By Themistoklis Tzimas (*)
Something strange – or not so much – is happening in Washington, from what we see.
CNN hammers President Biden every day for his handling of Afghanistan, in intensity and in a way reminiscent of the Trump’s era. Every day, constant reports are broadcasted from Kabul, turning the US president’s “Saigon moment” into an excruciating marathon.
The Pentagon is described, not by chance, either as a Monty Python film or as being at odds with the president’s handling, while reports from the Democratic party convey information about the, to say the least, diminished trust in the main occupant of the White House.
The show with George Stephanopoulos turned out to be a Waterloo. Similarly, other Democratic media, such as the New York Times, are full of criticism and accusations for the withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Of course, one could speak of a tradition of criticism in general, of the US media towards presidents – whenever at least they do not do something “presidential” such as a new war– or of the blatant failure in Afghanistan, which leaves little free space for sympathy towards President Biden.
But that is not all about. The current president was criticised in a similar way after his meeting with President Putin. His then pragmatic attitude, although not at all actually friendly to Russia, was interpreted as a weakness, with the result being CNN almost accusing him for not handing over a war ultimatum to Moscow.
In fact the accusations were turning against Biden’s line of realism, at least regarding relations with Russia.
It appears that a part of the Washington establishment – the one which in a coup d’état ensured that some would not execute at least some of Trump’s decisions during his presidency and that the US Armed forces would not obey the president but the vice president in the last days of his term, will not accept a retraction of US imperialist policy, which culminated during Bush Jr. and Obama-Clinton era.
It doesn’t matter if realistically a simultaneous military conflagration on the part of the US cannot materialize: the two-parties’ “hawks” are demanding that the military-industrial complex be fed even more even if the US will even risk a nuclear conflict.
But are only or mainly, those foreign policy issues that bring the Washington establishment into conflict with the current president? Doubtful; in fact, something else of great importance happened in July, for the United States.
President Biden— reproducing Roosevelt’s rhetoric at the time of the great depression — spoke out against oligopolies and their superiority over even elected political power. He “dared” to say that capitalism without competition is not capitalism but exploitation– ok, we did not expect the president of the United States to become a socialist leader, let us say for those who will think that it is precisely capitalism that is exploitation.
The current president also spoke out against the Chicago school – beloved of all previous presidents – accusing it of leading the US towards the wrong path, allowing giants of capitalism to dominate the U.S.
In addition, he issued the relevant presidential decree which tries to shape the central government structures in order to limit or even break giant, formed monopolies in the US market, as well as a series of unfair practices under which they perpetuate their power. We are talking about sectors such as food, pharmaceutical companies, data management, medical services, defense while attempting to impose control of unfair practices in terms of price formation, which if it happens will harm giants such as Walmart.
Biden’s policies threaten to breach patents -even partially- of the “Big Pharma”, whereas his climate policies – in spite of their rather limited impact – may also harm part of large corporations’ profitability.
The moves by the US Presidents were warmly welcomed even by traditionally conservative producers’ associations while they gathered very negative reactions from the stronger capitalist interests, including those that are supposedly “progressive” and which have supported the Democrats.
You guessed it right: the big Five of the internet, the controllers of almost all the information we receive, such as Google, Facebook and Amazon, through their powerful union Netchoice, started the lobby with the Republicans and with their “friends” in the Democrats in order to warn that the danger of the “big government” looms.
You got it right: the “reds” are coming again, this time through the US president in order to destroy capitalism in the US. Incidentally, the same circle includes the large Chinese companies in this sector.
With such policies, the US president has put the deep state of the United States against him: the corrupt and intertwined complex of private interests of the super-rich and their political representatives, who can loot both the U.S. citizens themselves and the people around the world, usually through U.S. war adventurism directly or even their subcontractors.
The president of the United States is, of course, neither a socialist nor even any especially progressive centrist. But he obviously sees that the U.S. domestically and internationally is running off the cliff, due to the widening inequalities at home and its endless wars internationally.
Hence he is trying to ‘tamper’ with some wallets. Perhaps this explains better why the major networks have decided to ‘finish’ him off, with the Vice-President waiting in the shadows and in the corner. Because – and let us allow our suspicion – we do not remember CNN once being so moved by the drama of babies, who were not thrown over airport fences but were subjected to American or Israeli bombs.
(*) Lawyer, political scientist, post doc Researcher, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki