Monday, February 13, 2006

Letter response to message board

Here is a copy of an email I sent to M about the agitprop on her office door. The distubing message on the message board can be viewed here.

Hi M,

I am not 100% sure, but I believe it is your office door that has a message board with this message on it:

Freedom: What a country has when it forces its military to commit mass genocide while convincing its citizens that the victims are less than humans. The rhetoric behind the war on terror should scare you.

I must say that I find the message to be incredibly offensive. You already know my views regarding office door politics, but that little screed above trumps good taste and is, quite frankly, out of the realm of rational debate, in my opinion.

For example, my parents and uncle and many of my relatives are opposed to the war in Iraq, and are not Bush fans. Nevertheless, we have respectful debates and arguments about what’s going on in the world; we all stay in the realm of reality, not hyperbole or emotional-laden arguments. I respect their views, but disagree; they feel the same about me. But for anybody to suggest that our military is committing “mass genocide” in Iraq or Afghanistan, in my opinion, indicates a person who is not interested in rational debate rooted in facts.

Whatever one might say about US actions in Iraq and Afghanistan, there is no legitimate argument to justify calling such actions “mass genocide.” If anything, the US removed a tyrant and a regime that was itself genocidal. Saddam’s regime ethnically cleansed and systematically murdered tens of thousands of Kurds in the north of Iraq. Saddam’s Iraq drained the ancient marshes of the Ma’adan, the Marsh Arabs, destroying their ancient way of life and while killing thousands of them. His regime killed tens, perhaps hundreds, of thousands of Shiites. Saddam Hussein launched 39 Scud missiles at Israel and repeatedly pledged to destroy the Jewish state, which constitutes a threat of genocide. As for the Taliban in Afghanistan, not only did they harbor al-Qaeda and refuse to hand over its leaders, their regime treated women worse than animals. It was the United States that ended the Taliban’s gender apartheid. If that is “mass genocide” in your mind, then maybe you are out of your mind…

In every war in the history of humanity innocent people have been killed. The tragic deaths of innocents, however, do not constitute “mass genocide.” If that is your measuring stick for what constitutes genocide, then every war in history has been a genocide. But if every war is genocide, then that means there is no actual thing that can be called a “genocide.” Whatever way you look at it, you render the term “genocide” meaningless. Perhaps you should look up the term “genocide” in the dictionary and study some basic history.

When one frivolously and gratuitously uses (abuses) the term “genocide” one debases the victims of true genocides. When you dub recent US actions abroad “genocide” you debase the memory of the 6 million Jews who died in the Holocaust; you debase the memory of the over one million Anatolian Armenians; you debase the memory of the 1.7 million Cambodian victims of Pol Pot’s Marxist nightmare; you debase the memories of the of the 800,000 Tutsis in Rwanda who were hacked to death; and finally you debase the memory and belittle the ongoing genocide in Darfur, Sudan.

Reasonable people can differ on the war in Iraq. But to describe it as a “mass genocide” is a despicable slanderous lie.

If you did not write the message I am referring to, then I apologize for sending you this email. If did not write the message and if you know who did, could you please forward them this email?



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