Friday, May 30, 2003
AN ARMY OF DRAGONS
Dave Pollard - how to save the world blog -- Millions killed in genocide in Sudan, resurging famine in Ethiopia and Somalia, political instability, corruption and economic collapse in South America, tens of millions displaced and homeless due to wars in Asia and Africa, guerrilla movements and brutal, corrupt dictatorships in Central Asia, environmental holocaust accelerating everywhere, dozens of countries governed by madmen and criminals. But no mention of any of this in most of the American press or government speeches.
Afghanistan - Wasn't this the country that Tony Blair and George Bush pledged, in the same breath that announced war, that the people of Afghanistan would not be forgotten? Well, I can say after two visits to Afghanistan that they are not only forgotten but well and truly betrayed. The country is on its knees: roads, bridges, tunnels, schools, homes, hospitals, and farmlands are reduced to rubble and dust. It is one of the most heavily land-mined countries in the world. Only 5% of the rural population have access to clean water, 17% have access to medical services, 13% have access to education, 25% of all children are dead by the age of five. Life expectancy is 43. An estimated three million people are still in refugee camps in Iran and Pakistan, let alone the hundreds of thousands of internally displaced peoples. This country is in a mess and if anyone tells me that millions of dollars worth of aid is getting into this country then I will gladly take them to Afghanistan and point out the brutal truth. The people are dying! And we are turning a blind eye.
Congo - It is estimated that more than three million people have died in Congo's four-year war as a dizzying array of rival rebel armies and their patrons from nine neighboring countries have fought over Congo's enormous spoils. Gold, diamonds and coltan ? a mineral used in cellphones ? are among the precious loot in this northeastern province called Ituri, and peace deals so far have done nothing to stanch the bloodletting. The latest massacre took place over several days this month, as militias belonging to rival Hema and Lendu tribes battled for control here in Ituri's largest town. Today, the death toll stands at 350. Most have been buried in unmarked graves since their remains offered few details about who they were, let alone which of the warring ethnic groups they belonged to. As many as 17,000 people are huddled inside the tent cities that have sprung up in a United Nations compound, at the airport and in the heart of town.
Link from Natasha at the watch.