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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    • Tom Welsh

      It will probably happen when we do not expect it. In the middle of the night some time. US carrier attacks the wrong target, Russians warn them off, Washington gives Moscow the finger, Russians sink carrier – with its 5,000 crew…

      • N_

        The medical-industrial complex is far more powerful than the military-industrial one. And to speak of “neo-liberalism” is quaint. Isn’t “the middle classes are exploited” a “neo-liberal” “let’s lower tax on businesses” meme anyway? A “V-shaped” recovery after lockdown is impossible given the power of financial interests. The future won’t be determined by the awfulness of having a US president whose son sent emails, ate pizza, or went to Benghazi funded by George Soros to legalise abortion at 15 months’ term.

        • hunkerdown

          The “middle classes” are simply elitist traitors who have been cheaply bought. They are the enemy of most people and all life. They need to be punished, not saved.

      • Christopher Sutton

        https://responsiblestatecraft.org/2020/10/12/the-pentagons-ai-ghost-fleet-is-more-than-just-scary-its-unwise/

        In an October address at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper unveiled the Pentagon’s plan for the future Navy, saying it would consist of over 500 warships — almost twice the number now in the U.S. inventory.

        A larger fleet was needed, he said, to counter the Chinese naval buildup and to ensure U.S. naval dominance well into the future. Esper indicated, however, that a Navy of 500 ships would not constitute an enlarged version of the current force — a feat probably far beyond the Navy’s fiscal and shipbuilding capabilities. Rather, it would contain approximately the same number of conventional warships now in the fleet plus “between 140 to 240 unmanned and optionally manned surface and subsurface vessels of all types.”

        Do unmanned vessels fill an actual naval requirement? If so, what is that requirement, and why will such ships best satisfy it? It seems highly imprudent to begin building LUSVs and MUSVs until these questions can be answered — especially given the concerns about relying on wholly autonomous (A.I.) weapons systems.

    • T

      Could well be. The moderates have a lot of lost time and face to make up. Old Biden is a ideal vehicle through which to smash Venezuela and Syria to a pulp and push Russia and China to the brink. The US needs to impose itself again, and quick.

      • BrianFujisan

        Indeed T… These Paras from Craig ALL TRUE –

        ” 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. ..

        ” 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….

        One of the most Profound Statements I ever Heard…Thanks Craig

        I was in contact with British Journalist the other day – Tom Duggan – Doing Great work in Syria …He Just lost Two Extended Family members in Daraa..Sorry for your loss Tom.

        • Watcher

          I was about to express my own awe for that same passage, Brian, but you got there first. Distilled truth that powerful brings tears to the eyes.

        • Paul Mc

          More than 190 U.S. Navy ships have suffered a COVID-19 outbreak this year, according to the chief of naval operations. This amounted to 65% of deployable ships. Any military adventures that depend on a supporting fleet will be difficult, since heavily crewed ships with recirculated air are floating petri dishes. Some ships have had to remain at sea without port calls to avoid infection.

    • N_

      Major power war is likely given the economy, but there’s also the coming virus cull. The uniformity of virus policy worldwide is remarkable. Nukes may well be used, but they don’t have the top-of-the-pyramid function they had in an earlier epoch.

  • Colin Alexander

    I don’t know who will win. But, I expect the poor will lose out, as usual, in the USA.

    • Goose

      Apparently Floridians voted yesterday to up the minimum wage to $15.00/hr – Florida Amendment 2 which was also on the ballot. Raising the Minimum Wage sounds pretty progressive to me. It suggests someone like Sanders could’ve done better there than Biden perhaps?

      • Ken Kenn

        The difference between Biden and Sanders is that Sanders would have tried to do it.

        Biden won’t and will tell everyone ‘ The bad Boys and Girls in the Senate wouldn’t let me.

        The fact is that Biden is just as big a liar as Trump – it’s just that he never got the hang of twitter.

        I bet he knows about his bank balance though.

        He might be another one (like Pence) who thinks there are banks in Heaven.
        ‘ Nothing will fundamentally change ‘ was a crap slogan – but it will turn out to be true.

        Nothing will change for the 1% and those who work for them.

        Same reasons the above in the UK were dead against Corbyn.

        • Goose

          The media may have been as hostile to Sanders as they were to Trump.

          You could see how Bernie Sanders understood this multi-layered, cross-party, media aided opposition his candidacy was facing and I think in the end it overwhelmed him. Biden was simply the result of the party machine and other candidates closing ranks and ganging up to stop him. As stated earlier, they don’t want people with ideals and plans in the WH, they want a new CEO who the board can feel comfortable with. Trump was very much an aberration, someone not controlled – just not smart enough to challenge anything.

          • Christopher Sutton

            (Senator Sanders observed the “Henry Wallace” example…as he was advised)

    • Bramble

      And here. Where capitalism rules, the poor lose out. Whatever its liberal apologists claim.

  • Jack

    I think it is sad that Trump didnt win, he was not perfect but
    just the fact that he stood up against the warmongering means alot to me.
    How he stood up against the hysteria on Russia and how he created better relations with North Korea, but he never got any credit for it, he was condemned for this view and as Craig said, with Biden, an opposite foreign policy will be installed.

    If Trump and his team had polled the situation a bit better before the election I believe he could easily have won, trying to appeal to certain voters in certain states etcetera.
    States like Wisconsin, Arizona – its a bit of a scandal that he lost those states. He was obviously not prepared for that.

    The pro-democrat media doesnt seems to be as cheerful one could have imagined for the election win. Perhaps they thought the win would be much biger, perhaps coming to terms that alot of people actually supported Trump’s presidency.

    • Goose

      They believed the polls, which were heavily wrong, again. Probably because of ‘shy’ Trump voters unwilling to admit to supporting him to pollsters.

      With a Republican Senate nothing can be done by Biden’s administration, he may see that as a blessing being a republican in all but name himself? Controversial legislation like reforming gun laws etc., is completely off the table.

      • Rhys Jaggar

        Trump voters won’t say they are publicly, because the left over there is so abusive, anti-liberty, anti-freedom-of-speech. You could lose your job in the USA for saying you were a Trump voter in many places, so obviously people kept schtumm.

        • laguerre

          “because the left over there is so abusive, anti-liberty, anti-freedom-of-speech.”

          Funny how this meme has suddenly emerged in the last few months from the Trump campaign. I never heard of the idea before. Before Trump sent Federal Marshals into Portland, that is. Now it’s everywhere.

    • CasualObserver

      Didn’t win ? Despite what the BBC would have us believe, I have the feeling that, as the Yanks would say, the fat lady aint sung yet.

      In my years on the planet I’ve never seen counts in National Elections stopped when the ‘Wrong’ candidate was apparently far ahead, only for counts to resume hours later showing quite a dramatic turn around. Obviously, living in the UK there’s no reason why I should have, had I have been resident in less developed countries, the turn of events would no doubt be quite familiar.

      Now, I’ve little doubt that many will be celebrating what is quite obviously election fraud at startling levels, I mean, its Trump and he’s Baaad, right ?

      But make no mistake, if this level of ballot fixing can successfully take place in what is supposedly the most advanced nation on the planet, it will transition to taking place everywhere. And next time it could well be the candidate supported by those whose present inclination is against Trump.

      • Rhys Jaggar

        Stop repeating the mantra that the US is ‘the most advanced nation on the planet’. It isn’t. It is the most violent nation on the planet, the most hating of independent-from-US-Deep-State-thinking on the planet.

        But if you think the average American lives in the most advanced circumstances on earth, you need to open your eyes.

        • Stevie Boy

          I’ve seen poverty in South Africa and in the USA and It was, and is, much worse to be poor in the USA than SA.

  • Jo

    Spriter and Wargonzo on twitter plus annanews( sadly their english reports are a bit limited…..but use goohle translate )….seem to be reporting actuality re Armenia anyways……

  • Evelyn

    Even if you compare Trump with, say, Tony Blair. Trump hasn’t even started a war, never mind an illegal one. Biden supporters are in for a fright if/when Uncle Joe enters the Oval Office.

  • Mist001

    War is good for the economy. Trump never started any wars, so that got him enemies within.

    I live in France and we were having a (broken on my part) discussion about the US election and I was asked who I hoped would win. I replied ‘Trump’. I was then asked ‘Why?’ and I replied that he hadn’t started any wars. The cries rose almost simultaneously of ‘If trump wins, it will be a catastrophe for the environment!!’. I replied that wars are catastrophic for the people on the receiving end.

    As soon as I said that, I was stunned and they were stunned. They were stunned because they’d never considered that aspect before and I was stunned because these were full grown, presumably intelligent adults and they had never considered that aspect before. It had never entered their heads!

    Then they went back to their gossip and that was that.

    Trumps a businessman. He enjoys making deals. If he was racists in any way, that would reduce his chances of doing deals by half. If he was a warmonger, then he’d reduce his chances of making deals with the people he was fighting with. That’s not what he’s into.

    The man might be considered an idiot but he’s no fool and I firmly believe that he was the best President the USA has had in recent times, so I hope he gets re-elected.

    I read a good quote somewhere today. America has a population of around 300 million people and the best they can get out of all of them is a 78 year old man.

    • Jen

      If only you could have told your friends that modern wars are catastrophic for the environment since they tend to leave a lot of toxic chemicals, irradiated material (as ammunition is coated with depleted uranium) and scrap metal behind. Bombing attacks tend to kill a lot of flora and fauna and expose the ground to future soil erosion. I’m sure your friends might have understood that much!

      • Pyewacket

        Jen, another uncomfortable truth is that less developed Countries affected by War, and/or, have War inflicted upon them, are left, still dealing with its adverse impacts, on a daily basis, decades later.

        • Mist001

          No, it wouldn’t have made any difference to them, war is something that they hear about on the news sometimes and happens in far off lands. It doesn’t directly affect them so they don’t ever think about it.

          Sometimes, I find the French to be incredibly dense.

    • Rhys Jaggar

      War is good for the war economy; mobile phones, iPads, gyms, agriculture, oil+gas, foundries, vineyards, hotels etc etc etc are good for the economy that 95% of voters would prefer.

      • Giyane

        Rhys Jagger

        War always affects some people’s mental health, in my case reducing my creativity and productivity to zero while I engage with war’s moral consequences.

        By contrast with the Syrian war years my creative mind has flourished. However the political relish war , flourish as carnage and wreckage, despair and homelessness spread.

        In fact my jihadist ex- friend told me that human nature is founded on war and change, and that Islam is constantly engaged in rooting out the laziness of peace.

        The origin of this nasty philosophy was the British Empire in Egypt when it founded the Muslim Brotherhood. Political Islam and Imperial politics are 2vfingers on the same hand.

        Who hates Biden and the industrial military machine of war must inevitably hate political Islam. Or political zionism or political Scottish independence. Politics is lying. Some people love it , some people hate it.

    • Howard

      …to say nothing of the fact that, wars aside, a Biden administration will not have great environmental policies: He and Harris stated very unequivocally several times that they will NOT ban fracking, for instance. It was under his administration with Obama that the federal government granted so many drilling permits that it nearly crashed the price of oil (Obama boasted that he had given America energy primacy by doing this: “I did that”), and one would expect Biden to continue on that path. In recent days people have bemoaned the fact that Trump opened the Tongass rainforest to logging and his earlier opening of other federal lands to increased mineral exploitation, but I won’t hold my breath to see if Biden reverses any of this.

      Rejoin the Paris climate accord? That is a non-binding statement of intent and as such is just window dressing.

  • Lucinda

    Talking about dishonest or inaccurate Wikipedia pages, there is not a single mention of Kamala Harris on the Wikipedia page on Tulsi Gabbard.

    That is despite Gabbard’s memorable attacks on Harris during during the 2019 Democratic presidential debates for the latter’s controversial record on criminal justice issues while she was California’s attorney general and San Francisco’s district attorney.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tulsi_Gabbard

    https://www.businessinsider.com.au/tulsi-gabbard-slams-kamala-harris-criminal-justice-democratic-debate-2019-7

    • Rhys Jaggar

      What do you expect? Do you seriously think that Wikipedia isn’t a CIA-controlled attempt to rewrite history??

  • Freetheweed

    He may not have started any new Vietnams, but he hasn’t stopped the current savagery on all continents. Not sure anyone else would have bombed Syria to rubble, Israel would be calling those shots. but USA is stealing Syria’s oil for profit, far better than bombing it. it is basically destroyedanyway. Had the chance come up, I’m sure he would have happily attacked Tehran. As for the MIC and security services, I don’t think they have been sidelined one bit. Trump only made 2016 because he had the backing of a group of very influential mega billionaires, and if I was a billionaire I’d vote for Trump. Wall Street does better under Trump. Oh and the tax breaks, win win if you are rich.
    Are you actually implying that Trump was/is ‘draining the swamp’? actually anti-establishment??
    I know Biden is as corrupt as any, but the biggest threat Trump unleashed is the christian right. Not just the loony evangelicals mind, basically all of them. These fuckers are going to make the mad jihadists seem mild in comparison. They are really dangerous.
    There have been many ads from these loons stating that Biden is not true to his religion and has secular ideas ( prob his views on abortion).

    • Rhys Jaggar

      Trump can’t just walk in and expect the Swamp to bow down before him. He was like an elected guerrilla taking pot shots at the psychopaths in the swamp.

      You seriously think he hasn’t done pretty much what was possible, given the reality of the USA, then you need to see if you could do any better.

      The President is not someone the CIA and war industries look up to, they are someone to be controlled or ostracised.

  • david

    Re. “I am very frequently chided for not posting on a subject;”.

    Have you thought of turning this blog into a magazine format with similar articles but by other people?

  • Matthew

    Democrats will be relatively content because Biden gets the White House, but they also don‘t get the Senate which works out well for them because they don’t have to do or achieve very much. No economic stimulus, no action on climate.

    Republicans will be relatively content because they get rid of Trump but still keep the Senate.

    A good night all round for the two main parties, but not such a good night for the vast majority of voters. Trump would have given them some more false hope, whereas Biden won’t be giving them anything at all.

    • Echelon

      Well, exactly. There is no real difference between Red and Blue in America and both are focused on looking after the 1%. The 99% are fed never-ending diets of “us vs them”, and so the first 49.3342% dutifully gang up on the other 49.34281% and keep the political circus going round and round the mulberry bush. The representatives of the 1% step down from the pulpit, ermm podium, and then go backstage and meet their 1% buddies to divvy up the latest spoils. Oh yes, it’s your turn to take the lead this week! You already know my bank details.

      No wonder people fell for Trump. He presents himself as being different and in some ways he is. But he is still a fully paid-up member of the 1% club.

  • Baalbek

    I don’t see any evidence that the Trump regime’s approach to foreign policy was a departure from ‘business as usual’.

    Installing neocon hawk Mike Pompeo as SoS was a clear signal to the American FP establishment that Trump has received their message. Then there is the Trump administration bending over backwards to please Israel by moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, letting the Israelis claim the Golan Heights and facilitating and encouraging the Israeli – GCC alliance collaborating to utterly crush Palestinian aspirations toward internationally recognized independent statehood. Trump is the most pro-Zionist president in recent history.

    Furthermore he and his zombie son-in-law Kushner have cozied up to Saudi Arabia’s MbS and encouraged the Gulf states and Israel to ramp up their belligerent stance against Iran. Under Trump US support for the Saudi-led genocidal war against Yemen remained unchanged.

    But it is Trump’s ‘innovative’ deploying of Albrightesque economic sanctions against Iran, Syria, Venezuela and other independent nations the US wishes to destroy that make claims of his administration’s supposed peaceful ambitions absolutely ludicrous. American sanctions of this calibre are open-ended and designed explicitly to maximize civilian death and suffering in order to bring about regime change. It is siege warfare by another name.

    The preceding points are just a quick scan of the Trump administration’s more blatantly belligerent and criminal actions, it is not an exhaustive list by any means.

    There is more than one way to skin a cat, as the saying goes, and direct warfare like the Iraq invasion or the bombing of Libya is just one of many. The reality is that 21st century warfare is hybrid warfare and limiting the definition of ‘war’ solely to direct military engagement, and discounting other devastating methods of grinding down and destroying sovereign nations, is extremely shortsighted.

    It is disconcerting that learned and intelligent people still go lenient on Trump. I think there is too much focus on rhetoric and words spoken by politicians and too little focus on their actions.

    I don’t understand why it is so difficult to recognize that, yes, Biden and the Democrats are bad for the world and invested in a neocon, American supremacist foreign policy…and that Trump and the Republicans, though their rhetoric is slightly different, their actions prove they are just as dedicated to destroying or subjugating America’s ‘enemies’.

    They are both terrible and it isn’t necessary to elevate one (“at least he didn’t start any new wars”) to make the point that the other side [sic] is nasty and undesirable.

    As former Tanzanian president Julius Nyerere said “The United States is also a one-party state but, with typical American extravagence, they have two of them.”

    • Susan

      Well said, Baalbek. Hybrid warfare (cyber attacks, drone attacks, economic sanctions, threats via IMF/SWIFT, brainwashing of a population via social media, etc.) is every bit as cruel and ruthless as traditional warfare. It is insidious, and it costs the aggressor nothing.

    • Rhys Jaggar

      And you think that Baalbek would just walk into the oval office and everyone would obey you??

      The USA isn’t like that, as JFK could tell you RFK could tell you.

      The President is not in charge, they are just the lead actor on the stage.

      • Goose

        The CEO analogy is pretty good. The company board being : Intel agencies, military chiefs, State Dept.;Treasury; Congress & Senate leaders. Hard not to believe many of those can’t wait to move on from Trump given how he’s behaved.

    • M.C.

      You make some great points Baalbek, but I don’t think Craig was sticking up for Trump so much as he was pointing out the false dichotomy of Trump vs Biden, or Republican vs Democrat or Anybody vs Anybody in a system with so many buffers (bureaucratic and otherwise) against true democracy.

    • SA

      Waly
      Being an outsider is a bit meaningless in this system of governance because the system remains the same. There are areas of policy that a POTUS is allowed to have freedom with and others that will show continuity. Foreign policy is very much one of the later. Also given that the dominant factor in US politics is big money and MIPC (you can add other letters if you like) it really is a mafia like battle as to who controls the money. This is all very aloof from what is good for ordinary people and other countries suffering from the American Imperial yoke.
      For Trump, draining the swamp only meant draining the other compartment of the swamp to get a larger piece of the swamp.
      Why do people continue to say that Trump was more peaceful than others, when he employed hawks like Pompeo and Bolton? Could it not be that the establishment has changed emphasis from invasions, costly to US life, to just bombing from the air with proxies leading on the ground? Is this not the model, starting with Libya and Syria until 2013-to 2015 during Obama’s reign, and developed further by Trump, which gives this impression? This policy has been honed even further in Yemen where there is no direct military involvement, it is all supervised by US but carried our by SA and its allies.

    • Jack

      We will never have a US president that have a perfect foreign policy. Thats not going to happen, so when there is a president that actually took steps away from the classic US foreign policy of pro-war mentaliy – that should be encouraged and credited.

      Trump could have bombed the leadership of Iran, He could have bombed North Korea, he could have made the relations far worse than ever before with Russia, he could have made Iraq worse, he could have bombed Venezuela.
      When Nato wanted him to go on tougher on various nations, he refused, he also pulled troops from europe and even threatened to quit Nato.

  • Groucho

    I expect that if Biden wins he will be put out to pasture before the summer and Kamala Harris will sit in the big chair. She is a Clinton operative and when that happens Hillary will really be running the show from whatever senior cabinet post she finagles herself into. I think the next four years may be more dangerous than the last four.

  • Chris Thomas

    Craig I am with you for about 95% of your article.Yes Trump meant less bombs raining down on Civilians, less rubber boats, less terrified children, less cities turned to rubble, yes he didn’t start wars, but you didn’t mention Israel and the consequences of moving the American embassy to Jerusalem triggering all those reactionary countries to follow suit. He has given the green light to Netanyahu’s final solution for the Palestinians and that should not be forgotten,Which is why Israel screamed for Trump.

    • Tatyana

      well, it seems Biden is winning and I’m trying to find something positive in him again. He has no Orthodox Jewish children, so Palestine may have a chance. And he seems to be in favor of maintaining the nuclear deal with Iran.

      • Republicofscotland

        Tatyana.

        I doubt Biden would act much differently to Israel than Trump, they’re are powerful lobby groups and very wealthy individuals who donate to both parties in the US who have Israeli interests at heart. Right now billions of US taxpayers cash helps sustain the oppressive apartheid military regime that is Israel. I don’t see that decreasing under Biden

        • M.C.

          Whilst it is true that there are lobby groups that put pressure on U.S. administrations, that is NOT the main reasons the U.S. supports Israel. They do it because they have a vested interest in supporting a friendly (to them) government in the oil-rich region of the middle-east. Israel is viewed internally as a beachead for Western expansionism.

      • David G

        While being pro-Israel (i.e., pro-Israeli occupation and militarism) is still mostly axiomatic among the political class in Washington, Netanyahu has sided so obviously with the Republicans (this goes back to when Obama was president), that Israel has begun to move ever so slightly from the crowded category of things on which the Democrats and Republicans agree, to the underpopulated realm of things about which they differ. I’m not saying to expect much change from Biden and his mob, but eventually Israel may reap a bitter (or at least tart) harvest from having played such a shortsighted, partisan game in D.C.

        As for Iran, Trump so personalized the JCPOA (“Iran deal”) as an Obama mistake that Trump corrected, that I think a Biden administration will feel pressure to tack back toward it in some way, at least symbolically, though the basic posture of hostility toward Iran is fully bipartisan and will not change.

      • Jack

        The Vice president, Kamala Harris is also an ardent supporter of Israel

        Pro-Israel Kamala Harris pledges not to condition US aid to Israel on human rights
        https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200827-pro-israel-kamala-harris-pledges-not-to-condition-us-aid-to-israel-on-human-rights/
        5 Jewish things to know about likely US presidential candidate Kamala Harris
        https://www.timesofisrael.com/5-jewish-things-to-know-about-likely-us-presidential-candidate-kamala-harris/
        Views on Israel of U.S. Presidential Candidates 2020: Kamala Harris
        https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/views-on-israel-of-u-s-presidential-candidates-2020-kamala-harris

      • Coldish

        Biden has Irish roots and presumably has to take note of the Irish lobby which is strong in the NE of the USA. Irish people generally want to preserve the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) which has given us 20 years of peace in the north of Ireland and a fully open border between the north and the republic. The onset of Brexit requires the establishment of customs controls between Britain and the EU. In order to keep the land border open and keep the peace as intended by the GFA, the withdrawal agreement between the UK and the EU, which was signed by the UK prime minister Johnson, stipulates that N Ireland will remain in the EU’s customs union. That will necessitate border controls on goods passing between N Ireland and the rest of the UK. However in recent weeks Johnson’s government has passed new legislation which aims to guarantee free (i.e. uncontrolled) movement of goods between Britain and N Ireland, thus putting at risk the withdrawal agreement, the GFA, the open land border and the still fragile peace. Johnson may have been planning on a free trade deal with the new Trump administration, but such a deal with a Biden administration would likely require Johnson to abandon his new legislation. Trump may have dreamed of dumping cheap American food on Britain and opening up Britain’s National Health Service to American pharmaceuticals. Many British people will be happy to do without free trade of that sort and a Biden administration is likely to have other priorities than helping Johnson out of his difficulties. So it’s not all bad news!
        Like other commenters, I hope that the new administration might see its way to dropping the extradition proceedings against Julian Assange. I’m not confident, but we should not give up.

  • Josh R

    Spot on, Craig, in so many ways.
    Trump presidency years seem to have reflected just as badly, if not worse, on the pseudo liberal/lefties as it has on their supposedly ‘opposite’ numbers.
    I’ll look anywhere I find cogent reporting, commentary & analysis but these past weeks/years have just got ridiculous, for example where I end up going to Tucker fkn Carlson on Fox to hear information being censored on The Intercept !?! Blinkin’ ridiculous :-)))
    Ended up going offline for a few days just for some blissful ignorance, popped back ‘on’ this morning to see if election results were in…

  • Carl

    It is a hollow victory for the extreme centrist ideology. In the midst of a massive recession, an unemployment, rent and foreclosure crisis, and an out-of-control pandemic, Biden barely squeaked home. The Democrats failed to win the Senate and actually lost seats in the House. Yet the time when self-critique of their ideology is warranted will never come.

  • David Ganz

    Sorry that Trump’s daily lies and his attempts to end healthcare for Americans do not appear to deserve any mention here.

    • pretzelattack

      trump hired him in the first place. that’s bad. along with a crapload of other swamp weasels like elliot abrams and john negroponte, and pompeo.

  • Johny Conspiranoid

    ” the system threw up, again, two truly obnoxious candidates entirely antithetical to the real interests of ordinary people in the USA”

    They should look at their ballot access laws.

    • Wikikettle

      The big silent winner is La Clinton as Robert Fisk called her. She will be back tottaly sidelining Harris. I was heartened at the emergence of Tulsi Gabbard as a hope for the future.

  • DonnyDarko

    I agree with your comments, for as bad as Trump is, he did reduce troop numbers in Iraq, Afghanistan and almost removed them from Syria before deciding to nick their oil.Probably more worthy of a peace prize than Obama.
    What irritates me with this election is the silent majority. The massive amount of postal votes. It irritated me just before the Scottish referendum when Ruth Davidson announced that she’d already seen samples from the Postal Vote and was confident in a No vote. Thought it was all top secret, sacrosanct and not open to manipulation. No proof that it was fixed, but my suspicions remain.
    Philadelphia which had Trump leading had a massive 800,000 postal votes still to count. Not saying its a fix, but just saying’.
    A choice of wacky far right and Corporate far right isn’t much of a choice, but when Business and Politics become one, it’s fascism, pure and simple.The next four years won’t be peaceful !

    • pretzelattack

      the trump campaign opposed counting those ballots, which had been sitting there waiting to be counted, before nov 3d. thus the delay. just sayin’.

  • Ian Shears

    While I would be a fool to speak with anything less than total respect, I feel you will understand my comment. Older people have a scriptural background that informs their views. These are people who are therefore out of sync with Evangelicals.
    We see that Trump was trying to overthrow the work of Mr HWA – even attempting to restore Andrew Jackson’s world view. Scripturally, this lasted ONLY seventy years when there was to be restoration of the Tyre-like (biblically speaking) condition.
    God’s intention was to provide for His people. MAGA was a direct, wilful attempt to prevent God’s purpose.
    Mr Ttrump brought evil in that sense.
    Regards, Ian Shears

  • wally jumblatt

    Trump is not an admirable character, probably many American Presidents in the past had major worse flaws.
    The point about Trump, which all commentators studiously avoid, is the he was the Outsider, he wasn’t actually a Republican and they didn’t want him at all first time around.
    As the Outsider, he was a threat to Deep State, the corrupt Political and Lobbying classes, the pink media, the Security Agencies and the Legal System.
    And amazingly he succeeded in 2016, whereas Ross Perot, Ron Paul and the like could never manage as the 3rd party independents.
    Despite a 4 year relentless onslaught from Hillary Clinton’s minions, the Steele stitch-up, and the corrupted FBI’s Comey, CIA’s wretch Brennan, Mueller’s Fantasy and Nancy Pelosi’s Impeachment Circus, and despite having to hire and fire just about everyone he appointed in Washington after he found out so many were quislings, it still looks like he won the 2020 Election, but not the counting of the votes.
    To have even got this far, in the face of blatant manipulation of all news by social and broadcast media, is a staggering achievement.

    Most people will come to realise that those who look they have managed to seize power in the USA, will destroy everything they touch, and destroy all your freedoms -internationally as well.
    I cannot understand how so many American voters have been duped; Biden was a loser on the Primary trail just as much as Kamela Harris was, until the Party decided how it would be.
    Biden was a poor quality Senator, and a poor quality Vice-President. He was easily passed-by by the Clinton ‘Entitlement’ juggernaut 4 years ago, and it was only when it was clear that the poisonous Hillary could never fool the electorate, that he was dusted-off from senility and propped up at the lectern.

    For all Trump’s faults -the four main ones being he was railroaded into pursuing Manning / Assange / Snowden, he allied himself too strongly with Israel (for protection), and he didn’t throw the book at the Clinton Foundation and the Bankers, You will note that none of these are personality disorders.

    I hope the true voting figures are discovered soon. I suspect not.
    I can see the flyover states seceding, America is now two countries, fully broken. The corrupt arms of hidden government will wreak their revenge and never allow a third-party candidate to gain any momentum. We are back in feudal times, and I suspect nobody voted for that.

    Fully expecting abuse from a section of this readership ….

    • pretzelattack

      trump is every bit the piece of crap biden is. he wasn’t “railroaded” into pursuing assange, nor was he railroaded into full on support for murderous cops, or lying about the virus. he continues the foreign policy of the u.s. in large part. biden is a corrupt senile political choices. the vote was more a referendum on trump than support for biden.

    • Soothmoother

      I agree with you and I think Trump will still win.

      I thought Mr. Murray’s piece was a bit half-hearted.

  • Dungroanin

    Exactly so Mr Murray.

    I think we shall be ‘ship building’ soon and bringing back dead heroes in body bags from the new battlegrounds- it now becomes very likely Boots will go on the ground on different continents.

    • Dungroanin

      As to the US election I offer the following thoughts.

      Dominic ‘Dr Strangelove’ Cummings , pioneered the PV scam in his North East testing ground with the regional assembly.

      The Electoral Commission was privatised under Cameron /Clegg when they were handed the baton by the neocon/lib NuLabInc in the grand illusion of democracy and an attack on the Old Labour solidarity that was stubbornly refusing to crack under the hail of Blairite paratroopers into these ‘Safe Seats’.

      They handed the Postal Voting management to a startup company under Ex Cabinet man Lilley, which was part of international deep state big data Canadian conglomerate CGI.

      The Scottish Indy referendum with the U.K. DS mole Sturgeon, was the first major plebiscite that was manipulated to change the result – which Cameron said left his cousin queenie purring.

      The BrexShit referendum was where the PV fraud was pushed so hard it still stands out like craters on the moon!

      Any region which had a turnout in excess of 70% is suspect – any at the top range is definitely guilty.

      Much more difficult to use PV fraud in general elections as it can only be effective in marginal/swing seats.

      That was ‘perfected’ in the second GE attempt to oust Corbynites , to restore the Controlled Opposition, under the DS moles Starmer/Nandy and Blarite zombies – after the first so nearly exploded in their faces; saved only by multiple recounts in many Tory seats in 2017.

      The second 2019, December attempt succeeded with a full spectrum smoke and mirrors of the pollsters/MSM and coup de gras of LauraKoftheCIA’s Mission Impossible fakery of ANNOUNCING the PV fraud.

      Hell they even had to ‘find’ 1500 late PV’s in Churchill/Tebbits old sit to keep their DS turd ‘grandee’ IDS in place!

      All under the cover of the private Global DS tech/data setup – CGI. The lethal part of Pompeo’s – Gauntlet. They LIE, CHEAT, STEAL – including elections all over the world and are proud of it!

      In the U.K.:in 2019. Any constituency where the turnout was over 70% again, suspect.
      Any with PV proportion above 10% also suspect – Any over 20% definitely Guilty!

      Trump knew that and he and his minions allowed it to happen to the U.K., knowing it would be deployed agains his re-election.

      Talk of being hoisted by ones own petard!

    • Tatyana

      🙂 I believe that this is because his personal intimate preferences do not belong to the category of qualities absolutely necessary for the presidency.
      For example, in Canada, the head of the state prefers to grab a… well, different part of a human body, so what? The position doesn’t obligate him to do it on every Canadian. The same with Trump, I belive US women should feel quite safe about their certain parts.

      • bevin

        Head of State, Tatyana? That would be the Queen or her viceroy the Governor General. I suspect that you are referring to neither.

        • Tatyana

          bevin, it makes no difference, take anyone
          the Queen, and Ms. Payette and Mr. Trudeau have one and the same view on what is worthy of being grabbed

  • Tom74

    I tend to agree, Craig. My sense is there is a degree of candour about Trump and that to some extent his ‘bark is worse than his bite’ – as has largely been shown in his foreign policy.
    Possibly it is partly his slightly sinister appearance in a surgical mask, but there is something that strikes me as false and dishonest about Biden, so that even as a progressive myself, I found myself rooting for Trump. I hope I’m wrong.

    • Jack

      I agree I guess it has to do with the old establishment now coming back that is bothering, I reckon Biden and Clinton to be very false, manipulative.

      “Candour about Trump”, exactly!
      US – Trump on Putin: “we’ve got a lot of killers. You think our country’s so innocent?”
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8-VB-XkjKQ

  • pretzelattack

    one bowl of crap beat the other bowl of crap. exact results still pending. it will make things a bit better in the u.s. in the short term, but as you say probably result in more non americans being killed by the u.s. war machine under biden than under trump, if only due to trump’s ineptness and short attention span.

  • Mary

    Whether BidenMar succeeds Trump or Trump is re-elected, there will still be no justice for Julian Assange, currently languishing in Belmarsh, nor for the bereaved parents of Harry Dunn.

    • lysias

      Speaking of Assange, I happen to have just read the Wikipedia article about William Joyce aka Lord Haw Haw, and there is an interesting parallel with Assange. Joyce was a U.S. citizen, born in New York City, and his alleged treason against Britain took place in Germany and elsewhere on the European continent. Nevertheless, the Court of Appeals (then the law lords in the House of Lords) rejected his appeal. He had apparently obtained a British passport that was still valid when he began his propaganda activities by falsely claiming to be a British subject, and the courts considered this to be sufficient grounds for concluding that he owed loyalty to the British monarch. A.J.P. Taylor persuasively commented that the crime of making a false statement on a passport application would normally have been punished by a small fine.

      The real similarity between the two cases is that they are both political ones in which the law does not really matter.

  • Paul+Tucker

    A Biden victory may have positive aspects for the UK, in that he’s said that any threat to the Northern Ireland peace deal would debar a cosy trade deal with the US, and this will be taken onboard by Johnson and co as they move towards a no-deal Brexit.
    A preferable future than the disgusting Trump/Johnson/Farage extreme right buddying-up.

    • frankywiggles

      Time will tell on that. Biden is in the pocket of private healthcare and other giant, profit hungry concerns. It is they rather than Ireland to whom he is obligated. The U. K. for its part will be obliged to participate in whatever disastrous adventure the D. C. psychos next cook up, whether it serves our nterests or not.

  • Tom Stone

    I have watched Kamala Harris/ career since she was first mentioned as Willie Browns Mistress in Herb Caen’s column, in 1994. She is highly intelligent, charming, self disciplined and hard working.
    The patronage Job Willie got her at the CA Medical Board gave her access to the players and lobbyists in Sacramento and the contacts she made among the elite as Willie’s consort were essential to her rise.
    As SF DA she reversed Terence Hallinan’s decision to share the DA’s investigative files with the lawyers suing the San Francisco Diocese on behalf of the children raped by priests.
    Her clumsy attempt to cover up the scandal at the DA’s crime lab led to her apologizing to a Judge in writing, hundreds of criminal cases were dismissed and many convictions overturned.
    Her enthusiastic support of legislation that punsished the parents ( Mostly single mother’s) if their children missed more than 10% of their classes was indicative of her attitude toward the rabble.
    And yes, single mothers did land in jail for 30 days, sometimes longer.
    There’s a Youtube interview of a Mom who landed in jail because her daughter missed too many classes.
    She missed those classes due to chronic and severe health issues.
    As Attorney General of California she declined to prosecute One West Band and steve Mnuchin when they were caught fabricating the documents used to foreclose on 1,000 California families.
    IIRC George Soro’s also had an interest in One West.
    Her respect for tradition endeared her to the Catholic Archdiocese and her signaling in regard to One West was heard loud and clear by the people who matter.
    Mr Murray has covered the Assange trial, the implications are clear, we just experienced overt censorship in regard to the Hunter Biden laptop.
    When the NYT sat on Risen’s story about illegal surveillance until after Bush was reelected it was covert, this is a significant change.
    There are a lot of underutilized laws that I would expect Kamala Harris’ to fully enforce.
    The Espionage Act, the Patriot acts, the USA FREEDOM! act, Asset fForfeiture…
    Her staff had unanimously urged prosecution and several resignations by outraged staffers ensued.

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