A Century of Genocide: Critical Essays and Eyewitness Accounts

By Samuel Totten; William S. Parsons et al. | Go to book overview

Introduction

SAMUEL TOTTEN AND WILLIAM S. PARSONS

Will the killing ever stop? Will the scourge of genocide ever be eradicated? Will humanity ever be wise enough to prevent the deaths of potential genocidal victims before they become yet another set of statistics in the welter of statistics?

These and similar thoughts continue to weigh heavily on our minds as we complete this second edition of Century of Genocide: Critical Essays and Eyewitness Accounts. How could they not? In the not-too-distant past, daily broadcasts and reams of print journalism issued terrible news about the genocide taking place in Bosnia-Herzegovina; the genocide of some 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus by Rwandan government forces and paramilitary extremists; the Indonesian army-"sponsored" killings in East Timor in the late 1990s; the sporadic and ongoing mass killings in Burundi; the continuing conflict and killing in the Sudan; and the horrific violence and killings that have recently erupted in the Congo. That's not even to mention the hateful epithets and actions of neo-Nazis in Germany, the United States, and elsewhere; the insidious and incremental destruction of indigenous peoples' ways of life across the globe; and the ubiquitous deprivation of various peoples' human rights (which sometimes explodes into genocidal actions).

It is also, to say the least, disconcerting that we live in a world in which certain parties and nations perpetuate the denial of certain genocides that have occurred. Such denial has run the gamut from those who refuse to acknowledge the issue of genocide due to the discomfort the subject causes them to those who distort history for personal or political gain to those who deny and distort out of sheer ignorance or hate. Scholars often arrive at different historical interpretations, but those who purposely distort the

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