Genocide group activity


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Genocide group activity

  1. 1. Name___________________________________________________ Date__________________Genocide: War on the people; by the peopleDirections:Every student is required to participate in this activity. Each member of the group will work on aspecific part of the project. Groups are to decide who will work as researchers and who will work asillustrators and writers/journalists. The goal of the assignment is to demonstrate your ability to developan understanding of the political, economic, and social causes that lead to Genocide.The TimelineYou will work in small groups to create a small poster-size timeline on construction paper orplain white paper. Each piece of paper should represent one year and one country (Cambodia,Sudan, Rwanda, Burinda,…etc.) . That year should be written in large bold print on the top ofyour paper. You will work within your groups to decorate your year sheet with pictures(photographs or drawings), slogans, artwork, poems, copies or re-created newspaper clippings,and other memorabilia. You are encouraged to research the important events of that year andthink it terms of people and their ideas, the government, the economy and other societal factorsthat may have contributed to genocide in this particular country. Your timeline should identify,illustrate, explain, and interpret the causes of progression of events that led to not only theRwandan genocide, but other genocides. You may use my computer to help you find researchmaterial to complete this project or you may send one person to the library to gather material..
  2. 2. The 8 Stages of GenocideBy Gregory H. Stanton, President, Genocide WatchClassification Symbolization Dehumanization Organization Polarization Preparation ExterminationDenialGenocide is a process that develops in eight stages that are predictable but not inexorable. At eachstage, preventive measures can stop it. The process is not linear. Logically, later stages must bepreceded by earlier stages. But all stages continue to operate throughout the process.1. CLASSIFICATION: All cultures have categories to distinguish people into “us and them” by ethnicity,race, religion, or nationality: German and Jew, Hutu and Tutsi. Bipolar societies that lack mixedcategories, such as Rwanda and Burundi, are the most likely to have genocide. The main preventivemeasure at this early stage is to develop universalistic institutions that transcend ethnic or racial divisions,that actively promote tolerance and understanding, and that promote classifications that transcend thedivisions. The Catholic church could have played this role in Rwanda, had it not been riven by the sameethnic cleavages as Rwandan society. Promotion of a common language in countries like Tanzania hasalso promoted transcendent national identity. This search for common ground is vital to early preventionof genocide.2. SYMBOLIZATION: We give names or other symbols to the classifications. We name people “Jews” or“Gypsies”, or distinguish them by colors or dress; and apply the symbols to members of groups.Classification and symbolization are universally human and do not necessarily result in genocide unlessthey lead to the next stage, dehumanization. When combined with hatred, symbols may be forced uponunwilling members of pariah groups: the yellow star for Jews under Nazi rule, the blue scarf for peoplefrom the Eastern Zone in Khmer Rouge Cambodia. To combat symbolization, hate symbols can be legallyforbidden (swastikas) as can hate speech. Group marking like gang clothing or tribal scarring can beoutlawed, as well. The problem is that legal limitations will fail if unsupported by popular culturalenforcement. Though Hutu and Tutsi were forbidden words in Burundi until the 1980‟s, code-wordsreplaced them. If widely supported, however, denial of symbolization can be powerful, as it was inBulgaria, where the government refused to supply enough yellow badges and at least eighty percent ofJews did not wear them, depriving the yellow star of its significance as a Nazi symbol for Jews.3. DEHUMANIZATION: One group denies the humanity of the other group. Members of it are equatedwith animals, vermin, insects or diseases. Dehumanization overcomes the normal human revulsionagainst murder. At this stage, hate propaganda in print and on hate radios is used to vilify the victimgroup. In combating this dehumanization, incitement to genocide should not be confused with protectedspeech. Genocidal societies lack constitutional protection for countervailing speech, and should betreated differently than democracies. Local and international leaders should condemn the use of hatespeech and make it culturally unacceptable. Leaders who incite genocide should be banned frominternational travel and have their foreign finances frozen. Hate radio stations should be shut down, andhate propaganda banned. Hate crimes and atrocities should be promptly punished.
  3. 3. 4. ORGANIZATION: Genocide is always organized, usually by the state, often using militias to providedeniability of state responsibility (the Janjaweed in Darfur.) Sometimes organization is informal (Hindumobs led by local RSS militants) or decentralized (terrorist groups.) Special army units or militias areoften trained and armed. Plans are made for genocidal killings. To combat this stage, membership inthese militias should be outlawed. Their leaders should be denied visas for foreign travel. The U.N.should impose arms embargoes on governments and citizens of countries involved in genocidalmassacres, and create commissions to investigate violations, as was done in post-genocide Rwanda.5. POLARIZATION: Extremists drive the groups apart. Hate groups broadcast polarizing propaganda.Laws may forbid intermarriage or social interaction. Extremist terrorism targets moderates, intimidatingand silencing the center. Moderates from the perpetrators‟ own group are most able to stop genocide, soare the first to be arrested and killed. Prevention may mean security protection for moderate leaders orassistance to human rights groups. Assets of extremists may be seized, and visas for international traveldenied to them. Coups d‟état by extremists should be opposed by international sanctions.6. PREPARATION: Victims are identified and separated out because of their ethnic or religious identity.Death lists are drawn up. Members of victim groups are forced to wear identifying symbols. Their propertyis expropriated. They are often segregated into ghettoes, deported into concentration camps, or confinedto a famine-struck region and starved. At this stage, a Genocide Emergency must be declared. If thepolitical will of the great powers, regional alliances, or the U.N. Security Council can be mobilized, armedinternational intervention should be prepared, or heavy assistance provided to the victim group to preparefor its self-defense. Otherwise, at least humanitarian assistance should be organized by the U.N. andprivate relief groups for the inevitable tide of refugees to come.7. EXTERMINATION begins, and quickly becomes the mass killing legally called “genocide.” It is“extermination” to the killers because they do not believe their victims to be fully human. When it issponsored by the state, the armed forces often work with militias to do the killing. Sometimes thegenocide results in revenge killings by groups against each other, creating the downward whirlpool-likecycle of bilateral genocide (as in Burundi). At this stage, only rapid and overwhelming armed interventioncan stop genocide. Real safe areas or refugee escape corridors should be established with heavily armedinternational protection. (An unsafe “safe” area is worse than none at all.) The U.N. Standing HighReadiness Brigade, EU Rapid Response Force, or regional forces -- should be authorized to act by theU.N. Security Council if the genocide is small. For larger interventions, a multilateral force authorized bythe U.N. should intervene. If the U.N. is paralyzed, regional alliances must act. It is time to recognize thatthe international responsibility to protect transcends the narrow interests of individual nation states. Ifstrong nations will not provide troops to intervene directly, they should provide the airlift, equipment, andfinancial means necessary for regional states to intervene.8. DENIAL is the eighth stage that always follows a genocide. It is among the surest indicators of furthergenocidal massacres. The perpetrators of genocide dig up the mass graves, burn the bodies, try to coverup the evidence and intimidate the witnesses. They deny that they committed any crimes, and oftenblame what happened on the victims. They block investigations of the crimes, and continue to governuntil driven from power by force, when they flee into exile. There they remain with impunity, like Pol Pot orIdi Amin, unless they are captured and a tribunal is established to try them. The response to denial ispunishment by an international tribunal or national courts. There the evidence can be heard, and theperpetrators punished. Tribunals like the Yugoslav or Rwanda Tribunals, or an international tribunal to trythe Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, or an International Criminal Court may not deter the worst genocidalkillers. But with the political will to arrest and prosecute them, some may be brought to justice.© 1998 Gregory H. Stanton. Originally presented as a briefing paper at the US State Department in 1996.
  4. 4. The 12 Ways to Deny a GenocideGenocide Emergency: Darfur, SudanBy Gregory H. Stanton13 September 2004, updated 15 June 2005The United States Secretary of State, Colin Powell, on 9 September 2004 declared “that genocide hasoccurred in Darfur and that the government of Sudan and the Janjaweed bear responsibility, and thatgenocide may still be continuing.” The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, by unanimous vote on23 July 2004, declared “that the atrocities unfolding in Darfur, Sudan, are genocide.”The State Department has not historically been forward-leaning in making findings of genocide, as wasnotoriously evident during its refusal to apply the term “genocide” to Rwanda in 1994 until most of the800,000 victims had been murdered. This time, however, the Ambassador for War Crimes Issues, PierreRichard Prosper, adopted an exemplary strategy of proof. Prosper was the Prosecutor in the Akayesucase, which resulted in history‟s first conviction after trial by an International Criminal Tribunal applyingthe Genocide Convention. Prosper‟s strategy demonstrated the careful investigation and solid legalanalysis that made him so successful at the ICTR.Prosper knew that proof of genocide needs to be based on authoritative facts. So he got the StateDepartment‟s Human Rights Bureau to commission and fund a thorough investigation by expertinvestigators recruited by the Coalition for International Justice. They interviewed 1,136 eye-witnesses inSudanese refugee camps, a sample large enough for any social scientific study. Then he and the StateDepartment Legal Advisers‟ Office applied international law to the facts, without determining in advancewhat the conclusion would be. The legal conclusion was properly separated from its politicalconsequences.The results of the systematic interviews were shocking. Over sixty percent of the people interviewed hadwitnessed the killing of a family member. Two-thirds had witnessed the killing of a non-family member.Over eighty percent had witnessed destruction of a village. Two-thirds had witnessed aerial bombing ofvillages by the Sudanese government. And perhaps most chillingly, one third had heard racial epithetsused while they or their relatives were being murdered or raped. Assailants often shouted, “Kill theslaves” and “We have orders to kill all the blacks.” Over 50,000 [2005 update: 250,000] black Africanshave died in Darfur, and 1.5 [2005: 2.5] million people have been displaced from their homes. Over four[2005: eight] hundred villages have been burnt to the ground by Arab Janjaweed militias, supported bySudanese government bombing.Genocide is “the intentional destruction, in whole or in part, of a national, ethnical, racial, or religiousgroup, as such.” Was the killing “intentional”? Yes. Was it systematically organized by the al-Bashirregime using government armed Janjaweed militias, bombers, and helicopter gunships? Yes. Were thevictims chosen because of their ethnic and racial identity? Yes. Fur, Masseleit, and Zaghawa blackAfrican villages were destroyed. Arab villages nearby were left untouched. The State Department reportconcludes, the “primary cleavage is ethnic: Arabs against Africans.” Is this the intentional destruction, inpart, of ethnic and racial groups? Yes. This, in short, is genocide. The genocide continues.The Al-Bashir regime in Sudan is a serial killer, a master of genocide and ethnic cleansing, havingcombined these crimes before in the Nuba mountains and in the southern Sudan, where over two million
  5. 5. black Africans have died. In the south, the government wants to confiscate rich oil reserves under thelands of the Nuer, Dinka, Shilluk, Nuba, and other black African groups. In Darfur the regime wants to“Arabize” the territory and drive out black Africans in order to confiscate their grazing lands, waterresources, and cattle herds.Mass murder by starvation has been a method of genocide for centuries, perfected by the Turks inArmenia in 1915 and by Stalin in 1933 Ukraine. It has been the strategy of choice of the Sudanesegovernment, both in the south and in Darfur. It is a shrewd strategy because death comes slowly anddenial is easy. All a government need do is arm and support militias, which drive a self-sufficient peopleoff their land through terror; herd them into displaced persons and refugee camps; then systematicallyimpede aid from getting to them, letting them slowly die of starvation and disease. The deaths can thenbe blamed on “famine,” “disease”, “ancient tribal conflicts,” or “civil war,” or most cynically, “failure of theinternational community to provide needed relief.”Twelve Ways To Deny A GenocideThe Sudanese government‟s response to accusations of genocide has, from the beginning, been aclassic example of the strategy of denial that accompanies every genocide. The strategy employspredictable tactics designed to obscure clear perception of criminal conspiracy with an ink-cloud of denial.The objective of denial is to paralyze the political will of those who might take action to stop the genocideand punish the perpetrators. [2005: All of these denial tactics are still the official Sudanese governmentline.]Israel Charny outlines the tactics of denial in “Templates for Gross Denial of a Known Genocide: AManual,” in The Encyclopedia of Genocide, volume 1, page 168. All of them are being used by theSudanese government.1. Question and minimize the statistics. Sudan‟s Foreign Minister Mustaf Osman Ismail said on 9September 2004, that no more than 5,000 people have been killed in Darfur since February 2003. [2005:The Sudanese government has not raised its estimate of deaths since.] In contrast, 50,000 [2005:160,000]deaths is considered a low estimate by the U.N., World Food Program, and the ICRC. TheSudanese Embassy in Washington said the interviews were all conducted with Darfur refugees in Chad,not in Sudan, so were invalid. But refugee accounts are among the most reliable indicators of crimesbecause witnesses testify freely, without fear. The interviews were conducted in Chad because theSudanese Embassy refused to grant visas to the investigation team. The U.S. has proposed a SecurityCouncil resolution that would send investigators into Darfur to gather evidence of the crimes where theywere committed, which Sudan rejects.2. Attack the motivations of the truth-tellers. Dismiss U.S. charges as products of election-year politicsin America, or of anti-Islamic imperialists who have demonstrated their hatred of Arabs in Iraq at Abu-Ghraib prison. This ad-hominem “moral disqualification” argument was the red-herring used by theSudanese Ambassadors at both the U.N. Commission on Human Rights and the U.N. Security Council. Itis aimed to appeal to fellow Islamic countries like Algeria and Pakistan.3. Claim that the deaths were inadvertent, as a result of famine, migration, or disease, not because ofwillful murder. This is the usual line given to relief officials to turn the blame back upon them for notsupplying more assistance, hypocritically ignoring the systematic obstruction the Sudanese governmenthas placed in the way of visas for humanitarian workers and delivery of food and medicine.4. Emphasize the strangeness of the victims. Whether they be classified as infidels, primitive tribalists,or of another race and caste, they are unlike us. Thus, the highly influential Sudanese “Arab Gathering”considers black Africans to be “abd” (male slaves) and “kahdim” (female slaves.) and advocates theirexclusion from Sudanese public life. For Americans or Europeans, such de-humanization is expressed
  6. 6. as, “They‟re Africans. They do these sorts of things to each other.”5. Rationalize the deaths as the result of tribal conflict, coming to the victims out of the inevitability oftheir history of relationships. Thus, the Sudanese Ambassador to the U.N. in a BBC interview on 11September 2004 claimed that the deaths were just the result of age-old tribal conflicts between cattleherders (Arabs) and farmers (Africans). In fact, there were no such genocidal raids in Darfur until theSudanese government armed the Janjaweed in early 2003 and used the Sudanese air-force to supportthem.6. Blame “out of control” forces for committing the killings, distancing responsibility from theSudanese government. The success of this tactic was demonstrated in U.N. Security Council Resolution1556, which blames the killings on the Janjaweed militias and actually demands that the Sudanesegovernment disarm the Janjaweed and bring their leaders to justice. In fact, it was the Sudanesegovernment that armed the Janjaweed in the first place, and continues to protect them. Not one majorJanjaweed leader has been arrested. Criminals already in jail for years have simply been renamed“Janjaweed,” and sentenced for crimes they did not commit, punished by amputations under Sharia law.7. Avoid antagonizing the genocidists, who might walk out of “the peace process.” This real politikargument is used to frighten diplomats who fear “upsetting the peace process” in Naivasha for the south,or in Abuja for Darfur. In 2005 the argument has become: “don‟t upset the fragile new order in Khartoumsince signature on the agreements settling the civil war in the South. Let‟s now concentrate on getting theDarfur „rebels‟ to reach a similar agreement with Khartoum in Abuja, under the African Union.” Meanwhilethe ethnic cleansing of Darfur is nearly complete, and genocidal massacres and rapes continue daily.This argument, which diplomats repeatedly and naively espouse, ignores the fact that genocidists areserial killers. Policies toward them based on fear lead only to appeasement and further genocide.8. Justify denial in favor of current economic interests. This is a key reason why Russia opposes anarms embargo on the Sudanese government. It has just sold twelve MIG-29‟s to Khartoum, and continuesto be a major supplier of other arms. Besides being another arms supplier to Khartoum, China is aprimary developer of southern Sudan‟s oilfields and imports Sudanese oil. China has threatened to vetoU.N. sanctions.9. Claim that the victims are receiving good treatment, while baldly denying the charges of genocideoutright. The Sudanese government claims that the internally displaced are receiving excellent treatmentin IDP camps, and will be even better off when they are moved to “safe areas” under complete Sudanesegovernment control. The Sudanese show visitors the same “model” IDP camp, just as the Nazis showedthe ICRC Theresienstadt. When Kofi Annan tried to visit another site, the Sudanese quickly evacuated it,leaving him to ask, “Where are the people?” [2005: When Annan interviewed rape survivors in Darfur, theSudanese responded by arresting his interpreter the next day. The government also arrested the directorof Medècins sans Frontières, Sudan the same day for publishing a well-documented report exposingwidespread rapes by Sudanese soldiers and Janjaweed in and around IDP camps.]The Special Representative of the Secretary General, Jan Pronk, has recently signed a Sudanesegovernment proposal to create “safe areas” for the black Africans of Darfur, who will be “guarded” by theSudanese army. Never forget that the U.N. also agreed to a “safe area” plan in Bosnia. Srebenica was a“safe area” where 8000 men were murdered in 1995 while Dutch soldiers stood by. Pronk was the DutchDevelopment Cooperation Minister in 1995 and he resigned only after a government study of the disasterseven years later. Now Pronk has recommended the same “safe areas solution” for Darfur. What is wrongwith this picture?10. Claim that what is going on doesn’t fit the definition of genocide. “Definitionalist” denial is mostcommon among lawyers and policy makers who want to avoid intervention beyond provision ofhumanitarian aid. It results in “analysis paralysis.” It is what the State Department investigation and reportbrilliantly overcame. At the time of writing (September 2004), the European Union, the Secretary General
  7. 7. of the United Nations and even Amnesty International still avoid calling the crimes in Darfur by theirproper name. It is a pity. There are three reasons for such reluctance:A. Among journalists, the general public, diplomats, and lawyers who haven‟t read the GenocideConvention, there is a common misconception that a finding of genocide would legally require action tosuppress it. Under this misconception, having been informed that the U.S. would take no action inRwanda in 1994, State Department lawyers ordered avoidance of the word. They made their legalconclusion fit the Procrustean bed of U.S. policy. They committed legal malpractice.Unfortunately, the Genocide Convention carries no such legal compulsion to act. It legally requires onlythat states-parties pass national laws against genocide and then prosecute or extradite those who committhe crime. Article VIII of the Convention says they also “may call upon the competent organs of the UnitedNations to take such action under the Charter of the United Nations as they consider appropriate for theprevention and suppression of acts of genocide.” But they aren‟t legally required to do so. Article I of theGenocide Convention creates a moral obligation to prevent genocide, but it does not dictate militaryintervention or any other particular measures.B. Another misconception is the “all or none” concept of genocide. The all-or-none school considerskillings to be genocide only if their intent is to destroy a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group “inwhole.” Their model is the Holocaust. They ignore the “in part” in the definition in the GenocideConvention, which they often haven‟t read.C. Since the 1990‟s, a new obstacle to calling genocide by its proper name has been the distinctionbetween genocide and “ethnic cleansing,” a term originally invented as a euphemism for genocide in theBalkans. Genocide and “ethnic cleansing” are sometimes portrayed as mutually exclusive crimes, butthey are not. Prof. Schabas, for example, says that the intent of “ethnic cleansing” is expulsion of a group,whereas the intent of “genocide” is its destruction, in whole or in part. He illustrates with a simplisticdistinction: in “ethnic cleansing,” borders are left open and a group is driven out; in “genocide,” bordersare closed and a group is killed. The fallacy of the distinction is evident in Darfur, where the intent of theSudanese government and their Janjaweed militias is to drive Fur, Massaleit, and Zaghawa black Africanfarmers off of their ancestral lands (ethnic cleansing,) using terror caused by systematic acts of genocide,including mass murder, mass rape, mass starvation, and concentration camps run by Janjaweed andSudanese army guards, where murder and rape are standing orders. Both ethnic cleansing and genocideare underway in Darfur.D. Claim that the “intent” of the perpetrator is merely “ethnic cleansing” not “genocide,” which requires thespecific intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group. The U.N.Commission of Experts report of 2005 took this way out. It confused motive with intent. (Ironically, theU.N. Commission report even included a paragraph saying motive and intent should not be confused, anexhortation the Commission promptly violated, itself.) Even if the motive of a perpetrator is to drive agroup off its land (“ethnic cleansing”), killing members of the group and other acts enumerated in theGenocide Convention may still have the specific intent to destroy the group, in whole or in part. That‟sgenocide.11. Blame the victims. Claim that the Sudanese government is simply fighting an insurrection by a rebelmovement comprised of bandits who themselves commit war crimes. By portraying the situation as civilwar rather than genocide, the Sudanese appeal to the common misunderstanding that the two aremutually exclusive, when in fact, as Robert Melson, Barbara Harff, Helen Fein, and others have shown,civil war is very often a predictor and correlate of genocide. Genocide occurs especially during civil warsbecause war is legalized killing, when even women and children of an adversary group may be seen asenemies of the state.12. Say that peace and reconciliation are more important that blaming people for genocide,especially if the genocide happened in the past. This is the justification for amnesties for mass murderers
  8. 8. as part of peace agreements, and for opposition to post-conflict tribunals. But peace and reconciliationare not alternatives to justice. Lasting peace requires justice. Without prosecution of those who commitgenocide, an expectation of impunity is created. As Fein and Harff have shown, one of the best predictorsof future genocide is previous genocide that has gone unpunished. Without trials, denial becomespermanent.A brutal civil war is underway in Darfur, and the ceasefire and settlement being negotiated in Abuja mightsave lives. But the talks could take years. Meanwhile there will be peace in Darfur only with a powerfulAfrican Union force, supported logistically and financially by the West, to enforce it, much as NATO hasenforced the peace in Bosnia. If the African Union force cannot stop the genocide, the U.N., NATO,European Union, and their member nations should send in troops under Chapter VII of the U.N. Charter.