June 2, 2010

"The American lawyer jailed by the authorities in Rwanda last week on accusations of denying the nation’s genocide..."

"... tried to kill himself with a pill overdose in his cell, officials there said Wednesday, and he now may face a new charge under Rwandan law: attempted suicide...."
Rwanda, a close American ally that has received hundreds of millions of dollars of American aid, is tightening restrictions on political opponents and critics of the government in the months leading up to elections in August, several human rights groups have said. No subject seems to be touchier than the genocide in 1994, in which hundreds of thousands of minority Tutsis and moderate Hutus were massacred by government-backed death squads. In recent years, thousands of Rwandans have been charged with genocide ideology, an Orwellian-sounding and vaguely defined crime often leveled against anyone who challenges the government’s version of events in 1994.

But Mr. Erlinder’s case is the first time Rwanda has leveled such charges against a Westerner. And the charges against [American law professor Peter Erlinder], 62, seem to have nothing to do with what he may have said or done in Rwanda, but more with his earlier work as a defense lawyer at a United Nations-backed tribunal in Tanzania.

At that tribunal, Mr. Erlinder, who represented a top genocide suspect, disputed the standard characterization of the bloodshed in Rwanda as Hutu victimizers slaughtering innocent Tutsis. Instead, he said that the violence was more spontaneous and possibly the result of Tutsi rebels killing Hutu civilians. He even went as far as to say that the Tutsi rebels, who now rule Rwanda, assassinated Rwanda’s president in 1994, the event that set off the widespread murder.

71 comments:

Fred4Pres said...

Folks should read Paul Theroux on the subject of the epic fail of aid to Africa.

What we are doing is not helping. It is making things worse.

Dead Julius said...

This is just one more wonderful aspect of living in modern America!

See, we citizens don't need to pay attention to world affairs. We need not form any opinion about Israel, or Turkey, or Germany, or Thailand, or Nigeria, or Rwanda...

Because our government does it for us!

We are so involved in every one of those countries that there is an official American line on what is good and what is bad. Our government has an opinion on every aspect of every other world government.

And, of course, our lovely American government tells us what to think! Our tax dollars aid Rwanda's regime. Israel must be supported just enough until our blessed Obama says that the support is too much; and then, once that point is reached, we will all be told to not support Israel anymore.

Nigeria is an especially interesting one. The government is extremely corrupt and in bed with oil companies. Last year there were attacks by opposition groups. I wondered: Will America officially support the opposition as "freedom fighters", or will we castigate them as "terrorists"?

All those American soldiers who died? They didn't die for your freedom. They didn't die for liberty. They didn't die so you could vote.

They died so that your government could tell you what to think.

Ann Althouse said...

Let's focus on the specific problem of Rwanda and the crime that has been charged in this case.

edutcher said...

It doesn't say if he was appointed or volunteered, but it sounds like they believe in the kind of fair trial you're presumed guilty until proven guilty - and that includes anyone who takes your side.

PS Julius might want to recall that our first black President had an opportunity to stop the slaughter, but walked away, so this may have been avoidable.

Her name was Monica, I think.

Synova said...

Okay then.

1) Criminalizing speech or the denial of genocide or holocaust is bad. Like many things of good intention the intention doesn't guarantee good outcomes. In this case the charge that the eventual winners were at fault seems supported by the suppression of dissent. Thus the law backfires in its intent.

2) Being made to feel sympathy for someone who felt it important, professionally or otherwise, to attempt to justify or dismiss the genocide in Rwanda is something I refuse to do. What I imagine, fairly or unfairly, is a person of privilege suddenly forced into the uncomfortable and dangerous world that was previously an intellectual distraction.

Boo-freaking-hoo.

cathy said...

What I've heard about Rwanda has been pretty inspiring. Because what they did was at first they were trying to charge people with crimes but it was too many and not helpful. So they offered an amnesty for people to come forward, say what they did, and there was a lot of forgiveness and also relief because the people who did stuff felt real bad, too. Often they were forced into killing friends and such. I really looked on this as one of the hero stories in the world. This story makes it look like some of the power players are still at their old games, won't let the nation recover, and don't care about the people. I say trust the government, the president is real popular, and they don't need agitators who won't realize their has to be some working together of the tribes.

Synova said...

Oh, and probably a 3)....

I think that war-crime trials are usually a bad idea. They're a bad idea because the situation is not a law-enforcement situation. It's a war. You win or you lose. If you lose and you didn't get slaughtered or summarily sent to a firing squad you should be let go to live in exile with the other losers. Letting the leadership of the losing side of a war go to live in exile and forgiving the losing soldiers is important and necessary to the ending of wars. The losing side is far far more likely to surrender if they have that expectation. If they have the expectation of trials and convictions they will fight long past what they would otherwise do.

Fred4Pres said...

Ann, we paid aid for a reason. To buy influence (which can be a good thing) and to build good will (and for humanitarian purposes).

We get neither. We just create props for poor leaders. Rwanda is just one example out of dozens of countries in Africa.

ElcubanitoKC said...

I completely agree with Synova's 1 and 2

wv - imbulag

Eric said...

Going to other countries and saying stupid shit is the hallmark of the "ugly American" stereotype. I don't have a lot of sympathy for this guy.

Lem said...

I seem to recall there are laws in Germany curtailing what people can say and write about the holocaust.

I think the reasoning behind it is that it could incite violence.. or domething.

Penny said...

AFRICA? Enough with Jessica Simpson, who travels the world trying to be one of you.

May I introduce you to American Lawyers?

They have no interest in being YOU, even for a day, BUT, if you can tolerate them?

Well then, they will be happy to share their American money with you.

Not as good as water, when you have none, but they sure know how to make bread.

traditionalguy said...

What a hard time for this defender of organised mass murderers of women and children. He only wants a civilized discussion of the Hutus as justified since there is always mass murder of women and children in a war. But did not it occur to him that would be a sure fire stupid thing to say before and then visiting the Country ruled by the sons of survivors. Equivalence arguments do not work on those who were there.

AllenS said...

Sometimes, a man just can't catch a break.

peter hoh said...

I heard Erlinder's wife interviewed on the radio this morning. She seemed fairly upbeat, though that may have been a front.

Neither she nor the interviewer made any mention of the suicide attempt.

I suspect that we're only getting a tiny piece of the story.

In the latest development, Rwandan officials say that Erlinder retracted his earlier comments.

Link.

Penny said...

"Equivalence arguments do not work on those who were there."

Ohhhhh, but they WILL, tg.

With all due apology to you, an attorney. Surely you see that, soon enough, it is ONLY that which works.

Once upon a time, Americans exported goods and services. NOW? We export our so-called "life style".

rhhardin said...

It's colorful native culture.

It's a sort of zoo, preserved so that lefties think about visiting it someday.

Lem said...

Martin Ngoga, Rwanda’s prosecutor general, called Mr. Erlinder a “denier” and “revisionist” of the genocide and said it did not matter where the offensive remarks were made.

“We have jurisdictional links for statements and publications done outside Rwanda,” Mr. Ngoga said
.

That cant be right!

Flexo said...

There is free speech, and then there is aiding and abetting atrocities. This is the latter.

The "defense" that he presented went far beyond your routine "blame the victim" and was tantamount to a continuation of the violence. When you engage in "war by lawyer," you should not be surprised if some treat you like a combatant and lock you up.

Penny said...

Hm? Many of us may be tired of it, but lo and behold! It's a new game to a new group of people.

Money, money, money, MONEY!

Now...the downside. :(

And frankly, I am sure even YOU will have to agree with me on this one, tg...

Just how many pennies "from heaven" are you, yourself, willing to part with and share with the WORLD, while you are called "the devil"?

Any philosophers in the house?

Lem said...

Somebody tell Jimmy Wales not to go there for a while.

mesquito said...

He had enough pills too off himself? Ain't like no jail I ever been in.

Tony said...

Maybe there is a distortion effect from my reading your blog everyday but it sure seems the world has way too many lawyers.

Anthony said...

His daughter, which Althouse either didn't know or didn't feel the need to mention (not that she ought to have known), graduated from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 2009. As Wisconsin Law alum myself, she is a friend of mine.I would appreciate but certainly not expect--given my experience with some of the comments on this blog--a sensitive discussion of the situation and her father.

Lem said...

I would appreciate but certainly not expect--given my experience with some of the comments on this blog--a sensitive discussion of the situation and her father.

We are just waiting for Trooper to comment ;)

Ann Althouse said...

@Anthony I know that, but this is a public issue to be discussed. Just about everyone has family and people who know them, and any time we talk about anyone, we should count the humanity of the human beings involved.

Synova said...

*sigh*

Anthony. Everyone is someone's son or daughter. Everyone. Every tragedy is personal for someone. Every tragedy. Every single one. And always there will be innocent people who are hurt.

That includes those people who lost their families in the violence in Rwanda, in the genocide there. Horrors far greater than a frightening foreign imprisonment. Perhaps a "sensitive discussion" was in order instead of an attempt to excuse?

If we empathize we ought to be equally able to empathize with a lady worried about her father or a survivor of a massacre in Africa.

Lem said...

This might be a tricky situation for Hillary... her husband was the US president when the genocide took place.

Penny said...

"Any philosophers in the house?"

This was a serious question, and not at all intended to be a joke or to be trite.

Althouse raises excellent questions, that we proceed to respond to...in most cases, predictably, and often, at least in my own case, not at all, and precisely BECAUSE of that "Althouse Salon" predictability.

Hasn't it occurred to most of us here that we need some sort of "new base" to start our dialogue?

Honestly, I have opinions, just like all of you, and honestly, I look forward to hearing your opinions, even if not like mine at all...but...

Sorry, there is a BIG but...

We've all become WAY too predictable, and because of that, we never seem able to figure out a way to RESOLVE any issues at all???

If we can't cooperatively reach consensus in Althouse, how is it that we blame our leaders for not doing the very same thing on a much larger, much more tenuous, scale?

The way we act, right here, right now? We would want our leader, Althouse, to SIMPLY count our 'agreeable' heads?

Step back and THINK about that.

She is not our school board rep or our mayor, not our state representative nor our senator. Althouse for Governor! ???

Let's watch how Kaus makes out at his first "dance".

Look. I get it. You like spending time here, and so do I, but honestly, we need to shake this place up. FORGET about counting heads and discounting those who disagree. We need to figure out a way to at least get past our own Althouse chit before we take on our President and the fuckin' WORLD for cripes sake!

Methadras said...

Africa is an 8th world shit-hole. The entire damned continent. These people are nothing more than primitives with the veneer of societal cohesion. Their tribal wars are worse than most conflicts on earth simply because they simply are choosing to eradicate their enemies completely and without mercy. Why we waste money on these primitives is beyond me. It's pointless and a waste of time.

Lem said...

Clinton used to send Rev Jackson to get our people out of trouble.

Doesn't Obama have anybody?

Or would that constitute a breach of his foreign policy.. 'we are just another country like any other'.

AC245 said...

I would appreciate but certainly not expect--given my experience with some of the comments on this blog--a sensitive discussion of the situation and her father.

This man chose to defend various Rwandan genocidaires; chose as part of his defense strategy to explain to the victims of the genocide that what happened to them didn't really happen - and that whatever did happen they brought onto themselves anyway; and then afterward he chose to go to Rwanda to defend yet another genocide advocate.

But it's the commenters at this blog that need to be sensitive about what they say?

The irony and offensiveness in Anthony's request is overwhelming.

Lem said...

He was arrested on Friday.

There is zero chance that this is on Obama's radar.

MadisonMan said...

I don't think this story smells right.

People in jail are allowed to have that many pills? Or a man in jail with family in the States decides to off himself?

Sorry, I don't buy it.

Fred4Pres said...

The Rwanda genocide was exactly that Hutus killing Tutsis. Mob rule and hatred. Denying that is wrong.

I am not sure what this American lawyer denied. I do not agree with him (although I am not sure what he said). All I know is he said something outside of Rwanda that got him arrested. Okay. Even if it was reprehensible, so what. What the Rwanda government should have done is ejected him and told him not to come back.

peter hoh said...

Nothing about this story smells right.

I suspect that there will have to be a bit of theater so that nobody in the regime loses face.

Lem said...

(although I am not sure what he said).

He sent "open letter"this to the Canadian PM.. Maybe this is what pissed them off.

Flexo said...

How about some sensitivity, Anthony, for the hundreds of thousands of Rwandans hacked to death by machetes?

Now, it is clear from his justifying such actions by his clients that this piece of crap Erlinder doesn't have too much sympathy or sensitivity for them. But maybe if he had shown some, he wouldn't be where he is now.

If there is any distress on the part of his daughter, it is Erlinder who is the cause of it.

Lem said...

A few days ago I watched a documentary of Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal... I'm not going to compare this guy to Wiesenthal.

But I will say is that, from what I saw in the documentary, Wiesenthal was not very popular either.

lemondog said...

Regardless of his personal beliefs, he went to Rwanda as an advocate for a client. In the future why should any lawyer do so for fear of imprisionment for daring to defend an unpopular client?

The so-called suicide attempt sounds trumped up.

Ken said...

I think people are missing the point here. This man is being prosecuted in Rwanda for acts he committed in a different country, not in Rwanda. This is part of the growing, and disturbing, move on the part of some countries to extend their laws and jurisdiction outside their borders.

Would it be OK for Germany to arrest an American Holocaust denier when he transited through Frankfurt airport, even if he said nothing about the Holocaust while in Germany? Sure, some would say, we all hate Holocaust deniers. OK, what about Saudi Arabia arresting an American homosexual working in that country for sex acts he committed in the States? What if Greece decides that American soldiers in Iraq are all war criminals, could they then arrest an ex-GI when he gets off a cruise ship on one of the Greek islands?

Many on the transnational Left think this is a good thing. I think it's highly dangerous.

Ken (longtime lurker, first time poster).

A.W. said...

Well, I do agree that criminalizing attempted suicide has always been a farcical concept.

But as for the Rwandan holocaust denial, let me offer a limited defense. Okay, we are all agreed that defamation is not protected free speech, right? Okay, so how exactly is this not group defamation? You are calling millions of people liars, etc. So if that is the theory—criminal defamation—then maybe that is fair. I know in America there is no cause of action for group defamation, but its not clear to me allowing such a cause of action is in the end a bad thing. I mean what exactly is the difference between me calling Althouse a thief and saying that all white, female law professors are thieves? Neither one is true, and both result in Ann being labeled a thief. So I’m not really clear on what the difference is.

lemondog said...

Rwanda threatening Elinder legal team. Erlinder's Lawyer Riles Prosecution

And prosecutor indicated that Elinder made statements which he is ready to retract..

Erlinder has not retracted anything – says Kenyan defense attorney

TeeJaw said...

I’ve been an admirer of Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda, since reading Philip Gourevitch’s We Wish To Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families.

There was an op-ed about him the Wall Street Journal a few weeks ago. I heard him speak in Denver sometime ago. I think he has done good things for Rwanda, and he ran a fair system of justice for Hutus accused of participating in the genocide.

So if this story is true I am surprised. I hope there is more to be learned that might explain it or cast it in a different light.

I agree that foreign aid does more harm than good, but Kagame is not the typical African kleptomanic dictator.

Kevin said...

I am not familiar with Erlinder and his troubles. One always wishes the best for a fellow American incarcerated abroad... even a lawyer.

I am, however, familiar with Rwanda and with US policy there during and after the massacre... and with the history and causes of the massacre. It was never properly reported in the US or international press. (There's usually some noise about the "ancient enmities between Hutu and Tutsi," when the unpleasant fact is that the Hutu/Tutsi divide is barely a century old, and the product of Europe's most inept and incompetent colonizers, the Belgians).

If anybody wants a good spin-up on the background, the US Institute for Peace's online course in conflict analysis uses Rwanda as a case study.

The basic problem with any of these conflicts of identity is that they follow a basic law I formulated some years ago: they can only end when one side of another is assimilated or annihilated, otherwise they stabilize at some level of violence that's accepted by both sides. People matter inordinately in this, individual people, and all it takes is one creep with a following and a sharp tongue and it's back in bloodshed in no time at all.

The natural impulse of victims for revenge carries the risk of a nation descending into Njal's Saga, and someone who has the right to cry for blood has to instead stay his hand for that cycle to end. It's not fair, but it lets people live together.

USIP has some interesting ways to try to disarm and detune conflicts, in effect lowering that level of violence, and that's what US and international diplomats are trying to do here. They are having a hard time of it. Africa, subsaharan Africa, is a poor habitat for civilization.

Anthony said...

@Synova: First, I never said that I didn't empathize with those killed during the Rwandan genocide, and I certainly didn't imply that Prof. Erlinder's imprisonment should provoke more empathy than did those massacres in 1994.

@traditionalguy: Of course I don't think there should be a law against talking about a parent's death around there children. I'm not sure if you were implying that my request for sensitivity was a request to limit speech, but it wasn't. I never expected anyone in the comments to actually be sensitive (it rarely happens), I was simply bringing up that there are people who read this blog that are from the UW-Law community (because of Prof. Althouse) and who know Prof. Erlinder and his daughter, and that sensitivity would be appreciated, not required.

@AC245: You obviously don't have all the facts, or you don't appreciate the role of advocacy in the legal system in America or in Rwanda. If you've actually read anything Prof. Erlinder has written, he has never denied the Rwandan Genocide. He has, of course, been provocative. I'm frankly surprised that few people here are questioning his imprisonment on free speech grounds. Does his imprisonment not suggest something about the quality of the justice system in Rwanda, or any inappropriate interference by high-level political officials in that justice system? Does it not disturb anyone when someone that represents an opposition candidate may be imprisoned for such advocacy?

@Flexo: All I can say about your comment is that it is the antithesis of justice that we deny the unpopular the opportunity for advocacy. Perhaps worse, is for you to assign blame to those advocates, who take unpopular positions in order to preserve the fairness of those justices systems, as deserving of their own fate. There is no justice without advocacy.

Krans said...

In the late eighties, as a polisci undergrad, I co-wrote a paper titled "Cambodia: genocide or bad management?" in which we made the case that, by UN and accepted definitions, there was technically no genocide in Cambodia. We were not saying that a LOT of people hadn't been killed, just that the label "genocide" did not properly apply here.

Now, did that make us genocide deniers?

Night2night said...

To me the story seems to be a warning for the "would-be" Colossuses among us, who would stride the world correcting injustice wherever it is found. The entire world is not the United States and the foundational assumptions of American (or Anglo-Saxon based) jurisprudence, namely the assumption of an adversarial justice system in which both sides, defense and prosecution, making their strongest arguments yields the best results, are not necessarily the world standard. In addition, the Freedom of Speech codified in the Bill of Rights is uniquely American concept (like Nat Hentoff, I consider myself a first amendment absolutist). That being said, saying the wrong thing outside of the US can get you arrested elsewhere.

While certainly sympathetic to Mr. Erlinder and his family, Mr. Erlinder's problem is not his beliefs, or the case he would like to make, or the fact that it happened in Africa. Mr. Erlinder's problem is his rights as an American citizen do not extend to his concept of being a world citizen. Nations are still not quite obsolete.

Flexo said...

Anthony --

I don't have much sympathy either for those lawyers who would defend the Nazi high command or members of Al Qaeda, not by denying that they did certain acts, but by trying to justify them or blame the victims.

What Erlinder is doing in tantamount to blaming the Jews for making the Nazis put them in the ovens. You can stand with the likes of him, Anthony, but most civilized people in the world would hold you in contempt for doing so.

Flexo said...

Now, did that make us genocide deniers?

No, it made you a piece of slime for using technicalities to obfuscate and sow confusion regarding the evil that was the slaughter of over one million Cambodians.

What the hell was the point of arguing over such technicalities??

Krans said...

No, it made you a piece of slime for using technicalities to obfuscate and sow confusion regarding the evil that was the slaughter of over one million Cambodians.


Or, perhaps, it highlit how lacking the UN definition of genocide is (or was... I haven't looked at it since 1988).

I'd say that your reaction perfectly demonstrates the problems with using terms that have meanings and applying them to emotional issues. The term did not apply to Cambodia for a number of reasons, but all of that was trumped by the emotional impact of it. This had NOTHING to do with whether Pol Pot was a great guy or not, or whether or not millions of people weren't displaced, killed, and died as a rather direct result of that displacement.

I think a more honest assessment of the tragedy in Cambodia would not to have simply written it off as "genocide" carried out by that madman Pol Pot... but instead to use it as an indictment of communism in general and planned economies in specific.

The parallel I see to Rwanda (just to bring this back to the topic of the day) is that it is easier to cite "genocide" and blame a group than it is to address the general failings of tribalism, post-colonial western aid, post-colonial western malign neglect, etc. I think declaring "genocide" is the easy way out as it has individual perpetrators that can be found guilty and punished while leaving the underlying causes intact.

Krans said...

(all that being said, I have no idea if that's what the Lawyer-in-Question was getting at, nor do I have an opinion on whether or not Rwanda should or should not be classified a genocide).

Unless he was inciting violence IN Rwanda, our State Department should be coming down on Rwanda like a ton of bricks, backed up by the President and Congress. If they (Rwanda) think this is so important, then they better be willing to forego whatever it is we give them (though if it's weaning off of foreign aid, that would probably be a long-term good thing).

Not holding my breath.

AC245 said...

@AC245: You obviously don't have all the facts, or you don't appreciate the role of advocacy in the legal system in America or in Rwanda. If you've actually read anything Prof. Erlinder has written, he has never denied the Rwandan Genocide. He has, of course, been provocative.

From Althouse's link to the NYT:

"At that tribunal, Mr. Erlinder, who represented a top genocide suspect, disputed the standard characterization of the bloodshed in Rwanda as Hutu victimizers slaughtering innocent Tutsis. Instead, he said that the violence was more spontaneous and possibly the result of Tutsi rebels killing Hutu civilians. He even went as far as to say that the Tutsi rebels, who now rule Rwanda, assassinated Rwanda’s president in 1994, the event that set off the widespread murder."

Yeah. Telling the hundreds of thousands of genocide victims that they brought it on themselves is definitely "provocative".

As I said before, requesting that commenters here be sensitive when discussing the guy who defended genocidaires and told the victims that it was their fault they were slaughtered, is offensive.

I don't give respect to genocidaires, their enablers, their defenders, or their apologists.

Fuck him, and fuck you.

Sarah Lee said...

First, I applaud Professor Althouse for giving a thorough and unbiased account of this story. Yes, it is a difficult issue. However, there are a few points overlooked by those who characterize Professor Erlinder as a privileged Westerner who is denying the genocide.
1. Professor Erlinder did not go to Rwanda to make public comments about the genocide. He made no comments about the 1994 situation in that country. He was there to visit his client, an opposition Presidential candidate imprisoned for the same crime. He intended to leave Thursday afternoon, but Rwandan police scheduled a questioning with his client for Friday so he stayed the extra day. He was arrested in his hotel room Friday morning.
2. Professor Erlinder's work with the children of the deceased Rwandan president is certainly controversial. However, for those who feel that his actions are offensive to those who suffered through the genocide, I would like to point out that Paul Rusesabagina, the President of the Hotel Rwanda Rusesabagina Foundation and whose life story serves as the basis for the movie Hotel Rwanda, is also demanding Professor Erlinder's release.
3. The arrests for this crime have increased in the days leading up to the next democratic election for Paul Kagame. Kagame has served virtually unchallenged since he assumed office and many believe this is due to the fact that he abuses his power to shut down political opposition he perceives to be a threat. For example, Professor Erlinder's client.
4. Regarding the suicide attempt, those close to Peter Erlinder have confirmed that a suicide attempt is out of the question. His friends and family and human rights activists now fear for his safety. If you are interested in helping, please contact your legislators to urge them to help pressure the US State Department to demand his release. There may be too many lawyers in this world, but a world where lawyers must fear championing unpopular causes in one in which none of us win.

KeesKennis said...

Jean-Jacques Rousseau: Noble Savage.
All your chattering will mean nothing.
Go and visit the country, and then talk.

Night2night said...

@ Sarah Lee
All fine and good points, but they have him and the regime may be a criminal one. The best thing that can happen is for the State Dept. to petition for his release and bring whatever diplomatic pressure to bear that they can until that happens.

If they release Prof. Erlinder I would think he should never go back to Rwanda. It's fine to pontificate on the nobility of legal advocacy and determination of the actual events behind genocide, or mass murder, or whatever you want to call it. Professor Erlinder is worth more alive here in the US with family and friends then he is as a martyr to his opinion of the truth in Rwanda. If that sounds insensitive, it's not intended to be. I just don't believe meaningful changes in governance and cultures are brought by lawyers. I'd really like to see the man get home to his family.

Aimable Mugara said...

I see a lot of comments from non-Rwandans. As a Rwandan, below is my point of view:

In Rwanda, there are two groups of Tutsis. The extremist Tutsis who grew up in neighboring Uganda and the moderate Tutsis who grew up in Rwanda. The extremist Tutsis who grew up in Uganda have never liked the moderate Tutsis who grew up in Rwanda and other countries. Whereas the extremist Tutsis believe they are royal blood who are born to rule, the moderate Tutsis consider themselves normal human beings. But somehow the extremist Tutsis have used the moderate Tutsis as pawns to be sacrificed in their quest for power.

On January 28, 1993 exactly 15 months before the so-called "Tutsi genocide", it was the first time that anyone had ever mentioned the word "genocide" in relation to Rwanda. This word was mentioned by extremist Tutsis who were part of the RPF rebel group. From that moment on, these extremist Tutsis in the RPF started using the word "genocide" in all their interviews, their speeches, their written materials, everything. On the other hand, on February 8, 1993 exactly 11 days after the first mention of that word, the extremist Tutsi forces in the RPF butchered 40,000 unarmed Hutu civilians in one day in the regions of Ruhengeri and Byumba in Rwanda. Since then, the extremist Tutsis in the RPF escalated their killings of the Hutu civilian population over the following 15 months. This appears to have been a calculated effort to provoke the Hutu extremists into mass revenge killings, which would then be labeled "genocide" and with the international community on their side, the extremist Tutsis can take over power. The extremist Tutsis' wishes appear to have been granted on April 6, 1994 when they finally killed two Hutu Presidents, president Habyarimana of Rwanda and president Ntaryamira of Burundi as well as the Hutu Chief of Army. The Hutu extremists after 15 months of sustained provocations launched into mass revenge killings against moderate Tutsis that have since been labeled the "Tutsi genocide."

A fair review of Rwandan history that fully examines all the actions that have been taken by extremist Tutsis since January 28, 1993 when they first claimed "genocide" can only lead to one conclusion: the extremist Tutsis continuously intentionally provoked extremist Hutus over a 15 month period into the mass killings until the extremist Hutus were foolish enough to oblige them.

Rwanda will never move forward until the crimes against humanity committed by extremist Tutsis are acknowledged too. The saddest part in all this is that the moderate Tutsis and the moderate Hutus are the ones that have suffered whenever the extremist Hutus and the extremist Tutsis decided to kill people.

Aimable Mugara said...

Also, I have noticed that a lot of people like to compare Rwanda with the Holocaust. I would like to publicly state the following differences between Hitler's Germany and Rwanda of 1994:

1. The Jews in Germany have never enslaved Germans and never claimed that they were superior and born to rule over the German masses. Some extremist Tutsis in Rwanda were an aristocratic minority that enslaved the Hutu peasant majority for over 400 years all the way until 1959. When the Hutu peasants asked for democracy the extremist Tutsis responded that the Hutu masses were inferior by birth and were born to be ruled by the superior Tutsi aristocrats.

2. The Jews in Germany have never started a war attacking Germany from a foreign country. Some extremist Tutsis in Rwanda attacked the country from Uganda on October 1st, 1990. This was more than 5 times since 1960 that the extremist Tutsis had attacked the country.

3. The Jews in Germany did not spend a 4 year war fighting to gain power and in the process killing innocent German civilians. Some extremist Tutsis in Rwanda fought since October 1990 until April 1994 fighting to gain power and in the process displaced 1 million civilians and killed thousands others, an example being on February 8, 1993 when the Tutsi extremists in the RPF killed 40 thousand unarmed civilians in one day in Byumba and Ruhengeri.

4. The Jews in Germany did not kill the German president, together with the Austrian president, the Chief of Army and several high-ranking officials after they had signed a peace treaty with them. Some extremist Tutsis in Rwanda killed the Hutu President of Rwanda, the Hutu President of Burundi, the Hutu Chief of Army and several high-ranking officials after they had signed a peace treaty with them.

5. The Jews in Germany did not follow the Germans into exile in neighboring countries and kill hundreds of thousands of them in forests like hunted animals. Some extremist Tutsis in Rwanda bombed refugee camps in Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo) and chased the survivors into the forests of the Congo (DRC) where they butchered hundreds of thousands of them.

Therefore, I really think it is completely wrong to compare Hitler's Germany to 1994 Rwanda.

AC245 said...

before the so-called "Tutsi genocide"

Oh look, it's another "provocative" "activist" claiming that 1. the genocide never happened, and 2. the victims of the genocide that didn't happen brought it onto themselves!

Hey Aimable: Fuck you, you genocide-denying apologist. I sincerely hope you get what you deserve.

Aimable Mugara said...

AC245, you clearly have nothing to say against the facts that I have presented. Which is why you resort to personal insults. Go ahead, insult me. The truth is on my side. Both extremist Hutus and extremist Tutsis have destroyed my country and I will speak out until the world hears about all the extremists and helps those of us moderate Tutsis, Hutus and Twas to live together in peace. Without being terrorized by either extremist Hutus or extremist Tutsis.

Flexo said...

So what were you doing, Mugara, while those "provoked" Hutus were hacking to death hundreds of thousands of Tutsis? Were you attacking the Tutsis then, as you are now?

As for Germany, anyone who has bothered to actually examine the history knows that the National Socialists blamed the Jews for all of Germany's problems, including blaming the Jews for oppressing Germans, for causing wars, for dragging down the German economy, for killing German ethnicity.

Actually, you would make a good National Socialist, Mugara.

Aimable Mugara said...

Flexo, I am not attacking Tutsis. I am speaking out against the crimes that have been committed by extremist Tutsis. Unless you are implying that all Tutsis are extremists?

As for what I was doing while extremist Hutus were killing innocent Tutsi civilians, I was a child. Now what? What will you accuse me of now? Will you accuse me of me the child at the time for not being able to stop the extremist Hutus?

Well, now I am an adult and I know the history of my country and I have seen my friends both Hutus and Tutsis get killed by both extremist Hutus and extremist Tutsis. I will not keep quiet while either the extremist Hutus or the extremist Tutsis destroy my country.

AC245 said...

AC245, you clearly have nothing to say against the facts that I have presented.

I have nothing to say about your revisionist history, that's true. Your bullshit fantasies and apologia don't interest me in the slightest.

Nor do I don't give a flying fuck WHY you're on the side of the genocidaires or why you're trying to deny and defend what happened.

In a way, though, I'm glad that someone like you turned up in this thread spouting your canned dreck - for the sake of the other people reading this. You do more harm to your own "cause" than I ever could.

Aimable Mugara said...

AC245, as any objective person can see, I am not on the side of the genocidaires. I am against extremists of all kinds. I am against extremist Hutus and against extremist Tutsis.

The fact that you cannot even make an entire paragraph without uttering 4-letter insults says a lot. But it will not stop me from speaking out against all murderers, whether they are extremist Hutus or extremist Tutsis. I will not stand by while either extremist Hutus or extremist Tutsis continue to terrorize my country.

As Edmund Burke once said "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." I would not be able to look at myself in the mirror any longer, were I to continue to be a silent witness to the future of my country being squandered away by extremist Hutus or extremist Tutsis.

AC245 said...

AC245, as any objective person can see, I am not on the side of the genocidaires.

Again, I am glad you have posted here, especially your 6/3/10 11:05 PM comment where you blame the Tutsis for not acting enough like the Jews in response to their being massacred.

I have more faith in objective people than you do, and that they'll see you for what you truly are: a revisionist, an obfuscator, an apologist, and a denialist.

Aimable Mugara said...

AC245, you are clearly twisting my words. Obviously, I am convinced that in Rwanda there are no angels on one side and devils on the other side. That there are bad people on each side and that these bad people have hijacked the people in the middle. I believe that I am saving lives with my actions and 50 years from now, history will prove me right or wrong.

For your own reasons, you disagree with my point of view and feel the need to express your disagreement by giving me all kinds of labels. Your labels will not change anything. Like I said, 50 years from now, history will prove me right or wrong.

AC245 said...

Like I said, 50 years from now, history will prove me right or wrong.

History already shows you to be a liar; no need to wait 50 years for that.

I'll say again: I have faith that "objective people" who see your comments will recognize you for what you are: a revisionist, an obfuscator, an apologist, and a denialist.

Aimable Mugara said...

AC245, insults, insults, insults! Life goes on.

Krans said...

I was just wondering if perhaps AC45 would share the received wisdom he's got. We are indeed fortunate to not only have the good fortune of a completely black and white issue, but somebody that has the objective view of it. Lucky us. Now, if you or your friends are Hutu or Tutsi or something, and you've got some relevant perspective, bring THAT out!

Or, another way: AC45... we get it, you don't agree with Amiable... can we move on? Pick on my paper for a while or something... I'm not in charge of this thread or anything, but I am getting bored with your preening demonstration of your command of the word "genocidaire."

Flexo said...

can we move on? Pick on my paper for a while or something...

Man, you are one self-promoting whore for attention aren't you?

Krans said...

Nobody has read my paper in 25 years (and probably one person did then)... I doubt it still exists in any form whatsoever besides my recollecitons of the title and premise. It would STILL be more interesting to talk about that than to have AC245 'genocidaire' another round with Amiable. If you have a better suggestion (and just letting this thread die is certainly an option), post it.

But apparently you were the only one that 1) thought I was being literal in my alternative and missed the point of my post, and 2) felt obliged to critique my original premise with ad hominem instead of reason.

I'll strive next time to recommend discussion of your position instead of mine so that I don't seem to attention-grabbing for ya.

Thank me later.