We should praise Joe Biden for the good decisions that he had made during his first few months in office. He has filled positions in his cabinet with and administration with an ethnically diverse and gender balanced group of people. For example, we can think of his new Secretary of the Interior, Deb Haaland, who is a Native American. We can also think of his choice of Kamala Harris as his running mate. These decisions are to be applauded.
We must also praise President Biden for taking the climate emergency seriously and acting to support the replacement of fossil fuels by renewable energy, as well as for rejoining the Paris Agreement.
The Biden administration has been successful in its efforts to vaccinate a large number of US citizens against Covid-19. Thus, there are many reasons for praising Joe Biden's actions during the months that he has been in office. But if we turn to foreign policy, the picture is different.
US foreign policy is essentially unchanged
Joe Biden's appointment of Antony Blinken as Secretary of State signaled that the aggressive foreign policy of the United States would remain unchanged. During the administrations of every US president, violence, war and murder have been exported to the remainder of the world, and the appointment of Blinken, who is known for advocating the invasion of Iraq, signaled that this would not change under Biden. Bombs would be dropped, and people would be murdered by drones or by the dirty tricks department of the CIA.
Insults instead of diplomacy in Alaska
A high-level meeting between diplomats from China and the United States took place in Alaska in March, but the meeting was decidedly undiplomatic. It degenerated to public name-calling by both sides, especially accusations of human rights violations. There is so much need for cooperation between the US and China on important issues, such as climate action, that one might have hoped for fewer insults and more diplomacy.
Military threats to China
In an era of all-destroying nuclear weapons, war is suicidal or perhaps omnicidal. War is unthinkable, but the profits made by arms manufacturers are so large and their political influence so great that war remains a threat. The arms manufacturers do not actually want war. They only want war to be threatened, in order to justify the obscenely large expenditures on armaments that are regularly endorsed by politicians whose votes have been bought by the arms industry.
A new cold war with Russia
Illegal bombing of Syria
According to the United Nations Charter, the use of military force, or even the threat of use of force, against a sovereign state is a violation of international law, although a nation being actively attacked has a right to defend itself until the Security Council has had time to act. Thus Biden's bombing of Syria was a violation of international law.
Sanctions are also illegal
Richard Nephew, the advisor on sanctions in Biden's State Department, is the author of a 2017 book entitled The Art of Sanctions: A View of the Field. He brags of the pain and suffering caused by US sanctions imposed on Iran, Venezuela and other countries. But according to international law, sanctions may not be imposed by individual countries, but only by the Security Council. They are also a violation of international laws that forbid collective punishment.
An illegal new nuclear weapons program
As mentioned above, the Biden administration owes its allegiance to the corporate oligarchy, of which the arms industry is a large part. This probably explains Biden's endorsement of a program to spend hundreds of billions of dollars on new nuclear weapons and their delivery systems. This is a violation of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty's Article VI, which requires the nuclear weapons states to quickly and effectively rid themselves of their nuclear weapons. It is also a violation of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), which recently came into force. More importantly, it is a violation of common humanity and common sense.