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I have just read one of the worst articles I will ever read. Johann Hari's Congo tragedy: the war the world forgot. It is the story of a blood soaked land that has experienced at least two mind numbing genocides a hundred years apart. The first revolved around King Leopold's rubber fetish,
The Belgians unified Congo in the first great holocaust of the twentieth century, a programme of slavery and tyranny that killed 13 million people. King Leopold II Â bragging about his humanitarian goals, of course Â seized Congo and turned it into a slave-colony geared to extracting rubber, the coltan and cassiterite of its day. The ÂnativesÂ who failed to gather enough rubber would have their hands chopped off, with the Belgian administrators receiving and carefully counting hundreds of baskets of hands a day.
The latest involves militias and minerals for our Playstations, cellphones and remote controls,
The technical term for these open wounds in the earth is Âartisinal minesÂ, but this dry terminology conjures up images of technical digs with machines and lights and helmets. In reality, they are immense holes in the ground, in which men, women and children Â lots of children Â pick desperately with makeshift hammers or their bare hands at the red earth, hoping to find some coltan or cassiterite to set on the long conveyor belt to your house or mine. Coltan is a metal that conducts heat unusually brilliantly. It is contained in your mobile, your lap-top, your sonÂs Playstation Â and 80 percent of the worldÂs supplies sit beneath the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Leopold 'unified' the Congo for humanitarian reasons. Rwanda, Uganda, Nigeria, Namibia and Angola invaded the Congo to prevent genocide. The wars in East Asia and Central and South America were to prevent the domino effect of godless communism. Iraq was invaded to free the Kuwaitis. The Balkans were bombed to stop ethnic cColombians Columbians are slaughtered to staunch the global drug trade. Afghanistan was bombed to help eradicate global terrorism. Iraq was invaded again to bring democracy to the Middle East. Haiti's democratically elected leader was kidnapped to assist democracy in that country.
Is there a dollar in circulation that isn't drenched in blood?