A Long Time Ago in Master’s Program Far Away – Genocide and People

December 20th, 2006 by xformed

While on the sweetest shore duty known to a sea going sailor, short of being a Naval Attache in the Down Under (so I’m told, never got to make it there, but had a friend who did), I had to pen a paper on a topic for a Philosphy course. I thought: Hmmm…how can I do something that looks serious, but can’t have that much to read to get my arms around it????

A quandry, but, I went on to think: What about the Turkish and Armenian thing? Ok, I’ll do genocide as a topic, so I’ll learn something, but not have to do a lot of reading…

Foolish me…..I will say, once “engaged,” I found there was much to read and many ways we have determined it can happen, and it’s not always about killing. For instance, I found out that The Muslim Turks would take children from the Christian Aremnians and give them to Turkish families to be raised as Muslims. That, my readers, fits the definition of genocide, as determined in the United Nations definition of the crime of genocide (Resolution 260 (III)A) in 1948. Many other things, brutal and not (at first) come under the umbrella of this word we so fear, and hate, all at once. It’s not a long read, and I’d suggest you take a few minutes and gather some understanding for use in the ongoing discussions, not only about Iraq, but for the future of those in the Darfur region of Sudan.

A guest, and it may have been LCol Ralph Peters on Bill Bennett’s morning show (disclaimer: I was driving and I renouce the need to be 100% accurate on the source), but maybe it was elsewhere, talked about how the time of history we have come to call the “Cold War” had the entire World, in it’s bi-polar superpower state, keeping that conflict between the “free” and “Communist” factions at the forefront of our issues. He made this point to support his other point that the current religious fratricide we are witnessing today in Iraq (and elsewhere, such as Darfur, but the MSM reports on Iraq almost exclusively), is not something new. It is a bloody legacy of the Middle East and the history of the Sunnis and Shi’ites, begun shortly after the death of Mohammed. Now, tie the two together: Our conflict with the Soviet/Communist “sphere of influence” casued both ourselves and the Communists to maneuver pretty much everybody else as a huge political and sometime geographic, buffer between us, thus surpressing the ancient blood feud of the Muslims from our sight, and, while I’m sure some of it was going on, the tensions between the two groups have been simmering in that “pressure cooker” for the 1945-1989 time frame.

Both “spheres” put strong men in power, which aided in keeping the direct confrontations beneath the surface.

Now, flash back to fall 1987: As I dug further into the history and analysis of this horrible human capability of genocide, we saw many cases of genocide on the African continent, as the European colonists departed. The analysis: The same as the source above: The colonial governments never solved existing conflict of the indigenous populations, then did as it turns out the Cold War did for our era: The “lid” was kept on and when the pressure was released, boy was it ugly.

My $.02: The core local issues need to be dealt with in these circumstances. The issue of by lineage or by selection is now about a is almost 2000 years in the making at this time, so it will sure keep great minds thinking about what to do to end the bloodshed, our troops and thier civilians, too. In this case, how do we convince two major “branches” of Islam to park at a conference center and talk out their differences? The analysis of the Iraq Study Group certainly doesn’t focus on this on this issue, but blames our presence in the region, with a dash of the real estate know as Israel being the salt in the same perceived wound for the violence that originally erupted in the later part of the 7th Century AD.

I think Mr. Baker and the others certainly could have afforded to be much more knowledgable of the conditions we are facing, and forgetting “concensus.”

Genocide: Its history taught me so much about the human condition.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, December 20th, 2006 at 4:32 pm and is filed under Geo-Political, History, Military, Military History, Political. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

1 response about “A Long Time Ago in Master’s Program Far Away – Genocide and People”

  1. 74 said:

    Back in the early ’70s, I had a shipmate who was of Armenian extraction. When our ship visited Monaco, the two of us took a couple of days leave and visited his relatives in France. I met his Great Aunt, who was a survivor of the Armenian Massacre. She had been visiting a friend in another village one day and upon her return home, discovered everyone in the village had been killed during her absense. After pulling herself together, she returned to her (Turkish) friend’s home, and they smuggled her out of the country. If I remember correctly, about 80 of her relatives had been killed that day.

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