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Yes, what the US did in Iraq was genocide. Murdered hundreds of thousands of people for imperial gain. Made millions of refugees, of whom the largest share fled to Syria.
I'm well aware of the current definition of the term and it is deficient, a long-ago compromise so that the great powers would even accept it as a crime under international law. It allows you to define away the crime by legalism. Fine.
The US committed mass murder in a war of unprovoked aggression. The present government just filed a motion to give immunity to the perpetrators of this war! It has also escalated the "global war on terror" under new names in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia, and is about to do so in Syria.
This country has a permanent government of the military-industrial complex with rotating administrations that inevitably serve the war machine.
And you actually say it's fine since the Iraqi population is rising?
Yeah, what's the big deal, start wars around the planet, kill millions, poison countries with agent orange and depleted uranium, poison their water... to call it genocide you have to meet a definition written by the empire.
And then presume to sit in judgement as the world policeman and executioner!
Posted by JackRiddler | Wed Aug 28, 2013, 04:43 PM (2 replies)
I certainly didn't say otherwise. So I don't know why your title line should imply I did.
Germans were the first European imperialists to colonize Rwanda, in the late 19th C., and the Belgians took over after World War I. The racially obsessed, controlling, census-taking European administrations forced a solidification of the previously porous and flexible categories of "Hutu" and "Tutsi"; another way in which the eventual genocide was the product of direct European intervention (rather than indifference or failure to intervene, as the modern-day liberal imperialists would have it).
In the post-colonial era Rwanda was mainly a French client state, as I wrote, and as your long quoted text confirms.
Thank you for posting that, it's very interesting. You bolded a passage about the French military invasion. Their intervention indeed set up a zone in which civilians were relatively protected, though there is no way to confirm the self-serving French claims of how many lives therefore were saved. What is certain, however, is that the French military invasion allowed the retreat from the advances of the RPF of the actual genocidaires, the Hutu Power forces -- the French allies! What is also certain is that as a result, the Interahamwe remnants were able to set up new bases in the Congo, from which they continued to attack Rwanda, setting off a very bloody series of consequences. So I have to call bullshit on the claim that there was any noble intent behind the French military intervention, and assess its purpose (as we should generally judge these things) by its actual effect, which was to support the genocidaires.
In Germany at the time, a broad spectrum of political opinion viewed the French intervention as an unacceptable imperial adventure, leading to an break of consensus in the usual German-French unity on foreign affairs. It was German influence that may have prevented the French plans for an expansion of their intervention.
I was in Germany in 1994 and their mainstream press covered the French military intervention in Rwanda on behalf of the Hutu Power forces, very thoroughly.
Here's an expose on the French role from an implicitly pro-US position, found on an anarcholibertarian site. It is an excellent and yet totally one-sided history of how France intervened in Rwanda to assist the genocide:
"1990-1994: The genocide and war in Rwanda"
It's one-sided because the RPF is presented as the good guys who happened to wander in from Uganda. The U.S. role in creating the RPF in the first place is cut out altogether.
For a one-sided version of the U.S. role, deemphasizing the (greater) French role in the crime, see here:
"The US was behind the Rwandan Genocide:
Rwanda: Installing a US Protectorate in Central Africa"
by Michel Chossudovsky
I do not agree with that headline.
The truth is, the two powers are both responsible for aspects of what happened in Rwanda -- both France and U.S. intervened, both exacerbating the situation, and neither cared for stopping the genocide. Both acted only on behalf of imperial interests. This is as one might expect, given the prior history of the Great Powers.
I shall quote from the first account, because it already suffices to demolish the myth of "Western indifference" at what happened in Rwanda.
France intervened in 1994 to help the Interhamwe militias, after already doing much to prop up the Habyarimana government in its former colony:
France arms and trains the killers
Then, in 1994:
In 1994 the Rwandan regime was rapidly crumbling before a rebel army – the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) - which, as it advanced, was putting a stop to the genocide in one region of the country after another. The speed of the rebels' advance meant life or death for tens of thousands of Tutsis. France intervened to create 'safe havens', supposedly to protect the lives of civilians from the majority Hutu group from Tutsi revenge. In reality they were attempting to slow the rebels' advance and protecting the remains of the Rwandan regime from them.
In Germany at the time, I remember it was specifically the German uproar within the EU at what France was doing not to stop but to *extend* the genocide in Rwanda that led to the withdrawal of the French force, albeit too late to prevent the next chapter of the tragedy, in Congo.
The Hutu Power militias continued to raid Rwanda from the Congo, until Rwanda invaded and backed the Kagame overthrow of one of the worst of all dictators, Mobuto (who had been put in power by the US, Belgium and France in the early 1960s after the overthrow and assassination of Lumumba, and who had been plundering ever since).
This set off the Congo wars that have killed so many since.
In short, portions of the U.S. imperial apparatus had a war by proxy in the 1990s against France and French interests, all over Africa, continuing to this day in the Congo.
I'm sure in 1994 Mitterand knew all about what French imperialism was up to - small-time powers like France need to keep a tighter and more centralized control over their operations. And it's not like French Socialists had not already been part of coalitions that supported genocide as a response to the aspirations for independence of the Vietnamese and Algerian peoples. So the decades of merely propping up the old regime in Rwanda may have seemed minor by comparison.
Of course, Mitterand as the C-in-C would have had to give direct approval on the order to INTERVENE in 1994 with actual French troops on BEHALF of the Hutu Power forces that are accused of COMMITTING the genocide. (Sorry, this stuff requires caps, because although it was all over the European press at the time, for some reason a different history has been written about "how the West stood by.")
Kagame's official site reads:
"He served as a senior officer in the Ugandan army between 1986 and 1990 during which time he attended a staff and command course at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, USA. In October 1990, Paul Kagame returned to Rwanda after thirty years in exile to lead the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA) in the struggle for the liberation of Rwanda."
His opposition agrees:
* Link now dead *
"In October 1990, while Kagame was participating in a military training program at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, the RPF invaded Rwanda. Only two days into the invasion, Rwigema was killed, making Kagame the military commander of the RPF. Despite initial successes, a force of French, Belgian, Rwandan, and Zairan soldiers forced the RPF to retreat. A renewed invasion was attempted in late 1991, but also had limited success."
Um, hm, Kansas? Does this sound like the U.S. was supporting the RPF? Of course. In 1990 and until 1994, is the U.S.-backed RPF fighting the French-backed Rwandan government? Why, yes.
So what do you call that? A proxy war.
Was the incoming Clinton aware of this small portion of U.S. worldwide operations? Dunno. It's not like presidents have actually been responsible for most of foreign "policy" (operations of war and plunder) since, oh, I'll be charitable and say Nixon. Clinton's a smart guy and I'm sure by the time of the genocide he figured what a few of the heads on the far-reaching U.S. octopus had been doing in Africa.
Posted by JackRiddler | Wed Aug 28, 2013, 10:35 AM (1 replies)
Western powers intervened in Rwanda years before the genocide in 1994. France and the US armed and dispatched the sides in the eventual civil war. Rwanda was a French client state. The USG set up the Museveni regime in Uganda, where it then armed and trained the Rwandan Patriotic Front under the leadership of Paul Kagame. He received military training at Ft. Leavenworth.
The RPF invaded Rwanda from Uganda with the intent to take power. They have been accused of committing their own serious atrocities during the invasion. This was the context as the Hutu Power militias whipped up their genocidal campaign against Tutsi civilians. The mass murder was set off in earnest following the assassination of the presidents of Rwanda and Burundi, who were trying to negotiate a peace, in a shootdown of their plane. Subsequent UN and ICC investigations of the events officially left out the mysterious circumstances of the assassination and begin after it.
The war went to the RPF's favor. During the genocide, France invaded Rwanda to secure the retreat of the Hutu Power killers. Repeat: France intervened militarily in Rwanda during the genocide so as to protect the genocidaires and allow them to escape to Congo, where they set up new bases at Hutu refugee camps. (This then set off the events that led to the Congo war and fall of the Mobuto dictatorship thre, after the new RPF-led Rwandan government invaded Congo.)
This example of a Western military intervention in Rwanda, one of several by France and the U.S. that did not stop but actually contributed to the genocide, was a big story at the time in Europe. It has been erased from the U.S. mythology of "Rwanda," however. The baseless confabulation that the Rwandan genocide occurred because of a lack of Western intervention, rather than partly as the result of a Western intervention, is wholly counterfactual. It is found only in the United States, and internationally within a very select class of humanitarian imperialists in the mode of Samantha Power (who are outside the "reality based" community).
Repeat: Rwandan civil war unfolded with the support of dual Western interventions, in part as a proxy war between French and U.S. imperialist interests. France intervened to support the side committing the genocide.
So how is it possible that anyone ever cites the Rwandan genocide as an example of a case when the West "should have" intervened? How is it that Clinton, under whose administration the U.S. armed and trained the RPF army, is taken seriously when he regrets "not having" intervened? How is it that liberal imperialists, now looking for their latest humanitarian intervention in Syria, are not laughed out of the room when they abuse "Rwanda" as an example?
Posted by JackRiddler | Tue Aug 27, 2013, 04:30 PM (24 replies)
Western powers intervened in Rwanda years earlier, arming the sides in the eventual civil war. Rwanda was a French client state. The US set up, armed and trained the RPF under Kagame in the years before it invaded Rwanda in the attempt to take power - prompting the Hutu militia to initiate a genocide. During the genocide, France invaded Rwanda to secure the retreat of the Hutu Power killers. Only in the United States and among a very select class of humanitarian imperialists (outside the "reality based" community) in the mode of Samantha Power does anyone confabulate that the Rwandan genocide occurred because of a lack of Western intervention. It happened with the support of dual Western interventions!
Posted by JackRiddler | Mon Aug 26, 2013, 02:03 PM (1 replies)
I can tell you there was a horrible phase in 2003 when about a third of this board at the time lined up to support the planned war of aggression on Iraq. But for the most part these were conservative democrats, no one was claiming that the opponents of the war (the majority here, as today with those who oppose the NSA-led surveillance state) were actually right-wing libertarians paid by the right to sabotage Democrats, etc. etc.
Posted by JackRiddler | Tue Aug 20, 2013, 12:15 AM (0 replies)
The ones watching these disgusting anti-humanist "news" programs and howling for the girl's scalp, whether because homosexuality is the sin or out of a supposed hyper-formalist strict construction of "law." And a society that blindly sets up such laws without understanding the consequences at any point. (Can't they figure out an age difference?!) And a prosecuting arm that uses its ample discretion in this extremist fashion to punish the harmless in the most high-profile way possible. And they all sit in judgement of this girl, they get their moral rocks off this case, they preach hellfire for her and style themselves "morally superior," including on this "progressive board" -- they who pay taxes to imprison millions and drop bombs on millions more. A society full of perverts!
Posted by JackRiddler | Thu Aug 15, 2013, 05:27 PM (0 replies)
If these were medieval times and she was accused of witchcraft, she'd have already been drowned or stoned! I suspect this is what most of the people watching these disgusting 24/7 crime drama "news" programs would like to see.
It's so damn unfair that this teenager is only going being threatened with 15 years in prison as a sex offender, when others committing similar non-"crimes" might get even worse treatment.
Shoot them all and let God sort them out!
Posted by JackRiddler | Thu Aug 15, 2013, 12:40 PM (1 replies)
than to want to join the right-wing effort to destroy this girl's life?
This girl's prosecution is almost literally a Salem witchhunt. It is disgusting that they want to ruin her, whether by the draconian plea deal or the off-the-scale bloodthirsty alternative. Supporting her sets "us" back by nothing whatsoever. Hooray for TYT for telling it like it is. Shame on you for being swept up in the intolerant nonsense.
Posted by JackRiddler | Thu Aug 15, 2013, 12:33 PM (1 replies)
Maybe that's the problem, that the Beast can be investigated only by those whom the Beast has vetted?
Isn't it interesting that elected and appointed officials of the elected government get vetted by the Beast, and not vice-versa?
Posted by JackRiddler | Mon Aug 12, 2013, 11:09 PM (2 replies)
He was president, with veto power equivalent to 2/3+1 of both houses of Congress. While I can remember a lot of palaver about how we needed a "bridge to the 21st Century" that was all neoliberal technofetishist code, it doesn't matter. Because I can point you to something a lot more important than his speeches: the Gramm-Leach-Bliley bill deregulating banking and ending the Glass-Steagal limits that had been in place since 1934, the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 which basically banned regulation on derivatives, also NAFTA on "fast track" and a number of other key "free trade" agreements. All signed by Clinton, no gun to his head necessary. (Not to mention the Welfare "reform," highly repressive mandatory sentencing crime laws that helped cause prison inmate numbers to skyrocket more in the Clinton admin than under any other US govt, etc. etc.)
Posted by JackRiddler | Wed Aug 7, 2013, 08:31 PM (0 replies)