Monday, July 19, 2010

Kagame's "Leni Riefenstahl" : Deborah Scranton

Buhendwa Eluga, a blogging Congolese Professor of Political Science in Rwanda has just been arrested (without anyone knowing his current whereabouts). Idesbald Byabuze Katabaruka, a visiting Congolese Law professor, was arrested february 2007 in Rwanda and  released on 21 March, expelled from the country and then declared "persona non grata". The Rwandan authorities charged Mr Idesbald Byabuze Katabaruka with "threatening state security" and for having committed "offences of discrimination and sectarianism".

Koffi Olomide, another Congolese, who has just been hired by the Kagame campaign, has this famous quote:
"Lokuta eyaka na ascenseur, kasi vérité eye na escailer mpe ekomi"
Often quoted when Congolese speak of Paul Kagame's crimes and which can be translated as "Lies take the elevator, but truth takes the stairs".

I am convinced the US State Department has tried to seize the momentum surrounding the movie "Earth Made Of Glass" to feed the US public with lies and halftruths concerning the role of current Rwandan President Paul Kagame before, during and after the Rwandan genocide!

Wikipedia says:
"Propaganda is a form of communication that is aimed at influencing the attitude of a community toward some cause or position.
As opposed to impartially providing information, propaganda in its most basic sense, presents information primarily to influence an audience. Propaganda often presents facts selectively (thus possibly lying by omission) to encourage a particular synthesis, or uses loaded messages to produce an emotional rather than rational response to the information presented. The desired result is a change of the attitude toward the subject in the target audience to further a political agenda. Propaganda can be used as a form of political warfare.[1]  
When you go to the website of the film "Earth made of glass" you get a quote by Tony Blair claiming it's a "truly inspirational film". In light of Tony Blair's strong and uncritical support of Paul Kagame this immediately makes alarm bells go off.

Deborah Scranton borrowed the title from Emerson who wrote:
  “Commit a crime and the earth is made of glass.  Commit a crime and it seems as though a coat of snow fell on the ground, such as reveals in the woods the track of every partridge and fox and squirrel and mole.  You cannot recall the spoken word.  You cannot wipe out a foot track.  You cannot draw up the ladder so as to leave no inlet or clue"
 The title thus refers to the main and monumental claim of the documentary which is: "the French government's hidden complicity in the genocide." As the Tribeca Review writes:
"Filmmaker Deborah Scranton's documentary prominently adopts the view of Kagame's 2008 report into what she calls "the French government's hidden complicity'' in the genocide. "
  Deborah Scranton claims:
 The film "Earth Made Of Glass" grew out of a chance dinner conversation two years ago with Paul Kagame, who she said had "inspired within me and my whole crew an incredible vision of a path to peace that I think the world could take a lesson from.''
Allthough the title implies that this documentary  reveals French government's hidden complicity in Rwanda's genocide, this movie in reality perfectly fits the definition of propaganda. The release of the movie just months ahead of the Rwandan elections is obviously aiming to influence US public opinion concerning Rwandan's current Leader. It indeed portrays Paul Kagame as the hero and France as the villains.

Which is, as Deborah Scranton should know,  a heavily contested,  controversial and problematic version of history based only on a report written by Kagame's regime (a very narrow basis ) which saw the light after Paul Kagame himself was implicated by the French anti-terrorist judge Jean-Louis Bruguiere in the terrorist attack in 1994 (which killed the former presidents of Rwanda and Burundi and several French citizens). The "Bruguiere report" is not a political report, it is a rich document which shows the nature of the RPF, I invite you to read it (it's available in English). By ignoring the Bruguiere report and by also ignoring the strong case by a Spanish judge against Paul Kagame (his responsability for large-scale indiscriminate killings in Rwanda and Congo), Deborah Scranton has created a dangerous  weapon (sofar I don't think it has been very effective) for political warfare which US policy planners at the State department were eager to use.

Jared Cohen, member of the Policy Planning Staff at the State Department, tried to start a #rememberrwanda campaign on twitter. He wrote on twitter for several days " How fast can we get to 800,00 tweets of #RememberRwanda, " and even contacted head of twitter Jack Dorsey  in order to win him over for this campaign (he had previously contacted Jack Dorsey during the Iran protests on twitter). Jared Cohen  linked this campaign to Paul Kagame by having dinner with him in New York during the Tribeca Festival (and twittering about it).

Jared Cohen's well-timed "rememberrwanda" campaign was aiming to feed the US public with the "Earth Made Of Glass" propaganda. I doubt strongly that Deborah Scranton's meeting with Kagame was  coincidental (as she claims). I am convinced Jared Cohen's "campaign" (which miserably failed) was NOT coincidental but planned ahead to use the "Earth made of glas" momentum to influence public perception of Paul Kagame in the US. Deborah Scranton's claims that she made a documentary about the Rwandan genocide turned her in reality into Paul Kagame's "Leni Riefenstahl". "Manipulating the memory of the genocide" in order to oppress alternative political viewpoints does not just take place in Rwanda, but also abroad.

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