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Rwanda

Discussion in 'Non-World War 2 History' started by Man, Mar 28, 2007.

  1. Man

    Man New Member

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    Send more troops, give the unit increased mandate. General Dallaire requested this for weeks before the invasion, pointing to the heavy propoganda-buildup, arming of "local defense militias", and increased governmental rhetoric.

    Genocides don't occur suddenly. People don't suddenly decide to simultaneously slaughter their neighbours, patients, students, wives or husbands. There are bigger forces involves. The symptoms were there, and unless you can provide proof that they were not (I have provided a source for my statements, namely "The State of Africa" by acclaimed journalist Martin Meredith) --your statement is false.

    According to my source, after the Arusha Accords (between the government and RPF) of 1992 that envisaged a peacekeeping force. The US proposed a force of merely 500. Dallaire asked for a minimum of 4500, and recieved 2500. Vehicular or air support was repeatedly requested by Dallaire and denied by the UN. As I have mentioned, an even bigger handicap was that the UN denied Dallaire to collect field intelligence, leaving him blind. There were never any large numbers of UN troops in Rwanda. Belgium dispatched some reinforcements, but eventually pulled out entirely after the French adamantly refused to escalate UN operations.

    This cannot be compared to Somalia because the lines are much clearer. In Somalia, it was not ethnicity but "family connections" that mattered - its more like gang warfare. In Somalia, there is a common language and culture. In Rwanda, there were clear ethnic lines. There is a difference between stopping a GENOCIDE and a civil war. I know that most Westerners, including you it seems, don't seem to mind much about what happens in Africa. Some, like General Dallaire, believe that there is a moral obligation to stop such a heinous crime as genocide.

    You are not only generalizing about Africa as a whole, but refer to the diverse and varied African cultures and people as "them". This showcases your ignorance about the continent, the cultures of the people, and why stuff happens.

    There is still a moral obligation.

    Again, this is not true. General Dallaire not only foresaw, he repeatedly contacted and warned the UN about it.

    On what do you base that estimate? Your intimate knowledge of Rwanda? The country is miniscule and densely populated. Its armed forces, before the French helped finance them :angry: , numbered about 9,000 - ill equipped, poorly disciplined soldiers. How many highly trained men does it take to defeat that?

    Yes, there was. I think I have provided enough evidence for that conclusion. This was a preventable genocide, and it was not prevented due to intervention of certain countries, especially France. Their "supplies" mainly went to Hutu camps in the Congo, where they were sold to the Congolese to refinance the "genocidaires" war campaign. I can provide more information about these camps if you want, but suffice to say, the aid only helped fuel the war.

    Actually, I'd blame France. :wink:
     
  2. majorwoody10

    majorwoody10 New Member

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    Smeg ..i think you are well aware that we are loathe to invade n. korea for a number of very good reasons ...1. the north korean army is large ,well equiped ,well led an highly motivated ( brainwashed ..but still very motivated...ie arab suicide bombers who belive they go straight paradise to collect their 70 virgin brides ) 2. the greatest city in south korea , seoul , is not only the capitol but well within reach of a thousand large nk howitzer tubes, rocket launchers and god knows what else ...unfortunatly this city would be very difficult to move out of range as it is rather heavy and well attacthed to its present site.
    3. we can never be sure what the pla might do ...the last time we invaded n. korea we got a big nasty suprise from a rather large group of maos red army
    iran ,or any muslim theocrazy in possesion of nukes is worriesome given their willingness to die while in pusuit of islamic peace ....ie. the peacful world where there are no more unbelivers anywhere....thomas jefferson once buttonholed an arab diplomate while both were in france on govt bussines and jefferson asked the arab why us merchant ships were being attacked and taken by muslim war galleys though the us had not ever attacked nor harmed in anyway any muslim country ..the muslim replied that it was in the teachings of the koran ...that good muslims were duty bound to attack and sugjegate any unbelivers where and whenever possible....jefferson reported this back to congress which ultimately resulted in the second verse of the marine corps anthem...
    im sure you fellas are correct that the us leadership is anxious to invade iran ,aftter all things have gone so well in iraq that our troops have little to do anymore and we dont want our boys sitting idle forever .....plus , hey ! we could get all THEIR oil too !!! and for free , these invasions have been a great boon to us taxpayers ..gas is so cheap now its almost like they pay us to fill up our tanks ....
     
  3. smeghead phpbb3

    smeghead phpbb3 New Member

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    Alright Mr. Ive-been-to-Africa-and-therefore-know-more-about-Arfica-than-anyone-else... Lets simplify the issues a bit

    If I sell you a gun legally, and you go off and kill someone, am I guilty of murder? Think of that in the context of France's dealings in Rwanda

    Fabuolous Idea! Its amazing nobody ever thought of this before... Why don't you become the leader of the UN? Personally, I can't recall one instance in hisory where a sizeable professional force has been rallied in the space of just 3 months... Red tape, like woody said...The solution is so simple, yet so impossibly unattainable

    Be more specific, what exactly have I said that is incorrect about the cultures of the people... "They" kill each other and for litte/no reason and have little respect for the UN mandate, that isn't so much a racist comment as it is a fact... I can't make facts PC for you Panzerman...

    A moral obligation is not a legal obligation... UN leaders should not be fired because a bunch of rebels decided to slaughter each other... It is a decision beyond their control... What WAS in their control was the decision to provide aid and to move in and prevent further killings, which they did.

    Well what else could the man have done? Honestly, I think he did everything in his power to try and stop the genocide... What you seem to be failing to grasp is that he did not actually have that power and shouldn't be blamed for it... Neither the UN nor France decided to kill anyone, it was the criminal actions of the Hutu, and they alone are responsible...

    Not sure, I've never defeated 9,000 poorly armed rebels, have you? Apparenlty I'm led to believe that theres alot more to preventing genocide than just killing a bunch of hooligans... If the solution was that simple we'd have attained a perfect utopian society long long ago...
     
  4. Ricky

    Ricky New Member

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    Just stepping in here to appeal for calm and the removal of personality from this debate. Smeg, no more direct statements about Panzerman please.

    Right, carry on! :D
     
  5. Ricky

    Ricky New Member

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    Ok, now that I have made my official post...

    Smeg, nobody is slating the unfortunate General on the ground in Rwanda. There appears to be general consensus that he did the best he could given the way his hands were tied and his eyes covered...

    What Panzerman appears to be suggesting is that the UN should have listened to his reports and sent in more troops.
     
  6. Canadian_Super_Patriot

    Canadian_Super_Patriot recruit

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    From what I've heard some hutu's simply went on the radio, declared the tutsi's the enemy and a threat to national secuirty,and gave each family a masscheti and a club.
     
  7. Man

    Man New Member

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    Sadly, you cannot compare two countries dealing with each other in this fashion. It is not the initial selling of armaments that I am opposed to, but the continued support of a regime that France knew was comitting genocide. See quotes from Mitterands son and the actions by the French "Cellule Africaine"

    It was not a question of three months. I am talking about the decisions made in 1992 after the Arusha accords, not the reaction the genocide. By then it was already too late.

    There is no Rwandan nation in the same way that there is a Somali nation. Rwanda is a state, incorporating two nations - namely the Hutu and the Tutsi. The point I have been trying to make is that the genocide was not a byproduct of civil war, but a deliberate act by the Hutu government of the time.

    Somali is both a nation and a state. The people share the same culture and language. The war there was not one of genocide.

    Therefore they are not comparable.

    Given, but as I have stated, the what the UN aid in the Hutu refugee camps mostly contributed to the rearmament of the Hutu genocidaires, and therefore cannot be seen as aid but as a perpetuation of civil war.

    I am not blaming him for it. I view him as a hero for trying, but being thwarted by unwieldy bureacracy. While the Hutu are responsible, France enabled them to do it. As you have pointed it, this in itself is not illegal. Using your simplified example? Is selling a gun to an unstable, deranged person illegal? In most contexts, yes. However, it was not this but their continued support for the regime AFTER the genocide started that is the problem.

    [/quote]

    I was making a point that the UN did not need a 100,000 strong force to defeat the Rwandan army, nothing more. At its strongest, the Hutu army numbered around 25,000 - and was defeated by Paul Kagame's RPF, which was considerably smaller and not as well equipped. I guess they had superior morale or something.

    I would not pretend to know everything about Africa - on the contrary, very little. However, I know that Africa is not a homogenous mass, as many people view it.

    To recap my points:

    - My main beef with the French is their continued support of the Hutu regime
    - My main beef with the UN is that they did not act sooner when General Dallaire sounded warning bells
    - My second beef with the UN is that they did not give UNAMIR enough men or a mandate big enough to do anything meaningful - and that this was the result of corruption from certain members and key diplomats, namely France and Boutrous-Ghali from Egypt
     
  8. Man

    Man New Member

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    Nah, he was right. I tend to act a bit like a know-it-all sometimes, and need to be told.

    :grin:
     
  9. Castelot

    Castelot New Member

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    It is important to remember that it was actually FDR forces, supported by the army of Ouganda that had started the war by invading Rwanda.
    France mainly decided to support president Habyarimana because of 2 reasons:

    1.To avoid a minority supported and armed by a foreign state(Ouganda) to take power by force

    2.It has long been french policy that internationally recognized borders shoud be protected in order to avoid chaos.

    What exactly quotes by Mitterand are you referring to?




    .

    It should also be noted that the France actually was the country that mainly orchestrated the Arusha accords.
    In these accords it was established that the Hutu should share the power with the Tutsi.
    It was France's influence that imposed these accords on the Hutu.
    If as some say France wanted to keep the Tutsi out of Rwanda at any cost, what reason would it have had to force the Hutu to share power with them?






    I partially agree with that.
    France was indeed slow at distancing itself from some leading personalities of Habyarimana's regime.(Some wrong sense of loyalty here)
    And like the rest of the world it was(very) slow at reacting when the mass killings started.
    But unlike a certain press portrays it,there was very little France could actually do to prevent the mass killings.
    It is also quickly being forgotten that France was the only country sending consierable military forces(Operation Turquoise).
    It is undisputed that Operation Turquoise stopped the mass killings in the area the troops were deployed, known as Zone Turquoise.(Tough smaller killings admitedly continued).
    Tens of thousand lives were saved this way.

    As has already been pointed out above, the killings were perpetrated by Hutu against Tutsi.(And vice versa as is also often forgotten).
    Unlike some PC people seem to think, africans actually are perfectly responsible beings, just like the rest of mankind.
    There mustn't always fatally be some bad western influence behind any atrocity that occurs on the african continent.(Or anywhere else in the world)




    Would you care to elaborate why France(and Bhoutros Ghali) would face more responsability in the failing of UNAMIR that any other given nation?As far as I know only Belgium asked for a strong UNAMIR mandate, while all permanent members of the security council were rather reluctant.
     
  10. smeghead phpbb3

    smeghead phpbb3 New Member

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    Point taken kindly Ricky and Panzerman... :grin: People tell me i get too grumpy too quickly...

    I particularily liked the comment Castelot made about the Reponsibility of the African nations... It might be said that the UN is taking too much responsibility off Rwanda's shoulders and blaming themselves, which is not a good thing... Whether or not France is at fault for support the regime, the fact remains that their culpability is marginal when compared to those guilty of the genocide itself... Yet the French and the UN (unfairly) seem to shoulder much of the blame... The Hutu are the ones who sponsored the genocide, and the Rwandan people comitted the acts... Why should they escape responsibility and punishment? If the UN continues to treat Africa more like an unruly child than a collection of states then it is not unlikely that the problem will just keep recurring...
     
  11. majorwoody10

    majorwoody10 New Member

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    it is a proven fact that most third world problems even today can be directly linked to colonialism and evil unjust oppression from the avairous white european even if said troubled country was never actually a coloney...for instance in the usa ...homocide ,drug abuse ,teen pregnancy , rap music ,premature balding ,nicole smiths death ..all of these things can safely be attributed to the british and their unholy tax on tea...i still have nightmares about redcoats ever since i saw that movie with mel gibson ..
     
  12. Man

    Man New Member

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    Very true, I agree completely. I often make the point to Africans here that they cannot go on blaming others for their problems for ever - in the end it is their responsebility to make their home a better place! Too often I hear Africans of all kinds (South African blacks as a whole, Sotho/Venda/Tswane as a tribe, Mashone or Ndebele Zimbabweans) make the cliched, literal statement: "All of the evil that has befallen (Africa, South Africa, my tribe, my family) can be traced back to (Colonialism, Apartheid, the other tribe, and my next door neighbour). Sure, there have been many wrongdoings - the nature of the forming of the African states is very bad - in the end it is their choice.

    I usually reply that other countries have suffered from colonialism and managed to break those shackles and become succesful. Take India, America, or even Norway :p (no snide comments from you, Christian Ankerstjerne).

    Smeghead, also be careful when saying "the Hutus sponsored the genocide". It is like saying that "the Germans sponsored the Holocaust". Yes, either group was involve, but not the entirety. Many Hutu's were killed - those opposing the regime, those who were moderate, those who refused to join in. In the same way, many Germans were incarcerated.

    After Paul Kagame and the RPF (whom Mitterand wanted to "break the back of", as they opposed Habyarimana) took power there where a number of trials to bring the genocidaires to justice. Many remain at large. Both Hutus and Tutsis took part of these trials - showing Rwandans coming together, accepting responsebility, and administering justice. The French are not responsible for the genocide, but they are responsible for supporting a regime that perpetrated it, in knowledge of what was going on.

    Loyalties aside, that's just wrong in my book.
     
  13. Canadian_Super_Patriot

    Canadian_Super_Patriot recruit

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    Ever notice how some Mel gibson movies seem to have an anti british theme to them ?
     
  14. Grieg

    Grieg New Member

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    Well, it could hardly be avoided in a movie like Braveheart or The Patriot, considering the source material. Is he a little heavy-handed in his depiction of the Brits? Perhaps a case can be made for that point of view but I don't think he deliberately distorts. I'm sure many Brits would disagree, though.
     
  15. canambridge

    canambridge Member

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    I thought Mel was rather soft on the Brits in "THe Passion". :roll:
     
  16. Canadian_Super_Patriot

    Canadian_Super_Patriot recruit

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    LOL, but in the Patriot the british, especially one of them, was portrayed as downright maleveolent.In gallipoli, the brits, one uncaring officer, send all the ausiie to their deaths, eventhough in the actual battle it was an aussie.
     
  17. Roel

    Roel New Member

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    In Apocalypto they were portrayed as kind and gentle altruists. If I remember correctly. :grin:
     
  18. majorwoody10

    majorwoody10 New Member

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    gibson is irish catholic and his feelings on the brits would seem to reflect his heritage ...and aparently he is not too fond of jews either...
     
  19. corpcasselbury

    corpcasselbury New Member

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    The only thing about "The Patriot" that gave me nightmares was the incredible historical inaccuracies, which were incredible even by Hollywood's standards. :cool:
     
  20. corpcasselbury

    corpcasselbury New Member

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