The War of Political Models – Biden’s Democracy Summit

On Thursday and Friday, 9-10 December US President Joe Biden hosted by video link a “Summit for Democracy”, which gathered representatives of about 100 countries, NGOs, corporations, and charity organisations. According to France24, the list of invitees caused a great deal of tension as China and Russia, deemed by Biden as the two most notorious “authoritative states”, denounced their exclusion from the Summit and deemed it “an unjustified return to the cold war mentality and to dividing the world.” Beijing was infuriated by the invitation to the Summit extended to Taiwan which she deems a Chinese province. The Summit aims to “strengthen democracy and advance respect for human rights”, as per President Biden’s electoral pledge.

It is no secret that China and Russia are politically targeted in the dividing of the world into two camps, one of which is “liberal democratic”, and the other is “totalistic authoritarian”. The targeting is due to geo-economic considerations in the case of China and geostrategic considerations in the case of Russia, in addition to targeting the Islamic world for ideological and doctrinal considerations within the context of the preventive war.

By reading the Democratic Party’s manifesto of the 2020 elections, we construe that one of its priorities is tackling “the standpoint of the US in the world”, and this will be through corroborating the notion of the “West” as a collective of democratic states sharing the same concepts and values, rather than mere historical alliances, such as NATO, or ASEAN, and through establishing the “Community of Democracies”, which is built around the notion of democracy itself.

In this context, the US Secretary of State told the Foreign Relations Committee during his confirmation hearing that he would rely on shedding light on those countries that did not conform to the American values as one of the tools of the US foreign policy of Joe Biden’s administration. The Democratic Party calls for restructuring the alliances and partnerships to meet potential challenges through the American values and adopting them to “strengthening America’s security and prosperity”. The Democratic Party realises that the war of “models” America has adopted as the criterion for the Western relationship with China and Russia, and the pretext foreign interventions, is the plane of a war of values and concepts with the civilisational alternative to the comprehensive Western community instituted by America. An example of such an approach is reflected in exhorting the masses of the Middle East to call for freedom and democracy in the “Arab Spring”, unleashing the oppressive rulers on them, and making them pay a heavy price for choosing the “Islamists” and rallying around the slogans of the “Islamic State and Jihad”, with the aim of deepening their need for freedom and democracy, and compelling them to reconcile with secularism and Western values.

Owing to the indicators of the Summit and what preceded them in terms of changes inside America, its aims become very clear since Biden’s electoral pledge to gather the leaders of the world to a summit to confront dictatorship across the world corroborates the purpose of this Summit, namely to mobilise US public opinion around him and around the Democratic Party, amass support for his policies, and boost the chances of the Democratic Party in the next elections, now that President Biden and his administration have become the choice of the deep state to execute its domestic and foreign policies at this stage. This is especially after Trump and the Republican Party had been demonised in the events surrounding Capitol Hill, in addition to corroborating the leadership of the US over the “free” capitalist world by leaning on the scarecrow of “Islamic terrorism” and the Chinese and Russian models of governance and welfare.

It is in this context that reproducing democracy, in its quality as an ideological receptacle to conduct international relations in a selective manner, falls within the framework of the war of models, the geostrategic jostling with Russia, and the tussle over geoeconomics with China, both of which, along with “Islamophobia”, provide a host of tributaries which alienate people from the ruling models and lifestyles.

This would culminate in making those alienating models share with the capitalist liberal model, despite its global questioning regarding its failures to provide it with a fig leaf for those whose allegiance to it is waning. This is corroborated by the conviction of President Biden stipulating that the optimum method to market democracy and rally the world behind the US is by demonstrating that democratic societies could eclipse the dictatorial alternative, and ultimately, arrive at leading the European states which he has invited to unite and work with him to confront the international challenges from what the US describes as the forces of the dictatorial camp led by Russia and China, in addition to confronting what they call “Islamic terrorism.”

One of the other aims of the Summit, which was manifested in the participation of “human rights lobbies” and the organisations seeking to exploit the Summit as a means for fundraising to spend on their dubious projects, is to bolster the role of civil society institutions in executing the agendas of the US, exactly as they did in the colour revolutions of east Europe and in the “Arab Spring”.

Hence, the Summit will provide international cover for the activities of “transnational democracy” and human rights organisations, and US-sponsored civil society institutions involved in espionage and active in most of the countries of the world and will enable them to execute the agendas of US intelligence, exactly as they did with 6 April Movement in Egypt during the “Arab Spring”.

Therefore, this Summit, which the Biden administration has pledged to organise each year, falls within the context of preserving American hegemony, and within the framework of diplomatic ammunition, political instrumentalism, and value-based camouflage; but at the same time, it expresses a civilisational drought.

This is because liberal democracy has been damaged in its Western urban areas in which populist and racist inclinations have ballooned and brought right wing parties to power in recent years. This was vividly reflected on 6 January when thousands of right-wing populists from among the supporters of former President Donald Trump attacked the Capitol building to disrupt the ratification of the US elections results, the killing of George Floyd as well as the campaigns of right-wing leaders in Austria, Czechia, Poland, and Hungary, together with French President Macron, against immigrants, Islam, and the Muslims in their countries. It was also illustrated by the support given by those democratic countries, headed by the US, to the most vicious oppressive pharaohs in the world, such as Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, Mohammed bin Salman, and the rest of the oppressors, who would not have dared to oppress and stand up to their masses, and yet remain in power, had it not been for the American protection and European support.

Perhaps what places this Summit in the category of political instrumentalism is the US decision to integrate it within the context of economic duelling and geostrategic tussle with China and Russia over the international arena, which makes the value-based character of the Summit marginal in comparison with its returns on the plane of the war on the Chinese firm Huawei and the Euro-Russian Nord Stream2, and circumventing of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) with the aim of suffocating China within the alleyways of her initiative if it were not expedient to US companies.

Moreover, the Summit has been harnessed as a leveraging tool by using political isolation against some regimes through the selective choosing of the invited countries; the US invited Pakistan, the Philippines, and Brazil, whose President is the far-right extremist Jair Bolsonaro, whereas she snubbed Turkey, who is more democratic than those invited countries.

Copyright © LCIR 2021