Genocides of the World

When Slobodan Milosevic died in prison, I investigated the history of genocide and became dismayed as the number of references to various human atrocities mounted like bodies in a mass grave.

We all know that genocide has been around forever. Seems like we just can’t stop our obsession with killing to get people out of our way. The reasons vary from religious (the Crusades, Bosnia) to retention of power (Charles Taylor, Stalin) to conquest (North America, Japan) to cultural supremacy (Hitler, Pol Pot). One can argue what defines a genocide, but in its broadest definition, “systematic mass killing” will do. Out of memory I could only come up with a half-dozen or so instances of genocide, the first being the Nazi Holocaust. It did not take long for my list to triple, and that merely touched the surface. We’ve been annihilating whole cultures for a long time; I had simply forgotten my history.

This is a morbidly fascinating topic, one that most people would rather not know about. It appears that it’s become more, not less, popular in the past century.

A short list follows. There are many, many more.

Technology makes it all too easy for the few to annihilate the many. The frequency of genocide, particularly in the last 70 or so years, appears to be growing in popularity.

Yikes.

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