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Rwanda, 20 years later

Today, Michael Sean Winters of National Catholic Reporter brings us an editorial from Robert Christian of Millenium on Rwanda and how we should never let it happen again (although it is happening in Syria). You can read find Michael's link at and Robert's essay at Here is what I have to say:

Genocide was the fear of many ante-bellum southern states - who rejected federal salvation in any slave uprising and instead prohibited any incitement to freedom with harsh repression. They also prohibited a strong black church - because they knew if permission were given (like in Rawanda), an uprising would be immediate and bloody. A bit more than 100 years later, the adoption of civil, voting and housing rights came with no calls of sepratism from all but the most fringe whites - because by then the Union was stronger. Had Rwanda been part of a stronger confederation (or was split on linguistic grounds into francophone and anglophone federations), the genocide would not have occurred - the federal governments would have stepped in.

The Church should have also acted more quickly. It is shameful it did not. Again, it was national - if a continental Church or Churches existed, no one would have felt the freedom to bless genocide. That would be equally the case of the Patriarch of Alexandria were given his traditional role as religious ruler of all of Africa. A phone call to Egypt or the possibility of one would have stopped things in a way a call to Rome might not.

As far as the slogan - never again - it does not stop anything. If Syria were part of a larger Arab federation, Assad would be gone by now and the King would have installed an interim regime. We are why there is no such Arab federation - just as we also block anything effective in Africa. If we want to know who is at fault, look in the mirror.

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