Wednesday, August 19, 2009

"Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict" from Greenhaven Press [2]

The Introduction starts us off on a good note; the first sentence of the second paragraph at least acknowledges that ethnic violence is not some purely organic element of certain uncivilized societies, but rather something which must be prodded and nurtured by political, military, social, and media elites.

"Today, many extremist right-wing leaders and politicians, bent on building or keeping political power, spout Hitler-like propaganda to fan ethnic hatred and violence and to blame minorities for domestic problems."

But while the editor's critique of the phenomena of ethnic violence seems sound, I am concerned that they saw nothing else in the conflict in the former Yugoslavia but ethnic violence. They do not spell this out--I am inferring from the choices made for inclusion, as well as the framing thematic questions for each chapter. However, the closing paragraph of this short Introduction contains this chilling statement:

"Ethnic conflicts or wars are never completely resolved unless they end in genocide. Ethnic hatreds thus tend to simmer, often ready to erupt when demagogues preach racist lies."

There are many possible political solutions to ethnic conflicts which are conceivable if one accepts this logic; it is also true that there are certain political solutions which are essentially dismissed if one accepts such logic. We shall see where this volume takes us.

1 comment:

Srebrenica Genocide Blog Editor said...

"Ethnic conflicts or wars are never completely resolved unless they end in genocide."

Ouch. Did I just read that? That's just a dumb conclussion. If challenged, I can't see how can anybody defend that opinion. The solution to ethnic conflicts cannot be genocide. Nothing, absolutely nothing can be resolved or achieved by committing a genocide except fueling oil on fire and creating a lifelong historical problem (see examples of Armenia and Turkey, or Israel and the World).