- Longtime downtown Cape bartender Marcellus Jones remembered by friends (6/12/18)2
- Peter Kinder resigns federal agency post, concludes position unnecessary and waste of tax dollars (6/16/18)2
- Stormy Daniels to visit East Cape Girardeau (6/13/18)20
- Singer Neal Boyd dies after struggle with health issues (6/12/18)1
- Feeding deer in Bollinger, Cape and Perry counties prohibited soon to help curb spread of CWD (6/13/18)7
- Cape man charged with stabbing, killing dog for revenge (6/8/18)9
- Couple charged in beating death at Brick's (6/13/18)
- A community rallies behind Honorable Young Men's Club (6/16/18)
- New Zaxby's restaurant open in Cape (6/13/18)3
- New urban dance studio opens on Broadway (6/15/18)2
America's killing fields
BRUSSELS, Belgium -- A display praising the merits of peacekeeping that cited the killing of native North Americans as the world's worst genocide shouldn't be considered a jab at the United States, Belgian defense officials said Thursday.
Defense Ministry spokesman Gerard Vareng denied criticism that the display carried an anti-American message.
The display at the monument of the Unknown Soldier in Brussels this week was meant to honor Belgian soldiers who died in humanitarian missions.
It included a panel listing North America as the continent of the world's worst genocide with a death toll of 15 million, starting with Christopher Columbus' 1492 arrival in the New World but with no end date.
The daily De Standaard called the display -- that was also covered extensively in a defense ministry publication -- insulting to Washington.
It said Defense Minister Andre Flahaut, who has tangled with U.S. officials in recent months, effectively blamed the United States for killing 15 million people "in a genocide that continues to this day."
The newspaper complained about a "curious" list of genocides that mentioned Nazi Germany, Rwanda, Cambodia, Armenia and other countries -- but ignored killings in the Soviet Union under Josef Stalin and Europe's colonial past in Africa, including Belgium's role in the Congo.
Vareng said "the peacekeeping display was the work of historical experts. They took the list of genocides and the numbers of people who died in them on the Encyclopedia of Genocide" by Israel W. Charny, head of the Institute on the Holocaust and Genocide in Jerusalem.
He said the two-volume encyclopedia, published in 1999, is a "very serious book that deals with all kinds of genocides."
The ceremony this week at the Monument of the Unknown Soldier coincided with the 10th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide in which at least 500,000 people died. Estimates have ranged as high as 1 million.