Jump to content


Getting an "Insecure Connection" warning for Exisle? No worry

Details in this thread

War in Congo: Death toll passes 3.3 Million

War Congo

  • Please log in to reply
26 replies to this topic

#1 Rov Judicata

Rov Judicata

    Crassly Irresponsible and Indifferent

  • Islander
  • 15,720 posts

Posted 29 April 2003 - 11:12 PM

In an age where SARS-- in which a relatively few amount of people have perished-- is headline news, I have no idea why this war has been ignored for the past three years.

http://www.alertnet..../IRCDRCview.htm

Quote

In less than five years, the equivalent of the entire population of Chicago was wiped out in the war in the Democratic Republic of Congo. That's the equivalent of every man, woman and child in Ireland being killed. Surely if something of this nature occurred, it would have made the headlines. It's too shocking and horrible to ignore, one would think.

Quote

Just stop for a moment, and try and get a sense of the number. Think of the children, the families, the loss and suffering this country is experiencing. Picture ten children, perhaps your children, plus your nephews and nieces, plus their playmates, and so forth. Now imagine seven of them dead before they reach the age of two. This is what life is like in parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Quote

One thousand people die every day in this country as a result of the ongoing war. How is it possible that the United Nations has not made this a priority? Where are the headlines? Why are no politicians pounding their fists on a podium somewhere demanding action?

Quote

In Iraq a coalition of thirty countries sent armies and lost lives and will spend at least 100 billion dollars on its military and reconstruction efforts. Yet the entire Iraq conflict has produced a death toll equivalent to a few days in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

<The 'thirty country' figure can be quibbled with; apparently, the author is only referring to those that actually sent troops.>

It's a good read.

I often wonder why this war is ignored by the media. Granted, there are no easy answers, but that never stopped them from presenting an issue before. Thinking back, I can't remember the last time that war made it into the headlines...

With Iraq, I had forgotten about it until this headline popped up at agonist.org

Edited by Certifiably Cait, 27 August 2012 - 01:50 PM.

St. Louis must be destroyed!

Me: "I have a job and five credit cards and am looking into signing a two year lease.  THAT MAKES ME OLD."
Josh: "I don't have a job, I have ONE credit card, I'm stuck in a lease and I'm 28! My mom's basement IS ONE BAD DECISION AWAY!"
~~ Josh, winning the argument.

"Congress . . . shall include every idiot, lunatic, insane person, and person non compos mentis[.]" ~1 U.S.C. § 1, selectively quoted for accuracy.

#2 tennyson

tennyson
  • Islander
  • 6,173 posts

Posted 30 April 2003 - 12:12 AM

I think the last time I hard about this was around 2001 sometime when some sort of local international peacekeeping effort was supposed to stop it. I see that it was not sucessful.
"Only an idiot would fight a war on two fronts. Only the heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Idiots would fight a war on twelve fronts."

— Londo, "Ceremonies of Light and Dark" Babylon-5


#3 Norville

Norville
  • Islander
  • 4,501 posts

Posted 30 April 2003 - 12:19 AM

Quote

In an age where SARS-- in which a relatively few amount of people have perished-- is headline news, I have no idea why this war has been ignored for the past three years.

I'm wondering if it's a case of "Oh, it's Africa in chaos yet again. Yawn." There's a term called "compassion fatigue" -- people get so tired of hearing about trouble in the world, they ignore it.

Quote

I often wonder why this war is ignored by the media.

Well, not all the media -- I've seen it reported (even during War with Iraq) in the NEW YORK TIMES. Of course, the NYT's dismissed as liberal, so I guess it doesn't count...
"The dew has fallen with a particularly sickening thud this morning."
- Marvin the Paranoid Android, "Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy"

Rules for Surviving an Autocracy
Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.
- Masha Gessen
http://www.nybooks.c...s-for-survival/

#4 Nikcara

Nikcara

    confused little imp

  • Islander
  • 3,500 posts

Posted 30 April 2003 - 04:21 AM

Unfortunatly, it's not just DR of Congo.  Angola has been having civil war for 37 years now, if I remeber correctly.  People there are afraid to walk down the road because there are so many land mines around.  And there's a lot more countries then that, but listing them doesnt really do much.

Makes you wonder - if that war on Iraq was all about civil liberites, freeing people, and general 'for the people of Iraq' type stuff, why don't we go help Africa more?
We have fourty million reasons for failure, but not a single excuse  -- Rudyard Kipling

Develop compassion for your enemies, that is genuine compassion.  Limited compassion cannot produce this altruism.  -- H. H. the Dalai Lama

#5 tennyson

tennyson
  • Islander
  • 6,173 posts

Posted 30 April 2003 - 04:50 AM

The US has, although it has tended to blowup in the country's face, see Somalia, Angola and Ethiopea for examples. and a lot of that had to do with not understanding the internal situation well enough.
"Only an idiot would fight a war on two fronts. Only the heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Idiots would fight a war on twelve fronts."

— Londo, "Ceremonies of Light and Dark" Babylon-5


#6 CJ AEGIS

CJ AEGIS

    Warship Guru!

  • Islander
  • 6,847 posts

Posted 30 April 2003 - 05:08 AM

Nikcara, on Apr 30 2003, 02:11 AM, said:

Makes you wonder - if that war on Iraq was all about civil liberites, freeing people, and general 'for the people of Iraq' type stuff, why don't we go help Africa more?
We did at least in Somalia and we ended up with the Battle of the Black Sea for our effort.  You might want to check out Black Hawk Down.  The book is much better and more explanatory than the movie but the movie is still good.

Edited by CJ AEGIS, 30 April 2003 - 05:08 AM.

"History has proven too often and too recently that the nation which relaxes its defenses invites attack."
        -Fleet Admiral Nimitz
"Their sailors say they should have flight pay and sub pay both -- they're in the air half the time, under the water the other half""
        - Ernie Pyle: Aboard a DE

#7 EvilTree

EvilTree

    my silence is my pervading call

  • Islander
  • 623 posts

Posted 30 April 2003 - 07:05 AM

^So what are you arguing? US shouldn't send troops into Africa?

If you really have read BHD, I think you get the idea that US could have done the job in Somalia, but Clinton pulled out, leaving UN dangling.
Loyalty, Vigilance, Excellence
-Motto of Imperial Space Marines


"Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor, and the contrary opinion is wishful thinking at its worst. Breeds that forget this basic truth have always paid for it with their lives and freedoms."
-Robert A. Heinlein

"Self control is chef element in self respect. Self respect is chief element in courage."
-Thucydides

#8 CJ AEGIS

CJ AEGIS

    Warship Guru!

  • Islander
  • 6,847 posts

Posted 30 April 2003 - 07:53 AM

EvilTree, on Apr 30 2003, 04:55 AM, said:

^So what are you arguing? US shouldn't send troops into Africa?

If you really have read BHD, I think you get the idea that US could have done the job in Somalia, but Clinton pulled out, leaving UN dangling.
As I have said a few times here before the United States has a score to settle in Somalia and that viper’s nest should be the next one to get cleaned out.  That said no I don’t think we should make another half measure attempt like the last one.  As the situation stood at the end of Black Hawk Down without a major application of adidtional US Force the situation would have just continued as another UN peacekeeping quagmire.  Clinton simply put in my opinion didn’t have the will to take that type of leap and put forth such a commitment.  What we need to do is go back in with overwhelming firepower and actually have heavy armored forces on the ground with some real air support.

Edited by CJ AEGIS, 30 April 2003 - 07:55 AM.

"History has proven too often and too recently that the nation which relaxes its defenses invites attack."
        -Fleet Admiral Nimitz
"Their sailors say they should have flight pay and sub pay both -- they're in the air half the time, under the water the other half""
        - Ernie Pyle: Aboard a DE

#9 MuseZack

MuseZack

    132nd S.O.C.

  • Demigod
  • 5,432 posts

Posted 30 April 2003 - 07:27 PM

Okay, watch everyone as Zack, who speaks out against French bashing at every opportunity, bashes the French!

This is all France's fault.  And Belgium's, too.  With a little bit of CIA connivance, too.  King Leopold of Belgium spent decades with the Congo as his personal property, and totally raped the place.  Millions dead, resources trashed, and unlike some of the other colonies, barely any attempt to build an infrastructure, civil service, or educated elite.  So Belgium pulled out and left the country totally unprepared for self-governance.  Then Belgium and the CIA helped assassinate Patrice Lumumba for being left-leaning and installed Mobutu, who spent thirty years plundering the country some more.  

Enter France.  In next door neighbor Rwanda, France supported the Francophone Hutu government against the English-speaking Tutsi rebels, even when the Hutus committed the worst act of genocide since the Holocaust.  Worse still, when the Tutsis came and kicked the Hutu government out, the French sent troops in to help the Hutu leadership escape into neighboring Congo (then called Zaire).  The Hutu genocidaires promptly set up shop in the sprawling UN-administered refugee camps, stole food from their own people and launched cross-border killing raids into Rwanda.  They also terrorized the local Tutsi who'd been living in the Congo for generations, the banyamulenge (literally-- "people of the mountains").  The new Tutsi-dominated Rwandan government got sick of this, and repeatedly told France to stop rearming the Hutu and the UN to get them out of the refugee camps.  France and the UN did nothing, so Rwanda and its ally Uganda, backed by the local Tutsis, crossed the border to forcibly evict the Hutu genocidaires.  

But in doing so, they discovered that Mobutu's army was amazingly week, so they found a Congolese front man (an ex diamond smuggler named Laurent Kabila) and drove 900 miles across the country in a matter of weeks with light infantry alone, overthrowing Mobutu and setting up Kabila in his place.

Unfortunately, Kabila turns out to be corrupt as well, so he turns against his former allies and ANOTHER war breaks out.  This one draws in Uganda, Rwanda, Angola, Zimbabwe, Chad, and Namibia, as well as three seperate rebel factions and numerous unaffiliated tribal militias (including the mai mai, brutal killers who wear faucets around their necks because they think they're protected by magic that turns bullets that hit them into water).  Kabila is assassinated and his son takes over, old friends Rwanda and Uganda turn against each other, multiple foreign armies use the war as an excuse to loot the country of diamonds, gold, lumber, and coltan, a rare mineral used in your cel phone, what few roads and ferries exist break down, and warfare, starvation, and disease kill millions, while the world yawns and looks the other way.  

So maybe it's not ALL France's fault.  But the current situation did start because they thought it would be cool to give refuge to a bunch of genocidal killers.

Zack

P.S.  And don't get me started on Madeline Albright and her sabotage of all efforts to stop the Rwandan genocide.  See, and y'all thought I just hated the Bush Administration's foreign policy team. :p
"Some day, after we have mastered the wind, the waves, the tides, and gravity,
We shall harness for God the energies of Love.
Then, for the second time in the history of the world,
we will have discovered fire."
--Father Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

#10 Christopher

Christopher
  • Demigod
  • 32,953 posts

Posted 30 April 2003 - 07:52 PM

You're right, Zack -- King Leopold's hideous abuses of the Belgian Congo, condemned as barbaric even by the imperialist, racist, exploitative standards of the Scramble for Africa, wounded the continent in ways that are still being felt.  This is one of the greatest tragedies of imperialism -- the way it just keeps doing damage long after it's nominally ended.  You see this sort of thing in most parts of the world which were once under the imperialist yoke -- Africa, the Mideast and India being notable examples.

Imperialist rulers spent generations creating and encouraging ethnic strife among their ruled populations to keep them from uniting in revolt.  They spent generations depleting their resources so that they'd have no infrastructure, and shutting them out of positions of authority so they'd have no skills to build one.  They spent generations teaching them that force is power, so that force is all they know.  They spent generations unmaking the culture's own institutions and suppressing their value systems, so that when they pulled out and left a power vacuum, they left very little to rebuild with.

I sometimes think that the societies victimized by imperialism are a lot like the victims of child abuse in this way -- they've been psychologically wounded and scarred, left bitter and angry and lacking in the skills to address their problems constructively.  Maybe what the world needs is a theory of mass psychology, a way to put whole societies into "therapy" so they can heal themselves and move forward.

Anyway, getting back to Leopold... we can't lay the blame solely on Belgium.  It was the American adventurer Henry Morton Stanley who persuaded Leopold II to invest in "opening up" equatorial Africa in the first place.  Today we know Stanley mainly as the guy who said "Dr. Livingston, I presume," but he's a much more infamous figure in the exploitation of Africa than that.

(I wish this forum had been around a year or two ago when I was studying this, so I'd have my notes more readily at hand.)
"You don't use science to show that you're right, you use science to become right." -- xkcd

"The first man to raise a fist is the man who's run out of ideas." -- "H. G. Wells," Time After Time


Written Worlds -- My homepage and blog
Facebook Author Page

#11 Rov Judicata

Rov Judicata

    Crassly Irresponsible and Indifferent

  • Islander
  • 15,720 posts

Posted 30 April 2003 - 09:35 PM

Good thoughts all. Special commendations to Norville, Zack, and Chris.

Responding to one comment:

Quote

Makes you wonder - if that war on Iraq was all about civil liberites, freeing people, and general 'for the people of Iraq' type stuff, why don't we go help Africa more?

The flip side:

If the peace protestors are so appalled by the loss of human life, why do they ignore this? Same goes for humanitarian organizations.

Politics is hypocricy, hypocricy politics. Neither side is immune from that charge.
St. Louis must be destroyed!

Me: "I have a job and five credit cards and am looking into signing a two year lease.  THAT MAKES ME OLD."
Josh: "I don't have a job, I have ONE credit card, I'm stuck in a lease and I'm 28! My mom's basement IS ONE BAD DECISION AWAY!"
~~ Josh, winning the argument.

"Congress . . . shall include every idiot, lunatic, insane person, and person non compos mentis[.]" ~1 U.S.C. § 1, selectively quoted for accuracy.

#12 Kevin Street

Kevin Street
  • Islander
  • 6,256 posts

Posted 30 April 2003 - 10:23 PM

Everyone ignores Africa, because we (the West) have very few interests there, and African terrorists tend to stay at home.

When we do notice Africa, it's usually because of something there that involves the West in some way. IE: Shell Oil, or Mugabe kicking white farmers off their land.

The War in the Congo is a horrible tragedy, no doubt. But it's very difficult to see how any large group of westerners (government or nongovernment) could be made to care.

Maybe if a plane full of Westerners crashed in the middle of the war...
Per aspera ad astra

#13 tennyson

tennyson
  • Islander
  • 6,173 posts

Posted 30 April 2003 - 10:37 PM

Actually the West has a lot of interests in Africa, if we're talking oil then there is Angola and Nigeria to just name the two richest areas, copper in Zambia and elsewhere, diamonds in Sierra Leone, Congo, South Africa to name just a few nations, chromium, gold,uranium, the list goes on and on as well as cash crops like coffee and tea and cotton. Not to mention the tourism, planeload equivalents of westerns have already been killed or captured in supposedly "safe" areas on tours in places like Uganda and Kenya. Oh, there are interests and just because the internventions don't make the news doesn't mean they don't happen, just checkout my thread on the French military. and there are plenty of conflicts and terrorism to be concerned about, the civil wars in the Sudan, the breakdown in Somalia just being the ones that get the most press. But anytime a Western power comes it it has the spectre of colonialism attatched to it, even when it started with the nobelest of motives like making sure foodaid gets to where it should go.
"Only an idiot would fight a war on two fronts. Only the heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Idiots would fight a war on twelve fronts."

— Londo, "Ceremonies of Light and Dark" Babylon-5


#14 Christopher

Christopher
  • Demigod
  • 32,953 posts

Posted 30 April 2003 - 10:44 PM

tennyson, on Apr 30 2003, 03:27 PM, said:

But anytime a Western power comes it it has the spectre of colonialism attatched to it, even when it started with the nobelest of motives like making sure foodaid gets to where it should go.
Yeah, that's a huge problem there, and the signs increasingly indicate that it's going to become a major problem in the Mideast soon.  (Given the rising anti-US sentiment in Iraq, I expect an intifada pretty soon.)

The problem is, the only people in the world today who have the power to do anything about these regions' crises are basically the very people whose ancestors' imperialism created those crises in the first place -- so whatever efforts we make will just create more resentment and more problems.  Maybe what the world needs is for some country that wasn't once an imperial or colonial power to become prosperous and activist, so that they can help out in these regions without bringing all that historical baggage with them and stirring up bad blood.  Hmm, I hear Southeast Asia's becoming quite the economic powerhouse these days....  Though they've got a crisis on their own hands right now with SARS.
"You don't use science to show that you're right, you use science to become right." -- xkcd

"The first man to raise a fist is the man who's run out of ideas." -- "H. G. Wells," Time After Time


Written Worlds -- My homepage and blog
Facebook Author Page

#15 tennyson

tennyson
  • Islander
  • 6,173 posts

Posted 30 April 2003 - 10:46 PM

Well, here's my vote for Thailand.
"Only an idiot would fight a war on two fronts. Only the heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Idiots would fight a war on twelve fronts."

— Londo, "Ceremonies of Light and Dark" Babylon-5


#16 Talkie Toaster

Talkie Toaster

    There's no Shepard without Vakarian

  • Islander
  • 1,136 posts

Posted 30 April 2003 - 11:25 PM

I dunno- past British involvement in Africa has done a great deal of good for the region. It only took six SAS officers to reverse a coup in the Gambia a decade ago. And 800 British soldiers subdued an army of more than 20,000 in Sierra Leone in 2000- something that 30,000 UN troops there at the time of British intervention had utterly failed to do.
Blessed is the mind too small for doubt.

#17 Nick

Nick

    ...

  • Islander
  • 7,130 posts

Posted 01 May 2003 - 01:49 AM

I think it all boils down to a cost-benefit analysis.

Cost of a War w/ Iraq:  All Wars have a terrible human and monetary cost.  But this one's relatively smallish considering the state of the Iraqi military and how vastly overwhelmed they were by us.

Benifits: Oil, lower risk of this despot and potential terror-hotspot, WMDs,  massive jolt of political capital for Dubya.

For the Bush administration . . . they got a bargain.

The other nations in Africa . . . well....  no nukes, chems, or widely-publicized terrorists against us.  Tougher to throw out a tenuous Al-Quada link . . . and no "big bad evil guy that everyone in america know's the name of" to take out.  The warlords down there just aren't moustache-twirling villains enough.

Yeah, they killed more people.  Yeah, they're eviller.  But their public image isn't as strongly "bad man!" as Saddam's was .. . . so there's not as much political capital to be had.

So why would TIIC even bother?

They're just killing each other for now, which can largely be ignored.  Doesnt' affect gas pumps or big macs w/ coke.

:)

-Nick

#18 tennyson

tennyson
  • Islander
  • 6,173 posts

Posted 01 May 2003 - 03:00 AM

Well, South Africa had nuclear warheads, six of them in fact until they dismantled them, Libya and probably the Sudan and Algeria have chemical weapons but the big death dealer in Africa is still some guy with a machete and maybe if he's lucky an old rifle.
"Only an idiot would fight a war on two fronts. Only the heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Idiots would fight a war on twelve fronts."

— Londo, "Ceremonies of Light and Dark" Babylon-5


#19 CJ AEGIS

CJ AEGIS

    Warship Guru!

  • Islander
  • 6,847 posts

Posted 01 May 2003 - 05:19 AM

Quote

Christopher: Maybe what the world needs is for some country that wasn't once an imperial or colonial power to become prosperous and activist, so that they can help out in these regions without bringing all that historical baggage with them and stirring up bad blood.

To a certain extent Australia is taking that role in the Pacific as regional power.  Though they do have the baggage of being a “western” power in terms of ideology.  

Quote

Tennyson: Well, here's my vote for Thailand.

I’ll second that one!  Thailand has a lot of potential in the area along with being a key US ally.  They have the resources and an experienced competent military with some real good officers.  They also have a small carrier in the Chakri Naruebet for power projection.  

Mentioning that will Thailand be making your series?
"History has proven too often and too recently that the nation which relaxes its defenses invites attack."
        -Fleet Admiral Nimitz
"Their sailors say they should have flight pay and sub pay both -- they're in the air half the time, under the water the other half""
        - Ernie Pyle: Aboard a DE

#20 tennyson

tennyson
  • Islander
  • 6,173 posts

Posted 01 May 2003 - 07:19 AM

While the Chakri Naruebet is a nice air and amphibous platform(it has a landing well with three landing craft and can carry a couple of hundred troops) but the problem is money. The last I heard(2000) they could only operate her one day a month due to how much her operating costs are. That kind of puts a damper on projecting power.
As for detailing Thailand, I said I would take requests, although I was originally motivated to do this to provide context for the countiies involved in the pro and antiIraq war debate as well as detail what each side could have brought to the table and what those who did contribute's portion compared with what they had available. Like how Australia send something on the order of ten percent of its entire military force in personnel to the region but I can try to digup more stuff on Thailand if there is a request, although it will be older and need more work than my other information.
"Only an idiot would fight a war on two fronts. Only the heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Idiots would fight a war on twelve fronts."

— Londo, "Ceremonies of Light and Dark" Babylon-5




Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: War, Congo

0 user(s) are browsing this forum

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users