Sunday, November 12, 2006

"Never Again"

"The Holocaust, Pol Pot's Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, Darfur….

And every time a U.S. president, a British Prime Minister, a U.N. Secretary General says, "Never again."

Yet it happens-again, and again, and again….Why?

Because, our leaders say, We didn't know.Yet they did know-recent studies have shown that the British knew conclusively what was going on at Auschwitz…yet buried that knowledge in their files because it would have forced them to change their war plans.

Everyone knew what was going on in Cambodia, post-the Vietnam War, as the Academy Award-winning movie "The Killing Fields" demonstrates … yet the powers that be declined to admit it, for fear they would have to do something.

In Carla Garapedian's powerful new film, "Screamers," Pulitzer prize-winner Samantha Power says President after President, Democrat and Republican, have known about genocides as they were happening … but have chosen not to act.

In Iraq, Reagan did not want the horrors of Saddam Hussein's massacre against the Kurds to come out, because then he would have to do something to stop him. In Bosnia, world television coverage of the genocide convinced the international community to step in…but only after 200,000 had been murdered.

In Rwanda, Bill Clinton did not want the true horrors to come out …because then he would have to do something.

And now, in Darfur, George Bush has finally declared the desolation of the Southern Sudan a "genocide"-yet refused to do what it takes to stop it.

Why? Because, once again, as in 1915, when the U.S. ambassador to Turkey, Henry Morgenthau, first reported the wholesale extermination of the Armenian population by the Ottoman Turks in Anatolia, it was denied so the United States would not be forced to act. That reaction gave Hitler his impetus for the Holocaust: "Who remembers the Armenians?" he declared in 1939, before ordering the murder of 6 million European Jews.

In "Screamers," Garapedian traces the history of modern-day genocide-and genocide denial- from the fertile "Holy Mountains" of Anatolia to the current atrocities in Darfur . This documentary is as shattering as it is powerful, which includes interviews and live performance footage with System Of A Down, the multi-platinum, Grammy-Award winning rock band, all of whose members are Armenian-American. The film is laced with seven of the band's songs from "Holy Mountains" to "P.L.U.C.K." to the #1 hit "B.Y.O.B." that illuminate the band's views on political and social issues."

The film opens Dec. 8th in L.A., but hopefully it will open nation/world-wide before long.


Anonymous said...

have you read 'we wish to inform you that tomorrow we will be killed with out families' ?

I just finished it. Its by a new yorker writer called philip gourevitch.

Its about rwanda and is a staggeringly good book about a genocide misread, almost ignored and brushed aside by the west.

As your notes point out Clinton messed up big time, but there were so many other actors too.
read it if you can

Anonymous said...

What's up Anoush? This is Andrew, Nyiri's friend. Im working temp for USAID here in Washington and asked Nyiri for your name to see if I could look you up and see if you had some sort of affiliation with USAID. I instead came across your blog page and just wanted to say hi and send Nyiri's regards as well.