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1994-The red phone rang and rang and rang again.....and no one answered. [View All]

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FrenchieCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-11-08 02:41 AM
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1994-The red phone rang and rang and rang again.....and no one answered.
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Samantha Power was rightfully awarded the Pulitzer for her finely written and downright horrifying book "A Problem From Hell" which, in macabre detail, describes the calculated indifference of the Clinton administration when 800,000 Rwandans were being systematically butchered.

The red phone rang and rang and rang again. I don't know where Hillary was then. But her husband and his entire experienced foreign policy team - from the brass in the Pentagon to the congenitally feckless Secretary of State Warren Christopher - just let it ring.

The Age's Sandy Scheltema was the first Australian news
photographer to arrive in Rwanda during the 1994 genocide.

And as more than one researcher has amply documented the case, the bloody paralysis of the Clinton administration in the face of the Rwandan genocide owed not at all to a lack of information, but rather to a lack of will. A reviewer of Power's book for The New York Times, perhaps summed it up best, saying that the picture of Clinton that emerges from this reading is that of an "amoral narcissist."

Former Canadian General Romeo Dallaire, who commanded the UN forces in Rwanda at the time of the genocide, tells us a similar story in his own memoir. General Dallaire recounts how, at the height of the Rwandan holocaust, he got a phone call from a Clinton administration staffer who wanted to know how many Rwandans had already died, how many were refugees and how many were internally displaced.

Writes Dallaire: "He told me that his estimates indicated that it would take the deaths of 85,000 Rwandans to justify the risking of the life of one American soldier."

Eventually, ten times that many would die. And our response? A handful of years later, at a photo-op stopover in Kigali airport, Bill Clinton bit his lip and said he was sorry.


When good people do nothing ...

For once, the word "decimate" is used correctly. It means to kill one in 10 of a population, and this is what happened in Rwanda. More than 800,000 were killed in 100 days. The daily killing rate was said to be three times that of the Holocaust.

What are the necessary conditions for a genocide to take place? Though each has its particular, terrible set of circumstances, there are commonalities. There needs to be concerted, government-level incitement. One part of the population must be convinced the targeted group is the cause of its troubles. There needs to be envy and resentment. There needs to be a culture of obedience. There needs to be dehumanisation of the targeted group. Then there needs to be meticulous planning.

On April 20, the Security Council voted to withdraw all but a few UN troops. Later, Dallaire was to tell the Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda that if he'd had a well-armed force of 5000 he could have halted the genocide in a week.

The world powers were reluctant to describe the killings as genocide because, under the 1948 Genocide Convention, that would have meant they were obliged to act. So "never again" happened again.

After 800,000 lives gone because no one answered the phone,
who answers in the future really matters.
I prefer sound judgment and not a Political Jitsu Master
to answer that damn phone!

"Why did the United States not do more for the Rwandans at the time of the killings? Did the President really not know about the genocide, as his marginalia suggested? Who were the people in his Administration who made the life-and-death decisions that dictated U.S. policy? Why did they decide (or decide not to decide) as they did? Were any voices inside or outside the U.S. government demanding that the United States do more? If so, why weren't they heeded? And most crucial, what could the United States have done to save lives?" - Samantha Power, from her article, Bystanders to Genocide -

read Samantha Power's Books!

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  -1994-The red phone rang and rang and rang again.....and no one answered. FrenchieCat  Mar-11-08 02:41 AM   #0 
  - Excellent post -nt  NMMatt   Mar-11-08 02:43 AM   #1 
  - It is really just so unbelievably sad......  FrenchieCat   Mar-11-08 02:46 AM   #2 
  - It's sad you couldn't find anyone but an Obama campaign worker to quote  MagsDem   Mar-11-08 12:04 PM   #49 
     - Do you have a problem with basic chronology?  EmilyAnne   Mar-11-08 01:19 PM   #52 
     - Samantha Power.....  FrenchieCat   Mar-12-08 01:37 AM   #67 
     - Another** Obama Advisor had to RESIGN today--He was sending out these 3 am  rodeodance   Mar-12-08 06:02 AM   #86 
  - Case For George Bush  PraiseTheMessiah   Mar-11-08 11:39 PM   #61 
     - I suggest that when we can do good, we should......and we could have.....  FrenchieCat   Mar-12-08 02:03 AM   #70 
  - What a cheap smear. Now the Clintons are genocidal?  jackson_dem   Mar-11-08 02:48 AM   #3 
  - Like I said, no one answered the damn phone.......  FrenchieCat   Mar-11-08 02:50 AM   #4 
  - The Clintons did stumble a bit in their first two years due to inexperience in DC, foreign affairs  jackson_dem   Mar-11-08 03:02 AM   #5 
     - Clinton was begged to intervene in the Balkans....which he  FrenchieCat   Mar-11-08 03:06 AM   #7 
     - The Blue Dress was found in 1994?  jackson_dem   Mar-11-08 03:14 AM   #9 
        - Talking about Kosovo.......  FrenchieCat   Mar-11-08 03:35 AM   #13 
           - You are SO ignorant about history  MagsDem   Mar-11-08 11:56 AM   #48 
     - Rwanda wasn't due to inexperience so much as it was the earlier experience in Somalia  andym   Mar-11-08 03:11 AM   #8 
     - You are right. Somalia made Bill gunshy  jackson_dem   Mar-11-08 03:16 AM   #10 
     - Bingo!  FrenchieCat   Mar-11-08 03:36 AM   #14 
     - Judgement versus experience. eom  No Surrender   Mar-11-08 07:12 AM   #31 
     - Off topic much? Trying to turn the tables as usual?  catgirl   Mar-11-08 07:23 AM   #32 
     - So, you're saying that they couldn't quite figure out  Occam Bandage   Mar-11-08 11:54 AM   #45 
     - Bill Clinton knew enough about foreign policy to deep-six the BCCI report FOR Poppy Bush  blm   Mar-11-08 02:31 PM   #54 
  - You need to do some research.  Window   Mar-11-08 04:25 AM   #20 
  - Read what Bill Clinton's comments were  catgirl   Mar-11-08 07:26 AM   #33 
  - Billary Sure Acted Right Quick On The Aspirin Factory Of Doom  MannyGoldstein   Mar-12-08 07:02 PM   #96 
  - More.....  FrenchieCat   Mar-11-08 03:03 AM   #6 
  - another insane smear post: we are not the world's police...why not Sri Lanka now?  amborin   Mar-11-08 03:18 AM   #11 
  - We are not the world's police!  FrenchieCat   Mar-11-08 03:37 AM   #16 
  - which is why Samatha was is so hypocritical  amborin   Mar-11-08 04:29 AM   #24 
     - Sure, go after a human rights campaigner instead of the deserving person  catgirl   Mar-11-08 07:28 AM   #34 
     - You know, one problem with having so many people on ignore...  ekwhite   Mar-11-08 10:47 PM   #57 
     - That was what one would call.....  FrenchieCat   Mar-12-08 04:19 PM   #95 
  - Who do we have left to send anywhere  Window   Mar-11-08 04:29 AM   #22 
  - I agree. I'm for Obama--but not this smear.  michigander3   Mar-11-08 04:38 AM   #26 
     - Why did Bill Clinton apologize and call it one of his biggest mistakes  FrenchieCat   Mar-11-08 11:49 AM   #39 
        - If we had major riots in the USA, I wouldn't expect help...  michigander3   Mar-11-08 01:48 PM   #53 
           - How carefully? This was proposed to be a U.N. action......  FrenchieCat   Mar-12-08 01:40 AM   #69 
  - Recommended  Catherina   Mar-11-08 03:22 AM   #12 
  - that we go into Myanmar? and stop the monks' slaughter?  amborin   Mar-11-08 03:36 AM   #15 
  - 800,000 Rawandans were left to die by the Clinton administration.....  FrenchieCat   Mar-11-08 03:38 AM   #17 
     - no, 500,000 were left to die by the Hutu militias  amborin   Mar-11-08 04:33 AM   #25 
        - right.....800,000 in large part cause the phone wasn't answered.....  FrenchieCat   Mar-11-08 11:55 AM   #47 
           - why aren't you agitating for immediate invasion of Sri Lanka?  amborin   Mar-11-08 01:08 PM   #51 
  - So do I!  FrenchieCat   Mar-11-08 04:06 AM   #18 
  - I will never forget that.  Window   Mar-11-08 04:23 AM   #19 
  - Trash Bill Clinton.  Tennessee Gal   Mar-11-08 04:26 AM   #21 
  - The Republicans didn't want to go into Rwanda either......  FrenchieCat   Mar-11-08 04:29 AM   #23 
  - Your post is still a trash of Bill Clinton.  Tennessee Gal   Mar-11-08 04:41 AM   #27 
     - Maybe that's what he deserved, I know what 800,000 Rwandans  FrenchieCat   Mar-12-08 01:38 AM   #68 
  - There are two issues that I find it acceptable to outright trash Bill Clinton on.  Occam Bandage   Mar-11-08 11:51 AM   #43 
  - sickening Samantha posing w/ her plastic water bottle, while so many Africans have no potable water  amborin   Mar-11-08 04:42 AM   #28 
  - Samantha Power shouldn't drink water in the U.S.?  FrenchieCat   Mar-11-08 11:47 AM   #38 
     - too ignorant to know plastic water bottles are the sign of total scorn for the world's poor  amborin   Mar-11-08 01:07 PM   #50 
        - Well it's good to know that you don't give a shit about people.....  FrenchieCat   Mar-12-08 02:07 AM   #71 
           - describing yourself i see  amborin   Mar-12-08 12:23 PM   #93 
  - Bill chose wisely  JustABozoOnThisBus   Mar-11-08 06:40 AM   #29 
  - Sick  FrenchieCat   Mar-12-08 02:08 AM   #72 
     - I don't think libertarians are fond of light blue helmets  JustABozoOnThisBus   Mar-12-08 04:17 AM   #75 
  - call back when it's something politically expedient!  JVS   Mar-11-08 07:06 AM   #30 
  - Great post FrenchieCat  catgirl   Mar-11-08 07:29 AM   #35 
  - WOW!! ...K&R ..n/t  not_too_L8   Mar-11-08 07:32 AM   #36 
  - This issue is bigger than our primary election.  CarbonDate   Mar-11-08 07:41 AM   #37 
  - Yep....experience at making mistakes....whether  FrenchieCat   Mar-11-08 11:54 AM   #46 
  - The Clintons must have forwarded that WH red phone message to voice mail.  AtomicKitten   Mar-11-08 11:50 AM   #40 
  - k/r  AZBlue   Mar-11-08 11:51 AM   #41 
  - Do African nations even have the number to the red phone?  Kristi1696   Mar-11-08 11:51 AM   #42 
  - Is your candidate campaigning on being the world's policeman?  MagsDem   Mar-11-08 11:53 AM   #44 
  - There's no excuse.  kryckis   Mar-11-08 04:31 PM   #55 
  - i agree. and it breaks my heart too. k&r for this thread. n/t  orleans   Mar-11-08 09:08 PM   #56 
  - The Clinton administration's response to Rwanda was abysmal  ekwhite   Mar-11-08 10:48 PM   #58 
  - Samantha Speaks The Truth  PraiseTheMessiah   Mar-11-08 11:29 PM   #59 
  - Did DU'ers Take Action?  PraiseTheMessiah   Mar-11-08 11:32 PM   #60 
  - If only they had a little bit of oil k and r  grantcart   Mar-11-08 11:40 PM   #62 
  - Samantha Power is really a lowly turd.  AX10   Mar-11-08 11:44 PM   #63 
  - Case For George Bush  PraiseTheMessiah   Mar-11-08 11:48 PM   #64 
  - Somalia 1993  PraiseTheMessiah   Mar-12-08 12:12 AM   #65 
  - hilary being the ostrich she  zidzi   Mar-12-08 01:33 AM   #66 
  - funny cartoon today I saw- Its 3 am and the WH red phone rings, Bill  caligirl   Mar-12-08 02:46 AM   #73 
  - !  FrenchieCat   Mar-12-08 04:23 AM   #76 
  - Kick  Scurrilous   Mar-12-08 03:14 AM   #74 
  - Cheap-shot on Bill Clinton. Shame on you. Samatha Powers brought her  rodeodance   Mar-12-08 04:41 AM   #77 
  - So ask Bill why he apologized about this being one of his biggest  FrenchieCat   Mar-12-08 04:45 AM   #78 
     - You are making a political statement using these horrible deaths! and  rodeodance   Mar-12-08 05:08 AM   #79 
     - No, I am calling attention to articles written by others......  FrenchieCat   Mar-12-08 05:17 AM   #81 
        - It is you that are using them for your purpose of smearing Bill Clinton.  rodeodance   Mar-12-08 05:25 AM   #83 
           - Whatever.  FrenchieCat   Mar-12-08 05:32 AM   #85 
     - I am on the fence about the US  eilen   Mar-12-08 05:22 AM   #82 
        - They were asking for 5,000 U.N. Peacekeepers......  FrenchieCat   Mar-12-08 05:28 AM   #84 
           - My point was that it is complicated  eilen   Mar-12-08 06:04 AM   #87 
  - *See this--An Obama Advisor is sending these 3 am emails--He resigned  rodeodance   Mar-12-08 05:11 AM   #80 
  - The personal pecadillos of Bill Clinton did contribute to  Skidmore   Mar-12-08 06:12 AM   #88 
     - it is wrong to use this horrible tragedy to make political points.  rodeodance   Mar-12-08 07:08 AM   #89 
        - Which horrible tragedy?  Skidmore   Mar-12-08 01:00 PM   #94 
  - What the hell was he supposed to do?  Deep13   Mar-12-08 08:19 AM   #90 
  - Excellent post, and oh so sad. n/t  greguganus   Mar-12-08 08:21 AM   #91 
  - "his entire experienced foreign policy team"  Sees Clearly   Mar-12-08 10:44 AM   #92 

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