POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN IN THE GUARDIAN
Mr. Reynolds truly doesn't understand what he's talking about.
Few words are more abused today than 'genocide.' When relatively small groups of people are killed in places of interest to the West (ie. Serbia), it is genocide.
When millions are killed in places of little interest to the West (ie. Rwanda), it is ignored, except of course for the sensational news coverage after the fact.
I am not sure exactly what horror is taking place in Darfur, but I do know that when the murderous, lying Bush administration declares something a 'genocide,' we had better be careful about agreeing.
More broadly, when has any nation or international organization stood in the way of genocide in the post-war period? Most importantly, has the US ever opposed genocide, other than with words? It is the US which holds political and economic sway over international agencies like the UN, and it is the US which has the military power to do something.
We have had several genocides in the last fifty years.
We had a genocide in Rwanda (around a million killed). The US simply refused to use the word internally so that they could ignore it.
We had a genocide in Cambodia (over a million killed), caused by America's de-stabilizing of the once peaceful country with its bombing and secret invasion. When tough little Viet Nam went in to do something, the US stood back and said, 'See, we told you, the domino theory at work!'
We had a genocide in Indonesia with the fall of Sukarno. Five hundred-thousand people, vaguely identified as communists, had their throats cut and their bodies dumped into rivers. Not only did the US not react, there were officials at state department phones late into the night transmitting names of candidates.
I would argue, too, that America's slaughter in Vietnam was a genuine genocide, the greatest of the post-war period. About three million were killed, mostly civilians, for no reason other than embracing the wrong economic system.
'Never again' is a slogan - we've proved that in the last fifty years - and, like all slogans, it is selectively applied to sell something.