Genocide is described as the act of intentionally murdering a large number of people in a specific country or ethnicity. In the 1948 UN Genocide Convention, the killing of an ethnic group, a racial or even a religious group deliberately refers to genocide as a murder. The first genocide in the world during World War One was witnessed. One hundred years after the world war people still use chemical weapons, despite the fact that the mustard gas was used as a bomb. Thesis: this essay will identify and discuss various concepts of evil and its symbol that are associated with genocide to answer the question “why do humans continue to resort to chemical weapon one hundred years after mustard gas was introduced as a weapon in world war one?”
Genocide is considered one of the evil acts on earth. It involves killing a large number of people intentionally. The use of deadly weapon to kill the large group of people dates back to about one hundred years ago during world war one. The most effective weapon ever used for genocide was mustard gas that was introduced by German in 1917 before their third battle of Ypres. German marked their shells with color yellow for mustard gas and another green for chlorine and phosgene. Mustard was used to harassing and disabling their enemies by polluting the battlefield. The skin of the victims got blisters, and their eyes became very sore. They also vomited during the battle. It further caused internal as well as external bleeding. Mustard gas also attacked bronchial tubes. This was exceptionally painful to their enemies. They suffer for about one month before they died.
One hundred years later, a chemical weapon is still being used in the world to carry out mass killings. The latest being Syria where it is said that chemical weapon was used to kill a large number of people who were opposing the government. Dozens of people were killed including children after allegedly breathing in a poison that contained a nerve agent. The toxic chemical was dropped by warplanes in the early morning hours. This was considered the worst use of a chemical weapon after what happened in 1917 when German used mustard gas against their enemies. World leaders condemned the killing and demanded answers from Assad administration. This was an act of genocide.
Genocide is considered evil and is associated with a symbol. Thomas King claimed that evil and good are not so much distinct and opposing entities as they are two tributaries of the same river. According to Thomas, Assad believed he was killing the enemies of the nation and therefore what he did by killing people with the chemical weapon was good. However, the world nations condemned this as a bad decision and act of genocide. This brings the evidence that the differences between good and evil are so thin that it takes a keen eye to see the differences.
The evil symbol for genocide can be said to be Rending. It symbolizes an irrevocable decisions or step and a break with the existing order. Rending also expresses sorrow and destruction of wholeness. The killing of people in Syria brought sorrow to the world as many civils died in the process. To rent also means to cause great emotional pain to people and thus genocide fits in the description of such symbol. Genocide is described as an act of evil because it involved causing not only sorrow and pain to the people in society but also results in mass loss of lives. Death is evil in many societies and whoever carries an act of killing others like in genocide is considered evil. In Christianity, rending garments were seen as a symbol of destruction and pain in the society. Evil act according to Thomas King cannot be differentiated from good deed because those who perform these evil act claims they had no otherwise but to act that way for the good of the society while those who suffered the consequences looks at it as a bad action or destruction that brings pain and grief in the society. This makes the requires the third party to listen to both sides and make a sound judgment as to why such act can be carried out in the society.
In conclusion, genocide can be described by a rending garment as a symbol of evil because of the destruction and deaths its causes. The Syrian government is the latest to perform an act of evil by using chemical weapon against the rebels who were opposing Assad regime. Many innocent lives were lost, and this is what make evil. Killing helpless people in the society is considered evil. The reaction of people from different world nations condemned the killings which the government and the rebels were viewing with a different perspective. The different perspective to which people view such act is what brings the thin line between evil and good.
Leech, Garry M. Capitalism: a structural genocide. London: Zed Books, 2012.
King, Thomas, and Barry Bernson. Green grass, running water. Bantam Books, 1994.