Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Download
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword
Like this
2Activity
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
Genocide Communal Violence Exploring the Connection between Victim Bystander and Perpetrator.pdf

Genocide Communal Violence Exploring the Connection between Victim Bystander and Perpetrator.pdf

Ratings: (0)|Views: 16|Likes:
Abstract: This paper constitutes an exploration into the connection between the victims, perpetrators and bystanders of genocide and extreme communal violence. The thesis is that this type of violence is driven by fundamentally different forces than regular warfare. This fundamental difference obviates the effectiveness of existing military and diplomatic approaches because of the nature of the psychological forces behind genocide and extreme communal violence. This exploration begins the process of deconstructing the individual and group psychological processes that generate these extreme forms of organized violence. By unpacking the psychological sociological processes that lead up to and sustain genocide and extreme communal violence, we can inform military and diplomatic training and planning at the programmatic stages of organization. Even beyond preparing interventionist forces for work in these extra-violent conflicts, the explanations of the psychological processes allow planners and trainers to understand how the violence of genocide affects peacekeepers and diplomats, an essential step in developing countermeasures in training, planning and execution. The desired results of treating genocidal and extreme communal violence separately from other forms of organized utilitarian violence are to isolate the debilitating psychological effects preparatory to intervention and treatment by interventionists.
Abstract: This paper constitutes an exploration into the connection between the victims, perpetrators and bystanders of genocide and extreme communal violence. The thesis is that this type of violence is driven by fundamentally different forces than regular warfare. This fundamental difference obviates the effectiveness of existing military and diplomatic approaches because of the nature of the psychological forces behind genocide and extreme communal violence. This exploration begins the process of deconstructing the individual and group psychological processes that generate these extreme forms of organized violence. By unpacking the psychological sociological processes that lead up to and sustain genocide and extreme communal violence, we can inform military and diplomatic training and planning at the programmatic stages of organization. Even beyond preparing interventionist forces for work in these extra-violent conflicts, the explanations of the psychological processes allow planners and trainers to understand how the violence of genocide affects peacekeepers and diplomats, an essential step in developing countermeasures in training, planning and execution. The desired results of treating genocidal and extreme communal violence separately from other forms of organized utilitarian violence are to isolate the debilitating psychological effects preparatory to intervention and treatment by interventionists.

More info:

Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Patrick James Christian on Feb 09, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

02/15/2013

pdf

text

original

 
Summer
 
2012
 
Genocide & Communal Violence
 
0
 
|
 
P a g e
 
© P a t r i c k
 
J a m e s
 
C h r i s t i a n
 
Genocide & Communal Violence:
 Exploring the Connection betweenVictim, Bystander and Perpetrator 
 
P
ATRICK 
J
AMES
C
HRISTIAN
,
 
P
H
D
 
S
TUDENT
  Nova Southeastern University, Graduate School of Humanities & Social ScienceDepartment of Conflict Analysis & ResolutionInstructor-Researcher  National Intelligence University, Department of African StudiesJoint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Washington DC
Abstract:
This paper constitutes an exploration into theconnection between the victims, perpetrators and bystanders of genocide and extreme communal violence. The thesis is thatthis type of violence is driven by fundamentally different forcesthan regular warfare. This fundamental difference obviates theeffectiveness of existing military and diplomatic approaches because of the nature of the psychological forces behindgenocide and extreme communal violence. This exploration begins the process of deconstructing the individual and group psychological processes that generate these extreme forms of organized violence. By unpacking the psychologicalsociological processes that lead up to and sustain genocide andextreme communal violence, we can inform military anddiplomatic training and planning at the programmatic stages of organization. Even beyond preparing interventionist forces for work in these extra-violent conflicts, the explanations of the psychological processes allow planners andtrainers to understand how the violence of genocide affects peacekeepers and diplomats, an essential stepin developing countermeasures in training, planning and execution. The desired results of treatinggenocidal and extreme communal violence separately from other forms of organized utilitarian violenceare to isolate the debilitating psychological effects preparatory to intervention and treatment byinterventionists.
Keywords:
genocide, communal violence, peacekeeping, warfare, cultural psychology, sociology,Bosnia, Serbia, Croatia, Rwanda, Darfur, cultural identity, prosopagnosia, identit
ā
s-agnosia.
Introduction
…though war may be enacted on behalf of religion, genocide is a religious act – Howard Adelman
The first time I walked onto a killing field in Africa was at the destroyed village of Ambarou,a day’s drive from the border town of Tine, Chad. An indescribable chill pervaded my chest andI felt as if I had become unconnected to everything and everyone around me. When I looked atmy African colleagues, their faces were blank; eyes staring at the carnage surrounding us. At one
Chared remains of extreme communal violence in Ambarou, Northern Darfur, August 2004
 
Summer
 
2012
 
Genocide & Communal Violence
 
1
 
|
 
P a g e
 
© P a t r i c k
 
J a m e s
 
C h r i s t i a n
 
 point, I came across a small figure charred in ashes with his or her hands still manacled to awooden post. The dull stainless steel of the old fashioned handcuffs still glittered in the brightsun and whispered to us of unspeakable things that our fellow humans had only recently beendoing in the secrecy of the desert. I could not begin to imagine the sheer suffering whichaccompanied the death of that child and how I would have borne it at such a young age. We werewell beyond the possibilities for restorative justice, for either the victims or the perpetrators. Itseemed as if we were just witnesses in a play where our humanity, love, and compassion were asout of place as our ignorance. Again and again, I found myself wanting to forget the presence of these victims, and ignore the implications of the suffering they endured before they died. Iremember feeling that I didn’t have the strength of my own sense of human connection with theliving to allow my connection with the dead. But at the same time, I remember feeling a wellingof loss at my denial and a sense of disappointment of me by those I was there to witness on behalf of. We were bystanders, witnessing victims and perpetrators engage in ritualisticcommunal violence without the faintest understanding of what was happening and why(Christian, 2005).
Peacekeepers as Bystanders:
 Fearing the Abyss
When you look into an abyss, the abyss also looks into you - Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
The purpose of this paper is twofold; first, I suggest that there is a special relationship between the victims of genocide, the bystanders who watch them die and sift through the remainsof their humanity, and the perpetrators who carried out those gruesome deeds. Secondly, I propose that our understanding of this relationship can assist us with each phase of theinternational practice of humanitarian and peacekeeping intervention. My starting premise issimple – that the relationship between victim, bystander, and perpetrator is based on shame,humiliation and a failure of heroic archetypes
1
. None of the three can claim public status toheroism; not the victim in a context of heroic suffering, for they have gained nothing with theloss of their ability to create and sustain existential identity and its metaphysical conjugate,generational memory. Not the bystander as he/she bore witness not merely to another’sextinction, but to their own indifference or impotency to meet the demands of their own culture’sarchetypal heroism. Not the perpetrator, unable as they are to justify the necessity of their genocidal deeds outside of their own inner circle of cultural brethren. The swing position in thistriad is the bystander, imbued as they are with the possibility of acting or not acting; interveningor continuing to bear silent witness. The victims certainly believed they had no choice, else theywould have run when the early opportunities afforded themselves. In every case of genocide,some in fact did run, but the majority of victims in genocidal conflict remain to die. The perpetrators also believed that they had no choice. All perpetrators of genocide and ethnic
1
 
Heroes and heroic deeds are social constructs created in myth for each community as a determination of absolute ‘good’ againstabsolute ‘evil’. The closer to the archetype of heroism that a member of a community attains, the further he/she clothesthemselves in the robes of the prototype of hero. The archetypes and prototypes that create and define our heroes and heroismare deeper expressions of elements of social morals, evolved to sustain existence, create purpose, and transmit existential identityacross generational memory.
 
Summer
 
2012
 
Genocide & Communal Violence
 
2
 
|
 
P a g e
 
© P a t r i c k
 
J a m e s
 
C h r i s t i a n
 
cleansing possess a belief that the stakes involved in their war of liberation is not mere land or riches, but the survival of their existential identity.There is always a physical and a metaphysical dimension to the cultural homicidal rage of genocide and extreme communal violence. Imbedded within the intersection of this relationship between the three parties to genocide lies an explanation not only for why it occurs, but why it isso often allowed to run its course once started. A comment from Lawrence Eagleburger, JamesBaker’s deputy at the American Department of State, provides an unwitting insight into thethought process of the would-be international peacekeeper:
 It is difficult to explain, but this war is not rational. There is no rationality at all about ethnic conflict. It is gut, it is hatred; it’s not for any common set of values or purposes; it  just goes on. And that kind of warfare is most difficult to bring to a halt.
(Power, 2002, p.282)
 
 Not only was Eagleburger knowledgeable about the republics of the former Yugoslavia, he wasfluent in Serbo-Croatian languages. The mental images he possessed of the conflict defied hisability to analyze and understand the conflict parties’ motives or intents. The irrational state of mind that he ascribes to the conflict makes it seem as if he believes that the disputants areapproaching insanity, a condition from which diplomacy or threat of force would be useless.These mental images of irrationality and even insanity as descriptors of the communal conflict inBosnia, Croatia, and Serbia were consistent across the political spectrum in both Republican andDemocratic presidential administrations. President Clinton’s Secretary of State, WarrenChristopher, provided an even starker personal assessment of the ongoing conflict when he statedthat the “
hatred between all three groups…is almost unbelievable. It’s almost terrifying, and itscenturies old. That really is a problem from hell”
(Power, 2002, p. 306)
.
Such sentiment has not been used to describe warfare by American political leaders since the American Civil War of 1860-1864; a conflict that killed more Americans than all US wars combined before or since.American political leaders and those who elected them demonstrated great sympathy and outrageover the atrocities brought home in words, pictures, video and audio by the journalists who attimes forfeited their lives for those stories. But they were unable to bring themselves to committo involvement in a conflict whose unknown origins created terror and disbelief in the possibilityof resolution by international peacekeepers.Besides the American’s perspective, the European Community, once so determined toestablish the rule of law and order on at least the civilized parts of the continent, similarly shrank from taking action against the communal violence in the Balkans even as it threatened their ownsecurity. I believe that the American and European hesitation to intervene as they stoodwatching the communal violence and genocide was based on deeply rooted fear of engagingdisputants that are activated by social forces distantly familiar in the historical memory of bothcontinents. Perhaps such hesitation arises as echoes of Nietzsche’s warnings about looking intothe abyss; especially when no one seems capable of articulating the nature of the irrational forcesdragging victims and perpetrators into a terrifying void. The victims of genocide and communal

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
scribd
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->