Thursday, March 5, 2009

Semantical slaying

Today is going to be a boring day on the blog, I'm obsessed with this indictment and will continue to write about it. Feel free to skip. The International Commission of Inquiry into Darfur, headed by Antonio Cassese, concluded that there was no evidence of a genocidal plan but that "individual acts of genocide" may have occurred.

This is interesting first because the charges of genocide were dropped from the final indictment, thank god.

But secondly, what the hell is an "individual act of genocide"? Genocide, by its very nature and definition, is a multitude of acts, it is a multitude of SPECIFIC acts, no less. If I go out and kill 75,000 people, that isn't genocide. That is mass murder, a crime against humanity. I have to go and kill 75,000 people because of some defining characteristic (ethnicity most often). Even if all 75,000 people happen to share the same defining characteristic, if that wasn't my MOTIVATION for killing them it isn't genocide, i.e. I happen to kill 75,000 Mormons, but only because I cut lose in downtown Salt Lake City, not because I hate Mormons, then it is murder. 75,000 times over.

So, then, explain to me how genocide, which hinges on extermination, can be reduced to an individual act?

God I'm hacked off at the international community right now.

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