After Weeks of Telling Israel Not to Widen Gaza War, US Widens It to Iraq and Yemen

by Dave Lindorff, a 2019 “Izzy” winner who has written for Rolling Stone, NY Times, Nation, FAIR, Salon, London Review of Books.

Americans are finally getting sick of US warmongering. For weeks we’ve been reading articles and hearing broadcast reports about how the Biden administration, including President Biden himself and Secretary of State Antony Blinken, as well as US Ambassador to Israel Jacob Lew and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, have been warning Israel not to cause or allow the war on Gaza to spread across the borders of Israel and its occupied territories into other parts of the Middle East.

Suddenly, the US Navy ships based in the Red Sea and Persian Gulf, along with some British ships and planes (added no doubt to be able to call it a “coalition” effort), have hit suspected Houthi militia targets in Yemen, making it the US itself, not Israel, that is “expanding the war.”

This act of war, ordered by President Biden without so much as a consultation with Congress, where progressive Democrats and Republicans are expressing outrage, is doubly dangerous because the Houthi militia being pummeled by the US and Britain are allies or/and are supplied by Iran.

The US also rolled out another provocation — a rocket attack that killed the leader of a Hezbollah militia unit right in central Baghdad. As the headline over that story in the Washington Post put it: “US Strike in Baghdad Raises Specter of a Wider War.”

“Raises the specter,” indeed, and not just outside Israel’s and Palestine’s borders but potentially all the way across Europe and the Atlantic to the US.

Now, admittedly, the US has long dismissed the laws of war, at least when it comes to applying them to its own actions. But however cavalier Washington is about those laws, they are universal and they do say that when a country does violate them, using certain banned weapons for example, or invading a country that doesn’t pose an immediate threat to the attacker, the country that is the target of such violation has the right to respond in kind. So Americans ought to know that attacking a Hezbollah target who is under the protection of the Iraqi government in central Baghdad is actually inviting Iraq, the host country, or Hezbollah, the victim, to attack leaders in the US, either where its troops are based abroad (for example in Iraq) or in DC. Same goes for the US attacks on Houthi militia sites in Yemen. After enduring attacks against their forces and the Yemeni people by Saudi Arabia for years (with US-supplied weapons and direct assistance), the Houthis, at this point, are warning that “US interests” will now be retaliated against.

It’s easy to see how this kind of tit-for-tat, started by a hubristic USA leadership, could quickly spiral out of control. Suppose the Houthis were to launch an anti-ship missile and sink or heavily damage a US Navy vessel in the Persian Gulf…

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