Caitlin Johnstone: Gaza’s Demise Should Be Radicalizing

Imperial spinmeisters have been churning out talking points about radicalization and nefarious support because it’s the narrative bludgeon they plan on using to stomp out the burgeoning antiwar movement.

Stop killing children – Save the rest of Gaza’s children protest by the Finnish Palestinian Migration Association, Helsinki, March 9, 2024. (rajatonvimma, VJ Group Random Doctors, Flickr, March 4, 2024)

By Caitlin Johnstone

Listen to Tim Foley reading this article. 

What’s happening in Gaza should radicalize you. 

Right now, even as its own criminality hits fever pitch, the Western political-media class is fretting with increasing shrillness about young people getting “radicalized” and turned against their government by the spread of information and ideas at campus demonstrations and on TikTok. 

But young people should be radicalizing right now. Everyone should.

When you see Israel rejecting a Hamas ceasefire and beginning its long-threatened assault on Rafah (the last so-called “safe zone” in Gaza), that should radicalize you.

When you see U.S. senators assist this horrifying onslaught by publicly threatening the International Criminal Court if they dare to indict Israeli officials for war crimes, that should radicalize you.

When you see Israel shutting down Al Jazeera to quash news reporting about its criminality immediately before launching this mass atrocity, that should radicalize you.

When you see The New York Times receiving a Pulitzer Prize for its scandalously discreditednotoriously biased and widelymocked Gaza coverage, that should radicalize you.

When you see the U.S. president publicly supporting and encouraging violent police crackdowns against protesters opposing his genocidal actions in Gaza, that should radicalize you.

If the so-called “moderate” position of your nation’s political status quo is to accept, normalize, support and defend the sort of evil that is being inflicted upon the people of Gaza, then you should want to get as far away from that “moderate” position as possible, and you should seek the complete annihilation of that political status quo.

This obvious point is being aggressively attacked with rapidly intensifying frenzy by the empire and its lackeys.

After police violently shut down anti-genocide campus demonstrations in New York City, Mayor Eric Adams said: “There is a movement to radicalize young people, and I’m not going to wait until it’s done… I’m not going to allow that to happen as the mayor of the City of New York,” as though preventing the spread of radical political opinions is something a mayor is elected to do in the United States.

NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Operations Kaz Daughtry ominously told the press that there is “some organization” who is “radicalizing our students,” and that the New York police force intends to “find out who that is.” Again, the implication being that it is the job of the police to control the spread of unauthorized political opinions.

In an article with the incredibly propagandistic headline “Anti-Israel protests infiltrated by ‘outside agitators’ who radicalize students, sow violence,” The Washington Times presented these unevidenced assertions from New York City officials as though they are established fact instead of highly convenient fiction.

In a talk at the McCain Institute on Friday, Sen. Mitt Romney told Secretary of State Antony Blinken that Congress supports banning TikTok because it shares information that turns people’s opinions against Israel, saying such information has a “very, very challenging effect on the narrative.”

new report from The Intercept reveals that Congressmen Mike Lawler and Josh Gottheimer called on the F.B.I. to investigate campus protesters, suggesting these demonstrations have a nefarious support system, which the federal police should look into.

The Wall Street Journal has been losing its mind over the campus protests, posting articles with headlines like “Activist Groups Trained Students for Months Before Campus Protests” and “Rules for Campus Radicals, 2024 — A website reveals the planning and strategy behind the current college mayhem” which suggest that there is something sinister and unacceptable about these demonstrations receiving support from “longtime activists and left-wing groups.”

MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough went full Alex Jones on his show last week, telling his audience that these university protests have been happening because Qatar has “poured hundreds of millions of dollars into American universities to have a radicalizing effect on Middle Eastern studies.”

Empire managers and propagandists have been pushing the narrative that foreign governments are behind this new protest movement to radicalize young people against Washington and Israel, though —as we discussed recently — they humorously can’t manage to agree yet on which foreign government that is.

The imperial spinmeisters have been churning out these talking points about radicalization and nefarious support because that’s the narrative bludgeon they plan on using to stomp out the burgeoning antiwar movement the empire has created with its genocidal atrocities in Gaza.

If they can establish a narrative that it is the government’s job to shut down political dissent and stop the spread of unauthorized political opinions, then they can justify doing pretty much anything to stop this movement in its tracks.

All to shut down something that absolutely should be happening. Young people should be cultivating radical political positions in response to an active genocide that’s supported by their government.

An antiwar movement should be forming against the imperial murder machine as its murderousness gets more and more insane. People should be aggressively rejecting the political status quo that has allowed this nightmare to be unleashed upon humanity.

Everyone should be turning against the U.S.-centralized empire right now. Don’t let the imperial manipulators dupe our society into believing this turn is anything but a correct and appropriate response to what the empire is doing.

Caitlin Johnstone’s 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 find video versions of my articles. 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.

This article is from and re-published with permission.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

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27 comments for “Caitlin Johnstone: Gaza’s Demise Should Be Radicalizing

  1. Michael G
    May 9, 2024 at 14:08

    I have to share this. It’s a University of Chicago student. To me, what he says is not radical, it’s a beautiful articulation of reality. But to the politicians, he couldn’t be more radical.
    h**ps:// (I don’t know how long youtube will leave it up)

  2. Old Freak
    May 8, 2024 at 13:43

    This is not what democracy looks like.
    This is not what freedom looks like.

    Yet, the Democrats say that we must fight a world war for Democracy and Freedom. That Russia must be defeated, at all costs, with no limits, put the chips all-in and hope we survive, in the name of the cause of Democracy and Freedom. That the military budget must skyrocket even higher, because of Democracy and Freedom. That we can’t afford domestic spending, we can’t afford to help Americans, because we must fight our World War for Democracy and Freedom.

    Does this look like Democracy and Freedom to you?
    What are we fighting for?
    Who are we fighting for? Who keeps getting richer?

  3. Jan
    May 8, 2024 at 10:41

    Noam Chomsky said, as a response to the student activism in the late 60’s: The government has never been so afraid of the people as they were then and they will never let it happen again.

    Keep up the good work. We’re with you!

    • Rafi Simonton
      May 8, 2024 at 19:00

      The bureaucrats and the sane among the very wealthy, banker, and corporate elites were so afraid of the volatile situation and organized actual left that many very grudgingly supported the New Deal. Until the financial reforms, that is. They weren’t too fond of the social programs, either, but they valued stability more. The oligarchs vowed “never again” and got their way with the D neolibs who brought about deregulation.
      Also Reagan of course. I heard biz students in the ’80s claim that the New Deal didn’t affect the Depression–WWII ended it. Words I’ve seen in recent months on reviews of books on the New Deal. Yeah. As if people just sat there hungry, unemployed, and homeless from Oct. 1929 until the war effort geared up in Jan. 1942. The plutocrats are trying to erase all evidence of proven econ and political alternatives.
      BTW, I was an activist in the ’60s. While not easy, the situation was still much less harsh then now because the New Deal ideals still were dominant in the D party and with older generations who’d lived through the Depression and WWII. The D oligarchs and the R plutocrats are cracking down on us peasants to keep us in or place. They ARE afraid of us; they can count.

  4. Francis (Frank) Lee
    May 8, 2024 at 06:21

    I was radicalised when I was 16 years old, in 1963. I was standing in Trafalgar Square in the middle of London with a large gathering of ordinary folk and speakers who were also seemingly radicalised. At the time I was sporting my Young Communist League badge and my Yellow Star of David buttoned to my jacket lapel. There were thousands of people who were seemingly transfixed and seemed waiting for the mushroom cloud of Armageddon. Fortunately, however, the two crucial wise actors – Kennedy and Kruschev – saved the day and humanity breathed a sigh of relief. And of course Kennedy paid for his life with the turn of events.

    Fast forward and there seems to be a repetition, but the actors are somewhat different. The US’s insane neo-con clique ( have got a hold of the instruments of power and there seems to be no way of stopping them). But who is going to stop and how are they going to be stopped?

    • Old Freak
      May 8, 2024 at 14:05

      A small correction to your otherwise excellent comment. The US’s insane neo-con clique has gotten hold of the instruments of power “again.”

      The “again” is key. Because it is a recognition of this continuity of this insanity all the way back to the 1950’s and McCarthyism, and essentially to the rise of the anti-democracy deep-state during World War II. These modern neocons are the moral and philosophical descendants of the people who nuked Hiroshima, threw away rights and decency during McCarthyism before moving on to providing the world with pictures of young girls burning in napalm running down a road in Vietnam. Not to mention the era of political assassinations in America.

      This did not suddenly arise with ‘the neo-cons’. This is the direction that the power structure of America has chosen consistently since World War II.

  5. May 8, 2024 at 00:26

    Come now, Caitlin. What do you expect from the leaders of a nation built on genocide?

  6. May 7, 2024 at 23:11

    Instead of engaging with US about Israel’s slaughter in Gaza Strip, Tony degrades Americans as meth addicts strung-out on TikTok.
    As Will Bunch said in PhillyInquirer: “…They’ve been radicalized by the truth—daily videos of young children, some of them bloodied, some of them already dead, covered in dust and targeted by 2,000-pound dumb bombs made right here in America…”

    Sickening post at MiddleEastEye documenting xIsraeli special force agent, Aaron Cohen, getting ready to go ballistic on 19 yr. olds.

    “Ex-Israeli special forces agent, Aaron Cohen, says he went ‘undercover’ at UCLA protest encampment.”

    “We have seen over the years what some might describe as the Israelisation of our law enforcement, which is the phenomena of American law enforcement agents being trained by Israeli trainers, who are either former military or police officers,” Hussam Ayloush, director of the Los Angeles chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (Cair-LA), told Middle East Eye.


    Thank you Caitlin Johnstone!

  7. Rafi Simonton
    May 7, 2024 at 21:39

    I was “radicalized,” too.
    As an old blue collar worker, I tried to stay at least somewhat aligned with the Dem party even though I witnessed first hand how neolib Ds ditched the New Deal and abandoned labor. The Rs are outright the party of plutocracy and the speedway to destruction. Trump is clearly a dictator wanna-be.
    However, the more I looked at reality, the more I read writers like on this site, the more outraged I became. The elite Ds only attend to their own administrative and professional class. Worse, they support an econopathy treating natural and human resources as things to be used up. Worst of all, collusion with neocons. Who now run Biden’s Dept. of State. So then endless wars plus the end of any right to criticism, whether on campus or through journalism. That the NYC mayor Adams thinks it’s his job to silence dissent is a big tell. That the current admin thinks persecution of Assange is proper is another.
    The Dem party is merely the slow way to the same destination as the Rs: oligarchy and a devastated planet. At what point do we finally say NO?! How much longer until there’s nothing left to save?

    • David Otness
      May 8, 2024 at 12:35

      “Ve must haff order! Order, I tell you! Or ALL is lost!”
      So sayeth the protectors of the carefully crafted world of this singular perception: Obedience. You must obey. I must obey. We must obey.
      That is all there is. “Step out of line, the man comes to take you A-way. . . .” This is it. The real deal. Every prediction of A. Huxley and George Orwell (who’s-ever take one subscribes to—or both.) This is it. In our lifetimes they are bringing ‘it.’ These series of moments are culminating, and in the wrong hands, right now.
      Resistance is all and everything. Even as ‘They’ read and collate every detail we offer up in the name of humanity being worth fighting for. Go down swinging if down we must go.

  8. Charles E. Carroll
    May 7, 2024 at 20:05

    Free Palestine!!

  9. Andrew Nichols
    May 7, 2024 at 18:20

    As has this Boomer

  10. Caliman
    May 7, 2024 at 18:06

    Many masks have been removed in this episode of late empire decline … so many that it will be difficult for the masks to go back up again anytime soon. The pretensions to being “land of the free and home of the brave” when the leaders of same are afraid of 20-year-olds reading anything but regime/MSM propaganda have been quite illuminating.

    Keep going, Caity … INGSOC must be opposed …

  11. May 7, 2024 at 16:14

    If Mayor Eric Adams is concerned about anybody being radicalized, he needs to look in the mirror. Eric Adams is a nutcase. In particular he is a religious nutcase. Really, a religious kook.

    New York City Mayor Eric Adams had made it clear that he’s no fan of separation of church and state.

    During an interfaith event last year, Adams recycled the hoary claim that a lack of mandated prayer in public schools is the source of many problems, remarking, “When we took prayers out of schools, guns came into schools. Don’t tell me about no separation of church and state. State is the body, church is the heart. You take the heart out of the body – the body dies.”

    Adams went on to assert, “There is a demonic energy that has engulfed our globe. And we are so ashamed to talk about it. We’re seeing it in front of us, and we say if we mention it, people are going to say, well, why are you talking about these spiritual things? It is the spiritual things that got us here. It’s going to be the spiritual things. Things that’s going to sustain us while we’re here.”



    • Rafi Simonton
      May 7, 2024 at 22:15

      Thanks for this; it explains a lot.
      I could easily agree with his basic premise based on my own extensive spiritual experiences and decades of study. But I’d disagree vehemently as to the source of the obvious evil. As would the original Populists, the Social Gospel movement, the New Dealers, and my fave as an old labor leftist–Eugene V. Debs.

  12. Michael McNulty
    May 7, 2024 at 16:08

    Just as 20+ years ago Bush and Blair radicalised more Muslims than any imam ever could, today nobody radicalised more of humanity than Netanyahu and Israel’s extremists. The people who shout loudest about radicalism are often the people most responsible for it.

  13. susan
    May 7, 2024 at 16:05

    I’ve never seen such obviously blatant and nefarious behavior from our government and MSM. It is like they are the ones who are being radicalized – not students…

  14. susan
    May 7, 2024 at 15:43

    Thank you again Caitlin for being the logic in the room – our government and media have gone completely insane!

  15. Drew Hunkins
    May 7, 2024 at 15:16

    The pulverization of Gaza that the barbaric and tyrannical Jewish supremacists are inflicting on the Palestinians in Gaza is the most disgusting and sickening thing ever to happen in my lifetime.

    Anyone coming at you with the, “yeah, but there are two sides”…blah blah blah needs to be immediately and completely ignored.

  16. anaisanesse
    May 7, 2024 at 15:08

    Thanks Caitlin. Listening to the interview with “spokesman Mercer” demonstrating every type of lie the Israelis have practised about the their actions and intentions should be heard and used to allow anyone NOT “radicalised” to become so!!

  17. Valerie
    May 7, 2024 at 14:59

    I’ve been “radicalized” for quite a few years.

    • robert e williamson jr
      May 7, 2024 at 22:45

      Valerie – this word , radicalized , you must be clear here, you have been radicalized ? I think not, your awareness has has been fulfilled !” Legaly the words of your r3eponwse

      It is what it is my friend . I do feel that way. These days, anyone who resists, well is immediately considered armed and dangerous.

      My friend Valerie – be with the winds, your drive must be into the uppor limits of your experience. WMRESPEC –

      • Michael G
        May 8, 2024 at 09:57

        “The definition of a radical is someone who looks at the structural effects of policy.”
        -Michael Parenti
        She has been radicalized.
        The people who are killing these innocent people, children, are currently passing legislation changing the meaning of language.
        I’ve seen you do the same, more than once.

        • Valerie
          May 9, 2024 at 03:26

          Thankyou Michael. I could not have said it better.

    • Old Freak
      May 8, 2024 at 13:38

      Yep … For myself, I date it to about age 10. It was then that I was told that for my 18th birthday I’d be kidnapped, have a machine gun placed into my hands, and I’d be transported to a jungle in Vietnam to go kill people who had never done anything to me, all in favor of some Elites that had never done anything good for me or the people around me.

      Yep, I got the message from the Democrats loud and clear at a very early age. Thanks LBJ!

      • Valerie
        May 9, 2024 at 03:23

        Mine was less traumatic. I was 12 and refused to wear the school uniform. I have questioned draconian authority ever since. I’ve been a “radical” all my life.

    • Michael G
      May 9, 2024 at 08:51

      I know you know this. This comment is for someone who has just started trying to figure out what our politicians are up to. When I first started I was constantly amazed that the politicians didn’t seem to understand the meaning of words. Then I discovered that in the realm of politics there are two definitions. Webster’s Dictionary version, the one everyone is familiar with, and the “Political” definition. Politicians co-opt the meaing of words and use them as a political tool. “Radical” is an example. Dr. Parenti is defining the political meaning of radical.

      DOCTRINE: Is what a politician says. Nobody should believe what a politician says.
      POLICY: Is what a politician actually does. This is the only thing that matters.
      RADICAL: Is someone who looks at the structural effects of Policy. What the real World results are of what a politician does are. Someone who believes what their eyes see.

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