Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Assimilatie Of Herbronning "Huizen van Democratie"?

Trouw bericht over onderzoek op basis van 180 interviews met mensen uit Eindhoven, Venlo en Zoetermeer in opdracht van het instituut voor multiculturele vraagstukken Forum. Een aantal citaten geven het volgende algemene beeld:
„het gevoel dat het geen zin heeft om te participeren.”
"er is in theorie niets tegen de komst van buitenlanders, maar in de praktijk gaat het niet. En dat komt doordat allochtonen zich niet aanpassen."
De boodschap van "assimilatie en het bevorderen van een nationale Leitkultur", gaat er bij deze burgers dan ook (vanzelfsprekend) in als Gods Woord in een ouderling. Waar Jan-Peter Balkenende's CDA, met een beroep op Etzioni, gretig op inspeelde.

Het illustreert wat mij betreft echter toch vooral de ideologische crisis van de Christen Democratische en Sociaal Democratische partijen. Sarah de Lange, die aan de UvA onderzoek deed en doet naar de opkomst van populistische partijen zei onlangs  in buitenhof in gesprek met James Kennedy, dat  Nederlandse politieke partijen steeds Wilders ideeën lijken over te nemen, in plaats van het zelf formuleren van een visie op integratie en immigratie vanuit eigen uitgangspunten. De burger kiest bij verkiezingen vervolgens liever het origneel dan het kopie.

James Kennedy benadrukt daarentegen vooral het belang van "instituties" als de rechtsstaat in de discussie over deze onderwerpen. Een, zoals @DickvdBoss terecht opmerkt, conservatief pleidooi, dat vooral aanhangers lijkt te hebben binnen ChristenUnie en PvdA.

De discussie tussen Sarah de Lange (net gestart met bloggen) en James Kennedy is zowel in christelijke- als sociaaldemocratische partijen in ieder geval al een tijdje onderhuids bezig. George Harinck schreef daarover een lezenswaardig artikel waarin hij tot de volgende opmerkelijke slotsom komt:
"De antirevolutionairen verankerden daarom de Nederlandse pluraliteit niet in de rechtsstaat, maar in de motor van deze bewegelijkheid van het recht: in de overtuigingen van het volk. De kwaliteit van onze democratie is uiteindelijk niet afhankelijk van de rechtsstaat, maar van de kwaliteit van de onder ons volk leven overtuigingen."
In dat kader is het vooral interessant om nog eens de brief van Ab Klink na te lezen, en te beoordelen of zijn argumenten passen in het raamwerk van James Kennedy of dat van Sarah de Lange.

 In de politieke discussie over migratie en integratie wordt vaak de suggestie gewekt dat er slechts sprake is van twee standpunten: links (soft) of  (hard) rechts. De opmerkingen van burgers in het rapport van forum, bevestigen dat dat beeld sterk leeft. In werkelijkheid zijn er echter in ieder geval vier verschillende posities te ontdekken.
  • Migranten moeten zich aanpassen en grenzen dicht
  • De rechtsstaat moet centraal staan
  • Politieke partijen (en de samenleving) moeten eigen antwoorden formuleren op de vragen van integratie en immigratie
  • Tolerantie en multiculturele diversiteit zijn het hoogste goed
Zondag zei Wim Pijbes, de directeur van het Rijksmuseum, in buitenhof dat hij het betreurde dat,als er in Nederland een politiek probleem is, er een apart orgaan wordt opgetuigd. Hij gaf twee voorbeelden: Het nationaal historisch museum in Arnhem of, interessant voor deze discussie, het Huis van Democratie in Den Haag. Terwijl er natuurlijk juist al heel veel musea en organen zich bezig houden met deze onderwerpen en (mijn toepassing van zijn argument) politieke partijen bij uitstek onze "huizen van democratie" zouden moeten zijn.

Het lijkt me, in dit verband, dat de Nederlandse politiek zich die kritiek moet aantrekken. Politieke partijen hebben achterstallig theoretisch en praktisch onderhoud te plegen aan hun eigen "huizen voor democratie" (en dat zal meer moeten inhouden dan het tegemoet komen aan de bovengenoemde onvrede)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

KPFA News: Protestors from 3 continents converge on NYC to protest Kagame at the UN






Audio link: http://goo.gl/mYYV.


Saturday, September 25, 2010

Do MDG's Exclude Democracy And Human Rights?

Nkunda, a member of  Rwanda's chapter of Blogger Anonymous (using anti-detection software is mandatory) , in an interview with Anthony Painter (part 3) made this pertinent remark:
"MDG's unfortunately haven't been able to reach consensus on democracy and human rights"
After meeting Gordon Brown, Nkunda met Juan Carrero at the Ralph Park in New York. Instead of trying out their new skateboards, they participated in a protest against Kagame's participation as co-chair of the MDG Advocacy Group , discussed the impact of the imminent release of the mapping report and  Zapatero's refusal to Meet Kagame at the MDG Advocacy Group in New York.

Kagame's much praised model of development  is "authoritarian" . Obviously countries like China and Russia won't see a problem in that. However, intriguingly the model has received it's most vocal praise from the west. In April Jared Cohen, policy planning staffer at the State Department, wrote this allmost prophetic tweet which seems to have been about Kagame's future role as member of the MDG Advocacy group:
"President Kagame and I talked about importance of translating Rwanda's domestic innovation into a leadership role on the continent"
US government website has this uninspiring quote on the topic of MDG's and democracy: 
"What do the MDGs mean for democracy around the world?  MDGs such as promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women, and achieving universal primary education address issues that are related to democracy, and if successful, can create conditions that support and encourage democratic systems."
Clearly not a very ambitious statement. It also leaves out essential parts of what democracy is about. Let's listen to what White House spokesperson Hammer had to say after the recent Rwandan election rigging:
"Democracy is about more than holding elections," Hammer added. "A democracy reflects the will of the people, where minority voices are heard and respected, where opposition candidates run on the issues without threat or intimidation, where freedom of expression and freedom of the press are protected."
Wouldn't it be great if we could point to a succesfull modern day example of democratic development too?

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.

    The Web levels the media playing field

    Where but the Web would the San Francisco Bay View, National Black Newspaper, get to compete for attention with the Wall Street Journal?    



    News for Rwanda to keep UN contingent

    San Francisco Bay View
  • Rwanda to Keep UN Contingent‎ - 8 hours ago
    "The secretary-general would strongly hope that Rwanda would keep up the excellent work that it has done up to now in peacekeeping operations," UNspokesman ...
    Wall Street Journal - 9 related articles











  • Thursday, September 23, 2010

    Victoire Ingabire on the UN Report on Congo Genocide






    Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza spoke to Womens International News Gathering Service about "the Pucinella secret that so many knew but pretended not to know" in July 2010, a month before the UN confirmed it.
    by Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza


    Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza was widely considered the leading opposition candidate in this year’s presidential election, likely to win had the election been fair, but instead of being free to run, she was jailed briefly and is still not permitted to leave Kigali.
    The U.N. report on human rights abuse, including genocide, in the Democratic Republic of Congo has been explosive in the international community, but it simply confirms what has long been a “Pucinella” secret that many knew but pretended not to know. So many atrocities were committed, some during broad daylight, in both Rwanda and Congo, during this time that they could not be concealed forever.
    What happened in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the subject of the report by the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR), was just a continuation of a pattern of atrocities that Kagame’s Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) committed after seizing power in Rwanda, encouraged by the silence and complacency of the international community.
    Read more at San Francisco Bay View, National Black Newspaper, http://sfbayview.com/2010/on-the-u-n-report-on-congo-genocide/.

    Why We Need Paul Kagame

    Recently, while I was sitting outside at a good restaurant in South-Limburg, it occurred to me how much Paul Kagame has meant to this blog, and probably to great lakes blogging in general, throughout these last couple of years.

    The spring 2006 immigrant rights demonstrations and the important role latino radio stations had played in mobilising people for the protests opened my eyes to the importance of media in politics. That's why throughout 2007 I hosted a radioshow for and by immigrants in Leeuwarden. At the time this blog didn't have a prayer.

    Cem Basman, a German blogger and entrepreneur,  made me aware of  new opportunities of new media for migrants in politics, I tested it out, as American living in Europe, with my "Dutch4huckabee" blog during the primaries. Blogging a political campaign gives you a deeper insight into how primaries work and their enormous impact on the outcome of the election. It also made me aware of the enormous power bloggers have in the political process today. The approaching elections in the great lakes region, Congo, Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda, increased my interest in great lakes blogging.

    Consciously optimizing my posts for search could and should be improved. However I am convinced one of the main ingredients for the success of this blog has been Paul Kagame. He motivated me over the years to write consistently on an off-beat unique topic which seemed to interest near to nobody (Which is expected, politics does not generate a lot of buzz). But the subject had a strong connection to my main interest: exploring the impact of migrants on democratic development both at home and abroad.

    Consistently going against the tidal wave of propaganda concerning the current Rwandan regime and it's president guaranteed irritated comments, new connections, heated debate and most importantly, it motivated to blog (which is off course essential to blogging).

    Can you imagine it has only been little more then a year ago that Rick Warren wrote:

        "Rwanda's President, Paul Kagame, is the face of emerging African leadership"

    Can you imagine it's only a year ago that  Bill Clinton  presented Rwandan President Paul Kagame with the Clinton Foundation’s Global Citizens Award ?



    How will "Kagame PR meltdown" affect the credibility of Kagame's closest friends, Tony Blair and Rick Warren. How will it affect the grassroot support among both democrat and republican bloggers for their recently launched "faith offensive" in the US?



    Great lakes bloggers such as Ann Garrison at sfbayview,  Rwandankunda (people still guessing who he or she is) at RwandaNkunda , Claire Umurungi of the new proxylake blog, Laura Seay at texasinafrica , Jean-Christophe Nizeyimana of Survivorsnetwork, Jason Stearns at Congosiasa  and many many more should never forget how Kagame helped us throughout the days without inspiration to continue blogging. Thanks to Kagame we now got this whole new blogging genre. Hope it won't degenerate into a b-quality "World Ward 2 genre".

    The theory is that diaspora bloggers who are actively engaged and interested in the politics of their countries of origin, will eventually also impact the politics of the country where they currently reside. Which brings me to the goal of this blog. Allthough Bill Clinton, Tony Blair and Rick Warren might still laugh at the thought of great lakes diaspora bloggers impacting the outcome of political campaigns in the US and the UK, I am convinced their public relations "titanic" has  hit an iceberg.

    Wednesday, September 22, 2010

    Kagame's Illegal Agression Against Rwanda In 1990

    Yesterday Sunny Ntayombya wrote in The New Times  (RPF Supporting Daily) the following about an article by Christian Davenport:
    "To quote the professor, he says that "It is a largely overlooked fact that the then-rebel Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), which essentially became the current government, illegally invaded a sovereign nation. At that time, there was no genocide in Rwanda, only ethnic discrimination with a low level of violence".
    Now I might not be an expert at international law, but to say that refugees 'illegally' invaded their own homeland is rather silly. I guess Mr. Davenport is of the school that believes that the RPF/A was just a splinter group of the Ugandan NRM/A. I can't really reason with him if he believes that truly. However, if he knows better (and I believe he does) then he's simply foolish.
    The RPF/A was composed of Rwandans who'd been forced to leave their home because of the political travails the country went through. They never renounced their citizenship and therefore had every right to reclaim their rights through any means they could."
    The fact that Rwandan refugees in Uganda and elsewhere never gave up their Rwandan citizenship is certainly not sufficient basis to legitimize the violent struggle by the RPF in 1990.  Even today no rebel movement, not the FDLR, not the CNDP, not even the Palestinian PLO or Hamas  have the right to "reclame their rights through any means they can".

    Monday, September 20, 2010

    Raad van State belemmert recht Nederlandse EU onderdanen

    H.G. Lubberdink,  T.M.A. Claessens, H.G. Sevenster hebben op 7 september gesteld dat:
    "Aangezien de vreemdeling geen relatie met de referente had tijdens haar verblijf in Spanje, hij daar niet bij haar heeft verbleven en haar niet heeft begeleid bij haar terugkeer naar Nederland, doet een belemmering voor de referente om van haar recht op vrij verkeer gebruik te maken zich niet voor.  " 
     " uit voormelde arresten Singh en Eind is de ratio van toepassing van de Richtlijn naar analogie erin gelegen dat een gemeenschapsonderdaan niet mag worden belemmerd in het uitoefenen van zijn recht op vrij verkeer door de omstandigheid dat hij bij terugkeer naar zijn land van herkomst gescheiden zou kunnen geraken van een familielid met de nationaliteit van een derde land doordat deze in het land van herkomst niet bij hem kan verblijven. Naar haar aard doet een dergelijke belemmering zich niet voor indien een gemeenschapsonderdaan, na een verblijf in een gastland zonder familielid, alleen terugkeert naar zijn land van herkomst. Wanneer die gemeenschapsonderdaan vervolgens een relatie begint met een persoon met de nationaliteit van een derde land, is van een belemmering van zijn recht op vrij verkeer geen sprake. "
    Als deze rechters de moeite hadden genomen om de Surinder Singh zaak er even bij te pakken, dan hadden ze het volgende kunnen lezen:
    "19 Het zou een onderdaan van een Lid-Staat ervan kunnen weerhouden om zijn land van herkomst te verlaten om op het grondgebied van een andere Lid-Staat in loondienst of als zelfstandige arbeid te gaan verrichten in de zin van het EEG-Verdrag, indien bij zijn terugkeer naar de Lid-Staat waarvan hij de nationaliteit bezit, om aldaar in loondienst of als zelfstandige te gaan werken, de voorwaarden voor zijn toegang en verblijf niet ten minste gelijkwaardig zouden zijn aan die welke hij op grond van het EEG-Verdrag of het afgeleide gemeenschapsrecht op het grondgebied van een andere Lid-Staat kan genieten.
    20 Hij zou in het bijzonder worden weerhouden om zulks te doen, indien niet ook zijn echtgenoot en kinderen gerechtigd zouden zijn om die staat binnen te komen en daar te verblijven onder voorwaarden die ten minste gelijkwaardig zijn aan die welke zij krachtens het gemeenschapsrecht op het grondgebied van een andere Lid-Staat hebben."
    De reden dat Surinder Singh in Engeland een verblijfsvergunning kreeg is gebaseerd op de bovenstaande passage. De door mij vetgemaakte passage wordt bewust door H.G. Lubberdink,  T.M.A. Claessens, H.G. Sevenster over het hoofd gezien. De Surinder Singh uitspraak gaat uit van de situatie van de Nederlander die nog nooit in een andere lidstaat geweest is en stelt dat deze EU-burger zou kunnen besluiten niet naar een andere lidstaat te gaan vanwege het feit dat hij bij terugkomst in zijn eigen lidstaat niet tenminste evenveel rechten zou hebben als elders in de EU. H.G. Lubberdink,  T.M.A. Claessens, H.G. Sevenster maken op oneigenlijke wijze gretig gebruik van het feit dat de Surinder Singh zaak een specifiek geval is. Als deze rechters eerlijk en zakelijk naar de jurisprudentie van het Hof hadden gekeken dan hadden ze geest en letter van deze uitspraak gerespecteerd.


    De zaak Eind gaat ook al niet in op de vermeende relatie tussen verblijf met partner in een andere lidstaat en de vraag of een terugkerend EU-burger rechten kan ontlenen aan het verdrag. Ik snap dan ook niet dat Lubberdink c.s. deze zaak er bij sleept. Lubberdink,  T.M.A. Claessens, H.G. Sevenster  zullen hierbij gedacht hebben: hoe meer verwijzingen , hoe indrukwekkender. Met andere woorden "veel geschreeuw, weinig wol". Het populisme moet kennelijk ook doorklinken in rechterlijke uitspraken.

    Pacifica Radio WBAI-NYC, 99.5FM, Afro Beat: Stop Impunity in Rwanda

    Rwanda Genocide survivor Claude Gatebuka and Spanish "End Impunity in Rwanda" activist Susana Sanz Guardo on WBAI, Sept. 18, 2010:

    Sunday, September 19, 2010

    Protest Kagame at the UN, 09.20.2010, NYC



    UN Secretary General Ban-Ki-Moon appointed President/General Paul Kagame  Co-Chair of the Millenium Development Goals Advocacy Group. 

    Protest tomorrow in front of the United Nations. "Rally/Demonstration. Where: Ralph Bunch Park, 1 Ave., E. 42 St. To E. 43 St. Manhattan. When: Monday, September 20th, 10:30 – 2:30 pm What: Activists demand the unedited release of the leaked UN report and the immediate removal of Rwandan President Paul Kagame as the co-chair of the Millennium Development Goals at the UN General Assembly.

    "End impunity in Rwanda," NYC, Monday, 09.20.2010

    An elderly Rwandan woman in a refugee camp in Congo in 1997 was one of countless victims of Rwandan forces making repeated forays into United Nations-administered camps that, according to the New York Times, housed roughly a million Hutu who had fled the genocide in Rwanda. – Photo: Roger Lemoyne via Getty Images


    "End impunity in Rwanda," a discussion with distinguished human rights champions Peter Erlinder, Juan Carrero Sarlegui and Spanish Senator Pere Sampol, will be held Monday, Sept. 20, 6:30-9 p.m., at Global Information Network, 146 W. 29th St., Suite 7E, New York City – join them!


    Read more at San Francisco Bay View, National Black Newspaper, http://sfbayview.com/2010/u-s-u-n-cover-up-of-kagames-genocide-in-rwanda-and-congo/.

    Saturday, September 18, 2010

    Oorlog Belangrijker Dan Vrijmaking

    Een onderzoek onder gereformeerden gebaseerd op een tiental interviews stelt:

    "Uit de interviews blijkt ook dat vrijwel niemand van de geïnterviewden een relatie zag tussen de oorlog en de kerkscheuring. In 1994 poneerde dominee Jan Ridderbos in zijn proefschrift 'Strijd op twee fronten' nog de stelling dat de scheuring veroorzaakt werd door de oorlogsmentaliteit die leefde onder gereformeerden. Die waren namelijk zeer actief in het verzet, wisten dus hoe het was om ergens voor te strijden en dat zou invloed hebben gehad op de kerk. Maar de interviews onderbouwen deze stelling niet."
    De stelling van Jan Ridderbos lijkt me vrij oninteressant. De scheuring werd veroorzaakt door een ideeënstrijd in de gereformeerde zuil. De gereformeerde zuil had ook in de jaren dertig te maken met meerdere richtingen. Klaas Schilder heeft in de jaren tot aan het uitbreken van de tweede wereld oorlog niet alleen maar vrienden gemaakt. Er waren zeker mensen niet blij met de manier waarop hij het werk van Abraham Kuyper interpreteerde. Tegelijkertijd  werd zijn ideologische invloed steeds groter. Denk bijvoorbeeld aan zijn rol bij de besluiten van de synode voor de oorlog over NSB en CDU lidmaatschap binnen de gereformeerde kerken. Als je Schilder's boeken "De openbaring van Johannes en het sociale leven"  en zijn proefschrift  "Das Begriffsgeschichte des Paradoxons" leest, begrijp je direkt dat het hier gaat om de verdediging van de kern van de antirevolutionaire politiek. Wie dat niet doorheeft kent het ABC van gereformeerde politiek nog niet.

    De kern van de antirevolutionaire politiek wordt verwoord door Abraham Kuyper in zijn rede "Maranatha": de Here komt. De positie die Abraham Kuyper in die rede inneemt is origineel en gedurfd. De "herenmuiterij" in de AR aan het einde van de 19de eeuw bewijst dat Kuyper's positie enorme spanningen oproept in de gereformeerde zuil.

    Die spanningen zijn onder de oppervlakte nadien natuurlijk niet verdwenen. Als Klaas Schilder vervolgens op uiterst consequente wijze Abraham Kuyper's politieke visie verduidelijkt in de context van het sterk opkomende communisme en nationaal socialisme, legt dat in mijn optiek opnieuw deze open zenuw bloot.

    De context van opkomend nationalisme en communisme hebben ontegenzeggelijk spanningen in de Nederlandse samenleving veroorzaakt. Dat gold natuurlijk ook voor de gereformeerde zuil.


    Vervolgens was er naast deze spanning in de samenleving ook nog de bijzondere situatie van de Duitse bezetting.



    De meest interessante vraag lijkt mij dan ook of de synode Klaas Schilder had kunnen afzetten als er niet sprake van bezetting was geweest.

    De meest oninteressante vraag lijkt mij dan ook of Klaas Schilder een verzetsheld was of juist niet. De inhoud van de artikelen die hij aan het begin van de Tweede Wereld oorlog schreef zijn in lijn met zijn eerdere politieke positiebepalingen ten opzichte van het nationaal socialisme, Barth en het communisme.

    Sunday, September 12, 2010

    The Rwandan Patriotic Army's advance on Kigal and Zaire (Congo), 1990-


    On 09.12.2010, Monthly Review Zine published an essay by ICTR lawyer Christopher Black, containing the following important paragraph:

    ‎"It, [a letter from Kagame, offered in evidence at the ICTR], means the attack on Rwanda from 1990 was not the prime objective of Kagame and his collaborators. Zaire [Congo] was always the prime objective."

    The letter reads:

    'Dear Brother Jean Baptiste Bagaza, 


    We have the greatest honour to extend our sincere gratitude to you both for your financial and technical support in our struggle that has just ended with the taking of Kigali.


    'Rest assured that our plan to continue shall be pursued as we agreed at our last meeting in Kampala.  Last week I communicated with our big brother Yoweri Museveni and decided to make some modifications to the plan.  Indeed, as you have noted, the taking of Kigali quickly provoked a panic among the Hutus who fled to Goma and Bukavu.  We have found that the presence of a large number of Rwandan refugees at Goma and the international community can cause our plan for Zaire to fail.  We cannot occupy ourselves with Zaire until after the return of these Hutus.  All means are being used for their return as rapidly as possible.  In any case, our external intelligence services continue to crisscross the east of Zaire and our Belgian, British and American collaborators, the rest of Zaire.  The action reports are expected in the next few days.


    'Concerning the Burundi plan, we are very content with your work to ensure the failure of the policies of FRODEBU.  It is necessary to paralyze the power of FRODEBU until the total ruin of the situation in order to justify your action that must not miss its target.  Our soldiers will be deployed, this time, not only in Bujumbura, but in the places you judge strategic.  Our elements stationed at Bugesera are ready to intervene at any moment.  The plan for Burundi must be executed as soon as possible before the Hutus of Rwanda can organize themselves.


    'In the hope of seeing you next time at Kigali, we ask you to accept, dear brother, our most respectful greetings'.


    General Paul Kagame
    Minister of Defence (signed by his assistant Mr. Rwego
    8)

    See:

    The Rwandan Patriotic Front's Bloody Record and the History of UN Cover-Ups
    by Christopher Black

    http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/2010/black120910.html

    Thursday, September 9, 2010

    Search Driven Business Management

    50 Ways to Make Google love your Website says:
    "The time is right to promote the experienced and expensive search specialists into leading roles within organisations."
    Sounds similar to what Brian Solis said at the World Public Relations Forum (june 14/15 see video below):
    "The dreamclient would be that there just is this general sentiment that they are ready for change and just need the information and intelligence to do so "
    Businesses could off course focus on the search for these "digital Five Tool Player". But I believe Brian Solis sumarized very well the way forward in new media:

    "I believe that we collectively are going to be for ever students of new media"
    Howard Kurtz at the Washington Post illustrates this very well, while even he is struggling "to appease the Google Gods". Brian Clegg's review  of  "50 Ways to Make Google love your Website" illustred that many online marketing books and articles reinforce the misconception that it is very hard for (small) businesses to use new media succesfully to reach their clients:
    "the recommendations are so hard! Unless your website is your life, or the lifeblood of your business, no one sane could be bothered to do everything suggested "
    But if you consider the enormous impact of google search on businesses small and large this sounds a lot like someone ignoring a Tsunami warning. Let's keep it simple. 50 Ways to Make Google love your Website uses the The tripod of google love "visibility, relevance and reputation" to explain what steps a business should take in order to effectively use new media for business.Brian Solis uses the simmilar "relevance resonance and significance" tripod. To summarize the book I would use the word relevance and it's definition on page 47:

     "Match what you offer to the way people ask Google for it."
     In fact, after reading the book, I am convinced that relevance is the fundamental aspect of search driven online marketing. Lee Odden of Online Marketing Blog further explains how relevance can be achieved in his article " 3 ways to make your online marketing more targeted":   
    "In the search engine marketing game, relevance is essential for improving marketing effectiveness.  Better understanding your customers, the keyword searches they use and the offers they're most likely to respond to are the key to making your online marketing more targeted and successful."
     and:

        "Three key questions small business marketers should answer as they develop their online marketing strategy.

        1. What are your searcher personas?
        2. What is the ideal keyword mix?
        3. Is your content optimized for specifics? "

      Brian Solis
    "your business dynamics, your community are different then customers at starbucks"

    Once you have figured out relevance, you can start worrying about linkbuilding

    Reputation depends on how many (important) websites link to your website: "Resonance". A very worthwhile blog  Wiep by Wiep Knol is a good source for information on this intriguing topic. And considering the number of links to my blog Colored Opinions, I still find comfort in reading "The loneliness of the long-tail blogger" 

    Every business has it's "authenticity"  and personality which are off course important, but to me relevance is the essence of search driven business management.

    Tuesday, September 7, 2010

    UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon arrived in Rwanda

    Interesting to read all the publicity, like today, surrounding the mapping report recently:
    "New York - UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon arrived in the Rwandan capital of Kigali on Tuesday with the intention of discussing with the government the controversial report on alleged human rights violations involving Rwanda in the Democratic Republic of Congo."
    Good initiative by Ban. The more people read about it, the better.

    Texasinafrica claims again that:
    "organizing and holding elections, and certifying the country as democratic - despite the fact that violence continued in the east - was incredibly harmful for the people of the DRC in many ways"
    A view that she shares with Séverine Autesserre who said in january 2009:
    "Why have international actors failed to achieve a solution to the crisis in the Eastern Congo? Why have their efforts been focused almost exclusively on the national and international level, rather than looking to the local antagonisms at the root of the conflict? These were the core questions posed by Séverine Autesserre as she presented her research on how local agendas have contributed to the current conflict in the Eastern Congo. Her research demonstrates several ways that seemingly small-scale regional grievances can fester into larger crises with national and regional implications. These local antagonisms include those arising from tensions between traditional and legal systems of land ownership. Autesserre recommended that the UN and other donors devote more resources to various land reform programs including the training of officials in land legislation and sending them to rural areas to help resolve these local conflicts. She also suggested expanding funding for inter-community reconciliation initiatives such as health centers, schools, and workshops which propose and establish mechanisms to deal with war crimes."
    Let's see what bloggers from Congo have to say on this topic. 

    Kagame sworn in after UN report of guilt in Congo genocide


    Rwandan President Paul Kagame was sworn in to serve another seven-year term on September 6, 2010, eleven days after the explosive August 26th leak of a UN report documenting genocide committed by his army in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
    The official publication of the report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR), leaked to Le Monde on August 26th, has been postponed until October 1st, 2010, to give those countries accused, most notably Rwanda and Uganda, time to prepare responses. Its UNHCHR investigators mapped and collected evidence of "the most serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law committed within the territory of the Democratic Republic of Congo between March 1993 and June 2003," including massacres of Rwandan Hutu refugees and Congolese Hutus, hunted down from Congo's far eastern to
    far western borders, in what some call "the Congo Genocide."



    Monday, September 6, 2010

    KPFA News on the UNHCHR report on Congo Genocide, 09.06.2010




    KPFA Radio News on the leaked UNHCHR report documenting the RPA's massacres of Hutu people in Congo, and Kagame's threat to withdraw Rwandan "peacekeepers" from Darfur and Haiti if it's included in the official, 10.01 version:

    Read more at San Francisco Bay View, National Black Newspaper, http://goo.gl/bKR9.


    Rwandan "peacekeepers" prepare to board a U.S. Air Force C-130 Hercules aircraft in Sudan after a stop in Abeche, Chad, on Oct. 4, 2005. The peacekeepers are departing the region and returning to Rwanda after a six-month deployment supporting the African Union Mission. DoD photo by Master Sgt. David D. Underwood, Jr., U.S. Air Force.  

    Saturday, September 4, 2010

    The world turned its back on Rwanda, in 1994?


    General Paul Kagame on his sat phone, 
    during the RPF invasion of Rwanda from 
    Uganda, circa 1993-1994.

    Paul Kagame has been blackmailing the Western world for "turning its back on Rwanda" in 1994 ever since, but this May 1994 Reuters news clip reports that Kagame actually threatened to fire on UN peacekeepers as though they were enemy combatants, if they tried to stand between his invading Rwandan Patriotic Army  and Rwanda's Forces Armées du Rwanda (Rwandan Armed Forces):

    RWANDA: RWANDA's REBEL ARMY WARNS THE UNITED NATIONS IT WILL TREAT THE ORGANIZATION AS THE ENEMY IF THEY ATTEMPT TO COME BETWEEN THEM AND GOVERNMENT TROOPS. 


    Story

    Rebel forces in Rwanda warned peacekeeping officials on Friday (May 20) they would treat United Nations (U.N.) forces as the enemy if the organization attempted to come between them and government troops.

    Rebel Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) Deputy Vice Chairman Denis Polisi warned if there was any interference by the U.N. they "would be engaged".

    Senior U.N. officials are heading for Kigali to try to persuade warring parties to cooperate with peacekeeping forces.

    The U.N. Assistance Mission in Rwanda is currently made up of 470 troops, shortly to be bolstered by the 2,500 additional troops ordered by the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday.

    Meanwhile the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Medicins Sans Frontiers (MSF) are operating feeding centres and medical clinics in the North Rwandan town of Mulundi.

    In Tanzania many refugees caught up and wounded in the violence in Rwanda have found safety in the Benaco camp, but some continue to die from their previously inflicted wounds.

    Those who die are buried just a few metres (yards) from the camp perimeter in shallow graves.


    Rwanda's Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo, however, quoted in the Financial Times's 09.05.2010 report, "UN faces dilemma in report on Congo killings," now says that, "It is patently absurd for the UN, which deliberately turned its back on the Rwandan people during the 1994 genocide, to accuse the army that stopped the genocide of committing atrocities in the Democratic Republic of Congo."  

    Since Mushikiwabo seems to argue that the UN turned its back on Rwanda by not intervening in 1994, are we to conclude that the UN turned its back by not stopping her President, then General, Paul Kagame, when he threatened to fire on its peacekeepers if they did intervene?   

    Are we to conclude that the UN then turned its back on D.R. Congo? 

    The official version of the United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights report mapping human rights abuses, 1993-2003, including documentation of the Rwandan Patriotic Army's genocidal massacres of Hutu refugees and Congolese Hutus, is due for release on October 1st, 2010, after being leaked to Le Monde on August 26th, and reported all over the world.    

    Thursday, September 2, 2010

    FDLR Returnees Vanished Or Killed By Rwanda's RPF?

    Illinois Senator Richard Durbin stated in february in a visit to Goma on the FDLR:
    "Opportunity should be given to people who were not involved in horrific crimes to go back to Rwanda. There are some who have already been back to Rwanda. They live quite well, because they were not involved in horrific crimes,"
    Yesterday Alex Engwete wrote about the fact that recently 26 FDLR returnees have vanished:
    "I'm not going to beat about the bush like the recent UN Mapping Project. We are witnessing here a case of the broad daylight "disappearance" by the Rwandan government of 26 Hutu returnees. A case of incremental massacres the Rwandan army is known to have repeatedly perpetrated. It's through these incremental massacres that the Rwandan army "genocided" the Hutus in the Congo... And, mark my words!,  if this lie uttered by Jean Sayinzoga is swallowed by the international opinion, then other future "escapes" by Hutu returnees would necessarily ensue..."
    It does not sound like a very succesfull reintegration project. Apparently  there is a lot of confusion in Kigali and Kinshasa as to who the real FDLR are.

    The state department  was quick (august 25) to blame the FDLR  for the recent rapes in Walikale, Congo DRC:
    "The United States is deeply concerned by reports of the mass rape of women and children in the Democratic Republic of the Congo by the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR)"
    Jason Stearns gave his version, a more detailed and more nuanced account of who-did-what-to-whom at Walikale. Today rebels kidnapped two pilots in Walikale. The FDLR spokesperson in Paris on the other hand has strongly dismissed involvement in the rapes:
    "The FDLR are "in no way involved in these odious actions and takes umbrage at the baseless accusations launched against them by the secretary general of the United Nations,"

    President Paul Kagame said on august 7 that he is "at a loss" to understand how some leaders of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) are still at large in the West. I am still intrigued by the timing of that statement. Was he aware of the rapes  in Congo before they were reported?

    Also noteworthy is the use by the Rwandan RPF regime of the rapes in Walikale in a cynical propaganda effort to limit the damage of the mapping report on Congo.

    Increasingly, Rwandans and (hopefully also more Congolese living) in the diaspora are active bloggers. Commenting, twittering and especially blogging to get their side of the story out. Off course we are not all journalists like Eleneus Akanga, but still.

    August 11 I had a brief exchange with someone living in the US who wrote this illustrative tweet:
    shoshido:  @coloredopinions "Thanks for the links. My view: Congo is full of Hutu genocidaires who need to be killed. RPF is killing them. That is all."

    Even today journalists and some experts are still claiming the high ground against Rwandese and Congolese who dare to question the "Gourevitch" , the  "Kinzer" or "Odom" narrative concerning Rwanda's invasion of Congo. Selfreflection is rare, even after the damning report came out.The UN mapping report is certainly not the first serious investigation  which alleges crimes committed by RPF troops against unarmed hutu refugees. The Spanish and French cases against the RPF should have been sufficient to start a process of selfreflection, caution or backtracking long ago.  I am amazed how US and UK journalists and experts have ignored these cases for years. As if Spain and France are "Banana republics".  These journalists and experts who have controlled public opinion for a long time are coresponsable for a climat in which ordinary twitterers like "@shoshido" can write these abhorrently ignorant statements.

    The current regime in Kigali (and maybe also Kinshasa) has an interest in keeping the status quo concerning the FDLR in eastern Congo, and exagerating it's actual threat. Who would they blame for their own mistakes if there eternal scapegoat had disappeared? Why haven't we heard anything from Hillary Clinton concerning these disappeared ex-combatants?

    It's friday, so here are some original Great Lakes twitterers  to follow:


    @ellyakanga
    @nkundarwanda
    @@Charlie_Blink
    @Ambrosenz  
    @victoireumuhoza
    @anneketanneke
    @debelzie
    @luc_germain   
    @IndiJG 

    Rwanda threatens to pull out troops


    Rwandan President Paul Kagame has threatened to withdraw his "peacekeepers from Darfur and Haiti if the official version of the United Nations High Commission on Human Rights report on human rights abuse in D.R. Congo between 1993 and 2003 includes the section pointing to crimes that could be called "genocide" against Rwandan Hutu refugees in Congo and against Congolese Hutus, by the largely Tutsi Rwandan Patriotic Army of 1997.