Whenever western governments and mainstream media start shedding crocodile tears over a minority community of «peaceful Muslims»© being persecuted by some nasty non-Muslim government somewhere, with demands that the «international community» do something about it, it should be treated with a big, fat dollop of skepticism.
At issue at the moment are the Rohingya, approximately one million of whom constitute a large minority in Rakhine (formerly Arakan) state in Myanmar (formerly Burma). According to reports in the prestige media and from (government-funded) human rights groups, Myanmar’s government is oppressing the Rohingya, many of whom have fled next door into predominantly Muslim Bangladesh.
We are told that the Rohingya, «often described as ‘the world’s most persecuted minority’» at the hands of Rakhine Buddhists incited by fanatical monks backed up by the national government, are facing genocide and ethnic cleansing. The international community must do something! Where’s Samantha «the Genocide Chick» Power when we need her?
If all this sounds familiar, it is. Almost word-for-word the foregoing could describe the western official and media narrative of the Serbian province of Kosovo and Metohija in the late 1990s. Just replace «Rohingya Muslims» with «Albanian Muslims», «Rakhine» with «Serb», «Theravada Buddhist» with «Orthodox Christian».
Of course the Kosovo official narrative was, and remains, almost a total perversion of the truth. In the late 1990s, western intelligence services and their friends in the Islamic world, notably Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States, and Turkey, as well as al-Qaeda-linked Islamic «charities», pumped weapons into Kosovo to support armed terrorist groups known as the «Kosovo Liberation Army» (KLA). Headed by kingpins in the Albanian mafia, the KLA attacked Serbian officials and civilians, as well as murdered insufficiently militant Albanians, in a bid to invite a government crackdown which would serve as a pretext for intervention by the international community, meaning the U.S. and NATO, to stop a fictional Serbian genocide of Albanians. As I noted in an August 1998 U.S. Senate report months before supposed massacre that «justified» the NATO attack on Serbia, military action had already been decided upon and awaited only a suitable «trigger»:
«As of this writing, planning for a U.S.-led NATO intervention in Kosovo is now largely in place, while the Clinton Administration’s apparent willingness to intervene has ebbed and flowed on an almost weekly basis. The only missing element appears to be an event – with suitably vivid media coverage – that would make intervention politically salable, even imperative, in the same way that a dithering Administration finally decided on intervention in Bosnia in 1995 after a series of ‘Serb mortar attacks’ took the lives of dozens of civilians – attacks, which, upon closer examination, may in fact have been the work of the Muslim regime in Sarajevo, the main beneficiary of the intervention. [For details, primarily reports from European media, see RPC’s ‘Clinton-Approved Iranian Arms Transfers Help Turn Bosnia into Militant Islamic Base,’ 1/16/97] That the Administration is waiting for a similar ‘trigger’ in Kosovo is increasingly obvious: ‘A senior U.S. Defense Department official who briefed reporters on July 15 noted that «we’re not anywhere near making a decision for any kind of armed intervention in Kosovo right now». He listed only one thing that might trigger a policy change: «I think if some levels of atrocities were reached that would be intolerable, that would probably be a trigger»’ [Washington Post, 8/4/98]. The recent conflicting reports regarding a purported mass grave containing (depending on the report) hundreds of murdered Albanian civilians or dozens of KLA fighters killed in battle should be seen in this light». [from ‘Bosnia II: The Clinton Administration Sets Course for NATO Intervention in Kosovo,’ August 1998]
To note the similarities between official and media about the Rohingya in 2017 and «Kosovars» in 1998-99 is not to say that armed outside intervention against Myanmar is imminent or even in the cards. Nor does it disprove the claim that the Rohingya, or some of them, may indeed be suffering persecution. It is only to suggest that when the usual manipulators in the media and the self-appointed international community get on their genocide high horse, caution is in order. It needs to be asked, what is the other side of the story?
For example, as analyzed by Moon of Alabama:
«Media attention is directed to some minor ethnic violence in Myanmar, the former Burma. The story in the ‘western’ press is of Muslim Rohingya unfairly vilified, chased out and killed by Buddhist mobs and the army in the state of Rakhine near the border to Bangladesh. The ‘liberal’ human interventionists like Human Rights Watch are united with Islamists like Turkey’s President Erdogan in loudly lamenting the plight of the Rohingya.
«That curious alliance also occurred during the wars on Libya and Syria. [JGJ: And in Kosovo.] It is by now a warning sign. Could there be more behind this than some local conflict in Myanmar? Is someone stoking a fire?
«While the ethnic conflict in Rakhine state is very old, it has over the last years morphed into a Jihadist guerilla war financed and led from Saudi Arabia. The area is of geo-strategic interest:
‘Rakhine plays an important part in [the Chinese One Belt One Road Initiative] OBOR, as it is an exit to Indian Ocean and the location of planned billion-dollar Chinese projects—a planned economic zone on Ramree Island, and the Kyaukphyu deep-sea port, which has oil and natural gas pipelines linked with Yunnan Province’s Kunming.’
«Pipelines from the western coast of Myanmar eastwards to China allow hydrocarbon imports from the Persian Gulf to China while avoiding the bottleneck of the Strait of Malacca and disputed parts of the South China Sea.
«It is in ‘Western interest’ to hinder China’s projects in Myanmar. Inciting Jihad in Rakhine could help to achieve that. … A clearly Islamist insurgency was build up in the area. It acts under the name Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) and is led by Ataullah abu Ammar Junjuni, a Jihadist from Pakistan. (ARSA earlier operated under the name Harakah al-Yakin, or Faith Movement.) Ataullah was born into the large Rohingya community of Karachi, Pakistan. … Reuters noted in late 2016 that the Jihadist group is trained, led and financed through Pakistan and Saudi Arabia:
‘A group of Rohingya Muslims that attacked Myanmar border guards in October is headed by people with links to Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, the International Crisis Group (ICG) said on Thursday, citing members of the group. … «Though not confirmed, there are indications [Ataullah] went to Pakistan and possibly elsewhere, and that he received practical training in modern guerrilla warfare», the group said. It noted that Ata Ullah was one of 20 Rohingya from Saudi Arabia leading the group’s operations in Rakhine State. Separately, a committee of 20 senior Rohingya emigres oversees the group, which has headquarters in Mecca, the ICG said.’
«The ARSA Jihadists claim to only attack government forces but civilian Arakanese Buddhists have also been ambushed and massacred. Buddhist hamlets were also burned down».
Finally, it needs to be noted that showing sympathy for Muslim victims, real or fake, has several attractions for western governments and media:
- It pleases western elites’ friends in Riyadh, Ankara, Islamabad, etc., to see effete post-Christians take the Muslim side in a way none of them would ever stick up for Christians. How nice to see how weak, corrupt, and cowardly the unbelievers are! (How many protests did we hear from our Saudi, Turkish, Pakistani, and other supposed friends about the suffering of Christians in Syria and Iraq at the hands of al-Qaeda and Daesh? For that matter, how much did we hear about it from western governments? When have western governments and media ever demanded that the so-called international community «do something» to save a non-Muslim population – anywhere?)
- It allows western elites to scrub away the suspicion that somewhere, somehow any hint of concern about Islamic terrorism or Muslim mass migration into Europe is evidence of «racism» and «Islamophobia». Championing persecuted Muslims like the Rohingya and Kosovo Albanians shows the west harbors no such biases.
- Perhaps most importantly, standing up for allegedly persecuted Muslim minorities allows western governments and media to deflect any blame for the hundreds of thousands – in all likelihood millions – of Muslims killed in the process of «democracy promotion» in majority Muslim countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, and other places, or the many more who would be killed in the process of «bringing freedom» to Iran. Sure, many non-Muslims have also been killed in these noble humanitarian efforts, but their deaths are not politically actionable – no government or terrorist movement will threaten retribution.
By James George Jatras
Source: Strategic Culture