Re: genocide

Arjen Kamphuis (
Thu, 18 Sep 1997 19:15:16 +0200

Maybe I should not reply to this...
But I cannot let it go... (sorry Wax, I know you hate all the political

Anton Sherwood <> wrote:
>A few days ago you gave us a list of mega-murders, all(?) carried out
>by men in uniform. (Unorganized mobs sometimes go on murderous rampages,
>but I'm not aware of any that went on for years - unless they had
>official sponsors.) And yet you prefer organized proactive violence
>to individual defensive violence.

Not all uniform stand for the same kind of violence, no uniform often
stands for uncontrolled and chaotic violence. A UN peace force will do it's
best to minimize deaths of *all* parties involved, something that is not
the priority of rather loosly organized civil-militia (having seen the
difference I think I can say this). Most of the deaths in yugoslavia were
'collaterals', unarmed civilians (many women and children) who did not want
to have anything to do with the war. I hope you do not expect
six-year-olds, whose parents have been killed, to defend themselves with a
AK-47 when somebody is shooting at them with 105mm artillery shells.
Because *that* is what happened.

In another post Tim Starr <> wrote:
>In Ruwanda, after President Habayarimana was killed in a plane crash that
>blamed on a Tutsi missile (but may have actually been shot down by a Hutu
>attack), the two Hutu-government controlled paramilitary forces launched a
>campaign to exterminate the Tutsis, enlising the support of much of the Hutu
>civilian populace. After mass-murdering 500,000 people in 100 DAYS, they
>were stopped when the Hutu government was overthrown by the Tutsi rebels,
>Ruwandan Patriotic Front, which had been receiving arms from outside the
>country. Needless to say, the Tutsis were not legally allowed to carry
>& most of them were murdered with machetes.

Would not have been the prefferd option to have *prevented* that massacre
of the first 500.000 by timely intervention by the UN? I thinl about half a
million ghosts would agree. It will now take several generations to heal
the social and cultural wounds that have been inflicted, these people have
to find a way to live together somehow. But how?
We, the west that is, should have prevented this from happening in the
first place. We had the information, we had the manpower, we lacked in
vision and guts.

>In the Balkan War, the Bosnian Moslems were fighting a losing battle until
>they got arms & advisers from Iran, at which point they not only stopped the
>Bosnian Serb's onslaught of "ethnic cleansing," in which gang rape & torture
>were the chosen instruments of terrorizing the Moslems into retreat, but
>actually recaptured some lost ground.

The only thing the UN did right was preventing a 'Religious war' wich would
have set the entire Balkan in flames (those sentiments go back 1500 years)
and caused many more deaths.
They did recapture some ground yes, and then did some raping and murdering
themselves (hey, no-one said the Muslims were in someway morally advanced
over Serbs or something), there was no-one to stop them. The recapturing of
a stretch of land did not bring back any dead and in the fighting many more
*civilians*, be they Serb or Muslim, were killed. From a military viewpoint
the action was somewhat succesful. From the viewpoint of Serb civilians,
most of whom did not want the war in the first place and had not done
*anything* to anybody, it was just as horrible as the ehtnic cleansing
ordered by Serb leaders was for the Muslims.

Of course the muslims had the *right* to shoot back. Of course. But saying
that this was the best solution is ignoring many additional deaths of
people who just wanted to be left in peace. The greater part of the
Yugoslavians didn't want he war. I talked to many of them, they hated it.
And to this day they do not understand why *we* (mostly the Western
European countries) did not do anything for years. How do you explain to a
mother who has lost her husband, three children and right-leg that NATO is
'negotiating' with Serb High-Command in Geneva? That's a 'thougie' (new
word I learned yesterday).

>Then, all of a sudden, the Bosnian
>Serbs started saying: "What's that? NATO & the UN want us to make peace?
>What a good idea! Why didn't we think of that sooner?"

Actually the Serbain leaders did not want to make peace until NATO-jets and
artillery blasted their positions to very tiny bits in 1 week, something
the muslims had not had much succes in (having only light weapons). The UN
should of course mandated this action in 1992. But Europe lacked resolve
(as they always do) and CLinton was busy winning the elections. And most of
us had shopping to do and tax-forms to fill in, everybody was very busy.

>By way of contrast, every single major genocide this century has been of a
>victim group which has been previously disarmed by law. Jews for the
>Preservation of Firearms Ownership has published a book documenting this,
>called "Lethal Laws."

The Jews in the Warchau Ghetto had at some point firearms, The SS bombed
the hell out of them. I don't think more than a handful survived (they were
deported and kiled later of course). Sure some Germans got killed also,
great. Hey, some of them problably deserved it. I wouldn't know, having not
been born yet. But the whole thing did not save a single life. The Jews
acted justifiably of course but after a short while they were just as dead.
The worst thing was that British and American High-Command knew what was
going on in Poland from 1942, requests from resistance groups to bomb the
railroads to the camps were denied as being "not a startegic priority".
Figure that.

>"If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police,
>the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the
>government--and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws."

Again, it comes down how much you trust your governement, if you really,
really don't, if you really believe they are corrupt, ineffective and 'out
to control you' for the sake of it. If *that* is what you really believe.
Guess it's time for a second American revolution then. You did it once, you
should be able to do it again. At the price of world leadership of course
(The Chinese leaders might use the opportunity - I would in their position).

If I believed what many people on this list seem to believe about their
governement I'd either begin a revolution or get out of the country.
Because if the above paragraph is true then you're not living in democracy,
but in a police-state (no offence, really, but that is how it reads).

I really hope you don't because I have enjoyed visiting the US so far.
Nice people, nice countryside, much like Yugoslavia before 1991 actually.

- Scotty, Flame Shield, up!
- She won't take much more 'o' this captain!
- She'll have to Scotty! There's a principle involved here!


Arjen Kamphuis | - But why do you want to climb so high? | Surely you see that mother-nature never
| meant for you to go above 20,000 Ft?
| - That's why.