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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

Early days for Joe Biden

THE LABOUR movement in the USA largely backed the Democrat drive to dump Donald Trump in last year’s presidential election, and their leaders welcomed the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris in January. Getting rid of Trump was, of course, a victory for American workers.

The march of the most reactionary and racist elements of the US ruling class and the degenerates they mobilised to build the Trump movement has been stopped – at least for the time being – by the mass movement that grew from the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movements and the rage on the street at the Trump government’s indifferent response to the coronavirus plague that is sweeping through the USA.

Reversing Trump’s immigration laws and re-joining the Paris agreement on climate change may have won the praise of the environmentalist lobby, but on the left, few seriously expect much from the new administration apart from the usual platitudes that the Democrats dish out to keep their blue-collar voters sweet.

The new US administration is naturally focusing on the COVID-19 pandemic that has already claimed some 480,000 American lives whilst the stimulus plan seeks to revive the country’s ailing economy. Whilst there are some very modest concessions to the working class, Republican Senators, with Democratic support, have stalled the proposed plan to double the minimum wage – which now looks likely to be replaced with staged increases over the next four years.

On the world stage, Joe Biden clearly wants to continue where his predecessor, Barack Obama, left off. His first task is to restore US imperialism’s hold over its European NATO allies to restore US hegemony throughout the capitalist world and lead a global imperialist front to confront Russia and People’s China.

Although talk about “regime change” is no longer fashionable in Washington, the Americans haven’t abandoned the dreams of world domination that they once called the “new world order” or “globalisation”.

The US-led economic blockade of Cuba and Democratic Korea continues, and new sanctions are applied to Russia and China. American dollars prop up puppets in Ukraine and the Caucasus and the reactionary separatist movements in China.

In the Middle East, Biden tells the Palestinians that he supports a “two state” solution and that the USA is ready to resume aid that Trump cut to their “autonomous” government in the West Bank. He tells Iran he wants to revive the Iran nuclear deal that Trump tore up in 2018.

But Biden wants the Iranians to agree to new terms and conditions before lifting sanctions on the Islamic Republic and tells the Palestinians that he will not reverse Donald Trump’s contentious US embassy move to Jerusalem.

Biden’s team no longer call for the outright overthrow of President Assad’s popular front government in Syria – Russian intervention put a stop to that nonsense a few years ago. Now they seek to partition the country through a bogus “federal” plan that would legitimise the US occupation of the Kurdish region in eastern Syria.

They’ve changed tack on Yemen. Trump backed the disastrous Saudi intervention in the civil war. Now Biden says he’s going to end all US support for offensive operations in the war in Yemen, including relevant arm sales. But he’s only doing this because the Saudi intervention has backfired, bringing death and destruction to Saudi Arabia that threatens the House of Saud and the vast oil industry that serves US imperialism.

It is indeed ‘business as usual’ in Washington these days.