” as any week of the Trump Presidency can be): people were upset about Pepsi’s new commercial, which capitalized on activism, political turmoil and good looking extra’s. And North Korea was protesting the incoming meeting between Trump and Chinese President Xi JinPing.
But on Tuesday the 4th, Syrian forces launched a gruesome chemical attack on the city of Homs. Syrian hospitals were flooded with civilians vomiting uncontrollably, women, children, men, and elderly suffering, incapable of breathing. It is believed that the chemical agent Sarin was used in the attack, which violates international laws. It is forbidden by the UN to use Sarin gas and other chemical weapons in warfare. This caused a stir all around the world – and it rattled the White House.
Crisis like this chemical attack in Syria require a lot of work and input from America’s National Security Council (NSC). Usually the NSC is reserved for generals, advisors and other high ranking officials. But in Trump’s NSC, Steve Bannon holds a seat – one of the highest and most powerful positions in the country – or, held a seat, that is…
The very next day after the chemical attack in Syria, Bannon was stripped of his seat on the National Security Administration. A move that reportedly infuriated Bannon, who has had free reign to get and do whatever he wants within Trump’s White House up until this point.
What happened? Why did Trump’s closest advisor and assistant get ousted from the seat King Donny signed an executive order to procure him? There is a lot of speculation that this is a sign that Trump’s son in law, Jared Kushner, is winning a subversive power struggle raging within the White House. It is no secret that Kushner and Bannon have clashed, and Bannon has even been reported to call Kushner names behind his back, like “cuck” and “globalist”. Kushner, Ivanka Trump’s husband, is a 36 year old real-estate investor who’s been promoted to work in the west wing as the White House’s “Innovation Director”, a position which serves to integrate business systems into the government. His plutocratic ideology’s are at odds with Bannon’s Nationalistic one’s. This move could be a sign that Trump is steering his administration away from Bannon’s white nationalist agenda, towards Kushner’s plutocratic/corporatocracy plan.
But there is also another theory, and it really garbles my sense of the Trump administration. Perhaps, in the face of a real humanitarian crisis that puts America at odds with, not only Syria, but Russia (who backs the Assad regime), perhaps in the face of a real international problem the Trump administration actually had a moment of sense and realized that they need the National Security Council to be unobstructed by people with no experience in politics or international policy. Perhaps they realized the danger of tainting America’s highest security assembly with Bannon’s white nationalist agenda, and removed him for the greater good. The timing of Bannon’s dismissal from the NSC is just too close to the chemical attacks in Syria not to be related to them. And if the Trump administration did in fact take the logical course of action here, I guarantee you it wasn’t Donald’s idea. He’s not capable of this kind of high level reasoning – this idea would have come from Rex Tillerson and General H.R. McMaster. They probably went to Trump with their proposal as soon as they caught wind of the Syrian chemical attack, and Trump Okayed it.
I’m not saying that the Kushner/Bannon beef didn’t have something to do with this. It may have greatly contributed to Trump’s compliance in having Bannon removed. Trump probably feels exceptionally crappy about having to go back on his appointment of Bannon to the NSC, which is likely why the White House made no official statement of Bannon’s demotion. Trump wanted it to go over quietly because he’s embarrassed.
But here’s the kicker: in the long run, this move is going to look good for Donald Trump. Which really tears me up. Because as much as I want to loathe Trump and everyone associated with his administration, I have to acknowledge when they do something right (which is so exceptionally rare).
Anyway, it ended up being a very raucous, turbulent week for the White House and the world at large. And in the end, the administration decided to launch missiles against the Syrian airbase which reportedly launched the chemical weapons. Which is a slap in the face to the people of Syria – like saying, “we won’t take your refugees, but we’ll bomb your country to punish your country for bombing your country”… Trump had the missiles launched during his meeting with the Chinese President Xi Jinping as they and the two respective first ladies dined on pan-seared Dover sole and New York Strips. Nothing like ordering death from above over a gourmet meal…
– Juan Wilder
Editor in Chief, Greenville Gazette