vendredi 13 mai 2016

Ignored Warnings That Were Tragically Deadly

The Eruption Of Mount Vesuvius

The eruption of Mount Vesuvius on August 24, AD 79, killed a number of people and totally destroyed the ancient Roman city of Pompeii. All of the victims of the eruption were caught unaware, though that shouldn’t have been the case, as the mountain had given several warnings, all of which went completely ignored. Pompeii was not the first town to be destroyed by the eruption of mountain Vesuvius. There had been at least two previous towns, both of which were completely destroyed. Leading up to the day of the eruption, Pompeii experienced series of tremors caused by an increase in the molten rock below Mount Vesuvius. The Romans didn’t know the relationship between such quakes and an impending eruption, so they can’t be blamed for that. On the more superstitious side, Romans believed that sighting giants roaming around a town was an early warning of an impending disaster. Many people living in Pompeii reportedly sighted giants, but no one bothered to find out why.As the date of the eruption drew closer, the mountain, which had been dormant, began to make groaning sounds, and the sea around the Bay of Naples became so hot that it boiled and produced bubbles. Animals, including rats, left the town in droves, while wells and streams, especially those close to the mountain, mysteriously dried up. The people of Pompeii ignored these obvious warnings. (They blamed the hot weather for the dried wells.)

Rwandan Genocide

The Rwandan genocide was the well-planned ethnic cleansing and massacre of 800,000 Tutsis and “moderate” Hutus in Rwanda. The genocide, which began on April 6, 1994, was orchestrated by Hutu tribesmen, who not only attacked the Tutsis, but also any of their own tribesmen who protected them.The genocide had been in the works since at least 1992, when the Belgian ambassador to Rwanda warned that the Hutus were preparing for an ethnic cleansing. Another Belgian, Professor Filip Reyntjens, also appeared before the Belgian senate and warned that the Hutus were operating death squads. He even mentioned one of their leaders as Rwandan Army Colonel Theoneste Bagasora, who would later command the genocide. In January 1994, the commander of UN troops in Rwanda, General Romeo Dallaire from Belgium, also sent a fax, now known as the “genocide fax,” to the UN, wanring that the Hutus had plans to wipe out the Tutsis. He requested more troops and permission to attack a Hutu arms cache. The UN turned down his requests and instead told him to inform the Rwandan government, which was filled with the same people planning the genocide. That same month, Dallaire seized an arms cache, which was placed in custody of United Nations and Rwandan troops—the same Rwandan troops who were training the rebels who perpetrated the genocide.

Iraq’s Invasion Of Kuwait

During the early morning hours of August 2, 1990, more than 100,000 Iraqi soldiers crossed the Iraqi border into Kuwait. The Kuwaiti ruler fled into the desert, and by morning, Iraqi troops were in control of the capital. The assault was a surprise to many and for no good reason. It had been in the works for at least five years and was just one phase of Saddam’s futile attempt to lay his sticky hands on Saudi Arabian oil wells. The CIA and US military intelligence had warned the US government about the impending invasion, but the it chose to ignore the warning and even gave Saddam a $1.2 billion loan two days before the invasion. The US refusal to take a stand against the invasion was even one of the reasons that Saddam attacked, as he believed it was a sign that the US supported him. The US was so unprepared that warships sent to intervene had to wait for four days so that maps of Kuwait and Iraq could be loaded onto their computers. Iraq was only expelled from Kuwait after a US-led United Nations contingent landed in Kuwait, marking the beginning of the Gulf War. By the time the war was over, 25,000 Iraqi soldiers were dead along with 248 UN troops (most of whom were from the US) and 100,000 Iraqi civilians. One million more Iraqi civilians would later die in the following years due to the sanctions imposed on Iraq.
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