What makes the holocaust such a big deal?

Discussion in 'History' started by Roman, Apr 3, 2008.

  1. invert_nexus Ze do caixao Valued Senior Member

    No time or energy to post in-depth at the moment (head pounding, weak, I feel a genocide going on in my lungs and sinuses). But, real quick:

    The White Man.
    The Man.
    The Middle Class American Male.
    The American.
    The Italian.
    The Gypsy.
    The Armenian.
    The Black Man.
    The African American.
    The Soviet.
    The Russian.
    The Communist.
    The Actor.
    The Waiter.
    The Busboy.
    The Custodian.
    The Jew.

    Why do so few of these seem offensive?
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  3. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

    It is relatively rare for a nation to start solving all it's people problems with summary execution.
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  5. John99 Banned Banned

    Yeah, and all those gangster movies wouldnt be too realistic if everyone was named schwartzbomb.
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  7. sowhatifit'sdark Valued Senior Member

    Put them in a sentence that generalizes what 'all the members of the group' are doing and make it a negative and it will sounds offensive. And I used to be a busboy, long ago, and if I heard a waitress saying 'The Busboy' (meaning all of us who bus) 'has a character that does not understand service'. Or 'The busboy is lazy'. Oddly it would have been offensive.

    The reason the definitive tends towards offensiveness is it implies we are talking about an essential trait, intention or whatever shared by the all the members of the group, a kind of genetic predisposition. And I would guess that's why that form of address is more common in racist literature.
  8. Avatar smoking revolver Valued Senior Member

    I agree! And not only Hollywood.
  9. Avatar smoking revolver Valued Senior Member

    You are mad to say these things, nothing can beat English comedy series.
    Of course humor is subjective, and I never liked American style toilet humor.
  10. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    Bells! I found your dagger. It was embedded in my back.

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    All right, I agree that the Rwandan and Armenian holocausts were also genocides, not too different from the Jewish Holocaust, which is also a genocide. Also, the Rwandan Genocide is a holocaust, as the Armenian Genocide was.

    I do: distance, previous commitment, and the lingering example of Somalia.

    I was referring to the "convention" of public referral not the Convention of Geneva. Savvy?

    ...I have no idea how these things work out in your head to be contradictory. I'm just going to answer: "no", which is the truth. I do think one is more disappointing than the other, since we arguably had more ability to stop the Jewish Holocaust, which took many years and during which we turned away many people from our shores who were seeking refuge. The Rwandan Genocide was a bit quicker, and what I know about the Armenian Genocide indicates that it was slow but ignored or hushed up by those with interests in the Dardanelles. So we also had the capacity to stop that; but I think people were also somewhat shocked into inaction by it: what was it, that entire masses of people were being butchered? Surely it had to be a rumour. A bloody fantasy of the Near Orient. That's far from the primary reason, but I wonder if it didn't also affect the response.

    Very well; as you say. It sounded and sounds snotty to me.

    Mmm yeeeeess. But - I can also understand the American hesitance to involve themselves in another African adventure after Somalia. Clinton had a rough time of that. In a perfect world - or even this one - I agree utterly that the Americans should have become involved. But realistically - I forget where I heard this - public support in a Republic or any Democratic nation is a finite resource. It must be expended with the greatest caution and return on investment, because the public will turns rapidly away when things begin to go sour - and then everyone loses. Iraq is a good example of this. Now - this doesn't matter a whole hell of a lot to Rwandans, and if I'd been the President I would have taken action anyway. But there it is: Marx was right. The societies of the West are ridden with holes, weak, lacking the will to do the right thing, or even any thing, if it doesn't involve them. It's a piss-poor state, but it's the one that they've unfortunately fallen into. Internationally, it would have been another balls-up, probably, and one which the Bin Ladens of this world would have crowed to the masses. So I don't know. It's a stupid thing, really.

  11. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    Power and usage. "The Jew" had no power, and the usage was wrongful. It was demeaning. Ergo, Gen/Xev was wrong to use it.

    Done and done. Hope you're feeling better.

  12. Kadark Banned Banned


    Funny how you capitalize the Jewish "Holocaust", yet not the Rwandan and Armenian "holocausts".
  13. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    A toss-up. I like both; English moreso, I suppose.
  14. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    It's even funnier how you fail to recognize the common usage, or my preference for the common usage. I imagine they too will be capitalized as time goes on, although mental laxity suggests they won't; I'll be even more surprised if the Holocaust gets capitalized in the common usage of, say...Tehran.

    Begone, fly.
  15. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    Oh: and you missed "Armenian Genocide" and "Rwandan Genocide" there, Goethe.

  16. Kadark Banned Banned

    But...the Armenian "holocaust" happened before the Jewish "holocaust".

    I'd say ~100 years is enough time for it to be capitalized.
  17. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    Then please begin and in all honour to the Armenian Holocaust survivors, I will follow.

    Otherwise, fuck off.
  18. Kadark Banned Banned

    Thanks for capitalizing "Armenian Holocaust" this time. Wasn't so hard, was it?
  19. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member


    Still missed Genocide.

  20. Bells Staff Member

    That's the heel off my shoe. Give it back. Now!

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    No. They were some of the reasons given for lack of support to UNAMIR. Other reasons included 'we didn't know', it would have been too expensive, blah blah blah.

    The actual reason why they avoided saying the word "genocide" as it was occurring in Rwanda is because if they had, then they would have had to actually step in to try to stop or prevent it. Do you know why? Because countries who are party to the Convention have an obligation to prevent and actually punish those accused of committing acts of genocide.

    Of course.

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    And the West did not help them until after the war ended. But did we learn anything from those mistakes? No.

    Yes. It was relatively quick. But also very much more open to the genocide perpetrated by the Nazi's. There were warnings. All were ignored. At one point, Lt. Gen. Romeo Dallaire asked for the US to use planes to scramble radiowaves to stop the propaganda on Rwandan radio, which would have probably saved thousands of lives. The US replied and said no, it was too costly. Apparently they couldn't afford to spare a few thousand dollars to save a few black folks. Understandable really.. after all, it was Africa. As Dallaire commented, had it been in a European country, there would have been planes sent, vehicles sent to UN forces on the ground (yeah, UNAMIR were denied the access to UN vehicles as well), food and water (they also ran out of food and water and no one was willing to provide airlifts to get them basic supplies and necessities). But yeah, you get that.

    As to the speed of the genocide itself. It was not really surprising. The warning signs were quite apparent for a long time before it even began. For example, Tutsi children were beginning to be singled out in classrooms. After all, wouldn't want the genocidaires to kill the wrong children, would we? Media propaganda was well underway months before hand. Politically, the moderates and the Tutsi politicians knew and warned of an impending genocide. Most of them died, along with their families by the way.

    It's telling how the world reacts to natural disasters, so prompt and usually so organised. But a few 100,000 Africans being slaughtered in their homes, workplaces, camps, churches, hospitals and on the streets. Well, it just happened too quickly. What is most ridiculous in your statement is that all that was needed was a few thousand extra soldiers (Dallaire had asked for a deployment of around 5,500 to 8,000 soldiers or so I believe) and necessary equipment (vehicles that actually worked for example) and the genocide would have been stopped and/or prevented. He was denied that as well I believe.

    No? Really? Geez, who'd have thunk it.

    The world did nothing in either case because we simply did not want to. We did not want to get involved and we simply did not care. That is what it comes down to at the end of the day. Afterwards, of course there were apologies and claims of ignorance. There always is. We still have not learnt from those lessons however. Look at Sudan and Kenya as prime examples.

    Fair enough. They didn't want to become directly involved. It still does not explain their efforts to prevent other countries and the UN from stepping in, now does it?

    Again, it's just some primitive Africans killing each other. Who really gives a shit? Study the events in Rwanda and surrounding the genocide and that becomes blatantly clear.

    The public turned on Iraq because the war was based on a lie. Nor relevant or applicable at all.

    I suggest you read "Shake hands with the Devil" by Romeo Dallaire. You'd be amazed at just how stupid and petty we actually are.
  21. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    The Holocaust was named such, to mark its uniqueness among genocides and massacres. Hence the capital.

    I still see a significant difference between one group wiping out another group, and an industrial civilization extricating and killing a population of its own citizenry, originally mixed in with the rest.

    The differences seem important, in both method and political arrangement, and in implication for Western civilization.

    The closest massacre I can think of, to the Holocaust, might be Pol Pot's cleansing of Cambodia.

    Some of the fascists in South America also kept unusually good records, apparently, of the death squad stuff. A warehouse full of them just turned up in one of those countries, can't recall the name, and others have in the past.
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2008
  22. Avatar smoking revolver Valued Senior Member

    How is it more "unique" than the other? Jews were another group, and they have never really mixed.
  23. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    Could be, indeed. But the reasons the Yanks gave would still be the same.

    Well, the Yanks have committed other balls-ups on intelligence and general piss-poor planning. I don't think it's that out of character for their services, I have to say. So...I still don't think it was necessarily a racist thing.

    Hmm - you know, the Yanks did help out with Indonesia. I still think it was an issue of money, probability and distance. Possibly oil, too. No oil in Rwanda. But it's impossible to know, probably.

    Did they prevent? I don't know.

    I disagree. There was a substantial body of fairly sophisticated people that said "no WMD? Oh well. Saddam was a shithead anyway, so whatever. But Iraq must be fixed up and stabilized." It's more the failure of the mission - which a lot of Americans saw as humanitarian - that erodes public support. It's a finite resource. (I think my quote above came from "World War Z", which is a fiction novel, but a very apt quote anyway.)

    Probably, yes. We're more developed animals, that's all.



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