CSotD: Bibi’s Booboo

Trigger Warning: The following post includes disturbing images and concepts. Those who find such thoughts upsetting may wish to move to a planet were bad things don’t happen.

Jeff Stahler (AMS) summarizes the latest tragedy, in which three vehicles of World Central Kitchen, which had been providing food to starving civilians in Gaza, were attacked by Israeli Defense Forces, despite having filed their route plans, received permission from the Israeli military to travel on that route at that time and being clearly marked. Seven volunteer aid workers were killed in the attack.

Juxtaposition of the Day

Gary Markstein — Creators

Nick Anderson — Tribune

Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu admitted that the strikes against the aid convoy was a mistake, but not all observers accept his explanation of an error or his promise to look into it.

Both Markstein and Anderson dismiss his apologetic pronouncement, with Markstein bundling up the horrendous civilian toll and Anderson accusing Netanyahu of being sorry for only the case which has drawn the world’s attention.

Nor are they alone. Other observers are dubious about the pledge to look into it, perhaps recalling a promise to look into the murder of Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh on the West Bank two years ago, which was investigated by the United Nations and declared a case of “lethal force without justification.”

It’s critical to note that, according to that report, the UN commission also condemned rocket attacks on Israel as war crimes, despite some protests that criticizing IDF actions amounts to anti-semitism. But the investigation centered on the excesses of the government’s response:

Since the October 7 Hamas attacks and IDF counterattacks, the Committee to Protect Journalists estimates that 95 journalists have been killed in Gaza, with another 20 missing and 25 arrested. The CPJ also reports that journalists reporting from Gaza “expect to die daily.”

Most of the dead journalists were Palestinian, and it’s not easy to distinguish between those killed in the open from those who may have died along with other civilians in the bombings of Gaza. But it’s also not easy to get an overall count of the dead, since many may still be entombed under destroyed buildings.

Matt Davies suggests that Netanyahu does not distinguish between civilians and Hamas fighters, an attitude reminiscent of the hardline attitude of some American soldiers in Vietnam, who declared “Kill them all and let God sort them out.”

But the My Lai massacre was acknowledged by the US as a war crime, although prosecutions were muddled by domestic politics.

With tens of thousands of Israelis demonstrating in the streets of Jerusalem, Netanyahu may find himself facing the same pushback that drove Lyndon Johnson from office.

A major difference here is that, much as LBJ and Nixon hated the media coverage they got and tried to promote the positive coverage derided as “the five o’clock follies,” they did not suppress reporting, while Netanyahu’s government has not only tried to keep journalists out of Gaza but has now barred Al Jazeera from broadcasting in Israel.

Meanwhile, Mehdi Hassan dismisses both Netanyahu’s body count and his ratio of dead Hamas warriors to dead innocents.

British cartoonist Peter Brookes is not sympathetic to Netanyahu’s isolating of the WCK deaths as a mistake, given the body count thus far.

And Dave Brown cites, of all experts, Britney Spears to explain how these accidents just seem to keep happening.

Pat Bagley adapts the famous Tank Man image to accuse Netanyahu of purposely wanting to cut off aid to Gaza, and it’s critical to point out that much, if not most, foreign criticism of Israeli policy in the war is focused on Netanyahu and his government, not on the Israeli people.

Calls from both Israeli demonstrators and from foreign leaders have been for (A) release of the hostages and (B) new elections in Israel.

Juxtaposition of the Day #2

Matt Golding

Glen LeLievre

Matt Golding is only one of several Australian observers to object to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s condemnation of the World Central Kitchen attacks, noting that what was truly “completely unacceptable” was waiting for a single Aussie to die rather than speaking up on behalf of the 32,000 dead Gazans.

Glen LeLievre doubles down on the accusation, given that Australia manufactures critical parts for weapons used by the IDF in Gaza.

Which, Steve Brodner, quoting a former Republican staffer, reminds us, is a critical issue in the United States, where Biden’s increasing pressure on Netanyahu — the two leaders have a phone call scheduled for today — has not been matched by a halt to US arms sales, which, Al Jazeera also reports, continue apparently because the administration says it has not seen proof that Israel is using those weapons for war crimes.

That may do more to explain why Al Jazeera is banned in Israel than it does to explain why the US continues to supply Israel with weapons.

This should be a very interesting phone call, though Biden tends to play his cards close to his vest, appearing more conciliatory in public than he necessarily is in private talks.

Still, never was there a better occasion to cite the old chant, “The Whole World Is Watching.”

Mike Stokoe tends to express his politics through dark humor, but there’s nothing all that funny in the current situation, in which it appears both sides are hoping for a win rather than a settlement.

The view of Israel’s policy from Turkish cartoonist Ahmad Rahma (Cartoon Movement) is, perhaps, unsurprisingly strong, although looking through his cartoons at that site shows a variety of targets for his anger.

Fiona Katauskas, by contrast, looks past the attacks on WCK to focus, now that the aid group has halted its mission, on the children left without food, water and medical supplies.

It’s not that we oughtn’t to mourn the seven, but how many more victims have the attacks created?

Christian Adams offers this bleak, horrified response to Netanyahu’s seemingly off-handed shrug.

Which shrug, perhaps predictably, was echoed — with neither horror nor sarcasm — at Fox News by Britt Hume, who assures us war is Hell and also that sh*t happens. (Video can’t be embedded, but can be viewed here)

This video, however, I can embed. And if you say this is from the wrong war, show me the right war:

8 thoughts on “CSotD: Bibi’s Booboo

  1. Mike wrote: And if you say this is from the wrong war, show me the right war.
    I reply: your tragic implication is very correct. There is no right war. War is just one more sign of the failure that is human society. The only people who really win a war are the war profiteering arms makers. (Biden is wringing his hands, sending ‘thoughts and prayers’ and mildly, verbally slapping ‘bibi’ on the wrist at the same time he is “PUSHING FOR AN $18 BILLION WARPLANE SALE TO ISRAEL” per commondreams.org.

  2. Oh, and about that warning, Mike, (my comment above is evidence) Yes, i was triggered! How could anyone who has not already murdered their conscience not be? (rhetorical question, we all know the answer: all the soulless rtwingnuts, tRUMP, netanyahoo, putin, xtian nationalists, etc.)

  3. Thanks for today’s headline/disclaimer. Nuff said.
    Please continue. Your vision is surprising and spot on.
    I will continue my daily sessions anticipating your musings.

  4. The trigger warning was intended as a joke, since people ought to be upset at what’s happening in Gaza (and other places, including right here). Good art and intelligent commentary should “trigger” a response.

    I’m not apt to write an “Animal Farm” and I sure couldn’t paint a “Guernica,” but we should all be trying, from time to time, to trigger each other, if only by sticking our heads out the window and shouting, “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it any more!’

    1. Amen. “Trigger” warnings are so stupid.
      The whole point of the news is to be “triggered” by current events.
      If you look at wanton slaughter of civilians and think “S*** happens. Whatever” then congratulations, you are officially a sociopath.

  5. None of the (very appropriate) cartoons referencing Bibi’s “apology” quite captured the little smirk that was actually on his face when he as saying it.

  6. I always have music playing while I read the comics. Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs” just came on! I’m listening to a countdown of the top rock hits, so of course that song would be on it. The song came out in 1970. Nothing has changed. Puddles did an amazing cover of it last year.
    Linkin Park has a song called “Hands Held High”. Here are some of the lyrics:
    Do you see the soldiers that are out today?
    They brush the dust from bulletproof vests away
    It’s ironic, at times like this you’d pray
    But a bomb blew the mosque up yesterday
    There’s bombs on the buses, bikes, roads
    Inside your market, your shops, and your clothes

    That was written for Bush Junior’s treatment of that region after 911.

    Nothing ever changes.

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