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How to get from Kigali to Syria via the Holocaust

Israel/Palestine
on 40 Comments

For some grim fun, read the following three links in order.

First, Human Rights Watch on Human Rights in Rwanda:

Rwanda has made important economic and development gains, but the government has continued to impose tight restrictions on freedom of expression and association. Opposition parties are unable to operate. Victoire Ingabire, president of the FDU-Inkingi, and Bernard Ntaganda, president of the PS-Imberakuri, are both serving prison sentences; several other opposition party members are also in prison in connection with their political activities or criticism of government policies. In February, Rwanda adopted a new media law that contains some positive elements, but has not had much impact in practice. Persistent threats against as well as prosecutions of journalists have all but destroyed independent journalism. The government’s intimidation and infiltration of Rwandan human rights organizations has had a devastating effect on their ability to operate independently. A revised draft law on genocide ideology, approved by the National Assembly and Senate in mid-2013, contains improvements, but retains language that could be used to criminalize free speech. In 2012, several governments suspended part of their assistance to Rwanda because of its military support to the M23, an armed group responsible for serious abuses in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Next, from Howard W. French’s January 2013 Newsweek article “The Case Against Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame“:

On the aid and awards circuit, Kagame is known as the man who led Rwanda from the ashes of the 1994 genocide—one of the late 20th century’s greatest atrocities—to hope and prosperity: a land of fast growth and rare good economic governance with enviable advances in health care, education, and women’s rights. Bestowing his foundation’s Global Citizen Award on Kagame three years ago, Bill Clinton said: “From crisis, President Kagame has forged a strong, unified, and growing nation with the potential to become a model for the rest of Africa and the world.”

But that model narrative seems to be shifting in the aftermath of the Goma takeover. After a United Nations report found that Rwanda created and commands the rebel group known as M23, important European friends such as Britain and Belgium partially suspended aid donations to Rwanda, and President Obama called Kagame to warn him against any continued military adventurism.

Leading observers say the reevaluation of Kagame and his legacy is long overdue. Filip Reyntjens, a Belgian scholar whom many consider the world’s foremost expert on Rwanda, describes Kagame as “probably the worst war criminal in office today.” In an interview, Reyntjens told me that Kagame’s crimes rank with those perpetrated by former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein or Sudanese leader Omar al-Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.

Finally, this:

(Image: Facebook)

(Image: Facebook)

James Schamus
About James Schamus

James Schamus is a film producer, screenwriter, and executive, and serves as Professor of Professional Practice at Columbia University's School of the Arts.

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40 Responses

  1. Walid
    Walid
    September 17, 2013, 3:24 pm

    Very grim the whole lot of them, but not at all fun. Will probably end up making the connection to the gas.

    • seafoid
      seafoid
      September 17, 2013, 4:37 pm

      No surprise to see senior bots with Kagame. Previous generations of bots did of course consort with apartheid South Africa and the mass murdering regimes in 1980s El Salvador and Guatemala . It was Elder Statesman Peres who told the President of Cameroon that “a Jew and racism do not go together” even though he was selling arms to the whites in SA.

      • Walid
        Walid
        September 17, 2013, 4:50 pm

        Surprising that Peres is not part of the lineup; he would be in good company.

      • eGuard
        eGuard
        September 17, 2013, 7:53 pm

        and Obama. Nobel Peace, you know.

      • Dagon
        Dagon
        September 17, 2013, 9:02 pm

        Jews and racism do not go together.To day,a new postman,african american, walked into my workplace.Asked me about my accent.Told him palestinian from”Israel”.Oh , he said,my wife is from demona.Haa.It turned out that she was born in israel to an american african couple who moved to israel with some Notions.She cant get israeli citizenship.Her father told him these people ,Israelies, are the most racist ever.The southern racist are nothing in comparison.I gave him,mondoweiss,counterpunch,smirking chimp and syrian perspective webs.He seemed pretty aware and interested.

      • Stephen Shenfield
        Stephen Shenfield
        September 18, 2013, 7:45 am

        One thing that Kagame and the Zionists have in common is that they both exploit a past genocide suffered by “their people” (Tutsi in one case, Jews in the other) as moral capital to pursue aggressive goals. Kagame justified his invasion of the eastern Congo as necessary to suppress the Interahamwe presence among the Hutu refugees there (the organization responsible for the genocide). His real purpose was to gain control of the valuable ores in the area for Rwandan businessmen and their Western partners.

  2. seanmcbride
    seanmcbride
    September 17, 2013, 3:32 pm

    Hmm…

    The Jewish Values Network is committed to advancing universal Jewish values in the media and culture and to affirming the Jewish People as a Light unto the Nations.

    So much to unpack there, especially in the context of the individuals who are promoting these values.

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      September 17, 2013, 10:09 pm

      “universal Jewish values

      If the values are universal, then Jews would share them. In that case, “Jewish” is redundant.

      “affirming the Jewish People as a Light unto the Nations.”

      [Snort!]

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        September 18, 2013, 5:05 am

        Perhaps a white phosphorous light unto the nations. I feel very sad for Judaism.

  3. Justpassingby
    Justpassingby
    September 17, 2013, 3:44 pm

    Pro-terrorists talking about human rights, oh thats lovely. Interesting that they label this “jewish values”..

    • German Lefty
      German Lefty
      September 17, 2013, 5:03 pm

      Pro-terrorists talking about human rights, oh thats lovely. Interesting that they label this “jewish values”.

      Just like homophobia is called “Christian values”.

  4. seafoid
    seafoid
    September 17, 2013, 3:51 pm

    Kagame kicked off the war in Eastern Congo. Total dead so far estimated at 5 million.

    http://monthlyreview.org/press/books/pb2129/

    The Politics of Genocide – New Edition

    Foreword by Noam Chomsky

    by Edward S. Herman and David Peterson

    “In this impressive book, Edward S. Herman and David Peterson examine the uses and abuses of the word “genocide.” They argue persuasively that the label is highly politicized and that in the United States it is used by the government, journalists, and academics to brand as evil those nations and political movements that in one way or another interfere with the imperial interests of U.S. capitalism. Thus the word “genocide” is seldom applied when the perpetrators are U.S. allies (or even the United States itself), while it is used almost indiscriminately when murders are committed or are alleged to have been committed by enemies of the United States and U.S. business interests. One set of rules applies to cases such as U.S. aggression in Vietnam, Israeli oppression of Palestinians, Indonesian slaughter of so-called communists and the people of East Timor, U.S. bombings in Serbia and Kosovo, the U.S. war of “liberation” in Iraq, and mass murders committed by U.S. allies in Rwanda and the Republic of Congo. Another set applies to cases such as Serbian aggression in Kosovo and Bosnia, killings carried out by U.S. enemies in Rwanda and Darfur, Saddam Hussein, any and all actions by Iran, and a host of others.”

    • Walid
      Walid
      September 17, 2013, 4:24 pm

      “Thus the word “genocide” is seldom applied when the perpetrators are U.S. allies (or even the United States itself), while it is used almost indiscriminately when murders are committed or are alleged to have been committed by enemies of the United States and U.S. business interests. ”

      Words of wisdom. No wonder Israel keeps getting a free pass in spite of what it does.

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        September 17, 2013, 4:34 pm

        Gaza is just cockroach duty, Walid.

        Genocide would be if Iran killed 1400 civilians.

    • eGuard
      eGuard
      September 17, 2013, 7:55 pm

      Kagame is invited via the blood diamond connection.

  5. radii
    radii
    September 17, 2013, 3:54 pm

    and what actions did israel take to stop the horrible killing that took place in Rwanda? … what actions did israel take to stop the killing in the Congo (that has claimed more people than all the jews that died in WWII)? … Darfur? … Balkans?

    … and how much space in “holocaust” museums is devoted to the Armenian genocide? … or to the above-mentioned campaigns of murder?

    oh that’s right, zionists want to be sure that jews alone have a monopoly on suffering and the term “Holocaust” because their suffering is so much worse and it is so darn politically useful

    • seafoid
      seafoid
      September 17, 2013, 9:46 pm

      The film “defamation” has an incredible scene where Abraham Foxman, sitting opposite the Ukrainian President, warns him not to compare the Shoah with the Ukrainian terror of the 1930s in which millions of Ukrainian farmers and townspeople were murdered.

    • Walid
      Walid
      September 18, 2013, 2:29 am

      “and what actions did israel take to stop the horrible killing that took place in Rwanda? … what actions did israel take to stop the killing in the Congo ”

      Actually, Israel gave the horrible killings in Rwanda and the Congo a helping hand by being one of their suppliers of arms, along with Egypt, Belgium, Bulgaria and a few other rogues.

    • ziusudra
      ziusudra
      September 18, 2013, 4:11 am

      Greetings Radii,
      …. Jews alone have a Monopoly on suffering….
      You can still hear in Germany from the older Generation
      that up to 11 mill were killed in the C.C.s !
      Who i asked totalled up 6 mill Jews to the man, but forgot
      to mention 5 mill: Gypcies, Insane, Homosectuals, physically
      handicapped, Pole, Russian, American P.O.Ws, German politicians,
      Priests, Nuns & anybody else that they could get their hands on!
      Who are the Officials that tabulated this horror???
      ziusudra

  6. just
    just
    September 17, 2013, 4:26 pm

    Like minds think alike. Hope they enjoy themselves.

    I hope that some peaceful activists crash their fellowship celebration– preferably Palestinians, Lebanese, Congolese, and Rwandans accompanied by many US Citizens.

    “A light unto the Nations”, eh? LOL with a grimace. Focusing on the use of chemical weapons in Syria is another not so clever ruse by the nutso Zionists pictured above.

    (I need to revisit that book, seafoid– thanks!)

    (May the ghost of Abraham Lincoln give a jolt to the organizers of this event at Cooper Union.)

  7. a blah chick
    a blah chick
    September 17, 2013, 5:59 pm

    So Sheld’n is a “Global Memory Holocaust Philanthropist.” That sounds like something an overworked personal assistant pulled out of his or her a** one morning.

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      September 17, 2013, 10:15 pm

      When you see that sort of bombastic newspeak, you do not have to read further. You know the ideas will be as corrupt as the language.

  8. traintosiberia
    traintosiberia
    September 17, 2013, 6:53 pm

    America has responded to civil wars and to one sided government assault against the minorities by intervening . This argument has been used for intervention against Libya, Iraq,and now Syria.Very soon this will be applied against Iran and possibly Pakistan and possibly against Saudi Arab ( unless they agree to change Koran or Hadith and pay ransom to Israel on new evidences created and collected by Israel)
    One glaring thing that is missing is what happened after intervention in those countries. US actively without listening to the enemies of the new states went into full gear to help build those countries. Israel has stopped those activities and action that could have helped Iraq and Libya to join the companies like that of the new Balkan countries have . Israel wants a permanent war limited to and confined to the Arab countries so that it can increase its hegemony in relation to Palestine, Turkey, Jordan. Saudi and attack Iran. Israel is that rogue country who says that Jordan is its ally but also keeps on reminding the world that future Palestine state could be in Jordan.
    After a Syria attack, psychopath like Weisel will go home and look for another Muslim country on the map. By then the psychopath has the precedent of Syria to use in addition to Rwanda.

  9. DICKERSON3870
    DICKERSON3870
    September 17, 2013, 7:18 pm

    RE: “How to get from Kigali to Syria via the Holocaust”

    MY COMMENT: So, at a discussion of the “responsibility to protect the weak”, a billionaire like Sheldon Adelson with “anti-union mania” will be making the introduction. Incredible! ! !

    RICK PERLSTEIN’S DISCOURSE ON SHELDON ADELSON’S “ANTI-UNION MANIA”:
    “Why GOP Mega-Donor Sheldon Adelson Is Mad, Bad and a Danger to the Republic”, By Rick Perlstein, Rolling Stone, 4/10/12

    [EXCERPTS] . . . Adelson’s anti-union mania (I would argue) is the most important thing to know about him. For it reveals just how crazy, and how unscrupulous, the man is.
    Let’s start at the very beginning. Adelson remembers meeting Gingrich in Washington in 1995, when Gingrich was House Speaker and Adelson was lobbying to get the U.S. embassy in Israel moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Other reports have them being introduced in 1996 by a far-right anti-union operative in Nevada who worked for Adelson. Details of the subsequent courtship are murky, although the huge favor Gingrich did for Adelson in 1996 by turning off a federal investigation of the gambling industry probably did a lot to cement their friendship.
    Two years later, Nevada conservatives sponsored a “Paycheck Protection” ballot initiative – the right-wing term for measures weakening unions by banning them from automatically deducting dues from members’ pay. Adelson was gung-ho for it – and “would spend any amount of money,” D. Taylor, secretary-treasurer of Las Vegas’s Culinary Workers Union Local 226, told me . . .
    . . . In 1999, Adelson closed one casino, the Sands, and completed work on a new one, the Venetian, stiffing so many contractors that there were at one time 366 liens against the property. Taylor, of the Culinary Workers, said he and his colleagues presumed that “like every other casino that had done that, workers in the [closed] hotel would be given priority when the [new] hotel was built.” Instead, Adelson refused even to talk. All this, in a union town like Vegas, was unprecedented. “Even when you’re having battles, you continue to have talks. Shit, we’re talking to the North Koreans right now!” he told me. “The Israelis talk to the Arabs. Talking doesn’t necessarily solve anything, but at least you understand the other guy’s position.” Adelson, not much interested in understanding the other guy’s position, proceeded to launch a campaign against the Culinary Workers that Taylor calls “beyond aggressive.”
    Right before the grand opening of the Venetian, in 1999, the Culinary Workers staged a demonstration on the public sidewalk out front. Adelson told the cops to start making arrests; the cops refused. Glen Arnodo, an official at
    the union at the time, relates what happened next: “I was standing on the sidewalk and they had two security guards say I was on private property, and if I didn’t move they’d have to put me under ‘citizen’s arrest.’ I ignored them.” The guards once again told the police to arrest Arnodo and again, he says, they refused. The Civil Rights hero Rep. John Lewis, in town to support the rally, said the whole thing reminded him of living in the South during Jim Crow. . .
    . . . Did I mention Adelson is nuts? But don’t take my word for it – it was George W. Bush who called him “some crazy Jewish billionaire.” . . .

    ENTIRE ARTICLE – http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/national-affairs/why-gop-mega-donor-sheldon-adelson-is-mad-bad-and-a-danger-to-the-republic-20120410

  10. traintosiberia
    traintosiberia
    September 17, 2013, 7:19 pm

    The rogue gallery could have asked Eliot Cohen to join . He has an advice in WaPo He thinks that war weariness from military is unacceptable . He cites Obama is not expected to say that he is wary of administration. One thing is conspicuous by the constant presence is the manipulation of the language by the neocons . Complex reality that has more one than one possibility and more than one perspective and in real world no clear simple definite solution is smothered into malleable paste for universal easy digestion .
    I was watching CNN same time and noticed something about the Washington navy base shooter by the ex reservist current contractor. We were told he had 2 convictions in the past and he enjoyed current security clearance despite convictions in the past ,
    This observation would be equally applicable to so many neocons if past felony,suspicious behavior,outright forgery,suspected spying were taken into consideration before reappointing some of these neocons including Cohen into Bush administration and before giving a platform in the academy and the media, we would not be watching the recidivism ,criminal war mongering and possibility of more wars.

  11. eGuard
    eGuard
    September 17, 2013, 7:50 pm

    So there exists a title “Global Holocaust Memory Philanthropist”.

    • just
      just
      September 17, 2013, 8:41 pm

      I think that there are more than a few…… sort of oxymoronic, but there you have it. As a matter of fact, I do believe that there is an entire industry or three devoted to it.

  12. traintosiberia
    traintosiberia
    September 17, 2013, 8:02 pm

    The glaring discrepancy or obvious deception that one sees between the effort to stop holocaust and the silence on the ardent desire of the fascist limnked to the same groups in more than one ways that the war should go on until the parties wipe each other off says a lot about these human right advocate

    • Joeygee23
      Joeygee23
      September 17, 2013, 10:21 pm

      My father survived 6 months in German Stalags at the end of WWII…captured in the Battle of the Bulge…he despised Eli Weisel as a, “Professional Victim.” Like father, like son.

  13. Nancy Kricorian
    Nancy Kricorian
    September 17, 2013, 9:47 pm

    Shmuley Boteach, “America’s Rabbi,” is lobbying hard for U.S. bombing of Syria.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rabbi-shmuley-boteach/will-syria-be-obamas-rwan_b_3934351.html

  14. rws450
    rws450
    September 17, 2013, 11:17 pm

    It would be great if someone in NY could go to the event and pass out a fact sheet flier on some of these characters …. just to add to the mood and provide an alternative perspective.

  15. tarski
    tarski
    September 18, 2013, 12:36 am

    Shows how empty Jewish values as espoused by Boteach are. A lecture by a dictator, unbelievable. The US is truly in a precarious situation. Economically its elites are too separated from the demos so as to hear their pleas and foreign policy is a weird mixture between ultra-pragmatists, end-time believers and those patriotism is about another country. You would think that this situation would not only be attacked on multiple fronts but that it be dismantled easily.

  16. anthonybellchambers
    anthonybellchambers
    September 18, 2013, 4:42 am

    Why Syria has 1000 tonnes of chemical WMD

    The elephant in the room, that determined Syria’s adoption of a chemical weapons program in the 1980s as a deterrent against an Israeli nuclear attack, is a uniquely American animal.

    Ever since the assassination of John F Kennedy, successive US Presidents under pressure from the American Israel lobby, in Washington, have colluded in an extraordinary trick known as ‘nuclear ambiguity’ that has enabled Israel to covertly build the only undeclared nuclear weapons arsenal in the world.

    Estimates as to the size of this secret arsenal vary between 200 and 400 nuclear warheads and it is reported that Israel now has the capability to deliver its WMD by intermediate-range ballistic missile, ICBM, strike aircraft and also by cruise missiles from a fleet of nuclear-armed submarines. An offensive capability for a second strike that is unmatched by any European state, all of whom are signatories to both the NPT and the CWC.

    Israel is the only nuclear weapons state in the entire Middle East, Europe, Africa, Australasia, the United States and South America that has refused to be bound by these Agreements.

    Nuclear WMD are many times more lethal than chemical weapons as they can spread their deadly radiation over thousands of square miles and cross both national and international borders.

    This particular elephant, in the Syrian room, is an aggressive creature that Europe is increasingly unwilling to either feed or house.

    • marc b.
      marc b.
      September 18, 2013, 12:33 pm

      interesting side-bar articles on the history of the ‘Greens’, lefty, in the ‘Bild’ obituary.

    • seanmcbride
      seanmcbride
      September 18, 2013, 12:37 pm

      German Lefty,

      Any thoughts on Reich-Ranicki?

      Wikipedia files him under these categories:

      1. 1920 births
      2. 2013 deaths
      3. People from Wloclawek
      4. Censors
      5. German literary critics
      6. German autobiographers
      7. German Jews
      8. Polish Jews
      9. German atheists
      10. Jewish atheists
      11. German people of Polish-Jewish descent
      12. Polish communists
      13. Polish spies
      14. Functionaries of the Stalinist regime in Poland
      15. Polish atheists
      16. Polish United Workers’ Party members
      17. Holocaust survivors
      18. Diplomats of the People’s Republic of Poland
      19. Warsaw Ghetto inmates

      From Wikipedia:

      In February 2006 he received the Honorary degree (Doctor Philosophiae Honoris Causa) of the Tel Aviv University. The university will establish an endowed chair for German literature named after Reich-Ranicki.

      Was he the Harold Bloom of Germany? Or not? (I haven’t read any of his works.)

      • German Lefty
        German Lefty
        September 18, 2013, 4:12 pm

        Any thoughts on Reich-Ranicki?

        No, not really. I only saw him on TV a few times and I know that he was a literary critic. However, I am not familiar with his works. Therefore, I can’t tell if the German media admire him mainly because he was good at his job or because he was Jewish.

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