Larry Wilkerson says Americans must defeat Trump, but he fears the Democratic Party’s militarists influence on Biden’s foreign policy – On theAnalysis.news podcast with Paul Jay
Hi, I’m Paul Jay, and welcome to the analysis podcast. On April 19th, the Biden campaign released a video attacking Trump for being soft on China. Or rolling over, as the ad says, it’s been critiqued in many quarters as racist, xenophobic, warmongering, trying to out Trump, Trump.
Some on the left who opposed Sanders endorsement of Biden point to the ad as evidence that there’s not that much difference between Biden and Trump on foreign policy. Here’s a clip from the ad.
Biden campaign ad
Here are the facts. Joe Biden warned the nation in January that Trump had left us unprepared for a pandemic. Then Biden told Trump he should insist on having American health experts on the ground in China. I would be on the phone with China, making it clear we are going to need to be in your country. You have to be open. You have to be clear. We have to know what’s going on. But Trump rolled over for the Chinese.
He took their word for it. The president tweeted: China has been working very hard to contain the coronavirus. The United States greatly appreciates their efforts and transparency. I spoke with President Xi and they’re working very, very hard. I think it’s going to work out fine.
Trump praised the Chinese fifteen times in January and February as the Corona virus spread across the world.
A tough situation. I think they’re doing a very good job. I think that China will do a very good job.
Trump never got a CDC team on the ground in China and the travel ban he brags about. Trump let in 40,000 travelers from China .after he signed it, not exactly airtight. Look, around 22 million Americans are out of work and we have more officially reported cases and deaths than any other country. Donald Trump left this country unprepared and unprotected for the worst public health and economic crisis in our lifetime. And now we’re paying the price.
So here you have the Biden campaign repeating what the Democratic Party did over the Russia gate, Russia issue and trying to outflank from the right. Trump on Russia. Now they’re trying to outflank Trump in terms of the level of militarism or at least rhetoric in that regard. Will it have any better effect for Biden than the Russia stuff did? Because that seemed to more or less wind up in the end, rolling off Trump like water off the back of a duck.
Now, joining us to give us his take on these issues is retired colonel, Army colonel, former and former chief of staff for Colin Powell, Lawrence Wilkerson, where he teaches now at the College of William and Mary.
Thanks very much for joining us, Larry.
Thanks for having me, Paul.
The question boils down to at least when it comes to foreign policy. Is there much difference between a Biden and a Trump? Because, as you know, some people on the left are saying this ad is a example, that there isn’t that much difference.
I think there’s a stark difference between Joe Biden and Donald Trump. And that’s mainly because I think Trump is, as you indicated, a would be fascist. More frightful than Trump himself, though, or the people right around Trump, who are everything from the fundamentalist rapture seeking secretary of state, who is fixated on Iran to the declare of a new Cold War with China. Secretary Defense Mark Esper. There are far more dangerous than Trump, particularly with his hands off sort of attitude.
But after saying that and after saying that, I think the nation needs to get rid of Trump in whatever way it can. I subscribe to your view and teach your view, as a matter of fact, that there isn’t much difference between the principal leadership of the Democratic Party and that of the Republican Party, with the caveat that the Republican Party ,Mike Lofgren, has pointed out recently, has become the party of death, the cult of death. I think that’s true.
So in that sense, the Republican Party, Mitch McConnell and all the rest of them arrayed behind him or a disaster for this for this country waiting to happen, not unlike the disaster in 1850, which I would contend was the last time we had both. Not both, but we had a corrupted Supreme Court, a corrupted legislature and a corrupted executive. And you know what happened after that in 1860. So we’re in a critical period right now that says get rid of Trump under any circumstances whatsoever.
Figure out a way to get rid of Trump. And if Biden’s the only way to do that, that’s fine. But we have to recognize that all we’re putting in the White House is a more sophisticated, less tending towards authoritarianism and fascism individual than Donald Trump. This, after all, is the same group of people who have subscribed to, advocated, supported some 20 years now, we have had a war just as much as the Republicans have.
And as damaging to the country, they have supported equally and sometimes more forcefully, this profligate spending that we have today that sees us now with an aggregate debt that is more than 100 percent of our gross domestic product. Either side of this political equation, if you will, is leading the country into disaster. The Democrats perhaps a little bit more slowly than the Republicans, but nonetheless. They represent the oligar