Middle East on Edge

16/09/2019

Israel has an election coming up, after the shenanigans that occurred earlier this year, and as such have been increasing tensions in both Gaza and the West Bank. An attack on an oil supply in Saudi Arabia, allegedly carried out by the Houthis, has set the US on yet another rampage of rhetoric towards Iran. 18 years after 9/11, the US has done nothing but destroy any chances for peace that have arisen.

Whoever wins the Israeli election, it won’t be the Palestinians. It’s quite likely that Netanyahu will retain his role as Prime Minister, despite being rolled up in various corruption charges. They seem to have taken from the US playbook – when domestic issues and policies become too touchy to talk about, break international law to rile up the hapless masses. It worked for the US and Australia, why not Israel?

Annexing the West Bank amounts to a war crime, another to add to the list that has grown since 1948 – and, as always, let’s just remember that criticism of Israel, their government, and the policies they enact is not anti-Semitic. Regardless of whichever party is in power over there, the approach to the Palestinians has always been the same. They’ve had to consistently, sort of like our government in Australia in relation to refugees, one-up the opposition, demonising human beings to the point that their population is fearful and resentful of their mere existence.

Which is ironic, given that that is exactly how they are told the Palestinians perceive them. One of the articles in the book Gaza Unsilenced I read earlier this year quote a Palestinian child saying she hated Israel – not because their government or family told them to, but because they could feel nothing else while bombs dropped. Israel, armed to the teeth and shielded by the Iron Dome, backed by the US, knows that the Palestinians are weak in comparison, but also thinks they are a great threat.

The only real threat to Israel is Iran, which, despite Iran’s leaders doing everything they can to avoid a devastating war, the Murdoch press has announced to the world that they are in fact inviting war with the US. Tensions have been rising between Iran and the US and Israel separately, and now Trump has – without explicitly naming Iran – said that the US is “locked and loaded”.

Does Iran back the Houthis in Yemen? Possibly, but if they do it’s pretty negligible. Any support Iran can give them pales in comparison to the might of the Saudi-led invasion, backed happily by the Obama and Trump administrations. Around the same time as the Iran Deal was cautiously agreed to by Saudi Arabia, the invasion of Yemen began. The US had thrown the oil rich state a bone, but now Trump has given them a second one by tearing up the nuclear deal.

A war with Iran would devastate the Middle East, if it can in fact be any more devastated by imperialist wars. Militarily, Iran and its allies – including Russia, if they’re bold enough to get involved after the business in Ukraine is handled – could hold out against the US, but if Israel and Iran build up nuclear stockpiles it would devolve into barbarity. Not to mention, if it too became another prolonged assault like Vietnam or Iraq, the US could not sustain it. It would not be economically viable, even for the bloodthirsty US, to maintain enough support or attrition to successfully take the region.

Destroy it, for sure. It would be a repeat of the Vietnam war, where a defeated US left behind three countries worth of carnage to let simmer. Except this would potentially add millions more to the refugees pouring out of the Middle East, particularly Syria, where Syrian and Iranian forces already stave off Israeli aggression.

I had someone online try and tell me that if Iran ruled the world things would be different. It shouldn’t have to be said, but criticism of Iran and criticism of the US and Iran are not mutually exclusive. You don’t have to be a fan of the Iranian government to realise that a bloody war will cause more pain, death, and increased terrorism in the future. Iran’s authoritarian nature does need to be challenged, but sanctions and blatant threats of invasion are undeniably the wrong way to go about it.

 

Liked this? Read Is the Invasion of Iran Confirmed?

Previous piece: Can People Learn Online?

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