On November 18, Joe Biden published a guest editorial in the Washington Post titled The U.S. won’t back down from the challenge of Putin and Hamas. The very fact that he published this in one of the major newspapers in the U.S. indicates a major intensification of Biden’s attempt to rally the population around an extremely aggressive and reckless foreign policy. Biden reinforces U.S. political, diplomatic, financial and military backing for two major wars now going on (in Israel and Ukraine), and he ties this together in some kind of global crusade. There is more to analyze—and more to write—about this document from Biden, but here’s a basic first take:
1) Biden adamantly and unequivocally reaffirms America's unstinting support for Israel—for Israel's genocidal slaughter in Gaza and escalating campaign of terror in the West Bank, writing: “We stand firmly with the Israeli people as they defend themselves against the murderous nihilism of Hamas.” With his inconsequential words of concern for the suffering of Palestinian civilians in Gaza—indeed, with this as thin cover—Biden is endorsing anew Israel's war on Gaza. This onslaught pivots on massive bombing of monumental proportions; devastation by tanks, artillery, and missiles; and the forced, mass dislocation of hundreds of thousands of Palestinian civilians.
The essence of the matter is that Biden is backing a barbarous new stage and scale of ethnic cleansing. Over the last few weeks, the Pentagon has ramped up shipments of sophisticated and ever more lethal weapons to Israel, including laser-guided missiles and “bunker buster” munitions.
The U.S. is politically, diplomatically, and militarily facilitating the flattening of Gaza, turning it, in the words of Irish journalist Fintan O'Toole, into a “blood-soaked hellscape of rubble and dust,” that has now claimed the lives of over 12,000 people, overwhelmingly civilians. Biden writes, “Gaza must never again be used as a platform for terrorism.” In speeches, statements, and in this op-ed by Biden, the U.S. imperialists mark no limit past which this genocide must stop. In his op-ed, Biden states his opposition even to a cease-fire.
U.S. imperialist support for Israel flows from the special role that Israel plays as a watchdog and attack dog for the U.S. empire and its strategic interests in the Middle East. See the article in last week's revcom.us, Once More on: Why Did Joe Biden Say That “If Israel didn’t exist, America would have had to invent it”?
2) On the basis of this savage new stage of ethnic cleansing, Biden is proposing a bogus post-conflict settlement, a “two-state solution” that calls for reuniting Gaza and the occupied West Bank of Palestine, governed by a “revitalized” Palestinian Authority. Israel is an illegitimate settler-colonial state founded in 1948, based on the dispossession and expulsion of the Palestinians who lived on this land. Today, there are two “Palestinian” territories controlled by Israel but overseen in limited ways by Palestinian governing bodies. There is Gaza, which is governed by Hamas; and there are parts of the West Bank (called that because it is just west of the Jordan River) over which the Palestinian Authority is a governing body. The Palestinian Authority has collaborated with Israel for many years. A “two-state” solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict envisions a formally independent state of Palestine made up of Gaza unified with parts of the West Bank, alongside a dominating state of Israel.
On the one hand, Israel will not accept a “two-state solution” in today's conditions. This is public relations from Biden aimed mainly at the pro-U.S. Arab regimes in the region, to help them maintain some shred of credibility in the face of mass outrage at Israel's onslaught. Meanwhile, the Netanyahu government has made it abundantly clear that Israel will viciously suppress, control, and police Gaza.
On the other hand, even in the improbable event that the Israelis did accept this, the “two-state solution” completely tramples on the national rights of the Palestinian people to reclaim and return to their homeland. Biden is calling for a “revitalized” Palestinian Authority (revitalized, if it were to come to pass, at the behest and to the satisfaction of U.S. imperialism) to govern such a Palestinian state in a sea of Israeli military supremacy and domination. The existing Palestinian Authority has collaborated for many years now with Israel. To cut to the chase, the “two-state solution” is a call for a mirage of sovereignty, for a Palestinian puppet regime.
The only just and viable solution is a revolutionary secular Palestinian state of Jews and Palestinians to replace the apartheid state of Israel. Here people should study Bob Avakian's Some Basic Truths About the U.S.-Supported War Against Palestine.
3) In his November 18 op-ed, Biden declares that the U.S. is “the essential nation” at a time when the “world faces an inflection point.” The chauvinist arrogance drips from the page. More menacingly, “inflection point” is code for U.S. imperialism more aggressively pursuing its strategic global interests: maintaining and expanding its dominant position in the world; facing off against its two main rivals, Russia and especially China, stepping up economic and political pressure; and readying and positioning for more direct and large-scale military showdown.
In the span of this op-ed...
* Biden reaffirms his administration's commitment to waging its proxy (indirect) war with Russia over Ukraine—in which Ukrainian armed forces and population are being used as cannon fodder to advance U.S. imperial interests against imperialist rival Russia. Ukraine is not a battleground of Western democracy vs. Russian autocracy but rather a conflict zone between rival, nuclear-armed imperial powers. This proxy war can rapidly escalate to world war and cross the nuclear threshold to unspeakable catastrophe.
* Biden is declaring that the U.S. will stand by Israel in its war on Gaza, its genocidal onslaught against the Palestinian people. And will do so with requisite military support. This is a conflict that can rapidly spread throughout and destabilize the region, drawing in other regional and global powers.
* Biden speaks in this op-ed of a proposed U.S. initiative to develop an “innovative economic corridor” from India through the Middle East to Europe. Whether that gets off the ground is unclear, but what it is actually about is countering rapidly growing Chinese economic and geopolitical influence—at a time of intensifying confrontation between the U.S. and imperialist China, and escalating military threats.
4) This is an increasingly dangerous situation for world humanity and for the planet. As the revolutionary leader Bob Avakian has pointed out: “We can no longer afford to allow these imperialists to continue to dominate the world and determine the destiny of humanity. They must be overthrown as quickly as possible. And it is a scientific fact that we do not have to live this way.”