By David Sole
A wide section of the United States population welcomed the new Biden administration as a relief from four years of the reactionary and erratic Donald Trump. Naturally focus is on the domestic policies of the Democrats, especially in the areas of response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the vaccine rollout, emergency economic “stimulus” for the jobless and relief from the threat of eviction and foreclosure.
A flurry of Executive Orders signed by the president has contributed to the sense of progress felt by an anxious population, although many of these measures and promises are minimal and are actually what the capitalist system needs to operate in this unique crisis.
The public, consumed with day to day survival, is not as focused on the foreign policy of the Biden administration. In the few weeks it has been in office it is clear that there will be no change to the drive by the United States for economic, political and military domination over the entire world, commonly known as U.S. imperialism.
Biden was not even in office yet when his nominee for Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, told the U.S. Senate that the new administration would continue to recognize Juan Guaido as president of Venezuela. No matter that Guaido didn’t run for that office and declared himself president. No matter that Venezuela’s elections have been open and fair.
Blinken testified on January 19 that Biden would continue Trump’s recognition of the self-declared Guaido and would continue and deepen United States economic sanctions against Venezuela which is trying to develop a socialist economy to benefit the majority of its people. The U.S. Senate went ahead and confirmed Blinken’s appointment by a vote of 78 to 22.
The U.S. sanctions have taken such a toll on the people of Venezuela that the nation went before the International Criminal Court (ICC) on February 17, 2020 to charge the U.S. with “crimes against humanity.” The sanctions were described as “weapons of mass destruction” in a 60 page document delivered to the court by Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza. The filing was a request for the ICC to open a preliminary investigation into the matter. [Venezuelaanalysis.com 2/17/20].
Biden’s support for the Zionist state of Israel against the interests of the Palestinian people were also expressed by his nominee for Secretary of State. Trump’s bulldog, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, asked Blinken “Do you agree that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and do you commit that the United States will keep our embassy in Jerusalem?” Blinken replied “Yes and yes.” Donald Trump had moved the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in December 2017. This continuation in violation of international law will only continue to inflame the crisis in the Middle East. [Aljazeer.com 1/20/21].
In testimony by Blinken as well as comments by White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki it is clear that Biden’s policies toward China will continue Trump’s direction. This should come as no surprise to anyone who understands that China’s socialist basic economy is seen as a threat by U.S. capitalism.
Blinken stated in no uncertain terms that China was “the most significant challenge of any nation-state.” He wasn’t talking about some economic challenge. He made it clear that this challenge was to U.S. national security – which to capitalists is the same thing. The nominee put it bluntly: “Trump was right in taking a tougher approach” to China.
China’s government and mass media said that the Biden administration’s views were “identical to the Trump administration.” Blinken’s testimony showed the same “raging anti-China sentiment.” China’s Global Times, in an editorial, said that Biden was “only putting old wine in a new bottle.”
On July 14, 2015 the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was signed in Vienna, Austria. The plan was an extremely detailed agreement between Iran and six major powers (U.S., China, France, England, Russia and Germany) who agreed to remove or suspend economic sanctions against Iran. For its part Iran submitted to provisions to limit its nuclear development to peaceful purposes with extensive outside verification.
It should be remembered that Iran lived up to its end of the bargain. But in 2017 president Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the accord with his usual bluster and lies, hitting Iran with deep sanctions. Rather than reverse the Trump policy, Biden’s Secretary of State, in his first press conference on January 20, stated “U.S. sanctions will remain in place for some time as Washington waits to see if Tehran verifiably stops violating” the nuclear deal. [VOAnews.com 1-27-21].
These remarks remind one of the continuous lies spread by the U.S. State Department, the politicians and the U.S. representative to the United Nations in the months leading up to the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. The same lies about violations of nuclear agreements and “proof of weapons of mass destruction” were repeated to cover up the decision to make war against a country that simply wanted to maintain a little independence from the U.S. imperialist machine. Of course no weapons of mass destruction were ever found after the U.S. took over Iraq and its huge oil reserves in the Second Iraq War.
Since 2011 the United States has continued to promote the overthrow of the nationalist Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad. This started under the Obama administration (with Biden as vice-president) in 2011. It continued for four years under the Trump regime. It is estimated that the U.S. still has 900 soldiers on the ground inside Syria.
On the very day of Biden’s inauguration Syria’s representative to the United Nations addressed a virtual meeting of the U.N. Security Council. Bashar al-Jaafari denounced U.S. policies and demanded “The new US administration must stop acts of aggression and occupation, plundering the wealth of my country, and withdraw its occupying forces from it, and stop supporting separatist militias, illegal entities, and attempts to threaten Syria’s sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity.”
Referring to U.S. sanctions levied against Syria, al-Jaafari told the U.N. “The United States and the European Union continue to impose more coercive measures on Syria and other countries, ignoring the calls of the United Nations to put an end to these measures,” The sanctions had hindered “the purchase of medicines and humanitarian needs and the provision of food baskets to those who deserve it”.
A special rapporteur of the United Nations had stated that the sanctions against Syria were running “roughshod over human rights, including the Syrian people’s rights to housing, health, and an adequate standard of living and development.” [middleeasteye.net January 21,21].
While differences may exist on issues of domestic policy, the ruling class in the United States is at present in firm agreement on the goals of foreign policy. Wall Street and the Pentagon, those who really wield power in this country, are driven by their need to maximize profits by exploiting the rest of the world’s people and resources. Domination to benefit their bottom line, imperialism, is directed against socialist governments, developing nations whether nationalist or subservient and even so-called allies in the more developed nations.
A world-wide anti-imperialist movement, joined by the people inside the United States, is the only force that can liberate the people of the world from enslavement to the imperialist, colonialist overlords.