3 May 2013
keith harmon snow
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.
Meet Dr. Gerald Caplan, a fine example of the worst kind of imperialist: one who works with the world’s worst dictators, peddles the racist propaganda at home and abroad, speaks at international conferences, collects a fine salary working for the misery industry in Africa, and one who ever believes that he is a force for good, and for ethics and truth, and who, therefore, is never, ever to be challenged by anyone.
on ‘Liberation’ (4 July 2011) as Gen. Patrick Nyamvumba (left) looks on. (Photo J Mbanda)
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).
Now Dr. Caplan has resurfaced to again assault the truth with a hysterical rant titled “Why does the University of Toronto’s radio station promote genocide denial?” Published by Rabble.ca, an alternative blog self-labeled as “News for the Rest of Us,” Caplan’s article appears to have found a good home.
However, in publishing these attacks, Dr. Gerald Caplan continues to advance authoritarian ideas meant to  silence critics of the Kagame regime;  promote fear of being labeled with the ‘genocide denier’ in academia and the mainstream press;  propagandize the masses and falsify history;  hide the true role of the Western military-intelligence apparatus in overthrowing a legitimate government; and  suppress freedom of speech and thought. Of all of these, number  is the most perfidious. These efforts by Caplan epitomize a modern day fascism aligned with the Western surveillance apparatus.
Dr. Gerry Caplan appears to be a mainstay contributor for certain publications and venues underpinning what Dr. Norman Finkelstein, in a book by that title, has called The Holocaust Industry. These include the pseudo-professional on-line ‘journal’ Genocide Prevention Now, edited by one of Jerusalem’s leading Holocaust industry proponents, Israel Charny. So-called ‘genocide scholars’ like Dr. Gerald Caplan and his cohort Dr. Adam Jones are a necessary part of the vast money making machine that benefits from ideological bullying, using ‘genocide in Rwanda’ and ‘genocide denialism’ as weapons to silence critics, punish victims and further reward killers. In this profit-driven industry, Rwanda, Uganda, the UK and the United States use (and abuse) ‘the Rwanda genocide’ as an ideological weapon to promote and advance the interests of the most powerful, much the same as the United States, Britain and Israel use ‘the Holocaust’ as a money making machine and ideological and political weapon. (See, for example, the Crosstalk debate between Dr. Norman Finkelstein and Israel Charny.)
“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 Western media (and many Western officials who are now known) supported the dehumanization of Hutu people, and it followed this with support for their mass murder by the forces of the RPF, UPDF, and Pentagon. Photo of the New York Times, 13 April 1997.
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:
“a voice of, by and about Africa: aggregating, producing and distributing 2000 news and information items daily from over 130 African news organizations and our own reporters to an African and global public”.
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.
The real victims of the Western onslaught against Africa are black: They are soldiers, civilians, men, women and children relegated to the lower rungs on the hierarchies of suffering and complicity in war, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. (Photo c. keith harmon snow, South Kivu, 2006.)
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?
It seems the answer is clear: yes.
What Dr. Caplan does not tell the reader is that he worked in the Canadian government under Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, and, according to his own CV, “[h]e was appointed by the Mulroney government to be co-chair of the Task Force on Canadian Broadcasting Policy, and authored much of its report.”
Former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney sits (or sat) on the board of directors of Barrick Gold Corporation—whose directors and advisers also included George H.W. Bush and U.S. Senator Howard Baker—since his departure as Prime Minister in Canada in 1993. Barrick Gold executives worked with Museveni and Kagame and they have a role in massive bloodshed in eastern Congo and northern Uganda, both through their involvement at Kilo Moto gold fields (Ituri) from 1996-1998, and through their partnership with Anglo-Gold Ashanti (Anglo-American Corporation) at Mongwalu gold mines (1998- ) in eastern Congo. But Canada and Canadian responsibility for bloodshed in Central Africa, which Dr. Caplan so coldly denies, goes much deeper than some two dozen Canadian mining companies like Barrick Gold, Banro Gold Corporation and America Mineral Fields International, three of the big ones that have been plundering Congo (through Kagame, Museveni and Joseph Kabila alias Hippolyte Kanambe) with US, NATO, EU, Australian, Japanese and Israeli support.
For another example of his madness, Dr. Caplan promotes the fiction that General Romeo Dallaire, the former United Nations Assistance Mission to Rwanda (UNAMIR) commander in Kigali (1993-1994), is another ‘independent’ expert on genocide in Rwanda. However, it would indeed be interesting to put Canada’s Rwanda genocide ‘savior’ and ‘hero’ General Romeo Dallaire on the witness stand and depose him, without the interference of Canadian military coaching and legal intervention, but to my knowledge this has not been done and the only attempt to do so by the defense counsels at the ICTR resulted in Dallaire—kicking and screaming all the while—appearing by video conference from Canada and with Canadian military advisers coaching and defending his every syllable. What Dr. Caplan seeks to cover up is the collaboration between General Romeo Dallaire and the Rwandan Patriotic Front in conquering Rwanda. The evidence is there, if Dr. Caplan cared to look. What really happened? Much remains shrouded in secrecy. Much doesn’t.
The ‘neat and clean’ Canadian mining giant Banro Gold Corporation operations in blood-drenched South Kivu, DRC. (From www.Banro.com.)
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.
Dr. Caplan does not have the courage to address the threats of law suits against Michel Chossodovsky and The Centre for Research on Globalization, or those against this author from Canadian Banro Gold Corporation, or from Belgian war profiteer Philippe de Moerloose, or from Israeli diamond kingpin Dan Gertler, all involved in plunder and war crimes in Central Africa.
Dr. Caplan doesn’t mention amongst his enumeration of ‘cranks’ the African experts on genocide in Rwanda or Congo, including such notable scholars as Cameroonian author and journalist Charles Onana or Congolese professor Yaa-Lengi Ngemi.
A.k.a. the system excludes African voices that seriously challenge it (though it includes those who mildly challenge it and especially those who praise it) (such examples as Emira Woods, or the members of the highly muted Association of Concerned African Scholars) and then attacks those of us who are able to use our few remaining privileges to gain some access to break through the stranglehold of propaganda. Instead of actually examining any of the deeper truths that might come out of the mouths of the African people, it is much more efficacious for Caplan’s racist imperialist agenda—yes, that’s correct, racist and imperialist—to simply throw up his hands and state “I am unable to comprehend…” as he actually does in his review of The Politics of Genocide.
There is no doubt in my mind that Dr. Gerry Caplan is unable to comprehend what I am talking about. Worse still, he does not wish to comprehend it, nor does he wish to even make an effort to comprehend it. The prospect of being so completely confronted by the truth is far too frightening for individuals, like Dr. Gerald Caplan or Dr. Adam Jones, who have invested their entire very lucrative professional (sic) careers on a system that requires their educations to be premised on a massive falsification of consciousness.
Indeed, perhaps Caplan does not comprehend the simplest realities about his biases. He suggests that it is pointless to inquire into the motivations of people (esp. those genocide denialists like me, etc.) who do what they do and say what they say. And yet, it is precisely the motivations that we must explore in order to come to some conclusions about who is saying what, where it is being published, when, and why.
An examination of Dr. Caplan’s motivations offers a telling point of departure for us to begin looking at Gerald Caplan’s work and to explore his motivations for publishing this article, since it immediately raises questions about Caplan’s academic purity and personal interests. Besides working for the Brian Mulroney government, we quickly discover that Dr. Caplan apparently collected huge salaries while working as consultant for UNICEF and other ‘reputable’ international bodies.
Through his affiliations with UNICEF in Ethiopia in 2008, for example, Dr. Caplan has helped to cover up, again for example, such untidy facts as the Ethiopian president Meles Zenawi (d. 2012) and his military regime’s perpetration of genocide against the Anuak, Oromo, Omo and Ogaden people in Ethiopia. It should not be missed by the reader that Paul Kagame and Meles Zenawi were two birds of a feather, and so it is no surprise that we find Paul Kagame singing the praises of the now dead Great Leader Meles Zenawi in the most recent edition of the now highly compromised establishment journal The African Executive (Issue 419, 30 April 2013). How much money did UNICEF pay Gerald Caplan to be silent about the genocide(s) in Ethiopia?
It turns out that your correspondent and now celebrated ‘genocide crank’ worked for UNICEF as a consultant in 2006, and he [read: I] can quickly elaborate on the nature of the corrupt enterprise, unethical practices and human rights atrocities that the western ‘development’ community (sic) is perpetrating in Ethiopia in general, and on UNICEF’s corruption in particular. Similarly, Dr. Caplan publishes United Nations papers on the “State of the World’s Children” that cover up the institutionalized profiteering behind the refugee business, the institutionalization of poverty and high child mortality—all due to predatory capitalism—and this should be a source of shame, at worst, and reflection, at least, and not a source of pride from which he gains his ever celebrated credibility.
Instead of doing any real homework, or any real soul-searching into his own complicity in war crimes, Caplan apparently just flicks opens his rolodex of supporters of genocide in Rwanda, Congo and Uganda and dials up William Schabas, who Caplan claims is equally baffled, according to Schabas, by the claims made by us genocide ‘cranks’. All Dr. Caplan has to do is write how he called up William Schabas and this irrefutable testimony is supposed to convince the reader of Caplan and Schabas’ mutual veracity on all things Rwanda. In contradistinction, I am not supposed to reference my sources, like Chris Black or Peter Erlinder from the ICTR defense trials, or the many documents that these ICTR defense attorneys have uncovered, and I am not supposed to reference Africa scholar René Lemarchand (!), and I am not supposed to reference intelligence expert Wayne Madsen, whose book Genocide and Covert Operations in Africa, 1993-1999, is indeed worthy of Caplan’s expedient unmention.
Dr. Caplan is also a ‘prominent supporter’ of the Genocide Intervention Network (GIN), another specious entity that uses accusations of genocide as a weapon to advance state-sponsored terrorism, and with a very select but notable group of experts behind it. These experts include Canada’s UNAMIR hero General Romeo Dallaire, along with Gareth Evans, Samantha Power, John Prendergast and Gayle Smith, and others. Each of these people has played a prominent role in disseminating propaganda, and even in some cases helping to organize covert operations, and they are part of the political economy of genocide, which serves, protects and advances powerful western interests, and the GIN is a key organization behind the politics of genocide, genocide facilitation and genocide denials.
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.
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 further back in time we go—the closer to 1994—the more pro-RPF Mr. Kuperman becomes. Still, his 2004 ‘revision’ is completely cogent with a deep pro-RPF, pro-Tutsi extremist bias exhibited by most everyone on the spectrum of what is allowed said in establishment venues about ‘genocide’ in Rwanda. So, for example, Mr. Kuperman notes “in the absence of any further attempted invasions by Tutsi refugees [after 1973 when Habyarimana came to power] the Tutsi in Rwanda were spared any organized violence for 17 years.” As Kuperman notes, in his twisted context, every pogrom against Tutsis was provoked by the RPF, repeatedly, beginning with their initial invasion in 1990, and not by the Habyarimana government. Additionally, every pogrom against Tutsis in Rwanda alleged to have occurred prior to 1973 was provoked by extremist Tutsi guerrilla’s attacking Rwanda from outside the country. But what is impossible for the real genocide deniers and genocide facilitators like Dr. Caplan to comprehend, and certainly impossible to admit, as Mr. Kuperman seems to be trying not to do, using the context he uses—which inverts the victims and killers—is that the Habyarimana government from 1973 to 1990 did not persecute Tutsis inside (or outside) Rwanda. Such a possibility would fly in the face of established doctrine about the Habyarimana regime being a terrorist regime that had it out for Tutsis from the start. As some Ugandans and Rwandans have pointed out, if Habyarimana wanted to impose “the final solution” against Tutsis inside Rwanda, why wait until 1994? Such are the inconvenient questions that Dr. Caplan and his cranks intellectually dance around, ignore, and dismiss.
Indeed, back in 2000 Kuperman authored a Foreign Affairs (Council on Foreign Relations) article “Rwanda in Retrospect” where he shamelessly clouded the issues to buttress a disingenuous conclusion that the Pentagon and U.S. troops could have “stopped the genocide” and thus “saved the day” much sooner than did Paul Kagame at the front of the murderous RPF. This is disingenuous because the U.S. military was already involved in Rwanda—backing Paul Kagame and the RPF with logistical, military, intelligence and communications support—and because Mr. Kuperman apparently knows nothing at all about the realities of genocide in Rwanda, since he gets his information from all these other sources, just like Gerald Caplan, and, in any case, it seems he has been working to protect powerful interests and quite possibly knows all about Pentagon involvement in Rwanda, 1990-1994, and since.
To her credit, even Alison Des Forges challenged the facts and presentations on genocide in Rwanda as offered by Kuperman. “Alan J. Kuperman plays word games,” Alison Des Forges countered, for the same journal, while playing along with the farce of “western apathy” versus direct U.S. military involvement, “when he asserts that President Clinton could not have known of the “attempted genocide” of Tutsi in Rwanda until April 20, 1994—two weeks into the slaughter—because the press, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and the U.N. did not call it a genocide (“Shame: Rationalizing Western Apathy on Rwanda,” May/June 2000).”
“Even worse still is a recent article in The Globe and Mail by Gerald Caplan, an academic with a clear axe to grind against Erlinder and his client, Victoire Ingabire,” writes Robert Amsterdam, international lawyer on emerging markets and human rights, certainly not a member of Caplan’s fictitious ‘tiny minority of cranks’ (“Kagame’s American Political Prisoner,” Huffington Post, June 15, 2010). “Caplan floats a variety of rumors without evidence, makes unreasonable comparisons between holocaust denial laws in Israel and genocide ideology laws in Rwanda, and even raises draconian views about their rights to defense.”
Robert Amsterdam continues: “In response to Caplan’s article, Alan J. Kuperman of the University of Texas wrote a letter to the editor stating: “It is Dr. Erlander’s (sic) job to make that argument as a defence counsel at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. His argument has prevailed at the court, which has acquitted everyone accused of pre-planned ‘conspiracy to genocide,’ issuing convictions only for crimes committed after the assassination of Rwanda’s Hutu president. (…) If Dr. Caplan truly wants to promote peace in Rwanda, rather than the myth that past violence was one-sided, he should support the rights of Ms. Ingabire and her lawyer.”
“Rwanda today is a dictatorship run by a tiny elite of the Tutsi minority that suppresses the Hutu majority and denies past violence against Hutu civilian,” Mr. Kuperman opined (op/ed letter above), much to his credit, but nonetheless for his own political gain.
Quoted in another blog (Law Management, Christopher Wingate) we find Alan Kuperman deriding Peter Erlinder as some kind of egomaniac. “Imagine a civil rights crusader in the 1960s,” said Alan J. Kuperman, described as a political science professor at the University of Texas who knows Mr. Erlinder through research on Rwanda. “That’s how he sees himself, that there’s this great conspiracy out there and he’s the only one speaking the truth.”
If we put things in their proper context, we find that Mr. Kuperman has been engaged in establishment revisionism provoked by we the ‘tiny minority of cranks’ who have relentlessly challenged establishment propaganda and discredited those who distort and lie to protect US-UK-Israeli interests. These include Gerald Caplan, Alan Kuperman, Fergal Keane, Samantha Power, Philip Gourevitch, William Schabas and the others on Caplan’s ‘experts’ list.
Notable scholars like René Lemarchand have done some ‘fine scholarly work’ in the past, but once you juxtapose their work with deeper realities on the ground, the massive death tolls, the impunity, the profiteering, and once you look at their curriculum vitaes, and note that they worked for USAID over here, and UNHCR over there, amidst all the killing, and that they defend establishment journalists reporting ‘tribal animosities’ where corporations, in fact, are the ones who are really behind the bloodshed in eastern Congo, and when these corporations are NEVER named, and when some of the most powerful Belgians, French, Americans, Australians, South Africans and Canadians are never named, in Lemarchand’s ‘scholarly’ publications, well, then, we can see the nature of interests deeply at work in most all these cases, and it is some wonder at all that someone like René Lemarchand is willing to hold any antipathy toward Kagame. And yet, to his credit, he does. This sets Lemarchard far and apart from Dr. Gerald Caplan and Dr. Adam Jones.
See, for example, Lemarchand’s recent text, The Dynamics of Violence in Central Africa (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008), which does not mention the De Moerloose, Blattner, Forrest, Kansteiner, Bredenkamp, Rautenbach, Gertler, Tempelsman, Steinmetz, or other families involved in Congo, and does not mention such corporate players as GTZ, Banro, AngloGold Ashanti, Tri-Star Investments, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Moto Gold, Kilo Goldmines, DHL International, etc., etc., etc. Lemarchand does mention COSLEG–footnote number 55—the Zimbabwean firm connected to Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe, and he names black Africans involved behind COSLEG, but he never mentions Britain’s rogue gunrunning financier-playboy, John Bredenkamp. Similarly, Lemarchand mentions in passing the UN Panel of Experts reports, noting that they discovered a cabal of western corporations involved in coltan mining, but he doesn’t ever mention a single western company or executive that are behind these. (At least, I have not found these companies mentioned.)
And yet, Lemarchand confers that U.S Committee for Refugees and USAID operative Roger Winter is likely an intelligence agent for the U.S.
“That a carnage of this magnitude could have been going on, day after day, week after week, with out interference from the international community, speaks volumes for its massive resolve in dealing with massive human rights violations,” wrote Lemarchand, p. 87, on ‘genocide in Rwanda’.
Again, the west did not stand back and do nothing: the U.S., U.K., Belgium, Canada and Israel all were involved, 1990-1994, in facilitating the invasion by the Rwandan Patriotic Front, who were really just the Uganda People’s Defense Forces, who were really just the National Resistance Army, and the mass killings that ensued.
Like Dr. Caplan and the others on Caplan’s list, Mr. Kuperman falls on a spectrum of establishment ‘experts’ who present differing, but never too different, perspectives on genocide (in Rwanda, Bosnia, Sudan). Dr. Caplan is also on this spectrum, but the two are quite far apart in their capacity to judge which way the wind is blowing. Mr. Kuperman has set sail for a bright future. It is only a matter of time, we would hope, before it becomes clear to the mass news consuming public that Dr. Caplan is all washed up.
Indeed, Caplan is a regular visitor to Rwanda, and he works right alongside Paul Kagame! No one who is honest about the realities of life in Rwanda today, about the Kagame regime’s crimes in Congo, or who is more critical about ‘genocide’ in Rwanda, can come and go from Rwanda. However, in the Rwanda government mouthpiece, the The New Times newspaper, in an article about Rwanda’s 4 July 2011 ‘Independence Day’ celebrations–Kagame and the RPF purportedly achieved Rwanda’s ‘independence’ and ‘stopped the genocide’ in July 1994–we find that Dr. Gerald Caplan gave a pivotal speech at the festivities in Kigali.
“Dr. Gerald Caplan, a leading Canadian authority on genocide and genocide prevention, gave an African perspective [emphasis added] of integration with the West which, he said, does affect Rwanda’s liberation struggle.” (Edwin Musoni, “Today’s liberation struggle ‘has shifted to development’,” The New Times July 4, 2011.) So, as pointed out above, Dr. Gerry Caplan likes to speak for Africans; shouldering, as he is, the great white man’s burden of having to be the one to present African perspectives in public speeches and international journals, and at posh foreign conferences.
Alas, looking to Carl Jung’s vast body of work on the projection of the shadow, we might readily conclude that Gerard Caplan will soon be discredited across the board—a delusionary Kagame sidekick who projects his psychotic delusions on his imaginary ‘conspirators of a lunatic fringe’.
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."]
Victims of mass atrocities in Bogoro, DRC.
(Photo c. keith harmon snow, DRC, 2007.)
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?
The answer is yes.
The question is, with all this supposed attention to Congo–”When the U.S. Secretary of State visits a small province in eastern Congo, you know it’s the opposite of being ignored”—why do bodies continue to accumulate? Why does the scale and magnitude of sexual violence continue to accumulate victims at the rate of over 1000 women per day? In fact, Congo is not at all being ignored: the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) is all over it, but these covert operations are not reported by the mass media and certainly not be Dr. Gerald Caplan—an ardent admirer of Emperor Paul Kagame. Instead we get the euphemistic propaganda about ‘peacekeeping’ and ‘humanitarian’ missions published as news by, coincidentally, journalists that René Lemarchand, for one, adamantly and unwaveringly believes to be telling the whole truth and nothing but. (Personal communication, René Lemarchand.)
At the Tufts University special event, Dr. Caplan “explained that it is critical to remember that humans always have some motivation for their behavior and that understanding those motivations and outside influences may help prevent genocide.”
Indeed. Dr. Caplan needs to look himself in the mirror. And so it was with no shortage of irony that the family and supporters of U.S. lawyer Peter Erlinder, who was at the time still imprisoned by the Kagame dictatorship in Rwanda, received the article “Not Up For Debate: Rwanda Cannot Excuse Peter Erlinder’s Genocide Denial,” published 16 June 2010 by the Harvard Law Journal (a student newspaper). The supposed author—and ‘Tufts University Law Scholar’—of the article was a Rwandan Patriotic Front soldier and a member of Paul Kagame’s brutal Republican Presidential Guard. Now, these people are the world’s worst killers. Nonetheless, the article circulated widely on the Internet and was used as evidence of Erlinder’s ‘ringleader’ status in some conspiracy to deny genocide dreamed up by the fringe lunatics like myself.
Signing the article from Addis Ababa, it seems that this ‘law student’—Patrick Kuruwetwa—remained a member of the Rwandan military, operating with Rwandan forces in Ethiopia, where the U.S. military has major bases of covert operations, and where the Rwandan Defense Forces (formerly known as Rwandan Patriotic Front) are involved in some very secretive operations, and where genocide is at this very moment being perpetrated against the peoples of Gambella, Oromia, Omo and the Ogaden basin. In any case, the author is not a dispassionate observer, he is a military-intelligence operative for Paul Kagame, and it is believed that he did not pen the article, or a previous December 2009 article in the Harvard Law Review student newspaper, but that someone in the Kagame government did so, and submitted it under his name. This is how pro-RPF propaganda is disseminated in the USA using Kagame’s agents provocateurs who have been infiltrated to hunt down any dissident, legitimate refugee or outspoken critic. (Similarly, on 20 June 2010, Rwandan assailants in South Africa shot RPF General Kayumba Nyamwasa, who had fled Kigali and accused Paul Kagame of all sorts of crimes from South Africa. Kagame has a ‘hit list’ and he is hitting them.) The process of Mr. Kururetwa’s being admitted to the United States and Tufts has not come under any scrutiny, and that should be a mission of the Department of Homeland Security, because this RPF agent is not in the United States merely as a ‘student’, that’s clear: Kagame and the RPF have been infiltrating agents through the refugee and asylum system, and through falsifications of documents by diplomats, for many years; it happens in Britain, Belgium, Canada, and the U.S.
Ethiopian Anuak refugees at a western missionary service in an Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) held area in Pochalla, Sudan, 2006. Through Uganda, the US, UK, Europe and Israel have sponsored low-intensity warfare in Sudan for the past 20 + years. (Photo c. Keith Harmon Snow, 2006.)
Tufts University has supported a very pro-Kagame line, including Kagame’s visits to the U.S., and Dr. Caplan was just one of tiny minority of cranks brought in by Tufts. Also present was Tufts Fletcher School head Peter Uvin, whose treatise on “the failure of the development community in Rwanda, 1994″ is held up as evidence of his challenge to the imperialist powers and his unmitigated concern for the truth, but in reality is another whitewash that helps to suggest that there is an ‘international community’ and that such a nonexistent ‘community’ is responsible, equitable and accountable. Nothing could be further from the truth. And while Dr. Uvin “regularly consults for multilateral and bilateral aid agencies and ministries of foreign affairs, as well as NGOs,” it’s quite clear that he has challenged nothing at all about the development community, because to do so in any radical way would subject him to ostracism and exclusion. He would be blacklisted as fast as I was.
What makes Dr. Caplan’s argument or thesis seem so compelling, I suppose, to those who certainly don’t know who to believe, but find it easier to accept the mainstream establishment line, which they have already incorporated into their psyche, is that this tiny assortment of lunatics (of which I am supposedly part) find the great American SATAN everywhere. Indeed, all propaganda relies on at least a grain of truth, and the ugly ANGLO-American satan has its devilish hands all over Africa, and Iraq, and Afghanistan, and Indonesia, and Columbia, and Haiti, and Bosnia, and the Gulf of Mexico.
Turns out the theses by Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky published in the 1980′s—in, for example, The Political Economy of Human Rights, Third World Terrorism and the Washington Connection and Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media—and that is freshly articulated in its more contemporary form by Herman and David Peterson in The Politics of Genocide—is rather poignantly demonstrated in the works and position of Gerald Caplan vis-a-vis the subaltern populations, race, and the epistemology of arrogance. A.k.a., Dr. Caplan is an apologist extraordinaire, and his obtuse little book review and more recent attack serve very well to uphold the politics of genocide while simultaneously attempting, but failing, to immunize Dr. Caplan from his own participation in the process (a.k.a. in the facilitation of atrocities, torture, mass murder, genocide, and the dehumanization, propaganda, white supremacy, etc. etc. etc.).
Dr. Caplan helps to falsify consciousness, and the real issue here, as Dr. Amos Wilson so clearly articulated in The Falsification of Afrikan Consciousness is the pathology (mental illness) of white supremacy.
Why do so many people consume the mainstream narrative on genocide in Rwanda and find it so easy to believe or, worse, never consider that they should question its veracity? Because it is so much easier to believe that we have nothing to do with the tribalism in Africa, and we had nothing to do with genocide in Rwanda, and while we must certainly surveil our morality and conscience, we have learned from the mistakes of the past and are ubiquitously engaged in soul-searching and justice-seeking that insure that ‘never again’ will become something more than empty sloganeering. As long as we don’t have to look ourselves in the mirror we are free to pursue our ordinary lives without taking any responsibility for the ongoing killing in, for example, Rwanda, Congo, Sudan, Somalia or Uganda. Dr. Caplan gives us—we the people, the not-so-tiny-majority of western citizen-beneficiaries-consumer-perpetrators of the plunder and depopulation—just what we need to exonerate our guilt, excuse our conscience, and continue with business as usual.
But the writing is on the wall, and all the kicking and screaming and whining of Dr. Caplan and his cranks won’t make any difference when Kagame’s regime of absolute terror comes to a conclusive end. Then we will see people scampering to protest and elucidate the abuses they have for so long tolerated, and to distance themselves from the international war criminals they have praised and dined and collaborated with.
“In the world of genocide scholars, there is no more doubt about the genocide in Rwanda than there is of the Holocaust,” Caplan wrote in his recent attack against the University of Toronto radio station. “Yet deniers continue to spread their lies and distortions.”
The ugly truth is that ‘the world of genocide scholars’ is much the very problem itself–and we must see them as a collection of invested ‘experts’ of limited perspective and dubious ‘good’ intentions who are rewarded highly for maintaining the narratives of the power structure, and its concomitant structural violence.
They are much like those hysterical men and women who maintained long after the new discoveries and against all reason and obvious truth that the world was flat.~
Written by: keith harmon snow
Photography Credits: keith harmon snow