Friday, September 24, 2010

Armchair Critics Did It Again

Christian Science monitor has published an article in which Harry Verhoeven claims:

"armchair critics have often gone so over the top in demonizing the RPF – seldom based on any thorough, on-the-ground research"
"Calling the atrocities  (described in the mapping report, sic) “genocidal” spices up the debate, but doesn’t further the cause of peaceful politics inside Kigali"
Notice the irony of how these two statements mutually exclude eachother. Accusing armchair critics who happen to disagree with you of seldomly basing their views on thorough, on-the-ground-research, while at the same time claiming that those who wrote the mapping report "spice up the debate" with some "controversial hypotheses".

It's, unfortunately, not the first time Harry Verhoeven has tried to discredit serious on-the-ground research. In a Dutch article published in the Belgian daily De Morgen in 2009, he claimed:

  •  Genociderevisionists are being led by some French Africa elite.
  • Genocide revisionists are defined by focusing on the perceived key moment of the downing of the airplane of Habyarimana and his Burundian colleague april 6 1994
  • Willy Claes  (Former NATO Secretary General) has become part of the genociderevisionists by falsificating history while claiming that Paul Kagame can be considered at least coresponsable for the Rwandan genocide.
  • Jean-Louis Bruguière's report is based on the evidence of just one witness
  • Jean-Louis Bruguière can not be trusted to have done an impartial investigation because of ties to Sarkozy's UMP.

    The claim that the Bruguière accusations against Paul Kagame's RPF concerning the downing of Habyarimana's plane (which also killed the Burundian President and 9 French citizens) is based on the evidence of just one witness (Abdul Ruzibiza, who by the way died yesterday ) is false. Harry Verhoeven was probably banking on armchair critics not reading the report itself. I invite anyone to read the report and judge it on it's own merits. It's availabe in English here.

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