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Serbia brings Genocide Charges Against Croatia

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Serbia has filed charges against Croatia, accusing the European nation of genocide. Check out the article at the following link.

Serbian leader Vojislav Seselj with volunteers walk through Negoslavc in 1991

Serbian leader Vojislav Seselj with volunteers walking through Negoslavc in 1991

Written by Sultan Ahmed

January 4th, 2010 at 5:09 pm

Posted in News Stories

Genocide Rape as a Weapon of Mass Destruction

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“Lovely female shapes are terrible complicators of the difficulties and dangers of this earthly life, especially for their owners,” wrote George du Maurier.

There is a group of people that have a decidedly unique experience with regards to genocide and war. This group comprises over 50 percent of the world population, and yet goes ignored the most often. They are the bane of every man’s existence and his greatest pleasure as well. They are women, and they have a distinct war story to tell.

It is important, however, that before we speak of the unique aspects of the female experience, we talk about the experiences shared by the two sexes in times of genocide. We are all familiar with what I am talking about, but rarely do we acknowledge that women are part of the atrocities of war that occur every day. Women are buried side by side with men in Serbia. Women were put in gas chambers in Auschwitz. Women were dismembered and their limbs discarded in Croatia. Because we label these acts as crimes against humanity, or the like, we often lose the all too important recognition that individual human rights were indeed violated. The individual becomes lost in the woodwork of the larger population which is targeted for extermination.

As for the unique aspect, women are targeted sexually during times of war to a far greater degree than are men. This is not to say that men are not the victims of sexual crimes, as was seen at Abu Ghraib - just that women are subject to them more often. As such, these crimes are often put on the backburner or swept up as a component of a larger conflict. We might know there were concentration camps in Croatia. However, much less is made of the camps designated specifically as rape camps, camps at which the focus was forcibly raping and impregnating Croatian and Muslim women. It is common knowledge that Nazis used Jewish citizens to conduct scientific experiments. Few, however, know that these experiments included forcing prostitutes to have sexual intercourse with frozen men to see if they could successfully revive and warm them.

Some of you may be wondering why I bring this up. The more knowledgeable among you may be thinking that you already know these things happened, and you don’t understand the significance of it. I invite you to examine sexual crimes against women in the modern era. Rape and related sexual crimes have increased drastically, occurring at alarming rates in Darfur, the Congo, East Timor, Sri Lanka, and nearly all similar conflict areas. Military personnel, as well as forced civilians, are party to these crimes. However, the trend of sweeping these crimes under the rug has not yet ended. They continue to be considered as a natural byproduct of war or as individual crimes not to be prosecuted under the laws of war.

There is a new call, however, for a special designation of rape as a weapon of war, or rape as a war crime, and the argument has merit. Rape, when conducted in the context of war, adopts a very different countenance. The scale increases greatly. The intent is also changed, not to mention the systematic nature the crime often adopts. Not to downplay domestic sexual crimes, but they are generally conducted on an individual level, and the motivations often reflect that. In cases of genocide, the dynamic is quite different. While the intent to dehumanize is still present, it is coupled with intent to harm a specific population, and often, to cripple that population’s backbone. Most importantly, however, the crime can no longer be dismissed as a crime of passion or lack of control. Rather, as is demonstrated by the rape camp example above, it is conducted systematically under controlled settings, the commands being passed down from the higher-ups to those who are to carry them out.

Unfortunately, there is no precedent for prosecuting genocide rape, and so it remains largely unnoticed and ignored. In its scale and effect, genocide rape is no different than a weapon of mass destruction, and it should be treated as such.

This is an article I wrote for The Observer, the campus newspaper at Case Western Reserve University. For the original article, go to

Written by Sultan Ahmed

January 4th, 2010 at 4:57 pm

Posted in Genocide Watch

George Jones: MLB Playoff Preview

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[Note: This column was written before the playoffs began. By the time you read this, the predictions contained within may be downright laughable.]



For 22 MLB teams, it’s wait ‘til next year (for teams like the Nationals, Royals, and Pirates, it’s wait ‘til next 10 years). For the other eight, though, it’s time to play on and determine who will be this year’s world champion.



New York Yankees vs. Minnesota Twins


The Yankees clearly have baseball’s best offense. Consider this: shortstop Derek Jeter, having one of the best seasons of his career, is eighth on the team in home runs, with 18. The offense was helped a bit by their new offense-heavy ballpark. This, though, makes their pitching stats more impressive.

The Twins have a good offense and a mediocre pitching staff, though the team’s strength is their bullpen, led by closer Joe Nathan.

Not only do the Yankees have the best offense in the league going against a mediocre pitching staff, but the Twigers start the series immediately after defeating the Twigers in a one-game playoff on Tuesday. If this doesn’t scream “quick and painless” to you, nothing will.

Prediction: Yankees in 3.



Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim vs. Boston Red Sox


The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim of Orange County of California of the United States have one of the best offenses in the league, helped out by breakthrough seasons from 26-year-old Cuban first baseman Kendry Morales and 25-year-old shortstop Erick Aybar. Their pitching, great in the past, has fallen a bit.

The Red Sox also have a great offense, led by outfielders Jason Bay and J.D. Drew, and first baseman Kevin Youkilis, and their pitching, with aces Josh Beckett and Jon Lester and a standout bullpen, is not far behind.

Although the Red Sox lost four of nine to the Angels this season, they are statistically the better team. In the end, Boston’s pitching will make the difference, as they have the ability to strike out enough batters to slow down the Angels offense

Prediction: Red Sox in 5



Los Angeles Dodgers vs. St. Louis Cardinals


The Dodgers recovered from the loss of outfielder Manny Ramirez to a 50-game steroid suspension to win the NL West division, while the Cardinals cruised to the Central Division title on the strength of their pitching. The Dodgers, though, are slightly better than the Cardinals in every position (first base excepted), especially their bullpen.

Prediction: Dodgers in 4.



Philadelphia Phillies vs. Colorado Rockies


This is by far the most evenly-matched Divisional Series, with two great offenses and two good pitching staffs. The difference will be the Phillies’ mediocre bullpen, led by closer Brad Lidge and his 7.21 ERA.

Prediction: Rockies in five



Who will then advance to and win the World Series?



A Yankees-Red Sox series would be very evenly matched (great offense vs. great pitching and good offense vs. good pitching). Home-field advantage will make the difference: Yankees in 7.


The Dodgers went 14-4 against the Rockies in the regular season, and that won’t change in the playoffs: Dodgers in 6.


The World Series is where the Dodgers’ overworked bullpen (they lead the majors in relief innings pitched) will finally implode, and the series itself will look closer than it is. Yankees in 6.



–George Jones

Written by JoeAmick

October 7th, 2009 at 8:08 pm

Posted in Sports

Some thoughts on football’s season opener, a 33-21 win over Kenyon

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1. Case football is getting a lot of attention from local media. Plain Dealer columnist Terry Pluto had a column on the Spartans last Friday. The PD also ran a quick preview of the Kenyon game. On Saturday, the News Herald’s head prep writer, Bill Tilton, the PD’s Norm Weber and a local blogger were covering the game. A Buffalo Bills scout was in attendance. Here’s a link to my favorite non-Observer season preview.

2. The busy press box was a far cry what you’d see on Saturdays when I first started as sports editor: a couple people doing stats, overflow from the President’s Suite, the athletic director and a coach or two. And now, a security guard is at the press box’s entrance checking names off a list.

3. The stands were pretty full too. So it’s not just local media that’s paying attention; students are too (gasp).

4. Standard Parking raised the price to park in the Village parking garage from $5 to $6 on gameday. The athletic department doesn’t see any of the parking money.

5. Yes they won by twelve points and yes Kenyon looked better than they have in years past, but I doubt the Spartans were very happy with how they played. Case was in the red zone a few times without scoring because of some uncharacteristically sloppy play. Look for that to change this week at Rochester.

6. Sports Information Director Creg Jantz has been smart in how he’s promoted the team. His pregame notes highlight what players from the Cleveland area have been doing, which naturally appeals to local media. In some cases, they’ve been following these players, like Dan Whalen and Tim Cowdrick since they were in high school.

Written by JoeAmick

September 9th, 2009 at 5:08 pm

Posted in Sports

A Bit O’ Ideological Conflict: Something to Think About

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Before delving into the specific pragmatics of genocide occurring around the world, I think it would be beneficial to identify the international community’s moral dilemma in deciding a policy toward these situations.

According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

“Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.” Article 3, Universal Declaration of Human Rights

“Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.” – Article 28, Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Despite these articles contained within the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it remains a wonder that genocides continue to occur around the world, and that the United Nations refuses to intervene. So the question is obviously why?Why doesn’t the United Nations intervene, militarily or otherwise? It seems blatantly obvious that they should protect human rights. While this may seem like the most tempting option, it is always important to consider the other point of view, and to consider said view, we must first identify the major conflict.

So we know that the United Nations has a moral obligation to protect global human rights. It’s in their documents, and it’s part of the founding intent of the organization in the first place. Nevertheless, in the magical world of moral obligations there is always one which is arguably just as important, or even more important, than the obligation currently being discussed.

The question then becomes, what is currently trumping the United Nations’ obligationto protect global human rights? As Mallaby of the Washington Post reported in March of 2007, “Hu [Jintao] called on nations to respect the sovereignty of Sudan.” That is the policy stance the United Nations has currently adopted.

Both points of view have legitimate logical arguments behind them, and they both merit examination.

Keep in mind that this is just a brief synopsis of the points. Hopefully this short introduction will inspire you to learn a little bit more about the issue.

The Argument for Human Rights: Well, this shouldn’t be that difficult. Naturally, the purpose of government is to protect human rights. It’s really the reason government is formed. Most political philosophers including John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, Plato, and John Rawls would agree with this. So, government loses its value when it fails to protect the rights of the people. The purpose of a state is to protect rights, and government is the tool used to accomplish that goal. When government fails to protect rights, the tool is broken. So, it merits replacement or repair. Simply put, when national sovereignty comes into conflict with human rights, sovereignty loses its value because the purpose of sovereignty is to provide a mechanism to protect human rights.

The Argument for National Sovereignty: These arguments are a little different . The human rights argument is deontological, meaning the results of actions are irrelevant. In deontology, morality depends on why we should do things, not what happens when we do them. The pro-national sovereignty argument is the opposite; it’s consequentialist, meaning that the results of an action determine whether or not it is moral. So typical “sovereigntists” argue, first of all, that national sovereignty protects autonomy and national identity. Making national boundaries arbitrary by allowing international intervention homogenizes the world, and cultural uniqueness dissipates. Second, it’s a slippery slope. If we let the international community intervene in such situations, what’s to stop them from extending the same principle and intervening on a whim? Most convincingly though, this side of the argument cites empirical evidence to show what happens when a foreign power steps into another country. Examples include Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo, East Timor, Cuba, etc…Basically, the point is that things just get worse when the international community intervenes, and nothing is solved, so there’s really no point in going in at all.

So which option is right? I’ll leave that for you, my readers to decide. I invite you to post what you think, and I shall respond accordingly…


Written by Sultan Ahmed

November 20th, 2008 at 6:01 pm

Posted in Genocide Watch

Butts are Everywhere

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I always knew it was toxic. I always knew it caused cancer. I always knew it made you reek. But I never really cared, because I never did it. Coming to Case, however, I had a complete culture shock. I can’t believe how many students smoke here, and I’m just talking about freshmen. That, however, is beside the point. One thing I didn’t know, coming to Case, was that I’d get really interested in sustainability efforts and saving the environment and all. Not like a tree-hugger or anything (got nothing against the tree-huggers), but rather along the lines of trying to save energy and stop pollution. With this new mindset, those cigarette butts lying around everywhere have really started to bother me.  They really are everywhere.  I’m not even kidding. I swear if I stood anywhere on this campus, or in University Circle for that matter, I could find a cigarette butt within two feet of me. In the North Residential Village in particular, those disgusting white and orange rolled up pieces of gunk are laying around in every possible place. In the cracks in the pavement, in the bushes, in the flower beds, In front of residence halls, and dare I say, in the residence halls (yes, I’ve seen it) – basically every single place except the designated smoking areas. I don’t understand why students can’t take their second smoke to those places and away from people who actually like a clean campus. Maybe it’s because they’re not aesthetically pleasing. Maybe if we added some perennials or a tree by the sign…  Even better: a can, nay, a really pretty can, for those nasty butts. 

OK, hold on, I’m almost done with my rant. It would be quite unfair for me to condemn only Case students. While I try to avoid it, because it makes me sick and I just get downright turned off by it, I sometimes have to walk down Adelbert to get to my chemistry class. And, of all the places, in front of the University Hospitals of Cleveland, in every crack in the sidewalk, in every side street, under every tree there lay about 500 mushy butts. Maybe it’s just me but I find it completely ironic, as well as disheartening, to see nurses or rather anyone smoking in front of a hospital.  We complain about having decent health care for everyone in this country, but our lack of regard for ourselves, our health, the health of others, and our environment really makes it seem like we don’t deserve it in the first place.

Written by DivyaAggarwal

November 12th, 2008 at 12:12 am