More From Alder's Ledge

October 31, 2012

Cheap Never Cost So Much

Exploitation of the New Holocaust
(Part of The Darkness Visible series)

(The Hell of Eastern Congo)

In 2012 the genocide in the Congo surpassed the estimated deaths of Jews in the Holocaust. The fact that the world remains silent has left some of us cynical jaded souls asking if the victims in the Congo were just born the wrong color? Would the world care more if these 6,100,000 souls been cared for a little more if they had just been born white? 

In 1994 the Hutu militias and Hutu civilians who had been defeated after committing genocide in neighboring Rwanda fled into what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Their presence there brought forth the sins they had committed in Rwanda. With their bloody hands came the crimes that had driven them from their homeland. Every since 1996 the Congo has been paying the price of war and genocide. 

Rebel armies rape, pillage, and torture innocent civilians daily in Eastern Congo and the Northern Congo. Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, a Hutu extremist group, continues to terrorize the eastern areas of the Congo. The Lord's Resistance Army, despite President Obama's claims, continue to force famine upon the northern areas of the Congo and abduct innocent children. 

In recent years organizations like "Invisible Children" have taken up the cause of the victims of groups like The Lord's Resistance Army. But even these good intentioned organizations fail to recognize that the use of children soldiers is just a symptom of genocide in the region. Those who support organizations like "Invisible Children" also seem blind to the fact that an estimated 45,000 people die each month in the Congo. This estimation includes more than just children and women (though women and children do suffer disproportionately). It includes all Congolese citizens who refuse to support and participate in the killing of their neighbors and families. 

What makes the Congo genocide unique however is not the religion or race of the victims. This is a genocide that challenges the definition of genocide itself. This is a genocide that targets those who happen to be in the way. They happen to live on land that is rich in resources and minerals that are far to precious for the Western world to ignore. Instead it is the victim that is ignored while the diamonds, gold, silver, and lumber are pillaged by rabid governments in the developed world. 

This is where the color of the victims skin seems to show the tale tale signs of willful ignorance and neglect by the Western world. 

It is expected of China and Russia that they would support regimes like that in the Sudan and Iran when they exploit their citizens to boost the private wealth of those in charge of the victimized country. Communism does not preach to the impoverished the core values of human rights. It does not teach its citizens that all people are equated equal and with inalienable rights endowed to them by G-d. It only teaches its citizens that their own welfare is important and that the desire of the masses must be met despite the suffering of the few. 

So why is it that the United States and Canada alike seem far to willing to allow companies who operate within their borders to exploit and prop up genocidal regimes like those in the Congo? 

This year President Obama lifted sanctions on American based companies doing business in Myanmar. It is unfortunate that Mr. Obama never had to bother with lifting sanctions on American businesses that would prevent them from doing business in the Congo. Instead American mining companies and natural resource purchasing companies in the United States have long been doing their business with Congo based war lords. And in Canada the government decided to drop a piece of legislation that would have blocked Canadian businesses who currently import Congolese resources. 

This failure to pass any from of sanctions against the Congolese war lords has allowed for Western cash to continue to fund genocide in the Congo. This constant flow has boosted the flow of blood in the worlds second poorest nation. At the same time the 24 trillion US dollars worth of resources continues to be picked clean as greed fuels the flames of the hellish genocide it supports. 

If we are ever going to see action taken to stop the killing in the Congo we must first force action in the governments of the Americas and Europe. We can no longer accept the word of companies when they assure us that the products we buy are not "blood diamonds" or "conflict minerals". These same companies still take your cash and send it to the killing fields so that they can use middle men to traffic the cheap resources back into the Western markets. Only actual laws and bills can put an end to the cash that fuels the genocides in developing nations like the Congo. 

This callousness to the suffering of Congolese citizens by Western markets leaves me jaded only that much more. And once again it leaves me asking... do these six million dead receive little acknowledgement simply because they aren't white? Or is it our greed that blinds us to the blood stains on our own hands? 

October 30, 2012

Scorched Earth

The Ethnic Cleansing of The Rohingya
(Part of The Darkness Visible series)

(Around 800 Rohingya Homes Torched in Pauktaw, Burma)

Those of us who have been following the genocide in Myanmar have already seen the satellite images showing the burnt out Rohingya neighborhoods in Pauktaw, Arakan Myanmar. If you look closely at these images you can see the distinct line between the Buddhist and Muslim neighborhoods. It is where the police and fire crews stopped. Their only worry seemed to be keeping the arson contained to the Rohingya part of town. The police have been reported to have shot at those trying to leave the flames and smoke that engulfed the Rohingya homes. 

This attack is the first of its kind in this part of the Arakan region of Myanmar. Since the genocide began in June Pauktaw had managed to avoid the violence. Despite this fact however the Rohingya in Pauktaw had been restricted to this small swath of land and forbidden to cross over into the Rakhine part of town. They had been concentrated into an area of around 800 houses. An area that was backed up to the water where many had parked their houseboats. 

When the attack began the Rakhine mobs made an effort to sink or burn the boats before setting the houses on fire. This shows that an organized effort was made to cut the Rohingya off from fleeing. This was an attack that was designed to maximize casualties and to kill as many Rohingya as possible. Those who managed to flee were set adrift without food, water, or fuel. They could only flee with what they could carry. And even then they could only carry what their makeshift boats could hold. 

(Rakhine Police Watching the Fires, Blocking Escape)

As the fires spread across the Arakan region it seems the world has no interest in stopping the attacks. Rakhine mobs have been gaining more weapons and organizing larger attacks. Their religion of peace (Buddhism) seems to offer little resistance to this urge to violence. And the government of Myanmar has done little to stop the fighting. 

Police who sometimes guard the Rohingya areas of town are often seen engaging in the attacks against the Rohingya. The people the Rohingya are supposed to respect and trust are the very people that help torch their homes, rape their women, and kill their children. Fear of the state is almost as prevalent as the fear of their neighbors. 

(Burning Villages in Myanmar)

So what can you do to lift your voice and take action to bring awareness to these genocidal attacks? 

All you have to do is speak up. If you have a Facebook or Twitter account you can easily share these post on your accounts. You can also give updates in your own words about current attacks or ones that have happened during this horrific genocide. Your voice will give a voice to the most forgotten people on the planet. Your words can give dignity back to the people the world has neglected and abused. 

Want to do more? Want to take action?

Sign petitions like the one to soon be started by Restless Beings ( ( These petitions put your name out there and show others that you support the Rohingya. They also help tell our nations leaders that we want to see our nations take action to stop these attacks. They show our leaders that silence on this issue will not be tolerated. 

And remember... silence is a sin far worse than any other. For all evil needs to be victorious is for the good to remain silent.

October 29, 2012

A Light Onto The Darkness

A Voice For the Voiceless
(Part of the Darkness Visible series)

(Rohingya Boy Attacked By Burmese Buddhist)

As the world closes it's eyes to the horrors perpetrated against the Rohingya in Myanmar it leaves me to wonder where the voices of the honest will be when these sins come to haunt us once again. Can we forget now the deaths of millions to the furnaces and gas chambers of Hitler's insanity? Can we block it from our mind as we seem to have already forgotten the Rohingya? Or will we wait till this bloody tragedy has played itself out like we did in Rwanda? Will we set on the sidelines listening to the screams only to tell ourselves we did everything we could to stop the annihilation of the Rohingya? 

This is not an isolated tragedy however. Currently there are more genocides occurring at one time than the modern world can remember. Syria burns under Assad's command. Myanmar arms the Rakhine to do its bidding. Sudan starves thousands every day as an act of war. The Roma are prepped for deportation and dehumanization. 

Just to name a few. 

What have we... the almighty West... done to stop the killing? In Myanmar the West has started a "gold rush" in a race to get their hands on Burmese resources before China claims the genocide ridden territory. Barack Obama himself lifted sanctions on Myanmar despite the fact that the Burmese Junta was known to be arming Rakhine mobs to drive out the Rohingya. Hillary Clinton welcomed Burmese talks despite the fact that Myanmar's military was at that very moment launching roundups of Rohingya and organizing concentration camps and torture houses. Oh, and don't forget the Europeans... who paraded their token of democracy around despite the fact her country was slaughtering thousands of innocent people. 

Those who believe that China will for some reason step up and stop this immorality as it rises to a super power status seem to forget Tibet. Let alone the fact that it is China that fuels the genocide in Sudan by funding Omar al-Bashir's madness in exchange for oil. And it was China that stood with Russia and Iran as they blocked every UN effort to provide relief for the Syrian people. 

This is why it has become ever increasingly more important for the everyday person to lift their voices and speak out against the acts of brutal regimes and the atrocities they commit. It is in our conviction that we find our strengths. And it is with this conviction that we must speak so that our words will move others. That our message will educate those around us. And through this effort we might see those in command of our own governments finally be forced to act. 

Until we can make this cause an issue in our own political arenas it will never be made an issue in the politicians' minds who carry out these heinous acts. Until we force our leaders (from the state level on up) to look at call these acts by their rightful name... genocide... we can never expect them to act.

For these reasons I urge those who read this to contact their leaders in Congress and their elected state officials and tell them to recognize genocide both past and present. We must force them to come out with it in the public arena and admit when and where genocide is occurring. It is then and only then that we can force them to take actions to stop this sin against all humanity. 

In the past the people of the West have been reluctant to lift their voice. We have remained silent when we should have screamed. We have been timid when our bold actions could have saved the lives of millions. This sin of silence must end now. We must learn to speak for those who remain voiceless. We must learn to be a light in an ever increasingly dim world. 

Tell your representatives in Congress that you want the United States to stand firm on this issue. That we wish for the the United States to recognize the Armenian Genocide. We want them to recognize the Holocaust of the Native Americans who came before us. And that we want them to recognize the genocides that are occurring right now. But most of all, we want the United States to become the shining light of humanity... like the torch our Statue of Liberty holds so high. We want our country to scream out for those who are suffering. And we want our nation to fight for those who can no longer fight back. 

Do your part. Silence, after all, is a crime in and of itself.

October 23, 2012

Slow Death

Starvation As A Weapon
(Part of The Darkness Visible series) 

As President Obama talked about how he has helped the United States image around the world last night it became obvious that American foreign policy did not include Sudan. President Obama had brought up in the debate his supposed success in Libya (where Gaddafi was engaged in questionable actions during a spontaneous uprising against him), Obama brought up his actions in Egypt (amounting to a speech that was delivered far to late and nobody but the West listened to), and Obama talked about Syria (as though he had not called Assad a "reformer" only to later say that Assad needed to leave). It is obvious now that Obama has payed little attention to the suffering of people across the globe that he did not think would benefit his own regime in Washington. Obama failed to mention that Assad was a genocidal dictator who was using his version of Islam to justify the murdering of Sunni Muslims. Obama failed to bring up how he might stop the genocide in Burma as the Rohingya suffer under Buddhist extremist. But more importantly, Obama failed to look just south of Egypt and address the genocide in Sudan.

For nearly a decade the people of Sudan have been suffering under genocidal government that has used ethnic tensions and religion to target its victims. In the beginning the Sudanese government used bullets and bombs to clear out their victims' villages. Then the Sudanese government employed the janjaweed to carry out more extensive attacks on civilian targets. Now the Sudanese government is known to have used and still be using starvation and disease to kill off civilians. All of this has been at the command of Omar al-Bashir.

For 81.5% of the Sudanese in South Kordofan there is only one bare bone ration of food a day. 14.9% of children in this region of Sudan are determined to be critically malnourished. And only a 1/3 of the farmers' lands in this region can actually be harvested due to frequent attacks by the Sudanese military and janjaweed militias. So why did Obama fail to mention this year old war crime and the use of starvation as a weapon?

In Darfur the attacks continue as Omar al-Bashir works to kill off the last of the non-Arab Sudanese who are trapped in this region. Trees are becoming rarer and rarer as planes continue to drop bombs on any place people might hide. The devils on horseback continue to rape, pillage, and slaughter all they come across. So why did Obama continue to fail to live up to his rhetoric about "atrocity and genocide prevention"?

In the Nuba Mountains the Sudanese government has decided to use massive air strikes to clear villages and force the Nuba people out of the area. The region in which the mountains set happens to be mineral rich and oil rich. The Arabic groups in control of the Sudanese government consider the non-arabized Africans to be less than human. For this reason the term genocide is the only word appropriate for the massacres. And yet the West seems content to look the other way.

One reason appears to be the Chinese investment in this region and others in the Horn of Africa. As China has been on the rise so too has its investments in other areas of the world. It has led China to invest in Burma as the Myanmar government has engaged in genocide. So to has China decided to go after Sudanese oil as it funds the genocide of Sudanese civilians. All the while China has been buying up the debt of Western governments. This give China the upper hand in any attempt by the West to stop or prevent genocide and crimes against humanity.

In Syria the Chinese are one of the largest supporters that Assad still has left. They have taken every action they could identify that would scare or force the West to back down. This is how China has behaved when engaging the West when the issue of Omar al-Bashir's crimes comes up. It has been China that has prevented the the ICC court from fulfilling its interest in arresting Bashir (they did however issue a warrant).

In Europe the use of starvation as a tool of war can best be illustrated by Russia. During Stalin's attempts to crush his imaginary foes the Communist in the Kremlin came up with the idea to starve our the Ukrainians. This forced famine caused the death of an estimated 7.5 million to 10 million Ukrainians. It became known as the Holodomor (the combination of holod - hunger, and mor - plague).

In the Sudan this new Holodomor is being caused in much the same way. A crazed leader is once again attempting to crush his foes. And once again the genocidal maniac is using starvation to win through attrition. Yet despite it similarity to a very European tragedy and the Western vow of "never again"... the world is doing nothing once again.

October 18, 2012

Slaughter House

From Here A River Of Blood Will Flow
(Part of The Darkness Visible series)

(More Rohingya Men Found Dead)

In Arakan a jail house has become what Tuol Sleng was in Cambodia during its genocide. The Buthidaung jail is now a slaughter house for Rohingya who have been driven out of their ghettos during the liquidations. These are people who were first placed in these ghettos by the very government who now sends them off to torture centers. These are people who were forced out of the "safety" of the ghettos by thugs and police who now round them up for more massacres. These are the Rohingya the world has forgot. 

For more than half a year now the world has remained silent. The West has decided to avoid the topic of genocide or even calling it the code phrase "ethnic cleansing". Instead the governments of the East and West alike have all decided to ignore the massacres so that they can get at Myanmar's emerging economy. The riches that have long been locked up by the Junta are now up for grabs. And it is under this fog that the genocide of the Rohingya people has been taking place. 

In Sittwe the liquidation of ghettos in neighboring areas (Maungdaw, Rathedaung, Kyauktaw) have brought new "prisoners" to the Buthidaung jail house. These prisoners are often kept in rooms that are meant to hold less than a hundred people. These rooms are crammed with up to triple the amount of people they can actually hold. The prisoners are squeezed in and forced to live without access to clean water or restroom areas. Food is scarce and disease common. 

There are currently an estimated 1,000 (at least) Rohingya being held in the Buthidaung prison. They are not being provided medical attention for illnesses or wounds inflicted upon them. All are subject to random beatings and torture at the hands of the prison guards and local military dispatches. None are expected to make it out of the jail alive.

As the corpses pile up behind the jail the government of Myanmar has approved an arrest list of around 900 more Rohingya. In essence the Myanmar government has shifted from ghettos to concentration camps. All the while the outside world has failed to pay any attention to this tragedy.

It appears that Stalin was correct... the death of one person is tragedy, the death of a thousand is a statistic.

October 5, 2012

Villagers With Pitchforks

Putting the Flame to Roma Homes
(Part of The Darkness Visible series)

Roma Camp Set Ablaze in Italy December 2011

It turns out you can be just about anything in Europe and the Europeans will accept you for the most part. You can be a communist who sets up squats in Denmark where you can push drugs of all sorts. You can be a right wing hack and join the Jobbik party in Hungary. The one thing you can't be in Europe if you want to live in peace... Romani. 

On September 28Th, 2012 in Marseille France a group of 28 vigilantes set a Roma camp on fire. They claim they did the right thing since they did avoid the loss of life and for the most part kept the reports of violence stifled. To back up their claims they have reported that they had contacted the government with their concerns about the Roma and nothing had been done to evict the "undesirables".

For the first time in Alder's Ledge's history it seems that France's government actually backed away from the opportunity to deport a group of Romani. It however is less admirable that the French government did so knowing that the locals in Marseille were planning to take action against the Roma. And that appears to be the reason that the French police were slow to respond to the complaints and never showed up to stop the arsonist when the camp went ablaze.

This sort of attack is becoming more and more common as the governments of Western Europe experience the effects of global recession and the side effects of Europe's union... in which borders become hard to identify. When a government like France's decides to step back from its attacks on Romani (both those who have lived in France all their lives and those coming from Eastern Europe) the locals take action to continue the violence the government started. To add to this the Roma in Eastern Europe continue to flood Western Europe due to countries like Bulgaria and the Romania joining the European Union. 

This recent wave of Romani from Eastern Europe are coming to the West due to the fact that countries in the Eastern half of Europe do not grant them citizenship or even civil liberties. Romania, for example, bans all Roma from voting or from moving from one city to the next without permission. The Balkan states refuse to allow Roma any form of participation in their government or the communities day to day life. And in countries like Hungary, long part of the EU, Roma rarely are defended in court when they are the victims of crimes (both violent and sexual). 

It only makes sense for a person subjected to these sorts of prejudice and discrimination that they would want to venture to the Western half of Europe. Places like France, Germany, and Italy all look like the land of milk and honey compared to Serbia or Romania. And it doesn't take a genius to figure out that if you are banned from employment in Romania that you would gladly illegally immigrate to France. 

With this said it should be easy for anyone to see that the Roma of Eastern Europe will always be more than willing to put up with people like these in Marseille, France. And it will take a lot more than a giant brick wall, like the one the residents of Beja Portugal erected to keep the Roma out of sight, to keep the flood of Romani from coming west. This migration has been spurred by the image of tolerance the West has portrayed to the world for decades. It is a migration of people who have been oppressed and tormented in Russia, Romania, the Ukraine, and the Balkans. They just want to live, and live free. 

So it leaves us to ask, why in the land of opportunity, tolerance, and peace can you not be a Roma? Why is it that the Europeans of today are so eager to forget the lessons of the Porajamos and resort back to the intolerance their ancestors fought to destroy? 

Have we learned nothing in the past 70 years?

October 3, 2012

Souls For Sale

The Cost of Cheap Labor
(Part of The Darkness Visible series)

As the Aung San Suu Kyi says goodbye to the United States the rest of the world has begun to place their bids on Burma. Companies across the globe have started buying out the country that was just recently off limits to the outside world. From China to Europe to the United States and Canada... the rush for the next Taiwan went off without much fanfare.

For those of us in the consumer world this means that soon you could be buying goods made in a country that is currently engaged in genocide. Your next phone, your next pair of jeans, your next blu-ray... they all might be funding a campaign of ethnic cleansing. To complicate this is the fact that you don't currently know what companies are operating in what countries and with whom they are doing business.

In recent years we learned that diamonds you purchase here in the United States could be coming from countries currently using child soldiers and forced labor. It took decades for this information to reach the surface as corporate jewelers willingly racked up profits while innocent people died as a result. It wasn't till pressure was applied by the citizens of the Western world that these corporations backed off and stopped using blood diamonds (well most of them).

When you go to the grocery you can now find labels that say "free trade". This means that when you buy these products your money are is going to the people who grew the product and not their exploiters. The product you buy under "free trade" can help you rest assure your money is not fueling war crimes or exploitation of cheap labor.

So that is how we end up in Myanmar once again.

With the end of sanctions upon Myanmar's exports the West is ready to start importing cheap goods from a shamefully poor country. These products aren't being made in any large supply just yet. So nobody can say for sure where the products we will be importing will be made or who will profit from them. That is why those who are watching Myanmar's economic whirlwind of change are dazzled by the opportunities.

For those of us who are aware of the genocide in Myanmar it is clear who will ultimately pay the price of economic change in Burma. The Rohingya are already forced into solidarity and remain cut off from any sense of what an economy really is. Their lives remain under threat as the Buddhist population of Burma continues to attack relentlessly. And with laws that ban the Rohingya from participating in the economy and community it remains impossible for the Rohingya to gain from economic growth.

With the Buddhist majority in Myanmar growing the oppressed minorities will become more isolated than ever before. The people who attack them on a daily basis will have more resources to draw upon while the Rohingya will be even more vulnerable than before. Their suffering will then continue to be ignored as the Western world will indulge upon the cheap boost to their corporations' profit margins.

That is why a lot of people just like you are taking action now. You can do your part to hold these companies honest as they venture into business with genocidal regimes like Myanmar. All you have to do is read the following page and sign the petition. It will tell the United States Government that you want to know who is doing business in Burma and with whom they are doing it. That way we don't have to wait to know what products they are producing with the blood of innocent lives.

Please read, please sign, and please share. This petition only has till October 4Th.

October 2, 2012

Angels Cry

Hear me now
Hear the sound
Of the angels crying

For every word left unspoken
For every action to be ignored
We will have to answer for

Where monsters walk as men
When hate is construed as truth
How can anyone just stand by then?

Hear me now
Hear the sound
Of the angels crying

For the generations butchered and lost
For the survivors scattered and scarred
All the tears and blood shed for not

Where did your voice go?
When will your hands act?
Who can claim not to know?

Hear me now
Hear the sound
Of the angels crying

For I will not lose my voice
Nor let my hands lay idly by
I will scream until I too bleed
For all to acknowledge the angels’ cries

Backs Against The Wall

Rohingya Ghettos Now Face Liquidation
(Part of The Darkness Visible series)

Burmese Police Carrying Out The Liquidations

In Warsaw the ghettos were liquidated as concentrations camps large enough to hold the population of Warsaw's ghetto came online. These death camps were meant to be slaughter houses for the Jews trapped in the Polish city's worse slum. There was no sense of hope for the Jews in Warsaw's ghetto when the SS came that day.

In Myanmar there is no sense of hope as the Burmese police and military start the next stage of ethnic cleansing. This is the stage of genocide where the targeted minority is no longer allowed to die slowly in disease ridden slums. This is the stage of genocide where the target population is taken away and butchered like animals. The murders no longer view any of the targeted population as human.

Rohingya have been fleeing the ghettos ahead of the approach of military personnel. Their constant trickle across the border into Bangladesh has led to violent conflict with the Bengali military. And now the Bengali government has created a "crisis" in which to scapegoat the Rohingya.

A Bengali Buddhist shrine was recently attacked and burnt. Nobody has been able to confirm that the shrine was attacked by ethnic Rohingya. The fact that the Buddhist were shot seems to blatantly rule out the Rohingya due to the fact the Rohingya have no access to firearms. But the "crisis still stands. And the border with Myanmar is now being shutdown as the Bengali military attempts to plug the porous borderland.

In doing this the Bengali government has allowed its military forces to no longer exercise any sense of restraint in firing upon Rohingya attempting to cross over from Myanmar. It is expected that the Rohingya already in Bangladesh will soon be deported back over the border and forced back into the conflict in the Rakhine region of Myanmar. It is unknown as of now just how many Rohingya have been slaughtered by the Bengali police and military as the UN does not venture beyond the refugee camps.

The jungle is now the only friend to the Rohingya. Their lives will now become that of total exclusion. They will have no access to water or food. If they are to have any form of shelter then they will have to build it. And even in the jungle the Rohingya will have to fear attacks by the Rakhine Buddhist and the Myanmar military.

But before some can make it to the jungle they will first have to suffer through the hellish liquidations Myanmar's military are currently carrying out. This is what liquidation looks like...

There is nothing democratic about this. No Rohingya gets a say in where they will end up or what will happen to them along the way. They simply are left at the mercy of their attackers. All will have to pray and fight just to live another day. And all this just because of their ethnicity and religion.

In Krakow the liquidation of the ghetto came without warning. A concentration camp was already up and running on the edge of Krakow. It would become a processing station for the Jews in Krakow's ghetto as they moved on to Auschwitz. Liquidation of Krakow's ghetto was quick and very violent. The SS wanted the Jews of Krakow gone almost over night.

In Myanmar the liquidations are rather quick and very grotesquely violent. It appears that the Burmese want the Rohingya to be gone into this long dark night. The only problem for the Rohingya is that there seems to be nowhere left to go. The Rohingya now find themselves with their backs' against the wall.

Scream... lift you voice and scream for those who are dieing.

October 1, 2012

Welcome To The Ghetto

Banished To The Slums
(Part of The Darkness Visible series) 

Myanmar Government Now Establishing Ghettos For Rohingya

In Sittwe, Myanmar the Burmese government has now established a policy of forced segregation in which the Rohingya are being forced into ghettos. The Rakhine Buddhist are now the only ones allowed to enter the market areas in Sittwe and other cities and larger villages in the Rakhine region of Myanmar. Rohingya who had their own businesses in this region are now banned from working. Rohingya who had homes in Sittwe are now homeless and forced to walk the alleyways of the ghettos. Not one Rohingya dares leave the ghettos in fear that they will be attacked. Sittwe is now in a full fledged stage of ethnic cleansing.

In 1992 the Serbian militias set up concentration camps and ghettos where the Bosniaks were forced to live in constant fear. These sorts of open air prisons are meant to force the prisoners to live like animals. For the oppressors on the outside these camps are designed to give the image that the prisoners are not human. And for the community as a whole... this sort of segregation will leave scars that even time can not truly heal.

For my ancestors the ghettos were a way of life that still lives in the backs of our minds. To a degree the memory of these places still lives on even in generations who never knew what the ghettos were actually like. This is how time fails to wipe the slate clean. This is why the ghetto is such an effective tool of war.

Myanmar police and military have been known to use these ghettos to round up Rohingya women to gang rape or use as sexual slaves. Once again this mirrors how the Serbian militias used this tactic. It shows how the Junta is creating a step by step version of ethnic cleansing. This is exactly the style of genocide that appeared in Bosnia. It is the method the Nazis used in Eastern Europe. And it is how the Russians exercised their segregation and pogroms before the Holocaust.

Food and Clean Water are Scarce in the Ghetto

Death has a way of lingering in camps like these. Frail bodies haunt the shadows as helplessness creeps around every corner. A sense of timelessness falls over a person who lives in these conditions. There is nothing to mark the passing of time anyhow. There are no meals to speak of. There are no jobs to get up in the morning and go off to do. There is no reason to go to bed when your stomach is aching and your body is hurting. And there is no way of quenching your thirst without inviting death from disease or infection. 

No human being should ever have to live like this. Nobody should ever have to wait for death to come for them as they live with the fading hope of having a life worth living. Yet this is what the world has left for the Rohingya. This is the life Myanmar has cursed an entire ethnicity with. 

For those who make it to UN sponsored camps life isn't much better. They have already passed through the hell of war. They have been hunted like a dog as they ran through the flames. And now they must live in a ghetto full of pale canvas tents and meager rations. 

So how can you help end this ethnic cleansing campaign? How can you do anything that might end the United States support for Myanmar's genocidal campaign against the Rohingya?

The easiest way to take action is to first contact your Representative in Congress. All you have to do is search by zip code on the following page:

Once you have found your Representative you can go to their web page and email them. In your own words you can express how you have read about the ethnic cleansing in Myanmar and you want the United States to come out on the world stage and condemn it. Tell your Representative that you want the United States to take any actions necessary to force Myanmar to end the ethnic cleansing and stop the genocide of the Rohingya Muslims. 

If you do not want to take this action you can "Scream" with us. To do this you can simply press the "share" button down below. By posting these articles on your FaceBook and Twitter you raise your voice with us and help spread the word about this horrific tragedy. And that alone is a simple step you can take that honestly and rapidly helps end the silence surrounding this genocide.