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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 1/7/20

Biden and Buttigieg Are Showing How Corporatism and 'the Madness of Militarism' Go Together

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Buttigieg on Soleimani strike: We need answers Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg comments on the deadly strike by US forces that killed Iran's top military leader. #CNN #News.
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There's nothing like an illegal and utterly reckless U.S. act of war to illuminate the political character of presidential candidates. In the days since the assassination of Iran's top military official, two of the highest-polling Democratic contenders have displayed the kind of moral cowardice that got the United States into -- and kept it in -- horrific wars from Vietnam to Afghanistan and Iraq.

Eager to hedge their bets, Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg have offered merely tactical critiques of President Trump's decision to kill Qassim Suleimani. In sharp contrast to Elizabeth Warren and especially Bernie Sanders, the gist of the responses from Biden and Buttigieg amounted to criticizing the absence of a game plan for an atrocious game that should never be played in the first place.

Many journalists have noted that only in recent days has foreign policy become prominent in the race for the 2020 nomination. But what remains to be addressed is the confluence of how Biden and Buttigieg approach the roles of the U.S. government in class war at home and military war abroad -- both for the benefit of corporate elites.

Let's be clear: More than 50 years ago, when Martin Luther King Jr. bravely condemned "the madness of militarism," he was directly challenging those who included the political ancestors of the likes of Buttigieg and Biden -- Democratic politicians willing to wink and nod at vast death and destruction, courtesy of U.S. taxpayers, equivocating while claiming that the war machinery would operate better in their hands.

On war-related issues, Buttigieg's rhetorical mix offers something for just about anyone. "Mr. Buttigieg is campaigning as an antiwar veteran," the New York Times oddly reported in a Jan. 5 news article. Yet on the same day, during a CNN interview about the drone killing, Buttigieg functioned more as a war enabler than opponent.

In response to anchor Jake Tapper's first question -- "Are you saying that President Trump deserves some credit for the strike?" -- Buttigieg equivocated: "No, not until we know whether this was a good decision and how this decision was made, and the president has failed to demonstrate that." His elaborations were littered with statements like "we need answers on whether this is part of a meaningful strategy."

As for Biden, in recent months his shameful war-enabling history has drawn more attention while he continues to lie about it. And -- given how hugely profitable endless wars have been for military contractors -- Biden's chronic enabling should be put in a wider context of his longtime service to corporate profiteering on a massive scale.

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Norman Solomon is cofounder and national coordinator of RootsAction.org. He was a Bernie Sanders delegate from California to the 2016 Democratic National Convention and is currently a coordinator of the relaunched Bernie Delegates Network. (more...)
 

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