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Identity Conflict Update

Via Meadia posted an essay not long ago on identity conflict, calling it the ‘scariest thing in the world’. Nationalism and conflict between peoples, cultures, and races over the same space tore Europe and the Middle East apart in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; Africa and Asia are now starting to see the same types of clashes even as old problems persist or even renew themselves in Europe. Here are a few examples.

The government of Sudan, apparently tired of conducting massacres only within its own borders, bombed a refugee camp in newly independent South Sudan on Thursday.

Reports abound of dark-skinned Libyans being tortured, raped, and killed – in some cases publicly hanged – since the revolution.

Members of a Congolese political party run by Gabriel Kyungu, quoted last spring as advocating the use of “insecticide” against ethnic Kasaians whom he referred to as “mosquitoes in the living room,” opened fire on supporters of a rival party.

After thousands of Russian nationalists took part in a xenophobic anti-immigrant march earlier this month, violence against non-Slavic immigrants continues.

Turkish commandos shot a Kurdish boat hijacker on Saturday, the latest in a series of military actions against Kurdish rebels in southeast Turkey and Iraq.

A U.S. Army sergeant was sentenced to life in prison on Friday for murdering innocent Afghan civilians, whom he reportedly described as “savages.”

Hundreds of Tibetan exiles marched through New Delhi today to draw attention to a spate of recent self-immolations designed to protest China’s rule over their homeland.

German police have linked a string of crimes and murders to a neo-Nazi group.

Other examples, alas, are not hard to find.

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  • Corlyss

    Ummm, will someone explain to me why “wars of liberation” to allow people self-government were okay in the early 20th century, but suddenly “ethnic cleansing” and reviled in the late 20th and 21st centuries? What’s inherently wrong with essentially tribal people, whether they are Hungarians or Slavs or former colonials like the Sudanese and the Kurds, having a hegemonic cultural state?

  • Chris

    @Corlyss: are you insane? there’s a difference between establishing self-governance and ethnic cleansing: self-governance does not require extermination of entire ethnic groups!

  • Micha

    I was arguing with someone about the idea of turning Israel/Palestine into a bi-national state. I think it’s a terrible idea. The person in question cited Botswana, Malawi, Chile and Bolivia as successful multi-national states.

    Any comment?

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