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November 20, 2006

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The world is a fine place and worth fighting for. I agree with the second part.

You know, I read stuff like this and stuff about the ongoing carnage in Iraq and wonder if the world wouldn't be better off if we all just committed mass suicide and let a more compassionate and enlightened species takeover the planet. Like cockroaches.

It was the 12 month old with a rape-induced fistula that particularly got to me.

Thanks for the reminder/update/surge-of-anger-and-despair, hilzoy.


Ugh, you might enjoy Vonnegut's _Galapagos_.

Stories like this make me wonder about the knee-jerk Western response to "make peace" in these situtions. Pretty clearly, the current Rwandan government, though obviously not perfect, are the good guys here. I'm sure they've committed their share of abuses, but I'm also fairly sure that the more military scucess they achieved against the Interahmawe, the betetr the future of the region.

Western solidarity with Africa tends to be limited to the most unambiguous victims. Victims who fight back and win, like the Rwandan Tutsi, are often assumed to be just as bad as their oppressors. I have essentailyl no sympathy with US pretnesions to use miltiary force on behalf of someone else's human rights. But when people use force on behalf their won rights, taht's a different story.

A quick update: Bemba is taking his challenge of the results to the Supreme Court; it remains to be seen whether the (relative) peace will hold.

AllAfrica.com posts this UN round-up of local press coverage the challenge has received.

It was the 12 month old with a rape-induced fistula that particularly got to me.

GAH! When I read the post my mind placed "month" with "year." Not that that's any better, but Jesus.

Thanks for the update, Hil. The peace in Kinshasa seems even more unstable today:

Part of Congo's Supreme Court was burnt on Tuesday as judges reviewed electoral fraud complaints filed by supporters of presidential contender Jean-Pierre Bemba.

The session was immediately suspended. It is unclear who started the fire, but police fired shots into the air to disperse Bemba supporters demanding to enter the court building.

[...]

In a communiqué, the UN Mission in the DRC (MONUC), said that "uncontrolled elements" fired on the police who had moved in to disperse 22 people gathered in front of the court. The shooting lasted 45 minutes, forcing the court to suspend the hearing. A police bus and two other vehicles were also burnt.

MONUC troops evacuated four Supreme Court judges, lawyers for Bemba and the Independent Electoral Commission, as well as officials from Bemba's coalition of political parties - the Union pour la nation.

[...]

Meanwhile, tension remains high in the city as the army has surrounded Bemba's home where most of his bodyguards live.

More here and here.

And for those still following Zimbabwe, the life expectancy for women is now 34, the lowest in the world.

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