Monday, August 04, 2008

The Genius of Genocide: A 14+Year Guilt Trip - by Mick Collins

The Genius of Genocide: A 14+Year Guilt Trip

Just around the anniversaries this July of the mass slaughters in Bosnia (1995) and Rwanda (1994), we were presented with the ‘snatch’n bag-jobs’, the ‘hostage takings’ (euphemistically called ‘arrests and extraditions’) of former-Republika Srpska president, Dr. Radovan Karadzic, from a Belgrade city bus; and Executive Secretary of the FDLR (Rwandan Democratic Liberation Front), Callixte Mbarushimana, at the Frankfurt airport from a flight bound for St Petersburg, Russia—both coincidental with the ICC’s (the International Criminal Court based on the 17 June 1997 Treaty of Rome) threatened issuing of a warrant for the arrest of Omar al-Bashir, the president of a non-Rome Statute-signatory Sudan, at the under-the-table insistence of another non-signatory country, the US—all of which involve the charge of Genocide. The forces of global militarization and neo-colonial domination have, once again, in desperation over the truth’s finally getting traction, tried to cover their ample criminal ass by spreading it wide and squatting on a greased-up juridical grenade.

Like an alcoholic or hope-to-die dope fiend, the West continues to try the same old shit while expecting different results. After the total sodomizing NATO received at the Milosevic trial: with the abject turning-out of mendacious prosecution witnesses, from British Liberal Paddy Ashdown to Krajina Serb President Milan Babic (later ‘murdered by suicide’ in The Hague’s Scheveningen prison just a week before President Milosevic was there dispatched) to French General Philippe Morillon to NATO General Wesley Clark (who, heroically, dragged his boss Bill Clinton down with him);—so thorough was the demoralization of the Tribunal at Milosevic’s opening statement, when he cued up the (in)famous ‘Judgment’ video showing how the image ‘that launched 4000 NATO terror-bombing missions over Bosnia’, the anti-Serb icon of an emaciated Muslim, Fikret Alic, standing up against a couple strands of barbed wire that were, in reality, confining the piggish Penny Marshall and her British ITN film crew, blissfully unaware that their framing of this poster to sell the Serbs as the New Nazis was being covered by a Serbian TV crew—so devastating was this threat to the threadbare authority of the Tribunal that all power to the courtroom (and not just the defendant’s mike) was cut, and, immediately, CNN’s mawkish Christiane Amampour was sent fleeing this ‘Trial of the Century’ like a scalded cow. Then the presiding judge, Richard May, died of brain cancer.

In fact, the inevitable outcome of the Milosevic trial was presaged by that moment. It was evident from the beginning that ‘the accused’ could not be convicted on the evidence—no matter how many times they rewrote the indictments or changed the rules of procedure—nor would he ever be acquitted—for that would be an admission of guilt on the part of the West. NATO did what fascists have always done: they liquidated the problem, and wrote their own post-mortem to the case, absolving themselves of any culpability.

But like all good, long-suffering drunks and dopers, the West feels no compunction about not addressing its misdeeds and, so, continues to repeat them. Given the public’s short attention span, its withered memory, and the torturous effectiveness of repeating a false history, is it any wonder that the media are now recycling the same long-dead and stinking lies? Like ‘the Serb shell in the Sarajevo marketplace’, ‘the Serb rape and death camps’, and the ‘Yugoslav Peoples Army’s (now called ‘Serbian Forces’) aggression against, and occupation of, Yugoslavia’, and, by far my all-time fave, ‘the ethnic cleansing of Yugoslavs out of Yugoslavia and into . . . uh, Serbia.

What’s more, any threats posed by questioning the impunity of the real genocidaires, the US, the UK, the UN, NATO and Israel, have been neutralized with extreme prejudice either militarily, judicially and/or iatrogenically, while the deaths have been made to appear to result from natural causes. Just as Rwanda’s martyred president Juvénal Habyarimana confessed to Zaire’s president Joseph Mobutu a well-informed dread over his impending murder at the hands of his successor, Paul Kagame, and the RPF, just days before the event that supposedly triggered the 8000-a-day death toll, which launched the re-feudalization of that small, densely populated Central African nation; and just as President Milosevic, in the last weeks of his life, expressed to his family and Russian friends how he feared he was being poisoned by his jailers: one must consider as grimly serious those concerns Dr. Karadzic expressed during his arraignment, fears of losing his life to the malicious machinations of his monstrous interlocutor, Richard Holbrooke. Certainly, Mr. Mbarushimana’s relationship with the same blood-drenched Paul Kagame and the servile UN does not promise the former much of a future back home in Rwanda. And though the threats against al-Bashir and Sudan might be sloughed off as unenforceable, they do not bode at all well for peace in the region or for the continued health and well being of the peacekeepers there.

Fascists, today euphemistically referred to as ‘Businessmen’, have no friends. They just have a lot of dead ex-partners. And these three defendants have worked very closely with the Western Business forces sent out to re-colonize their countries through what has euphemistically come to be known as ‘regime change’ for ‘neo-liberal restructuring’. Dr. Karadzic worked very closely with both Lords Carrington and Owen, as well as with the megalomaniacal Credit Suisse/First Boston broker, Holbrooke, in bringing about energy deals and ceasefires in Bosnia that would lead, eventually, after some Shakespearean betrayals and concerted NATO bombings, to the Dayton Peace Talks. Mr. Mbarushimana was an info-techie who, while working for the UN in Rwanda, became privy to his masters’ deep involvement in the planning, arming, execution, and then covering up of the mass slaughter that has been reductively referred to as the ‘Genocide of 100 days’, and, at the time of his recent arrest, was militating for the execution of two international warrants from French and Spanish courts for the arrests of current Rwandan president Kagame and his entourage, for various and sundry terrorist acts and crimes against the peace, including the murders of two sitting African heads-of-state and a dozen-or-so Catholic priests; and al-Bashir also worked closely with US and Israeli interests, in general, and the Clinton Administration, in particular, to secure Nile water and apprehend so-called terrorists, including Osama bin Laden (whose delivery Clinton rejected), and to maintain the overall security of Western investment in Sudan, until he, too, became expendable and the US redoubled its military and media support for ‘rebel groups’, and their euphemistically named back-ups, the heavily-armed and well-outfitted UN and AU ‘peacekeepers’ (as one Blue Beret put it: There’s no peace to keep here!), in the south and west of Sudan, in Darfur, and in Chad.

Though the terms ‘fascist’ and ‘fascism’ have today become such degraded currency as to be almost without real rhetorical value, aside from their use as ad hominems, we, here, still consider Fascism the best description for the philosophical rationale for corporate waste capitalism, for the irrational sacrifice of the many in the interests of the few, with its ideological sump still spewing the noxious notions of anti-majoritarianism, anti-popularism, or, the equally devalued, anti-communism. But the current spread of despair, destruction, disease, decay and unnecessary death, the promulgation of an evermore bewildered culture of terror-induced ignorance, has its roots in the psychopathological nostalgia, the neo-feudal longings and the obscurantist religious sentimentality that were the ancien regime’s response to the agitation and propaganda for rational, progressive, popular and decent governance at the beginning of the 20th century.

One of the most prominent psychological characteristics of Fascism is anti-intellectualism: the supersedure of the critical imagination by emotive intuition. And a new viral cause for this Anti-Intellectual Dysfunction Syndrome has recently been isolated: it’s the infectious notion of Genocide.

The genius of this currently faddish genocide charge, as it is being applied to these representatives of targeted governments, is that the 'genus' of the victims has been separated from any political, economic or even historical particularization: In Rwanda and Darfur, the genocides are ‘tribal’, against the Tutsi by the Hutu and against the 'Africans' by the 'Arabs', respectively, rather than merely against Rwandan or Sudanese nationals by their own governments; in Bosnia, it was the killing of 7-8,000 Muslim men and boys (the only known gender-specific genocide), most of whom, it is suggested, were non-combatants, rather than against citizens of BiH or members of the armed forces of the Bosnian state that had, without negotiation, unconstitutionally seceded from, and was militating against residual institutions of, the Yugoslav Federation (especially the Yugoslav Army); and in mid-20th Century Europe and Asia, the grandmammy of modern genocides was committed by European and Japanese Fascism against 6 to 11 million Jews, rather than against the far more numerous Soviet or Chinese communists, trade unionists or any of the other anti-fascist movements.

This depoliticizing of genocide—which has also removed it from the bottom of list of war crimes considered by the several post-WWII tribunals, after Aggression and other crimes against the peace and violations of the conventions of war (in fact, the term ‘Genocide’ didn’t come into vogue until well-after the 1947 genocide conference), and placed it at the head of the list of ‘Hate Crimes’—has freed this charge from any real critical considerations. Hence the irrational and poisonous labeling of all political, historical or legal analysis into the applications of this form of mass murder as 'negationism' or, even worse, 'Anti-Semitic Holocaust Denial', making such serious geopolitical issues, essentially, the subjects of sentimental (i.e., victimating) reminiscence with the penitant’s vow of ‘Never Again’. Just as it is unthinkable to question the mainstream views on HIV/AIDS or 911, no one with the slightest sense of socio-intellectual self-preservation would question the facts of the genocides in places like Rwanda, Chechnya, Bosnia, Kosovo, or even the ‘cultural genocide’ in Tibet.

Yet the way these evidence-free crimes are stipulated to in court, and reported and manipulated in the media, the way they are resurrected from the well-deserved obscurity of invalidation with indecent pleadings for 'victims' rights' and ‘victims’ justice’, cannot put raise myriad, very serious doubts. The honest thinker finds it hard not to be a bit of a 'negationist', a sorta, kinda ‘holocaust denier’—which in today’s Europe is a chargeable offense that can carry a two-year jail sentence.

So what can be done to reclaim our true history—and, thereby, to safeguard our dignity and self-worth, so as to pass on a whole and healthy memory to our children and their children? Not just the US, but the entire world is becoming a vast warehouse for storing the politically feckless, an enormous concentration camp of the economically disenfranchised and socially superfluous, all restrained by the invisible shackles of an unexplained and unexplainable shame, a corrosive guilt maintained by moral blackmail and threats of being cast from the community of the blissfully ignorant.

It takes a heap of something—of courage, or mad abandon, or plain stupidity—not to pay the blackmail, not to ransom your hostage heart with silence. But to some, the Truth is like a shot of pharmaceutical crank: once you’ve pushed off on a really righteous pile of information (like ‘HIV doesn’t cause AIDS, the meds do!’ Or ‘There was no fucking 757 in the Pentagon!’), you find it impossible to just kick back on the couch all dummied-up while everybody else is just speed-rapping all kinda bullshit. But it is not enough to inform ourselves and our actions so as better to struggle against the duplicitous barbarity of a US/NATO/UN axis of militarism that declares ‘safe havens’ or ‘arms-free zones’ from which their chosen aggressors might wage bloody war against a victimized nation, while all efforts at national defense are criminalized; or of an International Justice system whose intention is not to bring either peace or reconciliation, but only to eradicate national sovereignty as a fast-track to the development of a prolonged, deepened and intensified misery for the great majority of the world’s subjugated peoples in the service of irrationally venal and sectarian interests, business interests that are sacrificing our own present for their projections into a more and more dubious future; or of a globalized financial and commercial system that has consumed so much of the planet’s and its inhabitants’ life-force that it can no longer reproduce itself without, at the same time, devouring itself.

We must find a way to make common cause with those very political prisoners, those righteous defenders of nation and family, of home and hearth, of kith and kin, those representatives of targeted governments, like Drs Karadzic and Seselj, of Mr. Mbarushimana and General Ndindiliyimana and Mme Habyarimana, of the much maligned peoples of Palestine, of Lebanon, of Syria and Iran, of Iraq and Afghanistan, of Columbia and Ecuador and Venezuela, and even the peoples of China and Russia, all hostages to the tyranny of global business capital despite the however-enlightened collectivism of some of their governments.

Here’s some reading toward finding this common cause:

Natasa Kandic & the Propaganda War against Yugoslavia.--by Ian Johnson, ICDSM/Britain

Srebrenitsa, lies and media games--I was evacuating civilians from Srebrenitsa--by Zvonimir Trajkovic

And certainly this from my friend Ed Herman:

Then we must take this common cause and appeal it to the highest possible authority, to those really in charge, to the true leaders of the world.

Ah, but there’s the rub:

Who is there to redress our grievances? Who’s really running this moribund mess?

Mick Collins
August 3, 2008CirqueMinime/Paris is all about subverting expectations, recontorting the obvious, and developing a thoroughly critical aesthetic--oh, yeah, and not forgetting to