Gaza atrocities underscore bankruptcy of R2P doctrine
Stephen Gowans Correspondent
There are no plans for the ‘international community’ to intervene in Gaza to protect civilians. R2P has always been a cover for imperialist conquest, a way to organise regime change —almost invariably to foster a free-trade, free-market, free enterprise economy friendly to investor interests–behind lofty humanitarian goals.
AFTER 26 days of Israeli aggression against the 1,8 million people of the Gaza Strip, the right-to-protect (R2P) advocates are conspicuously silent. Israeli occupation forces have slaughtered 1 669 Palestinians, possibly as many as 1 405 of them civilians, according to the United Nations, and 363 of them children.
The aggressor state has destroyed civilian infrastructure including Gaza’s lone power plant, disrupting power needed to run machinery to desalinate drinking water and pump human waste. Sewage, along with blood, runs in the streets.
There are no plans for the “international community” to intervene in Gaza to protect civilians. R2P has always been a cover for imperialist conquest, a way to organise regime change — almost invariably to foster a free-trade, free-market, free enterprise economy friendly to investor interests–behind lofty humanitarian goals. It’s not needed for use against Israel. Israel is already a member in good standing of the US imperium. Indeed, it is one of its principal props.
Accordingly, intervention on behalf of Palestinians won’t be happening. Humanitarian intervention is carried out selectively, never against brutish regimes in Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, or Kiev (whose army, assisted by neo-fascist paramilitaries, is shelling Russian-speaking Ukrainians in the country’s east.) These are all US allies, and US allies get R2P exemptions.
The doctrine of humanitarian intervention is a cover for assaults on states that Washington designates its enemies. Intervention doesn’t depend on whether a country’s government tramples human rights, or threatens its own citizens, or practices terrorism, or eschews liberal democracy, or violates international law.
It depends on whether rulers are willing to allow their country to become fully integrated into the US-led global economy and bow to the international dictatorship of the United States.
If US foreign policy was really inspired by lofty principals, Washington could hardly count Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, South Korea and Egypt as key allies. All of these countries’ governments exhibit severe shortcomings in the protection of civil and political liberties.
Egypt is effectively a military dictatorship and Saudi Arabia and Bahrain are absolutist states. If Washington cared one whit about international law and states that practice terrorism, it could hardly continue to send Israel US$3 billion every year in military and economic aid.
Indeed, it would have to address its own foreign policy shortcomings, from regularly trampling on international law to protecting anti-Cuban terrorists to carrying out terrorist bombing and missile strikes around the globe.
The West could intervene to stop the Israeli massacre in Palestine. To begin, Washington could cancel military and economic aid to Tel Aviv. Western governments could stop providing Israel with diplomatic cover. But none of this is happening.
Instead, Washington has done the opposite, intervening on Israel’s side, not against it, by replenishing the store of munitions Israel forces have used to destroy homes, mosques, hospitals and people in Gaza.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the Pentagon is allowing Israel to tap an ammunition stockpile to replace the 120mm tanks rounds and 40mm illumination rounds it has used to carry out a massacre in Gaza. Behind the slaughter in Gaza stands a complicit Washington.
Of course, Washington might perversely argue that this is an R2P project of another sort — protecting Israeli civilians. But Israeli civilians don’t appear to be in much danger. Not a single Israeli civilian died from rocket or mortar fire from Gaza from the November 2012 ceasefire until Israel renewed its assault on Gaza last month.
Three Israeli civilians have died from rocket fire since — one-fifth of 1 percent of the total civilian casualties of Operation Protective Edge. For every Israeli civilian killed, 467 Palestinian non-combatants have been effaced by Israeli forces.
Former Israeli ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren said: “It’s very difficult to feel compassion for the other when you have rockets aimed at your family.” It’s also very difficult to feel compassion for the other when he has stolen your land, made you a refugee, and is in his seventh decade of waging a colonial war of aggression against yourself, your family, your neighbours, and your people.
Stephen Gowans is a Canadian writer and political activist resident in Ottawa. This article is reproduced from http://gowans.wordpress.com
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