…there are other issues with Rice’s record, both as U.N. ambassador and earlier as a senior Clinton administration official, that are all but certain to come out at any confirmation hearing, many of them concerning her performance in Africa. Critics say that since her failure to advocate an intervention in the terrible genocide in Rwanda in 1994 — Bill Clinton later said his administration’s unwillingness to act was the worst mistake of his presidency — she has conducted a dubious and naïve policy of looking the other way at allies who commit atrocities, reflecting to some degree the stark and emotionless realpolitik sometimes associated with Obama, who is traveling this week to another formerly isolated dictatorship: Burma.
Most recently, critics say, Rice held up publication of a U.N. report that concluded that the government of Rwandan President Paul Kagame, with whom she has a long and close relationship, was supplying and financing a brutal Congolese rebel force known as the M23 Movement. M23’s leader, Bosco Ntaganda, is wanted by the International Criminal Court for recruiting child soldiers and is accused of committing atrocities. She has even wrangled with Johnnie Carson, the assistant secretary of State for the Bureau of African Affairs, and others in the department, who all have been more critical of the Rwandans, according to some human-rights activists who speak with State’s Africa team frequently.
(Via Hot Air) Although I suspect that the initial non-intervention in Rwanda may hurt her most; like it or not, that’s the only part of this cynical narrative that’s been made into a movie*. That means that you can say Hey, Susan Rice was behind the policy that had us stand around while half of Rwanda butchered the other half and not have to spend quite as much time explaining the background. Slightly horrible the way that dismisses all the other atrocities, of course – God knows that Congolese history has long since moved past using ‘Hellish’ for the best descriptor and is now more or less requiring ‘Lovecraftian’ – but I just live in this world; I didn’t invent it.
Finally: the Media really should have mentioned all of this, back in the day. I know that they did not, and that they will not, and that they never will if they can possibly help it – but they still should have mentioned this.
*Which is, by the way, very good – but don’t watch Hotel Rwanda unless you’re in a bad mood anyway.