The Middle East skirmish you can probably relax about


Imperialism


Fig. 1. Map by U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, 1980, via Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

You can probably relax about this one. It looks as if neither Iran nor Pakistan want a war; they’re targeting Baluchistan militants on opposing sides of their border.[1]

Ishaan Tharoor, “The restive borderlands at the heart of Pakistan and Iran’s fight,” Washington Post, January 18, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2024/01/18/baluchistan-pakistan-iran-border-conflict-tension/

Israel

Palestine

07_09:10:47-2
Fig. 2. The ruins of a terminal at the Gaza airport. Image by Said Khatib (Agence France-Presse) on September 9, 2018, via the Times of Israel,[2] fair use.

Peter Beaumont packs in much more than the headline suggests. Among other things,

shortly after [Binyamin] Netanyahu’s address [opposing a Palestinian state], Mexico and Chile announced they had referred Israeli actions in the occupied Palestinian territories to the prosecutor of the international criminal court for the investigation of possible “war crimes”. . . .

The White House responded [to Netanyahu] by saying the US would continue working towards a two-state solution and that there could be no Israeli reoccupation of Gaza when the war concluded.

“There will [be] a post-conflict Gaza, no reoccupation of Gaza,” the White House national security adviser, John Kirby, told reporters onboard Air Force One after Netanyahu’s speech.[3]

It doesn’t seem like Binyamin Netanyahu cares much what Joe Biden or his administration have to say,[4] which makes it even harder for me to believe anything the White House is saying about this conflict right now.

Neri Zilber, “Benjamin Netanyahu faces political backlash over Israel’s hostage strategy,” Financial Times, January 16, 2024, https://www.ft.com/content/2d5258d5-aabb-4c54-80e8-ec28fd4e21b0

James Robins, “Israel’s Subtle Threats at the International Court of Justice,” New Republic, January 17, 2024, https://newrepublic.com/article/178174/israels-subtle-threats-international-court-justice

Peter Beaumont, “Netanyahu tells US he opposes creation of Palestinian state after Gaza war,” Guardian, January 18, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2024/jan/18/netanyahu-tells-us-opposes-palestinian-state-after-gaza-war

United States

Yemen


Fig. 3. Satellite photograph by Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA Johnson Space Center, via Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

Ryan Grim, “Biden on Yemen Airstrikes: ‘Are They Stopping the Houthis? No. Are They Gonna Continue? Yes,’” Intercept, January 18, 2024, https://theintercept.com/2024/01/18/biden-yemen-houthi-airstrikes/

Iain Marlow, “US Presses Ahead With ‘Least Bad’ Option in Confronting Houthis,” Bloomberg, January 18, 2024, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2024-01-18/us-presses-ahead-with-least-bad-option-in-confronting-houthis


  1. [1]Ishaan Tharoor, “The restive borderlands at the heart of Pakistan and Iran’s fight,” Washington Post, January 18, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2024/01/18/baluchistan-pakistan-iran-border-conflict-tension/
  2. [2]Agence France-Presse and Times of Israel, “20 years after its opening, destroyed Gaza airport embodies grounded peace hopes,” Times of Israel, September 12, 2018, https://www.timesofisrael.com/20-years-after-its-opening-destroyed-gaza-airport-embodies-grounded-peace-hopes/
  3. [3]Peter Beaumont, “Netanyahu tells US he opposes creation of Palestinian state after Gaza war,” Guardian, January 18, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2024/jan/18/netanyahu-tells-us-opposes-palestinian-state-after-gaza-war
  4. [4]Peter Beaumont, “Netanyahu tells US he opposes creation of Palestinian state after Gaza war,” Guardian, January 18, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2024/jan/18/netanyahu-tells-us-opposes-palestinian-state-after-gaza-war; David S. Cloud, and Summer Sai, “Israel’s Netanyahu Rejects U.S. Plan for Postwar Gaza,” Washington Post, December 12, 2023, https://www.wsj.com/world/middle-east/israels-netanyahu-rejects-u-s-plan-for-post-war-gaza-d60fc0c3; Karen DeYoung, “Biden’s support of Israel could come at a cost to U.S. foreign policy,” Washington Post, December 16, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2023/12/16/biden-netanyahu-israel-support-gaza/; Edward Luce, “Biden’s mounting self-harm on Israel,” Financial Times, December 15, 2023, https://www.ft.com/content/cfb4660f-de36-4453-9b44-531996c6ec9e; James Politi and Felicia Schwartz, “Biden’s troubled Gaza strategy: ‘the US looks feckless,’” Financial Times, December 22, 2023, https://www.ft.com/content/edebf6ef-155e-4aad-a41b-7e31016cad96; Washington Post to 5-Minute Fix list, “The 5-Minute Fix: What’s behind Biden’s steadfast support for Israel?” November 27, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/the-fix/; Patrick Wintour, “Biden in a bind as Netanhayu ready to flout any US attempt to rein in Israel,” Guardian, December 15, 2023, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/dec/15/biden-in-a-bind-as-netanhayu-ready-to-flout-any-us-attempt-to-rein-in-israel

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.