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Samantha Power breaks down after visiting Rwandan genocide memorial

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This is moving. From Samantha Power’s twitter feed. The US ambassador to the UN visited the memorial to the Rwanda genocide in Kigali two weeks ago and broke down afterward, speaking to local media (and posted by this human rights organization). Note the humility in her comments, putting herself in the company of citizens and churchgoers. Excerpts:

My name is Samantha Power, I’m the US ambassador to the United Nations. I have just come out of the memorial, and I honestly need time to recover. This is very soon to be talking to all of you… This is my third time visiting Rwandan memorials, it is almost 20 years after the genocide, and the power of not only what happened here in 1994 but the strength of the Rwandan people as they seek to move forward is immensely moving to me and to my colleagues. I am here as part of a mission from the United Nations Security Council, and of course we all know what the United Nations failed to do back in 1994 for the Rwandan people. But the international community is determined to stand with the Rwandan people in the same way that our guides today have, who were themselves 13-year-old boys at the time of the genocide– I’m sorry– and they tell their stories so that diplomats like me, journalistis, citizens, churchgoers, everyone in the world can know what happened here so that it never happens again in Rwanda and it never happens again anywhere else in the world… Nobody who comes to this memorial site is ever the same when they leave. People who come to this site dedicate themselves with new passion… to the broader cause of preventing genocide forevermore.

Power, who made her name writing about genocide, has of course defended militarist policies in the Middle East. I went to Power’s feed seeing if she had anything to say about her mentor on Middle East issues, Shmuley Boteach, countenancing Sheldon Adelson’s call for Obama to strike Iran with a nuclear weapon. Zilch.

P.S. Boteach reported that Power cried when she met with Israel lobbyists to defend herself from accusations that she doesn’t like Israel.

Update: Good point via Twitter —

More on Boteach and Kagame here and here.

Philip Weiss

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22 Responses

  1. pabelmont on October 25, 2013, 11:53 am

    It would be enough — for me — if she liked Israel and also liked Palestine and also demanded that Israel conduct its occupation in compliance with I/L. Of course she should “like Israel”. Of course.

    But that alone is not enough. Not for me. And she should say so to Adelson, Boteach, et al. And she should say — to all Americans — that it is possible to “like Israel” and “like Palestine” and also demand that (both) conduct themselves according to I/L.

    In other words, it is not only possible but MANDATORY to walk THIS WALK and chew THIS gum at the same time.

    • Stephen Shenfield on October 26, 2013, 6:36 am

      There are things and people to like in Israel, but that is not the same as liking the country as a whole because there are also many detestable things and people. If on balance the detestable things have such a strong effect on you that you don’t “like Israel” what is so wrong with that? When Israelis demand that you should like Israel, they are also demanding that you should like the Israeli government, IDF, Shabak, etc. — the whole caboodle.

  2. xanadou on October 25, 2013, 1:37 pm

    Ms. Powers ought to seek professional help. She is clearly afflicted with a multiple personality disorder. The compassionate aspect is obvious in the video. The hard-nosed bias overflowing with prejudice has been witnessed by many in the course of SP’s performance at the UN.

    It behooves us to remember that Rwanda’s capricious division of the population into Hutus and Tutsis was a Belgian idea according to the oldest trick – Divide & Rule – that seldom fails in any colonial conquest, and which phoney divide is still maintained is “free” Rwanda.

    As for having had learned from the genocide? Oh, puh-leeze. Rwanda has enthusiastically participated in the ongoing slaughter (6 million to-date) of the Congolese in the DRC. Neither Rice nor Powers have uttered a word about THAT genocide. So much for lessons learned.
    ” 2010 UN report charged Rwanda’s army with “committing atrocities that could be classified as crimes of genocide.” :

    One wonders: why are SP et al., in Rwanda? Is this connected to the expanding presence of Africom? Is this the latest act in the musical chairs farce wherein Powers switched her job for that of Susan Rice, who now reps the US at the UN? Rwanda is one of the African countries that works closely with Africom, now present in 30+ countries of the continent.

    • Walid on October 26, 2013, 11:12 am

      “It behooves us to remember that Rwanda’s capricious division of the population into Hutus and Tutsis was a Belgian idea according to the oldest trick – Divide & Rule – that seldom fails in any colonial conquest, and which phoney divide is still maintained is “free” Rwanda.” (xanadou)

      The expert on what really happened in Rwanda was Lt. Gen. Roméo Dallaire, the Canadian that was the commander of the UN’s blue-berets mission in Rwanda that witnessed the horrors from the start and was putting out daily pleas to the UN, to the UNSC members and to his bosses in Canada as well as to all journalists and TV news to put a stop to the ongoing massacres. But nobody reacted. Today, the retired General is a Senator. He was released from military duty because of his health. After his return from Rwanda, he went though several bouts with depression and demons because of the horrors he had witnesed when his pleas were not answered. Part of his writings on Rwanda:

      “The story of the genocide in Rwanda is a story of betrayal, failure, naiveté, indifference, hatred, war, inhumanity and evil. There is no doubt that the toxic ethnic extremism that infected Rwanda was a deep-rooted and formidable foe, built from colonial discrimination and exclusion, personal vendettas, refugee life, envy, racism, power plays, coups d’etat and the deep rifts of civil war. In Rwanda both sides of the civil war fostered extremism. Together these extremists created the climate in which a slaughter of an entire ethnicity could be dreamed up—an attempt to annihilate every Tutsi who had a claim on Rwanda, carried out by Rwandans on Rwandans.

      Still, at its heart, the Rwandan story is the story of the failure of humanity to heed a call for help from an endangered people. The international community, of which the UN is only a symbol, failed to move beyond self-interest for the sake of Rwanda. While most nations agreed that something should be done, they all had an excuse why they should not be the ones to do it. As a result, the UN was denied the political will and material means to prevent tragedy.

      … On April 6th, 1994, genocide began in Rwanda. It was the greatest slaughter of human beings since the Holocaust. The majority of the 800,000 or so who were killed died of machete wounds. Many would have known their killers. The survivors and the perpetrators continue to live next to one another.

      … When I think about the consequences of the Rwandan genocide, I think first of all of those who died an agonizing death from machete wounds inside hundreds of sweltering churches, chapels and missions where they’d gone to seek God’s protection and ended instead in the arms of Lucifer. I think of the more than 300,000 children who were killed and of those children who became killers in a perversion of any culture’s idea of childhood. Then I think of the children who survived, orphaned by the genocide and the ongoing conflict in the region—since 1994, they have effectively abandoned by us as we abandoned their parents in the killing fields of Rwanda.”

  3. MRW on October 25, 2013, 1:39 pm

    Before you let this lachrymose phony off the hook, I will say this for the umpteenth time (done before the archives started at the end of July, 2009).

    Samantha Power, in her book on genocide, blamed the Hutus, calling them extremist. She sided with Paul Kagame, the leader of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF). However, HE was the real perpetrator of the genocide. It was the Tutsis who committed the genocide against the Hutus, not the other way around. The movie Hotel Rwanda was a propaganda film.

    From the MW archives, Exiled at Home writes:

    On the one hand, she [Carla Del Ponte] was very active as Special Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in trying to go after Paul Kagame’s Tutsi “Rwandan Patriotic Front” (RPF) who were the actual perpetrators of genocide in Rwanda. The RPF, however, were backed by the United States, and thus when they invaded Rwanda from Uganda, assassinating the Hutu president, and bringing down a democratically-elected, multi-ethnic coalition government, it was the Hutu majority that was blamed in western media as the ‘genocidal aggressors.’ Nothing was further from the truth. Del Ponte’s investigation was shut-down by Kofi Annan. Rwanda was another of the 20th century’s great propaganda works, depicted as a Hutu genocide of the Tutsi minority while the US stood by, in fact, it was a US-backed Tutsi genocide of the Hutu people. Del Ponte was on the correct side of this.

    I wrote:

    THANK YOU! You are one of the few who is telling the truth. My brother’s girlfriend worked for Medicine Sans Frontieres and was under the operating table in April 1994—I mean, literally under the OR table—in Rwanda when the slaughters happened. She said exactly what you’re saying and begged me not to tell anyone or she would lose her job. (She was under the table watching the heads of the babies she had helped birth fall beside her legs. She said it was a miracle that she wasn’t killed, no one knew she was there. Her report to me was chilling.)

    My brother’s girlfriend called me at enormous expense from Rwanda in April 1994 begging me not to tell anyone because she said she would be killed for spilling the beans–the US backed this slaughter, and so did Medicins Sans Frontieres–and she intimated I could be too.

    So let’s put this nonsense to bed. Power is an apologist for Paul Kagame and Boteach/Adelson.

    • Stephen Shenfield on October 26, 2013, 6:41 am

      Whatever Kagame’s personal responsibility may have been, the fact remains that the killers were Hutus and most of the victims Tutsis. Most but not all — quite a few Hutus were also killed, including opponents of the government’s genocidal policy and Hutus who were disliked by their Hutu neighbors for some reason (at the local level a lot of the killing had to do with land disputes).

  4. Ludwig on October 25, 2013, 2:06 pm

    I still don’t trust her after she promoted a United States invasion of Israel.

    • Talkback on October 25, 2013, 5:32 pm

      Hahaha. You’re so funny, Ludwig.

      • amigo on October 26, 2013, 6:53 am

        “Hahaha. You’re so funny, Ludwig.” Talkback to ludwig,s post.

        “I still don’t trust her after she promoted a United States invasion of Israel.”ludwig

        Oh look, Ludwig got one through without the approval of hasbara central.She is on your side ludwig.

        Dont,t scare her off.

  5. tarski on October 25, 2013, 2:19 pm

    Power-Hungry is nothing but a feel-good liberal. No real principles, just the wish to pose as someone honorable. She would not be there where she is now if she had not buckled to the Jewish lobby or had published a book that does not paint the US in such a rosy way.

  6. seafoid on October 25, 2013, 3:00 pm

    I wonder if she’ll go across the border and cry at the live genocide taking place at the hands of Kagame’s soldiers.

  7. just on October 26, 2013, 7:48 am

    Yes, Samantha, it was/is horrible.

    “I’m sorry– and they tell their stories so that diplomats like me, journalistis, citizens, churchgoers, everyone in the world can know what happened here so that it never happens again in Rwanda and it never happens again anywhere else in the world… ”

    You are right to feel sorry and cry. You are wrong to ignore the ongoing Nakba– a genocide, displacement, and much more that you choose not to acknowledge. I guess that Sam can pick and choose. She’s “special”, and so are her chosen causes.

    “Samantha Power is no friend of those who sincerely champion human rights: they have an obligation to call her out as a fraud. She is adept at crying tears over atrocities undertaken by America’s enemies. How many tears has she shed for the victims of US drone strikes or Israel’s siege on Gaza? Precisely none.”

  8. Walid on October 26, 2013, 8:13 am

    Can’t talk about the Rwanda genocide without talking about Israel. Last month, Richard Silverstein did:

    “… Israel’s Role in Rwandan Genocide

    Israel, as a seminal article in Maariv pointed out, played both sides against the middle in the Rwanda civil war. Even before the slaughter commenced in 1994, Israel was supplying weapons officially to the Hutu-led government, which used them to fight against rebel forces under Kagame’s command. Israeli arms suppliers continued covertly selling to the genocidal militias who murdered 800,000 Rwandan Tutsis. This from the book “The Arms Fixers”:

    “Seven large cargoes of small arms worth $6.5 million were flown from Tirana Albania and Tel Aviv between mid-April and mid-July 1994 to the [Interahamwe] forces as they carried out the genocide, even during the time when the mass killings were being reported daily by the international news media.”

    Leibowitch-Dar’s article exposes the key role that one of these Israeli black-market weapons dealers played in the genocide. Separately, in the midst of the killing, Israel’s environment minister (!), the redoubtable progressive, Yossi Sarid stood on the Zairean border with Rwanda telling Maariv in an interview:

    ‘We [Israel] have no control over where these weapons end up.’

    The Maariv reporter also says that Israeli personnel also were inside the country training the militias. Though of course there were other countries as well more than happy to supply the genocidaires.

    Israel doesn’t let ideology or friendships get in the way of doing business though. Israel supplied Kagame’s forces as well. This from Maariv:

    ‘[Despite official Israeli denials,] Israelis were however involved with arms shipments to the Rwandan government and the rebels of the Rwandan Patriotic Front based in [then] Zaire, at whose head stood Paul Kagame. Despite the fact that Kagame was a member of the victimized Tutsi tribe, his movement too was involved in many acts of murder. During the genocide Kagame’s troops also killed thousands as they extended their control throughout the country.’

    After the slaughter, Israel officially expressed outrage at what had happened and likened it to Jewish suffering during the Holocaust. Israel sent humanitarian aid and medical units to establish a hospital to treat the victims. It never once acknowledged either its official or unofficial role in the genocide. Once Kagame came out on top, all was forgiven and relations have been close ever since.

    Apparently, Kagame takes a view of Israel akin to that of David Ben Gurion during the Holocaust. He didn’t care who he did business with if it strengthened Israel. So Israel and Kagame have become good pals, as Boteach’s event attests. Most recently, Kagame visited Israel last June for meetings with Pres. Peres and PM Netanyahu.”

    • just on October 26, 2013, 9:20 am

      Thanks for bringing that article to the fore, Walid.

      Israel has no “morals” at all, and neither does the US or Samantha Power wrt the Rwandan genocide… lots of crocodile tears and regret and looking the other way and complicity……..but no morality.

    • Obsidian on October 26, 2013, 9:49 am


      Pure bullshit, Walid.

      The last permit issued by the Israeli Ministry of Defense for the sale of weapons to Rwanda was in October 1993 , six months before the massacre.
      The airlift of arms that arrived in Goma, Zaire were probably being sent to the Tutsi rebels, the ‘good guys’, if you will.
      Why to Goma, Zaire, and not to Kigali, Rawanda’s capital city, where you’d expect the Hutu led government would want it delivered? Because Goma is right across the border from Northern Rwanda, where the Tutsis held a great deal of territory.
      Most of the deaths were the result of machetes (37%) and clubs (16%) and that guns only accounted for 14% of the deaths. See, Conspiracy to Murder.

      Israeli arms dealers had little to do with the genocide in Rwanda, and the Government of the State of Israel had even less to do with it. In fact, the Government of Israel made a huge relief fact effort, sending field hospital, doctors, etc.

      Many European countries, especially France and Belgium, provided arms and training. If Israel contributed to the genocide, it was de minimis, and eve’n that much has not been proven

      • Walid on October 26, 2013, 11:20 am

        “Pure bullshit, Walid.”

        Looks like I touched on a raw nerve, Obsdian. If you have an axe to grind on that one, take it up with Maariv that published this story; unless you think that Maariv is published out of Damascus, of course.

  9. Walid on October 26, 2013, 10:00 am

    “lots of crocodile tears and regret and looking the other way and complicity……..but no morality.”

    True, Just. but in fairness, it has to be noted that Israel wasn’t alone playing in this dirty game. Others doing it and making money while the the genocide was ongoing were Egypt, China, Belgium, China and I think France was in on it too. If we want to talk about crocodile tears, those that were shed by the international community could have filled many olympic-sized pools. Here’s about Egypt’s involvement from the Guardian:

    “UN chief helped Rwanda killers arm themselves
    staff reporter
    The Observer, Sunday 3 September 2000

    The former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Boutros Boutros-Ghali, played a leading role in supplying weapons to the Hutu regime which carried out a campaign of genocide against the Tutsis in Rwanda in 1994.

    As Minister of Foreign Affairs in Egypt, Boutros-Ghali facilitated an arms deal in 1990, which was to result in $26 million (£18m) of mortar bombs, rocket launchers, grenades and ammunition being flown from Cairo to Rwanda. The arms were used by Hutus in attacks which led to up to a million deaths.

    The role of Boutros-Ghali, who was in charge at the UN when it turned its back on the killings in 1994, is revealed in a book by Linda Melvern.

    In A People Betrayed: The Role of the West in Rwanda’s Genocide, Boutros-Ghali admits his role in approving an initial $5.8 million arms deal in 1990, which led to Egypt supplying arms to Rwanda until 1992. He says he approved it because it was his job as Foreign Minister to sell weapons for Egypt.

    The deal was never disclosed: the weapons were smuggled into Rwanda disguised as relief material. At the time there was an international outcry at human rights abuses by the Hutu government as thousands of Tutsi were massacred.

    Asked about the wisdom of an arms deal at such a sensitive time, Boutros-Ghali said he did not think that a ‘few thousand guns would have changed the situation’. His contacts with the Hutu regime have never been investigated.”

    • Walid on October 26, 2013, 10:21 am

      More about the participation of others from United Human Rights Council:

      “… In the weeks after April 6, 1994, 800,000 men, women, and children perished in the Rwandan genocide, perhaps as many as three quarters of the Tutsi population. At the same time, thousands of Hutu were murdered because they opposed the killing campaign and the forces directing it.

      … Policymakers in France, Belgium, and the United States and at the United Nations were aware of the preparations for massive slaughter and failed to take the steps needed to prevent it. Aware from the start that Tutsi were being targeted for elimination, the leading foreign actors refused to acknowledge the genocide. Not only did international leaders reject what was going on, but they also declined for weeks to use their political and moral authority to challenge the legitimacy of the genocidal government. They refused to declare that a government guilty of exterminating its citizens would never receive international assistance. They did nothing to silence the radio that televised calls for slaughter. Even after it had become indisputable that what was going on in Rwanda was a genocide, American officials had shunned the g-word, fearing that it would cause demands for intervention.

      When international leaders finally voiced disapproval, the genocidal authorities listened well enough to change their tactics although not their ultimate goal. Far from cause for satisfaction, this small success only highlights the tragedy: if weak protests produced this result in late April, imagine what might have been the result if in mid-April the entire world had spoken out.”

    • just on October 26, 2013, 10:21 am

      I am not surprised that others were complicit…


  10. Walid on October 26, 2013, 11:40 am

    I think Power’s 3rd trip to the Rwandan Memorial has to do with damage control following the big fiasco with the 4 clowns discussing “Do the Strong Have a Responsability to Protect the Weak” last Sept 29th. It was intended as a vehicle to milk the story of Syria gassing its people. The only gas to have come out of this lame attempt was the one that came out of the 4 farts.

  11. charlesfrith on October 27, 2013, 3:45 am

    Is she still calling in the cruise missile attacks for Syrian false flag chemical attacks by her buddies Saudi and backed by Israel.

  12. traintosiberia on October 27, 2013, 10:58 am

    Rawanda gave her the chance of a life time to wear a permanent cap with the humane color,sporting the championship of the weak,announcing the arrival of the pest of the oppressor,defender of the feeble orphans and elderly to the world waiting for a messiah but she did not pay a dime for the artifact. She blamed US for no action while US was fully participating in the partisan violence supporting one group and interfering in a home grown solution.
    Her journey to liar’s den was capped with grand bargaining of discarding some of those shibboleth uttered for Palestinevin in the presence of the high priest of the AIPAC .

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