Saturday, August 9, 2008

The Refugee Camps as an External Threat

As you can read here, Colonel Thomas P. Odom admires Kagame.

It is chilling to read that this man is actually a US soldier:

"Hard-liners turned against any of the DPs who cooperated and soon the camp was fleeing inward toward the Zambian positions. Hard-liners drove other DPs like cattle to try and break through RPA lines and the RPA commander lost control of the situation. RPA troops and Hutu hard-liners massacred some 2,000 people one evening before the situation was brought under control"

The way he writes about refugee camps in Congo sends chills down your spine when you know how many people have been slaughtered in Congo by Kagame's butchers:

The Refugee Camps as an External Threat

The more long-term problem, the Rwandan Hutu refugee camps--especially those in Zaire--were the most serious threats to the RPF's control of Rwanda

Rwanda and Kagame viewed differently by 4 embassies in the region

Not everyone agreed with our initiative and certainly not everyone agreed with our thinking. The reaction from the Department of State was in a phrase one of muted indifference. Our fellow embassies around Rwanda said little as well. In the case of the U.S. Embassy in Zaire, that indifference would soon grow to near open hostility. As a mission, they did not accept the premise that the camps in Zaire might actually hold bad people armed with guns and ill intent. The same could be said of the U.S. Embassy in Burundi; as a mission, they saw the Rwandan situation as a mirror image of Burundi where a "bad Tutsi army" dominated a "good Hutu" democratic government. In contrast, the U.S. Embassy in Uganda was a source of great collaboration and cooperation. Gratefully, I believe that the Central African War cable combined with our campaign plan cable prompted the Department of State and its African Bureau to take a more regional approach to the problems. Ambassador Richard Bogosian as a regional envoy breathed real life into that regional approach. On the military side, the U.S. European Command took the campaign plan to heart and accepted it almost in total as did the Rwanda watchers and policy makers in the Department of Defense. Overall I would point to these two cables as a key lesson: it is better to take the initiative and stake out an approach rather than waiting for Washington D.C. to issue instructions. Operating in that manner is more likely to result in policy and actions that reflect the actual situation. Put another way, "it is better to beg forgiveness than to beg permission." For more detail on the country team, the campaign plan, and Ambassador Rawson see Odom

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