0

On March 2 2024 the U.S. Central Command stated that it had begun airdropping living supplies to the Gaza Strip. On March 3, some people criticized the matter on social media and claimed that these aids were almost ineffective and were a show. See Relevant information, but perhaps not strictly relevant.

The U.S. did a good thing there, but it was still criticized. Why is the United States criticized for doing that?

2
  • 4
    The question could profit by adding information about who actually critisized that action. After all for most if not all actions there is always someone critisizing it. It might just be the normal state and not very surprising. Mar 4 at 6:29
  • 1
    @NoDataDumpNoContribution This question was raised hastily, and I will expand the relevant information later.
    – Jack_here
    Mar 4 at 7:27

2 Answers 2

8

It's somewhat simplistic to approach this situation with "good actions should be praised" approach. It works with small children, who might lack long-term perspective, but governments are not children, they are an organisations made up (or at least are supposed to be made up) of responsible adults. Actions of adults are almost never reviewed in isolation - any action is viewed with prior course of actions figuring into its results. Thus, a single good act might become meaningless due to some prior events. Moreover, relationships between people lead to different evaluation of same events. "International community" is not a monolithic entity with singular opinion on every single matter, but a collection of interest groups with very varied opinions, which are then disseminated in various languages over multiple media. And all of these groups have their own agenda - and that agenda might mean that instead of looking for positives in an opponent's actions, the group will profit more by finding faults with these same deeds. What you are perceiving is not necessarily the objective truth, and quite possibly not even most popular opinion of the majority in "international community"; it's just the most vocal opinion in your media of choice.

Now, reviewing the linked video - USA is not criticised for doing a good thing, but for their approach to the situation in general. It can be argued that even considering the humanitarian aid delivered, net effect of USA involvement of the lives of Palestinians in Gaza Strip still works out to a negative value. And remember about differences in values: regardless if you personally think that's true or not, you can be sure that based on history of USA's continued support of Israel (and thus Israel's policy towards Palestinians), there will be people seeing any amount of aid as insufficient to change this math - whether because they truly think USA mismanaged the situation, or because they generally view USA as a malign entity.

P.S. Note that the population of Gaza Strip is estimated to be ~2 million people. The airdrop consisted of 38000 MREs - even assuming these drops will be made daily and the contents will be distributed properly (and not hoarded for scalping, as happened in other cases), this will not solve the food crisis on its own. Since the (current) conflict started, USA authorised ~$180 million of funding for aid; but the damage to civilian infrastructure in the Strip is, by some estimates, in billions already, and the ceasefire is still under discussion. In this context, the "too little too late" view on USA aid does make sense.

8
  • 1
    Actually the US sent enough flour to feed all the Palestinians for many months. But it was held up by Smotrich. Quotes here at the end politics.stackexchange.com/a/85995/18373 Mar 4 at 5:44
  • 1
    "a single good act might become meaningless" I would say less meaningful but but completely meaningless. This would be mixing up a small positive value with zero. All other things equal I would still prefer to have that air drop than not to have it. Having said that, the effect is so small, it's almost negligible and not worth much commenting on. A drop in the ocean. Mar 4 at 6:23
  • 6
    Where did you get the 500 to 800 thousand civilians estimate? Gaza has a population of somewhat over 2 million and the number of Hamas fighters is estimated to be well below 100.000 so there are approximately 2 million civilians in Gaza.
    – quarague
    Mar 4 at 7:48
  • 2
    This is quite a childish response. If we factor in long term actions, Gaza shouldn't be getting any help became they harbor Hamas, which started all this, and this answer conveniently ignores this.
    – Ccm
    Mar 4 at 11:59
  • 3
    @Ccm If we factor in long term actions - both sides in the conflict originate from violent nationalists who rejected every attempt for a peaceful compromise. Judging by more recent data - the 2006 Palestinian elections - supporters of Hamas constituted about a third of the Strip population at best. I don't see that as a valid reason to deny help to the rest of its population - which, in this situation, would equal to death by starvation. Mar 4 at 12:54
6

The critics aren't saying food shouldn't be delivered, or that US delivering it is in itself bad.

They're implying, justifiably, that this US airdrop is happening as a PR move for the purpose of derailing opposition to previous and ongoing US policy with vastly more impact.

Specifically, decisive US support for the Israel's vengance campaign which has laid waste to Gaza and brought 2 million people to starvation, and more specifically US providing munitions, assisting with the blockade by cutting funding to the aid agencies, and providing diplomatic cover.

For US figures to express surprise that their critics aren't praising them at this point, comes off as a cruel mockery of the victims.

1
  • 1
    This answer could benefit from more sources. Who exactly said these things in each case? Mar 4 at 16:28

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .