The Pile On Begins!

The key to any sort of resolution in the latest conflict between Israel and Palestine is the initiative of state actors you’ve never heard of. For example, do you know who has recalled their ambassadors from Israel? The only two Arab countries are Jordan and Bahrain. The rest are as follows: Bolivia, Honduras, Chile, Columbia, and Turkey.

At least Turkey is a Muslim country. But did you have any idea that Bolivia, Honduras, Chile and Columbia have anything at all to do with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

These “non-usual” suspects are taking a cue from other historical agents that have until now been invisible. I mean a growing swarm of freedom fighters in the Middle East certainly but also those coming into existence perhaps via a rapidly extending underground network.

Only the collective effort of bottom up resistance (of guerilla warriors beyond the bureaucratic reach of the world’s hegemons, USA and Israel primarily, but also Russia and China) can hope to push the world beyond ceasefire (which indubitably results in diplomatic stalemate anyhow). Put another way: unless the guerrilla combatants press the advantage they have currently earned, the world will go back to same ol’ same ol’.

The very worst thing that could happen is a conventional ceasefire; luckily, lunatic Netanyahu seems resolute to make ceasefire a non-starter in the short to medium-term; those who have bravely taken the initiative (I mean Hamas) have Netanyahu to thank; were a spineless Liberal peacenik in power in Israel, the peacenik might be able to defuse the revolutionary situation so that all major global powers could go back to playing politic over of the previous status quo (of basically doing nothing).

This is definitely what the USA wants as well as Saudi Arabia. Neither Russia nor China wants escalation either; they are all acting rationally as big powers—that is, they are acting cowardly. The only way history moves forward is by actors willing to use and expend force. At the moment, the only real belligerents in this battle are Hamas and Israel. But as Israel is fast losing face in the region, so too is the United States. And a whole host of new regional actors are what Israel and the USA fears. Hamas can be easily subdued based on a playbook going back several decades. But they are giving pride, place and promise to other freedom-fighting groups that you have never heard of and which ought to become household names in the months and years to come. If all goes well with this resistance, Hamas will be a minor player. While Hamas sparked the fire that lit up the Middle East, the flames will fan across the region to ignite the will of more revolutionary combatants.

Have you ever heard of Algeria? Perhaps of their football club; and perhaps you knew marginally that they had/have some previous colonial hang-ups with France. But did you know that they are suddenly a player in this conflict? At what other time did Algeria have anything to do with the war in Palestine? Algeria has declared war on Israel following in the footsteps of Yemen!

Yemen? Where the fuck is Yemen? And weren’t they being bombed by Saudi Arabia? What? Now Yemen is launching rockets at Israel too? At what other time in history has this ever happened? Who are these countries? The propaganda machine has not even had time to brand these places as hotspots of terrorism because the propaganda machine barely knows where these countries are. And yet, these are the geographical spots now spawning resistance fighters that are challenging the world order.

And Iraq? Who is even in charge in Iraq? Or Syria? Are you telling me that there is any semblance of order in these countries? It simply cannot be that US forces stationed in these places are now afraid. Afraid of what? Saddam is gone and Assad is weak. But these are the authoritative state representatives that could have possibly reigned in the resistance in these countries—so that the sleepy Arab world could go back to the conventional status quo of occasional stance of outcry at Israel while doing nothing at the generational and “measured” use of violence by Israel (known as “mowing the grass”).

But now, since no one is in charge, no one can quite know not only the number of freedom fighting groups in the region but also the intensity of their commitments. Anything is now possible in the region; it is a revolutionary site. The only thing the US (and perhaps Israel) is certain of is this: the crisis is not one of saving Palestinian (or even Israeli) lives. The crisis is one of eroding legitimacy in the region. Before, the US could bark and countries would act accordingly. Now, with no one in charge, the US can bark all it wants but no one is listening. The guerrilla forces are no longer afraid; though no one seems intent on coming to their aid exactly, nor does anyone seem all to willing to blunt the resistance. Collectively, the world can sense that empire is weak and is, for the first time in decades, showing signs of courage.

The real crisis for the USA and Israel is not in supposing what China and Russia will do; for now, they will do nothing. The real crisis is that more and more regional actors with whom the USA and Israel have no standing (save for the projection of power) will gain more and more moxie until, eventually, a state actor is drawn in. That state actor could be Turkey; but the only reason Turkey will enter is to prevent any other state actor from taking first dibs.

Make no mistake: the world smells unipolar blood and is encircling. At the head of the wolf pack are the guerrillas but middle-power state actors are keeping a close eye. Erdogan will not allow, say, Algeria to gain political clout for any extended period of time. Who really knows if Algeria can do much. But when the scent of blood is rank enough, the pile-on will accelerate because history is only kind to actors. Now is a once-in-a-century opportunity to claim the spoils of conflict after the complete takedown of the unipolar world.

If new maps are to be drawn-up, mid-power regional rivals must act and act soon. Russia and China are secure enough in their borders. But Syria, Iraq, Turkey, Palestine, and even Iran may all be vying in a way for the best possible position in a coming regional re-shuffle. (Azerbaijan may also take liberties and enter the fray.) The usual possibility of big-powers essentially de-escalating things seems beyond the pale.

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