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Joe Biden


in Editorial
As US President Joe Biden takes the White House, this early, his actions speak the following words:
1. Trying to inject optimism
Amid an unprecedented political divisiveness and an unrelenting pandemic that worsens the impact of crises of capitalist overproduction, Biden has expectedly called for unity. He highlighted calls for “democracy” as a rallying point. He issued 17 executive orders on his first day in office, some reversing former US President Donald Trump’s ultra-right divisive policies. For example, the construction of a border wall (to block migrants), the travel ban from Muslim-majority nations, the US exit from Paris climate accord.
Against the coronavirus epidemic, he said there will be a “full-scale wartime effort.” So far it includes an aggressive mass vaccination (100 million Americans per day on his first 100 days) and a proposed $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan.
2. Taking the reins of an imperialist state
“Joe Biden takes over the reins of the most powerful imperialist state in the world. He starts his regime as the US and the global capitalist economy reel from crisis and recessions and as interimperialist conflicts intensify with rival powers seeking to protect their global economic interests and expand their hegemony,” the Communist Party of the Philippines said in a statement on Biden’s first day in office.
The biggest conflicts remain the contradiction between the US imperialist on one hand and the American people and imperialist-oppressed peoples around the world on the other hand, and between US imperialists and its rivals. The American working class, middle class and migrants struggle for better wages, social protection, and employment benefits, while corporations seek juicier bailout packages, tax cuts. They battle for minimum wages but there also are increasing “gig economy” workers who work with less to zero protection.
Biden may be mouthing “democracy,” his campaign may have imbued him but, at the end of the day, he is a leader of an imperialist state. Its shots are for maintaining its imperialist hegemony. The rest of its acts that appear democratic, and may help him stabilize his presidency, lie on how much it will respond to democratic and anti-imperialist struggles within and outside of the US.
Read: eight factors that can play into the prospects of waging democratic and anti-imperialist struggles under the new Biden regime
READ | Intensify democratic and anti-imperialist struggles under Biden government
3. Trying to restore “America’s place in the world”
On top of the already in place US intervention and war footing around the globe, there are suggestions to “launch its most ambitious effort ever” to modernize US cyberdefenses, under Biden.
Specifically to impact the Philippines where the current imperialist puppet president has allowed an expanded and flexible US military basing and an illegal Chinese military occupation and basing, Biden is continuing Trump’s stance on China. Reports say the US-China cold war in high technology and trade continues, as do the US “decoupling” from China. 

Aside from US military basing and troops deployed in (or “visiting” in rotation) in the Philippines, the US military is behind the arming, training, ideological formation of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. They regularly enhance their “interoperability” through joint military exercises, sharing of information, military equipment, among others. It is under the US borderless war on terrorism that puppet presidents in the Philippines have been stoking hostilities against critics, activists and revolutionaries.
Needless to say, peoples around the world and the American people have continued to challenge the US claims for democracy. In the Philippines, there are mounting calls to abrogate lopsided military deals with the US (Mutual Defense Treaty, Visiting Forces Agreement, Enhanced Defence Cooperation Agreement). There are also mounting calls for US government to cease supporting tyrannical presidents such as Duterte. ###

Two Things on Trump and Duterte (A postscript on Trump and a warning on Duterte)

in Countercurrent

Make Trump Leave in Disgrace and Make Him Pay for His Crimes

Finally, Trump has stepped down after he lost his reelection bid and then got impeached, twice. But not without showing the Filipinos the other side of him which Duterte obviously likes to do as well. That is, cling to power as much as possible, no matter how his means become increasingly shameless and despicable, not to mention tyrannical.

  1. US President Donald Trump and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte share a lot of similar traits. The two come off as brash and arrogant, chauvinistic, hawkish, and unscientific. Both have frequently been fact-checked as espousing fake claims or outright lies.
  2. But what Duterte doesn’t have are warm bodies coming out in droves to join violent demonstrations to proclaim support for him, even with support of police and military. Not that the Duterte ruling clique has not tried hard to organize marches and gatherings supporting his rule in the past. There were rallies by the progressives in the past which Duterte countered with their own “rallyists”. Of late his minions are even instigating parents to control their children and malign activists. But, not only did they start fewer, in time they also dwindled in number. From the start he had hordes of Dutertards and DDS. Now, what’s left praising him are his paid trolls and departments eschewing fake news, fake photos, fake NPA surrenderers.

READ: The Diabolical Formula of Duterte in the Use of Violence and Deception

With his clique’s epic failure of response to COVID 19 pandemic, and with the record misery of the people as his rule only worsened the chronic crisis of the semifeudal, semicolonial system, his vaunted popularity and support has become more questionable. Duterte does not have the voluntary and wholehearted support of the masses.

Strengthen the Party! Lead the Masses in an Upsurge of Resistance to Overthrow the US-Duterte Fascist Regime! Carry the Revolution Forward!

Filipinos are valiantly striving to withstand Duterte clique’s bid to extend his term beyond 2022 by, among others:

  • Opposing charter change

Duterte has tried to pass charter change since his first year in power, when he was still popular and his “federalism” was being sold as the answer to whatever questions. His efforts to pass Cha-cha repeatedly met defeat in the face of strong public criticisms. The Filipino people reject Cha-cha as it will not only further keep the Philippine economy in its backward, non-industrial and agrarian state, but also because it is a blatant move to extend the term of the current elected officials, majority of them Duterte supporters.

READ: Resist Attempts to Railroad ChaCha to Serve Extension of Duterte Political Dynasty

  • Upholding rights to speak and protest, call out wrongdoings, and demand changes

To conjure mass support to his rule, the US-China puppet Duterte regime has embarked on virulent red-tagging, baseless accusations of terrorism and other slander of legitimate activism, media reporting, and actions for reforms and meaningful social changes. The regime tries hard to misrepresent critics, activists, and revolutionaries as the problem to evade responsibility for causing the intensified exploitation of this country’s people and resources for the profits of a few.

READ | Duterte Regime: A Propaganda War with Dire Consequences

The people responded with campaigns to defund and abolish their lie manufacturing machines (NTF-ELCAC, presidential communication office). The people’s campaign against red-tagging and terror-listing continues to gain support.

  • Defending, supporting nationalist and progressive politicians, partylist groups

In Congress the progressive party list groups under the Makabayan coalition comprise the only group with proven record at internalizing public service, transparency, and zero corruption. They call for land reform, national industrialization, people’s mining regulation, improvement of social services. They oppose pork barrel, regressive taxation, and US and Chinese military basing in the Philippines. Yet, they are continually slandered by the Duterte ruling clique, their members and campaigners harassed or gunned down. Despite these and amid indications of automated poll cheating, the people’s support to their progressive party list groups succeeded to still bring some of them in Congress.

  • Fighting US-Duterte regimes’ de-facto Martial Law

Duterte’s rule clearly favored his oligarchs and US and Chinese imperialist masters, exploiting and oppressing the Filipino masses who suffer worse poverty as a result. As with preceding bureaucrat capitalists, his rule inevitably veered toward meeting people’s disenchantment and disgust. As such, since 2017, the Duterte regime has tried hard to impose martial law—to continue pushing for neoliberal policies, to perpetuate his druglordship.

READ: The Duterte “War on Drugs” is Fake

The Duterte War on Drugs, to push for Build, Build, Build” projects as source of corruption and, to counter “Oust Duterte” calls. The people reject martial law, though, so the regime camouflaged it under various names, sweetened with false promises or couched in “anti-terrorism” and “anti-communism” hysteria.

  • Embracing, supporting the national democratic revolution with socialist perspectives

The Duterte regime alternately claimed that the revolutionary movement has become irrelevant and is losing the people’s war; yet actively recruiting and gaining ground among youth and students and various classes and sectors in Philippines society. In its twisted logic, the fascist regime peddled the lie that poverty is caused by the national democratic revolution.Truth is, the worsening crisis of the semicolonial and semifeudal system under the US-Duterte fascist regime is generating conditions for the democratic and revolutionary resistance of the Filipino people to gather into a powerful storm, both in the sphere of street protests and in the realm of armed struggle. ###

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