The Politics of Genocide

Overview

In this impressive book, Edward S. Herman and David Peterson examine the uses and abuses of the word “genocide.” They argue persuasively that the label is highly politicized and that in the United States it is used by the government, journalists, and academics to brand as evil those nations and political movements that in one way or another interfere with the imperial interests of U.S. capitalism. Thus the word “genocide” is seldom applied when the perpetrators are U.S. allies (or even the United States itself), ...

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Overview

In this impressive book, Edward S. Herman and David Peterson examine the uses and abuses of the word “genocide.” They argue persuasively that the label is highly politicized and that in the United States it is used by the government, journalists, and academics to brand as evil those nations and political movements that in one way or another interfere with the imperial interests of U.S. capitalism. Thus the word “genocide” is seldom applied when the perpetrators are U.S. allies (or even the United States itself), while it is used almost indiscriminately when murders are committed or are alleged to have been committed by enemies of the United States and U.S. business interests. One set of rules applies to cases such as U.S. aggression in Vietnam, Israeli oppression of Palestinians, Indonesian slaughter of so-called communists and the people of East Timor, U.S. bombings in Serbia and Kosovo, the U.S. war of “liberation” in Iraq, and mass murders committed by U.S. allies in Rwanda and the Republic of Congo. Another set applies to cases such as Serbian aggression in Kosovo and Bosnia, killings carried out by U.S. enemies in Rwanda and Darfur, Saddam Hussein, any and all actions by Iran, and a host of others.

With its careful and voluminous documentation, close reading of the U.S. media and political and scholarly writing on the subject, and clear and incisive charts, The Politics of Genocide is both a damning condemnation and stunning exposé of a deeply rooted and effective system of propaganda aimed at deceiving the population while promoting the expansion of a cruel and heartless imperial system.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781583672129
  • Publisher: Monthly Review Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/2010
  • Pages: 128
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Edward S. Herman is professor emeritus of finance at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and has written extensively on economics, political economy, and the media. Among his books are Corporate Control, Corporate Power; The Real Terror Network; The Political Economy of Human Rights (with Noam Chomsky); and Manufacturing Consent (with Noam Chomsky).

David Peterson is an independent journalist and researcher based in Chicago.

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Table of Contents

Foreword 7

Introduction Noam Chomsky Chomsky, Noam 13

CONSTRUCTIVE GENOCIDES Noam Chomsky Chomsky, Noam 29

1. The Iraq Sanctions-Regime Killings Noam Chomsky Chomsky, Noam 29

2. The Iraq Invasion-Occupation Noam Chomsky Chomsky, Noam 33

NEFARIOUS GENOCIDES Noam Chomsky Chomsky, Noam 39

1. The Darfur Wars and Killings Noam Chomsky Chomsky, Noam 39

2. Bosnia and Herzegovina Noam Chomsky Chomsky, Noam 46

3. Kosovo Noam Chomsky Chomsky, Noam 49

4. Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo Noam Chomsky Chomsky, Noam 51

SOME BENIGN BLOODBATHS Noam Chomsky Chomsky, Noam 69

1. Israel: Sabra and Shatila Noam Chomsky Chomsky, Noam 69

2. Israel: The Gaza Invasion of December 2008 January 2009 Noam Chomsky Chomsky, Noam 73

3. Croatia's Operation Storm Noam Chomsky Chomsky, Noam 81

4. Dasht-e-Leili (Afghanistan) Noam Chomsky Chomsky, Noam 84

5. Turkey's Kurds vs. Iraq's Kurds Noam Chomsky Chomsky, Noam 87

6. Indonesia and East Timor Liqui?n Noam Chomsky Chomsky, Noam 89

7. El Salvador and Guatemala Noam Chomsky Chomsky, Noam 91

MYTHICAL BLOODBATHS Noam Chomsky Chomsky, Noam 95

Racak Noam Chomsky Chomsky, Noam 95

Concluding Note Noam Chomsky Chomsky, Noam 103

Notes Noam Chomsky Chomsky, Noam 113

Index Noam Chomsky Chomsky, Noam 151

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  • Posted September 17, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Brilliant study of the uses of the term 'genocide'

    Edward Herman and David Peterson have written a superb study of the uses of the term 'genocide'. Herman is Professor Emeritus of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania and Peterson is a journalist and researcher.

    In 1973 Noam Chomsky and Herman wrote that the USA has "been the most important single instigator, administrator and moral and material sustainer of serious bloodbaths in the years that followed the Second World War." They cited the cases of the Philippines (1898-73), Thailand (1946-73), Palestine (1948-), Vietnam (1954-73), Central America (1954-), Indonesia (1965-69), Cambodia (1965-73), East Pakistan (1971) and Burundi (1972), More recently, Iraq (1990-), Rwanda (1994), the Democratic Republic of Congo [DRC] (1998-2007) and Afghanistan (2001-) have joined the grim list.

    Herman and Peterson examine killings in Sudan, Yugoslavia, Rwanda and the DRC. They also study war crimes committed by US allies Israel, Croatia, the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan, Turkey, Indonesia, El Salvador and Guatemala.

    They note that the International Criminal Court, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda all exclude the crime of aggression from their jurisdiction. (Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch likewise exclude aggression from their remit.)

    When, in 1999, the Yugoslav government asked the International Criminal Court to issue an injunction against the NATO powers bombing it, the US government replied that it had 'not consented to the Court's jurisdiction in this case, and absent such consent, the Court has no jurisdiction to proceed'. The Court agreed that it 'cannot decide a dispute between States without the consent of those States to its jurisdiction'. The US state puts itself above the law it enforces on others.

    Herman and Peterson recount how in April 1994, the Tutsi-led Rwandan Patriotic Front, falsely alleging that the Hutus were conspiring to commit genocide. (Later, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda did not find any Hutu guilty of conspiracy to commit genocide.) The RPF killed Rwanda's Hutu President Habyarimana and began the mass killing: as the genocide started, the US and British governments successfully pressed for UN troops to leave. The Tutsi minority bloodily overthrew the democratic coalition government, killed two million people, mostly Hutu, and forced millions to flee Rwanda.

    US allies Rwanda and Uganda repeatedly invaded the DRC in the 1990s and since: in 1998-2007, 5.4 million were killed, 20 times the toll in Darfur. In 2003-9, the US media used the word 'genocide' 90 times as often of Darfur as of Iraq, where three times as many were killed. (The US-British sanctions of mass destruction (1990-2003) had killed 800,000 people; the war and occupation killed more than a million.) The International Commission of Inquiry on Darfur rejected in 2005 the charge of genocide against the Sudanese government.

    The authors provide a mass of challenging evidence that the USA and its allies use the term genocide as a propaganda weapon against their enemies, while themselves committing worse crimes with impunity.

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