Tuesday, January 09, 2007

GENOCIDE vs WAR: or "No, Daniel, Bush is not the Hitler of the 21st Century!"

A few days ago, I received the following comment, so I am dedicating this post to Daniel and anyone else who might harbor the same inane beliefs, in hopes that they will ultimately understand the fundamental differences between "war" and "genocide":

Daniel has left a new comment on your post "Saddam Hussein's karmic retribution": Bush is the Hitler of the XXIst century. He massacred to thousands of Afghan innocent and hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis, initiating two wars with lies. And the weapon of massive destruction of Iraq? And Bin Laden in Afghanistan? Where there are Bin Laden and the weapon of massive destruction? The war of Iraq was realized to appropriate of the oil of this country, and to favor to the corporations that direct the government. What Hussein was an assassin? Without doubts, but it does not mean that Bush also it is. Bush is the " Butcher of Texas ". Posted by
Daniel to
Confessions of a Closet Republican at 11:17 AM

At least we agree that Saddam was an assassin, but I am sooooo incredibly tired of the ludicrous comparisons of Bush to Hitler, and the equally absurd claims that he's culpable of genocide and somehow responsible for all the world's ills. People love to blame Bush and the current administration for every global problem that exists today. But unlike those countries that live under authoritarian rule, our system of government is a democracy and the President, though he does have veto power, can NOT make decisions on his own. That's why we have a duly elected Congress and Senate. So, no Daniel, Bush is NOT personally responsible for any of the deaths in Afghanistan or Iraq, though you'd like to believe so. I will readily admit that GWB has his faults, as do most world leaders (both past and present), and the problems in Iraq are very troublesome, but one thing he is not is another Hitler. I think the Bush administration, unfortunately, overestimated the capacity of the Iraqi people to embrace democracy (given their tribal and archaic mentality), and they also failed to take into account how far the foreign and regional Islamic factions might go to undermine the efforts to build a democracy in that region. But hindsight is 20/20, as they say. Then, factor in having to fight a P.C. war against an enemy that does not abide by any rules of engagement (as per the Geneva Conventions) and you have major trouble.

As for initiating those wars "with lies", I'm not sure what "lies" you are referring to when you reference Afghanistan, Daniel, but as I mentioned in my response to your comment, Afghanistan has been invaded countless times over the centuries. Muslims conquered Afghanistan back in 637 AD, and as recently as 1979 it was invaded by Communists (the former Soviet Union). Civil War erupted after the Soviet troop withdrawal in 1988, and when the current war began, in October 2001, the Afghan Northern Alliance provided the bulk of the fighting forces, with the U.S. and other NATO members (including Britain, France, Canada, Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, Portugal, Spain and Norway) lending support. Australia, New Zealand and Pakistan also provided troops. So, I'm sorry to say, it wasn't only Bush (and the U.S.) that participated in what you call the massacre of thousands of innocents, there were other countries involved, as well. (And what would you call the initial Muslim conquerors or the Soviet invaders? But that's another post). And the guerrilla fighting that continues today, in Afghanistan, is between the Taliban and NATO, not the U.S. This was never solely a U.S. operation.

Moreover, prior to the 2001 invasion, it was common knowledge that the repressive Taliban regime had been offering sanctuary (since 1996) to Osama Bin Laden and other al-Quaeda operatives, and had allowed them to set up terrorist training camps there. The invasion in 2001 was initiated in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, which Bin Laden has taken full responsibility for. We were attacked on our soil and, considering we had intel that he was in Afghanistan, at the time, we had every right to seek him out wherever he happened to be hiding. I'm not sure where you live, Daniel, but I guarantee that if anything similar happened in your country, you would think very differently. And where is he today? Bin Laden lives in a region that is more than willing to hide and protect him.

As for initiating the war in Iraq "with lies", every other major world power also happened to believe that there were WMDs in that country, and Saddam had years, prior to the invasion, to ship them off to Syria, where they are probably stored today. People tend to forget that Iraq had been slapped with U.N. sanctions after its invasion of Kuwait in 1991 and that no U.N. weapons inspectors had visited Iraq since 1998, so anything could have been arranged during the interim. Then in November 2002 (just prior to the invasion in 2003), the U.N. Security Council adopted Resolution 1441 (which passed unanimously!) offering Iraq, "a final opportunity to comply with its disarmament obligations" . Those "obligations" had been defined in 10 other U.N. Resolutions (660, 661, 678, 686, 687, 688, 707, 715, 986 and 1284) all of which were, by and large, ignored! Saddam finally agreed to comply with Resolution 1441 and allowed U.N. weapons inspectors to, once again, visit suspect sites. Iraq was also to supply the U.N. with a 12,000 page weapons declaration, which it did, on 12/7/2002. However, U.N. inspector Hans Blix claimed that, "During the period 1991-1998, Iraq submitted many declarations called full, final and complete. Regrettably, much in these declarations proved inaccurate or incomplete or was unsupported or contradicted by evidence. In such cases, no confidence can arise that proscribed programmes or items have been eliminated." The U.N. weapons inspectors had good reason to believe that Saddam might still possess WMDs, as did the Security Council, so why shouldn't we have trusted that information? If Saddam had fully complied with that final Resolution, or had all the members of the Security Council held him accountable for not complying and stood together with those countries that were threatening to invade if he didn't, we would never have gone to war! Which leads me to the ridiculous notion that we invaded Iraq because of their oil. If the fatuous "Blood for Oil" proponents bothered to do any research, they would have discovered that it wasn't the U.S. that had anything to gain from an invasion, but rather China, France and Russia that had too much at stake to support it. I wasn't sure how I felt about the War, at first, so I researched the issue extensively and found that those 3 countries had huge investment ties to Iraqi oil and that was why they refused to join forces. I have that info somewhere and will share when I eventually find it. But, as of 2006, Iraq is 7th on the list of countries we import oil from; Canada and Mexico being the top 2. And thinking that the U.S. government would ever believe it could get away with "appropriating" the oil from ANY country in the Middle East (or anywhere else, for that matter) is tantamount to saying our leaders are total morons and believe in committing suicide and, I assure you, they are not and do not (with maybe a few exceptions)!

And don't forget the whole "Oil for Food scandal" that eventually was uncovered. People love to conveniently forget about that whole travesty.


So lets talk about GENOCIDE.

(jěn'ə-sīd') n. The systematic and planned extermination of an
entire national, racial, political, or ethnic group. [Greek genos, tribe, race; + -cide Occidere- Latin for Killing or massacre.]
It's a term, by the way, that was coined by Raphael Lemkin , a Polish Jew who took interest in the Armenian Genocide (by the Turks in the early 1900s), after he heard about the case of Soghomon Tehlirian (a genocide survivor) who, while in Berlin on March 15th 1921, assassinated Mehmed Talat Pasha, the Turkish Minister of Interior, for his participation in orchestrating the massacre. Tehlirian was acquitted, but Lemkin began to question why a man like Tehlirian should be tried for murder and yet annihilating entire populations wasn't considered a crime. So, he lobbied for international laws to address that inequity and in 1948 the U.N. adopted the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. It, unfortunately, does not also include the decimation of ideological, political or cultural groups or members of a social class, as Lemkin had hoped for. These groups were excluded because the Convention needed the support of the Soviet Union and other Communist countries, and they were opposed to those classifications, for obvious reasons.

And WAR:

(wɔr) n.
1.a conflict carried on by force of arms, as between nations or between parties within a nation; warfare, as by land, sea, or air.
2.a state or period of armed hostility or active military operations: The two nations were at war with each other.

Sadly, wars have been waged over land and power and religious control, since the beginning of time. There will always be those who lust for power, or who are unwilling to live in peace with others because they are so filled with hatred for those who are different, or those who just want what's yours. There are some ethnic groups that have such enmity for each other (that goes back centuries), that they will always live in conflict. It's as if there's some genetic mutation that keeps getting passed down from generation to generation, that makes them unable to live peaceably with their neighbors. And yes, sometimes war is a necessity: when defending one's land and population, or coming to the aid of those unable to defend themselves.

Genocide, on the other hand, is the result of attempts to get rid of large groups of people by lunatics who have decided they are unfit to live. There is a concerted effort to exterminate them all. In the 20th Century alone, there have been at least 7 acts of Genocide:

Armenian Genocide: (1915-1918) approx. 1,500,00 - 2 million killed by the Turks

Ukrainian Genocide: (1932-1933 )approx 7 to 10 million dead (Stalin created an artificial famine)

The Holocaust: (1938-1945) approx 6 million Jews (and others) killed by Hitler & the Nazis

Pol Pot: (1975-1979) approx. 2 million Cambodians killed by Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge

Bosnian Genocide: (1992-1995) approx. 150,000 to 200,000 killed by the Serbs

Rwanda: (1994) approx 200,000 Tutsis were massacred by Hutus

There may be some I have missed.

Then you have the persecution of the Bahais and Kurds in the Middle-East, where many have been killed, though not to the extent of the above-mentioned incidents.

Our incursion into Iraq and Afghanistan was NOT for the express purpose of ridding the world of all Iraqis or all Afghanis. So, technically speaking, any deaths in those countries cannot be considered acts of genocide, they are the unfortunate by-product of war. And claiming it is genocide sullies the memory of those who actually did die at the hands of genocidal maniacs.
And I ask you, Daniel, why you don't criticize the insurgents fighting in Iraq? They have caused far more death and destruction to the people of that country than any coalition soldier has.

Something to ponder.


MUD said...

Great Discussion but probably exceded Daniel's attention span.

peddlinshutterbug said...

TOUCHE'! I love the way you just lay out the facts, point by point. I fear you may be throwing 'pearls before swine' but you never know of others who may be reading, as I have referred other factophobes like Daniel to your site.
It is always interesting, how they avoid responding to the POINTS of truth. Hope you're having a wonderful, blessed New Year!

Incognito said...

Thanks MUD. English isn't his first language, so that might be a problem for him, but I wondered if the post might be too long for anyone's attention span. :-) I debated about the length but had too much to address. So I sort of divided it into 2 sections. Oh well.

Incognito said...

You are probably right, Peddlin, but I have to try. :-) And as you say, perhaps one misguided soul might become somewhat enlightened.
And they do avoid responding to the facts. Had that problem with an actress tonight,in the show I am doing. Very angry, as most are, and blinded to the truth by that anger and therefore, blisffully ignorant. Oh well.

myrevison said...

The frustrating thing for me is that Bush is not trying to rid the world of a particular race or group of individuals but he is trying to hold a leader accountable for his actions. Unfortunately doing the right thing is not only difficult but not readily accepted in our world-view of self first. Discipline is no longer a part of our understanding - that when you do something out of order, you actually do have to take responsibility for it.

Incognito said...

Interesting comment, myrevision, but I have several questions for you:
what would have happened had we not eventually held Hitler accountable, or Milosevic (or any of the other malevolent individuals in this world)? Had we
entered the fray sooner, in both the above mentioned situations, many lives would have been spared.

If you saw someone attempting to harm another, would you just stand aside and say, "it's none of my business." Think about that.

Daniel said...

I went away a few days to the beach (here it is a summer) and on having returned read your post.
Incredible. To read your post and to listen to Bush's arrogant speeches in CNN is the same thing.
You have bought you the speech "neocons" of the sector more to the right of the Republican party.
My brief opinion:
a) 11-S it happened with the knowledge of American authorities. 11-S it gave the perfect excuse to the " Corporate America " and to his manager Bush to throw the mad idea of the " war to the terrorism " and this way to take advantage of the resources of the countries that they were considering suitable and to expand the empire.
b) Why the countries can members of the Council of Security have nuclear weapon and the rest of the countries not? Is it just this? Why are not all the countries disarmed? At least it is very hypocritical that The United States and Europe demand that Iran does not develop nuclear power, while Europe and The United States are armed up to the teeth.
c) My country, Argentina, was a victim of the terrorism. In 1991 and 1994, two bombs they exploded in the center of the city of Buenos Aires, the capital of the country, killing hundreds of persons.
Nevertheless, the population did not answer invading nobody, but blaming the president for that one at the time.
In Spain, when it happened of the bombs in the trains, the response of the Spanish people was to punish the government of Aznar for supporting the invasion to Iraq.
In The United States, the people believed herself Bush's speech.
This it is the difference.

A greeting.

Incognito said...

I hope you had a nice time at the beach with your wife, Daniel. I was wondering what happened to you.

I don't consider myself arrogant. I just speak what I see as the Truth. From my perspective.

As for being on the right of the Republican Party, if you read my profile or some of my other posts you would realize that I am far from extreme right. I am actually a moderate. There are many things that I support that the Republican Party does not. And I've already told you what I think about people who think 9/11 was a conspiracy, so I won't respond to that comment.

The reason why we don't want countries like Iran and North Korea to have nuclear weapons is rather obvious, I would think, to any rational thinking human being. Nuclear weapons in the hands of madmen like Ahmadinejad and Kim Jong-Il. If their nuclear capabilities include the ability to destroy our land then yes, they shouldn't have that power. Ahmadinejad has already said he wants to wipe Israel off the map.
And the problem with terrorism back in the 90's wasn't as dangerous and predominant as it is now. And I'm not sure who was responsible for the bombings in B.A, but the fact that the Islamic terrorists care not how many they kill and could care less if they kill themselves in the process, makes terrorism in the 21st Century a lot more dangerous.

Daniel said...

I agree in that it is a madness that Iran and North Korea have nuclear weapon. But then nobody would have to have them, and the world would be much better.
And less than anybody, they must be had By The United States, which for if already they forgot it, is the only country of the world in throwing nuclear bombs on civil population. And not only one, but in two occasions, both in Japan.
There is not known still the one who realized the attempts in Buenos Aires.
The sectors of right think that it was Hezbollah.
The majority of the population believes that it was the Mossad of Israel and the CIA.
Obviously, I believe the above mentioned.
The days at the beach were very good. Thank you for your words.
I see that after everything, the republican one and a "communist" can be polite.
Hahahahahaha, Regards.

Incognito said...

Ah, so we agree on 2 things. Que milagro. :-)
Y estoy de acuerdo, if no-one had them, the world would be a much better place. But we had nuclear weapons because both the Russians and the Nazis were building them as well. The Nazis never accomplished it, but the Russians did. And therein lies the problem. we certainly won't get rid of ours as long as there are people like Ahmadenijad and Il and Pakistan (y todos los otros) that have them.
As for Japan, that was a long time ago, and remember we responded (whether right or wrong) because they bombed us FIRST, in Pearl Harbor. That was considered an act of war. And, as horrible as it was, they never tried it again. The Islamic terrorists are a totally different kind of human being, because of their mentality.

And, of course, the left would think it was Israel or the CIA. People love to blame everything on Israel and the U.S.

Visite B.A. hace muchos anos. Muy lindo. Pero nunca fuimos al mar.
Pero, al fin, you admit you are 'communist'. Yo lo sabia!
Y claro, los conservativos son mas tolerante que los liberales. :-)

Daniel said...

Beyond that we do not coincide with many things, your analyses are reasonable from your point of view: since like republican and American.
I propose an exercise you: your she thinks how you would see the things being Latin-American or Iranian.

As Iranian:
What would you think if the only country that threw atomic bombs, demands that your country does not have them?
What would you think if the country to which you consider your enemy, invades your two neighboring countries?

Like Latin American:

What you would think of the United States, that it supported bloodthirsty dictatorships in this region, taking care of only interests of the United States?
That you would think of the United States, that supported corrupt governments, giving all our wealth almost free, to multinational companies?
That you would think of the United States, if its embassy constantly presses our governments, with the objective to obtain policies that most of people it rejects?

It is not my intention to change your way to think. Only desire that you can understand the reasons by which exists in our region (and other regions also) hatred to the United States. That the Americans understand this, is the first passage for a solution.

PS: It enchants the policy to me, but we could speak sometimes of some other thing, right? Perhaps in some other thing we agree ourselves! Greetings.

Incognito said...

Your exercise is an interesting one Daniel, but perhaps you could see it from my point of view as well, which I have explained on more than one occasion.

The Iranians are religious fanatics who hate us (as do many of the Arab countries) because we support the right of Israel to exist. That is truly the major issue here. They would also have every country in the world under Islamic law. Ask your wife if she would really want to wear a Burqa and not be able to work. Assuming she does. They want nuclear weapons not as a means of defense but rather as an offensive tactic.

Many countries beg for foreign investment. Multinational corporations often invest a lot of money in their host countries, provide job growth and technology, none of which would exist without them. As 'evil' as you would like to call them, we'd all be still living in the dark ages (as some countries are) without large coporate interests. You wouldn't have your blog or cellphone etc. We'd probably still be hunter-gatherers. You wouldn't have your car to go to the beach with your lovely wife. And remember, it's not just the U.S. that has corporate interests in foreign countries. We hve foreign companies in the U.S. and many cities court those companies because they know they will bring jobs etc. the the area.

And yes, I'm sure there are many things we could talk about other than politics that we would agree upon, like travel. :-)

Daniel said...

OK. We are going to speak about trips, then.
To seeing if we agree in something!
We look like Burt Simpson and his sister (I am not Burt, eh) hahahaha.
What countries do you know?
I was in:
Uruguay, Chile, Brazil, Ecuador, Venezuela, Mexico, Cuba, England, Scotland, Wales, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Italy, France and Holland.
Have we someone jointly?

Incognito said...

Bueno. Viajes.
I was born in the Phillippine Islands and also lived in Venezuela, Korea, Fiji Islands, Ireland, Ecuador y Okinawa.

He visitado en Latinoamerica:
Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, Peru, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Mexico.

Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica y otros islas Caribes.
England, Wales, Scotland, France, Spain, Czech Republic, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Holland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Canada, Japan, Singapore.
Puede ser que hay mas.
I loved Prague and Scandinavia. Pero carisimo en Scandinavia.
I love to travel and have hundreds of photos from where I have been.

Anonymous said...

Reading through Incognito's original post, all I can say is "aah!" It's hard to imagine a human being so ignorant and self-righteous, but then again George Bush has already established the infiniteness of ignorance and self-righteousness. George Bush is not Hitler, but much worse. He has committed virtually every crime by Hitler, and unlike Hitler, George Bush is getting away with his crimes.

Funny thing is, I'm planning to vote Republican in 2008. As I see it, Republicans represent the shortest path to self-destruction for the ignorant and self-righteous in USA. Hopefully, the self-destruction will be followed by a more enlightened era for all humanity.