Gaza – Civilization will Win over Barbarism

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Part 2

Nima April 22, 24

Michael’s notes from this important interview. Watch the geo-political markers.

1A. US student and voter opposition to the US-Israeli genocide.

 The breaking news here in New York City today are the mass protests at Columbia University, New York University and the New School opposing the genocide in Gaza. The protests have spread to Yale, Harvard and other universities throughout the United States. Columbia locked their gates, closing out students not only from their classes but from their dormitories and cafeterias. They are obliged to stay with friends or sleep outside. Over a hundred were arrested and their hands put in plastic tie-cuffs for many hours.

 Students are furious at how the presidents of Harvard, University of Pennsylvania and Columbia have knuckled under the Congressional accusations that they are permitting anti-Semitic demonstrations on campus. One sign just show on television here says just what the Republican pro-Israel congresswoman Stefanik said that If you oppose genocide in Gaza, that’s called anti-Semitism.

 These hearings in Congress feature politicians seeking AIPAC money to wave the Israeli flag. This is the biggest scandal since the McCarthy hearings back in the 1950s that led to many actors, intellectuals, professors and government staffers to be fired and have their careers reckoned.

 All three university presidents apologized for not preventing students from supporting the United Nations and the International Court of Justice. Not a single one said, “I’m proud that our students are standing up for what’s fair, and for supporting the United Nations and the rule of international law. This shows how moral and committed students are to opposing unfair one-sided bombing of a population as part of ethnic cleansing to create a Holocaust waged by Zionists themselves.”

 No university president said this. Their cowardice showed that their first concern was donors to their endowments, not to their students. The US-Israeli war on the Palestinians has caused a crisis in academic freedom. Today, Columbia University has closed down all its in-person classes to prevent further student protests against the genocide in Gaza.

 For the first time since the threat wave of student protests against the Vietnam War in the 1960s, and soon after that, the protests against South African apartheid, students are demonstrating against the U.S. bombing of civilian populations. The Democratic Party is upset because this means that Biden probably cannot possibly win in November. I remember back in the 1960s, President Lyndon Johnson couldn’t speak at any hotel or other public space without having to sneak out a side door to avoid crowds changing, “LBJ, LBJ, how many kids did you kill today.”

 Something like that is happening with President Biden. Crowds gather and chant against his war-making from Israel to Ukraine, and chant, “Bomber Joe has got to go.”

Younger voters share a revulsion against his fighting to the last Ukrainians and his war on the Palestinians. Many Americans are refusing to vote Democratic – or Republican. Third-party candidates are gaining support, headed by Jill Stein and RFK Jr. What’s amazing is that the only anti-war candidate who’s on the ballot is Jill Stein. The Democratic Party is trying to get her and any other challengers off the ballot – just as in Ukraine, Zelensky has cancelled elections and banned other parties.

The opposition to the Democrat and Republican neocon Deep State threatens a deadlock between the two awful candidates, Biden and Trump. A likely result is that if neither of the two major party candidates has over 50% of the vote, this November’s election will end up throwing the election into the House of Representatives. The balance will then lie with the third-party electors, who can make the kind of deals that European parliamentary states negotiate.

 This election is heavily influenced by money from AIPAC – the Zionist lobbying organization. While they attack critics of Netanyahu and Israel as being anti-Semitic, he has said that the great public relations problem is created by Jewish liberals! They are against genocide. And they are demonstrating on campuses across the United States.

 Colleges are punishing supporters of Gaza as if they want to destroy Israel. The university’s president claims that Jewish students feel threatened, but the reality is Zionist violence. At Columbia, students who have served in Israeli IDF forces have sprayed pro-Palestinian demonstrators with Skunk, an indelible chemical. Columbia University did nothing to protect or help the students under attack.

 This is what Freud called projection: The Zionists are projecting onto their victims the genocide that THEY want to perform against Palestinians and other Near Easterners – Arabs, Persians and beyond.

 This claim that “To criticize Israel is to be anti-Semitic” sets Zionists against the great majority of Jews who have been thoroughly assimilated over the past 75 years. Anti-Semitism has been frowned upon for over half a century. Netanyahu, Biden, and Columbia’s president are saying that if you support the United Nations and the International Court of Justice, you’re anti-Semitic. If you oppose Gaza genocide and criticize Israel, you’re ant-Semitic.” The implication is that the whole world who has criticized this violence and breaking of international law is anti-Semitic.

 At some point, many will begin to say, “All right. I guess I’m anti-Semitic.” Netanyahu, Biden and AIPAC may be creating the most anti-Semites since Hitler!

 Columbia University president Nemit Shafik has said that protests against the Gaza genocide are anti-Semitic, demanding genocide against Jews. She called out the police to break up student demonstrations, arrested over a hundred students, cancelled their IDs, prevented them from returning to their dormitories or completing their exams. All this as a sign to Columbia’s trustees that she would not hear of any support for the UN, ICJ or their criticisms of Israeli behavior.

 When the Congressional right-wingers demanded that she accuse calls to stop killing Palestinians as calls for the extermination of Israelis – by not letting them “protect themselves” – she didn’t stand up and say that she was proud that these students are defending the United Nations and the International Court of Justice. She said that she will expel the students, expel professors who oppose the genocide, and stand with opposing any anti-war stance. This is not surprising.

Columbia’s president Shafik worked for the IMF and the World Bank on behalf of the United States’ right-wing. She has fully backed Netanyahu’s claims that to criticize Israel is to be anti-Semitic.

1. Your take on Gaza, and the new escalations between Iran and Israel – who’s benefiting?

Well, no matter what, Palestinians are losing. The Gaza bombing has resumed, and the killing has spread to the West Bank.

 It’s hard to say that Israel is winning. It’s doing all the killing, but it is becoming an outcast.

 So is the United States. Biden’s pretense to dissociate the United States from Israel has backfired. The world sees it as absurd when he asks Netanyahu to please “be kind and follow the rules of war” while it’s breaking international law by bombing hospitals, shooting doctors and especially journalists, using Gazan civilians for target practice, bombing Iran’s embassy in Syria. Biden’s pretense is that the US is not encouraging Israel to keep on wiping out Palestinians as Israel’s Final Solution. But that obviously is his policy and that of his neocon team, Blinken and Jake Sullivan.

They keep giving Israel a steady flow of bombs and money. If you look at the U.S. actions, they are saying: “Go right ahead. We just don’t want to be blamed for it. We want to preserve deniability so as to save our moral credibility.” But that credibility is now gone – as irreversibly as that of Israel. Their pretense of asking Netanyahu to be more gentle – while giving him more big bombs every week – seems to be saying, “We know that giving Israel arms and money is bad. But it’s all Netanyahu’s fault. We wish he could exterminate Palestinians in a nicer way.

 Likewise when Biden and Blinken make public statements telling Israel NOT to bomb Iran, this has been a common U.S.-Israeli goal for many years. The Neocons have given Netanyahu the go-ahead to make Israel something more than just a “landed aircraft carrier” and on-site manager of Isis. It is to be an outright armed attacker.

 The problem is that militarily, there seems to be no way for Israel to avoid being hurt. The neocons have seen that as the United States is losing world power and support, and even losing its military superiority. The best time for a war in the Middle East against Iran – and simultaneously against Russia and China – is now, rather than later.

Or I should say, the “least bad” time to fight Iran. This is their last big chance, with a crazy Israeli leader in Netanyahu and equally crazy rival politicians waiting to step in and follow the same policy, which seems to be that of the Israeli population as a whole.

But Russia and also China have signalled very strongly that they will protect Iran. If it is hit, Iran will be protected, and it will wipe out Israel.

I think that when the dust settles, Iran will come out ahead, Israel will self-destruct and the United States will be isolated from the rest of the world outside of its NATO partners and client states.

 

The violence in Gaza and the West Bank is reminiscent of the 19th century’s colonization practices wiping out indigenous populations that the Global Majority feel themselves pressed to create an alternative. They see Israel as pursuing what European colonial powers did in the 19th century.

The Europeans have apologized for what they did, and most Americans sympathize with the native “Indians” killed so that the Slave Power could use their lands for cotton and tobacco, driving them further and further West, breaking one treaty after another. That is how settler states behave.

 But until Israel, that was thought to be a bygone relic of European colonialism.

The world sees this happening again today – with an abhorrent sanctimonious self-justification that Israel is “protecting itself.” Its view is that it has behaved so brutally and Nazi-like against the Palestinians that they MUST want to fight back and kill them. Israeli aggressors thus are projecting their own behavior and hatred onto their victims.

 So to answer your question about who is the winner: This awful genocidal attack has introduced a note of urgency on the part of the Global Majority: the BRICS+ countries, the Global South and Eurasia.

 I think that this is a turning point in Western civilization, away from Western intolerance, unipolar demand for control, and the institutions of US control created in 1944-1945.

 This is an attempt to obliterate the rules of international law and leave only U.S. power in its place. This constant vetoing of UN rules and the International Court of Justice condemning Israel for genocide, for breaking all international rules by bombing foreign embassies, means that the United Nations is effectively dead.

The United States just vetoed the attempt to recognize Palestine as a nation. This veto shows that Biden wants Palestinians exterminated so as to use Israeli power to destabilize the Near East, to continue its role in mobilizing ISIS terrorism and act as the warhead in the U.S. attack on Near Eastern countries seeking independence from U.S. control.

Only a full spectrum set of international institutions can enable other countries to break free. So the ultimate loser is the dream of U.S. unipolar power.

The winners and losers thus go far beyond just Iran and Israel. This is really a conflict of civilizations. And I hope that civilization will win over barbarism.

2. Is Ukraine about to collapse since the far-right soldiers are surrendering and not willing to continue though we still see the US sending more aid?

 Ukraine already has collapsed, not only militarily but politically and socially. The Azov Battalion and other far-right soldiers are not surrendering, because they have been protected by staying behind the front. They have spent their time mainly attacking and terrorizing civilians.

 The civilian population is doing everything that it can to avoid being rounded up and thrown into the front lines without proper training. These are the Ukrainian troops who are defecting to the Russian army.

 The U.S. Congress just passed the aid package for Ukraine on Sunday. But the Christian Zionist Republican leader Mike Johnson, appointed by Trump, followed President Biden in making it clear that the aid was going to be spent in the United States, on U.S. arms production – employing U.S. labor – not on money sent to Ukraine.

 Many Congresspersons were waiving Ukrainian flags on the floor. That’s almost as serious a breach of rules as the Congressman who walked in wearing his Israeli IDF uniform –to show where his loyalty really lies.

3. Olaf Scholz visiting China trying to convince them not to help Russia. Are the EU and US able to separate China and Russia? How deep is the partnership between these two countries? 

 The US attack on China and Russia – and Iran and most of the Global Majority – has driven China and Russia together, and indeed more of the world together to protect themselves against US constant destabilization, regime change and political attacks.

 I would have thought that the Chinese would simply laugh at Scholz, but they are being as polite to him as they were to Treasury Secretary Yellen a few weeks ago when she made similar demands. They will smile and say that they understand what they are being asked to do, but they will continue to support Russia.

 There is no way that the United States can drive a wedge between China and Russia, because Biden has said again and again that America’s number one long-term existential enemy is China, and that to defeat it – perhaps by going to war as early as 2026 – is to conquer Russia so that Russia cannot provide defense to the planned US-China War.

 China is acting in a way that must surprise much of the West by still trying to hope that it can persuade the US neocons, Democrats and Republicans that there is a win-win alternative to war.

The Western art of persuasion: to hurt, bomb, injure, overthrow in regime change.

 The rest of the world, from antiquity through China: persuasion by finding a win-win solution. Leave the existing elites in place. That is what Persia did, and Genghis Khan.

4. Please take a look at the attached file of China’s rising trade. Where is China’s economy heading? 

 China is filling the economic vacuum caused by the US and NATO-Europe de-industrializing. Its official policy is socialism, but this turns out in practice to be the same basic economic practice of subsidy, infrastructure spending and rising living standards that the United States and Germany pursued in the late 19th century as the basic policy of industrial capitalism – which itself was evolving toward socialism.

 China has thus achieved the policies that the United States and Germany originally followed so successfully. But the U.S. and European capitalism is no longer industrial. It is finance capitalism.

 The US policy realizes that American and European economies are priced out of the market by deteriorating into rentier-capitalist economies. That is why the bill to support Ukraine and Israel, and to stir up Taiwan in hopes that like Ukraine, it will fight to the last Taiwanese against China, included a demand that China sell Tik-Tok.

 The US wants to become a rentier economy living on the monopoly rents by controlling internet platforms, computer-chip technology and Artificial Intelligence crapification.

 But here’s the problem for the United States. Getting technological leadership involves R&D. But this costs money – and Amazon, Google, Meta and others use their revenue to push up stock prices in the SHORT RUN by stock buybacks and dividend payouts, not for long-term R&D. So that is the big problem.

 The more immediate problem is that the US sanctions against selling critical computer-chip and information technology to China has led it to realize that it must become totally independent of U.S. suppliers. U.S. chipmakers have complained to Biden that losing the Chinese market by obeying these sanctions will deprive them of the revenue needed to make the capital investment needed to compete.

 So the US attempt to isolate and hurt China and all other countries seeking to increase their self-dependency is turning out to isolate the United States itself. That is the irony of U.S. self-destructive policy based on hurting other countries as a means of controlling them instead of trying to offer mutual gains as China and the rest of the civilized world are doing as their basic approach.

 This is why civilization is surviving over barbarism.

Photo by Ahmed Abu Hameeda on Unsplash