Recent events brought to mind Hilary Clinton’s greatest ad during the 2008 campaign…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZ_z9Tpdl9A
Well apparently I am not the only one who remembers that ad. Check this out:
But…you know what..the phone rang and rang and RANG at the Clinton White House during the Rwandan genocide of 1993-94 and nobody answered the phone. The UN sent a mission of approximately 2500 soldiers to try and stop the killing of nearly 800,000 Rwandans in less than 100 days. The commander of that mission, Lt. Gen. Romeo Dallaire of Canada, wrote a harrowing first hand account of those times titled Shake Hand With the Devil. It is a stunning account of the evil that men can do. (Personal side note: I know somebody who knows Gen. Dallaire. They both were panelists on a symposium on Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. Dallaire has been suffering from PTSD since his service in Rwanda.)
Having read Shake Hands I then read a little more regarding genocide. Here are a couple of books worth your time. Samantha Powers writes a disturbing look at 20th century genocide entitled A Problem From Hell: America and the Age of Genocide. Part of her theses is that the United States fails to respond to genocide. Apparently she was instrumental in getting President Obama to finally react to the Libyan situation.
If Hitler and the Holocaust sounded the death knell for the Enlightenment Project , a belief in the capacity of humankind to use rationality to promote individual and communal progress, the genocides of Stalin’s gulags, the killing fields of Pol Pot, the ethnic cleansings of Rwanda and Bosnia drove the final nails in it. Os Guiness writes about this topic and gives a Christian response in his book Unspeakable: Facing Up To Evil In An Age of Genocide and Terror. From the front flap:
In the expansive exploration of both the causes of modern evil and solutions for the future, he (Guiness) faces our tragic recent past and our disturbing present…In order to live an “examined life” we must come to terms with our beliefs regarding evil and ultimately join the fight against it.
I’m not sure why I am writing about this on a Saturday night…it is just stuff I think about…I gotta go…