Anyone Who Says the U.S. Is Trying to End the Slaughter In Gaza Is Lying to You
If you're sending Israel the weapons it's using to massacre people, you're not really trying to stop the massacres. Obviously.
Over the past few days, the U.S. government has appeared particularly eager to be seen publicly telling Israel to stop killing so many Palestinian civilians.
On Saturday, for instance, Vice President Kamala Harris said in a speech at the COP 28 climate change summit in Dubai, “The United States is unequivocal: International humanitarian law must be respected. Too many innocent Palestinians have been killed. Frankly, the scale of civilian suffering and the images and videos coming from Gaza are devastating.”
That same day, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said that he had “repeatedly made clear to Israel's leaders that protecting Palestinian civilians in Gaza is both a moral responsibility and strategic imperative.”
The White House is keen to let the press know that this is going on in private as well; CNN reported last week that administration officials, including President Joe Biden, are telling Israel “they do not want to see the IDF resume the kinds of air strikes from earlier in the war that led to massive casualties and widespread destruction.”
The Biden administration presumably wants people to think that these statements are sincere. And some people—such as the gullible dunces who make up the bulk of the DC press corps—seem to be convinced.
There’s a small problem with this narrative, though: it’s complete and utter bullshit.
The U.S. has provided Israel with large bunker buster bombs, among tens of thousands of other weapons and artillery shells, to help dislodge Hamas from Gaza, U.S. officials said.
The surge of arms, including roughly 15,000 bombs and 57,000 artillery shells, began shortly after the Oct. 7 attack and has continued in recent days, the officials said. The U.S. hasn’t previously disclosed the total number of weapons it sent to Israel nor the transfer of 100 BLU-109, 2,000-pound bunker buster bombs.
[…] “They are kind of the weapons of choice for the fights we had in Afghanistan and Syria in open, non-urban areas,” said Mick Mulroy, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense and officer in the Marine Corps and C.I.A.
[…] Among the munitions the U.S. has transferred to Israel are more than 5,000 Mk82 unguided or “dumb” bombs, more than 5,400 Mk84 2,000 pound warhead bombs, around 1,000 GBU-39 small diameter bombs, and approximately 3,000 JDAMs, which turn unguided bombs into guided “smart” bombs, according to an internal U.S. government list of the weapons described to The Wall Street Journal by U.S. officials.
Of course, the Journal also undercuts its own impressive reporting by saying that it shows what it delicately calls “the diplomatic challenge facing the Biden administration,” adding, “The U.S. is urging its top ally in the region to consider preventing large-scale civilian casualties while supplying many of the munitions deployed.”
I feel crazy for having to spell this out, but here goes: if you say that you want a country to stop killing so many civilians, and at the same time you are sending that country tens of thousands of weapons that a) are usually used in “non-urban” regions rather than, say, an area that is three times as densely populated as Los Angeles, and that b) you 1000 percent know are being used to massacre civilians, because, among other things, you keep talking about how many civilians are dying, you do not actually want that country to stop killing so many civilians. You are helping the killing continue. Obviously.
Or, as one anonymous administration official told NBC News last week, “Once pictures started coming out of the rubble of 5,000 dead, 10,000 dead … we all know the tools they used to kill them.” In case you think there’s any ambiguity there, NBC News added that the official was “referring to the U.S.-made weapons supplied to Israel.”
Everyone outside the administration knows this too. So does Israel. So do Palestinians. It’s not a secret. It’s one of the cornerstones of U.S. policy, and it makes a mockery, to say the very, very least, of the idea that America is trying hard to stop the bloodshed in Gaza.
It’s hard to imagine any other scenario in which this kind of nonsense would fly. If you handed someone you knew was an arsonist a gas can and a match, in the middle of that person’s unprecedented arson spree, while at the same time issuing a statement asking them not to burn down another building, people would not accept the idea that you were trying to restrain them, or get them to meaningfully change their conduct. They would demand, quite reasonably, that you be treated as an accomplice. If there was a mass shooter mowing people down, and you gave him some more bullets, and you told the press that you had privately asked him to maybe not fire all of them directly at everybody’s heads, reporters would not go, “Wow, this shows what a diplomatic challenge you have.” They would immediately call you a co-conspirator, and they would—again, obviously—be right.
If the Biden administration wanted to limit Israel’s capacity to commit genocidal war against Palestinians, it would refuse to provide Israel with so many of the weapons it is using to wage that war. But Biden is not doing that. He’s rushing those weapons over. What’s more, he wants to provide $14 billion more worth of military aid, and his government is making clear that it doesn’t want any strings attached to that aid. As National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told “Meet the Press” on Sunday, “The security assistance continues to flow. That’s not going to change.”
So let’s not buy into this sick fiction that the White House is putting any kind of brakes whatsoever on Israel. Instead, let’s treat the U.S. government as what it so manifestly is when it comes to Israel’s unprecedented slaughter: a co-conspirator, an accomplice, a partner in crime. Anyone who says otherwise is lying to you.
Relatedly, I cannot recommend this investigation from +972 and Local Call enough. It shows, in great detail, just how calculated and intentional Israel’s targeting of civilians in Gaza is. As one intelligence source says, “When a 3-year-old girl is killed in a home in Gaza, it’s because someone in the army decided it wasn’t a big deal for her to be killed…we know exactly how much collateral damage there is in every home.” Israel is also using AI to help pick bombing targets, so there’s that.
Here’s a rhetorical question: if a relatively small Israeli news outlet can find all of these things out, how much do you think the United States government knows about the inner workings of Israel’s killing strategy?