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One question which has occasionally popped up on internet discussion sites that I frequent is the question of what exactly constitutes a genocide. Without getting too deep into any specific instances, I think we can have a fairly useful discussion about this.

 

According to the ICC;

 


Genocide

Article 6 defines the crime of genocide as "acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group".[61] There are five such acts which constitute crimes of genocide under article 6:[62]

  1. Killing members of a group
  2. Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group
  3. Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction
  4. Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group
  5. Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group

The definition of these crimes is identical to those contained within the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide of 1948.

 

This is useful, but insufficient.

 

For instance, committing only one of the acts on the list, it almost certainly isn't genocide. If I walk out my door and shoot two men of [insert ethnic group here], I'm a douchebag, but probably not a genocidal douchebag. On the other hand, requiring all five boxes to be checked opens you up to all kinds of legalistic weaseling. "Well, we didn't transfer the children of [insert ethnic group] to another group, we just murdered them! Only four boxes checked, no genocide here!" So where do we draw the line? Two boxes checked? Three? Some other checklist promulgated by another international authority?

 

To me, genocide is like pornography; I know it when I see it. I don't have a bunch of boxes to check, but if you're murdering a bunch of people based on who their ancestors were, nine times out of ten it's genocide. What sayeth y'all?

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It is what it says: an attempt to destroy an entire genotype.

 

Now, forget that race/religion/whatever aren't that well linked to genetics and you get a definition like so:

 

- actions conducted by a state, nation, organisation or group;

- with intent to completely destroy another group;

- such that the other group ceases to exist at a genetic level.

 

Thus, herding people into reservations - while incredibly asshollish and terrible - isn't genocide. Forcibly sterilising a people (even if they're then allowed to live in luxury) is. Intent should, as with all crimes, factor into things somewhat as well.

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Well, we've gotten to the point that the Palestinian Authority is trying to get on the UN International Criminal Court so they can bring up "war crimes" charges against Israel. So the term "genocide" has really lost much of its original meaning.

 

But since I'm a terrible person, I just wanted to share that when I first saw Unstart's post about "What is Genocide", the first thing that jumped into my mind was this...

 

http://youtu.be/xhrBDcQq2DM

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It is what it says: an attempt to destroy an entire genotype.

 

Now, forget that race/religion/whatever aren't that well linked to genetics and you get a definition like so:

 

- actions conducted by a state, nation, organisation or group;

- with intent to completely destroy another group;

- such that the other group ceases to exist at a genetic level.

 

Thus, herding people into reservations - while incredibly asshollish and terrible - isn't genocide. Forcibly sterilising a people (even if they're then allowed to live in luxury) is. Intent should, as with all crimes, factor into things somewhat as well.

 

I'd say that taking it back to the latin word gens and to some idea the roman concept of a gens is more useful than genotype in this context, since those were semi-distinct segments of the roman nature with some degree of internal autonomy and distinctive custom. Actions by a nation or group with the intent to destroy/remove (when serious destruction is used in that process) a cultural/racial subgroup in its entirety would qualify as genocide by my understanding.

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Well what would the ancient Romans know about genocide, hmmm?

 

Oh yeah. That whole bit with Carthage, the Gauls, Hebrews, the Thracians and... well... any other tribe that got in their way. For a group of people whom we owe so much of our culture, language and laws to, the Romans really were baddies.

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Well, we've gotten to the point that the Palestinian Authority is trying to get on the UN International Criminal Court so they can bring up "war crimes" charges against Israel. So the term "genocide" has really lost much of its original meaning.

 

But since I'm a terrible person, I just wanted to share that when I first saw Unstart's post about "What is Genocide", the first thing that jumped into my mind was this...

 

http://youtu.be/xhrBDcQq2DM

 

Well, who doesn't love the early 90's?

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The problem with international law like genocide and war crimes is that international law pretty much does not act in the same way as criminal law.

 

International law is intensely political, and its definition, implementation, and prosecution are all subject to prior approval by all of the nation-states involved in the process. This is why it's actually harder to prosecute crimes against humanity and war crimes, not easier.

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The problem with international law like genocide and war crimes is that international law pretty much does not act in the same way as criminal law.

 

International law is intensely political, and its definition, implementation, and prosecution are all subject to prior approval by all of the nation-states involved in the process. This is why it's actually harder to prosecute crimes against humanity and war crimes, not easier.

Unless the leader being prosecuted comes from Africa, of course.

Gotta love the ICC...

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2/3s of millennials don't know what Auschwitz was according to poll.

22 percent hadn't heard of the Holocaust.

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2018/04/12/two-thirds-of-millennials-dont-know-what-auschwitz-is-according-to-study-of-fading-holocaust-knowledge/?utm_term=.93989faaf3c8

 

The WaPo story doesn't link to the study itself because What is Journalism?

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1 hour ago, Donward said:

2/3s of millennials don't know what Auschwitz was according to poll.

22 percent hadn't heard of the Holocaust.

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2018/04/12/two-thirds-of-millennials-dont-know-what-auschwitz-is-according-to-study-of-fading-holocaust-knowledge/?utm_term=.93989faaf3c8

 

The WaPo story doesn't link to the study itself because What is Journalism?

Reminds me of something I saw today.

 

30697827_10215870594747594_4495082926265

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My maternal grandfather was involved in the (disastrous) 'clean-up' at Belsen.....To say it affected him profoundly would be an understatement of monolithic proportions.  He didn't talk about it much, but that silence was very telling in itself.

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