Dirty Hands and Vicious Deeds: The US Government’s Complicity in Crimes against Humanity and Genocide
These original essays show how the US government repeatedly aided certain regimes as they planned and then carried out crimes against humanity and genocide. What makes the collection unique—and chilling—is the inclusion of declassified documents generated by the US government at the time: memoranda, telegrams, letters, talking points, cables, discussion papers, and situation reports.
In his introduction, Totten offers a critical assessment of US foreign policy as it pertains to genocide and crimes against humanity, and discusses the differences between those two terms. In the chapters that follow, each author presents a detailed analysis of a particular case of crimes against humanity or genocide by a foreign government against its own citizens, and discusses why and how the United States government was complicit.
- World Rights
- Page Count: 512 pages
- Dimensions: 6.0in x 1.2in x 8.9in
"How can this happen in our time? These chilling accounts of how a democratically elected government gets away with aiding and abetting the mass murder of foreigners should outrage every decent citizen. What is our duty when our rulers betray the moral basis of the consent we give them to govern us?"
Mukesh Kapila, former United Nations resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for the Sudan and author of Against a Tide of Evil
"I know of no other work like Dirty Hands and Vicious Deeds. The book inclides a series of compelling essays that examine US complicity in the genocide and crimes against humanity perpetrated by other nations' governments. This is a book I shall definitely require in my course on international humanitarianism and human rights."
John Hubbel Weiss, Cornell University
"Totten and his co-authors confront an issue long present in genocide studies literature but rarely addressed on its own: the role of the US in some of the worst atrocities of the twentieth century. In cogent analytical essays followed by illustrative, sometimes shocking, primary documents, Dirty Hands and Vicious Deeds lays bare the ways in which America's geopolitical and ideological self-interest led the world's superpower to support or simply turn a blind eye to the murderous plans of some of the worst regimes in recent history."
Maureen S. Hiebert, University of Calgary
Author InformationSamuel Totten is a distinguished professor emeritus at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville where he taught from 1987 to 2012.
Table of contents
Introduction by Samuel Totten
1. US Action and Inaction in the Massacre of Communists and Alleged Communists in Indonesia (1965–1966) by Kai M. Thaler
2. The Bangladesh Genocide and the Nixon–Kissinger “Tilt” (1971) by Salim Mansur
3. “Our Hand Doesn’t Show”: The United States and the Consolidation of the Pinochet Regime in Chile (1973–1977) by Christopher Dietrich
4. Mass Killing at a Distance: US Complicity in the East Timor Genocide and International Structural Violence (1975–1999) by Joseph Nevins
5. The US Role in Argentina’s “Dirty War” (1976–1983) by Natasha Zaretsky
6. The United States Government’s Relationship with Guatemala During the Genocide of the Maya (1981–1983) by Samuel Totten
7. Calculated Avoidance: The Clinton Administration and the 100-Day Genocide in Rwanda (1994) by Samuel Totten and Gerry Caplan
Afterword by Samuel Totten
List of Crimes Against Humanity
United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide
About the Authors
Subjects and Courses