Our new age of instantaneous global dissemination of news seems to have given rise to a salutary and dual impact of not only instantly making global humanity aware of catastrophic events in far-away locations, but also consequently spurring or sparking ameliorative actions or movements or grassroots pressures for action from concerned governments and nongovernmental entities. The present case in Iraq is illustrative of this trend. The United Nations, the Pope, and the social media were all in action, in various ways, even before President Obama took the noble step of using U.S. airpower to checkmate Islamic State (http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/pope-issues-urgent-appeal-for-global-help-of-iraqi-christians-63507/).
Any group of people, be it religious, ethnic, racial or what have you, anywhere in the world, which does not want to co-exist with others on this shared space called earth, deserves our collective opprobrium and our collective effort to prevent that group from doing further harm to fellow human beings.
Allan D. Cooper’s The Geography of Genocide notes that “States have been engaging in genocide from the beginning of time. But it was only in the twentieth century that the term was created and that an international consensus arose to criminalize it” (p. 1). This international consensus emerged in the form of a Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide adopted by the United Nations in 1948. That UN Convention defines genocide as follows: