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Why do Raptors associate with blood-stained dictator?

By Yves Engler · December 23, 2018

It is time to call a technical foul on Toronto Raptors General Manager Masai Ujiri for his ties to one of the world’s most ruthless dictators. Through his Giants of Africa charity Ujiri has bestowed legitimacy on Paul Kagame even as local newspapers document the Rwandan president’s violence.

Before their December 5 game against the Philadelphia 76ers the Raptors celebrated Nelson Mandela as the Giant of Africa. A report produced for the two-day charity fundraiser noted, “since Giants of Africa’s first Mandela Tribute event held in 2014, we are grateful to have had many influential guests participate in our initiative.” Kagame and Barack Obama were the only two politicians listed.

At an NBA meeting in New York in September Kagame thanked Ujiri and Raptors governor Larry Tanenbaum, lauding the Giants of Africa initiative as “another step for Africa in our development.” In August Kagame opened a training camp in Kigali with Ujiri and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver while two months earlier the Raptors GM met the Rwandan leader at the G7 Summit in Quebec City.

Last year Ujiri travelled to Kigali to unveil a new basketball court with Kagame. In 2015 the president’s son, Ian Kagame, attended the inaugural Giants of Africa camp in the Rwandan capital. During that visit the president hosted the Raptors GM for dinner. According to a Globe and Mail story, the one-time head of Ugandan military intelligence told “Ujiri that he’d woken in the middle of the night to watch Raptors’ playoff games.”

As this mutual love affair developed there were questions about the team’s association with a ruthless dictator. During the NBA All-Star weekend in February 2016 the Toronto Star contacted Ujiri about Kagame speaking at numerous events, including a documentary screening about Giants of Africa camps at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. The Raptors GM told the paper “there is no controversy.”

A month before Kagame’s visit to the NBA All-Star weekend the Globe and Mail reported: “Village informers. Re-education camps. Networks of spies on the streets. Routine surveillance of the entire population. The crushing of the independent media and all political opposition. A ruler who changes the constitution to extend his power after ruling for two decades. It sounds like North Korea, or the totalitarian days of China under Mao. But this is the African nation of Rwanda — a long-time favourite of Western governments and a major beneficiary of millions of dollars in Canadian government support.”

Previously Toronto Star Board Chair John Honderich published a commentary in his paper headlined “No freedom for press in Rwanda.” The 2007 story noted that the government “ordered the summary firing of the Sunday editor of the country’s only daily for publishing an unflattering photo of the president … the president’s office only wants their man shown in command and in the middle of the photo … All this happened days after a fledgling new newspaper, called The Weekly Post, was shut down by the government after its first issue.”

Ujiri’s public “friendship” with Kagame has been taking place amidst growing recognition of Kagame’s violence. A 2015 National Post headline noted: “Rwandan intelligence agents harassing opponents in Canada, border service says” while the Star published stories that year titled: “Toronto lawyer claims he’s target of death threat from Rwandan government” and “Four other Canadians believe they’re being targeted by Rwanda.” Since 2014 the Globe and Mail has published at least eight front-page reports about Kagame’s international assassination program and responsibility for blowing up the plane carrying Rwandan President Juvénal Habyarimana, which triggered mass killings in April 1994. Two months ago the Globe added important details to the abundance of evidence suggesting Kagame is the individual most responsible for unleashing the hundred days of genocidal violence by downing a plane carrying two presidents and much of the Rwandan military high command.

For that incident alone Kagame has as much African blood on his hands as any other individual alive. But, the undisputed “military genius” also played an important role in toppling governments in Kampala in 1986 and Kinshasa in 1997. After the latter effort Rwandan forces reinvaded the Congo, which sparked an eight-country war that left millions dead between 1998 and 2003. In October 2010, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights released a report on the Congo spanning 1993 to 2003 that charged Rwandan troops with engaging in mass killings “that might be classified as crimes of genocide.”

Since then Rwandan proxies have repeatedly re-invaded the mineral rich eastern Congo. In 2012 The Globe and Mail described how “Rwandan sponsored” M23 rebels “hold power by terror and violence” there.

Kagame is not a Giant of Africa. He’s a ruthless dictator with the blood of millions on his hands. The Raptors disgrace themselves and the memory of Nelson Mandela by associating with him.

December 27, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture, War Crimes | , | Leave a comment

As dictator Kagame unmasked, it is time to reveal Canadian connection

By Yves Engler · October 24, 2018

Canada’s paper of record pulled another layer off the rotting onion of propaganda obscuring the Rwandan tragedy. But, the Globe and Mail has so far remained unwilling to challenge prominent Canadians who’ve crafted the fairy tale serving Africa’s most ruthless dictator.

Two weeks ago a front-page Globe article added to an abundance of evidence suggesting Paul Kagame’s RPF shot down the plane carrying President Juvénal Habyarimana, which sparked the mass killings of spring 1994. “New information supports claims Kagame forces were involved in assassination that sparked Rwandan genocide”, noted the headline. The Globe all but confirmed that the surface-to-air missiles used to assassinate the Rwandan and Burundian Hutu presidents came from Uganda, which backed the RPF’s bid to conquer its smaller neighbour. (A few thousand exiled Tutsi Ugandan troops, including the deputy minister  of defence, “deserted” to invade Rwanda in 1990.) The new revelations strengthen those who argue that responsibility for the mass killings in spring 1994 largely rests with the Ugandan/RPF aggressors and their US/British/Canadian backers.

Despite publishing multiple stories over the past two years questioning the dominant narrative, the Globe has largely ignored the Canadians that shaped this Kagame-friendly storyline. I’ve written a number of articles detailing Roméo Dallaire’s important role in this sordid affair, but another widely regarded Canadian has offered significant ideological support to Kagame’s crimes in Rwanda and the Congo.

As Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF in the late 1990s Stephen Lewis was appointed to a Panel of Eminent Personalities to Investigate the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda and the Surrounding Events. Reportedly instigated by US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and partly funded by Canada, the Organization of African Unity’s 2000 report, “The Preventable Genocide”, was largely written by Lewis recruit Gerald Caplan, who was dubbed Lewis’ “close friend and alter ego of nearly 50 years.”

While paying lip service to the complex interplay of ethnic, class and regional politics, as well as international pressures, that spurred the “Rwandan Genocide”, the 300-page report is premised on the unsubstantiated claim there was a high level plan by the Hutu government to kill all Tutsi. It ignores the overwhelming logic and evidence pointing to the RPF as the culprit in shooting down the plane carrying President Habyarimana and much of the army high command, which sparked the mass killings of spring 1994.

The report also rationalizes Rwanda’s repeated invasions of the Congo, including a 1,500 km march to topple the Mobutu regime in Kinshasa and subsequent re-invasion after the government it installed expelled Rwandan troops. That led to millions of deaths during an eight-country war between 1998 and 2003.

In a Democracy Now! interview concerning the 2000 Eminent Personalities report Lewis mentioned “evidence of major human rights violations on the part of the present [Kagame] government of Rwanda, particularly post-genocide in the Kivus and in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo.” But, he immediately justified the slaughter, which surpassed Rwanda’s 1994 casualty toll. “Now, let me say that the [Eminent Personalities] panel understands that until Rwanda’s borders are secure, there will always be these depredations. And another terrible failure of the international community was the failure to disarm the refugee camps in the then-Zaire, because it was an invitation to the génocidaires to continue to attack Rwanda from the base within the now- Congo. So we know that has to be resolved. That’s still what’s plaguing the whole Great Lakes region.”

An alternative explanation of “what’s plaguing the whole Great Lakes region” is US/UK/Canada backed Ugandan/RPF belligerence, which began with their invasion of Rwanda in 1990 and continued with their 1996, 1998 and subsequent invasions of the Congo. “An unprecedented 600-page investigation by the UN high commissioner for human rights”, reported a 2010 Guardian story, found Rwanda responsible for “crimes against humanity, war crimes, or even genocide” in the Congo.

Fifteen years after the mass killing in Rwanda in 1994 Lewis was still repeating Kagame’s rationale for unleashing mayhem in the Congo. In 2009 he told a Washington D.C. audience that “just yesterday morning up to two thousand Rwandan troops crossed into the Eastern Region of the Congo to hunt down, it is said, the Hutu génocidaires.”

A year earlier Lewis blamed Rwandan Hutu militias for the violence in Eastern Congo. “What’s happening in eastern Congo is the continuation of the genocide in Rwanda … The Hutu militias that sought refuge in Congo in 1994, attracted by its wealth, are perpetrating rape, mutilation, cannibalism with impunity from world opinion.”

In 2009 the Rwanda News Agency described Lewis as “a very close friend to President Paul Kagame.” And for good reason. Lewis’ has sought to muzzle any questioning of the “RPF and U.S.-U.K.-Canadian party line” on the tragedy of 1994. In 2014 he signed an open letter condemning the BBC documentary Rwanda’s Untold StoryThe 1,266 word public letter refers to the BBC’s “genocide denial”, “genocide deniers” or “deniers” at least 13 times. Notwithstanding Lewis and his co-signers’ smears, which gave Kagame cover to ban the BBC’s Kinyarwanda station, Rwanda’s Untold Story includes interviews with a former chief prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), a former high-ranking member of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Rwanda and a number of former Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) associates of Kagame. In “The Kagame-Power Lobby’s Dishonest Attack on the BBC 2’s Documentary on RwandaEdward S. Herman and David Peterson write: “[Lewis, Gerald Caplan, Romeo Dallaire et al.’s] cry of the immorality of ‘genocide denial’ provides a dishonest cover for Paul Kagame’s crimes in 1994 and for his even larger crimes in Zaire-DRC [Congo]. … [The letter signers are] apologists for Kagame Power, who now and in years past have served as intellectual enforcers of an RPF and U.S.-U.K.-Canadian party line.”

Recipient of 37 honorary degrees from Canadian universities, Lewis has been dubbed a “spokesperson for Africa” and “one of the greatest Canadians ever”. On Africa no Canadian is more revered than Lewis. While he’s widely viewed as a champion of the continent, Lewis has backed Africa’s most bloodstained ruler.

It is now time for the Globe and Mail to peel back another layer of the rotting onion of propaganda and investigate Canadian connections to crimes against humanity in Rwanda, Congo and the wider Great Lakes region of Africa.

October 25, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Statistics, damn lies and the truth about Rwanda genocide

The real Rwanda genocide story has no Canadian heroes.

Canadian commentators often claim more Tutsi were killed in the genocide than lived in Rwanda. Since it aligns with Washington, London and Kigali’s interests, as well as liberal nationalist Canadian ideology, the statistical inflation passes with little comment.

A Tyee story last month described the “slaughter of over 800,000 Tutsis in Rwanda” between April and July 1994. An earlier Globe and Mail profile of Roméo Dallaire cited a higher number. It noted, “over the next few months, Hutu activists and militias, supplemented by police officers and military commanders, killed an estimated 800,000 to 1 million Tutsis.”

Even self-declared experts on the subject cite these outlandish statistics. In the Globe and Mail and rabble last year Gerald Caplan wrote that, “despite his [Dallaire] best efforts, perhaps a million people of the Tutsi minority were slaughtered in 100 days.” With ties to the regime in Kigali, Caplan pulled this number out of thin air. It’s improbable there were a million Tutsi in Rwanda in 1994 and no one believes every single Tutsi was killed.

While the exact figure is unknown and somewhat contested, Rwanda’s 1991 Census calculated 596,387 Tutsi. Initially sponsored by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, the GenoDynamics project by the Dean of the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy at the University of Virginia Allan Stam and University of Michigan political science professor Christian Davenport put the number slightly lower at 500,000. Others claim the Hutu-government of the time sought to suppress Tutsi population statistics and estimate a few hundred thousand more Rwandan Tutsi.

But, a significant number of Tutsi survived the hundred days of killing. Tutsi survivors’ umbrella group IBUKA (“Remember”) initially concluded that 300,000 survived the genocidal killings, which they later increased to “nearer to 400,000.”

For 800,000 to 1 million Tutsi to have perished there would have had to been at least 1.1 million and probably closer to 1.4 million Tutsi. That’s twice the official calculation.

Notwithstanding the three examples mentioned at the top, the most commonly cited formulation of the number of deaths in 1994 is the more vague “800,000 Tutsi and moderate Hutu.” A 1999 UN report concluded, “approximately 800,000 persons were killed during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.” As time passes, however, the regime in Kigali increases the death toll. In 2004 the Rwandan Ministry of Local Government, Community Development and Social Affairs claimed 1,074,017 died and in 2008 the government-backed Genocide Survivors Students Association of Rwanda put the number at 1,952,087.

But, the higher the death toll one cites for the genocidal violence the greater the number and percentage of Hutu victims. In the 2014 BBC documentary Rwanda’s Untold Story Stam explains, “if a million people died in Rwanda in 1994 — and that’s certainly possible — there is no way that the majority of them could be Tutsi… Because there weren’t enough Tutsi in the country.”

The idea there were as many, or even more, Hutu killed complicates the “long planned genocide” narrative pushed by the regime in Kigali and its Anglo-Saxon backers. So does the fact that overwhelming evidence and logic points to the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) as culprits for blowing up the plane of the Hutu presidents of Rwanda and Burundi, as well as much of the Hutu-led Rwandan military command, which sparked the mass killings.

Washington and London’s support for the RPF, as well as Paul Kagame’s more than two-decade long control of Kigali, explains the dominance of a highly simplistic account of Rwanda’s genocide. But, a tertiary reason for the strength of the fairy tale is it aligns with the nationalist mythology of another G7 state. A wealthy, educated, population speaking the world’s two main colonial languages, Canadians have pumped out innumerable articles, books, songs, plays, poems, movies, etc. about our noble General’s effort to save Rwandans. Yet the Romeo Dallaire saviour story largely promoted by Left/liberals is based on a one-sided account of Rwanda’s tragedy.

Two of the articles mentioned at the top celebrate Dallaire. One of the stories that inflates the Tutsi death toll was a Globe and Mail profile upon the former general’s retirement from the Senate and in the other Caplan writes, “the personal relationship so many Canadians feel with Rwanda can be explained in two words: Roméo Dallaire… [who] did all in his limited power to stop the killings.”

A Monthly Review article I discovered recently provides a stark example of how Left Canadian nationalists have warped understanding of Rwanda’s tragedy to fit their ideology. The third paragraph of the venerable New York-based Marxist journal’s 2003 review of When Victims Become Killers: Colonialism, Nativism, and the Genocide in Rwanda and A People Betrayed: The Role of the West in Rwanda’s Genocide begins: “A Canadian, General Roméo Dallaire, is the hero of the Rwandan tragedy.”

Canadian reviewer Hugh Lukin Robinson’s main criticism of Ugandan scholar Mahmood Mamdani’s When Victims Become Killers is that he downplays the importance of the Canadian commander of the UN military force. Robinson writes, “[Mamdani’s] disinterest in the international betrayal of Rwanda is illustrated by his single reference to General Dallaire, whose name he misspells and whom he refers to as ‘the Belgian commander in charge of UN forces in Rwanda.’ In contrast, Linda Melvern marshals the evidence which amply justifies the title of her book.”

But, Melvern is a leading advocate of the Kigali sponsored fairy tale about the genocide. Drawing on Dallaire’s purported “genocide fax,” she promotes the “long planned genocide” narrative. Simultaneously, Melvern ignores (or downplays) the role Uganda’s 1990 invasion, structural adjustment policies and the October 1993 assassination of the first ever Hutu president in Burundi played in the mass killing of Spring 1994. Melvern also diminishes RPF killings and their responsibility for shooting down the plane carrying Hutu President Juvénal Habyarimana and the Rwandan military high command.

Robinson was impressed with Melvern’s praise for Canada’s military man. “Dallaire had trained and risen through the ranks of an army proud of its tradition of peacekeeping,” Robinson quotes from Melvern’s writing. “He was a committed internationalist and had first hand experience of UN missions. He was a hard worker. And he was obstinate.” But, the “committed internationalist” admits he didn’t know where Rwanda was before his appointment to that country. Nor did Dallaire have much experience with the UN. “Dallaire was what military people call a NATO man,” explained CBC journalist Carole Off in a biography of the General. “His defence knowledge was predicated almost exclusively on the needs of the NATO alliance.”

More significantly, a number of the UN officials involved in Rwanda — head of UNAMIR troops in Kigali Luc Marchal, intelligence officer Amadou Deme, UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, etc. — have challenged Dallaire’s interpretation of events, contradicted his claims or criticized his actions. Dallaire’s civilian commander on UNAMIR published a book accusing the Canadian General of bias towards the Uganda/US/Britain backed RPF. In his 2005 book Le Patron de Dallaire Parle (The Boss of Dallaire Speaks), Jacques-Roger Booh Booh, a former Cameroon foreign minister and overall head of UNAMIR, criticizes Dallaire’s actions in Rwanda and challenges his interpretation of events.

In one of two footnotes Robinson ended his Monthly Review article on a Canadian nationalist note. The former labour researcher writes: “There is another account of the Rwanda tragedy for which two Canadians can take a great deal of credit. In 1997, the Organization for African Unity (OAU) appointed an International Panel of Eminent Persons to report on what had happened. Stephen Lewis was a member of the Panel and Gerald Caplan was its principal writer and author of the report, Rwanda –The Preventable Genocide. It confirms all the main facts and conclusions of Linda Melvern’s book.”

While paying lip service to the complex interplay of ethnic, class and regional politics, as well as international pressures, that spurred the “Rwandan Genocide,” the 300-page report is premised on the unsubstantiated claim there was a high level plan by the Hutu government to kill all Tutsi. It ignores the overwhelming evidence (and logic) pointing to Paul Kagame’s RPF as the culprit in shooting down the presidential plane, which sparked the genocidal killings. It also emphasizes Dallaire’s perspective. A word search of the report finds 100 mentions of “Dallaire,” five times more than “Booh-Booh,” the overall commander of the UN mission.

Rather than a compelling overview of the Rwandan tragedy, the OAU report highlights Canada’s power within international bodies. In a Walrus story Caplan described, “waiting for the flight back to Toronto, where I would do all my reading and writing” on a report “I called…’ The Preventable Genocide.’” Partly funded by Canada, the entire initiative was instigated by US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

Caplan is a staunch advocate of the noble Canadian general story. In 2017 Caplan, who started an organization with Kagame’s long-standing foreign minister, Louise Mushikiwabo, called Dallaire “surely among Canada’s most admired citizens, if not the most admired.”

Praise for Dallaire’s role in Rwanda is based on a highly simplistic account of what transpired in 1994. In their haste to promote a Canadian saviour in Africa, left/liberals have confused international understanding of the Rwandan tragedy, which has propped up Kagame’s dictatorship and enabled his violence in the Congo.

When commentators are claiming more Tutsi were killed than lived in the country it’s time to reevaluate popular discussion of Rwanda’s tragedy.

September 22, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , | 1 Comment

Trudeau’s pal in Rwanda a ruthless dictator

By Yves Engler · August 25, 2017

Why is the Trudeau government supporting Africa’s most ruthless dictator?

After amending the constitution to be able to run indefinitely Paul Kagame recently won 98.63 per cent of votes in Rwanda’s presidential election. In response, Canada’s High Commissioner Sara Hradecky tweeted “Congratulations to Rwandans for voting in peaceful presidential election” and “Canada congratulates Paul Kagame on his inauguration today as President of Rwanda.” The latter tweet was picked up by the state propaganda organ New Times in a story titled “Heads of State, diplomats laud Kagame’s ‘visionary leadership’.”

If garnering 99 per cent of the vote wasn’t a clue that Kagame is a dictator, the High Commissioner could’ve taken a look at Canada’s ‘paper of record,’ whose Africa bureau chief has shined a critical light on Rwanda in recent years. At the start of 2016 The Globe and Mail reported on two new books describing the totalitarian nature of the regime.

“Village informers,” wrote South Africa-based Geoffrey York. “Re-education camps. Networks of spies on the streets. Routine surveillance of the entire population. The crushing of the independent media and all political opposition. A ruler who changes the constitution to extend his power after ruling for two decades. It sounds like North Korea, or the totalitarian days of China under Mao. But this is the African nation of Rwanda — a long-time favourite of Western governments and a major beneficiary of millions of dollars in Canadian government support.”

In 2014 York wrote an investigation headlined “Inside the plots to kill Rwanda’s dissidents,” which provided compelling evidence that the regime had extended its assassination program outside of east Africa, killing (or attempting to) a number of its former top officials who were living in South Africa. Since the initial investigation York has also reported on Rwandan dissidents who’ve had to flee Belgium for their safety while the Toronto Star revealed five individuals in Canada fearful of the regime’s killers.

On top of international assassinations and domestic repression, Kagame has unleashed mayhem in the Congo. In 1996 Rwandan forces marched 1,500 km to topple the regime in Kinshasa and then re-invaded after the Congolese government it installed expelled Rwandan troops. This led to an eight-country war between 1998 and 2003, which left millions dead. Rwandan proxies have repeatedly re-invaded the mineral rich eastern Congo. In 2012 The Globe and Mail described how “Rwandan sponsored” M23 rebels “hold power by terror and violence” there.

The Rwandan government’s domestic repression and violence in the Congo is well documented. Yet I couldn’t find a single tweet or comment by Hradecky critical of Kagame since she became High Commissioner in January. Yet she found time to retweet Kagame’s International Women’s Day message that “Realizing women’s full aspirations is inextricably linked to achieving whole nation’s potential.”

Re-tweeting a tyrant’s message or applauding spurious elections are clear forms of support for the “butcher of Africa’s Great Lakes.” But, Hradecky has offered less obvious backing to the regime.

On July 4 Hradecky tweeted “From the Canadian High Commission, we wish Rwandans a Happy Liberation Day!,” which was picked up by the New Times in a story titled “Messages of solidarity as Rwanda marks Liberation Day.”

The Ugandan-sponsored Rwandan Patriotic Front officially captured Kigali on July 4, 1994. Trained at a US military base in Kansas, Kagame’s forces apparently waited to take the capital so their Liberation Day could coincide with their US backers’ Independence Day, a public relations move that continues to pay dividends as demonstrated by a July NPR story titled “In Rwanda, July 4 Isn’t Independence Day — It’s Liberation Day.”

Four years after 3,000 Ugandan troops “deserted” to invade their smaller neighbour the force of mostly exiled Tutsi took Kigali. Today, Rwanda continues to be ruled by largely English-speaking individuals who often are descended from those who had authority in a monarchy overthrown during the 1959–61 struggle against Belgian rule. The Guardian recently pointed to “the Tutsi elite who dominate politics and business” and the Economist detailed “The Rwandan Patriotic Front’s business empire” in the country.

Underpinning the “liberation” story is a highly simplistic, if not counterfactual, account of the 1994 genocide. Widely hailed as the person who ended the killings, Kagame is probably the individual most responsible for the mass slaughter. His RPF invaded Rwanda from Uganda, engaged in a great deal of killing and blew up the presidential plane, an event that unleashed the genocidal violence.

As Hradecky should know, last year the Globe and Mail described two secret reports documenting Kagame’s “direct involvement in the 1994 missile attack that killed former president Juvénal Habyarimana, leading to the genocide in which an estimated 800,000 people died.”

Echoing Kigali’s narrative, Hradecky published a half dozen tweets (or retweets) in April commemorating the Genocide. “Canada stands with Rwanda to commemorate the victims of Genocide,” read one. Hradecky also retweeted a Government of Rwanda statement: “Today marks the beginning of the 23rd Commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.”

Promoting simplistic commentary on the subject effectively strengthens a regime that derives much of its legitimacy from purportedly stopping the genocide.

From commemorating Liberation Day to applauding questionable elections, Canada’s High Commissioner has provided various forms of ideological support to Africa’s most ruthless dictator. That should embarrass everyone who wants this country to be a force for good in the world.

August 27, 2017 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rwanda’s tragedy used to fool people, slander others

By Yves Engler · June 2, 2017

Rwanda’s tragedy has been exploited for many purposes. Add slandering a pro-Palestinian activist to the list.

Since I wrote this article about the Jewish Defense League last month, Toronto’s Alex Hundert has repeatedly labeled me anti-Semitic. The self-declared “anti-fascist” tweeted at Pacific Free Press, Rabble, the NDP and others to “cut ties” with me.

In response to this article the former Upper Canada College student harangued at least one prominent woman for posting it on her Facebook page. Hundert told her — wait for it — I’m anti-Semitic. Lacking in evidence or maybe sensing diminishing returns with that smear he added that I’m a Rwandan genocide denier.

If he means a researcher and writer on foreign affairs who always questions official government narratives/propaganda then I guess a “no contest” plea would be appropriate. The common portrayal of the Rwandan Genocide in Canada omits important context and is factually incorrect in substantial ways. It is also logically hollow, only believable because of widespread racism and anti-Africanism. (According to the most outlandish aspect of the official story, Hutu extremists murdered the Hutu presidents of Rwanda and Burundi and much of the Hutu-led Rwandan military command, which brought the Hutu to their weakest point in three decades, and then decided to begin a long planned systematic extermination of Tutsi.)

Do I believe hundreds of thousands of Rwandan Tutsi were slaughtered in mid-1994? Yes, definitely.

Was there a long planned high-level effort to wipe out all Tutsi? Probably not.

Were tens, possibly hundreds, of thousands of Hutu also slaughtered in mid-1994? It’s likely.

Was Paul Kagame, the person widely hailed for ending the killing, instead the individual most responsible for the mass slaughter? Probably, since his forces invaded Rwanda from Uganda, engaged in a great deal of killing and blew up the presidential plane that unleashed the genocidal violence.

It’s telling Hundert would seek to smear me as a Rwanda genocide denier, rather than criticize my other controversial views such as that the private automobile should be eliminated, or that former Prime Minister Lester Pearson was a war criminal or that Canadian peacekeeping is often a form of imperialism. Maybe it’s because the label “genocide denier” hints at some type of hatred rather than a political disagreement. Or maybe Hundert hopes to associate me with Nazi Holocaust denial, which we’ll see more about below.

Fundamentally Hundert chose the issue because most Canadians know little about Rwanda and, to the extent they know anything about the country, they’ve heard an extremely one-sided media account of the complex tragedy that engulfed Rwanda and Burundi in the mid-1990s. News consumers are generally familiar with a Rwanda fairy tale focused on a white Canadian saviour. According to serial Kagame-Rwanda propaganda spreader Gerald Caplan, “the personal relationship so many Canadians feel with Rwanda can be explained in two words: Roméo Dallaire.” In a forthcoming book about left Canadian foreign policy I detail how, in their haste to laud a Canadian military “hero”, progressives have echoed a highly simplistic version of Rwanda’s tragedy, which has legitimated Africa’s most blood-stained dictator, Paul Kagame.

Beyond aligning with liberal Canadian foreign policy mythology, Hundert is tapping into the US Empire’s narrative. Washington and London’s support for the Uganda backed Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), as well as Kagame’s more than two-decade long rule in Kigali, explains the dominance of the Rwandan Genocide story. According to Edward Herman and David Peterson in Enduring Lies: The Rwandan Genocide in the Propaganda System, 20 Year Later, “[US and British] support, combined with the public’s and the media’s distance from and unfamiliarity with central African affairs, made the construction and dissemination of false propaganda on Rwanda very easy.”

After the Cold War, Washington viewed Kagame’s RPF as an imperial proxy force in a French-dominated region. A trio of authors explain in The Congo: Plunder and Resistance: “The plan expressed clearly by the White House at the time was to use the Rwandan army as an instrument of American interests. One American analyst explained how Rwanda could be as important to the USA in Africa as Israel has been in the Middle East.” Over the past two decades Kagame has repeatedly invaded the Congo, which has as much as $24 trillion in mineral riches.

Alongside his role as a US client, Kagame has drawn close to Israel. Trained at the US Army Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, Kagame visited Israel for the first time in 1996 and Africa’s most bloodstained dictator has been back repeatedly. In March Kagame was the only international head of state and first-ever African leader to speak at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s (AIPAC) annual conference. On May 21 Kagame received the Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson Prize for Outstanding Friendship with the Jewish People at a New York event with Israeli ambassador Ron Dermer and Alan Dershowitz. In 2013 the “butcher ofAfrica’s Great Lakes” shared a New York stage with staunch Zionists Elie Wiesel, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach and Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson.

“He is the only living man to stop a genocide,” said Boteach to the Jewish Forward in 2014. “You need to look at the criticism on Rwanda through the same lens you look at criticism against Israel.” (After National Security Adviser Susan Rice criticized Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for speaking to Congress about the Iran nuclear agreement without President Obama’s approval, Boteach placed an ad in the New York Times which read “Susan Rice has a blind spot: Genocide … both the Jewish people’s and Rwanda’s”.)

Pro-Israel Jewish groups have bequeathed Kagame the genocide moniker. Author of Rwanda and the New Scramble for Africa: From Tragedy to Useful Imperial Fiction, Robin Philpot explains that long-time director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Israel, Efraim Zuro, and former US Holocaust Memorial Museum project director, Michael Berenbaum, were invited to a conference in Kigali a year after the mass slaughter in Rwanda. Philpot notes, “Efraim Zuro then became an advisor to the Rwandan government in its hunt for génocidaires, and from then on Zionists throughout the world were willing to share the use of the term ‘genocide’ with Rwandan Tutsis. Israel has very jealously guarded the use of that term; they have, for example, never agreed to share it with Armenians, largely because of Israel’s strategic alliance with Turkey.”

But, those who draw an analogy between the 6 million killed in the Shoah and the hundreds of thousands slaughtered in Rwanda are partaking in something akin to Nazi Holocaust denial (or extreme minimization). European Jews were targeted because of their religion/ethnicity, the violence was state organized and it mostly flowed from an ideology promoted from above.

The context in Rwanda was different. Speaking the same language, sharing the same culture and practising the same religion, the Tutsi/Hutu divide is historically a caste-type distinction the Belgians racialized. “Prior to colonization,” explains Ann Garrison, “the Tutsi were a cattle owning, feudal ruling class, the Hutu a subservient peasant class. Belgian colonists reified this divide by issuing ID cards that labeled Rwandans and Burundians as Hutu, Tutsi, or Twa [1% of the population].”

The genocidal killings were not a long planned attempt to exterminate all Tutsi, which even the victors’ justice dispensed by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) effectively concluded. Instead, it was the outgrowth of a serious breakdown in social order that saw hundreds of thousands slaughtered by relatively disorganized local commands fearful of a foreign invasion that eventually conquered Rwanda and drove a quarter of the population out of the country. Probably an equal — and possibly a greater — number of Hutu were killed.

Jews didn’t end up in power in European countries after World War II, nor did the Herero in Namibia, Armenians in Turkey, indigenous people in North America, Maya in Guatemala, etc. Rwanda is a peculiar case where the minority — 10% of population — targeted for extermination ended up ruling after the bulk of the violence subsided.

Of course, Hundert doesn’t care about what happened in Rwanda. He’s labeling me a genocide denier because I’ve challenged Canada’s contribution to Palestinian dispossession. Hundert seems particularly bothered by my linking pro-Israel Jewish organizations to fascistic, anti-Muslim groups, which pits his “anti-fascism” against his liberal-Zionism.

The Rwandan tragedy is often invoked in Canada for ulterior purposes. The Romeo Dallaire fairy tale is part of developing a “do-gooder” foreign policy mythology designed to lull Canadians into backing interventionist policies. More generally, a highly simplistic account of the Rwanda Genocide has repeatedly been invoked to justify liberal imperialism, particularly the Responsibility to Protect doctrine.

Maybe I should be honoured that Rwanda is now cited as a reason to suppress my writing.

June 2, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , | 2 Comments

Mainstream media finally reveals truth about Rwanda’s dictator

By Yves Engler | October 18, 2016

It was a tough week for Romeo Dallaire, Louise Arbour, Gerald Caplan and other liberal Canadian cheerleaders of Africa’s most bloodstained dictator.

Last Tuesday’s Globe and Mail described two secret reports documenting Paul Kagame’s “direct involvement in the 1994 missile attack that killed former president Juvénal Habyarimana, leading to the genocide in which an estimated 800,000 people died.” In other words, the paper is accusing the Rwandan leader widely celebrated for ending the genocidal killings of having unleashed them.

Another front-page story the following day quoted Marie-Rose Habyarimana, who was studying here when her father was assassinated and is now a Canadian citizen, highlighting the absurdity of the official story. “They have been hypocritical”, she told the Globe and Mail. “Two Hutu presidents and a Hutu army chief were killed in a plane attack, and we were supposed to believe that Hutus were behind this, as though they would naturally sabotage themselves. Those who really wanted to see the truth, who could have looked deeply, could have seen through these attempts to lie and deform history.”

(According to the official story, Hutu extremists waited until much of the Hutu-led Rwandan military command was physically eliminated and the Hutu were at their weakest point in three decades, before they began a long planned systematic extermination of Tutsi.)

On a personal level it was gratifying to see Canada’s ‘paper of record’ finally report something I’ve been criticized for writing. A few days before the Globe report, I received an email from a York University professor telling me: “I tried earlier this year to arrange a launch for your book Canada in Africa, but it was met with some serious opposition. You’ve been branded, rightly or wrongly, a Rwandan genocide-denier. I am sorry, but I don’t think speaking at York is going to work out.”

My sin for that university’s “Africanists” was to challenge the Paul Kagame/Romeo Dallaire/Gerald Caplan version of the Rwandan tragedy. Contrary to popular perception, the genocide was not a long planned attempt to exterminate all Tutsi, which even the victors’ justice dispensed by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) effectively concluded. Instead, it was the outgrowth of a serious breakdown in social order that saw hundreds of thousands of Tutsi slaughtered by relatively disorganized local command. But, Kagame’s RPF also killed tens of thousands (possibly hundreds of thousands) of Hutu.

Both directly and indirectly, the RPF was implicated in a significant proportion of the bloodshed during the spring of 1994. Christian Davenport and Allan Stam, US academics initially sponsored by the ICTR, found a strong correlation between RFP “surges” — advances in April 1994 — and local bloodbaths. In 2009 Davenport and Stam reported: “The killings in the zone controlled by the FAR [Armed Forces of Rwanda] seemed to escalate as the RPF moved into the country and acquired more territory. When the RPF advanced, large-scale killings escalated. When the RPF stopped, large-scale killings largely decreased.”

Somewhere between several hundred thousand and a million Rwandans were killed over 100 days in mid-1994. The US academics concluded that the “majority of victims were likely Hutu and not Tutsi.”

The official story of the Rwandan genocide usually begins April 6, 1994, but any serious investigation must at least go back to the events of October 1, 1990. On that day, thousands of troops from Uganda’s army, mainly exiled Tutsi elite, invaded Rwanda. The Ugandan government accounted for these events with the explanation that 4,000 of its troops “deserted” to invade. These troops included Uganda’s former deputy defence minister, former head of intelligence and other important military officials. This unbelievable explanation has been accepted largely because Washington and London backed Uganda’s aggression, which according to the Nuremberg Principles is the “supreme international crime, differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.”

The rise of ethnic enmity and breakdown of social order was caused by many factors. The 1990 Uganda/RPF invasion displaced about one million Rwandans, nearly 15% of the population. Six months before the spring 1994 bloodletting, Burundi’s Tutsi-dominated army assassinated its first elected Hutu president. The political killings sparked significant violence and the flight of hundreds of thousands of mostly Hutu Burundians into Rwanda. This further destabilized the small country and elevated animosity towards Tutsis, who were accused of refusing to accept majority rule.

Rwanda’s 1959-61 Hutu revolution saw the majority group gain political control while the Tutsi minority maintained control of Burundi after independence. Historically, the Tutsi, who speak the same language and practice the same religion as the Hutu, were distinguished based upon their proximity to the monarchy. In other words, the Tutsi/Hutu was a class/caste divide, which Belgian colonialism racialized.

The breakdown of social order was also tied to economic hardship brought on by the low price of coffee and foreign-imposed economic adjustments. No longer worried about the prospect of poor coffee producers turning towards the Soviet Union, the US withdrew its support for the International Coffee Agreement in 1989, an accord Ottawa was never enamoured with. The price of coffee tumbled, devastating Rwanda’s main cash crop. Largely because of the reduction in the price of coffee the government’s budget dropped by 40 percent. When Rwanda went in search of international support, the IMF used the country’s weakness to push economic reforms at the same time as donors demanded political reforms.  The Path of a Genocide: The Rwanda Crisis from Uganda to Zaire notes, “political adjustments were pushed on Rwanda at the same time that Canada required Rwanda to adopt a structural adjustment approach to its economy.” As in so many other places, structural adjustment brought social instability.

In the years leading to the mass killings, Canada began tying its aid to a “democratization” process, despite the country being under assault from a foreign-supported guerrilla group, the RPF. Ostensibly, because of human rights violations, Ottawa cut millions in aid to Rwanda.

The RPF benefited from the role Canada played in weakening the Habyarimana government. Ottawa also played a more direct part in Kagame’s rise to power. Taking direction from Washington, Canadian General (later Senator) Romeo Dallaire was the military commander of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda, which was dispatched to oversee the Arusha Accords peace agreement. As I detail in this article, which the York professor presented as evidence of my “genocide denial”, Dallaire backed the RPF.

A widely celebrated Canadian also played an important part in covering up who downed the plane carrying both Rwandan Hutu President Juvénal Habyarimana and Burundian President Cyprien Ntaryamira, as well as the chief of staff of the Rwandan Defence Forces, another official responsible for the “maison militaire” of the Rwandan president as well as the chief of the military cabinet of the Rwandan president and two Burundian ministers. Canadian Supreme Court Justice Louise Arbour, who left the bench to head the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, wasn’t interested in evidence suggesting the RPF was responsible for Habyarimana’s assassination. According to French government investigators and the National Post, she refused to investigate evidence implicating the RPF in shooting down Habyarimana’s airplane. In 1996 former ICTR investigator Michael Hourigan compiled evidence based on the testimony of three RPF informants who claimed “direct involvement in the 1994 fatal rocket attack upon the President’s aircraft” and “specifically implicated the direct involvement of [Kagame]” and other RPF members. But, when Hourigan delivered the evidence to her in early 1997, Arbour was “aggressive” and “hostile,” according to Hourigan. Despite initially supporting the investigation surrounding who shot down the plane, the ICTR’s chief prosecutor now advised Hourigan that the “investigation was at an end because in her view it was not in our [the ICTR’s] mandate.”

When the ICTR prosecutor who took over from Arbour, Carla del Ponte, began to investigate the RPF’s role in shooting down Habyarimana’s plane the British and Americans had her removed from her position. Del Ponte details her ordeal and the repression of the investigation in The Hunt: Me and the War Criminals.

A French magistrate, Jean-Louis Bruguière, who spent eight years investigating the death of the three French nationals operating the presidential jet, issued nine arrest warrants for high-ranking RPF officials (French law prohibits issuing an arrest warrant for a head of state, excluding Kagame from the investigation.) Bruguière concluded that Kagame rejected the August 1993 Arusha Accords and that he needed Habyarimana’s “physical elimination” for the RPF to take power. Bruguière’s detailed investigation on behalf of the French family members of the jet’s crew showed that “due to the numerical inferiority of the Tutsi electorate, the political balance of power did not allow [Kagame] to win elections on the basis of the political process set forth by the Arusha Agreements without the support of the opposition parties. … In Paul Kagame’s mind, the physical elimination of President Habyarimana became imperative as early as October 1993 as the sole way of achieving his political aims.”

A number of high-profile liberal Canadians have legitimated Kagame’ s dictatorship and repeated invasions of the Congo. It’s long past time Dallaire, Arbour and Caplan answer for their actions and apologetics.

October 18, 2016 Posted by | Deception, Economics, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gerald Caplan: Justifying Paul Kagame’s Repression in Rwanda

By Yves Engler | Dissident Voice | February 2, 2016

The Globe and Mail’s recent coverage of Rwanda has been schizophrenic. While South African-based correspondent Geoffrey York has done important work detailing how Paul Kagame’s government has assassinated its opponents and contributed to violence in Eastern Congo, columnist Gerald Caplan has justified its repression and echoed Kigali’s position on regional conflicts.

At the start of January York reported on two new books describing the totalitarian nature of President Kagame’s regime. “Village informers”, wrote York. “Re-education camps. Networks of spies on the streets. Routine surveillance of the entire population. The crushing of the independent media and all political opposition. A ruler who changes the constitution to extend his power after ruling for two decades. It sounds like North Korea, or the totalitarian days of China under Mao. But this is the African nation of Rwanda – a long-time favourite of Western governments and a major beneficiary of millions of dollars in Canadian government support.”

A year and a half ago York wrote an explosive investigation headlined “Inside the plots to kill Rwanda’s dissidents”, which provided compelling evidence that the regime had extended its assassination program, killing (or attempting to) a number of its former top officials who were living in South Africa. Since the initial investigation York has also reported on Rwandan dissidents who’ve had to flee Belgium for their safety and revealed that Ottawa failed to act after UN and Spanish court investigations concluded Canadian priests Guy Pinard and Claude Simard were killed by soldiers loyal to Kagame in the mid-1990s.

At the end of 2012 York reported on Rwanda reasserting control over the mineral rich Eastern Congo. In one of a number of insightful articles York described how “Rwandan sponsored” M23 rebels “hold power by terror and violence.” The rebel group added “a [new] layer of administrators, informers, police and other operatives” in and around the city of Goma in part to “bolster” its “grip on the trade in ‘blood minerals’.” (In 1996 Rwandan forces marched 1,500 km to topple the regime in Kinshasa and then re-invaded after the Congolese government it installed expelled Rwandan troops. This led to an eight-country war between 1998 and 2003, which left millions dead.)

While York has done what investigative journalists are supposed to do — comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable — unfortunately the Globe also publishes regular columns by an author who seems to strive for the exact opposite in the case of Rwanda.

Gerald Caplan recently wrote about political conflict in Burundi, invoking Kagame’s rhetoric of “genocide” all the while ignoring Rwanda’s role in organizing armed opposition to the Burundian government. In support of Kigali’s aggressive regional posture, Caplan continues to repeat Kagame’s rationale for unleashing mayhem in the Congo two decades after the mass killing of Rwandan Tutsi (and Hutu) in 1994. In a 2014 column he wrote: “In the Congo former génocidaires lead a violent anti-Kagame militia dedicated to ‘finishing the work’ of the hundred days.”

In another column Caplan justified the arrest of presidential opponent Victoire Ingabire and criticized the Law Society of Upper Canada after it called for the release of her American lawyer, who was also imprisoned.

And strangely, for a former NDP strategist, Caplan has sought to muzzle media that disagree with the current government’s version of Rwandan history. In 2014 he signed an open letter condemning the BBC documentary Rwanda’s Untold Story and a year earlier wrote a piece about lobbying the University of Toronto to remove the Taylor Report, a program on campus radio, from air because it hosted critics of the Rwandan government.

Caplan has failed to inform readers about his ties to the regime in Kigali. He started an organization with Rwanda’s current Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo and said he stays at her family’s hotel when visiting the country. Caplan has also spoken at a number of events in Kigali and New York organized by the Rwandan government.

So, who to believe? York or Caplan? Is Kagame a saint or dictator?

My money is on the investigative journalist.

February 3, 2016 Posted by | Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | Leave a comment

The fairy tale about a brave Canadian general in Rwanda

By Yves Engler | December 28, 2015

Like children’s fairy tales, foreign policy myths are created, told and retold for a purpose.

The Boy Who Cried Wolf imparts a life lesson while entertaining your five year-old niece. Unfortunately foreign policy myths are seldom so benign.

The tale told about Romeo Dallaire illustrates the problem. While the former Canadian General rose to prominence after participating in a failed (assuming the purpose was as stated) international military mission, he’s widely considered a great humanitarian. But, the former Senator’s public persona is based on an extremely one-sided media account of his role in the complex tragedy that engulfed Rwanda and Burundi two decades ago.

In a particularly egregious example of media bias, criticism of Dallaire’s actions in Rwanda have been almost entirely ignored even though his commander published a book criticizing the Canadian general’s bias. According to numerous accounts, including his civilian commander on the UN mission, Dallaire aided the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), which invaded Rwanda with decisive Ugandan support and quiet US backing. Gilbert Ngijo, political assistant to the civilian commander of United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR), summarizes the criticism: “He [Dallaire] let the RPF get arms. He allowed UNAMIR troops to train RPF soldiers. United Nations troops provided the logistics for the RPF. They even fed them.”

In his 2005 book Le Patron de Dallaire Parle (The Boss of Dallaire Speaks), Jacques-Roger Booh Booh, a former Cameroon foreign minister and overall head of UNAMIR, claims Dallaire had little interest in the violence unleashed by the RPF despite reports of summary executions in areas controlled by them. RPF soldiers were regularly seen in Dallaire’s office, with the Canadian commander describing the Rwandan army’s position in Kigali. This prompted Booh Booh to wonder if Dallaire “also shared UNAMIR military secrets with the RPF when he invited them to work in his offices.” Finally, Booh Booh says Dallaire turned a blind eye to RPF weapons coming across the border from Uganda and he believes the UN forces may have even transported weapons directly to the RPF. Dallaire, Booh Booh concludes, “abandoned his role as head of the military to play a political role. He violated the neutrality principle of UNAMIR by becoming an objective ally of one of the parties in the conflict.”

Dallaire doesn’t deny his admiration for RPF leader Paul Kagame who was likely responsible for shooting down the plane carrying both Rwandan Hutu President Juvénal Habyarimana and Burundian President Cyprien Ntaryamira on April 6, 1994. (That event triggered mass killing and an environment of deep instability that facilitated the RPF’s rise to power in Kigali.) In Shake Hands with the Devil, published several years after Kagame unleashed terror in the Congo that’s left millions dead, Dallaire wrote: “My guys and the RPF soldiers had a good time together” at a small cantina. Dallaire then explained: “It had been amazing to see Kagame with his guard down for a couple of hours, to glimpse the passion that drove this extraordinary man.”

Dallaire’s interaction with the RPF was certainly not in the spirit of UN guidelines that called on staff to avoid close ties to individuals, organizations, parties or factions of a conflict.

A witness at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) actually accused Dallaire of complicity in a massacre. A Rwandan national testifying under the pseudonym T04, reported Tanzania’s Arusha Times, “alleged that in April 1994, Gen. Dallaire allowed members of the rebel Rwandese Patriotic Front (RPF, now in power in Kigali), to enter the national stadium and organize massacres of Hutus. Several people, including the witness, took refuge there following the assassination of Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana.”

But, criticisms of Dallaire’s actions in Rwanda have been almost entirely ignored by the Canadian media. Le Patron de Dallaire Parle went largely unnoticed, or at least not commented upon. A Canadian newswire search found three mentions of the book (a National Post review headlined “Allegations called ‘ridiculous’: UN boss attacks general,” an Ottawa Citizen piece headlined “There are many sides to the Rwanda saga” and a letter by an associate of Dallaire). Other critical assessments of Dallaire’s actions in Rwanda have fared no better including Rwanda and the New Scramble for Africa and Enduring Lies: The Rwandan Genocide in the Propaganda System, 20 Years Later in which Edward Herman and David Peterson “suggest that Dallaire should be regarded as a war criminal for positively facilitating the actual mass killings of April-July, rather than taken as a hero for giving allegedly disregarded warnings that might have stopped them.”

On the other hand, a Canadian newswire search of “Romeo Dallaire Rwanda” elicited over 6,000 articles that generally provide a positive portrayal of Dallaire. Similarly, a search for mention of Dallaire’s 2003 book Shake Hands with the Devil elicited 1,700 articles.

The complex interplay of ethnic, class and regional politics, as well as international pressures, which spurred the “Rwandan Genocide” has been decontextualized. Instead of discussing Uganda’s aggression against its much smaller neighbour, the flight of Hutus into Rwanda after the violent 1993 Tutsi coup in Burundi and economic reforms imposed on the country from abroad, the media focuses on a simplistic narrative of vengeful Hutus killing Tutsis. In this media fairy tale, Dallaire plays the great Canadian who attempted to save Africans.

While two decades old, the distortion of the Rwandan tragedy continues to have political impacts today. It has given ideological cover to dictator Paul Kagame’s repeated invasions of the Congo and domestic repression. In addition, this foreign policy myth has been used to justify foreign military intervention as is the case with the current political crisis in Burundi. The myth of Dallaire in Rwanda is also cited to rationalize the Responsibility to Protect doctrine, when, in fact the true story illustrates the inevitable duplicitousness of foreign interventions.

Unlike in bedtime stories, in foreign policy making things up is usually harmful.

December 28, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | Leave a comment

George Clooney Opposes War Profiteering While African

By David Swanson | World Beyond War

George Clooney is being paid by the world’s top two war profiteers, Lockheed-Martin and Boeing, to oppose war profiteering by Africans disloyal to the U.S. government’s agenda.

Way back yonder before World War II, war profiteering was widely frowned on in the United States. Those of us trying to bring back that attitude, and working for barely-funded peace organizations, ought to be thrilled when a wealthy celebrity like George Clooney decides to take on war profiteering, and the corporate media laps it up.

“Real leverage for peace and human rights will come when the people who benefit from war will pay a price for the damage they cause,” said Clooney — without encountering anything like the blowback Donald Trump received when he criticized John McCain.

Really, is that all it takes to give peace a chance, a celebrity? Will the media now cover the matter of who funds opponents of the Iran deal, and who funds supporters of the wars in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, etc.?

Well, no, not really.

It turns out Clooney opposes, not war profiteering in general, but war profiteering while African. In fact, Clooney’s concern is limited, at least thus far, to five African nations: Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, the Central African Republic, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, though these are not the only nations in Africa or the world with serious wars underway.

Of the top 100 weapons makers in the world, not a single one is based in Africa. Only 1 is in South or Central America. Fifteen are in Western allies and protectorates in Asia (and China is not included in the list). Three are in Israel, one in Ukraine, and 13 in Russia. Sixty-six are in the United States, Western Europe, and Canada. Forty are in the U.S. alone. Seventeen of the top 30 are in the U.S. Six of the top 10 mega-profiteers are in the U.S. The other four in the top 10 are in Western Europe.

Clooney’s new organization, “The Sentry,” is part of The Enough Project, which is part of the Center for American Progress, which is a leading backer of “humanitarian” wars, and various other wars for that matter — and which is funded by the world’s top war profiteer, Lockheed Martin, and by number-two Boeing, among other war profiteers.

According to the Congressional Research Service, in the most recent edition of an annual report that it has now discontinued, 79% of all weapons transfers to poor nations are from the United States. That doesn’t include U.S. weapons in the hands of the U.S. military, which has now moved into nearly every nation in Africa. When drugs flow north the United States focuses on the supply end of the exchange as an excuse for wars. When weapons flow south, George Clooney announces that we’ll stop backward violence at the demand side by exposing African corruption.

The spreading of the U.S. empire through militarism is most often justified by the example of Rwanda as a place where the opportunity for a humanitarian war, to prevent the Rwanda Genocide, was supposedly missed. But the United States backed an invasion of Rwanda in 1990 by a Ugandan army led by U.S.-trained killers, and supported their attacks for three-and-a-half years, applying more pressure through the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), and USAID. U.S.-backed and U.S.-trained war-maker Paul Kagame — now president of Rwanda — is the leading suspect behind the shooting down of a plane carrying the then-presidents of Rwanda and Burundi on April 6, 1994. As chaos followed, the U.N. might have sent in peacekeepers (not the same thing, be it noted, as dropping bombs) but Washington was opposed. President Bill Clinton wanted Kagame in power, and Kagame has now taken the war into the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), with U.S. aid and weapons, where 6 million have been killed. And yet nobody ever says “We must prevent another Congo!”

What does George Clooney’s new organization say about the DRC? A very different story from that told by Friends of the Congo. According to Clooney’s group the killing in the Congo happens “despite years of international attention,” not because of it. Clooney’s organization also promotes this argument for more U.S. warmaking in the DRC from Kathryn Bigelow, best known for producing the CIA propaganda film Zero Dark Thirty.

On Sudan as well, there’s no blame for U.S. interference; instead Clooney’s crew has produced a brief for regime change.

On South Sudan, there’s no acknowledgement of U.S. warmongering in Ethiopia and Kenya, but a plea for more U.S. involvement.

The Central African Republic gets the same diagnosis as the others: local ahistorical spontaneous corruption and backwardness leading to war.

Clooney’s co-founder of the Sentry (dictionary definition of “Sentry” is “A guard, especially a soldier posted at a given spot to prevent the passage of unauthorized persons”) is John Prendergast, former Africa director for the National Security Council. Watch Prendergast find himself awkwardly in a debate with an informed person here.

Clooney’s wife, incidentally, works for U.S.-friendly dictators and brutal killers in places like Bahrain and Libya.

More nations could soon be spotted by The Sentry. The President of Nigeria was at the U.S. Institute of “Peace” this week pleading for weapons. U.S. troops are in Cameroon this week training fighters.

If the peace organization I work for had 0.0001% the financial support of The Sentry, perhaps the debate would change. So, one thing you can do is support the right antiwar efforts.

Another is to let The Sentry know what it’s missing. It asks for anonymous tips when you spot war profiteering. Have you ever turned on C-Span? If you see something, say something. Let The Sentry know about the Pentagon.

July 24, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism | , , , , | 1 Comment

The Official Rwanda Story Unravels

By Andy Piascik | War Is A Crime | July 15, 2015

For two decades, Western elites have spun a tale of how Rwandan dictator Paul Kagame heroically ended the 1994 genocide in that country. That narrative has persisted despite the fact that a great deal of evidence shows that Kagame’s Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) did much of the killing and has committed extraordinary levels of violence in neighboring Congo since invading that country not long after seizing power.

The recent BBC telecast of Rwanda: The Untold Story indicates that the truth about Kagame may finally be penetrating the mainstream. “Rwanda: The Untold Story” presents much information that contradicts the official narrative, specifically that the dramatic escalation in violence began not in April 1994 but in October 1990 when the RPF invaded from its outposts in Uganda; that RPF forces killed tens of thousands of people in the 42-month period from the invasion to April 1994; and that the RPF is responsible for the deaths of several hundred thousand more Rwandans during the three month period of bloodshed in 1994.

In contrast, the spinners of the “Kagame the Hero” tale have put the entire responsibility on the Hutu-controlled government and armed Hutu mobs. The RPF’s 1990 invasion, meanwhile, has been completely written out of history in the official narrative, as has RPF responsibility for the shooting down of a plane carrying Rwandan president Juvenal Habyarimana. It was immediately after the murder of Habyarimana that what has been known since as the Rwandan Genocide began.

Another part of the official narrative that was exposed long ago by Edward Herman, Robin Philpot, and others is that the U.S. didn’t do enough to stop the killing. In fact, Kagame was an imperial operative as early as the 1980s who trained at Fort Leavenworth and the U.S. was closely allied with the RPF even before the 1990 invasion. Throughout the spring of 1994, the Clinton administration was proactive in blocking the UN from taking measures that might have prevented much of the killing. Former United Nations Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, for one, has put the entire blame for what happened in Rwanda in the 1990s on the United States.

In addition, while the Rwandan government and France, its primary ally, supported international action to stop the killing, Kagame was so determined to take complete control of the country that he eschewed a ceasefire and negotiations. The inescapable conclusion is that the mounting deaths on both sides were acceptable to Kagame and, by extension, the U.S., so long as the end result was complete victory and the ascension of the RPF to power.

From the outset, both Hutu and Tutsi survivors, U.N. officials, and numerous investigators have presented an entirely different version of events. Those stories, which have been fortified by population studies and other means, reveal that both sides are each responsible for hundreds of thousands of killings. These dissident voices have been ignored and, in the case of several studies by human rights groups and the U.N., suppressed – at least until the airing of “Rwanda: The Untold Story.”

Perpetrators and supporters of empire, who have never seen a U.S. war crime they didn’t like, have attacked critics of the official narrative and obfuscated who really benefits from the ongoing warfare. It’s a neat trick practiced regularly: falsely accuse dissidents of denying atrocities and deny imperial atrocities, all the while obscuring the billions in U.S. business profits made possible by Kagame’s invasions of the Congo.

Western plunder of the region dates to the murderous rule of Belgian King Leopold II. No sooner did the Congolese independence movement succeed in 1960 than Congolese reactionaries and their Belgian and CIA helpers overthrew and eventually murdered Patrice Lumumba, the nation’s first elected prime minister. Eventually installed in Lumumba’s place was U.S. puppet Mobutu Sese Seko, who for 30 years served U.S. business interests as zealously as Kagame has. A succession of U.S. administrations have hailed Mobutu as a great man. The Clintons, Madeline Albright, George W. Bush, Samantha Power and Susan Rice all hail Kagame as “the man who ended the Rwandan Genocide.” Never mind the millions of Congolese who have been killed or died from starvation, disease and other causes traced directly to Kagame’s invasions.

The unraveling of the official Rwanda story has global implications, as the U.S. has invoked “preventing another Rwanda” to justify invasions of the former Yugoslavia, Libya and large swaths of the Middle East. With a population increasingly alarmed by endless wars of aggression, the fact that the foundation for those acts is one big lie brings us closer to the day when we can end forever imperial ambitions and war.

Andy Piascik is an award-winning author and is syndicated by PeaceVoice.

Rwanda’s Untold Story Documentary from RDI-Rwanda Rwiza on Vimeo.

July 15, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, Video, War Crimes | , , , , , | 4 Comments

“Security” In the West’s Client States

By ANDRE VLTCHEK | CounterPunch | November 21, 2014

Perhaps you thought that the security at the Atlanta or Newark, or Dallas airports is bad, obnoxious, the worst in the world… Think twice… Of course it all began there, in the United States, from the first glory days of that hypocritical and deranged “War On Terror”: the humiliation of people, especially Arabs, especially Muslims, especially all those who are not white, but eventually everybody, at least to some degree.

But it did not just stay there. The allies joined in almost immediately, and then the ‘client’ states jumped on the bandwagon, competing in tactics and strategies of how most to humiliate those confused and helpless passengers, by censoring internet sites, digging into emails, monitoring mobile phone communications, and relentlessly spying on both citizens and foreigners.

I have travelled all over the world, to some of the most imaginable and unimaginable places. All the while being monitored and harassed, threatened and periodically attacked, even physically, I have also spread many counter-punches: I have observed, recorded, and published, who does what to whom, who is the most diligent, methodical, and ruthless bully?

Unsurprisingly, the toughest surveillance comes from Western allies and ‘client’ states, all over the world – from places that Washington, London and Paris routinely call ‘thriving democracies’.

Countries that have collapsed socially strive to impress their Western neo-colonial masters, by imposing increasingly harsh security and surveillance measures against their own people. At the same time, they are full-heartedly and enthusiastically signing up to the bizarre, ‘War on Terror’. It gives the local rulers many privileges. If they play it right, their gross human rights violations, and even their killing of the opposition, is not scrutinized.

***

When I recently worked in South Africa, I was told that the country is now one of the freest on earth. It has nothing to hide and it is not particularly afraid of scrutiny.

“You can photograph here, whatever you want, and nobody will tell you anything”, many of my South African friends explained to me, in Cape Town, Pretoria, Johannesburg, as well as by those living abroad.

It is true. In fact, after few days there, you can easily forget that there are any restrictions, like a ban on filming or photographing police stations or navy ships. Nobody would ever stop you from taping, for instance, battleships at the Simon’s Town base.

South Africa is a proud BRICS country, a left-wing beacon on the African continent and, together with neighboring Zimbabwe, a target of an aggressive negative Western propaganda campaign.

Just as in South Africa, not once was I stopped from filming or photographing in Zimbabwe. And not once was I intimidated, harassed or humiliated by their immigration or customs at the airports.

That is in stark contrast with the West’s allies on the continent – Rwanda, Uganda, Djibouti, Kenya, Ivory Coast or Senegal, to name just a few.

It is not just that ‘everything is forbidden’ there, but ‘violators’ can easily be arrested, harassed, even ‘disappeared’.

When making my film, “Rwanda Gambit”, about Paul Kagame’s monstrous regime, and about the genocide it had been committing (on behalf of the Western powers) in the Democratic Republic of Congo, I tried to film with a small Leica, at the border between Rwanda and DR Congo, at the Gisenyi/Goma crossing. Within a few seconds later, an enormous Congolese soldier grabbed me and began pulling me towards the border post. I have been arrested in Goma once before, and I knew what it amounts to – what it is to rot in the underground intelligence bunker cut off from the outside world.

I was almost certain that, that time, I would not make it out alive. And so I screamed for help in the direction of the Rwandese soldiers who were watching the scene from the other side of the borderline. It is not that they were really eager to help, but the disappearance of a US citizen, an investigative journalist at that, would be an extra, and unnecessary ‘annoyance’. And so they went to work, grabbing my free hand and pulling me back towards Rwanda. The enormous Congolese man in the end lost, and I survived.

All of this over just a few shots! Nobody would ever even think about preventing me from filming on, say the border between Argentina and Chile, or Vietnam and China!

In Rwanda itself, absolutely everything is forbidden, and everybody snitches on everybody. It is forbidden to photograph the streets, the hospitals, and museums, even the genocide memorial! It is strictly banned to photograph or to film their villages, In order to film military installations or prisons, I had to attach a Drift camera to the undercarriage of my car.

In Rwanda and Uganda, everything is under the surveillance. Walls have ears and eyes, so to speak. It is not like surveillance in London, done with high-tech cameras (although these are also beginning to appear); people simply spy on each other, at an unimaginable rate, and the security apparatus appears to be present absolutely everywhere, omnipresent.

But for the West, that is all fine. Both Rwanda and Uganda are plundering DR Congo of Coltan and uranium. The 10 million lives lost there, appears to be just a token price, and the horrors that are occurring in these countries are just some tiny inconvenient episodes not even worth mentioning in the mainstream press.

Security is ‘needed’, in order to maintain ‘order’ – our order.

The humiliation of travellers at Kigali, Kampala or Nairobi airports is indescribable. It is not about security at all, but about a power game, and plain sadism. In Kigali, there are at least 8 ‘security checks’, in Nairobi 6 to 7, depending on the ‘mood’ at the airport.

Three years ago, on behalf of the West (mainly US, UK and Israel), Kenya attacked the oil-rich part of Somalia, where it is now committing atrocities. Its state apparatus also perpetrated several attacks against its own civilian targets, blaming all of them on the al-Qaida linked movement, al-Shabaab. It was done in order to justify the ‘security measures’.

Now there are metal detectors in front of every department store, hotel or office-building in Nairobi. When I, earlier this year, photographed the entrance to a prison, I was literally kidnapped, thrown into the jail and informed: “We will treat you as a terrorist, as an al-Shabaab member, unless you prove that you are not.”

The slightest argument with the Kenyan military forces, or with the corrupt and outrageously arrogant police, leads to detention. And there are cases of people being harassed, sexually molested, even tortured and killed in detention.

The security forces in East Africa cooperate, as the security forces cooperated in the dark years of the fascist military dictatorships in South America.

As I was walking with my friends through Kampala, a huge lone figure slowly walked towards us.

“That is one of the butchers and he comes from Kenya”, I was told. “He tortures and kills people that pose a danger to this regime… He does things no local person would dare to do. Our countries exchange the most sadistic interrogators; ours go to Kenya, Kenyans come here.”

I recalled that even Paul Kagame, now the President of Rwanda, used to serve as the Chief of the Military Intelligence in Uganda.

Yes, the Newark and Houston airport security is bad, and the surveillance in the West is outrageous, but it is being taken to insane extremes in the ‘colonies’.

In Djibouti, which is basically a military enclave of the French Legionnaires, the US air force and other European armed forces (Somalia, Yemen, Eritrea and Ethiopia are all just a stone-throw away), I once complained at the airport that my passport was being checked twice within a distance of 10 feet. As a result, a huge soldier grabbed me, tore my shirt, threw me against the wall, and then smashed my professional camera against a concrete wall. All this happened in front of the horrified passengers of Kenya Airways. That, I found somehow intolerable. It pissed me off so much that I got up, ready to confront the soldier, no matter what. But the horrified voice of a Kenya Airways’ manager stopped me: “Sir, please leave it at this… They can just kill you, and nothing will happen to them. They can do anything they want!”

In Ivory Coast (Côte d’Ivoire), which is yet another French military dependency, and generally a loyal servant to Western interests in West Africa, ‘security’ is the main excuse for keeping undesirable elements, like myself, away from the country. Earlier this year I embarked on a journey there to investigate the chocolate empire activities of the Ukrainian President Poroshenko. Ivory Coast is the biggest producer of cocoa in the world, and ‘the Chocolate King’ is apparently involved in many unsavory practices there.

The authorities were tipped off in advance that I was coming, and the charade began from the moment I landed. I was ordered to produce my yellow fever certificate, which was inside my bag. As I began searching for it, I was roughly ushered into a small room full of sick people quarantine – and informed that I was to be vaccinated again. I found the certificate just a few seconds later, and went out to present it to the authorities. “Back!” they shouted at me. Wait inside for your turn, and tell the doctor that you have found it. The wait turned out to be 2 hours long. Later, I was told that a visa on arrival is no longer available. For days I had to go to the immigration office, from morning to the evening. For days I was fingerprinted and photographed. I clearly saw that wires were disconnected from their computer, every time my turn came round. “Your fingers are not good for fingerprinting! Go to the hospital and bring a certificate that they are not good!” Going there costs US$100 a time, and another wasted day in Abidjan. The hospital said that my fingers were just fine. I had to bribe them to write that they were not.

French military camp in Ivory Coast

The US embassy was clearly aware of what was happening. They even sent an officer to ‘assist me’. I showed him that the wires had been pulled out from the computer. “We cannot interfere in other country’s internal affairs”, he explained.

Then, on the last day, when my visa was finally issued, a lady from the US embassy whispered into the phone: “Well, if you write what you do, you must be ready for the consequences”. ‘Honest person’, I thought.

I am almost ‘embarrassed’ to write this, but I have driven on many occasions, all over China (PRC), around at least 8,000 kilometers, but have never been prevented from photographing or filming anything. I have hours and hours of footage and thousands of photographs from many corners of the nation.

A stark, almost grotesque contrast is India, the ‘largest democracy on earth’, according to the Western assessment.

There, nothing is allowed. Forget about filming the battleships near Mumbai (even the Soviet Union does not care – they would put their battleships on the Neva river in Leningrad during celebrations, for everyone to admire and to photograph them, which I did, as a child, when visiting my grandmother). You cannot even photograph that idiot Clive, inside the Victoria Monument in Calcutta.

In India, surveillance is everywhere. It is the perfect police state.

You need a local SIM card in Beijing? Even in the middle of the night, you just go to any kiosk and buy one, no questions asked, no paperwork.

In India, to get a SIM card is one tremendous saga, monstrous bureaucracy, spiced by demands for all sorts of documents and information.

You want to use the internet at New Delhi airport? You have to provide your name, your telephone number, and your email address! I invent names, like Antonio Mierdez or Amorsita Lopez; sometimes it works, sometimes not. In China, you just stick the front page of a passport onto a scanner, and get password within ten seconds. In South Africa, there is not even need for that – the internet is open and free.

And then, those legendary, those epic security checks in India!

The Indian state appears to be thoroughly paranoid, scared of anyone trying to document the reality.

It has developed an allergy to writers, investigative journalists, film-makers and photographers, especially those that happen to be ‘independent’, therefore ‘unpredictable’ and potentially capable of challenging the clichés fabricated in Washington, London and New Delhi, that depict the country as the ‘largest democracy on earth’.

To fight against such threatening elements, the Indian regime, which consists of the moneyed elites, feudal lords, religious fanatics and the military brass, have become pathologically obsessed with security, with surveillance, with relentless checking on things, and people. I have never witnessed such security zeal, even in countries that are under a direct threat from the West: such as Cuba or China.

Even domestic flights in India, from smaller cities like Varanasi or Jaipur, require an entire chain of security steps. Your passport or ID is checked on at least 10 occasions. As you enter the airport, a few steps later, before you are allowed to check in, when you are checking in, as you are entering the departure area, when you are in the departure area (that one is grand – you are forced to step on a platform and everything is checked), when you are entering the departure gate and when you are leaving it for the plane door. Sometimes there are additional checks. It is all, mostly, very rude.

India - if not sure, call police or army

In Turkey, everything is censored. From my official website to ‘Sitemeter’, even the Hong Kong MTR and Beijing and Shenzhen subway maps (maybe just in case someone wants to compare those pathetic subway developments in Istanbul and Ankara, to those in China).

When I called the guest relations supervisor at the four star ‘Kalyon Hotel’ in Istanbul, where I was staying in November 2014, I was told that she “does not know what internet provider is used by the hotel”, but that censorship is actually part of a “security program”, which in turn is part of “the hotel policy”, or vice versa.

How honest!

She actually kindly suggested that I bring my Mac ‘downstairs’, so the IT manager could “do something with it”. I very politely, declined, remembering an experience two years earlier, at the Sheraton in Istanbul, where the ‘IT manager’ actually installed some spy wear, which totally and immediately corrupted my computer, my email addresses, turning my operating system into something that has since been insisting on functioning almost exclusively in the Turkish language. When I complained over the phone, he, the IT manager, went upstairs, kicked my door, rolled up his sleeves and he let me know that this matter could be settled most effectively, outside the hotel, most likely in the street.

***

It may sound bizarre, but in the countries literally besieged by hostility from the Empire, like Cuba or even North Korea, security appears to be much more lax than in the nations where the elites are terrified of their own poor majority.

I don’t remember going through any security, in order to enter a theatre or a hotel in Havana. In Pyongyang, North Korea, there are no metal detectors at entrances to shopping centers, or subway stations.

It goes without saying that one is monitored more closely by the security cameras and armies of cops in London or New York, than in Hanoi or Beijing.

The most common mode of modern communication – the mobile phone – is regulated much less or monitored in Vietnam, China or Venezuela, than in India, Japan, or Europe. In fact, Japan recently even discontinued the sale of pre-paid SIM cards; every number has to be meticulously registered and issued only after signing an elaborate contract.

As I keep reporting, the world is full of stereotypes and clichés. Countries are not judged by rational analyses and comparisons, but by chimeras created by commercial mass media, especially those in the West.

Three countries in Latin America are still living the nightmare of the ‘Monroe Doctrine’: Honduras, Paraguay and Colombia. In Paraguay and Honduras, the West basically managed to overthrow progressive governments and installed fascist regimes, not unlike those that reigned all over the continent during Ronald Reagan and Otto Reich’s days. Colombia has been, for decades, a US ‘client’ state.

Bogota, Colombia - dare not

Surveillance in all three countries is monstrous, and so are gangs and death-squads.

But you would not guess it. If you read Western reports, including those produced by Reporters Without Borders, you would think that the true villains are actually countries like Venezuela and Cuba. But then, you look closely, and see who organizations like Reporters Without Borders are playing with… And surprise-surprise: you will discover names like Otto Reich among them!

When Thailand, another staunch ally of the West and a shamelessly servile state, began photographing people at the airports and borders, I asked an immigration officer in Bangkok, where all the data goes. She answered, without any hesitation: “To your country!” That is, to the United States.

Borneo, Malasia - new wave of Surveilance

Malaysia and its immigration used to be quite different – relaxed and easy. But then, earlier this year, Obama came aboard his diplomatic tank. I landed in Kuala Lumpur just an hour after his Air Force One had touched town. What did I encounter? A fingerprinting machine at KLIA! Obama left, but the machines are still there. To spy on people, to fingerprint and photograph them, is apparently one of the conditions of being a good friend of the West. That would never have happened in the era of Dr. M!

Even Japan now photographs and fingerprints people arriving from abroad! Japan where one can even easily and freely photograph combat air force bases (some of them, including those in Okinawa, have viewing terraces for tourists, all around them) is now also spying on people! That is, obviously, one of the rules laid down by the gang that is ruling the world.

Of course the Western allies of the United States are not much better.

Do you still remember how Europeans were bitching about having to take of their shoes at US airports? What has happened now? They do it, without protesting, at their own airports, in London, Paris, Munich, everywhere.

In fact, the most repulsive security I have ever encountered in the West was at CDG, in Paris. I was taking a night flight on Asiana Airlines, from Paris to Seoul. The flight was full of Korean tourists in their seventies and eighties. The tables were set up, sadistically, far away from the X-ray machines, so the poor old people had to carry their bags and belongings quite a long distance. Security personnel were yelling at them, insulting them. I protested, on behalf of the Koreans. A tough French dude came up to me and began insulting me. I asked for his name. He turned around and mooned me, in public. He took down his pants and showed me his hairy ass. “My name is Nicolas Sarkozy”, he said. In a way he was right…

Once I arrived very early in the morning, in Darwin, Australia, after working in East Timor. My electronic travel authorization was for ‘tourism’. The unfriendly immigration officer was clearly on her power trip: “What are you going to do in Australia?” I told her I would be meeting some of my academic friends in Sydney.” “That is work, academic exchange!” she barked at me. “You requested a tourist permit.” I explained that we would just have dinner together, perhaps get pissed”. That was the typical Aussie-type of tourism, I thought. The interrogation began and went on for 2 hours. As the sun was rising, I had had enough: “Then deport me!” Of course she did not. Humiliating people was simply a form of entertainment, or how to kill a couple of boring hours. Or how to show people where they really belong!

How free and proud one should feel entering that great world of Western democracies!

One has to lie, of course. Once I was held for 4 hours by the Canadian immigration services, entering from the US by car. Why? I told the truth, that I was coming to interview Roma (Gypsy) people fleeing from persecution in the Czech Republic (a staunch ally of the West).

Leaving Israel is beyond anything that I have ever experienced elsewhere in the world. Especially once Mossad realized that I had come to trash Israel for its treatment of Palestinian people, and for its foreign policy.

We commonly end up discussing my grandparents, my books, and my films. I have already commented: no woman in my life, not even my own mother, wanted to know so much about all the details of my existence, as Mossad agents at the airport! And none of them has ever listened so attentively!

Golan Heights - Israel carved into Syria

I am totally exhausted from all that freedom given to me by the West and its allies.

My email addresses are corrupted and I don’t even know which publication or television network is actually receiving my stuff. There is absolutely no way to tell. I have no idea which immigration service will screw me next, and how.

I have already got buggered about by the security in Colombia, Canada, Indonesia, Kenya, Djibouti, Ivory Coast, DR Congo, Kenya, the US (entering from Mexico), Bahrain and Australia… I can hardly remember, there is much more…

It is all turning into a game of Russian roulette.

My African, Indian, Arab and Latin American friends and colleagues are, of course, going through much deeper shit.

The question that I keep asking myself is very simple: “What are they all so afraid of?” I don’t mean the US and Europe – those are control freaks and they simply don’t want to lose their control of the world… There, it is all transparent and clear.

But it is not as clear elsewhere: what about those regimes in India and Turkey, in Honduras and Kenya, in Indonesia (you have to show your passport or the national ID, even to board a long distance train!) and Bahrain?

What are they fighting for or against? Who is their enemy?

police state Egypt

They are fighting against their own people, aren’t they?

Their ‘War on Terror’ is their war against the majority. The majority are the terror. The West is the guarantee of the status quo.

They – the elites and their masters in the West – watch in panic that in many parts of the world, the people are actually winning.

That is why the security in the West’s ‘client’ states is on the increase. The war against the people goes on. This war is one of the last and brutal spasms of feudalism and imperialism.

Check everything and spy on everybody, so nothing changes, nothing moves. But things are moving, and fast! And all those lies, and surveillance cameras, fingerprints and the ‘disappearing’ of people will not be able to prevent progress. They will never manage to smash the people’s dreams of living in societies free of fear!

November 22, 2014 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Kagame-Power Lobby’s Dishonest Attack on the BBC 2’s Documentary on Rwanda

By Edward S. Herman and David Peterson | Monthly Review Zine | November 1, 2014

On October 1, 2014, a remarkable event occurred in Britain.  The British Broadcasting Corporation’s BBC 2’s This World telecast Rwanda’s Untold Story, a documentary produced by Jane Corbin and John Conroy that offered a critical view of Rwandan President Paul Kagame and of his and the British and U.S. roles in the 1994 mass killings in Rwanda and beyond.1 Although the documentary adheres to some key longstanding falsehoods of the Anglo-American propaganda system’s treatment of the “Rwandan genocide,” above all the claim that in 1994 leaders of the country’s Hutu majority conspired to commit genocide against its Tutsi minority,2 nevertheless, we believe that the telecast of Rwanda’s Untold Story constituted a first of its kind in the reinterpretation of what really happened in Rwanda in 1994.  And this is true not only for the BBC, but also for the rest of the establishment English-language television news media in Britain, the United States, Canada, and elsewhere.

The BBC 2’s reinterpretation works largely by providing airtime to well-informed figures conventionally marginalized within the establishment media.  Accordingly, Rwanda’s Untold Story is the story that they tell and that they would have been telling for many years had they and their views not been systematically suppressed and even ridiculed and smeared by the establishment media, historians, and assorted political hacks from within the Kagame-Power Lobby.

Among these newly admitted storytellers are Theogene Rudasingwa and Kayumba Nyamwasa, former high-ranking Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) associates of Paul Kagame now forced to live in exile for opposing his rule and seeking his downfall.  “The price of being able to express a view that is even mildly critical or dissenting in Rwanda, the price is very high,” Rudasingwa, Kagame’s former chief-of-staff, tells Corbin.  “Those who tried, journalists, have been killed, and others imprisoned or simply banished into exile” (51:19).  When Corbin asks Nyamwasa, a former top-ranking general under Kagame, whether he was “surprised there wasn’t more protests from the international community over what was happening in the Congo and Rwanda’s part in it,” Nyamwasa replies: “No.  I wasn’t surprised.  He’s got very powerful people who protect him” (45:50).

Another critic here given a voice is Aloys Ruyenzi, a former member of Kagame’s personal guard.  Ruyenzi recounts what he heard at a meeting between Kagame and his closest staff during which Kagame gave the order to shoot down Rwandan President Juvénal Habyarimana’s Falcon 50 jet.  Ruyenzi also states that he was in Kagame’s company when, on April 6, 1994, the news of the shoot-down arrived at the RPF’s headquarters in Mulindi, in the far north of the country.  “Kagame was happy,” Ruyenzi tells Corbin.  “The other commanders were happy too.  From that moment, we started to move” (15:15).

Yet another critic is Carla Del Ponte, a former chief prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) as well as the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, who recounts how she was relieved of her job at the ICTR in 2003 for having opened investigations into RPF crimes and then rebuffed overtures from the United States and Britain to terminate them.  “[T]he U.S. didn’t back me up,” she says, “the U.K. followed suit, as always, and my mandate was not renewed” (38:28).

Still another new voice is former FBI counter-terrorism agent James Lyons, who was Commander of Investigations at the ICTR.  Lyons tells Corbin that in 1996-1997 his and the late Michael Hourigan’s National Team had found three solid sources claiming knowledge that Kagame was responsible for the Habyarimana assassination.  When in early 1997 Hourigan and Lyons presented ICTR Chief Prosecutor Louise Arbour with a memorandum outlining what they had learned, Arbour ordered the investigation terminated and confiscated the memorandum.  “Louise Arbour just did a 180-degrees turnaround,” Lyons says, referring to Arbour’s reaction when she learned that his group had evidence implicating Kagame.  “Someone above her was telling her this was not a good idea to be investigating Paul Kagame” (39:30).

Among the other BBC 2 guests was the Belgian scholar Filip Reyntjens, a specialist in the history of the Great Lakes region of central Africa; Reyntjens states frankly on camera that he regards Kagame as the “most important war criminal in office today” (48:31).  Also the Belgian Colonel Luc Marchal, a former high-ranking member of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Rwanda (UNAMIR) with responsibility for the capital city, Kigali.  Marchal describes the overwhelming tension that pervaded Kigali during the months before Habyarimana’s assassination: “Every night in Kigali the background noise was of weapons and shooting and of grenades exploding” (10:16).  “In my opinion,” Marchal adds, “the attack on the president’s plane was the trigger to begin the military operation and the armed takeover by the RPF” (15:53).

Perhaps most important of all, the BBC 2 devotes a substantial segment of its documentary to the work of two American professors now at the University of Michigan, Allan Stam and Christian Davenport, who from 1998 on carried out important field research in Rwanda, and who have gone on to develop many powerful and provocative interpretations about what really happened in Rwanda in 1994.3 “What the world believes, and what really happened, are quite different,” a clip from Corbin’s interview with Stam appears twice in the documentary (0:21 and 31:19).  (We return to Davenport and Stam’s work below.)

In sum, although we take issue with the BBC 2 documentary’s very loose and inexact use of the term “genocide” when referring to the events in Rwanda in 1994, Jane Corbin and John Conroy’s Rwanda’s Untold Story marks an important, informative, and decisive break from the now-more-than 20 years of false and propagandistic storytelling in the Anglo-American world that has buried the real history of the period.  Both the BBC 2’s This World and the documentary’s production staff deserve their audience’s gratitude — not condemnation.

How Dare the BBC 2’s This World Break Ranks with the Rest of the Respectable Media and Bring All of These Ugly, Unmentionable Truths to Light?

Just as it was a remarkable event for Rwanda’s Untold Story to be telecast over the BBC 2 on October 1, so it was entirely predictable that on October 12, a response in the form of an open letter signed by 38 “scholars, scientists, researchers, journalists and historians” was sent to the BBC’s Director-General Tony Hall, taking issue with the documentary in the strongest terms possible.  And, as is the conventional practice among members of this group, their open letter features the smear that the documentary engages in “genocide denial,” a derogatory charge that in one form or another (e.g., “genocide deniers,” “deniers”) appears no fewer than 13 times in a letter only 1,266 words long.4

“Genocide denial” and the dissemination of “genocide ideology and sectarianism” are the preferred negative-attack weapons of the Kagame dictatorship, on the basis of which it has denounced, intimidated, imprisoned, driven into exile, and even assassinated many Rwandans as well as foreign nationals over the past 20 years.5 Kagame’s legal system used such charges to arrest the Hutu political figure and chair of the opposition Forces Democratiques Unifiées (FDU)-Inkingi coalition, Victoire Ingabire, in April 2010, removing her from competing against Kagame in the August presidential election, which Kagame won with an incredible 93 percent of the rigged vote.  “[I]ngabire asked why there were no memorials to the Hutus who died,” Corbin reports in the documentary.  “She got eight years in prison for ‘genocide ideology’” (51:09).  To this day, Ingabire languishes in one of Kagame’s prisons, her sentence now bumped up to 15 years; recently her attorney filed a petition with the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, asking it to demand a fair and open retrial for his client. 6  The 38 letter-signers claim to recognize the BBC’s right to “reflect on the contemporary political situation in Rwanda,” which the documentary does at length, but nowhere in their rebuttal do they themselves undertake such reflections.  Doesn’t the 38’s silence on the totalitarian nature of Kagame Power, clearly a major political issue for Rwandans both at home and living in exile, make them dictatorship defenders?

When the 38 use the word “genocide” — a term they use no fewer than 27 times in their letter — they refer to one thing specifically: the alleged planned extermination and killing of Rwanda’s minority Tutsi population by its majority Hutu conspirators.  But another, much larger area of massacres lies to the west of Rwanda in the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where, from September 1996 on, many more people have been killed than in Rwanda in 1994.  These killings were carried out as an almost immediate extension of the RPF’s 46-month war in Rwanda, and in the case of the DRC there is a wide consensus among specialists that Paul Kagame and forces allied with him (especially the Ugandan People’s Defense Force and locally organized militias) have been the principal killing agents.  As Deogratias Bugera, at one time a soldier in Kagame’s RPF during its war in Rwanda, and one of the founders in October 1996 of the Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo-Zaire (AFDL), a “rebel” front-organization for the RPF in its wars in Zaire-DRC, once told Jason Stearns: “As soon as the RPF conquered Rwanda, they set their sights on invading Zaire, much sooner than most people realize.” 7 As the 38 completely ignore Kagame’s 18-year-long wars and genocide in the DRC, doesn’t their exclusive focus on Rwanda 1994 and the alleged Hutu conspiracy to exterminate the Tutsi make them apologists for the larger follow-up genocide?  To the BBC 2’s credit — and in stark contrast to the silence of the 38 who attacked the BBC — the documentary raises precisely this issue.  In fact, in a voiceover, Corbin reports: “The UN surveyed 600 alleged massacre sites [in the DRC]. …  The UN report concluded: The apparent systematic and widespread attacks on Hutu civilians, if proven, could be characterized as crimes of genocide” (44:48). 8  But the 38 aren’t interested.

Who Shot Down President Habyarimana’s Falcon 50 Jet?

Turning to the mass killings in Rwanda in 1994, the 38 cite three “untenable claims” made in the BBC 2 documentary.  The first is a “lie about the true nature of the Hutu power militia.”  The second is an “attempt to minimize the number of Tutsi murdered in the genocide.”  And the third is an “effort to place the blame for shooting down President Habyarimana’s plane on April 6, 1994 on the Rwandan Patriotic Front.”

Taking this last item first: The 38 claim that a “detailed report published in January 2012 by a French magistrate Judge Marc Trévidic . . . contains evidence from French experts, including crash investigators, who proved scientifically that the missiles that shot down the plane came from the confines of the government-run barracks in Kanombe.”

This is a blatant case of the selective use of evidence, in addition to being misleading in its own narrow framework.  First, two French investigative judges are involved in this inquiry, not one: Judge Nathalie Poux as well as Judge Trévidic.  Second, no report, preliminary or final, has ever been issued by Trévidic and Poux.  The January 2012 report to which the 38 refer, released by Trévidic and Poux, was not written by them but was compiled by five “experts” who had been hired by the investigating judges to analyze certain data from a ballistics and acoustics point of view. 9

Third, and most important, none of the contributors to this nearly 340 page report at any point claims to know the identities of who actually fired the missiles that brought down Habyarimana’s jet, and nowhere in this report does anyone conclude definitively that the “missiles that shot down the plane came from the confines of the government-run barracks in Kanombe,” or in any other government-controlled area. Instead, they calculate “probabilities” for the locus of origination of the missiles which in the aggregate covers such a large range of territory that, as of April 6, 1994, the missiles could have been fired from government-controlled territory on its western edge as well as from territory well outside of government control, in the vicinity of Masaka Hill, to the southeast of Kanombe camp and the airport’s runway, which is exactly where the former RPF figures who have testified on this matter in multiple venues over many years claim the missiles were fired from. 10  In short, the highly-touted findings of the January 2012 analysis are so inconclusive as to the sites from which the fatal missiles were fired and the identity of the shooters that they are surely not the last word on the matter. 11

Also interesting is the fact that the Trévidic-Poux investigation’s own records show that in June 2010 their investigation accepted the sworn testimony of Abdul Ruzibiza, a former lieutenant in the RPF then living in exile in Norway, and the author of the 2005 book Rwanda, L’histoire secrète12  Consistent with his earlier testimonies before the investigation led by the French Judge Jean-Louis Bruguière (Trévidic’s immediate predecessor in the same office, from which Bruguière retired in June 2008), his published writings, and his testimonies in trials argued before the ICTR, Ruzibiza shared with Trévidic-Poux’s representatives in Norway his knowledge of the RPF’s reconnaissance of the best site from which to fire the missiles (i.e., the aforementioned Masaka Hill, outside the government-controlled area); who comprised the assassination team and carried out the actual shooting (Deputy-Lieutenant Frank Nziza and Corporal Eric Hakizimana are named); where the missiles that were used that night had come from (they were smuggled from Uganda, through RPF-controlled territory in northern Rwanda, and then to Kigali); where the RPF stored the missiles prior to their use (in the RPF-occupied Conseil National de Développement [CND — National Assembly] complex in Kigali, in violation of the Arusha Accords’ prohibition that weapons in Kigali were to be secured by UNAMIR); and that he was a member of the RPF’s so-called “Network,” a covert team that carried out sabotage, false-flag operations, and assassinations of political figures on all sides so as to sow distrust and heighten tensions. 13  We believe that all of this is very important because, as noted above, Trévidic’s predecessor, Judge Bruguière, also heard the same sworn testimony of Ruzibiza, as had trial chambers of the ICTR; the crucial difference here is that whereas the 2006 Bruguière report made use of Ruzibiza’s testimony, at the time of this writing, Trévidic-Poux have taken no public position on Ruzibiza’s testimony, much less have they attempted to identify who they believe the shooters were. 14

It is also important to note that the Trévidic-Poux investigation exists within a political context unique to France that is ignored by the 38.  In May 2007, the right-wing Atlanticist candidate Nicolas Sarkozy succeeded the right-wing Gaullist Jacques Chirac as the new president of France.  Chirac had served for 12 years (1995-2007), having succeeded the Socialist Party’s François Mitterrand (1981-1995) to the office.  Sarkozy immediately set out to heighten France’s Atlanticist profile among the Western capitals, particularly Washington and London.  In early 2010, Sarkozy visited Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame in Kigali, the first visit by a French president to Kigali since the 1980s.  Within days of Sarkozy’s return to Paris, French police arrested Agathe Habyarimana, the widow of Rwanda’s late President’s Habyarimana, then living in exile in Paris; she was arrested on the basis of an arrest warrant drawn up in Kigali over her role in the events of 1994.  Within weeks of this, Trévidic and Poux named the five ballistics and acoustics “experts” who were to re-examine the evidence that ultimately found its way into Bruguière’s 2006 report and the nine indictments of RPF figures.  In other words, the origins of the Trévidic-Poux investigation took place within the context of President Sarkozy’s decision to mend fences with Kagame’s regime and align French with U.S. policy on Rwanda, and this political decision required something official to offset Bruguière’s findings against the RPF.  But even now as late as November 2014, Trévidic and Poux have yet to publish a definitive conclusion, in contrast to Hourigan, Bruguière, and the Spanish National Court Judge Fernando Andreu Merelles’ February 2008 indictment of 40 members of the RPF for their alleged murder of hundreds of thousands of Rwandans after the war. 15

The 38 ignore the fact that the long and serious investigation of the shoot-down by Bruguière, which included the sworn testimonies of a number of participants in the planning for the shoot-down, concluded that it was Kagame who had given the orders for it. 16  Bruguière also made the important point that the shoot-down and military conquest of Rwanda were politically necessary for Kagame, as he and his RPF could never have won the free election called for by the 1993 Arusha Peace Accords, given an ethnic Tutsi voting block of some 10 percent of Rwanda’s population, versus an ethnic Hutu voting block closer to 90 percent.  Under these circumstances, it would have been impossible for Kagame’s RPF to take power through Rwanda’s legal political channels at any time and in any way — except by military conquest. 17  As Filip Reyntjens tells Jane Corbin in the BBC 2 documentary: “[The RPF] felt they were not going to be able to take power through the ballot, and I think by the end of 1993, the RPF had decided it was going to take power by the bullet” (9:35).

The 38 also bypass the fact that the ICTR sponsored the original investigation of the shoot-down in 1996-1997, carried out by a 20-person, multinational investigative team headed by the late Australian lawyer, Michael Hourigan.  The BBC 2 documentary returns to a discussion of this evidence more than once, in the person of James Lyons, Hourigan’s superior at the ICTR.  A memo prepared by Hourigan for delivery to ICTR Chief Prosecutor Louise Arbour, based on what his team regarded as three solid RPF sources with firsthand knowledge of the shoot-down, found Paul Kagame ultimately responsible for it.  But as noted earlier, this memo was suppressed by Arbour, and no charges have ever been brought against Kagame by the ICTR. 18  Given that the ICTR has strictly observed the principle of “victor’s justice” throughout its 20 year existence, and has indicted, tried, and convicted Hutus alone with only one exception19, (the BBC 2 documentary reports 63 convictions to date [39:56]), this history of prosecutorial suppression at the ICTR strongly suggests that the evidence for a Kagame role in the shoot-down simply was too solid for the ICTR and its major U.S. and U.K. sponsors to permit any further investigation.

Here we should add that the lead signatory of the open letter to the BBC, Linda Melvern, has long claimed that there never was an investigation of the shoot-down by an international organization.  Thus in one place, Melvern has referred to the “failure to conduct an international inquiry,” 20 and elsewhere she has alleged that “[t]he international court established by the Security Council . . . is silent on the assassination of Habyarimana.” 21  Although these are outright lies and suppress both actual investigations and the evidence they’ve accumulated, they are the kind of lies that conform well with the biases and deep-seated mendacity of Melvern and her 37 fellow “scholars” (etc).

Among the Many Untold Stories about Life in Paul Kagame’s Rwanda . . .

The list of former Kagame associates who eventually testified to Kagame’s responsibility for the shoot-down is impressively large; Peter Erlinder, the U.S. defense attorney and former lead defense counsel before the ICTR, estimates that the number “now exceeds eight,” 22 but we suspect the total is considerably higher.  But any number is especially impressive, given that former members of Kagame’s inner circle who provide such testimony place themselves at great risk, as Kagame and some of his underlings have been regularly engaged in the permanent silencing of critics.  (On this, see the treatment in Rwanda’s Untold Story of the December 31, 2013 assassination of Kagame’s former intelligence chief Patrick Karegeya, then living in exile in South Africa [51:40].)  Estimates vary of the number of former allies who were later killed on orders from Kagame.  Particularly vulnerable and at highest risk are figures who possess “knowledge of the regime’s darkest secrets and had themselves been involved in its crimes,” as Reyntjens puts it.  Reyntjens quotes a former RPF member “exiled in Europe” who claims he was ordered to assassinate Kayumba Nyamwasa (who, in fact, has survived four assassination attempts) and could name 17 other former RPF officers “murdered on Kagame’s orders.”  Anyone “considered a threat, Hutu and Tutsi alike, were physically eliminated.”  Exiles from Kagame Power were eliminated either because they had knowledge of Kagame’s responsibility for the assassinations of the Rwandan and Burundian presidents in April 1994, or because Kagame suspected them of disloyalty and plotting against him, or of leaking sensitive information to the world outside his base of supporters.  According to Reyntjens, Ruzibiza claimed the “physical elimination of over twenty military, in addition to several foreigners working in Rwanda who were suspected of having leaked information on RPF abuse. . . .”  Kagame is also implicated in the January 2001 assassination of a third head of state, Laurent-Désiré Kabila, Kagame’s handpicked successor to Mobutu after Rwanda and Uganda drove Mobutu from power in May 1997. 23  In 2010, many of the most prominent surviving exiles from Kagame Power went on to found the Rwanda National Congress and called for the end of the Kagame dictatorship, once and for all.  But the establishment U.S. and U.K. media have rarely given Kagame’s regime of terror and assassination the attention that it deserves, paralleling the United States’ and Britain’s longtime support of Kagame, and, of course, the 38 slavishly follow the same apologetic silence on this matter.

The 38 attempt to support their belief in “Hutu Power” responsibility for the shoot-down by claiming that this “carefully planned genocide” was followed immediately  by “roadblocks . . . all over Kigali” and a rapid targeting of Rwanda’s political opposition, which was allegedly opposed to Habyarimana because they feared power sharing with the RPF under the Arusha Accords.24 This is what we might call streaming lies.  As we feature in our recently published book, Enduring Lies: The Rwandan Genocide in the Propaganda System, 20 Years Later, even the U.S.- and U.K.-vetted ICTR uniformly rejects the charge that Hutu political and military figures engaged in a “conspiracy to commit genocide” against the country’s minority Tutsi population prior to the April 6, 1994 shoot-down of the Habyarimana jet. 25  But this has never prevented Linda Melvern and the open letter’s co-signers Roméo Dallaire, Gregory Stanton, Gerald Caplan, Frank Chalk, George Monbiot, Andrew Wallis, et al., from repeatedly asserting that such a conspiracy was fairly adjudicated and determined to be real by the ICTR’s trial and appeals chambers, and this repetition of the “conspiracy to commit genocide” fraud feeds into the lie stream here.

While Melvern and the other 37 claim a readiness to spring into action by the alleged “Hutu Power” conspirators as of April 6, the fact of the matter is that the Hutu military and political leadership was completely unprepared for the post-assassination crisis, the Armed Forces of Rwanda (FAR) were in immediate retreat from the advances of the vastly militarily superior RPF, and were unable to prevent Rwanda from being conquered by the RPF in less than 100 days — let alone putting a stop to localized killing sprees.  By contrast, Kagame’s RPF — including armed RPF cells in hiding across the country — was ready to initiate a military offensive at the moment that the shoot-down of Habyarimana’s jet was confirmed.  The further lie by the 38 is that the Hutu conspirators carried out their nefarious plans because they feared power-sharing with the RPF and the loss of privileges this would have entailed.  But as Bruguière and many others have pointed out, it was Kagame and his RPF that was confronted with losing everything via the free and fair elections scheduled by the Arusha Accords, given the ethnic voting blocks that had prevailed in Rwanda for decades.

The 38 contest the finding of University of Michigan academics Christian Davenport and Allan Stam that more Hutus than Tutsi were killed in Rwanda in 1994, but they refute it solely by mentioning “eye-witness testimony” and by listing the names of alleged research reports by Amnesty International, UNICEF, and others, while failing to cite any specific findings of estimated numbers killed and the ethnic composition of the deaths.  The 38 also resort to the conventional accusatory tactic of charging Davenport and Stam with “attempts to minimize the number of Tutsi murdered, a typical tactic of genocide deniers” — when the going gets tough, sling mud.

Davenport and Stam use an aggregating methodology that we find logical and plausible in dealing with a very confusing environment — working from data estimating total pre-April 6, 1994 Tutsi and Hutu members of the population, and post-July 1994 numbers of Tutsi survivors.  We use a similar method in Enduring Lies, taking Rwanda census data breakdowns of Tutsi and Hutu numbers as of August 1991, and post-July 1994 estimates of Tutsi survivors ranging from 300,000 to 400,000.  Without going into too many details here, we found that, for example, on the assumption of 800,000 total deaths for the period April through July, 1994, plausible estimates of Hutu and Tutsi deaths ranged from between 100,000 and 200,000 Tutsi deaths, and between 600,000 and 700,000 Hutu deaths. 26  We also show, again relying on the logic of Davenport and Stam’s method, the crucial lesson that (quoting from our book) “the greater the total number of deaths, the greater the number of Hutu deaths overall, and the greater the percentage comprised of Hutu.”27

Hence, the following crucial exchange between Corbin and Stam (30:31):

Allan Stam: If a million people died in Rwanda in 1994 — and that’s certainly possible — there is no way that the majority of them could be Tutsi.

Jane Corbin: How do you know that?

Allan Stam: Because there weren’t enough Tutsi in the country.

Jane Corbin: The academics calculated there had been 500,000 Tutsis before the conflict in Rwanda; 300,000 survived.  This led them to their final controversial conclusion.

Allan Stam: If a million Rwandans died, and 200,000 of them were Tutsi, that means 800,000 of them were Hutu.

Jane Corbin: That’s completely the opposite of what the world believes happened in the Rwandan genocide.

Allan Stam: What the world believes, and what actually happened, are quite different.

Notice the conditional “if” with which Stam begins his explanation.  He could have stated “If 500,000 people died,” or “If 2 million people died,” and their method would have generated different results.  It is also notable that the 38 dismiss Davenport and Stam simply as academics who “worked for a team of lawyers defending the génocidaires at the ICTR.”  In fact, Davenport and Stam started work in Rwanda under the auspices of the U.S. Agency for International Development, and at one time Stam served in the U.S. Army Special Forces.  And the defense counsels before the ICTR often were defending clients eventually found to be innocent of all charges, but here the same clients are found guilty in advance by the 38, who call all of them “génocidaires” and would presumably deny them the right to defend themselves.

The 38 are also pained by the BBC 2’s raising doubts over whether Paul Kagame’s RPF stopped the genocide.  They quote Lieut.-General Roméo Dallaire, the Canadian force commander of UNAMIR, as the “authority on this subject.”  “Dallaire is categorical,” the 38 write.  “‘The genocide was stopped because the RPF won and stopped it’, he says.” 28 This is actually a bit ambiguous because the mass killings could have stopped because the powerful army then conquering Rwanda — the RPF — had won its war and could itself stop doing the killing.  We have elsewhere cited the report by Robert Gersony to the United Nations claiming that in several of Rwanda’s southern prefectures he found an “unmistakable pattern” of “systematic and sustained killing and persecution of their civilian Hutu populations by the RPF,” with between 5,000 and 10,000 Hutu killed per month. 29 We should also note that Dallaire is hardly a neutral observer on the recent history of Rwanda, and, in fact, is one of the 38 signatories to the letter to the BBC which, as we are showing throughout, is error-laden and biased.  We may also point out that there are not one but two Dallaires — one in his term as force commander of UNAMIR (1993-1994), and the other subsequently acting as a spokesperson for the standard model of the “Rwandan genocide” and an apologist for Kagame Power (1995-).  In the earlier role, while biased in favor of the RPF, he at least could recognize and acknowledge the relative weakness and demoralization of the Forces Armées Rwandaises (FAR, the then national army of Rwanda) and the military superiority and readiness of the RPF; about the RPF, Dallaire had reported to the United Nations as early as September 1993 that it “displayed the potential to easily defeat the [FAR].” 30

The 38 devote considerable space to charging the BBC 2 documentary’s producers and guests with “genocide denial,” which they describe as the “final stage” of genocide that “ensures that the crime continues.  It incites new killing.”  Recall that, after conquering Rwanda in 1994, Kagame invaded Zaire-DRC two years later, with estimated subsequent killings there running into the millions.  This was not a result of any “genocide denial,” it was justified on the basis of the need to clean out the “génocidaires.”  That is, the new killings were built on the claim of a Hutu genocide of Tutsis that required what turned out to be large-scale massacres of an allegedly genocidal Hutu population that had fled to Zaire-DRC.  If the Hutus were the primary victims in 1994, and the April 6, 1994 assassination of President Habyarimana was attributable to Kagame, both of which we believe to be true, these extended killings in Zaire-DRC would be harder to rationalize.  By misrepresenting the reality of that history, the 38 help justify this further and larger genocide.

Concluding Note: Many Untold Stories

So, in fact, the 38’s cry of the immorality of “genocide denial” provides a dishonest cover for Paul Kagame’s crimes in 1994 and for his even larger crimes in Zaire-DRC.  The 38 thus belong to a sizable contingent of apologists for Kagame Power, who now and in years past have served as intellectual enforcers of an RPF and U.S.-U.K.-Canadian party line.  We may note here the amazing claim by the 38 that the events of 1994 “should be treated by all concerned with the utmost intellectual honesty and rigour.”  Their own violation of this appeal in their open letter is both systematic and comprehensive.

We have seen that the 38 have a penchant for slander as well as straightforward misrepresentation.  It is for committing the grave intellectual and moral crime of providing an alternative but, we believe, entirely credible and evidence-based reinterpretations of what really happened in Rwanda in 1994 that the 38 would like Rwanda’s Untold Story expunged from the BBC archives and its production team sent to the woodshed.

  1. Jane Corbin and John Conroy, Rwanda’s Untold Story, BBC 2, October 1, 2014.  Whenever we cite the time-stamp for something that we take from the documentary (e.g., 51:19), we are referring to the copy of the documentary as posted to the Vimeo website.
  2. In Rwanda’s Untold Story, the term “genocide” is used repeatedly but without hardly any definition or explanation as to what it means.  By all appearances, however, the term refers to an alleged Hutu conspiracy to commit genocide against Rwanda’s Tutsi minority 2, as well as to the execution of this alleged conspiracy during the period from April through July 1994.  Thus at one point Jane Corbin, the documentary’s presenter, describes “the genocide” as “the killing of a million people in three months” (13:59).  And immediately thereafter, she adds that once the assassination of Habyarimana had occurred, “It quickly became part of the accepted story that extremist Hutus shot down the plane.  They wanted to unleash a wave of ethnic killing and rid the country of its Tutsis” (14:09).
  3. For some of Christian Davenport and Allan Stam’s relevant work, see Rwandan Political Violence in Space and Time, unpublished manuscript, 2004, especially pp. 27-33.  Also see their website, Understanding Rwandan Political Violence in 1994, GenoDynamics.  And see their “What Really Happened in Rwanda?Miller-McCune, October 6, 2009:
  4. Linda Melvern et al., “Rwanda’s Untold Story: Letter to the Director-General of the BBC October 12, 2014″
  5. Filip Reyntjens, Political Governance in Post-Genocide Rwanda (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013), Ch. 5, “Dealing with the World and the Region,” pp. 124-162; especially the section “Dealing with Critical Voices,” pp. 127-134.
  6. Jailed Rwanda Opposition Figure Lodges Complaint with African Court,” Agence France Presse, October 24, 2014.  Also see Rwanda: Eight-Year Sentence for Opposition Leader, Human Rights Watch, October 30, 2012.
  7. Jason K. Stearns, Dancing in the Glory of Monsters: The Collapse of the Congo and the Great War of Africa (New York: Public Affairs, 2011), p. 77.
  8. Report of the Mapping Exercise  documenting the most serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law committed within the territory of the Democratic Republic of the Congo between March 1993 and June 2003, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, August. 2010, esp. para. 500-522.  Therein, we read that the RPF and its proxy forces had carried out “systematic and widespread … attacks, which targeted very large numbers of Rwandan Hutu refugees and members of the Hutu civilian population, resulting in their death.”  Such attacks, the report continues, “reveal a number of damning elements that, if they were proven before a competent court, could be classified crimes of genocide” (para. 515).
  9. Claudine Oosterlinck et al, Rapport d’Expertise: Destruction en Vol du Falcon 50 — Kigali (Rwanda), Cour d’Appel de Paris, Tribunal de Grande Instance Paris, Instruction n. 2272/00/13&1314 — Parquet n.  9729523030, January 5, 2012.
  10. Google map of the Kilagi International Airport and the territory which surrounds it.  Immediately south of the airport’s runway are the Kanombe military barracks; much farther to the southeast of the airport’s runway and the Kanombe barracks is the topographic representation of Masaka Hill.  According to the analyses of the “experts” released by Trévidic and Poux in January, 2012, all of these locations fall within the range of possible firing sites for the missiles that shot-down the presidential jet on April 6, 1994.
  11. Barrie Collins, “Shooting Down the ‘Truth’ about Rwanda,” Spiked Online, April 16, 2012.
  12. Abdul Joshua Ruzibiza, Rwanda, L’histoire secrète (Paris: Editions du Panama, 2005).
  13. Audition sur Commission Rogatoire Internationale, Joshua Ruzibiza, Devant nous, le mardi 15 juin 2010. … Commissaire de Police Havard AALMO du Kripos, en exécution d’un demande d’entraide pénale de la France en date du 15 décembre 2009 (Numéro du dossier en Norvège: 8911179) a comparu: Joshua RUZIBIZA.
  14. See the statement titled “Testimony of Abdul Ruzibiza about How Mistakes by both the Rwandan Government and the RPF Led to the Rwandan Genocide of 1994,” as posted to the Hungry for Truth, Peace, and Justice blog on January 9, 2009, specifically the section titled “LAST PHASE: The Assassination of President Habyarimana on April 6, 1994,” para. 5.
  15. Al Goodman, “Spanish Judge Indicts 40 Rwandan Military Officers for Genocide,” CNN.com/Europe,February 6, 2008
  16. Judge Jean-Louis Bruguière, Request for the Issuance of International Arrest Warrants, Tribunal de Grande Instance, Paris, France, November 21, 2006, p. 11.  The nine RPF figures indicted by Bruguière were: James Kabarebe, Kayumba Nyamwasa, Charles Kayonga, Jack Nziza, Samuel Kanyemere, Rose Kabuye, Jacob Tumwine, Frank Nziza, and Eric Hakizamana (pp. 46-48).  Paul Kagame, notably absent from this list of indictees, “enjoys the immunity granted in France to incumbent Heads of State and therefore cannot be prosecuted within the framework of this proceeding” (p. 46).
  17. Ibid., p. 12.  As the Bruguière report puts it: “[D]ue to the numerical inferiority of the Tutsi electorate, the political balance of power did not allow [Kagame] to win elections on the basis of the political process set forth by the Arusha Agreements without the support of the opposition parties. … [I]n Paul Kagame’s mind, the physical elimination of President Habyarimana became imperative as early as October 1993 as the sole way of achieving his political aims.”
  18. For copies of documents related to Michael Hourigan’s experience as the head of the National Investigative Team on behalf of the Office of the Prosecutor at the ICTR, see Annexe 49 : Le rapport de Michaël Hourigan, enquêteur du TPIR, à la procureure Louise Arbour sur l’attentat du 6 avril 1994 (janvier 1997).  This PDF reproduces partially redacted copies of Hourigan’s original 1997 memorandum to Louise Arbour (pp. 2-5); an August 1, 1997 confidential note in which Hourigan assesses his experiences as the head of the National Team (pp. 6-8); a February 7, 2007 report about Michael Hourigan written by Nick McKenzie for The Age (Australia) (pp. 9-13); and the November 27, 2006 Affidavit of Michael Andrew Hourigan used by defense attorneys before the ICTR (pp. 14-20).
  19. The one exception to the Hutu-only rule at the ICTR was the December 1998 indictment of Georges Henri Yvon Joseph Ruggiu, a Belgian national who had moved to Rwanda, and later became one of Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines on-air personalities both before and during the RPF’s final offensive in 1994.  Eventually, Ruggui pled guilty to “incitement” related charges.  See Judge Navanethem Pillay et al., Judgment, The Prosecutor v. George Ruggui, Case No. ICTR-97-32-I, June 1, 2000
  20. Linda Melvern, “Expert Refutes Bruguiere Claims,” All Africa, November 27, 2006.
  21. Linda Melvern, “The Perfect Crime“, Prospect, January 31, 2008.
  22. Peter Erlinder, The Accidental . . . Genocide (St. Paul, MN: International Humanitarian Law Institute, 2013), n. 49, p. 25.
  23. Reyntjens, Political Governance in Post-Genocide Rwanda, “The RPF Challenged from Within,” pp. 85-96
  24. Here we are referring to the Peace Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Rwanda and the Rwandese Patriotic Front, signed at Arusha, Tanzania, on August 4, 1993, U.N. General Assembly (A/48/824-S/26915), December 23, 1993, specifically the two Protocols of Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Rwanda and the Rwandese Patriotic Front on Power-Sharing within the Framework of a Broad-Based Transitional Government, October 30, 1992, and January 9, 1993, pp. 22-58.
  25. See Herman and Peterson, Enduring Lies, Sect. 7, “The Alleged Hutu ‘Conspiracy to Commit Genocide’ That Never Was,” pp. 43-46; and Appendix I, pp. 78-82.
  26. Ibid., Sect. 4, “The ‘Rwandan Genocide’ by the Numbers,” pp. 32-35.
  27. Ibid., p. 34. []
  28. Here we note that this quote attributed to Roméo Dallaire by the 38 does not derive from the documentary.
  29. Robert Gersony, “Summary of UNHCR Presentation Before Commission of Experts,” October 11, 1994, pp. 4-8.  Gersony had been dispatched to Rwanda on behalf of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees’ Emergency Repatriation Team, and he reported to the UN Commission of Experts in October 1994.
  30. Report of the Secretary-General on Rwanda (S/26488), September 24, 1993.  Dallaire’s Reconnaissance Mission Report was circulated among members of the UN Security Council as an appendix to S/26488, but since it was classified for “UN Eyes Only,” it was not made publicly available at the time.  For a copy of Dallaire’s Report, see Peter Erlinder, ed., Report of the UN Reconnaissance Mission to Rwanda — August 1993 (Saint Paul, MN: International Humanitarian Law Institute, 2011), here para. 67, p. 40.

Edward S. Herman is professor emeritus of finance at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and has written extensively on economics, political economy, and the media. David Peterson is an independent journalist and researcher based in Chicago.

November 4, 2014 Posted by | Book Review, Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, False Flag Terrorism | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment