Humanitarian as euphemism?

Currently on the Washington Post front page:

I wonder about this one. You know what’s a real humanitarian crisis? Being besieged by government forces.

Seriously, they’re shelling and we’re bombing. Humanitarians care about people killed by bombs and shells too! We really do.

The article talks about the lack of medical supplies to treat the wounded, the lack of water and power and fuel for generators.

I suppose they are trying to draw a distinction between the “military” crisis in which weapons might kill people and the “medical” crisis.

But see, that’s the same thing. The wounded didn’t get that way because of drunk driving accidents or something – the “government forces” shot them. The same government forces are cutting off the water and power and surrounding the city to prevent more supplies from reaching the defenders (that’s what “besieged” means.)

The medical crisis is, in this case, a deliberate weapon of the regime, wielded to put more pressure on the rebels to surrender.

It’s awful and I hope we can help. But it’s not some independent event that the Libyan dictator is unaware of, any more than the bombing of Berlin was somehow a separate event from World War II.