Genocide or Massacre, US Repeating Mistakes of the Past

-By Frank Salvato

“We come here today partly in recognition of the fact that we in the United States and the world community did not do as much as we could have and should have done to try to limit what occurred…All over the world there were people like me sitting in offices who did not fully appreciate the depth and speed with which you were being engulfed by this unimaginable terror.”
– Pres. Bill Clinton in his apology to the Rwandan people for his lack of intervention during the Rwandan genocide of 1994.

“It is not productive, given the history of US-Iranian relations, to be seen as meddling — the US president, meddling in Iranian elections.”
– Pres. Barack Obama commenting on Iran’s stolen 2009 election.

Reports coming out of Iran, limited though they are, state that a massacre took place on June 24, 2009, in Tehran’s Baharestan Square. Iranian basij, club-wielding militiamen, savagely attacked pro-freedom protesters, throwing some of them off a pedestrian bridge. They attacked them with batons, tear gas, bullets and, in at least one location, axes. What was the catalyst for this slaughter? Their desire for liberty and freedom, rights guaranteed to every human being under Natural Law.

The fact that Iran doesn’t have the luxury of electronic voting or optical scanners for reading ballots – and that ballots are counted by hand in many locations outside of Iran’s urban centers – should have served as quantifying evidence – proof positive – that the Iranian mullahs and their Islamist regime staged a coup against the Iranian people, securing the mantle of illegitimacy. In light of this, many, including myself, feel that President Obama should have issued a more declarative statement in the moments immediately following Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s declared victory; a statement committing the intent of the United States to stand aligned with the pro-freedom forces inside Iran.

Instead of offering solidarity with those who are literally dying in the streets of Iran in a quest for increased liberty and freedom, Mr. Obama put his own political philosophy (negotiations and diplomacy at all cost to achieve the goal) above the lives of freedom-fighters. It should now be obvious to even the most partisan of political ideologues that Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the mullahs and the pro-regime Islamist thugs that constitute the Iranian government – and who represent the totalitarian oppression of the Persian people of Iran inflicted by the Islamist revolution of 1979 – have no interest in dialogue, compromise, becoming a part of the world community or human rights. Their sole interests revolve around power, the eradication of Israel and the conquest of the West. For Mr. Obama to believe anything else at this point, given what we know as fact, is pure ideological folly.

But Mr. Obama is not the first liberal Democrat to abandon humanity in the name of international diplomacy and dialogue. Even the most cursory examination of history offers up the inarguable reality of the Left’s penchant for cowering in the face of evil and then attempting to rewrite history in an effort to expunge their cowardice.

During the period immediately following the Vietnam War, from 1975 to roughly 1979, approximately 2 million people died in genocide perpetrated at the hands of the Communist Khmer Rouge. Many were tortured and executed as the Khmer Rouge arrested and eventually executed almost everyone suspected of connections with the former government or with foreign governments, as well as professionals and intellectuals. Still many more died of starvation and disease. Jimmy Carter, the father of the Islamic Revolution and liberal Democrat, was the President of the United States during this time. Incredibly, this self-proclaimed “humanitarian” did nothing even as reports of the genocide streamed in from the four corners of the world. It should also be noted that the neo-Marxist backed anti-war movement in the United States not only facilitated the hasty withdrawal from Vietnam, they effectively made it impossible for the US government to intervene in Cambodia. Today, a war started by John F. Kennedy and executed at the highest level in a most inept manner by Lyndon Johnson and congressional Democrats, is attributed to Richard Nixon even though he and Henry Kissinger negotiated the US withdrawal.

In Rwanda in 1994, between 800,000 and 1,000,000 Tutsi and Hutu political moderates were slaughtered – many with machetes – by Hutu militias embracing the Hutu Power ideology. Despite repeated warnings of an impending genocide by Lieutenant General Roméo Dallaire, the UN force commander in Rwanda, and frantic demands from United Nations Mission for Rwanda officials before and throughout the genocide, requests for authorization to intervene were refused and, ironically, the UN’s capacity to deal with the situation was even reduced. Principles to facilitating this true atrocity, this genocide, were then President of the United States Bill Clinton and his Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

In a powerful examination of the Rwandan genocide, Samantha Power, writes in The Atlantic:

“In reality the United States did much more than fail to send troops. It led a successful effort to remove most of the UN peacekeepers who were already in Rwanda. It aggressively worked to block the subsequent authorization of UN reinforcements. It refused to use its technology to jam radio broadcasts that were a crucial instrument in the coordination and perpetuation of the genocide. And even as, on average, 8,000 Rwandans were being butchered each day, US officials shunned the term ‘genocide,’ for fear of being obliged to act. The United States in fact did virtually nothing ‘to try to limit what occurred.’ Indeed, staying out of Rwanda was an explicit US policy objective.”

Today, excuses abound for who is to blame for the inaction of the US and the world community. The official Clinton line is that “we didn’t know,” but that flies in the face of the facts as presented by those who had boots on the ground, illustrated aptly in a PBS Frontline presentation, Ghosts of Rwanda.

Today, President Obama, another in a succession of one-worlder, UN apologist, liberal Democrat presidents, is allowing another massacre to advance to genocide, insisting that:

“It is not productive, given the history of US-Iranian relations, to be seen as meddling — the US president, meddling in Iranian elections.”

And while Mr. Obama’s most recent statement condemns the violence and the killing, UN sanctions and rhetorical condemnation do nothing to save the Neda Soltan’s of Iran from the batons, bullets and axes of the basij and Iranian Revolutionary Guard.

A pro-freedom patriot in Iran said in a recent phone call to CNN:

“In the previous days they are killing students with axes, they put the axe through the heart of young men, and it’s so devastating I don’t know how to describe it. This is horrific, this is genocide, this is a massacre, this is Hitler. And you people should stop it. It’s time to act.”

Can humanity suffer the opportunism of the political class when people are being slaughtered in the streets? Are the people of the world supposed to accept the cowardice of politicians masquerading as leaders in the face of massacres and genocide as it happens in real time right in front of our faces?

The United States of America was founded on the principles of Natural Law, in that all men, everywhere, are created equal and that each are endowed by the Creator with inalienable rights, among them the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. If our leaders are unwilling to act in defense of these inalienable rights, even as they witness the maniacal perpetrating acts of horror against people who simply want to be free, then they should be moved to act through pressure applied by the people or be removed from office.

The United States stands as a shining beacon of hope for people all over the world not because of our healthcare programs or our energy policy but because we have always stood for defending freedom and liberty anywhere and everywhere in the world. The last two Democrat presidents have failed this constitutional mandate as is evidenced by the ghosts of the slaughtered in Cambodia and Rwanda. The jury is still out on Mr. Obama.

To borrow a phrase from a pro-freedom Iranian patriot, “It is time to act.”

Frank Salvato is the managing editor for The New Media Journal . He serves at the Executive Director of the Basics Project, a non-profit, non-partisan, 501(C)(3) research and education initiative. His pieces are regularly featured in over 100 publications both nationally and internationally. He has appeared on The O’Reilly Factor, and is a regular guest on The Right Balance with Greg Allen on the Accent Radio Network, as well as an occasional guest on numerous radio shows coast to coast. He recently partnered in producing the first-ever symposium on the threat of radical Islamist terrorism in Washington, DC. His pieces have been recognized by the House International Relations Committee and the Japan Center for Conflict. He can be contacted at

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