The article “Ethnic Conflict,” was written by Yahya Sadowski. The article discussed the myths about ethnic conflict, and the author presented the facts that showed these ideas were false. The author grasped the reader’s attention with a summary of the article that stated: “Ethnic conflict seems to have supplanted nuclear war as the most pressing issue on the minds of policymakers. But if yesterday’s high priest of mutually assured destruction were guilty of hyper-rationality, today’s prophets of anarchy suffer from a collective hysteria triggered by simplistic notions of ethnicity.
” Unfortunately, this way of thinking was the reason why some of the myths existed. The author also brought to the reader’s attention some notable thinkers who suffered from a collective hysteria triggered by simplistic notions of ethnicity, namely, President Bill Clinton and Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan. Their ideas on ethnic conflicts have been influenced by these myths. In the beginning of the article, the author quickly presented the first myth that stated: “The Number of Ethnic Conflicts Rose Dramatically at the End of the Cold War. ” One might ask the question: “Is this true? ” The answer is no.
According to the statistics provided by the author, after 1945, ethnic conflicts had formed a large number of wars ever since decolonization swept through the developing countries. When the Cold War ended some of the wars stopped such as the Lebanese civil war and the regional clashes in Chad. The second myth that inspired President Bill Clinton’s idea of ethnic conflicts implied: “Most Ethnic Conflicts Are Rooted in Ancient Tribal or Religious Rivalries. ” This statement was inaccurate. According to the author’s discussion of Rwanda, this case was an ethnic conflict that was rooted in a struggle for independence.
The third myth was brought to the public’s attention with the help of many influential thinkers, the most notable was Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan. This myth stated: “Ethnic Conflict Was Powerful Enough to Rip Apart the USSR. ” The author stated: “The destruction of states was often the cause of ethnic conflicts rather than the result. ” In fact, the author provided the reader with data that explained that those states that have national identities were more interested in pursuing local feuds rather than dismantling the USSR (Soviet Union). The fourth myth claimed: “Ethnic Conflicts Are More Savage and Genocidal Than Conventional Wars.
” This idea was the most historically inaccurate myth. In fact, the Major Genocides Since World War II statistics have shown that the percentage of the total of civilian deaths had risen in all types of warfare. For example, the statistics stated that in World War I the percentage of civilian deaths was fifteen percent and that percentage had risen sixty-five percent in World War II. Furthermore, the idea that ethnic conflicts were more savage than conventional wars was false. In fact, the data provided by the author proved that there was not any difference between these wars.
The ethnic conflicts and conventional wars both had regular troops who aided in malicious killings. Then, there was the fifth myth that implied: “Globalization Makes Ethnic Conflict More Likely. ” There was no concrete evidence that linked the globalization of values, democracy, or capital enterprise to ethnic conflicts. Finally, the sixth myth stated: “Fanaticism Makes Ethnic Conflicts Harder to Terminate. ” The author explained that ethnic conflicts could be terminated with a new political institution that involved the building of an effective state. I think that the article “Ethnic Conflict,” was an excellent article.
The author provided facts to support his argument. The article was very convincing. If the author had not proven that each idea was false, anyone who read the article would assume that those ideas were true. The author’s writing style was unusual but his style of writing kept the reader’s attention. I like the way the author grasped the reader’s attention by stating the myth first and then telling why these ideas were false. After reading this article, I have come to the conclusion that ethnic conflict were not based on hatred and even the most notable thinkers were not always right about what causes ethnic conflicts.