Steve Bannon, Trump, US, Russia, Alt Right

More than a century ago, the Czar Nicholas II of the Russian empire had the proverbial “world” at his whim. His empire had made significant leaps forward in industry, agriculture and science. The standard of living had risen incredibly and following the failed 1905 revolution, the State Duma (Russian for Parliament) had been formed that had given many onlookers hope that more democratic reforms would follow. Backed up by 400 years of his lineage Romanov’s rule and with Russia enjoying a boom, everything seemed to be going perfectly. But then, World War I erupted, and Russia came to Serbia’s rescue against Austro-Hungarian aggression. Europe’s network of alliances came into effect and in a matter of months, Russia found itself in the midst of an armed conflict against Germany as well.

The war put intolerable strains on Russia, which compounded with unrest domestically. The Czar’s generals grew further disillusioned when he appointed himself Commander-in-Chief of Russia’s war effort. As a case study, it makes up for a comically bizarre episode; a monarch with no military experience took it upon himself to lead his nation’s armies against a much more mechanized and advanced German war machine. It was not the Czar’s fault, or so his generals believed. The Czar was being heavily influenced by an external entity. Gregory Rasputin, a Siberian priest had found considerable influence over both the Czar and his wife due to his effectiveness in curing their son’s illness. He is alleged to have directed the Czar to help the Serbians as well as assume the charge of the Russian army. These are just highlights of his many uncanny opines to the Czar.

Gregory Rasputin, a Siberian priest had found considerable influence over both the Czar and his wife due to his effectiveness in curing their son’s illness. He is alleged to have directed the Czar to help the Serbians as well as assume the charge of the Russian army.

A hundred years later, Donald Trump finds himself as the President of the most powerful nation on earth. His mere presence in the Oval office, making the decisions as the country’s leader still astound political observers. A key part of his campaign trail, his Chief Strategist, may have played a monumental role in putting holes in Mr. Trump’s presidential legacy. Steve Bannon has already been a subject of intense debate even among Mr. Trump’s supporters and the annals of the Republican Party. But it has undoubtedly been Donald Trump who has been misdirected, misguided and misled by Steve Bannon than anyone else. His short reign, has been marred with a number of ugly occurrences. His proposed Muslim ban, which now faces a close scrutiny through the country’s courts is already considered a defeat for Trump’s government. The spectacular failure of his healthcare bill, which he failed to get passed even with Republican control of both the House of Representatives and the Senate. The fabled “wall” appears nowhere near completion. He has so far failed in his bid to oust the illegal immigrants out of the US, upon which he heavily relied in the lead up to his campaign trail. He has however, succeeded in putting a conservative judge in the Supreme Court, although many point to the Republican majority in both houses of the Congress for that win. So, is Donald Trump unaware of how murky this looks on his behalf. With the country in the midst of a severe diplomatic tussle with nations of the world and a boiling point in relations with North Korea on a level not witnessed since the Cuban Missile Crisis, who exactly is to blame?

Steve Bannon has already been a subject of intense debate even among Mr. Trump’s supporters and the annals of the Republican Party.

Though Donald Trump deserves a significant portion of the blame, and rightfully so, the key culprit still remains the man who is supposed to come up with the President’s gameplay. It is Steve Bannon who plans the minute details of how policies announced by Donald Trump are to be implemented. How will they impact certain institutions and exactly what policies should the President be working on? Steve Bannon has been fired. So these questions may already have been answered that Donald Trump considers his Chief Strategist the main culprit in the abysmal failure of various policies enacted by the President. How exactly will this impact the Trump administration going forward, will we see a more liberal form of policy making and will the President back down on many of his policies branded “outlandish” by many pundits? Time will tell.

So these questions may already have been answered that Donald Trump considers his Chief Strategist the main culprit in the abysmal failure of various policies enacted by the President.

It is worth mentioning here that Rasputin was killed in an assassination plot hatched by certain members of the Russian aristocracy, allegedly with the help of British agents. Steve Bannon, may have been a similar political victim of upsetting the wrong people in Trump’s circle, especially when he chose to criticize the President’s son in law, Jared Kushner. As it is rightfully said, “pride cometh before the fall”. Mr. Bannon may just have overestimated his importance to the President.

Ousama Khurshid Khan

Ousama Khurshid Khan is currently working as Senior Research Associate in CSCR. He is an MPhil Scholar at NDU Islamabad. He has previously served in NDU’s research think tank ISSRA in 2015. His area of interest is Defence studies and foreign policy of United States, and he writes on regional contemporary issues. He can be reached at osamakhurshidkhan@gmail.com
ok@cscr.pk and he tweets @Sam1992sam.

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