585 online
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 8 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds   

Why Barack Obama May Be Off Point on the Congo?

By Friends of the Congo  Posted by Georgianne Nienaber (about the submitter)       (Page 1 of 1 pages)   No comments

Georgianne Nienaber
Follow Me on Twitter     Message Georgianne Nienaber

Washington, DC - July 24, 2008 - John McCain's campaign questioned Barack Obama's commitment to stopping genocide. On his visit to Israel Obama proclaimed "never again" referencing the Holocaust. McCain's campaign quickly pounced with a press release saying that if Obama truly believed in "never again" and stopping genocide he would have supported the troop surge in Iraq.

Reporters pointed out a statement made in 2007 by Obama when he said the following: "Well, look, if that's the criteria [genocide or humanitarian crises] by which we are making decisions on the deployment of U.S. forces, then by that argument you would have 300,000 troops in the Congo right now - where millions have been slaughtered as a consequence of ethnic strife - which we haven't done."
Statements such as the above attributed to Obama, explains in part why there is such silence around the tragic situation in the Congo. The conflict is unfortunately and wrongly presented as ethnic bloodletting. The ethnic rationale for the conflict in the Congo, plays into long-held stereotypes that Africans are interminably trapped in "tribal bloodletting," hence, nothing can be done, resolutions are futile and there is little need to talk about the situation or address the issue.
The central reason for the nearly six million dead in the Congo since 1996 is not "ethnic strife" but rather the scramble for Congo's enormous treasure trove of diamonds, gold, copper, cobalt, coltan, tin, timber and more. Kenyan Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Wangari Maathai rightly assesses the problem when she notes, "these wars when you look at them, they are all about resources and who is going to control them."

Beneficiaries of Congo's resource war include foreign corporations and consumers. Senator Sam Brownback reminds us that "almost every American owns at least one device in which coltan has been used." Coltan is a key mineral that drives the conflict in the Congo and is found in our cell phones, laptop computers, digital cameras, video game consoles and many other devices. Congo has anywhere from 64% - 80% of the world's reserve of coltan.

We are hopeful that the journalists at Unity 08 conference in Chicago this week will break the silence around the Congo and ask both Obama and McCain about their policies for contributing to ending the conflict in the Congo and stopping the systematic looting of Congo's natural resources.
Rate It | View Ratings

Georgianne Nienaber Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter Page       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram Page

Georgianne Nienaber is an investigative environmental and political writer. She lives in rural northern Minnesota and South Florida. Her articles have appeared in The Society of Professional Journalists' Online Quill Magazine, the Huffington (more...)

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

Contact EditorContact Editor
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Recently Leaked Documents Confirm Clinton Haitian Gold Scheme

Dian Fossey and the Gorilla Killings

Should the World Boycott the Beijing Olympics? The Horrific Story of the Falun Gong

Haiti Watch: Disease Threatens Infants and No Plans to Stop It

Murder, Mayhem and Mexican Mafia Stalk the Bakken Oil Fields

Bakken Oil: Fighting for Control of Fort Berthold and the Three Affiliated Tribes

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend