Saturday, October 29, 2011

Mitt Romney Appoints Controversial Foreign Policy Advisor Pierre Prosper

Mitt Romney's advisor on human rights, Pierre Prosper commented yesterday on the outcome of the Oklahoma lawsuite against his client Rwandan President Paul Kagame, brought by the widows of two assassinated African presidents, claiming:
"We are confident, however, that had we been forced to address this matter on the merits we would have prevailed"
Pierre Prosper's effort, in his capacity as U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues, to obstruct a case against Paul Kagame at the ICTR  (2001-2005) was based on the conviction that this could jeopardize the transition that was taking place after the genocide.

Allthough these two arguments are clearly not identical, over the years many have lumped them together into a narrative against critics of the Kigali regime. A good example is found in an article by Harry Verhoeven last year:

"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"
However it's an open secret that Paul Kagame's RPF is responsable, not just for this assassination, but also for many other crimes committed in the great lakes region.

Transitions towards democracy leads to tensions, even in the Netherlands among Abraham Kuyper's Calvinists at the beginning of the 20th century. In my opinion the holocaust by NAZI's against Jews is the ultimate example of a mismanaged democratic transition. The success of a democratic and peacefull transition hinges on the ability to think "out of the box". The ability to step over one's own shadow. The ability to look beyond one's own interest. A great example is the speech by President Kennedy in Berlin that demonstrates how humility can get you much better results then condescending arrogance.

Mitt Romney appointing Pierre Prosper as human rights advisor reminds me of Obama appointing Susan Rice as senior foreign policy advisor during his campaign. A clear indication of the direction in which foreign policy will develop itself during Mitt Romney's presidency.

For those who want a humble foreign policy, look elsewhere.

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