Congo, Rwanda, And Mass Murderers Among Us.

Dag Hammarskjöld (1905-1961)
Dag Hammarskjöld (1905-1961) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Posted November 5, 2013

by Jerry Alatalo

Those responsible for millions of deaths in the nations of the Congo and Rwanda, in central Africa, are walking freely on this Earth.

The history of these two nations in the center of the African continent leads one to once again wish that one had never become aware of truly saddening realities. I came upon this short documentary on the history of the Congo while searching for more information about Dag Hammarskjold (1905-1961), the second Secretary General of the United Nations.

First, let me say what many reading these words are aware of – the Democratic Republic of Congo is one of the richest nations in terms of valuable natural resources on Earth. Dag Hammarskjold died in a plane crash on his way to the Congo in 1961, to take part in meetings focused on ending the civil war and killing there. From the small time spent reading about the crash, it is now obvious Mr. Hammarskjold was assassinated because he stood in the way of covetous owners of mining companies, mainly copper mining – one of many minerals in extreme abundance in the Congo.

Dag Hammarskjold has come to be considered the United Nations’ greatest Secretary General. He studied philosophy then law, and became UN Secretary General in 1953. Perhaps the appreciation expressed by another man who went on to suffer the same fate as Dag Hammarskjold, John F. Kennedy, will suffice to explain the status Mr. Hammarskjold attained in his life of 56 years.

JFK on Dag Hammarskjold: “I realize that in comparison to him, I am a small man. He is the greatest statesman of our century”.

Dag Hammarskjold wrote one book titled “Markings”. The famous English poet W.H. Auden wrote the forward to the book and quoted Hammarskjold, “In our age, the road to holiness necessarily passes through the world of action”.

Hammarskjold was the victim of assassination in that plane crash in 1961 – fifty-two years ago. The people of the Congo have continued to suffer since then, and the decades back to 1908 when King Leopold of Belgium “owned” the region, and took today’s equivalent of $1,000,000,000 of natural resources wealth from the lands and mountains. From King Leopold in 1908 to the murder of newly independent Congo’s first democratically elected Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba in 1961 , to today in 2013, over 6 million Congolese people have died unnecessarily.

After the assassination of Patrice Lumumba in 1961 the nation became controlled by dictator Robert Mobutu, the vast natural resources of the Congo were extracted and the wealth/profits were transferred out of the country. The people who were unfortunately born in the nation have been the victims of oppression and violence, proxy wars and killings, and inflicted with misery for decades.

Who is accountable for the genocide in the Congo and Rwanda?

Through the decades since 1908 and King Leopold of Belgium there have been a number of those who have been responsible and accountable. In 1961, when Patrice Lumumba was kidnapped and murdered, those who committed the assassination have yet to face justice. In 1961 (my guess is that Dag Hammarskjold was murdered after Patrice Lumumba), Hammarskjold was assassinated, and those who murdered him have yet to face justice.

Because of the tremendous quantities of valuable minerals and diamonds in the Congo, the nations surrounding the nation, including Rwanda and Uganda, have become involved in “proxy” wars against the Congo, supplied and aided by the United States government. In particular here, I am pointing at the Bill Clinton administration. First, let me say that Bill Clinton recently has expressed “regret” that during his time as president he didn’t do enough to prevent the genocide that occurred in Rwanda.

Expressing regret, when your administration turned away and gave the green light to the leader of Rwanda to commit the genocide, while supplying that leader with the weapons to carry it out, does not come close to absolving Bill Clinton, Madeleine Albright, and others from guilt. I will state it clearly: Bill Clinton is guilty of aiding and abetting the genocide which occurred in Rwanda while he was president, and has to answer in a court of justice.

Those who knowingly take actions which result in genocide, the supreme crime against humanity, in a civilized world, must face justice and punishment for those crimes. I will state clearly here that George Bush, Tony Blair, and others are also guilty of genocidal actions for their roles in the Iraq War which resulted in over a million Iraqi deaths. Because the initiators of crimes against humanity are leaders of powerful nations, CEOs of the largest corporations in the world, or so-called Kings and Queens does not eliminate or erase their crimes – they simply must face justice like any human being.

Let me illustrate my point with a simple analogy. Let us say that you covet the personal belongings of a particular family in a county that borders the one you live in. That family is wealthy and they own a big house, expensive art, jewelry, the highest cost automobiles, etc. You have come to know the family keeps a lot of cash in their safe.

You covet that family’s possessions, so you give your neighbor your entire supply of rifles and ammunition, and tell him that you will pay him thousands of dollars to attack that family in the neighboring county, and bring back all the valuable possessions to you. Now, here is the simple, illustrative question. After this action is completed and carried out by your neighbor –  are you guilty of a crime? Well, let me think about this…

There is no thought required – you are a criminal.

This simple analogy takes one to the heart and essence of crimes against humanity committed by the so-called “élite”.  People know what has occurred through history and go through the painful process of trying to figure out how there is such a massive double standard of justice on this Earth. The man who steals a lawn mower from his neighbor gets punished more than a so-called “élite” who is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands – millions – of human beings.

Let me use the simplest, perhaps naïve – perhaps not, logic to drive my point. Any man or woman, no matter if their “status” is considered low or high, who takes actions knowingly, while realizing fully that their actions will result in supreme harm to innocent human beings, must be held accountable.

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16 thoughts on “Congo, Rwanda, And Mass Murderers Among Us.

    1. Erik,
      One wishes such events were non-existent, but since they have occurred, one comes to a choosing point. Turn away or take action to try and help end such atrocities. As rough as it gets – unimaginable.
      Thanks,
      Jerry

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  1. Thank you for shedding some light on this Jerry. The path to “oneness” must address the vile symptoms of our pathological society. I think it worthwhile to add that the end consumers of diamonds and iphones cannot consider themselves absolved of any guilt. This “bling” obsessed culture upgrading a device every year hoping it serves as a proxy for life is what drives the genocide.

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    1. Henry,
      How are you. I hadn’t realized the extent of violence in central Africa until checking out Dag Hammarskjold. Listened to another UN veteran, a fellow (still alive) speaking at a University in Canada where he mentioned Hammarskjold was murdered. He mentioned a book by a woman named Susan Williams “Who Killed Hammarskjold”. I stand by my statement that Bill Clinton is guilty of genocide.
      Thanks,
      Jerry

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  2. Aren’t these foreign leaders a much further second on the accountability scale than the actual leaders and warlords in the country who do the fighting? By your logic, every consumer in the world who demands these products is in some way accountable, as without the demand they resources wouldn’t be valuable and people wouldn’t be fighting over them.

    The natural resource curse is hardly unique to Rwanda or Congo. Only with political will at the national and regional levels (checked by transparency, political rights, information dissemination, education, judicial independence, media independence, etc.), combined with corporate accountability and legal enforceability, can natural resources be used to expedite the development process (as they so obviously should) as opposed to stalling it.

    Was Neville Chamberlain at all responsible for allowing the Holocaust to occur? Does Putin bare some of the blame for the humanitarian crisis in Syria which threatens the whole region? Sure they were, they created an enabling environment for Genocide to occur; but let’s not forget about Hitler and Assad either.

    To a certain extent we are all accountable for the worlds atrocities, if we don’t elect leaders who will stand up to dictators and buy “blood” resources. There are varying degrees of accountability, which IMO should clue us into where we expend our efforts.

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    1. Bzupnick,
      How are you. In the small amount of time spent looking at the history of the Congo, I don’t believe there is any other way to look at estimates of 6,000,000 deaths and hundreds of thousands of rapes since around in the past twenty years as anything but what may be the most horrendous mass murder and crimes against humanity in world history. First, I think we both have a profound sadness upon looking at the events in Central Africa. My view is that persons at the highest levels of wealth, corporate and political power on Earth (knowingly)initiated actions which led to these literal hell-on-earth consequences, and must be held accountable. It makes no difference if they are considered “royalty”, powerful CEOs of the largest corporations on Earth, or are the most powerful political leaders in the world. Until true criminals of the worst kind, where harm is inflicted to the greatest extent, are prosecuted, tried in a court of law, and punished according to the severity of their crimes, these atrocities will continue. I do not take sides when it comes to war crimes – any person who commits such crimes must suffer the consequences/punishment. Be those persons from USA, Russia, England, China, or any nation, harm is harm. A planetary governing body embodied in the United Nations, as Einstein suggested being the only path to world peace and security, would include a legal court to try such persons who commit war crimes.
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Peace.
      Jerry

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      1. Hey Jerry I’m good how about yourself?

        Maybe the International Criminal Court can be that legal body Enstien was talking about. Right now it is facing accusations of being anti-African. Some would argue it is a reflection of poor governance in Africa. It seems you are suggesting that African leaders are correct, and that the international community simply turns a blind eye to these events when it is powerful actor?

        It is hard enough to hold people accountable when they were directly overseeing genocides. I believe the ICC only has had only one successful prosecution in its 11 year history. Does it make sense to go after Bill Clinton when we cannot even get Bashar Al-Assad, General Sisi, Mugabe, Kenyatta, Putin, Kim Jong-Un, or others to the ICC?

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        1. What I am suggesting is first: a world governmental body embodied in the UN where each member-state agrees to the rules and laws – a world constitution if you will. Second: a legal branch inside the UN entity which has a jurisdiction which is the entire world. A person in the Congo who believes Clinton knew about the Rwandan government involvement in killing Congolese people (with weapons supplied by USA/Clinton – where Clinton/US military knew innocents would be killed with those weapons)can take their case for war crimes to the UN Court. Just as an American citizen can find their case in the Supreme Court of the USA, a citizen of the Earth can find their case in the Supreme Court of the Earth. I believe that is what Einstein’s vision was, and I agree with it. If Clinton, Al-Assad, Sisi, Mugabe, and the rest do not show up for the trial, then the UN World Police Force, consisting of law enforcement officers from every member state, would apprehend them, just as all law enforcement agencies do every day.
          All nations would join this new world entity or risk becoming seen as a rogue state, which a certain number of states are already seen as. The disadvantages of being seen by the rest of the world as a rogue state would be so severe, and in effect self-sanctioning, that no nation would be foolish enough to decline membership in the new world entity.
          It’s a big idea (utopian) for sure. Just for some comedy relief here, we can get Larry the “Cable Guy” to supervise and “git er done”. Kidding aside I believe it’s possible, so I’m putting it out there.
          Thanks,
          Jerry

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          1. The issue of enforceability has always been a problem with international law. Perhaps somewhere down the road we will see a global governance system that can hold all national governments accountable. But that would take drastic reordering.

            For now though, I think we should focus our efforts on the people who actually commit the crime, not the “enabler”. Where all entitled to our own opinions.

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            1. The situation became so untenable in the Congo that in the past weeks the UN, probably in the spirit of “Right To Protect” (R2P), conducted offensive military action to put down the so-called M23 rebels. This action represents the World Police Force that I mentioned. In the past UN peacekeepers would not take military action, but in this case – because the situation was so horrendous – the action became unavoidable. As far as drastic reordering, I fully understand what you are saying. All it would take would be for one or two UN ambassadors to propose such a reform. It would be a winning proposition for humanity. Perhaps I’m the most naïve person on the Earth – perhaps not. Always good sharing thoughts with you.
              Thanks,
              Jerry

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              1. And you as well. As you know from my posts, I am all for international intervention in the form of R2P, preventative peacebuilding, peacekeeping, dev aid, ICC accountability, etc. when the situation calls for it. The concept of national sovereignty should never shield a leader who openly violates human rights.

                But even R2P has it’s built in controls; mainly that military action can only be taken as a last resort when the domestic government is unable or unwilling to stop gross HR violations (or worse, is the source of the violations themselves).

                Idk that an international court would find Clinton accountable for the Rwandan genocide. I doubt it would even agree to hear the case (just like the SC decides what cases to hear and which to not). Of course I may just be too easy on a president whose policy and personality I like, but I think there are many people (100s?) who are more directly accountable for the Rwandan genocide than Bill Clinton.

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                1. From the small amount I’ve seen in the past few days, everyone knew that genocide was occurring in Rwanda – then ignored and turned away. The complicity of Clinton is not as obvious as George Bush, where some estimate 1,400,000 Iraqis were killed, but for Clinton to express regret after out of office, and Bush to admit no remorse or compassion, or to apologize to the Iraqi people, are common sense indications of guilt. The Rwandans did not manufacture the weapons used in the genocide, the USA supplied them, then turned away while they were used. That Rwanda is on the eastern border of Congo, and genocide in Rwanda occurred while Clinton turned away, is a scenario which is difficult to see as a “coincidence”. I’m not out for revenge or looking to “hang them in the street”. My focus in this matter is true justice for the millions of Congolese survivors who have suffered the loss of their family members. Those who pull the strings while maintaining “plausible deniability” are most responsible because their actions were most consequential. I think we agree in that we both would like to see justice regarding the events in the Congo. Let’s hope it happens.
                  Thanks,
                  Jerry
                  If you are interested in further research the website friendsofthecongo.org would cut to the chase / they have a YouTube channel as well.

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    1. I would not be able to live with myself if, after coming to this awareness, I remained silent. Human decency calls for dissemination of the horrific truth about what has occurred in Central Africa and the entire continent.

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