Thursday, August 12, 2010

Chicago Public Radio's "World View" on the re-election of Rwandan President Paul Kagame

On Tuesday, 08.10.2010,  I spoke to Jerome McDonald of Chicago Public Radio's "World View" about what was widely being reported as the re-election of Paul Kagame, though I pointed out, as I had the day before, on Democracy Now, that this so-called election was really a stage play with a few hand picked bit part players pretending to run against him.   I emphasized, as I have again and again, that as a U.S. citizen, my overarching concern is the Pentagon's militarization of Africa and use of Rwandan soldiers as proxies on the continent and beyond.

The archive is available for listening and comment on this Chicago Public Radio page:


  1. There was nothing to be surprised about by Rwandan President Paul Kagame’s crushing re-election victory last week, nor the wave of Western media coverage that suggested the 90 per cent-plus margin of victory was somehow suspect.
    There has been a string of critical reports implying that Kagame is a typical African dictator. His decision to bar a Hutu presidential aspirant, Victoire Ingabire, and an earlier move to shut down two vernacular newspapers have been cited as proof.
    I know a bit about Rwanda and, in these two cases, I think the Western “liberal” commentators are wrong. To put it simply, Rwanda is not a normal country. The spectacular economic achievements Kagame has scored have been the easy part.
    The real problem that he must grapple with is entirely different. In 1994, 800,000 Rwandans (mainly Tutsi) were murdered in modern Africa’s most horrific genocide. It happened in only three months.
    Losing roughly a tenth of the population in so short a period is a trauma hardly any other country has experienced in recent centuries. Russia rightfully can never forget the 20 million lives lost during World War II. Yet the proportion of the dead to that country’s population was much less than in Rwanda’s case.
    Again, Russia was in war with a foreign enemy. In Rwanda’s case the demons were within.
    The first utterance of Ms Ingabire when she returned from overseas to contest the presidency was that her Hutu people had been unjustly burdened with the guilt for the genocide. The banned vernacular newspapers had been insinuating the same.
    I suppose Ms Ingabire is not a committed genocidaire at heart. But her none-too-subtle attempts to play the Hutu card could very well be the beginning of something more slippery and dangerous.
    Rwanda’s tragic history means the Hutu-versus-Tutsi politics of old cannot be an option.
    The tricky part for Kagame has been to engineer a new country and a new politics where this divide and its terrifying consequences are buried forever.
    The problem is that there is no knowing whether this political engineering is working or will succeed. Chances are that the demons are still lurking there somewhere, waiting for a careless rabble-rouser to unleash them.
    It would be irresponsible of Kagame or anybody in his position to allow a situation which brings back this awful past.
    Allowing an ethnic-based campaign as other “normal” countries are comfortable with is not a luxury Rwanda can afford, even if this means Kagame disregarding the “democratic” niceties his critics are trumpeting. The wounds are too raw.
    Sixty-five years after the end of World War II, the victors have never quite allowed Germany to become a normal country. And here we are, talking about Rwanda like it is a normal country a mere 16 years after the genocide.
    Try and imagine a contemporary German politician campaigning on a platform that the Nazis have been wrongly vilified all these years. What would our Western commentators say?
    Though the margin of Kagame’s electoral victory was almost certainly not cooked up (independent monitors affirm the vote was clean), I suspect the Hutu majority did not vote for him because they particularly like him.
    They did so either for appearances’ sake, or because they knew going the tempting way pointed by the likes of Ingabire would open a gulf into the unknown.
    They looked into this unknown and stepped back. In short, the Hutus found themselves – for their own sakes – with no option but to vote Kagame back.
    Something, in the end, will have to give, whether Kagame likes it or not.
    Foreign minister Louise Mushikiwabo recently made a remarkable admission: that Rwanda will not remain imprisoned by the genocide forever. But, for the country to be freed, the Hutu leadership must play its part. That role must be a constructive one.

  2. I published this comment because it's my policy to publish whatever anyone sends me, even a lot of comments that have been quite abusive, of me, but at this point, I find the argument that Rwanda in 1994 was equivalent to Nazi Germany so tedious and inaccurate that my only response is to post Rwandan exile Aimable Mugara's great piece in the OpEdNews:

    Rwanda circa 1994 is No Nazi Germany

    Thanks to Aimable for making that argument so well.

  3. Mahoro actually plagiarized. The comment that Mahoro made was actually an article that was published in the Daily Nation, a Kenyan newspaper that is an East African mouthpiece for General Kagame. The article was titled: "Please give Kagame a break, Rwanda is no ‘normal’ country‏" and can be found at

    Below is an an e-mail that I sent to Mr. Warigi at, the author of that article.

    Dear Mr. Warigi,

    As a Rwandan, I noticed that your article asking the world to give General Kagame a break demonstrates a lot of ignorance about what happened in Rwanda. Please find at a picture of the main event surrounding Kagame's recent election. Kagame's people beheading a TUTSI opposition politician in an attempt to send a message that no opposition politician is safe.

    When you are done, please read my article at, which explains how your analogy of comparing all Hutus to Nazis is entirely mistaken.

    Kagame is a mass murderer responsible for the deaths of millions of unarmed civilians. We will put him in the hands of international justice because the crimes he has committed are not simply against Rwandan people, they are against humanity.

  4. @Mahoro does not know he/she is talking about I cannot blame you Mahoro because only your survival and source of bread comes from the promulgation of genocide over and over again to call it a Nazi act it is being too simplistic because you are ignoring the fact that you attacked a sovereign country from Uganda. you were generals and army chief of staff in Uganda that states clearly that there is no way a Rwandan can be a chief of army in another country unless it is in his own country..anyway lets not go far you know that you came killing any living hutu on your way to know what you did after 1994.I have to excuse you a bit though because you did not what you did because you were capable of killing all that mass of people but because USA-UK gave you weapons and money to come and even sacrifice your own cousins and brothers when you dared to shoot down the two sitting hutu presidents knowingly what could be the consequences to your own relatives who were still living in Rwanda but you went ahead and did it why? because UK-USA had said so. Yo u didnt stop there you went on rampage killing any living Hutu on your way around the country in the name of INSINZI(Victory). you know you raped both Hutu women and Tutsi women as well because you knew that when you say those were victims of Interahamwe the whole world could believe you. you know what I am saying. then because of your hatred you went ahead and killed hundreds of thousands of internal displaced people which were in Kibeho. who was there?Hutu refugees of course..who else?UN Peacekeepers.why did you do it without any justice?because UN-UK-USA had given us permission to kill all hutus on our way.why? for the fear that when the time comes to allow democracy to take its course in Rwanda, this people are the majority then it would be good if we reduced the number. that is why UN was there but because USA had said so,,we killed them in the name of INTERAHAMWE.What?Interahamwe? do you mean even the 2 year old children found butchered in that kibeho camps were interahamwe?yes because according to the people like Mahoro.all hutus are interahamwe meaning that the blood flows in our vains are not human's but Interahamwe. when you see you me as a hutu you just see either Interahamwe or Igipinga meaning the person who is against the tutsi system.

  5. Mahoro the people like you led by the people like Kagame,Nyamwasa,Kabarebe,and Karegeya went ahead and came to our refugee camps in DRC not because were threats but because of two factors. USA wanted illegal mining of Tungsten,Tin,and Tantalum, you guys wanted to kill all young hutus to fulfill Kbuye's dream of making 15% of Rwandan population the majority by reducing the number of all hutus who make up 84%. You come to Kibumba,Nyangezi,Kashusha,NRA,Kahindo,Mugunga, and lac Vert just killing any living creature you found on your way to make the matter worse you even killed the hutus of Congolese origin?you know that. You followed us in all manners with all desinged mission to exterminate Hutus from the surface. If you think I am lying visit these links:

    the reason I am still alive today not because Tutsis did not want to kill me not at all but because God preserved me because I was innocent to come and tell you what you did to innocent people. I dont condone the Hutus who killed Tutsis since your brothers and sisters attacked in 1990s. Not at all but also I will never forgive you for millions of Hutus you killed since 1990s until today as we speak journalists are being killed you are not satisfied with 6million of hutus you have killed so far.. If I were you Mahoro I would be worried about this UN leaked report of where it is gonna leave your murderers: otherwise the world moves around and changes, today you are allowed to kill Ugandans,Rwandans,Burundians,and Congolese without justice but if you do not pay your children will pay, that is how life goes.