Steve Bannon admires George Soros, hates Pope Francis, and has gone full-throttle to oppose the ‘open-border’ advocates with the launch of a European nationalist powerhouse.
Based out of a thirteenth-century Carthusian monastery 90 minutes outside of Rome, Bannon has teamed up with Italy’s Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, Catholic UK politician Benjamin Harnwell and American Cardinal Raymond Burke – who has called Islam a threat and is an open supporter of US President Donald Trump.
In short, Bannon’s new academy seeks to coordinate nationalist movements across Europe as a “right-wing response to George Soros’s Open Society Foundation,” which Bannon says he admires for its power and organization.
The monastery will host events with speakers like Bannon and Burke and conservative Christian leaders.
Harnwell and his organization are an important connection between Bannon and Burke. Harnwell is the one who first introduced the two, according to a New York Times article that is displayed on Harnwell’s website. Bannon spoke at one of Harnwell’s’ conferences by grainy video link back in 2014 during which he warned that the migration exodus would lead to a rise in populism. Burke was the keynote speaker the year before. –Daily Beast
“Soros has done an amazing job,” said Bannon in reference to leftist organizations that feed into NGOs, government and media. “He’s created cadres, and those cadres have immense political power. To me he’s a role model in that regard.“
Speaking of his new academy, Bannon says that young professionals “who want a change in life” will be able to attend for a few weeks – or even an academic year, to form the foundations of a Soros-like network in media and government.
The former Breitbart Chairman also has ambitions for a think tank.
“We don’t have, in our populist movement here, a lot of highly defined policy alternatives,” said Bannon last December, adding: “Conservatives have Heritage, A.E.I., but they’re not economic nationalism. There’s just not a lot of analytical policy work. It needs to be done, and it needs to be done now.”
That said, Bannon has reportedly met with some difficulty trying to unite some of Europe’s populists.
Bannon’s aim of knitting far-right parties together across Europe into a unified bloc does not seem to have got very far. A spokesman for the far-right Alternative for Germany said recently that party representatives had met with Bannon but weren’t interested in working with him, because he doesn’t understand Europe. Marine Le Pen, the leader of the French far-right party formerly known as the National Front, said last year that Bannon was of limited help because he “isn’t from a European country.” One senior official in the Italian “League,” whose leader, Matteo Salvini, is one of Bannon’s most important allies on the continent, told Politico Europe that Bannon is “not on the radar.” –The New Yorker
Pope Francis is the enemy?
It’s no secret that Bannon, Salvini, Harnwell and Burke all staunchly oppose the liberal open-border policies advocated by Pope Francis.
As The Guardian reports, Bannon encouraged Salvini to attack Francis over the issue of migration as far back as April 2016 before Donald Trump won the US election.
During a meeting in Washington in April 2016, Bannon – who would within a few months take up his role as head of Trump’s presidential campaign – suggested the leader of Italy’s anti-immigration League party should start openly targeting Pope Francis, who has made the plight of refugees a cornerstone of his papacy.
“Bannon advised Salvini himself that the actual pope is a sort of enemy. He suggested for sure to attack, frontally,” said a senior League insider with knowledge of the meeting in an interview with the website SourceMaterial. –The Guardian
Following the meeting, Salvini “became more outspoken against the pope,” reads the report, which adds that “conservatives in the Vatican were on his side.”
In May 2016, Salvini tweeted “The pope says migrants are not a danger. Whatever!”
According to Robert Sirico, founder of the Michigan-based Acton Institute think tank says that Francis is sympathetic to socialism.
“His dominant understanding of what business is is selfish and doing things to benefit only themselves rather than the poor,” said Sirico, who met Francis in 2013 according to NBC News.
“He’s the administrator of the church, and he’s also a politician,” Bannon told NBC News earlier this week. “This is the problem … He’s constantly putting all the faults in the world on the populist nationalist movement.”
Two years ago, the pope cautioned against growing populism in Europe, warning it could lead to the election of leaders like Hitler.
Bannon alleges that Francis has mismanaged numerous sex abuse scandals roiling the church, and says the pope is not treating the issue seriously enough. –NBC News
Francis, meanwhile, now blames the sexual revolution and “homosexual cliques” among priests for decades of pedophile scandals.
NICK GILLESPIE (REASON) – If you want to understand the “economic nationalism” that undergirds the right- and left-wing populism currently sweeping Europe and the Americas, Alison Klayman’s new documentary The Brink is essential viewing.
Klayman embeds with former Trump adviser Steve Bannon as he crisscrosses America and what Donald Rumsfeld once caustically dismissed as “Old Europe,” trying to create an international movement devoted to tightening national borders. He bounces from meetings with Trumpy Republicans, Brexiters such as Nigel Farage, National Rally Frenchies, and unapologetically xenophobic Beneluxers who are barely distinguishable from each other as they fret over the loss of uniquely Belgian and Dutch cultures.
Klayman is immensely talented as a filmmaker (Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry rightly took home a fistful of awards in 2012), and she fully captures Bannon’s arrogance, pettiness, and delusions of grandeur. He comes across by turns as charming, fake, cringey, and a deeply committed ideologue who really thinks he is saving the future from the clutches of globalists, rootless cosmopolitans, and Davos-dashing liberal elitists completely out of touch with the dreams, hopes, and fears of regular people all over the planet.
What I took away from the movie was less about whether Bannon might personally be able to scale Trumpism up to the international level and more about the realization that nationalism vs. globalism is the fundamental political cleavage in the 21st century. Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have far more in common with each other than they do with many people in their own parties; one reason American politics is increasingly spiteful and stupid is because we’re speaking in terms—right-wing and left-wing, liberal and conservative, even socialist and capitalist—that have become outmoded. There are socialist populists and socialist internationalists, right-wing populists and right-wing internationalists, and on and on.
Friedrich Hayek famously dedicated The Road To Serfdom to “the socialists of all parties.” In the 21st century, libertarians are going to have make common cause with the globalists of all parties, with the people whose core value is the right of individuals to move freely around the planet. There will be lots of arguments over whether globalism also means that goods and services should move freely too, but that may be a secondary issue for some time to come. We live in a hopelessly mixed economy and that’s unlikely to change anytime soon (though we should always be pushing for more choice and less top-down control). The real question is whether it will become harder or easier for people to cross borders.
Bannon’s vision is of a world of distinct nations and cultures that might be defined by any number of factors, including race and ethnicity, but also a common history, religious values, or shared geography. His economic nationalism is a reaction, partly correct but mostly false, to the belief that large, global forces—some impersonal, some embodied in specific elites and individuals, from Hillary Clinton and George Soros to Warren Buffet or Richard Branson—are calling all the shots.
This outlook holds that free trade, automation, and other forces are taking work from the regular guy or gal, even as newcomers—low-skilled immigrants hungry for work opportunities, refugees and asylees, professional-class globe trotters—seem to be swamping the mother country and simultaneously flourishing economically and sucking off the teat of the welfare state (this is known as “Schrodinger’s Immigrant“). This is Donald Trump’s worldview, and it isn’t far from Bernie Sanders’ too. The Vermont socialist is a critic of “open borders,” denouncing the very concept as “a Koch brothers proposal” that would drive down wages for Americans. Trump and Sanders (and other populists, such as Elizabeth Warren) are all against free trade because they believe that stuff from poor countries will always undercut anything made in America. They express themselves witf very different tonalities and words, but the policy implications aren’t so different.
The message that populists, whether right-wing or progressive, articulate is mistaken, but it does contain elements of truth. The “rich” did not capture all the income gains of the past 30 or so years, and economic mobility remains the rule rather than the exception. But there’s no question that a sizeable percentage of Americans are not doing well and, as important, feel as if they have no control over how their lives turn out. Limiting the flow of people and goods over borders—economic nationalism—makes sense from this point of view. Such actions strongly imply a collective identity that will limit interest in individual rights, inciting yet more populist policies.
Libertarians and others who believe in free movement and free trade need to acknowledge the emotions that undergird economic nationalism. We need to explain how we can build resilience into the system, and we need to explain the benefits of a globalized world—that, for example, cities that welcome immigrants experience increased wages and lower unemployment. We need to update our arguments about why individuals are ultimately more important than groups, and about why empowering individuals creates a richer, freer, and ultimately more socially cohesive world. We need to show that there is no inherent tension between being a citizen of the world and a proud son or daughter of one’s country, region, and hometown. And we’re going to have reach out to liberals, conservatives, and progressives who identify with freedom of movement as a moral right and economically superior.
Here’s the trailer for the documentary.
He came, he saw, he Facebooked—live. The most unconventional of politicians ran the most unconventional of campaigns, a whirlwind of rallies, speeches, energy, all captured live in the moment on social media, financed on a shoestring, with grit and determination and a message:
No longer would Brussels dictate immigration policy; no longer would the “party of Davos” dictate Italy’s sovereignty; no longer would the European elites silence the Italian citizens. Matteo Salvini resurrected Italy’s national pride.
The real vision was to form a government with the anti-establishment Five Star Movement—marking the first time a major industrial power combined the right and the left, the populist and the nationalist.
Actual governing has been difficult. As Interior Minister, Salvini closed the ports to illegal immigration, reduced human trafficking and stared down the E.U. On larger issues of the economy and the direction of the country, it has been far tougher.
From humble beginnings, Salvini is now the most talked-about politician in Europe—and by the end of May, after the European parliamentary elections, could well be the most powerful.
Bannon is a former White House chief strategist
Steve Bannon: “We screwed up people who had respected the rules of the game all their lives”
Author Alexandre Devecchio 11 April 2019
Steve Bannon practices globalization in his own way. In a few days, he traveled thousands of kilometers to shake the hand of Matteo Salvini in Rome, then that of Shinzo Abe in Japan before making a stopover of a few hours in Paris. It is at the Hotel Bristol that he who presents himself as the herald of the popular classes has given us an appointment. Steve Bannon has had several lives: United States Navy officer, Seinfeld series producer (the most lucrative sitcom ever), conservative site director Breitbart News, and campaign director and advisor to Donald Trump. The red thread of his improbable course was in the defense of the “ordinary people” whose voice he intends to convey in America, but also today in Europe. His think tank “the Movement” dream to federate all European populist parties, especially in view of the elections next May. The “American Patrick Buisson” readily boasts about his influence, his analysis is an indispensable component to understand the great upheaval of world politics.
THE FIGARO MAGAZINE. – How do you define yourself ideologically? Like a populist? A nationalist? A national-populist? A conservationist? A national-conservative?
Steve BANNON. – I would say that I am at the same time populist, nationalist and sovereignist, with a traditionalist tendency to the extent that I defend the family structure and the traditional values. It is the very principle of the movement of which I am a part to gather all these ideological currents. I want to explain them one by one. To be populist is to be both opposed to the elites and in favor of the principle of subsidiarity: the decision must be taken at the lowest possible scale. To be a nationalist is to consider that the Westphalian system must be strengthened: the nation is the only entity that is supported by citizens while guaranteeing their freedom. Being a sovereignist means defending a network of free nations in which everyone can sign a treaty or alliance (such as the European Union or NATO), but only on the basis of their sovereign choice. Just take a little height to see that our ideas are needed all around the world, from Shinzo Abe in Japan to Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines. Observe what is happening in Australia, in India with Modi, or closer to you in Europe, in Brazil with Bolsonaro, in Colombia or in many other nations including the United States, of course … All of this is a combination of populism, nationalism and sovereignism.
Exactly, how do you explain the simultaneous rise of populists in all Western democracies? What are the commonalities between Salvini, Orbán, Trump and Bolsonaro? Do you think these movements are all comparable?
See the Chinese: they say that their system is a communist regime with Chinese characteristics. Well, for populism, it’s the same: each time it is a national-populist regime, but with Hungarian, French, Italian, Brazilian, American characteristics … In each nation, it is a question of a different regime that proposes responses adapted to its own economic and social problems. This is the strength of a national-populist regime: it is unique for every nation, because it puts forward in each case what is at the center of its concerns.“There is a burgeoning of traditional values around the world. It is a return to the traditional social structures of nations, family and cultural “
But then, why and for what purpose do you want to gather the European populists since you said it, the situation in Europe and in the United States is very different …
I think that the national-populists of Europe and the United States have one thing in common: they oppose the elites and the concentration of power, whether that power is in Brussels or Washington. In the United States, the populist movement wants to return power to the people, to the states, at the bottom of the scale, while revolting against the backdrop of globalization, which is spreading as much in the professional political class as on Wall Street or in Silicon Valley. All of this is part of the globalist mentality of which Davos is the big party. And this mentality contradicts the interests of the ordinary man. This is what unites the peoples of the United States and Europe: the behavioral patterns of our elites are comparable. You had the European project of Jean Monnet and its internal logic which was to erect the United States of Europe. We can then compare Italy to South Carolina, France to North Carolina, Spain to Georgia and Hungary to Maryland. In short, in this scheme, you have only dependent administrative units of Brussels and the ECB, in no case free and independent nations.Globalists see the nation-state as an object to be overcome, a step to go beyond. On the contrary, we believe that the nation-state is a jewel to polish and nourish. Then, it is to the citizens that the decision-making must return, as close as possible to their national realities and within the framework of their sovereign nation-state. Finally, there is one last aspect, which was seen in particular at the World Congress of Families [which took place in Verona from March 29 to 31, editor’s note]. There is a burgeoning of traditional values everywhere in the world: we see it in Trump, but also in Marion Maréchal, Salvini, the Japanese and obviously Bolsonaro. It is a return to the traditional social structures of nations, family and cultural.“People do not need me to destroy the ruling parties in their countries”
What are your views on the next European elections? What do you say to those who accuse you of interference? These elections will be a major turning point in European history, not just in its political history. This populist movement of aspiration to national sovereignty has really taken root. The dynamic that underlies it is global in terms of perspectives. And one of these big turning points will happen with the next European elections, when a huge success will come out of the polls in favor of the nationalist parties. As for my interference, the people do not need me to destroy the ruling parties in their countries.
Let’s talk about your journey. How do you go from sitcom producer to advising President Trump?I come from a family of American workers. My grandfather and father both worked for fifty years as telephone line workers. I was raised in the Catholic tradition. With five children, my mother was a housewife. We were democrats, we incarnated the working class of the Democratic Party. I have not forgotten where I came from, and if you pay attention to my speeches, you will see that I have only one objective: to ensure that these popular classes have more rights of citizenship. Regardless of whether I was a naval officer, whether I attended Harvard Business School and Georgetown Foreign Service School or worked at Goldman Sachs on Wall Street, my roots have remained popular . In my heart of hearts, I have remained an advocate for blue-collar workers and I dedicate my life to one thing only: make sure to give them back their voice.Today, the Democratic Party has only a few voters of the popular classes in its ranks, it has become the party of the “progressive” left: fundamentally against the traditional family, against the workers and for globalization. Then the American popular classes started to vote for the Republican Party. But, at first, they were not properly represented. We must not forget that the Republicans have plebiscite free trade without protecting our industries, they have defended the opening of borders, immigration illegal and without limits. That’s why Trump was elected.“What I learned at Goldman Sachs is that the dominant classes are not smarter than the popular classes.”
Has your experience in the world of finance been a turning point?I was in the mergers and acquisitions department of Goldman Sachs in the 1980s. As much to tell you that I worked in the heart of the investment banking reactor. What I learned at Goldman Sachs is that the dominant classes are not smarter than the lower classes. My grandfather, who has always been one of my heroes, stopped school in the third grade [the equivalent of CE2 in France, ed] and my father in high school [college, ed]. But they were really the two most intelligent people I’ve ever known. At Goldman Sachs, I realized that the collective wisdom of the working classes is at least as powerful as that of the elites. This is why I remain very attentive to the opinion of the people in the decision-making process. If I had to choose between governing with the first hundred people who came to see Trump with their red caps on their heads, and the hundred most senior employees at Goldman Sachs, my choice would be on the “deplorable” without hesitation.
Your father lost all his savings in the 2008 crisis. Did this event motivate your fight? My dad invested the little savings he had on the title AT & T, the telecommunications company he had been working for for fifty years. In his life, AT & T was as important as the Catholic Church: it was an absolutely central institution. But in 2008, all of this collapsed overnight, which he learned while watching television. The injustice is that only elites and big companies like General Electric, AIG or Goldman Sachs have been saved. All investment banks and commercial banks were bailed out. There is only one man who has not been bailed out, it’s my father. During the 2008 crisis, we destroyed the lives of people who had respected the rules of the game all their life. My father was one of those: he was the backbone of society, he was a fair man, he paid his dues. taxes, he contributed to civic life, he worked hard every day to allow his five children to go to Catholic school. If you do not like these people in the air, it’s the whole social structure that you destroy! In this case, the elites protected only their own interests, they let die skilled workers, those who, like my father, formed the backbone of society, that we are today losing. It is from this observation that our revolution begins.
What is your view of the movement of “yellow vests”? For me, it’s quite comparable to what’s going on here with those whom Hillary Clinton called the “deplorable”. Except that we have channeled all this energy, all this anger, into supporting Trump. And this same anger will re-elect Trump in the next election. The “deplorable” in the United States did not take the streets and did not need violence.
What do you think of Macron? Macron is a globalist. When I am told that he is a patriot, I answer that yes, he may be a patriot, but the capital of his homeland is Brussels. He sees himself as a European: everything leads him to more integration into the European project.
Did Trump keep his promises? What relationship do you have with him today?He understood the importance of keeping his promises in the eyes of people, starting with the construction of the wall, adapting the United States to structural changes in relation to China, and stopping conflicts abroad. as in Afghanistan. If you listen to his speech on the state of the Union in early February, you will see these three dimensions. These were the three central promises he had made in 2016 and, faced with this, the Democratic and Republican establishment only has to oppose him on the wall issue. Trump knows he will not be built when he is re-elected. But, at least, he shows the American people that he is fighting against immigration. People say to themselves, “He’s doing what he promised us …”If Trump continues on this path, I do not see anyone at the moment who can beat him in 2020. And when I am asked about my closeness to him, I answer that he defines himself today. He himself was a nationalist, and we have never been so close, because even when I led the campaign he had never defined himself as such. As for you, French, you must know that he is not going to destroy NATO, he loves France just as Americans like him. We know that we would not be free and independent without France among our allies, because we have in memory the history of our independence.
“China is a totalitarian dictatorship going to colonize us economically”In your opinion, the 2008 crisis was only an economic and financial crisis? Or did it also reveal a deeper moral crisis? Today, take a tour in France and in America deep, you will see that none of our two countries has really recovered from the crisis of 2008. It is as if this economic crisis had touched perverse and most harshly those who were a priori the farthest from its point of explosion, like the “yellow vests”.It is a financial crisis that has led to an economic crisis that is leading today to a political crisis. In my view, the best evidence of the moral decay of the elite is not so much the financial crisis itself as the reaction of the elites to this crisis. Remember, these people have hired the best law firms, accountants and banks. The elite in London, Frankfurt, and of course Wall Street, had only one thing in mind: to bail out. In concrete terms, what did they do? They opened liquidity taps, what we call quantitative easing, to stop the fear of deflation. They issued no less than $ 4 trillion to save themselves, to the detriment of the ordinary man. If you have savings accounts today that do not pay anything at all, know that it’s because of the negative interest rates they used to bail themselves out. All on the back of the ordinary man.It is, in my opinion, the refusal of the elites to accept their responsibility and to pay the consequences which is now triggering the revolt of the peoples. Look at your revolt, here in France. It is very much linked to this disastrous Paris agreement, whereby you have allowed China, the biggest polluter on the planet, to pollute again and again. And as the rich have had tax cuts, it’s up to the “yellow vests” to pay for it. We understand that they are angry! The Yellow Vest crisis is a perfect example of the moral decay of the Davos party and the elites.
What do you call the Davos party? “Moral decay,” is not that a bit strong? I will give you an example that summarizes everything. In the third week of January 2017, two speeches were delivered. The first in Davos by Chinese President Xi Jinping, the second a few days later in Washington for the inaugural speech of President Trump. Let us remember that with the victory of the national-populist movement, globalization has seen the most bitter defeat in US history – Hillary Clinton, a notorious globalist, embodying this defeat – so that the party of Davos and the major world media panicked: “What will happen with Trump, the savage who lands in Washington to demolish our entire empire?” As for President Jinping, he delivered a speech calling for strengthening globalization. Contrary to Trump, Xi Jinping did not specify that this system was deleterious and that it reduced people to ashes. On the contrary, he had come to emphasize the central aspect that China should take in a new globalization. So all the consultants, all the bankers, all the lawyers, all the little elite of Davos applauded him very loudly and exclaimed: “Xi is great! Xi is our savior! ” At that time, they were aware that a million Uighurs had already been transferred by the Chinese army to re-education and concentration camps; they knew about the crackdown on the Dalai Lama and the Buddhists in Tibet; they knew about the dismantling of the Christian Church in China, which had become clandestine to survive; they were aware of the situation of the Chinese people, enslaved by the cadres of the Chinese Communist Party.Knowing all this, they welcomed Xi as a savior and treated Trump as if he were the Devil himself. The only wrong of President Trump? Advocate for a strengthening of the Westphalian system and the nation-state. We Americans take care of our country, as we want our allies and partners to take care of theirs: “Make France great again”, “Make Italy great again”, “Make Poland great again” … But they all applauded Xi Jinping and claimed that Trump was the bad guy. This is the moral rot that is at the heart of the Davos party: they have acclaimed a totalitarian dictatorship. In reality, Davos only cares about one thing: money. They do not obey any other moral authority. They venerate the first comer who pays out enough in consulting or banking fees. Davos is fascinated by the golden calf, obeys no other authority and quite frankly, it is thanks to this moral weakness that we will overcome it.
How close are you to the Republican Party establishment? Do you recognize them as part of the impoverishment of the American popular classes that you have described? As I explained, the Republican establishment fought Trump whenever they had the opportunity. In this great national-populist movement, the Republican establishment is not on our side. For example, Trump had negotiated a trade deal on soybeans, so that its value could be guaranteed regardless of its price thereafter on the stock market. Imagine that the Republican Party establishment was not in favor of this measure, considering that it would force China to make major structural reforms. On the other hand, the Republican party’s establishment has been the advocate of illegal immigration, because it allows us to bring more low-skilled labor to bear down on wages.Upon arriving in Washington DC, the Chinese delegation hurried up Capitol Hill to lunch with the Republican Party establishment. Before Trump brought them back, all those good people were totally disconnected from the Republican Workers’ base. Remember: at the 2016 primaries, Trump was facing twelve candidates all widely supported by Heritage Foundation, the Cato Institute, the AEI, the Koch brothers, Paul Singer and so on. Whether they are libertarians like Ron Paul, conservatives like Ted Cruz, governors like Chris Christie, neoconservatives like Marco Rubio or a member of the Bush faction, we were dealing with the cream of the crop, in the pinnacle of the Republican establishment until in their thought software. And that’s where Donald Trump arrived. He told them: we will build a wall and close the borders, we will reduce our jobs relocated, we will tax transactions with China. They did not even know what the word “protectionist” meant, they probably had never heard it, it was not even in their jargon. And during the primaries, we can see that they do not even know how to answer him because they are only robot politicians programmed to reason in a certain way. The weekend before polling day, the Republican establishment in the person of Paul Ryan told me to my face that it was not worth going to Wisconsin, that anyway we would lose at least three points and they did not want to be associated with that. I told them it was absurd and that I was convinced we could win Wisconsin. Probably little, but we had to go! So Paul Ryan and the Republican party establishment refused to appear on the stage with us. They did not realize that Donald Trump’s speech met the concerns of the American working class, simply because they themselves were disconnected from it. During the campaign, we had three enemies: the elite media party was the first of them, the fringe of the Democratic Party attached to the left of the values was the second, and the Republican Party establishment the third. Combine these three categories that mate with each other and you will get the political and media elite of the country, the class that has been fighting Donald Trump since the start.“The Chinese are presenting themselves as your new partner but their real economic strategy is to make France a colony”
You said to be protectionist. What is your opinion of the economic doctrine of the Chicago School? I do not believe in the neoliberal model. Of course, I am in favor of a share of capitalism, but on condition that it is a capitalism of the real, a practical capitalism. The academics of the Chicago School got lost in their abstract theories and they made the free market a fetish. The world today is divided between two opposing systems. On the one hand, there is China, this mercenary totalitarianism that tries to flood the world with its goods and its liquidity with its “Made in China 2025” program. Last week, the Chinese president was in France to invest 60 billion dollars in 30 different contracts to open his project of the new silk road. The Chinese are presenting themselves as your new partner but their real economic strategy is to make France a colony. On the other hand, there are the Western democracies that still operate according to the liberal order and that resist, as best they can, the invasion of these manufactured products, which completely free themselves from the rules of the WTO, unbalance their trade balance and destroy their jobs. This is where the anger of the people comes from. The Chicago School of Economics is nice in theory, but in practice it does not hold water. But you know what you But do you know what you’re saying to the big media in the establishment if you say that in the United States? Me, they accused me of being nothing less than a communist. According to them, I would be a Bolshevik simply because I am in favor of protecting our industries and American workers! Is not your biggest challenge to convert the Republican Party to protectionism? If Donald Trump won because protectionism, especially against China to regain jobs, is one of the dimensions that I took care to include in all his speeches. That’s one of the reasons we won, especially in Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania and the Midwest. Because, as the great sociologist JD Vance in Hillbilly elegy puts it, citing reports from MIT and Harvard, there is a correlation between the relocation of factories and jobs in China, and the opioid crisis which, like you know, kill fifty thousand people every year in the United States, with Fentanyl that the whole world has heard about.But now that we have engaged all the forces of the country against it, China is against us. Even they realize that they must make major structural changes in the Chinese economy, be it in subsidies to state-owned industries, the theft of property, or the manipulation of currencies without a trade barrier. Because it really affects people, in France as in the United States. That’s why, when Trump does what he’s doing right now, he’s doing it for all industrial democracies: Japan, North America, Western Europe … We’ve been made by China. And especially by their practice of technology transfer: when a company in France wants to do business or manufacture in China, it will be necessary for it to make a joint venture in which China will have view and will have access to French technologies to then steal them. This is theft of intellectual property and racketeering: you want to trade with China to compete with it so it floods your markets? You will therefore be obliged to offer them your technology on a platter. That’s how it works, unlike the West, where capitalism is based on innovation, which drives the economy and forces our entrepreneurs to move forward.In addition, the Chinese continue to invest heavily in government-owned state-owned industrial subsidies to gain maximum export capacity. Which gives rise to the fact that the number one Chinese export in the world today is deflation, because China lives beyond its capacity and exerts a tremendous tariff pressure on the rest of the world. For example, it has 800 million tons of steel capacity and lives on top of them by lowering its prices to flood the world market and exerting tariff pressure that stifles its competitors and prevents them from raising their prices. . That’s why Trump sounded the alarm: we must fight and fight hard for these major global structural changes to work. And it is important that you understand in France that you are also concerned, and that all this has a huge impact on your people, as it does on the American people. Not to mention the Chinese project of the new silk roads, the “Made in China 2025” plan and China’s 5G expansion plans. They will dominate the future of high technology and the bulk of manufacturing in France and the United States, and we will become tributary to China. We will be reduced to providing them with raw materials and some components, and we will be a market for their finished products, while being a digital colony for them.“I think that Westerners, unless we really get to grips with China by putting them under our economic rules, will have a hard time avoiding a conflict in the China Sea.”
Can China also be a long-term military threat? There is a well-known book called “Unrestricted warfare,” written by two Chinese military strategists in the nineties. It is a kind of war plan against the West that exposes three types of wars: the information war, the economic war and the armed war. What he describes can be summed up as: “The only thing Westerners can do is fight and they know how to fight with good strategies. We will never defeat them militarily, but we can defeat them by using the information war and the economic war. ” That’s why China is committed to destroying the West economically, and that’s why it has intensified the information warfare, cyber-theft and cyber-espionage of intellectual property.As for the armed conflict, I hope we will never go. Having been young in the mid-seventies, I was on a destroyer in the South China Sea. This sea is the major waterway in the world for about 40% of world trade and has always been open to the free navigation of every nation in the world. The Chinese have built seven fixed islands, which are essentially aircraft carriers used to claim the South China Sea as a territorial sea, just as they wish to see safe passages of navigation. I thought, in 2014, that there would be a war in the coming five years in the South China Sea as the geostrategic climate is explosive … For example, the Japanese believe that the military conflict that threatens them most is not with North Korea, but is at one of two major stress sites, Taiwan, in the Taiwan Strait, and the South China Sea.I think that the Westerners, unless we really get to grips with China by putting them under our economic rules, will have a hard time avoiding a conflict in the China Sea. Something I hope with all my heart not to see happen. But it is only by confronting us economically with China that we will avoid that. What Trump has been doing since he was elected is even the mark of his presidency. It focuses on that and now we have all the governance forces with us, focused on this issue, which will become decisive until the 2020 Presidential election.
The army has been a defining experience in your intellectual journey?Asia has always interested me, so I joined the Pacific fleet on a destroyer as an officer in charge of the pursuit of Soviet submarines. Our submarine warfare missions were conducted in the China Sea, the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean. I made two expeditions at sea. During the second, we were faced with a hostage crisis. It was a formative experience that reinforced my love of the homeland. To measure how vast the world is and to go to the end of this world to defend America: yes it was a great experience.I was in China in 1977, I saw India and Pakistan, all these things that I could not have conceived if I had stayed in my small state and in my small town of Richmond. The army allowed me not to fall back on myself. Later, my eldest daughter joined West Point, and she served with the 101st Airborne in Iraq. One of my best memories was at the Breitbart Embassy [a conservative Washington show that Steve Bannon is very fond of, Ed.] When my daughter sent me a picture: exhausted, weapon in hand, she sat on the throne of Saddam Hussein. It was a great experience for her to go to Iraq. She also served in Eastern Europe, and again it was very formative. Serving in the army strengthens the love of the country, it is a duty for every American.
Is the biggest threat to the West not Islamism? I think this radical Islam and especially political Islam and sharia are clearly a significant threat to the West, but I think we can overcome that, especially as we have partners in the Middle East who have understood the issues. General al-Sisi, for example, has made it clear that Islam must reform internally to enter modernity and that only the nations of the Ummah can bring about this. That’s why with President Trump we went to Riyadh, Jerusalem and Rome on our first trip. To dialogue the great foci of Judaism, Islam and the Judaeo-Christian West. Still, yes, radical Islam is of course a major threat to the Judeo-Christian West, but it is not Islam in general, but indeed its radical, Islamist, supremacist interpretation, placing sharia above all and embracing jihad. And I think against this threat Trump was one of the most committed figures.But if you look at the existing threats, it is the Chinese who embody the most ardent threat to the West, given its size, given its history, and given its ambitions. One only has to look at the new silk roads and see the Chinese president’s visit to France a few days ago. He brought sixty billion dollars with him: if China’s project succeeds, France will be very different from what it is today, and it will be a much bigger problem than radical Islam. The globalists did not want to see this threat. And Macron now sees a Chinese president arrive with sixty billion dollars, how can he ignore them?
More than the left at Bernie Sanders, is not it the left caviar that you hate? What do you think of the politics of identities that the left leads? Does not it break America? I listen to the “progressives” on the left and what they say about Trump. In fact, they divide America by wanting to go far too far in an identity politics because they think that it is a way for them to win. This is a narrow policy for me, which contrasts with the economic results and the social question. Looking at what Trump did with his policies, one realizes that he created the lowest black unemployment rate in history, and the lowest unemployment rate of Hispanics in forty or fifty years, wages in rise in both categories and we can already see in the polls that Latin Americans are beginning to turn to Trump, which has more than 40% approval among Hispanics, and thus cut the grass under the feet of the Democrats and his ethnic clientelism.
You lead Breibart News, is the digital revolution a threat or a chance for democracy?Democracy has never been stronger, but the media began to say that it was in danger as elites began to lose the election. Democracy has all of a sudden fallen into a great danger just because they got their ass kicked. Last November in the United States, 113 million people voted, it was the record of participation in a mid-term election of history. And I think we should expect a great electoral mobilization for the upcoming European elections.People are more engaged than before, thanks in part to social networks. Social networks have disintermediated everything and that is exactly what Breibart did. A media capable of broadcasting content every day. Today we have real alternatives and I think we are only at the beginning of this process. Remember that Salvini and Bolsonaro have won thanks to Facebook videos, no need to spend millions of dollars! Even Ocasio-Cortez: we forget that she was a bartender a few years ago and that she was earning about $ 17,000 a year, today she is the third most important political figure in the United States, the most powerful nation in the world. Yes, social networks are incredibly powerful.
US President Donald Trump’s former adviser Steve Bannon has issued a blistering condemnation of McKinsey & Company, Goldman Sachs and an advocacy group representing some of the most prominent Chinese Americans, as he stepped up his rhetoric about the need for Washington to confront China.
Speaking on Tuesday at a Washington event organised by the Committee on the Present Danger: China, or CPDC – which also featured Senator Ted Cruz and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich – Bannon excoriated groups that have promoted business and cultural ties with China.
These ties, the former White House chief strategist said, have assisted efforts by the Communist Party of China to dismantle an international order of the “nation state on the shoulders of a free citizenry” forged centuries ago in the West.
“All the McKinsey guys, all the Booz Allen [Hamilton] guys, all of the law firms, all of the accounting firms, Goldman Sachs, my old firm, all of the commercial banks, all of them” know about the Chinese government’s policies towards Uygurs and Christians and other religious minorities, and “the enslavement of the Chinese people”, Bannon said.
Efforts to stop China’s advance, as the United States did with the Soviet Union, “is the defining event of our time”, Bannon added.
“One hundred years from now, this is what they’re going to remember us for, and I guarantee you that we’re going to identify those members of the elite that sold us out and continue to sell out the American people and sell out the Chinese people.”
Booz Allen Hamilton said it does no business in China. McKinsey and Goldman Sachs did not immediately respond to queries sent about Bannon’s comments outside of regular business hours.
CPDC was launched to facilitate “public education and advocacy against the full array of conventional and non-conventional dangers” posed by the ruling Chinese Communist Party, the group said in an announcement last month.
Wednesday’s event in Washington was the first in a series of conferences planned by the group to raise awareness of its cause, the objectives of which include an abandonment of the Trump administration’s efforts to strike a deal that will end the US-China trade war that started last year.
Since then, US-China tensions have reached levels not seen since the establishment of formal diplomatic relations between Washington and Beijing 40 years ago. The CPDC seeks to amplify all of the outstanding issues that prompted Trump to slap punitive tariffs on imports from China, including barriers to the country’s domestic markets.
The group aims to expand the debate with warnings that US telecom equipment makers are falling behind Chinese company Huawei in the marketing of 5G mobile networks globally, and that the Chinese military’s technical prowess is becoming a dire threat to America’s military capability.
“Our vulnerability in space is profound,” said Cruz. “The Chinese are investing billions in offensive weaponry in space … It’s all fine and good to have a fifth-generation fighter aircraft, but do you know how to land it if GPS goes down?
“We need to be investing far more vigorously in defending space” to counter China’s eventual ability to jam US satellites, Cruz added.
Bannon, Chinese military officers and book that made him a China hawk
The CPDC did not limit the targets of its opprobrium to business leaders and politicians who they say are not taking China’s ability to threaten the US seriously. Bannon also hit out at the Committee of 100, a Chinese-American advocacy group that includes Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang, world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma and the architect I.M. Pei.
“The Committee of 100, this highfalutin’ group of the best of the best,” Bannon said. “They put out a press release on Sunday … and guess what [they say] the problem is … this is about racial profiling. Tell that to the Chinese people that are enslaved.”
Also known as C100, the group bills itself as being “committed to a dual mission of promoting the full participation of Chinese Americans in all fields of American life, and encouraging constructive relations between the peoples of the United States and Greater China”.
The C100 had said in its press release that the group was “compelled to stand up and speak out against the racial profiling that has become increasingly common in the United States where Chinese Americans are being targeted as potential traitors, spies and agents of foreign influence”.
“Civil rights for Chinese Americans are about American ideals,” said Frank Wu, the C100’s chairman, in response to Bannon’s comments.
Trump plans to make trade war unbearable for China, Bannon says
“Concerns about China and how it has set up its society are a different issue. Due process for Chinese Americans should depend on American principles, not government policies in China.”
The singling out of particular groups as threats to American security is in the CPDC’s DNA. The Committee on the Present Danger (CPD) was first established in the early 1950s as a bulwark against the influence of communism in the US.
The CPD gained notoriety in its first iteration when it issued NSC 68, a policy directive that called on Congress to triple the US defence budget to counter the Soviet Union’s expansion. It disbanded after some leading members were drafted into the administration of Dwight Eisenhower,
The second CPD was formed in 1976 by defence hawks from the Democratic and Republican parties who disagreed with Washington’s policy of detente with the Soviet Union.
A CPDC founding member, Bannon was also co-founder of far-right news outlet Breitbart, which he described in an interview with American magazine Mother Jones as a “platform for the alt-right”.
Bannon is also known for being a former vice-president of Cambridge Analytica, the now-defunct data analysis firm that harvested the data of millions of Facebook users to predict and influence political movements.
The CPDC’s vice-chairman Frank Gaffney, who was a defence adviser to former president Ronald Reagan, said the committee was planning more conferences to amplify its concerns about China, and planned to invite leading figures in the Democratic Party including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
‘Committee on the Present Danger: China’ Hosts Capitol Hill Roundtable Discussion of Threat Posed by Communist China
‘Committee on the Present Danger: China’ Hosts Capitol Hill Roundtable Discussion of Threat Posed by Communist China WATCH LIVE ON FACEBOOK
WASHINGTON—On the afternoon of April 9, the newly launched “Committee on the Present Danger: China” (CPDC) will convene the first of a series of roundtable discussions aimed at raising awareness about the magnitude of the Chinese Communist Party’s multifaceted and intensifying effort to supplant the United States as the world’s dominant power.
This meeting is expected to feature, in addition to comments by distinguished members of the CPDC, remarks by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, leading lawmakers and other experts concerned about the PRC’s ominous trajectory.
This conversation will take place against the backdrop of ongoing bilateral trade negotiations and rising concern—both in this country and the Western Pacific more generally—about Communist China’s economic warfare, military build-up and ever-more-aggressive behavior. (At its launch event, the Committee released a statementabout the need for a holistic approach to the Chinese threat.)
WHO: The Committee on the Present Danger: China
WHAT: A roundtable discussion over a working lunch concerning the threats posed by the Chinese Communist Party and what the United States and other nations must do to mitigate them
WHERE: Reserve Officers Association, Ballroom, One Constitution Ave, NE, Washington, DC 20002
WHEN: Noon to 3 p.m. Tuesday, April 9
WHY: To arouse the American people and their elected representatives to the immense challenge our nation now faces from the People’s Republic of China and how we must respond
HOW: For media to register, contact email@example.com
Live-stream the event at www.facebook.com/securefreedom
The CPDC’s mission statement:
The mission of the “Committee on the Present Danger: China” is to help defend America through public education and advocacy against the full array of conventional and non-conventional dangers posed by the People’s Republic of China. As with the Soviet Union in the past, Communist China represents an existential and ideological threat to the United States and to the idea of freedom—one that requires a new American consensus regarding the policies and priorities required to defeat this threat. And for this purpose, it is necessary to bring to bear the collective skills, expertise and energies of a diverse group of experts on China, national security practitioners, human rights and religious freedom activists and others who have joined forces under the umbrella of the “Committee on Present Danger: China.”
Founding members of the “Committee on the Present Danger: China”—a number of whom will be present at the roundtable discussion—include: Brian Kennedy, chairman; Frank Gaffney, vice chairman; R. James Woolsey; Dr. William Bennett; Steve Bannon; Mark Helprin; Pastor Bob Fu; Kevin Freeman; Dr. Peter Pry; Dr. Sasha Gong; LTG William Boykin; Hon. Ed Timperlake; Dr. Mark Schneider; Richard Fisher; Amb. Hank Cooper; Lianchao Han; Dr. Michael Waller; Capt. James Fanell, USN (Ret.); Col./Dr. Lawrence Sellin, USA (Ret.); Dr. Dan Blumenthal; Dr. Stephen Mosher; and Dr. Bradley Thayer.
To interview a ‘Committee on the Present Danger: China’ representative, contact Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, Patrick Benner, 610.584.1096, ext. 104, or Deborah Hamilton, ext. 102.
NEW YORK TIMES TREVISO, Italy — Matteo Salvini, the anti-immigrant politician who is the most powerful figure in Italy’s government, on Monday announced the formation of a new European alliance of populist and far-right parties ahead of critical European Parliament elections in May.
“Others will join between now and the 26th of May,” the last day of voting, Mr. Salvini, leader of the League party in Italy, said at an event in Milan with allies from Denmark, Finland and Germany. “Our objective is to be the force of government and change in Europe.”
The elections in May have become a rallying point for European populist parties, once relegated to the margins, to seize their building momentum and expand their power across the continent.
Marine Le Pen, the leader of France’s far-right National Gatheringparty, did not attend the announcement on Monday, though she has signaled her support for the new group.
But it is still unclear how populous the new populist alliance will be.
Noticeably absent from the event were some political figures who would appear to have an affinity with the project, like Hungary’s prime minister, Viktor Orban. Mr. Orban’s Fidesz party still belongs to the European People’s Party group, the alliance of center-right parties that leads the 28-nation European Parliament.=
Under a sign that read, in four languages, “Towards a Common Sense Europe! People Rise Up,” Mr. Salvini maintained that he was a stand-in for his Austrian, Belgian, French and other potential partners, because it would have been unwieldy to have a news conference with so many people. And he said that the full strength of the alliance would be demonstrated on May 18 during a large event in the Piazza Duomo in Milan.
“We are working for a big party for the new Europe,” said Mr. Salvini, Italy’s deputy prime minister and interior minister, whose efforts overlap with those of Steve Bannon, the former strategist for President Trump.
Viktor Orban, the Hungarian prime minister, has not yet allied his far-right Fidesz party with Mr. Salvini’s coalition.CreditPool photo by Julien Warnand
Jörg Meuthen, a leader of the far-right Alternative for Germany party, or AfD, said at the news conference that there were absent partners “who will join us soon.” Immediately after the elections in May, he said, the allied parties will form a new group in the European Parliament called the European Alliance of Peoples and Nations, the result of numerous meetings over recent months.
Olli Kotro, a member of the Finns Party who attended the event, was more cautious, saying, “It remains to be seen who will join us.”
While they share common ground when it comes to strong borders against migration and an emphasis on traditional, national identities, Europe’s far-right populists also disagree on many points of policy. Mr. Salvini’s German and Scandinavian partners lean toward free-market economics, while their French allies are more protectionist.
Mr. Salvini has argued repeatedly that other European Union members must take their fair share of migrants, but some countries, like Hungary, have slammed the door shut. And Poland does not share the warmth that Mr. Salvini and other populists have toward Russia.
On Monday, Mr. Salvini rejected the suggestion that he and his allies were extremists and said they all had a “clear memory of what happened in the past, but the tired debate of left and right, fascists, communists, that’s not what we are passionate about or what 500 million European citizens are passionate about. The debate on the past we will leave to the historians.”
For Mr. Salvini, the European elections could affect his standing at home, as well as across the continent. A strong showing in May would help him consolidate power in Italy’s governing coalition, where he is technically a junior partner to the anti-establishment Five Star Movement, which has hemorrhaged support since the election in March 2018.
But his Italian allies are less than pleased with his international project.
On Monday, Mr. Salvini’s struggling coalition partner, Luigi Di Maio, the Five Star leader, wrote an open letter to Corriere della Sera, Italy’s leading newspaper, arguing that ahead of the European elections in May he found it “paradoxical” that Mr. Salvini was seeking a formal alliance “with those countries who refuse to accept the redistribution of migrants who arrive in Italy.”
He added, “It would be nonsense to complain to the European Union that they don’t accept the quotas and then hold close to parties from the same countries (I’m thinking of Orban) that are the cause of our emergency. Countries that snub us, violate the laws and lack respect for Italy and the Italians.”Luigi Di Maio, the leader of the Five Star party in Italy, has been critical of Mr. Salvini’s efforts to form a Europe-wide populist coalition.CreditAlessandro Di Meo/EPA, via Shutterstock
Asked about those comments, Mr. Salvini said “with all due respect for the sensibilities of whoever, we have a big plan.”
“I don’t comment on what my government allies do,” he said, before doing precisely that, reminding reporters of Mr. Di Maio’s attempts to form an alliance with the Yellow Vest movement in France, damaging relations with the French government.
When Mr. Di Maio “goes to Paris and meets someone who then puts in difficulty the Italian government, I don’t comment,” Mr. Salvini said. He then noted that while Mr. Di Maio now criticized the League’s alliance with the AfD, “in the past years, the path of Five Star was with our friends in AfD.”
For now, Mr. Salvini said, his goal is for the aligned parties to win as many votes as possible and take control of the machinery of the European Parliament. He elided questions about whether he or Ms. Le Pen would be the leader of the new group.
“Today there is no personal ambition, at least for me,” he said. A moment later, though, he added, that as an Italian he was proud that “this departs from Italy, this dream, this project, this vision, this future, departs from Milan and Rome.”
Those present seemed to prefer Mr. Salvini, who has refused to allow ships carrying migrants from Africa and the Middle East to dock in Italy.
Mr. Meuthen talked about how, when it came to enforcing borders and sending migrants back from whence they came, “Matteo Salvini and the League are the exemplars from this point of view.”
Anders Vistisen of Denmark’s Dansk Folkeparti, said that while Mr. Salvini had not asked for any such support, he would make a superb president of the European Commission.
STEPHEN K. BANNON, former Chief White House Strategist and founder of Citizens of the American Republic joins World Over to talk about Vatican-China relations, US foreign policy and his controversial new academy in Europe that seeks to defend the Judeo Christian West.
WASHINGTON (SBG) – Sinclair Broadcast Group’s new program “America This Week” will air Wednesday evening with a one-on-one sit-down interview with President Donald Trump’s former chief strategist Steve Bannon.
Speaking with host Eric Bolling, Bannon gives his perspective on the Mueller investigation, media, and all things politics.Speaking with host Eric Bolling, Bannon gives his perspective on the Muller investigation, media, and all things politics. The former strategist gave his insight on special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian collusion during the 2016 presidential election.
He said he supports the release of the full report because it would only exonerate the president. “What President Trump did to get the Mueller report out. Remember he waved executive privilege, he waved attorney-client privilege. He sent over 1.5 million documents it was all a process to kind of fight every document. The president did the exact opposite; he flooded the zone with information.
He flooded the zone with executives. He flooded the zone with documents,” Bannon said. “I think the president as he said, there was never any collusion that came out.” Bannon also shared his perspective on the “deep state” in America saying he feels that the United States doesn’t have one. Vid
“We don’t have a deep state; we have an in your face state. It is not hidden; it is not deep. And this is what they did with Trump. The nullification project on Donald Trump started even before the campaign ended as we now know,” Bannon told Bolling. “The establishment, the permanent political class here with the FBI, has not wanted Donald Trump to be President of the United States.” When asked if he believes there are still elements in the FBI that are out to get President Trump, Bannon said he definitely feels there are still “rouge” elements operating in the FBI.
Adding that an atmosphere of unprofessionalism was permitted by leadership, Bannon said that there is a larger question to be asked about performing domestic surveillance on political figures. The conversation then pivoted to how Bannon views nationalism in America. “Economic nationalism is what pulls us together. Economic nationalism doesn’t care about your color, your race, your ethnicity, your gender, your sexual preference. What it cares about is that you are a citizen of the United States of America,” Bannon stated.
“If you’re a citizen of the United States of America, you’re going to get a better deal than a non-citizen, and I think that is why nationalism is now kind of sweeping the world.” Bannon gave his view on the state of news coverage in America saying that a fair and balanced media would be ideal, but the current environment is very partisan. “Look, we would love to have a fair and balanced media. Let’s be honest, most for the media today is very partisan,” Bannon remarked. “I say all the time if you want to read The New York Times editorial page, go to the front page.
If The New York Times didn’t publish, CNN would be a test pattern all day long,” Bannon remarked. “I think where the problem is where it becomes the opposition party.” Toward the end of the interview, Bolling asked Bannon to play a word association game, where the former strategist said the first thing that popped into his mind on political players and government figures in Washington. When asked what he thought of special counsel Robert Mueller, Bannon remarked, “honorable guy, did a great job.”
Bolling then named former FBI Director James Comey. “Squirrelly,” Bannon blurted out before adding that the administration should have fired him before the first day. When Democrat and freshmen Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York was named, Bannon said she has tapped into the populist movement in America. “Remember a year ago today she was a bartender making what, $17,000 a year?
Doing the night shift. She was closing up at night. She is now the third most powerful political figure in the United States in back of Donald Trump, Nancy Pelosi, she is No. 3,” Bannon said. “It shows you this populist movement on the right or the left, you can come out of nowhere.” He added while he disagrees with all of her content and her policies saying that, “she doesn’t know much and what she does know, she is dead wrong,” but she has something that can’t be coached. “She has grit, she has determination,” Bannon said. CLICK TO WATCH HERE