Africa Speaks Reasoning Forum

AFRICA AND THE DIASPORA => Rwanda => Topic started by: Kebo on January 26, 2005, 11:20:59 AM

Title: Hotel Rwanda
Post by: Kebo on January 26, 2005, 11:20:59 AM

I'm surprised no one has posted a review of this flim on the board yet.

I think the film was well made and re-enacted. It captured part of the terror of the situation for the Tutsi tribe in Rwanda during the time of the genocide. There was nowhere to run or hide. And justice and police were gone. The film brought further to consciousness a recent event in Africa which can not be captured on the news.

The film went briefly into the roots of cause of the genocide, admitting that it was initially developed because of European activity in Rwanda - Belgian. The film, though powerful, doesn't try to teach people the cause and effect of negative foreign influence on Africa and what people can do to change and stop this kind of horror. So even though the film was striking while watching it I dont it will spark a mass consciousness and do justice to the million people who were massacred. It most likely will sparks the brains of some.

Title: Re: Hotel Rwanda
Post by: Bantu_Kelani on January 26, 2005, 01:42:25 PM
The film went briefly into the roots of cause of the genocide, admitting that it was initially developed because of European activity in Rwanda - Belgian.

Belgium is not the only country who played a major role in the conflict in Rwanda, the US, Britain, Germany, France, and the UN panels were also responsible for the extermination of Tutsis by the Hutus dominated Rwandan army in 1994. These days in eastern Congo in refugee camps and beyond, it is the Rwandan army and the Congolese militias led by Tutsis who are killing Hutus and countless of innocent Congolese people! Like you see in the movie, the UN troops are still remaining passive and incapable to protect civilians. 90% of all the killings and fighting occur in supposedly "non-combat zones" controlled by the UN troops. The violence in Kisagani, Ituri, and South Kivu provinces in RDC escalate because the UN troops are unwilling to stop the rebel groups. Millions Africans die! The US and Europe carry it out, and they go blaming Africans for not getting their acts together?? Are they proud of their disgusting hypocrisy?

So even though the film was striking while watching it I don’t it will spark a mass consciousness and do justice to the million people who were massacred.

11 YEARS LATER after the genocide in Rwanda this film is not supposed to arouse any international sympathy to the plight of Africans! The world richest have never felt any poignant sympathy to the Africans victims of their terrorism. I doubt it will ever change as long as their profit in billions of dollars of the suffering and misery of African peoples.


Title: Re: Hotel Rwanda
Post by: Bantu_Kelani on January 26, 2005, 02:49:30 PM
One more thing..

What do you use the term "tribe" when you talk about Africans? Africa is populated by people of different "ethnic groups" not "tribes." The word tribe refers to the vocabulary of racist scholars when they talk about small groups of savage or backward people. They don’t say the British tribe, the French tribe, the Germanic tribe, or the Pole tribe?
The Bahutus and Batustis are two major social groups representative of outsdanding African development up to the eve of European arrival in 1903, so Kebo call them with the respect they deserve.


Title: Re: Hotel Rwanda
Post by: Kebo on January 28, 2005, 01:20:02 PM
"Millions Africans die! The US and Europe carry it out, and they go blaming Africans for not getting their acts together?? Are they proud of their disgusting hypocrisy?" - Bantu Kelani wrote

The African situation is ugly. Only Africa is responsible for Africa in the end and only Africa can lead itself out of the pain.

Thanks for the clarification on the ethnic groups among Africans. At the same time you hear Africans use the term tribe often. Like in phrases tribal council, tribal elders, tribal warfare. Are you saying the Africans got the term as part of their miseducation from Europeans. What about tribal warfare, should it be ethnic group warfare. I like the term tribe. For me it means unity, community, and culture.  

Title: Re: Hotel Rwanda
Post by: Bantu_Kelani on January 29, 2005, 03:33:56 PM
The African situation is ugly. Only Africa is responsible for Africa in the end and only Africa can lead itself out of the pain.

Our liberation, development, and security cannot be exempted from the role of our oppressors. The Imperialist Western nations have been plotting and scheming for a long time to maintain vicious brutality and backwardness in Africa in order to extract enormous profits, so the cause and solutions to Africa's problem is not the ultimate responsibility of Africans. I don't think you thoroughly know the challenge of Africa and the black race.

Thanks for the clarification on the ethnic groups among Africans. At the same time you hear Africans use the term tribe often. Like in phrases tribal council, tribal elders, tribal warfare. Are you saying the Africans got the term as part of their miseducation from Europeans. What about tribal warfare, should it be ethnic group warfare. I like the term tribe. For me it means unity, community, and culture.

Well for most conscious African continentals I know the term "tribe" is clearly a degrading word. I hope you understand that! This word was used during colonial times to paint a savage image of Africans. You ought to know THERE IS NO TRIBE IN AFRICA. This pejorative word doesn't apply to any social groups in Africa. Tribal formations in Africa died a long time ago with the disintegration of the primitive communities. The Kongo, Yoruba, Berber, Bambara, Mossi, Luba, Hausa, Akan, Ibo, Batutsi, Bahutu, Ama-Zulu, Dogon, etc. and even the Batwa peoples are not "tribes" but ethnic groups that either or all had political development, striking states, leading armies, and societal organizations up to the eve of colonization.

If you don’t object the world "tribe" you favor racist anthropological definitions that are used to describe Africa in order to pain an image of primitivism period. It's truly sad some of our people and white Afrocentrists like you continue to use this pejorative term.


Title: Re: Hotel Rwanda
Post by: Kebo on January 30, 2005, 02:40:38 PM

The etymology of the word 'tribe' traces to the Latin word tribus which were the original political/ ethnic groups of the Roman empire. So the word does mean ethnic group but its a European word, not African.


Title: Re: Hotel Rwanda
Post by: Rootsie on January 30, 2005, 03:28:07 PM
The Graves are Not Yet Full
by Bill Berkeley

"The very term 'tribe' came into general use in the colonial era. The term was associated with stereotypes of Africans as primitive brutes. For evolutionist anthropologists in their nineteenth-century heyday, 'tribal' society conjured up an early stage of human development with minimal state organization, class structure, literacy, or other features of 'civilized' societies.

But the gathering of Africans into identifiable 'tribes' was also a convenient administrative tool. Particularly under British administration, in countries like Uganda, Kenya, and South Africa, administrative subdivisions were built upon this image of 'tribal' blocs. Tribalism solved the colonial dilemma of how to dominate and exploit vast numbers of indigenous inhabitants with a limited number of colonial agents, by mobilizing groups on the basis of linguistic and cultural similarities that formerly had been irrelevant." p.12

It may be for this reason, and not due to the etymology of the word, that Africans would object to its use.

Title: Re: Hotel Rwanda
Post by: Bantu_Kelani on January 30, 2005, 05:01:15 PM
Very true Rootsie.


Title: HOTEL RWANDA: Hollywood and the Holocaust in Central Africa
Post by: Tyehimba on January 02, 2006, 04:28:53 PM
HOTEL RWANDA: Hollywood and the Holocaust in Central Africa

by Keith Harmon Snow
October 16, 2005
All Things Pass - 2005-07-01

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What happened in Rwanda in 1994? The standard line is that a calculated genocide occurred because of deep-seated tribal animosity between the majority Hutu tribe in power and the minority Tutsis. According to this story, at least 500,000 and perhaps 1.2 million Tutsis–-and some moderate Hutus--were ruthlessly eliminated in a few months, and most of them were killed with machetes. The killers in this story were Hutu hard-liners from the Forces Armees Rwandais, the Hutu army, backed by the more ominous and inhuman Interahamwe militias–-“those who kill together.”

“In three short, cruel months, between April and July 1994,” wrote genocide expert Samantha Power on the tenth anniversary of the genocide, “Rwanda experienced a genocide more efficient than that carried out by the Nazis in World War II. The killers were a varied bunch: drunk extremists chanting ‘Hutu power, Hutu power’; uniformed soldiers and militia men intent on wiping out the Tutsi Inyenzi, or ‘cockroaches’; ordinary villagers who had never themselves contemplated killing before but who decided to join the frenzy.” [1]

The award-winning film Hotel Rwanda offers a Hollywood version and the latest depiction of this cataclysm. Is the film accurate? It is billed as a true story. Did genocide occur in Rwanda as it is widely portrayed and universally understood? With thousands of Hutus fleeing Rwanda in fear of the Tutsi government and its now operational village genocide courts, is another reading of events needed?[2] Is Samantha Power--a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist--telling it straight?[3]

Hundreds of thousands of people were killed, that’s clear. There was large-scale butchery of Tutsis. And Hutus. Children and old women were killed. There was mass rape. There were many acts of genocide. But was it genocide or civil war?

“I think that’s a very good question and it is not adequately answered,” says Howard French, former East Africa Bureau Chief for the New York Times and author of Africa: A Continent for the Taking. French operated on the ground in Central Africa (1993-1999) and his reportage of the RPF Tutsi rebel army hunting down and massacring hundreds of thousands of Hutus in Congo is exceptional.[4]

“A minority of fifteen percent [RPF Tutsis] wages a determined effort to take over a country and rule in an ethnic way, by force of arms, and has been doing this for years. Two presidents are assassinated.” Howard French is adamant. “These are not excuses for butchery. But these are things that lead one in the direction of civil war, as a descriptor, as opposed to the one-sided tale that we have been given, of these sweet, innocent Tutsis who remind us of Israel, versus the savage Hutus who cold-heartedly butcher people hand-to-hand for three months.”

From the very first words, where the image has yet to appear and the screen is completely black, the film Hotel Rwanda sets up viewers to think a certain way about what happened in Rwanda in 1994. Here is a story about good versus evil. An ominous African voice is heard, clearly the announcer on a radio program, and he is describing the Tutsis as ‘cockrrrRRROACHES.’ The voice is black and the cataclysm unfathomable, as anyone will tell you, and the black screen underscores the evil darkness of Africa. This voice of terror returns throughout the film to haunt the innocent Tutsi refugees, on screen, and the viewers gripping their seats.

The good guys are the Tutsis, the victims of genocide. They are not killers in the movie: they are never killers. At the end of the film, when a well-attired guerrilla force is shown–-the “rebels” of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF)--they are rescuers. They are disciplined, organized. They keep a tidy United Nations camp safely behind their lines. They don’t kill Red Cross nurses, or orphaned children, in the film: they reconnect them to their families.

The Hutus in the standard Rwanda genocide stories are always the bad guys, and they are all bad guys. Every Hutu is a genocidaire-–to use the ominous French term deployed in English contexts to further underscore the horror, the horror (sic). The Hutus are the devil incarnate. The Tutsis are saintly. Indeed, they are beyond reproach, because they are the victims of genocide. The Hotel manager’s wife bears an obvious cross around her neck, to remind us that the Tutsis are the chosen people. When the now celebrated United Nations hero General Romeo Dallaire shakes hands with the devil–-as his own popular book and film concur–-he is shaking hands with Hutu. That is the framework of the Hotel Rwanda film. There is, today, an industry behind it.

The Tutsis are dehumanized by the Hutus and by the Hutu media, in the film, and there was some truth in this in real life. But the RPF pro-Tutsi media that operated in Rwanda after 1991, for example, was equally dehumanizing, and equally vicious, but the film does not tell us this. Tutsi guerrilla forces were the first to describe themselves as Inyenzi or cockroaches: they were not equated with the insects that everyone loathes, they were well trained, secretive and coordinated military forces who attacked at night and withdrew by day.[5] They would hit and run and kill with efficiency. It was not a pejorative usage, as it has been used in the film Hotel Rwanda, although it was bastardized and turned against the Tutsis by media outlets in Rwanda. Radio Mille Collines and the other anti-RPF media outlets of the President’s party, the National Republican Movement for Democracy and Development (MRND), [6] were not the only ones to incite hatred and murder. Indeed, RPF-controlled Radio Muhabura spread ethnic hatred and incited widespread killings, but this was--according to Hollywood--a war with only one army, the ruthless Hutus.[7]

The Pillars of Hotel Rwanda

When Human Rights Watch investigated the genocide, they sent Alison des Forges to tell the story, and the product of her long investigations was the fat treatise on genocide in Rwanda titled Leave None to Tell the Story. Irony is heaped upon irony when we consider that those who are left to tell the story are silenced by the authorized storytellers like Alison des Forges.

“Alison des Forges is a liar,” says Cameroonian journalist Charles Onana, author of The Secrets of the Genocide. “She is a LIAR.” Paul Kagame, RPF General and President of Rwanda, sued Onana for defamation in a French court: Kagame lost.[8]

“Des Forges has written a book which has become the bible regarding Rwanda,” says Jean Marie Higiro, former Director of the Rwandan Information Office (ORINFOR) who fled with his family in early April 1994. “Everyone points to her book even though some of what she has produced is fiction. I don’t think she is an intentional liar, but I don’t know why she investigated Hutu human rights abuses but no RPF human rights abuses.”

Hotel Rwanda is built on the pillars of selective human rights reporting, but it really takes off from the celebrated text We Regret To Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families by Philip Gourevitch, the New Yorker magazine’s premier Africa expert.

“Gourevitch's short book should be compulsory reading for Heads of State and Ministers of Defence all over Africa,” wrote Guardian reporter Victoria Brittain, “as well as for all UN officials involved in peacekeeping operations and humanitarian aid, from the Secretary General on down, and the heads of missionary orders in the US, France and Belgium.” Brittain is a Nation magazine contributor on genocide in Rwanda. Notably, a U.S. immigration judge in St. Paul Minnesota imposed Gourevitch’s book as compulsory reading for all attorneys dealing with Rwandan refugees requesting political asylum.[9]

What we never learn about Philip Gourevitch is that his brother-in-law, Jamie Rubin, was Madeleine Albright’s leading man and, through him, Gourevitch planted in the public mind a narrow perspective on Rwanda. Funding for Gourevitch’s book came from the United States Institute for Peace, a State Department offshoot.[10] An intimate pal of Rwandan President Paul Kagame, Philip Gourevitch is not an impartial journalist, regardless of how much you may have loved his book, or been moved by it, because he has taken sides, and he has told only one side of the story, and he has told it badly, and he has been rewarded for his fine job in telling it badly.

“Gourevitch begins the story with the Tutsi as these saintly victims,” the Times’ Howard French says. “And I don’t think Gourevitch is a stupid guy. I think that it’s just sheer intellectual dishonesty… Gourevitch was coming out in the New Yorker every other month with this very well written and--if you don’t know the facts--very compelling picture about Rwanda… as the Israel of central Africa and the Tutsis as the Jews of central Africa. That’s powerful stuff. But I’m on the ground in Central Africa seeing that the reality is very, very different.” [11]

The theme of genocide in Rwanda--whether true or false--has birthed an industry that revolves around a standard, simplified plot. The appearance of the film Hotel Rwanda marks the coup de grace in the long process whereby the facts, the ugly realities and dirty details of what really happened in Rwanda have been distilled into a neat and tidy story that proliferates in the media, in film, in literature, at seminars on genocide and workshops on reconciliation, and it is the predominant discourse in academia. Quebec journalist Robin Philpot calls it “the right and proper tale.” [12]

The Falsification of Amerikan Consciousness

It has become a mythology: the Rwanda genocide mythology or, better, the Tutsi Holocaust mythology. But as African scholar Amos Wilson puts it so simply in The Falsification of Afrikan Consciousness, “you cannot understand the present unless you first understand the past.”

To understand the growth of the mythology on genocide in Rwanda, consider first the text of Hotel Rwanda--The Official Companion Book, which describes the process of “bringing the true story of an African hero to film.” [13] The book deletes the most basic facts about the Rwandan Patriotic Front and its backers’ roles in the ongoing war for the Great Lakes region of Africa, war that has led to some seven million people dead since the initial RPF invasion from Uganda in October 1990. Instead the book offers an abbreviated timeline of events that accentuate or exaggerate those points that serve the predominant Hotel Rwanda mythology, and it excludes those facts that would undermine this mythology: the entire framework of the brutal, bloody war for control of Rwanda is obscured.

October 1990: Guerrillas from the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) invade Rwanda from Uganda; the RPF is mostly made up of Tutsis. A ceasefire is signed on March 29, 1991.

First: the above statement uses the definitive term for the RPF action: invaded. The Rwandan Patriotic Army invaded Rwanda from Uganda. However, the context of the RPF ascension to power is obliterated. RPF infiltration of Rwanda began around 1986 after Yoweri Museveni, with powerful western backers, shot his way to power in Uganda. Paul Kagame, current president of Rwanda, was head of Museveni’s Directorate of Military Intelligence. Later trained by the US Army at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, Kagame became the General of the Rwandan Patriotic Front. But the RPF invasion was a gross violation of international law against a sovereign nation – a point the Hotel Rwanda industry ignores.

Never condemned by the “international community,” the RPF “struggle” was supported by powerful western agents and institutions, including the World Bank and the IMF, who shackled Rwanda with austerity programs in perfect synchronization with the RPF assault. This led to the heightened inculcation of structural violence throughout Rwanda. Combined with the crash of coffee prices on the world market, millions of Rwandans found it impossible to make ends meet as the 1990’s began. Suffering hit new lows not seen in Rwanda for decades.

The majority of people in Rwanda, besieged by the propaganda of competing factions--a spectrum of political interests aligned with or against the RPF or the Rwanda government of Juvenal Habyarimana--found scapegoats according to their positions in society. Economic interests predominated as a few elites increasingly controlled the life or death of the many. The rising insurgency and structural violence provoked hostility amongst and between groups, and elites controlling media outlets of all stripes began to use their venues to sow ethnic rivalry as the veneer for the deeper agenda: class warfare.

Hutus were dehumanized as often as Tutsis. “Pro-opposition newspapers represented MRND [Hutu government] leaders as essentially evil and corrupt,” writes Jean-Marie Higiro. They were “liars, idiots, animals, bloodthirsty murderers and warmongers. Some of these newspapers published drawings of President Habyarimana covered with blood.” [14]

The RPF and Rwandan Tutsi refugees had their own publications. The best known of these is Impuruza, published in the United States (1984-1994). Tutsi refugees joined Roger Winter, the Director of the United States Committee for Refugees, to help fund the publication. The editor, Alexander Kimenyi, is a Rwandan national and a professor at California State University. Like most RPF publications Impuruza circulated clandestinely in Rwanda amongst Hutu and Tutsi elite.

“A nation in exile, a people without leadership, ‘the Jews of Africa’, a stateless nation,” wrote Festo Habimana, the president of the Association of Banyarwanda in Diaspora USA, in the premier issue of Impuruza. Habimana called for the unity of Tutsi refugees. “But our success will depend entirely upon our own effort and unity, not through world community as some perceive… As long as we are scattered, with no leadership, business as usual on their part shall always be their policy. We are a very able and capable people with abundant blessings. What are we waiting for? Genocide?” [15]

The Association of Banyarwanda in Diaspora USA, assisted by Roger Winter, organized the International Conference on the Status of Banyarwanda [Tutsi] Refugees in Washington, DC in 1988, and this is where a military solution to the Tutsi problem was chosen. The US Committee for Refugees reportedly provided accommodation and transportation.[16] Winter is intimate with USAID, and a long-time ally of Susan Rice, former Assistant Secretary of State on African Affairs (1997-2001), Special Assistant to President Clinton (1995-1997), and National Security Council insider (1993-1997). Winter is also a staunch supporter of US. Rep. Donald Payne.

Winter acted as a spokesman for the RPF and their allies, and he appeared as a guest on major US television networks such as PBS and CNN. Philip Gourevitch and Roger Winter made contacts on behalf of the RPF with American media, particularly the Washington Post, New York Times and Time magazine. Roger Winter and US Rep. Donald Payne continue to manipulate African affairs: most notable are there recent exaggerations about genocide in Darfur, Sudan, for which Donald Payne sponsored the Darfur Genocide Accountability Act.

Second: the language of the above October 1990 timeline entry underscores the equally discrepant point that the RPF was “mostly made up of Tutsis.” According to the genocide mythology, the cataclysm in Rwanda was a tribal struggle between Hutus and Tutsis, with some involvement of France.

Who were the non-Tutsi elements of the ”mostly” Tutsi RPF? What is the implication? They were Hutus? How could Hutus be fighting alongside Tutsis if Hutus were exterminating all Tutsis based on an organized, premeditated plan? The term “moderate Hutu” invites a similar conundrum: what is a “moderate Hutu” in the international legal framework of genocide? [35]

The very definition of genocide would be questioned if it turned out that there were political, economic or class – as opposed to ethnic – motives behind the hundreds of thousands (or 1.2 million) of deaths that have been unequivocally attributed to Hutu genocidaires. A deeper examination of “genocide” in Rwanda raises just such inconvenient questions. The definition of what constitutes genocide is not so cut and dry as Hutus versus Tutsis, or lists of targeted Tutsis versus no lists, no matter the terror now invoked in one’s soul on hearing the word Interahamwe.

After the October 1990 entry, the timeline in the companion book omits any reference to the RPF until February 1993, as if the supposed “heroic” rebels were patiently sitting out the war from the Ugandan sidelines. But massacres occurred in northern Rwanda after the October 1990 invasion and after the 1991 ceasefire and they were committed by the RPF. Tens of thousands of refugees fled the border districts in fear of RPF atrocities.

(I—the author--remember quite well the traumatized tourist who disembarked from the back of a small pick-up truck that had just crossed the border from Rwanda to Uganda in 1991. I was in Kasindi, in southwestern Uganda. The Rwandan man sitting next to this western woman was shot by an RPF sniper as the truck drove down the road, and it was then stopped and searched by the RPF, and the dead man taken.)

From 1990 on, RPF terror cells began infiltrating Kigali, the capital, and all other areas of Rwanda, and with them came atrocities that were frequently blamed on the Habyarimana government, including assassinations, massacres and disappearances. By March 1993 internally displaced persons (IDPs) had reached one million people. The RPF practiced a scorched earth policy: they did not want to have to administer a territory or deal with local populations. The RPF displaced people, shelled the camps of internally displaced people, and marched on. They killed some captives, buried them in mass graves or burned corpses, and used survivors as porters to transport ammunition, dig trenches or cook their meals.

According to one Rwandan now in the US: prior to 1994, most Tutsis who had a job in Rwanda collected contributions for the RPF political and military program; people were afraid to refuse to pay the compulsory tax.

The Habyarimana government responded to terror with repression in kind, but the international human rights “community” had already taken sides in the war: the Hutu government of Habyarimana was accused of “genocide” against Tutsis as early as 1993; the RPF atrocities were ignored or explained away.

“There were many RPF killings in Rwanda between 1990 and 1994,” says Jean Marie Higiro, “but these were not investigated; they were automatically attributed to Habyarimana’s [MRND] party by the international community. Even so we know that the RPF used that kind of strategy to tarnish the image of their opponents.” [17] Jean-Marie Higiro also cites the Tutsi newspaper Impuruza, the publication edited by Professor Alexandre Kimenyi, with accusing the Habyarimana government of committing genocide against the Tutsis; this prior to 1993.

February 1993: The RPF again invades Rwanda. Hutu extremists cite the invasion as proof the Tutsis aim to eliminate them, and begin calling for preemptive measures.

To begin with, the RPF never left Rwanda, and they never stopped killing. Following the reasonable questions by journalist Robin Philpot, how would US citizens respond if Canadian guerrillas—arguing that their parents were born or once lived in the US--invaded from Toronto? Would we call Americans who complained “extremists”? What if a few Islamic militants purportedly invading the US took out the World Trade Center? Would the US government call for preemptive measures? Would we call the invaders a “rebel army”? Extremists? Would we call them terrorists?

“Is it normal in the search for justice to condemn one side in a war for human rights violations,” writes Robin Philpot, “and not even question the morality of the aggressors, those who violated the principles of all the charters of rights humanity has ever drafted? Is it right to shout about how a government violates rights and turn a blind eye to the launching of an aggressive war?” [18]

Hotel Washington

From 1993 onwards the RPF continued to stick its bloody foot in the door of Rwanda, and the international community continued to tighten the screws on the Habyarimana government. Ever vigilant and inflammatory in advertising the governments’ human rights abuses--whether manufactured, exaggerated or real--the human rights community continued to close its eyes to RPF atrocities, terrorist infiltrations and bloodied land grabbing. Backed by powerful factions from the United States, England and Belgium, the RPF maneuvered and manipulated its way to the very seat of power, in Kigali itself, where--under the Arusha Peace Accords--a battalion of RPF soldiers was based at a strategic site within the city center. The RPF immediately fortified its defenses under the watch of UN General Romeo Dallaire (now regarded as a hero by Canadian politicians). The mythology credits the RPF with the imperative of “stopping the genocide” against Tutsis.

Mid-July 1994: The Tutsi RPF forces capture Kigali and the genocide is over. Over a period of 100 days, almost 1,000,000 Rwandans were murdered.

While it may very well be that “almost 1,000,000 Rwandans were murdered” in those 100 days, it is also true that the RPF slaughtered, bombed, massacred, assassinated or tortured hundreds of thousands of people--including Hutu and Tutsi soldiers, politicians and government officials and innocent civilians. The RPF employed state-of-the-art information control and psychological operations tactics practiced by the US military: reporters were embedded; access to battle zones was restricted; evidence of RPF massacres was erased, or massacres were blamed on Hutu extremists, Interahamwe militias or the government Forces Armee Rwandaise. British journalist Nick Gordon reported crematoriums where the RPF incinerated bodies. After the April 6, 1994 double presidential assassination the western press—including Joshua Hammer (Newsweek), and Raymond Bonner, James C. McKinley Jr. and Donatella Lorch (New York Times)--went out of their way to cite “professional discipline” and “remarkable self-control” exercised by the invading rebel RPF forces. The press turned the double Presidential assassinations into “a mysterious plane crash,” but this was a smoldering wreckage of the truth.

UN High Commission for Refugees investigator Robert Gersony reported in September 1994 on the RPF’s killing of more than 30,000 ethnic Hutus—in a period of two months—and gave a detailed account of locations, dates and nature of crimes, as well as the methods used to kill and to make the bodies disappear. Gersony also identified RPF leaders responsible for the killings. The classified UN report has never been released.

Interested moviegoers might want to hack through the perception management of Hotel Rwanda to get to United Artists parent company Metro Goldwyn Meyer.[19] MGM directors, unsurprisingly, given what the film does not tell you about the true US role in Rwanda, include current United Technologies director and US General (Ret.) Alexander Haig. United Technologies is in the business of war and “I’m in charge here!” Al Haig served as secretary of state under a Hollywood actor named Ronald Reagan.

The hotel in the film is not the real Hotel des Mille Collines. The Tutsi RPF rebels did not enter Kigali, Rwanda’s capital city, and save the day, they were in Kigali all along. The RPF gained a foothold in Kigali through their constant deceptions and manipulations of the “peace process,” and with the support of their international backers, especially the United States.

“When you look at the motivations of the Interahamwe leadership and young people in the Interahamwe they were motivated by money,” notes Jean-Marie Higiro. Some Hutu businessmen were giving out loans, contributing to political parties of both the Rwandan government and the RPF rebels. “These guys wanted to do business: people were motivated by different interests.”

“Many Hutu and Tutsi businessmen prospered under the Habyarimana regime,” Higiro notes. “They received government contracts and loans from government banks and suddenly became rich. During this period of uncertainty they contributed money to the RPF, MRND, and opposition parties—always speculating on the winner. That is why, after the war, very few Hutu businessmen who had contributed to the RPF reopened their business immediately. That is why some Tutsi businessmen who contributed to the RPF made an excellent calculation. After the war they reaped off the benefits.”

Professors Christian Davenport (U. Maryland) and Allan Stam (Dartmouth) published research in 2004 that showed that the killings began with a small, dedicated cadre of Hutu militiamen, but quickly cascaded in an ever-widening circle, with Hutu and Tutsi playing the roles of both attackers and victims. The research unleashed a firestorm: the media jumped on them for denying genocide.

“Our research suggests that many of the victims, possibly even a majority, were Hutus—there weren’t enough Tutsis in Rwanda at the time to account for all the reported deaths… When you add it all up it looks a lot more like politically motivated mass killing than genocide. A wide diversity of individuals, both Hutu and Tutsi, systematically used the mass killing to settle political, economic and personal scores.” [20]

Some facts in the film are true. To begin with, in every sense of the terms “human rights” and “humanitarianism,” the western powers betrayed the people of Rwanda. The whites were rapidly evacuated, the blacks abandoned, including the many African staffers of international agencies. The French armed the Hutu side, but the United States armed the Tutsis. There was man named Paul Rusesabagina and he would, one day, be working at the Hotel des Mille Collines, but he was the manager of the Hotel Des Diplomats. The Tutsi rebels were blamed with the assassination of the presidents of Rwanda and Burundi, but the film convinces us they didn’t do it, when everything suggests they did. And it is certainly true that hundreds of thousands of Rwandans died.

Hotel Rwanda is a work of fiction. As a cultural artifact produced by an affluent industry in the West, and for affluent western consumers, but focused on a distant and exoticized culture about which the affluent western consumers know very little, it serves to consolidate the ideological pillars of disinformation that came before it, and upon which it was built.

According to many and varied knowledgeable sources, including hotel insiders:

Rwanda was not abandoned by the western powers: Belgium, France, Canada, England and the United States were all militarily involved in the 1994 conflict. Because there are Israeli connections to the current government, it is likely that Israelis were also involved. These were no bystanders to genocide, but active participants in a ruthless military conflagration.

The hotel was not under a state of siege early on as the movie suggests--an elegant wedding took place there during the fray, and it married the sister of the Tutsi businessman Kamana Claver, who had contracts with the Hutu government. According to one guest, powerful Hutus and Tutsis regularly came and went. When the water to the Hotel was shut off, forcing the “refugees” to drink the water from the swimming pool, it was not shut off by the Hutu genocidaires, as implied in the film, but by the Tutsi RPF army, who cut power to the city.

General Bizimungu appears in the very first scenes of the film, prior to the double presidential assassination: yet when the plane was shot down on April 6, 1994, General Bizimungu was still a Colonel, and he was far from Kigali. According to one hotel guest, who remains unnamed for fear of retribution, Paul Rusesabagina in no way wielded the kind of influence as suggested throughout the film.

“Paul was a very simple man like me in front of the Interahamwe. If he succeeded to save some Tutsi from his home he was most probably helped by some influential Interahamwe friend, say Georges Rutaganda. He was as vulnerable as I was and could not oppose any action against the will of the militia and much less of the army. He lies when he feints to call General Bizimungu for help, because the Hotel Des Mille Collines was under the jurisdiction of Colonel Renzaho. Bizimungu lived at the northern war front lines, and he only came to Kigali four days after the plane was shot down and I never saw him at the hotel.”

Georges Rutaganda, the devil beer salesman and erstwhile murderer of Tutsis in Hotel Rwanda, writes that Paul Rusesabagina was no disinterested, apolitical hotel manager, but an important activist member of a national political party. On 12 April 1994, Rusesabagina shifted to the Hôtel Des Mille Collines where he acted as its new director because the other had been evacuated by foreign troops. Hotel Rwanda depicts Rusesabagina at the Hotel Des Mille Collines prior to the April 6 double presidential assassinations. Rutaganda claims to have visited the hotel and seen guests from both Hutu and Tutsi ethnic groups, including: Rubangura Vedaste; Mutalikanwa Félicien; Dr. Gasasira Jean Baptiste; Kamana Claver; Kajuga Wicklif; Rwigema Celestin; Kamilindi Thomas; and others.

Rutaganda claims that very few soldiers of UNAMIR (United Nations Assistance Mission to Rwanda) soldiers were around, and they were incidental to security: the Hutu Gendarmes of the FAR army were manning a roadblock at the main entrance. He also claims that the “refugees” in the UN convoy that were turned back at a roadblock “were the real elite cream of Tutsi ethnic tribe. Had one been really spurred by bad intentions this would have been a great occasion to decapitate the Tutsi ethnic group. Families of former ministers, of doctors, of lawyers, of big business men, of highly educated men, of professors, etc, were among them.”

If the “genocide” were so organized and calculated, and quick to strike, then Rutaganda has a very interesting point: how did it happen that the elite of the Tutsi tribe were protected and evacuated by UNAMIR troops and Hutu Gendarmes? Of course, all Hutus as killers, and no one will believe a genocidaire: Georges Rutaganda was sentenced to life in prison by the ICTR.

“Georges Rutaganda cooperated with the UN to save all those people.” ICTR investigator Phil Taylor offers a compelling portrait of the devil himself: Rutaganda didn’t incite hate crimes, he called for calm and respect for the Red Cross; Rutaganda was never accused of the rape and sexual slavery depicted in the film; and Rutaganda never traded in machetes. Indeed, Human Rights Watch in January 1994 identified an English businessman who had imported tens of thousands of machetes into Rwanda.[21] And Rape was off the agenda until Hillary Clinton showed up and pledged $600,000 for the first ICTR rape conviction.

The film offers a fictitious UN Colonel Oliver (Nick Nolte) as a substitute for the Canadian General Romeo Dallaire, whose is absent from the film. (It is believed that Dallaire asked too much money from the filmmakers for the use of his name or character.) Apparently, General Romeo Dallaire worked not as an impartial United Nations soldier but as an agent for the invading RPF army. Dallaire reportedly approached Hutu military commanders to convince them to follow the winds of change and embrace the RPF program. Dallaire was rarely present at the hotel, but his substitute (Nolte) is always there.

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