Russian vs. Israeli Propaganda Targeting Americans

Some thoughts, for paying subscribers, on evolving foreign-influence campaigns and "Russiagate" journalism, including my own. PLUS: Requiem for Krakoa—LIVE! 

Russian vs. Israeli Propaganda Targeting Americans
Matthew Broderick in “WarGames“ (1983, dir. John Badham)

Edited by Sam Thielman

FRANKLY, FOREVER WARS could use more paying subscribers. Since this one is going to include some reflections on some so-called "Russiagate" reporting I did for The Daily Beast, inspired by the revelation of Israeli misinformation/disinformation targeted at the U.S., it’s going behind the paywall, something we haven't done in awhile. It'll be less formal and more personal than a typical FOREVER WARS piece. If you follow these issues and are interested in some thoughts from a distance of a few years, go ahead and subscribe. 

But first, three things to address for free. Many write-ups of Time magazine's interview with President Biden led with his comments about Benjamin Netanyahu prolonging the genocide (my word, obviously, not Biden's) for political gain, or about Biden being "uncertain" about Israel committing the war crimes that you, me, the International Court of Justice and the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court see occurring on a daily basis. But when Time asked Biden if Israel is weaponizing the starvation that its siege caused, Biden didn't play uncertain or agnostic. He simply responded, "No, I don't think that." That is a shameful avoidance of a U.S.-aided policy of mass starvation that Yoav Gallant, the Israeli defense minister and war cabinet member, announced within days of October 7. It shouldn't pass without notice.

Secondly, on Tuesday, the House of Representatives passed a bill called the "Illegitimate Court Counteraction Act" that would sanction the International Criminal Court in response to the court pursuing war-crimes warrants against Netanyahu and Gallant. (And three Hamas members, but the House doesn't have a problem with that.) The bill, as FOREVER WARS figured, is awfully reminiscent of Donald Trump's executive order sanctioning the ICC, down to the provision that permits sanctions on the family members of anyone who has "directly engaged in or otherwise aided any effort by the ICC to investigate, arrest, detain, or prosecute a protected person." Biden, to his credit, took the out I predicted in this May 22 edition and opposes the bill. Forty-two Democrats still voted in favor, along with all 205 Republicans who attended the vote.

Finally, and also on Tuesday, Israel assassinated yet another Iranian general in Syria. Do we really want to return to Israeli-Iranian exchanges of fire or are we going to recognize that the potential for escalation exists every day the genocide continues? Especially now that Lebanon and northern Israel are in the balance? Are we going to intensify diplomacy for deescalation, or just accept a spiraling regional war out of the hubristic sense that the U.S. can "manage" it? 

OK, now some riff-like thoughts on foreign disinformation, Cold War narratives, and the experience of doing journalism around these things. You're going to have to pay for this. Click that button!