Thursday, July 20, 2006


Eni Meani Mini Mo

There is a reason terms like "genocide" are as good as dead on the left. The word genocide is thrown around so often, to describe just about any injustice the left sees, that it has lost meaning to many casual observers. Worse yet, the select application of the term to pet projects of the radical left, while ignoring real genocide has been apparent within certain circles for some time. That is truly disastrous, especially since the act of genocide still haunts us today.

Wikipedia describes genocide as:
“Genocide is defined by the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (CPPCG) Article 2 as "any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group.”
So tell me, which one of these two events is given the genocide label by Indybay and select extremists:

1. The removal of terrorists from Israel’s northern border.
2. The Darfur conflict, where an estimated 400,000 people have been killed based on their ethnic background.

I’ll give you a hint: Indybay has over a dozen stories on its front-page related to Israel’s actions involving Lebanon and the Palestinians. Darfur is apparently not important enough to make it to its newswire.

Understandably, the fight in Lebanon is big news this week, and one would expect it to dominate the news coverage. But with many Indymedia newswires, Israel is front page news every day, whether it is warranted or not.

Furthermore, some Indymedia contributors have gone as far as saying that the entire crisis in Darfur is nothing more than a Zionist conspiracy to make Arab peoples look terrible! All the while:
The government-supported Janjaweed were accused of committing major human rights violations, including mass killing, looting, and systematic rape of the non-Arab population of Darfur. They have frequently burned down whole villages, driving the surviving inhabitants to flee to refugee camps, mainly in Darfur and Chad; many of the camps in Darfur are surrounded by Janjaweed forces.”
If this type of select criticism is not extreme hypocrisy, I don’t know what is.

The Watcher Adds:
Roland is spot on. I have previously noted this loose application of the term 'genocide' and the brandishing of complete fantasy as "fact":
Here's an example courtesy of Sydney Indymedia:

I won't bother reprinting it in full as I don't want you to have to disinfect your screen afterward. In summary however, it questions the fuss over Prince Harry's choice of Nazi uniform. It then makes the point that it is obiously all a big Jewish distraction from "the fact that Israel treats the the Palestinians the same way as the Nazis treated the Holocaust victims albeit in slow motion".

Notice the use of that word "fact".

A subsequent comment pointed out: In just over four years of the 2nd Intifada, the total of Palestinian dead numbers just over 3,023 (BBC Numbers), including suicide bombers -- or an average of 2.26/day. If this is a genocide, then it has to be the most pathetic and lethargic genocide in history.

In fact -- the Palestinian Authority acknowledges a birth rate among PA territory Palestinians at 157 / day

So the Israelis would have to increase their alleged genocide by just under 7,000 per cent -- just to break even.
Here's some food for thought. This article, by Tod Carew (Dublin, Ireland) presents some stark statistics to support the argument that Israel's actions are not "disproportionate" as many are claiming. The headline - "Factual Review of Concept of “Disproportionality” contains that word 'fact' again. Given the publication where it appears (Israel Reporter) there is no doubt some will dismiss it outright (and unread) as "Zionist propaganda". The difference, is the data presented as 'fact' is easily falsifiable. This is a trait missing in much of the information we see repeatedly turned out as 'fact' presumably on the assumption that if you tell the same lie enough, people start to believe it.
Some 600,000 German civilians were lost due to Allied bombings alone, nearly 1% of their pre-war population. A very large minority had voted for Hitler, as has also happened with the Palestinian Arabs and their neo-Nazi Hamas. The total German dead were 10.82% which equals 154,592 from Gaza and 266,225 West Bank Arabs, or 420,817 in total.

The much lower Japanese 3.61% rate of dead gives 51,578 for Gaza, 88,824 for West Bank, or 140,402 in total. By either standard, Palestinians have suffered little - so far.
Nobody has ever heard about the Allies "genocide" of the Japanese or Germans. So does this mean we will stop hearing about "genocide" in current non-genocidal conflict? I doubt it...
And as the 14 Hezbollah members in the Lebanese Parliament out of 128 are 10.94%, then that genocidal element in Lebanon would suffer 45,857 to 15,300 dead by WW II Axis standards. The 100,000 dead from all sides in 1975-1991 in their Civil War was only 2.58%. Again, not comparable to what Japan or Germany lost.

Read it all.

What is particuarly telling is how the "Progressive left" is attempting to cover-up the situation in Darfur, because it detracts from their core issues. Can't have that happen, even if it means thousands dead.

On June 13, I went to the S. F. Woman's Building 3543 18th St to hear a talk entitled "Palestine, Sudan and the Myth of a 'Humanitarian' U.S. Foreign Policy".
The scheduled speakers were Jess Ghannam and Isma'il Kamal, a Sudanese student from UC Davis and co-founder of the Sudanese American Society.

Jess Ghannam repeated his usual rhetoric about the center of the neo-colonialist project being Palestine, not Iraq. Believe me, we've heard it all before.

Isma'il dismissed the popular narrative on the Sudan, claiming its a lot of media, not a lot of sociology. He claimed there wasn't a great deal of analysis going on- and there was a tremendous "hyping" of the situation (400,000 dead? 2 million in exile? This is hype?)

Interestingly enough, Isma'il claims that only the United States is using the term "genocide" to describe the situation in Darfur, clearly with the intent of stirring up emotions. He said "Genocide is Sudan's "weapons of Mass destruction"- its an excuse for intervention. He quoted a UN document that refrained from using the term "genocide"- it considered the situation a tribal war with widespread atrocities. I wondered- would a genocide by any other name leave as many dead?. He stated there were local, national, regional, and international factors that needed to be considered. As we've come to expect from any A.N.S.W.E.R. sponsored event, Israel came into the discussion here. Isma'il claims that in the 1950's and 60's, Israel tried to destabilize Egypt through the Sudan, and still provides weapons and intelligence to the southern rebels.

A large part of Isma'il's talk dealt with the motivation of US activism in the Sudan. He stated that the main groups involved were the Christian Right (Sunrise Sudan), Pro-Israel Organizations ( including the ADL, AIPAC, Hillel House), Liberals, because it was an easy feel good issue to target, and student groups. He said no Muslim groups were represented at the Washington DC rally, and that only 3 or 4 Sudanese in the US really understood the situation. He discussed the divestment from Sudan campaign- he read off the names of students leading the campaign, pausing and slowly relishing the Jewish sounding names. He implied that the divestment campaign was simply a way to divert attention from Israel's divestment campaign on campus.

The discussion, interestingly enough, hardly mentioned the suffering in Darfur or on practical ways to ameliorate the situation.
My question "10,000 dead a month. 200,000 to 400,000 dead total. 2 million in exile. Politics aside, what can we do to relieve the suffering on the ground now? Isma'il winced as I recited the figures. Clearly the scope of the atrocities in Darfur was not to be discussed. He replied "Those numbers may be exaggerated." I replied "What is your best estimate" His reply "I don't know".

This ANSWER dog and pony show is "on the road" now...Be sure to miss it at a theatre near you.
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