Nasrallah’s Speech Confirms that “MAD” Has Been Reached Between Israel-US & the Resistance Axis

Yves here. We also note in Links that Nasrallah engaged in a lot of threat display but said Hezbollah would escalate only in the event Israel. The tone of the speech was more martial than Korybko suggests but did not call for immediate action. From Moon of Alabama’s rough transcript of a translation:

It is the United States that stands in the way of a ceasefire in Gaza. As Khomeni said, it is the greatest devil – from Hiroshima, to Vietnam to now in Gaza. It must be held responsible for that and should pay the price for that….

Those who think that Hizbullah should wage total war on Israel – they should look at what is taking place on the Lebanese front. It is unprecedented. It will increase. All of Israel’s positions are under siege. It is a different battle than in 2006 in tactics and weapons.

On the border line since October 7 the Israeli army moved out. It pulled all troops to the Gaza front. It called up reserves. Our operations keep the Israeli’s army at our front and away from Gaza. A third of the Israeli army is now at our border line. Half of its navy is dedicated to our front. A quarter of its air force is. Half of its Iron done missiles. Forty three settlements were evacuated.

If the enemy starts to take action against Lebanon it will be its biggest mistake.

Even as civilians had to move out our best fighters will stay in the south.

They told us that the U.S. would bomb us. I assure you that it did not change our position. The operation on our front will continue. Any escalation will depend on development of events in Gaza.

The summary in L’Orient Jour has more detail:

We are all waging a resistance battle. We still need time to deliver the final blow. We must be realistic. But we are winning victories…

Its escalation depends on two things: the development of the situation in Gaza and the behavior of the Zionist enemy towards Lebanon. Here, we warn them again, especially regarding the civilians who have become martyrs…

Regarding the movements of the resistance. This is the point that everyone is waiting for. The Islamic resistance in Iraq has started to assume its responsibilities and has indicated its readiness to enter a new stage…

Our brothers in Yemen have publicly and officially, despite American and Western threats, taken a series of initiatives and sent missiles and drones. Even if they were shot down, these devices will reach Eilat and the south of Palestine and Israeli military bases.

Note Nasrallah depicts the conflict at its present pace as a war of attrition where he depicts the Resistance as eventually able to severely damage Israel based on anticipated weakening. He also sets out two triggers for Hezbollah escalation. One is what happens in Gaza, with no clarification as to what action might cross a red line. He is more specific about action against Lebanon.

However, there was no demand for immediate action, and Nasrallah focused on the red line of more attacks on Lebanon. He also called for more diplomatic withdrawal and stringent economic sanctions.

By Andrew Korybko, a Moscow-based American political analyst who specializes in the global systemic transition to multipolarity in the New Cold War. He has a PhD from MGIMO, which is under the umbrella of the Russian Foreign Ministry. Originally published at his website

Some observers have been surprised by the self-restraint exercised by the Israeli-US duopoly and the Resistance Axis, which has averted an all-out regional war at least for now and thus contradicted their expectations of the other’s approach to this conflict. Neither side has proven themselves to be the “rabid psychotic warmongers” that their opponents’ public took for granted that they were, and this should prompt a rethinking from both about the true state of military-strategic affairs between them.

Hezbollah chief Nasrallah gave a speech on Friday about the latest Israeli-Hamas war, which was reviewed by Al Manar, Al Mayadeen, Press TV, and RT, among others. Readers can skim through those articles to familiarize themselves with what he said if they aren’t already aware. Upon doing so, they’ll see that his speech amounts to a tacit acknowledgement of “Mutually Assured Destruction” (MAD) between Israel-US and the Resistance Axis, the consequences of which will be analyzed in this piece.

The following points gleaned from the preceding hyperlinked reviews form the basis of this assessment:

* Hezbollah defied US threats not to join the fray and has been fighting Israel since 8 October

* These operations diverted a significant share of Israel’s military focus and forces away from Gaza

* Hezbollah’s Iraqi and Yemeni allies have contributed to this strategy in their own way as well

* US bases in Iraq and Syria have also been targeted to punish the US for orchestrating this conflict

* In spite of all this, the US still hasn’t carried out airstrikes against Hezbollah like it earlier threatened

* Nasrallah warned that Hezbollah already made preparations to counter US naval assets in that scenario

* He also said that all options remain on the table if the Gaza War worsens and/or Israel attacks Lebanon

* Considering Hezbollah’s formidable missile stockpile, these two policies likely deterred them thus far

* Nasrallah recommends reaching a ceasefire in Gaza as soon as possible in order to avoid a larger war

* To that end, he proposed an Arab energy embargo against Israel and the severing of diplomatic ties

* In the interim, he also proposed that Arabs pressure Egypt to open the Rafah crossing for civilians

Nasrallah’s careful military strategy and pragmatic diplomatic proposals suggest a reluctance to escalate.

Some observers have been surprised by the self-restraint exercised by the Israeli-US duopoly and the Resistance Axis, which has averted an all-out regional war at least for now and thus contradicted their expectations of the other’s approach to this conflict. Neither side has proven themselves to be the “rabid psychotic warmongers” that their opponents’ public took for granted that they were, and this should prompt a rethinking from both about the true state of military-strategic affairs between them.

Putting aside each party’s spin about who’s winning, here’s how everything objectively stands at present:

* Incessant Israeli airstrikes have created a massive humanitarian crisis for Gaza’s two million Palestinians

* The Rafah crossing with Egypt still remains closed to them due to Cairo’s politicalsecurity calculations

* Israel’s ground operation took longer to prepare than some expected and is proceeding slowly

* This can be attributed to Israel being caught off guard by Hamas and then distracted by Hezbollah

* The latter defied US threats not to get involved, and its allies keep striking its bases in Iraq and Syria

* But the Resistance Axis’ operations and the Israeli-US duopoly’s response remain restrained for now

* Most of the Global South and a critical mass of the Western public want a ceasefire as soon as possible

* Even so, they haven’t exerted any tangible pressure on Israel thus far to get it to stop the war

* That could change though if more civilians continue dying and public pressure becomes unbearable

* Israel might still defy them, however, in which case some might escalate to more serious pressure

* An energy embargo and/or state-level threats of war could inadvertently provoke a first strike by Israel

* The perceived threat of a preemptive Israeli response in that event could push some Arabs to act first

* To be clear, neither might happen or be seriously considered by either, but perceptions might still differ

* The conflict’s dynamics could therefore spiral out of control if the Gaza War continues worsening

* Therein lies the most pragmatic argument for a ceasefire in order to avoid the worst-case scenarios

The reason for this true state of military-strategic affairs is the MAD that presently shapes their policies.

To explain, neither the Israeli-US duopoly nor the Resistance Axis carried out a large-scale first strike against the other in the opening days of this conflict because each’s policymakers keenly understood the disastrous consequences of doing so, which nobody wanted to experience. This observation speaks to the tacit respect that they have for their opponents’ capabilities despite their representatives’ and perception managers’ tough talk aimed at convincing their audiences that they can win an all-out war.

The fact is that military-strategic parity has been reached but both are averse to admitting this.

The Israeli-US duopoly risks discrediting its gargantuan investments in conventional military capabilities by acknowledging that the Resistance Axis’ incomparably less costly unconventional ones have resulted in a balance of power that then led to MAD in this particular context. Likewise, the Resistance Axis risks discrediting its commitment to prevent Israel’s genocide of the Palestinians by drawing its supporters’ attention to the limits that MAD places on what it can realistically do in this regard.

These military-strategic dynamics have created a very dangerous security dilemma.

The more that the Israeli-US duopoly’s leverage of its conventional military dominance worsens the Palestinians’ suffering, the more likely it is that the Resistance Axis will feel pressured to leverage its unconventional military dominance to relieve their suffering, thus risking a larger war. At the same time, agreeing to a ceasefire could be interpreted as discrediting the first’s aforesaid dominance, just like letting a genocide unfold could be interpreted as discrediting the second’s own such dominance.

Both sides are understandably pressured to correspondingly stay the course and escalate in response.

They’re driven by the desire to “save face” before their respective publics as well as to uphold the integrity of their particular form of military dominance that each regard as deterring the other. Amidst this security dilemma and absent either side unilaterally backing down on the defense of their aforesaid interests, which of course can’t be ruled out and could be explained to their supporters as preventing World War III, the conflict will likely worsen unless a creative solution is found.

Russia’s policy of principled neutrality can play a pivotal role in the second of these two scenarios.

By balancing between both camps by condemning Hamas’ terrorist attack while also condemning Israel’s collective punishment of the Palestinians in blatant abuse of its right to self-defense, Russia has retained credibility with each and can therefore mediate if requested by them to do so. In that event, it could propose a mutually acceptable de-escalation plan that can be spun as a victory by both, but not so much that it discredits the other in entirety, just enough to placate their own supporters and thus “save face”.

Of course, the devil is in the details, though nobody other than Russia has a realistic chance of trying.

Whatever ends up happening, for better or for worse, it would be the direct result of the dynamics brought about by the MAD that’s been achieved between the Israeli-US duopoly and the Resistance Axis. This observation accounts for the true state of military-strategic affairs much more than any other, yet both sides are averse to admitting it out of fear that they’d discredit themselves in their supporters’ eyes by acknowledging the consequent limits that this places on their actions.

If this security dilemma isn’t resolved, then mutual escalations and a larger war might be inevitable.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. furnace

    “but said Hezbollah would escalate only in the event Israel” in the event Israel escalates first? End of the sentence got lost, I think.

    In any case, Hezbollah is, strictly from its own strategic perspective, better off not escalating for now. The Israeli army is clearly getting hammered by Hamas (I’ve seen something like ten videos of Merkavas getting blown up; I’d imagine there are a lot more that weren’t recorded), so for now the initiative is still with the resistance. This, of course, ignores the civilian massacres in Gaza, but in a very cold-blooded sense this is the best propaganda the Resistance ever got. It’s hard to defend a country that openly blows up children and hospitals, whose citizens repeatedly invoke dehumanizing (read: Goebbels-adjacent) rhetoric, and shows no remorse or restraint.

    Arab leaders are also very much in a tight spot, given they cannot openly support Israel without facing threat of revolution or coup (credible threats, even). So everyone is forced to at least appear to take on a hard line. One can argue that figures such as Erdogan are only taking the opportunity to gain easy points with their base, but this means that in the case of an escalation they’ll be forced to join or risk losing face.

    This isn’t ending any time soon. And for the ghouls cheering on Palestinian deaths: what goes around, comes around.

    1. ChrisRUEcon

      > And for the ghouls cheering on Palestinian deaths: what goes around, comes around.

      Exactly this. I have a couple liberal friends who have gone full genocide in the last month, and I swear … they, like the ghouls they’re cheering on, have not really thought things through.

      1. i just dont like the gravy

        If there was Cosmic Justice in this world, the liberals would be shipped off like in Starship Troopers: the wide-eyed, incredulous libs screeching “I’m doing my part!” as Allah’s Resistance crushes their insipid minds.

        I am directing Cosmic Prayer to the brave soldiers of the Resistance. May they secure liberty and safety for their people.

        1. JonnyJames

          Liberals? Just about all of Congress and the JB regime has expressed “unconditional” support for Israel. Israel can murder US citizens in broad daylight on video, and no one in Warshiton gives a toss.

          Support for Israel is BIPARTISAN. No one loves Israel more than DT, JB, HRC, GWB etc. etc. The Rs introduced a bill to give Israel even MORE $$$.

          There is no choice, both the D and R parties are right-wing, warmongering, authoritarians.
          Whadda we think this is? A democracy or something?

        1. ChrisRUEcon

          I would usually answer this by saying that liberal “true colors” can be described as whatever their masters in consent-manufacturing-media land concoct on any given news cycle. But, when you’ve lost MSNBC’s Joy Reid (via X/Twitter, from Links today) … well, I’m just not sure some of the people in my ::cough:: social ::cough:: networks ::cough:: are ready for that.

    2. Lex

      Your last paragraph is important. It’s easy to say that regional and Muslim nations will abandon Palestinians because they always have before. That’s true but the context now is different than then. For one, the openly genocidal statements from Israel are new. But more importantly before had no other power pole for regional nations to attach to. Going against the US was suicidal. How the changed context materializes in reality is unknown, but the US is essentially demanding that these nations are with it to the point of genocide or against it is an interesting strategy. The Biden administration is nothing but a collection of unforced errors.

    3. JBird4049

      >>>(read: Goebbels-adjacent)

      Adjacent you say? Good grief, I have read the exact wording from the Nazi era. It is like huge numbers of people have lost their minds.

      This nightmare is uncovering the hidden genocidal seeds that lie hidden in our fellow decent people. Antisemites, anti-Palestinians, anti-whatever, and the froth and spittle flies about. People can justify whatever acts, no matter how horrible and provocative, to some, but refuse to give such any justification to others making saints of the first and inhuman demons of the second. Of course, almost no individual or population is all one or the other, but to justify in their minds supporting génocidaires, they must dehumanize the victims to keep their sense of decency and self-worth.

      It makes me very afraid of what hidden seeds I, myself, might have for the majority of these people are not really monsters, but have become monstrous often to some some hidden hatred or defect that they might be completely unaware of. It is less than the banality of evil and more the lack of self awareness, or at least a lack of self reflection.

      1. Not Qualified to Comment

        My parents, loving and caring people as far as I experienced, lived in the UK during WWII. I recall, as my awareness of the world grew, asking them what they thought when they learned about the fire-bombing – in a way on their behalf – of Dresden and Cologne. They shrugged and replied “It was war.” Regarding Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and having had an uncle who had fought in Burma, their mutual view was that the Japanese had deserved it.

        I don’t think anyone would have regarded them as evil people. Which of course is the problem.

      2. vidimi

        the recipe for the worst atrocities is thinking that you and your group of people are superior (ubermenschen; the chosen ones) and the other group are inferior (untermenschen; human animals). people who think like this give themselves licence to commit the most ghastly crimes, becoming monsters. If you constantly defend yourself from these impulses, then there’s no reason to think that a monstrosity will come to the forefront.

  2. Andrey Subbotin

    Given that neither side can destroy the other, it can hardly be called MAD. More like Mutually Assured Endless Pain, that can be dialed higher unilaterally, or lower if both sides agree

    1. Yves Smith Post author


      1. Did you miss that Israel has nukes?

      2. Did you miss that Pakistan, a Muslim country, has nukes and some officials have been publicly lobbying for them to give some to Turkiye if things look ugly?

      3. Did you miss that Iran has enough conventional missiles, including hypersonic missiles, to take out pretty much all and probably all of Israel? And Iran’s command centers are deep enough to withstand a nuclear attack?

      4. Did you miss that if Iran is attacked, Russia will come in and Russia, which has nukes, probably could destroy most population centers with hypersonic and cruise missiles?

      1. JonnyJames

        What is very unsettling is Israel’s so called Samson Option, and US nuclear first strike doctrine.

        MAD may be the situation between Hezbollah/Iran and Israel, but for the US it is First Strike

        Most of the treaties from the USSR days have been dissolved, the US withdrew: ABM, NPT, INF etc.

        Some say the likelihood of nuclear exchange between Russia/US (or others) is higher now than ever before. Dr. Strangelove should be required viewing.

      2. Amfortas the Hippie

        sobering, indeed.
        and how many of the A o R have superfast missiles that can turn carrier groups into reefs?
        that, methinks, would not be a good look for biden, come election time.

        1. playon

          There is no”good look” for Biden regardless – even before this Israeli/Hamas war Joe’s poll numbers were crappy.

      3. Andrey Subbotin

        * Pakistan just isn’t going to give or use nukes on Israel. Sure, it is a Muslim country, but it just isn’t that involved.

        * As Russian/Ukrainian war has shown, you cannot significantly cripple a country with long-range conventional missiles. Is is a pain, but life just goes on. Ukraine bombarded Donetsk with long range artillery , which is a lot cheaper, and life still went on. Russia attempted to take out Ukrainian electricity grid with missile strikes and failed. Hezbollah can devastate several border settlement with masses of short range rockets, and cause pain in main Israeli cities with fewer longer range rockets, but life in Israel will go on.

        * I doubt Russia will start war with USA if Iran is attacked. And certainly not nuclear war. Russian military doctrine says nukes would be used if a) Russian allies are attacked with WMD and b) if Russia’s existence is threatened. Iran is friendly, but isn’t a formal ally. And I cannot imagine an US ground invasion into mountainous country with x3 population of Iraq. At most we are speaking about air strikes which Iran will weather on its own, and Russia knows this.

        The danger for Israel isn’t an outright military defeat, but that the combination of prolonged wartime difficulties, and bad outlook of ethnic cleansing in Gaza will lead to outflow of population, investment and foreign support, and make Israel not viable long term.

        1. ISL

          you have to be joking about the electric grid. The US took out the Iraqi grid in a day – if Russia wanted to they could have. Or do you argue that Russia ran out of missiles a year ago?

          And if you actually read the post, you would have noted the Hezbollah is tying down significant IDF forces in Northern Israel. Its also (Nasrallah stated) taking out observation posts and infiltrating for sabotage operations – its called shaping the battle field. Comparing Israel and Ukraine is ridiculous – Take a look at a map, please – Israel is very small and Ukraine is very very large.

          And do you have any idea what 100,000-200,000 missiles does to an Israeli sized, high tech (not somali-land) country (particularly as iron dome, which does not work, is almost depleted of missiles). Devastated ports – nothing comes in – the Israeli nuclear power plant breaches, no electric grid, oil and gas pipelines to Israel destroyed. Its not as if Israel can fix anything while mobilized. And every Israeli with a dual passport will leave and not return, and nothing will get fixed.

          1. Morincotto

            Agreed genereally, just adding that it makes sense for Ukraine’s soviet built energy system to be able to tank a LOT more damage than that of Iraq could.

            1. Yves Smith Post author

              Russia has been targeting the grid so as NOT to take it all down. It would have taken the Internet down day 1. Russia has been trying spare civilians unnecessary hardship. The attacks on the grid were primarily to force Ukraine to use up its air defense missiles faster.

      4. SG

        On the hypersonic missile front: Speaking as someone who spent some time working for BMDO (the predecessor organization to the Missile Defense Agency and at Livermore, color me skeptical. While Iran has shown static models (possibly mockups) of Fattah (their maneuverable hypersonic missile), to my knowledge nobody’s observed a test flight. I no longer have the kind of clearances it takes to have direct knowledge one way or the other (and if I did I certainly wouldn’t be posting), but I can’t help but think that if it were actually working they’d have shown one in flight. Having some knowledge of how these things work, I can’t imagine that if DoD had evidence of test flights of Fattah they wouldn’t be attempting to terrify Congress into increased funding for countermeasures.

      5. Joe

        Nobody “gives nukes” to anyone. Iran doesn’t have enough missiles to destroy Israel and even if they did Israel would simply build a new iron dome to handle it. If that isn’t sufficient, Israel will themselves build underground cities, just like Hamas

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          Did you miss Israel’s Iron Dome failed with mere Hamas rockets? And I said Iran has more then enough conventional missiles to take out Israel, including hypersonics. Iran is widely reported as having the capacity to do that and light up a lot of Saudi Arabia’s oil production too.

          Scott Ritter, who worked for years side by side with the Israeli army, reported that the second to last war gams, Chariots of Firs, Israel conducted showed them losing v. Hamas, losing bigly if Hezbollah joined, and being wiped off the face of the map if Iran came in too. So this is Israel’s own finding.

          1. Joe

            Yves, I love you but you’re out of your element on this lol. First of all, Scott Ritter is a moron. He is like the guy who shows up at the gym with one leg of his sweat pants tucked inside his sock. Don’t fall for his Timmy Tough Nuts schtick.
            Iran is nowhere close to technological battlefield dominance. Everything they have can be countered. No anti missile defense system is 100%. Some will get through but wiping out Israel with conventional warheads is not happening. Israel has the iron dome system and the David’s Sling system (google it). The technology to knock out hypertonic missiles is there and will be deployed.
            Despite all the talk of a multi polar world, the West still maintains unipolar military dominance (and that ain’t changing anytime soon)

            1. Yves Smith Post author

              Oh really. Then why were there widespread reports of the Iron Dome failing under a mere big barrage of Hamas rockets? And Israel now begging the US for more air defense missiles?

        2. vidimi

          the things you talk about would take months and months to put in place. “Israel would simply build a new iron dome”.
          the war risks escalating now.

      6. Phenix

        Russia will not use its nuclear arsenal to defend Iran. They will use nukes if Russian territorial integrity is threatened….I don’t envision a war in the middle east threatening Russia and Russia is still trying to digest Ukraine.

        Russia has suggested that they might put nuclear weapons in Iran but that kind of development will take months if not years to hash out.

        Turkiye is a silent Israeli ally. Azerbaijan is a silent Israeli ally. Israeli oil comes from Azerbaijan through Turkiye (probably some stolen Syrian oil too) and both of these countries are ethically cleansing Armenian populations and actively seeking to create a connection to Azerbaijan and Turkiye that does not transit Armenia….more ethnic cleansing.

        Erdogan is talking to his base. He is a war criminal and I do not expect him to turn on his fellow war criminals. If he does turn on Israel then he will go through with the oil embargo. Time will tell.

        Did you miss that Pakistan, a Muslim country, has nukes and some officials have been publicly lobbying for them to give some to Turkiye if things look ugly?

        America was able to depose its most popular politician in a generation….now they will give a nuke to take out America’s ally and kill American soldiers? I dont follow this logic unless what we saw in Pakistan was the US only giving approval for the coup.

        Iran and Hezbollah could destroy much of Israel. Israel and the US can destroy them both with out the use of nukes.

      7. gcw919

        This is precisely the problem. The neo-Con lunatics leading Biden by the nose don’t seem to factor in that this ongoing slaughter could evolve into a nuclear Armageddon. These are the same geniuses who thought it was a good idea to attack Iraq. We had better wake up soon or we might find mushroom clouds on the horizon. It is well past the time for solving disputes with weapons. Not much is being said about ‘negotiations,’ in the mid-East or Ukraine. When I was a kid in the 50’s, and there was much debate about leaving the UN because all they did was talk, someone reminded that “as long as they’re talking they’re not fighting.” We would do well to take heed of that observation.

    2. Polar Socialist

      Elijah Magnier thinks that Hezbollah has the capability of making Haifa and Tel Aviv look like Gaza looks today. And if that comes to be the case, enough of the “settlers” will resettle somewhere that is not Israel and it will be the end of the Zionist project.

      Of course, Israel also has the (daily diminishing, sans US support) capability of making Lebanon look like Gaza, too. So the signal Hezbollah is sending – or trying to – is that if, for some reason, Hamas is about to lose in Gaza, Hezbollah would hit Israel very hard. Hezbollah won’t allow Hamas to lose, plain and simple, and that should be part of the Israeli plans.

      1. vidimi

        Israel is using the Dahiya doctrine to discourage others from joinging in. Isreal doesn’t indiscriminately target civilian infrastructure, but specifically targets civilian infrustructure like hospitals, bakeries, ambulances and refugee camps to send a message to, iran and hezbollah specifically, that it will be unspeakably brutal if they were to join. The question is how much of Israel’s arsenal is left. They’ve dropped more bombs on Gaza in less than a month than the US did on Afghanistan over several years.

    3. ChrisFromGA

      Andrey – with all due respect, Do you work on Wall Street, by any chance?

      That sound awfully like the whistling-past-the-graveyard narrative that this is just another buying opportunity; all is well, stay calm and buy Raytheon and Lockheed-Martin.

  3. pjay

    The Consortium News article posted today by As’ad Abukhalil is a useful compliment to this piece. He adds information on the very complex political situation in Lebanon, between members of the ‘Axis of Resistance,’ and with the Gulf states. A precarious balancing act all around. But as with Korybko’s article, the question remains: how much slaughter will these parties be willing or able to take before the dam breaks.

  4. Lex

    I disagree with the equivalency structure of the essay but not the facts as presented. What the US and Israel can do is cause massive damage to Hezbollah and the Axis of Resistance; what it cannot do is actually destroy them, which is what it would have to do in order to meet its definition of victory. The AoR cannot necessarily defeat Israel and the US if the definition of victory is stop their ability to destroy Gaza (especially from the air). But I would expect that the actual definition of victory within the AoR is simply to deny the US-Israel their own victory.

    Consider that in the current international, political climate of rather rapid turning of all public opinion against Israel and its US support, what the US needs is a reason to change the narrative (albeit temporarily). An expansion of the conflict is precisely that. So Hezbollah maintaining a simmer on the Lebanese border without escalating is a denial of the US-Israel’s political need. Strategically it’s similar to Putin’s refusal to go tit-for-tat on Ukrainian escalation. It opens the door for the US to commit more unforced errors and trap itself. It also maintains escalation dominance for Hezbollah in that the initiative remains with Hezbollah in terms of time and scale. So long as it’s a potential rather than reality, US-Israeli planning has a large pool of unknowns it has to accommodate.

    If 10/7 was a grand conspiracy by the AoR to start something, then the current Hezbollah behavior could be seen as failing to uphold its part. There’s no evidence that’s the case. If it wasn’t, then this is Hamas’s (et al) fight in Gaza. Realistically, Hamas is doing very well. We’re weeks in and Israel has accomplished nothing except killing thousands of civilians. The IDF has taken losses at a rate it cannot sustain (>300 dead, including 10/7 and >1,000 wounded so far and acknowledged). The cost in Palestinian civilians is horrific, but in the cold calculus of a resistance insurgency, Hamas is winning with minimal aid from outside. The horrific civilian casualties stemming from Israeli behavior are undermining support for Israel, even to the point where Biden is worried about being able to continue.

    Hezbollah would be foolish to go all in right now. It would be an unforced error that cedes the initiative to the US and it wouldn’t stop the destruction of Gaza and its people. Likely the US would suffer a defeat in this scenario but the US is suffering a grave defeat by proxy now, with Netanyahu and his genocidal rage being a millstone tied around the neck of US “diplomats”. Beyond that, Hezbollah has shown quite clearly that it can make Israel’s north hellish and extract costs that Tel Aviv can not absorb.

    Finally, we need to be thankful that this global resistance is being led by calm and rational people because the last thing we need is an excuse for the incompetent, messianic psychopaths in DC and Tel Aviv to go all in. I, for one, would prefer to avoid witnessing a nuclear exchange.

    1. ISL

      “Hezbollah would be foolish to go all in right now.”

      Yes, but in my analysis, not for that reason. For Hamas to “win,” it must destroy the image of IDF invincibility (as Hezbollah did in 2006), and to force Israel to yield rights to Gaza, Hamas must give Israel a very bloody nose. If Hezbollah goes in full, the IDF will shift to the Northern border and only the bombing of Gaza will continue.

      “Its a trap”

      Israel has to take the bait fully.

      Also, Nasrallah essentially stated that Hezbollah is “Shaping the battlefield” in north Israel (through infiltrators and drone/missile bombing of observation posts), and claimed success, but that they need further time. Standard military doctrine.

      Note, as in Ukraine, I assess Hamas’s goals have expanded. First goals: Humiliate the IDF and Israel and secure hostages for exchange (I don’t believe Hamas realized how fanatically IDS would implement the Hannibal directive: Its logic says if Hezbollah overruns a major Israeli city, the IDF nukes that city).

      The expected overreaction, activated the larger goal of exceeding Israeli ability to absorb casualties and armor losses, forcing Israel to concede to Hamas’ political goals in order for the IDF to withdraw not in a route.

      1. SG

        I’m not sure what “rights to Gaza” Israel is supposed to forfeit. Israel withdrew completely from Gaza in 2005, dismantled all settlements there, and relocated the inhabitants of those settlements to Israel proper.

        Exactly what “rights” did you have in mind, other than the right to respond to attacks from Hamas?

        1. Not Qualified to Comment

          The ‘right’ to respond to attacks is not carte blanche to commit crimes against humanity. It is a right to defend oneself using a minimum of force necessary to contain the threat.

          “[International Humanitarian Law] prohibits attacks directed at civilians and civilian objects, as well as indiscriminate attacks – that is, attacks that strike military objectives and civilians or civilian objects without distinction. IHL also prohibits attacks that may be expected to cause incidental civilian harm that would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated. While the existence of the principle of proportionality is uncontested and is applied daily by military commanders, the key concepts on which it relies (“incidental civilian harm”, “military advantage”, and “excessiveness”) would benefit from further clarification, which the ICRC [International Committee of the Red Cross] has sought to support.”
          – 2019 Report on International Humanitarian Law and the Challenges of Contemporary Armed Conflict in 2019 by the ICRC

          1. SG

            So I absolutely agree with you regarding conduct of the war. I think Israel has a legal and moral obligation to avoid targeting civilians and to attempt to protect them from harm. I think, for example, bombing a refugee camp in the hopes of killing one or two belligerents is a war crime and anyone involved in the planning, approval, or implementation of that horror should be charged.

            1. Synoia

              I think Israel has a legal and moral obligation to avoid targeting civilians and to attempt to protect them from harm. I of that horror should be charged.

              The Israel Army and its precursors, paid little attention to protect innocents in their wars of occupation over their recorded history.

        2. Kouros

          To continue to be the prison guards, force Gazans to rely on Israeli water, electricity, etc, and be subject with Israeli control on what and how much traffic goes btw Gaza and Egypt, Gaza and the outside world via a potential harbour in Gaza, or a functional airport in Gaza….

          1. SG

            Prior to the current conflict, Israel supplied approximately 10% of Gaza’s water – the rest being supplied by desalination and purification facilities in Gaza (the groundwater in Gaza is not potable). Those facilities are out of fuel (as are the pumping stations), which suggests that Hamas was unwise to reject Egypt’s offer to build a fuel depot for Gaza at Rafah several years ago. Some have speculated that their reluctance to go through with that was due to the significant income Hamas obtains from smuggling fuel through their tunnel system and then selling it for inflated prices to the populace. I don’t know if that’s true or not.

            Gaza has its own power plant, too. It is only capable or supplying about 1/3 of Gaza’s electricity consumption. It is also out of fuel and therefore not currently running. Hamas has “governed” Gaza for 17 years, certainly enough time for a competent government to have built another power plant or two. One would think that, as what passes for a government in Gaza, the Qatar-resident leadership of Hamas would divert some of the resources they’ve been using to attack Israeli civilians toward providing for the needs of their populace, but this seems not to have been the case.

            If Hamas has actually stockpiled over 500,000 gallons of fuel, as some sources claim, perhaps they could spare some to help the civilians they care so deeply about.

            1. SG

              Oh, just as an aside: if you’re dependent on someone else’s largesse for necessities, perhaps it’s not a good idea to try to murder them in their sleep. I think that’s what Obama used to refer to as “a teachable moment”.

              1. Kouros

                Dependent on Israeli’s largesse? How much money does Israel actually provides? Largesse because it allowes funding from various sources to come to Gaza? Their stated policy was to keep Gaza just on the verge of collapse, but not to actually collapse. Thus, I bet there is another side of the stories you have presented here and I would like to hear that version as well.

              2. JBird4049

                Legally, the government of Gaza owns quite a bit of the natural gas in the Mediterranean, and it has had signed contracts with European oil companies to extract the gas for both domestic consumption and export. The Netanyahu government blocked it and IIRC was trying to claim ownership of the fields or at least get Syrian, Lebanon, or even Cyprus to counterclaim ownership with a goal of getting a cut from the new owners. Or at least, keep blocking the Gazans from an independent supply of fuel and revenue.

                Netanyahu’s family and political associates were making money from a monopoly both in overpriced shipping to move the overpriced goods that they sold, including gasoline and cement to the Gazans.

                Netanyahu was under legal threat for good reason. Nothing like a war to save a politician’s posterior.

            2. nippersdad

              “….which suggests….” “Some have speculated…” “One would think…”

              As the officially recognized occupying power, the things that Israel has supplied to Gaza were the bare minimum required under international law.

              How can one “govern” a concentration camp without the sovereignty to protect or supply it? If what you are suggesting is that Hamas should have sought a gilded cage, then what would the point of resistance to Gaza’s occupation be? If what Israel and its’ US partner want is an open air kill box then they should be made to own it, and that is what Hamas did.

              What Obama is now admitting is that we have made no effort to push the process forward for decades and this is his “teachable moment”, care of Hamas.

  5. James KOSS

    Leon Uris’ books: The Haj and Exodus, formed my positive opinion of Israel and its policies, travails and dreams. As the ship’s physician I had the experience of treating Uri’s father during an accident on a cruise ship. I learned early on of the word pogrom, the Holocaust, killer concentration camps, unbelievable sufferings of their people and ultimately settling in a new nation given to them while tearing it from the original inhabitants, subsequent wars, and more suffering.

    Several years ago, during the December holidays, my daughter and I were in Israel and Palestine. We met citizens on both sides of what is called the apartheid wall. Neither voiced hatreds, both claimed their respective governments profited from continuance of the conflicts and political isolation. Jews and Palestinians alike were hospitable, friendly and freely discussed their opinions. It was a real lesson passing through the Israeli check point when we returned to Israel from Palestine. Machine guns pointed at us, our car thoroughly searched, we rapidly learned how life was for Palestinians.

    As time passed, I learned more of the changes in Israeli politics and policies. I discovered the original image no longer existed. Gaza was the source of my change in heart. Jews once victims of a genocidal and destructive policy of German Nazis, deserved and were rewarded with compassion and understanding. Less would be inhumane.

    I have no wish to see Israelis suffer, live in fear, die nor see their nation disappear. I extend this wish equally to Palestinians and Palestine. They were once peaceful neighbors. Both are from the Semitic races. But now horrendous changes have since ensued.

    In Gaza, learning from their WWII oppressors, Zionist Israel unfortunately presently retains what remains of Jewry’s memories and horrendous WWII experiences, having now morphed the experiences of WWII into an evil repetition of the cruel and inhumane tactics of Nazi suppression, indiscriminate punishment, and oppression of their present choice of “Untermenchen,” so well learned from the Nazi’s final solution.

    Now it is Palestinians who are indiscriminately corralled into ghettos, individually and en mass shot at, bombed, denied food, medical care, respect and human treatment. Lumping babies, kids, adolescents, pregnant women, even well identified press and ambulance drivers and now hospitals are attacked, killing indiscriminately the innocent, the young, the non-involved, all of them labeled into one group, the ubiquitous Israeli accusation of “terrorist.”

    Once an admired nation of admirable brave, democratic, idealistic and capable citizens, Israel has now descended into a successful student of their Nazi oppressors, copying tactics, offering exaggerations, lies and irrational defenses for their slaughter of all in the name of the evil of some, destroying an urban environment to counter a small number of belligerents. The WWII equivalence would be the Nazi annihilation of the Warsaw Ghetto reenacted this year in Gaza only with a change in the identities of the oppressed and the oppressors.

    Israel now descends to the barbarism of Hamas. Strange bedfellows. Warsaw redux, the oppressed now assuming the role of the oppressors. How the IDF and Israeli politicians differentiate themselves from the evilness of the SS, the ruthless Waffen SS and the killer concentration camps of the Nazis escapes me. How they can forget what happened to them, in doing onto others as was done onto them, is abominable and unforgivable.

    And to add insult to atrocious injuries it’s my tax dollars which pay for their advanced weaponry. Added into the American’s annual over three-billion-dollar gift, every bomb, bullet and rocket is replaced, at US taxpayer expense, to continue the slaughter.

    I now join millions of other decent citizens of the world in saying:


    James Koss, M.D. FAAEM (retired)

    1. Amfortas the Hippie

      Thanks, James.
      well said.
      My intro to israel was Max Dimont’s “Jews, God and History”…which was laying around the house when i was a kid.
      that sent me deep into the macro and micropaedia(brittanica, 1976) to learn more.
      so i was an admirer of the Aliyah for a long while…because this is the USA,lol.
      but then i accidentally came to know, and befriend, a bunch of Palestinian immigrants…both in Huntsville, texas and their relatives in austin.
      shop keepers.
      from them i learned that there was a whole other side to this story…
      and have become more and more pro-palestinian ever since.
      i have nothing at all against Jews…nor regular Israelis.
      even some of the early zionists were at least a little bit reasonable regarding the Natives, and aware of the risk of the zionists becoming what they beheld(nazis).
      now…well, thats over.
      i am antizionist, full stop.
      again, thank you for your thoughtful words.

      1. Xihuitl

        A Houstonian, I was living in Paris in the early 2000’s and reading about Palestinians being murdered with impunity. I started reading and learning the history I hadn’t learned coming of age reading the NY Times.

        Horrified, I joined the International Solidarity Movement and went to the West Bank twice in 2003 and 2004. The purpose was to use our shield as Americans and internationals to protect Palestinians in their homes and fields. However, that was around the time American Rachel Corrie was crushed by an Israeli bulldozer that was in the process of demolishing a Palestinian home and Brit Tom Hurndall was shot in the head by an Israeli sniper as he rushed to rescue a Palestinian child from Israeli fire.

        The situation now is truly frightening. So many friends, people, ignorant, blinded to ongoing genocide. So this is how it happens.

        1. Phenix

          I use Rachel’s story to teach people of Israeli disregard for human life.

          I forgot Tom’s name. So many deaths due to snipers.

          We are all about the same age. I never took their leap. I always thought it was futile.

  6. The Rev Kev

    I’m going to take a guess and say that Nasrallah’s stategy is not to be provoked but just to be Chekov’s gun – maybe. Hezbollah is already stretching Israeli forces and Israel does not have the ability to invade Lebanon but just let themselves be engaged in a low-level for of warfare on this front. Of course Washington would like to bomb them but there are two problems here – first, all their bases in this region would come under fire perhaps making some untenable. The bigger problem however is that they may not be sure what anti-ship missiles that Hezbollah have. Back during the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 2006, a Hezbollah missile hit the INS Hanit – an Israeli Navy Corvette – and caused some major damage and casualties. But that was about 17 years ago and undoubtedly the Hezbollah missiles have gotten much, much better since. I do not think that the US Navy wants to find out how much more effective they have become.

    1. ISL

      but would the navy disobey a directive from the Biden neocon administration to launch attacks on ME targets as the US has habitually done for decades with impunity?

      And would not disobeying such an order prevent the admiral from getting a seat on a board of directors upon retirement? Afterall, every aircraft carrier sunk is billions in profits when it is replaced. Sure, military doctrine could be revised. But that would require actual leadership.

  7. Mathew

    Gaza is dividing the world into the Whiteful West and the multicolored resistance, the vast majority. A minority of Whites align with the earthfolk majority and a minority of the multicolored are bought off by the Whiteful power strata. The Whiteful power strata consists of Zionists, neocons, and neo-Nazis, disguised often by neoliberalism. The danger of world war has increased, not least because we are afraid to Mention the Unmentionable racial hostility of history.

    1. JBird4049

      >>>Gaza is dividing the world into the Whiteful West and the multicolored resistance, the vast majority

      Respectfully, what? The term “Whiteful West” seems too identitarian especially when much of the resistance seems to be from those whiteful plebes, Israeli leftists and the Orthodox, and many non-Israeli Jews.

      Maybe, it might be better said that it is old school leftists, liberals, moderates, a chunk of conservatives, really anyone against genocide, regardless of what else that they identify as, against everyone else who supports genocide either against the Palestinians or the Israelis.

      1. SG

        “Whiteful West” seems like a bizarre characterization when nearly half of all Israeli Jews are descended from the Mizrahi (Middle Eastern) Jews who were “ethnically cleansed” from Arab countries in 1948. Just because most Jews in the US are Azhkenazim doesn’t mean that the entire population of Israel is, you know.

    2. Kouros

      The majority of whites in the west have absolutely no say and no effective influence on how their respective states conduct their business, especially foreign affairs…

  8. nippersdad

    There was an interesting juxtaposition of headlines this morning on Politico:
    Israel bombs ambulance convoy near Gaza’s largest hospital and Emhoff: There is an ‘antisemitism crisis’ on our nation’s campuses. Is that actual antisemitism or just the natural function of kids not wanting to be associated with a snuff film, Doug?

    The problem with using the Holocaust Museum’s definition of antisemitism has always been that it conflates explicitly Zionist activities with Judaism, and we have been seeing the blowback a lot lately.

    Just as the “forty beheaded babies” propaganda was debunked, I am now seeing many examples in the normie press of how the “1200 civilians killed by Hamas” is being debunked as well, to the point where one has to wonder how many of them were actually killed by Israel. Code Pink showing up in Congress with red paint on their hands was a very powerful image, and it is striking to see how many “centrist” pols are backing off of their formerly maximalist positions on Israel. Karma is not going to be kind to them.

    Hopefully it will only be a matter of time before the worms will turn and Palestine will have a home of its’ own; something that I never thought would happen in my lifetime.

    1. SG

      “Palestine will have a home of its’[sic] own”

      From your mouth to God’s ear, as the old Jewish saying goes. I’d like to see a sovereign, prosperous, secure, and [small-d] democratic Palestinian state. I’m not sure that continued rule by decree of a band of genocidal theocrats is conducive to that outcome. I feel similarly about continued rule by the Israeli extreme right, by the way.

      One can support “Zionism” as the national liberation movement of the Jewish people without supporting the bigoted actions of certain Israeli governments or the anti-Arab sentiments of certain Israeli politicians. One can support this sort of Zionism without falling for the “religious Zionist” drivel spouted by the Israeli extreme right, just as one can advocate for a free Palestinian state without subscribing to the Hamas charter.

      If, on the other hand, you oppose the Zionist movement as the national liberation movement of the Jewish people, then it would seem that you’re saying that Jews, alone among all the peoples of the earth, are not entitled to nationhood. That does indeed strike me as antisemitic on its face. So does threatening to kill or rape Jewish students at Columbia, just because they are Jewish. So does advocating killing Jews because they are Jews as a religious duty, as the Hamas charter does. I admit to having certain prejudices here, because I do not want people considering murdering me to be a religious duty.

      You may not agree with that characterization. That’s fine, but I’d point out to you that a non-Jew has about as much business lecturing a Jew on what is and isn’t antisemitic as a white person has lecturing a black person about what ius and isn’t racist. Bigotry is in the eye of the recipient, after all.

      1. nippersdad

        And I would suggest that putting words in the mouths of others is not conducive to constructive debate.

        No, I do not agree with your characterizations. As with any occupied area you will end up with zealots in opposition. Hamas is not a government it is a movement, and as Guterres said the other day at the UN it is a movement that did not originate in a vacuum. Your point about “rule by decree of a band of genocidal theocrats” is clearly projection. Under international law occupied peoples have the right of retaliation even as Israel has the responsibility of care in its’ occupied territories. They created their own monsters.

        I was watching something the other day that mentioned a speech by Moshe Dayan in which he prefigured all that came after; none of this is simply a problem engendered by recent Israeli Governments, and it is disingenuous to claim that it is. One of settler colonialisms features is always ethnic cleansing.

        Whether you are talking about Herzl or Dayan or Netanyahu, they have always known what was going to happen; they wrote about it happening, they made it happen. We have no control over the past, but we do have a responsibility to the present and future. Israel was given a great gift, why they were given this gift of a new homeland is no more pretty than how it is presently being managed. It was, nevertheless, a gift that has been squandered.

        In refusing to do the bare minimum that was asked of them in the Balfour Declaration, much less the subsequent mandates given them by the UN, in my view, they have given up any right to the high moral ground. They have proven to be no better than those they sought to escape Europe from; with power came responsibilities, responsibilities that have been flagrantly ignored. That is a problem for all of us. Most of us did not sign up to underwrite an ethno-nationalist theocracy that holds our governance by the nose. You don’t have to be Jewish to recognize that, and there are a lot of Jewish people out there right now that want no part of what Zionism has become, either.

        If you want a sovereign, peaceful and prosperous Palestine then you need to look to Israel to provide them with the wherewithal to create one, for they were the ones who have made it impossible to date. If you do not want such as Hamas to regard it as a religious duty to kill you then it is your responsibility as a Jew to help ensure that the Jewish state ceases to regard Palestinians as mere impediments to their right to take over whatever they want at their expense in the name of their religion.

        Bigotry is a quantifiable attitude and you don’t get to unilaterally decide what it is, for that is how they got there in the first place.

      2. Yves Smith Post author

        Help me. It was Israel that undermined the moderate and secular PLO and promoted Hamas to divide the Palestinians. And Hamas is more militant than religious. That is confirmed by Wikipedia which depicts Hamas as one of the “more religious-orientated factions” which is well short of “theocratic”. l don’t hear of them engaging in religous policing, while there are plenty of videos of Zionist Jews meanacing Jews who favor Palestine rights and Christians.

        1. skippy

          Some people seen so totally ignorant of this region is the well spring of so much human conflict over so much critical human history – full stop + its all so OT.

  9. John k

    Maybe I’m not understanding what I read, but I can’t see the duopoly loses face with a ceasefire. Genocide is a powerful word even if unspoken, imo Biden could emulate Reagan and tell Israel to stop and allow food water in to avoid the unspoken word, or to stop the carnage from getting worse.
    Wife tells me blinken has asked for a ceasefire 3 times… if serious that already shows the us is not afraid of losing face, granted it might not be serious, maybe Biden has to lift the phone. And maybe in this case biden can’twont threaten to cut support given politics?
    I wonder if Sisi is thinking if Palestinians can’t get out israel will have to stop soon… have we hit 10k deaths yet?
    Granted arab states are long used to Palestinian suffering, wonder if the global south might be more moved by events. Argentina election coming soon.

  10. elissa3

    Concerning the Hezbollah/Israel situation, I’ve preferred the label “balance of terror” to that of the Cold War MAD. Rational thought by either side’s decision makers would argue against a full blown war on the Lebanon/Israel border. The many, many thousands who would be killed and the destruction of infrastructure in both countries are a caution to any political leader in either country. Nasrallah is eminently rational, and he has internal (Lebanese) political issues to consider. If, and here is the conditional: if Israeli leaders remain rational, there will be no full blown war between Hezbollah and Israel. The exposure of the IDF’s vulnerabilities in Gaza by a Hamas that has a fraction of the capability of Hezbollah, and the memories of the 2006 invasion have surely caused enough doubt in the minds of Israeli military chiefs so that they would discourage any political leader’s idea to start a full-blown offensive operation.

    All this supposes rationality on the part of those making decisions.

    To interject a note of black humor: several years ago, an Israeli leader, I forget whom, said that if Hezbollah started a war then Israel would send Lebanon back to the Stone Age. Well, if that were the case, then perhaps Lebanese builders would be available to reconstruct the next temple in Jerusalem. Just as Hiram of Tyre sent his builders to Solomon to construct the first temple.

  11. Aurelien

    What’s missing from this article is the Lebanese dimension. Hezbollah derives its legitimacy from being “the Resistance” in Lebanon, and having fought well in the 2006 war. It needs the Lebanese state (where it has been in and out of government for fifteen years) and it needs the country to remain independent and intact. (So does Iran.) This means that its calculations here cannot be separated from its calculations about the current political crisis in Lebanon (no President, no government, no successor to the Army Commander). So far, Hezbollah has been in no hurry to settle the crisis, since the weaker the Lebanese state is, up to a point, the more they benefit politically, and the weaker the Army is, the more room for manoeuvre they have. But this may change, and I suspect that the relative moderation and defensive nature of Nasrallah’s tone has something to do with not wanting to give the appearance of dragging the country into war, whilst still defending his party against criticism from Hamas that they are not doing enough. In addition, of course, Hezbollah are long-term strategic thinkers, and are probably already thinking several moves ahead.

    As regards the conflict itself, there was an interesting article in L’Orient-Le Jour a couple of days ago, suggesting that Hezbollah is doing less well against the Israeli forces than expected, because the latter are making much more use of drones, thus undermining to some extent Hezbollah’s advantage with small-unit tactics (though Hezbollah is also using drones of its own.) Nasrallah is not going to want to risk too much, too soon, in a flat-out confrontation.

    1. hk

      There is the additional fact that Hizbullah, Iran, Turkey, and the Saudis (and other Middle Eastern actors) will not want to commit suicide (or risk massive losses) just to make a point. While powerful for a militia, Hizbullah will suffer massive losses if it goes mano a mano with Israel in an offensive (especially after Israel, presumably, learned a bit from its failures back in 2006). If Hizbullah acts too rashly, it’s liable to be left alone doing the real fighting. And Hizbullah has issues with Hamas (Sunni Islamists who sent contingents to fight in the Syrian Civil War, whom Hizbullah fought not long ago.). While I don’t doubt they are sincerely sympathetic to the Palestinian cause, they won’t jump into the fight unless they are forced AND extremely well prepared. The latter may or not be true. The former hasn’t quite happened yet.

  12. Anonymous

    Hedge fund fraudster, Bill Ackerman has been busy denouncing Harvard and calling on its president to resign because students oppose Israel genocide policies in Gaza. The same is true in other campuses. Not only have these fraudster bankster philanthropists tried to control academia , but also want to suppress the freedom of speech.

    Hamas inflicted a much more serious blow by unmasking the hypocrisy and chutzpah policies in the US and Middle East.

  13. Mikel

    It’s not a matter of things escalating for all involved, but escalating further.
    It’s already escalated and is escalating.
    So what is being talked about is trying to avoid further escalation.
    Just to be clear to anyone who thinks escalation has been avoided.

  14. Rubicon

    Socrates said that acknowledging one’s ignorance – being honest and humble – is the first, basic step to knowledge. Those who don’t even admit to their ignorance are blind and deaf – groping in the dark, and will never see any light.

    Sadly, vast swathes of American citizens have never picked up a book to study the centuries of the MIddle East; both past and present. Therefore, we acknowledge our ignorance lest we grope in the dark and express just how ignorant we truly are.

  15. Susan the other

    This war has been such a long time coming that it feels like it lost the plot. The world has more urgent things to take care of and war is frivolous by comparison. Except for the eternal reality that the destruction of war can never be called “frivolous.” It is an insanely meticulous temper tantrum based on extreme prejudice based on genetic paranoia, and etc. It needs to end. It’s no surprise that 9/11 got us into the Middle East. We have been obsessed with the control of oil since at least 1940. It’s no surprise that we humans resort to false-flagging ourselves. But it’s nuts. So here’s a thought: Let’s all take a lesson from Russia and China and employ a little adapted Marxist negotiating. From each to each. Mutually Assured Security. MAS. If the wars are existential, then existence can be assured. By agreement. Not by hallucination. Because, gosh, hallucination misses the point entirely.

  16. Savita

    On Craig Murrays blog someone posted a link to a letter written by Israelis, to their native media. They remained anonymous for their protection. It was a list of questions for their government they wanted answered. The tone was, overall, we don’t support our Gov. and we want peace. Sorry, I didn’t retain it.
    The first question or demand was ‘list the names of everyone killed in Israeli in the 7 Oct. incident. We don’t believe your quote of 1500 unless you prove it’. This first question was restrained, they didn’t say false flag out right. But it was simply asking the question ‘How about you prove it?’.

    1. Acacia

      I have seen a number of videos on social media, all from Israelis who claim to have served in the IDF, a number who served at the border of Gaza, and all of them assert that based upon the operations of the IDF that they experienced during their service, and the level of surveillance conducted by Israel, there is no way that Hamas took Israel by surprise on Oct. 7th. They don’t believe the official narrative at all. They reaction ranges from extreme incredulity to outright anger.

      I don’t really know what to make of these videos (which of course are verging on CT concerning an unreported stand down order), they get sourced from TikTok, but some of the questions they raise seem credible.

  17. The Rev Kev

    Been thinking a bit more about Nasrallah had to say and began to wonder if this is more like the Tet offensive in ‘Nam ’68. Back then, the South Vietnamese Vietcong launched attacks all across South Vietnam. They took extremely heavy casualties but they attained a strategic victory for the north. But there was another layer to this campaign. The North Vietnamese bumped heads with the Vietcong in the south from time to time and they knew that this could mean trouble in the long term. But by letting the Vietcong attack, that problem kinda ‘went away’ so by the time they took over the country in ’75, there was little opposition to them in the south left.

    Now look at Hamas from the Nasrallah point of view. They are from the Muslim Brotherhood and have had a past of being proxies for the west and even the Israelis. Hell, Netanyahu has funded them with tens if not hundreds of millions. In Syria alone they fought against Assad’s father and in the Syrian war fought on the side of ISIS which put them up against Hezbollah forces who fought with the government. So no loyalty there. Nasrallah never even knew that Hamas was going to attack Israel but was kept in the dark too. But, if like the Vietcong, they fight the Israeli army and cause extensive damage and casualties, that benefits Hezbollah in case Israel wants to make another run on Lebanon though because of the massive expenses of this war, that will be out of the question for the Israelis for years if not decades.

    But it is true that Israel is suffering a strategic defeat so I am forced to count this as a Hamas victory. Yes they are bombing civilians and capturing territory – just like the Ukrainians – but on the world stage they are being met with revulsion with their Old Testament tactics, especially with the countries of the Global Majority. Israel will still be “friends” with the US and the EU but that is not so great and is even causing tensions in those countries as well. Hamas successfully ripped off their mask and showed the whole world what they are constantly dealing with and consequences will follow. And for Nasrallah? His forces keep a massive chunk of the Israeli military away from Gaza for little expense and he gets to see the Israeli army get wrecked along with Hamas. And if the US gets too smart, he can certainly have US forces across the region get wrecked too but that is only if Biden seeks to widen this war.

  18. Joe

    100-200k is a lot but will they all be launched? Are they mobile or fixed? Does Israel have the capability to strike these missiles on the ground? How many missiles does Israel have?
    Remember too, Israel makes and modifies weapons. Hezbollah receives hand me downs whose capabilities are known. In a game of real time chess, the advantage lay with the Israelis, who are also fighting for existence, which in war lends itself to a more spirited action

    1. Morincotto

      Hezbollah makes and modifies weapons too, just saying.
      Still, they don’t have a defense industry on par with Israel.
      But their capacity to produce their own stuff should not be underestimated.
      And that more low tech production capacity in some ways may well be more resilient than Israel’s more hightech and probably more concentrated one.

Comments are closed.