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« David Corn and Rwanda: The ‘Left’ again insists on U.S. unilateralism (‘Clinton Lied…and Hundreds of Thousands Died’) | Main | Baghdad to New Orleans: When all is in chaos, who loots museums? »

August 31, 2005



A fine comment indeed, dear sir. The prevention (or stopping) of genocide is not only an American duty, but a worldwide moral obligation.

Take Zimbabwe and SA, for instance. Now THERE is two good examples of what happens when THE WORLD ignores it's moral obligations.


jj mollo

For the general information: Peter has a particular viewpoint on this as an Afrikaner. He points out a number of political weaknesses in the current structure of South Africa and links to some disturbing photographs of massacre scenes. I believe, however, that the previous regime of SA had some shortcomings as well and certainly its share of atrocities. The Whites in SA will not gain much by wallowing in nostalgia. The jury is still out on Nelson's people. Maybe with cooperation they will be able to adhere to the dictates of civil liberty rather than Peter's premonitions of doom.

Antonio Rodriguez

JJ Mollo

You posed the question: ""Why does this keep happening?".

You also answered it: "The jury is still out on Nelson's people.".

jj mollo

I'm not sure what you're saying Antonio Rodriguez. Every government does some terrible things. The ANC seems to be doing a reasonable job, but it has the potential for terrible things. We knew Apartheid was a bad system. We don't know what the ANC is going to do. Are you suggesting we take preventive action on the presumption that they will become worse?


I think what A. Rodriguez is trying to say is that genocide can be prevented by reacting to the warning signs. In this specific case more than 1700 murders, as depicted by the mentioned site and others, and a genocide warning from genocide watch, should have reds lights flashing all over the place.

Genocide keeps happening because our western governments fail to react to warning signs. Preventative measures should be taken. This does not mean sending our troops over there and starting a war, but rather applying diplomatic pressure on potential genocide regimes (such as that of Mugabe and Mbeki) by means of criticism and maybe also trade boycotts.

The alternative is that we ignore the warning signs and wait to see if things become worse. Of course, if things do become worse (which it probably will), it will be too late. Then we can all sit back and debate 'Why stuff like this keep happening'.

It would certainly not be premature to start pressurising the South African government into stopping atrocities that are already being committed.

Finally I must mention that I fail to see how the atrocities committed by a previous regime has any relevance to the massacre of, amongst others: pensioners, women, children and babies.


I agree that warning signs should not be ignored, but disagree with your implication that criticism and/or trade sanctions can prevent genocide. History has shown that in many cases, probably the majority, the only way to prevent a party intent on violently exterminating another party is armed intervention.

You're right that, in cases like South Africa where the government is a democracy and actually somewhat reasonable, pressure is important. However, I don't think pressure does much good with dictators. All they seem to be worried about is their own wealth (which they can easily steal even under sanctions) and their own neck.


I recently read a disturbing article in The Sunday Times Magazine, called "Africa's killing fields". The content pertains to the "semi-genocide" of white farmers in South Africa over the last 10 years. In my opinion the ANC failing miserably in their duties. They are too caught up in all sorts of obscure dealings and I would not be surprised if the country do end up in a civil war or revolution of some sorts.

Here is the link to the article for the benefit of those who did not yet read it:,,2099-2100080,00.html


*Correction: The ANC ARE failing ...

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