On December 6, Yemen peace talks began near Stockholm, Sweden. As we place our hopes for the security of the Yemeni people in the fragile prospect of a political settlement, we cannot allow ourselves to forget the crimes that have already been committed by the Saudi-led coalition and the U.S. under successive administrations. No […]Continue Reading →
It was our first time in Lebanon. My daughter Anoush, a graduate student in anthropology at UCLA, and I were having breakfast with a Turkish friend, a scholar of the late Ottoman Empire, in Beirut’s beautiful Hotel Bristol. We mentioned that we were planning to visit Jbeil (Byblos) that day to see the old Crusader […]Continue Reading →
In the of the 3 November 2016 edition of the London Review of Books, Alex de Waal reviews From War to Genocide: Criminal Politics in Rwanda 1990-94 by André Guichaoua, translated by Don Webster. Below are excerpts, the full review is available from LRB.
There was certainly a determined effort to kill every Tutsi […]Continue Reading →
On October 20, 2015, the World Peace Foundation and Tufts Initiative on Mass Atrocities and Genocide invited Scott Straus to present the key findings from his book. Straus started his presentation by laying out the research puzzle. Why does mass violence develop in some cases but not others? He tackles this problem by systematically comparing cases in post-Cold War, sub-Saharan Africa that experienced genocide with those that did not, despite the presence of similar risk factors: Mali, Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire, Rwanda and Sudan (Darfur). He finds that deep-rooted ideologies—national founding narratives—play a crucial role in shaping strategies of violence.Continue Reading →
The real dilemma concerns what must be excised from international genocide and mass atrocities agendas in order to produce the kind of lessons learned that are palatable to powerful international actors. When truth telling aligns with the interests of power, it invariably softens its demands. If you bring together people from key international decision-making institutions to discuss a historical event that can only be deemed a colossal failure, the lessons will inevitably be focused on how the different actors did not coordinate their efforts behind a single, guiding ethos or policy. This is invariably true and it evenly distributes blame. It is also invariably true of many international failures, mistakes and faux-pas: it may even describe the “international community” rather than a problem within it.Continue Reading →
Up to 40,000 members of Iraqi minority groups are at severe risk from the advancing forces of the Islamic State (IS or ISIS/ISIL). The most urgent crisis, according to accounts from eyewitnesses, news and humanitarian organizations, is the plight of the Yazidis—a small group that follows an ancient monotheistic religion that includes elements of […]Continue Reading →
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