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Scream Bloody Murder
Aired December 7, 2008 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTIAN AMANPOUR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): We know how it begins.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sieg heil!
AMANPOUR: We know what happens when evil goes unchecked -- genocide, the world's most heinous crime.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pol Pot conceived of an endless civil war. His vision was of a purified state.
WOLF BLITZER, HOST, "THE SITUATION ROOM": In Iraq, crimes comparable to the Holocaust. Saddam Hussein is being charged for the first time with genocide.
AMANPOUR: We promised to stop it.
RONALD REAGAN, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Never again.
AMANPOUR: But it did happen -- again and again and again.
(on camera): Each time, there were a few who stood up to bear witness, a few who tried to stop the killings. But time after time, they were shunned, ignored or told it was somebody else's problem. Each time they screamed bloody murder, the world turned away.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Unprecedented crimes were perpetrated by the Nazis -- starvation, abuse, beatings and tortures. Bodies stacked one upon the other were found outside the crematory. Inside, are the ovens.
AMANPOUR: Today, we call what happened here at Auschwitz and at the other death camps genocide. But back then, there was no name for the Nazis' crimes. The word genocide didn't exist. It was created by a Polish Jew who lost everything he had and everyone he loved.
(voice-over): His name was Raphael Lemkin. In 1944, he wrote a book about the Nazis. In it, he combined the Greek word genos, for race, with the Latin word cide, for killing -- genocide, a new word for a crime that he would spend his lifetime trying to prevent. Lemkin's interest started early, as he wrote in his autobiography.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I started to devour books on the subject. The appeal for the protection of the innocent followed me all my life. AMANPOUR: As a teenager, Lemkin learned through news accounts that the Turkish government was slaughtering its Christian Armenian citizens. The government claimed it was putting down an Armenian revolt. And over eight years, it killed a million Armenian men, women and children in massacres and forced marches.
To this day, the Turkish government denies a genocide took place and few of the perpetrators have ever faced justice.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was shocked.
Why is the killing of a million a lesser crime than the killing of a single individual?
AMANPOUR: Raphael Lemkin made a bold plan. He would create an international law that would punish racial mass murder and prevent it from ever happening again.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sieg heil!
AMANPOUR: In 1933, Hitler took power in Germany and Raphael Lemkin, now a lawyer in Warsaw, created a proposal for an important international conference.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I moved fast. Now was the time to outlaw the destruction of national, racial and religious groups.
AMANPOUR: But nobody listened and no one supported Lemkin's legal remedy, even as anti-Semitism was becoming Germany's national policy.
When Hitler invaded Poland in 1939, Lemkin knew that his worst fears were about to come true. Lemkin fled -- leaving his country and his family behind.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I felt I would never see them again. It was like going to their funerals while they were still alive.
AMANPOUR: Lemkin became one of the lucky few to reach America after a friend helped him find a job at Duke University Law School. But he remained afraid for his family and his country men.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I had not stopped worrying about the people in Poland.
When would the hour of execution come?
Would this blind world only then see it, when it would be too late?
AMANPOUR: Soon, the letters from home stopped coming. The Nazis had captured his parents' village. It was a death sentence for 40 members of Lemkin's family.
By 1942, America had entered the war and the Germans had accelerated their deadly work. (on camera): Concentration camps ran day and night like assembly lines. Here at Auschwitz, more than a million people were killed.
(voice-over): Jews arrived packed into trains. The Nazis sorted them on the platform -- sent the doomed to the gas chambers, stripped, shaved and tattooed the rest.
Elie Wiesel was number A7713.
ELIE WIESEL: I was young, frightened.
AMANPOUR: The Nazis killed his mother and his younger sister.
WIESEL: The question of the killers has obsessed me for years and years.
How could they kill children?
I don't know.
How could they?
AMANPOUR: As Wiesel suffered in the camps, word of the slaughter reached America. But it seemed of little interest to the press and the politicians. Raphael Lemkin was outraged.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The impression of a tremendous conspiracy of silence poisoned the air. A double murder was taking place. It was the murder of the truth.
AMANPOUR: Jewish groups pressed Washington to bomb the camps -- or at least the rail lines. The allies refused, even though their planes were scouting targets nearby. Twenty-six thousand feet below, Elie Wiesel, seen here in a barracks, was clinging to life.
(on camera): They knew what was happening.
WIESEL: They knew.
AMANPOUR: They had a direct shot at stopping it.
WIESEL: They knew. From 10 to 12,000 men and women and children were killed every single day. The trains were running, running, running.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): But the U.S. didn't want to divert military resources from winning the war.
WIESEL: The truth?
It wasn't a priority.
(voice-over): The wrongs which we seek to condemn...
AMANPOUR: After the war, the architects of the Holocaust were tried at Nuremberg. They were sent to prison or to the gallows. But the world powers made no commitment to intervene should it ever happen again.
Lemkin knew he must act. He set his sights on the fledgling United Nations, put everything aside and worked himself to exhaustion for two years to create an international law against genocide.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The convention is adopted by this assembly by unanimous vote.
AMANPOUR: Finally, in 1948, the Genocide Convention became law and it required nations to act to stop genocide.
Some called it Lemkin's Law.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Article 1, the contracting parties...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Genocide, whether committed is a crime under international law.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ...which they undertake to prevent and to punish.
AMANPOUR: It was a hard-won victory after a lifetime of sacrifice. A decade later, Lemkin would die penniless and alone. In the years to come, others would take up Lemkin's cause -- a brash American in Iraq, a defiant Canadian general in Rwanda and the missionary who took on the murderers in Cambodia.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
AMANPOUR (voice-over): In Cambodia's lush countryside...
AMANPOUR: ...Buddhist monks come to pray. They are the soul of a quiet nation. But here in this peaceful place, these people became the victims of the worst genocide since the Holocaust.
Francois Ponchaud was a newly ordained Catholic priest when he arrived in Cambodia in 1965 from a small village in France. He was sent to do missionary work. But like Raphael Lemkin, Father Ponchaud would become a crusader against genocide.
(on camera): What was life like here before the arrival of the Khmer Rouge?
FATHER FRANCOIS PONCHAUD (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): It was really peaceful. It was really a place that slept, that lived happily without much ambition.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): Father Ponchaud learned Cambodia's language and its culture. And he quickly fell in love with its people.
But by 1970, Cambodia was unraveling. The Vietnam War had spilled across its borders. In the Cambodian countryside, the Americans were carpet bombing North Vietnamese camps. And in the capital, the U.S. was propping up a corrupt government.
AMANPOUR: Cambodia descended into chaos and civil war. From the jungles, a shadow communist rebel group was fighting to oust Cambodia's U.S.-backed government. They called themselves the Khmer Rouge. Their leader was Pol Pot and they had a reputation for brutality.
PONCHAUD (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): They were killing the villagers and the village chiefs. They were forcing people out into the forest and burning the villages.
AMANPOUR: But as the chaos reached its height in Cambodia, thousands of Americans were protesting against U.S. involvement in the region. Things had gone so badly in Vietnam, their only interest in Southeast Asia was in getting out.
Sydney Schanberg covered Cambodia for "The New York Times."
SYDNEY SCHANBERG, JOURNALIST: I think, at this point, what people were doing is running away from Vietnam. Vietnam included Cambodia.
AMANPOUR: On April 17, 1975, Cambodia fell. Schanberg soon came face-to-face with the Khmer Rouge.
SCHANBERG: You knew that they were different. I mean all I can say is they were dead behind the eyes.
It was chilling.
AMANPOUR (on camera): When the Khmer Rouge took power, they started to reinvent Cambodia according to an insane blueprint. They emptied the cities -- forcing all the residents into the countryside and toward a dark future.
PONCHAUD (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): Around noon, everyone started leaving down this road. Then I saw all my friends leaving. There were hundreds of thousands of people who were trudging along a few kilometers an hour. It was truly a staggering sight. Incredible.
AMANPOUR: Then the Khmer Rouge forced all the foreigners onto trucks and out of the country.
At the border, Father Ponchaud broke down weeping.
PONCHAUD (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): It was as though we had gone mad. We were getting out of a country of the living dead.
AMANPOUR: With the country now sealed, the Khmer Rouge went about creating their new Cambodia -- and the killing began in earnest. The Khmer Rouge envisioned a return to Cambodia's medieval greatness -- a pure nation, full of noble peasant farmers. For that, they had to purge everyone else -- the rich, the religious, the educated and anyone from a different ethnic group.
Cheung Piat (ph), like millions of others, was forced into slave labor.
CHEUNG PIAT (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): The Khmer Rouge ordered us to work in the rice fields, dig ditches and work in farming groups, while armed groups watched over us, as if were prisoners.
AMANPOUR: They were given practically nothing to eat.
CHEUNG PIA (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): I'm blessed to have survived. I ate just about anything -- tree bark, crab shells, raw snails. I even drank my own urine.
AMANPOUR: Few outside Cambodia knew what was happening. But back in France, Father Ponchaud was receiving horrifying accounts from refugees who had escaped.
(on camera): What were you hearing?
PONCHAUD (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): That they were burning villages, deporting the population; that they were sending people into the forest without giving them anything to eat. It went beyond my wildest imagination.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): Father Ponchaud gathered, translated and researched the refugees' stories. In February, 1976, a major French newspaper published his startling evidence -- to disappointing results. (on camera): Nobody believed you.
PONCHAUD (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): Nobody believed us.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): Once again, the world was turning away. Holocaust survivor and Nobel Prize winner Elie Wiesel had seen it happen before.
(on camera): In general, is it common not to want to believe this stuff?
WIESEL: It's better not to believe, because if you believe, you don't sleep nights.
And how can you eat?
How can you drink a glass of wine, when you know?
AMANPOUR (voice-over): But the U.S. government did know. In a meeting in 1975, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger acknowledged the brutality of the Khmer Rouge. But he also knew that they shared an enemy -- Vietnam. "Tell the Cambodians that we will be friends with them," Kissinger told an official in the region. "The Khmer Rouge are murderous thugs," he said. "But we won't let that stand in our way."
(END VIDEO TAPE)
AMANPOUR (voice-over): Today in Phnom Penh, three decades after the Cambodian genocide, the surviving leaders of the Khmer Rouge are finally being brought to trial. Now, the world is watching.
But 30 years, ago when Father Francois Ponchaud tried to sound the alarm, there were few who would listen.
By 1977, the Khmer Rouge had been in power for two years.
PONCHAUD (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): All those who were opposed to the government were killed. And all those who didn't work quite hard enough were killed.
AMANPOUR: Hundreds of thousands had been worked or starved to death.
PONCHAUD (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): Perhaps, a good chunk -- a solid half -- died from sickness and a lack of health care.
AMANPOUR: Most of Cheung Piat's (ph) family had been hauled away to prison. She was the last to go.
PIAT (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): When the Khmer Rouge took me, my mother cursed them. "You killed four of my children, isn't that enough for you? Now you're taking my last child?"
I felt so sad for my mother.
AMANPOUR: As the Khmer Rouge ravaged Cambodia, much of the outside world remained unaware -- or uninterested. But Father Ponchaud wouldn't give up.
PONCHAUD (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): I was staying by the Cambodian peoples' side through the good and the sadness and the suffering.
AMANPOUR: In 1977, he published his startling evidence in a book called "Year Zero" -- one of the first to expose the atrocities. Like those that happened here -- in this former high school, 15,000 people were beaten, tortured and even subjected to waterboarding. Then they were sent off to the killing fields.
Twenty thousand mass graves like these at Choeung Ek. Here, Khim Houey (ph) says he was threatened with death and forced to do some of the dirty work. I was stunned when he dropped to his knees and showed me just what he had done.
"I would take a metal pipe," he said, "and hit prisoners in the neck. The others would finish the job by slitting their throats."
Father Ponchaud took his accounts of Khmer Rouge brutality to the United Nations. (on camera): You were telling the world that a genocide was taking place in Cambodia and yet it continued.
PONCHAUD (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): I was pretty frustrated. The governments did not react. Countries don't defend human rights. They're always subservient to politics.
JIMMY CARTER, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I, Jimmy Carter, do solemnly swear...
AMANPOUR (voice-over): The inauguration of President Jimmy Carter in January 1977 promised a change.
CARTER: So help me God.
AMANPOUR: Carter vowed to put human rights at the center of U.S. foreign policy. But it would take 15 months for him to publicly condemn the Khmer Rouge as the world's worst violator of human rights. But he took no action to stop the slaughter in Cambodia. Invasion, he says, was not an option.
CARTER: There was a strong nationwide aversion to the United States being a combatant again in this remote part of Asia.
AMANPOUR: Instead, in December 1978, Vietnam invaded Cambodia -- fed up after years of cross border skirmishes. The Vietnamese quickly overthrew the Khmer Rouge, who fled back into the jungle. Now the world could finally see that everything Francois Ponchaud had said was true. More than two million Cambodians were dead. The scope of the catastrophe quickly became clear. And in the fall of 1979, President Carter responded.
CARTER: We raised $32 million in special funds to alleviate the plight of the Cambodian refugees.
AMANPOUR (on camera): But the end of Cambodia's nightmare was the beginning of a diplomatic problem for the United States -- one that would test an American president's commitment to human rights.
(voice-over): The U.S. faced a tough choice -- who should occupy Cambodia's seat at the United Nations?
The Khmer Rouge already held it. Cambodia's new leaders also claimed the seat. But they were supported by Vietnam and the Soviet Union -- America's cold war enemies.
CARTER: I finally decided that we should maintain the status quo because that was the primary desire of all the surrounding nations.
AMANPOUR: The U.S. and 70 other nations voted for the Khmer Rouge -- a genocidal regime that had killed a quarter of its own people.
Today, Father Francois Ponchaud is back in Cambodia tending his flock -- but this time with no illusions.
PONCHAUD (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): No one defends human rights. Governments are cold beasts looking out for their own interests.
AMANPOUR: When we return...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I said we have to do something.
AMANPOUR: ...what makes a person take a stand, even when nobody's listening?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I actually witnessed it. I was there.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
PETER GALBRAITH, FMR. MEMBER, SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE : Most Washington policy makers look at these as news stories. Or intelligence reports. Or places on the map. But they don't connect with the people who are there on the ground. I actually witnessed it. I was there.
AMANPOUR (voice over): Peter Galbraith tried to stop genocide in Iraq. It was 1988, two years before the first Gulf War.
Galbraith was, by his own admission, an idealistic staff member for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee who took on the White House. But as in the holocaust and in Cambodia, the U.S. would again find reasons not to intervene.
(On camera): Were you too idealistic?
GALBRAITH: No. If you're going to be idealistic in life, you're going to be disappointed, but that's not a reason to abandon idealism.
AMANPOUR (voice over): The story begins in the early 1980s when Saddam Hussein's Iraq went to war against neighboring Iran. Washington was scared. The outcome could determine who controlled Mideast oil.
Both regimes were trouble in the eyes of U.S. policymakers. But they especially loathed Iran for its Islamic revolution, its anti- American politics, and for having held U.S. diplomats hostage at the embassy in Tehran for 444 days.
So the Reagan administration tilted toward Saddam, providing Iraq with the financial lifeline, American farm exports and hundreds of millions of dollars worth of bank loans.
GALBRAITH: They began to believe that Saddam Hussein could be a reliable partner and he would behave responsibly.
AMANPOUR: But he did not. Iraq unleashed a series of poison gas attacks. The first in 1983 against Iranian troops. Even though weapons of mass destruction violated international law, American officials like presidential envoy Donald Rumsfeld continued to court Iraq.
GALBRAITH: The fact is every time Iraq violated international law, every time it used chemical weapons, it got more and more financial support from the United States. It got more and more political support.
AMANPOUR: Then, something else happened that would tip the scales even more toward Iraq. A scandal known as the Iran-Contra affair. It turned out that the U.S. was secretly supplying arms to Iraq's mortal enemy, Iran.
The White House had double crossed Saddam Hussein and blindsided its own State Department.
RICHARD MURPHY, FORMER ASSIST. SECY. OF STATE: What are we doing supplying arms to Iran?
AMANPOUR: Richard Murphy, then an assistant secretary of state, wanted to patch things up with Iraq with more loans.
MURPHY: I think looking back I may have personally overcompensated.
AMANPOUR (on camera): What do you mean by overcompensated? What specifically?
MURPHY: Well, I think, I think I -- felt a bit of a sense of guilt that, A, I didn't know about it and, B, that our government was doing this which was such a total challenge to everything I had been working for in the hopes that we would reach a position of some influence on Baghdad.
GALBRAITH: We did influence his behavior. We persuaded him. He was so important that he could get away with murder at home.
AMANPOUR (voice over): Not just murder but genocide against his own people. Peter Galbraith was one of the first westerners to witness it.
GALBRAITH: Crossing from this point on...
AMANPOUR: Galbraith traveled to northern Iraq during a fact finding trip for the Senate in 1987.
This is the home of the Kurds, a minority ethnic group that had been fighting for generations to have its own nation and was now allied with Iraq's enemy Iran.
From the road, Galbraith saw something troubling. The area had become a virtual no man's land.
GALBRAITH: When we crossed from the Arab part of Iraq into the Kurdish part of Iraq, the villages and towns that showed on our maps just weren't there.
AMANPOUR: The genocide began in earnest when Saddam put his cousin in charge -- a man the Kurds called Chemical Ali. Listen to his chilling words.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I will attack them. I will attack them with chemicals and kill them all. Who is going to say anything. The international community? Screw them!
AMANPOUR: Chemical Ali began with towns like Halabja where Kurdish fighters had helped Iran capture the city. In a pitched battle, Iraq used chemical weapons. Thousands of Kurdish civilians paid the price.
It would be the first of Iraq's many gas attacks against the Kurds. While the U.S. condemned chemical weapons, it did nothing to punish its ally Iraq.
George Schultz was President Reagan's secretary of state.
GEORGE SCHULTZ, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: We were unequivocal about our opposition to the use of chemical weapons.
AMANPOUR (on camera): Why, then, did the United States not cut off financial assistance, loan guaranties to Iraq that Iraq really needed? In other words, why not just really hammer Iraq apart from just publicly condemning them?
SCHULTZ: Well, you don't want to wind up with Iran conquering Iraq.
AMANPOUR (voice over): After eight brutal years, Iran and Iraq fought each other to a stalemate and negotiated a cease fire. Five days later, Saddam Hussein turned with a renewed vengeance on the Kurds with chemical attacks on 49 towns and villages.
GALBRAITH: Thousands maybe tens of thousands of people were killed in those attacks and then Iraqi troops moved into those villages and gunned down the survivors.
AMANPOUR: Peter Galbraith now wanted to invoke Raphael Lemkin's genocide convention and all that it required.
GALBRAITH: We could not stand aside and allow Saddam Hussein to commit genocide against the Kurds of Iraq.
AMANPOUR: Galbraith screamed bloody murder but the White House had other ideas.
AMANPOUR: No one can forget these images. Throughout 1988, Saddam Hussein slaughtered Iraq's Kurds with bombs, with bullets and with gas.
The Reagan White House saw it as a ruthless attempt to put down a rebellion. But Peter Galbraith, who worked for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, believed that it was something worse.
GALBRAITH: The light went off in my head. I said, Saddam Hussein is committing genocide.
AMANPOUR: With the support of his boss, Democratic senator Claiborne Pell of Rhode Island, Galbraith drafted a bill. It would force the United States to sever its economic ties with Iraq. "The Prevention of Genocide Act."
(On camera): The name is pretty in your face. What made you choose that particular name?
GALBRAITH: It was genocide. And I thought with the name like that, it would garner a lot of support.
AMANPOUR (voice over): But the compelling name was not enough. So Galbraith went back to the region to gather more evidence. 65,000 Kurds had fled to Turkey. Survivors described blinding, burning clouds of poison gas that dropped people in their tracks.
GALBRAITH: These people don't make up these stories. These are real stories. If you talk to them, if you simply talk to them as you have, Christiane, you know that they're telling the truth.
AMANPOUR: Galbraith's report was still not enough to convince the White House to punish Saddam Hussein. Even though Secretary of State Schultz warned Iraq's foreign minister that their budding relationship was in jeopardy, the Reagan administration opposed Galbraith's sanctions bill claiming that it used inaccurate terms like genocide.
MURPHY: I think most of us at that time saw genocide as something that had happened in the holocaust, the effort to wipe out an entire people.
AMANPOUR: To Galbraith, there was no time for semantics.
GALBRAITH: Should we have waited until he used chemical weapons again? Should we have waited until -- instead of 5 percent of the Kurdish population was murdered, 10 or 15?
AMANPOUR: U.S. corporations that saw Iraq as a burgeoning market wanted it open for business, especially the farm industry selling Iraq more than $1 billion a year in crops.
GALBRAITH: I had a fellow who worked for one of the Louisiana senators call me up, really, in tears and when I talked about genocide against the Kurds, he talked about the genocide that I was committing against the rice farmers of Louisiana.
AMANPOUR: In the end, the House of Representatives killed Galbraith's sanctions bill with backing from the Reagan administration.
Politics had trumped principle. ELIE WIESEL, NOBEL LAUREATE: When there is a crisis, a moral crisis, human rights should become the number one preoccupation of the American administration.
AMANPOUR (on camera): And if Americans say, why us? Why is that fair?
WIESEL: Because what is the situation? If you don't, then the whole world will say if America doesn't, why should we?
MURPHY: What are you asking the United States do in such a situation? Pose, posture and feel good by applying sanctions that will have no impact? Is that what's on request?
AMANPOUR: Well, you know, it's a question. Is there a place for just out and out pure morality when it comes to foreign policy? Just do the right thing whether it makes a difference or not?
MURPHY: Not disconnected from the realities on the ground.
AMANPOUR (voice over): Galbraith's calls the U.S. policy appeasement.
GALBRAITH: We were not able to modify Iraq's behavior. And guess what?
AMANPOUR: Two years later, in August 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait, its oil-rich neighbor to the south. This time, the U.S. vilified Saddam Hussein.
GEORGE H.W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT: We're dealing with Hitler revisited.
AMANPOUR: And this time, with Kuwait's oil at stake, the United States finally screamed bloody murder.
BUSH: This must not stand.
AMANPOUR: When we come back, genocide in primetime.
(On camera): The relentless destruction and murder in Sarajevo...
(Voice over): And a man who tried to stop it.
(On camera): Why do you make these trips that involved faking I.D.s, sneaking in? What motivated you so much?
AMANPOUR: These are some of the hundreds of thousands of victims of genocide in Bosnia 13 years after they were dumped in mass graves.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's a very typical pattern of (INAUDIBLE) fractures that you get from shrapnel, bullet, that sort of thing.
AMANPOUR (on camera): That's the right humerus?
(Voice over): Now, experts are assembling the pieces. So that people like Kada Hodic (ph) can finally give her brother Mustafa a proper burial.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (Through translator): Mustafa's body was found without the head. There is a possibility it might be found in some other mass grave. If they can't find the head, we might have to bury him without it.
AMANPOUR: Unlike the holocaust, unlike Cambodia, in Bosnia, the media was there in full force. Genocide was on the front page. I was there and day after day I reported the story.
(On camera): The international community says there'll be no military interventions.
(Voice over): Now, in the era of 24-hour cable news, no one could say we didn't know.
In March, 1992, Yugoslavia was already breaking up along ethnic lines when Bosnia-Herzegovina declared independence. Bosnian Serbs, Orthodox Christians, wanted their own state and they went to war for it.
Their principle victims were Bosnia's Muslim population. The Bosnian Serbs attacked parts of the capital Sarajevo to force the Muslims out. They destroyed mosques, they burned books and they systematically raped Muslim women and girls.
(On camera): And now the people here truly believe the world has abandoned them.
(Voice over): Richard Holbrooke was the consummate Washington insider. He had been an assistant secretary of state under President Carter, managing editor of the magazine "Foreign Policy." and a Wall Street banker.
Anxious to once again be a player in foreign policy, and moved by the suffering in Bosnia, Holbrooke thought the solution was obvious. A U.S.-led intervention to stop the Serbs.
RICHARD HOLBROOKE, FMR. ASST. SECRETARY OF STATE: I felt we had a moral obligation and American leadership in the world was also at stake.
AMANPOUR: While the world called the Serbs' destruction of Muslim communities ethnic cleansing, Richard Holbrooke called it genocide.
(On camera): When you said genocide, you also must have known that that did carry moral and legal obligations under international law.
HOLBROOKE: Of course. Everyone understood that. You can't call it genocide and then do nothing about it. AMANPOUR (voice over): When the bloodshed began, the major European countries vowed to resolve the crisis. And President George Bush vowed to stay out.
BUSH: The United States is not going to inject itself into every single crisis no matter how heart rending.
AMANPOUR: The U.N. had banned arm sales to the region to reduce the violence. This left the Muslims practically defenseless against the Bosnian Serbs who had heavy weapons from their patrons in Yugoslavia.
Instead of lifting the arms embargo, the U.N. Security Council sent in a peacekeeping force. Its mandate was to get relief supplies to the victims not to stop their killers.
In July, 1992, reporters learned about Serb concentration camps in Bosnia. Muslim prisoners were tortured, sexually mutilated and executed. These images hadn't been seen in Europe since the holocaust.
In primetime, they stirred U.S. public opinion but not enough to change U.S. policy.
BUSH: We are not going to get bogged down in some guerrilla warfare and I don't care what the pressures are.
AMANPOUR (on camera): So you were here in August of '92.
(Voice over): Appalled by the atrocities, Richard Holbrooke went to Bosnia as a member of a refugee relief organization. He wanted to see for himself.
(On camera): What was it that you saw here?
HOLBROOKE: People were lined up and they were soldiers with weapons everywhere.
AMANPOUR (voice over): Here, in the city of Banja Luka he saw Bosnia Serbs forcing the Muslims to sign over their property in exchange for their lives and a one way ticket out of town.
HOLBROOKE: And I thought, Christiane, I thought I'm seeing a color remake of the black and white scenes we'd seen in World War II of Jews signing away their property at the point of a gun and then being shipped off to who knows where.
AMANPOUR: Holbrooke's own Jewish grandfather had fled Germany in 1933 as Hitler came to power.
(On camera): Did it resonate with your own family experience?
HOLBROOKE: I don't think you have to be Jewish to understand that what you are seeing was a genuine crime against humanity.
AMANPOUR: Ending the crime, Holbrooke thought, might require the U.S. to bomb Serb military targets inside Bosnia.
HOLBROOKE: I took the stand that I believed was correct. I didn't think it was so controversial.
AMANPOUR: In that summer of '92, Holbrooke was supporting Bill Clinton's presidential campaign, offering advice on Bosnia.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, August 1992)
BILL CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We may have to use military force, that -- I would begin with airpower against the Serbs.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Holbrooke had his eye on a job in a Clinton administration, but, in the back of his mind, a lingering question.
HOLBROOKE: Will he do as president what he said he would do as candidate?
AMANPOUR: December 1992, Bosnia's capital, Sarajevo, was under attack. The Bosnian Serbs shelled the city, cut the power, and blocked the roads. Snipers were everywhere.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: It may already be too late to save tens of thousands of people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: I was there, reporting on the siege, a ruthless three- year attempt to drive the Muslims out of their multiethnic city.
(on camera): So, up there, that's where all the guns were.
(voice-over): Richard Holbrooke, then a Wall Street banker, made his second trip to Bosnia. At Serb checkpoints, he had to use a fake U.N. identity card.
(on camera): Why did you make these trips that involved faking I.D.s, sneaking in? What motivated you so much?
HOLBROOKE: People weren't paying attention. I didn't go to solve the problem, because I was a private citizen, but there was a sense of bearing witness.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): What he saw appalled him: U.N. peacekeepers powerless even to bring food to starving people, because they had to negotiate with Bosnian Serb militias.
HOLBROOKE: They should have shot their way in, if necessary. And, had they shot their way in, the Serbs would have melted away, because they were thugs and bullies.
AMANPOUR: Bill Clinton, who had campaigned on a promise of tough action, was about to enter the White House. And Holbrooke wanted to be the new president's point man on Bosnia.
In a memo to Clinton's top advisers, Holbrooke again recommended direct use of force against the Serbs.
HOLBROOKE: And, by advocating vigorous action, I was kind of marginalized.
AMANPOUR: Instead of getting Bosnia, Holbrooke was named U.S. ambassador to Germany.
(on camera): You were basically, for want of a better term, screaming bloody murder, and they weren't listening.
HOLBROOKE: Well, I was very frustrated. But the political pressures were running the other way.
AMANPOUR: The European allies opposed airstrikes, because their peacekeepers on the ground would face retaliation. Clinton's national security adviser, Anthony Lake, told us, the president's hands were tied.
ANTHONY LAKE, FORMER CLINTON NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: They were, to put it mildly, extremely reluctant to see us pursue, unilaterally, any actions which could imperil their troops.
AMANPOUR (on camera): The question, then, is, why didn't the U.S. lead from the front? Why? You were the superpower. You had already made statements. Why didn't you lead and convince them?
LAKE: Well, we tried to convince them. And the Europeans said, absolutely no.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): April 1993, three months into the new administration, the opening of the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ELIE WIESEL, NOBEL LAUREATE AND HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR: Mr. President, I cannot not tell you something.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Nobel laureate and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel and personally and publicly challenged Clinton to intervene in Bosnia.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WIESEL: As a Jew, I am saying that. We must do something to stop the bloodshed in that country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WIESEL: I nudged him. I nudged him. AMANPOUR (on camera): And he promised you that something would happen?
WIESEL: Right. Look, I tried everything.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): But Clinton's actions were a far cry from his campaign pledge.
Over the next year, he convinced European allies to use limited airstrikes against the Bosnian Serbs, but it did not stop the killing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, MAY 1994)
AMANPOUR: Mr. President...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: At a 1994 news conference, I asked President Clinton about his get-tough words and the not-so-tough action.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, MAY 1994)
AMANPOUR: And do you not think that the constant flip-flops of your administration on the issue of Bosnia sets a very dangerous precedent?
CLINTON: There have been no constant flip-flops, madam. And we have been much more active than my predecessor was in every way from the beginning.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: That same month, the Clinton White House asked Richard Holbrooke to leave his post as ambassador in Germany and help with Bosnia.
HOLBROOKE: I think President Clinton, calling me back, understood full well that I would continue to advocate the use of force.
AMANPOUR: But Holbrooke and others in the administration who advocated force would see Bosnia's Muslims endure 15 more months of heartbreak and slaughter.
The U.N. established what it called safe areas, but without enough force to make them safe. Thousands of Muslims sought refuge in Srebrenica. And, in July, 1995, the Bosnian Serbs overran the small U.N. force there, and they captured the town.
The Bosnian Serb commander, General Ratko Mladic, staged a chilling show, complete with candy for the children.
"Don't be afraid of anything," he said on Serb television. "No one will do you any harm."
But, when his show was over, the Bosnian Serbs exterminated Muslim boys as young as 14 and men as old as 77, 8,000 in all, including the husband, brothers and son of Kada Hodic (ph).
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): We cannot understand how the world allowed this to happen right under their eyes.
AMANPOUR: Srebrenica shook the world's conscience, and, finally, President Clinton's foreign policy. He was now ready to lead from the front, with or without U.N. approval.
LAKE: And what I said to the Europeans was, we're going to do this, and it will work best if you come with us.
AMANPOUR: August 1995, after a Serb mortar attack on a Sarajevo market, Clinton pulled the trigger. With the Europeans now on board, U.S. and allied planes attacked Bosnian Serb positions.
HOLBROOKE: When I originally recommended the use of force in 1992-'93, I was ignored.
AMANPOUR: Now, three years later, with massive military power behind him, Richard Holbrooke led diplomatic talks. Within two months, he got enough concessions to negotiate an end to three-and-a- half years of war, vindication for a policy that Holbrooke calls bombs for peace.
HOLBROOKE: There are times when you have to use force in order to stop people from being killed.
AMANPOUR: Coming up: A Canadian general screams bloody murder, only to lose the battle of his life.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): 1993, the African nation of Rwanda, General Romeo Dallaire was about to take up the most important command of his career, leading U.N. troops charged with keeping the peace.
Dallaire is Canadian, the son of a soldier, and a military man who says that his first love has always been the army.
(on camera): And when you were first told that you were going to head the mission in Rwanda, how did you feel about that?
ROMEO DALLAIRE, FORMER CANADIAN GENERAL: An overwhelming excitement.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): One year later, Romeo Dallaire would leave Rwanda a broken man, his mission a failure, having watched helplessly as more than 800,000 people perished in the genocide.
DALLAIRE: We could have actually saved hundreds of thousands. Nobody was interested. AMANPOUR: When he arrived in Rwanda, the mission was to monitor a peace agreement between the Hutus and the Tutsis, two warring ethnic groups with a long and bloody rivalry, which was now simmering again.
The agreement, which called for Hutus and Tutsis to share power, was just a facade. Hutu extremists within the government were stockpiling weapons.
General Dallaire was determined to keep the peace. And it was personal for him. He had been raised on vivid stories of heroic Canadian soldiers who brought hope to Europe after the Holocaust. His own father, his role model, had been one of those soldiers. General Dallaire wanted to honor this legacy.
(on camera): What resources did you think you needed?
DALLAIRE: I had estimated about 4,500 troops. And I got authority, ultimately, for 2,600.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): Just 2,600 troops, and none from the United States. Its taste for foreign intervention had soured.
A few months earlier, in Somalia, two dozen Pakistani peacekeepers had been murdered. U.S. commandos on the hunt for the killers had their Black Hawk helicopter shot down. Eighteen U.S. soldiers were killed.
Kofi Annan was then head of U.N. peacekeeping operations.
KOFI ANNAN, FORMER U.N. SECRETARY-GENERAL: The U.S. troops had been killed and dragged through the streets and humiliated.
AMANPOUR: Americans were anxious to extricate themselves from strife in Africa.
ANNAN: And the governments were not prepared to take another risk and go into Rwanda.
AMANPOUR: In January 1994, General Dallaire made a chilling discovery. An informant warned that Hutu government agents were planning for bloodshed, not peace.
DALLAIRE: They were going to conduct an outright slaughter and elimination of the opposition.
AMANPOUR (on camera): Did he tell you that he was being ordered to practice, prepare, train for this?
AMANPOUR (voice-over): General Dallaire sent this cable to U.N. headquarters in New York, warning that his informant has been ordered to register all the Tutsi in Kigali. He suspects it is for their extermination.
The informant described a major weapons cache, which General Dallaire intended to raid. "It is our intention to take action within the next 36 hours."
Kofi Annan, concerned about the safety of Dallaire's limited U.N. force, responded, "We cannot agree to the operation contemplated, as it clearly goes beyond the mandate."
(on camera): When you got this response back...
AMANPOUR: ... what was your reaction?
DALLAIRE: I -- I -- it was -- if a commander has ever been taken by surprise, I certainly was taken by surprise.
AMANPOUR: Did you try to change his mind?
DALLAIRE: Five more faxes of the same nature throughout the rest of January, into February. And, ultimately, I got authority.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): But it was too late, because Hutu extremists were about to begin their brutal extermination of the Tutsis. And General Dallaire would face a test, standing up not just to the killers, but also to world leaders who turned their backs as the rivers ran with blood.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): General Romeo Dallaire, the head of U.N. forces in Rwanda, knew that trouble was coming. For months, the U.N. commander in Rwanda had warned his bosses in New York that Hutu extremists were arming and training militias.
Then, on April 6, 1994, the plane carrying the presidents of Rwanda and neighboring Burundi was shot down, a double assassination. This was the moment the Hutu plotters had been waiting for.
(on camera): The death of the president was the start point...
AMANPOUR: ... the signal?
(voice-over): Colonel Theoneste Bagosora, a Hutu extremist, immediately declared the army in charge. Within hours, government troops and civilian death squads began slaughtering Tutsis.
DALLAIRE: The people were literally screaming on the phone, telling us that the militias were at the door. We could hear the people still on the phone as they were busting down the doors and opening fire.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): We started hearing people screaming outside. Efuginia Mukantbama (ph) lived a rural hilltop village when the genocide erupted.
(on camera): And then what do you remember?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (through translator): What I remember is that they killed people. The women and girls were raped. And we saw it all. The men and boys were beaten and slaughtered.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): As the mob came closer, she and her husband and her children split up and fled. Their home was destroyed.
(on camera): Those are the rocks from your house?
AMANPOUR: As Efuginia (ph) hid in the forest, her neighbors, Hutus she had lived with all of her life, killed her husband and five of her children.
Government radio broadcasts actually incited the killers, demonizing the Tutsis, calling for their extermination.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Guard your sectors well, so that no cockroach escapes you. If you capture one, destroy it.
AMANPOUR: "Cockroaches." It was an echo of past genocide. In Cambodia, the Khmer Rouge called their victims "worms." In Germany, to the Nazis, Jews were "vermin."
In Rwanda, radio broadcasts went even further, providing graphic instructions on how to kill.
(on camera): Pulling babies out of the mother's womb?
DALLAIRE: Yes, literally, you know, how to -- how to make them suffer and mutilate them.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): Efuginia (ph) eventually fled the forest, and, like so many other Tutsis, sought refuge in a church. For her, the church brought safety. But, for so many others, churches and schools became their death trap.
DALLAIRE: They would simply throw a couple grenades in and let the militias slaughter them row after row after row.
AMANPOUR: Dallaire and his powerless troops could only save the few people they could reach. His troops were themselves targets. Ten were killed in the first days of the genocide. He was desperate for help from U.N. headquarters.
(on camera): And were you on the phone to New York? Were you screaming to them? What was happening?
DALLAIRE: I was with New York on -- fairly constantly, you know, several times a day in those times, doing negotiations, discussing with them the -- the -- the situation. You know, "Are reinforcements coming?" AMANPOUR (voice-over): Six days into the killing, some U.S. officials began to fear the worst. This State Department memo warned of a "bloodbath." But, instead of providing the U.N. with reinforcements, the Clinton administration joined a chorus of world leaders calling for a total U.N. withdrawal.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To make statements following the voting...
AMANPOUR: After two weeks of debate, the Security Council voted, instead, to let General Dallaire keep just 10 percent of his already stretched forces.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... please raise their hand.
MICHAEL BARNETT, HAROLD STASSEN CHAIR OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, HUMPHREY INSTITUTE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS: In essence, they voted to allow the killers to continue.
AMANPOUR: At the time, professor Michael Barnett was on a fellowship at the U.N., and he studied its response to the genocide.
BARNETT: That's when we see a real spike in the violence, because, at that point, it's clear to the Rwandans that there will not be any cavalry over the horizon.
AMANPOUR: Like Hitler in Germany, and Saddam Hussein in Iraq, the killers acted with impunity.
BOUTROS BOUTROS-GHALI, U.N. SECRETARY-GENERAL: Let us recognize that it is a failure.
AMANPOUR: In the fourth week of the killing, U.N. Secretary- General Boutros Boutros-Ghali ordered a total pullout of all U.N. troops from Rwanda. General Dallaire refused.
(on camera): So, you were insubordinate?
DALLAIRE: No. Well, insubordinate is nice way of -- I mean, I -- I -- I refused a legal order. And -- but it was immoral.
AMANPOUR: With so few men, Dallaire was helpless to stop the killing. In the first few weeks alone, the International Red Cross estimated the body count was in the hundreds of thousands, including people who were slaughtered right here.
But the United States and the United Nations refused to publicly call this carnage what it was: genocide.
(voice-over): The State Department worried that acknowledging genocide would commit the U.S. to actually do something because of the 1948 U.N. Genocide Convention, Lemkin's law. So, officials played word games.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, JUNE 10, 1994)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We -- we have every reason that acts of genocide have occurred.
QUESTION: How many acts of genocide does it take to make genocide?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Allan (ph), that is just not a question that I'm in a position to answer.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Anthony Lake had a front-row seat to the debate. He was President Clinton's national security adviser.
LAKE: And I think that was wrong.
AMANPOUR (on camera): What was wrong?
LAKE: Not to call it genocide. It was genocide.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): Lake now admits that the administration's response to Rwanda was a failure. He told me that President Clinton's closest advisers did discuss humanitarian aid, but not whether or how to stop the killing.
LAKE: It was a sin of omission of not having that senior meeting, of senior officials never saying, including myself, including the president, what is going on? What can we do about it?
AMANPOUR: While the U.S. and the U.N. stood by, the rebel Tutsi army fought back against the Hutu government.
In mid-July, 100 days of hell came to an end, when Tutsi forces, led by General Paul Kagame, declared victory. But, by then, more than 800,000 people were dead.
Today, 14 years later, Kagame is Rwanda's president.
(on camera): Did you expect the international community to intervene?
PAUL KAGAME, PRESIDENT OF RWANDA: Absolutely. All along, we thought that's why they were here.
AMANPOUR: And why do you think they couldn't and didn't?
KAGAME: They didn't care. They were totally indifferent. It was just another bloody African situation, where just people kill each other, and -- and that's it.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): A month after the Tutsis declared victory, General Romeo Dallaire asked to be relieved of his command.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DALLAIRE: Well done. Very well done. And thank you very much.
(APPLAUSE) (END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: He left Rwanda a bitter and broken man.
(on camera): What has life been like for you since?
DALLAIRE: A lot of pills, a lot of therapy, a lot of -- a lot of times not wanting to live.
AMANPOUR: You did pretty much all that was humanly possible to scream bloody murder and to raise the alarm.
DALLAIRE: Not enough, I don't think so.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): When we come back: A British doctor tries to stop the madness in Darfur.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a combination of a horror movie and a snuff movie.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): Sudan is Africa's largest country, one of its most ethically diverse, and it has one of the world's worst records on human rights.
It is here that Mukesh Kapila arrived in April 1993. A British doctor, Kapila had worked at England's most prestigious hospitals, but he says he grew bored treating rich patients with minor conditions. Instead, he turned to international humanitarian work, organizing relief efforts in Bosnia and Rwanda for victims of genocide.
MUKESH KAPILA, PHYSICIAN: I resolved if ever I was in a position of responsibility this would not happen in my patch.
AMANPOUR (on camera): Not on your watch?
KAPILA: Not on my watch.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): But it was about to happen on his watch.
In 2003, he was the U.N.'s top official in Sudan. And in Darfur, Sudan's western region, he watched as the lessons of history were ignored.
In Darfur, the U.N. estimates that 300,000 people have been killed in the violence or died in the ensuing disease and starvation. Another 2.5 million have been uprooted from their homes.
(on camera) They're worried about who will look after them.
(voice-over) Early in the conflict, I reported how the toll is heaviest on the women, on the weak and especially on the very young.
KAPILA: What happened in Darfur would be classified obscene.
AMANPOUR (on camera): You're angry.
KAPILA: I am angry at having presided over the first genocide of the 21st century.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): The alleged genocide, a charge Sudan denies, grows out of a civil war. Rebels from African tribes versus Sudan's government, which is led by Arabs.
In 2003, when the rebels attacked government outposts in Darfur, a human rights monitor from the U.N. issued a prophetic warning. He said that, in the escalating conflict, Sudan's government may be engaged in ethnic cleansing, aimed at eliminating African tribes from Darfur.
KAPILA: His reports actually disappeared into a big hole.
AMANPOUR: A big hole because the world's attention was on Iraq, where the U.S. had gone to war.
Soon after starting work in Sudan's capital, Khartoum, Kapila received his own troubling accounts. Much like what this man, Mahmoud el-Hakt (ph), told us. He was a village leader. Now he lives in a refugee camp with his wife and children. He said that his village was attacked in 2003 by government aircraft like this one and by government-backed Arab militiamen known as the Janjaweed, or devils on horseback.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): When the shooting started, they were killing everybody: children, women, animals, everybody.
AMANPOUR: Sudan claims its forces were only putting down an armed insurrection. Interior minister Ibrahim Hamiz (ph).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think the problems which have been happening in Darfur are problems which can be happening any place in the world where there is a war. There are crimes, but it's not like what has been reflected in the international media.
AMANPOUR: But that's not what Mukesh Kapila was hearing. He kept getting reports of more Darfuris killed or driven from their land and Arabs talking about making Darfur zurka-free.
(on camera) What is that? A zurka-free zone?
KAPILA: It's a derogatory term for -- for black people.
AMANPOUR: Derogatory how?
KAPILA: Derogatory, meaning it's akin to, for example, the word "nigger" being used in our western culture. AMANPOUR (voice-over): On the ground, we saw the U.N.'s emergency humanitarian fund set up to care for tens of thousands of desperate refugees. But Kapila wanted more.
(on camera) He and his boss, who was head of U.N. humanitarian affairs, began what would become a crusade to get Darfur in front of the Security Council, because members here have real power to pressure rogue regimes, whether by imposing trade embargoes or authorizing military force.
(voice-over) To get Darfur on the agenda, Kapila approached several western governments.
(on camera) So what was their reaction when you came asking for help?
KAPILA: Well, it was, if I can coin a phrase from elsewhere, an inconvenient truth. They just did not want to know. This was too much information at the wrong -- at the wrong time.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): Although U.S. officials publicly condemned the killings in Darfur, Kapila claims that most of the major powers were focused on southern Sudan, where there were efforts to end a 20-year civil war that had claimed 2 million lives. Darfur would have to wait.
(on camera) So those early warning signs were being ignored again?
KAPILA: Completely ignored.
AMANPOUR: Between December 2003 and February 2004, the crisis in Darfur exploded. Mahmoud el-Hakt (ph) told us that his village was attacked from the air and surrounded on the ground. Government-armed militias, the Janjaweed, burned the houses, poisoned the water and raped the women.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): They're trying to cleanse us from the land because we're black Africans.
AMANPOUR: Frustrated that he was getting nowhere with the U.N., Mukesh Kapila screamed bloody murder to the media.
KAPILA: My strategy was carefully calculated, because I knew two things. One, there was only one chance to do this and, secondly, probably that was the end of my career.
AMANPOUR: Speaking to the BBC, he invoked the word his U.N. colleagues had avoided: "genocide."
KAPILA: I was present at Rwanda around the time of the genocide there, but I'm totally shocked about what is going on in Darfur. And I don't know why the world is not doing more about it.
AMANPOUR: Major newspapers quickly picked up the story, which Sudan called a heap of lies. Having now antagonized his host government, Kapila was so thoroughly unwelcome in Sudan that he had to resign.
(on camera) Was it worth it?
KAPILA: It was worth it in the sense that the international community had to start doing something about it.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): Within days of going to the press, Darfur was on the Security Council's agenda. And there was something else.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not on our watch!
AMANPOUR: When we come back, an unprecedented grass roots movement to save Darfur.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not on our watch!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not on our watch!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not on our watch!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One more time!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not on our watch!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not on our watch!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not on our watch!
AMANPOUR (voice-over): Sixty years ago when Raphael Lemkin helped to write the Genocide Convention, he did not have the Internet.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In Darfur, we have the power to save lives.
AMANPOUR: Or its ability to mobilize so many.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not on our watch.
AMANPOUR: To speak out so strongly.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One more time.
AMANPOUR: Now, genocide has its own grassroots movement. Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel says it has put genocide on the political agenda.
ELIE WIESEL, HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR: No other tragedy since 1945 has caught the imagination of so many people as Darfur has.
AMANPOUR: Eric Reeves is one of the fathers of the movement. A professor of English at Smith College, Reeves is a self-made expert on Sudan. He runs a one-man war room. Even while fighting his own five- year battle against leukemia.
ERIC REEVES, PROFESSOR: People like me, Khartoum, I've definitely gotten under their skin.
AMANPOUR: Reeves was one of the first activists to call Darfur genocide, early in 2004.
REEVES: I thought that I was creating a moment in which a debate would take place, a debate about what to do. What will we do?
AMANPOUR (on camera): When the answer came, it was a sobering reminder that the U.N. is powerless to force its members to act, even in the face of mass murder. So after four years of U.N. resolutions, there is still no end to this crisis.
REEVES: There was no lack of information. There was no lack of understanding. There was a lack of will to stop genocide. Year after year after year.
AMANPOUR: In 2004, Darfur was finally on the agenda. A Security Council resolution demanded that Sudan disarm the militias attacking the villages. But it issued no ultimatum to back up that demand, not even a trade embargo if Sudan refused.
The main spoiler was China, one of five countries on the Security Council with veto power. China has major construction contracts in Sudan. It buys oil from Sudan, and it sells Sudan its weapons.
REEVES: And at every point China has said no sanctions against Khartoum. None.
AMANPOUR: Sudan said sanctions were unnecessary, because it would punish anyone who committed crimes against civilians. But after two more years of death and destruction, the Security Council voted in 2006 for a peacekeeping force. This time, China went along, as long as the U.N. invited Sudan's consent.
REEVES: That was the phrase that China purchased with its threat of a veto. That invitation was declined.
AMANPOUR: Outraged, Reeves and other activists, including actress Mia Farrow, began putting the squeeze on China. By calling the Beijing Olympics...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The genocide Olympics.
REEVES: I said, this is the phrase that will hurt China. This is the phrase that will get to China.
AMANPOUR: China could not escape the beating: from human rights groups, from the press, and from President Bush.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: My administration has called these actions by their rightful name: genocide. AMANPOUR: Under pressure, China now leaned on Sudan. And in July 2007, a year before the Olympic games, Sudan finally agreed to a U.N. force.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Present arms!
AMANPOUR: Twenty-six thousand soldiers and police. But after all that, a year into the mission, the force is less than half strength. And Darfur has descended into near anarchy. Bandits routinely hijack U.N. food convoys. U.N. patrols are ambushed. Peacekeepers are stripped of their weapons and even killed.
Despite all this, Eric Reeves believes the unprecedented grass roots protests have not been in vain.
REEVES: Without the outrage by American advocacy, we'd be looking at hundreds of thousands of additional deaths.
AMANPOUR: The prosecutor at the International Criminal Court has charged Sudan's president with genocide. This was the president's defiant response. Why, fourteen years after Rwanda, 60 years after the Genocide Convention, has the world's response in Darfur been so little, so late?
REEVES: That's the question I didn't ask myself forcefully enough, and I can only plead foolishness.
AMANPOUR: When we come back, forgiveness for unspeakable crimes.
(on camera) You looked her in the eye and what did you say to her?
(voice-over) A remarkable meeting in Rwanda between this woman and one of the men who killed her family.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): Rwanda, where more than 800,000 people were slaughtered in just 100 days. I was there during the genocide and, again, in November 1996.
(on camera) The number of people crossing now is about 15,000 people per hour.
(voice-over) I witnessed an incredible mass migration of returning refugees. But what were they coming home to?
Today, this simple enterprise represents Rwanda's remarkable act of healing. Hutus and Tutsis sit side by side, weaving peace baskets sold at Macy's department stores. Once deadly enemies, are now business partners. And friends.
Efuginia Mukantbama (ph) is a Tutsi. A master weaver, she trained her Hutu neighbor.
(on camera) How have you managed to reconcile? Has there been a process that helped you with reconciliation?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I am a Christian, and I like to pray.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): Rwanda has made reconciliation a centerpiece of its recovery, with clubs and re-education camps. I met Efuginia (ph) on a beautiful Sunday morning in church. After mass, she invited me home.
There, in her unadorned hilltop house -- no electricity and no running water -- I saw something extraordinary. Efuginia (ph) was preparing a plate of food and serving it to Jean-Bosco Bizimana (ph), one of the men who murdered five of her children.
(on camera) It's amazing for us to sit here and share food with families who have been through so much.
(voice-over) Jean-Bosco (ph) is married to Efuginia's (ph) basket-weaving partner and, after seven years in prison, he returned to face the woman he had all but destroyed.
(on camera) And what did you say to her? You looked her in the eye and what did you say to her?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): The first time we spoke, we discussed the horrible things we did to them, Without holding anything back.
AMANPOUR: And did you expect Efuginia (ph) to forgive you and give you mercy?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I felt that they would forgive me.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): Justice is a vital part of Rwanda's reconciliation process. In villages around the country, traditional community trials called kechachas (ph) help the victims confront the killers in front of all of their neighbors.
(on camera) Jean-Bosco (ph), did you go to the kechacha (ph) court?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Yes. In front of everyone, I openly said what I did. I told my brothers and asked for forgiveness.
AMANPOUR: How did you find it in your heart to forgive?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): In my heart, the dead are dead. They cannot come back again. So I have to join myself with the others and forget what has happened.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): While there's justice in Rwanda's towns and villages, it comes slowly, if at all, in the international courts. The trial of Colonel Theoneste Bagasora, the alleged leader of the Rwandan genocide, has lasted more than six years.
Pol Pot, the chief architect of genocide in Cambodia, died without ever facing charges.
Punishment may bring justice, but who will prevent future genocides?
WIESEL: I don't want my past to become anyone else's future.
AMANPOUR (on camera): It's been six decades since Raphael Lemkin invented the word "genocide" and dedicated his life to the promise "Never again." What would he think, had he lived to see the killing fields of Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, Darfur?
(voice-over) Time after time, those with the power to stop genocide have lacked the courage to act. Time after time, national interests have trumped saving lives. So what will happen the next time a Lemkin or Wiesel, a Ponchaud or Dallaire, a Galbraith, Holbrooke, Kapila or Reeves says enough is enough? Next time, will anyone listen?