| President Biden | MR Online

Joe Biden: War criminal-in-chief

The list of negative things one can say about Joe Biden gets longer by the day. He refused to countenance negotiations to end the war in Ukraine. He, his son, and his advisors, both when he was Vice President and now as President, have been knee-deep in Ukrainian corruption and in fomenting unrest and a coup against the legitimate government of former Ukrainian president, Viktor Yanukovych in 2014. Biden has been part and parcel of the U.S. policy of expanding NATO to surround Russia with hostile forces to weaken it and ultimately force its breakup into smaller and more controllable states. We now know that the so-called Maidan revolution, which overthrew Yanukovych, involved a false flag operationin which protestors were murdered by right-wing, fascist forces, who then claimed that it was the Yanukovych government that did the killing. Soon enough, the Ukrainian government began waging war against those living in predominantly Russian-speaking regions in Eastern Ukraine, resulting in 14,000 deaths. The Minsk Agreements between the various parties was aimed at ending the war and recognized the temporary self-governance of the Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts in the Donbass region, making this an autonomous region.  But we have since learned that the Ukrainian government, the United States, France and Germany had admittedly no intention of abiding by the Minsk Agreements. They viewed them as establishing an interregnum during which Ukraine could be armed to the teeth and its military utilized to rid the country of all Russian-speaking populations, and in the process weakening Russia itself via Ukraine’s planned incorporation within NATO.

Today, the United States and its NATO allies are intent on shipping arms and military advisors to Ukraine, a great “investment,” they say, to keep the war going, enrich the military-industrial complex in many nations, and in the end, destroy Russia once and for all. Unfortunately, what has resulted so far is an incredible number of Ukrainian deaths and injuries (more than 20,000 amputees, on a scale evoking the First World War and the U.S. Civil War), an utterly devastated economy, a complete reliance of the government on foreign aid, the selling off of what few economic assets Ukraine has left (including rich agricultural land), the outlawing of antiwar protests and labor union actions, and a very bleak future. Great Britain and the United States scotched a possible agreement between Ukraine and Russia not long after the war began, in April 2022. When some have said that the United States will continue its proxy war until the last Ukrainian is dead, perhaps they were not joking.

With the attack by Hamas in Israel on October 7, 2023, Biden doubled down on aiding and abetting slaughter. He immediately offered unconditional support to the fascist Netanyahu government, promising billions of dollars to a country absolutely reliant on U.S. aid. He traveled immediately to Israel, getting there much faster than he made it to Lahaina, Hawaii after the devastating fire in that town. He hugged the reprehensible war and common criminal Netanyahu and accepted without hesitation the Israeli contention that Hamas had beheaded children, and a bit later, that it was an errant terrorist rocket that struck the al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza on October 17, 2023, killing hundreds of people, many of whom had sought refuge there in the wake of Israeli bombardments further north in Gaza. The beheading stories were lies, and recent analyses by al-Jazeera and others strongly suggest that the Israeli version of the hospital bombing story is a lie as well. At the United Nations, the United States vetoed proposals by Brazil, China, and Russia for a ceasefire. A Biden spokesperson said that a ceasefire would only benefit Hamas. Remarkably, “In messages circulated on Friday, State Department staff wrote that high-level officials do not want press materials to include three specific phrases: ‘de-escalation/ceasefire,’ ‘end to violence/bloodshed’ and ‘restoring calm.’” Biden himself said that Hamas should release the hostages it holds, and “then we can talk.” And as Israel commits genocide with its violent assaults on every part of Gaza, following 75 years of war crimes against Palestinians, Biden said that civilian casualties are the price that must be paid in wartime. He even discounted Palestinian reports of the number of deaths caused by the Israeli assaults on the people of Gaza.

Biden told reporters at the White House that he has ‘no notion that the Palestinians are telling the truth’ about the number of people killed by Israel so far.

In response, the health ministry published a 210-page report, detailing the names, ages, genders, and ID numbers of every person killed in the enclave. The ministry said an English version of the report will be published soon.

Health ministry spokesperson Ashraf al-Qudra said the U.S. administration was “devoid of human standards, morals and basic human rights values” for “shamelessly” questioning the validity of the death toll.

In a stunning show of irony, U.S. military chiefs are advising Israel purportedly on how to avoid civilian casualties in its relentless bombing and shelling of Gaza. The purpose of modern warfare is to maximize civilian casualties, to “drain the swamp” of enough people so that only the “terrorists” are left standing, or to put it another way, so that the enemy cannot replace its troops sufficiently to continue fighting. If the War in Vietnam didn’t show us this, nothing will. Perhaps this quote from a recent essay by Chris Hodges, certainly available to Biden and his military advisors, will give readers an idea of the more explicit advice the Israel military is really getting, this time from a participant in the first Nakba in 1948:

The Israeli army mobilized Ezra Yachin, a 95-year-old army veteran, to “motivate” the troops. Yachin was a member of the Lehi Zionist militia that carried out numerous massacres of Palestinian civilians, including the Deir Yassin massacre on April 9, 1948, where over 100 Palestinian civilians, many women and children, were slaughtered.

“Be triumphant and finish them off and don’t leave anyone behind. Erase the memory of them,” Yachin said addressing Israeli troops.

“Erase them, their families, mothers and children,” he went on.

These animals can no longer live.

“Every Jew with a weapon should go out and kill them,” he said.

If you have an Arab neighbor, don’t wait, go to his home and shoot him.

In his words and actions concerning both Ukraine and Gaza, Biden shows the world that he is a quintessential warmonger, devoid of any qualities of compassion or respect for human life. We on the left don’t call the president of the United States, the War Criminal in Chief for no reason. The examples that show the truth of this are too numerous to mention. The New Cold War against China is a case in point. Biden is fully prepared to risk war with that country over Taiwan, with the risk obviously of countenancing a first nuclear strike against what the United States perceives as enemy number one.

These practices are no new development, but consistent with his own record and that of his predecessors of both parties. They follow a long career in which Biden has supported U.S. imperialism in Latin America, with a very occasional complaint about U.S. policy. He once criticized Ronald Reagan’s support for the Contra’s vicious attacks on the Sandinista government in Nicaragua during the 1980s, but his alternative was for the U.S. government to spell out clearly what the Contras could and could not do!

In connection with the Contras, as well as U.S. support for the murderous regime in El Salvador during that same period (these were the days of the notorious death squad leader Roberto “Blowtorch” —so named for his propensity to use a blowtorch to torture prisoners—D’Aubuisson, it is startling to see that Biden has nominated the reprehensible Elliot Abrams to be a member of U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy, “a public relations post whose goal is to shape international perceptions about the United States.” During the Reagan administration, Abrams was an architect of both the Contra war and the grotesque violence in El Salvador. He continued his ugly ways in the George W. Bush and Trump administrations. There does not appear to be a brutal dictator or government he didn’t like. He remains unapologetic about what he did:

One of the most glaring stains on Abrams’s record is his involvement in the El Mozote Massacre, a horrifying atrocity during which around 1,000 innocent civilians, including 195 children, were brutally killed.

El Mozote, we soon learned, was only a part of a much larger campaign to drive rural communities from their homes. The Salvadoran and U.S. military strategy, which Abrams had helped formulate, was to drain the sea to kill the fish.

Abrams shamefully dismissed these reports as mere communist propaganda before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on February 8, 1982. In the Salvadoran civil war, 75,000 lives were lost. In 2019, he described U.S. policy during this time in El Salvador as a “fabulous achievement.”

He is opposed to a Palestinian state and an ardent supporter of illegal Israeli settlements in Palestine. On a personal note, I traveled to Nicaragua in 1984 as part of a group associated with The Guardian (formerly The National Guardian), a left-wing radical newspaper in New York City. We were to travel by boat to the Mosquito Coast along the Caribbean Sea in the Northeast part of the country. Our group had a visa problem, and we couldn’t go that day. The boat was attacked by Contra forces, with, I believe, at least one death. Later, we learned that the attack was planned out of the White House by Abrams and Oliver North.

The nomination of the war criminal Elliot Abrams surely tells us all we need to know about Biden’s true colors. And as far as the U.S. role in the world is concerned, no matter which political party holds power, the entire history of this country shows that globally speaking, it has consistently rained death on the world’s peoples. It is a stain upon all of humanity. It must be opposed by anyone with the slightest concern for this humanity. Today, when every day brings us closer to a Third World War, when fascism is once again rearing its ugly head, when the death tolls mount and mount and mount, we must, to the best of our abilities, bear witness and demand radical change. Time is shorter than most of us think.

Monthly Review does not necessarily adhere to all of the views conveyed in articles republished at MR Online. Our goal is to share a variety of left perspectives that we think our readers will find interesting or useful. —Eds.