You Can’t Be A “Lesser Evil” When You’re Sponsoring A Genocide

Caitlin Johnstone
5 min readFeb 25, 2024

Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

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

You don’t get to apply the label “lesser evil” to a president who is backing a literal genocide. That’s not a thing. Past a certain point you’re just plain evil.

If you were to make a list of the absolute worst things a powerful leader can do, genocide and carelessness with nuclear brinkmanship should be on the very top of that list. Biden has done both of these. You can’t legitimately call such a person a “lesser evil”.

Israel supporters are scum. Lower than them are the Biden supporters who avoid thinking too hard about his genocide in Gaza and make excuses for it, because at least the Israel supporters are honest about what they are. Lower even than the overt Bidenists are the “progressives” who condemn Israel’s actions out of one side of their mouths while still pushing the need to vote for Biden out the other, because they’re even less honest about themselves than the outright shitlibs. If you’re going to be a genocidal shitstain, at least do it without also sowing confusion and muddying the waters.

So it turns out The New York Times hired an actual genocide supporter who’d never even been a reporter before to co-author atrocity propaganda about mass rapes on October 7. If the western media actually told the truth and reported the news, this revelation would be a major international story today.

Being an ally country to the USA is like being friends with a really bitchy drama queen where you’re only allowed to help her tear down her social enemies and can’t ever talk about what she’s doing to create all the conflict in her life because if you do she’ll come for you next.

Palestinian lives are more important than western feelings. It doesn’t matter if criticizing Biden’s actions makes your feelings feel nervous about Trump. It doesn’t matter if pro-Palestine activism makes your feelings feel like you’ve been persecuted. Your feelings don’t matter.

Western liberal leaders are always trying to get you to trade feelings in exchange for concrete improvements in material conditions. Now Biden administration officials are proclaiming how “disappointed” they are in the Netanyahu government for approving thousands of new West Bank settlements, even as they continue their unconditional material support for Israeli butchery of Palestinians. Before that western leaders were all babbling about how “concerned” they are about the impending assault on Rafah while physically pouring more and more weapons into Israel. Before that they were telling everyone we should focus on how some Jewish Zionists feel threatened by pro-Palestine demonstrations instead of focusing on the human butchery that is being experienced by Gazans.

You see this over and over again, on all issues. You want an end to genocide, they solemnly tell you their hearts are with the people of Gaza who are experiencing unimaginable hardship — but never actually do anything to stop it. You want an end to police brutality, they tell you they hear you, they support you, they stand with you — but never actually change policing policy. You want healthcare, they tell you to focus on getting emotionally hysterical about Donald Trump instead of helping to improve your material conditions. You want economic justice, they tell you to instead get worked up about culture war issues the powerful don’t care about and focus on how good it feels to be on the correct side of that war.

They’ve set up this counterfeit currency system where you hand them political power and consent to the murderousness, tyranny and exploitation of the globe-spanning empire — and they pay you for it in feelings.

“Here is unipolar planetary hegemony,” we tell them.

“And here are your feelings,” they reply magnanimously.

“Here is our consent for unfettered capitalism, neoliberal imperialist extraction, wars, militarism, starvation sanctions and proxy conflicts,” we say.

“And as payment for your product, we present you with some feelings,” they tell us with a warm smile.

“Here is our health, the health of our biosphere, our future, and our sanity,” we say.

“And here’s a big fat briefcase full of feelings,” they reply.

The message we’re fed over and over again is that feelings matter more than Palestinian lives. Feelings matter more than your neighbors having a roof over their head and being able to provide for their children. Feelings matter more than freedom from tyranny and abuse. Feelings matter more than the ecosystem we depend on for survival. Feelings matter more than avoiding nuclear armageddon.

And everything keeps on getting worse and worse, and somehow all these feelings we’re being traded aren’t actually making us feel any better. Somehow supporting the correct leaders who say the correct words isn’t actually improving anything. We’ve traded these people the entire world, and looked down to find ourselves holding a big plastic bag of Monopoly money.

_______________

My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece here are some options where you can toss some money into my tip jar if you want to. Go here to buy paperback editions of my writings from month to month. All my work is free to bootleg and use in any way, shape or form; republish it, translate it, use it on merchandise; whatever you want. The best way to make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. All works co-authored with my husband Tim Foley.

Bitcoin donations: 1Ac7PCQXoQoLA9Sh8fhAgiU3PHA2EX5Zm2

Featured image via Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 2.0)

--

--