This paper is intended to offer its reader a clear understanding of the current conflict that is being experienced in the world through a thorough analysis of the Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus film, the Gold Hagen’s Worse than War book alongside other recent reviews and editorials relating to the issue.
The paper will start by analyzing the two characters: Tamora and Aaron from the Titus Andronicus and how they offer metaphoric lessons on world’s current conflict. In the play Tamora, the queen of Goths is initially portrayed as a loving-caring mother who is enraged by the killing of his son by the king Titus and this action spurs her to imperial power to avenge for his death and this represents the worst course of action to be taken on the current conflict in the world. Aaron is black man and a moor lover to Tamora and he shows great parental qualities to his child and he never relents to the suffering he is put through and he remains unrepentant up to the time he is buried alive, thus being used to represent the best course of action to be taken on the current conflict as the minority should be true to their selves and maintain their identity.
In addition to that, the paper will present the value of Goldhagen’s analysis on the roles that are played by public capacity building; change in international policies on sovereignty and the formation of an international agency would to the prevention of future eliminationism.
Gold Hagen, (2009) defines eliminationism as the urge to eliminate groups of people which are unwanted, such groups are termed as threatening, deleterious or a hindrance to good life in the future.
Conflict in Eastern Congo.
In the current world there are numerous conflicts that have recently occurred like the Rwanda genocide, other are still ongoing for example the mass killing in Darfur and massive raping in eastern Congo and others are possibly going to happen in the near future especially if corrective measures are not put in place.
In the Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus, its characters can gives us some of metaphorical lessons that can help us understand conflict in current world we live in. For instance one of the main characters is Tamora who we are introduced as the queen of the Goths and she is initially described as a loving and caring mother who has no evil behaviour, but this changes immediately after she begs Titus the Roman king to stop offering her eldest son to his dead sons as required by tradition of the Romans. The king pushes on with his sacrifice and his action makes her develop an immense hatred for the king and finds great pleasure to avenge for her son by all means possible. Such character traits shows us that leader can misuse their leadership powers and use them for personal endeavors and in this case can lead to more vicious world which will be the worst decisions that can be made. In order to solve world conflict, there is need to devise policies that can control the use of power by leaders hence avoiding greater harm to humanity especially the innocent civilians who finds themselves becoming victims of such misuse of power by leaders.
Secondly, is the character played by Aaron, a black by race, and has to face discrimination and rejection from the society because of his color, he remains defiant and unrepentant of his actions even to his death/being buried alive. He also portrays good parental traits when he refuses to allow his child to be killed and he even offers his life for the sake of his survival. From his traits we can learn that in understanding the conflict that is experienced now, we should not relent to pressures that are not for the greater good of the society and we have to be ready to fight for what is right and true even if it leads to our personal suffering. Just as Aaron was ready to use rage to remain true to himself and maintain his identity as a minority in the society. Majority of the victims of the Congo conflict the minority groups who are viewed as deleterious group ( eastern Congo region is very rich with minerals) hence these communities are looked down upon. Decisions regarding the plight and suffering of the minority as well as there continued struggle for recognition, identity and appreciation from the majority group of the society will be the best course of action to be taken in trying to understand and curb the current world conflict.
Goldhagen in his book Worse than war he confronts his readers with the ugly truth about the current world where there are numerous conflict that are on-going. In his book he argues that those who carry out and condone conflict believe that their victims should be subjected to utmost cruelty as they deserve such treatment. His idea is evident in Democratic republic of Congo where a conflict has been the source of human suffering in the eastern Congo for sometime. The military deployed to curb the situation together with the militia have been accused of raping residents and inflicting great trauma on them. Rape has been used as a weapon in Eastern Congo where women have been raped as militia believe that it gives them a ‘magical power’ as they spend many days in the bush without women. They also rape women to beat their enemies. These women get mutilated, get pregnant and even contract Aids and the perpetrators do this to inflict greater pain on their victims and displaying their utter dominance. (IWPR, 2010).
Goldhagen describes the use of rape as a modern eliminationist politics where rape is seen to be cheaper than the bullet and kills the body a well as the mind (Goldhagen, 2009). Rape is therefore a tactical techniques used by armed groups for political, economic and military advantage as many survivors become permanently traumatized and unable to go back to fields and earn themselves some income hence they become more poor and isolated from the society.
Doctor’s without borders reported that the sexual violence in eastern Congo is responsible for 75% of all rape cases reported and dealt with in the world. The UNICEF also reported that this situation has been deteriorating in the recent past as humanitarian affairs have been reporting a huge surge in sexual violence ands rape in the Congo. It’s even worrying that many rape cases go unreported as women fear losing their marital prospects and even might be abandoned by their husbands if their condition is known. Also, the treat of retribution coupled with their certain knowledge that their perpetrators will not be punished from their deeds discourages them from reporting such incidences.
The Congo crisis has not been solved by the international criminal court as it has been overwhelmed with other similar cases and thus the Congolese authorities will have to take necessary step to curb the situation. They should enforce appropriate disciplinary measures against the perpetrators, ensure upholding of the principle of responsibly and command, carry out public education to debunk myths that fuel sexual violence in the region, vet armed and security forces to consider the past actions of rape and by initiating urgent evacuation of women and children who find themselves under threat of sexual violence and finally by training its troops on categorical prohibition of using sexual violence against the civilians. Finally the international community should champion for Congolese military and civilian authorities to be pressured to take a judicial and political responsibility of the current conflict in Congo and demand them to take actions to necessary to curb the epidemic of sexual violence.
In Titus Andronicus Lavinia is raped by the sons of Tamora and her hand and tongue chopped off to prevent her from revealing her rapists. She is later killed by her own father Titus out of shame and that he blames Chiron and Demetrius for her suffering (Shakespeare, 2000).That shows rejection that rape victims of war receive from their own families.
Goldhagen third point on the current conflict in the world is the role that revenge plays and he says that it’s the real reason why many murders occur today. (Goldhagen, 2009). In Titus Andronicus the main theme is revenge where actions are carried out for vengeance. Tamora was un-relents in the urge of executing her son Alarbus who was captured by Roman captors and she goes all the way to makes sure that she fulfils that desire. In Congo conflict armed militia kill those they believe have made them suffer thus rebels in eastern Congo rape and women to carry out their revenge on the Congolese government who controls the area rich of natural resources.
In concluding this paper it’s arguable that from the Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus and the Gold Hagen’s Worser than War book current generation can learn a lot about the ongoing world conflict and the underlying currents that lead to the conflict. Such under forces include the issues of misuse of power vested upon leader s, the use of rape as a main instrument of eliminationism and the role played by the human vice of revenge and retaliation as it pertains to current conflict in the world.
Based on the current conflict in Congo and condition of the world conflict atlarge; it’s inevitable that it will even get worse unless specific measures are undertaken by world leaders to curb the impending tragedy. Measures to taken should include the formation of an international watchdog agency that is responsible in handling issues concerning eliminationism in the current days and devise international laws that are anti-genocidal and are able to intervene and save lives of citizens incase if such an emergency. Such agency should a credible system that is should be owned up to and should have a self-reinforcing deterrent effect (Gettleman, 2010).
Another recommendation is that the political leaders should foster public capacity building by utilizing the mass media to educate the public about the truth, real facts, real mechanism and the real opportunities to stopping the current conflict. This education should be spoken plainly, directly and forcefully about what people should do about it and to force them confront the problem head on.
Finally the principle of state sovereignty should be amended and re-conceptualized such that it is not used by the perpetrators to legitimize, justify and enable the slaughter of massive number of innocent civilians.
By implementing the above recommendations the problem of future eliminationism
will be able to be dealt in the right ways, as each person is able to contribute in one way or the other to the course action as we are able to see the condition of the victims and their live as well as those of future victims hence this will guide the one in taking same urgency as one could take for your own people (Goldhagen, 2009)