As one of those who is trying to get the Green Party to switch its
tactics and electoral strategy, I would appreciate it if Ajamu Baraka and
others would at least address the arguments I and others are making
... which has nothing to do with any
expectations of Biden and the neo-liberal wing of the Democratic
My ONLY points in recommending that Greens (and everyone else)
vote for Biden in swing states are:
Trump is bolstering right-wing white supremacists (are there any other
kind?), firing them up, egging them on to be his stormtroopers and death
squads, and has appointed a US Attorney General that defends them and
attacks antifascists instead.
Regardless of everything else about the Democrats, I do not think that
Biden would do the same -- do you? -- and it makes a world of difference
to whether we are trying to organize under those conditions in a Trump
regime vs. a Biden one.
The rhetoric alone makes a huge difference, but it's not only about
In terms of domestic policy it ALSO makes a difference if you are a woman
(reproductive rights), are gay-trans-bi-queer, are senior (a further raid
on social security), and of course if you are Black.
Those are not insignificant differences, and to minimize them or not
refer to them is dissembling. It means we cannot even discuss strategy
for the Green Party until the above is recognized and
Note again: I think Biden will be terrible on foreign policy, although
strangely he might support Cuba, as opening to Cuba was part of the
Obama/Biden legacy. But when it comes to everywhere else, look out! ....
Same as with Trump, despite what Baraka argues in Trump's defense that
Trump is serious about ending the "endless wars". He gives a
single example of a "peace process" towards Afghanistan, which
is still yet to occur after 3 years. As of 16 months ago, Trump's
drone attacks, which Baraka ignores, far exceeded even Obama's in 4
So if we are going to discuss Green Party strategy, at least
understand what I and others are saying, acknowledge you hear it, and
repeat it back accurately.
- According to a 2018 report in The Daily Beast, Obama launched 186
drone strikes in Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan during his first two years
in office. In Trump’s first two years, he launched 238.
- The Trump administration has carried out 176 strikes in Yemen in just
two years, compared with 154 there during all eight years of Obama’s
tenure, according to a count by The Associated Press and the Bureau of
- Experts also say drone strikes under President Trump have surged in
Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.
- And, as was the case during Obama’s presidency, these strikes have
resulted in untold numbers of civilian casualties. According to the
United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, U.S. drone strikes in
Afghanistan killed more than 150 civilians in the first nine months of
- Amnesty International reports drones have killed at least 14
civilians in Somalia since 2017.
- As of January of this year, U.S. drone strikes fighting ISIS in Iraq
and Syria have killed at least 1,257 civilians, according to the
Pentagon, and a monitoring group, Airwars, estimates the number to be as
great as 7,500.
- That you might not be aware of what should be a startling and deeply
troubling escalation in unaccountable remote-control warfare by the U.S.
is both by design and default.
- For one, the Obama administration paved the way for popularizing and
normalizing drone wars, which also included the extrajudicial killing of
U.S. citizens, first by hiding it, then by begrudgingly acknowledging it,
and then by pretending to meaningfully constrain it.
- Obama eventually put in place arcane requirements to issue public
reports on civilian death tolls (but just in certain military theaters),
to limit targets to high-level militants (again, in certain
battlefields), and require interagency approval (also only for certain
- Trump has peeled back all of those requirements because, well, he
can. We now know more than we did about U.S. drone wars when Obama first
took office, but less than when he left.
Cupp Chicago Sun-Times May 8, 2019
Stopping fascists from having their hands on executive power is the
most important point in this election.
And, yes, of course we'll have to do a lot more afterwards regardless
of who wins. Frankly, the Green Party should be doing it now, but as a
Party is invisible.
Brooklyn Greens / Green Party
At 09:04 PM 9/16/2020, David Barouh wrote:
SEPTEMBER 16, 2020
Photograph Source: Matt Johnson –
The â€śleftâ€ť rationalization for collaborating with the neoliberal wing
of the democrat party is premised on the argument that a win for the
national Democrat candidate translates into better possible policy
outcomes for the â€śpeopleâ€ť and nation. More importantly though, they
assert, Trumpâ€™s defeat will alter the rightist trajectory of U.S.
politics away from what they refer to as Trumpâ€™s neofascist
I will not attempt to address this argument here. I have dealt with this
cartoonish and idealistic conception of fascism in other places. I have
also raised questions with my friends in the left regarding the basis of
their confidence that Biden and the neoliberal class forces he represents
are in possession of any ideas or policies that will address the
irreconcilable contradictions of the late stage of monopoly capitalism
known as neoliberalism.
Of course, on this last question, the response from my materialist
friends is sentimental gibberish about holding someoneâ€™s feet to the
Here I just want to briefly focus on the very simple question that many
in the global South are raising in connection with the upcoming U.S.
elections. And that is, if Biden wins, what might the people of the
global South expect from a Biden Administration? To examine that
question, I believe that the Afghanistan situation and the process for
arriving at the current peace talks between the Taliban, the Afghanistan
government and the United States offers some useful indicators for how
that question might be answered.
The Trump Anti-War Feign
Defying the popular conception of Republicans as the party of war, and to
the surprise of an incredulous Democratic Party and liberal media,
candidate Trump told his supporters and the world that pulling the U.S.
out of â€śendless warsâ€ť would be a major priority for his
administration if elected.
This claim was mocked by the Clinton campaign partly because it upset the
carefully constructed narrative prepared by her campaign to paint Trump
as a dangerous pro-war threat because of his inexperience and unstable
character. Not that the Clinton campaign was projecting itself as
Anti-war, especially with the powerful pro-war economic interests that
were coalescing around her campaign. Objectively, there was a ruling
class consensus that increased spending on the military and militarism
was going to be a central component of U.S. global policies going
forward. Trumpâ€™s rhetoric was seen as a threat, even if he was not
serious about following through once he became president.
After Trumpsâ€™ surprising win and before he could focus on addressing
Afghanistan and the reinvasion of Iraq that occurred during Obamaâ€™s
second term, a manufactured crisis with Syria was presented to him that
politically required a military response.
The box in which his generals and the intelligence agencies placed him on
Syria would characterize the contentious and contradictory relationship
between Trump and those elements of the state throughout his presidency,
even after he signaled his support for militarism with the submission of
record increases in military spending.
From North Korea and NATO to withdrawing U.S. personnel from Syria, the
Democrats and some members of his own party conspired to oppose any
changes that might threaten the deeply entrenched agenda of the
However, the efforts to undermine any progress toward extricating the
U.S. from the 19-year quagmire of Afghanistan on the part of Democrats
represented a new low in cynicism and moral corruption.
The Normalized Quagmire of Afghanistan
Shortly after the Trump Administration began, it broke with longstanding
policy of not talking directly to Taliban. Administration representatives
engaged in a series of covert, but direct talks, without the knowledge
and participation of their supposed ally, the Afghan government.
By early 2019, the Administrationâ€™s Special Representative for
Afghanistan Reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad, initiated a series of overt
direct talks with the Taliban in Doha. The government of India and many
elements within the foreign policy establishment were either opposed to
direct talks with Taliban or were reticent.
In those talks, Khalilzad had to address the Taliban's demand for
complete withdrawal of U.S. troops and the U.S. demand that the Taliban
guarantee that Afghanistan would not be used as a base for
Other important issues that had to be included in a framework for
discussion and eventual agreement included the issue of a ceasefire,
prisoner exchanges and the sensitive issue of inter-Afghan talks, because
the Taliban did not recognize the legitimacy of what they saw as a U.S.
The talks with the Taliban, and an important meeting in Moscow in April
2019 between the
U.S., Russia and China, resulted in an "agreement in
principle"ť announced at the end of August 2019.
It was agreed in principle that the issues of a U.S. withdrawal, a
ceasefire, and the knotty issue of inter-Afghan negotiations would be
discussed in a follow-up meeting to be scheduled for Feb 2020. A
significant diplomatic victory that was largely ignored in the U.S.
The February 2020 meeting in Doha resulted in a signed agreement to
engage in a peace process.
The agreement reflected the various steps that the Taliban, U.S., and
Afghan sides were expected to address during the negotiations: The U.S.
demand that the Taliban are to prevent their territory from hosting
groups or individuals who might threaten the U.S. and their allies; the
Taliban demand for a timeline for the withdrawal of all U.S. and
coalition forces; and the commencement of talks between the Afghan
government and Taliban forces at the conclusion of U.S. military
withdrawal and the establishment of a comprehensive cease-fire.
On March 10, the UN Security Council gave the U.S.-sponsored
resolutionsupporting the deal their unanimous blessing. But That was
not the end of the story. Unfortunately, for Democrats, peace and a
diplomatic victory for Trump had to be contested.
Powerful forces in the state and foreign policy community opposed the
February agreement. Publicly, they couched their concerns in security
terms related to terrorism. They argued that it is only through increase
military pressure that the Taliban would denounce al-Qaeda and agree to
verifiably sever links with the group.
But the terrorism concern was only a subterfuge. President Ashraf Ghani
of Afghanistan, along with his close Indian allies, did not want to see
any U.S. military withdrawal. Other elements in the U.S. state were
focused on the estimated one trillion dollars in precious metals that are
currently unexploited in that country. And there was the Chinese issue
and their Belt and Road initiative (BRI). Maintaining U.S. forces in the
region would not only potentially make those precious resources available
to U.S. companies but would also serve as a block to the BRI path through
Those elements and President Ghani were in a panic. National
reconciliation and peace represented a real threat to their interests.
The solution? Another domestic psyop.
Democrats sacrifice Peace for Politics
By the end of June, a
disinformation campaign was launched by New York Times and was
quickly followed up by the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal that
focused on lurid but unsubstantiated reports of the Russians paying
bounties to Taliban soldiers to kill U.S. personnel.
In typical fashion, â€śanonymous sourcesâ€ť were quoted. The reasons why
the Russians would engage in this activity and why the Taliban who had
essentially defeated the U.S. needed further incentives to fight the U.S.
were marginal to the story. It was the headlines that was needed in order
to evoke the emotional and psychological response that good propaganda
has as its objective. Reason is a casualty when the objective is
In this case, the objective was to evoke an outcry from the public, to
be followed with legislation undermining Trumpâ€™s ability to withdraw
U.S. personnel from the country and if possible to scuttle the process
until after the election, if at all.
On cue, Democrat Congressman Jason Crow
teamed up with Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney (daughter of the
former vice president) to prohibit the president from withdrawing troops
And when Trump refused to take the bait and undermine his own peace
process, Joe Biden
accused Trump of â€śdereliction of dutyâ€ť and â€ścontinuing his
embarrassing campaign of deference and debasing himself before
Afghan Deception is not only Harbinger of Things to Come Under Biden
On September 12th, despite the machinations of the Democrats
and other state forces, the Taliban and Afghan government representatives
met in Doha to enter the difficult discussions on how to finally bring a
resolution to the U.S. war and occupation of their country.
Neoliberals accuse Trump of cynically calculating every decision based on
his own needs while neoliberals only operate from a pristine moral
position. According to CNN, the peace agreement â€śwas signed in February
— at all costs with the goal of helping Trump fuulfill his long-stated
campaign promise of removing American troops from
If Trump was only concerned about his reelection, and there is no doubt
that was a major consideration for most of his decisions, how do we
characterize the moves made by the corporate press in collusion with the
Democrats and Biden campaign — an objectivve concern for the security of
Two months after the Russia bounty story, the Clinton News Network (CNN)
bounty story. This time it was the Iranians! And almost four months
after the original bounty story,
NBC news reported that no one has been able to verify the
But one story that can be reasonably argued is that for the people of the
world subjected to U.S. state criminality, the reoccupation of the
Executive Branch by the democrats will not bring any change in U.S.
behavior. Both parties support the imperatives of U.S. imperialism
reflected in Trumpâ€™s 2017 National Security Strategy that centers an
adversarial relationship with Russia and China and committed to
maintaining U.S. global hegemony. Both parties supported the obscene
increases in military spending, with Biden promising that he will spend
The rightist character of the Democratic Party is such that at their
national convention the alignment of right-wing neocons and neoliberals
is not even being hidden.
So, while the fear is supposed to be around a further growth of
â€śfascistâ€ť forces represented by Trump domestically, for the people of
the world the real fascism of anti-democratic, brutal regimes supported
by the U.S., murderous sanctions, starvation in Yemen, and right-wing
coups in support of fascist forces in Honduras, Brazil and Venezuela will
This is precisely why from the perspective of oppressed nations and
peoplesâ€™ in the global South, it should not be surprising that some
might see progressive and radical support for either colonial/capitalist
party as an immoral and counterrevolutionary position.
Ajamu Baraka is the national organizer of the Black Alliance
for Peace and was the 2016 candidate for vice president on the Green
Party ticket. He is an editor and contributing columnist for the Black
Agenda Report and contributing columnist for Counterpunch magazine.