The February 26, 2024, Parallax Views podcast featured host J.G. Michael and guests Sahar Aziz and Mitchell Plitnick discussing "The Islamophobia Network and the Israel-Palestine Discourse."

I appreciated their observation that one can criticize Saudi Arabia, Iran, or Egypt and never be called "Islamaphobic," but criticizing Israel makes one an "anti-Semite." The guests also note that prejudice toward Palestinians is acceptable among American liberals, even as they condemn all other forms of bigotry.

Here's how I see it. Since at least the Persian Gulf War of 1991, the United States has been regularly bombing countries in the Middle East and elsewhere. When Democratic presidents do the bombing, they have the support of many liberals and progressives who put partisanship above principle.

They don't mind that the people of the region are impoverished, maimed, and killed by American bombs, sanctions, and proxy wars. But when Republicans resist accepting refugees from war-torn countries, Democrats call them racist.

I agree that it is racist, or at least xenophobic, to reject refugees. But so is destroying their nations in the first place. From Africa through the Middle East to Afghanistan, Democrats have been as complicit as Republicans.

But let's take skin color out of consideration. After all, President Biden is happy to give aid to prolong the war in white Ukraine just as he continues the bipartisan destabilization of the brown Middle East.

Do you think someone who is so at ease with causing suffering abroad really cares about suffering in the United States?

Do "Black Lives Matter" to Biden? Do women matter to Biden? Or the working class?

A year ago, I came across a 2016 French documentary whose English title is Howard Zinn, A People's History of the United States. Zinn (1922–2010) was an American scholar and activist who viewed American history through a pro-labor lens that was sometimes socialist, sometimes anarchist.

I have yet to read Zinn's work beyond a few essays, but the film is a good presentation of the ideas for which he was known. And something struck me when the film addressed World War I. Shortly after President Woodrow Wilson used the army against labor unions on American soil, he persuaded Congress to declare war on Germany and sent two million Americans to enter the trenches of Western Europe.

I don't believe any politician who was aware of the hell of those trenches yet supported prolonging that war ever cared for the plight of the "working man." Not one.

Politicians who send others to war, who send others to kill and be killed, to maim and be maimed, don't care about social justice. They don't care about safety in the mines and factories. They don't care about wages; they don't care about education, childcare, or affordable healthcare.

If you don't have a conscience about war, when will you have a conscience?

The Zinn film mentioned an American banker who told a French newspaper that the war had been quite profitable. He also said, however, that the Allies had to win so they'd be able to pay off their loans. The implication is that this was the real reason for the American entry into the war.

Biden, like his predecessors, will gleefully support wars abroad and even start some himself because it is profitable for the arms industry.

Voters matter to Biden, but that doesn't mean Biden cares about them. He'll say what he thinks most voters want to hear. But if you have no conscience about foreign policy, you won't act in good faith about domestic policy either. The game isn't about liberty or justice; it's about winning elections.

Presidents who reject peace abroad won't deliver justice at home.