Halting the American war machine requires fundamental government change

By Richard Baker

THE ills of American exceptionalism will continue despite a change of leadership in the White House, an American socialist group has claimed.

While some of Donald Trump’s policies have been reversed immediately since Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election in November, such as the United States rejoining the Paris climate agreement, halting the American war machine requires fundamental government change, the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) told Redaction Politics.

President Biden recently announced an end to US support for the Saudi-led offensive in Yemen in February, a move welcomed universally by politicians and campaigners alike.

DSA International Committee member Dylan Awalt-Conley said: “I don’t know of anyone in the DSA or in the anti-war movement here who believes that Joe Biden intends to fundamentally alter US foreign policy, let alone end US imperialism.

“American exceptionalism is a kind of amnesia. Anything that cannot be incorporated into the national myth must be forgotten, and Yemen is perfectly incompatible with this myth.

“Supporters of the war have always had trouble framing the conflict to their advantage. So for the most part they just try to keep it as far out of the public eye as possible.

“Even if Yemen was a proxy-war between Saudi Arabia and Iran, like they claim, how would that justify the bombings of schools, hospitals and water treatment plants?”

Reports by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) concluded the US accounted for 36 per cent of the entire international arms trade from 2015 to 2019, a 23 per cent increase from the previous five-year period.

In the same period, American arms sales to Saudi Arabia doubled. Nearly three quarters of the military imports to Saudi Arabia were sent from American high office, sales that have helped to eat away at one of the worst humanitarian crisis in history. America’s grimly tangible hand in the war concealed behind the smokescreen of Saudi Arabia.  

85,000 children under the age of five are reported to have died of malnutrition during the war in Yemen. 20 million people are experiencing food insecurity, 10 million of them to the point of famine according to Human Rights Watch.

Awalt-Conley highlighted ways needed to deprive the American war machine, in doing so, hold a mirror up to the idea of Americas exceptionalism.

He said: “Ensuring the US never backs another genocidal conflict requires radical change to our government and economic system.

“It requires reclaiming America’s productive forces from the war machine, so that we no longer need a ‘wartime effort’ to keep people fed and housed during a global pandemic.

“It requires ending the poverty draft through universal social programmes and funding them with the money from our bloated military budget.

“And it means transitioning to a green economy that puts an end to our military’s insatiable search for fossils fuels.”

Well-fed ammunition stocks and the crumbling of Yemen’s infrastructure have helped to push death figures up. The latest United Nations report states 233,000 deaths. More than half of those coming from ‘indirect causes’ like lack of food or health services.

As Awalt-Conley described it: “A government that helps weaponize famine and disease doesn’t value human life.

“I’m sure that the possibility of forgetting Yemen is tempting for the people who want to return to this exceptional American past that lurks behind Biden’s campaign promises.

“It’s our job to ensure that the continued US role in the war is not forgotten.”

Featured Image: Pixabay

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