Among the news of these last days: at the request of the Kyrgyz authorities, the Russians will intervene, the Chinese also, but only for a humanitarian mission. New fleets are preparing to sail to Gaza, Chartered this time by Iranians, still proclaiming only humanitarian objectives. These are just a few examples of the last operations after many others, where humanitarian action is instrumented. Transformed into a display of facade, it conceals evil political, ideological, militant, or paramilitary campaigns. That we see multiply Situations where humanitarian relief, under the most generous appearances, became the continuation of war by other means.
Useless to incriminate the perversity of each or naivety of others. It is better if questioned what has allowed it is. The problem is not only the diversion of legitimate and virtuous solidarity. It must be rather speculate on what, in the recent evolution of the design humanitarian itself makes these drifts possible, if not inevitable. This is not the solidarity itself is to criticize, of course. It is rather the illusion that transformed it into universal solution, foolproof panacea - the risk to hide all the other dimensions of shocks and crises.
The humanitarian - declined in myriad NGOs, convoys of land - password now for if essential, if unavoidable, if necessarily legitimate that eventually too often obscure, harmful or dangerous, all other records of these complex realities that are, by definition, human conflicts. To avoid misunderstandings, better fault that it is not question to abandon a second to feed children, care for the wounded, taking care of the sick, improve the conditions of life of the victims, exile, refugees, disadvantaged.
Philosophers, over the centuries, have insisted on the fact that this spontaneous help to our fellow human beings in distress is, overall, what humanity has better. Aristotle points out how travellers confuse to rescue strangers lost in the desert. Mencius, in China, at the beginning of our era, shows how each will catch up with this child falling in the well - without asking who he is, who are parents or what are his relatives. Rousseau or Schopenhauer reiterate that unless be dulled by the calculation or denatured by selfishness, empathy prevail, and takes us to the rescue of those who suffer.
But what we call today the humanitarian is not reduced to this age-old pity hugged us at the sight of the suffering of others. This global concern is recent. The global enthusiasm date only from the end of the 20th century. When the last dreams of revolution effacèrent, when the Communist world collapsed, the urgency of saving lives became, suddenly, the new impassable horizon of our time. In place of ideological conflicts has become this evidence: we need - urgently - and above all save lives and preserve the body. Ceasing to believe that there is of invaluable lives and other insignificant humanitarian momentum highlighted the urgency of saving all those that may be, without concern for political, religious or ethnic divisions.
However over the years, the limits of this ideal have become visible: the body is necessary but not sufficient. The humanitarian clean has only a limited scope, duration of short-lived action. When it is held unique test of understanding and action, it likely blind, preventing them from capturing the multidimensional aspects of conflicts, prohibiting the act effectively for their resolution. Or be reduced to be alibi, folding screen, smoke screen. Best thing in the world as long as it takes place, the humanitarian, holding all the scene turns into trap.