Attrition: Why Israel Is Special


January 23, 2009: The bloodiest war since World War II, is fought largely in the shadows, at least as far as the mass media is concerned. Over the last decade, over five million have died in the Congo, from the effects of the wars in the eastern part of the country.

Sudan has been another slaughterhouse (over 300,000 dead, and millions of refugees, plus some slaving) that gets a bit more publicity, but is largely ignored compared to, say, Israel (7,000 dead in the last decade).

Somalia has suffered 16,000 dead in the last two years, and more than twice that in the last twenty years. But all you really hear about is the pirates up north (who kill hardly anyone, except some of the thousands of the refugees they try to smuggle into Yemen, when they aren't trying to kidnap passing merchant ships and fishing boats.)

The most ignored war is in the island nation (off the southern coast of India) of Sri Lanka, where a civil war has killed over 80,000 in the last 25 years (and about 10,000 in the last year alone). India itself suffers over 2,000 dead a year from terrorists (mostly tribal and communist). Neighboring Pakistan has suffered 14,000 dead from Islamic terrorism in the past six years, and Afghanistan has lost that number in the last three years. We hear a lot about Afghanistan, mainly because U.S. and NATO troops are there (nearly 300 were killed there in the last year.)

Iraq got a lot of mass media coverage in the past six years, most of it false, misleading or outright propaganda. The dead there amounted to about 150,000 (including 4,400 Americans, 80 percent of them in combat). But most of the Iraqi dead were killed by fellow Moslems, most of them Iraqis trying to replace democracy with a new dictatorship.

Israel gets a disproportionate amount of coverage because decades of Arab and leftist propaganda has sought to portray the embattled country as an aggressor. When Israel was created (by a UN proposal to create a Jewish and Arab state out of Palestine), the local Arabs, and most Arab countries, refused to go along and declared war on the Jews. Many Arabs had supported the Nazis during World War II, and the West generally supported Israel at first. But as the decades rolled on, Israel kept defeating Arab attempts to destroy it. Arab propaganda took on a anti-Semitic and genocidal tone, and Western leftists, especially after the Cold War ended (leaving many European leftists in search of a new cause) gradually came to agree with the Arabs. This is what happens when you don't let a war end. Millions of Palestinians are now stateless refugees in Arab countries (which refuse to accept them as legal immigrants). The West took in many Palestinians, and accepted the fact that Israel won the 1948 war. But the Palestinians, and most of the Arab world keep the war going, losing battle after battle. The media loves it because the situation produces an endless supply of absurd (and they very newsworthy) situations.

Dozens of wars have been fought, ended, and gotten over within the last century. But Palestinian is allowed to fester, and fill the media with breathless, and often inaccurate, stories. Meanwhile, the millions of war dead elsewhere are generally ignored. Go figure.





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