Getting Gaza Right Is The Absolute Bare Minimum Requirement

Caitlin Johnstone
4 min readApr 12, 2024

Listen to a reading of this article (reading by Tim Foley):

Gaza is simpler than Iraq. Iraq was simpler than Yemen. Yemen was simpler than Libya. Libya was simpler than Ukraine. Ukraine is simpler than Syria. Gaza is the simplest and most straightforward of all the evil interventions of the US murder machine in recent memory — which is why I’ve got no patience for anyone who gets it wrong.

I’m a lot more forgiving of people who bought into the imperial narrative about Syria and believed that country erupted in violence because Assad just went ape shit and started killing innocent people for no reason, because it takes a lot of work to sort out fact from fiction about what actually happened there. There were really good journalists who got Syria wrong at first in the early years of the conflict, just because there was so much information to comb through and so much aggressive imperial narrative management about it. There was so much less visibility into the facts on the ground in Syria than there is in Gaza, and there were so many complex narrative control ops muddying the waters.

Gaza isn’t like that. What’s happening really could not be more obvious. A nuclear-armed high tech military has been raining bombs and inflicting siege warfare upon a densely packed, walled-in civilian population, half of whom are children, with the full backing of the most powerful empire that has ever existed. We’ve been seeing a constant stream of footage showing children ripped apart by military explosives and starved to skeletons, Israeli soldiers posting videos of themselves gleefully doing some of the most sadistic and depraved things you can imagine, destroyed hospitals, carpet-bombed neighborhoods, and Israelis blocking aid trucks from feeding starving people.

This is not the slightest bit complicated. It’s as subtle as a kick in the teeth. There is no excuse for getting this one wrong now. There’s not even any excuse for getting it wrong on day one. It’s been obvious this entire time. Any politician, pundit or journalist who’s gotten it wrong can be dismissed as completely worthless, even if they’re beginning to come around now after they sensed the wind blowing against Israel in recent weeks.

Gaza is a test of the absolute bare minimum requirements for someone to be worth listening to about anything at all, because if you got this one wrong then there’s just something wrong with you as a human being. You’re too fucked up and twisted inside to have a clear vision into anything that’s happening in the world. You’re not in touch with your own humanity enough to have any useful insight into humanity as a collective. You have wasted your time on this planet. You’ve managed to spend your entire life without learning any of the more meaningful lessons that can be learned here.

And there are plenty of people getting Gaza right who are buying into all kinds of other imperial propaganda spin about other international affairs and conflicts, which is to be expected — being able to understand the simplest possible foreign policy issue doesn’t mean you’ll be able to grasp the more complicated ones. But every one of them stands head and shoulders above everyone who couldn’t see the destruction of Gaza for what it is. They might fail other tests, but at least they passed the first one.

Everything I’m saying here will all be completely obvious to everyone one day. People will look back on what was done to Gaza and struggle to comprehend how the world could have allowed such a thing when it was all happening right out in the open for everybody to see. And if I’m still around I will struggle to explain it myself, because it baffles me here and now in the present moment. It probably always will.


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