The US Government Is Complicit in Genocide

Israel Is the Tail Wagging the American Dog of War

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Reprinted from Bracing Views with the author’s permission.

The U.S. government is complicit in the ongoing genocide in Gaza.

Americans may think that “aid” to Israel is held up in Congress, more than $14 billion in death-dealing munitions and machinery of war, but in fact the U.S. has already provided massive amounts of bombs and targeting guidance to Israel, all with the tacit approval of Congress, and of course with the full-throated support of the Biden administration.

Israel is the tail wagging the American dog of war.

Guess who’s being invited to address
(or, should I say, command) Congress again?

The best summary of this reality that I’ve seen came in a recent TomDispatch article written by Stan and Priti Gulati Cox. Here’s an extended excerpt:

Worse yet, the Biden administration has enabled that ongoing [Israeli] killing spree [in Gaza] by approving 100 separate military sales to Israel since the conflict began in October. As a former administration official told the Washington Post, “That’s an extraordinary number of sales over the course of a pretty short amount of time, which really strongly suggests that the Israeli campaign would not be sustainable without this level of U.S. support.”

In other words, the backbone of the war on Gaza comes with a label: “Made in USA.” In the decade leading up to October 7th, as the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute has reported, two-thirds of Israel’s arms imports came from the United States. (From 1950 to 2020, the U.S. share was a whopping 83%!)

In just the first couple of months of the war, the Biden administration sent 230 cargo planes and 20 ships full of military goods to Israel, a trove that included 100 BLU-109 bombs (2,000-pounders designed to penetrate hardened structures before exploding), 5,400 MK84 and 5,000 MK82 bunker-busters, 1,000 GBU-39 bombs, 3,000 JDAM bomb-guidance kits, and 200 “kamikaze drones.”

Such powerful bombs, reported Al Jazeera, “have been used in some of the deadliest Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip, including a strike that leveled an apartment block in the Jabalia refugee camp, killing more than 100 people.” And yes, such bunker-busters were widely used in the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but not in places as densely populated as Gaza’s cities. Israeli sources tried to justify that particular death toll by insisting it was necessary to kill one of Hamas’s leaders. If so, we’re talking about a 100-to-1 ratio, or a kind of collective punishment being supported by our tax dollars.

Worse yet, our military seems to have been participating directly in the IDF’s operations. According to the Intercept’s Ken Klippenstein and Matthew Petti, the Defense Department has been providing satellite intelligence and software to help the IDF find and hit targets in Gaza. An “Air Defense Liaison Team,” they report, even traveled to Israel in November to offer targeting help, adding that “for the first time in U.S. history, the Biden administration has been flying surveillance drone missions over Gaza.”

And even then, some members of Netanyahu’s government felt it wasn’t enough. Far right-wing Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich put it this way when it came to President Biden’s warning not to send the IDF into the southern Gazan city of Rafah where hundreds of thousands of refugees were gathered: “American pressure or fear of harming civilians should not deter us from occupying Rafah and destroying Hamas.”

The Israeli hostages held by Hamas are the excuse for so much of this, but the way to free them would be to negotiate, as Israel did successfully last fall, not try to “wipe Hamas off the face of the earth.” The Israelis are mostly bombing civilian sites in that campaign, because they’re reluctant to fight their way through the vast fortified network of tunnels from which the military wing of Hamas, the Qassam Brigades, mounted a formidable resistance to the invasion, largely with weaponry they manufactured themselves, along with ammunition recycled from unexploded ordnance dropped in past Israeli attacks.

I sure wish the Biden administration and Congress could do something to stop the genocide in Gaza. Don’t you? But I guess they can’t control their own tails. Put differently, perhaps they simply can’t disobey their master’s commands.

Speaking of which, Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson is currently competing with Senate Leader Chuck Schumer to see which one of them can roll over and beg more quickly and obsequiously to their master, Bibi Netanyahu. Yes, Bibi is being invited once again to wag the Congressional dog and issue his commands to a slavishly obedient pack of Washington politicians.

There’s nothing like a foreign leader coming to Congress to bark out commands to make me proud to be an American.

William J. Astore is a retired lieutenant colonel (USAF). He taught history for fifteen years at military and civilian schools. He writes at Bracing Views.