”A Problem from Hell”: America and the Age of Genocide Book Review

After the Holocaust, many proclaimed “never again”. But the reality is that the phrase has become just words as humanity has proved that we have not learned from the Holocaust.

In 2002, former diplomat Samantha Power released her searing indictment of America’s attitude to massacres across the world in ‘A Problem from Hell”: America and the Age of Genocide. Re-released in 2013, the book covers various atrocities across the globe and how America reacted. She starts with the Armenian Genocide and ends with the war crimes in Kosovo in the late 90’s.

Going into great detail, she uses historical documents, first hand accounts and press clippings to tell the stories of the massacres and the innocent lives lost.

When I finally finished the book, I noticed several things.

  • Though the details of each massacre are different, the overall story is the same.
  • The targeted group is a minority who has historically dealt with persecution.
  • There were individuals within the United States who were ready, willing and eager to save as many lives as they can.
  • However, the collective reaction from those in the halls of power range from cold indifference to talking about saving lives, but not actually doing anything to save said lives.

I’ve always believed in the greatness of the United States. More than a century ago, this nation welcomed my forebears and allowed them to flourish. But I ‘m also completely aware of this nation’s flaws.

We can do better, we must do better. While we cannot go back and prevent the loss of innocent life, we can learn from our past. Otherwise, we will repeat it at some point.

Thoughts On Lindsey Graham Blocking the Armenian Genocide Bill

When one jumps into the political arena, the hope is that they are getting in for altruistic reasons. But hope often springs eternal, especially when it comes to politics.

It’s not exactly a secret these days that certain American politicians have become more concerned with their careers than serving the voters who hired them. In recent political news, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), blocked a bill that would have formally recognized the slaughter of the Armenians by the Turks in the early part of the 20th century.

In life, as in politics, compromise is the key to success. However, there is a huge difference compromising with someone from the other side of the political aisle and capitulating for the sake of their careers. As far as I am concerned, Senator Graham has done more than capitulate to you know who. He has sold his soul to keep his job.

Only time and history will tell us how or when the Presidency of you know who will end. I have a feeling that if it does end badly, those who forgot who they serve will come out at the end with a soiled reputation.

The Spice Box Letters Book Review

Sometimes, when we have faced a traumatic event in our life, it is easier to just move on rather than face and relive what happened to us.

In the new novel, The Spice Box Letters, by Eve Makis, Katerina’s life is forever changed by the death of her beloved grandmother, Mariam. A survivor of the Armenian Genocide, Mariam taught her granddaughter about the food and the culture of Armenia. What Mariam did not share was her past.

After Mariam passes away, Katerina receives her grandmother’s journal and a series of letters stored in a spice box as an inheritance. Her curiosity about her grandmother’s past is peaked during a vacation in Cyprus. Her journey will lead her back to the past and to finally answer the question of what happened to Mariam, her brother Gabriel and the rest of her family.

To be honest, I am torn about this book. While the narrative was heart wrenching and engaging, I found several grammar errors and I was put off by the jumping in between character’s point of views.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.

Armenian Genocide

Today is the 101st anniversary of the Armenian genocide.

1.5 million Armenians were murdered by the then Ottoman empire.

It would be first massacre of civilians in modern history that would be labeled as an act of genocide.

Many of my regular readers know that I often speak of the Holocaust because it is an event in history that is sadly too close for comfort for me.

Genocide is not new to the human race, we have been killing each other since the beginning of our species over mere labels.

Today I stand with my Armenian brothers and sisters. As they remember the loved ones they lost in between 1915 and 1923, I remember the 6 million Jewish men, women and children who were murdered between the years of 1939 and 1945.

Adding salt to the wound, the Turkish government still refuses to acknowledge that their predecessors in 1915 were responsible for the mass murder of the Armenians.

We can only make this world a better place by reaching out to our neighbors and finding the common ground instead of fighting and killing over minor differences.

RIP and Happy Sunday.



It’s Genocide, Stupid

The definition of genocide is as follows:

the deliberate killing of a large group of people, especially those of a particular ethnic group or nation.

Ban Ki-Moon, the Secretary General of the United Nations has declared that that Armenian genocide 100 years ago was not a genocide. He labels it an “atrocity”.

This is just another example of why the UN has become more and more irrelevant.

If a particular ethic group or culture is singled out for murder simply because of who they are or what they believe, that is genocide. Plain and simple.

By denying or downgrading the facts, the UN is going against the very reason it was created. In it’s charter, the following is stated:

To maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace;

Today, as many of you may know or not know, is Holocaust Remembrance Day. I stand with my Armenian brothers and sisters, who 100 years ago, faced the same fate that my own family faced 70 years ago.

Perhaps it’s time to clean house at the UN, or better yet, dismantle an organization that has become nothing more than a mouth piece for despots and murderers.

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