[Marxism] The Mass Murder We Don’t Talk About | by Helen Epstein | The New York Review of Books

Jason jasonh99 at gmail.com
Sun May 27 09:18:43 MDT 2018

Herman is mentioned in the article and clearly referred to when the author
notes (too gently):
"Versions of Rever’s story have been told by others. While all contain
convincing evidence against the RPF, some are marred by a tendency to
understate the crimes of the Hutu *génocidaires *or overstate the RPF’s

The article is hardly a vindication of Herman's "analysis" as such, since
his claims go far beyond just pointing to the role of the RPF. Martin
Shaw's review of one of his books is worth quoting at length here:
their position on Rwanda is even more outrageous. The Western establishment
has “swallowed a propaganda line on Rwanda that turned perpetrator and
victim upside-down” (p 51). The RPF not only killed Hutus, but were the
“prime genocidaires” (p 54), their “large-scale killing and ethnic
cleansing of Hutus by the RPF long before the April-July 1994 period” (p
53) contributing to a result in which “the majority of victims were likely
Hutu and not Tutsi” (quoted with approval, p 58). Indeed, “a number of
observers as well as participants in the events of 1994 claim that the
great majority of deaths were Hutu, with some estimates as high as two
million” (p 58). When we check the reference for this shocking statement,
it turns on no more than a letter from a former RPF military officer and
personal communications from a former defence counsel before the
International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda – both participants (n 127, p
132). It does not seem to have occurred to the authors that if “theaters
where the killing was greatest correlated with spikes in RPF activity” (p
58), killing could just as easily have been committed by the threatened
Rwandan regime (as Scott Straus argues in The Order of Genocide) as by the
RPF themselves. But Herman and Peterson do not engage with Straus, or with
much at all of the now very considerable literature on Rwanda. Certainly
the “established narrative” needs to be questioned, the RPF’s own violence
acknowledged, and the ICTR’s inability to deal with the latter (in contrast
to the ICTY’s prosecution of perpetrators from many sides, which of course
our authors could never credit) criticized. But this is hardly a licence to
dismiss the idea of “800,000 or more largely Tutsi deaths” as RPF and
Western propaganda, and the authors’ keenness to do so does as much as
anything to utterly discredit this study.

There's plenty more material to examine here:
http://balkanwitness.glypx.com/herman.htm. None of which requires ignoring
the crimes of Kagame.

In my opinion, in the response of Herman and others to the Balkans and
Rwanda, we see the same fake "anti-imperialism" which substitutes
myth-making for examining reality and showing human solidarity that we see
today with what you call the "Baathist amen corner". It'd be like saying a
report on FSA war crimes vindicated Ben Norton's analysis.

-Jason Hicks

On Sun, May 27, 2018 at 10:20 AM, Louis Proyect via Marxism <
marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu> wrote:

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> So Edward Herman's analysis was correct, even though he is not mentioned
> in this article (as you might expect.)
> http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2018/06/07/rwanda-mass-
> murder-we-dont-talk-about/
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