Reply To: Elections Aftermath: Was our 2019 Vote & the EU Referendum Rigged? #TORYRIG2019

Home Forums Discussion Forum Elections Aftermath: Was our 2019 Vote & the EU Referendum Rigged? #TORYRIG2019 Reply To: Elections Aftermath: Was our 2019 Vote & the EU Referendum Rigged? #TORYRIG2019

Kim Sanders-Fisher

When the Democratic Party in the US decided to cheat Bernie Sanders out of his rightful place as the Democratic candidate for the second time, once again it was more than just idealistic loyalty that stopped me from voting for the brazen usurper, it was this toxic political track record. I already felt cheated by my Obama vote with his actions as President; I did not want to deal with the guilt of having supported yet another neoliberal warmonger into the whitehouse. One of my concerns about the new US administration is reflected in the Canary Article entitled, “Will Joe Biden’s inauguration launch a new beginning for Israel and Palestine? The Israeli organisation Physicians for Human Rights has issued a statement criticising the Israeli health authority for ignoring the Palestinian people’s increasingly desperate need for the coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccine. This is yet another concern adding to the enduring litany of crippling circumstances affecting the lives of Palestinians existing under the stranglehold of Israeli occupation.”

The Canary ask, “When president Biden enters his, hopefully vandalised free, Oval Office on the 20 January, will he continue on his pre-election well-trodden course that reflects his and Barack Obama’s Middle-East legacy? Having now reached the apex of his political career, he can reside in the comfort of managing the status-quo or go down in history by attempting to resolve the Israel/Palestine issue. Biden has said he is proud to be an ‘Obama-Biden Democrat’ and given their close friendship and political alignment, Obama appointed him as vice-president. This was also due to Biden’s prolonged experience and participation in the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations which he chaired. Their Middle-East strategy was illustrated by the appointment of their top Middle-East advisor Dennis Ross, an experienced former advisor to both Bush and Clinton and who was also a stalwart of AIPAC, the leading pressure group in the Israel lobby.”

The Canary report that, “It has been suggested that such was the influence of Ross on Obama that the diplomat George Mitchell resigned in protest over Ross’ support for Israel’s sovereignty over all of Jerusalem. Ross himself later resigned in support of Netanyahu over the Iran nuclear deal (he is also one of the names associated with the nomination for Biden’s US ambassador to Israel). Obama began his presidential honeymoon period enthusiastically and optimistically by underlining the importance of applying international law to global conflicts. He followed this up in June 2009 with his ‘New Beginning’ speech in Cairo which was seen as a pivotal change from Bush’s American foreign policy edicts and was auspiciously welcomed by many states in the MENA region. But it soon became apparent that it was a lipstick embellishment on his lip service of calling for an end to the illegal construction of Jewish settlements in the West Bank and for a just solution to the plight of the Palestinian people.”

The Canary point out that, “This was manifested in 2011 when Obama used his first UN Security Council veto against a resolution opposing Israeli settlements. That decision came as no surprise given that on nine previous occasions since 2000 the US used its veto in defending Israel’s actions. Contradictions continued when the long-standing demand on the Palestinians to reject armed resistance and take the diplomatic route was upended in 2012 when the Obama/Biden administration voted against the UN General Assembly resolution which admitted the Palestine Authority (PA) to the status of a ‘non-Member Observer State’. But perhaps the most egregious action of Obama occurred in 2014 during ‘Operation Protective Edge’ when Gaza suffered an immense military attack by Israel which destroyed much of Gaza’s infrastructure, killing over 500 Palestinian children. During this attack, the US replenished Israeli munitions enabling the continuation of the bombardment.”

After the failure to close Guantanamo I already felt betrayed by Obama and I would go further than the Canary claim that, “Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize was awarded, prematurely,” to say it should never have been awarded at all. The Canary highlight the fact that, “The Obama/Biden school further enhanced Israel’s dominant presence in the Middle-East by rewarding it with an increase in military aid to $38bn over ten years making it, by far, the world’s biggest recipient of US military aid. When Egypt’s first democratically elected government of Mohamed Morsi was overturned in 2013 by a military coup headed by Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, this led to violations of human rights with scores of people executed and hundreds imprisoned and tortured for their political opposition. Obama’s initial reaction was to suspend the US’s annual $1.3bn of military aid, but as political pressure mounted in supporting the regime that ended the Muslim Brotherhood leadership, military aid was resumed two years later.”

The Canary say that, “This in effect was an unwritten agreement for Egypt to protect Israel’s southern border and enhance the siege of Gaza. Obama refused to acknowledge that it was a ‘coup’ as military aid payments would have been an infraction of US congressional law. It was only at the end of his term in 2016 (for fear of a political backlash had it been done earlier) that Obama abstained in the successful UNSC resolution 2334 condemning Israeli settlements. This symbolised his falling gravitas and supine approach throughout his term of office in dealing with Netanyahu. In the 8 years of his presidency, no diplomatic protocol was created whereby any sustainable progression could be made in bringing to an end the escalating Palestinian despondency owing to the draconian occupation by Israel.”

The Canary report that, “As Biden prepares to enter the White House, will the lessons learnt help lay the foundation for a new Middle-East approach for his forthcoming presidency? While his immediate aim is to eliminate the nuclear ‘threat’ from Iran, it’s ironic that the US refuses to acknowledge the existence of Israeli WMDs but strives for a unilateral solution rather than a bilateral/multilateral approach as practised by East/West diplomacy. In the Middle East, Biden will likely prioritise the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in maintaining Israel’s nuclear weapons hegemony. Biden’s electoral victory was welcomed internationally including by Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian National Authority who saw it as a step forward in advancing a peaceful solution. But apart from accepting Trump’s embassy move to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, it would appear that Biden’s support for the Palestinians is more charitable than political.”

Thankfully the Canary do say of Biden that, “He aims to reverse Trump’s abandonment of humanitarian aid to the Palestinians by recommencing funding to UNRWA, and from USAID, re-open the PLO office in Washington and espouse the platitude of aiming for a two-state solution. While many see this as a step forward, it is a step back, back to square one where he and Obama left off. The Biden administrative appointments are indicative of the direction in which he wants to go. Despite Trump’s support for Israel, his ephemeral administrative appointments generated a fear of mercurial unpredictability for Israel as opposed to Biden’s sedentary well-established team on Capitol Hill with whom Israeli diplomats had long been associated. This includes his proposed secretary of state, Anthony Blinken who served as deputy secretary of state and deputy national security advisor in the Obama administration, and worked with Biden on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He is also sympathetic to Israel.”

The Canary report that, “Likewise, with vice-president elect, Kamala Harris is the standard mode of many US politicians that pay homage to Israel in their address to AIPAC conferences. Here, she gave an anachronistic speech saying that Israel, ‘has truly made a desert bloom’. Because of the right-wing portfolio that Trump had built up, it came with a concomitant progressive reaction and demand from within the Democratic party and a rapidly changing awareness of the American Jewish community on the Palestine narrative. Biden’s appointed team so far does not reflect this growing left-wing influence as Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren were not invited into his cabinet. In addition to the Abraham Accords, the existing peace treaties between Jordan, Egypt and Israel, the pan-Arab demand for Palestinian justice is seemingly taking a back seat effectively releasing Biden from the pressure to prioritise this in his foreign policy agenda.”

The Canary report that, “However, this normalisation process is increasingly belittling Israel’s relentless objection to a Palestine state for ‘security reasons’ In 2002, Israel rejected the Saudi promoted Arab Peace Initiative base upon UN resolution 242. The normalisation between Israel and Arab states was conditional on Israel relinquishing their control of the West Bank and Gaza and creating a Palestinian state. Now, with the expanding adherents to the Abraham Accords, the normalisation has no such demand other than a verbal objection to Netanyahu’s threat of annexation in the West Bank. After a meeting between Mahmoud Abbas of the PA and al-Sisi in Cairo in November of last year, it was agreed to hold an international peace conference, supported by the Arab League and the Munich Group (Egypt, Jordan, France and Germany), early in 2021. Netanyahu reportedly plans to meet up with al Sisi in Cairo to discuss it.”

The Canary say, “There would only be one issue to discuss at such a conference – the two-state option. Israel will never agree to the one-state plan and, for a viable two-state solution, that will depend solely on how much ‘stick and carrot’ Biden will use in getting Israel to agree. With the exception of Eisenhower, every other US president has been debilitated when faced with Israeli intransigence on the question of an agreed two state solution. The US has both unrivalled hard and soft power but does Biden have the will power? As Obama’s Middle-East aims ended in failure, his secretary of state, John Kerry, feeling politically freed, said in his valedictory foreign policy speech in 2016: But here is a fundamental reality: if the choice is one state, Israel can either be Jewish or democratic – it cannot be both… How does Israel reconcile a permanent occupation with its democratic ideals? How does the U.S. continue to defend that and still live up to our own democratic ideals?”

The Canary point out the hypocrisy, “As the Trump hordes assaulted Washington, those ideals of US democracy were being praised and defended by Biden. How much of this admired sentiment will be universally applied by him especially given his support for a state which enforces the disenfranchisement of a whole people, the Palestinians?” In my estimation the direction of the new President does not look good in other areas as signalled by his top picks so far as Sophie Squire, points out in the Socialist Worker Article entitled, “Biden picks ‘diverse’ cabinet of warmongers and Wall Street’s friends.” She says that, “Joe Biden is stuffing his cabinet with warmongers. President-elect Joe Biden’s first slate of cabinet choices this week was heralded as inclusive and diverse in the liberal press. In reality they show that Biden is trying to turn back the clock to the pro-corporate ‘business as usual’ politics of the Barack Obama years.”

Squire explains her concerns saying, “Former Democrat presidential nominee John Kerry has been selected to play a new role as the US climate envoy. As Obama’s secretary of state from 2013, he played his part in the extension of imperialist bloodshed across the world. He helped heighten tensions between the US and rival states, including Russia and China.” She says, “Kerry was also instrumental in the escalation of military intervention in Syria. In 2013 he said that ‘the risks of not acting over Syria outweighed the risks of taking action’. Biden has picked Anthony Blinken to be his secretary of state. He became the deputy secretary of state in 2014 during Obama’s presidency, assisting in Kerry’s imperialist sabre-rattling. Blinken is also a consistent supporter of the state of Israel.”

According to Squire, “He said reversing Trump’s decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem would ‘not make sense practically and politically’. Blinken, along with others tipped to take up places on the cabinet, is a co-founder of WestExec advisors. The firm gives political advice to clients in big business about making investments across the world. Those who work with WestExec in government don’t call themselves official lobbyists. This means they don’t need to divulge the goings-on of the company or who their clients are. But it has been reported that clients include a major US defence company and Google billionaire Eric Schmidt. Connections.” She says, “another one of Biden’s cabinet picks also has connections to WestExec. Avril Haines was named as director of national intelligence and is also a principal WestExec adviser. Haines is a former CIA deputy director, and backed the Obama drone assassination programme, which killed thousands of people.”

Squire reports that, “Other picks include Alejandro Mayorkas as US secretary of homeland security. Mayorkas served as deputy secretary at the department under Obama from 2008 to 2013. There he presided over mass deportations and caging children. Obama’s administration saw a record number of deportations. The shattering of hopes in Obama helped clear the way for the vile politics of Trump. So too did Obama’s response to the financial crisis which transferred huge sums of money from workers to the banks and the multinationals. Reinstalling so many of that era’s leading figures will prepare the ground for a further right wing resurgence unless there is a strong left movement. Biden is only a part of the way through naming his whole cabinet. He has confirmed that he is considering picking Republicans to fill spaces on his team. But he won’t need to add Republicans to make this a cabinet of warmongers and supporters of big business.”

In another Socialist Worker Article entitled, “Biden heralds return to US ‘forever wars,”’ Alex Callinicos points out that, “Biden has voted time and time again in favour of ‘forever wars’.” Written at a point where the outgoing President still had a couple of months to throw his weight around it says, “Donald Trump’s decision last week to cut back US troops in Afghanistan and Iraq was roundly denounced by what Barack Obama called the ‘blob,’ the mainstream national security establishment, whether Republican or Democratic. The same was true on this side of the pond. A very pompous retired general tut-tutted on BBC Radio Four’s Today programme, somehow omitting to mention that the British Army was roundly defeated in both Iraq and Afghanistan. The clever liberal columnist Edward Luce was more honest when he wrote in the Financial Times, ‘Whatever else can be said about Mr Trump’s foreign policy, he did not start new wars (though there are still 60 days to go)’.”

At the time the US has been braced for a final act of lunacy from the man-baby so Callinicos wrote that, “Luce is right to qualify his remark, Trump is perfectly capable of capping his scorched-earth refusal to accept defeat by starting a war with Iran.” Thankfully that did not transpire, but the assault on the Capitol prompted a joke on Twitter: “Due to Covid travel restrictions the US are holding their coups at home!” Callinicos remarked back then that, “Nevertheless, Trump campaigned against what he called the ‘forever wars’ waged in the Greater Middle East by his predecessors both Republican and Democrats. His successor, Joe Biden, is a ‘forever wars’ man, who voted for the invasion of Iraq and devised a plan to partition the country to quell the resistance to the US and British occupation. He supports the policy, pursued especially by the younger Bush, to use US military power to promote ‘democracy,’ in reality, neoliberalism, around the world.”

Callinicos reported that, “Gathering around the cabinet Biden is assembling are the kind of hawks who sought to shape Obama’s foreign policy. They include Samantha Power, US ambassador to the United Nations 2013-17, a consistent advocate of ‘humanitarian’ military intervention. She was an architect of the disastrous Nato intervention in Libya in 2011 and tried to persuade Obama to do the same during the Syrian civil war. So did Antony Blinken, a former Biden aide who is expected to become secretary of state or national security adviser. An ex-Obama official says he ‘would be visibly tougher on Russia and more receptive to the idea of ideological competition with China, cranking up a few notches the democracy promotion and human rights dimension of foreign policy’. All this ignores the reality that Trump came out of the failure of the neoliberal imperialism of the preceding decades.”

Callinicos highlights that, This is brought out by Luce in another column where he laments the US’s lack of ‘strategic thinkers’. He gives the example of the Democratic Party policy intellectual Zbigniew Brzezinski, who was national security adviser to president Jimmy Carter 1977-81 at the beginning of what is often called the Second Cold War between the US and the Soviet Union. Brzezinski made a number of initiatives aimed at weakening Russia. The most important followed the Russian invasion of Afghanistan in December 1979. He devised the policy of arming and funding Islamist guerrillas to create Moscow’s own Vietnam. The USSR did lose, but out of its defeat came al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and, eventually, ISIS. In a 1998 interview Brzezinski boasted of ‘drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap’. Asked whether he regretted promoting radical Islamism, he retorted: ‘What is more important in world history? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire?’”

According to Brezzinski’s logic the choice was down to “Some agitated Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?’ Historians now query whether Brzezinski did actually devise this cunning plan. But what matters today is the mentality that the interview reveals. The immense suffering of the people of Afghanistan for more than 40 years now is less important for ‘strategic thinkers’ such as Brzezinski than advancing the ‘world-historical’ interests of the US imperialism. Biden plans to convene a ‘summit of democracies’ next year. The aim here is patently to brigade together Washington’s traditional Western allies, plus additions such as Narendra Modi’s India, to push back against China and Russia. These two rivals, who undoubtedly have taken advantage of Obama’s caution and Trump’s incoherence, will be branded as ‘authoritarian’ threats to liberal democracy. The result could be something closer to a real Cold War. Brzezinski would feel quite at home.”

I was not cheering when Biden and Harris were sworn in today as I noted all of the disastrous implications months ago when Biden stole the nomination from Bernie. We were left with a bad choice between an unpredictable nutcase and a consistently reliable neocon warmonger, so I chose not to cast a vote. Critically weakened by the twin fallout from Brexit and the impact of Johnson’s shambolic handling of the Covid crisis, the PM will be eager to please the new President, even if that requires following the US into yet another unnecessary round of imperialist aggression. With Sanders in the US and Corbyn in the UK we could have escalated all the major global conflicts, while focusing on a green recovery from the Covid Pandemic to establish Social justice and equality thus setting a shining example of genuine democracy. We cannot passively accept the ongoing corruption of this Tory Government since their fake ‘landslde victory’ in the Covert 2019 Rugged Election; we must Challenge, Investigate and Expose the Truth. DO NOT MOVE ON!