Who benefits from more death and destruction in the Middle East?
It’s easy to jump on bandwagons in righteous indignation against the latest demons guilty of unspeakable crimes against humanity. Alas recent history has taught us over and over again that we cannot trust the objectivity and impartiality of the mainstream media to verify the authenticity of some of the most gruesome videos of crimes attributed to either side.
The technocratic coup of early 2020 that saw the roll-out of medical martial law amid a coordinated propaganda campaign gave rise to a new alliance among critical thinkers. We buried our differences over complex geopolitical matters in a battle between the Biotech Mafia and natural humanity. For three short years, the Middle East conflict almost disappeared from our TV screens with blanket wall-to-wall propaganda over novel respiratory viruses, Ukraine and climate change. Many heroes of the fledgling medical truth movement such as Mark Steyn and Robert F Kennedy Jnr. have sided firmly with the Israeli government and given their unconditional support for any military actions it may have to take to defend Israel’s right to exist. I find this stance very disturbing in the light of the recent Ukrainian quagmire for a heavy-handed invasion of Gaza could well backfire, with hundreds of thousands of deaths on both sides. In an increasingly unstable world, we should never assume the Collective West will always win. Let us not forget Benjamin Netanyahu used his own people as guinea pigs by enforcing one of the strictest covid regimes.
Sadly, many on the other side of the Palestinian debate fell for the covid psyop hook, line and sinker. As much as I believe Israel has committed many war crimes against the Palestinian people (namely the descendants of the region’s pre-1948 inhabitants), I can’t help but notice the Palestinian liberation movement’s close links with the illiberal forces of Islamic fundamentalism and the neo-Bolshevik left with many still donning facemasks. How can they advocate self-determination for Palestinians if they want to abolish all nation states? How can they support the religious rights of Muslims if they also want to impose gender-bending ideology on young children? Besides, does self-determination mean anything at all if we do not have fundamental freedoms such as bodily autonomy or intellectual freedom? Did Socialist Worker sellers care much about free speech when censorship only affected dissident scientists and gender-critical feminists? Oddly the same BBC that failed to report massive anti-lockdown protests in its main news bulletins and spent countless millions on propaganda against antivaxxers, gave extensive coverage of the pro-Palestinian demonstrations in London, Glasgow and elsewhere yesterday. Far be it from me to praise the BBC, but its journalists have questioned the morality of collective punishment and interviewed many critics of the Israeli government, much to the chagrin of staunch Zionists. By contrast, on covid we only ever heard one side of the argument with only guarded critiques of lockdowns, but not a whisper of uncontested criticism of the mRNA injections.
On the subject of corporate disinformation, who would butcher innocent babies and senior citizens to defeat an imperialist occupier? In the age of high-definition TV screens bringing selective heart-rending imagery of atrocities into living rooms across the westernised world, it beggars belief that any combatants could not be aware that beheading new-born babies would be a public relations disaster and would inevitably embolden Israel with the full support of its Western allies to crush Hamas and Hezbollah by inflicting collective punishment on all Gaza residents. Two wrongs do not make one right when it comes to targeting civilians. If it’s wrong for Hamas to target revellers at a music festival, it’s equally wrong to bomb densely populated areas of the Gaza strip where collateral damage is unavoidable or to force over a million Gazans to leave their homes within 48 hours despite the lack of infrastructure in neighbouring Egypt.
The claims and counterclaims on both sides of the decades-old conflict over the self-determination and livelihoods of rival ethno-religious groups have exposed the ideological hypocrisy of many mainstream politicians. For once, the progressive alliance of green, social democratic and neoliberal parties that championed global convergence with the phasing out of nation states are divided. How can they advocate open borders and multiculturalism in the West, but also support ethnic cleansing in the Middle East, either to defend Israel’s right to exist or to evict Jewish settlers on land once owned by Palestinians. Alas lasting peace will only come to the Levant when the diverse Muslim, Christian and Jewish communities can reconcile their differences and agree to difficult compromises. Historically, Christian and Jewish communities were spread over a wide area of the Ottoman Empire, which would later become Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine. All this changed with the emergence of Israel as a Jewish state, the protracted Lebanese civil war and the rise of Islamic fundamentalism amid a battle for control over copious oil reserves and decades of Western interventionism. The Middle East is probably the world’s most militarised region. Saudi Arabia alone, spends more than the UK or France on its armed forces. Tiny Qatar has a huge $15 billion defence budget representing 7% of its GDP and Israel spends around $23 billion on defence or 4.5% of its GDP, but can count on generous logistical support from the US. Yet despite its massive military budget and substantial soft power, the world’s leading superpower has suffered a series of embarrassing setbacks in Afghanistan and Syria. Their long occupation of Iraq succeeded only in enriching military contractors like Haliburton, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, General Dynamics, Raytheon and McDonnell Douglas, and fomenting Islamic militias like ISIS and Al Qaeda. Over $100 billions of military aid has failed dismally to thwart the Russian occupation of Eastern Ukraine. With Saudi Arabia now selling oil in yuan and rupees and poised to join an expanded BRICS alliance, the petrodollar era is over.
Slowing but surely, we’re inching towards a post-American world. While the Anglo-American cultural legacy will live on in the same way as Latin survived the fall of the Roman Empire, the global Deep State owes no special allegiance to North Americans or Western Europeans. Indeed, Israel itself may have outlived its purpose as an outpost of the US-centred world order that grew out of the ashes of the Second World War. Benjamin Netanyahu’s government may soon find itself isolated if it overplays its hand in the coming ground offensive against the Gaza insurgency, scuppering any chance of reconciliation and potentially drawing other big players such as Iran and Russia into the fray, with the tacit support of China.
I’d much prefer a more innocent world with a mosaic of diverse self-governing communities living side by side with full mutual respect for each other’s different ways of life. I’d love to believe in a peace-loving democratic Israel besieged by primitive Arab neighbours eager to “drive the Jews into sea”. Alas today’s Levant has been shaped by centuries of rival empires, rapid urbanisation, immense oil wealth and, dare I say, population growth. The latter challenge may be one of the most controversial, especially in the light of the recent covid regime that saw us divided into essential and non-essential workers and reclassified human beings as bio-hazards. Saudi Arabia’s population has grown from 3 million in 1950 to 36 million today with most of its citizens concentrated in a few urban areas surrounded by inhospitable desert. The people count of Israel (without the West Bank and Gaza) has grown from just 1.4 million in 1950 to 9.6 million today. That increases reliance on expensive irrigation systems and energy-intensive desalination plants to tackle water scarcity. While the nomadic herders of North Yemen can cope with rudimentary technology, the 2.3 million residents of the compact Gaza Strip cannot survive long without clean drinking water, electricity and imported resources essential to modern life. A complete blockade of Gaza is effectively a death sentence for those unable to flee or take advantage of emergency supplies.
We live in dangerous times and my voice in the wilderness will ineluctably fall on deaf ears. However, only an immediate cease-fire agreed by the Israeli Government, its Arab neighbours, Iran and Hamas can save us from an all-out war that could kill millions more and potentially go nuclear.