Paul Kagame: Our Kind of Guy

Published on, by Edward S. Herman and David Peterson, 3 January 2011.

What if we got it wrong about the massacres that ripped across Rwanda in 1994? According to Edward S. Herman and David Peterson, what really happened was not a genocide by the Hutu Power against the Tutsis, but a secret U.S. war that butchered an equal number of victims on both sides of the Hutu-Tutsi divide. At the heart of this slaughterous game we find the impervious Paul Kagame … //

… Concluding Note:

There is great continuity in U.S. policy in the Third World, and it is not pleasant. Thus a Bill Clinton official could find the mass killer Suharto “our kind of guy” in 1995, and Suharto received steady U.S. support for 33 years, through the administrations of Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, and Clinton, until his downfall during the Asian currency crisis in 1998.  

In a more recent time frame, extending from 1990 to today, Paul Kagame, an even more ferocious mass killer, has gotten support from the first George Bush, Bill Clinton, the second George Bush, and now Barack Obama (whose Deputy Secretary of State hadn’t gotten around to looking at the draft UN Report on Kagame’s mass killings in the DRC). It is interesting, also, to see the media treat this latest “our kind of guy” so kindly, with the liberal New Yorker’s Philip Gourevitch even comparing Kagame to Abe Lincoln (in his 1998 book We wish to inform you that tomorrow we will be killed with our families), and Stephen Kinzer publishing a hagiography of this deadly agent of U.S. power (A Thousand Hills: Rwanda’s Rebirth and the Man Who Dreamed It [2008]).

This leaked UN report and the negative publicity generated by Kagame’s sham election in August 2010 may open up the mainstream a bit to a more honest examination of this U.S.-supported mass killer. But that is no sure thing, given the value of his service to U.S. power in Africa, and given the U.S. establishment’s deep commitment to a narrative that for many years has protected and even sanctified the “man who dreamed”. (full long text).

(Edward S. Herman and David Peterson are co-authors of The Politics of Genocide, published in 2010 by Monthly Review Press).

Link: Same article in french/ même article en français.

Comments are closed.