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Rwanda Leader Sees Logic of Iraq War Without U.N.
abcnews.com ^ | March 8, 2003 | By Adam Tanne

Posted on 03/08/2003 1:09:46 PM PST by debg

Rwandan President Paul Kagame, whose nation saw 800,000 people slaughtered in a 1994 genocide, said on Saturday that nations must sometimes intervene militarily even if the United Nations disagrees.

In an interview with Reuters, Kagame drew on Rwanda's experience as an example of what not to do as countries consider whether to wage war on Iraq.

"They should act when they are right to act because the Security Council can be wrong. It was wrong in Rwanda," said Kagame, a tall, lanky man whose straightforward, mild manner belies his status as a powerful national leader who spent years as a guerrilla fighter.

"The Security Council was wrong in Rwanda, about the genocide, and we lost one million people," he said at a downtown San Francisco hotel.

"I do not know whether you have to wait until Kuwait is taken over by Iraq or Saudi Arabia is overrun by Iraq in order to act," he added.

The United States, Britain and Spain have proposed a new U.N. resolution that sets a March 17 ultimatum for Iraq to comply fully with disarmament demands or face a possible war. But France and other veto-wielding Security Council members oppose the measure.

Kagame, who lived most of his life in Uganda, founded the Rwandan Patriotic Front and entered Rwanda in 1990 to fight the Hutu government. He became vice president in 1994 after a genocide in which extremist Hutus killed some 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus.

"Even if there was a resolution telling me not to fight to save my people, I would have simply ignored them, yes, because they were wrong and did not know what was happening," he said. "For me, saving my people outweighs simple obedience to a wrong Security Council."

President Bush has defended a possible war by warning of future Iraqi military attacks, adding the "price of doing nothing exceeds the price of war."

Kagame remains bitter that the United Nations did not stop the bloodshed in Rwanda in 1994.

"In the case of Rwanda, very clearly I think it was sheer failure of the international community," he told Reuters. "It was a terrible failure indeed."

"Even after failing to prevent it, what excuse is there that even when it was happening they failed to do something to stop it?"

"You might avoid war and have a worse situation," he said. "That is why I was giving a comparison with our case. People avoided a war or doing very much and it ended up with a genocide."


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: rwanda; un

1 posted on 03/08/2003 1:09:46 PM PST by debg
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To: debg
Here's a voice that knows how useless the UN is.
2 posted on 03/08/2003 1:12:38 PM PST by MEG33
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To: debg
a very interesting and valuable perspective. yes, the SC can indeed be wrong. Thx.
3 posted on 03/08/2003 1:12:54 PM PST by Paul_B
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To: debg
Kagame remains bitter that the United Nations did not stop the bloodshed in Rwanda in 1994.

Kagame has every right to bitter...the UN stood by and watched 800,000 people be slaughtered in 100-days, by people armed with nothing more than hand guns and machetes. More of the Clinton legacy.
He is correct that sometimes it is necessary to lead, and ignore the irrelevant United Nations.

4 posted on 03/08/2003 1:17:13 PM PST by Cuttnhorse
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To: MEG33
It's sad that he had to experience what he has to find out how useless the UN really is.
5 posted on 03/08/2003 1:17:43 PM PST by ItisaReligionofPeace ((the original))
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To: debg
"The Security Council was wrong in Rwanda, about the genocide, and we lost one million people," he said at a downtown San Francisco hotel.

I guess we can figure out where France was on the Rwanda matter. We know where "Mr. Foreign Policy," Bill Clinton, was: getting a polish on his Woodrow.

6 posted on 03/08/2003 1:18:25 PM PST by SpinyNorman
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To: debg
I have a feeling that Rwanda is going to be more important to us than before. (after all, Africa is quite the central place - if you're going to erode France's influence) And more important than 4th tier nations like Belgium and France.

And I have a feeling that their comments are not motivated by a desire to suck up. Which is why I think they'll soon see concrete and significant expressions of our gratitude.
7 posted on 03/08/2003 1:22:53 PM PST by Republicanus_Tyrannus
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To: MEG33
"You might avoid war and have a worse situation," he said. "That is why I was giving a comparison with our case. People avoided a war or doing very much and it ended up with a genocide."

Nothing more needs to be said.

A_R

8 posted on 03/08/2003 1:23:02 PM PST by arkady_renko
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To: arkady_renko
Nothing more needs to be said.

Uggh, not exactly. One more thing that needs to be said:

Kagame forgot to mention the two countries involved in the Rwanda genocide: France and Belgium; including French efforts to save the former Hutu leaders.

9 posted on 03/08/2003 2:10:11 PM PST by mvonfr
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To: MEG33
There was a United Nations "Peacekeeping" mission in Rwanda at the time, consisting of Belgian soldiers. Some Belgian soldiers were actually taken, tortured and killed before the UN Commander's eyes, while he was prohibited by New York (Kofi Annan was head of Peackeeping) from interfering. Some years later, six thousand civilians were massacred while in the care of Dutch UN "Peacekeepers" in Kosovo. A short time before, UN Peacekeeping personnel had been manacled to lamposts in Sarajevo while their armored vehicle parks were looted of arms and ammo. The UN General Janvier would appear at a balcony at whiles to plead for "peace" and was praised by the press for his courage. More recently, Indonesian militiamen besieged a UN compound in Timor (before the Australian troops arrived) and hacked people to death right outside the gates, in full view of television cameras. The UN mission chief, formerly of Amnesty International, sat in a daze inside his compound making pleas for "peace".

The Europeans wonder why the US isn't afraid of a Belgian "World Court"; or why it doesn't tremble before the UN. But then, if poverty stricken African colonels, fat Indonesian generals and wiley Serbs can safely ignore the UN, why should the UN believe that the most powerful nation on earth would quake before them? They are getting the respect they deserve.
10 posted on 03/08/2003 2:14:51 PM PST by wretchard
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To: MEG33
Major BUMP
11 posted on 03/08/2003 2:23:32 PM PST by KaiserofKrunch
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To: wretchard
Thank you for posting this. I remember ..I don't want to because I remember the horrific details.
12 posted on 03/08/2003 2:35:23 PM PST by MEG33
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To: mvonfr
Excellent!

France even had para troopers in country and did nothing to stop the genocide!!!!!!!

13 posted on 03/08/2003 9:46:46 PM PST by Kay Soze (F - France and Germany - They are my Nation's and my Family's enemies.)
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To: debg
His voice is a shining light. My God, CNN should be interviewing this man instead of women who strip against war.
14 posted on 03/08/2003 9:48:15 PM PST by Porterville (Screw the grammar, full posting ahead.)
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To: debg
Where were the worlds protestors when this happened?
15 posted on 03/08/2003 9:50:19 PM PST by Kay Soze (F - France and Germany - They are my Nation's and my Family's enemies.)
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To: Kay Soze
France was involved in training the butchers and would invite them to Paris.

Check out this post. http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/842957/posts

16 posted on 03/08/2003 9:51:32 PM PST by Porterville (Screw the grammar, full posting ahead.)
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To: debg
Our First Black President let them all die.
17 posted on 03/08/2003 9:52:46 PM PST by Consort
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To: debg
The man knows of what he speaks. Right on brother freedom.
18 posted on 03/08/2003 9:53:31 PM PST by jwalsh07
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To: debg
Maybe this guy will take over France.
19 posted on 03/08/2003 9:53:47 PM PST by twntaipan (Defend American Liberty: Defeat a demoncRAT!)
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To: mhking
FYI.
20 posted on 03/08/2003 9:54:16 PM PST by jwalsh07
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To: wretchard
Great Post

I remeber Srebrenica.

I also remember the UN Uniformed killers of two Isralies.
The video tape of which the UN had and denied.


21 posted on 03/08/2003 9:55:47 PM PST by Kay Soze (F - France and Germany - They are my Nation's and my Family's enemies.)
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To: debg
President Paul Kagame experenced the horror of genocide and feckless, cynical behavior of the UN (and God forgive us the Rapist Clinton)and recognizes what is at stake here. Same thing with the Eastern Europeans recently liberated from communism.

Bush & Blair will do what's right.
22 posted on 03/08/2003 10:17:14 PM PST by Leto
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