It has already been observed that Joe Biden’s incoming cabinet looks a bit like old wine in new bottles, drawing as it does on veterans from the Barack Obama and even the Bill Clinton administrations. That’s the bad news as it very much looks like business as usual as the Military-Industrial-Congressional-Wall Street kleptocracy is reasserting itself and will be in place for the next four years. Which is not to say that the Donald Trump version thereof was a whole lot different, but Trump was erratic enough to make the power brokers in America nervous, which was presumably enough reason to possibly rig the election and get rid of him.
The four key appointees to the new administration in terms of how the United States confronts the world are the Secretaries of State and Defense, the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) and the National Security Advisor. All of Biden’s picks are, if not completely hawkish, at least dedicated to the notion that the U.S. should be actively pre-emptively engaged in democracy promotion and liberal interventionism. If a little regime change is needed here and there, so be it. General Lloyd Austin, who may have trouble in getting confirmed by the Senate as Secretary of Defense, Tony Blinken, Secretary of State presumptive, and DNI Avril Haines have all been involved in making money out of the defense/national security establishment since they have been out of office. There is an assumption among ex-officials in the United States government that lobbying one’s former colleagues to buy products or services that are not needed is a perfectly legitimate semi-retirement avocation. Some, however, do not see it that way and General Austin’s service on the board of major defense contractor Raytheon may have crossed the red line, even for those who are accustomed to looking the other way when corruption looms.
It is assumed that the former torture-prison chief and currently Director of CIA Gina Haspel will be fired either by Donald Trump or by Biden, meaning that that position will also be vacant, likely to be filled by another friend of Clinton/Obama. David Cohen, a former analyst has been spoken of as the likely candidate. He previously served as a widely acknowledged utterly incompetent and out of place Director of Operations, appointed by Barack Obama in 2015 even though he had no real experience in intelligence operations, much less in running the Agency’s Clandestine Service. Unfortunately, incompetence and irrelevancy have never stopped anyone from moving onward and upward in the U.S. government. Quite the contrary.
Some see a silver lining in the clouds, namely a “return to diplomacy” after the debacle of the belligerent dispensationalist Mike Pompeo. Alas Pompeo for all his bluster has not actually started any new wars, while Blinken was the main man behind the bid to overthrow the Syrian government even though it posed no threat to the United States. He has never apologized for the wars he was involved in under Obama and has only regretted that they were not more successful, so we can safely assume that he will continue to do what he can in support of the globalist agenda as well as for the country that he loves best, which is Israel.
And there are also the somewhat more elusive aspects of Democratic Party leadership thinking that will shape the course of the new Administration. Still simmering hatred for Russia over the phony narrative that the Kremlin was behind the 2016 defeat of the execrable Hillary Clinton means that relations with that country will if anything get worse, particularly if the Clintons continue to be a major driving force behind the Democratic National Committee. And then there is China. There is every indication that the Democrats have bought into the China-bashing initiated by Donald Trump and sustained by the conspiracy theory that Beijing both weaponized a virus to destroy Western democracy and threatens “freedom.” Pentagon plans to build up the U.S. Navy to confront China in its own coastal waters while also reshaping the Marine Corps to equip it with breakthrough guided battlefield weapons to confront the “Yellow Menace” will not be reversed by Biden and company.
It can be taken as a given that the Biden/Harris regime will continue America’s Israel-centric foreign policy but it will be interesting to see if they persevere in the Trump program of bribing fringe Arab states to “recognize” Israel. Up until now, Washington’s buying of desperate regimes has included F-35s for the UAE’s Mohammed bin Zayed, canceling of the inclusion on the economy-brutalizing “State Sponsors of Terrorism” list for the military junta of starving Sudan, and now, uniquely, endorsing Morocco’s 45-year-old sovereignty claim over the Western Sahara, a region that has its own government and has become a member state of the African Union. It has also been diplomatically recognized by 84 other governments represented at the U.N. The U.S. is in addition the only state to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Syrian Golan Heights while also giving the green light to the Jewish state’s stated intention to declare formal sovereignty claim over most of the occupied State of Palestine. It is unlikely that Biden will seek to reverse those sell-outs and he will not move the U.S. Embassy from Jerusalem back to Tel Aviv.
The Israelis have already warned Biden not to re-enter any U.N. human rights organizations or fund the agency that provides relief to Palestinian refugees. They have also advised him against trying to cut any kind of deal with the Iranians, sending the signal that when it comes to Iran, including assassinations, Israel is in charge. And also, the Biden “plan,” if one can dignify it by using that word, to reengage with Iran is a non-starter. American and Israeli belligerency over the past four years has soured the Iranian people on any kind of rapprochement, with conservatives now politically dominant. They will likely sweep the elections scheduled to be held next year. Biden’s intention to get the Iranians to abandon their sophisticated missile weapons program and their support for Syria in addition to reopening their nuclear sites to U.S. inspectors will also go nowhere. Iran will continue to be enemy number one for the Democrats just as it has been for Trump and his principal financial backer Israel-firster casino magnate Sheldon Adelson.
Joe Biden will certainly have to work hard to equal the interventionist policies entertained by his predecessors in office, but he, of course, has had experience both in Congress and as Vice President in shaping those policies and promoting American “exceptionalism” as we have come to know it. And he will be helped along the way by Tony Blinken, Avril Haines, Jake Sullivan and General Lloyd Austin lest he stray from the established path. The fact is that elections change nothing in Washington but the name plates on the doors.
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Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is https://councilforthenationalinterest.org,address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is [email protected]. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.
Featured image: Vice President Joe Biden, Austin, and Command Sergeant Major Earl Rice, at an event marking the award of the Iraq Commitment Medal in December 2011 (Source: Flickr)