Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Charlatans Eating Of A Rotten Corps: Linda Melvern And Stephen Kinzer

Linda Melvern at a meeting about Genocide Denial and Reconciliation in Rwanda (organized by Rwandan ambassador Kimonyo?) makes three claims that are distortions of the ongoing debate on the Rwandan genocide:

  • First, she claims that the downing of Rwandan President Habyarimana's plane with unboard also Burundian President Cyprien Ntaryamira is the foundation stone for the defense at the ICTR.
  • Then she claims that at the ICTR defense lawyers say that: "the victims brough the genocide upon themselves".
Let's for a second assume that Peter Erlinder's piece: "No Conspiracy, No Genocide Planning.... No Genocide?" can be considered representing the central argument of the defense Lawyers at the ICTR:

"The Court specifically found that the actions of Rwandan military leaders, both before and after the April 6, 1994, assassination of former-Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarima ('sic'--he was the seated head of state at the time of his murder--nb), were consistent with war-time conditions and the massive chaos brought about by the four-year war of invasion from Uganda by Gen. Paul Kagame's RPF army, which seized power in July 1994."

I challenge Linda Melvern to find a quote by Peter Erlinder or some other defense lawyer at the ICTR that claims that the victims of the Rwandan genocide brought it upon themselves.

Those who defend the RPF in the west have with great zeal tried to create the false impression that the RPF rushed in to halt the genocide in 1994. Leaving out the essential context or trying to twist it in favor of current Rwandan president Paul Kagame, as Stephen Kinzer does here:
Stephen Kinzer wrote at the end of march:

"The insurgency in Rwanda was an effort by members of an exiled communal group, the Tutsi, to make an “armed return’’ to a country from which the Hutu majority had expelled it. Unlike the ragtag bands of Libyans the West amorphously describes as “rebels,’’ the Tutsi army was one of the most disciplined insurgent forces ever seen in Africa. It had a clear leadership, headed by the visionary Paul Kagame, who today is president of Rwanda.

Kagame was a well-known figure who was in constant contact with United Nations officers and foreign leaders. Many came to admire him, and few feared what might happen in Rwanda if he took power. In Libya, it is impossible to predict what kind of a regime, if any, might emerge to replace the current tyranny. The possibility that Libya will become another Somalia, fragmented among its 140 tribes and a base for crime and terror, is vividly real.

It's interesting how Stephen Kinzer claims that Kagame was a well-known figure in the west during the 90-94 war that led to the genocide in Rwanda. Can anyone point to an article that supports this view?

The distortions and misrepresentation of the basics will inevitably lead to a "demasque". People like Linda Melvern and Stephen Kinzer will be unmasked for what they really are: charlatans eating of a rotting corps: the rwandan genocide.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...