Thursday, May 19, 2011
Jenerali wa Rwanda akutwa na hatia
Mauaji ya kimbari Rwanda
Aliyekuwa mkuu wa majeshi wa Rwanda Augustin Bizimungu amepewa hukumu ya kifungo cha miaka 30 jela kwa kuhusishwa na mauaji ya kimbari mwaka 1994.
Mahakama ya kimataifa ya kusikiliza kesi za mauaji hayo ya Rwanda iliyopo nchini Tanzania pia imemhukumu Augustin Ndindiliyimana aliyekuwa mkuu wa majeshi ya polisi, lakini ameachiwa kutokana na kwamba tayari ametumikia kifungo hicho.
Majenerali wengine waandamizi nao wamehukumiwa kifungo cha miaka 20 jela kila mmoja.
Takriban Watutsi 800,000 na Wahutu wenye msimamo wa wastani walifariki dunia katika mauaji hayo ya kimbari yaliyochukua siku 100.
Bizimungu na Ndindiliyimana ni miongoni mwa viongozi waandamizi waliohukumiwa kwenye mahakama hiyo ya ICTR, iliyoundwa kusikiliza kesi za watu waliofanya uhalifu wakati wa mauaji hayo.
Mahakama hiyo ilisema, Bizimungu, aliyekamatwa Angola mwaka 2002, alikuwa amewadhibiti vizuri wanajeshi wake mwaka 1994.
Hata hivyo, Ndindiliyimana, inasemwa alikuwa na "udhibiti mdogo" juu ya majeshi yake na alielezwa kupinga mauaji.
Genocide on Clinton's watch, genocide on Bush's watch
"During President Bill Clinton’s trip to Africa in 1998, he stopped in Kigali, Rwanda, to deliver an apology for not having done 'as much as we could' to stop the genocide in 1994. He announced to an audience at the Kigali airport, '[A]ll over the world there were people like me sitting in offices, day after day after day, who did not fully appreciate the depth and the speed with which you were being engulfed by this unimaginable terror.'
"In fact, there exists a great deal of evidence to suggest that detailed information on the scope of the genocide was indeed available to the U.S. – both before and during the massacres in Rwanda. Reports suggesting a high likelihood of massive ethnic violence had been available even during the early 1990s. In January 1994, U.S. intelligence analysts had predicted that in case of renewed conflict in Rwanda, 'the worst-case scenario would involve one half million people dying.'
"In the final analysis, even these dire forecasts proved to be conservative.
"On April 6, 1994, the same day that Rwandan President Habyarimana’s plane was shot down and the crisis began to unfold, Deputy Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Prudence Bushnell drafted an urgent memo to Secretary of State Warren Christopher. In it, she warned that the assassination could prompt an outbreak of killings, and she urged the U.S. to appeal for calm.
"Within days, Joyce Leader, Deputy Chief of Mission stationed in Rwanda, realized that a pattern of clear and systematic killing of Tutsi had emerged. Lists of the names of Tutsi and some Hutu targets had been compiled and distributed, and blocks were being set up along the roads to check people’s identification papers and separate those who would be eliminated
"Recognizing the extreme danger on the ground, the U.S. made the decision to evacuate all American citizens from Rwanda. By April 10, 1994, the U.S Ambassador to Rwanda David Rawson and 250 American citizens had been evacuated from the country. Memos prepared for U.S. officials in subsequent days warned of a massive and impending 'bloodbath'. Though fully briefed on the unfolding crisis, the Clinton Administration took no action to halt the growing violence, and instead began to lobby for the withdrawal of the UN force in Rwanda."
Samantha Power writes: "So far people have explained the U.S. failure to respond to the Rwandan genocide by claiming that the United States didn't know what was happening, that it knew but didn't care, or that regardless of what it knew there was nothing useful to be done.
"The account that follows is based on a three-year investigation involving sixty interviews with senior, mid-level, and junior State Department, Defense Department, and National Security Council officials who helped to shape or inform U.S. policy. It also reflects dozens of interviews with Rwandan, European, and United Nations officials and with peacekeepers, journalists, and nongovernmental workers in Rwanda.
"Thanks to the National Security Archive (www.nsarchive.org), a nonprofit organization that uses the Freedom of Information Act to secure the release of classified U.S. documents, this account also draws on hundreds of pages of newly available government records.
"This material provides a clearer picture than was previously possible of the interplay among people, motives, and events. It reveals that the U.S. government knew enough about the genocide early on to save lives, but passed up countless opportunities to intervene."
Mke wa Mubarak akabidhi mali zake Misri
Hosni Mubarak na mkewe Suzanne
Mke wa rais aliyeondolewa madarakani wa Misri Hosni Mubarak, aliyekuwa akishikiliwa kwa makosa ya ulaji rushwa, ameachiwa kwa dhamana baada ya kukabidhi mali zake.
Maafisa walisema Suzanne Mubarak alikabidhi nyumba ya kifahari iliyopo kwenye kitongoji cha mjini Cairo na fedha zenye thamani ya dola za kimarekani milioni 3 zilizoshikiliwa kwenye akaunti mbalimbali za benki nchini Misri.
Familia ya Bw Mubarak inakabiliwa na madai ya "kupata mali kinyume cha sheria" wakati alipokuwa madarakani kwa miaka 30.
Bw Mubarak aliyeondoshwa madarakani mwezi Februari pia anashutumiwa kuhusika katika mauaji ya waandamanaji waliopinga uongozi wake.
Watoto wake wawili wa kiume, Alaa na Gamal, kwa sasa wanashikiliwa kwenye gereza la Tora kwa makosa ya udanganyifu.
Hotel Rwanda (2004)
Tensions between the Hutu and Tutsi peoples lead to a civil war, in a country where corruption and bribes are routine. Paul Rusesabagina (Don Cheadle), the manager of Sabena Hôtel des Mille Collines, is Hutu but his wife, Tatiana (Sophie Okonedo), is Tutsi. His marriage is a source of friction with Hutu extremists, most prominently George Rutaganda, a friendly supplier to the hotel who also is the local leader of Interahamwe, a brutal anti-Tutsi militia.
As the political situation in the country deteriorates, Paul and his family observe neighbors being dragged from their homes and openly beaten in the streets. Paul curries favor with people of influence, bribing them with money and alcohol, seeking to maintain sufficient influence to keep his family safe. When civil war erupts and a Rwandan Army officer threatens Paul and his neighbors, Paul barely negotiates their safety, and brings everyone to the hotel. More refugees come to the hotel from the overburdened United Nations camp, the Red Cross, and orphanages. Paul must divert the Hutu soldiers, care for the refugees, be a source of strength to his family, and maintain the appearance of a functioning high-class hotel, as the situation becomes more and more violent, with mobs in the streets just outside the gates.
The UN Peacekeeping forces, led by Colonel Oliver (Nick Nolte), are unable to take assertive action against the Interhamwe since they are forbidden to intervene in the genocide. The foreign nationals are evacuated, but the Rwandans are left behind. When the UN forces attempt to evacuate a group of refugees, including Paul's family, they are ambushed and must turn back. In a last-ditch effort to save the refugees, Paul speaks to the Rwandan Army General, Augustin Bizimungu (Fana Mokoena) and when the bribes no longer work, he blackmails him with threats of being tried as a war criminal. The family and the hotel refugees finally leave the besieged hotel in a UN convoy, and they travel through retreating masses of refugees and militia to reach safety behind Tutsi rebel lines.
Rwanda Genocide: Who killed the Hutu?
By Ann Garrison
WBAI AfrobeatRadio spoke to Professor Charles Kambanda, a former member of the Rwandan Patriotic Front, on April 9th, during the first week of Rwanda's 17 year commemoration of the 1994 genocide. A 2008 press release on the official website of the Rwanda Government confirmed Professor Kambanda's statement that the Rwandan Constitution had been amended that year to refer to the 1994 genocide in Rwanda as a "genocide committed on Tutsis," at the same time that it was amended to grant perpetual immunity from prosecution to former presidents of Rwanda in Rwandan courts.
Ntara Genocide Memorial Site Photo: Duke Human Rights Center
AfrobeatRadio Host Wuyi Jacobs: WBAI, 99.5FM and you're listening to AfrobeatRadio. Now we have a special report by Ann Garrison on the anniversary of the Rwanda Genocide.
Ann Garrison: Wednesday, April 6th, was the 17 year anniversary of the plane crash in Kigali, Rwanda, that triggered the tragic violence the world came to know as the Rwanda Genocide after it had claimed close to a million Rwandan lives, perhaps even more. We at AfrobeatRadio want to turn our hearts and our thoughts to the Rwandan Tutsi, Hutu, and Twa families and individuals who suffered and lost loved ones in 1994. This week we spoke to Charles Kambanda, a Rwandan American legal scholar, and professor at St. John's University in New York City, formerly a professor at several East African universities. He was once a member of the ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front, but became disillusioned with President Paul Kagame and left Rwanda in 2005.
Ann Garrison: Professor Kambanda, most people outside Rwanda know the story through the Hollywood movie Hotel Rwanda. Could you tell us how the movie corresponds and how it departs from what really happened?
Charles Kambanda: Yes, most people who know the Rwandan story from the movie will certainly not be able to situate it within the entire history of the Rwandan conflict. The Rwandan conflict goes back before colonial times; it goes back before independence. These two peoples have failed to share power. They have failed to create a framework for power sharing. Whoever is in power wants to take it all. And this is where we have the genocide. Each side was killing the other because they wanted to eliminate them. And actually, it was also a military tactic. The Hutu were eliminating the Tutsi because they didn't want the Tutsi to support their fellow Tutsi who were fighting the government. The Tutsi on their side were killing the Hutu because they didn't want the Hutu in their territory to cross over and join the Hutu government.
An ordinary Rwandan knows that saying that the Hutu and the Tutsi died in the genocide, is the truth. But politicians think by saying that the Hutu also died, then you are going to ask them for accountability, because if you say that the Tutsi were killed by the interahamwe, and you also say that the Hutu were killed, then you need to know who killed them. And if you start mentioning who killed them, those politicians who are in power, Kagame and the others, will be called to answer for crimes.
Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza in custody, while in transit between court and Kigalii, Rwanda's 1930 maximum security prison.Ann Garrison: Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, the opposition presidential candidate and leader, is now in maximum security prison for expressing what's called the double genocide theory, for going to the Kigali memorial and asking where the memorial to the Hutus was has said that Kagame risks another explosion of violence by practicing the same politics of exclusion that the Hutu president, Habyarimana did. Do you feel the same danger?
Charles Kambanda: I believe that is a great analysis. There is total lack of power sharing in Rwanda. And that is the reason why the 1994 genocide surfaced. I believe we are likely to have the same thing in the future.
Ann Garrison: The United States has been a big supporter of President Paul Kagame, and the Rwandan Government, but, this week, on the anniversary of the events that triggered the genocide, President Obama did refer, in his statement honoring those who died, to the Rwanda Genocide, not to the Tutsi Genocide. Does this mean that in Rwanda he would be subject to prosecution if he weren't the President of the United States?
Charles Kambanda: Absolutely. We have many cases of people who have been prosecuted under their law against minimizing genocide. In Rwanda if you don't say "Tutsi Genocide" and you say "Rwandan Genocide," they put you in a double genocide theory category. Those people who say the "Rwandan Genocide" are subject to prosecution in Rwanda. President Obama's message is clear. He is talking about the Rwandan Genocide, not the Tutsi Genocide. Remember, the Rwandan government has had to amend its Constitution. At first we were talking about the genocide of the Tutsi and the Hutu moderates. Now, we are talking about the Tutsi Genocide. The Rwandan Constitution is clear now. I think suddenly last year they amended the Constitution to read Tutsi Genocide. Victoire Ingabire is in prison today because of saying "double genocide." President Obama today, if it were not for the powers he has as a President, Kagame would be saying President Obama is a denier of the Tutsi Genocide. And it is interesting that President Obama did not include the words Tutsi Genocide, because it means he did not write in the interest of the government of Rwanda.
Ann Garrison: Professor Kambanda, thank you so much for talking to us today. Hopefully this will be a step towards the reconciliation that you're hoping for.
Charles Kambanda: Thank you.
Ann Garrison: An archive and ongoing coverage can be found at AfrobeatRadio.net. For AfrobeatRadio, I'm Ann Garrison.
Genocide court sentences Rwandan mayor to life (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
What role did Belgian colonialism play in paving the way for the Rwandan holocaust (wiki.answers.com)
Obama’s Congo Moment: Genocide, the U.N. Report and Senate Bill 2125
Source: www.global research.ca
Obama’s Congo Moment: Genocide, the U.N. Report and Senate Bill 2125
13 November 2010 Comments (0) Print This Post Print This Post
The official Oct. 1 release of the U.N. Report on Human Rights Abuses in the Democratic Republic of Congo, 1993-2003, documenting the Rwandan and Ugandan armies’ massacres of Rwandan Hutu refugees and Congolese Hutus in the Democratic Republic of Congo, should be a defining moment for President Barack Obama. How will the USA’s first African American president respond to the detailed and widely publicized U.N. documentation of genocide in the heart of Africa, committed by the USA’s longstanding military proxies, the armies of Rwandan President Paul Kagame and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni?
Few Americans realize that the Rwandan and Ugandan armies are armed and trained by the U.S. or that the U.S. military uses both countries as staging grounds, but they may learn about it now.
Few realize either that the sole piece of legislation that President Obama shepherded into law on his own, as a Senator, was S.B. 2125, the Obama Democratic Republic of the Congo Relief, Security, and Democracy Promotion Act of 2006, in which, in Section 101(3), he quoted USAID:
“Given its size, population, and resources, the Congo is an important player in Africa and of long-term interest to the United States.”
Indeed. In 1982, the Congressional Budget Office’s “Cobalt: Policy Options for a Strategic Mineral” noted that cobalt alloys are critical to the aerospace and weapons industries, that the U.S. has no cobalt worth mining, that 64 percent of the world’s cobalt reserves are in the Katanga Copper Belt running from southeastern Congo into northern Zambia and that control of the region is therefore critical to the U.S. ability to manufacture for war.
Foreign powers and corporations’ determination to control Congo’s cobalt and the rest of its dense mineral resources has made the Congo conflict the most lethal since World War II.
Section 101(5) and (6) of Obama’s 2006 Congo legislation reads:
“(5) The most recent war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which erupted in 1998, spawned some of the world’s worst human rights atrocities and drew in six neighboring countries.
“(6) Despite the conclusion of a peace agreement and subsequent withdrawal of foreign forces in 2003, both the real and perceived presence of armed groups hostile to the Governments of Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi continue to serve as a major source of regional instability and an apparent pretext for continued interference in the Democratic Republic of the Congo by its neighbors [Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi].”
What Obama identified as the “real and perceived presence of armed groups hostile to the Governments of Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi” was, most of all, the real and perceived presence of “Hutu militias.” They were indeed the “pretext” for the predominantly Tutsi Rwandan Patriotic Army’s massacres of Hutu civilians, Rwandan Hutu refugees and Congolese Hutus, with the help of the Ugandan People’s Defence Force – massacres now documented in the U.N. report leaked to Le Monde on Aug. 26, then officially released Oct. 1.
Since Obama described the militias as “apparent pretext for continued interference” in 2006, we can assume that he understood them as such on his Inauguration Day, Jan. 20, 2009, when Rwandan troops again moved into Congo. On that day, world headlines, alongside those he himself was making, included “Rwandan Troops enter D.R. Congo to hunt Hutu militias” (Telegraph), “Rwandan troops enter Congo to hunt Hutu rebels” (BBC) and “Rwandan troops enter Kivu to hunt Hutu rebels” (Radio France International).
On the same day, the Christian Science Monitor, in “Rwandan Troops enter Democratic Republic of the Congo,” reproduced the pretext that Obama had identified in S.B. 2125:
“Rwandan troops entered the Democratic Republic of Congo on Tuesday to tackle a Rwandan Hutu militia whose leaders are accused of taking part in the 1994 Rwandan genocide before fleeing to Congo.”
Since Obama understood the pretext in 2006, he no doubt understood it that day and no doubt understands it today, as Rwandan and Ugandan troops are rumored, once again, to be moving into Congo, despite international outcry about the U.N. report.
Hutu militias and other “rebel militias” in Congo can no longer serve as the devil, the eternal excuse or, as Obama said, the “apparent pretext for intervention in the Democratic Republic by Congo’s neighbors.” Most of all, they can no longer serve as the devil, the excuse and pretext for interventions by Paul Kagame, the general turned president and so long heroized as Rwanda’s savior, because Kagame’s own army’s massacres of Rwandan and Congolese Hutu civilians has now been documented in the U.N. report.
The leak and now the official release have finally magnified President, then-Senator, Obama’s obscure, still little known revision of the East-Central African story in his 2006 legislation, S.B. 2125, which then became Public Law 109-456.
Obama’s ‘Rwanda moment’?
John Prendergast and David Eggers, the ENOUGH Project’s tireless advocates for U.S. intervention in Sudan, suggested, in a New York Times op-ed that Obama’s “Rwanda moment,” like Bill Clinton’s in 1994, is now in Sudan, where, they say, Obama has a chance to do what Bill Clinton reputedly failed to do in Rwanda, intervene to stop genocide.
But Obama’s Rwanda, and Congo, moment is in Rwanda and Congo now, as the world reviews the U.N. report and Rwandan troops once again advance into Congo.
He doesn’t need to intervene but to stop intervening, by withdrawing the military support, weapons, training, logistics and intelligence for Kagame, support that has so long equaled intervention. If he did so, peace and human rights activists all over the world would stand behind him and the narrative revision that he quietly penned three years ago.
An Obama decision to stop supporting Kagame would go up against the last 30 years of Pentagon intervention in the Great Lakes Region of Africa, but the U.N. Report turns his 2006 narrative revision into an outright reversal – with the weight of the United Nations High Commission on Human Rights and growing international opinion behind it.
And Obama is the commander-in-chief, with absolute executive authority over the U.S. armed forces. Yes, he can, should he choose to.
This article was previously published in Global Research.
Written by Ann Garrison
Delayed UN report links Rwanda to Congo genocide (guardian.co.uk)
UN finds signs of genocide in Congo (redantliberationarmy.wordpress.com)
U.N. Report on Congo Released to Angry Responses (nytimes.com)
Congo examines mass graves to find proof of revenge genocide on Hutus (guardian.co.uk)
U.N. report accuses Rwanda of Congo killings (cnn.com)
Identify the Congo killers and bring them to justice | Reed Brody (guardian.co.uk)
DR Congo 'genocide' file delayed (bbc.co.uk)
Uganda rejects UN report on war crimes in Congo (guardian.co.uk)
Rwandan rebel to face ICC trial (bbc.co.uk)
DR Congo killings by Rwandan army may be genocide, UN report says (telegraph.co.uk)
Nigerian intelligence at 3.1B calculations per second
Nigeria’s computational pioneer Chukwurah Philip Emeagwali downloads himself to E-Town
By Minister Faust, for Vue Weekly, 2006 September 21
The Unveiling Africa Conference
University of Alberta
WHEN: Saturday, September 23, 7 pm
Keynote Speaker Philip Emeagwali
WHERE: Dinwoodie Lounge, 2nd floor Students Union Building, U of A
HOW MUCH: $20 ($15 for students)
Unveiling Africa Website
“Africa.” In Western culture, the word fornicates with the word “ignorance” in two ways: first, as the (sometimes) unspoken belief that Africa is the world’s intellectual and cultural “heart of darkness,” and second, as the reality of Western ignorance about the world’s second largest continent.
It’s so common in North America for folks to conceive of Africa as a single country that it’s actually rare, in conversation, to hear someone acknowledge that Africa contains 54 countries. It’s far more common to hear phrases such as “I visited London, Paris, and Africa,” which reduce the world’s second largest continent to the status of a single city.
Other minimising notions suggest that the continent’s hundreds of ethnicities all look alike, instead of encompassing the world’s widest continental range of physical distinction, or that people there speak “African” or African “dialects,” rather than thousands of languages, or that the continent has no history at all, rather than being the birthplace of the human race and dozens of ancient civilisations and quite possibly the birthplace of writing and even civilisation itself.
This weekend, the Unveiling Africa conference will seek to change any such local notions about the “dark continent.” The conference run by the U of A’s newly-formed African Students Union (AFSU) runs from September 21 until the 23rd, showcasing a range of intellectual and cultural events focused on Africa’s history and destiny to promote political and economic progress, including through artistic performances and exhibitions, a food festival and presentations by local academics such as Dr. Philomena Okeke.
But its star of stars will be keynote speaker and internationally acclaimed Nigerian computer researcher Chukwurah Philip Emeagwali. Born in 1954 in what later became Nigeria, Emeagwali found himself engulfed in Nigeria’s Biafran civil war. After living with his family in a refugee camp for two years, at age 14 Emeagwali was conscripted as a child soldier.
After the war claimed a million lives in the continent’s most populous country, Emeagwali was finally discharged. Speaking via telephone from his home in Washington, D.C., he told Vue Weekly that life in Nigeria specifically and Africa generally forced him to become stronger. “You become more psychologically resilient,” he said. “And that resilience is what helps you when you come over to the western world and you face obstacles. It helps you rebound.... Biafra was a difficult place to grow up in--a civil crisis in which one million people died in a thirty-month period [but] those who experience hardships early in life, when they get opportunities, they have a new set of energies, not just unique to those of us from Biafra, but to all immigrants in general, because immigrants come to North America with a new energy and aggressiveness and take advantage of opportunities that society offers.”
At age 19, Emeagwali achieved a mathematics scholarship to study in the U.S. By 1987, after working at the U.S. National Weather Service, Emeagwali performed the feat that has since won him fame and honours: he programmed 65,536 processors to perform 3.1 billion calculations in a second--which won him the prestigious Gordon Bell Prize in 1989. Speaking in Nigeria’s parliament in 2000, US President Bill Clinton hailed Emeagwali as “Africa’s Bill Gates.”
While Clinton’s praise employed the same old Orientalist generalising about Africa (rather than Nigeria), and incorrectly claimed the successful innovator as a super-entrepreneur, the point was clear: by using the Cray Connection Machine supercomputer to analyse petroleum fields, Mr. Emeagwali, without even possessing a PhD., had become a name in computing. Or, more accurately, in super-computing. His home country has even issued a stamp with his likeness.
Such accomplishments in computing by people of African descent shouldn’t be seen as rare, though. Take Dr. Mark Dean, an IBM vice-president who owns three of the original nine patents upon which all PCs are based, or Kwabena Boahen, the Ghanaian-American professor of bioengineering at Stanford who’s attempting to make computers function like the human brain. Yet the stereotypes remain that scientific research and innovation is somehow alien to Africans, despite the ancient foundation of so many sciences in Egypt.
Dislodging such stereotypes is one of the Nigerian researcher’s goals. In his role as motivational speaker, Emeagwali seeks to encourage scientific achievement among students of African descent, as well as political, economic and social achievement. In his keynote address on Friday, he’ll discuss globalisation as a form of re-colonisation, AIDS as a weapon of mass destruction, and the need for the solutions to Africa’s many crises to come from Africans themselves.
But Emeagwali is interested in more massive computations. He’s also something of a cyber-mystic, prognosticating upon the destiny of what he predicts will be a fusion between humanity and the evolving internet. Perhaps it’s not surprising he should possess that fascination, since his first name, “Chukwurah” means “Seeking God's protection and longevity.”
Emeagwali envisages a time in which a super-internet will give birth to practical immortality. In a speech entitled “My Search for the Holy Grail of Immortality” at in 2003 at the Georgia conference of the Black Data Processing Association, Emeagwali said, “My prediction is that, in 100 years, the Internet will evolve and become more tightly coupled.... [T] he computer, as we know it today, will become obsolete. Instead, we will be computing without computers. The computer will, in effect, disappear into this future generation Internet, which I called ‘InternetX’ or SuperBrain....
"If we can replace [with cybernetic implants] one percent of the human brain in 100 years, then we might be able to replace the entire brain in 10,000 years. If we can replace the entire brain, we can download it into the SuperBrain. And if we can download it into the SuperBrain, our descendants will merely exist as pure thoughts, electronic cockroaches or human algorithms. Our descendants will have achieved digital immortality in 10,000 years.”
Does one European victim deserves more compassion than millions of Afrikan victims?
BBC News reports: "Pope Benedict XVI has paid tribute to an Italian nun killed in Somalia who is reported to have forgiven her attackers as she lay dying.
"Sister Leonella Sgorbati was attacked, along with her bodyguard, outside the hospital in Mogadishu where she worked. Some suspect the shooting was connected to recent remarks by the Pope which caused anger across the Islamic world."
So the pope makes some ugly remarks. That's bad (Correction as of Oct. 2: Garvey's Ghost demonstrates clearly that Pope Benedict, in fact, did not make the remarks attributed to him. Thanks, Br. Sondjata, and sorry to the Pope (no, I'm not being sarcastic). And someone else in Somalia kills someone else for those remarks? That's freaking monstrous.
Who on earth can support this? Obviously not 99.9% of Muslims, any more than, say, 99.9% of Christians directly supported the Ku Klux Klan or the Nazis. But--and let me put it frankly--this barbaric shit has got to stop. This woman was helping heal people in a country that's been suffering for far too long.
No, I don't subscribe to the notion that one European victim deserves more compassion than millions of Afrikan victims.
I subscribe to the idea that killing any innocent person will always be wrong, forever and ever, eh, man?
Here's what Br. Sondjata over at Garvey's Ghost has to say in general regarding this problem.
Here's a BBC analysis:
"[T]he row has highlighted their concerns about the Pope's attitude towards the Church's relations with the Islamic world.... When Joseph Ratzinger was elected pope in 2005, it was assumed that he would follow closely the policies of his predecessor, John Paul II....
"But on one key issue, Vatican-watchers detected a divergence in the views of the two men: the Vatican's attitude towards Islam. John Paul II wanted to reach out to other religions and in 2001, on a visit to Syria, he became the first pope to set foot in a mosque. It was a gesture intended to help end centuries of hostility and suspicion between the two religions. Benedict XVI undoubtedly wants to achieve better relations with Islam, but there is an important proviso.
"It can be summed up in a single word: reciprocity. It means that if Muslims want to enjoy religious freedom in the West, then Christians should have an equal right to follow their faith in Islamic states, without fear of persecution.
Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald
"One of the first signs of a toughening of the Vatican's stance came with the removal from office of Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald. The British-born cleric ran a Vatican department that promoted dialogue with other religions. A distinguished scholar on Arab affairs, he was an acknowledged expert on the Islamic world.
"The decision by Benedict XVI to remove him from his post, and send him to Egypt as papal nuncio, was widely seen as a demotion. Some wondered about the wisdom of the move."
At UN, a smiling, joking, "crossing" Chavez calls Bush a devil...
...and in the US, some folks have freaked out. But for crying out loud, Bush calls people "evil," I mean, capital-E "Evil" on a regular basis. Don't dish it out if you can't (etc.), Bush-baby. Anyway, other folks in the US have calmly reported the event. Check out Democracy Now!'s appraisal, including a long video/audio clip of Chavez's speech, which begins very well, with obvious humour and irony, much to the delight of many in the General Assembly. I guess it all comes down to this: If you have to have it explained to you, you'll never understand. I suppose that all us meat-eaters would probably resent how talking cows would talk about us, too.
Here's a partial transcript courtesy of DN!:
"...the American empire is doing all it can to consolidate its hegemonic system of domination, and we cannot allow them to do that. We cannot allow world dictatorship to be consolidated. The world tyrant’s statement -- cynical, hypocritical, full of this imperial hypocrisy, from the need they have to control everything -- they say they want to impose a democratic model, but that's their democratic model. It's the false democracy of elites, and I would say a very original democracy that's imposed by weapons and bombs and firing weapons. What a strange democracy. Aristotle might not recognize it, or others who are at the root of democracy. What type of democracy do you impose with marines and bombs?
"The President of the United States yesterday said to us right here in this room, and I’m quoting, 'Anywhere you look, you hear extremists telling you you can escape from poverty and recover your dignity through violence, terror, and martyrdom.' Wherever he looks, he sees extremists. And you, my brother, he looks at your color, and he says, ‘Oh, there’s an extremist.’
"Evo Morales, the worthy president of Bolivia, looks like an extremist to him. The imperialists see extremists everywhere. It's not that we are extremists. It's that the world is waking up. It's waking up all over, and people are standing up. I have the feeling, dear world dictator, that you are going to live the rest of your days as a nightmare, because the rest of us are standing up, all those of us who are rising up against American imperialism, who are shouting for equality, for respect, for the sovereignty of nations. Yes, you can call us extremists, but we are rising up against the empire, against the model of domination.
"The President then -- and this he said himself -- he said, 'I have come to speak directly to the populations in the Middle East to tell them that my country wants peace.
' That's true. If we walk in the streets of the Bronx, if we walk around New York, Washington, San Diego, in any city, San Antonio, San Francisco, and we ask individuals, the citizens of the United States, 'What does this country want? Does it want peace?' They will say, 'Yes.' But the government doesn’t want peace. The government of the United States doesn't want peace. It wants to exploit its system of exploitation, of pillage, of hegemony through war. It wants peace, but what’s happening in Iraq? What happened in Lebanon? Palestine?
What's happening? What's happened over the last hundred years in Latin America and in the world? And now threatening Venezuela. New threats against Venezuela, against Iran.
"He spoke to the people of Lebanon: 'Many of you,' he said, 'have seen how your homes and communities were caught in the crossfire.' How cynical can you get? What a capacity to lie shamefacedly. The bombs in Beirut? With millimetric precision? This is crossfire? He's thinking of a western, when people would shoot from the hip and somebody would be caught in the crossfire. This is a imperialist fire, fascist, assassin, genocidal. The empire and Israel firing on the people of Palestine and Lebanon, that is what happened. And now we hear we're suffering, because we see the homes destroyed."