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No more time to wait for a nuclear weapons ban

International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons | Statement to the UN First Committee | October 28, 2014

Nuclear disarmament has for too long been about waiting. Waiting for nuclear-armed states to fulfill their obligations. Waiting for the so-called “conditions” to be right for disarmament.

While we wait, we do not get closer to the elimination of nuclear weapons or to a more secure world. While we wait, the risks of the use of nuclear weapons remain or even increase. While we wait, the catastrophic and overwhelming consequences of such use do not diminish.

We do not have time to wait.

The conferences on the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons hosted by Norway and Mexico have clearly explained and documented these consequences.

Physicians, physicists, climate scientists, humanitarian agencies, and survivors have all presented alarming evidence about the effects of nuclear weapons.

This evidence has shown that a single nuclear weapon can destroy an entire city, inflicting massive numbers of instantaneous casualties.

This evidence has shown that acute radiation injuries kill people in a matter of minutes, days, or weeks; and that radiation-caused cancers and other illnesses continue to kill for years among those directly exposed and across generations.

This evidence has shown that the use of even a small fraction of existing nuclear arsenals would cause environmental devastation, including disruption of the global climate and agricultural production.

This evidence cannot be ignored.

We know that the only way to ensure these consequences will never occur is to prevent the use of nuclear weapons. And the only way to do that is to eliminate them entirely. The General Assembly, NPT  states parties, the International Court of Justice, the overwhelming majority of states that belong to  nuclear-weapon-free zones, and civil society have all said this repeatedly. That part of the debate is over.

We don’t have time to wait. States are in fact legally bound not to wait. Every state party to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty is committed to pursuing effective measures for nuclear disarmament.

Most importantly, we do not have to wait.

While the nuclear-armed states modernise their arsenals and refuse to engage in multilateral negotiations for nuclear disarmament as they are obliged to do, there is at least one effective measure that the rest of  the world can take.

That is to prohibit nuclear weapons through a legally-binding instrument.

This is not a radical proposal. Indiscriminate weapons get banned. It is what we do as human society in the interests of protecting ourselves. We have done it before with other weapon systems, including biological and chemical weapons. A treaty banning nuclear weapons would complete the set of
prohibitions against WMD.

This should not be a controversial proposal. An international prohibition is merely the logical outcome of an examination of the risks and consequences of nuclear weapons detonation. It is complementary to existing international law governing nuclear weapons.

This is a meaningful proposal. It could have a variety of effects on the policy and practice of states. It could establish a comprehensive set of prohibitions and provide a framework under which the elimination of nuclear weapons can be pursued.

This is a feasible, achievable proposal. It can be negotiated in the near-term, and have normative and practical impacts for the long-term.

Naturally, as we get closer to beginning a diplomatic process, thoughts will turn to how and where such a treaty should be negotiated.

ICAN has no fixed view on this except that effective processes that have meaningful results tend to be based on some important principles of multilateralism. Negotiations must be inclusive, democratic, and involve civil society and international organizations.

A crucial foundation for our confidence in this idea is the conviction that such a treaty can and should be negotiated by those states ready to do so, even if the states with nuclear weapons oppose it and decide not to participate. A few recalcitrant states should not be able to block a successful outcome. It would be better for all states to participate and to move towards prohibition and elimination without delay. But this seems unlikely at the present time.

While we must keep working towards that goal with absolute determination, we believe states should put a prohibition in place now.

To the nuclear-armed states that see this as a hostile idea: it is not. You have applauded groups of states for adopting nuclear-weapon-free zones in their regions. Globalising this prohibition on nuclear weapons will give increased political and legal space for you to pursue elimination. All of you have registered your commitment to a nuclear-free world. A prohibition of nuclear weapons is an important part of the process to achieve that universal goal.

To the states in alliances with nuclear-armed states that are concerned such a treaty would be inconsistent with existing commitments: it would not be. All states have agreed that nuclear weapons should be eliminated. No security alliances have ever crumbled because a weapon system was outlawed and eliminated. Any states that consider humanitarian action a priority should understand that a ban treaty would be consistent with their existing obligations and principles.

To the states that have already foresworn nuclear weapons through the NPT and nuclear-weapon-free zones, and that might baulk at the idea of taking on more of the burden for nuclear disarmament: this ban treaty will not be a burden. It will reinforce the stigma against nuclear weapons. It will undermine their purported value. It will further erode any misplaced perceptions that these weapons of mass destruction confer symbolic power and prestige. It will make global the commitments you have already made regionally. It will give you an opportunity to take charge, for nuclear disarmament is the responsibility and right of everyone. Finally, it will have normative and practical impacts that will facilitate elimination. We welcome the opportunity to consider this approach with you. As Kenya said earlier this month, discussions about this should not cause anxiety.

A window of opportunity is now open to take an important next step towards the elimination of nuclear weapons. We should seize this opportunity before it closes. The conferences in Oslo and Nayarit have helped us see nuclear weapons as the devastating and inhumane weapons they are. We’re confident that the Vienna conference in December will reinforce that humanitarian perspective.

It is clear to us that the logical conclusion of these evidence-based gatherings is to begin a diplomatic process to prohibit nuclear weapons through a legally binding instrument.

This will take courage. We have confidence that the overwhelming majority of states will join this process. And we look forward to accompanying you along the road to a treaty banning nuclear weapons.

International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) represents more than 360 partner organizations in 93 countries.

November 4, 2014 Posted by | Environmentalism, Militarism, War Crimes | , , , | Comments Off on No more time to wait for a nuclear weapons ban

Yep, Uncle Sam Still Wants to Log Your Calls

By Rachel Nusbaum | ACLU | November 4, 2014

Today, in a hushed courtroom in Washington, D.C., not far from the now-empty halls of Congress, a federal appeals court heard arguments in Klayman v. Obama, a challenge to the NSA’s bulk collection of telephone metadata first revealed by Edward Snowden. If you have ever made a phone call, or received a phone call, this case has implications for your personal privacy and you should pay close attention to what happens next.

The appeal follows a December win for Larry Klayman, a conservative lawyer and activist and the plaintiff in the case, where a district court judge ruled the program was likely unconstitutional. Today, government lawyers attempted to argue that this program should be allowed to continue.

The arguments hinged on a central question: Is the warrantless, non-targeted surveillance currently being conducted by the NSA, which is scooping up data on all (or almost all) calls made or received on U.S. telephone networks, a violation of the Fourth Amendment?

The government tried to argue that it is not. They claim that their searches of this massive call record database are reasonable, and that there is no reasonable expectation of privacy in the numbers one dials.

But, as EFF Legal Director Cindy Cohn argued on behalf of both EFF and the ACLU as friends of the court, the government has no right to scoop up such a massive amount of personal information about Americans in the first place.

The truth is, the NSA’s bulk collection of the phone records of all Americans is fundamentally different than putting a trace on the phone of an individual suspected of wrongdoing. The sheer scale of this program means that we are all suspects, or at least potential suspects, in the eyes of our government.

Think about the impact of knowing that your every phone interaction is being logged by the government. This kind of surveillance has even greater implications for lawyers and journalists, who have to worry about protecting the confidentiality of clients and sources. The phrase “chilling effect” seems insufficient to describe the potential loss to our society, to our whole way of life, as we slowly begin to censor ourselves because we know that the government is always monitoring our communications.

This is contrary to the very nature of a democracy, where people are supposed to hold their government to account. Who will be willing to speak out against an abusive government when that government knows all our deepest, darkest secrets?

Governments are by nature interested in acquiring more power, and today, more than ever, information is power. We should not be surprised that the government wants to know who Americans are speaking with, and for how long, and how often. We rely on the Constitution, and on the other branches of government, to provide a check on that desire.

Today, we asked the court to provide that check and to declare bulk collection of American’s telephone metadata unconstitutional.

(To read the ACLU and EFF’s amicus brief in Klayman v. Obama, click here.)

November 4, 2014 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , | Comments Off on Yep, Uncle Sam Still Wants to Log Your Calls

A Brief History of US-Israel Relations

How Zionists Outmaneuvered and Replaced State Department Experts

By Amb. ANDREW I. KILLGORE | CounterPunch | November 4, 2014

Alison Weir writes at the beginning of her book, Against Our Better Judgment: The hidden history of how the U.S. was used to create Israel, that while many people are led to believe that U.S. support for Israel is driven by the American establishment and U.S. national interests, facts do not support that belief. The reality is that while for decades almost all U.S. experts opposed Israel and its founding, they were outmaneuvered and eventually replaced by Zionists.

Political Zionism started in the late 1800s as an international movement to establish a Jewish state somewhere in the world. By 1897 the movement was led by Austrian journalist Theodor Herzl, who convened the First Zionist World Congress in Basel, Switzerland the same year. U.S. Zionism began in the 1880s. The Board of Delegates of American Israelites was organized in 1861. The group was strong enough during the American Civil War to block an effort by the Union to declare America a Christian nation.

In 1887 President Grover Cleveland appointed a Jewish ambassador to Turkey, establishing a precedent for naming a Jew to that post for the next 30 years. This represented the growing power of the Zionist movement. But in 1912, when the Zionist Literary Society asked President William Taft for an endorsement, Secretary of State Philander Knox was able to thwart the effort. Knox argued that Zionism “related to the interests of countries other than our own.”

But after Knox, simply every American official has opposed Zionist efforts to involve the United States on the same grounds: the efforts are against the interests of the United States. The Zionists were and are aware of this, so they always resorted to secrecy to conceal their real aims.

In 1912 the prominent U.S. attorney Louis Brandeis became head of the Zionist Central office, which had moved from Berlin, Germany a little while before. Brandeis is better known as a Supreme Court Justice, but he played a sinister role in
alison weir bookhigh Zionist affairs. He recruited young lawyers, particularly from Harvard, to work for the Zionist cause. He was a leader of a secret society called the Parushim to work for Zionism with all the outward appearance of simply a fraternal order. Each member took a practically blood oath to secretly work for Zionism.

When Brandeis was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Woodrow Wilson he officially resigned from all his clubs and affiliations. But this was only for show. Weir quotes historian/journalist Donald Neff: “Through his lieutenants he remained the power behind the throne. One of these lieutenants was the well-regarded Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter, whose Zionist activities had largely gone unnoticed.”

Weir very astutely and brilliantly covers World War One and the Balfour Declaration (Britain promising to support a “national home” for Jews in Palestine). The Declaration was critical for Zionist success with the reason behind it, Zionism’s promise to work for the U.S. to enter the war on Britain’s side. Author Alison Weir writes that whether the Zionist role in getting America into the war was major, as the Zionists claim, and the British believed, is unclear.

In one of her quoted references Chaim Weizmann, who later became the first president of Israel, complains in his autobiography about the British/Zionist myth that he invented TNT, the reward for which was the Balfour Declaration. He said he did not invent the explosive. The origin of the TNT myth was an obvious attempt to cover up Britain’s real reason for issuing the declaration, which clearly was to get America into the war on Britain’s side, without which she would have lost the war.

Ms. Weir’s coverage of the 1919 Peace Conference in Paris is excellent. The Conference was rife with Zionists arguing for the Jewish state. The most prominent American opposing them was Dr. Howard Bliss, president of the Syrian Protestant College, later the American University of Beirut. President Wilson did send the King-Crane Commission to study what the Middle Easterners wanted. The two men found that the Arabs were utterly against the “national home” idea. It was clear that the Jewish representatives wanted a nearly complete dispossession of the Palestinians and that armed force would be required to carry out Zionist aims.

Throughout Judgment Alison Weir clearly documents the total lack of ethics and morality, as generally understood, on the part of the Zionists. For example, they fabricated stories of gross anti-Semitism in Poland to gain sympathy. When the American ambassador to Poland reported that they were false, Brandeis and Frankfurter claimed that the ambassador had undercut their mission. Frankfurter threatened that he would try to block his Senate confirmation.

The Zionists ran a gigantic public relations campaign targeting every sector of society, including particularly the Christians, who had little knowledge of the nature of Zionism or of its true goals. Thus the Zionists played on the “tragic plight of the refugees fleeing from persecution and finding no home.” As anti-Zionist Rabbi Elmer Berger says in his memoirs, there was a “ubiquitous propaganda campaign reaching just about every point of political leverage of American life.”

It is important to emphasize that essentially all official American personnel opposed the Zionists. Foreign Service Officer Evan Wilson, U.S. consul general in Jerusalem, opposed them on national interests grounds. Loy Henderson, director of the Office of Near Eastern and African Affairs, wrote that supporting partition of Palestine “would have a strongly adverse effect on American interests throughout the Near and Middle East.” When Henderson persisted in putting his views forward, the Zionists attacked him viciously, calling him an “anti-Semite,” demanding his resignation and threatening his family. Henderson was transferred by President Harry Truman as ambassador to Nepal/India. The transfer of Henderson reflects the reality of what happens to Foreign Service officers who criticize Israel, even today.

Others who spoke warning words about Zionism and its adverse effect on American national interests were George F. Kennan, head of the State Department’s Policy Planning staff. He wrote that the 1947 partition plan for Palestine had done enormous damage to the U.S. Under Secretary of State (later Secretary) Dean Acheson said that to transform Palestine into a Jewish state would imperil not only American but all Western interests in the Near East.

Judgment is prodigiously documented, with nearly 200 books and papers listed. Weir quotes two sources, one of them an Iraqi Jew, as writing that the Zionists terrorized Iraqi Jews into going to Israel by planting bombs in Baghdad synagogues, all to increase the population of Israel. Jews even killed Jews to force immigration to Israel.

In 1948 there was a battle between Secretary of State (General) George Marshall and Clark Clifford, political adviser to President Harry Truman, over Truman’s support for Zionism/Israel. Marshall argued for national interests, while Clifford argued for electoral politics. Marshall quit speaking to Clifford over their differences.

In April 1948, just before the State of Israel was established, Jewish terrorists attacked the Palestinian village of Deir Yassin, massacring 175 men, women and children. The facts spread quickly in Palestine and 750,000 refugees fled from their homes. The Zionists had anticipated the flight, leaving room for Jews in the evacuated homes and farms.

The ruthlessness of the Zionists is illustrated by the fate of Dorothy Thompson, “one of the most famous journalists of the 20th century,” according to the Britannica encyclopedia. Her columns were in newspapers all over the country, her radio program was heard by millions of people. She had been married to one of the most famous novelists (Babbitt), Sinclair Lewis.

Thompson had at first supported Zionism, but changed her mind when she saw Palestinian refugees. Then she was attacked as an anti-Semite, her columns were dropped from newspapers and her speaking engagements stopped. Today, Weir says, “She has been largely erased from history.”

Now that Israel has been around for more than 60 years and its virtues are sung in the American media, it is easy to forget, or not even to have heard, that the country is extremely adverse to American national interests and its policies enormously destructive and dangerous to America’s well-being. Thus Alison Weir must be highly commended for throwing such a brilliantly hard light on the relationship between the United States and Israel. I hope this marvelous book gets all the attention it deserves.

Ambassador Andrew I. Killgore is the publisher of the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs and a retired diplomat who served as a career foreign service officer in Frankfurt, London, Beirut, Jerusalem, Amman, Baghdad, Dacca, Tehran, Manama, and Wellington and as a desk officer in other Near East and South Asia regional bureau positions in the State Department in Washington before his assignment as U.S. Ambassador in Doha. Ambassador Killgore received the “Foreign Service Cup” in 1997, the citation stating: “For impressive contributions to increased awareness and understanding of the Middle East and the many dimensions of United States’ interests in the area.”

November 4, 2014 Posted by | Book Review, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 2 Comments

Israeli occupation authorities demolish two homes in East Jerusalem


MEMO | November 4, 2014

Israel demolished two homes in Silwan, south of Al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem, today claiming they were constructed without a license, eye witnesses said.

Eye witnesses reported that “a large bulldozer belonging to the Israeli municipality arrived this morning at Wadi Yasoul in Silwan accompanied by Israeli police and army forces.”

They added: “The Israeli forces surrounded the home of the released prisoner Khalil Abu Rajab and demolished it before demolishing Assem Abu Subaih’s home.”

Witnesses noted that the “demolition occurred without prior warning. There are concerns that more demolitions will take place in the area.”

“Abu Subaih’s home consists of three rooms and he lived in it with his five family members. As for Abu Rajab’s home, it was made up of two apartments he lived in with seven family members and his mother,” sources reported.

These demolitions occurred after Israeli media outlets reported a few days ago that the Israeli Mayor of Jerusalem Nir Barkat approved a series of sanctions against Palestinians in the city, including demolishing unlicensed homes “in order to stop the phenomenon of throwing rocks”.

Various clashes between the Palestinian youth and Israeli forces have continued in a number of neighbourhoods in East Jerusalem since last July.

Palestinian, Israeli and international human rights organisations noted that while the municipality has been increasingly giving building permits to Israelis in East Jerusalem, it is restricting construction work done by Palestinians, which forces many to build without permits.

The Israeli Information Centre for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories (B’tselem) said: “While large-scale constructing and major investments are being carried out in Jewish neighbourhoods, the Israeli authorities are working on stifling all development and construction for Palestinian residents, which make up about a third of the city’s population.”

The Planning and Building Committee of the Israeli Ministry of Interior approved the construction of 500 settlement units in Ramat Shlomo settlement in Shuafat in northern Jerusalem yesterday which provoked Palestinian and international criticism.

November 4, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , | 1 Comment

Hungarian law gives green light to South Stream in defiance of EU

RT | November 4, 2014

The Hungarian parliament has approved a law on Monday which allows building the South Stream gas pipeline without approval of the European Union. The European Commission has already demanded an explanation from Hungarian authorities.

The European Commission’s spokesperson said at a press briefing in Brussels on Tuesday that the EC was in contact with Hungarian authorities to get an explanation for their decision.

The law was passed with 132 votes in favor and 35 votes against, allowing a company to construct a gas pipeline even if it doesn’t have the licenses needed to operate it. According to the new law the only requirement for a company which wants to take part in construction is approval from the Hungarian Energy Office.

“This is meant to give a boost to South Stream and is to show Russia that Hungary is taking the project seriously,” Attila Holoda, an expert on energy regulation, said as cited by Bloomberg.

South Stream is “extraordinarily important” for Hungary because it enhances the security of gas supplies to the country, Janos Lazar, the Minister in Charge of the Prime Minister’s Office, told reporters on October, 22.

The South Stream gas pipeline was projected to deliver gas to south and central Europe via the Black Sea and the Balkans, bypassing Ukraine. The project, with a capacity of 63 billion cubic meters of gas a year, is seen as critical for European energy security. Ukraine has been an unreliable transit country, and building a new pipeline could result in avoiding numerous risks.

The South Stream would run across Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Austria, and Slovenia before entering Italy and Greece. The crisis in Ukraine has made the South Stream project a political issue rather than a legal debate. The EU Commission has been pressuring member states to stop the building of the pipeline. Last year it started an investigation claiming the project contradicted the European Union’s Third Energy Package regulations.

Bulgaria and Austria have temporarily suspended the project but are leaving it on the table.

November 4, 2014 Posted by | Economics | , , , | Comments Off on Hungarian law gives green light to South Stream in defiance of EU

The Kagame-Power Lobby’s Dishonest Attack on the BBC 2’s Documentary on Rwanda

By Edward S. Herman and David Peterson | Monthly Review Zine | November 1, 2014

On October 1, 2014, a remarkable event occurred in Britain.  The British Broadcasting Corporation’s BBC 2’s This World telecast Rwanda’s Untold Story, a documentary produced by Jane Corbin and John Conroy that offered a critical view of Rwandan President Paul Kagame and of his and the British and U.S. roles in the 1994 mass killings in Rwanda and beyond.1 Although the documentary adheres to some key longstanding falsehoods of the Anglo-American propaganda system’s treatment of the “Rwandan genocide,” above all the claim that in 1994 leaders of the country’s Hutu majority conspired to commit genocide against its Tutsi minority,2 nevertheless, we believe that the telecast of Rwanda’s Untold Story constituted a first of its kind in the reinterpretation of what really happened in Rwanda in 1994.  And this is true not only for the BBC, but also for the rest of the establishment English-language television news media in Britain, the United States, Canada, and elsewhere.

The BBC 2’s reinterpretation works largely by providing airtime to well-informed figures conventionally marginalized within the establishment media.  Accordingly, Rwanda’s Untold Story is the story that they tell and that they would have been telling for many years had they and their views not been systematically suppressed and even ridiculed and smeared by the establishment media, historians, and assorted political hacks from within the Kagame-Power Lobby.

Among these newly admitted storytellers are Theogene Rudasingwa and Kayumba Nyamwasa, former high-ranking Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) associates of Paul Kagame now forced to live in exile for opposing his rule and seeking his downfall.  “The price of being able to express a view that is even mildly critical or dissenting in Rwanda, the price is very high,” Rudasingwa, Kagame’s former chief-of-staff, tells Corbin.  “Those who tried, journalists, have been killed, and others imprisoned or simply banished into exile” (51:19).  When Corbin asks Nyamwasa, a former top-ranking general under Kagame, whether he was “surprised there wasn’t more protests from the international community over what was happening in the Congo and Rwanda’s part in it,” Nyamwasa replies: “No.  I wasn’t surprised.  He’s got very powerful people who protect him” (45:50).

Another critic here given a voice is Aloys Ruyenzi, a former member of Kagame’s personal guard.  Ruyenzi recounts what he heard at a meeting between Kagame and his closest staff during which Kagame gave the order to shoot down Rwandan President Juvénal Habyarimana’s Falcon 50 jet.  Ruyenzi also states that he was in Kagame’s company when, on April 6, 1994, the news of the shoot-down arrived at the RPF’s headquarters in Mulindi, in the far north of the country.  “Kagame was happy,” Ruyenzi tells Corbin.  “The other commanders were happy too.  From that moment, we started to move” (15:15).

Yet another critic is Carla Del Ponte, a former chief prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) as well as the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, who recounts how she was relieved of her job at the ICTR in 2003 for having opened investigations into RPF crimes and then rebuffed overtures from the United States and Britain to terminate them.  “[T]he U.S. didn’t back me up,” she says, “the U.K. followed suit, as always, and my mandate was not renewed” (38:28).

Still another new voice is former FBI counter-terrorism agent James Lyons, who was Commander of Investigations at the ICTR.  Lyons tells Corbin that in 1996-1997 his and the late Michael Hourigan’s National Team had found three solid sources claiming knowledge that Kagame was responsible for the Habyarimana assassination.  When in early 1997 Hourigan and Lyons presented ICTR Chief Prosecutor Louise Arbour with a memorandum outlining what they had learned, Arbour ordered the investigation terminated and confiscated the memorandum.  “Louise Arbour just did a 180-degrees turnaround,” Lyons says, referring to Arbour’s reaction when she learned that his group had evidence implicating Kagame.  “Someone above her was telling her this was not a good idea to be investigating Paul Kagame” (39:30).

Among the other BBC 2 guests was the Belgian scholar Filip Reyntjens, a specialist in the history of the Great Lakes region of central Africa; Reyntjens states frankly on camera that he regards Kagame as the “most important war criminal in office today” (48:31).  Also the Belgian Colonel Luc Marchal, a former high-ranking member of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Rwanda (UNAMIR) with responsibility for the capital city, Kigali.  Marchal describes the overwhelming tension that pervaded Kigali during the months before Habyarimana’s assassination: “Every night in Kigali the background noise was of weapons and shooting and of grenades exploding” (10:16).  “In my opinion,” Marchal adds, “the attack on the president’s plane was the trigger to begin the military operation and the armed takeover by the RPF” (15:53).

Perhaps most important of all, the BBC 2 devotes a substantial segment of its documentary to the work of two American professors now at the University of Michigan, Allan Stam and Christian Davenport, who from 1998 on carried out important field research in Rwanda, and who have gone on to develop many powerful and provocative interpretations about what really happened in Rwanda in 1994.3 “What the world believes, and what really happened, are quite different,” a clip from Corbin’s interview with Stam appears twice in the documentary (0:21 and 31:19).  (We return to Davenport and Stam’s work below.)

In sum, although we take issue with the BBC 2 documentary’s very loose and inexact use of the term “genocide” when referring to the events in Rwanda in 1994, Jane Corbin and John Conroy’s Rwanda’s Untold Story marks an important, informative, and decisive break from the now-more-than 20 years of false and propagandistic storytelling in the Anglo-American world that has buried the real history of the period.  Both the BBC 2’s This World and the documentary’s production staff deserve their audience’s gratitude — not condemnation.

How Dare the BBC 2’s This World Break Ranks with the Rest of the Respectable Media and Bring All of These Ugly, Unmentionable Truths to Light?

Just as it was a remarkable event for Rwanda’s Untold Story to be telecast over the BBC 2 on October 1, so it was entirely predictable that on October 12, a response in the form of an open letter signed by 38 “scholars, scientists, researchers, journalists and historians” was sent to the BBC’s Director-General Tony Hall, taking issue with the documentary in the strongest terms possible.  And, as is the conventional practice among members of this group, their open letter features the smear that the documentary engages in “genocide denial,” a derogatory charge that in one form or another (e.g., “genocide deniers,” “deniers”) appears no fewer than 13 times in a letter only 1,266 words long.4

“Genocide denial” and the dissemination of “genocide ideology and sectarianism” are the preferred negative-attack weapons of the Kagame dictatorship, on the basis of which it has denounced, intimidated, imprisoned, driven into exile, and even assassinated many Rwandans as well as foreign nationals over the past 20 years.5 Kagame’s legal system used such charges to arrest the Hutu political figure and chair of the opposition Forces Democratiques Unifiées (FDU)-Inkingi coalition, Victoire Ingabire, in April 2010, removing her from competing against Kagame in the August presidential election, which Kagame won with an incredible 93 percent of the rigged vote.  “[I]ngabire asked why there were no memorials to the Hutus who died,” Corbin reports in the documentary.  “She got eight years in prison for ‘genocide ideology’” (51:09).  To this day, Ingabire languishes in one of Kagame’s prisons, her sentence now bumped up to 15 years; recently her attorney filed a petition with the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, asking it to demand a fair and open retrial for his client. 6  The 38 letter-signers claim to recognize the BBC’s right to “reflect on the contemporary political situation in Rwanda,” which the documentary does at length, but nowhere in their rebuttal do they themselves undertake such reflections.  Doesn’t the 38’s silence on the totalitarian nature of Kagame Power, clearly a major political issue for Rwandans both at home and living in exile, make them dictatorship defenders?

When the 38 use the word “genocide” — a term they use no fewer than 27 times in their letter — they refer to one thing specifically: the alleged planned extermination and killing of Rwanda’s minority Tutsi population by its majority Hutu conspirators.  But another, much larger area of massacres lies to the west of Rwanda in the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where, from September 1996 on, many more people have been killed than in Rwanda in 1994.  These killings were carried out as an almost immediate extension of the RPF’s 46-month war in Rwanda, and in the case of the DRC there is a wide consensus among specialists that Paul Kagame and forces allied with him (especially the Ugandan People’s Defense Force and locally organized militias) have been the principal killing agents.  As Deogratias Bugera, at one time a soldier in Kagame’s RPF during its war in Rwanda, and one of the founders in October 1996 of the Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo-Zaire (AFDL), a “rebel” front-organization for the RPF in its wars in Zaire-DRC, once told Jason Stearns: “As soon as the RPF conquered Rwanda, they set their sights on invading Zaire, much sooner than most people realize.” 7 As the 38 completely ignore Kagame’s 18-year-long wars and genocide in the DRC, doesn’t their exclusive focus on Rwanda 1994 and the alleged Hutu conspiracy to exterminate the Tutsi make them apologists for the larger follow-up genocide?  To the BBC 2’s credit — and in stark contrast to the silence of the 38 who attacked the BBC — the documentary raises precisely this issue.  In fact, in a voiceover, Corbin reports: “The UN surveyed 600 alleged massacre sites [in the DRC]. …  The UN report concluded: The apparent systematic and widespread attacks on Hutu civilians, if proven, could be characterized as crimes of genocide” (44:48). 8  But the 38 aren’t interested.

Who Shot Down President Habyarimana’s Falcon 50 Jet?

Turning to the mass killings in Rwanda in 1994, the 38 cite three “untenable claims” made in the BBC 2 documentary.  The first is a “lie about the true nature of the Hutu power militia.”  The second is an “attempt to minimize the number of Tutsi murdered in the genocide.”  And the third is an “effort to place the blame for shooting down President Habyarimana’s plane on April 6, 1994 on the Rwandan Patriotic Front.”

Taking this last item first: The 38 claim that a “detailed report published in January 2012 by a French magistrate Judge Marc Trévidic . . . contains evidence from French experts, including crash investigators, who proved scientifically that the missiles that shot down the plane came from the confines of the government-run barracks in Kanombe.”

This is a blatant case of the selective use of evidence, in addition to being misleading in its own narrow framework.  First, two French investigative judges are involved in this inquiry, not one: Judge Nathalie Poux as well as Judge Trévidic.  Second, no report, preliminary or final, has ever been issued by Trévidic and Poux.  The January 2012 report to which the 38 refer, released by Trévidic and Poux, was not written by them but was compiled by five “experts” who had been hired by the investigating judges to analyze certain data from a ballistics and acoustics point of view. 9

Third, and most important, none of the contributors to this nearly 340 page report at any point claims to know the identities of who actually fired the missiles that brought down Habyarimana’s jet, and nowhere in this report does anyone conclude definitively that the “missiles that shot down the plane came from the confines of the government-run barracks in Kanombe,” or in any other government-controlled area. Instead, they calculate “probabilities” for the locus of origination of the missiles which in the aggregate covers such a large range of territory that, as of April 6, 1994, the missiles could have been fired from government-controlled territory on its western edge as well as from territory well outside of government control, in the vicinity of Masaka Hill, to the southeast of Kanombe camp and the airport’s runway, which is exactly where the former RPF figures who have testified on this matter in multiple venues over many years claim the missiles were fired from. 10  In short, the highly-touted findings of the January 2012 analysis are so inconclusive as to the sites from which the fatal missiles were fired and the identity of the shooters that they are surely not the last word on the matter. 11

Also interesting is the fact that the Trévidic-Poux investigation’s own records show that in June 2010 their investigation accepted the sworn testimony of Abdul Ruzibiza, a former lieutenant in the RPF then living in exile in Norway, and the author of the 2005 book Rwanda, L’histoire secrète12  Consistent with his earlier testimonies before the investigation led by the French Judge Jean-Louis Bruguière (Trévidic’s immediate predecessor in the same office, from which Bruguière retired in June 2008), his published writings, and his testimonies in trials argued before the ICTR, Ruzibiza shared with Trévidic-Poux’s representatives in Norway his knowledge of the RPF’s reconnaissance of the best site from which to fire the missiles (i.e., the aforementioned Masaka Hill, outside the government-controlled area); who comprised the assassination team and carried out the actual shooting (Deputy-Lieutenant Frank Nziza and Corporal Eric Hakizimana are named); where the missiles that were used that night had come from (they were smuggled from Uganda, through RPF-controlled territory in northern Rwanda, and then to Kigali); where the RPF stored the missiles prior to their use (in the RPF-occupied Conseil National de Développement [CND — National Assembly] complex in Kigali, in violation of the Arusha Accords’ prohibition that weapons in Kigali were to be secured by UNAMIR); and that he was a member of the RPF’s so-called “Network,” a covert team that carried out sabotage, false-flag operations, and assassinations of political figures on all sides so as to sow distrust and heighten tensions. 13  We believe that all of this is very important because, as noted above, Trévidic’s predecessor, Judge Bruguière, also heard the same sworn testimony of Ruzibiza, as had trial chambers of the ICTR; the crucial difference here is that whereas the 2006 Bruguière report made use of Ruzibiza’s testimony, at the time of this writing, Trévidic-Poux have taken no public position on Ruzibiza’s testimony, much less have they attempted to identify who they believe the shooters were. 14

It is also important to note that the Trévidic-Poux investigation exists within a political context unique to France that is ignored by the 38.  In May 2007, the right-wing Atlanticist candidate Nicolas Sarkozy succeeded the right-wing Gaullist Jacques Chirac as the new president of France.  Chirac had served for 12 years (1995-2007), having succeeded the Socialist Party’s François Mitterrand (1981-1995) to the office.  Sarkozy immediately set out to heighten France’s Atlanticist profile among the Western capitals, particularly Washington and London.  In early 2010, Sarkozy visited Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame in Kigali, the first visit by a French president to Kigali since the 1980s.  Within days of Sarkozy’s return to Paris, French police arrested Agathe Habyarimana, the widow of Rwanda’s late President’s Habyarimana, then living in exile in Paris; she was arrested on the basis of an arrest warrant drawn up in Kigali over her role in the events of 1994.  Within weeks of this, Trévidic and Poux named the five ballistics and acoustics “experts” who were to re-examine the evidence that ultimately found its way into Bruguière’s 2006 report and the nine indictments of RPF figures.  In other words, the origins of the Trévidic-Poux investigation took place within the context of President Sarkozy’s decision to mend fences with Kagame’s regime and align French with U.S. policy on Rwanda, and this political decision required something official to offset Bruguière’s findings against the RPF.  But even now as late as November 2014, Trévidic and Poux have yet to publish a definitive conclusion, in contrast to Hourigan, Bruguière, and the Spanish National Court Judge Fernando Andreu Merelles’ February 2008 indictment of 40 members of the RPF for their alleged murder of hundreds of thousands of Rwandans after the war. 15

The 38 ignore the fact that the long and serious investigation of the shoot-down by Bruguière, which included the sworn testimonies of a number of participants in the planning for the shoot-down, concluded that it was Kagame who had given the orders for it. 16  Bruguière also made the important point that the shoot-down and military conquest of Rwanda were politically necessary for Kagame, as he and his RPF could never have won the free election called for by the 1993 Arusha Peace Accords, given an ethnic Tutsi voting block of some 10 percent of Rwanda’s population, versus an ethnic Hutu voting block closer to 90 percent.  Under these circumstances, it would have been impossible for Kagame’s RPF to take power through Rwanda’s legal political channels at any time and in any way — except by military conquest. 17  As Filip Reyntjens tells Jane Corbin in the BBC 2 documentary: “[The RPF] felt they were not going to be able to take power through the ballot, and I think by the end of 1993, the RPF had decided it was going to take power by the bullet” (9:35).

The 38 also bypass the fact that the ICTR sponsored the original investigation of the shoot-down in 1996-1997, carried out by a 20-person, multinational investigative team headed by the late Australian lawyer, Michael Hourigan.  The BBC 2 documentary returns to a discussion of this evidence more than once, in the person of James Lyons, Hourigan’s superior at the ICTR.  A memo prepared by Hourigan for delivery to ICTR Chief Prosecutor Louise Arbour, based on what his team regarded as three solid RPF sources with firsthand knowledge of the shoot-down, found Paul Kagame ultimately responsible for it.  But as noted earlier, this memo was suppressed by Arbour, and no charges have ever been brought against Kagame by the ICTR. 18  Given that the ICTR has strictly observed the principle of “victor’s justice” throughout its 20 year existence, and has indicted, tried, and convicted Hutus alone with only one exception19, (the BBC 2 documentary reports 63 convictions to date [39:56]), this history of prosecutorial suppression at the ICTR strongly suggests that the evidence for a Kagame role in the shoot-down simply was too solid for the ICTR and its major U.S. and U.K. sponsors to permit any further investigation.

Here we should add that the lead signatory of the open letter to the BBC, Linda Melvern, has long claimed that there never was an investigation of the shoot-down by an international organization.  Thus in one place, Melvern has referred to the “failure to conduct an international inquiry,” 20 and elsewhere she has alleged that “[t]he international court established by the Security Council . . . is silent on the assassination of Habyarimana.” 21  Although these are outright lies and suppress both actual investigations and the evidence they’ve accumulated, they are the kind of lies that conform well with the biases and deep-seated mendacity of Melvern and her 37 fellow “scholars” (etc).

Among the Many Untold Stories about Life in Paul Kagame’s Rwanda . . .

The list of former Kagame associates who eventually testified to Kagame’s responsibility for the shoot-down is impressively large; Peter Erlinder, the U.S. defense attorney and former lead defense counsel before the ICTR, estimates that the number “now exceeds eight,” 22 but we suspect the total is considerably higher.  But any number is especially impressive, given that former members of Kagame’s inner circle who provide such testimony place themselves at great risk, as Kagame and some of his underlings have been regularly engaged in the permanent silencing of critics.  (On this, see the treatment in Rwanda’s Untold Story of the December 31, 2013 assassination of Kagame’s former intelligence chief Patrick Karegeya, then living in exile in South Africa [51:40].)  Estimates vary of the number of former allies who were later killed on orders from Kagame.  Particularly vulnerable and at highest risk are figures who possess “knowledge of the regime’s darkest secrets and had themselves been involved in its crimes,” as Reyntjens puts it.  Reyntjens quotes a former RPF member “exiled in Europe” who claims he was ordered to assassinate Kayumba Nyamwasa (who, in fact, has survived four assassination attempts) and could name 17 other former RPF officers “murdered on Kagame’s orders.”  Anyone “considered a threat, Hutu and Tutsi alike, were physically eliminated.”  Exiles from Kagame Power were eliminated either because they had knowledge of Kagame’s responsibility for the assassinations of the Rwandan and Burundian presidents in April 1994, or because Kagame suspected them of disloyalty and plotting against him, or of leaking sensitive information to the world outside his base of supporters.  According to Reyntjens, Ruzibiza claimed the “physical elimination of over twenty military, in addition to several foreigners working in Rwanda who were suspected of having leaked information on RPF abuse. . . .”  Kagame is also implicated in the January 2001 assassination of a third head of state, Laurent-Désiré Kabila, Kagame’s handpicked successor to Mobutu after Rwanda and Uganda drove Mobutu from power in May 1997. 23  In 2010, many of the most prominent surviving exiles from Kagame Power went on to found the Rwanda National Congress and called for the end of the Kagame dictatorship, once and for all.  But the establishment U.S. and U.K. media have rarely given Kagame’s regime of terror and assassination the attention that it deserves, paralleling the United States’ and Britain’s longtime support of Kagame, and, of course, the 38 slavishly follow the same apologetic silence on this matter.

The 38 attempt to support their belief in “Hutu Power” responsibility for the shoot-down by claiming that this “carefully planned genocide” was followed immediately  by “roadblocks . . . all over Kigali” and a rapid targeting of Rwanda’s political opposition, which was allegedly opposed to Habyarimana because they feared power sharing with the RPF under the Arusha Accords.24 This is what we might call streaming lies.  As we feature in our recently published book, Enduring Lies: The Rwandan Genocide in the Propaganda System, 20 Years Later, even the U.S.- and U.K.-vetted ICTR uniformly rejects the charge that Hutu political and military figures engaged in a “conspiracy to commit genocide” against the country’s minority Tutsi population prior to the April 6, 1994 shoot-down of the Habyarimana jet. 25  But this has never prevented Linda Melvern and the open letter’s co-signers Roméo Dallaire, Gregory Stanton, Gerald Caplan, Frank Chalk, George Monbiot, Andrew Wallis, et al., from repeatedly asserting that such a conspiracy was fairly adjudicated and determined to be real by the ICTR’s trial and appeals chambers, and this repetition of the “conspiracy to commit genocide” fraud feeds into the lie stream here.

While Melvern and the other 37 claim a readiness to spring into action by the alleged “Hutu Power” conspirators as of April 6, the fact of the matter is that the Hutu military and political leadership was completely unprepared for the post-assassination crisis, the Armed Forces of Rwanda (FAR) were in immediate retreat from the advances of the vastly militarily superior RPF, and were unable to prevent Rwanda from being conquered by the RPF in less than 100 days — let alone putting a stop to localized killing sprees.  By contrast, Kagame’s RPF — including armed RPF cells in hiding across the country — was ready to initiate a military offensive at the moment that the shoot-down of Habyarimana’s jet was confirmed.  The further lie by the 38 is that the Hutu conspirators carried out their nefarious plans because they feared power-sharing with the RPF and the loss of privileges this would have entailed.  But as Bruguière and many others have pointed out, it was Kagame and his RPF that was confronted with losing everything via the free and fair elections scheduled by the Arusha Accords, given the ethnic voting blocks that had prevailed in Rwanda for decades.

The 38 contest the finding of University of Michigan academics Christian Davenport and Allan Stam that more Hutus than Tutsi were killed in Rwanda in 1994, but they refute it solely by mentioning “eye-witness testimony” and by listing the names of alleged research reports by Amnesty International, UNICEF, and others, while failing to cite any specific findings of estimated numbers killed and the ethnic composition of the deaths.  The 38 also resort to the conventional accusatory tactic of charging Davenport and Stam with “attempts to minimize the number of Tutsi murdered, a typical tactic of genocide deniers” — when the going gets tough, sling mud.

Davenport and Stam use an aggregating methodology that we find logical and plausible in dealing with a very confusing environment — working from data estimating total pre-April 6, 1994 Tutsi and Hutu members of the population, and post-July 1994 numbers of Tutsi survivors.  We use a similar method in Enduring Lies, taking Rwanda census data breakdowns of Tutsi and Hutu numbers as of August 1991, and post-July 1994 estimates of Tutsi survivors ranging from 300,000 to 400,000.  Without going into too many details here, we found that, for example, on the assumption of 800,000 total deaths for the period April through July, 1994, plausible estimates of Hutu and Tutsi deaths ranged from between 100,000 and 200,000 Tutsi deaths, and between 600,000 and 700,000 Hutu deaths. 26  We also show, again relying on the logic of Davenport and Stam’s method, the crucial lesson that (quoting from our book) “the greater the total number of deaths, the greater the number of Hutu deaths overall, and the greater the percentage comprised of Hutu.”27

Hence, the following crucial exchange between Corbin and Stam (30:31):

Allan Stam: If a million people died in Rwanda in 1994 — and that’s certainly possible — there is no way that the majority of them could be Tutsi.

Jane Corbin: How do you know that?

Allan Stam: Because there weren’t enough Tutsi in the country.

Jane Corbin: The academics calculated there had been 500,000 Tutsis before the conflict in Rwanda; 300,000 survived.  This led them to their final controversial conclusion.

Allan Stam: If a million Rwandans died, and 200,000 of them were Tutsi, that means 800,000 of them were Hutu.

Jane Corbin: That’s completely the opposite of what the world believes happened in the Rwandan genocide.

Allan Stam: What the world believes, and what actually happened, are quite different.

Notice the conditional “if” with which Stam begins his explanation.  He could have stated “If 500,000 people died,” or “If 2 million people died,” and their method would have generated different results.  It is also notable that the 38 dismiss Davenport and Stam simply as academics who “worked for a team of lawyers defending the génocidaires at the ICTR.”  In fact, Davenport and Stam started work in Rwanda under the auspices of the U.S. Agency for International Development, and at one time Stam served in the U.S. Army Special Forces.  And the defense counsels before the ICTR often were defending clients eventually found to be innocent of all charges, but here the same clients are found guilty in advance by the 38, who call all of them “génocidaires” and would presumably deny them the right to defend themselves.

The 38 are also pained by the BBC 2’s raising doubts over whether Paul Kagame’s RPF stopped the genocide.  They quote Lieut.-General Roméo Dallaire, the Canadian force commander of UNAMIR, as the “authority on this subject.”  “Dallaire is categorical,” the 38 write.  “‘The genocide was stopped because the RPF won and stopped it’, he says.” 28 This is actually a bit ambiguous because the mass killings could have stopped because the powerful army then conquering Rwanda — the RPF — had won its war and could itself stop doing the killing.  We have elsewhere cited the report by Robert Gersony to the United Nations claiming that in several of Rwanda’s southern prefectures he found an “unmistakable pattern” of “systematic and sustained killing and persecution of their civilian Hutu populations by the RPF,” with between 5,000 and 10,000 Hutu killed per month. 29 We should also note that Dallaire is hardly a neutral observer on the recent history of Rwanda, and, in fact, is one of the 38 signatories to the letter to the BBC which, as we are showing throughout, is error-laden and biased.  We may also point out that there are not one but two Dallaires — one in his term as force commander of UNAMIR (1993-1994), and the other subsequently acting as a spokesperson for the standard model of the “Rwandan genocide” and an apologist for Kagame Power (1995-).  In the earlier role, while biased in favor of the RPF, he at least could recognize and acknowledge the relative weakness and demoralization of the Forces Armées Rwandaises (FAR, the then national army of Rwanda) and the military superiority and readiness of the RPF; about the RPF, Dallaire had reported to the United Nations as early as September 1993 that it “displayed the potential to easily defeat the [FAR].” 30

The 38 devote considerable space to charging the BBC 2 documentary’s producers and guests with “genocide denial,” which they describe as the “final stage” of genocide that “ensures that the crime continues.  It incites new killing.”  Recall that, after conquering Rwanda in 1994, Kagame invaded Zaire-DRC two years later, with estimated subsequent killings there running into the millions.  This was not a result of any “genocide denial,” it was justified on the basis of the need to clean out the “génocidaires.”  That is, the new killings were built on the claim of a Hutu genocide of Tutsis that required what turned out to be large-scale massacres of an allegedly genocidal Hutu population that had fled to Zaire-DRC.  If the Hutus were the primary victims in 1994, and the April 6, 1994 assassination of President Habyarimana was attributable to Kagame, both of which we believe to be true, these extended killings in Zaire-DRC would be harder to rationalize.  By misrepresenting the reality of that history, the 38 help justify this further and larger genocide.

Concluding Note: Many Untold Stories

So, in fact, the 38’s cry of the immorality of “genocide denial” provides a dishonest cover for Paul Kagame’s crimes in 1994 and for his even larger crimes in Zaire-DRC.  The 38 thus belong to a sizable contingent of apologists for Kagame Power, who now and in years past have served as intellectual enforcers of an RPF and U.S.-U.K.-Canadian party line.  We may note here the amazing claim by the 38 that the events of 1994 “should be treated by all concerned with the utmost intellectual honesty and rigour.”  Their own violation of this appeal in their open letter is both systematic and comprehensive.

We have seen that the 38 have a penchant for slander as well as straightforward misrepresentation.  It is for committing the grave intellectual and moral crime of providing an alternative but, we believe, entirely credible and evidence-based reinterpretations of what really happened in Rwanda in 1994 that the 38 would like Rwanda’s Untold Story expunged from the BBC archives and its production team sent to the woodshed.

  1. Jane Corbin and John Conroy, Rwanda’s Untold Story, BBC 2, October 1, 2014.  Whenever we cite the time-stamp for something that we take from the documentary (e.g., 51:19), we are referring to the copy of the documentary as posted to the Vimeo website.
  2. In Rwanda’s Untold Story, the term “genocide” is used repeatedly but without hardly any definition or explanation as to what it means.  By all appearances, however, the term refers to an alleged Hutu conspiracy to commit genocide against Rwanda’s Tutsi minority 2, as well as to the execution of this alleged conspiracy during the period from April through July 1994.  Thus at one point Jane Corbin, the documentary’s presenter, describes “the genocide” as “the killing of a million people in three months” (13:59).  And immediately thereafter, she adds that once the assassination of Habyarimana had occurred, “It quickly became part of the accepted story that extremist Hutus shot down the plane.  They wanted to unleash a wave of ethnic killing and rid the country of its Tutsis” (14:09).
  3. For some of Christian Davenport and Allan Stam’s relevant work, see Rwandan Political Violence in Space and Time, unpublished manuscript, 2004, especially pp. 27-33.  Also see their website, Understanding Rwandan Political Violence in 1994, GenoDynamics.  And see their “What Really Happened in Rwanda?Miller-McCune, October 6, 2009:
  4. Linda Melvern et al., “Rwanda’s Untold Story: Letter to the Director-General of the BBC October 12, 2014″
  5. Filip Reyntjens, Political Governance in Post-Genocide Rwanda (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013), Ch. 5, “Dealing with the World and the Region,” pp. 124-162; especially the section “Dealing with Critical Voices,” pp. 127-134.
  6. Jailed Rwanda Opposition Figure Lodges Complaint with African Court,” Agence France Presse, October 24, 2014.  Also see Rwanda: Eight-Year Sentence for Opposition Leader, Human Rights Watch, October 30, 2012.
  7. Jason K. Stearns, Dancing in the Glory of Monsters: The Collapse of the Congo and the Great War of Africa (New York: Public Affairs, 2011), p. 77.
  8. Report of the Mapping Exercise  documenting the most serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law committed within the territory of the Democratic Republic of the Congo between March 1993 and June 2003, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, August. 2010, esp. para. 500-522.  Therein, we read that the RPF and its proxy forces had carried out “systematic and widespread … attacks, which targeted very large numbers of Rwandan Hutu refugees and members of the Hutu civilian population, resulting in their death.”  Such attacks, the report continues, “reveal a number of damning elements that, if they were proven before a competent court, could be classified crimes of genocide” (para. 515).
  9. Claudine Oosterlinck et al, Rapport d’Expertise: Destruction en Vol du Falcon 50 — Kigali (Rwanda), Cour d’Appel de Paris, Tribunal de Grande Instance Paris, Instruction n. 2272/00/13&1314 — Parquet n.  9729523030, January 5, 2012.
  10. Google map of the Kilagi International Airport and the territory which surrounds it.  Immediately south of the airport’s runway are the Kanombe military barracks; much farther to the southeast of the airport’s runway and the Kanombe barracks is the topographic representation of Masaka Hill.  According to the analyses of the “experts” released by Trévidic and Poux in January, 2012, all of these locations fall within the range of possible firing sites for the missiles that shot-down the presidential jet on April 6, 1994.
  11. Barrie Collins, “Shooting Down the ‘Truth’ about Rwanda,” Spiked Online, April 16, 2012.
  12. Abdul Joshua Ruzibiza, Rwanda, L’histoire secrète (Paris: Editions du Panama, 2005).
  13. Audition sur Commission Rogatoire Internationale, Joshua Ruzibiza, Devant nous, le mardi 15 juin 2010. … Commissaire de Police Havard AALMO du Kripos, en exécution d’un demande d’entraide pénale de la France en date du 15 décembre 2009 (Numéro du dossier en Norvège: 8911179) a comparu: Joshua RUZIBIZA.
  14. See the statement titled “Testimony of Abdul Ruzibiza about How Mistakes by both the Rwandan Government and the RPF Led to the Rwandan Genocide of 1994,” as posted to the Hungry for Truth, Peace, and Justice blog on January 9, 2009, specifically the section titled “LAST PHASE: The Assassination of President Habyarimana on April 6, 1994,” para. 5.
  15. Al Goodman, “Spanish Judge Indicts 40 Rwandan Military Officers for Genocide,”,February 6, 2008
  16. Judge Jean-Louis Bruguière, Request for the Issuance of International Arrest Warrants, Tribunal de Grande Instance, Paris, France, November 21, 2006, p. 11.  The nine RPF figures indicted by Bruguière were: James Kabarebe, Kayumba Nyamwasa, Charles Kayonga, Jack Nziza, Samuel Kanyemere, Rose Kabuye, Jacob Tumwine, Frank Nziza, and Eric Hakizamana (pp. 46-48).  Paul Kagame, notably absent from this list of indictees, “enjoys the immunity granted in France to incumbent Heads of State and therefore cannot be prosecuted within the framework of this proceeding” (p. 46).
  17. Ibid., p. 12.  As the Bruguière report puts it: “[D]ue to the numerical inferiority of the Tutsi electorate, the political balance of power did not allow [Kagame] to win elections on the basis of the political process set forth by the Arusha Agreements without the support of the opposition parties. … [I]n Paul Kagame’s mind, the physical elimination of President Habyarimana became imperative as early as October 1993 as the sole way of achieving his political aims.”
  18. For copies of documents related to Michael Hourigan’s experience as the head of the National Investigative Team on behalf of the Office of the Prosecutor at the ICTR, see Annexe 49 : Le rapport de Michaël Hourigan, enquêteur du TPIR, à la procureure Louise Arbour sur l’attentat du 6 avril 1994 (janvier 1997).  This PDF reproduces partially redacted copies of Hourigan’s original 1997 memorandum to Louise Arbour (pp. 2-5); an August 1, 1997 confidential note in which Hourigan assesses his experiences as the head of the National Team (pp. 6-8); a February 7, 2007 report about Michael Hourigan written by Nick McKenzie for The Age (Australia) (pp. 9-13); and the November 27, 2006 Affidavit of Michael Andrew Hourigan used by defense attorneys before the ICTR (pp. 14-20).
  19. The one exception to the Hutu-only rule at the ICTR was the December 1998 indictment of Georges Henri Yvon Joseph Ruggiu, a Belgian national who had moved to Rwanda, and later became one of Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines on-air personalities both before and during the RPF’s final offensive in 1994.  Eventually, Ruggui pled guilty to “incitement” related charges.  See Judge Navanethem Pillay et al., Judgment, The Prosecutor v. George Ruggui, Case No. ICTR-97-32-I, June 1, 2000
  20. Linda Melvern, “Expert Refutes Bruguiere Claims,” All Africa, November 27, 2006.
  21. Linda Melvern, “The Perfect Crime“, Prospect, January 31, 2008.
  22. Peter Erlinder, The Accidental . . . Genocide (St. Paul, MN: International Humanitarian Law Institute, 2013), n. 49, p. 25.
  23. Reyntjens, Political Governance in Post-Genocide Rwanda, “The RPF Challenged from Within,” pp. 85-96
  24. Here we are referring to the Peace Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Rwanda and the Rwandese Patriotic Front, signed at Arusha, Tanzania, on August 4, 1993, U.N. General Assembly (A/48/824-S/26915), December 23, 1993, specifically the two Protocols of Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Rwanda and the Rwandese Patriotic Front on Power-Sharing within the Framework of a Broad-Based Transitional Government, October 30, 1992, and January 9, 1993, pp. 22-58.
  25. See Herman and Peterson, Enduring Lies, Sect. 7, “The Alleged Hutu ‘Conspiracy to Commit Genocide’ That Never Was,” pp. 43-46; and Appendix I, pp. 78-82.
  26. Ibid., Sect. 4, “The ‘Rwandan Genocide’ by the Numbers,” pp. 32-35.
  27. Ibid., p. 34. []
  28. Here we note that this quote attributed to Roméo Dallaire by the 38 does not derive from the documentary.
  29. Robert Gersony, “Summary of UNHCR Presentation Before Commission of Experts,” October 11, 1994, pp. 4-8.  Gersony had been dispatched to Rwanda on behalf of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees’ Emergency Repatriation Team, and he reported to the UN Commission of Experts in October 1994.
  30. Report of the Secretary-General on Rwanda (S/26488), September 24, 1993.  Dallaire’s Reconnaissance Mission Report was circulated among members of the UN Security Council as an appendix to S/26488, but since it was classified for “UN Eyes Only,” it was not made publicly available at the time.  For a copy of Dallaire’s Report, see Peter Erlinder, ed., Report of the UN Reconnaissance Mission to Rwanda — August 1993 (Saint Paul, MN: International Humanitarian Law Institute, 2011), here para. 67, p. 40.

Edward S. Herman is professor emeritus of finance at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and has written extensively on economics, political economy, and the media. David Peterson is an independent journalist and researcher based in Chicago.

November 4, 2014 Posted by | Book Review, Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, False Flag Terrorism | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

I have no idea why The USA is so keen on signing Free Trade Agreements (FTA) with other countries

Inca Kola News | November 3, 2014

Not a clue.

Data from here.

November 4, 2014 Posted by | Economics | , , | 3 Comments

Haiti: Protest Leaders Arrested After Marches

Weekly News Update on the Americas | November 3, 2014

Two Haitian human rights groups, the Haitian Platform of Human Rights Organizations (POHDH) and the National Human Rights Defense Network (RNDDH), issued a joint statement on Oct. 27 demanding “the release of the political prisoners and the demonstrators arrested illegally” by the government of President Michel Martelly in recent weeks. Police agents arrested 18 demonstrators in Port-au-Prince on Oct. 17 during a march protesting government policies and marking the 208th anniversary of revolutionary hero Jean-Jacques Dessalines’ assassination; the police dispersed the demonstration with tear gas and gunshots. After an Oct. 26 march protesting the government’s failure to hold partial legislative elections on that date, the authorities arrested Rony Timothée and Byron Odigé, two leaders in the Patriotic Force for Respect for the Constitution (FOPARC), which backs the Family Lavalas (FL) party of former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide (1991-1996, 2001-2004). In addition to the 20 arrests in Port-au-Prince, police detained three demonstrators in the city of Les Cayes, South department, on Oct. 12 during a protest demanding electricity.

The two human rights groups indicated that the detainees were arrested for their political positions. The government failed to meet the requirement to question the detainees within 24 hours, the groups said, and they expressed astonishment that “accusations of incitation to violence and destruction could be made against demonstrators and opposition activists when no flagrant crime had taken place.” Timothée and Odigé were also arrested in May, on similar charges, but a judge ordered their release a few weeks later [see Update #1224]. On Oct. 30 demonstrators protested the arrests with a march to the prison in Carrefour, on Port-au-Prince’s southwest outskirts, where Timothée and Odigé were thought to be held. A large police group was on hand, backed up by a truck equipped with a water cannon; stores quickly closed, and mothers reportedly snatched children from schools so that they wouldn’t be exposed to tear gas, but the protest ended without any major confrontations. (AlterPresse (Haiti) 10/29/14, 10/31/14)

November 4, 2014 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Solidarity and Activism | , | Comments Off on Haiti: Protest Leaders Arrested After Marches