The USS Gerald Ford, the world’s largest warship ever, is now in the Eastern Mediterranean
Should we banish XL Bullies, or just these canine killers’ owners? Pending part two of A way forward for Palestine? do recall the claim in part one that …
Washington is uniquely culpable. For two decades it could have used its supremacy to exert ‘tough love’ pressure on Israel to negotiate in good faith but that didn’t happen …
Only two decades? I do not say Washington’s power to resolve the Palestine Question began with the collapse of the USSR. It goes back further, to the ’70s OPEC crises, when America took over from Britain and France as top guardian and beneficiary of Western interests in a region not only abundant in oil, but of immense geostrategic significance as gateway both to the far east and a Eurasia viewed for half a millennium as a threat to Western supremacy. But Soviet meltdown did open a window in which Washington might single handedly have pulled off a just solution. For reasons implied in this paragraph, it had no real interest in doing so.
… and bear it in mind while reading Caitlin Johnstone’s post today:
In a bizarre new article titled “White House frustrated by Israel’s onslaught but sees few options,” The [Jeff Bezos owned] Washington Post reports that the Biden administration believes Israel has gone too far and is killing too many civilians in Gaza, but can’t do anything about it.
The Post’s Yasmeen Abutaleb writes the following, citing anonymous US officials:
As Israel’s ground invasion of Gaza escalates, the Biden administration finds itself in a precarious position: Administration officials say Israel’s counterattack against Hamas has been too severe, too costly in civilian casualties, and lacking a coherent endgame, but they are unable to exert significant influence on America’s closest ally in the Middle East to change its course.
U.S. efforts to get Israel to scale back its counterattack in response to the Oct. 7 killings by Hamas that left at least 1,400 Israelis dead have failed or fallen short. The Biden administration urged Israel against a ground invasion, privately asked it to consider proportionality in its attacks, advocated a higher priority on avoiding civilian deaths, and called for a humanitarian pause — only for Israeli officials to dismiss or reject all those suggestions …
… In recent days, they said, the administration has become deeply uncomfortable with some of Israel’s tactics. Last week, Israel bombed the densely packed Jabalya refugee camp two days in a row, an attack that Israel said killed a Hamas leader but that also killed dozens of civilians. On Friday, an Israeli airstrike hit near the entrance of Al Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, a strike the Israeli military said was aimed at an ambulance ‘being used by a Hamas terrorist cell.’ And Israeli authorities recently expelled thousands of Palestinians who had been in Israel for work, sending them back into Gaza even as it continues to bomb the enclave.
All this helpless hand-wringing is exposed for the ridiculous bullshit it plainly is a few paragraphs down in the same article:
“Washington is Israel’s largest military backer, and the White House has asked Congress for an additional $14 billion in aid for Israel in the wake of the Hamas attacks. But administration officials and advisers say the levers the United States theoretically has over Israel, such as conditioning military aid on making the military campaign more targeted, are nonstarters, partly because they would be so politically unpopular in any administration and partly because, aides say, Biden himself has a personal attachment to Israel.”
So the Biden administration does in fact have tons of leverage to stop genocide in Gaza, it just doesn’t want to because it would be “politically unpopular” and because “Biden himself has a personal attachment to Israel.”
He does indeed have a personal attachment to Israel, has proudly described himself as a Zionist, and is on record as saying if Israel didn’t exist the US would have to invent an Israel to advance its interests in the middle east. 1
In summary, this Washington Post article says Biden is powerless to stop the genocide because he really likes the people doing it.
We’ve been asked to believe a lot of very stupid things since this onslaught began, but the idea of the Biden administration powerless to stop the genocide it is directly arming and supplying has to be the absolute stupidest.
Of course the US can stop this! It is pouring weapons into Israel on a near daily basis; billions of dollars with billions more to come, and is assisting Israeli operations in Gaza with drones and special operations forces while US warships swarm the eastern Mediterranean. 2 All of this can easily be pulled away if Israel refuses to stop murdering children by the thousands in an indiscriminate bombing campaign that isn’t even doing meaningful damage to Hamas.
What’s that? You didn’t know this murderous bombing campaign is doing no meaningful damage to Hamas? Well let’s clear that up then.
A new report by The New York Times cites an anonymous US military official saying that Israel “has not come close” to destroying Hamas leadership or even its mid-level command:
One senior U.S. defense official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive details, said the operations so far have not come close to destroying Hamas’s senior and middle leadership ranks.”
This revelation is devastating to the Israeli narrative about what it has been doing in Gaza. Israel said on Thursday it had bombed some 12,000 targets since October 7, and that number would be even higher by now, especially with unprecedented levels of strikes reported by people on the ground. There are reportedly only some 20–25,000 members of Hamas in total, which means the number of airstrikes is fast approaching the total number of Hamas members in existence, yet going from this New York Times report no meaningful damage has been done to Hamas itself.
This despite the fact we are told Hamas makes prevalent use of “human shields”, hiding their units in clusters of civilians for protection. How has Israel managed to kill some ten thousand Palestinians in Gaza without managing to damage Hamas if its fighters are hiding amongst them? You’d think by sheer law of averages they’d have taken out some significant leaders with all that civilian-massacring?
The WashPo report on Biden’s imaginary powerlessness to stop this massacre makes a bit more sense when you look at an NBC News article a few days earlier, which reports that White House leaders are concerned about an emerging “narrative” that Biden backs the killing in Gaza.
NBC News reports the following:
Biden and his top aides have in the past week adjusted the administration’s public message to emphasize concern for Palestinian civilians and U.S. efforts to get them humanitarian relief. The shift follows growing criticism at home and abroad of Biden’s decision to swiftly and staunchly back Israel’s military response to Hamas while initially speaking less forcefully about protecting Palestinians; meanwhile, images of civilian casualties in Gaza continue to ricochet around the world.
“‘If this really goes bad, we want to be able to point to our past statements”, a senior U.S. official said. The official said the administration is particularly worried about a narrative taking hold that Biden supports all Israeli military actions and that U.S.-provided weapons have been used to kill Palestinian civilians, many of them women and children. The Defense Department has said the U.S. is not putting any limits or restrictions on the weapons it’s providing Israel.
So it’s a safe bet the anonymous US officials who spoke to Washington Post about how “frustrated” the White House is with Israel’s unbridled murderousness are White House officials trying to manage the public narrative about Biden. They’re trying to let the Biden White House wash its hands of this genocidal massacre like Pontius Pilate, even as it backs that massacre to the hilt. 3
I have said it before and I’ll say it again: the US is every bit as culpable for the murder of all these civilians as Israel. Don’t let the empire’s narrative managers try to tell you different.
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- “… if Israel didn’t exist the US would have to invent an Israel to advance its interests in the middle east …” See Israel: a beachhead in the middle east.
- “… US warships swarm the Eastern Med …” – see Floating pointlessness …
- In this context Team Biden’s narrative managers are doing more than business-as-usual spin. In the event – off the scale unlikely, I grant you – of US leaders finding their rightful place in the dock for war crimes, evidence, however transparently specious, of a rabid client state beyond control would form a major strand of their defence.