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Genocide

NWRatCon

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I wanted to start this thread in the Loft to keep the temperature down, but the word itself is a magnet for strong responses. There has been a lot of rhetoric, informed and not, about what "genocide" is, and whether it is occurring in Russia's operation in Ukraine. I thought putting it in context was important to inform the discussion.

"Genocide" as a term was coined in 1944. It was a significant basis for the post-war prosecutions of Nazis as a "crime against humanity". The understanding of the concept has been clarified and codified in International Humanitarian Law in the ensuing decades, and the subject of discussion for many philosophers and lawyers.

It was first recognized as a crime by the UN General Assembly in 1946 and codified as a crime in the Genocide Convention in 1948, and the Rome Statute adopted 50 years later, pursuant to which, "genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
  1. Killing members of the group;
  2. Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
  3. Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
  4. Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
  5. Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

Elements of the crime​

The Genocide Convention establishes in Article I that the crime of genocide may take place in the context of an armed conflict, international or non-international, but also in the context of a peaceful situation. The latter is less common but still possible. The same article establishes the obligation of the contracting parties to prevent and to punish the crime of genocide." UN
 

NWRatCon

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Given the definitions in the OP, is the Russian operation in Ukraine genocidal? I submit that it is.

Putin, in several speeches, going back decades, has denied Ukrainian identity culturally and politically, and Ukraine as a separate entity. He has denigrated Russian speakers who support its independence as "race traitors."

The campaign has explicitly targeted specifically civilian targets, shelters, housing and medical facilities. These tactics are directed at "Killing members of the group; Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part."

As the UN Office notes, "Importantly, the victims of genocide are deliberately targeted - not randomly – because of their real or perceived membership of one of the four groups protected under the Convention (which excludes political groups, for example). This means that the target of destruction must be the group, as such, and not its members as individuals. Genocide can also be committed against only a part of the group, as long as that part is identifiable (including within a geographically limited area) and “substantial.”"

Again, I submit, this condition is met. From a legal standpoint, the central question is intent. Again, the UN's description is instructive:

Article II of the Genocide Convention contains a narrow definition of the crime of genocide, which includes two main elements:
  1. A mental element: the "intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such"; and
  2. A physical element, which includes the following five acts (listed earlier).
 

TheParser

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Murdering civilians on the street; killing a pregnant woman and her baby; slaying a man waiting to get some bread.

Yes, sir/ma'am!

That is genocide.

The savage responsible for all of this must get his comeuppance!
 

Rogue Valley

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This is a difficult topic. It does seem that certain conditions of genocide are being met, but is it intentional/deliberate genocide?

The Russian military in Ukraine is engaging in the same abhorant behaviors it engaged in with Chechnya I and II, in Afghanistan, and in Syria. The intentional targeting of civilans, civilian structures, critical infrastructure (electric/water/heat sources), and targeting hospitals, clinics, and rescue workers. I may be wrong, but I do not recall the international community, the United Nations, or the West deeming these past Russian behaviors as genocide.

Few detest Putin and the Putin regime more that I do. I would stipulate that Russian forces in Ukraine are certainly engaging in war crimes and crimes against humanity, but does Russia's atrocities rise to genocide? If we are to be consistant, then I have to say not yet. Perhaps technically it can be characterized as a form of genocide, but as a practical matter I do not believe the international community currently views it as such. With his brutal history in various wars, it should be obvious that Vladimir Putin is a mass murderer and a war criminal. I'll have to let others better versed in the Hague Convention of 1907, the Fourth Geneva Convention, and the UN Charter put forth their thoughts and rationale.
 

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@NWRatCon

The crime of Genocide is a very tricky case to make. Ukraine is in a war for its national survival and Russia is the aggressor/invader with the intention to seize and likely annex land as its motive. That is a war crime but it is not genocide.

Russia is getting hurt badly by Ukrainian soldiers and armed civilliancombatants and has thus decided to change its tactics and strategy. It is now relying more on inaccurate artillery/rocketry fire and missile/air strikes to mete out much higher attrition rates on the Ukrainian military and civilian population which is resisting Russia en masse. Remember civilian Ukrainians are making Molotov-cocktails and IEDs and Ukrainian grannies are on media record saying that they would gladly kill Russian soldiers or even Vladimir Putin himself. Thus the line is being blurred between civilians and combatants in this total war conflict. Add to that blurred distinction that much of the fighting is taking place in densely populated and built-up urban areas and you have a recipe for great numbers of civilian deaths and casualties without needing any intention of genocide. When the Russians levelled large parts of Chechnya in the Chechen Wars of the 1990's their tactics then were not deemed to be genocide even though they are the same tactics being used now in Ukraine albeit on a potentially much lager scale. So why was it not genocide then but is genocide today?

When the US-led Coalition levelled the Syrian city of Raqqa was that genocide? American troops were on record as calling the Arab population dehumanising terms such as "Sand-niggers" and prior to Raqqa there was ample evidence that the coalition did not well distinguish between civilians and combatants in places like Fallujja and al-Nasseriya in Iraq. So the claim to genocide becomes much harder to make when many sides in many conflicts use the same indiscriminate tactics to bust cities. I would also mention a certain Middle Eastern state and its regular attacks on adjacent populations in 2008, 2012 and 2014 to date but three, which have not been declared as genocide as a further complication to this argument but alas the rules of the forum do not allow me to identify that state or the targetted population. Look at what Curtis LeMay did to the North Korean civilian population with UN-sanctioned American air power. This air campaign killed about 1.4 million North Koreans or about 20% of the population. The vast majority of these victims were Korean villagers and not combatants. A similar case can be made for the UK in Oman or Sarawak in the 1960's or for America in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos where more than a million civilians were killed in the 1960's-1970's.

Denying Ukraine's right to exist as a sovereign state as Mr. Putin has done does not meet the threshold for genocide in my opinion. However if he starts using chemical or biological weapons on civilian-packed cities or towns in the conflict or starts liquidating civillian populations in conquered areas or begins mass forced transportation/migration of Ukrainians then I think the threshold can be quickly met.

However waging aggressive war is the highest war crime and in a perfect world Mr. Putin would be dancing on air from a gallows for that crime alone. Many more war crimes and atrocities are piling up too so Putin is most definitely not without blame in Ukraine. He needs to be punished for this naked aggression severely but has the luxury of hiding behind over 6000 nuclear weapons.

Be well and stay alive.
Evilroddy.
 

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As others have said much better than I - I do not believe that the current war is genocide.

I believe it is awful. I believe Putin is 1000% in the wrong. The death, destruction, and devastation are horrible. Unfortunately, I think that much of it is due to urban combat/war zone and incompetence. And probably some complete a**holes also. (Meaning soldiers on the Russian side...and Putin himself)

Are there likely war crimes? Yes.

But I do not think this rises to meet the definition of genocide.
 

multivita-man

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Definitely war crimes, but whether it's genocide remains to be seen. This is strictly my own take but genocide doesn't necessarily have to involve killing per se, although that is certainly a necessary condition in most cases. But genocide can also involve things beyond killing, like destroying cultural symbols, places of worship, and deliberate efforts to replace one language and culture with another. Thus, it's entirely possible that Russia could not murder all Ukrainians or even a substantial portion of it, yet commit the act of genocide if they were somehow able to achieve a permanent occupation and eliminate everything that makes Ukraine, Ukraine. Think of what the Chinese have done in Tibet and Xinjiang.
 

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This is a difficult topic. It does seem that certain conditions of genocide are being met, but is it intentional/deliberate genocide?

The Russian military in Ukraine is engaging in the same abhorant behaviors it engaged in with Chechnya I and II, in Afghanistan, and in Syria. The intentional targeting of civilans, civilian structures, critical infrastructure (electric/water/heat sources), and targeting hospitals, clinics, and rescue workers. I may be wrong, but I do not recall the international community, the United Nations, or the West deeming these past Russian behaviors as genocide.

Few detest Putin and the Putin regime more that I do. I would stipulate that Russian forces in Ukraine are certainly engaging in war crimes and crimes against humanity, but does Russia's atrocities rise to genocide? If we are to be consistant, then I have to say not yet. Perhaps technically it can be characterized as a form of genocide, but as a practical matter I do not believe the international community currently views it as such. With his brutal history in various wars, it should be obvious that Vladimir Putin is a mass murderer and a war criminal. I'll have to let others better versed in the Hague Convention of 1907, the Fourth Geneva Convention, and the UN Charter put forth their thoughts and rationale.
I respect your points. It is sometimes hard to make the distinction between "crimes against humanity" and "genocide" as it is a question of intent. "International and humanitarian organizations, including the Council of Europe and Amnesty International, have criticized both sides of the conflict for "blatant and sustained" violations of international humanitarian law.

Western European rights groups estimate there have been about 5,000 forced disappearances in Chechnya since 1999.[95]" Wikipedia. Two of the problems in pursuing investigations and charges were the entire lack of cooperation from Russia, and the existence of established violations on both sides of the conflict.

Actions in Syria are more easily defined as genocide, as it has been sectarian from the outset. But, again, pursuit of criminal charges is complicated by the myriad of parties involved, as well as the ongoing nature of the conflict.

In Ukraine, however, the question is simpler. There is only one aggressor, and the stated purpose of the onslaught is, explicitly, genocidal in nature, as outlined earlier. There's no question that significant war crimes and crimes against humanity have occurred. The distinction is clearer here, though, because of the statements of Putin himself and how he has described its purpose.
 

NWRatCon

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Another point to be made here is the developing nature of international understanding. Historically, genocides have certainly occurred.

In medieval times, sieges and destruction of entire communities was commonplace, and justified by religious authorization. It wasn't until the latter half of the 19th century that formal treaties governing warfare were even contemplated. From 1899 to 1998 the laws governing these behaviors have been clarified iteratively.

Genocide was not even named until the middle of the 20th century, but it, too, has been progressively honed in international understanding. The Genocide Convention and Rome Statutes were the first to recognize it as a separate crime.

But the genocide in Rwanda not only motivated the world to act, but inspired the creation of a permanent tribunal. The first effort was the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. Like the Nuremberg and Tokyo tribunals, it was purpose-created to address specifically the actions in Rwanda. Similar ad hoc tribunals were established for the former Yugoslavia and Sierra Leone.

The International Criminal Court was only established in 1998, so it does not have a robust history of precedential rulings. "The ICC has so far opened more than two dozen cases, and pre-trial or trial proceedings are ongoing in three cases. However, trials for war crimes and crimes against humanity have only been completed in a handful of cases, with four people convicted and four others acquitted. Some other cases have been dismissed for lack of evidence." Human Rights Watch "powerful countries and their allies have been able to evade the reach of justice when serious crimes are committed on their territories by not joining the ICC and by blocking referrals by the Security Council."

I acknowledge that I am taking an advocational position here. But, I am confident, as legal matter, that my position is correct. Whether appropriate prosecutions will ever take place is a different matter than if they should. And I'm not alone in that belief:

Is It Time to Call Putin’s War in Ukraine Genocide? (New Yorker)​

'Smells of genocide’: How Putin justifies Russia’s war in Ukraine (Aljazeera)​

Vladimir Putin’s Ukraine War is a blueprint for genocide (Atlantic Counsel)​

"While unfolding events on the ground in Ukraine are already sparking international outrage and alarm, Putin’s twisted war aims and his long record of denying Ukraine’s right to exist paint an even darker picture of what may now lie ahead. Indeed, years of Kremlin propaganda have carefully set the stage for atrocities on a scale not witnessed in Europe since the days of Stalin and Hitler."
....
"Putin has declared that his goal is the “denazificiation” of Ukraine. This insane objective conceals his true aim of extinguishing Ukrainian statehood and eradicating all traces of a separate Ukrainian identity. He claims to be fighting against a small minority of extremists. Instead, it is now clear that Russia is at war with an entire nation of over 40 million.

In order to create the russified Ukraine he dreams of, Putin will need to pacify or remove the vast majority of the population. The Kremlin has already reportedly drawn up lists of Ukrainian politicians, journalists, and activists who will be subjected to arrest and possible execution if Russia succeeds in occupying Ukraine’s major cities. Given the scale and ferocity of popular opposition to the Russian invasion, any pacification campaign would need to rival the worst crimes against humanity of the totalitarian twentieth century."

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Putin's claims echo the ravings of one of his predecessors and idols - Josef Stalin, who perpetrated the Holodomor.
 

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This is a difficult topic. It does seem that certain conditions of genocide are being met, but is it intentional/deliberate genocide?

The Russian military in Ukraine is engaging in the same abhorant behaviors it engaged in with Chechnya I and II, in Afghanistan, and in Syria. The intentional targeting of civilans, civilian structures, critical infrastructure (electric/water/heat sources), and targeting hospitals, clinics, and rescue workers. I may be wrong, but I do not recall the international community, the United Nations, or the West deeming these past Russian behaviors as genocide.

Few detest Putin and the Putin regime more that I do. I would stipulate that Russian forces in Ukraine are certainly engaging in war crimes and crimes against humanity, but does Russia's atrocities rise to genocide? If we are to be consistant, then I have to say not yet. Perhaps technically it can be characterized as a form of genocide, but as a practical matter I do not believe the international community currently views it as such. With his brutal history in various wars, it should be obvious that Vladimir Putin is a mass murderer and a war criminal. I'll have to let others better versed in the Hague Convention of 1907, the Fourth Geneva Convention, and the UN Charter put forth their thoughts and rationale.
I have been agreeing with you, but if the news currently coming out of Maripoul--that 3,000 Ukranians have been forced to filtration camps in Russia, and that (according to the US UN Ambassador) the Russians are drawing up lists of Ukranians to be killed or sent to camps--is true, I'm leaning toward genocide now. This is beyond war carnage.



According to Maripoul's mayor (who says a lot of alarmist things),

On Sunday the Ukrainian city of Mariupol issued a statement claiming that its residents were being taken to Russia against their will, and a Ukrainian lawmaker said they were being forced into labor in remote areas of Russia, the Associated Press reported.
“Over the past week, several thousand Mariupol residents have been taken to the Russian territory,” the city statement said, according to the AP, adding that Ukrainians' cellphones and documents were examined by Russian troops before moving them.
Nearly 3,000 people have been taken from Mariupol to Russia since March 5, Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine said Sunday, the AP reported.

Inna Sovsun told Times Radio that, according to the Mariupol mayor and city council, the citizens are going to so-called filtration campus, "where they’re being forced to sign papers that they will stay in that area for two or three years and they will work for free in those areas," the AP added.


Filtration camps would not be good news. Wiki:

Filtration camps or filtration points (the official name) were used by the Russian federal forces for their mass internment centers during the First Chechen Wars in 1994-1996 and then again during the Second Chechen War between 1999 and 2003.

This is intentional destruction of a people and their culture.
 

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What is and what isn't genocide, and how do you prove a mass death was intentional (unless it's obvious like the Holocaust) has been debated since the term was invented. There is a reason other types of war crimes and crimes against humanity exists on the book, not everything is genocide. I am cautious with calling it a genocide at this point, but there are definitely several war crimes and crimes against humanity commited by the Russians.
 

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What is and what isn't genocide, and how do you prove a mass death was intentional (unless it's obvious like the Holocaust) has been debated since the term was invented. There is a reason other types of war crimes and crimes against humanity exists on the book, not everything is genocide. I am cautious with calling it a genocide at this point, but there are definitely several war crimes and crimes against humanity commited by the Russians.
I, too, am reluctant to call something a genocide. As you note, proving motivation is a difficult task and not to be pursued lightly. Like other "hate" crimes, it is distinguishing and separating the heinous motivation from the heinous act itself.

But, when the action matches the rhetoric it is hard to deny the intent. Then naming and shaming the rhetoric, which can motivate others to act, becomes a second obligation of the community. It is not for the actions themselves, which don't gain more punishment, but for establishing a marker for the future.

Truly, not since the Second World War has there been a leader with the capacious ambition and singular motivation as Putin displays. There have been other "petty tyrants" who have been as blood thirsty within their realms - Assad, Hussein, Pol Pot, Milošević - and who have directed their ire against minorities within their country. But it is a special kind of evil ambition that motivates one to spread that poison abroad.

The war crimes being perpetuated by Putin in Ukraine - and Chechnya, Syria, Georgia, Moldova before that - have a singular purpose, and that is, like Stalin before him, to "Russify" the world around him.

When it can't be denied, it must be named.
 

oneworld2

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There have been other "petty tyrants" who have been as blood thirsty within their realms - Assad, Hussein, Pol Pot, Milošević - and who have directed their ire against minorities within their country. But it is a special kind of evil ambition that motivates one to spread that poison abroad.
For sure there have been and will be more horrific war crimes committed by Russia in Ukraine but not genocide in my opinion and unless something dramatically changes

But once again we see that penchant for citing only official enemies of the state for war crimes/genocide accusations.

I slight diversion to make the point

You mentioned Pol Pot but neglected to inform the reader how he came to power. He came to power off the back of using the genocidal US carpet bombing of his people as a point of unity. Around 500,000 Cambodians were killed in a carpet bombing campaign by the USA that dropped more bombs on Cambodia than were dropped by the US on Germany and Japan during WW2............ 2.7 million tons

Not only did the bombings kill around a half a million people they are thought to have claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands more through disease and starvation.

After Pol Pot had killed 2 million of his own people and was being driven out by Vietnamese forces the US was still providing diplomatic support to him along with financial assistance

If Russia carpet bombed Poland tomorrow and onwards for years and killed half a million people for it being used as a conduit for weapons into Ukraine you would have no problem referring to it as a genocide.

Although you try to come across as thoughtful and fair, everything about your commentary smacks of the agenda to selectively apply standards to others, official state enemies of the USA btw, that you would never apply to your own and it's getting old
 

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I slight diversion to make the point
Hardly a slight diversion. More of the same drumbeat, over and over and over again. Diversion is the point. THAT got old months ago. Got any other arrows in your quiver?

There's no substance, really, to your tirades. Did you even bother to read any of the references? I've never seen evidence of it.
 
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Rogue Valley

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Hardly a slight diversion. More of the same drumbeat, over and over and over again. Diversion is the point. THAT got old months ago. Got any other arrows in your quiver?

There's no substance, really, to your tirades. Did you even bother to read any of the references? I've never seen evidence of it.

His Kremlin job is to throw whataboutisms and monkey wrenches into all discussion about Russia.
 

NWRatCon

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The crime of Genocide is a very tricky case to make. Ukraine is in a war for its national survival and Russia is the aggressor/invader with the intention to seize and likely annex land as its motive. That is a war crime but it is not genocide.
That's a good precis and a sound argument. I happen to disagree with the conclusion, however. My argument accepts all of your assertions:
Russia is getting hurt badly by Ukrainian soldiers and armed civilliancombatants and has thus decided to change its tactics and strategy. It is now relying more on inaccurate artillery/rocketry fire and missile/air strikes to mete out much higher attrition rates on the Ukrainian military and civilian population which is resisting Russia en masse.
But, as with any such analysis, the question is, why? You posit
Remember civilian Ukrainians are making Molotov-cocktails and IEDs and Ukrainian grannies are on media record saying that they would gladly kill Russian soldiers or even Vladimir Putin himself. Thus the line is being blurred between civilians and combatants in this total war conflict. Add to that blurred distinction that much of the fighting is taking place in densely populated and built-up urban areas and you have a recipe for great numbers of civilian deaths and casualties without needing any intention of genocide.
Again, a good argument, but incomplete.
When the Russians levelled large parts of Chechnya in the Chechen Wars of the 1990's their tactics then were not deemed to be genocide even though they are the same tactics being used now in Ukraine albeit on a potentially much lager scale. So why was it not genocide then but is genocide today?
Here, I'm afraid, you are incorrect. That was credibly claimed to be genocidal at the time.

The subjugation of Chechnya by Stalin, and the mass deportation of Chechen and Ingush people (as well as Tatars, Lithuanians, and Ukrainians) is widely regarded, now, as a genocide.

But remember, the term had not gained currency at that time, having only been coined in 1944. Stalin engaged in many such deportations and ethic extermination efforts during his Russification efforts.

His actions reflected Russian history, as a continuation of Tsarist policy during the empire period. The argument has been plausibly made that Putin is carrying forward Stalin's programs (and pograms) in his adventurism amongst his neighbors (Georgia, Ukraine, and Moldova) as well as internally amongst native populations. Rather than being a new genocide, the argument goes, he merely continuing, or reviving, the old one.

To be continued...
 

code1211

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I wanted to start this thread in the Loft to keep the temperature down, but the word itself is a magnet for strong responses. There has been a lot of rhetoric, informed and not, about what "genocide" is, and whether it is occurring in Russia's operation in Ukraine. I thought putting it in context was important to inform the discussion.

"Genocide" as a term was coined in 1944. It was a significant basis for the post-war prosecutions of Nazis as a "crime against humanity". The understanding of the concept has been clarified and codified in International Humanitarian Law in the ensuing decades, and the subject of discussion for many philosophers and lawyers.

It was first recognized as a crime by the UN General Assembly in 1946 and codified as a crime in the Genocide Convention in 1948, and the Rome Statute adopted 50 years later, pursuant to which, "genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
  1. Killing members of the group;
  2. Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
  3. Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
  4. Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
  5. Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

Elements of the crime​

The Genocide Convention establishes in Article I that the crime of genocide may take place in the context of an armed conflict, international or non-international, but also in the context of a peaceful situation. The latter is less common but still possible. The same article establishes the obligation of the contracting parties to prevent and to punish the crime of genocide." UN

Since the introduction of this word into this sequence of events, I've been wondering about its use.

Genocide has meant to me the targeting of particular ethnicities or religious groups.

The Russian war crimes in this sequence of events seems to be to target for death women and children and civilians as a mater of strategy for no other reason that to kill women, children and civilians.

Not genocide in my mind. Just a war crime committed by war criminals.

The introduction of the word by our media types does not reflect what is happening. It only reflects the nearly illiterate level of their journalistic capabilities.
 

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So why was it not genocide then but is genocide today?
This, I think, is the crux of your argument (correct me if I misinterpret).
When the US-led Coalition levelled the Syrian city of Raqqa was that genocide?
No, but...
American troops were on record as calling the Arab population dehumanising terms such as "Sand-niggers"
Raqqa is a poor example, as it was in the throes of being systematically dismantled by ISIS at the time. The prejudices of individual soldiers, while individually reprehensible, do not meet the definitions cited earlier, do they? You're getting off track, my friend. But, I'll clarify: genocide is specifically directed at the intent of leadership.
and prior to Raqqa there was ample evidence that the coalition did not well distinguish between civilians and combatants in places like Fallujja and al-Nasseriya in Iraq.
Again, missing the point. Distinction is a separate issue from deliberate targeting. I'm on record in lamenting put targeting discipline and it being a potential war crime. This is not that, as I explain below.
So the claim to genocide becomes much harder to make when many sides in many conflicts use the same indiscriminate tactics to bust cities.
this is true...
I would also mention a certain Middle Eastern state and its regular attacks on adjacent populations in 2008, 2012 and 2014 to date but three, which have not been declared as genocide as a further complication to this argument
and I would agree with that assessment you haven't made...
Look at what Curtis LeMay did to the North Korean civilian population with UN-sanctioned American air power. This air campaign killed about 1.4 million North Koreans or about 20% of the population. The vast majority of these victims were Korean villagers and not combatants. A similar case can be made for the UK in Oman or Sarawak in the 1960's or for America in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos where more than a million civilians were killed in the 1960's-1970's.
Again, wrong tree. Not relevant. Nor is the bombing of WWII or Vietnam, as precision bombing was practically nonexistent.
Denying Ukraine's right to exist as a sovereign state as Mr. Putin has done does not meet the threshold for genocide in my opinion.
Here I strongly disagree, as that intent is the sine qua non of the charge. That is the point of my argument.

Again, there are three different issues involved here: war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. An action may be a war crime without being either of the latter; and an action may be both a war crime and a crime against humanity without being the last.

The distinction is the intent, the aim of that action. I acknowledge it can be a fine line, and difficult to prove, but here it has been writ out boldly. Denying, and more precisely, trying to eliminate a nationality is, by explicit definition, genocide. "an 'intentional effort to completely or partially destroy a group based on its nationality". It could hardly be clearer.
However if he starts using chemical or biological weapons on civilian-packed cities or towns in the conflict or starts liquidating civillian populations in conquered areas or begins mass forced transportation/migration of Ukrainians then I think the threshold can be quickly met.
Deportation has already occurred, reportedly, and explicitly attempted.
However waging aggressive war is the highest war crime and in a perfect world Mr. Putin would be dancing on air from a gallows for that crime alone.
Hear, hear.
Many more war crimes and atrocities are piling up too so Putin is most definitely not without blame in Ukraine. He needs to be punished for this naked aggression severely but has the luxury of hiding behind over 6000 nuclear weapons.
Too, too true.
 
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NWRatCon

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For sure there have been and will be more horrific war crimes committed by Russia in Ukraine but not genocide in my opinion and unless something dramatically changes.
Had you only stopped there I'd say it was a rational, respectful discussion.
 

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What is and what isn't genocide, and how do you prove a mass death was intentional (unless it's obvious like the Holocaust) has been debated since the term was invented. There is a reason other types of war crimes and crimes against humanity exists on the book, not everything is genocide. I am cautious with calling it a genocide at this point, but there are definitely several war crimes and crimes against humanity commited by the Russians.
It helps to understand the underlying ideology behind Putin and the words he uses. Some are very easy like the confederates and the nazis since you can use their own words to establish intent.
 

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My understanding of what genocide means was defined by what the Nazi regime planned, and to a substantial part carried out, for and on the Jews of Europe and elsewhere.

This may indeed blemish/bias any attempt on my part to reach a more precise and thus particular understanding of the term/act, where applied to situations that do not equate in a one-on-one manner.

Seeing that the act itself clearly pre-dates the year it was officially termed (as in the OP), I'd thus apply the term to "Old Hickory" having "traded" small-pox infected blankets to the Cherokees, Creeks and others, seeing how the ultimate goal could clearly be seen as eliminating those indigenous people altogether, no matter the extent of actual and eventual success.

That is just one example and not intended to add to the general America-bashing that some other posters her are prone to engage in, history offers plenty of others, especially in more recent history and all over the world.

With all that said, I'd agree that the intent to apply the term has to be complete elimination of a people that can be seen as such by having a common ethnicity, language, religion, nationality or cultural communality.

Race may often be involved but need not be.

So in that spirit I hesitate to apply the term genocide to what the Kremlin has instructed wrt Ukraine, while the Kremlin's own lying claim of Russians in Ukraine being subjected to genocide by Kyiv actually deserves derision.

I hold that the term involves killing wholesesale with the ultimate goal of "killing all" and I do not see any intention on Moscow's side to kill every Ukrainian that exists.

Much different from Saddam gassing the Kurds or the Hutu's murderous rampage against the Tutsi, where the attempt to wipe both victim groups off the face of the earth could clearly be seen. .
 

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Had you only stopped there I'd say it was a rational, respectful discussion.
Yeah but, like with the excuse in mid-river from the scorpion stinging the frog that was carrying it across, it's in his nature.
 

NWRatCon

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My understanding of what genocide means was defined by what the Nazi regime planned, and to a substantial part carried out, for and on the Jews of Europe and elsewhere.

This may indeed blemish/bias any attempt on my part to reach a more precise and thus particular understanding of the term/act, where applied to situations that do not equate in a one-on-one manner.

Seeing that the act itself clearly pre-dates the year it was officially termed (as in the OP), I'd thus apply the term to "Old Hickory" having "traded" small-pox infected blankets to the Cherokees, Creeks and others, seeing how the ultimate goal could clearly be seen as eliminating those indigenous people altogether, no matter the extent of actual and eventual success.

That is just one example and not intended to add to the general America-bashing that some other posters her are prone to engage in, history offers plenty of others, especially in more recent history and all over the world.

With all that said, I'd agree that the intent to apply the term has to be complete elimination of a people that can be seen as such by having a common ethnicity, language, religion, nationality or cultural communality.

Race may often be involved but need not be.

So in that spirit I hesitate to apply the term genocide to what the Kremlin has instructed wrt Ukraine, while the Kremlin's own lying claim of Russians in Ukraine being subjected to genocide by Kyiv actually deserves derision.

I hold that the term involves killing wholesesale with the ultimate goal of "killing all" and I do not see any intention on Moscow's side to kill every Ukrainian that exists.

Much different from Saddam gassing the Kurds or the Hutu's murderous rampage against the Tutsi, where the attempt to wipe both victim groups off the face of the earth could clearly be seen. .
I completely agree that there are numerous examples, including quite shameful periods in American history (the trail of tears comes immediately to mind) that, if the term had existed then, would apply to that behavior.

Where we part ways, and I want to emphasize specifically, is the statement "I hold that the term involves killing wholesesale with the ultimate goal of "killing all" and I do not see any intention on Moscow's side to kill every Ukrainian that exists." I appreciate the approach. That is certainly the starting point for discussion. It's precisely why I started this thread.

My objection is that that is far too narrow a definition, and not the one used by the Genocide Convention or the Rome Statute. Killing is expressly not required, nor is total extermination. Indeed, Article 2 of the Genocide Convention defines genocide as

"... any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, as such:"

So, the target is identified (the intent to destroy, in whole or in part) and the object is stated (a national, ethnic, racial or religious group), as are the methods (acts),
(a) Killing members of the group;
But also
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group. (Emphasis mine)
I would submit that destroying infrastructure and targeting civilian locations are intended/calculated to induce inhumane conditions (freezing, starving, dehydration, lack of medical care, prohibiting escape) and deliberately calculated to inflict mental anguish and death on a specific group based upon their belief in a separate nationality.

Article 3 defines the crimes that can be punished under the convention:
(a) Genocide; (b) Conspiracy to commit genocide; (c) Direct and public incitement to commit genocide; (d) Attempt to commit genocide; (e) Complicity in genocide.
So the crime is much broader than simply killing. With this in mind, would you see the issue more broadly?
 

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I completely agree that there are numerous examples, including quite shameful periods in American history (the trail of tears comes immediately to mind) that, if the term had existed then, would apply to that behavior.

Where we part ways, and I want to emphasize specifically, is the statement "I hold that the term involves killing wholesesale with the ultimate goal of "killing all" and I do not see any intention on Moscow's side to kill every Ukrainian that exists." I appreciate the approach. That is certainly the starting point for discussion. It's precisely why I started this thread.

My objection is that that is far too narrow a definition, and not the one used by the Genocide Convention or the Rome Statute. Killing is expressly not required, nor is total extermination. Indeed, Article 2 of the Genocide Convention defines genocide as

"... any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, as such:"

So, the target is identified (the intent to destroy, in whole or in part) and the object is stated (a national, ethnic, racial or religious group), as are the methods (acts),

But also

I would submit that destroying infrastructure and targeting civilian locations are intended/calculated to induce inhumane conditions (freezing, starving, dehydration, lack of medical care, prohibiting escape) and deliberately calculated to inflict mental anguish and death on a specific group based upon their belief in a separate nationality.

Article 3 defines the crimes that can be punished under the convention:

So the crime is much broader than simply killing. With this in mind, would you see the issue more broadly?
Well, to cut thing short, I already addressed my possible bias perhaps blemishing my definition of the term in face of how the Genocide Convention or Statute of Rome defines.

Nevertheless I'm basically going to stick with my take and I'm sure both the two above can live with that as easily as I can.

The suffix "cide" as in genocide implicates killing. In fratricide that would be of a brother or brothers, not to forget sister(s), patricide a parent or both and in homicide just about anybody and in all those cases both killing (murder) and its subject are clearly defined. So at peril of being seen as nit-pickingly more popely than the pope, I'll insist on that precision being adhered to.

As to your last sentence of



With this in mind, would you see the issue more broadly?
(a) Genocide; (b) Conspiracy to commit genocide; (c) Direct and public incitement to commit genocide; (d) Attempt to commit genocide; (e) Complicity in genocide.

Yes, by all means.

Conspiring and inciting for the act are near enough to actual killing/murder so as to be virtually part of it. One can't cop out of that on the principle of "well, if and when we see bodies lying around, we'll know whose door bell to ring."

What nevertheless remains missing is proof that the Kremlin and its henchmen are hell-bent on wiping out the whole Ukrainian nation, be that by standards of nationality or any other that serves to define Ukrainians.

Not to be misunderstood here, If I had any say (and power) in the matter, I wouldn't charge any of them with genocide but alone what they've shown themselves to be responsible for outside of that, would still make for a shortage of both enough rope and enough lamp posts.

Figuratively speaking, of course, since I don't engage in proposing what I condemn here, but a life-long dark hole for them would find no objection from me.
 

oneworld2

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Had you only stopped there I'd say it was a rational, respectful discussion.

I don't seek nor require you endorsements, that you feel I somehow do reflects badly on you imo

Virtually everytime you speak of crimes and violence you have official US state enemies in the cross hairs. Nothing about the gross war crimes of the US nor the often genocidal attacks it has waged against other people/states nor any mentions of their support for other criminals whose crimes they have also enabled. No Pinochet, no Contras, no Vietnam/Loas./Cambodia genocidal bombing condemnations. No comments on how the US helped Saddam at the time he was gassing Kurds and Iranians etc etc only the Putins, Milosevic's, Stalins etc etc

Hardly any here have supported your pov regarding a " genocide" and the reason is , imo, that they are more objective on this than you are.

BTW I don't even pretend to be unbiased in my treatment of the US, I wear my heart on my sleeve and suffer the cosequences. You? Bias attempted to be dressed as objective analysis. I prefer a candid approach and accept the human traits I have inherited. I leave those who try to present themselves as superhuman to hang themselves
 
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