By: Luis Meiners
In the new administration’s first display of force, the United States bombed facilities in eastern Syria. According to the official Pentagon communication, these are positions belonging to militias backed by Iran and the action would be a retaliation to a series of missile attacks on US forces in Iraq. A little over a month after his inauguration, Biden shows the imperial continuity.
Official spokesmen talk of a “proportionate response” that seeks to send a clear message that the new administration will not tolerate attacks on US positions in the region. Thus, they argued that the action specifically targeted the perpetrators of the missile attacks, and that the US seeks to de-escalate the situation in eastern Syria and Iraq.
This combination of a show of force and supposed “prudence” is explained by the more general context marked by the negotiations on the nuclear agreement with Iran. This deal was signed in 2015 during the Obama administration and included the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, Germany and the European Union. However, in 2018 the Trump administration unilaterally abandoned the deal, in line with a tightening of the policy of sanctions. Bringing back this agreement is one of the priorities of the Biden administration, which seeks to stabilize the region in order to continue the “pivot to Asia” that had begun under Obama.
Since the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, the US has been mired in endless wars. The result has been greater instability in the region, loss of legitimacy at the international level, obstacles to reorganizing international priorities in a changing world with the growing inter-imperialist rivalry with China. Furthermore, regional destabilization has worked in favor of Iran, which has increased its influence. This explains the trial of different solutions that combine force and negotiation in different proportions, but that in all cases seek to strengthen the imperialist positions of the United States.
A little over a month after his inauguration, Biden shows why he was the safest electoral option for the ruling class and the imperialist state apparatus. In this brief period, he has backtracked from his main domestic promises (including a new round of pandemic aid checks and bringing the minimum wage to $15), has opened new detention centers for migrant minors, and has now launched a new imperialist attack. Once again, the Democrats prove to be faithful representatives of the interests of the ruling class of the imperialist power.