marketoracle.co.uk / By Gary North / December 28, 2012
The Turks got away with it under the cover of wartime. They suffered no greater postwar reprisals for this act of genocide than if they had not conducted mass murder of a peaceful people.
Other governments soon took note of this fact. It seemed like such a convenient international precedent.
Seventy-nine years after that genocide began, Hotel Rwanda opened for business.
The Hutus also got away with it. Ironically, at least a decade before – I wish I could remember the date – Harper’s ran an article predicting this genocide for this reason: the Hutus had machine guns. The Tutsis didn’t. The article was written as a kind of parable, not a politically specific forecast. I remember reading it at the time and thinking, “If I were a Tutsi, I’d emigrate.”
It did not pay to be a civilian in the twentieth century. The odds were against you.
BAD NEWS FOR CIVILIANS
The twentieth century, more than any century in recorded history, was the century of man’s inhumanity to man. A memorable phrase, that. But it is misleading. It should be modified: “Governments’ inhumanity to unarmed civilians.” In the case of genocide, however, this is not easily dismissed as collateral damage on a wartime enemy. It is deliberate extermination.
The twentieth century began officially on January 1, 1901. At that time, one major war was in full swing, so let us begin with it. That was the United States’ war against the Philippines, whose citizens had the naïve notion that liberation from Spain did not imply colonization by the United States. McKinley and then Roosevelt sent 126,000 troops to the Philippines to teach them a lesson in modern geopolitics. We had bought the Philippines fair and square from Spain for $20 million in December, 1898. The fact that the Philippines had declared independence six months earlier was irrelevant. A deal’s a deal. Those being purchased had nothing to say about it.
Back then, we did body counts of enemy combatants. The official estimate was 16,000 dead. Some unofficial estimates place this closer to 20,000. As for civilians, then as now, there were no official U.S.-reported figures. The low-ball estimate is 250,000 dead. The high estimate is one million.
Then World War I opened the floodgates – or, more accurately, the bloodgates.