Quote Originally Posted by lakedaemonian View Post
I would posit that what often makes people SO uncomfortable about genocide is the awkward fart in the room that I have never heard anyone ask:

Why does it seem to happen so easily and often?

Quote Originally Posted by lakedaemonian View Post
I've spoken to people who have looked at genocide directed against an ethnic/religious/racial group the way we might look at polio or cancer.....something to be eradicated. A task one can find joy and accomplishment in eradicating....normal, healthy, highly functional human beings who execute human beings like they are weeding the garden with the same nonexistent internal consequence.
One can always take refuge in politics. If you kill a distinct political group wholesale, then by definition it is not genocide and therefore the means and body count are not relevant. I'm not being cheeky, it's a subtle artifact of international law.

The act of killing a discrete and distinct minority because of its politics does not seem to fall under the legal definition of genocide. Note that the Wikipedia article includes East Timor in the roll call of genocides, but there's no mention of the Indonesian pogroms of 1965. Using the broadest estimates, the body count in Timor never exceeded 200,000 murdered. The most conservative estimates put the number of dead as 108,000. Oppenheimer asserts upwards of three million people were murdered in the organized mass killings of 1965/66, yet this does not rise to the level of genocide.

Because in the case of the pogroms of 1965/66 the motivation was fundamentally a political one. Within the Cold War context in which the events took place, it cannot be considered genocide or similar war crime. That's why the perpetrators wear their guilt with such ease. They know they are safe because their side won the political war. I find it hard to dispute the gentleman's ruthless logic:

"War crimes are defined by the winners. I am a winner."

There is justice in the world, only not for us.