Back in 1995, a senior Clinton administration official, commenting on Indonesian President Suharto, then on a state visit to Washington, referred to him as “our kind of guy.” He was speaking about a brutal and thieving dictator and double-genocidist (first in Indonesia itself, then East Timor), but one whose genocide in Indonesia terminated any left threat in that country, aligned Indonesia militarily as a Western ally and client state, and opened the door to foreign investment, even if with a heavy bribery charge.
Rwanda's President Paul Kagame clearly is another “our kind of guy”: Like Suharto, Kagame is a double-genocidist, and one who ended any social democratic threat in Rwanda, firmly aligned Rwanda with the West as a U.S. client, and opened the door to foreign investment. Later, and far more lucratively, Kagame helped carve out resource-extraction and investment opportunities for his own associates and the U.S. and other Western investors in neighboring Zaire, the massive, resource-rich Central African country renamed the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in 1997 during the First Congo War (ca. July 1996 - July 1998).
For many years Kagame has been portrayed in the Western mainstream media as the savior of Rwanda, having allegedly terminated the genocide committed against his own minority ethnic group, the Tutsi, by the Hutu majority (April - July 1994). He and his supporters have long justified the Rwanda Patriotic Front's military invasions of Zaire - the DRC as a simple pursuit of the Hutu genocidaires who had fled Rwanda during the war within, and Kagame's conquest of, the country.
Actually, this was not the first time the UN had pointed to Kagame’s genocidal operations in Rwanda and the DRC.
Among the many other UN reports on the DRC, the second in the series by the UN Panel of Experts on the “Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources and Other Forms of Wealth of the Democratic Republic of Congo” (S/2002/1146, October, 2002) also stands out. The UN Panel estimated that by September 2002, some 3.5 million excess deaths had occurred in the five eastern provinces as “a direct result of the occupation of the DRC by Rwanda and Uganda” (para. 96). This report also rejected the Kagame regime's rationale that its armed forces' continued presence in the eastern DRC was needed to defend Rwanda against hostile Hutu forces terrorizing the border region and threatening to invade it; instead, the "real long-term purpose is…to 'secure property'," the UN countered (para. 66). But though this 2002 report was not ordered suppressed the way the 1994 Gersony report was, it was nevertheless ignored in the Western media, despite the fact that 3.5 million deaths greatly exceeds the highest toll attributed to the "Rwanda genocide” of 1994.
This suppression was surely a result of the fact that Kagame is a U.S. client, whose deadly efforts in the DRC were actually in line with the U.S. policy of opening up the country to U.S. and other Western mining and business interests.
It is interesting to note that the first New York Times article on the draft UN report, by Howard French, refers to the difficulty encountered in getting this new report out—it was in fact leaked first to Le Monde in France by insiders who were concerned that its really critical parts might be excised before its release. The UN had already felt it necessary to show the draft to the Kagame government for comments, and that government’s denunciation of this “outrageous” document was spelled out in a full paragraph in the NYT article. As French explained it, there were “difficulties over seven months” in getting the report released over the objections of a government “which has long enjoyed the strong diplomatic support from the United States and Britain.”
Perhaps the UN insiders and media were emboldened to act by the remarkable 93 percent vote total obtained by Kagame in the August 9, 2010 presidential election, where he seems to have gotten massive support from the Hutus whose relatives and ethnic compatriots he was busily slaughtering on such a large scale in the DRC. This election got enough publicity to put Rwanda back on the media stage, if only briefly, with even the U.S. administration expressing mild “concerns” over "what appear to be attempts by the government of Rwanda to limit freedom of expression" (Philip Crowley, August 9), and urging voluntary reforms.
We may note also that this possible DRC genocide is discussed by Howard French and the rest of the mainstream media within the partially exonerating context of “The Genocide” of 1994, where Kagame was allegedly the savior who ended a Hutu-engineered mass killing. As French writes, following the established Western party-line, “In 1994, more than 800,000 people, predominantly members of the ethnic Tutsi group in Rwanda,, were slaughtered by the Hutu.” In this and other current mainstream reports there was, first, the primary genocide of the Tutsi by the Hutu, which it now appears may have been followed by a secondary genocide in response by the Tutsi against the Hutu.
But this context is based on a monumental establishment lie about the first genocide, and in fact the great difficulty in publicizing the mass murder in the DRC has an obvious common source with that lie: namely, as Kagame is a servant of the U.S. and other Western imperial powers, reports of his crimes are ignored by Western officials and avoided in the mainstream media.
Paul Kagame relies on the myth of his savior role to maintain his domination of Rwanda, although this merely supplements his primary dependence on force. But he has made “genocide denial” a crime, with the standard model of the "Rwandan genocide" taken as the truth, so that those contesting his power can be treated as “genocide deniers” or “divisionists” and prosecuted for crimes against the Rwandan state. On this basis, Peter Erlinder, a U.S. lawyer and lead defense counsel at the ICTR, was arrested when he arrived in Rwanda in late May to represent Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, a Hutu opposition political candidate, who had also been arrested and barred from running for political office. Although Erlinder was released on bail in mid-June, his arrest and the systematic crackdown on opposition parties and candidates prior to the August election has been awkward for defenders of the savior and standard model.
As to the mythical character of that model, consider the following:
* The “triggering event” in the first genocide is generally accepted to have been the April 6, 1994 shooting down of the jet carrying Juvenal Habyarimana, the Hutu president of Rwanda, and Cyprien Ntaryamira, the Hutu president of Burundi. There is overwhelming evidence that this shootdown was organized by Paul Kagame. This was the conclusion of Michael Hourigan, an investigator who researched the subject for the ICTR in 1996. But his report on this to ICTR prosecutor Louise Arbour was set aside, after consultation with U.S. officials, and the ICTR failed to engage in any further investigation of the “triggering event” over the next 13 years. Why would the ICTR, a creature of the U.S.-dominated Security Council, drop this subject unless credible evidence pointed to the U.S.-supported Kagame and the RPF?
* An even more extensive investigation of the “triggering event” by French Judge Jean-Louis Bruguière concluded that Kagame needed the "physical elimination" of Habyarimana in order to seize state-power within Rwanda before the national elections called for by the 1993 Arusha Accords, elections that Kagame almost certainly would have lost, given that his minority Tutsi were greatly outnumbered by the majority Hutu.
* Kagame was trained at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and has received steady U.S. material and diplomatic support from the time he assumed command of the RPF shortly after the RPF's invasion of Rwanda from Uganda in October 1990, a serious act of aggression that was somehow not taken seriously in the Security Council, up to and beyond the RPF's final assault on the Rwandan state that began on April 6, 1994. During that April assault, when the “genocide” was presumably well underway, the remnants of the Rwandan government urged the UN to provide more troops to contain the violence, but Paul Kagame didn’t want more UN troops as he was sure of a military victory, and—surprise!—the United States was also against such a troop addition.
* As regards evidence on the killings, there is no doubt that many Tutsi were killed, although mostly in sporadic bursts and localized vengeance killings, not as the result of a systematically planned operation of Hutu commanders. Only the Kagame forces seem to have killed on a systematic and planned basis. And their killings were played down by the UN and United States.
Would it not have been incredible for Kagame’s Tutsi forces, the only well-organized killing force within Rwanda in 1994, whose surges on the battlefield were systematically accompanied by spikes in deaths, and who were able to conquer Rwanda in 100 days, to have been unable to prevent Tutsi deaths from exceeding the Hutu deaths by a large margin, as the standard model of the "Rwandan genocide" holds? Indeed, it is incredible, and should be considered a propaganda myth.
* This myth is also incompatible with basic population numbers. As we first reported elsewhere, and will now repeat here (see Table 1, below), the official 1991 census of Rwanda determined the country's ethnic breakdown to be 91.1% Hutu, 8.4% Tutsi, 0.4% Twa, and 0.1% "other." Thus out of Rwanda's 1991 population of 7,099,844 persons, Rwanda's minority Tutsi population was 596,387, compared to a majority Hutu population of 6,467,958. Additionally, as Davenport and Stam point out in their Miller-McCune article, the Tutsi survivors organization IBUKA claimed that "about 300,000 Tutsi survived the 1994 slaughter"—a number which means that "out of the 800,000 to 1 million believed to have been killed then, more than half were Hutu." In fact, it is highly likely that far more than half of those killed in Rwanda during the April-July 1994 period were Hutu; and of course after the RPF seized state power in July, Hutu deaths inside both Rwanda and later the DRC continued unabated for another decade-and-a-half.
There is great continuity in U.S. policy in the Third World, and it is not pleasant. Thus a Bill Clinton official could find the mass killer Suharto “our kind of guy” in 1995, and Suharto received steady U.S. support for 33 years, through the administrations of Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, and Clinton, until his downfall during the Asian currency crisis in 1998. In a more recent time frame, extending from 1990 to today, Paul Kagame, an even more ferocious mass killer, has gotten support from the first George Bush, Bill Clinton, the second George Bush, and now Barack Obama (whose Deputy Secretary of State hadn't gotten around to looking at the draft UN Report on Kagame’s mass killings in the DRC). It is interesting, also, to see the media treat this latest “our kind of guy” so kindly, with the liberal New Yorker’s Philip Gourevitch even comparing Kagame to Abe Lincoln (in his 1998 book We wish to inform you that tomorrow we will be killed with our families), and Stephen Kinzer publishing a hagiography of this deadly agent of U..S. power (A Thousand Hills: Rwanda’s Rebirth and the Man Who Dreamed It ).
[ Edward S. Herman and David Peterson are co-authors of The Politics of Genocide, published in 2010 by Monthly Review Press. ]
---- APPENDIX ----
Table 1. Rwanda's national population as of 1991,
[a] Adapted from Table 4.2, "Répartition (en %) de la population de nationalité rwandaise selon l'ethnie, la préfecture ou le milieu de résidence," in Recensement general de la population et de l'habitat au 15 aout 1991, Service National de Recensement, Republique Rwandaise, p. 124. Table 4.2 reported the national population of Rwanda, ca. 1991, by ethnicity and expressed as percentages (i.e., here the percentages inside the parentheses). Based on Rwanda's total population (7,099,844) at the time, we've simply calculated the related approximate totals in the second and third columns for Hutu and Tutsi (e.g., 7,099,844 x 8.4% = 596,387 for the total Tutsi population of Rwanda at the time of the 1991 census). Note that these numbers are to be regarded as approximate totals.
---- Endnotes ----
 David E. Sanger, "Real Politics: Why Suharto Is In and Castro Is Out," New York Times, October 31, 1995. As Sanger described the Clinton administration's embrace of Suharto: "When [Suharto] arrived at the White House on Friday [October 27] for a 'private' visit with the President, the Cabinet room was jammed with top officials ready to welcome him. Vice President Gore was there, along with Secretary of State Warren Christopher; the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. John Shalikashvili; Commerce Secretary Ronald H. Brown; the United States trade representative, Mickey Kantor; the national security adviser, Anthony Lake, and many others. 'There wasn't an empty chair in the room', one participant said. 'No one used to treat the Indonesians like this, and it said a lot about how our priorities in the world have changed'….[Indonesia is] the ultimate emerging market: some 13,000 islands, a population of 193 million and an economy growing at more than 7 percent a year. The country remains wildly corrupt and Mr. Suharto's family controls leading businesses that competitors in Jakarta would be unwise to challenge. But Mr. Suharto, unlike the Chinese, has been savvy in keeping Washington happy. He has deregulated the economy, opened Indonesia to foreign investors and kept the Japanese, Indonesia's largest supplier of foreign aid, from grabbing more than a quarter of the market for goods imported into the country….'He's our kind of guy', a senior Administration official who deals often on Asian policy, said…."
 On Robert McNamara, see Noam Chomsky, Year 501: The Conquest Continues (Boston: South End Press, 1993), p. 126. "Particularly valuable," Chomsky notes, with direct relevance to the story of Paul Kagame's rise, "was the program bringing Indonesian military personnel to the United States for training at universities, where they learned the lessons they put so use so well. These were 'very significant factors in determining the favorable orientation of the new Indonesian political elite' (the army), McNamara argued" (p. 126).
 James Reston, "A Gleam of Light in Asia," New York Times, June 19, 1966.
 The most widely cited account of what we regard as the standard model of the "Rwandan genocide" is Allison Des Forges et al., "Leave None to Tell the Story": Genocide in Rwanda (New York: Human Rights Watch, 1999).
 The existence of this draft UN document was first reported in France by Christophe Châtelot, "L'acte d'accusation de dix ans de crimes au Congo RDC," Le Monde, August 26, 2010.
 See "Report of the Mapping Exercise documenting the most serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law committed within the territory of the Democratic Republic of the Congo between March 1993 and June 2003," UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, June, 2010. Here we emphasize that although this report was leaked to the media and then circulated widely, we do not know whether it will be revised before its eventual official publication (scheduled for October 1, 2010), and how dramatic the revisions will be.
 Judi Rever, "Congo butchery resembled Rwandan genocide: UN lawyer," Agence France Presse, August 27, 2010.
 See the treatment of Robert Gersony's oral presentation before the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, as well as the written order by the Commission of Experts on Rwanda to suppress Gersony's findings, in Christopher Black, "The Rwandan Patriotic Front's Bloody Record and the History of UN Cover-Ups", MRZine, September 12, 2010.
 Mahmoud Kassem et al., Report of the Panel of Experts on the Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources and Other Forms of Wealth of the Democratic Republic of Congo (S/2002/1146), UN Security Council, October, 2002.
 U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Philip J. Crowley, "Daily Press Briefing," U.S. Department of State, August 30, 2010.
 See Philip Gourevitch, "Rwanda Pushes Back Against UN Genocide Charges," New Yorker Blog, August 27, 2010.
 Howard French, "U.N. Report on Congo Offers New View of Genocide Era," New York Times, August 28, 2010.
 U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Philip J. Crowley, "Daily Press Briefing," U.S. Department of State, August 9, 2010.
 French, "U.N. Report on Congo Offers New View of Genocide Era."
 See Edward S. Herman and David Peterson, The Politics of Genocide (New York: Monthly Review Press, 2010), pp. 51-68. For an electronic copy of this section of our book, see "Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo in the Propaganda System," Monthly Review 62, no. 1, May, 2010..
 The myth of the Paul Kagame-led Rwandan Patriotic Front ending rather than triggering and participating in—and even perpetrating—the mass atrocities of 1994 known as the "Rwandan genocide" was propagated by Alison Des Forges et al. in "Leave None to Tell the Story": Genocide in Rwanda. "The Rwandan Patriotic Front ended the 1994 genocide by defeating the civilian and military authorities responsible for the killing campaign," we read in the chapter devoted to the RPF. "Its troops encountered little opposition, except around Kigali, and they router government forces that began in early April and ended in July" (p. 692). The entire chapter that Des Forges et al. devoted specifically to "The Rwandan Patriotic Front" (pp. 692-735) must be understood as an attempt to propagate this myth by which the Kagame dictatorship has justified its rule by violence since 1994 and the pillage that followed.
 See Edward S. Herman and David Peterson, , "Peter Erlinder Jailed by One of the Major Genocidaires of Our Era—Update," MRZine, June 17, 2010.
 See Affidavit of Michael Andrew Hourigan, International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, November 27, 2006. For other sources that discuss the suppression of the Hourigan memorandum, see Robin Philpot, Rwanda 1994: Colonialism Dies Hard (E-Text as posted to the Taylor Report Website, 2004), esp. Chap. 6, "It shall be called a plan crash"; Steven Edwards, "'Explosive' Leak on Rwanda Genocide," National Post, March 1, 2000; Mark Colvin, "Questions unanswered 10 years after Rwandan genocide," PM, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, March 30, 2004; Mark Doyle, "Rwanda 'plane crash probe halted'," BBC News, February 9, 2007; Nick McKenzie, "UN 'shut down' Rwanda probe," The Age, February 10, 2007; and Tiphaine Dickson, "Rwanda's Deadliest Secret: Who Shot Down President Habyarimana's Plane?" Global Research.com, November 24, 2008.
 Judge Jean-Louis Bruguière, Request for the Issuance of International Arrest Warrants, Tribunal de Grande Instance de Paris, November 17, 2006, p. 12 (as archived by the Taylor Report website).
 Two early reports on the Paul Kagame-led Rwandan Patriotic Front's 1994 overthrow of the remnants of the Habyarimana government are worth referencing here: Steve Vogel, "Student of War Graduates on Battlefields of Rwanda," Washington Post, August 25, 1994; and Raymond Bonner, "How Minority Tutsi Won the War," New York Times, September 6, 1994.
 "Clinton's Painful Words Of Sorrow and Chagrin," New York Times, March 26, 1998.
 See George E. Moose, "Human Rights Abuses in Rwanda," Information Memorandum to The Secretary, U.S. Department of State, undated though clearly drafted between September 17 and 20, 1994. This document was called to our attention by Peter Erlinder, the director of the Rwanda Documents Project at William Mitchell College of Law, St. Paul, Minnesota, ICTR Military-1 Exhibit, DNT 264.
 Christian Davenport and Allan C. Stam, "What Really Happened in Rwanda?" Miller-McCune, October 6, 2009.
 See Edward S. Herman and David Peterson, "Adam Jones on Rwanda and Genocide: A Reply," MRZine, August 14, 2010, specifically Table 1, "Rwanda's national population as of 1991, broken-down by its two largest ethnic groups."
 Davenport and Stam, "What Really Happened in Rwanda?"
First published in Z Magazine, October 2010
Edward S. Herman is Professor Emeritus of Finance at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and has written extensively on economics, political economy and the media. Among his books are The Real Terror Network, Triumph of the Market, and Manufacturing Consent(with Noam Chomsky).
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