Stories about genocide

When public monuments sprinkle salt on another community’s wounds

The constant struggle to control the past and the future by dominating the present took a new turn in Charlottesville, Virginia, over Robert Edward Lee’s statue. Now, public monuments are becoming polemical in Australia. Erecting and pulling down public monuments in democracies during peacetime provides a new battlefield, in stark contrast to the acts of armed men drunk on victory. In 2003, when the Americans bludgeoned their way into Iraq, they gleefully helped Iraqi citizens pull down Saddam Hussein’s statue while much of the world cheered. When the Taliban destroyed the Bamiyan Buddhas, most of the world wept. Karl Marx and Joseph Stalin’s statues received applause ...

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Is America just a glorified third world country?

I slept the night Donald Trump was elected president of the United States (US). Not out of a sense of peace, but a resigned knowledge that nothing I did now would stop the waves and currents of history. I didn’t know the outcome, and I almost didn’t care; because whatever happened, ordinary Americans would have to deal with it. I was one of them, whether I liked it or not. My friends had stayed up after midnight, watching the election coverage on their laptops. “Look at how many states are red!” my friend Amina exclaimed, horrified. “The Republicans are leading the House (of Representatives).” She was worried and ...

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Did the biased media coverage of the US elections ensure Trump’s victory?

On April 6, 1994, a missile shot down an airplane carrying Hutu leaders Juvenal Habyarimana and Cyprian Ntayamira in Rwanda, unleashing the ethnic majority Hutus against the minority Tutsis on a campaign of mass murder. As the atrocity spread, the world debated the nuances of the word ‘genocide’. Three months and at least half a million deaths later proved that, yes, it was genocide. Semantics matter. During the 2016 US election, mainstream media’s refusal to correctly identify bigotry, while perhaps not as egregious as mislabelling ethnic cleansing, has contributed to Donald Trump’s victory. Semantics matter. Trump’s detractors, and count me ...

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Will China’s military overhaul be able to compete with the US Army’s 101st Airborne Division?

The size of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA), its past  performance and the Republic’s economic super power status have periodically got Washington’s knickers in a twist, much to the glee of the United States’ military-industrial sector. The South China Morning Post’s report of a prospective overhaul of China’s land troops to acquire a rapidly deployable force on the lines of the US Army’s 101st Airborne Division (101st) promises as much. The plan also involuntarily activates latent Sinophobia – even though the ambitious project is obviously a very long haul – with success hanging on China’s crucial choice between conscription and professionalism. Milton Friedman (1912-2006), Nobel laureate ...

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Can the world stop the Syrian chemical genocide?

My experiences in life and close encounters with death have taught me one extremely important lesson – politics, money and power don’t know any faith, humanity or values. All that matters in the end are geographical interests, control and money. People are disposable commodities – pawns in a dirty game where loyalties are suspect and human life is not sacred. Bashar al Assad is a leech of the highest order and the war that he has waged against his own people has only consolidated his hold on power. Despite a huge fuss the world powers supposedly committed to end the ...

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When he questioned them about the genocide, they gave him The Look of Silence

The Look of Silence is a documentary which depicts the remains of the Indonesian genocide that took place in 1965, brutally murdering thousands of communists or anyone who opposed the army regime. Adi Rukun, who plays the brother of a man who was murdered during the genocide, has the unique privilege to confront the masterminds behind the massacre and put his nightmares to rest once and for all. The Look of Silence is a spiritual sequel to Joshua Oppenheimer’s previous masterwork The Act of Killing (2013), which portrayed the massacre through the perpetrator’s perspective. Honestly, this film is clearly not ...

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How Hollywood reacts to Gaza: Welcome to the dark side

Since the early 20th century, Hollywood has been persistently flourishing and progressing towards better and greater dimensions; shaping filmmaking trends for rest of the world’s leading film industries to follow. One of its achievements remains its ability to manage a global diversity of artists, producers, directors, technical teams, supporting staff and crew members, and how it enables all of them to render their services on the single platform of Hollywood. This film fraternity has produced a galaxy of legends and stars who have earned intriguing rewards in terms of name, fame, money, career, passion and self-attainment. The lustrous charm of this industry and the overall ...

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The Bucket Challenge is definitely NOT on my bucket list

The first video I saw of the ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’ was of Anne Hathaway and her contribution to this social media craze. Since I had no idea what it was about, I saw a few other videos of celebrities and came to the conclusion that it’s something along the lines of a ‘wet t-shirt contest’ because that was the only thing I could make out during these short videos. While I enjoyed watching heartthrobs like Zac Efron, the Hemsworth brothers and Siddarth Malhotra drenching themselves in water, I noticed that all of the participants of the videos mentioned the word ALS and something about a donation. So I ...

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If Turkey can do it, why can’t other Muslim states?

Over the indiscriminate genocide of innocent people of Gaza, the Muslim leadership, the Arabs in particular and other Muslim states in general, have blatantly and deliberately remained silent. More than 1200 people have been killed and over 6,000 have been seriously injured in Gaza since the launch of Israel’s army offensive. Physical infrastructure is severely damaged: several houses and buildings have been demolished including mosques, schools and hospitals. There are about 57 self-governing Muslim states across the globe; some are absolute monarchies while others are sovereign democratic republics. Yet, none of them has dared to openly condemn or curb Israel’s vicious character. Leaders ...

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#ShiaGenocide is a reality, not just a ‘fab’ Twitter trend

Another sectarian attack in Parachinar. The infamous hashtag Shia Genocide, however, only lasts momentarily on Twitter before being taken over by more worthy trends like #replaceMovieNameWithSharamnak. A thoughtless comment by a random person inspired this post. “Why isn’t it called #SunniGenocide when people die in Parachinar?” Firstly, let me explain that genocide isn’t claimed by the Shias because it’s the fab trend these days, just in case someone was confused between gadget hype and reality. Second, genocide isn’t an award or laureate we’d all like to place in a glass showcase. It is the epitome of inhumanity which rages on caused by the efficient inaction ...

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