Genocide Is Such A Harsh Word

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Vol 36 Issue 20

Woman Apologizes For What Appears To Be Clean House

PAWTUCKET, RI–For no apparent reason, Pawtucket resident Estelle Scheide, 53, apologized to houseguests Tuesday for the "terribly messy" condition of her spotless house. "I'm so sorry about this," Scheide told a group of visiting relatives. "It's not normally this bad, I swear." "What was she talking about?" son-in-law Bruce Unger asked. "I didn't see a mess anywhere. Did she mean the vacuum cleaner that was out? Or maybe that bag of to-be-recycled newspapers by the back door. Weird."

Toys 'R' Us Sign Triggers Pavlovian Shrieking Response In Child

FREDERICK, MD–A Pavlovian response mechanism was triggered in Jamie Bolz Monday, when the 5-year-old reflexively shrieked at the top of his lungs upon seeing a large, colorful Toys 'R' Us sign during a family car trip. "Ahhhhhhhh! Toys 'R' Us! Toys 'R' Us!" Bolz involuntarily shouted despite countless lectures from his mother about proper car-trip conduct. Behavioral psychologists have likened Bolz's response to the well-documented Burger King-salivation reflex.

Conversation With Boss Puts Man An Hour Behind

CHICAGO–A conversation with his boss set Latham, Towson & Green marketing executive Alex Henkel back an hour Monday. "Jesus, I'm gonna be here until midnight," Henkel, 31, said after the time-consuming chat. "I've got tons of work to do today, and the last thing I needed was to have some bullshit pow-wow with [supervisor] Bill [Svoboda]." Svoboda called for the unproductive, 60-minute meeting to "go over some general strategies and just make sure we're on the same page about things."

MIT Physicists Split The Smithereen

CAMBRIDGE, MA–A team of MIT physicists announced Monday that they have successfully split the smithereen, heretofore considered the smallest possible unit of matter. "For decades, conventional scientific wisdom held that the most to which you could blow something was smithereens," Dr. Jonathan Eng said. "It now appears that it is possible, under certain special laboratory conditions, to blow something to sub-smithereens." Eng said he believes the discovery will revolutionize humanity's potential for harnessing smithereenetic energy.

Area Man Coughs To Let Others Know He's In Bathroom

ATLANTA–Seeking to break the tension and inform others that he was in the bathroom, Barnes & Noble men's-room- stall occupant Larry Ardell coughed Monday. "I was alone in the bathroom, taking a dump, when I could hear one or two other guys walk in," Ardell recalled. "I wasn't sure they knew I was there, and I started getting a little uptight about it, so I decided to cough." Ardell said he had considered rattling the toilet-paper dispenser as a means of announcing his presence, but decided against it out of concern that it would call attention to his wiping.

Clinton Goes On Fun Plane Ride

LISBON, PORTUGAL–President Clinton deplaned from Air Force One excited and thrilled Monday following a fun plane ride from Washington to Lisbon for an eight-day, three-nation European trip. "I went on the airplane," Clinton shouted to Portuguese president Jorge Sampaio. "We went way, way up high, and I saw lots of clouds." Clinton, who has refused to remove the golden-wings pin given to him by Air Force One pilot Edwin Jacobs, capped his remarks with several seconds of airplane noises.

Federal Security Breaches

Last week, it was reported that federal investigators carrying fake law-enforcement credentials were able to penetrate security at 21 government buildings, including the Pentagon, CIA, FBI, and Justice Department. What do you think about these alarming security breaches?

Praise The Lord... And Pass The Chocolate!

Hey, Jeanketeers, remember in my last column, how I said I was going to tell hubby Rick about my decision to retire from the workaday world and become a full-time housewife? Well, if you were anywhere in the vicinity of 1567 Blossom Meadows Drive on the evening of May 3, I sure hope you had a good pair of earplugs!
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Genocide Is Such A Harsh Word

We're all adults here. Can we please conduct this U.N. tribunal without stooping to using that loaded, pejorative term? Yes, as leader of the Kunhing military junta in Myanmar, I did call for the death of four million people, all of whom just happened to be of Shan ethnicity. And, yes, a few of these Shan–let's say 921,452–died at the hands of my mercenary army. But are we really prepared to call it a genocide? Come on, now. That's not the sort of word you just throw around.

Granted, I did call for the Salween River to run red with the blood of the Shan. But did I ever use the word genocide when I called for Burmese, Chinese, and Karens to rise up against their Shan neighbors and rid the Earth of this mongrel race? Of course not.

If something that appears to resemble a genocide did occur at my hands in Myanmar, that certainly was not my intention. Everything I did was in the name of working toward the noble goal of redistributing all land and resources to their rightful, non-Shan owners–a land-distribution system dating back to the 11th century Burmese kingdom of Bagan.

Even "ethnic cleansing" has become a dirty word nowadays. It's getting so that you can't work toward purification without someone calling you the new Hitler.

Sure, we've all heard the recording of my radio addresses and read my statements in The Shan-Annihilation Press, in which I urged Burmese farmers to sharpen their scythes, descend upon Taunggyi, and leave not a man, woman, or child standing. What does that prove? So what if Taunggyi is the capital of the Shan state? Is everyone in Belgium a Belgian?

True, it was the Shan miners at Bawdwin who were seized and burned to death inside the shafts. And, yes, it was Shan workers who were split throat-to-stomach and stacked up like cordwood in the smeltery at Namtu. But to call these massacres? That's so extreme.

Now, maybe if we'd descended upon a Buddhist temple full of refugees in Keng Tung armed with machine guns and missiles, the tribunal could call it a massacre. We all know that a single rocket launcher costs nearly 125,000 kyat around here. We used mere rifles and bulldozers to kill the 13,000 in Keng Tung.

As with most things, your opinion of my regime depends entirely upon your perspective. Yes, there is proof of the live burial at Thayetwa and the fire raids on the grade school in Syway, but you really had to be there to understand what went on. We have a saying in Kunhing: "One man's torture center is another man's retreat where one is released from the shame of being born into this world a Shan."

Perhaps the lowest blow of all was when the U.N. tribunal brought up my silly little nickname, "Ma-ubbin Toukka." Yes, technically, it does mean "one who grinds human skulls into a fine powder with his boot." But the true spirit of it gets lost in the translation.

So how am I supposed to get a fair trial now? A person hears a phrase like "genocide," and they close their minds to everything else. They completely ignore the fact that, even to this day, these agrarian curs are marrying non-Shan. But all it takes is just one U.N. tribunal to scream "genocide," and you're forever labeled a bloodthirsty mass-murderer. "Bloodthirsty"? Who does this sort of name-calling benefit?

Let's take one more look at this nebulous word "genocide," which is defined as "the deliberate and systematic extermination of a national or racial group." Last time I checked, there were still 2,623,947 Shan left in Myanmar. That doesn't sound like much of a genocide to me.

Now, if you'd be so kind as to leave me be–perhaps until about, oh, September 2001–I have some important business to attend to.

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