Musings On the Secondary War

American interest pretzels.– The case for denying new military funding to Israel in the aftermath of the Hamas terrorist attack of October 8th is far stronger, and far less morally dubious, than the case for cutting off funds for Ukraine, although so many American politicians are taking exactly the reverse position. In all matters involving Israel, the double stench of virtue signalling and cynical campaigning for Jewish donors tends to paralyze the reason of most American officials. What would this proposed new funding be for? According to the leading candidate for Speaker of the House, the grotesque Trumpette Jim Jordan, immediate American money is needed to “replenish the stockpile of missiles” in Israel’s Iron Dome defense system. Why? Where did the Iron Dome stockpile go? I am not aware of Hamas having destroyed that stockpile in its terrorist attack? Did Israel lose the missiles in a poker game?

As for Israel’s current response to the attacks, does it seem that they are being outgunned, or that they are at any risk of falling into a technological or logistical disadvantage? Israel is wealthy, has a highly advanced military with state of the art equipment (much of it built with the assistance of long-term American aid), and did not suffer, on October 8th, any of the kind of infrastructure or territorial losses that would seem to require emergency aid. They have the tools and the money to take care of themselves perfectly well in this situation. If other anti-Israeli nation-states, such as Iran, become directly involved militarily, then the case for materially supporting Israel can be revisited at that time. But why is it necessary now? What non-cynical benefit could possibly be served by inserting the U.S. into this decidedly foreign war? Is not a declaration of moral support for Israel, and a clear condemnation of Hamas (which the U.S. has already long identified as a terrorist organization) enough?

As I noted in my previous comments on Jim Jordan’s call for immediate funding for Israel’s defense, it is not simply confusing, but rather frankly far too obvious, that so many Republicans are either wavering or standing firmly against any further support for Ukraine, a European country under full-scale occupation by a much larger, better-armed invading force with at least as few scruples as Hamas and with far greater resources for inflicting brutality, while at the same time they eagerly clamber over one another for a moment at the microphone to declare their unlimited financial support for Israel. (To his credit, Congressman Thomas Massie of Kentucky has asserted his libertarian bona fides by vowing to vote against funding for Israel just as he has done in the case of Ukraine, on fiscal responsibility grounds; meanwhile, his fellow Kentuckian, Senator Rand Paul, who delivered an overtly pro-Putin diatribe against Ukraine funding last week, is now quibbling over the precise source of funds for Israel, while nevertheless bending over backwards to declare his willingness to provide money, and his undying support for the Jewish state.)

Why is Israel, a strong and wealthy nation under a weak assault by a ragtag band of poorly-armed thugs, so infinitely worthy of billions of U.S. dollars in aid, while Ukraine, a sovereign nation on the doorstep of the NATO alliance and edging towards the political norms of U.S.-allied Western Europe, and with at least two hundred thousand invaders with tanks and world-class fighter jets occupying its territory and kidnapping its children by the thousands, is to be dismissed as “not America’s problem”? Of course, we know the answer. If Donald Trump or his puppet-master Vladimir Putin decided to put in a good word for Hamas today, the Jim Jordans and Rand Pauls of the U.S. Congress would be condemning Israel like Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar tomorrow. 

Bibi with his pants down.– The Hamas attack was well coordinated, but (in modern terms) low-tech. Why was it so successful? Why was its elaborate planning and staging undetected (or at least not acted upon) and undeterred (hundreds of punks in jeans and T-shirts storming through checkpoints and into populated areas with guns and explosives, but meeting with so little resistance from Israeli border patrols)? If this utter failure of national security — good grief, I think even inept and ill-defended Canada would have handled such a makeshift invasion more effectively, at least after the first few minutes of surprise — is not enough to topple the government of the corrupt and self-aggrandizing blowhard Benjamin Netanyahu, then what could ever be enough? Has an Israeli prime minister ever presided over such an abominable and preventable security failure? And this from a Trump-like monster of fake tough-guy puffery. This was Netanyahu’s “Where’s the wall?” moment, except that unlike Trump’s, which came over several years, this one came all at once, and in the most ferociously exposing manner. 

Now, to overcompensate for his own utter failure of leadership, Netanyahu will go to town on blowing things up in Gaza. For this is what blabbermouth bullies do when they are shown up as weaklings and frauds. They call in their friends to beat people up on their behalf, to save face and distract from their failure with after-the-fact displays of false bravado.

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