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Pot-Kettle Alert

The foreign minister of that mighty world military power, Belgium, says that US war planners "lack professionalism."

Right. Next time we have to put together a plan for being a doormat to the Germans on their way to France, we'll be sure to give the pros a call.

Perhaps we should aspire to a "professional" standard that allows thousands of Rwandans to be hacked to death with machetes while we stand by and watch.

In related news, the French foreign minister accused us of arrogance, and poor hygiene.

Posted by Rand Simberg at April 01, 2003 01:48 PM
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Rand -

As large as my distaste for the Franco-German-Belgian Axis is, and as much as this came out of the Belgian foreign ministry and not the Belgian army, it was the UN -- and not the Belgian troops in Rwanda themselves -- that stayed their hand.

I'd commend Philip Gourevitch's "We wish to inform you that tomorrow we will be killed with our families: Stories from Rwanda" to you as the single greatest indictment of the post-Soviet era UN.

On April 14, 1994, one week after the murder of the ten Belgian blue-helmets, Belgium withdrew from UNAMIR [the UN peacekeeping force]--precisely as Hutu Power had intended it to do. Belgian soldiers, aggrieved by the cowardice and waste of their mission [Belgians had been prevented from doing anything by UN rules of engagement], shredded their UN berets on the tarmac at Kigali airport. A week later, on April 21, 1994, the UNAMIR commander, Major General Dallaire [the Belgian commander]declared that with just five thousand well-equipped soldiers and a free hand to fight Hutu Power, he could bring the genocide to a rapid halt. No military analyst whom I've heard of has ever question this judgement, and a great many have confirmed it....Yet, on the same day, the UN Security Council passed a resolution that slashed the UNAMIR force by ninety percent, ordering the retreat of all but two hundred seventy troops and leaving them with a mandate that allowed them to do little more than hunker down behind their sandbags and watch.

Posted by Andrew at April 1, 2003 10:01 PM

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