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Posts by sjy

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  • Global Warming Skeptic Predicts Brutal Winter, Warns “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet”

  • Maclean's accused of slandering Quebec (Canada's most corrupt province)

    12/19/2010 6:35:25 PM PST · 17 of 18
    sjy to headsonpikes
    OTOH, some of the commenters on those links make the very good point that the corrupt Quebec politicians are notably federalists.

    that's exactly right. And the current staunchly federalist govt in Québec, that of M. Charest, refuses to lauch a commission of inquiry into corruption in the construction industry, over the objections of most of the population, the police commissioners, the opposition parties, and - would you believe - the FTQ. None of which will ever cause Macleans nor the rest of the English Canadian media to make the elementary connection here. In the next Québec election, they'll all plump for M. Charest's party, as they will for his federalist option in the next referendum.

    Vive le Québec libre

  • UN Tribunal Selects Anti-Serbian Lawyer to "Defend" Radovan Karadzic

    01/18/2010 9:23:16 PM PST · 10 of 10
    sjy to Ravnagora; getoffmylawn
    I guess you know Ravnagora that this imposition of counsel thing is somewhat a replay of the Milosevic case. A much more able analyst than Wilcoxson of this whole affair comments on the matter here (NB the "moving target" nature of the rule system, viz. if it's against our own rules, we'll improvise new ones):

    In September, the Trial Chamber imposed counsel against the clear wishes of the defendant, a practice described by the United States Supreme Court as having been largely abandoned since the unlamented late 16th and early 17th century Star Chamber, an executive entity infamous for trying political cases. The Chamber’s decision to impose counsel with broad powers to determine the strategy of the defense created a crisis, as defense witnesses refused to cooperate with imposed counsel Steven Kay and Gillian Higgins, previously ICTY-appointed amici curiae (friends of the court), thrust upon Slobodan Milosevic as defense advocates, oblivious to the fact that they’d been parties in the proceedings for over two years, and that this created-- at minimum-- an apparent conflict of interest. Mr. Kay complained bitterly, and publicly, about the non-cooperation of the defense witnesses (the Chamber had received Slobodan Milosevic’s list of witnesses when they imposed counsel), and complained of Milosevic’s lack of cooperation as well, as the proceedings came to a virtual standstill with a mere trickle of witnesses making the trip to testify in The Hague.

    The imposition of counsel upon an unwilling accused-- in clear violation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which provides for the minimum fundamental right to defend oneself in person-- was approved, as a matter of law, by the Appeals Chamber (the initial imposition was appealed against by Mr. Kay and Ms. Higgins) last November. The ruling reduced this right-- which is guaranteed by the ICTY’s own Statute as a minimum fundamental right-- to the rank of a mere "presumption". In so doing, the ICTY’s President, American Theodor Meron, stated that all the "minimum" fundamental rights afforded to the accused by the ICTY’s Statute (which were imported, almost verbatim, from the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, leaving out only—inexplicably-- the Covenant’s provision of the right to be tried by an independent, impartial, and competent court) were "at a par" with the right to represent oneself in person. In other words, the right for a defendant to represent himself is just a "presumption" as are all the other basic, fundamental, internationally recognized, minimal trial rights provided by the ICTY’s Statute, such as the right to know the nature of the charge, the right to remain silent, the right to present evidence in the same conditions as the Prosecutor, the right to an interpreter, and the right to be tried in one’s own presence. In fact, they are all stripped of their essence as rights. The ad hoc international legal order holds them to be mere "presumptions" to be violated at the discretion of a trial chamber when expedient, or "justified".

    There's an interview here with one of Karadzic's legal advisors on Canadian campus radio:

    The attorney's website on Karadzic is here (the Holbrooke docs are particularly interesting. Wonder how they'll stickhandle that one. A wild guess: by doing whatever they want?):

  • Bosnia war death toll put at less than 150,000

    01/20/2005 8:48:06 AM PST · 6 of 7
    sjy to Jane_N; getoffmylawn
    Interesting that the "whittled down" figure of 80,000 fatalities falls into the very range which George Kenney, Srdja Trifkovic, David Binder and others, drawing upon sources including the State Dept and British intelligence, suggested back in the 90's, and which were trashed in this forum and widely elsewhere as pro-Serb apologetics.

    "Statistics of atrocities and war casualties in Bosnia, and later in Kosovo, remain difficult to substantiate. However, figures reported by Bosnia's State Health Protection Office (under the Muslim-controlled government) were almost identical to those published by the Belgrade-controlled media and showed that the Muslim and Serb populations suffered, proportionately, equally heavily: 7.4% of the pre-war population of Muslims and 7.1% of the Serbs in Bosnia were killed or went missing during the period 1992 to 1995 (the comparable Croat percentage was 3.5). Muslim sources put the total casualties at 278,000 killed or missing, including 140,800 Muslims, 97,300 Serbs, and 28,400 Croats--reflecting the larger size of the Muslim population in Bosnia."

    John Lampe (Yugoslavia as History ) puts the Muslim share of fatalities/missing at 50%, the Serb share at 30-35%, and "the rest" forming the Croat share. Based on the 1991 census giving the Serb and Muslim percentages of the population at 31% and 44% respectively, this suggests roughly proportionate suffering and losses in the two communities. But even if, in the final reckoning, a significant disproportionality of suffering is demonstrated, I question the motives of those in the Bosnia Lobby, or the "Bosnia Cult" as I believe Diana Johnstone put it, to try to use such number-crunching as the basis for claiming a "just war," or to back the phony thesis of a war of aggression rather than a civil war.

    This article is worth a look, imo, notwithstanding the author's past association with the ICTY. The explanation of how the UN's methodology was politicized from the start is very convincing:

  • We bombed the wrong side?

    04/22/2004 7:06:41 PM PDT · 132 of 137
    sjy to All
    The BSA could never have "overrun, seized, or captured" 70 percent of the country as Bosniac government verbal gimmicks state. While they controlled 70 percent of the territory during much of this conflict, the BSA certainly did not possess the military manpower to overrun, seize, or capture it. The media and PR firms employ these inflammatory words only to obfuscate the pre-war situation. Due to their agrarian way of life, the Serbs formed a plurality in 64 percent of the territory at the beginning of the war while the more urbane Muslim business-oriented people resided in the cities.14

    Footnote 14: See, for example, the "Ethnic Majorities" maps in The Former Yugoslavia: A Map Folio, Central Intelligence Agency, CPAS 93-10003, April 1993, p.3

    viz. a wartime CIA map but using antebellum data from the '91 census, to be precise.


  • We bombed the wrong side?

    04/22/2004 6:11:52 PM PDT · 128 of 137
    sjy to Hoplite
    how fortunate that you can save us all some time and transpose this map showing majorities/pluralities by opstina in the '91 census onto the map of present-day Bosnia showing the borders of Republika Srpska and see for yourself how well your thesis of one-sided ethnic cleansing by Serbs is supported. Then transpose it onto the map on page 209 of Judah, op. cit., and see whether Boyd's claim about "most" of Serb-held land in '95 is supported.

    How unfortunate for you that Dallaire is still capable of speech and still given to write. As the French would say, "A suivre..."

  • We bombed the wrong side?

    04/22/2004 4:39:26 PM PDT · 126 of 137
    sjy to Hoplite
    Been there and done that hl. Private land ownership is no conclusive indicator of demographic distribution for reasons that are self evident. It was a 1990’s vintage antebellum CIA factbook which depicted Serbs as having a demographic plurality on 64% of Bosnia’s territory, which is why, when deriding “dupes” of the Serbs, you have to cast the net so wide.

    Funny you should link to David Rieff in Foreign Affairs and his “correction” of Boyd. It was Rieff who, scarcely a year into the war, began speaking of 200,000-> a quarter of a million fatalities on the Bosnian gov’t side alone, taking his acritical cue from the Bosnian gov’t, who’d rifled up the fatality estimate about tenfold within the space of weeks without publicly disclosing a scintilla of proof. How fitting then for Rieff to be counseling others about care with facts. Oh yes, Mr. Rieff, let’s all be careful, shall we? Did it cross your mind that the highball CIA estimate to which you make reference accords more with those of Boyd and Kenney than it does with Rieff’s and Siladzic’s apocryphal utterances from early in the war? And how fitting also that you dismiss the USIA study, I gather on the grounds that Serbs are genetically wired to lie and exaggerate, unlike all the study’s other participants?

    Funny you should cart out Tim Judah also. Cast a glance if you will at page 159 of his book, The Serbs: History, Myth, and the Destruction of Yugoslavia (New Haven: Yale Univ. Press, 1997) and the ethnographic map entitled “1991: Ethnic Yugoslavia Before the War.” NB the small and decidedly minoritarian portion of Bosnia shaded as having a Bosniac Muslim plurality or majority, and the much larger area shaded as having a Serb plurality or majority, but most importantly the quite large area shown in plain white where “others” (viz., groups other than Serbs/Croats/Muslims!) were a demographic plurality or majority. That “others” thus defined formed a plurality or majority in this large area is of course a mathematical impossibility – over the regions so designated obviously one of Serbs/Croats/Muslims were minimally a plurality, though Judah doesn’t tell us who they are. The political motivation for this fudging of the demographic reality, if it isn’t already obvious in this revisionist work, becomes obvious 50 pages later, in another map representing “maximum extent of Serb control, 1991-95”, with which, thanks to the willfully incomplete map of 50 pages earlier, we have no meaningful demographic baseline to compare. This is reaching deep into the dregs of Natophile advocacy journalism hl, but I’ll at least give Judah points for having the sophistication as a journeyman serbophobe to grasp that if you’re going to practise revisionism, you must extend it back decades to include the NDH Holocaust perpetrated against Serbs, which Judah does with alacrity, embracing the late revisionist demographer Zerjavic, an admirer of the négationniste Tudjman. Otherwise, Serbs would’ve been entitled to take the same umbrage to living under and pledging loyalty to the chequerboard flag as would Polish Jews to living under and pledging loyalty to the Swastika. And we can’t have that, of course.

    In the NYT Magazine in the spring of 1995 George Kenney estimated total fatalities on all sides in the Bosnian conflict at 25k-60k. At that time his sources in U.S. intelligence were putting the number in the “10’s of 1000’s” and British intelligence was putting the figure at 50-60k, thus highballing in the same vicinity as Kenney interestingly enough. Perhaps this has less to do with a “rude comedy” on Kenney’s part than with the fact that unlike you in your last post, he was situating events on a temporal axis, and these estimates of his were published months before both the “fall” of Srebrenica and the large-scale co-ordinated offensives by the Croatian and Bosniac armies against Serb-inhabited areas of Croatia and Bosnia enjoying massive NATO/US air support. It’s not entirely balmy to surmise that these operations may have claimed as many if not more Serb lives than lives from any other group. Which brings us to Binder’s post-war reckoning based on comparing fatality figures across humanitarian organizations, yielding a total of less than 70k. It’s interesting how this figure meshes plausibly with both Kenney’s and UK intelligence estimates from spring ‘95, and also with Boyd’s and how different researchers, in a different space of time and using different sources and methods, arrived at such similar findings. And it’s interesting to compare their methods to yours, which consist of announcing a priori the only “correct” and “serious” verdict on the matter permitted to freepers and then string-searching your way to the appropriate footnotes, using such unassailably above-the-fray sources as the Bosnian Congress USA and their pal Dr. Francis Boyle, and Mr. David Rieff of the American Committee to Save Bosnia. Yes, no parti pris “pressure groups” SVP. We’re trying to have a serious discussion here.

    You textbite for us from the UN Commission of Experts but spare us such trivia as their methodology, perhaps because to paraphrase a famous quote, this commission had “no methodology, only interests”. :

    International figures

    It is unsurprising that there are such vast discrepancies in the casualty figures cited by different sides in the war; however international sources on the numbers of victims in the war also vary greatly. The most commonly cited figure in the media is between 200,000 and 250,000 Bosnians killed, which the journalist Nick Gowing has traced back to Bosnian government officials. Whilst articles in the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) yearbooks contain the figures of 140,000 and 200,000 as the total number of Croats, Muslims and Serbs killed, research published in the SIPRI yearbooks suggests that between 30,000 to 50,000 have been killed (see SIPRI, 1995; 1996). The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the International Commission on Missing Persons believe there are currently about 20,000 missing persons according to the ICRC tracing requests, although in a press conference in Washington on 7 November 1997, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Senator Robert Dole, who heads the Commission, cited the figure of about 40,000 missing persons. The divergence of the figures reflects their status as estimates. There has been a lack of investigation to back up many of the figures cited. In fact, many of the figures contained in international reports are based on local sources and have not been independently verified.

    There has been uneven documentation of human rights abuses, which has been reflected in the major international reports. For example, the UN Commission of Experts, upon whose evidence the International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia was set up, did little independent research and only invited submissions and considered existing reports. Areas which have come under the spotlight of the international media and human rights organisations have received attention and witnesses have been sought and interviewed, whilst other areas ignored by the media and NGOs have been neglected.

    The earlier dominant position of the Serbs led to a view of the war as Serbian aggression and a tendency to overlook Serbian losses. There were heavier Croatian and Muslim losses in the earlier period of the war but as the Croatian and Bosnian armies became established they were able to inflict losses on the Serbs. However, the early view of the war has persisted.

    The international media coverage, mainly from one side in the conflict, has created a certain dynamic in that subsequent investigations chose their remit based on issues already being highlighted. For example, the remit of the EU Investigative Mission into the Treatment of Muslim Women in the Former Yugoslavia led by Dame Ann Warburton included investigations of Muslim and (unofficially) Croatian rape victims, but did not include Serbian women. The EU team was itself critical of this fact, but the limited scope of investigations was repeated in other international commissions looking into atrocities. For example, the International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia did not initially feel it needed to set up an investigation of crimes against the Serbs because its first field investigations were selected on the basis of the material and evidence of the UN Commission of Experts, which had not highlighted Serbian victims (see ICTY, 1994: 27-28).

    Most of the early international reports, for example the EU Mission report, based their estimates of victims on a limited number of interviews and domestic documentation. The conclusions of these international reports were then cited in local reports as further substantiated proof. During the war, there tended to be a circular substantiation of evidence and repetition of estimated figures rather than a scientific gathering of additional evidence through independent research.

    [emphasis added]


    Why MacKenzie wouldn’t be entitled to skepticism about the ’92 breadline massacre is a little unclear. Leaks to the press of allegedly classified UN reports to force commander Nambiar claimed to point to Bosnian gov’t complicity. Even Serb-basher journalist Carol Off acknowledges there’s no proof of Serb culpability- she just wants to believe it nonetheless. Markale I (’94) produced an initial verdict of: don’t know, with informants in the peacekeeping forces claiming it was an inside job, and Markale II (’95) a verdict of Serb responsibility over the strenuous objections of expert dissenters, as Binder pointed out. Then there’s the homicidal little show put on for Douglas Hurd’s visit in July 1992, and as witnessed at close hand and written about directly by Canadian peacekeepers, in which the Bosniac territorial defence force mortared and killed several of its own civilians. Skepticism about the official “conclusions” or to put it better, “non-conclusions” or “kaiboshed conclusions” is vastly better founded in these cases than is Dallaire’s risible lie, in print and unretracted to this day, about the assassination of the Rwandan and Burundian presidents by his pals in the RPA, operating a hit squad from territory for which Dallaire was directly responsible, being an “accident”. How long “after the fact” is this drunk entitled to that sickening charade, or does he just get a pass cuz he’s on the DL while MacKenzie’s still high-functioning? Not to mention his disgusting negligence in the death of the Belgian peacekeepers, about which the UN mission head of the time Jacques Roger Booh Booh has gone public in the European press.

    The question of who had the most guns at a given moment or who, in the final reckoning, lost the most lives in a conflict rarely tells us much about the inherent rightfulness or wrongfulness of the sides’ “causes” nor whether it’s a civil war or not, nor about the legitimacy of each side’s fears and concerns, unless we’re approaching the matter from the intellectual level of a nine-year-old. If you think sides getting outside sustenance in a civil war means it isn’t a civil war, then there’s a big set of civil war history books you’d have to rewrite, incl those about most of the civil wars recorded in Africa and Europe. Try Marx’s The Civil War in France for starters. John R. Lampe in Yugoslavia as History: Twice there was a Country (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2000), believes that of the war dead in Bosnia, about 50% were Muslims, and 30-35% Serbs. This would put Serb fatalities in a range proportionate or even disproportionate to their presence in the pre-war population, 31.4% by the ’91 census. But these figures aren’t definitive or the last word, since Lampe notes the no. of dead/displaced is still disputed, but seems to think the unproven Bosnian gov’t number “seems likely if we include the missing” which is open to endless interpretation, and esp since from very early on, as Pupavac points out, those among the “internationals” measuring victimhood and loss oriented their efforts overwhelmingly to the non-Serb side, since they were the designated good guys.

  • UN Finds Black Box Lost in Rwanda Genocide Probe

    04/15/2004 7:56:50 AM PDT · 11 of 11
    sjy to knak; All
    Interesting development. The report notes - barely - the finding of French magistrate J-L Bruguière's 6-yr criminal investigation, viz. that current president Paul Kagame and his Tutsi rebel army RPA were responsible for shooting down the aircraft carrying the then-Rwandan president in Apr 94, which "sparked" the slaughter of 800k until Kagame/RPA conquered power in the infamous "100 day genocide." And it alludes - barely - to the UN's "own investigation" into the downing of the plane.

    What it *doesn't* mention is that that investigation, begun under the aegis of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) was quashed and its findings suppressed when the lead investigator, former Australian crown prosecutor Michael Hourigan, made it clear that the evidence pointed to Kagame directly ordering an RPA assassination of the president. Hourigan quit in protest over the deliberate cover-up of his work (by the ICTR chief prosecutor at the time, Canadian judge Louise Arbour) which was clearly taking things in a direction which Kagame and his patron the Clinton Administration didn't want, and Hourigan and former high-ranking RPA informants who'd co-operated with the investigation - some of whom Kagame's had bumped off - then co-operated with Bruguière's inquiry, which arrived at the same conclusion as Hourigan, who'd worked with a veteran FBI investigator btw.

    Both the Clinton administration and Kagame's gov't blocked requests by other states to have an inquiry into the shooting down of the plane, which is odd behaviour considering that the assassination of 2 heads of state would quite normally occasion a criminal investigation. Safe to say that if assassins shot down a plane with Dubya and Vicente Fox aboard, the matter would be looked into, and promptly.

    As the noose of facts tightens around Kagame his PR situation becomes more desperate, and I notice that this wire report, in addition to airbrushing all the points I made above, includes Kagame's now ritual denunciation of Bruguière. The effect is to keep on life supports Kagame's tattered image as a Clinton-backed "liberation fighter" who bravely took out a French-backed tinpot régime. Both U.S. intelligence before the plane downing and RPA intelligence explicitly predicted that *if* the Rwandan president was assassinated, it would trigger ethnic violence leading to up to half a million deaths (declassified letter of Warren Christopher, among other docs).

    Kagame's also been feeling the squeeze over the data from UN rapporteurs and many observers on the ground about the 100's of 1000's of Rwandans (mostly Hutu) and millions of Congolese who've been snuffed since his RPA and the Ugandan army invaded Zaire/Congo with Clinton's backing. And Kagame has also denounced the report announced here, , and by his own admission, before even *reading* it.

    A most interesting development indeed. As the French would say, « A suivre ».


  • We bombed the wrong side?

    04/12/2004 7:55:49 PM PDT · 123 of 137
    sjy to swarthyguy
    I don't know what Nambiar had to say about the marketplace mortar bombings. But veteran NYT Balkans reporter David Binder, like MacKenzie, is still not prepared to relax the laws of physics, and remains convinced that "Markale I" and "Markale II", as he puts it, were inside jobs by Izetbegovic's boys. See his interview segments in the film "Yugoslavia: The Avoidable War" and also this piece in the Nation, put out just before the ink dried on Dayton:

  • We bombed the wrong side?

    04/12/2004 4:33:22 PM PDT · 122 of 137
    sjy to Hoplite
    Here’s some tables from the 1981 and 1991 census in Bosnia:

    Here are ethnographic maps based on the 1981 census:

    NB the relatively small ethnodistributional changes recorded b/w ’81 and ’91. The data does not rely merely on land title or cadastral records, but looks at population by district, since land title alone is not a comprehensive indicator of how many people live in a region, which is one you and your boy Malcolm can put away in the “no duh” file. Recently I saw an internaut trying to argue that since most land in Israel belongs to the state, and since Arabs own 3% of the land and Jews 2%, therefore the Arabs are the latifundia of Israel, and the idea that they’ve been dispossessed and driven off their land is a myth. Maybe you and he can hook up. He also shares your charming trait of branding anyone who disagrees with him a négationniste, btw, so you should make a cute couple.

    If you have data which can withstand any serious scrutiny and which shows that those Slobo-hugging Serbophiles of the State Dept and the CIA had it wrong about fatalities in the Bosnian war in the spring of 1995, before the biggest U.S.-supported onslaughts against the BSA and Serb civilians were to take place, and which show it to be a one-sided slaughter of Muslims running into the 100’s of 1000’s, it’s fine with me if you share it with the whole class. I’d be interested, MacKenzie would be interested. Former Yugoslav desk officer for the State Dept George Kenney would be interested, since as he explained:

    From contacts in the U.S. intelligence community, I am positive the US government doesn't have proof of any genocide. And anyone reading the press critically can see the paucity of evidence, despite interminably repeated claims and bloodcurdling speculation. Last April 23 I published some of my research on fatalities in The New York Times Magazine, in which I challenged allegations of 250,000 dead: my estimate was 25,000 to 60,000 deaths for civilian and military on all sides in Bosnia, from the start of the war to the date of the article. One Pulitzer Prize winning correspondent harangued me for not giving up my sources, but never bothered retracing my steps, which he could have easily done. I have yet to see a written rebuttal, and I don't expect to, because a careful search through press reports shows unambiguously that estimates for huge numbers of fatalities came originally from the Bosnian government without documentation: journalists repeated them without corroboration, or even attribution, until the charges stuck. Reporters covering the Yugoslav war as NPR's Sylvia Poggioli put it (Nieman Reports. Fall 1993) " have been better at pulling emotional strings than at analyzing facts.

    By Kenney’s own admission, his job was to “gin up” stories of one-sided massacring and ethnic cleansing by Serbs, which makes him a better man than you, since he at least admits he was a propagandist, and kinda feels bad about it.

    And veteran NYT Balkans reporter David Binder would be interested too, since as he pointed out, even if one smacks together all the post-war calculations of humanitarian agencies on dead and missing, and not even counting for all apocryphal and double entries, the figure can’t surpass 70,000. But if consigning everyone from the State Dept to the USIA to Kenney to Binder etc to your grab-bag of purveyors of Serb “fairy tales” was some advertised plea for you not to be taken seriously, I’d say: Mission accomplished. I’m sorry if you can’t fit the fact that all sides prepared for war, raising party- and ethnic-based armies before the independence declaration, that all sides had backers elsewhere, that civilians on all sides took it in the teeth, that the Croatian regular forces were massacring Serb civilians by the dozens in Bosnia in early April of 1992, that the first massacre of the war was the slaughtering of Serbs at Sijekovac in late March.. etc into your comic-book rendition of good guys and bad guys. But that’s your problem.

    I’d vowed not to stoop to responding to your risible suggestion that MacKenzie’s take on Bosnia is the product of some Serb money pipeline, but since you cart out Rieff and Malcolm, it perhaps bears mentioning that countless Western policy wonks, academics and journalists have much more successfully manicured their résumés and turned much greater personal profit pumping out product supporting the élite line of punitive one-sided intervention in the Yugoslav conflicts and lopsided blaming of Serbia and Serbs for any and all wrongs than MacKenzie ever has inadvertently or otherwise from Serb “pressure groups.” This should’ve been obvious, but if it hasn’t occurred to you yet, you need to get out more.

    As to your random Dallaire excerpt - are the Tutsis now supposed to have carried out a slaughter of Hutus at the outset of the genocide? How Bosniac of them.

    You actually end up getting it almost right just by accident. But as the saying goes, even a broken clock is right twice a day. As a matter of fact there *was* a murderous invasion of Rwanda by a Tutsi army, hl. A textbook act of aggression by the Nuremburg laws. It was launched by Paul Kagame’s RPF-RPA, which was a total creation of the Ugandan army, in which the Tutsi emigration in Uganda had a major presence. It was Tutsi-officered and Tutsi-staffed. Kagame had been Uganda’s deputy chief of military intelligence. The raids began from Ugandan soil in 1989, prompting USAID to issue a report (ignored) objecting to U.S. military assistance to Uganda on the girly grounds that it had launched an aggressive war against its neighbour. A more robust invasion was launched in Oct. 1990. The aggression claimed 10’s of 1000’s of lives, overwhelmingly civilian and overwhelmingly Hutu, and created a million internal refugees (overwhelmingly Hutu) by 1993. Perhaps you were napping at the time.

    One RPF/RPA offensive alone in early 1993 claimed about 40,000 lives, again overwhelmingly Hutu and overwhelmingly civilian. This alone probably represents more than all the lives lost on any one side in the Bosnian war. I realize this doesn’t matter to you, though I can well imagine your heartfelt concern were this to be visited on another people whom you’ve adopted as your human rights hobbyhorse. The country’s richest agricultural region, which supported a population of over 800,000, was essentially depopulated to 1800 souls by RPF terror. I believe this is what’s known as voting with your feet. A couple million more Rwandans voted with their feet when Kagame and the RPF, Dallaire’s buds, finally conquered power.

    3 yrs after the RPF/RPA launched their war, and 100,000 mostly Hutu dead Rwandans and a million mostly Hutu internal refugees later, a “peace accord” was hatched at Arusha in summer ‘93, which provided for a multi-party transition government in which the murderers of the RPF could participate, and leading a 22-month transition to free multi-party elections. There was just one problem with that as far as Kagame and RPF were concerned, which was that they didn’t stand a chance in Hades of getting elected by the population they’d been terrorizing and slaughtering. A telling curtain-raiser were the free multiparty elections held in the “zone tampon” – the demilitarized zone – in 1993, which the RPF lost resoundingly, not electing a single representative and harvesting about 1% of the vote as I recall, while the governing party candidates won handily. Turns out that slaughtering people by the 10’s of 1000’s and driving them into flight by the 100’s of 1000’s isn’t a vote-getter. Go figure.

    So the logic of Arusha, namely elections, had to be circumvented at any cost, and the RPF/RPA at least enjoyed a serious military advantage and could *decide* things that way, with no small assistance from their friend Dallaire. Their own intelligence, along with U.S. intelligence, predicted that if the Rwandan president was assassinated, it would provoke mass killings which would claim up to half a million lives. They actually evoked this scenario, and attached that figure, as now declassified docs show. They also knew the ensuing power vacuum and the mass terror would provide them with both the opportunity and the rationale for seizing power militarily. Sure the Rwandan Tutsi community, and lots of Hutus would be decimated by murderous mobs and militias, cuz the RPA had made so many friends over the years through their good deeds, but they weren’t Kagame’s principal support base. This was an invading army of the Tutsi emigration in Uganda with its own agenda, and any real scenario of majority rule + peace would make them toast.

    And so on Kagame’s direct orders, an RPA hit squad shot down the plane carrying the presidents of Rwanda and Burundi, killing them both and the French crew. And the mass slaughter predicted by RPF and U.S. intelligence unfolded pretty much as predicted. The RPF promptly lied and accused their adversaries of the assassination, taking lots of the credulous Hoplites of the world along for the ride, and they along with their backer Clinton did everything they could to resist the demands from various countries for an inquiry into the affair, countries who apparently had the utterly girly notion that an assassination of 2 heads of state might warrant a criminal investigation. An investigation finally did take place under UN/ICTR auspices, and the then-ICTR president, Louise Arbour, to borrow your term, put the “kaibosh” on it and ordered its findings shelved when the lead investigator, Australian Michael Hourigan, made it clear the evidence pointed directly to Kagame and the RPF. But he and the informants assisting that inquiry – the ones Kagame didn’t have bumped off – then went on to assist French magistrate J-L Bruguière in his 6-yr long criminal investigation into the killings, which had been prompted by the girly demands of some French nationals to find out who’d killed their loved ones in the plane. Bruguière came to the same conclusion as Hourigan’s team in the kaiboshed ICTR inquiry, and the report was leaked to Le Monde a few weeks back, but perhaps you were napping through that one too.,1-0@2-3210,36-356013,0.html

    Apropos the infamous 100-day slaughter in the spring/summer of 1994, it’s interesting to note that researchers are now finding that there was intensive killing even in the areas which the RPF claimed to control before the plane crash, and those who claim to have developed the most comprehensive data base on the 100 days, using Rwandan gov’t and survivor group data, now think that even in *this* period, which all agree saw the apogee of organized killing of Tutsis, a majority of the victims may have been Hutu. ( ). But that doesn’t even count the 10’s of 1000’s of Rwandans killed by the RPA before the April ’94 downing of Habyrarimana’s plane, nor the millions of Congolese and 100’s of 1000’s of Rwandans, mostly Hutu, slaughtered by the Rwandan and Ugandan armies since their Clinton-backed invasion of Zaire/Congo (Bubba was nice enough to have U.S. Special Forces there to help right from the get-go). The last UN info I saw on the Kagame/Museveni killing spree in Zaire/DRC put the death toll in the vicinity of 5 million – 5 times the top-end estimates of those killed in the 100-days of ’94 – and used the term “genocide.”

    What to do when the truth – which has a stubborn way of surfacing – shows that the self-appointed gate-keeper of Rwanda holocaust remembrance turns out to be first-rank génocidaire and what’s more, the author of the very act which *everybody* for the last 10 yrs agrees was the catalyst of the 100-day killings of ’94, the lit match put to the powderkeg? Gérard Prunier of CNRS, whose ’95 book became the gold-standard for the Rwanda genocide industry, has now run afoul of Kagame and been denounced by the latter as a “revisionist” (sound familiar?) for putting forth the apparently offensive formulation of a “double-genocide.” But what else is a poor scientifique de service to do in the face of the simple and overwhelming math establishing that over the last decade and a half Kagame’s U.S.-backed wars have killed millions, and that considerably more Rwandan Hutus and Congolese have been snuffed in the conflicts in the Great Lakes region than have Rwandan Tutsis? Even apologetics has its limits (but not for Dallaire – see below). Faustin Twagimamungu, one of Kagame’s and Bubba’s showpiece “moderate Hutu” and the first prime minister appointed to Kagame’s gov’t in July ’94 following the RPF conquest, has denounced Kagame as a génocidaire and assassin who has the blood of millions of Congolese and 100’s of 1000’s of Rwandans on his hands. When Camerounian journalist Charles Onana wrote a book implicating Kagame in the presidential assassination and various war crimes, Kagame tried to sue Onana in France, but dropped his case when Onana didn’t back down, since he knew he’d get his a** whupped. Sometimes it’s lonely at the top, and maybe it’s because the noose of truth is tightening around Kagame that there weren’t as many high-level types on hand for the last genocide commemoration. It’s getting a little – uh – awkward.

    But your boy Dallaire doesn’t disguise his affection and admiration for Kagame (“an extraordinary man”), and he mendaciously refers to the assassination of the Rwandan president in 1994 as an “accident” or « écrasement ». He’s also a little fuzzy – to put it kindly – on all the slaughter and RPF ethnic cleansing in the 1990-93 period, since one shouldn’t be rude to friends. Kagame and the Clinton administration pushed hard for the complete removal of the UN peacekeeping mission once the 100-day killfest began, but that doesn’t dampen Dallaire’s admiration either. He was very chummy with RPF milieux in his time there, frequently crashing for the night, if you’ll pardon the expression, at the RPA HQ, and hanging out with the Québécois wife of a Tutsi minister who didn’t disguise her enthusiasm for an RPF victory, (« si Dieux le veut, on va gagner!! » ) which could only be achieved militarily, given their, er, PR problems vis-à-vis the “ethnic vote” (of the country’s 90% majority “ethnics”…). He was happy to share MINUAR military intelligence with the RPA, which he talks about in the English, but not the French, edition of his book, curiously enough. The first big “peacekeeping” assignment Dallaire and his mission were tasked with was to escort 600 armed RPA killers – sorry “soldiers” – into downtown Kigali where they set up their base at the Parliament building. Kigali residents, including many who’d been driven off their land and lost everything to RPF terror, were able to watch this brave and honourable act and draw their own conclusions about Dallaire’s and MINUAR’s “neutrality.” But perhaps Dallaire’s and MINUAR’s noblest of all act of “peacekeeping” was to accede abjectly to the RPA’s demand to close Kigali airport for all but *incoming* air traffic, the better that the RPA hit squad could get a clear and unfettered bead on the Rwandan president so they could shoot down his plane and kill him. As an inspired act of “peacekeeping”, I’d rank that right up there with whoever got the idea of passing out the matches for the Reichstag Fire.

    I’m sorry that the drunkard you put on such a pedestal got sliced to ribbons on the stand at Arusha, but I can’t say I’m surprised, nor is it clear how the quote is more “random” than yours of MacKenzie, since it speaks directly to the man’s integrity. Guess it was expecting too much for him to be truthful under oath in a criminal trial – after all it’s not his life that’s on the line here. If you want a straight shooter who presents well as a witness, well, I’d try to call Lew MacKenzie. A week before Kagame had the Rwandan president assassinated, Dallaire briefed foreign ambassadors to the effect that he found it doubtful that there was a “master plan” by the Rwandan government to provoke a confrontation, genocide, etc. He expressed the same doubts in an interview with Radio-Canada immediately upon his return from Rwanda, which doesn’t seem to have stopped his mythical transformation into some maligned, prophetic predictor of “the genocide.”

    It’s interesting to ponder how many lives would have been saved by Dallaire and MINUAR doing their job and providing proper security at the airport and for Rwanda’s governing officials (the RPA hit squad operated from a district for which Dallaire had direct responsibility). Doubtless many more lives than woulda be saved by raiding the puny “arms cache”. Probably safe to say that if Izetbegovic hadn’t reneged, with U.S. encouragement, on the Cutilheiro plan, which would’ve averted war in Bosnia, more lives woulda been saved by that too.

  • We bombed the wrong side?

    04/11/2004 4:58:27 PM PDT · 110 of 137
    sjy to Hoplite
    I'm going to lay out the facts on the ground, and then you're going to deny them in the case of Bosnia.

    Ergo, any discussion as to Mackenzie vs. Dallaire is moot, isn't it?

    I can't tell whether it's moot because you hinted at a comparison, even tempting us with the comment it was "interesting" but haven't actually made the comparison yet nor supported it with specifics, which I asked you nicely to do. Please tell me about about Dallaire. A comparison isn't a comparison unless you're comparing 2 things.

    We can quote lots of experts on the facts on the ground in Bosnia, can't we? Like the notoriously Serbophile and pro-Milosevic U.S. Information Agency, whose research disclosed that Serbs report the most lost family members of any group in Bosnia during the Bosnian war (not to mention the question of lost land - RS comprises 49% of Bosnia's territory, while Serbs formed a demographic plurality on +/-70% of pre-war Bosnia). Then there's the expert Charles Boyd, the former Deputy Commander in Chief, U.S. European Command, from November 1992 to July 1995, who wrote,

    Much of what Zagreb calls the occupied territories is in fact land held by Serbs for more than three centuries, ever since imperial Austria moved Serbs to the frontier (the Krajina) to protect the shopkeepers of Vienna (and Zageb) from the Ottomans. The same is true of most Serb land in Bosnia, what the Western media frequently refers to as the 70 percent of was Bosnia seized by rebel Serbs. There were only 500,000 fewer Serbs than Muslims in Bosnia at independence, with the more rural Serbs tending toward larger landholdings. In short, the Serbs are not trying to conquer new territory, but merely to hold on to what was already theirs.

    (Foreign Affairs, 1995)

    Then there's the experts at the U.S. State Dept., who determined that Serb fatalities and losses in the Bosnian civil war were proportionate to their presence in the pre-war population, and that by the spring of '95, before the massive co-ordinated offensives against BSA-held areas by the Bosnian Army and Nato, total fatalities in the Bosnian war were in the vicinity of 50-60k. And there's the expert report to the Security Council in 1992, which confirmed that the Yugoslav army had withdrawn from Bosnia within the time limit mandated by the SC, and which was suppressed with U.S. connivance, leading to draconian sanctions on Yugoslavia, while "independent" Croatia's army remained on Bosnia's territory illegally, with no sanctions imposed on Croatia. So we just have a plethora of "experts" we can draw upon here can't we?

    MacKenzie's consistent account of a civil war in which no side were angels and in which press reporting became parti pris for one side and fact-free stands up very well over time and accords with lots of *experts* actually. Which brings me again to Dallaire. Please answer my question. How does Dallaire's service to the facts come out better? Fyi, here's a report, with transcription, of his cross-exam at the ICTR. NB how he doesn't "defy" the facts or try to invoke "historical animosities", or anything:

    Rwandan colonel's lawyer attacks Dallaire's credibility Last Updated Wed, 21 Jan 2004 14:19:34 ARUSHA, TANZANIA - Defence lawyers at a United Nations tribunal tried to undermine Roméo Dallaire's testimony Wednesday, attacking his memory of events leading up to the massacre in Rwanda 10 years ago and questioning his fairness when he headed the UN mission in the country.

    Rafael Constant

    The retired Canadian general has been testifying against Theoneste Bagosora and three other former Rwandan army officials who are accused of instigating the 100-day genocide that left more than half a million Rwandans dead.

    Lawyer Rafael Constant, who represents Bagosora, spent hours Wednesday trying to demonstrate that Dallaire had a clear prejudice against the mostly Hutu government that has been blamed for killing Tutsis and moderate Hutus.

    He implied that Dallaire had omitted important facts in his book, Shake Hands With The Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda.

    "The book is the result of heated debates with my editor," replied Dallaire. "Not everything I know is in the book. It is a compromise."

    Constant also questioned Dallaire's accuracy.

    Dallaire insisted he had seen Bagosora at a meeting in late August 1993. Constant produced Bagosora's passport, proving he was out of the country at the time, attending a meeting of regional defence officials in Gabon.

    Roméo Dallaire

    "You have planted a seed of doubt in my mind," said Dallaire. "I can't answer anything else."

    Wednesday's session in Tanzania had a distinctly Canadian feel to it.

    Dallaire took the stand for cross-examination surrounded by a team of Canadian bodyguards because of death threats against him.

    When his book about the genocide was quoted, long minutes were lost trying to reconcile the English and French versions.

    And Dallaire himself couldn't seem to decide whether to answer questions in English or French.

    "Just go on, general, in whatever language you want," one of the judges finally said.

    Dallaire also told the tribunal that the central African country's presidential guard started the massacres after the Rwandan president's jet was shot down over Kigali on April 6, 1994.

    In addition, he testified that he resisted having Belgian troops on the UN Assistance Mission because Rwanda was once a Belgian colony. M

    CBC, Jan. 21, 2004

  • We bombed the wrong side?

    04/11/2004 1:37:12 PM PDT · 107 of 137
    sjy to Hoplite
    what were the "facts on the ground" which MacKenzie misrespesented, viz. "defied" and what were the "facts on the ground" to which Dallaire has done such superior justice? I wanted a fact-driven answer here, and not glib generalizations, which I thought was at least implicit in my last post. If that wasn't clear, I apologize.
  • We bombed the wrong side?

    04/11/2004 1:01:31 PM PDT · 105 of 137
    sjy to Hoplite
    The need to rationalize the failure of one's mission by delegitimizing it is a fascinating phenomenon. It's interesting to see the different approaches to the problem taken by the likes of Rose and Mackenzie vs. Dalliare [sic] or Smith.

    perhaps you could compare those different approaches for us. How does the approach of Dallaire contrast with the approach of MacKenzie, for example?

  • Rwanda to mark 10th anniversary of genocide

  • Row over Rwanda genocide deepens

  • US warplanes land in Uzbekistan

    09/24/2001 8:07:23 AM PDT · 42 of 44
    sjy to Zviadist
    You go guy. Great posts. Great analysis. Great arguments, and admirable restraint. Don't give up.
  • They can't see why they are hated

    09/13/2001 7:59:33 AM PDT · 118 of 379
    sjy to rstevens
    I for one am for total destruction of the intrastructures of Afganistan, Iraq, and any other nation that had a part in this, WITH total disregard of collateral damage to the INNOCENT, if indeed there are innocents.

    INNOCENTS??!! INNOCENTS??!! Oh go back to you bleeding heart appeaser pals, we're trying to have a serious discussion here.

  • They can't see why they are hated

    09/13/2001 7:42:56 AM PDT · 93 of 379
    sjy to isthisnickcool
    I wonder if this genius has ever heard of a country called Ireland?

    gosh I dunno genius, with a name like Seumas, whadya figure the chances are?