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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 8/17/16

Trump and Democrats compete on militarism and war

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The Democratic Party response to Trump's ravings and embrace of torture and violence was to indict him for focusing too narrowly on the Middle East and ISIS, and ignoring the global interests of the United States.

Vice President Joe Biden, in his first campaign appearance with Hillary Clinton in Scranton, Pennsylvania, denounced Trump for his professed admiration for Russian President Vladimir Putin, including his suggestion that Russia could be a suitable ally in the struggle against ISIS because of its own conflicts with radical Islamists.

Biden said of Trump, "He's even showered praise on Saddam Hussein, one of the vilest dictators of the 20th century, a man who repeatedly backed terror attacks against Israel because he was supposedly -- the reason he admires him -- he was a killer of terrorists. That's why he likes Saddam. He would have loved Stalin. He would have loved Stalin."

The vice president then added that he was on his way from Pennsylvania to Eastern Europe, including the Baltic States, to reassure the right-wing governments of these countries that the US would stand by its obligation under NATO to defend them in any conflict with Russia.

Trump was lending credence to those in Turkey who were accusing the Obama administration of backing the coup attempt against Erdogan, Biden complained, adding, "Does he have any idea of the adverse consequences these outlandish comments have on our allies, our friends, and the physical safety of our troops?"

The conclusion of Biden's speech, as Hillary Clinton stood nodding in approval, was a declaration of American supremacy that sought to outdo Trump. "It's never, never, never, ever been a good bet to bet against the United States of America!" he shouted, going on to say, "We never bow. We never bend. We never kneel. We never yield. We own the finish line. That's who we are. We are America!"

The dueling speeches of Trump and Biden aptly sum up the character of the 2016 presidential election. On the one hand, the fascist demagogy of the Republican billionaire, and on the other, the militarist, patriotic claptrap of the Democratic imperialist.

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Patrick Martin writes for the World Socialist Website (wsws.org), a forum for socialist ideas & analysis & published by the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI).
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