Sociopaths in suits.
For all their genteel embroidery and grand honorifics, the mundane men who lead Western “democracies” in Washington, DC, London, Paris, Berlin, Ottawa and Canberra, and the mostly men-in-waiting aching to take their place, are just sociopaths in tailored suits.
One of the principal prerequisites of leading, or aspiring to lead a Western “democracy”, is the willingness, even eagerness, to order others – without a scintilla of regret or remorse – to kill innocents, and also to approve and applaud when a dear friend kills innocents without regret or remorse.
If my indictment rankles, I apologise … to tailors.
Among so many craven others, Britain’s ascendent Labour leader, Keir Starmer, has, on cue, confirmed his prime ministerial “killer” bona fides by rejecting urgent and mushrooming calls from his caucus, shadow front bench, and party members that he back an immediate ceasefire.
In a speech oozing with empty bureaucrat-speak that could have been delivered by his discredited soul mate and mentor, Tony Blair, Starmer told an agreeable think-tank audience at Chatham House on Tuesday that: “While I understand calls for a ceasefire at this stage, I do not believe that it is the correct position now.”
To be clear: It is the pretend English socialist’s belief that ending the disfiguring and killing of Palestinian infants and children, the carpet bombing of schools, hospitals and refugee camps sheltering wounded and petrified families, and the siege of millions of Palestinians deprived of food, water, fuel, and electricity is not “the correct position now”.
As I wrote: sociopaths in suits.
Look, bitter evidence of this stubborn doctrine abounds in scores of countries scarred deeply and permanently by the West’s long, engrained necessity to kill innocents without regret or remorse – in Central and South America, in Africa, in Southeast Asia, in Afghanistan, in Iraq, and throughout the Middle East.
So, anyone, anywhere, in any forum who denies this blatant fact is a geopolitically illiterate apologist or dupe.
Beyond the repellent Starmer, we have seen this defining characteristic on obscene parade, yet again, over the past approaching four weeks, as the usual gallery of strutting presidents and prime ministers has closed fraternal ranks to approve and applaud the genocide unfolding in the apocalyptic remains of Gaza.
This is, to borrow a phrase, the latest iteration of the “coalition of the willing” – willing, of course, to provide rhetorical, diplomatic and military succour to a rancid regime intent on disappearing Gaza into dust and memory.
The coalition is, bluntly put, made up of collaborators to cataclysmic carnage – which, given the not-so-distant records of France and Germany, is a bit too familiar.
Still, millions of common citizens across the globe – watching in a soul-shattering mix of horror and despair while Israel has turned Gaza into a wanton killing field – have shouted stop because that is the right and humane thing to do.
Brave Jews have joined in demonstrations demanding a halt to the siege and killing, insisting that a swaggering authoritarian and his malevolent allies in the cabinet are not acting in their name.
Not so the sociopaths in suits. They have, as they always do, urged Israel to obliterate more of Gaza and to kill more innocents, including thousands of infants and children, who are considered the inevitable casualties of Israel’s “right” to defend itself.
Hence, the quick pilgrimages – with cameras in ready tow – to Tel Aviv by a succession of prime ministers and presidents to tell their dear friend, in effect, to keep killing Palestinians without restraint, regret or remorse.
It is an abominable expression of their cocky depravity that each one of them knows that Benjamin Netanyahu, like each one of them, enjoys a licence to kill with unfettered impunity anywhere, at any time, for any reason.
It’s worth recalling, as well, that these preening prime ministers and presidents – who claim to be devoted to the enlightened ideals of liberty, fraternity and equality – have pledged their evangelical support for, and solidarity with, an apartheid state determined to wipe out Palestinians territorially and historically.
I suspect that many South Africans – who understand the grievous damage that a sick, apartheid state can inflict on a condemned, but righteous indigenous people – would agree that the dystopian-like terror that Palestinians are enduring is apartheid on an industrial scope that shocks the heart and conscience.
Not so, again, the sociopaths in suits. One of them, US President Joe Biden, even engaged – openly – in genocide denialism.
In what will likely be recorded as the halting moment that defined his decrepit presidency, Biden questioned the number of Palestinian civilians killed by Israel’s US-sponsored killing machine.
Biden said he had “no confidence in the number that the Palestinians are using”, adding, for vulgar emphasis: “I have no notion that the Palestinians are telling the truth about how many people are killed.”
Palestinian human rights advocates rightly denounced Biden’s appalling remarks as “racist” and an overt attempt to “dehumanise” Palestinians “even in death”.
“To dispute those figures was really, really just putting both feet in with Israel on this, in yet another way that dehumanises Palestinians,” Yara Asi, a Palestinian American public health expert, told Al Jazeera.
While Biden’s frank and calculated denialism was designed to belittle the true and lasting measure of Palestinian loss and suffering by raising spurious doubts about the true and lasting measure of their loss and suffering, it was the US president’s gaping absence of any semblance of “humanity” that was on scurrilous display.
Biden and his unrepentant, war-addicted predecessors have caused such harm and sorrow to so many people, in so many places, over so many decades, that they forfeited, ages ago, the licence to lecture the world about the value of humanity and who does or does not possess it.
In resisting and defying their occupiers, the humanity of Palestinians is not only apparent, but will survive – indomitable and intact. It has not and will not be erased by ruthless forces who have sought and will continue to seek their annihilation – with the complicity of presidents and prime ministers.
History has proven that it is impossible to condemn to death an entire people – whatever their faith, ethnicity or nationality.
Regrettably, it is futile to say “enough” since the sociopaths in suits prefer, it’s clear, more mayhem, more madness, more massacres.
We will remember the shameful actions and inaction as permanent proof of their signature cruelty and inhumanity.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial stance.