August 18th, 2017

Buh-bye Bannon

In no surprise whatsoever, Steve Bannon has been relieved of his White House duties:

President Donald Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon has been fired, two White House officials told CNN Friday.

A source told CNN that Bannon was given the option to resign but was forced out. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed Bannon’s departure but did not say whether he was fired or resigned.

“White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Steve Bannon have mutually agreed today would be Steve’s last day. We are grateful for his service and wish him the best,” Sanders said in a statement.

Bannon’s tenure as a Trump advisor, in one position or another, lasted a year plus a day. I first wrote about his appointment as campaign advisor here, and reading it just now reminds me that prior to becoming “chief executive” (whatever that may be) of the Trump campaign he was the head of Breitbart, which was highly instrumental in popularizing and promoting Trump’s candidacy. I noted then:

Steve Bannon used to work for Goldman Sachs, but unlike Trump’s crusade against Heidi Cruz, I guess such a resume is okay with Trump if it’s possessed by an ally of his.

Bannon was appointed during a time when Trump’s campaign wasn’t doing so well, and he was hired along with Kellyanne Conway. They helped turn it around, or something helped turn it around, but Bannon was always a controversial figure to say the least. He became tainted, rightly or wrongly (I believe wrongly), as a racist and even a white supremacist, but even before Charlottesville it was long rumored he had to go. I wrote about that last April in a post the entire text of which goes like this:

One thing I can say about Trump…

…is that he’s pretty good at firing people whose performance he finds wanting.

So, is Bannon in disfavor and possibly on the way out?

I haven’t a clue. But it wouldn’t break my heart if it were to happen.

Today’s reports contain various reasons for Bannon’s firing. Who knows which are true, if any? But the bottom line seems to be that Bannon rubbed a great many people in the Trump camp the wrong way and he racked up many enemies, until something or a series of somethings made Trump turn on him, too.

Was it this?:

[Trump] was furious with his chief strategist after he was quoted in an interview with the American Prospect contradicting him on North Korea and asserting that he was able to make personnel changes at the State Department.

In other words, Bannon may have gotten too big for his britches. I think it also highly likely that the appointment of John Kelly had something to do with Bannon’s departure.

So far, I’m liking Kelly.

57 Responses to “Buh-bye Bannon”

  1. expat Says:

    Trump is at Camp David today discussing the Afghanistan strategy with Defense and State people. Perhaps they didn’t want Bannon to do another interview contradicting them. That could explain the timing. Good riddance.

  2. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Now that McMaster has forced out; Ezra Cohen-Watnick, the senior director for intelligence on the National Security Council, Derek Harvey, director for the Middle East, and Rich Higgins, who served as director for strategic planning and now Bannon… Gorka and I presume Miller are the only highly placed Trump administration officials that hold the view that Islam itself is the source of Islamic terrorism. That Islam’s war against the West consists of migratory jihad, stealth jihad and violent jihad.

    I give Gorka and Miller another month at best. McMaster, Mattis, Tillerson and yes, Kelly do not want Trump to receive any advice contrary to theirs. Trump is now surrounded at the highest level with RINO/Globalists.

    Given Kelly’s support of McMaster, friendship with Mattis and Tillerson’s actions, it’s safe to say that they are all advising Trump to follow the path that Clinton, Bush and Obama laid down. I.E. incremental surrender to Islam, China, Russia and the West’s Marxist Left.

    Under that advice, N. Korea will attain nuclear ICBM capability. Iran will gain nuclear ICBM capability. America will continue to drift to the left and China will continue its military buildup and theft of US technology.

    But not to worry, despite our society’s rejection of him, God is on America’s side and there’s plenty of time to turn it all around.

    Shakespeare’s “lord, what fools these mortals be” has never had better proof of its veracity.

  3. ConceptJunkie Says:

    “But not to worry, despite our society’s rejection of him, God is on America’s side and there’s plenty of time to turn it all around.”

    I wouldn’t be so sure. He’s definitely not on the side of the Muslims, but why would He choose to favor a country that has committed a jihad of its own against some 60 million of its unborn?

  4. Alan F Says:

    What I just heard, by talk-show host Charles Freedman, on his KSCO radio slot in Santa Cruz, is that Bannon said, in that interview with The American Prospect, that there is no military solution to the North Korea crisis. Freedman said, and I agree, that that was an intolerable statement as Trump tries to negotiate tough with NoKo. Even if the Trump administration believes that, it is self defeating to publicly acknowledge that. It could be that that was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I think even if Bannon had not made that reckless statement, just seeking out the interview with The American Prospect is intolerable. I admire Trump’s quick decision. Most politicians would stumble around a while at the best.

  5. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    ConceptJunkie,

    I said that with utter sarcasm. Forgive my lack of clarity.

    Alan F,

    Yes, that probably was definitive. I suspect that Bannon did it intentionally. A shot across the bow so to speak, not to Trump per se but to the McMaster cadre. Bannon was simply telling the truth, there is no military solution to the North Korean crisis because a preemptive use of the military is politically unacceptable. After all, they haven’t nuked us or attacked the South so what can we do?

    I’d be incredulous if Kim doesn’t realize it either, so Trump ‘talking tough’ is good for a laugh. The message this administration has just sent is that as long as the Norks don’t attack the US or our allies… he can keep pursuing his nuclear ICBM arsenal.

    The advice Trump got was essentially Susan Rice’s, that “We can, if we must, tolerate nuclear weapons in North Korea.” I’d also bet good money that Trump will get the same advice when Iran goes nuclear.

  6. n.n Says:

    Maybe. CNN, WaPo, NYT, The Enquirer et al are infamous for quotes that do not quote and other fabrications.

  7. Ann Says:

    Very glad he’s gone. I’ll always remember him as the guy who gave us the vile Milo Yiannopoulos.

  8. vanderleun Says:

    “We’ll see.”

  9. J.J. Says:

    Heard that Bannon tendered his resignation on 8/7.
    Trump did not immediately accept it. I think Bannon did the interview to force the issue.

    It’s said that Bannon is returning to Breitbart where he will go on the offense against the President’s enemies in the MSM and Democrat party. He is gone, but his loyalties are still with Trump.

    As noted, Gorka, Miller, and Kelly Ann Conway are the only ones left from the campaign who are on board with the populist theme. Trump is slowly being cutoff from that policy advice.

  10. Sean Says:

    Bannon made Trump someone I could get behind. I didn’t expect him to last the president’s entire time in office (no one does) but he was the anchor that kept Trump moored in the politics of the people who elected him. Now the anchor’s been pulled and Trump’s free to drift in whatever direction he likes (or rather, whatever direction Kelly and McMaster like).

    In any case, glad to have Bannon back at Breitbart, maybe he can do more damage there. I haven’t visited that site in months, hopefully he can spruce it back up.

  11. Sean Says:

    J.J.,

    How long you reckon before those last three are gone? Mid-September?

  12. Ymar Sakar Says:

    When you elect the King, prepare your back for the Royal Intrigues and Byzantine Plots.

    It is just how it goes for weaklings that gave up all their power DC. Did they truly expect to be treated as equals… this isn’t a government for the people, by the people, any more.

  13. Ymar Sakar Says:

    After all, they haven’t nuked us or attacked the South so what can we do?

    Just do what Democrats like WIlson and FDr did with the Lusitania, provoking Japan to attack Pearl Harbor, and the Gulf of Tonkin.

    Trum knows how it works, he can hire someone to reproduce a “pretext” for war. It’s called false flags, if NK and Iran refuses to attack.

  14. Ymar Sakar Says:

    But not to worry, despite our society’s rejection of him, God is on America’s side and there’s plenty of time to turn it all around.

    Shakespeare’s “lord, what fools these mortals be” has never had better proof of its veracity.

    Now you’re starting to sound like Ymar, GB.

  15. J.J. Says:

    Sean: “How long you reckon before those last three are gone? Mid-September?”

    Depends on how well they can maneuver in this atmosphere and how badly they want to hang on. I think Bannon realized he could do more outside than inside the W.H.

    Someone mentioned on TV tonight that most of Trump’s cabinet would be perfectly comfortable in a Hillary Clinton cabinet. Sad. It may well be that the GOPe is slowly taking over. We’ll see.

  16. Ymar Sakar Says:

    Trum is supposed to be a fighter. We’ll see, right.

  17. Sean Says:

    Oh, I think the GOPe’s already taken over. They’ve already done yeoman’s work in bogging down and half-assing his agenda. Gorka and Miller are toast. Kelly Ann might stick around but I doubt she’s ever had any real pull in the Oval Office.

    If by the end of his administration Trump winds up co-opted by the GOPe, if even a guy like that can get co-opted, then there’s no point in voting.

  18. AesopFan Says:

    Sean Says:
    August 18th, 2017 at 10:52 pm

    If by the end of his administration Trump winds up co-opted by the GOPe, if even a guy like that can get co-opted, then there’s no point in voting.
    * *
    It appears that, for the DC establishment, the inefficacy of voting ‘tis a consummation Devoutly to be wished.

  19. huxley Says:

    I don’t remember attrition of a President’s team so high in the first year of an administration before.

    I don’t imagine it’s a good sign, but Trump has beaten the odds so many times, I can’t assume he’s in big trouble yet.

    But maybe he is.

  20. Sean Says:

    Aesop,

    It’s all perspective. Before Trump, you could tell yourself there were significant differences between Republicans and Democrats. But look out them with Trump in the foreground and those differences don’t look so significant. One side openly despises and wants us gone; the other side pays lip service to us while being secretly embarrassed about the fact that we’re their constituents. Fug ’em.

  21. Sean Says:

    I don’t remember attrition of a President’s team so high in the first year of an administration before.

    Same here. I reckon it shouldn’t be too surprising, considering he’s a political neophyte with no real institutional allies. In another six months or so, we should start getting reports from the likes of WaPo comparing his first year attrition rate to Obama’s, Bush II’s, etc.

  22. Ariel Says:

    Sean Says: August 19th, 2017 at 1:43 am

    It isn’t that he’s neophyte, it’s that he’s a narcissist where everything is about him and he just can’t understand why it isn’t, such as why the Congress doesn’t bend to him. After all, everyone did in his company.

    Do you understand how his tweets are the words of a narcissist? Do you understand that he attacks anything he sees as a slight to him? Do you understand that it isn’t about you but all about him? Do you understand that he sees the world through winners and losers? Do you actually think he cares about you when you are loser? You do know you are a loser to him? I am so amazed that people bought his sales pitch, and still do. The Republicans are having problems swallowing the pitch, but you suckers are just swallowing.

    He’s not presidential material. I’ve maintained that Jimmy Carter was the worst president in my lifetime, that even with Nixon and LBJ, but you guys elected the bar none worst president ever. You fell for his sales pitch without ever looking at the man.

  23. Ariel Says:

    Geoffrey Britain Says: August 18th, 2017 at 2:49 pm

    “Gorka and I presume Miller are the only highly placed Trump administration officials that hold the view that Islam itself is the source of Islamic terrorism. That Islam’s war against the West consists of migratory jihad, stealth jihad and violent jihad.”

    I have no where to take this other than two ways: you see the silliness in viewing Islam as monolithic; or do you actually believe all of Islam is some monolithic church of doctrine like the Roman Catholic Church tried to be in most of Christian Europe’s history? Islam just doesn’t have that structure, in fact, it has a very flat structure based on some few sects and the Imams of those sects.

    I know the bigotry, been there and let it go, My kids had this endocrinologist that was Muslim and he was quite frank that he would like sharia to be the law of the land because it was his personal belief of morality. He was also quite frank that that had a snowball’s chance in hell just like the Christian personal belief of morality.

    I know. I know, it’s all taqiya, Muslims just aren’t like the rest of us.

  24. Ariel Says:

    Neo, I can only agree with you that calling Bannon a racist was wrong. That comes from an abhorrence of how easily people with no conscience use one of the worst things you can call someone. But then they believe an accusation is incontrovertible proof of guilt, may it bite their asses to their death.

    You know, after looking at the whole of the Trump administration so far, maybe, just maybe, it’s really about the character flaws of Trump. Maybe just maybe.

    Me, I voted for the other really bad candidate, but only because I realized Trump was an insecure narcissist that made everything about him (knew that years ago), and that the other candidate didn’t. I mean really guys, you haven’t caught on to what his tweets on Merck and Flake really represent. This guy is going down as the twit that tweeted.

  25. neo-neocon Says:

    Ariel:

    “You guys”–i.e. the commenters here—are hardly a unitary bunch on Trump, although you seem to be addressing them that way. Commenters here run the gamut from really detesting him to liking him, and everything in-between. Some voted for him and some didn’t.

    Even the ones who like him tend to consider him a narcissist, and the ones who don’t like him most certainly consider him a narcissist. And that’s one of the kinder things they say.

    Just about everyone is happy Hillary isn’t president, though.

  26. Ymar Sakar Says:

    but you guys elected the bar none worst president ever. You fell for his sales pitch without ever looking at the man.

    You’re probably a newbie here, Ariel, so you paint with a rather broad brush.

    It would help to clarify exactly who you are talking about or libeling here, Ariel, unless you want to castigate Trum by acting like Trum, of course.

  27. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    “Now you’re starting to sound like Ymar, GB.”

    There’s no need to get nasty Ymar.

    Ariel,

    ALL of Islam’s sects accept the Qur’an as written in Arabic. All accept the hadiths and Suras. That means they accept Muhammad’s claim that the Qur’an is Allah’s direct testimony. That means that they ALL accept that Muhammad was the perfect man and Allah’s greatest and LAST prophet.

    That commonality makes them far more monolithic than any surface difference. Even Islam’s foremost dispute between the Shia and Sunni, i.e. who Muhammad’s rightful successor might be is subsumed in that commonality. That they’re too stupid to see that is a fortunate circumstance.

    Don’t expect it to last though, the Mahdi will unify them. As, sooner or later a personality charismatic enough to convince both sides will emerge. There are no shortage of applicants for the role of the anti-Christ. Eventually, someone suitable will be accepted because their theology demands it.

  28. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    “Me, I voted for the other really bad candidate, but only because I realized Trump was an insecure narcissist that made everything about him (knew that years ago), and that the other candidate didn’t.” Ariel

    Yes, Trump’s obvious narcissism is clearly a more serious failing than Hillary’s closet Marxism. sarc/off

    Evidently you never got ‘the memo’; “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.”

  29. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Tucker Carlson perfectly put his finger on Bannon and the current state of the WH;

    “Bannon was one of the relatively few senior staff in the White House who wouldn’t feel at home in a Hillary Clinton administration.”

  30. Cornhead Says:

    It was funny to read those comments and the post from a year ago!

    My position on Bannon is this: He might be the only real conservative in the WH. A populist conservative, for sure, but he’s not a moderate or liberal.

    Famously he had a whiteboard in his office with the campaign promises written on them. Does Kelly or Kushner have that same dedication to what got Trump elected? I think not.

    Kushner is a cancer in the WH. Gary Cohen might be even worse. If Trump wants to join the Paris Agreement or backslide on NAFTA and TPP, then we know who won.

    Bannon got Trump elected. He was the key guy. He drove the message. Kushner didn’t. He just did the data. Kelly wasn’t even there.

    Big, big mistake by Trump.

    And I have never seen anyone smeared like Bannon. Now Trump is the sole target. Expect a big disaster in Boston today. The WH in chaos narrative is becoming true.

  31. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Cornhead,

    I suspect that Kushner is one of the lessor of Trump’s bad influences and with declining influence. Lately, both he and Ivanka have ‘coincidentally’ been missing when ‘weighty decisions on troublesome issues’ must be made.

    Kelly’s support for McMaster, Mattis, and Tillerson has sealed the deal. They are the ones intent on ‘civilizing’ the wild Trump beast.

    All of them could successfully function in a Hillary Clinton administration. There too they would act to restrain the more extreme ‘impulses’ in her administration.

    They favor a slower ‘March to the Collective’, so that people can properly ‘adjust’ to the reality of liberties restrained by those more fitted to understand the nuances of global governance.

  32. neo-neocon Says:

    GB; Cornhead:

    I see a lot of divisive talking points there, stuff I’ve read in the MSM about Kushner, McMaster, et al. They’re practically leftists, right?

    I don’t buy it. I read rumors and truncated quotes, and I see all of it as a way to divide the right. It’s been successful, too, because the right loves to be divided anyway.

    I don’t buy the idea that they’re all RINOs or worse. I just don’t see it. And I’ve read the quotes and the rumors. I am skeptical. Yes, they are probably somewhat less conservative than a fire-breather like Bannon (who in many ways isn’t “conservative” at all; the words stop having their usual meaning these days). But they’re far from people who “could successfully function in a Hillary Clinton administration.” Now, generals and military people are trained to be able to “function” with any administration—that’s their job—but by no means would they be comfortable or simpatico with the goals and policies of a President Clinton.

    By the way, take a look at McMaster’s history, and in particular the book he wrote on Vietnam for his PhD thesis.

    What GB quotes Tucker Carlson as having said is, IMHO, absurd.

  33. neo-neocon Says:

    Ymarsakar:

    Ariel’s no newbie. He/she has been commenting here intermittently since 2006.

  34. Cornhead Says:

    Neo

    I have a hard time getting a handle on McMaster. But Kushner believes in global warming. Only liberals believe that nonsense. By all accounts Kushner is a liberal.

    Bannon probably kept Trump in line with his base. I agree with Tucker Carlson.

    Many times people here have written that Trump is no conservative. With Bannon gone Trump will revert to form and probably be captured by the moderates and liberals.

  35. neo-neocon Says:

    Cornhead:

    I believe that some global warming is happening. I think the jury is out on whether it’s human-caused global warming, and how much it will matter, and what if anything should be done about it. I don’t think that makes me a liberal or mushy-headed. I’ve read tons and tons on the subject.

    Nor does belief in AGW mean a person is not conservative in other ways. What’s more, give me some quotes from Kushner on it (I can’t find any in a quick search). Do you really have a clue what he actually thinks, other than rumors and anonymous sources?

    I am always surprised at how people don’t believe the MSM until there’s something that suits their fancy there, and then they believe it implicitly.

    Here’s the sort of thing I find about Kushner and global warming:

    limate change quickly emerged as one of the fault lines in this showdown. In the end it was Bannon who persuaded Trump to make good on his promise to withdraw the US from the Paris climate accord. Kushner argued that this would send the wrong signal and that much more could be achieved by sticking with the agreement but reorienting it to suit the interests of the big American fossil fuel producers. Trump’s secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, who was previously the CEO of ExxonMobil, sided with Kushner. They lost.

    This is all arguing about tactics and strategy.

  36. Cornhead Says:

    Neo:

    That quote about Kushner tells me everything. Get along to go along. We spend a fortune and get nothing. The people getting the federal tax credits get the money. Us flyover people see our electricity costs go up 3x like in Germany. Scam.

    My basic position on CAGW is that it is a prediction of events in the far distant future based upon corrupt data and flawed models. It is all about getting money to academics which creates federal tax credits for new industries. Real air pollution was fixed here so the EPA had declare carbon dioxide to be a pollutant. 5-4 in SCOTUS made it true. Scam.

    On a revenue basis I’m fairly confident that electric utilities are number one. Total addressable market is the key. Retrofit that industry with new equipment and charge 3x more and that’s a hell of a business model. It is always about the money and getting it to the right people. Tesla should not exist on an economic basis but how much in fees has it generated on Wall Street?

    I will also remind you that 2 years ago in Omaha Warren Buffett said he got $1 billion in free money from the federal government for wind mills. Scam.

    You always have to look at the money angle. Bill Clinton said in Omaha at The Waiting Room bar that Hillary would put windmills on Indian reservations and “we will all get rich.” Identity politics mets tax credits mets Wall Street. Scam.

  37. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    neo,

    No I don’t think they’re practically leftists. I think they’re in denial as to the nature of the threats and seek accommodation.

    I’m not impressed with McMaster’s facile monday morning quarterbacking of LBJ’s military advisers. McMaster wasn’t at those meetings and has no idea of possible objections voiced before the meetings with LBJ by the military advisers he criticizes.

    No military leadership wants to be forced to fight a severely limited war that does not allow them to effectively attack an enemy’s societal infrastructure. Those men well knew that in WWII, it was our destruction of Germany’s industrial infrastructure that spelled doom for its armies.

    No way that leadership wasn’t aware of the very principles that McMaster offers in his criticism. Principles that their contemporaries were teaching in war college to a young McMaster at that very moment!

    In fact, they did privately object to the restraints placed upon them, which we know from Johnson’s refusal to allow them to repeatedly bomb Haiphong harbor. He allowing only one brief raid. That leadership was quite probably told by McNamara to get with the program. If so and at that point, what choice did they have but to implement the President’s directives?

    McMaster’s rightful criticism of McNamara and his arrogant aides is facilely extended to the military leadership in an equally arrogant, “if only I had been in charge” manner.

    Also, McMaster’s argument gives little weight to the political components that are always a consideration. He also and dishonestly ignores the valid concern and risk that fully attacking N. Vietnam might well have pulled China and Russia into active conflict with America. Yet he irresponsibly gives short shrift to that real possibility by ignoring it.

    So we’ll have to agree to disagree, as I do buy the criticisms of McMaster. Time will tell which of us is in error. I do hope you’re right because that would best serve the nation.

    As long as denial is not the motivation, there’s nothing wrong with skepticism. Time will tell whether the criticism of McMaster and those of like mind are valid.

    And the evidence of those ‘rumors’ being valid will be easily determined, as reasonable, ‘accommodating’ establishment types will not lead us to a successful resolution of these issues. Instead, they’ll result in a nuclear ICBM capable N. Korea, a nuclear ICBM capable Iran and a China that effectively rules the South China Sea.

    They’ll do so because that’s where we’re headed and different results do not eventuate from doing the same thing over and over, which is exactly what McMaster and Tillerson are reportedly advocating their own version of doing.

    If those circumstances come to pass, I trust you’ll have the intellectual honesty to admit that the rumors were valid after all.

    History demonstrates that you cannot defeat an enemy you refuse to identify nor can you defeat a committed enemy you refuse to confront when a lessor conflict could have derailed the certainty of a later, far greater conflict.

  38. Cornhead Says:

    Oh, and I have never figured out about Rex and CAGW. As best I can figure is that since XON is number one in market cap and profitability XON could adapt to Paris while smaller producers like COG, PDX and others would be crushed.

    It is always about the money.

  39. neo-neocon Says:

    GB:

    Did you read McMaster’s book? On what are you basing your evaluation of what he says in it on? I don’t read that description I linked to as saying what you’re saying at all. Do you know on what he based his knowledge of the advisors and what they did and said at those meetings? Perhaps it was on their own notes and statements. Now you’re saying that historians have to actually be at the meetings to talk about what happened there??

    I didn’t read the book, but take a look at this description [emphasis mine]:

    …Fully and convincingly researched, based on transcripts and personal accounts of crucial meetings, confrontations and decisions, it is the only book that fully re-creates what happened and why. McMaster pinpoints the policies and decisions that got the United States into the morass and reveals who made these decisions and the motives behind them, disproving the published theories of other historians and excuses of the participants.

    A page-turning narrative, Dereliction Of Duty focuses on a fascinating cast of characters: President Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara, General Maxwell Taylor, McGeorge Bundy and other top aides who deliberately deceived the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the U.S. Congress and the American public.

  40. neo-neocon Says:

    Cornhead:

    You said that Kushner believed in global warning and was therefore a liberal.

    That quote indicates that he doesn’t, and he isn’t. You don’t have to like him or approve of him or agree with him. But criticize him for what he actually is and believes, not for reports on him. I have seen nothing that indicates he’s a liberal, although I’m not a fan of his.

    Find a quote about his actual beliefs on AGW.

  41. Cornhead Says:

    Why do voters have to get knowledgeable about advisors like McMaster, Kushner, Bannon and Cohen? Because Trump has few fixed principles and we worry that Trump can be flipped to something we didn’t vote for e.g. Iran deal, the wall, TPP and CAGW.

  42. Cornhead Says:

    Neo:

    Kushner is savvy; very few interviews, but many reports that he is a liberal and runs in those NYC circles.

    Kushner never spoke at Trump rallies. No one voted for Jared or Ivanka.

  43. Cornhead Says:

    On the other hand, Eric and Don, Jr. frequently talked to the press. Those two look to be fairly conservative once you get past all of the adjectives i.e. “My father will do a fabulous job.”

  44. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    No neo, I have not read his book, nor is that needed to recognize contradictory statements.

    “Dereliction of Duty: Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara, The Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Lies that Led to Vietnam”

    “The war in Vietnam was not lost in the field, nor was it lost on the front pages of The New York Times, or on the college campuses. It was lost in Washington, D.C., even before Americans assumed sole responsibility for the fighting in 1965 and before they realized the country was at war. . . . [It was] a uniquely human failure, the responsibility for which was shared by President Johnson and his principal military and civilian advisors.”[4]”

    From your amazon link: McMaster states in his book on page 5 that, “Under the Kennedy-Johnson system, the Joint Chiefs lost the direct access to the President, and thus the real influence on policy making that the Eisenhower NSC structure had provided.”

    So McMaster admits they had no influence on policy and then later criticizes them for not doing more. Other than raising their concerns with their immediate superiors (remember the chain of command) what more could they do?

    According to McMaster not enough. Despite him already admitting they’d been neutered by Kennedy/McNamara. That’s pure BS.

  45. Cornhead Says:

    Jared and Ivanka didn’t attend the Rose Garden event where we withdrew from Paris.

    And this from Cosmo, “Kushner rarely gives interviews and has no social media presence of his own other than a Twitter account that has zero tweets.” Same story said he hates the press even though he owns a newspaper.

    Jared is a pampered NYC Dem. But for the fact of his merger with Ivanka, no way is he in the WH.

  46. J.J. Says:

    Neo and G.B., I read McMaster’s book, “Dereliction of Duty..” Each of us would probably take different things from it, but it reinforced my views about LBJ/Bundy/McNamara/Taylor. They did not listen to the Joint Chiefs.

    I know because I was there. In February 1965 my squadron was tasked by the Joint Chiefs with mining Haiphong harbor. We prepared the mission and did rehearsals, then waited for the command to go. It never came. I later learned (and it is all in McMaster’s book) that the Joint Chief’s wanted to mine Haiphong harbor, cut all the rail lines into China, demolish the Red River Dam, and go after Party Headquarters in Hanoi. LBJ and company rejected the plan in favor of the tactic of gradually increasing the pressure – which was considered to be the key to success in defusing the Cuban missile crisis. Nixon finally implemented those missions when he was desperate to force Hanoi to the bargaining table in 1972. Had Nixon not been under siege by the Watergate investigation and eager to improve relations with China, he might have won a decisive victory in Vietnam after taking those steps. (Wishful thinking on my part? Probably.) Instead he settled for the non-aggression pact that North Vietnam broke in 1975.

    During my tours in Vietnam we were always restrained from hitting the really important targets. It was mostly roads, bridges, POL sites, and anti-aircraft batteries. With frequent bombing pauses and an open Haiphong harbor, the North Vietnamese were always able to rebuild, rearm, and fight on. The anti-aircraft defenses were fierce but became much worse as the war went on. So much for the policy of gradually upping the pressure.

    I don’t know McMaster except from his book and his bio. I admire General Jack Keane and he thinks McMaster is first rate. Until I see something concrete to criticize, I am going to give him the benefit of the doubt.

  47. Cornhead Says:

    JJ

    Your description of LBJ’s Vietnam policy sounds like Obama’s “strategic patience” with NK or his terrible rules of engagement in Iraq or his idiotic giveaway to Iran on nukes that gets us all killed.

    Agree 100% re General Keane. Major plus for McMaster. But I hate having to worry about the President’s staff.

  48. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    J.J.,

    Thanks for the input. You do realize that your personal experience confirms that the military leadership’s tactics and strategy were consistently rejected by the LBJ/Bundy/McNamara/Taylor cabal? Which at the very least makes McMaster’s pillorying of the then Joint Chiefs of Staff unjust?

    I have no reason to doubt General Jack Keane’s assessment of McMaster’s military acumen. It’s his judgement regarding Islamic terrorism where I find his strategic POV to be highly flawed. I also perceive him to be an ambitious ‘political’ opportunist. And as his book demonstrates, one willing to twist the truth.

  49. Sean Says:

    Ariel,

    Do you understand how his tweets are the words of a narcissist? Do you understand that he attacks anything he sees as a slight to him? Do you understand that it isn’t about you but all about him? Do you understand that he sees the world through winners and losers? Do you actually think he cares about you when you are loser? You do know you are a loser to him?.

    It amazes me that this far into his administration, you all still think you’re more politically cynical or sophisticated than we are. I could change all the pronouns in that paragraph to “she” and it would be equally descriptive of the candidate you voted for.

    I am so amazed that people bought his sales pitch, and still do. The Republicans are having problems swallowing the pitch, but you suckers are just swallowing

    It is literally August of 2017 and you still don’t have a f*cking clue why people support Trump. It is to laugh.

  50. J.J. Says:

    G.B. “You do realize that your personal experience confirms that the military leadership’s tactics and strategy were consistently rejected by the LBJ/Bundy/McNamara/Taylor cabal?”

    From my comment: “Each of us would probably take different things from it, but it reinforced my views about LBJ/Bundy/McNamara/Taylor. They did not listen to the Joint Chiefs.”

    It was the LBJ/Bundy/McNamara/Taylor cabal that McMaster blasted for dereliction of duty in his book. He did think the military was too compliant – that they should have pressed the issue harder. But with our system of civilian control of the military nothing short of a military coups would have changed things. It all harked back to the Cuban Missile Crisis. Gradually increasing the pressure had been successful with the Soviets. Nothing could convince LBJ and company to abandon that strategy.

  51. neo-neocon Says:

    Cornhead:

    On the Kushners and the Rose Garden event:

    The White House says Ivanka Trump and husband Jared Kushner were not at Thursday’s Rose Garden announcement of President Trump’s intention to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement because they were celebrating a Jewish holiday.

    According to a White House official, the two attended synagogue in the morning for the Jewish holiday of Shavuot and Ivanka went home to celebrate the holiday with her children. Kushner did return to work but was said to have had a longstanding meeting with “someone from out of town” that had been scheduled.

    While Ivanka Trump has been a staunch supporter of the climate agreement, which aims to curb greenhouse gas emissions in an effort to slow the progress of global climate change, the White House insists her husband and top Trump aide was fully involved in the process behind the announcement.

    Of course, you may think this all is some sort of excuse, if you’re inclined to think poorly of them. However, it is absolutely true that they are observant Orthodox Jews.

  52. neo-neocon Says:

    Cornhead:

    “Many reports” don’t mean a whole lot to me. I am sick of the gossip in the media, and I find that most of it is suspect or downright untrue, and I believe the motive is to sow discord on the right.

  53. Cornhead Says:

    Neo

    And here we are arguing about McMaster, Bannon and Kushner. But I am highly suspect of the Kushners.

  54. Ymar Sakar Says:

    Sean, try using that argument against me, since I never voted for HRC.

  55. Ymar Sakar Says:

    Other than raising their concerns with their immediate superiors (remember the chain of command) what more could they do?

    Resign.

  56. Ymar Sakar Says:

    Just like Petraeus, who even fell on his own sword to get rid of the blackmail the Demoncrats had on him. His original transgression to the honey trap isn’t all that admirable, but his later actions at least reminded people that some people can fall on their own sword, just as the Japanese cut open their stomachs.

  57. Ymar Sakar Says:

    There’s no need to get nasty Ymar.

    That’s pretty funny coming from you, GB, since I remember you said and I quote, “you’re starting to sound like Art”.

    You get treated how you treat others, GB. Maybe you should figure out what that means sooner or later.

About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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