Lately, it has become very fashionable to campaign for Western-led involvement in the Dafur region of Sudan. Many of those same advocates for intervention appear blind to their own hypocrisy in having opposed just such intervention by the US in Iraq. Moreover, those who clamour for more aid and more Western intervention to "help" the struggling Africans would do well to consider this post by Barie Collins on the spiked website concerning Rwanda.
In Dallaire's book in particular, the politics of the day were often referenced and sketched but, by his own admission, they were both kept closed to Dallaire and outside his purview as a soldier. Part of what haunts Dellaire to this day is a sense of failure, that somehow it was he who let the Rwandans down by not making the world take more notice of things sooner and in a more forceful way. At the same time, Dellaire recognized much was happening to which either he was not made party or he had been deliberately excluded. Certainly his book lays out in explicit detail why any thought of effective UN intervention anywhere is a mirage at best, and an opportunity for corruption and bureaucratic impedence at its worst.
The lesson here is that we are our own project: we can only "fix" ourselves. And, when we seek to aid others, we have to enable them to empower themselves and not invoke our power over them or give others that power to use over them. Empowerment is the act of taking power over your own life: it can not be given to you, it has to be taken yourself. And it is the opposite of what most people recognize as standard operating procedure in politics, which is all about the exercise of power, by those who have, or wish to have, power.
In Africa, as it is in Europe, the US, the UN and NGOs: anywhere there's a bureaucracy allocating money, there's politics and power games.