Volume 9 FALL/WINTER 2002 Numbers 3/4

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Click on Contributor's name to see the Abstract for their article

CONTENTS

AFRAID TO CALL GENOCIDE, GENOCIDE: RWANDA AND BEYOND

About the Contributors

Preface
Robert S. Frey, M.A., Editor/Publisher, BRIDGES
ARTICLES
To Deem or Not To Deem "It" Genocide: A Double-Edged Sword
Dr. Samuel Totten
University of Arkansas
Fayetteville, Arkansas (USA)

Post-Genocide Survivorship in Rwanda
Dr. William F. S. Miles
Stotsky Professor of Jewish Historical and Cultural Studies
Northeastern University
Boston, Massachusetts (USA)

More Than Genocide: Rwanda Revisited (Before and After 1994)
Dr. Henry R. Huttenbach
City College of the City University of New York (CUNY)
New York, New York (USA)

Afraid to Call Genocide Genocide? Reflections on Rwanda and Beyond
Dr. Steven Leonard Jacobs
Aaron Aronov Chair of Judaic Studies
The University of Alabama
Department of Religious Studies
Tuscaloosa, Alabama (USA)

"We Call It Genocide": Soviet Deportations and Repression in the Memory of Lithuanians
Dovilé Budryté, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor in International Studies
Brenau University
Gainesville, Georgia (USA)

The United States and the "G-Word": Genocide and Denial Before and Beyond Rwanda
Peter V. Ronayne, Ph.D.
Senior Faculty Member
Federal Executive Institute
Charlottesville, Virginia (USA)


SELECTED BOOK REVIEWS

Steven Carter, Leopards in the Temple: Selected Essays 1990-2000
Pauline Kaurin

Michael R. Gardner, Harry Truman and Civil Rights: Moral Courage and Political Risks
James Southerland

Gershom Gorenberg, The End of Days: Fundamentalism and the Struggle for the Temple Mount
Daniel Deffenbaugh

Stanley J. Grenz and John R. Franke, Beyond Foundationalism
Art Spring

Mirko D. Grmek, ed. Western Medical Thought from Antiquity to the Middle Ages
Ingrid H. Shafer

Peter C. Hodgson, The Mystery Beneath the Real: Theology in the Fiction of George Eliot
Art Spring

Justus George Lawler, Popes and Politics: Reform, Resentment, and the Holocaust
Ingrid H. Shafer

Richard Lewontin, The Triple Helix: Gene, Organism, and Environment
Art Spring

Robert T. Pennock, ed., Intelligent Design Creationism and Its Critics: Philosophical, Theological, and Scientific Perspectives
Vicki Hess

John K. Roth, Holocaust Politics
John T. Pawlikowski

Michele Renee Salzman, The Making of a Christian Aristocracy: Social and Religious Change in the Western Roman Empire
Rosamond Kilmer Spring

Pat Shipman, The Evolution of Racism: Human Differences and the Use and Abuse of Science
Dovilé Budryté

Pat Shipman, The Man Who Found the Missing Link: Eugene Dubois and His Lifelong Quest to Prove Darwin Right
Rosamond Kilmer Spring

Stephen Wolfram. A New Kind of Science
Richard Isaacman

Frances Young, ed., Encounter With Mystery: Reflections on l'Arche and Living with Disability
Rosamond Kilmer Spring


BOOKS OF NOTE

INDEX

_____________________________________________

Abstracts

Samuel Totten

Time and again in the latter half of the twentieth century, genocide has been perpetrated, and for the most part, the international community has responded in a sorely inadequate fashion. In part, this is due to the fact that genocidal events are often not deemed genocide in a timely fashion. Among the reasons for the latter are: (1) ambiguities in the definition of genocide; (2) inadequate intelligence or information gathering sources; (3) a tentativeness by scholars and others to deem a situation a genocide until they are positive it constitutes such; and (4) the avoidance by government officials and others to deem a situation "genocidal" since they would be obligated to act to halt it.

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William F. S. Miles

Two emblematic instances of genocide in the twentieth century-the Nazi Holocaust and the Rwandan Itsembabwoko-represent markedly different outcomes for their respective survivors. Whereas Zionism enabled the renaissance of the Jewish people in a homeland far from the gas chambers, the Tutsis remain close to their killing fields. They also still live as a minority (albeit one in tenuous power) in a region of continued insecurity. Strategies for social reconciliation are necessary, complicating the psychological process of healing for survivors. These strategies include national and international trials; community-based tribunals (gacaca); and state institutions for the promotion of human rights, national unity, and civic education. Overwhelming numbers of accused perpetrators, the (im)morality of capital punishment as punishment for genocide, and sheer Realpolitik further diminish the prospects of achieving justice. In Rwanda, unlike Israel, post-genocide survivorship occurs within a context of general poverty: this too greatly impedes the healing process.

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Henry R. Huttenbach

The decade following the spring 1994 genocide has been one of continuous mass killings both in and outside the borders of Rwanda. The task of post-genocide national reconstruction has been arduous and is by no means near completion. Each episode of large-scale killing raises the fear of another escalation to genocidal violence, regardless of which ethnic or political group is victimized. Scholars and policy makers must take care not to see the crisis in Rwanda in terms of a narrow chronological and geographic framework. Instead they should regard the April-June 1994 genocidal killings as but one episode in a chain of tragic mass killings. To study a genocide in vacuo, out of context, is to isolate and parochialize it. What happened in 1994 was a radicalization of a series-a continuum-of violent outbursts in an extreme, volatile region.

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Steven Leonard Jacobs

The personal reflections of one child of a survivor-escapee of the Holocaust of the Second World War provide the foundation for reflection on a number of related topics, including the work of Raphael Lemkin (1900-1959), the Treaty of Westphalia (1648), and the role of institutional religion and theological understandings regarding genocide. Undergirding these reflections, however, is a primary concern with both the ethical responsibilities and moral mandates of those who stand in opposition to genocide.

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Dovilé Budryté

The political use and abuse of historical memory is explored by describing the process whereby the memory of the deportations and repression that occurred during 1940-41 and 1944-53 in Lithuania has been transformed into the state-supported remembrance of a "Soviet genocide." During Soviet times, memories of deportation and repression were used by dissidents and diaspora activists to delegitimatize the existing political order, but, by and large, such memories were preserved only in the private sphere. The collective memory of deportation and repression was rekindled and became a unifying factor in society during the time of national revival (1986-1992). During this time, the experience of deportation and repression became known as "genocide." Later, this memory was transformed into institutionalized history.

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Peter V. Ronayne

The story of American foreign policy and the prevention and punishment of genocide since the Holocaust is an intriguing and disturbing tale of being afraid to call genocide "genocide." The record clearly shows that the United States often denied or refused to speak of genocide in places like Rwanda and Bosnia. Equally important, however, has been a different form of denial: the United States' willingness to deny itself the opportunity to assume a critical leadership role in the prevention of genocide, the saving of millions of lives, and in significant normative evolution in international affairs under the auspices of the United Nations Genocide Convention. Four cases in particular-he ratification of the Genocide Convention, and the American response to genocide in Cambodia, Bosnia, and Rwanda-bring these stark failures of foreign policy and leadership to light.

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