"The term 'genocide' did not exist before 1944. It is a very specific term, referring to violent crimes committed against groups with the intent to destroy the existence of the group. Human rights, as laid out in the U.S. Bill of Rights or the 1948 United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, concern the rights of individuals. "
[from United States Holocaust Memorial Museum website]
What is Genocide?
For someone to be convicted of genocide, it has to be proved that they had the intent to destroy – in totally or in part – a national, ethnic or religious group.
In the 1990s, the Mesopotamian Marshes were virtually destroyed by Saddam Hussein in an attempt to eradicate the Marsh Arabs who lived there... by literally "draining life from Iraq's marshes." Reaching beyond the social and political ramifications, the permanent environmental and economic damage caused by this policy may be irreversible. By diverting the water flow of one of the most famous and important river systems in the world (the Tigris/Euphrates), the Iraqi leaders appear to be tampering with not only their environment but with their historical legacy, as well.