Up for three Oscars Sunday night?and unsurprisingly snubbed by Hollywood?Hotel Rwanda is based on the incredible true story of Paul Rusesabagina, who used the five-star hotel he managed to shield almost 1,300 Rwandans from certain death in 1994.
But if you watch this powerful film?and you should?what you won?t see is the even more incredibly true story of the man with direct culpability for the deaths of 800,000 Tutsis: now-UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. The only place you can find this stomach-turning story, in fact, is in Amb. Dore Gold?s new UN-trashing tome called Tower of Babble.
Gold?s heavily researched and copiously footnoted book is solid throughout, but by far the best chapter is ?Impartial to Genocide,? which serves as a damning indictment of Kofi Annan. The most startling revelation: Despite having credible advance warning that a genocide was imminent, Kofi was the man who spearheaded the UN?s unconscionable position of ?neutrality? as Hutu militias murdered thousands of Tutsis per day.
On January 11, 1994?three months before the genocide began?Major General Romeo Dallaire, head of the original UN peacekeeping unit in Rwanda, sent a secret cable to UN officials in New York warning that a ?very, very important government politician? had put him in touch with a Hutu informant who warned that Hutu malitias were planning the ?extermination? of minority Tutsis.
No alarm bells went off at the UN, even though, as Gold writes, ?Warning signs of an impending massacre were everywhere.? The man running the relevant division at the time, the Department of Peacekeeping Missions, was Kofi Annan.
Actually, alarm bells didn?t necessarily have to go off, as Gen. Dallaire offered a silver lining: He knew the location of the Hutus? weapons cache, and he was planning to seize it and stop the slaughter before it started. But his plan to save hundreds of thousands of lives was short-circuited by Kofi Annan, who didn?t want to upset the sitting Hutu government or in any way appear to be taking sides.
Not only did Kofi not do anything to prevent genocide, but his actions almost assured that the Security Council wouldn?t either. According to various accounts cited by Gold, including the UN?s own post-debacle report, Security Council members complained that Kofi?s department kept them in the dark, not revealing the true nature and full extent of the genocide.
Joel Mowbray, who got his start with Townhall.com, is an award-winning investigative journalist, nationally-syndicated columnist and author of Dangerous Diplomacy: How the State Department Threatens America's Security.
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