It’s an inconceivably scary thought that the Trump administration is simply winging it without a plan. But here’s the even scarier possibility — that there is, in fact, a plan.
By Bradley Burston / Haaretz Opinion
February 6, 2017
“We’re now, I believe, at the beginning stages of a global war against Islamic fascism.”
— Steve Bannon, White House Chief Strategist
It’s an inconceivably scary thought that the Trump administration is simply winging it, breakneck, disrupting and detonating and taking America apart — and all of it without a plan.
But here’s the even scarier possibility — that there is, in fact, a plan.
A plan which would dramatically concentrate and expand Donald Trump’s power, inflame and mobilize his base, whip up and and leverage racism, Islamophobia and, at a later stage, if needed, anti-Semitism, in order to slough all shortcomings onto scapegoats.
He needs a war.
He needs a war to reconcile the contradictions of a populist and extravagantly self-contradictory election campaign, in which he vowed to rebuild the military to historic levels while also slashing government spending. He needs the kind of war that could make good his vows to revive heavy industrial manufacturing and the mining of “beautiful coal.”
A war would free him to green-light mammoth corporate monopolies, and to provide the ultimate pretext, the emergency imperative, for abrogating on a massive scale the most basic of constitutional guarantees to individual freedoms — gun ownership excepted.
A war would underscore his contentions that his critics are weak, his rivals myopic, liberals perverse, immigrants suspect, leftists metastases, journalists —Fox News and Breitbart excepted — subversive, anti-American, knowingly and treasonously and shrewdly deceitful.
A war would make it clear that it’s not mass casualty shootings by loner white males that makes Americans unsafe. It is, rather, the specter of the swarthy Muslim we have never met, which should keep us up at night — even if that Muslim is in actual life a saint among physicians or a decorated former brother-in-arms of U.S. troops overseas.
Donald Trump needs a war. But not just any war. He needs just the right global non-Christian, all-powerful, all-frightening, non-white, non-negotiable enemy.
He needs a Holy War.