Ghosts of Rwanda
The film showed very disturbing footage of piles and piles of dead bodies in Rwanda along with footage of President Clinton stating that he would not put American lives in danger if the United States was not directly affected by the chain of events taking place. What’s worse, the lack of action and intervention from the international community or the active role taken by the Rwandan government in the genocide? One could argue that both actions are equally despicable as the international community with the power to prevent the genocide did not and the Rwandan government not only failed to protect its people but also aided in the killings. The most moving part of the film for me unquestionably was when the commander of the U.N. peacekeeping force in Rwanda, Gen. Romeo Dallaire says he remains haunted by his inability to stop the killing. "Rwanda will never leave me: it's in the pores of my body. …We saw lots of them dying, and lots of those eyes still haunt me -- angry eyes, innocent eyes. They're looking at me with my blue beret, and they're saying, `What in the hell happened? Why am I dying here?"
The genocide in Rwanda appears to have followed a course according to Jentleson’s purposive theory which can only be fully understood in a historical context. The tension between the two ethnic groups was used by the Belgians to keep control until Rwanda was given its independence in 1962. The US along with the rest of the international community has struggled with the concept of genocide and exactly what to do about it since the 1940s. It wasn’t until, “November 4, 1988, [that] US President Ronald Reagan signed the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide” was just a few years before the genocides began in Somalia, Yugoslavia, Rwanda and the neighboring Burundi. The United States suffered the loss of 18 lives in a peacekeeping mission in Somalia and the rest of the world was failing in the nations of Yugoslavia preventing the...
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