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Yugoslavia and Rwanda: On "Genocide Denial" and "Revisionism" Media Disinformation, George Monbiot and The Guardian by Prof. Edward S. Herman and David Peterson
IRCG REACTION ON GENOCIDE DENIAL
The Institute for Research of Genocide- Canada is deeply concerned about the latest episode of genocide denial that has been expressed by academics Edward S. Herman and David Peterson in the article Yugoslavia and Rwanda: On "Genocide Denial" and "Revisionism" Media Disinformation, George Monbiot and The Guardian, published on the Centre for Research of Globalization website. The fact that these two individuals deny the Srebrenica Genocide and the Rwanda genocide, two most documented and gruesome events in modern European history instigates genocide by belittling the victims and denying all sources that have proved that the Srebrenica genocide and the Rwanda genocide in fact occurred. IRGC would like to draw your attention to the serious implications that these individuals have on peace and development due to their allegations. Herman and Peterson argue that they are not genocide deniers but instead critics of any source that attempts to bring the topic of Srebrenica genocide and Rwanda genocide to light. This right wing libertarian article completely disregards human rights and fully focuses on the political conspiracies.
Herman and Peterson question the targeted groups and downplay the number of victims immensely. Interestingly enough they completely disregard rape and torture- two major human rights atrocities that were extremely well utilized in both genocides. Instead they accuse the ICTY and ICTR of being biased towards the Bosniaks and Tutsis and the international community by prosecuting Serbs and Hutus for the genocides. These two tribunals were a necessity to international justice because there was a lack of humanitarian intervention and this is why ICTY and ICTR were created and not for a political reason by NATO as Peterson and Herman claim (paragraph 24). ICTY was created by the United Nations Security Council through Resolution 827 in 1993 and ICTR was created through Resolution 955. The only role that NATO had was in bombing the Serb aggressors after United Nations realized there could be a spillover of systematic cleansing in neighboring states. Besides accusing the tribunals and international community of a political bias, they also accuse the Bosniak leadership at that time of staging all the massacres even though there is great evidence that Radovan Karadzic, Ratko Mladic and Slobodan Milosevic were constructers of the genocide and aggression in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Please refer to the Karadjordjevo meeting in 1991 for more clarification and ICTY trial evidence which includes recorded conversations between Milosevic and Karadzic. They also accuse Tutsis of instigating the fighting and on that basis deny that genocide occurred against this group. The arguments presented in this article illustrates the protest against human rights and international intervention and this is a step backwards for humanity.
IRGC regards freedom of speech as a fundamental human right however there is concern when individuals such as Herman and Peterson deny genocide by completely disregarding proven facts and belittling victims through propaganda. As the recent terrorist act in Norway demonstrates, people that promote denial of genocide can have an instigate violence as a result of their views. In Anders Behring Breivik’s 1,500 page manifesto he calls for a revision of European nationalism to rid of Islam, specifically focusing on Bosnian and Albanian Muslims. Furthermore he justifies the genocide in Bosnia as a way of protection for Serbs from Islam. He calls for all to embrace Nationalism and bring back its original meaning because it has been given a bad connotation as a result of the Holocaust and the genocide in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He also sympathizes with Radovan Karadzic and references Srdja (Serge) Trifkovic throughout the manifesto. We must emphasize that Trifkovic is also a part of the Centre for Research of Globalization and shares the same right wing libertarian ideologies as Peterson and Herman, including the denial of genocide in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Rwanda.
This article is based on political propaganda for the purpose of defending major war criminals and excusing their actions. As a human rights institute we are disappointed that these views are not regulated because they do have an impact human rights, as the terrorist attack and massacre in Norway demonstrated. IRGC is also concerned for the well being of all survivors of the Rwanda and genocide in Bosnia and Herzegovina (including Srebrenica) and we call on politicians and other human rights activists to condemn denial of any form of genocide. It does not matter if 20 individuals of the same group are killed or 200,000 it is unacceptable to belittle the victims and survivors and even worse glorify war criminals. This will only promote genocide in the future.
It also must be noted that Peterson and Herman completely disregard the fact that other victims such as raped individuals, tortured concentration camp prisoners and civilians were the main targets and not soldiers. Both the Rwanda genocide and the genocide in Bosnia and Herzegovina are in fact genocide because the international community has taken this into account. This in fact is not a matter of a political issue but a human rights issue which is equivalent to the Holocaust. The fact that this article disregards that is deeply disappointing for further development of human rights.