Smoke rises after an explosion in what witnesses said was an Israeli air strike in Gaza August 20, 2014. Israel launched its Gaza offensive on July 8 in response to a surge of rocket attacks by Gazaâ€™s dominant Hamas. Hamas said that Palestinians would continue confronting Israel until its blockade on the economically crippled Gaza Strip was lifted. REUTERS/Ahmed Zakot
August 16, 2014 â€œICHâ€ – Armed humanitarianism 2.0. Thatâ€™s our new western version of old-fashioned 19th century imperialism, now feminized by President Barack Obamaâ€™s lady advisors, painted pink and accompanied by the kind of soft piano music you hear in ads for womenâ€™s products.
Last week, the Obama administration latched onto the plight of Iraqâ€™s Yazidis who were being persecuted by those awful ISIS folks â€“ just in jolly good time to divert attention from the massacre in Gaza.
How handy. All three US networks and the increasingly shackled BBC were ordered to drop Gaza reporting and refocus their camera teams on the suffering Yazidis and, all of a sudden, Iraqâ€™s fleeing Christians.
This was a brilliant media ploy. The world, which was furious at the US for enabling Israelâ€™s savaging of Gaza and killing of almost 2,000 Palestinians, switched its attention to the hitherto unknown Yazidis, and to Iraqi Christians. No one in the US had ever heard of Yazidis but that was ok. Uncle Sam to the rescue.
No mention was made that Iraqâ€™s Christians had been safe and sound under President Saddam Hussein â€“ even privileged â€“ until President George Bush invaded and destroyed Iraq. We can expect the same fate for Syriaâ€™s Christians if the protection of the Assad regime is torn away by the US-engineered uprising. We will then shed crocodile tears for Syriaâ€™s Christians.
The US and Europe suddenly cheered the ostensible US-French-British `rescue mission.â€™ Interestingly, those old colonialists, the French and British, were so quick to get involved in oil-rich Iraq: the Brits sent in some of Her Majestyâ€™s Killers, the renowned Special Air Service, or SAS. France and Britain are sending arms to the Kurdish militia known as `pesh merga.â€™ Australia, now under a hard right government, may follow suit.
Around 1900, Imperial Britain, France and Russia all claimed the right to intervene in the Levant to supposedly protect its Christians. Such a useful excuse.
America thrilled to see the US Air Force dropped food and water to Yazidi refugees. Even this cynical writer was cheered to see US military power helping the oppressed.
But what of the 1.8 million oppressed Palestinians in Gaza, cut off by Israel and Egypt from food, water, medical supplies and power? …