December 8th now makes 2 consecutive calendar Days of Infamy for America. But this one, coming 92 years and a day after the first, is not from an attack on America. It comes from America’s descent into madness, enabling and supporting Israel’s genocidal ethnic cleansing of Gaza after the October 7th Hamas attack on Israel.
The UAE sponsored the UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza. Within 24 hours they garnered nearly a hundred co-sponsors from the UN’s 193 members. UN Secretary-General Antonio Gutierrez invoked rarely used Article 99 of the UN Charter to bring the resolution to the Security Council for immediate consideration over “threats to international peace and “humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza”.
But the US blocked the resolution with a dastardly veto. Thirteen other members voted for it, including some of America’s staunch allies. Even our most lockstep ally Britain abstained. The US now stands alone in supporting Israel’s campaign making Gaza uninhabitable.
The Financial Timesreports on the scale of destruction in Gaza:
Citing estimates of damage to urban areas, military analysts say the destruction of northern Gaza in less than seven weeks has approached that caused by the years-long carpet-bombing of German cities during the second world war [bold mine-DL].
“Dresden, Hamburg, Cologne – some of the world’s heaviest-ever bombings are remembered by their place names,” said Robert Pape, a US military historian and author of Bombing to Win, a landmark survey of 20th century bombing campaigns. “Gaza will also go down as a place name denoting one of history’s heaviest conventional bombing campaigns.”
I never thought the situation in Palestine could become this dire. It is clear that the goal of the Israeli government is total war against all Palestinians in Gaza. The Israelis told Gaza citizens to leave the north to avoid being bombed, and then they started bombing the south. Now they are planning for a year-long war.
This week, the US House of Representatives voted to equate anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism (not just anti-Israel). I am not sure how many members of Congress even understand what Zionism means. The Biden Administration has stated that it places no conditions on how Israel uses the massive military shipments being sent to Israel. Congress is about to send even more money for war in Gaza, while the majority of Americans now support a permanent ceasefire.
Does America inspire the world by the power of its example or the example of its power? Far too often, and despite President Joe Biden’s words during his inaugural address, America’s overmilitarized power and diplomatic malpractice are its examples to the world.
We must change that. To make America truly essential and indispensable, we must not remain the world’s leading arms maker and weapons exporter. We must instead become the world’s greatest and most committed peacemaker and diplomat.
The problem is that America continues to make war, continues being “essential” only as the world’s leading merchant of death, and continues seeking dominance through military supremacy that ends, in places like Afghanistan, Iraq, and earlier in Vietnam, in mass death and colossal folly.
The UN emergency relief coordinator, Martin Griffiths, issued a grim warning about the humanitarian crisis created by the war in Gaza:
The UN’s top aid official has said the Israeli military campaign in southern Gaza has been just as devastating as in the north, creating “apocalyptic” conditions and ending any possibility of meaningful humanitarian operations.