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In Besieged Middle East, Food Becomes Weapon of War


In Besieged Middle East, Food Becomes Weapon of War

Nadia Prupis, staff writer

As crises in the Middle East escalate, food has become a weapon of war.

A new Associated Press analysis published Friday looks at the way food supply and access is controlled by all sides in conflict and the devastating impact this tactic has on civilian populations struggling to survive behind blockades in Syria, Yemen, and Iraq.

The AP reports:


In the face of so much soul killing inhumanity I am speechless.


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we need new definitions for "enraged" and "grief" and "injustice." what is most needed though, is a new paradigm where fear and separation are eclipsed by equality and unity. I confess there are times when feelings of powerlessness overwhelms.


This article doesn't mention the sources of the siege of places like Mayada. Reports from inside the town say that the government has been sending food aid, and that for quite some time. That aid is intercepted by the armed groups that are holding the town and sold at exorbitant prices. Without a full accounting of the facts, reports like this can be - and are - used as propaganda. I don't know about the propaganda situation abroad, but locally (by which I mean in environs close to but not in Syria), they are used by factions that are in some way beholden to US imperial interests to generate outrage against those on the other side of the conflict. That can backfire, when, for example, those on the other side uncover the source of the photo used in this the lede, revealing that it was actually taken in southern Lebanon, it being the picture of a young girl who was at the time the photo was taken suffering from a malady from which she has subsequently recovered. She is now about 7 years old, stout and sturdy, hale and hearty. I haven't followed the link in the article to see the other pictures, because I've seen enough of them already in local news reports (I live in Lebanon). We've been living with the horror for five years. But not all of the horror is actually of local origin. Or at least not of the local origin that those displaying the photos in the electronic media claim the locality to be. So, yes, it is horrible that food has again for the umpteenth time in blood-soaked human history become a weapon of war. But place the blame where it lies: the greater blame lies with the greater powers that are enabling those armed groups to hold civilians under siege in the first place.


thanks for the reminder. with all the horrors in the world, and which seem to be increasing, you wouldn't think one would need to use hype or embellish to make a point. I would hope CD would be a bit more diligent in this regard.


Eva Bartlett writes about the twisted reporting in Syria where we are not told about the use of civilians as human shields by the anti-Assad forces. (http://dissidentvoice.org/2015/10/deconstructing-the-nato-narrative-on-syria/). Nebojsa Malic ( see http://original.antiwar.com/malic/2016/01/13/2012324248/) reminds us that this happened in Sarajevo as well: When certain groups want Western/US intervention, they make sure to produce suitable images at horrendous cost to the civilians. So much for "humanitarian interventions".


The world must end the crisis and atrocities in Syria especially those against children; these crimes must make every thoughtful person weep for the victims.

There is another place in the ME where hunger is used as a weapon by blockade, along with bombing of civilians often using indiscriminate and banned weapons. We don't hear so much about those victims, except through the distorted lens of controlled manipulated, censored media pushing the propaganda and "rationale" of the oppressor, Israel. The victims are the Palestinians of Gaza and the Occupied Territories, and I wish the empathy rightly felt for Syria's victims be felt for the Gaza victims of Israeli racism, endless occupation and violence. The West Bank sees far less massive military violence than in Syria now, but Gaza and its Palestinian population have been and are victims to organized state racism and repression and hunger while the world largely turns a blind eye, most notably the US, lap-dog, financier, and supporter of Israeli war crimes.

The world is forced to confront (barely) the Syrian genocide but largely ignores the Palestinian, with Israel targeting the 1.8 million Palestinian residents/prisoners of Gaza.




The picture of the child is so haunting -- there's something about the eyes that bothers me.