Pablo Picasso Self portrait 1965
Have we seen some sort of low-point, or is it a summit, or defining moment, today, something we might want to remember? 85-year-old Jewish hostage Yocheved Lifshitz was released by Hamas, and from a very limited pool of information, two sides still managed to make two entirely different stories. The pro-west-pro-Israel side had her saying she was beaten and mistreated and locked underground, while the other side quoted her stating her captors were very gentle, tended to all her needs, made sure she had the medical attention she needed etc. When they released her, she thanked them and shook their hands.
I bring this up because it feels like a recent upgrade/esclation of the topic of mis/disinformation. And I am sure we will see much more of it. I have an eery feeling that we are gettig close(r) to a fast spreading war. As Doug Macgregor reiterated in his interview with Tucker Carlson , it’s painfully simple, really. If and when Israel enters Gaza with ground troops, a number of things are sure to happen. First, they will be shot to bits. Second, they will be killing hundreds of thousands of Palestinian civilians. Yes, both these things can happen at the same time.
But Hezbollah have already said this would draw them into the conflict. Now you have fighting in Gaza in south/west Israel, and in Lebanon to its north. But if Hezbollah gets involved, so will Iran. And with Iran involved, it will be hard for Türkiye and Russia to remain on the sidelines. At any given point in this timeline -take your pick- the US might enter the party. They have the warships in the eastern Med as we speak, and if Israel gets obliterated, they would be very tempted to join in.
Now, the Israeli army doesn’t appear all too strong. They’ve just been bothering -and killing- women and children for decades, not well-trained opposition forces. But they have nukes. Over two-thirds of US -potential- conscripts are overweight, and overall that army – except for a few choice divisions- is a mess. That’s why people like Joe Biden and Lindsey Graham shout so loud in Washington, to hide that. But they have nukes.
To make this a bigger problem, so do the “other side”. If Israel faces the entire Arab world, and that’s a real risk if they enter Gaza, and the stepping stones outlined above start falling, what good are its nukes going to do? Use nukes means you lose. The other side’s nukes are aimed at you as we speak. But Bibi and the extremists that prop him up don’t seem to want to understand that.
We could have the spirit that Yithzak Rabin brought to the situation, and talk about a two-state solution (that was UN-negotiated and agreed in 1947!), and it’s still not too late, but that means Israel would have to get rid of Bibi and his ilk. Or we risk those guys throwing us all into the fire.
Putin just got back from Beijing, where he certainly had extensive talks with Xi Jinping about all this, and we just have to wait on what they decided. Neither are terribly eager to get involved, but they will if they must. I’m thinking maybe now might be a good moment. Before it takes actual military force, but when you can still do it by appyling diplomatic -and economic- pressure. I understand that letting the West blow up itself sounds good, but it could get very messy very quickly. They’d be better off selling us oil and gas and gadgets. And they know it.
Their biggest problem appears to be the refusal of Israel and the US to understand how much their respective powers have diminished, their military prowess. And that is hard; to make people acknowledge they lost it all along the way. Because then, if power is your thing, what do you have left? There are plenty guys in both Israel and America who think: Après moi, le déluge. If I can’t be king, Drop the sucker.
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