A former President of the Hollywood Screen Actors’ Guild, Mr. Ronald Reagan, who later became famous not for his success on the screen, but for his right wing conservative political profile, is remembered among other declarations for his famous line: “You can run you can’t hide”, as he addressed himself to a terrorist outfit which had bombed a nightclub in Western Berlin, frequented by United States marines in the 1980s.
Early this month, a judge in a Westminister courtroom proved the late former US President right on this particular quote, when he put an end to Paul Rusesabagina’s gravy train which has for so long been oiled by a concoction of lies and wild allegations against the government of Rwanda.
When Paul Rusesabagina, a Hollywood creation himself, enthusiastically stepped forward as a self-proclaimed expert witness for the defence in the case of the four Rwandan genocide suspects, he was hoping to use the opportunity not only for media attention, which he craves, but also as a propaganda platform against the government of Rwanda. He, however, had no idea, he and his entire life of falsehoods would be in the dock.
As it turned out, Rusesabagina got more than he had bargained for. An imposter, who had come to convince himself, that he had a captive western audience, Rusesabagina was smoked out when he least expected it.
For a man who had made a living – not a modest one at that – selling falsehoods to whoever cared to listen, particularly in Europe and North America, Paul Rusesabagina almost believed his wild proclamations were unassailable. That was until be walked into Judge Anthony Evans’ court room.
In summing up his conclusion and impression of the evidence given by Paul Rusesabagina in the court, Judge Evans said: “I have spent a great deal of time looking at this (Rusesabagina’s) evidence. The government had indicated that they were prepared to have this evidence read but the defence called him. ….. In reality what it did was to expose the background to this evidence and show that the evidence was not of an independent expert, but rather of a man with a background strongly allied to the extremist Hutu faction, and as such can not be considered as independent and reasoned. In the light of the bias displayed, I am satisfied that no weight can be attached to this evidence”.
Rusesabagina who has been reveling in the fame gained from a deeply flawed and false portrayal by Hollywood that would want the world to believe he was the heroic Rwandan who saved lives during the 1994 Tutsi genocide, has turned the whole thing on its head, with his rabid revisionist position, denying that there was ever a genocide against the Tutsi.
And the judge did not spare him on this one either: “Some of his subsequent statements e.g. that Human Rights agencies support the RPF; that the roadblocks (during the genocide) were manned by RPF and that there was no systematic government led genocide are so contrary to all evidence and facts placed before this court as to be worthless”.
Clearly, Rusesabagina who walked into the courtroom believing he was the star witness, did not know what hit him as he retreated in shame.
However, if Paul Rusesabagina had not been blinded and motivated by his extremist sentiments and associations as observed by the judge in Westerminister, he should have read the writing on the well.
He had clearly run out of steam and he didn’t have to wait for a judge in the UK to read him the riot act. He should have seen it coming; indeed the greater part of last year should have served as a rude awakening for Mr. Rusesabagina.
During a presentation at York University in Canada early last year, the “Hollywood hero”, nearly bolted out of the auditorium when Gerry Caplan, a Canadian academic put it to him that his views were informed by extremist and revisionist sentiments, which were toxic to the minds of the largely young Canadian Jewish students he was addressing.
Soon after the incident at York University, Louvain Catholic University in Belgium cancelled an appearance where Mr. Rusesabagina had been scheduled to talk to a combined audience of students and lectures.
Across the Atlantic, during the same period, Wheaton Church in Atlanta, Georgia scrapped a speaking engagement by Paul Rusesabagina, on the grounds that the man is a dangerous revisionist. This had been proceeded by protests that attracted large numbers at Emory University in the same city.
While the final nail was hammered by Judge Anthony Evans, Western audiences that Paul Rusesabagina had taken for granted had eventually seen through his falsehoods and while he still is still running, he can longer hide.