Tuesday, July 13, 2010

"Kagame’s actions have not been in interest of either the US or the UK"

Timothy Reid, who has been a senior United Nations peacekeeping official in Rwanda and Congo, was quoted by Catherine Philips in the Sunday Times  as saying:
"calculated that even factoring in the profits of the mineral wealth Rwanda pillaged from Congo, the war there would have put it $100 million (£70 million) into the red, had it not been for the cushion of foreign aid. "
In may 2010 Timothy Reid wrote:
"Having spent quite a number of years on the front line of this conflict myself and having seen the different players in action, I think this is definitely the best account to come out. If anything, he (Gérard Prunier) is too soft on the Western countries who through cupidity, stupidity or self-interest, have pandered to Kagame and greatly helped to kill millions. I note that the biggest critic, Tom Odom, has published his own book where he essentially brags of how he helped furnish US assistance to the RPF, despite its obvious war crimes.
What’s even more pathetic is that, contrary to the claims of many activists, Kagame’s actions have not generally been in the interest of either the US or the UK, but the Hitlers, Stalins and Maos always had their admirers in the West…."
 I think Timothy Reid is making a very valuable and noteworthy observation concerning activism in relation to the great lakes region:
"contrary to the claims of many activists, Kagame's actions have not generally been in the interest of either the US or the UK"
Many activists have, for example, focused on Rwanda's current President Paul Kagame's training at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, as proof of US planning and backing of the 1990 invasion of Rwanda by his RPF rebel army. Statements  (from the Jean-Louis BRUGUIERE arrest warrents) by Major Tom Marley and Hermann Cohen, contradict this:
"American Major Tom MARLEY, supervisor of the "International Military Education
Training" (I.M.E.T.) programme which had benefited Uganda allegedly stated to Remigius
KINTU, director of the "Uganda Democratic Coalition" (U.D.C.) that Uganda had misled US.
personnel by proposing candidates for training who were not in fact Ugandan but Rwandan
Tutsis and members of the F.P.R.;"

"Mr Hermann COHEN, former deputy US Secretary of State for African affairs stated during
his 7 July 1998 testimony before the French Parliamentary Commission that "the United
States gave no assistance to the F.P.R. Approximately one dozen officers who were members
of the F.P.R. followed training in the United States but it was within the framework of
military cooperation between the United States and Uganda";
Allthough Congo's mineral resources have certainly played a role in the continuation of Congo's conflict, I am convinced, with Tim Reid, that the quality of the debate concerning the great lakes region would profit if we would focus more on the devastating role the Pentagon has played, through it's IMET training programs, in "stoking the flames".

In other words, I am convinced activists should focus more on exposing "stupidity" as major foce behind US and UK backing of Paul Kagame's actions.

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