A COMMENT ABOUT GENOCIDES
By Tony Sayegh
One can't help contrasting two news stories during the past couple of days. The first was that the French parliament voted Thursday to make it a criminal act to deny an Armenian genocide at the hands of Ottoman Turks during World War I. The other was the publication in the medical journal, The Lancet, of a year-long study conducted by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Al Mustansiriya University in Iraq, in the excess mortality in Iraq as a result of the US invasion in March, 2003. The study was published on Wednesday, just the day before the passing of the French law.
The study in Iraq concluded that a reliable estimate of the increased deaths attributable to the US invasion is 650,000. If we add to this number the conservative estimate of 1,000,000 Iraqis who died due to the severe sanctions imposed on that country at the behest of the US, in the years prior to the invasion (of those, UNICEF estimated that 500,000 were children), we arrive at the conclusion that 1,650,000 Iraqis have been killed due to deliberate and calculated
The number of Armenians who died as a result of forced resettlement and other actions by Turkey is estimated at 1-1.5 millions.
If the death of a million Armenians is a genocide (and it is), what do you call the death of almost 2 million Iraqis? That number of Iraqis is increasing rapidly and could easily reach 3 millions if this modern day genocide is not stopped.
Why is it that the West can only see genocides in its rear-view mirror? Why pass laws that criminalize people for their opinion of historical events while allowing a current genocide to proceed unfettered with no penalties? Is this the rationality and objectivity of the West?