US deception shameful
Posted: Thursday, October 25, 2007
By Mabasa Sasa
Octobewr 25, 2007
Samuel Huntington — perhaps alongside Francis Fukuyama — can be classified as one of the most controversial political scientists of the 20th Century for originating what is commonly referred to as "the Clash of Civilisations".
This is an analytical tool that contends that the central political actors of our times will be civilisations rather than nation-states as was the norm from the time the Holy Roman Empire fell, Napoleon started his wars, and Western Europe as we more or less know it came into being.
Of course, for Africa and much of the Developing World, the history of contact with Europe and America has always been essentially one of a clash of civilisations and Huntington rather astutely put it thus:
"The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion but rather by its superiority in applying organised violence. Westerners often forget this fact, non-Westerners never do."
This is not to say Huntington is opposed to the use of military might to establish the supremacy of one civilisation over the other as he was after all an influential advisor of Lyndon Johnson when that US president bombarded the South Vietnamese countryside in the 1960s.
The clash of civilisations, however, will not always take on the air of military offensives by the industrially stronger against the weak.
Famed linguist Noam Chomsky for one will tell you that more and more, the subjugation of one civilisation by another has taken on a semantic hue and the full arsenal of the English dictionary is now being deployed to assert the ascendancy — and facilitate the demise — of any given civilisation. The English say, "Give a dog a bad name and hang him!" or, "He that has an ill name is half-hanged."
The logic is simple: the assignment of a name gives one the power to place anything and anyone the power to define and to categorise as good or bad. And the West, probably as the originators of the clash of civilisations and the deployment of arms and language, are particularly adept at this art of war.
For instance, as noted by African scholar Mahmoud Mamdani, the mass death of civilians in Darfur has been classified as genocide while the American-abetted atrocities by the Israelis that have become a way of life for Palestinians is not. Perhaps it was with this in mind that former US President Jimmy Carter balked at the thought of calling Darfur, genocide.
After a recent visit to the region, Carter said, "If you read the law textbooks . . . you'll see very clearly that it's not genocide and to call it genocide falsely just to exaggerate a horrible situation I don't think it helps."
Carter has been joined by Archbishop Desmond Tutu in slamming what is going on in Palestine with the latter in 2002 likening the Zionist regime of Israel to that of apartheid South Africa.
For his pains, Tutu has been barred from speaking at the University of St. Thomas in the US for his 'anti-Semitism' and perhaps the man now knows that the adjectives he recklessly deploys against Zimbabwe can just as easily be mobilised against him.
And today it is near impossible to level any criticism against Israel without incurring the full wrath of the linguist arsenal in the hands of those behind the clash of civilisations.
Any word questioning Israel's policies makes one liable to labelled anti-Semitic, Satanic and a holocaust denier.
Francis Boyle, a professor of international law is of the opinion that Palestine should in fact take Israel to The Hague for genocide against non-Jews in the region, but this is an idea that the good legal beavers in Holland will find incredulous.
During the Nato strikes on the unfortunate former Yugoslavia, over 40 Serbian Orthodox Churches and at least one Cathedral were razed to the ground by something called the Kosovo Liberation Army.
It is believed that the KLA massacred some 20 000 Serbian civilians while Nato looked on and said it did not have the capacity to control the army.
Three points: The KLA is a 'liberation' army and not a terrorist movement as Zanla and Zipra were called during the Second Chimurenga, the killing of 20 000 non-combatants belonging to an "undesirable civilisation" is fair game and the almighty West will let it happen, and it is not classified as genocide.
According to Martin McLaughlin writing on WSWS in May 1999 when the Serb-killing frenzy was at its peak, "The US-Nato onslaught against Yugoslavia must be recorded as one of the great crimes of the twentieth century, an entire society, and a major European city, are being pounded into rubble.
"Overwhelming military force is being employed against a semi-defenceless opponent, with a ruthlessness and cynicism not seen on the European continent since Hitler's bombers struck Warsaw and Rotterdam."
But this is not genocide.
In Iraq, a reported 600 000 people have died since the US invasion of 2003 — the figure could be higher — remember that there were 800 000 genocide victims in Rwanda — while a further 3,7 million have fled the country but no one in the West has ever thought of referring to this as a genocide.
Writes Mamdani, "I read about all sorts of violence against civilians and there are two places that I read about — one is Iraq, and one is Darfur. . . . And I'm struck by the fact that the largest political movement against mass violence on US campuses is on Darfur and not on Iraq."
Similarly, nothing is said about the American-backed genocide carried out by rebels in the DRC and yet an estimated four million civilians were butchered in that country while in Somalia another 460 000 have been displaced by US-supported Ethiopian troops.
And out of all this what do we get?
We get such high-sounding nothings as Save Darfur Campaign. We even had, for a mercifully short time, a Save Zimbabwe Campaign. But we never saw a Save Yugoslavia Campaign nor will we see a Save Iraq initiative.
Instead, institutions like the US government funded National Endowment for Democracy (appropriately named for the linguist aspect of the clash of civilisations warfare) creating things like Sokwanele — a bastard child of Otpor which was at the centre of the raping of Yugoslavia.
Again the logic is simple: the West cannot carry out acts of genocide but the "crazy Africans" in Darfur are most certainly capable of it.
And neither can Israel nor any group armed by the Americans be accused of genocide.
Genocide is the preserve of Africans.