Tuesday, November 17, 2020
The Ugly American
Implausibly depicting the Democrats as dangerous “reds” and playing the race card Trump pulled out all the stops in the last days of his campaign to get the Republican vote out. And though he succeeded in mobilising record numbers of supporters throughout the country the Republicans were overwhelmed by even larger numbers who hate Trump and all that he stands for.
Trump’s apologists in Europe are mainly found amongst the ranks of the far-right along those deluded “left” poseurs who defend him on the grounds that he, unlike his predecessors, didn’t start any new wars during his four years in the White House. This is, in fact, true. What is equally true is that Trump did nothing to halt the conflicts he inherited from the Obama administration.
American troops still occupy parts of Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria. Trump tightened the blockade against the Islamic Republic of Iran and restored many of the sanctions that Barack Obama lifted when he established diplomatic relations with Cuba. His summit talks with Democratic Korean leader Kim Jong Un may have slightly reduced tension on the Korean peninsula but in the long term that achieved nothing because Trump was unwilling or unable to deliver on any of the steps towards normalisation that he promised to take at these high-level meetings.
Trump sanctioned the assassination of General Soleimani, the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commander killed in a targeted US drone strike in January and threw his weight behind a bogus Middle East peace plan to allow Israel to illegally annex Arab Jerusalem and other parts of the occupied West Bank coveted by the Zionists.
While no-one expects much from Biden we can expect some change of direction next year. Some fear that Biden will continue where Obama left off in Syria and Ukraine. But though the shadowy figures within the US that the Americans call the “deep state” will undoubtedly be clamouring for more “regime change” Biden’s first priority must be to tackle the coronavirus plague that is sweeping unchecked throughout the USA.
The president-elect says another of his priorities will be to revive the Iran nuclear deal
and return to the other international treaties that Trump recklessly tore up during his term of office. If he does that will go some way to easing tension in the Middle East.
No one is going to miss Trump in the region apart from Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli leader who was backed to the hilt by the Trump administration, and a handful of feudal Arab oil princes who will in any case do the bidding of US imperialism regardless of who sits in the Oval Office at any given time.
But there may be trouble ahead for Boris Johnson. Biden’s already warned Johnson that he can kiss goodbye to his “Treaty of Washington” trade deal if Brexit undermines the Northern Ireland peace process and the Remainers are hoping to exploit the new situation to prolong the Brexit transition period or even replace Johnson with a more Europhile leader.
It doesn’t augur well for Johnson in the next few months.