The New Faces In Trump’s Team – What To Expect

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The New Faces In Trump’s Team - What To Expect

Written by Nikolay Nikolaev; Originally appeared at A-specto, translated by Valentina Tzoneva exclusively for SouthFront

The Koch brothers, close to ‘Likud’ of Benjamin Netanyahu and the religious right take key positions in the new US administration. Religious conservatism, anti-Islamism and American patriotism dominate the key appointments of Donald Trump.

The US elections ended and the winner is the Republican candidate, Donald Trump. The process from the vote of the Americans to taking control over the administration, however, is long and complex for the real empowerment of the eccentric billionaire. Appointments to management positions at the CIA, Pentagon, State Department, Justice Department and other key structures will show whether Trump will have real power. The opposite hypothesis is unprecedented in American history.

The most recent example of the weak role of the American head of state in the affairs of the US is the agreement on Syria, reached between Obama and Putin in September. Influential circles in the US services, dissatisfied with the president, initiated air strikes on Syrian positions in Deir ez-Zor, which according to unofficial reports, killed Russian soldiers. Moscow responded, the peace talks failed and the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, with mild irony said that apparently the US military “did not listen to ‘their commander’.

It is well known that the political system in the US is constructed from two main political parties: the Republican and the Democratic Party. Behind them, however, lie many factions, ideological currents and in the words of Donald Trump, “special interests.” A dialogue with the Democratic Party must be conducted, and apart from this, the newly elected head of state will have to find common ground with his opponents in the Republican Party, the influential wings of the “hawkish” neo-conservatives and moderate Rockefeller Republicans. Only this can ensure support for the new cabinet and its political proposals by the legislative body in the United States – the Senate. Will the innate political acumen of the new American president help him to build strong relationships with internal opponents while maintaining core commitments? The appointments to date demonstrate that: the posts are distributed among the victorious coalition of traditionalists, the religious right-wing and the libertarians. The industrial capital and orthodox religious circles win the tactical battle against the transnational financial capital and the secularists.

Donald Trump gave signs of this with his first acts after his election. From the transitional team of the president, whose role is to be the basis for the selection of personnel for the new administration, two high profile figures were removed. New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie, representing the Rockefeller wing of (moderate) Republicans was replaced by the leader in the transitional team, Vice President, Mike Pence. A little later, the neoconservative Mike Rogers left the team, who was the former chairman of the Intelligence Committee in Congress, along with four of his close aides. According to NBC television, Rogers has been removed precisely because he is close to Chris Christie.

Although the inclusion in the team of the director of the neo-conservative Center for Security Policy (the CSP), Frank Gaffney, the neocons remain seriously disappointed. Neoconservative guru, Eliot Cohen, even warned everyone to stay away from the new government. The American establishment composed of neocons and moderate Republicans, ruling the key structures of the administration in the last two decades, suffered defeat and retreated.

The US industrial capital takes revenge

The choice of Mike Pence for vice presidential candidate and head of the transitional team shows the influence of the religious right and the industrial capital over the future governance of the country. David and Charles Koch turned into key players on the political scene. The Koch dynasty owns the second largest corporation in the US, Koch Industries, controlling production and marketing of oil products and chemicals. The lobby group, ‘Americans for Prosperity’, founded by the brothers, has actively supported the rise of Pence for governor of Indiana, and according to the website, ‘Follow the money’, David Koch supported the campaign of Mike Pence  with $300 000. The NGO of the Koch brothers, ‘Citizens for a Sound Economy’, is the foundation for the creation of the Tea Party, which the Vice President supports.

Another key appointment, that of Congressman Michael Pompei for CIA chief, can also be associated with the Koch brothers. Besides being a member of the tea movement in the Republican Party and recipient of a total of $357 000 in donations from the companies of the brothers, Mike Pompei has a long professional background in structures associated with Koch Industries. In the late 90s, the nominated head of CIA politician founded a private company in the field of space technology, ‘Thayer Aerospace’, funded by Koch Venture Capital. Pompei continues his professional endeavors as president of the company, engaged in the sale of equipment for the extraction of fossil fuels, Sentry International, which in turn is linked to the Brazilian distributor for the brothers. He was elected as representative in the lower house of Congress from the 4th electoral district in Kansas, where the headquarters of Koch Industries is situated, and receives more funds from the Koch brothers than all candidates for the post together. After his election, his chief of staff became the lawyer of Koch Industries, Marc Chenouet.

The traditionalists advance

Anti-immigrant and patriotic American communities emerge as the next key player in the new administration. The traditional wing of the Republican Party is represented so far with two important appointments – the senator from Alabama, Jeff Sessions as a minister of justice, and Stephen Bannon as a chief strategist in Trump’s office. Sessions is known for his irreconcilable attitude towards illegal immigration and is characterized by frequent anti-globalization rhetoric. He will take over a mega-department with a budget of $27 billion and more than 110 000 employees. To Jeff Sessions belongs the lighthearted statement that initially he thought that the existence of the Ku Klux Klan was okay until he discovered that its members smoked grass. Since then, Sessions has invariably been accused of racism.

Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon, met the most serious resistance on his way to the appointment at the White House. Leading liberal media corporations and non-governmental organizations in recent weeks even forgot to pick on the new US president and focused entirely on the future chief strategist of the United States. For what reason does the head of the influential conservative website, Breitbart News, incur this powerful resistance in the form of accusations of racism, extremism and xenophobia?

The ideas of Steve Bannon are really the thorn for the American establishment which lost the election. Defining himself as part of the “global tea movement” represented in the anti-globalization extreme right, Bannon sees the main problem facing the United States as a crisis of capitalism after the loss of its Judeo-Christian foundation. An opponent of secularism, Bannon calls for a strategic partnership with Russia and Vladimir Putin, in the face of the dangerous radical Islam.

Successful crusade for the religious society and victory for Bibi Netanyahu

What unites the seemingly different Mike Pence, Steve Bannon, General Michael Flynn, Jeff Sessions and Michael Pompei is their strong support of traditional US religious values and faith in God. The main enemy for them is radical Islam. They oppose all forms of political Islam and are the main opponents of the nuclear deal with Iran.

According to a senior source from Jerusalem, cited on Israeli Army Radio, the appointments of Michael Flynn to National Security Adviser, and Michael Pompei, as head of the CIA, are warmly welcomed in the Middle Eastern country. They have repeatedly declared strong support for the Israeli position in the region and even General Flynn called Islam a “political ideology that hides behind religion.”

In July this year, Michael Flynn and the neoconservative Michael Ledeen, released a book: ‘The Battlefield: How to win the global war against radical Islam and its allies’. In the event that Michael Ledeen is attracted to high office in the system of national security, this is another bad news for the partnership between the US and the Islamic world.

At first glance, the leaked information about the appointment of the prominent neoconservative, Mitt Romney to head the State Department, seems contradictory against the union between traditionalists and the religious right. Little known is the fact that Mitt Romney was a close friend of Israeli Prime Minister and leader of the center-right party ‘Likud’, Benjamin Netanyahu. Back in 1976, they both worked as corporate advisers on the 16th floor office at company, Boston Consulting Group. Over the years, besides friendly relations, the two have always shared common political positions, including with regard to the crisis in the Middle East and the nuclear deal with Iran. In the event that Romney is appointed as Secretary of State, there should be no doubt: political Islam will be on target.

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  • Boris Kazlov

    So disappointed by news of recurrent anti-Iran pro-Israel positions in the new administration. Wonder if jihadist portions of Syria could be avoided, Israel prefers the terrorists over the “Iranian-ally” Assad.

    • Aquartertoseven

      Islam is the big bad of the world, and if it didn’t exist then Israel would be fine and dandy. It’s a threat not just to the West, but all of the world, so it needs to be tackled.

      • Gabriel Hollows

        Islam is only a problem because of Jewish-controlled America destroying the Middle East through terrorist groups and intervention while Crypto-Jews in Saudi Arabia provide the theological basis for Wahhabism and fund pro-terrorist mosques all over Europe.

        • Aquartertoseven

          No, Islam is only a problem because of how it began and has practiced for 1400 years, it’s a threat to everything around it, has been since it was formed. Israel aren’t helping that, sure, but they’re still the good guys, still democratic, Western and technological powerhouses in terms of innovation. It makes no sense for Israel to corrupt its few allies with people that hate it. None at all.

          • Boris Kazlov

            Islam was practiced with tolerance towards all peoples since its inception, you know nothing, Jews and Christians were respected and so were their scriptures, which Islam recognizes.Mrderers and apartheid practitioners like the zionists are the good guys? You are sick and ignorant.

          • Bob

            That’s bullshit.

            In southern Mediterranean north African muslims raided and kidnapped Christian Europeans and especially their children for centuries. In Adriatic Balkans, Croatia, coastal villagers built second homes high in mountains they fled to whenever warned of incoming unidentified shipping – raiding muslims.

            In east Balkans, Bulgaria, Serbia, Bosnia the invading Ottoman muslims did same thing just more systematically – occupied territory and ruled with complete violence, taxed Orthodox Christians, and kidnapped children for slaves and janissaries.

          • Aquartertoseven

            Muslims and facts don’t mix Bob.

          • Catfish

            Historically islam hasn’t been any more tolerant than christianity when it comes to those with opposing views, even within each religion. Both have been used for control and to justify violence by some while the true religions as they’re laid out in their Holy books is tolerant and very similar in core beliefs. In modern times wahabi false muslims are doing as much damage to the image of islam as the catholic pedophile priests are doing to christianity. Neither adhere to the books the religion claim as holy but use religion as a means of controlling those who are ignorant enough to follow them. The same can be said about the false jews who don’t adhere to the Torah but treat judaism as if it’s an ethnicity instead of a religion. All three Abrahamic religions seem to have counterparts who twist each religion to fit their agendas of supremacy over others.

        • Catfish

          The people who control the usa self identify as jews but don’t adhere to the Torah which is the only Holy book of Judaism. What they do seem to follow is the ideology of political zionism. The claim by political zionism that the Torah supports the existence of modern day sectarian apartheid israel is also refuted by many Jews who do abide by the Torah. Nkusa.org and truetorahjews.org are two of many groups who speak out about this.

      • sólyomszem

        Both, islam and Israel should not be.

      • Boris Kazlov

        You obviously don’t know what Islam is, there are many facets to it, you equate Islam with the degenerate version of the terrorists. Israel is a parasitical artificial entitty, it was carved out of land belonging to palestinians to give it to people who are not teh original jews, but who have a mythical biblical claim to that land, that justifies their racist crimes. If Islam is so bad, why do you use arabic numbers?

        That civilisation is the basis of modern worlsd and its science and culture.

        • Catfish

          The Torah, which is the only book considered holy in judaism, doesn’t support the existence of modern day israel. Nkusa.org and truetorahjews.org among others care enough about the religion of Judaism to speak out about this which I’m grateful for even though I’m not jewish myself. A rabbi at nkusa was the first to point this out to me and is reason I researched about it and came to the same conclusion.

        • Ronald

          Boris Kazlov and Aquartertoseven you are both correct to a degree . Islam after the death of Mohamed split into Shi’ah , and Sunni factions. Out of the Shi ah came the Sufi’s , and out of the Sunni’s came the Wahhabi Sunni’s .
          The Sufi’s dance and sing of love, no threat to anyone,
          the Shi ah are generally “live and let live” ,
          the Sunni’s have been the ones pushing conversion by force, as in the Ottomans etc.,
          the Wahhabi Sunni’s are the extreme by the book hardliners , promoting with (with Saudi financial backing) the Muslim Brotherhood . Conquest , submission , the tithe (10% tax).
          So the Wahhabi form of Islam is a threat to all of mankind , unfortunately the US is focused on Iran , and allied to their mortal enemy Saudi Arabia .

  • Brad Isherwood

    http://journal-neo.org/2016/11/25/the-dangerous-deception-called-the-trump-presidency/

    If Trump can keep these crazies from going after Syria and Iran,….
    Focus on the US economy, ….
    Restore production economy vs consumer….

    • Pavel Pavlovich

      …on the basis of explotation of Russia above all.
      The Angloamerican world has always thrived on the suppression and suffering of others.
      They are colonists in the bad sense of the world and have always been and will always be.

    • Boris Kazlov

      Trump cannot stop the inevitable decline of western influence, he cannot ‘make murica great again’, but that is a good thing, rabid dogs in the Pentagon are desperate to justify their existence with a nuclear war they think can win with a “first strike”. Russia is much more prepared for nuclear war than murica, problem is sick dogs don’t realize they cannot win a nuclear war, if only Trump can stop that madness, then he delivered.

      • Joseph Scott

        It’s really only politicians and think-tank analysts who think like that. Senior military officers aren’t even eager for the level of destruction attacking Iran would entail, much less a war with Russia. Only people who don’t have any clue what they are getting into can be eager for that sort of thing.

  • trid2bnrml

    “‘Follow the money’, David Koch supported the campaign of Mike Pence with $300 000.” — Hello! Soros supports hillary with tens of millions (that we know of), as well as hundreds of millions spent on his NGOs for her benefit – then we have the hundreds of millions contributed by the other globalists and saudis…and NBC is a hillary-owned entity. Trust nothing from them.

  • Jeff Lewin

    The Tea Party was originated by anti-War Ron Paul supporters in 2007. Only afterwards did infiltrators like the Kochs co-opt the movement for their own self-interested purposes.

    • Catfish

      Thanks for mentioning that. It saved me some typing lol

  • Revi

    Does anybody here expected something different?