We should also note that Dallaire is hardly a neutral observer on the recent history of Rwanda, and in fact is one of the 38 signatories to the letter to the BBC which, as we are showing throughout, is error-laden and biased. We may also point out that there are not one but two Dallaires—one in his term as force commander of UNAMIR (1993-1994), and the other subsequently acting as a spokesperson for the standard model of the “Rwandan genocide” and an apologist for Kagame Power (1995- ). In the earlier role, while biased in favor of the RPF, he at least could recognize and acknowledge the relative weakness and demoralization of the FAR and the military superiority and readiness of the RPF; about the RPF, Dallaire had reported to the United Nations as early as September 1993 that it “displayed the potential to easily defeat the [FAR].”
The 38 devote considerable space to charging the BBC2 documentary’s producers and guests with “genocide denial,” which they describe as the “final stage” of genocide which “ensures that the crime continues. It incites new killing.” Recall that after conquering Rwanda in 1994, Kagame invaded Zaire-DRC two years later, with estimated subsequent killings there running into the millions. This was not a result of any “genocide denial,” it was justified on the basis of the need to clean out the “génocidaires.” That is, the new killings were built on the claim of a Hutu genocide of Tutsi that required what turned out to be large-scale massacres of an allegedly genocidal Hutu population that had fled to Zaire-DRC. If the Hutu were the primary victims in 1994, and the April 6, 1994 assassination of President Habyarimana was attributable to Kagame, both of which we believe to be true, these extended killings in Zaire-DRC would be harder to rationalize. By misrepresenting the reality of that history, the 38 help justify this further and larger genocide.
CONCLUDING NOTE: MANY UNTOLD STORIES
So in fact the 38’s cry of the immorality of “genocide denial” provides a dishonest cover for Paul Kagame’s crimes in 1994 and for his even larger crimes in Zaire-DRC. The 38 thus belong to a sizable contingent of apologists for Kagame Power, who now and in years past have served as intellectual enforcers of an RPF and U.S.-U.K.-Canadian party-line. We may note here the amazing claim by the 38 that the events of 1994 “should be treated by all concerned with the utmost intellectual honesty and rigour.” Their own violation of this appeal in their open letter is both systematic and comprehensive.
We have seen that the 38 have a penchant for slander as well as straightforward misrepresentation. It is for committing the grave intellectual and moral crime of providing an alternative but, we believe, entirely credible and evidence-based reinterpretations of what really happened in Rwanda in 1994 that the 38 would like Rwanda’s Untold Story expunged from the BBC archives, and its production team sent to the woodshed.
Edward S. Herman is Professor Emeritus of Finance at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, USA and has written extensively on economics, political economy, and the media. David Peterson is an independent journalist and researcher based in Chicago.
The articles have been reproduced here courtesy of Pambazuka News