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Contradictions of Biden’s Foreign Policy Abroad and at Home

Sunday 9 June 2024, by Dan La Botz

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The contradictions of President Joe Biden’s foreign policy were on view both abroad and at home this past weekend. At the American Cemetery in Normandy, France, speaking on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of D-Day, the massive landing of 150,000 troops from the United States, Great Britain, France, and other nations on June 6, 1944 that began to turn the tide in the war against Adolph Hitler and the Nazis, Biden called upon the Western alliance to stand together once again to defend freedom and democracy from “a tyrant bent on domination,” that is, Vladimir Putin and his war on Ukraine. The U.S. president asked the audience, “Will we stand against tyranny, against evil, against crushing brutality of the iron fist?”

Meanwhile, tens of thousands of Palestinians and their allies circled the White House with a list of the names of thousands of Palestinians killed by the iron fist in Gaza. The names were written on a red banner to symbolize Biden’s red lines that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continued to ignore and to cross. Protestors’ picket signs said, “Biden’s red line was a lie!”

The contradiction between Biden’s claim on the one hand that the United States is still the leader of a free and democratic world that is galvanizing America’s European allies to stand against a dictator bent on conquest and, on the other hand, the fact that the United States supports Israel which is carrying out a genocidal war against the Palestinian people is a wedge dividing Democratic voters as we face a momentous election.

Republican candidate Donald Trump has united his party and its base around his charismatic and authoritarian personality and his reactionary program that threatens to undermine and perhaps destroy American Democracy. Biden’s campaign is in large part based on the promise to defend democracy and freedom: the freedom for women to choose abortion, the freedom to vote, the freedom to organize a labor union or a civil rights protest, all of which are threatened by a Trump victory.

At all levels, the Democratic Party is under tremendous stress, largely because of Biden’s support for Israel. The Progressive caucus has pressured Biden to restrain Israel and bring about a ceasefire, but the caucus itself has also split over the issues. The nine-member leftist Squad, four of whom are members of the Democratic Socialist of America, has taken the most critical positions on Biden’s policy of support for Israel—though they are loath to criticize the president too strongly fearing it could endanger his reelection. On the other hand, some representatives have quit the Progressive Caucus because they feel it is too critical of Israel.

One finds another deep contradiction between rhetoric and policy in Biden’s immigration policy. In a recent speech on migration policy Biden said, to distinguish himself from Trump,

I will never demonize immigrants. I will never refer to immigrants as “poisoning the blood” of a country. I’ll never separate children from their families at the border. I will not ban people from this country because of their religious beliefs. I will not use the U.S. military to pull millions of people out of their homes and away from their families to put them in detention camps while awaiting deportation, as my predecessor says he will do if he to- — occupies this office again.

These words were spoken in Biden’s announcement that he was adopting a policy of more severe restrictions on migrants seeking asylum at the Mexican border, a policy much like Trump’s. When the level of 2,500 undocumented migrants per day is reached, which happens almost every day, the border will be completely closed to them.

Just 150 days from the election, Republicans unite around Trump, despite his recent felony conviction, as Democrats fragment because of the lack of political and moral consistency from Biden.

9 June 2024


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