Why the Genocides Continue"...they are taking measures to kill us all..." - Bertrand Russell, Philip Berrigan
by John Bart Gerald
I start with a summary of updates concerning areas currently at risk of genocide, because similarities and patterns emerge which help understand contemporary genocides. In some cases a program of genocide isn't limited to the country where it's recognized. And the list isn't all-inclusive.
Ukraine: a genocide warning for Jews is extended to ethnic Russians as well. While large numbers of ethnic Russians have taken refuge in Russia, reports indicate the Ukraine army and its militias have attempted to decrease civilian ethnic Russians in areas which might vote for separation from the Ukraine. NATO's "blindness" to the fascism of the Ukraine's government and policies suggests NATO's desire to use the Ukraine to its own advantage in aggressive actions against Russia. Russia has declared substantial evidence of genocide against Russian ethnic peoples in the Ukraine but without support from NATO countries. The rise of fascist parties and right wing populism throughout European Union countries serve NATO's tactical interest in Russia's natural wealth, and fear of its economic, moral and military resources.
France: the European Union's efforts to dissuade France from another(1) ethnic cleansing of Roms, have failed. The bulldozing of Roma camps continues. French Justice, individual mayors, priests, and human rights organizations present some resistance to a campaign which leads toward the eradication of the entire ethnic/ racial group. The anti-Rom campaigns seem to have begun in Italy under Berlusconi, releasing right wing populists rising to power through increased persecution of Roma, under Sarkhozy in France, in Hungary, in the Republic of Czechoslovakia, and throughout Europe, finding alliance with the rise in Islamophobia, anti-Burka laws, discrimination against immigrants, and anti-Semitism.
Chhattisgarh state, India: the government's program against Naxalite guerillas has extended to assassination of villagers and mass sterilizations of the poor. The target of 125 Chhattisgarh surgeons for 2014-15 is 175,000 sterilizations, as it was in 2013-2014.(2) Persecution of Christians continues to be a problem and sporadic actions against Christian churches are extending under Bharatiya Janata Party rule. The issue of genocide remains suppressed with the national silence concerning the genocide of Sikh peoples in 1984, which has not been officially recognized by India's government. Efforts to make the American people aware by "Sikhs for Justice" include an appeal in California (with its large population of Sikh peoples) to Governor Jerry Brown to support a campaign for the US government to recognize the 1984 massacres in India, as genocide.
Kenya: in a statement released November 11th, the Kenya Catholic Doctors Association found the HCG antigen (it causes miscarriages) in a tetanus vaccine being used to innoculate 2.3 million women and girls under a World Health Organization / UNICEF program sponsored by Kenya's government. The program is being applied only to women of child bearing age. Despite government denials the allegations are supported by Kenya's Catholic Bishops.(3)
Peru: On January 24th, 2014 the Public Prosecutor announced he wouldn't prosecute 26 officials of the Fujimori regime for their part in the sterilization without consent of over 2000 aboriginal and peasant women, because he didn't find a crime against humanity committed.... On October 29th the investigation was reopened. The government operation was carried out under the under the rule of President Alberto Fujimori, during the 1990's. While it was called a "family planning program" supported by the UN and the US, it is historically part of the government's war on terrorism, destruction of The Shining Path, and those under its protection.(4) The legal system's impunity has increased the risk of genocide for native peoples.
Guatemala: NATO countries have withheld serious support for legal challenges to the genocide of 1982 to 1983 in Guatemala. Without it, the conviction on charges of genocide against the former US supported ruler Rios Monte was spuriously overturned. A re-trial is scheduled for January 2015, and the witnesses and prosecutors will risk their lives again for truth and justice. Their opposition remains Guatemala's oligarchy created by and supported by US policy, military and international corporations.(5) The judiciary's impunity has increased the risk of genocide for Mayan peoples.
Mexico: 43 students training as teachers for rural areas, were disappeared by the police Sept. 26, 2014 and are presumed dead. They attended a school with a long history of social activism. Police tactics in Mexico, supported by U.S. law enforcement programs, are increasingly those of terminal fascism. A social movement challenging the corruption of all the politicians is alive and demanding a return of the students. Historical note:(6) former President Echeverria was charged with genocide for the massacre of university students in 1968, as part of a plan to murder political dissidents. The U.S. embassy's involvement (under Winston Scott) was subsequently proven. Charges against Echeverria were blocked by legal manoeuvring ("statute of limitations"), uncontested by foreign states signatory to the Convention on Genocide, which has allowed the subsequent impunity.
Ferguson, Missouri: Officer Darren Wilson, the police killer of an unarmed black youth, Michael Brown, has not been indicted by the grand jury. The people's response in Ferguson is restrained, while forces of law and the military are prepared to kill other Americans to defend this murder cradled in a history of killing unarmed Black people across the United States. Police programs have been clarified in Chicago, St. Louis, New York, which severely devalue the lives of the people. Every Grand Jury that excuses another murder of an unarmed Black, Hispanic, native, or White (and the specific target groups of these killings are the poor) contributes to the devaluation of their victims' lives. This is intrinsically part of every genocide program.
Louisiana: former Black Panther Albert Woodfox (of the Angola 3) remains in prison despite the Federal court's overturning of his conviction for the third time. On November 20th, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the order for his release but Woodfox continues what have been over 40 years so far in solitary confinement.(7)
The U.S. and Canada: with the administration of international justice firmly in the hands of NATO powers, application of punishment as required by the Convention on Genocide is selective. Notably missing are legal actions under the Convention, against Canada for current Aboriginal policies, against the U.S. and Canada for sheltering corporate destruction of resource's necessary to native peoples in many countries, against various NATO countries for aggressive military actions resulting in genocide in Yugoslavia, Iraq. Afghanistan, Libya, Syria. UN offices concerned with genocide seem helpless in applying the Convention to corporate destruction of both First People's and everyone's resources for survival, throughout the Americas and Africa. Government cooperation with resource interests is so thorough and so frequently the cause of military aggressions that the Convention on Genocide is currently rendered inoperable.
Myanmar: a genocide warning continues for the Rakhine Muslim population, those referred to as "Rohingya" throughout the country. Preferring the term "Rohingya" not to exist, the government currently refers to this Muslim group as Bengalis. During the last few months, as in 2008, thousands of Rohingya Muslims have fled to the water seeking haven in other countries. According to their relatives thousands appear to have disappeared. Boats along the coast of Thailand have been encouraged to find haven in other lands. The Myanmar Parliament has condemned the UN's Ban Ki Moon for using the word "Rohingya" and noting their lack of human rights. On November 14th, US President Obama called for an end to 'discrimination' in Myanmar while standing beside Myanmar politician and nobelist Suu Kyi who has yet to risk her political career in defence of the Rohingya's human rights. Rather than "discrimination", Myanmar's treatment of the Rohingya Muslims suggests the conscious intention to destroy a people.(8)
Palestine: some European governments are attempting to counter a genocide of Palestinians by recognizing Palestine as a State, with rights under international law. Sweden recognizes the state of Palestine. Spain's lawmakers have passed a motion asking the government to recognize the State of Palestine. Similar requests by the parliaments of Great Britain and Ireland have been refused. A similar motion and non-binding resolution is underway in France and in Denmark. With the exception of countries mentioned and the U.S., Canada, Japan, Columbia, Mexico, Panama, Norway, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Portugal, the Netherlands, Italy, Latvia, Finland, Estonia, Belgium, Greece, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, most other countries in the world have already recognized Palestinian statehood. A study by the World Zionist Organization finds a worldwide increase of anti-Semitic acts by 383% over the same period last year, during Israel's waging of Operation Protective Edge against Gaza. The percentage rises to 100% in Canada, 435% in Europe and 1200% in South America.(9)
Among regions currently endangered by genocide the nightslantern.ca web pages of "Genocide Warnings & Updates" include extensive references and documentation of genocides progressing in Iraq and Israel.(10)
Anyone attempting to draw conclusions or say true things about the crime of genocide and its prevention, becomes at risk within his/her own society.(11)
Because recognition of a Genocide affects government policies, in NATO countries by 2014 genocide awareness is controlled by government agencies and the corporate media. Strength of perception-management programs and media spin provides such a strong current of public opinion that objective assessments of situations where genocide occurs, have become awkward or considered dissident. Deviations from the official line become marginalized or ignored. Unbiased reporting of a genocide becomes unavailable, until too late, except where it suits national policy.
Well funded NGO's devoted to the prevention of genocide peacefully thrive in countries participating in if not engineering genocides. Most contemporary genocides can be traced to efforts by major powers to destabilize regions for corporate resource acquisition.
There is a correlation between programs of powerful countries that encourage genocide in foreign countries, and programs which encourage genocides at home. European and North American governments expand their influence through aggressive policies against "un-cooperative", often "non-white" or simply vulnerable (ie. the Republic of Yugoslavia or Afghanistan) victim states, while controlling domestically victim immigrant/refugee groups as well as previously oppressed groups which have historically provided resistance to genocide.
NATO's wars on Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, coincide with increased oppression within Europe of Arabs and Muslim groups. The crimes are inter-reliant.
Persecution and threat against Black Americans swells and subsides from one generation to another but consistently manages the community into greater adversity, as noted in current incarceration rates of Blacks as well as Hispanics. In the Sixties, the US Defence Department's and FBI's fear of 'Black revolution' within the States was more an adjunct of the Pentagon's war on Vietnam than any threat from Martin Luther King Jr, or the Black Panthers' in their attempts to build and protect communities; these resistance movements were contained by assassination and illegal tactics of law enforcement. Currently the U.S. embarks on a foreign war against ISIS (without Congressional approval) while increasing the provocation and military controls of oppressed groups at home (ie. Ferguson Missouri).
In Canada statistics of tuberculosis rates among First Peoples, as one example among many,(12) suggest there is a policy of denying First People's chances for survival in an ongoing incremental genocide while pursuing foreign policies against international law. Canada can partake in wars of aggression against Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya, etc. because it can. By crippling historical sources of resistance within Canada, criminal actions abroad proceed.
The North American advancement of policies responsible for genocides in other countries is accompanied by terminal policies against historically resistant groups at home. Refusals to recognize the genocides at home, ease the public into accepting new genocides against foreign groups.
Many countries with evolved concepts of human rights and advanced human rights programs have in fact engaged in genocide and turned their backs on the Convention. A clear pattern emerges of genocide resulting from the destabilization of victim countries, and leading to the acquisition of their resources by more powerful countries. The crime becomes necessary to the continuation of corporate, war based economies, acquiring resources through aggressions with the resulting destruction of one national group after another.
The principle impediment to genocide is a just society where the human rights of each person and all peoples are honoured within the home society. However corporate capitalism proves itself the enemy of social justice. Liberalism has allowed the education of the people about what genocide is and how it develops. And it allows economic boycott, a valuable tool, but only at the early stages of preventing genocide. Since genocides develop from intentional programs of acquisition the cost in human life isn't allowed media recognition until underway.
Within unjust societies we have the following means of genocide prevention: the law, people's resistance, revolution, and general strike. To say more about each of these:
If one turns to the law within one's own country the Convention on Genocide is out of reach, subverted to political uses, and at the mercy of perception management by a media. Under pressure from arms makers and national policies, the recognition of genocide is promoted when it offers a chance for armed intervention under the "Right to Protect" (R2P). In fact, by 2014 the dynamics of genocide should be clear: there is no genocide which can't be stopped by preventive means if the crime is realized and addressed early enough. The crime isn't addressed and prevented, to allow armed sales, armed intervention, the assertion of military power, and acquisition. If one turns to the International Criminal Court, the Court refuses to investigate or prosecute allegations of genocide by NATO country leaders.
If one calls on a higher law, beyond what the legal system is able to provide, then one moves from a normal life to resistance. Massive political protest to one's own country's involvement in genocide is rare. The acts of genocide appear to be something other than genocide, such as 'defence of the homeland' or defending 'our way of life'. Massive political protest and resistance to a foreign occupier's program of genocide in one's country is less rare. Colonialism's foreign override of native culture buys off a ruling class. The destruction of a culture, of a people, or both, will appear to be a struggle between two sides and some form of war for liberation. The principle cause for resistance actions is the prevention of genocide.(13) I find almost no exceptions to this. Enduring resistance actions are sometimes called civil wars by the oppressors though conflict rises naturally from the oppression that threatens a victim group's survival. Genocide resistance is recognized as "war" (or "unrest") when the victim group protects itself, but the word "war" is better applied to the use of force in acquisition by an aggressor. The aggressor's motivation is greed. There is no sign of war if the acquisition isn't resisted. Acquirers disguise mechanisms of taking possession, with laws, and economic systems. A wealthier economy can buy the houses and lands of those within an impoverished economy. This is a facet of capitalism. It's also a tactic of rule, where government shifts assets of the peoples at large to a preferred group. This is happening in the West with alarming rapidity; we are told financial assets are becoming centered in a small elite. The transfer of wealth is accomplished with minimal force, provoking minimal resistance, in a process of gradually eradicating the poor.
In France's extinguishment of Rom camps(14) we've seen a government program (amid charges of unsanitary living conditions, un-gainful employment, lack of integration into what it means to be "French") enforce the poverty of a group through employment practices, then attempts to `sanitize` an area by bulldozing Rom lodging camps. These actions rely on traditions of genocide against Roma as well as against Jews, and the persecution of immigrants from former colonies. The genocide against Roms proceeds under colour of law while the law provides some resistance through occasional application of re-lodging requirements. Despite the awareness of the left, the machinery of fascism is working almost perfectly under the employ of socialist or conservative government. There is scattered protest but no armed resistance.
There are severe difficulties with revolution as a way to prevent or counter genocide. The powerful rarely commit genocide unless they have the means to suppress their opposition and escape the application of international justice. Revolutions are factored in to the game plans of the powerful. It's likely everything universities now teach of revolution is mistaken in order to protect things as they are.
The French psychiatrist Franz Fanon pointed out with effect in the 1960's, that most revolutions are simply replacements of one urban elite by another. Even when the new group is broadly based, populist, an elite develops to maintain its power.
If revolution is more than simply a change in rulers or method of rule, it risks a blank page, the freedom to create anything, a liberating or terrifying mindset. Natural disasters, wars, false-flag operations, depressions, don't create blank pages, but instead populations in need, vulnerable to manipulation by whoever can answer the needs of survival. Most disasters including wars are counter-revolutionary, increasing the people's reliance on the existing system for survival.
In militaristic societies revolution requires winning over of portions of the military. Revolution may become instead, civil war. Militaries and law enforcement at the service of society's vulnerable, should seek ways to stand as neutral forces during periods of revolutionary change. But the military rarely stands down and violent revolution is an occupational hazard for those who seek the people's betterment - they're like a cook, when the oil catches fire in the frying pan. When revolutions occur it may be more due to the stupidity of the power group, or those who seek change, than necessity. But because necessity then becomes ruler, the boss, the definer of what happens, logic and rational thought are secondary, useful afterward to understand what happened.
To clarify difficulties of revolution as a way to stop extreme crimes of State: 1. it can provoke or at least allow what becomes a genocide against the people uprising; 2. requiring the ingredient of irrationality, a revolution finds those willing to die for their freedom a mass vulnerable to mind control, misinformation, misdirection by their enemies; 3. Fanon's understanding remains right: how can one avoid simply replacing one set of morally deficient politicians with another? 4. Communications and electronically based economies are increasingly fragile and vulnerable to violence. As the mind control and manipulation of the people by government becomes more advanced, violent revolution will be less of an option for change, but more surprising and extreme if it occurs, possibly in the form of instantaneous mass action by many, precluding the State's ability to retaliate.
General Strike remains the most effective, non-violent and immediate way for citizens to stop a genocide by their own government. It is an intensely political tool, which so far has some effect in countries with strong labour unions. Organized labour is attacked and undermined whenever a government sets a course against the best interests of its people, such as aggressive war or genocide. While Union organizing can be blocked, the people can't when acting with a single purpose. For this reason in capitalist economies people are continually divided and set against each other to impede consensus and mass action.
To understand our Euro-American histories within a perspective of the Convention on Genocide, the conquest of North America and treatment of native peoples formed our reality, indelibly asserting the lack of value of people by our rulers. WWI and WWII were mass genocides of the participants, whether aggressive country or victim. In WWII over 20 million Russians were killed, over 7 million Germans, among millions throughout Europe, North Africa, Asia, the U.S. and Canada. The phenomenon of the Third Reich's concentration camps with the Holocaust of 6 million Jews among other minorities, was a microcosm for the larger event. Millions with the expectation of and sure right to normal lives were manipulated into death by the uses of capitalism and war profits for a few. The history of Western civilization hinges on these periodic genocides, attempts to conquer or destroy another national, racial, ethnic or religious group. The mechanism remains the same as victim groups change.
Currently the Convention is presenting little impediment to genocide because major Western powers, are controlling its application by courts, and by media its perception. Genocide awareness promoted by campaigns is expensive and becomes a tool of the elites used for political advancement rather than a victim group's survival.
Logically, the prevention of genocide requires dismantling the powerful corporations from within capitalism, to fragment the world economy into people-based economic cooperatives. Policies by one's own government which encourage genocide should be met by legal actions. When legal protest is made impossible, then to remain innocent before historical law is to maintain civilization. To survive when justice returns, the people have their consciences to rely on and must ask what the real law is and how to assure its survival.
1. During the Nazi German occupation of France Romany peoples as one group among many, were interned and sent to the death camps.
2. "India sterilization abuse: genocide by other means," Bill Weinberg, Nov. 14, 2014, World War 4 report.
3. "'A Mass Sterilization Exercise': Kenyan Doctors Find Anti-Fertility Agent in UN Tetanus Vaccine," Nov. 11, 2014, the sleuthjournal.
4. Background ; "A note on Peru," J.B.Gerald, May 16, 2009, nightslantern.ca. "Peru to reopen investigation into forced sterilizations of women," Oct. 31, 2014, Amnesty International. "Peruvian women intent on bringing state to book over forced sterilisations," Dan Collyns, March 14, 2014, theguardian.
5. "Genocide Warnings: Guatemala," current, nightslantern.ca.
6. "2013 Suppressed News," Feb. 2, 2013, nightslantern.ca.
7. See "Political Prisoners Updates: Angola 3," nightslantern.ca.
8. "Myanmar parliament rails at UN's Ban Ki-moon over Rohingya comments," AFP, Nov. 14, 2014, Yahoo News; "Obama calls on Myanmar to protect Rohingya; Suu Kyi urges harmony," Jared Ferrie, Nov. 14, 2014, Reuters. Night's Lantern posted its first genocide warning for the Rohingya in 2012.
9. "Study Finds Disturbing Rise in Anti-Semitic Incidents," Uzi Baruch and Elad Benari," Aug. 11, 2014, Arutz Sheva 7; "Anti-Semitism up 400% in UK, Double in France," AFP and Arutz Sheva Staff, Sept. 12, 2014, Arutz Sheva 7.
10. A more complete listing of contemporary genocide warnings and updates is available at "Genocide Warnings & Updates," nightslantern.ca.
11. Awareness of "genocide" as a crime has increased in geometric proportions since Gerald and Maas published the UN's Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide with supporting documents when it fell of print at the UN (The Crime of Genocide & Bill of Human Rights, Moody Maine 1989). A Canadian edition with basic supplementary UN treaties protecting refugees, appeared in 1995, and remains online with updates and genocide warnings. Currently a Google search for the word "genocide" yields 34,300,000 results.
12. "Genocide Warnings & Updates: Canada," nightslantern.ca.
13. The Shining Path of Peru, a Maoist resistance group particularly effective in the 1980's is still listed by the U.S. Canada and European Union as a terrorist group. Within a perspective of genocide prevention, it provided some impediment to the genocide applied by Alberto Fujimori in the programs sterilizing Peruvian Indian women.
14. See "Genocide Warnings & Updates: France," nightslantern.ca.
"Why the Genocides Continue"
by John Bart Gerald
Drawing by Julie Maas
First posted Night's Lantern, Dec. 2, 2014
gerald and maas
Dec. 2, 2014