posts 1 - 15 of 22
Boston, US
Posts: 205

Read: Chapters 1 and 2, from Samantha Power, “A Problem from Hell”: America and the Age of Genocide (New York: Basic Books, 2001), pp. 1-29.

We will be looking at the Armenian genocide this week, so I would like you to break open your “virtual copy” of former UN Ambassador from the United States (and recently appointed US AID chief) Samantha Power’s 2001 book, “A Problem from Hell”: America in the Age of Genocide. Here’s the link to the reading.

Power begins her volume by talking about the Armenian situation before there was a word “genocide” in the English language. She the introduces Based on what you read in her account, I would ask you to consider the following, based on what you read in this chapter AS WELL AS what you see in the materials we look at in class. Make sure you support your observations with specifics. (In other words, vague generalities not accepted.)

Did we --the United States--and our allies act as bystanders during the Armenian genocide?

Admittedly, between 1914 and 1918, most of Europe was caught up in World War I; the United States joined the war in 1917, after remaining steadfastly isolationist in the preceding years. The Armenian genocide occurred between 1915 and 1923, with the bulk of events occurring between 1915-1917. Needless to say, folks were busy during that period. So maybe it’s unfair to ask this question.

But I’m asking it anyway.

What could we/should we have done? Should the U.S and/or other nations take a stand when an entire population is being destroyed? On principle? Wherever and whenever it happens? No matter what? Always? Sometimes? Rarely? (Whoa, quite a few question marks here…)

In short, what sort of role would you advocate for the United States and other nations witnessing this (and by extension, any other) genocide?

Do you think world nations behaved differently during the Armenian genocide than they did during the carnage in Africa—specifically what we saw in German South West Africa (Namibia)--in the late 19th and early 20th centuries? Why or why not?

boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 18

Bystanderism and America's Moral Compass

  • All countries were bystanders to the atrocities that happened in the Armenian genocide. Even while begged by American ambassadors America decided to stay uninvolved, which in it of itself shows involvement. Bystanderism allowed America to morally let a government attempt to wipe a people off the face of the earth by claiming detachment from the situation. If America, or any other powerful country for that matter, got involved, lives would have been saved. However due to disconnection, it is logically difficult to blame these lives that ended up getting lost on these powerful countries. It was not necessary to enact a military invasion on a country committing genocide, but a public declaration of denouncement regarding the deeds or a trade embargo would have shown the world where our country’s moral compas pointed. The act of ignoring is the act of allowing, and anything big countries could have done to just recognize the issue while it was happening may very well have shortened the length of this genocide. The two cases between the Armenian genocide and the genocide in German South West Africa is that the world knew more about the Armenian genocide, and yet did less. Germans were pressured to cease oppression and eventually folded to the world, but no such pressure was put on the Ottoman government. Any genocide that has and will occur will only be reacted to by the rest of the world when it it too late and too many lives have been lost, unless the united states would get something out of intervening.
Boston, Ma, US
Posts: 18

Fear of Intervention

I think the US definitely should have intervened in the Armenian genocide. The US knew what was happening through Morgenthou, but wouldn’t even speak out against it. It’s one thing not being willing to intervene militarily, but not even reprimanding a mass killing that you know is happening is even worse. The section of the reading which I found the most jarring was when Talaat asked for the insurance information of all Armenians from an American company because he had killed all the Armenians so the government would get the money. The total disregard for the life he was destroying is scary, and even after this most government officials weren’t willing to do anything. The fact that he was comfortable saying that aloud, to a representative of another government shows that he believed no one would stop him. Again during the rise of the Nazis, people like Lemkin were sounding bells and no one was willing to do anything. I think it is the responsibility of every nation to stop atrocities they see being committed, even if their interests aren’t involved. Even today in Myanmar and China, other countries are choosing to ignore genocides because they’re afraid of intervening, and even though we like to think we live in a different world today we don’t.

I think in terms of intervention, other countries reacted differently between the genocide in German South West Africa and the Armenian genocide. No country really did anything to stop it, but in the case of the Armenians, European nations cared about the people, unlike in Africa. Racist ideology fueled the bystanderism in German south west Africa, while in the case of the Armenian genocide bystanderism was fueled by fear.

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 19

Failure to act

I think that the United States, and our allies, acted as bystanders during the Armenian genocide. The United States along with other countries knew what was happening, but decided to remain neutral in the situation. The U.S. recognized what was happening in the Ottoman Empire as “atrocities” but still did nothing. Standing by and doing nothing does not make you better than those who are committing the atrocities. I think the United States has always taken for granted the position we have. If we were in the same situation as the Armenians or the Herero, I think we would know how much even a little intervention can help. U.S. ambassadors pleaded that the United States do something to help the Armenians. Viscount Bryce, who was a former ambassador to the U.S, pleaded that the United States use their influence to help in the situation. He went on to say that the United States should make it known that there are crimes that are inhumane and should not be tolerated. Even during the beginning of the genocide in 1915, people were worried that the Armenian population would no longer exist. Armenians were being deported, starved, and massacred by Turks for being Christian. The Turks tried to cover it up as being just deportation, but they were purposely killing Armenians and attempting to make them disappear completely. This is similar to what is happening to Uighur Muslims in China, the Chinese government has been trying to cover up the detention camps and hide the inhumane acts that are happening to Uighur Muslims.

The U.S and other countries could have done a couple of things to help the genocide that they were witnessing. Instead of being fearful and remaining neutral, the U.S could have listened to ambassadors and the people that pleaded that we help. One major thing we could have done is use our influence to convince other countries to not stand by and to show the Turks that these crimes being committed are inhumane and will not be tolerated. The U.S could’ve tried to convince Germany to put a stop to the massacres that were taking place. They could’ve also pressured the Turks to deliver humanitarian aid to the Armenians who were deported. I’m not saying that if the United States and other nations could have prevented all these deaths, but if they at least did something to help instead of remaining neutral, then maybe more lives would have been saved.

I think that less countries knew about the genocide in German South West Africa than they did about the Armenian genocide. After learning about the Armenian genocide from the Samantha Power’s book, “A Problem from Hell”: America in the Age of Genocide, I would assume that similar to the Armenian genocide, if the United States and other countries knew about the genocide in Namibia they would fail to intervene and help. I also think that another difference is that the world nations were fearful of intervening in the Armenian genocide, while with the genocide in Namibia they didn’t know or just didn’t intervene. Overall world nations need to hold the people committing inhumane crimes accountable and not partake in bystanderism.

Posts: 21

The Armenian Genocide and Bystanderism

The United States absolutely acted as a bystander during the Armenian genocide. First of all, they absolutely did not have the excuse of ignorance, as they had a representative (Henry Morgenthau) who consistenly provided them with information about the atrocities, urging them to act. The logic of Woodrow Wilson to not intervene in this atrocity is highly flawed. His administration was determined not to get involved in the conflict of World War I. By "starting a fight" with Turkey, Wilson thought they were doing this. It is understandable that the United States did not want to get involved in WWI. However, this does not constitute staying silent in a time of horror such as the Armenian genocide. It is as simple as this: we cannot trade human lives. It does not matter what circumstances the United States were in during this time. We could all have been under attack from a zombie apocalypse. It is simply and absolutely unacceptable for the United States to have received this level of intelligence about the crime against humanity and still have chosen to do nothing.

Another theme from this reading that worried me was the idea that other nations shouldn't have intervened in this conflict because it was a "domestic problem". The analogy provided of his farmer and his chickens in the passage is extremely worrisome. This idea, that because Turkey's systemic slaughtering of the Armenians was taking place on their own soil other nations did not have an obligation to intervene, is also extremely worrisome. It does not matter where it takes place, who is committing it, what the relationship between countries are. Crimes against humanity such as the Armenian genocide simply cannot be dismissed. This is the notion that Raphael Lemkin, throughout his perilous journey, sought to establish. The term "genocide" had not yet been coined yet by the time of the Armenian genocide, but nonetheless, the international stage on which Turkey's crimes against humanity were put were public a broadcast for so many countries to have ignored it. The idea that this many nations knew of Turkey's plan for the systemic murder of an entire race and decided to remain neutral or not intervene still shocks me to my core.

There are very few times that I advocate for the United States military to interfere in foreign affairs; in fact, I believe that US military interventions have done far more harm than they have good in the majority of countries that they have been present in. However, this is probably one of the only instances where I believe that military intervention should be immediate and decisive. If the United States has confirmed intelligence that another nation has plans, intent, or even has begun the systemic murder of a race or people, we are morally obliged, ALWAYS, to take direct and decisive action. Once again, this circumstance is simply one that cannot be ignored. Wherever, whenever, and however we find out that there is intent or a plan to carry out a genocide, we must always take action, most likely in the form of military intervention. If the conflict has reached the point where a nation or country is attempting or planning genocide, the time for negotiations is far past. That being said, I think it is also important to make sure that the United States military does not overstay their welcome as they have in so many other countries. Once we are certain that the problem is solved, the US military must leave.

Unfortunately, I think that the United States and other countries' actions, or lack thereof, during the Armenian genocide seems to be somewhat of a trend in the course of world history. The genocides that have taken place in Africa have largely been ignored by many other countries, as well as ones that have taken place all over the world. It is an embarrassing and horrible stain on the symbol of the American identity, as I'm sure it is on so many other nations. Even as I am writing this right now, the Uyghur conflict in China that human rights experts have ruled a genocide is taking place, and many high-level US politicians have yet to condemn it. As mentioned in the chapters, the United States has an unfortunate pattern of bystanderism during the conflict of genocides. However, the one thing that sets apart the nations of the world behavior during the Armenian genocide vs the Herero genocide was publicity. The Armenian genocide was internationally published, spoke on, and denounced (though there was still a lack of action), while the Herero genocide was largely ignored by the nations of the world. Ask many people in our society today; most people will know at least the concept of the Armenian genocide, but you will be hard pressed to find someone who knows the detail of the genocide of the Herero and the Nama. The causes for this difference in publicity are beyond me, but it is important to recognize the difference in reactions. In general, the world seemed to ignore the the conflicts of colonialism and genocide in Africa a lot more readily than they did anywhere else, another troubling pattern in the course of history.

Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 19


I definitely believe that the US, and several other countries, should've stepped in during the Armenian genocide. Granted, as Ms. Freeman wrote, the timing wasn't the best, there is still no excuse for "watching from the sidelines", especially when you're a powerhouse country such as the USA. It is hard to look from now and say what should've been done because although we have an extensive history, we never have it all. Nevertheless, doing nothing is rarely the best way to go about something, especially when there is a genocide. The USA and other nations definitely should've taken a stand during this example, and probably several others in past history. When you get into the nitty-gritty questions, like should you always and no matter what, it can be complicated. I like to think that 9.99 times out of 10 countries should step in and take a stand. That .01 is there for extenuating circumstances, such as if your country is in the middle of a catastrophe, like civil war for example. Other than that, countries should always get involved. One section I found very disturbing was concerning Talaat, and how after killing all the Armenians he sought their insurance information so the government could get money. The lack of humane regard and his zero care towards them is inhumane and disturbing. In total, I think every country carries the responsibilities and health of other countries, and if they see events like this being committed, even if they are not benefiting from it, should always get involved. I think world nation were more aware, eventhough they didnt do anything to stop it, certain European nations cared; this was not the case for the genocide in Africa.

Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 16

Bystanders and Genocide

The United States and its various allies all acted as bystanders during the Armenian genocide becuase despite having ample evidence of what was happening, they all chose to do nothing about it in order to maintain their own “neutrality.” The United States could and should have used its influence and power to do something to aid the victims of the Armenian genocide. It was very clear that there was something horrendous occurring, as the ambassador Henry Morgentheau had told them. However, the United States decided to not do anything about it. The United States and other countries should definitely take a stand when an entire population is being destroyed, solely on the principle that it is morally wrong to allow such actions to go unchecked. The United States in many cases has the means to do something, but decides not to on the claims that it is too expensive or politically risky. The United States and other countries should take action wherever and whenever it is possible, but not put at risk entire other populations in the process of doing so. I think that something should always be done in the case of a genocide. It doesn't necessarily have to be direct military intervention, but could be financial, or political support.

I think that the way that world nations behaved during the Armenian genocide is quite similar to the way which they behaved during the genocides in Africa, specifically with the Herero people in German South West Africa. In both cases, there have been efforts to obscure the history of the events that occurred, and diminish the perception of the damage that was caused. In the same way that the United States did not provide aid during the Armenian genocide, the Herero people never recieved any substantial aid, other than a small sum of money in an attempt to appease them.

Boston, Massachusetts , US
Posts: 16


I think many countries were acting as bystanders during the genocide, which shows how countries aren’t really in this together its everyone fighting for themselves and not uniting. I think the U.S should have intervened because they knew exactly what was happening. If they could not physically go there and help they could have at least advocated.
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 20

Bystanderism in the United States

Reading about the Armenian genocide and the complete lack of action from the Unite States government in the two chapters from Samantha Power’s book is definitely upsetting and infuriating to say the least. Prior to this discussion post, I had known about the existence of such a genocide but I did not know any of the details or the reasonings behind it. I can not fathom how such a person like Talaat could exist. The fact that not only did he justify the killings on the sole basis that the Armenians were Christians and would eventually revolt, but also that he did not try to deny it and instead boasted about it is disturbing. One particular quote from the passage that really showed what a terrible person he was is this: “We have been reproached for making no distinction between the innocent Armenians and the guilty [. . .] But that was utterly impossible, in view of the fact that those who were innocent today might be guilty tomorrow”. Just the fact that he is simply killing just to kill is crazy. What’s even crazier is the fact that the United States knew that this was happening, and still chose to not take any action to help. It is quite clear that the allies and especially the United States were complete bystanders during the Armenian genocide. Even when Britain started some sort of action to get all Allies to issue a declaration that condemned the genocide, and warned the Turkish authorities that they will be held responsible for their actions, the United States were determined to remain neutral. Even when they had first-hand accounts and pleading for action from their ambassador, Henry Morgenthau Sr., they remained neutral, stating that it was not necessary to take action since it was a domestic affair and did not affect American lives. It is this selfish and blindsighted mindset that ended up killing millions of Armenians. I think that when such a massive problem that involves the destruction of an entire population of people occurs, there should be a moral obligation to take a stand and prevent it from happening even if it does not directly affect you. If the United States had stepped in earlier, perhaps it would not have gotten to such a degree. But because the United States, and specifically President Woodrow Wilson, decided to not take action against such injustices, a whole population was left to suffer for no reason except for their identities.

I think that the world nations definitely behaved differently during the Armenian genocide than they did during the carnage in Africa, and specifically in Namibia. It seems as though there was not really anyone who sought to prevent the genocide in Africa, or if there were any, there were so little that not much was done about it until it was already too late. In the case of the Armenian genocide, we see fairly early action being done by Britain and France who very quickly took to investigating and spreading awareness to the public through photographs. The key difference between the two reactions is really due to the fact that the Herero-Nama genocide lacked any sort of media coverage that allowed for the public to be aware about the terrors that were going on, while in the case of the Armenian genocide, we see news coverage from articles like the New York Times. There were also fundraisers like that of the Rockefeller foundation which donated money to stop the atrocities, and to bring awareness to the situation to the public. Unfortunately, the people in Africa did not have such advocacy for them. But both genocides suffered the same fate of bystanderism, and the lack of action from world leaders.

Boston, MA
Posts: 20

Neutrality Helps the Oppressor

Throughout my reading about the United States’ involvement (or lack thereof) in stopping the Armenian genocide, I kept coming back to a famous quote from Ellie Wiesel: “Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” America’s commitment to neutrality, simply because Americans were not being hurt, only benefited the Turks perpetrating such heinous acts. The United States was a highly influential world power at the time, and had the power to influence how many innocent Armenians died. Not only did America have the power to influence other neutral nations to act against this mass murdering of Armenians, but their opinion had the power to influence the Turkish government to at the very least, think twice about the repercussions they may face for their actions. As Viscount Bryce pleaded with the United States, “If anything can stop the destroying hand of the Turkish Government, it will be an expression of the opinion of neutral nations, chiefly the judgment of humane America." America had the power, influence, and knowledge to make a difference in the outcome of this genocide. America was not ignorant to the problem, the government made an active choice to ignore the suffering and murders of hundreds of thousands (and eventually even millions) of people. America should have taken a stand against the Turkish government and sought to protect Armenians from harm. Their inaction was utterly unacceptable. America has a moral obligation to take action when such heinous, discriminatory acts are taking place, regardless of whether or not Americans are the victims. If we have the power to help these people, we must act on behalf of humanity. Unfortunately, there was little support for Raphael Lemkin’s law banning “barbarity,” which essentially held nations accountable for committing genocide. As Lemkin discovered, “states would rarely pursue justice out of a commitment to justice alone. They would do so only if they came under political pressure, if the trials served strategic interests, or if the crimes affected their citizens.” This mindset is certainly still present in some ways in American politics, but it needs to change. There must be a principle when this kind of violence and violation of human rights occurs, we have an obligation to get involved. When human lives are endangered, saving them must become a priority. I admittedly do not believe I know enough to establish exactly where to draw the line on whether or not America should involve itself in foreign issues, but I think at the very least an human rights violations that become more than just isolated incidents require involvement in some form, even if that does not mean American military involvement.

I believe for this and any other genocide, the United States should take a stand, and it should take on immediately. As soon as the events of a genocide become clear, every nation has a responsibility to take action. Sitting idly by while innocent people are murdered on the basis of their identity is cowardly. As Power wrote, “America's nonresponse to the Turkish horrors established patterns that would be repeated.” America should never have established this pattern to begin with, but this created the responsibility to change this pattern. Regardless of the involvement of a nation’s own people, genocide is utterly awful; that’s why Lemkin struggled to find a word that could capture the complexity and gravity of the issue. When something so awful occurs, nationality should not matter. What matters is saving the lives of innocent people and establishing a pattern of action against these hateful, terrible actions. Every nation that knew what was occurring in Turkey and Armenia should have taken a stand against it and worked to rescue Armenians. The same goes for any other genocide. Neutrality is never the answer. Nations that have the power and influence to save victims must do so. It is the only way to act on behalf of humanity and preserve the decency of the human race.

In the sense that there was any action at all in the case of the Armenian genocide, some nations did behave differently. We saw little to no intervention on behalf of the Herero and Nama people in German South West Africa. While America failed to intervene during the Armenian genocide, there was at least some action against it from nations such as Britain. Even during the resolution of the Armenian genocide, nations worked to hold high government officials accountable for the suffering they caused. Even today, we do not see the same accountability for Germany and the genocide they committed in modern day Namibia. One thing that struck me was the similarity in language used between the genocide in German South West Africa and the Armenian genocide, particularly the use of the word “annihilation.” Leaders of the groups responsible for the genocide were truly seeking to destroy an entire group of people based on their identity. With this similarity of language and intentions, the difference in action taken is even more apparent. While many countries chose neutrality in both instances, the genocide of the Herero and Nama people remains largely unrecognzied. I believe this has largely to do with the fact that in the 19th and 20th centuries people had false perceptions of African people as “barbaric.” People viewed it as the white man’s burden to “save” these people, who really were civilized and had their own unique cultures. With this perception and the “othering” of these people based on the color of their skin (also used to justify slavery), I think many nations felt less inclined to take action on behalf of these people. Many other nations themselves (including America) were built on the same colonization and genocide of indigenous peoples as the Germans and failed to see fault in it.

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 16

The Armenian Genocide

During the Armenian Genocide, the United States and its allies did indeed act as bystanders. As when an entire population was being annihilated, the United States' only big action was to sit back and watch. Since the Armenian Genocide occoured in 1915, the United States had two whole years to act on this before 1917 in which they entered World War I, even when they were beseeched by ambassadors to do something. In world crises that violate their humanitarian and ethical interests, the United States and other nations should intervene. Regardless of our ties to a particular political mindset, we should ALWAYS take the necessary measures to ensure that justice and responsibility are done. Doing so will help us expand our global reach by giving us a more dispersed footprint and encouraging our ideals to be carried on in a noticeable way with everyone in the international community. Nations around the world responded equally to the Armenian Genocide as they did to the Namibian Genocide. It is well understood that world nations did little after the Armenian Genocide, but Europeans did anything and caused mayhem during the genocide in Namibia. European colonizers arrived in Namibia with the aim of conquering the country's resources and citizens. The citizens tried to keep their land and rebelled against the Europeans, but Europeans were told to kill if there was refusal from the citizens. Some nations responded differently to the genocide in German South West Africa and the Armenian genocide in terms of interference. No government did anything to save it, but unlike in Africa, European nations worried for the Armenians. Bystanderism in German south west Africa was motivated by racist ideology, while bystanderism in the Armenian genocide was driven by terror. Instead of deliberately doing something, good or poor, world nations did little during the Armenian Genocide, but the reaction to the crimes in Namibia is not comparable.

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 16

Not Enough Action

It was disappointing and disgusting to see the United States being a bystander in the Armenian genocide. The fact that there was over 145 articles written in 1915 of the genocide and what was happening Woodrow Wilson did nothing about it. It showed really how American leaders only cared about situations that affect them and their own interests more than the mass killing of over a million people. The fact it literally said the U.S. and Germany could’ve prevented what happened to the Armenian people if they stepped in and they did nothing in order to stay “neutral.” The U.S. didn’t even stay neutral with the Turkish government as the Turkish government was the first to back out of the Allied powers making everything they were trying to do completely pointless and over a million people died because of it.

The U.S. should’ve gone in and stopped the annihilation that Talaat was leading the second they got the news of how awful the atrocities were. They should’ve broken whatever “allies” they had with Turkey and wanting to stay neutral in war. The United States should’ve worked harder to get the international “law of humanity.” Every nation should’ve stepped in. It was too late for America to even act on getting justice after the genocide because they stayed out of it and did nothing for too long. The British were the only ones who were able to hold the Turkish government accountable as they had soldiers in Turkey seized but the United States didn’t. Morgenthau should’ve been heard and his proposals should have gone through. The donations he got even wasn’t enough for the damage that was already done, human lives were lost. Like Lemkin was saying about the Nazis slaughtering the Jews there is no time for patience when the killing is happening right now when “the rope is around the neck.” No nation should even consider waiting on acting upon stopping a genocide. It is our rights as human beings to call out evil in the world and stop it while it's happening no matter where it takes place in the world. No matter the country you're in or the country the mass killing is taking place by being a bystander and watching it happen leads to millions of innocent people losing their lives and are part of the reason nations are allowing it to happen. This would cause history to repeat itself in the future if it doesn’t get stopped or condemned in the time it's occurring. If a nation has the resources and the military and the money to end a genocide it should be obligation to no matter the effect it’ll have on the relationship with that nation where the genocide is happening, it is human lives. The government has a job to act on this it can’t just be an individual that advocates. As Morgenthau was in Turkey for 26 months and wasn’t able to save the Armenian people even though he was in the place it was happening if the United States stepped in the over a million people wouldn’t have lost their lives . Countries that can act that witness mass genocide should be held accountable for not stepping in. There should’ve been no way ever that Talaat got free of being criminalized after the British army stepped in as the trade of the hostages from Turkey and the British made it that much easier for the oppressors to not get any justice as they found a loophole. Many of them were able to walk free after killing thousands of people. The second there is an obvious genocide it should be investigated by other nations as this isn’t just “internalized affairs” it is terrorism against a group of people for just merely existing no matter where in the world as a human there needs to be action in the now and not just for the victims after.

These genocides have had differences but in the end are not different at all. Like the Namibia massacre no other country stepped in as it was something that was an “internalized affair” and it was washed by the Germans of what happened. Just as Germany declared the people as a threat and were able to get away with what they were doing. That is the same true for Talaat as he blames the Armenian people for what happened and claims they were a threat to the Ottoman army as an excuse to get away with what he was doing for so long. No nation stepped in quick enough to stop the mass killing of people. Like the previous genocide and Germany was not help accountable for their act on the Africans and didn’t even admit to doing so until 80 years after and justice was still not served and they didn’t have to pay for any of what they did really. The same narrative goes for the Armenian people as they never got paid or the Turkish weren’t held accountable or had to pay for their actions. Both times there were articles and headlines being produced about what was happening but the U.S. did nothing to stop it from occurring as it didn’t affect their country. The difference between the two genocides though was the fact that all of the Allied nations were aware of what was happening but didn’t want to mess up an alliance during war time.

withered wojak
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 16

Should the US have stepped in?

When it comes to interfering with global politics, there are many angles to look at this from. We can try to be objective, or we can look at it through various lenses. From my own opinion, and many on this post, we absolutely should have stepped in. We can say this with the benefit of hindsight. However, without the benefit of hindsight, should we be interfering with every global issue? For example, the ethnic cleansing of the Uyghur Muslims in China. It is absolutely within humanity's best interests to step in on this and stop it at all costs, but is it within the best interest of America? That is the better question. Is it in America's best interest to step to a super power like China? I am not sure myself. Looking back at the Armenian Genocide, I am not sure if it was within America's best interests (from their perspective) to step in. I mean we were in a World War, America had been primarily isolationist, and this would have certainly extended a war that Americans did not seem to want to be involved in. In conclusion, when it comes to being involved in global conflicts, we as a country must act within our best interests to ensure we are able to survive into the future. This is what happened with Germany's colonies, where they were not seized until Germany's ownership of them was detrimental to those who Germany opposed. They acted within their own best interest, which seems to be the most rational option. All in all, I wish that the United States should take a stand against atrocities being committed around the world (from my own moral standpoint), but I do not think that we should jeopardize our own security over it (from the perspective of someone like the President or Congress).

Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 18

We didn't

We didn't.

We should've.

But we didn't.

Ok but in actuality there was a lot that we could've, should've and ought to have done. At the very least, we could have acknowleged it then or even now. Turkey still has not been held accountable for this genocide, and it isn't taught in school. The U.S. and other nations should always take a stand when people are being unjustly killed, and unfortunately, it doesn't happen enough. I advocate that the U.S. should start by recognizing the genocides that happened on its own soil, and then, leading through example, lead all of the other countries to hold countries accountable. I think that, should the U.S. hold other countries accountable, the whole future would be changed. By spreading accountabilty, there would be no stigma around it.

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 18

Being a bystander is taking the side of the bully

The countries would be considered bystanders, especially the United States. Armenia is an example of something that could’ve been changed dramatically if America had stepped in. Publicly denouncing the act would’ve brought national attention to the atrocities taking place. The failure to do so and to lead by example led to the Armenian genocide. Not directly, no, but by being a bystander they were on the side of the government, the antagonist. Not much was done to stop both the German genocide in South West africa and the Armenian genocide by other nations. The failures to act were contributing factors to these genocides and I feel as though every country holds some responsibility in both genocides. Actions by powerful countries could’ve saved many lives and by staying a bystander, many countries became part of the antagonising group.
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