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by Niccolo Soldo
In light of Joe Biden’s recent installation as President, it is important that we understand what this means not only for America and its people, but for the world as whole — a world in which the USA is still the dominant power which dictates the tone and pace of global events.
Even more vital is to understand who Joe Biden is and what his likely single term in office will be like. 78 years old and not in the best of both physical and cognitive health, he will be presiding over a country that is divided by very deep and ever-widening political, cultural, social, and economic chasms. Taking over from Donald Trump (I call his term the Poochie Presidency, as elites will seek to strike it from the record, except when blaming him for their future failures and threatening his return should people not fall into line), Biden resembles Boris Yeltsin in his second term (1996-1999) as President of the Russian Federation. The comparisons are not perfect, but the parallels are striking.
The Biden Regime will immediately seek to hand-crank the clock back to 2012, an era when the GOP was ideologically spent and when the Democrats began to speed up the serious cultural and economic changes that resulted in the Great Upset of 2016. Biden, however, is not Barack Obama. Unlike the slick speechmaker, Joe is prone to wild gaffes and cognitive failures reminiscent of Yeltsin, who once was so drunk at an event in Germany that Helmut Kohl took pity on him to spare Russia the embarrassment. Yeltsin’s growing health problems caused him to be seen less and less as his time in office wore on, like how Biden’s media ‘lids’ colored his 2020 Presidential Campaign. Joe Biden was more often absent than not. Will this continue through his Presidency, and if it does, who will actually be in charge?
While Boris was himself increasingly absent, various people in his family and inner circle began to take advantage of his condition. Joe Biden has a history of sweetheart deals for those closest to him, and he will have to eventually answer questions about Burisma Holding in Ukraine, and what role he himself played. Biden’s team has already shown that it will lean heavily on BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, to staff his Cabinet (much like Obama turned to Goldman Sachs). One can’t help but think of the immense room for corruption here thanks to BlackRock’s roster of VIP customers and the revolving door between public service and private employment.
In Yeltsin’s case, a new class of oligarchs arose during his first term, only to take complete control of the country during his second. They stripped Russia of its natural wealth and prized state assets with his assistance. The middle and lower classes were impoverished as the oligarchy amassed wealth that was unprecedented in Russian history. Does anyone seriously believe that the Biden regime will do anything at all to rein in Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Tim Cook, or Jack Dorsey? Of course not, as each of them played key roles in putting Joe Biden into office, just as Boris Berezovsky and Vladimir Gusinsky saved the 1996 Russian Presidential Election for Yeltsin. They owned him and were greatly rewarded for their service to their President, just as the US oligarchy will be rewarded with protection from anti-trust actions and cheap foreign labor.
One cannot overlook the parallels between Biden and Yeltsin when it comes to the media as well. Catapulted into office partially thanks to horribly partisan election coverage, Joe Biden relied on the Bezos Blog aka Washington Post (among other outlets) to dominate the formation of the campaign narratives transmitted to the American public. From the shamelessly hypocritical attacks on Trump’s handling of COVID-19 in which his worst-performing political opposites were lionized, to outright lies like the now-discredited Russia conspiracy theory and the fake Russian bounty story, the media was in Biden’s back pocket. The Russian media, owned by oligarchs Berezovsky and Gusinsky, served the same function in Yeltsin’s 1996 victory.
Biden has also already indicated that “America will be back” on the global stage, meaning that there will be no pullout of US forces from conflict zones such as Afghanistan and Syria. Much like how Yeltsin presided over an increasingly ineffective military, Biden has shown no willingness to pursue reforms for an American military that continues to be bogged down in unwinnable conflicts. There are American servicemen and women serving in Afghanistan and who were born after the initial deployment in 2001. Biden, like Yeltsin, seems intent on staying the course and enriching contractors while allowing ex-officials to enrich themselves with sinecures and speaking engagements. It’s a far cry from his 2012 announcement while he served as Vice President.
VP on Afghanistan: "We will leave in 2014."
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) October 12, 2012
One striking parallel between Biden and Yeltsin is the role the CIA played to put both men into office. President Trump was engaged in a running battle with the agency throughout his term, as its retired veterans (such as former spymaster John Brennan) openly accused him of being a Russian stooge. The gradual drip-drip-drip of CIA disinformation to outlets like WaPo and CNN, along with Silicon Valley’s censorship of independent sources, served to destabilize the Trump Administration. The CIA’s role in Yeltsin’s re-election is murkier, but details can still be teased out: from the support of US-backed NGOs to straightforward cash payments, Langley helped keep Russian nationalists out of power in Moscow.
Boris Yeltsin won a surprise re-election in 1996 thanks to support from business and media oligarchs and US intelligence, only to find himself presiding over the same problems that his first term caused. The media, intelligence agencies, and oligarchy have walked Joe Biden into the White House to reinstate the disastrous policies of the Obama era, which are precisely what led to Trump’s upset in 2016. Yeltsin’s popularity once again collapsed in his second term, opening the door to Vladimir Putin. Is a similar situation brewing in the United States of America?
The last remnants of the Soviet Union crumbled under Boris Yeltsin’s watch. His immediate predecessor, Mikhail Gorbachev, attempted to save and preserve the USSR by way of his twin Perestroika and Glasnost reforms. The failure of these reforms led to the dissolution of the “Evil Empire,” as the individual republics of the Federation began to secede as communism itself collapsed. The Soviet system had been creaking all throughout the 1980s, with a collapse in confidence in governing institutions and the economic system. A divide grew between the party elites and the people who were left with little reason to “pretend to work while they pretend to pay us.” Bogged down in a fruitless war in Afghanistan, its global rival quickly sped ahead of it economically (sound familiar?). Increasingly unable to provide the most basic services for its people, the COVID-era USA likewise fails to protect its citizenry. No wonder that the rise in opiate and cannabis use and decline in US life expectancy neatly mirrors the alcoholism and shortened life expectancy in 1990s Russia.
The demosclerosis that now has US Congress in its grips has led to a fractured political body. A collapse of confidence in the state, a substandard military, a broken democratic process, and a rising political temperature lead one to ask whether Joe Biden will preside over the remnants of these United States of America.
Niccolo Soldo is a geopolitical analyst and writer. His excellent Substacķ is niccolo.substack.com. You can find him on Twitter at @progrockfarmer
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