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On the Perception Management of Genocide
by John Bart Gerald
 
                         but here Death is already chalking the doors with crosses,
                         and calling the ravens and the ravens are flying in.
    - Anna Akhmatova
 
     Overruling the foundations of international law, the U.S. is intent on attacking Syria. The UN has not given permission. U.S. President Obama will ask Congress for permission. Syria has not attacked the U.S.. The United Kingdom and Canada have refused to partake overtly. France awaits U.S. Congressional approval.

     In 2011 the Libya newly formed by NATO officially recognized as the legitimate government of Syria, the Syrian National Council, one of the rebel groups which would make up the Syrian National Coalition. In 2012 the following Islamic countries recognized the entire rebel Syrian National Coalition: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates. In 2012 these Judao-Christian NATO countries officially recognized the Syrian National Coalition: France, Turkey [secular], Italy, U.K., Spain, Denmark, Norway, Germany, Belgium, Luxemboug, U.S., Australia, and the Netherlands. Official recognition followed extensive covert assistance to rebels.

     The transition to direct military actions against the current selected victim, without UN approval violates the UN Charter, the law against aggression as defined by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, the Convention on Genocide, and the Laws of War.

     According to the ICC definition in Article 8 of the Rome Statute: “act of aggression” means the use of armed force by a State against the sovereignty, territorial integrity or political independence of another State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Charter of the United Nations (Wikipedia). Article 15 states: In respect of a State that is not a party to this Statute, the Court shall not exercise its jurisdiction over the crime of aggression when committed by that State’s nationals or on its territory. So the law does not apply to the U.S. and Israel (and Sudan) since these refused to ratify the Rome Statute. Countries who have ratified it, subject to the law, are not likely to participate in a military attack on Syria.

     The Rome Statute does not protect leaders of nations who aren't members of the International Criminal Court from prosecution for the crime of genocide. Foreseeing a tactical need for what might be declared genocide, the U.S. commitment to the Convention on Genocide itself is accompanied by Reservations which make its application to the United States subject to U.S. interpretation. This provided some warning of U.S. foreign policy intentions.

     In the U.S. people's natural fear and hatred of genocide is reinforced by seventy years of propaganda, entertainment, academic curriculums, and literary and intellectual understandings about Europe's Holocaust of the Jews in WWII. The agenda of a non-ICC member committing genocide, would be to perception manage the people's awareness of contemporary genocide into norms of profit making and wars of defense.

     North American discussion of genocide is kept rigorously apart from the defense industry's arsenal of nuclear weapons or discussion of nuclear power. The threat of genocide in the nuclear destruction of national groups and particularly nuclear strike policies, forced the West's understanding of the Convention to focus on the singular threat to scapegoated groups within its own cultures.

     When the U.S. with NATO powers attacked the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1999, bombing civilian areas and infrastructure, FRY President Miloševic correctly charged the NATO powers with genocide at the International Court of Justice. NATO country defense against the charge relied on legal technicalities rather than refutation. It also relied on the un-adjudicated death of Miloševic in the Tribunal's prison, and the replacement of the International Court of Justice with the International Criminal Court. The charge of genocide against NATO countries remained; the offending countries were not absolved of guilt. When the genocide is obscured its perpetrators wander into old age un-prosecuted.

     Miloševic 's fate may have dissuaded other victim nations from appealing to international courts for justice.

     U.S. policy toward the countries it destroys through military actions removes the victim government's recourse to international justice. The denial of legal justice begins well before the military action with the transformation of the victim country's leader into a monster. U.S. media focus on the leader's violation of human rights, for policies as ugly as those at Guantanamo Bay but noted by the press as extreme, inhumane, intolerable, despicable, and criminal. This transfers the people's outrage at their own leaders to crimes of a foreign leader.

     The war on Islam has allowed dehumanization of Muslims, followed by the bombing of civilian centres, civilian infra-structure, and subsequent destruction of national cultures, ie. Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya. The human rights violations of the naturally evolved governments were used as justification for US/NATO intervention. The English speaking world, fearing the strict morality of Islam and its purity, centered its attacks on Islam on the immorality of Muslim leaders. Saddam Hussein was executed in a victor's court after 15 years of a Western media hate campaign. The propaganda against Muammar Gaddafi led to his degradation and extra-judiciary murder. Both adhered to moral codes and were more effective, protective and humane leaders than those who replaced them. Portraying Islam on a world-wide stage as morally deficient began with an Anglo-American literary campaign using Salman Rushdie's Satanic Verses, which provoked such extreme response from Muslim fundamentalists that literary establishments devoted to freedom of speech rose in arms. As though the Jewish and Christian intellectuals of nuclear powers had the right to judge religious sensibilities of less well armed religions. The concept of a "war on Islam" itself was carefully avoided by the media.

     At what point do unequal religious wars, which have resulted in the destruction of several Muslim nations and Muslim peoples so far become clearly a genocide ?

     The genocidal aspect of destruction of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia as a national group, was diluted by focusing on the genocides of individual ethnic and religious groups of Croats, Serbs, and Muslims.

     In Iraq however, the national group was of one predominant religion. By emphasizing and encouraging sectarianism within Iraq, the public's perception of a genocide was bent to internal dissent and civil war. The red mist of the 1990 U.S. / Coalition invasion, where thousands of shopkeepers in uniform were machine gunned and bulldozed into desert trenches (with military and civilian casualty statistics suppressed by Global media), the statistics on the damage to Iraq, its people, its culture, its intellectual community, the diaspora of Iraqi refugees seeking lives in foreign countries, were ground to a fine powder by the second Gulf War and establishment of the NATO country controls which left us with Iraq of today.

     Since 1990 a proliferation of U.S. organizations and foundations became devoted to the issue of genocide, and based in the Universities or governments which provided us with the leaders propagating the genocides. Yale which supplied the nation with Presidents Bush Senior and Junior, hosts the the Genocide Studies Program at Yale (founded 1998). Harvard which provided President Obama with a curious education in law boasts the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy (founded 1999) that provided Samantha Power[s] and the Canadian Michael Ignatieff a platform for supporting the invasion of Iraq, an aggression. U.S. Organizations devoted to the prevention of Genocide have been reluctant to recognize Israel's policies toward Palestinians as violations of the Convention.

     Throughout North America, the 'genocide prevention' establishment (which now includes the FBI) is unswervingly dedicated to supporting U.S. Government policy, excusing, or ignoring it.

     In Canada most organizations devoted to Genocide prevention, as well as the experts on genocide, are firmly Canadian government advocates, while it is usually government which presents the primary threat of genocide against a people.

     It is just because the contemporary government policies which allow extremes of injustice against Aboriginals have a history, that their continuation is "intentional". The effect is made clear by history, evidence, statistics, and human suffering. To confuse contemporary policies which assure the termination of a group, with the ugliness or glories of conquest, insists on historical crimes as a norm and re-writes history to accommodate a contemporary and essentially bureaucratic evil. The intention of discovering and settling the Americas was not genocide. Its tactical use of genocide, which continues for profit, is genocide, and the need to manage the public into perceiving the damage against American Indians as "collateral damage" has laid the groundwork for the tragic crimes of American history: the bombing of Hiroshima, of Nagasaki, the firebombing of Dresden, the defoliation of Vietnam, the bombing of Iraq. Each involves the immense "collateral damage" of millions of civilian lives. It is when the creation of ”collateral damage” becomes a policy that it becomes clearly genocide. U.S. and NATO policy in the Middle East is consistently killing hundreds of thousands of civilians, displacing millions, destroying infra-structure, and past any claim of "collateral damage," outside international law and without assuming the care of a conquered people as required by law.

     Canada's Montreal Institute for Genocide [sic] and Human Rights Studies (founded 1986) hosts the government's "All-Parliamentary Group on the Prevention of Genocide" and "Will to Intervene Project." Canada's Senator Roméo Dallaire tries to move the concept of "Right to Protect" (R2P) which can result in military intervention 'to stop a genocide', toward peace keeping, ie. to keep the fighting groups apart. General Dallaire, commander of the UN peace keeping mission during genocide in Rwanda was doing just that when abandoned by the world powers that signed the Convention on Genocide.

     Currently, Dallaire would have favoured intervention in Syria some years ago but wonders why military intervention is suggested now when it would do no good for the people. He advises against a military attack on Syria, particularly without accurate field information. The UN report of its chemical weapons investigators is neither prepared nor released.

     The domain of what genocide is and where the word applies is fairly strictly controlled, manipulated and media managed, by or to the interests of the offending government. Perception of contemporary genocide is increasingly controlled by statistics in the hands of government and corporate organizations. What happens to the people is one factor in an economic equation. Genocide becomes less a matter defined by race, ethnicity, religion, economic status or class, and more a tool of the powerful to depopulate, control, and organize accepting groups into consumerism.

     People tend not to cooperate with what they know is a crime. This doesn't always express itself in underground movements, political activism, or guerilla warfare, but simply in non-cooperation. North America, built by its people, is entirely vulnerable to its people. All the refineries, nuclear facilities, power stations, military bases, government offices, rely finally on human security. Finally the people are responsible for whether the society will function or not. Perception management in the government's statements and media propaganda offer the illusion of its control over millions of powerless individuals. Yet each person thinks, and loves, and wants a future. So if the U.S. President insists on another illegal attack on yet another Muslim country it isn't only up to Congress, which may show the limited understanding of a very wealthy elite, but the decision of a people who pays for the government's decisions with their future.

 
"On the Perception Management of Genocide"
by John Bart Gerald
First posted, Night's Lantern. September 4, 2013

 

 

 

 


gerald and maas
posted 4 september 2013