Ghosts of Rwanda.

April 15th, 2004
Jay Thacker
Those of us who think that we have suffered greatly will be humbled to remember the suffering in Rwanda that took
place ten years ago in the months of April, May, and June. 800,000 people were killed in 100 days, while the leaders
of the world spent more time and energy thinking about how to avoid the situation than thinking about how they
could help the situation. The UN actually removed troops rather than send more, leaving a total of only 5000 troops
with no guns to simply stand by and watch humans drag other humans out of their houses to kill them in the middle
of the street, one after another, with whatever weapon was available - rocks, sticks, machete, guns, fire.
It was remarkable to note that those with the courage to stay in the country often used the same word to describe
the situation - Evil. The UN general that remained there had at one point arranged to meet with one of the Hutu
militia leaders to try to persuade him to stop the killing. He noticed as he spoke with the man that there were still wet
blood droplets on his hand and his clothes. The general remarked that, at that moment, he felt as if he was
negotiating with the devil himself.
Six weeks and 300,000 slayings after the event began, the United States finally decided to do something - they
offered to send some APCs (armored personnel carriers). But first, they wanted to work out the details of who would
pay for them, who would transport them, who would operate them, who would train those operators, and so on. Six
months later and three months after the genocide subsided the APCs arrived. A
pentagon lawyer discouraged the idea of jamming the radio transmissions
beaming out of the Rwandan radio hate stations that encouraged and even
organized the killing spree because it would go against America's policy of
freedom of speech. America the Beautiful.
At this point, I simply ask that all of us remember Rwanda. Also, recognize how
little we have progressed, as a nation, in our own humanity. As a Rwandan
survivor tried to drum up support in congress for some form of action, a
congressman explained to her that, America does not have friends, America has interests, and America has no
interests that justify sending troops to Rwanda. Ask yourself, when will human life become one of our interests?