The Guardian • Issue #2099

Gaza pier: US at its most cynical

  • The Guardian
  • Issue #2099
Palestinian boy collect belongings from Gaza ruins.

Photo: UN Photo / Shareef Sarhan – (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

“The United States has been leading international efforts to get more humanitarian assistance into Gaza. Tonight, I’m directing the US military to lead an emergency mission to establish a temporary pier in the Mediterranean on the coast of Gaza that can receive large shipments carrying food, water, medicine, and temporary shelters,” said President Biden in his 14 March State of the Union address.

US military newsletters praised the work of their supply departments.

Few of the plan’s critics have pointed out that the pier on the Mediterranean coast of Gaza is a classic piece of ‘disaster militarism.’

Militarism inflicts environmental destruction and impoverishment of the attacked people. In addition, there is destruction of housing and infrastructure for populations leading to death and injury. The survivors also face starvation and disease.

In Gaza the humanitarian crisis has been brought on by the military’s systematic use of weapons from many different platforms. For the military to then offer relief from their cataclysmic handiwork by feeding and hydrating the victims so they can be bombed and strafed again is plainly barbaric.

The US government has both rushed through extra funding for the Israeli military and extended its ban on funding UNWRA, the major aid agency in Gaza.

Claiming to be “leading international efforts to get humanitarian assistance into Gaza,” while funding the military and cutting funding to the organisation that feeds the Gazans is beyond cynicism.

The pier is a part of what is called Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore (JLOTS). JLOTS boasted it will deliver a pier to Gaza in the short time of 60 days. That’s a long time for  Gazans dying of starvation now.

The US military practised just this scenario at the biannual US-Australian Talisman Sabre war games off the Queensland coast last year.

Army Col. Samuel S Miller boasted: “When it may seem, at times, we have the weight of the world on our shoulders, we will forge across the water to deliver humanitarian assistance.”

The plan to build a floating pier off a beach in Gaza is borrowing a page from the logistics playbook the army is developing for potential future conflicts in the Pacific.

JLOTS operations are a staple of planning and training exercises in the region, where logistics is a major sticking point for conflict with China. The crews now headed to Gaza will be well prepared by the Australian exercise, in which the wind, waves, and swells were higher than those in the Mediterranean near Gaza.

In reality the pier project is a cynical pose to cover the unforgivable military to military co-operation between the US and the Israeli military and to divert the growing fury about US government support for Israeli genocide.

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