Posted by: L | July 24, 2007

Good genocides and bad…..

Explaining the intricacies of humanitarian intervention, a post by Lenin’s Tomb from March of this year that still holds good.

“Since 2003, according to UN estimates, some 200,000 have been killed in the Darfur region of Sudan in a brutal ethnic-cleansing campaign and another 2 million have been turned into refugees.

How would you know this? Well, if you lived in New York City, at least, you could hardly take a subway ride without seeing an ad that reads: “400,000 dead. Millions uniting to save Darfur.” The New York Times has also regularly featured full-page ads describing the “genocide” in Darfur and calling for intervention there under “a chain of command allowing necessary and timely military action without approval from distant political or civilian personnel.”

In those same years, according to the best estimate available, the British medical journal The Lancet’s door-to-door study of Iraqi deaths, approximately 655,000 Iraqis had died in war, occupation, and civil strife between March 2003 and June 2006. (The study offers a low-end possible figure on deaths of 392,000 and a high-end figure of 943,000.) But you could travel coast to coast without seeing the equivalents of the billboards, subway placards, full-page newspaper ads, or the like for the Iraqi dead. And you certainly won’t see, as in the case of Darfur, celebrities on Good Morning America talking about their commitment to stopping “genocide” in Iraq.

Why is it that we are counting and thinking about the Sudanese dead as part of a high-profile, celebrity-driven campaign to “Save Darfur,” yet Iraqi deaths still go effectively uncounted, and rarely seem to provoke moral outrage, let alone public campaigns to end the killing? And why are the numbers of killed in Darfur cited without any question, while the numbers of Iraqi dead, unless pitifully low-ball figures, are instantly challenged — or dismissed?”

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Responses

  1. If the part of the population who would agonize over the death of innocents is occupied with Darfur, they may not focus their energies of the genocide in Palestine and Irag.

    Recently on your blog, Joey Kurtzman of Jewcy tried to deliver a similar fork ball by diverting us to the Congo for some real blood and guts.

  2. I ddin’t take it to be diversionary in his case. JK really IS a utilitarian. He’s big on Singer…

  3. All theories are not only permitted, but required.

    I took it as very possibly diversionary, and looked for more data especially about Feldman’s courtroom antics playing as religious agonies. He IS trained in the lawyerly arts a la Dershowitz.

    If Kurtzman professes Peter Singer, he must be a fine fellow? Should we discuss Peter Singer, now?

  4. Noah Feldman actually tried to include Islamicists in his draft of the constitution. Jewcy is genuinely interested in the interaction of modernity and orthodox religion — and that does help the debate…and is infinitely to be prefered to the Clash Of Civilizations….

    American lawyers are going to be consulted in Iraq..that’s the reality of power.

    It is always preferable to have smart, thoughtful lawyers with a serious intellectual interest in the relevant questions and the moral capacity to ask them….

    I don’ think Kurtzman has impugned anyone as an antisemite and seems to been under attack as one himself for having posted that piece at all..

  5. Smart thoughtful lawyers with a serious intellectual interest in the relevant questions and the moral capacity to ask them … leaves me asking; where do I find these “thoughtful” lawyers?

    I most assuredly didn’t find anything but mad dog adversarial advocacy and Israel firstism with this dose of Harvard lawyer, Elliot Abrams. http://www.counterpunch.org/

  6. I will try to fix that.

    Noah Feldman doesn’t sound anything like Eliot Abrams to me….

  7. Joe Lieberman, Yalie lawyer, Israeli agent, and jovial advocate for murder and mayhem delivers the religious and theological reasons for murder and mayhem. If God loves Israel and hates Muslims, the future looks bright for the believers. Theology can justify anything by definition.

  8. This is Joe Lieberman’s latest rant for God and Israel.
    http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2007/07/26/2786/

  9. L, your original post three days ago concerned Darfur’s inordinate publicity compared to the genocide in Iraq. Okay, today I read all about Stephen Spielberg’s widley publicized plans to toil for justice in Darfur. Should we be suspicious about the peeyar behind Spielberg’s concern for the suffering in place A, but not B. Does this make me a callous fellow for questioning Spielberg’s motives?

  10. My original post two days ago (above) concerned my suspicions about Kurtzman’s designs when he tried to hawk Feldman’s Hebrew religiosity. This cannot be hypothesized as childishly slick peeyar on its face?

  11. It is not at least coincidental that Kurtzman suggested that we take a deep look at the Sudan for evidence of some real genocide? Yes, Mr Kurtzman could be a lobbyist for the Sudan, or just an agonizing ethical fellow focused on the Sudan.

  12. He actually talked about the Congo

  13. I just went back to check Kurtzman’s pitch about the Congo, but focused on your post about the Democrats’ “debate” about DARFUR. I didn’t pay any attention to the Demos phony debate. I avoid any further waste of brain cells paying any attention to paid off Israeli politicans/agents, especially lawyers Hillarious and Obama. According to you, they did agonize about DARFUR.

    I am, of course, supposed to believe that all this focus on DARFUR is the result of pure chance and/or ethical concerns for human suffering?

    The so called Demos NOT debating genocide in Gaza is NOT problematic? NOT if you pitch the DARFUR curve ball.

    There is no dispute that the Israeli Lobby spends billions pitching Israel, but Mr Kurtzman just wanted us to know about the agonies of law professor Feldman. A pitch or not a pitch?

    If the professed agonies of Kurtzman and Feldman is genuine, I commend them and beg their forgiveness for questioning their character. I hope that they both promptly proceed to the daily death in Gaza, too.

  14. I don’t recall saying anything about anyone agonizing about Darfur. I said the whole thing was vanity.

    I have never been an advocate of humanitarian intervention or liberventionism in most places — especially far from your own borders…again, subsidiarity is the principle behind that position as well as a general distrust of government action.

    Closer to home, and with citizen armies or guards (as needed to protect humanitarian work), I could support an intervention of a limited nature if it was supported by the communities in which the intervention took place and with a great deal of transparency.

    But knowing the larger context of foreign policy, yes, I know Bricmont’s work — and am suspicious of the whole libervention strategy.

    As far as the Feldman piece goes, though. I do believe he referred to the “blood of the Palestinians.”

    In the context of what he wrote I have no reason to question his motives.

    People are individuals. They are always capable of rising above group affiliations and questioning the motives and agendas of even the people they have got used to.
    I know I have had good faith positions which I found to my chagrin were wrong. It did not stop me from changing my mind that people who hung out with me didn’t see it that way too and kept their distance. I changed on my own. Maybe there is another alone person out there behind the facade.

    I am not aiming for much more than that.

    I would rather persuade one thoughtful sincere person who has some power to take a second look and modify something somewhere than keep preaching to the choir of people who agree with me but may not be in a position to influence anything – except for the worse.
    I am interested in results not moral self satisfaction.

    That alone person would likely be Jewish, steeped in religious tradition, but a mystic, and with a practical knowledge of politics. He is highly likely to be a lawyer.


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