Home Editors' Pick Shifting Rhetoric Cannot Conceal Genocidal Policy on Gaza

Shifting Rhetoric Cannot Conceal Genocidal Policy on Gaza

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From Selma to the State of the Union address, underlying platitudes are calls for elimination of the resistance and the maintenance of the settler-colonial state

Geostrategic Analysis

One of the critical historical conjunctures within the mass Civil Rights Movement took place in Selma, Alabama during the early months of 1965.

Although local activists and members of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) had been active in the area for several years prior, the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the rising tide of expectations among African Americans created the conditions for 1965 to be an explosive year.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., co-founder and president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), entered the fray in Selma prompting the city, county and state authorities to step-up their repressive mechanisms which had kept the overwhelming majority of African Americans off the voter registration lists throughout Alabama. The March 7, 1965 attack by a combined police force from the state, county and city of Selma, would draw the outrage of people around the U.S. and internationally.

Consequently, it was a moment of irony when United States Vice-President Kamala Harris stood on a platform in Selma on March 3 evoking the legacy of the Civil Rights Movement while calling for what appeared to be a ceasefire in Gaza. Yet, if one listened carefully, it revealed the consistent policy of the U.S. towards the Palestinian question.

Although Harris received her loudest applause when she uttered the word “ceasefire”, she then went on to uphold the right of the Israeli settler-colonial state to defend itself and to continue its existence as a racist entity. The Vice-President then declared that Israel was justified in its attempts to eliminate Hamas as a resistance movement.

Since October 7, more than 30,000 Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). Hospitals, neighborhoods, schools, mosques, churches, medical facilities and marketplaces have been targeted for destruction by Tel Aviv. Hundreds of thousands have been wounded, injured, traumatized and dislocated. Famine is spreading throughout the Gaza Strip as IDF personnel fire weapons into crowds of people standing in line to receive food rations.

Obviously, Harris was telling African Americans and their allies what they wanted to hear. Most people within Black communities across the country are in favor of a permanent ceasefire, not the six-week pause advanced by Harris on behalf of the administration of President Joe Biden.

Thousands of leading African American clergymen acting independently or within the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church and the African Methodist Episcopal Zion (AMEZ) along with other denominations, have put distance between themselves and the administration. In several Democratic Party primary elections, such as Michigan, where over 101,000 people voted “uncommitted”, has sent a definite message to the White House regarding its prospects for re-election in November.

State of the Union: More Imperialist Rhetoric from the White House

A few days before the State of the Union Address by Biden, he was seen on national television eating ice cream saying he had been told by his national security advisor that a ceasefire was imminent by the end of the week. Such optics infuriated many people in the U.S. and around the world. This ceasefire has not yet materialized while the IDF continues its bombardments and the blocking of much-needed humanitarian assistance.

During the speech by the president, he pleaded for the Congress to provide additional aid to the Ukrainian government to continue the war which Kiev is losing. He said that if the House would pass a “border bill” he would be able to end the crisis of migration which is a major concern of the electorate from both dominant parties.

In regard to Palestine, the president said that more aid needed to be delivered to Gaza to address the humanitarian crisis. He never accepted the fact that the crisis was engineered by the Israeli regime with the backing of Washington. Despite this reality, there was no direct call for a permanent ceasefire or negotiations for the creation of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state.

Overall, there was no mention of any fundamental shift in policy towards Tel Aviv. The weapons and other material assistance flowing into the settler-colonial state will not be interrupted. He reiterated the tone set by Harris earlier in the week when the president said categorically that the White House would not abandon the Israeli state.

Airdrops of meals ready to eat have already caused the deaths of several people. Biden announced at the State of the Union before the full Congress that the Pentagon had plans to build a temporary port in the Eastern Mediterranean to deliver food and supplies to residents of Gaza. He emphasized that no U.S. troops would enter the besieged territory in these aid deliveries.

These statements by Biden and his administration functionaries are clearly for the consumption of the public in this election year. The entire tone of the State of the Union speech was that of a campaign rally.

However, the widening regional war in West Asia was never assessed. To reveal the actual magnitude of the crisis would further expose the failures of the White House foreign and military policies in West Asia as well as Eastern Europe and the African continent.

Regional Resistance Determined to Continue Attacks Against Israel, the U.S. and its Allies

In addition to the underwriting and logistical support for the genocide in Gaza, the West Bank and throughout the Israeli Occupied Territories (IOT), the Biden administration has engaged in bombing operations in Iraq, Syria and Yemen. Biden during the State of the Union alluded to his objective of keeping the shipping lanes open in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. What he did not say was that despite the mobilization of the British Royal Air Force along with its U.S. counterparts, they have not been able to halt the attacks on shipping interests in the region carried out in solidarity with Palestine.

The actions of the Yemeni Armed Forces (YAF) are not taking place within a vacuum. Southern Lebanon, which shares a border with the north of the IOT, has been the scene of some of the most intense fighting against Tel Aviv in many years.

In a report on March 11 published by Al Mayadeen Television, it notes:
“The Islamic Resistance in Lebanon – Hezbollah carried out several operations on Monday, in support of the resilient people of Gaza and its Resistance against Israeli sites, soldier gatherings, and equipment along the Palestinian-Lebanese border. On March 11, 2024, the Islamic Resistance conducted eight operations against the Israeli occupation, confirming direct hits….
Earlier on Monday, the Deputy Secretary-General of Hezbollah, Sheikh Naim Qassem, affirmed that the Resistance was prepared to counter any expansion in aggression, emphasizing that it is most ready to support Gaza until the Israeli aggression on the Strip ceases. In his speech during the memorial ceremony of three martyrs from the southern Lebanese village of Blida, Sheikh Qassem said Hezbollah is not concerned with any Israeli statement regarding a ground invasion of Lebanon, be it an exaggeration or a declaration. He stressed that the Resistance remains defensive, supportive, and determined to defy Israel, affirming that it will not be intimidated.” (https://english.almayadeen.net/news/politics/hezbollah-conducts-four-simultaneous-operations-against–isr)

The pledge to shutdown shipping in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, which supports the economic interests of Israel, by the Yemeni Ansar Allah, has won a tremendous propaganda victory in favor of the anti-Zionist and anti-imperialist forces in the region. These solidarity efforts are drawing the Pentagon towards military strikes which only increase the resentment and hatred towards the U.S. government.

Al Mayadeen pointed to a U.S. media outlet, the Atlantic, which wrote an evaluation of the situation involving the status of Yemen throughout the region, saying that:
“Previously, a piece published on The Atlantic magazine’s news website suggested that Yemeni Ansar Allah leader Sayyed Abdul-Malik al-Houthi ‘may now be the most popular public figure in the Middle East.’ The piece pointed out that since the Yemeni Armed Forces began their operations in the Red Sea in November in support of the Palestinian people, Sayyed al-Houthi ‘has been treated like a latter-day Che Guevara, his portrait and speeches shared on social media across five continents.’ It emphasized that although it remains challenging to assess the consequences of the attacks, the Yemeni operations created a gap in the global economy. The operations, according to the piece, turned the Yemeni Ansar Allah movement into ‘heroes for Arab and Muslim youths who embrace the Palestinian cause,’ and even influenced Western progressives. Elsewhere, the piece indicated that the U.S.-British aggression did not deter the Yemeni Armed Forces, adding that ‘since staking claim to the Palestinian cause,’ the Yemeni forces ‘have come to seem unstoppable.’” (https://english.almayadeen.net/news/politics/how-ansar-allah-are-schooling-the-west-on-the-battlefield–b)

Even though the U.S. corporate and government-controlled media regurgitates the political line of the Biden administration which attributes the military capacity of the resistance forces from Hamas and the other nine brigades fighting the IDF in Gaza, to Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) in Iraq and the anti-occupation groupings in Syria, to assistance provided by the Islamic Republic of Iran. Tehran has denied providing military support to these groupings although it is in political agreement with the war against the IDF and its imperialist allies.

Biden has failed to effectively deflect the attention of millions of people in the U.S. from the siege on Gaza and the expanding regional resistance to Zionism and imperialism. If these militarist adventures by the White House are not brought to a halt, it could very well result in the ascendancy of another administration led by former President Donald J. Trump.

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