There’s nothing like war to bring out the crazy in the crazy far-right.
As the Israeli military pummeled Gaza and created a humanitarian crisis in response to Hamas’ massacre of Israeli civilians, Steve Bannon and Alex Jones found common cause in a conspiracy theory explaining what’s really going on with this war. The coming together of this pair demonstrates how far the MAGA right has descended into the swamps of paranoia and irrationality, as Trump’s onetime chief strategist has mind-melded with the nation’s leading and most scurrilous conspiracist.
Jones is perhaps best known for promoting the noxious notion that the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, was faked to boost support for gun control. Last year, juries in Connecticut and Texas ordered him to pay nearly $1.5 billion in damages to a first responder and the families of the victims for spreading defamatory falsehoods about this tragedy. But Jones has been a purveyor of a many other conspiracy theories—about 9/11, the 1969 moon landing, the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, the 2020 election, and Covid. In between hustling dietary supplements on his talk show, he has told his audience that chemtrail emissions from aircraft are part of a clandestine scheme to poison humans or cause extreme weather, and he has claimed the government is inserting substances into children—via juice boxes!—to make kids gay. His Infowars promoted the absurd Pizzagate theory that Hillary Clinton and other top Democrats were running a child sex ring in the basement of a Washington, DC, pizzeria. His grand claim—the uber-theory of Jones-ology—is that all this evil is being perpetuated by a secretive global elite to implement a clandestine plan to kill off or enslave most of the planet’s population. And for kicks, members of this cabal eat babies shipped to them in gold foil.
Since Donald Trump, while campaigning for the presidency, appeared on Jones’ show in 2015 and praised him—”Your reputation is amazing”—Jones has been part of the Trump cosmos. During the 2016 GOP convention, he was spotted entering the hall wearing a “special guest” badge. On January 5, 2021, he was a featured speaker at a “Stop the Steal” rally held on Capitol Hill the day before the insurrectionist riot. At that event, he decried “globalists” who “brainwash and gaslight the public,” and he denounced “the “satanists who run this system.” He called Joe Biden a “Chinese communist agent” and claimed the Covid pandemic was a “hoax.”
So, naturally, this week when Steve Bannon wanted to discuss the conflict under way in Israel and Palestine on his internet talk show, War Room, he turned to Jones. That made sense, for Bannon was peddling his own conspiracy theory about the war. During the broadcast, he noted that he was “very concerned a trap has been laid for us in Gaza by the Chinese Communist Party and the Persians.” The “Persians” is how Bannon refers to Iran. And he was suggesting that Tehran and Beijing had somehow cooked up this crisis to suck the United States into a war and distract it from China’s plan to dominate the world.
After making that point, he turned to Jones, who fleshed out the conspiracy Bannon hinted at. Jones urged viewers to “look at this at a multidimensional level, not just a one-dimensional level.” He continued:
Why did Biden give the $6 billion five weeks ago to the mullahs in Iran who then gave it to Hezbollah who gave it to Hamas? Why did we give them $80 billion-plus weapons and equipment in Afghanistan just two years ago? Why are they doing this? Because there’s larger globalist forces and, of course, communist China is right in the center of that—the jewel and the crown—that want to wear our America, destabilize America, and drive nations of the world away from a Western uni-power to this multi-polar world they talk about that really will finally end up unseating the US as the dominant force of the planet.
Jones’ feed was cut off by a technical glitch at that point, and his ravings came to an end. (Factcheck: Biden did not hand over $6 billion to Iran. As part of a deal to free hostages, he unfroze Iranian funds for use for humanitarian purposes—and that money has not yet not been released.) Yet later in the show, Bannon amplified the idea that the new Israel-Hamas crisis was covertly orchestrated by China and Iran as part of the 10,000-year-long crusade waged by the “Persians” against the West. He went on to claim that unnamed nefarious actors had tried to force Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu out of office—”exactly the same playbook they ran on Trump”—an apparent reference to the widespread protests against Netanyahu that raged in Israel prior to the war and his ongoing criminal trial for alleged bribery and fraud. And referencing the Israeli military’s failure to pick up warning of the Hamas attack and respond quickly, he observed, “Is the military there, is the problem that it’s woke like the US military?”
Bannon was serving up a melange of conspiratorial talking points. He eventually put all this to a commercial purpose, remarking, “The war between the Persians and the West goes back to time immemorial. Gold was a hedge then. It’s a hedge now.” He urged his viewers to visit a website for an advertiser who peddles gold.
On his own Infowars show, Jones more fully explained what’s actually happening in the Middle East. He counseled his viewers to consider the “third-dimensional, fourth-dimensional, fifth-dimensional” levels of analysis: “Don’t buy into the corporate mind control of ‘are you for the Palestinians or are you for the Israelis?’ You realize we’re all being targeted by the same globalist forces.”
Jones asserted that Israel founded Hamas and that Netanyahu purposefully stood down the Israeli military during Hamas’ attack—because he wanted a war to distract attention from his corruption scandal. There’s more: The Biden administration and military contractors both helped engineer this war that will bring corporations big profits and allow for the expansion of state surveillance and the exploitation of fear to control populations in nations around the world. And there’s even more: The evildoing globalists have a plan: “You create one group or fund one group, you create and fund another group, you collide them together.” Then the “media and the corporate systems and the central [banks]” can impose a solution that gives them more power.
Jones noted that neither the Covid pandemic, the “climate scam,” nor the Ukrainian war has allowed the “globalists to gain control.” So now these schemers “move to war in Gaza.” That, he added, is the “fourth- or fifth-dimensional level.” Netanyanhu, he asserted, “does what the New World Order tells him. Biden does what the New World Order tells him.”
This is the sort of analysis that Bannon believes Americans need. So much so that he has written the foreword for a book that Jones is scheduled to release next week. In that foreword, Bannon proclaims, “For more than twenty years, no populist figure has had more of a bayonet to the back of the Deep State than Alex Jones.” It’s a full-throated endorsement of a dangerous grifter.
The publicity material for Jones’ new book exclaims that Jones reveals the “failed plans of social Darwinists to capture free market capitalism and turn it toward their fascist aims of controlling and depopulating the globe.” It describes Jones as the leading foe of “the anti-human future the globalists have planned for us,” adding, “God consistently works His will in our world, even through imperfect individuals like Donald Trump, Alex Jones, or you.”
Bannon remains an important voice and strategist for the Trump right—and could well be advising Trump. His alliance with Jones is more evidence that this alt-right champion who co-founded Breitbart and went on to be a top Trump aide—before being indicted (twice) for fraud and hooking up with a fugitive Chinese tycoon recently indicted for fraud—has fallen completely into the world of conspiratorial nuttery.