July 29, 2006
Rwanda : Kofi Annan's Legacy
I'll begin this post with my quote of the day:
the overriding consideration is the need to avoid entering into a course of action that might lead to the use of force and unanticipated repercussions.
- Kofi Annan
The above Kofi quote could've been a message about any situation anywhere in the world. As we all know, Kofi's very opposed to the use of force. Kofi seems to have an abiding faith that everything can be solved through the unilateral practice of peace-ism. One could see him speaking the above quote in connection with the current Israel-Hizb'Allah conflict or the genocide in Darfur, for example. Whatever happens, avoid using force. In fact, avoid continuing a course of action that could lead to the use of force. Actually, let's avoid even entering into a course of action that could lead to the use of force.
Kofi Annan is, of course, the man we're being advised to rely on to protect the rights of Israelis against Hizb'Allah.
The quote above was from a 1994 cable from Annan to Lt. Gen. Romeo Dallaire, head of U.N. "peacekeeping" operations in Rwanda. Annan's message was sent in response to Dallaire's detailed and specific warnings to Annan that organized preparations for mass genocide were being undertaken by the Rwandan government, under the direction of the Hutu political leadership. These activities included the importation and stockpiling of weapons, in direct contravention of U.N. resolutions. Dallaire requested authorization to take action.
As I'm sure we all recall, Kofi adamantly refused to authorize any "force-y" type activity by Dallaire. Kofi authorized Dallaire (sort of) to communicate the information to the Rwandan President. That is, Dallaire was authorized to inform the head of the Rwandan government that the Rwandan government was making genocide preparations, but only if Dallaire was "convinced that the information provided by the informant is absolutely reliable". Kofi clearly wanted the Rwandan government to understand that any unpleasant "mass genocide" type activity could potentially result in the consideration of the preparation--or even delivery--of a stern-ishly worded letter from the U.N.
In the meantime, the training and preparations continued. Three months later, over 800,000 Rwandan Tutsis were slaughtered by the army and government-backed militias in an orchestrated genocide, carrying out the plans that Dallaire had repeatedly warned Annan about. Throughout the slaughter, as all of Dallaire's predictions came to pass and U.N. peacekeepers stood by and witnessed sickening carnage all around them, Kofi repeatedly re-emphasized the overriding necessity of avoiding the use of force.
Again, this is the man we're expected to rely on to protect the rights of Israelis against Hizb'Allah.