A self-styled “Greens party” leader in Rwanda – known for his greed and homophobia – is visiting Perth during CHOGM to throw muck at the Rwandan government, which has been a remarkable success-story after the horrors there in the 1990s. Naturally, the clueless Australian Greens are all over the notorious scammer like a rash.
Naive Greens party WA Senator Ludlam has stumbled into an embarrassing international row involving Rwanda and appears to have taken in by a scammer who is the self-styled leader of the unregistered “Rwandan Greens” party.
NAIVE & GREEN
Yesterday, he convened a gathering that was addressed by an apparently charming rogue Mr Frank Habineza, who usually makes scurrilous attacks on the Rwandan government which has been a remarkable success story, emerging from the hundred-day horror of the genocide in 1994 where nearly one million ethnic Tutsis were slaughtered by the majority Hutu.
The current pro-Western President Kagame did what the world failed to do which was intervene to stop one of the most unspeakable massacres of a particularly bloody century. He led an army which stopped the violence and chased Hutu agents of genocide over the border.
US President Clinton, a man not usually prone to regretful self-analysis, says his failure to intervene in Rwanda was his biggest regret in office. Monica Lewinsky might find that hard to swallow but it was certainly a massive and shameful mistake, not just of President Clinton’s but of the entire world.
President Obama, whose foreign policy triumphs might be the only thing that saves him next year with the US domestic economy still in serious pain (no doubt it will bounce-back big eventually), authorised US special forces to help the Ugandan government stop the murderous terrorist group, the Lord’s Resistance Army.
It’s an example of why we ought thank the deity of our choice for America. For its courage. And generosity. And willingness to not just mouth good words but also to take real risks, sending the best-and-toughest young Americans into harm’s way, half-way round the world, in pursuit of the idealistic purpose of making life more tolerable, safer for the people of Uganda, a country most Americans will never visit, trade with or have to worry much about. America’s friends must be willing to join in the heavy lifting, in defence of the ideals and principles that we all say underpin our system of government and way of life.
We’ve never really understood how that idealistic commitment to making the world just a little less safe for tyrants and thugs became associated by some extreme left-wing commentators as a bad thing. Letting evil triumph is never a good thing. Failing to intervene in messy international difficulties because life is easier if you don’t is isolationism and is as morally bankrupt a position as anyone could take.
It’s actually an ultra-conservative position, and a remarkably selfish one.
WHERE THERE’S TROUBLE, CHERCHEZ LES FRANCAIS
Back to Rwanda.
Those in the know tell VEXNEWS that the Rwandan genocide – frequently confused by outsiders as two equally morally equivalent sides literally hacking each other to death – involved the majority Hutu slaughtering near 1 millions Tutsis.
The current President Paul Kagame led the Rwandan Patriotic Army to drive those doing the mass-murdering out of the country.
The French had a long history meddling in the former Belgian and French-speaking colony and were aligned to the Hutu mass-murderers. Some say French military personnel in Rwanda were even present at checkpoints where Tutsi were sent to their death.
Former French President Mitterand’s son was reputedly involved in the importation of Chinese machetes that used by the Hutus as a cheap but brutally efficient mechanism of massacre. 10,000 people were murdered a day in a bloodbath on a scale without precedent.
The French role in this was disgraceful, perhaps only matched by the United Nations who failed to act against the Hutu “militants” then housed them in refugee camps in eastern Congo, from they frequently launched attacks on civilians to continue their genocidal mission.
Rwanda’s army eventually hunted down the wrong-doers, humiliating the UN who’d been wilfully blind to their bloody antics. NGO charity groups left the camps in disgust, as they were under no illusion about what was going on. The man in charge of UN operations was Kofi Annan, who later became Secretary-General and set the tone for the UN’s relations with the Rwanda government and their characterisation of what went on there.
Rwanda’s new leader wasn’t very impressed with the French or the UN. And the international “left”, in the form of Human Rights Watch which is normally occupied denouncing Israel, knew they had a most unsound chap on their hands.
HRW’s Ken Roth has demonised and vilified Rwanda’s leadership with rising shrillness.
One chap familiar with these events described the vile role:
There is a small but vocal clique of genocide deniers who come from the same crowd of “anti-imperialists” who formed the Committee to Defend Milosevic, defend al Qaeda and loved Sadaam Hussien and Gaddafi because of their common antipathy to America and the West. You know the types. Stalinists.
These opponents of the Rwanda government are a combination of UN/French revisionists, far left anti-imperialists, and Hutu refugees based mainly in Europe, many linked to the terrorist FDLR group on the Congolese border posing as “victims” of Kagame’s nastiness.
Rwanda is breaking free of its former colonial masters and manipulators, whose meddling colonialist approach smells worse than the most exotic goat-sourced cheese of the French Republic.
It’s usually a useful guide in international delations to check who John Pilger and/or the French/Russians are supporting and go the other way.
THE SUCCESS STORY OF WHICH YOU’VE PROBABLY HEARD NOTHING
With unpleasant enemies in the West and the machete-wielders at bay for now, the Rwandans done a remarkably good job in rebuilding.
They are now relatively secure and conflict-free. They have done a great job at ending endemic corruption so often expected in French-speaking parts of Africa. Unlike many, they’ve put foreign aid money to good use, with their economy growing rapidly. They’re rolling out modern telecoms infrastructure of the kind most of Australia doesn’t yet have but soon will thanks to Conroy.
A person familiar with developments there tells us:
The streets of Kigali are paved with fat fiber optic cables. 90 percent of its citizens have health insurance. Kids go to good schools. The streets are safe. Most communicable diseases have been all but wiped out. HIV-AIDS sufferers get some of the best access to treatment in Africa. It has abolished the death penalty and does not share its neighbour’s vile anti-gay policies. It embraces religious pluralism and its small Muslim minority prospers.
While it needs to build a stronger civil society — and President Kagame is the first to admit this — it has a reasonably well functioning (and clean) civil service. It takes full part in regional peace-keeping operations.
It’s been a remarkable success story.
Naturally a successful pro-US, pro-UK government is not something the Greens support, so they’ve zeroed in on what are the equivalent of Holocaust-denial-prohibitions designed to stop the Hutu genocide being minimised or denied or spun as a massacre on equal terms. Our Racial Discrimination Act (recently used against Andrew Bolt in highly dubious circumstances) and German bans on Holocaust denial are directly comparable.
All serious stuff. And hardly the basis of legitimate criticism here, given our laws. While African “public square” standards aren’t the same as ours, they’re getting there fast in Rwanda.
THE GREENS MAN IN RWANDA
So much so that just like the opportunists and spivs in the environmental movement here, a Frank Habineza has launched a “Greens party” despite being unable to sign up a required 200 members to register. Those familiar with his exploits say he’s far from the traditional inner-urban eco-enthusiast and look forward to the reaction of local Greens when they ask him his views on gays and lesbians.
While taken very seriously by naive local Australian Greens party politicians, like Scott Ludlam, those familiar with Rwandan politics say he’s a charming con artist, even beyond that which would normally be tolerated in the far-left party here.
Comrade Habineza has been accused of opportunistically defrauding five “non-governmental organisations” that “claim to carry (out) developmental and environmental conservation activities but instead divert the funds solicited from donors to political activities.”
No wonder the Australian Greens have made the shonk so at home. They’ll be sure to swap notes.