Genocide Today.

Essay by rexrodejCollege, UndergraduateA+, November 2005

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Genocide is distinguishable from all other crimes by the motivation behind it. The motivation behind it is always based upon pure evil and hatred. Because of the United State's clearly established power and military strength, it can be said that they are the nation that has the most power to stop acts of genocide in the future. This is not because of our national interests, but because it is a moral obligation that they took on upon joining the United Nations.

When World War II was reaching an end, and when the massive terror of the killing of the Jewish citizens in Europe, along with the concentration camps that they were tortured in prior to death, became known to the world, Winston Churchill stated that the world was being brought face to face with "a crime that has no name". Up to that point in time, there was no one word that could represent the crimes that Nazi Germany had engaged in.

There simply were no precedents in regard to either the nature or the degree of the crime. Raphael Lemkin, the Polish-born adviser to the United States War Ministry, saw that the world was being confronted "with a totally unprecedented phenomena" and that "new conceptions require new terminology". In his book, Axis Rule in Occupied Europe, published in 1944, he coined the word "genocide", which came from the Greek 'genos' (race or tribe) and the Latin suffix 'cide' (to kill). According to Lemkin, genocide signifies "the destruction of a nation or of an ethnic group" and implies the existence of a coordinated plan, aimed at total extermination, to be put into effect against individuals chosen as victims purely, simply and exclusively because they are members of the target group. In the U.S. today, it is becoming more...