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Forum LockedThe myth of German genocide against the Herero

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Omar al Hashim View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Omar al Hashim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Apr-2009 at 11:01
We cannot blame someone for something that they did not do, even if they expressed a desire to do it.

So the one who actually butchers a whole ethnic group is a criminal, while the one that might of done it if they could've is innocent. If you are in the position of power, you have the responsibility to act morally. You can't refuse to act morally because your enemy might not have.

People and nations should behave honourably despite their enemies, not be racing their enemies into hellfire.

It also needs to be pointed out that actions like the genocide against the Herero (or the Jews) were the standard of the early 20th centuries. The Germans perhaps did it more efficiently than other countries (Germans do everything more efficiently ), but they cannot really be held to have a greater share of the blame than their contemporaries who justified and supported these actions through their own actions and speech.
Quote be relieved that their ancestors were able to sort out the situation to their advantage

After the defeat of their enemy militarily I do not see what advantage is gained by wiping them out.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Reginmund Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Apr-2009 at 14:25
Originally posted by Omar al Hashim Omar al Hashim wrote:

So the one who actually butchers a whole ethnic group is a criminal, while the one that might of done it if they could've is innocent. If you are in the position of power, you have the responsibility to act morally. You can't refuse to act morally because your enemy might not have.


The problem is always the same, but what constitutes a moral course of action is not. In some cases sparing your enemy is the moral choice, in other cases exterminating your enemy might be preferable even from an ethical perspective.

Originally posted by Omar al Hashim Omar al Hashim wrote:

After the defeat of their enemy militarily I do not see what advantage is gained by wiping them out.


An absolute guarantee you won't have trouble with that enemy again, as well as a satisfying sense of completion.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ArmenianSurvival Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Apr-2009 at 19:11
Originally posted by Reginmund Reginmund wrote:

Regardless of who won the conflict there would have been a genocide either way.
 
Even though I don't agree with the statement, you are agreeing there was a genocide. My point is, why should people deny historical reality by saying there was no genocide? Genocide either happens, or it does not. There are no asterisks.
 

Originally posted by Reginmund Reginmund wrote:

Regardless of who won the conflict there would have been a genocide either way. So should we breathe a sigh of relief for the Germans who avoided that fate, or should we condemn them for inflicting it on their enemies in turn? I guess you could ask the same question about the Turks and the Armenians.

You are assuming in all cases that if the side committing genocide didn't perpetrate the crime, then their victims would have committed genocide on them. You're making it obvious that you have never studied any of these cases. The reality is, only certain groups that have enough power, have the ability to commit genocide on other groups that are too weak to resist--- this undercuts the assumption that the people slaughtered were a "threat" to the perpetrator.

 
Originally posted by Reginmund Reginmund wrote:

The problem is always the same, but what constitutes a moral course of action is not. In some cases sparing your enemy is the moral choice, in other cases exterminating your enemy might be preferable even from an ethical perspective.

You are still making assumptions... "enemy" does not include women, children and elderly who have nothing to do with the conflict other than the fact they speak the same language as one of the sides involved. Imagine if I raped and killed your entire family because some Norweigan you've never met was threatening me.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Apr-2009 at 19:40
Originally posted by Omar al Hashim Omar al Hashim wrote:

We cannot blame someone for something that they did not do, even if they expressed a desire to do it.



out of context, i do totally not agree with this at all. what constitutes a genocide? last time i checked there were still Jews & gypsies, does that mean there was no Holocaust? how many times in the last 200 years there was a "sucessfull" genocide, where a people where completely whiped off the map?

so what constitutes a genocide? industrial killing of people? if so, how does that compare to ww1 trench warfare? doesn't that make almost any war a genocide on someone else? if a political or militarical leader expresses his wish to exterminate a particular ethnic group? so we come back to the herero uprising. who expressed his views to do what? both Botha and Maherero claimed to go down the road of Total War. it was obvious, even in advance who would come out on top of that, nevertheless the Herero started it for a reason that completely evades me.
coming back to my initial argument, how mayn people do you need to kill to "fullfill" the case of genocide? let's play this scenario: Austrians descide to exterminate all Liechtensteiners, and they suceed. then we have, whatever, les than 1 million deaths but a whole group whipped out. then we take China and assume Bhutan invades China in an invasion and kill 10 million ethnic chinese. do we have a genocide here? like 1 % of Chinese got killed, is it a genocide? then we come back to the question if it was intended to whipe out the entire group or was it a result of war in which we naturally have such casualties. do we have in war only militarical casualties or also civilian? i cna hardly think of a war where there were no civilian casualties or as we popularily call them today "collateral damage".

so i think the question of genocide overall comes down to this question: was there any official intention of genocide? we can surely answer this question for both sides as true...


and since the Armenian "genocide" was brought up here, SIGH: well, some people like to victimize themselves to commit crimes themselves. as reference: modern Israel (on the danger of antisemitism here, but certainly this accusation works both ways, Palestine), as well as Hitlers Casus Belli vs Poland. victimization is a favourite tool of people to further their aims.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Apr-2009 at 20:13
Originally posted by Al Jassas Al Jassas wrote:

Hello Temu
 
Based on your argument, there was no genocide to the Armenians or Assyrians either because they began the rebellion and the Turks just responded in a way similar to the Germans.
 
 
 
 
 
AL-Jassas


basically....yes
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Apr-2009 at 20:18
Originally posted by Carcharodon Carcharodon wrote:

Hello Temu
 
Even if Samuel Maherero used strong language when he expressed his hate for the invaders of his country that doesn´t mean that the Germans had the right to commit genocide and indiscriminately exterminate women, children and old people.
 
And as Al Jassas says many opressed people have started rebellions against their opressors. That doesn´t justify that the opressors answers with genocide.
 
As in the case of the Herero genocide many colonial opressors have used local disagreements  in order to divide and rule.


interesting, so Samuel Maherero used "strong language", but when Botha said the same it constitutes a genocide? double-standard found!

as you know, there were so many uprisigns and rebellions in hsitory. do you know about the Taiping rebellion? an essentially civil war bewteen Chinese, which turned out to be the second bloodiest war in history, afetr ww2....would youc all that a genocide as well, committed on Chinese...by Chinese?

in fact Germans also used divide e imperia, Hereros were one of those tribes favoured over the others, check this picture of Samuel Maherero in German Schutztruppe uniform:



he was one of the most favoured chiefs in SWA, go figure...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Apr-2009 at 20:28
Originally posted by ArmenianSurvival ArmenianSurvival wrote:

So the seizure of a few farms thousands of miles from Germany, gives German authority a blank check to round up women and children of an entire ethnic group, put them into camps where almost all of them starved to death or died of disease, poison the wells and water sources of Hereros and prevent them from reaching arable land?

Genocide cannot be justified by a small-scale attack. Genocide simply means you are attempting to destroy a nation through direct extermination. It either took place, or it didn't. It doesn't have pretexts or exceptions which nullify the application of the word to describe a particular situation.

You're employing the logic of someone who, in an act of self-defense, not only kills someone who is threatening him, but then goes off and starts rounding up all members of the person's family, uncles aunts cousins nephews and neices, locks them in his basement, and then says hey, they died of starvation and disease. Gee, you think?

yeah you're right, genocide either happens, or not. but one has to recognize a genocide when oen happened, and you need to know what a genocide constitutes. give me any sources that Germans tried before or after this event tried to exterminate Hereros or any other non-German group other than those who rose in rebellion.


Quote

So genocide is pardoned simply by a paranoid notion that every single member of a national group can be a potential threat? In this instance, you don't seem to be denying a genocide took place, you seem to be trying to justify it.

here's the trouble: what IF every signle member of a certain group actually IS a thread? what are you going to do then? check for example the Paraguayan War (war of the Tripple Alliance) in the 19th century, paraguay vs Argentine, brazil and Uruguay, Paraguay never gave up until the end and subsequently lost over 60% of it's population by war, starting the war. do you hear them complain about a genocide today? no?


Quote

Seeing as death was the fate of the vast majority who were sent to these "prisoner camps for non-combatants", the creation of them in the first place, their evident and obvious result, and the continued use of them, shows the true intention of the creator.

In one comment you're implying that Germany had justification to act on the notion that everyone is a potential threat. But here you imply that many of the deaths occured in camps for non-combatants, and that their deaths were somehow accidental/incidental, without even questioning why non-combatants would be systematically forced into such a dire situation in the first place.

You are blaming the deaths of these people on the symptoms (starvation and disease) rather than the cause (the fact they were forced into such a circumstance by German authority)



well i know why such concentration camps were used and to what end, i was just explaining the difference between Concentration and Death Camps. are you familiar with the history of South Africa btw? the British also used Concentration Camps in the second Boer War. almost 80 years later we have such a thing like Apartheid, victims becoming perpetrators. interesting, isn't it?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Apr-2009 at 20:32
i'd like to quote myself from this thread about the definition of total war: http://www.allempires.net/forum_posts.asp?TID=14063&PN=4

Quote yeah thats exactly where i wanted to get to. so all conflicts ever that involved tribal forces are Total Wars according to definition because in tribal societies each able man is a warrior and tribal forces like Huns deliberately also kill civilians, or for example natives killing settlers in their lands. therefore we can exclude the ACW as first Total War unless we restrict the definition to "civilized" industrial societies.


this is relevant in regards to my statement above regarding the status of Civilians vis à vis combattants as well as the potential thread of any individual of an entire nation at war.


Edited by Temujin - 28-Apr-2009 at 20:33
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ArmenianSurvival Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Apr-2009 at 18:53

Originally posted by temujin temujin wrote:

i cna hardly think of a war where there were no civilian casualties or as we popularily call them today "collateral damage".

Of course every war has civilian deaths. The difference in genocide is that civilian deaths are intentional and systematic, and are not isolated incidents.
 
 
 
Originally posted by temujin temujin wrote:

so i think the question of genocide overall comes down to this question: was there any official intention of genocide? we can surely answer this question for both sides as true...
 
Thats interesting, because early in the thread you said what the Germans did was not genocide.
 
Now you're just saying its okay to commit genocide if someone from the "other side" announces genocidal intentions, even though its quite obvious there is no will or ability among the people to carry it out. So according to you, its okay to massacre scores of Arabs and Muslims just because Al-Qaida makes barbaric and genocidal announcements?
 
 
 
Originally posted by temujin temujin wrote:

and since the Armenian "genocide" was brought up here, SIGH: well, some people like to victimize themselves to commit crimes themselves. as reference: modern Israel (on the danger of antisemitism here, but certainly this accusation works both ways, Palestine), as well as Hitlers Casus Belli vs Poland. victimization is a favourite tool of people to further their aims.
 
Good job slandering Armenians while being unable to use them as an example. You're making it obvious you have never studied first-hand sources on this topic.
 
 
 
Originally posted by Temujin Temujin wrote:

yeah you're right, genocide either happens, or not. but one has to recognize a genocide when oen happened, and you need to know what a genocide constitutes. give me any sources that Germans tried before or after this event tried to exterminate Hereros or any other non-German group other than those who rose in rebellion.
 
You said yourself that many Herero deaths occured in "camps for non-combatants". So, were you wrong then, or are you wrong now? Or are you just trying to dance around the elephant in the room?
 
Plus, are you denying that the Germans intentionally and systematically poisoned Herero water sources and prevented them from reaching arable land?
 
 
 
Originally posted by Temujin Temujin wrote:

here's the trouble: what IF every signle member of a certain group actually IS a thread? what are you going to do then? check for example the Paraguayan War (war of the Tripple Alliance) in the 19th century, paraguay vs Argentine, brazil and Uruguay, Paraguay never gave up until the end and subsequently lost over 60% of it's population by war, starting the war. do you hear them complain about a genocide today? no?
 
You're using scenarios (Paraguay) in a bait-and-switch technique, in order to somehow apply it to other cases (Hereros) that have nothing to do with your cited example. You even admitted earlier that there were "non-combatant" Hereros.
 
 
 
Originally posted by Temujin Temujin wrote:

well i know why such concentration camps were used and to what end, i was just explaining the difference between Concentration and Death Camps. are you familiar with the history of South Africa btw? the British also used Concentration Camps in the second Boer War. almost 80 years later we have such a thing like Apartheid, victims becoming perpetrators. interesting, isn't it?
 
Its more interesting how you're bringing up an example, and trying to act like thats exactly what happened in the case of Hereros/Germans, when it clearly did not.
 
So you admit non-combatant Hereros (mostly women and children) were systematically rounded up into camps, and that the majority of them ended up dying?


Edited by ArmenianSurvival - 29-Apr-2009 at 18:58
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Apr-2009 at 19:25
Originally posted by ArmenianSurvival ArmenianSurvival wrote:

So you admit non-combatant Hereros (mostly women and children) were systematically rounded up into camps, and that the majority of them ended up dying?
I think the point he was trying to make is the same one I wold. Setting up camps to hold non-combatant individuals (aka to 'concentrate' them in one spot) is not the same as killing anyone, let alone deliberately.
 
Boer leaders are in fact on record as being grateful to the British for protecting their families in the camps. People of course fall ill and die in such camps, but the question has to be whether they are better off in the camps or exposed to the dangers of war and dislocation of supplies and so on in the countryside.
 
The setting up of the 'new villages' in Malaya in the 1950s is another successful use of the same technique in quashing the Communist, largely Chinese, insurrection that was threatening the establishment of modern Malaysia.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Apr-2009 at 19:37
Originally posted by ArmenianSurvival ArmenianSurvival wrote:

Of course every war has civilian deaths. The difference in genocide is that civilian deaths are intentional and systematic, and are not isolated incidents.
 
Ok, the Nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were intentional too, and particularly targeted at civilian targets. case of genocide? no.

Quote Thats interesting, because early in the thread you said what the Germans did was not genocide.


because there wasn't. it was Botha who gave out the killing order, not the German government. the German government later revoked his killing order.
 
Quote Now you're just saying its okay to commit genocide if someone from the "other side" announces genocidal intentions, even though its quite obvious there is no will or ability among the people to carry it out. So according to you, its okay to massacre scores of Arabs and Muslims just because Al-Qaida makes barbaric and genocidal announcements?
 
putting words in my mouth will get you a warnign in future.
 
Quote
Good job slandering Armenians while being unable to use them as an example. You're making it obvious you have never studied first-hand sources on this topic.
 
Armenians, incl. non-combattants, also killed Turkish civilians, do you deny that? for me that constitutes war and not a genocide.
 
Quote
You said yourself that many Herero deaths occured in "camps for non-combatants". So, were you wrong then, or are you wrong now? Or are you just trying to dance around the elephant in the room?


what i said was precise, but through your narrow mind and viewpoint you can't follow my words...
 
Quote Plus, are you denying that the Germans intentionally and systematically poisoned Herero water sources and prevented them from reaching arable land?
 
there are two versions. background is this: battle of Waterberg, Hereros beign encirceld by Germans, Hereros break through to the desert and are isolated again. now here's the twist. pro-genocide versions claim Germans poisoned wells (which they themselves depended on too) to starve the hereros there. the other version is that the British granted the Herero amnesty in British Betchuanaland (modern Botswana), so they wanted to escape through the desert and poisoned the wells so that the German Schutztruppe can't follow (which they didn't). it's up to you what you want to believe.

Quote
You're using scenarios (Paraguay) in a bait-and-switch technique, in order to somehow apply it to other cases (Hereros) that have nothing to do with your cited example. You even admitted earlier that there were "non-combatant" Hereros.


"non-combattants" are just non-professional soldiers, any civilian can kill and possibly will kill, this is the dilemma here.
 
 
Quote
Its more interesting how you're bringing up an example, and trying to act like thats exactly what happened in the case of Hereros/Germans, when it clearly did not.
 
So you admit non-combatant Hereros (mostly women and children) were systematically rounded up into camps, and that the majority of them ended up dying?


i didn't said that's what happened inc ase of Hereros, i brought that up because that's what has happened in case of Armenians. and there's nothign to admit, facts can not be "admitted", they're either true or not.

besides, i like how you not answered on my examples of the Taiping Rebellion nor my made up example with the hypothetical Bhutan-China War. you not respondign prooves my point even more so than if you had actually responded to it...
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Originally posted by ArmenianSurvival ArmenianSurvival wrote:

So the seizure of a few farms thousands of miles from Germany, gives German authority a blank check to round up women and children of an entire ethnic group, put them into camps where almost all of them starved to death or died of disease, poison the wells and water sources of Hereros and prevent them from reaching arable land?

Genocide cannot be justified by a small-scale attack. Genocide simply means you are attempting to destroy a nation through direct extermination. It either took place, or it didn't. It doesn't have pretexts or exceptions which nullify the application of the word to describe a particular situation.

You're employing the logic of someone who, in an act of self-defense, not only kills someone who is threatening him, but then goes off and starts rounding up all members of the person's family, uncles aunts cousins nephews and neices, locks them in his basement, and then says hey, they died of starvation and disease. Gee, you think?



weather or not those farms were thousands of kilometers from Germany is irrelevant here, we live in a democratic free world (not everyone, Ok) where peopelc an go where they want and make a living how they want, i think no one with a midn for liberty will argue against that. so do Hereros have a divine right to kill harmless farmers just because soem power-hungry chief is not content by what the Colonial Power can offer him? does that, in my case allow me to kill any immigrant who came here and got a job? like i have some divine right on "my lands" and "my jobs"?


you said genocide is if group A descides to extermiante group B. first of, how do you know there was an intention to do so, in other words, how is not every war a genocide? and what happenes if group B for some strange twist fo fate suddenly become perpetrators themselves and revenge themselves on group A's civilians? don't we have a counter-genocide?

if you want to continue this discussion i'd welcome you to answer those questions first.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ArmenianSurvival Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Apr-2009 at 08:22
Originally posted by Temujin Temujin wrote:

Ok, the Nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were intentional too, and particularly targeted at civilian targets. case of genocide? no.
 
I agree. If the US had wished, they could have wiped out the entire Japanese population. This clearly was not their aim, no matter how vicious the action was.
 
 
Originally posted by Temujin Temujin wrote:

because there wasn't. it was Botha who gave out the killing order, not the German government. the German government later revoked his killing order.
 
It was also Botha that carried out the killing orders. He managed to wipe out the vast majority of Hereros, to the point where it would be statistically impossible for most of these victims to be able-bodied. I don't really see the significance of the German government revoking the killing order when it ended up taking place anyway.
 
 
Originally posted by Temujin Temujin wrote:

Armenians, incl. non-combattants, also killed Turkish civilians, do you deny that? for me that constitutes war and not a genocide.
 
You're making assumptions and connections which don't exist according to contemporary sources. I suggest we skip the topic in this thread.
 
 
Originally posted by Temujin Temujin wrote:

there are two versions. background is this: battle of Waterberg, Hereros beign encirceld by Germans, Hereros break through to the desert and are isolated again. now here's the twist. pro-genocide versions claim Germans poisoned wells (which they themselves depended on too) to starve the hereros there. the other version is that the British granted the Herero amnesty in British Betchuanaland (modern Botswana), so they wanted to escape through the desert and poisoned the wells so that the German Schutztruppe can't follow (which they didn't). it's up to you what you want to believe.
 
No one said the Germans poisoned all the water sources in the region, so as to endanger their own survival... it wouldn't be very difficult to isolate the Hereros (which we know they did) in a quarantined area and poison whatever water sources they had left (which many people claim they did). 
 
 
Originally posted by Temujin Temujin wrote:

"non-combattants" are just non-professional soldiers, any civilian can kill and possibly will kill, this is the dilemma here.
 
Yea, I'm sure untrained women and children are quite capable of standing up to imperial soldiers...
 
 
Originally posted by Temujin Temujin wrote:

besides, i like how you not answered on my examples of the Taiping Rebellion nor my made up example with the hypothetical Bhutan-China War. you not respondign prooves my point even more so than if you had actually responded to it...
 
I didn't know you wanted me to answer these, since you were responding to someone else. Plus, I don't like hypotheticals when there are plenty of real examples, but if you insist:
 
Originally posted by Temujin Temujin wrote:

let's play this scenario: Austrians descide to exterminate all Liechtensteiners, and they suceed. then we have, whatever, les than 1 million deaths but a whole group whipped out.
 
These are unrealistic scenarios, so don't take my answers and apply them to reality. But yes, in this basic situation, its basically genocide.
 
 
Originally posted by Temujin Temujin wrote:

then we take China and assume Bhutan invades China in an invasion and kill 10 million ethnic chinese. do we have a genocide here? like 1 % of Chinese got killed, is it a genocide? then we come back to the question if it was intended to whipe out the entire group or was it a result of war in which we naturally have such casualties. do we have in war only militarical casualties or also civilian? i cna hardly think of a war where there were no civilian casualties or as we popularily call them today "collateral damage".
 
Well, only certain groups have the ability to commit genocide on others, and Bhutan isn't one of them. Also, we would have to factor in Bhutan's actual reason for invasion (were the Chinese backing rebellion in Bhutan? Or is Bhutan lead by a megalomaniac strong-man seeking to gain power? Either of these scenarios would change the entire context of the discussion in terms of how we want to view the initial invasion.) We would also have to take into consideration the real military orders and announcements made by Bhutan in terms of whether or not the goal of their invasion was to wipe out the Chinese as an ethnic or national group. If there was an intent to do so, and civilians were consistently rounded up or intentionally targetted (not just a few accidents or isolated events), then it could very well be a genocide. But again, there is a lot of context that needs to be revealed. Now you know why I don't like hypothetical situations.
 
 
Originally posted by Temujin Temujin wrote:

weather or not those farms were thousands of kilometers from Germany is irrelevant here, we live in a democratic free world (not everyone, Ok) where peopelc an go where they want and make a living how they want, i think no one with a midn for liberty will argue against that.
 
I don't see how that applies here. You are ignoring the previous decade of German rule, where Hereros were stripped of the majority of their cattle, which was their main mode of survival. Its not like the German colonists were twiddling their thumbs and minding their own business throughout all this. Making a living how you want does not include landing on someone else's shores, forcing them to accept you, and then forcing out of their hands their main mode of survival.
 
 
Originally posted by Temujin Temujin wrote:

so do Hereros have a divine right to kill harmless farmers just because soem power-hungry chief is not content by what the Colonial Power can offer him? does that, in my case allow me to kill any immigrant who came here and got a job? like i have some divine right on "my lands" and "my jobs"?
 
I never said Hereros had a right to do anything. What I said was, a few Herero rebels is not a justification to wipe out an entire people.
 
 
Originally posted by Temujin Temujin wrote:

you said genocide is if group A descides to extermiante group B. first of, how do you know there was an intention to do so, in other words, how is not every war a genocide?
 
In virtually every genocide, there is a definite set of announcements and/or military orders, and there are results which come very close to matching them.
 
 
Originally posted by Temujin Temujin wrote:

and what happenes if group B for some strange twist fo fate suddenly become perpetrators themselves and revenge themselves on group A's civilians? don't we have a counter-genocide?
 
If there are more than just a few isolated cases, and there is some form of central command (necessary in all genocides), practical power to carry it out, and some other presumptions, then you could make that claim.


Edited by ArmenianSurvival - 30-Apr-2009 at 08:28
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Leonidas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Apr-2009 at 10:59
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

Originally posted by ArmenianSurvival ArmenianSurvival wrote:

So you admit non-combatant Hereros (mostly women and children) were systematically rounded up into camps, and that the majority of them ended up dying?
I think the point he was trying to make is the same one I wold. Setting up camps to hold non-combatant individuals (aka to 'concentrate' them in one spot) is not the same as killing anyone, let alone deliberately.
Oh thats a grey area. holding them in a spot where they will be lucky to survive is like killing them slowly and in a more inhumane way. If they ring fence the civilians and do not give them adequate basics for survival over a considerable time that's is darn close to rounding them up and shooting them.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Reginmund Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Apr-2009 at 12:06
Originally posted by ArmenianSurvival ArmenianSurvival wrote:

Even though I don't agree with the statement, you are agreeing there was a genocide. My point is, why should people deny historical reality by saying there was no genocide? Genocide either happens, or it does not. There are no asterisks.


It depends on both definition and perspective. Different definitions will result on different conclusions, and varying perspectives can view the same massacre as either a genocide or a justifiable course of action under the circumstances. There is no single absolute truth in these cases.

Originally posted by ArmenianSurvival ArmenianSurvival wrote:

You are assuming in all cases that if the side committing genocide didn't perpetrate the crime, then their victims would have committed genocide on them. You're making it obvious that you have never studied any of these cases. The reality is, only certain groups that have enough power, have the ability to commit genocide on other groups that are too weak to resist--- this undercuts the assumption that the people slaughtered were a "threat" to the perpetrator.

There are different levels of perceived threats, the threat doesn't have to be genocidal in order to provoke a reaction. No one would claim the Herero posed a threat to the existence of the German people, but they certainly presented a more limited threat to the security of Germans in their immediate vicinity.

Originally posted by ArmenianSurvival ArmenianSurvival wrote:

You are still making assumptions... "enemy" does not include women, children and elderly who have nothing to do with the conflict other than the fact they speak the same language as one of the sides involved.


I am merely being rational, dispassionate and as objective as I can. Whether or not the women, children and elderly are considered enemies or not depends entirely on how the enemy is defined. If the perceived enemy was the Herero people, and not just the army, then that would include non-combatants as well. Whether or not these actually posed a threat is another question, but I'm merely appraising the situation and the historical trend of which it is symptomatic.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Apr-2009 at 18:56
Originally posted by ArmenianSurvival ArmenianSurvival wrote:

It was also Botha that carried out the killing orders. He managed to wipe out the vast majority of Hereros, to the point where it would be statistically impossible for most of these victims to be able-bodied. I don't really see the significance of the German government revoking the killing order when it ended up taking place anyway.
 
it was already in full swing and hereros probably didn't knew it was revoked. but the thing is this, there was no government organized genocide, that's all. Botha was an over-enthusiastic militarist and maybe took orders from the German governor of Namibia at that time.
 

Quote Yea, I'm sure untrained women and children are quite capable of standing up to imperial soldiers...
 
it's not the question if they're capable of doing so, i mean the Herero at no time had a realistic chance any way, the question si if those women and chidlren are willing to fight and pose a danger. mind you we have nowadays child-soldiers and female suicide bobmers amongst other things.
 
 
Quote Well, only certain groups have the ability to commit genocide on others,


well this is interesting, does that means there are by default evil people/empires that always comitt crimes on weaker pwoers and innocent, good people who always get oppressed?

Quote Also, we would have to factor in Bhutan's actual reason for invasion (were the Chinese backing rebellion in Bhutan? Or is Bhutan lead by a megalomaniac strong-man seeking to gain power? Either of these scenarios would change the entire context of the discussion in terms of how we want to view the initial invasion.)


do you think there are justified invasions? i mean why would a country invade another one. in case of the Paraguayan war, we have both scenarios at the same time. Brazil backed by Argentine was meddling in the affairs of Uruguay and the dictator of Paraguay wanted to help them by invading Brazil. that gives us some sort of dilemma if that war was justified or not, considdering so many Paraguayans died for eventually nothing. the whole Paraguayan war is qutie controversial, even today.

Quote
If there was an intent to do so, and civilians were consistently rounded up or intentionally targetted (not just a few accidents or isolated events), then it could very well be a genocide. But again, there is a lot of context that needs to be revealed. Now you know why I don't like hypothetical situations.


when do individual massacres constiute to genocide? how many people do you need to kill to have a genoicde? not many people would argue the Taiping Rebellion or Mao's Cultural Revolution as genocide because a) Chinese killed other Chinese, and b) despite the heavy numbers, that surpass many other alleged genocides, there were still a whole lot of Chinese left.
  


Quote I don't see how that applies here. You are ignoring the previous decade of German rule, where Hereros were stripped of the majority of their cattle, which was their main mode of survival. Its not like the German colonists were twiddling their thumbs and minding their own business throughout all this. Making a living how you want does not include landing on someone else's shores, forcing them to accept you, and then forcing out of their hands their main mode of survival.



Germans stealing cattle is a funny allegation, considdering Germans brought their own horses to Namibia, and that were not the only animals they brought. Germans also constructed a lot of infrastructure and brought other advances of civilization previously unknown to the country, from which Namibia still profits today. if anyhting was stolen then land, which was never marked by the Herero nor any other tribal people for that matter. the problems of the Herero only begun when there was a draught and the herero couldn't survive by themselves and the Germans either couldn't or wanted to help them, that's the origin of the Herero uprising. and always keep in mind the picture of Samuel Maherero posted above. Hereros were only worst of because they lived in the most inhospitable area of Namibia, that's not the fault of Germany.

Quote
I never said Hereros had a right to do anything. What I said was, a few Herero rebels is not a justification to wipe out an entire people.


no it isn't but apparently most deaths came by accident rather than purpose, despite Bothas killing order.
 
Quote
In virtually every genocide, there is a definite set of announcements and/or military orders, and there are results which come very close to matching them.


yes, but what if there's a whole people whipped off without any announcement nor military orders? is it then not a genocide?
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This thread is just an insult really. Its sad that despite all of the more intersting cultures presented, someone now wants to claim that this was a myth. 
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you've put that like you knew exactly what has happened...

it always comes down to this: we have on one side a huge empire and on the other a small tribe, and the huge empire is always evil and tries to take away something and the small tribe is always innocent noble savages that never hurt anyone, like neighbouring tribes. cool that people still think in black and white, at least my TV is in colour, so hollywood can shape my perception in HD...
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Originally posted by Reginmund Reginmund wrote:

It depends on both definition and perspective. Different definitions will result on different conclusions, and varying perspectives can view the same massacre as either a genocide or a justifiable course of action under the circumstances. There is no single absolute truth in these cases.
 
Genocide is a specific crime with specific traits. Whether it is justifiable or not is a secondary issue. Just like how murder is a specific crime, and some people give justification for doing it. But murder is murder and genocide is genocide. Its just a word to describe a particular crime. In the case of Hereros, we know for sure what the intent of the German army was, we know many of their tactics, and we know around 80% of Hereros were wiped out, and that the remnants barely survived. The German government even admitted it.
 
 
Originally posted by Reginmund Reginmund wrote:

There are different levels of perceived threats, the threat doesn't have to be genocidal in order to provoke a reaction. No one would claim the Herero posed a threat to the existence of the German people, but they certainly presented a more limited threat to the security of Germans in their immediate vicinity.
 
But judging by the casualty rates, this was hardly the case. Hereros were not even a threat to Germans in the region even if we assume most of them were fighters, because if tens of thousands of them fought and died, and were only able to kill a couple of hundred Germans, then that is not much of a military threat, and such a difference in force of arms would have been made obvious to the Germans prior to their actions (and more so during). 
 
On the other hand, if we assume most of them were not fighters, not only would it help explain the casualty disparity, but it would make sense statistically, because you would have to be out of touch with reality to think that 80% of any ethnic group are able-bodied, much less in a position to stand up to imperial soldiers.
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Originally posted by Temujin Temujin wrote:

it was already in full swing and hereros probably didn't knew it was revoked. but the thing is this, there was no government organized genocide, that's all. Botha was an over-enthusiastic militarist and maybe took orders from the German governor of Namibia at that time.

So the commander of the forces AND the governor of the province intended to exterminate the Hereros, but this is not considered a government organized genocide? Just because the orders didn't come from the highest authority in the German imperial system, doesn't mean it cannot be considered a state-sponsored genocide. If a genocide is made possible by forces within the state, then its a state-sponsored genocide. The state is responsible for the actions of their subbordinates.

 

 

Originally posted by Temujin Temujin wrote:

it's not the question if they're capable of doing so, i mean the Herero at no time had a realistic chance any way, the question si if those women and chidlren are willing to fight and pose a danger. mind you we have nowadays child-soldiers and female suicide bobmers amongst other things.

So we have to assume one of two things: Despite having no realistic chance, Herero women and children decided to provoke the German soldiers, which warranted a response from them (which is basically what you're saying).

Or, the German forces carried out announcements their commander made about killing all Hereros, which they were quite capable of doing, and in fact, they DID end up doing. I'll leave it to the reasonable reader to figure out which scenario is more plausible.

 

 

Originally posted by Temujin Temujin wrote:

well this is interesting, does that means there are by default evil people/empires that always comitt crimes on weaker pwoers and innocent, good people who always get oppressed?

No, we are not on the same page. When I said that only certain groups have the ability to commit genocide on others, I am referring to power. For example, a relatively weak/powerless minority or tribe cannot commit genocide against a formidable state. However, the formidable state, under certain circumstances, can commit genocide relatively easily on the weak/powerless minority or tribe. This doesn't imply that all powerful states are genocidal or evil, and it does not imply that all weaker peoples are perpetual victims.

 

 

Originally posted by Temujin Temujin wrote:

do you think there are justified invasions? i mean why would a country invade another one. in case of the Paraguayan war, we have both scenarios at the same time. Brazil backed by Argentine was meddling in the affairs of Uruguay and the dictator of Paraguay wanted to help them by invading Brazil. that gives us some sort of dilemma if that war was justified or not, considdering so many Paraguayans died for eventually nothing. the whole Paraguayan war is qutie controversial, even today.

There are a lot of grey areas in many realistic cases. But, being able to justify the invasion does not make up the whole picture--- more important is the intention and conduct of invading forces during the conflict. If the invading force is massacring all innocents in sight within the occupied country, then I don't think you can justify that, whatever the reason for the initial invasion might have been (whether it was noble or heinous). But if they simply secure resources with minnimum collateral damage, then many people can argue that its justified, depending on one's views about ownership and theft.

 

 

Originally posted by Temujin Temujin wrote:

when do individual massacres constiute to genocide?

If there is an intent and ability on the part of the perpetrator to effectively wipe out an ethnic or national group, then its genocide. Its very distinct from a massacre or a warcrime, which is either intended to terrorize the public into submission, or is the result of lack of discipline.

 

 

Originally posted by Temujin Temujin wrote:

how many people do you need to kill to have a genoicde? not many people would argue the Taiping Rebellion or Mao's Cultural Revolution as genocide because a) Chinese killed other Chinese, and b) despite the heavy numbers, that surpass many other alleged genocides, there were still a whole lot of Chinese left.

Theoretically, numbers have nothing to do with genocide. Genocide simply describes a particular crime--- intent and action of wiping out an ethnic or national group.

In the case of the Chinese examples, I agree with you, it can't be considered genocide. Its just a civil war on a much bigger scale. And this is a very crucial point for us to fathom if we want to understand each other--- The same way we have small-scale and large-scale civil wars, there are small-scale and large-scale genocides. The rate of casualties does not define the particular scenario... the intent and actions of the forces involved defines the scenario. So a civil war cannot be considered anything but a civil war, even if 100 million people die. But a genocide cannot be considered anything but a genocide, even if a few thousand people die.

 

 

Originally posted by Temujin Temujin wrote:

Germans stealing cattle is a funny allegation, considdering Germans brought their own horses to Namibia, and that were not the only animals they brought.

Germans seizing or "buying" Herero cattle from 1890-1904 is a very realistic claim. Its the main reason some Hereros decided to rebel in the first place.

 

 

Originally posted by Temujin Temujin wrote:

Germans also constructed a lot of infrastructure and brought other advances of civilization previously unknown to the country, from which Namibia still profits today. if anyhting was stolen then land, which was never marked by the Herero nor any other tribal people for that matter.

This is irrelevent in terms of treatment of Hereros by Germans.

 

 

Originally posted by Temujin Temujin wrote:

the problems of the Herero only begun when there was a draught and the herero couldn't survive by themselves and the Germans either couldn't or wanted to help them, that's the origin of the Herero uprising. and always keep in mind the picture of Samuel Maherero posted above. Hereros were only worst of because they lived in the most inhospitable area of Namibia, that's not the fault of Germany.

Its interesting how the Herero did quite alright in this "inhospitable area" during the few centuries before the Germans showed up. But in the 14-year window of German involvement, they were the victims of a severe "draught", and the size of their cattle (their main mode of survival) decreased significantly each year after the German appearance. I'm sure this was plain coincidence, absolutely nothing to do with German wishes of starting an empire in Africa at the expense of the natives, in order to rival the British.

 

 

Originally posted by Temujin Temujin wrote:

no it isn't but apparently most deaths came by accident rather than purpose, despite Bothas killing order.

So according to you, despite the fact the commander of German forces made it clear he wanted to exterminate ALL Hereros, despite the fact the governor was probably involved, and despite the fact that innocent Hereros were systematically rounded up into camps where most of them died, all these deaths happened by accident?

Again, the reasonable reader can discern whether or not your scenario is plausible.

 

 

Originally posted by Temujin Temujin wrote:

yes, but what if there's a whole people whipped off without any announcement nor military orders? is it then not a genocide?

For this to happen, you would have to assume that everyone in a particular army, independently and simultaneously, suddenly manifests an intent and will to wipe out a particular ethnic or national group. Not likely. For genocide to occur, there has to be a high level of collusion, which is only possible with strong central command.

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