No one in the Biden camp has spoken out against the past, present, and future war crimes which will undoubtedly shape the administration.
“The war on Black America is the seed from which the U.S. empire has grown to be an international force of racist terror.”
The white hooligans who invaded Capitol Hill on January 6th set the stage for the U.S. ruling class to reinvigorate its most prized political narrative: American exceptionalism. Trump committed the most egregious crime of all in the eyes of the empire by encouraging his most loyal supporters to desecrate what one police officer on the scene called “the most sacredest place.” His closing act paved an even smoother road for the incoming Biden administration to quickly militarize Washington D.C. and normalize a period of sustained crisis vis-à-vis cosmetic changes to the leadership of the empire. But as neoliberal elements of the ruling class breathe a sigh of relief, the struggle against the Biden administration’s imperial criminality will face immense challenges in the coming period.
For one, Biden is a white supremacist and a war hawk but one would never know listening to the corporate media. The ruling class understands that Joe Biden is less popular than Bernie Sanders’ mittens and has thus focused all of its energy on the optics of his administration. However, endless celebrations of the “diversity” embodied in Joe Biden’s cabinet are nothing but hollow gestures for people under the crossfire of U.S. empire. As Nikole Hannah-Jones pondered the significance of Lloyd Austin being named the first Black Secretary of Defense , no one in the Biden camp has spoken out against the past, present, and future war crimes which will undoubtedly shape the administration.
“Celebrations of the “diversity” embodied in Joe Biden’s cabinet are nothing but hollow gestures.”
Biden’s Secretary of State Tony Blinken provided a useful review of what to expect from the U.S. empire moving forward in his confirmation hearing with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Blinken co-signed U.S. support of disgraced coup leader Juan Guaido as the head of state in Venezuela and endorsed the continued enforcement of starvation sanctions on the Venezuelan people. He also affirmed the blatant lie that Iran is the largest state sponsor of terrorism in the world. Blinken agreed with Trump that China represented the “greatest foreign policy challenge of this century” and promised to build a more effective but equally “tough” strategy of containment . The first days of the Biden era saw a U.S. military envoy enter occupied Syria from Iraq. Israel, the U.S.’ closest military ally in the region, celebrated Blinken’s affirmation of U.S. loyalty to the settler state by launching an airstrike that killed a handful of Syrian men, women, and children. The politics of representation, in the area of U.S. empire, amount to a narrow nationalism that places the superiority and exceptionalism of the United States above the lives of colonized people and oppressed people around the world.This is why it is so important for organizations such as Black Alliance for Peace to develop and strengthen in the coming period. The Trump era left the struggle against empire defenseless from the popularization of faux-populist and white nationalist politics on the one hand, and the Democratic Party’s con of diversity on the other. Only an organized Black Left movement can reconcile the contradictions presented by these two ideological wings of a dying imperialist bird of prey.
“The politics of representation amount to a narrow nationalism that places the superiority and exceptionalism of the United States above the lives of oppressed people around the world.”
The absence of a Black-led struggle for peace has meant that whatever forces for progress exist in the United States have been unable to fully grasp the dialectical relationship between the neoliberal crisis of legitimacy which brought Trump to power and the dangers posed by the generalized rightwing political process occurring in the United States. White supremacy and war have been addressed as separate projects of the U.S. elite, if addressed at all, rather than interconnected parts of a whole system currently experiencing a precipitous decline. Profound confusion has been the result. While some called for a strategic defense of Trump’s attempts to engage in dialogue with the DPRK and withdraw troops from Syria and Afghanistan, majorities of people across the U.S. were silent when the Trump administration tightened sanctions on Syria , waged a multifaceted New Cold War on China , and assassinated Iranian General Qasem Soleimani just over one year ago. We can expect these inconsistencies to intensify under a Biden administration that claims to look like, and embody, the most cherished values of the United States’ origins myth. It is important to move forward with the vigilance to clearly articulate the all too often unspoken truth that white supremacy is war and war is white supremacy—making Joe Biden a quintessential white supremacist war hawk. The war on Black America is the seed from which the U.S. empire has grown to be an international force of racist terror. No amount of diversity or political representation among the oppressed in the halls of imperial power will change the fundamental character of an exploitative system which has made clear for two generations that it wholly incapable of relinquishing its racist character. Every breath of relief taken in the era of Biden will thus go down in history as another war crime normalized, and another step backward for the future of humanity entirely.
Danny Haiphong is a contributing editor to Black Agenda Report and co-author of the book American Exceptionalism and American Innocence: A People’s History of Fake News- From the Revolutionary War to the War on Terror. Follow his work on Twitter @SpiritofHo and on YouTube as co-host with Margaret Kimberley of Black Agenda Report Present’s: The Left Lens. You can support Danny at www.patreon.com/dannyhaiphong.