Trump’s Rasputin

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Whatever you’ve heard about the threat Steve Bannon poses to society has probably been an understatement.

But let’s not get caught up in any allegations of “alternative facts” about President Trump’s right hand man. Instead, courtesy of Sydney funds manager Mike Mangan of 2MG Asset Management, below is what Bannon himself has been saying. Mangan pens a lively newsletter for clients. He is himself a former Australian Army officer and rather hawkish about China, but here’s what he sent his clients on Monday:

QUOTE(S) OF THE WEEK
: The political chaos of the last fortnight meant there was sparse commentary about one of Trump’s most significant appointments. He elevated chief political strategist Steve Bannon, to become a f/t member of the highest defence body in the US – the National Security Council. Bannon was the brains behind Trump’s Presidential victory and most of the chaos of the last fortnight. He is a former Goldies banker, film financier and former executive Chairman of a far-right website:

“Lenin wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal, too. I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment…we’re in a war. We’re clearly going into, I think, a major shooting war in the Middle East again.” Steve Bannon, November 2013.

“We’re at the very beginning stages of a very brutal and bloody conflict. This new barbarity that’s starting, that will completely eradicate everything that we’ve been bequeathed over the last 2,000, 2,500 years… We have to face a very unpleasant fact: … there is a major war brewing, a war that’s already global…When people 500 years from now are going to think about today, think about the actions you’ve taken … ask yourself, 500 years from today, what are they going to say about me? ” Steve Bannon, 2014.

“You have an expansionist Islam and you have an expansionist China. Right? They are motivated. They’re arrogant. They’re on the march. And they think the Judeo-Christian west is on the retreat” Steve Bannon February 2016

“We’re going to war in the South China Sea in five to ten years. There’s no doubt about that. They’re taking their sandbars and making basically stationary aircraft carriers and putting missiles on those. They come here to the United States in front of our face …and say it’s an ancient territorial sea.” Steve Bannon March 2016

“Steve is a strong militarist, he’s in love with war—it’s almost poetry to him… He’s studied it down through the ages, from Greece, through Rome… every battle, every war… Never back down, never apologize, never show weakness… He lives in a world where it’s always high noon at the OK Corral” Bannon’s long time Hollywood writing partner and former close friend, Julia Jones October 2016

Bannon spent 7 years in the US navy. 30-40 years ago he was a Surface Warfare Officer on a US destroyer. A military history tragic, two of his favourite books are Sun Tzu’s ‘The Art of War’, and the ‘Gita’. The ‘Gita’ is a 700-verse Hindu script containing a dialogue between Prince Arjuna and his guide/charioteer, Lord Krishna. Prince Arjuna is counselled by Krishna to fulfil his warrior duty and fight a righteous war to establish ‘Dharma’.
Combine that zealotry with Bannon’s self belief as a brilliant military strategist, and you have the recipe for ‘BIG Trouble’. Bannon has intensely studied the military victories of Rome’s Marcus Aurelius and Julius Caesar, the Peloponnesian War (Athens v Sparta) and Vietnam’s General Giap (mastermind behind Vietnam’s 1950-75 victory over France/US). All of which explains at least three things: Bannon’s three failed marriages, no kids, and the last fortnight.

CORRECTION: Mike Mangan has one thing incorrct – Steve Bannon does have children, three daughters: http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/11/yes-steve-bannon-asked-why-a-school-had-many-hanukkah-books.html

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