January 10, 2024 caitlinjohnstone.com.au
In an article titled “Joe Biden Risks A Major Middle East War If He Makes The Wrong Choices,” The Huffington Post cites anonymous US officials who fear the careless and chaotic behavior of their commander-in-chief is going to embroil the US in a hot war between Israel and Lebanon.
HuffPost’s Akbar Shahid Ahmed writes the following:
“American officials say the Biden administration is not doing all it can to reduce tensions, despite public commitments from senior officials to avoid a regional blow-up.
“ ‘I’ve been trying to keep an avalanche from falling on Lebanon and so have a lot of people,’ one official told HuffPost, saying many national security personnel fear unchecked U.S. support for Israel will make it overly confident about expanding operations into Lebanon. ‘The problem is no one can rein in Biden, and if Biden has a policy, he’s the commander-in-chief ― we have to carry it out. That’s what it comes down to, very, very, very unfortunately.’ ”
Listening to the way people on the inside have been talking about Biden’s bull-in-a-China-shop behavior regarding Middle East policy lately, one can’t help being reminded of the way the liberal press used to talk about the erratic and irresponsible behavior of Donald Trump when he was in office. The mood and tone feels like when Trump was exchanging verbal hostilities with North Korea in the first year of his term, which comedian John Mulaney famously likened to the disorder and discomfort of having a horse loose in the hospital.
We’re all just standing here praying that this lunatic doesn’t ignite yet another horrific war in the Middle East while watching him unapologetically sponsor a genocide in Gaza, and we’re still a ways off from emerging safely from the world-threatening nuclear brinkmanship his administration dragged everyone into with Russia in Ukraine. And it’s hard not to notice that this all sure looks an awful lot like what liberals were terrified would happen when Trump got into office.
The lead-up to Trump winning the 2016 election and taking office was rife with some of the most vitriolic and emotionally intense rhetoric in the history of American politics, featuring frequent fears that Trump would start a nuclear war, that minorities would be fleeing in terror from violent persecution, that he’d be another Hitler and launch another Holocaust, that he’d facilitate ethnic persecution and racist attacks.
In the end Trump turned out to be a fairly standard evil Republican president. He sanctioned Venezuelans into starvation, vetoed attempts to save Yemen from the US-backed atrocities of Saudi Arabia, assassinated Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, imprisoned Julian Assange, and, despite the incredibly virulent mass delusion that he was a secret agent of Moscow, spent his entire term ramping up cold war hostilities against Russia with extreme aggression.
All of which were monstrous. But none of those crimes rise to the level of single-handedly facilitating a genocide in Gaza or taking the world closer to nuclear war than at any time since the Cuban Missile Crisis with his peace-killing efforts in Ukraine.
Biden has turned out to be everything we were warned Trump would be: a genocidal monster fueling racist violence and crimes against humanity while imperiling the world with insanely reckless foreign policy decisions.
None of this is to suggest that Trump would have handled Gaza any differently than Biden, or even that he’d have handled Ukraine any differently. It’s likely that the main reason Biden’s administration has been more warlike than Trump’s is by sheer timing and coincidence; the US empire tends to trudge onward in more or less the same direction regardless of who’s in office, with wars occurring not because of who happens to be president in any given instance but because of whatever the empire’s needs happen to be at that time.
The lesson of Joe Biden’s depravity is not that it would be better to have Donald Trump in the White House, it’s that it doesn’t matter which one gets in, because only murderous monsters are allowed to play that role in the management of the US-centralized empire. The globe-spanning power structure which loosely revolves around Washington is held together by nonstop violence and abuse, and nobody who isn’t willing to inflict copious amounts of violence and abuse on human beings around the world will ever make it past the gatekeeping measures that have been placed between that office and the illusion of democracy that the American people have been deceived into believing is real.
The atrocities will continue for as long as that empire exists. Humanity won’t ever have a chance at a healthy and peaceful world until that world is freed from the tyranny of a planet-dominating power structure that is fueled by human blood.