The US, in a continued demonstration of the degree of enbubblement of what passes for its leadership, seems to believe it still has the force and soft power to be able to
bully talk its way out of its geopolitical messes. Yet this week we have stunning examples of how critical players in the rest to the world no longer buy what the US is selling. The gap between the American establishment’s connection to reality and facts on the ground has opened up to a yawning chasm as the Arab world, aa Jordan cancelled a Biden summit with its king Abduallah II plus PLO chief Mahmoud Abbas and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi in response to Israel’s shelling of Al-Ahli Arab hospital. Not only are they rejecting the attempt to shift blame for the attack to Hamas (we’ll soon address the “rogue shell” claim), but also the bigger pretense behind that, that the US is incapable of, as opposed to unwilling to, applying the choke chain to Israel.1
Even the Western media are not much on board with the Israeli and Biden Administration pretense that somehow Hamas dunnit, when Israel has been trying to herd Palestinians out of northern Gaza and specifically attempted to order the evacuation of the hospital. Oh, and this follows Israel ordering the UN to evacuate from Gaza in 24 hours and then shelling its warehouse there:
This is a UN warehouse in Gaza where humanitarian aid was stored. a number of UN aid workers killed in the bombings with dozens of Israeli hostages. but Israel gets away with bombing civilians, aid workers, and their own people; and gets portrayed as the good guys in the media? pic.twitter.com/oukILDQ9WO
— Micheal (@Jumpnfungi) October 17, 2023
To wind back to just before the hospital attack, first, we had the highly visible snub of Secretary of State Anthony Blinken by a nominal ally, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal Bin Farhan, by keeping Blinken cooling his heels for hours. Blinken got a less impolite but still chilly reception in Egypt and Jordan.
Then Biden decided to go to the Middle East, as if he would be able to get Egypt and Jordan to reverse their firm position that they are not taking in Palestinian refugees. Not only do they not want to enable ethnic cleansing or take on aneconomic burden, they also don’t want the militant contingent operating in and from their territories.
Israel has been acting as if it’s indifferent to forcing Palestinians out of Israel versus eliminating them in place. There are credible accounts of Israel not only refusing to allow humanitarian aid in from Egypt and foreign passport holders out, but also multiple Isreali shellings of the crossing point. It does not take much in the way of discernment to see that denying Palestinians in Gaza water and food is a death sentence.
But even with rising international outrage over these war crimes, the shelling of the hospital was an escalation too far. It’s derailed even the feeble US attempts to get in front of this crisis. Israel, being stymied in its desire to clear Gaza by its obvious inability to do so (lack of experience, lack of equipment, reluctance to take the baked-in high casualties) instead appears to have settled on Plan B of shelling and starving it until everyone there dies.
To clear up “whodunnit”:
People should probably be more aware that according to United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Israel hit this same hospital just a few days ago.https://t.co/PYgyf9GhWO pic.twitter.com/4rwd3PfRpP
— Caitlin Johnstone (@caitoz) October 18, 2023
.@HananyaNaftali proudly boasted that Israel bombed Gaza’s ah-Ahli hospital before deleting and two minutes later lying that Hamas did it. He works directly under Netanyahu. pic.twitter.com/6QVS9ZoZhk
— Dan Cohen (@dancohen3000) October 17, 2023
Mass Media Reporters Aren’t Buying Israel’s Hospital Bombing Story
A huge blast in Gaza has destroyed the Al-Ahli Arab Hospital, killing hundreds of people. The exact death toll is still unknown.
Details of who is responsible for the explosion are being hotly debated by all…
— Caitlin Johnstone (@caitoz) October 18, 2023
Recall that Jacob Dreizin reported that JDAM kits were being sent in bulk to Israel:
🇵🇸🇮🇱🚨‼️ BREAKING: The hospital was hit with a very high probability by a JDAM bomb.
– This means it was the Israeli airforce.
– This means it was a targeted attack.
No words …
— Lord Bebo (@MyLordBebo) October 17, 2023
🚨EXPERT ANALYSIS: WHO BOMBED THE AL AHLI BAPTIST HOSPITAL IN GAZA?
Marine Corps Veteran expert analysis of the recent bombing incident at the hospital reveals critical findings:
– Fuel Explosion Duration: The initial explosion likely lasted 0.5-0.75 seconds, emitting light for… pic.twitter.com/BtCShh5JI2
— Mario Nawfal (@MarioNawfal) October 17, 2023
I also reported extensively from Raqqa during the war against ISIS, and from Ukraine during the battle of Kyiv.
No Palestinian group has a missile powerful enough to level a hospital. It was a fucking JDAM. https://t.co/mRhsjvpcLq
— Seth Harp (@sethharpesq) October 17, 2023
This is not yet confirmed as of posting time but should go viral shortly if this rumor pans out:
BREAKING ‼️Audio between control and the f16 pilot who dropped JDAM on the Christian hospital has been leaked. Audio is allegedly damning. Pilot celebrates the kills.
Will post as soon as I get hold of it.
— KimJongWins (@KimJongwins) October 18, 2023
While as far as I can tell, the Western media has yet to take this press conference up, the number of views on Twitter indicate it is getting traction in the Algosphere, and one has to think elsewhere:
🇵🇸🇮🇱 #BREAKING: The Director of The Al-Ahli National Baptist Hospital in Gaza Delivers A Speech Surrounded By Dead Bodies.
“The IDF told us, ‘we warned you yesterday with two bombs.
So why have you not evacuated the hospital until this moment?” pic.twitter.com/yaLGVNmHjR
— Censored Men (@CensoredMen) October 17, 2023
Now to the stunning spectacle of the US/Collective West surprise as to the reaction outside the rapidly shrinking US sphere of influence. A new story in the Financial Times, Western rush to back Israel erodes developing countries’ support for Ukraine, makes for good one-stop shopping.
Before we get to the body of the story, let’s deal with the headline claim. Anyone who has been paying attention knows that various votes in the UN intended to condemn Russia have shown lower and lower vote counts supporting that position. US former at least sometimes friendlies Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Argentina joining BRICS is another proof of waning US influence.
In addition, in the 2023 Munich Security Conference, the US invited Global South members to enlist their support for Project Ukraine. That plan backfired as the US/NATO team was told that Ukraine was a European affair and of no concern to the rest of the world….save they were being dragged in via sanctions blowback, specifically denying poor countries access to Russian grain and fertilizer. Recall that the Collective West doubled down on showing its lack of concern about suffering in poor countries by not delivering on its half of the Ukraine grain deal, which included ending sanctions on the Russian agricultural bank to allow for purchase of Russian fertilizer, as well as not barring Russian shipments.
And finally recall that even UN votes are not a great indicator of sentiment outside the US. There have been reports of the US browbeating foreign diplomats, including threatening expulsion of the kids of UN representatives from schools in the US and dinging any applications to US higher education institutions.
Western support for Israel’s assault on Gaza has poisoned efforts to build consensus with significant developing countries on condemning Russia’s war against Ukraine, officials and diplomats have warned…
In the first days after Hamas’s assault, some western diplomats worried that the US was giving carte blanche to Israel to attack Gaza with full force.
That had eroded efforts since Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine to build consensus with leading states in the so-called Global South — such as India, Brazil and South Africa — on the need to uphold a global rules-based order, said more than a dozen western officials.
I have to stop here. Those of you who watch Alexander Mercouris or Alex Christoforu regularly will have seen clips of how Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov is received at various conferences…as in enthusiastically. And as both Putin and Lavrov have taken to saying, no one has the rules for this supposed rules-based order, calling out the US pretense that it means anything more than the US preserving its hegemony.
The story continues:
“We have definitely lost the battle in the Global South,” said one senior G7 diplomat. “All the work we have done with the Global South [over Ukraine] has been lost . . . Forget about rules, forget about world order. They won’t ever listen to us again.”
Many developing countries have traditionally supported the Palestinian cause, seeing it through the prism of self-determination and a push against the global dominance of the US, Israel’s most important backer….
“What we said about Ukraine has to apply to Gaza. Otherwise we lose all our credibility,” the senior G7 diplomat added. “The Brazilians, the South Africans, the Indonesians: why should they ever believe what we say about human rights?”
This comes off as Western diplomats having gotten high on their own PR. The fact that some countries are still trying to maintain a productive relationship with the US can’t be seen as tantamount to support. But the US has been desperate to depict our relations with key players as better than they are, witness in particular China. Chinese officials repeatedly turned down US meeting requests and were apparently upset when the US leaked the fact that a supposedly confidential meeting between Jake Sullivan and (IIRC) Wang Yi in Italy was publicized, apparently to depict US and Chinese relations as on the mend. Recall also that after that incident, Xi decided not to go to the G20, with some pundits taking the view that it was to make sure he was not buttonholed by Biden, which the US would then try to depict falsely as a thawing.
And now the US is reduced to desperately scheming to prevent a Russian UN Security Council proposal, which includes among other things a cease fire, from garnering enough votes to force US veto. The article skips over what it would take to get such a resolution to the floor of the General Assembly where the odds are good that the US and Israel would get a stunning rebuke by it passing:
Russia’s proposed UN security council resolution garnered support from only four countries — China, the United Arab Emirates, Mozambique and Gabon — but many western diplomats worry that an amended Russian resolution could gain the nine votes required to pass. The US, UK or France might then veto it, handing Moscow a propaganda victory.
“We have to prevent Russia . . . supported by the Chinese . . . taking the initiative to use this against us,” said a senior western diplomat. “There’s a risk that at the next vote in the [UN] General Assembly on supporting Ukraine, we’ll see a big explosion in the number of abstentions.”
In other words, the loss of US authority has become so visible that even loyal organs like the Financial Times are forced to take notice. How long before the rest of the mainstream media follows suit? Or is Biden so deluded that he too will escalate in the hope that playing war president will force a show of loyalty?
1 Consider how intransigent Israel would be if it were told replacement parts for US weapons would not be forthcoming until they shaped up. The reason the US does not use that and other obvious sources of leverage is fear of the Israel lobby in DC. It’s striking how the US tries to bully pretty much everyone except our military dependents who need to have their ears boxed. And that is set to decline generationally as young Jews in the US don’t much identify with that cause.
2 Anyone who knows the procedure is encouraged to pipe up.