Mr Paul Scott’s article in The Daily Mail, 5th March, 2011, in which he demonises former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame is as disgusting as it is predictable. Paul Scott has made it his mission to track and attack the Blairs.
In fact he has written more about them than on any other subject. But why he should drag other people into his personal crusade against the former prime minister and his family is less obvious – well, for only a while, for it is really his method.
In his most recent attack on Tony Blair, he brings in President Kagame whom he calls a lot of uncharitable names. He has done the same to Tony and Cherie Blair. Mudslinging and character assassination are apparently Scott’s stock-in-trade.
However, in doing so, he unwittingly reveals who he really is. Another genocide denier. In a blatant distortion of the facts, Scott writes of the “genocide of tens of thousands of Hutu civilians” apparently killed in revenge for “the massacres of up to 800,000 Tutsi people in three months of bloodshed in 1994”.
He has reduced the genocide of more than one million Tutsi to a massacre. And, of course, he has revised the number of those killed downwards – a common practice among people who want to minimise the genocide.
In the same breath he has elevated the death of Rwandans in the DR Congo due to various causes, regrettable as it is, to genocide.Can this be an accidental interchange of words?
No. It is a deliberate reversal of roles, perpetrators and victims – the favoured method of deniers of genocide. Paul Scott is following in a right wing tradition that has sometimes supported extreme nationalist causes, including the NAZI. Lord Rothermere, who took over the ownership of The Daily Mail in 1923 was a friend and supporter of Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler and praised NAZI activities in the 1930s. He wrote in support of Hitler against the Jews. One article in The Daily Mail, 10th July, 1933 is worth quoting from at length.
Lord Rothermere wrote: “The German nation...was rapidly falling under the control of its alien elements....There were twenty times as many Jewish government officials in Germany as had existed before the war.
Israelites of international attachments were insinuating themselves in the German administrative machine. Three German ministers only had direct relations with the press, but in each case the official responsible for conveying news and interpreting policy to the public was a Jew.”
Everyone knows what happened to the Jews. For Paul Scott to distort Rwandan history does not come as a surprise. There is a precedent.
In his eagerness to rewrite Rwandan history and, discredit one of the key players and have a go at the prime minister he loves to punch, Paul Scott cannot resist an excursion into “the heart of darkness”.
And like Joseph Conrad, he resorts to the racist invention of the exotic blood-thirsty savage to excite the imagination and stir hatred in his readers. Almost straight out of Conrad’s novel, he describes: “Ritual beheadings, women and children being set alight, bludgeoned with hammers and shot.”
Informed readers will immediately recognise the similarity between Scott’s description and reports of what a terrorist outfit is currently doing in Congo. News reports out of the DR Congo accuse the FDLR of just the atrocities Scott attributes to the wrong people. Your intended reversal will not work here, Mr Scott.
But to be fair to him, he is only restating, albeit with embellishment, what fellow genocide deniers and revisionists wrote in the UN Mapping report on Congo and keep repeating at every opportunity..
Paul Scott has other accusations against President Kagame. According to him the record that Rwanda has in championing women’s cause is a fraud. Hasn’t he imprisoned three women? He conveniently does not say that these are three out of nearly six million and that in any case they have undergone due process.
Nor does he dispute the big number of women in leadership positions or mention other gender-responsive policies that have produced undisputed results. But acknowledging that would spoil his neat mudslinging plan, wouldn’t it?
Another accusation: corruption. However, Paul Scott can find no shred of evidence. He must be ignorant of reports of the World Bank, Transparency International and even his own government that consistently place Rwanda’s record against corruption among the very best.
It is easy to see the source of his brazen distortion of facts. He has been listening to the criminal gang passing themselves off as opposition politicians. Just a reminder: they fled the country to escape corruption and treason charges.
But Scott’s real target is Tony Blair against whom he seems to harbour a grudge. Paul Kagame is only a brush he uses to paint Blair in ugly colours. That Tony Blair enjoys star status galls him. That he makes a lot of money on the lecture circuit tugs at Scott’s heart.
Cherie Blair’s successful legal practice is difficult to take. Their joint fortune is a dagger in the back.
But because he can’t do anything about it, he resorts to name calling. Well, Scott, you have had your back on the Blairs for whatever they did to you.
It is perhaps time you left them alone. As for President Kagame and Rwanda, save your time and energy. The mud won’t stick.