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A Grim Lesson From The Past About Unilaterism.  
User currently offlineJcs17 From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 8065 posts, RR: 39
Posted (10 years 10 months 1 week 23 hours ago) and read 1594 times:

http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=11906

A Grim Lesson from the Past About the Uses of "Unilateralism"
By Shmuley Boteach
Jerusalem Post | January 26, 2004


In just 12 weeks the world will commemorate the 10th anniversary of the genocide in Rwanda. That somber thought was on my mind as my friend, the distinguished African-American journalist Peter Noel, took me the other night for a tour of Harlem. We passed by Bill Clinton's office, and Peter told me how significant crowds, nearly all African-Americans, await the arrival most mornings of the man dubbed "America's first black president."

That description – coined in 1998 by African-American Nobel laureate Toni Morrison – as well as the African-American rapture for Bill Clinton, is nothing short of astonishing. Calling Clinton the first black president is as ridiculous as referring to Franklin Roosevelt as the first Jewish president. Roosevelt did many great things as president. But saving Jews from the Holocaust was certainly not one of them. Likewise, whatever good Clinton did as leader of the free world, saving the blacks of Rwanda was at the very bottom of the list.

The Rwandan genocide of Tutsis by Hutus happened at a rate even quicker than the liquidation of Jews at the hands of the Germans. The best estimate is that 800,000 were killed in a hundred days, which translates into 334 murders per hour, or about six murders per minute. Most of these were low-tech executions by machete. Tens of thousands of others were horribly maimed but did not die.

As Phillip Gourevitch explains in his definitive account of the Rwandan genocide, We Wish to Inform You that Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families, president Clinton, still haunted by the murder of American soldiers in Somalia, chose to do absolutely nothing in Rwanda. Worse, his administration obstructed the efforts of other nations to stop the slaughter.

On April 21, 1994, the Canadian UN commander in Rwanda, General Romeo Dallaire, declared that he required only 5,000 troops to bring the genocide to a rapid halt. In addition, a single bombing run against the RTLM Hutu Power radio transmitting antenna would have made it impossible for the Hutus to coordinate their genocide. But on the very same day, the Security Council, with the Clinton Administration's blessing, ordered the UN force under Dallaire reduced by 90 percent to a skeleton staff of 270 troops, which would powerlessly witness the slaughter to come.

This in turn was influenced by Presidential Decision Directive 25, "which amounted to a checklist of reasons to avoid American involvement in UN peacekeeping missions even though Dallaire did not seek American troops and the mission was not peacekeeping but genocide prevention."

Indeed, Madeleine Albright, the American ambassador to the UN, opposed leaving even this tiny UN force. She also pressured other countries "to duck as the death toll leapt from thousands to tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands – the absolute low point in her career as a stateswoman."

FINALLY, EIGHT African nations, fed up with American inaction, agreed to send in an intervention force to stop the slaughter, provided that the U.S. would lend them 50 armored personnel carriers. The Clinton Administration decided it would lease rather than lend the armor for a price of $15 million. The carriers sat on a runway in Germany while the UN pleaded for a $5 million reduction as the genocidal inferno raged.

The story only gets worse from there, with the Clinton State Department refusing to label the Rwanda horrors a genocide because of the 1948 Genocide Convention that would have obligated the US to intervene.

I have noticed that the past few years have seen a gradual erosion of my once considerable affection for president Clinton. I have endeavored to understand why. The Monica Lewinsky story was not the cause. As a relationship counselor, I have witnessed other essentially decent men who have been unfaithful to their wives. Less so was it Clinton's refusal to protect the U.S. amid continued provocation from al-Qaida because, while I condemn his virtual inaction, the case can still be made that only a cataclysm the magnitude of September 11th could have fully awakened the United States to the threat of international terrorism.

Rather, upon reflection, I have been able to identify the precise time and cause that Bill Clinton began to so shrivel in my eyes. It was when President George W. Bush brought the American hammer down, first in Afghanistan obliterating the women-beating Taliban, and then in Iraq where Saddam's genocidal assassins were sent early to their graves. Witnessing such humanitarian and heroic action, I was able to compare Clinton's indifference with the decisiveness of a leader who finally gave meaning to the words "Never again."

Paul O' Neill, President Bush's first treasury secretary, attacked his former boss recently by alleging that the Bush administration began planning an invasion of Iraq just 10 days after taking office. I hope this is true. Hearing it makes me respect President Bush even more. How can one not stand in awe of a man who, offered the levers of power, determined that finally, in the third Christian millennium, a message would be sent to the despots of the world that they would no longer prowl the Earth with impunity and that the hand of justice would reach far across the Earth and sink them into a spider hole.

Watching the formerly insolent and now frightened Muammar Gaddafi meekly ratify the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty this week gave me hope that in this new world, presided over by a determined global leader, justice was growing larger even as the bullies of the past were growing smaller. How sad and tragic that a two-term American president is shrinking along with them.
----
Great article. The Rwandan genocide is just one of many international issues that Bill Clinton turned his head from.



America's chickens are coming home to rooooost!
15 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineMD-90 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 8508 posts, RR: 12
Reply 1, posted (10 years 10 months 1 week 23 hours ago) and read 1583 times:

This was cited in the National Review last week. Great article.

But of course anything that frontpagemag.com cites is obviously the work of lying liars who lie. Duh.

And anyone wanna bet how long it is before Alpha 1 comes on here and screams (kinda like Howard Dean, perhaps) that conservatives just can't get over Clinton?


User currently offlineQb001 From Canada, joined Apr 2000, 2053 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (10 years 10 months 1 week 22 hours ago) and read 1570 times:

Funny to read this rotten article now, especially considering that Colin Powel has finally admitted there might not be WMD in Iraq.

And also when number 43 calls the UN to the rescue in trying to organize the elections in Iraq, the same multi-lateral UN he so vehemently despised in the past...

Hypocrisy now bears a new name: the Bush Administration.



Never let the facts get in the way of a good theory.
User currently offlineJamesag96 From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 2095 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (10 years 10 months 1 week 21 hours ago) and read 1556 times:

Sad? Yes.
Surprising? NO.

Filler
Filler
Filler



Why Kate, You're not wearing a bustle. How lewd.
User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13241 posts, RR: 77
Reply 4, posted (10 years 10 months 1 week 7 hours ago) and read 1522 times:

A tragic tale that shames the 'civilized' world.

But using it to bash Clinton is pathetic, think GWB would have acted any differently?
Of course not, Rwanda was not on the Neo-Cons radar.

In fact the US record in doing anything about such genocides is very poor, which is also true about the West in general, but then they don't try to ram their 'moral superiority' down everyone else's throat.


User currently offlineAloges From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 8735 posts, RR: 42
Reply 5, posted (10 years 10 months 1 week 7 hours ago) and read 1517 times:

Kind of funny that the person who'd be screaming "Why did they waste my tax money in Rwanda??!" the loudest of all posts this article...  Insane

And don't get me started on massacres that Republican presidents have "turned their heads from", or that they even supported. For starters, who was president when Saddam Hussein decided to gas the Kurds? The Holy Ron Himself, wasn't he?



Walk together, talk together all ye peoples of the earth. Then, and only then, shall ye have peace.
User currently offlineCfalk From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (10 years 10 months 1 week 6 hours ago) and read 1502 times:

For starters, who was president when Saddam Hussein decided to gas the Kurds? The Holy Ron Himself, wasn't he?

And do you remember what happened to U.S.-Iraq relations after that? They did suffer, in spite of the U.S. being on his side against Iran (considered a worse threat at the time). Of course you have the benefit of hindsight.

Rwanda is a low point in U.S. foreign policy, without question. Whether Bush would have acted the same way is nothing more than a hypothetical. I expect that he probably would have acted, considering his history of ignoring public opinion and relying on his own sense of right and wrong (what his detracters call his "black and white view".

The fact is, some issues are black and white.

Charles


User currently offlineQb001 From Canada, joined Apr 2000, 2053 posts, RR: 4
Reply 7, posted (10 years 10 months 1 week 6 hours ago) and read 1495 times:

considering his history of ignoring public opinion and relying on his own sense of right and wrong...

Given the number of WMD found in Iraq thus far, I have to believe GWB doesn't have a great sense of right or wrong, but rather a very simple knack for being wrong. Period.

That or he's just being a damn liar.



Never let the facts get in the way of a good theory.
User currently offlineAloges From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 8735 posts, RR: 42
Reply 8, posted (10 years 10 months 1 week 6 hours ago) and read 1493 times:

Charles,

my point, which I assume you understood, was that it does not necessarily depend on a president or his party whether he'll try to stop a massacre or not. I just can't stand all the Clinton-bashing by certain people, that's all. The man is a political genius, and a statesman of the highest order - just like other US presidents were, Republicans and Democrats. It's not necessary to spew depreciatory comments just because Clinton is a democrat. The "Holy Ron" comment was no attempt to belittle Reagan, but an attempt to caricature the image a certain group of people is trying to give him.

"The fact is, some issues are black and white."

What issues are you talking about?



Walk together, talk together all ye peoples of the earth. Then, and only then, shall ye have peace.
User currently offlineCfalk From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (10 years 10 months 1 week 2 hours ago) and read 1470 times:

The man is a political genius, and a statesman of the highest order

I agree he was a political genius. But a statesman he is not. To be a statesman you must have a history of wise and disinterested service which led to the advancement of your nation's interests and/or integrity. I don't think Bill fits the bill (pun intended). Churchill, Eisenhower, FDR, Gandhi, and Bismarck did (even if I disagree with many of their policies). Clinton is not in that circle.

What issues are you talking about?

Rwanda, for example.

Charles


User currently offlineDavid b. From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 3148 posts, RR: 5
Reply 10, posted (10 years 10 months 1 week 2 hours ago) and read 1463 times:

WMD anyone??


Teenage-know-it-alls should be shot on sight
User currently offlineAloges From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 8735 posts, RR: 42
Reply 11, posted (10 years 10 months 1 week 1 hour ago) and read 1452 times:

Heavens, I hate that stupid war in Iraq more each day!
_____

Charles, while those men who you mentioned deserve being called statesmen in my book, too, I do think Bill Clinton is in that circle. He was lucky enough to be president in an overall very peaceful era - no major wars, but "only" regional ones were to be fought during those years. There were also no severe tensions like the Cold War, prime example for "tensions".

A smart president might have profited from that situation by keeping things the way they were, but Clinton did far more than that. He led his country into economic heydays, if you like it, and miraculously managed to create an immense federal budget surplus. The news I remember being reported from America was almost always "unemployment hits record low" and such. Turning a country the size of the United States into an economic powerhouse like that takes the skills of a statesman.

On the foreign policy stage, things were certainly not at their worst when Clinton managed to set up serious peace talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians (more info); that picture of Rabin and Arafat shaking hands is one of the first I'll remember for all time. The peacekeeping missions in former Yugoslavia were able to prove the fact that NATO is a well-functioning military alliance, with its most powerful member helping out when needed. Granted, that regional Balkan War was not primarily "of America's business" (sorry for the platitude) and its direct benefit for the US is at least doubtful, but knowing that NATO members will help each other if they can and judge it justified can't be anything but a very good foundation for further cooperation. Sadly, that foundation has recently been damaged by the vocal abuse committed by Donald Rumsfeld et alii.



Walk together, talk together all ye peoples of the earth. Then, and only then, shall ye have peace.
User currently offlineTbar220 From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 7013 posts, RR: 26
Reply 12, posted (10 years 10 months 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 1422 times:

I don't think this is an issue of Democrats or Republicans. I think its more an issue of this country and the rest of the civilized western worlds turning their backs on people in need. When the people of Rwanda needed help from the rest of the world, they saw the door slammed shut in their face. When the problems in the former Yugoslavia erupted, Europe chose to stall on the issue. Countries won't get involved in such a messy situation unless there's something in it for them. This is sad, but true.

What would the world have gotten out of intervening in Rwanda? How about Somalia? What about intervening to put an end to conflict in Sri Lanka or Tamil?

I believe that if the civilized world put a unified, concerted effort into stopping genocide and murder in backwards countries, this world would be a much better place. And I mean a unified, military force clamping down on brutal human rights abuses.

Murder and violence spur hate, and its that hate that become's so deeply rooted that it is nearly impossible to recover from it in the future. Why isn't the rest of the world doing something about it?



NO URLS in signature
User currently offlineL.1011 From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 2209 posts, RR: 9
Reply 13, posted (10 years 10 months 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 1403 times:

Algoes,

You just discredited your own post. In the first part you said Clinton was President during a peaceful time, and he took advantage of that. He did the same with the economy. Eisenhower, Reagan, and many others had this happen, and some took steps to help the economy further, like those two, and I do give Clinton credit for assisting the recovery, unlike you which believe Clinton did so much, while Bush is just riding a wave. How is Bill Clinton a statesman? He is a lying, cheating hypocrite who took advantage of a peaceful, rich time. The other men actually helped save innoncent lives, as Clinton did in the Balkans, however, Clinton also overlooked many actions of genocide, like Rwanda. Bill Clinton was a political genius, that is absolutely true. But he is not a statesman.

CFalk,

You are absolutely right that some issues are black and white. It is black and white that Saddam was an evil and ruthless dictator, it is not black and white that he had WMDs. That hasn't been proven, but it also hasn't been disproven. And even if Saddam didn't have WMDs, can't the CIA make an honest mistake? Isn't the world a better place without Saddam? I must say that if we don't find something substantial before the DNC convention, Bush will have to admit he made a mistake or lose the election. Americans are very forgiving people. The majority of Americans have enough of a logical thought process to know that getting rid of Saddam was a good thing, even if we were mistaken on the initial reasons. Absoultely Rwanda was a HUGE mistake by Clinton, a mistake Bush, Bush, or Reagan would not have made. Iraq-Iran in the 80s was a matter of choosing the lesser of two evils. We felt Iran was more dangerous, with 3 times the population of Iraq, and already launching the evil religious extremism that Saddam did not have. Rather, Saddam was just a totalitarian.

Jcs17 and MD-90,

Yes it's an excellent, well thought out article. It's logical and it shows the truth, unlike certain Canadians.

Qb001,

You should notice that no one bothers to respond to your posts anymore. I do give credit to Algoes to at least give us ogical thought, rather than your ridiculous, untrue and pathetic one-liners.

These Colors Don't Run (At Least When a Republican is in office)
Derek


User currently offlineQb001 From Canada, joined Apr 2000, 2053 posts, RR: 4
Reply 14, posted (10 years 10 months 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 1398 times:

You should notice that no one bothers to respond to your posts anymore. I do give credit to Algoes to at least give us ogical thought, rather than your ridiculous, untrue and pathetic one-liners.

Wow! A wisdom lesson from a 14 years old! Lucky me  Insane



Never let the facts get in the way of a good theory.
User currently offlineL.1011 From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 2209 posts, RR: 9
Reply 15, posted (10 years 10 months 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 1399 times:

It's a lot more logical than any of your postings Qb.

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