Rwanda President Quotes

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George Bush made a mistake when he referred to the Saddam Hussein regime as 'evil.' Every liberal and leftist knows how to titter at such black-and-white moral absolutism. What the president should have done, in the unlikely event that he wanted the support of America's peace-mongers, was to describe a confrontation with Saddam as the 'lesser evil.' This is a term the Left can appreciate. Indeed, 'lesser evil' is part of the essential tactical rhetoric of today's Left, and has been deployed to excuse or overlook the sins of liberal Democrats, from President Clinton's bombing of Sudan to Madeleine Albright's veto of an international rescue for Rwanda when she was U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Among those longing for nuance, moral relativism—the willingness to use the term evil, when combined with a willingness to make accommodations with it—is the smart thing: so much more sophisticated than 'cowboy' language.
Christopher Hitchens (Christopher Hitchens and His Critics: Terror, Iraq, and the Left)
Hutu power had presided over one of the most outrageous crimes in a century of seemingly relentless mass political murder, and the only way to get away with it was to continue to play the victim.
Philip Gourevitch (We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families)
{President] Kayibanda's government [in Rwanda] continued the persecution against the Tutsis and began to make use of the media it controlled to launch a propaganda campaign against us. In a country where more than half the people cannot read or write and very few have televisions, radio is the dominant media. The fact that some newspapers were still printing the truth didn't matter much to the part of the population that couldn't read. Most of the literate people were already politically aware. While an educated person might question what they read or hear from the media, the uneducated tend to accept it. The uneducated are more easily affected by threats and the emotional trauma that propaganda like this can create.
John Rucyahana (The Bishop of Rwanda: Finding Forgiveness Amidst a Pile of Bones)
Sitting with Sindikubwabo [former President of Rwanda in exile in Zaire] as he offered what sounded like a rehearsal of the defense-by-obfuscation he was preparing for the tribunal, I had the impression that he almost yearned to be indicted, even apprehended, in order to have a final hour in the spotlight.
Philip Gourevitch (We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families)
It always amazes me how people in Europe and the United States can be so indifferent to the speeches of their chancellor or president, for these worlds from the top can be a wind sock for what might happen next.
Paul Rusesabagina
The UN lacked the ability to act without the support of its more powerful members, notably the United States. The American government wanted to avoid a repetition of its unsuccessful intervention in Somalia, in which thirty American troops were killed. President Clinton issued a directive on UN military conditions. The operations would also have to be directly relevant to American interests. These conditions excluded American support for UN intervention to stop the genocide [in Rwanda].
Jonathan Glover (Humanity: A Moral History of the Twentieth Century)
Mining might convey an image of industry or technology, but I found this was not the case in the Congo. In the so-called ‘mines’, a brutally primitive process was in place involving what was effectively slave labour clawing minerals from the earth so that they could be shipped to eager cash buyers in the developed world. President Kabila headed what was effectively a cobalt and diamond cartel, while two rival factions (one backed by neighbouring Uganda, the other by Rwanda) divided up the rest of the country’s resources. Crudely, Uganda got gold and timber, and Rwanda got tin and coltan – a mineral used in mobile telephones.
Tim Butcher (Blood River: A Journey to Africa's Broken Heart)
Why did those governments decide to murder their own people? Why did soldiers and police and barbers and mechanics murder their own neighbors? I think the answer is self-interest. Particular people in a government of a single ideology with effectively no political opponents have supported national institutions that maintain power for themselves. What muddied the waters were the “reasons” the decision makers gave for their political agendas. Take Kosovo: were the killings and expulsions in the 1990s really meant to avenge the Battle of 1389, as Serbian president Slobodan Milošević was fond of stating? Or was it because mineral-rich parts of Kosovo can produce up to $5 billion in annual export income for Serbia? Or take Rwanda: did Hutus kill their neighbors and all their neighbors’ children simply because they were Tutsi, as the government exhorted them to do? Or was it because the government promised Hutus their neighbors’ farmland, land that otherwise could only have been inherited by those very children, and those children’s children, ad infinitum?
Clea Koff (The Bone Woman: A Forensic Anthropologist's Search for Truth in the Mass Graves of Rwanda, Bosnia, Croatia, and Kosovo)
Diane Louise Jordan Diane Louise Jordan is a British television presenter best known for her role in the long-running children’s program Blue Peter, which she hosted from 1990 until 1996. She is currently hosting BBC1’s religious show, Songs of Praise. Also noted for her charity work, Diane Louise Jordan is vice president of the National Children’s Home in England. We all need to be loved--whether we admit it or not. All of us. A friend of mine recalled how, when in Rwanda a few years ago, he was taken to visit a lady in the slums. She was in agony because of an AIDS-related illness and had just hours to live. He described the inadequate dirt-floor shack that was her home among unbearable squalor. And yet he said it wasn’t the intense poverty or painful illness that struck him most, but rather the compassion of her friend who kept vigil. A friend who used no words, just silent tears, to express the deep feelings she had for her dying companion. In a similar way, it wasn’t words that stirred international attention, but the silent image of two people holding hands. One an HIV/AIDS sufferer and the other a “fairy-tale” princess. When Diana, Princess of Wales, held the hand of that seriously ill man back in the 1980s, many boundaries were crossed, many stigmas defeated. At that time, fear of death by AIDS had gripped the world so savagely that we were in danger of losing our humanity. Yet all it took to crush the storm of fear was a simple loving gesture. Princess Diana was good at that. She had the courage to follow her instincts, even if it meant being countercultural. She made it her job to be kind and loving.
Larry King (The People's Princess: Cherished Memories of Diana, Princess of Wales, from Those Who Knew Her Best)
Helena's telling Sorcha that the media are OH! MY! GOD! totally ignoring what's going on in Rwanda, we're talking four years on from the genocide, with thousands of unarmed civilians being extrajudicially executed by government soldiers - 'It's like, HELLO?' - while almost 150,000 people detained in connection with the 1994 genocide are being held without, like, trial. She goes, 'I'm not even going to _stort_ on the thousands of refugees forcibly returned to Burundi. It's like, do NOT even go there.' Sorcha's saying that President Pasteur Bizimungu SO should be indicted for war crimes if half of what she's read on the Internet is true. She's there, 'It's like, OH! MY! GOD!' but I'm not really listening, roysh, I'm giving the old mince pies to Amanda, this total lasher who's, like, second year Orts.
Paul Howard (The Miseducation Years)