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What We Got in Biden

Photograph Source: Becker1999 – CC BY 2.0

The wrenching appeals by some on the political left to vote for Biden must sting for some of those who actually did cast their vote for him, or at least against Trump in November 2020. This is the game that plays itself out again and again and again, ad nauseam, in US politics, the politics of the ruling elite. The electorate can’t have even those mild reformers among US leaders such as Bernie Sanders or Ralph Nader. That was made clear during both the 2016 and 2020 election cycles. After 2000, the ruling elite’s errand boys and girls made a pariah out of Nader, a hero in my book! The Democratic Party coalesced around Biden in 2020, even though most knew that his domestic and foreign policies of the past would lead in a direct line to what now seems obvious. The political and economic elite won’t allow for any kind of significant changes to the status quo, even if it means that the entire system goes down the proverbial tubes. They, the elite, would rather have a kinder, gentler face to front for their policies, rather than the bald-face ugliness of a Trump, but in the end they’ll support a Trump and worse if need be.

The Biden administration’s actions of the past few days have borne out the fears of those of us who knew better. Biden’s antipathy to healthcare for all is well known, as is his law and order rhetoric.

Biden’s attack in Syria, a war in which the US is involved as a proxy against the government of Assad and his Russian supporters was also a blow struck against Iranian-backed fighters who are fighting the most radical elements of right-wing jihad that can be imagined. All of this is a rubber stamp for Israeli power in the Middle East that seeks to weaken both the governments of Syria and Iran. While Iran is no model for democracy in the Middle East, it is a sovereign nation that needs to remain secure within its borders. When one of its generals was assassinated by the US, and Israel assassinated one of its top nuclear scientists, those who care to pay attention could see where all of this was going. The Biblical writing was on the wall, so to speak. The refusal of Biden to sanction Mohammed bin Salman for his leadership in the Khashoggi assassination is yet another nail in the coffin of force and the support of military force around the world in place of diplomacy. Joseph Biden’s administration sides with those who assassinated a journalist, while protecting his murderers. Again, the hand of Israel and US realpolitik is obvious here.

With the US empire, its holy war involves power and money.

How presidential Biden looked while he carried out the air attack in Syria. That’s something we can all be proud of, can’t we? Military-industrial-financial interests can certainly be proud of Biden with trillions of dollars already pissed away. Can we be equally proud about Biden’s continued policy of locking up immigrant children? The latter takes real guts.

Biden’s refusal to drop the US attempt to bring Julian Assange to the US to stand trial for disclosing US military actions is yet another blow to journalism, even more extreme than that of the Obama administration. We can’t have US military actions outed, and neither can we have our right to assassinate, or support the assassination, of those deemed as threats to US foreign policy.

Now the handwringing begins about the procedural rule decision by an obscure official that derailed the $15 minimum wage battle. The feds can bailout all the banks and other powerful financial interests when the economy tanks, as it always does, but relief for the millions of people who earn crumbs compared to the powerful is not permissible. The $15 an hour minimum wage would have benefited 27 million people and brought 1 million of those people out of poverty, but the powerful can’t have that while a small minority increases its wealth even within the horror of a pandemic. The near-destruction of the union movement that began with Reagan’s attack against unions 40 years ago led in a direct line to the loss of the role of unions in driving up wages. Now, millions of women can face the daily choice of work or childcare while the few rake in billions of dollars.

While right-wing Trump supporters parade a golden calf of Trump in Orlando, Florida, Biden orders bombs dropped in Syria. The insanity is almost bipartisan in its nature. Meanwhile, a Nazi rune seems to adorn the stage at the Orlando Conservative Political Action Conference.

Howard Lisnoff is a freelance writer. He is the author of Against the Wall: Memoir of a Vietnam-Era War Resister (2017).

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