The United States of America was built on a foundation of genocide against the Indigenous peoples of North America. In fact, all successful settler colonial societies are founded in genocide. The process is one of dispossession – the erasure of one group identity and the imposition of another on the people and/or on the land.
But genocide is not merely the foundation of the US nation state, it is also the foundation of the US empire. The US habit of genocide has not died, but has transformed. The US has become a serial perpetrator of genocide with the blood of many millions of innocents spilled in pursuit of imperial hegemony.
There is a fight going on for the very meaning of the term “genocide”. Western powers assert their right to accuse enemies of committing genocide using the broadest possible definitions whilst also touting a twisted undefined sense of “genocide” which can never, ever be applied to their own actions. Aotearoa (New Zealand) Prime Minister John Key, apparently taking his cue from the US, is currently pushing for reform of the UN Security Council such that the veto power would be unavailable.