President-elect Joe Biden’s first slate of cabinet choices this week was heralded as inclusive and diverse in the liberal press.
In reality they show that Biden is trying to turn back the clock to the pro-corporate “business as usual” politics of the Barack Obama years.
Former Democrat presidential nominee John Kerry has been selected to play a new role as the US climate envoy.
As Obama’s secretary of state from 2013, he played his part in the extension of imperialist bloodshed across the world. He helped heighten tensions between the US and rival states, including Russia and China.
And Kerry was also instrumental in the escalation of military intervention in Syria. In 2013 he said that “the risks of not acting over Syria outweighed the risks of taking action”.
Biden has picked Anthony Blinken to be his secretary of state.
He became the deputy secretary of state in 2014 during Obama’s presidency, assisting in Kerry’s imperialist sabre-rattling. Blinken is also a consistent supporter of the state of Israel. He said reversing Trump’s decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem would “not make sense practically and politically.”
Blinken, along with others tipped to take up places on the cabinet, is a co-founder of WestExec advisors. The firm gives political advice to clients in big business about making investments across the world.
Those who work with WestExec in government don’t call themselves official lobbyists. This means they don’t need to divulge the goings-on of the company or who their clients are. But it has been reported that clients include a major US defence company and Google billionaire Eric Schmidt.
And another one of Biden’s cabinet picks also has connections to WestExec. Avril Haines was named as director of national intelligence and is also a principal WestExec adviser. Haines is a former CIA deputy director, and backed the Obama drone assassination programme, which killed thousands of people.
Other picks include Alejandro Mayorkas as US secretary of homeland security. Mayorkas served as deputy secretary at the department under Obama from 2008 to 2013. There he presided over mass deportations and caging children.
Obama’s administration saw a record number of deportations.
The shattering of hopes in Obama helped clear the way for the vile politics of Trump. So too did Obama’s response to the financial crisis which transferred huge sums of money from workers to the banks and the multinationals.
Reinstalling so many of that era’s leading figures will prepare the ground for a further right wing resurgence unless there is a strong left movement.
Biden is only a part of the way through naming his whole cabinet. He has confirmed that he is considering picking Republicans to fill spaces on his team.
But he won’t need to add Republicans to make this a cabinet of warmongers and supporters of big business.
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