Democide Vs. Other Causes of Death

July 1, 2009

[First published February 1, 2005] A question I often get is how all the murder committed by governments, virtually all by criminal dictatorships (sorry, that was redundant—I need only say dictatorships) compares to other causes of death, such as war and diseases. So, below I present such a comparison chart for the world’s average annual democide rate 1900-1987 to the world’s annual death rate from other causes (this is one of a number of my attempts to visualize the world’s democide toll— link here).

Tears all around

Note that governments murdered more people than all deaths combined due to traffic accidents, war, homicide, and alcohol.

The total murdered by governments over 1900-1987 was 170,000,000; a less systematic update of the toll brings it to 174,000,000 for 1900-1999. [I have had to update this democide to 262,00,000] Shocking, yes? Now, think about how little is said about democide in textbooks and the media. Even more astounding, isn’t it?

For a chapter long dissection of the meaning and definition of democide, see this link.

And so, democide goes on in North Korea, Sudan, the Congo, China, Laos, Liberia, the Ivory Coast, and dozens and dozens of other dictatorships, mainly not some big episode of murder that would make the news, but as the day-by-day operation of government agencies. In other words, murder is a normal daily operation of these thugdoms.

How do we account for this continuing carnage? In these post-Cold War years, it’s the bloody success of immoral noninterventionism and obsolete realpolitiks.. Stability trumps stopping the murderous thugs, you know.


Link of Note

”Congo death toll up to 3.8m” (12/10/204) Guardian Unlimited Special Report

“Six years of conflict in Congo have claimed 3.8 million lives – half of them children – with most victims killed by disease and famine in the still largely cut-off east, the International Rescue Committee said yesterday.

“More than 31,000 civilians die each month as a result of the conflict despite peace deals, the group said, citing mortality surveys prepared with the aid of on-site medical teams. The association has for years produced the most widely used estimate of deaths in the country.”

Much of this is democide. And it goes on. And on. And on.


Genocide Versus Democide

June 25, 2009

[February 4, 2005] I want to comment on the UN report denying genocide in Darfur. But, first I want to clarify the difference between genocide and democide. Often in this blog I use the latter term democide for murder by government, as do some of my links. But the more popular term is genocide, as in the aforementioned UN report.

What are the differences and similarities between democide and genocide? As defined, elaborated, and qualified in my Death By Government). Democide is any murder by officials acting under the authority of the central government. That is, they act according to explicit or implicit government policy or with the implicit or explicit approval of the highest officials. Such was the burying alive of Chinese civilians by Japanese soldiers, the shooting of hostages by German soldiers, or the starving to death of Ukrainians by communist cadre.

Genocide, however, is a confused and confusing concept. It may or may not include government murder, refer to wholly or partially eliminating some group, or involve psychological damage. If it includes government murder, it may mean all such murder or just some. Boiling all this down, genocide can have three different meanings (on this, see my encyclopedia entry here).

One meaning is that defined by international treaty, the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. This makes genocide a punishable crime under international law, and defines it as:

any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial, or religious group, as such:

(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

Note that only the first clause includes outright killing, while the other clauses cover non-killing ways of eliminating a group. I will call this definition the legal meaning of genocide, since it is now part of international law.

Regardless of this definition and doubtlessly influenced by the Holocaust, ordinary usage and that by students of genocide have tended to wholly equate it with the murder and only the murder by government of people because of their nationality, race, ethnicity, or religion. This equating of genocide with the killing of people because of their indelible group membership I will label the common meaning of genocide.

What about government murdering people for other reasons than their indelible group membership? What about government organized death squads eliminating communist sympathizers, simply fulfilling a government death quota (as in the Soviet Union under Stalin), or the murder of those who criticized government policy? None of such murders are genocide according the legal and common meanings. To cover such murders, some students of genocide have stretched its meaning to include all government murder, regardless of group identity. This may be aptly named the generalized meaning of genocide. In this meaning, genocide = democide.

As obvious, the problem with the generalized meaning of genocide is that to fill one void it creates another. For if genocide refers to all government murder, what are we to call the murder of people because of their nationality, race, ethnicity, or religion? It is precisely because of this conceptual problem that the concept of democide is useful.

For understanding and research, the legal view of genocide is too complex and subsumes behavior too different in kind. I argue, therefore, that genocide should ordinarily be understood as the government murder of people because of their indelible group membership (let the international lawyers struggle with the legal meaning), and democide as any murder by government, including this form of genocide.

This understood, governments murdered about 170,000,000 people in the last century, 1900-1987. Around 38,000,000 of that was genocide. For what governments committed what and when, see Tables 16A.1 of my Statistics of Democide (link here).


Link of Note

”20th Century Democide” By R.J. Rummel

A narrative and statistical overview.

Power kills, absolute Power kills absolutely . . . . The more power a government has, the more it can act arbitrarily according to the whims and desires of the elite, the more it will make war on others and murder its foreign and domestic subjects. The more constrained the power of governments, the more it is diffused, checked and balanced, the less it will aggress on others and commit democide. At the extremes of Power, totalitarian communist governments slaughter their people by the tens of millions, while many democracies can barely bring themselves to execute even serial murderers.


Armenian Genocide

June 6, 2009

[first published May 4, 2005] Were the total number of human beings murdered by governments—their democide—widely known, it would be stunning and chilling. And perhaps it would bring pressure on liberal democracies, the only type of government that does not murder its own, to stop the democide now going on in Sudan, North Korea, Burma, and various other thugdoms in Africa.

In the history of this democide in the last century, one that stands out for various reasons is the mass murder of Armenians, Greeks, and other Christians by the Young Turk rulers during 1915 to 1918. It was well planned in the highest councils of government, and well prepared and organized, as was the Holocaust. Then in 1915 the telegrammed order, “Take care of the Armenians,” launched the genocide.

The Young Turk government collapsed with Turkey’s defeat along with its ally Germany in World War I. But, the killing did not end then. Within less than a year of their defeat the post-war Turkish government was taken over by Kemal Attaturk, whose positive reputation in the West hides the fact that he restarted the genocide of the Armenians, and with a greater focus on wiping out the Greek minority also.

The table below provides the totals. The large collection of estimates, sources, and my calculations behind this these numbers is in Chapter 5 of my Statistics of Democide .

Among genocide scholars the entire focus is on the Young Turks, and the United States State Department is often questioned by them about what it knows. After all, the United States had full information about the genocide from it is ambassador, Henry Morgenthau, and other diplomats in Turkey at the time. Ambassaador Morgenthau actually wrote a book published in 1919 that described the genocide. But, for political reasons the State Department refuses to make its archives on the genocide public, or even acknowledge that the genocide took place. Now, Israel—ISRAEL—not only joins the United States in this, but also pressures its genocide scholars and others against public comments on it.

How explain this? By two words that I increasingly find distasteful—real politic. I hope some day we can encase in lead the foreign policy these words describe and drop it in the deepest part of the ocean. The sound we might then hear could be the cheering of all the dead souls whose memory this policy has consigned to oblivion.


Link of Note

”Rattling the Cage: Playing politics with genocide” (4/21/05) By Larry Derfner, The Jerusalem Post

I am including the following article in full, since one has to register with the newspaper to read it.

“And the world stood silent.” This is one of the most indelible Jewish memories of the Holocaust, and one of our most bitter accusations.

On Sunday, in the Armenian capital of Yerevan, the 90th anniversary of the Armenian genocide the slaughter of at least 1 million Armenian civilians by the Turkish Ottoman regime will be memorialized.

What does the State of Israel and many of its American Jewish lobbyists have to say about it, about this first genocide of the 20th century? If they were merely standing silent, that would be an improvement. Instead, on the subject of the Armenian genocide, Israel and some US Jewish organizations, notably the American Jewish Committee, have for many years acted aggressively as silencers. In Israel, attempts to broadcast documentaries about the genocide on state-run television have been aborted. A program to teach the genocide in public schools was watered down to the point that history teachers refused to teach it.

In the US Congress, resolutions to recognize the genocide and the Ottoman Turks’ responsibility for it have been snuffed out by Turkey and its right-hand man on this issue, the Israel lobby.

Jeshajahu Weinberg, founding director of the US Holocaust Museum, wrote that when Armenians lobbied to show the genocide in the museum, Turkey and Israel counter-lobbied to keep out any trace of it. The museum decided to make three mentions of the genocide, including Hitler’s call to his troops to be merciless to their victims: “Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?”

Over 125 Holocaust scholars including Elie Wiesel, Deborah Lipstadt, Daniel Goldhagen, Raul Hilberg and Yehuda Bauer have signed ads in the New York Times demanding acknowledgement of the Armenian genocide and the Ottoman Turks’ culpability for it. Wiesel testified in Congress on behalf of such a resolution. The International Association of Genocide Scholars which, by the way, is studded with Jewish names holds the same view as a matter of course.

In the face of all this, Israel’s position, as articulated by then-foreign minister Shimon Peres before a 2001 visit to Turkey, says the Armenian genocide is “a matter for historians to decide.”

The American Jewish Committee’s position is that of “the US government, the government of Israel, and the Turkish Jewish community: that this is an issue best left to historians, not politicians,” says Barry Jacobs of the AJC’s Washington office.

Off the record, a Foreign Ministry official describes Israel’s approach to the issue as “practical, realpolitik. Whoever sees our position in this region can understand how important our relations with Turkey are.”

And that’s what determines the Israeli and US Jewish establishment stand on the Armenian genocide Israel’s crucial military, economic and political ties with Turkey.

Then, along with the “realpolitik” considerations, there’s the Jewish people’s weighty moral debt to Turkey, a safe harbor for Jews since the Spanish Inquisition over 500 years ago.

Finally, on a petty level, there’s the worry that letting the Armenian genocide out of history’s closet might diminish the “uniqueness” of the Holocaust in people’s minds.

“Frankly, I’m pretty disgusted. I think that my government preferred economic and political relations with Turkey to the truth. I can understand why they did it, but I don’t agree with it.”

That’s Yehuda Bauer talking. He’s Israel’s leading Holocaust historian, an Israel Prize winner, and now academic adviser to Yad Vashem. He began studying the Armenian genocide about 25 years ago as a natural outgrowth of his study of the Holocaust.

For 80 years, says Bauer, Turkey has been “denying the genocide… saying, ‘Yes, there was terrible suffering on both sides, the Turkish versus the Armenian, these things happen in war.’ But that’s nonsense. This was a definite, planned attack on a civilian minority, and whatever Armenian resistance there was came in response to the imminent danger of mass murder.”

To Turkey’s claim, backed by Israel and its Washington lobby, that there’s no conclusive proof of a Turkish Ottoman order for the mass murder of Armenians, Bauer says, “Oh, there’s no doubt about it whatsoever. It’s absolutely clear.” He cites “thousands” of testimonials from US, German and Austrian officials who were in Turkey and what is now Armenia when it happened.

One of the most important of those witnesses was US ambassador to Turkey Henry Morganthau a Jew, incidentally. He wrote that the “persecution of Armenians is assuming unprecedented proportions. Reports from widely scattered districts indicate a systematic attempt to uproot peaceful Armenian populations and… arbitrary efforts, terrible tortures, wholesale expulsions and deportations from one end of the Empire to the other, accompanied by frequent instances of rape, pillage and murder, turning into massacre, to bring destruction and destitution on them.”

Israel and the Israel lobby fully acknowledge that the Armenians suffered a terrible “tragedy.” A Foreign Ministry statement even notes that “the Jewish people have a special sensitivity to the murders and human tragedies that occurred during the years 1915 and 1916.”

They just won’t say who was to blame, or whether Turkey bears historical responsibility. Mention Wiesel and all the rest of the Holocaust and genocide historians, and the Israeli and US Jewish officials come back off the record with the renowned Bernard Lewis. Along with a few other American historians, Lewis says it wasn’t a genocide at all, that World War I was going on and Armenians were fighting with Russia against the Turks, and that you can’t blame Turkey for what happened, not then and certainly not now.

Thus the official Israeli/Jewish line: “It’s a matter for historians to decide.”

Fair enough. Even though Lewis’s side is terribly outnumbered among Western historians, let’s say the burden of proof lies with Wiesel, Bauer, Lipstadt et al, who say the Ottoman Turks ordered the massacre of 1 million-1.5 million Armenians. Let’s say Israeli and US Jewish leaders aren’t competent to judge who’s right and who’s wrong.

And let’s even give their declared neutrality the benefit of the doubt because of Israel’s relations with Turkey, and Turkey’s long history of welcoming Jews in distress.

The point is this: Israel and the US Jewish establishment may say they’re neutral over what happened to the Armenians 90 years ago, but their actions say the opposite. They’ve not only taken sides, they’re on the barricades. They’ve done everything they can to cover up what the great majority of historians, including the entire community of Holocaust scholars, say was a clear-cut case of genocide.

Jews shouldn’t do this for any reason. Ninety years after the Armenian genocide, there is a decent Jewish response to the sickening behavior of the State of Israel, the American Jewish Committee and other US Jewish organizations: Not in our name.


Never Again Series


Its Democide, Not Politicide

May 8, 2009


click me^–>

[First published October 25, 2005] Some of you may have come across the term politicide. Barbara Harff (here) and I independently developed the concept. I used it to refer to the murder by government of people because of their politics, political activities, or their threat to the government. Politicide is not genocide, which is the attempt to eliminate in whole or in part people because of their race, nationality, ethnicity, or religion.

Harff, unfortunately, and those who have followed on her research have used the term to define any government murder other than genocide. This is a simple misunderstanding of the extent and variety of government murder. True, when a government kills “rightists,” “counterrevolutionaries,” or officials of the former defeated government, as Mao did in China, it was politicide. When Pol Pot tortured and murdered Khmer Rouge for supposedly plotting against him, it was politicide. When Lenin had Czar Nicolas II and his whole family assassinated in 1918, it was politicide. But then much, if not most, government murder is not politicide or genocide, but democide.

Now, democide is any murder by government, which is the intentional killing of unarmed people for whatever purpose. It is comparable to the concept of murder in domestic law. It includes genocide, politicide, massacres, atrocities, assassination, extermination, ethnic cleansing (if killing is involved), suicide bombing, and indiscriminate shelling, bombing, and strafing.

The problem with equating politicide with democide is the killing that is thereby omitted. For example, everyone knows about the so-called Rape of Nanking by the Japanese Army when it captured the city on December 13th, 1937. Its soldiers were given freedom to rape, loot, and kill for nearly two months. I calculate that about 200,000 civilians and POWs thus were massacred. But while some killing was politicide, most was not. The label cannot be applied, say, to women being raped and then murdered, or husbands and fathers shot while trying to prevent their wives or daughters from being raped. Nor, can it apply it to the binding of POWs together, pouring gasoline on them, and burning them alive, or using them for bayonet practice.

Similarly with the widespread rape and murder of helpless women and children as the Red Army pursued the defeated Germans across Eastern Europe and into Germany in 1945. None of this should be characterized as politicide, but as democide.

You may be surprised at the extent to which empirical research and solid research conclusions depend on the proper conceptualization of the subject. While the discussion of politics can tolerate confusion over such terms as liberal (as vs. 19th century liberal), scientific research begins with establishing and defining terms. And in research on the democratic peace, it is especially important to distinguish politicide from democide — that is, murder for political purposes from wanton murder.


Link of Note

“‘Us’ or ‘Them’?” By Thomas Sowell

:

Compromise and tolerance are not the hallmarks of true believers. What they believe in goes to the heart of what they are. As far as true believers are concerned, you are either one of Us or one of Them.
. . . [M]any issues that look on the surface like they are just about which alternative would best serve the general public are really about being one of Us or one of Them — and this woman was not about to become one of Them.

Many crusades of the political left have been misunderstood by people who do not understand that these crusades are about establishing the identity and the superiority of the crusaders.

RJR: Exactly. And now I have the characterization of the 50-times-more-effective Gartzke (here) for which I was looking. He is a true believer.


Links I Must Share

“79% of Iraqi voters back constitution “

RJR: Much better than the American Constitution would have done if put to a referendum, and like the two Sunni provinces that voted in large numbers against it, so would have Maryland for sure, and perhaps Rhode Island, New York, and Massachusetts (only nine states needed for ratification).

“Rice Outlines Iraq Victory Strategy On Capitol Hill “:

. . . .The key to victory over the insurgency in Iraq, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told Senate Committee on Foreign Relations members, is to “clear areas from insurgent control, hold them securely, and build durable, national Iraqi institutions.” American servicemen and women are fighting in Iraq “at a pivotal time in world history,” Rice said. Efforts to defeat the insurgents “must succeed,” she said, if the Iraqis are to be successful in establishing an inclusive, democratic government unique in the Middle East. “Let’s work together on how we will win,” Rice said, calling for increased collaboration between U.S., coalition, and Iraqi security forces, as well as help from the U.S. Congress.

“Leahy says president needs to find plan to bring troops home”:

The president must develop a plan to bring the troops home from Iraq, U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy said Tuesday. “The American people need to know that the president has a plan that will bring our troops home,” said Leahy in a speech delivered in the Senate.

“This war has been a costly disaster for our country,” he said. “Far from making us safer from terrorists, in fact it has turned Iraq into a haven and recruiting ground for terrorists and deflected our attention and resources away from the fight against terrorism,” he said. “If anything, it has emboldened our enemies, as it has become increasingly apparent that the most powerful army in the world cannot stop a determined insurgency.”

RJR: Relevant follow-on to Rice’s hope above. This was said after the above announcement of the Iraqi constitution’s victory. He, and his liberal-left colleagues, are playing the Vietnam song all over again. We won every battle in Vietnam, the South was democratizing, but with the Democrats controlling Congress and the budget, they forced us to leave Vietnam to the communists and many Vietnamese to their deaths. Good thing the Republicans now control Congress, and we should make sure they continue to do so after the 2006 election.

” With a Whimper” Victor Davis Hanson:

How the violence in Iraq will end. . . . So when this is all over — and it will be more quickly than we imagine — there will be a viable constitutional government in Iraq. But the achievement will be considered either a natural organic process, or adopted as a success by former critics only at its safe, penultimate stage.
Most of us tragically will forget many of the American soldiers who courageously fought, died, and gave the Middle East its freedom and us our security. Purple fingers, not overloaded American helicopters taking off from the embassy roof, is the future of Iraq.
Yes, the terrorists’ assault against the Iraqi democracy will end — as all failed insurrections do — not with a bang but with a whimper.

RJR: As history has mercifully forgotten all the no-sayers about the democratization of South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, and Germany, and an American victory in the Cold War, so it will do so when Iraq is fully democratized and a stable contributor to peace and human security in the Middle East.

“Syria’s dissidents unite to issue call for change “
RJR: Democratic change in Syria is inevitable, but given the small ethnic gang that rules with their guns, I fear that such change will come only through massive internal violence, and life-saving intervention.



Book 3 of the Never Again Series
free in pdf


A docudrama of the Armenian Genocide: “Please Kill Him Now”

April 8, 2009


March 30, 1916 Sambayat, Turkey


The sky was azure blue and dotted with fluffy, white clouds. Beneath it, a convoy of young women and children shuffled into the town and down the main road. All bore the look of death. Some stumbled, some were helped along; some, the youngest ones, nearly skeletons, were carried in the bony arms of their mothers. Some wore ragged clothes. Some none. All were filthy. All stared down at their bare feet with cavernous eyes and sunken cheeks.

Those who were naked were helped by a gentle, surprisingly warm breeze blowing up from the desert to the south. Combined with the bright sun, it overcame the normal spring chill and made for a comfortable coatless day. The air was clear, and the breeze wafted along the smell of cooking food from nearby buildings.

It would have been a great day to be alive. Uniformed, bearded guards, carrying their long rifles with bayonets fixed, ambled along beside the convoy. The women could no longer be hurried.

An officer at the head of the convoy lifted his head at the smell of food, then turned and raised his hands for the guards to stop the convoy. He waved to the side of the road. The guards pushed and prodded the women to a grassy area, and two of them were ordered to watch over the women. The rest formed a circle in the shade of a sweet gum tree, opened their packs, and began to eat lunch. No food was given the women, but they were allowed to dip their hands in a nearby puddle and drink from them.

One woman limped off the road and stood stock still for minutes, holding her two shriveled little girls by the hand. Then she slowly fell to her knees and toppled over, dead. Her girls sat down at her side, obviously believing she was only asleep, and again clasped her bony, cooling hands in theirs.

Another woman gave no attention to the water. She held the half-putrefied cadaver of a newborn infant tightly to her chest, cooing softly to it.

Nearby, a naked woman lay on her back, her head turned away from the sun. Her haggard face still retained some of what must have been ravishing beauty. Her body bore the bruises and slime of frequent rape. As the light in her eyes gradually extinguished, they momentarily reflected her agony before turning vacant.

After a half-hour, the officer stood and signaled for the guards to reform the convoy. Reluctantly, some at the point of a bayonet, the women and children struggled to their feet and tottered back to the road. One woman took the hands of the two children whose mother had died, and pulled them struggling away from her. The guards checked those that remained on the ground for signs of life, poking some with their bayonets. Finally, the trudging mass of despair was taken out of town on an intersecting road, heading toward the south and the desert. The guards left the corpses for the townspeople to bury.

Two nargile smokers in the rear of the Ligor Kiraathanesi coffee house along that road, each sitting comfortably next to his traditional pipe, had watched the convoy come and go. They knew exactly what was going on. Not so the young man seated at a tiny table on the patio of the coffee house. Shielded from the sun by a large Syrian juniper, Peter Kahan watched, mouth agape, only moving when the discomfort of the hard wooden chair on which he was sitting demanded it. He had traveled to several towns and was now in Sambayat on his way to the ancient city of Adiyaman. He had just had lunch and, of course, Turkish coffee, and still held the small coffee cup as though it was frozen in his hand.

He was a foreign correspondent for The Times of London, which had sent him to Turkey because he spoke Turkish. He had learned it at home from his parents, who had immigrated to Britain before he was born. As always, The Times did not trust Foreign Ministry handouts. He was to interview members of the Young Turk government regarding Turkey’s two-front war with Italy over Libya, and with Bulgaria, Serbia, and Montenegro. The Times also wanted him to appraise Turkish public opinion, and that was why he was traveling through this region. Peter had heard rumors about what he had just seen. Some Greeks swore to him that it was happening and that he must inform the world through his newspaper, but the government officials he queried about it denied it flatly. Oh, there were some deportations of Armenians from the east, they said. But they were only to relocate those sympathetic to Russia from the eastern border regions in case Russia joined the war against them. They insisted that the deportations were humanely done.

But now he had seen a deportation with his own eyes. He looked again at the two scrawny corpses, and the doner kebab—thick grilled bread stuffed with lamb shavings and cabbage, topped with a spicy sauce—he’d had for lunch weighed heavily in his stomach. It was beginning to revolt; he could taste the spicy sauce again. He quickly put the cup down and doubled over, spewing his lunch on a nearby bush.

Forty-three Miles Away

One after another, the muscular, heavily-built man hacked at their heads and necks with his axe. When they tried to shield themselves, he hacked off their arms first. His comrades, armed with their bayonets and knives, worked into the quaking, screaming crowd of women, children, and old men. He and the other soldiers were under orders to save ammunition.

Then he saw her. She stood silently, hugging her younger brother to her, her head resting on his. She was from his town of Okaris, and very beautiful. She was not one whose name he would forget, and he yelled to her above the tumult, “Quick, Siran. Come to me.”

She did not hear him.

He pushed several women aside, kicked over one who was praying on her knees, and came up alongside Siran. He put one bloody hand on her shoulder, and when she looked at him, he yelled above the terrible noise, “I will protect and save you. Release your brother, and follow me.”

She shook her head.

He grabbed her arm and tried to pull her away from her brother, but she held him tighter. The hacking, stabbing soldiers were getting closer.

“I give you life,” he urged.

Again she shook her head. She turned her head to look into his eyes, and finally shouted, “If you are so kind, I ask only this favor.”

“What? Quick!” he barked.

“I know you will not save my brother. Please. Kill him now. Please, before me. Then while I wait for you to kill me, I will not worry about him. I do not want him to suffer any agony, any torture.”

The muscular soldier vigorously shook his head, and again tried to pull her away. She resisted.

“Please,” she said.

It was too late anyway. He could feel his comrades at his back, and one was approaching from the side with his bayonet pointed toward her. He nodded.

Siran quickly turned her brother to face her, and whispered into his ear, “A temporary goodbye, my brother.” She kissed him. “We will meet in the next world and be in God’s hands. Do not fear. It is a matter of seconds.”

They kissed each other for the last time, and the boy stood apart, facing him without fear. The soldier now had no choice. Orders were orders. He quickly cleaved the boy’s skull open with the axe, and he collapsed at sister’s feet, dead. He turned to the girl. She stood with her hands at her sides. Her chin was uplifted toward him, and her eyes were misty. “Thank you,” she said, barely loud enough to hear. “Please, now, do the same to me. One blow. No torture.”

He nodded, heaved back his axe, then hesitated, looking into her eyes. He saw only acceptance. He brought the axe down on her head.


Link of Note

“Statistics of Turkey’s Democide:
Estimates, Calculations, and Sources”

By R.J. Rummel

Quote:

The infamy of executing [the last century's] first full scale ethnic cleansing belongs to Turkey’s Young Turk government during World War I. In their highest councils Turkish leaders decided to exterminate every Armenian in the country, whether a front-line soldier or pregnant woman, famous professor or high bishop, important businessman or ardent patriot. All 2,000,000 of them.

http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/20th C. Democide
Books, articles, statistics


The Holocaust Obsession

March 4, 2009

[First published May 12, 2005] To avoid any misunderstanding, I must say at the beginning that I stand with all those who absolutely condemn the Holocaust. It was one of the most despicable acts of evil in history. I have done much research on it, and have written on it in my book, Democide: Nazi Genocide and Mass Murder (link here), and calculate that the number of Jews murdered, often gruesomely and painfully, amount to about 5,291,000.

That said, I think there is a gross distortion of history with the near total emphasis on Hitler and his Holocaust to the exclusion of genocide and mass murder by those whose murdering regimes rivaled the Holocaust, or killed even many more by an order of magnitude. With the number of their victims in parenthesis in millions, I have in mind Stalin (42.7) Mao (since 1928 = 37.8), Chiang Kai-shek (10.2), Lenin (4), and Tojo (4). Compare the memorial Museums built, the movies and TV programs shown, and the paragraphs written in textbooks on the Holocaust compared to what is written or shown about just the tens of milions murdered by the world’s deadliest killer of all time, Stalin.

And yet, in Russia they are now erecting statues in Stalin’s honor. And it has taken many years for those trying to get the funds and site permissions to built a modest memorial to the communist murder of about 110,000,000 people (about 21 times the Holocaust toll). So far, they have raised $300,000 of the $600,000 they see necessary. I can’t even guess at the huge sums appropriated or gifted for the many Holocaust museums and memorials.

Just to get some other measure of this incredible disparity, I used Google. Key words “Stalin (dead OR murder OR genocide OR democide OR killed)” = 989,000 links; Stalin = 1,868 links

“Hitler (dead OR Holocaust OR murder OR genocide OR democide OR killed)” = 1,260,000 links; “Holocaust” = 4,667.

Besides the disparity in treatment of democide across regimes and countries, even for Hitler’s mass murders the focus in on the Jews and few others. Counting the Holocaust, Hitler murdered about 21,000,000 people. The table below provides the statistical breakdown.

Not counting Jews, the Nazis killed about 2,400,000 Poles, 3,000,000 Ukrainians, 1,400 Byelorussians, and 1,593,000 ethnic Russians, all Slavs. They were often murdered because they were Slavs, as Jews were murdered because they were Jews, and the total Slavs thus killed amounts to 10,547,000, many more than Jews killed.

Oh yes, I sometimes read that the Holocaust was special because the Jews were singled out by virtue of their ethnicity/religion. Well, so were Slavs, or regarding my post of two days ago, so were Hindus and Bengalis by Pakistan in their genocide in 1971, and so were Tutsi by Hutu in the Rwandan genocide. And so on for all cases of genocide. However, for me genocide is not a special case at all, but simply a kind of murder by government.

Is the death of a Jew to be thought more horrible because he was a Jew than the murder by quota of some Russian, Chinese, or Vietnamese? One might say that at least those murdered in genocide died because of something about them, and not simply to contribute to a quota. But still, what about those murdered for political reasons or because they stopped clapping for the “leader” too soon, or draped a newspaper temporarily over a bust of Lenin, or had a Western book in their possession, or could speak English, or had a college education, or wore glasses. All these deaths are pitiful and to be condemned. Purposely extended agony, medical experiments, gruesome torture, and painful deaths distinguish no group. Dictator’s creative ability to contrive the most horrible deaths extends to all of them.

All these poor souls deserve recognition. At least we can do them all the honor of learning from their horror. They all should get a memorials.


Link of Note

”Genocidal Threats Demand More Than Just Memorializing” (5/13/05) By Yehuda Bauer

Yehuda Bauer I know well and we once taught a class together. He is a foremost Holocaust scholar, a professor of Holocaust studies at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, a member of the Israel Academy of Science, and the author of “Rethinking the Holocaust”.

He says:

Each genocide is different, but it would be a mistake to dismiss the similarities. Foremost among them is the suffering of the victims. There is no better or worse genocide, just as there is no better or worse murder, no better or worse torture. There is no scale to measure suffering. Jews, Armenians or Poles who were martyred and murdered all suffered the same. . . . The Holocaust was not unique, because that would mean that it could never happen again, to anyone, Jewish or otherwise. This is simply not true. The Holocaust was perpetrated by humans, for human reasons, and anything done by humans can be repeated — not in exactly the same form, but in similar or parallel ways.


Never Again Series


The World’s Greatest Unknown Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing

February 23, 2009


click me^–>

[First published October 6, 2005] You virtually never read about it, nor do genocide scholars generally discuss it, or include it in their books. Yet, about 15,000,000 people were simultanously expelled from 5 countries because of their nationality, and probably around 1,800,000 died in the process or were murdered outright. Did this occur in Africa? No. Surely Asia, maybe China? No. Okay, the Midde East. Wrong again. Well, it had to be in the 17th or 18th Century. And that’s why we con’t know about it. Right? No.

It occurred in Eastern Europe 60 to 66 years ago with the defeat and retreat of the German Army. As Eastern Europe recovered from the Second World War and the occupying victorious Red Army assurred that their post-war governments would be communist and Soviet controlled, ehtnic Germans, most of whom had settled in Eastern Europe well before the war, and Germans who had taken up residence there during the German occupation, were systematically expelled to East and West Germany. True, some may have worked for or supported the German occupation. True, some may have been traitors to their native Hungary, Czechoslavia, Rumania, Yugoslavai, and Poland. However, many of them rereated with the German Army. In any case, whether bemedaled by their native country for previous military service, opposed to Hitler and the occupation, whether having live in the country for generations, they were deported or murdered.

Age or loyalty to their country of birth did not matter. The old and the young, the babies and the crippiled were all expelled into the economic, choatic, defeated, starving, and destroyed Germany, approximately 15,000,000 of them.

The most reprehensible expulsions were about 8,000,000 from the Eastern Terrirories, including German East Prussia, Eastern Pomerania, Eastern Brandeburg, and Silesia. These were part of the German homeland. But, the Soviets took a chunk of the eastern part of Poland, and in compensation gave Poland these Eastern Territories as agreed to at the Yalta Conference. Being part of Germany, they were of course populated by German citizens, over 7,100,000 of them. All were expelled, while 1,400 died from maltreatment (they were systematically denied food), or murdered.

The table below provides the estimate of etthnic or Reich Germans expelled from each Eastern European country and the parallel genocide (genocide is one kind of democide).

See my Statistics of Democide, Table 7.1 for the sources, calculations, and estimates (here).

What about the ethnic Germans living in the Soviet Union? During the war Stalin deported over 1,000,000 of them to the barren wastes of Siberia and Northern Kazakstan. About one out of five died during the deportation or immediaitely there after. In this case, however, Stalin’s ethnic cleansing was nondiscrimantory. He also deported (cleansed) the Crimean Tartars, Georgian Meskhetians, Greeks, and Ukrainians. Overall, the death toll was about 750,000. (see here, from my book Lethal Politics) This was genocide, but you don’t hear about this either.


Links Of The Day

“THE EXPULSION OF GERMANS” By Dr. Alfred de Zayas

When I was a student of history at Harvard back in 1970, I knew nothing at all about the Expulsion of Germans. None of my history professors considered this event sufficiently notable to mention it, much less to assign a research paper on it. It was curiously not in history class, but in a seminar on Law of War that I first heard about the Expulsion. . . .

Now, when I first approached the subject matter, I thought naively enough that it was a legitimate field of research, like any other. But I soon learned that it was no accident that there was nearly nothing written in English on the theme — it was taboo, it was not chic, it was not fashionable to do research or to publish in this field.

After all, Germans were looked at in a rather monolithic fashion as all Nazis, and not deserving any degree of human sympathy. As citizens of the “evil empire” they were morally disqualified “ad illicio.”

When I read this kind of thing about any genocide, I think of the babies and children who could have nothing to do with any evil doers, but were murdered simply because they shared their nationality, ethnicity, religion, or race.

White House Outline of Bush’s speech before the National Endowment for Democracy (Oct. 6, 2005)

This was an excellent war speech and well done in stessing the necessary elements.

Tidbits from the speech:

This Extremism [the jihadist terrrorists] Cannot Be Given Concessions, Bribed, Or Appeased. We Must Never Accept Anything Less Than Victory”

The murderous ideology of the Islamic radicals is the great challenge of our century. Yet, in many ways, this fight resembles the struggle against communism in the last century. [RJR: Yes, and the leftist opposition to the war in Iraq is like their anti-anti-communism of the past]
The stategy to win:

Prevent terrorist attacks before they occur
Deny weapons of mass destruction to outlaw regimes and their terrorist allies
Deny radical groups the support and sanctuary of outlaw regimes
Deny the militants control of any nation
Deny the militants future recruits by advancing democracy and hope across the broader middle east

And, by standing for the hope and freedom of others, we will make our own freedom more secure.


Links I Must Share

“1918 killer flu ‘came from birds'”:

The Spanish flu virus that killed 50 million people in 1918-19 was probably a strain that originated in birds, research has shown.

The informed speculation was that the virus first infected pigs in Kansas, and then mutated to infect humans. Because of the overcrowded conditions of military camps during WWI, and the continuous deployment of many soldiers overseas, the virus spread rapidly around the world. The toll may have been twice the 50,000,000, since many deaths occurred in remote areas of such countries as India.

“US Looking Sideways: Bird Flu” Senate Majority Leader William H. Frist, M.D. gave a speech on bird flu and said:

“. . . we will not be able to sleep through what is likely coming soon — a front of unchecked and virulent epidemics, the potential of which should rise above your every other concern. For what the world now faces, it has not seen even in the most harrowing episodes of the Middle Ages or the great wars of the last century.



We are unprepared for rampant epidemics. And even worse, we haven’t taken sufficient note of the fact that though individually each might be devastating, they are susceptible of either purposeful or accidental combination, in which case they could be devastating almost beyond imagination.

“Senate supports setting interrogation limits”

The Senate defied the White House yesterday by voting to set new limits on interrogating detainees in Iraq and elsewhere, underscoring Congress’s growing concerns about reports of abuse of suspected terrorists and others in military custody.

If the House approves and Bush signs it, the limits will only last until the next 9/11 type attack on the U.S. If it is believed that a captured terrorist has information that will save hundreds of American lives, if not thousands. Then the law will be breached, and rightly so.

Why Democide
Books/articles/statistics


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