So deeply and for so long has British newzine, The Economist, descended into self-caricature that I’ve come to suspect it’s in reality a cunning false flag operation by dissident elements to make a fast waning Western Empire look ridiculous.
Take the above specimen, screen-grabbed just minutes ago. Calling the genocide now in full swing an Israel-Gaza war is like calling the Holocaust a Nazi-Jew war. It implies a preposterous equivalence of forces. Here’s how Caitlin Johnstone opens today:
The premise behind this current onslaught and those which preceded it is that you can bomb people into consenting to oppression and apartheid. That you can abuse them into accepting abuse. The whole entire argument is that if you bomb and shoot and teargas and beat and imprison enough Palestinians with enough aggression, eventually they will see the error of their ways and accept the status quo you are trying to impose upon them.
This is of course stupid, and it is of course a lie. The idea was never really to abuse Palestinians into accepting abuse, that’s just the cover story; the real goal has always been to abuse them to the point where you can justify eliminating them. To push an inconvenient people into an impossible corner and then when they push back hard enough say “Well, we did all we can and we learned you just can’t help these savages. They’re going to have to go.” 1
But back to the Economist, which – like a stopped clock, twice a day – gets one thing right. The USA is pivotal to Israel’s ethnic cleansing of Gaza. Pivotal too to the war in Ukraine and the one impending in the South China Sea.
500 years of western ascendance are drawing to a close. Compounding this is the West’s financialisation and de-industrialisation. Should it lose its financial stranglehold on the global south – an outcome synchronised by the US dollar’s loss of global reserve status as the BRICS economies grow in number, confidence and clout – its immediate prospects are bleak.
This is the overarching context for Gaza, for Ukraine and for Taiwan. “Only connect”, urged E M Forster. Has ex US Marine turned empire critic Brian Berletic read Howards End? Concluding his podcast yesterday he issues, at 31:18, a plea EMF would in principle approve:
Just remember the bigger picture and how none of this would be possible without US support. Without US support Ukraine would never have even wanted to provoke this conflict with Russia. Without US support Israel would be utterly incapable of pursuing this policy of belligerence against the Palestinian people. They would have to resort to rational and humane diplomacy and the same goes for Taiwan, America’s proxy of choice within Chinese territory. Taiwan as it exists today would be impossible without US sponsorship for decades so the common denominator in all three areas is the US and its ambitions to use these proxies against its adversaries in the region and toward a greater global policy of trying to reassert the sort of hegemony it enjoyed at the end of World War II and again at the end of the Cold War.
Canny words. See what preceded them as this highly informed and effective communicator turns a military analyst’s eye on the ongoing disaster for Ukraine, before doing the same with both the Israeli strike on the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital – as Tel Aviv makes absurd attempts to ‘prove’ it was Hamas wot dunnit 4 – and IDF boots-on-the-ground plans for Northern Gaza.
* * *
- “They’re going to have to go” See yesterday’s post: “Gaza should be wiped clean with bombs”.
- Seven years ago I wrote a post, Perilous Days, on the dangers posed by the US Empire in the Middle East, South China Sea and Russia’s borderland. There was much I didn’t know back then but, though I say so myself as shouldn’t, it stands up remarkably well.
- See also this on WSWS today:
US President Joe Biden’s speech Thursday night on national television was a demand for vast new military spending to expand the ongoing US-NATO proxy war against Russia in Ukraine and to pour billions more into Israeli aggression against Gaza and its suppression of the Palestinian people.
Biden’s speech was not a serious attempt to convince anyone or rationally explain US foreign policy. It consisted of a series of non sequiturs strung one after the other, with no coherent argument binding them together. Biden drew a parallel between Hamas and Russian President Vladimir Putin that, objectively, did not make the slightest sense.
But as he spoke, it became clear that the main aim of the speech was to “utilize the war in Gaza” to procure a “massive spending bill for the war in Ukraine” to prop up the Zelensky government following the failure of its summer offensive.
Indeed, the New York Times has reported that $60 billion of the $100 billion spending bill Biden proposed in the speech will go to fight the war in Ukraine against Russia. This figure is more than twice Biden’s initial request of $24 billion in August. Some $14 billion will go to Israel.
Despite its rambling and incoherent nature, the main import of the speech is clear: America is hurtling towards global war, and the president of the United States, the so-called “commander-in-chief,” is demanding $100 billion in additional funds, on top of the $1 trillion already proposed for all military spending, to finance this explosion of military aggression.
Unmentioned in the speech, but widely reported in advance of Friday’s formal request to Congress, is the fact that Biden will also seek billions more in US military aid to Taiwan—an effort to provoke further conflict with China—and to militarize the US-Mexico border and intensify US intervention throughout Latin America …
- One person who is taken in, or purports to be, by Tel Aviv’s “absurd attempts to ‘prove’ it was Hamas” is Melanie Phillips. Writing on October 19 in Arutz Sheva, aka Israel National News, under the header, The West’s 5th Column, Britain’s rottweiler for Israel begins:
For several hours this week, the BBC, The New York Times, The Financial Times and other prominent mainstream media outlets claimed that Israel had bombed and destroyed Gaza City’s Al-Ahli hospital, killing hundreds of patients and staff.
This was a lie. A Palestinian Arab rocket fired at Israel intended to murder Israeli civilians had misfired and fallen into the hospital’s parking lot, causing an explosion and killing an as-yet-unknown number of people.
The lie, however, immediately ignited the Arab tinderbox. Mobs attacked American and Israeli embassies across the region.
In Berlin, a synagogue was attacked by assailants shouting “revenge for the hospital.” In Rome, a Jewish school was evacuated following bomb threats. In Tunisia, mobs filmed themselves setting fire to a historic synagogue.
Immediately after the hospital explosion, the obvious question was whether it had been caused by an Israeli missile or a Hamas rocket that went astray.
But media outlets didn’t wait to discover the answer. Instead, they uncritically repeated and amplified to millions of viewers and readers the claim by Palestinian Arab sources that it was an Israeli missile.
Well I did wait, Mel. And now I’m satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the IDF is indeed guilty. Feel free to respond to the dissection of Israel’s ‘evidence’ – not even internally consistent – by, among others, Brian Berletic in the above podcast!