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Shake Hands with the Devil

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  • Shake Hands with the Devil

    Shake Hands with the Devil
    This movie was mentioned before. I read the book a few months ago and just purchased the documentary today. The documentary is about Dallaire's trip back to Rwanda ten years after the genocide. I thought it was going to be about Dallaire himself, but it is much more abour Rwanda. I'm about an hour into it and have to take a break. It is quite intense. Dallaire begins by stating, "I feel like I'm going back to hell." Watching it makes you feel like he's the tour guide. It's a disturbing documentary but an improtant lesson.

    When we think of genocide and such attrocities, I think most of us think of WWII and that kind of thing happened 60 years ago. It still goes on, from Ajerbaijan when the Russians stood by and watched the slaughter, to Rwanda where the entire world abandoned a nation (a continent really), and now Darfur where the world debates wether 'genocide' is an appropriate term to use and does nothing, while thousands die.

    This is an important documentary. Show it to your children - your older children who can watch rivers of bloated bodies and group murders by machete. It is an important lesson and we aren't learning it yet.
    Last edited by Duncan; 18 Mar 05, 22:17.
    AHIKS - Play by (E)mail board wargaming since 1965.
    The Blitz - Play by Email computer wargaming.

  • #2
    Wow, Juno, that is excellent. Why aren't you writing more movie reviews for us? Made me wanna go get it now.
    Stay Alert, Stay Alive!

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    • #3
      Three tidbits that struck me and made the documentary more of a personal exploration. Two analogies told by Dallaire first. I have to paraphrase these and may be slightly off, sorry.

      A man is standing behind you with a pistol. He tells you to commit a terrible act or he will kill you. Do you commit that act? How long do you think you have to debate your choice?

      You have witnessed a group of men kill a number of children. They come to you and say, "You will go next door and kill your neighbour or we will do the same thing to your family." What do you do?

      The last thing I was reminded of was talking with my wife after the movie. I mentioned that it sounds as if a lot of blame for the genocide is placed on other nations. I was debating that the decision not to intervene does not equate to blame. The blame is properly placed on the Rwandans who commited the crimes (I'm not ruling out the arguments for blaming some countries and institutions for reasons other than lack of intervention). I thought out loud that the West was negligent, we did nothing, but does that constitute blame? My wife wisely paraphrased Edmund Burke. "Evil succeeds because good men do nothing."

      Anyhow, there you go. Grab this show if you get a chance. It's depressing but a good lesson to pass on.
      Last edited by Duncan; 19 Mar 05, 00:46.
      AHIKS - Play by (E)mail board wargaming since 1965.
      The Blitz - Play by Email computer wargaming.

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      • #4
        Juno, how is the book?
        http://canadiangenealogyandresearch.ca

        Soviet and Canadian medal collector!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by dannybou
          Juno, how is the book?
          Good. It won the governor general's award. It explains the politics quite well. You can probably find it in the library by now.

          Edit: Just noticed your last name. The documentary is 90 mintutes long. However, there is a shortened 50 minute French version on it as well. Wish my French was good enough to see how they differ.
          AHIKS - Play by (E)mail board wargaming since 1965.
          The Blitz - Play by Email computer wargaming.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Juno
            The last thing I was reminded of was talking with my wife after the movie. I mentioned that it sounds as if a lot of blame for the genocide is placed on other nations. I was debating that the decision not to intervene does not equate to blame. The blame is properly placed on the Rwandans who commited the crimes[...]
            Well, except it was pretty bad in this case.

            Some examples from Dallaire's books include that the U.S. had a jamming plane already in the region. They decided against not using it because it costs $4700 something per hour. Anybody who knows what that U.S. force just sitting around costs anyway has to smile about that remark. Given how much of a central tool the radio station was to get the genocide going, this is a little more than e.g. not sending troops over from the U.S.

            The U.S. also promised to provide APCs in a critical phase, which made the U.N. forces stop begging other countries, only to not deliver them, at least not working ones. This much worse than just refusing.

            The interesting fuzzing around using the word "genocide", also prominently in "Hotel Rwanda", also did a lot more damage than just keeping the U.S. mouths shut. The U.S. first refused to join the genocide handling efforts of the U.S., and after they finally did join they did nothing else than block help with their bad judgement on what turned out to be the primary example of a genocide.

            French bashing is left as an exercise to the reader. Just scratching the surface is that the annoucement of the French intervention did heat up the genocide a lot, and later when they arrived they did not much more than protect the genocidists.

            All these items did get a lot more people killed than just saying "leave us alone, we don't want anything to do with it".

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Redwolf
              Well, except it was pretty bad in this case.

              Some examples from Dallaire's books include that the U.S. had a jamming plane already in the region. They decided against not using it because it costs $4700 something per hour. Anybody who knows what that U.S. force just sitting around costs anyway has to smile about that remark. Given how much of a central tool the radio station was to get the genocide going, this is a little more than e.g. not sending troops over from the U.S.

              The U.S. also promised to provide APCs in a critical phase, which made the U.N. forces stop begging other countries, only to not deliver them, at least not working ones. This much worse than just refusing.

              The interesting fuzzing around using the word "genocide", also prominently in "Hotel Rwanda", also did a lot more damage than just keeping the U.S. mouths shut. The U.S. first refused to join the genocide handling efforts of the U.S., and after they finally did join they did nothing else than block help with their bad judgement on what turned out to be the primary example of a genocide.

              French bashing is left as an exercise to the reader. Just scratching the surface is that the annoucement of the French intervention did heat up the genocide a lot, and later when they arrived they did not much more than protect the genocidists.

              All these items did get a lot more people killed than just saying "leave us alone, we don't want anything to do with it".
              Yup, that's whay I had, "I'm not ruling out the arguments for blaming some countries and institutions for reasons other than lack of intervention" in brackets for that statement. There was a lot of political dicking around and it cost 800,000 lives.
              AHIKS - Play by (E)mail board wargaming since 1965.
              The Blitz - Play by Email computer wargaming.

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