26 October 2006

Genocide in all but name?

Not really. Its genocide pure and simple if we take the Bush Administration's own definitions as reported by the BBC in September 2004:

"Powell declares genocide in Sudan

The US Secretary of State Colin Powell has said the killings in Sudan's Darfur region constitute genocide."

So, what figures brought Powell to declare genocide in Darfur and how do they compare to Iraq:

"Up to 50,000 killed"
"More than 1m displaced"
"state department investigators...interviewed more than 1,800 refugees" BBC


"About 601 000...deaths were due to violent cause" (Lancet) or
Up to 49610 killed (IBC)
"more than 1.5 million people displaced" (UNHCR)
"data from 1849 households that contained12 801 individuals in 47 clusters was gathered" (Lancet)

However, Powell went further than just the numbers in decribing the killings in Darfur. CNN reported:

"Powell described the three criteria used to identify genocide under the Genocide Convention:
Specific acts are committed -- killing, causing serious bodily or mental harm, deliberately inflicting conditions of life calculated to bring about physical destruction of a group in whole or in part, imposing measures to prevent births or forcibly transferring children to another group;
Such acts are committed against members of a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, and;
Such acts are carried out "with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, [the group] as such.""

Using this definition there is no doubt there is genocide in Iraq.