The Americans really have given themselves no choice for the next President of the United States Of America. They have to vote between an old man afflicted by dementia (or at least he gives a great show of the same) and a congenital liar. The one who can barely move and comprehend and wants another five years of more and worse; and the other who believes in his divine (he still has to declare that officially) right to rule and lies through his teeth on every issue.

What a choice! And it could not have been more stark than at the first presidential debate between the two where they were up before the public in the bright glare of the public platform hosted by CNN. Democrats held their breath as they waited for their President to collapse; Republicans were happy with the lies of their candidate and satisfied with his performance. At the end of the debate however, panic seems to have invaded the Democrat ranks as they see not only the end of Joe Biden but also the party. He should go, is the refrain currently attributed to ‘sources’ on media shows, but then he alone can bell the cat (that is himself) and offer to leave. It seems unlikely that Biden and his wife who congratulated him loudly about his performance at the debate, and the men who handle and manage them, are in the mood for a shift.

Well for us sitting in India it is hardly of any consequence, who stays or who goes. For there is a certain consensus in foreign policy where the President of the USA blindly supports wars and regime changes, and insists that his country has the right and the ability to control the ways of the world that are not white. There might be some difference between Trump and Biden and the parties they represent insofar as domestic policies are considered, but on the foreign policy of war and strife and regime changes the two are peas in a pod.

For instance, they could have embraced on the issue of Palestine, as the decision of the Biden Administration to encourage a genocide in Gaza is fully supported by Trump. Both are averse to dissent within their own country on this issue, and even as students white, black and brown unite across the campuses demanding an end to the war and the recognition of Palestine as a sovereign state, the so-called democratic government and the Opposition turn a blind eye to their demand. Instead the Biden Administration has outdone itself in cracking down on the students in campuses through pliant university authorities, with the supposedly greatest economy in the world dismissing the mass protests by the new generation for peace and harmony. Israel remains the golden goose for both, the strategy paw in the Middle East to keep American hegemony in place as a counter to Chinese expansion.

The CNN anchors were disappointing as they did not stop to nail Trump on his lies with even a single counter question; or give sufficient time to Biden to further demolish himself as he often finished his incoherent answers well ahead of the time allocated for the question. The questions on foreign policy were perfunctory as perhaps because CNN shares the consensus that has the US playing the role of the world policeman even though its decline on the global stage is now very visible. The Ukraine war has not added to its glory as its prolonged nature might keep the US arms manufacturers in good business, but has destroyed the small nation rather effectively with death and destruction. Only a misguided or controlled leader could agree to allow his own country to become a playing field for the war between Washington and Moscow, and while the jury might be out on which of the two has won, Ukraine certainly has lost.

The Gaza genocide has exposed American democracy like nothing else. Even the invasion of Iraq and the funding of Salafists and extremists in the ‘regime change’ plans for Syria have not been as stark as the funding and support for Israel during these horrific months. The large scale attacks on the civilian population, the killing and maiming of little children, the starvation and famine now, the bombing of hospitals and schools has isolated Israel very effectively in the world. Even the initial polarisation between the North and the South globally has broken with several European countries stretching out to recognise Palestine as an independent and sovereign state.

In the midst of this the Americans remain steadfast in their support to Israel, with both Biden and Trump unable to speak up for the rights of the Palestinians. The silence on Israel has stirred political filth that is now sticking to the American establishment, not that any one is even trying to shake it off. Israel itself has been turned into a pariah by Netanyahu, the line dividing the democratic, rights respecting world from the autocrats and dictators including those running democracies on the face of it.

The Presidential debate thus, exposed the US and not just the two individuals propped up to contest the top post. That good and able persons — and there is a long list with the American people who value democracy— were not even allowed to figure in the primaries is a clear indication that the deep state is running the administration. And that decisions are being made by those other than the President of the USA who is little more than a figurehead. Who comprises this deep state is for the American media to figure out, as clearly Biden is not able to function or even think coherently — for at least a year now if not more— and someone else is doing his thinking and decision making for him. That there is no visible second should be a cause of concern to the Americans, and its pliant and corporate controlled media, as this will endanger democracy (as it seems to be doing already). As for the world, war and strife will continue and increase.