“ethnic cleansing - n - the practice of removing or killing people who belong to an ethnic group that is different from the ruling group in a country or region”
“genocide - n- the deliberate and systematic destruction of a racial, political or cultural group”
Ethnic cleansing vs. genocide: The crimes committed during an ethnic cleansing are similar to those of genocide, but while genocide includes an intent at complete or partial destruction of the target group, ethnic cleansing may involve murder only to the point of mobilizing the target group out of the territory. Hence there may be varied degrees of mass murder in an ethnic cleansing, often subsiding when the target group appears to be leaving the desired territory, while during genocide the mass murder is ubiquitous and constant throughout the process, continuing even while the target group tries to flee.
Ethnic cleansing is not to be confused with genocide; however, academic discourse considers both as existing in a spectrum of assaults on nations or religio-ethnic groups. Ethnic cleansing is similar to forced deportation or population transfer whereas genocide is the intentional murder of part or all of a particular ethnic, religious, or national group. Some academics consider genocide as a subset of "murderous ethnic cleansing." Thus, these concepts are different, but related; "literally and figuratively, ethnic cleansing bleeds into genocide, as mass murder is committed in order to rid the land of a people."
Robert Parry in “Itching for Genocide” does an excellent job relating the realpolitik that happened and is happening in Ukraine.
... Though “blame-Putin” has been at the center of Official Washington’s false narrative on Ukraine from the beginning, the reality was always that the West – the United States and the European Union – provoked this crisis, not Putin and Russia.
The crisis emanated from the EU’s reckless offer of an economic association agreement to Ukraine that President Yanukovych weighed but ultimately rejected because it came with a draconian International Monetary Fund austerity package attached. The Russians offered a more generous $15 billion loan and also provided energy subsidies for Ukrainians.
Yanukovych’s decision to opt for what he considered a better deal for Ukraine was well within his rights as the elected president, but his choice touched off furious demonstrations led by western Ukrainians and openly encouraged by senior U.S. officials ... including Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland.
When Yanukovych refused to reverse his decision, the protests turned violent with well-trained neo-Nazi militias, organized in groups of one-hundred fighters each, moving to the fore to battle police. In the violence, both protesters and police were killed, though the typical treatment in the New York Times and much of the U.S. press was to simply report falsely that all the victims were protesters. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “The Danger of False Narrative.”]
On Feb. 21, seeking to stanch the violence, Yanukovych signed an agreement guaranteed by three European countries – Germany, France and Poland – to surrender many of his powers and accept early elections so he could be voted out of office. The elections would have tested popular opinion on the EU’s package while maintaining the Ukrainian constitutional structure.
Yanukovych also agreed to pull back the police, a move that opened the way for the neo-Nazi militias to seize government buildings and force pro-Yanukovych officials to run for their lives. With these storm troopers patrolling government buildings, the remnants of the shaken parliament cobbled together a new regime led by Assistant Secretary Nuland’s personal choice, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who became prime minister.
The US and Kiev governments for propaganda purposes cravenly call what is happening now in Ukraine, the ongoing slaughtering of ethnic Russian Eastern and Southern Ukrainians, as an “anti-terrorist operation”. These attacks cause death, displacement, mass suffering of a particular “ethnic minority” These Southern and Eastern ethnic Russian Ukrainians had reason to protest the new neo-Nazi spearheaded illegitimate coup. They were doomed to be seriously marginalized, disenfranchised and systematically persecuted.
The launched ethnic cleansing operations of the Kiev government are useful to the US and NATO countries in the name of a deadly international gamesmanship -- to provoke Russia into appearing “aggressive” in defense of the ethnic Russians in Ukraine. This would be transparent to all if an amoral and corporate-controlled media hadn’t whipped up such excessive anti-Putin sentiment in their propagandizing the administration's despicable "false narrative" back here in the US.
Parry points out that the demonization of the Eastern and Southern Russian Ukrainians by many extremists in Ukraine is so intense that they refer to members of this targeted ethnic Russian population as insects and animals.
Last May when billionarie oligarch Petro Poroshenko was elected president of the junta government, many of the same neo-Nazi extremists stayed in power. Parry discloses:
The neo-Nazis got a share of ministries – with their top commander Andriy Parubiy made chief of Ukraine’s national security – to reward them for their service to the coup and in recognition that these militias might otherwise turn on the fragile new regime and seize power for themselves. Reflecting Western Ukraine’s hostility toward Eastern Ukraine, the parliament took actions offensive to ethnic Russians including a vote to ban Russian as an official language throughout the country (though that plan was later rescinded).
Parry addresses the profound neo-Nazi ideology and hate speech infecting Ukrainian nationalist thinking:
The presence of Nazi ideology and the evolution of the Ukraine civil war into an ethnic conflict was noted by New York University and Princeton Professor Stephen F. Cohen in an article for The Nation magazine. As Cohen explained:
“Independent Western scholars have documented the fascist origins, contemporary ideology and declarative symbols of Svoboda and its fellow-traveling Right Sector. Both movements glorify Ukraine’s murderous Nazi collaborators in World War II as inspirational ancestors. Both, to quote Svoboda’s leader Oleh Tyahnybok, call for an ethnically pure nation purged of the ‘Moscow-Jewish mafia’ and ‘other scum,’ including homosexuals, feminists and political leftists.
“And both hailed the Odessa massacre. According to the website of Right Sector leader Dmytro Yarosh, it was ‘another bright day in our national history.’ A Svoboda parliamentary deputy added, ‘Bravo, Odessa…. Let the Devils burn in hell.’
“If more evidence is needed, in December 2012, the European Parliament decried Svoboda’s ‘racist, anti-Semitic and xenophobic views [that] go against the EU’s fundamental values and principles.’ In 2013, the World Jewish Congress denounced Svoboda as ‘neo-Nazi.’ Still worse, observers agree that Right Sector is even more extremist. …
“In December 2012, a Svoboda parliamentary leader anathematized the Ukrainian-born American actress Mila Kunis as ‘a dirty kike.’ Since 2013, pro-Kiev mobs and militias have routinely denigrated ethnic Russians as insects (‘Colorado beetles,’ whose colors resemble a sacred Russia ornament).
“More recently, the US-picked prime minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, referred to resisters in the Southeast as ‘subhumans.’ His defense minister proposed putting them in ‘filtration camps,’ pending deportation, and raising fears of ethnic cleansing.
“Yulia Tymoshenko — a former prime minister, titular head of Yatsenyuk’s party and runner-up in the May presidential election — was overheard wishing she could ‘exterminate them all [Ukrainian Russians] with atomic weapons.’ ‘Sterilization’ is among the less apocalyptic official musings on the pursuit of a purified Ukraine.”
I think of the slaughtering and mass prosecutions of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the continuing persecutions of Palestinians in Israel. The behaviors of these governments certainly coincide with the definition above of ethnic cleansing at least.
Egypt and Israel and now Ukraine are robustly supported with money and armaments by the US. Their defiance of international and moral law inspires no serious nor effective objections from our own so-called democracy not to mention other western countries. Clearly fascistic thinking and policies are on the rise in the west, especially our own ends-justifies-the-means administration, Congress, military and security entities along with profits-over-people corporatist ruling class elite.
The US is encouraging and enabling the Kiev regime to “crush the ethnic Russian resistance in Eastern Ukraine” which will result -- has already begun to result - in mass civilian deaths, in earnest “ethnic cleansing” and the possibility, Parry emphasizes, of GENOCIDE.
Parry talks about the three stages of genocide. First DEHUMANIZATION. Second RATIONALIZATIONS. Third SLAUGHTER.
Nazi propagandists stood in the dock at Nuremberg because they paved the way for Hitler’s Holocaust, and Rwandan radio commentators were held to account for enflaming passions against the Tutsis in the 1990s.
But American propagandists, including media personalities, have traditionally escaped any accountability for contributing to serious war crimes, whether the Vietnam War in the 1960s or the Iraq War in the 2000s.
Indeed, many U.S. opinion leaders may see themselves as having immunity from any accountability for their words and actions. One of the most remarkable aspects of the years after President George W. Bush launched an illegal invasion of Iraq, which led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people, is that almost no one in Official Washington who pushed for that criminal act suffered any consequences at all.
Many of the Iraq War’s proponents are still sought-after opinion leaders – whether politicians like Sen. John McCain or pundits like the New York Times’ Thomas Friedman – called upon, endlessly, to explicate today’s foreign policy crises for the American people.
Parry relates the callous celebrating and inhumane eager anticipation of upcoming ethnic cleansing bloodbaths in the Ukraine in our overly-trusted propagandist mainstream media:
On Wednesday, the Post, which has become the neocons’ media flagship, was virtually rubbing its hands with glee at the prospect of Western Ukraine’s military offensive to crush the ethnic Russians in Eastern Ukraine. In the print edition, the lead editorial had the light-hearted title: “Time’s up.”
The Post, of course, blamed everything on Russian President Vladimir Putin, declaring: “As heavy fighting resumed Tuesday in eastern Ukraine, it was obvious that Russian President Vladimir Putin had disregarded the demands from the United States and European Union that Russia stop intervening.
Is it any wonder that Crimea’s local government hastened to hold a referendum and rejoin Russia? Parry discloses that 90% of the voters assented with that decision, despite the western propaganda that asserted that Russia strong-armed them. Parry:
Though the U.S. media carried lurid headlines about a Russian “invasion,” the articles strangely lacked any photographs of tanks crossing borders, paratroopers jumping from planes or an amphibious landing. The reason for the absence of these photos was that thousands of Russian troops were already stationed in Crimea (under an agreement with Ukraine giving Russia access to its historic naval base at Sevastopol). The Russian troops simply left their bases and engineered a largely peaceful transfer of power.
The western propagandist media never addressed the unwillingness of Ukrainian soldiers since the coup in February to fire on and kill their fellow Ukrainians. That is why the neo-Nazi national security chief, Parubiy, keeps calling on rabid, neo-Nazi militias to attack and slaughter Eastern and Southern Ukrainians.
The famous/infamous Ukrainian World War II-era Nazi collaborator named Bandera is a hero of the neo-Nazis in Ukraine. Bandera considered Ukrainians a superior race as the Nazis considered their own, and he dreamed of a Ukraine free of inferior races such as Poles, Jews and Russians. Some Nazi-colluding Ukrainians in World War II helped expel and exterminate thousands of Jews and Poles and joined Germans in fighting Russia on the Eastern Front.
Parry sees this barbarism has been repeated in Ukraine today:
A modern version of this Nazi brutality surfaced again on May 2 when right-wing toughs in Odessa attacked an encampment of ethnic Russian protesters driving them into a trade union building which was then set on fire with Molotov cocktails. As the building was engulfed in flames, some people who tried to flee were chased and beaten to death.
Those trapped inside heard the Ukrainian nationalists liken them to black-and-red-striped potato beetles called Colorados, because those colors are used in pro-Russian ribbons. “Burn, Colorado, burn” went the chant.
As the fire worsened, those dying inside were serenaded with the taunting singing of the Ukrainian national anthem. The building also was spray-painted with Swastika-like symbols and graffiti reading “Galician SS.”
The death by fire of dozens of people in Odessa recalled a World War II incident in 1944 when elements of a Galician SS police regiment took part in the massacre of the Polish village of Huta Pieniacka, which had been a refuge for Jews and was protected by Russian and Polish partisans. Attacked by a mixed force of Ukrainian police and German soldiers, hundreds of townspeople were massacred, including many locked in barns that were set ablaze.
So here we have the robust beginning of ethnic cleansing leading to genocide in East and South Ukraine, which the Obama administration, our war-mongering Congress and our mainstream media are enabling with money, weapons, advisors, propaganda and sociopathic enthusiasm. This “violent suppression of ethnic Russians” is all a part of an anti-humanitarian ends-justify-the-means gamesmanship for power and profit. The slaughter of innocents by US-enabled jihadists in Syria and Libya as previous and ongoing examples. Now the slaughter of innocents by US-enabled neo-Nazis in Ukraine.
How shameful and despicable of our -- but not our -- government of our supposed -- but not seriously any more -- democracy.
[cross-posted on correntewire]