Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Alexander II

 A few Genocides committed in the 19th century and early 20th

In 1864, Russia under Alexander II, massacred 600,000 Cherkess  around the region of Sochi (men, women, and children) and forced over one million to be displaced toward Turkey.

(The same Tsar who was assassinated shortly after by “anarchists”, the day he was supposed to sign on a new constitution.

What happened?

In 1861, 12 tribes from this Caucasus region united to fend off another Russian invasion, and demanded a self-autonomy within Russia, but the demand was rejected.

In the 19th century, Russia expanded greatly at the expense of the Ottoman Empire. At each Russian incursion, the “Christian” Armenians in Turkey supported the invading Russian troops. One of the cursed city was Kars in Turkey, and situated strategically by the border to Russia.

By 1915 and the engagement of Turkey on the side of Germany, it was a golden opportunity for the Turks to transfer the Armenians far away from the Russian borders. Destination: Deir el Zour in north-east current Syria, and in control of the ISIS extremist Islamic faction, a century later.

The Turkish leaders appointed the Kurds to execute the transfer and turned blind eyes to the exaction, massacre, looting and grabbing the properties of the Armenians. Most of the refugees died on their way to Syria from all kinds of inhuman treatment, famine and thirst.

Shall I mention a few of the recent genocide?

1. In Rwanda (Africa) against the Hutu ethnics. The genocide lasted 6 months.

2. Serbia against the Muslims in Kosovo Srebrenica Genocide,

3. Cambodia. The genocide lasted 2 years.

4. Darfur in Sudan. a still ongoing problem

All of these genocide took their full time to complete, and the international community refused to intervene to stop the genocide, until the genocide was exhausted.

A few of ongoing genocide:

1. Zionist Israel dehumanizing the Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza. Israel apartheid had been at it for over 70 years and the western States kept aiding Israel preemptive wars and settlements.

2. South Sudan, in the newly established “independent” State

3. ISIS in north Syria and Iraq, committing atrocities on christian sects and all religious sects and…

4. Boko Haram in north Nigeria

 May Al Awar posted this photo.
‎حملة كفى اطلقها اتراك بمئات المواقع والصفحات التركية</p><br /><br /><br />
<p>ارادوا ايصال صوتهم الى العالم ليضغطوا على اردوغان والعثمانيون الجدد لايقاف جرائمهم ضد البشرية<br /><br /><br /><br />
3.5 مليون ضحية جرائم العثمانيون ضد البشرية‎

(I’m not sure of the number of massacred Greeks  who occupied Turkey. But the Greek troops were routed and vacated Turkey)

Stages of genocide, influences leading to genocide, and efforts to prevent it[edit]

Hassan Kakar wrote in Wikipedia:

For genocide to happen, there must be certain preconditions.

Foremost among them is a national culture that does not place a high value on human life.

A totalitarian society, with its assumed superior ideology, is also a precondition for genocide

Members of the dominant society must perceive their potential victims as less than fully human: as “pagans,” “savages,” “uncouth barbarians,” “unbelievers,” “effete degenerates,” “ritual outlaws,” “racial inferiors,” “class antagonists,” “counterrevolutionaries,” and so on.[89]

In themselves, these conditions are not enough for the perpetrators to commit genocide.

To commit genocide, the perpetrators need a strong, centralized authority and bureaucratic organization as well as pathological individuals and criminals.

A campaign of vilification and dehumanization of the victims by the perpetrators is carried out over decades, who are usually new states or new regimes attempting to impose conformity to a new ideology and its model of society.[88] 

(The same process done by Zionist Israel against the Palestinians for over 70 years)

In 1996 Gregory Stanton, the president of Genocide Watch, presented a briefing paper, shortly after the Rwandan Genocide,  called “The 8 Stages of Genocide” at the United States Department of State.[91]

Stanton suggested that genocide develops  8 stages that are “predictable but not inexorable“.[91][92]

The preventative measures suggested, given the briefing paper’s original target audience, were those that the United States could implement directly or indirectly by using its influence on other governments.

Stage Characteristics Preventive measures
1.
Classification
People are divided into “us and them”. “The main preventive measure at this early stage is to develop universalistic institutions that transcend… divisions.”
2.
Symbolization
“When combined with hatred, symbols may be forced upon unwilling members of pariah groups…” “To combat symbolization, hate symbols can be legally forbidden as can hate speech“.
3.
Dehumanization
“One group denies the humanity of the other group. Members of it are equated with animals, vermin, insects, or diseases.” “Local and international leaders should condemn the use of hate speech and make it culturally unacceptable. Leaders who incite genocide should be banned from international travel and have their foreign finances frozen.”
4.
Organization
“Genocide is always organized… Special army units or militias are often trained and armed…” “The U.N. should impose arms embargoes on governments and citizens of countries involved in genocidal massacres, and create commissions to investigate violations”
5.
Polarization
“Hate groups broadcast polarizing propaganda…” “Prevention may mean security protection for moderate leaders or assistance to human rights groups…Coups d’état by extremists should be opposed by international sanctions.”
6.
Preparation
“Victims are identified and separated out because of their ethnic or religious identity…” “At this stage, a Genocide Emergency must be declared. …”
7.
Extermination
“It is ‘extermination’ to the killers because they do not believe their victims to be fully human”. “At this stage, only rapid and overwhelming armed intervention can stop genocide. Real safe areas or refugee escape corridors should be established with heavily armed international protection.”
8.
Denial
“The perpetrators… deny that they committed any crimes…” “The response to denial is punishment by an international tribunal or national courts”

Humiliation behind “greatness”? Empress Catherine of Russia. Part 2

The first article described the period of Catherine/Sofia/Fredericka Holstein-Gottrop-Romanov ventured out of Prussia in 1744 (she was 15 years old) to be betrothed to the immature and senile child Peter of Russia; how she suffered humiliation and then managed to bid her time to acceding to power in 1762 as the most powerful monarch of all the Russian Empire.

Most of this period was dominated by King Frederick II, known by history as “Frederick the Great”; Frederick was ruling Prussia and raised and training a strong army for expansion. Empress Elizabeth was the sole powerful monarch in Russia until her death in 1761. Elizabeth had acceded to power by overthrowing young Ivan VI.

Louis 15th was the monarch of France.

Catherine of Russia kept a detailed diary since childhood until she died.

She mastered 3 languages:  French (the most dominant language in all of Europe during the 18 and 19th centuries), German, and then she learned Russian.

She communicated with most of the famous authors and thinkers of her time and supported them financially and politically when in dire need.  She changed from Lutheran to Russian Orthodox Church for political reasons and to be able to accede to the throne; her father sent her a cold letter blaming her for that conversion.

The chamberlain to Empress Elizabeth welcomed the party at the Russian border and wrote:

The daughter is plain but healthy; she is taller than most women 5′ 5″; she resembles her father in facial characteristics:  She has a large nose and heavy chin, but she is taller than normal women.  I noticed from her gait that she suffered frost bites in several toes of her left foot. The mother is a complete snob and cares only of how she look. 

The mother reprimanded her daughter for missing her dad saying: “Your father is an insignificant person, focus to learn the Russian language and don’t think to returning to Prussia for visits.  The guest felt very comfortable in our heated sleighs; they were using carriages in wheels that left many bruises on their bodies.

The mother felt humiliated from the first meeting with Elizabeth who didn’t even look her way or addressed her; she had to wait over 2 years in Russia, relegated close to the servants’ apartment, until her daughter got married in late 1945.

Catherine gave birth to Paul in 1954; she had named him Pavel but Elizabeth changed his name to Paul and didn’t permit Catherine to see and care for her child until her death in 1761; thus, this overwhelming anger of Catherine toward Elizabeth and of her idiot of nephew Peter “who stood there grinning as Elizabeth snatched the baby from my arms”

Catherine wrote in her diary:

“Elizabeth is the bossiest lady I have ever met.  She catered for the minute details and never allowed me to dress as I wished”.

Elizabeth was a tall, svelte, beautiful woman with blue eyes before she died of overweight and aged prematurely.  Elizabeth confronted Frederick II militarily for over 7 years in order to halt Prussia expansion at the detriment of Austria”.  The Russian treasury was depleted when Elizabeth died in 1761.

Peter III was the new Emperor and he used to strut in Prussian army uniforms and declare that Prussia is the better than Russia in every thing and that Frederick II is the greatest monarch.  Catherine never dared to challenge Elizabeth but bid her time until the strong-willed Empress died.

Catherine dreaded that Elizabeth might demand from Peter to divorce her and be sent back to her family that no longer cared for her presence.

In the mean while, Catherine worked on her connections with the highest personality  in the noble class, the military, the clergymen, and foreign diplomats.  She had countless love affairs, especially with military officers such as Gregory Orlov and much later with Gregory Pushkin. A military coup organized by Catherine removed Peter from power, less than a year later, before his official coronation.  Peter was strangled in prison.

The day of the revolt, Catherine went straight to the main cathedral in St. Petersburg and got acclaimed by the archbishop as the new monarch.

The treasury was depleted and the treasurer’s report extended two quick alternative solutions to replenishing the coffer.  The first option was to wage war against China and capture vast lands and serfs.  The second option that Catherine preferred was to seizing vast fertile lands owned by the Orthodox church.

For the next 8 years, Catherine pursued this policy of regaining church lands to the crown.

In 1768, Turkey had enjoyed 5 years of good economic expansion and was buying weapons from France.  Catherine decide to expand in the south before Turkey becomes too powerful militarily.  The Russian army had a string of successful military victories that kept Europe on its toes.

The end result was devastating:  First, treasury was empty again; the treasurer wrote “All the money collected east of the Volga River is not covering the cost of breaking horses sent to the Turkish front.”  The Russian army was tied up in front of Turkey and whatever land acquired could not be used to generating any profit.

In 1970, the plague reached Moscow:  It had already killed over 20,000 in Austria the previous year.  For two years, the plague in Moscow left over 100,000 dead.  It was the custom to quarantine entire districts:  No entrance or exit to these closed areas.  People died of famine more than the plague, especially infants, for lack of food supply.

The well-off in Moscow had long vacated the Capital and a rudiment of police force still existed there.  In 1771, the downtrodden in Moscow overflow the center city and even managed to enter the Kremlin fortress.  Looting and killing of officials was rampant.  Catherine sent regiments headed by Gregory Orlov in September to recapture order.

Orlov realized that the best strategy was to bring food supplies to Moscow.  Teams were organized to gathering corpses and burning them then, collecting the garbage that city governments never “had money” to spend on cleaning the city.  Winter was the other factor that slowed down the dissemination of the plague that died down by the coming spring season.

To make matter worse, a rebellion broke out in the southern region in 1772.  Pugachev, a discharged army officer, was the leader of the revolt; he claimed to carrying the “imperial scars” and to being the incarnation of former emperor Peter (the slain late husband of Catherine).

The rebellion gathered thousands of members and it captured canons and plenty of guns and expanded eastward and entered many cities, including Kazar, the Capital of the Tatar province on the Volga River and 800 kilometer east of Moscow.

The Russian army was tied up on the Turkish front and negotiations for a peace treaty was experiencing a dead lock on Catherine insistence for war reparations.  There were no regiments fit with horses and canons to be dispatched to quell the expanding rebellion.  Catherine dropped the war reparation clause and went after the leader of the revolt.

Paul, the son of Catherine, wrote: “It was the first time I saw a glimpse of a smile on Catherine’s face”:  Catherine entered the court room to listen to the verdict for the hanging sentence of the leader of the revolt.

Once again the crown treasury was empty and Catherine agreed with Frederick II to dividing the Polish Kingdom that had backed Russia in its war against Prussia.  Catherine gained the easter portion of Poland around 1773.  The European nations of France, England, and Austria didn’t like this aggression.

After the treasury was again depleted, Catherine decided to expand into the Crimea Peninsula on the Black Sea.  She first bribed the Turkish king of the province with plenty of gold bars and secured a treaty of favored nation to doing commerce and having a military advisory role.  Russia quickly plotted and started a civil war and then entered heavily the Crimea before Turkey was ready to intervene militarily.

Catherine wrote: “The Crimea is the pearl in my crown”  In fact, Russia secured another water outlet to its navy.

Catherine visited part of her vast empire.  She ventured as far as Kazan by the Volga River (800 km east of Moscow.  The officials of the city boasted that half of Russia commerce is moved on the Volga River. The Empress wrote in her diary: “From my observations of the activities on the river  I know that the city government has far exaggerated the claim.” Currently, it is estimated that two-third of internal trade in Russia is moved on the Volga River.

There were no love affair or any kind of caring between Catherine and her son Paul:  In critical situations, Catherine would summon Paul to attend meetings or parties just to strengthen her legitimacy; in a sense, appeasing the Russian people of a secure succession to the throne. As the second stroke killed Catherine in 1796 at the age of 69 (she had reigned for 34 years) Paul became Emperor.

Paul was harassed by the British because he refused to join the coalition against the French First Consul Bonaparte.  Paul wrote to Napoleon: “You are not an Emperor or a King, but you have proven to be someone who can deliver.  That’s what count to me.

The British Ambassador plotted and assassinated Emperor Paul in 1801.  Three years later, Napoleon annihilated the armies of three emperors (Prussia, Austria, and Russia) who were present at the battle of Austerlitz.

Catherine committed the worst long-term error by focusing on short-term needs to sustaining her hold on power:  She overextended the privileges and rights of the nobility at the expense of the rights of the serfs working the lands.  The nobleman was secured in his title and the ownership of his land (except in cases of treason) and the nobleman could only be judged by his peers.  In the 19th century, Russia was racked by frequent revolts and assassinations of officials. Ironically, Emperor Alexander II was assassinated the day he was to sign the document on the Constitutional Monarchy. The communist Bolchviks took power in 1917 and liquidated the Romanov dynasty.

Catherine was warned plenty of times of the shortsightedness of strengthening the noble classes.  Diderot, the French who published the first encyclopedia, spent three years in St. Petersburg and Catherine met with him for hours almost everyday.  The Empress asked that her discussion sessions be recorded.  Here is a sample of the dialogue:

Diderot: “You have passed laws that made it impossible for serfs to leave their employment, to seeking new masters, and to move without their lords’ permission.”

Catherine: “Only troublemaker of serfs do what you suggested.  For all your new ideas, governing a country is very different from your bookish theories.”

Diderot: “If the world is to change we must begin somewhere.  That place is with new ideas on paper and in books.”

Catherine: “The empty page is always flexible.  I must work with physical human lives.  There are people to be fed and new generations to nurture.  I don’t have the luxury to pause while experimenting.”

In any case, Catherine witnessed the consequences of the French Revolution in 1789 and had plenty of warnings to reform her political system.

I don’t see much “greatness” in just expanding frontiers of an empire simply to replenishing depleted the treasury.

Alexander II: Tsar of Russia

Ivan the Terrible had cancelled all privileges that the noble class might have enjoyed before his reign:

1. the noble class could no longer inherit lands or serfs because all Russia was owned by the Tsar;

2. the noble could be flogged and executed on a whim of the Tsar without any due recourse.

In 1790, the Tsarine Catherine restored many privileges to the noble class, including inheriting lands and selling or bartering the serfs working the land as a collective or “mir“.  The noble could no longer be flogged, executed, or had to pay taxes. Titles and lands could not be confiscated without due process before a jury of peers.

Catherine had captured Belorussia and Ukraine from the Polish Kingdom and ventured toward the Caucasus regions.

By 1830, the class of nobles were emulating their counterparts in France, England, and Germany and even went way farther in their recklessness: a noble status was measured to the number of “souls” or serfs that he possessed.

The spirit of the French Revolution got activated in this climate of total servitude.

In 1850, Alexander II acceded to the Imperial throne. He abolished servitude before Abraham Lincoln decided on that policy in 1863.

Alex put an end to censorship of the press and promoted free expressions in universities; the legal system was replaced by public juries; the forced military service of 25 years was suppressed.

Cities were opened to whoever wanted to come in and settle; the Jews were permitted to attend universities. The word “glasnot” or openness was first used at that period.

In 1874, university students created this movement code named “to the people” and headed to rural areas with the intention of aiding peasants; the peasants got suspicious and the students returned to their urban centers.

Tolstoy got pretty angry when his serfs declined his offer to re-purchase the collective land as Tsar Alexander II had emancipated all kinds of slavering systems in Russia:  The serfs didn’t find it right to buy lands that they considered belonging to them as a community.

This remind me of a recent “similar” obstinate attitude:  Viet Nam had asked the French multinational Michelin (manufacturing tires) to re-invest in Viet Nam.  Michellin didn’t digest the fact of re-purchasing rubber plantations that it owned there during the colonial period.

The day of his assassination in 1874, Alex was to sign far reaching reforms on Constitutional monarchy.

The nihilist and terrorists groups got apprehensive that these reforms will kill their plans for “drastic revolution” in blood.

Alex was the target of several previous assassination attempts and the Imperial family was haunted by the vision that outside the Palaces was a hell of the real world.

The succeeding Tsar Alexander III cancelled all previous reforms and spent his life counter attacking the virulent terrorist groups; he instituted a new counter terrorist police force that encouraged further hatred to the regime.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

October 2020
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