(STICKY) (ZIMBABWE MAIL ZW) U.S. envoy visits Zimbabwe
Staff Reporter 2013-04-16 22:36:00
COMMENT - Here is former UN Ambassador Andrew Young making the convoluted argument that land reform in Zimbabwe was necessary (2500 hectares per farm) but somehow is impossible in South Africa (1350 hectares per farm). - MrK
HARARE, — The former U.S. envoy to the United Nations Andrew Young on Tuesday met Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai separately to mend relations that had soured over the past decade.
Young told journalists after meeting Mugabe that the U.S. State Department had sent him to Zimbabwe to assure the nation that it wanted to see relations revert to the state prior to the land reforms of 2000. The U.S. also wants to see peace prevailing in the country.
Relations between Zimbabwe and the U.S., the United Kingdom, the European Union and other western countries turned for the worst following the land reforms under which most white farmers lost their land mainly to formerly disadvantaged blacks.
Violence rocked the countryside as independence war veterans led the farm invasions, during which several white farmers died.
Zimbabwe was also been accused of rigging the 2000 general elections in Mugabe’s favor.
The U.S. has since imposed sanctions on the southern African country.
Young said there was no reason why the sanctions should stay.
“I should say I have never particularly approved of the sanctions personally, but I have never been able to get rid of them,” he said.
A special envoy of the United States state department and former ambassador to the United Nations, Mr Andrew Young, says his country now has an administration which is prepared to move beyond sanctions.
Young who held a nearly two hour discussion with President Robert Mugabe at State House this Tuesday said he personally approved the imposition of sanctions against Zimbabwe but said it is time to move forward.
Mr Young was United States permanent representative to the United Nations from 1977 to 1979 and he supported Zimbabwe’s liberation movements who were waging the war of independence against the short-lived Zimbabwe-Rhodesia.
He said the United States needs reassurance that Zimbabwe is peaceful as it was known in the past and that the world hopes to see the beginning of a new flowering of freedom and democracy.
The Zimbabwe government has always maintained that Zimbabweans taught the West democracy when they fought for the right to vote and for their national sovereignty.
Ambassador Young spoke of the need for Zimbabweans to be united irrespective of race, creed and political affiliation saying they should realise they are on the same side.
He saluted Zimbabwe’s land reform programme which has empowered and transformed the lives of over 300 000 Zimbabwean families, saying it was very successful.
He however noted that the programme needs financial support to help farmers increase productivity and cushion them against shortages of fertilisers and seed.
Ambassador Young’s delegation included US ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Bruce Wharton and the assistant Secretary in the State department.
Labels: ANDREW YOUNG, LAND REFORM, SANCTIONS, ZDERA
(STICKY) (HERALD ZW) Election 2013: How Mugabe will win
Sunday, 05 May 2013 18:20
Mai Jukwa Political Mondays
Skilled negotiators begin their work by investigating and seeking to understand the mind of their opponent. This is crucial. It is only when you fully grasp the hopes, fears, beliefs and ignorance of your opponent that you can mount a successful seduction.
This election hinges a great deal on being able to convert voters from one persuasion to another. To succeed in this regard, it is important to enter the mind of the opponent and to see the world through his eyes. Let’s consider some generally held beliefs within opposition ranks.
1. Zanu-PF has destroyed the economy through incompetence.
2. Zanu-PF took all the farmland and gave it to a handful of cronies.
3. Britain is working with the MDC-T because they want to help us.
4. The indigenisation drive does not benefit ordinary people.
5. Sanctions only targeted Zanu-PF officials.
The master plan
Thus far, Zanu-PF has only communicated incidental facts. The problem with this kind of story telling is that only the most curious political junkies will take time to add these facts into a coherent political story. The vast majority of voters have neither the interest nor aptitude necessary to join the dots together to make for a coherent message.
It is for this reason why talk of sanctions is not nearly as effective as it could be. We have heard incidental mention of ZDERA but few voters could tell you how this actually worked to strangle the economy. Only a minority knows that the United States is holding onto funds belonging to Chinhoyi council.
Let us consider a more excellent approach, a better way to explain the Western master plan.
What really happened?
Through the 80’s and a greater part of the 90’s, Robert Mugabe was considered a competent leader and Zimbabwe was an example to other nations in Africa. He was so highly regarded that in 1994 the Queen knighted him.
It is this background that makes for quite some perplexity. How did this paragon of goodness suddenly turn into a bearer-cheque-printing monster portrayed by the West? Surely it cannot be that a man who was supremely competent the night before suddenly wakes up clueless as to how an economy is managed?
It’s all about Land
The Zimbabwean story is inextricably bound to the land question. This is the genesis of the crisis. The British now claim their interest in Zimbabwe is limited to democracy and the rule of law. This assertion is false.
A catalogue of video evidence shows the British explaining in their own words that they wanted farm seizures to stop.
Robin Cook makes for delicious viewing and paints quite the picture of an overbearing white man as he declares that he has “made it clear the land seizures must stop.”
Andrew Young is also captured on video candidly explaining why Zimbabwe had to be punished to prevent South Africa from following a similar pattern of land redistribution. There is an abundance of such material floating in the archives, it is the context and manner in which it is delivered that can give it - or rid it of — efficacy.
After failing to stop the Land Reform exercise, there was a concerted campaign to discredit it. It is widely reported that the land was taken by a handful of Zanu-PF cronies. Is this true? The voter would be interested to know that Welshman Ncube, Arthur Mutambara, Morgan Tsvangirai and Tendai Biti all own farms.
This is hardly a picture of Zanu-PF cronies.
The MDC now wants to abandon its previously declared policy on land. At one time Tsvangirai vowed to kick the new farmers off the land. One of his officials promised an intrigued BBC interviewer that his party would restore the white farmers. They now deny having ever said any such thing in the same way Tsvangirai denied having ever married Locardia. Video does not lie.
We are told that sanctions were imposed because the British love Zimbabwe and want us to be good girls and boys that live in accordance with democratic virtues. It is all for our own good.
These are puzzling contradictions when you consider that the first imposition of sanctions specified that these measures were meant, inter alia, to restore “property rights.” The property rights referred to the restoration of white farmers.
It was always about land and this much must become clear in the mind of every voter.
The West, supported by the MDC, has always maintained that it cares for the people of Zimbabwe and has not imposed any sanctions that would affect the generality. This dishonest narrative has been repeated to the point of being elevated to fact.
Let us break down the argument. Is it possible to sanction Agribank, ZB Bank, the GMB, ZMDC and other key institutions without affecting ordinary Zimbabweans? It is a bizarre argument. It is similar to arguing that one can sanction Britain’s National Health Service without affecting ordinary people in that country.
No economy can survive without Balance of Payments support.
How then can ZDERA, which prevents Zimbabwe from borrowing, like all other nations, be considered a targeted sanction? It is not enough to ask these questions. The message must be delivered in a manner that allows the voter to conceptualise the issues. The voter must see the United States for the devil that it is, preventing Zimbabwe from accessing funds. The impact of this financial blockade must be understood.
The MDC’s sanctions spanner
The MDC clearly stated that Mugabe could only be removed from power by making the country ungovernable. Tsvangirai is captured on magnetic tape calling for South Africa to sanction Zimbabwe. In 2002 he said to the BBC: “South Africa should say, ‘OK, under those circumstances we are going to cut fuel, we are going to cut transport links’.”
Even after the formation of the GNU we find evidence of MDC-T perfidy in a damning cable from the United States embassy. Tsvangirai tells the ambassador that he wants the sanctions to remain in place and explains that his public calls for their removal are merely for show. The voter must understand the dishonesty and hypocrisy of Morgan Tsvangirai. In public he says the sanctions must go but then in private he urges on the Americans to maintain them.
The death of tourism
Even more devastating than sanctions is the ‘failed-state’ propaganda war. Condoleezza Rice called Zimbabwe an “outpost of tyranny.” Their media have characterised Zimbabwe as a warzone while Robert Mugabe is portrayed as a bloody-thirsty Hitler type figure.
The view of Zimbabwe is now so contorted by lies that many in the world imagine it to be a violent land ravaged by civil war. Harare is routinely and dishonestly referred to as the worst city on earth in a relentless assault on the image of the country. Their goal is choke off any tourism revenue and scare away would-be investors.
A Zimbabwean woman living in Germany blogged about how she invited a hesitant group of friends to a trip around Zimbabwe. She has to offer assurances that they would be safe.
After some persuasion they agreed. On arrival at the Harare International Airport they were quickly whisked to Meikles hotel and retired for the night. The next morning after breakfast they went on a drive around Harare. During that tour one of the Germans asked, “so where are the gunmen?”
This might surprise Zimbabweans but many Westerners have been subjected to such vicious propaganda as to believe the country is in the same league as Somalia. The effect of this dishonest campaign has been the destruction of our tourism industry.
It is important for the voter to see the dishonest claims in the Daily Mail that slave children are being used to dig diamonds at Marange. The voter must understand how these lies have been used to isolate the country.
Indigenisation — the new battlefront
Africa faces a common problem. It is blessed with abundant resources but that wealth continues to be siphoned out of Africa. Consider the copper rich Zambia.
The Western businesses that are plundering this continent want to continue to do so uninterrupted. These forces have rallied their surrogates in the country to claim the indigenisation drive does not benefit ordinary Zimbabweans. This is the same message we heard as regards the Land Reform.
Can Zanu-PF offer a coherent explanation as to why indigenisation is important? Can it give examples of how the failure to indigenise has adversely affected other mineral rich African nations?
Can Zanu-PF articulate how the man in the street will benefit from these reforms? We recently heard the Zimbabwe Teachers Association asking to draw 10 percent from indigenised shares. That misguided request betrayed a gross ignorance as to what the entire programme is about and how benefits will trickle down to ordinary Zimbabweans. It is a question of communication.
A complicated story
The story of what Zimbabwe has suffered is complex and borders on conspiracy theory but is not impossible to tell. This election boils down to whether or not Zanu-PF can layout the following arguments, among others, in a coherent and plausible manner.
1. The dispute with Britain is entirely over land. Their claims to be protesting over human rights are dishonest.
2. Sanctions were not targeted but affected the wider economy.
3. The sanctions were designed to cripple the economy and to send a message to other African nations that land reform would have adverse consequences.
4. The MDC lobbied for and supported these sanctions.
5. The West has waged a propaganda campaign painting Zimbabwe as a war zone. This has adversely affected tourism.
6. The MDC is a Western project.
It is not merely a question of whether or not the above points are true. Rather, it is how well Zanu-PF can draft this into a compelling message that exposes falsehoods, brings about ideological clarity on Land Reform and Indigenisation and in the process rouses and rides the nationalist sentiment.
On the eve of the election, if even a single voter still believes that sanctions were targeted then Zanu-PF will have failed to communicate the facts. If even a single person still believes that only a handful of cronies benefited from the Land Reform programme, Zanu-PF would have lost a voter to a lie.
The deceptive and manipulative nature of the British must be painted with clarity in the mind of the Zimbabwean voter, none must be left in the naiveté of thinking their meddling is because they care for us.
They must be so reviled, so thoroughly despised, as to taint any politician receiving their support or endorsement. Their history and record around the world is dirty enough to make this possible.
Amai Jukwa is a loving mother of three. She respects Robert Mugabe, is amused by Tsvangirai and feels sorry for Mutambara.
Labels: 2013 ELECTIONS (ZW), MAI JUKWA
(NEWZIMBABWE) CFU slams MDC-T on land
Sunday, 05 May 2013 00:00
The Commercial Farmers’ Union (CFU) has castigated the MDC-T for its lack of a clear land policy and has pledged to work with the “Government of the day to discuss agricultural issues.”
The CFU, which has been part of the MDC-T regime-change agenda for the past 14 years, has of late been making moves to normalise relations with Zanu-PF amid indications that the revolutionary party is headed for a massive victory in general elections set for this year.
In an interview on the sidelines of a policy dialogue meeting held in Harare last week, the union’s president, Mr Charles Taffs, acknowledged that the country’s agricultural production has been a success and is irreversible. Mr Taffs added that his organisation was ready to work with a Zanu-PF Government after this year’s elections as the party has a clear land policy.
“As farmers we are ready to work with the Government of the day,” he said.
“Yes, in the past some of our members used to help the MDC-T financially, but this was not a CFU position. As the CFU, we remain committed to working with the political party that forms the Government of the day.”
Mr Taffs noted that unlike Zanu-PF, which has a clear-cut land policy which it has been religiously pursuing to the benefit of the previously marginalised black majority, the MDC-T does not have a land policy.
The CFU boss noted that because Zanu-PF has a clear stance on the land question, his members know the direction the party will take when it wins the next elections while the same cannot be said about the MDC-T which always flips-flops on policy matters.
“We don’t know what the MDC-T will do if they happen to win the elections. Clearly they don’t have a policy on land as yet. Maybe they are going to unveil it as the elections draw closer,” said Mr Taffs.
He revealed that his organisation was lobbying for the formation of a single farmer representative union.
“We believe that our interests as farmers are the same so we are saying let’s fight from the same corner and organise ourselves into one union.
“The agricultural sector has been improving, especially in tobacco, but more still needs to be done to improve our production levels across all sectors,” he said.
Mr Taffs conceded that Britain left the Zimbabwean Government with little choice when it reneged on a pledge to provide funds to compensate farmers whose land would have been repossessed under the agrarian reform programme.
“It’s unfortunate that it was not in black and white, so when Britain reneged on that pledge, the Zimbabwean Government did what we all know in 2000.
“The question now is how we move forward as a nation,” said Mr Taffs.
Labels: CFU, CHARLIE TAFFS, LAND REFORM
(NEWZIMBABWE, GUARDIAN UK) Mugabe’s redemption as father of nation
by David Smith I The Guardian
HE has been a schoolteacher, freedom fighter and political prisoner. He has gone from admired independence leader to despised autocrat. Now a life that spans nine decades could be about to add its least expected final chapter: the rehabilitation of Robert Mugabe.
The following scenario, once unthinkable, is now just conceivable. The Zimbabwean President will retain power in this year’s elections through fair means of foul; the poll will be relatively peaceful and deemed "credible" by the west; then sanctions will be lifted against Mugabe and his inner circle, ushering him back in from the cold.
This coincides with a subtle shift in the mood music around Africa's oldest leader. Domestic political foes have praised him. He recently enjoyed cordial meetings with Andrew Young, special envoy of the US state department, and civil rights stalwart the Rev Jesse Jackson. A documentary film, ‘Mugabe: Villain or Hero?’ has won sympathetic audiences in London.
Most contentiously of all, researchers have begun to challenge the orthodoxy that Zimbabwe’s land reform programme was an unmitigated disaster.
Even non-supporters believe this reassessment is a necessary corrective after years of demonization. "He was overtoxified in the first place," said Petina Gappah, a Harare-based writer, lawyer and fellow of the Open Society foundation. "This idea of Mugabe as Hitler? He's extremely charming and intelligent.
"This idea of a mindless thug underestimates his intelligence. This cartoonish, caricatured Idi Amin figure fails to recognise his insidious effect on the country. If he didn't exist, they would have had to invent him."
Two currents are moving in 89-year-old Mugabe's favour for elections likely to take place in August or September. His Zanu PF party has allegedly helped itself to profits from the country’s diamond fields and revitalised its support base with populist policies such as the indigenisation of foreign-owned companies.
No less importantly, the rival Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) is seen by many as having lost momentum and the moral high ground after entering a power-sharing agreement with Zanu PF after the last disputed election in 2008.
The MDC insists that it has made real achievements in government and retains groundswell support, but it is losing a crucial battle of perceptions. Recent opinion polls by Afrobarometer and Freedom House found the party trailing behind Zanu PF - a more attention-grabbing headline than questions about the data's reliability.
The MDC stands accused of the sins of incumbency, its leadership seduced by ministerial houses and luxury cars; the party has been forced to discipline some councillors for corruption. It has failed to heal a factional rift that could divide its support.
Leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who serves as prime minister in the unity government, has been criticised for becoming too close to Mugabe and for an unseemly run of sex scandals.
"I think he's been a total disaster," said one senior MDC figure, who did not wish to be named. "He's let us all down. But the important thing to remember is the MDC is bigger than Morgan Tsvangirai."
Among the disenchanted who feel taken for granted is the country's second biggest teaching union, cause for alarm because the MDC grew out of the union movement and relies on it for support. Raymond Majongwe, secretary general of the 14,000-strong Progressive Teachers' Union, said: "I'm feeling seriously let down by the MDC. The MDC has done nothing for teachers.
Sins of incumbency
"The power-sharing agreement could be the undoing of the MDC leadership. They exposed their own naivety and appetite for opulence and extravagance. In four years the level of wealth these MDC guys have accumulated is shocking. If the MDC wins the election, fine, they can go ahead and loot the country like their predecessors."
But Zanu PF is unlikely to take any chances. It still dominates the broadcast media and its persecution of activists, journalists, lawyers and opposition figures. Serious questions remain over the legitimacy of the electoral roll and the potential for cheating, particularly after apparent anomalies in the recent constitutional referendum.
Civil society watchdogs predict that the party will resort to its old tricks of intimidating voters, but this time using a form of "smart terror" whereby the mere threat of violence is enough. "Shaking the matchbox," is how one opponent describes it.
A schoolteacher from Buhera district, who says he was abducted from his home and beaten after voting for the MDC in 2008, said: "There is a register of Zanu PF supporters and it is used to intimidate people. It is silent violence. People are being told what to do. Rehearsals are being held day and night over how this election is going to be rigged."
But after the bloodshed of 2008, in which the MDC says 253 people died and thousands were tortured, a low body count is likely to be hailed as progress by an outside world that may then turn a blind eye to other irregularities.
Gappah said: "There will be no violence this year; they don't need it. But I don't think it's possible to talk about the possibility of a free and fair election. A 'credible' election is the buzzword the diplomats use. The UK and US will accept a 'credible' one. It's very likely Mugabe will come away smelling of roses."
She compared the situation to Kenya, which this year "held a flawed election to fix another flawed election". The outcome was victory for Uhuru Kenyatta, who faces charges at the international criminal court of crimes against humanity. But the west was quick to laud Kenya for a peaceful process and seems determined not to allow the new president's past to get in the way of economic interests.
Britain's high commissioner to Kenya visited Harare recently and it seems likely that parallels of realpolitik are being drawn. Zanu PF was represented at a recent Friends of Zimbabwe meeting in London, while Mugabe has welcomed the re-engagement efforts initiated by the UK and the EU.
All this comes as one of the central pillars of the western critique of Mugabe's 33-year rule is under attack.
In 2010, Prof Ian Scoones of Sussex University published a study that claimed the seizure of white-owned farms, which smashed food production a decade ago, had also bequeathed a positive spinoff in the form of thousands of small-scale black farmers.
It has been followed this year by a book, Zimbabwe Takes Back its Land, which concludes: "In the biggest land reform in Africa, 6,000 white farmers have been replaced by 245,000 Zimbabwean farmers. These are primarily ordinary poor people who have become more productive farmers." Agricultural production is now returning to its 1990s level, they argue.
The reappraisal is hotly disputed. The MDC says that Zanu PF cronies and supporters are the main beneficiaries, and the new farmers are still easily outnumbered by agricultural workers who lost their jobs – but the mere fact that land reform's consequences have moved from conventional wisdom to a debate worthy of airtime is another step towards making Mugabe's legacy less unpalatable.
Saviour Kasukuwere is the youth development, indigenisation and empowerment minister and a rising star in Zanu PF. He said: "We knew one day the chickens would come home to roost and now they have. The whole world realises that President Mugabe was right and the policy that Zanu PF embarked on was right."
Bristling with confidence, Kasukuwere claims the west now regrets supporting the MDC, which he dubs the "Movement for Dangerous Children". He continued: "They made a mistake in the first place, they backed a terrible horse. I think the first reaction was anger. The things that you do when you're angry, you always live to regret them.
"They had this view, 'Why is Mugabe taking the land? So let's look for something.' I think they should have sat down and had their faculties working and we should not be where we are. The best brains in this country did not join the MDC. That's why President Mugabe will confidently walk home with the trophy."
It is an arresting narrative that Zanu PF is naturally eager to promote, but whether Mugabe can complete the unlikely circle from liberation hero to authoritarian villain to redeemed father of the nation remains far from certain.
A civil society group, the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, notes that polling suggests a tight race that will go to a second round, in which Tsvangirai stands a better chance of building alliances.
McDonald Lewanika, director of the coalition, said: "When it comes to the crunch, the choice that faces people is clearly between two evils, but one much less than the other. It's unfortunate the choice will be that bad."
Labels: ROBERT MUGABE
(NEWZIMBABWE) Election dates: Mugabe vows to go it alone
by Staff Reporter
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe vowed Friday to unilaterally announce dates for new elections, apparently ditching a Cabinet committee he established with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai which was charged with fashioning a “road-map” to the polls.
Tsvangirai last month announced that he had agreed with Mugabe that a committee comprising Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa (Zanu PF) and his Constitutional Affairs counterpart Eric Matinenga (MDC-T) would work out a programme leading to the new polls.
The move infuriated MDC leader Welshman Ncube who accused his rivals of violating the GPA agreement and warned Tsvangirai that he was being led down the garden path by Mugabe.
On Friday the Zanu PF leader told a meeting with traditional leaders and local government officials in Mutare that Chinamasa now had sole charge of the process of drawing up the so-called road-map.
“I was hoping to meet Chinamasa here in Mutare, but he did not come. He is now the person in charge. It’s no longer the Ministry of Constitutional (and Parliamentary) Affairs,” he said.
The coalition parties remain divided on the timing of the polls. Mugabe wants the vote to immediately follow the end of the current Parliament on June 29 while the MDC parties are insisting on a delay to allow implementation of further reforms.
Speaking to reporters in South Africa where he was attending the World Economic Forum on Africa Tsvangirai said a June election was not possible and insisted that media and security reforms must be implemented first.
“Violence has always characterized our elections,” the MDC-T leader said in an interview today with Bloomberg TV. “If we can contain that, it will be ready any time after June.”
But Mugabe said the election dates would become clearer next week after the Senate completes its deliberations on the new Constitution.
“We will see from next week what the date can be,” he said. “We now await the decision of the Senate. Only when it is passed shall we be able to have a roadmap for elections.”
He also ruled an extending Parliament and reiterated calls for peaceful campaigns ahead of the elections.
“Parliament dies on 29 June,” he said. “MPs, all of them, would have lost their legislative power.”
“As in any contest, there are some whose tempers may flare and others with raging emotions, to all of them, the country’s appeal is for peace, peace, peace! Violence should not have any place nor footprint in our elections.”
Labels: 2013 ELECTIONS (ZW), PATRICK CHINAMASA, ROBERT MUGABE
(NEWZIMBABWE) Mugabe mocks Tsvangirai’s looks
Who is the fairest of them all? ... President Robert Mugabe and PM Morgan Tsvangirai
by Staff Reporter
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe says he is still seeking answers as to how his Zanu PF party lost ground in Manicaland - but he is sure age and looks had nothing to do with it.
Mugabe is certain that if facial looks - even at his advanced age - had anything to do with it, he would have beaten the MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai hands down.
Tsvangirai, 61, would be embarrassed if the two went on a night out trying their luck with the ladies, he joked on Friday while speaking to traditional leaders and other local government officials in Mutare on Friday.
The Zanu PF leader said he had wondered whether at 84, his necessarily wrinkled appearance put-off voters in the 2008 elections after the party was battered in Manicaland, winning just six out of 26 seats.
But after taking a look at his rival’s face he was convinced the election rout had nothing to do with his own appearance.
“Zvino ndikati chitadzo chingava kupi? Tikamira papapa ndiri 84 ndinotariswa nemvana dzakati kuti,” Mugabe joked, drawing howls of laughter from the delegates.
Tsvangirai and the Zanu PF leader will go head-to-head again later this year in a vote which will end their fractious coalition government.
Despite deep divisions and policy differences the unity administration is however, credited with helping ease political tensions in the country and putting the economy on a path to recovery.
Labels: MORGAN TSVANGIRAI, ROBERT MUGABE
Mugabe, Scott discuss maize deal
By Lovemore Chikova and Tendai Mugabe in Harare
Sat 11 May 2013, 14:01 CAT
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe met Zambian Vice-President Dr Guy Scott at State House in Harare on Thursday to finalise the government-to-government agreement for Zimbabwe to import 150,000 tonnes of maize from Zambia. Speaking to journalists after the hour-long meeting, Vice-President Scott said Zambia was expected to start delivering the maize soon.
"It should start next week if everything goes according to our best expectations. We discussed issues revolving around maize to ensure none of us lose any people. None of us should have a shortfall of maize this year," he said.
"Basically, we know what we are doing and what we are trying to achieve."
Although Vice-President Scott did not disclose the value of the consignment, The Herald is reliably informed that Zimbabwe had already made a down payment in the region of US$3 million.
Vice-President Scott was accompanied by foreign affairs minister Efron Lungu and agriculture minister Robert Sichinga.
After meeting President Mugabe, Vice-President Scott flew back to Zambia and was seen off at the Harare International Airport by Vice-President Joice Mujuru and agriculture, mechanisation and irrigation development minister Joseph Made.
Made said in an interview after the meeting that the 150,000 tonnes of maize would see the country having enough grain when added to the harvests taking place in areas that were not affected by drought.
He said Zimbabweans should be grateful to Zambia for prioritising the country in the light of a high demand of maize by other countries in the sub-region.
"That matter has now been resolved at the highest level," said Made. "The ministers of agriculture from both countries met and the vice presidents met and ministers of foreign affairs were present. The public is being assured that the maize imports are being done at the highest level."
Made said logistics were already in place to move the grain from Zambia with the cooperation of the northern neighbours.
"The movement of the maize from Zambia requires meticulous work," he said. "We will be concentrating on the logistics so that we get the maize timeously. We will be under pressure to move the grain before the early showers that usually fall in August or September so that the grain is not affected by rains."
Made said the grain would be moved to "strictly priority areas" which did not harvest anything due to drought this season.
The areas include Matabeleland South, Masvingo, southern parts of Manicaland, southern parts of Midlands and some parts of Matabeleland North.
"These are areas where there is nothing at the moment because of the drought," said Made. "People in the northern parts of the country are at least beginning to harvest."
President Mugabe recently castigated finance minister Tendai Biti and MDC-T's stance against the importation of the maize from Zambia.
He said Biti sought to sidestep conditions set out by Zambia that the maize would only be sold to government, not private companies.
Labels: GUY SCOTT, MAIZE, ROBERT MUGABE
Investment in agriculture has impact on poverty reduction - AGRA
By Joan Chirwa-Ngoma
Sat 11 May 2013, 14:00 CAT
EVERY dollar invested in agriculture in Africa has an impact on poverty reduction, notes Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa president Jane Karuku.
According to Karuku, the impact of investments in agriculture is up to three to four times greater than the same amount invested in other sectors.
AGRA called on global leaders at the World Economic Forum on Africa in Cape Town on Thursday to recognise that agriculture's rightful place is at the heart of the continent's growth.
Realising the commitments made by several African governments, Zambia inclusive, in Maputo where they pledged to increase allocations to agriculture to at least 10 per cent of their national budgets, Karuku said as the clock ticks towards 2014, the pressure is now on for African states to live up to their commitments to agriculture.
"Growth in Africa's agricultural sector, food security and poverty alleviation across the continent all depend on achieving this goal," she said.
However, Zambia is one of the countries lagging behind in budgetary allocations to agriculture, with this year's K32.2 trillion (KR32.2 billion) budget only committing about K2.6 trillion (KR2.6 billion) or around eight per cent to the sector, which has been recognised as having massive potential for job creation.
"It makes good sense to increase investment in agriculture in line with the CAADP commitments. As our evidence shows, every dollar invested in agriculture in Africa has an impact on poverty reduction which is up to three to four times greater than the same amount invested in other sectors," said Karuku.
According to the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), in 2010, only eight African countries had met their pledge to commit 10 per cent of their national budget to agriculture, while many others were making progress.
Karuku said the biggest contribution to reducing poverty could come from the agricultural sector where "most Africans earn their livelihoods".
"Africa needs widespread and sustainable economic growth, and the continent is showing fast progress.
Smallholder farmers in Africa face many challenges, but the opportunities on offer should far exceed these," she said.
"Governments have a big role to play in resolving the unfriendly business environment that currently prevents smallholder farmers from commercialising their operations and moving beyond subsistence. We need to ensure that farmers have access to inputs like improved seeds, but they must also be empowered to sell their own produce on markets."
Karuku attended the World Economic Forum on Africa with Strive Masiyiwa, vice chair of AGRA and founder of Econet Wireless, to encourage governments and other leaders to urgently close the gap between the current and the potential contribution that agriculture makes to Africa's growth and development.
Masiyiwa said: "WEF Africa 2013 is asking the question: how we can deliver on Africa's promise? The answer is that agriculture must be at the heart of our efforts. Governments must become much more courageous on this issue, especially when it comes to land rights, the policy environment, and access to finance and infrastructure."
He emphasised the role of the private sector in achieving sustainable growth in the agriculture sector.
"Promoting investment in the agriculture sector requires governments and other stakeholders to speak to private investors, so that they gain a better understanding of the business environment, the regulatory bottlenecks they face, and the incentives on offer," said Masiyiwa.
Labels: AGRA, AGRICULTURE, POVERTY
Tribunal on judges must start sitting - Kabimba
By Roy Habaalu and Mwala Kalaluka
Sat 11 May 2013, 14:01 CAT
JUSTICE minister Wynter Kabimba says the tribunal to probe the professional misconduct of three suspended judges 'must start sitting'.
And Attorney General Mumba Malila says the state is set to proceed with the tribunal appointed by President Michael Sata to probe the conduct of the suspended judges following the Supreme Court's clear interpretation of the law.
The Supreme Court on Thursday said President Sata did not breach the Constitution when he appointed a tribunal to probe alleged professional misconduct of Supreme Court justice Philip Musonda and High Court justices Nigel Mutuna and Charles Kajimanga.
This effectively means that the three judges' suspension is in force until the tribunal concludes its work.
High Court judge Fulgence Chisanga had stayed the tribunal meant to probe alleged professional of the three judges.
Kabimba said now that the judgment had been handed down, there was nothing to stop the tribunal from sitting.
"As government we have been extremely patient awaiting this judgment and one fact about us is that we believe in the independence of the Judiciary because we let them make a decision in the interest of this country," he said.
"Unlike the previous government that attempted to intimidate and interfere in the operations of the Judiciary, we let the aggrieved parties to challenge the decision made by his excellency the President.
They went to court until now when the Supreme Court confirmed that President Michael Sata's decision was within the provisions of the Constitution of Zambia. As government we are extremely happy that the President's decision has been withheld by the Judiciary."
Kabimba said the Supreme Court's decision meant that, "All the three judges with effect from yesterday remain suspended until the tribunal concludes its sittings."
And Malila yesterday described the judgment as delightful.
"We are very delighted at the interpretation of the law by the Supreme Court. We are also happy that the Supreme Court has confirmed that the President acted within the law when he appointed the tribunal to investigate the three judges," said Malila who had appealed against judge Chisanga's decision to stay the tribunal proceedings.
"With this clear interpretation of the law by the Supreme Court, we are set to proceed with the hearing of the tribunal."
Asked when the tribunal hearing would commence, Malila said: "I think the position will become much clearer next week. As you know the Supreme Court also gave some gratuitous advice in the judgment saying that this tribunal hearing should not proceed because there are other ways of dealing with the issues."
He said that advice by the Supreme Court did not mean that the tribunal should not proceed.
"It is not in the province of judicial officers to give advice. It is not their mandate. It is not their role to give advice. Their role is to pass judgment, to make decisions and give orders and directions, which they Supreme Court gave," he said. "So we shall follow the decision that they made and proceed with the tribunal hearing. Come the coming week, we do expect that the public will be notified on how we are going to proceed."
Acting Chief Justice Lombe Chibesakunda sat with deputy Acting Chief Justice Florence Mumba, justices Marvin Mwanamwambwa, Hildah Chibomba, Elizabeth Muyovwe, Gregory Phiri and Munyinda Wanki when she delivered the multi-paged majority judgment.
Justice Chibesakunda said President Sata acted within constitutional powers vested in him under Article 983 of the Constitution and that the appointment of a tribunal would accord the three judges an opportunity to be heard.
"We therefore find merit in the appeal," said justice Chibesakunda.
Justices Mwanamwambwa, Muyovwe and Chibomba, however, dismissed the state's appeal in their dissenting judgments, saying judge Chisanga did not misdirect herself on the matter and that any person who felt aggrieved by the exercise of executive power could challenge it through court action.
In May 2012, President Sata appointed a tribunal to investigate the alleged professional misconduct by the three judges but they sought judicial review, which judge Chisanga granted and ordered that the same acts as a stay of the tribunal.
Meanwhile, Kabimba said those joining the PF should fit into the party's values, norms, culture and practices of the PF.
Speaking during the opening of the PF political and civic education training programme in Shibuyunji, Kabimba who is PF secretary general, said party members should not allow outsiders to contaminate the ruling party's attractive values.
"The culture and norms of the party can only be found among yourselves. There is no more changa changa leadership. In 2016 we will be looking for candidates that have undergone this programme. These are the people we will give first priority because they would have understood their role," said Kabimba.
Labels: WYNTER KABIMBA
Govt committed to improving farmers' lives - Samfya DC
By Prince Chibawah in Mansa
Fri 10 May 2013, 14:00 CAT
SAMFYA district commissioner Royd Chakaba says the government is committed to improving the living standards of small-scale farmers.
Speaking in Samfya yesterday during the District Co-operative Union annual general meeting held at Samfya Youth Skills Centre, Chakaba said the government regards co-operative input as a cornerstone in social and economic development.
He said the government was determined to create an enabling environment for the co-operative movement to flourish, describing it as part of strategic means for enhancing income generation, job creation and community development.
Chakaba said the government had also made strides in developing co-operative training programmes to meet the needs of the co-operative movement in changing social, economic and political environment.
Meanwhile, Chakaba has apologised to farmers in the area for the late distribution of inputs last season under the Farmer Input Support Programme.
"As government, we are apologising to you our farmers for the delay in distributing inputs last farming season. This was due to the fact that the suppliers who were tasked to carry out the exercise did not perform according to the expectations. However, my government has put up corrective measures to ensure the situation doesn't repeat itself," he said.
Chakaba further urged the farmers to desist from selling their produce to briefcase buyers.
Meanwhile, Chakaba has expressed disappointment over Samfya District Co-operative Union's non-performance.
He noted that the role of the co-operative union was to ensure its membership utilise their potential through commercial activities.
"We have observed that most co-operatives become active during FISP acquisition, which we are discouraging as government. This is a timely warning to you that the government, through the Department of Co-operatives, is on the ground to identify and flush out such co-operatives because they have now become a liability to the nation," said Chakaba.
Labels: AGRICULTURE, ROYD CHAKABA
(NEWZIMBABWE, REUTERS) Amplats cuts 6,000 jobs in South Africa
COMMENT - In Zimbabwe, the land reform movement had a huge shot in the arm from all the people who lost their jobs because of the IMF/World Bank's structural adjustment program (ESAP). If many people in South Africa lose their jobs, they may have no alternative except to get land. - MrK
ANGLO American Platinum said on Friday it would cut 6,000 South African mining jobs, fewer than half the 14,000 initially proposed, as it tries to restore profits without provoking a backlash from the government and restive unions.
The world's top platinum producer, a unit of Anglo American, added it would also keep open one of four shafts slated for closure near the platinum belt city of Rustenburg.
Amplats aims to slash platinum production by 10 percent or 250,000 ounces this year, equal to 4.5 percent of global output. Another 100,000 ounces will go in the medium term.
Under an original plan announced in January, it aimed to cut output by 400,000 ounces. The reduced job losses are likely to soften the blow for the African National Congress (ANC) government, which faces an election next year, but it remains to be seen if it appeases the anger of powerful local unions.
"Everyone is surprised. We were not expecting any retrenchment at all. We can't allow this," Sphamandla Makhanya, a worker committee member at Amplats in Rustenburg told Reuters.
"But before we do anything, we are going to have a mass meeting with the workers to decide what to do next."
For Amplats, reining in costs and cutting output to underpin the price of platinum, used for emissions-capping catalytic converters in vehicles, is crucial to getting back to profit.
The company said it would now aim to produce 2.2 to 2.4 million ounces a year, up from the 2.1 to 2.3 million ounces targeted in the original plan. The revisions should deliver 3.8 billion rand ($423 million) in savings by 2015.
"This is a significant step back to where we were and it doesn't feel like it addresses the radical problem of oversupply of material, weak or deteriorating demand environment," said analyst Paul Gait of Sanford Bernstein in London.
"The positive is this is an undoubted improvement from the kind of announcement we used to have from Anglo Platinum, which was a blithe disregard for market fundamentals, the cost base of their production - and a single minded focus on producing."
Amplats' shares extended losses on the day to be almost 3 percent lower in mid-afternoon trade in Johannesburg.
Sources told Reuters last week the plan would be watered down after talks with the government.
Chief Executive Chris Griffith said the company would discuss it with unions over the next two to three months.
He signaled the jobs target could be reached over time, saying on a call with analysts the company would look at reducing numbers by as much as 3,000 to 4,000 a year through attrition and would consider proposing early retirement for 1,500 employees over the age of 55.
Some older workers around Rustenburg on Friday said they were ready to hang up their tools.
Dressed in white overalls, Karel Mokgoatsi, a rock driller at Khomanani, one of the affected mines, said: "For others this will be bad news but for me it is good news. I am 60 years old and I am ready to go and have some rest."
Vow to fight
Hours before the announcement, activists from the militant Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) in Rustenburg said they would not tolerate any job losses.
"Where will 6,000 people in this economy go? They will engage in criminality," said Simon Hlongwane, an AMCU branch secretary at Amplats. "We as AMCU stand ready to fight."
Social tensions are running high after violence rooted in a labor turf war between AMCU and the dominant National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) killed more than 50 people last year and provoked illegal strikes that hit production.
The unrest was a major reason why Amplats suffered its first loss last year. But with unemployment at more than 25 percent, the government has taken a strong line with Amplats.
The average South African mineworker has eight dependants, so the social and political consequences even of reduced lay-offs will be far reaching.
AMCU miners briefly closed several mines when the initial Amplats plan was unveiled in January. Its leaders said on Thursday they would not back such wildcat strike action.
AMCU emerged as the dominant union in the platinum shafts after it poached tens of thousands of disgruntled members from NUM, a political ally of the ruling African National Congress.
The union power struggle explains why the ANC and the government have dug in on the proposed Amplats cuts, a striking contrast to the past when the gold industry was allowed to cut tens of thousands of jobs to remain viable.
General elections are due next year, and for the ANC, the union war means it has lost tens of thousands of potential voters and their many dependants as the NUM is a vehicle for campaigning and getting out the working class vote.
Labels: AMPLATS, ANGLO AMERICAN CORPORATION, JOBS, PLATINUM
(CONSCIOUS BEING ALLLIANCE) Dr. Gerald Caplan & the Rwanda Genocide Cranks
3 May 2013
keith harmon snow
War and plunder continue to rip apart great swathes of Africa. The perpetrators are known, and many have been named and exposed. The Pentagon, NATO countries and Israel continue to foment covert international guerrilla wars, while their proxy regimes continue to persecute and defraud their own people, even (at this writing) engaged in genocide.
Meanwhile, leading white (and some black) apologists whitewashing war crimes and genocide in Africa continue to squeal about anyone who does not tout the racist white power establishment line they worship and profit from.
Meet Dr. Gerald Caplan, a fine example of the worst kind of imperialist: one who works with the world's worst dictators, peddles the racist propaganda at home and abroad, speaks at international conferences, collects a fine salary working for the misery industry in Africa, and one who ever believes that he is a force for good, and for ethics and truth, and who, therefore, is never, ever to be challenged by anyone.
Dr. Gerry Caplan (L) chats with Ibrahim Gambari from UNAMID at the Kigali conference
on 'Liberation' (4 July 2011) as Gen. Patrick Nyamvumba (left) looks on. (Photo J Mbanda)
In a scathing assault on truth titled "The Politics of Denialism: The Strange Case of Rwanda," published in 2010, Canadian academic and long-time 'Rwanda genocide scholar' Gerald Caplan took on Professor Edward S. Herman and scholar David Peterson's then recently published book, The Politics of Genocide (Monthly Review Press, NY, June 2010).
Now Dr. Caplan has resurfaced to again assault the truth with a hysterical rant titled "Why does the University of Toronto's radio station promote genocide denial?" Published by Rabble.ca, an alternative blog self-labeled as "News for the Rest of Us," Caplan continues to disseminate disinformation under the most offensive cover used against people of color: the supposed innocence and privileged immunity of whiteness.
However, in publishing these attacks, Dr. Gerald Caplan continues to advance authoritarian ideas meant to  silence critics of the Kagame regime;  promote fear of being labeled with the 'genocide denier' in academia and the mainstream press;  propagandize the masses and falsify history;  hide the true role of the Western military-intelligence apparatus in overthrowing a legitimate government; and  suppress freedom of speech and thought. Of all of these, number  is the most perfidious. These efforts by Caplan epitomize a modern day fascism aligned with the Western surveillance apparatus.
Dr. Gerry Caplan appears to be a mainstay contributor for certain publications and venues underpinning what Dr. Norman Finkelstein, in a book by that title, has called The Holocaust Industry. These include the pseudo-professional on-line 'journal' Genocide Prevention Now, edited by one of Jerusalem's leading Holocaust industry proponents, Israel Charny. So-called 'genocide scholars' like Dr. Gerald Caplan and his cohort Dr. Adam Jones are a necessary part of the vast money making machine that benefits from ideological bullying, using 'genocide in Rwanda' and 'genocide denialism' as weapons to silence critics, punish victims and further reward killers. In this profit-driven industry, Rwanda, Uganda, the UK and the United States use (and abuse) 'the Rwanda genocide' as an ideological weapon to promote and advance the interests of the most powerful, much the same as the United States, Britain and Israel use 'the Holocaust' as a money making machine and ideological and political weapon. (See, for example, the Crosstalk debate between Dr. Norman Finkelstein and Israel Charny.)
ABOVE: The banner for the western imperialist organization "Genocide Prevention Now". GPN claims to "take the side of all humanity" but clearly serves only imperial power and the further deracination of select groups, including the support of the Rwanda Genocide industry and Holocaust industry.
"Human nature remains an often cruel and capricious creature," Gerry Caplan writes in his April 2013 tirade against the University of Toronto's radio station, CIUT, and its regular weekly program The Taylor Report. "Just as there remain deniers of the Armenian genocide and the Holocaust, so there are various groups who, each for its own squalid reasons, deny the truth of what happened in Rwanda. The pain this causes to survivors and their families hardly needs elaborating."
"Taylor's home page, for example, has long carried a blurb for a book by Robin Philpot, perhaps Canada's most prominent denier, called Rwanda 1994: Colonialism dies hard, insisting that there was no genocide of the Tutsi at all. On the contrary. It was all a diabolical American plot to use a group of Tutsi guerrillas known as the RPF to end French influence in the Congo and replace it with the U.S. Among America's most reliable assets in this deadly initiative, according to Philpot, was a Canadian soldier named Romeo Dallaire."
Indeed, it was. Diabolical. Blood-drenched, murderous, ruthless, cruel, atrocities of the most horrible kinds for which I have never been willing to show the most gruesome photos. And the bloodshed and persecution continues to this day.
"In the 10 years or so that his show has appeared on CIUT," Caplan continues, "Mr. Taylor has given an inordinate amount of attention not only to Philpot but to a tiny band that constitutes North America's most notorious deniers of the Rwanda genocide---Christopher Black, Peter Erlinder, Anne Garrison (sic), David Katz, Keith Harmon Jones (sic), Cynthia McKinney." (Seems Dr. Caplan is mixing me up with his partner-in-propaganda, the Rwanda genocide 'expert' Adam Jones.)
Caplan's attack is nothing more than a defense of the mainstream establishment narrative about 'genocide in Rwanda', and this is itself a cornerstone in the mainstream establishment framework on genocide overall, a hegemonic western framework which serves the imperial conquest of all peoples of color and the greater militarization and destruction of planet earth. This framework is described to some degree by Dr. Norman Finkelstein in The Holocaust Industry, and also by eminent scholar Immanuel Wallerstein in his little book European Universalism: The Rhetoric of Power.
"It is a morally ambiguous doctrine," Wallerstein wrote. "It attacks the crimes of some and passes over the crimes of others, even using the criteria of what it asserts to be 'natural law'."
And yet, as a prominent member of the Association of Concerned (sic) African Scholars, whose members are deeply connected to the establishment and whose interests are far from pure or transparent, Wallerstein himself is a part of the imperial apparatus being used to continue and support the onslaught against Africa and her people today. And yet he too denies it.
In his endeavor to falsify history, Dr. Gerald Caplan ignores the pain, mutilations, rapes and deaths caused by the western power brokers Paul Kagame and Yoweri Museveni to millions upon millions of Burundian, Congolese, Sudanese and Ugandan people, and he ignores the pain, mutilations, rapes and deaths of the millions of Rwandan people---both majority Hutu people and minority French-speaking Tutsi people---victimized by the Western-backed cataclysms in the Great Lakes region of Africa.
Here is how Gerald Caplan essentializes what happened in Rwanda. "The truth is simple enough: While the world stood by (where it wasn't complicit), a high-ranking cabal of Hutu extremists in 1994 came perilously close to achieving its deranged goal: the extermination of all Tutsi from the face of Rwanda."
Alas, the truth is not so simple. (Note that little parenthetic remark: "where it wasn't complicit".) And then too it is. What happened in Rwanda was a coup d'etat. Rather than evolve to a greater understanding of events, over time, when one is presented with more and more facts (as, for example, when the Pentagon reveals more about what it did and didn't know, or what it did and didn't do in Rwanda) we have Dr. Gerald Caplan engaging in exactly that which he decries: genocide denial. But such a conclusion is best left alone for now, but not, and never, to be forgotten: Gerald Caplan engages in genocide denial. To do this, he must simultaneously attack anyone and everyone who threatens to undermine the narrow, yet deeply entrenched and deeply falsified, historical narrative that provides him the currencies of wealth, status and power.
Hutu Deaths Agents.jpg
The Western media (and many Western officials who are now known) supported the dehumanization of Hutu people, and it followed this with support for their mass murder by the forces of the RPF, UPDF, and Pentagon. Photo of the New York Times, 13 April 1997.
THE FALSIFICATION OF CONSCIOUSNESS
Dr. Caplan's book review of June 17, 2010 was published by the Internet venue Pambazuka Press. Pambazuka claims authority as "Pan-African Voices for Freedom and Justice," and seems to be quick to publish the ideas of people like Dr. Caplan, no matter what they have to say, or how they say it. (Pambazuka Press denied equal access and space to others, such as myself, who sought to address and correct Dr. Caplan and his falsification of history, and even as they deny space they maintain that they are equitable.)
The Caplan review was quickly picked up and republished by AllAfrica.com, the corporate propaganda venue, controlled from Washington D.C., that excludes any dissenting voices or opinions outside their framework of acceptability and ideological bias, is very favorable to the western-backed dictatorships (e.g. Kagame, Museveni, Kanambe etc.), and seems to be moderated, at the very least, by the western intelligence establishment. Notwithstanding their total subservience to Western predatory capitalism, AllAfrica.com astonishingly claims to be:
"a voice of, by and about Africa: aggregating, producing and distributing 2000 news and information items daily from over 130 African news organizations and our own reporters to an African and global public".
It is no surprise that Gerald Caplan's vitriol was regurgitated there.
In these supposed examples of scholarship, Dr. Caplan demonstrates his unapologetic allegiance to corporate power, to mainstream academia, and to his own perks and benefits in upholding the massive deceptions about genocide in the Great Lakes of Africa, in particular, and shock-doctrine capitalism, more generally. Dr. Caplan's review did not read like a dispassionate and objective work of scholarship. Instead, the author employs invective, sarcasm, and name-calling that translate to pure nastiness. It is noteworthy that these are not "peer-reviewed" articles. They are rather a form of mudslinging in the trenches of the ignorant masses.
According to Caplan, the Politics of Genocide book showcases "bizarre fictions that have poisoned the authors' minds" and, "[d]espite its strange biases and excesses in belaboring its thesis, it's a useful reminder of American double standards that should not be forgotten (particularly given the disappointing record of the Obama administration)."
Caplan begins by complaining that some leftist intellectuals--apparently embodied by Herman and Peterson--try to find the great American bogeyman in everything, which is basically his way to paint the authors, and anyone who might think like them, as conspiracy theorists. This is a standard establishment tactic used in the attempt to discredit and dismiss real facts, real truth and real news.
"Herman and Peterson argue that in a world controlled by the American empire and its media and intellectual lackeys, genocide has become a political construct largely manipulated by Washington and its allies," Caplan writes. "Their main target can be found squarely in the heart of the book. It's chapter 4, the longest single section, and its purpose is to show that the 1994 genocide of the Rwandan Tutsi never happened. In fact the entire 'genocide' in Rwanda is an elaborate American conspiracy to 'gain a strong military presence in Central Africa, a diminution of its European rivals' influence, proxy armies to serve its interests, and access to the raw material-rich Democratic Republic of the Congo'..."
"Yes, in order to blame the American empire for every ill on earth, Herman and Peterson, two dedicated anti-imperialists, have sunk to the level of genocide deniers."
Oh, that sinking feeling...
"And the 'evidence' they adduce to back up their delusional tale," adds Caplan, "rests solidly on a foundation of other deniers, statements by genocidaires, fabrications, distortions, innuendo and gross ignorance."
Here is one of Dr. Caplan's criticisms. According to Herman and Peterson and their tightly knit cabal of fools, the 1990 invasion of Rwanda from Uganda was carried out not by Rwandans but by Ugandan forces under Ugandan President Museveni, the RPF being 'a wing of the Ugandan army'.
"There is no source given for this assertion," Caplan complains, "which contradicts almost all other histories of the invasion." However, Caplan's statement is so foolish and so totally unsupportable that one could stop reading this rebuttal against Dr. Caplan right now. Even the scantest bit of investigation would reveal that such facts do not warrant citation precisely because they are now so widely known that they are irrefutable.
Contrary to Herman and Peterson's inconvenient little book on the political economy of genocide, Dr. Caplan proposes that there is a small cabal of genocide negationists, a conspiratorial collective of 'lunatics', 'genocide deniers', and 'cranks', and he sets out to denigrate them through this book review. Dr. Caplan therefore portrays the attempts by Herman and Peterson (and a handful of other independent thinkers) to expose more than 16 years of lies and propaganda about victims and killers in Rwanda as "the strange case of Rwanda".
Admittedly, Dr. Caplan names me amongst the miniscule ranks of 'cranks' involved in this conspiracy of strangeness and lunacy: "[t]his rogue's gallery of American deniers also includes Keith Harmon Snow and Wayne Madsen, who will bitterly resent the authors for failing to invoke them in their book."
According to Dr. Caplan, we are a small and tightly knit group of conspirators---actually, we all wear these funny little jesters hats and green stretch tights and have tinkle-bells on our toes when we dance around the fire and sing songs of genocide remembrance, but don't tell Dr. Caplan---who all cite each other in each other's publications while we "gleefully drink each others' putrid bath water".
Is this the language of western scholarship?
On the other hand, Dr. Caplan provides a long list of 'experts' who he says are the definitive purveyors of truth on genocide in Rwanda. What Dr. Caplan accuses me and the other 'genocide deniers' of is actually true of his long list of experts.
Funny how that works: in psychological lingo, this is known as projection.
Included on Dr. Caplan's list are several notable people with a long history of producing propaganda for Paul Kagame and the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF). Some of these experts have much to recommend them, but the interests, motivations and position on each---vis-à-vis genocide in Rwanda---must be considered on a case-by-case basis, just as any true scholar would be advised to consider the positions, interests and motivations of everyone they seek to critique.
One of Caplan's experts is Somali 'human rights' expert Rakiya Omaar, who is on the RPF payroll, and has been for years, and who was one of the first, with Alex de Waal, to begin screaming 'genocide against the Tutsis' well before the so-called 100 days of genocide of 1994. The 'human rights' documentation produced by Rakiya Omaar and Alex de Waal, prior to 1994, is highly contested, but Dr. Caplan does not dare to explore or even observe this.
Notably absent from Dr. Caplan's list is Rwanda experts is Belgian academic Dr. Filip Reyntjens. Why? The omission is not accidental: Dr. Reyntjens is one of a very few academics and intellectuals, journalists or human rights investigators who, as time moves forward from 1992 to the present day, has revisited his own work and revised his position, and Dr. Reyntjens position has become increasingly hostile to the Rwandan Patriotic Front and increasingly more critical of the western propaganda apparatus and its mythology on genocide in Rwanda.
Another of Caplan's Rwanda expert is Columbia University professor and African intellectual Mahmood Mamdani. Are there any unanswered questions about the trajectory of Mamdani's career, such as his involvement, in some substantial capacity, as a propaganda agent for Yoweri Museveni and Paul Kagame during (1980-1985) and after (1986-1990) the guerrilla war---and the commencement of genocide against the Acholi people---prosecuted in Uganda by the National Resistance Army? Museveni commanded the NRA yet its top officers included elite Tutsi exiles (so-called 'Rwandan refugees') Paul Kagame and Fred Rwigema, and Mamdani's position vis-à-vis the NRA has not been sufficiently explored or exposed by Western academics (of which Mamdani is one).
What about Mamdani's relations to Paul Kagame, post-1994, and to General James Kabarebe, one of the elite Ugandan Tutsis of the so-called Rwandan Patriotic Front, who was indicted for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide by the Spanish court? It turns out that Mamdani traveled into the Congo (Zaire), circa 1998, from Rwanda, accompanied by Kabarebe and RPF cadres. Applying the language and ideas of African scholar Frances Njubu Nesbitt, we might aptly consider Professor Mamdani to be an 'intellectual in the belly of the beast."
In any case, Dr. Caplan relies on the work of these renowned Rwanda 'scholars' on his list---e.g. Alison Des Forges, Philip Gourevitch, Gerard Prunier, etc.---over and over. It seems that he can use his experts to back up his theses all he likes, but we (the supposed cranks) cannot cite our own unique experts to back up our own unique theses or reportage. Because our thesis and reportage are unique they are, according to Caplan and certain others, automatically conspiratorial.
Indeed, there was a conspiracy to invade Rwanda. It began in October 1990. There was a conspiracy to overthrow the majority Hutu government, and the conspiracy succeeded. There was a conspiracy to assassinate Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana and Burundian President Cyprien Ntaryamira. The assassinations took place. Dr. Gerry Caplan whitewashes the facts about the double presidential assassinations and all other evidence of Western support, backing and involvement in the long war (1990-1994) and in the final coup d'etat (1994). Sometimes Caplan proverbially throws up his hands and says: "We just can't figure out who killed the two presidents and it will always have to remain a mystery."
Dr. Caplan uses innuendo, distortion, lies, and decontextualization of facts to make his book review case, just as he does for all his other Rwanda 'scholarship', and in his most recent attack on the University of Toronto. Meanwhile, he simultaneously claims that such are the tactics of those whose views he does not approve---and that would be us oddballs with the tinkle toes in green outfits all conspiratorially connected to each other through the Internet.
How compromised is Caplan? How honest is the Pambazuka editor Firoze Manji when he claims (personal communication, June 22, 2010) that "We are not 'pro' any country or person or faction" and "we welcome you to submit an article" as long as it is "analysis and not mudslinging"?
"Phil Clark and I had dinner together in Kigali on my last night in Rwanda in April ," wrote Gerry Caplan in another Pambazuka feature (July 23, 2009), "finding an okay Ethiopian restaurant just off the road between Hotel Chez Lando and Amohoro Stadium. Linda Melvern is a very dear friend, I have great regard for Bill Schabas and I meet with Tom Ndahiro to discuss genocide denial each time I'm in Rwanda. René Lemarchand is a great pioneer of Rwandan and Burundian studies, though I think his deep antipathy towards the Kagame government sometimes takes him off the deep end."
As Caplan himself makes clear, he keeps company with the worst of the worst purveyors of the establishment narrative on 'genocide in Rwanda'. Tom Ndahiro is a Rwandan propagandist paid well by the Kagame regime to promote hatred, sell dissension, and unjustly and without merit accuse any critic of genocide denial, genocide negationism, or genocide 'ideology' (the latter of which is a catch-all category used to frame, imprison and persecute anyone for whom the two previous categories are clearly too absurd). Ndahiro has long since publicly labeled me a Rwanda 'genocide denier' and 'Tutsi and Jews hater'. Gerald Caplan's suggestion that Dr. René Lemarchand's antipathy towards the criminal Kagame government "sometimes takes him off the deep end" is another example of Caplan's extreme delusions: Lemarchand is anything but an extremist.
The real victims of the Western onslaught against Africa are black: They are soldiers, civilians, men, women and children relegated to the lower rungs on the hierarchies of suffering and complicity in war, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. (Photo c. keith harmon snow, South Kivu, 2006.)
In fact, Dr. Caplan has much to hide, and much to answer for in the hiding, and that is why he is so frightened of the 'lunatic fringe' that inhabits his imagination. But if we who are named in Dr. Caplan's review are such lunatics, then why does such a distinguished author and academic and 'humanitarian' waste any time on us at all? What does Dr. Caplan have to fear? Is his vast reputation in upholding the supposed cherished truths about Central Africa really at risk?
It seems the answer is clear: yes.
What Dr. Caplan does not tell the reader is that he worked in the Canadian government under Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, and, according to his own CV, "[h]e was appointed by the Mulroney government to be co-chair of the Task Force on Canadian Broadcasting Policy, and authored much of its report."
Former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney sits (or sat) on the board of directors of Barrick Gold Corporation---whose directors and advisers also included George H.W. Bush and U.S. Senator Howard Baker---since his departure as Prime Minister in Canada in 1993. Barrick Gold executives worked with Museveni and Kagame and they have a role in massive bloodshed in eastern Congo and northern Uganda, both through their involvement at Kilo Moto gold fields (Ituri) from 1996-1998, and through their partnership with Anglo-Gold Ashanti (Anglo-American Corporation) at Mongwalu gold mines (1998- ) in eastern Congo. But Canada and Canadian responsibility for bloodshed in Central Africa, which Dr. Caplan so coldly denies, goes much deeper than some two dozen Canadian mining companies like Barrick Gold, Banro Gold Corporation and America Mineral Fields International, three of the big ones that have been plundering Congo (through Kagame, Museveni and Joseph Kabila alias Hippolyte Kanambe) with US, NATO, EU, Australian, Japanese and Israeli support.
For another example of his madness, Dr. Caplan promotes the fiction that General Romeo Dallaire, the former United Nations Assistance Mission to Rwanda (UNAMIR) commander in Kigali (1993-1994), is another 'independent' expert on genocide in Rwanda. However, it would indeed be interesting to put Canada's Rwanda genocide 'savior' and 'hero' General Romeo Dallaire on the witness stand and depose him, without the interference of Canadian military coaching and legal intervention, but to my knowledge this has not been done and the only attempt to do so by the defense counsels at the ICTR resulted in Dallaire---kicking and screaming all the while---appearing by video conference from Canada and with Canadian military advisers coaching and defending his every syllable. What Dr. Caplan seeks to cover up is the collaboration between General Romeo Dallaire and the Rwandan Patriotic Front in conquering Rwanda. The evidence is there, if Dr. Caplan cared to look. What really happened? Much remains shrouded in secrecy. Much doesn't.
The 'neat and clean' Canadian mining giant Banro Gold Corporation operations in blood-drenched South Kivu, DRC. (From www.Banro.com.)
While Dr. Caplan lorded his credentials over Canadian Broadcasting policy, I don't suppose we should ever expect that he would call for Canada to open its broadcasting channels to the victims of the carnage in Rwanda, Congo, Uganda or Sudan, meaning to create the opportunity for the people of Canada and all the world to hear the actual Congolese, Rwandan, Ugandan or Sudanese intellectuals, authentic genocide survivors, human rights defenders, or those who are trying to expose the criminal operations of the western mining companies, many based in Canada, involved in the deaths of some 10 million people in Congo. To do so would open the floodgates of a media system that manages, instead, to create a scenario where Dr. Caplan can accuse and denigrate a 'tiny minority of cranks'---all of us white people who manage to get something published, somewhere. Of course, according to Caplan our success in publishing at all is a conspiracy for which the Internet is to blame. Nor does Canadian Broadcasting open its channels to explore the lawsuits by Barrick Gold Corporation against the author (Alain Denault) and publishers of the book, Noir Canada, that exposes Canada-based mining companies for their nefarious central roles in plundering and depopulating Central Africa.
Dr. Caplan does not have the courage to address the threats of law suits against Michel Chossodovsky and The Centre for Research on Globalization, or those against this author from Canadian Banro Gold Corporation, or from Belgian war profiteer Philippe de Moerloose, or from Israeli diamond kingpin Dan Gertler, all involved in plunder and war crimes in Central Africa.
Dr. Caplan doesn't mention amongst his enumeration of 'cranks' the African experts on genocide in Rwanda or Congo, including such notable scholars as Cameroonian author and journalist Charles Onana or Congolese professor Yaa-Lengi Ngemi.
A.k.a. the system excludes African voices that seriously challenge it (though it includes those who mildly challenge it and especially those who praise it) (such examples as Emira Woods, or the members of the highly muted Association of Concerned African Scholars) and then attacks those of us who are able to use our few remaining privileges to gain some access to break through the stranglehold of propaganda. Instead of actually examining any of the deeper truths that might come out of the mouths of the African people, it is much more efficacious for Caplan's racist imperialist agenda---yes, that's correct, racist and imperialist---to simply throw up his hands and state "I am unable to comprehend..." as he actually does in his review of The Politics of Genocide.
There is no doubt in my mind that Dr. Gerry Caplan is unable to comprehend what I am talking about. Worse still, he does not wish to comprehend it, nor does he wish to even make an effort to comprehend it. The prospect of being so completely confronted by the truth is far too frightening for individuals, like Dr. Gerald Caplan or Dr. Adam Jones, who have invested their entire very lucrative professional (sic) careers on a system that requires their educations to be premised on a massive falsification of consciousness.
Indeed, perhaps Caplan does not comprehend the simplest realities about his biases. He suggests that it is pointless to inquire into the motivations of people (esp. those genocide denialists like me, etc.) who do what they do and say what they say. And yet, it is precisely the motivations that we must explore in order to come to some conclusions about who is saying what, where it is being published, when, and why.
An examination of Dr. Caplan's motivations offers a telling point of departure for us to begin looking at Gerald Caplan's work and to explore his motivations for publishing this article, since it immediately raises questions about Caplan's academic purity and personal interests. Besides working for the Brian Mulroney government, we quickly discover that Dr. Caplan apparently collected huge salaries while working as consultant for UNICEF and other 'reputable' international bodies.
Through his affiliations with UNICEF in Ethiopia in 2008, for example, Dr. Caplan has helped to cover up, again for example, such untidy facts as the Ethiopian president Meles Zenawi (d. 2012) and his military regime's perpetration of genocide against the Anuak, Oromo, Omo and Ogaden people in Ethiopia. It should not be missed by the reader that Paul Kagame and Meles Zenawi were two birds of a feather, and so it is no surprise that we find Paul Kagame singing the praises of the now dead Great Leader Meles Zenawi in the most recent edition of the now highly compromised establishment journal The African Executive (Issue 419, 30 April 2013). How much money did UNICEF pay Gerald Caplan to be silent about the genocide(s) in Ethiopia?
It turns out that your correspondent and now celebrated 'genocide crank' worked for UNICEF as a consultant in 2006, and he [read: I] can quickly elaborate on the nature of the corrupt enterprise, unethical practices and human rights atrocities that the western 'development' community (sic) is perpetrating in Ethiopia in general, and on UNICEF's corruption in particular. Similarly, Dr. Caplan publishes United Nations papers on the "State of the World's Children" that cover up the institutionalized profiteering behind the refugee business, the institutionalization of poverty and high child mortality---all due to predatory capitalism---and this should be a source of shame, at worst, and reflection, at least, and not a source of pride from which he gains his ever celebrated credibility.
Instead of doing any real homework, or any real soul-searching into his own complicity in war crimes, Caplan apparently just flicks opens his rolodex of supporters of genocide in Rwanda, Congo and Uganda and dials up William Schabas, who Caplan claims is equally baffled, according to Schabas, by the claims made by us genocide 'cranks'. All Dr. Caplan has to do is write how he called up William Schabas and this irrefutable testimony is supposed to convince the reader of Caplan and Schabas' mutual veracity on all things Rwanda. In contradistinction, I am not supposed to reference my sources, like Chris Black or Peter Erlinder from the ICTR defense trials, or the many documents that these ICTR defense attorneys have uncovered, and I am not supposed to reference Africa scholar René Lemarchand (!), and I am not supposed to reference intelligence expert Wayne Madsen, whose book Genocide and Covert Operations in Africa, 1993-1999, is indeed worthy of Caplan's expedient unmention.
Dr. Caplan is also a 'prominent supporter' of the Genocide Intervention Network (GIN), another specious entity that uses accusations of genocide as a weapon to advance state-sponsored terrorism, and with a very select but notable group of experts behind it. These experts include Canada's UNAMIR hero General Romeo Dallaire, along with Gareth Evans, Samantha Power, John Prendergast and Gayle Smith, and others. Each of these people has played a prominent role in disseminating propaganda, and even in some cases helping to organize covert operations, and they are part of the political economy of genocide, which serves, protects and advances powerful western interests, and the GIN is a key organization behind the politics of genocide, genocide facilitation and genocide denials.
INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION OF NON-INQUIRY
What is the mainstream established dogma on Rwanda? It is the fictional 'Hutu Power' conspiracy to commit genocide, achieved with hoes and machetes in 100 days, with between 800,000 to 1.2 million innocent Tutsis slaughtered---a cataclysm of meaningless tribal violence that was finally stopped by the professionalism and loving heart of Paul Kagame and the cadres of disciplined RPF soldiers.
Dr. William Schabas, if we examine one rather egregious example of those who are used to source all evidence of the mainstream established dogma on genocide in Rwanda, seems to be able to come and go from Rwanda without any problem. Ditto Gerald Caplan. However, even the British High Court of Appeals has castigated Schabas for testimony unworthy of their ears. Yet it seems that Dr. Caplan doesn't have any quarrels with Dr. Schabas' one-sided, distorted, falsified view of reality in Rwanda, not  prior to 1993, when he was on the Commission of Inquiry that Dr. Caplan quickly and very inaccurately discusses; nor  post-January 1993 and pre-April 1994, when Schabas (along with Alison Des Forges) was carrying the experts mantle on 'genocide' in Rwanda, which at that time was supposedly being committed by the Habyarimana government; and certainly not  after April 1994, when Schabas' credibility was profoundly enhanced by the absolute sham of western media reporting on 'genocide' in Rwanda that, unsurprisingly, came to the desired conclusions: the Hutu government committed a planned and horrific genocide against the Tutsis. That there was not much of an organized Hutu government after the presidents and the Rwandan chiefs of staff were assassinated on April 6, 1994 is, of course, irrelevant to Dr. Caplan and William Schabas.
With Tony Blair advising Paul Kagame, and while Philip Gourevitch was coming and going from Kagame's lair under the watchful eye (wink, wink, nod, nod) of Madeleine Albright and her undersecretary James Rubin at the U.S. Department of State, it must be very, very shocking for Dr. Caplan to have to read the transcripts of the British Court of Appeals and find the credibility and testimony of William Schabas so roundly trashed (see, e.g.: Munyaneza & Ors v. Government of Rwanda, Royal Courts of Justice, Strand, London, April 8, 2009 and Vincent Brown aka Vincent Bajinya, Charles Munyaneza, Emmanuel Nteziryayo, Celestin Ugirashebuja v. The Government of Rwanda and The Secretary of State for the Home Department, 8 April 2009, High Court of Justice, decision delivered July 2009).
Of course, Dr. Caplan won't be writing about the court's discrediting of William Schabas, since their telephone conversations are obviously so warm and friendly as to make such an issue distasteful to decorum and propriety. In fact, I'm quite sure Dr. Caplan would not bother to read such important documents and testimonies, and hasn't read them, because in his eyes the British High Court judges must have been infected by the conspiracy of cranks and genocide deniers. That Dr. Vincent Bajinya in Britain was framed by the BBC and journalist Fergal Keane---another member of the not-so-tiny establishment genocide 'experts' listed by Dr. Caplan---is, obviously, equally inconsequential. Similarly, a Canadian court found the testimony of Alison Des Forges 'not credible' but the court itself must therefore not be credible, it seems, in Dr. Caplan's eyes.
And why bother with African voices?
What do THOSE people know?
They are refugees.
They are savages.
They are survivors, and this means that they cannot be trusted to be honest, that they are too passionate, that they are invested in telling their own stories, and they certainly did not see what they think they saw, and even if they did, they are refugees, dissidents, non-people.
They are niggers.
Like the dust jacket blurb by John Le Carre lauding another book on Congo, Dancing in the Glory of Monsters, written by Jason Stearns (another intelligence insider with much to answer for) it seems that white people like to go around celebrating other white people and propping them up everywhere. "Jason Stearns is probably better qualified and better able than any man alive to write about Congo," John Le Carre pontificated, dismissing every African voice, every Congolese national, every intellectual of non-white skin color, and even every Belgian expert. It seems it is necessary (but, clearly, it will not be sufficient) to point out the incredible hubris behind this statement and its acquiescent acceptance (by Stearns)(I mean, how embarrassing such an accolade would be for any honest white man). Similarly, for Gerald Caplan et al, it would certainly be inappropriate to petition any Hutu people for the truth, especially for their truth, since, as we know, ALL HUTUS ARE GENOCIDAIRES, or, well, at least, that's what Schabas and Gourevitch and Melvern and Caplan have convinced the consumers of modern day mass media and almost all academics in the white, western, English-speaking news consuming world.
Almost everyone bought the propaganda.
However, more and more people are seeing through the Big Lies, but Big Lies are maintained by Big Liars, and that is another reason I always say: if you are consuming the New York Times you are contributing to your own mental illness.
For more than a decade Dr. Caplan has been promoting the US-UK-Israeli-Kagame-Museveni propaganda on Central Africa through his personal project REMEMBERING RWANDA. Thus it makes no sense to hear Dr. Caplan complain that the authors of The Politics of Genocide (Herman and Peterson) do not cite his long list of known Rwanda experts---why on earth should they bother regurgitating every detail of trite garbage produced by the establishment? (On the other hand, maybe Caplan is correct and the book was inadvertently punctuated and needs be elaborated in much greater detail?)
However, on Caplan's list are such notable 'truth-tellers' on 'genocide' in Rwanda (unreferenced by Herman and Peterson) as Rakiya Omaar, a Somali born 'human rights expert' who has for more than 17 years fabricated human rights reports and testimonies and, for example, evidence of massacres by Hutu "extremists" and "Interahamwe" and "Hutu Power" in Rwanda prior to, during and after the so-called 100 days of genocide of 1994. Omaar is a paid 'consultant'---read an intelligence agent---working on the RPF's payroll and she provided falsified testimonies for the 1993 International Commission of Inquiry which Dr. Caplan seems to be so certain is an indisputable institution of international justice and truth. This is the one-sided Commission of Inquiry that both Des Forges and Schabas served on and was highly manipulated by the RPF and its allies.
REVISIONISM AS WHITEWASHING
Also on Dr. Caplan's list of truth-tellers is academic Alan J. Kuperman. "Before we dismiss all these authors as tools of Yanky imperialism," Caplan writes, deriding Herman and Peterson, "it needs to be added that several of the most prominent---Des Forges, Uvin, Prunier, Lemarchand, Kuperman---are (or were) fierce critics of the post-genocide Kagame government in Rwanda. Yet none has thought to retract their original views on the reality of the genocide."
Here the lies are redoubled. Des Forges was for years an avid supporter of Kagame---in fact, Des Forges researched and wrote her voluminous Human Rights Watch publication, Leave None to Tell the Story, with the support of the Kagame regime and access to Rwanda from 1994-1997. Des Forges' participation in the International Commission of Inquiry sent to Rwanda for less than one week in 1993, which based its findings on propaganda spoon-fed to them by the RPF, and operated solely in government controlled areas, and did not once think to interview any one of the hundreds of thousands of Rwandan people, from the northern districts, whose families and lives had been so totally deracinated by the RPF invasion and its 'fight and talk' strategy. Des Forges admitted under oath "...the Commission [ICI] produced this report very quickly, under very great pressure, with a great sense of urgency." In short, the historiography of Alison Des Forges' questionable, debatable and very fluid position on Rwanda deserves attention, but we can be sure that we won't be seeing any scholarly inquiry into this untidy area of contention from Dr. Caplan.
Alison Des Forges' testimony at the International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda (ICTR) exposed her biases and an examination of the record supports the long-held claims by Rwandans and others who have examined her work. Cameroonian journalist Charles Onana does not mince words in addressing Des Forges' duplicity and dishonesty: "Alison Des Forges is a liar! She is a liar!" (Personal communication, Charles Onana).
ICTR defense attorney Chris Black provides direct evidence of Des Forges' shape-shifting behavior as witnessed at the ICTR itself. "In the [Colonel Théoneste] Bagosora case [Des Forges] provided an expert report to the tribunal on behalf of the prosecutor. In that report she said a lot of glowing things about my client General Ndindiliyimana. He was, basically, a hero. But when she was asked to provide a report in [Ndindiliyimana's] own case by the prosecutor she deleted all those statements --- [she] completely suppressed them. I guess they thought we were stupid or wouldn't dare to cross-examine her, but we went after her.
"Why did you delete those exculpatory statements about the general in his own trial?" [we asked]. She gave some convoluted bullshit answer and was essentially destroyed as witness then and there. The judges were not happy. They were so pissed off they actually wrote this passage about her, which was rare at the tribunal, and in polite language of judges [they] are saying she is a liar, a tool of the prosecutor, and not to be trusted.
From the ICTR judges:
desforges, screenshot copy.jpg
Meanwhile, the problems of testimonies, problematic 'facts', erroneous or false publications, the problems of shoddy research and other shoddy so-called "expert scholarship" are rarely brought to light, and instead of any true scholarship we have Dr. Gerald Caplan et al producing select historical narratives and enshrining these, to the exclusion of all else, in the annuls of history under the heading of the "Rwanda genocide".
As far as Gerard Prunier, Dr. Caplan knows very well that even Prunier has changed his tune somewhat (though hardly remarkably) on Kagame and Rwanda, having published The Rwanda Crisis (1995) and revised and republished the Rwanda genocide section in his more recent book Africa's World War (2008)---which nonetheless continues to distort the facts, shield certain powerful interests, and disinform the general public on, for example, the crimes of Kagame and Museveni and the blood-drenched role of the United States military in Burundi, Congo, Rwanda, Uganda and Sudan.
Calling Alan Kuperman "a fierce critic of the post-genocide Kagame government," Dr. Caplan undermines his own argument. While it is true that Kuperman has taken some mild stand against Kagame, like many or most academics Mr. Kuperman seems to follow the prevailing winds of acceptability in the Rwanda 'genocide' debate. In layman's terms, academics and politicians have to cover their assess, and we the conspiratorial cabal of court jesters derided by Dr. Caplan as members of the lunatic fringe have done a fairly good job, against the odds to show that they, like the Emperor Paul Kagame they bow down to, are as naked as can be.
And so in 2004 Mr. Kuperman published a journal article under the title "Provoking Genocide: A Revised History of the Rwanda Patriotic Front" (Journal of Genocide Research, Vol. 6, Issue 1, March 2004). This is clearly revisionist, as the title itself admits. However, it is no revision of the truth, but a mitigated re-whitewashing of it adjusted to reflect greater awareness of the actual story being exposed by so-called 'genocide deniers' like myself, ICTR defense attorneys Chris Black and Peter Erlinder, and authors of the Politics of Genocide, Herman and Peterson.
Like Dr. Gerald Kaplan and Samantha Power and so many academics, Alan Kuperman relies very heavily for his references on the more egregious sources from Dr. Caplan's list of experts---such as Prunier, Des Forges, Gourevitch, Omaar, Uvin---who could certainly be said to 'gleefully drink each other's putrid bath water'. Dr. Caplan also relies on the standard groundwork of deceptions produced between 1989 and 1994, such as the African Rights (Rakiya Omaar and Alex De Waal) report Rwanda: Death, Despair and Defiance, which is a travesty of pro-RPF falsehoods, and the post-1994 tome by Alison Des Forges, Leave None to Tell the Story (Human Rights Watch, 1999). Kuperman's 'revised history of the RPF' paper offers no evidence of Kuperman being "a fierce critic of the Kagame regime," as Dr. Caplan wants us to believe, because in order to write the paper, as Kuperman noted: "[t]his study relies on interviews with former senior Tutsi rebels who now are more willing to speak frankly than they were during the war or its immediate aftermath."
That is, Kuperman relied on access to RPF military as primary sources used to revision the (prior) establishment line, and I contend that these source interviews were arranged with the assistance of the Pentagon. Thus Mr. Kuperman quotes, for example, Karenzi Karake, one of the RPF war criminals indicted by the Spanish National Courts on charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in Rwanda and Congo from 1990 to 2002. Karake eventually became the RDF deputy commander of African Union 'peacekeeping' (sic) forces in Darfur, Sudan, where the RDF is working as a Pentagon proxy to follow the example of Rwanda and overthrow Sudan's President Omar Bashir just as the RPF overthrew Juvenal Habyarimana. But Kuperman does not delineate any of these facts about Karake's bloody history to the readers of his article, just as he does not confront Karake with the inconvenient truth of the Spanish indictments against him. Instead, apparently, he accepts what Karake has to say as truth (the whole truth and nothing but the truth). We are supposed to accept this writing as academic research?
US Invasion Zaire LR.jpg
It would behoove Dr. Caplan to explore such details about the works of some of those whom he holds up as exemplary truth-tellers on genocide in Rwanda. If he did he might be unable to explain to readers how Karake came to be charged by the Spanish indictments and why this RPF commander is now (allegedly) under house arrest in Rwanda on accusations of "insubordination". (In Rwanda, under Kagame, "insubordination" means anything from [a] over-taxing the Congolese comptoirs that provide the raw coltan and cassiterite to the criminal RPF networks, named by the United Nations Panels of Experts, controlled by Kagame's exclusive racketeering firm Tri-Star Investments, to [b] forgetting to tie their shoes before appearing in front of the Big Man himself.) It seems that almost everyone eventually falls out of favor with Paul Kagame, but that is a detail that Dr. Caplan would find, according to his own admissions, something he must apologize for or regret about the Kagame regime. That is, for example, "my review [of the presidential assassination] regretted that the Rwandan government hadn't sought an independent investigation to take place" and "[a]s of this writing, [Peter] Erlinder is in prison in Rwanda, charged, apparently to his great surprise, with genocide denial. I regret this decision by the Kagame government." ("The Politics of Genocide Denialism," Pambazuka, etc.)
The further back in time we go---the closer to 1994---the more pro-RPF Mr. Kuperman becomes. Still, his 2004 'revision' is completely cogent with a deep pro-RPF, pro-Tutsi extremist bias exhibited by most everyone on the spectrum of what is allowed said in establishment venues about 'genocide' in Rwanda. So, for example, Mr. Kuperman notes "in the absence of any further attempted invasions by Tutsi refugees [after 1973 when Habyarimana came to power] the Tutsi in Rwanda were spared any organized violence for 17 years." As Kuperman notes, in his twisted context, every pogrom against Tutsis was provoked by the RPF, repeatedly, beginning with their initial invasion in 1990, and not by the Habyarimana government. Additionally, every pogrom against Tutsis in Rwanda alleged to have occurred prior to 1973 was provoked by extremist Tutsi guerrilla's attacking Rwanda from outside the country. But what is impossible for the real genocide deniers and genocide facilitators like Dr. Caplan to comprehend, and certainly impossible to admit, as Mr. Kuperman seems to be trying not to do, using the context he uses---which inverts the victims and killers---is that the Habyarimana government from 1973 to 1990 did not persecute Tutsis inside (or outside) Rwanda. Such a possibility would fly in the face of established doctrine about the Habyarimana regime being a terrorist regime that had it out for Tutsis from the start. As some Ugandans and Rwandans have pointed out, if Habyarimana wanted to impose "the final solution" against Tutsis inside Rwanda, why wait until 1994? Such are the inconvenient questions that Dr. Caplan and his cranks intellectually dance around, ignore, and dismiss.
Indeed, back in 2000 Kuperman authored a Foreign Affairs (Council on Foreign Relations) article "Rwanda in Retrospect" where he shamelessly clouded the issues to buttress a disingenuous conclusion that the Pentagon and U.S. troops could have "stopped the genocide" and thus "saved the day" much sooner than did Paul Kagame at the front of the murderous RPF. This is disingenuous because the U.S. military was already involved in Rwanda---backing Paul Kagame and the RPF with logistical, military, intelligence and communications support---and because Mr. Kuperman apparently knows nothing at all about the realities of genocide in Rwanda, since he gets his information from all these other sources, just like Gerald Caplan, and, in any case, it seems he has been working to protect powerful interests and quite possibly knows all about Pentagon involvement in Rwanda, 1990-1994, and since.
To her credit, even Alison Des Forges challenged the facts and presentations on genocide in Rwanda as offered by Kuperman. "Alan J. Kuperman plays word games," Alison Des Forges countered, for the same journal, while playing along with the farce of "western apathy" versus direct U.S. military involvement, "when he asserts that President Clinton could not have known of the "attempted genocide" of Tutsi in Rwanda until April 20, 1994---two weeks into the slaughter---because the press, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and the U.N. did not call it a genocide ("Shame: Rationalizing Western Apathy on Rwanda," May/June 2000)."
"Even worse still is a recent article in The Globe and Mail by Gerald Caplan, an academic with a clear axe to grind against Erlinder and his client, Victoire Ingabire," writes Robert Amsterdam, international lawyer on emerging markets and human rights, certainly not a member of Caplan's fictitious 'tiny minority of cranks' ("Kagame's American Political Prisoner," Huffington Post, June 15, 2010). "Caplan floats a variety of rumors without evidence, makes unreasonable comparisons between holocaust denial laws in Israel and genocide ideology laws in Rwanda, and even raises draconian views about their rights to defense."
Robert Amsterdam continues: "In response to Caplan's article, Alan J. Kuperman of the University of Texas wrote a letter to the editor stating: "It is Dr. Erlander's (sic) job to make that argument as a defence counsel at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. His argument has prevailed at the court, which has acquitted everyone accused of pre-planned 'conspiracy to genocide,' issuing convictions only for crimes committed after the assassination of Rwanda's Hutu president. (...) If Dr. Caplan truly wants to promote peace in Rwanda, rather than the myth that past violence was one-sided, he should support the rights of Ms. Ingabire and her lawyer."
"Rwanda today is a dictatorship run by a tiny elite of the Tutsi minority that suppresses the Hutu majority and denies past violence against Hutu civilian," Mr. Kuperman opined (op/ed letter above), much to his credit, but nonetheless for his own political gain.
Quoted in another blog (Law Management, Christopher Wingate) we find Alan Kuperman deriding Peter Erlinder as some kind of egomaniac. "Imagine a civil rights crusader in the 1960s," said Alan J. Kuperman, described as a political science professor at the University of Texas who knows Mr. Erlinder through research on Rwanda. "That's how he sees himself, that there's this great conspiracy out there and he's the only one speaking the truth."
If we put things in their proper context, we find that Mr. Kuperman has been engaged in establishment revisionism provoked by we the 'tiny minority of cranks' who have relentlessly challenged establishment propaganda and discredited those who distort and lie to protect US-UK-Israeli interests. These include Gerald Caplan, Alan Kuperman, Fergal Keane, Samantha Power, Philip Gourevitch, William Schabas and the others on Caplan's 'experts' list.
Notable scholars like René Lemarchand have done some 'fine scholarly work' in the past, but once you juxtapose their work with deeper realities on the ground, the massive death tolls, the impunity, the profiteering, and once you look at their curriculum vitaes, and note that they worked for USAID over here, and UNHCR over there, amidst all the killing, and that they defend establishment journalists reporting 'tribal animosities' where corporations, in fact, are the ones who are really behind the bloodshed in eastern Congo, and when these corporations are NEVER named, and when some of the most powerful Belgians, French, Americans, Australians, South Africans and Canadians are never named, in Lemarchand's 'scholarly' publications, well, then, we can see the nature of interests deeply at work in most all these cases, and it is some wonder at all that someone like René Lemarchand is willing to hold any antipathy toward Kagame. And yet, to his credit, he does. This sets Lemarchard far and apart from Dr. Gerald Caplan and Dr. Adam Jones.
See, for example, Lemarchand's recent text, The Dynamics of Violence in Central Africa (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008), which does not mention the De Moerloose, Blattner, Forrest, Kansteiner, Bredenkamp, Rautenbach, Gertler, Tempelsman, Steinmetz, or other families involved in Congo, and does not mention such corporate players as GTZ, Banro, AngloGold Ashanti, Tri-Star Investments, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Moto Gold, Kilo Goldmines, DHL International, etc., etc., etc. Lemarchand does mention COSLEG--footnote number 55---the Zimbabwean firm connected to Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe, and he names black Africans involved behind COSLEG, but he never mentions Britain's rogue gunrunning financier-playboy, John Bredenkamp. Similarly, Lemarchand mentions in passing the UN Panel of Experts reports, noting that they discovered a cabal of western corporations involved in coltan mining, but he doesn't ever mention a single western company or executive that are behind these. (At least, I have not found these companies mentioned.)
And yet, Lemarchand confers that U.S Committee for Refugees and USAID operative Roger Winter is likely an intelligence agent for the U.S.
"That a carnage of this magnitude could have been going on, day after day, week after week, with out interference from the international community, speaks volumes for its massive resolve in dealing with massive human rights violations," wrote Lemarchand, p. 87, on 'genocide in Rwanda'.
Again, the west did not stand back and do nothing: the U.S., U.K., Belgium, Canada and Israel all were involved, 1990-1994, in facilitating the invasion by the Rwandan Patriotic Front, who were really just the Uganda People's Defense Forces, who were really just the National Resistance Army, and the mass killings that ensued.
Like Dr. Caplan and the others on Caplan's list, Mr. Kuperman falls on a spectrum of establishment 'experts' who present differing, but never too different, perspectives on genocide (in Rwanda, Bosnia, Sudan). Dr. Caplan is also on this spectrum, but the two are quite far apart in their capacity to judge which way the wind is blowing. Mr. Kuperman has set sail for a bright future. It is only a matter of time, we would hope, before it becomes clear to the mass news consuming public that Dr. Caplan is all washed up.
Indeed, Caplan is a regular visitor to Rwanda, and he works right alongside Paul Kagame! No one who is honest about the realities of life in Rwanda today, about the Kagame regime's crimes in Congo, or who is more critical about 'genocide' in Rwanda, can come and go from Rwanda. However, in the Rwanda government mouthpiece, the The New Times newspaper, in an article about Rwanda's 4 July 2011 'Independence Day' celebrations--Kagame and the RPF purportedly achieved Rwanda's 'independence' and 'stopped the genocide' in July 1994--we find that Dr. Gerald Caplan gave a pivotal speech at the festivities in Kigali.
"Dr. Gerald Caplan, a leading Canadian authority on genocide and genocide prevention, gave an African perspective [emphasis added] of integration with the West which, he said, does affect Rwanda's liberation struggle." (Edwin Musoni, "Today's liberation struggle 'has shifted to development'," The New Times July 4, 2011.) So, as pointed out above, Dr. Gerry Caplan likes to speak for Africans; shouldering, as he is, the great white man's burden of having to be the one to present African perspectives in public speeches and international journals, and at posh foreign conferences.
Alas, looking to Carl Jung's vast body of work on the projection of the shadow, we might readily conclude that Gerard Caplan will soon be discredited across the board---a delusionary Kagame sidekick who projects his psychotic delusions on his imaginary 'conspirators of a lunatic fringe'.
THE GENOCIDE INDUSTRY IN BOSTON
Boston serves as a major base of power and influence for Rwandan dictator Paul Kagame. Dr. Caplan mentions Ben Affleck, who lives in Cambridge, flies freely into and out of Rwanda, and escorts Paul Kagame's children around the city and to Boston Celtics and Red Sox games. When mentioning Affleck however, Dr. Caplan cites Affleck's four visits to Congo as part of his evidence that the Congo receives substantial media coverage and to refute the claims of the authors of The Politics of Genocide. Caplan nowhere discusses Affleck's business dealings with members of the Kagame elite. There is no mention of Affleck's relationship to the U.S. State Department or, for example, to the CIA-front group National Endowment for Democracy. Such facts are anathema to Dr. Caplan's serious (sic) scholarship.
"Nonetheless, they [Herman and Peterson] insist that Darfur [Sudan] solidarity activists dishonestly succeeded in framing Darfur as the 'unnoticed genocide'," Dr. Caplan wrote, "though many, including me, have long understood that it's been the best publicized international crisis in decades. And they charge that it's the calamity in eastern Congo that 'has been truly ignored', even though numerous celebrities, including playwright Eve Ensler (The Vagina Monologues), actor Ben Affleck (at least four times), UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have all made high-profile visits to the Kivus. When the U.S. Secretary of State visits a small province in eastern Congo, you know it's the opposite of being ignored."
Dr. Caplan seems to work very hard to understand nothing. Ben Affleck and Eve Ensler have not been forthcoming on the profits they are making or the plunder they are supporting in Eastern Congo. The Darfur crisis has been 'heavily publicized'---through a vast propaganda apparatus---but the realities of the Darfur crises have not. The politics of genocide insures that we hear about worthy victims (Darfur) while unworthy victims (Congo, Ethiopia, Uganda, Hutus everywhere) are ignored. Ditto the Congo, where many powerful interests reap the benefits of the sparse media coverage and help cover up the involvement of western corporations and the Pentagon, and of Kagame and Museveni's criminal military and organized crime rackets. Dr. Caplan several times claims that facts reported in The Politics of Genocide as suppressed have been very well known by everyone for quite some time. This is another example of the arrogance of academics and politicians who response to complaints by shouting "we knew that all along; everyone knows that, so what are you complaining about?"
Indeed, Dr. Caplan's loose collections of facts wielded as absolute truth are really quite an assorted collection of distortions. For example, let's examine Dr. Caplan's hostile tirade in juxtaposition to the following loose collection of tiny but related and not inconsequential facts. It seems that Dr. Caplan appeared on a panel at Tufts University on 22 April 2010, where he decried the problem of 'genocide deniers'. Presented as a simple academic truth-telling panel, everyone in the 'expert' category was selectively chosen to uphold the established narrative, the one that defends Paul Kagame as an 'entrepreneur' and 'great but besieged leader' and hides the military role of Britain, Israel and the United States in the genocide (regardless of who's definition we use) in Rwanda. [See: "Panelists condemn genocide denial in story sharing and discussion."]
Victims of mass atrocities in Bogoro, DRC.
(Photo c. keith harmon snow, DRC, 2007.)
Also present were representative 'experts' from the ENOUGH! organization, but no one thought to ask who these folks are or where they get their funding. Who is the Center for American Progress (CAP) and what do they have to hide regarding Rwanda in 1994, or Congo from 1995-2010? Why does the CAP exist as a 501(c) 4 entity, and not as a 501(c) 3 entity? It seems the answer lies in the absence of transparency about their funding: hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars used to create and disseminate glossy brochures and 'news' articles and 'white papers' serving the pro-U.S. propaganda campaigns on Congo, Sudan (Darfur), Rwanda and Uganda. Does CAP founder John Podesta, Clinton's former White House chief of staff, have anything to answer for regarding bloodshed in Rwanda or the invasions of Congo/Zaire which occurred on Clinton's 'watch'? What about Gayle Smith?
The answer is yes.
The question is, with all this supposed attention to Congo--"When the U.S. Secretary of State visits a small province in eastern Congo, you know it's the opposite of being ignored"---why do bodies continue to accumulate? Why does the scale and magnitude of sexual violence continue to accumulate victims at the rate of over 1000 women per day? In fact, Congo is not at all being ignored: the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) is all over it, but these covert operations are not reported by the mass media and certainly not be Dr. Gerald Caplan---an ardent admirer of Emperor Paul Kagame. Instead we get the euphemistic propaganda about 'peacekeeping' and 'humanitarian' missions published as news by, coincidentally, journalists that René Lemarchand, for one, adamantly and unwaveringly believes to be telling the whole truth and nothing but. (Personal communication, René Lemarchand.)
At the Tufts University special event, Dr. Caplan "explained that it is critical to remember that humans always have some motivation for their behavior and that understanding those motivations and outside influences may help prevent genocide."
Indeed. Dr. Caplan needs to look himself in the mirror. And so it was with no shortage of irony that the family and supporters of U.S. lawyer Peter Erlinder, who was at the time still imprisoned by the Kagame dictatorship in Rwanda, received the article "Not Up For Debate: Rwanda Cannot Excuse Peter Erlinder's Genocide Denial," published 16 June 2010 by the Harvard Law Journal (a student newspaper). The supposed author---and 'Tufts University Law Scholar'---of the article was a Rwandan Patriotic Front soldier and a member of Paul Kagame's brutal Republican Presidential Guard. Now, these people are the world's worst killers. Nonetheless, the article circulated widely on the Internet and was used as evidence of Erlinder's 'ringleader' status in some conspiracy to deny genocide dreamed up by the fringe lunatics like myself.
Signing the article from Addis Ababa, it seems that this 'law student'---Patrick Kuruwetwa---remained a member of the Rwandan military, operating with Rwandan forces in Ethiopia, where the U.S. military has major bases of covert operations, and where the Rwandan Defense Forces (formerly known as Rwandan Patriotic Front) are involved in some very secretive operations, and where genocide is at this very moment being perpetrated against the peoples of Gambella, Oromia, Omo and the Ogaden basin. In any case, the author is not a dispassionate observer, he is a military-intelligence operative for Paul Kagame, and it is believed that he did not pen the article, or a previous December 2009 article in the Harvard Law Review student newspaper, but that someone in the Kagame government did so, and submitted it under his name. This is how pro-RPF propaganda is disseminated in the USA using Kagame's agents provocateurs who have been infiltrated to hunt down any dissident, legitimate refugee or outspoken critic. (Similarly, on 20 June 2010, Rwandan assailants in South Africa shot RPF General Kayumba Nyamwasa, who had fled Kigali and accused Paul Kagame of all sorts of crimes from South Africa. Kagame has a 'hit list' and he is hitting them.) The process of Mr. Kururetwa's being admitted to the United States and Tufts has not come under any scrutiny, and that should be a mission of the Department of Homeland Security, because this RPF agent is not in the United States merely as a 'student', that's clear: Kagame and the RPF have been infiltrating agents through the refugee and asylum system, and through falsifications of documents by diplomats, for many years; it happens in Britain, Belgium, Canada, and the U.S.
Sudan SPLA Sudan Priest.jpg
Ethiopian Anuak refugees at a western missionary service in an Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) held area in Pochalla, Sudan, 2006. Through Uganda, the US, UK, Europe and Israel have sponsored low-intensity warfare in Sudan for the past 20 + years. (Photo c. Keith Harmon Snow, 2006.)
Notably, the Tufts truth-telling Rwanda event was organized/funded by STAND (Students Taking Action Now: Darfur), which is funded by Center for American Progress, and by the Massachusetts Coalition to Save Darfur, another organization that selectively cries out about selective genocides, but has been primarily distorting the realities of the Darfur crises, and the Tufts Fletcher School. These are the groups that advocate the selective victims-versus-killers narratives which have institutionalized a collective false history in the public mind, which Caplan et al call 'the best publicized' genocide. (Dr. Eric Reeves, an English professor at Smith College, is the foremost propagandist whitewashing the Western military atrocities and covert guerilla wars in Sudan.)
Tufts University has supported a very pro-Kagame line, including Kagame's visits to the U.S., and Dr. Caplan was just one of tiny minority of cranks brought in by Tufts. Also present was Tufts Fletcher School head Peter Uvin, whose treatise on "the failure of the development community in Rwanda, 1994" is held up as evidence of his challenge to the imperialist powers and his unmitigated concern for the truth, but in reality is another whitewash that helps to suggest that there is an 'international community' and that such a nonexistent 'community' is responsible, equitable and accountable. Nothing could be further from the truth. And while Dr. Uvin "regularly consults for multilateral and bilateral aid agencies and ministries of foreign affairs, as well as NGOs," it's quite clear that he has challenged nothing at all about the development community, because to do so in any radical way would subject him to ostracism and exclusion. He would be blacklisted as fast as I was.
What makes Dr. Caplan's argument or thesis seem so compelling, I suppose, to those who certainly don't know who to believe, but find it easier to accept the mainstream establishment line, which they have already incorporated into their psyche, is that this tiny assortment of lunatics (of which I am supposedly part) find the great American SATAN everywhere. Indeed, all propaganda relies on at least a grain of truth, and the ugly ANGLO-American satan has its devilish hands all over Africa, and Iraq, and Afghanistan, and Indonesia, and Columbia, and Haiti, and Bosnia, and the Gulf of Mexico.
Turns out the theses by Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky published in the 1980's---in, for example, The Political Economy of Human Rights, Third World Terrorism and the Washington Connection and Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media---and that is freshly articulated in its more contemporary form by Herman and David Peterson in The Politics of Genocide---is rather poignantly demonstrated in the works and position of Gerald Caplan vis-a-vis the subaltern populations, race, and the epistemology of arrogance. A.k.a., Dr. Caplan is an apologist extraordinaire, and his obtuse little book review and more recent attack serve very well to uphold the politics of genocide while simultaneously attempting, but failing, to immunize Dr. Caplan from his own participation in the process (a.k.a. in the facilitation of atrocities, torture, mass murder, genocide, and the dehumanization, propaganda, white supremacy, etc. etc. etc.).
Dr. Caplan helps to falsify consciousness, and the real issue here, as Dr. Amos Wilson so clearly articulated in The Falsification of Afrikan Consciousness is the pathology (mental illness) of white supremacy.
Why do so many people consume the mainstream narrative on genocide in Rwanda and find it so easy to believe or, worse, never consider that they should question its veracity? Because it is so much easier to believe that we have nothing to do with the tribalism in Africa, and we had nothing to do with genocide in Rwanda, and while we must certainly surveil our morality and conscience, we have learned from the mistakes of the past and are ubiquitously engaged in soul-searching and justice-seeking that insure that 'never again' will become something more than empty sloganeering. As long as we don't have to look ourselves in the mirror we are free to pursue our ordinary lives without taking any responsibility for the ongoing killing in, for example, Rwanda, Congo, Sudan, Somalia or Uganda. Dr. Caplan gives us---we the people, the not-so-tiny-majority of western citizen-beneficiaries-consumer-perpetrators of the plunder and depopulation---just what we need to exonerate our guilt, excuse our conscience, and continue with business as usual.
But the writing is on the wall, and all the kicking and screaming and whining of Dr. Caplan and his cranks won't make any difference when Kagame's regime of absolute terror comes to a conclusive end. Then we will see people scampering to protest and elucidate the abuses they have for so long tolerated, and to distance themselves from the international war criminals they have praised and dined and collaborated with.
"In the world of genocide scholars, there is no more doubt about the genocide in Rwanda than there is of the Holocaust," Caplan wrote in his recent attack against the University of Toronto radio station. "Yet deniers continue to spread their lies and distortions."
The ugly truth is that 'the world of genocide scholars' is much the very problem itself--and we must see them as a collection of invested 'experts' of limited perspective and dubious 'good' intentions who are rewarded highly for maintaining the narratives of the power structure, and its concomitant structural violence.
They are much like those hysterical men and women who maintained long after the new discoveries and against all reason and obvious truth that the world was flat.~
Labels: GENOCIDE, NEOCOLONIALISM, NGOs, RWANDA