The Catastrophe Facing the World Today

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The greatest challenge facing the world today is the spiraling hate, intolerance and genocide which shows no sign of abating but rather expanding at an increasing level and no one, no country for that matter seem to have a solution.

Unless something is done soon, the world as we know it will destroy itself.

History has a way of repeating itself and this is exactly what we are witnessing today, but no one wants to admit this much less take concrete steps to grapple with what is taking place and continuing at a rapid pace.

How can the world allow itself to be brain washed by the media into accepting all the evil, hate and war mongering that is taking place today without as much as a strong condemnation.

We should remind ourselves of the phrase “He who pays the Piper calls the tune.” Do we recognize which country owns and control the media? Sad to say we all know this but are spineless to raise a voice except spew words and phrases that are false and meaningless.

The more research that one does, the more atrocities and horrible acts of genocide are unearthed and the more questions are raised as to the sincerity of those who seem to give lip service to the rule of law.

How can civilized nations accept the carnage and wanton destruction of property and lives as a norm and issue meaningless condemnation of what only should apply to the low of the lowest? Maybe it has to do with control, fame and power even if this means turning a blind eye to the atrocities being perpetrated by the civilized world.

Today even the very definition of genocide is being questioned, but there is no doubt it refers to the intentional destruction of a particular race, ethnicity, religious group, or nationality. You do not have to be a rocket scientist to recognize that genocides have taken place and continue to occur in almost every corner of the globe, whether in society’s ancient and modern.

The reasons are as diverse as the acquisition of land and resources, to the demented evil and hate of a single man or nation. Some scientists have asserted, without successful contradiction, that genocide led to the extinction of Neanderthal man and current trends point to a similar fate for mankind.

Recently attention has focused on The Kurds, an ancient Iranian ethnicity spread out across several nations in the Middle East.

Latest estimates put the population at less than twenty percent of Iraq, with most settlements in the northern part of the country.

Historically, they have been at odds with the government of Iraq, and tensions came to a head during the Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s, when Saddam Hussein’s Ba’athist regime perpetrated the al-Anfal Campaign.

The campaign was led by Hussein’s cousin, Ali Hassan al-Majid, whose use of mustard gas, sarin, and VX nerve gas among other substances earned him the nickname “Chemical Ali.” One estimate claimed that more than 180,000 Kurds were killed, with several thousand more still unaccounted for. Chemical Ali was captured by the American military and executed for war crimes, including his role in the Kurdish genocide. Those who illegally invaded Iraq must themselves by tried with war crimes, having misled the world that Saddam had chemical weapons.

At the time the world only offered a halfhearted condemnation of the tragedy

World atrocities continue with the Maori, the indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand. They have a long history in that part of the world, having dwelled in the area for some eight hundred years. About five hundred years ago, a group of Maori migrated to the nearby Chatham Islands, where they began their own society that focused on peaceful living. They called themselves the Moriori.

The remaining, warlike Maori tribes soon came into contact with Americans and Europeans, and while initial meetings sometimes ended in cannibalization of the foreigners, the Maoris highly valued Western guns—so trade flourished. Beginning in 1835, the now well-armed Maori arrived at the Chatham Islands, where they proceeded to murder and devour their defenseless cousins.

Those who survived were enslaved, and forced to intermarry with the Maori. In less than thirty years from the moment of contact, there were only 101 Moriori left. The last pure-blooded Moriori died in 1933.

Like the Maori and Moriori, the Hutus and the Tutsi likely originated from common ancestors—offshoots of the Bantu people. In fact, there was little delineation between the two at all before the arrival of Belgian and German imperialists. The Europeans divided the two groups mostly by economic status, with Tutsis being wealthier (the ownership of ten cattle being the base requirement). Indeed, if a Hutu came into money, he could change his status to that of a Tutsi.

The Tutsi were the prevailing class in Rwanda for many years enforcing their rule in some cases with great violence against the Hutu people. But in the early 1990s a revolt began, which saw Hutus engaging in the wholesale slaughter of Tutsis. Hundreds of thousands were killed—the preferred method of execution being the machete, as ammunition was too expensive and difficult to come by. Rape, mutilation, and the deliberate spread of disease were also used as tools of terror. There are highly divergent accounts of the final body count, with some people claiming that there were five hundred thousand victims, and others that there were well over a million.

The world stood by as the genocide continued and to this day the world remains shocked at what happened with little or no intervention.

Let us now look at the Pygmy Genocide

The pygmy tribes are found in central Africa, and while they comprise several tribes, the general term is used to describe people whose adult males are less than fifty-nine inches tall. Although there are several theories as to the reason for their tiny stature, no one has truly pinpointed the reason.

The pygmies, who are a largely primitive, forest dwelling people, have suffered terribly during Congolese civil wars fought in the region. Pygmy representatives have appealed desperately to the United Nations, claiming that rebel factions such as the Movement for the Liberation of the Congo have been hunting and cannibalizing their people as though they were wild animals. There are only an estimated 500,000 pygmies remaining, and their numbers are sharply declining in the face of slaughter and deforestation.

The impact of Columbus’s arrival in the Americas also point to some of the most horrific crimes against humanity. One estimate put the number of natives one million. In the years following 1492, a deluge of Europeans arrived, each wave more determined than the last to seize control of the New World’s vast natural resources. The only thing standing in their way were the native populations, who, as it turned out, weren’t always willing to share.

In South America, Francisco Pizarro slaughtered the Inca. In Mexico, Hernán Cortés destroyed the Aztecs. But most devastating of all to the native populations was disease—notably smallpox—for which they had no immunity. Whether or not the Europeans intentionally sought to infect the indigenous people is a highly contentious point—but regardless, the result was horrifying.

Millions and millions of natives perished, to the point where wolves were devouring them alive as they writhed in their villages. Today, the population of Native Americans is widely scattered, and many tribes and ancient customs have been lost forever.

Now we come to the aborigines who are among the most ancient races in all the world. Recent DNA tests indicate that they are of Asian origin, having arrived in Australia 50,000 years ago or more. Beginning in 1909 (and continuing into the 1970s), the Australian government instituted a policy of removing Aboriginal children from their parents.

The precise motivation behind this program is still up for debate, with some claiming they were taken in order to “protect” them from the primitive ways of their parents. Others believe that the children were taken to either prevent miscegenation with whites, or to encourage it—the aim in both cases being to destroy any trace of their native heritage. Historians debate whether this constituted genocide at all, but in 2008, the Australian government proffered a formal apology to the “stolen generation.

The Ottoman Empire did not escape the claims of genocide. Modern day Turkey was accused of a great many human rights violations—none more horrifying than the Armenian Genocide. Beginning in 1915, while the rest of the world was distracted by World War One, the Ottomans turned fiercely on the Armenians, a Christian minority.

Able-bodied men were slaughtered, and women and children were forced to embark on death marches through the Syrian Desert. Entire villages were burned to the ground with their inhabitants still inside, and boatloads of Armenians were taken out into the Black Sea and sunk. There were at least two dozen concentration camps established, where poisoning and gassing occurred.

Again, the true death counts are up for debate, but estimates of between 600,000 and 1.8 million dead Armenians have been advanced.

Since ancient times, the Jews have been highly persecuted by Egyptians, Romans, and Christians alike. But few genocides have been as sweeping or well-documented as the Nazi Holocaust, Adolf Hitler’s “final solution to the Jewish question.

It is important to understand the socioeconomic state of Germany in the years following World War One; the country had acquired a massive debt, and forced war reparations utterly destroyed their economy. Inflation was so bad that normal families’ entire life savings were depleted on few loaves of bread.

In the midst of this chaos, Hitler preached his message of hate, using the Jews as the scapegoat for Germany’s fall from grace. The rest is etched into history; the Jews were herded into ghettos, and eventually shuttled in train cars to concentration camps, where they were murdered and tortured in the most inconceivable fashion.

The total figure differs, depending on what source you use but what is true is that the holocaust occurred and cannot be questioned in some countries.

One should not forget the plight of the Palestinians who are being annihilated on a daily basis by the Israelis. The genocide at the Lebanese refugee camps are still fresh in the minds of the survivors of those slaughtered.

In today’s modern world there can be found a horde of excuses for the wanton loss of lives by millions the world over but of even more concerning today is the fact that there is ample evidence of history being repeated by some of the great powers in the world today.

No one seems to have the courage to speak up against what is taking place in so many parts of the world today as the slaughter of the innocents continue unabated.

World leaders need to speak with one voice and religious leaders have a responsibility to protect the innocents. Otherwise we are all doomed to an ignominious future.

 

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Hazrat (Edwin) Ali was born in the then British Guiana on October 7, 1940.

He is the father of five grown children and six grand children.

A Journalist for 44 years, he was Editor of Caribbean Today News Magazine for nine years and later became the papers Travel Editor. He is a former Editor of the now defunct Caribbean Lifestyles Magazine. Ali is currently Caribbean Correspondent for Jetsettersmagazine.com out of Las Vegas and Assistant Editor of Caribbean Voice newspaper.

He is a former Editor in Chief of the Guyana Broadcasting Corporation, correspondent for the BBC, Reuters of London, Gemini News Service of London, Caribbean News Agency, Radio Antilles of Mo! ntserrat and Alacode of Colombia.

A graduate of the University of Guyana, he has credits in Print and Radio Communications, English, Economics, Caribbean Studies and Sociology and has had training from the British Ministry of Overseas Development, the University of the West Indies and UNESCO. He is also a graduate of Cuffy Ideological Institute and the Critchlow Labor College and is also Honorary Chairman of the Clerical and Commercial Workers Union.

Recipient of an "Excellence in Journalism" Award from the Caribbean Media Exchange in May 2002, Ali has also been honored by the Caribbean Business Network for his contribution in the field of Communications. He has traveled extensively throughout the Caribbean and West Indies, Europe and some of the former Eastern Bloc countries North Korea and Egypt and made the pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia in 1999.

Ali is the author of Guyana's first political history book...."The Rise Of The Phoenix in Guyana's Turbulent Politics" which covers 50 years of Guyana's political development and is now a recommended reading for students of the University of Guyana.

His latest book, "Muslims in America Following the Catastrophic Tragedy of 9/11" condemns the perpetrators of this heinous crime and traces the impact on the social and economic lives of millions throughout the world. Ali's first cousin, Bibi Amina Mohamed lost her life in the Twin Tower Tragedy. (Certificate of Registration TX 5-929-616. U.S. Copyright Office)