Practice the RCMP! George Frederickson. Talk to Me! Listen to Me! Cleon Skousen. The Four Freedoms: Franklin D. The Headspace Guide To Reedy, PhD. Who Votes Now? Disasters were exploding simultaneously--genocide in Rwanda and Bosnia, murder and atrocities in Haiti, repression in China, brutal ethnic wars, and failed states in other parts of the world. But America was mired in conflicting priorities and was reluctant to act. What were Shattuck and his allies to do? This is the story of their struggle inside the U. Shattuck tells what was tried and what was learned as he and other human rights hawks worked to change the Clinton Administration's human rights policy from disengagement to saving lives and bringing war criminals to justice.
He records his frustrations and disappointments, as well as the successes achieved in moving human rights to the center of U. Shattuck was at the heart of the action. He was the first official to interview the survivors of Srebrenica. He confronted Milosevic in Belgrade. He was a key player in bringing the leaders of genocide in Bosnia and Rwanda to justice. And this is really the first lesson that should be learned about genocide, that you have got early on as the process seems to be gathering strength to send signals that there will be consequences for moving forward.
The small group inside the State Department who were trying to prevent the withdrawal of the UN peacekeeping forces really had no traction in this environment. I arranged in the early stages of the genocide to be sent on a mission to Ethiopia, Uganda, and Tanzania to sound out the leaders of those countries about whether they would contribute forces to a new peacekeeping force after the withdrawal of the UN force. And I found that they were all willing but they all looked to the United States for logistical and general leadership in the military area and, of course, that was not forthcoming.
I was undercut as those of us who were trying to build this force were by the unwillingness of the White House or the Pentagon to provide that kind of logistical assistance. I will never forget, and in this hall of witnessing I should offer my witness, the scene from several thousand feet and then dropping to about in the very small plane that I was traveling in the region on, including over Rwanda. But as I dropped to feet and I got the pilot to go as low as he could I could see very clearly these were bodies choking the river.
They were floating down to the beautiful Lake Victoria where they were being fished out for about a half a penny apiece by young boys who were being paid by the Tanzanian government to prevent the pollution of the lake. That was a terrible, terrible moment and I also very shortly after the genocide was the first international traveler across Rwanda and there was deathly silence. And you saw these beautiful crops growing and, of course, all the hands that had planted them had been cut down.
My colleague from the State Department who was with me coined the phrase which I think captures Rwanda perfectly. He said it was the machete equivalent of a neutron bomb. The entire landscape denuded and destroyed of people. But I will say that although nothing was done to stop it I think the Rwanda genocide has had a profound effect. It had almost immediately a profound effect on the US response to other human rights wars in the case of Haiti, Bosnia, and Kosovo.
I remember a State Department meeting in May of as this horror was unfolding and those of us who were concerned about being shackled by the doctrine of PDD also discussed the shackles that had been placed on the United States by Cold War military doctrine, which essentially called for overwhelming force or no force at all.
We began to wonder whether a new doctrine of diplomacy backed by limited force whereby threats to those who were setting out to commit genocide or crimes against humanity could be credibly delivered by diplomats as a way of preventing this kind of activity. This new doctrine actually came into play only four months later in Haiti where, as you remember, a democratically elected president had been overthrown by a military regime which was committing widespread political killing and crimes against humanity. It was a major refugee problem, as I said before, for Florida and many other southern states and so the issue became a domestic political issue.
It was no longer something happening far away in Rwanda. It was happening right close to the United States. As a result, and I also think influenced by the catastrophic events in Rwanda, there was more agreement within the interagency process and leadership by the President to develop a multi-national force to use as a way of trying to remove the people in Haiti who were causing the human rights catastrophe, General Cedras and his regime, and to reinstate the democratically elected president.
This was done under rules of engagement that were much, much stronger than they had been for the peacekeepers in Rwanda and as they were at the time in Bosnia and so it was an effective operation. This led to a reversal internally. The process of nation building, which is such a critical part of these kinds of interventions, was not attended to. Finally let me go to the Balkans and look at a bigger, more complicated, and in the end, I think, important lesson for how we prevent genocide.
The Balkan crisis, of course, after the disintegration of Yugoslavia, was downplayed by the first Bush administration and then later by the first Clinton administration. As the battle for the control of Yugoslavia between the various contending former communist leaders who were fanning the flames of religious differences took place, Secretary of State James Baker notoriously said in , We have no dog in that fight, essentially saying that the United States had no strategic interests in what was happening in Yugoslavia. Until mid, the Clinton administration was still affected by the Somalia crisis although slowly, I think, the Rwanda experience and the success in Haiti led to a change in policy in Bosnia.
There was effectively very weak peacekeeping, mostly European, during this time, a UN peacekeeping operation with very limited rules of engagement and not the ability to fight back or to do something to stop human rights abuses that were being committed right before their eyes. This inevitably led to disaster over those four years in which more than , people were killed in a genocidal war.
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By May of the absurdity of the peacekeeping operation became crystal clear as peacekeepers were taken hostage by the Bosnian Serbs. To arrange for their release the commander of the UN forces at the time essentially promised the Serbs that there would be no more air strikes and this blatant appeasement led to what was effectively the greatest collective failure of collective security in Europe in half a century and that was Srebrenica.
Srebenica, you may remember, was a town in Eastern Bosnia overrun by the Bosnian Serbs in early July of Shortly thereafter women and children began to emerge from out of the woods in Tuzla with almost no men. What had happened to the men? That was the great question. They felt that human rights investigations would not be helpful to that.
But in July of I and Dick Holbrook and a number of others who were pressing for a change in policy said we have got to find out what happened to these men. I went to Tuzla, the city where the refugees were coming in. I had a tip that there were some men beginning to emerge and no one knew where the others were. I had information about who the men were and how I could find them and how I could interview them so I did.
I interviewed six men who described to me their survival of their own executions. They essentially had been with the other 7, in various places around Srebrenica, were pushed into open pits after being fired upon by the Bosnian Serbs, and pushed into a mass grave and left for dead. These few survivors were able to escape. There were two heroes I want to pay tribute to in this particular struggle and they were two low-level CIA agents who when they read my report when I returned, knowing that there had not been a willingness to task the CIA to look for this kind of intelligence previously, stayed up all night around the clock for two days rifling through thousands and thousands of aerial surveillance photographs to see if they could find photographs that matched the description of the survivors of the Srebenica massacre of the places they had been held and the ways they had been shot.
And they found photographs. They found photographs of disturbed earth in exactly the places we determined. They found photographs of men who were lined up and held in warehouses. Within ten days those photos were taken to the UN Security Council and within two weeks the policy changed and NATO began to engage in a much more aggressive effort to back diplomacy by force, bombing Bosnian Serb positions. A process of negotiation began whereby I went out into the field and Holbrook and others were negotiating with the leaders, Milosevic, Tudjman, et cetera, to get them to stop.
I was able to present information about real-time atrocities that were being committed even after Srebenica and then Holbrook was able to get these people to stop. In the blazing noonday sun thousands of gaunt and disheveled figures, mostly women and children, were lining up for food. UN and Red Cross workers were feverishly trying to move the sea of humanity into makeshift shelters like the cinder block schoolhouse where later that day I interviewed Muslim men whose firsthand accounts of the mass killings at Srebenica would shock the world and finally lead four months later to an end to the war in Bosnia.
But getting to that distant point would be a long story whose outcome was never certain. Certainly it was no accident that al-Qaeda was given harbor in Afghanistan and that it was important early on to —— Taliban which were harboring them. First, I think, is the fact that we look at the war on terrorism as a kind of zero-sum game whereby any country that is with us essentially gets an approval or at least not an reprimand from us for conducting political repression inside that country. Second, I think there is a war on civil liberties here which is an unfortunate outgrowth of the war on terrorism.
And, of course, today we have just seen the fact that this issue has gotten into the federal courts in a very important way in this breathtaking assertion of power by the Attorney General to designate any American citizen an enemy combatant and thereby strip that person of the Bill of Rights. That issue is now being reviewed in the courts. Third, I think we are unfortunately engaging in systematic attacks against international law in the war on terrorism.
This is the very law that we need if we are going to stop genocide, certainly the genocide convention, which is the heart of this, but also other aspects of the international treaties.
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At this point we are saying that in the interest of security we can disregard them. Fourth, we have substituted for this doctrine of multi-lateral humanitarian intervention which took place in Bosnia, belatedly, to be sure, and later in Kosovo and then in East Timor, a new doctrine of preemptive unilateral war whereby we assert essentially the right to enter any country even when there is no direct and immediate threat in order to proclaim a war of liberation.
I fear that this will, given where we are in Iraq and all the difficulties that are emerging there, give a very bad name to the humanitarian intervention which we desperately need. Finally I worry that the war on terrorism is risking the destruction of our soft power or our moral power, the power that can win friends and allies and that comes from the commitment to human rights and the rule of law in international institutions and instead turning ourselves into an apparent military fortress.
So I think there are other ways to do this. The one thought that I will leave you before turning it over to my colleagues is that there are five very quick lessons from the human rights wars of the nineties.
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First I think we need a Presidential decision directive on genocide. Either a Democratic or a Republican administration should be willing to embrace that. Second, the strategy for stopping genocide must be multi-lateral. We need friends and allies. We cannot do this alone. The Iraq intervention could have been accomplished in a different way and, unfortunately, it is the unilateral aspect that is giving it a bad name. Third, we should focus on prevention before intervention. It involves all the things that we have in our toolbox from arms embargoes to jamming of hate radios, which should have been done, to imposing multi-lateral economic sanctions which was done in South Africa.
Fourth, we should be willing to use force when diplomacy has been exhausted. And I certainly hope that we will move forward in Iraq by renouncing the doctrine of preemptive, unilateral intervention, agreeing to turn over nation building to international agencies while continuing the US military command, and I would just as a footnote to that say opening the bidding process for all construction contracts so that there is more of an interest on the part of the international community to participate.
Building democracy and human rights is the only way to stop terrorism. And one thing I should add, that Saad Ibrahim was sentenced to prison last year but now is a free man and was recently and may still be in the United States but was given an award by the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights for his defense of human rights.
I was in Rwanda just a couple of months after the genocide there and I, too, traveled throughout the country all the way to the DRC border. The law group that I worked for has been in Democratic Republic of Congo since and actually I myself was there when the first civil war started in the Kivus and I was right in the Kivus. We were far too late. Once the killing begins, actually once we even have a hint of killing, the options left are limited.
They are in some cases compromising and, given the realities that we deal with in the world and in our economy here, et cetera, they are unsustainable. But what I want to focus on is this question of early warning because I think that we have to all shift our temporal focus, if you will, with respect to early warning. It is not when there are rumors of impending genocide. If we had acted months before the genocide in Rwanda we would still have been too late. Most of the discussion of early warning signals is focused on the earliest point at which a pattern of atrocities emerges to the international observer and even at that point we have failed to act well and timely.
The crisis has begun. By then the fires have already been ignited and by that time, as I said, the options are limited. Few in the international community really cared about those countries before they started to implode. These were all conflicts that were born out of longstanding inequalities that made those societies inherently unstable.
The basis upon which they were built was unsustainable. The early warning signals must include extreme inequality in a society, political marginalization of social exclusion, particularly when it seems to be based on or grounded in ethnic, religious, or racial competition for limited resources, oppression based on culture, competition for power or for jobs in a society. There is a wide array of forms of second class citizenship, if you will, but if one looked at the Kivus early in the nineties and the grievances that were being voiced there I think there is where you see the seeds of early warning.
How are we helping communities and societies manage diversity? Are we focusing on issues of equality and nondiscrimination? These are things that we are not willing to look at until the time for true preventative action has lapsed. We have to find ways to reduce internal competition for benefits in societies. Entrenched corruption, plunder of state resources, unaccountable management of tax and customs revenues, these are the kinds of things that create incentives among both citizens and rogue international actors to engage in conflict entrepreneurship, making profit from fueling the flames of fissures that might be underlying the surface in societies.
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For the international community we have to exert the necessary pressure on corrupt national leadership and against economic actors internationally, including economic actors in our own country, by using sanctions, by conditionality, diplomatic pressure, what have you, but also criminal and civil penalties within our own country here at home.
The conflict diamonds campaign is a perfect example. But we lack credibility in that regard. Both peace and human rights require long-term commitment from all sectors of a society and, depending on the prevailing climate, civil society groups who are promoters and defenders of human rights may be working with the government, against the state, or around the government. But in all cases I think they have to have the capacity to create a domestic demand side pressure for good governance and strong institutions of human rights.