The Washington Post’s Inadvertent Boost to Steve Bannon
In yet another attempt to discredit US President Donald Trump’s chief strategist, Stephen (Steve) Bannon, the Washington Post inadvertently did just the opposite.
In a piece on Friday, national reporter Matea Gold revealed that she had obtained a draft of a movie proposal written in 2007 by Bannon – at the time a Hollywood filmmaker – aimed at warning viewers about radical Muslims turning the US into the “Islamic States of America.”
According to Gold, the envisioned three-part documentary, titled “Destroying the Great Satan: The Rise of Islamic Facism [sic] in America,” was to open with a scene showing the flag on the US Capitol building emblazoned with a crescent and star, while chants of “Allahu Akbar” emanate from inside. The purpose of the film, she said, quoting its outline, was to caution not only against jihadists, but against the “enablers among us.”
These unwitting Americans, with the “best intentions,” wrote Bannon, according to Gold, were the media, the Jewish community and government agencies engaged in appeasing Islamism and paving “the road to this unique hell on earth.”
While detailing the document, Gold made sure to remind readers that its author is the same Bannon who helped Trump forge his executive order restricting entry into the US of citizens of certain Muslim-majority countries. This unsubtle juxtaposition was supposed to give credence to the claim, widely circulated prior to and since Trump’s election, that Bannon is both an antisemite and an Islamophobe.
But the stab at a double whammy fell flat on its face. If anything, Gold’s account was cause for optimism about Bannon’s role in the administration that is taking shape in Washington.
Indeed, anybody outside of Israel who grasped 10 years ago that radical Islamism was a force not only to be reckoned with but guarded against in the West is a person who has been paying attention. Despite the national trauma caused by the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon in 2001, Americans quickly covered themselves in ostrich feathers and put their heads in the proverbial sand, hoping that the war against Al-Qaeda, being fought far from their homestead, would remain something they might catch a glimpse of on the nightly news, but not feel, smell and taste.
Unlike Israelis – virtually all of whom are soldiers even when in civilian clothes – citizens of the United States are blessed with a choice about the extent of their involvement in matters of national security and defense. As a result, many can and do go through life without ever encountering men and women in uniform, let alone march alongside them.
This is a true mark of freedom that should be cherished. But when forces bent on destroying the country and everything it stands for rear their ugly heads, resting on one’s laurels is not an option; nor is having a commander-in-chief in the Oval Office who lives in liberal la-la-land. Yet that is precisely what American voters opted for – twice – in the past eight years. Talk about begging to be lulled into pre-9/11 complacency.
Bannon is by no means the only American who saw the writing on the wall. But he is among the few today with access to the president’s ear. That he realizes the threat posed by both radical Islamists and their Jewish and other “fellow travelers” is a help, not a hindrance, at a time when the greatest state sponsor of global terrorism just received billions of dollars with which to build nuclear weapons.
It is too early to tell whether Team Trump is up to the monumental task at hand, or how much influence Bannon will have on the course of events. But two things bode well: the Washington Post’s expose of his unmade film, and the satire show “Saturday Night Live”’s portrayal of him as the Grim Reaper.
Ruthie Blum is the managing editor of The Algemeiner.