The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

It Is True: There Is No Moral Equivalency Between Hamas and Israel or the US

Ilhan Omar, the most radical of the Squad, gave in and apologized for saying:

“We must have the same level of accountability and justice for all victims of crimes against humanity,” she wrote. “We have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the US, Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban.”

This is, of course, true. In fact, it’s way too mild. But Omar caved.

She said she had never made “a moral comparison between Hamas and the Taliban and the US and Israel.”

“I was in no way equating terrorist organizations with democratic countries with well-established judicial systems,” she added.

House Democratic leaders issued their own statement welcoming Ms. Omar’s clarification, saying that “drawing false equivalencies between democracies like the US and Israel and groups that engage in terrorism like Hamas and the Taliban foments prejudice and undermines progress toward a future of peace and security for all.”

Now, the problem here is that there is no moral equivalency between Hamas and the US and Israel. Hamas has killed far fewer people, and committed far fewer atrocities. It has not tried to ethnically cleanse an entire people and has not invaded any other countries. Being a “democracy,” which Israel is not, since almost half of the population can’t vote, does not excuse your war crimes. Hamas is, in every way that matters, far less evil than the US or Israel. This isn’t even a question, and anyone who thinks it is has their moral compass so far up their ass it will never again see daylight.

Do remember that the CIA tortured people. This is well established. What did the “well-established judicial system” of the United States do about that?

The only person the “well-established judicial system” of the United States put in jail for CIA torture was the whistleblower who revealed the torture in an attempt to stop it.

Hamas aren’t “good” people, but they are freedom fighters (yeah, sorry) defending their people, who suffer under an apartheid system after having been ethnic cleansed out of most of their homeland. They have killed fewer people than Israel, stolen fewer homes, and not conquered any countries with a native population and shoved the native population into the dirt.

Compared to Israel, or the US (Libya, Iraq, Vietnam, nukes, drone murders, rendition, etc, etc.), Hamas is a moral giant. Perhaps they are only saved by their weakness, and would be as evil if they had more power, but they don’t. They shoot homemade missiles at Israel to try and stop Israel from stealing more Palestinians homes and Israel retaliates with the most advanced bombs and missiles in the world, leveling press offices, hospitals, and apartment blocks.

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  1. edmondo

    “Ilhan Omar, the most radical of the Squad, gave in and apologized ….”

    LOL. I think you meant she plays acts as the the most radical of The Squad. If you haven’t figured out that The Squad is a media fiction to pretend that the progressives aren’t on some giant leash then it’s really hard to absorb the rest of your thesis

  2. Mark Level

    Well, Ian, our political class is not allowed to tell the truth (as supported by actual facts) even in passing, are they? That is what separates bloggers like yourself from the insular, sclerotic political class. . . . Many past classic quotes could fit here– Malcolm X once warned American blacks “If you can’t tell the truth, you don’t even deserve freedom.” Yet the US narrative must always be, from our “independent” media to the stooges that run the government (edmondo is correct, I now know “The Squad” are just performative faux “opposition”) that we are special and above the other nations and people in this world, the Shining City of Capital and Empire that has brought so much to the little brown brothers. Just ask the Guatemalans, Iranians, Indonesians, etc. right? That wild-eyed rich boy radical JFK once admitted, “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable.” Well, “peaceful revolution” is not on the US Ruling class agenda, any more than timid “peaceful reform” is. Daddy Bush at least told the truth for our leaders (who the stupid voters continue to install in power). After shooting down an Iranian civilian plane & killing over 200 innocent people, oh, incidentally defending Saddam Hussein who his son’s admin later called a new “Hitler”, he shared, “I will never apologize for the United States!! I don’t care what the facts are.” Ms. Omar now belongs to the same political class as the Bush family. Despite momentary instincts toward fairness, she will always run back to the ruling class hymnal if she accidentally steps out of line.

  3. Ven

    Thank you Ian. Even when B’thslem and HRW have called out Israel as an apartheid state, people are still too afraid to step out of line.

    As for the US, it’s evident to many that it is the evil empire. The question is whether younger generations tap into collective memory of the US role in the world, such that every new intervention is seen as a pattern rather than in isolation, an aberration from American exceptionalism.

  4. someofparts

    Other boomers I know who have done well with real estate and jobs that pay well don’t see or care about any of this. They have become as mindless as the worst Fox-addled subliterate. By the time all of this destroys the world for their grandkids they will be long gone. They still won’t get blamed for it though because by then everyone who was not born wealthy will be literally illiterate. Land of the spree, home of the knave and soon to be the hemisphere where all the poverty is located.

  5. Soredemos

    Timely post. Today there was provocative Israeli march > Palestinian fire balloons in protest > new Israeli airstrikes on Gaza.

    The new even more right wing Israeli government isn’t losing any time getting things rolling.

  6. Jan Wiklund

    Try to remember that there are no “evil” or “non-evil” power. It’s just that the US can get away with things for example Ireland can’t. That is the whole difference.

    States are always intensely egotistic. They are like business corporations. The bigger they are, the more ruthless they get. If the US kills more people, it’s just that they are bigger (in terms of money) than others.

    The only way to stop them is counter-power. They will stop killing people if it hurts themselves.

  7. Jim Harmon

    Fascist rubbish.

  8. Soredemos

    @Jim Harmon

    Not sure you’re replying to, but if it’s to Jan Wiklund, no, they’re correct. ‘The strong do what they will and the weak suffer what they must’ isn’t a new observation. It dates back at least to Thucydides.

    Ultimately politics is about power. This concept is only ‘fascist’ if power is something you simply refuse to engage with. Liberals frequently don’t want to engage with it.

    Israel won’t stop until it’s forced to, either by the threat of Hamas and Hezbollah rockets and missiles, or because indirect international pressure (eg sanctions) forces them to start making concessions.

  9. Astrid


    I think that’s a very reductionist, to think that every civilizations would behave equally badly given the amount of power. The Ming dynasty and the Spanish empire were contemporaneous, they did not behave in the same way. Power can be an accelerant for good and bad, how it turns out is dependent on how its channelled through cultural and structural groundings of a civilization.

    Whether that’s enough to save us, I don’t know, I am in despair half the time. Still, I don’t think we should automatically assume that each government will behave quite as badly as the USA has, or that USA could not do better, as farfetched as that seems right now. Israel is a particularly toxic combination of 19th century settler colonialism and 20th century hereditary victimhood, with USA acting as a zombie enforcer. But I don’t think we should assume other peoples would behave in the same manner as these racist Zionists, if they came into similar level of power.

  10. Soredemos


    Ming is a pretty terrible example for the point you’re trying to make. They not only made direct military conquests, but maintained a tributary system where everyone else had to acknowledge their hegemony. Had the Ming been the ones to stumble upon a new land full of gold and silver, they would have behaved exactly like the Spanish (and Portuguese). The Ming slaughtering Mong Mao with muskets is a preview of how they would have conducted themselves had the Chinese been the ones to discover Mesoamerica

  11. Astrid


    The Chinese tribute systems are about recognizing hegemony, but it’s not particularly extractive. As I understand it, the actual tributes are more of a formalized trade mission where “tributes” are exchanged for”gifts”. I think this is a material difference since it’s not a wealth pump that sucked one partner dry, but a mutually beneficial arrangement. I admit that I could be wrong about this since I’m not particularly knowledgeable about the historical relationships with Xixia, Vietnamese, or Korean areas. It’s possible that it’s more direct and exploration than I understand it to be, but that’s not my impression. I don’t think it’s ever comparable to the extractive behavior of European empires in the Americas and Asia.

    I certainly don’t think the Chinese are peaceful and benign to their subjects and neighbors. The Han did not just start it in a small corner near the Yellow River and 2,000 years later become the default race from Manchuria to Hainan without fighting.

    Still, there’s a difference in assumptions and types of integration that occurred. Chinese society focused it’s costing on administration of a largely agarian, Han world. It came into conflicts in the interface between the Han and non-Han world. Like the late Roman world, China had long been about border walls and protecting itself from the barbarians. That’s a very different mentality than “being” the barbarians.

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