The Hidden Story Behind Rwanda's Tragedy
by Christopher Blackhttp://cirqueminime.blogcollective.com/blog
[I wish I could be in Moscow later this week when US president Barrack Obama meets Russian president Dmitri Medvedev and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. I wonder if they'll get around to talking History? It's the season for liberation celebrations: Obama was in Caen in June to remember the Allies' liberation of France from . . . well, whomever. I mean, there was a French government administering the country for the German occupation forces--the Vichy government of General Petain--and the Free French forces of Charles De Gaulle were not even invited to join in on the Normandy landing of 6 June. They were held back in London until just before the Allies marched into Paris, when De Gaulle was allowed to lead the parade--photo op, maybe. It's hard to say why the US and the UK decided to open up a Western Front against the already beaten Nazis on 6 June 1944, after the Red Army had turned back the Germans on the Eastern Front at Stalingrad on 2 February 1943, and chased Hitler's broken legions back to Berlin for their last rites. But, maybe, Medvedev and Putin can swap school notebooks with Obama about just what happened in WWII--or the Great Patriotic War, as it is known in Russia.
Like most Americans, President Obama seems to be sleep-walking through History--and we know how dangerous it can be to wake a sleepwalker. The look on his face as he listened to Elie Wiesel go on and on about his father's smoke floating above the camp at Buchenwald, and how the courageous allies liberated the exhausted Jewish victims, was one of pious confusion--while the courageous Una Merkel looked on in full contrition.
The Wiesel neglected to fill out the history of his confinement: Being from Transylvania, he had done the bulk of his time at Auschwitz--in fact, it was his grisly descriptions of how the concentration camp victims were dispatched by being heaped into living piles of still-breathing corpses and set ablaze, that gave the Shoah image-makers the idea of a 'Holocaust' in first place.
But as far as liberation went, Wiesel and several of his other Holocaust suvivor/historian cohort, like Primo Levy, were not content to be 'liberated' in Eastern Poland by the Soviet Army, the Red Army ('Better Dead than Red'?) and chose to tag along behind their beaten and fleeing Fascist torturers back into the German Fatherland--back to Buchenwald went The Wiesel--where they, abandoned to a self-administered solitude, awaited the arrival of the victorious Yanks and Brits and Canadians and Aussies.
Now, Obama may not be Burt Lancaster--or Paul Robeson--, but he certainly cannot be totally ignorant of the nuances on the Eastern Front. After all, he invited the Tuskegee Airmen to his inauguration, and the Tuskegees, in the 99th Fighter Squadron and the 332nd Fighter Group, flew missions along side the Soviet Air Force over the Balkans and the Black Sea region--in fact, they shot down the Germans' first operational jet fighter, the Me 262.
Maybe Putin and Medvedev can pull Obama's coat to just how much more his history as a Black American has in common with the Soviet Union and Russia's heroic struggles against global Fascism than it does with Western Finance Captial's ongoing struggles to mortgage our planet in perpetuity to militarized self-consumption.
The advantage the Russian leaders have is that their country has a lot more in its hand that just an overwrought military-industrial complex. GM is in receivership, while Gazprom is furnishing Europe’s energy needs and supporting the Prednistrovian banking system. Today Russia is at peace and prospering; while the US is involved in worldwide, open-ended military adventures that cannot be terminated without bringing the reproductive life of the US to a grim and grinding halt.
President Obama seems to sense this--if he were immediately to withdraw all US forces from Iraq, there would still be nearly 180,000 private military contractors at work maintaining a privatized and bloody chaos in that broken land just to keep the recurring demand for the means of destruction fully pumped. And for the simpletons who would short-cut their institutional critiques of modern Waste Capitalism by blaming all its material ravages and moral compromissions on President Obama, let them remember that the President of the US serves at the whim of the ruling socio-economic elite. No matter what the size of the electoral mandate, the US government--perhaps the most anti-democratic in history--is not wired to serve the majority interests--those interests expressed in the Declaration of Independence as 'self-evident, inalienable rights': to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. In fact, the latter interest/right was initially written as 'Property', but I guess it just didn't scan, either poetically or rationally, like that.
So in this season of Liberation Histories, our Commissar for the Defense, Chris Black, has come up with one more knock-out kick in the sack to the grotesquely resilient Genocide Hustlers (sub-species of the Holocaust Industrialists) who continue to dine out on the long-since putrescent flesh of those mass murder victims they, themselves, mass murdered, and then billed them for the service--especially in all of The Wiesel's favorite drive-thru genocide hang-outs: Bosnia, Kosovo, and Rwanda.
Every time I finish a great book (always in French) about what went down in Rwanda/Congo between way-back-when and day-after-tomorrow, I think my internal organs just can't take any more of this kind of unspeakable evil. Like in ‘Rwanda: The Taking of Kigali--and the Hunting Down of Refugees by the Army of General Paul Kagame’ (Rwanda: La prise de Kigali et la chasse aux réfugiés par l'Armée du Général Paul Kagame), by Faustin Ntilikina (on Éditions Sources du Nil, 2008), or my mainest of mainest men, Charles Onana's latest, ‘These Tutsi Killers’ (Ces Tutsi Tueurs, Duboiris, 2009)--I dunno why I'm citing English titles for these book, they exist only in French, so far!--the Hutus have not only been faced with physical extinction at the hands of those who think of themselves as their moral and ontological betters, the neo-feudal Tutsis, and their North American, European and Israeli sponsors, but they have then been charged and prosecuted in some sort of media kangaroo court for committing the very heinous crimes committed against them. These stories would put Kafka on Paxil. Yet, through all the hopelessness and grinding misery, guys like Chris shine the light of their legal reason and historical experience, and make us see why we have to keep this history, the Real History of the Real World, alive and out there in One.
Maybe on his way back from Russia, my president Obama could stop off in Toronto and get into it a little with Chris about what's up in Central Africa. One of the things I'd hope Chris would point out to the Commander-in-Chief of the American fascist juggernaut is that, at the Buchenwald memorial in June, all of The Wiesel's pet Holocaust spin-offs have one thing in common, which may--or may not--reflect on the real reasons behind their terrifying horrors: Bosnia, Kosovo and Rwanda are today the homes for three major US military installations: Eagle Air Base in Tuzla, BiH; Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo; and the principal hub for US AFRICOM operations in Central Africa and the Horn, the military base and international airport at Bugesera in Rwanda.
One of the most painful realizations that comes out of the current rational dysfunction at the central of the History that guides Western politics is that rather than reconciliation or rapprochement between conflicting sides--be they the Waste Capitalist West v the more Collectivist and Progressive East, or Israel v Palestine, or Hutu v Tutsi--as long as the essential lie of responsibility for the initial unprovoked aggression, the Crime Against Peace, is artificially maintained--i.e., just who invaded and slaughtered whom and what for?--what is most likely to reoccur, and reoccur sooner than later, is a resumption of the bloody murder, mayhem and terminal madness.--mc]
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