Genocide and the Politics of Hypocrisy

Throughout history, genocide, a systematic cleansing of people, has been utilised for the purposes of national or religious doctrine, but its mention today is simply to dredge up history, to cause rifts, and to hark back to almost forgotten eras.

The cleansing of the Native Americans by the European settlers enabled them to build the United States of America. The Americas were all party to mass genocide, through the Spanish conquistadors, to the Portuguese in Brazil, to North America by a myriad of Europeans.

No one can be sure of the numbers killed in cold blood by the Catholic and Protestant Missionaries and their armed soldiers but some historians do give figures in the hundred millions through war, systematic extermination and disease brought from Europe.

In 1789, the British deliberately spread smallpox from the First Fleet to counter overwhelming native tribes near Sydney in New South Wales, Australia. The Aborigine people were decimated leaving the road clear for the conquest of Australia, which today is predominantly of European stock.

During the French Revolution, the revolt in the Vendée (1793–1796) against the Republican government was party to over 150,000 people slaughtered in cold blood, and is considered history’s first well-organised genocide. The French occupation of Algeria from 1945-1962 resulted in a 20% reduction of the population starting at the Setif and Guelma massacre. One must also not mention the Vichy government, who were complicit in the detainment of Jews in World War II, sending them to their deaths in Nazi concentration camps.

The Russian Tsarist empire was party to its own genocide, coming close to equalling that of Stalin’s prolific record, with the decimation of 1.5 million Circassians from the North Caucasus.

The story goes on and on, and how far back one wishes to go, genocide after genocide as each nation, tribal group or religious faction claimed their own territory.

Was the dropping of the atomic bomb on Nagasaki and Hiroshima a genocide? Most certainly, in the eyes of a Japanese person it would be.

No group is blameless, no country has not claimed its own sovereignty without war, carnage and armed force.

Every single country that stands today was created by displacement of the indigenous population. Every territorial border was mapped out by the conquerors of that land, and if one is to have a future without genocide, there will have to be a day when all borders from all nations are removed.

To achieve complete territorial dissolution the politicians who keep dredging up past genocides must first look at their own history of genocide and decide if they want a future world of unity or a world at war.