On Wednesday, French President Emmanuel Macron wouldn’t back President Biden’s claim that Russia is committing “genocide” in Ukraine. The French leader instead warned that an escalation of rhetoric wouldn’t bring peace.
Macron accused Russia of “war crimes” in Ukraine but favors diplomacy as the best way to end the fighting. “I want to try as much as possible to continue to be able to stop this war and to rebuild peace. I’m not sure that verbal escalations serve this cause,” he said.
Macron is one of the few Western leaders who has maintained contact with Russian President Vladimir Putin since Russia invaded on February 24. Biden hasn’t spoken with Putin, and Secretary of State Antony Blinken hasn’t spoken with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, since February 15.
For his stance, Macron has come under fire from Ukrainian officials and other NATO countries. Last week, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki slammed the French leader for talking with Putin, likening it to “negotiating with Hitler.”
Ukrainian officials also criticized Macron for not agreeing with Biden’s claims of genocide. Macron said it was best to be careful with such terminology, and described Russians and Ukrainians as “brotherly peoples.”
On the same day Biden accused Russia of genocide, Newsweek published an article quoting a senior official from the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency who said the civilian casualties in Ukraine are typical of modern warfare and “hardly” amount to genocide.
23 thoughts on “France’s Macron Doesn’t Back Biden’s ‘Genocide’ Claim Against Russia”
There is a difference between holocaust and genocide. Holocaust
applies to mass murders, often with hundreds of thousands or millions
of victims. Genocide is defined by the international convention on
genocide (1951) and applies to murders or other acts committed with
“intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or
For example, forced removal of Native American children to residential schools by the US and Canadian governments was genocide, even though it did not involve mass murder on a holocaust scale. The government and missionary schools prohibited the children from speaking their native
language, or practicing native religion or seeingtheir parents and tribal members. Forcible assimilation is genocide.
Even though Israel has not killed Palestinians at a holocaust level (yet), the targeted assassinations, the control of Palestinian school, the interference with Muslim religious practices, the revocation of residency and citizenship, the apartheid in every aspect of life, the siege of Gaza, the settlements amount to an attempt to erase the Palestinian identity. This is genocide, even though it is not yet a holocaust.
The killing of thousands of civilians in the Ukraine are not holocaust level
killings. But there is a history of Russia and the Cossacks taking
genocidal actions against Ukraine such as banning indigenous language,
culture, religion, Today, Russian chauvinists like Putin deny the
legitimacy of Ukrainian nationalism. I see a real danger that Russian
chauvinism that denies the legitimacy of Ukrainian national identity
could result in genocidal policies. The danger grows the more the
Ukrainians continue to resist the Russian invasion.
Genocide is defined by the intent of the oppressive acts, not thenumber of victims killed. The formal definition of genocide under international law was established by the 1951 Genocide Convention as follows:
“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:
(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to
bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”
I think the problem is that there is no clear line between “ethnic cleansing” and “genocide”. That’s not because of a lack of definition, but because the two are inextricably entangled with each other. Ethnic cleansing is one phase or aspect of genocide. In other words, an ethnic group is terrorized with the aim of expelling them from the national territory. That’s the method the Nazis used before the war. That’s also what happened during the Balkan wars. That’s what happens periodically between Kurds, Arabs, Turks, etc., in the ME. That is also what happened to native Russian speakers in Ukraine after the Maidan coup. I have seen no evidence that Russia is trying to expel Ukrainians from Ukraine. I have also not seen any evidence that Russia is preventing refugees from returning to their homes after the fighting has ceased.
Your recalling Ricoeur’s hermeneutical analytic which Macron learned at the ENS, is apposite; but, you don’t scruple to scuttle it on the US propaganda behalf.
way over-heated when you talk about the Indian schools. efforts to teach the children of Indians at boarding schools is not the same as a genocide. many had intentions to merely help them “modernize” and it came from a progressive spirit. others’ motivation came from religion. of course, many were just greedy. be careful about assuming the best morals of the modern and attacking the morals of people of the past who aren’t here to defend themselves. we are entering a crazy period of national history self-hatred and I am afraid it will soon convert to open bigotry and hostility against the catholic faith because many of the missions and schools were catholic, and it’s an easier modern target than, say, the deeds done by a methodist missionary, etc. because the catholics are easier to point to today like “here they are!” in a continuity with those missions. Not every interaction between Americans and Indians was the trail of tears. it cheapens and diminishes the true atrocities to lump everything together as ‘genocide’.
The Catholic Church was hardly alone in supporting missionary schools that practiced genocide in Canada. Many of the schools were run by other denominations. And I applaud Pope Francis’ willingness to take responsibility and apologize for the atrocities perpetrated by some Catholic missionaries against helpless Native American children. I wish the US government would likewise take responsibility for its attempted forced assimilation of Native Americans by government schools in the USA.
The Pope said (from the Washington Post April 1, 2022):
“VATICAN CITY — After years of resisting calls to do so, Pope Francis on Friday apologized for the “deplorable conduct” of some Catholics in Canada’s residential school system for Indigenous children, saying hewas “deeply grieved” by the stories of “suffering, hardship,discrimination and various forms of abuse” from survivors.”
“Speaking to an audience that included an Indigenous delegation that traveled from Canada to the Vatican this week to press for an apology, Francis said he felt ‘shame’ for the role Catholics have had ‘in the abuses you suffered and in the lack of respect shown for your identity, your culture and even your spiritual values.’”
“’All these things are contrary to the Gospel of Jesus Christ,’ the pope said at the Apostolic Palace. ‘For the deplorable conduct of these members of the Catholic Church, I ask for God’s forgiveness, and I want to say to you with all my heart: I am very sorry. And I join my brothers, the Canadian bishops, in asking your pardon.’”
I think the public will assume that Biden thinks Putin is intent upon wiping out all ethnic Ukrainians. That’s hypocritical because Biden has intentionally turned this conflict into a war of attrition.
It could be argued that Kyiv’s determination to assimilate the ethnic Russians of Crimea and Donbass constitutes genocide. For example, there is a push to prohibit speaking in Russian. There are already prohibitions on publishing anything in Russian.
The putsch against “The Party of Regions” in 2014 might meet criterion a and b. Putin’s reaction to that injustice might also qualify.
“The killing of thousands of civilians in the Ukraine are not holocaust level killings. ”
Nor are they at genocide levels. They are not even at “war crime” levels. According to the UN, there are fewer than 2,000 confirmed civilian casualties. Even if there are five or ten times as many, that still is actually quite a small number, compared to US wars, and modern wars in general. Also, that number includes civilians killed in cities that NATO, the Ukrainian military, and its neo Nazi para military components, chose to turn into defensive fortresses, complete with armor, artillery, command and control centers, missiles, air craft, depots, ammo dumps, etc. Those civilian deaths are much more on NATO and the Ukrainians than they are on Russia. And are certainly not evidence of war crimes, much less of “genocide. “Also, we have no idea how many of the so-called civilian casualties were members of the Ukrainian armed militia. Ukraine bragged about turning over weapons of war to anyone who wanted them. They boast about this, as it supposedly shows the depth of support for their regime. Well, at the same time, if those folks are killed in battle, they are hardly “civilian” casualties.
The reality is that Russia has gone out of its way to avoid civilian casualties. There are no credible accounts of intentional killing of civilians, even at low level, low body-count war crimes or crimes against humanity against civilians by individual Russian soldiers (and, no, fake Bucha, fake maternity hospital, etc, don’t count). Much less genocide or a genocidal “policy.”
Claims of genocide are simply preposterous. But then, we have come to expect preposterous claims from the Kiev regime and its supporters.
Ukrainian forces (aka neo-nazis) were trying to take out Russian speaking people in the civil war leading up to the invasion. War is war. All of these conditions apply to war:
a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
The hyperbole is driven by Biden trying to manufacture consent to kill more Russians and make the MIC and defense industry more money. He is polling at 33% approval. Everyone knows he blew all promises and is relying on warmongering as a distraction.
If some Ukrainians committed those acts of genocide against ethnic Russians, they should be prosecuted by the ICC along with the Russian perpetrators of war crimes.
But crimes committed in the Ukraine against Ukrainian rebels do not justify a Russian invasion which is a war crime much greatger and with many more victims than the alleged casus belli.
Russia and its Cossack agents raped, pillaged, plundered and pogromed Ukrainians for centuries. Russians invading Ukraine to de-Nazify it is like the the UK sending a peace keeping force to stop sectarian violence in Ulster.
An invasion by the former imperial power is not going to lead to any good.
I don’t think that Russia went to denazify Ukraine. They invaded because of the NATO provocations. And an imperial power is already running them.
Unfortunately, invading the Ukraine brought Ukraine effectively into NATO and committed Russia to an endless war that it can’t win. Ukrainian was born in the crucible of a centuries long conflict with the Czars, the Cossacks and all the other European and Asian powers that invaded, pillaged, pogrommed, occupied and ruled over a hapless people who finally got their nation state in the 20th century. They will not give it up without a ferocious fight.
That’s because it’s a US Proxy war (with all the power and weaponry and satellite intelligence etc.). Not because Ukraine is some plucky democratic nation. They are an oligarchy (like the US and Russia) and were one of the top most corrupt countries on the globe. The US had CIA agents training Ukrainians in the US south and Eastern portion of Ukraine and they held NATO drills inside Ukraine. Ukraine was already treated as a de facto NATO member. The US wanted Russia drawn into this like they wanted the Soviet Union drawn into Afghanistan. The aim of the Wolfowitz doctrine is to kill off Russia or any other nation that might compete with the US hegemony.
Here’s some background too on the Nazis inside Ukraine and the connection with US presidents:
Seven Decades of Nazi Collaboration: America’s Dirty Little Ukraine Secret
An interview with Russ Bellant, author of Old Nazis, the New Right, and the Republican Party.
It’s from 2014 when the US was still “allowing” reporting on the Nazi situation.
Your invocation of ancient (not to mention childishly simplistic and one-sided) history from Czarist Russian times to bolster your phony “genocide” argument is simply ridiculous.
The war crime of “invasion” (or, aggression) is only recognized by 43 countries. Notable non recognizers: USA, Russia, Ukraine, Great Britain, France, Israel…
Russia, Ukraine, and the USA are not even parties to the ICC generally.
The USA actually has a law authorizing an attack on the ICC if it dares to indict an American!
And President Trump applied sanctions to ICC investigators who were asking questions about Afghanistan and Palestine.
So, all this talk about the ICC and war crimes and so on and so forth is really pretty academic. The only way a non party citizen can be hauled before the ICC is by the UNSC, where both the USA and Russia, not to mention France, the UK and China, have permanent member vetoes.
“The only way a non party citizen can be hauled before the ICC is by the UNSC”
A non-party citizen can be charged by the ICC for crimes in a party state — and handed over by a party state should that party state happen to capture him or her.
That’s true. My bad. And since Ukraine, though not a party to the ICC, has accepted ICC jurisdiction, it can refer cases of alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity by Russian nationals in its custody to the ICC, even though Russia is not a party to the ICC either.
But the crime of “aggression” is not covered by this exception.
“There is, however, one glaring crime missing from the prosecutor’s preliminary examination: The court does not have the ability to investigate the crime of aggression. Unlike the more ‘traditional’ crimes under the court’s jurisdiction, the crime of aggression was introduced to the court’s authority in 2018 by amendments to the Rome Statute, primarily to Article 15. Under Paragraph 4, the court is explicitly barred from exercising jurisdiction over crimes of aggression by the nationals of, or on the territory of, a state that is not party to the statute. This invalidates the ability to exercise jurisdiction over aggression by Russia in the territory of Ukraine. Even a proprio motu investigation of aggression requires a determination by the U.N. Security Council that an act of aggression has occurred, which is unlikely for the same reasons as discussed above [ie that Russia as a permanent SC member would veto that determination]. Khan has acknowledged this inability in a statement released one day after Russia’s invasion: ‘Given that neither Ukraine nor the Russian Federation are State Parties to the Rome Statute, the Court cannot exercise jurisdiction over [the crime of aggression] in this situation.’”
Would ANY European leader agree with Biden? Maybe Poland and Baltic states but the claim is so nonsensical most would just roll their eyes and wait for the next bad news from Ukraine. Lord Gaga has descended to name calling because he knows no better and nothing more is asked of him.
The rubber is already hitting the road in France. The unexpected consequences of Biden’s sanctions have increased the cost of food and energy and the April 24th election will signal whether or not the people of France are willing to accommodate US demands for sanctions.
“The unexpected consequences of Biden’s sanctions”
Who didn’t expect the consequences? They seemed pretty obvious from the start to me. The only question was how severe the situation would get.
I get your point. But it never occurred to me that the sanctions would have so swift an impact on the political leadership of France.
I do not like Emanuel Macron but I agree with him that there is no genocide going on in Ukraine. So many people nowadays call what their enemies and frenemies do genocide, if that’s genocide, NATO’s forever wars are also genocide as they will go on until the end of time unless people rise up and elect new leaders that will end the wars and hold Bush, Obama, Trump, Biden and many other current and former world leaders.
Of course Zelensky criticized Macron for not agreeing with Biden’s claims of genocide.
Zelensky is an odious creation of Biden and NATO who will say and do anything to throw gasoline on a fire. Zelensky’s consistent hyperbolic statements are ridiculous.
His childish 3 year old I want, I want is incessant. Next he will demand an aircraft carrier and nuke submarines.
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