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Revised 03 Apr 2010

Genocide most basically is internecine warfare within a culture and in that sense resembles warfare within and between species over resources and territory. It differs not at all from the competition in the jungles and savannas. By definition, genocide is an organized and controlled extermination of a group of people based on a feature that distinguishes them from those perpetrating the genocide--real or imagined. It need not be complete and is a modern cultural phenomenon that has increased in frequency since it was re-invented by Americans when they virtually exterminated the native Americans.

Hitler's Holocaust was history's most famous example of Genocide, with Stalin's equally systematic Gulag with a higher toll not far behind.
If a silver lining can come out of such a terrible time, it may be the following rendition: Realm of Silence -- by Elvire Coriat de Bare

Slaughter and massacres have plagued humanity from time immemorial and still does. Leave it to "civilization" to make it worse, by making it deliberate, organized, and controlled. It has increased in frequency. Racial genocide was practiced against the Native Americans, Armenians, Jews and Gypsies. Stalin's genocides were not only racial but social and political as well. The Chinese and Cambodian genocides were political. Hitler, Stalin and Mao were the most prominent 20th Century practitioners.

Nation states and even the United Nations commonly stand by and let it happen. Why? In some cases they have blood on their hands--having contributed to the problem--or have aspirations of their own, or simply cannot easily afford to intervene. In similar ways Imperialism and globalization have contributed importantly to the modern problem. After the fact, it is common for "apologists" to deny that genocide ever happened, as with Hitler and the Serbs in Bosnia. This is vivid example of Extremism, in denial--perhaps one of the worst.

For those interested in current African genocides, see Geopolitics.

For a deeper look, visit: Human Rights Watch and Rwanda

Rwanda Genocide

Murambi Technical School has become a macabre museum attesting to the murder of thousands.

A most important book on genocide is Gerard Prunier's "The Rwandan Crises;" History of a Genocide, Columbia University Press. Prunier gets into the lives of both killers and victims, their cultures, motives, and politics, as these are all affected by imperialism and world events. One basic issue he identified in Rwanda is simply a competition over resources. There were several others of course, but the resources angle reads over into other genocides. His book is a must read for any who aspire to understand genocide or the shortcomings in modern societies in dealing with their own invention.

Further links for the curious:

Action: Alerts for activists for various issues, Genocide, climate, Nuclear Proliferation, Women, etc.
Armenian Genocide: Genocide 1915 by the Ottoman Turks
Beyond The History Of Wars: Moving the debate forward to its basics.
Current Genocide News: Google News
Current State of Genocide Partner Regions
Facing History and Ourselves: Linking to Moral Choices
Genocide of the Mind: New Native American Writing
Global History: Open Democracy
History Prominent genocides of the 20th Century.
List of Atrocities: From 1450 CE up to WWII.
Wars and Atrocities 1975-2000
When Victims Become Killers. Book review


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