In criticizing President Obama's Syria policy, former president Bill Clinton demonstrated a selective memory:
"You just think how lame you'd be ... suppose I had let a million people, two million people be refugees out of Kosovo, a couple hundred thousand people die, and they say, 'You could have stopped this by dropping a few bombs. Why didn't you do it?' And I say, 'because the House of Representatives voted 75 percent against it?' " Clinton said according to audio of the event obtained by Politico and The Daily Beast . "You look like a total wuss, and you would be."
Perhaps Clinton is getting old or has preferred to place the absolute horror of the Rwandan genocide behind him. For whatever reason, the former president was making the exact criticism directed against him in 1994 when the slaughter was occurring:
But under Clinton's watch there was another conflict, in 1994, in the tiny African nation of Rwanda, where millions of people did become refugees and 800,000 people were killed in less than two months.
Similar to Syria, there was a bi-partisan push by some Senators and human rights activists for the United States to take action and pressure the UN to help stop the bloodshed in Rwanda. But unlike Syria, which all experts agree is complex, advocates for intervention in Rwanda argued it wouldn't take much. The people doing the killing, the Hutus, did not have a sophisticated weapons system or a strong military. They were mostly young men roaming the streets and killing indiscriminately with machetes and small arms. The former UN Peacekeeper commander, Canadian General Romeo Dallaire told the United Nations and the U.S. that he only needed 5,000 troops at most to end the atrocities and help the Tutsi rebels win.
As I recall, the US and UN debated for several weeks whether to call the mass murder in Rwanda genocide or not. Meanwhile, 800,000 people were literally hacked to death with machetes.
Perhaps someone should remind the former president what the Chinese say about people who live in glass houses...