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#Winners and #Losers—Bye Bye Bannon?

Ian Bremmer

Originally published by Ian Bremmer on LinkedIn: #Winners and #Losers—Bye Bye Bannon?

The Week in All the President’s Men

Winner: Jared Kushner—takes a trip to Iraq, organizes the US-China summit, and his reported power struggle with Steve Bannon resulted in the latter’s ouster from the National Security Council. Is there anything this 36-year old can’t do? Guess we’re all about to find out together. #WereJustLivingInIt

Loser: Steve Bannon—gets kicked off the principals committee, sidelined at the makeshift Mar-a-Lago situation room, and the long knives are out from Jared. #NotLastingLong

The Week in Being Tone-Deaf

Winner: Pepsi—yes, the “protest” ad was tone-deaf and completely inappropriate. But more people are talking about Pepsi this week than they have in the last decade. If they’re shooting at you on social media, you must be doing something right. #GenerationNextAdvertising

Loser: West’s (Lack of) Response to St. Petersburg Bombing—turns out that if the terrorists doing the killing aren’t radical Islamists waging war against the west, not many people care. #ALifeIsALife

The Week in Protests

Winner: Men in the Netherlands—a gay couple holding hands was beaten on the way home from a party by a gang of hooligans. For a country that decriminalized homosexuality in 1811 and was the first country in the world to legalize gay marriage, this was beyond shocking. The response? Dutch politicians, athletes, actors, police officers and soldiers took to the streets holding hands in a show of solidarity. #WellHandled

Loser: Women in Saudi Arabia—women in the Kingdom continue to angle for more rights, particularly the right to drive. The fight continued this week as Saudi women filmed themselves silently walking in the street without male guardians. But given that women have been banned from driving since 1957, they’ll probably have to try something stronger. #LessPassiveMoreAggressive 

The Week in Dictators

Winner: Egypt’s Abdel Fattah Sisi—the Egyptian president received a warm welcome this week at the White House after being shunned by the Obama administration for years. For strongmen, the Sisi lesson is clear—stick around long enough, there’s a good chance the US comes around to you. #StayStrong

Loser: Syria’s Bashar Assad—but Assad may not have the chance. Bad luck for him that the Russian guy propping him up is also alleged to have helped elect the US president, who is desperate enough to change the narrative that he’ll lob some missiles in the country. And if the Russia investigation gains traction, Syria better watch out. #WhoNeedsThisGuy

The Week in Asian Countries Messing With the Xi-Trump Summit

Winner: North Korea—the #2 (US) & #4 (China) nuclear powers got together this week to discuss the #9 nuclear power (North Korea). North Korea continues to punch above its weight. #PopularForAllTheWrongReasons

Loser: The Philippines—is Duterte serious, or is he just being his usual crazy self by deploying Philippine forces to the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea? He better decide soon, because he’s sailing into hot water. #CrazyLikeATrump 


Ian Bremmer is president of Eurasia Group, foreign affairs columnist at TIME and Global Research Professor at New York University. You can follow him on Twitter and Facebook.