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Should reconciliation be mandated in countries with genocidal activity?

Every continent has experienced instances of genocidal activity, especially in the past century. From the Holocaust in Europe to Cambodia to Rwanda to Aboriginal Australia to Native people in the Americas, there have been mass killings and forced migrations and government sponsored injustices against minority groups.

Should countries with a history of genocidal activity be forced to recognize their actions and work towards reconciliation OR is the past best left in the past?

To what degree should the international community be involved in a reconciliation process?

What do we do after the genocide is over?

  • May 24 2011: I think the countries with a history of genocidal activity should be forced to work towards reconciliation for one big reason. Committing acts of genocide is just cruel, and any sane person who doesn't see that needs help. Whether it's something well in the past like the Holocaust, or something recent like Darfur, reconciliation needs to take place for the perpetrators of those countries. They need to learn right from wrong and learn how to resolve differences with those they supposedly don't like. As far as the international community, I think we need to do much more. Creating some kind of international prevention group for genocides would help stop genocides in the early stages.
  • May 24 2011: I think that the past should best be left alone, to a certain extent. There is no use in reopening old wounds from half a century ago. However, I do believe that some form of reconciliation should be mandated for more recent genocidal activities such as the ones in Rwanda and Darfur. Once these countries have gone through reconciliation I think the UN should focus more attention on preventing such genocidal activities from occurring again in areas that have a history of genocidal activity. The international community definitely needs to be more involved in preventative actions concerning genocidal activity but bringing up the past to go through a mandated reconciliation process may do more harm than good.
  • May 24 2011: I think they should be forced into some kind of reconciliation activity. I mean in today's society, doctors mandate therapy to help others improve cognitively. And look at past examples when reconciliation hasn't been mandated: China had evidence of genocidal activity 3 times. The Hutu and Tutsi have had genocidal activity twice. I believe that if it was mandated, then they could have solved their differences, and moved forward. I think the international community does need to be involved to a certain extent because they cannot be trusted to reconcile themselves. Perhaps some sort of a UN subcouncil for this purpose.
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    May 18 2011: Justin...........It is possible to disobey orders, is it not ?
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    May 18 2011: Hi Meegan, this is a wonderful forward looking idea.
    Countries are on a macroscale what the individual is on the microscale. Wounded people need other people to help them. Why not whole countries?
    I can see our world evolving to a place where the wisdom of this is recognized.
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    May 17 2011: Oh, definitely. But how do you mandate love ?
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      May 18 2011: it's not about mandating love, it's human rights. A universal God given right to co-exist. For someone to take it forcefully and with malice, is grounds for ultimate condemnation. However, the military as well as subordinates for the rulers that were ruling during the times, were merely following orders. If you put yourself in their shoes, it was either obey orders or be killed. I say try the leaders and preserve the country in order to cultivate a better future for all the nations of the world.
      • May 19 2011: I don't know if you have heard of this or not, but there is a great book called Ordinary Men by Christopher Browning that explores the idea of "kill or be killed mentality".

        I have also heard of a book on the other side (though I haven't read it yet) called Hitler's Willing Executioners by Daniel Goldhagen. It's name is pretty self-explanatory.