Battlepanda: Ghosts of the past...crimes of the present


Always trying to figure things out with the minimum of bullshit and the maximum of belligerence.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Ghosts of the past...crimes of the present

Almost exactly thirty years ago, Pol Pot came into power in Cambodia and started a sustained killing rampage that left nearly two million dead. Loung Ung kissed her father goodbye at the age of seven knowing that she would never see him again.

About eleven years ago, genocide broke out in Rwanda. Over a period of three months, eight hundred thousand people were killed, mostly hacked to death by machetes. Captain Mbaye Diagne, an unarmed U.N. observer, defied his orders to stay neutral and do nothing. He managed to ferry about two hundred Tutsies to safety through checkpoints manned by killers in a jeep, five or less at a time. He was ultimately killed at a checkpoint by a mortar.

The government-sponsored genocide in Darfur has now caused about half the death toll of the Rwandan massacres. The only country willing to deploy troops to protect civilians is Rwanda. Meanwhile, we are coming close to bribing the government in Sudan not to kill as many people as they have been doing.