Eyeless in Gaza

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The 12-day Israeli assault on Gaza and its cost in non-combatant lives has elicited the usual tongue- clucking about the need for a ceasefire to prevent another “humanitarian disaster”.

The phrase is straight out of the dictionaries of UN relief agencies, and by now has little meaning to many people. The entire planet having become one huge disaster area, humanitarian crises have become so common millions are part of one, while others have been desensitized to the tales of suffering that daily flood the media.

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Wag the dog

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Somewhat like God, if 9/11 didn’t happen it would have had to be invented. The attack on the New York World Trade Center and the Pentagon were exactly what US neo-conservatives and US oil interests needed: an excuse for regime change in Afghanistan, and later, in Iraq, as part of an aggressive policy of military, political and economic consolidation and expansionism. It was the tail that wagged the dog.

In the aftermath of 9/11, the only remaining superpower attacked Afghanistan to remove the Taliban from power. The excuse was the capture of Osama bin Laden. The invasion occurred despite a proposal by the Taliban regime to surrender bin Laden to the United States if there was evidence that he was indeed responsible. The US rejected the proposal even before bin Laden accepted responsibility for the attack.

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