Trying to foresee events is always tempting, says Dalrymple, but it’s a fool’s game. His own attempts provide evidence.
…I did not foresee the invasion of Tutsi exiles, driven out of [Rwanda] by previous ethnic violence, only two years later: an invasion that would lead before long to what was possibly the most thorough and efficient attempted genocide in history. Such, then were my powers of prediction, my insight into the workings of the future: I was completely oblivious to the approach of one of the greatest political catastrophes of my adulthood.
I was not alone in this, of course; but not many of those who failed to foresee it committed themselves so firmly to paper.