Thursday, September 26, 2013

Paul Kagame; our kind of African

This weekend Canada is rolling out the red carpet for Rwandan President Paul Kagame.

This is the same Canada that in 2009 refused entry to British blowhard MP George Galloway.

Don't get me wrong, I quite like George, and it's rare to see an MP in Britain or the colonies take the kind of aggressive stance on certain unpopular issues that George does. But at the end of the day, George is a dyed in the wool democrat who believes in free speech.

Paul Kagame is a dyed in the wool autocrat who doesn't.

Freedom of the press in Rwanda shares a small leaking lifeboat with gay rights in Rwanda; both the press and the gay community are free to shut the fuck up and hope for the best, and if that doesn't save their skins, well, they only have themselves to blame.

So why are we enamoured of Paul Kagame? There is no question that Kagame has milked his supposed role in ending the Rwanda genocide in the '90's. That's the ticket that has earned him respectability in the polite circles of Western society.

Less noted in those circles is Kagame's leadership role in the continuing destruction of the DRC. Kagame has long played a leading role in what is currently the longest-running and bloodiest war on the planet, the Congolese civil war, while at home, Kagame's record on human rights tends to make Gaddafi and al-Assad look not too bad.

So why do we lionize Kagame, but Assad and Gaddafi had to go?

Here's a hint; there's gold in them there hills of Rwanda, and there's a number of companies in Canada with great connections in Ottawa who are just aching to help those plucky Rwandans get it out of the ground.

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