When I grew up, I was not just interested in having fun. I was interested in what made man tick, why we do the things we do, and how can we make our future better. I did grow up or so they say, and I am now in what I call my middle youth. I am 71 years old, not ready to retire and I am still amazed by what man is capable of doing to themselves, to others and to their home, planet earth.
When I was fourteen years old I read, ” The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.” In the book, it chronicled the reasons why men and some women supported Adolph Hitler. Specifically, the reason why I found the book so fascinating, was to figure out if possible, why man could be so inhumane to their fellow human beings in what wound up being the greatest holocaust that the world has ever seen.
We have seen genocide before, history keeps on repeating itself. The names change and the countries where genocide occurs change but still the senseless killing continues. The question remains, which is how and why do keep doing this to ourselves and to our fellow human beings? The names of the places keep rolling off of our tongues: Cambodia, Darfur, Bosnia, the Congo, and now Syria.
We have a world body that is made up of most of the countries of the world and that is the UN, the United Nations. Is that world body representing so many countries useless and incapable of stopping the murder and mayhem that we see on our television screens today?
The magic question is why is genocide continually allowed to take place. When the Berlin Wall fell, and Soviet Empire collapsed we had the chance to have genuine peace in the world. Mutually assured destruction or in other words, the nuclear deterrent had succeeded in preventing massive wars between states. It had succeeded in preventing one country from attacking another for their land or resources. But since the end of the competition between two major powers, the United States and the Soviet Union, we have seen an erosion of peace, and increased tensions and war as well as genocide in the Middle East in particular, and we have seen a state of unrest in the former Soviet Republics.
Countries seem to allow themselves to be intimidated by the so-called big or major powers. They could just band together in the United Nations and show some courage when faced with an impending case of genocide. These events do not happen in a vacuum.
Today, as we approach the new year, the world faces unprecedented challenges. Their is a North Wind blowing where the echoes of the past are becoming every day occurrences in our time and place in history. The human suffering that has just occurred in Aleppo, Syria is an example of the world knowing what is going on but at the same time showing a lack of resolve and courage to try to do anything to stop the pain and suffering of thousands. It is hard to imagine man being so sadistic as to kill and maim people without any accountability.
The various countries of the world need to take a stand. Except for when the United States or Russia is aggressive, it has become a general rule that one can not attack a country without suffering the consequences. Well, we should treat genocide with the same degree of seriousness, as one country attacking another, and just say no, genocide is unacceptable. The world has the power through the United Nations to create a lot of pressure on the offending country either through strong sanctions or through the use of force. The United Nations has a military force currently in the Congo, situated where the mines are to keep the warring factions apart and thereby saving lives. Of course it is much more difficult to do anything when one of the two really big military powers does something clearly wrong.
We are currently entering a period of history where the prospect of further acts of genocide are highly possible. Fascism is on the march. The Middle East has ISIS. The world is at risk of having civilians be the target of more and more violence. The tendency to blame others for your problems is increasing and so is the risk of carrying out violent acts against the scapegoats of today.
Man and his inhumanity to man strains our alleged humanity and civilization. How can we call ourselves human beings and civilized. We are inhumane to species that are in great danger of extinction. We are killing off the last remaining rhinos and elephants in Africa. For the short sighted profits from the sale of ivory and the killing of rhinos for their horns is no less senseless as we witness the genocide of our fellow species. Once the African elephant is extinct and the rhino, we will only see them in Zoos. But who is the true animal, man or the elephant or rhino.
Who will be the champion of the voiceless, the increasing thousands of displaced people? Where will the next Aleppo occur. When will we tire of killing the innocent?