Prof. ST Hsieh
Director, US-China Energy Industry Forum
October 12, 2023
The latest Israel-Hamas war is hardly one-week old, the brutality and savages suffered by the civilians are already mind boggling, even though the Israel-Arba war has never stopped for the past six decades.
While the Ukrainians keep us busy with the claimed Russian atrocities including genocide in the proxy war, we have hope that the war is nearing an end. Ukraine people, including those in the areas occupied by Russia all have hopes, better days are ahead.
Unfortunately, even if this Israel-Hamas conflict somehow were stopped would not bring any closure. Rather, the region will be less secure and more savages. The global view of this war is more clearly divided than the proxy war in Ukraine: both parties have strong supporters with strong opinions around the world. The US led west of course vow to stand by Israelis today, tomorrow, and forever. The Muslim world of course will firmly stand by the Palestinians including the Hamas. The raw emotion from excessive civilian causalities will bring entrenched hate against each other forever.
The middle East will once again be unsettled by prolonged wars and senseless terrorist attacks. The US will have to maintain the peace with full force, but the US is now a divided house with a bitter election in 2024. When the US is being challenged then the world is also being challenged. Because war is disruptive to global economy, now we have the proxy war in Ukraine as well as a fresh war in middle east. The world future is full of certainties, to say the least.
IDF warns 1 million Palestinians in northern Gaza to evacuate within 24 hours — UN
October 12, 2023
Ukraine’s Budanov Says ‘We’re Approaching Global War’
The head of Ukraine’s military intelligence, unlike in previous interviews, refrained from making forecasts about the end of the war but made valid points about other high-profile issues.
by Kyiv Post | October 12, 2023, 1:15 pm
Still no plans for U.S. boots on ground in Israel, even for hostage rescues
CBS News Videos
Thu, October 12, 2023 at 6:07 AM PDT
Shockwaves from Israel-Hamas war disrupt US politics
BBC October 10, 2023
By Anthony Zurcher
Israel’s war with Hamas following the militant group’s unprecedented and deadly weekend attack is also sending shockwaves through domestic US politics.
The crisis is creating new headaches for the Biden administration, sharpening the focus on the current turmoil in Congress and threatening to add an extra level of unpredictability to the 2024 US elections.
And while the American public tends to pay slight attention to events abroad, the horrifying images of civilian deaths from the Middle East – and the news that Americans are among the casualties – ensures that this story will grab the national attention.
The blame game begins
Already Joe Biden’s critics are lining up to place the blame for violence in Israel squarely at the president’s feet.
They’ve accused Iran of masterminding the attack and say that US policies toward that nation, including allowing it to increase oil sales and have access to $6bn (£4.9bn) in frozen assets as part of a deal to achieve the release of some jailed American citizens, was a signal of American “weakness”.
Former president Donald Trump, in a speech in New Hampshire on Monday, pledged to reinstate all US sanctions on Iran and reimpose a US travel ban on all “terror-afflicted” majority Muslim nations.
Mr Trump pointed to his successful negotiation of the Abraham Accords between Israel and two Persian Gulf states as an example of what had been a trend toward peace in the Middle East.
One of Mr Trump’s presidential rivals, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, also accused Democratic administrations of being too soft on Iran.
“Ultimately, this was an attack by the Iranians,” Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said. “US policy under both Biden and Obama, they just had rose-coloured glasses with respect to Iran.”
While the lion’s share of Republican criticism was directed at Mr Biden, the attack on Israel also exposed some fault lines within the party – particularly on the changing views among conservatives on the merits of the kind of interventionist foreign policy that was long a hallmark of Republican presidencies.
A House divided
On Monday morning, former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy joined in with the Republican chorus blaming Mr Biden’s policies for laying the groundwork for the attack.
Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz, the mastermind of the move against the then-speaker, dismissed accusations that his actions may have made it more difficult for the US Congress to come to Israel’s aid, noting that America gives Israel $3bn (£2.45bn) in military support every year.
“There is no ask from Israel that we are unable to meet because it’s going to take us a few days to pick a new speaker,” he said, adding that the world doesn’t spend much time thinking about Mr McCarthy’s political career.
It was an opportunity for Mr McCarthy’s supporters to get another round of digs at a colleague they now thoroughly revile.
“I look at the world and all the threats that are out there,” Michael McCaul, chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said on Sunday. “What kind of message are we sending to our adversaries when we can’t govern, when we’re dysfunctional, when we don’t even have a Speaker of the House?”
The Biden administration has said there is no immediate need for a congressionally approved aid package for Israel. But two senior officials told US senators during a briefing today that new assistance should be included in a legislative package that also contains continued support for Ukraine.
Given the resistance to additional Ukraine funding among some Republicans, however, it remains to be seen whether such a move would make such an aid package more likely to pass – or less. A social media post earlier today by Republican Senator Josh Hawley seemed to suggest the latter.
“Israel is facing existential threat,” he wrote. “Any funding for Ukraine should be redirected to Israel immediately.”
Widespread Democratic support – for now
If Republican fault lines have been exposed by the Israel crisis, the same cannot be said for divisions on the left – at least for the moment.
While the Democratic Party has traditionally been vocal advocates for Israel, that support has ebbed in recent years as the party has moved to the left and its criticism of the right-wing policies of Israel’s Likud-led government – including its aggressive expansion of settlements in the occupied territories – has intensified.
The ferocity and indiscriminate nature of the Hamas attack on Israeli civilians, however, has obscured these divisions.
While some far-left groups have rallied to express backing for the Palestinians, mainstream Democrats have been vocal in their support for Israel and quick to denounce signs of dissent from their side.
Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Cori Bush of Missouri, two of the more outspoken critics of Israel in the House of Representatives, offered sympathies for Israeli and Palestinian civilian casualties while calling for the end of US aid to Israel. Those comments prompted condemnation from several of their fellow Democrats.
Ms Bush and Ms Tlaib are in the minority of their party for the moment. Bernie Sanders, one of the leaders of the progressive left, issued a statement on Saturday saying he absolutely condemned “the horrifying attack”.
The situation in the Middle East has shifted dramatically in a matter of days. Given the existing cross-currents and partisan divisions inside the US, the domestic political dynamics of the current crisis are likely to be equally unpredictable.