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Selling a Vision of Hope: A Refreshing Alternative to Armageddon

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Vision of Hope
file under: vision of hopetransitioneconomic developmentcommon sense 11 Oct 2007 4:57 PM
What's All The Killing About? (may not be suitable for people of a human persuasion) Posted by Nissim Dahan
Daniel Pipes, a renowned analyst of the Middle East, just published a list compiled, in part, by Gunnar Heinsohn, showing how many people were killed, since 1950, in all the various conflicts around the world. His point was that the Arab-Israeli conflict gets undo attention because it ranks only 49th   among the 67 bloodiest conflicts, with "only" 51,000 fatalities, as compared to some of the others.

 

Please take the time to look at some of the numbers.

 

1

40,000,000

Red China, 1949-76 (outright killing, manmade famine, Gulag)

2

10,000,000

Soviet Bloc: late Stalinism, 1950-53; post-Stalinism, to 1987 (mostly Gulag)

3

4,000,000

Ethiopia, 1962-92: Communists, artificial hunger, genocides

4

3,800,000

Zaire (Congo-Kinshasa): 1967-68; 1977-78; 1992-95; 1998-present

5

2,800,000

Korean war, 1950-53

6

1,900,000

Sudan, 1955-72; 1983-2006 (civil wars, genocides)

7

1,870,000

Cambodia: Khmer Rouge 1975-79; civil war 1978-91

8

1,800,000

Vietnam War, 1954-75

9

1,800,000

Afghanistan: Soviet and internecine killings, Taliban 1980-2001

10

1,250,000

West Pakistan massacres in East Pakistan (Bangladesh 1971)

11

1,100,000

Nigeria, 1966-79 (Biafra); 1993-present

12

1,100,000

Mozambique, 1964-70 (30,000) + after retreat of Portugal 1976-92

13

1,000,000

Iran-Iraq-War, 1980-88

14

900,000

Rwanda genocide, 1994

15

875,000

Algeria: against France 1954-62 (675,000); between Islamists and the government 1991-2006 (200,000)

16

850,000

Uganda, 1971-79; 1981-85; 1994-present

17

650,000

Indonesia: Marxists 1965-66 (450,000); East Timor, Papua, Aceh etc, 1969-present (200,000)

18

580,000

Angola: war against Portugal 1961-72 (80,000); after Portugal's retreat (1972-2002)

19

500,000

Brazil against its Indians, up to 1999

20

430,000

Vietnam, after the war ended in 1975 (own people; boat refugees)

21

400,000

Indochina: against France, 1945-54

22

400,000

Burundi, 1959-present (Tutsi/Hutu)

23

400,000

Somalia, 1991-present

24

400,000

North Korea up to 2006 (own people)

25

300,000

Kurds in Iraq, Iran, Turkey, 1980s-1990s

26

300,000

Iraq, 1970-2003 (Saddam against minorities)

27

240,000

Columbia, 1946-58; 1964-present

28

200,000

Yugoslavia, Tito regime, 1944-80

29

200,000

Guatemala, 1960-96

30

190,000

Laos, 1975-90

31

175,000

Serbia against Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, 1991-1999

32

150,000

Romania, 1949-99 (own people)

33

150,000

Liberia, 1989-97

34

140,000

Russia against Chechnya, 1994-present

35

150,000

Lebanon civil war, 1975-90

36

140,000

Kuwait War, 1990-91

37

130,000

Philippines: 1946-54 (10,000); 1972-present (120,000)

38

130,000

Burma/Myanmar, 1948-present

39

100,000

North Yemen, 1962-70

40

100,000

Sierra Leone, 1991-present

41

100,000

Albania, 1945-91 (own people)

42

80,000

Iran, 1978-79 (revolution)

43

75,000

Iraq, 2003-present (domestic)

44

75,000

El Salvador, 1975-92

45

70,000

Eritrea against Ethiopia, 1998-2000

46

68,000

Sri Lanka, 1997-present

47

60,000

Zimbabwe, 1966-79; 1980-present

48

60,000

Nicaragua, 1972-91 (Marxists/natives etc,)

49

51,000

Arab-Israeli conflict 1950-present

50

50,000

North Vietnam, 1954-75 (own people)

51

50,000

Tajikistan, 1992-96 (secularists against Islamists)

52

50,000

Equatorial Guinea, 1969-79

53

50,000

Peru, 1980-2000

54

50,000

Guinea, 1958-84

55

40,000

Chad, 1982-90

56

30,000

Bulgaria, 1948-89 (own people)

57

30,000

Rhodesia, 1972-79

58

30,000

Argentina, 1976-83 (own people)

59

27,000

Hungary, 1948-89 (own people)

60

26,000

Kashmir independence, 1989-present

61

25,000

Jordan government vs. Palestinians, 1970-71 (Black September)

62

22,000

Poland, 1948-89 (own people)

63

20,000

Syria, 1982 (against Islamists in Hama)

64

20,000

Chinese-Vietnamese war, 1979

65

19,000

Morocco: war against France, 1953-56 (3,000) and in Western Sahara, 1975-present (16,000)

66

18,000

Congo Republic, 1997-99

67

10,000

South Yemen, 1986 (civil war)

*All figures rounded. Sources: Brzezinski, Z., Out of Control: Global Turmoil on the Eve of the Twenty-first Century, 1993; Courtois, S., Le Livre Noir du Communism, 1997; Heinsohn, G., Lexikon der Völkermorde, 1999, 2nd ed.; Heinsohn, G., Söhne und Weltmacht, 2006, 8th ed.; Rummel. R., Death by Government, 1994; Small, M. and Singer, J.D., Resort to Arms: International and Civil Wars 1816-1980, 1982; White, M., "Death Tolls for the Major Wars and Atrocities of the Twentieth Century," 2003.

 

___________

 

 

Incredibly, since 1950, about 85,000,000 people have been killed in bloody conflicts around the world. And that doesn't even include World War I and World War II.

 

I have often said that more people have probably been killed, by the hand of man, in the last 200 years, than the previous 2,000,000 years of human existence. It turns out, as dramatized in the film The Rise of Man, on the Discovery Channel, that cavemen, who lived during the 2,000,000 years before the advent of "civilization," were actually quite nice to one another. As hunter gatherers, there was no real reason to kill. Would you kill your neighbor just to steal a couple of peanuts? Why bother? Common sense told them to be good, and to help one another out, and they did.

 

In most instances, we demonstrate a certain sense of arrogance when we kill one another, an excessive sense of pride, and an extreme confidence in the validity of our convictions. When we kill, it is as if we cry out, for the world to hear, "We are right, and you will pay with your lives for the inadequacies of your beliefs." It is sheer arrogance to kill one another so casually, even in the name of our deeply held beliefs. Look at it this way-if we were indeed created by God in His image, then when we kill one another, aren't we, in effect, spitting at God's face?

 

To my mind, for what it's worth, there are only two reasons to kill: either someone is coming at you with an ax, or he's coming at your buddy with an ax. That's it; self-defense and the defense of others. No other reason to kill: not for our religion, not for our deeply held beliefs, not for politics, not for geopolitical considerations, not for the accumulation of wealth, not because we resent how someone thinks, or how he looks, or what he feels about us. Not for nothing. No other reason to kill.

 

Weapon systems are so advanced nowadays, that we would soon be able to kill one another in such magnitude, that previous death tolls would pale by comparison. Some of the bombs we have today are hundreds of times more powerful than the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs. We could literally wipe ourselves off the face of the earth.

 

Countries that are beginning to compete for scarce resources, like oil or fresh drinking water, could find themselves embroiled in a whole host of new conflicts, in the years to come. A global economy is a competitive economy, in which poor nations could easily find themselves on the losing end of the stick. But unlike previous times in history, when mostly everyone was poor, now there will be some who enjoy the prosperity that comes with economic growth, while a great many will be left behind, only to bear witness to their sense of deprivation and loss, and to their desperate struggle to survive.

 

The global economy offers promise for the future, but some pitfalls as well, as is often the case with new developments. The trick will be to sustain economic growth for ourselves, while allowing everyone on earth a place at the table, a stake in his or her future. Yes we will compete with one another, but we will invest in one another, as well. Yes we will work to augment our prosperity, but we will work for the prosperity of others, as well. Yes we will compete for scarce resources, but we will challenge one another to protect the environment, as well. Yes we will hold on to our deeply held beliefs, but we will find ways to talk to one another with common sense and with a sense of personal dignity, as well.

 

The secret to world peace, in contrast to the bloody history of the past, is not a secret at all. We have to find a way to connect, and to connect so cohesively, that we come to depend on one another. As such, it will be in our mutual best interest to keep the peace. By helping others, we help ourselves. Granted, it is a tall order, but it is probably the only way. Connect ideologically. Connect economically. Inspire in each other a sense of hope. And let the hope sustain the peace throughout the generations.

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