Sandy Ferguson's Reviews > Shake Hands with the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda

Shake Hands with the Devil by Roméo Dallaire
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Dec 30, 2009

it was amazing
Read in January, 2003

Dallaire's book is a powerful call to action that damns the so called civilised world for its failure to act in the face of Rwanda'a genocide. Dallaire and his companions stand out as rare beacons of light amongst those who refused to act to save Rwanda.
It was a heart wrenching book to read, because it becomes clear that the genocide could have been stopped, but none of the so-called great powers cared, because they did not feel that Rwanda was worth saving. As Dallaire quotes the American officer, it would take 85000 Rwandan deaths to justify the death of an American soldier, whereas in Iraq, it takes only the US's desire for cheap gas for their SUVs to justify the death of American soldiers.
Dallaire's brutally honest accout of his ongoing struggle with his inner demons that are legacy of his service in Rwanda, only increase my admiration for him. For me, he is a true hero and a true soldier in a time when so many people in uniform are more politician than soldier such as Lewis MacKenzie.
Dallaire is a model for us to follow, so that humanity will not fail again, I can only that we can live up to his, and the others who served under his command, example. As I read of the courage of his troops, especially the Ghanaians and the Tunisians and especially the example of colonel "Tiko" Tikola, I was reminded that courage is not limited to the First world, yet we hear so little about their bravery.
Read this book, and confront the truth that we failed the people of Rwanda, and we continually to fail the people of this world and we must accept our responsibilty for the structures of this world that helped to create Rwanda and the other killing places of this world.
God bless you, Romeo Dallaire, for me you personify what Jesus shares with us in the beautitudes:-
"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God"
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