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For the other articles see > SPECIAL ARCHIVE UKRAINE
The great Satan is no longer American but Russian, and he bears a number: II.
We had another appearance by Godot in the East; he streaked across the sky faster than lightning and arrived with a new threat in case anyone had missed the previous ones: “We have the means to blow you up.”
It won’t land over here yet; not this time.
But let’s get back to the word “Genocide“ since so many people are talking about it.
From the Greek genos, “race” and the latin cide, “to kill” the term “genocide” designates the intentional , systematic and premeditated physical extermination of a group of humans or of a part of that group because of its origins.
The term was used for the first time in 1944 by Raphael Lemkin, a Jewish refugee of Polish origin and a professor of international law. Personally affected by the mass murders in Armenia, for which he wanted to establish a judiciary status, Lemkin wanted just as strongly a new word to characterize the nature of the Nazi crimes. Yet the Nuremberg trial did not use this word. It only entered the vocabulary of International Law in 1948 with the approval of the United Nations’ General Assembly in a text entitled “Prevention and Repression of the Crime of Genocide”. It now features at the center of Article 6 of the Statutes of the International Penal Court.
Yet the UN has only officially recognized three genocides: that of the Armenians in 1915-1916, perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire and still not acknowledged by Turkey, the genocide of Jews by the Nazis; the genocide of the Tutsis, committed by the Hutus in power in Rwanda in 1994.
This does not mean that all member States recognize them in their legislation.
What then about the massacres and the elimination of the native American peoples? What about the Roms? And what minimal definition should apply to the bloody episodes of colonization, the destruction of Peoples, of their environment and cultures, in Africa, in Asia? How do we characterize current crimes and persecutions perpetrated agains the Uigours in China?
Historians and politicians – but not most jurists – cry out “halt to trivialization” as soon as the word is mentioned.
When dealing for example with the French politician, a certain “Socialist Hubert” a French politician, who was in office at the time of the genocide in Rwanda, and who is still around these days dishing out his judicious counsel, one can doubt the sincerity of many of those of his ilk and see which interests they are protecting. Justice, even at the highest international levels, does not benefit from the independence it requires, and a number of States stand in opposition to it, either by refusing to acknnowledge it, or by exerting pressure against it.
In no way is the judicial meaning of a word weakened by using it often, if the facts demonstrating a crime was committed are averred. What is troubling for all of humanity is the fact that genocides are multiplying and becoming trivialized. And while politicians bat the issue of using this term back and forth, use it in a hypocritical way as political gamesmanship, or refer instead to the need for “investigations” in order to arrive at “future judgment” massacres, killings, wars of conquest and extermination areo ngoing and participate just as much, if not more, to the “trivialization” of crimes against humanity.
This without even mentioning the “ecocides” that accompany conquests today as they did in the past.
Because, if imperialism has crisscrossed the planet, if globalized financial capitalism manages it, if this financial globalization harvests the profits, those resisting human societies have not merged into capitalist uniformity, even if they use the same smartphones. And just as they did before, they still bother political and financial powers and their appetites.
When the appetite isn’t for fossil fuels, rare or rarified minerals, it is for water. The most obvious instances being the Amazon or the Middle East. To which we add Ukraine, since we will get back to it.
What sends imperialisms racing for colonial supremacy these days – as it did yesterday and will do tomorrow – as soon as a region in the world offers exploitable wealth? What sets a military and financial oligarchy such as the one in Brazil to destroying the planet’s lung while stomping over the bodies of native peoples in order to enrich itself even more, and along with it, to feed the financial and capitalist globalization elsewhere in the world? What relationship is there between expropriation of lands, deforestation, transgenic soya, and the European models of cultivation, along with the intensive raising of cattle with the genocide of the people living in those areas? Which nourishing waters in rivers are polluted by the mining industry, pesticides and fertilizers before also being diverted for uses as hydraulic energy drowning all the confiscated lands?
Among the agricultural investor groups over there or in Ukraine, do we not find the names of the same banks and financial figures who speculate just as much on water as they do on grain?
These big names in wheat, in soya, or elsewhere in palm oil all converge toward the same financial groups and those of agrobusiness.
Fossil energies have known their heyday and the 21st century will probably see their total decline. Thus, the wars relative to them are nothing more than habit, through the power of conservatism, the will to control everything down to the last crumb. In the Middle East, control over water has already taken a predominant place in territorial aspirations, for example. And the “Kurdish problem” recurring for over a century, is henceforth linked to it behind the militaro-nationalism displayed by Turcity. And even if an Erdogan were to lose his position, all of that would carry on.
This is not to say that genocidal ideology does not have its own autonomy.
The capitalist system does not proceed through conspiracy, but rather, it aggregates interests, coalitions of interests, calculations of profits or of simple opportunistic pillaging, and only makes war against humans when it encounters resistance to its accumulation of profits. It always finds an interested relay through which to proceed. In the case of colonial conquests, genocidal ideology and its racist corollary have preceded, accompanied and justified pillaging, murders, cultural destruction and domination. This ideology was that of white supremacy and marked history with a 500 year imprint (On ARTE in French). How then can we tally up the genocides?
Getting back to Ukraine, one only needs to look at the statistics of exports on the grain market to also understand how a neo-imperialism resting on a historical narrative can rewrite a war of conquests and its more trivial-sounding political and financial interests. Added to this observation, we must add speculation on arable lands as well as on natural resources. We then then see what place Ukraine occupies. A deal in order to do business with it was thus as attractive for the European Union as well as for the Russian government based on a cleptocracy.
And when one realizes that the war will plunge countries in the African continent into food distress, one can also judge the profits generated on that globalized market, as much as the political influences generated by economic dependencies.
One can even wonder over the delays in the EU prior to integrating into its market the financial manna represented by Ukraine. It was because of “corruption” we are told, or because of a “less supple attitude” in accepting “free and unconstrained competition”? Because of the Russian threats concerning gas supplies? Or did the opposition from the EU grain agrobusiness itself come into play, because of the fighting over the African markets from North to South? Agricultural investors, including some European groups operating from Brazil to Ukraine, for example, who did not give a fig about the EU and its “norms” may also have weighed on delaying this admittance. A contradiction that played into Putin’s hand and allowed him to seize his opportunity.
And all our superior souls theorizing the “endangerment” of Russia by NATO would be well advised to quit the geopolitical terrain from time to time in order to observe the reality that was Ukraine in the Soviet lap, and the financial loss it represented in the 1990s.
No, all geopolitical issues in the region do not involved the aims of American imperialism – which are more of a strategic nature over Europe itself than over its Russian neighbour
But since the left-leaning Putinists have already acquired the historical habit of disrgarding the great famine, led by Stalin, the Holodomor in 1932 and 1933 that was responsible for betwen 2,61 and 5 million deaths according to historians, it becomes hard to argue in a field of organized confusion.
No, the resistance to the forced collectivization imposed by the Soviet Union in the 1930s was not counter-revolutionary; and still confusing today the period of the civil war, decades earlier, with this genocidal and most definitely counter-revolutionary policy applied by triumphant Stalinism, is a way of comforting Putin’s revisionist discourse. This leads to a failure in understanding the importance wheat represented already and this ongoing urge Russia has of grabbing a part of Ukraine and controlling its economy.
So, if some still require that “international justice follow its course”, could we at least acknowledge that this genocidal policy is not new, coming from a Kremlin autocrat dealing with Ukraine. And for the same reasons as the previous one.
This phony debate around “genocide” in response to the massacres serves in reality to mask the political cracks between the EU and the United States and, within the EU itself, the quibbling around Russia gas and sanctions that would affect intermingled interests.
Thus, from one sanction package to another, the States approach a moment when delivering weapons will no longer suffice, and the summits and talks will no longer absorb the spilled blood.
As a reminder, on this April 24, as they do every year, Armenians will commemorate the 1915 genocide. And in Turkey itself, the evidence will be denied, as usual or, even worse, one century later, there will be a call to a “necessary contradictory investigation”.
Above all, no trivialization!
ESTRAGON : You say we must come back tomorrow?
ESTRAGON: We’ll bring a good rope then.
VLADIMIR: That’s right.
ESTRAGON: At noon.
ESTRAGON: I can’t go on like this.
VLADIMIR: People say that.
ESTRAGON: What if we separated? Maybe things would be better.
VLADIMIR: We’ll hang ourselves tomorrow. (Pause) Unless Godot shows up.
For the other articles see > SPECIAL ARCHIVE UKRAINE
Translation from French by Renée Lucie Bourges
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