The Uyghur Question
The word "genocide" has lost its weight in our world. We have become complacent to its signs and manifestations in recent history. Rwanda, Bosnia, and Cambodia all happened under the watch of the United Nations, with obvious signs leading to the inevitable attempted extermination of entire cultural and ethnic groups. A chief purpose for the existence UN is to prevent crimes against humanity. However, as in all things good in intention but poor in execution, the UN is failing in its core obligation. Not only is it failing to protect human right around the globe, but it is doing so nearly to the point of insanity.
To start, we need to look at the specific definition of genocide which the UN defines in the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide:
In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
Killing members of the group;
Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.
Criticisms do exist for this definition, in that it excludes tactics which Mao and Stalin used while neglecting tens of millions of people. This could be a topic for an entire book, so I will seek to only discuss how the UN has and is currently ignoring the existence of genocide which wholly fits their own definition. The UN is ignoring the suffering of 11 million Uyghurs in Xinjiang and so is the United States. Canada has at least recognized the atrocities, while President Joe Biden has excused the internment, rape, and murder of Uyghurs by the brutal totalitarian, Xi Jinping, as merely different cultural norms. Here is the full clip containing his statement for context, but the context does not help.
The President is apathetic in the Uyghur genocide and merely wags his finger with a hollow promise that China will not become the world leader. So, the question we should all be asking is "Why are we ignoring this?" As Americans, why are we allowing the brutal, undemocratic, totalitarian Chinese Communist Party to get away with genocide?
The Armenian Denial
The Armenian Genocide is the most infuriating example of the world turning a blind eye to human suffering. In fairness, the Armenian Genocide took place prior to the existence of the UN and even prior to the existence of the word "genocide." In fact, the definition of genocide, created by Raphael Lemkin, is based on the events of the Armenian Genocide. One would think that a genocide which took place a century ago at the hands of the deceased Ottoman Empire could be addressed and condemned by the world today so we could prevent its repetition. Why is this particular example of genocide continually ignored?
We are continually addressing the genocide that took place in the United States, Canada, and numerous other Western-Hemisphere regions who saw their native populations forcibly moved or altogether eliminated. This rebuke of the history of abuse to native peoples is necessary to prevent another similar occurrence. Yet many leaders of the world today seem to outright ignore or even deny the occurrence of the Armenian Genocide.
Our two most recent presidents, Barack Obama and Donald Trump, both ignored the genocide or prevented any official acknowledgement of the Armenian Genocide while in office. While Joe Biden's term has just begun, it is reasonable to suspect that no change will be made to this grim status quo. So, the question remains: why do we ignore it? The answer boils down to geo-political necessity. Turkey, the heir to what was the Ottoman Empire, is a strategic NATO ally to the United States and Europe. They are conveniently located near Russia, Syria, Iraq, Iran, and Israel. It is only their geographic importance that prevents our leaders from acknowledging the murder of 1.5 million people and the continued suffering of countless millions more.
I encourage you to read the progression of events which took place: Armenian National Institute.
I have decided not to detail the horrifying acts of violence that are taking place right now in Xinjiang, China. If you wish to read or hear first-hand accounts, here are two sources that contain specific details about the Uyghur genocide, which all fit the UN's definition of genocide:
'Their goal is to destroy everyone': Uighur camp detainees allege systematic rape (BBC Article)
How China is crushing the Uyghurs | The Economist (YouTube Video)
The Armenian Genocide is relevant because its denial echoes the current ignorance of the Uyghur Genocide. Seeing this history of denial makes one come to the horrifying realization that the answer to our initial question of "why are we ignoring this?" is simply that China is too important to world leaders to be held accountable for crimes against humanity. Seeing as how the much less geopolitically important Turkey has been given a pass, it should be no surprise to anyone that China is getting a pass from the UN merely because of their geopolitical importance. To make it worse, China is a member of the Big Five on the UN Security Council (the most powerful arm of the UN) and, a fact that proves the UN to be a parody of itself, recently began its three year term on the UN Human Rights Council.
The global organization which was tasked with the protection of human rights and the prevention of genocide (See Article 1 Section 3 of the UN Charter) currently has several known human rights abusers on the Human Rights Council. It is clear that the UN will do nothing, so it is time for the United States to take a stand against this extermination of millions of people.
Republicans, conservative and libertarian, must speak boldly and clearly against the plight of the Uyghur Muslims in China. It does not take a military intervention to boycott, sanction, and divest from the evil empire that is the People's Republic of China. Since the UN is paralyzed by the influence of China, we must step up and take the lead. If the US continues to appease the Chinese Communist Party by refusing to deal with this issue now, we will have the blood of millions of Uyghur Muslims on our hands.
UN Watch, UNWatch.org
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, ushmm.org