Tuesday, October 11, 2016
For the Clinton’s, especially President Bill Clinton, Rwanda has deep meaning for him and his presidency, for he has openly suggested that he will forever regret not intervening to prevent or maybe stop the Rwandan genocide, in which at least 800,000 people were murdered and/or killed in less than four months due to tribal genocide in 1994. At the time, then Vice President and Minister of Defense and now current President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame was a key player for both good and bad, depending on what side of the coin you end up on.
This has been the typical mantra of not only the U.S., but other western nations and leaders. For the Clinton’s and the Clinton Foundation, he is considered to be among “the greatest leaders of our time, and described as a “brilliant man” who “freed the heart and the mind of the people.” Historically the United States, Britain, Germany and the Netherlands, have always been behind Kagame’s with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair describing Kagame as a “visionary’. This is almost comical if it were not true that this is how many in the west really want and project for the world to see Rwandan President Paul Kagame in this manner.
Unfortunately the reality is that he is a dictator responsible for human rights abuses too numerous to list yet is a close associate of the Clinton's, the Clinton Foundation, and has received favorable treatment inclusive of funding by the Clinton State Department. Regardless of the fake picture they attempt to hide Kagame with, there is no way to get around that for him the democratic process in Rwanda is the equivalency of autocratic authoritarianism.
Since he has been involved in politics in Rwanda, dozens prominent dissidents have been tortured, disappeared, assassinated, and/or imprisoned. The lucky ones have fled the country or been exiled abroad. The list included journalists, opposition politicians and human rights activists. Thus it is for many, strange the extent of the relationship that Mr. Kagame and Mr. Clinton have. Kagame is a regular at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual meeting and even was awarded the organizations Global Citizen Award in 2009; Bill Clinton called him a “brilliant man” who “freed the heart and the mind of the people.”
This unfathomable relationship and the depth of interaction and sway Kagame has with the Clinton Foundation regarding Rwanda has been maintained although the U.S. State Department has often been adjudged for wanting a third term as president in which he changed the constitutional amendment allowing him to do so.
To get a better understanding of how this relationship manifested, one can start on 6 April 1994, when then Rwandan President Habyarimana's plane was shot down resulting in the deaths of Habyarimana and the President of Burundi, Cyprien Ntaryamira who was aboard the plane with him. Many believe that Kagame and the rebel army he led, Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), were responsible. Since he has been in politics, the military wing of the RPF was renamed as the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA). After this incident, approximately 700,000–1,000,000 Rwandans were killed during the 100-day period from April 7 to mid-July 1994. In fact since his entry in politics, dozens if not hundreds have been found dead under strange circumstances. Yet this has not stopped Mr. Clinton or the Clinton Foundation incessant encirclement of Mr. Kagame Also, the United States remains on of Kagame's firmest ally and longest devotee (maybe because it is in its geopolitical interest seeing that Rwanda is a mineral-rich east African nation and maintains a powerful army).
Or it may be that the U.S. is alright with dictators it trains. Kagame studied at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas in the early 1990s, before he returned to Rwanda and seized power in 1994. His son even studied at West Point. On the other hand, it may be due to the large sums of money the U.S. gives to the Kagame Government (Although it is consistently cited for murder and human rights abuses). Much of this started under Bill Clinton and was supported by national security adviser Susan Rice and Jendayi Frazer, a former top State Department Africa diplomat. But it was not until Hillary Clinton became secretary of state that Bill Clinton was in a position to provide Kagame with even more loot by securing around $27 million from the State Department through a Boston-based charity that he ran. By the time secretary Clinton left office, she had allocated tens of millions of emergency funds to combat HIV infection overseas — called PEPFAR, for Rwanda although it maintained one of the lowest HIV prevalence rates on the continent.
But for as much as former President Clinton openly states he regrets his inaction regarding the genocide in Rwanda, the record clearly indicates he was more involved than either he recalls or wants to recall. First it was President Clinton who stopped the UN Security Council from organizing an intervention in Rwanda. To be more accurate, in concert with the British, the U.S., under the direction of then President Clinton were covertly funding and supporting the Kagame and his Army that invaded Rwanda from Uganda some several years prior. Secretly it was the desire of the Clinton Administration to keep Kagame as a proxy army to promote U.S. interest in neighboring countries. In addition Clinton had to be aware of U.N. evidence that senior Rwandan military staff who report directly to Kagame murdered tens of thousands of unarmed men, women and children, in 1996 and 1998. It was as if under the direction of President Clinton, Kagame became an official U.S. proxy along with Uganda and used to invaded what is now called the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire) and first overthrowing Mobutu (1996), then Laurent Kabila (1998).
The end product allowed for the U.S. to have a major and dominant geopolitical imprint in the region, only at the cost millions more Rwandians, Ugandians and Congeleese civilians dead and still to this day, incessant and ongoing conflict over the vast mineral wealth in that region of the Congo.
This is possibly why upon leaving the Clinton Administration in the capacity of Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, later, as U.S.ambassador to the United Nations Rice allegedly tried to prevent the release ofa 2010 U.N. report, about the murder and killings carried out under the instructions of Kagame. Of course Rice refutes this assertion although since the days of President Clinton and his wife’s tenure as Secretary of State, the fact remains that unprecedented levels of funding continue to go to this despotic and murderous regime.
Having such a relationship with Kagame remains problematic for the Clinton’s and the Clinton Foundation given that the present leadership in the state department and U.N., as well as other nations in Europe and Africa continue to note that the Kagame government continues to display a disregard for human rights, whether it is by providing weapons to rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo or imprisoning and murdering his political rivals and/or suppressing political dissent and the press via violence. This will only get even more conflated if Kagame successfully amends the constitution of the nation to allow him to run for a third seven-year term (If he is successful, and Hillary wins the presidency, they will both be president starting 2017 together). This may not be a good look. We know in the past that the State Department under Clinton sidetracked a portion of US government grant money from nonprofit groups fighting HIV infection in Rwanda, and channeled it to the Rwandan government under the sole control of Kagame (US taxpayer money), which for the free thinking individual wreaks of possible favoritism and influence through his relationship with the Clinton's. Not to mention in 2012, Secretary Clinton boasted her work with Kagame in Rwanda as an example of the State Department assisting poorer nations to solve their own problems. However, she forgot to mention her husband’s role in the entire effort. She lauded it as an example of the State Department prodding a poor country to take on more responsibility programs to fight HIV infection.
The bigger question is how long will these types of relationships (ones in which human rights are over-looked for personal gain and benefit) continue to go unexamined by the Clintons? Former president Clinton can pretend that he regrets not getting involved in stopping the genocide in Rwanda but the fact is he didn’t give a fck. Clinton was not going to stop Kagame from finally overthrowing the existing, Hutu-led Rwandan government and seizing power. In all reality, Kagame actions went better than expected based on U.S., and even some select European nations desires. So much so that a massive cover-up began at the International Criminal Tribunal of Rwanda, in which only Rwandan Hutus were indicted and prosecuted.
So any time former President Clinton says that he is sorry he did not intervene in Rwanda, it is frankly a bold-face lie. When he states he failed, what he really means is that my objectives were not to stop murder, but rather a means of implementing the good old fashioned U.S. proxy war to encourage repeated invasions of a sovereign nation (Zaire) – nothing more, nothing less.