Thursday, September 23, 2010

Manipulating Western Guilt


again, not about Zim per se but about manipulating western guilt to cover the sins of the new dictator.

...A new book by Edward S Herman and David Peterson focusing on the use of the term “genocide” in the media and academia - The Politics of Genocide (Monthly Review Press, 2010) - argues that the western establishment has “swallowed a propaganda line on Rwanda that turned perpetrator and victim upside-down” (p.51); the RPF not only killed Hutus, but were the “prime g√©nocidaires” (p.54); there was “large-scale killing and ethnic cleansing of Hutus by the RPF long before the April-July 1994 period (p.53); this contributed to a result in which “the majority of victims were likely Hutu and not Tutsi” (quoted with approval, p.58)....

This book deserves attention for the fact that it opens with a lengthy foreword by Herman’s long-term collaborator, Noam Chomsky. Chomsky remains for many an exemplary champion of human rights; a quote from him even emblazons the respectable academic website on which the leaked UN report has been published.

Many others, however, reached a very different view after examining his comments on the Khmer Rouge record in Cambodia, his indulgence of Holocaust-denying writers, and his encouragement of Bosnian genocide-denial. But even in this gruesome context (to use one of Chomsky’s favourite words) his endorsement of The Politics of Genocide - with its denial of genocide in Rwanda as well as Bosnia - goes further.

A dead zone

This book and Noam Chomsky’s foreword inadvertently show just how multi-directional the politics of genocide have become. It is true that official western propagandists minimise “our” crimes and represent those of “our” enemies in over-simplified ways, and that such legerdemain merits exposure. But it also clear that anti-western propagandists - Herman, Peterson and Chomsky among them - are guilty of the same evasions and distortions from the “other” side.

They argue that in official western narratives, “our victims are unworthy of our attention and indignation, and never suffer ‘genocide’ at our hands” (p.104, italics in original). Yet in anti-western, Chomskyan narratives, an identical process occurs: the west's enemies, whether Serbian nationalist or Rwandan “Hutu Power”, have never committed “genocide”, and their crimes are always of less significance than those of western-supported forces...

read the whole thing if you are interested in the "denial" industry and the "it's only crime if the west did it" propaganda that passes for news nowadays.

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