US and World Politics

Midterm Results: the War Party Rules

By Danny Haiphong

There is no doubt who won the midterm elections: the War Party, which for generations has been virtually unopposed in the U.S..

Forget the midterms. The “blue wave” was a low tide. The Democrats took the House but lost the Senate, and badly. The good news is that another excessively hyped election is over. Let’s talk instead about how, under U.S. imperialism, war is a constant. Republican and Democratic Party officials are members of the War Party. U.S. imperial wars rage on regardless of whether a Democrat is elected for President or Congress. The War Party follows of the dictates of Wall Street and the war machine. Party membership not only includes Democratic and Republican officials but also the corporate media.

Democratic Party officials described last week’s midterm elections as the most important electoral moment in U.S. history. So-called “blue wave” politicians such as Stacy Abrams and Beto O’Rourke were deemed the “new” face of the Democrat side of the War Party. Democrats have promised their base that they will protect Obamacare, institute immigration reform, and “resist” Trump. These empty promises lacked the substance necessary to improve the conditions of poor and oppressed people. Beyond empty promises and corporate gesturing, Democrats gave a wink and a nod to the military industrial complex by remaining silent on the question of war.

The War Party planted military and intelligence candidates in midterm electoral races throughout the country. Stacy Abrams colluded with billionaires like Oprah but said nothing about war in her failed bid to become Governor of Georgia. Beto O’Rourke went a step further in his losing effort to the despicable Ted Cruz by promising the military industrial complex that he would shore up the resources necessary to “win” the six wars that his campaign identified in the global War on Terror. Corporate media outlets such as MSNBC and CNN further silenced the question of war by speaking non-stop about the elections as a “referendum” against Trump. What the corporate media and the Democrats didn’t say was that their “resistance” to Trump has always been a pro-war project.

The midterm elections were a partial success for the Democrat side of the War Party, especially in the House. However, people all over the world will feel no relief. Not one candidate running for War Party seats campaigned to close the eight hundred U.S. military bases that occupy nearly every nation on the planet. The U.S.-backed Saudi war on Yemen continues to starve and murder the people of Yemen with only scant and ineffectual coverage emanating from the New York Times and other corporate media outlets. In fact, the New York Times has made it clear that its opposition to Trump’s plan to increase troop levels at the U.S.-Mexico border is rooted in the principle that those troops should be fighting in wars in the Middle East or elsewhere . Thus, the Democrats do not oppose much of what the Trump Administration stands for, but rather how the Administration implements its policies.

The War Party has opposed Trump based on the billionaire’s proposed reforms to the imperial war machine. These proposed reforms have been less a product of Trump the individual and more the consequence of an imperialist system on the decline. The War Party exhausted its bipartisan war consensus under the Great Compromiser, Barack Obama. Obama solidified the war machine and expanded domestic and international counterinsurgency campaigns beyond the wildest dreams of the military industrial complex. Ukraine fell to fascists, Libya fell to head-chopping jihadists, and Syria became the prime location of one of the greatest refugee catastrophes in recent human history—all thanks to Obama. This made Israel and the U.S.’ band of fascist allies smile, regardless of how much they disliked his skin color.

The War Party fell into instant crisis under Donald Trump, which it hopes to rectify in the 2020 Presidential race. Trump campaigned on cordial relations with Russia and anti-free trade rhetoric. The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), multinational capital’s plan to strangle China, was instantly thrown away with the stroke of a pen. NATO trembled at the thought that Trump would speak to Putin in a fraternal manner and possibly discuss the de-escalation of its military arsenal from the Russian border. The War Party could care less about Trump’s racist epithets and policies toward undocumented immigrants. Its mission since Trump came into office has been to stabilize the imperialist system by marginalizing Trump where it matters and aligning with him when doing so maximizes the profits of the global capitalist elite.

Such is the game of bourgeois politics. This round of midterm elections is no different. The War Party does not preside over a democracy. Even mainstream observers have labeled the U.S. electoral system an oligarchy. Corporations and their armed guards reign supreme. The wars raging on in Palestine, Yemen, Syria, Afghanistan, and throughout Africa, Asia, and Latin America are set to expand regardless of which side of the corporate duopoly rules Congress.

This is evident in the political debates that have dominated the midterm elections. Trump has blown the racist dog whistle over the thousands of Central American migrants making their way from Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala. However, Trump would have no whistle to blow were it not for over a century’s worth of U.S. imperial policy in the region. The War Party is responsible for the violence in Honduras. When Obama was at the helm, the War Party supported the overthrow of leftist President Manuel Zelaya. The coup made Honduras one of the most dangerous places to be an environmental or trade union activist in the world.

Under Obama, the Democratic Party solidified its allegiance to the War Party. In the spirit of Lyndon Johnson’s massacre of the Vietnamese people, Obama committed resources to proxies that committed massacres in Libya and Syria. He authorized ten times the number of drone strikes on civilian populations as George W. Bush. Under Obama, the military budget ballooned even as discussions among both sides of the War Party ensued about a “Grand Bargain” to cut Social Security and Medicare. The War Party made it clear under Obama that the masses would have to starve for the war machine to be fed.

Not much has changed with the War Party under the Trump Administration. However, what has changed is the progress that the people of the world have made to counter U.S. imperialist hegemony. Imperialist propaganda mill, Voice of America, has complained that China and Russia have developed deeper ties to nations in Latin America. Korea is working toward real and lasting peace . Cuban President Diaz-Canel is traveling through the DPRK, China, Vietnam, Laos, and Russia to further develop ties of solidarity. Amid much hardship and struggle, the people of the world are maintaining their resolve against imperialism.

This has infuriated the War Party. Members of the War Party know that Donald Trump cannot deliver what it seeks: permanent global hegemony. The War Party and the imperialist system it governs is no longer able to achieve its own interests. Imperialism is at a dead-end. Trump is merely the most acute indicator. The fake “resistance” hopes to right the War Party’s sinking ship.

In this midterm election and for U.S. elections to come, victory for the War Party is guaranteed. The War Party will continue its assault on oppressed people and exploited people, at home and abroad. Black Americans will continue to fill prison beds and graveyards at the hands of the police. Poor people will continue to struggle to find work, healthcare, and housing. Civilian populations in every corner of the globe will be maimed by U.S. bombs and military operations.

These are the fruits of the War Party. The core of every one of these fruits is rotten. This is a dangerous time and not because Trump is a Nazi in the White House. Economic crisis and world war are on the horizon. It is time to dump the War Party and build an independent organization comprised of all that the War Party has forsaken.

Black Agenda Report, November 14, 2018