In the present entry, I am going to discuss Stephen Bannon's executive order banning Muslims from Iran, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Sudan and Somalia, as well as President Trump's turfing of USMC General and Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford in favour of the increasingly Martin Bormann-esque Bannon. I will refer to the history of Adolf Hitler, the Wehrmacht, Operation Banner/The Ulster Troubles the Algerian War and Operation Condor as examples. This entry is, in part, inspired from the following SST video
which features ProblematicPeople.com honchos Wooly and Mr. Bumblebee, who are also talking about this rad new site AkkadianTimes.com, as well as Nurgle, Torquamedus, Professor Platypus, Alisha, Eon and Tinfoil Matt.
Long story short, with this buffoonish Bannon executive order banning Muslims from non-Saudi nations from America, and by turfing General Dunford in favour of Bannon, President Trump is making rookie mistakes that even the saner Hitler did not do early in his reign and early in the war. By saying this, I am opening myself to charges of Godwinism, of doing exactly what Professor Gavriel Rosenfeld condemned. Allow me an aside to explain myself.
I hold that pointing out the similarities between two distinct elements is NOT the same thing as saying these two distinct elements are identical in all regards. I specifically hold that examining and comparing elements of Hitler's style of running his government and foreign relations with those of Bannon/Trump is distinct from a) saying that I approve in any way of the Holocaust and from b) saying that Hitler on the one hand and Bannon/Trump on the other are completely identical in all respects, including goals and--quite necessarily to the former--capabilities. I further hold--perhaps naively and overoptimistically in this age where social media is as prevalent as the rinderpest--that there are people who are capable of comprehending the fine distinctions in the previous sentences of this paragraph.
So, the Bannon Muslim ban. This is just plain dumb from the view of anti-partisan warfare because it indiscriminately goes after the entire population which comprises the waters in which the partisans swim like fish, as that master of partisan warfare, Mao Tse-Tung described the successful partisan war he led against Chiang Kai-Shek. During the Second World War, the Wehrmacht indiscriminately retaliated against entire villages and towns from which partisans set out to attack lines of communication. They did not stamp out the partisans, but the partisans were not a major impediment to the Wehrmacht's conventional operations. America and the West are NOT currently engaged in conventional warfare, they are engaged in anti-partisan warfare against ISIS. ISIS, unlike the Wehrmacht's partisan enemies, are the main enemy of the West, which means that the terrain of this war is entirely the hearts and minds of the umma.
There is another example of such Bannonesque bumbling. At the beginning of the Troubles in Ulster, the then-relatively inexperienced security forces massively interned both Roman Catholics and Protestants on mere suspicion. Mass internment did not nick any of the major players, but it did create a lot of recruits for Sinn Fein/IRA. As much as it pains me to agree with ANYTHING the eternally war-loving Senator John McCain says, the above is exactly what he means when he says that the Bannon ban will only help the partisans.
In contrast to Bannon, the Wehrmacht's anti-partisan methodology and the Internment policy of the early days of Operation Banner is France's precise anti-partisan warfare methodology of the Algerian War. Colonel Roger Trinquier, Dr. Bernard B. Fall and Jean Lartéguy all understood Mao's point about partisans being like fish in water, as did then-Commandant (Major) Paul Aussaresses, the man who destroyed the partisan FLN's organisation in the capital city of Algiers. In Algeria, the French Army, unlike Bannon, the Wehrmacht and Internment, did not target the entirety of the native population. Instead, they systematically built up organigrammes, derived from from interrogations and surveillance, of the enemy and then went after and neutralised the key players. Paul Aussaresses, now General Paul Aussaresses, taught these techniques to South Cone military intelligence personnel. As reprehensible as Argentina's illegal invasion and occupation of the Falklands was and as reprehensible as Pinochet's bombing US soil and killing Ronni Moffitt was, Argentina, Chile and several other South American countries effectively used the decidedly NON-Bannon French anti-partisan warfare methodology to completely neutralise the communist partisan threats inside their own countries. They did not indiscriminately round up all of their non-military countrymen, but, with surgical precision, identified exactly who the troublemakers were and went after them only, leaving the innocent bystanders to innocently by-stand unharmed.
This brings me to Bannon who, as per Air Force Times journalist Andrew deGrandpre and as per The Financial Times has been put in the place of General Dunford in Trump's councils of war. Now, I am no great fan of General Dunford or any of the other Joint Chiefs, who are all overaged kindergartners squabbling to get more Congressional grants of taxpayer money than the other three, rather than being truly professional von Schlieffens or von Seeckts. That being said, General Dunford's knowledge is at least three decades more current than that of Bannon, who was last in the Navy three decades ago, when ossifers and men wore different uniforms. Imagine having brain surgery or heart surgery done by someone who last operated three decades ago and who was a doctor's pension manner all during these interim years. Add to this the fact that, unlike Prince Rupert, unlike the bloodthirsty tyrant James II, Duke of York, unlike Raphael Semmes, unlike Hermann Ehrhardt and Manfred von Killlinger, and unlike Dick Marcinko, Bannon was a surface warfare ossifer with zero experience of commanding troops on land in combat, much less in an anti-partisan war. The sum resembles Hitler from fall 1941 onwards and, increasingly, from summer 1944 onwards, cashiering competent leaders like Guderian and Manstein and replacing them with yes men like Schörner or the Gauleiters (most of who had last seen combat in the trenches of 1914-1918 and who had no experience fighting massive Soviet tank armies.)
Hitler was not always like this. Yes, he replaced von Fritsch and Beck in the 1930's when they objected to his plans. But, unlike Westmoreland in Vietnam, he allowed Guderian and Manstein to do as they pleased to effect his military aims in 1939-40, which is a key reason for the Wehrmacht's stunning successes in that interim. Hitler's early preference for competence over ideological compatibility extended to his foreign relations of the epoch, which is why he preferred the military dictators Pétain and Antonescu over the more Nazi-like Marcel Déat, Jacques Doriot and Horia Sima, why he picked the Regent Admiral Horthy over the more Nazi Arrow Cross. It was only after he began to perceive that he was losing the war that he jettisoned the professionals in favour of the ideologues.
By replacing General Dunford with the Nehru jacket-wearing ideologue Bannon not even two weeks into his Administration, Trump is showing that he prefers ideology over expertise from the get-go, as is confirmed by this National Interest article. Can such a backwards-oriented Administration's political viability long endure the test of reality?