Sun 3-March-2024

Mr Biden, you are a war criminal

Monday 15-January-2024


In case you forgot Joe Biden, you are the commander in chief and the president of the United States. You are responsible for the slaughter and mass atrocities in Gaza. More than 24,000 have been killed in three months and almost 60,000 have been injured; 8,000 more are missing. About two-thirds of those figures are made up of children and women. According to the WFP, 70 per cent of the population is starving and half of the physical infrastructure, housing, hospitals etc. have been bombed to rubble. You have signed the death sentence of these innocent human beings. Israel’s leaders openly promote collective punishment and without any hesitation brutally attack hospitals, schools and UN facilities. Untreated sewage and overcrowding are leading to the rapid spread of disease, with the full support of the White House in Washington.

The consequences are that your country is sinking together with Israel and your friend the war criminal Benjamin Netanyahu. Your country is isolated both diplomatically, politically and morally. Your support of the most intense bombing campaign in history is not only related to human rights, which you normally use as a weapon to coerce other countries, it is also undemocratic, goes against the Geneva Convention and is an attempted genocide and ethnic cleansing. South Africa has filed a case at the main judicial body for the United Nations, the International Court of Justice in The Hague, accusing Israel of committing genocide in Gaza. Your country is not only complicit, but in real time Israel would not be able to commit genocide without your help.

Crimes against humanity
Let us take it one by one. The crimes against humanity include mass starvation and famine. The denial of water, fuel, electricity, medical supplies and food to the 2.3 million Palestinians living in the camp, ghetto, prison or whatever you prefer, is not only a war crime it is genocidal examples of aggravated war crimes explicitly prohibited by provisions of the 4th Geneva Convention on Belligerent Occupation. Israel as the Occupying Power does not enjoy any right of self-defense against an Occupied People and is under a pervasive duty to protect the civilian population under all circumstances. Human Rights Watch (HRW) recently said: “For over two months, Israel has been depriving Gaza’s population of food and water, a policy spurred on or endorsed by high-ranking Israeli officials and reflecting an intent to starve civilians as a method of warfare.” It added: “World leaders should be speaking out against this abhorrent war crime, which has devastating effects on Gaza’s population.”

According to HRW: “Providing weapons that knowingly and significantly would contribute to unlawful attacks can make those providing them complicit in war crimes.” The same organization has called for an arms embargo to be imposed on Israel to stop its unlawful attacks.

On 25 December 2023 the Times of Israel wrote that 245 US transport planes and 20 ships have delivered more than 10,000 tons of military aid. The Defense Ministry has made 40 billion shekels (almost $2.8 billion) in additional purchases from the US of armaments and military equipment since the start of the conflict.

According to Bloomberg, your country has sent “2,000 laser-guided Hellfire missiles that can be launched from Apache helicopters,” as well as an array of other mortars and ammo, including “36,000 rounds of 30mm cannon ammunition, 1,800 of the requested M141 bunker-buster munitions and at least 3,500 night-vision devices.” Approximately 92 per cent of Israel’s arms industry is either financed by or delivered from the US. These weapons are used to kill Palestinian refugees including women and children in an unprecedented manner. This is not all. Other sources note that Israel is using 155mm shells and 120mm mortar shells to strike both Lebanon and Gaza with white phosphorus. Your Administration has also provided intelligence and logistics help in order to expedite a smooth genocidal war against the Palestinians.

In addition, there are at least 15 US navy ships in the region, air surveillance, American drones over Gaza, fighter squadrons and thousands of troops to project US military strength in support of Israel’s war crimes in Gaza and the West Bank and as a deterrence against Israel’s neighbors.

Your government cannot support a ceasefire in the UN Security Council in the unjust onslaught of the people in Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem. In fact, there is no war. There is no self-defense. One of the best equipped armies in the world is committing attempted genocide by using a scorched-earth annihilation strategy. There is no real war taking place. There are some 300,000 soldiers against a small group of 30,000 guerilla fighters with light weapons. This cannot be described as a war. The biggest forced displacement in history of more than two million people, or more than 80 per cent of the total population, in the shortest span of time is the disaster that will taint your records for future historians.

Your unwavering support for the genocidal regime in Tel Aviv is undermining future references to human rights and democracy by your Administration. My guess is that the Orwellian Newspeak of ‘pauses’ instead of ceasefire and ‘no visa for violent and militant settlers’ from the West Bank (implicitly recognizing the illegal settlements) are blatantly clear examples of the primitive hypocrisy coming out of the White House. It is easy to see that the attempt to mislead the world by claiming that the US is trying to moderate Israel’s brutal massacre against the Palestinian people is pure propaganda and spin. This is also the case with your government’s rebuke against the fascist ministers in Israel suggesting mass deportation of Palestinians from Gaza.

May I remind you that Secretary of State Antony Blinken in the beginning of October aggressively tried to force Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi and Jordan’s King Adullah to take in hundreds of thousand refugees. In December, your friend Netanyahu told members of the Likud party that Israel is “working to facilitate the so-called ‘voluntary migration’ of Gaza’s Palestinians.”

Danny Danon, Israel’s former ambassador to the UN, was interviewed by Kan Bet radio and claimed he had been contacted by “countries in Latin America and Africa that are willing to absorb refugees from the Gaza Strip.”

“We have to make it easier for Gazans to leave for other countries,” he said. “I’m talking about voluntary migration by Palestinians who want to leave.”

There is no existential threat against Israel from an enemy with no army, no air force, no navy, no state and almost no civilian infrastructure, this is indeed a combat between David and Goliath. As stressed by Jeremy Scahill from the Intercept, Mr Biden you have shown unwavering and staunch support for Israel over the past 50 years. The Palestinians do not have hundreds of nuclear weapons which are in the possession of the so-called Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Israel can burn Gaza and its people to the ground because the US facilitates it, politically and militarily. It does not have hundreds of nuclear weapons. Mr Biden, you have been defending Israel’s disproportionate use of force, collective punishment and brutal massacres in plural.

Your government is also supporting the more than 60,000 American settlers in the West Bank. They believe in the heroism of the terrorists and racists Baruch Goldstein and Meir Kahane, two American citizens whose followers are part of the Likud led government. They are seen as the prophets of the settler movement and the American fanatics who compose approximately 15 per cent of the total settler population in the occupied West Bank. In addition, there are about 100,000 US citizens in occupied East Jerusalem.

During the invasion of Lebanon in 1982, as Scahill notes, in public you Mr Biden were neutral, but in private you met with then Prime Minister of Israel, Menachem Begin, and it appears from Begin’s biography that your support for the brutality of the invasion even outstripped the Israeli standpoint. According to Begin’s account, you said you would go even further, even if that meant killing women and children. Israel’s former Ambassador to the United States from 2009-2013, Michael Oren, writes that in Israel’s alliance with America, the first principle was ‘no daylight’. The second, ‘no surprises’. The US and Israel always could disagree but never openly. This is the point as he says “we are an ultimate ally for the United States.”

When elected three years ago, after four years with Donald Trump, you said that you would promise to reclaim the mantle of global leadership as “a strong and trusted partner for peace, progress and security.” But now we see your real purpose as a full time promoter of apartheid in Israel and disaster in Gaza.

Israel’s violations of international law include collective punishment, an emerging famine and diseases due the restriction of food, water, medicine and fuel. It is unprecedented and is eroding all narratives about democracy and human rights. You are even violating US law. According to the US Foreign Assistance Act section 620I “No assistance shall be furnished to any country when it is made known to the president that the government of such country prohibits or otherwise restricts, directly or indirectly, the transport or delivery of US humanitarian assistance.”

Catholicism and terror
Mr Biden, you once referred to yourself as “Israel’s best Catholic friend.” A friend who supported and supplied Israel with more than 22,000 guided and unguided bombs which have been dropped on Gaza. According to reports in the New York Times, the Biden Administration is so committed to fueling the carnage in Gaza that it has even invoked rare emergency powers for transferring tank ammunition without Congressional review. The arms shipment was put on an expedited track right after Washington vetoed a ceasefire proposal in the Security Council.

According to military historian Robert Pape: “Gaza will also go down as a place name denoting one of history’s heaviest conventional bombing campaigns,” comparable to the carpet bombing of German cities in World War II.

Mr Biden, you probably don’t care. One of your famous predecessors Eisenhower advocated “that the nation guard against the potential influence of the military–industrial complex.” This is interesting because it appears that your administration consists of the most right-wing neoconservatives in the history of the United States. Advisers and foreign policy “experts” who still believe the US is Master of the Universe.

Your Administration’s corporate ties illustrate your personal involvement as a warmonger. Your Secretary of Defense and comrade in arms, Lloyd J. Austin III, serves on the board of Raytheon, one of the world’s largest weapons makers while Blinken is affiliated with Pine Island Capital Partners, an investment firm which specializes in defense companies. Both companies have high stakes in delivering deadly weapons for the ethnic cleansing and genocide in Gaza.

The recent Memorandum on United States Conventional Arms Transfer Policy (CAT) from 23 February 2023, states clearly: “The United States CAT Policy will bolster the security of allies and partners and contribute to shared security objectives; enhance global deterrence; promote respect for international humanitarian law and human rights; adhere to international nonproliferation norms; strengthen partnerships that preserve and extend our global influence. Hypocrisy is evident and the world is watching.”

Mr President, you and your government do not comply with international humanitarian law, but it also seems as though you do not uphold your own laws. This can be seen in the light of the humanitarian tragedy unfolding in front of our eyes. The brutal massacres with lethal support from you and your government have clearly shown that you are bereft of commitment to democratic principles. 153 nations demanded a ceasefire in a UN General Assembly vote and again you were isolated when voting against, with ten smaller countries including Israel and Austria. Security Council resolutions were met with a veto from you. It is shameful and shows that you are a war criminal directly supporting famine and genocide. Mr Biden, you, your government and Congress are enabling these annihilations.

-Dr. Johannes Dragsbaek Schmidt is an independent researcher and activist, Dr Schmidt holds a PhD in Development and International Relations from Denmark.

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