(AS (ante-scriptum?) : Sorry, sorry again for the re-upload, but I don't quite get it. First I was getting no thumbnail, and then after awhile the entire picture had been replaced with the thumbnail. I don't know if I have to doubt about my comp or DevArt; I rather uploaded a sepia-ized version there, though I hope I won't have to re-upload it again)
AS (another one) : as I recently discovered through some commenters, this picture is featured on encyclopedia dramatica in the interesting article on "fursecution". While I did hope that my years on Internet would ensure me a place of some kind on this fine encyclopedia, I just wanted to make sure everybody understood that this picture is not about furries. Well, now you know.
Don't get me wrong. I am not trying to get attention by pretending I want to cut myself to empathize with the victims of genocide. I am not trying to say that genocide is bad through the pathetic representation of a victim of a genocide. The wounded char, somehow, is more an abstract representation than anything else, as well as the background (even if the machetes are supposed to identificate them with the rwandan milicias ; that is to say, genociders)
I am just somehow trying to define the nature of genocide. Not saying it's bad, which is kinda obvious. And it's not exact anyway. Genocide isn't bad. Genocide is a worst in itself.
In every society (and I think that here I'm rewording Primo Levi's analysis), murder has been condemned as something bad, if only because no life in society can be possible if anybody can kill anyone, anytime. Even when societies have been allowing murder, it was still to avoid, seen as a necesity. Civilised societies sometimes allow death penalty over the fact that it's a punishment for another murder. Dictatorships allowed murder of opponents, because they could oppose the leaders or the parties seen as a greater good. Even the killings of wars obey to some logic, killing the enemies or those who could be enemies, in order to win the war -which would be a good-. But the killing isn't good in itself, it's done for something else.
But not in a genocide. In a genocide, killing the members of the marked people is a good in itself, because the whole people is seen as noxious. To Hitler, killing Jews was a purpose in itself, which is why the trains of deportation going to Auschwitz were going before the trains of weapons or soldiers, even in the last times of the IIIrd Reich. While in a war, the enemies usually adult men, in a genocide, the enemies are everybody, and above all women, who will give birth to new members of the people, children, who are the future of that people, and though even dying elderly are seen as having to be killed.
Through this, genocide defines as the exact opposite of humanity, which is why as human the simple evocation of it should slash us as blades.
Genocide also not only destroy humanity by making murder a good in itself, but destroy the humanity in everyone involved. The attempts of genocide, at least those of the 20th century (the only ones I mentionned) all tried not only to kill people, but first to destroy them, to make them lower than crap. Why did Turkey make Armenians do such a long walk to kill them, while it could have massacred them much more fastly, if they had wanted? Why did the hutu milicias chose the machetes to coming the genocide? Why did the Red Khmers in Cambodia, and nazis in Germany, made their victims go through so much humiliations, so much suffering and starvation, so much torture, if it wasn't exactly to break the human figure within their victims, to make them look like animals, more, vermin, that they could easily kill without having to question their conscience?
But by doing so, they also killed humanity within them. Can we still find the humanity in someone who can plan cold-bloodedly the death of million person? Their commitment made of them torturers before human beings.
...And still, they were human beings, as all of us. That seed lies in humanity, maybe, far inside, within every of us.
...I had that rant in my mind for long, and it was good to write it, but that wasn't exactly what I wanted to say.
What is most important, maybe, is that those genocides were all planned mass killing. Planned for a good while.
That is to say that the international community could not ignore them, above all the last ones.
Most likely, all these genocides happened, or were that big, because the international community found convenient to look the other way while they were going on. Everybody knows how the gas chambers were never bombed, while everybody at this time knew they existed. After the shoah, it was said " never again"... And yet again happened two times, in Cambodia and in Rwanda, with nobody lifting a finger (but, in the case of France, to help the wrong force in Rwanda).
Why no reacting? I guess that it's because it happened in countries with no geopolitical importance. Whether Iraq, which holds a good share of the world's reserves of oil, is lead by this one or this one is important to everybody. But when 800 000 persons in Rwanda are killed, it affects the region only, and the interests of nobody but the forces there, and the average powers who need some supporting governments in Africa to keep having an important voice internationally. Thus the world looks away out of decency, because if they dared watching things as they are, they would be tempted to act, which wouldn't be reasonable.
So, and that may be the only important thing I'll tell you, don't look away when you hear about troubles in countries you don't know. Make your ear attentive when you hear someone telling about huge casualties in some distant country. Care to listen for more, try to see how your country is (or isn't) involved, remember it when you vote, show you care.
It's only if citizens clearly show they won't tolerate genocides and know what can be called such, that government will be forced to show attention to them before it's all too late.
Because it's so easy to say "never again" after.