Smithfield: Opinion

Steve Bannon: White House architect of chaos

Vladimir Lenin once said, “The art of any propagandist and agitator consists in their ability to find the best means of influencing any given audience, by presenting an idea in such a way as to make it most convincing, most easy to digest, most graphic, and most strongly impressive.”

As early as 2013, Ronald Radosh, a Marxist turned political conservative, was visiting Steve Bannon, now the right arm of President Trump, in Bannon’s Washington, D.C., townhouse. Radosh was asking about Bannon being a self-described Leninist. According to Mr. Radosh, Bannon said his “mission is to see America razed and reconfigured by a right-wing, Tea Party-led version of the Bolshevik Revolution.”

Mr. Bannon further explained: “Lenin wanted to destroy the state, and that is my goal too. I want to bring everything crashing down and to destroy all of today’s establishment.”

As we witness the first weeks of the Trump administration with Bannon directing the president’s major decisions, we need not be surprised by the resulting chaos. The Trump White House is at war with just about everybody and everything – the media, our judges and courts, Muslims, NATO, world leaders, anybody who dares to criticize or oppose him.

Bannon’s strategy is well on its way to succeeding. Chaos abounds in the White House and our nation.

The immigration-ban controversy, directed at seven Arab-Muslim states but exempting Christians, serves as a prime example of Bannon-designed chaos.

Bannon has a long history of calling Islam the “most radical religion in the world” and further declares that the West is “fighting a global existential war with Islam.”

Even more frightening, Mr. Bannon has declared, “We are at the beginning stages of a very brutal and bloody conflict” with Islam. It seems that Bannon and his sidekick, our president, are moving toward leading the charge for a Christian Crusade against Islam not seen since the Dark Ages.

If the rising potential of a modern-day crusade against Islam is not scary enough, Bannon is forecasting that “we’re going to war in the South Pacific sea in five to 10 years.”

Listen to more of the man who is very much in charge of leading our nation down a path of certain chaos and change no one saw coming: “You have an expansionist Islam and you have an expansionist China. Right? They are motivated. They are arrogant. They are on the march. And they think that the Judeo-Christian West is in retreat.”

As Trump’s puppeteer, such saber-rattling casts a dark cloud over our nation and our world, and chaos is the path to dark days ahead.

Let’s not forget Bannon mocking President Bush shortly after 9/11: “George Bush walked out after 9/11 in front of a mosque and said it is a religion of peace, and to go shopping. But you know what, we are at war. We are clearly going into, I think, a major shooting war in the Middle East again.”

When men such as Bannon and Trump are fascinated by war and view it as inevitable and the only solution, it will be our sons and daughters, our grandsons and granddaughters who will be led to the slaughter by the greed for power in these men.

During the dark days of the 1900s, the evil forces of demagogues, in order to attain unfettered power, began their power grab by attacking and bringing down public confidence in two pillars of a free society, a free and independent press and the independent system of the judiciary.

Should we, as U.S. citizens, be afraid? No. We should be terrified.

The writer makes his home in Princeton. Email him at