The Anniversary of the Rwanda Genocide
Published on April 7, 2004 By Larry Kuperman In History
In April and May 1994, the world stood silent while Hutu extremists killed nearly a million of their countrymen in a rampage that lasted 100 days. I was a part of that silent crowd.

In studying the events of World War II, I have often asked "How could THEY do nothing?" With Rwanda, the question is more personal. "How could I do nothing?"

And the truth is, as during World War II, I did not know or understand the magnitude of what was occuring and it was far, far away.

Additionally, as pointed out in the linked CNN article, this was post Somalia. We, the whole world but particuarly the US, were tired of "dirty, little wars" in lands far away.

So you want to know what makes the triumph of evil possible? It is not knowing and not caring enough to find out.

Hopefully, the world is becoming a better place.

on Apr 07, 2004
On the TV this week we have many programmes focussing on Rwanda. Many of them are very upsetting.

I recently read abook entitled 'Shake hands with the devil' by Romeo Dallaire. He was the UN commander on the ground and his accounts of the genocide are perhaps the saddest of all. He clearly deals with the build up the countless warnings, the sense of hopelessness he felt the start of the killings, the withdrawal by Blgium of their UN troops, his inability to do anything with his 250 remaining troops, the plan he presented to the UN to stop the killing, the agreements from African nations to supply troops, the US, Uk and French refusal to supply transport to get those troops there, the bureaucrats responsible for foot-dragging, the sense that the world wanted the Rwandans to kill themselves. It's an awful read written by a man who told the world in public and in private on numerous occasions what was happening and how to stop it.

The sad part is that it could happen again. Just look at the number of comments on joeuser from people who felt the US should never have been involved in the Balkans, who felt France should not have been invovled in Sierra Leone, who felt that the US should not be in Haiti. Anyone who reads this book would always err on the side of act first and make sure genocide is not happening later. The world failed Rwanda and as Clinton said in 1998, "Never Again".

on Apr 07, 2004
The problem is that foreign policy is generally based on what will it do for us. This is true of a lot of countries. The Genocides of Nazi Germany and of the Soviet Union, were just the beginning of genocides in the twentieth century. This century will probably be no different. There is one going on right now in the Congo, but we never hear about it in the U.S.
on Apr 08, 2004
What I find odd is that when people are killing each other, it's all right not to care if they're not focusing on race, but when they are, it's suddenly inhumane. I'm no fan of genocide, but to me thousands of people of different races dying is just as bad as thousands of people of one race dying.
on Apr 08, 2004

Reply #1 By: Solitair - 4/7/2004 8:49:47 AM

>> The world failed Rwanda and as Clinton said in 1998, "Never Again".

Clintons “never again” apology was eerily reminiscent of his painful childhood memories, when he witnessed black churches being burned by racists in Arkansas, only no one in the world except Clinton seems to remember any church ever being burned.

Oh the hypocrisy, the “first black president” William Jefferson blythe Clinton who portrayed himself as a savior while pandering for the black vote, he sang hallelujah in their churches, then stood idly by drinking fine wines with Koki Anon as a million of them died in genocide.
on Apr 08, 2004
I think that whether of not the world is willing to do something has a lot to do with where and what. Rwanda would have been a difficult intervention since it was a civil war as well as a genocide. In the Spanish Civil war one fourth of the population was killed, but it was never considered a genocide. In that war the intervention caused more deaths.
on Apr 20, 2004
warld war
on May 19, 2004
President Clinton stated plainly at that time that the US had to choose to intervene only when it was in the US interest to intervene. Had Bush said something like that he would have been roasted for months. There was an amazing Frontline on about Rwanda recently. Buy, borrow or steal it, it is a must see.