Voice from the Commonwealth
Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts

"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams

Saturday, March 01, 2003

Time for Chirac to warm up the comments about his lessers knowing when to clam up.

President Paul Kagame remembers well how the U.N. Security Council spent days discussing semantics as the Rwandan genocide unfolded.
Now, as the council debates whether to use diplomacy or force to disarm Iraq, Kagame and many other Rwandans have no doubt about the right answer.

After an African summit in Paris ended Feb. 20 with a declaration of support for France's anti-war strategy, Kagame begged to differ.

"If it was simply a choice between war and peace, then the automatic choice is peace," he told reporters. "But if it is a choice between war and weapons of mass destruction, ...then I would say that war is a better evil than the alternative."

Rwanda and its 7 million people may be a tiny piece of the African continent, but the hundreds of thousands of its people slaughtered during 100 days of 1994 - minority Tutsis and political moderates from the Hutu majority - lend its voice special weight.

"The history of the United Nations is punctuated by spectacular and tragic failures in many places, and a good example is right here in Rwanda," said Jean-Pierre Sagahutu, a cab driver. He survived the genocide by hiding for two months in a pit latrine as soldiers massacred people in his neighborhood.

Had a Rwandan rebel force not intervened as the Security Council debated whether a genocide was indeed under way, "then the tragedy here would have been even greater, and I might not have survived," Sagahutu said.

At the summit in Paris, French President Jacques Chirac said the 52 African leaders unanimously endorsed the view that more weapons inspection, not war, was the best way to disarm Iraq.

But Kagame quickly made it known that there had been no discussion of the contents of the declaration, and thanked reporters for asking his opinion.

"I have seen people demonstrating," he said. "Are they demonstrating about the choice between peace and war, or are they demonstrating about the choice between war and weapons of mass destruction? I wish the same people had demonstrated when genocide was taking place in Rwanda and when everybody was asking about which word to use to describe how the Rwandans were dying."

The Leftist can add Rwanda to the list of countries we can buy on eBay.

< email | 3/01/2003 10:40:00 PM | link

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