MPs Vote Unanimously To Declare Treatment of Rohingya a 'Genocide'

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kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

So Magoo which of the countries that are being discussed in this thread do not meet the threshold for genocide. What is gained by not using the proper word for the actions. The UN definitions would seem to leave little to debate since they are clear. The only question is do the facts fit the definition. IMO the crisis in Myanmar fits the definition so why should we call it something else and lessen the impact by downplaying it?

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

That's how they get ya.  Sea-lioning.

"I wonder if you would mind presenting your evidence that what I say is incorrect?"

Quote:
What is gained by not using the proper word for the actions.

Same as when the proper word is "authoritarian" or "dictator" or "failed state" or "death tax".  Why would anyone vigorously resist the truth, eh?

Mobo2000

Magoo:   If the ICC or the UN defines an event as terrorism or genocide, there are repercussions.  The possibility of lawful intervention through the UN, sanctions, R2P, etc are all put on the table.  It's obviously true they are applied selectively, used incorrectly or in a propagandistic manner by all sorts of political actors.     But "authoritarian", "dictator", and "death tax" are all propaganda terms with no standard definition or legal weight.  

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

That's not why people use those terms.

And it's not why people stamp their feet and insist others do.

I'm not going to try to prove to anyone that some use of these terms "must be" or "clearly is" accurate.  And I'm not going to try to prove to anyone that some use of these terms "must be" or "clearly is" just team sports.

I'm just saying that these words are no longer symbolic placeholders for a shared understanding of something.  Now they're an opportunity to redefine things we don't like or don't support.

Again, it's often just an end run.  Why try to convince people that something you dislike is wrong, if you can convince them that it's "terrorism" or "genocide" -- something they've long ago decided is wrong?

Mobo2000

Well, I suppose some of what you say is true.   But in this context, I think something else is going on --  Canadian MPs condemning genocide against Rohingya are not trying to convince the public of anything.  In my view they are helping to create the appearance of a (US led) international consensus that something must be done and signalling their willingness to other "like minded" countries that our government will participate in international intervention of some sort - sanctions, peacekeeping forces, humanitarian assistance and possibly regime change. 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Mr. Magoo wrote:

I'm just saying that these words are no longer symbolic placeholders for a shared understanding of something.  Now they're an opportunity to redefine things we don't like or don't support.

Again, it's often just an end run.  Why try to convince people that something you dislike is wrong, if you can convince them that it's "terrorism" or "genocide" -- something they've long ago decided is wrong?

That is why it is important to both not use the term when it does not meet the thresholds in the definitions and to use it to condemn actions that are indeed genocide. The problem is not in using the term genocide, the problem is using the term improperly. I personally see no merit in the argument that if most people misuse terms then they no longer have any meaning. 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
I personally see no merit in the argument that if most people misuse terms then they no longer have any meaning.

The problem isn't that those terms suddenly have NO meaning.  It's that they suddenly have MANY meanings.

Anyway, it's a problem in a lot of different contexts.  If someone says someplace is not a "safe space", what does that mean?  Used to be it would mean a place where you weren't going to be physically assaulted, but what's it mean now?  It means anything from "a place where you won't be physically assaulted" to "a place where you won't have to worry about seeing someone wearing a MAGA hat".

The problem with crying "Wolf" was never that there aren't wolves.  Perhaps Palestine/Israel reasonably meets the criteria for genocide.  The problem is that these days, we can't just assume that if someone calls it a genocide, that proves that it meets those criteria. 

NDPP

On the ICC which would hear the Rohingya Case:

"The Peoples Indictment against the ICC is a long one running from its failures to indict to the criminal indictments it issued. So when the National Security Advisor to President Trump threatens the ICC with sanctions, we here in Africa can hardly help but smile..."

When Africans Cheered John Bolton: Criminals on the ICC

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/09/28/when-africans-cheered-john-bolto...

ICC:  an Imperialist Colonialist Crooked Court. 

voice of the damned

ICC:  an Imperialist Colonialist Crooked Court. 

Given that, as stated in the article, the US is strongly opposed to the ICC, who are the imperialists running it?

NDPP

voice of the damned wrote:

ICC:  an Imperialist Colonialist Crooked Court. 

Given that, as stated in the article, the US is strongly opposed to the ICC, who are the imperialists running it?

NDPP wrote:

The ICC is supported by 12o nations, the US, China, India and Israel do not recognize the court. However "although the US is not a party to the ICC's statute the administration has been prepared to support the court's prosecution and provide assistance when it is in US national interest to do so,' the US State department says on its website.

voice of the damned

Okay, but is it the US making the decisions about who does and does not get prosectued by the ICC?

NDPP

As I understand it, referrals to the court can be made by state parties, the UNSC or the ICC Prosecutors can also initiate investigations themselves. In any case, so far the court seems to have a distinct preference for brown people. This older article focusing on Darfur is illustrative.

The ICC: An Instrument of Imperialism

https://crescent.icit-digital.org/articles/the-icc-an-instrument-of-impe...

"Imperialist countries have created a vast array of instruments to force the rest of the world to follow their diktats. The fact is the ICC is an instrument of Western imperial hegemony..."

NDPP

A more recent msm article from DW on the Rohingya matter itself:

Rohingya Genocide: Will Myanmar Generals Face ICC Justice?

https://www.dw.com/en/rohingya-genocide-will-myanmar-generals-face-icc-j...

"Myanmar's government is facing increasing international pressure for its violent crackdown on the Rohingya people. The International Criminal Court says it has jurisdiction over the crisis, but a conviction is unlikely..."

Misfit Misfit's picture

For the record, my position on Palestinian genocide is this. If people were calling the Rohingya crisis as a genocide, and people were calling Canada's treatment of indigenous people a genocide, they were then saying that the Israeli treatment of Palestinians was not a genocide.

So my argument was...If the Rohingya crisis is a genocide and Canada's treatment of indigenous people is a genocide, then you must also accept the Palestinian treatment by Israel as a genocide as well.

the people on this thread who were downplaying the magnitude of the human rights atrocities being committed against the Palestinians were very misinformed.

so if you can see the Rohingya crisis as a genocide, and you can see the Indigenous treatment at the hands of the Canadian government as a genocide, then you must accept that what is taking place in Palestine is a gwnocide also.

my focus was not on forcing the word genocide. The focus was on people on this thread downplaying and minimizing what actually is really taking place in the Middle East. This poo pooing of Palestinian suffering stems from our ignorance of what actually is going on in Palestine.

if you say that these three groups do not meet the threshold of the term genocide, I really don't care. Just don't poo poo the human rights atteocities that are taking place in Palestine.

and I KNOW that Magoo loves to twist and deliberately misinterpret much of what I say. This is a classic example.

NDPP

Perhaps this squeamishness you correctly identify here to recognize the Apartheid state's ongoing Palestinian genocide is similarly reflected in the shameful official Canadian position as well as those of the main political parties. Of particular shame is the NDP's active suppression of party members' initiatives to remedy this situation. 

Yet according to an EKOS poll done last year, 66% of Canadians said they support sanctions against Israel. But standing between Israeli genocide and justice is a powerful lobby yet to be subdued and defeated. A good start would be a deep and wide ranging examination of its influence,  its fundraising, and its ongoing support, first and foremost by our elected representatives.

 Genocide is an awful crime which should be apprehended whenever and wherever it occurs, in Myanmar, in occupied Palestine or in Canada. It is a significant indication of existing international power relations to see which genocides get our representatives' immediate and unanimous attentions and which do not.

Misfit Misfit's picture

What the media portrays in Palestine are uprisings where Israeli forces open fire and kill protestors and then spin it on international television that the Palestinians were armed and dangerous and had to be subdued by lethal force.

With this limited and sensational footage, it is no wonder why so many people even supporters of the Palestinian cause can be so misinformed about what is really happening in the region.

i am misinformed as well, but our family has friends who were born and grew up in that region. The mother is from Amman and her husband is from Bethlehem. They are not allowed into the West Bank to visit relatives.

They moved to our community and the mother saw my mother in the grocery store. My mother reminded her of her own mother back in Jordan. She was extremely homesick so she adopted my mother as her Canadian mother and they have been close friends ever since.

Anyway, this lady is a friend on facebook and she sends me videos of what is happening in Palestine almost every day.

i consider myself ignorant about the Middle East and Palestine, but I have seen a large stream of inside video footage to recognize the magnitude of the atrocities that the IDF is inflicting on them.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
and I KNOW that Magoo loves to twist and deliberately misinterpret much of what I say. This is a classic example.

I don't think I either twisted, or misinterpreted anything you said.

That people exaggerate on behalf of their political "team" isn't about you.

Mobo2000

Magoo:   Here's an article from Medialens, a UK based media watchdog group, on the propogandistic uses of genocide and genocide denial.   I think it is in part saying the same thing you are on this topic.  

 

http://www.medialens.org/index.php/alerts/alert-archive/2017/860-untouch...

"One of the wonders of contemporary propaganda is the extent to which corporate commentators are in denial about their use of the term 'genocide denial'. Clearly, they believe they are using a neutral, objective term to describe indisputable facts of genocidal killing and ugly refusals to recognise those facts.

The delusion is quickly exposed when we ask a few simple questions. For example: how often do we see 'mainstream' commentators describing US-UK sanctions on Iraq from 1990-2003 as 'genocidal', as affirmed by senior UN diplomats? How often do journalists describe supporters of the devastating Bush-Blair war on Iraq, the Obama-Cameron war on Libya, or May's war on Yemen as 'genocide deniers'? Can we imagine someone who supported the war on Libya being called an 'Obama apologist'?

Like 'terror' and 'terrorism', 'genocide' and 'genocide denial' are simply not terms that are applied to Western actions.

This really awesome level of bias points to the reality that 'genocide denial' is a propaganda term overwhelmingly used to portray Official Enemies as morally and intellectually despicable, in fact untouchable. As used in the 'mainstream', the term is antirational, an attack on honest debate."

Mobo2000

And for a current example of this in action, here is the Canadian right wing press response to the conflict in Myanmar:

https://nationalpost.com/opinion/jeremy-wiener-as-syria-darfur-and-now-m...

"But getting wind of such early warning signs requires an active, diligent and empathetic media that is unafraid to discuss matters other than the day’s hot topic. Because ultimately, while Parliament can contribute to government accountability by instituting parliamentary mechanisms, it is up to the media and civil society to force leaders to invoke and act upon our R2P. If the media fails to sound the alarm when Parliament shatters the silence, as it did in 2014, inaction reigns supreme."

and this:

"

Accordingly, we should — as Canada and other like-minded Latin American allies did regarding crimes against humanity in Venezuela — be quick to make state party referrals to the International Criminal Court and International Court of Justice, especially in situations where the built-in politicization of the UN prevents a collective referral.

Because as the case of Syria, Darfur and now Myanmar demonstrate, we can no longer afford to diffuse responsibility onto the UN — an organization spawned in the wake of, and purposed with preventing, a holocaust — which has failed to, thus far, live up to its mandate. The lack of a UN Rapid-Reaction Force, to be used in conflicts where the only manageable solution is a military one, as well as the continued reluctance of UN Security Council permanent members to restrict their use of Vetoes in times of atrocity crimes, demonstrates that we must be prepared take matters into our own hands."

Mobo:   Minor point compared to the whole, but the first excerpt quoted above is helplessly naive.   It is almost an exact inversion of what the true power relationship is between the media and the government.    The media is not, in my view, ferreting out instances of genocide and bringing them to us so that we may persuade our political leaders to Do Something.   They are selling us selective genocides to be outraged about, so that we may demand a solution our political leaders already have in mind.

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