Sure, why not? World War III, just to keep Binyamin Netanyahu in power. He deserves it, after all. Right?

Imperialism

Israel


Fig. 1. John Bolton and Binyamin Netanyahu at a press conference. Office of U.S. National Security Advisor, August 20, 2018, via Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

As a show of force, the attack was unprecedented in scope, involving more than 300 drones and missiles combined, but analysts said it was also carefully choreographed — giving Israel and its allies time to prepare, and providing the Israeli government a possible off-ramp amid fears of a widening war.

The assault was designed with the knowledge that Israel’s “multi-layer systems would prevent most of the weapons from reaching a target,” said Sima Shine, head of the Iran program at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv. “That outcome made space for [Binyamin] Netanyahu and senior leaders to strike a more measured tone than they could if one of the missiles had taken out an apartment building or barracks.”[1]

But Binyamin Netanyahu wants a wider war, preferably drawing in the U.S.,[2] all to delay an election he knows he’ll lose.[3] It is not clear to me that the Iranian regime considered this in its retaliation or that the attack could garner sympathy for Israel:

Israeli officials on Sunday expressed conviction that the Iranian attack could turn the tables in terms of widespread international criticism over its actions in Gaza, earning them sympathy as a victim of an Iranian government that is arguably equally unpopular.[4]

Andrew England and James Shotter, “Is time starting to run out for Benjamin Netanyahu?” Financial Times, April 12, 2024, https://www.ft.com/content/ce0de70e-461a-4279-9a15-df45be1c0785

Lauren Izso et al., “Israel braces as Iran launches wave of retaliatory strikes,” Cable News Network, April 13, 2024, https://www.cnn.com/2024/04/13/middleeast/iran-drones-attack-israel-intl-latam/index.html

Suleiman Al-Khalidi, “Most of the Iranian drones over Syria were downed by Israel,US, intelligence sources say,” Reuters, April 14, 2024, https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/most-iranian-drones-over-syria-were-downed-by-israelus-intelligence-sources-say-2024-04-14/

Jamie Dettmer, “How Israel foiled Iran’s attack,” Politico, April 14, 2024, https://www.politico.eu/article/israel-iran-attack-missile-drone-strike-defense-cooperation/

Karen DeYoung and Matt Viser, “Biden counsels Netanyahu to ‘slow things down’ after Iranian attack,” Washington Post, April 14, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2024/04/14/biden-netanyahu-israel-iran/

Susannah George, “Iran crosses old red lines and sets ‘new equation’ with attack on Israel,” Washington Post, April 14, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2024/04/14/iran-israel-attack-missiles-drones/

Murtaza Hussain, “Israel and Israel Alone Kicked Off This Escalation — In a Bid to Drag U.S. Into War With Iran,” Intercept, April 14, 2024, https://theintercept.com/2024/04/14/israel-iran-drag-us-war-netanyahu-biden/

Rory Jones et al., “Biden Pushes for Diplomatic Response to Iran’s Attack on Israel,” Wall Street Journal, April 14, 2024, https://www.wsj.com/world/middle-east/biden-presses-for-diplomatic-response-to-irans-attack-on-israel-1c5452a1


Illiberalism

Gilead

Donald Trump
Hush money


Fig. 1. Cartoon by Jesse Duquette, undated, via “Minneapple23” [pseud.] on Imgur, April 1, 2023, fair use.

Devlin Barrett et al., “Trump’s hush money trial strategy: Deny, delay and denigrate,” Washington Post, April 14, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/04/13/trump-hush-money-trial-defense-strategy/


Electric vehicles


Fig. 1. “A Toyota bZ4X electric sport utility vehicle: EVs currently on the market are fitted with batteries that use liquid lithium-ion electrolytes.” Photograph by Kiyoshi Ota, n.d., via Financial Times, fair use.

Aaron Gregg, “Tesla will shed more than 10 percent of its workforce,” Washington Post, April 15, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2024/04/15/tesla-layoffs-elon-musk-ev/


  1. [1]Murtaza Hussain, “Israel and Israel Alone Kicked Off This Escalation — In a Bid to Drag U.S. Into War With Iran,” Intercept, April 14, 2024, https://theintercept.com/2024/04/14/israel-iran-drag-us-war-netanyahu-biden/
  2. [2]Murtaza Hussain, “Israel and Israel Alone Kicked Off This Escalation — In a Bid to Drag U.S. Into War With Iran,” Intercept, April 14, 2024, https://theintercept.com/2024/04/14/israel-iran-drag-us-war-netanyahu-biden/
  3. [3]Andrew England and James Shotter, “Is time starting to run out for Benjamin Netanyahu?” Financial Times, April 12, 2024, https://www.ft.com/content/ce0de70e-461a-4279-9a15-df45be1c0785
  4. [4]Karen DeYoung and Matt Viser, “Biden counsels Netanyahu to ‘slow things down’ after Iranian attack,” Washington Post, April 14, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2024/04/14/biden-netanyahu-israel-iran/

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