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Widespread Deadly Unrest Plausible across US after Nov. 3 Vote: Pundit

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Widespread Deadly Unrest Plausible across US after Nov. 3 Vote: Pundit

“Trump has already threatened that he would not concede to handing over power, indicating he is prepared to turn it into a wrangle. He may even believe his own propaganda about votes being cheated. That makes for an explosive situation or “nightmare scenario” as many US pundits put it. Given Trump’s zealous following among rightwing, Neo-Nazi militia, the prospect of widespread deadly unrest is plausible,” Finian Cunningham told Tasnim in an interview.

Finian Cunningham (born 1963) has written extensively on international affairs, with articles published in several languages. Originally from Belfast, Ireland, he is a Master’s graduate in Agricultural Chemistry and worked as a scientific editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, England, before pursuing a career in newspaper journalism. For over 20 years he worked as an editor and writer in major news media organizations, including The Mirror, Irish Times and Independent. Now a freelance journalist based in East Africa, his columns appear on RT, Sputnik, and Strategic Culture Foundation.

Following is the full text of the interview:

Tasnim: The US election is less than a week away and early voting is already underway in many states, with over 50 million ballots cast. Local polls are currently pointing to the potential for a landslide Biden victory. What do you think? Who do you think and hope will win the 2020 presidential election?

Cunningham: The surge in early voting certainly suggests that this election is invested with huge public interest. I think it is too close to call. Polls show Democrat contender Joe Biden well ahead of Republican incumbent Donald Trump. But it all hinges on a small number of swing states where polling is much tighter. There is also the intricacy of the Electoral College which can give small states a lot of leverage over bigger states like California where Biden is ahead of Trump. In the last election, Hillary Clinton won the overall popular vote, but Trump clinched the White House by taking swing states and the Electoral College votes. Given that shock upset last time, caution would seem to be the best advice. There is also going to be days of uncertainty over the final result because of late postal ballots being tallied. This may turn out to be a messy affair with the potential for civil unrest given the sharp polarization between Biden and Trump supporters. It’s possible that the two candidates may simultaneously claim victory which will make for dangerous chaos and interminable dispute. My hunch is that Biden might just clinch the election. But to be frank, I have no respect for either candidate. They are two sides of the same oligarchic, warmongering machine. It’s a superficial difference of style over substance. Regardless of whoever wins the White House, the rest of the world will still have to endure US imperialism and lawlessness.

Tasnim: President Trump continued his assault on the integrity of the US elections in the final segment of the first presidential debate, extending argument against mail voting and saying it was ripe for fraud and suggesting mail ballots may be “manipulated.” “This is going to be a fraud like you’ve never seen,” he said. Do you think there will be a peaceful transfer of power?

Cunningham: I think Trump is fabricating a crisis of confidence. His claims about mail-in voting are not backed up by evidence. Given his ego and cynicism, the mail-in voting controversy he is whipping is like an insurance policy for him to dispute the election if it appears to officially anoint Biden. Trump has already threatened that he would not concede to handing over power, indicating he is prepared to turn it into a wrangle. He may even believe his own propaganda about votes being cheated. That makes for an explosive situation or “nightmare scenario” as many US pundits put it. Given Trump’s zealous following among rightwing, Neo-Nazi militia, the prospect of widespread deadly unrest is plausible.

Tasnim: Do you believe that the potential election of Biden as the new president will change the US foreign policy on Iran?

Cunningham: It is true that Biden has said he will go back to upholding the 2015 nuclear accord with Iran and other world powers. Will he deliver, that’s the question? Or will he mess around with more conditions on Iran’s legitimate sovereign rights? That’s perhaps a marginal improvement on Trump’s “maximum pressure” campaign and overt aggression towards Iran. But I don’t expect to see a sudden improvement in US policy towards Iran even with Biden in the White House. Remember the US president is really only a figurehead. The real power lies in the military-industrial complex, the CIA-deep state and Wall Street which relies on warmongering and imperialism. The United States is programmed for war against any nation that its power establishment views as an obstacle to American hegemonic ambitions.

Biden as president will only at best change gear in that dynamic. It might ease immediate pressure on Iran, but we can expect the aggression not to go away. Biden may even be more belligerent than Trump in other areas such as towards Russia. They are two sides of the same oligarchic, warmongering coin. Remember over the past century, the US has waged dozens of illegal wars whether there is a Democrat or Republican figurehead in the White House. US corporate capitalism is a war machine. Having normal peaceful relations with Iran or any other independent nation is anathema to the United States’ ruling system.

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