Any Other Result is Better Than a War
For with it comes a collapse of the global financial system, and far worse
[Macgregor on Judging Freedom].
Many more references focussing on women of peace, Medea Benjamin, Margaret Flowers and others
a good presentation by Mercouris on The Duran as to the pressure which the US is facing from Egypt (which is very interesting).
an Update with some geopolitical analysis
Updated 2023-11-30: more sourcing; Blumenthal on Judging Freedom.
A Regional War in the Middle East Means People Starving in Other Parts of the World
It is Col. Macgregor's opinion that if Israel continues with their obvious plan to drive all Palestinians from Gaza the result will be a regional war in the Middle East.
He expresses his opinion on a likely unfolding. Erdoğan has staked his Muslim leadership on this issue of defending the Palestinian people in the Gazan enclave of Palestine. Macgregor notes that the 1000 boat flotilla which is about to leave Türkiye intends to attempt to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza. This, Macgregor asserts, will be huge test for both Israel and the US. Should this civilian fleet (commercial and private, but not military) deliver humanitarian aid to Palestinians, they will continue to resist and thus force Israel to kill them with ground forces. This puts a very stark choice in front of Israel.
This Turkish flotilla either defeats Israel's obvious intention or Israel must attack it. Should they be so stupid, bloodthirsty and murderous to do this, other Arab Muslim countries will be drawn into the conflict too.
The US has a very significant, and vulnerable, military presence of two aircraft carrier strike groups, a missile frigate, an amphibious group and (at least one) submarine in the region. All of the surface fleet are vulnerable to hypersonic missiles which Russia could launch from Khmeimim, a base I have continuously been noting of which nobody else seems to pay attention. Recently, the second US carrier group moved from the Mediterranean to the Gulf where it is vulnerable to equivalent attack, but Russia would have to fly over intervening territory, beyond Syria, to do this. As soon as the Arab nations join Turkey, this becomes possible. None of this considers Iran's capabilities.
Last week, Crooke informed us all that Iran has a collection entirely autonomous retaliatory missile emplacements, mostly under ground, I suspect. These can fire independently for weeks. These systems contain thousand and thousands of precision missiles and could flatten every significant part of Israel, said Crooke.
Macgregor's prediction is that a regional war will erupt. He did not speak of hypersonic missiles. He turned his attention to a difference in approach for combined arms warfare, an area of military expertise in which he is very highly regarded, internationally. He states that the US (and by extension all forces purchasing their military hardware from US suppliers) have focused on technology. In so doing, the US and thus NATO, has lost sight of the importance of the institutionalized learning and capability to utilize the combination of stand off weapons systems with ground forces. On the battle fields of Ukraine have been demonstrated the complete defeat of NATO's weaponry in the hands of Ukrainian soldiers often lead/advised by NATO commanders and using NATO intelligence. This defeat was delivered to Ukraine/NATO arms and intelligence by Russia's combined-arms Armies and their weapons systems. Another way to consider this is that more women and children have been killed by Israel's "NATO" stand off weapons in 8 weeks in Gaza than Russia's in 18 months in Ukraine’s soon to be former, eastern provinces.
In turning to this analysis, Macgregor is signaling that if this regional war breaks out in the Middle East, he expects ground forces fighting to be a decisive part of it. He describes the forces of the US and NATO, partially implying Israel, to be stuck in an outdated, poor assessment of the military capabilities of the Arab national armies. He does not say so, but implies that the combined military leadership of US/Israel/NATO is going to receive a very painful reason to re-assess their serious underestimation. I reiterate, he is an expert on this topic.
There are some obvious reasons to support Macgregor's analysis. The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) has been successfully defending the majority of its territory for a decade against a constant series of provocations from Washington, Paris, London and Tel Aviv known as the Syrian dirty war. Syria have been ably supported by both Russia and Iran in this resistance. From this, each of these successful defensive armies have learned to effectively coordinate their national forces, and in Syria's case the different elements of its combined arms. Hezbollah also fought with the SAA, and thus in proximity to Iranian and Russian forces during the defensive campaigns of the Syrian dirty war. One can understand some of the background which Macgregor may have presented were sufficient time available to him on Napolitano's program.
Add this to Russia's hypersonic missiles and one can see a likely outcome if a regional conflict spreads.
Thus, what is not needed, but absolutely required, is for every single nation on this planet which is not in the Middle East to scream from their diplomatic rafters for an immediate ceasefire, to apply every single pressure possible to extend the truce. For, if this fails, hundreds of thousands of people, possibly millions, are going to die in a war.
In this looming war, like every other, the casualties will be dominated by civilians. Those fleeing the area will destabilize surrounding countries. If this war really gets going, the entire global financial system will collapse and people will starve because international shipping will be severely hit by a lack of oil as the Straights of Hormuz get shut down.
This is the destination if peace cannot be found.
For this reason all of the nations outside of the region and as many within it as can sensibly bury their animosity need to support any credible mechanism by which peace can be found. Quite unsurprisingly, one nation has set its diplomatic service to this task.
China is organizing an international peace conference to address this issue. Why? Because they do not want the world financial system to collapse. It will cause them serious trouble. It is in their interests, as with every other sane nation, to find a peace.
It is, of course, not just China. Organisations of Muslim/Arab States,
whose name I forget, the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation and the League of Arab states, are a key drivers in this, but they cannot act alone. China and Russia, and BRICS are also involved. South Africa has severed diplomatic relations with Apartheid Israel, which is entirely understandable. How will Brazil and India respond? Will the European "globalists", as Macgregor described them, stop trying to bribe their way out of this and get out of the way and allow real European leaders to come forth?
Did you notice in the Daly in Wallace video from Neutrality Studies, Clare Daly declaring that the Hague was too good for Frau van der Leyen? Stressful times like these can produce very strange results.
Or will a peace be found despite of Europe? Will the US take a more balanced approach? The political calculus must be running in the US. If the Chinese led peace proposal is allowed to continue and Biden is allowed to share some of the limelight, will this not save the skin of the Sullivans and Nulands and Austins? Stressful times like these can produce very strange results.
Any result is better than a regional war in the Middle East, excepting an unthinkable nuclear war.
Update: Parallel Pressures
The 4 day "pause" during which hostages and
prisoners hostages are being exchanged at a 10:30 Hamas:Isreal ratio can be further extended up to 10 days by Hamas continuing to release hostages with no apparent commitment from Israel to do the same. This window coincides with the end of the Chinese Presidency of the UN Security Council during which China's most senior diplomat Wang Yi will chair or present at an extraordinary session of the UNSC. This will happen later today.
This will be happening as the Flotilla sets off, if my diplomatic spider senses are reading this alignment of pressure correctly.
In The Duran video below one learns of a virtual meeting of BRICS+ which included Egypt's President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and other wider parties like Ethiopia on 2023-11-21. This BRICS meeting was intiated and charied by RSA (Republic of South Africa). The virtual meeting was attended by the leaders of RSA (obviously), China, Russia, Brazil, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Ethiopia, and the UAE with India's Foreign Minister representing India until a later followup saw Modi directly involved. Note that Egypt has been involved in the SCO for two years now.
The next day, US President Biden calls el-Sisi. The Duran’s Mr. Mercouris describes the read-out which comes from that as "extremely unusual" and quotes the part which caught his attention:
The US will under no circumstances permit a re-drawing of Gaza's borders, a displacement of people from Gaza and [meaning or] the besiegement of Gaza.
Mercouris interprets this as the US issuing "red-lines" for Israel.
As other commentators have observed Egypt cannot accept hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees into the Sinai peninsula for at least two related reasons. Firstly, this will provide Israel what it wants and no regional state wishes to deliver the invading, colonial, white supremacist, racist, religious extremist Israeli leadership what it wants. Secondly, should Egypt do this, the Muslim Brotherhood would be able to use this to destabilize el-Sisi's grip on power. What is happening, if one reads carefully is a forced choice for the US between influence over Israel and Egypt. Biden's inept administration will no doubt royally screw this up and end up with neither, but this is the dilemma in which they find themselves caught.
Israel also about to understand what being a 'friend of the US' sometimes means. The US is now seriously wavering from its initial, idiotic "stanch" support of Israel to the point of issuing a diplomatic blank cheque. Now that there are powerful opposition blocks, primarily BRICS+ and the SCO, the US cannot just waltz in and assume the lead in finding a solution to this problem.
No, any solution will be guided by the diplomatic finesse of China and Russia with very capable allies in Brazil (see the recent meeting commemorating the 195th anniversary of ties between Russia and Brazil) under Lula's leadership and South Africa who must be seen as world experts on Apartheid and its genocidal tendencies. Saudi Arabia, a former solid US ally is participating in this process under the now far more adroit leadership of MbS who is engaging via BRICS+ (which they will be a member of next year), the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation and the League of Arab States, and no doubt OPEC+ if it comes to that. Are you also observing these geopolitical developments following the rapprochement between Iran and Saudi Arabia facilitated by Russia and China just a few months ago?
Just as Lavrov's meeting with his Syrian counterpart a few weeks ago, which amounted to a serious and so far successful warning to Israel to stop attacking Syria, could be seen as the SCO entering into the strategic security situation in the Middle East, here we can see BRICS+ entering the political moment. I see finesse.
I desperate hope for support for any non-violent, aka diplomatic, resolution to this prospect of a regional war spiraling out of control, for the consequences are nothing short of horrific. If one reads the rhetoric being issued by leading US publications like Time or VoA they are signaling that labeled US enemy China is leading this push for peace, but they feel compeled frame this as alarming.
Well, alarmists, I'll take BRICS+ and the SCO finding a peace and potentially utilizing not only their collective influence but whatever reputation the UN still possesses to do so as a welcome success.
On the one hand, Türkiye is pressuring the US and Israel via the flotilla. On the other, Egypt is forcing the US to acquiesce to the geographic and deomographic integrity of Gaza. If a path out of this can be found, the suffering of the people of Gaza will amount to something. Various political leaders will claim credit for any solution which can be found. Fine.
Know that underneath it all, the determination and resilience of the people of Gaza is the foundation. For while they remain and survive, the fundamental issue of dignity which they raise also remains and survives.
New Gaza Aid Flotilla Attempts to Break Israeli Siege, James Tweedie interviews Medea Bejanmin (founder of Code Pink), Sputnik International, 2023-11-29
Truce in Gaza Extended, Kiev Leadership Infighting, Dutch Elections, Michelle Witte and John Kiriaku interview Mark Sleboda, Kim Keenan and Medea Benjamin, Political Misfits (Sputnik International), 2023-11-28
Gaza, Venezuela, and Collective Punishment: A Conversation with Medea Benjamin, Cira Pascual Marquina, VenzuelAnalysis, 2023-11-24
International Delegation Pushes for Opening the Rafah Border to Gaza, Margaret Flowers speaks with Sara Flounders, Clearing the Fog (from Popular Resistance), 2023-11-27
Israel-Gaza war: China’s top diplomat to make one more UN Security Council peace push, Kawala Xie, South China Morning Post (SCMP), 2023-11-28
Joint Arab Islamic Extraordinary Summit Adopts Resolution on Israeli Aggression against the Palestinian People, Saudi Press Agency, 2023-11-12
‘We Can No Longer Lurch from Crisis to Crisis’ in Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Special Coordinator Warns Security Council, Urges Parallel Steps by All Parties, Meetings Coverage and Press Releases [for meeting 8883 of the UN Security Council], UN, 2023-10-19
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at the opening ceremony of an exhibition on the 195th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Russia and Brazil, Moscow, November 27, 2023, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, 2023-11-27
This is a bit tangential, but I like the language, the history and the inclusion of the present. Read the last few paragraphs to see the elements of BRICS+.
An Israeli Catastrophic Counter-Intelligence Failure, YesXorNo, 2023-11-22
China takes cautious approach to diplomacy over Israel-Gaza war, Frederik Kelter, Al Jazeera, 2023-11-06
US Dismisses Chinese Diplomacy on Gaza, Patsy Widakuswara, Voice of America, 2023-11-22
Col. Douglas Macgregor： Examining the Ethical Gray Areas in Modern Warfare, Napolitano interviews Macgregor, Judging Freedom, 2023-11-28
Biden White House signals red lines to Netanyahu, Mercouris and Christoforou, The Duran, 2023-11-27
Max Blumenthal (TheGrayZone) ： How dangerous is the Netanyahu government for Israel?, Napolitano interviews Blumenthal, Judging Freedom, 2023-11-29
Blumenthal makes many good points, among them:
The Israeli military doctrine is terrorism; to terrorize a population, destroying civilian infrastructure to have the population turn on their political leadership
The IDF has completely failed to damage the leadership of the Al-Qassam Brigades' (Hamas' military arm) leadership. The emerged in Northern Gaza to transfer captives to members of the Red Cresent.
The IDF regular soldiers are 'Tik Tok'ers, using automated weapons, remote weapons, sitting in tanks of other secure positions. Some of the IDF's elite units' leaders have resigned because they were not supported with stand off weapons (artillery etc.). Blumethal concludes that the IDF just cannot fight the Al-Qassam Brigades.
This last point aligns with that which Macgregor was saying, that western forces have lost the institutional understanding which is required for effective combined arms operations. Instead they are relying on technology.
Interestingly, Al-Qassam have neither. The are "only" light infantry. They are, however, fighting a defense in a guerilla style and are obviously, highly trained.
'Matthew Hoh： Beyond Bullets： Lessons from Hamas-Israel Truce on the Power of Diplomacy, Napolitano interviews Hoh, Judging Freedom, 2023-11-29
That the Al-Qasssm Brigades are hightly trained dovetails with a point made by Matthew Hoh. After the Al-Qassam breaches of the wall enclosing Gaza many Gazans had their first chance to see what lay beyond their fences and to enact revenge for decades of terror. Those who did this were less trained or poorly trained. Hoh suggests that this is where a significant part of the civlian casualties originate. Hoh also acknowledges that the IDF killed their own Israeli civilians. He does not sign on to the 'Hannibal Directive" idea, and just cites the fog of war. There can be no doubt that the regular IDF forces were fighting in a reactionary manner. They were surprised, they had been propagandized by their own government and media. They were taking revenge. Emotion was fueling their fighting, rather than being cold, efficient military objective targetted responses.
An oldie, but a goodie.
First Aid Kit - Universal Soldier (Buffy-Sainte Marie)