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Genocide Past And Current Essay

1732 words - 7 pages

In the past 150 years, tens of millions of men, women and children have lost their lives to ethnic cleansing or genocide. Although the definition is often scrutinized, according to Merriam Webster, "Genocide is the deliberate and systematic destruction of a racial, political or cultural group". The most notable event associated with the term is the Holocaust. Stated by Judah Gribets, Edward Greenstein and Regina Stein, "nearly six million Jews fell victim to genocide during the years of the Holocaust". Of This number, one million were children who were unable to take care of themselves. People's hopes and dreams for the future were stripped from them, and many families were ripped ...view middle of the document...

This is primarily because during the early years of the movement, the Rouge had very few followers, and none were as radical as Pol Pot. The groups actions that constitute as genocide began shortly after their seizure of the government in early 1975. In order to achieve heir goals, the Rouge believed that all Cambodians must be made to work in one central collection of farms, and anybody who opposed this idea was to be eliminated. Pol Pot's slogan of "to spare you is no profit, and to destroy you is no loss" perfectly captures this ideology. Luke Walker explains that, "the majority of the "potential opposition" included intellectuals, monks, religious enthusiasts, Buddhists, Muslims, Christians and any persons with Thai ancestry". The group also vigorously interrogated their own members on the basis of treason and sabotage. Many citizens and members were executed for little reason. As Cambodia was now a country based on the ability to work, those who were unable to do so were killed. Therefore, the elderly, handicapped, Ill and children were of no use if they were unable to perform physical labor on a daily basis. As a result, in four years' time, nearly 25 percent of the countries population was obliterated. The death total easily measured over 2 million. This massacre continued until the invasion from the Vietnamese in 1978. The Khmer Rouge government was easily ousted by the larger and more experienced army of the Vietnamese. The issues of the aftermath of this event were extensive. Economically, Cambodia had nothing. Because all of the Doctors, Lawyers, engineers and intellectuals had either fled or been killed, The country was left to struggle. In addition, following military struggles and conflicts left another 14,000 civilians dead. Finally in 1991, a peace treaty was reached and Buddhism was reinstated as the official religion. Soon after, the nations first democratic election was held in 1993. Since then, tensions have cooled, and information regarding the conflict has been released. Sadly, Cambodia isn't the only country that follows this pattern.
The second and maybe the most astonishing example of genocide is what took place in Rwanda in 1994. Hearing about genocide was nothing new to many people, but because of the new upbringing of the internet and availability of news broadcasts, the entire world was able to see it for the first time. It was always well known that the Rwandan population is very one-sided. The majority of the people living there are Sunni Muslims or "Hutus" whereas the minority consists of Shia Muslims, or "Tutsi". According to Sarah Hymowitz and Amelia Parker, Tutsi are said to be of higher class because they are more white, and the Hutus are common people of middle class. Although the distrust and hatred between the two groups of people was always slightly present, nobody had any clue about what would be the outcome. Following the establishment of the Hutu led government in 1961, the oppression of the Tutsi...

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