Genocide Accusation Poster

Not Unique to a Country or a Time

The practice of genocide, or in simplest terms, the planned suppression of a particular demographic group within a nation’s borders, is neither unique to one country nor to one time period.  Rather, scholars point to it as an ancient practice.  Violent campaigns resulting in the extinction and/or expulsion of a race of people appear in human history as far back as 3000 BCE.  When comparing modern and premodern acts of genocide, there are many similarities in terms of methods utilized to carry out genocide, the motives of those in power and the relationship between the dominant and victimized groups.  However, while genocide was once an accepted practice of warfare, today it is viewed as morally, ethically and legally unacceptable under any circumstances.  The international political system has strict rules in place for sanctioning and punishing those engaging in genocide, while nongovernmental organizations and academic institutions work hard to pressure governments to intervene in genocidal and pre-genocidal situations.  In addition, nongovernmental organizations work to educate people about the dangers and unacceptability of genocide.  Some scholars suggest that these steps can lead to a future world without genocide, while others argue  that racism, evil and interethnic warfare are  simply unchanging facts of the international system.  Indeed, these scholars argue that in the period since the breakup of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, genocide has increased in scope and frequency, augmented by new technologies in the areas of weaponry and administration.  There is evidence for both viewpoints, as this article will illustrate. 

Photo: 2011 Khalistan Liberation Force Poster accusing genocide.  "Genocide of Sikhs in Mass destruction. India Govt. try to remove sikhs from India. Still they trying...Khalsa ji do or die to save our Khalsa Panth" http://www.flickr.com/photos/khalistanliberationforce/5348615552/


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