Monday, June 20, 2011

John McCain Sells Rwanda Genocide Narrative As Republican: Sigh

The genocide narrative that is at the heart of Obama's foreign policy apparently is also Republican according to Senator John McCain:
"If we had not intervened, Gaddafi was at the gates of Benghazi. He said he was going to go house to house to kill everybody. That's a city of 700,000 people. What would be saying now if we had allowed for that to happen?

"That's not the Republican party of the 20th century and now the 21st century,"

Doug Bandow explains the distortions and hypocrisies here and here.

Obama's ninety days on the US Libya military involvement ended yesterday and according to many President Barack Obama is now in violation of the law that has governed U.S. military deployments for the past 38 years. Presidential candidate Ron Paul sums up the history of the conflict and marks this sad day here.

During the 2008 Presidential campaign I allready got the strong feeling that the Rwandan genocide was central to John Mccain's understanding of US foreign policy when his wife took several important Republicans and Democrats on a trip to Rwanda with the onecampaign, see the video below. John McCain confirmed my feelings at the Saddleback forum with Rick Warren. I should also mention the endorsement of John Mccain by Paul Kagame who even sent a delegation to the Republican convention in Minneapolis.

Rick Warren's invocation prayer at the inauguration of President Barack Obama symbolized this bipartisan US foreign policy consensus. This symbolism was later exploited by Paul Kagame, who invited Rick Warren to his own swearing-in.

Jonathan Allen @ politico dissects for us the actual debate on US War in Libya:
"Ultimately, there are two issues at play: The first is whether the U.S. should be involved in Libya, and the second is whether the president needs congressional approval to continue American operations in that theater. After three months of debate on Libya, they have become intertwined in some minds."
There you have the social object around which Republican primary voters are coalescing both off- and online. John Mccain is standing by while seeing these two hurricanes sipping together and sweeping the American political landscape.

In march:
"Haley Barbour, a pillar of the Republican establishment of some considerable girth and weight, is not only asking "What are we doing in Libya?" but is also questioning our ten-year Afghan crusade, and wondering aloud why we can’t cut our bloated military budget"
Or as Jim Demint, Senator from South Carolina said at the Republican Leadership Conference last week about Ron Paul:
"I used to think you were crazy Ron, but I'm starting to think I'm a little crazy myself."
So yes, John Mccain is right, the comments by Governor Haley Barbour from Mississippi, Senator Jim Demint from South Carolina, Senator Bob Corker from Tennessee and Rep. Mike Turner from Ohio are obivous signs the core Republican base is moving rapidly in the direction of Ron Paul's position on foreign policy.

However, it seems Senator John McCain might be looking for a job as talkshow host at Radio Milles Collines Arizona:
"illegal immigrants caused Arizona Wildfires"
An irresponsable comment in Arizona's political context wich has recently been marked by killings of immigrants and the shooting of an outspoken critic of a tough immigration law, Representative Gabrielle Giffords (D).

John McCain just got rid of the last ounce of credibility he had with the Republican base. The Republican foreign policy debate will go on, with or without John McCain.


Ann Garrison said...

Good eye, Vincent. I Just posted to Victoire for President on Facebook.

It was clear this story would hold, back in 2008, during the Obama/McCain debates:

This version of the Rwanda Genocide story is also written into the Harvard/Pentagon Mass Atrocities Response Operations Military Planning Handbook, downloadable here:

Vincent Harris said...

that last link is not complete I think.

Andrew E. Mathis said...

@Ann, it's become the "version" in the Handbook because it's the TRUTH.

Jeez, Ann, you just drank the Kool Aid without a blink, didn't you?

Vincent Harris said...

You two should be able to get to some consensus. I have scrolled through the MARO, didn't see much detail on the Rwandan genocide in it.

Andrew E. Mathis made a claim in a post:

"The question is whether Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza is someone who should win the support of progressives. The answer to that question is no. Here's why: She is part of a movement designed to deny that genocide took place in Rwanda in 1994."

1)There is no such movement. And 2) Victoire Ingabire does not deny the genocide.

Ann Garrison's articles and views are hers, I have mine. I don't agree with everything she writes and vice versa.

Andrew E. Mathis said...

Vincent, it's clear that what Ms. Unuhoza is trying to do is claim a "double genocide" in Rwanda in '94, based on trying to "contextualize" the genocide within the civil war and using the shaky "statistical work" that's out there on the topic. I'm at working on a long analysis of this stuff; I'd be happy to show you where I'm going with it so far (my e-mail address is pretty widely available).

Re: Ruzibiza: The testimony is suspect for several reasons, many of which I'm sure you're aware. That doesn't mean it isn't true — e.g., the RPF may very well have killed Habyarimana, and certainly they committed countless war crimes over the last twenty years — but it does mean it must be taken with several grains of salt.

I take issue, instead, with the notion that, if the RPF killed Habyarimana, then they're responsible for the genocide that followed. I don't buy that one bit, and I find it a dangerous line of argument. The assassination and the genocide were distinct events, even if there was a proximate effect that the assassinated "sparked" the genocide. Clearly, the genocide had been planned.

Understand that I agree Ms. Umuhoza shouldn't be in jail, and she may well be a very good person who has been caught up in the rhetoric surrounding the events of the spring of '94. I believe many people involved in "soft denial" of the genocide fall into this camp, Ms. Garrison included.

I wish Ms. Garrison would take the time to read carefully the materials that are out there on the genocide. It's quite clear, when you ask her specific questions, that she hasn't, and that's troubling. Nevertheless, it's clear to me that if she knew where her current line of argumentation would lead, she wouldn't be offering it quite so readily. Thus, my contentious tone w/her.


Andrew E. Mathis said...

Posting this to provide an update to myself.

Vincent Harris said...

I would think putting the genocide in it's proper context is the duty of every serious scolar on the genocide. The fact that Kagame shot down Habyarimana's plan does not make him directly responsable for the genocide, but doesn't make him look good either.

Just as the fact that the US trained RPF soldiers through their IMET program while Kagame ordered the killings of hundreds of thousands of unarmed women children and elderly in refugee camps across the border in the DRC (while Susan Rice said we just had to "look the other way"), does not make the US responsable for those crimes. But it sure doesn't make US look very sexy either.

Andrew E. Mathis said...

I'd be curious to know the "context" of 800,000 people being murdered in a hundred days would be.

Vincent Harris said...

You don't seem very curious to me.

Andrew E. Mathis said...

Please. I'm all ears.

Vincent Harris said...

The family of the victims and the accused (individuals, church and states) might probably be the most interested. Context is important to the RPF (do I have to provide links?), to France (do I have eto provide links?) and all other parties that are potentially involved in this. Your own comment in which you try to discredit the Bruguiere report demonstrates that even you attach value to the context.

Andrew E. Mathis said...

Actually, my feelings about the Bruguière report indicate that I find the idea of context not compelling at all.

Hutu extremists killed over half a million people, predominantly Tutsi, over three months. This took place during a four-year civil war, but it would be wrong to call the genocide a part of the civil war or the civil war part of the genocide. There is an important moral distinction that must be made.

The Hutu génocidaires want to contextualize the genocide because it then makes them seem justified for what they did, and the RPF wants to contextualize it because then it justifies their own war crimes, crimes against humanity, and totalitarianism once in power.

Unless and until both Kagame et al. and the génocidaires are able to deal with those hundred days without all that "context," Rwanda will remain doomed.