THE HELPLESS CRY OUT AS THE WORLD TURNS A BLIND EYE TO GENOCIDE
Joseph Stalin, while just a commissar, once stated: “If only one man dies of hunger, that is a tragedy. If millions die, that’s only statistics.” As Soviet Union leader, Stalin created the Great Famine (the Holodomor) in Ukraine in which up to 10 million people starved to death, about 25,000 every day, in 19321933.
Frenchman Jean Rostand, in his 1939 book “Thoughts of a Biologist,” wrote, “Kill one man, and you are a murderer. Kill millions of men, and you are a conqueror. Kill them all, and you are a god.” Even before then, there has been no shortage of men seeking such deiﬁcation. They have killed tens of millions of people and driven out millions more to foreign countries that do not want them to live in abject poverty.
The Cold War’s Lessons for U.S.-China Diplomacy
In 1948, President Harry Truman’s diplomats approached representatives of Joseph Stalin with an offer to discuss the many issues dividing the U.S. and the Soviet Union. The Soviet dictator responded with a simple “ha ha,” and 40 years of Cold War ensued.
That episode seemed newly resonant earlier this month, when a meeting between American and Chinese officials in Alaska turned into a televised airing of grievances. This tussle in the tundra signaled that there will be no “reset” between Washington and Beijing; a period of high-tempo competition is upon us. But Cold War history shows that diplomacy can still play a critical role, if U.S. officials view negotiation as a tool of competition rather than a replacement for it.
A Century of Genocide: Utopias of Race and Nation
Why did the twentieth century witness unprecedented organized genocide? Can we learn why genocide is perpetrated by comparing different cases of genocide? Is the Holocaust unique, or does it share causes and features with other cases of state-sponsored mass murder? Can genocide be prevented?