Armed humanitarian 2.0
Yazidis were brought in to divert attention from Gaza
ARMED HUMANITARIANISM 2.0. That’s the new Western version of old-fashioned 19th century imperialism, now feminised by President Barack Obama’s lady advisors, painted pink and accompanied by saccharine piano music.
The Obama administration latched onto the plight of Iraq’s Yazidis who were being persecuted by those awful ISIS folks just in 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, Iraq’s fleeing Christians.
This was a brilliant media ploy. The world, which was furious at the US for enabling Israel’s savaging of Gaza and killing of almost 2,000 Palestinians, switched its attention to the Yazidis and Iraqi Christians. No mention was made that Iraq’s Christians had been safe and sound under President Saddam Hussein until President George Bush invaded and destroyed Iraq.
Christians in the US and Europe suddenly cheered the ostensible US-French-British ‘rescue mission.’ Interestingly, those old colonialists, the French and British, were quick to get involved in oil-rich Iraq: the Brits sent in some of Her Majesty’s Killers, the renowned Special Air Service, or SAS. France is sending arms to the Kurdish militia known as ‘pesh merga.’ Australia, now under a hard right government, may follow suit.
America thrilled to see the US Air Force dropped food and water to Zaidi refugees. Even this cynical writer was cheered to see US military power helping the oppressed.
But what of the oppressed Palestinians in Gaza, cut off by Israel and Egypt from food, water, medical supplies and power? What about the millions of refugees in Syria created by Western attempts to overthrow its Assad dynasty for backing Iran? What of millions of internal refugees from the Afghan and Iraq Wars?
There are five million Palestinian refugees. What are a handful of Yazidis compared to this sea of homeless? The number and plight of those Yazidi refugees were wildly exaggerated by the Western powers to justify their re-intervention in Iraq.
Lurid reports of the ISIS cruelty may well be true, but this old cynic suspects they are being used to justify intervention. After all, we saw the similar untruths about Saddam’s regime and Al Qaeda’s “threat to the entire globe.”
Now the biggest dolts in the US Republican Party like John McCain, Lindsey Graham and my hometown’s Peter King, claim the US homeland is threatened by pipsqueak ISIS, while they try to provoke a real war with Russia over Ukraine.
To show just how bizarre US Mideast policy has become: US warplanes are dropping aid to Iraq’s Yazidis (considered devil worshippers by many Iraqi), while bombing Zaidi tribesmen in northern Yemen who are battling its US-installed military junta in Sa’ana. Yazidis, Zaidis, it’s all very confusing.
Meanwhile, the White House appears to be well on the way to ousting its puppet in Baghdad, Nouri Al Maliki, in favour of a newer, even more obedient satrap. Maliki was foolish enough to actually believe he was prime minister of Iraq and refused to allow US troops to stay there indefinitely. Big mistake.
Iraq’s next leader will be another Westernised Arab from CIA central casting who will be expected to make his nation safe for Western oil companies. The same for Afghanistan.
As for de facto autonomous Kurds, they have long been a Western protectorate and would be fully independent today were they not fearful of a violent reaction by the irritable Turks. Israel has supplied the Kurds with arms since 1970.
Interestingly, the Kurds are now exporting oil directly through a pipeline in Turkey to Israel while the regime in Baghdad, cut out of payments, fumes. There’s long been talk of an Israeli air base in Kurdistan.
Never mind that the US armed and trained ISIS to overthrow Syria’s regime. Now they have gone rogue and must be stopped by a new humanitarian crusade.
Eric S. Margolis is a veteran US journalist
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