Tag Archives | Genocide

The Act of Killing (review)

“Behind every work of art lies an uncommitted crime”
The Act of Killing

Fiction can often get us closer to reality than the approach of non-fiction. Narratives so often conceal, and the very meaning of the word myth has been subsumed by this idea of the “narrative that is a lie.” But, as we’ve so often explored on this site, this isn’t the whole picture.

In fact, it’s deeply misleading. Because the reality we live most intimately inside is the world of our own narrative, it is through narratives that we can be brought closest to the prima materia, without ever being able to fully say what it is outside its own context. A narrative exists only on its own terms. The further you are removed from that, the less vital it is likely to be. The more removed, the more easy to use it as a tool of deception.… Read the rest

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In Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide: How Christianity Came to Armenia, Myth vs. Fact, Two Tales from a Priest

Jean-Léon_Gérôme_-_The_Christian_Martyrs'_Last_Prayer_-_Walters_37113_thumbvia chycho

Last year, in commemoration of the Armenian Genocide, I shared a story from my father. This year, I would like to share the account of how Christianity came to Armenia as told by a priest.

A few years ago I attended an Armenian dinner function. A number of friends and family were in attendance including two Armenian priests. As usual, the conversations were lively and the food and drinks abundant – merriment and passionately uninhibited exchange of ideas is the norm in these gatherings.

Post dinner, while everyone was taking delight in what appeared to be an endless supply of sweets and bottomless cups of coffee and tea, one of the priests asked a question: “who here knows how and why Armenians adopted Christianity?”

All Armenians, even the atheists, are aware and will proudly share the fact that the Armenian Apostolic Church “is the world’s oldest national church”; Armenia being “the first country to adopt Christianity as its official religion in AD 301.” That Etchmiadzin is considered to be “the oldest cathedral in the world”, and that the Armenian Christian order is unique on the religious landscape and has thus been granted stewardship of a quarter of the Old City in Jerusalem.

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United States Refusing To Extradite Bolivia’s Ex-President Facing Genocide Charges

bolivia

Compare and contrast with other ongoing asylum controversies. Via the Guardian, Glenn Greenwald writes:

In October 2003, the intensely pro-US president of Bolivia, Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada, sent his security forces to suppress growing popular protests against the government’s energy and globalization policies.

Using high-powered rifles and machine guns, his military forces killed 67 men, women and children, and injured 400 more, almost all of whom were poor and from the nation’s indigenous Aymara communities. Dozens of protesters had been killed by government forces in the prior months when troops were sent to suppress them.

The resulting outrage drove Sanchez de Lozada from office and then into exile in the United States, where he was welcomed by his close allies in the Bush administration. He has lived under a shield of asylum in the US ever since.

The Bolivians, however, have never stopped attempting to bring their former leader to justice for ordering the killing of indigenous peaceful protesters in cold blood (as Time Magazine put it: “according to witnesses, the military fired indiscriminately and without warning in El Alto neighborhoods”).

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A debate, a lecture, an interview, and some ethnic cleansing: Chris Hedges vs. Black Bloc, Victor Sebestyen on the Collapse of Soviet Empire, Joshua Oppenheimer on ‘The Act of Killing’, and some Israeli Ethnic Cleansing

via chycho

Chris Hedges Debates the Black Bloc

“In his article “The Cancer in Occupy” posted on Truthdig in February, Chris Hedges criticized Black Bloc activists, saying their use of violence in the streets would alienate the Occupy movement from mainstream Americans and legitimize the use of police violence in the eyes of the public. Black Bloc supporter Brian Traven debate[s] him in New York City.”


Revolution 1989: what exactly happened?

“How did the mighty Soviet empire collapse so quickly, so completely – and so peacefully? Victor Sebestyen is an author and journalist. This lecture marks the launch of his latest book, Revolution 1989: the fall of the Soviet Empire.”


“The Act of Killing”: New Film Shows U.S.-Backed Indonesian Death Squad Leaders Re-enacting Massacres

“We spend the hour with Joshua Oppenheimer, the director of a groundbreaking new documentary called ‘The Act of Killing.’ The film is set in Indonesia, where, beginning in 1965, military and paramilitary forces slaughtered up to a million Indonesians after overthrowing the democratically elected government.… Read the rest

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The Five Stages of Destruction as it Relates to America’s War on Drugs: “The House I Live In”

via chycho
drug arrests
At approximately 1:27:00 into the following amazing documentary, The House I Live In, reflecting on the work of Raul Hilberg , Richard Lawrence Miller provides a summary of the step-by-step process of destruction as it relates to America’s War on Drugs (relevant video segment follows the full documentary):

1. Identification – a group of people is identified as the cause of the problems in that society. People begin to perceive their fellow citizens as bad or evil. Their lives become worthless.

2. Ostracism – we learn how to hate these people, how to take their jobs away, how to make it harder for them to survive. People lose their place to live and are often forced into ghettos where they are physically isolated, separated from the rest of society.

3. Confiscation – people lose their rights, they lose civil liberties. The laws change so that it becomes easier for people to be searched and for their property to be confiscated, and once you start taking people’s property away, it makes it easier to start taking people away.

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The U.S. Media’s Silence On The Landmark Guatemalan Genocide Trial

genocideThe Center for Economic and Policy Research wrote last month:

Ten days ago Guatemalan courts convicted former dictator General Efraín Ríos Montt, to 80 years in prison for charges of genocide and crimes against humanity. Though the ruling has just been overturned on technical grounds (the trial is expected to backtrack to where it stood on April 19, before again resuming), it was the first time that a country has been able to use its own criminal courts to try a former head of state for genocide, arguably making it one of the most important court decisions in decades.

Despite the significance of the ruling, not just for what it represents for the more than 200,000 victims of the genocide and their families, but also for human rights worldwide, the mass media in the U.S. has mostly ignored the U.S. role in contributing to and supporting the genocide.

The New York Times provided a couple of exceptions in the last week.

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Amazing Events Unfolding in Guatemala: “All of the crimes that Rigoberta Menchú just described were crimes not just of General Ríos Montt, but also of the U.S. government”

via chycho
Efrain Rios Montt - Reagan

For those who have been following the story, below you will find the initial impact of the genocide conviction of ex-Guatemalan dictator Ríos Montt.

The majority of the coverage in the two videos linked below is with Rigoberta Menchú, the woman largely responsible for making sure that Ríos Montt was brought to justice. It is a powerful interview with an amazing individual, a testament to her courage, and a fitting tribute to the victims of genocide.

In the second segment, Allan Nairn joins the discussion for a short commentary, the highlight of which is the following:

“All of the crimes that Rigoberta Menchú just described were crimes not just of General Ríos Montt, but also of the U.S. government. The U.S. prosecutors in Washington should immediately convene a grand jury with two missions: first, coming to the aid of the Guatemalan attorney general, who has just been ordered by the court to investigate all others involved in Ríos Montt’s crimes, by releasing all classified U.S.

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Former Guatemalan Dictator Convicted Of Genocide

guatemalan dictator

The military dictatorship led by Montt slaughtered thousands upon thousands of villagers in an effort to exterminate Guatemala’s indigenous ethnic Mayan population, which it regarded as sympathetic to leftist rebels. No word on whether the CIA and Ronald Reagan will be tried posthumously as accessories. Reuters reports:

Former Guatemalan dictator Efrain Rios Montt was found guilty on Friday of genocide and crimes against humanity and sentenced to 80 years in prison. It was the first time a former head of state had been found guilty of genocide in his or her own country.

Montt, now 86, took power after a coup in 1982 and implemented a scorched-earth policy in which troops massacred thousands of indigenous villagers thought to be helping leftist rebels.

Prosecutors say Montt turned a blind eye as soldiers used rape, torture and arson to try to rid Guatemala of leftist rebels during his 1982-1983 rule, the most violent period of a 1960-1996 civil war in which as many as 250,000 people died.

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‘Lost’ Report Exposes Brazilian Indian Genocide

Brazilian American Indian MongoloidVia Survival International:

A shocking report detailing horrific atrocities committed against Brazilian Indians in the 1940s, 50s and 60s has resurfaced – 45 years after it was mysteriously ‘destroyed’ in a fire.

The Figueiredo report was commissioned by the Minister of the Interior in 1967 and caused an international outcry after it revealed crimes against Brazil’s indigenous population at the hands of powerful landowners and the government’s own Indian Protection Service (SPI). The report led to the foundation of tribal rights organization Survival International two years later.

The 7,000-page document, compiled by public prosecutor Jader de Figueiredo Correia, detailed mass murder, torture, enslavement, bacteriological warfare, sexual abuse, land theft and neglect waged against Brazil’s indigenous population. Some tribes were completely wiped out as a result and many more were decimated.

The report was recently rediscovered in Brazil’s Museum of the Indian and will now be considered by Brazil’s National Truth Commission, which is investigating human rights violations which occurred between 1947 and 1988.

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