Genocide, The European Refugee Crisis And An Emboldened Russia
Have We Become Immune To Genocide?
In a podcast moderated by Foreign Policy magazine, filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer and author David Rieff discuss whether society is desensitized to genocide. Oppenheimer is the producer of the documentary The Look of Silence, which follows a man who confronts the people who killed his brother in Indonesia’s 1965 anti-Communist purge.
Their exchange, as well as the podcast, are featured here.
Europe’s Refugee Crisis Has Uncomfortable Similarities To 1930s Germany
The individuals fleeing from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan have been met with rejection in some nations, while other have given them a cool embrace. Their experiences, says Guy Sorman of City Journal, are not unlike those refugees seeking safety from an increasingly brutal Nazi regime.
Sorman tells the story of Nathan, a young boy who tried to emigrate to the United States, but was denied a visa. Eventually, he was accepted into France and was the only one of ten siblings to survive the Holocaust.
“[The European crisis] is not the Holocaust—not yet. A few years from now, however, what will we call this human wave washing over Europe? How will our history books and official statements justify this exodus that the Europeans—both citizens and governments—are trying to reduce to a “technical crisis,” which simply requires a small legal adjustment to the definition of refugee status?,” he asks, noting that Nathan was his father.
Dan Peleschuk of the Global Post points out that as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee unbearable conditions in the Middle East, there is another refugee crisis occurring in Eastern Europe.
In fact, according to the United Nations, more than 2 million people have left their homes in eastern Ukraine since the war with Russian-backed separatists began last year. A majority of those individuals are now known as internally displaced people because they cannot return home.
And it is unlikely they will be able to in the near future as Russia is increasing its military movements. Reuters reports that Russia is building a large base on the border with Ukraine in a move which implies that the facility, which can house up to 3,500 soldiers, is designed to support a lengthy Russian presence in eastern Ukraine. According to Anton Zverev, who unearthed the plans on a Russian government procurement website, the facility will include a training center and an infirmary as well as amenities such as a swimming pool and a skating rink.
Reuters has another unnerving story that shows Russian troops are also participating in direct combat operations in Syria and are also establishing two bases in the country. U.S. officials also claim that the Russians have sent cargo planes, landing ships for tanks and a small naval infantry force to the country.