2005-07-11

A word about genocide

Let's avoid falling into caricature. My little idyll with the fascists was unique. These are people who deprived of the extreme positions they take would have little else to keep them occupied. In any case, as their chants suggest, they do not exactly shy away from taking a few swigs of collective guilt (responsibility being a bit beside the point).

Their moderate wing is represented by the media that have never got out of the habit of safely endorsing them from afar. A case in point would be the tabloid most loyal to the old regime, Večernje novosti. Their approach in the past couple of weeks has been, to borrow the categories first articulated by Vojin Dimitrijević, to move from «denial of the fact» to «denial of the law.» However much they relativise (this was the paper that published the list of Serb victims last week), they are no longer openly contesting the version of events in Srebrenica which has been established by research and in open court.

Their approach now is to contest the qualification of the events as genocide. This ranges from citing politicians warning against the chimera that Serbs may be labelled as «a genocidal nation» — but enough of that, it is a category which, if it exists anywhere, does not exist in law: strictly for popular consumption. But twice in the last week they have run long interviews (both times on the top tabloid page 2) offering technical denials of genocide. First Smilja Avramov was quoted as accepting the facts but denying that it was genocide because «there was no intent.» Then today a young law professor, one Škulić, came foward with an argument that there was no genocide because only men over a certain age were murdered.

Take or leave the arguments: to my mind, they have a sophistic quality and while they might get by in a seminar room, the existing record of jurisprudence makes them untenable in a courtroom. But step back a bit, too — the strategy amounts to denying genocide by recognising crimes against humanity (of course it is not identified this way in Novosti). If all that is left is to test different legal theories against the facts, let the trials begin.

2 comments:

Steve Albert said...

Eric,

Here's a little piece of genocide denial from Canada's own General Lewis MacKenzie:

What happened next is only debatable in scale. The Bosnian Muslim men and older boys were singled out and the elderly, women and children were moved out or pushed in the direction of Tuzla and safety. It's a
distasteful point, but it has to be said that, if you're committing genocide, you don't let the women go since they are key to perpetuating the very group you are trying to eliminate. Many of the men and boys were executedand buried in mass graves.

The real story behind Srebrenica By LEWIS MACKENZIE

Globe and Mail (Toronto) Thursday, July 14, 2005

MacKenzie has come up with a new definition of genocide. If you kill the men and boys of a targeted group, but let the women live, it's not genocide, because the women can reproduce.

Let's put this absurd theory to the test. Suppose the soldiers of Country A invade Country B and kill all of the men and boys. According to MacKenzie this would not be genocide because the women could still have children.

In anywhere other than the absurd world of Lewis MacKenzie it takes two to tango. Who would be left to be the partners of the women of Country B?

No males would be left except the soldiers of Country A.

There is little sense debating the merits of this rather novel definition of genocide. It is little more than an attempt to try to mitigate the horror of what happened at Srebrenica. It deserves little more than our contempt.

Steve Albert

Montreal

Yakima_Gulag said...

I just realized a vital point about genocide where Muslim populations are concerned is NOT getting through to a lto of people not familiar with Muslim religion and culture.
This is vital too.
Muslim women can't legally in their religion marry non-Muslim men. This is right there in the Koran.
So you don't 'have' to kill the women to kill the community. You really only have to eliminate the men of reproductive ages. This is why old men were sometimes spared, but not boys. Boys grow into men, if they are fed and cared for.
The other thing is that rape was widely committed,my theory is that this was done because it humiliates a woman and if it's done brutally enough or a woman contracts a disease as a result, she might not be able to have children. So there is a sick logic in what went on. So even if the women weren't killed, it's still genocide. Any action reaulting in the elimination of a community is genocide. it would be nice if guys like MacKenzie could get it straight. It's shameful that a person of Scottish ancestry would not understand this in his or her BONES because all the same sick stuff went on in the Jacobite wars. He must have been raised in one of those rare Scottish families that never spoke about history!