Saturday November 26, 2022
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EXCLUSIVE: Dr. Gerald Caplan & the Rwanda Genocide CranksKeith Harmon Snow for Salem-News.com
The ugly truth is that 'the world of genocide scholars' is much the very problem itself...
(WILLIAMSBURG, MA) - War and plunder continue to rip apart great swathes of Africa. The perpetrators are known, and many have been named and exposed. The Pentagon, NATO countries and Israel continue to foment covert international guerrilla wars, while their proxy regimes continue to persecute and defraud their own people, even (at this writing) engaged in genocide. Meanwhile, leading white (and some black) apologists whitewashing war crimes and genocide in Africa continue to squeal about anyone who does not tout the racist white power establishment line they worship and profit from.
In a scathing assault on truth titled "The Politics of Denialism: The Strange Case of Rwanda," published in 2010, Canadian academic and long-time 'Rwanda genocide scholar' Gerald Caplan took on Professor Edward S. Herman and scholar David Peterson's then recently published book, The Politics of Genocide (Monthly Review Press, NY, June 2010).
"Human nature remains an often cruel and capricious creature," Gerry Caplan writes in his April 2013 tirade against the University of Toronto's radio station, CIUT, and its regular weekly program The Taylor Report. "Just as there remain deniers of the Armenian genocide and the Holocaust, so there are various groups who, each for its own squalid reasons, deny the truth of what happened in Rwanda. The pain this causes to survivors and their families hardly needs elaborating."
"Taylor's home page, for example, has long carried a blurb for a book by Robin Philpot, perhaps Canada's most prominent denier, called Rwanda 1994: Colonialism dies hard, insisting that there was no genocide of the Tutsi at all. On the contrary. It was all a diabolical American plot to use a group of Tutsi guerrillas known as the RPF to end French influence in the Congo and replace it with the U.S. Among America's most reliable assets in this deadly initiative, according to Philpot, was a Canadian soldier named Romeo Dallaire."
Indeed, it was.
Diabolical. Blood-drenched, murderous, ruthless, cruel, atrocities of the most horrible kinds for which I have never been willing to show the most gruesome photos. And the bloodshed and persecution continues to this day.
"In the 10 years or so that his show has appeared on CIUT," Caplan continues, "Mr. Taylor has given an inordinate amount of attention not only to Philpot but to a tiny band that constitutes North America's most notorious deniers of the Rwanda genocide---Christopher Black, Peter Erlinder, Anne Garrison (sic), David Katz, Keith Harmon Jones (sic), Cynthia McKinney." (Seems Dr. Caplan is mixing me up with his partner-in-propaganda, the Rwanda genocide 'expert' Adam Jones.)
Caplan's attack is nothing more than a defense of the mainstream establishment narrative about 'genocide in Rwanda', and this is itself a cornerstone in the mainstream establishment framework on genocide overall, a hegemonic western framework which serves the imperial conquest of all peoples of color and the greater militarization and destruction of planet earth. This framework is described to some degree by Dr. Norman Finkelstein in The Holocaust Industry, and also by eminent scholar Immanuel Wallerstein in his little book European Universalism: The Rhetoric of Power.
"It is a morally ambiguous doctrine," Wallerstein wrote. "It attacks the crimes of some and passes over the crimes of others, even using the criteria of what it asserts to be 'natural law'."
And yet, as a prominent member of the Association of Concerned (sic) African Scholars, whose members are deeply connected to the establishment and whose interests are far from pure or transparent, Wallerstein himself is a part of the imperial apparatus being used to continue and support the onslaught against Africa and her people today. And yet he too denies it.
In his endeavor to falsify history, Dr. Gerald Caplan ignores the pain, mutilations, rapes and deaths caused by the western power brokers Paul Kagame and Yoweri Museveni to millions upon millions of Burundian, Congolese, Sudanese and Ugandan people, and he ignores the pain, mutilations, rapes and deaths of the millions of Rwandan people---both majority Hutu people and minority French-speaking Tutsi people---victimized by the Western-backed cataclysms in the Great Lakes region of Africa.
Here is how Gerald Caplan essentializes what happened in Rwanda. "The truth is simple enough: While the world stood by (where it wasn't complicit), a high-ranking cabal of Hutu extremists in 1994 came perilously close to achieving its deranged goal: the extermination of all Tutsi from the face of Rwanda."
Alas, the truth is not so simple. (Note that little parenthetic remark: "where it wasn't complicit".) And then too it is. What happened in Rwanda was a coup d'etat. Rather than evolve to a greater understanding of events, over time, when one is presented with more and more facts (as, for example, when the Pentagon reveals more about what it did and didn't know, or what it did and didn't do in Rwanda) we have Dr. Gerald Caplan engaging in exactly that which he decries: genocide denial. But such a conclusion is best left alone for now, but not, and never, to be forgotten: Gerald Caplan engages in genocide denial. To do this, he must simultaneously attack anyone and everyone who threatens to undermine the narrow, yet deeply entrenched and deeply falsified, historical narrative that provides him the currencies of wealth, status and power.
THE FALSIFICATION OF CONSCIOUSNESS
Dr. Caplan's book review of June 17, 2010 was published by the Internet venue Pambazuka Press. Pambazuka claims authority as "Pan-African Voices for Freedom and Justice," and seems to be quick to publish the ideas of people like Dr. Caplan, no matter what they have to say, or how they say it. (Pambazuka Press denied equal access and space to others, such as myself, who sought to address and correct Dr. Caplan and his falsification of history, and even as they deny space they maintain that they are equitable.)
The Caplan review was quickly picked up and republished by AllAfrica.com, the corporate propaganda venue, controlled from Washington D.C., that excludes any dissenting voices or opinions outside their framework of acceptability and ideological bias, is very favorable to the western-backed dictatorships (e.g. Kagame, Museveni, Kanambe etc.), and seems to be moderated, at the very least, by the western intelligence establishment. Notwithstanding their total subservience to Western predatory capitalism, AllAfrica.com astonishingly claims to be:
It is no surprise that Gerald Caplan's vitriol was regurgitated there.
In these supposed examples of scholarship, Dr. Caplan demonstrates his unapologetic allegiance to corporate power, to mainstream academia, and to his own perks and benefits in upholding the massive deceptions about genocide in the Great Lakes of Africa, in particular, and shock-doctrine capitalism, more generally. Dr. Caplan's review did not read like a dispassionate and objective work of scholarship. Instead, the author employs invective, sarcasm, and name-calling that translate to pure nastiness. It is noteworthy that these are not "peer-reviewed" articles. They are rather a form of mudslinging in the trenches of the ignorant masses.
According to Caplan, the Politics of Genocide book showcases "bizarre fictions that have poisoned the authors' minds" and, "[d]espite its strange biases and excesses in belaboring its thesis, it's a useful reminder of American double standards that should not be forgotten (particularly given the disappointing record of the Obama administration)."
Caplan begins by complaining that some leftist intellectuals--apparently embodied by Herman and Peterson--try to find the great American bogeyman in everything, which is basically his way to paint the authors, and anyone who might think like them, as conspiracy theorists. This is a standard establishment tactic used in the attempt to discredit and dismiss real facts, real truth and real news.
"Herman and Peterson argue that in a world controlled by the American empire and its media and intellectual lackeys, genocide has become a political construct largely manipulated by Washington and its allies," Caplan writes. "Their main target can be found squarely in the heart of the book. It's chapter 4, the longest single section, and its purpose is to show that the 1994 genocide of the Rwandan Tutsi never happened. In fact the entire 'genocide' in Rwanda is an elaborate American conspiracy to 'gain a strong military presence in Central Africa, a diminution of its European rivals' influence, proxy armies to serve its interests, and access to the raw material-rich Democratic Republic of the Congo'..."
"Yes, in order to blame the American empire for every ill on earth, Herman and Peterson, two dedicated anti-imperialists, have sunk to the level of genocide deniers."
Oh, that sinking feeling...
"And the 'evidence' they adduce to back up their delusional tale," adds Caplan, "rests solidly on a foundation of other deniers, statements by genocidaires, fabrications, distortions, innuendo and gross ignorance."
Here is one of Dr. Caplan's criticisms. According to Herman and Peterson and their tightly knit cabal of fools, the 1990 invasion of Rwanda from Uganda was carried out not by Rwandans but by Ugandan forces under Ugandan President Museveni, the RPF being 'a wing of the Ugandan army'.
"There is no source given for this assertion," Caplan complains, "which contradicts almost all other histories of the invasion." However, Caplan's statement is so foolish and so totally unsupportable that one could stop reading this rebuttal against Dr. Caplan right now. Even the scantest bit of investigation would reveal that such facts do not warrant citation precisely because they are now so widely known that they are irrefutable.
Contrary to Herman and Peterson's inconvenient little book on the political economy of genocide, Dr. Caplan proposes that there is a small cabal of genocide negationists, a conspiratorial collective of 'lunatics', 'genocide deniers', and 'cranks', and he sets out to denigrate them through this book review. Dr. Caplan therefore portrays the attempts by Herman and Peterson (and a handful of other independent thinkers) to expose more than 16 years of lies and propaganda about victims and killers in Rwanda as "the strange case of Rwanda".
Admittedly, Dr. Caplan names me amongst the miniscule ranks of 'cranks' involved in this conspiracy of strangeness and lunacy: "[t]his rogue's gallery of American deniers also includes Keith Harmon Snow and Wayne Madsen, who will bitterly resent the authors for failing to invoke them in their book."
According to Dr. Caplan, we are a small and tightly knit group of conspirators---actually, we all wear these funny little jesters hats and green stretch tights and have tinkle-bells on our toes when we dance around the fire and sing songs of genocide remembrance, but don't tell Dr. Caplan---who all cite each other in each other's publications while we "gleefully drink each others' putrid bath water".
Is this the language of western scholarship?
On the other hand, Dr. Caplan provides a long list of 'experts' who he says are the definitive purveyors of truth on genocide in Rwanda. What Dr. Caplan accuses me and the other 'genocide deniers' of is actually true of his long list of experts.
Funny how that works: in psychological lingo, this is known as projection.
Included on Dr. Caplan's list are several notable people with a long history of producing propaganda for Paul Kagame and the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF). Some of these experts have much to recommend them, but the interests, motivations and position on each---vis-à-vis genocide in Rwanda---must be considered on a case-by-case basis, just as any true scholar would be advised to consider the positions, interests and motivations of everyone they seek to critique.
One of Caplan's experts is Somali 'human rights' expert Rakiya Omaar, who is on the RPF payroll, and has been for years, and who was one of the first, with Alex de Waal, to begin screaming 'genocide against the Tutsis' well before the so-called 100 days of genocide of 1994. The 'human rights' documentation produced by Rakiya Omaar and Alex de Waal, prior to 1994, is highly contested, but Dr. Caplan does not dare to explore or even observe this.
Notably absent from Dr. Caplan's list is Rwanda experts is Belgian academic Dr. Filip Reyntjens. Why? The omission is not accidental: Dr. Reyntjens is one of a very few academics and intellectuals, journalists or human rights investigators who, as time moves forward from 1992 to the present day, has revisited his own work and revised his position, and Dr. Reyntjens position has become increasingly hostile to the Rwandan Patriotic Front and increasingly more critical of the western propaganda apparatus and its mythology on genocide in Rwanda.
Another of Caplan's Rwanda expert is Columbia University professor and African intellectual Mahmood Mamdani. Are there any unanswered questions about the trajectory of Mamdani's career, such as his involvement, in some substantial capacity, as a propaganda agent for Yoweri Museveni and Paul Kagame during (1980-1985) and after (1986-1990) the guerrilla war---and the commencement of genocide against the Acholi people---prosecuted in Uganda by the National Resistance Army? Museveni commanded the NRA yet its top officers included elite Tutsi exiles (so-called 'Rwandan refugees') Paul Kagame and Fred Rwigema, and Mamdani's position vis-à-vis the NRA has not been sufficiently explored or exposed by Western academics (of which Mamdani is one).
What about Mamdani's relations to Paul Kagame, post-1994, and to General James Kabarebe, one of the elite Ugandan Tutsis of the so-called Rwandan Patriotic Front, who was indicted for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide by the Spanish court? It turns out that Mamdani traveled into the Congo (Zaire), circa 1998, from Rwanda, accompanied by Kabarebe and RPF cadres. Applying the language and ideas of African scholar Frances Njubu Nesbitt, we might aptly consider Professor Mamdani to be an 'intellectual in the belly of the beast."
In any case, Dr. Caplan relies on the work of these renowned Rwanda 'scholars' on his list---e.g. Alison Des Forges, Philip Gourevitch, Gerard Prunier, etc.---over and over. It seems that he can use his experts to back up his theses all he likes, but we (the supposed cranks) cannot cite our own unique experts to back up our own unique theses or reportage. Because our thesis and reportage are unique they are, according to Caplan and certain others, automatically conspiratorial.
Indeed, there was a conspiracy to invade Rwanda. It began in October 1990. There was a conspiracy to overthrow the majority Hutu government, and the conspiracy succeeded. There was a conspiracy to assassinate Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana and Burundian President Cyprien Ntaryamira. The assassinations took place. Dr. Gerry Caplan whitewashes the facts about the double presidential assassinations and all other evidence of Western support, backing and involvement in the long war (1990-1994) and in the final coup d'etat (1994). Sometimes Caplan proverbially throws up his hands and says: "We just can't figure out who killed the two presidents and it will always have to remain a mystery."
Dr. Caplan uses innuendo, distortion, lies, and decontextualization of facts to make his book review case, just as he does for all his other Rwanda 'scholarship', and in his most recent attack on the University of Toronto. Meanwhile, he simultaneously claims that such are the tactics of those whose views he does not approve---and that would be us oddballs with the tinkle toes in green outfits all conspiratorially connected to each other through the Internet.
How compromised is Caplan? How honest is the Pambazuka editor Firoze Manji when he claims (personal communication, June 22, 2010) that "We are not 'pro' any country or person or faction' and "we welcome you to submit an article" as long as it is "analysis and not mudslinging"?
"Phil Clark and I had dinner together in Kigali on my last night in Rwanda in April ," wrote Gerry Caplan in another Pambazuka feature (July 23, 2009), "finding an okay Ethiopian restaurant just off the road between Hotel Chez Lando and Amohoro Stadium. Linda Melvern is a very dear friend, I have great regard for Bill Schabas and I meet with Tom Ndahiro to discuss genocide denial each time I'm in Rwanda. René Lemarchand is a great pioneer of Rwandan and Burundian studies, though I think his deep antipathy towards the Kagame government sometimes takes him off the deep end."
As Caplan himself makes clear, he keeps company with the worst of the worst purveyors of the establishment narrative on 'genocide in Rwanda'. Tom Ndahiro is a Rwandan propagandist paid well by the Kagame regime to promote hatred, sell dissension, and unjustly and without merit accuse any critic of genocide denial, genocide negationism, or genocide 'ideology' (the latter of which is a catch-all category used to frame, imprison and persecute anyone for whom the two previous categories are clearly too absurd). Ndahiro has long since publicly labeled me a Rwanda 'genocide denier' and 'Tutsi and Jews hater'. Gerald Caplan's suggestion that Dr. René Lemarchand's antipathy towards the criminal Kagame government "sometimes takes him off the deep end" is another example of Caplan's extreme delusions: Lemarchand is anything but an extremist.
In fact, Dr. Caplan has much to hide, and much to answer for in the hiding, and that is why he is so frightened of the 'lunatic fringe' that inhabits his imagination. But if we who are named in Dr. Caplan's review are such lunatics, then why does such a distinguished author and academic and 'humanitarian' waste any time on us at all? What does Dr. Caplan have to fear? Is his vast reputation in upholding the supposed cherished truths about Central Africa really at risk?
While Dr. Caplan lorded his credentials over Canadian Broadcasting policy, I don't suppose we should ever expect that he would call for Canada to open its broadcasting channels to the victims of the carnage in Rwanda, Congo, Uganda or Sudan, meaning to create the opportunity for the people of Canada and all the world to hear the actual Congolese, Rwandan, Ugandan or Sudanese intellectuals, authentic genocide survivors, human rights defenders, or those who are trying to expose the criminal operations of the western mining companies, many based in Canada, involved in the deaths of some 10 million people in Congo. To do so would open the floodgates of a media system that manages, instead, to create a scenario where Dr. Caplan can accuse and denigrate a 'tiny minority of cranks'---all of us white people who manage to get something published, somewhere. Of course, according to Caplan our success in publishing at all is a conspiracy for which the Internet is to blame. Nor does Canadian Broadcasting open its channels to explore the lawsuits by Barrick Gold Corporation against the author (Alain Denault) and publishers of the book, Noir Canada, that exposes Canada-based mining companies for their nefarious central roles in plundering and depopulating Central Africa.
INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION OF NON-INQUIRY
What is the mainstream established dogma on Rwanda? It is the fictional 'Hutu Power' conspiracy to commit genocide, achieved with hoes and machetes in 100 days, with between 800,000 to 1.2 million innocent Tutsis slaughtered---a cataclysm of meaningless tribal violence that was finally stopped by the professionalism and loving heart of Paul Kagame and the cadres of disciplined RPF soldiers.
Dr. William Schabas, if we examine one rather egregious example of those who are used to source all evidence of the mainstream established dogma on genocide in Rwanda, seems to be able to come and go from Rwanda without any problem. Ditto Gerald Caplan. However, even the British High Court of Appeals has castigated Schabas for testimony unworthy of their ears. Yet it seems that Dr. Caplan doesn't have any quarrels with Dr. Schabas' one-sided, distorted, falsified view of reality in Rwanda, not  prior to 1993, when he was on the Commission of Inquiry that Dr. Caplan quickly and very inaccurately discusses; nor  post-January 1993 and pre-April 1994, when Schabas (along with Alison Des Forges) was carrying the experts mantle on 'genocide' in Rwanda, which at that time was supposedly being committed by the Habyarimana government; and certainly not  after April 1994, when Schabas' credibility was profoundly enhanced by the absolute sham of western media reporting on 'genocide' in Rwanda that, unsurprisingly, came to the desired conclusions: the Hutu government committed a planned and horrific genocide against the Tutsis. That there was not much of an organized Hutu government after the presidents and the Rwandan chiefs of staff were assassinated on April 6, 1994 is, of course, irrelevant to Dr. Caplan and William Schabas.
With Tony Blair advising Paul Kagame, and while Philip Gourevitch was coming and going from Kagame's lair under the watchful eye (wink, wink, nod, nod) of Madeleine Albright and her undersecretary James Rubin at the U.S. Department of State, it must be very, very shocking for Dr. Caplan to have to read the transcripts of the British Court of Appeals and find the credibility and testimony of William Schabas so roundly trashed (see, e.g.: Munyaneza & Ors v. Government of Rwanda, Royal Courts of Justice, Strand, London, April 8, 2009 and Vincent Brown aka Vincent Bajinya, Charles Munyaneza, Emmanuel Nteziryayo, Celestin Ugirashebuja v. The Government of Rwanda and The Secretary of State for the Home Department, 8 April 2009, High Court of Justice, decision delivered July 2009).
Of course, Dr. Caplan won't be writing about the court's discrediting of William Schabas, since their telephone conversations are obviously so warm and friendly as to make such an issue distasteful to decorum and propriety. In fact, I'm quite sure Dr. Caplan would not bother to read such important documents and testimonies, and hasn't read them, because in his eyes the British High Court judges must have been infected by the conspiracy of cranks and genocide deniers. That Dr. Vincent Bajinya in Britain was framed by the BBC and journalist Fergal Keane---another member of the not-so-tiny establishment genocide 'experts' listed by Dr. Caplan---is, obviously, equally inconsequential. Similarly, a Canadian court found the testimony of Alison Des Forges 'not credible' but the court itself must therefore not be credible, it seems, in Dr. Caplan's eyes.
And why bother with African voices?
What do THOSE people know?
They are refugees.
They are savages.
They are survivors, and this means that they cannot be trusted to be honest, that they are too passionate, that they are invested in telling their own stories, and they certainly did not see what they think they saw, and even if they did, they are refugees, dissidents, non-people.
They are niggers.
Like the dust jacket blurb by John Le Carre lauding another book on Congo, Dancing in the Glory of Monsters, written by Jason Stearns (another intelligence insider with much to answer for) it seems that white people like to go around celebrating other white people and propping them up everywhere. "Jason Stearns is probably better qualified and better able than any man alive to write about Congo," John Le Carre pontificated, dismissing every African voice, every Congolese national, every intellectual of non-white skin color, and even every Belgian expert. It seems it is necessary (but, clearly, it will not be sufficient) to point out the incredible hubris behind this statement and its acquiescent acceptance (by Stearns)(I mean, how embarrassing such an accolade would be for any honest white man). Similarly, for Gerald Caplan et al, it would certainly be inappropriate to petition any Hutu people for the truth, especially for their truth, since, as we know, ALL HUTUS ARE GENOCIDAIRES, or, well, at least, that's what Schabas and Gourevitch and Melvern and Caplan have convinced the consumers of modern day mass media and almost all academics in the white, western, English-speaking news consuming world.
Almost everyone bought the propaganda.
However, more and more people are seeing through the Big Lies, but Big Lies are maintained by Big Liars, and that is another reason I always say: if you are consuming the New York Times you are contributing to your own mental illness.
For more than a decade Dr. Caplan has been promoting the US-UK-Israeli-Kagame-Museveni propaganda on Central Africa through his personal project REMEMBERING RWANDA. Thus it makes no sense to hear Dr. Caplan complain that the authors of The Politics of Genocide (Herman and Peterson) do not cite his long list of known Rwanda experts---why on earth should they bother regurgitating every detail of trite garbage produced by the establishment? (On the other hand, maybe Caplan is correct and the book was inadvertently punctuated and needs be elaborated in much greater detail?)
However, on Caplan's list are such notable 'truth-tellers' on 'genocide' in Rwanda (unreferenced by Herman and Peterson) as Rakiya Omaar, a Somali born 'human rights expert' who has for more than 17 years fabricated human rights reports and testimonies and, for example, evidence of massacres by Hutu "extremists" and "Interahamwe" and "Hutu Power" in Rwanda prior to, during and after the so-called 100 days of genocide of 1994. Omaar is a paid 'consultant'---read an intelligence agent---working on the RPF's payroll and she provided falsified testimonies for the 1993 International Commission of Inquiry which Dr. Caplan seems to be so certain is an indisputable institution of international justice and truth. This is the one-sided Commission of Inquiry that both Des Forges and Schabas served on and was highly manipulated by the RPF and its allies.
REVISIONISM AS WHITEWASHING
Also on Dr. Caplan's list of truth-tellers is academic Alan J. Kuperman. "Before we dismiss all these authors as tools of Yanky imperialism," Caplan writes, deriding Herman and Peterson, "it needs to be added that several of the most prominent---Des Forges, Uvin, Prunier, Lemarchand, Kuperman---are (or were) fierce critics of the post-genocide Kagame government in Rwanda. Yet none has thought to retract their original views on the reality of the genocide."
Here the lies are redoubled. Des Forges was for years an avid supporter of Kagame---in fact, Des Forges researched and wrote her voluminous Human Rights Watch publication, Leave None to Tell the Story, with the support of the Kagame regime and access to Rwanda from 1994-1997. Des Forges' participation in the International Commission of Inquiry sent to Rwanda for less than one week in 1993, which based its findings on propaganda spoon-fed to them by the RPF, and operated solely in government controlled areas, and did not once think to interview any one of the hundreds of thousands of Rwandan people, from the northern districts, whose families and lives had been so totally deracinated by the RPF invasion and its 'fight and talk' strategy. Des Forges admitted under oath "...the Commission [ICI] produced this report very quickly, under very great pressure, with a great sense of urgency." In short, the historiography of Alison Des Forges' questionable, debatable and very fluid position on Rwanda deserves attention, but we can be sure that we won't be seeing any scholarly inquiry into this untidy area of contention from Dr. Caplan.
As far as Gerard Prunier, Dr. Caplan knows very well that even Prunier has changed his tune somewhat (though hardly remarkably) on Kagame and Rwanda, having published The Rwanda Crisis (1995) and revised and republished the Rwanda genocide section in his more recent book Africa's World War (2008)---which nonetheless continues to distort the facts, shield certain powerful interests, and disinform the general public on, for example, the crimes of Kagame and Museveni and the blood-drenched role of the United States military in Burundi, Congo, Rwanda, Uganda and Sudan.
Calling Alan Kuperman "a fierce critic of the post-genocide Kagame government," Dr. Caplan undermines his own argument. While it is true that Kuperman has taken some mild stand against Kagame, like many or most academics Mr. Kuperman seems to follow the prevailing winds of acceptability in the Rwanda 'genocide' debate. In layman's terms, academics and politicians have to cover their assess, and we the conspiratorial cabal of court jesters derided by Dr. Caplan as members of the lunatic fringe have done a fairly good job, against the odds, to pull their pants down and show that they, like the Emperor Paul Kagame they bow down to, are as naked as can be.
And so in 2004 Mr. Kuperman published a journal article under the title "Provoking Genocide: A Revised History of the Rwanda Patriotic Front" (Journal of Genocide Research, Vol. 6, Issue 1, March 2004). This is clearly revisionist, as the title itself admits. However, it is no revision of the truth, but a mitigated re-whitewashing of it adjusted to reflect greater awareness of the actual story being exposed by so-called 'genocide deniers' like myself, ICTR defense attorneys Chris Black and Peter Erlinder, and authors of the Politics of Genocide, Herman and Peterson.
Like Dr. Gerald Kaplan and Samantha Power and so many academics, Alan Kuperman relies very heavily for his references on the more egregious sources from Dr. Caplan's list of experts---such as Prunier, Des Forges, Gourevitch, Omaar, Uvin---who could certainly be said to 'gleefully drink each other's putrid bath water'. Dr. Caplan also relies on the standard groundwork of deceptions produced between 1989 and 1994, such as the African Rights (Rakiya Omaar and Alex De Waal) report Rwanda: Death, Despair and Defiance, which is a travesty of pro-RPF falsehoods, and the post-1994 tome by Alison Des Forges, Leave None to Tell the Story (Human Rights Watch, 1999). Kuperman's 'revised history of the RPF' paper offers no evidence of Kuperman being "a fierce critic of the Kagame regime," as Dr. Caplan wants us to believe, because in order to write the paper, as Kuperman noted: "[t]his study relies on interviews with former senior Tutsi rebels who now are more willing to speak frankly than they were during the war or its immediate aftermath."
That is, Kuperman relied on access to RPF military as primary sources used to revision the (prior) establishment line, and I contend that these source interviews were arranged with the assistance of the Pentagon. Thus Mr. Kuperman quotes, for example, Karenzi Karake, one of the RPF war criminals indicted by the Spanish National Courts on charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in Rwanda and Congo from 1990 to 2002. Karake eventually became the RDF deputy commander of African Union 'peacekeeping' (sic) forces in Darfur, Sudan, where the RDF is working as a Pentagon proxy to follow the example of Rwanda and overthrow Sudan's President Omar Bashir just as the RPF overthrew Juvenal Habyarimana. But Kuperman does not delineate any of these facts about Karake's bloody history to the readers of his article, just as he does not confront Karake with the inconvenient truth of the Spanish indictments against him. Instead, apparently, he accepts what Karake has to say as truth (the whole truth and nothing but the truth). We are supposed to accept this writing as academic research?
It would behoove Dr. Caplan to explore such details about the works of some of those whom he holds up as exemplary truth-tellers on genocide in Rwanda. If he did he might be unable to explain to readers how Karake came to be charged by the Spanish indictments and why this RPF commander is now (allegedly) under house arrest in Rwanda on accusations of "insubordination". (In Rwanda, under Kagame, "insubordination" means anything from [a] over-taxing the Congolese comptoirs that provide the raw coltan and cassiterite to the criminal RPF networks, named by the United Nations Panels of Experts, controlled by Kagame's exclusive racketeering firm Tri-Star Investments, to [b] forgetting to tie their shoes before appearing in front of the Big Man himself.) It seems that almost everyone eventually falls out of favor with Paul Kagame, but that is a detail that Dr. Caplan would find, according to his own admissions, something he must apologize for or regret about the Kagame regime. That is, for example, "my review [of the presidential assassination] regretted that the Rwandan government hadn't sought an independent investigation to take place" and "[a]s of this writing, [Peter] Erlinder is in prison in Rwanda, charged, apparently to his great surprise, with genocide denial. I regret this decision by the Kagame government." ("The Politics of Genocide Denialism," Pambazuka, etc.)
THE GENOCIDE INDUSTRY IN BOSTON
Boston serves as a major base of power and influence for Rwandan dictator Paul Kagame. Dr. Caplan mentions Ben Affleck, who lives in Cambridge, flies freely into and out of Rwanda, and escorts Paul Kagame's children around the city and to Boston Celtics and Red Sox games. When mentioning Affleck however, Dr. Caplan cites Affleck's four visits to Congo as part of his evidence that the Congo receives substantial media coverage and to refute the claims of the authors of The Politics of Genocide. Caplan nowhere discusses Affleck's business dealings with members of the Kagame elite. There is no mention of Affleck's relationship to the U.S. State Department or, for example, to the CIA-front group National Endowment for Democracy. Such facts are anathema to Dr. Caplan's serious (sic) scholarship.
"Nonetheless, they [Herman and Peterson] insist that Darfur [Sudan] solidarity activists dishonestly succeeded in framing Darfur as the 'unnoticed genocide'," Dr. Caplan wrote, "though many, including me, have long understood that it's been the best publicized international crisis in decades. And they charge that it's the calamity in eastern Congo that 'has been truly ignored', even though numerous celebrities, including playwright Eve Ensler (The Vagina Monologues), actor Ben Affleck (at least four times), UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have all made high-profile visits to the Kivus. When the U.S. Secretary of State visits a small province in eastern Congo, you know it's the opposite of being ignored."
Dr. Caplan seems to work very hard to understand nothing. Ben Affleck and Eve Ensler have not been forthcoming on the profits they are making or the plunder they are supporting in Eastern Congo. The Darfur crisis has been 'heavily publicized'---through a vast propaganda apparatus---but the realities of the Darfur crises have not. The politics of genocide insures that we hear about worthy victims (Darfur) while unworthy victims (Congo, Ethiopia, Uganda, Hutus everywhere) are ignored. Ditto the Congo, where many powerful interests reap the benefits of the sparse media coverage and help cover up the involvement of western corporations and the Pentagon, and of Kagame and Museveni's criminal military and organized crime rackets. Dr. Caplan several times claims that facts reported in The Politics of Genocide as suppressed have been very well known by everyone for quite some time. This is another example of the arrogance of academics and politicians who response to complaints by shouting "we knew that all along; everyone knows that, so what are you complaining about?"
Indeed, Dr. Caplan's loose collections of facts wielded as absolute truth are really quite an assorted collection of distortions. For example, let's examine Dr. Caplan's hostile tirade in juxtaposition to the following loose collection of tiny but related and not inconsequential facts. It seems that Dr. Caplan appeared on a panel at Tufts University on 22 April 2010, where he decried the problem of 'genocide deniers'. Presented as a simple academic truth-telling panel, everyone in the 'expert' category was selectively chosen to uphold the established narrative, the one that defends Paul Kagame as an 'entrepreneur' and 'great but besieged leader' and hides the military role of Britain, Israel and the United States in the genocide (regardless of who's definition we use) in Rwanda. [See: "Panelists condemn genocide denial in story sharing and discussion."]
Also present were representative 'experts' from the ENOUGH! organization, but no one thought to ask who these folks are or where they get their funding. Who is the Center for American Progress (CAP) and what do they have to hide regarding Rwanda in 1994, or Congo from 1995-2010? Why does the CAP exist as a 501(c) 4 entity, and not as a 501(c) 3 entity? It seems the answer lies in the absence of transparency about their funding: hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars used to create and disseminate glossy brochures and 'news' articles and 'white papers' serving the pro-U.S. propaganda campaigns on Congo, Sudan (Darfur), Rwanda and Uganda. Does CAP founder John Podesta, Clinton's former White House chief of staff, have anything to answer for regarding bloodshed in Rwanda or the invasions of Congo/Zaire which occurred on Clinton's 'watch'? What about Gayle Smith?
Notably, the Tufts truth-telling Rwanda event was organized/funded by STAND (Students Taking Action Now: Darfur), which is funded by Center for American Progress, and by the Massachusetts Coalition to Save Darfur, another organization that selectively cries out about selective genocides, but has been primarily distorting the realities of the Darfur crises, and the Tufts Fletcher School. These are the groups that advocate the selective victims-versus-killers narratives which have institutionalized a collective false history in the public mind, which Caplan et al call 'the best publicized' genocide. (Dr. Eric Reeves, an English professor at Smith College, is the foremost propagandist whitewashing the Western military atrocities and covert guerilla wars in Sudan.)
Written by: keith harmon snow
Photography Credits: keith harmon snow
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