By Mehrnaz Shahabi (CASMII: www.campaigniran.org)
The shameful exposition by the American presidential hopeful, Hilary Clinton, of her mass genocidal intentions towards Iranians was tragic proof of the dehumanising impact of warmongering on an elite western mind. It is said that humanity is the first casualty of war and this has been starkly clear, not only in the murderous boasting of the presidential candidate's preparedness to "totally obliterate" an entire nation, to prove her appeal as the American president, but worse still, in the meek and acquiescent response or no response at all of the western mainstream journalists, politicians and intelligentsia.
Where are those super champions of human rights and western liberal values who were so 'outraged' by the announcement of Fatwa on Salmon Rushdie? Does that loud and sanguine defense of "freedom of expression" translate into this blood-soaked acquiesce to the liberty of threatening an entire nations to "total obliteration"?
And compare this complacent silence to the flooding of the airwaves and newsrags with propaganda bombardment over the Iranian president's misquoted "wiping Israel off the map" remark, which has gone on incessantly for two and a half years despite frequent attempts at clarification and correction. Such was the "outrage". Of course, many people take their cues on how to respond to the avalanche of complex news, from the mainstream media itself and politicians. So the silence is a cue heavy with meaning and menace.
The Orwellian double talk and double standards are so part of the fabric of every day political culture that they now go down without the need for a pinch of salt and are comfortably digested. However, when the threat of mass genocide, amidst overwhelming silence or inaudible whimpers, is interpreted as a "gaff" (Timothy Garton-Ash, Guardian 24th April), and a rare objection describes it as "probably imprudent" (Lord Malloch-Brown, Guardian 24th April), this is the unmistakable indication of the deadening of sensitivity and tolerance of violence towards nations who are deemed as 'dispensable'; as in Iraq and in Palestine.
This deadening of humanity is the most serious casualty of the immoral invasion of Iraq in the aggressor countries, and if not recovered, there will be dire consequences for the entire world.
The "Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide", of the United Nations, defines Genocide as "any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group". as such: (a) Killing members of the group; (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; ...".
Hilary Clinton is threatening the destruction of a "whole national group" and by her violent threat is causing them "serious mental harm". In her ABC News interview, she has unequivocally threatened that: "I want the Iranians to know that if I'm the president, we will attack Iran". "In the next 10 years, during which they might foolishly consider launching an attack on Israel, we would be able to totally obliterate them." This was in reply to the question on how she would respond if Iran attacked Israel by nuclear weapons.
Not only, according to the intensive IAEA inspections, there is no evidence of Iran working towards weaponisation or indeed any rationale for such a threat, but even if, hypothetically, such a threat existed, the threat of "total obliteration" issued to an entire nation remains an insane and criminal intent. This threat of total annihilation which would presumably imply the use of nuclear weapons is directed against a helpless population with catastrophic consequences. Such an attack would not compensate against any unlikely hypothetical attack from Iran, neither would such a threat act as a fearsome deterrent - as it is claimed to be. Just as it is intended to grab the presidency through fear mongering and to feed the monster of America's continuing wars with paranoia, similarly the impact of such fear in Iranians would be the anxiety to defend oneself against a deranged president and a population that goes along with it. According to the UN definition of genocide, Hilary Clinton is threatening mass genocide of an entire nation of 70 million. Is this violent woman fit to hold the presidency of a country with the most powerful war machine in history? Have we become so dehumanised by our incessant killing that we have lost any capacity for outrage?
With over a million Iraqis and thousands of coalition soldiers killed and maimed, the prospect of Hilary Clinton's presidency, who voted in favour of that illegal and immoral war, and has publicly declared her voracious appetite for mass genocide, is a truly terrifying specter.
A lone voice of conscience, in a readers' letter in the Guardian newspaper (24th April) asks: "What would she do if Israel attacked Iran (which is more likely)?". This is the question Clinton should have been asked and the question she should now be asked by the world community. So should statesmen, politicians and journalists internationally be questioned on their views on the US presidential hopeful's mass genocidal intents.
About the author: Mehrnaz Shahabi is an Iranian-British peace activist, translator and independent journalist.
... Payvand News - 04/26/08 ... --