A Close Look at Genocide: Rwanda

If you're feeling dark about the state of humanity based on killings in news in the USA of late, you might benefit from the perspective of understanding exactly how far down the pit of darkness goes.

The full tour of the darkness of humanity needs to include a look at the Rwandan Genocide. According to Wikipedia:

The Rwandan genocide, known officially as the genocide against the Tutsi,[2] was a genocidal mass slaughter of Tutsi in Rwanda by members of the Hutu majority government. An estimated 500,000–1,000,000 Rwandans were killed during the 100-day period from April 7 to mid-July 1994,[1] constituting as many as 70% of the Tutsi and 20% of Rwanda's total population.

But Wikipedia doesn't set the atmosphere quite right. It's a bit too sterile. You're looking at things from too far a distance. For a view from the ground, I recommend Episide 16 of the Jocko podcast, "Machete Season" in which he reads excerpts from a book with the same title.

I recommend that you do this and I'll use Jocko's own words to make the case:

  • ...something that I know: there is evil in the world, there is darkness, and it exists and it is real. And it comes from us. It's human. It is people. WE... are evil. It wasn't a monster that murdered all those people: those men, and those women, and those children, and those babies. It wasn't an animal or some force of nature like a tornado or a hurricane or a tsunami. And it wasn't Satan, and it wasn't some mysterious evil spirit. It was us. And that is downright horrifying.
  • But there is a counter to that. There is a dichotomy to that. And that is the fact that while we are the evil in this world... WE... are also the good. We are the light that counters this darkness.
  • We all have the capacity... all of us do in some way... maybe not directly. Maybe not face-to-face with evil. But we can help. All of us can help
  • The message that I take away from all of this is that... WE need to focus on what good we can do to help people. Who can we help get better? Who can we help improve their station in life? What threatened person can we defend? What oppressed person can we free? What fellow human being can we remove from the grip of fear?
  • "What person in the world can we take from the darkness out into the light?" That's the question and the answer that I brought away from this.

It comes down to this: "You can't appreciate the light if you don't understand the darkness."

We can have a look at the darkness. We can appreciate the light around us. And we can focus. And we can ask ourselves how can we bring our brothers and sisters out into the light.

I journey through the darkness to fully understand just how light it is. That's my case for checking out the Rwandan Genocide.


This is a Youtube video of the podcast reading. It's only the first hour or so of the video. There's some Q&A stuff in the second half.

Jocko Podcast 16 - With Echo Charles | Machete Season - YouTube

Tactics for Reducing Stress and Solving Sticky Problems - A Grab Bag for Hard Times

  • add more time or money: they say time is money. can you add one or the other to reduce pressure?
  • visualize unknowns in detail to bring them into existence. don't worry if it feels arbitrary.
  • adjust your long-term perspective: what are the chances that anything about this situation will matter to you at the end of your life?
  • adjust your identity: the current situation and its outcome will not say anything important to you to the people that matter.
  • focus on contribution rather than achievement: did you make a change for the better? good. was it enough? who can say.
  • eliminate and prioritize: it may be that you have to aim to do less, but better.
  • get help and work it out together: are you effective in using your team members and partner teams as assets toward the larger strategic vision?
  • disentanglement/simplification: assess whether you are treating multiple problems/factors as single, unified, factors. Things that are complex when taken together may be much simpler when you understand that they are separate but related concepts.
  • focus your decision making on action selection and then execute. if no action is available, switch tasks to something where there is action available and revisit the current subject later.
  • talk. this is another form of giving form to the unknown. you were given this task by someone. ask this person questions until you understand the whats and the whys. ask people you trust about the things that concern you. you will convert unknowns into obstacles, which can be avoided or mitigated or incorporated into the solution.
  • don't follow too closely and you won't have to rely on your reflexes and attention. this is an expansion on time and money. on the highway you can choose your following distance. follow too closely and you end up having to react quickly to the driver ahead. a poverty mindset often keeps us from giving large following distance. know that no matter how many cars lane change into the space ahead of you, you will get where you are going.

JNCIE-SP: Using help from the Junos CLI

One of the tools at your disposal during the JNCIE-SP exam is the JUNOS CLI itself and there is an awful lot of documentation stored in it.

Help Apropos

The first tool you will need to learn how to use to take advantage of this is “help apropos XXX”.

Here are a couple of example outputs:

 lab@R1> help apropos anycast                       
 help topic pim examples anycast 
     Overview of anycast RP example
 help reference pim local-address 
     Local address for anycast rendezvous point
 help reference pim address-anycast 
     Anycast rendezvous point addresses in RP set
 help reference pim anycast-pim 
     Anycast rendezvous point using PIM
 help reference pim rp-set 
     Set of up to 15 rendezvous point addresses for anycast RP

 lab@R1> help apropos interpro 
 help topic layer3-vpns examples-cofc 
     Sample interprovider and carrier-of-carriers VPNs
 help topic layer3-vpns examples-cofc interprovider-ebgp 
     Overview of interprovider with multihop MP-EBGP
 help topic layer3-vpns examples-cofc interprovider-isp 
     Overview of interprovider with MP-EBGP between ISP peers
 help topic layer3-vpns examples-cofc terms 
     Terms in carrier-of-carriers and interprovider examples
 help topic layer3-vpns interprovider 
     Overview of interprovider VPNs

As you can see above, “help apropos…” acts as a sort of keyword search for the help system.

Beyond that, “help apropos…” can provide a context-sensitive search CLI commands.


 lab@R1> help apropos pfe      
 clear pfe 
     Clear Packet Forwarding Engine information
 show pfe 
     Show Packet Forwarding Engine information
 show pfe version 
     Show pfe version

lab@R1> help apropos uptime      
show system uptime
    Show time since system and processes started
show chassis pic
    Show Physical Interface Card state, type, and uptime


 [edit protocols bgp]
 lab@R1# help apropos override 
 set group  as-override 
     Replace neighbor AS number with our AS number
 set group  neighbor <address> as-override 
     Replace neighbor AS number with our AS number

 [edit policy-options]
 lab@R1# help apropos route-type 
 set policy-statement  term  from route-type 
     Route type
 set policy-statement  from route-type 
     Route type

Help Reference and Help Topic

Your mileage will vary with these help outputs. The output seems to be nearly verbatim copy from the JUNOS documentation. Where you would normally have images, you instead find a URL for a GIF. That may not turn out to be too helpful for someone who is completely blanking on how to configure something but if you forget a detail or two, it can probably save you a lot of time.

For instance, I forgot about which MPLS TTL mechanism supported LDP. So I ran a search and pulled up the reference for no-propagate-ttl

 lab@R1&gt; help apropos no-prop                  
 help topic mpls no-propagate-ttl 
     TTL value is decremented by 1 only
 help reference mpls no-propagate-ttl 
     TTL value is set to 255

 lab@R1&gt; help reference mpls no-propagate-ttl 


    Disable normal TTL decrementing. You configure this statement once per
    router, and it affects all RSVP-signaled or LDP-signaled LSPs. When this
    router acts as an ingress router for an LSP, it pushes an MPLS header with
    a TTL value of 255, regardless of the IP packet TTL. When the router acts
    as the penultimate router, it pops the MPLS header without writing the
    MPLS TTL into the IP packet.

By chance, this happened to be the correct one to configure to support LDP.

There is some seriously detail information available if you need it. For an example, see “help topic pim auto-rp”. It tells you just about every step you need to configure.

Good luck!