Tuesday, April 15, 2003
The blogosphere is slowly realising that there was a massacre in the former Zaire last week, around the same time that Coalition forces were knocking down statues in Baghdad. (I did read about it in the papers, but haven't posted on it. Think my head's been too full of Iraq.)
The United States has condemned the reported massacre of 1,000 civilians in the Democratic Republic of Congo and urged the country's warring parties to end hostilities.
State Department spokesman Philip Reeker made the remarks Monday in Washington as reports surfaced about the civilian deaths in the Congo's northern Ituri province.
The executions are said to have taken place last Thursday, one day after a multi-party peace accord to end the broader Congolese conflict was signed in South Africa.
Mr. Reeker said the United States has consistently spoken out against what he called "the grave humanitarian tragedy" of violence in the Congo, especially in the Ituri province.
He also said Uganda, as the party responsible for security in the region, must make sure no atrocities or human rights violations are committed in the area.
Michael Blowhard cites that pathological case John Ray, who
...points out that while the world's been fixated on the war in Iraq, millions of Africans have been dying in a war in the Congo. Millions! And he asks, Why aren't the do-gooders carrying on at least as much about this as they have been about the Iraq war? He points to this article about the mess, here.
Looking at the article, we find last week's massacre is, depressingly, not exactly out of the ordinary. Ray's precise comment on the subject—"An accident or misjudgement of war is an outrage if the U.S. is responsible for it but blacks can do ANYTHING without it being an outrage"—strikes me for some reason as being the sort of thing he'd say.
As far as the do-gooders go, it's not an entirely bad point; it's also much the same point as pro-war commentators made of anti-war commentators before the Son Of All Battles, i.e. "this has gone on all this time, and what have you done to stop it?" And the answer is pretty much the same as well. It's a fair question in that the "do-gooders" clearly haven't done enough to prevent this shit from happening... so what have the people asking the question been doing that's better? Can we expect the UN... no, sorry, I mean the US, I forgot the UN is irrelevant now of course, can we expect the US to whip up another coalition to go in there and do something to stop the people of Congo killing themselves? I mean, hey, they've got natural resources like diamonds and petroleum that the US can exploit... what's stopping them? Or can they only deal with stomping on one country at a time?