We wish to inform you
<blockquote> <p>”...a year after the genocide in Rwanda I went there. The story had been bothering me, which is to say that in April of 1994 a program of massacres began in Rwanda that ended up claiming the lives of 800,000 in a hundred days. People were murdered at a rate that exceeded by three times the speed the extermination of Jews during the Holocaust. It happened in our time, in front of our noses, somewhat before our cameras. And it vanished very quickly. As soon as the blood was dry the story disappeared from the newspapers. Nobody really had explained it. When one read the papers it didn’t seem to me to make much sense. It was described as anarchy and chaos, which struck me as implausible simply because in order to kill at that clip requires organization, it requires method, it requires mobilization. It requires the opposite of anarchy and chaos. Mass destruction is not arbitrary, it doesn’t just come about willy-nilly. Those things interested me. So in other words, I felt the story was being told wrong, and casually and cavalierly, and that in some basic way a great calamity had happened which we were quite content to be ignorant of.”—Philip Gourevicth</p> </blockquote> <p>The quotation above is from an <a href="http://globetrotter.berkeley.edu/people/Gourevitch/gourevitch-con0.html">interview </a> Philip Gourevicth did with a professor at Berkeley several years ago. Philip is the author of the book <a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0312243359/qid=1106246740/sr=8-1/ref=pd_csp_1/104-8062208-5147162?v=glance&s=books&n=507846">We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will be Killed With Our Families</a>, which is currently ripping my heart out. The genocide in Rwanda in 1994 is the subject matter of the recent film Hotel Rwanda, which Brenda & I saw this past weekend. Upon seeing that film, I was inspired to learn more about this awful page in our planet’s history, and Gourevitch’s book is one of two books I now have that I intend to read. </p> <p>I am ashamed that it has taken me this long to realize the scope of this atrocity. The comedian Eddie Izzard does a bit about Hitler and Pol Pot, and how we just don’t seem to posess the mental capacity to really understand the enormity of a million murdered. I think he’s right:</p> <blockquote> <p>“Pol Pot killed 1.7 million people. We can’t even deal with that! You know, we think if somebody kills someone, that’s murder, you go to prison. You kill 10 people, you go to Texas, they hit you with a brick, that’s what they do. 20 people, you go to a hospital, they look through a small window at you forever. And over that, we can’t deal with it, you know?”—Eddie Izzard</p> </blockquote> <p>I am also inspired by Gourevitch’s writing. Thankfully, he is a man more curious than I—perhaps more cynical than I—and had the gumption to take a closer look at this story, and the skill to deliver its horrible truths with this excellent book. I want to be just like him. </p> <p>The holocaust should never have happened. Rwanda’s program of genocide should never have happened. Cambodia, Bosnia, Somalia. Sudan. What the hell is wrong with us?</p>
lighting simulationist, crossfitter, former drinker.