Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Professor Erlinder asks uncomfortable questions

Let me remind the readers of the Minneapolis StarTribune that Ward Brehm, as former chairman of the United States African Development Foundation (Yesterday he got appointed as member of the board of directors of this organisation by President Barack Obama), has long been part of the US political establishment which has been maintaining very close ties with the current Rwandan leadership. Influential politicians call Kagame their `personal friend`. In mainstream press the current President of Rwanda has been compared to George Washington. Ward Brehm himself wrote in the Minnesota Startribune, january 5th 2008, that 
"The "cure" for all of Africa, is to democratically elect leaders with good hearts. There are wonderful bastions of both hope and promise in Africa. Rwanda..."
Who said Rwanda's current regime didn't receive credit? The uncomfortable question Professor Erlinder's research has tossed on the table is whether this credit is deserved. This, rather then "caring deeply about Rwanda" explains Ward Brehm's venomous attack on the quality of Professor Erlinder's work and honorable intententions. Hard questions raised by Professor Erlinder won't go away by mischaracterizing his statements and ignoring his research. Citizens across the US deserve real answers to these undoubtedly hard questions concerning the longtime uncritical US support of the current Rwandan regime. Superficial sentimental stories of great visits to Rwanda, which is off course a beautiful country and a beautiful people, just are not good enough.

Let´s start by strongly denouncing Louise Mushikiwabo´s smear campaign

Kagame´s regime´s  smear campaign, run by it´s  information minister (now minister of foreign affairs) Louise Mushikiwabo, against it´s critics like Paul Rusesabagina has been going on for years. Read what Louise Mushikiwabo said in  03/06/2007 (she was information minister at the time and has been responsable for closing down free press in Rwanda during the last couple of years)
`For those who do not know much about Rwanda's history of the last 40 years, it is the likes of Rusesabagina who brought Rwanda close to extinction --men/women who talk from both sides of their mouthes, political opportunists whose ambition comes before the lives of their countrypeople. Rusesabagina must be stopped.`
In order to  `stop him´ and other critics  the Rwandan ambassador to the US accused Paul Rusesabagina and former Senator (D) from Texas (and former ambassador to Burundi), Robert Krueger in 2008, of buying arms to send to the FDLR.  Claims that since have (off course) not been substantiated. Listen here.

Let Louise Mushikiwabo  (as information minister at the time she bares full responsability for this character assasination campaign) publicly come out with a statement expressing regret  and apologize for these unsubstantiated and baseless allegations against a respected member of the Rwandan diaspora and against the respected gentleman from Texas (Senator Robert Krueger) preferrably written by her ´house journalist´ Edmund Kagire.

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