Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Terra Incognita 62 Rwandas Kabuye, Aid to Africa and the Gaza boats

Terra Incognita
Issue 62
“Written to enlighten, guaranteed to offend”

A Publication of Seth J. Frantzman
Jerusalem, Israel


November 24th, 2008

1) France’s Shame: Rose Kabuye and the story of all the Tutsis: Rose Kabuye, a former mayor of Rwanda’s capital and a colonel in the Rwandan rebel group that liberated the country from the genocidaires has been arrested in Germany on an EU arrest warrant issued in France. Her charge? War crimes. But France has never issued an arrest warrant for the Hutu leadership who carried out the genocide, a leadership armed and supported by France. France is a disgraceful nation and it is about to do the equivalent of prosecuting the Jewish Warsaw Ghetto fighters for ‘war crimes’ against the Nazis.

2) Why Aid to Africa fails, miserably: Every year we hear more about ‘millennium’ goals and Live 8 and all sorts of other Western ideas about ‘saving Africa’. Every year there are new goals and new ideas on how best to help Africans. Aid fails because it is predicated on the simple idea that “we can help them.” We cannot. We could not have helped the Irish during the Famine or the Americans during the Dust Bowl. We cannot bring 21st century technology to African villages existing on early 20th century jerry-rigged technology. We must end the addiction to ‘saving’ Africa and let it save itself.

3) Not one cent for Gilad The leftist activists behind the ‘Free Gaza Boat’ initiative have a snazzy posh new yacht. They are now on their third ‘blockade busting’ protest tour of Gaza. Wealthy Europeans and Americans and other pasty face rich folk are among them, enjoying dinner at the Hamas president’s palace. But while they rake in the Euros for their liberalism there will not be one cent or one letter or one checkup on the Israeli soldier taken hostage there. The leftist Europeans dance on his grave, perhaps no differently than they dance on the graves of the 6 million Jews destroyed during the Holocaust and buried under the soil of Europe.

France’s Shame: Rose Kabuye and the story of all the Tutsis
Seth J. Frantzman
November 19th, 2008

Rose Kabuye was born in 1961 in the village of Kanyange in northern Rwanda. She was born into the Tutsi tribe, a minority in Rwanda. Like many Tutsis who were discriminated against by the Hutu led government she went to Uganda to search for work and in the 1980s joined the revolutionary Rwandan Patriotic Front, then led by Paul Kagame. She rose to the rank of Colonel in the guerrilla army and when the Rwandan genocide broke out in 1994 she joined Kagame in the swift liberation of the capital from the genocidal Hutu regime. But it was too late for hundreds of thousands of her people who had been butchered in no small part due to the work of the French government in opposing U.N intervention, supplying their Francophile Hutu allies with machetes and whipping up world opinion against the Tutsi.

Kabuye has become an accidental inspiration to women in Africa. After becoming mayor of Kigali, the capital, she noted in an interview that “I never knew anything about gender studies. I was one of few women in the army. I was the only woman mayor during my tenure.” But on November 9th, 2008 the European Union, which had done nothing to prevent the genocide of 800,000 people in Rwanda, caught up with her. What the French supplied machetes could not do in Rwanda, the courts in France intend to do. She is to be charged with murdering the former president of Rwanda, Juvenal Habyarimana, an event that was used by Hutu extremists as an excuse to begin their long-planned genocide.

The arrest of Kabuye may be the greatest miscarriage of justice this century has yet seen. It is the equivalent of having arrested the surviving Jewish members of the Warsaw ghetto uprising and trying them for war crimes at Nuremburg. It is all the more galling considering the fact that not one Frenchman has ever been charged in a French court for the numerous crimes committed during the French colonial occupations of much of Africa, an occupation that helped set in motion numerous tribal and religious conflicts, through the imposition of European-drawn borders upon Africans.

Is Kabuye a new Dreyfus? Her tall statue, her stately frame, her sharp eyes and modest demeanor may well have helped her become one, save one problem: her black skin. She is not a European. Western Europeans are not arrested on European war crimes warrants, even for crimes committed in the not-so-distant past during colonialism. The European message of post-colonialism was ‘all is forgotten.’ So no former colony’s arrest warrant will be respected in Europe. But for the victims of colonialism there is no such justice. The European International Court of Justice only applies to non-Europeans or in selective case the ‘Barbarous Eastern Europeans’. So Charles Taylor of Liberia is on trial and General Nkunda of the Congo is threatened with trial. But former Nazis roam free in Hungary and Austria, many allowed early release because of their ‘advanced age’, lest they be forced to spend the last years of their lives in prison.

European justice has often tried to reach out and arrest Israeli Jews on ‘war crimes’. Ms. Kabuye has said she welcomes her day in court. But we should not stand silent. A woman stands imprisoned in Germany, where Nazism once ran wild, and is to be extradited to France, a nation whose government collaborated in the Rwandan genocide. She and her people were victims of genocide, just as the Jews were. Yet today European ‘justice’ seems to find a way to always indict the victims of European colonialism and the European Holocaust. It is time for us to once again say “J’ Accuse”. We accuse France of complicity in the Rwandan genocide and we will not stand by while an African woman whose entire family and village was wiped off the map during the Rwandan Genocide is held hostage in a European court with blood on its hands.

Why Aid to Africa fails, miserably
November 2nd, 2008
Seth J. Frantzman

Most recent books on Africa's '50 years since independence' have told the story of one woe after another. Primitive societies, Aids epidemic, famine, poverty, drought, genocide, disease, malaria, corruption, dictatorship, war, tribalism. For each problem there has been a 'solution' in the form of more and more romantic notions of Africa fed to us daily by the western media and various NGOs and 'non-profits' exhorting us to 'save Africa'. Africa is full of it. Stories of some random white person from Europe of the U.S who has gone to Africa to 'build a school' or 'help the poor'. They return with their requisite 'pictures of me with starving African children' and they go on with their daily lives. And each few years we hear more cries for more aid and more help. A few years ago it was 'Live 8', the concerts in a variety of European nations that was supposed to raise money to 'cancel the debt of African countries.' There is Madonna who did her part by adopting a smiling African child, 'saving him'. And yet, year after year, it does not get better, it gets worse. And year after year there is a new theme in international aid. In the old days the solution was mega-projects such as dams and power plants. Those fell apart over the years when do-gooders decided that there was some new fad. Maybe the fad was some new seeds for the Africans, or new schools, or irrigation, or throwing bags of rice from the back of trucks. Now aid takes the form of white SUVs driven by white people around the countryside, stopping to take pictures of the natives, and then moving on their way, sending the pictures back to the civilized world and asking for more donations to keep the SUV in top-top shape with the latest in GPS and onboard DVD devices.

Why doesn't it work. Billions of dollars have been injected. Millions of different programs have been tried. And it doesn't work. The schools that were built by the peace corps fall into ruins. The clinics fall apart. The irrigation ditches are filled in. The power stations are stripped bare. And there are still millions of Africans with distended bellies, living in a continent that is neither unique nor over-populated (one of the great myths of Africa is that there are too many people in it which results in famine and water contamination, but it is actually one of the most sparsely inhabited places).

So why doesn't it work? Why can't we save them? Allan G. Reitzes in his 'How Can we really mean it?' article published in the Jerusalem Post on September 8th, 2008 may give us a clue. Reitzes isn't speaking about Africa. He is speaking about Ethiopian Jews in Israel and why we have failed to 'save them'. By saving them he gives us a few yardsticks by which to measure their success and ours "Ethiopian Jewry is here but its successful integration remains in doubt…only limited positive results in bringing this community fully into Israeli society…they suffer debilitating stresses..few job skills…our failure to account for the immigrant generation's many personal and collective needs…these young people live in a traditional community that has been shattered…it leads to stereotyping as ignorant, backward and uncooperative…lower expectations…the community has become dependent." Mr. Reitzes speaks here about Africans living in Israel but the question of integration can well be a symbol for the world's hopes for Africa. It needs to be brought up to the standards of the world, that is the goal. We want it to integrate. Supposedly.

Reitzes offers us some pillars that will guarantee success. Let them speak for themselves:
1) It is necessary to support and [for us] to understand traditional customs.
2) Leadership and Community development [by us for them]
3) Planning among the governmental and non-governmental organizations…programs
4) Build the capacity of existing Ethiopian cultural non-profits
5) Fund professionals to work with these religious and cultural groups
6) Find the connections for this way of life to be integrated
7) A national level coalition should be created
8) Fund literacy programs
9) Fund local and national employment access rights and advocacy initiatives and use legal aid
10) increase staff...

Now go back and add up the number of these pillars which actually employ Ethiopians. Read it again. The 'pillars' consist of hiring whites, in this case non-Ethiopian Jews, and giving money to solve the problem. "Fund professionals." This means hiring a wealthy westerner to save the blacks. This is always the policy. To save the blacks the solution is always the same: Hire white man and add money. It’s like one of those quick-make soups. Just add white woman and money and stir. But Africa is not a soup. We are not noodles.

The 'failure' in our attempt to save Africa is the very basis that we begin from. We assume that it is our responsibility to save them and that only we can do it. While we romanticize their 'primitive' culture and their village utopias and we all desire to have pictures taken with them we also believe that we can save them. It is quite a brilliant proposal. When we were savage and poor and committing genocides they didn't come to save us. One can hardly imagine if, during the Irish potato famine, wealthy Africans in suits had shown up in SUVs to 'save the Irish'. And how would the Irish be today if rich Africans had shown up and built the starving Irish a giant power plant next to them and then dug some wells and thrown sacks of grain at them and driven away. How would America have been different if, during the Great Dust bowl, Africans had driven around the Midwest in SUVs throwing sacks at poor whites and giving them a lecture on planting corn and then driven off. Or maybe they would have stopped long enough to build a school house and take pictures with the children.

It seems ridiculous when we imagine our own history of poverty, famine and savagery and try to imagine Africans living in special compounds with SUVs, driving out to see us from time to time and throwing money and food at us and lecturing us on the use of condoms. Silly. But that is what we do. We go to save them. We throw a condom at them, throw some bags of flour at them, build a school house and take a picture. And this is supposed to 'save' them.

And then we return to our countries and draw up 'new plans' for 'new programs' for them. Programs that entail hiring more of us to save more of them. There are successful Ethiopians in Israel. When asked by the Jewish Agency, "can you please come and provide testimony for our donors on how we funded your integration," they have replied "I received nothing." Nothing. The answer to Africa is nothing. No more. No more condoms. No More aid. No more SUVs. No more white women taking pictures with black children. No more school houses. No more clinics. No more tear-jerking articles. No more. Stop. Stop the addiction to Africa. Stop the addiction to 'saving them'. Let them stand up. Let them be humans again, rather than objects of salvation. We didn't help the Irish. Some of them died, and tragic as it was, the potato famine helped Ireland. The Dust bowl helped America. And even if these things didn't help, we can rest assured that no amount of wealthy people in SUVs could have done anything to help. Sometime poor people need to be left alone. It may seem hard, it may seem brutal, but sometimes a man can only climb a mountain if he is not provided with North Face jackets and ropes to do so. Sometimes he must find his own path.

Not one cent for Gilad
November 11th, 2008
Seth J. Frantzman

All the celebrities are there. Amira Hass. Following in the footsteps of Jeff Halper, the president of the Israel Committee Against Home Demolitions and Lauren Booth, a relative of Tony Blair. A dozen European parliamentarians are there, including a former member of the Blair administration. They have feasted at the Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh’s palace. They have received 240,000 Euros in donations to buy a classy yacht named dignity. But there will not be a cent for Gilad Schalit, the Israeli soldier abducted by Hamas in June of 2006. Not one of the European parliamentarians will attempt to meet with Gilad. Neither will the Israeli ‘activists’ and ‘journalists’ such as Amira Hass. Instead they will add their support to Islamism, to religious extremism and to hatred and intolerance. Why is it like this? Why do ‘human rights activists’ so rarely work to actually provide humans with rights? Why are extreme leftist Europeans so often callous towards the lives of Jews?

The history behind the ‘free Gaza’ movement and its well funded campaign from Europe is a history of shame. It is a history that goes back to the Red Cross and its involvement in the Second World War. During the Second World War the precursor of modern human rights movements, the Red Cross, was called upon to deliver letters and food packages to Jews and POWs held by the Nazi regime. It was also called upon to report on the condition of the concentration camps. However the Red Cross actually worked to help gloss over Nazi crimes by only showing the positive side of Nazism, by working with Nazi minders and touring the ‘model camp’ of Thereisenstadt. The Red Cross thus worked to excuse Nazi crimes and did not request access to other Nazi camps or their Jewish inmates. The shame of the Red Cross’s involvement does not end there. When the Nazis abandoned Thereseinstadt on April 22nd they handed the keys to the gate over to the Red Cross. The Red Cross ran the camp until it was liberated on May 8th by the Red Army. This means that the Jews of Theresienstadt were not liberated from the Nazis but actually had to be liberated from the clutches of the Red Cross, which refused them permission to leave the camp.

Today the Red Cross operates freely in Israel and the Palestinian territories. It provides medical care and services only to Palestinians. It does not provide any assistance to Jews and has rarely documented human rights violations against Jews in Israel. In Gaza the Red Cross does not work to provide care packages to Gilad or letters to him from his family. The descendants of the Red Cross, modern day ‘human rights’ organizations also do not provide any assistance to Gilad or his family and they neither protest on his behalf nor do they demand the right to see him when their members are in Gaza. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch do not provide reports documenting his detention. This is all the more shameful in Amnesty’s case because it has worked throughout the world to provide support for political prisoners and those illegally held by governments or terrorist movements, such as the FARC in Columbia.

There is a deep sadness in seeing European parliamentarians waving Palestinian flags and smiling from a posh yacht on their way back and forth from Gaza. It is disturbing to know that no European chartered such boats to save the Jewish refugees trying in vain to flee Europe in 1939. There was not one cent for those Jews just as there is not one cent for Gilad today. Every European donor to the free Gaza movement should be ashamed. While the residents of Gaza deserve a better life there is no excuse that time and again Jews are denied even the most basic human rights from human rights organizations and that callous human rights activists can walk on the soil of Gaza, over the very head of Gilad’s prison, and not request to see him.

No comments: