Saturday, October 8, 2011

Sarkozy: Paris Deserves A Mass (Murderder)

Henry IV's famous words "Paris vaut bien une messe" came to mind when reading about the high risk meeting between Nicholas Sarkozy and Paul Kagame in Paris last month. Henry IV, a huguenote was involved in the French civil war from 1562–98 fought between Catholics and Calvinists. Before his coronation as King of France at Chartres, he changed his faith from Calvinism to Catholicism. He was said to have declared that Paris vaut bien une messe ("Paris is well worth a Mass"), but there is much doubt whether he actually said this himself.

Many people are speculating what the visit to France by Rwandan President Paul Kagame was about. I tend to like the phrase by a Sapa-AFP reporter who wrote:
"Rwandan President Paul Kagame will Monday make his first official visit to France since the 1994 genocide, to rebuild relations damaged by Kigali's accusation of French complicity in the massacres."

Exactedly, these relations were damaged by Kigali! For Propaganda reason!

In 2006, as James Akena correctly states in that same article:
"they broke down in 2006 due to a judicial investigation in France on events that marked the beginning of the genocide."
The suggestion by Colette Braeckmann that this judicial investigation was political motivated, is absurd. As Stephen Sackur fired at Paul Kagame in this interview: "Off course you know these are not wild allegations".  But Braeckman's argument rests not just on unfounded allegations against the French anti-terrorist judge Jean-Louis Bruguière, but also on the assumption that France has been in a diplomatic guerilla war with Rwanda since the nineties.

Both the parliamentary inquiry into the role of France in Rwanda between 1990 and 1994 by Paul Quiles in 1998 and US Ambassador Robert Krueger's account of French diplomacy in Burundi in the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide, point in a different direction. Paul Quiles declared to the press on the findings of his inquiry in 1998:
  • "When the genocide occured, France was not in anyway involved in that outbreak of violence "
  • "We didn't take into account the specifics of a country that we didn't know well enough. We intervened in a country that we thought we knew, but in reality we were much more alien then we had suspected"
Paul Quiles explains the findings of the inquiry in an interview:
"Mitterand was obsessed with the idea that the Habyarimana democratized. He intervened strongly, congratulated by Paul Kagame, so that in Arusha agreements were reached that tutsis would participated in power starting August 1993. There was this process towards democracy, but at the same time every party wanted to use it to reach it's own goals."

Sarkozy's diplomatic dance with Paul Kagame is not about friendship or Congo's minerals, just as the Libyan war was not abou democracy, it's about a leading role for France in the world. It's a strategic choice to end the tribal war between the french African school and the Anglosaxons in Africa. Just like Henry IV, Sarkozy has been looking for a leadershiprole for France within the NATO, and this strategy is allready paying off:
"The French emergence as a full partner of the U.S. and a leader of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization might be the most important aftereffect of the effort to depose Qaddafi."
in 2007 Time's wrote about Sarkozy: "He is the healer-elect of the trans-Atlantic friendship damaged by the Iraq war".
Andre Guichaoua, a sociologist and expert attached to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, said: "This visit should go ahead. Diplomacy is not about morality." If we combine this with
General de Gaulle famous phrase : « Une grande puissance comme la France n'a pas d'amis, elle n'a que des intérêts." we get the picture: France is more interested in pursuing its own interests than in nurturing historical ties. This falls in line with his "famous" Dakars speech.

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