1900-2000: A century of genocides

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Re: 1900-2000: A century of genocides

Postby seemslikeadream » Mon Aug 12, 2013 9:09 pm

German minister says sorry for genocide in Namibia
Andrew Meldrum in Pretoria
The Guardian, Sunday 15 August 2004 19.02 EDT

Germany apologised for the first time yesterday for a colonial-era genocide which killed 65,000 Herero people in what is now Namibia.

"We Germans accept our historic and moral responsibility and the guilt incurred by Germans at that time," said Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul, Germany's development aid minister, at a ceremony to mark the 100th anniversary of the Hereros' 1904-1907 uprising against their rulers.

"The atrocities committed at that time would have been termed genocide," she said, according to Associated Press.

Although she ruled out financial compensation for the victims' descendants - a civil case has been brought by relatives of those who died - she promised aid, particularly in land reform.

"Everything I have said was an apology from the German government," Mrs Wieczorek-Zeul said to the delight of a crowd of 1,000 people.

The killings happened in 1904 after the Herero people revolted against oppressive German colonial rule.

General Lothar von Trotha was sent to what was then South West Africa to put down the 1904 uprising and, according to historians, instructed his troops to wipe out the tribe.

When the order was lifted at the end of the year, prisoners were herded into camps and allocated as slave labour to German businesses, where many died of overwork and malnutrition.Some two-thirds of the Herero were killed. But until the weekend, Germany has avoided the politically loaded term of genocide.

The Herero people have sought reparations from Germany for years. In 2001, they filed a $4bn (£2.17bn) lawsuit against the government and two German firms in the US.

But Germany dismissed the claim, saying international rules on the protection of combatants and civilians were not in existence at the time of that conflict.

Ranongouje Tjihuiko, chairman of the commemoration committee, said the Herero leadership might now drop legal proceedings.

Hifikepunye Pohamba, Namibia's minister of land also welcomed Germany's gesture.

"That is what we have been waiting for, for a very long time," he said, noting that the apology came on the spot where the conflict ended.
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Re: 1900-2000: A century of genocides

Postby seemslikeadream » Fri Aug 16, 2013 8:44 am

Resisting Genocide: Syria, North Korea, and Cuba
by Gearóid Ó Colmáin / December 21st, 2012

As NATO and Gulf Co-operation Council terrorists persist in their attempt to destroy the Syrian Arab Republic with car bombs, torture, beheadings and mayhem, the Syrian state has still shown no evidence of imminent collapse. Russia has sent 5 warships to the Mediterranean. China has continued to condemn, albeit with extreme diplomacy, NATO’s interference; Venezuela has offered oil to help cope with Western sanctions; the Syrian financial budget has been decided for 2013; restaurants and cafes continue to open for business in Damascus and normal bilateral diplomatic and trade relations continue to exist between Syria and most of the world’s peace-loving countries. In short, Syria still has many friends in the world and the people of Syria are determined to resist imperialist aggression to the end. One could argue that Syria has far more genuine friends in the world than the execrable coalition of countries attacking it.

A few months ago, the Syrian government met with officials from the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea in Damascus to discuss the possibilities to widening bilateral trade between the two staunchly patriotic states. The DPRK has been resisting US imperialism since the Korean War of 1950, when the United States under the aegis of the UN razed 19 North Korean cities to the ground, forcing the population to live in caves.

According to Professor Bruce Cumings from the University of Chicago in his book North Korea, Pentagon generals were planning to exterminate the entire population of North Korea.

The diabolical plan was to create what was described as a nuclear desert from North Korea across Manchuria in China. The plan was drafted by a US general Douglas MacArthur. Operation Hudson Harbor was a military exercise which involved sending B-52 bombers over North Korea in a simulation of a doomsday nuclear bombing campaign the US military was planning to unleash on the Korean people. This was the twentieth century’s other “final solution,” one most people have never even heard of.1

General MacArthur’s plan in his own words was “to drop between 30 and 50 atomic bombs strung across the neck of Manchuria.” The bombs, he enthused, “would have spread behind us-from the Sea of Japan to the Yellow Sea… a belt of radioactive cobalt… it has an active life of between 60 and 120 years. For at least 60 years there would have been no land invasion of Korea from the North.”

The UN sanctioned bombings of North Korea exterminated over 3 million people. It is, in the words of Cumings, the twentieth century’s “hidden holocaust.” Those who would ridicule the strange, “extreme”, “totalitarian” or “crazy” image of the DPRK in the world would do well to think about the unspeakable hell on earth the “international community” inflicted on the people of that country, before passing judgment on their refusal to surrender; their siege mentality and the obvious idiosyncrasies of their political system.

It is indeed a miracle that North Korea was capable of surviving the UN genocide. In fact, in spite of being bombed into the Stone Age by the UN, the DPRK managed to provide a higher standard of living for its people than the US proxy, fascist, sweat-shop regime in the south right up to the mid 1980s, in spite of the constant sanctions from the “international community” and military threats from the US-occupied South. Today every family in North Korea has access to free healthcare and education, unlike the “free” United States. North Korean parents don’t need to worry about the safety of their loved ones when they send them off to school, unlike the “free” United States. The former head of the World Health Organization told Agence France Press on April 30, 2010 that the DPRK had a healthcare system that should be the envy of the entire developing world. “Axis of evil” regimes have a most sadistic tendency to provide free healthcare for their people.

North Korean citizens don’t need to worry if the products they are eating contain noxious GMOs, as GMOs are banned in the DPRK. Unlike the “free” United States where millions of families have lost their homes since the economic crisis in 2008, DPRK citizens also don’t need to worry about losing their homes or jobs as these are provided to every citizen by the state. Millions of Americans are now officially homeless with poverty levels approaching 60 million. The DPRK does not have extreme poverty. Most of the country’s very real economic problems stem from the sanctions imposed by the “international community” who are angry at the people of the DPRK for not surrendering after their bombing campaign of the 1950s.

The close bilateral relations between the DPRK and the Syrian Arab Republic are a cogent example of the solidarity that exists between countries that have been assaulted by Euro-Atlantic imperialism. The Syrian Arab Republic has received full and unambiguous support from its friends in Latin America since the start of NATO’s covert war in Syria on March 17, 2011, when snipers shot at police and protesters alike in town of Deraa.

Unlike the pseudo-leftists who claim to oppose US imperialism, claim to support Cuba and Venezuela while at the same time cheering on the CIA-backed, fascist death squads in the name of “democracy” and “freedom,” genuine anti-imperialists, communists, libertarians, and peace-activists support the patriotic resistance of the Syrian people under the leadership of President Assad. As all politically educated people know, Bashar Al-Assad was never the source of Syria’s deep and complex problems. In Syria, the democratic opposition to Assad such as the Syrian Communist Party (Bakdash), also support the Assad government’s war on terrorism.

What the rebel-cheering, petty-bourgeois leftists simply do not understand is the key Marxist-Leninist concept of primary and secondary contradictions. For example, a communist will remain diametrically opposed to Bashar Al-Assad’s capitalist regime. This is a primary contradiction in the context of peace-time. In other words, when Syria is at peace, a communist would oppose the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie under Bashar Al-Assad. But in wartime, the concrete conditions change and the primary contradiction becomes a secondary one. Now the primary contradiction is between imperialism and national sovereignty. In this context, the communists must support the bourgeois government against the foreign aggressors attempting to colonize and destroy the nation.

In this context then, a genuine communist will support Assad IN HIS FIGHT AGAINST imperialist aggression. The difference between the communist and the bourgeois nationalist has now become a secondary contradiction. In the immediate fight against imperialism, classes can unite to defend the nation. But as soon as imperialism is defeated, the contradictions between the communists and the bourgeois nationalists will become primary once more. To support Assad or Kim Jong Un, therefore, is not to support this person per se, nor their specific socio-economic policies, or the political ideology these people represent. It is simply to affirm the right of nations to decide their own fate.

What today’s petty-bourgeois leftists lack is this rudimentary understanding of dialectics and revolutionary tactics. When communists joined the British Army to fight for the British Empire against Hitler during the Second World War, they were fighting for the very modest gains they had made in Britain through class struggle against the Nazi system which would have deprived them of even those basic rights. But they were not fighting for Churchill or the Queen. On the contrary, they saw their fight as a necessary stage in the on-going struggle for social and political liberation. They understood that the capitalist state would have to be tackled once the threat of fascism was averted. The same primary and secondary contradictions were manifested in the heroic alliance of the French Communist Party and General de Gaulle during the Nazi occupation of France. The difference between these communists and the veritable caricature of leftism that prevails today is that they former possessed a concrete and scientific understanding of class struggle and the intricacies of the genuine revolutionary tactics of their time.

Notwithstanding the unceasing daily accusations made by the so- called “rebels” and MI6’s propaganda organ, the now infamous “Syrian Observatory of Human Rights” — not to mention US government-linked organizations Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International — not one crime allegedly carried out by the Syrian security forces has been verified. However, hundreds if not thousands of crimes carried out by NATO/GCC armed gangs have been posted online by the terrorists themselves.

NATO’s minions are obviously proud of the fact that they can act with impunity. As the capitalist mode of production forces most people to work longer hours where independent media access is often blocked as a matter of company policy, and where corporate obedience replaces critical thought, the citizens of Western societies have been reduced to a sprawling mass of semi-comatose fools, continuing to feed on media junk food, unaware of the health warnings concerning NATO war propaganda posted across the independent internet media.

On December 4, Syrian Minister of Health, Dr. Saad Al-Nayef visited Cuba to attend the International Conference on Global Health in Havana. Dr. Al-Nayef visited several hospitals, biotechnological and pharmaceutical manufacturing companies in Cuba and affirmed Syria’s wish to avail of Cuban expertise in medicine.

The Syrian health service, which is universal and free, has been under considerable strain for many years due to the extra medical care needed to treat the more than one million refugees the Syrian government received from Iraq after the US invasion in 2003. If there is a humanitarian agenda to be spoken about in Syria, it is the unfailing generosity and support Damascus has given refugees fleeing American-occupied Iraq and Israeli- occupied Palestine.

As in the example of North Korea above, Cuba and Syria have also much in common.

Like Cuba, the Baath regime in Syria pursued a policy of extensive land reform in the 1960s, redistributing land to peasants and undertaking ambitious agricultural projects with the aim of becoming self-sufficient in food production. As any visitor to Syria can attest, the country has a thriving agricultural sector, and the markets are overflowing with fresh fruit and vegetables. While farmers in US-occupied Iraq are now being forced to grow GMO crops, the noxious anti-food is banned in the Syrian Arab Republic.

One of the techniques used by corporate press to fool naive and politically illiterate youth is to make occasional “anti-imperialist” allusions, in order to present the empire’s mercenaries as analogous to genuine revolutionaries. And so, Mark Urban of the BBC compares the “revolutionary tactics” of the “rebels” to those of Mao and Che Guevara. From the very start, the Arab Spring was portrayed by the corporate press as a spontaneous uprising against globalization. Most leftists took the bait. Urban’s leftist baiting is worth reproducing in full here.

When Mao led his communist army on its “Long March” in China in 1934, it was a struggle for survival prompted by the encirclement of a “liberated area” that his critics said he had declared prematurely.

Che Guevara debated the Liberated Zone concept with Fidel Castro, and in their war against the Soviet army, the mujahedeen at times proclaimed parts of Afghanistan, such as the Panjsher Valley to be free too.

Here we see Mao and Che Guevara being compared to US-backed feudalist Mujahedeen against the socialist government in Afghanistan during the 1980s. This is all it takes to dupe the postmodern leftist: dress up a gang of ruthless fascists in a garb of commie memorabilia and you’ve got an effective left cover for naked imperialism.

Imperialism loves rebels. When the Spanish rebels led by Francisco Franco waged war against the democratic government of Spain in 1936, imperialism came to their aid in the form of a bombing campaign. The same scenario was repeated in Libya last year with the allies playing the role of the Axis powers, bombing the fascists to power.

Libya’s far-right Islamo-fascists also received extensive support from liberals and Trotskyites such as the Socialist Workers Party in Britain and the Nouveau Parti Anticapitaliste in France. During the Spanish Civil War, Franco also received indirect help from the Trotskyists in Spain when they refused to join the popular front behind the democratic government against the fascists.2 After the Russian Revolution in 1917, the slogan of neither/nor — Trotsky’s Brest Litovsk gaffe where he refused to make peace agreements with the Germans, almost losing the Revolution — is the general rallying cry of the Trotskyists. We don’t support NATO but we don’t support Assad either. We’re for the rebels but against NATO. This is the kind of stupidity that the Trotskyites have been engaging in now since the 1930s.

During the Spanish Civil War, for example, the Trotskyites encouraged attacks on Christian churches. Atrocities and crimes against humanity were committed against Catholic priests at a time when the Frente Popular was desperately trying to win support among progressive Catholics for the people’s democratic resistance to Franco. J.R Campbell writes:

The efforts of the Communist Party to explain that such activity had nothing in common with revolutionary tactics were spat upon. Yet, one of the most important problems facing the Spanish workers was to win religious-minded peasants for the Popular Front. Church burning hindered the vital task and helped the counter-revolution. So much so that in various parts of the country, before the Fascist rebellion, Fascist groups were caught red-handed burning churches.3

In the height of the Spanish Civil War when fascism was about to seize power, Trotsky urged his followers to attack the bourgeois Spanish government and the popular front. He wrote, “It is necessary to pass to an international offensive against Stalinism.”4 This was music to ears of Franco, Hitler and Mussolini. It is not surprising therefore that Goebbels wrote in his dairy that the Nazis were using Trotskyist propaganda to win workers to their side during Operation Barbarossa.5

This pseudo-leftist rhetoric that serves imperialism goes right back to their namesake Leon Trotsky, a man who was so desperate to seize power in the USSR that he collaborated with Nazi Germany and militarist Japan.6
The Islamo-fascists are now receiving the same support in Syria, while Trotskyites are up to their usual tricks masking their imperialism in pseudo-revolutionary phrases. The SWP, in spite of being proven wrong by an overwhelming barrage of data, continue to defend Nato’s death squads while masking their non-analysis in left-sounding phrases like “revolutionary committees.”

Meanwhile in France, the farcical Nouveau Parti Anticapitaliste, true to old Trotsky, gives full support to the Syrian rebels, masking their reaction in phrases such as “permanent revolution.” When will these people every learn?

Respect for socialist Cuba runs deep in Baathist Syria. Many shops throughout the country sell memorabilia and books of Che Guevara. A key technique of the Arab Spring destabilization has been to portray right wing reactionaries as akin to “communist revolutionaries.” Capitalism has always used the symbols of the left to perpetuate itself in times of severe economic crisis. This is why the German fascists in the 1920s chose to call themselves “national socialists.” It was an attempt by the ruling class to regenerate capitalism through the use and distortion of the symbols of socialism. That is also why the proletarian clenched fist has become the logo of CIA-funded colour revolutions today.

Like Syria, Cuba has been resisting US terrorism since the revolution in 1959. America’s desire to “free” the Cuban people has involved poisoning their crops using biological weapons, placing bombs in their hotels; blowing up civilian airliners; putting cement in children’s milk and imposing a crippling economic embargo on the country’s people.

Yet notwithstanding this unrelenting terrorist campaign, Cuba, like North Korea and Syria, continues to resist. Closer co-operation between Syria and Cuba in the health sector shows the determination of both countries to confront war with peace, hate with love, and disease with health.

In spite of the occupation by NATO/GCC death squads of several quarters of Aleppo where they are imposing a crude, Taliban-like caricature of Sharia Law on its traumatized citizens, the Syrian Army continues to fight for the independence and sovereignty of the Syrian people, whose unswerving support it enjoys. These soldiers, like their counterparts in Libya in 2011, are the real heroes, the real revolutionaries of the so-called “Arab Spring.”

All of progressive humanity supports the Syrian Arab Republic. The longer the Euro-Atlantic oligarchs and their Gulf puppets pursue their genocidal neocolonialism in the Levant, the more discontent with austerity, misery and lies will grow at home. If they do not cease this madness the Euro-Atlantic oligarchs may yet be hoist with their own petard when people realize just who the dictators of this world really are.
Mazars and Deutsche Bank could have ended this nightmare before it started.
They could still get him out of office.
But instead, they want mass death.
Don’t forget that.
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Re: 1900-2000: A century of genocides

Postby seemslikeadream » Fri Feb 21, 2014 2:39 pm

World Bank Called to Acknowledge Role in Mass Killing of One Million Indonesians
by East Timor & Indonesia Action Network (ETAN) / February 20th, 2014

The Oscar-nominated documentary The Act of Killing was projected on the World Bank headquarters in Washington, D.C. Thursday in an action by the East Timor and Indonesian Action Network. The group is calling on the World Bank to acknowledge its role in the 1965 military coup in Indonesia that lead to the massacre of an estimated one million civilians. The World Bank helped prop up the corrupt government of Suharto, the general who lead the coup and ordered the mass killings. The Bank sent the Suharto regime $30 billion in development aid over the course of three decades despite knowing $10 billion had been looted by the government.

The Act of Killing powerfully highlights the ongoing impunity within Indonesia for the 1965 mass murders. ETAN highlights the World Bank’s support for the Suharto regime, which knowingly backed his corrupt government while his post-coup body count climbed. We urge the World Bank to acknowledge its role in Suharto’s many crimes and to apologize and provide reparations to the survivors. Institutions like the World Bank must also be held accountable for their financial assistance to the murderers and decades of support as they continued to violate human rights.

“The World Bank gave $30 billion dollars to a dictator who killed an estimated one million of his own citizens,” said The Act of Killing filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer. “The murderers spent years profiting off of their heinous crimes with the World Bank and other global financial institutions footing the bill.”

The projection on the World Bank Thursday launched the I HONOR campaign to remember the victims of the mass killings. Supporters are tweeting photos of themselves with signs that read “I HONOR VICTIM #…” to humanize each of the estimated one million victims of the coup and pressure the World Bank, and other international entities, to publicly acknowledge their complicity in the murders.

The Act of Killing, currently Oscar-nominated for Best Documentary feature, has been recognized as one of the best films of 2014. The film has received over 60 awards including Best Documentary from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA). While the mass killings of 1965 are an open secret in Indonesia, the government has never acknowledged or apologized for sponsoring the murders. The Act of Killing, which has been shown in thousands of private screenings and is available free online throughout Indonesia, is empowering victims’ families to demand reparations from the government for the first time.

In The Act of Killing, directed by Joshua Oppenheimer and executive produced by Errol Morris and Werner Herzog, the filmmakers expose a corrupt regime that celebrates death squad leaders as heroes.

When the Indonesian government was overthrown in 1965, small-time gangster Anwar Congo and his friends went from selling movie tickets on the black market to leading death squads in the mass murder of over a million opponents of the new military dictatorship. Anwar boasts of killing hundreds with his own hands, but he’s enjoyed impunity ever since, and has been celebrated by the Indonesian government as a national hero. When approached to make a film about their role in the genocide, Anwar and his friends eagerly comply—but their idea of being in a movie is not to provide reflective testimony. Instead, they re-create their real-life killings as they dance their way through musical sequences, twist arms in film noir gangster scenes, and gallop across prairies as Western cowboys. Through this filmmaking process, the moral reality of the act of killing begins to haunt Anwar and his friends with varying degrees of acknowledgment, justification and denial.
Mazars and Deutsche Bank could have ended this nightmare before it started.
They could still get him out of office.
But instead, they want mass death.
Don’t forget that.
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Re: 1900-2000: A century of genocides

Postby seemslikeadream » Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:09 pm

The birth of Bangladesh
Blood meridian

A new history sheds fresh light on a shameful moment in American foreign policy
Sep 21st 2013 | From the print edition

The Blood Telegram: Nixon, Kissinger and a Forgotten Genocide. By Gary Bass. Knopf; 499 pages; $30. Buy from Amazon.com

UNTIL 1971 Pakistan was made up of two parts: west and east. Both Muslim-dominated territories were born out of India’s bloody partition 24 years earlier, though they existed awkwardly 1,600km apart, divided by hostile Indian territory. Relations between the two halves were always poor. The west dominated: it had the capital, Islamabad, and greater political, economic and military clout. Its more warlike Pashtuns and prosperous Punjabis, among others, looked down on Bengali easterners as passive and backward.

The split into Pakistan and Bangladesh was perhaps inevitable. It began in late 1970, after Pakistan’s first national elections. To the shock of West Pakistanis, an easterner, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, won a sweeping victory, and was poised to lead the country. His Awami League wanted greater rights for Bengalis. But the army chiefs and politicians in Islamabad would not countenance his taking office. They arrested him and the army began repressing eastern protesters.

Bengalis flocked to join the rebel forces who were fighting for independence. West Pakistani soldiers stationed in the east, plus a few local supporters, began targeting students, writers, politicians; especially the Hindu minority. Soldiers massacred civilians, burned villages and sent millions fleeing to India. Eventually some 10m became refugees, mostly Hindus. At least 300,000 people were killed; some say the death toll was over 1m.

Seen from America, where Richard Nixon was president, the war was a domestic Pakistani affair. India’s leader, Indira Gandhi, claimed otherwise. She called the floods of refugees a humanitarian disaster that threatened regional stability. She wanted international action, demanding that America tell Pakistan’s leaders to stop the killing. Nixon, urged by his national security adviser, Henry Kissinger, refused.

In “The Blood Telegram” Gary Bass, a Princeton academic (who once wrote for The Economist), sets out to assess America’s handling of the war. He argues that the killings amounted to a genocide: Hindus, as a distinct minority, were chosen for annihilation and expulsion. He asks why Nixon continued actively to support the Pakistani leaders who were behind it.

At the behest of Mr Kissinger, Nixon sent military planes and other materiel to Pakistan, even though he knew this broke American law. He deployed an American naval task force to the Bay of Bengal to intimidate India, which had begun helping rebels in East Pakistan. Most extreme, he secretly asked China to send troops to India’s borders. He did so accepting a risk of Soviet retaliation, even that nuclear bombs might be “lobbed” around in response.

Nixon and Mr Kissinger stood with Pakistan, even as they knew of the extent of the slaughter. Their own diplomats told them about it. The centrepiece of Mr Bass’s gripping and well-researched book is the story of how America’s most senior diplomat in East Pakistan, Archer Blood, the consul-general in Dhaka, sent regular, detailed and accurate reports of the bloodshed. Early on he stated that a “selective genocide” was under way.

Blood and his colleagues protested that America should not support Pakistan’s rulers. Then, 20 of them sent a dissenting telegram (the “Blood telegram” of the book’s title) condemning America’s policy. It was an extreme and idealistic step for a diplomat, whose career was soon cut short. Though the telegram did not change American policy, it rates as an historic document. Such open dissent is extremely rare.

Mr Bass does a good job of explaining Nixon’s wilful support of Pakistan. Using newly released recordings of White House conversations between the president and Mr Kissinger, he sets out with admirable clarity what else was at stake. In part it was personal. Nixon, a man of few friends, was notably fond of Pakistan’s military ruler, Yahya Khan, a gruff, dim-witted, whisky-drinking general. Nixon compared the Pakistani favourably to Abraham Lincoln. By contrast he despised India’s wheedling civilian politicians, reserving a particular dislike for Gandhi, whom in private he frequently called a “bitch” and “witch”.

More important, Pakistan was a loyal cold-war ally, whereas India was seen as leaning towards the Soviet Union. Crucially, Mr Kissinger early in 1971 was using Pakistan as an essential secret conduit to China. He flew via Islamabad to Beijing to arrange for Nixon to make his own trip to see Mao Zedong. Better relations with China would allow America to wind down the war in Vietnam.

Ultimately, Mr Kissinger did much to set America’s course. He argued that America should pay no heed to domestic horrors in Pakistan, saying “you can’t go to war over refugees”, and warned that India was a greater threat to international order. Indian “bastards”, he agreed with Nixon, needed a “mass famine” to cut them down to size.

Mr Bass depicts Mr Kissinger as increasingly erratic, perhaps overworked, as East Pakistan’s secession became inevitable. He is quoted calling the conflict “our Rhineland” (in reference to the start of the second world war) and warning that India would “rape Pakistan”.

Mr Kissinger adopts a magisterial tone in the one chapter he devoted to the India-Pakistan crisis in his 1979 work, “The White House Years”. He refused to speak to Mr Bass for this book, and glosses over the Blood telegram in his memoirs, never explaining why he ignored the entreaties of the diplomats on the ground. That is a pity, because America’s response to the war has reverberated over the years.

The 1971 war poisoned regional affairs for decades. It ended when India’s army intervened, having supported East Pakistan’s rebels for months, and crushed the Pakistani forces within days. Pakistan was humiliated, yet no Pakistani soldier has been held to account for the mass slaughter that provoked the war. Pakistanis by and large prefer not to discuss it. The war did convince them that India might next try to break up the remaining western rump of their country, perhaps by supporting Baluchi separatists on the border with Afghanistan. A sharp mutual suspicion still lingers between the neighbours, helping ensure that Pakistan’s army dominates—and damages—the country still.

Nor did the war do much for India. Eventually the refugees went home, but relations with Bangladesh soon soured. At home Gandhi became suddenly more popular. But she then descended into authoritarianism, even suspending democracy. Inside Bangladesh the war remains a live political issue as alleged collaborators in the conflict (all opposition leaders) are being tried by a flawed, local war-crimes tribunal. This week, one defendant was sentenced to death by the Supreme Court.

Could things have been different if America, having listened to Blood, had pressed Pakistan not to slaughter its own people in 1971? Mr Bass does not speculate directly. Yet if a peaceful secession of Bangladesh had been possible, many lives would have been saved and a source of deep division in a troubled region would have been removed.

Problems, And A Solution, From Hell: Nationalism, Genocide, And Intervention
Comment Now Follow Comments
Nationalism is the scourge of Western elites. The enduring love of blood, soil, and faith defies those who imagine that values are a viable alternative to national interests in foreign policy. The urge to act abroad in accordance with domestic ideals, however noble, is dangerously unrealistic.

Gary Bass, a professor of political science and international affairs at Princeton University, disagrees. He provides a disturbing portrait of realpolitik and its (in)famous American practitioners in The Blood Telegram: Nixon, Kissinger, And A Forgotten Genocide. In 1971, “The White House was actively and knowingly supporting a murderous regime at many of the most crucial moments [emphasis in the original].” West Pakistan (now Pakistan) decimated its Bengali population in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) with tacit approval from President Richard Nixon and his National Security Advisor, Henry Kissinger.

The book excels as a work of diplomatic history. It recounts a little known crisis and situates it in the Cold War context. As Bass notes, the death toll in East Pakistan ranks somewhere between the massacres in Bosnia and Rwanda. Yet, Nixon and Kissinger stuck by Pakistan for reasons of personal distaste for Indians as much as geopolitics. It is worth a brief look at the nature of the problem that erupted into violence in March 1971.

Pakistan was born in adversity. The partition of India in 1947 displaced populations and unleashed sectarian violence that killed hundreds of thousands. After the bloodshed lessened, other issues appeared. The British created the Muslim homeland demanded by Muhammad Jinnah (the Quaid-i-Azam or Great Leader) and the Muslim League by packing Muslims into a “cartographic oddity.” Pakistan was predominately Punjabi in the west, Bengali in the east, and had hostile India wedged in-between.

Little united the fledgling country except religion. West Pakistan housed the seat of government, but East Pakistan was more populous and spoke a different language (Bengali). In the name of national unity, the ruling elites, including Jinnah, demanded that all Pakistanis speak Urdu. Bengali resentment over the language issue eventually led to riots in the 1950s, which the military used as a justification to stage a coup in 1958.

The coup was a blow to Jinnah’s vision. He founded Pakistan first and foremost as an Islamic state. But in a February 1948 radio address, seven months before his death, he professed belief that Pakistan’s constitution “will be of a democratic type, embodying the essential principles of Islam…Islam and its idealism have taught us democracy…equality of man, justice and fair play to everybody.” This hope did not die with the coup as General Yahya Khan, who assumed power in 1969, scheduled an election for December 1970.

The election was remarkably free and fair, and the military government was thoroughly repudiated. Its poor response to a mid-November 1970 cyclone that struck East Pakistan and killed 500,00 people completed the Bengalis alienation from their government. “It was almost as if they [the government] just didn’t care,” remarked Archer Blood, the US Consul General in Dhaka (the capital of East Pakistan).

A “mainstream Bengali nationalist party” called the Awami League swept the eastern vote en route to a majority in the National Constituent Assembly. Its leader, Mujib-ur-Rahman, had campaigned on a platform of autonomy for the east, and he stood to become Prime Minister of Pakistan. Whether or not the Awami League’s victory meant secession at a future date is debatable. But the military junta feared Bengali separatism, refused to relinquish power, and began a crackdown on the night of March 25, 1971.

West Pakistan’s actions horrified the world. State Department officials sent cables that described a “reign of terror by the Pak military.” The army committed atrocities ranging from shelling Dhaka to executing professors and students in cold-blood. The crackdown would later devolve into the targeting of the Hindu minority in East Pakistan.

Ten million refugees eventually landed in India, an intolerable burden for any country let alone a poor one. The slaughter appalled India’s Bengali population, and Hindu nationalist politicians along with the press wasted no time in screaming for Pakistani blood. Even Prime Minister Indira Gandhi (the daughter of Jawaharlal Nehru) inquired about immediate military action that spring. Her senior commanders deemed the request unrealistic. It was better to let a Bengali insurgency (armed by India) bleed Pakistan until better weather in late autumn made prosecuting a war easier.

Meanwhile in Washington, Nixon stayed silent. Neither the carnage nor accusations of “moral bankruptcy” by Blood in his famous “dissent cable” moved him. Pakistan had long been a “fierce anti-communist ally,” and Nixon refused to intervene in its internal affairs. Moreover, Yahya was not just a personal friend but also the facilitator for the opening of China. He engineered Kissinger’s secret trip to China via Pakistan in July 1971. The trip paved the way for Nixon’s visit in February 1972, and the full exploitation of the Sino-Soviet split thereafter.

Kissinger later called the administration’s Pakistan policy “correct on the merits, above and beyond the China connection.” That statement sounds too detached considering the “crude stream of vitriol” captured on the White House tapes. Nixon ripped the liberal media and Democratic Congressmen (namely Senator Ted Kennedy) for weeping over a “bunch of goddamned brown moslems” in East Bengal. He had no less scorn for Indians, “bastards” in need of a “mass famine,” or their elected leaders. He not only hated the “abrasive, arrogant, and suffocatingly self-righteous” Nehru, but also gave Mrs. Gandhi the special epithet of “that bitch.”

Kissinger was equally cantankerous. When India maneuvered Pakistan into bombing airfields to precipitate armed conflict in December 1971, Kissinger decried the “rape” of Pakistan by Soviet armed India. He pushed Nixon to ask China to mass troops on India’s border and approved weapons transfers to Pakistan via Jordan and Iran despite a Congressional embargo.

The war ended as quickly as it began. India liberated Bangladesh after a two-week campaign to capture Dhaka. Mrs. Gandhi had a distinct interest in ripping apart India’s hated rival, although she claimed she was motivated by “purely humanitarian reason.” Bass partly concurs with that statement and hails India’s actions as a vindication of liberal foreign policy:

“For all the very real flaws of human rights politics, Nixon and Kissinger’s support of a military dictatorship engaged in mass murder is a reminder of what the world can easily look like without any concern for the pain of distant strangers.”

But for all its depth as a diplomatic history, The Blood Telegram too often reads like a prosecutor’s legal brief. Bass seems more interested in smearing Nixon and Kissinger with Bengali blood than providing thoughtful analysis on Pakistan’s disintegration. As he writes, “this overlooked episode deserves to be a defining part of their historical reputations [emphasis added].”

There is nothing novel about recounting the dark deeds of the Nixon Administration. Watergate, the bombing of Cambodia, and the coup against Salvador Allende in Chile have all been dissected innumerable times. Bass has merely unearthed another set of misdeeds. Demonizing Nixon and Kissinger does not bolster his thesis that the U.S. held “great influence” over Pakistan, and could have prevented the tragedy in East Bengal.

The claim is dubious for theoretical and practical reasons. Every international relations student learns in his introductory course that no state would willingly allow anyone to compromise its territorial integrity. This self-preservation instinct is why states have armed forces. Indeed, the goal of existence always remains.

The refusal of any state to voluntarily accept its dismemberment is fully manifest during a civil war. Such a societal breakdown is a catastrophe not just because of the violence. Civil war calls the state’s existence and institutions into question. In many ways, the horrors of 1971 were a coda to, and the result of, the partition of India.

East Bengal’s secession nullified Jinnah’s claim that Pakistan was the homeland for one of the subcontinent’s “two distinct nations.” He spent years before partition emphasizing this point to an incredulous Mahatma Gandhi and Congress. Democratic or not, Jinnah claimed that a united India entailed the Muslim minority’s permanent subjection to the Hindu majority.

He put the matter more plainly in 1948:

“Islam has taught us this and I think you will agree with me, for whatever you may be and wherever you are, you are a Muslim. You belong to a nation now. You have carved out a territory, a vast territory, it is all yours; it does not belong to a Punjabi or a Sindhi or a Pathan or a Bengali, it is yours.”

The tragedy of 1971 made a mockery of Jinnah’s belief that a common Islamic identity, also compatible with democracy, could prevent rights violations. In a tragic twist, the minority West Pakistanis repressed their nation’s Bengali majority. The specter of sectarian violence that a Muslim homeland was supposed to banish returned as ethnic conflict. It tore apart the nation carved out of India on nationalist grounds. As one senior Indian diplomat put it, the birth of Bangladesh (“Bengali nation”) was “a death knell to the so-called two nations theory.”

The time to reverse course in Pakistan had passed by March 25, 1971. The death of Jinnah in September 1948, end of civilian rule in 1958, two lost wars (1948 and 1965), and two bouts of martial law had taken their toll on Pakistan and its institutions. The generals’ committed a terrible blunder by not granting the autonomy that would have possibly kept the country united. But, it does not follow that the U.S. could have compelled the military junta to accept their repudiation in the December 1970 election.

Liberal interventionists want to believe that military force can save the persecuted. This is honorable, but myopic. It focuses on the pain of others while ignoring possible blowback or exacerbation of the initial problem. In some cases, intervention unleashes more destructive forces than those already at work (see the increased sectarian violence in Iraq).

It is sad that civil wars and genocides still occur. But one must think long and hard about how intervention will play out. Indeed, one major problem with intervention is the assumption that the problem to be remedied by military means is well understood. That is often not the case.

Syria is embroiled in a civil war not because the autocratic Bashar al-Assad has repressed prospective democrats. The civil war is a result of Syria’s failed government structures: the minority Alawite sect of Shia Islam rules a Sunni majority nation. Moreover, Syria has become a battleground where foreign combatants have lined up along religious lines; Sunni Syrians, Saudi Arabia, and Al Qaeda against Hezbollah, Iran, and Assad. How exactly does intervention help bring this situation to a satisfactory conclusion?

Eleven years after the promise of a “cakewalk” in Iraq, the American public has tired of intervention. It costs too much and brings about needless grief. Professor Bass certainly has honorable intentions when he asks readers to consider a world with no concern for the plight of others. But as the old saying goes, the road to Hell is paved with good intentions.
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Re: 1900-2000: A century of genocides

Postby seemslikeadream » Mon Mar 03, 2014 7:52 pm

3 March 2014

Croatia accuses Serbia of 1990s genocide
Memorial cemetery in Vukovar, Croatia
Hundreds of civilians were slaughtered in Vukovar in a massacre by Serb paramilitaries

Croatia has told the top UN court that Serbian leaders are "in denial" over a policy of genocide it says was carried out on its territory in the 1990s.

Zagreb wants the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague to rule that Serbia committed genocide in the city of Vukovar and elsewhere in 1991.

Vukovar was devastated in the 1991-95 war when it was occupied by Serbs.

Serbia has filed a counter claim over the expulsion of 230,000 Serbs from Croatia in 1995.

An estimated 20,000 people died during Croatia's four-year war of independence, during the breakup of Yugoslavia. Several hundred Vukovar citizens were murdered by the Yugoslav army and Serb paramilitaries in 1991.

Some 2,000 people were murdered four years later, during and after the Croatian counter-offensive, entitled Operation Storm.

Serbia's countersuit will be heard by the ICJ next week.

Relations between the two neighbours have improved in recent years, but in 2012 Serbia was furious when the commander of Operation Storm, Ante Gotovina, was cleared on appeal by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).

Hate speech
"Many political leaders in Serbia have maintained an attitude of denial," the head of Croatia's legal team Vesna Crnic-Grotic told the court on Monday. She cited remarks made by President Tomislav Nikolic in 2012 in which he disputed that genocide had been committed in the Srebrenica massacre of 1995.

The Croatian legal team told the court that the first phase of genocide emerged out of hate speech and demonisation directed at Croats.

By the time Croatian forces were attacked, the court heard that the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) had become a Serbian national army in reality and that Serbian paramilitaries were under its control.

The head of Serbia's legal team said on Sunday that horrific crimes did take place but did not have "the characteristics of genocide".

The Croatian team will spend this week presenting its arguments before the Serbian counter-claim next week.

Then both sides will be able to cross-examine witnesses.

A binding ruling is expected either late this year or in early 2015.

The ICJ's judges will decide whether either country or both are guilty of genocide, incitement to commit genocide or complicity in genocide in Croatia between 1991 and 1995.
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Re: 1900-2000: A century of genocides

Postby seemslikeadream » Mon Mar 03, 2014 8:03 pm

Ararat-Eskijian Genocide Conference to Unveil Historic Relics

A dress once owned by an orphan who survived the Adana Massacres of 1909 and was taken in by an orphanage in Hadjin
MISSION HILLS, Calif.—Relics from the Armenian genocide will be unveiled during a conference focusing on the heroes and survivors of the genocide at the Ararat-Eskijian museum in Mission Hills on March 22.
Filmmaker Bared Maronian along with British journalist Robert Fisk, Professor Vahakn Dadrian, Dr. Hayk Demoyan, Ayse Gunaysu, Missak Keleshian, Shant Mardirossian, Dr. Rubina Peroomian and Professor Vahram Shemmassian will take part in the daylong conference honoring those who aided in the rescue of survivors of the genocide from 1915 through 1930.
While researching the stories of orphans of the Armenian genocide for his documentary, Orphans of the Genocide, Maronian discovered information regarding a dress once owned by an orphan in Hadjin (now known as Saimbeyli), an Armenian town located roughly 125 miles north of Mersin in Turkey. After some time, he located the dress at the Bethel College Library in Mishawaka, Indiana.
“The dress belonged to an orphan, who survived the Adana Massacre of 1909 and walked from Adana to Hadjin, roughly 75 miles,” Maronian said. “She found refuge at the United Orphanage and Mission in Hadjin run by a North American Mennonite congregation.”
The UOM in Hadjin was subject to continuous threats and pressure by Ottoman authorities to cease operations. When World War I broke out, the missionaries were all called home.
According to Maronian, in 1914 Sister Dorinda Bowman packed the orphan dress along with an unfinished rug the orphan girls had been weaving.
“The dress, most likely worn by a 7-year-old orphan girl or a boy, is a significant tangible remnant of the Armenian Genocide,” Maronian said. “A close look at the dress makes you wonder what the children of the genocide went through and how only a handful resiliently survived, while most were butchered or faced death or starvation or disease.”
Roughly 1.5 million Armenians were killed during WWI during the Ottoman Empire’s reign over their homeland in what is modern day Turkey. The Adana massacre occurred in the Ottoman Empire province of Adana in 1909, which resulted in the deaths of as many as 30,000 Armenians in the course of a month.
The dress and rug are currently on loan by the Bethel College Library to the Ararat-Eskijian Museum for two years.
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Re: 1900-2000: A century of genocides

Postby seemslikeadream » Mon Mar 03, 2014 8:07 pm

A Canadian Genocide?

Edward S. Curtis/Library and Archives Canada/PA-039476
A new museum in Winnipeg has become a flashpoint for how we interpret this country’s treatment of First Nations

By Larry Krotz
There is something inherently perverse about the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, the as-yet-unfinished landmark rising from the plain between a parking lot and a baseball stadium at Winnipeg’s Forks. When you get right down to it, this $351-million dream of the late media mogul Izzy Asper is being built to document evil.

Of course, it will also document survival against horrible odds and endurance in the face of atrocities that human beings inflict on one another. If you and your people have come through the worst of horrors, then that in itself is cause for celebration. But getting to be included in the museum’s litany of narratives has become a kind of race to the bottom: “The things that happened to my people are just as bad — if not worse — than those that happened to yours.” Or, as various groups already included in the museum have complained to its developers since almost day one, “The story you are proposing to tell about my people is not nearly so bad as it should be.”

The museum, which opens in September and is one of only two national museums located outside Ottawa-Hull, has been taking shape for more than a decade. In that time, disputes have almost constantly overshadowed what its promoters would prefer to highlight: a glass atrium “cloud” symbolizing the wings of a dove; spiral staircases leading up to a light-filled 100-metre-tall Tower of Hope; and a “mountain” made of 450-million-year-old Tyndall limestone from Manitoba. Possibly, museum of something as touchy as human rights should expect controversy. It is a museum of grievances, and it is very hard to make the aggrieved happy.

The Ukrainian community, for example, lamented that exhibits on the Holodomor (the 1932-33 starvation engineered by Soviet Union leader Joseph Stalin) were going to be too close to the washrooms; Palestinians objected to being left out entirely; even Jews — whom Asper envisioned as central to the museum — were reportedly upset that the founding of the state of Israel was not going to be commemorated.

But the nascent museum’s most heated controversy is the growing insistence that exhibits depicting the story of First Nations peoples carry the word “genocide” in their titles. So far, the museum has resisted doing that.

The Canadian government currently recognizes five genocides: the Holocaust, the Holodomor, the Armenian genocide in 1915, the Rwandan atrocities in 1994 and the Bosnian ethnic cleansing from 1992 to 1995. First Nations activists aim to add one more to the list. For them, the museum is a testing ground. The Southern Chiefs Organization claims that when the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs donated $1 million (profits from a casino) to the museum in 2009, it did so “with the understanding that a true history of the treatment of First Nations people would be on exhibit.” When that didn’t happen, Murray Clearsky, then grand chief of the Southern Chiefs Organization, wrote scathingly to museum CEO Stuart Murray last summer, “It is now abundantly clear that Canada is choosing to sanitize the true truth and continue with their agenda of minimizing the many attempts of genocide perpetrated against the many peoples of this land.”

The project to define much of what happened to First Nations peoples after European contact as a genocide is, of course, much bigger than the museum. Last July, a potent shot was fired through an op-ed column in the Toronto Star. “It is time for Canadians to face the sad truth. Canada engaged in a deliberate policy of attempted genocide against First Nations people,” wrote Phil Fontaine, former national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, along with two active leaders of the Jewish community, Bernie Farber and Dr. Michael Dan. Their case was based on the residential school system and the government’s unwillingness to prevent mass deaths from tuberculosis, as well as some recently come-to-light documentation on nutrition experiments in which residential school children were all but starved. These, wrote Dan, remind him of “Nazi medicine.” The authors consider it self-evident that Canada’s treatment of First Nations peoples should be deemed “genocide,” as defined by the United Nations in 1948. Dan says that as a physician, he takes a clinical approach: “The UN definition is there, so you look; something either fits the criteria or doesn’t. Many things that happened to Native people fit the criteria.”

While this position is shared by growing numbers in academia and media, it carries profound implications. Such a reassessment of Canada’s history is troubling to many, not least because it equates perpetrators such as the Nazis, Stalin and Ottoman Turks with our own Canadian government and its colonial predecessors — ourselves and our ancestors. Even our churches, by running the residential schools, committed evil while believing they were doing good.

In our world, genocide is absolutely the worst thing you can say about an action undertaken by individuals or groups. So atrocious, in fact, that many historic events that carry the characteristics of genocide struggle to — or fail to — get named as such. Behind all this is a substantial problem with the word itself. The horrific things that have happened to peoples throughout history went without a name until Raphael Lemkin, a Polish-born lawyer who lost his whole family to the Holocaust, combined the Greek word genos, meaning “race or tribe,” and the Latin –cide, meaning “killing.” He coined the term “genocide” and declared that it occurs when your group is targeted, not because of what you have done, but because of who you are.

Though we normally think of genocide as exterminating a people en masse within a short timeframe (and those recognized by the Canadian government all fit this description), the UN definition is quite a bit broader. Killing groups incrementally or destroying their identity by deliberately demolishing their culture also qualifies as genocide (see sidebar). But ironically, formalizing genocide as a crime seemed to augment rather than solve problems. In 1948, after much lobbying and debate, the newly formed United Nations passed a resolution declaring genocide as something to be both prevented and punished. Many countries, however, resisted the treaty, including the United States, whose Senate took nearly four decades to ratify it. This was possibly because those who failed to prevent genocide were also at risk of punishment.

Another problem: which events would be allowed to claim the name? What happened to the Armenians at the hands of the Turks in 1915 was retroactively termed a genocide — though still much protested by Turkey. Meanwhile, whether the violent slaughter in Rwanda in 1994 was actually genocide or simply a horrible chaos continues to be disputed in some circles. One issue is that the term itself has been placed on such an elevated tier of evil that its use is both jealously guarded and jealously coveted — franchised out, if you will, to specific victims.

In her 2002 Pulitzer Prize-winning book A Problem From Hell: America and the Age of Genocide, Harvard scholar Samantha Power (now U.S. ambassador to the UN) describes how for almost the entire 100 days it took the Rwandan catastrophe to play itself out, the UN Security Council and the various arms of the U.S. government were locked in a semantic debate about whether to use “the G-word.”

“Genocide” is a legal as well as a descriptive term. It is duelled over between activists on one side and scholars on the other. To academics, who strive to be rigorous about history, perpetrators’ levels of intent are important, as is the notion that no one genocide looks exactly the same as the next. William Schabas, a Canadian-born international law scholar at Middlesex University in the United Kingdom, told a CBC radio interviewer that the term carries “a special stigma that distorts the debate.”

This is a view shared by the first academic I approached for an interview, a historian who hastened to tell me the topic has become so politicized he didn’t wish to go on record. Like Schabas, he does not deny that awful things happened to Native peoples in Canada. But he argues that using the term “genocide” makes it difficult to look at the awful things with precision: conventional wisdom and political correctness take over. The resulting chill prevents historians from examining the implications of these events.

Applying the term “genocide” to what happened in North America goes back four decades to the 1973 book The Genocide Machine in Canada: The Pacification of the North, by Robert Davis and Mark Zannis. Other books came later: American Holocaust: Columbus and the Conquest of the New World (1993), by David E. Stannard; and Accounting for Genocide: Canada’s Bureaucratic Assault on Aboriginal People (2003), by Dean Neu and Richard Therrien.

Andrew Woolford, a professor of criminology at the University of Manitoba specializing in genocide studies, predicts the term’s use will continue to grow, particularly among Canadian academics. In 2004, he was the only Canadian scholar presenting at an international genocide conference; nine years later, there were seven papers on Canada. “There is a generational shift, where younger academics want to look at Canada through the critical genocide-studies lens,” he says. Still, he worries that people will fear being labelled denialists should they disagree with even a part of the thesis presented. “The role of scholarship should be to complicate rather than simplify things.”

On the positive side, Woolford argues that should the idea of a First Nations genocide become generally accepted, the results would be beneficial. “For the survivors, recognition is important. From a more general perspective, my angle is that thinking about ourselves as a nation born out of genocide gives us a point to reinvent ourselves, to think about how we can decolonize Canada and be different as a nation.”

In an interview, Dan, one of the Star editorial’s authors, suggests that using the term should be about healing. As a Jew, he says, he has spent a lot of time thinking about genocide. “In Canada, we have trouble processing the idea we are capable of it. It doesn’t go with our being peacekeepers, a nice country that is apologizing all the time. But in order to heal, we have to acknowledge that we did this.” Fontaine sees acceptance of genocide as closing a gaping circle. “Some people say it’s going to be just another money grab,” he allows. “Not so. It was never intended as something that would extract more money from the government. But there has to be a series of conversations with Canadians so together we can write the missing chapter in Canadian history, one that would have to include this notion of genocide.”

Something else about genocide is the thorny question of responsibility and guilt. As Hannah Arendt famously wrote of the Holocaust — an analysis quite possibly appropriate for the Aboriginal situation in Canada — yes, racist policy, though sometimes couched in the language of good intentions, bears a basic responsibility. But the majority of destructive actions are carried out by people (in Canada’s case, a lot of church people) simply doing their jobs, blind (sometimes wilfully) to the implications of their actions. This, as Arendt put it, is the banality of evil.

Former United Church moderator Very Rev. Stanley McKay says that the idea of a Native people’s genocide is difficult for our society. “We are completely caught up in the Canadian concept that somehow we were doing good; the church in particular had the interests of the First Nations in our minds and hearts when we did these things.” The first Aboriginal moderator of the United Church, now retired north of Winnipeg, McKay says that though it will encounter strong resistance, the project to identify some actions as genocide is important.

“Years ago, those of us who lived on reserves and went to residential schools experienced racism without having any idea what to do,” he says. “We had no idea we had rights to have things different.” When asked if the church has a role in the emerging discussion, he answers quickly, “Yes, a fundamental role. The credibility of the Christian community is on the line as this information becomes more widely available and people can no longer claim ignorance. The future of the church rests on its capacity to engage and develop right relations.”

Rev. James Scott, General Council’s officer for residential schools for the past 12 years, has observed the term “genocide” gain traction over time, with “more Aboriginal people now using the word.” Last fall, his staff flagged the importance of having a discussion about the use of the term within the church. “We need to move as a settler society to grapple with the breadth and depth of what harm we did,” he says. Still, he advises caution. “‘Genocide’ is a very incendiary word that sometimes might be a barrier [to] having people talk about important things that really happened. If you scare people away, they won’t want to hear the truth.”

Rev. Maggie McLeod, the United Church’s executive minister for the Aboriginal Ministries Circle, recalls the leaders of her home community using the terminology “cultural genocide” to describe “the historical reality of the destruction of culture and language.” But she says that such language, when used in other circles, “to my surprise and disappointment was considered to be carrying the impact a little too far.”

Says Scott, “There may be gradations of how blunt we can be, but those gradations need to move forward. We need to learn and help others understand the profound brokenness we created.”

Everybody struggles in this manner. In Winnipeg, museum staffers wrestle with what they see as their proper responsibility. “If the museum were to use the word ‘genocide,’ it would make a declaration it has no right to make,” museum spokesperson Maureen Fitzhenry told the Winnipeg Free Press. “We are not a court that adjudicates,” Clint Curle, head of stakeholder relations, tells me, “but a place to hold the conversation. We believe this is our proper and also welcome role. Education may be more effective than adjudication in helping Canadians grapple with the human rights issues in our past. That is also more in keeping with the museum’s capacity.”

What should Canadians feel? Should we be appalled by efforts to lump us in with history’s vilest regimes, or should we welcome a blunter interpretation of our national story? Is it important and necessary that we experience a greater shame than we already carry with regard to the history of Canada’s relations with First Nations peoples?

Andrew Woolford quotes German philosopher Jürgen Habermas, who acknowledged about his country, “We are participants in a form of life that made genocide possible and this is why we need to critically interrogate the past and our present.” Applying this to our own time and place, Woolford adds, “I think we need to interrogate the Canadian past and the Canadian present and work toward social change.”

Larry Krotz is an author and journalist in Toronto.
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Re: 1900-2000: A century of genocides

Postby seemslikeadream » Mon May 05, 2014 9:57 am

Friday, May 2nd, 2014 | Posted by Contributor SharePrint Print
GenEd Republishes Landmark Book of Armenian Genocide News Reports

'The Armenian Genocide: News Accounts from the American Press: 1915-1922'
SAN FRANCISCO—The Genocide Education Project has republished the seminal book, “The Armenian Genocide: News Accounts from the American Press: 1915-1922.” Originally edited and published in 1980 by Richard Kloian, the founder of the Armenian Genocide Resource Center who passed away in 2010, the 400 page book is a compilation of New York Times articles, magazine stories, eyewitness accounts, and official documents about the Armenian Genocide, as they were first published in the American press of the day. The Genocide Education Project (GenEd) was given the rights to the book by Mrs. Toni Kloian, in order for the book to remain in publication and continue to provide scholars, educators, and policy makers access to this valuable resource.
“‘The Armenian Genocide: News Accounts from the American Press’ is an essential work of scholarship,” writes author and Colgate University professor, Peter Balakian. “Kloian meticulously presents the vast and rich coverage of the Armenian Genocide in the major American press, especially the New York Times, and in doing so provides us with an important way of understanding the scope and magnitude of the Armenian Genocide in its historical moment — a moment that still has large ramifications nearly a century later.”
“The Armenian Genocide: News Accounts from the American Press” is a compelling chronicle of the Armenian Genocide, the systematic deportations and massacres of the Armenians of the Ottoman Empire, perpetrated by the Turkish government between 1915 and 1922. Reports in U.S. newspapers of the 1890-1909 massacres and the 1915 genocide galvanized the entire nation, spawning the first international human rights movement in the United States, including protests and unprecedented national relief efforts.

Editor and publisher of the book, Richard Kloian
Included in the book are:
• 200 articles from The New York Times, 1890-1915
• 68 articles from fourteen American journals
• American Ambassador Morgenthau’s personal account of the genocide
• Lord Bryce’s report on Turkish atrocities in Armenia
• Accounts by German, Turkish, Italian & Danish eyewitnesses
• Scores of eyewitness survivor accounts
• Telegrams by the Turkish Interior Minister, Talaat Pasha, admitting genocide
• Transcript of the Ottoman Military Court trial indictment and death sentences for the former leaders for war crimes
• Photographs of the deportations and massacres
Alan Whitehorn, emeritus professor of political science at the Royal Military College of Canada, recently wrote in the Armenian Weekly, “The most innovative and path-breaking work on newspaper coverage of the genocide was conducted by Richard Kloian in his 1980 monumental book, ‘The Armenian Genocide: News Accounts From the American Press (1915-1922).’ Working for many years to gather diverse material and employing far less advanced technology, Kloian surveyed the American press for the key seven-year period…The volume he delivered at nearly 400 pages was epic and pioneering… It is an essential reference work for anyone doing sustained research on the Armenian Genocide.”
The American Book Review stated it is “a must for all libraries that have sections devoted to the Middle East, Armenia, and the phenomenon of genocide.”
“The Armenian Genocide: News Accounts from the American Press: 1915-1922” is available for $25 plus shipping from The Genocide Education Project.
The Genocide Education Project is a nonpartisan, nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) educational organization that assists educators in teaching about human rights and genocide, particularly the Armenian Genocide, by developing and distributing instructional materials, providing access to teaching resources and organizing educational workshops. For more information about The Genocide Education Project, go to http://www.GenocideEducation.org.
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Re: 1900-2000: A century of genocides

Postby seemslikeadream » Tue May 20, 2014 11:00 am

South Sudan crisis: famine and genocide threaten to engulf nation
Aid agencies say South Sudan at 'tipping point' as ethnic violence puts millions of people at risk of starvation and disease

Robin Lustig in Melut
The Observer, Saturday 17 May 2014 14.43 EDT

A South Sudanese boy suffering from severe malnutrition is weighed at a clinic run by Medecins Sans Frontieres Photograph: Charles Lomodong/AFP/Getty Images
It is happening again. Twenty years after the genocide in Rwanda, 30 years after the famine in Ethiopia, Africa's twin scourges are back. This time it is a single country facing a double disaster. South Sudan, the world's newest nation, not yet three years old, is on the brink of catastrophe.

Here in Melut, on the banks of the Nile, close to the oilfields and the border with Sudan, the signs of impending disaster are impossible to miss. This week the world's richest nations will have one last chance to make good their promises of help.

Nearly 20,000 people have fled to the refugee camps in Melut since fighting between rival government factions broke out last December. In total, more than a million people have fled from their homes and, with the rainy season starting, more than a third of the population – 3.7 million people – are already facing emergency and crisis levels of hunger.

"There is no food here," a man tells me as we sit in the dust beneath an acacia tree in one of Melut's makeshift camps. "No food. We eat leaves from the trees and the women go out to collect firewood. But when the rain comes, it will be still worse. We will starve – and then we will die."

Relief agencies are fighting a desperate battle to alert the outside world to the scale of the impending disaster. Last week Oxfam warned that the crisis has reached a "now or never moment" to avoid catastrophic levels of hunger and suffering. Chief executive Mark Goldring said: "The crisis is at a tipping point. We either act now or millions will pay the price. We need a massive and rapid global surge in aid … We cannot afford to wait, and we cannot afford to fail."

In Melut the rains have just started. Two of the town's camps are on the banks of the Nile and few of the flimsy straw huts have plastic sheeting for their roofs. Soon the dust will turn to mud. Disease will spread. The old and the young, already weak from hunger, will start to die. "Please tell the world," says one of the camp's leaders. "We need food, shelter and mosquito nets. We cannot survive like this."

Last week, in an ominous development, the South Sudanese government officially declared a cholera outbreak in the capital, Juba. In a statement last Thursday, it said that 18 suspected cases and one death have already been reported in the city. The fear is that soon the outbreak will spread among the 1.3 million people who have been displaced by the past five months of violence.

The world cannot say it didn't know about this crisis. Last month the US's top aid official, Rajiv Shah, warned: "South Sudan is on the brink of famine." The EU said the world was witnessing a humanitarian disaster of appalling proportions, and the UN's humanitarian aid coordinator, Toby Lanzer, said that without immediate action the South Sudan crisis will be more serious than anything seen in Africa since the Ethiopian famine of 30 years ago.

On Tuesday the world's major donors will meet in Oslo to decide on a response to the crisis. The UN says current pledges amount to less than half of what is needed: it wants another $1.26bn (£750m) to pay for urgent assistance until the end of this year. Without it, four million people will be left at risk of avoidable diseases, hunger or death. Up to 50,000 children could die from malnutrition. Cholera could spread and tens of thousands of people could die from other diseases such as measles, pneumonia and malaria. If no seeds are planted during the rainy season, famine will follow within months.

I met Tyler Evans, a doctor from New York who is working with the relief agency Médecins Sans Frontières, in his makeshift clinic beneath a piece of plastic sheeting held up on wooden poles. We were in the UN compound in Melut, where nearly 1,000 people have sought refuge behind razor wire after being chased from their homes by armed gangs.

The biggest health issue Evans faces on his visits twice a week to the over-crowded and squalid camp is lack of hygiene.

"What's the use of me telling a woman she must wash her hands before she feeds her children if she has no soap and no access to clean water?" he asks. "We're already seeing malnourishment among children – up to 10% not far from here – and when the rains come, so will malaria."

The people in this camp are terrified and traumatised. They shelter beneath the protective guns of UN guards, knowing full well that last month in Bor, the capital of Jonglei state to the south of here, 200 armed men in civilian clothing stormed a UN base where more than 5,000 civilians had taken refuge. More than 50 people were reported to have been killed.

They, like the people in the UN compound in Melut, were Nuer, members of South Sudan's second-largest ethnic group to which the former vice-president, now turned rebel leader, Riek Machar, belongs. What began as a personal and political struggle between him and President Salva Kiir, who is a Dinka, the country's biggest ethnic group, has now turned into communal bloodletting of Rwanda-like brutality.

International diplomats do not use the word genocide lightly – but two weeks ago the US secretary of state, John Kerry, said that if South Sudan's violence continued along ethnic lines it "could really present a very serious challenge to the international community with respect to the question of genocide".

What that implies is that this is not the kind of conflict that can be stopped in its tracks by a ceasefire agreement – and early signs are that the agreement in Addis Ababa last weekend is shaky at best.

Unlike in Rwanda, the ethnic massacring is mutual in South Sudan. In one of the worst single incidents, at least 400 Dinka were slaughtered last month by Nuer attackers in Bentiu. Some were killed as they sought shelter in mosques and churches – and, in another terrible echo of Rwanda, local FM radio stations were used to incite local people to join the carnage. Nuer kill Dinka; Dinka kill Nuer.

"People came from a neighbouring village and told us you cannot live around here any more," says a Nuer man in the Melut UN compound. "They said that if we stayed we would be killed. A lot of people in my village were killed. God knows what will be the future for my children. Here, we are starving."

None of the men in the camp dares venture beyond the barbed wire fence. So it is the women who go out foraging for firewood. They know the risks. "Every day we walk for five hours looking for wood," says one woman. "It is very dangerous for us. Yesterday one woman did not return. Another one returned and cried for the whole day. Terrible things happen."

She refuses to say more. My translator explains that many women are raped when they leave the compound.

A UN human rights report published 10 days ago makes grim reading: "All parties to the conflict have committed acts of rape and other forms of sexual violence against women of different ethnic groups … There are reasonable grounds to believe that violations of international human rights and humanitarian law have been committed by both parties."

After the Ethiopian famine of the 1980s, leaders of the world's richest nations said it must never happen again. They said the same after the Rwandan genocide of 1994. But in South Sudan, it is happening. Again.
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Re: 1900-2000: A century of genocides

Postby seemslikeadream » Thu Jul 03, 2014 4:28 pm

Itching for a Genocide
July 3, 2014

Exclusive: A meeting of French, German, Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministers sought a new ceasefire in Ukraine, but the U.S. State Department and the mainstream U.S. media seem eager for more bloodshed, an unseemly rush into a war that could become genocide, writes Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

Western Ukraine’s “anti-terrorist operation” against rebels in Eastern Ukraine has the makings of what could degenerate from scattered atrocities to ethnic cleansing to genocide. It already is a nasty war to suppress an ethnic minority through the use of military force, complete with references to the targeted population as insects and animals.

Traditionally, the U.S. government protests such violence and even intervenes militarily to stop it, such as the cases of Kosovo in the 1990s and Libya in 2011. In the Kosovo case, the U.S. government supported the arrest and trial of Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic on war crimes charges and later backed Kosovo’s outright secession from Serbia. In the Libyan case, a U.S.-directed bombing campaign helped overthrow Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi who was then captured and murdered.

But the Obama administration, especially the U.S. State Department, is gung-ho in favor of Western Ukraine’s military assault on Eastern Ukraine where many ethnic Russians objected to the overthrow of elected President Viktor Yanukovych in a violent Feb. 22 coup. Yanukovych came from the East, which was also his political base.

Despite the disturbing circumstances surrounding the coup, including the role of neo-Nazi militias in forcing Yanukovych and his officials to flee for their lives, the U.S. State Department immediately embraced the new authorities as “legitimate.” The mainstream U.S. news media also clambered onboard the pro-coup bandwagon.

Over the ensuing months, both the State Department and the U.S. press corps have consistently presented a one-sided narrative that portrayed the coup makers as white-hatted “pro-democracy” protesters and denounced anyone opposed to the coup as black-hatted supporters of “Russian aggression.”

The key role of neo-Nazi “brown shirts” was whited out of the official U.S. picture despite the fact that the interim regime gave these far-right ultranationalists – admirers of Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera – at least four ministries, including national security, in recognition of their crucial contribution in overthrowing Yanukovych.

However, the propaganda role of the State Department and the mainstream U.S. press is now taking on a darker coloration as the Kiev regime vows to crush the ethnic Russian resistance in Eastern Ukraine, raising the prospect of widespread civilian deaths, ethnic cleansing and even the possibility of genocide.

Prosecuting Propagandists

Historically, propaganda has gone hand-in-hand with such barbarities. First comes the dehumanization, then the immediate rationalizations and finally the slaughter. The close ties between propaganda and atrocities have led modern international law to treat demonization of a targeted group as a contributing element in crimes against humanity.

Nazi propagandists stood in the dock at Nuremberg because they paved the way for Hitler’s Holocaust, and Rwandan radio commentators were held to account for enflaming passions against the Tutsis in the 1990s.

But American propagandists, including media personalities, have traditionally escaped any accountability for contributing to serious war crimes, whether the Vietnam War in the 1960s or the Iraq War in the 2000s.

Indeed, many U.S. opinion leaders may see themselves as having immunity from any accountability for their words and actions. One of the most remarkable aspects of the years after President George W. Bush launched an illegal invasion of Iraq, which led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people, is that almost no one in Official Washington who pushed for that criminal act suffered any consequences at all.

Many of the Iraq War’s proponents are still sought-after opinion leaders – whether politicians like Sen. John McCain or pundits like the New York Times’ Thomas Friedman – called upon, endlessly, to explicate today’s foreign policy crises for the American people.

At the Washington Post, editorial page editor Fred Hiatt and his deputy Jackson Diehl were important cheerleaders for the Iraq War with their editorials stating as flat-fact that Iraq’s Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction. The fact that Iraq didn’t have WMD had no noticeable impact on their careers. Today, they are in the same positions collecting their Post salaries and advocating for more U.S. overseas interventions.

On Wednesday, the Post, which has become the neocons’ media flagship, was virtually rubbing its hands with glee at the prospect of Western Ukraine’s military offensive to crush the ethnic Russians in Eastern Ukraine. In the print edition, the lead editorial had the light-hearted title: “Time’s up.”

The Post, of course, blamed everything on Russian President Vladimir Putin, declaring: “As heavy fighting resumed Tuesday in eastern Ukraine, it was obvious that Russian President Vladi­mir Putin had disregarded the demands from the United States and European Union that Russia stop intervening.

“Rebels backed by Moscow did not hand back border posts; military supplies have not stopped flowing across the border; Mr. Putin did not compel the insurgents to observe a cease-fire, leaving the Ukrainian government with no choice but to resume military operations.”

Slanted Propaganda

Again, we have the Post stating as flat-fact what is really slanted propaganda. Though “blame-Putin” has been at the center of Official Washington’s false narrative on Ukraine from the beginning, the reality was always that the West – the United States and the European Union – provoked this crisis, not Putin and Russia.

The crisis emanated from the EU’s reckless offer of an economic association agreement to Ukraine that President Yanukovych weighed but ultimately rejected because it came with a draconian International Monetary Fund austerity package attached. The Russians offered a more generous $15 billion loan and also provided energy subsidies for Ukrainians.

Yanukovych’s decision to opt for what he considered a better deal for Ukraine was well within his rights as the elected president, but his choice touched off furious demonstrations led by western Ukrainians and openly encouraged by senior U.S. officials, including Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland.

When Yanukovych refused to reverse his decision, the protests turned violent with well-trained neo-Nazi militias, organized in groups of one-hundred fighters each, moving to the fore to battle police. In the violence, both protesters and police were killed, though the typical treatment in the New York Times and much of the U.S. press was to simply report falsely that all the victims were protesters. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “The Danger of False Narrative.”]

On Feb. 21, seeking to stanch the violence, Yanukovych signed an agreement guaranteed by three European countries – Germany, France and Poland – to surrender many of his powers and accept early elections so he could be voted out of office. The elections would have tested popular opinion on the EU’s package while maintaining the Ukrainian constitutional structure.

Yanukovych also agreed to pull back the police, a move that opened the way for the neo-Nazi militias to seize government buildings and force pro-Yanukovych officials to run for their lives. With these storm troopers patrolling government buildings, the remnants of the shaken parliament cobbled together a new regime led by Assistant Secretary Nuland’s personal choice, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who became prime minister.

The neo-Nazis got a share of ministries – with their top commander Andriy Parubiy made chief of Ukraine’s national security – to reward them for their service to the coup and in recognition that these militias might otherwise turn on the fragile new regime and seize power for themselves. Reflecting Western Ukraine’s hostility toward Eastern Ukraine, the parliament took actions offensive to ethnic Russians including a vote to ban Russian as an official language throughout the country (though that plan was later rescinded).

Resistance to the Coup

The stunning developments in Kiev led Crimea’s local government to organize a hasty referendum on leaving Ukraine and rejoining Russia, a choice approved by more than 90 percent of voters. Putin and the Russian government agreed.

Though the U.S. media carried lurid headlines about a Russian “invasion,” the articles strangely lacked any photographs of tanks crossing borders, paratroopers jumping from planes or an amphibious landing. The reason for the absence of these photos was that thousands of Russian troops were already stationed in Crimea (under an agreement with Ukraine giving Russia access to its historic naval base at Sevastopol). The Russian troops simply left their bases and engineered a largely peaceful transfer of power.

The political resistance in the East and South – and the unwillingness of Ukrainian soldiers to fire on fellow Ukrainians – also led the new national security chief Parubiy to incorporate the neo-Nazi militias into National Guard units and dispatch them to the front lines.

The value of the neo-Nazis was that they shared the vision of World War II-era Nazi collaborator Bandera who viewed Ukrainians as a superior race threatened by inferior ones – Poles, Jews and Russians. Bandera’s radical paramilitary force, the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists-B, sought to transform Ukraine into a racially pure state.

The OUN-B assisted the Nazis in their expulsion and extermination of thousands of Jews and Poles. Other Ukrainians joined in Germany’s war against Russia on the Eastern Front, including the “Galician SS” which also was implicated in crimes against humanity.

A modern version of this Nazi brutality surfaced again on May 2 when right-wing toughs in Odessa attacked an encampment of ethnic Russian protesters driving them into a trade union building which was then set on fire with Molotov cocktails. As the building was engulfed in flames, some people who tried to flee were chased and beaten to death.

Those trapped inside heard the Ukrainian nationalists liken them to black-and-red-striped potato beetles called Colorados, because those colors are used in pro-Russian ribbons. “Burn, Colorado, burn” went the chant.

As the fire worsened, those dying inside were serenaded with the taunting singing of the Ukrainian national anthem. The building also was spray-painted with Swastika-like symbols and graffiti reading “Galician SS.”

The death by fire of dozens of people in Odessa recalled a World War II incident in 1944 when elements of a Galician SS police regiment took part in the massacre of the Polish village of Huta Pieniacka, which had been a refuge for Jews and was protected by Russian and Polish partisans. Attacked by a mixed force of Ukrainian police and German soldiers, hundreds of townspeople were massacred, including many locked in barns that were set ablaze.

Yet, this historical context is almost always missing in the mainstream U.S. media which goes along with the State Department’s desire to delete the neo-Nazi role in last February’s coup and inside the post-coup government. Despite the May election of billionaire oligarch Petro Poroshenko as Ukraine’s new president, many of the same extremists remain in key positions, including Parubiy as national security chief.

Citing Hard Truths

The presence of Nazi ideology and the evolution of the Ukraine civil war into an ethnic conflict was noted by New York University and Princeton Professor Stephen F. Cohen in an article for The Nation magazine. As Cohen explained:

“Independent Western scholars have documented the fascist origins, contemporary ideology and declarative symbols of Svoboda and its fellow-traveling Right Sector. Both movements glorify Ukraine’s murderous Nazi collaborators in World War II as inspirational ancestors. Both, to quote Svoboda’s leader Oleh Tyahnybok, call for an ethnically pure nation purged of the ‘Moscow-Jewish mafia’ and ‘other scum,’ including homosexuals, feminists and political leftists.

“And both hailed the Odessa massacre. According to the website of Right Sector leader Dmytro Yarosh, it was ‘another bright day in our national history.’ A Svoboda parliamentary deputy added, ‘Bravo, Odessa…. Let the Devils burn in hell.’

“If more evidence is needed, in December 2012, the European Parliament decried Svoboda’s ‘racist, anti-Semitic and xenophobic views [that] go against the EU’s fundamental values and principles.’ In 2013, the World Jewish Congress denounced Svoboda as ‘neo-Nazi.’ Still worse, observers agree that Right Sector is even more extremist. …

“In December 2012, a Svoboda parliamentary leader anathematized the Ukrainian-born American actress Mila Kunis as ‘a dirty kike.’ Since 2013, pro-Kiev mobs and militias have routinely denigrated ethnic Russians as insects (‘Colorado beetles,’ whose colors resemble a sacred Russia ornament). More recently, the US-picked prime minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, referred to resisters in the Southeast as ‘subhumans.’ His defense minister proposed putting them in ‘filtration camps,’ pending deportation, and raising fears of ethnic cleansing.

“Yulia Tymoshenko — a former prime minister, titular head of Yatsenyuk’s party and runner-up in the May presidential election — was overheard wishing she could ‘exterminate them all [Ukrainian Russians] with atomic weapons.’ ‘Sterilization’ is among the less apocalyptic official musings on the pursuit of a purified Ukraine.”

Yet, the U.S. State Department and the mainstream U.S. media continue to portray the conflict as simply “Russian aggression” that must be countered by overwhelming military force in Eastern Ukraine and by severe economic sanctions – along with possible political destabilization – against Moscow.

As the Washington Post’s editorial declared: “Last Thursday Secretary of State John F. Kerry said that ‘it is critical for Russia to show in the next hours, literally, that they are moving to help disarm the separatists.’ Many hours have passed with no disarmament. On Friday, E.U. leaders set a Monday deadline for a series of steps, including the evacuation of border posts. These have not been carried out.

“A failure by the West to act following such explicit rhetoric would be a craven surrender that would provoke only more Russian aggression.”

So the only course that Official Washington can seem to see ahead is one of unleashing Ukraine’s conventional military force and its paramilitary adjuncts against the popular resistance in the East, a path that could put the Obama administration and the mainstream U.S. press corps on the side of the violent suppression of ethnic Russians, a situation that could easily slide into ethnic cleansing and even genocide.
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They could still get him out of office.
But instead, they want mass death.
Don’t forget that.
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Re: 1900-2000: A century of genocides

Postby seemslikeadream » Fri Sep 19, 2014 8:58 am


The Nambia Legacy
Germany’s African Genocide
How outrageous, how heartbreaking, how truly grotesque! Windhoek City – the capital of Namibia – is, at one extreme full of flowers and Mediterranean-style villas, and at the other, it is nothing more than a tremendous slum without water or electricity.

And in between, there is the town center– with its Germanic orderly feel, boasting ‘colonial architecture’, including Protestant churches and commemorative plaques mourning those brave German men, women and children, those martyrs, who died during the uprisings and wars conducted by local indigenous people.

The most divisive and absurd of those memorials is the so-called “Equestrian Monument”, more commonly known as “The Horse” or under its German original names, Reiterdenkmal and Südwester Reiter (Rider of South-West). It is a statue inaugurated on 27 January 1912, which was the birthday of the German emperor Wilhelm II. The monument “honors the soldiers and civilians that died on the German side of the Herero and Namaqua ‘War’ of 1904–1907’”.

That ‘war’ was not really a war; it was nothing more than genocide, a holocaust.

And Namibia was a prelude to what German Nazis later tried to implement on European soil.

A European expert working for the UN, my friend, speaks, like almost everyone here, passionately, but without daring to reveal her name:

“The first concentration camps on earth were built in this part of Africa… They were built by the British Empire in South Africa and by Germans here, in Namibia. Shark Island on the coast was the first concentration camp in Namibia, used to murder the Nama people, but now it is just a tourist destination – you would never guess that there were people exterminated there. Here in the center of Windhoek, there was another extermination camp; right on the spot where “The Horse” originally stood.”

“The Horse” was recently removed from its original location, and placed in the courtyard of the old wing of The National Museum, together with some of the most outrageous commemorative plaques, glorifying German actions in this part of the world. Nothing was destroyed, instead just taken away from prime locations.

Where “The Horse” stood, there now stands a proud anti-colonialist statue, that of a man and a woman with broken shackles, which declares, “Their Blood Waters Our Freedom”.


A visit to those German genocidal relics is ‘an absolute must’ for countless Central European tourists that descend every day on Namibia. I followed several of these groups, listening to their conversations. Among these people, there appears to be no remorse, and almost no soul-searching: just snapshots, posing in front of the monuments and racist insignias, pub-style/beer jokes at places where entire cultures and nations were exterminated!

Central European, German-speaking tourists in Windhoek, appear to be lobotomized, and totally emotionless. And so are many of the descendants of those German ‘genocidal pioneers’. Encountering them is like déjà vu; it brings back memories of the years when I was fighting against the German Nazi colony, ‘Colonia Dignidad’ in Chile; or when I was investigating the atrocities and links, of the German Nazi community in Paraguay to several South American fascist regimes that had been implanted and maintained by the West.

And now the German community in Namibia is protesting the removal of “The Horse”. It is indignant. And this community is still powerful, even omnipotent, here in Namibia.

Almost nobody calls the ‘events’ that took place here, by their rightful names, of holocaust or genocide. Everything in Namibia is ‘sensitive’.begging slogans5

But even according to the BBC: “In 1985, a UN report classified the events as an attempt to exterminate the Herero and Nama peoples of South-West Africa, and therefore the earliest attempted genocide in the 20th Century.”

On 21 October 2012, The Globe and Mail reported:

“In the bush and scrub of central Namibia, the descendants of the surviving Herero live in squalid shacks and tiny plots of land. Next door, the descendants of German settlers still own vast properties of 20,000 hectares or more. It’s a contrast that infuriates many Herero, fuelling a new radicalism here.

Every year the Herero hold solemn ceremonies to remember the first genocide of history’s bloodiest century, when German troops drove them into the desert to die, annihilating 80 per cent of their population through starvation, thirst, and slave labor in concentration camps. The Nama, a smaller ethnic group, lost half of their population from the same persecution.

New research suggests that the German racial genocide in Namibia from 1904 to 1908 was a significant influence on the Nazis in the Second World War. Many of the key elements of Nazi ideology – from racial science and eugenics, to the theory of Lebensraum (creating “living space” through colonization) – were promoted by German military veterans and scientists who had begun their careers in South-West Africa, now Namibia, during the genocide…”

The Namibian government is still negotiating the return (from Germany) of all skulls of the local people, which were used in German laboratories and by German scientists to prove the superiority of the white race. German colonialists decapitated Herero and Nama people, and at least 300 heads were transported to German laboratories for ‘scientific research’. Many were ‘discovered’ in the Medical History Museum of the Charite hospital in Berlin, and at Freiburg University.

Germany never officially apologized for its crimes against humanity in what it used to call German South-West Africa. It did not pay reparations.

Germany’s holocaust in ‘South-West Africa’ is, among other things, a proof that the common Western theory about how German Nazism came to existence before the WWII was totally wrong. According to that theory, after the WWI, defeater and humiliated Germany got radicalized and ‘reacted’ monstrously to its condition.

But in reality, before and during the Second World War, Germany simply decided to behave in Europe exactly as it was behaving in its colonies, for many decades.


There are Robert Mugabe and Fidel Castro Streets in the center of Windhoek. And there is that tremendous National Museum, commemorating the national-liberation struggle and the role of the heroic Cuban and North Korean troops in their fight against Western-supported apartheid.

Bizarrely, German pre-Nazi/WWII monuments and insignias literally rub their shoulders alongside those great liberation struggle tributes.

Divisions are shocking: ideological, racial, social.

In Namibia, there is segregation on an enormous scale, everywhere.

While neighboring South Africa is moving rapidly away from racial segregation, introducing countless social policies, including free medical care, education and social housing, Namibia remains one of the most segregated countries on earth, with great private services for the rich, and almost nothing for the poor majority.

“Apartheid was even worse here than in South Africa”, I am told by my friend from the United Nations. “And until now… You go to Katutura, and you see who is living there, they are all local people there, all black. Katutura literally means ‘We have no place to stay’. 50% of the people in this city defecate in the open. Sanitation is totally disastrous. Then you go to Swakop city, on the shore, and it is like seeing Germany recreated in Africa. You also see, there, shops with Nazi keepsakes. Some Nazis, who escaped Europe, came to Windhoek, to Swakop and other towns. In Swakop, men march periodically, in replicas of Nazi uniforms.”


Katutura is where the black people were moved to, during apartheid.

My friend, a ‘colored’ Namibian, who fought for the independence of his own country and of Angola, drove me to that outrageous slum which seems to host a substantial amount of the capital’s population, with mostly no access to basic sanitation or electricity.

He has also chosen to remain anonymous, as he has explained, in order to protect his lovely family. To speak up here, unlike in South Africa, which may, these days, be one of the freest and most outspoken places on earth, can be extremely dangerous. But he clarifies further:

“In Namibia, it is very rare for people who used to suffer, to speak about it publicly. In South Africa, everyone speaks. In Angola, everyone speaks… But not here.”

Then he continues:

“What we can see in Namibia is that many German people are still in control of big business. They are ruling the country. They have hunting farms and other huge estates and enterprises. Germans bring money to Namibia, but it stays with them, and it consolidates their power – it does not reach the majority. You cannot even imagine, how much local people working on their farms, are suffering. It is still like slavery. But it is all hushed up here.”


“Sprechen Sie Deutch?” A black Namibian man intercepts me, as I am walking down the Fidel Castro Street.

“I do, but I would rather not, here”, I explain.

“But why not?” He grins at me. “You know… It is not only them… Germans… I grew up; I was educated, in East Germany during our fight for independence. And my friend that you see over there – he was flown to Czechoslovakia and he went to school there. Communist countries did so much for us, for the Africans: Cuba, North Korea, Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia and East Germany. We are so grateful!”

“Yes”, I say. “But it is over, isn’t it? Czechoslovakia, East Germany… They joined the imperialists, the rulers. They exchanged ideals for iPads.”

“Yes”, he said. “But one day… who knows… things could be different, again.”

Yes, definitely, I think. But most likely not in Europe…


At the new and lavish National Museum in Windhoek, I salute the Namibian and foreign fighters against apartheid – those who struggled and died for freedom, and the independence of Africa.

Then, I descended to the “Goethe Institute”, the German cultural center, a colonial building surrounded by barbed wire.

There, a local starlet is loudly rehearsing for something called ‘a night under the stars’, or something of that sentimental, over-sugary pop nature. These are basically evenings designed to bring together the pampered international crowd and those ‘feel-good-about-life’ local elites.

I ask the starlet, whether this institute is trying to address the most painful issues of the past and present, all connected to Germany, of course.

She is black but she speaks and behaves like a German. She gives me a huge and pre-fabricated smile:

“At Goethe we don’t want that… We are trying to get away from all this (meaning colonial and segregation issues). We are just trying to get Germans and Namibians together, you know…”

I later peek at those Namibians who are being brought together with the Germans. No Katutura here, naturally…

And for some reason, what came to my mind is a conversation I had, on the phone, many years ago, with one of the editors of the German magazine, Der Stern, after I offered him my findings and photos from Nazi Colonia Dignidad in Chile. He said: “Oh, Colonia Dignidad! Hahaha! Never again, ja?”


One evening I eat at Angolan/Portuguese restaurant in Windhoek, O Portuga; an institution known for its great food and mixed crowd. What an evening, what a place!

After dinner, I dive into German ‘Andy’s Bar’, a nearby place that was described to me as “An institution, which not even a black or a colored person from the embassies or the UN would dare to enter”.

The Beer is flat, but the conversation of the local crowd is extremely ‘sharp’. Patrons are freely giving black Namibians names of local farm animals. Their spite is open and sincere. I listen, I understand. Eventually I leave.

I catch a taxi, driven by a corpulent black man. The radio is blasting and I hear the socialist, anti-imperialist lyrics of ‘Ndilimani’, a brilliant local political band.

It is now well past midnight, and despite the warnings from all those ‘well-meaning Germans’ that I met in Windhoek, I feel much safer in this taxi than in Andy’s Bar and in so many other similar institutions.

“Is this country really governed by Marxist SWAPO?” I wonder aloud.

“No way”, the driver points back, towards the bar. “’They’ never left. ‘They’ are still controlling the country. The revolution is not over.”

I tell him that I am beginning to understand what drove Robert Mugabe mad and angry, in Zimbabwe. The driver nods. I push my seat back, and make it recline.

“It is all fucked up”, I say.

The driver thinks for a while, but then replies, using almost the same words as the man who spoke to me on Fidel Castro Street: “Yes, brother, yes! But one day… who knows… things could be different, again.”
Cuba and N Korea fighting for freedom of Namibia

Their blood waters our freedom

German church with racist depiction of history and Fidel Street.

South African armored apartheid era train in Namibia

This is how most of Namibians live
SWAPO and fight for freedom

SWAPO campaigning but what can it do_
Their blood waters our freedom
Mazars and Deutsche Bank could have ended this nightmare before it started.
They could still get him out of office.
But instead, they want mass death.
Don’t forget that.
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Re: 1900-2000: A century of genocides

Postby seemslikeadream » Fri Sep 19, 2014 12:03 pm

Convenient Genocide
Another Failed War to Re-Arrange the Middle East
by Ramzy Baroud / September 18th, 2014

A few months ago, not many Americans, in fact, Europeans as well, knew that a Yazidi sect, in fact, existed in northwest Iraq. Even in the Middle East itself, the Yazidis and their way of life have been an enigma, shrouded by mystery and mostly grasped through stereotypes and fictitious evidence. Yet in no time, the fate of the Yazidis became a rally cry for another US-led Iraq military campaign.

It was not a surprise that the small Iraqi minority found itself a target for fanatical Islamic State (IS) militants, who had reportedly carried out unspeakable crimes against Yazidis, driving them to Dohuk, Irbil and other northern Iraqi regions. According to UN and other groups, 40,000 Yazidi had been stranded on Mount Sinjar, awaiting imminent “genocide” if the US and other powers didn’t take action to save them.

The rest of the story was spun from that point on. The logic for intervention that preceded the latest US bombing campaign of IS targets, which started in mid-June, is similar to what took place in Libya over three years ago. Early 2011, imminent “genocide” awaiting Libya’s eastern city of Benghazi at the hands of Muammar Gaddafi was the rally cry that mobilised western powers to a war that wrought wanton killings and destruction in Libya. Since NATO’s intervention in Libya, which killed and wounded tens of thousands, the country has fallen prey to an endless and ruthless fight involving numerous militias, armed, and financially and politically-backed by various regional and international powers. Libya is now ruled by two governments, two parliaments, and a thousand militia.

When US Special Forces arrived to the top of Mount Sinjar, they realized that the Yazidis had either been rescued by Kurdish militias, or were already living there. They found less than 5,000 Yazidis there, half of them refugees. The mountain is revered in local legend, as the final resting place of Noah’s ark. It was also the final resting place for the Yazidi genocide story. The finding hardly received much coverage in the media, which used the original claim to create fervour in anticipation for Western intervention in Iraq.

We all know how the first intervention worked out. Not that IS’ brutal tactics in eastern, northern and central Iraq should be tolerated. But a true act of genocide had already taken place in Iraq for nearly two decades, starting with the US war in 1990-91, a decade-long embargo and a most destructive war and occupation starting in 2003. Not once did a major newspaper editorial in the US bestow the term “genocide” on the killing and maiming of millions of Iraqis. In fact, the IS campaign is actually part of a larger Sunni rebellion in Iraq, in response to the US war and Shite-led government oppression over the course of years. That context is hardly relevant in the selective reporting on the current violence in Iraq.

It goes without saying, US policymakers care little for the Yazidis, for they don’t serve US interests in any way. However, experience has taught that such groups only become relevant in a specially tailored narrative, in a specific point in time, to be exploited for political and strategic objectives. They will cease to exist the moment the objective is met. Consider, for example, the fact that IS has been committing horrific war crimes in western and northern Syria for years, as did forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad and militants belonging to the various opposition groups there. Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have been killed and wounded. Various minority groups there faced and continue to face genocide. Yet, somehow, the horrifying bloodshed there was not only tolerated, but, in fact, encouraged.

For over three years, little effort was put forward to find or impose a fair political solution to the Syria civil war. The Syrians were killing each other and thousands of foreigners, thanks to purposely porous Turkish borders, were allowed to join in, in a perpetual “Guernica” that, with time, grew to become another Middle Eastern status quo.

Weren’t the massacres of Aleppo, in fact, genocide? The siege of Yarmouk? The wiping out of entire villages, the beheading and dismembering of people for belonging to the wrong sect or religion?

Even if they were, it definitely was not the kind of genocide that would propel action, specifically western-led action. In recent days, as it was becoming clear that the US was up to its old interventionist games, countries were being lined up to fight IS. US Secretary of State John Kerry was shuttling the globe once more, from US to Europe, to Turkey, to Iraq to Saudi Arabia, and still going. “We believe we can take on ISIL (previous name for IS) in the current coalition that we have,” he said. But why now?

In his speech on the eve of the 13th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, Obama declared war on IS. Obama’s tangled foreign policy agenda became even more confused in his 13-minute speech from the White House. He promised to “hunt down” IS fighters “whenever they are” until the US ultimately destroys the group, as supposedly, it has down with al-Qaeda. IS, of course, is a splinter al-Qaeda group, which began as an idea, and thanks to the US global “war on terror”, has morphed into an army of many branches. The US never destroyed al-Qaeda; but it inadvertently allowed the creation of IS.

“That means I will not hesitate to take action against ISIL in Syria, as well as Iraq. This is a core principle of my presidency: if you threaten America, you will find no safe haven,” Obama said. Of course, he needed to say that, as his Republican rivals have accused him of lack of decisiveness and his presidency of being weak. His democratic party could possibly lose control over the Senate come the November elections. His fight against IS is meant to help rebrand the president as resolute and decisive, and perhaps create some distraction from economic woes at home.

That same media has also cleverly devalued and branded conflicts, and acts of genocide in ways consistent with US foreign policy agendas. While the Yazidis were purportedly stranded on mount Sinjar, Israel was carrying out a genocide against Palestinians in Gaza. Over 2,150 were killed, mostly civilians, hundreds of them children, and over 11,000 wounded, the vast majority of whom were civilians. Not an alleged 40,000 but a confirmed 520,000 thousand were on the run, and along with the rest of Gaza’s 1.8 million, were entrapped in an open-air prison with no escape. But that was not an act of genocide either, as far as the US-western governments and media were concerned. Worse, they actively defended, and, especially in the case of the US, UK, France and Italy, armed and funded the Israeli aggression.

Experience has taught us that not all “acts of genocide” are created equal: Some are fabricated, and others are exaggerated. Some are useful to start wars, and others, no matter how atrocious, are not worth mentioning. Some acts of genocide are branded as wars to liberate, free and democratize. Other acts of genocide are to be encouraged, defended and financed.

But as far as the US involvement in the Middle East is concerned, the only real genocide is the one that serves the interests of the west, by offering an opportunity for military intervention, followed by political and strategic meddling to re-arrange the region.

The US experience in Iraq also taught us that its effort will only succeed in exacerbating an already difficult situation, yielding yet more disenfranchised groups, political despair and greater violence.
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Re: 1900-2000: A century of genocides

Postby seemslikeadream » Fri Sep 19, 2014 12:57 pm

The Political Economy of Israeli Apartheid and the Specter of Genocide
Friday, 19 September 2014 09:42
By William I Robinson, Truthout | News Analysis

Palestinian children light candles in commemoration of their former home, Zafer Tower No. 4, once an 11-story apartment building, in Gaza City, Sept. 11, 2014. (Photo: Wissam Nassar / The New York Times)
Just days before the seven-week siege of Gaza this past July and August that left some 2,000 Palestinians dead, 11,000 injured and 100,000 homeless, Israeli lawmaker Ayelet Shaked, a senior figure in the Jewish Home Party that is part of Israel's ruling coalition, posted on Facebook that "the entire Palestinian people is the enemy . . . including its elderly and its women, its cities and its villages, its property and its infrastructure." The post went on to declare that "behind every terrorist stand dozens of men and women, without whom he could not engage in terrorism. They are all enemy combatants, and their blood shall be on all their heads. Now this also includes the mothers of the martyrs, who send them to hell with flowers and kisses. They should follow their sons, nothing would be more just. They should go, as should the physical homes in which they raised the snakes. Otherwise, more little snakes will be raised there."
Shaked's Facebook post was shared over 1,000 times and received nearly 5,000 "likes." A few weeks later, on August 1, The Times of Israel published an op-ed piece by Yochanan Gordan titled "When Genocide Is Permissible." Gordan claimed that "there's going to have to come a time where Israel feels threatened enough where it has no other choice but to defy international warnings." He went on: "What other way then is there to deal with an enemy of this nature other than obliterate them completely? Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu clearly stated at the outset of this incursion that his objective is to restore a sustainable quiet for the citizens of Israel . . . If political leaders and military experts determine that the only way to achieve its goal of sustaining quiet is through genocide is it then permissible to achieve those responsible goals?"
Calls for ethnic cleansing and genocide are increasing in frequency.
Echoing these sentiments, the deputy speaker of the Israeli parliament Moshe Feiglin, a member of Netanyahu's Likud Party, urged the Israeli army to kill Palestinians in Gaza indiscriminately and use every means possible to get them to leave. "Sinai is not far from Gaza and they can leave. This will be the limit of Israel's humanitarian efforts," Feiglin said. "The IDF will conquer the entire Gaza, using all the means necessary to minimize any harm to our soldiers, with no other considerations. . . . The enemy population that is innocent of wrong-doing and separated itself from the armed terrorists will be treated in accordance with international law and will be allowed to leave."
These calls for ethnic cleansing and genocide are increasing in frequency. The political climate in Israel has continued to shift so sharply to the right in the past few years that a fascist discourse is now palpable in the daily life of the country. In Tel Aviv in August, some of the right-wing protesters who beat leftists demonstrating against the siege of Gaza wore T-shirts bearing neo-Nazi symbols and photos, including T-shirts bearing the slogan "Good night left side," a neo-Nazi slogan popular in Europe at rock concerts featuring far-right bands, as a response to the original anti-fascist slogan: "Good night white pride." Nearly half of the Jewish population of Israel supports a policy of ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, and major portions of the population support complete annexation of the occupied territories and the establishment of an apartheid state, according to a 2012 poll.
Fear that fascism is on the rise in Israel led 327 Jewish survivors and descendants of survivors and victims of the Nazi genocide to publish an open letter in The New York Times on August 25 expressing alarm over "the extreme, racist dehumanization of Palestinians in Israeli society, which has reached a fever-pitch." The letter continued: "We must raise our collective voices and use our collective power to bring about an end to all forms of racism, including the ongoing genocide of Palestinian people."
What are the underlying structural roots in the Israeli political economy bringing about such genocidal pressures?
The Zionist project may have been founded - we now know from the spate of historical studies that have emerged in recent years - on systematic ethnic cleansing and terrorism against the Palestinians. Article II of the UN Convention of 1948 defines genocide as "acts committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group." There is little doubt that we are seeing pre-genocidal activity in Israel-Palestine. What are the underlying structural roots in the Israeli political economy bringing about such genocidal pressures?
To answer this question we must step back a few years to focus on the larger structural changes associated with capitalist globalization and the integration of Israel and the Middle East into the new global order. The globalization of the Middle East starting in the late 20th century fundamentally changed the social structure of Israel and the political economy of its colonial project. Restructuring through capitalist globalization has brought about an important shift in the relationship of Palestinians to that project and generated conditions that make it easier for the Israeli right to raise the specter of genocide.
Oslo and the Globalization of Israel
Israel's rapid globalization starting in the late 1980s coincided with the two Palestinian intifadas (uprisings) and with the Oslo Accords, which were negotiated from 1991 to 1993 and then broke down in the following years. Transnational elites had argued as the Cold War wound down that the emerging global capitalist economy could not be stabilized and made safe for transnational capital accumulation in the midst of violent regional conflicts around the world and they began to push for the agenda of "conflict resolution," or the negotiated settlement of smoldering regional conflicts, from Central America to southern Africa. Backed and nudged on by the United States and transnational elites, as well as by powerful Israeli capitalist groups, Israeli rulers entered into negotiations with the Palestinian leadership in the 1990s in large part as a response to the escalation of Palestinian resistance in the form of the first intifada (1987-1991). The Oslo process can be seen as a key piece in the political jigsaw puzzle brought about by the integration of the Middle East into the emerging global capitalist system (an integration that also constitutes the structural backdrop to the Arab Spring, although that is a story for another time).
The Oslo Accords, signed in 1993, turned over a Bantustan-like autonomy to the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the occupied territories for what was supposed to be a five-year interim period in which negotiations would continue over key "final status" issues, among them, the status of refugees (and their right to return), Jerusalem, water, final borders and a full Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territories. Yet during the Oslo period (1991 to 2003, when the process finally broke down altogether), the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza greatly intensified. Why did the "peace process" break down?
Up until globalization took off in the mid-1980s, the relationship of Israel to the Palestinians reflected classical colonialism, in which the colonial power had usurped the land and resources of the colonized and then exploited their labor.
First, the process was intended not to resolve the plight of the dispossessed Palestinian majority, but to integrate an emergent Palestinian elite into the new global order and give that elite a stake in defending that order and in assuming the role of internally policing the Palestinian masses inside the occupied territories. It has been shown in fact that Palestinian class formation during this time involved the rise of transnationally-oriented Palestinian capitalists integrated with Gulf capital elsewhere and hoping to convert a new Palestinian state into a platform for its own class consolidation. The PA was expected to mediate transnational capital accumulation in the occupied territories while maintaining social control over the restive population.
Second, the Israeli economy globalized based on a high-tech military-security complex, the importance of which will become clear momentarily. There has been an ever-deeper interpenetration of Israeli capital with transnational corporate capital from North America, Europe, Asia and elsewhere. In effect, Israeli capital has integrated inextricably into global circuits of capital. Oslo helped this process along, facilitating an Israeli transnational capitalist presence throughout the Middle East and beyond, in part by allowing conservative Arab regimes to lift the regional economic boycott of Israel and in part by opening negotiations on the creation of a Middle East Free Trade Area (MEFTA) that inserted the Israeli economy into regional economic networks (throughout, e.g., Egypt, Turkey, Jordan) and integrated the whole region much more deeply into global capitalism.
And third, closely related, Israel experienced a major episode of transnational immigration, including the influx of some 1 million Jewish immigrants, which undermined Israel's need for Palestinian labor during the 1990s, although this would change later in the 21st century.
Up until globalization took off in the mid-1980s, the relationship of Israel to the Palestinians reflected classical colonialism, in which the colonial power had usurped the land and resources of the colonized and then exploited their labor. But Middle Eastern integration into the global economy and society on the basis of neoliberal economic restructuring, including the well-known litany of measures such as privatization, trade liberalization, International Monetary Fund-supervised austerity and World Bank loans, helped spark the spread of mass worker and social movements and grassroots democratization pressures, reflected in the Palestinian intifadas, the labor movement across North Africa and mounting social unrest - most visibly in the 2011 Arab uprisings. This tidal wave of resistance forced a reaction from Israeli rulers and their US backers.
Globalization Converts Palestinians into "Surplus Humanity"
The Israeli economy has undergone two waves of restructuring as it has integrated into global capitalism, as Nitzan and Bichler show in their study, The Global Political Economy of Israel. The first, in the 1980s and 1990s, saw a transition from a traditional agriculture and industrial economy towards one based on computer and information technology (CIT), high-tech telecommunications, web technology, and so on. Tel Aviv and Haifa became "Middle Eastern outposts" of Silicon Valley. By 2000, a full 15 percent of the Israeli GDP and half of its exports originated in the high-tech sector.
Israel has become globalized specifically through the high-tech militarization of its economy.
Then from 2001 and on, and especially in the wake of the 2000 dot-com bust and worldwide recession, followed by the events of September 11, 2001, and the rapid militarization of global politics, Israel saw a further shift towards a "global military-security-intelligence-surveillance-counter-terrorism technologies complex." Israeli technology firms have pioneered the so-called homeland security industry. Indeed, Israel has become globalized specifically through the high-tech militarization of its economy. Israeli export institutes estimate that in 2007 there were some 350 Israeli transnational corporations dedicated to security, intelligence and social control systems that stood at the center of the new Israeli political economy.
"Israel's exports in counter-terrorism related products and services increased by 15 percent in 2006 and were projected to grow by 20 percent in 2007, totaling $1.2 billion annually," Naomi Klein noted in her study Shock Doctrine. "The country's defense exports in 2006 reached a record $3.4 billion (compared to $1.6 billion in 1992), making Israel the fourth largest arms dealer in the world, larger than the UK. Israel has more technology stocks listed on the Nasdaq exchange - many of them security related - than any other foreign country, and it has more tech patents registered in the US than China and India combined. Its technology sector, much of it linked to security, now makes up 60 percent of all exports."
Militarized accumulation to control and contain the downtrodden and marginalized and to sustain accumulation in the face of crisis lend themselves to fascist political tendencies or what some of us have referred to as "21st century fascism."
In other words, the Israeli economy had come to feed off of local, regional and global violence, conflict and inequalities. Its largest corporations have become dependent on war and conflict in Palestine, in the Middle East and worldwide, and push for such conflict through their influence in the Israeli political system and state. This militarized accumulation is characteristic as well of the United States and the entire global economy. We are increasingly living in a global war economy, and certain states, such as the United States and Israel, are key gears in this machinery. Militarized accumulation to control and contain the downtrodden and marginalized and to sustain accumulation in the face of crisis lend themselves to fascist political tendencies or what some of us have referred to as "21st century fascism."
The Palestinian population of the occupied territories constituted up until the 1990s a cheap labor force for Israel. But with Israeli incentives to the in-migration of Jews from around the world and the collapse of the former Soviet bloc, a major influx of Jewish settlement has occurred in recent years, including 1 million Soviet Jews, themselves often displaced by post-Soviet neoliberal restructuring. As well, the Israeli economy began to draw on transnational immigrant labor from Africa, Asia and elsewhere as neoliberalism and crisis displaced millions in former Third World regions.
The rise of new systems of transnational labor mobility and recruitment have made it possible for dominant groups around the world to reorganize labor markets and recruit transient labor forces that are disenfranchised and easy to control.
The rise of new systems of transnational labor mobility and recruitment have made it possible for dominant groups around the world to reorganize labor markets and recruit transient labor forces that are disenfranchised and easy to control. While this is a worldwide phenomenon, it became a particularly attractive option for Israel because it does away with the need for politically troublesome Palestinian labor. Over 300,000 immigrant workers from Thailand, China, Nepal and Sri Lanka now form the predominant labor force in Israeli agribusiness in the same way that Mexican and Central American immigrant labor does in US agribusiness, and under the same precarious conditions of super-exploitation and discrimination. The racism that many Israelis have shown towards Palestinians - itself a product of the colonial relationship - has now translated into an increasing hostility towards immigrants in general as the country becomes a thoroughly racist society.
As immigration has eliminated Israel's need for Palestinian cheap labor, the Palestinians became a marginalized surplus population. "Before the arrival of the Soviet refugees, Israel could not have severed itself for any length of time from the Palestinian population in Gaza and the West Bank; its economy could no more survive without Palestinian labor than California could run without Mexicans," as Klein has noted. "Roughly 130,000 Palestinians left their homes in Gaza and the West Bank every day and traveled to Israel to clean streets and build roads, while Palestinian farmers and tradespeople filled trucks with goods and sold them in Israel and in other parts of the territories."
Seen from the logic of the dominant sectors of militarized capital embedded in the Israeli and international economy, this situation does not constitute a tragic loss of opportunity for conflict resolution but rather a golden opportunity to expand capital accumulation - to develop and market worldwide weapons and security systems through the use of the occupation and the captive Palestinian population as the target and testing ground.
It is no wonder, then, that precisely in 1993 - the year the Oslo Accords were signed and went into effect - Israel imposed its new policy, know as "closure," that is, sealing off Palestinians into the occupied territories, ethnic cleansing and a sharp escalation of settler colonialism. In 1993, the year the "closure" policy began, per capita GNP in the occupied territories plummeted 30 percent. By 2007, the rates of unemployment and poverty had topped 70 percent. From 1993 to 2000 - supposedly the years in which a "peace" agreement was being implemented that called for an end to the Israeli occupation and the establishment of a Palestinian state - Israeli settlers in the West Bank doubled to 400,000, and then topped half a million by 2009, and their numbers continue to climb. Acute malnutrition in Gaza is on the same scale as some of the poorest nations in the world, with more than half of all Palestinian families eating only one meal a day. As the Palestinians were pushed out of the Israeli economy, the policies of closure and expanded occupation in turn destroyed the Palestinian economy.
The collapse of the Oslo Accords and the farce of ongoing "peace" negotiations in the midst of an ever-expanding Israeli occupation may present a political dilemma to transnational elites and some of their Israeli counterparts who wish to find mechanisms for cultivating and coopting Palestinian elites and capitalist groups. However, seen from the logic of the dominant sectors of militarized capital embedded in the Israeli and international economy, this situation does not constitute a tragic loss of opportunity for conflict resolution but rather a golden opportunity to expand capital accumulation - to develop and market worldwide weapons and security systems through the use of the occupation and the captive Palestinian population as the target and testing ground.
Once we cut through the ideological smokescreens and the rhetoric, it is these powerful economic interests that have come to exercise decisive influence over Israeli state policy. "The rapid expansion of the high-tech security economy created a powerful appetite inside Israel's wealthy and most powerful sectors for abandoning peace in favor of fighting a continuing, and continuously expanding, 'war of terror,'" Klein observed several years ago, "as well as a clear strategy to reframe its conflict with the Palestinians not as a battle against a nationalist movement with specific goals for land and rights but rather as part of the global war on terror - one against illogical, fanatical forces bent only on destruction."
In a 2009 op-ed titled "Israel Knows That Peace Just Doesn't Pay" and published in Haaretz, the Israeli "newspaper of record," Amira Hass - one of the few critical, courageous voices in the Israeli media, commented that "the security industry is an important export branch - weapons, ammunition and refinements that are tested daily in Gaza and the West Bank. . . . protecting the settlements requires constant development of security, surveillance and deterrence equipment such as fences, roadblocks, electronic surveillance cameras and robots." Hass continued: "These are security's cutting edge in the developed world, and serve banks, companies, and luxury neighborhoods next to shantytowns and ethnic enclaves where rebellions must be suppressed."
The Sociology of Racism and Genocide: From Ferguson to the Occupied Territories
The sociology of race/ethnic relations identifies three distinct types of racist structures, that is, structural relations between dominant and minority groups. One is what has been called "middle men minorities." In this structure, the minority group has a relationship of mediation between the dominant and the subordinate groups. This was historically the experience of Chinese overseas traders in Asia, Lebanese and Syrians in West Africa, Indians in East Africa, Coloureds in South Africa, and Jews in Europe. When "middle men minorities" lose their function as structures change they can be absorbed into the new order or can become subject to scapegoating and even genocide.
The labor of the subordinate group - that is, their bodies, their existence - is needed by the dominant system even if the group experiences cultural and social marginalization and political disenfranchisement.
Jews historically occupied this role of "middle men minority" in feudal and early capitalist Europe. The structure of feudal Europe assigned to Jews certain roles vital to the reproduction of European feudal society. These included managing long-distance trade and money lending. Such activities were proscribed by the Catholic Church and were not an ordinary part of the lord-serf relationship at the heart of feudalism, yet they were vital to the maintenance of the system. As capitalism developed in the 19th and 20th centuries, new capitalist groups took on the functions of commerce and banking, making the Jewish role superfluous for the new ruling classes. As a result, Jews in Europe came under intense pressures as capitalism developed and eventually suffered genocide, given a deadly mix of scapegoating for capitalism's hardships, the loss by Jews of their previously vital economic role, the world crisis of the 1930s, and the Nazi ideology and program.
A second type of racist structure is what we call "super-exploitation/disorganization of the working class." This is a situation in which the racially subordinate and oppressed sector within the exploited class occupies the lowest rungs of the particular economy and society within a racially or ethnically stratified working class. What is key here is that the labor of the subordinate group - that is, their bodies, their existence - is needed by the dominant system even if the group experiences cultural and social marginalization and political disenfranchisement. This was the historical post-slavery experience of African-Americans in the United States, as well as that of the Irish in Britain, Latinos/as currently in the United States, Mayan Indians in Guatemala, Africans in South Africa under apartheid, and so on. These groups are often subordinated socially, culturally and politically, either de facto or de jure. They represent the super-exploited and discriminated sector of racially and ethnically divided working and popular classes. This was the experience of Palestinians in the Israeli political economy until recently and under the unique circumstances of Israel and Palestine in the 20th century.
This is a situation in which the dominant system needs the resources of the subordinate group but not their labor - that is, not their bodies, their physical existence. This is the racist structure most likely to lead to genocide.
The final racist structure is exclusion and appropriation of natural resources. This is a situation in which the dominant system needs the resources of the subordinate group but not their labor - that is, not their bodies, their physical existence. This is the racist structure most likely to lead to genocide. It was the experience of Native Americans in North America. Dominant groups needed their land, but not their labor or their bodies - since African slaves and European immigrants provided the labor needed for the new system - and so they experienced genocide. It has been the experience of the indigenous groups in Amazonia - vast new mineral and energy resources have been discovered on their lands, yet their bodies stand in the way of access to these resources by transnational capital, literally, and are not needed, hence there are today genocidal pressures in Amazonia.
This is the more recent condition that African-Americans face in the United States. Many African-Americans went from being the super-exploited sector of the working class to being marginalized as employers switched from drawing on black labor to Latino/a immigrant labor as a super-exploited workforce. As African-Americans have become structurally marginalized in significant number, they are subject to heightened disenfranchisement, criminalization, a bogus "war on drugs," mass incarceration and police and state terror, seen by the system as necessary to control a superfluous and potentially rebellious population.
Zionists and defenders of the Israeli state take great offense at any analogy between the Nazis and Israeli state actions, including the charge of genocide, in part, because the Jewish Holocaust is used by the Israeli state and the Zionist political project as a mechanism of legitimation, so that to draw such analogies is to undermine Israel's legitimating discourse.
Now, like the Native Americans before them - and unlike the black South Africans - Palestinian bodies are no longer needed and simply stand in the way of the Zionist state, the ruling groups, the setters and would-be settlers who need Palestinian resources, specifically land, but not Palestinians. To be sure, although Palestinian workers are being phased out of the Israeli economy, thousands of West Bank Palestinians still labor in Israel. The Russian and other Jewish immigrants who replaced Palestinian labor inside Israel in the 1990s went on in subsequent years to rely on their own racial privilege to be drawn into the Israeli middle class, as they did not want to work in jobs associated with Arabs. But as this has happened, African, Asian and other migrants from the global south have continued to pour into Israel. This shift to "surplus humanity" appears to be more advanced for Gazans, who remain locked out and relegated to the concentration camp that Gaza has become. The Gaza Palestinians appear as the first group facing genocidal activity.
Zionists and defenders of the Israeli state take great offense at any analogy between the Nazis and Israeli state actions, including the charge of genocide, in part, because the Jewish Holocaust is used by the Israeli state and the Zionist political project as a mechanism of legitimation, so that to draw such analogies is to undermine Israel's legitimating discourse. It is crucial to point this out, because that discourse has gradually come to legitimate current or proposed Israeli policies that demonstrate an ever more frightening similarity with other historical instances of genocide.
The noted Israeli historian Benny Morris, a professor at Ben Gurion University of the Negev who closely identifies with Israel, gave a lengthy interview to Haaretz in 2004 where he referred to the genocide of Native Americans in what is today the United States in order to suggest that genocide may be acceptable. He said in the interview "even the great American democracy could not have been created without the annihilation of the Indians. There are cases in which the overall, final good justifies harsh and cruel acts that are committed in the course of history." He then went on to call for ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians, saying, "something like a cage has to be built for them. I know it sounds terrible. It is really cruel. But there is no choice. There is a wild animal there that has to be locked up in one way or another."
Morris' views do not represent consensus inside Israel, much less internationally and there are multiple divisions, points of tension and contradictions among Israeli and transnational elites. There is also a mounting worldwide movement for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) that places pressure on dominant groups to reach an accommodation in defense of their own economic interests. This is an unpredictable moment. Whether or not structural pressures for genocide actually materialize into a project of genocide will depend on the historical conjuncture of crisis, the political and ideological conditions that make genocide a possibility, and a state agent with the means and the will to carry it out. A slow-motion genocide apparently has already begun in Gaza, where there have been month-long Israeli sieges every few years that leave several thousand dead, tens of thousands injured, hundreds of thousands displaced and the entire population deprived of the necessities of life, with astounding Israeli public consensus supporting these campaigns. These overall conditions of a project of genocide are far from incarnation, but they are certainly percolating at this time. It is up to the world community to struggle alongside the Palestinians and decent Israelis to prevent such an outcome.
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They could still get him out of office.
But instead, they want mass death.
Don’t forget that.
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Re: 1900-2000: A century of genocides

Postby seemslikeadream » Sun Apr 12, 2015 11:17 am

“the first genocide of the 20th century”

Pope sparks Turkish ire by referring to Armenian 'genocide' on centenary of slaughter
VATICAN CITY — The Associated Press
Published Sunday, Apr. 12 2015, 8:31 AM EDT
Last updated Sunday, Apr. 12 2015, 10:46 AM EDT

Turkey says that it has conveyed loss of trust in relations with the Vatican after Pope Francis honoured the 100th anniversary of the slaughter of Armenians by calling it “the first genocide of the 20th century” and urging the international community to recognize it as such.

Turkey, which has long denied a genocide took place, immediately summoned the Vatican ambassador to express its displeasure.

In a statement following the meeting, Turkey said that the Pope’s message had contradicted his message of peace and dialogue during a visit to Turkey in November. It said that a response would be forthcoming. The Foreign Ministry said that it had expressed “great disappointment and sadness.”

The statement also called the Pope’s message discriminatory because he only mentioned the pains suffered by Christian Armenians and not Muslims and other religious groups.

Francis, who has close ties to the Armenian community from his days in Argentina, defended his pronouncement by saying it was his duty to honour the memory of the innocent men, women, children, priests and bishops who were “senselessly” murdered by Ottoman Turks.

“Concealing or denying evil is like allowing a wound to keep bleeding without bandaging it,” he said at the start of a Mass Sunday in the Armenian Catholic rite in St. Peter’s Basilica honouring the centenary.

In a subsequent message directed to all Armenians, Francis called on all heads of state and international organizations to recognize the truth of what transpired and oppose such crimes “without ceding to ambiguity or compromise.”

Historians estimate that up to 1.5 million Armenians were killed by Ottoman Turks around the time of World War I, an event widely viewed by scholars as the first genocide of the 20th century.

Turkey, however, refuses to call it a genocide and has insisted that the toll has been inflated, and that those killed were victims of civil war and unrest. It has fiercely lobbied to prevent countries, including the Holy See, from officially recognizing the Armenian massacre as genocide.

Turkey’s embassy to the Holy See cancelled a planned news conference for Sunday, presumably after learning that the pope would utter the word “genocide” over its objections. Requests for comment went unanswered and there was no official word Sunday from the government in Ankara.

Francis’ words had immediate effect in St. Peters, bolstering the head of the Armenian Apostolic Church, Aram I, to thank Francis for his clear condemnation and recall that “genocide” is a crime against humanity that requires reparation.

“International law spells out clearly that condemnation, recognition and reparation of a genocide are closely interconnected,” Aram said in English at the end of the Mass to applause from the pews.

Speaking as if he were at a political rally, Aram said the Armenian cause is a cause of justice, and that justice is a gift of God. “Therefore, the violation of justice is a sin against God,” he said.

The pope’s declaration prompted mixed reactions in the streets in Istanbul. Some said they supported it, but others did not agree.

“I don’t support the word genocide being used by a great religious figure who has many followers,” said Mucahit Yucedal, 25. “Genocide is a serious allegation.”

Several European countries recognize the massacres as genocide, though Italy and the United States, for example, have avoided using the term officially given the importance they place on Turkey as an ally.

The Holy See, too, places great importance in its relationship with the moderate Muslim nation, especially as it demands Muslim leaders condemn the slaughter of Christians by Muslim extremists in neighbouring Iraq and Syria.

But Francis’ willingness to rile Ankara with his words showed once again that he has few qualms about taking diplomatic risks for issues close to his heart. He took a similar risk by inviting the Israeli and Palestinian presidents to pray together for peace at the Vatican – a summit that was followed by the outbreak of fighting in the Gaza Strip.

Francis is not the first pope to call the massacre a genocide. In his remarks, Francis cited a 2001 declaration signed by St. John Paul II and the Armenian church leader, Karenkin II, which said the deaths were considered “the first genocide of the 20th century.”

Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI, whose ties with Turkey and the Muslim world were initially strained, avoided using the “g-word” during his pontificate.

The context of Francis’ pronunciation was significant: He uttered the words during an Armenian rite Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica marking the 100th anniversary of the slaughter, alongside the Armenian Catholic patriarch, Nerses Bedros XIX Tarmouni, Armenian Christian church leaders and Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan, who sat in a place of honour in the basilica.

While Francis was archbishop of Buenos Aires, the former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was particularly close to the Armenian community and he referred to the Armenian “genocide” on several occasions.

The definition of genocide has long been contentious. The United Nations in 1948 defined genocide as killing and other acts intended to destroy a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, but many dispute which mass killings should be called genocide.

In his remarks Sunday, Francis said the Armenian slaughter was the first of three “massive and unprecedented” genocides last century that was followed by the Holocaust and Stalinism. He said other mass killings had followed, including in Cambodia, Rwanda, Burundi and Bosnia.

“It seems that the human family has refused to learn from its mistakes caused by the law of terror, so that today too there are those who attempt to eliminate others with the help of a few and with the complicit silence of others who simply stand by,” he said.

Francis has frequently denounced the “complicit silence” of the world community in the face of the modern-day slaughter of Christians and other religious minorities by Islamic extremists.

During Sunday’s Mass, Francis also honoured the Armenian community at the start of the Mass by pronouncing a 10th-century Armenian mystic, St. Gregory of Narek, a doctor of the church. Only 35 people have been given the title, which is reserved for those whose writings have greatly served the universal church.

The Mass was rich in traditional Armenian music, with haunting hymns used at key points. Children dressed in traditional costumes presented the gifts at the altar, which was bathed in a cloud of incense.
Mazars and Deutsche Bank could have ended this nightmare before it started.
They could still get him out of office.
But instead, they want mass death.
Don’t forget that.
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Re: 1900-2000: A century of genocides

Postby seemslikeadream » Mon Jun 01, 2015 9:28 am

6,000 aboriginal children died in 'cultural genocide' in Canadian residential school system, officials say

'If anybody tried to do this today, they would easily be subject to prosecution under the genocide convention'
LOUIS DORÉ Saturday 30 May 2015

At least 6,000 aboriginal children died while in the residential school system in Canada, in a "cultural genocide", officials have said.

Justice Murray Sinclair, Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, who is responsible for studying the legacy of the residential schools, said the figure is an estimate and the true figure could be much higher.

"We think that we have not uncovered anywhere near what the total would be because the record keeping around that question was very poor," Sinclair told Rosemary Barton of CBC's Power & Politics. "You would have thought they would have concentrated more on keeping track."

The new death toll comes after comments from the chief justice of the Supreme Court, Beverley McLachlin, who said that Canada attempted to commit "cultural genocide" against aboriginal peoples.

"The most glaring blemish on the Canadian historic record relates to our treatment of the First Nations that lived here at the time of colonization," McLachlin said.

Canada, she said, sustained an "ethos of exclusion and cultural annihilation", an assessment which Justice Sinclair agreed with.

"I think as commissioners we have concluded that cultural genocide is probably the best description of what went on here.

"If anybody tried to do this today, they would easily be subject to prosecution under the genocide convention."
Mazars and Deutsche Bank could have ended this nightmare before it started.
They could still get him out of office.
But instead, they want mass death.
Don’t forget that.
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Posts: 32090
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Location: into the black
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