March 19, 2013 by soniauwimana
Max Fisher — never heard of him? Nor had I, to be honest, until this week when he has inserted himself quite aggressively into the media firestorm over the surrender of Bosco Ntaganda. He blogs at the Washington Post on the subject of Foreign Policy and, when it comes to his knowledge of the Great Lakes region, he credits Laura Seay (@texasinafrica) for teaching him everything he knows. Hilarious. Tragic.
Seay is a huge motormouth who, quite possibly, is the single wrongest of all the Western “experts” on the region. She teaches “Africa” at some obscure university in Georgia and once mistakenly thought the English rugby team was hitting on her at a Ugandan hotel. (OK, I admit I’m scrambling for information, but life’s too short to spend it researching biographical information on Laura Seay, for god’s sake.)
Most amusingly, Seay was the know-all who yesterday claimed, moments before it was revealed Bosco had handed himself over the US embassy on Kigali, that people saying that Bosco had handed himself over to the Americans in Kigali were “divorced from reality”. We might have to wait a very long time to encounter such a spectacularly bad example of punditry. Anyway, when you consider that Seay is the intellectual powerhouse behind Max Fisher, it certainly explains how it has come about that Max Fisher is so brazenly ignorant.
Last night, Fisher described Ntaganda as “Rwanda’s general”. Not surprisingly, plenty of people on Twitter have tried to correct this rather glaring falsehood. In fact, the error of fact is so obvious that I had assumed it was an innocent error and the Washington Post would duly correct it. Boy, was I wrong?
Fisher tweeted this today;
Thing I learned today: Lots of Rwandans believe that Bosco Ntaganda doesn’t count as Rwandan. And they all seem to have Twitter accounts.
Wow. How obnoxious .
First, he is standing by his “Rwanda’s general” claim — which, in turn, means it graduates from an error to an outright lie.
Second, Fisher thinks it’s somehow suspicious that Rwandans have Twitter accounts. What on earth is that about? Is social media engagement a little — what’s the word — uppity of us?
Yes, Mr Fisher. We love Twitter in Rwanda. And Facebook. And some of us can even read and write!
Max — may I call you Max? — if you want an apology for not conforming to your primitive expectations, do me a favor and look elsewhere for an apology.