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The Politics of Genocide Denial

Photo by Stefan Krasowski | CC BY 2.0

As US threats of destroying North Korea and US-led embargo continue to deprive its citizens of their means of life and infrastructure maintenance – just as with Iraq from 1991-2001 under the phoney pretext of Iraq’s “weapons of mass destruction” – only the recently published Open Letter to the International Criminal Court on the Genocide Conspiracy against North Korea has named the supreme crime in motion.

Denial of genocide proceeds in many guises and has been promoted for a long time by dominant US-led states, media and their followers across the world. Always the unspeakable crime is in the name of freedom and peace.

With the people and society of North Korea, the same operations of genocide denial have gone into play as endlessly before in the wider context of US-led world power in Indonesia, Vietnam, Latin America, Iraq, Palestine arguably throughout, and so on.  Since the North Korean people have already suffered the death of an estimated third of their population by US-led armed forces in previous years, non-stop and imminent nuclear threats against them, and life-destructive embargo, where does it end?

As long as genocide denial governs the dominant discourse beneath recognition, it can go on from one people to the next whose social order does not conform to the US-enforced geopolitical agenda. The major operation is to deny there is an issue at all, that genocide is only a political term, or that the leader of the people suffering genocide is evil. There is no end of this operation even today from the New York Times to Science for Peace.

Denial is backed up by a more commonplace diversion from ever mentioning genocide at all, and directing of all attention instead, at best, to the evils of war and nuclear weapons in general, or to the US-designated Enemy who is passionately blamed for evils that, while even true, are incomparably less life-threatening and mass murderous than the US-led forces of genocide which are in operation yet again with the same modus operandi.

This reverse projection operation seems never to be named except to elicit the circle of genocidal denial all over again. “Do you support the corrupt and evil brute Saddam Hussein?” goes to “Kim is the most corrupt despot in the world with nuclear arms”. In this way, the society and its people – usually with better public health care than the US accuser – are once again ground into permanent destitution and dependent helplessness.

Is this the real objective that genocide denial assists in implementing without knowing it?

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John McMurtry is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada whose work is translated from Latin America to Japan. He is the author of the three-volume Philosophy and World Problems published by UNESCO’s Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (EOLSS), and his most recent book is The Cancer Stage of Capitalism: from Crisis to Cure.

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