Category Archives: Genocide

Going to Hell and Back: Fighting Our Worst Nightmare

Theatrical poster

Interrogate the devil; he will tell you that beauty is a pair of horns, four claws and a tail.
Voltaire’s Philosophical Dictionary

Bullets of Justice is a gritty 2019 film made by Valeri Milev and Timur Turisbekov, which takes place in the United States during the Third World War. The story centres around Rob Justice, an ex-bounty hunter who is fighting a mixture of half humans and half pigs (human bodies and pig heads). They were bred under an American government secret project to create super soldiers called Muzzles. The project goes awry and years later the Muzzles are at the top of the food chain and are farming the remnants of the human race. Rob Justice is trying to find their source to eliminate the Muzzles once and for all. The film is shot with bleak scenes in very bleak colours and has quite explicit sexual and violent scenes. However, it also has a very dry sense of humour and can be very funny without intentionally playing for laughs.

Screenshot from Bullets of Justice (2019)

The whole premise of the film is based on the symbolic reversal of our treatment of animals as food products, and shown in all its horror. Muzzles fatten up humans in cages, kill them upside down in factories and throw corpses on to conveyor belts. Their meat is even tinned and sold (“Human Meat, Always Fresh, Steak from a well fed male”). The idea that humans are somehow ‘special’ and superior to animals is ‘debunked’. In an early scene the Grave-digger unearths a human skull and says to his kids: “See, they don’t go nowhere. They just turn into dirty old bones. God is a human mistake. We die ‘cos of some shit and we die full of shit.”

Screenshot from Bullets of Justice (2019)

There is an apocalyptic feeling to the film as humans are dying out and some strange human oddities form a resistance to the Muzzles (a woman with a prominent moustache, a fighter who can stop bullets with his chest, and a female leader who talks as if using a home-made speech synthesizer). However, we get the feeling that their resistance is pointless and the Muzzles are the strongest of the two opposing sets of monstrosities.

Screenshot from Bullets of Justice (2019)

The portrayal of human monsters is not new in culture as the depictions of the Golem, Frankenstein’s monster and Zombies makes apparent: representations of humans that cannot really live or reproduce, the symbols of anti-nature. Our anxieties about our position in the natural order of things and our treatment of animals have always been reflected in our beliefs and depictions of ourselves as a higher order and created by an omnipotent being.

However, our relations with animals has always been fraught, as Yuval Noah Harari writes:

About 15,000 years ago, humans colonised America, wiping out in the process about 75% of its large mammals. Numerous other species disappeared from Africa, from Eurasia and from the myriad islands around their coasts. The archaeological record of country after country tells the same sad story. The tragedy opens with a scene showing a rich and varied population of large animals, without any trace of Homo sapiens. In scene two, humans appear, evidenced by a fossilised bone, a spear point, or perhaps a campfire. Scene three quickly follows, in which men and women occupy centre-stage and most large animals, along with many smaller ones, have gone. Altogether, sapiens drove to extinction about 50% of all the large terrestrial mammals of the planet before they planted the first wheat field, shaped the first metal tool, wrote the first text or struck the first coin.

The Golden Age

These realities contrast wildly with our mythical story-telling of a Golden Age when humans lived in “primordial peace, harmony, stability, and prosperity. During this age, peace and harmony prevailed in that people did not have to work to feed themselves, for the earth provided food in abundance.”  And as Richard Heinberg has stated: Dicaearchus of the late fourth century BCE noted “of these primeval men […] that they took the life of no animal”.1

Roman Orpheus mosaic, a very common subject.  He wears a Phrygian cap and is surrounded by the animals charmed by his lyre-playing.

However, as the Golden Age declined through the Silver Age, the Bronze Age, the Heroic Age, to the Iron Age, the dire warnings got direr. As men moved from the wondrous cornucopia of nature to the wars of extractivism, they paid a heavy price for their bloodlust. Pythagoras (c. 570 – c. 495 BC) wrote: “As long as Man continues to be the ruthless destroyer of lower living beings, he will never know health or peace. For as long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, he who sows the seed of murder and pain cannot reap joy and love.” Much later, Ovid (43 BC – 17/18 AD) follows up with similar sentiments:

Not so th’ Golden Age, who fed on fruit,
Nor durst with bloody meals their mouths pollute.
Then birds in airy space might safely move,
And tim’rous hares on heaths securely rove:
Nor needed fish the guileful hooks to fear,
For all was peaceful; and that peace sincere.
Whoever was the wretch, (and curs’d be he
That envy’d first our food’s simplicity!)
Th’ essay of bloody feasts on brutes began,
And after forg’d the sword to murder man.
— Ovid (43 BC – 17/18 AD) Metamorphoses Book 14

As Christianity took hold and changed the reverence for nature to the reverence for a monotheistic god, nature itself became demonised as the heavenly was substituted for the earthly. It is interesting to note the similarities between the Devil (“a pair of horns, four claws and a tail”) and the animal-like god of nature, Pan, “the god of the wild, shepherds and flocks, and connected to fertility and the season of spring. Pan’s goatish image recalls conventional faun-like depictions of Satan.”

Hell

In medieval depictions of Hell, the Devil and his helpers torture humans. Hell, as Sartre has said “is other people” and, like packed trains and buses, always seems to have an awful lot of people crammed into very small places. Moreover, the animal-like Devil and his helpers seem to be like animals getting their revenge on humans by killing them and cooking them in the same way that humans kill and eat animals, by hanging them upside down (blood draining?), roasting over a fire on a spit, boiling in large vats, or baking in a fiery oven.

The Torments of Hell, French book illumination, 15th century. Illustration for Augustinius’, De civitate Dei, Bibliotheque de Ste. Genevieve Ms. 246, vol. 389.

It seems that deep in our psychology, the more we brutalise animals the more we fear that one day the animals will rise up and brutalise us. However, in some sense it is already happening. As Mike Anderson writes, they do get their revenge but in a slower, but just as deadly, way:

As far as eating is concerned, humans are the most stupid animals on the planet. We kill billions of wild animals to protect the animals that we eat. We are destroying our environment to feed to the animals we eat. We spend more time, money and resources fattening up the animals that we eat, than we do feeding humans who are dying of hunger. The greatest irony is that after all the expenses of raising these animals, we eat them; and they kill us slowly. And rather than recognise this madness, we torture and murder millions of other animals trying to find cures to diseases caused by eating animals in the first place.

In his article ‘Industrial farming is one of the worst crimes in history’, Yuval Noah Harari wrote:

The fate of industrially farmed animals is one of the most pressing ethical questions of our time. Tens of billions of sentient beings, each with complex sensations and emotions, live and die on a production line. Animals are the main victims of history, and the treatment of domesticated animals in industrial farms is perhaps the worst crime in history. The march of human progress is strewn with dead animals.

At least in recent years, in tandem with the ever increasing herds and flocks of domesticated animals for human consumption, there has been the development of movements against the slaughter in animal rights activism. Peter Singer wrote about it in the 1970s in his book Animal Liberation and, inter alia, in the 2000s Joaquin Phoenix told us about this slaughter in two truly difficult-to-watch documentaries: Earthlings (2005)  and Dominion (2018).

Colonialism and Genocide

Our attitude towards animals, our bloodthirstiness, has unfortunately carried over into our historical and current treatment of our fellow human beings in the form of colonialism and neo-colonialism. Joseph Conrad expressed it succinctly in his novel Heart of Darkness (1899) where Mr Kurtz (making a report for the International Society for the Suppression of Savage Customs) reveals his true colonial mentality when he writes ‘Exterminate all the brutes’. The colonial mindset that sees ethnic groups as not much better than animals (brutes) is predicated on the idea that the coloniser is somehow ‘superior’ and ‘civilised’ despite the fact that nowadays and ecology-wise, it is realised that these ‘primitive’ groups generally live in tune with nature rather than destroying it, as the ‘civilised’ West does. Sven Oskar Lindqvist (1932 – 2019) a Swedish author of mostly non-fiction, took Mr Kurtz’s exclamation as the title of his book on the history of colonialism and genocide, Exterminate All the Brutes (1992). The title was subsequently used again for a harrowing four part documentary series (2021) directed and narrated by Raoul Peck who worked with Lindqvist.

Punch (1881)

Furthermore, even in our more ‘enlightened’ era, our attitude towards animals as our fellow ‘earthlings’ has run into other, more serious problems, as Michael Cronin writes:

In more recent times, it is fears around what is seen as the neo-Malthusian pathology of deep ecology that prompts a reticence around stressing the animal nature of humans. In this reading of ecology, treating humans as one species among others leads inevitably to the conclusion that the only way to deal with human overpopulation is through the mass elimination of humans. As they would not enjoy higher ontological status than other species, such genocidal practices could be justified by the overall flourishing of species on the planet.2

Once again, our fears of our brutal selves lead us to try and characterise ourselves as more important than ‘mere’ animals in a self-defeating vicious cycle. Which brings us back to the point that Pythagoras made (‘as long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other’). In other words, as long as we treat animals like ‘animals’ (brutes) we will treat each other like ‘animals’ too.

  1. Richard Heinberg, (1989) Memories and Visions of Paradise: Exploring the Universal Myth of a Lost Golden Age, Wheaton, Ill.: Quest Books, p. 48.
  2. Michael Cronin, (2016) Eco-Translation: Translation and Ecology in the Age of the Anthropocene (New Perspectives in Translation and Interpreting Studies), London: Routledge, p. 74.
The post Going to Hell and Back: Fighting Our Worst Nightmare first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Ongoing Israeli Genocide of Palestinians

The Omar al-Mukhtar neighborhood of Gaza City after it was pounded by Israeli airstrikes, 12 May. Mohammed ZaanounActiveStills


The world needs to  know the horrendous dimensions of the ongoing Palestinian Genocide, and of the gross Apartheid Israeli maltreatment of 5.2 million Occupied Palestinians and in particular of the 2 million inmates of the blockaded and bombed Gaza Concentration Camp. A numbers-based summary of these ongoing  atrocities will strengthen global Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against the intolerable obscenity of Apartheid Israel and its racist supporters.

(A). Background of the ongoing Palestinian Genocide.

Gaza per se dates back over 3,000 years and “Palestine” and related terms (e.g. “Falastina”) come from the Philistine inhabitants of circa 1,200 BCE.

In 1880 90% of the Palestinian population were Muslims and about 10% were Christians, and there were about 25,000 Jews (about 50% immigrants).

The ongoing Palestinian Genocide  has been associated with 2.2 million Palestinian deaths from violence, 0.1 million, and from imposed deprivation, 2.1 million, since the British invasion of the Middle East in 1914 for oil and imperial hegemony – in contrast, 4,000 Zionists killed by Palestinians since 1920. Christians are only 1% of the Palestine population today.

The 1916 Anglo-French Sykes-Picot Agreement divided the formerly Ottoman-ruled Middle East between the UK and France. WW1-related Palestinian Famine (0.1 million deaths).

The Australian Light Horse Charge at Beersheba (31 October 1917) was pivotal to the defeat of the Turks. The UK Balfour Declaration giving Semitic Palestine to the non-Semitic and genocidally racist Zionists was issued 2 days later (2 November 1917) in a quid pro quo connected with getting Zionist Jewish Communists to try to keep Russia in the war against Germany.

On 10 December 1918, the Surafend Massacre of about 100 Palestinian men and boys was carried out by Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) soldiers.

Overt Jewish immigration was stopped by the British 1939 White Paper designed to pacify British Muslim subjects during WW2. Circa 1944 the British War Cabinet secretly decided to Partition both Palestine and India, supporting European Zionists and Indian Muslims, respectively. Racist mass murderer and pro-Zionist Winston Churchill hated  Indians (“They are a beastly people with a beastly religion.”), hated Indigenous Palestinians, Indigenous people of North America, and Indigenous Australians  (“I do not admit for instance, that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America or the black people of Australia [i.e. Australian aborigines]. I do not admit that a wrong has been done to these people by the fact that a stronger race, a higher-grade race, a more worldly wise race to put it that way, has come in and taken their place.” Source.), and hid the WW2 Bengali Holocaust for which he was responsible (6-7 million Indians deliberately starved to death for strategic reasons by the British with Australian complicity).

1948,  Deir Yassin Massacre (107 killed, village razed); the Nakba or Catastrophe (800,000 Palestinians expelled, 500 villages emptied); Zionists seized 78% of Palestine for their settler colonial state.

1966, Palestinians in  Israel given Israeli citizenship, albeit qualified  under race-based laws (presently over 60 such laws).

1967, a now nuclear-armed Apartheid Israel attacked all its neighbours and seized territory from all of them, including the Sinai (Egypt), Shebaa Farms (Lebanon), the Golan Heights (Syria) and 100% of Palestine; 400,000 Arabs expelled in the Naksa (Setback). US Alliance-backed Apartheid Israel presently has 90-400 nuclear weapons as well as biological weapons,  chemical weapons and delivery systems.

30 March 1976, First Land Day protesting Israeli land theft (6 Palestinians killed, 100 wounded and hundreds arrested).

1982 Sabra and Shatila Massacre (3,500 Palestinians killed by Lebanese Phalangists in Israeli-occupied West Beirut.

2002, West Bank Massacres, notably in Jenin, with 497 Palestinians killed, 1,447 wounded, and 7,000 imprisoned (30 Israelis killed, 127 wounded).

2018 Apartheid Israeli nation state law passed  that officially makes Palestinian Israelis Third Class citizens (presently subject to over 60 race-based laws).

2020 Apartheid Israeli parliament rejects equality for all Israeli citizens.

2021, over 90% of Palestine ethnically cleansed of Indigenous Palestinians; Tom Pickering,  former US Ambassador to Israel and the UN, says Israel would concede only 4.4%   of Palestine for a Palestinians State in a “2-state solution”, and predicts future complete Palestinian removal from the West Bank and Gaza to elsewhere in the world (a “no state solution”).

Apartheid Israel rules all of a 90% ethnically cleansed Palestine (plus ethnically cleansed parts of Syria and Lebanon) and of its 14.4 million Subjects, 6.8 million (47.2%) are Jewish Israelis, 0.4 million (2.8%) are non-Jews and non-Arabs, 2.0 million (13.9%) are Palestinian Israelis, and 5.2 million (36.1%) are Occupied Palestinians with zero human rights. Despite a century of a Palestinian Genocide involving killing, deprivation and repeated mass expulsions, 7.2 million Indigenous Palestinians still represent 50% of the Subjects of Apartheid Israel in Palestine, but over 72% of the Indigenous Palestinian Subjects of Apartheid Israel are excluded from voting for the government ruling them i.e. are subject to egregious Apartheid.

(B). Geography and  Demographics of Gaza.

Area 360 square kilometres.

Population 2.0 million (5.2 million Occupied Palestinians in  Gaza plus the West Bank).

Population density 5,556 people per square kilometre.

Gaza is the 3rd most densely populated entity in the world.

0-14 years: 42.53% (male 418,751/female 397,013).

15-24 years: 21.67% (male 210,240/female 205,385).

25-54 years: 29.47% (male 275,976/female 289,277).

55-64 years: 3.66% (male 36,409/female 33,731).

65 years and over: 2.68% (male 27,248/female 24,191) (2020 estimates).

About 50% are children and about 75% women and children.

(C). Administration of Gaza.

In 2006 the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) won a majority in the democratic Palestinian Legislative Council elections held under Israeli guns – Hamas won a plurality of 42.9% of the total vote and 74 out of 132 total seats (56%). The Hamas representatives were variously killed, imprisoned or exiled to the Gaza Concentration Camp or elsewhere by the genocidally racist, nuclear terrorist, state terrorist and  neo-Nazi Israelis who, together with their pro-Apartheid US Alliance backers, declared Hamas to be a terrorist organization.

Land borders are  hermetically sealed by Apartheid Israel and Israeli-beholden Egypt; air, sea and land are violently controlled by Israeli drones, warplanes, navy and army.

Maritime rights  are illegally appropriated by serial war criminal Apartheid Israel.

A wide range of decent people from scholars and human rights activists to religious and political leaders have referred to Gaza as ”an open air prison” ,“the Gaza Concentration Camp”, and indeed as the world’s biggest open air prison and concentration camp.

5.2 million Occupied Palestinians,  50% children and 75% women and children, are highly  abusively and indefinitely confined to the  Gaza Concentration Camp (2 million) or to West Bank ghettoes (3.2 million) without charge or trial but for the asserted “crime”  of being Indigenous Palestinians living on part of the land continuously inhabited by their forebears for thousands of years.

“Coronavirus closure” is applied by Apartheid Israel on top of other draconian restrictions on movement in and out of Gaza.

(D). Employment in Gaza.

Unemployment rate 43.1% .

Total employed people 280,000 (end 2019) , 222,000 (end 2020).

Average monthly wage $207 versus $323 (West Bank).

Public sector workers (39.2%) earn $29 per day.

Private sector workers (60.8%) earn  $11 per day.

Women unemployment rate 65% (3rd quarter 2020), 60.4% (4th quarter 2020).

Women workforce  participation rate 18.7% (beginning 2020), 12.4% (end 2020).

Youth (under 30) unemployment rate 65.5% (end 2020).

(E). War criminal Israeli collective punishment of Gaza by mass murder.

2006 Gaza Massacre – 400 Palestinians killed, 1,000 wounded (11 Israelis killed, 82 wounded).

2008-2009 Gaza Massacre – 1,400 Palestinians killed, 5,300 wounded, 51,000 homeless, huge infrastructure damage (13 Israelis killed, 518 wounded).

2014 Gaza Massacre – 2,300  Palestinians killed, 11,000 wounded, 7,000 homes destroyed (73 Israelis killed and 556 wounded).

2018-2019 Great March of Return Gaza Massacre – 223 killed, 9,200 wounded (0 Israelis killed, 11 wounded).

2021 Gaza Massacre – 256 Palestinians killed, 2,000 wounded (13 Israelis killed, 217 wounded).

In the last 2 decades Gaza rockets have killed about 40 Israelis but Israeli reprisals have killed over 4,600 Gazans, an over 100-fold disproportionality.

In the last 2 decades Israelis have murdered about 2,600 Israelis but Apartheid Israel has not  killed 100 x 2,600 = 260,000 Israelis in response.

On average in the last 20 years, Apartheid Israel has violently killed about  500 Occupied Palestinians each year (10,000 in total) and killed a further 4,000 Occupied Palestinians annually  through imposed deprivation (80,000 in total)

“Coronavirus closure” is  presently applied to Gaza by Apartheid Israel on top of other draconian restrictions by way of collective punishment.

(F). Fourth Geneva Convention, GDP, infant mortality, avoidable mortality, health, trauma, food, water, electricity, and homelessness in Gaza.

Apartheid Israel grossly violates Articles 55 and 56 of the Fourth Geneva Convention (the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War) that unequivocally demand that  an Occupier must supply life-sustaining food and medical services to its Conquered Subjects “to the fullest extent of the means available to it”.

Apartheid Israel violates 15 International Law Conventions, most notably the Fourth Geneva Convention and the UN Genocide Convention.

GDP per capita $1,500 for Gaza ($3,240 for Occupied Palestine and $46,400 for Apartheid Israel).

Poverty kills: annual under-5 infant deaths 1,100 in Gaza (2,800 for Occupied Palestinians, 500 for Apartheid Israel).

Poverty  kills: annual avoidable deaths from deprivation 1,500 in Gaza (3,900 for Occupied Palestinians and essentially zero for Apartheid Israel).

Apartheid Israel deliberately restricts Gaza imports to carefully estimated bare survivability needs.

Apartheid Israel stops many asserted “dual function” goods including critical  medical supplies from getting into Gaza.

Economic growth has declined and gone negative in the last 25 years and unemployment has increased.

Occupied Palestinians in Gaza live in dire poverty.

Trauma and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): “At least 90 percent of Gaza residents are in need of mental health support and treatment because of the repeated military attacks and devastating humanitarian conditions in the Strip”.

Tens of thousands with life-changing permanent disabilities from Israel violence.

Hospitals, schools, power and water infrastructure bombed and barely functioning.

Electricity supplies intermittent and Gaza’s electricity is normally supplied by its sole diesel power plant (nominal rating 60-140 MW) plus 125 MW (from Israel) and 27 MW (from Egypt) for about 300 MW total (Apartheid Israel has 16,250 MW power capacity or 54 times more than Gaza).

Apartheid Israel controls water supply, notably that from the largely West Bank-based Mountain Aquifer with 9.1 million Israelis getting 87% of Mountain Aquifer water whereas 5.2 million Occupied Palestinians get a mere 13%. WHO minimum daily per capita water allocation is 100 litres, Israelis get 240-300 litres and West Bank Palestinians get 73 litres; Israelis have deliberately demolished 50 water extraction facilities in the West Bank. Israeli bombing has destroyed water and sewerage infrastructure in the Gaza Concentration Camp to the point that it is approaching unliveable conditions.

Homelessness – Israeli bombing in 1 week alone in 2021 made 58,000 Gazans homeless.

(G). Covid-19, Occupied Palestinians and Gaza.

Apartheid Israel leads the world in Covid-19 vaccination for its Israeli Subjects but  refuses to vaccinate its 5.2 million Occupied Palestinian Subjects except for 5,000 front-line medical workers and 120,000 Occupied Palestinians who work in Israel or in illegal West Bank settlement as cheap “captive labour”.

Ventilators per million (/M) people are 504/M (Occupier US), 173/M (Occupier Australia) and 407/M (Occupier Apartheid Israel) versus 8/M (Occupied Afghanistan), 38/M (Occupied Palestine) and 13/M (Gaza Concentration Camp).

Gaza’s sole Covid-19 testing laboratory was damaged by Israeli bombing; Apartheid Israel blocked Russian Sputnik V vaccine entry to Gaza but 20,000 doses entered via Egypt; fewer than 2% of Gazans have been fully vaccinated; with an Apartheid Israeli-crippled hospital system, densely populated Gaza faces an Apartheid Israeli-imposed Covid-19 catastrophe.

As of  early July 2021 many Occupied Palestinians had died (686 Covid-19 deaths per million of population; 3,565 deaths or about 1% of 314,000 cases) but notional extrapolation to a maximum of 5.2 million cases would indicate that Apartheid Israel has deliberate intent to kill about 50,000 Occupied Palestinians.

(H). Apartheid Israeli  “intent  to destroy” and ongoing Palestinian Genocide.

Article 2 of the UN Genocide Convention defines “genocide “ as “acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group”.

Genocide experts describe an ongoing Palestinian Genocide. Thus Professor Francis Boyle (University of Illinois) re the Palestinian Genocide (2013): “The Palestinians have been the victims of genocide as defined by the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, under which a government can be guilty of genocide even if it intends to destroy a mere “part” of the group”.

90% of Palestine has been ethnically cleansed of Indigenous Palestinians with Zionists adumbrating 95% and even ultimately 100% ethnic cleansing of the West Bank and Gaza.

Zionist leaders from Theodor Herzl to Benjamin Netanyahu have explicitly advocated removal of the Palestinians from Palestine.

Of 15 million Palestinians today, 8 million are forcibly Exiled from their homeland and 7 million Indigenous Palestinian Subjects of Apartheid Israel live under threat of killing and expulsion.

Deaths in the ongoing Palestinian  Genocide (2.2 million Palestinians killed by violence or imposed deprivation) are similar to deaths in the WW2 Jewish Holocaust (5-6 million deaths from  violence or imposed deprivation) or the “forgotten”, British-imposed and Australia-complicit  WW2 Bengali Holocaust (6-7 million deaths from  violence or imposed deprivation) (see “Palestinian Genocide”).

Conclusions.

I have a large, 2-sided and big- black-capital-letters-on-white placard that I take to public rallies in support of Palestinian Humans Rights. One side says WORLD: STOP PALESTINIAN GENOCIDE and the other says BOYCOTT APARTHEID ISRAEL. The Gaza Concentration Camp and the  ongoing Palestinian Genocide shame Humanity and the pro-Apartheid US Alliance in particular. Decent Humanity must (a) inform everyone they can, and (b) urge and apply Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Apartheid Israel and all its supporters.

The post Ongoing Israeli Genocide of Palestinians first appeared on Dissident Voice.

China and Russia Quiet about US Past Genocides and Ongoing Genocide in the Middle East and Africa

The world facing desperate situations of climate change, planetary degradation and nuclear war preparation desperately needs protection from inhumane deceiving war promoting Western media, and from where shall it come if not from the bountiful and powerful two great designated adversaries of the Western powers, China, the world’s most populous nation and largest economy, and the Russian Federation encompassing 11% of the planet’s landmass.

Seems That the World Has Let Americans Get Away With Murderous Genocide in So Many Countries

Let’s begin with acknowledging that officials of the United States of America, its military, its clandestine operating CIA, and personnel within its criminal media cartel have been committing crimes against humanity free of any worry or concern of prosecution.

Let us also acknowledge that though there is relatively free speech throughout most of the world, no one seems to ever be talking about the multitude of legally prosecutable monstrous crimes against humanity committed by Americans with impunity, many of which involve the death of millions of innocent men, women and children. There is a strange absence of much talk about them even as the horrific acts of genocide that they were.

The World Court of Public Opinion Is Not Yet in Session Regarding US Crimes Against Humanity

Sure, there are quite a few anti-imperialist books in print that are critical of US genocides, but the great court of world pubic opinion has not been in session since 1945 when there was consensus among people throughout the world for demanding the ultimate legal punishment of the leaders of the nations for the murderous horrors perpetrated during their invasions and bombings in the course of the Second World War.

American Officials are Vulnerable for Having Confessed or Bragged about Their Illegal, Unconstitutional and Genocidal Crimes

How is it that even government officials of nations presently under attack by the United States of America, and those of nations invaded and bombed by the US in the past, passively continue to allow Americans to get away with murder, the present murdering of thousands and the past mass murder of many millions, when massively murderous crimes against humanity have even been openly admitted to by high officials of the government of the United States of America by their openly characterizing them either as having been mistakes or by bragging about their having been successful.

–  American officials claiming that their mega genocidal invasions, bombings and occupation wars in Vietnam and Iraq were honest mistakes are the two most devastating examples. “We were wrong, terribly wrong. We owe it to future generations to explain why.” –former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara.1 “It was a mistake, and I acknowledge that.” — Presidential candidate Joe Biden referring to his vote in favor of the Iraq invasion war when he was chairman of the powerful US Senate Foreign Relations Committee.2 But no talk of Americans paying for their years of ‘mistakes,’ murder and maiming of millions and the destruction of their countries.

–  The CIA official in charge of the the US/UK covertly engineered bloody overthrow of Iranian democracy in 1953 has even written a book bragging about his crime,3 which the CIA has publicly admitted to.4

–  American murderous invasions of Cuba, Dominican Republic, Panama, Grenada and covertly arranging and financing devastating civil wars in Guatemala and El Salvador that are openly acknowledged (without any sense of responsibility for the suffering).

–  The undercover arrangements for the brutal assassination of democratically elected popular first Congo President Patrice Lumumba were entertainingly reviewed in a televised segment of the US government’s Smithsonian Institute Channel in US mainstream media,5 no contrition indicated.

No Uproar in Reaction to Americans Massive Murdering of Millions of Innocent Men, Women and Children in Their Own Beloved Countries far away from the Invading United States of America

Martin Luther King’s & Nelson Mandela’s Exceptional Outcries

Oh, from time to time there have been accusing outcries from individuals: “The greatest  purveyor of violence in the world is my own government,” Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1967 made headlines in newspapers throughout the world,6 and South African President Nelson Mandela in 2003, “If there is a country that has committed unspeakable atrocities it is the United States of America,”7 Of course, CIA controlled criminal mainstream media vilified King, didn’t report Mandela’s outcry, and has made sure that few people ever heard of King’s condemnation of his government again. However, neither King nor Mandela called for prosecution of the perpetrators and compensation for victims of the atrocities they decried. (King did say that Americans ‘must make what reparations they can for the damage they did and provide the medical aid that is badly needed, making it available in the US if necessary, but said nothing about prosecution of Americans.)

In Western alternate media, the finest independent journalists, top intellectuals and historians stick to reporting and chronicling events of human horror as if they were imperial RealPolitik, as unchallengeable as the weather, rarely including the whole truth that they are obviously prosecutable as crimes against humanity, crimes against peace and genocide. Inversely, in the case of domestic homicide on a city street anywhere in the world, the public clamors to know whether or not what happened was a crime or not. Amazingly, in world coverage independent journalism this writer finds the word ‘crime’ is never or hardly ever employed. Journalists report mass murderous world events as terrible or mistaken foreign policy, rarely, if ever, citing a need for reparations, indemnity, or compensation for surviving victims.

Sadly, when an Iraq mom, managed to get her lawsuit against President Bush and members of his administration as far as a US Federal Court of Appeals, it received only a very modest amount of coverage even in anti-imperialist independent alternate media.

There’s Freedom of Speech but No One is Speaking Out

Why is there is no outcry around the world against the dozens of US invasions, bombings, occupation wars and deadly sanctions in and on smaller nations? The US bloodletting is probably rarely even much of a topic of pubic conversation anywhere except within the populations of the countries under US attack. Independent peoples historians assume that it is because of the enormous influence of monopolized CIA overseen giant worldwide media conglomerates.

For decades, powerful CIA controlled Western news and entertainment media, with it’s television’s worldwide satellite reach has mesmerized and totally bamboozled its planetary audience into ineptitude with its programing of indulgence, of very restricted and twisted selective news, deceitfully blacked out critical information, misinformation, and often outright lies ultimately portraying the many US regime change invasions, bombings, sanctions and occupation wars as benevolent and necessary to protecting American freedom and democracy.8

Way back in 1950, Albert Einstein explained “Under existing conditions, private capitalists inevitably control, directly or indirectly, the main sources of information (press, radio, education). It is thus extremely difficult, and indeed in most cases quite impossible, for the individual citizen to come to objective conclusions and to make intelligent use of his political rights.”9

Albert Einstein wrote that in 1950, even before the CIA operation Mongoose10 had completed its control over everyone of any appreciable importance in American media and sources of information and in much of Western Europe and on the other continents, see the lengthy article: Worldwide Propaganda Network Built by the C.I.A. 12/26/1977, The New Times.11,12

Powerful Western Media Has Anesthetized Majority Humanity but Why Are Even those Nations under US Attack Relatively Silent Re US Crimes Against Humanity?

Unfortunately, some nations currently under American military attack have pro US war lord governments installed by American occupying forces as in the case of Afghanistan and Somalia, and the populations of many nations formerly invaded, bombed and sanctioned by Americans, like Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia want to put their enormous suffering behind them. Their governments seek to avoid confrontation with the USA, long become trading partners.

A majority of small countries in the world once attacked by Americans, British or French have governments either economically, politically and militarily controlled by the USA or by a Western colonial power, or if enjoying a degree of independence, fear criticizing the US would bring economic punishment and/or covertly arranged disturbances.

Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, Syria, Yemen and North Korea For Years Under Mortal Attack From USA! China & Russia  Targeted with Nuclear Missiles — All Have Independent Governments

This is all to say that humanity can only hope for calls for international law to come down on the past and present murderous lawlessness of the  American empire from nations presently under attack which have independent governments free from US control, like China, Russia, Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, Syria, Yemen and North Korea. However, up to now, the these nations have not taken advantage of the US wars confessed to as mistakes, which it seems could easily be profiled into world public awareness of USA guilt of genocide, at least in Vietnam and more recently in Iraq.

Likewise would the repeated quoting publicly of Martin Luther King’s blistering condemnations of his government damage the credibility of Western media, which has for more than a half-century blacked-out Kings damnation of his government. These glaringly obvious ways to fight back against the insanely criminal USA that is attacking their nations and constantly threatening world war are not being taken advantage of though many nations suffer US sanctions and worse.

Solidarity and Truthful Counter-Propaganda from Independent Nations Under US Attack Woefully Insufficient

The US was sued by Nicaragua in the World Court in 1984 for mining Nicaragua’s harbors and other hostile acts (Nicaragua v. United States). The Court ruled in Nicaragua’s favor and found the US in violation of customary international law. The court put the United States of America under obligation to make reparation to the Republic of Nicaragua for all injury caused to Nicaragua. The US ignored the ruling but apparently stopped the mining. The suit brought international attention to US being guilty of crimes against a tiny country and it considering itself above the law.

This conviction by the International Court of Justice should not have been allowed to be forgotten as well as the US mega genocides committed in Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Iraq, and all the other regime change murderous invasions, bombings and deadly sanctions of Latin American, Middle East and African nations.

An Absence of Law

No leader anywhere ever seems to call for prosecution of US invasions under the Nuremberg Principles of International Law. Even the very leaders of nations under illegal US NATO attack fail to even speak of laws broken during yearly UN General Assembly Debates

There has long been an atmosphere of appeasement in the UN General Assembly’s yearly General Debate. Delegate after delegate from Africa, Asia and Oceania seem to adhere to some ‘gentlemen’s agreement’ not to embarrass the great and powerful United States of America when describing the appalling conditions prevailing throughout the 3rd World.

How strange, mysterious, unexplainable, illogical, baffling and painful for millions grieving over past genocidal military action and the millions facing death or worse today, that since the inception of the United Nations, no delegate to the UN General Assembly, with one exception (to the best of this historian’s knowledge), has called for justice under the law, for any of the the tens of millions of survivors of past mega profitable crimes against peace, crimes against humanity and forms of genocide. The single exception this author could find was Muammar Gaddafi’s comprehensive UN General Assembly address calling for investigation of all wars and restitution for victims of US NATO UN crimes against humanity.

That one exception occurred during the UN General Debate in 2009, when Gaddafi, leader of the Revolution of the Socialist Peoples Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, spoke in the name of the African Union: “We are about to put the United Nations on trial; the old organization will be finished and a new one will emerge.”  Gaddafi called for investigations into past wars of permanent members of the Security Council, the US, UK and France, to be followed by trials of those guilty of causing these wars and millions of deaths and suffering “that has surpassed that brought by the Nazis.”

Speaking before the UN General Assembly in 2009, Gaddafi, had called the Security Council a “Terror Council” for the sixty-five wars it has failed to prevent, even approving or participating in most of them. How prophetic for what would come Gaddafi’s way so soon. (See “Time to Expose Media Manufactured Uprising CIA Terrorists US-NATO Air Strikes on Wealthy Libya“)13

By not using their veto power, two giant independent nations, Russia and revolutionary China, gave the colonial powers the 2011 No-Fly Zone resolution which US and NATO military used to destroy all Libya’s army and militias which had been successfully fighting a CIA created terrorist rebel army that was executing black Libyans.14

China and Russia also voted for a resolution precipitously accusing Libya’s government leaders and armed groups of violently suppressing peaceful demonstrations.

However, the Prosecutor of International Criminal Court Fatou Bensouda, stated that Mr. Gaddafi is just one of several individuals in Libya whose alleged criminal acts could fall within the jurisdiction of the ICC which continues to monitor criminal actions of armed groups in the country. These armed groups represent a major threat to long-term peace and stability in Libya.” There never was a single documenting video or photo of a peaceful anti-government demonstration, let alone, one being fired upon. To the contrary, there was a near million wildly demonstrating in favor of Gaddafi and Libya’s Green Book socialism while NATO planes bombed never reported in the New York Times or elsewhere in the US or Europe.15

The colonial powers had sufficient influence in both the Arab League and the African Union to have both organizations vote against Gaddafi, which in turn influenced China’s UN posture.

China, after indicating it was against military intervention, abstained instead of voting no on the UN Security Council resolution calling for war on the Libyan government with the fig lief of enforcing a no-fly zone to protect civilians — a war by white neocolonialist powers on their former African colony that had raised its Arab socialist living standard to be higher than nine European nations including Russia.

China lovers were instantly stumped into incomprehension, bewilderment, dismayed, the rug pulled out from underneath their feet. Their confidence lost that the fifth of Mankind with wisdom gained during five thousand years of practical living would protect the rest of us from the insanely barbaric, homicidal imperialism wrought by predatory capitalism that had once colonized the whole nonwhite world, including China. This confidence or hope was now destroyed with our witnessing China going along with a classic example of false flag violence fostering a civil war in the age old imperialist principle of divide and conquer.

Vladimir Putin was not president of Russia during the Libyan debacle, and this author later published “Russians Calling Medvedev a ‘Traitor’ for Not Vetoing UN NATO War on Libya in Larger Context” — the article’s larger theme is the willingness of humanity to accept White world profitable investments in genocide until world economic power shifts from Europeans and their descendant nations overseas to the six sevenths of humanity they plunder. Article portrays the immediate before and after of the preposterous destruction of Libya.

The White folks nations led by the US have been throwing up a solid anti-Russian and anti-Chinese barrage of accusations, but the two great designated adversaries of the West remain polite and defensive.

China is accused of cultural genocide in Xinjiang, US President Biden labels Russian President Putin “a killer,” while even the West’s obvious backing of horrific ISIS goes unmentioned by the Russians and Chinese. (See “An American Senator Writes of ISIS ‘Hellish Filth We’ve Recruited, Armed and Trained for 8 Years!’” “The Syrian War had ” much to do with clandestine actions of CIA, MI-6, Mossad, Turkish MIT, French DGSE, Saudi GID and others. It would never have occurred without American planning and execution (and criminal media complicity).16

In ISIS IS US, a panel of cutting-edge researchers tell what ISIS really is, and what has been going on behind the scenes in Iraq, Syria and Libya. The conclusion: Like Iran-Contra, the ISIS death squads were set up by the US to crush a nation.))

Chinese & Russian Diplomacy Quiet Re America’s Massive Genocide17 in Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia and Afghanistan

About 2.4 million people have been killed as a result of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, while about 1.2 million have been killed in Afghanistan and Pakistan as a result of the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan. About 250,000 Libyans have been killed in the war, violence and chaos that the U.S. and its allies unleashed in Libya in February 2011. It is estimated that about 1.5 million people have been killed in Syria since the Islamic terrorists, ISIS and others were introduced into Syria. Estimates of people killed in Somalia since 2006 must be somewhere between 500,000 and 850,000. Estimates for Yemen are about 175,000 people killed, a minimum of 120,000 and a maximum of 240,000.

After 16 years of war, about 6 million violent deaths, and the killing continues as we read this.

After 21 years of war, 6 countries utterly destroyed and many other destabilized, and this reality carefully omitted from what qualifies as the evening news on telecasts in America, Europe and most of the TV watching world audience.18 Would that a compassionate supreme being looking down at planet Earth, would somehow see to this information being presented to Earthlings, that they might be motivated to put a end to such a inhuman catastrophe.

The world facing desperate situations of climate change, planetary degradation and nuclear war preparation desperately needs protection from inhumane deceiving war promoting Western media, and where shall it come if not from the bountiful and powerful two great designated adversaries of the Western powers, China, the world’s most populous nation and largest economy, and the Russian Federation encompassing 11% of the planet’s landmass.

Until now, seems that both Russia and China have confined themselves to presenting convincing domestic media and have spent only modest resources in reaching out internationally beyond cultural and scientific news coverage.

It bears mention that if China and Russia sought to seriously expand their international news coverage to include some occasional  overview of the mega massive loss of life in the millions brought about by the genocidal foreign policies of the United States of America and its allies since 1945, both could expect some somewhat similar charge of at least one genocidal policy each. China’s invasion of Vietnam in 1976, as the   New York Times alleged that leader Deng Xiaoping stated as to teach Vietnam a lesson — a lesson that took the lives of 30,000 human beings. Over the span of years from 1991 through 2017, Russia first lost the Chechian war for independence, then reconquered Chechnya amid a terrific loss of life and deadly Islamic terror, and in 2008 fought a heavy handed war with Georgia over the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia from Georgia.

However, it is China and the Russian Federation that represent humanity’s hope and profound desire for a peaceful world of cooperation and non-belligerence. At present a wild insistence is being broadcast for war preparation with its seemingly unlimited financing constantly demanded in the media of the US-led Western neo-colonial capitalist democracies. The list of genocidal regime change wars, invasions, bombings and sanctions perpetrated by the US led Western powers since 1945 is inclusive of nearly a majority of the formerly militarily colonized peoples of the world and the deadly violence continues in more than a half dozen nations. This is what needs media attention for protection of those who will otherwise continue to suffer death, maiming and immeasurable suffering.

Though for the Chinese, confrontation, both in the martial arts, as in Kung-fu, and in social behavior and personal demeanor is a face and balance losing stance, Chinese cities are targeted with US nuclear warheads, and since either by accident, mistake or intention, a million-fold catastrophe could occur, it would seem some outspoken attention, some awareness, some warning for all humanity is in order. NATO has threateningly declared China a global security challenge.19

Military and nuclear confrontation seems to be no problem for President Putin, however given the awesome challenge of climate change and planetary degradation being derailed by the mega enormous financial and human resources wasted on military spending, a facing off in a tough cold war posture does not seem a sufficient response to the continuing menace from the United States of America and her allies.

In this no win situation, may some Chinese philosophical wisdom be introduced in some fresh world media in time to prevent the third world war being so assiduously invested in, planned, prepared for and promoted, while the effects of climate change and Earth degradation slowly inundates humanity in a lethal future.

  1. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, writing in his 1995 memoir, In Retrospect, on the management of the Vietnam War.
  2. Presidential candidate Joe Biden referring to Iraq invasion war. During a 2020 presidential debate, Biden delivered an apology for Iraq War vote] As Chairman of Foreign Affairs Committee, Senator Joe Biden’s enthusiastic support for war on Iraq was crucial.
  3. Countercoup: The Struggle for the control of Iran is the memoir of CIA man Kermit Roosevelt, grandson of former US President Theodore Roosevelt.the book recounts his role in overthrowing democratically elected Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh with triumphant zeal.
  4. The CIA has publicly admitted for the first time that it was behind the notorious 1953 coup against Iran’s democratically elected prime minister Mohammad Mosaddegh, in documents that also show how the British government tried to block the release of information about its own involvement in his overthrow. The US national security archive at George Washington University published a series of declassified CIA documents. 8/19/2013, The Guardian.
  5. Devil Eisenhower ordered the assassination of President Patrice Lumumba, YouTube 1/13/2017, BBCFOUR Smithsonian Channel telecasted https://www.bing.com/videos/search.
  6. Martin Luther King, Jr., “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence,” 4 April 1967, Riverside Church, New York City.
  7. AP in Johannesburg and agencies, 30 Jan 2003.
  8. Noam Chomsky’s Manufacturing Consent revisited,” The Listening Post 12/22/2018, You Tube.
  9. Albert Einstein, Essays in Humanism.
  10. Mockingbird was a secret operation by the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to influence media. Begun in the 1950s, organization recruited leading American journalists into a network to help present the CIA’s views, and funded some student and cultural organizations, and magazines as fronts and also worked to influence foreign media and political campaigns.

    After 1953, Operation Mockingbird had major influence over 25 newspapers and wire agencies. The usual methodology was placing reports developed from intelligence provided by the CIA to witting or unwitting reporters. Those reports would then be repeated or cited by the preceding reporters which in turn would then be cited throughout the media wire services. These networks were run by people with well-known pro-American big business and anti-communist views.

    The CIA currently maintains a network of individuals around the world who attempt to influence opinion through the use of covert propaganda, and provide direct access to a large amount of newspapers and periodicals, scores of press services and news agencies, radio and television stations, commercial book publishers, and other foreign media outlets.”

    After leaving the Washington Post in 1977, Carl Bernstein spent six months looking at the relationship of the CIA and the press during the Cold War years.

    — Carl Bernstein, “The CIA and the Media.”

    For those unfamiliar, Operation Mockingbird was a CIA operation began as the Cold War ramped up in the 1950’s. In an attempt to gather …

    Newly Declassified Govt Docs Reveal Operation Mockingbird is Alive and Well,” Oct 2, 2015.

  11. Church Committee (the United States Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities) was a U.S. Senate select committee in 1975-6 that investigated abuses by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), National Security Agency (NSA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Chaired by Idaho Senator Frank Church amazingly criminal findings must have the publishers of the New York Times some obligation to report on covert criminal activity the Church Committee had brought to public attention.

    Philip Agee and Louis Wolf, Dirty Work: The CIA in Western Europe, 1988.

    The agency appears to be a serial violator of human rights around the world including inside America itself. The books shows everyone how to identify CIA …

    Operation Mockingbird, CIA Media Control Program,” YouTube

    1976, Senator Church live with his investigating committee re Operation Mockingbird

  12. Ed Herman and Noam Chomsky, Manufacturing Consent 1988, Pantheon Books.
  13. A month before French and British planes would eventually destroy Libyan Armed Forces and militias, and hunt Gadaffi down there was a massive pro-Gadaffi Green Libya demonstration of a near million Libyans and Gadaffi address the multitude from hiding even while NATO planes bombed. It went unreported in Western media and videos of the event have recently been removed, blocked. For years they could be viewed at HUGE PRO GADDAFI RALLY IN TRIPOLI – RAW FOOTAGE, 7/2/2011, http://www.blacklistednews.com/?news_id=14505 among other alternate media sites. All now blocked or no longer available.
  14. There were armed attacks on police stations (even traffic police) and vicious attacks on Chinese and Korea construction workers already two days before, and during the anniversary of the Danish Cartoons or “day of rage,’ executions of 50 captured Libyan soldiers, one beheaded, some hung along with police officers. And who knows how many ordinary Libyan civilians harmed by tough guys brought in to Benghazi and other Cyrenaican towns. This was reported by Reuters and BBC, but not CNN. There are (now were) some horrifically gruesome cell phone videos on the Internet of grisly hangings, beheadings, bloody beatings of blacks and others loyal to their government. (Libya has a black population, mostly in South Libya, of half a million. Libya under Gaddafi has eliminated a good deal of race discrimination, so black Libyans are especially loyal to the government.) Jay Janson, “There Was No Libyan Peaceful Protest, Just Murderous Gangs and Nic Robertson,” 16 June, 2011, Countercurrents.org.
  15. [14]
  16. Ask Hillary Who Buys ISIS et al Terrorists Helping US Oust Assad NewToyota Trucks/ Heavy Weapons.” Sec. Hillary oversaw regime change wars in Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, S. Sudan, Syria, Yemen; should be asked to explain new Toyota trucks/heavy weapons coming to ISIS/other terrorists, who have been mass murdering US designated enemies in Assad’s Syria and Shiite wherever they are; why superpower US ‘fighting’ for 5 years can’t defeat ragtag force of 25,000; involved false flags attacks on US to prove innocence?

    John-Paul Leonard, ISIS IS US: The Shocking Truth: Behind the Army of Terror

  17. Article 2 of the The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide adopted by the United Nations General Assembly effective 1/12/1951, defines genocide as

    … any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, as such:

    (a) Killing members of the group;

    (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;

    (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;

  18. Nicolas J.S. Davies, “How Many Millions Have Been Killed in America’s Post-9/11 Wars? Part 3: Libya, Syria, Somalia and Yemen,” Consortium News, April 25, 2018.
  19. M.K. Bhadrakumar, “NATO declares China as global security challenge in World, 18/06/2021.
The post China and Russia Quiet about US Past Genocides and Ongoing Genocide in the Middle East and Africa first appeared on Dissident Voice.

The Canadian Greenhouse and Genocide

In February I wrote,

As a rule, basic decency would require that one clean up one’s own yard (except in Canada’s case, the yard was stolen from its Indigenous peoples) before criticizing someone else’s yard.

This was in response to a plurality of members of parliament in Canada condemning China for committing genocide in the country’s Xinjiang province. It was flabbergasting, given that Canada is a state erected on the territory through a dispossession of its Original Peoples by European colonial-settlers. The dispossession was — and is — genocidal.

Canada’s minister of Foreign Affairs, Marc Garneau, issued a statement:

The Government of Canada takes any allegations of genocide extremely seriously. We have the responsibility to work with others in the international community in ensuring that any such allegations are investigated by an independent international body of legal experts.

This investigation must be conducted by an international and independent body so that impartial experts can observe and report on the situation first-hand.

That action would come back to bite Garneau and the MPs.

Forensic Evidence of Genocide

To those who listen to First Peoples and study how settlers came to rule over the First Peoples, the news announced on 27 May of 215 individual graves of children from the Kamloops Indian Residential School, while jarring was not surprising. The school, which operated from 1890 to 1969, had its hidden past revealed by ground-penetrating radar used by Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation in BC.

“To our knowledge, these missing children are undocumented deaths,” Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Kukpi7 (Chief) Rosanne Casimir said. In a press release she said:

We sought out a way to confirm that knowing out of deepest respect and love for those lost children and their families, understanding that Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc is the final resting place of these children.

Many thought the discovered bodies to be the tip of the ice berg. That was in late May.

Less than a month later, the Cowessess First Nation in southern Saskatchewan, using the same ground-penetrating radar, announced with certainty 600, but possibly 751, unmarked graves in its community cemetery.

The graves belong to children from the Marieval Indian Residential School said Chief Cadmus Delorme. The school operated from 1899 to 1997.

Both schools were run by the Catholic Church. The Pope has yet to apologize.

Chinese officials who have welcomed everyone to come to Xinjiang were quick to notice the forked tongue of Canadian officials. China spokesperson Hua Chunying recognizes what genocide looks like.

Meanwhile Xinjiang has seen a noticeable bump in visitors to the autonomous region.

*****

I emailed Kevin Annett who early on, as a United Church minister, spoke to atrocities in the logging town of Port Alberni on Vancouver Island. Annett, it must be stated, is a very controversial figure. But just because someone is off base or wrong on certain topics (and who is always correct?) does not mean that everything a person says should be dismissed. In a 2008 Tyee article he was ridiculed by a detractor: “Annett is busy with another one of his crusades against church and state, with new claims about a network of mass graves across Canada containing the remains of perhaps thousands of aboriginal children, murdered by priests and nuns.” The detractor, Terry Glavin, even went so far as to write that “the story of secret residential-school mass graves is an urban legend.” Ouch!

In Annett’s documentary Unrepentant, First Peoples spoke to abuse, trauma, torture, and deaths in residential schools. The number that specifically stood out was a woman holding a sign that read 50,000 killed. I asked Annett if he expected ground-penetrating radar to adduce the deaths at the residential school in Port Alberni?

Annett replied: “The general problem is that the serial killer is in charge and the truth works around the edges of the ‘mainstream’. GPR surveys have already been done at the Alberni death camp and the records are public info, also held in our ITCCS archives. They indicate sinkholes and massive soil dislocation.”

What about the churches — Catholic, Anglican, and United — how can they atone for the crime of genocide?

Annett: “The churches can only atone by being shut down and having their property and assets seized as criminal organizations – a requirement under international law; and having their officers arrested and jailed under standing warrants from our 2013 court action.”

Annett spoke to the role of the governments of Canada and its RCMP in the entrenchment of colonialism on First Nation land.

Annett: “But as long as they’re protected by ‘crown’ jurisdiction that won’t happen, hence the need for a new political arrangement – the Republic of Kanata (www.republicofkanata.ca).”

Idle No More, the Indigenous rights movement, stated:

We will not celebrate stolen Indigenous land and stolen Indigenous lives. #​CancelCanadaDay. Instead we will gather to honour all of the lives lost to the Canadian State – Indigenous lives, Black Lives, Migrant lives, Women and Trans and 2Spirit lives – all of the relatives that we have lost.

Victoria (Camosack in Lekwungen language) city council voted unanimously to cancel Canada Day celebrations. Several jurisdictions in Canada have followed suit canceling celebrations slated for the first day in July.

The post The Canadian Greenhouse and Genocide first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Thomas Friedman’s last gasp

Thomas Friedman’s recent column in the New York Times reflecting on Israel’s 11-day destruction of Gaza is a showcase for the delusions of liberal Zionism: a constellation of thought that has never looked so threadbare. It seems that every liberal newspaper needs a Thomas Friedman – the UK’s Guardian has Jonathan Freedland – whose role is to keep readers from considering realistic strategies for Israel-Palestine, however often and catastrophically the established ones have failed. In this case, Friedman’s plea for Joe Biden to preserve the ‘potential of a two-state solution’ barely conceals his real goal: resuscitating the discourse of an illusory ‘peace process’ from which everyone except liberal Zionists has moved on. His fear is that the debate is quietly shifting outside this framework – towards the recognition that Israel is a belligerent apartheid regime, and the conclusion that one democratic state for Palestinians and Jews is now the only viable solution.

For more than five decades, the two-state solution – of a large, ultra-militarized state for Israel, and a much smaller, demilitarized one for Palestinians – has been the sole paradigm of the Western political and media class. During these years, a Palestinian state failed to materialize despite (or more likely because of) various US-backed ‘peace processes’. While Americans and Europeans have consoled themselves with such fantasies, Israel has only paid them lip-service, enforcing a de facto one-state solution premised on Jewish supremacy over Palestinians, and consolidating its control over the entire territory.

But in recent years, Israel’s naked settler-colonial actions have imperiled that Western paradigm. It has become increasingly evident that Israel is incapable of making peace with the Palestinians because its state ideology – Zionism – is based on their removal or eradication. What history has taught us is that the only just and lasting way to end a ‘conflict’ between a native population and a settler-colonial movement is decolonization, plus the establishment of a single, shared, democratic state. Otherwise, the settlers continue to pursue their replacement strategies – which invariably include ethnic cleansing, communal segregation and genocide. These were precisely the tactics adopted by European colonists in the Americas, Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Friedman’s function in the Western media – conscious or not – is to obfuscate these historical lessons, tapping into a long legacy of unthinking colonial racism.

One of the central pillars of that legacy is an abiding fear of the native and his supposedly natural savagery. This has always been the unspoken assumption behind the interminable two-state ‘peace process’. A civilized and civilizing West tries to broker a ‘peace deal’ to protect Israel from the Palestinian hordes next door. But the Palestinians continuously ‘reject’ these peace overtures because of their savage nature – which is in turn presented as the reason why Israel must ethnically cleanse them and herd them into reservations, or Bantustans, away from Jewish settlers. Occasionally, Israel is forced to ‘retaliate’ – or defend itself from this savagery – in what becomes an endless ‘cycle of violence’. The West supports Israel with military aid and preferential trade, while watching with exasperation as the Palestinian leadership fails to discipline its people.

Friedman is an expert at exploiting this colonial mentality. He often avoids taking direct responsibility for his racist assumptions, attributing them to ‘centrist Democrats’ or other right-minded observers. Coded language is his stock in trade, serving to heighten the unease felt by western audiences as the natives try to regain a measure of control over their future. In some cases the prejudicial framing is overt, as with his concern about the threat of an ascendant Hamas to women’s and LGBTQ rights, couched in an identity politics he knows will resonate with NYT readers. But more often his framing is insidious, with terms like ‘decimate’ and ‘blow up’ deployed to cast Palestinians’ desire for self-determination as violent and menacing.

Friedman’s promotion of the two-state model offers a three-layered deception. First, he writes that the two-state solution would bring ‘peace’, without acknowledging that the condition for that peace is the Palestinians’ permanent ghettoization and subjugation. Second, he blames the Palestinians for rejecting just such ‘peace plans’, even though they have never been seriously offered by Israel. And finally, he has the chutzpah to imply that it was the Palestinians’ failure to negotiate a two-state solution that ‘decimated’ the Israeli ‘peace camp’.

Such arguments are not only based on Friedman’s dehumanizing view of Arabs. They are also tied to his domestic political concerns. He fears that if Joe Biden were to acknowledge the reality that Israel has sabotaged the two-state solution, then the President might disengage once and for all from the ‘peace process’. Of course, most Palestinians would welcome such an end to US interference: the billions of dollars funnelled annually to the Israeli military, the US diplomatic cover for Israel, and the arm-twisting of other states to silently accept its atrocities. But, Friedman argues, this withdrawal would carry a heavy price at home, setting off a civil war within Biden’s own party and within Jewish organizations across the US. God forbid, it might ‘even lead to bans on arms sales’ to Israel.

Friedman reminds us of Israeli businessman Gidi Grinstein’s warning that in the absence of a ‘potential’ two-state solution, US support for Israel could morph ‘from a bipartisan issue to a wedge issue’. The columnist writes that preserving the two-state ‘peace process’, however endless and hopeless, is ‘about our national security interests in the Middle East’. How does Friedman define these interests? They are reducible, he says, to ‘the political future of the centrist faction of the Democratic Party.’ A ‘peace process’ once designed to salve the consciences of Americans while enabling the dispossession of Palestinians has now been redefined as a vital US national security issue – because, for Friedman, its survival is necessary to preserve the dominance of foreign policy hawks in the Democratic machine. The argument echoes Biden’s extraordinarily frank admission made back in 1986 that ‘were there not an Israel the United States of America would have to invent an Israel to protect her interests in the region’.

Friedman then concludes his article with a set of proposals that unwittingly expose the true consequences of a two-state settlement. He insists that Biden build on his predecessor’s much ridiculed ‘peace plan’, which gave US blessing to Israel’s illegal settlements on vast swaths of the occupied West Bank, penning Palestinians into their Bantustans indefinitely. Trump’s plan also sought to entrench Israel’s control over occupied East Jerusalem, remake Gaza as a permanent battlefield on which rivalries between Fatah and Hamas would intensify, and turn the wealth of the theocratic Gulf states into a weapon, fully integrating Israel into the region’s economy while making the Palestinians even more dependent on foreign aid. Polite NYT opinionators now want Biden to sell these measures as a re-engagement with the ‘peace process’.

The US, writes Friedman, should follow Trump in stripping the Palestinians of a capital in East Jerusalem – the economic, religious and historic heart of Palestine. Arab states should reinforce this dispossession by moving their embassies from Tel Aviv to West Jerusalem. Neighbouring countries are encouraged to pressure the Palestinian Authority, via aid payments, to accede even more cravenly to Israel’s demands. (Of course, Friedman does not think it worth mentioning that Palestine is aid-dependent because Israel has either stolen or seized control of all its major resources.)

Once this subordinate position is guaranteed, divisions within the Palestinian national movement can be inflamed by making Hamas – plus the two million Palestinians in Gaza – dependent on the PA’s patronage. Friedman wants the Fatah-led PA to decide whether to send aid to the Gaza Strip or join Israel in besieging the enclave to weaken Hamas. For good measure, he also urges the Gulf states to cut off support to the United Nations aid agencies, like UNRWA, which have kept millions of Palestinian refugees fed and cared for since 1948. The international community’s already feeble commitment to the rights of Palestinian refugees will thus be broken, and the diaspora will be forcibly absorbed into their host countries.

Such proposals are the last gasp of a discredited liberal Zionism. Friedman visibly flounders as he tries to put the emperor’s clothes back on a two-state solution which stands before us in all its ugliness. The Western model of ‘peace-making’ was always about preserving Jewish supremacy. Now, at least, the illusions are gone.

• First published in New Left Review

The post Thomas Friedman’s last gasp first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Israel is Ethnically Cleansing Gaza

This started becoming clear on May 12th, and has become increasingly confirmed by events since then.

On May 12th, Al-Arabia, CBS News, and other media, reported Israel’s Defense Minister Benny Gantz as promising that “The army will continue to attack to bring a total, long-term quiet.” And, “Only when we reach that goal will we be able to speak about a truce.” Britain’s Guardian reported his speech as having said that “Israel vows not to stop Gaza attacks until there is complete quiet.” Britain’s The Express reported him as saying that “There is no end date and we will not receive moral sermons from any organization on our right to protect the citizens of Israel. Only when we reach that goal will we be able to speak about a truce.”

In other words, Israel is promising that until Gazans are totally conquered, there will be no “truce”: Israel will continue this until total victory is achieved — conquest, surrender by all Gazans.

Throughout the conflict, U.S. President Joe Biden has said that America’s policy is to request that there be a truce. However, ever since at least May 12th, Israel has made clear that a “truce” will occur only when the Gazans are totally defeated, so that there is, in Gaza, “a total, long-term quiet.” Does that differ from Israel’s announcing that they are ethnically cleansing Gazans from Gaza?

The difference would be equivalent to the difference between offering Gazans a choice ultimately between remaining quiet in the world’s largest-ever open-air prison, versus becoming totally exterminated by their enemy. What type of choice is that, actually?

On 15 April 2018, Elliott Gabriel reported from Gaza City, that

Palestinians confined to Gaza have faced several devastating onslaughts by the Israelis, as well as a crippling blockade by Tel Aviv and Cairo that has resulted in the collapse of the coastal strip’s economy. Monitors and advocates across the world have decried the grave humanitarian crisis prevailing in Gaza that has resulted directly from its being deprived of needed goods including construction material, electricity, food, water and medicine.

In a report on Gaza last November, local human rights monitor B’Tselem noted:
“Israel used its control over the crossings to put Gaza under a blockade, turning almost two million people into prisoners inside the Gaza Strip, effecting an economic collapse and propelling Gaza residents into dependency on international aid.”

On 15 May 2019, the Guardian bannered “One million face hunger in Gaza after US cut to Palestine aid,” and noted that,

The UNRWA, created in 1949 to provide short-term relief for Palestinian refugees after the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict, runs schools, hospitals and social services in five areas including the West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.

It is largely propping up Gaza, subject to a total blockade by air, land and sea since 2007. Political stalemate, conflict with Israel and divisions among Palestinian factions have left the territory an economic ruin, without health and social services and with almost no access to clean water and only four or five hours of electricity a day.

With no peace in sight, a generation is growing up in Gaza who have only known the fenced-in territory and never met an Israeli.

So, if that is the reality there, then how is this ‘choice’ anything other than an ethnic cleansing of Gaza, turning it into a prison that’s designed for its inhabitants to be “quietly” exterminated until Israelis can then ultimately take over that land and make it a new land for settlement by Israelis?

On 14 May 2021, U.S. Professor Juan Cole, an internationally recognized expert on the Middle East, headlined “Shooting Fish in a Barrel: Israel bombs Palestinian Refugees from Israel in Gaza, 50% of them Children,” and he wrote:

At one point in the zeros the Israeli military made a plan to only allow enough food into Gaza to keep the population from becoming malnourished, but nothing more. No chocolate for the children. It was one of the creepiest moments in the history of colonialism.

The unemployment rate in Gaza is 50%, the highest in the world. Half the population depends on food aid. The aquifer is polluted and increasingly salty from rising seas owing to climate change, so truly clean water is available to only about 5 percent of the population. Israel has several water purification plants. The Palestinians of Gaza do not.

There is no equivalence between Israel and Gaza. Israel has the best-equipped military in the Middle East and has several hundred nuclear bombs, Its gross domestic product (nominal) per capita is on the order of $42,000 per year.

The nominal GDP per capita in Palestine is $3000, and those who live in Gaza earn less yet.

On 19 May 2021, U.S. President Joe Biden’s Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin who was selected because he is both a Black and a neoconservative, headlined at the ‘Defense’ department, “Readout of Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III’s Phone Call With Israeli Minister of Defense Benjamin ‘Benny’ Gantz,” and here is the entirety of that news-report:

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III spoke today with Israeli Minister of Defense Benjamin “Benny” Gantz.  Secretary Austin underscored his continued support for Israel’s right to defend itself, reviewed assessments of Israel’s military campaign in Gaza, and urged de-escalation of the conflict.

The United States Government has ‘urged de-escalation’ but “underscored [its] continued support for Israel’s right to defend itself,” while exterminating Gazans.

Also on May 19th, the White House issued a statement about the phone conversation that day between Biden and Netanyahu, “The president conveyed to the Prime Minister that he expected a significant de-escalation today on the path to a cease-fire.”

However, on the morning of Thursday, May 20th, CNBC reported that, “Israel launched a fresh wave of airstrikes over the Gaza strip early Thursday in what it says are continued operations to take out Hamas targets.” That action by Netanyahu — a flagrant disregard for what U.S. President Biden had publicly instructed him to do (and the United States Government donates annually $3.8 billion to Israel for purchase of U.S.-made weapons) — was very embarrassing for Biden. However, Biden had not publicly threatened Netanyahu, but had only instructed him. Therefore, the question, at this point, was whether Netanyahu’s disobedience would be publicly punished (such as by means of applying U.S. sanctions against Israel and against Netanyahu personally). Which was the master, and which was the slave, in the U.S.-Israel relationship? Absent a public punishment of Israel for its disobedience, Israel would appear to be the master, and the U.S. its slave.

Also on May 20th, Al Jazeera, a news-operation that represents the royal family of Qatar, headlined “Death, destruction in Gaza as Israel defies truce call: Live”, and reported that, “Israeli fighter jets continued to pound the Gaza Strip on Thursday, … as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defied calls for a de-escalation.” This was specific public recognition that Israel was defying the publicly announced policy of the U.S. Government.

It’s good to know what America stands for, and has been standing for, at least after the Presidency of Jimmy Carter, if not ever since Harry S. Truman became America’s President in 1945. The United States has certainly been like this, continually, for a very long time.

So has Israel.

It is now out in the open. If Biden will retaliate strongly against Israel, he will change U.S. foreign policy since 1945. If he fails to retaliate at all, he will be profoundly embarrassed. If he continues to try to walk the fence on this matter, then, since it’s all out in the open now, the United States itself will be profoundly embarrassed. No matter what he does, the future will not be like the past. This juncture is a historical turning-point, whichever way he might turn.

The post Israel is Ethnically Cleansing Gaza first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Unity at Last: The Palestinian People Have Risen  

From the outset, some clarification is needed regarding the language used to depict the ongoing violence in occupied Palestine, and also throughout Israel. This is not a ‘conflict’. Neither is it a ‘dispute’ nor ‘sectarian violence’ nor even a war in the traditional sense.

It is not a conflict, because Israel is an occupying power and the Palestinian people are an occupied nation. It is not a dispute, because freedom, justice and human rights cannot be treated as a mere political disagreement. The Palestinian people’s inalienable rights are enshrined in international and humanitarian law and the illegality of Israeli violations of human rights in Palestine is recognized by the United Nations itself.

If it is a war, then it is a unilateral Israeli war, which is met with humble, but real and determined Palestinian resistance.

Actually, it is a Palestinian uprising, an Intifada unprecedented in the history of the Palestinian struggle, both in its nature and outreach.

For the first time in many years, we see the Palestinian people united, from Jerusalem Al Quds, to Gaza, to the West Bank and, even more critically, to the Palestinian communities, towns and villages inside historic Palestine – today’s Israel.

This unity matters the most, is far more consequential than some agreement between Palestinian factions. It eclipses Fatah and Hamas and all the rest, because without a united people there can be no meaningful resistance, no vision for liberation, no struggle for justice to be won.

Right-wing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could never have anticipated that a routine act of ethnic cleansing in East Jerusalem’s neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah could lead to a Palestinian uprising, uniting all sectors of Palestinian society in an unprecedented show of unity.

The Palestinian people have decided to move past all the political divisions and the factional squabbles. Instead, they are coining new terminologies, centered on resistance, liberation and international solidarity. Consequently, they are challenging factionalism, along with any attempt at making Israeli occupation and apartheid normal. Equally important, a strong Palestinian voice is now piercing through the international silence, compelling the world to hear a single chant for freedom.

The leaders of this new movement are Palestinian youth who have been denied participation in any form of democratic representation, who are constantly marginalized and oppressed by their own leadership and by the relentless Israeli military occupation. They were born into a world of exile, destitution and apartheid, led to believe that they are inferior, of a lesser race. Their right to self-determination and every other right were postponed indefinitely. They grew up helplessly watching their homes being demolished, their land being robbed and their parents being humiliated.

Finally, they are rising.

Without prior coordination and with no political manifesto, this new Palestinian generation is now making its voice heard, sending an unmistakable, resounding message to Israel and its right-wing chauvinistic society, that the Palestinian people are not passive victims; that the ethnic cleansing of Sheikh Jarrah and the rest of occupied East Jerusalem, the protracted siege on Gaza, the ongoing military occupation, the construction of illegal Jewish settlements, the racism and the apartheid will no longer go unnoticed; though tired, poor, dispossessed, besieged and abandoned, Palestinians will continue to safeguard their own rights, their sacred places and the very sanctity of their own people.

Yes, the ongoing violence was instigated by Israeli provocations in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in East Jerusalem. However, the story was never about the ethnic cleansing of Sheikh Jarrah alone. The beleaguered neighborhood is but a microcosm of the larger Palestinian struggle.

Netanyahu may have hoped to use Sheikh Jarrah as a way of mobilizing his right-wing constituency around him, intending to form an emergency government or increasing his chances of winning yet a fifth election. His rash behavior, initially compelled by entirely selfish reasons, has ignited a popular rebellion among Palestinians, exposing Israel for the violent, racist and apartheid state that it is and always has been.

Palestinian unity and popular resistance have proven successful in other ways, too. Never before have we seen this groundswell of support for Palestinian freedom, not only from millions of ordinary individuals across the globe, but also from celebrities – movie stars, footballers, mainstream intellectuals and political activists, even models and social media influencers. The hashtags #SaveSheikhJarrah and #FreePalestine, among numerous others, are now interlinked and have been trending on all social media platforms for weeks. Israel’s constant attempts at presenting itself as a perpetual victim of some imaginary horde of Arabs and Muslims are no longer paying dividends. The world can finally see, read and hear of Palestine’s tragic reality and the need to bring this tragedy to an immediate end.

None of this would be possible were it not for the fact that all Palestinians have legitimate reasons and are speaking in unison. In their spontaneous reaction and genuine communal solidarity, all Palestinians are united from Sheikh Jarrah to all of Jerusalem, to Gaza, Nablus, Ramallah, Al-Bireh and even Palestinian towns inside Israel – Al-Lud, Umm Al-Fahm, Kufr Qana and elsewhere. In Palestine’s new popular revolution, factions, geography and any political division are irrelevant. Religion is not a source of divisiveness but of spiritual and national unity.

The ongoing Israeli atrocities in Gaza are continuing, with a mounting death toll. This devastation will continue for as long as the world treats the devastating siege of the impoverished, tiny Strip as if irrelevant. People in Gaza were dying long before the Israeli airstrikes began blowing up their homes and neighborhoods. They were dying from the lack of medicine, polluted water, the lack of electricity and the dilapidated infrastructure.

We must save Sheikh Jarrah, but we must also save Gaza; we must demand an end to the Israeli military occupation of Palestine and, with it, the system of racial discrimination and apartheid. International human rights groups are now precise and decisive in their depiction of this racist regime, with Human Rights Watch – and Israel’s own rights group, B’tselem – joining the call for the dismantlement of apartheid in all of Palestine.

Speak up. Speak out. The Palestinians have risen. It is time to rally behind them.

The post Unity at Last: The Palestinian People Have Risen   first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Angelenos Protest against Israel’s Gaza Massacre

Saturday’s Los Angeles protest against Israel’s ongoing massacre in Gaza got off to a great start, as when I got on the ramp to the 405 I saw about a dozen cars and trucks with the brothers and sisters hanging out windows and standing up through sun roofs with Palestinian flags flying.

With helicopters and drones overhead and an army base nearby, there was a heavy police presence. This little resister was my favorite photo of the day:

Jared Kushner and Donald Trump thought the Abraham Accords were going to bury the Palestinian cause. Looks like it never got into the casket:

Some of the protesters climbed atop a monument honoring US soldiers in the Spanish-American War. The plaque reads: “To those who volunteered and extended the hand of liberty to alien peoples.” God help any extraterrestrials who come anywhere near the US.

The thoroughly Zionized Los Angeles Times will probably say about 500 people attended this protest but it looked like many thousands. I was in the middle of this march down Wilshire Boulevard.

Never get discouraged about Palestine. Israel is a land and water-stealing, deeply racist colonial-settler state which despicably uses the Nazi Holocaust to silence people about Israel’s own genocide against Palestinians. They became the monsters that their holocaust museums warn us about. Such states don’t, in fact, have the right to exist — they have the right to stop committing the crimes they’re committing or be overthrown and replaced. Muslims and Christians are now a majority.

From the river to the sea… Palestine will be free!

• Text and photos by Randy Shields

The post Angelenos Protest against Israel’s Gaza Massacre first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Ottoman’s Forever Empire and its Multiple Triggers for War

Trading Genocides

On April 24, 2021, US President Joseph Biden declared that the massacre of 1.5 million Turkish Armenians in 1915 constituted genocide. As to whether genocide is the word Americans can consent to use about Native Americans who suffered death, torture, displacement, apartheid and disease at the hands, mainly, of European settlers in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries is a lot less clear, although some state governors have gone for it. As for slavery, not until July 2008 did the US House of Representatives apologize for American slavery of blacks and the subsequent discriminatory laws and practices that have continued to marginalize and oppress a population that today constitutes over 47 million or 14% of the US population. 9 States have officially apologized for their involvement in the enslavement of Africans.

European and American histories are replete with massacres, genocides, and unjust applications of overwhelmingly disproportionate force against indigenous peoples and others who have stood in the way of the material interests of their invaders and conquerors. The US slow determination to condemn Turkey for crimes not dissimilar to those that it has itself committed, abundantly, and in recent history, serves the cause of an official hypocrisy that has long characterized US foreign policy – bedazzling, confusing or distracting its own domestic citizenry from the ugliness of forever imperialism.

Turkey, none too happy about being charged with genocide was hardly taken by surprise. While Turkey has always defended itself against such charges, several Ottoman officials were indeed tried and hanged for their role in the Armenian atrocities. (Which Americans were hanged for atrocities against the Indigenous peoples?). It was not only Turks who were implicated. Many Kurds, who today represent Turkey’s major internal nemesis (matching its external, Greece), participated. Others condemned the atrocities. Some Kurds who participated later atoned. Both Armenian and Kurdish exiles of the collapse of the Ottoman empire ultimately established themselves in Syria under French administration and where the Allawi Shia minority was later to extend protection to Christians against Sunni extremism and concede a fragile autonomy to the Kurds. Today, the Assad regime and Syrian Kurds face off against Turkish invaders who have afforded protection to as many as five million jihadist and former-ISIS supporters around Afrin and Idlib, while the US uses Kurdish forces (principally the SDF) to exploit Syrian oil and gas on its behalf and has them maintain prisons and camps for ISIS remnants.

Biden’s charge was a politically nuanced expression of growing US dissatisfaction with its NATO partner even if, by the same token, it extended a measure of sympathy to the former Soviet and still pro-Russian nation of Armenia, which had suffered at the hands of Azerbaijan and its ally, Turkey, in the 2020 battle for and successful acquisition of disputed territories of Nagorno-Karabakh. Might Armenia, possibly overcome by US moral magnanimity, wrench itself further away from the sphere of Russian influence and look with greater favor upon the USA? Nagorno-Karabakh was an autonomous oblast in Azerbaijan but sharing religious, cultural, and linguistic features of neighboring Armenia. In 1988 the parliament of Nagorno-Karabakh had voted to unify with Armenia. A UN Security Council resolution in 1993 called on Armenia to withdraw its forces from the Azerbaijani district of Kelbajar. Turkey imposed an economic embargo on Armenia and the border was closed. The eruption of hostilities in 2020 was possibly triggered by Armenia’s decision to restore an old border checkpoint, located 15km from Azerbaijan’s export pipelines or by an Azerbaijani incursion into Armenian territory.

Turkish relations with Turkic Azerbaijan, whose population is around 10 million, and with whom it shares 11 miles of border have always been strong. Turkey has helped Azerbaijan realize its economic potential from the Caspian Sea by purchasing Azerbaijani gas and cooperating with Azerbaijan and Georgia in infrastructural projects such as the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline and the Trans-Anatolian pipeline that connects to the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) at the Turkish border with Greece at Kipoi.

A Renascent Empire

It is doubtful that Biden’s endorsement of the “G” word will do much to further complicate relations between the USA and Turkey, but it represents a good moment to pause and reassess what those complications are and the directions in which they point for the future of global peace and conflict. For the major questions today are not to do with the question of genocide as such but with whether, having breathed new life into the Ottoman corpse, Turkey rejoins the ranks of forever empires and, if so, the regional and global impacts this will have. The questions invoke more than empirical calculations of national interest since they have as much or more to with religion (especially Sunni Islam), transnational ethnic (Turkic) identity, national regeneration, energy policy under conditions of climate change and, not least, social class and gender inequities.

That Turkey is a renascent empire is clear enough. By 2021, Turkey had engaged in barely contested or recent uncontested military actions in Iraq, Syria and Libya, had played proxies in South Caucasus and Yemen while engaging in disputes with Greece, strongly supporting the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, and aspiring eastward along the pan-Turkic horizon towards western China. On February 19, 2021, the nationalistic State-owned Turkish television station TRT1 showed a map of the territories it claimed Turkey would control within the next thirty years. They included many Russian and FSU territories including Rostov, Volgograd, Astrakhan, Samara Oblasts, Chuvashia, Chechnya, Dagestan, Adygea, North Ossetia, and Crimea, including Sevastopol. Turkey was predicted to extend its sphere of influence to include Greece, southern Cyprus, Libya, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Yemen, Gulf countries, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, and Kazakhstan. Curiously, the map originated in a book published in 2009 by the founder of Stratfor Center for Research in International Politics.

It might be appropriate to laugh this off as fanciful delusion, as did many Russian commentators, but by 2021 it was at least clear that Turkey had considerably and aggressively expanded its regional and global influence. Turkey had joined the Council of Europe in 1950 and the European Customs Union in 1995 and embarked on negotiations for membership of the EU in 1999. Yet mirroring the pro-Islamist orientations of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Justice and Development Party (AKP) that has held power continuously since 2003 — and in a corrective to the overly coercive imposition of western legal, cultural, and technological practices by the country’s founder Kemal Ataturk from 1923 (sustained by the military up until its participation in an attempted coup against Erdogan in 2016) – the AKP has exerted a strong eastward pull in recent years. This was partly cause and partly result of the stalling in 2015 of negotiations for entry to the EU, reflecting EU concerns about human rights and the rule of law, particularly in the light of the merger in 2015 of the AKP with the anti-European Nationalist Movement Party. In addition, the escalation of Turkish tensions with fellow NATO member Greece, as Turkey pressed claims to the right to prospective oil and gas deposits in what may be Greek maritime territories, has further impaired its image in Brussels.

A Militaristic Empire of Bases, Interventions, and Soft Power

Turkish forces were mainly instrumental in bringing about the formation of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) in 1974. This gained independence in 1983 but is only recognized by Turkey. Since 2018, Turkey has occupied a significant stretch of Syrian land along Turkey’s border with Syria, enveloping as many as five million people.

Earlier, it had invaded northern Iraq in its perpetual quest to subjugate Kurdish populations. Turkish armed attacks in Iraq started in 2007 with an air attack involving 50 fighter jets. Turkey’s 2008 “Operation Sun” involved 10,000 troops. Turkey would likely be an influential party to the takeover by NATO, involving 5,000 NATO troops, of US training and military operations in Iraq from 2021.

It was engaged in the conflict in southern Yemen through its support for the country’s local branch (the Reform Party) of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is represented in the government of Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed based in the south-eastern port city of Aden, thus helping fill the vacuum created by the downfall of the Ali Abdullah Saleh regime in February 2012 and an Iranian-staged coup by Houthi militia against President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi in March 2015. This raised concern in Egypt that Turkey’s efforts to increase its presence near the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, through which Gulf oil is transported before reaching the Suez Canal, will threaten the security of Egypt and the Arabian Gulf. Turkey maintains a military base in Djibouti, has tried to gain a foothold both in Somalia and the Sudanese Red Sea island of Suakin.

Altogether, Turkey maintained bases in Qatar, Libya, Somalia, Northern Cyprus, Syria, and Iraq. Turkey had established a strong alliance with the UN-approved Government of National Accord (the GNA) in Tripoli, Libya, by agreeing to establish an Exclusive Economic Zone in the Mediterranean as a step towards claiming rights to ocean bed resources, and by stationing Turkish forces in January 2020 in defense of Tripoli against the forces of a rival government based in Tobruk, eastern Libya, under former CIA asset Khalifa Belasis Haftar, commander of the Libyan National Army. While the UN Secretary General registered the deal on October 1, 2020, the Tobruk government (supported by the EU, Greece, Russia, Egypt, Cyprus, Malta, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Serbia, Syria, Israel, Bahrain. Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Arab League) denounced Turkey’s agreement with the GNA as illegal. Notably, Greece protested that it ignored the presence of Greek islands Crete, Kasos, Karpathos, Kastellorizo and Rhodes, and their respective maritime borders. Turkey’s seismic survey ships and navy vessels regularly clash with Greek vessels near the Greek island of Kastellorizo. In August 2020, Greece and Egypt signed their own maritime deal in response, an exclusive economic zone for oil and gas drilling rights. Yet Turkey wields considerable influence over the coalition government that was established in March 2021.

Turkey played a significant role in support of Azerbaijan in the war between Azerbaijan and Armenia in 2021. Turkey’s President Erdogan was the guest of honor at the Azerbaijani victory ceremony in Baku in December 2020, and hailed the “one nation, two states” relationship between Turkey and Azerbaijan.

In the gathering conflict over water rights between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan in spring 2021, it was expected that Turkey (leader of the Cooperation Council of Turkic-Speaking States which comprises Turkey, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan) would side with Kyrgyzstan, which considers itself a Turkic nation. Tajikistan speaks a language that is related to predominantly Iranian languages Farsi and Dari.

Turkish influence is further enhanced by its considerable diaspora, giving Turkey some leverage over the internal politics of advanced nations with large Turkish immigrant populations, including France and Germany. This extends beyond Turkish ethnic communities as such to all Muslim communities, especially Sunni, open to persuasion that the Turkish state speaks on behalf of the Islamic world. Turkish charities have been active among the 5.7 million Muslims in France, for example, where 50% of imams are trained in turkey and serve Turkish interests while benefitting from Qatari funding.

In addition to its international interventions Turkey’s natural assets grant it considerable leverage over global and regional trade, and military uses of the Turkish straits, Black Sea and Sea of Azov.

A Troubling US and European Ally

Turkey has been a principal ally of the USA throughout much of the Syrian conflict, following the uprisings against the Baathist regime of Bashar Assad in 2011. Experts are divided as to the extent to which these were genuine outpourings of Arab-Spring demands for more democracy, on the one hand, or incited, exploited and expropriated by jihadist movements, including the Muslim Brotherhood — that thirty years previously had staged a violent campaign against Hafez al-Assad, Bashar’s father — and for which there was considerable support from Sunni Turkey as well as funding from Qatar. Turkey turned a blind eye to CIA and jihadist trafficking of fighters and materiel across the border with Syria and allowed itself to be used as a base for oppositional groups. (See also here). Despite a souring of US-Turkish relations following the attempted “Gülen” coup in 2016 against Turkish President Erdogan (who claimed that the USA had harbored its alleged progenitor, Muhammed Fethullah Gülen), the USA did little or nothing to contain a Turkish invasion of northern Syria that year, even though its most prominent victims were US allies, the Kurds, thousands of whose families around Afrin were displaced to make room for hundreds of thousands of oppositional Syrians and foreigners. Some of the new arrivals were bussed up from Ghouta under the terms of a deal agreed between Turkey and Russia. Turkey set up its own administration in the area, and incorporated it within Turkish electricity grid, cellphone networks and currency. It trained and incorporated oppositional militia who were integrated into a military police force, while establishing compliant local Syrian councils to run things. 500 Syrian companies were registered for cross-border trade. In 2019 the USA appeared to greenlight a further Turkish invasion by removing (some) US troops from the area, and in 2020 Turkey stood against a Russian and Syrian offensive on Idlib, although sources differ as to whether it was a win or a lose for Turkey. A continued Turkish occupation of northern Syria assists the USA and NATO in a medium-term policy, following a decade of inconclusive war, to impoverish and destabilize what remains of Assad’s Syria, even as some Arab nations, like the UAE and Saudi Arabia, seek a road back to Damascus despite steep US sanctions that stand in their way. Turkish intervention in Syria has come at a high price: 3.7 million Syrian refugees on top of a domestic population of 84 million, and this in time will likely prove a major source of domestic aggravation. Whether Turkey’s Syrian intervention has achieved greater national security against Kurdish PKK insurrectionists or, to the contrary, consolidated Kurdish opposition to Turkey and provoked an assured succession of Kurdish terrorist attacks into the foreseeable future, is moot.

Turkey has proven helpful to the USA as a member of NATO since 1952, its hosting of US military and air bases (notably Incirlik) and nuclear weapons and, more recently, in its military assistance to Azerbaijan against the much weaker Armenian (and Russian) interests in Nagorno-Karabakh (which Russia did little or nothing to defend despite Armenia’s membership of the Russian-led Collective Treaty Security Organization [CTSO], and despite Azerbaijan’s shooting down of a Russian helicopter over Armenian territory).

Turkey provided robust support for the US-backed coup regime of President Zelensky in Ukraine against Russia, including the sale to Ukraine of up to 17 unmanned aerial vehicles in 2019, persistent refusal to recognize Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014 (to which Turkey itself may lay historical claim), [There was a referendum where Crimeans voted overwhelmingly to join Russia — DV Ed] its assistance to the anti-Russian Tatars of Crimea, its cooperative partnerships with anti-Russian Georgia, and its control over access from the Aegean to the Black Sea (through the Turkish straits which include the Bosporus, sea of Marmara and Dardanelles), which it helps to patrol, and the Sea of Azov. In all these and other ways Turkey has contributed to US and NATO efforts to harass and contain Russia.

Troubled US Patron

The USA is not happy with (and has implemented sanctions in retaliation for) Turkey’s purchase in 2017 of Russia’s S-400 military defense system. The purchase had helped Turkey atone for its shooting down, for little apparent reason, of a Russian Sukhoi Su-24M attack aircraft in 2015 that had allegedly strayed into air space above the formerly Syrian province of Hatay – Syrian rebels shot the pilot as he descended by parachute and downed a rescue helicopter – constituting the first NATO downing of a Russian or Soviet warplane since an attack on the Sui-ho Dam during the Korean War in 1953. The USA is also irritated by Turkey’s conciliatory stance towards Nord Stream 2 and its involvement in TurkStream 1 and TurkStream 2, all of which facilitate the delivery of Gazprom oil and gas to Europe and impede US designs on the European market for its liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Turkey’s Bi-Polar Economy

Turkey’s economy has grown considerably in the 21st century, with average GDP growth averaging 5.4% 2003-2013 and, apart from China, Turkey outperformed all its peers in the fourth quarter of 2020. Turkey’s GDP growth of 5.9% was faster than for the G-20 nations in 2020 excepting China’s 6.5% rate. Its relations with China and China’s Belt and Road initiative are robust, even to the point of Turkish disinclination to intervene in the controversies over allegations of China’s treatment of the Turkic Uyghurs, another source of immigration to Turkey.

Yet Turkey’s currency is fragile. The lira collapsed 50% against the US dollar 2017-2020, and inflation hit 15% in 2019 in response to government’s resort to printing money via its ownership of the Central Bank. While net national debt is a healthy 35.2% of GDP, foreign currency reserves are relatively low and inflation is high. The currency crisis reflects domestic political instability, international diplomatic errors, a balance of trade deficit, over-reliance on construction for growth, and over-dependence on foreign currency loans in the private sector. The Covid 19 epidemic badly bruised Turkey’s income from tourism. The crisis intensified in the final quarter of 2020 with the resignation of Turkey’s finance minister (son-in-law to President Erdogan) and ouster of the head of the Central Bank, following a precipitate further collapse of the lira. Erdogan took the opportunity to reassure the investment community of his faith in financial profiteering and in Turkey as a globally attractive source of cheap labor. Foreign investors likely to be of considerable importance in efforts to stabilize the Turkish economy include China, which is expected to participate in the Istanbul Canal project, and Qatar, which promised billions of new investments at the end of 2020.

The Energy Factor

Energy lies close not just to the country’s economy but to the existential center of neo-Ottomanism and its many apparent contradictions between domination, self-sufficiency, and dependency. It has both nurtured and stifled Turkey’s vacillating economy. This dynamic plays out in at least four principal ways:

  1. Control over oil, gas, and other energy flows by tanker through the Turkish (Bosporus) straits and a planned additional waterway, Erdogan’s pet project, the Istanbul Canal. As a hub for the supply of gas from Central Asia, Russia and the Middle East to Europe and other Atlantic markets, Turkey exercises enormous potential leverage over other nations that is immediately susceptible to political manipulation. State-owned corporations are powerful players in Turkish energy politics. They include TPAO for petroleum, domestically producing 7% of Turkish petrol consumption; BOTAS, the state-owned Petroleum Pipeline Corporation; and state-owned Tupras which controls 85% of Turkey’s refinery capacity. Countries that border the Black and Azov Seas are significantly dependent on the Bosporus Straits for passage of imports and exports. Many ports on the Azov ship grain to Turkey, for example. Russia exerts significant control over passage from the Black to the Azov seas via the Kerch strait, half of which it owns. Future monetization of Turkey’s advantage as gatekeeper of the potential Bosporus chokehold will likely be enhanced by construction of the Istanbul Canal which may not be constrained, it is thought, by the Montreux Convention of 1936 that currently regulates conditions of passage through the Straits, and that will permit Turkey to charge additional fees in return for speedier, more expansive permissions and passage. Critics fear the costs (an estimated $15 billion) of such an enormous enterprise and its environmental consequences. Russia fears that that the new canal will facilitate Black Sea access for NATO ships.
  1. Permission for and participation in the construction of regional pipelines (as in the Trans-Anatolian pipeline that delivers Azeri gas from the Caspian to the Trans-Aegean pipeline and on to Europe). Pipeline fees of passage are an important source of revenue. In 2021, Turkey had four long-term pipeline contracts with Russia, Azerbaijan, and Iran. Two major pipelines include the BTC (Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan), linking Turkey, George and Azerbaijan, and the Iraqi Pipeline from northern Iraq to Ceyhan (in the southeast corner of Turkey). The Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) pipeline runs from Erbil in Iraq to Ceyhan. Ceyhan is an important port for Caspian and Iraqi oil imports. Under the US Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act of 2017, the US has sanctioned both TurkStream 1 & 2. But these are of declining significance to Turkey, in any case, given the competition from the Sakarya gas field in the Black Sea, and transit fees for passage through the new Istanbul canal that will likely prove more lucrative than pipeline fees. Another imminent threat to TurkStream 2 is the north-south corridor formed by Greece, Turkey and Ukraine that can be fed by LNG from the Mediterranean with reverse flows back to Ukraine.
  1. The purchase of Liquefied Natural Gas from the USA and other suppliers (Turkey is a primary destination for US LNG) and its rerouting by pipeline, tanker, or truck – a development that reduces the significance of regional pipelines, affords Turkey more flexibility in routing and also the blocking of competitors, and puts the USA in a potentially strong competitive position against Russia’s Nord Stream 1&2 and TurkStream 1&2 for delivery of gas to Europe. LNG gas imports from the USA, Qatar, Algeria, Nigeria were cheaper in 2021 than constructed pipeline gas from Gazprom. Turkey was now Europe’s third largest importer of US LNG behind Spain and France.
  1. The development of new oil and gas fields in the Eastern Mediterranean, Aegean, and Black Seas. These acquire considerable relevance in the context of Turkey’s near total oil and gas dependency, which has been a major economic stumbling block. Almost all (99%) of Turkey’s natural gas was imported in 2015, of which 56% came from Russia’s Gazprom (other suppliers were Iran and Azerbaijan), although Russia’s share had fallen to 34% by 2019. Turkey spent $41 billion on natural gas imports alone in 2019. 60% of Turkey’s crude oil imports are from Iraq and Iran, and 11% from Russia (2015). This very dependence has served as inspiration to Turkey to establish its own supplies of fossil fuel both in the Eastern Mediterranean, in partnership with Libya (where both the US and Russia have tacitly supported a policy of opposition to new developments lest these compete with their own exports) and in the Black Sea.

In August 2020, President Erdogan announced a major find (320 billion cubic meters but may well prove much more) of natural gas reserves in the Black Sea within the western part of Turkey’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) – the Sakarya field, on the perimeter of Bulgaria’s and Romania’s maritime borders. Critics worry about the costs of deep-water drilling and extraction from Sakarya, an ultra-harsh environment. Erdogan has expressed his desire that Turkey should develop Sakarya independently but, if the capability of TPAO falls short, involvement of non-Turkish majors could eat into profits considerably. For the longer term and as the impacts of climate change intensify, Turkey’s energy plans are uncomfortably wedded to planetary-menacing fossil fuel while at home, coal constitutes 40% of Turkey’s domestic energy production in conditions of escalating demand.

Favoring Greece

US unhappiness with Turkey as a partner stands at a crossroads. Turkey remains a strategically useful regional proxy force for the USA, alongside Israel, for the advancement of US interests in Syria. This can last indefinitely, even as Israeli preoccupation with Turkey’s expansion intensifies and as Turkey’s bid for leadership of Sunni Islam proves more compelling. This is particularly true of the Palestinian cause in Israeli-occupied Gaza. Turkish humanitarian organizations were behind the Gaza Freedom Flotilla of six ships in 2010 that sought to bring relief to the Gaza Strip. The ships were forcibly detained by Israeli forces in international waters and 10 Turkish activists were slaughtered. Israel has since paid compensation.

The recent surprising alliance between the USA and Israel may be seen in this light, i.e. as Israel’s targeting of Turkey, not Iran, while Turkish interventions are perceived by the UAE, Egypt, and the Arab League as a threat to Arab security, a perspective that is shared by France and probably other European powers. UAE’s Foreign Affairs minister has even said that the UAE wants Turkey to stop supporting the Muslim Brotherhood, bête noire of Sisi’s post-Morsi Egypt and Syria’s Assad regime, among others. Turkey’s bid for Sunni leadership, therefore, cannot advance far in competition with powerful regional rivals, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt but, in as much as both Saudis and Egypt have recklessly betrayed the Palestinian cause in their attempt to maintain US favor, Turkey has uncovered a strong and unpredictable weapon of soft power. Turkey’s capability as US proxy in the Turkic world will prove increasingly useful as the USA persists in its attempt to destabilize, fragment, contain and threaten the Russian Federation and in its gathering assault on Chinese power. But on the other hand, Turkey’s quest for independent power may lead it towards seemingly unlikely alliances with Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and China, possibly in league with Russia and Iran, against the USA and India in Asia. There have been two trilateral summits between Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Pakistan (2017, 2021). It is envisaged that there may be nuclear cooperation between Pakistan and Turkey (Pakistan has nuclear warheads), and Russia is building 4 nuclear energy plants in Turkey. China has supplied missile technology. The further the USA moves away from Turkey, the closer, inevitably, Turkey will draw towards Russia with implications for the way Turkey chooses to nurture its ties to Turkic powers within and close to the borders of the Russian Federation.

In the Western world, on the other hand, the USA has increasingly less cause for sympathy with Turkish ambitions since these irritate both the European Union and NATO. US disillusionment may go so far as a US withdrawal of its military facilities in Turkey (including its air base in Incirlik and NATO’s Land Command in Şirinyer, Izmir) in favor of Greece as its new major Mediterranean center of operations, embracing new or expanded US facilities in Souda (Crete), Volos, Larissa, and Alexandroupolis. By 2025, Souda will become the largest and most important US naval base in the Eastern Mediterranean with 25,000 personnel. While Turkey has been suspended from the purchase of F-35 war planes since its purchase of Russian S-400 air defense in 2019, Greece is now planning expenditure of $3 billion on F-35s. A US-Greek Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement signed in October 2010 provides a framework for this expanding partnership. In line with US favoring of Greece against Turkey, Greece is set to intensify cooperation with Israel, as in pipeline deals to bring Eastern Mediterranean gas to Europe. Andrew Lee has called this overall strategy a version of the “Intermarium” – a geopolitical concept originating in the post-World War 1 era that envisages an alliance of countries reaching from the Baltic Sea, over the Black Sea to the Aegean Sea that would serve as an alternative power bloc between Germany and Russia.

Conclusion

In conclusion we can infer the following:

(1) Turkey, released at least in part by Erdogan’s AKP from the foundational Ataturk mission of westernization and secularization, has rediscovered in Islamism an Ottoman legacy that could enable it to re-establish a regional, even a global influence – political, cultural, economic and military – throughout the Muslim and Turkic worlds and the Muslim diasporas of the non-Muslim and non-Turkic worlds.

(2) Combining and deploying the advantages of new sources of energy independence and its traditional chokehold power in the Bosporus (extended now to the Istanbul Canal), Turkey will ascquire a much stronger negotiating position in its relations with Russia, the USA and EU.

(3) Its economic fragilities notwithstanding, Turkey will grow in its attraction to international investors, particularly China, on account of its net international and regional energy networks.

(4) Turkey’s greater activity in the Middle East will be perceived as a growing threat to the established powers of Saudi Arabia and Egypt, to Israel and the UAE, while its growing involvement in Yemen may give it a stronger toehold in the politics of the Red Sea and Persian Gulf.

(5) In Syria, Turkey will for some time exercise a significant constraint on the restitution of Syrian sovereignty and therefore will be regarded with suspicion both by Iran and by Lebanon whose interests are directly impacted by deterioration of the Syrian economy.

(6) Domestically and regionally, Turkey must still worry about Kurdish irredentism which it has done little to soothe and much to anger. To this is added the pressure of a large, new, unsettled immigrant population of Syrian exiles.

(7) Through its recently established links with Libya, and its long-standing influence over Northern Cyprus, Turkey will be a stronger contender for influence in the eastern Mediterranean and north Africa.

(8) Most importantly, Turkey’s relatively recent and aggressive renascence in some of the world’s most strategically and militarily sensitive parts of the world exponentially increases the likelihood of reckless behavior – on the parts of many players – and unforeseen consequences any of which could easily ignite regional tensions, in conflagrations that almost certainly will suck in the world’s major nuclear powers.

The post Ottoman’s Forever Empire and its Multiple Triggers for War first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Joe Biden, Recognition and the Armenian Genocide

Attributing names to the brutal acts humans are capable of inflicting upon each other is never without problems.  There are gradations of terror, hierarchies of atrocity and cruelty.  In these, the pedants reign.  Disputes splutter and rage over whether a “massacre” can best be described as a crime against humanity or a counter-measure waged with heavy sorrow against a threatening enemy. Scratch the surface of such arguments, and the truth is bleakly common: apologists for murder will be found.

With the Armenian Genocide, terms acutely matter. The treatment of the Armenians by the Turks as the Ottoman Empire was running out of oxygen led to deportations from eastern Anatolia in May 1915 that eventually caused some 1.5 million deaths.  (The Turkish estimate is closer to 300,000.)  Suspicions abounded that the Christian Armenians were plotting with Imperial Russia and seeking the establishment of an Armenian state under Russian protection. But importantly, the ailing Ottoman state, pushed along by the Committee of Unity and Progress (CUP), was moving into a phase of murderous homogenisation.

Henry Morgenthau, the US ambassador to the Ottoman Empire between 1913 and 1916, took strong exception to the conduct of Ottoman forces in what he described as a “campaign of race extermination”.  Towards the deportations of Armenians, he insisted that Turkish authorities knew in implementing them that they constituted “giving the death warrant to a whole race”.  His protest had the blessing of then US Secretary of State Robert Lansing.

Calling a historical event one of genocide demands special attention to the word’s meaning, one connoting both the mental state and the institutional planning in destroying a race, nationality, ethnic, or religious group.  This has been previously resisted by US presidents.  Turkey’s membership of the NATO alliance has also seen White House administrations avoid ruffling feathers in Ankara.

Less reluctant to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide were members of the US Congress, who passed a resolution in 2019 resolving to “commemorate the Armenian Genocide through official recognition and remembrance” while rejecting “efforts to enlist, engage, or otherwise associate the United States Government with denial of the Armenian Genocide or any other genocide”.

The Biden administration has joined the fold, signalling a departure from previous tiptoeing reservation.  On April 24, President Joe Biden spoke of remembering “the lives of all those who died in the Ottoman-era Armenian Genocide”.  It was necessary to “remain ever-vigilant against the corrosive influence of hate in all its forms.”

With all this brimming virtue, it would be easy to forget the ease with which genocide has been politicised over the decades.  The United States could hardly count itself immune to this.  Despite the 1948 UN Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide coming into force in January 1951, the US would only ratify the instrument in 1988.  The American Bar Association, and a suspicious Senate, saw genocide specifically and human rights more broadly as a matter of domestic, not international concern.  Ratifying the Convention would, they also charged, disturb the balance of federal-state relations.

Resistance against the Convention proved formidable.  It led US Secretary of State John Foster Dulles to promise members of the Senate Judiciary Committee on April 6, 1953 that the Eisenhower administration would never “become a party to any [human rights] covenant for consideration by the Senate”.  That field would become the domain of “methods of persuasion, education and example.”  It took a relentless campaign by the umbrella group of organisations known as the “Ad Hoc Committee on Human Rights and Genocide Treaties” to force recognition of the issue in the country, not to mention a growing number of embarrassments on the international stage.

The denial of the Armenian Genocide has been a scaffolded platform of Turkish policy, re-enforced by laws that criminalise the use of the term for reasons of “national security”, and publicists who have, wittingly or otherwise, taken up Ankara’s cause.  Certain scholars have tried to throw stones at the argument of central planning and pre-meditation.  The debate, at points, becomes chillingly reductive, one waged over historical memory and corpses.  Guenter Lewy’s effort insists on partial blame of Armenians who “had fought the Turks openly or played the role of a fifth column” while posing the question “whether the Young Turk regime during the First World War intentionally organized the massacres that took place.”  He dismisses the huge number of deaths as not probative of either knowledge or intention.

Unfortunately for Lewy, select readings are something of a forte, as they often are when the object needs to fit the box of presumption.  His quotations of one particularly notorious figure, Dr. Mustafa Reşid, governor of Diyarbekir province, are selective trimmings that focus on chaos and the impossibility of having “an orderly deportation”.  Unfortunately, the same governor was very enthused at points in dealing with those “microbes infesting” the fatherland; thinking of his work as a physician, it was incumbent upon him to “eradicate sick people.”

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu felt Biden’s recognition of the genocide had done nothing to add or subtract to the history books.  “Words cannot change or rewrite history.  We don’t have lessons to take from anyone on our history.”

Unfortunately, and tellingly, the treatment of the Armenians by Ottoman Turkey furnished dark lessons for the international stage.  On the eve of Nazi Germany’s invasion of Poland in 1939, Adolf Hitler gave a briefing to his generals at Obersalzberg contemplating imminent mass slaughter. Genghis Khan had been responsible for the slaying of millions of women and children, he lectured, and did so with a merry heart.  “History sees him only as a great state-builder.”  It was accordingly appropriate that the Death’s Head units had been deployed to the East “with the order to kill without mercy men, women and children of the Polish race or language.  Only in such a way will we win the lebensraum that we need.  Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?”

The post Joe Biden, Recognition and the Armenian Genocide first appeared on Dissident Voice.