(Text pages 170-177)

What is Nationalism?
Nationalism is the strong belief that the interests of a particular nation-state are of primary importance. It is also the belief that a people who share a common language, history, and culture should constitute an independent nation, free of foreign domination.
Through history it can be seen that nationalism taken to its utmost degree (also known as ultra- nationalism) results in genocide, crimes against humanity, and the breach of security, peace, and the good of all people.
Since World War II ended, there has been more focus on not allowing ultra-nationalism to exist. Ways that countries have tried to do this was through the establishment of the League of Nations.
The League of Nations involved different forms and levels of government that came about after the Treaty of Versailles that was signed in 1919-1920 as a result of World War I. Its main goals were to uphold the rights of men and women (from every race), arms control, prevent war, encourage negotiation, diplomacy, and the quality of life.
However, the League of Nations did not thwart the events that led up to and eventually caused World War II from happening. Many countries and people lost trust in the League of Nations as a result. Because of this, the United Nations was organized in 1945. The UN was created for very similar reasons when compared to the League of Nations, but instead had a special emphasis on keeping world wide peace.
During the UN's early development, international military tribunals were set up by the victorious allies to try German and Japanese individuals and government organizations for crimes against peace, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.
Even today, the UN has been criticized for not dealing with contemporary cases as a direct result, or motivated by ultra-nationalism. However, accomodation between two or more groups of people, focused on their own interests, will have its challenges.
In 1948, the UN established the International Criminal Court. Some of the ICC's greatest challenges is not infringing upon people's sovereignty, and persuading countries to agree upon a set of laws it will use. In 2002, sixty countries signed a statute enacting the ICC, and in 2008, forty-five more countries signed it. However, there are still more countries who do not recognize the ICC, and refuse to cooperate with it.
Some of the Signorities
  • Afghanistan
  • Canada
  • France
  • Japan
  • Britain
  • Germany

Some of the Non-Signorities
United States
• Indonesia

What reason(s) might explain a countries choice to join the ICC? What reason(s) might explain a countries choice to not join the ICC? What might persuade the countries who are not currently supporting the ICC to change their mind?

The ICC now operates independently of the UN, and will not act if those accused of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes are fairly tried in a national court.

Two countries where ultra-nationalism occurred, and crimes against humanity were committed include former Yugoslavia, and Rwanda.

(Former) Yugoslavia:
The former country of Yugoslavia contained many different ethnic groups due to the Paris Peace Conference of 1918-1919. It was known to have its conflicts, but the people remained relatively peaceful up to the early 1990's, when it became a communist state. However, the ultra-nationalism arose through the collaspe of the Soviet Union, which was one of the main countries that had been at the Paris Peace Conference. First, Slovenia and Croatia declared independance in 1991, then Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1992. The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was formed by Serbia and Montenegro, under the leadership of the Serbian ultra-nationalist Slobodan Milosevic.
Slobodan Milosevic believed that every non-Serbian should be expelled from Serbian territory. He did this through ethnic cleansing, a term that is used to make more socially acceptable the murder or expulsion of an ethnic nation from a territory. This 'cleansing' also took place in Bosnia and Herzegovina, due to Milosevic's 'sharing' of Serbian forces. Non-Serbians were killed, harassed, and not given rights such as meeting in public places, moving to another town without permission, or travelling by car. The Seige was lifted on February 29, 1996. The UN had warned Serbian forces to stop, but were later ordered to remain neutral in order to continue their providing of food for non-Serbians. In the end, the death toll was more than 11,000. An International Criminal Tribunal Court for Former Yugoslavia was estabished by UN Security Council in 1993; however, Milosevic died before the end of the trial.
The following video is a clip from a daily briefing involving the International Criminal Tribunal Court for Former Yugoslavia:

Rwanda contains two ethnic groups, the Hutus, and Tutsis. During colonial times, Belgum colonists favored the Hutus. After Rwanda's independance in 1962, decades of civil conflict began due to political imbalance. Hutu ultra-nationalists used the radio to create propaganda campaign against Tutsis. The UN became involved in 1993 with a small force of soldiers to keep peace. But in April 1994, the Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana was shot down in a plane. Hutus blamed Tutsis extremists, and the killing began. 800,000 people were killed, 90% of that number being Tutsis. The UN peacekeepers were powerless in stopping the slaughter, as they were not given permission to interfer in internal conflicts. The Rwanda genocide in the end helped the establishment of an international criminal court.

Warning: Some of the following video has disturbing pictures.

Use the following Cause-Effect Organizer to help you analyze a contemporary consequence of ultranationalism.
1. Review what you know (opinion, examples, assumptions, relations)
2. Trace the cause and effects (ex: analyze how aspects of ultranationalism caused the example you chose and led
to some of the effects of the crime)
3. Consolidate your findings (review/analyze with others; search for patterns/common causes)
4. Interpret your findings (summarize your position; present positiong to classmate)

People who stood up for good during a crime against humanity/genocide:
  • Oskar Schindler: Holocost: his work in saving Jews he hired in a factory from being sent to a death camp, and others in death camps through bribes was made into the 1993 Hollywood movie Schindler's List

  • Paul Rusesabagina: Rwanda genocide: was both Hutus and Tutsis, and was hotel manager of the Hotel des Mille Collines. He chose to hide 1200 people in the hotel, and every life under the hotel roof was spared. His story was dramatized in the Hollywood movie Hotel Rwanda

Thought: Are crimes against humanity a thing of the past, or could they happen again?