by Shmuley Boteach
Is there any dirty job for the Obama Administration that Susan Rice is not prepared to do?
Need someone to fraudulently blame the murder of an American
Ambassador in Libya on a stupid film? Send Susan to the Sunday talk
Need someone to savage the leader of the only democracy in the Middle
East as damaging the “fabric” of Israel’s relationship with the United
States? Put Susan in the makeup chair of Charlie Rose.
Yes, it seems there is nothing Susan isn’t prepared to do.
And why should that surprise us?
This is the same Susan Rice who forbade Israel from criticizing John
Kerry in her infamous tweet: “Personal attacks in Israel directed at Sec
Kerry totally unfounded and unacceptable.” Yes, Israel’s freedom of
expression is circumscribed by none other than Susan Rice.
But there is another reason Susan Rice’s attack on the Prime Minister
of Israel on Charlie Rose merits special opprobrium and that is the
unique insensitivity she is famous for when it comes to genocide.
Iran is threatening to annihilate Israel. It is building the bombs to
make that possible. It has lied to the world for more than a decade
about its nuclear program. Iran is an oil superpower and energy exporter
that needs nuclear energy about as much as I need a pork sandwich.
America is about to do a bad deal with Iran that will leave them
something in the range of 5000 spinning centrifuges enriching Uranium.
Israel is not party to the talks. It has been cast in the same position
of Czechoslovakia in the Munich agreement of 1938 where Britain and
France negotiated away Czech security (and much of the country) without
the Czechs even allowed to be present.
And while Israel faces the possibility of genocide, Susan Rice shows
gross insensitivity to an Israeli leader for simply speaking out.
But why shouldn’t Netanyahu entrust Israeli security to Susan Rice?
Perhaps its because of her record of trivializing genocide.
In 1994 Susan Rice was part of Bill Clinton’s National Security Team
which took no action whatsoever during the Rwandan genocide, leaving
more than 800,000 men, women, and children to be hacked to death by
machete in the fastest slaughter of human beings ever recorded.
Not content to insist on American non-involvement, the Clinton
administration went a step further by obstructing the efforts of other
nations to stop the slaughter. On April 21, 1994, the Canadian UN
commander in Rwanda, General Romeo Dallaire, declared that he required
only 5000 troops to bring the genocide to a rapid halt. In addition, a
single bombing run against the RTLM Hutu Power radio transmitting
antenna would have made it impossible for the Hutus to coordinate their
But on the very same day, as Phillip Gourevitch details in his
definitive account of the Rwandan genocide We Wish to Inform You that
Tomorrow We will Be Killed With Our Families, the Security Council, with
the Clinton Administration’s blessing, ordered the UN force under
Dallaire reduced by ninety percent to a skeleton staff of 270 troops who
would powerlessly witness the slaughter to come. This, in turn, was
influenced by Presidential Decision Directive 25, which “amounted to a
checklist of reasons to avoid American involvement in UN peacekeeping
missions,” even though Dallaire did not seek American troops and the
mission was not peacekeeping but genocide prevention.
Indeed, Madeleine Albright, then the American Ambassador to the UN,
opposed leaving even this tiny UN force. She also pressured other
countries “to duck, as the death toll leapt from thousands to tens of
thousands to hundreds of thousands … the absolute low point in her
career as a stateswoman.”
In a 2001 article published in The Atlantic, Samantha Power, author
of the Pulitzer-Prize winning A Problem from Hell who is now Rice’s
successor as American Ambassador to the United Nations, referred to Rice
and her colleagues in the Clinton Administration as Bystanders to
Genocide. She quotes Rice in her 2002 book as saying, “If we use the
word ‘genocide’ and are seen as doing nothing, what will be the effect
on the November congressional election?”
This is an astonishing statement. Here you have Susan Rice hearing
about the murder of 330 people every hour for 3 months and her response
is, How will this affect us politically?
That Rice would have brought up the midterm elections as a more
important consideration than stopping the mass murder of so many men,
women, and children that their bodies were damming the rivers of Rwanda
is one of the most heartbreaking pronouncements ever uttered by American
But she did not stop there.
Rice then joined Madeline Albright, Anthony Lake, and Warren
Christopher as part of a coordinated effort not only to impede UN action
to stop the Rwandan genocide but to minimize public opposition to
American inaction by removing words like “genocide” and “ethnic
cleansing” from government communications on the subject.
In the end, eight African nations, fed up with American inaction,
agreed to send in an intervention force to stop the slaughter provided
that the U.S. would lend them fifty armored personal carriers.
The Clinton Administration decided it would lease rather than lend
the armor for a price of $15 million. The carriers sat on a runway in
Germany while the UN pleaded for a $5 million reduction as the genocidal
inferno raged. The story only gets worse from there, with the Clinton
State Department refusing to label the Rwanda horrors a genocide because
of the 1948 Genocide Convention that would have obligated the United
States to intervene, an effort in grotesque ambiguity that Susan Rice
It was painful enough to watch Kofi Anan elevated to Secretary
General even though as head of UN peace-keeping forces worldwide he sent
two now infamous cables to Dallaire forbidding him from any efforts to
stop the genocide (the cables are on display in the Kigali Genocide
It’s nearly as painful watching Rice now attack the Jewish state,
which lost one third of its entire people in a genocide of four short
years, about how its elected leader is destroying its relationship with
the world’s greatest superpower simply because a weaker nation insists
on standing up for itself and speaking truth to power.
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, whom Newsweek and The Washington Post call
“the most famous Rabbi in America,” is the international best-selling
author of 30 books and has recently published The Fed-up Man of Faith:
Challenging G-d in the Face of Tragedy and Suffering. His website is
www.shmuley.com. Follow him on Twitter @RabbiShmuley.