At UN, Ms. Albright Talks Genocide While Dodging on
Rwanda Votes of 1994
Matthew Russell Lee of
Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis
December 9 -- The U.S. is said to
be a forgiving country, a land of re-invention of self. How else to
Madeleine Albright, who in 1994 while serving on the Security Council
remove UN peacekeepers from Rwanda during the genocide, showing up
the UN along with William Cohen as experts to advise Barack Obama on
prevention of genocide?
a person who has erred is in a good position to help successors avoid
mistake. But Ms. Albright's introductory remarks to the Press did not
the word Rwanda. So Inner City Press asked her, as the U.S. Permanent
Representative during the Rwanda genocide, what lesson she has taken
and from the Council's dealings with the Democratic Republic of the
from Minute 10:44.
Albright could only say that people had been distracted by Bosnia and
and, she said, Somalia "where the Black Hawk helicopter had been shot
down." We were doing things, she said. But she did not address the
connection, that following the deaths of American service people in
President Bill Clinton decided that not only no Americans, but no other
peacekeepers should take action in Rwanda.
peacekeepers had been shot, and Belgium wanted to leave. Today, Belgium
is interested in sending peacekeepers to its former colony the Congo,
because the European Union doesn't agree. The EU is deploying in
has been learned?
Madeleine Albright at the UN, again and again
Here is Ms. Albright's answer to Inner City
"I do think there are various
aspects of the tragedy of Rwanda that obviously weigh very heavily on
all of us
that had anything to do with it. And I do think there are lessons there
have been incorporated into some of these suggestions.
"I think that it is
obviously always easier for people to make judgments about what
taken at the time when there was a different level of information
which is something I tell my students all the time, but I do think what
missing was enough information coming in, looking at patterns, early
signs, and anything in the US government that actually was a strong
process that had people watching for what was going on, and that's why
an atrocities prevention committee that would meet on a monthly basis
be available, why we have suggested that the National Intelligence
involve intelligence across the board ...
"The other part that I think is truly
germane and why you need people spending time on this, for those of you
were here during that period, you know that it isn't as if we weren't
anything. We had been in Somalia, the Black Hawk helicopter had been
we were in Bosnia, we were looking at Haiti."
analysis: rather than "never again," this is a recipe for "again
Click here for Inner
City Press' November 25 debate on Somalia, politics
Click here for Inner City
Press Nov. 7 debate on the war in Congo
Watch this site, and this Oct. 2 debate, on
UN, bailout, MDGs
and this October 17 debate, on
Security Council and Obama and the UN.
* * *
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for a Reuters
AlertNet piece by this correspondent
about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click
for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali
Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an
undefined trust fund. Video
UN Office: S-453A, UN, NY 10017
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