Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Russia Posts Katyn Massacre Documents on Internet

On Wednesday, Russia's archives posted documents about the massacre of over 20,000 Polish officers and citizens during World War II. This was the first time the documents had been posted by Russia since the war, although they had been public for many years. They did so as as gesture towards Poland to mend relations because the case looms large in Polish history and has soured relations between the two countries for decades. The documents were posted to show that Russia was finally excepting responsibility for the killings in Katyn and else where in the 1940s. The documents show signatures giving permission to Soviet soldiers to kill Polish prisoners of war. The document do not reveal the names of the officers that carried out the executions, but Russia plans to make those documents public on a later date. The release of these documents is playing a positive role in helping Russia come to terms with its painful history under Stalin. Since the tragic plane crash on April 10 that killed the President of Poland and 94 other on boards, relations between Russia and Poland have grown warmer.


Niger's Crop Failure

In Niger, they are facing a huge drought that is drastically affecting their economy. A lot of the crops that Niger normally produces are not growing due to the lack of water. Nearly 8 million people are affected by this drought and the UN is trying to help. They have stated that it would take nearly 13 million dollars to get the Niger crops and economy back on track, which is looking like something that cant be done. The UN is hoping they can adress this issue much earlier unlike what happened to Niger in the 1980s where millions of people died due to a drought that wasnt addressed. Niger's economy went under the tank and great controversy arose as the UN and many other nations did not act to help the Nigerians. People in Niger are only able to have about one meal a day and sometimes people dont even eat. The UN is doing everything to prevent another food crisis like they have seen in history.


Russia posts Katyn massacre documents

In this article, Russia's state archive posted documents on the internet about the Soviet Union's massacre of 20,000 polish officers and citizens. Russia posted these articles to calm Poland in case they were still pissed from the massacre in WWII. This relates to our WWII unit because we studies the cold war and the tension between soviet union and eastern europe. These massacres were under the title "Joseph Stallin" and it seems that alot of europe is mad at the way the Soviet Union and Stallin ruled during the Cold War.;_ylt=Ar2RqQ6_J94jJhDKeU5GNWZvaA8F;_ylu=X3oDMTMzMmRraHV2BGFzc2V0A2FwLzIwMTAwNDI4L2V1X3J1c3NpYV9wb2xhbmRfd3dpaV9tYXNzYWNyZQRwb3MDMQRzZWMDeW5fYXJ0aWNsZV9zdW1tYXJ5X2xpc3QEc2xrA3J1c3NpYXBvc3Rzaw--

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

"Homeless good Samaritan left to die on NYC street"

I found this link to an article about a man who died on a street when he was trying to help a woman who was being attacked. He saw this woman and a man fighting and it began to get physical so this guy stepped in to help her but he ended up getting stabbed and was then laying on the side of the sidewalk. It was reported that 7 people walked by before an ambulance actually came and an hour or two had already passed and so it was too late.

I thought this was just awful because people could have had the opportunity to help but they didn't and so they basically killed him. I understand that seeing someone stabbed may be shocking but I wouldn't just leave him and walk by.

This made me think of how people judge others and how they don't always think of how they can help. Some people are too nervous to take a stand and others are too selfish to help anyone but themselves. To connect to this to history, it can sort of tie to people being to afraid to help someone who is in a different situation. In history, there have been many instances where people are not being treated fairly but the people who are treated fairly don't have the guts to stick up for the other side because they are worried that will hurt them and make them be treated unfairly. In this case, the guy was stabbed and bloody on a street and people may have been frightened that they might be killed if they helped or that the blood would get on them and cause a disease or infection. I think that someone should have helped earlier on by at least calling 911 or getting someone else to help if they couldn't. Personally, I would feel awful if I found out I could have saved someone's life but instead I chose not to be late for work or something.

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"Dancing Across Borders"

Sokvannara Sar was just 16 when Anne Bass saw him preform in Cambodia as a ballet dancer. She was so inspired that she moved him to her sprawling Connecticut House and tried to enroll him in a New York Ballet school. However, she and Sokvannara soon learned that Cambodian ballet and western ballet are quite different. EVen though he was a performer in Cambodia, he was at the skill level of a 10 year old in the U.S. This is because the Cambodian dance style is "much closer to the ground" and does not have as many spins or leaps. Ms. Bass does a large amount of charity work in Cambodia, pushing the arts after the destructive campaign of the khmer rouge. Sy (nickname for Sokvannara Sar) did not make it into a ballet school right away and so Bass hired an instructor. He learned very quickly and Bass took a video camera to his practices to help him learn and perfect his techniques. He made it into the Seattle Pacific NOrthwest Ballet and now at 25 is looking for something new. Bass turned all the footage from when she first saw him in Cambodia and his practices in America into a video called Dancing Across Borders, which is an award winning documentary.

Weddings: Now vs. Before

During the years that Stalin was the leader of the Soviet Union, the wedding rituals were much different than how they are today. The family life played out in the Soviet Union as if marriage was just as important as two people holding hands in public. As of today, abortions and abolishing their own wedding rings were not frowned upon. It rather seemed weak to have such a strong family unit. Compared to the family life today, a lot has changed. I found this article which talked about the marriage between Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon. They discuss getting their wedding vows renewed every single year. Most marriages that last until death, only get theirs renewed once. They believe that, "if you're happy and in love, why not celebrate it?" As you can see, the importance of marriage has escalated tremendously and people are now wanting to embrace their love rather than hold it in and keep it private.

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U.S. Senators Altering Facebook

The privacy issues Facebook arrises are not just spoken of by concerned parents, but now U.S. Senators are calling attention to them. Due to some of Facebook's latest updates, privacy precautions have been stressed less, resulting in users having "less control over private information, and it was done without the users' permission," Sen. Charles Schumer, D-New York, said on Capitol Hill stated. Due to the fact that Facebook's population has been consistently increasing, providing sufficient privacy settings for all 400 million users has been a struggle. Yet Facebook is making steady progress in ensuring all users that their information will be private. They are in the midst of converting the regular settings, where information is automatically shared with the public, to the "opt-in" setting, where no information is shown automatically, and instead one must choose what he/she wants to display to the public. "The way to go is opt-in," Schumer said. "The default position should be that the information is not shared, not that the information is shared. Amplifying his colleagues' concerns, Schumer called on Facebook to "reverse its policy so that users have to opt in to shared data, rather than opt out." With both parents, administrative figures, and now political figures on Facebook's case, they will surely clean up their act in terms of providing their users with more trustworthy privacy.

In terms of how this article correlates to an historical event, I feel as though this relates to when communication devices were first invented. Take the telegraph, for example. During the Industrial Revolution, inventors discovered a way to communicate via telegraph, sending messages from one location to another through a transporter and receiver. One of the biggest issues they faced with the telegraph was ensuring privacy amongst the messages being sent. In order for any messages to be received, they had to be decoded first, which was done most likely by someone who worked for the receiver of the message. This means that whatever information was being sent was not always kept private. Technical similarities between Facebook and the telegraph are scarce, yet the purpose they both hold is to make communicating and social networking possible. Also, they both have carried the same issue- ensuring privacy. Although it was difficult to provide much privacy for telegraph users, Facebook has and continues to search for new ways in order to ensure privacy to its users.


In this current event, ukraine was having a debate on wether or not Russia can use a naval base in their country. The president of Ukraine was explaining and describing this law as betrayal to their country and it got ugly. Fist fights were present in parliament. I think that this relates to modern world history by portraying Nationalism. The president is just trying to get the picture out that they would be betraying their own country if the law past and that the people in Ukraine should have pride in their country. It is a very controversial subject.

Iran's Nuclear Threat

This article talks about the problem that I believe we have all probably heard of, and its the problem of nuclear weapons and Iran. Iran claims to not having or making any nuclear weapons, and that the Uranium is just being used for medical purposes, but other people are 100% sure that the Uranium is actually being used to develop bombs. If Iran did develop nuclear weapons they could bomb Israel, and cause a massive nuclear war. This would happen because the US is allies with Israel, and they would have to protect the Israel people. One way that this article connects to some  of the stuff that we have been learning is that it could potentially be one big war crime for Iran to break the treaty that all countries currently have.

Somalia Rebels Battle Pirates, Government Troops

Islamist rebels made progress towards a pirate haven in Somalia and battled government troops in Mogadishu. Around ten died in the fight. Members of the al-Shabaab, an al-Qaeda linked militia, were advancing towards Harardhere, a pirate stronghold on the Somali coast. Pirates had recently intercepted and captured a ship full of weapons and artillery that was intended for al-Shabaab. Al-Shabaab continues to advance towards Harardhere as the pirates retreat from Harardhere towards a port town called Hobyo, in Somalia, with all their captured ships. Yemen has been identified as a source for weaponry coming into Somalia despite the U.N. embargo on weapons. Yemeni government was attempted to crack down on arms dealing within its territory, but is struggling on dealing with the influx of Somalia refugees.


Monday, April 26, 2010

Belgian Prime Minister Resigns

Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme's resignation was accepted by the King of Belgium on Monday. The Prime Minister offered to step down after a "Flemish liberal party withdrew from a coalition government." Although the Prime Minister resigned Monday, he has agreed to remain in office until the King decides whether to call for new elections or finds another way out of the political crisis. The government will keep functioning despite his resignation, but it will have to display all big decision until the problem is solved. According to Charles Kupchan, a main source of political turmoil in Belgium is the split between the Dutch-speaking Flemish and the French speaking Walloons. Because of this continuing issue, governments in Belgium have been unstable and short-lived. Brussels, Belgium's capital, is the capital of the European Union, which is working on a rescue package for Greece's economy. People are becoming worried that when Belgium should be leading Europe, its government will be floundering. '


Sudan's Recent Election

Sudan recently elected their 1st president in 20 years however, despite this election, they are still wanting to split between the North and South. The North consists mostly of the politicians while the South is the side with the rebels. Not suprisingly the South is the one who wants to cut ties with the North. This event is very similar to what I presented today about Vietnam how the US got involved with a country that has issues and it did not work out the way the US wanted it to. However, in Sudan the US used diplomacy, not violence. This article deals with both the culture and the policits of the Sudanese government.


"Muslim says mistresses are the French way of life"

This article is a case regarding a Muslim man's mistress charged a payment for driving a car with a veil because it blocks her sight. Following this, a discovery was made that the husband actually had four wives that were not under French law, but only done ritualistically. The head of the Muslim group in France, Mohammed Moussaoiu, had a meeting with the French officials to talk about the crisis. He mentioned how emphasis of the veil was not being given compared to other issues.
After reading this article, it made me think about the respect that should be given to all races of people around the world. The veil, in Islam, is very important to some women, but not all. The lady should not be charged of wearing a veil, because that is disrespect to the religion. Just like others, this women should be free to live a lifestyle she wants to. The government does not have the right to do that, unless she was actually crossing the speed limit during driving. We are all the same people, its just the factor of religion that draws a border among us.;_ylt=AqApG9ayOY0FRjhFr2_DhYNvaA8F;_ylu=X3oDMTMyNnY0NTlzBGFzc2V0A2FwLzIwMTAwNDI2L2V1X2ZyYW5jZV9mb3JiaWRkaW5nX3RoZV92ZWlsBHBvcwMxBHNlYwN5bl9hcnRpY2xlX3N1bW1hcnlfbGlzdARzbGsDbXVzbGltc2F5c21p

'I can't afford surgery in the U.S.,' says bargain shopper

An Indiana man needed surgery on his nose, but could not find a hospital that would do it for less than $33,000. So, he looked for surgeons in other places and found that he could save about $30,000 by traveling to the UK. The number of people traveling outside the US to get medical assistance is greatly climbing as prices for medical aid continue to rise in the US. This trend can relate to many times in the past where trade with other nations became necessary during times of hyperinflation or general economic struggle. This also benefits less wealthy countries by giving them more business and allowing them to have a chance to bounce back from their financial deficit.

Sunday, April 25, 2010


While looking through, I found this article about the iPad. Basically, it is a summary of the advantages and disadvantages of this new Apple product. Simply put, this device is another evolution of technology that is changing the way people use older things like internet and books.

In relevance to modern world history, it can be compared to the industrial revolution. During this time, many new inventions and technologies were developed to better the lives of people and change the way people go about everyday tasks. Moving away from the iPad itself, technology in general is always improving and changing. It is a subject that has been around since the beginning of time and will continue to move forward everyday. It is one of the most important things in the world today and is relevant in every point in history.

Humans: Not Advised to Contact Aliens

Stephen Hawking, a british scientist, says that there may be aliens and they may exist but humans should not be in contact with them because they could be harmful. People think that if we were to encounter them, then they may try to take over our planet because they liked some of the resources that Earth provides. They think that it may be like Columbus' discovery of "the new world" but in this case the aliens would be Columbus and we would be the Native Americans. The Native Americans were not treated very well and they had their culture and lives almost completely demolished and taken over by Columbus and his followers. Like Columbus, they think the aliens might feel the need to colonize or capture whatever land they find because they have exhausted their own planet. The aliens may be in a situation like Wall-E where they have used up almost all of the resources on their planet. IN Wall-E earthlings or humans let their planet be taken over by trash and so they sat in space in a spaceship which served as their planet because they had nowhere else to go. The Aliens could have nowhere else to go so they might take any chance they have to find a new planet to live on. There is also a new tv show I think that they mentioned about the Universe and aliens. Humans have made numerous attempts to contact "new life" but no aliens have been found yet. They sent a couple of ships with sculptures but they didn't come in contact with any other living things.

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Saturday, April 24, 2010


This website shares that the US sent a missile to the Pakistan and killed people, this relates to war and war crime and would be interesting. Also weaponry we have studied war weapons and how they had improved. So this could be very interesting.

Hubble Telescope

This website is about the Hubble Telescope and the photos it had taken. I think it would be interesting to compare and contrast from the first telescope to the hubble and talk about the industrial revolution.

Current Event

This website share the new health care plan that Obama has created, and how it is not the brightest decision. I guess it would be social, but it is more political.

- 1 Possible connection to history would be how the government has changed. Also he is the president of the USA.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Current Event: Slaughter of Dolphins In Taiji, Japan

For my Current Event I was hoping to do something about the slaughter of dolphins in Japan. I wanna look more into the history and see why we are unable to stop it. Here is a little background sort of article that may help you understand everything a little better.
This is a problem that needs to stop. Maybe I could approach this from a legal or UN point of view. I still need to find some way to connect it to other history. Unless I can just look deeper into this problem.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Mao and the Great Leap Forward

Mao started his "Great Leap Forward" with his motivation to surpass the United States of America. His mission was to create a socialist economy. This means he wanted to give more money to the people producing the crops in the fields. Everything Mao tried always seemed to fail and could never work the way he wanted too. The peasants in China were told to build backyard blastfurnaces to make iron and steel for tools. Instead of melting scraps of metal to make utensils and tools, the naive peasants used tools and utensils to melt into unusable amounts of metal. Another example, was the "Great Leap Forward" made the labors stop producing food and switch to making metal which ended up causing a shortage of food in the cities and farms. Basically the "Great Leap Forward" was not what it was supposed to be and actually failed miserably, which is why it should be called the Great Leap Backward.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

China: The relationship between Taiwan and China

Taiwan is an island off of the mainland of China. China has many people who believe in the teachings of Confucius where a ruler must protect his people and in return his people must obey him. The relationship between Taiwan and China is interesting because both of them think they are the ruler in the relationship. Taiwan  think they rule China, but China has been taken over by an alien and corrupt government and China thinks the same thing of Taiwan. For this reason they will never sever the relationship between the two, because they believe in order to be responsible rulers they cannot abandon their people. China has other "provinces" which they believe are necessary to be looked after. Two examples of this are Mongolia and Tibet. It is sometimes difficult for western countries to understand why China would continue to rule these countries after they  have made it clear that they want independence, but through looking at the teachings of Confucius we can see the China is doing the responsible thing according to their religion. Probably eventually China and Taiwan will have a war, with America sending airplanes and weapons to Taiwan, but for now it is just a tense relationship between the two. To make matters Taiwan doesn't even have a representative in the UN, and they haven't since 1972 because the Un recognizes the two as part of the same country and therefore they are only allowed one representative. 

Monday, April 19, 2010

China - Great Leap Forward

What happened to China was a complete result of internal issues dealing with Mao. However, they stemmed from a desire to be better than everyone else. I'm talking specifically about the Great Leap Forward. Mao wanted to use, what seemed like good ideas to push China to be surpass the U.S. but ironically hurt them even more. Mao wanted to do this with industrialization and agriculture. He thought that he could take advantage of China's vast numbers and collectively work together to achieve his goals. Many things changed under Mao's command. Private farming ended, and anyone who chose to take part in their own farming was counter revolutionary. Instead, they were groups of farming communities (Communes) where no specific person owned the tools. They all would work together to produce as much grain as possible which would be taken by the government to feed other people, like those in cities who do not grow any of their own food. The government did a good job of convincing each commune to produce as much grain as they could by almost pitting the communes against each other. Mao also established communal kitchens. Like the farming communes, it involved no one owning their own tools such as pots, pans, kettles etc. Instead these were all taken by the government to help them create steel. Instead of cooking at home, people would go to a public kitchen where they would all be fed the same meal. The consequences of all this were much greater than any benefits that were intended by Mao. It, along with the droughts and flooding of the Yellow river, led to extreme famine where about 2 million Chinese people died.

War Crimes in World War II

World War II consisted of multiple war crimes. Some of these war crimes consisted of the Holocaust, the Raping of Nanking, Firebombing, and the dropping of the Atomic Bomb. “The Holocaust was the systematic, bureaucratic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of approximately six million Jews by the Nazi regime and its collaborators.” ( The German Nazis considered themselves superior to the Jews, and this mindset led to one of the greatest mass destructions of all time. The Raping of Nanking is also a historical event of such horrific human action that history itself attempts to forget it. Although Japan had already taken control over most of China, this was not enough. Tension between Chinese and Japanese military troops caused an exchange of firing near Peking (now Beijing), and the Japanese used this incident as an excuse to declare war against China. This led to a significant period of time in which Japanese gladly took the lives of thousands, proceeding to rape, burn to death, or bury alive innocent Chinese civilians. When the events were drawn to the attention of the public, neighboring countries were quick to attempt to clean up the reputation of the Japanese along with cover up the tragedy as best as they could. In attempt to bring World War II to an end, America dropped an atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. To this day, it is undetermined whether or not dropping the bomb was the necessary course of action the United States should have taken in attempt to reach the end of World War II.
All of these events are very controversial events that took place during World War II. In my personal opinion, they all would be qualified as war crimes, however the definition of a war crime may vary. When war is declared, those agreeing to participate in the war are aware that what comes with fighting are severe injuries, destruction, and death. With this said, the “crimes” committed such as the Raping of Nanking and the dropping of the Atomic bomb would not technically be breaking any rules. However, actions such as those discussed above cross the moral border. Take the Raping of Nanking- did the Japanese have any right to take the lives of thousands of innocent Chinese civilians? And not only that, but what incentive did the Japanese have causing them to display such crude and vial actions against the Chinese? In order to determine whether or not something is really a war crime or not, I feel as though it is merely personal. Majority of the events that took place centered around World War II or a war of some sort included an abundance of deaths and destruction. This is what is expected of a war. However, does that make it right? That question can be answered only individually.


China's Internal Problems

I believe that most of what happened to China was as a result of their internal issues. The biggest issue that China had was the communist government that they had at the time. One of the first things that happened because of China's communist beliefs was that they were forced into the Korean war. The Korean war started because the Americans invaded Northern Korea which was communist. The Chinese felt the need to fight because they thought that maybe they would be the next ones to get invaded if they didn't try and fight off the annoying American Armies. 400,000 chinese citizens ended up dying as a result. Another big problem that China created for themselves was the Great Leap Forward. This was pretty much the idea that everyone in China should work together to one day surpass the Americans. The Chinese set up a good number of competitive communes to try and increase the harvest of China. While the idea of a group of people sharing a farm sounds alright it ended up being a terrible idea. Communes promised way much more harvest than they could produce to show power among surrounding communes. Since they didn't produce enough food, the government took all they had promised leaving them to starve. People died of starvation, and at the end the number of dead people rose to 20 million. 

China: events were a result of internal issues or external influence?

China was led through many issues in their country in which the country's social and economical aspects drastically changed. At first, all these things occurred only because of the internal issues. After WWII, China returned to the Civil War in which there were two groups: Nationalists(GMD) vs. Communists(CCP). The Nationalists were led by Chiang, who fled to Taiwan, and the Communists were led by Mao. Up until now, all issues were happening because of the internal events in the country. On the other hand, the U.S. decided to bomb the coast line of China because their goal was to contain communism. This became a threat to China, and marked the point of where external influence was causing changes in the country of China. Mao made a plan called the "Great Leap Forward" in which everyone worked to "surpass America" in any way they could. As a leader, Mao retires for a short period of time and returns to re-seize power with the support of the army. There was lack of sufficient years of academics in which Mao decided to  eliminate the "4 Olds." The old thoughts, culture, customs, and habits were all changed to allow students to learn from the core farmers. This strategy was not enough years of academics, so a new leader Deng Xiaping took over after Mao and modernized the education and lifestyle to focus on agriculture, science, industry, and defense. As you can see, China was influenced by both external and internal issues. 

Mao: His Impact and Leadership

Some of the main issues that caused a downfall for China were mostly tied to Mao who was for Communism. He thought that everyone should work together and that way they could over power the United States. He tried to get involved in the Korean war but many thousands of soldiers died. He also tried what he called the Great Leap which ironically caused them to fall or go backwards. He wanted everyone to work together so that they could "surpass America" by killing the sparrows because they ate some of their grain. Mao didn't really think of the "then what" or what came after he killed the sparrows. What ended up happening was that then there were too many insects and they ended up eating a lot of the grain which cause a famine. Mao failed to think ahead and that is why many of his ideas were failures. The plan sounded great the problem resulted after the plan had been achieved. Like when he tried to increase harvests. He thought that having people work harder would make them produce more and indeed it did, but it was more of a unrealistic competition. They would say they would produce a ton and so the government would take that as a promise that they could collect a certain amount of what they were going to produce. But when it came time for the government to collect, they hadn't produced what they thought they would and so the government would take what they were promised and left the country workers with nothing.

Mao had great ideas like getting them motivated with competition and to work together to be more efficient, but as I have said before it only lead to disaster. Mao wasn't a good leader in the sense that he didn't think ahead. He thought of what they could do at that moment and then he would try it out. He experimented but it was like testing ideas with people's lives. If his plan failed, which most of them sort of did, then lots of people would die. He was not aware that some many people of the country side were dying when they were supposed to be prospering because of the hypothetical amounts of grain. But the people were actually dying of starvation. A leader needs to be in contact with all the different parts of land and all the different kinds of people, that way he can prevent a chain of deaths from starvation. A leader also needs to be able to think ahead of what could happen if I did this, or what might go wrong and if it does go wrong what can I do to help the people. I think he was so consumed in his own ideas that he got overwhelmed with how well he thought things would turn out.

Who was involved with the Korean War

On June 25, 1950 the Korean war reached the climax of the battle. Once North Korea bombarded and invaded South Korea the finances and other countries began to get in the middle of the war. The US and UN helped North Korea with the chaotic army. Since World War II ended about five years after the US had a lot of military material which was helpful for the korean army because their weapons were up to date and powerful, Airplanes, machinery. Because the UN army swiftly moved through North Korea, China jumped ship thinking it would be a careless win, however the soviet union was not as willing to join the war. In the middle of the war the South Koreans fought back and pushed them back making china "give up" essentially. The US army became even more stronger and powerful but very expensive. The war came to closure on July 27, 1953, the USSR concluded it was a waste of financial resources and needed to end. It was considered a waste for four decades, until they were able to make up for all the wasted money.

The Holocaust from the eyes of a German

When I was researching what about the Holocaust I wanted to blog about, I was thinking about my Grandma who grew up in Germany during the time. I came up with a question, should she have to take the blame for what her country did? I think that even since she lived there, she should take the blame because of what some of the people in her country did. She was not involved and did not want anything to do with it. But usually when people say they are German the first thing that comes to mind is the Holocaust. How can these people take the blame if they had nothing to do with it. However the actions that Hitler took to exterminate the Jews was to a certain extent of being endlessly cruel and not needed. When talking to my grandma about this she said that the time during the Holocaust was so sad and depressing she didn't know how to go on living normally. She said all the test they did to find out if the people were jewish or not was unnecessary and horrible. One time they measured her nose, but her blond hair and blue eyes meant she was a dominate German(I think they checked her records too). To this day she has the horrible image of the Jews being taken away to camps and then hearing about what they did. However she still is proud of the fact that she is German but wished the Holocaust never occurred.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

War Crimes

The Holocausts, around 1933-1945, were one of the biggest war crimes ever committed throughout history. The killing of about 6 million innocent Jews just because of prejudice is not fair at all. The way many of these people died is also a big crime. Burning someone, or starving someone to death is really unethical and torturous. All of this was done to satisfy only one person which is the worst part of this all.

The Atomic Bomb was also a war crime because it murdered thousands of innocent civilians. It would have been better for the US to just fight them without the use of this bomb, because Innocent women and children would have most likely been safe. If the US would have just fought them without the bomb, they would have avoided the extensive Cold War that came as a result of them dropping the bomb.

War Crimes

War is a brutal thing that has no positive result. Sure politicians may brag and say how the war was a great thing, but there are thousands, even millions of people who die throughout the war. Overall the war is brutal, and shouldn't go any farther than necessary. Unfortunately, they sometimes do, and that is called a war crime. Killing off citizens is a horrible thing. The citizens are unarmed, and may even be against the war. Unless they take up arms against you, they are very little threats to you. And murdering a helpless person is just wrong. The holocaust was ridiculous, and a war crime to the highest extent. The Natzis took millions of Jews, and murdered them in gas chambers and ovens. Both of them are horrible ways to go. The Natzis did all of this for the small reason that they decided to hate Jews. It was a brutal mutilation of a race of people who had done nothing at all, and had no reason to be persecuted. The Holocaust was possibly the biggest war crime in history, because of all the horror that they caused for no apparent reason.

Nuclear Disasters

We all know that it is possible to harness the power of nuclear energy for something other than quickly defeating an enemy. One of the other(and most prevalent) uses of nuclear energy is in a nuclear power plant. However, because of the power of this type of energy, there is bound to be disasters. I was interested to see the effects of disasters regarding power plants vs. the results of the detonation of the atom bomb. We all remember what happened during the explosion of the atom bomb: people were incinerated where they stood, everything was set on fire, houses were exploded and destroyed, and everything was in chaos. But there were more effects, such as resulting poisonings, cancers, Everyone remembers this blast, and the horrible effects it has had on the people of this area. One of the most famous accidents is the Chernobyl disaster, which occurred in Ukraine in 1986. The system had a meltdown, resulting in a fire that caused a plume of radioactive fallout to be sent into the atmosphere which spread across the area surrounding the plant. Unlike the Hiroshima and Nagasaki incident in which most people died immediately, the main result of the meltdown was radiation poisoning. The blast also poisoned drinking water, and killed most plants and animals in the general vicinity. It also caused Down's syndrome. Though the death toll from the bomb was completely different from the power plant, the after effects and resulting diseases were mostly the same. This lead me to think about if it's really worth it to put a lot of peoples lives and health in danger just for some strong power.

Who is responsible in a war crime?

I researched more when I got home about who is responsible in war crimes and why more people should feel bad for the actions that they pursue in a crime. War crimes were happening all over the world during World War II and many followers of the Nazi Party took place in the killing of the Jews. We read a document written in the point of view of one of the Nazi commanders. He states that he was in great pain seeing these children and men suffering and having to be burned alive and dying in the gas chambers. If he felt any sympathy towards them, he would be killed as well. Back to the idea of who is responsible for the war crime, I would say that anyone who lets or does the duty of killing is considered responsible. It doesn't matter if you didn't help with the actual killing, but if you witnessed the scene you are held responsible. The Nazi commander did not think he was responsible for anything since he just gave the order to have someone kill the Jews, but in reality he could have stopped this and it wouldn't have been a war crime anymore.

War Crimes

It is not always easy to identify a war crime or a war criminal. However, when we do, I find it interesting that we are always trying to justify this action. No matter what happens, if someone commits a war crime, they always justify it by saying it was in aid of their country or it was going to help finish the war. Whether or not that is true, it is still a war crime the people who commit them, at some point, must pay for their actions. I'm talking about all countries, the U.S. included. The bombardiers who dropped the bomb on Hiroshima themselves are war criminals. They dropped the bomb, committed the crime, and killed many people that day. The same goes for the Japanese in the Rape of Nanking. Every single one of those Japanese soldiers are war criminals for their actions. They committed heinous crimes again humanity.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Who started the Cold War

I think that although America may have over reacted to the soviets stuborness in trying to convert european countries to communism, it is the soviets that started the cold war. Its understandable after all of the losses that Russia went through in both World War I and II, that is not enough justification to split up Germany half of it being trapped into a third world country. Families were seperated for generations after the berlin wall was put up and the boundry between eastern and western Germany. Russian claimed that it was stopping germany from the terror of imperialism, but the allies let Germany become independent much before the Soviets let Eastern Germany gain its independence. I think that America was quite clear that it was nuclear weapons, and Russia never revealed whether it did or not. Furthermore, Russia tried to take over a bunch of Nazi war factories after the war was over. This to me at least seems very wrong, these were factories not even in Russia built to kill millions and millions of innocent people. America communicated with the rest of the world, or at least european nations, while Russia became extremely secretive. ONly increasing America's suspicion and paranioa of the Soviets.

Japanese War Crimes

So I decided to research a little about the Japanese war crimes and a big one was the Rape of Nanking. They had a hard time finding enough solid evidence to prove it was horrific and a war crime. They now have found that the US may have had some of the more convincing evidence to help the Japanese not be convicted. But why they would do that I am not sure. They think they may have done it so that Japan could move on and continue running smoothly. The Japanese were not as severely punished as the Germans so that is what has lead some people to think that all the facts and evidence may not have been revealed. I think that the German's war crime was horrific because so many were killed in so many horrific ways. The Japanese however invaded without being in much of a war already. I am not saying that what the Germans did is justified but I think that the Japanese should have been suffered a little more and should have received more consequences for their actions. They raped many innocent people for a reason that wasn't very justified especially from the people's view who were somehow connected to the even whether they had someone close who was killed or whether they witnessed part of it. I read about this in a couple essays all in one document from a couple people who decided to investigate and discover more about it.


War Crimes

Awhile back in class we were talking about war crimes and we were deciding if certain events in WWII were war crimes. I decided to do some research on the definition war crimes and how the government came to terms in what a war crime is. Searching for a definition of war crimes, I found this definition:

war crime
n. Any of various crimes, such as genocide or the mistreatment of prisoners of war, committed during a war and considered in violation of the conventions of warfare.

There were many other definitions since there isn't one solid definition. However I believe that this definition didn't elaborate on what were the conventions of warfare. I found that there was a diplomatic conference which came together to discuss the idea of protecting the wounded and the sick on land. This was the First Geneva Convention and was signed by many, later on there were three others which were drawn. The Geneva Convention set rules to war on what couldn't be done and breaking these would be considered a war crime. The Geneva Convention came to be due to Henry Dunant who started the Red Cross. The red cross on a white background became an emblem that became known as neutral. As you can see we probably won't be able to find an exact definition that can explain what war crimes are, without going into specificity. The closest we have though are the Geneva Conventions which aid us into deciding what is and isn't a war crime.

"war crime." The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. 13 Apr. 2010. crime>.

Geneva Convention. <>.
In WWII, nuclear weapons were the foundation for ending the war. We raced against Hitler in an attempt to beat him to the atomic bomb. If he we had not beaten him, I would be speaking German right now and free speech would be limited. The atomic bomb is one of the most lethal weapons to date, and the pure imagining of your enemy having this weapon should be enough to end a war. If you really think about it, the atomic bomb is a metaphor for a war itself. The bomb is created, which is the creation of an army. The side threatens war with the bomb, which is the threat of war. The bomb is then dropped, which is the insertion of the army. The bomb explodes, which is the fighting of war. And the ashes, rubble and radiation remaining is the impact of war itself. The atomic bomb is a small war altogether, but only now does war fly a thousand times faster.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Nuclear Radiation

Even though nuclear bombs are very devastating weapons, often the radiation from these bombs can be even more devastating. About 5% of the energy from the bomb is transmitted into gamma radiation. This number may seem very small, however nuclear bombs are some of the most powerful items on the face of the planet so this 5% energy is still very lethal. After exposure from radiation, effects will kick in within the next 30 days for an "average" human. After intial exposure, an "average" human will have a 50% chance to live, depending on your bodies internal structure and the amount of radiation you recieve. If one goes under more then 2,000 r.a.d (radiation absored dose) then you will face instant death. In order to undergo this much r.a.d it is equivelent to surviving the blast of a nuclear bomb but inhaling the air just after the bomb is dropped. So not only can the bomb do damage with the blast, but the after effects make it one of the most lethal weapons in the world. As you can see from the picture, the radiation peels away the skin and burns it up.

How does a nuclear bomb work?

A nuclear bomb creates a nuclear reaction by either one of the two processes. Fission is when the nucleus breaks completely apart. Fusion is when one nucleus collapses onto another with a rapid domino affect. Because of these unique processes, heavier elements such as uranium are used for fission while lighter elements like hydrogen are used for fusion. As scientists continue to make nuclear bombs efficient, they always focus on two aspects of the bomb. They want the maximum destructive power, but the least after effect. For example, the bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki were both destructive and the after effects were devastating. This bomb used the strategy of an old fission bomb leaving horrible after effects. Modern day uses fusion bombs in which the result is much cleaner but also deadly because the  nucleus does not explode, but rather decays over a period of a million years. Even though all the bombs are constructed a little differently, they include a shell to cover the bomb design, a trigger, and nuclear fuel.

War Crimes

crime   [krahym] Show IPA
an action or an instance of negligence that is deemed injurious to the public welfare or morals or to the interests of the state and that is legally prohibited.

Crimes are normally determined by laws. If a law is broken it is a crime. In order for there to be war crimes there have to be war laws. The world has not created a complete list of war laws so it is difficult for us to know what exactly is a war crime. The war laws are created based on past battles or fights where they believe sides have had unfair advantages or killed unnecessarily. So the laws are normally created afterwards. Once people realize that one side did something unfair they decide that they never want that to happen again so they create a rule. It is sort of like a late whistle in a sports game. Everyone is led to believe that the call wasn't going to be made and then after the fact they end up calling it. These possibly unknown laws might not have been intentionally broken. If the sides knew about the laws they were possibly going to break they might not have broken them. In order to correctly punish people for war crimes we need to get a set list of rules before the war has begun.

This probably doesn't make much sense.