I recently watched a CNN Special documentary by Chief International Correspondent Christian Amanpour, Scream Blood Murder. The documentary highlighted various genocides that occurred in the 20th century. It also gave Christian Amanpour a forum to lavish praise on various “heroes” within those genocidal contexts, who “screamed bloody murder” and yet their calls went unheeded by the global humanitarian community.
Unfortunately for me, or maybe for her, Amanpour has very little credibility in my eyes as far as her reporting. Therefore, I took everything she said with a grain of salt. My cynicism of her credibility was reaffirmed when she finally reached the section of Rwanda and the Rwandan genocide, and failed to include an ounce of truth in her reporting. To her credit, she did stress that many people died and some in some very cruel ways, while making sure to exploite the genocidal images of dead bodies floating in bodies of water, disconnected limbs, and skulls and bones to make her point.
If you did not know that people died during these genocides, now you know. But don’t take her word for it, WATCH IT. Over, and over, and over again. Hopefully by watching it so much, her purpose will be served. You see, by constantly being exposed to these images, as anyone who watched the documentary was, people will probably be desensitized to these images and might no longer care whether they see floating bodies. The shock value will have diminished, and it will seem like just another day in indigenous people’s lives around the world where the living and the dead coexist, constantly reminded of past traumas and atrocities, unable to heal and move forward. But the point WAS to move forward and past the traumas right Amanpour or were you just “reporting”?
The undertone of her reporting? Indigenous, non European people’s (well except Bosnia) around the world are savages, and through their savagery committed terrible crimes with and against each other, and it took a various western straight white males to notice and call out the horrors. I mean I don’t have to tell you but, EVERYONE knows how straight white males are the paragon of moral and ethical standards and practices. (note the sarcasm)
In each of her profiles except the last one for Darfur, a straight white male was the focus of honorable action, and courageous fight on behalf of indigenous people (a white French priest for Cambodians, a white American for Iraqis, another white American for Bosnians, and a white Canadian soldier for Rwandans) . Each of the people highlighted gave themselves to their causes, taking great risks, and questioning various super powers and demanding action, and often failing. For Rwanda, the featured heroic westerner was Romeo Dallaire, write of the fictitious book Shake Hands With the Devil.
Amanpour starts off the piece on Rwanda by claiming that Dallaire was brought in “to monitor peace agreements between Hutus and Tutsis” thereby creating the falsified framework in which viewers are supposed to understand Dallaire’s role and “why he did what he did.” Amanpour fails to report that the peace agreements were not between Hutus and Tutsis and neither was the conflict that evolved and eventually culminated into the Rwandan genocide. Instead, she simplifies what happened as is typical when reporting on African politics, and fails to inform viewers that the conflict Dallaire was monitoring started when Rwanda was attacked and invaded by a rebel group from neighboring Uganda. She also fails to tell viewers that these rebels terrorized Rwandans for three years, before the arrival of our heroic Dallaire. Was nobody screaming “bloody murder” then when a sovereign nation was attacked by another nation through the rebels, or did Amanpour happen to be off that da…er three years?
After quickly skipping over all these facts, Amanpour brings us to 1994 when the genocide started. But before that, we are told that Dallaire tried to warn “the international community” that there was a genocide being planned through his infamous fax. But Christ Black a lead counsel at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in Tanzania already disputed the legitimacy, and credibility of such a fax.
This fax is the single document upon which the claims of a planned genocide rest. It was supposedly sent by General Dallaire to General Baril, another Canadian general at the Dept of Peace Keeping Operations in New York. It sets out the claims of a UN informant named Jean Pierre Turatsinze that the ruling government party planned to exterminate Tutsis, was training civilians for that purpose and that there was a plan to kill Belgian soldiers to provoke the withdrawal of UN forces. This fax has been trumpeted by the ICTR prosecution as the key to the plan to commit genocide. However, all the evidence presented at the Tribunal and elsewhere establishes that, in fact, the fax is a fabrication. (emphasis mine)
In his article Rwanda, “Shake Hands with the Devil”. General Dallaire’s film fails “Reality Check” writer Robin Philpot states the following in Dallaire’s own words about the planning of a genocide:
On September 14, 1994, he [Dallaire] took part in an important French-language television program in Montréal. Dallaire was just back from Rwanda. When asked a question about a plan to exterminate Tutsis, here’s how he answered.
“The plan was more political. The aim was to eliminate the coalition of moderates….. I think that the excesses that we saw were beyond people’s ability to plan and organize. There was a process to destroy the political elements in the moderate camp. There was a breakdown and hysteria absolutely…. But nobody could have foreseen or planned the magnitude of the destruction we saw.” (Note: people who understand French can listen to these excerpts on the Montreal CIBL community radio web site http://cibl1015.com/node/52742
That is how Dallaire spoke when he just got back. “Nobody could have planned it all”.
Yet, Amanpour and Dallaire now both want us to believe that there was a planned genocide by Hutus towards Tutsis.
The misinformation keeps piling up as Amanpour informs viewers of that fateful event that set all the killings into action. She does mention that the Rwandan president’s plane was shot down, but fails to address why that event was significant aside from the fact that, after it happened, savage Hutus went on a killing rampage to exterminate any and all Tutsis they could find, or any moral and upstanding “moderate Hutu” who took a stand against the killing. Instead, Amanpour states the assassination of the two presidents “was the moment Hutus were waiting for” implying that perhaps the Hutus were responsible for killing the president, so that they would have an excuse to carry out their genocidal plans. Writer Robin Philpot points out the following however,
All information, all research and all investigations, and especially Judge Bruguière’s, now point to Paul Kagame and the Rwandan Patriotic Front.
And this information has been around so much so that even a Spanish Judge found similar damning information, and even one of Kagame’s top aid has now been arrested per the arrest warrants issued by the Spanish and French. No mention of any of that from the Amanpour documentary though. Kind of odd but also expected.
After giving Dallaire a forum to answer “tough” questions regarding the horrific events in Rwanda, such as “how did you feel”, she fails to question Dallaire’s allegiance to the RPF and Paul Kagame. In his article Re-writing the History of the Rwandan Genocide, Robin Philpot states this of Dallaire:
In the field, according to Booh-Booh [the Chief of the 1994 United Nations Mission in Rwanda], Dallaire abandoned his military responsibilities to do politics, though that was not his job, and he violated the principle of neutrality by becoming the objective ally of the RPF. Moreover, Dallaire’s “duplicity” was widely known in UN mission circles.
Amanpour fails to question why Dallaire, a UN worker, helped a rebel group that invaded a sovereign and peaceful country, kill millions of people all for the eventual power grab that they now enjoy.
I was starting to wonder whether there were ANY, and I mean any indigenous person who advocated on behalf of their people when Kagame was brought into the picture as the brave indigenous hero and I almost fell off my chair and died. I was not surprised to see Kagame in the documentary, in fact I would have been surprised not to see him. But to see that even though Dallaire failed, Kagame triumphed anyway left me weak. What are you doing to me Amanpour? Are you an accomplice to the whole Dallaire/Kagame propaganda? Quite transparently so! And I can’t wrap my mind around what parallel universe Dallaire screamed bloody murder on/for.
Really, CNN? Do better.