Home     Writers     Op/Ed     Book Reviews     News     Bookstore     Photoshops     Submit     Search     Contact Us     Advertise  
  You are here: 

Sat

20

Mar

2010

The Famine Was Genocide
Saturday, 20 March 2010 06:44
by Francis A. Boyle

Some controversy has surrounded the use of the word “genocide” with regard to the Great Irish Famine of 150 years ago.  But this controversy has its source in an apparent misunderstanding of the meaning of genocide.  No, the British government did not inflict on the Irish the abject horrors of the Nazi Holocaust.  But the definition of “genocide” reaches beyond such ghastly behavior to encompass other reprehensible acts designed to destroy a people.

As demonstrated by the following legal analysis, the Famine was genocide within the meaning of both United States and International law.

The United States Government is party to the 1948 Convention On The Prevention And Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (“Genocide Convention”).  As a Treaty of the United States, the Genocide Convention is therefore “the Supreme Law of the land” under Article VI of the U.S. Constitution.  The U.S. Government has also passed implementing legislation which substantially adopts the Genocide Convention and makes any violation of the Convention punishable under federal law.  18 U.S.C. § 1901.


            Article II of the Genocide Convention provides:

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 a group;

(e)    Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

(emphasis supplied)

            From 1845-50, The British government pursued a policy of mass starvation in Ireland with the intent to destroy in substantial part the national, ethnical and racial group known as the Irish People.  This British policy caused serious bodily and mental harm to the Irish People within the meaning of Genocide Convention Article II(b).  This British policy also deliberately inflicted on the Irish People conditions of life calculated to bring about their physical destruction within the meaning of Article II(c) of the Convention.  Therefore, from 1845-50 the British government knowingly pursued a policy of mass starvation in Ireland which constituted acts of Genocide against the Irish People within the meaning of Article II(b) and (c) of the 1948 Genocide Convention.

            While there are many legitimate subjects of debate surrounding the Famine, there is no doubt that the British Government committed genocide against the Irish People.  This particular “debate” should therefore come to an end.

 

(See Irish Echo, Feb.26-March 4, 1997 at  page 7 for the list of 125 distinguished signatories)
More from this author:
The Illegalities of the Bush Jr. War Against Afghanistan (3192 Hits)
by Francis A. Boyle The "Blowhard Zone" On September 13, I got a call from FOX News asking me to go on the O'Reilly Factor program...
O'Reilly and the Law of the Jungle (2356 Hits)
by Francis Boyle On the morning of 13 September 2001, that is 48 hours after the terrible tragedies in New York and Washington, D.C. on...
O Little Town of Bethlehem! Israel, Palestine and American Christian Hypocrites (3256 Hits)
by Francis A. Boyle Francis A. Boyle is a Professor of International Law and was Legal Advisor to the Palestinian Delegation to the Middle East...
International Law And Israel's War On Gaza (2197 Hits)
by Francis A. Boyle When the Oslo Document was originally presented by the Israeli government to the Palestinian Delegation to the Middle East...
The United States Promotes Israeli Genocide Against the Palestinians (2569 Hits)
by Francis A. Boyle Ph.D. As long ago as October 19, 2000, the then United Nations Human Rights Commission (now Council) condemned Israel for...
Related Articles:
Upon Red Rivers of Genocide (8083 Hits)
by Manuel Valenzuela To twenty five million Iraqis hell on Earth has been introduced to their land by the demons roaming the halls of...
Nigerian Anti-Gay Bill Could Lead To a Gay Genocide (13035 Hits)
AtlanticFreePress - An anti-gay bill pending in the legislature of Nigeria could result in that country running afoul of international treaties...
Pashtun Genocide in Afghanistan and How to stop it (6084 Hits)
by Dr Ehsan Azari In recent weeks, the official civilian death count, caused by American and NATO aerial bombardments reached into the hundreds. ...
Torture, Paramilitarism, Occupation and Genocide (6450 Hits)
by Stephen Lendman On October 5, George Bush confronted a public uproar and defended his administration claiming "This government does not...
UNREPENTANT: KEVIN ANNETT AND CANADA'S GENOCIDE (9535 Hits)
Where are 50,000 children buried? This documentary reveals Canada's darkest secret - the deliberate extermination of indigenous (Native...


Add this page to your favorite Social Bookmarking websites
Trackback(0)
Comments (0)add comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

adsense

Top