By Nauman Sadiq
Compared with charismatic orators like Barack Obama and Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden is a second-tier Democratic leader who never in his wildest dreams could’ve imagined contesting the election of the US president.
Being an unambitious merry-go-lucky politician, as is obvious from his lackluster vice presidency, he was happy with getting a pension and lucrative kickbacks for his spendthrift family from shady foreign corporations, like Burisma Holdings of Ukraine and incarcerated Chinese billionaire Ye Jianming , until the absence of genuine political leadership in the Democratic Party propelled him to the forefront of the US national politics.
Being a second fiddle to Barack Obama, he is like Lyndon B. Johnson to John F. Kennedy after the latter was assassinated, or Gerald Ford to Richard Nixon after the latter resigned for the fear of impeachment after being implicated in the Watergate scandal.
I’m not sure if Biden was high on meth during the presidential debate, as Trump had repeatedly been insinuating, or does he lack basic etiquette to act like a dignified statesman, but only amphetamines could make a person take leave of his senses and contemptuously sneer at a political rival with derogatory epithets such as “a clown, a racist and Putin’s puppy,” and tell the president of the US to “shut up” while ironically complaining, “This is so unpresidential.”
Echoing Joe Biden’s chauvinistic sentiments that Trump is “Putin’s puppy,” Jeffrey Goldberg, the editor-in-chief of the Atlantic, recently wrote an article titled Trump is Putin’s ‘Useful Idiot’ . The entire write-up is a prosaic screed extolling the virtues of patriotism and loyalty to “American democracy” and striving desperately hard to expose imaginary plots hatched by “vile dictators,” notably Russian President Vladimir Putin, to take undue advantage of “gullible patsies” like Donald Trump.
After sufficiently proving his loyalty to the “American democracy” and the US-led “benevolent imperialism” that has ended “the age of darkness” in the post-colonial world and ushered it into “the age of enlightenment” under Washington’s neocolonial tutelage, Goldberg goes on to draw the attention of the readers to the momentous telephonic conversation that prompted impeachment proceedings against Trump.
“On July 25 of last year, Alexander Vindman, who, as the National Security Council’s director for European affairs, organized the call, listened, with other officials, to a conversation between Trump and the newly elected Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky.
“‘I would like you to do us a favor,’ Trump told Zelensky, working his way to the subject of Joe Biden: ‘There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution, and a lot of people want to find out about that, so whatever you can do with the attorney general would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution, so if you can look into it …’
“Vindman was surprised by Trump’s approach, and by its implications. Like other American specialists in the successor states of the former Soviet Union, he was invested in the US-Ukraine relationship. And like most national-security professionals, he was interested in countering Russia’s malign influence—along its borders, in places like Ukraine and Belarus and the Baltic states; across Europe; and in American elections.
“Vindman’s first day at the National Security Council, July 16, 2018, was also the day that President Trump, meeting Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, told a press conference that he trusted Putin no less than he trusted US intelligence agencies. ‘I have confidence in both parties,’ Trump said, to the dismay of the intelligence chiefs who report to him.”
It’s worth pointing out here that either the neoliberal mediocrities like Jeffrey Goldberg really can’t distinguish between exchanging casual diplomatic courtesies and substantive policy decisions or he astutely elided over the clear distinction to whip up Russophobic hysteria among his credulous readers by uncovering imaginary plots and subversive collusion between purported “rogue executives” and “sworn enemies” of the neocolonial empire.
If you thought Goldberg couldn’t possibly get any more preposterous, wait until you hear out the last few paragraphs of the sanctimonious diatribe and the intimately patriotic conversation between the self-styled champions of “American democracy” and discernibly chauvinistic “liberal values.”
“Vindman came to find that Trump’s desire to impress Putin, and to shape American policy in ways that please Putin, has caused many former US intelligence officials, and even some officials who have worked directly for him, to suspect that he has been compromised by Russia.
“In his new book, Rage, Bob Woodward writes that Dan Coats, the former director of national intelligence, ‘continued to harbor the secret belief, one that had grown rather than lessened, although unsupported by intelligence proof, that Putin had something on Trump.'”
Without furnishing a shred of evidence albeit tacitly acknowledging “unsupported by intelligence proof,” the “credible columnist” of a widely circulated news publication lays bare his unsubstantiated hunch that “Putin has something on Trump.”
It could be anything, ranging from illicit financial kickbacks to extramarital affairs, or maybe something more sinister, such as the mainstream media’s favorite “QAnon conspiracy” that nobody read or heard about until the news media created the hype in the run-up to the US presidential elections.
“I ask Vindman the key question: ‘Does he believe that Trump is an asset of Russian intelligence?’
“Vindman replied: ‘President Trump should be considered to be a useful idiot and a fellow traveler, which makes him an unwitting agent of Putin.’
“Useful idiot is a term commonly used to describe dupes of authoritarian regimes; fellow traveler, in Vindman’s description, is a person who shares Putin’s loathing for democratic norms.”
After reading these risible excerpts, it become abundantly clear that not only is the Atlantic’s editor-in-chief an authority on the domestic American politics but he is equally abreast of the history and culture of “authoritarian regimes” harboring malice against the only beacon of hope and light in the age of “benevolent imperialism.”
Despite the end of the Cold War almost three decades ago, this Russophobic paranoia has infiltrated the establishment-controlled media so deep into the subconscious that it would require an enormous conscious effort to revert the American society back to normal state.
Nevertheless, it’s an incontestable fact that Trump’s anti-globalist attitude and non-interventionism has unequivocally antagonized the US deep state, comprising the Pentagon and State department bureaucracies, the establishment Democrats and Republicans, and the mainstream neoliberal media.
Despite having to contend with the Bush and Obama administrations’ legacy of myriad wars and proxy wars across the Middle East region, Trump has announced significant drawdown of the US forces from Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq and even the Washington’s NATO ally Germany.
Trump has shown remarkable restraint during his four-year presidency against the advice of his national security advisers who wanted more proactive engagement of the US military in conflict flashpoints, such as Syria, Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan, to the point that vacuously reaffirming banal accusations of treason leveled against Trump by the likes of Biden and Goldberg, several generals in the top-brass of the US military in private suspect him of being Putin’s “useful idiot.”
There is no denying the fact that the four years of the Trump presidency have been unusually tumultuous in the American political history, but if one takes a cursory look at the list of all the Trump aides who resigned or were otherwise sacked, almost all of them were national security officials.
In fact, scores of former Republican national security officials recently made their preference public that they would vote in the upcoming US presidential elections for Democrat Joe Biden instead of Republican Donald Trump against party lines.
What does that imply? It is an incontrovertible proof that the latent conflict between the deep state and the elected representatives of the American people has come to a head during the Trump presidency.
Although far from being a vocal critic of the deep state himself, the working-class constituency that Trump represents has had enough with the global domination agenda of the national security establishment. The American electorate wants the US troops returned home, and wants to focus on national economy and redress wealth disparity instead of acting as global police waging “endless wars” thousands of miles away from the US territorial borders.
Addressing a convention of conservatives last year, Trump publicly castigated his own generals, much to the dismay of neoliberal chauvinists upholding American exceptionalism and militarism, by revealing: “I learn more sometimes from soldiers what’s going on, than I do from generals. I do. I hate to say it. I tell the generals all the time.”
At another occasion, he ruffled more feathers by telling the reporters: “I’m not saying the military’s in love with me. The soldiers are. The top people in the Pentagon probably aren’t because they want to do nothing but fight wars so all of those wonderful companies that make the bombs and make the planes and make everything else stay happy.”
In conclusion, to answer the oft-repeated question as to how the Biden Presidency would look like, how the “Sleepy Joe’s” vice presidency looked like, as Trump often derisively taunts him on social media and in speeches. His presidency would be no different from his lackluster vice presidency.
Joe Biden is a typical establishment Democrat who would play into the hands of the US national security establishment like Bill Clinton and Barack Obama before him. But considering his hawkish record in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, supporting the Yugoslav wars during the Clinton presidency, voting in favor of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars in the Bush tenure and being a vocal proponent of the “humanitarian intervention” in Libya as Obama’s vice president, the Biden presidency would risk plunging the world into many more devastating conflicts.