Adam Jones on Rwanda and Genocide: A Reply

Type Journal Article - MRZine, August
Title Adam Jones on Rwanda and Genocide: A Reply
Volume 14
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2010
Like Gerald Caplan's hostile "review" of our book, The Politics of Genocide, Adam Jones's aggressive attack on our response to Caplan can be explained in significant part by Jones's deep commitment to an establishment narrative on the Rwandan genocide that we believe to be false -- one that misallocates the main responsibility for that still ongoing disaster, but dominates by virtue of political interests and intellectual conformity.1 Caplan devoted perhaps 5 percent of his "review" to our book, and the remaining 95 percent to an attack on us for our treatment of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. But Jones went Caplan one better, ignoring our book altogether (which at the time of his writing Jones did not appear to have read, despite his great concern with "genocide") while focusing on our response to Caplan. The result was a series of false accusations and emotional insults that -- at least in the latter case -- we had not seen in Jones's work before.

There are further disagreements between Jones and us that might upset or anger him: His and our moral priorities differ, with Jones's all too often fitting well with the priorities of U.S. and other Western governments, while ours most assuredly do not. Another difference is Jones's closely related faith that Western-organized and -dominated institutions such as the tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and for Rwanda dispense something more than a victor's justice in which the enemies of these tribunals' sponsors are targeted with punishment (i.e., ethnic Serbs and Hutus), while they and their friends enjoy impunity.

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