Those who not learn from history are doomed to repeat it

By Hameed Orayzi

When organizations like the United Nations don’t live up to their duties, for example, in the atrocities that took place in Rwanda and Srebrenica, hundreds of thousands of innocent people pay the price of such grave mistakes. Rwanda, with over 800,000 victims, is a harsh stigma on the image of not only the UN, but also those who through their silence — directly or indirectly — paved the grounds for this barbaric massacre. Now, the Secretary-Generals of the UN are themselves admitting to this issue.

The diplomat who was president of the U.N. Security Council in April 1994 apologized Wednesday for the council’s refusal to recognize that genocide was taking place in Rwanda and for doing nothing to halt the slaughter of more than one million people.

This is the legacy the UN has left behind. Although the lives of each and every human being lost in those slaughters were very dear, and we are literally heartbroken each time one thinks of those events, in the end what lesson are we to learn? What should mankind do to never again witness such upsetting scenes? If we don’t learn from this lesson, we are most definitely doomed to repeat it.

The UN in its current formation was founded following World War II, with over 60 million people dead, many times more injured and hurt, and hundreds of cities across the globe left in rubbles, to prevent the repeat of what took place in two world wars. It was, and is, missioned to protect the lives and dignity of human beings and protect world peace. Whenever this mission — protecting the lives and dignity of human beings — gives its place to protecting the interests of Member States, the result will be Rwanda and Srebrenica, which is nothing the UN will boast about. This is a lesson the UN should learn from.

Currently, there are nearly 3,000 Iranian dissidents jam-packed in a camp named Liberty in the general area of the Baghdad International Airport in a region the size of half a square kilometer in very tightly-lined trailers, and to this day they have been the target of four deadly missile attacks, and dozens of them have been killed and hundreds wounded. The Iranian government officially said it will not allow even one of them to remain alive, going on to threaten other countries saying they should not accept any of them on their soil. These individuals, unarmed and defenseless, include 1,000 women and hundreds of ill and elderly people. Because of its alliance with the Iranian regime, the Iraqi government, which is obligated by humanitarian laws and the UN Charter, has officially reneged on its duties and stipulated that it cannot protect their lives and protect them against missile barrages, and it is even forcing them suffer to death by imposing inhumane medical restrictions, and by banning the installation of protective T-walls it has left them defenseless against future missile attacks. Amongst all this, if the UN seeks to continue its current policies – characterized by silence and inaction for the sake of appeasing the Iranian regime and its cronies – rest assured another Rwanda and Srebrenica is in the making, and it is not clear what the Secretary-General will say after that?

Hundreds of prominent global dignitaries, including Chairmen of the US Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Forces committees and dozens of Congressmen; President Obama’s former National Security Advisor; chairmen of the Democratic and Republican parties; Mayor Giuliani and dozens of US & European secretaries; ministers and other senior officials… have time and again warned the UN of a Srebrenica-style massacre taking place in Camp Liberty. Presently, if the international community truly wants to take action on the shame it says it feels over Rwanda on the eve of the 20th anniversary of this massacre and learns a lesson from that tragedy, on this very day it should take action and carry out necessary and tangible measures in order to protect the lives of these refugees in Camp Liberty. The United Nations and the U.S. government, both morally and legally responsible for the lives of these 3,000 individuals, must demand the Iraqi government to uphold its responsibilities in regard to the safety and security of Camp Liberty residents and take immediate action.