With a lame duck President Obama trying mightily to keep the rotted-out hull of the US ship of state afloat, while his crew of privateers, gun-runners and slave traders prepare a mutiny that will allow the global criminal elite impunity for just 'one last job': it seems that shadows of forgotten foreign policy gaffes are growing disturbingly longer. In hypocritical gestures that would make Al Gore 2000 blush, The Clintons and Leon Panetta are now yapping at the President's heels over his indecision--an attitude they fully supported six-months ago.
Remember Iran/Contra? Get ready for Rwanda/RPF.
This BBC doc about 'what really happened' in Rwanda: 1994 is little more than an effete attempt at scooping a story that has been in the bottom desk-drawers of real investigative journalists for years. But to return the helm to the gnarled hands of the neo-colonialist wing of the Demcratic party, to press it up against the withered dugs of its foreign policy matrons, Clinton, Albright, S. Rice, S. Powers, it is necessary first to putty up and polish the stale post Cold Wars conquests of US-brokered Privatizations (read strong-arm robberies) in Eastern Europe and Africa by ignoring the fascist war crimes of the Right-Sector junta in Kiev and doubling down on the hope that 'Business Progress' and 'Gender Politics' will trump mass slaughter and real terrorism.
The idea of 'Genocide Denial' is the Holy Grail from which Paul Kagame and his plucky little African version of Israel imbibe their moral sustenance. As far as the 'Tutsi Genocide by the Extremist Hutu of a million souls in a hundred days' goes: In Kigali it's, Ask a question, go to jail.
You know when investigation becomes a crime that Historical Truth is being held hostage and probably has already been shot in the face. For the very judicial body established to adjudicate the question of the Rwandan genocide, the ICTR, has, as of yet not been able to apply the corpulent body of evidence it has discovered to anything like an affirmation that such an event took place. It has gotten so bad, so many of the key players in this African road-show of Titus Andronicus have been acquitted of planning or organizing the G, that the UN Tribunal has had to resort to declaring it a matter of 'Judicial Notice'--i.e., 'a Natural Fact of Jesus', 'Take My Word For It' or 'You Just Gotta Believe!!'.
But those hacks and flacks and dwarves and finks and phonies and frogs whose pitiful careers were made by passing around a bunch of humbug fables and mind-blowing Joseph Conradisms, like they were joints of PCP-soaked parsley, just won't let go of their meal ticket. So any time they see a chance to suck Paul Kagame's dick--and thereby fellate the entire reactionary wing of the US foreign policy establishment--they drop down and pucker up.
Though, worry not, some have not let this lying dog sleep. Our comrade Chris Black worked long and hard to defend our General Ndindiliyimana, and in so doing he put together a lot of hard evidence that describes the Rwandan Reality less like a bunch of blue-gummed spear-chuckers (or machete-slangers) out to revenge raped livestock and more the usual cool, discreet Western attempt at regime change for the purposes of Privatizing the vast natural (and national) resources of Central Africa.
So this is for those who can no longer stomach the maudlin yet virulently racist fables of Christianity's victory over savagery.
First we present the letter from the Righteously Angry and Ignorant over a rather fey questioning of their catechism:
The malevolent Linda Melvern
Mr. Tony Hall, Director-General of the BBC, Broadcasting House, Portland Place,
London. W1A 1AA
October 12, 2014.
We the undersigned, scholars, scientists, researchers, journalists and historians are writing to you today to express our grave concern at the content of the
documentary Rwanda’s Untold Story (This World, BBC 2 Wednesday October 1), specifically its coverage of the 1994 genocide of the Tutsi.
We accept and support that it is legitimate to investigate, with due diligence and respect for factual evidence, any crimes committed by the Rwandan Patriotic
Front (RPF), and to reflect on the contemporary political situation in Rwanda. However, attempts to examine these issues should not distort the reality of the 1994
genocide. It is not legitimate to use current events to either negate or to diminish the genocide. Nor is it legitimate to promote genocide denial.
The parts of the film which concern the 1994 genocide, far from providing viewers with an ‘Untold Story’ as the title promises, are old claims. For years similar
material using similar language has been distributed far and wide as part of an on-going ‘Hutu Power’ campaign of genocide denial. At the heart of this campaign
are convicted génocidaires, some of their defence lawyers from the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), and their supporters and collaborators.
These deniers continually question the status of the genocide and try to prove – like the programme – that what it calls the ‘official narrative’ of the 1994
genocide is wrong. The BBC programme Rwanda’s Untold Story recycles their arguments and provides them with another platform to create doubt and
confusion about what really happened.
Three of the untenable claims made in the programme are of the utmost concern: the first is a lie about the true nature of the Hutu Power militia. The second is an
attempt to minimize the number of Tutsi murdered in the genocide, and the third is an effort to place the blame for shooting down President Habyarimana’s plane
on April 6, 1994 on the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF).
First, the programme allows a witness to claim that ‘only ten percent of the Interahamwe (militia) were killers’. In fact, the majority of Hutu Power militia forces –
estimated to have been 30,000 strong – were trained specifically to
kill Tutsi at speed, and indoctrinated in a racist ideology, part of genocide planning. There is eyewitness testimony by several militia leaders who cooperated with
Second, the programme attempts to minimise the number of Tutsi murdered, a typical tactic of genocide deniers. The false figures cited are provided by two US
academics who worked for a team of lawyers defending the génocidaires at the ICTR. They even claim that in 1994 more Hutu than Tutsi were murdered – an
absurd suggestion and contrary to all the widely available research reported by Amnesty International, UNICEF, the UN Human Rights Commission, Oxfam, Human
Rights Watch, Africa Rights, a UN Security Council mandated Commission of Experts and evidence submitted to the ICTR and other European courts who have
successfully put on trial several perpetrators.
Third, the film argues that the shooting down of the plane on April 6, 1994 was perpetrated by the RPF. This same story was promoted by Hutu Power
extremists within a few hours of the president’s assassination and promoted ever since by génocidaires and a few ICTR defence lawyers.
The film pays no heed to a detailed expert report published in January 2012 by a French magistrate Judge Marc Trévidic. This contains evidence from French
experts, including crash investigators, who proved scientifically that the missiles that shot down the plane came from the confines of the government-run
barracks in Kanombe on the airport’s perimeter – one of the most fortified places in the country, and where it would have been impossible for the RPF, armed
with a missile, to penetrate.
Within hours of the president’s assassination, in this carefully planned genocide, roadblocks went up all over Kigali and the Presidential Guard started to target
every member of Rwanda’s political opposition. These momentous events are barely mentioned. The members of the Hutu and Tutsi pro-democracy movements
were hunted down and killed, including Rwanda’s Prime Minister, Agathe Uwilingiyimana, and ten UN peacekeepers from Belgium who were protecting her.
These opposition politicians separately threatened the Habyarimana regime for advocating power-sharing and paid for their courage with their lives. Ignored in
this film are the Hutu Power attempts to divide the internal political opposition along ethnic lines. Political violence in the film is seen only in the context of a ‘civil
war’ between the RPF and the Habyarimana government, a smoke screen, used then and now, to hide the systematic killing of Tutsi carried out by the Hutu
Power Interim Government and its militia.
The film-maker, Jane Corbin, who presented the programme, even tries to raise doubts about whether or not the RPF stopped the genocide. The authority on this
subject is Lt.-General Roméo Dallaire, the Force commander of the UN Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR), and present in Rwanda throughout the
genocide. Dallaire is categorical. ‘The genocide was stopped because the RPF won and stopped it’, he says. Corbin
ignores the testimonies of direct witnesses to what happened in 1994: Dallaire and his volunteer UN peacekeepers, Philippe Gaillard and the medics at the
International Committee of the Red Cross, and Dr. James Orbinski of Médecins Sans Frontières. Years of research and writing by academics and other experts
along with hours of films by journalists who work for the BBC – all of this eyewitness testimony is dismissed as if fraudulent.
In broadcasting this documentary the BBC has been recklessly irresponsible. The programme has fuelled genocide denial. It has further emboldened the
génocidaires, all their supporters and those who collaborate with them. It has provided them the legitimacy of the BBC. Denial of genocide causes the gravest
offence to survivors. For them, the genocide is not a distant event from 20 years ago but a reality with which they live every day.
The denial of genocide is now widely recognised as the final stage of the crime. One of the world’s preeminent genocide scholars, the US Professor Greg H.
Stanton, describes ten stages in genocide: classification of the population; symbolization of those classifications; discrimination against a targeted group;
dehumanisation of the pariah group; organisation of the killers; polarisation of the population; preparation by the killers; persecution of the victims; extermination
of the victims; and denial that the killing was genocide.
Denial, the final stage, ensures the crime continues. It incites new killing. It denies the dignity of the deceased and mocks those who survived. Denial of genocide
is taken so seriously that in some European countries it is criminalized. In 2008 the Council of the European Union called upon states to criminalize genocide
The 1994 genocide of the Tutsi should be treated by all concerned with the utmost intellectual honesty and rigour. We would be willing – indeed see it as our
duty – to meet with journalists and to debate in a follow up programme the serious inaccuracies in Rwanda’s Untold Story.
We hope that the BBC management will quickly realise the gravity of the genocide denial in Rwanda’s Untold Story. We call upon the BBC to explain how the
programme came to be made and the editorial decision-making which allowed it to be broadcast. In the course of any internal BBC enquiry we hope all relevant
documents from the This World archive and from senior editors involved in approving the programme will be released for study.
Rwanda’s Untold Story tarnishes the BBC’s well-deserved reputation for objective and balanced journalism. We urge the BBC to apologise for the offence this
programme has caused for all victims and survivors of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.
Professor Linda Melvern
Author, A People Betrayed: The Role of the West in Rwanda’s Genocide; Conspiracy to Murder
Senator Roméo Dallaire Force Commander, UNAMIR
Professor Gregory H. Stanton President, Genocide Watch
Journalist and Author
Bishop Ken Barham
Dr. Margaret Brearley Independent Scholar
Dr. Gerald Caplan
Author, The Preventable Genocide
Professor Frank Chalk
Professor of History/Director, Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies, Concordia University, Co-author, ‘Mobilizing the Will to Intervene:
Leadership to Prevent Mass Atrocities’ (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2010)
Reader in Comparative and International Politics, SOAS, University of London
Boubacar Boris Diop, Sénégal. Author, Murambi, the book of bones
Jean-Francois Dupaquier Author and Expert
Diplômée de l’IEP d’Aix-en-Provence (2003), Docteur en histoire de l’EHESS (2013)
Professor Margee Ensign
President, American University of Nigeria
Independent genocide researcher
Former UNICEF staff member
Emeritus professor in International Relations, Human Rights and the Causes of Gross Human Rights Violations, Universities of Maastricht and Utrecht,
Netherlands. Author, The Failure to Prevent Genocide in Rwanda: The Role of Bystanders, 2007
Dr. Helen Hintjens
Assistant Professor in Development and Social Justice, International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) The Hague
Dr. Georgina Holmes
Lecturer International Relations,
University of Portsmouth/Royal Holloway, University of London
Author, The Travesty of Human Rights Watch on Rwanda
Eric Joyce MP
Ambassador Karel Kovanda (ret).
Czech Representative on the UN Security Council, 1994-95
Chief Executive, Survivors Fund (SURF)
Ambassador Stephen Lewis.
Former Canadian Ambassador to the UN.
W. Alan McClue
Visiting Fellow, Bournemouth University/Cranfield University
Ph.D. Researcher and Lecturer in Supranational and Organizational Criminology, Department of Criminal Law and Criminology Maastricht University, The
George Monbiot Author and Journalist
Author, La France au coeur du génocide des Tutsi (2010)
International Law Consultant; Former Senior Trial Attorney - Bagosora et al., United Nations International Tribunal for Rwanda
Dr. Jude Murison
School of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh
President, White Pine Pictures, Toronto, Canada
Professor Josias Semujanga
Professeur titulaire, Département des littératures de langue française, Université de Montréal, Quebec
Managing Director of Ojemba Education
Senior Research fellow, Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London; Lecturer in Communications and Humanitarianism, Centre for Journalism,
University of Kent
Patrick de Saint-Exupéry Author and journalist
Dr James M. Smith CBE CEO, Aegis Trust
Rafiki Ubaldo Journalist
Author, Silent Accomplice: The untold Story of the Role of France in the Rwandan Genocide, I.B.Tauris, 2014
Lillian Wong, O.B.E.
British Chargé d’Affairs in Rwanda 1994-1995
Now find the response of our Minister of Defense, Maitre Black:
Toronto's own Jacques Vergès
Dear Mr. Hall,
I wish to add my voice to those who support a public discussion of the events in the Rwandan War that took place between October 1, 1990, and July 1994, and its aftermath, and to express my profound disgust at the attempt by the signatories of the letter to you of October 12, 2014, by a number of RPF propagandists and hangers-on to attack the BBC for broadcasting the documentary by Conroy and Corbin, "Rwanda, The Untold Story".
The signatories include those who have been active propagandists for the RPF regime from the beginning, like Linda Melvern and Gerald Caplan, whose false histories of the war are infamous. It includes others, like General Roméo Dallaire whose role in helping the RPF prepare its final offensive and the murder of President Habyarimana was exposed in the trials at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and is part of the trial record; and Barbara Mulvaney, who was a senior prosecutor at the ICTR and who, therefore, cannot claim to be ignorant of the facts of her own case. Others, such as Mr. Monbiot et al, appear to be what Jacques Ellul described very well in his book "On Propaganda" as intellectuals who know little but think they have to have an opinion on everything and so are the most easily propagandized.
These signatories make the most egregious claims, allegations that were proven false in the trials many years ago. One of their claims concerns the Interahamwe, the youth wing of the ruling MRND party. In the Military II trial at the ICTR, the trial of the Rwandan Army Chief of Staff and the Gendarmerie Chief of Staff and other officers, the prosecutor called witness 006/AOG, who was the former treasurer of the Interahamwe. This man is now living in Canada under Canadian government protection and support. In his testimony he stated that there were only 1500 members of the Interahamwe, and most of those in Kigali, and that there was no Interahamwe presence in the southern regions of Butare and Gitarama as the MRND party had little presence in those areas. He also confirmed that, like the other youth militias of other parties, they were not armed and further confirmed that the president of the Interahamwe was a Tutsi , and there were other Tutsis in the organization. Barbara Mulvaney cannot claim anything else since she was part of the prosecution team at the time this witness testified.
Furthermore, minutes were produced in evidence of meetings between General Dallaire and the leaders of the Interahamwe to negotiate handling of such things as demonstrations and meetings, and so General Dallaire cannot claim ignorance of the true state of affairs either.
The reason that these claims of the existence of tens of thousands of Interahamwe are continually propagated is to justify the suppression of the MRND party, which was the most popular political party at the time, and to cover up the real role of the RPF forces in the massacres that took place.
They also make the astounding claim, long ago proven to be false, that “Hutu extremists" shot down the presidents’ plane when the ICTR prosecutor's own investigation lead by Michael Hourigan established as far back as 1997 that it was the RPF that had done it. But as with Louise Arbour, who immediately suppressed that information, the signatories also want to suppress that fact. Ms. Mulvaney adds her name to those prosecutors at the ICTR who cover for and protect the murderers of all those on board the plane and are therefore accessories after the fact to the crime. General Dallaire's role in the shoot down has yet to be explained, but it is clear that he has a deep personal interest in the truth not coming out.
The signatories compound their ignorance or deliberate duplicity by falsely stating the evidence of the sequence of events of April 1994. The evidence at the war crimes trials is that the RPF forces attacked as soon as the plane went down on the night of April 6th. They first attacked the Presidential Guard camp at Kanombe, according to Belgian intelligence reports filed in evidence in the Military II trial. They then attacked and wiped out the 500-man Military Police Camp at Kami in the early morning hours of April 7th, and attacked and wiped out the Gendarme camp at Remera , and then began the systematic massacres of Hutus in the Remera district and began the intense bombardment of the army and gendarme camps in the capital.
During the night of the 6-7th, the Rwandan Army and Gendarmerie leaders met with General Dallaire and Belgian Colonel Luc Marchal to try to get the RPF to stop their attacks and establish a ceasefire and resumption of the Arusha Accords. The RPF refused all cease-fire offers and maintained their offensive and slaughter of civilians.
The RPF forces then occupied the grounds of the UN headquarters at the Amohoro stadium, the HQ of Dallaire, and began selecting and summarily executing Hutu intellectuals. Despite pleas by Hutus in the stadium to General Dallaire personally to stop these murders, he did nothing. This is all evidence in the trials.
The Rwandan Army and Gendarmerie were pinned down from the night of the 6th of April until they were forced to retreat for lack of ammunition in July and could hardly defend themselves let alone waste time and ammunition hunting down civilians. Several witnesses, including Colonel Marchal, Colonel Andre Vincent, deputy head of Belgian Army Intelligence and Belgian Ambassador Swinnen, all testified that the Rwandan Army supported the Arusha Accords and only the RPF opposed them, and that it was the RPF that continuously obstructed the peace accords and attempts to stabilize the situation.
There was also testimony in the Military II trial that US Air Force C130 Hercules aircraft were observed dropping men and supplies to the RPF forces after April 6th, and American personnel were seen at Kagame's HQ at Mulindi just two days before the president's plane was shot down. This testimony was never challenged by the prosecution.
Dr. Alison Des Forges, in her testimony as a witness for the prosecution in the Military Trial in 2005, testified that the Rwandan government did not plan, and could not have planned, a genocide because it was a mulit-ethnic government, not a Hutu government as the signatories claim, in which Tutsis and pro-RPF people held key ministries. President Habyarimana by January 1994 had no power at all . He had been reduced to a figurehead as President. All power lay with the pro-RPF prime ministers. Melvern, Caplan, Dallaire, Mulvaney, et all, all know these facts as this is the evidence in the trials, and it is prosecution evidence, not defense evidence. There was also evidence that both the Army and Gendarmerie had Tutsi officers and men in their ranks. In fact, my client's close protection unit were all Tutsi officers and NCOs.
Having said all that, I would criticize the documentary for ignoring these established facts and for ignoring the evidence at the war crimes trials and for not speaking with defense counsel involved, who have many years of experience in investigating the facts of the Rwanda War, which was just the first phase of the greater war by the West for control of the resources of central Africa. That is, the documentary could have gone much further than it did. The facts are all there in the trial transcripts if only one wants to know them.
Barrister, Lead Counsel to General Augustin Ndindiliyimana, Chief of Staff, Rwanda Gendarmerie
Acquitted of all charges at the ICTR, February, 2014