Watching the surreal interview of Jean Kambanda – whom everyone knows together with Theodore Sindikubwabo implemented the Genocide of the Tutsis which was planned by Habyarimana and his close acolytes – on ITV, a British television network, I asked myself: how well would it go down with ITV’s audience if all of a sudden one switched on only to find an individual like Radovan Karadzic saying his conscience was clear, that he had never killed any single Bosnian or Croat?
It is a wildly speculative question of course, because it would never even cross the minds of the people setting the news agenda at ITV. You don’t make sympathetic TV programs about people who massacred Europeans, or any other none-Africans for that matter.
Also, with Karadzic we aren’t even talking about someone that oversaw the killing of over a million people, no, not even a fraction of that. The man’s crimes of ethnic cleansing and other war crimes consisted of the massacres of 8000 Bosniak men and boys, and the mass expulsion of over 25,000 civilians from their homelands.
Interviewing Kambanda and allowing him to make statements like: “I cannot express regret for something I did not do”, or that “I armed Hutus only to protect themselves” in Rwanda is something on the same monstrous scale of callousness and contempt for survivors as if a TV reporter had entered the prison where Nazi war and genocide criminal Hermann Goering was and asked him to declare his innocence.
Of course that would never happen! The journalist who pitched that story in a news meeting would have gotten stared at like he had lost his marbles.
The ITV interviewer of Kambanda was a man called John Ray, who proudly carries the title “Africa Correspondent”. Ray, if you have ever been to London, England, is the kind of middle-aged, ruddy-faced, going-on-to-chubby fellow you will find standing at the counter of a pub in any neighborhood, knocking back bottles of pale ale.
What could a man of seemingly pleasant demeanor like that possibly gain in pushing the kind of appalling genocide denialism at display in the Kambanda interview? The lending of a microphone to one of the 20th Century’s worst monsters to claim innocence long after an international court found him guilty following years of painstaking trial, presenting of evidence, and admission of guilt by the guilty party himself? Years of trials that Rwandans watched with anger and infuriation since every survivor of the Genocide knew who had killed their family and relatives and injured them and ordered the rape of their women and daughters?
When a policeman murders a black person in the US, the cry (justifiably) goes up that black lives matter. People everywhere in the Western World take up the cause and get into an uproar and reforms are forced through in some police departments and the general feeling – though some may beg to differ – is that yes, racists may hold black lives in contempt, but at the end of the day black lives still matter.
How then does one square sensibilities like those with the fact a TV network in a civilized country like Britain can so casually overlook the unfathomable massacre – in a mere 100 days – that claimed the lives of a million (not mentioning the traumatized thousands of survivors or victims of rape) to point a microphone into the face of one of the main perpetrators of that crime, and ask him to declare his innocence, thereby duping hundreds of thousands of its audience that may not know better?
How then does one square sensibilities like those with the fact a TV network in a civilized country like Britain can so casually overlook the unfathomable massacre that claimed the lives of a million?
Is ITV simply looking to boost its ratings, and screen the Kambanda interview secure in the knowledge that won’t hurt it; secure in the knowledge Rwanda is only some small black African country of no consequence?
Or did someone sign a big, fat, secret check to the network; someone looking to advance some political agenda of the kind to benefit those pushing the narrative that turns history over its head, the narrative that turns perpetrator into victim, and victim into perpetrator?
I have no concrete facts here, only thinking and putting together two and two and getting to some distressing conclusions.
Who gave this man John Ray access to Kambanda where the genocidaire is incarcerated in the Koulikoro high security prison in Mali?
What kind of people have the power to have the gates of a prison hosting the most notorious genocide suspects opened to let journalists in?
And what kind of people have such powerful interest in the altering of historical facts, or throwing said facts into doubt, as to afford a journalist – a Western one to boot – access to someone like Kambanda?
Who has such influence over Mali?
If you have some knowledge of the nature and machinations of the enemies of the Rwandan administration, from all over Europe and farther afield, I will let you draw your own conclusions.