Friday, October 2, 2009

The Ethnic Dimensions of Guinea's Strife

The soldiers in Guinea who massacred protestersbelonged to one tribe; while the protesters belonged to another:
'Soldiers are prowling the neighbourhood [Bambeto, on 29 September]. When they see a resident they say: 'You move, we shoot'. They say: 'It's you, Peulhs, who want to get in our way. We are going to exterminate you all.''
[Peulh is one of Guinea’s main ethnic groups; junta leader Camara is Guerze, a group from the Forest Region]

1 comment:

  1. "Through most of man's time on earth, war was nontrinitarian. Families waged war, as did clans, tribes, cities, monastic orders, religions, even commercial enterprises (the British East India Company). They fought for many reasons, not just " rational" reasons of state: for good cropland, for loot, for women (Helen of Troy), for slaves, for sacrificial victims to their gods (the "flowery wars" of the Aztecs), for the purity of their race. Often, there was no formal army with ranks and uniforms, set apart from the people; all males strong enough to carry a weapon were warriors. Indeed, an entire people could be a military instrument; war by migration is no less effective today than it was against the Roman Empire, as both Haiti and Cuba recently reminded us."

    My version: You know all those humanistic ideals of justice and citizenship and the brotherhood of man that Rousseau and Hume and G.B.Shaw and H.G. Wells and Bertrand Russell wanted to sell you? It turns out they have the real-world durability of a soap herring.

    Newsweek recently asked horrified yuppies: "Is your baby a racist?" Yes, all babies are racists for much the same reason all humans get emotional about sex - it was good survival behavior in the Paleolithic, when our instincts got set up.