Memo on the Final Solution for One State – Israel or Palestine

Yves here. You are getting a Sunday extra on the conflict in Gaza and where it looks set to be headed, given Hamas’ apparent strategy, the dug in position of the US and Israel, and the so far on-track behavior of the Arab world.

John Helmer’s post clinically and persuasively draws conclusions that most commentators, including yours truly, have been loath to state clearly, perhaps because depicting the likelihood of bad outcomes somehow feels as if it increases the odds they come to pass (magical thinking cults and their lesser “intention” cousins illustrate this superstitious tendency).

Even though the earlier part of Helmer’s analysis is based on known facts (at least if you’ve been paying attention), he adds critical information about the implications of even a shortish war with Israel’s neighbors on Israel, and the apparently-not-heretofore-reported sighting that China has naval vessels in the Persian Gulf that have anti-sub and anti-missile capabilities.

It’s not hard to conclude from Helmer’s depiction that with the US and Israel unwilling to accept a loss and the lack of any adults on “our team” mean the odds of eventual nuclear war are way too high.  And if you think Helmer is too pessimistic, listen to the section from Larry Johnson in the broadcast on Judge Napolitano with Ray McGovern. Starting at 11:40, Johnson describes how Pakistan has offered to send some of its nukes to Türkiye in case of a dustup with Israel.

By John Helmer, the longest continuously serving foreign correspondent in Russia, and the only western journalist to direct his own bureau independent of single national or commercial ties. Helmer has also been a professor of political science, and an advisor to government heads in Greece, the United States, and Asia. He is the first and only member of a US presidential administration (Jimmy Carter) to establish himself in Russia. Originally published at Dances with Bears

1.  Since 1943 the US and its European allies, including Germany (Olaf Scholz’s government, not Adolf Hitler’s), have aimed to liquidate the secular nationalist Arab leadership capable of co-existence with the West and a state for the Jewish people.

2.  In Palestine Hamas has studied seventy-five years of lessons on the impossibility of coordinating Arab state war in the defence of the Palestine part of the two-state solution.

3. For more than a year, therefore, Hamas has prepared in well-kept secret an offensive against Israel to achieve five objectives – the first to demonstrate how inferior the Israeli military is, how vulnerable, how incompetent their intelligence on the Arab world. This has been achieved by the initial attack of October 7.

4. The second Hamas objective has been to demonstrate the Israeli plan of ethnic cleansing of Gaza,  genocide against the Arabs, and incorporation of all Israeli-occupied territories in a single theocratic Zionist state —  Quod erat demonstrandum. The third objective is to hold out against the expected Israeli counterattack for long enough to activate the Hezbollah forces on the northern Lebanon front;  Syrian and Iranian forces on the eastern Golan front; and the West Bank Palestinians, including the Jordanian Palestinians; the latter’s targets will be US air and armoured land force bases in Jordan. So far, so good.

5. The final Hamas objectives are to compel the vacillating sheikhdoms to resist US pressure; limit oil and gas supplies to the enemy markets; prevent regional land base and air transit rights being activated in support of Israel — so far, so good. And lastly, the fifth objective, to engage the friendly nuclear powers – Russia, China – to deter, and if necessary combat US forces in the region and Israel’s threat to fire its nuclear weapons.

Left: the new history of the 80-year US protectorate in the Arab world. Right: Ismail Haniyeh, head of Hamas. On October 8, he announced: “We say to all countries, including our Arab brothers, that  this entity, which cannot protect itself in the face of resistors, cannot provide you with any protection.”

The rules of war
6.  These aren’t in the code of secular international humanitarian law referred to in the western media and by UN officials in support of Israel. Those rules were eliminated by the destruction of two generations of Arab leaders willing to abide by them. The war doctrine of Hamas does not concede that international law may dictate to or supersede Islamic law.  In parallel, the war doctrine of Israel is that Jewish and Israeli law supersedes every other.

This report is the most comprehensive record in English to date of the official Israel statements of genocide against the Gaza Palestinians in intention, policy and practice. Source:
In 1948, the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide expressly included in Article II “the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group”. Forty years later, in 1988, the US Congress added two qualifiers to the provision in the US criminal code which defines genocide as a crime to be prosecuted if Americans commit it. This new US law declared genocide is “the specific intent to destroy, in whole or in substantial part, a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group”. “Substantial part,” the statute now said, meant “a part of a group of such numerical significance that the destruction or loss of that part would cause the destruction of the group as a viable entity within the nation of which such group is a part.” So long as the genocidal Arab killer isn’t “specific” in intention and the part of the people attacked isn’t “substantial”, the killer is off the hook in the US criminal code.  This was a calculated US change to the crime of genocide. The US senator who drafted it and promoted it into law was Joseph Biden. For more, read The Jackals’ Wedding – page 14-18.

7. The Hamas offensive of October 7, OPERATION AL AQSA FLOOD ( عملية طوفان الأقصى,  amaliyyat ṭūfān al-ʾAqṣā), is, as its code name indicates and in the interpretation of Islamic law, lawful self-defence, and the killing of Israelis, including civilians, lawful according to the retribution doctrine of Qisas.  It’s clear there is a Koranic injunctionagainst killing non-combatants, particularly children, the infirm, the old, and women.  When women are combatants, as they are in the kibbutzim, they lose their exemption; also children, if they are armed and trained. So, the evidence question is — how many children under the age of arms-bearing were killed at the border settlements on October 7? And how did they die – by Hamas directly, or in crossfire between Hamas and IDF?  The Israelis say one thing; Hamas says nothing.

8. It is clear the Israeli rules of war allow indiscriminate killing of children in offensive and defensive operations, in retribution and in collective punishment. No Palestinian Arab or Iranian is in any doubt that this has been Israeli policy from the beginning; that it has always been US policy to support it; and that the destruction of Gaza is the current episode of the long laid plan.

The two-state solution
9. Zionist ideology and Israel’s constitution have ruled out the two-state solution.


10. The Arab state supporters of the two-state solution (including Fatah and the Palestine National Authority) cannot support it when Gaza is being liquidated by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), supplied by the Pentagon.

11. President Joseph Biden’s (lead image) recent public remarks endorse Israel’s one-state solution, adding his personal religious benediction — “may God protect our troops”.    Until he said that, Biden had limited himself to invoking God’s protection of “our troops” in speeches on the Afghanistan  War in April 2021  and on the war against Russia in the Ukraine in February 2023.  Before Biden, it was President George Bush Jr. who claimed God on the US side when he meant self-defence – “we will defend our freedom. We will bring freedom to others and we will prevail. May God bless our country and all who defend her.”  With Biden the Christian, and Secretary of State Antony Blinken declaring himself Jewish in Israel,   the war of Israel against Gaza is a theocratic one, a crusade.  This is how it is understood now throughout the Muslim world.

12. According to God, therefore, there is only a one-state solution – it is either Palestine or Israel.

The current battlefield situation
13. On the Gaza front, Hamas has fought the IDF to a standstill outside the Gaza border wall. The Israel Air Force has dropped about 4,000 tonnes of bombs per week, 8,000 tonnes to October 21; that is more than the US Air Force dropped on Afghanistan in the peak year of 2019.   More than 3,500 Palestinians have been killed so far, including at least 1,030 children  and hundreds of family units; more than 12,500 people have been injured, one million Palestinians displaced, and thousands of homes destroyed. About 1,200 are missing believed to be trapped under the rubble. The Israeli and US government record, reported by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) in Washington, documents the continuing firing from Gaza into Israeli territory in what the ISW calls its “Iran updates”.   A prolonged IDF siege threatens to kill several hundred thousand Palestinians by starvation, dehydration, disease, and a combination of artillery and aerial bombardment,  while leaving the Hamas forces relatively unscathed and waiting to inflict a higher rate of casualties on the IDF than it has ever experienced.

14. On the northern front across the Lebanon border, there have been exchanges of missile, drone, anti-tank rocket, artillery, and mortar fire between the IDF and Hezbollah. There have been casualties on both sides. Border settlements on the Israeli side have been evacuated to the south. For a summary of the ISW reports favouring Israel, read this;    For maps and summaries of military action as of October 20 on the Gaza and northern fronts, as well as the Golan and West Bank, click to open.

Incident map on the northern front between October 12 and 17; source:

15. US forces on the Jordan front. The Israeli press has been reporting some details of USAF reinforcements at the Muwaffaq Salti Air Base in the northeastern corner of Jordan and possible Marine deployments in Jordan.  Whether the Marines will be moved to defend the Al-Tanf base on the Syrian side of the border, 230 kilometres northeast of Muwaffaq Salti, isn’t known.

Top, right – the US airbase at Muwaffaq Salti; source:
According to an Israeli report, “a squadron of U.S. F-15E Strike Eagle bombers based in Britain was deployed over the weekend at the Muwaffaq Salti Air Base east of the Jordanian capital of Amman. Another squadron of A-10 attack aircraft has also been deployed there.”  Bottom, the location of Al-Tanf in Syria across the Jordanian and Iraqi borders.

16. Russian and Chinese navy deployments. The Russian fleet based at Tartous, Syria, is at sea, as reported here.   At the moment, there are as many, possibly more Chinese vessels of the 44th Naval Escort Task Force in the Persian Gulf.   The anti-surface, anti-submarine, and anti-air missile capabilities of the Type-052D destroyer can be followed here,  and of the Type-054A frigate here.  For the time being, the significance of this Chinese screen to deter a US-Israeli missile and aircraft attack on Iran has been missed in the western press and by Russian military reporters.

Bottom: the Chinese Defense Ministry announcement of the arrival of the destroyer Zibo and frigate Jingzhou at Kuwait on October 19.  

Armageddon strategy
17. US Afghanistan War veteran: “Suppose Israel and the US understand they are facing an existential survival future in which they must combat swarm attacks on three or four fronts — Gaza/Hamas, North/Hezbollah, Golan/Syria/Iran, and West Bank/Jordan, and they calculate the Arabs have at least a 30 to 60–day arms supply in stock, do they calculate they can withstand a multi-front offensive for enough time, resupplied by air from the US? If they calculate that they can withstand a 30-day multi-directional swarm, they must understand that, at a minimum, Israel’s infrastructure and economy will be ruined. In a scenario like that, even if they ‘win’, they lose. In terms of airlifting and shipping supplies, we’ve already seen that the Arabs can hit Israeli military and civilian airfields, airports and seaports. Defending Israeli infrastructure with their air defence capability is the main mission of the strike groups the US is deploying in the eastern Mediterranean and in the Red Sea.

According to the Pentagon on October 19,  the USS Carney, a part of the USS Gerald Ford group, had transited into the Red Sea through the Suez Canal the day before and was in the northern Red Sea when it intercepted three land attack cruise missiles and several drones.

Western societies like Israel cannot function without solid, reliable, electrical power and communications services. We can be certain that power generation, transmission and distribution will be targeted by the Arabs non-stop. The cell towers and central communications centres will be too.”

18. Moscow source. “When does the threat to Israel become so dire, they go nuclear, and when they do, against what targets will they fire – Hamas, Beirut, Damascus, Teheran?*  The US won’t accept a Palestinian state so the only option left for the Palestinians, Arabs, Iranians, possibly Turks is to fight with this new kind of warfare whose objective is to cut into the flesh and bones of the Israeli adversary, and make life in that state unviable. Without a Palestinian homeland, all of Israel and the Arab territories become a battlefield. The IDF options then shrink to two – carpet bombing and mass killing of the civilian population centres on all fronts at once. If that isn’t sustainable or effective for the Israeli-American purpose, then option 2 is to attack Lebanon, Syria and Iran to stop the flow of reinforcements. But that’s regional war, and it can only be conducted by the Israelis with full US military participation. This becomes nuclear very quickly because President Putin has already placed the Kinzhal missiles in range of the US carrier fleet in the eastern Mediterranean, and the Chinese have installed their screen to protect Iran. It’s obvious that the race hatred policies of Biden and Netanyahu, and their belief that God has chosen them both as destroyers for their people, lead to the final, nuclear weapons solution. The Russians and Chinese can maximise their limited military projection by deterring, or if need be pre-empting a nuclear attack on the Arab cities or Teheran. For this to work, the Russians and the Chinese need to say more – loudly so there’s no mistaking what they mean.”

[*] In 1983, in conversation with his General Staff, Iraq’s President Saddam Hussein said: “the Iraqis would be able to withstand three years of fighting in a war. However, the Israelis cannot withstand one year of fighting in a war.” In April 1990 Hussein was hosting Yasser Arafat of the PLO in Baghdad. “[Israel] has 240 nuclear warheads, 12 out of them for each Arab capital,” Arafat said. Saddam replied: “I say this and I am very calm and wearing a civilian suit [everyone laughs]. But I say this so that we can get ready at this level.” Quoted in The Jackals’ Wedding, page 16.  

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  1. Louis Fyne

    This is like the situation in Ukraine in 2022, a decent-enough off-ramp is available, but one side is too arrogant and hubristic to take the peace offer.

    then throw in the media-accelerated bloodlust.

    ….Pakistan has offered to send some of its nukes to Israel in case of a dustup with Israel….

    for the record, thatwas the proposal of a Pakistani MP….not an official military or govt statement.

    1. diptherio

      And the offer from Pakistan was to send it’s nukes to Turkey, not Israel…although I guess the Turks would then send them to Israel, so to speak.

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      Regarding Türkiye, I took this as someone trying to send a warning to Israel, as opposed to describing a yet fully or even somewhat cooked plan.

      1. kemerd

        I cannot fathom Erdoğan defying US, who cannot even allow discussion of removal of US bases from Turkish soil
        He likes to talk but did not even dare to deploy s400 systems he bought from Russia

  2. ChrisRUEcon

    > “For this to work, the Russians and the Chinese need to say more – loudly so there’s no mistaking what they mean.”

    It’s getting louder … (via X/Twitter)

  3. Mike Adamson

    The scenario as painted contains some dubious assumptions and questionable leaps of logic, but it is helpful to consider worst case scenarios. I highly doubt it plays out like this but you never know.

    1. Louis Fyne

      the problem with the logistics of 21th century war is that a “modern” 1st tier, western military essentially has one shot; as it cannot survive a battle of attrition because it will run out of ammo at the most minimum level.

      This is Russia v. the West in Ukraine, except it is Hamas-Hezbollah which is playing the war of attrition, while Israel, even if you assume that the IDF has magic infi ite ammo, needs a quick shock-awe win so that its reservists can go back to the workforce,

        1. JTMcPhee

          Fortunately, there will be enough nuclear weapons, and very likely bio and chem weapons too, to make sure this forked-up species finally checks out. It would be nice to think that the Russians and Chinese and Africans and South Americans might survive, given their ability to live on less. Establish a real “new world order” without the Judeo-Xtian death wish. Nice thought, but if one looks a little deeper into the granularity, all the old sins are present in that “new world” too.

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      We take an even dimmer view of drive-by, unsubstantiated criticism of guest writers than we do of that sort of attack on commenters. Do not leave this sort of comment again if you want to remain in good standing.

    3. c_heale

      I want to look about this from a different perspective. Western Europe had centuries of wars over religion (although for many of these, religion probably obscured other reasons – likw gaining of territory). There is no reason to suppose that the Israel/Palestine war will not continue for much longer. It’s been going on for well over half a century anyway.

      As pointed out by Hariri in Sapiens (a book with more flaws than a broken windscreen) Liberalism is a religion. Imo it seems to be an offshoot of Western Christianity mixed with Techo-utopianism. Since the 1980’s and Fukuyama’s book The End of History (which imo was solely about the end of Western history), it has become increasingly intolerant, to the extent that we are now faced with a world war.

      I think this may have come about because the 70’s were the time that the West became aware it wss started to lose control of fossil fuels (the 70’s oil crises) and its several century old EuroUSian Empire. Now this loss of control (leading to the unviability of the Western economic philosophical.model) can no longer be hidden.

      The world has changed but the West has changed even more.

  4. Alice X

    >Johnson describes how Pakistan has offered to send some of its nukes to Israel in case of a dustup with Israel.

    I believe that should be nukes to Türkiye.

    1. Alice X

      I would be interested in the full video of the Putin clip that Judge Napolitano shows at 16:50. Anyone?

    2. Glen

      What I heard as implied was if Israel nukes get tossed at Turkey, there are some nukes coming back the other way.

      But given the potential delivery methods, the short distances and short delivery times, this puts more countries into the “use ’em or lose ’em” camp. Once airplanes are in the air and lighting the afterburners for a quick trip, everybody runs out of time – time to talk, calm down, negotiate.

      This could spin out of control.

      1. Lambert Strether

        > What I heard as implied was if Israel nukes get tossed at Turkey, there are some nukes coming back the other way.

        But that could be true in any case. Pakistan could press the button itself. So why involve Turkey?

        1. Glen

          Yeah, you’re right, but they changed the balance of terror in the middle east. As far as I know Turkey does not have nukes, but Pakistan (who definitely has nukes) just dropped a message that Israel must calculate as if they do.

          There is a whole very real diplomatic language where certain phrases mean certain things. I am not conversant in it, but people in the US Foreign Service probably are. It would interesting to know exactly what was said by whom, and what it all means. But it does potentially mean that diplomatic back channels are not being used, and they are negotiating “by the news” about the use of nukes which is itself distressing. How much are they actually talking/negotiating?

          I’ve heard in one of Larry Johnson’s talks that Biden has not actually talked to Putin in a long, long time. This is sorta crazy – we are not going to get anything but a war until all these leaders start talking.

          1. JTMcPhee

            Too bad the US Foreign Service comes down to Nuland and Blinken and Joe “Nod” Biden. Nobody in any circuit breaker position. Don’t look for hope in that closet.

          2. pretzelattack

            not sure Biden is capable of actually negotiating with Putin. the people who handle him seem to have no interest in doing so. I think this recent revelation of resistance within the State department surprising, I thought State was firmly within the grip of the neocons.

  5. The Rev Kev

    I would estimate that countries like Russia, China and Iran are managing what the US can actually do. They must know that for stuff like ammo and missiles, that the west is running on empty. They used it all up in the Ukraine. So any US response could not continue long term as they no longer have the wherewithal to carry out a long term theater campaign. And in Links today to prove this point there was a tweet about how a US warship assigned a large area is being run dry of missiles as it shoots down low-grade threats-

    Just how long could those carriers groups operate for? Not too long I would guess. It is worse for the Israelis as they have their military designed for only short, sharp campaigns as any longer and their economy runs into a ditch. And that is without any attacks on their infrastructure. Even now their economy is starting to stall and if they get into a Bakhmut style fight in Gaza it could drop off a cliff. But the crazies are in charge of Israel at the moment such as with people like Netanyahu and they have flipped out. And just today I heard the head of the Likud party – Amir Weitmann- actually threaten Russia and promising revenge on them-

    1. John Steinbach

      Netanyahu has actually been the “moderate” in Israel for the last 10 years or so. He had to ally with the extremist settler elements to survive politicallly.

  6. Patrick

    I’m curious why a one state solution is not in the Overton window. Why not a single multi-ethnic state where everyone has rights and can participate in government? (The solution we use everywhere else)

    1. hk

      The answer I’ve heard (spoken with straight face by several people on multiple occasions) is that that wouldn’t be a “Jewish state.”

      1. Victor Moses

        Precisely. The very conception of this state is an exclusive one based on ethnicity/religion/descent that on top of that grants special rights to this particular group. Such a supremacist understanding on one’s own ethnic group negates sharing of a state. Note – white people cannot espouse similar thinking – it would be automatically and rightly deemed racist.

        Arabs have been living with Jews for centuries. This is not an issue on their part. Unfortunately traumatized Ashkenazi Jews brought up in homogeneous nationalistic states have imported to the Middle East the chauvinistic small minded narrow ethnic thinking of Europe. There is no hope for a change in mindset unless Israel is isolated and its American sponsor cuts it off.

      2. clarky90

        “Karaite Judaism (or Karaism) is a Jewish movement characterized by the sole reliance on the Tanakh as scripture, and the rejection of the Oral Law (the Mishnah and the Talmud, 400-500 AD) as halakha (Legally Binding, that is, required religious practice). The word “Karaite” comes from the Hebrew word קָרָאִים (Qaraʾim), meaning “Readers (of Scripture).””,(Qaraʾim)%2C%20meaning%20%22Readers%20(of%20Scripture).%22

        Often, people conflate Karaite Judaism with Judaism. The Karaites are a tiny, ancient, oppressed minority in Israel, who only follow the Hebrew Bible.

        “The Karaites today
        In the early 1950s, the Israeli Chief Rabbinate originally objected to the arrival of Karaite Jewish immigrants in the country and unsuccessfully tried to obstruct them.”

        Judaism today, is Rabbinic Judaism; AKA, Orthodox, Conservative, Reform. Rabbinic Judaism was created as a response to the loss of the Second Temple. It was formed, roughly, at about the same time as the Muslim religion. (thousands of years after the Karaites)

        In 70 AD, there was a diversity of Jewish factions.

        (1) The Pharisees. The antecedents of todays’ dominant faction.
        (2) The Sadducees
        (3) The Essenes
        (4) The Zealots
        (5) The Sicarii
        (6) The Hellenized Jews
        (7) The Nazarenes (first Christians)

    2. jsn

      That appears to be the “jungle” take from the 140 nations talking to China about development instead of the dozen talking to the US about destruction.

      Trick is, you’ve got to stop the US destroying everything first.

    3. Alice X

      The Jewish populace would be outnumbered by the Arabs and thus potentially outvoted. Assuming that it was an actual democracy.

    4. ambrit

      Israel is “officially” a theocracy. Theocrats, of any and all varieties are by definition incapable of sharing power for long with anyone not of their “preferred demos.”
      Conversely, many of the surrounding Arab states are also “officially” theocracies. See the application of Sharia Law in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
      The premier “secular” state in the region was, and probably still is, Syria. We seem to have been H— bent on eliminating that “bulwark of rationality” from the region for years and years. I wonder why?
      Do note that Syria has been a ‘notorious’ multi confessional society for decades. Various Theocracies in the region cannot allow a functional alternative to their narrow minded policies to show them up in front of the “Arab Street,” can they?
      Heaven help me if someone goes on the record as stating that America is ‘involved’ in the region to “protect Democracy.” Exactly the opposite is the case.

      1. Victor Moses

        Ambrit – there are some misconceptions in your post. There are not many surrounding countries that are theocracies – there is only Saudi Arabia and Iran. All the rest are either secular, nationalists or a mix of the two. I find westerners read in their own traumatic (Christian) history when they conceive of theocracy. A theocracy in Islam is entirely different from the western conception although this word itself is not entirely accurate in an Islamic paradigm. The ‘theocratic’ Ottoman empire was a multi ethnic, multi religious state where Jews and Armenians were able to climb to high positions in the hierarchy. Contrast that with say Spain under Ferdinand and Isabella where religious uniformity tests in belief were a prerequisite to being treated as a human being. Similarly in the Protestant city states springing up in Central Europe in tge 16th century. I advise westerners to learn and understand religions and regions on their own terms and not bring in preconceived western notions and baggage to an analysis.

        1. ambrit

          Fair cop. I painted with too wide of a brush.
          I should restrict my observation to ‘involve’ the “main power players” of the region, which would mainly be the three theocracies mentioned.
          To dig down a bit, Iran and Israel both include some form of democratic governance. Both hold elections, popularly attended to and generally of which the outcomes are respected. The Kingdom is a bit of a mystery to me. Perhaps our Colonel Smithers can enlighten me; his father worked there in an important position in the past.
          With all of the above, the “Intensely” religious hold outsized influence in those places. It probably is cultural.
          Stay safe.

      2. Kouros

        Weakening and undermining Syria allows an easy way for Israel to keep hold and “normalize” the occupation of Golan Heights.

        Same way that the discourse pn “Israel’s right for self defense” normalizes the occupation, imprisonment, and disposession of Arabs in Palestine. Setler colonialism on steroids. Something that US fully empathises with.

        It seems Canada is more skitish there and the PM started muttering the “two states” solution.

        1. flora

          Even Tom Friedman, NYTimes Jerusalem Bureau Chief, is talking ending illegal settlements in the West Bank right now, a two state solution. and that Netanyahu and the religious fanatics have got to go from government. If Friedman is throwing Netanyahu under the bus, imo that must be a widely held idea in Israel among the Israeli not-fanatics citizens. One question is do the fanatics outnumber the saner people? At this point it seems like they do outnumber the saner people.

    5. Es s Cetera

      I would take this question further, how is Israel even a Jewish state if it doesn’t believe in the sanctity of life?

      1. ambrit

        The problem with your question here is in the very nature of fanatical theocrats everywhere. Their definition if “life” is very restricted, usually involving adherence to a narrow theological doctrine.
        Roughly, ‘their’ lives are sacred, every other ‘life’ is expendable.

        1. TimH

          Let me rephrase that for you to work for secular countries:

          The problem with your question here is in the very nature of fanatical nationalists everywhere. Their definition if “life” is very restricted, usually involving adherence to a narrow nationalist viewpoint. Roughly, ‘their citizen’s’ lives are sacred, every other ‘life’ is expendable.

      2. Daniil Adamov

        I think Jewish in that case refers to ethnicity, not religion or any set of religious principles. (As an aside, many Westerners seem to use “Jews” to mean “adherents of the Jewish religion”. In Russia, we understand “Jews” to be “members of the Jewish ethnicity”. In Israel I believe both meanings may sometimes occur – inevitably when you remember where many of the people there came from.)

        That aside, having lived in Israel for a few years in my childhood, I know that they certainly believe they believe in that. I have heard a lot about how they always take great care to preserve people’s lives. For example, that Israeli soldiers are expected to surrender and save themselves. Reading about the Hannibal Directive later was a bit of a lurch. One could think of a few other incongruities between this self-image (still popular and frequently reproduced in, say, liberal Russian media) and observable realities.

        1. vao

          In Russia, we understand “Jews” to be “members of the Jewish ethnicity”.

          That is odd. So the Falashas and the Ashkenazis are from the same ethnical group?

          1. Daniil Adamov

            Keep in mind that we mostly have the Ashkenazis here. I don’t think most people here think about other kinds of Jews very much unless familiar with Israel. Those who are familiar with Israel do know there are different groups, but there is still the understanding that they have a shared language, culture and history to some extent. That is seen as more important than religion.

            This is probably because many Soviet Jews were or pretended to be atheists, and yet were still clearly understood to be a population apart; set apart by ancestry, language, some traditions and suspected ties to Israel rather than religious beliefs. Religion was seen as the more important marker before the Union (although Jewish converts, especially in the first generation, still faced discrimination based on the implicit assumption that they were insincere).

    6. Daniil Adamov

      There is the self-determination problem. i.e. would many Israelis or Palestinians actually want to live in such a state, alongside each other and subject to each other’s democratic will? It may be the best solution nonetheless, but I am not sure how it could actually come about, since the leaders don’t seem that keen on it either.

    7. Lambert Strether

      > why a one state solution

      A one-state solution would be best, because then the goat-sacrificers* would be outvoted, which I assume means it won’t happen.

      NOTE * I need a more pungent term than “goat-sacrificers”, but goatse seems to be taken.

      1. vao

        The case about Israel with respect to the “Occupied Territories” and the Palestinian people is a very typical colonial situation.

        Everything from the segregation based on racist criteria (separate roads, separate quarters/villages/towns), the application of different laws to the settlers and the Palestinians, the subjection of the Palestinians to a police state controlling all their movements, their disenfranchisement and spoliation, the illegal dispossession of their land by settlers — retroactively legalized by tribunals when the Palestinians seek judicial redress, the ferocious repression of any meaningful protest by means of indiscriminate shooting, collective punishment (Sippenhaft), and the systematic destruction of their dwellings, infrastructure, and means of living (olive groves, fishing boats…)

        Historically, there are only three ways a colonial regime ends:

        1) The colons carry out a genocide of the native population, which can be total (Tasmania, Caribbean islands), or sufficient to reduce the native population to a powerless and numerically meaningless group (large parts of Oceania, most of America).

        2) The natives revolt and succeed in destroying the will to fight of the colons, who are then driven out. The best known examples are the French in Indochina and Algeria, the Portuguese in their African colonies, the Dutch in Indonesia, the British in India and Yemen, the Spaniards in America.

        3) The colons abandon their dominant position and also largely their specific cultural traits, progressively merging with the natives to form a new community. The best known example: the Asian Greek colonies during the antiquity, when they ended up cut off from their metropole.

        Both (1) and (3) lead to a single-state solution. (2) can lead either to a two-states solutions if the Jewish population withdraws from the West Bank, the Golan, and parts of Jerusalem into the Jewish “heartland” and Palestinians, exhausted by decades of fighting, leave it at that; or to a single-state solution if the Jews, relying upon their Russian, US, French, or Argentinian passports, massively vacate the country to escape a strategic defeat, and the Palestinians move in.

        So a one-state solution could be good, or constitute the worst possibly case. Even if stable, the two-states solution appears to be logically the least probable in the case of Israel/Palestine.

      2. ian

        I have a hard time seeing a two state solution. There would need to be some group among the Palestinians with whom you can make deals, who would be respected and would perform normal government functions. Who would the Israelis complain to if extremists lob rockets into their country?

  7. Alarmed Adam

    Brilliant and alarming analysis. The bill is finally due for Israeli intransigence, ethnic cleansing and annexation / occupation of Palestinian lands. The Israelis have already been violating the Geneva Conventions of war, and Biden “God Love Him”, is turning a blind eye. The presence of Russian and Chinese naval forces is clearly a game changer. No American family will want their child to die for Israeli hubris.

    Fully agree with what the world has seen, from Point III) Hamas has….. “ demonstrate how inferior the Israeli military is, how vulnerable, how incompetent their intelligence on the Arab world.”

    It’s clear that Biden’s ecumenical approach to Israeli kleptocracy won’t work this time, Therein is Biden’s larger challenge facing his re-election. As someone said, Biden is the presidential candidate for 50 yrs. ago. Polls seem to show increasing support for the Palestinians, specially among the young, a cohort Biden is having some issues with. As the days go on, that support will only increase as oil prices, for one, increase and inflation keeps growing. Given, Secretary of State evocation of his Jewishness, automatically disqualifies him as an honest broker. The Blinken / Victoria Nuland-Kagan must go as well as some members in Biden’s National Security Council staff.

    1. John k

      Must go…
      Biden is the only guy that can sack them, and he shares their views.
      It’s clear what Russia will do if their base is attacked by the carriers, what if they attack Syria instead? I wonder if Russia has shared that info with the us.
      Russia/China ready to respond/defend, us ready to attack. Dead man’s switch armed. I’m old enough to remember the Cuban crisis, this seems another level. Russia has 20k nukes, China 6k, U.S. 14k… will the cockroaches survive?

      1. hk

        The complication here is that Russians have pledged not to defend Syria against Israel, at least up to a point. Putin values relationship with Israel (more than the rest of Russia) and Netanyahu has been careful to maintain decent if not actually good relationship with the Russians–while many others in Israel share West’s Russia derangement syndrome. So as long as only Syria and Israel are involved, things can stay within bounds. If Biden comes barging in, things change–no one, not even Netanyahu–would want to see that.

        1. Daniil Adamov

          “the rest of Russia”

          While Putin is probably in the minority in his somewhat positive disposition towards Israel, it’s not necessarily such a small minority. A lot of us (including both myself and quite a few members of the elite) have relatives in Israel. Even more people have friends, or relatives of friends. That is a non-negligible factor. A complete breach with Israel is bound to be unpopular among a significant part of the general population and the elite – even among those who do not like its government or policies. There are certainly some people here who outright hate Israel – Dugin’s followers and old-school leftists come to mind – but I don’t think they are more influential than those who would prefer to maintain a working relationship.

          1. hk

            I think the sentiment is substantially reciprocated on the Israeli side: Russian-born Israelis, often much less religious but more “nationalist,” are an important segment of the Israeli population and carry significant political weight…although Avigdor Lieberman, the most notable politician from this population had a big falling out with Netanyahu and that may well have enhanced the power of the religious fundamentalists of late. Oddly, though, many Western-leaning Israelis I’ve meem to have a very dim view of these Russian-Israelis, not too different from their take on the fundamentalists and the Mizrahim, come to think of it. Notable since these are the “outsiders” in Israeli electoral politics who power Netanyahu’s coalition (as the Russian Israelis we’re just until a year or two ago….)

    2. JonnyJames

      Interesting that DT did not fire Nuland-Kagan and the “neocons” remained in the State Dept. through multiple admins. DT hired hardcore Zionist neocons in his cabinet as well, Bolton being the poster boy.

      Forget the polls: If they don’t like Biden, whadda they gonna do? Vote R? It’s a cruel joke.

        1. JonnyJames

          That’s right, how could I forget. But DT hired Abrams, Pompeo, Bolton: equally rabid “neocon” Zionist, pro-Israel types.

      1. Lex

        Almost all of the are political appointees rather than career DoS people. Nuland has served in every admin except trump going back to Clinton’s second term.

  8. flora

    Thanks for this post. It’s the first reporting I’ve read about RU and CHN navies in the area. The US MSM is silent on this. It’s as though the MSM think those 2 countries’ govts are preoccupied with trade deals and not paying attention to the latest ME event.

      1. Jen

        Might be whistling past the graveyard but my personal rule of thumb is that as long as the sirius report and MOA aren’t calling to duck and cover, I’m gonna keep calm and carry on.

  9. BeliTsari

    So, NU? When Mussolini had to be rescued from idiotic invasions of Greece, Yugoslavia & Africa, Hitler’s days were numbered. Russia’s “good enough” weapons mass produced for specific contingencies (witness, Ukraine’s Pinsk Marshes) better optics, precise machining & radios, worked fine in blitzkrieg. But, try lighting a fire under a frozen Jumo 211 engines or fighting T34 with a self-prop, because ČKD LT vz. 38 were Czech & you just slaughtered their workforce wasn’t envisioned (so you handed panzerfausts to crazed race murderers in Ukraine & used Stukas, built by Russians in Weserflug! Free market production failed Germany, before Tojo, UK & the US took socialized weapon production. Alan Moorehead was surprised to see fit Eurasian Red Army troops, with AKM rifles, in US built trucks in Iran. (US arms are made to get contracts to constituents. Supply chains of outsourced components & complexity of servicing would work in Israel, until our fleet got chased away? It’s as crazy as Abrams tanks & F16s in Ukraine.

  10. i just dont like the gravy

    I think I posted this a few days ago but it bears repeating: the state of Israel as it is known today will not exist by 2030.

    1. Kouros

      You know, it could go several ways, one being the expulsion of all Arabs from the occupied territories, Gaza, and full entrenchment on Golan Heights, and a notice given to Israeli Arabs. To leave…

  11. flora

    Genocide of the Palestinians? I thought ‘never again’ meant never again.

    “Frodo: I wish the Ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.
    Gandalf: So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.”

      1. clarky90

        The Herero & Namaqua Genocide, 1904-1908 – Short History Documentary

        General Trotha stated his proposed solution to end the resistance of the Herero people in a letter, before the Battle of Waterberg

        “I believe that the nation as such should be annihilated, or, if this was not possible by tactical measures, have to be expelled from the country…This will be possible if the water-holes from Grootfontein to Gobabis are occupied. The constant movement of our troops will enable us to find the small groups of nation who have moved backwards and destroy them gradually.”

    1. ambrit

      If Russia had not been prepared to defend it’s ally, Syria would no longer be a recognized State today.
      The main item I can see that holds back Russia in it’s support of Syria is American atomic power coupled with a demonstrably un-sane ruling clique in Washington.
      Plus, Russia learned early on to husband it’s resources. The early days in the Syrian War showed the Russians that there were hard limits to resources available. America does not seem to have learned that lesson yet.

  12. Es s Cetera

    I’m pretty sure Bernie is now deeply regretting ceding to the Biden camp, the world is now beginning to realize the implications of that mistake.

    1. pretzelattack

      i can’t see any regret, he’s turned (revealed himself to be?) into such a bootlicker on a number of issues. I can’t read his mind, just interpret his actions.

    2. JonnyJames

      It’s no mistake: Sanders, AOC and other “progressives” in Congress are just “sheepdogs” for the DNC.
      Sanders is a classic bait-and-switch conman. At the end of the day, he always herds the D faithful into voting for a right-wing, authoritarian crook with a D after their name, like HRC or JB.

        1. pretzelattack

          it’s not the sullen acquiescence, it’s the enthusiastic war support. to the extent he still has influence, he is using it to influence people to support the Biden administration, and in particular its foreign policy.

    3. ex-PFC Chuck

      The Democratic Party as an institution deserves to die for having knowingly nominated a mentally incompetent man for president and an obviously unqualified person as his vice president. What scares me about the present situation most is that we do not know who is making the decisions and writing the scripts the president can barely read from his teleprompter. That person (or persons) make the decisions knowing that history will not put their names to them. This fact may well influence them to being more reckless than they otherwise would. The 1962 Cuban missile crisis was resolved peacefully almost entirely due to the sound judgment of two men: Nikita Khrushchev and John Kennedy. Now, 61 years later to the month, vladimir Putin is comparable to Nikita Khrushchev. However, to channel the late Lloyd Bentsen, Joe Biden is no Jack Kennedy.

      1. Valerie in Australia

        I could not agree more! Yet the Party Faithful are sticking to The Lesser of Two Evils theme. I even have a friend who acknowledges that Biden is feeble minded but says she’d rather have a senile president than Trump. Why are our standards so incredibly low? Most of the Middle Eastern leaders won’t even meet with Biden! I mean, when was the last time that a world leader would not agree to an invitation to meet with the POTUS?

        1. The Rev Kev

          Even China does not want to meet with Biden as they see it as being pointless. He promises one thing but then his government does the total opposite. And his personal attack in Xi in his State if the Union speech was pointless but he did it anyway. Fortunately with the blessings of dementia, he does not even remember it anymore. But the number of world leaders and even Arab leader refusing to meet with Biden is something I cannot recall seeing before.

      2. Valerie in Australia

        ex-PFC Chuck,

        I hope it is OK but your comment was so good, that I quoted it in the comment section of another blog. I gave you full credit – ex-PFC Chuck – as well as the NC blog. Cheers

      3. Freethinker

        ……as opposed to Dubya or Ronny Raygun? Surely if it suggests anything at all, it’s merely that the 2 party system is a farce & the POTUS is a glove puppet?

        1. ex-PFC Chuck

          When Kennedy had his first meeting with the Joint Chiefs of Staff shortly after his inauguration they pressed him to authorize a preventive nuclear strike on the USSR, arguing that a window of opportunity existed because of the Russians were still playing catch up on missile technology. The president was appalled yet this argument came up every time he met with the JCS. The only JCS member who opposed the suggestion was the one with the most serious World War II combat experience, General David Shoup of the USMC, who had won the Medal of Honor as a regimental commander in the Battle of Tarawa. The JCS and most of the civilian staff pressed Kennedy especially hard in this direction during the Cuban missile crisis.

          In 1993 after the implosion of the USSR a colloquium was held in Moscow that was attended by senior people who were in the situation rooms of both the USA and the USSR at the time of that event. In those discussions it emerged that most of the underlings on both sides advocated throwing down the gauntlet, and that it was Khrushchev and Kennedy personally in each case who overrode those underlings when a de escalation opportunity became available through unofficial back channels. Disturbingly, the USA also learned that there had been a serious intelligence failure on its part. The assessment was that although the Soviets had landed some missiles on Cuban soil, no nuclear warheads had yet arrived. In fact there were eighty some such warheads there, about 15 of which were Nagasaki type fission devices mounted on ready-to-fire tactical missiles with a range of about 100 miles. These could easily have destroyed the flotilla the US had sent to surround Cuba in preparation for a possible invasion, as well as south Florida.

          1. Freethinker

            I agree with all this, my point is/was different, namely that the other party is as bad, a lot of presidents have been bad from both sides & the duality system of ruling parties is what helps block any improvement in that issue.

  13. fjallstrom

    A few weeks ago I mentioned that around 2016 I thought the end of the US empire would come when the US gunboat diplomacy met Russian made missiles. Back in 2016 I figured it would be US attacking Venezuela or Iran and that the missiles would have plausible deniability. Nobody seems to care about plausible deniability any more, but the scenario seems rather likely now.

    The real question remains: will the US accept the loss or take the world with it?

    1. Lambert Strether

      Reading The Sleepwalkers, a diplomatic history of how the European elite went to war in 1914, in which the governing class of all the combatants thirsted for war (very much including Russia, France, and the UK), I was struck by the mediocrity of all the functionaries involved (not a Bismarck, a Talleyrand, or for that matter, a Kissinger among them).

      Europe’s leadership, then, was as mediocre and crazed as the leadership of the Biden Administration today (imagine doing worse than Trump). However, I think world leadership today, leaving out the Biden Administration and its vassals in Europe, is at least less crazed and less mediocre than our own. (Putin has surely played the weakest hand among the three great powers well, and Xi is at least not shambolic.)

      America’s decline is visible to everyone but us (no ability to self-reflect by the political class or the PMC generally); it’s been visible at least since we lost the Iraq War. I have to think that Russia and China have both gamed our decline out, and getting the crazy dude to drop the gun has formed part of their thinking.

      So my optimistic conclusion is that the world is in better shape than it was before the Guns of August.

      P.S. It’s October. Shouldn’t we be worrying about a Crash?

      1. Anonymous 2

        Sleepwalkers I found to be an excellent book. Also very good, looking at the Russian angle, is Dominic Lieven’s ‘Towards the Flame’. It includes a description of a crucial meeting between the Tsar and Sazonov. The Tsar was minded to heed the Kaiser’s call for Russia to halt mobilisation. Sazonov persuaded the Tsar to ignore his cousin. The rest, as the saying goes, is history.

          1. ambrit

            I would say it goes back at least to Heraclitus. “The only thing that is constant is change.”
            See also Ecclesiastes 3:1-8.
            “There is a time for everything,
            and a season for every activity under the heavens:
            2 a time to be born and a time to die,
            a time to plant and a time to uproot,
            3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
            a time to tear down and a time to build,
            4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
            a time to mourn and a time to dance,
            5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
            a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
            6 a time to search and a time to give up,
            a time to keep and a time to throw away,
            7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
            a time to be silent and a time to speak,
            8 a time to love and a time to hate,
            a time for war and a time for peace.”
            The most remembered rendition of the above as song.
            The Byrds, “Turn”:

      2. fjallstrom

        That is an interesting angle, but anything for a smudge of optimism at the current stage.

        I have also been reaching for world war one for understanding of our current situation. The Sleepwalkers is now added to the reading list.

      3. John k

        October crash…
        I was startled when I read Mosler’ s comment our deficit is now 7% of gdp, something like 1.5T/year, or 125B/month. That’s a lot of pump priming. Granted it’s not going to the poor or even middle class, but much is still being spent. I’m on a driving trip just now, I’m struck by how a tourist spot 130 miles north of LAX is mobbed with visitors today. Anecdotally I’ve heard pricey real estate is selling because the rich can either pay cash or put up a large deposit, and anyway their high yielding bonds cover much of a 7% mtge. meanwhile the avg joe either can’t pay that rate or won’t sell his house because he can’t afford to give up his 3% mtge, so avg and below homes are frozen but there’s very little inventory, especially high end.
        Granted the fed seems to be trying to get a recession so people will stop buying, hasn’t worked here yet. I have heard trans pacific freight rates have fallen hard, so orders must have tanked, some areas must not be doin as well as what I’m seeing. Maybe coasts are doing better than flyover? Lot of swing states in the rust belt.

  14. square coats

    I’m not entirely sure but I think the Chinese ships might just be in the area incidentally. The SCMP article Helmer links to, “China PLA stationed up to 6 warships in Middle East over past week amid rising tensions from Israel-Gaza war: reports,” states that

    • The arrival of a replacement escort group in the Gulf region meant two advanced 052D destroyers have been stationed there at a time of heightened tensions

    • The PLA’s 44th task force left Muscat for an unspecified location on Saturday after taking part in a joint exercise with the Omani navy

    The rest of the article pretty much just gives a brief account of China doing joint stuff with Oman, doing routine operations since May, and stopping briefly in Kuwait.

    It’s unclear to me from this and the rest of the article whether or not there were additional ships sent to the area specifically due to the “rising tensions” or if all the ships have been there because of events planned at least several months ago. I did a quick search to try to find out more but all the other articles I could find looked like they were probably just using the SCMP one with no other additional sources of info.

    People have done an “added context” thing on twitter to a tweet about this saying all the ships have just been there for prearranged things and left as scheduled.

    I’m not familiar with any of this so to me it’s like 50/50 that it’s totally normal to report military vessels departing for unspecified locations vs. saying that means the ships are possibly gonna be doing something next related to said tensions.

    Does anyone have a better take on this than I can figure out?

    1. Lambert Strether

      > Does anyone have a better take on this than I can figure out?

      I don’t have a better take, but I do have an off-the-cuff reaction: If the Chinese haven’t sent either submarines or aircraft carriers, or anything nuclear armed, we don’t have a lot to worry about from their ships.

      Of course, at some point we’re going to lose an aircraft carrier; the only questions are when and how. But I don’t think in a ship-to-ship battle.

      1. ambrit

        I have read it theorized that the Chinese ships, being in the Persian Gulf, could be there to try and stop any Israeli or American missiles or aircraft from hitting Iran. The newer Chinese Destroyers and Frigates are quite capable in that regard.

  15. Susan the other

    The destruction of Gaza has already happened. Israel will not allow it to be rebuilt. It will remain a wasteland. The Palestinians will have their own diaspora. Seeds planting hatred. Israel doesn’t care. That is, the Israeli neocons don’t care. And nobody else is going to rebuild Gaza either. They should turn it into a wildlife refuge; a free-range zoo.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Not so much a zoo but what it already is – an enclosed hunting ground. You know. Where they have animals trapped in a small bit of fenced land so paying hunters can go on pretend safari and shoot the animals who cannot escape so they can bag themselves some trophies.

  16. JonnyJames

    “I woke up not dead again today” (W. Nelson)

    Ah, what a happy, cheerful and positive country we live in. The Doomsday Clock is at 90 seconds to midnight, but now they are going to have to reset it to 60 seconds or 30?

    If Pakistan really transfers any significant number of nuclear weapons to Turkey (as Johnson indicates), I would think that alone would cause a major escalation/confrontation. Would Turkey actually accept? The US would possibly have to bomb Pakistan to prevent the transfer, but Turkey is NATO of course.

    At what point would Israel use its nuclear weapons? At what point would the US use nukes to defend Israel or its own perceived interests? (assuming that Israel is considered a key in US strategic interests)

    Of course the rhetoric of Pakistan, KSA, Turkey, and all other nations’ leaders is one thing, but if they actually follow through on this with concrete actions, it may well be irreversible as indicated. As they say, let’s hope cooler heads prevail.

    I’m not religious but I can see how the fundamentalist types might think this is the end times and (self) fulfilling prophecy.

    1. Lambert Strether

      > If Pakistan really transfers any significant number of nuclear weapons to Turkey

      Did Johnson say why? To me, that sounds like Pakistan transferring national sovereignty to Turkey. What’s in it for them?

      1. The Rev Kev

        Then Israel will claim that they are doing so for self defense – and the US and EU countries will give them a pass.

        1. hk

          Well, that will do wonders for NATO unity/credibility: a nominal ally invokes the alliance and you make excuses to not honor it… Although I suppose US and Western Europe may not consider Turks to be a “real” NATO member these days, I wonder….

  17. Clark

    Many of us knew this showdown was inevitable and I only hope the saner heads prevail as we edge closer to the nuclear precipice. The West must accept a multipolar world where they have to cooperate instead of dictate.

  18. Regis Tufarian

    Helmer lost a lot of credibility with me when he reported that the naval activity in the Baltic a few months back signaled NATO was about to become directly involved in Ukraine.

    He also wants to attribute greater credibility to himself than to Sy Hersh on the pipeline story.

    So, I am not ready to fall as deeply into a depressive state as Yves based on a Helmer report.

  19. AlanRoxdale

    On the Gaza front, Hamas has fought the IDF to a standstill outside the Gaza border wall.

    This is the first suggestion I’ve heard of any on the ground fighting taking place after the first week. I am skeptical that anything major is occurring on the ground at the gaza border.

  20. An-Ominous

    By the way, I am increasingly surprised by Ursula von der Leyen’s statements,

    Is she being promised an extraordinarily lucrative gig after she leaves her position? Is she being blackmailed? Or is she truly mentally retarded?

    Either way, nothing she is saying or has said over the past two years makes any sense whatsoever, and absolutely none of it has helped position the EU for the better–you would think, all things being equal, that she would at least just shut up rather than say the stuff she’s been saying up until now

  21. Karl

    Google “Gaza Border Wall” and you’ll see a tall ribbon of concrete topped with barbed wire interspersed with gun towers.

    It reminds me of the Berlin wall. Prison grade.

    When will the U.S. have a leader with the courage to say (as Reagan did to Gorbachev) “Mr. Netanyahu, tear down this wall!”

  22. pretzelattack

    I wonder what the Ukrainian nazis, and their numerous supporters in Canada, think about Canada’s support for Israel? Or Zelensky’s offer of support?

    1. The Rev Kev

      I would suggest that they feel that they are being hung out to dry with all that ammo and equipment being diverted to Israel instead of the Ukraine. So maybe the Canadian ones will have a sense of betrayal which – long term – could be the beginning of a legend for the Ukrainians-

      ‘We were about to beat the Russians but then the west betrayed us & stabbed us in the back by diverting all support to Israel instead.’

  23. Lex

    I think the US is scared, but with Biden and company at the helm that may be the worst case scenario. According to evening reports today, Netanyahu delayed the ground assault again. That suggests to me that someone, somewhere is pouring cold water on the emotional plans. Or at least that someone is realizing that Israel (and the US) are playing a bad hand.

    Of course the US is playing a bad hand because Biden has always been an idiot. He never had the temperament to be a president and his current mental state makes it all worse. The people he’s surrounded himself with are incompetent and unserious people. I do fear what they’re capable of when backed into a corner and understanding that they’re losing.

    1. John k

      Just imo, but I doubt Biden can bring himself to pour cold water on anything israel wants to do. Personally I suspect it’s the idf, who have a better idea of the losses they would incur in a ground invasion, aside from Hizbullah threats. Plus, what’s the incentive to do that? Just lob in us bombs, cut off power which means water too, prevent any meaningful food/relief, and wait. Granted the longer it takes the worse the world will think of israel/us, but would that bother Bibi? Imo not, though Biden doesn’t seem to care, either, which is a little surprising.
      Another oddity for me is that a majority of dems want this to stop though all in on Ukraine while it’s the reps with most of the bloodlust, meaning Biden ignores his base and caters to trump’s.

      1. Lex

        I don’t think it’s Biden personally. I think it’s people afraid that Biden is writing checks the DoD can’t cash. Biden’s not afraid of anything because he’s stupid and now messianic too. Like most of the leadership on both sides of the aisle, he believes this is the late 90’s / early 00’s and US military power is invincible. I’m becoming convinced that much of the confused reaction to world events in DC springs from this: they simply don’t understand why everyone is no longer afraid.

        But the people in charge of the various US bases around Western Asia are almost certainly afraid. “We’ll threaten to bomb Iran back to the Stone Age,” probably doesn’t calm them. The person responsible for rearming the USS Carney is probably afraid because they know the US has no destroyer tenders anymore, so however many missiles had to be fired against the Houthi barrage can’t be reloaded until it can get to port. The people responsible for finding all the munitions Biden has promised are probably afraid because they’re getting hard to find.

        The politicians aren’t afraid because they’re divorced from reality. They actually believe that if they vote for the funds the “Liberty Ships” will start sliding into the water at rates of one a day, the 155mm ammunition will be produced and young Americans will line up to join the military for the defeat of the new, new Axis of evil.

  24. thoughtful person

    I was also thinking along the lines of, this situation rhymes a bit with the lead up to ww1.

    In his book, published 2009, “The Fall of the US Empire – and Then What? Successors, Regionalization or Globalization? US Fascism or US Blossoming?” Johan Galtung, among many things, compared the collapse of the USSR to the coming end of the US Empire, and discussed the stages of collapse as well.

    We are certainly quite close. Not sure our billionaires and our bloob have quite realized yet.

  25. sharonsj

    You are all overlooking one major problem: the Arab world isn’t interested in a two-state solution or they would have accepted one of the many offers of land for peace. I have lost track of how many wars the Arabs have started against Israel. Also, the Hamas charter specifically calls for the destruction of Israel and the expulsion and/or death of the Jews. I also find it interesting that none of the surrounding Arab countries are willing to take in any Palestinian refugees–because they’ve had their own problems with extremists–and that both Hamas and Egypt have kept the Rafah gate closed. Now that it’s open for supply trucks, there are reports that Hamas is stealing the fuel for their own use rather than letting it be used for humanitarian or hospital purposes.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      You are overlooking that Netanyahu funded Hamas to split the Palestinians and assure there would be no peace.

      And your recap of the history is misleading. 15 seconds on a search engine returned this:

      The origin of the two-state solution was the 1978 Camp David Accords, a peace accord inked by Egypt and Israel. At first, the Palestinian Liberation Organization acknowledged Israel’s rights to exist in 1988, indicating support for the two-state solution, The Print reported.

      Between 1993 and 1995, Palestinians recognized the State of Israel and Israel acknowledged the PLO as its historical enemy. Subsequently, Hamas rejected the two-state solution over the years.

      So it was Israelis themselves that wrecked the two-state solution by promoting Hamas.

  26. danf51

    Ironically, amidst all the hand-wringing, The last Yom Kippur war led to at least some sort of settlement with Egypt. I suspect this war will make further settlement possible. Everyone expects (hopes?) that Israel will fail in this war. The surprise will be that Israel achieves a clear victory.

    Hamas has lost the initiative. They can only wait on whatever Israel decides to do. All the rocket fire from Gaza, will be damaging and painful, but not decisive. Meanwhile Hezbollah does nothing. Either they want to avoid war or are wanting Israel to initiate it. But Israel is content to let Hezbollah initiate it or allow them to sit idle and explain to jihadi land why they sat on their hands. Meanwhile Gaza is turned to rubble.

    Hamas and Hezbollah desperately lobby for international organizations to impose a ceasefire/surrender on Israel. Eventually the pressure on Israel will grow great enough to have some effect. But that wont be for a while. Probably longer than Hamas is counting on. Hezbollah will likely be forced to take part and launch attacks that the news media will notice. This will reset the clock for Israel. Hezbollah may then find that the IDF has set the northern front as the priority as they maintain the initiative around Gaza.

    Meanwhile Gaza is reduced to ruins. Perhaps people there, while hating Israel, will also ask Hamas, “what are you doing to us ?”. The damage to Gaza will be such that it will require real reconstruction, not the fake reconstruction Hamas will be interested in and will only be possible if there is something like a real peace. Otherwise a million people will be living in tents for years to come.

    While the outrage in the front line Arab states is real, none of those States wants a general war with Israel. All of them would welcome some kind of settlement.

    If Israel succeeds in hurting Hamas and either showing up Hezzbollah as a weak hand or seriously damaging it (and Lebanon and Syria), we may see conditions for a new attempt at settlement.

    After the war, the current political establishment in Israel will probably be swept away. This also, might be favorable to new thinking about how to settle.

    I even wonder if there might be an offer by the Muslims to allow a Jewish Temple to be built on some corner of the temple mount. That might help eliminate the Temple Mount as a flash point and might also persuade religious Jews to view settlement differently.

    So for now, I’m optimistic, unless the hand wringers succeed in imposing a non-settlement that just makes the world safe for the next war.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I see no evidence of your claims about Hamas etc. desperately lobbying. Please tell me how Hamas is capable of organizing huge rallies all over the world, or getting pundits, including many Jewish pundits, to call for a cease fire. The pleas for a cease fire are organic and due among other things to the images and videos of the destruction in Gaza.

      As to your confidence in the IDF, pretty much every independent military expert disagrees with you. See one of very many examples here: And Ritter has worked extensively with the IDF.

      This sort of clearing operation is extremely risky and dangerous. The IDF lacks any experience and the equipment. IDF success would depend on Hamas having fewer forces and less material than most surmise.

      Jacob Dreizin reported today that Hamas published photos of a stockpile of very high end weaponry that they presumably bought on the black market from Ukraine. So if anything Hamas looks to be better resources than some assume.

  27. El Viejito

    I haven’t read anyone commenting on how “a splendid little war” would juice Biden’s chances of re-election. Who’s going to vote against a war-time president. Unless it gets out of hand, of course.

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