unit 3 post
In both texts, Sontag and Gourevitch ask, “Who will care for those who are shown in the media during genocide?” In Sontag’s reading, she writes on the different types of photographs taken during times of destruction. She claims that the “best” photos of war (which are the ones that are the most well-known) are the ones that are shot a moment before the individual is killed. These pictures tend to be the most powerful because those who view them get to see the last thought on someone’s face before their mind goes blank. Sontag asks her readers to think about how the individual’s family, friends, and loved ones feel about these photos. Can they stand to look at them? What can be done to stop this? Sontag explains the upsetting truth behind these photos: we can do nothing to change them. By observing these photos, we can sympathize for those who are suffering, but unfortunately there is not much else that can be done in order to save lives, relieve guilt, or lift the sadness one feels while viewing them.
This corresponds to the Gourevitch reading because in chapter 11, he mentions the fact that the whole world saw the Rwandan genocide occurring, but no one did anything to stop it. The Clinton administration refused to accept this monstrosity as a genocide, the UN forces would not go back into Rwanda to help the civilians, and even though these events were continuously being plastered on the news, nothing was being done to stop it. During the Rwandan genocide and World War II, millions of people were killed, yet the world seemed to be more active with one fight over the other. Why is that? The sad truth about humanity is that we are so selfish, and that when we jump in to help another person or nation, we only do it if it benefits us in some sort of way. In regards to World War II, we were trade partners and long time friends with Great Britain, and we knew that if the war was won we would end up with more power and stimulate a post war economy. With the Rwandan genocide, what did the US have to benefit from interfering? Spoken from General Dallaire, “Who the hell cared about Rwanda?” As inhumane as this sounds, Dallaire was right. Over the years, the world has gotten so greedy, and especially now when the world needs each other more than ever. This harsh truth proves the point that the United States may not be the nation it claims to be, and that something must be done to make sure we change our image into a nation that truly loves and accepts ANYONE and EVERYONE.