More than ever, Israel’s Gaza genocide has sharpened the divide between western nations and those of the Global South. Militarily, Iran’s Axis of Resistance has increasingly attacked Israel and US interests.
For example, Iran alleges that it attacked an Israeli spying facility in Erbil in Kurdistan. This is the second time Iran has done so. It launched 24 ballistic missiles at several targets. The most prominent was what the IRG said was a Mossad post in Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan. The Revolutionary Guards accused Israel of operating a separate facility as a base for the IDF’s SIGNIT Unit 8200. It was attacked by an armed drone. Another target was the Harir air base in Erbil used by US and Israeli forces. Yet another site there organized terror attacks against Iran and its allies. The Iranians indicated that the attack was a response to Israel’s assassination of five IRG commanders in Syria several days ago.
Then a few days ago, Iraqi militias launched a massive barrage of missiles at the US al Assad air base in Iraq. Despite having a Patriot battery on site, the massive sheer number of incoming projectiles overwhelmed the base’s defenses. After initial reporting of a few injuries among the US troops, yesterday the NSC spokesperson acknowledged there were an unspecified number of cases of “traumatic brain injury.” This was Iran sending a message, a serious message to the US.
Iran also struck ISIS targets in Syria and Baloch separatist forces in Pakistan. The former blames ISIS for a devastating bombing at a memorial service for Iran’s martyred military leader, Qassem Soleimani. The Balochis recently killed 10 Iranian border police officers. In addition to seeking retribution for damaging its interests, Iran is sending a message to Israel and its allies about the damage it can wreak regionally, if provoked.
The onboard camera captured the moment when a missile launched by the Houthis from Yemen struck the Malta-flagged and Greek-owned MT ZOGRAFIA bulk carrier in the Red Sea on Tuesday. pic.twitter.com/ZB60Jfu9ZG
— Status-6 (Military & Conflict News) (@Archer83Able) January 19, 2024
Yemen’s Houthis also launched a missile swarm against Red Sea commercial vessels and US warships. Most of them were destroyed. But at least one struck a merchant ship doing some damage to it. It was the 28th such attack by the Houthis. They have choked off maritime traffic in the Bab al Mandab Strait, which 20% of global cargo traverses. Shipping volume has decreased to 10% of normal while traffic around the much longer Cape of Good Hope route has increased by 300%.
The US has launched four assaults against their military arsenal, claiming it has seriously degraded it. This is arguable given that Houthi arsenal is likely just as protected and concealed as is Hamas’, which it has done amidst 300 miles of tunnels in Gaza.
The US strikes threaten a year-long ceasefire between the Saudis and Yemeni forces which it has supported. The agreement suspended a bloody war in which 400,000 Yemenis died from war, starvation and disease. A campaign targeting the Houthis could sending the opponents back into combat that no one wants.
Prof. Elizabeth Kendall, offers a calm, but devastating analysis of western military strategy against the Houthis. The deliberate, yet reasonable manner in which she demolishes the US mission there, is impressive. She notes that the US campaign in the Gulf has given the Yemeni militia a global platform from which it can proclaim its power in facing down a world superpower. It also legitimizes it as a dominant force in the Muslim world. The US has turned the Houthis into a power to be reckoned with, instead of an defeated enemy. All this shows the misguided assumptions of US Middle East strategy.
Israeli strategy both in its genocidal assault on Gaza, and its current campaign of assassinations of Hamas, Hezbollah and Iranian Revolutionary Guard commanders in Lebanon and Syria, are meant to decapitate their military leadership and degrade their capabilities. But they do no such thing. All three have proven resilient despite the elimination of such assets. Each of them has designated layers of personnel to replace anyone who is killed by Israel. Nor has Israel degraded in any significant way their fighting overall ability.
Global South campaign challenges western dominance of international legal system
Western states have ardently supported Israeli aggression in Gaza. They endorse the false claim that Hamas’ attack was an act of terrorism which warranted Israel’s subsequent invasion of Gaza. Their support belies the fact that armed resistance against military occupation by a foreign power has been recognized by the UN General Assembly as legitimate since 1982. The West endorses Israel’s false argument that 10/7 was a genocide against Israel.
While Pres. Biden, after falling for Bibi’s lies, infamously claimed that not only was it the worst attack on Israel, but the worst on the Jewish people since the Holocaust:
We know that this year’s Hanukkah is different after October the 7th attack. As I said after the attack, the safety of the Jewish people, the literal security of Israel as an independent Jewish state is literally at stake.
Once again, he conflated Israel and the Jewish people. Hamas did not attack Jews. It attacked Israel and Israelis. Even the claim concerning Israel is false, since 3,000 IDF soldiers died in the 1973 War. With their cheer-leading for Israel, its allies ignore 25,000 Palestinian dead, nearly half the number of Palestinians killed by Israel over the past 100 years. It also eclipses the 15,000 killed during the Nakba, until today the greatest catastrophe to befall the Palestinian people.
The hypocrisy of the western response to 10/7 is increasingly evident to the world. While its leaders support and even arm Israel, citizens of these countries oppose the war. In the US, which is supplying billions in missiles and bombs to the IDF, 53% oppose Biden’s policy.
In the Global South, especially in the Arab-Muslim world, nations are challenging past western hegemony in international legal fora. The International Criminal Court (ICC) and International Court of Justice (ICJ) were established by the Allied victors of WWII to prevent another Holocaust. But they rigged the system so that it would not, or could not bring cases against themselves. But rather focus only on crimes committed in the Global South.
South Africa’s filing against Israel in the ICJ has turned the tables on western powers:
South Africa’s genocide case has put the spotlight on a deeper fault line in global geopolitics. Beyond the courtroom drama, experts say divisions over the war in Gaza symbolize a widening gap between Israel and its traditional Western allies, notably the United States and Europe, and a group of nations known as the Global South — countries located primarily in the southern hemisphere…
Indonesia is bringing a separate case against Israel targeting its illegal Occupation of Palestine. Mexico and Chile brought a third legal filing asking the ICC to investigate Israel’s crimes against Gaza civilians. Namibia has added its own voice, denouncing Germany’s support for Israel, invoking the colonial power’s slaughter of the Herero people, the first genocide of the 20th century. This flood of legal cases demands the world hold Israel accountable, and challenges the “rules-based order.” a western-devised legal system, to do what it was founded to do.
Prior to this, the ICC only brought cases in Africa (though later it brought cases against Serbia after the Srbrenica massacre). Similarly, the ICJ found Myanmar guilty of genocide against the Rohingya. None of these threatened western domination of the international legal system.
In 2004, it did find Israel’s Separation Wall to be an infringement of international law. The ruling put barely a dent into Israeli Occupation and the Wall still stands. It has never heard another case against Israel till now. The new cases constitute the first challenge by the Global South to hold a western-facing state to account. Will these courts rule independently according to the evidence; or will they fall prey to political pressure finding in favor of Israel? If these cases fail, it will tarnish forever the legitimacy of international justice.