Discuss a historical event from the nineteenth or twentieth century that reminds you of phrase "the more things change, the more they stay the same." How does that event resonate today?

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One topic that is currently central to American discourse is the conflict-riddled nature of various nations' involvements in Afghanistan. The conflicts in this country go back to 500 BCE (see link below), but there are several important dates to note in the twentieth century. In 1995, for example, the Taliban rose to power in Afghanistan, promising peace. This eventually led to twenty years of international conflict and the international presence of various nations in Afghanistan. Within the past few weeks, the Taliban has once again emerged promising "peaceful relations" with other countries. This is particularly troubling for women in Afghanistan, who found the previous rule of the Taliban to be oppressive and dangerous. Now that the Taliban has once again assumed power, many women are again fearful; evidence is already emerging that the lives of women are changing quickly, forcing them to submit to laws requiring permission to work or to leave their homes.

You could also consider the efforts of Nazi Germany to annihilate anyone in the population deemed "inferior" by Nazi standards. Hitler's Third Reich killed around six million Jewish people; seven million Soviets; 250,000 people with disabilities; up to 500,000 Romani people; and thousands of homosexuals, whom the Nazis deemed "criminals." Genocides tragically remain part of our modern world, including the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya in Myanmar, the Nuer in South Sudan, Christians and Yazidis in Iraq and Syria, and Darfuris in Sudan. In these areas, there are increased reports that violence against minority groups is intensifying. Just as people fled Nazi Germany, there are now many displaced refugees who have fled their own countries because of the persecution they faced there.

These examples are stark reminders that history seems to repeat itself and that sometimes "the more things change, the more they stay the same." Nevertheless, it is also important to remember that in each of these scenarios, there are also examples of goodness and bravery. Even in the bleakest of circumstances, there are people fighting for justice and offering aid, which puts a more positive spin on the same phrase.

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