4 thoughts on “Rwanda and Its Moral Lessons – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. I recently read A Problem From Hell: America in the Age of Genocide which covered Rwanda (and Bosnia, and Cambodia, and…) It did not make me happy with Clinton, to say the least…

    Nick Kristoff’s column today was very powerful. Let’s hope it does some good.

  2. Yes, both of those are very powerful & should be read. Kristoff’s article also quotes a Janjaweed memo outlining the genocide explicitly–very important evidence for later genocide prosecution I should think (if it can be authenticated).

  3. Much the same thing almost happened in East Timor in 1999, after the vote for independence from Indonesia, which the UN conducted. When violence by pro-Indonesian militias exploded, killing 1,500 people, the world simply watched the TV reports and did nothing. Finally, the UN decided to evacuate its compound in Dili, leaving the people who had been protected there to die.

    But the foreign UN workers realized that, far from being powerless, they were the most powerful people in the world. If they ignored the order and stayed then troops would have to be sent to protect them, and the terror brought to an end–after some 200,000 East Timorese had been murdered during the 24-year occupation.

  4. Yes, thanks Montag for adding that perspective. Of course you are right. I didn’t know that UN staff refused to evacuate E. Timor. If so, they were truly heroic.

    Dallaire too was heroic in Rwanda because he continually disobeyed direct orders from UN headquarters to desist from any active forms of resistance to the Interahamwe. In fact, the Security Council voted to end the UN mission in Rwanda & he flat out refused to leave. Who knows how many more would’ve died if he’d acquiesced in those wretched orders from Kofi Annan’s staff in NYC?

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