The Least, First

Monte Asbury's blog

What’s the deadliest conflict since World War II?

with 4 comments

A: Congo. And it’s big:Tugelaridley.com

More than 5 million people have died in the past decade, yet it goes virtually unnoticed and unreported in the United States. […] In other words, a loss of life on the scale of Sept. 11 occurring every two days, in a country whose population is one-sixth our own. … A particularly horrifying aspect of the conflict is the mass sexual violence being used as a weapon of war.

And guess who got the ball rolling:

After supporting the allies in World War II, Congo gained independence and elected Patrice Lumumba, a progressive Pan-Africanist, as prime minister in 1960. He was assassinated soon after in a plot involving the CIA. The U.S. installed and supported Mobutu Sese Seko, who ruled tyrannically for more than 30 years, plundering the nation. Since his death, Congo has seen war, from 1996 to 2002, provoked by invasions by neighboring Rwanda and Uganda, and ongoing conflict since then. […]

And guess why, and who took over from there:

The Congo has tremendous natural resources: 30 percent of the world’s cobalt, 10 percent of the world’s copper, 80 percent of the world’s reserves of coltan. You have to look at the corporate influence on everything that takes place in the Congo.”

[Blamed for] fueling the violence are Cleveland-based OM Group, the world’s leading producer of cobalt-based specialty chemicals and a leading supplier of nickel-based specialty chemicals, as well as Boston-based chemical giant Cabot Corp. Cabot produces coltan, also known as tantalum, a hard-to-extract but critical component of electronic circuitry, which is used in all cell phones and other consumer electronics. The massive demand for coltan is credited with fueling the Second Congo War of 1998-2002. A former CEO of Cabot is none other than the Bush administration’s current secretary of energy, Samuel Bodman. […]

The United Nations has issued several reports that are highly critical of illegal corporate exploitation of the Congo’s minerals.[…] “Eighty percent of the population live on 30 cents a day or less, with billions of dollars going out the back door and into the pockets of mining companies.”

An important question for us in the U.S. is: How could close to 6 million people die from war and related disease in one country in less than a decade and go virtually unnoticed?

Important, indeed.

Do read the entire post by Amy Goodman at DRC: The Invisible War.


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Written by Monte

January 24, 2008 at 2:24 pm

4 Responses

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  1. […] the last sixteen years. To put it in perspective, the average loss of life in the DRC currently is equivalent to September 11th occurring every two days, in a country that is only one-sixth the size of our own. So why exactly had I never heard of it […]

  2. Remarkable insights, again. I am astonished to learn, and to admit I haven’t known for much of my life, that we are rich in America because we have robbed the world, and that many of the world’s poorest nations are so, in part, because of rapacious American foreign policy.

    This economy of ours, built on stolen land and slave labor and the forcible removal of natural resources the world around, will never come near paying the restitution it owes the world.

    Monte

    January 27, 2008 at 7:18 pm

  3. It’s overwhelming to think about what it would take to remedy all that the CIA has done around the world-with toplling governments to consume more resources and so many other things. We don’t realize that the basic way that we live in the US is probably only possible because of they way the CIA and the US gov deals with other countires, so the only way for this all to be solved in a way that does not involve violent revolution or terrorism is if Americans are willing to alter their way of life-and I don’t see most Americans being willing to do that.

    We’re also going to have to question our whole economic system, becuase although capitalism has its benefits, the very source of capitalism being successful is greed-that’s not coming from a critic of capitalism, that comes from the very father of capitalism-Adam Smith. He said that the way capitalsim thrives is when everyone looks out for their own interest. However, if we continue to see everyone as our competition, the result is going to be the demise of America and much of the world. The Empire of the United States is not sustainable, and I pray that we will listen and recognize this before it is too late.

    DarthBen

    January 25, 2008 at 5:58 pm

  4. Monte

    Do you know Chapain? He is the pastor of the Congolese Nazarene congregation in Iowa City. What an opportunity for increasing awareness of the matter in your back yard. It would be interesting to hear what he has to say about the matter.

    nancy

    January 24, 2008 at 3:20 pm


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