How Richard Clarke and the US Enabled the Rwandan Genocide
This is not at all surprising in light of what I have learned over the past 5+ years, but still worth noting:
"In reality," Power shows, "the United States did much more than fail to send troops. It led a successful effort to remove most of the UN peacekeepers who were already in Rwanda. It aggressively worked to block UN reinforcements. It refused to use its technology to jam radio broadcasts that were a crucial instrument in coordination and perpetuation of the genocide. And even as, on average, 8,000 Rwandans were being butchered each day, U.S. officials shunned the term 'genocide,' for fear of being obliged to act. The United States in fact did virtually nothing 'to try to limit what occurred.'"
Richard A. Clarke, Power shows, was the leading policy actor behind the Clinton administration's refusal to acknowledge and act upon the threat of genocide in Rwanda. As special assistant to the president from the National Security Council and official overseer of U.S. "peacekeeping" policy, Clarke was chief manager of U.S. Rwanda policy before and during the genocide. For Clarke, Power notes, "the news" of mass Rwandan slaughter "only confirmed [his] deep skepticism about the viability of UN deployments" and sparked his fear that "UN failure could doom relations between Congress and the United Nations."
Clarke, Power shows, was a dark force behind U.S. rejection of an aggressive plan to save Rwandan lives put forth by Romeo Dallaire, the Canadian general who commanded the UN Assistance Mission in Rwanda at the time of the genocide. The empty U.S. proposal advanced by Clarke to counter Dallaire, Power shows, abandoned "the most vulnerable Rwandans, awaiting salvations deep inside Rwanda." It falsely assuming (or pretended to assume) "that the people most in need were refugees fleeing to the border" and could actually make it to the border. "My mission," Dallaire told Power, "was to save Rwandans. Their [the U.S.] mission was to put on a show at no risk."