Philip Gourevitch, an Accessory to Mass Murder and Genocide in Central Africa?

Philip Gourevitch, award winning writer on Rwanda is on the defensive, peddling, spinning, attempting to find his way out of a web he’s woven around himself. One can’t tell right off the bat how he’s trapped himself or why he should feel the need to untangle himself.  But peddle he does, and spin he does as he defends himself against Tristan McConnell’s damning portrayal of his 15 year spin, excusing, justifying, and rationalizing crimes against humanity, oppressive dictatorship, and various other human rights violations committed by Kagame and the RPF/A.

It seems that Gourevitch found it inconvenient to acknowledge the acts of terrorism committed by Kagame and RPF/A, nor did he find it necessary to hold Kagame and the RPF/A responsible for it, as journalists so often do. And now he’s claiming, he’s not in Kagame’s pockets, peddling Kagame’s propaganda. Has he read his own work?

He did not find it convenient to inform the world, that Kagame and the RPF/A took up arms and killed and displaced Rwandan families for four years before the genocide or in what barbaric and heartless manner their deaths were carried out. Acknowledging that, and informing the world of such blasphemy would have thwarted his efforts of stigmatizing an entire group of people victimized by the same people he lauds, and would have meant that he would have had to report on the subsequent possible genocide that happened in the Congo. It was Philip Gourevitch who stigmatized aid organizations that provided aid to refugees in the Congo including food and water, after they survived Kagame’s terrorist organization’s (RPF) slaughter in Rwanda. Had Gourevitch had his way, the survivors of Kagame’s RPF’s slaughter, needed to have starved to death. How dare they retain life! And I’m not talking about the ostensible genocidaires (some of whom currently work for Kagame it turns out – Guest post coming soon!! ).

I suppose it is why Gourevitch found it satisfying that Kagame’s RPF followed them into the Congo, and slaughtered them. Why else would he have rationalized it, rather than calling international attention to it to be stopped? For Kagame to be deposed? But reporting on that, would have conflicted with the type of falsified image he was constructing, the one that elevated a terrorist organization to hero status, solidifying Kagame’s hold on the area, and on which Gourevitch has since benefited immensely both personally and professionally. And let me remind readers once again, that the slaughtered in the Congo, constituted majority women, children, and the elderly, according to the U.N.

In his response to Tristan, Gourevitch asserts that he reported on Kagame’s crimes. But rather, he defended Kagame with each key stroke, rationalized Kagame’s massive crimes against humanity, and defended Kagame’s rights to massively kill Rwandans and Congolese (reported by U.N. majority of whom were women, elderly, and childern), in the Congo. Even in his response to Tristan McConnell, Gourevitch attempts to minimize Kagame’s crimes, despite the overwhelming testimony and evidence, that Kagame has wrecked havoc in the Congo. Missing among the evidence and testimony, were Philip Gourevitch’s personal testimony of what he experienced on the ground, as he watched Kageme’s terrorist organization slaughter Rwandan refugees, and Congolese nationals while he dissuaded aid organizations from feeding them, exacerbating their demise. What he instead reported, was Kagame’s terrorist organization, exercise its justified right (according to Gourevitch and Kagame) to attack another country, and fight Kagame’s battles inside another country’s territory, and he was all too happy to report it, defend it, and inform the world about their organized and systemic killings, with a positive spin.

Can Philip Gourevitch effectively be considered an accessory to mass murder and genocide in Central Africa? How much damage has his award winning work done to the people of Central Africa? Is Philip Gourevitch truly interested in the people of Central Africa or his own prestige? If he is interested in the people, why does he continue to spin for Kagame, and to minimize Kagame’s crimes rather than facing them head on, and calling a spade a spade? Why does he resort to personal attacks of his critics, rather than their work? Why does he continue to undermine Kagame’s opposition and anyone who poses a real threat to not only Kagame’s falsified image (thanks Gourevitch!) but to Kagame’s power hold and an end to Kagame’s mass murder and impunity (thanks again Gourevitch!!)? And when will he finally, FINALLY, do the right thing, and put Kagame’s image, of which he is mostly responsible, in its proper context?

I wonder what Gourevitch was doing  between 1990 and 1994. Did he see Kagame’s RPF attack of a peaceful country as just another African tragic war that he did not need to get involved? Or did he not see a financial profitability opportunity? How would Gourevitch rationalize Kagame’s invasion of the Congo to the Congelese women and children? Would he convince them that they are genocidaires? Has Gourevitch come face to face with Kagame’s victims? Does he consider their stories to be unimportant enough to be told? Does he not wish to inform the world that their blight is important? That they matter? That Kagame should be brought to justice? What does Gourevitch say about the 6 million dead?

How much more will his upcoming book glorify Kagame at the expense of Central African people’s lives?

Stephen Kinzer to Kagame: Reconciliation, Confuses Human Rights Watchers

I can’t say that my little old blog had anything to do with it, but color me surprised! Stephen Kinzer is backtracking from his recent nonesensical tirade where he castigated human rights defenders and in particular Human Rights Watch for, wait for it….watching human rights in Rwanda!  Stephen Kinzer did not “lose the faith” because they were simply watching human rights and observing from a distance (perhaps with a nod of approval to top the watching?), but because they were watching, and documenting, and publicizing human rights violations committed by the Rwandan government against its people, and its neighbors.

A friend of the Rwandan leader, it makes sense that Stephen Kinzer would turn a blind eye to such massive crime as serious as crimes against humanity. How else would he maintain a good relationship standing with Kagame, and the continued sale of his book, A Thousand Hills: Rwanda’s Rebirth and the Man Who Dreamed It? But I did not expect him to stoop so low as to imply that colonialism, dictatorship, lack of democracy, state controlled media/journalism, repression, politically motivated incarceration and detention of critics, exiling of opponents, and other such privileges are not only good for Rwandans, but that they are a right which Human Rights Watch seems to be interfering with. With human rights champions like these…no wonder six million people are dead in the Congo, while writers sell books glorifying genocidaires and covering up for their crimes.

In a disingenuous attempt to deflect from his support of a genocidal regime, Stephen Kinzer backtracks on some of his statements, in a calculated and destructive way. Kinzer writes another article, claiming now, that the Rwandan leader is “authoritarian” because he refuses to listen to his former partners in crime (no pun intended) and fellow war criminals. Before this surprising piece of writing, Kinzer had claimed that “authoritarianism” is what Rwandans needed and in fact embraced it. But now, Kinzer claims Kagame should listen to these war criminals (at least certainly Kayumba Nyamwasa), because, wait for it….they used to work together and Kagame used to trust them. And because not listening to them, Kagame creates more enemies who are openly critical.

Did Kinzer seriously miss the part where Kagame waged a war on two three (we remember you too Uganda) different countries multiple times and committed possible genocide in one of the countries and arguably both? How enough is that to create enemies? It’s more important that Kagame listen to prominent opponents who used to work with him than the millions of voiceless victims and witness of Kagame’s brutality or other human rights defenders according to Kinzer. And it makes sense. Kagame’s fellow war criminals do carry his secrets after all, which they might spill, thereby exposing both Kagame for the crimes he committed, and Kinzer for his cover up.  It’s also the reason that rather than advocate for the release of  jailed “alleged” collaborators with terrorist groups like Victoire Ingabire, and genocide survivor and dissident Deo Mushayidi, Kinzer advises Kagame to rely on proven and indicted war criminals instead.

Does Kinzer truly have Rwandans in his mind and heart? Or is he mostly interested in the continued success of genocidaire Kagame, and the continued uninterrupted sales of his book? Kinzer makes no mention of Victoire Umuhoza or other political prisoners, makes no mention of murdered opposition candidate and independent journalists, makes no mention of the possible genocide in the Congo, but instead advises Kagame to reconcile with his fellow war criminals, because they are prominent, and he used to trust them.

Dear Stephen Kinzer, are you serious? You would trust Kayumba Nyamwasa, indicted by two different independent judicial systems for war crimes and crimes against humanity, to provide insight into democracy and recovery from war and genocide? You would trust Karegeya on matters of free states before trusting unfairly jailed Bernard Ntaganda, or Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, a mother and peaceful resistant, and someone who has never committed crimes against humanity against anyone? You would advise Kagame to reconcile with other war criminals, at least cut their sentences short (by your implication that the sentences are “severe”) before reconciling with Deo Mushayidi who lost all his family members in the genocide? You would recommend Kagame take advice from top prosecutor, responsible for countless infractions in Rwanda, Gerald Gahima to be trusted with matters of reconciliation and democracy before Deo Mushayidi?

Really?

Are you serious?

Are you trying to help the people of Rwanda or did I miss something? You do realize that when some of these people worked with Kagame they were killing people right?

Open Letter to Goucher College on the Suspension of Munyakazi

Below is a letter that was written on behalf of Munyakazi the Rwandan Professor of French at Goucher College, who was dismissed for allegations of having taken part in the Rwandan Genocide of 1994. It is addressed to the college’s president, and has very useful information for anyone interested in learning more about the discrepancies in this case, and the handling of the Congolese situation. It raises extremely interesting points for those examining this case. Writers of the letter are encouraging everyone to send this letter to the president of Goucher college (president at goucher dot edu) including name and city/state/country of sender in solidarity.

Dear Mr. President,

I am writing this note to express my disappointment with your removal/suspension of Mr. Munyakazi as French professor at Goucher College. Especially disheartening is the fact that Mr. Munyakazi was removed from his professorship based on unsubstantiated allegations. At the same time, I would like to commend your perspicacious views that were expressed in the New York Times article, On Trail of War Criminals, NBC News Is Criticized, regarding the independence and objectivity being applied to this case (1). It is increasingly clear that anyone who expresses any dissenting opinion from that of the Rwandan Government is accused of being a Genocidaire. According to the same New York Times article, allegations against Mr. Munyakazi were written after he made a speech contradictory to that of the Rwandan Government’s version on the genocide of 1994 (1).

In a country that prides itself on freedom of speech especially in erudite institutions, it is surprising that an unsubstantiated accusation leads to the suspension of a professional. This is to an extent, a contradiction to the first Amendment of the American Constitution. Once the truth about this case comes to light, one could effectively avoid a major disaster for involved parties. Like other cases before Mr. Munyakazi, this instance may simply be a matter of the Rwandan Government looking to silence one of its critics.

For instance, in 2005, a former Rwandan Minister, Juvenal Uwilingiyimana experienced a series of disturbing occurrences related to his role in the Rwandan Genocide. While he was not directly accused of having perpetrated genocide crimes, Uwilingiyimana was coerced into providing false testimony against his former colleagues. When he refused, his body was found after a mysterious death (2). Furthermore, in 2006, Dr. Vincent Bajinya was also falsely accused of partaking in genocide crimes in 1994 by a reporter working for the BBC. He was fired from his job, and his life practically ruined. An independent investigation into his indictment discovered a Rwandan Government’s network of people whose purpose is to scout any dissenting opinions abroad and silence them (3). Could Mr. Munyakazi also be a victim of these networks?

More troubling is that even Americans who dare to contradict the Rwandan Government’s storyline are labeled genocidaires. Case in point, Dr. Peter Erlinder an outspoken critic of the Rwandan Government, has been accused by president Kagame of being a Genocidaire (4). Consider also the case of former US Ambassador to Burundi. Mr Krueger has been accused of providing weapons to Rwanda’s opposition rebels. These preposterous claims have never been substantiated (5). Such silencing tactics are employed to prevent the world from learning about the Rwandan Government’s continuing atrocities against Rwandan and Congolese people. It is regrettable that your college has inadvertently become complicit with the Rwandan Government’s punitive quest to suffocate, silence, kill, and torture anyone who may denounce their crimes against humanity.

It is extremely important to note that through two independent investigations, the Rwandan Government was indicted for war crimes, and crimes against humanity by anti terrorist French Judge Bruguière in 2006 (6), as well as Spanish judge Andreu Merelles in 2008 (7). Also in 2008, when Human Rights Watch called for the International Criminal Tribunal of Rwanda to end the culture of impunity, and prosecute Rwandan Government officials’ involvement in the Rwandan Genocide, Human Rights Watch’s top official Alison Des Forge was banned from entering Rwanda (8). Curiously enough, additional testimonies from former Rwandan Patriotic Army officers have surfaced detailing high ranking Rwandan officials’ war crimes during the Rwandan genocide in 1994 (9), (10).

Everyday numerous reports from the likes of the United Nations, Human Rights Watch, and other independent journalists are surfacing detailing the Rwandan Government’s involvement in the on-going genocide against the Congolese people. So far, an estimated six million lives have been lost. Among violent crimes being detailed by UN reports at the hands of Rwandan officials and their proxies are rape as a weapon against countless women, sodomizing teenage boys by forcing them to have sex with their own mothers before they are hacked to death, the use of child soldiers (11), amputations, displacement of millions of Congolese people (12), the destruction of Rwandan refugee camps claiming over 300,000 lives in a matter of several months (13), and committing massacres such as the ones in Kibeho in 1995 (14), just to name a few. Perpetrators of such crimes should not be allowed by the civilized world the moral high ground to judge anyone.

It is disheartening and frankly discouraging to learn that such a government has succeeded in making Goucher College take an action that may be unnecessary and could potentially ruin one’s professional life. Please consider looking into the actual facts surrounding Mr. Munyakazi’s suspension. I strongly believe that you will find him to be a victim of the Rwandan Government’s punitive actions against those whose opinions deviate from their official story line. This government is determined to fight, suppress and better yet, eliminate anyone or anything that would provide light to the world into its own crimes in the Great Lakes region of Africa. It is deplorable that the Rwandan Government has found a way of making your institution a victim in their global attempts to remove any dissenting opinions. However, I am confident that this case will be an opportunity for your institution to understand some additional elements of the Rwandan tragedy. Your reaction to the way this case was handled is commendable and I encourage you to remain impartial in this matter.

Should anyone in your college be interested in learning more, the following links will provide references to a rich documentation from reputable organizations and agencies about the topic.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Notes:

1. February 10, 2009; New York Times, NBC’S On Trail of War Criminals; by Brian Stelter

2. Former Rwandan Minister Juvenal Uwilingiyimana’s letter to the ICTR prosecutor

3. Rwandan Government sets up networks to scout dissenting voices and silence them

4. The Real Authors of the Congo Crimes. Nkunda has been arrested but who will arrest Kagame? By Dr Peter Erlinder

5. Former US Ambassador to Burundi Mr Krueger Interview

6. French Warrant seeks associates of Rwanda’s Kagame; by Reuters

7. Spain indicts 40 Rwandan officers, Los Angeles Times

8. Rwanda: End Bar on Human Rights Watch Staff Member; by Human Rights Watch

9. Former RPA Officers and President Kagame’s body guard Abdul Ruzibiza’s Testimony

10. Major General Paul Kagame behind the shooting down of late Habyarimana’s plane: an eye witness testimony, 2nd Lt. Aloys Ruyenzi, Press release, 18 January 2005

11. Lasting Wounds, Human Rights Watch

12. December 2008 UN Report

13. Fuir ou Mourir au Zaire: Le vécu d’une réfugiée rwandaise – To Flee or to Die in Zaire: Tales of a Rwandan Refugee; by Beatrice Umutesi

14. Wikipedia on Kibeho Massacres of April 1995

Other references to consider are under the following links from Amnesty International:

Rwanda: Alarming resurgence of killings

Rwanda: Ending the silence

Rwanda: The hidden violence: “disappearances” and killings continue

Message to Kagame: Stop Dancing Puppet, We Can See Through Your Smoke and Mirrors

gravatarIn December 2008, a very special occurrence happened that led Kagame into scrambling to do major damage control, distract the world at large from the occurrence, while simultaneously salvaging his progressively deteriorating reputation in “the international community.”

What occurrence is that you might ask? It’s none other than the conviction of the top three major suspects in the Rwandan Genocide. You know, the masterminds of the genocide that Kagame supposedly saved everyone from. You know, this:

The three other defendants were convicted of responsibility for particular acts that the Chambers found were committed by members of the Rwandan military.  Col. Theoneste Bagsosora and Col. Anatole Nsengiumva were found guilty of war crimes, acts of genocide and crimes against humanity committed by Rwandan troops under their command. Major Aloys Ntabakuze, whose command was limited to the Para-Commando Battalion was held responsible for three incidents out of more than 40 that the Chamber found were not proved. Many of the crimes of which all three were convicted do not appear in the indictments under which they were prosecuted.  All three were sentenced to life in prison and have announced plans to appeal.

Yet here is Kagame today desperately scrambling to do major damage control to salvage his growing reputation in the Congo by making shady deals with his former foe, Kabila instead of simply celebrating. Why would the arrest of the three genocide planners and perpetrators cause Kagame to behave in such a manner?And what exactly did he do in the Congo that reeks of desperation and reputation recovery?

It’s not so much that the three were convicted, but what they were not charged with. It turns out that,

judgments in the Military-I trial completely rejected the Prosecution theory of long-term planning and conspiracy to commit genocide by members of the former Rwandan military leadership. All four defendants were found “not guilty” of all counts charging conspiracy to commit genocide, based on the Chambers ruling that their actions prior to April 6, 1994  were based on war-time conditions, not planning to kill civilians or to carry out a genocide against Tutsi Rwandans.

I have bolded, italicized, and underlined that which was found, and which has ripped Kagame from his comfy dictatorial throne in Rwanda and thrown him into the war torn Congo scrambling, where he is desperately trying to influence some positive coverage on his behalf as the cushy world he built around himself with pervasive propaganda slowly but progressively falls to dust and pieces on the ground.

Because if no one planned the genocide, or the people originally believed to have planned the genocide are found innocent of such a plan, then where does that leave Kagame? It leaves him in a pickle I would say,

This raises the more profound question: if there was no conspiracy and no planning to kill ethnic civilians, can the tragedy that engulfed Rwanda properly be called “a genocide” at all? Or, was it closer to a case of civilians being caught up in war-time violence, like the Eastern Front in WWII, rather than the planned behind-the-lines killings in Nazi death camps? The ICTR judgment found the former.

The Court specifically found that the actions of Rwandan military leaders, both before any after the April 6, 1994 assassination of former Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarima, were consistent with war-time conditions and the massive chaos brought about by the four-year war of invasion from Uganda by Gen. Paul Kagame’s RPF army, which seized power in July 1994.

Although the Chamber did not specifically mention more recent events, it is worth noting that this is the same government that was named in a UN Security Council commissioned report on December 12, 2008 as having invaded the eastern Congo (with Uganda) in 1996 and again in 1998 and have occupied an area 15-times the size of Rwanda since that time. Similar UN Security Council reports in 2001, 2002 and 2003, make clear that Rwanda and Uganda’s economic rape of the eastern Congo, and the resulting 6 million-plus civilian deaths, have long been an “open secret.”

It’s no secret that in recent times Kagame was having trouble with some of his former supporters, such as Human Rights Watch’s Alison Des Forge, as she sought to hold him accountable for the atrocities he was committing in the Congo. Instead of just.stopping., Kagame BANNED Alison Des Forge from Rwanda. Yeah…he did. Not just for crimes in the Congo, but Human Rights Watch was also demanding that the ICTR start prosecuting the RPF and their involvement in the Rwandan Genocide; an act so radical it took 14 years to accomplish.

So what would happen if the ICTR investigated the RPF and prosecuted them for their involvement in the Genocide? What would the world learn from this? If they saved everyone from Genocide, wouldn’t that mean that they would get minimal prosecution for the supposed “reprisal killings” they carried out? Or is there something more awaiting them?

Well simply put, if Kagame were to be investigated, indicted, and prosecuted, the world would learn that he initiated a major war crime and crime against humanity towards Rwanda; attacking a peaceful country and throwing it into a war. It would also be discovered that during that whole period, Kagame and the RPF committed massacre after massacre, and multiple crimes against humanity. The RPF shot down Rwanda’s former president Habyarimana’s plane, an act believed to have sparked the carnage that occurred in 1994.  And remember this carnage was not planned since many were responding to war time conditions and defenses as was found by the ICTR. It would be discovered that Kagame and the RPF chased Rwandan citizens from their country and into the Congo. Kagame and the RPF continued their aggression thereby committing another crime against humanity by attacking the Congo, another peaceful country. It would be discovered that in the RPF’s  attempts to exterminate the Refugees, about six million Congolese citizens were caught in the crossfire. (And this list is hardly exhaustive!)

Because it was found that genocide was not planned from inside Rwanda itself, Kagame and the RPF’s insistence that they are after “planners” of the Rwandan genocide by going into the Congo is problematic. In fact it allows Kagame and the RPF to continue committing massacres and killing millions of people with impunity. IF these people did not plan a genocide, and the ICTR prosecutions say they did not, and there was a war initiated and carried out by the RPF against them going on, then what grounds does Kagame have to go after them? Either by removing them or by exterminating them?

True, RPF propaganda is pervasive, and major western media outlets support this propaganda. Which is why many people believe that the FDLR is composed of savage killers who terrorize Congolese citizens. But now, the world must question why these people who fled from a war they were defending themselves against, are now believed to be random and senseless killers for no reason. It does not match. What would lead them to commit massacres against the Congolese people, if they were fleeing from an enemy that ousted them from their homes? They wouldn’t, unless they were blood thirsty murderers who commit murder just to see blood shed. And while Kagame and the RPF would like to you to believe that, it is not completely true.

Kagame can no longer comfortably hold his immunity. Nor can the RPF. It’s becoming increasingly clear that the RPF is responsible for the murders in the Congo, even with the help of western media that insists Kagame is a hero. People still know and see through the painted veils through which he is presented. Kagame’s major lackey, Laurent Nkunda started receiving unprecedented negative media attention, and compounded with everything else that was happening, he needed to be beheaded, figuratively speaking. So, he was arrested. Try as they might, Kagame will have a very difficult time distancing himself from Nkunda.

As his world crumbles, and as the world learns, and increasingly pressure involved parties to hold Kagame and the RPF accountable for their crimes in the Great Lakes Region of Africa, Kagame strikes a very shady deal with Kabila, to once again, oust the FDLR.  These are people who are part of the same refugees that Kagame ousted when he invaded Rwanda and killed its president. They desire nothing more than to go back to their own formerly peaceful country.

Does it strike anyone in “the international community” as odd that Kagame and the RPF, indicted by two countries, France and Spain, whose top aid was arrest per the said arrest warrants in Germany, is the peace keeping force in the Congo? How does, Rwanda’s 10+,- years occupation in the Congo resulting in 6 million deaths, conveniently blamed on the FDLR who are part of refugees from Rwanda, qualify Rwanda to REMOVE that which they have not managed in 10 years? Does it make sense?

Put all the pieces together and you will see, that Kagame and the RPF, war criminals, genocide perpetrators are attempting to distract the world away from their bloodshed, while simultaneously continuing the same dirty, and criminal bloodshed.

This has got to stop!

2008 Year in Review and BTMR Quick Reference

gravatarA very late 2008 year in review, but still worth mentioning.

There were a lot of developments that occurred in regards to the Rwandan situation/conflict which has now spilled over into a bloody endless war in the Congo, and still the world does not “Scream Bloody Murder” at the genocide being committed by Rwanda against the Congolese. Where is Christiane Amanpour?

2008 was a very good year for progress but not without it’s major setbacks. It is no wonder that Kagame became desperate and is trying by any means necessary to take his new found fame as a genocidaire in the larger and international outcry off of himself as you will note in the follow up blog post.

So what happened in 2008?

Starting in February, Colonel Luc Marchal, who commanded the UN forces in Kigali sector, told the UN courts that a letter by “Jean Pierre” claiming there was a Machiavelli Plan by the then Rwandan President Habyarimana to carry out a planned genocide, was a forgery. And this of course is after Counsel Chris Black at the ICTR has throughoughly dispelled that myth in his excellent article.

And then Spanish Judge Fernando Andreu indicted 40 of Kagame’s top former and current military officers for war crimes and crimes against humanity. The surprising story highlights from the CNN article were as following:

  • A Spanish judge has indicted 40 current or former Rwandan military officers
  • Men were indicted for several counts of genocide and human rights abuses
  • More than 4 million Rwandans died or disappeared during the 1990s
  • The majority of the victims were Hutu Rwandan refugees or Congolese civilians

Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney celebrated the indictment of these war criminals and this major step towards carrying out justice.

Amidst all this, various writers came out with articles that attempted to elucidate the convoluted and deliberately misleading propaganda. Andrew G. Marshal wrote a piece titled Western Involvement in the Rwandan Genocide, which is self explanatory. He pointed out major players in the conflict in the Clinton Administration, and how they aided the RPF in successfully taking over power in Rwanda.

And Keith Harmon Snow exposed a network of Rwandan intelligence and other officers whose sole purpose abroad is to destroy Rwandan communities by targeting dissenters of the Rwandan government with various acts of public humiliation, detention, and getting them fired from jobs and other horrondous mistreatments. Snow followed the story of one Bajinya whose life was ruined by the Rwandan intelligence purporting to be refugees in some cases, and embassy workers in others who framed and “exposed” an innocent man of having committed “genocide crimes” in 1994. A chilling report that would leave anyone outraged at the unfortunate miscarriage of justice. Who is publicly humiliating Kagame the initiator of all crimes that have span from the 1990 invasion of Rwanda to today’s millions of deaths in the Congo?

Some heated debates ensued as more people learned about the RPF’s crimes against Rwanda before 1994, and how successful propaganda was concocted in their favor from the very beginning such as the term “moderate hutu.” Of course this was ignoring that when the RPF invaded Rwanda in 1990, they were the enemies. Therefore a “moderate” hutu would not have existed then, nor does one exist today. But such deliberately incorrect information must remain intact if the RPF must remain in power. Kagame’s cheerleaders also came out to oppose my piece warning Rwandans in exiles to beware, as there are many who will attempt to do to them what was done to Bajinya and others. Apparently these cheerleaders do not want anyone being warned of the danger in which Kagame plans to put them in.

A petition was created pleading with then President Elect Obama to intervene in the culture of impunity that exists in regards to the Great Lakes region, and the perpetual miscarriages of justice.

As the western attempted to paint a rose colored Rwandan Democracy, many knowledgeable people spoke up and exposed the fallacies in a democratic and economically upward Rwanda. In a curious move, one of Kagame’s top Aids was arrested and a few people celebrated a short lived victory.

We saw more attempts at dispelling the propaganda myths that are so widespread, as Back To My Root’s new writer extensively wrote on the “Inyenzi” or “cockroach” phenomenon that’s been used to silence RPF critics and put into a very compelling historical context. Khante also brought us news of Rwandan youth who are fleeing to join the FDLR because they are fed up with the lack of democracy in Rwanda. I took on CNN’s documentary, “Scream Bloody Murder” and tried to put back all the facts that Christianne Amanpour deliberately left out in order to maintain the current story line.

And now it’s 2009, and things have never looked more bleak especially for the DRC. Don’t get me wrong, all is not lost.  One of the greatest victories of 2008 was the election of Barack Obama. While he is no savior nor any less imperialistic than his predecessors, at least he does believe and will try to enforce “tough diplomacy.” He has no interest in bloodshed, and he seems to believe in the power of negotiations.

This does not mean that Rwanda and DRC will be released from the yoke of Kagame and other imperialists, but that at least, we can hope, the bloodshed will cease, and lives will be spared. We must remember that Hillary Clinton is in charge of American foreign policy. We should also remember that it was during the Clinton era that every corner of the African Continent found itself in wars and bloodshed. Our consolation is that she is working for Obama and not the other way around.

More and more people are becoming educated about the events in Eastern Congo. It won’t be long before they connect the dots, and see the real culprits aside from the mainstream media’s constant attempts to blame everything on the FDLR while other rebel groups, and specifically Kagame and his army continue their 1990’s planned genocide into the Congo with the aid of western imperialists.

It’s only a matter of time Kagame. Enjoy your impunity while you still can.

Here We Go Again

The Obama/Wright controversy has reared its ugly head again, concealing and distracting from other pressing issues that affect people much more globally. You know, hikes in gas prices, increased profits for oil companies, and the doomed housing crisis – but who cares about any of that right? Most people want to talk about the racist bigot Reverend Jeremiah Wright. And so do I. I realize it’s a distraction that’s taking away from the larger issues we should be concentrating on during this competition, but it’s also one interesting and peculiar happening that has shaken many people. There are people who are shocked and outraged at the comments made by Rev Wright. Then there are people who are appalled and outraged at these people’s shock and outrage. Then we have people throwing each under the bus left and right, resulting in a lot of anger, hurt, humiliation, and disappointment. Most people’s reactions to these events are a result of their backgrounds and views of America.

Those shocked and outraged by Rev Wright have a hard time believing that the American dream they know can be the nightmare Rev Wright describes it to be. While those who see, live, and experience the nightmare, are shocked that so many can be oblivious to the nightmare that is America for many of its people. It’s as if these two groups of people exist on two different continents with different cultures, backgrounds, and languages as opposed to being neighbors in one country, with one language, and history. There is a lot of uneasiness and resentment surrounding Rev Wright, and considering his latest statements at the National Press Club, it’s no wonder Obama is distancing himself from his incendiary ex-pastor.

From the beginning Obama has prided himself on running a clean debate that was uniting and not divisive. He has sought out commonalities for all people in order to inspire and create a movement for change. He has managed to give a “bitter” (you know I had to do it) people some hope that there are better times ahead with him in the Oval office. It was his intention to create a campaign that strayed as far away from race as possible, so as to avoid being considered “the Black candidate” as opposed to a phenomenal candidate who just happens to be Black. And even when he was FORCED to address the issue of race, he came out with minor wounds. His speech transcended, and managed to unite in a time when it was expected he would fall on his face, lose sight of his campaign strategy and become divisive. He stood by the man who was being vilified by the media, a man who officiated his wedding, baptized his children, and mentored him into and on his path to Christianity. But now things have changed. Continue reading

How Did Kagame Manage to Successfully Spread Propaganda?

Many people question the idea that most of what they know about Rwanda is pure propaganda, until they read the overwhelming evidence that gives a balanced picture in regards to what happened in the 90s in Rwanda.

However, even then, some wonder how the RPF could have successfully managed to get most of the world’s support, and how they could have managed to spread their propaganda so widely. And there are a few ways.

This wonderful article concisely articulates how the propaganda managed to be spread and accepted. Here are key things that needed to happen in order for Kagame to get the world to believe his propaganda:

  • criminalized the [former] Rwandan government,
  • justified the RPF and American refusal to negotiate terms with “criminals” [in other words, the former government],
  • prevented the government from obtaining support and assistance from its major western ally, France,
  • destroyed any support it had in the international community and public opinion, and finally,
  • justified the brutal RPF military dictatorship over the people of Rwanda and the refusal to allow Hutus any power in Rwanda.

It’s important to also remember that some of the books that were released came from accomplices of the RPF. An unfortunate occurance. More on this later.

Anyway, something to ponder about. Don’t fall victim to the propaganda of criminalizing all hutus. Or anyone who speaks up against the current Rwandan government, whether they are Rwandan or not. The sooner the injustice ends, the faster Rwandan people can move on and the real criminals who walk around with impunity can be put behind bars where they belong.