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Lets not forget.


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This year we heard a lot about how we are in Iraq to help the people of Iraq from being butchered by Saddam and how people against the war were againt helping these innocent people and bringing democracy in the face of blatant human rights violations. But most of the people who jumped on the wagon of "lets help the Iraqis" did so as a fad. For we are also the same nation, albeit with all of the west and the UN, who betrayed 1 million Rwandan moderates who strived for peace but were butchered as they looked to us, only to see that we turned our back on them. The hypocrisy of the world and how we pretend we really care about people who are being oppressed stands no more evident than through this incedent. We must face up to the fact that all of our actions, whether it be striving to help Iraq or France and Russia pretending to be for peace, are all guided by self interest and we had no interest in this tiny African nation. The least, and it is least, we can do is remember and never forget.



Amanpour: Looking back at Rwanda genocide

By Christiane Amanpour

CNN's Chief International Correspondent

Tuesday, April 6, 2004 Posted: 7:06 AM EDT (1106 GMT)




Nearly a million Tutsis and Hutu moderates were butchered by Hutu extremists.



(CNN) -- With machetes, machine guns and clubs, Hutu extremists on their murderous rampage killed nearly a million people in just 100 days.


It was perhaps the fastest genocide in history, and yet the international community would not call it genocide until May 1994, a month after it started.


Lord David Hannay, former UK ambassador to the U.N., said: "It made it slightly more difficult for people who were clearing their throats and not doing anything about it, if it were called genocide. It didn't incidentally make them come forward with any more troops.


But genocide imposes a legal obligation on the world to try to stop it.


Hannay remembers those dark days of deliberation 10 years ago, and the ultimate failure to act with such catastrophic consequences.


"No one will ever understand Rwanda properly if they don't read it through the prism of Somalia." he said.


"Why did the international community not do something? Because they were traumatized by the collapse of the mission in Somalia."


Eighteen American soldiers were killed in Somalia in 1993. And when the body of one of the American dead was dragged through the streets of Mogadishu, America turned tail and bolted -- and Rwanda became the first casualty.


Gen. Romeo Dallaire, former U.N. commander in Kigali, said: "The day all that started, the U.S. said not only are we not getting involved, we are not going to support anyone else getting involved."


Dallaire was commander of a small U.N. peacekeeping force already in Rwanda. Months before the genocide began he had raised the alarm in an SOS to the United Nations.


Hannay said: "It was smothered. The Security Council was never told something appalling was going to happen, so we were flying completely blind.


"If you ask me if they had known at the time, I have to honestly say no I don't think we would have done anything very effective."


Again, because of Somalia he says, not one capable country was prepared to deploy troops.


To this day, Dallaire, who suffered post traumatic stress syndrome, remains haunted by the fact that his alarm was ignored, and angry at what he calls the world's callous characterization of the Rwanda genocide.



Dallaire suffered post traumatic stress disorder.

"Rwanda was tribalism. They simplified it. Let black Africans do that and when they are finished we'll pick up some of the pieces.


"I don't think there's any justification for what happened, it was a shameful episode for collective shame."


Today in Rwanda, churches piled high with human skulls stand as permanent memorials. And in the decade since the genocide, a host of world leaders -- including current U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan and former U.S. President Bill Clinton -- have condemned their own failures.


In 1998, Clinton went to Rwanda to apologize for the million or so dead, to their families, and to the survivors for wounds Rwandans themselves say will never heal.


"All over the world there were people like me sitting in offices, day after day, who did not fully appreciate the depth and the speed with which you were being engulfed in this unimaginable terror," Clinton said.


"Scholars of these sorts of events say the killers, armed mostly with machetes and clubs, nonetheless did their work five times as fast as the mechanized gas chambers used by the Nazis."



:banghead :banghead

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A shame, no doubt. But things are looking up. More and more oil deposits are being tapped in Africa, so the world will start paying notice real soon. As a matter of fact, I just read that the US is in the planning stages of establishing 30 new military bases throughout the continent.

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