Sunday, June 28, 2015


In Jonathan Swift's great satire, "Gulliver's Travels", the war is ostensibly between two nations, the Lilliputians and the people of Blefuscu, but it isn't nationalism, nor patriotism, nor land, nor food, nor ethnicity, nor religion, nor ideology, but sheer, downright, crass human stupidity that divides the two, a difference of opinion over the correct way to crack eggs. There are, as Swift explains in his deadpan manner, two correct ways to crack open a soft-boiled egg, which we might call the Catholic way and the Protestant way, or the Sunni and the Shi'a, the Orthodox and the Reform, the Maoist and the Leninist, the Republican and the Democrat; one can crack the egg at the Big End, or one can crack the egg at the Little End (non-conformists like me like to crack the egg in the middle, while anarchists and revolutionaries simply take a potato masher and never mind the shell).

In Rwanda the Tutsi, who ruled the country for many years, insist on the Little End, but the Hutu are Big Endians and, three years before the country became independent from Belgium, they overthrew the king, massacred Little Endians by the tens of thousands, and drove about 150,000 more into the yolk of exile. The children of those exiles formed the Rwanda Patriotic Front and started a civil war in 1990, which led the Hutu rulers to impose a crackdown, and about a million people were turned into omelette, three-quarters of the Tutsi population among them. What was left of the Tutsi scrambled to Uganda, or to the north of the country, and carried on fighting, and won, and now it was the turn of the Hutu to pack their egg sandwiches in a hurry and flee, about two million of them in total, rightly fearing the retribution that inevitably followed…

What has happened since falls into the category. not of satire but of farce, which is known in the Rwandan language as "gacaca"; properly speaking a "gacaca" is a community court, and it is here that people accused of involvement in the genocide are put on trial, and generally acquitted because key witnesses tend to be lying dead among the egg-shells, or simply fear the meringue that will be made of them if they collaborate, I mean participate.

The latest stage of the farce took place in June 2015, when General Karenzi Karake, the head of Rwanda's secret intelligence service, was secretly invited to the United Kingdom for secret meetings with the UK secret intelligence service, and found himself arrested on a European war crimes warrant as he boarded his plane home again. Human rights lawyer Cherie Booth is on the General's legal team, which means he must be a good guy after all, because Mrs Booth's husband, former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair - himself wanted for war crimes over the war in Iraq - is...well, actually we don't know, because the UK Foreign Office had declared this to be a secret too. Tony Blair is also an advisor to the President of Kazakhstan, and...well, why not just click here and you can read it for yourself. It doesn't make for pretty reading, though it certainly does make for serious wealth-creating. Nice job Tony!

Marks for: 6 million, in US dollars, if you take The Blair Foundation's figures at face-value;  35 million, according to one, 60 million, according to several other sources.

Marks against: 2 million (the number of people estimated to have been hutued and tutsied in the genocidal wars.

You can find David Prashker at:

Copyright © 2015 David Prashker
All rights reserved
The Argaman Press

No comments:

Post a Comment