Essay on Friedman & Gourevitch comparison

Submitted By KungUtanPung
Words: 589
Pages: 3

The aftermath that came with the attacks on September 11, 2001, changed the lives of many Americans. However, it also changed the lives of other people around the world, primarily Muslims in the Middle East. Thomas Friedman writes compelling articles about this notion, and while they have nothing to do with the genocide in Rwanda, several concepts and themes in the articles overlap with those of Philp Gourevitch’s work on the massacre. In the Middle East as well as in Rwanda, people are aggrevated by a poverty of dignity and the lack of help from western democracies during a time of crisis. One of the themes for the assigned reading can be titled “poverty of dignity”. The lack of dignity makes it possible for strong leaders to manipulate ordinary people into committing terrible crimes. The thought that all problems in a society can be solved by the weakening of someone else becomes appealing to someone without pride in their particular way of life. In the case of terrorism, Osama bin Laden is able to make young people believe that the United States is at fault for the failure their leaders (Friedman 165). In Rwanda, Hutu leaders make the opinion that Tutsis are at fault for every problem experienced by the country popular with almost every Hutu by control of all media (Gourevitch 109). The most famous occurrence where a stron leader was able to rally a weak people behind an outrageous cause was the rise of Hitler during WWII. The wide spread feeling of hopelessness along with lack of hope in one’s future may be the primary cause behind the rage it takes to exterminate a whole people. When many feel as if they have nothing to look forward to, or worse, nothing to loose, it becomes much easier to join together behind a cause for the sake of being occupied. In Rwanda and the Middle East, there seems to be a frustration with the lack of help recieved from western democracies. The western world put the Genocide Convention into place after WWII, still, because of Rwanda’s small or nonexistant influence on world politics, they recieve only inefficient aid. The sparce aid that arrives, often benefit the wrong people (Gourevitch 335). The situation in the Middle East is only slightly different. Young Muslims tell Friedman that they feel like…