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But was he worse than Hitler?

Just when you think that language cannot possibly become any more twisted or discourse any more debased, up pops a reminder that we still have a long way left to fall:

The 1971 shooting of students by government forces in Mexico’s so-called “dirty war” has been classified by an investigating prosecutor as genocide.

While marvelling at this breathtaking and brazen ridiculousness of this charge, I note that it is merely the opinion of a prosecutor as opposed to an official verdict. However, if it becomes an official verdict I trust that no-one will be surprised.

Like the word ‘rape’, the word ‘genocide’ has increasingly been deployed as a political trigger word and abused to the point where it has not just been devalued but is perilously close to being stripped of every smidgeon of meaning. I suppose we will have to find a new term to describe the extermination of an entire race now.

This particular case may or may not go any further but it almost does not matter. The point is that the bar has been lowered again and the occasion will not go unmarked among that class of jurists and campaigners who weave together the fabric of supranational laws.

Within ten years, charges of ‘genocide’ will be laid against people who tell racist jokes.

11 comments to But was he worse than Hitler?

  • Regardless of what it’s called, I deplore the decreasing incidence of police shooting students. Like the hanging of Frenchmen, there should be a lot more of it.

    /hyperbole [for the humor-deficient]

    But you’re absolutely right: “massacre” or “slaughter” is not enough, these days: we now have to inflate the horror whereby a hundred students shot by police is the same as six million people shoved into gas ovens because of their race.


  • Tony

    Yep, keep using ‘genocide’ in this way and it’s impact is devalued.

    This is what ‘LiveDictionary’ (a dictionary plugin for Safari) gives for ‘genocide’;

    genocide, race murder, racial extermination:
    systematic killing of a racial or cultural group

    So yes, using the word ‘genocide’ for this episode is just plain wrong.

    I wonder if the word ‘genocide’ would be bandied about so much if it had been people other than Jews that were killed?

  • Verity

    From styling a Welshman who doesn’t care for Germans a “racist” – despite them both being members of the same race, Caucasian – to describing a shooting of (presumably Mexican indigenes, therefore of the same race as the shooters) ‘genocide’ is sinister. Obviously, it diminishes the meaning of words, and this has been a major, if quiet, part of Tony Blair’s agenda for 10 years, but it also escalates the gravity of minor civil infractions.

    Calling someone a froggie or a spic has been intentionally escalated from being bad manners to being a crime. It will not be long before Trevor Phillips is arresting a BNP member who pushes in front of a non-indigene in a bus queue on charges of genocide.

    This is all part of an agenda. These apparently senseless escalations have been introduced over the years drip by drip. Blair and the thugs with whom he surrounds himself have taken ownership of our language.

  • kid charlemagne

    A case in point: I saw the BBC shamelessly trumpet this charge of “genocide” in Mexico right after a story on the Sudan, where an actual genocide is currently taking place (or is just an “ethnic cleansing”? Let’s debate about that for a few weeks while tens of thousands more are killed).

  • The word genocide is already used to describe people who make racist jokes. Witness the “cultural genocide” argument: http://www.nemasys.com/ghostwolf/Native/genocide.shtml , in which the use of the word “injun” is offered as an example of genocide.

  • Mashiki


    With regards to Sudan, you have to get it right. It’s “Cultural Purification”…so sayeth the LLL’s.

  • Yesterday, the Houston Chronicle reported that the genocide charged stemmed from a 30-year statute of limitations, which apparently applies to murder but not genocide. But this Seattle Times article — fresh today — says that the elapsed time was the factor which got the charges thrown out.

    Whatever the reason, I agree that “genocide” is ludicrous here. Applying genocide to this case is to perform genocide on the concept of genocide! Save the words!

  • David Gillies

    Who cares about the Sudan? It’s not like these people are being raped and eviscerated by Americans or anything.

    As Stephen Pollard has pointed out, the stance of the ‘anti-war’ (read: pro-Saddam) muppets over Darfur will be a litmus test, if one were needed, of their bona fides.

    Every single time that people have been saved from state-sponsored atrocities in the past thirty years, the US or the UK have been in the forefront. Every time they’ve been murdered wholesale, in the vanguard has been the putrid, pusillanimous, dictator-coddling UN. Never mind Srebrenica – what about Biafra? Sierra Leone had been bleeding under years of horror until Tony Blair located his nutsack and sent the SAS in. They casually dispatched (oh my!) a company’s worth of barbarians and lo and behold, the situation stabilised within days. The US Army killed a couple of thousand of Muqtada al Sadr’s bovver boys with very salutary results.

    But, in a world where the extra-judicial killing of a bunch of student activists can be termed ‘genocide’, don’t expect coherency or consistency. It does, however, illuminate an interesting point: if you’re going to be oppressed, by whom would you it rather be – those whom the committee of International A.N.S.W.E.R. deem to be the bad guys or the good guys? In other words, Cuba or Chile?

  • A_t

    I completely agree with the ridiculousness of the genocide term in this case. Thanks to Angie for pointing out why they tried it; just trying to get a murderer punished, not part of some global crypto-socialist scheme to devalue all that is good in human life.

    As for David’s stupid point.. umm, so who exactly doesn’t care about the Sudan? Name me your top 5 left-wing hate figures, & i’ll show you headlines about the situation in the Sudan. Simplistic & simply untrue.

  • David Gillies

    Oh dear, I see irony is wasted on some people. But to answer your point, I doubt whether George Galloway gives a tinker’s damn about it. A.N.S.W.E.R.? John Pilger? Robert Fisk? The SWP? Oh, I dare say you might be able to dig something up where they’re making pious noises (although you’d have to dig deep) but actually care about it? Nonsense.

  • A_t

    Actually, i suspect all the above give as much of a damn as anyone else, that is to say it’s a distant disaster, & although they feel bad about it, they’re able to put it out of their minds most of the time.

    & yeah, i realised after i’d posted that it was a bit of a dumb challenge; i’m sure you can find plenty of “But but, the war was illegal” idiots hanging around, particularly on this wonderous thing called the interweb, but I meant more the usual suspects who are accused of loving tyranny/only being in it for more jobs for their mates etc. etc.; amnesty, the guardian et al.