Fool me once

Counterintuitive as it may seem, I don’t have good feelings about a Biden presidency in the United States. Undoubtedly, Biden will be better for America than Trump. But for the rest of world?

I am reminded of Barak Obama, awarded a premature Nobel Peace Prize in 2009, who oversaw more drone assassinations in his first year in office than George W. Bush did in his entire presidency. Obama the Peacemaker was at the helm as the American military rampaged — overtly and covertly — across Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Mali, Libya and beyond.

As briefings from the Washington Post flit across my news feed daily — this morning on China’s concentration camps, yesterday Turkey’s threat to Europe — I can’t help but cast my mind back a decade and shudder. Many of us were taken in by a sectarian insurgency in the first half of this decade, when with heightened emotions we rallied around our oppressed brethren, apparently abandoned by the world.

Though some wise souls tried to warn us then, it was only after the total destruction of their homeland, that it occurred to us that our support was with insurgents funded and armed by various arms of western military intelligence. In places, militias armed by the Pentagon ended up battling to the death with insurgents funded by the CIA. We all became proxies in a battle we did not understand.

So to the briefings of today. I do not know if the satellite images of massive new facilities built in Xinjiang in today’s Washington Post really are reeducation detention camps for China’s Muslims. They may be, or they may not be. The Washington Post once insisted that Colin Powell’s presentation to the UN Security Council regarding Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction — satellite images and all — was irrefutable. As history attests, they were wrong, but Iraq is nevertheless destroyed.

The playbook thus runs: do not be level-headed about such claims, determining to verify the news if possible, but instead get wound up into a dizzying frenzy of emotion out of love for your oppressed brethren, petitioning all the world to take military action now. Some young men will then rush across continents to their aid, seemingly with the blessing of their governments, to serve under the command of men who have no idea who their commanders are. If they are successful, a semi-autonomous province will be carved out as an independent state in waiting, ready to sell drilling rights in its Junggar Basin to the lowest bidder.

Joe Bidden may be the saviour America needs right now — though his past voting record against support for the poor throws doubt on that — but he is the last man the world needs right now. Throughout his long career, he has been a consistent proponent of overseas military intervention and, I fear, will take the currently United States to war again. Poor America: between a rock and a hard place.

I hope, desperately, that I am wrong and this is all just supposition caused by inner grumblings as I studied my news feed at breakfast.

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