Critical Analysis
Critical Analysis

Why We Call Him “Butcher” Biden

By Nikola B. Karin

Friday 10 November 2023

There is a new name for the 46th president of the United States, Joe Biden. Ironically it harkens to the exact same name Biden tossed at Vladimir Putin right after his invasion of Ukraine1. Throughout Belfast, right after American envoy Joe Kennedy III visited the city, the shouts, “Butcher Biden” filled the air2. At this point, over 7500 civilians had been massacred in Gaza by Israeli forces with American-funded weaponry. The same cries have been heard all throughout Ireland, from major cities to tiny towns to busy streets, it has been whispered in workplaces and shouted out across college campuses. What is especially important to note is that this, however, is not the first sin of “Butcher” Biden, and it is far from his last.

Joe Biden’s Track Record

Joe Biden was elected to the senate in 1972 on an anti-war, progressive platform. But his opposition to the Vietnam war was not based on any sort of loyalty to the working class, or moral outrage, it was a purely calculated position. To Biden, the war was nothing more than “lousy policy.”3

Biden’s lack of moral fibre would become evident quite soon with his hawkishness on the drug war. Joe Biden could in fact be described as nothing less than an architect of the American drug war. Biden constantly criticised president Carter for not taking business as usual in the war on drugs4, and during the 90s authored a major crime bill that would accelerate the war on drugs. Largely as a result of the drug war in America, roughly 2 million Americans are in prison – as a proportion of the population this is the highest in the world. In spite of this, the amount of drug-related deaths in America since the beginning of the war has only increased. It is arguably clear then, that Biden neither has the heart to be in opposition to draconian measures or the brain to be talking about, “lousy policy.”

In 2002, Joe Biden was one of 77 senators to vote in favour of the Iraq war. Over 280,000 have been killed in Iraq ever since the war5. During the war itself, over 150,000 were killed, and the escalation in violence in the region can be placed on the war as well.

While Joe Biden was vice president, the POTUS, Obama escalated the usage of drone strikes by tenfold. In 2016 alone, Obama’s drone strikes in Afghanistan for example, killed over 1000, in Somalia, which America never even declared war on, over 200 were killed6. Over 100 were killed by American drone strikes in Yemen.

Under Obama, weapons sales were agreed upon with Saudi Arabia during its invasion of Yemen. After almost two years in office, despite his thorough lambasting of prince Mohammed bin Salman and his promise he would not cut arms deals with Saudi Arabia7, more arms sales were approved. Over 150,000 have been murdered since the start of the war. 

Biden’s Relationship With Zionism

Joe Biden’s support for Israel is nothing more than a cold and calculated position. In 1986, after praising America’s aid to Israel as one of the best investments ever made, Joe Biden infamously said, “Were there not an Israel, the United States of America would have to invent an Israel.”8 Of course, Israel was also a largely British and European invention of settler colonialism. Regardless, for Biden, all that matters in a deal is that more profits flood in for the war industry, no matter how much blood is needed to oil the wheels. This is clear from the approval of an over 14 billion dollar aid bill to Israel during its terrorist invasion of the statelet of Gaza.

The Plans For Gaza Must Be Opposed

Despite Israel’s increasingly wanton acts of violence in Gaza, the mass bombing of hospitals, of United Nations shelters, of schools, and of even graves (Perhaps the IDF has concluded that using the miraculous technology at their disposal Palestinian fighters have begun recruiting zombies), Biden’s support of Israel has not changed. 

Where Biden has differed on Netanyahu is very important to highlight, as Israel is the junior partner in their bloody alliance. Joe Biden has made comments recently in support of putting the Palestinian Authority in charge of Gaza after the war, saying “There needs to be a Palestinian authority. There needs to be a path to a Palestinian state.”9 Only a day ago, the Palestinian Authority said that they would be interested in playing a role in Gaza if the US properly backs a 2 state solution10

Biden is attempting to paint this as a necessary change to keep “extremists”, such as Hamas out of Palestine. But, we should be absolutely clear, Hamas has become synonymous with the entire opposition force of Palestine. Every single political party, group, etc which is not part of the increasingly isolated Fatah camp has been either branded a terrorist or lumped together with Hamas to paint Palestinians as bloodthirsty Islamists similar to ISIS fighters. Such comparisons are absolutely shameless, we should note that extremists such as ISIS do not even support Palestinian liberation because they do not recognise the moral authority of any modern Arab nations. 

The Palestinian Authority has become an unchecked dictatorship that regularly murders and silences any opposition. Edward Said rang the alarm bells even in the 1990s, describing Arafat as increasingly becoming a dictator11. Fatah has not even won an election for decades, they have roughly the same level of support as Hamas – by no measure of democracy is the Palestinian Authority the body that should be ruling Gaza or anywhere. There has already been an assassination attempt on Abbas since the start of this war and a mutiny by P.A. security forces12. The rank-and-file of Fatah itself is unhappy with Abbas’ and the leadership’s compromising attitude towards Israel, even at this time.

If the P.A. is put into power in Gaza, it will be put into power, once again, as a junior partner of the Zionist regime, it will be put into power upon the mass graves of the entirety of Palestinian political society, ranging from opposition groups within the PLO itself, within Fatah itself, and as well as those outside the PLO. The expansion of settlements will not end, and as the war floats once again into the background, much of the world will forget. Palestinians will suffer as the slow genocide rolls on. There is only one solution: A secular, democratic Palestine, from the river to the sea, and we must vigorously push against Netanyahu or Biden’s plans for Palestine.

  1. Daniel Boffey, Shaun Walker, Philip Oltermann. “Biden: ‘butcher’ Putin cannot be allowed to stay in power,” The Guardian, 27 March 2022.
  2. Christopher Woodhouse & Press Association. “There should be ‘no red carpet’ for US Special Envoy in Belfast, Palestine rally told,” Belfast Telegraph, 28 Oct 2023.
  3. Jeremy Scahill. “1970S: Vietnam War”, The Intercept 27 Apr 2023.
  4. David Stein. “The Untold Story Joe Biden Pushed Ronald Reagan to Ramp up Incarceration Not The Other Way Around,” The Intercept, Sep 17 2019.
  5. Neta C. Crawford. “Blood and Treasure: United States Budgetary Costs and Human Costs of 20 Years of War in Iraq and Syria, 2003-2023”  Costs of War, Mar 15, 2023.
  6. Jessica Purkiss, Jack Serle. “Obama’s Cover War In Numbers: Ten Times More Strikes Than Bush,” Jan 17 2017.,to%2057%20strikes%20under%20Bush.
  7. Jeff Abramson. “Biden Urged to Halt Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia,” November 2022.,months%20of%20the%20Trump%20administration.
  8. Middle East Eye. “Joe Biden’s long history of pro-Israel statements.” YouTube, uploaded by Middle East Eye, 21 May 2021.
  9. Peter Baker. “Biden Warns Israel Not to Occupy Gaza,” New York Times Oct 15 2023.
  10. Mark Landler. “Palestinian Authority Open to Gaza Role if U.S. Backs 2-State Solution” New York Times Nov 9, 2023.
  11. Edward Said. “Edward Said interview (1994).” YouTube, uploaded by Manufacturing Intellect, 6 June 2016,
  12. Palestine Chronicle Staff. “24 Hours Ultimatum to Mahmoud Abbas – Who are ‘Sons of Abu Jandal’?” Palestine Chronicle Nov 6, 2023.

In a world which really is topsy-turvy, the true is a moment of the false

According to Guy Debord, organiser of the Situationist International (SI) anti-capitalist movement, “in a world which really is topsy-turvy, the true is a moment of the false”. What appears as true is false; what is false is true. We, students, see this everywhere, including in our universities and student unions.

What use is theory for activists? 

Theory. The word conjures up, in the space of left-wing discourse, the image of an isolated bunch of intellectuals discussing arcane and abstract concepts. The term is used and abused to mean anything from the dogmatic principles of political pamphlets to tomes of economic and philosophical writing inaccessible to any but the most erudite among us. It is not unreasonable to ask any student of left-wing theory “but what use is it for us in the real world!?”.