This is supporting material for the article See No Evil.
Posted on monbiot.com, 21st May 2012
From: George Monbiot
Sent: Monday, June 13, 2011 10:10 AM
To: Noam Chomsky
Subject: foreword to Politics of Genocide
I hope you are very well. I’m writing a column for the Guardian today about genocide denial, in which Edward Herman will feature prominently. I have just finished reading his book The Politics of Genocide. It contains a revisionist and wildly inaccurate account of the Rwandan genocide, as well as some eminently contestable statements about the massacre at Srebrenica.
I note that in your foreword you neither endorse nor disown the specific statements the book contains. But I think most readers would see the fact that you wrote the foreword as an endorsement of the book.
Is that how you see it? Do you accept the accounts it contains of the Rwandan genocide and the massacre of Srebrenica? If not, in what respects do you reject them?
[ ... ]
From: Noam Chomsky
Sent: 14 June 2011 03:27
To: ‘George Monbiot
Subject: RE: foreword to Politics of Genocide
At work all day and evening, and just found your letter.
I purposely mentioned only one aspect of the book, which I do think is important, particularly so because of how it is ignored: namely the vulgar politicization of the word “genocide,” now so extreme that I rarely use the word at all. The mass slaughter in Srebrenica, for example, is certainly a horror story and major crime, but to call it “genocide” so cheapens the word as to constitute virtual Holocaust denial, in my opinion. It amazes me that intelligent people cannot see that.