US election: Not a battle between good and evil

By Ameen Izzadeen
The most unfortunate outcome of the November 8 election for the White House is that one of the candidates is going to win. As Election Day nears, the establishment, which includes the embedded media, has begun to take Donald Trump seriously after getting feedback that a Trump victory is not an improbability, despite his broadsides against women, the Afro-Americans and the Hispanics.
With just four days to go for d-day, the Clinton camp, which only a week or two ago was enjoying a double digit lead in some opinion polls, appears to be jittery. With opinion polls now forecasting a tight race in the wake of FBI chief James Camey’s announcement that the agency has launched a fresh inquiry into Clinton emails, the election is turning out to be a thriller. But for those who fear a Trump victory, it could even be a nightmare in waiting. But this is not a battle between good and evil. Whatever it is, it is not a battle between two holy candidates.
Usually, the American presidential election is a battle between two establishment candidates – candidates supported by the Oligarchy comprising, among others, the party elites, the so-called one percent representing Wall Street, the war lobby and, of course, the Corporate Media. The establishment has its own agenda – power and profits. It controls the candidates.
There were rare exceptions, however. John F Kennedy, though he appeared an establishment candidate, challenged the Oligarchy, the enemy of peace, after his election.
Barack Obama was thought to be another Kennedy, but he seemed to have surrendered to the Oligarchy, realising, perhaps, that he could achieve little or nothing by antagonising the powers behind the scenes.
Perhaps, for the first time since Kennedy, we see an anti-establishment candidate in maverick Trump. His own party stalwarts, the loyal servants of the Oligarchy, oppose him. Perhaps, like Obama, if elected, he would learn the extra-constitutional limitations to the President’s power.
But Trump is neither a Kennedy nor an Obama. Trump is Trump and dangerous. The presidential powers are too sacred to be handed to a man with fear-evoking policies. Reckless — the real estate tycoon questions why the United States has not used nuclear weapons to finish off ISIS. Outlandish — he seems to advocate a policy of killing millions of civilians to destroy a few thousand extremists. Scoffed at by his opponents as a laughable buffoon with a funny hairstyle and destructive viewpoints, Trump called the Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals and vowed to build a wall along the US-Mexico border at Mexico’s expense. To make the United States safe, he vows to impose a blanket ban on Muslims entering the country.
He plays to the gallery – the middle class people, who believe they are being economically victimised and who are angry with the establishment. But his supporters also include the white supremacists, the anti-immigrant and the anti-Muslim. The combination stokes fear of a Hitler in the making.
The US electorate was perhaps not fortunate enough to have a candidate like Bernie Sanders in the fray. The man who lost the party’s candidacy to Clinton is anti-establishment, but certainly not as stupid as Trump. To the Oligarchy, Sanders with his progressive policies appeared more dangerous than Trump. It is now open secret that the party leadership conspired or worked against Sanders to enable Clinton to clinch the party’s nomination.
Will Sanders supporters vote for Clinton or stay away from voting? In the latter case, it would be advantageous to Trump.
In comparison to Clinton, Trump appears to be more focused in offering solutions to the people’s problems, however aghast they may be. He says he will stop China from stealing US jobs, renegotiate NAFTA, cut unneeded regulations and make America the best place in the world to do business.
On the foreign policy front, Trump wants to work with Russia and China to find solutions to global problems. He wants to restructure NATO and the United States’ Defence pacts with allies such as Japan and South Korea. With Trump espousing such views, the United States’ traditional allies are waiting with bated breath to see the outcome of the election. Fearing a victory for the Russians and the Syrians under a Trump presidency, some Middle Eastern nations have even sent millions of dollars to the Clinton campaign.
But is Clinton the deliverer the US has been waiting for?
In her victory, we can only be happy that, at last, the United States has got its woman president. But the US election is not a gender war. It is about making America economically strong and globally a peacemaker, not a war monger. This is where Clinton, the establishment candidate, fails miserably. With apologies to the bard, she can add colours to the Chameleon. When the Monica Lewinsky episode dogged her husband’s presidency, she described the issue as “a vast right wing conspiracy.” But today, she is the right wing’s favourite candidate.
To appease Sanders supporters, the good Democrats who stand up for justice and equality, she promised to pursue his progressive policies. She declares she is an enemy of Wall Street and says she will do whatever it takes to rein in Wall Street. But Wikileaks revealed last month that Clinton held fund raising speeches at Goldman Sachs, one of the institutions which precipitated the 2008 financial crisis.
Wall Street thinks that she is its candidate, whatever she says on political platforms. Wall Street bankers have contributed more than $56 million to Clinton’s presidential campaign. Trump’s campaign received just $243,000 from donors in the same sector, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics.
With regard to world peace, Clinton appears to have little interest. Commenting on the Israeli-Palestinian issue, Clinton, according to an email leaked by Wikileaks, believes “a Potemkin peace process was better than no peace process at all.” A staunch supporter of Israel, she confirms that the US-led peace pushes are nothing but deception and helped prolong the Palestinian suffering and helped Israel to perpetuate its oppression in the occupied territories.
On regime change, she appears to have a fetish for it. “We came, we saw, he died,” was Conqueror Clinton’s much celebrated quote on the killing of Muammar Gaddafi by US-supported rebels. In what could be a direct confrontation with Russia, Clinton, who pushed Obama into the Libyan war, wants to impose a no-fly zone over Syria.
In Honduras, one of the poorest countries in America, she justified a 2009 military coup that removed President Manuel Zelaya, who had begun to implement progressive land reforms. His pro-peasant policies were not to the liking of the transnational agribusinesses. He needed to be removed and was removed. Clinton justified this undemocratic exercise and preposterously supported the coup. Yet she is tipped to be the winner, with a 75 percent victory chance.
It is unlikely that the world will be a better place than it is today whichever candidate wins.
(This article first appeared in the Daily Mirror, Sri Lanka)

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About ameenizzadeen

journalist and global justice activist
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