Persecution of the Uyghurs as a Pretext for War and Profit
by J.B. Gerald
The Convention on Genocide may offer people some defense against mass murder. If a genocide is provably in progress the Convention requires intervention by its signatories to stop the crime. But the intervention may lead to war. Unscrupulous political forces try to use the pretext that a genocide is underway to invade a country or make war. So one country’s declaration that there is a genocide in another, carries a serious risk.
On February 3rd 2022, the Uyghur Rights Advocacy Project served the Attorney General of Canada with “an application for judicial review for the Government of Canada’s acts and omissions in relation to the ongoing genocide against members of the Uyghur population, in the north west region of People’s Republic of China known as Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region...”(1) The application is asking a federal court in Montreal to investigate Canada for the government's reluctance to label China's treatment of its Uyghur population a genocide.
This attempt to control Canada’s foreign policy occurs within a context of American foreign policy ramping up its military stance against both Russia and China. U.S. President Biden has signed into law a 777.7 billion dollar military funding budget for 2022 (three times the military budget of China).(2)
Taking the Government of Canada to court, a minority lobbying group (according to the legal application there are only about 2000 Uyghurs in Canada).was basically ignored by the media excepting the financially oriented Forbes(3) in the U.S., and Canada's Toronto Star.(4)
Given difficulties in applying the Convention on Genocide to North American governments this is a rare and exceptional move. Where in Canada are cases challenging the Government for not declaring its historical treatment of First Peoples a genocide? Has no one challenged the Government in court for its complicity in the U.S. 1990 effort to bomb Iraq into the stone age? It caused the loss of 600,000 children. Or for participation in the dismemberment of Yugoslavia and destruction of that country’s civilian infra-structure? Slobodan Miloševic charged Canada among other NATO countries, with genocide. He was imprisoned at the international court and his life ended before he was found innocent.
The Convention is not being employed to prohibit the destruction of war and conquest. This legal application‘s attempt to control Canada’s policy facilitates an American policy which has declared China’s treatment of the Uyghurs a genocide. It risks the Canadian people to war so it bears some examination.
There is evidence which suggests extreme persecution by the Republic of China of its minority group Uyghurs as well as of attempts to assimilate it into the population as a whole.(5)
There is suppression of Uyghur peoples and a frightening degree of digital surveillance as a population control which make the more odious forms of population control we’re accustomed to in the West (one thinks of Pinochet’s Chile, the dirty war in Argentina etc.), unnecessary. Of current concern is the recognition of “Terror Capitalism” where a targeted group is data mined for its resources and behavior, then placed at the service of corporate or state corporate profit. “The People's War on Terror,” in Uyghur Xinjiang China has provoked an extreme example.(6)
The reader may remember that this principle persecution of the Uyghurs in China began in 2014 as a result of the Uyghur independence movement which brought about state suppression of what were identified as terrorist actions. There is also evidence of the U.S. training Uyghur fighters for its uses both inside China and outside.(7) U.S. policy is most easily encapsulated by the location of the East Turkestan National Awakening Movement (ETNAM), a Uyghur independence organization, based in Washington D.C.. In 2020 ETNAM filed a complaint against China at the International Criminal Court, for genocide.
Certainly oppression of the Uyghurs should be stopped. Still there is an absence of the mass murder, or an open intention to destroy the group, factors which often trigger the Convention's application to crimes such as the Rwandan genocide of 1994 which NATO countries ignored at the time, or the death march of the Turkish Armenian genocide in a program which took decades for NATO countries to recognize, or the contemporary actions of Israeli Zionists toward Palestinians who were formerly their hosts.
Faced with mounting pressure from NATO media, and faced with U.S military escalations of anti-China policies, then faced with the report of China’s “genocide” against the Uyghurs from its own Subcommittee on International Human Rights, Canada’s House of Commons declared China involved in a genocide of its Uyghur people.(8)
The website, The Canada Files, was early to note that five of the eight Subcommittee members are members of Parliament’s Uyghur Friendship Committee.(9) The Subcommittee took testimony almost exclusively from U.S. funded entities such as the aforementioned Uyghur Rights Advocacy Project which is paid by the U.S. National Endowment for Democracy (NED).(10)
To belabor this, the U.S. Uyghur Human Rights Project was formed and funded by the Uyghur American Association, which in turn is funded by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) which receives millions annually from the U.S. Congress. NED is a U.S. State Department funded entity. It’s paid to further U.S. government policy. For Canadian advocacy, the relatively recent Uyghur Rights Advocacy Project in Ottawa is also directly funded by the National Endowment for Democracy.
The Uyghur Rights Advocacy Project legal brief of February 3rd 2022 summarizes the Parliamentary Subcommittee’s report at length, validating the application with its own testimony, among others.
The legal application makes a point of declaring that the U.S. has already decided China is committing genocide against its Uyghur population. But then many admirable luminaries of Canada’s human rights establishment have decided this as well, including former General Romeo Dallaire, and the Washington based NewLines Institute and Montreal based Raoul Wallenberg Center which teamed to issue a report assuring the world of China’s genocide against the Uyghurs.(11)
Canada's Government dealt with Parliament’s vote by not denying or affirming a recognition of a Uyghur genocide but by suggesting that the assignment of the term “genocide” and its investigation would be more appropriately handled by the United Nations.(12)
As a result of Canada’s commitment to treaties of international law, as opposed to U.S. Rule, the Government is being taken to court. Is it being forced to comply with U.S. policy? Is it being forced by an organization in the pay of the U.S. government? Declaration by a Canadian judge that the Uyghurs are undergoing genocide could force the Liberal government’s hand and the Convention on Genocide could require armed intervention.
In response to Parliament's vote, China which doesn’t accept that it's committing a genocide at all, has questioned Canada's treatment of First Peoples. China has avoided questioning an historical American example of the U.S. Civil War which put an end to the South’s independence by armed force. It doesn't mention modern U.S. treatment of Black resistance, the assassinations and murder of innocents, false imprisonments and extremes of racism not found in accounts of Uyghur persecution. There are no reports of Uyghurs being lynched or (to remember Fred Hampton) shot in their beds by state security forces.
In trying to find some perspective for considering the degree of persecution and injustice which demands use of the term “genocide,” we have for current reference the direct threats of extinction of all the Muslims in India by and from Hindu extremists. Then there are the millions of Muslim Rohingya in foreign refugee camps and the ongoing danger to those who remain in Myanmar. There is the ongoing tragedy of the people of Gaza and all Palestinians in Israel. Canada is not partaking in a military alliance threatening any of these countries. Preferring international law Canada was able to support The Gambia taking Myanmar to the International Court of Justice at the Hague.(13)
Economically NATO countries are competing with China which may be gradually assuming global financial supremacy. For example, Chinese neocolonialism in Africa is successfully reinvesting in African infra-structure while Euro-American interests are increasingly under the protection of the U.S. military.
On February 4th U.S. Democrats in the House passed a bill called “The America Competes Act”(14) to fund semiconductor production among other technological enhancements of U.S. domestic industry in direct competition with China’s industry, and linked to it specific protections of China’s Uyghurs. The Act includes funding on a broad front to counter Chinese business/political interests on all continents, and it funds Taiwan. It is a manifesto of economic warfare. In it, the issue of Uyghur human rights is specifically used to justify the competitive advancement of U.S. business interests. The Act reveals U.S. policy intentions toward China in the near future.(15)
The persecution of the Uyghurs is used to the benefit of China as well. The Atlantic Council's report, “Finance & Genocide: Development Finance and the Crisis in the Uyghur Region”(16) clarifies the developmental aspect of oppression against the Uyghurs, and the investment by the World Bank's International Finance Corporation, in Chinese companies which use slave labor and other practices against the peoples of the region.(17)
Apparently war crimes and enslavement even to the point of genocide, pay the victimizers.
1. “Notice of Application, T-190-22: Uyghur Rights Advocacy Project vs. Attorney General of Canada,” Larochelle Avocats, Feb. 3, 2022, Federal Court of Canada, Montreal.
2. “Biden signs enormous US military budget into law,” Dec. 27, 2021, Al Jazeera.
3. “Canadian Government To Be Reviewed For Its Response To The Uyghur Genocide,” Dr. Ewelina U. Ochab, Feb. 13, 2022, Forbes.
4. “Court case aims to force Canada to acknowledge Uyghur genocide and act against China,” Jeremy Nuttall, Feb. 5, 2022, The Toronto Star.
5. “Xinjiang China,” J.B. Gerald, Nov. 10, 2019, 2019 suppressed new nightslantern.ca [ access: < https://www.nightslantern.ca/2019bulletin.htm#nov10>].
6. “China's high-tech repressing of Uyghurs is more sinister - and lucrative than it seems, anthropologist says,” Nahlah Ayed, Feb. 17, 2022, CBC radio.
7. "The real truth on Uyghurs which is used to taint China," Andre Vitchek, Oct. 11, 2019, Newsbred.
8. “Parliament declares China is conducting genocide against its Muslim minorities,” Robert Fife , Steven Chase, Feb. 22, 2021, The Globe and Mail.
9. “Subcommittee report declaring “Uighur Genocide” dominated by researchers and groups funded by CIA cut-out, National Endowment for Democracy,” Aidan Jonah, Feb. 22, 2021, The Canada Files.
10. “Globe & Mail fearmongers about foreign influence while ignoring US government funding to Uighur Rights groups in Canada,” Yves Engler, March 14, 2021, Yves Engler.
11.“China / Canada,” J.B.Gerald, July 5, 2021, 2021 Suppressed News / nightslantern.ca [ access: < https://nightslantern.ca/2021bulletin.htm#jul5ca> ].
12. “Parliament declares China is conducting genocide against its Muslim minorities,” Robert Fife , Steven Chase, Feb. 22, 2021, The Globe and Mail.
13.The Gambia with the support of 42 countries of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation who are signatories of the Convention on Genocide, as well as with intervenor status of the Maldives, the Netherlands and Canada, is trying to find out if Myanmar has committed genocide against Burma’s Rohingya. The trial is currently complicated by the military junta's takeover of Myanmar’s government which jeopardizes the validity of the court action.
14.‘‘America Creating Opportunities for Manufacturing, Pre-Eminence in Technology, and Economic Strength Act of 2022,’’ or the 5 ‘‘America COMPETES Act of 2022,’’ Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, January 25, 2022, U.S. House of Representatives.
15.“Bill to boost US businesses includes new protections for China’s Uyghurs,” Alim Seytoff ( Roseanne Gerin), Jan. 26, 2022, Radio Free Asia.
16.“Finance & Genocide: Development Finance and the Crisis in the Uyghur Region,” Laura T. Murphy, Kendyl Salcito, Nyrola Elimä, February 2020, Atlantic Council.
17. “World Bank investment arm complicit in China's repression of Uyghurs, report says,” Jalil Kashgary & Alim Seytoff, Feb. 17, 2022, Radio Free Asia.
"Persecution of the Uyghurs as a Pretext for War and Profit"
by John Bart Gerald
First posted: nightslantern.ca February 21, 2022
john bart.gerald and julie maas
posted february 21, 2022
minor edits april 2, 2022