The US-centralized empire is a giant network of allies, partners and assets spanning the entire globe. Many of the nations in this network, such as Israel, have strong ideologies and values systems that the empire must cooperate with to obtain their loyalty. But the empire itself has no ideology or values — it values nothing but planetary domination. The empire’s motives are no more ideological than the motives of a mugger are ideological.
So the empire has no ideology, but it is held together by cooperation with individual governments who do. The problem this creates is that sometimes the ideologies of those states cause them to do things that go against the interests of the empire as a whole. Israel can just up and decide to commit a genocidal massacre in front of everyone. Saudi Arabia can decide it’s going to dismember a Washington Post reporter with a bone saw. Proxies in Ukraine can keep saying Nazi things and sporting Nazi insignia in public. They do these things because unlike the top brass in the imperial power structure they are guided by ideology, with no regard for the need to preserve the empire’s image as a “rules-based international order”.
This often creates a PR crisis for the empire, because the public will cease consenting to the network of alliances, partners and assets if it becomes sufficiently aware of the depravity needed to hold it all together. This is typically easy to resolve because the US empire has the most sophisticated propaganda machine in the history of civilization, but that propaganda machine is operated by individuals — individuals who may have learned about Palestinian rights at university, or who were disgusted about the way their employer ran cover for Israel’s murder of Shireen Abu Akleh only to find out Israel did it and was lying. So they don’t always play along with the imperial machine in their reporting, thereby exacerbating the empire’s PR crisis.
The worst thing that could possibly happen, from the empire’s point of view, is for the public to start opening their eyes to its criminality. With Israel on a genocidal rampage as pro-Palestinian protesters flood the streets worldwide, we may be certain that the manipulators who are responsible for imperial perception management are in full crisis mode, because if a critical mass of people can pick apart this one lie, it opens up the possibility of their unplugging themselves from the whole propaganda matrix that keeps the empire operational.
The empire managers are standing by Israel’s side and doing everything they can to pretend its actions are right and just, but they are fidgeting uncomfortably, and behind the scenes we may be sure they’re in total damage control. That’s why we’re being slammed with such a mad deluge of propaganda right now, and that’s why they’re doing everything they can to censor and suppress and shut down voices who are critical of Israel’s actions in Gaza.
“Hey what do you do for a living Caitlin?”
“Oh these days I mostly accidentally look at footage of dead Palestinian kids on my social media feed and cry and get called an anti-semite.”
If you didn’t already know that Israel apologists use false accusations of anti-semitism to shut down criticism of Israel, you should know it now. When they’re trying to tell you Greta Thunberg is a closet Nazi sending out obscure Nazi dogwhistles, it’s right there in your face.
Oh yeah well my six month-old baby just said “Israel is an abusive apartheid state that cannot exist without nonstop war and violence which is exactly why the US empire uses it as a military and intelligence proxy in a geostrategically crucial region it must dominate by force.” https://t.co/LTGFehZ5W3
— Caitlin Johnstone (@caitoz) October 21, 2023
If someone asked me to design the absolute worst place anyone could possibly detonate thousands of explosive munitions on, I’d probably come up with a densely populated area full of easily collapsed buildings wherein an extremely high percentage of the population are children.
It should be clear to everyone by now that a huge percentage of the right wingers who criticized US proxy warfare via Ukraine did so only because they were worried it might take away from US proxy warfare via Israel.
One of the reasons this specific bombing campaign is getting so much more public backlash than others is because the pro-Palestine movement has had generations to build, whereas when the US empire lays waste to a country using military explosives it’s normally a fast ordeal which moves from manufacturing consent to execution very quickly. By the time people figure out they were lied to about the justifications for a depraved war the empire is usually two or three new wars down the track. The Israel-Palestine issue has been just sitting there for decades, so there’s been time to accumulate popular opposition. Once someone learns about the realities of the Palestinian plight they very seldom abandon their support for it, so every newly-opened pair of eyes stays open on this issue for a lifetime.
Another major reason is because of humanity’s exponentially expanded ability to rapidly share information in recent years. Palestinians have become able to record the abuses of Israeli apartheid and bombing campaigns on their phones and upload them onto the internet, where they rapidly circulate on social media. This ability to rapidly circulate raw video footage has played a major role in Israel’s PR problem in recent years, because there’s nothing an Israel apologist can say that will have more impact than raw footage of an Israeli settler telling a Palestinian family that he stole their home because “If I don’t steal it, someone else is gonna steal it.” This killed off a lot of public sympathy for Israel in the lead-up to the current onslaught.
Another reason is because the pro-Palestine movement was carried on the tide of the global movement against apartheid South Africa, giving the world a framework to understand Israeli abuses and helping to build the base of a related cause.
Another reason is because many of us in colonized countries like Australia, the US and Canada recognize the patterns of what’s happening in Israel and see that there’s an opportunity for human history to get it right this time before the genocide machine really gets going.
Another reason is because it’s been widely accepted by western society that racism is a bad thing and the abuses which led to this particular bombing campaign are so clearly fueled by racism.
Another reason is because the abuses of the Israeli regime are so glaringly obvious and uncomplicated that they can override all the propaganda and cognitive biases we are swimming in in western civilization. All most people need is to really see it and wrap their minds around what they’re seeing, and truth does the rest of the work for them. That was the case before the Gaza massacre began, and it’s so much more so now.
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