The French Army came into Rwanda under the pretext of being on a Humanitarian Mission.
But they didn't bring any Humanitarian supplies, just Military supplies.


They weren't there as neutrals to help victims of the genocide.
They were there as allies to help the perpetrators of the genocide.

Last Sunday - December 3, 2006 - I decided to see if there was anything on TV worth watching as I was wanting intellectual stimulation or relaxation, either one. Sometimes I get tired of reading. It being 7pm I tuned into the CBS program "60 Minutes" to see what stories they'd be covering this week. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that in their second 20-minute segment (they do three) they would be talking about Rwanda.

I called to my husband to come and watch because he, like me, is very interested in Rwanda ever since our trip there last summer. See DESTINY DESTINATION RWANDA

Not wanting to miss the start, we sat through the first segment too, which was about a man who has the biggest DVD rental business in the world:

The Brain Behind Netflix. Lesley Stahl Profiles Company Founder Reed Hastings

It was quite interesting and I thought to myself that maybe he'd have a copy of the original 1950s version of "1984" in his huge collection. But I was snapped out of my "1984" reverie when he started talking about the movies that are in the highest demand and said HOTEL RWANDA was at the top of the list. Here's an excerpt from the program:

"...Netflix earned $688 million in revenues last year. The Web site features a user-generated ratings feature, which is part of their recommendation system. If you were to rent "On The Waterfront" and give it five stars, Netflix software will search for what other "On The Waterfront" renters have rated highly, figure out from other movies you’ve rated whether it’s Brando you like, films in black and white or mob flicks. This system recommends other movie choices to the user. Hastings thinks the recommendations have transformed the movie business by giving new life to thousands of forgotten or overlooked films, like 'Hotel Rwanda'. He said 'It did very little theatrical business. But our members like it a lot. They rated it very highly. So our Web site promotes it to more and more people and now "Hotel Rwanda" is the number five all-time rented film at Netflix'..."

"Wow", I said to my husband, "can you imagine how much money that phony Hollywood Hutu Hotel Hero Rusesabagina must be getting" to which he replied, "and none of it goes to Rwanda".

I said, "I wonder how much money the TRUE story of the genocide would make if it were made into a spectacular, and how much the people would love it" and went off on my usual tangent about how there should be a movie made about Paul Kagame and the Rwandese Patriotic Front riding down from Uganda to liberate Rwanda. And how the fact that there isn't a movie being made about the true story of Rwanda is an Orwellian example of the past being falsified and the truth going down the memory hole.

Our conversation came to an end when the commercial ended and the Rwanda segment began:

Rwandan Genocide Survivor Recalls Horror (with 60 Minutes correspondent Bob Simon)

It was an interview with a Tutsi Rwandan woman who is telling her story about surviving the genocide by hiding in a bathroom for three months. Her interview takes place on location in Rwanda as she explains how twelve years ago she saw people on a hill being hacked to death by machetes and how her father told her to run to the minister's house and ask him to protect her. She and eight other women run to his door and he lets them inside and hides them in a tiny bathroom in the back of the house.

The camera follows her to the minister's house (he is Hutu) who is interviewed and explains how he hid them. He never even told the members of his family household that the women were hiding there. When the Hutus came pounding on his door looking for them, he showed them the attic and how it was empty. When asked by the interviewer what would have happened if the women had been found, he said he would have been told to kill them, and if he didn't kill them, he himself would be killed. This is what always happened he said.

It was a fascinating and moving story and seeing the scenery was like being back in Rwanda. The beauty is so incredible that it really can be described as paradise.

As the story progressed I was really impressed at the truthful way the facts were being allowed to be told. But then came the ending and I was shocked into open-mouth disbelief when the French Army were portrayed as conquering heroes coming to the rescue of Tutsis and making it safe for the women in the bathroom to go out of hiding and run to their camp for protection.

The reason this bothers me is because it is a lie expertly woven into the truth. Yes, the French Army came into Rwanda under the pretext of being on a Humanitarian Mission (called Operation Turquoise) to set up camps for Tutsis and displaced Hutus. But the reality is they didn't bring any Humanitarian supplies, just Military supplies. They weren't there as neutrals to help victims of the genocide, they were there to help perpetrators of the genocide. They were there as allies of the Hutu Army fighting the Tutsi Army. Their "humanitarian" role was just that, a "role" they were acting out on the world stage. Often the French camps the Tutsis were taken to turned into slaughter camps where the French abandoned them to the genocidal Hutus.

Here's an excerpt from the "60 Minutes" interview with the deceiving words about the French Army weaved in with the true about the Tutsi Army:

"...The pastor left his bedroom radio on so the women could hear the news. After three months of genocide they heard that French troops had finally arrived in Rwanda to protect surviving Tutsis, and that one French camp was just a few miles away. Immaculee persuaded the pastor to sneak them there in the middle of the night.

"They snuck out at two in the morning, on the day Immaculee calls 'liberation day'.

"Asked how they escaped, she says, 'We stood up first of all, never really much standing up. I remember fixing my knees, like I couldn’t walk'.

"But they managed to walk, and run, concealed by the night to the French compound.

"'And when we reached the gate, I was like, 'We are Tutsi, please help us', she remembers. 'So he said, 'Come in' and we went in, and it was the first time in three months that we saw somebody have pity on us'.

"She was safe, but soon sorry because Immaculee learned that her two brothers, and her mother and father had all been killed. Her father had been shot trying to get food for his neighbors’ children.

"The killers put her father's body on a roadblock.

"After a hundred days, a Tutsi army formed in exile had captured most of the country and stopped the genocide. Today, Tutsis are still in control and are sharing power with Hutus. The economy is coming back, hundreds of thousands of Tutsis have come back from exile, and the country hopes to attract tourists.

"The country may be peaceful, but it’s still on edge. Some Hutus want to resume the genocide, and some Tutsis still want revenge. Immaculee knows Rwandans can never forget but believes they must forgive. Revenge, she told Simon, only prolongs the pain....

"Now she's a woman on a mission to spread the story of the genocide hoping it can prevent future atrocities. She has given lectures; she has written a book; and she is determined to stop the inevitable revisionists who claim the genocide never happened.

"'You started to hear on radios, people denying that it wasn’t genocide. And that almost takes your breath away', Immaculee tells Simon. 'Like, what I have lived isn’t genocide? What is genocide? Every child, every woman, every man Tutsi, at least in my village as I have seen, is dead'."

What added insult to injury regarding the above "60 Minutes" documentary, which was excellent (until they slipped in the part about the French Army being Saviours), was that it was broadcast in the wake of massive news coverage of a high-ranking French judge accusing Rwanda's President Kagame and nine members of his government of shooting down then-President Habyarimana's plane on April 6, 1994 (and thus starting the genocide).

Judge accuses Rwandan president over predecessor's killing. Guardian, Nov 21, 2006

The above accusation that Kagame shot down Habyarimana's plane is nothing new. The genocide masterminds and perpetrators started screaming "Kagame did it" on Hate Radio the minute it happened, as a way of getting the Hutus riled up to start killing the Tutsis.

Informed opinion, based on research and investigation, is that Kagame had nothing to do with shooting down Habyarimana's plane. In fact, there is a strong body of evidence that France itself was involved in the assassination and subsequent cover up.

That's why I didn't bother posting the recent "Kagame Shot Down the Airplane" accusations on my website. To me it was just "so what else is new?"

But after watching that "60 Minutes" program I feel compelled to set the record straight for "Orwell Today" readers. To have one of the most-watched television programs in America - seen on Sunday night prime time - painting the French as Tutsi protectors is just too much to take.

I realize that most people get their information from TV and Movies and don't do the reading that is required to really know the truth. But it is my hope that some people will care enough about world events, in this case Rwanda, to take the time to read a bit about it. In the time it would take to watch "60 Minutes" or "Hotel Rwanda" a person could read several documented articles or excerpts from books instead. It is my hope that "Orwell Today" readers will do just that, and for that reason I've excerpted and highlighted readings below for their enjoyment and enlightenment on Rwanda and France. ~ Jackie Jura









Rwanda says France should be tried. Eursoc, Dec 11, 2006 (Kagame is now President Kagame, and he has always accused France of playing an important role in the massacres that followed. Some experts agree with him. Linda Melvern, who has published a study of the Rwandan massacres, told the BBC that the genocide was well-planned. 47 senior French officers had been "embedded" in the Rwandan army at the time - on the direct orders of the French government. It is difficult to believe that the subsequent massacres, which had been prepared for by the purchase of thousands of machetes, went on under France's nose without its officers knowing. In the Times today, Andrew Wallis, another author of a book on France's role in the genocide, takes a much harsher line. France, he says, is "steeped in genocidal blood.")

Judge accuses Rwandan president over predecessor's killing. Guardian, Nov 21, 2006 (A French judge today accused the Rwandan president, Paul Kagame, of ordering the killing of his predecessor, whose death sparked the massacre of 800,000 people. Jean-Louis Bruguiere, who is investigating the death of former president Juvenal Habyarimana, also said nine of Mr Kagame's aides should be arrested and brought before a UN court. Mr Habyarimana was killed when his plane was shot down in 1994, sparking a genocide of the minority Tutsis by the majority Hutus. Mr Bruguiere has been investigating the plane crash following a complaint filed by the families of the French crew and Mr Habyarimana's widow, Agathe, in 1998. Rwanda's foreign minister, Charles Murigande, dismissed today's move as an attempt to cover up France's alleged role in training soldiers who carried out the genocide. "The French are trying to appease their conscience for their role in the genocide and are now trying to find someone else to hold responsible for their acts here," Mr Murigande told Reuters. "They have panicked because they know their acts during the genocide were going to be exposed to the rest of the world in the on-going probe commission here," he said. When Mr Habyarimana's plane was shot down, Hutu militias accused Mr Kagame's rebel Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), dominated by Tutsis, of his death and started massacring Tutsis across the country. Mr Kagame has always accused Hutu extremists of killing Mr Habyarimana, a moderate Hutu, as a pretext for unleashing an onslaught on the Tutsis. The killings, which took place as the international community stood on the sidelines, only ended when the RPF took power 100 days later....France kept close links with the Francophone country from 1975 to 1994, providing financial and military aid. French troops went to Rwanda at the height of the genocide under a UN-authorised operation to safeguard food and emergency medical services of humanitarian organisations...)

We Wish To Inform You...Stories From Rwanda, review by Garret Wilson, Jan 20, 2005 (...Philip Gourevitch tells the facts and lets the people themselves tell the facts again. Then Gourevitch tells his opinions, and he has plenty of them: about the carelessness and naivety of aid workers; about the apathy of the Americans; and above all about the nigh complicity of the French from digging in their heals to providing weapons to Hutu Power members. His quote of President Mitterrand is abhorrent, if scarcely believable: In 1994, during the height of the extermination campaign in Rwanda, as Paris airlifted arms to Mobutu's intermediaries in eastern Zaire for direct transfer across the border to the génocidaires, France's President Francois Mitterrand said — as the newspaper Le Figaro later reported it — "In such countries, genocide is not too important." Gourevitch notes that the genocide was not a hidden affair, and should have been obvious from early on: "The government was importing machetes from China in numbers that far exceeded the demand for agricultural use; and many of these weapons were being handed around free to people with no known military function — idle young men in zany interahamwe getups, housewives, office workers — at a time when Rwanda was officially at peace for the first time in three years".)


Jackie Jura
~ an independent researcher monitoring local, national and international events ~