American Presidents 373


I have hardly blogged on the US Presidential elections for two reasons. Firstly the debate is so polarised that many people are oblivious to rational argument that moves outwith the few favoured memes of each side, and I have more than enough abuse in my life already. Secondly, it is some years since I spent any substantial length of time in the USA, and it is a country I find that I understand less and less. I prefer to blog about things where I bring not just judgement, but an extra store of knowledge.

I am very frequently chided for not posting on a subject; a number of people have approached me asking me to post on Nagorno-Karabakh, and indeed I have been offered money to post here on the subject, an offer I suspect would have turned out to be accompanied by conditions as to what I wrote. I will never accept such offers. I am not a corrupt shill like the highly respectable mainstream media journalists receiving secret UK government cash for propaganda from the Integrity Initiative. But also Nagorno-Karabakh is an ancient and tangled dispute with roots that lie deep in history, with complex modern consequences, and which would require a huge amount of reading before I was ready to take a considered view. It is part of a region of which I do in fact have a very deep knowledge, but on Nagorno-Krabakh not specific enough.

I think it is important not to become an all-purpose pundit who fires off unconsidered views on everything that occurs. Such pundits are two a penny in the mainstream media

On the US election I showed my limitations with a tweet yesterday evening predicting Biden would win fairly comfortably, and Trump would concede with good grace. I was wrong. I think Biden will win, but not comfortably and with margins in the key “rust bucket” states close enough for Trump to have every right to question in court aspects of the United States’ rickety voting practices. I still expect to see President Biden at the end of it all.

I know that many of my readers will be triumphant at the departure of Trump. I can understand that. From the viewpoint of US domestic policy and particularly attitudes to social division, race and immigration, the end of Trump’s cynical manipulation of atavistic instinct among the electorate will be in itself a good thing. This has not been a healthy period in US politics.

But Trump has not been defeated by a Bernie Sanders; he has been defeated by a corrupt political hack backed to the hilt by the large majority of the billionaire owned media, financed out of Wall street and with no intention of pursuing anything other than neo-liberal economic policies. It is also the firm re-establishment of the rule of the security state and the military-industrial complex. Trump’s instinctive isolationism made him an enemy of the security state interest which spent a great deal of time in trying to undermine its President.

With Biden we will return to business as usual, and that means war and invasions. Under Trump we have had no new wars started, even if he continued old ones with little control. Without Trump, I have not the tiniest doubt that Syria would have been bombed back to the Stone Age, exactly like Libya, and millions more people would have been killed. Irrespective of the undoubted damage Trump has caused inside the United States across many fronts, Hillary would have killed a lot more people. Just not Americans.

I pause to note that the terrorist in Vienna had attempted to go as a jihadist to Syria and fight against Assad. If he had not been prevented from doing that, he would have been financed by the Saudis, fed and clothed by the Turks, armed by the CIA, trained by the SAS and given air support by the Israelis. He might even have got to be a TV star posing in a White Helmet, or employment artfully placing chlorine bottles on beds for pictures by Bellingcat. Unfortunately, having been prevented from joining the western sponsored insurgency, he ended up killing Austrians instead of Syrians and now is a “terrorist”, whereas jihadist killers of Syrians are “heroes”. A strange world. The Manchester Arena bomber was of course physically brought in to the UK by the British military after fighting for “our side” in Libya. You do indeed reap what you sow.

I hope that those who consider themselves of the left enjoy their relief when the electoral process finally puts to bed the extraordinary populism of Trumpism, and returns the USA to the smoother control of the regular media and political classes and their billionaire controllers. Because anybody who believes any more than that is happening is a fool. I said that I did not blog about the US elections because of the appalling partisan nature of debate. The truth is the system threw up, again, two truly obnoxious candidates entirely antithetical to the real interests of ordinary people in the USA. Biden will do nothing to tackle the appalling wealth and resource inequality which is the most startling problem the country faces. He will hopefully resolve social tensions in the short term. But the cause of those social tensions is a system of gross exploitation of the middle and working classes which is not sustainable in the long term, and which was the root of the Trump political eruption.

Kamala Harris was of course the most right wing possible Vice-Presidential pick. Her advance into power, despite being entirely rejected in the Democratic primaries, is in itself a huge condemnation of the system. I believe I am right in saying that Harris’s Primary campaign was so disastrous she managed to obtain zero delegates at all to the Democratic National Convention. Zero, None. Absolute bottom of the pile. Rejected by Democratic voters as the candidate in toto. Attempting to confirm this zero delegate fact, I just looked up the Wikipedia page on her primary campaign, which turns out to be the most entirely false, hagiographic and manicured Wikipedia page I have ever seen, on any subject, which is saying a lot. Apparently her Presidential Primary bid was in fact a tour de force of brilliant debating and political strategy, recounted in enormous detail, not an abject failure resulting in no delegates. The extraordinarily dishonest Wikipedia page is not perhaps in itself hugely important, but it is emblematic of the sinister manipulation behind the scenes of Kamala Harris’s rise to power.

Let us put a note in our collective diaries to look again in two years and see whether the USA has entered a period of renewed social progress, or just reinvigorated its position as a violent threat to the world. I am looking forward to the period when Biden’s mainstream cheerleaders have to find something positive to say rather than just respond “But Trump is evil”. I predict most of the responses below will say nothing much more on analysis than “But Trump is evil.” Knock yourselves out.

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373 thoughts on “American Presidents

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  • Lord Prole

    Sir,

    “But Trump is evil.”

    I now propose to knock myself out with a bottle of gin.

    Hoping this meets with your approval.

    Yours etc

    Prole

  • Ed McKeon

    We’re in a vehicle being driven along a road towards a collapsed bridge. The road is already buckling and the ride is bumpy. It’s a dual-control model, and there’s a fight over who gets to drive. One is hurtling along at 80mph. The other promises to slow down to 50mph. Most people in the back are crying out for someone to steer away from the bridge, or to try using the brakes, but the media turns up the stereo system so they’re “not heard”. The car never slows enough for people to get out. Perhaps the drivers and those in the front seats have parachutes and ejector seats, or perhaps they believe the bridge will magically fix itself. As we approach the bridge, the cries are turning to screams and the stereo isn’t quite loud enough, but it is on full blast.

    Are we all enjoying the ride?

  • Njegos

    Excellent observations. 1,000,000 x better than what we get from our doubleplusgood transatlantic MSM election night pundits.

  • pasha

    I have lived in the US for nearly 40 years, more by necessity than choice I should add, and I don’t understand the place at all. And then I look at England, and I’m utterly baffled. Scotland I love, but the climate would kill me in months. So I conclude that most of the world is doing something rational but totally beyond my comprehension and I’m in the last throes of final dementia.

    • Piotr+Berman

      I suspect that you are a naive person, perhaps well versed in “utility functions”, “rational expectations” etc. Climate is something that can be evaluate with data and experience. There is a considerable variability within Scotland, Atlantic shores of Skye are visited for the ferocious winds and high chance of rain, and very low risk of heat trauma (some people like it, the views are stunning too). Edinburgh climate is remarkably moderate.

  • Father O'Blivion

    Granted, Biden was a terrible candidate, but Trump REALLY is evil.
    If returned he is going to set up a 1776 Commission because he thinks American education isn’t patriotic enough. That’s right, requiring little kiddies to swear allegiance to the flag every morning isn’t patriotic enough.
    What’s next? Maoist, cultural revolution type group criticism where little kids denounce one another for lack of patriotism?
    We’ve seen this movie before. Germany in the 1930’s.

    • bevin

      The problem is not that Biden was a bad candidate but that he is truly evil, too.
      He entered the Senate on a campaign against school integration. His major accomplishments have been the Crime Bill which not only led to a ten time increase in the number of convicts in US prisons but began a trend of cruelty and injustice which has now become part of Anglo Saxon culture-Biden bears part of the blame for the vast increase in numbers of convicts in the UK and Canada (for example), the deterioration in their treatment and the systematic injustice of the means whereby they are sent there. He was also responsible for the Bankruptcy act which prevents poor people from repudiating their debts to banks etc.
      As to Foreign Policy he is an imperialist who has never seen an opportunity to kill foreign democrats that he didn’t embrace.
      Harris-who’s career was built on cruelty to poor people in California- is no better, just younger.
      Trump is a detestable man, so is Biden.

      • Ken Garoo

        Trump has a couple of things in his favor. Firstly, he is the most honest recent US president – he acknowledged the US really is in the ME to protect the petro-dollar [it was subliminally given away in the initial military name for the war of aggression against Iraq in 2003 – Operation Iraqi Liberation!]. Secondly he is the only US president since Carter not to have started a war. He has continued them and moved the checkers pieces around, but not actually started a new one. The silence of the MSM when he launched the half-assed cruise missile strike against Syria following the ISIS false flag cw attack was palpable. Would he go the whole way and launch the whole US military against Syria? Nope, he just satisifed himself with killing a few hapless Syrian cvilians [officially becoming a war ciminal], so the MSM reverted to attack mode.

        As for who wins the election, it won’t be the American people, American democracy, or innocents around the world. If Biden wins, he will definitely start the final war in the ME, as payment to his oligarch beneficiaries.

        • Tom Welsh

          Exactly, Ken. Trump may not be candid out of sheer goodness – maybe he just couldn’t be bothered to lie – but he is still a good deal more transparent than any other US President since… maybe Carter, or Kennedy.

          If he isn’t quite as transparent as Kennedy, it may be because he doesn’t want to meet Kennedy’s (and his brother’s) fate.

      • joel

        He was the most significant Democrat in facilitating Bush’s war on Iraq too, through his role on the Senate foreign affairs committee. Also a close friend of the most unreconstructed segregationist in Congress. A real beauty.

    • Squeeth

      We’ve seen this before in the US from 1945. Apropos Germany in the 1930s Britain resembles Germany in 1937.

  • Fwl

    Trump is kind of the analogue candidate on whom hopes fears and grievance are pinned. Fears of digital currency, automated work places and a high technocratic elite who control too much and dictate what ordinary people should thing say and feel. That’s my tuppence worth.

  • Alyson

    Completely agree, Craig. I was relieved when Trump defeated Hillary. She was in too deep with the evil of American hegemony, petro dollar domination, and endless war. Trump was a break from all that. His foreign policy has been refreshingly hands on, and his art of the deal approach has brought shadowy players into perspective. He has negotiated in person with Erdogan, Kim Jong Un, and Putin, standing clearly against the threat which China poses in its encroachment, inch by inch, mile by mile, across all its borders, and its deeply entrenched enmeshment in our security systems. His pragmatism and hands off approach to Israel has kept the peace across the region. But his racism, his fascism, his destruction of rights and democracy at home, has been an appalling megalomania. He has gamed the economic system all his life, and with his fingers in all the pies, he has ensured his family takes up the levers of power on his behalf. Biden is not Bernie, and his son is not Kuschner. His promises of power sharing to Bernie, when Bernie agreed not to stand as an Independent against him and Trump, may well turn out to be hollow and meaningless. Ocasio Cortez has a larger majority this time around, and our hopes turn towards her intelligent, compassionate vigour and youth. These are dangerous times for the world. Trump has made America into a lone player in the world, stepping back from NATO and historic alliances. Whether Biden has the imagination to pick up the reins, or the vision to make any improvements to Trump’s legacy, remains to be seen. Peace would be nice, and a Green New Deal to save the planet before it is too late. But Biden is unlikely to prove strong enough to deliver the policies which Bernie would have been able to deliver, had he been the Democrat nominee.

    Trump will not go quietly, and that will be a tragedy for the American people

    • bevin

      “..China poses in its encroachment, inch by inch, mile by mile, across all its borders,”

      The truly threatening thing about China’s imperialist expansion is the incredible sloth with which it proceeds- the empire not having actually grown in size since about 1750.
      And then there are the feints and tactical retreats, such as that in Taiwan. And of course the ‘lease’ of Hong Kong which came to an end in 1997.
      Sarcasm is wasted- perhaps Alyson could provide us with a single instance of Chinese encroachment across its borders? Even on the western Indian frontiers China is simply re-establishing itself in regions in which British imperialism set out to dominate from the C19th.
      As to China’s “deeply entrenched enmeshment in our security systems” one assumes that you prefer, to the point of not noticing, that the UK’s ‘security systems’ are all dominated by the US.

      • Alyson

        China has taken 300 miles along India’s borders, and has a strong military presence there. China is constantly harrying Japanese fishing boats around Japan’s smaller islands, leading to increased tensions, with US submarine presence supporting Japan. China is coming, economically and technologically, and a SOAS spokesman for China expressed China’s desire to regain Taiwan at a ‘time of its choosing’. Remember Tibet. The people there are being moved from their ancestral lands as Han Chinese move in. China owns a large tract of Central London which is subject to Chinese law and not under U.K. Jurisdiction. It is wise not to underestimate China. We have received many good things from China. That is nice.

        • Giyane

          Alyson

          With all due respect there are vast swathes of London ghettoeised by alien law. Most of what is enclosed by the North Circular. Where is this Chinese tract?

        • bevin

          Tibet has been part of the Chinese polity since the C18th when to put an end to attacks on China the army went west. As to the naval clashes in the south China Sea, the US and Japan have been encroaching on Chinese interests for decades, China is simply defending them.
          I’m not sure what you mean by China’s having “taken 300 miles on India’s borders” Are you telling us that the Modi regime is not engaged in provoking China?
          China is reacting to centuries of Imperialist encroachments and attacks, the way to stop its reactions is to seek negotiated peace. Neither the US nor India is interested in that.
          Surprised to hear about the Chinese rule in Central London-I haven’t been there for years. Is it a bot like Hong Kong without the military?

    • Penguin

      We keep being told that trump is a racist, but there’s never any evidence offered up in support of that statement. Biden is a racist, condemned beyond any doubts by his friendship with grand Cyclopse of the KKK, Robert Byrd. Confirmed more recently by his, “if you don’t vote for me you ain’t Black, ” and,” Poor Black women stacked shelves so I could stay safe at home.”

      If you defend the current massive election fraud Biden and his henchmen are undertaking because of TDS then you are the very definition of a Useful Idiot. Biden was toast last night/ this morning, yet suddenly he achieves over 90% support in counties which had their counts delayed for reasons, and managed to close up a 300,000 vote gap in Michigan, 200,000 in Wisconsin and 400,000 in Georgi. All above board I’m sure. When he and his campaign stated repeatedly that Trump would not be allowed to win he wasn’t kidding.

      We saw it trialled in the Glenrothes By-election, then the full might of election rigging took place in 2014.

      Defend it happening against the Orange man Bad, but next time they’ll be doing it to us again.

        • C-stiltskin

          Huff Post, really?
          I stopped reading after the third ‘claim’, laughable opinion posing as smoking gun evidence.
          Let’s forget dialogue with N Korea and Russia, Israel and UAE, the economy, rather let’s concentrate on his verbal gaffes against others.
          Big deal.

          • glenn_uk

            Sure, forget about all the racism and bigotry if you like – but don’t try to deny that’s the main attraction for Trump apologists. Why don’t you embrace it, own it? At least his “Proud Boys” have the guts to do that, which is more than you can say.

      • Susan

        “Biden was toast last night/ this morning, yet suddenly he achieves over 90% support in counties which had their counts delayed for reasons, and managed to close up a 300,000 vote gap in Michigan, 200,000 in Wisconsin and 400,000 in Georgia.”

        Nailed it, Penguin. After the stunningly outrageous censorship of any negative reporting about Biden by the deep state social media entities, how could we possibly be so naïve as to think that fraud will NOT be part of the election process.

      • AmyB

        “Biden was toast last night/ this morning, yet suddenly he achieves over 90% support in counties which had their counts delayed for reasons, and managed to close up a 300,000 vote gap in Michigan, 200,000 in Wisconsin and 400,000 in Georgi. All above board I’m sure”

        Yup. He was toast after the in-person ballots were counted, but the commentators neglected to mention that the mail-in ballots had not been counted and it’s easy to see how those votes will be cast given that the vast majority were sent to registered Democrats (so it would be a surprise if those registered Democrats voted for Trump).

        You see now?

        The increasing tendency for commentators here to believe in the most absurd conspiracy theories can’t be doing Craig any favours.

  • Jon Aske

    You really think Biden is going to win? What makes you think that. That seems less and less likely by the moment.

    • laguerre

      Looks pretty 50-50 to me. There are a lot of uncounted votes, particularly in Pennsylvania, which could sink Trump. Nearly 3 million according to the Graun, or 1.4 million according to the BBC. That’s a lot.

    • Coldish

      Jon Aske: according to my (possibly erroneous) calculations, If Biden takes Michigan (as well as Wisconsin, Arizona and Nevada, which already seem to be his, plus 3 out of 4 Maine votes and 1 out of 5 Nebraska votes, he will have 270 electoral college votes in the bag, and will technically have won, even if Trump takes all 3 of Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Georgia. It doesn’t look that good for Trump. His lawyers will be ready to pounce.

    • Cynicus

      “ You really think Biden is going to win? What makes you think that. That seems less and less likely by the moment.”

      On the contrary it seems more and more likely by the moment.

      Follow the money: betting odds from Oddschecker –
      Biden – 1 to 4;
      Trump 7/2

      These Are the mirror images of betting odds a few hours ago at 9-10 am GMT

      I’m still kicking myself for not sticking a few quid on Biden at 4 to 1.

  • laguerre

    Evidently the question of Biden vs Trump is one of least worst, not more than that. The thing about Trump is not that he doesn’t launch wars, yes true, but the fact that he withdraws the US from all sorts of international agreements and involvements, like funding the UN, the most recent being the Paris Climate accord. The one I saw from up close was Iran’s suffering from Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran agreement. There is really no justification for doing that other than to please Israel.

    But I do think that if Biden wins in the end, although he is part of the war camp, It doesn’t necessarily mean that the US is going to take up mass wars again. I have the feeling that the US is a bit tired of wars. There’s absolutely no tolerance of possible US casualties. So Iran is off. Syria is a mess. On the other hand Israel is not going to allow the US to switch policy to China. They want to keep the US concentrated on the ME. Even if they do successfully switch to China, and escape Israeli demands, it doesn’t mean war, just military demonstrations, because you don’t fight China.

    • Giyane

      Laguerre

      Yemen, Libya, Syria are all in need of bombing to ensure the oil and gas accrues to USUKIS. The Turkey is off on the rampage to the Pacific in the East.
      USUKIS is not remotely tired of wars. It’s tired of Trump not letting it fight wars and thereby paying for covid2.

      • laguerre

        You need to analyse the power centres and update your views a bit, Giyane. Oil is less of an issue than it used to be. For example, the US makes no profit out of Syrian oil; the main point is to make sure that Syria doesn’t get it. I doubt if UK wants a new ME war; COVID and Brexit will have knocked the stuffing out of us. etc, etc.

        • Giyane

          Laguerre

          Forgive me , but that is utter tripe.
          Just because Bojo has promised you swanky green electric cars , to placate Corbynites with unfulfillable promises, does not mean that Diesel lorries are not going to move stuff about.

          Polish flour is £10 per 20 kilos. English flour is £40 per 20 kilos. We are eating oil. Doesn’t it taste nice !?

          • laguerre

            “does not mean that Diesel lorries are not going to move stuff about.”

            Before you go off on a rant, what’s the price of oil today, compared to recent years?

          • Giyane

            Laguerre

            40 years of war have made it cheap
            Britain prospects for natural resources 100 years in advance.
            Fracking is possible in the vast tracts of land in the US and is needed until the military or proxy military investment matures in places like Somalia, Yemen , Libya and too many more to count.

            Our politicians are not in the business of advertising their war crimes. They tell us they have a charitable avuncular interest in helping out the third and second worlds.

            I’m a pawn who drives a diesel car but I’m not a knight who’s going to help them do it

        • Ken Garoo

          ” I doubt if UK wants a new ME war”

          Well, in the enabling acts marking the destruction of UK democracy in favor of government by diktat, those responsible deemed that the UK could up its borrowing limit of 2% GDP to 50% GDP. They have given themselves £250 billion to play with [interest on which will be paid by future generations] so allowing for the ‘loss’ of a few billion here and there to friends and contacts there is plenty to splurge out on the most expensive military hardware the US MIC can produce. Significant parts of the UK military seem keen to ‘project force’ around the world.

          https://resources.law.cam.ac.uk/privatelaw/Freshfields_Lecture_2020_Government_by_Decree.pdf

          • np

            Ken Garoo

            You’re right about government corruption and wasteful military spending, but…

            The UK government doesn’t have a “borrowing limit” (unlike the US government).

            (The noble lord was referring to an increase in a special fund used by governments when they need to spend money without waiting to get parliamentary approval).

            And don’t worry. It’s a hoary old myth that “future generations” will have to pay today’s government debt. It’s designed to make people think that the government is spending too much.

            Have you got any pound notes on you? If so, you own part of the “government debt”.

            In your case, it’s perpetual, non-interest-bearing debt, unlike government bonds, which are dated, interest-bearing debt (i.e. they mature on a date certain in the future).

            Somebody owns every £1 of government debt in existence and benefits from it, either by having access to ready cash like you or by having a safe, long-term source of interest income. And “future generations” will enjoy these same benefits, as long as government debt continues to exist (which it doesn’t have to by the way, but that’s another story).

          • Coldish

            Thanks, np. Well explained. Of course, the UK could repay the interest-bearing debts anytime. It might still be obliged to pay the interest up to the date of maturity (if there is one). But nothing forces it to take on new interest-bearing loans. It can simply ‘borrow’ interest-free from the Bank of England, which it owns, and which can issue currency without limit.

        • Tom Welsh

          “For example, the US makes no profit out of Syrian oil; the main point is to make sure that Syria doesn’t get it”.

          Why should Syria not get its own oil?

  • Giyane

    This morning the BBC played a rallying speech by a clapped out Biden, followed by a brilliant speech by Trump. They then declared that Trump was lying she he was merely looking at a map and seeing it nearly all red.

    I found the BBC ‘s hunger for resumption of war after a 4 year break in which Islamic State was defeated, extremely unpleasant. The four years of respite for the Syrian people from takfiri racist madmen has corralled them homeless in covid2 ridden camps.

    But the BBC has unilaterally declared the result of the election , as they did long before our December election last year. I supposed my utter disgust with the BBC is invalid , having spent a large chunk of my formative years in MI6 country, Tunbridge Wells.
    Oh well I shall just have to be disgusted with myself.

    • Cynicus

      “ This morning the BBC played a rallying speech by a clapped out Biden, followed by a brilliant speech by Trump. They then declared that Trump was lying….”

      Did they? Or did they report that Trump claimed postal ballot fraud, but without evidence.

  • J

    “Without Trump, I have not the tiniest doubt that Syria would have been bombed back to the Stone Age, exactly like Libya, and millions more people would have been killed.”

    Much as I loathe Trump, this is undoubtably true.

    • laguerre

      Well, I don’t agree. The turning point in Syria was in 2013, when US and UK didn’t enter the war; they could have, but didn’t. And then the Russian entry into the war in 2015 sealed it.

      • Giyane

        Laguerre

        They didn’t “” enter “” the war because of the illegal Iraq effect. Instead they delegated the war to Islamist Erdogan and his 4 x 4 friends.
        That led to Mosul, which under Trump was sacked. Your comment is a bit like Bill Clinton saying he didn’t realise a blow job was sex.

        • laguerre

          A cheap flip remark is silly. Whatever the “illegal Iraq effect” effect might be, the US not being very concerned about law, it was really all about practicality. Was it worth it, a large-scale involvement? And the answer was no. I am somewhat surprised to hear the US and Erdogan are the same side, though I suppose your concentration on the Kurds can make all their enemies appear to be in cahoots with one another. The game changer for American intervention was Da’ish, and now as a result the US is in a mess in Syria, leaving no opening for a President Biden to relaunch the war

      • J

        Any point in the future can be a turning point in Syria, just as any point in the past could have been. You’re not making a logical or sensible argument. Trump could have forced such a point, there is no way you can deny it. He did not, where others like a Biden or Harris administration almost certainly would have with the same situation. We know that because it’s what they called for.

        No matter how hard you wriggle, American foreign policy was never determined by overt British participation in Syria in 2013, as politically important to them as the commons vote was. The cost benefit analysis to the belligerents obviously came at too great a political cost to them, but it may not to others in the near future.

        Da’ish or ISIL, or ISIS or IS is largely acknowledged as a joint UK/US/Saudi vehicle, except by diehard Guardian readers, and was introduced as the core reason for acting in Syria. It is clear that far from restricting ISIS, the west supported their rampage in several ways, western PR companies ginning up evidence of Syrian Army atrocities, depicting the White Helmets as brave rebels, funnelling guns, missiles, rocket launchers and bombs to groups affiliated with them, even up to acting as air support while ISIS went form strength to strength.

        Most notable in this is how years of allied bombing achieved only triumph for ISIS while a few months of Russian bombing was enough to turn the tide against them.

        Either way, contrary to your argument, Trump has presided over the continued collapse of the US war in Syria. For now.

  • Lorna Campbell

    Well I won’t just say that Trump is evil, Craig Murray, because I like and condone your views in this piece, and I absolutely agree that Biden will start or continue wars, that Hillary Clinton would also have done so, if elected. Being female does not procure the elixir of sense. We need only look at the present Scottish government to understand that. I do not care for Biden’s stance on trans rights, and I think he will be a disaster for women and black people in America, while he will become a hero to the war-mongers and Big Tech and Big Pharma.

    • Cynicus

      “ Being female does not procure the elixir of sense. ”

      True- despite the evidence to the contrary of your own posts here and elsewhere.

  • Lev Ke

    Thanks for this post. Some factual dry reporting is so desperately needed.

    I only see Trump supporters point out the fact that he is the first president in decades to not start a war. Obama got a Nobel Peace Prize for bombing Libya to the stone age, but Trump is a fascist literally Hitler monster while he didn’t do that.
    I suppose that I have to put a disclaimer that I am not someone who believes Trump is a great president of any sorts. Far from. But compared to the world butchery the US has been doing in it’s few hundred year history? It didn’t seem as horrible as it did in the 30-40 or more years before him.
    Which somehow should be pointed out WAY more than it ever is. All we get is completely insane slogans about him, which show the same level of intelligence as his claimed supporters are supposed to have.

    And Kamala Harris as a first female president after Biden’s immediate collapse into coma would be as much an insult to womanhood as Hillary would have been. Unless the only thing that defines women and female qualities is which set of genitals a person happens to have. Which would make feminism a completely meaningless affair. It might already be it by now. It’s 2020 after all.

    • Giyane

      Lev Ke

      And slimy things did crawl with legs across the slimy sea.

      It’s already 2021 by the end of lockdown. Biden winning has already woken up the swamp.
      I do hope Trump enough lawyers to pick holes in the ballot stuffing. Then he can bring his team over here and crack the Tories.

    • Ian Robert Stevenson

      Obama’s Peace Prize predates the bombing of Libya by a couple of years.
      I am still not sure why he got it.

      • Tom Welsh

        “I am still not sure why he got it”.

        Wishful thinking. They perhaps hoped he would see it as a kind of reward in advance, and try to live up to it.

        Instead of which he just cackled happily, took the prize, and killed even more people.

        Don’t ever think that people like Obama have no sense of humour. It’s just a rather ghastly one.

    • Crispa

      I seem to remember that Trump boasted that he had dropped the “mother of all” (conventional) bombs on Afghanistan, dropped bombs on Syria on a pretext, likewise zapped the Iranian general when he was visiting Iraq, has waged economic war on any country he disapproves of and would certainly start a war if he had a good enough excuse. I wish people would stop uttering these tropes of him being the first president not to start a war when he has the itchiest fingers of the lot!

  • James Cook

    Craig, Craig, Craig – you just refuse to learn that speaking truth(s) to power will just bring on more “abuse in your (my) life already.

    I do admire your sagacity, but in an ever more polarized world, truth and moderation is penalized!

  • Elvis Legg

    4 years ago I would never have imagined that I would be where I am now. In 2016 I was appalled that Trump won. Right now I feel as if I’m just standing back detatched fro everything and watching a probably fixed race that I have no horse in anyway. It’s all just a show. Either way, neoliberalism wins, ordianry people lose. Over here, Corbyn was our last hope of something different, at least for a decade but that simply wasn’t allowed to happen. Now we have Sir Keir at the helm, ready to deliver more of the same on behalf the establishment. Sit back and enjoy the ride, folks, watch these psychopathic zealots play out their biblical, apocalyptic fantasies for real. It’s going to get bumpy. Get muzzled if you wanna go faster!

    • Anonish

      I feel much the same. Trump and Biden feel equally objectional for different reasons, but ultimately the fact that they’re the best that their respective parties have to offer (at least by their own consensus) is what’s most depressing to me. Bernie has twice been snubbed for people who are clearly in deep with dirty money, and though I’ve never much cared for conservative policy, Ted Cruz at least seemed to be a man with conviction.

      I was always uncertain about Corbyn but there was at least a sliver of hope that he might actually do some good. When the next UK general election comes around I’m going to feel just the same as I do watching what’s happening across the pond.

      • glenn_uk

        “Ted Cruz at least seemed to be a man with conviction.

        So is Tom Cotton. Do you like him too?

        • Anonish

          You can appreciate that a person would be a better candidate for those who share their values without sharing them yourself. Trump only cared about Trump.

  • Grhm

    It’s true that neither is a good choice, but I’m shocked that Craig doesn’t give even a passing mention to the most important issue of all: climate change.
    On that, there’s little doubt that Biden is better.

    • Deepgreenpuddock

      I agree-climate change is the tyrannosaurus rex in the room.American ‘elite’ politics such as we see at the moment long ago lost any semblance of democracy or relevance to ordinary people although it is endearing that so many go and vote, probably marginally better than not voting.
      The essence of the position is that American politics is designed around the idea of maintaining their global hegemony.That is based in the past and still to a large extent on their domination of the fossil fuel industry. It has bee fossil fuel that has permitted the overwhelming dominance of the US military and US economy.There will be change incrementally towards less damaging source of energy but it will be at a pace that maintains the dominance of the US. The irony is that the military ‘enterprise’ is highly instrumental in creating the new technology but whether that new technology is created quickly enough to avert the destruction of a world wide diverse civilisation and the natural resources that maintain it, is a moot point. My guess is that large swathes of humanity will perish/vanis over the next few decades and some kind of elite will survive in some out of the way places protected by huge supremacy in arms and protected supply chains. a few remnants may survive where the conditions, purely by luck, remain consistent with viable and sustainable human life
      Even these modest remnants will come under pressure as conditions continue to deteriorate due to the lag in anthropogenic climate change The main point is that we are almost certainly past the point at which radical changes in policies will bring about a benefit consistent with maintaining the world as we know it.

    • joel

      Let’s wait and see if he’s any more sincere than Obama, who ending up soliciting praise from big oil for allowing two major new pipelines. Biden’s loudeest talk on climate change has been to reemphasise his commitment to fracking and telling activists concerned about environmental issues they “should go vote for someone else ”

      https://youtu.be/2HHqcr43qr0

  • Raymond R

    In his commentary on the American establishment, the late Carrol Quigley noted that the goal of the American establishment was to ensure that no matter who was presented as candidates for election to high office, the policies of the winner would essentially be the same. Trump’s great evil (and Sanders’ as well) was to attempt to break that system. The establishment rallied to shoot down first Sanders and now they will seek to prevent Trump’s re-election by whatever means. The current inconclusive outcome is the worst possible outcome for the American people, but serves the establishment quite well. It will take a few weeks to sort out this dumpster fire of an election; expect the lawyers to make a lot of money off of the workout and for the American people to pay the price.

  • Leftworks

    I was interested in what Craig Murray says about Kamala Harris’s 2020 Presidential campaign Wikipedia page, so I have looked into it. By far the most active contributor to the page, with 36% of edits, is a user called Bnguyen1114.

    https://xtools.wmflabs.org/articleinfo/en.wikipedia.org/Kamala_Harris_2020_presidential_campaign

    https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Kamala_Harris_2020_presidential_campaign&action=history

    I am not going to doxx this user here, but it is known who the user is and there is no doubt (the user has now declared a ‘conflict of interest’) that it was someone closely connected with Kamala Harris’s campaign. It appears that the user did not declare that interest (in fact, appears to have initially denied any serious involvement) until identified and discovered.

    One wonders how much of this is going on inside Wikipedia.

    • Cynicus

      “ One wonders how much of this is going on inside Wikipedia”

      ———-
      Apply the 2+2=4 test.

      If Wiki makes a claim that can be corroborated from other sources, then accept the claim; otherwise, reserve judgement.

  • Geoff S

    It’s just completing the circle if Biden wins

    Reagan – war on everyone with a confused but kindly face ‘at the top’
    Bush Sr – more war on everyone with a cold stern face
    Clinton – war with a cheeky smile and charm
    Bush Jr – fresh style of war with an idiot persona
    Obama – even more war with a professional, serious face
    Trump – war with a petulant clown
    Biden(?) – safe bet is yet more war and back to the confused face of Reagan

    Yeah, thank god if Trump goes, we’ll all be saved… sort of

    • Cynicus

      Trump, as everyone knows, it’s full of shit. You get no thanks to me for sharing some of it on this site.

    • Susan

      Great article, Markus. As Greenwald proposes, this shambolic system of vote counting is a CHOICE. Starting with Bush/Gore in 2000, how can the deep state control the US without it.

  • Goose

    If Biden has won, it’s covid and Trump’s handling of the crisis that’s gifted him the Presidency. No covid crisis and Trump would’ve probably walked it. Biden was / is a really poor candidate, ten years past being cognitively credible there’s no disguising that. The lack of independent voter enthusiasm for him and Harris was obvious – he didn’t so much win, as Trump lost – if that’s how it turns out.
    At least the US media’s bizarre obsession with Russia should now fade. The desire to cast Putin as some omnipresent puppet master running the US grew tedious. No doubt if Trump somehow scrapes home, the same media hysteria will be resurrected to provide excuses for Biden’s poor showing and to avoid any real party/policy introspection, much as the media noise about Russia drowned out those criticising the DNC establishment and Hillary.

  • gwp3

    May I commend this paragraph?
    I pause to note that the terrorist in Vienna had attempted to go as a jihadist to Syria and fight against Assad. If he had not been prevented from doing that, he would have been financed by the Saudis, fed and clothed by the Turks, armed by the CIA, trained by the SAS and given air support by the Israelis. He might even have got to be a TV star posing in a White Helmet, or employment artfully placing chlorine bottles on beds for pictures by Bellingcat. Unfortunately, having been prevented from joining the western sponsored insurgency, he ended up killing Austrians instead of Syrians and now is a “terrorist”, whereas jihadist killers of Syrians are “heroes”. A strange world. The Manchester Arena bomber was of course physically brought in to the UK by the British military after fighting for “our side” in Libya. You do indeed reap what you sow.

  • Goose

    Completely neutral about the outcome as a UK citizen. I wouldn’t agree with the idea Trump’s been a dove, his ‘relatively’ peaceful first(possibly only) term didn’t really have any cause to fight given he ran on a platform of disengagement, and ‘bringing the troops home’ particularly from Syria, in contrast to Hillary.

    If Biden wins I ‘d hope the media would finally resume their proper role scrutinising and questioning decisions. What will a Biden administration do about Assange, given Obama previously worried over the implications for press freedom by pursuing a prosecution? Will Biden return the US to the JCPOA? Seems logical he would, given it was very much seen as a hard won, Obama administration legacy achievement.

  • Anonish

    What I find interesting about Trump is not so much the man himself but the hysteria and polarisation that he’s brought about – though I’m not sure whether his election was the cause or the symptom.

    He either seems to be God’s own messenger or Literally Hitler, with anyone calling for nuance being a traitor or a racist.

    Though I still see him as evidence that America’s obsession with celebrity has truly jumped the shark, he seems to have less foreign blood on his hands than Obama and for all of his bark seem to bite very little.
    As corrupt and self-serving as he probably is, he’s certainly no more so than his blue team counterparts. In fact I’m dreading a Biden victory moreso than the other this term.

    Personally what bothers me is more the tendency of the average voter to take everything at face value and turn even-handed discussion into a pantomime of heroes and villains. The internet has become an exhausting place for me, and where I would post multiple times a day on forums a few years ago, I now choose to remain silent as every attempt at looking for the middle ground gets buried in extremes of opinion and vitriol.

    My hope for peace and objective conversation dies a little more every day. At this point I’d rather live in the woods and leave you all to it.

    P.S. You have no idea how refreshing it is to hear a journalist say “I don’t know enough, so I’ll refrain from comment until I do.”

    That’s why I listen to you.

  • glenn_uk

    ” I am looking forward to the period when Biden’s mainstream cheerleaders have to find something positive to say rather than just respond “But Trump is evil”

    At least that will make a refreshing change from the response for the past few years, tedious through repetition, of “But – but – but – Clinton said ‘We came, we saw, he died.’ ”

    This article is largely promoting Both-Sides-Ism, however there is significant difference between Republicans and Democrats, particularly on the misery inflicted on the US population. Very possibly nobody cares about them and thinks they deserve what they get, for the sins of their government. That would be equally true for us in the UK, of course.

    The idea that universal health care, for instance, could even be mooted would not have been conceivable a decade ago. Taking a serious approach to global warming as a central policy is being taken by only one party here – the other wants to pretend it’s all a hoax, designed to thwart business, and renege on a Treaty to combat AGW. One party wants to remove emissions regulations, actually sue car manufacturers who want to increase fuel efficiency, and govern only with the investor class in mind. One party does not believe in science, and even tries to alter weather reports to favour their position.

    A full list of significant differences would be rather long. If nothing else, stacking courts with very young, unqualified far-right religious zealots will have a corrosive effect on progressive legislation and human rights for decades. Only one side is doing this.

    It’s very easy to indulge in some rather smug Both-Sides-ism. But both sides are not encouraging armed white supremacists, indulging in lunatic conspiracy theories, actively siding with the coronavirus, and proudly touting their “alternative facts”.

    But taking note of any of that makes me a fool, according to this article.

    • bevin

      “The idea that universal health care, for instance, could even be mooted would not have been conceivable a decade ago.”

      It was raised by the Truman administration in the 1940s.

      • glenn_uk

        A slight clarification, Bevin –

        A politician would struggle to argue for universal health care around 2010 – “Communism!” “Socialism!” – today, it is actually on the cards.

        • Mr Shigemitsu

          M4A is certainly not on the cards, at least not for the foreseeable future; even whilst campaigning, Biden insisted he supports insurance based healthcare for the US.

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