Edward Herman and David Peterson have written a superb study of the uses of the term `genocide'. Herman is Professor Emeritus of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania and Peterson is a journalist and researcher.
In 1973 Noam Chomsky and Herman wrote that the USA has "been the most important single instigator, administrator and moral and material sustainer of serious bloodbaths in the years that followed the Second World War." They cited the cases of the Philippines (1898-73), Thailand (1946-73), Palestine (1948-), Vietnam (1954-73), Central America (1954-), Indonesia (1965-69), Cambodia (1965-73), East Pakistan (1971) and Burundi (1972), More recently, Iraq (1990-), Rwanda (1994), the Democratic Republic of Congo [DRC] (1998-2007) and Afghanistan (2001-) have joined the grim list.
Herman and Peterson examine killings in Sudan, Yugoslavia, Rwanda and the DRC. They also study war crimes committed by US allies Israel, Croatia, the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan, Turkey, Indonesia, El Salvador and Guatemala.
They note that the International Criminal Court, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda all exclude the crime of aggression from their jurisdiction. (Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch likewise exclude aggression from their remit.)
When, in 1999, the Yugoslav government asked the International Criminal Court to issue an injunction against the NATO powers bombing it, the US government replied that it had `not consented to the Court's jurisdiction in this case, and absent such consent, the Court has no jurisdiction to proceed'. The Court agreed that it `cannot decide a dispute between States without the consent of those States to its jurisdiction'. The US state puts itself above the law it enforces on others.
Herman and Peterson recount how in April 1994, the Tutsi-led Rwandan Patriotic Front, falsely alleging that the Hutus were conspiring to commit genocide. (Later, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda did not find any Hutu guilty of conspiracy to commit genocide.) The RPF killed Rwanda's Hutu President Habyarimana and began the mass killing: as the genocide started, the US and British governments successfully pressed for UN troops to leave. The Tutsi minority bloodily overthrew the democratic coalition government, killed two million people, mostly Hutu, and forced millions to flee Rwanda.
US allies Rwanda and Uganda repeatedly invaded the DRC in the 1990s and since: in 1998-2007, 5.4 million were killed, 20 times the toll in Darfur. In 2003-9, the US media used the word `genocide' 90 times as often of Darfur as of Iraq, where three times as many were killed. (The US-British sanctions of mass destruction (1990-2003) had killed 800,000 people; the war and occupation killed more than a million.) The International Commission of Inquiry on Darfur rejected in 2005 the charge of genocide against the Sudanese government.
The authors provide a mass of challenging evidence that the USA and its allies use the term genocide as a propaganda weapon against their enemies, while themselves committing worse crimes with impunity.