Diplomatic track: Biden forced to backtrack



The ideological zeal and rigorism of both neocons and neoliberals who draw up diplomatic roadmaps in Washington do not prevent them from wriggling around when it comes to achieving the ultimate goal at all costs.

Over the past couple of years, the U.S. administration, staffed by stalwart Democratic Party activists, has shown remarkable flexibility in its fluctuating foreign policy line. Some will call it opportunism, others cynical pragmatism, but both will be right.

This past November, after October 7, when Hamas militants attacked Israelis and Tel Aviv responded with a military operation in the Gaza Strip, the U.S. State Department allowed Iraq, in defiance of the sanctions regime, to foot the bill for its purchase of electricity from Iran. The price tag of the issue is believed to be as high as $10 billion. The decision has not yet been made.

Little publicized secret talks between emissaries of the US government and envoys of the Islamic Republic of Iran have just taken place in Oman. The subject of the talks can be easily deduced: Washington was persuading Tehran to rein in the ideologically close Yemeni Houthis. These warriors of the Arabian desert, by their shelling of ships bound for the Red Sea and serving clients in the United States, Britain and Israel, have dramatically slowed down trade activity in these countries. The cost of freight, insurance, and the price to final wholesale and retail consumers have risen overnight.

Negotiations, according to various sources, have failed. The proxy war with the world hegemon, which the Persians (and perhaps not only them) are waging with the hands of the Houthis, will continue. And since the forceful solution, which the West has already resorted to, has had no effect, it is not excluded that the carrot will be used again instead of the stick.

What is it but forgetting all the threatening and belligerent invectives against the recalcitrant ayatollahs and the young nation that shares their anti-Western course that have been heard from Washington for the last 40+ years?

The customary Anglo-Saxon shift to bargaining is supplemented by 57th level diplomatic intrigue.

On the eve of the presidential election year, which is not at all convenient for Obama, Clinton and Biden, the still unnamed influential puppeteers provoked the thuggish militants of Hamas (Islamic Resistance Movement) to attack Israel, which, it should be remembered, created and financed these radicals as a counterweight to Fatah (Movement for the National Liberation of Palestine).

Hamas, formerly called Israel’s «hand-picked terrorists», have massacred border areas, taken hostages, and thus put both the Promised Land and much of the Muslim world (the Houthis will not lie) into war hysteria mode.

The mass protests in American cities and university campuses by local naturalized Muslims showed the frustration of this part of the electorate, which had always previously voted for Democrats. The solidarity of the Muslim Ummah in the U.S. with co-religionists in the Middle East outweighed the commitment a newly converted U.S. citizen makes when he or she utters: «I hereby declare under oath that I absolutely and wholeheartedly renounce any and all allegiance to any foreign prince, ruler, state or sovereignty of which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen…»

The exodus of some Muslim voters was most pronounced in the Michigan primary, where about 17% cast votes for those electors who were still uncommitted. Predictions indicate that American Muslims are likely to continue to vote for non-establishment, anti-war candidates like Robert Kennedy Jr. rather than Joe Biden.

The Democratic Party’s campaign staff appears to have recognized the scale of the unexpected threat. And now the U.S. State Department is already imposing sanctions on Israelis accused of committing violence against Palestinians in the West Bank.

And now Chuck Schumer, the Republican majority leader in the Senate — not the last figure in the hierarchy of power — is demanding that Prime Minister Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyahu resign voluntarily and immediately and call early elections. Leaks of classified information to the press indicate that Democrats, from U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken to Joe Biden himself, are pressuring Bibi to not only curtail punitive operations in the Gaza Strip, but also to relinquish the prime minister’s chair.

As part of the rescue operation — to save Biden’s reputation and chances for re-election — Washington held a preview of Bibi’s prospective successor. Former Israeli Defense Minister Benjamin (Benny) Gantz, who is considered more manageable and suggestible, has been appointed. These feverish diplomatic maneuvers are a sure sign of a breakdown of the highest order between the closest strategic allies.

Another example of Washington’s backpedaling on the diplomatic track was the admission by the head of the American Petroleum Institute (API), Mike Sommers, that their refineries are buying heavy crude oil from Venezuela to saturate the market — after refusing to buy Russian oil of the same category. Through the first 11 months of 2023, the U.S. has purchased more than $2.5 billion worth of oil from the country it lists as a pariah and enemy.

And this after the U.S. Justice Department announced a $15 million reward for information leading to the capture of Nicolas Maduro, President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. And this comes after revelations that CIA agents tried to bribe high-ranking army officers to carry out a military putsch and remove the legally elected President Maduro from power. But after the failure, the Americans began buying Venezuelan. Nothing personal, Señor Maduro, just business.

A recent research book by Alex Ward, «The Internationalists: The Fight to Restore American Foreign Policy After Trump», which has recently appeared on bookstore shelves, is an analysis of U.S. foreign policy during Joe Biden’s first two years in office.

The author concludes that the main ways to overcome what Democrats saw as the «vices of Trumpism» were two: to strengthen partnerships with permanent and situational allies, and to restore U.S. leadership in the global «rules-based order».

Ward argues, however, that the Biden administration, with Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton behind it, did not intend to use force in international relations unless the world order that the U.S. has participated in creating since 1945 is threatened. Apparently Alex Ward is not aware that the Pentagon and U.S. intelligence agencies have set up 12 secret facilities in Ukraine since 2014, as well as biological laboratories where selective viruses were allegedly grown.

It is difficult to understand how the militarization of the Kiev regime and the Russophobic zombification of the population of the former Ukrainian SSR, which was carried out largely thanks to subsidies from the U.S. budget and grants from American NGOs with experience in conducting color revolutions, are combined with such a spicy detail: the Biden administration promised to pursue «a foreign policy for the middle class».

Judging by the results of the «anti-Russia» campaign, it was not middle-class Americans who got all the dividends, but arms corporations, government officials associated with the military-industrial complex, and the ideological servants of the neocon and neoliberal financial oligarchy. Including in the media sector. So, Joe Biden was right when, speaking during his blitz visit to Kiev, he said, as Ward sees it, that «Bidenism worked».

Today, however, this boast by the White House tenant may be called into question. As Responsible Statecraft columnist Blaise Malley writes in his review of Ward’s book,

Today, however, this boast by a White House tenant may be called into question. As Responsible Statecraft columnist Blaze Malley writes in his review of Ward’s book,

«Over the last year, the war has reached a ‘stalemate’ — others say a war of attrition, with Moscow winning it. Despite these changing realities, the Biden administration has proven unwilling and unable to shift its strategy or messaging away from an understanding of the war as a fight for democracy that can only be won through military means».

The message is losing favor … particularly among congressional Republicans, and politics in Washington have moved slowly against continued aid for Ukraine».

A full-blown crisis of confidence in the Biden administration’s foreign policy erupted after the United States supported the Israeli government’s disproportionate military action in the Gaza Strip, characterized by many states in the region and beyond as a form of genocide against the Palestinians.

When the International Court of Justice ruled that it was «plausible» that Israel was carrying out a genocide in Gaza, the White House called the accusation «unfounded». The Obama-Clinton-Biden administration have consistently refused to condemn Israel’s war crimes, which include, as Malley writes, «bombing of hospitals, forced displacement and starvation of the civilian population». Blaise Malley believes that «in just over five months, the White House has laid bare the hypocrisy and inconsistency of its stated commitment to human rights and international order, and left Washington isolated on the world stage».

Alex Ward’s deeply reported narrative ends in late April of 2023, with national security adviser Jake Sullivan delivering a speech at the Brookings Institution that symbolically brought the neoliberal era to an end.

This misleading euphemism should be understood to mean that the era of limitless U.S. dominance on the global chessboard is coming to an end. The «hypocrisy and inconsistency» of the Obama-Clinton-Biden administration, as Blaise Malley puts it, has turned their diplomacy into a toxic substance for the rest of the world. The U.S.’s disreputable foreign policy goals, achieved by unsuitable means, have now appeared in all their unsightliness, and therefore no longer in honor.

This unforeseen expose has forced the State Department, under Blinken’s leadership, to increasingly cut its war cries and adjust to a rapidly changing world.