Bill Clinton's Failure to Confront Rwandan Genocide as GenocideApril 15, 2015
Twenty-one years ago, genocide tore through the African nation of Rwanda. Meanwhile, world leaders - many who had previously declared 'never again' on the topic of genocide - looked away. My latest Ethics Daily article explores the rhetoric of then-U.S. President Bill Clinton on Rwanda during and after the genocide. The piece is titled Bill Clinton's Failure to Confront Rwandan Genocide as Genocide.
Although Clinton made references to the killings in Rwanda, he avoided using the word 'genocide' until near the end. Even then he used the word sparingly. Such rhetorical dancing around the wording symbolizes his administration's inaction. There are sins of commission (those killing) and sins of omission (those looking away). Both must be avoided. Silence kills.