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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Demicide

Bangladesh Revolution of 1971 (1.5 million) | Bosnia civil war of 1992-1995 (100,000) | Burundi civil war of 1972 (200,000) | Cambodia genocide of 1975-1979 (2 million) | East Timor occupation 1975-1999 (200,000) | Equatorial Guinea communist government of 1968-1979 (100,000) | Ethiopia communist government 1977-1991 (500,000) | Guatemala civil war of 1968-1996 (200,000) | Laos communist insurrection of 1975 (200,000) | North Korea starvation of the 1990s (1 million) | Rwanda genocide of 1994 (800,000) | Somalia civil war of 1991-present (800,000) | Sri Lanka civil war of 1983-2006 (300,000) | Sudan civil war 1983-2005 (2 million) | Tibet uprising of 1959 (100,000) | Uganda rule of Idi Amin 1971-1979 | West Papua occupation 1963-present (100,000) | Zaire civil war of 1998-2003 (500,000)

by Clifford F. Thies

The UN Security Council is supposed to authorize interventions in the case of genocide and other such grave violations of human rights, in addition to authorizing interventions in the case of aggressive war. Yet, this is hardly ever done. Accordingly, since 1950, there are been 19 instances of mass murder of 100,000 or more; or, about one every third year.

Why is the authorization of intervention infrequent? It is because of the veto power of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council. Despotic regimes align themselves with one or another permanent member to gain “protection.”

Consider the case of Cambodia, possibly the worse instance of demicide since 1950. Upon seizing power, the communist Khmer Rouge attempted a form of peasant-collectivist society with mass murder of merchants and property-owners, anybody who was educated, the aged and sick, and ethnic minorities. Some 2 million people were executed or killed through deprivation and exhaustion, out of a population of 8 million. Eventually the communist government of Viet Nam invaded Cambodia and overthrew the Khmer Rouge.

Why didn’t the UN Security Council authorize an intervention? Perhaps all that can be said is that the Khmer Rouge was allied with China, mostly because Viet Nam was allied with the Soviet Union.

Not only does the UN seldom authorize an intervention, when it does it so constrains the authorization as to handicap the intervention. This was illustrated in the case of the Persian Gulf War, when an enormous coalition of western and Arab nations expelled Saddam Hussein’s army from Kuwait and then made kissy-face with the bastard for lack of authorization to do anything more.

In theory, the UN Security Council could be reformed. In the absence of a reform of the UN Security Council (and I wouldn’t recommend holding your breath until there is one), our government is organizing "regional defense associations" (which are allowed by the charter of the UN). Most obviously, the Organization of American States. We are trying to do this now in Africa.

We actually have a plan to end genocide in the world. But, the most important thing about the plan is keeping this country overwhelmingly strong. This absolutely requires that we avoid getting bogged down in no-win wars, and that we do not allow the Democrats to turn this country into another Argentina with a bankrupt government, food riots in the streets, and navy ships that sink while moored at the dock.

In getting us dogged down in no-win wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, George W. Bush failed us, and in failing us, he failed the world.

For more, see: Hawaii.edu/powerkills

2 comments:

mitsukurina said...

"Equatorial Guinea communist government of 1968-1979 (100,000)"

Never aware that Equatorial Guinea had a communist government at any point. Nguema was an Idi Amin type of dictator -- crazy and brutal but not communist.

And no Angola? Surely the civil war between the pro-Soviet and pro-Chinese communists is worth a mention -- many estimates suggest 500,000 dead.

Eric Dondero said...

Response to your comment from Cliff:

Your comments are valid. I will simply explain my how I made the decisions I made.

I was tempted to describe the mass murder in Equatorial Guinea by the name of the dictator as I did with Uganda. Both were associated with communism, although they were more like free lance murderous dictators. However, some Americans recognize the name Idi Amin and very few would recognize the name of the dictator of Equatorial Guinea.

With regard to Angola, the sources on which I rely put the number of people who died during the country's war of independence at 50,000 (short of my minimum). If Angola was small in population, I might have bent my rule.