I started reading today, on the recommendation of my friend and colleague David, Roméo Dallaire's account of the Rwandan genocide--Shake Hands with the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda. Dallaire was the commander of the UN peacekeepers during the 100 days when 800,000 Rwandans were murdered, one of the quickest and most efficient genocides in history.
This after the civilized world had looked at Auschwitz and collectively promised, "Never again."
Much of Dallaire's book is an indictment of the UN and the nations on the Security Council, the United States among them, and their failure to act. More, their failure to even care.
Why was the developed world so apathetic? In the Preface Dallaire recounts the assessment of a group of UN bureaucrats who came to evaluate the situation in the first weeks of the genocide. Their conclusion was the Rwanda had no "strategic" interest. No oil. No cache of natural resources. Nothing of value for the Principalities and Powers. Their summary assessment:
We will recommend to our government not to intervene as the risks are high and all that is here are humans.