In a past piece dated July 14, 2006, called: The Congo: A Hidden Terror That is Not Our Top Priority, I spoke in great detail of the horrors going on within that country to women and children in which they are forcibly raped and used as sex slaves. To read of these accounts, the reader needs a strong stomach in order to see how children as young as two-years-old are brutally raped.
I came to write this piece after reading, Jan Goodwin’s article written for The Nation, Silence=Rape. I did so because within that piece she asked, “We can only hope that a similarly prominent group of today's social commentators will find its conscience and its voice soon.”
While I do not pretend to be a well known social commentator, I have come to learn through my appearance on CNN in which I spoke of Youssif’s plight in Iraq, my words are picked up to speak of such abuses to our most innocent, our children. I want to remind all that he is a five-year-old Iraqi boy who was burnt by masked men in Iraq as the poured gasoline over his body and lit him afire. Thankfully many stepped up to the plate and brought him to this country where he is presently receiving free medical care to heal his wounds.
President George Bush and our congress often mistakes Iran’s threat to Israel as they wish to march towards a preemptive strike on that country, yet they are mute when it comes to the reality of abuse being felt by Congolese women and children.
In my past column, I cited a quote coming from Van Woudenberg, the Congo specialist for Human Rights Watch when he stated of the Bush administration, “In November I tried to raise the issue with the US Mission to the UN in New York, and they told me fairly point-blank that they were aware rape was going on in the Congo, and it was just not high on their priorities…I had a similar response from the US State Department."
The reason I am bringing this up yet again is that there has been little coverage of these atrocities by the mainstream media within this country of ours. I would like to ask; exactly where is the wall-to-wall coverage as these people suffer so? Where is the voice of the United States government in helping to stop these brutal acts?
These acts are far more egregious than any spoken words by Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinjad. Yet our media and our congress went into hyper-drive in attacking him and say nothing of what is going on in the Congo.
This rampage against innocent Congolese has not stopped as I read a NY Times article today: Rape Epidemic Raises Trauma of Congo War. My guess is that this will not even be mentioned on any Sunday news talk show such as “Meet the Press”. Most likely they will discuss the upcoming presidential race. Quite frankly, I do not care one bit of these races as children continue to be used as sex slaves.
According to this article, “Denis Mukwege, a Congolese gynecologist, cannot bear to listen to the stories his patients tell him anymore.” What more can be added to that? It sounds to me as if he is burnt out because this violence has not been addressed and more importantly stopped by the free world.
The United States government will often speak of the war on terror, and it loans itself to ask; is it terror only when it affects us? Does terror only come from al Qaeda? These Congolese people are living in a terror that you and I cannot even imagine. Yet, here we are ready to spend billions more in Iraq and we are failing to do anything when it pertains to the Congo.
The Bush administration cooked the books and flat out lied to the American people when it came to Iraq, well here is real tangible proof and yet nothing happens. In this case the bodies of madmen become the true weapons of mass destruction and through their acts AIDS is spread.
In thinking of terror directed at anyone, this is what Dr. Mukwege had to say of these acts, “They are done to destroy women.” According to the NY Times in South Kivu Province alone, 26,000 rapes were reported in 2006. Imagine if that were happening in any community within the United States.
Why is the United States government mute when as one reads where the Congolese army is one of the worst abusers of women as they raid villages and abduct women for ransom?
Do you want to speak of wiping anyone off the face of the map, then one only has to read of the accounts of Honorata Barinjibanwa who is 18 years-old who had been, "tied to a tree, and she still has rope marks ringing her delicate neck. The men would untie her for a few hours each day to gang-rape her" Women are being wiped off the face of the map in the Congo and that is a reality and not just a mistranslation as perpetrated by the mainstream media blaming Ahmadinejad who did not even say that to begin with.
The most frightening part of this abuse and killing of these women especially from their husbands is thought of as “almost normal” In my opinion it is abnormal and yet it continues on.
An account as reported in this article is when Kasindi Wabulasa was forcibly raped in gang-bang fashion while her husband was forced to watch and if he closed his eyes he would be shot with an AK-47. Meanwhile clinics are filled with women just lying on their back staring at the ceiling "with colostomy bags hanging next to them because of all the internal damage." By the way, when they were done with Kasindi Wabulasa, they shot her husband anyway.