Is there now a moral void at the heart of Western societies? by Michael Brenner


Is there now a moral void at the heart of Western societies?  That question haunts us as governments in the United States and Europe act as accomplices in Israeli’s atrocious crimes against the Palestinians. The Jewish state’s conduct meets the standard of genocide as stated in the United Nations Convention on Genocide of which they all are signatories. Confirmation is likely to come soon in a conclusive determination by the International Court of Justice.

 The ICJ already in January recognized a prime facie case for genocide. The UN’s top court ordered Israel to take all measures to prevent genocidal acts in Gaza. The ICJ found it did have jurisdiction on the matter, and decided there was a plausible case under the 1948 Genocide Convention. At least some of the acts and omissions by Israel “fall within the provisions of the (Genocide) Convention,” the judges said. The ICJ issued a set of stipulations “to protect the rights claimed by South Africa that the Court has found to be plausible,” including “the right of the Palestinians in Gaza to be protected from acts of genocide.”

One reasonably expected that the stark moral issues thereby highlighted – along with subsequent atrocities – would spark an animated, anguished public debate as a prelude to decisive action. Yet, the political class in its near totality disregards or sublimates them. Silence reigns.


Gaza exhibits singular features that set it apart from other relatively recent instances of systematic, targeted attacks on civilians. One, the West’s response is not one of indifference leading to passivity – as in regard to Ruanda. Governments have been active participants in Israel’s indiscriminate punishment of the Palestinians. They provide Israel with vast amounts of weapons critical to their military assault; they offer unqualified political support and diplomatic cover; they acquiesce in the siege that prevents foodstuffs, medicines and other humanitarian aid from entering the strip – causing mass famine and disease among the civilian population; they lend credence to crude propaganda lines from Jerusalem without question or qualification: the phony rape stories, alleged Hamas nests in hospitals, etc etc.; they pressure their mass media to publicize those fabrications as hard news; and they suppress both public demonstrations and individual calls for measure to alleviate Palestinian suffering – instead, denouncing them as pro-Hamas and/or anti-Semitic. Germany, France and now Britain have gone so far as to criminalize public expressions of anti-Zionist viewpoints.

All screen out any reference to unwelcome major developments such as the UNWRA’s documented report that 196 of its workers in Gaza had been imprisoned, tortured and sexually abused in order to extort ‘confessions’ of their fictitious participation in the October 6 attack. This last stunning event elicited no response from Western government nor concerned questions raised. (The story never made onto the pages of the NYT). Another, even more striking case of the West’s willful, callous disregard for the truth about the systematic atrocities being committed in Gaza came last week.  The ICJ issued an urgent declaration  demanding that Israel take provisional measures to alleviate the “the worsening conditions of life faced by Palestinians in Gaza, in particular the spread of famine and starvation”, and that it shall take “all necessary and effective measures to ensure, without delay, in full cooperation with the United Nations, the unhindered provision at scale by all concerned of urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance to Palestinians throughout Gaza”. This blunt statement evoked barely a nod of the head in Western capitals. (The NYT saw the story as unfit for more than burial as a one paragraph item in a 21 paragraph inside story about pressures on Netanyahu).

Two, the initial embrace of the Netanyahu government was tantamount to writing him and his colleagues a blank check. It set in place motifs designating Israel as the sole victim – ones that remain unamended in the face of sustained atrocities committed over 6 months. Moreover, the Biden administration gave impetus to the Israeli plan to expel Gaza’s population into Egypt’s Sinai desert. Secretary of State Blinken paid visits to Cairo and Amman in an effort to cajole Present Sisi and King Abdullah to accept the mass of Palestinian humanity stuffed into tent cities on their territory. An action stipulated as genocide in the UN Convention.  He went so far as offer to write off billions in Egyptian debt in exchange for this proposed collaboration. Sisi, offended, outright refused. Abdullah was no more compliant in spurning a similar, much smaller proposition. Overall, this is an astonishing record of moral turpitude.

Three, no Western state has a noteworthy national interest in Israel’s project of denying Palestinian rights which, were they were enforced, are seen as an obstacle to achieving the proclaimed goal of establishing a Greater Israel “from the river to the sea” – a phrase coined by Zionist leader Vladimir Jabotinski well before 1948 and since incorporated into the Charter of Likud. Indeed, just the opposite is true objectively speaking. For the United States in particular, its stance on Gaza is accelerating the downward slide of its influence in the Gulf, within the Arab world, and among Muslims globally. Consequently, that development opens the way for an expansion of influence by China, by Russia and both engaging in tandem with Iran. America’s vaunted ‘soft power’ has been squandered – irretrievably lost – due to Palestine, along with Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Taiwan inter alia.

Four, the topsy-turvy relationship between Israel and the United States is unique – without historical precedent. For it is the far smaller, dependent party that has the upper hand in determining who can do what with or without the other’s approval. From a detached perspective, America’s potential leverage over Israeli policies is enormous. Washington could stop Israeli’s unbridled rampage against the Palestinians with a phone call from the White House. Over the years, it also was in a position to block the massive settlement building on the West Bank. Its failure to do the latter, and its active support for the former, reflects the degree of influence Jerusalem has over all branches of the American government and the success of its comprehensive campaign to shape American perceptions of all Middle East matters that concern it.

Five, a further oddity of the situation is that public opinion overall favors a ceasefire that would stop the killing and inhumane treatment in Gaza. Polls indicate that 72% of Americans canvassed so state their preference.1  Only 50% still declare their support for Israel generally. That reality, in a presidential election year, is slighted by political elites in the White House and across the land. Such is he strength of conformist pressures and the numbing of moral sensibilities.

There simultaneously is widespread popular protest against the Palestinians’ plight. Hundreds of thousands march in country-wide demonstration. They occur regularly in London – and one a smaller scale in Berlin, Rome and elsewhere. As in the United States, they are given cursory attention by the media and ignored by government leaders.

Six, the ardent, uncritical Western identification with Israel must be understand, of course, against the backdrop of those societies’ persecution of Jews over the centuries. For Europeans, that history has been etched on their consciousness in ways that shape how they feel and think about the country. The influence is so profound as to impel the current justification of genocide against the Palestinians by the very people who were the victims of genocide in Europe 80 years ago.

Context is important. That said, the atrocities committed in Gaza go well beyond any qualification for the admission of mitigating circumstances into the appraisal of those actions. One reasonably had expected immediate expressions of outrage from both Western governments and publics. The cherished status of human rights in the hierarchy of the West’s liberal values dictated as much. Instead, we have seen just the opposite.


 The thesis here is that the complicity in the Gaza genocide should not be seen as a singular occurrence at clear variance with prevailing attitudes and practices in the West. Scanning of the record indicates that there has been a discernible pattern of immoral conduct – domestically as well as in external dealings. Let us denote them.

1.In Yemen, the United States has acted as an accomplice in an atrocious campaign conducted by Saudi Arabia against the country’s Houthis which has led to even more civilian deaths than those registered in Gaza. In this undertaking, it had the in-place cooperation of Britain and France.

 The unrelenting Saudi bombing and strangulation of the Houthi regions took a heavy toll: from weapons, from starvation, from disease.  This carnage could not have occurred without direct involvement by the U.S. military. Although the American contribution has diminished over the past year or so, we continue to play a considerable role in the Saudi onslaught. Our officers have sat in Air Force command posts in Saudi Arabia pinpointing targets, our planes have done the refueling of Saudi aircraft which, otherwise, could not have reached their targets, we have supplied the weapons and ammunition marked ‘Made In U.S.A.’ And we have participated in the embargo that has prevented food and medicines from getting to the needy. Famine has added immeasurably to the casualties. Tens of thousands have been killed, maimed or invalided by illness.

The American policy’s only rationalization is a dubious calculation that putting our arms around the shoulders of Mohammed bin-Salman in Riyadh is worth the massive suffering of Yemeni innocents. That decision was made by President Obama and his Vice-President Joe Biden, reaffirmed by Donald Trump and continued under President Joe Biden. Obama and Biden,  self-styled humanitarians who shed copious crocodile tears for Gazans didn’t think that the Yemenis were even worth the programmed: “our thoughts and prayers are with you.”

One can search high-and-low for a vigil, a wake, a memorial service to honor the victims of our own government’s callous disrespect for human life in Yemen. None at our institutions of higher learning, almost none in in our places of worship, just fleeting platitudes by a few folks on Capitol Hill. Certainly, no apologies to orphans, widows and invalids. The blood on our hands is invisible. 

Nor does this ‘ancient’ history stand in the way of our current shelling of the Houthis in protection of Israeli shipping in the Red Sea. 


–       Deaths: 380,000 UN Estimate

–       70% children under 5 (275,000)

–       150,000+ from violence (2014–2021) UN

–       85,000 children died from starvation (2015–2018) Save the Children

–       2.3 million children acutely malnourished and nearly 400,000 children under five at imminent risk of death. (2016–2021) [1] UNICEF, WHO

–       ·24.600+ killed by air raids

–       4 million people (1.4 mil. Children) cumulatively displaced (2015–2020)

2.    2. In the so-called ‘War On Terror’ the United States implemented a program of torture on summarily abducted persons numbering in the several thousands without a semblance of due process. It was carried out with Presidential mandate at notorious ‘black sites’ around the world: at Guantanamo, at prisons in Iraq (inter alia Abu Ghraib, CampCrcCropper ) and in Afghanistan.

3.    3. On matters of (irregular) immigration, several countries (the United States – above all, Britain, France and Greece) have subjected thousands of arriving foreigners to abusive treatment in violation of international law. Washington, under the Trump administration, applied tactics calculated to deter persons contemplating crossing into the country without official approval. Officials were instructed to separate children from parents, usually the mother, as a matter of routine. They were scattered to unsupervised sites around the country – most owned and operated by private businesses – where they suffered derivation on a wide scale. No systematic record was kept of contact information – making eventual reuniting with deported parents extremely difficult or simply impossible.  Some 400 or so remain unattached to this day.  An unknown number have wound up in the grip of human traffickers. The Biden administration’s sporadic efforts to take remedial action have been far from adequate. Moreover, its handling of the most recent wave of refugees crossing the Mexican border has led to further mistreatment. In just the past few weeks, Biden’s people have left masses of arrivals in outdoor holding pens located in no-man’s-land along the border where they have been suffering from limited food supplies, the absence of medical care or shelter from the elements. 


ThThe failure of Washington to mount a program to provide humane treatment and a working system for processing refugees has encouraged demagogic state governors to act cavalierly in disposing of them in grossly abusive ways. Governors Abbott of Texas and DeSantis of Florida have taken to shipping them like chattel by bus or air to cities in the North and West. There, they are dumped on the sidewalks like UPS packages. Biden’s reaction to this heinous behavior has been tepid. He has formulated no plan, provided no aid to overwhelmed cities and states, nor used his clear constitutional authority to assert the federal government’s jurisdiction over all matters concerning the country’s borders, thereby blocking these draconian practices. Instead, it timidly has shunted the issue into the judicial system where a comprised, hostile Supreme Court majority will dictate policy for which it has no legitimate authority. 

4.     Europe’s record on refugees is marginally less dire than Washington’s. Governments behaved responsibly with a decent respect for human dignity when a flood of migrants was released by Turkiye’s Erdogan in 2015. Angela Merkel in particular bravely welcomed close to a million into Germany. Merkel’s finest hour. Subsequently, though, all of Europe – individually as well as via the European Commission – have shifted drastically in the direction of harsher approaches manifest in the how arrivals are treated, in aggressive restrictions on boats headed across the Mediterranean that include forced reversal of course, denial at times of assistance to floundering vessels, and the criminalization of activities undertaken by humanitarian organizations to rescue and land migrants at risk in the sea. Those steps have been accompanied by a multifaceted strategy designed to enlist countries serving as points of departure to prevent boats from leaving their shores. The incentive usually is financial. Libya is the main target. There, the authorities place all would-be emigrants in camps that are little more than holding pens. The inmates are subject to all manner of abuse, mitigated only by the assistance that the UNHCR can provide.

Britain, which for geographical reasons has not experienced the large-scale migrant waves bedeviling their continental neighbors, have managed nonetheless to apply some innovative forms of mistreatment which inscribe the nation’s name in the annals of this unbecoming episode in Western history. The Tory government has devised a scheme to transplant thousands of unwelcome refugees to Ruanda – the very country whose record of public safety is marred by the great genocide inflicted against the Tutsi in the 1990s. Ruanda is also high on the list of countries suffering from general deprivation. Whitehall has insisted that, contrary to impressions, it is a suitable place for disposing of unwanted migrants. And it’s cheap: costing only a few hundred million pounds in bribes. To date, nobody has been transported due to the intervention of the High Court. Sunak, not to be deterred, has come up with the ploy of a proposed Parliamentary Act stipulating that Ruanda is indeed a safe place – whatever the High Court might think or reality shows. This hairbrained, inhumane scheme conjectures up memories of the Nazis’ unimplemented idea of solving Europe “Jewish problem” by shipping them all to Madagascar.


Th3. The extraordinary uniformity of outlook and advocacy among the near totality of the West’s political class is an outstanding feature of today’s moral crisis. In every country we observe the tight alignment of politicos, media, pundits and celebrities in blanket approval of everything that Israel is doing and in refraining from moral judgments. Dissents are but a handful. A half dozen members of the United States Congress (none possessing any clout), and a few voices in the wilderness far from the centers of influence. Shunned by conventional outlets, these astute analysts and diplomats are relegated to obscure websites. This ostracizing occurs despite the latter group’s inclusion of persons of distinction who once held very high positions in government and possess expertise/experience far beyond that of our policy-makers and prominent commentators. Other dissenters – in academia or professional associations – are suppressed. This concerted chorus is all the more remarkable a phenomenon given that it is not imposed by dictatorial authority. Yes, there are elements of indirect pressure and intermittent guidance conveyed from the highest offices of state to the editors of the NYT and Washington Post as well as to the heads of major news networks. Nobody, though, risks a long stay in the gulag by telling the truth or deviating from the orthodox line. Conformity is largely spontaneous, a reflection of the degradation in the country’s public discourse, habitually craven behavior and aversion to hard independent thinking.

Admittedly, there exists a wider number of politically alert persons who disagree with or, at least, are uncomfortable with their country’s complicity in atrocious war crimes. However, instead of stepping forth they disengage. That convenient self-distancing from the arena of moral combat is evident even among church leaders. In America, their silence is deafening. Among the Catholic Establishment, there has been little if any echo of Pope Francis’ heartfelt plea for an end to the Gaza carnage. The mainstream Protestant denominations have acted as passive onlookers – with very few exceptions. They seem to have exhausted their reserve of moral passion in coddling transgenders, Indeed, the names of brave rabbis appear more frequently on petitions for peace than do those of Christian churchmen.

In contrast, a large segment of the Evangelic churches have been loud defenders of Israeli’s war on the Palestinians – in accordance with their literal reading of the Book of Revelation and their deeply rooted distaste for ‘others.’

Near identical circumstances prevail across Western Europe. In Britain, the political elites mimic their American role models with the fervency typical of a satrap. The one difference is absence of a counterpart to the richly vibrant network of exceptional persons who constitute a samizdat alternative to mainstream conformity. The same holds for Germany. France does exhibit a more visible opposition insofar as two political parties –  La France Insoumise led by Jean-Luc Mélenchon  is a sharp critic of Macron’s staunch backing for Israel’s actions. (Marine Le Pen’s Rassemblement Nationale focuses its criticism on his hawkish approach to the Ukraine affair).


The ultimate measure of a society’s moral virtue is how it treats its most vulnerable: the infirmed, the aged, the weak, the poor, the children. That principle is enunciated in the teachings of every great religion and secular philosophy.  Those ethical admonitions are not merely abstract philosophical formulations. They express the evolutionary based instinct to safeguard the endangered – especially the young. Concerning the last, it is an instinct so strong that it transcends group identities and even, at times, species. So, its suppression is something that is off beam.

On this score, the West ranks high based on its progressive social reforms over two centuries concluding with the civilizational compact of the post-war period wherein the welfare of the citizenry was reified in public policy and programs. However, over past few decades we have witnessed a regression – accelerating and deepening. English-speaking countries are in the vanguard of this reactionary movement.

It is reasonable to say that the United States and Britain have deviated from the course of enlightened social philosophy grounded on a deep sense of common humanity and solidarity of citizens. The broad picture is framed by these numbers. In the United Kingdom, 20% of children under 18 live in poverty. 25% of those over 65 live in poverty. The percentage is rising steadily. Comparable numbers in the United States are 16% and 18%. According to OECD data, only Mexico ranks worse than the U.S. in terms of old-age “poverty depth,” which means that among those who are poor, their average income is low relative to the poverty line. And just three countries have worse income inequality among seniors. So, too, rates of childhood malnutrition. This sorry record in countries that are among the richest that the world ever has known.l

In both countries, the macro figures reflect not just the outcome of trends over time in economic structures, but rather intentional policies. The American situation owes to a combination of neglect on the part of the federal government under Democratic rule and malign actions targeting the weak and vulnerable under Republican rule. The most egregious attacks are occurring at the state level. ‘Red’ MAGA states have launched full blooded campaigns which encompass sharp reduction in all support services. They go so far as to reject expanded contributions from Washington to Medicaid which require a measure of complementary state appropriations. They eliminate or shrink food subsidies, tighten eligibility requirements for disability payments, and cut a variety of programs designed to assist children from low-income families with nutritional and health care. This is done with relish – accompanied by vociferous rhetoric about the would-be recipients’ morals and character. In Texas, a woman has been imprisoned for aborting a pregnancy in violation of a recently passed state law.

This pattern is even more pronounced in Britain – all conceived and directed by the Whitehall government. One glaring feature is exemplary. As part of a relentless project aimed at cutting social ‘welfare’ expenditure, London has imposed onerous conditions on the handicapped who now must prove their disability anew by dragging themselves to a dedicated employment office where their credentials are re-examined and jobs urged on them that match their limited physical/mental capacities. The responsible agency is a subcontracted, for-profit outfit whose value to the Crown in measured in part by their performance in kicking people off the rolls. What is the overriding national need that justifies this assault on the weak and vulnerable? The harsh true: it is sparing fat cat campaign donors in the City from paying anything near their fair share of taxes. As one wit has mocked: Britain today is a hedge fund with nuclear weapons.


This coarsening of communal sensibilities and meanness of spirit is pertinent backdrop to these governments’ attitude toward the crimes in Palestine. Let us return to the core question: how to explain and to interpret the gross moral failings of Western elites. The first thing to say is that what we are observing is not a moral ‘lapse.’ The atrocities are too widespread, too graphic, and too sustained for that. Second, while it is necessary to consider the collective psychology of the entire political class and the wider socio-cultural environment in their countries, it is individual decisions and actions that count – at the end of the day. 

Here, we run into a perplexing state-of-affairs. For today’s crop of government leaders are distinguished by how ordinary they are. None are audaciously ambitious persons: none are ideologically driven; none exhibit exceptional personality traits (Trump apart); none cut a striking figure. The same holds for their senior deputies (albeit Tony Blinken is a zealous Zionist). Biden, Trudeau, Sunak, Schulz, Rutte, van der Leyen, Stoltenberg, Macron – all are prosaic personalities. Macron may be a partial exception insofar as he fancies himself a latter-day Jean d’Arc riding to the rescue of an imperiled Europe. In truth, he is a quirky, emotionally retarded individual whose inner self is that of a petulant juvenile. Only somebody whose emotional development was stunted marries the elementary school teacher whom he once had a crush on. Looking at this array of movers and shakers, what we see is the banality of evil-doing (or non-doing) by persons who don’t warrant the designation of evil beings.

Rather, they are creatures whose very banality encourages/permits the loss of perspective on the reality before them, who conveniently have stifled their moral instincts, who is conformist, and who totally lack self-awareness. They are quintessentially post-modern. Vapid and amoral.

Yes – there undeniably is an element of racism at play. We could not imagine such a combination of active backing to the culpable war criminals and blasé disregard to the human tragedy were the victims Europeans or North Americans. It is necessary, though, to differentiate among forms or levels of racism. There is the overt racism driven by hatred without a veneer of quasi-rational motivation. That is what we discern in the rants of two MAGA Republican Congressmen calling for the extermination of the Palestinians. One declares ‘Kill them all;” the other – Tim Walberg – uses more graphic language in urging that we “get it over quick….it should be like “Nagasaki and Hiroshima.” One might downplay the significance of those remarks in noting that they are only 2 of 435. True – but such ideas, much less their public expression, would have been inconceivable 30 years ago. The main intervening variable is 9/11, the collective trauma whose lingering influence on the American psyche is still manifest.

The other modality of racism is implicit and subconscious. It is an extension of the common tendency to see the world’s peoples through a refracting lens that separates out those social groupings with whom we have a natural affinity from those with whom we have neutral feelings and those from whom we feel most distant and who generate negative associations. Arabs/Muslims obviously are in the last category.

EXHIBIT: The Israeli killing of 7 Western aid workers for World Central Kitchen    evoked far more outrage than Israel’s killing of 32,000 civilians – including 16,000 children.

Persons possessing the latter mindset cum feeling set normally experience a measure of empathy with an individual in distress based on human instinct. Furthermore, they normally are able to feel some abstract empathy – if not responsibility – for a foreign grouping that is suffering manifest abuse. They would deplore their plight even if they feel no impulse to remedy it. What is stunning about today’s elites regarding Gaza is: 1) that there is no reaction in the latter mode; and 2) that they contribute to conduct of extreme immoral acts.

The very ordinariness of our leaders offers a clue to the puzzle as we posed it: why the near complete absence of feelings of guilt or shame – why so untroubled at being humiliated in the eyes of most of the world? First, as linear thinkers, content with superficial views of the world, they locked themselves onto a simple formula: Israel = good; Hamas = bad. That led to a quick series of decisions which closed the mind to any alteration or modification as the situation took on grotesque dimensions. Understandable insofar as linear thinkers feel that slowing down is irritating; that deviation is unsettling, and reversal of course is unbearable defeat. Witness Ukraine/Russia, China, Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba – and now Palestine. So, they plow straight ahead – bouncing from one disaster to the next, yet still twirling their right index finger in the air.

 Second, under social conditions of nihilism, matters of conscience are moot. For the implicit rejection of norms, rules and laws frees the individual self to do whatever impulses or ideas or selfish interests impel it. With the superego dissolved, there is no felt obligation to judge oneself in reference to any external or abstract standard. Narcissistic tendencies flourish. A similar psychology removes the requisite for experiencing shame. That is something that can only exist if we feel ourselves subjectively as part of a social grouping wherein personal status, and sense of worth, depend on how others view us and whether they grant us respect. In the absence of such a communal identity, with its attendant sensitivity to its opinion, shame can exist only in the perverse form of regret that one has been unable to meet the demanding, all-consuming need for self-gratification. That applies to nations as well as its individual leaders.

Nihilism and narcissism are a matching pair. They go hand-in-hand. A fluid socio-cultural environment encourages individuals to ‘do their own thing’ without fear of opprobrium or penalty. Limits are vague, restraints weak, models that convey the unspoken message are plentiful. The aggregation of persons so uninhibited accentuates the nihilism of society. A disengagement from reality is the outcome. In the first instance, it is a disengagement from norms and conventions. That leads to a disengagement from the objective features of the environment in which you live and act. Disregard for the concerns of others (ignoring them or, in more extreme cases, not even recognizing that they exist); disregard for history, background, context; disengagement from tangible reality itself – ultimately disengagement from their former selves. We are poor witnesses to ourselves.

Western elites are close to a condition that approximates what the psychologists call “dissociation.”  It is marked by an inability to see and to accept actualities as they are for deep seated personality reasons. That phenomenon is particularly pronounced in the United States.

In dehumanizing the victims of a genocide, we reveal that we already are dehumanized ourselves. By acting as accomplices to a genocide – tangibly or intangibly – we ensure that we never will be able to restore our humane impulses. If we were to so pretend, nobody would believe us.

1. Morality still counts for the American public – or, at least, the appearance of morality.. It does even as the country has committed to playing the game of power politics most everybody else does, even as it has committed to a strategy of global dominance – by means violent as well as pacific. They remain wedded to the belief that we are a moral people who compose a moral nation which follows the course of righteousness in the world. “When conquer we must, for our cause it is just; let this be our motto: In God is our trust.” Some acknowledge a few minor deviations; most do not go even that far. Hiroshima/Nagasaki? “We had no choice – it was them or us (hundreds of thousands G.I. casualties on the Honshu plain)”. Vietnam? Erase it from the national memory book.  The illegal invasion of Iraq? 9/11 or “we were misinformed.”  Guantanamo? Torture? ‘We have to protect ourselves.’ Raqqa? “Who’s he?” Yemen genocide? “Wasn’t the Boston bombing also genocide?” Imperialism? ‘We’re surrounded by enemies trying to do us in: Russia, Iran, North Korea, China, Venezuela, the Houthis  (check your daily news source for fresh additions to the list).


Michael Brenner