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February 5th, 2006


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06:45 pm - The Rwandan Genocide, 800 000 dead in 100 days
Why do I do this to myself :/

          It was either in grade 11 or 12 of high school, when we had a guest speaker in.  He showed us a documentary.  It was on the Rwandan genocide.  For most Canadians, I think the Rwandan genocide is something at the forefront of our minds when anything UN related is brought up.  This genocide was the prime example of the UN's disconcern with human lives and it's complete lack of competence when it came to dealing with issues swiftly and efficiently.  In that auditorium, as I watched the documentary, tears came to my eyes.  I remember hurriedly scrubbing them away because who wants to be caught crying over some film right? Especially during that 'cool' age.  But ever since that day, I've been keeping an eye out for the documentary.  Today, by some fluke, I was surfing ebay and typed in 'Rwanda DVD' in the search field.  It came up with 3 hits; Hotel Rwanda, A Night in April, and Ghosts of Rwanda by PBS.  The first 2 were movies based on the genocide, the last one was a documentary.  Hurriedly I ran to HMV and of course, they didn't have it.  As a matter of fact, the sales-clerk told me, they've never had it in the store.  Big surprise.  Next stop, Chapters.  To my surprise, there it was, right above the anime dvds (yeah I know, wtf).  Happy that I had found another good dvd, I ran around the store and bought myself Death Note vol. 1-3, but was a little ticked that Loveless was temporarily out of stock.  Whatever, I'll get it next time.



          But what I had forgotten was that it's one thing to feel grown up by buying these "serious" dvds, it's another to watch it.  Now over the course of these past few years, I've watched my share of documentary-ish shows, Farenheit 9/11, Bowling for Columbine, The Corporation, Super Size Me, etc. etc.  This one, was a bit different.  I had bought the book Shaking Hands with the Devil by General Romeo Dallaire who was in charge of the UN peacekeeping mission to Rwanda at the time of the genocide and had flipped through it a bit.  I had googled images to the genocide and thoroughly puked my guts out afterwards.  And after being allowed to jade for another year or 2 after the first time I had seen the documentary, you would think I can handle it.


Nope.

          Not a chance.  800 000 people dead in 100 days.  From the beginning of April 1994 to early July 1994...on a continent far from our own, 800 000 people died.  And what did the big-shots do? What did the Clinton administration do?  Nothing.  And the United Nations, the organization created after WWII to ensure that another genocide like the Holocaust never occured again, what did they do?  Nothing.  They all sat on their hands and told Dallaire to not intervene and not get involved in armed fights.  Now excuse my language, but WHAT THE FUCK?!  If you had a foreign passport, you got a safe ticket out of the country, if you didn't, you stayed to wait and get either hacked to death or shot.  Great.

          I though about taking screencaps, but I didn't think some people on my lj can stomach them.  After all most of us met through tenimyu where the boys are pretty and gay, not the best preparations for seeing slaughtered people lying on streets or piled in rooms.  *sigh* Humans.  Why why why why why why why why why why why why why why why why why why why why why why why why?  What other species of organism has, over the course of thousands of years, again and again tried to eliminate others of the same species in massive numbers?  I don't get it! I seriously, just don't get it sometimes, a lot of the times.  You just don't take a machete or a gun out onto the streets one day because the government tells you to and start hacking away at your neighbours!! Just don't!  For crying out loud!

I wonder how many people are going to skip right over this entry just from reading the subject.

Current Mood: sadFrustrated, tired, angry
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(28 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


From:_pseudonym
Date:February 6th, 2006 12:20 am (UTC)
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Argh... the Rwanda Genocide is so sad and sickening at the same time. We had a dinner at the LCC in '04 that was held for the anniversary of the incident/to promoto awareness/to work on eliminating racism, and before that night I had never known about such a thing. I was doing cash and... don't feel too bad, I was sitting there with tears running down my face as I listened to the speakers.

I wasn't quite aware of the UN's lack of aid/turning a blind eye in the affair though. That's disappointing and shameful. Hypocrisy at its best.

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From:koneko_desu
Date:February 6th, 2006 02:22 am (UTC)
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Yeah the UN was a bitch through it all, course with the USA backing. It's even worse thinking that it happened during our life-time, I mean geez, that's just...disgusting. And I know I was only 7 at the time, but I can't recall anything on tv or anywhere regarding Rwanda back then when I lived in the States, I didn't even hear the name Rwanda until the presentation at my high school, that's way too disturbing.
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From:baka_gami
Date:February 6th, 2006 01:14 am (UTC)
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Watch Hotel Rwanda, it's actually really good.
We are all so stupid sometimes..
Emilie wrote an amazing editorial about that last year.. I'll ask her if she still has it. It owned american society.
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From:koneko_desu
Date:February 6th, 2006 02:22 am (UTC)
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Yeah? I've heard good things on it, it's just I didn't really want to watch a movie based off such a tragedy ('course Titanic isn't too different but uh...yeah). If she still has it I'd love to read it.
From:rikit
Date:February 6th, 2006 01:49 am (UTC)
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the things humanity does cause me to be apathetic.
it's not like i'm immune to human tragedy but
i don't even think that things that people do can get any worse.




i just realized i don't even have any serious icons to use in this case.
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From:koneko_desu
Date:February 6th, 2006 02:24 am (UTC)
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Ah I didn't realize it but I didn't either (made this icon right after reading your entry). Although I'm not one for changing icons frequently, but yeah, yaoi icon doesn't really suit the topic. I agree with you, I can't possibly think of anything humans can do that's worse than what's already been done in the past, it's like we've hit all the lowest of lows.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:February 6th, 2006 02:03 am (UTC)
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Don't worry Mengya, you weren't the only one fighting back tears.I have read the book by General Dallaire too,and I have to conclude that he lives with this burden everyday of his life too.I think as well-intentioned the UN is to global peace and safeguard,it is too closely affiliated with the United States.It has become an branch of American foreign policy.What do you think?
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From:koneko_desu
Date:February 6th, 2006 02:29 am (UTC)
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Oh good, I'm glad I wasn't the only on in that auditorium. I feel so awful for Gen. Dallaire, I mean he's tried cutting and suicide and suffers depression and it's not even his fault! I think he did much more than a lot of people would have, I know a lot of people would probably just followed their orders and gotten out of there as soon as things took a downfall.

Yes the UN is much much to associated and reliant on the USA to be objective and neutral towards any issue, as is a lot of the international organizations if not all of them. I mean, intervening in situations like these aren't even suppose to be about public policy or international image, it should be about saving lives, innocent, civilian lives. A person just morally cannot leave a country of people to get murdered simply because they were born a certain ethnicity, how can you sleep at night doing that?? How can you sleep knowing that hundreds of thousands of people are just waiting to be slaughtered with no way out when you have the power to save even a quarter of them??
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From:seraphim_12
Date:February 6th, 2006 02:52 am (UTC)
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You know when I was in Gr. 12 for my law class we actually got to go to the Congress center and heard the Honourable. Romeo Dellaire talk about his experiences in Rawanda.

I was really impressed by his conduct and his frankness of the horrors.

I mean we hear everyday of hundreds or thousands of ppl dying and ya it is horrible, but when you hear individual stories of the victims . . . . it just really rams in into heart.

I was so impressed by Mr. Dellaire's speech that it finally decided me on what to do in University. I was sorta deciding btw Journalism and Int'l Development and Globalization, but after I heard that speech I knew what I should do.


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From:koneko_desu
Date:February 6th, 2006 03:13 am (UTC)
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You've actually seen him in person?!?! O___o whoa!!! I'm jealous dude! Yeah he does seem really straightforward, both in his book and in the interviews in the documentary, I think we definitely need more people like him in some of the major organizations, then maybe we can straighten some of the mess in this world out.

Wait wait...so you're in Int.'l Dev. and Globalization????? At Ottawa U.??? A first year??? Have you told me this before? Because I'm in that program...you know we might've had the same classes together or something!! O___O
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From:seraphim_12
Date:February 6th, 2006 03:16 am (UTC)
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HEHE, i sorta figured your in my program by your various concerned posts ^_^

Yup I'm so proud of myself! I actually got to talk to him and shake his hand! He's is an astounding man to meet in person.

Actually I'm a second year, so I doubt we had classes together this year! *_*
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From:koneko_desu
Date:February 6th, 2006 03:20 am (UTC)
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YOU GOT TO SHAKE HIS HAND?! O___O Way cool!! I'd LOVE to meet him in person. My history prof last semester (Dr. Perras) has also met him, I SO want to meet him and just tell him how impressed I am with the way he just threw UN orders to withdraw out the window (though I think he's probably gotten tons of similar compliments, it's so sad that he can't find any solace in any of it though).

Aw you're second year? Can I steal your notes from first year? ^^;; We need to really meet sometime dude, same hobby, same program.
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From:seraphim_12
Date:February 6th, 2006 03:24 am (UTC)
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LOL, I KNOW!

Isn't Dr. Perras like the awesomest prof ever? I LOVE him! He is soo cool. I actually ate lunch with him last year! We were talking about Jann Arden of all things. I couldn't believe it.

Yup totally agree with you, all the same we should just keep at it, maybe one day it'll help in some small way.
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From:koneko_desu
Date:February 6th, 2006 03:30 am (UTC)
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OMG He so is!!! I loved him so much!!! He was the only prof that actually made me WANT to go to class last semester! Which is why I got a B in his class and C, D, and E in the other classes XDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD He was so awesome, and we got the awesomest TA too in that class (talk about eye candy).

How'd you get to eat lunch with him?? I can't even work up the nerve to say 'hi' to my profs >.<;;;;;;
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From:seraphim_12
Date:February 6th, 2006 03:39 am (UTC)
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Well there was a fourth year in my class that had spotted me in the cafe and apparently we also had a french class together so she was like, come over and have lunch with me!

So I nervously went to her and we started chatting and another of ger friends dropped by (was soo hot) and then outta the blue she gets up, waves and shouts "Hey Dr. Perras, why don't you come and join us for lunch!?"

And I was just like OMG )_), and I didn't know what to say or how to act . . . .then we started talking about emo bands and stuff and THEN I got into it!

Normally I stay away from my profs tho, some are just really nerve racking!

Oh and I'm assuming that it was HIS111 ya?
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From:koneko_desu
Date:February 6th, 2006 03:42 am (UTC)
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HIS 1111 yep =^-^= She actually CALLED him over??? and he agreed???? XDDDDD And he talked about Emo bands??? XDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD Wow *snicker* Yeah I find myself shying from the profs, which is strange cuz in high school I always chatted and joked with my teachers (almost called them profs XD). But then again the classes back then had like, 30 ppl max and after 4 years they all knew me really well.
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From:seraphim_12
Date:February 6th, 2006 03:45 am (UTC)
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YES! I couldn't believe it!

You know what I've found tho? I'm not as bad as I used to be. I find myself participating more often and talking with my profs now way more than my first year. I promise it'll improve. ^_^

OOOh and your going to Anime North this year?
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From:koneko_desu
Date:February 6th, 2006 03:52 am (UTC)
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Probably yep, my friend's booked a room for us already and I think she'll shoot me if I back out XDD But my poor finances are in shambles ;__;

I hope I can open up and talk to my profs more, some of them seem really interesting and I like it when we have discussion groups with like, 10-15 ppl and we can all say something, it's a lot better than just sitting there and taking notes.

Come on msnnnnnnnn~!!!!!!1
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From:seraphim_12
Date:February 6th, 2006 04:17 am (UTC)
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LUCKY YOU! AC3 was my first CON and I was hoping to go to AN this year but it doesn't seem likely @ the moment. Getting there isn't the pb it's just that . . . . i want so much stuff and I KNOW that I'm not going to have enough $$ by that time.

What I think I'm gonna do instead is save up for this year's AC3 and I'm sure that I'm gonna have way more money to spend there than I would @ AN, XD

I'm sure you will. Personally I found my 1st semester in my 1st year hard, not only work wise, but adjusting to the new environment. It's a big shock to go from knowing everyone, seeing the same faces everyday, to knowing almost no one and being in these HUGE 300 ppl classes!

No MSN for me today, I'm actually trying to do work >_< it's not working out tho, but I must resist, XD!
From:_pseudonym
Date:February 6th, 2006 05:02 am (UTC)
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No shooting! Funny that you posted that before our conversation! XD
From:_pseudonym
Date:February 6th, 2006 04:58 am (UTC)
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Oh hey. Now I know where I regonize that name from... he was the main speaker at that event. He is an awesome, AWESOME public speaker. As soon as he starts talking, you just *have* to listen.
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From:seraphim_12
Date:February 6th, 2006 05:02 am (UTC)
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Agreed, he's very charismatic and an intelligent public speaker. Were you at that conference?


*squints at icon* is that a gremlin? Wow, I haven't seen one of those guys in forever, now that bring back child hood memories ^_^

From:_pseudonym
Date:February 6th, 2006 05:09 am (UTC)
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No... it was at the London Convention Centre. It would have been back in spring of 2004 for the anniversary I believe? I didn't know anything about the horror until I worked that night (cashiering) and was fortunate enough to be situated in the room while speeches were going on.

One of the other workers at the LCC had done a year of missionary work in Africa the previous year and was so excited that this guy was speaking. I didn't know just how world-renowned he was. It was definitely moving and motivating and inspiring. I learned a lot that night.


And... the icon is a gremlin-like creature, yes? I've never actually seen the movie or whatever they're form, but everyone who sees him is like 'Gremlin!'. XD

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From:seraphim_12
Date:February 6th, 2006 05:15 am (UTC)
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OH, hmm . . . . it must have been in 2004, feels so much longer tho. I'm so happy I was able to attend that conference, not ony did I learn about the Genocide but of others that have contributed to fight poverty/AIDS/the many conflicts occuring in Africa. Definite eye opener!

Well it certainly seems like a gremlin, it's sooo cute, I just wanna cuddle it (and hope it doesn't bite! XD)
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From:mouse_sensei
Date:February 6th, 2006 07:53 am (UTC)
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The more I study psychology, the more dangerous this race seems :/.

Under certain cercumstances, it's really easy to manipulate humans. Quote Zimbardo from the 1972 experiment [in which he randomly assigned students to be either prison guards or prisoners, in a pretend-prison setting], "growing confusion between reality and illusion, between role-playing and self-identity... This prison which we had created ... was absorbing us as creatures of its own reality."

*lacks of appropriate icon* ;;;
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From:koneko_desu
Date:February 6th, 2006 06:15 pm (UTC)
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Oh yeah I read about that experiment they did. THat's really creepy, really really creepy. Didn't the pretend-guards start like, sexually assulting and beating the pretend-prisoners for stupid little reasons that they just randomly mad up? It's disturbing to think that any one of us has the potential in us when given the circumstances to do the same, that's just...no...morals people morals, conscience, remember those? Yeah, we need to work a little harder on that.
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From:toxicfrog
Date:February 6th, 2006 12:12 pm (UTC)
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It's sick to believe that this kind of stuff can even happen, especially in our time. It seems like one of those things we'd read about in history books which happened oh so long ago.

I recommend picking up Hotel Rwanda. It's very good.

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From:koneko_desu
Date:February 6th, 2006 06:17 pm (UTC)
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Exactly, like long long long ago this sort of thing happened, not now, not anymore. We know better now and we're more "civil", until it blows up in your face.

Now I really need to see this movie, so many people are recommending it.

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