.. and two viewings for year’s beginning

1 Jan

Welcome to 2024!

My previous post – three viewings at year’s end – omitted, other than a link to my December 28 post on Yemen’s magnificent show of Palestine solidarity at the Bab el-Mandeb choke point, the ongoing Holocaust. Here I return to it by way of two very different videos.

The first, from Electronic Intifada, offers a worm’s eye view of how disadvantaged Israeli ground forces are in Gaza. Its unspeakable criminality aside, round-the-clock bunker-bomb reduction of the Strip to rubble has created the perfect conditions for Hamas 1 – battle hardened .. lightly but effectively armed .. tactically agile .. fighting with the fearlessness of a people robbed, scorned and with all alternatives exhausted, on terrain whose every street corner and flattened building is home turf – to engage an IDF more used to murdering journalists and stone-throwing youths than confronting, in an invader’s graveyard, an enemy who fights back.

And that’s before we even get to the tunnels. Stalingrad – meet Vietnam!

How can a weapon knocked out for a couple of hundred bucks immobilise an Abrams tanks that boosted General Dynamics’ share prices but cost the US tax payer millions? 2 How does a made in Gaza shell for a shoulder held RPG launcher draw on the same physics as the airbags in your car, to slice through twenty-six inches of armour steel? And how does the simple act of drawing a curtain end, in a flash of light, the lives of IDF boys too new to know better? Without sounding geeky or, worse, detached, the presenters use Hamas-captured video to answer such questions and deliver levels of operational insight beyond anything I’ve seen.

Be warned though. Things gets graphic.



My second offering is radically different. It begins with a compelling refutation of the notion – beloved not only by Netanyahu and his fellow Knesset fascists, but of the Neocons still calling a frighteningly high share of the shots in DC – that Iran is author of every move made by the three aitches – Hamas, Hezbollah and Houthi – known to our systemically corrupt media as proxies, and to him as allies with full agency.

(Let me offer a word of new year’s advice. Whenever you hear that such and such a leader is the New Hitler, and such and such a state Public Enemy Number One, always ask: cui bono?  Do as Hercules Poirot would do, and follow the money. Same goes for the leaders sold to us as Good Guys; the countries – invariably Western – as driven by the highest ideals. Whose interests are served by our buying such narratives?)

Mohammad  Marinda is impressive. Moving from the demonising of Iran, through the nitty grit of regional politics, to a wider world whose axis is fast shifting, he combines a wealth of culture and intellect with command of relevant facts. More than this, he exudes a depth and fulness of compassionate humanity; the real kind, the kind strikingly absent – though we have to see its presence in a Dr Marinda to grasp the extent of its deficiency elsewhere – in Western narrative managers.

My favourite moment? His observation that, in hollowing out its working and middle classes – a subject on which he and Michael Hudson would find much common ground – America, with the rest of the West not far behind, has assumed one of the most glaring features of “undeveloped” countries: extraordinary wealth for a tiny few, economic insecurity for the many.

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  1. For current purposes all references to ‘Hamas’ are shorthand for its military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades.
  2. “… cost the US tax payer millions …”  has me playing to the gallery. For reasons set out 11 months ago by my good friend Bryan Gocke – see Who pays for the US war machine? – the Abrams tank under advisement has been paid for by the whole wide world in tithes collected by way of a fiat dollar detached from gold but still the global reserve currency. That these tithes are now in jeopardy, with fearful implications for the rentier oligarchs who beneath a  veneer of democracy rule the USA, sheds no small light on why it has of late been strutting the world stage with even more aggressive bombast than usual.

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