There is no question that the Israeli government is responsible for these deaths. It is beyond shameful that the US would block a statement that says so, but it is consistent with the administration’s indefensible policy of unconditional backing for an atrocious war. The flour massacre, as some are calling it, is the dreadful result of the Israeli government’s use of starvation as a weapon combined with its indiscriminate use of violence against the Palestinian population.
The U.N. special rapporteur on the right to food Michael Fakhri charges Israel with the deliberate starvation of the Palestinians of Gaza:
“There is no reason to intentionally block the passage of humanitarian aid or intentionally obliterate small-scale fishing vessels, greenhouses and orchards in Gaza – other than to deny people access to food,” Michael Fakhri, the UN special rapporteur on the right to food, told the Guardian.
The U.S. and the United Kingdom conducted a series of strikes at 18 Houthi targets at eight different locations inside Yemen Saturday, part of a continuing effort to fight back against the Iran-backed group that has continued to attack commercial and military vessels in the Red Sea.
The U.S. and Britain have been waging war in Yemen for the last six weeks. U.S. forces have been engaged in hostilities with the de facto government of a large part of another country without Congressional debate or authorization. The war they are fighting seems unlikely to end anytime soon. The Houthis have not been discouraged from further attacks. On the contrary, missile and drone attacks have increased and expanded since the U.S. launched its illegal campaign in January. The Red Sea is more dangerous for commercial shipping than it was, and the Houthi leadership seems to be more determined than ever to continue their attacks.
The U.S. used its veto at the UN Security Council for the third time in this war to block a call for an immediate ceasefire:
The U.S. vetoed an Algerian proposal at the United Nations Security Council that called for a humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza, saying that a cessation of hostilities without securing the release of hostages in Hamas’s captivity would only prolong the conflict.
The U.S. circulated a draft resolution ahead of the vote calling, instead, for a temporary cease-fire in Gaza “as soon as practicable” and in tandem with the release of all hostages taken on Oct. 7, as the Biden administration increasingly clashes with the Israeli government over the conduct of the war.
There’s a lot that could be said about Gen. McKenzie’s op-ed defending a continued U.S. military presence in Syria and Iraq, but these claims are clearly untrue:
In the end, American troops are in Syria and Iraq to prevent ISIS from being able to attack our homeland. By leaving, we could give them the time and space to re-establish a caliphate, increasing our risk at home.
Michael Wahid Hanna calls on the U.S. to avert further catastrophe in Gaza:
It is hard to imagine things getting worse, but an assault on Rafah would up the ante. The US is the only power that can stop it. To do so, it will have to exert a degree of pressure it has so far been reluctant to apply.
Hanna is right, and I said something similar in my column this week. Unfortunately, the Biden administration has no intention of doing anything to discourage an Israeli ground assault on Rafah. Politico reported yesterday that multiple administration officials said that “no reprimand plans are in the works, meaning Israeli forces could enter the city and harm civilians without facing American consequences.”