Ghosts of Rwanda

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by IJ Reilly, Apr 2, 2004.

  1. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #1
    Last night (locally) PBS-Frontline ran a chilling documentary on the genocide in Rwanda, where over 800,000 people were slaughtered by their fellow countrymen in just 100 days, ten years ago. I missed the first hour of the program, but the upshot seemed to be that the international community, including the UN, the US and our allies, utterly failed to comprehend, or perhaps failed to even care to comprehend, the magnitude of the events occurring in Rwanda -- and so failed to act. According to the few aid-workers on the ground during the genocide, even a relatively low level of international intervention could have saved many hundreds of thousands of lives.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/ghosts/

    What are the lessons of Rwanda?
     
  2. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2003
    Location:
    Colly-fornia
    #2
    I caught some of the first hour of it last night. It was a stark reminder of what happens when we look the other way from genocide. One of the former embassy workers made the point that the difference between life and death was an American passport. The forces were there, but were only there to save the white people.

    Another embassy worker was crying describing their exodus from the country by land after Kigali airport started taking fire. She told of driving past crowds of people lining the streets, with machetes in hand just waiting until the UN was gone to get to work slaughtering people. She said you could tell what was going to happen as soon as they passed by, the world community knew it as well and nothing was done.

    All in all, a shameful display of cowardice by those who could have helped but didn't. Never again should mean what it says.
     
  3. IJ Reilly thread starter macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #3
    One of the remarks that really hit home was this explanation of US inaction: "The US doesn't have friends, it has interests." Sadly, I think much of US foreign policy can be understood this way. I've always hoped that some day the US would invest more wisdom in its approach to foreign affairs. Jimmy Carter tried, but it was the wrong moment in history, and he was possibly the wrong person.
     

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