Every successful social movement in history has included a vibrant student voice, and the anti-genocide movement is no exception. By sounding the alarm on emerging and ongoing conflicts, mobilizing campuses and communities, building meaningful relationships with policymakers, developing young leaders, and creating innovative campaigns, we are leading members of the anti-genocide movement. We envision a world in which the global community is invested in preventing, mitigating, and sustainably resolving genocide and mass atrocities. From mass actions on Twitter to high-level, targeted advocacy, STAND has played an active role in the successes of the genocide prevention movement.
With hundreds of passionate student leaders around the country, we have solidified a persistent and loud voice that advocates for an end to mass atrocities. The student-led movement to end mass atrocities. Innovative advocacy. Student power. Plainly, the predictive aspiration of this branch of social science has been similarly disappointed.
Should We Stop the Next Genocide?
Why is this the case? The following remarks on each of these problems are necessarily schematic because of space limitations. They are intended to provoke debate rather than suggest definitive answers. Elsewhere, such as in Brazil, it was abandoned as a prerequisite for attracting European settlers Davis, ; Bayly, The British did not do so regarding slavery in the nineteenth century, and states do not do so today.
No amount of advocacy to form political will is going to persuade certain members of the UN Security Council — China and Russia, above all — to pressure Sudan into ending its genocidal counter-insurgency against rebels in Darfur. Consciousness-raising in the USA, where the cause has secured significant attention, will not prod the Bush administration to go further than it has when it must now count on the help of many Arab states in dealing with the catastrophe in Iraq.
Yet another problem of the anti-slavery campaign comparison is the moral self-satisfaction it entails. The west, or at least parts of it, lead the way in reforming the world, smugly and conveniently forgetting the fact that it benefited greatly from both slavery and genocide in the past.
Anti-Genocide: Building an American Movement to Prevent Genocide
Some of the invasion advocates are happy to admit the imperial underpinnings of their position. But do they understand that empires can only advance their humanitarian agendas with considerable violence? Indeed, that genocide might be a form of counter-insurgency against resistance to foreign rule? A blindness also inheres in the standard of evil that was set. Only when working conditions approached slavery could they be truly appalling, just as today a human rights catastrophe is worthy of a campaign when it resembles the Holocaust.
Consider the definition of genocide used by the current anti-genocide campaign. Yet only one of the five techniques of genocide in the UN definition concerns mass killing. The fact is that leading genocide scholars have taken the Holocaust as the paradigm of genocide despite their ostensible rejection of Holocaust uniqueness. Ignoring or rejecting the capacious definition of Raphael Lemkin, who invented the concept and included non-murderous techniques of genocide, they redefined it as an ideologically-motivated and state-executed program of mass killing Moses, b.
That is also why the debate in the US, in particular, is preoccupied with the Islamism of the Khartoum regime rather than the logic of counter-insurgency and civil war, a potential in all societies. Had they followed the western road to modernity, it is implied, they would not have become totalitarian states and perpetrated genocide on their own or neighboring populations. An alternative, less comforting conception of genocide is to consider it as an extreme version of counter-insurgency, a potential that exists in every society when mobilized by the state to crush internal resistance.
Not for nothing are the victims of genocide usually demonized as terrorists and partisans by a state, for instance, Jews by the Nazis, Armenians by the Ottomans, and Darfurians by Khartoum. Counter-insurgency follows the logic of civil wars. Although they advised against exasperating the conquered population, the destruction of villages and crops was countenanced if necessary.
World Without Genocide - Making It Our Legacy
Certainly, French and Russian authorities were happy to indulge in such scorched-earth tactics in their respective North African and Caucasian conquests during and after the s Callwell, ; Holquist, On one view:. To subjugate the Arabs, we should fight them with the utmost violence and in the Turkish manner, that is to say, by killing everything we meet.
I have heard this view supported by officers who took it to the point of bitterly regretting that we have started to take prisoners in some places, and many assured me that they encouraged their soldiers to spare no one. For my part, I returned from Africa with the distressing notion that we are now fighting far more barbarously than the Arabs themselves.
For the present, it is on their side that one meets with civilization. These tactics were commonly applied by European powers in their wars of colonization and decolonization in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. A counter-insurgency becomes genocidal when civilians are targeted to the extent that communities are destroyed so never again will they be able to support an insurgency. The Sudanese government is employing these tactics to devastating effect, but Islamism is not the reason why.
Such tactics suggest themselves to states in civil and colonial wars when government forces are stretched and civilians are an easier target than combatants.
The liberal nature of the metropole is relevant: counter-veiling powers there can try to rein in ambitious executives and military elites, as they periodically have in western history. In the Boer War, for instance, domestic liberals ensured that the anti-Boer measures did not radicalize to the extent that hardliners urged. All the same, 28, Boer women and children perished in British camps, the result of a policy that many South Africans regard as genocidal Pakenham, The NGO and academic campaigners against genocide will start sounding the alarm bells for an intervention as a specific checklist of stages of genocidal escalation is ticked off.
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According to Genocide Watch:. Genocide is a process that develops in eight stages that are predictable but not inexorable. At each stage, preventive measures can stop it. The later stages must be preceded by the earlier stages, though earlier stages continue to operate throughout the process. For instance, on this checklist, critics of Israeli occupation of the West Bank would argue that the Israeli state is already more than half way down the checklist. So far, I have not seen any references to these incitements on the webpage of Genocide Watch and Prevent Genocide.
I am not saying that I should.
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What I am saying is that their thinking about genocide is muddled. While the moral fervor and public activism is admirable and salutary, the paradigm appears blind to its own implication in imperial projects that are themselves as much part of the problem as they are part of the solution.
The US government called Darfur a genocide to appease domestic lobbies, and because the statement cost it nothing.
Darfur will end when it suits the great powers that have a stake in the region. Abed, M. Ayoob, M. Bayly, C. Bellamy, Alex J. Burke, A. Callwell, C.
London, Greenhill Books . Chalk, F. Christison, K. Cook, W. Davis, D.
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