Congo

Finally, the NY Times is speaking out:

For more than four years, the deadliest fighting since World War II has raged in the vast Central African nation of Congo. More than 3 million people are dead. In some parts of the country, organized society has collapsed, with tribal vengeance giving way to genocide. For those in the war’s path, childhood ends abruptly. Parents are butchered in front of their children and militias turn the orphans into killers by their early teens. Neighboring countries are inflaming the conflict, arming rival militias and looting resources.

Sadly, the United Nations has seemed powerless to reverse Congo’s deadly disintegration. Before the arrival of a small French-led military force this month, international action has been timid. The new contingent, better equipped and with a stronger U.N. mandate to use force, may now contain the anarchy in one particularly violent area, the northeastern regional capital of Bunia. But the new force has only about 1,400 soldiers and is scheduled to begin pulling out in September. The rest of Congo remains at the mercy of marauding militias.

To expand the Bunia operation nationwide could require a U.N. army as large as 100,000. There is no chance of the Security Council’s sending or paying for a force that large. Peace will come to Congo, if it comes at all, only by strengthening diplomatic efforts to bring together the country’s main factions in a transitional government. Even that won’t have a chance unless the neighboring governments of Rwanda and Uganda order their local proxies to stop fighting.

If we let those people get slaughtered without doing anything meaningful, none of us deserves to sleep peacefully for the rest of our lives.






7 replies
  1. 1

    And why is it that I should lose sleep over this? I see no evidence that any rescue or assistance efforts have ever had any lasting, positive effects in the region. Some situations have no solutions. Not my problem…

  2. 2
    Chris Van Dis says:

    I have seen some posts on the various messes in Africa, but what do you propose to do about it? I’m not trying to be snitty about this, but I am curious as to how you think this should be handled.

    I can see the point that this doesn’t pose a direct threat to our national security. I can also see the opposing point that we, as leaders of the free world, have a moral obligation to put a stop to civilization destroying conflicts like these.

    I don’t, however, see any point to getting the U.N. involved. Everytime someone brings up a new U.N. mission, I see images of left-handed football bats and chicken noodle sandwiches. Bring the U.N. into this will inevitably make things worse.

    Something else to consider. What would the result of a pacified Congo be? Assume that it was in our power to fix things, would a vote in the General Assembly be our reward, cheaper and available raw materials, another stable market to trade with, an ally in the region, as well as a feeling of having done the right thing be worth the lives of the soldiers lost to combat and disease? Would it require our weakening the defence of existing allies? Or slow efforts to destroy terrorist organizations?

    I would love nothing more than to clean up the cesspools of the world, but unfortunately I don’t see realisticly right now how we can pull it off.

  3. 3

    “If we let those people get slaughtered without doing anything meaningful, none of us deserves to sleep peacefully for the rest of our lives.”

    I agree – we must intervene overseas to help others. Even if our borders are insecure, we must recognized our priorities. No one is dying in the United States (at least, as of now), and it is better to help people who are dying right now, rather than focus on a potential [and possibly imaginary] threat against our people here. We cannot wait any longer.

    Though today, just this afternoon, I saw on the Discovery Channel information about the people of Uganda. They are being persecuted and killed by wild animals. Also, they have a tremendous problems with baboons destroying their way of life (and I think it affects their food supply, or something; I wasn’t watching it closely). In any case, we must investigate this, and if it is warranted, I think that we should send troops to defend the innocent Ugandans against the wild animals, and send humanitarian aid to keep the baboons under control. If we don’t do this, people will die.

    (And besides, I think that protecting innocent Africans from killers, and preventing them from dying, will be a lot easier there, and a lot better for our troops, than it would be in a place like the Congo. So I think that we should look to Uganda first.)

  4. 4
    Watcher says:

    You would have us intervene in Uganda to rescue them from baboons? Rwanda and Uganda are both backing the rival militias in the Congo… if we proposed setting foot in either of those two countries for any reason, the UN would have a hissy fit. Sorry, but we don’t need that kind of grief over baboons.

  5. 5

    It’s All About Columbite-Tantalite!

    Mike Martinez, some dipshit lawyer (that’s not to say that all lawyers are dipshits) writing for the Salt Lake Tribune, has a whiney article blaming corporate greed for the lack of US involvement in the Congo.

  6. 6

    It’s All About Columbite-Tantalite!

    Mike Martinez, some dipshit lawyer (that’s not to say that all lawyers are dipshits) writing for the Salt Lake Tribune, has a whiney article blaming corporate greed for the lack of US involvement in the Congo.&nbsp He particularly blames high…

  7. 7

    Good Morning, Monrovia!

    Cock-a-doodle-doo!
    Liberia beckons too!
    Oh no! What are we utopians to do?

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Good Morning, Monrovia!

    Cock-a-doodle-doo!
    Liberia beckons too!
    Oh no! What are we utopians to do?

  2. It’s All About Columbite-Tantalite!

    Mike Martinez, some dipshit lawyer (that’s not to say that all lawyers are dipshits) writing for the Salt Lake Tribune, has a whiney article blaming corporate greed for the lack of US involvement in the Congo.&nbsp He particularly blames high…

  3. It’s All About Columbite-Tantalite!

    Mike Martinez, some dipshit lawyer (that’s not to say that all lawyers are dipshits) writing for the Salt Lake Tribune, has a whiney article blaming corporate greed for the lack of US involvement in the Congo.

Comments are closed.