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Joe Biden is now the president of the United States of America. His day one executive orders should have prioritized ending the single worst crisis in the world in Yemen, a war he campaigned on ending US involvement in, but they did not.

Ending US participation in the Yemen genocide could and should have begun on day one. In These Times reported the following back in November (emphasis added):

One thing Biden can do, starting on day one, is end U.S. involvement in the Yemen war — involvement that he helped initiate. ​“By executive order, Biden could get the Pentagon to end intelligence sharing for the Saudi coalition airstrikes, end logistical support, and end spare parts transfers that keep Saudi warplanes in the air,” Hassan El-Tayyab, lead Middle East policy lobbyist for the Friends Committee on National Legislation, a progressive organization, tells In These Times. ​“He could restore humanitarian assistance to northern Yemen. He could use his power as president to put pressure on other nations that are supporting the Saudi coalition — like France, the United Kingdom and Canada — and get them to follow suit. …


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Image via Wikimedia Commons

Ahh at long last America is returning to normality: the hub of a globe-spanning empire which rings the planet with military bases and destroys any nation which disobeys it while propagandizing the entire world into supporting its murderousness, without rude tweets.

Biden’s inauguration will be a huge relief for people who aren’t actually affected by US government policy.

Americans want to believe Trump was uniquely evil among recent presidents because they want to believe their government will become significantly less evil when he leaves. This is delusional and harmful.

The only way to find Trump’s presidency remarkably awful is to (A) greatly diminish the scale of Bush and Obama’s crimes and (B) believe foreign lives don’t matter. Saying Trump was the worst president, even since the turn of this century, is saying that you’re a shitty person. …


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A new viral video calling on liberals to form “an army of citizen detectives” to gather information on Trump supporters and report their activities to the authorities has racked up thousands of shares and millions of views in just a few hours.

The hashtag #TrumpsNewArmy is trending on Twitter as of this writing due to the release of a horrifying video with that title from successful author and virulent Russiagater Don Winslow. As of this writing it has some 20 thousand shares and 2.6 million views, and the comments and quote-retweets are predominantly supportive.

“On or before January 20th, Donald Trump will no longer be the Commander-in-Chief: he will lose control of the Army, Navy, Airforce, Marines, Special Forces and America’s nuclear arsenal,” Winslow’s voice begins ominously. “On January 20th Donald Trump will become Commander-in-Chief of a different army: this army.” …


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My eclectic news feed looks odd as the hours count down to the end of the Trump administration. Westerners are largely celebrating the exit of Donald Trump himself, whereas with those I follow from areas targeted by US imperialism, the man they’re happiest to see the back of is Mike Pompeo.

It looks very bizarre, as this part of our weird collective adventure comes to an end, how Pompeo’s tenure first as CIA Director and then Secretary of State were almost entirely unmarred by criticism from the political/media class. This is after all a man whose word and deed have been easily more depraved than Trump’s during this profoundly corrupt administration, yet both rank-and-file Democrats and rank-and-file Republicans have been kept only dimly aware of his existence amidst the nonstop scandalous shrieking about the president and his other goons. …


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To stop the exacerbation of Trumpism the talking heads are recommending internet censorship, regulations on media, new domestic terror laws, literally anything they can possibly think of except changing the conditions which gave rise to Trumpism.

The most imminent threat to US democracy is not Russia, nor fascist insurrectionists, but the fact that US democracy is entirely fictional.

Saying US democracy is being threatened is like saying Grinches are a critically endangered species.

The previous president intervened in the primary to appoint his right-hand man as his chosen successor. That successor will be installed in a five-day, star-studded celebration surrounded by a sea of barbed wire and heavily armed soldiers. …


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I have this fantasy where the artists go on strike.

I dream that one by one, in their own quiet ways, the artists, the writers, the musicians, the comedians, the graphic designers, the marketing gurus, the spinmeisters and press release writers, the jingle makers and advertising creatives, the seamstresses and cake decorators, will lay down their tools and refuse to work for evil anymore.

The writer will stand up from her desk at Raytheon and walk away without lending them another word.

The graphic designer at the State Department will turn off his Wacom and shut down Photoshop and pick up a pencil and start sketching homeless people. …


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The Biden/Harris inauguration event is going to be a star-studded celebration spanning an unprecedented five days, a giddy orgy of excitement at a murderous oligarchic empire having a new face behind the front desk after promising wealthy donors that nothing will fundamentally change.

This comes at a time when Americans are now reporting that they trust corporations more than they trust their own government or media, when pundits are gleefully proclaiming in The New York Times that “CEOs have become the fourth branch of government” as they pressure the entire political system to smoothly install Biden, when the leading contender for the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division is an Obama holdover who went from the administration to working for both Amazon and Google, and when Americans are being paced into accepting an increasing amount of authoritarian changes for their own good. …


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It’s been obvious for a long time that the best way to stop the rise of right-wing extremism in America that everyone’s so worried about today is not to pass a bunch of authoritarian laws, but to reverse the policies of soul-crushing neoliberalism and domestic austerity which led to Donald Trump. Instead of doing this, the next president is already pushing a Patriot Act sequel and reducing the stimulus checks he’d promised the public before he’s even been sworn in.

President-elect Biden promised unambiguously that if voters gave the Democratic Party control of the Senate by electing Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff in Georgia earlier this month, checks of $2,000 would “go out the door immediately”. Warnock blatantly campaigned on the promise of $2000 checks if elected, literally using pictures of checks with “$2000” written on them to do so. This was not an unclear promise by any stretch of the imagination, yet when Biden unveiled the “American Rescue Plan” on Thursday, the number 1400 was written where the number 2000 should have been. …


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Point of order regarding Sheldon Adelson: the correct term for someone who spent his whole life being an asshole and then died is “dead asshole”, not “philanthropist”.

The Capitol riot wasn’t the worst thing a US president has done.

It’s not even the worst thing this current president has done.

It doesn’t even come near his top ten.

It’s not even the worst thing he’s done this month.

This is clear to anyone who thinks non-American lives matter.

Imagine a world where ordering the butchery of human beings in other countries would elicit the kind of outraged backlash we’re seeing over a riot that was quantifiably far, far less destructive. Imagine a world where the US saw those victims as human beings. …


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Image via Pixnio

It’s intense right now. Damn intense. Especially in America.

Liberals and progressives fear their nation is on the brink of a violent fascist uprising and civil war, and the mass media are happily feeding into that fear. Rightists are outraged over internet censorship and the belief that their democracy has been taken over by Deep State ChiComs (or whatever they’re on about at the moment). People who don’t buy into any particular partisan perspective are being shrieked at by those who do for their refusal to move with the herd.

Wherever you’re at on the political spectrum, it’s intense. And it’s scary. And that’s just the latest development in what looks to conventional wisdom like a decaying society on a dying world. …

About

Caitlin Johnstone

I write about the end of illusions.

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