Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Wednesday afternoon

One of the themes this year is the Rwandan genocide of 1994. There are a number of films on the subject and the first I've seen is Shake Hands with the Devil which is about Canadian General Roméo Dallier, who was the head of the UN peacekeepers in that godforsaken place when the lord forsook it a decade ago.

He returned for a confrence and the filmmaker Peter Raymont decided to tag along, and the results are both infuriating and heartbreaking. One tends to wonder if the wanten murder of between 800,000 and a million people killed mostly with machettés could have been prevented, and if Dallier could have done more in that direction. But the simple fact is that while it probably could have and he couldn't.

There was plenty of blame to go around, could the French told the perpetrators to not go there? Should the UN have gone to war when there were two thousand UN troops briefly there to get foreign nationals out? One could go on for months on this topic.

But the simple fact is nobody did a damn thing and then nobody did anything after that. What did happen is that Dallaier was kicking himself about it ever since.

This film is especially important when we see what's going on in Durfar, Sudan.

The reason nobody did anything was simple, by the way. Look at how Bush was treated over other words the world would go nuts blaming the rescuers and nobody wants that...

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