April 1, 2009

Hugo and Omar, sitting on a tree...


Quico says: OK, ok...lets line up our ducks in a row here, Huguito. You got a beef with the politization of the International Criminal Court? You oppose the whole idea of worldwide jurisdiction in war crimes cases? Fine. We could have a debate about that. Non-barking-mad people can certainly disagree about such things.

But when you invite the genocidal nut in Khartoum to come hang out in Caracas? When you go out of your way to personally endorse a man who has mobilized the resources at the disposal of the state he leads for the purpose of physically eliminating a civilian population? That, sir, is when you decisively, unambiguously realign yourself fully with your natural allies: the Barking Mad people.

To deal with your slimy sophism of a rhetorical question directly: why Bashir and not Bush? "Why," in your words, "don't they order the arrest of Bush, who is a genocidal murderer?"

Because, Hugo, intention is a key ingredient in the definitional stew behind the word "genocide".

To illustrate: if I have a gun in my pocket and I punch you in the mouth, you can't very credibly accuse me of trying to kill you. If I intended to kill you, I'd just shoot you. The key here is the mismatch between my capabilities and my actions. On the other hand, if I have no gun in my pocket and I punch you in the face again and again until you're no longer moving, you can certainly sustain a charge of attempted murder.

If George W. Bush had intended to physically eliminate the whole or a portion of the population of Iraq, he had the means at his disposal to do so. If the carpet bombing hadn't worked, he had plenty of nukes in reserve. The glaring gap between what the US did - hamfisted, wrong, and illegal as it was - and what it had the capabilities to do makes the charge of genocide against Bush simple nonsense.

Bashir, while having far fewer resources at his disposal, has systematically deployed them in a way that's fully consistent with the intent to eliminate the entire non-arab population in Darfur. The bombing raids targeted against civilian populations. The systematic use of rape as a military tactic. The premeditated, patient campaign of village burning, each one followed with orders to murder everyone who stays behind. The whole apparatus of state fully mobilized to ensure that only arabs get to live in the region. That, Hugo, is genocide. And that's what you now support.

Enjoy your cafecito with the guy, Hugo...