Lemkin’s Legacy

Aish.com has an article on the etymology of the word genocide:

The man who coined the term ‘genocide’ was fighting to make it an international crime decades before the Nazis rose to power. … Lemkin entered the University of Lvov in 1920 and majored in philosophy, hoping to find answers to his questions. While he was there, an incident occurred that greatly altered his direction. In 1915 he was shocked to read about the massive slaughter of Armenians by the Ottoman Turkish Empire resulting in the massacre of over a million innocent people. Six years later, a young Armenian assassinated the Turkish Chief of Police in retaliation. “That is for my mother,” he said, before giving himself over to the police. Lemkin asked one of his professors why the Chief of Police had not been brought to justice for the grotesque perpetrations that he sanctioned against the Armenian people. The professor responded that he had not transgressed any international law and that it was an impingement of a nation’s sovereignty to interfere with their internal affairs. He compared it to a farmer who has a right to slaughter his own chickens whenever he wishes.

Lemkin was shocked at the comparison. “Why is the killing of a million a lesser crime than the killing of a single individual?” he asked, echoing his childhood query.

This time he decided that the only way to find an answer was to become an expert in international law.

Published in: on June 21, 2009 at 1:43 am  Leave a Comment  
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Russia’s Limousine Liberals

An interesting if provocative take by Anatol Lieven on the liberal movement in Russia. Very insightful and and spot on in many cases, will certainly infuriate a lot of people, but he at least seems to have his feet on the firmament, which is not to say that he is unbiased. Link to the National Interest article here.

Over the last several days, two pieces attacking the realist approach to Russia were published in prominent media outlets in the United States and Russia. One, co-authored by Lev Gudkov of the Levada Center, Igor Klyamkin, vice president of the Liberal Mission Foundation, Georgy Satarov, president of the Russian NGO the Indem Foundation and Lilia Shevtsova, a senior associate at the Carnegie Moscow Center was featured on the editorial page of the Washington Post. The other, by Andrei Piontkovsky, a visiting fellow at the Hudson Institute, was released in the Moscow Times.

I read these pieces concerning the moves to improve relations between America and Russia with a profound feeling of depression. This is not just because there is something bizarre and twisted about pro-Western Russian liberals attacking the recommendations of the Hart-Hagel Commission or statesmen such as Henry Kissinger and James Baker. It is also because their criticism serves as a mouthpiece for the agendas of the most bitterly anti-Russian and geopolitically aggressive liberal interventionists and neocons who help maintain tensions between Russia and the West—and actually between the United States and the rest of the world.

Published in: on June 21, 2009 at 1:30 am  Comments (1)  
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