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25 January 2005 @ 08:23 am
Atrocity in the Rep of the Congo...  
I have an admission to make...I am a very strong person in some ways and in some, I am not. I don't watch the news because acts of evil and cruelty haunt me. Well...I watched Oprah yesterday and was stunned and sickened.
The show began in a nice enough way...showing Ricky martin and the humanitarian aid he is personally supplying to children in Puerto Rico, India and now to the Tsunami victims. What came next caused me nightmares and loss of sleep last night.


The Oprah show had arranged to sneak reporter, Lisa Ling, into The Republic of the Congo..."The worst place on Earth"...to investigate the daily atrocities forced upon the women there. Bands of these rebel soldiers apparently move about over there and do as they please. I've never heard such acts of violence and vicious cruelty.
Lisa spoke to a group of these women who were getting their story out for the first time. One that haunted me inparticular was this woman, maybe 40...her daughters, 10 and 14 yrs old were drug outside and continuously raped. Then they found her. They sliced her arms and legs with knives, they beat her and kicked her until they knocked out most of her teeth...then they ripped her clothes off and made her little boy force her legs apart and tie them to trees...they tore out all of her pubic hair by hand and then they all raped her and beat her continuously. they broke her arm so that it healed at an angle that looks like it would fit a corner. Then they tried to force her 20 yr old son to rape her...he wouldn't and they bashed him in the face and head with the rifle butts.


As she often does, journalist Lisa Ling risked her life to tell us a very important story. She recently travelled to the Democratic Republic of the Congo to uncover what's been happening to women in the middle of this war-torn country. The country's most recent conflict stems from a struggle for resources and power, both among domestic and foreign interests—four million people have already been massacred. Lisa spoke to brutalized women in the village of Bukavu who are speaking for the first time in hopes the world will hear their voices. Every single day in the Congo, rape is used as a vicious weapon against women in this war.

"More than any other place I've been, life in the Congo can really be like living hell," Lisa says. "If you're a woman, you're constantly in danger of rebels who are hiding in the forest coming and attacking your village and gang raping you, possibly in front of your children."

Lisa: Women in the Congo are considered "war booty," essentially. They are the ones who are suffering the most. The villages are attacked in the middle of the night by young soldiers. They violently rape the women. They've killed so many people already in six years. Four million people—and no one is paying attention. … This is happening right now.

Oprah: It's happening right now. And I feel a responsibility that we have a voice to let people know what's going on, and to not to do that, I think, would be a crime.

>>>Read the emotional letters from women who survived horrific sexual cruelty and torture in the eastern Congo.<<<


I hate to be cynical, but...I wonder if the Congo was rich in oil reserves, if the world would be there to 'liberate' the women and innocent citizens of that country?!

A.M.: mellowultimategirl on January 25th, 2005 02:22 pm (UTC)
You're not being cynical at all. The lack of economic imperative definitely makes it easier to ignore the human rights violations going on in various African countries, many of which have been going on for years. We also shouldn't ignore the factor that racism plays in the world's willful blindness.

The Congo may not have oil, but it does have diamonds, and diamonds help to finance these conflicts. Know where your baubles are coming from. Some diamonds are not a girl's best friend.

Markboywondermark on January 25th, 2005 02:56 pm (UTC)
Ahhh...I forgot the diamonds. I agree, Anne...racism unfortunately plays a large part here too...noone seems to care about Africa. Do the people of the world consider these people ignorant savages or something?! How untrue. From what I've seen and read, they are no different than you or I...or anyone else in this world...they love, they mourn, they dream...they have goals, hopes, aspirations! Sadly, they are tormented daily by things from our worst nightmares.
The Veggiesquashed on January 25th, 2005 02:50 pm (UTC)
I had my daughter home sick (she wasn't very mostly a cold and a bad night not sleeping) yesterday and we were watching Oprah as I thought it would be good for her to see some personal stories from the tsunami as her school is invovled in fundraising efforts. I decided to turn it off before the Lisa Ling report, because while Oprah hadn't specified yet what it was, it seemed to be something I didn't want my eight year old watching. And thank goodness I did.

And I agree that I don't think you're being cynical -- it's unfortunately very true.

And as a woman, I am extremely thankful that I live where I do and not in one of these countries were women are treated as second class citizens and where atrocities are commited upon them. It's too horrible to contemplate for more than a moment or two at a time.
Markboywondermark on January 25th, 2005 03:01 pm (UTC)
Pumpkin...I'm so glad that you turned it off...your daughter definately didn't need to see that. Those women endure Hell on Earth. They aren't even treated as 2nd class citizens in that part of the world...they are beneath animals. I thank God that my mom, sisters and nieces live here.
I guess that I should be glad that the demonic cruelty visited upon these poor women can leave me haunted and sick.
(no subject) - brlasonny913 on January 26th, 2005 06:23 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - boywondermark on January 27th, 2005 02:37 am (UTC) (Expand)
Michaelmikey89 on January 25th, 2005 03:11 pm (UTC)
Now you know why I absolutley despise the United Nations.. They are very selective on where to stick their noses in.. if it does not make them money then there is no reason to be there..

"Oil for Food" anyone?
Dan the gnome: Me2brewergnome on January 25th, 2005 03:16 pm (UTC)
As if they stick their noses in much of anywhere these days... and as if they would have military support if they did? We'd just take our marbles and go home like the whiny baby we are.
(no subject) - boywondermark on January 25th, 2005 03:56 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Dan the gnome: Me2brewergnome on January 25th, 2005 03:18 pm (UTC)
It's disgusting... and what's worst is it's not even close to the only place. We ignored Rwanda, we're ignoring the Congo. We're mostly ignoring Korea. Etc. etc. etc.

Yeah they have diamonds, but those are mostly owned by DeBeers anyways.
A.M.: mellowultimategirl on January 25th, 2005 03:53 pm (UTC)
Yeah they have diamonds, but those are mostly owned by DeBeers anyways.

You see, this attitude is part of the problem. DeBeers may buy the raw diamonds, but in most cases the mines themselves are controlled by the militias, who use the money from the sale of raw stones to buy arms. The willingness to ignore this crucial step, and it's human cost, helps keep these militias financed and operating.
(no subject) - brewergnome on January 25th, 2005 04:01 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ultimategirl on January 25th, 2005 04:42 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - brewergnome on January 25th, 2005 04:50 pm (UTC) (Expand)
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(no subject) - brewergnome on January 25th, 2005 06:06 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - brlasonny913 on January 26th, 2005 06:29 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ultimategirl on January 26th, 2005 07:03 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - boywondermark on January 25th, 2005 04:01 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - brlasonny913 on January 26th, 2005 06:53 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - boywondermark on January 27th, 2005 02:48 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - brlasonny913 on January 27th, 2005 03:57 am (UTC) (Expand)
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(no subject) - boywondermark on January 27th, 2005 12:46 pm (UTC) (Expand)
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(no subject) - brlasonny913 on January 27th, 2005 04:56 pm (UTC) (Expand)
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turtleinashell on January 25th, 2005 06:41 pm (UTC)
I, too, wonder the same thing, Mark. It disturbs me how we let some things continue, and choose to interfere in others when it seems the atrocities are far less than those as you described. No atrocity should be ignored, but why aren't we doing more in places like the Congo?

I also, like you, tend to avoid some news and some talk shows because I tend to get to involved in the story of the day, and end up crying or getting down over it. My mom loves to repeat to me what she heard on Montel and other shows, and I've told her over and over, "Please, don't lay all that on me at once, and not the minute I walk in the door." She forgets quickly because it doesn't affect her the same way, I guess.

You're a sensitive and caring guy, and those are wonderful traits.
Markboywondermark on January 26th, 2005 02:30 am (UTC)
OMG, Paul...do we have the same mom?! LOL!! My mom knows why I don't watch the news and yet she rattles off every horrible thing that has happened in the city each day!
(no subject) - turtleinashell on January 26th, 2005 04:33 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - boywondermark on January 27th, 2005 02:07 am (UTC) (Expand)
TomOnWheelstomonwheels on January 25th, 2005 10:53 pm (UTC)
I was going to tape this because I worked until 7:00 p.m. last night. Unfortunately my VCR decided to act up and I couldn't record it.
Mark: blueeyesboywondermark on January 26th, 2005 02:34 am (UTC)
It was gutwrenching, Tom...are you sure you want to see that? I guess that I'm overly sensitive...every adult should see what is going on, I guess.
miller_0501 on January 25th, 2005 11:48 pm (UTC)
The news is so depressing most of the time I have stopped watching it. I read instead and I try to do it at times when it will not take so much out of me. I could not ignore what is going on but our government has done just that.

As you say if there is nothing in it for us such as oil, they just take care of their agenda such as this war in Iraq. It is even more depressing when I hear how hard it is for schools to teach current events because there are so many other things forced on the schools.

You should not have to make a 'confession' for what is so difficult for any feeling, thinking person to deal with. Unfortunately, I wouldn't look toward our government to help women in such danger and despair. Even more disturbing to me is that half the country put this government back in office and apparently doesn't expect very much from it!

Thank you Mark for bringing this to us here were at least some people are concerned.

Markboywondermark on January 26th, 2005 02:42 am (UTC)
Yeah...here in Baltimore, Miller, it's murder after murder every day...drug trafficking and arson...it just wears you down.
Y'know...part of my problem is the great frustration I feel...how can anyone let this happen...how can anyone be so cruel and evil?
Thank you for caring, Miller...and just being you!

~hugs and kisses~
Jaseslavetopassion on January 26th, 2005 12:58 am (UTC)
Its so horrible to hear of such things going on and no one taking an active stand. Our country goes and does where it is politically correct to go and do, their relief efforts are always aimed where their party can get the most press for their actions. It is so frustrating.

Mark: clarenceboywondermark on January 26th, 2005 02:48 am (UTC)
You said it, Sunshine! Amen!

~kisses and hugs~
Mariaweirdpinay on January 26th, 2005 06:03 pm (UTC)
Oh my god, that's so heartwrenching to hear.

I wonder if the Congo was rich in oil reserves, if the world would be there to 'liberate' the women and innocent citizens of that country?!

If it was, i'm pretty sure the U.S. will be the first one there. God, is the president even aware that this is going on? During his inaugural speech i believe he said something along the lines of in order to make freedom work here in the U.S., we should help other countries achieve their freedom first. This would be a perfect chance to do it! But i guess he won't do anything because he probably does not care about the women in Congo since he's busy asking for another $80 billion for the war in Iraq. *is annoyed*

Sorry, i didn't mean to be a Bush Basher.

But I'm pretty sure that there would be more relief efforts sent there now that the world has seen what's going on. *is hopeful*
Markboywondermark on January 27th, 2005 02:31 am (UTC)
Don't worry about being a Bush basher, hon. He knows about it...there is very little he doesn't know about...they don't care because there is nothing in it for them to help!
Vanessalockenessie on January 27th, 2005 02:35 am (UTC)
Hi Mark,
I watched this show with my husband. The disturbing thing was the blankness in these women's eyes.

Oprah had the founder of an organization on that sponsors women in the Congo. Rwanda and other areas of need. Just 25 bucks a month can make a difference. We have decided to sponsor someone in the Congo. The sponsorship involves the money and writing letters to the woman you sponsor. It's not much money to most of us... but it can be life or death for someone. If anyone on your list is interested it is www.womenforwomen.org

God Bless
Markboywondermark on January 27th, 2005 03:20 am (UTC)
Thank you so much Vanessa...I was looking for that group and kept getting lesbian porn sites (go figure).
As you know, I sponsor a little girl in the Philippines and a few wolves at wolf haven...I also support The Children's Leukemia and Lymphoma Society...but I think I'm going to also do this.