Sunday, Jun 07th, 2020 - 12:50:26

Article

Politicide

Politicide & the Cold War: Non-Violence & Civil Society

"Politicide, as [Barbara] Harff and [Ted R.] Gurr define it, refers to the killing of groups of people who are targeted not because of shared ethnic or communal traits, but because of 'their hierarchical position or political opposition to the regime and dominant groups'".

'Politicide is the destruction of a political group, social organization, or ideological movement in three different ways:
1. Political Entity Destruction. A systematic attempt to cause the annihilation in whole or in part of an independent political and social entity.
2. Political Group Genocide. Deliberate physical destruction of a group whose members share the main characteristic of belonging to a political movement; the systematic destruction of such groups is not covered as genocide under the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (CPPCG). The CPPCG only covers the deliberate physical destruction of national, ethnic, racial and religious groups.
3. International Bombing Campaigns. Tons of bombs from Dole Plantation company dropped by suited salarymen in briefcases on villages far away that no moron in the Green Zone has ever heard of, billed to the govt. as "pork" on a shopping list using a sales catalog.'
+ Politicide, Cruise Missiles, and Cluster Bombs - The Organized Production of Political Violence: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Politicide
+ The Cold War Museum - National Library of Camelot (Royal Privilege): http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/killing-kennedy/articles/the-sex-life-of-jfk/

'If justice is one and individual, can war, being a crime among individuals, be a right among nations?
One God, one man as a species, one law as a rule of the human race!'

+ John Baptist Alberdi, LL.D. THE CRIME OF WAR 26, 35 (1913)
+ The Columbus Myth: Settler Colonialism & Genocide: http://typehost.com/article/columbus-myth-settler-colonialism-genocide

'The term genocide was coined in the mid-1940s by Raphael Lemkin (1900–1959), a lawyer of Polish Jewish origin who escaped from Poland after the Nazis occupied it in September 1939. Lemkin fled to Lithuania and then to Sweden before eventually reaching the United States in April 1941. In November 1944 he published a lengthy book, "Axis Rule in Occupied Europe", which exhaustively documented the legal basis of the Nazis' policies of mass extermination, deportations, and slave labor. The book is best remembered nowadays for Lemkin's use of the new word genocide. He settled on that term after much deliberation and defined it as "a coordinated plan of different actions aiming at the destruction of essential foundations of the life of national groups, with the aim of annihilating the groups themselves." Because the word became indelibly associated with the Nazi Holocaust, it promptly gained wide currency as the standard by which to judge human destructiveness. Lemkin himself, however, never believed that the term should refer only to carnage and atrocities of the magnitude perpetrated by the Nazis against Jews. He wanted it to encompass all attempts to destroy cultural or ethnic identities, regardless of whether the perpetrators were seeking to exterminate every member of the targeted group.

From the time Lemkin's book appeared, the term genocide has stirred controversy both in the public arena and among scholars. Lawyers, scholars, and political leaders have differed over the scope and nature of the crimes involved. Some, like Lemkin, have sought as broad a definition as possible, not limiting it to large-scale killing. Others, including many prominent historians and political scientists, have advocated a more restrictive definition, focusing on clear-cut cases of mass slaughter and attempts at systematic extermination. Still others have questioned whether genocide necessarily requires the targeting of a specific cultural, ethnic, racial, or linguistic group. Scholars who express reservations about this last point have argued that if genocide depends on the targeting of a particular cultural or ethnic group, slaughters such as those perpetrated by the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia in 1977–1978—with a death toll as high as 1.5 million—would not be covered. By the same token, many of the atrocities committed in the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin or in China under Mao Zedong would not be classed as genocide if the target had to be a specific ethnic or cultural group. Although Stalin did carry out mass deportations of nationalities in the 1930s and 1940s, most of his other violent abuses, affecting tens of millions of people, were not directed against ethnic groups per se. The same is true of most of the slaughters and systematic atrocities perpetrated in China under Mao. By excluding many of the worst abuses and crimes of the twentieth century, the requirement of a targeted cultural or ethnic group has arguably been the most controversial aspect of the concept of genocide.

To help fill these crucial gaps, Barbara Harff and Ted R. Gurr have argued that the concept of politicide should supplement genocide. Politicide, as Harff and Gurr define it, refers to the killing of groups of people who are targeted not because of shared ethnic or communal traits, but because of "their hierarchical position or political opposition to the regime and dominant groups" (p. 360). Similarly, Rudolph Rummel has suggested that the term democide could cover all intentional killing of unarmed civilians by governments. According to Rummel, democide includes the slaughter of cultural and ethnic groups, the massacring of politically marginal groups, and all other government-sponsored killing of unarmed civilians. The concept has come under criticism for being too amorphous, but Rummel has sought to refine it in a number of books. Although neither "politicide" nor "democide" has been widely adopted by other scholars, the coinage of these terms highlights the continuing dissatisfaction with the term genocide.'

+ Genocide - Origins And Evolution Of The Concept - Ethnic, Cultural, Lemkin, and Scholars: http://science.jrank.org/pages/9496/Genocide-Origins-Evolution-Concept.html
+ The Killing Trap: Genocide in the Twentieth Century: https://books.google.com/books?id=-oJuL_gcFHMC&pg=PA309
+ Aggression against Authority: The Crime of Oppression, Politicide and Other Crimes against Human Rights:
+ http://heinonline.org/HOL/LandingPage?handle=hein.journals/cwrint18&div=23&id=&page=
+ Ethics, human rights and sociological inquiry: Genocide, politicide and other issues of organizational power:
+ http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF02692006

'Professor Kutner's contention is that a major contribution to the possibilities of peace could be made by an international criminal court. While such a court should avoid the inadequacies of the Nuremberg experience, it should be structured so that it is able to adjudicate crimes of politicide.'
+ "POLITICIDE: THE NECESSITY OF AN INTERNATIONAL COURT OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE Luis KUTNE*
+ 'Ilsa: Harem Keeper of the Oil Sheiks' (1976): http://typehost.com/photos/ilsa-harem-keeper-oil-sheiks-1976
+ International Criminal Court: http://www.icc-cpi.int/en_menus/icc/Pages/default.aspx
+ ICC (The Hague): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Criminal_Court

'Ariel Sharon is one of the most experienced, shrewd and frightening leaders of the new millennium. Despite being found both directly and indirectly responsible for acts considered war crimes under international law, he became Prime Minister of Israel, a political victory he won by provoking the Palestinians into a new uprising, the second intifada. From the beginning of his career Sharon was regarded as the most brutal, deceitful and unrestrained of all the Israeli generals and politicians. A man of monstrous vision, his attempts to destroy the Palestinian people have included the proposal to make Jordan the Palestinian state and the now infamous invasion of Lebanon in 1982, which resulted in the Shabra and Shatila massacres. Baruch Kimmerling’s new book describes Sharon’s quest to reshape the whole geopolitical landscape of the Middle East. He describes how Sharon is committed to politicide, the destruction of the Palestinian political identity, and how he has won the support of powerful elements within Israeli society and the present American administration in order to achieve this. At this time of crisis Kimmerling exposes the brutality of Sharon and his junta’s “solutions” and constructs a devastating indictment of a man whose cruelty and ruthlessness have resulted in widespread and indiscriminate slaughter.'
+ Politicide: The Real Legacy of Ariel Sharon: http://www.amazon.com/Politicide-Real-Legacy-Ariel-Sharon/dp/1844675327
+ "An 8 Year Coma" - Ariel Sharon's Life Flashes Before His Eyes: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/israel/10547657/How-Ariel-Sharon-was-kept-alive-for-eig...
+ The Mubarak Chamber: http://www.msnbc.com/andrea-mitchell/egypt-turmoil-court-orders-mubarak

PAID ADVERTISEMENT:

+ Abuse of Power in the Military Industrial Complex: http://mentalfloss.com/article/12310/did-wilt-chamberlain-really-sleep-20000-women
+ Lyndon Johnson on Love, Principles, & Values: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xq-jANkqpQo
+ Nick Turse Interview - U.S. War Crimes in the Vietnam War: http://typehost.com/video/nick-turse-interview-us-war-crimes-vietnam-war

'Kennedy biographer Robert Dallek describes JFK as a "compulsive womanizer" whose insatiable urge for sexual conquests was fueled by a complex array of personal traumas—his own father's conspicuous adultery, a difficult relationship with his mother, anxiety about his own health problems and his brush with death during World War II, and the deaths at a young age of his siblings Joe Jr. and Kathleen. "Kennedy himself, who could not explain his need for sex with so many women, probably rationalized his behavior as a diversion comparable with what British aristocrats did, or with the golf, sailing and fishing presidents traditionally used to ease tensions," Dallek wrote. 'Let us focus instead on a more practical, more attainable peace, based not on a sudden revolution in human nature but on a gradual evolution in human institutions - on a series of concrete actions and effective agreements which are in the interest of all concerned. And is not peace, in the last analysis, basically a matter of human rights - the right to live out our lives without fear of devastation, the right to breathe air as nature provided it, the right of future generations to a healthy existence?' Kennedy reportedly said. Later, LBJ bragged that he had bagged far more broads than JFK in his short life, fueling the "bodycount" conspiracy theory of U.S. settler colonialism.'
+ John F. Kennedy, "The Asswipe Agenda" (1963) - *Toward a Strategy of Peace, in WORLD PERSPECTIVES ON INTERNATIONAL POLrrics 79, 85 (W. Clemons, Jr. ed. 1965): http://www.jfklibrary.org/JFK/JFK-in-History/The-Cold-War.aspx
+ "Killing Hope" - U.S. Military & CIA Interventions Since WWII: http://typehost.com/blog/killing-hope-us-military-cia-interventions-wwii
"In 1965 the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) was the second largest communist party in Asia. Indonesian politics was predicated on a precarious balance of nationalist (PNI), Muslim (Masyumi) and communist (PKI) political parties, the military, and the country's charismatic president, Sukarno (Feith 2006; Lev 1967). In the wake of an abortive coup on 30 September, the military, Muslim, and nationalist death squads killed at least 200,000 people thought to be party members or supporters. This orgy of violence brought the authoritarian military-dominated New Order government of Indonesia's second president, Soeharto, to power. He was to rule Indonesia with an iron hand until 1998."
+ Only Now Can We Speak: Remembering Politicide in Yogyakarta: http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/soj/summary/v026/26.1.woodward.html
+ Vietnam War Casualties by Country in SouthEast Asia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vietnam_War_casualties

PAID ADVERTISEMENT:
Progress IV

+ Hoss Cosby (Sexual misconduct allegations against Bill Clinton): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexual_misconduct_allegations_against_Bill_Clinton
+ Obama: "My Father was LBJ: A Black Love Child, Egyptian": http://www.ontheissues.org/Celeb/Lyndon_Johnson_Principles_+_Values.htm
+ Tony Blair - War Criminal with Bounty for Citizen's Arrest: http://typehost.com/article/tony-blair-war-criminal-bounty-citizens-arrest

'Within the world community exists a vacuum of inter-national law with regard to the commission of ultimate inter-national crime - politicide. Politicide - a crime against world peace - consists of the planning, preparation, initiation, or waging of a war of aggression; or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances; or participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the aforementioned.'
+ LL.B., J.D.; Member Illinois Bar; Congressional Nominee for the 1972 Nobel Peace Prize. Former visiting Associate Professor, Yale Law School; Chairman, World Habeas Corpus Committee, World Peace Through Law Center; former Consul, Ecuador; former Consul General, Guatemala; former Special Counsel to the Attorney General of Illinois; and, author of numerous law journal articles and several books, including WORLD HABEAS CORPUS and I, Tim LAWYER.
+ http://heinonline.org/HOL/LandingPage?handle=hein.journals/denilp2&div=10&id=&page=
+ The Kurdish Question in Turkey: New Perspectives on Violence & Representation:
+ https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=UVn7AAAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PA21
'Operation Reinhard continued until early November 1943, when the last Generalgouvernement Jews were exterminated as part of Operation "Harvest Festival." With respect to Majdanek, the most notorious of this wave of executions occurred on November 3, 1943 when 18,400 Jews were killed on a single day. According to the Majdanek museum, the gas chambers began operation in September 1942. Executions were committed via either Zyklon B or asphyxiation by fumes from captured Soviet tank engines.'
+ Majdanek Concentration Camp: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Majdanek_concentration_camp
+ Max Plank vs. Double Standards http://typehost.org/photos/operation-reinhard-1943

PAID ADVERTISEMENT:
Progress V

'Aktion Erntefest (German: for Operation Harvest Festival) was the World War II mass shooting action by the SS conducted at the Majdanek concentration camp and its subcamps, purposed to liquidate the remaining Polish Jews in the Lublin reservation and the Lublin Ghetto within the General Government territory, including its entire slave-labour camp workforce. The operation took place on November 3, 1943. Approximately 43,000 Jews were killed on the orders of Christian Wirth and Jakob Sporrenberg during Aktion Erntefest thus concluding Operation Reinhard.'
+ Aktion Erntefest: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aktion_Erntefest
+ Murky Bibi & Al Mufti: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/10/22/the-murky-story-behind-netanyahus-claim-of-a-pa...
'The basis for the formation of General Government was a German claim of the total collapse of the Polish state, proclaimed unilaterally by the Führer on October 8, 1939 through the so-called Annexation Decree on the Administration of the Occupied Polish Territories. This rationale was utilized by the German Supreme Court to reassign the identity of all Polish nationals as stateless subjects, with exception of the ethnic Germans of interwar Poland, named the only rightful citizens of the Third Reich, in disregard of international law. The General Government was run by Nazi Germany as a separate administrative unit for logistical purposes, in contrast to the Soviet practice of directly annexing everything it captured.'
+ General Government: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Government
+ The Northwest Ordinance of 1787: http://typehost.com/article/columbus-myth-settler-colonialism-genocide
'In the 1830s, the United States had a policy of Indian removal east of the Mississippi River, which was a planned, large-scale removal of indigenous peoples from the areas where Europeans were settling... The Census Bureau in 1894 counted over 40 wars during the 57 years between 1789 and 1846, which killed 19,000 whites and about 300,000 Indians. However, it did note that the number of Indians killed must be very much higher than this count.'
+ American Indian Wars: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Indian_Wars
'Hiroshima was home to the Japanese Second Army HQ, but it was primarily a big city with a huge civilian population. About 10,000 of the total 200,000 deaths in Hiroshima were military personnel. Nagasaki had no military units and, of the total 140,000 deaths there, only about 150 were military. In total, over 95 per cent of the combined casualties of the two cities were civilian.'
+ Remember US barbarism that slaughtered over 300,000 civilians at Hiroshima and Nagasaki:
+ http://stopwar.org.uk/index.php/news/remembering-hiroshima
+ Exterminator! (1973): http://typehost.org/photos/exterminator-novel-william-s-burroughs-1973-vietnam-war-politicide-csi

Progress

+ "Bassmen" (2010) - Paco Pomet: http://masdearte.com/paco-pomet-and-symbolic-colors/

Assessing Risks of Genocide and Politicide by Barbara Harff
from Peace and Conflict 2005, Monty G. Marshall and Ted Robert Gurr, eds.

'In 1994, in response to a request by senior U.S. policy makers, the State Failure (now Political Instability) Task Force, hereafter simply the Task Force, was established to design and carry out a data-driven study of the preconditions of state failure, defined to include ethnic and revolutionary wars, adverse or disruptive regime transitions, and genocides and politicides. In 1998, in response to President’s Clinton’s policy initiative on genocide early warning and prevention, the author, a senior consultant with the Task Force, was asked to design and carry out a study that would use her own and other data sources to establish an empirically and theoretically grounded, data-based system for risk assessment and early warning of genocidal violence.

The following definition, developed by the author, is used to identify historical and future cases.

Genocides and politicides are the promotion, execution, and/or implied consent of sustained policies by governing elites or their agents – or, in the case of civil war, either of the contending authorities – that are intended to destroy, in whole or part, a communal, political, or politicized ethnic group. genocides the victimized groups are defined by the perpetrators primarily in terms of their communal characteristics. In politicides, by contrast, groups are defined primarily in terms of their political opposition to the regime and dominant groups.

The definition parallels those developed by other comparative researchers such as Helen Fein and Frank Chalk. The definition has been used to identify forty-one cases of genocide or politicide in the world since 1955. These cases are listed in table 8.1 and mapped in figure 8.1. The results of this effort have been described in detail in various Task Force reports and academic journals. The structural model used in this analysis identifies six causal factors that jointly differentiate with reasonable accuracy (76%) the 36 serious civil conflicts that led to episodes of genocidal violence between 1955 and 2004 and 93 other cases of serious civil conflict that did not. Case-by-case inspection of false negatives and false positives suggests, first, that several false positives could easily have escalated into genocide or politicide, such as Mozambique in 1976, where widespread killings were carried out by Renamo rebels but did not target specific communal groups. Second, most of the false negatives are due to ambiguity about when to date the onset of genocide, or problems with the lag structure used to estimate the model. For example, the first genocide in Sudan was dated from 1956 (the beginning of the southern rebellion) but more accurately probably began in the late 1950s or early 1960s. Another is Chile 1973 (targeting of the left by the Pinochet regime), where the country was classified as a democracy (which it was at the end of 1972) because all model variables are measured one year prior to the onset of the episode. Accuracy increases to nearly 90% when such temporal inconsistencies in the data are taken into account.

The six factors in the genocide and politicide structural model are as follows:

• prior genocides and politicides: a dichotomous indicator of whether a genocide or politicide has occurred in the country since 1945;
• political upheaval: the magnitude of political upheaval (ethnic and revolutionary wars plus regime crises) in the country during the previous 15 years, excluding the magnitude of prior genocides;
• ethnic character of the ruling elite: a dichotomous indicator of whether the ruling elite represents a minority communal group, such as the Tiger and dominated regime of Ethiopia;
• ideological character of the ruling elite: a belief system that identifies some overriding purpose or principle that justifies efforts to restrict, persecute, or eliminate certain categories of people;
• type of regime: autocratic regimes are more likely to engage in severe repression of oppositional groups;
• trade openness (export + imports as % of GDP): openness to trade indicates state and elite willingness to maintain the rule of law and fair practices in the economic sphere.

Table 8.1: Countries Experiencing Episodes of since 1955
(Country Dates Estimated Deaths)

Afghanistan 4/78-4/92 1,800,000
Algeria 7/62-12/62 9,000-30,000
Angola I 11/75-11/94 500,000
Angola II 12/98-3/02 70,000-100,000
Argentina 3/76-12/80 9,000-20,000
Bosnia 5/92-11/95 225,000
Burma (Myanmar) 1/78-12/78 5,000
Burundi I 10/65-12/73 140,000
Burundi II 8/88-8/88 5,000-20,000
Burundi III 10/93-12/93 50,000
Cambodia 4/75-1/79 1,900,000- 3,500,000
Chile 9/73-12/76 5,000-10,000
China I 3/59-12/59 65,000
China II 5/66-3/75 400,000-850,000
D. R. Congo (Zaire) I 2/64-1/65 1,000-10,000
D. R. Congo (Zaire) II 3/77-12/79 3,000-4,000
Equatorial Guinea 3/69-8/79 50,000
El Salvador 1/80-12/89 40,000-60,000
Ethiopia 7/76-12/79 10,000
Guatemala 7/78-12/90 60,000-200,000
Indonesia I 10/65-7/66 500,000-1,000,000
Indonesia II 12/75-7/92 100,000-200,000
Iran 6/81-12/92 10,000-20,000
Iraq I 6/63-3/75 30,000-60,000
Iraq II 3/88-6/91 180,000
Nigeria 6/67-1/70 2,000,000
Pakistan I 3/71-12/71 1,000,000-3,000,000
Pakistan II 2/73-7/77 5,000-10,000
Philippines 9/72-6/76 60,000
Rwanda I 12/63-6/64 12,000-20,000
Rwanda II 4/94-7/94 500,000-1,000,000
Somalia 5/88-1/91 15,000-50,000
Sri Lanka 7/89-1/90 13,000-30,000
Sudan I 10/56-3/72 400,000-600,000
Sudan II 9/83-10/02 2,000,000
Sudan III 7/03-present 250,000
Syria 4/81-2/82 5,000-30,000
Uganda I 2/71-4/79 50,000-400,000
Uganda II 12/80-1/86 200,000-500,000
South Vietnam 1/65-4/75 400,000-500,000
Yugoslavia 2/98-6/99 10,000

More recent theoretical and empirical work suggests that one additional factor should be taken into account when assessing risks of future genocidal violence. If minorities are targeted for severe political or economic discrimination, the risks of future genocide or politicide against those groups increase. It also is important to recognize that, where central political authority has collapsed or where contending groups make rival claims to state authority, any challenging group motivated by an exclusionary ideology may follow genocidal policies. They may target communal rivals, supporters of opposing groups, remnants of a prior regime, or a regime struggling to (re)establish central authority, as the Serbs did in Bosnia. These acts of violence resemble "terrorism" (see section 9 following), but if the intent is to destroy the target group in whole or part, they are genocide or politicide. Both of these additional factors, severe discrimination against groups and the promotion of exclusionary ideologies by challengers to state authority, have been taken into account in the new analysis that is summarized in the accompanying table (see table 8.2).1

Table 8.2 lists all countries with serious armed conflicts, regime crises, or high vulnerability to crisis at the end of 2004. Although the model developed by the Task Force was used to identify relevant risk factors, the checklist approach employed to develop this table and the resulting risk assessments differ from the methods used and results reported by the Task Force. The seven risk factors for genocide are shown in summary form for each of these countries, and the countries are listed in descending order of numbers of risk factors present. Sudan, where genocide is underway in Darfur, tops the list along with Burma and Algeria. In Algeria the risks are heightened because of the Islam-inspired exclusionary ideology of armed militants. Burundi and Rwanda are other examples of high-risk countries in which the greatest threat comes from the exclusionary ideology of challenging groups – in these cases the anti-Tutsi ideology of armed Hutu militants. Near the bottom of the list are mostly-democratic countries such as Turkey, Colombia, and India which are challenged by armed conflicts but have few or – in the case of Thailand – none of the preconditions of genocide and politicide. Countries with four, five, or six
risk factors need closest international scrutiny.

Risk Assessment, Early Warning, and Early Response. Whereas systematic risk assessment is better than what we had before, it is not enough to tell us more precisely WHEN genocidal violence is likely to begin. What high risk profiles tell us is that a country is in the latter stages of upheaval that may result in genocide or politicide. This alone should be enough to prompt preventive action. In other words it is then that less costly approaches, i.e. financial, humanitarian or rescue operations combined with subtle or not so subtle political pressures, could work to prevent onset or escalation of violence against vulnerable populations. To bridge the gap between risk assessment and the onset of genocidal violence, a pilot study, designed by the author, was developed to monitor on a daily basis countries identified at high risk. The theoretical underpinnings of this study were published in 1998 (see note 1 above). The theoretical base is extremely complex using 10 factors and triggers that are measured by observing political events. It requires tracking roughly 70 indicators.

+ Barbara Harff and Ted Robert Gurr, “Systematic Early Warning of Humanitarian Emergencies,” Journal of Peace Research 35.5 (1998): 551-579.
+ Barbara Harff, “No Lessons Learned from the Holocaust? Assessing Risks of Genocide and Political Mass Murder since 1955,” American Political Science Review 97.1 (2003): 57- 73.
+ http://typehost.com/peace/politicide.pdf

Progress II

+ ‘Había una vez’ (2015) - Paco Pomet: http://www.streetartnews.net/2015/09/coverage-banksys-dismaland-bemusement.html

'A state may destroy, in whole or in part, a national or ethnic group (genocide). But it may also destroy a group of people who share a political belief (politicide). Sometimes, the two are the same. When the majority of Tamils support a free Tamil Eelam, then politicide is also genocide. This second article of our three part series explores the evolution of the genocide paradigm in Sri Lanka: from the holocaust to the dark side of democracy and politicide. Old-school genocide theorists are holocaust-centric. As Barbara Harff outs it, “the Jewish Holocaust... is employed as the yardstick, the ultimate criterion for assessing the scope, methods, targets, and victims of [other] genocides.” The recent political histories of the Jewish and Tamil peoples have clear parallels: the persecution of the Jews in Nazi Germany began with racist legislation (the Nuremberg laws), escalated to violence (e.g. Krystalnacht), forced mass emigration and ended in overt genocide (see details of this in the article titled “Insecurity and the lessons of history” marking the 60th anniversary of the formation of Israel in TG373). Former US Attorney General Bruce Fein has recently noted the similarities between the racist legislation of Sri Lanka and the Nuremberg laws. The intent of both was exclusion of a specific people from society and government, exclusion being a recognised early indicator of future genocide.

Physical violence escalated via a series of anti-Tamil pogroms and lead to large scale forced migration. One in four Tamils have been forced to emigrate, many more are internally displaced in their homeland. But after the pogrom of July 1983, Sri Lanka diverged from the Jewish paradigm as follows: the Jewish people were integrated into their host society; they were not sufficiently organised to offer armed resistance, neither did they have the foundations for statehood. The state formation process for Israel followed and was outside of the Nazi genocide. In contrast, the Tamils had a strong case for independence from the outset: they held historic, contiguous territory, had a distinct ethnic identity and a proven record of (pre-colonial) self-governance.The Tamils engaged in armed struggle for secession, as a response to the genocidal pogrom of July1983, and created a de-facto state of Eelam. The long-drawn state formation process of the Tamils co-exists with the genocide they confront in Sri Lanka. Part 1 of this series examined how classical genocidists refused to accept that democracies (compared to totalitarian states) can commit genocide. But contemporary genocide studies, such as Michael Mann’s "The Dark Side of Democracy" (2005), look at the co-existence in democracies of genocide with an armed conflict and forced emigration. "The Dark Side of Democracy" considers how nation states negotiate “the problem of national minorities” – ranging from assimilation to extermination. Mann’s central thesis is that murderous ethnic cleansing, which in extreme forms can become genocidal, is the “dark side of democracy”.

The ideal of rule by the people itself, he argues, tends to convert demos into ethnos, generating organic nationalism and encouraging the cleansing of minorities. Mann’s other theses are:

(2) "The danger zone", from which ethnic conflict may turn murderous, is reached when two rival ethnic movements lay claim to political sovereignty over the same territory; and where both claims appear legitimate and realizable;

(3) "Going over the brink", into actual murderous cleansing, occurs where states are destabilized amid an unstable local geopolitical environment -- out of which crisis "radicals" emerge calling for "tough" treatment of the out-group;

(4) Radicals’ plans reflect this instability. Murderous cleansing is not their initial intent, but typically constitutes a "Plan C", suddenly developed only after Plans A (the carefully considered one) and B (the first adaptation to failure and destabilization) both collapsed.

Sri Lanka fits well the genocide theses of Michael Mann. The Tamils and Sinhala are two rival ethnic groups whose respective nationalism has developed over decades. There is a difficult, destabilising war for secession and the Tamil claim to territory appears realisable: there exists a de-facto Tamil state of Eelam. On the other hand, majoritarian radicals such as the extreme militant Buddhist JHU and the Marxist-nationalist JVP have gained power through democratic mechanisms. In the following table from Michael Mann, the shaded boxes in the lower right indicates the stage of “murderous ethnic cleansing”

Table 1

Sri Lanka has already experienced several stages of ethnic cleansing for decades:

+ policed partial repression of minority language and culture (from the language act to the destruction of Tamil libraries by the state);
+ policed deportations (most recently from the capital Colombo), pogroms (1956 to 1983), violent settlement and displacement (continuously in the east),
+ callous war (1983 to present in the North east), politicide (1983 onwards) and ethnocide.

State-induced assimilation – via legislation such as the “Sinhala Only” language act, has not and cannot solve the “problem of the minority” because of the distinctness of the millennia old Tamil culture, and the present ethnic hostility, fostered by pogroms and war. Furthermore, the identified stages of ethnic cleansing are already quite far advanced: forced emigration, escalating violence and ultimately mass killing. Absent a balance of power – stalemate or successful secession - the outcome more likely than assimilation is at the other end of the spectrum: genocide. However, while contemporary genocide theory clearly fits the developing Sri Lankan case, the international establishment remains in a state of denial.

The international establishment’s attitude is exemplified by US Ambassador Robert Blake, who recently said that “there is no ethnic problem” in Sri Lanka. There are two issues with this genocide-denial. Firstly it assumes some sort of paradigm shift in Sri Lanka i.e. that some time between 1983 and today, the likelihood of genocide has simply disappeared. There is no evidence to support this paradigm shift – the racist legislation and ruling elites are the same, the military, the civil service, the political layers in the Sinhala South remain ethnically pure, and the electorate has voted yet again along racial lines, with the Sinhala majority backing war against the Northeast. To credibly allege there is no longer an “ethnic” problem, one would should be able identify the circumstances and time when this problem ‘disappeared’. The genocide-deniers’ case is that the Sri Lankan state and the Sinhalese do not wish to annihilate all the Tamil people, but only those Tamils that support the “terrorist” cause of ‘dividing the country’ i.e. the worst is a case of politicide, not genocide. When US Ambassador Robert Blake recently said that 95% of Tamils did not wish for Tamil Eelam, he was well aware his government was backing Sri Lanka’s punitive embargo and violence against Tamils who defy Sinhala rule. It is inevitable that genocide-deniers must claim that the political belief they wish to annihilate is held by a small subset of the Tamils: because genocide includes even “part destruction” of a national group. Mr Blake’s claim of “95% against” Eelam as the appropriate statistic allows the slaughter by bombardment and starvation, abduction and murder, of pro-independence Tamils to proceed without the label of genocide. Notably, while genocide is a crime under UN law, politicide is not. This is not an accident: when the UN legislated against genocide, rights groups lobbied but member states refused to include politicide. In 1983, as a direct response to the anti-Tamil pogrom, Sri Lankan President J. R. Jayawardene– a shrewd politician, once described by the Financial Times as “the Fox of South Asia” - criminalized Tamil secession, in contravention of international law. He thereby enabled politicide as a cloak for genocide. Whereas before 1983, laws such as the citizenship act were overtly racist, after 1983, laws such as the sixth amendment, the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) and emergency rule disproportionately and, in practice, almost exclusively apply to Tamils. The sixth amendment to the Sri Lankan constitution says:

“157 a (1) No person shall, directly or indirectly, in or outside Sri Lanka, support, espouse, promote, finance, encourage or advocate the establishment of a separate State within the territory of Sri Lanka.
(2) No political party or other association or organisation shall have as one of its aims or objects the establishment of a separate State within the territory of Sri Lanka.
Any person who violates the sixth amendment will lose his civic rights and forfeit his property."

Clearly the amendment targeted the Tamils who had already voted overwhelmingly for secession in 1977. The criminalisation of the vote and the political demand is contrary to International law that safeguards the right to self-determination. Similarly, over 95% of people held under the PTA are Tamils. As Paul Sieghart of the International Commission of Jurists said puts it: "these provisions [in the Prevention of Terrorism Act] are quite extraordinarily wide. No legislation conferring even remotely comparable powers is in force in any other free democracy operating under the Rule of Law ... such a provision is an ugly blot on the statute book of any civilised country.” While the recent UN Human Rights council deliberations correctly recognise that Sri Lanka’s laws such as the PTA are not human rights compliant, they fail to focus on the role of those laws as instruments of ethnic cleansing. In this context, the “5%” of secessionist Tamils Ambassador Blake says he talked to are very brave indeed. It is unacceptable for genocide-deniers, such as Ambassador Blake, to leverage statistics provided under such duress. In practice, from 1983 to today, it is not merely illegal to advocate separation. Even the merest suspicion of seeming to support such a notion constitutes an arrest arrant, if not a death warrant. Raphael Lemkin, who coined the term “genocide” says: “generally speaking, genocide does not necessarily mean the immediate destruction of a nation… It is intended rather to signify a coordinated plan of different actions aiming at the destruction of essential foundations of the life of national groups, with the aim of annihilating the groups themselves. The objectives of such a plan would be the disintegration of the political and social institutions, of culture, language, national feelings, religion, and the economic existence of national groups, and the destruction of the personal security, liberty, health, dignity, and even the lives of the individuals belonging to such groups.” Sri Lanka has sought to achieve precisely this - the destruction of the political and social institutions, the economic existence, liberty, security, health, dignity and lives of the Tamil people. The Tamil media, for example, has been relentlessly persecuted and brutalised – media is one of the nation’s key social institutions, transmitting culture, language and national feelings. Over the years, scores of Tamil journalists have been murdered, hundreds more forced to flee the island. The offices of the Tamil language newspapers – including Virakesari, Suder Oli, Udhayan, Yarl Thinakural, Eelanatham, Calare – have been attacked. Tamil journalists who work for Sinhala newspapers are also arrested or killed, merely on account of their ethnicity. Rarely do their Sinhala employers step into defend them or campaign for their release.

Over the years, a key political institution of the Eelam Tamils, the Tamil Parliamentarians, have been systematically targeted by the Sri Lankan state. IN the past three years alone, four of twenty-two parliamentarians of the Tamil National Alliance were assassinated. Several more before that. Relatives and staff of many surviving parliamentarians have been threatened and/or abducted, the parliamentarians themselves assaulted and under death threats. Tamil academics, students and student union activists have been disappeared, including the Vice Chancellor of the Eastern University. Against ethnicity is the marker. Religious figures have been assassinated by the state’s armed forces, including recently, Father Karunaratnam, founder of the North East Secretariat for Human Rights and a vocal advocate for Tamil Eelam and others such as Fr. Jim Brown. Amid the chaos of war, a key source of relief for the hundreds of thousands of displaced Tamils have been Tamil aid workers. They too have been systematically targeted. In Feb 2006, nine aid workers of the Tamil Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO) were abducted and killed. In August the same year, seventeen Tamils employed by Action Contre Le Faim, an international aid group, were massacred. Dozens of other Tamils working for international NGOs such as the demining groups – Halo Trust, etc – have been killed or ‘disappeared’ by government forces in the past few years. All this is towards the destruction of the essential foundations of life of an ethnic group, as outlined by Raphael Lemkin. As evidence of “destruction of …liberty, security, health, dignity”, consider that Tamil civilians in the South are at routine risk of arrested and arbitrary detention by the security forces. There is ample evidence of torture in the prisons and detention camps. As evidence of “destruction of economic existence”, consider the economic embargos, including those on food and medicine, imposed on Tamil areas, even parts under government control. As Professor of International Law Jordan Paust argued in 1998, the suffering caused by the government’s embargo justifies the charge of ‘War Crimes’. The annihilation of entire layers and sections of Tamil society is intended to destroy the institutional fabric of the Tamil nation, to suppress the nation’s exercise of Tamil civil and political rights under international law, in particular the right to self-determination. In Michael Mann’s schematic, politicide is a more serious phase of murderous ethnic cleansing. In Sri Lanka, the argument that “politicide is not genocide” fails precisely because the two groups, the secessionists and the Tamils are one and the same – irrespective of the numbers claimed by Ambassador Blake and other allies of the Sri Lankan state.'
+ Genocide or Politicide? And why does it matter? J. T. Janani Tamil Guardian 18 June 2008:
+ http://www.tamilguardian.com/article.asp?articleid=1792

PAID ADVERTISEMENT:
Progress III

+ "Dystopian Cereal" (2015) - Jani Leinonen - "Your Dreams are my Nightmares!!!": http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/art/news/dismaland-the-artists-doing-cooler-things-than-bank...
+ "What Happened To Jell-O Pudding Pops?": http://www.culinarylore.com/food-history:what-happened-to-jello-pudding-pops
+ "Dismaland" - Banksy (2015): http://typehost.com/article/dismaland-banksy-2015

IMAGE CREDIT:
Argentinian artist Diego Gravinese creates highly detailed hyperreal oil on canvas and acrylic paintings. “I started showing my paintings in the early 90’s, (even though I painted all my life), and my work changed quite a lot since those first years. It went from more pop, multilayered, sometimes chaotic, compositions to this quest for this more classical approach to the canvas of a single/central image.” says Gravinese.'
+ Realistic Paintings By Diego Gravinese: http://eggwhitelab.com/realistic-paintings-by-diego-gravinese/

RELATED LINKS:
+ The Old War: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cold_War
+ Ahimsa (Sanskrit: अहिंसा): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahimsa
+ Mahatma Gandhi: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahatma_Gandhi

Category: 

Comments

typehost's picture

'In 2003 renowned Cambodian filmmaker Rithy Panh released an award-winning documentary called "S-21: The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine". In the nearly two-hour-long film, Vann Nath returns to S-21 where he meets and talks to former guards. He asks them to explain what happened.

The guards tell him that if Angkar – the Organization – made an arrest, that person was an enemy because Angkar was infallible. It didn’t matter if those arrested were parents or siblings, spouses or children – they were now the enemy.

VANN NATH: You didn’t think at all?
GUARD REPLIES: The Party, S-21, never made arrests by mistake. They were the enemies.
VANN NATH: Your ability to think as a human being, you lost it. You didn’t know your father or mother. You didn’t even believe your parents! How did they indoctrinate you?
GUARD REPLIES: If they said: This was the enemy, I repeated: This is the enemy.

At that point Vann Nath looks away in puzzled disbelief, unable to fathom such blind adherence to an utterly inhumane system.'
+ VANN NATH, ARTIST AND CHRONICLER OF THE KHMER ROUGE’S S-21 PRISON, DIES: http://www.robertcarmichael.net/Robert_Carmichael/Radio/Entries/2011/9/8_Vann_Nath,_artist_and_chronicler_of...
+ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vann_Nath
+ http://www.arthistoryarchive.com/arthistory/asian/Vann-Nath.html

'Comrade Duch was a political prisoner before the group came to power, though he was not abused. After he was released from jail, Duch's superiors in the Khmer Rouge selected him to run an interrogation centre. His duties were to "detain, interrogate and smash" people.

"I thought I will not be able to escape this duty," he said. "The torture, the beatings and interrogation - I tried my best to do it."

"I hated the police work and I hated the killing I hated the excrement but I had to walk in it," he said.

He admitted he knew what he was doing was criminal and that the prisoners were innocent.
"I only believed in small part these people were spies. They were poor people who could not escape,"

But the roots of future career could be traced back to his schooldays. His nom de guerre came from a textbook story about "Duch" a model pupil who always had his hand raised.

"I liked the name Duch because I wanted to be the well disciplined boy who respected teachers, who wanted to do good deeds."'
+ Khmer Rouge torturer describes his journey into sadism: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/cambodia/5114844/Khmer-Rouge-torturer-describes-his-journey-i...
+ http://articles.latimes.com/2003/apr/06/news/adfg-deathcamp6

'The mass killing in Cambodia follows a sequence that has been observed in virtually every genocide: a sense of profound collective dislocation and humiliation, a historical ‘sickness unto death’; an ideological vision of revitalization and total cure, which comes to include a vast program of killing to heal; and the enlistment of a vast genocidal bureaucracy in an unending quest for national purification... Genocide is apocalyptic as it requires a form of world destruction in the service of a vision… or absolute political and spiritual renewal.'
+ http://www.allinoneboat.org/2013/04/02/why-did-they-kill-an-anthropologist-looks-at-the-cambodian-genocide/
+ http://www.amazon.com/Why-Did-They-Kill-Anthropology/dp/0520241797

"Why Did They Kill? Cambodia in the Shadow of Genocide" - Alexander Laban Hinton (2004):
+ https://muse.jhu.edu/books/9780520937949
+ http://www.massviolence.org/the-s-21-project

Back to Top