On Saturday, the Washington Post published an op-ed by US President Joe Biden explaining that the United States’ support for Israel’s genocide in Gaza is part of an integrated plan for world domination through military violence.
Entitled “The US Won’t Back Down From the Challenge of Putin and Hamas,” Biden’s op-ed is a collection of non-sequiturs and empty phrases. But its essential content is a megalomaniacal argument that any effort to stop the killing in either Gaza or Ukraine through a ceasefire would mean a surrender of America’s global hegemony.
In Ukraine, the United States’ proxy government in Kiev faces a military debacle and the spread of antiwar demonstrations throughout the country demanding the return of soldiers from the front. Israel’s genocide in Gaza—which has killed at least 11,000 Palestinians and displaced 1.5 million—has prompted mass global antiwar demonstrations by millions of people.
Biden’s op-ed should put to rest any claim that Washington’s failure to call for a ceasefire in Gaza is a mistake or misunderstanding. Rather, the United States sees crushing the resistance of the Palestinian people as critical to its global strategy. Biden writes:
As long as Hamas clings to its ideology of destruction, a cease-fire is not peace. To Hamas’s members, every cease-fire is time they exploit to rebuild their stockpile of rockets, reposition fighters and restart the killing by attacking innocents again. An outcome that leaves Hamas in control of Gaza would once more perpetuate its hate.
In Biden’s worldview, the precondition for “peace” is a total surrender by the Palestinians. While he refers to Hamas, what he really means is that so long as the Palestinians believe it is possible to resist an occupying force that has dispossessed them of their land and illegally occupies it, American imperialism will continue its efforts to arm Israel and bomb the Palestinians into submission.
The logic of Biden’s argument is a state of permanent genocidal war, until the last Palestinian is either killed or expelled from Gaza and the West Bank. Biden’s motto is the Orwellian slogan: “War is Peace.”
Having bluntly declared the United States’ total support for Israel, Biden goes on to add, with consummate imperialist hypocrisy, “There must be no forcible displacement of Palestinians from Gaza, no reoccupation, no siege or blockade, and no reduction in territory.”
This, as everyone knows, is precisely what the Israeli government is doing. Israeli officials have made clear that their aim is, in the words of Israel’s agriculture minister, “Nakba 2023,” or as Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said, to expel the Palestinian population to “tent cities” in the Sinai desert. As for a “siege or blockade,” that is already happening, with the support of the Biden administration.
The entire population of Gaza has been subjected to mass hunger, dehydration and the total collapse of medical care. The people of northern Gaza, instructed to flee or face death, are being told to once again relocate further south. And after every atrocity by Israel, the United States declares, “Israel has the right to defend itself.”
Biden’s argument weaves support for Israel’s genocide into a reboot of the Cold War-era “domino theory.” If the United States relents in its efforts to bomb the Palestinians into submission, American hegemony will collapse. The president declares, “Today, the world faces an inflection point, where the choices we make—including in the crises in Europe and the Middle East—will determine the direction of our future for generations to come.”
He concludes, “Both Putin and Hamas hope to collapse broader regional stability and integration and take advantage of the ensuing disorder. America cannot, and will not, let that happen. For our own national security interests—and for the good of the entire world.”
In Biden’s worldview, US “national security interests”—that is, the domination of American imperialism over the planet—is synonymous with the “good of the entire world.”
“The United States is the essential nation…” he writes. When the American ruling class speaks of the “essential” character of the US, what it means is that its interests must determine the policy of the entire world. The events of the past month have demonstrated, however, that American imperialism is “essential” only for spreading death and destruction.
There is a rational content to this combination of madness, self-delusion and lies. Biden’s argument is that unless the United States ruthlessly escalates wars and military confrontations all over the world—in the Middle East, against Russia, against China—its global hegemony will collapse. America, in Biden’s telling, confronts two alternatives, war or ruin.
This policy of world conquest is an expression of a society in profound crisis. In 1960, the US share of world GDP stood at nearly 40 percent. Today, it stands at just 26 percent. Biden is making clear that, unless American capitalism leverages its military supremacy, the global hegemony of US imperialism will erode further.
Biden asks, “Will we allow those who do not share our values to drag the world to a more dangerous and divided place?” And what are “our values?”
How can Biden pretend to be fighting for “democracy” at the side of Zelensky, who just canceled elections, and Netanyahu, who has been leading an effort to transform Israel into a theocracy? How can the United States claim to uphold “international law” when leading human rights groups have condemned Israel for waging genocide?
In fact, Biden has only one “value,” and that is the value of the dollar. In supporting the genocide in Gaza, the United States is making clear to the whole world that it is willing to go to any means, including mass murder, to secure its global domination.
The most sinister implication of Biden’s speech, however, is what it implies about domestic political opposition.
What does it mean to say that “every cease-fire is time they [Hamas] exploit to rebuild their stockpile of rockets, reposition fighters and restart the killing by attacking innocents again.” Does that not imply that those who favor a peaceful resolution of the war are, in fact, supporters of terrorism?
If the United States will go to any means, no matter how criminal, to secure its global hegemony abroad, it will respond with equal ruthlessness to internal enemies of American militarism.
This reality makes clear that the struggle against imperialist war is, in fact, the struggle against the financial oligarchy that dominates American society. The mass global protests that have erupted around the world must be broadened, deepened and turned to the working class, on the basis of the socialist perspective of ending the capitalist system.