Wednesday, November 22, 2023

If You Don't Vote Democratic in 2024, Putin & Iran Will Have Gotten What They Paid For From Hamas On 10/7


Blood-stained copy of the lyrics of "Shir LaShalom" ("Song for Peace"), found in Rabin's pocket after the assassination

Anwar Sadat was buried in the Unknown Soldier Memorial, located in the Nasr City district of Cairo. The inscription on his grave reads: "The hero of war and peace".

If You Don't Vote Democratic in 2024, Putin & Iran Will Have Gotten What They Paid For From Hamas' Genocidal Attack On 10/7/23 

“In this week’s edition we publish The World Ahead 2024, our 38th annual predictive guide to the coming year, and in all that time no single person has ever eclipsed our analysis as much as Donald Trump eclipses 2024.” 
- The Economist (11/16/23)

“I don’t like the way autocrats are running Israel, so I’m going to help elect an autocrat to run the United States” is the most shortsighted, idiot shit take on the planet."
- Mueller, She Wrote (@MuellerSheWrote):  
“There is no such thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives.” 
- Audre Lorde, “Learning from the 60s” Sister Outsider (1984)

Sinclair Lewis wrote "It Can't Happen Here" in 1935. Well, it didn't. Then. (Although it was a closer call than you might think.) And we are much closer this time.

Not only can IT happen here, it IS happening here, unless we hold the ground taken in 2020 & 2022 & almost every off year election since 2020, AND expand upon those victories in 2024.

Nothing else matters now. All that matters is what is in front of us. Right HERE, right now. 

No one issue gives you an excuse to walk away from this struggle.

Some of you are making declarations such as "I will never vote for Joe Biden or anyone else who had approved military money or weapons to Israel & I won't vote for any Democrats until the party repudiates its pro-genocide members & commits to ending our support for genocides masked as military aid."

This is a direct quote. I don't know the person who tweeted this. I don't want to single them out, so I am not going to cite their name or twitter address. I just did a search on "I will never vote for Joe Biden ..." and this one is typical of the many that bubbled up. 

Here are talking points to refute such dangerous & delusional declarations among friends & family.

Before I go any further, it is important to say where I stand, & how this could have played out differently. In the immediate aftermath of 10/7, I was against the bombing of Gaza, & against the IDF going into Gaza on the ground. I say "immediate aftermath" because these options should have been on the table, & all necessary preparations should have been made, but going in immediately gave Hamas exactly what it wanted, & within 48-72 hours after the atrocities of 10/7, all of the world's media coverage was turned away from what happened on 10/7 & re-focused on the plight of the civilian population of Gaza, & soon many of you were in the streets & on social media sloganeering for a ceasefire, & condemning ... Israel ... I would have preferred two weeks of detailed exposes on the atrocities of 10/7, inundating social media with the horrors perpetrated that day, yes, the videos, yes, the mutilated bodies, yes, the decapitated babies, all of it, in granular details, I would have preferred to see the Hamas fighters who participated identified through facial recognition, I would have had bounties put on their heads dead or alive, I would have preferred two weeks of news media reports highlighting the leaders of Hamas, where they live, how they live, endlessly repeating over & over their statements taking credit for 10/7 & that they would do it again & again until Israel was wiped from the face of the earth, I would have placed bounties on their heads dead or alive, I would have welcomed shooting down their private jets, I would have welcomed commando raids on their luxurious living spaces even in third party countries, I would have welcomed those international incidents, all the while demanding the release of the hostages, & threatening the bombing & land invasion if the hostages were not released ... 

But this is where we are now.

Did you know that October 7th is Putin’s birthday? Seriously. October 7th is actually literally factually Putin’s birthday.

Hamas wanted this war because it serves the purpose of their sponsors in Moscow & Tehran, Netanyahu wanted this war because he saw it as his best way to hold on to the power that was slipping away from him. The people of Israel are the victims of Netanyahu just as much as the victims of Hamas. The people of Gaza are the victims of Hamas even more than the victims of Israel. Hamas knew how the war monger Netanyahu & his extremist faction would respond & they wanted thousands of Palestinian deaths. 

"Ceasefire! Ceasefire! Ceasefire!" ???? There was a ceasefire ... until 10/7/23 ... when Hamas launched its genocidal attack, featuring rape as a weapon of war & the decapitation of babies (yes, confirmed) … Another ceasefire was recently achieved, one predicated on the incremental release of hostages. A ceasefire that the Biden team negotiated and forced upon Netanyahu. And yes it too was broken BY HAMAS. Because of the terrible condition of the remaining hostages. Further release would have revealed that the rapes continued during during captivity.

1.  In 2024, No Margin of Error to Spend on “Votes of Conscience," & Indeed ...

At least three very dangerous third party candidacies are in play for 2024. There is no margin of error to spend on “votes of conscience.” Indeed, your imagined "vote of conscience" is actually a conscienceless vote. Whether you vote for third party candidate or simply do not vote at all.

In 2024, every vote for a third party candidate, every voter who doesn't vote at all, makes it more likely that Trump or whoever the zombie cult's candidate "wins" There are more of us than them but we have to vote overwhelmingly. If we are divided, if our turn out is low, if too many vote third party, the republic will LITERALLY fall this time

Timothy Snyder (@TimothyDSnyder): Yes, the fact that the US as we know it could cease to exist in fourteen months would seem to be the real story. "The public doesn't understand the risks of a Trump victory" - Margaret Sullivan, The public doesn’t understand the risks of a Trump victory. That’s the media’s fault,  Guardian (11/9/23)

2. Have You Weighed the Consequences of Your Abandonment of the Democratic Ticket?

Do you understand what Trump and the MAGA movement are planning if he gets back in? No, do you really understand in detail? Have you heard about “Project 2025”? It’s not a looney tune conspiracy theory it’s a massive undertaking being driven by the Heritage Foundation

"Hundreds of people are spending tens of millions of dollars to install a pre-vetted, pro-Trump army of up to 54,000 loyalists across government to rip off the restraints imposed on the previous 46 presidents." - Jim VandeHei , Mike Allen, Behind the Curtain: Trump allies pre-screen loyalists for unprecedented power grab, Axios (11/13/23)

Joe Scarborough warns Americans on what Trump will do if he’s back in the Oval Office: “He will imprison, he will execute whoever he is allowed to imprison, execute, drive from the country. Just look at his past. It’s not really hard to read.”

3. Does Your Selective Memory of History Allow You To Acknowledge the Damage Done By Those Who Voted Third Party or Just Sat Out Previous Elections?

Do you remember the consequences of those who voted for Nader in 2000 & Stein in 2016? A shift of even a few hundred votes in FLA in 2000 and Gore won have won the electoral college. 

The thousands who voted for Stein in 2016 in MI PA & WI delivered the electoral college for Trump. 

And the consequences? Well, just off the top of my head: no Bush-Cheney would have meant no invasion of Iraq, no obscene tax cut for the super rich & no leaving the Kyoto protocols on climate action, no Trump would have meant no repeal of Roe v Wade, no second obscene tax cut for the super rich, no leaving the Paris accords on climate action.

In the struggle to mitigate the worst impacts of runaway climate change we LITERALLY have only 10 years left (at maximum) to make the significant shift begun since 2020 by Biden-Harris a permanent one. We simply have no time left for another setback in WH policy.

4. Have You Weighed the Consequences for Moslems in General & Palestinians in Particular If  MAGA &Trumpism Win In 2024?

You can look forward to MUCH WORSE if your "vote of conscience" enables Trump's return to power, including this by executive action probably within the first horrifying 100 hours:

Doubling down on the hardline immigration policies that have long animated his base, Donald Trump on Monday vowed to bar refugees from Gaza and immediately expand his first-term Muslim travel ban if he wins a second term following the deadly attack on Israel last week.- Trump vows to expand Muslim ban and bar Gaza refugees if he wins presidency, Former president in speech in Iowa says he would immediately begin ‘ideological screening’ for all immigrants, Associated Press via Guardian (10/17/23)

Furthermore, all restraints on Netanayahu & the Israeli hard right will be removed.

You don't think restraint is being applied? Lol. I hope you never get to see how wrong you are. See #8.

5. Do you understand how bad it was for Palestine when Trump was in power?

Seriously, do you remember how bad it was for Palestine when Trump was in power?

When Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, he in effect quashed the possibility that East Jerusalem would ever belong to a Palestinian state. When he moved the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, in 2018, he signaled the abandonment of even the pretense of good-faith negotiations with the Palestinians. Rather than use the prospect of these gestures as an incentive for Netanyahu to adopt a comprehensive peace plan in the region, Trump simply made them ... “Netanyahu got everything he wanted from Trump,” Amit Segal, the chief political analyst for Israel’s Channel 12, told me. Trump’s alignment with Netanyahu has been so total that, ahead of the U.S. election, sixty-three per cent of Israelis supported Trump, and only seventeen per cent supported Joe Biden, according to a November poll by the Israel Democracy Institute. If Israel were a U.S. state, it would be the “reddest state in the Union,” a column in the left-leaning newspaper Haaretz noted. Scroll through the Twitter feeds of some of Netanyahu’s most ardent proponents and you could be forgiven for thinking that you’ve landed on the Hebrew accounts of Sean Hannity or Tucker Carlson ... Three weeks after the U.S. election, Yinon Magal, a well-known pundit and former right-wing lawmaker, told Israeli radio, “We still pray for a miracle that Donald, son of Fred, will win the election.”  - Ruth Margalit, Trump’s Legacy in Israel, The New Yorker (1/12/21) 

The worst elements in the Israeli leadership & body politic were sad to lose their greatest enabler.  

Few countries have been as invested in Donald Trump’s presidency as Israel, where a recent survey found that Israelis favor the incumbent by an almost 45 percent margin ... Whereas other world leaders have often strained to maintain constructive relations with the Trump administration, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has managed to stay high atop the president’s short list of favorite allies over the past four years. Now, after having been a conspicuous beneficiary of U.S. diplomatic bounty throughout Trump’s tenure ... In 2019, Trump signed a presidential proclamation affording recognition of Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo signed a declaration that the “establishment of Israeli civilian settlements in the West Bank is not per se inconsistent with international law.” ... - Shalom Lipner, Has Trump Been Good for Israel?, Foreign Policy (11/3/20)

6. Gabor Mate is Living in the Past & Cornel West has Lost His Mind

Scrolling through social media a few nights ago, I came across Gabor Mate speaking on the current crisis in Israel & Palestine, it's all way out of his lane of course, but I made myself listen, because I know most of you think he walks on water. Lol. Everything he said was right - TEN OR FIFTEEN YEARS AGO.

Someone can be very right on in their understanding of what has gone down in Israel & Palestine over the last forty years or even over the last 80 years, but still be VERY WRONG about this moment.

In 2016, the world changed for the worse. Putin's information warfare operations succeeded in subverting critical elections in the U.S. & U.K. elections, which is how we ended up with the idiocy of Brexit & the malignancy of Trump. Well, to be precise, the change for the worse started in 2014 with Putin's savage occupation of Crimea. So since 2014-2016 the world order has been reeling. Biden-Harris, working with our NATO & the EU allies have done a lot of good work in returning us all to R-E-A-L-I-T-Y but the balance is still tenuous, & will be until Putin is defeated in Ukraine & Trump (or whoever he is swapped out for) is defeated (again). You need to understand what is happening now in Israel & Palestine within the context of this global geopolitical struggle.

Cornel West wants you to see Hamas as "love warriors & freedom fighters." (Yes, that's how he described them a few nights ago.) But, of course, Hamas are not "love warriors," they do not represent the Palestinian people, they do not fight for the Palestinian people, they certainly do not protect the Palestinian people. Hamas is really more like Prigozhin's Wagner Group than a band of freedom fighters. 

Putin & the Islamic Republic are underwriting Hamas to provide distractions from Putin's looming defeat in Ukraine & the Islamic Republic's femicide against its own people. This is all one struggle.

This is a different world. The MAGA insurrection on 1/6/21 in the U.S. & Hamas' genocidal rampage in Israel on 10/7/23 are of a different order than previous terrorist attacks, even different from 9/11/01. This is far more dangerous moment than any since WWII itself.

“Putin and Hamas hope to collapse broader regional stability and integration and take advantage of the ensuing disorder. America cannot, and will not, let that happen. For our own national security interests — and for the good of the entire world.” - President Joe Biden, The U.S. won’t back down from the challenge of Putin and Hamas, Washington Post (11/18/23)

7. "How can Biden send $15 billion in weapons to Israel for this ...?

Many of you are used to seeing Israel as the "neighborhood bully" & rightfully so to a degree. So you say to me with great indignation, "How can Biden send $15 billion in weapons to Israel for this ...?" 

I am going to assume (perhaps naively) that when you chant "From the river to the sea ..." you aren't really calling for the extermination of the Israeli state, although that is precisely what the Hamas chant is calling for. Israel may seem to possess overwhelming military superiority but they are nevertheless in a very vulnerable position. If Iran & Hezbollah enter this war, & Israel is forced to fight on two or three fronts, it will probably all go very bad very fast. Very bad, very fast. Do you want the Israeli people exposed to a war of extinction? In their homeland, established by the U.N. in 1948, as an acknowledgment of the Holocaust? Let's say you are OK with all of that (& after the Tik-Tok love affair with Osama Bin Laden's "Letter to America," I wouldn't be surprised), are you also OK if faced with defeat, the Israeli decide to use the nuclear arsenal everyone pretends they don't have? 

The U.S. has always given this level of military aid to the Israelis it's certainly not going to cut it off after the atrocities of 10/7 & in the current geopolitical crisis mentioned above. Israel must remain strong. But Israel needs new leadership, bold, progressive leadership. There is a real peace to be had, a real peace, one that does not include Hamas (which must be destroyed. In 1981, Sadat died for this real peace, in 1995, Rabin died for this real peace, in 2000, Arafat didn't feel it was the right time for him to die for this peace. I remember every one of those tragic days, as if it were yesterday. Here we are now.

8. The BEST & the WORST

One of the numerous ironies of this moment is that the BEST person possible to deal with this crisis leads the U.S. currently, & yes, the WORST person possible to deal with this crisis leads Israel.

ClearingTheFog (@clearing_fog): A lot of folks won’t read past the first couple paragraphs of Biden’s op-ed today - but don’t sleep on it. In addition to calling out Hamas, it is a direct refutation of Netanyahu’s policies - almost unheard of from an American President. 

Joe Biden: The U.S. won’t back down from the challenge of Putin and Hamas. Washington Post, 11/19/23 

Mueller, She Wrote (@MuellerSheWrote): Biden calls for peace, a two-state solution, a free Palestine, & will impose sanctions against Israeli extremists in the West Bank. He also calls for support for Ukraine. Here is a gift link to the President’s opinion piece in WaPo:

If indeed all you care about is Palestine or if you think it’s importance outweighs all else from abortion rights to climate action, do you realize how much worse it will be for the Palestinians & for Moslems in general if Biden loses? Of course, to answer that question you would have to acknowledge that Biden struggles with Netanyahu & is an important counterbalance to him among the Israeli leadership. You would have to acknowledge that aid trucks & "humanitarian poses" mean something. You would have to acknowledge that there was a CEASEFIRE in place FOR YEARS until 10/7/23, when HAMAS BROKE IT with their genocidal attack. You would have to acknowledge that a new CEASEFIRE is going into effect now, because of Joe Biden's direct engagement. 50 hostages, women & children, are being released imminently because of Joe Biden's direct engagement. The four-day CEASEFIRE going into effect can be extended one day for every 10 more hostages are released, because of Joe Biden's direct engagement. 

9. Genocide

Addressing the false claims of "Genocide" is a thankless job, it's touching the third rail, it's damned if I do & damned if I don't, but these three points are vital & must be articulated. 

As horrific as what is happening in Gaza is, it is NOT genocide. And by abusing that term, you are insulting the memory of those who died in Darfur, Rwanda, Cambodia, Armenia & yes, the HOLOCAUST. 


Massive civilian casualties do not equate to "Genocide." It's an ugly fact, but it is a fact. Please do not cheapen the term with your sloganeering.
If the massive death toll in both Israel and the Gaza Strip was not horrendous enough, the false claim continues to be spread that Israel is committing genocide in Gaza in retribution for the massacres carried out by Hamas October 7.  
The genocide claim bus has a range of passengers.
Among them are antisemites who believe Jews are the ultimate evil in the world, conspiracists, “influencers” who, in addition to caring about the Palestinians, have their eye on their social media clout, pro-Palestinian activists who support the Palestinians' right to "armed resistance" and who are trying to bridge the unbridgeable gap between their supposed concern for human rights and the atrocities committed by Hamas by shifting the focus to the “bigger atrocity” of genocide.
Also along for the ride are some cynical politicians, including Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan who said Israel’s assault “amounted” to genocide as well as some human rights activists, journalists, who may have honest intentions but are simply wrong.
There’s a very high bar set for defining genocide laid out in international conventions and law. These state that it is not enough to count the dead, but one must also prove "intent to destroy" in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group.
For now, that is not what is happening on the ground in Gaza and this is why the International Criminal Court Prosecutor didn't mention it in his statement in Cairo.
That's because there is no evidence for this special intent. Civilians in Gaza were killed not because Israel specifically targets them, but because of the extensive Hamas military infrastructures that are located near, inside civilian buildings and in the tunnels beneath them ...
As long as it is not based on facts, the genocide claim will not be useful for ending the war or promoting the freedom of the people in Gaza. It could also lead to deadly attacks on Israeli citizens, those in Western countries and embassies around the world.
It is true that international law is flawed in its protection of civilians, both in definitions and in practice. We need to make up for these flaws by upholding the morals and universal values that Hamas, its jihadist partners and also the Israeli far-right oppose –not by getting lost in the false claims of genocide. - Eitay Mack, Israel Is Not Committing Genocide in Gaza, Haaretz (11/1/23)


I have a logic question for you. You say you’re raising your voice against genocide.

Well, Israel says it is not committing genocide & has a substantive argument to validate its position.

On the other hand, Hamas officials have openly acknowledged the genocidal nature of the 10/7 attack on Israel, & boast that they will do the same again & again until Israel no longer exists.

For the sake of my logic question, it doesn't matter whether or not you believe the Israeli denial, it doesn't matter whether or not that denial is objectively true under international law. Both are irrelevant.

I am simply asking you to explain your logic.

Why is it that you say Biden supports genocide but you cheering Cornel West for calling Hamas “love warriors” is not supporting genocide? Why aren't you carrying both Palestinian & Israeli flags in your protests? There is legitimate dispute about whether or not the Israelis are committing genocide, there is no dispute about the genocidal nature of the way that HAMAS BROKE THE CEASEFIRE ON 10/7, they openly boast of it & they promise more & more genocidal attacks.

Seriously. Check yourself.


In the last few nights, I have seen many of you go on social media to shame your friends who not posted about "CEASEFIRE" or "GENOCIDE," you say "Why the silent? Why ..." As if you are reading from a script, or at least repeating what you have heard over & over as the bots play the algorithm & in turn the algorithm plays you. Take a look at this chart of "Post Cold War Conflicts Death Toll In Proportion" (Virgil Hawkins, "Stealth Conflicts: How the World's Worst Violence is Ignored"). Take a long look at it & then ask yourselves some hard questions about disproportionality, ignorance, hypocrisy ...

The Congo, Sudan, Rwanda, & many others, some recent history, some ongoing. Do you have any idea how small this conflict is in relation to the horrors of the Congo or Sudan or even Bosnia, Kashmir or Columbia? Of the 29 conflicts displayed, Israel-Palestine, along with Chad, are the smallest.* AND YET, you declare that you will not vote for Biden or any Democrat because of U.S. support of Israel?

Well, as huge a horror as the Congo is, as UNSPEAKABLE as the total death toll as all of these 29 conflicts combined truly is, all of it is as if a single drop of blood when compared to the LOOMING DEATH TOLL OF THE GLOBAL CLIMATE EMERGENCY CURRENTLY ACCELERATING.

Humanity has ten years, at the most, to mitigate the worst of what is coming. We can. We must. We will. Unless the U.S. government is turned over to the control of fascist tools fronting for the oligarchs East & West. So much, everything really, is at stake.

The 2024 election will determine whether this republic's democratic institutions are strengthened or utterly hollowed out. The 2024 election will determine whether or not the new demographic reality of our body politic (more women, more people of color, more youth) is allowed to produce an assault weapons ban, the restoration of women''s reproductive rights, the protection of voting rights, & an even more sweeping climate action than what Biden-Harris & the Democrats have already delivered.

If you vote for a third party candidate or you don't vote at all, you will actually be voting for the the unthinkable, truly, pure, unbridled fascism.

These are the real stakes. So tell me now, what does a "vote of conscience" really look like in 2024?

Have you really thought this through? Or have you just been played?

It’s clear now that while the Palestinian cause has been hijacked in the Middle East by terrorist death cults like Hamas and Hezbollah, it has been hijacked in America by those in the progressive movement who suffer from some poisonous mixture of ignorance, ideological blindness, and latent anti-Semitism (by which I mean they know nothing about the Middle East and its history, they hold the inane view that every conflict reduces to white colonialists oppressing virtuous people of color, and they just hate Jews). Now, here we are, witnessing a growing storm of hatred and violence toward Jews. How can this be the response of our fellow Americans? Think about the fact that Pakistan is forcibly returning 1.7 million Afghan refugees to the clutches of the Taliban or that Russia slaughtered an estimated 200,000 Chechen Muslims or that Serbia committed an internationally recognized genocide against Bosnian Muslims or that China has disappeared or locked in concentration camps 1.3 million Muslim Uyghurs, all with no comparable reaction from America’s progressive left. They are not assaulted by mobs on the streets of New York. They do not have to barricade themselves inside college libraries or dining halls. They do not have their murdered friends and relatives mocked by BLM Chicago posters glorifying hang-gliding terrorists.

10. Credible Casualty Numbers? We Have None

The "Post Cold War Conflicts Death Toll In Proportion" chart shown above will have to be revised to reflect casualties in the current phase of conflict. But whatever the updated number is it will not impact the relative proportionality in any significant way. There are no credible, independent numbers yet, everyone is using the numbers reported by Hamas-controlled entities in Gaza. In other words, we have no idea how many casualties there really are. IF & when we do get credible numbers from an independent source don't be surprised if they are substantially less than the very numbers you yourself have been spreading with great certainty & outrage. Of course, whatever the real number of civilian deaths actually is, it is too many, whatever the number is it is an obscene number. That blood is on Hamas' hands at least as much as on the Israelis hands. But do not accept Hamas' numbers. Demand independent substantiation.

Remember the innocents. In Israel & in Palestine.