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  • Dec 23, 2014
  • Updated: 10:00am
My Take
PUBLISHED : Friday, 11 April, 2014, 4:29am
UPDATED : Friday, 11 April, 2014, 4:29am

Why the United States should take the blame over Rwanda inaction

People with great foresight who act on it to prevent disasters and save lives are far more likely to be criticised than praised.

This was pointed out by financial mathematician Nassim Nicholas Tabel in The Black Swan. He argues they would have no proof that a disaster was avoided: for all we know, they might have cried wolf. The only fact is that they wasted valuable resources on an imaginary threat.

I raise it here because an outraged reader sent me a note rounding on my column yesterday that he said unfairly singled out the US response, or lack of response, to the Rwandan genocide that started 20 years ago this week. Politicians like Bill Clinton instinctively understand Tabel's point. I agree that partly explains his inaction on Rwanda.

He and his top advisers calculated, correctly at the time, that the risks of committing substantial US/UN troops needed in Rwanda were far higher than doing nothing. They would have faced certain public criticism and congressional backlash. Suppose they had committed troops and stopped a potential genocide. Clinton would not be praised but instead would have been rounded on for risking American lives in the name of faraway tribal violence. But that's too charitable; Clinton's sins went much further.

A full account of the cynical US response can be found in A Problem From Hell by Samantha Power, the current US ambassador to the UN. Suffice to say that far from not knowing or being confused, from the first days the CIA, the State Department and a marine special forces team sent deep inside Rwanda all reported killings on an extraordinary and systematic scale.

Washington made what may be called a classic "category error". They were thinking Burundi (tribal violence) and Somalia (botched US humanitarian-military operations) instead of the Holocaust.

Like old generals, they were thinking of "the last war", a fight between the Tutsi and Hutu in Burundi in October 1993 which killed more than 50,000. Despite the implicit racism, that was an acceptable level of violence in Rwanda for the Americans.

Why blame the US? Because it was at the apex of the international system and no viable UN/African operations could have got off the ground without US support.


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there is no inconsistency . in Rwanda they were expected to because a massacre was brewing. in Iraq they lied to justify their intervention. they said Sadam had WMDs. have you never heard about this lie?
LOL, Pierce m'boy. There's a good boy. You tried to make an argument, and the result is hilarious. That's the way to do it. As I've always said, your stupidity in language is of limited amusement utility moving forward; the way to actualize your immense potential for generating laughter is to try to make an argument. You've done it here, and the results are predictably rewarding for me.
Did you just suggest the US declaration of independence, and the values espoused therein, are in fact universal? If that's the case, then let's apply those values to HK, or better yet, to China. I think Hkers and Chinese in general would benefit greatly from those values described therein, and am pleasantly surprised that you would so easily and readily agree, to the point of offering an argument that would actually demand it. That's great work. BTW, yes, if the US D of I is to be interpreted as a document that commits Americans to pursuing those values for all people the world over, then indeed, they can be "blamed" for not doing so for those victimized Rwandans. HOWEVER, you then CAN'T blame the US for trying to liberate those oppressed IRAQI's, and you further can no longer complain at all about any US pivot or interest in SE Asia, since, after all, the US supposedly has free reign to apply her D of I world wide. LOL! Seriously, Pierce m'boy, see how hilarious you are when you try to make an argument. Well done, m'boy. Ring ring...please bring us more of this good stuff...
DoI refers generally to
“the Course of human events”
“one people to assume among the powers of the earth”
“the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God”
“all men are created equal”
“that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights”
“Life, …”
Where in DoI can one find any reference
to differentiation between “national” or “international”
“The only obligations the US has are to its own interests”?
What are the "logical" rules for determining and differentiating
what are such national or international “obligations and interests”?
manure the nogician is nothing but trash
that’s why the fool can’t resist making parental references
blaming his parents for his pathetic and uncorrectable stupidity
Ah Pierce m'boy, our neutered dog, is back. The bell is indeed a powerful draw for our canine friend. But hark, it appears he's actually tried to formulate an argument. This should be good fun.
We'll leave international law for now, since my point is there is no such thing, and m'boy hasn't yet shown one iota of proof of its existence (which of course he can't, cuz there isn't any. He might cotton on to that eventually, but things move slowly for our little pup).
Indeed, the principle is of a logically consistent argument. AL can't criticize the US for doing something, then criticize them for NOT doing something, for exactly the same reason. I've already said as much. What "obligations" did the US have? They are a figment of AL's imagination in a woeful but failed attempt to justify his argument. The only obligations the US has are to its own interests, just as it is for any nation. "international obligations" that a nation assumes are at that nation's discretion. You can't blame the US for "not discharging obligations" when it didn't assume any. And if you focus on "national obligations", as you say, then the discussion is even more moot, since Rwandans are not US national obligations; Americans are. THe US Declaration of Independence is for Americans. It is bizarre, hilarious, idiotic, yet par for the course for you, to suggest the US owes a duty of care to Rwanda.
But hey, this is better. And funnier. You tried, at least. Good dog. Now again, ring ring
manure, given your continued obsession with parents
here’s the indisputable truth about manure’s parents
The well-received fact from the archive is that
Pierce m’boy is 321manu’s father
but according to 321manu
his father is a dog, a neutered puppy
I’ve asked 321manu to confirm what’s what with his mother
but 321manu “hasn't yet shown one iota of proof of her existence”
The only parents manure might have any knowledge is nogician’s
That are the only parents manure can meaningfully talk about
From manure’s disclosure, nogician’s parents “failed miserably”
From his inability to refute the well-received fact
it is indisputable that 321manu’s father is either Pierce m’boy or a dog
whoever is manure’s Pierce m’boy and whichever the dog
we can logically infer
that 321manu’s mother must have su&fu cked m’boy or a dog
to conceive manure
No wonder why 321manu is so sick and rubbish
son of a dog&boy su+fu cked
As for your parents, they failed miserably, as can be evidenced every time you open your mouth. The lack of principles, absence of intellectual honesty, and profound stupidity are laid bare for all to see. But their fault is mitigated by the understanding of what substandard substrate they had to work with. They probably deserve credit for their yeoman effort to get you to this point, even though you clearly have so far to go before attaining even the level of "average idiot". Miracle workers they weren't, but that's not on them.
Anyway, Pierce m'boy, the remainder of your 1255 PM comment devolves into your usual urban dictionary-inspired "evolution" of the English language whereby legitimate words are combined into incomprehensible stanzas without inspiration or purpose, rendering the reader no other possible conclusion than that you sometimes speak for the benefit of hearing your own voice. However, I don't find "humour" inspired by those who wear tin-foil hats to be all that appealing. So Pierce m'boy, you will have to do better.
As i've said before, your reach should exceed your grasp, m'boy. Try to make more "arguments". When you try to employ "logic" is when your comic potential is actualized. So please, m'boy, do more of that, and less of the silly and pointless poetry. That is when you maximize your chances of getting your doggy treat reward, and if I know puppies of your ilk (and oh, do I ever), you want it more than you know. Who's a good boy? Ring ring
manure entered the forum
with a loud proclamation
of his characteristic nonsense
“there is no international law”
a subject he knows nothing about
a factor no one else found relevant
for AL discussion of Rwanda
manure set the stage for his FIM routine
Unbeknown to him I already exposed manure
as an international fool in previous postings.
Lest the fool may mislead others,
we’d try didactic pedagogy
to illustrate his other nogical fallacies
to criticize US non action with and without UN approval
“shows a COMPLETE lack of principles”
What are the principles
that the nogician presumed and found lacking?
The principle of consistency?
Consistent to what?
AL can’t be clearer that US is blameworthy
for not discharging obligations that come with
its standing “at the apex of the international system”
We may skip “international” obligations
and focus on national obligations requiring each nation
to honor one’s own creed fairly
Life precedes liberty and happiness
in the national creed of the US
that also aims at equality
Protection and respect for life is the creed
that the US is obliged but fails to honor
Hence the US is criticized for the lack of consistency
in Rwanda the subject of AL’s discussion
“a COMPLETE lack of principles” is another foot
in the international fool’s nogician’s mouth
manure keeps making silly nogical cages
where he locks up himself and tries to lock up others
Pierce m'boy! Welcome back, my little neutered puppy. But still can't read, I see. Did you notice that IL is only mentioned in the first para of my comment here? There are 2 others, which you've ignored out of sheer stupidity. The next time you argue about anything with intelligence will be your first time.
Listen, you're the idiot who couldn't comprehend the court's ruling on "public". But I can see how people raised by lousy parents, like you evidently were, are incapable of acknowledging their own mistakes. Instead, more wishful thinking about my "ignorance". You keep telling yourself that. It's cute how a little doggy like you needs to soothe himself.
"constant defeat"? LOL. But again, you do what you need to do to salvage some sense of self-worth. Admittedly, I can't help you there. I've seen many an idiotic CCP apologist, but as I've said, you reside at the bottom of a very deep barrel. You're a "special" case, Pierce m'boy. Well done!
Anyway, your current "effort" is weak on logic, and lacks any discernible argument. As I said before, those things were funny at one time. But since that's all you've got every time, they've lost their amusement value. Realizing that your purpose in life in to amuse me, m'boy, I suggest you quickly find some new material. I know you're capable, at least of that much. So get to work. Treats await you. For starters, you can try to respond to the last 2 paras of my comment below. That should be funny. Ring ring...
I’ve taught manure to respect parents
and not to involve them
But in fear he sought parental help again:
“people raised by lousy parents”
The last time manure nogically involved parents
I stopped him from making the self proclaimation:
“A dog is my father in heaven”
and making people wonder about 321’s father
How could 321’s “m’boy” be 321’s father
the child is the father of man?
or a dog is 321’s father
perhaps 321’s mother knows
And yes, as his previous “arguments” show
321 likes to involve parents
In manure’s record,
when others cry uncle
the international fool cries “m’boy”
manure’s family background is nogical
that accounts for his obsession with parental puzzle
It’s also in his record
that “321stupid can’t prove his own existence
because nogically there is no such things as his parents”
If only manue had respect for his own parents
he’d have relied on himself without involving parents
whenever he is frightened
and manure is such a stupid chicken
And the only "lesson" I've learned from your existence thus far is that there is no limit to stupidity. But it has reaffirmed the notion that stupid people are people too. In your case, I'll happily play the role of the encouraging dog owner who will ring the bell every time so that your CCP apologist neural pathways are exercised regularly for the benefit of all around you. After all, your brand of stupidity is untreatable, so we may as well enjoy the fruits of your mindlessness. Every pet needs a purpose, and I will ensure that you get yours. However, I do hope the neutering was effective, cuz from what I've seen, your genetic lineage is not of evolutionary benefit to anybody.




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