Slaughtered Arabs Don’t Count

Slaughtered Arabs Don’t Count

“An airstrike by the US-led coalition against Islamic State on a school west of the Syrian city of Raqqa has killed at least 33 people, many of whom had fled nearby fighting, sparking further concerns that new rules of engagements may be causing an increase in civilian casualties.

“The attack follows a separate US strike on a mosque complex in the north-west of the country last Saturday that killed at least 52 people. The incident triggered fears that a White House-ordered review of rules governing the use of drones had already given military planners more flexibility on ordering strikes.”

A thank you to the Guardian for covering this extraordinary story.

But the reaction by most of the Western media, including the New York Times?

Meh.

The reaction to the London attack Wednesday in which, not counting the attacker, left three people dead?

Banner headlines and constant updates.

The death of civilians is a crime which should never be tolerated.

But apparently more for some than others.

I’ve spent 30 years in journalism, so I know the closer a story gets  — and “closer” includes the same type of people as opposed to foreigners in a supposedly distant land — the greater and longer the treatment.

And some may say that because the London attack happened outside Parliament, it merits even more outrage.

But why is Parliament more sacred than a haven for refugees or a mosque?

And where are all the world leaders offering condolences to the dead Syrian children and other civilians killed by their very own governments?

Sadly, as we all know, this is really nothing new.

But this disproportionate coverage of Europeans versus Arabs — pretty much inversely proportional to the actual death counts — hides a crucial lesson that we just can’t seem to learn.

These attacks are not unrelated.

I have no idea — and I suspect the Western experts don’t either yet — if the London attack was a direct response to the recent civilian slaughters by the West in its battle against the Islamic State.

But regardless of the direct motivation, the mass murders of innocents in the Middle East by the West go at least as far back as the first “Gulf War.”

(They go much further back, but let’s start with the battle against an Iraqi dictator we helped put in and then keep in power.)

Would there have been this most recent attack in London — or even an Islamic State for that matter — without all the endless Western war crimes against Muslims for almost three decades?

Until we — and that includes the media we in the West rely upon — mourn the deaths of the innocents our governments kill as much as the deaths of innocents killed by our enemies, the bloodshed will never end.

And all too likely only get worse.

Bruce Mastron is a journalist.

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