You know we’re in an increasingly extreme world when a young American airman burns himself to death outside the Israeli embassy in Washington to protest Israel’s nightmarish war in Gaza. (“Today, I am planning to engage in an extreme act of protest against the genocide of the Palestinian people,” he wrote in an email to the media before setting himself aflame.) And given that President Biden and his administration have backed just about every last murderous action taken by the Israeli government and ensured that the American-supplied weaponry Israel is using keeps on flowing, it’s small wonder that he’s finding himself in political trouble.
Honestly, when you consider how Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and crew have dealt with their utter devastation of Gaza without, like so many countries that have committed striking crimes, in any way denying what they’re doing or trying to cover it up, it’s as if Hamas were running their propaganda campaign. And sadly enough, nothing seems to be improving in that largely destroyed 25-mile strip of land, whose population has been almost totally displaced. The casualties in Gaza only continue to grow as ever more of its inhabitants find themselves lacking the basics of life and in danger of dying, while the 1.4 million or so refugees now sheltering in the southern city of Rafah are to be “allowed” to flee yet again (but not return to their homes) before Israel launches full-scale operations there.
And Washington, with barely a whimper of protest, has backed this nightmare to the hilt. No wonder, then, that, as TomDispatch regular Juan Cole, who also runs the must-read Informed Comment website, explains today, longtime American foe Iran has been making hay while the sun shines (but only on Iran) in the Middle East. Tom
How the Gaza Conflict Made Democracy’s Name Mud for Millions
In the midst of Israel's ongoing devastation of Gaza, one major piece of Middle Eastern news has yet to hit the headlines. In a face-off that, in a sense, has lasted since the pro-American Shah of Iran was overthrown by theocratic clerics in 1979, Iran finally seems to be besting the United States in a significant fashion across the region. It's a story that needs to be told.
“Hit Iran now. Hit them hard” was typical advice offered by Republican Senator Lindsey Graham after a drone flown by an Iran-aligned Iraqi Shiite militia killed three American servicemen in northern Jordan on January 28th. The well-heeled Iran War Lobby in Washington has, in fact, been stridently calling for nothing short of a U.S. invasion of that country, accusing Tehran of complicity in Hamas's October 7th terrorist attack on Israel.Read More