The US never learns

Image: Kendall Hoopes


If Joe Biden wants a two-state solution, then why does he allow and help one of the “two states” to destroy the other?

The President of the United States, Joe Biden, recently published a personal opinion article, which, very suggestively, appeared in the The Washington Post,[1] but which is, in reality, equivalent to a political declaration by the regime – or a definition of the line of nomenklatura, if you prefer. As such, the text deserves attention. And it doesn't matter that it is implausible that it was the American leader himself, clearly challenged by worsening senility, who wrote it. In other words, to use a well-known expression in Russia, this is “Joe Biden collective” speaking out.

Translated from the official jargon, purged of empty rhetoric and euphemisms, the long proclamation presents only two substantial points about what the United States and its “allies” (strictly speaking, clients and vassals) must do: (i) continue to wage a proxy war against Russia in Ukraine; and (ii) continue to support Israel in its genocidal war against the Palestinians (no! it is not a “war against Hamas”; this is nothing more than a secondary development).

In this sense, there is nothing surprising or hopeful about the statement made by the “collective Joe Biden”. This time only more words were needed. But the current neoconservative Democratic administration is simply repeating the slogan, equally tone-deaf, from a former Republican president, who croaked with his old band of neoconservatives: “Stay the course!” – that was what, in short, George W. Bush said throughout the long disaster that was the Iraq campaign. It is a "déjà vu all over again”, in the words of America’s greatest philosopher.[2]

But the details of the text still deserve scrutiny. Let's take some excerpts.

Hamas is repeatedly denounced for practicing “pure and authentic evil”, and similar things. Any reasonable observer would use such terms to designate what the Israelis are doing in Gaza. But let's leave that aside for now, and let's also leave aside the fact that we now know that a substantial number of Israelis were killed by Israeli forces themselves, and not by Hamas. Instead, let us focus on Hamas itself. Was that “Joe Biden collective” language factual? The rational answer to this question, not being a mere opinion, would be “no”.

In reality, the empirical record shows that Hamas is a resistance organization engaged in a legally and ethically justified struggle against massive national oppression. It attacked military targets, which is legitimate, as much as it involved terrorist crimes. But if any political and armed organization that simultaneously engages in legitimate violence and terrorist crimes is committing “pure evil,” then almost every moderately powerful state in this world has done just that, or is doing just that right now. The statement appears to be clearly unreasonable.

In general terms, the reason for nonsense like this is strategic dishonesty. And it is here too. Joe Biden's administration transparently pursues, with such Orwellian abuse of terminology, two objectives. First, make Israel's crimes against the Palestinians seem, if not justified, at least so "understandable" or "inevitable" that we stop opposing them - and, if we are Americans, vote for the Democrats, even if they support Such crimes are perfectly avoidable. And second, it is about preparing the ground for the proposition that follows: that of eliminating Hamas completely from any post-assault agreement and, instead and “ultimately”, having a “Palestinian Authority” revived” govern both the West Bank and Gaza while some lasting agreement is engineered.

This proposal comes wrapped in misleading and revoltingly cynical rhetoric: if Joe Biden is heartbroken over the children massacred in Gaza, then Andrew Jackson must have cried when he signed the bill. Indian Removal Act (1830). If Joe Biden wants a two-state solution, then why does he allow and help one of the “two states” to destroy the other? If he “advised” Israeli leaders to refrain from excessive violence, then why did he not back up his kind words with the use of his enormous influence to stop the flow of weapons, money, information and diplomatic cover in aid of the genocidal attack? of Israel? If Joe Biden is concerned about the spread of anti-Semitism, why does he allow far-right Zionists to claim that his policies, which lead to the deaths of thousands and thousands of Palestinian children, are inherently “Jewish”?

Hypocrisies like these can still mislead some Americans, notably those who come to believe that the appropriate response to the umpteenth domestic gun massacre is “thoughts and prayers.” But a president of the United States and those who write and think in his place would do well not to occupy such an embarrassing position, especially in front of everyone else, at home and abroad.

The true political proposition of the proclamation, however, is nothing more than an attempt to return to the post-Oslo Accords (1993), but under even worse conditions. This means creating a situation in which urgent and vital Palestinian needs as well as self-evident Palestinian rights will once again be de facto suspended in an endless dishonest “process” that in reality only serves as a curtain and blocking device. in favor of Israel, at the same time that the latter colonizes occupied lands, it practices the internationally recognized crime of apartheid and conducts occasional massacres.

But Joe Biden's proclamation addresses more than the Middle East. By turning against Russia, the Joe Biden collective personalizes what is at stake, in bad old conservative style. Instead of any attempt at a rational – even if critical or even hostile – approach to Moscow's actions and interests, what we see are the usual and foolish insults: Russian President Vladimir Putin is compared to Hamas, as if he were a one-man “terrorist organization.” (And it doesn't matter that Hamas is not, strictly speaking, a terrorist organization, even though it occasionally commits terrorist acts).

The war in Ukraine is reduced to Vladimir Putin's personal “drive for conquest”, as if there were not a two-decade history of US provocations in reckless military expansion, supported by bad faith and refusal to negotiate serious issues of international security in a responsible and constructive way. In this regard, Russia ends up receiving the same rhetorical treatment as the Palestinians: once it fights, it is prohibited from recognizing the reasons why it fights.

And finally, both “Vladimir Putin” – that is, Russia – and Hamas are accused of two things: wanting to “wipe a neighboring democracy off the map” and leading us to a new and vile international order, where the strong abuse of the weak and that's it.

But now something new: neither Israel nor Ukraine are democracies.

In the case of Israel, the allegation is vitiated by the simple fact that its government exercises effective control over the millions of Palestinians who are discriminated against and without rights – not even to voting, or, better said, to any human or civil rights. Ukraine, for its part, boasts its Volodymyr Zelensky, Washington's declining darling, who began dismantling the country's last fragile democratic structures in 2021, long before the war, and who now clings to power in collusion with an extreme -violent right, which eliminates political opposition, censors the media and prevents elections. Once again, this is not all opinion, but fact.

Second, Hamas does not seek to eliminate Israel, despite numerous allegations to the contrary. For several years now, it has repeatedly signaled the willingness of accept and commit to a two-state solution. Stating that Hamas wants the total destruction of Israel is the same as recycling some old stupid formula from former president Ronald Reagan, with the intention of “proving” that he wanted to eliminate the entire Soviet Union. In any case, Hamas simply would not have the capacity – not even close – to do so.

Likewise, Russia is not trying to abolish Ukraine. As his compromise proposals at the end of 2021 already indicated, his main objective was a neutral Ukraine, which would not be used as a military springboard for the West. Now, however, given the facts and actions, it has become irremediable for Russia to absorb Ukrainian territories. Depending on how long the war lasts, it could end up absorbing much more. Anyone can very well object to this. However, this does not represent, in principle, the willingness to exterminate an entire State or, worse, its population.[3]

Finally, regarding the warning issued against Hamas, Russia and who knows who else – China? India? Brazil? anyone who doesn't obey Washington's orders? – that they would be hell-bent on dragging us all into a new dark age, in a Realpolitik ultra-cynical and brute force, guess what!… That's exactly where we are now. And where we have been for the last quarter century, under the “benevolent” aegis of the United States. If you don't believe it, ask Gaza.

In short, all that can really be gleaned from this proclamation from above is that the Joe Biden administration has understood nothing beyond its own nose and is determined to learn even less. If, in the words of that proclamation, it is assumed that the world ever has the slightest chance of having “more hope, more freedom, less hate, less offenses and less war”, then first we need to have a lot less Joe Biden and everything and everyone that he represents.

*Tarik Cyril Amar, PhD in history from Princeton University, is a professor at Koç University (Istanbul). Author, among other books, of The Paradox of Ukrainian Lviv (Cornell University Press).

Translation: Ricardo Cavalcanti-Schiel.

Originally published in Russia Today (RT News).

Translator's notes

[1] In the independent media and military intelligence circuit, the The Washington Post is renowned as an unofficial spokesperson for the CIA, while the New York Times o is from the Pentagon.

[2] The author's irony (or not so much: in this case it may be more for observation) is directed at the folkloric figure of baseball catcher Lawrence Peter “Yogi” Berra, of the New York Yankees, from the 60s, author of the aforementioned expression (“ one déjà vu all over again"). Like certain Brazilian football players, Yogi Berra was as well known for his sporting genius as he was for his intellectual fog. naive that was running around in his head. His unusual jokes ended up becoming known as “yogi-isms”, such as: “the game is only over when it is over”, “you can see a lot just by watching”, “never respond to an anonymous letter”, “when you come to a fork in the road, take it!”, “I never said most of the things I said”, or, as former President Barack Obama repeated when posthumously awarding him the Presidential Medal of Freedom: “if you can't imitate him, don't copy him”.

[3] Here, the explanatory complement is certainly worth mentioning: “as Israel does with the population of Gaza, and as the Ukrainian regime does, by throwing all the civilian population it can spare into a war that it cannot win”.

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